Definitions of a Blogger, Pt. 1

I have…a lot of feelings about this blog. It’s really important to me. I do my best to keep it updated and interesting… it’s become kind of a standard part of my life. I bring my laptop down to the roadhouse, where I can actually get a connection, and people say “Ahh, checking email?” and I say “No. I blog.”

Sometimes, I say things on this blog that seem…a little bit scary to be posting. Like, how honest am I really wanting to be, where *anyone* could see, for all of time?


then I remember:

I’m trying to write the blog that I wish I could’ve been reading.

I mean… that’s what we call things on the internet. They’re “communities”. People can come together from all over the world, they can learn from each other, they can read experiences that aren’t their own.

There are a lot of places where I’ve seen people edge around topics; just leave vague wording behind that can be taken in any number of ways. In-group writing, where the people who already know what it means *know* what it means.
I had a conversation with my wondertwin a while ago, about labels. I haven’t really stopped thinking about it.
I have a tendency to cling to labels. I like words that I can throw out, so I don’t have to explain things. I like these terms that I can pull close like security blankets. “There are enough people who feel like this that we have a name.” “This is my label, this is my group. These are my people, the ones that I belong to.”
That’s all from my own life and my own perception of how life works and how to create safe spaces, meet good people and pursue happiness.
There’s not a right way to live. There’s only what works for you, as an individual.
Working at the Roadhouse, I get a question quite often, “What did you used to do?” I usually say “I blog”.
I don’t feel like I have an answer. Nothing I can say really feels like the truth.
I can say “I do this-and that.” or “I fix things”.
but that’s not what people are looking for. They’re looking for “I was a student” or “I’m a carpenter by trade” or “I worked in an office.”
I…don’t feel like I can say any of that.
I say “I’m a wanderer”. I say “I’m a bard.”
But that doesn’t mean the same thing to people. I don’t have a thing  that I can say that has any cultural shorthand behind it.
I’m mostly okay with it, but it’s a little weird.
I also don’t see it really changing any time soon.
In the meantime…. I blog.

Stupid Drunk Boys

I have… a rather intense way of dealing with unwanted drunken attention, which is to just…not accept it.

I’ll be sitting on a chair, and a guy will sit directly next to me, and I’ll just…push him off. Usually I make a simple declarative statement like “Nope.” or “I am sitting here.”

Sometimes they say things like “I’m so drunk and horny”, and, well, usually I’m behind the bar so I can’t actually say “That’s nice. There are trees outside that you can rub on. I promise to laugh when you come back with splinters.”

I can, however, ignore them with enthusiasm.


It is singularly effective.


(A side note about the psychology of this: this is a tactic often used in animal training, it’s really quite passive-aggressive but insanely efficient. It’s called the Least Reinforcing Syndrome. I don’t really recommend it if you ever want to be able to build an actual functioning relationship with a person, because I find that *communication* is how to create understanding which, in turn, leads to actually being able to have *future* interactions with a person, but I digress. For a night out? L.R.S., ladies. L.R.S.)

Crocodile Country

This morning, a guy got attacked by a crocodile.

This is actually the second time that this has happened since I’ve gotten here.

The last croc attack that happened didn’t end with “beer to numb the pain”, but the guy actually died.

There are really intense rules out here about going into water here:

Is the water cloudy?

Is it still?

Are there slide marks?

If there is a single yes to those questions…

Don’t go in the water.

I’m not Steve Irwin or Crocodile Dundee, and, as one of my friends here likes to say “You only get eaten once.”

Seeing as how I still have to learn what slide marks look like, I’ve just been going to pre-populated swimming holes.

Say what you will about lemmings, but if there are fifty other people there, I reckon that it’s probably safe enough for me to go swimming as well.



Found Guitar

I found a guitar behind the fridge in the staff lounge yesterday. It’s blue and needs a new set of strings, and I am *SO EXCITED*.

The current instrument count at staff quarters follows:

1:  classical guitar

2:  acoustic guitars

2:  ukuleles


I need to go to town and pick up some more strings and then there can be some real jam sessions; where everyone has their own instrument. We won’t have to pass things across the circle anymore.


Thumping Emu

At night, there’s this…thumping. Like, a huge, beautiful bass drum. It’s the kind of noise that makes you feel like you’re being called somewhere.

It’s deep and low and welcoming.

(Or it makes you worry that someone is like, taking a hammer to a gaint water barrel or something.)

It’s been happening for as long as I’ve lived in the staff quarters.


I learned the other day that it’s coming from our emus. It comes from a neck-pouch emus have.

(Seriously. Emus are fascinating.)

I’m not very good at it, but if you make a similar kind of thumping noise, like… the kind of diaphragm excersizes that actors and singers have to do, where you try to push the sound as far as you can without being loud… the emus will talk back to you.

I’m hoping to get good enough at it to have a proper conversation with them.

(I can already talk with the dingoes. It appears that my fluency in coyote makes it really easy to learn other languages that have the same Canus root to them.)

