Wednesday, November 11, 2015


This took all friggin' day.

More Changes?

Having read through all my old posts, and there are a few gems in there, I'm considering starting a new blog/ website that would be more professional. Appropriately themed past posts could be transferred, but much of the more personal stuff would be left behind. I want to grow an audience for my poetry, not of me.

I'm also looking into methods of distributing those few pieces of previously published works I have kicking around. It's something I'd looked into previously, but now the funds/ technology is much more available.

I's also love to be able to promote works of other writers I've enjoyed. There is no writing without reading.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It's been, like, 10 minutes and I can't think of a title. Fuck it.

Life upgrade, check.

So, this one time, I wrote a blog. And then, this other time, I resurrected it.

So what's new? Let's see...

-Went to trade school.
-Got an apprenticeship.
-Started cello lessons.
-Bought a car.
-Subscribed to the opera.
-Won a bunch of sheet metal awards.
-Bought a house.
-Installed a pool table in that house.
-I now have an art studio and dedicated writing space. These aren't even the same spaces. Sweet.
-Had my face on the back of a double-decker bus. A bunch of times, actually.
-Was also on some bus shelter ads.
-Adopted a cat.
-Took a ukelele class.
-Finished my apprenticeship and earned my Red Seal.

And now?
Well fuck, I better get back to writing!

And I have. Within the last few months, I've written a good handful of poems and have already added to my growing collection of rejection letters. I've also been attending a weekly poetry reading series in town, taking my place at the open mic to share a poem each chance I get.

And what better way to celebrate this return to writing? By returning to a distraction from writing! Yay, Blog.

Also, I'll be rereading all these old blogs. Won't edit them. But I might be suitably embarrassed? We'll see! Oh, I see I was regaling us all with tales from my trip to Turkey. I never did finish. I never actually finished the pen and paper version of that journal either.... whoops.

Here's my writing space, the built-in office area of the guest room. I should get a decent chair, but there is just something suitably epic about writing poetry on a fox pelt covered love seat...

-Learned to talk like a sailor ('cause I've worked in a shipyard for 4 years, duh) 

Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 8: Pamukkale

In the morning our bus took us to Aphrodisias, the ruins of an artists' colony of sculptors, upon which a village had been standing not long ago. The man who discovered the ruins actually found the village built atop the old pillars, columns, fallen capitals, actually using some of the original marble furniture too! Here we saw a theater, bathhouse, that place where the council would meet and I forget what it's called, workshops, and the most awesome stadium. It's neat because the path leading into it at first only gives a view of one end, which just looks like another theater, but as you enter the stadium , and turn to the left, you gasp at the length of it; it stretches on forever! This stadium can seat 30,000 people, so amazing. On the walk through the ruins we saw by the path a flower, a smaller species related to the Titan Arum, on which I've written a piece in the past, which stinks of rotting meat, attracting flies and the like. Beautiful though and a neat find. When we reached the end, by the ruins of a temple and the tomb of the discoverer, Pleen and Barb and I saw sprinklers, and being as unbelievably hot as we were , we ran through the refreshing water, squeeling like children and thouroughly enjoying ourselves. It felt so good! At the site is a museum showcasing the sculptures excavated from the site. Ancient sculptures of the greeks and romans are by far my favourite, so I enjoyed seeing them. So beautiful, magnificent. With a bit of time left I went and saw photos taken at the time of the site's discovery, with village life built atop the ruins, then wandered over to buy an icecream. I pointed to the one I wanted, something with 'karamel', but he took out two cones. I pointed to the one I actually wanted, saying "just this one" but he said "promotion" insisting I take the second for only 50kurus more. Ok... it had a picture of cupid on it, and I ate it, too, haha. I couldn't guess at the flavour though. After seeing all the was to see, a trailer with seats towed by a tractor pulled us to where the buses were parked. Of course there were more stalls of wares. One of the things sold only here are little clay bird shaped whistles, which, when filled with a bit of water, make neat bird sounds. I bought an unpainted one, which looks more ancient/authentic than the tacky painted ones, for only 2TL, though I've yet to make it work very well. Oh well, still neat!
After wards the bus took us to a place for lunch. When we were all seated, a guy came by with a big trolley with examples to show us what we could order with Selcuk translating for him. They went through it a second time, this time we raised out hands when they named the item we wanted. Pretty efficient! I ordered the spinach and cheese pide. I'm not sure there was any cheese, but it did have egg in it, I'm sure, and it was tasty, with a bottle of water. The restaurant had peacocks at it, cool.
Then we headed to the hotel to pick up those who'd chosen not to go on the optional tour of Aphrodisias, and we rode to Hierapolis.
Hierapolis is an ancient acropolis. The mountain it is built on had one side covered in white calcification from the natural mineral spring that has formed terraced pools. To reduce the destruction tourism in the past did to the travertines, the portions open to tourists can only be walked on barefoot. The abundance of international feet in a variety of conditions dissuaded me from taking part, and I spooked Pleen too much for her to do so as well. The mineral water is said to have healing properties and a pool has been built on the site fed from the spring. for 25TL you can swim amongst topple pillars. Expensive, and honestly looked much like a fancy hotel pool, but kinda scummy. They have a cafe set up by the pool though, so Pleen, Jayde, and I enjoyed our free time drinking some Efes. On the way back to the bus we stopped into the museum's shop and I bought a gorgeous lavender, cream, and gold scarf and, since they accepted visa, bought a book on Turkey and its ancient civilizations' sites. As well as the museum that we didn't visit as it costed extra and supposedly not as good as Aphrodisias's there is the old roman theater and the largest ancient cemetery in Turkey, Cool.
Back at the hotel Pleen showered before dinner, we hit up the buffet, then I showered, more like trickled, ha, and then we went on a mission to find a corkscrew! Took a long time and was not unlike a scavenger hunt as we traced clues and rumours, but we eventually found one, thanks to James, whom we repaid with a glass of wine. Blackberry wine! Tastes like candy!! So with dinner, our water in glasses that just 'happened' to be shaped like wine glasses had followed us up to our room, and we brought these back down to the lobby topped to the rim with delicious wine. Sneaky! Haha, like ninjas. Then we lounged on the harem couch and wrote in our journals. Just as we finished up our last pages James' mum and her boyfriend let us know that the hotel's disco was open. When Pleen and I made our way down there just to see what it was like, they were the only ones there! Since the music didn't appear to be getting any better, we headed back to our room for the last few sips of wine left in the bottle and went to bed, but not before Pleen floundered about in the hammock quickly!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 7: Kusadasi-> Pamukkale

