Friday, 28 December 2007
On God and faith..
I believe that it's a fine thing for people to place their faith in something that might help them set a standard for good living, if they are incapable of developing their morals individually or with less structure than what a church might offer. I choose to place my faith in family and friends, and that's enough for me. If others require a belief in a higher power in order to lead a good life then so be it. I'm not one to argue against other people's interpretation of the unknown except where such interpretations are so readily illogical that they fly in the face of history, science and human achievement. I can accept that some might believe in God or in Jesus the man, but an idea like the Earth being no more than a few thousand years old makes a mockery of both faith and science.
I don't believe in an all powerful intelligence that has wilfully shaped the universe or its inhabitants, but since I can't prove that belief I'm not about to try and construct an arguments for or against it, only the issues attached. My belief is that having faith in the unknown is illogical, whilst having hope in the same is the sort of gamble that has lead to many of our species greatest breakthroughs. With that in mind it's easy to see how some of the greatest scientific and philosophical minds can accept God, as there is only a fine line between a person who has blind faith and one who is questioning and has hope. It would also seem that a majority who speak of their own faith have questioned more than they have accepted when it comes to religion.
I readily accept that some people believe in God. It's quite easy to be comfortable with the fact that other people have faith in something they can't explain. Where I take issue is when personal faith comes with a set of rules that twist and change to fit the whims of a church construct and include advice on how to deal with, act against or convert those with opposing views. Faith under scrutiny in its many religious guises looks a lot more like a mixture of blind hope and stubborn ignorance than anything worthy of praise, in particular when it won't allow for the tolerance of differing views.
Whilst I'm not bothered by those who have faith in the unknown rather than having hope, I have a problem when ignorance in the known and readily explainable is mistaken for faith. There should be no excuse for holding a belief where science or human advances have shown that previously held beliefs are faulty.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
I love these useless, time thieving dalliances..
1. How old will you turn in 2009?
2. Do you think you'll be married by then?
I'd like to be, but that would depend on how expensive those Russian women are, and how best to perform adequate mind control.
3. What do you look forward to most in the next 3 months?
Start of the 2008 Centenary football season.
4. Who was the last person to call you?
Angie. Well, she texted me.
5. Do you prefer call or text?
Text. I fucking hate phones. I really do.
6. Do you have any pets?
A dog and a cat. I want a shark.
7. What were you doing at 1:30 am?
Stuffing around on facebook and wading through the many invites to applications Skye had left me. I do wonder if she was taking the piss haha. I also spoke with Phill on msn.
8. What were you doing at 3:00 am?
Finally crawling into bed.
9. When is the last time you saw your mom?
Today, when cutting her birthday cake.
10. How many houses have you lived in?
11. How many city/towns have you lived in?
Five - Yamba, Grafton, Western Newcastle, Wagga Wagga, Lithgow
12. Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet?
Bare feet when hot, socks when cold, shoes when outdoors.
13. Are you a social person?
Yes. Although I do like my quiet down-time.
14. What was the last thing you ate?
15. What's your favorite color?
Cobalt Blue, and then Scarlet.
16. What are you doing for your next birthday?
Nothing. My last birthday resulted in me pressing charges against a couple of idiots for assault.
17. What is your favorite TV show?
Who Do You Think You Are. It's a genealogy program.
18. What kind of jam do you like on your PB & J sandwich?
I fuckin' hate peanut butter. But the jam would be blueberry & cranberry.
19. What are you listening to?
Everything. Ears are like that.
20. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed?
I sleep in the cool spot during summer, wherever that is.
21. Do you know how to play poker?
I like Texas Hold-Em' but the regular game isn't as fun.
22. What are you thinking about right now?
23. What are your plans for this weekend?
Go to Parramatta. Shopping. Borders.
24. Have you ever been in an ambulance?
Yes, when my dad had a stroke. When they said he was OK I walked home to the far side of the city.
25. Do you prefer an ocean or pool?
26. Do you know how to drive a stick shift?
27. What is your favorite thing to spend money on?
28. Do you wear any jewelry 24/7?
Just my musical cock ring with its built in laser show.