Knee-Scraped Happy

I have two scraped knees, a sizable bruise on my thigh, and a cresent-shaped burn mark from where I slipped attempting to push a car that had gotten high-centered on a gravel berm.

I love having scraped knees. I feel like a child, fearless in exploring; willing to take on whatever projects, regardless of scope, because sometimes you don’t know how big things are until you try.

A Proper Kidnapping

I’ve met enough local folks that I don’t have go hitchiking into town quite so much anymore. (Or ever, actually, as most of them have been really quite intent upon giving me a ride, because there are actually an unusually high number of people who prey on travelers out here, apparently.)


I got picked up yesterday morning, and I thought I was going to the store.

Okay, to be real, I thought I was going on like, a bit of a scenic route to the store, where I would be taken to some cool shiny things that locals know about.

We did not make it to the store.

Instead, I went to Barry Falls (I think), but there were way too many people there, so we left there, and then we went to…some spot along the river, where I learned how to catch mud crabs (pick them up from behind). We took a proper outback road – which is a dried up creek bed, because it’s still build-up, and the wet hasn’t actually come yet.

We drove by a bush fire, and out to the ocean.

There’s a pole on the cliff, and it’s where there used to be a thing called the “Rock-Sitter’s Club”, because in Australia, there are some bizarre rules about alcohol consumption, one of which was (is?) apparently that it’s illegal to drink within two kilometres of a bottle shop. So, the locals measured out two kilometres and put a pole there. People would go buy their booze, walk out to the cliffs and then sit on the rocks and drink.

I guess the Rock-Sitters Club was officially disbanded after, like, five people died or something, but people still go out to the rocks to have a drink.


We went to an old army outpost that’s apparently haunted by “The Poinciana Woman” who is named after the Poinciana trees (Also known as Flame Trees) that live by the building.

We did *not* swim in the ocean because of the box jellyfish.

So, instead we went to a lake, and it was the kind of perfect-warm, tropical water that feels effortless to be in. (This lake was also free of crocodiles, and other various deadly Australian creatures, which is why we got to go swimming there.)

We went to Charles Darwin Park (Apparently the city of Darwin is actually named after Charles Darwin. In case you needed another reason to think that Darwin is *Awesome*.) where I was tricked into eating green ants. I was told they tasted like fairy-floss (A.K.A. Cotton Candy), which, for the record, I didn’t actually ever believe, but there are ants back home that taste kind of lemonheads, so it seemed reasonable that they wouldn’t be terrible. They do not taste like fairy floss. They taste like the powder left over in a warhead wrapper. So…essentially just like burning, but with a little bit of a citrus zing to it.

Then I ate another one, just to make sure I had it right.


I haven’t been kidnapped in ages.

I kind of forgot how marvelous it is.

Morning After

Last night was *Amazing*.

It was…honestly, I think pretty much the best first gig that I could have ever hoped to have.

It wasn’t any kind of big production or anything. It felt like sitting in my living room goofing around with friends.

Only my friends were the occupants of the Roadhouse, and I was on a bit of a stage.


It’s teh kind of gig that I’ve always wanted to do, where I don’t pretend to be the best at an

ything, and I don’t need to be polish-perfect.

I stop in the middle of songs and explain why they aren’t technically, scientifically correct.

I tell stories about crazy times and random facts.

It wasn’t straight music, because that’s not really how I roll.

It’s the bits and pieces found in the cupboard thrown together. It may not be the prettiest thing that you’ve ever seen, but I guarantee it will taste good.


Last night’s gig was fantastic. People laughed, they sang along, I took requests…It was wonderful.


I get to do it again!


Have I mentioned recently that I really like working here?

Facebook Official

I was in the kitchen, cleaning the grill, when my supervisor walked up and said “When are you playing?”

and I said “Tonight.”

And she was like “Well, yeah, but when? I’m putting you on facebook.”

and I was sort of just like “Well….when do folk usually play?”

So, I’ll be starting at 6:30 P.M.


It’s been posted.

I’m facebook official.

Let’s see how this goes.

Surprise! Have a Gig!

A while ago in Melbourne, I mentioned that I landed a gig, and I had no idea what to do, and that I somehow had to come up with 45 minutes of content and that I had no minutes of content and whatamIdoingfreakingout.

(And then I lost the email I was supposed to follow up with so nothing ever came of it.)

So I was on my way to the kitchen last night, carrying the stereo, and my boss is sitting on the corner table, and I walk by and she says

“Hey Kate, when you gonna play for us?”

and I’m like

“On a weekend in a fortnight or so?”

and she goes “Nah! That’s too far away. How about tonight?”

and I was like

“Not tonight.”

so she said “Tomorrow?”

and I said “…okay…?!”


I have a gig tomorrow.









So good, but so crazy, and what am I gonna do, and stuff and stuff, and I don’t even have time to freak out properly because I need to go to bed so I can open the kitchen tomorrow morning.