Breakfast buffet, but I only had a yogurt with a wee bit of chocolate cereal and a couple of buns with rose jam and sour cherry jam, with orange juice, a red juice, and tea.
The bus took us to Miletus which had an awesome theater and roman bathhouse ruins. While pulling into the parking lot we pulled right next to a tour bus with "Vancouver Island University" on the sign in the front windshield; the VIU liberal arts tour is here, small world! We caught up to them at the bathhouse and Pleen's friend and co-worker, and an old classmate of mine, Megan, was there. They had a boisterous greeting, but had to move on. Before we'd even began the tour of the ruins, we had a bathroom break, wherein the ladies washroom became organized into 4 different lines, those who had brought toilet paper and those who'd have to wait for a stall with some, and those willing to use a squattie or not. Knock on wood, but so far I've been lucky enough to avoid this experience...
I can't help but think that there ought to be some kind of security detail to keep people from doing these things...
Afterwards we stopped for lunch at a buffet, where our feet were swarmed by cats! Such a strange experience.
Then on to the Temple of Apollo at Didyma. Very cool. Once again we met up with the liberal arts class, who arrived after us, playing up the reverberations of the entrance tunnels, singing tones and sounding like 5 times the number of people and rather spooky. This was once a place of oracles and priests, so it was fitting and fun.
On the way back to the bus Pleen and I bought icecreams, I got a cappuccino flavour one, very tasty.
Also while at Miletus I saw at the stalls the most gorgeous bowls, I hope so much to find the same at the Grand Bazaar. I did find the most perfect Turkey shot glass for my collection, and even bartered him down from 5TL to 4TL! Sweet!
The bus ride to our next destination took a while and we stopped halfway at a gas station. I bought a bottle of water, a glass of amazing fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a bag of chips, the picture on the bag depicting I think yogurt and herbs. They were tasty, whatever they were.
We arrived at our next hotel in Pamukkale, and it is like a mexican resort! Pools, indoor and out, regular and thermal, bars everywhere, and a great view of it all from our balcony! Le sigh. The buffet that night was great, and then we checked out the lobby; they have cushions on the floor arranged around a central fireplace, with cute low tables; it's a harem couch, how cool! I want to do the same in my living room someday, haha.
We'd had a chance before dinner to sit by the pool with Karen and her husband to drink a beer and soak up the resort-like atmosphere with some good company. It was nice to enjoy a bit of the hotel as there wasn't much chance after dinner; every morning is an early morning!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 6: Kusadasi