29. Who is the funniest person you know?
It's a toss up between my mate's Angie and Sim. Both crack me up, but are funny in very different ways.
30. What is the main ring tone on your phone?
It goes.. "ring ring... ring ring..." I really hate the majority of intrusive ring tones.
31. Do you shut off the water while you brush your teeth?
32. Do you wish someone was with you right now?
Yeah, someone female, a nice arse and a high sex drive.
33. Are you mad about anything?
I don't get mad, I quietly and without warning react to the situation as most appropriate.
Monday, 17 December 2007
- An Aunt died on the North Coast, and I only found out via email after the funeral service, because nobody bothered to ring any of us here in the mountains.
- I'm going to be an uncle. First point of order is to ensure that said niece/nephew(s) is indoctrinated into the fine social craft that is the support of the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
- I find that I make excellent banana & pear muffins. No, you can't have any. Not unless you beg or offer sexual favours, and that only works if you're female, reasonably attractive and can also dislocate your jaw at will.
- My mate Jill had her baby - A precious baby girl by the name of Morgan.
- John Howard is gone. Yes I know that is old news, but it's so good that I thought it was worth repeating.
- I now appreciate why my team doesn't win too often at pub trivia. It's because the team that wins with regularity has been taking a stack of reference books. This being the same team that stopped my mate Jill from going to the ladies room, when she was heavily pregnant, by blocking her way with their chairs, all because they believed that she was text messaging people in there for answers. These people are all in their 50's or above, so they should really know better.
- I've become somewhat of a facebook addict. I find it a lot more entertaining than I ever did myspace, which if anything is only incredibly annoying. It's also better at helping to locate friends far and wide and those from long ago. Excellent stuff.
Sunday, 2 December 2007
Very few people or events ever truly amazed me has a kid, or impressed me. One guy who never failed to capture my attention or fill me with awe was Evel Knivel. By the time I was born his career was already winding down, but that never interfered with the man's popularity. An amazing guy and he will be missed.
Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel, Jr. October 17, 1938 - November 20, 2007
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
To paraphrase Bill Hicks and Frank L. Baum, “Ding Dong the Liberal Party beast is dead!” Its time to pop the cork (or preferably the Czech beer cap) and enjoy the downfall of the worst Prime Minister Australia has ever had the misfortune of being saddled with. John Howard’s miserable 11-year reign saw Australia tighten its belt in order to accommodate an anorexic view of both domestic and global affairs. The PM’s resultant myopic tendencies were fed via a dangerous infatuation with G.W Bush and US Republican politics.
Whilst there were positives during the Howard era, such as low unemployment and large federal budget surpluses, those gains came on the back of the misery dealt out to those who could least afford it, among those being single mothers, public hospitals, public education, a large chunk of Aboriginal Australia, the environment and investment for the future. Not to forget that the Howard Government's positives also owe a great deal to the industrial boom of the North West that has contributed significantly to the economy and employment statistics. The past 11 years are a monument to greed and the self-indulgence of the most prosperous among us and their lack of consideration for those less fortunate. Money withheld and ripped from the poor were poured into Peter Costello’s money pile, creating the impression of sound financial management, when such surplus funds were desperately needed in a number of key areas, and particularly those previously mentioned.
John Howard and the Australian Liberal Party destroyed the positive steps made for justice in regard to Aboriginal land rights on the back of Mabo and introduced new measures to ensure that hard won civil rights would also be taken from Indigenous Australians, particularly in the Northern Territory. Aboriginal owned enterprises confiscated and returned on lease, along with large tracts of land and no apology in sight for the matters of the past – Is there truly any wonder for that matter, given the sheer number of ongoing crimes committed by the coalition?
Howard pandered to those industries with little or no room for growth, such as coal and timber, whilst doing little to help those industries invest for their future survival in renewable energy and sustainable logging via regrowth respectively. An out of touch leader showed that he was clearly struggling to understand the future of the planet, let alone how Australia should proactively develop new industry and encourage investment in new technology and resource management here and now.
