Holy shit, what a year.
Between time spent away in New York City, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dublin, Galway, Belfast, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Saskatoon, Salem, and Boston, I was meeting some of my all time biggest musical heroes, going to a swath of gigs, self-publishing a book, building this website, and watching a LOT of Netflix.
I just returned to Toronto a couple days ago after spending the Christmas holidays with my family back in rural Saskatchewan, and now I’m back to the work grind (and desperately trying to nail down a location for my next vacation, HELP).
I know I’m not alone here when I say that the transition into the New Year has got me reminiscing about all the things I experienced in 2015 and all the ways I have grown from those experiences.
So, in true Rob Gordon of High Fidelity fashion, I made a Top 5 list. Don’t set your expectations too high on this though, this isn’t a list of mushy “looking off into the sunset,” “finding myself,” or “being kind to others” sort of events. Alternately, this is a list of my favorite “WTF” moments of 2015. So enjoy and leave your
judgments comments below.
Ladies and Gentlemen, drum roll please…
Flipping out on a Tea Party supporter in Boston Harbor – You should know three things about me for the purpose of this story; I have a very low tolerance for bullshit, I’m an incredibly calm person who rarely loses her cool, and I absolutely adore Barack Obama. That being said, I believe the event I am about to describe serves as a great representation of the fact that everyone has at least one topic that you just should not push their buttons on. You should sit down for this.
The event occurred on October 12 at around 6:00 PM as I was walking around Boston Harbor with my friend Megan, peacefully enjoying the sweet autumn air and salty sea breeze. As we walked, we spotted a lady in front of us on the sidewalk with a cart, handing out flyers to passersby. As we approached this lady, we realized that she is staunchly anti-Obama as well as a supporter of the conservative/libertarian/populist movement, the Tea Party. When we got within feet of this lady, she reached out, attempted to hand me one of her flyers, and from there our conversation went like this:
Lady: “Impeach Obama!”
Me: “I actually happen to really like Obama” (Calmly, I was not feeling too defensive at this point)
Lady: “Did you know he bombs children’s hospitals?”
Me: “I hate children, bomb them all!” (It was the first thing that came to my mind in an attempt to mock her, I was not being serious but obviously getting revved at this point.)
Lady: “He’s a murderer!”
Me: “Go back to hillbilly land you f*cking tea-bagger!” (I yelled this on the street – fully revved and with zero control over my emotions. I turned and strutted away.)
Megan: “I really wish I could go back in time and see that all happen again.” (Laughing her ass off at me.)
Looking back I realize that this story kind of makes me seem like a psycho… but you do NOT dis Obama to this Canadian.
Almost getting trapped on Inis Mor Island for a night – On June 24th, my friends Alyssa, Cailee, and I decided to take a day trip through a Galway-based tour company to the Cliffs of Moher and Inis Mor Island. The plan for the day laid out by the tour guide was we’d take the bus from Galway to the coast, hop on a ferry, spend a few hours on the island, hop back on the ferry, tour the cliffs from the water, and then retreat back to land to explore the cliffs from the top. The only catch was the ferry leaving the island was the very last ferry of the day, and so we had to be at the docks NO LATER than 3 PM. Easy enough instructions as we were all English speaking individuals so there was no way we could have misunderstood. With this information, we had a jolly time exploring Inis Mor island. Then 2:45 rolled by, and we decided that we should start heading back to the docks so we can catch said ferry. We got to the docks with 5 minutes to spare, but not a familiar face is in sight and Mr. Tour Guide is MIA. We asked around but nobody in the vicinity knew where we were supposed to go. The ferry leaves. At that point I decided that we are pretty much fucked as it’s not like this island sports accommodations, much less any other business that’s not a bike rental.
Through our body vibrations, we simultaneously must have emitted a distress signal of sorts that I am sure only dogs could consciously pick up on, and maybe 15 minutes later, a ferry appeared! Sweet relief, thank baby Jesus! We hopped on the ferry with no idea how we were going to get back to Galway that night once we reached the coast.
Back on the mainland we decided that asking questions instead of panicking was our best option, and so we talked to a young man who told us to hang tight and that they were used to dumb tourists. He also told us that our guide would be along with the rest of our tour group shortly after they finish seeing the cliffs from below. So we picked a rock to sit on and waited, our heads hung low, knowing that our mere presence was providing ample entertainment for all persons involved.
After some time our guide showed up and the day was saved! Our dignity, however, was not so lucky.
Tour Guide: “I KNEW it! I knew this would happen, what time did I say to be back at the docks? And what time were you there? Tourists!”
Us: “But we were there! We got confused!”
Tour Guide: “Hang tight, I’ll be right back.”
He then strode back with a big white clock with black hands, pointed the hands to 3:00, and asked us one by one what time the clock said. Needless to say, we were the butt of all jokes for the rest of the day, but at least we had a ride home. Fucking Irish humor.
Celebrating my birthday at a Gay/Drag Karaoke bar in London – A full rundown of this night can be read here, so i’ll give you the cliff notes. After going to a great Greg Holden gig on July 3, my friends Alyssa, Cailee, and I wanted to continue the party. We stopped in at the first bar we came across and ordered some drinks. Immediately we realized we were in no ordinary bar. The patrons were exclusively male, some dressed in women’s clothing and heavy makeup, and a lovely drag queen was singing “I Did It My Way” while wearing a pink dress with his/her (whichever they prefer) nipples showing. All of this and we STILL ended up getting hit on.
Experiencing a “historic” blizzard in New York City – On January 25th, my friend Lisa and I got trapped in our hotel room in New York City due to a “historic” snow storm. I’m from Canada – I have experienced some serious blizzards before where 4 feet of snow dropped from the sky in one fell swoop, so I can tell you from experience that the six inches of snow that fell on NYC that night was small beans. Nevertheless, an emergency warning went out across the city, the Greyhound that was supposed to take us home the next day was cancelled, the subways were shut down, and we were told that we would face a hefty fine if we dared go outside. What makes this even more brilliant is that we were staying at the Jane Hotel, a beautiful old building – with real old-fashioned Bellmen – that housed the Titanic survivors when they first arrived in NYC. However, the room in which we were staying at the Jane was about 6 ft long by 4 feet wide (originally built for seamen), and our bunk bed took up most of that space. Our last night in New York was spent watching Full House on the TV’s by our feet. One great thing that came out of this, however, is that the next day we were able to snag rush tickets to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway!
Meeting a self-proclaimed “Musical Prostitute” in Dublin – On June 21st, my very first night in Dublin, I went out with a couple friends to one of the only rock bars on the strip, Gypsy Rose. Within a half hour of being there, a man in his 50’s with wild hair and guyliner stumbles up to us mumbling something indecipherable. Due to his appearance, I ask him, “Are you in the Cure?” and he responds with, “No, I’m a musical prostitute” (Solid Freddy Mercury reference BTW). Over the next ten minutes he explains to me that he is in a Twisted Sister drag queen cover band called The Twisted Sisters, and proceeds to show me photos of the band on his flip phone. He asks me for a selfie, and duck lips ensue.
What are your favorite travel moments of 2015?