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Ode to you, Byron Bay

If time could just stop, that would be great.  I’ve never felt this way before.  I have been so excited to come home, and still am, but literally want it to be 10am on Saturday for just a few more days.  Please.  I am absolutely devastated to leave this place I have learned to call my second home.  The truth is Byron will always just be my second home.  As incredible as it is, it’s not capable of being number one, which surprisingly doesn’t make it hurt any less.

To add insult to injury, about a week ago Blake and I realized that his visa wasn’t going to be ready in time, forcing me to leave on Tuesday and him to follow in about a month.  We’ve come to terms with it, but there is a definite guilt factor on my end having to leave him in freezing temperatures and in a tent!  Sorry Love….I will be sure to get some extra blankets to compensate the lack of body heat.

And Byron, you will be missed.  Your happy-go-lucky attitude, with your sun and sand, crashing waves to dive into, dolphins to watch frolic, the lighthouse at the top of the hill, your beautiful outdoor cafes, your style, the people, the dreads, the surfers, the kangaroos, the “g’day’s” and “dahl’s,” my bike, the campground I have learned to call home, Buddha Bar, The Beachy, The Rails, and the familiar faces on every street corner and in every visit to the supermarket, I will miss you endlessly.  Thank God it is 2011 and you are just a plane ride away.  I don’t know how I would cope otherwise.

Thank you Byron Bay and everything listed above for showing me the true energy of life.  May I take that with me always as I look forward to the next chapter.

From rags to riches…..for a moment at least

One moment I was getting ready in my tent, and the next moment I was acting like I belonged in the dressing rooms of Bluesfest.  Sitting in Tim Robbins’ dressing room while looking across the hall and into Elvis Costello’s.  I couldn’t help but wonder how the hell I got there.

Meeting the star of my favorite movie of all time was the highlight of the weekend to say the least.  Thank God my parents raised me to view celebrities as people who shit like the rest of us, otherwise I probably would have screamed and gotten his autograph.  Those actions, however, definitely would have banned me from getting to go backstage with them, so I would like to pat myself on the back for being cool, calm, and collected.  All while wearing cow-print rain boots from Target and rockin’ my “Obama for ya mamma” t-shirt.

The only gossip I have is that Tim’s girlfriend is potentially my age, and from Walla Walla of all places. Other than that little nugget of information, I have nothing but great things to say about them.  It was funny because his entire band, including his brother, were way more star struck than I ever was.  They were completely stoked to go see Bob Dylan, and loved the fact that Elvis Costello popped in the dressing room while we were all in there.  Give me Ben Harper, Michael Franti, or someone else young and cool and I would have gone ape shit.  Ok, so if Bob Dylan would have walked in the dressing room, I would have died as well.  But who wouldn’t?

Besides the celeb situation, I LOVE festivals!  Being in one place and having the ability to see Toots and the Maytals, walk over to the next stage and get a glimpse of Ben Harper, and then over to Xavier Rudd is something pretty cool.    Five days of awesomeness makes me want to figure out how to get there next year……maybe you all can start a campaign for Blake Noble @ Bluesfest 2012?  That would be great, thanks.

IT’S FINALLY HERE!

This is what I’ve been training for!  Well, not really, but definitely what I’ve been looking forward to since last year.  BLUESFEST!!  The biggest Australian music festival starts today and I am volunteering my little heart out in order to get a five-day pass.  And, the best part is, Blake made it to the final 7 (out of 54) musicians competing to play at the big event.  The finals are tomorrow, so cross your fingers!  Other than my main squeeze, I would like to share with you why I am so excited.  Please see the lineup below:

What the hell does the moon FEEL like??

I was standing at the newsagent the other day when a woman walked up and said to the man behind the counter, “God that’s strong.  You can feel the full moon coming, can’t you?”  What?  No seriously, what the f*%k? 

This instance was the straw that broke the camels back, because I can’t tell you how many times I hear something similar to this every day.  Whether it’s talking about the energy of a crystal hanging around someones neck, or the fact that it’s a full moon, I hear this shit all the time.  Part of me wonders if they are all disillusioned, but then the other part of me wonders what it is that they feel?  On a regular basis, when something goes wrong, I hear people blaming the moon.  Or the stars not being aligned.  Am I missing something?  Am I the only one who thinks this is complete bullshit?  Or I am just not open to it?