As our kids were getting fatter and our education resources were re-allocated to those institutions already swimming in private funding, our telecommunications industry continued to lag behind the rest of the world, our scientists and nurses headed offshore for realistic reward and the country became progressively more xenophobic, Australia moved ever closer to becoming a turd resembling our recently deposed leader. Thankfully, with more Australians having come to their senses that particular ageing and irrelevant turd has now rounded the s-bend and been flushed out of the system alone.
Sunday, 11 November 2007
Ok so the above is kind of accurate. I did have one previous jersey, but it was one of those cheaper jumper style jerseys they made for little kids (horrible photo to come).
Well, at least the 3 Souths fans who occasionally/rarely read this blog might appreciate that!
Saturday, 10 November 2007
I was there in support for my brother over a matter where he failed to stop a door from slamming shut as the door in question naturally does, which caused a glass pane to shatter. But who could blame him, he was too busy chasing after his girlfriend who was in tears after both he and her had been heavily insulted by an officious bureaucrat at an employment agency - one that in this town has failed the vast majority of people to have ever had the displeasure of being registered with it. But I digress.
After my brother was ordered to pay for the damages, rather than simply having been asked to, we left and decided to meet up with some friends at the local Workies club for a few games of pool and drinks. A nice way to wind down a stressful day before winding back up again to a small extent for Thursday night pub trivia.
Before trivia, the crew were invited to Matty and Marnee's for a few more drinks, topped off in grand style by Marnee's cooking. The girl is a damn fine chef at that. I'm not quite sure what we ate though. I should have asked. A kinda taco looking tray of stuff.. but it vanished rather quickly. Just like all the alcohol I bought for everyone did.
So after Matty won the round of Trivial Pursuit and we had devoured Marnee's dinner offering, we all set off to the pub for our weekly trivia game. It would seem that the warm up game of trivial pursuit didn't help too much. Not that it ever matters!
What did matter was the company. This evening in particular had a new injection of interest. J-Lo had joined us for the evening and with him came his daughter Cindy, who was quickly dubbed C-Lo. Now is this the part where I start writing like a gibbering idiot? Here's hoping some dignity shines through!
I don't tend to give much thought to first impressions. They so often tend to be scratching the surface of what one tends to learn as time progresses, where you are able to learn to appreciate a person for their true worth. So having said that, it's all the more baffling to me how this girl managed to hook me in so readily. And not just me. She made a fan of everyone she spoke to. J-Lo made the comment that Cindy had made more friends in one night on the town than he has in the years he has lived here (on and off)! Some people are just incredibly magnetic I guess.
So, apparently people didn't think I was too subtle in making sure I always had an empy seat next to me. Was I that pissed? I don't recall doing anything too overt, except really enjoying the company and conversation.
Anyway, like I said - we lost pub trivia, but so what. Afterwards we all headed off to Mark's karaoke at the Court House Hotel. Top stuff, as always. A cold night and the fireplace burning, good tunes and great company. I did my usual "My Way" by Frank Sinatra, and it turns out Cindy can knock out a tune like a natural. "Simply the best" by Tina Turner was the choice. We considered a duet, but I didn't fancy my voice in handling Bon Jovi! J-Lo made me smile when he said as a proud father and in reference to his daughter's singing "hey when I make something, I make it well."
The evening wound down, but with some of us still wound up I saw my brother and Jas off to home and I headed out for post karaoke drinks at J-Lo's, with the man himself, Cindy and Jill. More scotch, music, German neighbours complaining, fried garlic prawns, and steak with pasta, the night only died when 7.30am rolled around and Jill headed for home. I stayed, slept on the couch and then rose at 12.30, had a shower, changed into clean clothes that Jill, Jardine and Jas brought me and then headed off after an excellent cooked breakfast made for me by Cindy.
An excellent 24+ hours. I must admit though, for one reason or another I'm now finding it very hard to concentrate.
