Thursday, May 17, 2012

Eat all the ice cream!

Oh hey there folks,

*Disclaimer; this blog post has nothing to do with poetry, my romantic life, my job or anything related to it. It is a completely random thought that jumped into my head earlier this evening and I felt the compulsion to share it with all of you. So... please enjoy my neurotic rant.

I have very, very exciting news. I think I may have finally figured it all out. And by all, I mean to say that I think I solved the conundrum of what makes Montreal such an appealing city.

I know, I know. Most of you are thinking; 'Well obviously its the arts and culture'.

What a boring answer! It couldn't be just that. How about the universities? The history? The cute french women dressed in polka dots riding bicycles with straw baskets on the front? (I am not stereotyping, I have seen it with my own eyes too many times to count).

I mean seriously, this place is a magnet for young people. I barely know anyone who hasn't at some point in their twentys lived here or thought 'I should move there". If Vancouver/Victoria is the Florida style retirement capital of this country, then Montreal is the sexy french version of Portlandia. So I got to thinking tonight on my bike ride home (Kody is finally fixed!) what is it about this place? I mean, if you're an anglophone who doesn't speak the dominant language and job opportunities for you are scarce at best, than what the hell is the huge attraction? Just look at me, I work at a call centre right now along with %70 of the rest of the young english population. Which is, by the way, something I said I wouldn't do when I first moved here. But eating ramen noodles out of used plastic tupperware and crying yourself to sleep in a freezing cold apartment every night gets old after awhile. So you make sacrifices to live in a place that seems magical for no apparent reason.

And then I got home, all sweaty and adrenaline filled from dodging cars, pedestrians and children everywhere (omgsummerreallyishere) and it suddenly hit me. I need an ice cream cone.

This has become a fairly unhealthy habit, amplified by the fact that I live on a street with two amazing ice cream shops. As if that's not bad enough, one of them is located directly across from my front door. It's trendy, has a terrace with cute little pink chairs and serves gourmet ice cream. Now, this is not my favourite place. I've always loved the downtrodden, somewhat simple and cheap kinds of establishments with yellowed walls and wobbly chairs. I also have an obsession with greasy truck stops and real old school diners (the kind that never has more than two people in it, is open 24hrs and serves the worst coffee possible), but that's an entirely different rant. So my place is about three blocks away, and my usual is a chocolate soft serve dipped into more chocolate. OMNOMNOMNOM soooooo good.

So on my way home eating my messy cone of heaven, it hit me. The dairy! The cheeses, the milk, the yogurt- the ice cream! That's not just Montreal- its Quebec. I mean, this place invented (I have no solid proof but I'm almost certain) cheese curds that people eat like chips. And why wouldn't you?! They're so damn good. This also explains poutine. It's not about the gravy, its all about the cheese. They put it with everything! I pity anyone who is lactose intolerant and lives in this province, because it is the mecca of all things dairy.

So there it is. The magic isn't about the circuses, the artsy loft parties or the festivals, its about the cow product. Just my humble opinion, but if I haven't mentioned it yet than I am saying it now; I freaking love this place. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Oh! Oh! Spring!

So, something amazing happened the other night. A small, simple moment that blew my mind. I was walking to the metro from my friend's house and as I passed a green space I smelled fresh, clean air. New grass! The tree's are starting to produce leaves, it's been raining for a couple weeks and the warm air smells like the pores of the earth are opening up and offering new oxygen. Not to sound like a total hippy, but I can already smell incense and hear the drums of the Tam Tam and holy crap are my feet are itching to be free from shoes. Its finaaaally here! Yipee!

There is seriously nothing better than springtime. 

And let's be honest, ya'll are so freaking good looking that once the skin starts showing everyone goes a little um, "crazy". I swear, the whole city is vibrating with the sound of layers and layers of winter coats peeling off. Everyone I know is hooking up, new relationships are starting all over the place and the winter romances are breaking up.

This brings to mind the expression "Fall in, Spring out". It applies to so many things, but mostly short term relationships. The panic of September when all the single people face another cold winter huddled alone with their respective pets aching for a warm body to press against, so we find each other and hunker down. Once spring comes everyone gets their baby makin' faces on and those relationships quickly dissolve. Call me what you will, but I've observed this time and time again (*Disclaimer; I am not saying that I have done this or that anyone knowingly does this, I'm merely noting that we hibernate for eight months of the year and tend not to want to do this alone).

We're only human, afterall. 

Now, there have been some major changes in my life recently, many of which I've already filled you in on and so I won't go over it all again. But let's just say that my mind is spinning a little. Last week I posted probably the cheesiest, most unabashedly giddy Facebook update of my entire online life. This is because it feels like everything I hoped for all winter long is happening or has happened in these last few weeks. I not only got on the Montreal Slam Team, but I freaking won Finals night and am the new Montreal Slam Champion. How did that happen?! I've only half-heartedly slammed this season as competetion is less and less appealing to me, but here I am. I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty happy about it. CFSW in Saskatoon, here I come! So thats one thing.

...And in the neverending debate on how much of my private life to keep private and how much to divulge here, let's just say I'm one of those people on the new relationship train. Except it's a friend of mine, someone who is very dear to me and whom I've had a crush on since oh, I don't know, December. The only thing that keeps going through my head is "holy crap this is actually happening, I'm not daydreaming this anymore this is real". The shock will eventually wear off, but for now I'm stunned and happy and baffled all at once. And it doesn't feel like every other flimsy two month relationship I've been in for the last four years. It feels more like the beginning of something much deeper and sustainable in the long run, like the start of a new partnership. All I know is that I have never felt this kind of balance between level headedness and complete elation before. I have no doubt that I want to be with this person and that is something very, very new to me. Remember the poem I wrote in my post "Double Down" back in March? Yeah... same person, and I'm still all in.

On a final note for today, my butt hurts from riding my bike, my tattoo is healing pretty well and Spring means that Daisy is shedding like the dickens and everything I own is covered in cat hair.

I hope your first few real days of spring are jammed full with all the things only fresh air and sunshine can bring. Or you know, at least the start of summer calluses from your new flip flops. Those painful little things mark 3 more months of heat coming our way!  

Now, if only there was a beach nearby... 

Here's a little something to make your spring fever worse, I wrote it last year about a whirlwind romance I found myself in;

We are not a love poem.
We are a poem about fingers tracing patterns of lust
Into wide open backs
We are memories of teeth tasting necks
Of goose bumps along breasts
Of days spent drunk on naked skin.

We are unwritten songs discovered between shaking thighs
We are the fearless desire of familiar strangers
We are a new rhythm to an old dance
We both thought we knew so well
When your hands collided with my hips
And we shook from the fury
Of those first unexpected nights

I had been as dusty as a hardcover library book
You were a rain’s first kiss on hot cement
And we fed each other like coal for a hungry steam train
There were no stop signs
No hesitation marks on our hearts
Just the brush strokes of cheekbones
Writing the calligraphy of wanting on our bodies

And when I discovered the cadence of your pulse
Hidden in the attic of your shoulder blades
You found the resilience of my soul
In the waterfall of my spine
And we stayed there
as if time couldn’t exist
In this gallery of lust we’d created

But it did
And time did find us
Curled around each other whispering
No no not yet,
No we are not a love poem
Not yet.