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Canoes and Oscars

Canoes.jpg

I said I’d blog more later so I guess here I am.

May I just say now, every time I watch the Oscars I remember how often they have let me down. Like the year that Titanic won everything, Bah! And I was reminded tonight of Shakespeare In Love winning. What was with that? And the Life is Beautiful guy for winning Best Actor. There’s many a time that the Oscars have let me down. The year Shakespeare In Love won I ran around the building shouting in anger.

But they have done good. They finally decided to remember Lord of the Rings last year. 11 awards. Thank you.

As I was saying, I went canoeing on the weekend. I went with a bunch of the young adult men from church. I had to get up way early (6am) and drive back to work. I had been there till 11pm the night before writing a report for the Annual Vestry Meeting so I wasn’t overly enthusiastic to be heading back. But alas there I was.

We loaded up our cars and headed off. Driving down into Kangaroo Valley (where we were canoeing) was the most stressful driving experience of my life. There was a bike race on with about 1,200 riders along the same road we were driving. They were going our direction. To make matters worse a heavy fog had arrived and visability was down to about 10 meters. Cyclists would just appear out of nowhere and suddenly you had to avoid them. Cars would do the same thing so overtaking a cyclist was always worrying that you were going to have a head on collision. I only had one moment where I was a little close to having a head on. And I was pleased to discover I didn’t swear.

Driving the fog was great though. That’s not a joke, as well as being stressful, I was having a wonderful time. Driving is never that difficult and never that risky, I loved the challenge. It made arriving safely at the end much more worthwhile.

Once we got to the canoeing hire place (after a little bit of getting lost) we put all our gear in 55-litre barrels, loaded ourselves onto a bus and headed to the river.

At the river we paired up, got in our canoes and on to the river, then things got a little worrying. About 10 minutes into the paddle my arms and shoulders were killing me. They were burning like I hadn’t used them in years. I didn’t say much but I got worried that I wasn’t going to be able to finish the paddle. But an hour in I was feeling fine. For some reason the first kilometre or so was the hardest. After that it was tiring, but rhythmic. Nothing stressful.

I was paddling with Dieter. He’s a good man. I got to hear a bit of his life story and talk about life. He was a very reliable partner.

About 2 and half hours after leaving we arrived at the end of our estimated 4 hour canoe trip. It was a little disappointing. I realised we’d just paddled 14 kms in almost half time. If we kept paddling we could have finished the trip and been home by 9pm. But we didn’t, we stopped set up camp, collected firewood, dug a toilet then went swimming.

That night the coldest thing to drink was the beer so we all drank beer. It was very blokey all standing around the fire drinking beer. The night consisted of many a juvenile joke and a throwing anything we could into the fire to see if it would burn. I think people’s caricatures of men are probably pretty accurate. Women may not spend their whole time sitting around talking about shopping doing craft, cooking and cleaning, but men sit around making fart jokes, drinking beer and burning stuff.

When it started raining we went to bed. I shared a ¾ man tent (billed as a 2 man tent) with Stephen. It was very stuffy, very intimate, and not real pleasant. I had a big cramp in my left arm which wouldn’t let me sleep comfortably. At one stage of the night I stretched and managed to rest my elbow on Stephen’s face. I couldn’t work out what that warm thing that was under my elbow was. Funny how you forget you’re in a tent.

The next day was a short paddle. I shared a canoe with Matt this time. We discussed rude jokes, our lives, romanticism, creative productions and idealism vs pragmatism. It was a very productive paddle.

At our end point we muck around a bit. Actually most of the guys mucked around and I stood on the edge took a few photos and had a chuckle. I was content there.

Once all was packed up and we'd gotten back to the base (via a rather hairy bust trip) we drove home. I got lost going home again and I got back to youth group an hour late. That was a little dodgy but in the end I got to see the people at the retirement village and that’s always fun.

When I got to go to bed that night I was pretty happy.

Oscar

I had an Oscars party last night because I love the Oscars. It was bigger than last year I had managed to send out an email a whole 20 hours before the event. I had Jem and Sal, then Gemma, Anmol and Hayley. Howie joined us right at the end.

I’m pretty happy with the way the awards turned out. There was nothing horrendous that won. That Believe song from The Polar Express was horridly sappy trite (Believe in what you feel inside...give your dreams the wings to fly) and Counting Crows did a pretty awful rendition of Accidentally in Love. The Myer ads were quite stupid but not history-makingly so. Chris Rock failed to annoy me as much as usual. Clint Eastwood is just the best. I wanna be like him when I’m old. I won’t be, but it’d be cool. We saw a lot of Johnny Depp, Warren Beatty, Oprah and the black guy with see-through glasses frames, but they didn’t really do anything. Natalie Portman should have won an award for being Natalie, not because she did better in Closer than Cate did in The Aviator. I’m glad Million Dollar Baby won, I liked that film.

That’s my Oscars wrap up.

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