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
Name & Station : Monsignor John, ex Universal Life Church minister and now proud independent cult leader
Date of Birth: 77
Birthplace: Grafton, NSW
Current Location: Lithgow NSW
Eye Color: Hazel
Hair Color: Dark brown, a few traces of grey
Height: 6ft 3
Heritage: Aboriginal Australian, Irish, English, Swedish
Tattoos: small one on my spine, below singlet line
Favourite Band/Singer: Too hard/too many
Song: Be my baby - Ronnettes (no, I'm not kidding)
Movie: The Razor's Edge (1984)
Disney Movie: Condor Man
TV show: Battlestar Galactica
Color: Cobalt blue
Food: Home made Hawaiian pizza with sun-dried tomato, oregano and thyme
Pizza topping: Pineapple
Ice-Cream Flavor: Lime spider
Drink (alcoholic): Theakston's Old Peculier
Soda: Pub Squash
Store: Utopia, Broadway - Sydney
Clothing Brand: Threadless.com
Shoe Brand: Converse (blue, pin striped)
Holiday/Festival: Steak & B.J Day
Flower: Dorrigo Orchid
Board game: Scrabble/Literati (challenge me)
Sunny or rainy: Heavy rain
Chocolate or vanilla: Strawberry
Fruit or veggie: Fruit
Night or day: Night
Sour or sweet: Sweet
Love or money: Love
Phone or in person: In person or online
Looks or personality: Personality (mostly)
Coffee or tea: Tea, or a sweet hazlenut latte
Hot or cold: Almost too hot
Your Goal for 2008: Finish my book
Most missed memory: Mates at Uni
Best physical feature: Tongue
First thought waking up: Need a wizz
Sesame street alter ego: That "noony noony" typewriter dude
Fairytale alter ego: Jesus
Worst crime: Chasing my brother and his 5yr old friends with fake dynamite
Greatest ambition: You will have to ask.
Greatest fear: Great White Sharks
Darkest secret: You will have to ask.
Favorite subject: History
Strangest received gift: A pterodactyl in a snow globe thingy that won't shut up when it asks to be fed.
Shower daily: Yeah, although I'm not finicky about it
Like thunderstorms: Love them, except when on the computer
Dance in the rain: Slide in the mud, but no dancing, unless I have an umbrella and a street lamp to spin 'round
Sing: Karaoke 1 - 3 x per week
Play an instrument: Recorder and a bit of guitar. Planning to buy a trumpet
Get along with your parents: Yep.
Wish on stars: Nah
Believe in fate: No, but I like that others do.
Believe in love at first sight: No, that's lust.
Drive: Choose not to.
Sew: Limited, but yes.
Cook: Yes and I enjoy it
Speak another language: Bits of Bundjalung, in various dialects
Dance: I do enjoy more structured dancing, but I suck at disco type stuff
Sing: Yeah, kinda. I'm not very good but my voice suits Sinatra and Robeson
Touch your nose with your tongue: No, but I can touch yours with it
Whistle: Yeah, not the finger thing though
Curl your tongue: And how!
Been Drunk: Yep
Been Stoned/High: No
Eaten Sushi: Maybe I just got a bad batch, but yurghk..
Been in Love: Yeah
Skipped school: I quite good at that
Made prank calls: I had a free phone line between Wagga and Bathurst Uni campuses. What do you think?
Sent someone a love letter: No
Stolen something: Yeah
Cried yourself to sleep: No, but I might have wanted to
What annoys you most in a person? People lying regularly to impress me
Are you right or left handed? Left, despite violent school teachers efforts
What is your bedtime? Between 11.30pm - 3am
Name three things you can't live without: Learning, family, trust
What is the color of your room? Blue
Do you have any siblings? Yes
Do you have any pets? A dog and cat
Would you kill someone you hate for a million dollars? Yes
What is you middle name? I don't have one. My first name is Johnathon-Trent
What are you nicknames? John, Big John, JJ, Johnny, Johnno
Are you for or against gay marriage? I don't care what others do if it doesn't hurt anyone.
Do you have a crush on anyone? Besides Jane Russell? Maybe.
Are you afraid of the dark? I was when little. I've since climbed a mountain in the dark.
How do you want to die? Happy
What is the largest amount of popsicles that you have eaten on one day? About 15 during a bushfire
Would you take a bullet for the one you love? Yes
Believe in Aliens: Yes, but I very much doubt they could ever have travelled here.