Another early morning and another breakfast buffet. Not the best but not the worst. Bread, cheese, yogurt and strong black tea.
To Ephesus! More ruins, haha. Very elaborate ones though, with an administrative section with a small theater, a long ramp that would have been lined with shops, an incredible library. We had the chance to take an optional tour of the rich people's houses, super cool, lots of mosaic floors and frescoes on the walls. Extra neat were the public latrines. Pooping was apparently a social event, everyone got to sit next to each other, took their time, chatted, no walls to separate anyone. Oh my. The keyhole shaped holes led to a stream of running water to take all that business away, while a gutter ran along the floor in front of you with clean water for cleaning. Very interesting, so odd to consider. Lots of tour groups here, and our guide ran into another guide with whom he went to school! Small world? Also, this man looked like the Turkish Johnny Depp and I took his picture lots, ha! And we saw the big theater. HUGE. The awesome thing is that we convinced Barb, who happens to sing opera, to stand at the center to sing. She did and the theater filled itself with her voice. All the other tourists fell silent, but burst into applause, and the cheers of a hundred languages, when she finished. Way cool, what an amazing sound system, ha!
Then off to Sirince for some lunch and to soak up the atmosphere of a quaint mountain village. Unfortunately the place we chose to eat at was a mistake! Pleen and Jayde's meal took a long time but mine took even longer:over an hour and fifteen minutes! Pleen and Jayde had been done eating for some time before mine came, and not even what I ordered, meat and cheese pide instead of the mix pide I'd wanted. Lots of other people from the tour came here too, including Selcuk, who was not impressed. As our time here was limited, and it had also been an optional tour for an extra charge, I scarfed down half and took the other half while we went with Barb to do some frantic wine tasting. The guys on the shops were super friendly, very accommodating. We tasted lots, and I bought a melon wine that I hope makes it home to Thomas, and a blackberry wine, as blackberry wine always brings fond memories. Across the street we went to another wine shop. This shop is actually where the blackberry wine was from, but the first shop was out, the guy had had some brought from another shop, apparently they all like to help each other out. The second shop was very charming, and he had us sit at a little table to do our tastings. Such a cute atmosphere, with stone floors, rugs strewn about, pillows and tables, maybe almost authentic, ha! I bought a pomegranate wine since pomegranates abound in Turkey, so the wine seemed very Turkey-ish :) Unfortunately our time was up. I was sad and disappointed not to have been able to spend more time in this cute cobblestoned-hillside-cottage village. So quaint, and so full of neat shops and stands, the merchandise here actually differed from what we'd seen in Istanbul and at all the tour shops. Oh well...
Back to the bus for a ride up a different mountain to visit the House of the Virgin Mary. I had no idea what to expect. The house is small, reconstructed from the original foundations, and looks very authentic. It is cute, very pretty, in a gorgeous and immaculately maintained setting, gardens, etc. The inside was dimly lit, no pictures aloud, no talking, music softly played. Religious artifacts were in there, on altars and on the walls. And people were in there praying, very somber, but they were really into it! I felt almost as though I were intruding to be honest. When you leave the house you can light the candle available before entering it, and then there are three taps of holy water, one for health, happiness, and wealth or good fortune. Pleen washed here hands in all three, but I only chose happiness, and we pretty much just copied what we saw other doing. Beyond this is a wishing wall, a wall where people can put wishes they've written on paper. Apparently the most commonly available paper is toilet paper, so the wall has actually a pretty nasty look to it. I had a notepad handy, so Pleen and I wrote our wishes, tucked them amongst the others on the wall and took pictures of them. Hoping that the wishes work nothing like birthday candles, we went ahead and told each other what our wishes had been! (I wished for happiness :) ) At the entrance/exit are some shops, filled with, among other things, icons and holy water, and where bargaining is not done. I'm glad for this as I'm terrible at it. I found a beautiful scarf, browns, greens, a hint of blue, that matches the octopus cuff I've been wearing this trip, for only 7.50 Euro, which isn't too bad. The scarf is gorgeous, and bonus: what a story to tell when/if people admire it and ask me where I got it, lol. I also bought a novelty icecream cone of pistachio flavour. Finally some icecream, and super delicious!

Our wishes live here now.

My new scarf, finally some ice cream, and a sneaky Barb.


The bus then took us to a carpet place where we saw how the silk is unravelled from the cocoons and how the carpets are actually made, which is way time consuming! No wonder they are so expensive. We also learned a lot about the different kinds of carpets, like wool on wool, wool on cotton, cotton on cotton, silk on cotton, and silk on silk. They took us to a show room, offered us drinks, I had a cay and a raki, and they started unrolling carpets, first one at a time, while they encourage us to get right on them to see and feel, and then more and more until there were carpets everywhere with more coming, so fun! I never thought I was much for Oriental Rugs, but I saw more then a few that I truly loved. Some day! Most shocking was how a group of people that seemed so ho-hum about the carpet thing ended up spending over 17,000$ combined! Holy shit! Who are these people?! Also, the man giving us our demonstration was Turkish George Clooney, ha!

I want to decorate like this, multiple carpets strewn about. It's great for lounging!

Turkish George Clooney!


