Monday, September 29, 2008


So far, living in Halifax has been more like a vacation. I don't have any responsibilities yet. Thankfully that will change soon. This is the week to find a job. Beyond Kijiji, I have one semi-solid lead.

I've met a bunch of Jen's friends who are great. Went for drinks with Kincaid Chan and his special lady friend Jessica on Saturday. Kincaid moved out here from Calgary a few years ago for school. I played briefly in his band Venus and Fergus. We talked about jamming together.

I've got a major itch to play in a band again. The songs I'm writing would have so much more power with a rhythm section. That said, Evan and I are in the planning stages of doing some long distance internerd recording for the first Forest/Van Reekum album. We had planned to make a record with my friend Lorrie Matheson in October, but the speedy Halifax move got in the way. So the plan is, I'm going to send Ev the vocal and guitar audio files, then he'll add his banjo/dobro/blues harp/Freemason chants. Should be fun.

Survived my first tropical storm. Is it still tropical when it reaches the Maritimes? It's name was Kyle. Sort of a wuss...

I was out for a walk enjoying the warm, wet winds when out of nowhere the downpour started. I was drenched from head to toe in seconds.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I've been here for a week and it's been strange. Mostly good. I never expected everything to fall into place seamlessly and they haven't.

Coming to a new town, knowing hardly a soul has shaken my confidence in a way I couldn't have anticipated. In Calgary, where I have deep relationships with bros and hoes, it is easy to recognize who I am. I need only interact with a friend to see the love in their eyes. Here, everyone is a stranger. I'm a stranger.

Part of me says this is a sign of weakness. I haven't exactly been comforatable in my own skin. That my ego isn't as big (in a good way) as I thought it was.

I'm excited to get past this stage and start to reshape my identity through the eyes of others. It's not about being validated or having my ego artificially inflated. It's about giving to another in order to get that same piece back. You know, day to day living. People to share the burden of the past and the promise of the future with.

I almost left yesterday. I got as far as calling Greyhound to find out how much a ticket to Montreal was. Then I unfucked my self and started thinking clearly. That's where I'm at now. No thinking. Too much time to think this week. Time to find a job and put down some roots. That's the only way to figure out if I should stay.


The new Damien Jurado album is amazing. Devastating. Full of hope. Melodies that are comforting in their familiarity paired with lyrics that are crushing in their blunt simplicity.

is he still coming around like an injured bird?
needing a nest a place to rest his head
and a song you'll regret

But still you take him, Lord knows I don't want to compete
Still I sleep in the very sheets he's been in

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Calgary Friends (AKA Sausage Party)

The last couple weeks before I left, I started to collect head shots of friends. Somehow, I ended up with only one girl in the mix...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Got My Head in the Clouds Again

A couple of weekends ago, my friend Greg, his dog Ozzy, and I hiked up Forget Me Not Ridge (not to be confused with Forget Me Not Creek) just Southwest of Bragg Creek.

It was a great day. Good place for a brain scrub, which I needed at the time. My head had felt like it was in the clouds, so actually getting my head in the clouds and taking a look around was a good perspective to notice.

During the week, Greg is a Geologist and on the weekend, he's a tree huger. It was cool to walk past a "sub-alpine fur tree" (he knew the scientific name, but wouldn't say until I prodded) to have Greg point out when they're knocked over by wind or avalanche, the branches will actually adapt and take root in the soil.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Later Bros

With the amount of change I've been experiencing in the past month and all that means for my spinning noggin, you'd think I'd have something interesting to share. No clear anecdotes to appease my ropey thoughts. A nautical knot that starts at the stem of my brain, down to an anchor that can't find berth.

All this is to say, things are good. Great in fact. I'm leaving town and won't be around.

It's not the act of saying "goodbye" that's hard, it's that from this moment on, I've chosen to go another way. To go on without you. Thanks for everything. See you later.

I'm leaving Calgary in 9 days. Just bought a one way ticket to the coast.

When I told my mom, it was as if I had simply mentioned I was going to the store to buy some bread, a jug of milk, and a stick of butter. "When do you leave?" Thursday. "You'll have to ask your dad for a ride to the airport, I'll be out of town".

Not that she isn't supportive, just not one to meddle.

I'm not starting over, I'm keepin' on.

I've worn out the streets in the city that has made me. The city I loved. Calgary is a city with potential, but how long can you keep saying that before you realize it isn't going to reach beyond itself. I'm not a hater on this city. I don't think, like many friends who have moved to Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, etc with the idea that those towns are going to save them, that a rich culture can somehow satisfy and bring true fulfillment. I call bullshit on that one.

This truly is the end of an era. Pete's traveling Australia for a while and likely not returning to Calgary. For now, Dik is staying put on his Couch of Responsibility and Love Seat of Sobriety here in Calgary. There was a time I took these guys for granted. Not anymore. Who knows when we'll be together in the same place again.

Much of who I am is because of these two. My sense of humor (How's the new car runnin'?) comes mostly from them. I think it's going to be a while before I feel funny again. All it takes is a look with these guys. Though, at least I know there are enough people in the world who can appreciate a well timed and executed Lebowski reference.

Mostly though, I'm going to miss the simple times with them. They've seen me through my happiest and darkest times. They've listened through the tears and manic rants. One night, last winter, on the way home from band practice at Marco's old place, I yelled the whole way home (half an hour). Melted down. They listened. I didn't feel any better, but at least they were there and didn't try to say "everything's going to be ok". Of coarse, they knew it would be ok. Great in fact.

Pete and Rich call me "The One With the Biggest Mouth". I think that's mostly because of the nature of our friendship. We're all listeners, but sometimes I feel like I need to fill the empty space...with noise. I hope I've been as good a listener as they have.

Thanks for everything. See you later.