I feel the same way about religion sometimes though.  I think, are people just blaming God for misfortune and giving her credit for happy coincidences?  I live a life where when something good, or bad, happens I give credit where credit is due, and blame where blame is due.  Most of the time it ends up being my fault (good or bad), but I can’t imagine living a life of passing off credit and blame to crystals, moons, stars, and God. 

Please enlighten me.  What does a full moon feel like, because all I know is what it looks like.  F*%king big and bright.

First MGMT, and now Donavon Frankenreiter….what’s a girl to do?

Hi, my name is Michelle and I have recently become obsessed with the musicians coming to Byron Bay.  First it was the 18 year olds of MGMT who came into the same cafe I was in three days in a row, and just yesterday it was Donavon Frankenreiter.  Where I spend my days is situated across the street from the hotel the musos stay at, so I spend the days leading up to a big gig stalking the front door.  Here’s how a couple of incidences have gone down:

Two weeks ago a couple of the guys from MGMT walked into the cafe I was in and had breaky and a coffee.  They sat for about 45 minutes before I realized they were probably with the band.  It was two days before the show, so I wasn’t sure, but they just had that rich-kid from New York teenage look to them.  A guy working behind the counter figured the best way to see if it was them was to blare one of their songs throughout the shop.  Sure enough, they smiled to each other and then turned to us to give the international “good job” signal – a thumbs up.  We were stoked, and so excited to see them later in the week!  Although I will say they were nice, some of them were pretty douchey.  No big deal. 

The show was incredible and situated across the street from the beach.  I don’t think I have ever been so incredibly sweaty in my entire life, although the finger-pointing and eye contact from the drummer and the bass player made up for everything.  They loved me, but I think dropping a line about my boyfriend blew any chances I had of hitting up the after party.  That’s right Blake, I love you that much.

As for Donavon, he freakin rocked everything.  He did what most famous musos do in Byron – he went busking.  He hit the streets with his band and played a few songs before heading back to his hotel to prepare for the big night.  At the point of watching him walk into his hotel, I still hadn’t bought a ticket.  I was a bit stubborn about the whole thing because I didn’t feel like paying $45, but his poster did say “Donavon Frankenreiter and special guests,” which made me think it had to be Jack Johnson.  Seriously, they are best friends and Jack is the only reason Donavon is a big deal.  He also lives here part-time, so why wouldn’t it be him??  In any case, I broke and decided to write Donavon a letter and drop it at reception.  The letter was written on carbon order-taking paper from the cafe and posed a fair question.  Would Donavon be up for a trade?  I would give him a free breakfast, coffee, and juice in exchange for tickets to the show.  Fair enough.

Just before I walked over to his hotel, I met this guy who just so happened to be Donavon’s tour manager.  I proceeded to tell him all about the letter, to which he commended me, and then told me they were leaving at 5am, so that just wouldn’t work.  He promised to pass on the word to Donavon though, which was rather nice of him.

One thing lead to another, and before I knew it I was dead set on going and purchasing one of the last tickets available.  They ended up closing ticket sales moments before we hit “buy,” which was discouraging, but didn’t stop us from going that night and listening out on the grass.  With a lot of bullshit, some smiles, and literally pulling money out of our pockets to hand to the bouncer, they ended up letting us in for free.  AWESOME!  All that chaos lead to good things….and a blurry picture of me and the big man.  If only I had brought something more than a camera phone…..

Never take them for granted

Men, that is.  No matter how equal of a society we live in, there are still things men primarily do, and things women primarily do.  I didn’t quite realize this until Blake flew away to Melbourne to record his album.  The next day I was faced with the daunting task of moving into our new palace tent.  It is utterly fabulous, and I can stand, which is a bonus, but all we had time to do before Blake left was put it up.  No pegging, tarping, evening the ground, etc.  To be honest, the moving part wasn’t too bad.  I can be a bit anal, so it was nice setting everything up and organizing the way I wanted to (woman duty).  But then the rain came, and we are on much lower ground than we were before.  I was dreading it, but I knew a trench had to be dug around the palace.  I came home one afternoon and got into it.  I dug a trench around the outside of our two room tent, and then five feet out from the front door, and about eight more feet to the right leading into a cement ditch (man duty).   I must say, I still got it.  Although I am not one to thrive on doing man duties, one every once in a while is ok, although not encouraged.

