Author Archives: BlairBlock

Leave out all the rest…

Yesterday it was a simple text message that broke the news to me, I quickly typed ‘Chester Bennington’ into my google search, thinking ‘no way, this can’t be real.’  – and there it was, it was definitely real. I’ve never been so gutted by the death of a celebrity before, this voice that I had listened to in good times and in bad, the voice I would scream along to – was gone.

It was the year 2000, I was 14 years old – that tender age where one searches and tries to shape their identity. I remember Sara bringing in the Hybrid Theory album to school one day – I hadn’t listened to anything much harder than Serial Joe… but from the first screamy choruses of “One Step Closer”  – I was hooked.

 

I identified with all the rage that the lead singer had, all the feelings in that song. I was a victim of bullying through most of my school career and listening to Linkin Park loudly was therapeutic.

I rushed home to download what I could find of Hybrid Theory and realized that I needed to own the entire album – so I took what allowance I had and bought the CD. I listened to it endlessly, every song in that album finding it’s way into my own personal life soundtrack.

… crawling in my skin, these wounds they will not heal… I want to run away, never say goodbye… In the end, it doesn’t even matter… do I trust nobody and live in loneliness?

In 2002, the reanimation album came out – it explored a new sense of sound for LP – a mix of hip hop, alt rock and EDM – all genres that I would move on to explore growing up.

 

Hearing Aaron Lewis (StainD) and Chester sing this powerful song together still brings chills to me even now.

2003 was the year that Meteora was released, I remember all of us piling into Shannon’s car at lunch to run down to the Future Shop to buy the CD on the day it came out.

‘Somewhere I Belong’ became an anthem for my late teens – early 20s, searching for a place I fit in, a crowd to call my own.

‘I want to heal, I want to feel.. like I’m close to something real, I want to find something I’ve wanted all along.. Somewhere I belong.’

Again… EVERY. SINGLE. SONG. from that album resonated with everything I was feeling at that age, each song a perfect soundtrack to my life and it’s goings on – therapy for my ears, keeping me going, keeping me skating.

…If I could change I would.. I can’t feel the way I did before, don’t turn your back on me, I won’t be ignored… I don’t want to be the one the battles always choose.. I’ve become so numb…

After high school, life would grow and change and I’d jump through different social groups until I found my crowd… weekly car meets and racing every week..

At this point, Linkin Park was departing from their signature Nu-Metal sound and experimenting with more various genres of music – somewhat almost pop-y… and although not every song resonated from Minutes to Midnight – there are parts of that album that speak to that era in my life.

As I grew older, so did Linkin Park – and so did their sound. Many fans strayed because they didn’t identify with the band… but I listened to every album and found myself in a song in each one of them.

Waiting for the End kept me going through a very toxic relationship, I can’t even count how many times I repeated the song over and over in my head when we would fight or when I’d be in tears

“I know what it takes to move on, I know how it feels to lie.. all I want to do is trade my life for something new.. holding on to what I haven’t got”

In 2012, I got to cross a massive item off of my bucket list; I got to see Linkin Park live. It took them 13 years to finally travel to my hometown of Calgary – and I paid full price for a festival ticket and drove my ass solo to Calgary and spent an entire day at a festival with my friends to wait for one band, and one band only.

From the opening riffs of Faint, to Somewhere I belong, to what was their new single Burn it down, they played an amazing cross-section of their music. It was easily the best few hours of my life, it was so worth the trip.

His lyrics spoke to every stage of my life, like he was writing my story with almost every song – lyrics that helped me through tough times – to know today that even though his music helped so many that essentially nobody could help him, it’s heartbreaking.

Music is therapy – it brings a deeper connection through lyrics and beats. Linkin Park was therapy to a lot of people and today we’re missing a voice in this world – today the world feels a bit louder – from everyone playing Linkin Park’s albums over and over.

I know that this isn’t the end of Linkin Park, but this is definitely the end of an era.

 

Goodbye Chester.

“When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
Don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest”

 

Please know that if you are suffering from depression or considering suicide, you are not alone. Seek help, there are people that love you. 

https://www.suicideprevention.ca/

Always,

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DERP takes on the Questival!