Believe in God: No.
Believe in Ghosts: No, but I am open minded to the reality that many things are weird and as yet unexplained.
In a Member of the Opposite Sex:
Hair color: Any
Eye color: Don't Care
Height: Don't Care
Weight: Anything, just not obese.
Most important physical feature: Must have skin.
Biggest turn-off: Money Driven
In regard to my family tree, I think I may be getting closer to solving a few mysteries that have eluded me and other distant cousins and researchers. This excites me. I'm sure you're either shrugging your shoulders or looking for the next topic, but I find that genealogy is more enthralling than any other form of mystery. So very few people know what their background is beyond 3-4 generations. I started from a point where I didn't even know the names of my maternal grand parents, so there was much to learn.
Since having started my project I've made many discoveries. I've learnt of my Swedish heritage, the areas of Ireland in which many ancestors came from, and that my English roots touch more than half the counties in England and with those details so far having been traced back to the mid 1600's. A parliamentarian, several convicts dating back to 1788, a fellow who founded a NSW country town and a woman who escaped the gallows for a new life in Australia make up some of the interesting characters in my mother's side of the family.
On my paternal side, I've found indigenous connections that tie me to people from as far and wide as the Northern Territory, South Australia and even the first nations of Tasmania. Not to neglect the fact that no less than 20 NRL players, 3 AFL players, numerous professional boxers and several major political/historical figures appear in my family tree. It's a fun hobby, even if it is one that is generally perceived as being quite geeky. But that hardly matters. It's not like I've ever bothered to fit any other stereotypes.
I'd imagine that like in the UK, once the Australian version of the TV series Who Do You Think You Are goes to air on SBS I'll be joined by a large influx of new genealogists. Hopefully one or two of those will have some of the answers I've been looking for.
Anyway, for the heck of it - here's a picture from last Saturday's Halloween gig. My brother the zombie.
Sunday, 4 November 2007
The end result, a picture of me at 3am after returning from the pub.
Friday, 2 November 2007
So - what else is new? I'm glad you asked. I had the best steak I've ever had the pleasure of slicing into, at Wallerawang. The "Top Pub" may not be much to look at, but it's certainly a friendly place and their service in regard to food is excellent. It was a quick jaunt before the usual Thursday night pub trivia. Jas, myself, Jill and J-Lo. Curried pippies (mild) might be my thing, but I've never been keen to try oysters before, despite growing up in a North Coast fishing hamlet, so I surprised myself when I tried one of J-Lo's platter whilst waiting for my steak. The verdict - shithouse. I had nothing positive to offer. It was like eating a snotty fishing line. So my surprise only increased once I tried one with tabasco sauce. I actually enjoyed that one. The texture was altogether different and much more appetising, and I'm not one for hot food at all. It's always good to try something different, regardless of initial fears or prejudices.
Oh, and for the record, with the team halved for various reasons, we later went down in pub trivia by 1.5 points. So close!
Monday, 29 October 2007
Out of bed, showered and ready to for my appointment with my accountant. I put on my special "please don't fuck me against your oak table" outfit and headed off for my dreaded date down town. As I neared the office I could see the secretaries struggling to contain themselves and their bras as they ripped the door open and quickly sealed me in, ushering me forth into the bowels of their overlord's taxation dungeon.
For a whole blisteringly painful 15 minutes I dodged numerous poisoned tipped conversations, each laced with numerical, mind-numbing inanity. My accountant's smile and no fuss, can-do attitude did the best with what I had made available and I made it out alive without being partially digested or sold into sex slavery on the Kagoshima market. Neato.
It's a good start to the week, capping off an excellent weekend spent in Dunedoo, which is a couple of hours north of my present location.
Interesting Dunedoo fact:
- The town was founded in 1953 by Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins hockey legend and noted arctic explorer.
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
On a similar note, my brother found his dog holding his girlfriend's incomplete tax return today, in a manner that would suggest that he is either trying to help complete it, or is perhaps only one step away from embezzling funds. I'd go with the latter. I mean, would you trust a dog who doesn't just eat flies, but catches them and pulls their wings off?