The next obstacle to overcome was the bug obstacle.  And before I begin, Blake and I take much pride in the fact that our living space is bug/animal free.  The doors are always closed, and there are no holes.  So with that said, it was about 10:30 the other night and I was standing in the middle of our tent brushing my teeth.  I looked up (eye level), and staring me right in the face was a huntsman spider.  To give myself some credit, I didn’t even skip a beat.  I just stood there eyeballing it while it stayed perched on the flexible tent wall.  I thought to myself, “How the hell did YOU get in?  No seriously….where did you come from??”  I then did a quick glance around in search of something I could humanely trap it in, but no luck.  I knew what had to happen, I had to take a flip-flop to its face.  So I found my best sandal, wound up, and smacked the wall as hard as I could (man job).  Well, because it is a flexible wall, everything sprung back in my direction and I jumped back with a shriek and a vertical jump to the bed.  For the record, this is the worst thing about killing a spider…there is a split second where you have no idea where it is, or if it is even dead.  Luckily for me, it was lying tummy up about a foot from the swat zone. Thank God.  I of course smooshed it good and well before throwing it in the garbage, just to make sure it was completely out of its misery.  It’s only etiquette. 

Not my hand.  Hell no.

Besides the above obstacles, the only other struggle for me has been the inability to open things.  “Things” being our lantern in the dark.  I had to venture up to the common area in search of muscles stronger than mine.  Not a horribly difficult task.

In conclusion, I am not weak, I am pro-equality in relationships, and I can appreciate working on the grounds around our house, rather than just sticking to the indoors,  however I am ready for Blake to come home.  Although I did dig a killer trench.  You would be oh-so-proud my love.

Clean much?

There is this Italian guy who lives right next door to us (or next flap to us….depending on how you want to refer to a tent door) in a mansion of a tent that is always dirty.  There are three rooms, so a middle room in which you can enter the tent from, and then a room to the left and one to the right.  The middle door is always open, allowing bush turkeys to wander in and nibble on crumbs, or, I’m assuming, massive spiders to wander in and set up shop. 

The other day he told us a story with a very mystified undertone to it, and it went something like this:

LUIGI:  So I went into my tent the other night and sat on the bed to set things up for me to go to sleep.  I have three pillows, so I put one of them on top of the others and went to lie down.  Then I decided I wanted to rearrange the pillows in a more comfortable way, so I picked up one of the bottom pillows and moved it more to the center.  Under my pillow was a coiled brown snake (one of the most poisonous snakes in the world)!

ME:  What???  NO WAY!!!

LUIGI:  Yes!  And then I went to move my other pillow and there was another one!!

ME: You HAVE to be kidding!  How did they get in?  Do you have any food in your tent?  Mice?

LUIGI:  I don’t know how they got in!  I keep my tent clean and always have the door shut.

ME: (caugh….bullshit…..caugh) Oh my God.  So what did you do??

LUIGI:  Well, at this moment I was more terrified than I have ever been before.  I jumped up and called for help and someone came and moved them.

ME: Wow.  I seriously can’t believe that!

LUIGI:  And then….once they were out I went through my whole tent and cleaned everything out.  I then went to bed, woke up, and just today found a baby python!  I don’t know how they are getting in there??  I seriously don’t know.  I shut my zipper all of the time and don’t understand.

ME:  Wow.  That is so crazy.  (All the while thinking, “I actually know exactly how they are getting in there.  They are probably slithering through your open door every day and hiding until you get home.  They are also probably loving the mess in the front room and enjoying being able to coil up in there….”)

This is what I learned from the whole fiasco:  the key to not having bad shit in your tent is to have dirty neighbors.