What happens when you take a group of lifelong friends, add in some adventures and llamas? You get DERP!

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The lancer girl aka Blair Block and for this weekend: Sailor Pluto, reporting to you from the front lines!

Follow our adventures here: http://questivalteams.cotopaxi.com/teampage?id=5DYZlFB1dN

Looking forward to sharing more adventures with you, more fun soon 🙂

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Chef’s plate – Chicken Adobo

It’s time for meal #2 of the Chef’s Plate experiment – Filipino Chicken Adobo. Of course, being Filipino I had to try it out – I live away from my family and there’s a shortage of really good Filipino restaurants in the Okanagan, so it’s really hard to get a taste of home when I’m all alone here – I may as well take the opportunity.

What is chicken adobo you ask? According to wikipedia it is a popular dish that involves meat, seafood or veggies marinated in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic which is then browned in oil and simmered in the marinade. – it also goes on to state that it has been considered the unofficial national dish of the Philippines.

This time we were supplied with bok choy, snow peas, chicken, items to make the marinade (soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic,  and pepper corns), and rice. I opted not to make the rice, and instead added some broccoli to the steam cooked veggies.

Again, the process was simple.. follow the instructions – get food. This time we marinated the chicken and prepped the veggies and then cooked ALL the things. Save for a little bit of charring (my own fault for heat that was too high), dinner turned out great.

How did it taste? Well, I think it tasted good, but definitely not like the chicken adobo I get at home. The sauce wasn’t as saucy and if I was a bit better at heat management I’m sure it wouldn’t have been charred. At least now I know the basics of what’s involved and can try to replicate it again!

-until then…

 

Ear Candy: Porter Robinson & Madeon – Shelter

 

 

 

I’ve been watching a bit more anime as of late, and when this video preview came across my YouTube recommended videos, I figured why not.. let’s check it out.

Porter Robinson and Madeon are fantastic EDM artists and the fusion of both of their styles together create a wonderful song that’s been on repeat since I found the video. I really like Porter Robinson’s style of melting vocals into something more ethereal (and sometimes cutesy).

The video is amazing and well worth a couple watches for the story it tells, click play and enjoy!

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Blog Update – New Layout and New Categories

As you can see, I’ve gone over the blog with a purple crayon and refreshed it with a new look for 2017! I figured it was finally time to update the blog with something new and fun, so here we are, embracing the chaos of my multitude of interests, activities and identities.

I’ve also added a new category called “Training Block”  – a home for my own personal pet project, fitness and training. I’ve been in the world of fitness for a long time, but really took to it in the past few years and really enjoy training and helping people reach their goals.  In “Training Block” you’ll find workouts I do with the OKRD (Okanagan Roller Derby), derby drills, nutrition (a big thing I need to work on) and various other musings about health, fitness AND wellness!

Other things in the works:

  • The Angry Jellybean gets angrier (2016 Fiesta ST Build)
  • When a filthy casual gamer tries competitive Overwatch (and possibly the birth of a horrible horrible twitch channel? )
  • .. maybe more video game blogs (do people read those?)
  • Reviews, reviews, reviews – subscription boxes, movies, games, make-up.. anything I can get my grubby little hands on and feel like writing about
  • … annd much more! (oh gosh why..)

As always, I’ll be blogging about my adventures in crafts, food, music, roller derby and life in general! With life adventures taking new paths as of late, I figured why not write about all the exciting new things and keep on keeping on!

Until then…

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Green Means Go! (Puke Means Stop!)

The OKRD is ramping up to a busy season, and while we’re ramping up we’ve been working on our off-skates fitness to give us a bit of an edge. As a fitness enthusiast, I’ve been working with our skaters to push them to their limits, and I figured you – my readers, can workout alongside us.

This is the first workout post I’ve done, and this workout was great. It definitely works your cardio and makes you sweat.

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Set a timer for 20 minutes and go through the circuit as many times as you can within the 20 minutes. We do our workouts at a track, so our laps are approximately ~400m (if I’m not mistaken).

Do this at your own pace and listen to your body!

Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer, but a very enthusiastic fitness person, with the hopes of possibly one day being a certified trainer.

Good luck!