On that note, I have to go now. My cat (Bitey - yes, a Simpson's reference) is standing upright at my window, rattling the screen for attention. When I get out of my chair and peel back the curtain I know she will only turn away.
Monday, 22 October 2007
Wednesday karaoke went quite well, like it usually does. A relaxed evening with no worries. When leaving the pub however there was a fight. Of course it turned out that it was the bloke I had a run-in with about a month prior. He was threatening the pub staff and arguing with a pregnant woman. Yeah, a real champion. Looking on and also involved in some capacity were the two guys who assaulted me on my Birthday, because Captain Wonderful is dating either the mother, or aunt of one of the younger twats. It does seem that shit magnets do indeed stick together.
The pub staff managed to handle the problems, turfing Captain Wonderful out of the pub and everything returned to normal. However, as we waited for a taxi for my mate Jill, Captain Wonderful again started up with his insane behaviour. Let's keep in mind that this bloke has had somewhere in the vicinity of 5 to 9 pub fights in the last month, and been thrown out of his lodgings as a result. On Wednesday night he was just as bad, only that he also chose to conduct a verbal assault (also shoving) on a pregnant woman before collapsing to the ground without any one touching him in a manner that would suggest what little brain he still had, had been spirited away. He dropped like a sack of spuds and as I looked on from across the street, I called an ambulance, only to see him a few minutes later get back to his feet and then leap up and hurl himself into the window of a shop, then bouncing off and onto the ground without even breaking the glass. I'm not sure if I'll be going out to karaoke again on a Wednesday.
Thursday was great. Pub Trivia time, and "Death to the Sand People of Tattooine" won! Go us! It's those quieter, more socially functional times that I enjoy most.
Friday-Sunday. Even better. I'm no longer single, and I'm pretty bloody happy. I'm sure the details would go down great here, but then - that's just not me.
Sunday evening. Dinner with Jardine, Jas, Marnee and Matty. I was tired after a long but enjoyable day, but dinner was worthwhile if even just to see Matty show us how he and a mate of his have races to see who can explode first (picture someone straining to crap with their fists clenched and you'll get the idea). Following dinner it was decided a spot of karaoke would be good. Sunday karaoke is fun, as barely anyone is ever there for it, in the only pub open in town on the night, so it's a great opportunity to try new songs without lots of people around to listen to you stuff up greatly. The tester for the evening - Morrissey and First of the Gang to Die. Great song, even if Morrissey is a twat.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
I enjoyed my walk, however I saw something quite nefarious going down when passing one of the local primary schools. I only looked for a few brief moments. I saw Rupert Murdoch walking down the steps of the school and loading boxes of school library books (that I believe he had stolen), into his 1974 Holden Torana.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Monday, 15 October 2007
Sunday, 14 October 2007
What the hell is up with those guys? It's amazing how a team of professional footballers can turn into water and lose all composure and do it consistently like the New Zealand Kiwis do. No heart, too selfish and lacking in brains - they deserved the loss. Losing 58-0 is one hell of a way to celebrate 100 years since NZ played their first ever international match. I hope the Poms and French absolutely hammer them. Way to waste my afternoon, jerks!
Saturday, 13 October 2007
As I suspected, it was mostly an older crowd, but nothing too alien. A little sedate but the more they drank the easier the shackles of age were thrown off. Plenty of crooner style music, and by the younger crowd there too, so I pitched in with My Way and rounded things out with YMCA as a duet with Jas. Lisa was kind enough to tell me across the room via the microphone to tell her if I saw any women I liked and she'd give me the lo-down on them. Haha, I'm sure the announcement had every can of mace in the building clutched and shaken.
A good venue and a friendly lot of regulars, I quite liked the place, even it was bloody cold over there. We also left a bit too late to venture in to Jill's favourite pub in her old stomping ground of Katoomba, a place called the Gearin Hotel, which I also consider to be one of the better pubs in the mountains and out through the tablelands and is incidentally owned by the actor Jack Thompson (maybe best remembered recently to international audiences as Uncle Owen in Star Wars).