Back to the hotel for dinner buffet. Afterwards we walked down the street, Pleen, Barb, and I, to use an ATM (I've got less money then I thought!) and for Pleen to buy a skirt. It is hotter then we expected. In fact, Pleen and I have been smearing deodorant on more than just our armpits, shh! HAHAHAHA. Back at the hotel I did some laundry, just some undies, but the sink stopper wouldn't open, so I couldn't drain the water out after. Ew, it was so dingy, how can 5 pair of lacy panties be soooo dirty? How embarrassing! What a day though, so much seen and done, it was time for bed. At the House of the Virgin Mary Pleen had bought a journal with the evil eye on it with leather and a fancy clasp; I call it the scary book and asked her to sleep with it under her pillow, lol, but she wouldn't. Damn that thing is creepy!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 5: Canakkale-> Kusadasi

Another early morning, but the buffet was a little dissapointing :( Cheeses, olives, eggs, some breads, juices, tea and coffee, yogurt and fruits, some cereal. I guess I just really enjoy the sweeter pastries for breakfast!
And then it was bus time. After a few hours we stopped for a break at a gas station. I had a cay, which was of course lovely. Pleen and I also each bought a yogurt drink that we've seen people drinking everywhere. It tastes like salty yogurt and we didn't like it much at all. I also bought two bags of chips, an olive flavoured dorito and 'frito lay a la turca', I think tomato and poppy seed. Both flavours proved savoury and delicious.
The bus ride eventually brought us to the acropolis at Pergamon. It was amazing. When we had been in Berlin two years earlier we had visited the Pergamon Museum and saw the magnificent altar (?), so it was really something to visit the place where the massive structure had originally stood. I loved also seeing the theater, which is situated on a steep hill! Scary, cool, amazing, from the top seat it seems almost straight down to the valley floor below! I think it might actually be the steepest? My favourite part, maybe of this whole trip so far, was standing at the top of this mountain/hugely tall hill, seeing sprawled beneath me the town, and hearing the call to prayer ring out from all the mosques below. It was amazing, magical, almost spiritual to have such beautiful chants/ music/ exotic notes float up from such a distance, I can't even put this into words!
Looking down from the top of the theater. Those are all the stone seats, kinda scary steep, eh?
Back on the bus for a bit before stopping for lunch! This place must be used to buses of tourists, as they provided a quick but thorough explanation of the food provided. There was a bufe option or we could sit down to order meat and cheese 'pide' (turkish pizza) or kebap with chicken or spicy or not spicy lamb which would came with rice and salad. Pleen and I both wanted both kebap and pide, se we each ordered one and split them. I also ordered a Turborg. My meat and cheese pide was delicious and way better then Pleen's not spicy lamb kebap. The only unorganized part of this eatery was the paying, as it took a while for them to come to each person and finish the transaction. So I only had time to visit the washroom after eating and couldn't visit the shop for anything sweet for dessert. I really wanted icecream or baklava! Oh well, there's plenty of both around, though surprisingly enough I've yet to have a single icecream!
Another bus ride eventually brought us to our hotel. On the way I saw out the window the theater at Ephesus in the distance taking up the entire one side of a hill! Huge! I tried to imagine how incredibly awe inspiring it must have been for those in ancient times to have seen such a marvel when approaching the town! Wow! We'll see it close up tomorrow.
Our hotel room once again has an amazing view! Unfortunately our room was hot! And the airconditioning only works when we have the key fob in the slot. With only one such key, this means the airconditioning will only be on when we are in the room. I'm not sure the airconditioning even airconditions, it barely gets any cooler. By evening it's cooler outside so we might as well open the balcony door, which we did both nights we were there, even when sleeping.
Since I reached the room first, I threw all my stuff on the bigger bed, haha, dibs. Good times.
Dinner was at the hotel, another buffet of what I assume is traditional turkish food. Pleen and my favourite was the turkish pakoras with tzaziki sauce, though we didn't know what they were really called. The desert table was huge! I couldn't even get one of each on my plate! After dessert Pleen and I had more 'turkoras', sooo tasty!
After dinner Barb and Jayde came over to our room where I'd had our beverages from the night before cooling, to finally drink them! We'd had a drink each at dinner. I'd ordered my first Raki! It comes in a tall type of shot glass with a second glass or ice water. You pour as much water as you'd like into the raki, which starts out clear but turns cloudy white with water added. It tasted like licorice, but kind of sweet, so I don't hate it, ha, an appropriate drink when in Turkey, or when celebrating Turkey, hehe. So, having taken some chairs from Barb's room, we sat on the balcony enjoying the view as the sun sat, chatting, and drinking. Pleen and Barb each had some kind of cooler, an orange one and a green one, Jayde had a massive 1L beer, and I drank two Tuborg. It was nice! Then to bed.