Until then…

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The great Chef’s Plate experiment

You’ve seen the ads on facebook, they proclaim fresh groceries and a meal kit delivered to your door once a week with delicious recipes to try. For ~$50/ week, you can feed 2 people twice a week.

I tossed the idea of Chef’s plate back and forth in my head to try out, or not. at $50/week it’s a little pricey – but with the bonus of trying new recipes, it may work out to be an education in cooking (albeit a very self-taught education).

I signed up, but didn’t buy any meals until the “Filipino Chicken Adobo” landed in my inbox, and then it was time to try it out. I ended up finding a coupon code online to get 2 plates for free (essentially a free meal), and anxiously awaited the delivery of the box of food.img_20170228_124818

(PS – if you’re interested in trying this service out, check out my referral link which offers you 3 free plates with your first order: http://www.chefsplate.com/?r=3pc-mhmk8VE)

The box showed up on Tuesday afternoon, it was really well packaged – it’s a fridge-type box so there’s all manners of padding and an ice pack within the box to keep your food fresh. Read the rest of this entry

Dear 2016…

Well, here we are.. the end of yet another year – another spin around the sun.

I suppose I can safely say that I walk out of 2016 with almost nothing that I walked into 2016 with.

New job, new place, new relationship, new car.

Well… there are a few things I leave 2016 with – the support of fantastic friends that have helped me through the hard times this year.

I could wax endlessly about how 2016 has been quite the year in my life – but I have to admit.. sometimes I get tired of thinking about EVERYTHING that happened this year. It’s been quite the year for everyone it seems – new relationships, relationships ending, new accomplishments, new life, life passing on, yeah.. it’s just another year.. but for some reason 2016 just felt like such a compressed amount of insanity in the world for just one year.

I want to leave the year with positivity – because I think at the end of the day, life is what we make of it, we can look upon 2016 as a negative thing, or a transformative year!

Awesome things that happened in 2016 in the world around me:

  • My Scion(blackhatchback) bro – did a fitness competition and did awesomely! Super proud of her, and I can’t wait to see her kick some butt in May.
  • Our new class of Fresh Meats in the OKRD did amazing this year – and so proud of my Derby Mom and her wife (Slam and Shady) for stepping up and becoming a great source of leadership in the league
  • Susan – became a published author! So excited for her future books and really happy to see someone’s passion brought to life
  • My parents got to go back to the Philippines for the first time in 20ish years, and it looks like they had a fantastic time!
  • 2 of my close friends got married this year! Happy Weddings to Annky and Emily! (and a shoutout to Matt from Mitsunation Winnipeg for his nuptials this year too!)
  • One of my friends got Engaged – Congratulations to E and Brian!
  • Meanbean got WFTDA certified for NSO’ing and NSO’ed a regional WFTDA tournament in Vancouver!
  • Derby wife got to meet her musical hero this year and it looked like she had an epic time!
  • Manic finished a few marathons and is a machine!!
  • Shady Lady is making herself a derby baby and I can’t wait to meet them 😀
  • Calgary Roller Derby Allstars kicked all the butts at the WFTDA D2 playoffs and brought home a bronze medal!
  • Tidbit – my doppelganger – made it to the second round of Team Canada Tryouts!
  • Babies! – Holly go Blightly (Melissa), Bane, Prim, and Homestar all produced some cute little kidlets this year!
  • Transfer skaters – The OKRD gets to welcome some fantastic transfer skaters this year – Betty Bomber, FN Classy, and Roc-A-Felon!
  • Lots of friends have found happiness and strength in finding new paths in their lives and I am so happy to be part of their journey.

All this awesome this year and I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings us!

What are your awesome moments from 2016?

-until then…

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The Ballad of Betty the Lancer

Nearly 9 years ago she came into my life, a labrador black pearl of awesome.

My 2006 Ralliart, Betty

My 2006 Ralliart, Betty

I sat behind the wheel with 5 kms on the odometer, little did I know what kind of adventures Betty and I would take on in the following ~190,000 kms she had.

To some people, a car is just an appliance.. it got you from point A to point B. To me, my car… Betty, was a force… a spirit, a liberator… she became very much a part of my identity.

Growing up, I’ve maintained that who you are is not defined by who you are with… but I made that exception for Betty. I became “The Lancer Girl” because of her, I learned how to race, I joined car clubs and did car shows with her, and without her I would not be sitting here.. in the beautiful Okanagan Valley with the life that I live now.

Betty started her life simply as a dealer trade from Edmonton, leased by a very excited little Asian girl. She was quickly modified and taken from stock.. to lowered, a small bark.. to a roar.. and as much as that little Asian girl could afford in between. Betty would often get taken to Secret Street where she and her driver would race, and race, and race…

Betty at Secret Street

Betty would then find friends of similar make and model through MitsuNation.net, until Betty’s driver found an amazing co-driver… and from then on, Betty would always have a Graphite Grey Pearl friend to sympathize with.

She was often taken to shows, and even won a trophy for her efforts, she was photographed for small magazines and then one day, Betty and her little Asian friend decided to move to BC.

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Dave and I on the Beyond Cruise – Photographed by Eric Stenberg

Life wasn’t easy for Betty in BC, she went from show car to commuter car, sadly, she then became the appliance.

… and then that’s where things decided to change, she became tired, not the car she used to be… but still, that little Asian girl carried a smile on her face every time she could corner hard or hit the MIVEC.

I sit here, reflecting on how many things have changed in my life since I turned the key on Betty’s ignition… the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, because that day I decided that I wanted that black Mitsubishi Lancer.

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Life didn’t work out the way I thought it would, and so did the demise of my precious car, Betty.

In a split second, everything can change. One second you’re enjoying conversation with a friend and bopping your head to a song that reminds you of someone special… the next, slow.. agonizing second, you realize that there’s a car coming at you and that there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it – time slows down in that moment, and then suddenly time goes fast – airbags deploy.. ears ringing.. the friend you were just talking to – screaming in the passenger seat. You pull yourself together, and manage to get out of the car. Someone’s driven into what was the most important thing to you, the one thing that was constant in your life.

She sits now, in a claims bay at the local insurance appraiser, no longer mine.  She’s taken most of the damage, saving me from worlds of hurt. Her front end crumpled, interior all broken – the little black pearl of awesome, now a mangled mess of metal.

I took what I could from her, and walked away – looking back at my car for the very last time today.

She was everything to me, and now she’s gone.

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Goodbye Betty.

Always,

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Find the silver lining…

I’ve had about 9 hours of sleep total in the past 2 days.

9 hours of torture.

I’ll be honest, not making it as far as I had wanted to in the tryout really really hit me hard, not just because I didn’t make it far… but it got into my head. The disappointment seeped into my brain, making me question every single aspect of who I am.

Every. Single. Aspect.

From how I trained, to what I looked like, to my personality, to the life choices I had made this year, every part of me I questioned.

Suddenly I felt so very lost, and in that 7 hour trip back home from Calgary.. I spiraled into a vortex of sad. What am I going to do with my life? What does the future look like? Am I good enough for anything? Do I jam or block? Is it worth it to get out of bed in the morning without the goal to fight for? Why did I work so hard to get nowhere?

In those moments, I find myself looking back, missing old habits and old routines..

.. again, more spiraling.

… and then I hear a voice, one that tells me that I need to stop looking back, that everything is ahead of me.

At 5:30 am this morning, after a terrible dream… I decided I wasn’t going be the victim of my own self-sabotage.

I am not going to be the victim. I am smart. I am strong, I am worth knowing. I am a good person. I am going to fight.

I am going to have a good day.

… and that’s the goal, at least for today.. to have a good day.

I realize that I’ve gotten far as a skater, and more so as a person. I am stronger now than I was yesterday.. and I take that strength and try to become better. So, all that hard work wasn’t for nothing, it was a grind each day.. a lesson to be learned about balance and finding life outside of a passion.

Today, I’m going to have a good day.

I’m going to smile and look at the simple things in life… a pretty song, the company of someone special, the simple fact that I am alive.

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I’m going to work towards small goals, instead of one giant over-reaching one. I’m going to just.. live for the moment, and not have to worry about some arbitrary thing that looms over my head for years…

.. I’m going to have fun.

I’m going to have a good day.

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