In all it was a fun night out. Today on the other hand was quiet, slow and very peaceful. Too peaceful. What I wouldn't do for a spear and a few blokes in pith helmets to throw them at, Rourke's Drift style. Just anything. A little action. Still, falling asleep in front of the computer at midday is kinda like action.. right?!
Friday, 12 October 2007
The Jenolan Caves were pretty cool, but I must admit - not having seen any weird albino cave dwelling proto-humans was quite a let down. I'm reluctant to consider the possibility that Hollywood has been lying to me, but if there are any genetic throwbacks living in the caves I certainly didn't see them. Perhaps the next time I return I will be better prepared, taking with me a team of intrepid spelunkers, scientists and crypto-zoologists and lots of alcohol. My preparation yesterday was all wrong. One does not go into a cave after a leisurely stroll around a picturesque lake, having consumed an overly expensive latte devoid of hazelnut.
We didn't play too poorly, but I wasn't exactly thrilled about my contribution during the film round, or any round really. Whilst it's not a matter to be concerned about, the questions that stumped me do at least give me something interesting to google and learn about during my down time.
On a brighter note, delayed birthday greetings continue to roll in. Thanks Sarah - considering you've been up to your elbows in woolly excitement and dip on your farm recently, you're forgiven.
Even brighter, I quite enjoyed today's road trip as well. Off again with Jardine, Jas and Jill, this time to the Jenolan Caves. First off - the road there is shithouse. Only the road to Nimbin compares. Hell of a view though.
I really had no idea what to expect in regard to the Jenolan Caves, but I didn't expect the setting to be a cross between Lord of the Rings and National Lampoon's European Vacation. The Swiss style buildings, rock towers screaming into the sky and drive-thru cave styled action all blended together to completely dismiss any previous notions I might have had. The caves were interesting but oddly enough I was drawn more to the blue pool. Heavy in minerals, crystal clear to a considerable depth and the colour usually only seen in volcanic springs and trapped in centuries old glaciers, I regret not having had my camera with me. If I go back I intend spending a lot of time getting all of the resources I need in order to do an oil painting of the pool with the rock spires and caves in the background.
Dinner at the Hampton Roadhouse and watching the lightning hurtling down into Lithgow in the distance were a fine way to wind down the trip. Now if only the following pub trivia could have gone off as smoothly! Ah, but there's always next week!
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
Should I admit any of this? Well, it's not like I'd really care to know a person who would look down upon me for having such a dork-tastic skill anyway. Can I call it a skill? Maybe it's more a trick of shameful proportions played upon a savagely tuned, sugar encrusted mind. Either way, it's fun, mostly harmless and helps blow away those hours one might otherwise waste on less enjoyable trivial pursuits.
So here it is. Each Tuesday I'm going to dig deep, peel back the Mr Sheen coated walnut that guards my memories and I'll wax lyrical about the TV shows you've either forgotten, never seen before or don't care to know about, but are going to read about anyway, simply because you're bored, can't sleep or are playing along nicely because you know me.
Sunday, 7 October 2007
What wasn't cool however is when the clock ticked over past midnight and a new day came and upon leaving the local nightclub (only one and it was the only time I had been there), we were stopped by a couple of drunken idiots that were out looking for trouble. To cut a long story short, they assaulted a mate of mine (over his karaoke singing of all things) and then me after I told them to lay-off. When both were involved that drew my brother into matters as well.
My Saturday was mixed to say the least. I managed to fall sleep at about 6am, with my brother and Jasmine worried about the concussion that the Doctor we saw had warned about (from my being kicked in the back of the head whilst grappling with the first guy) and was up again at 8.30am. A few cups of tea and plenty of laughs with my mate Angie at 10.30am before we went for a drive, and then an hour+ at the local police station giving a statement and looking to press charges. Fun fun..
On the bright side I did laugh my arse off at the thermometer and K.Y tube Angie gave me for my birthday to make sure I was OK. Nice work smarty!
Friday, 5 October 2007
Left to right: Jasmine, Sophie and Jardine (no I don't know what he's doing either), standing at the back of the pub at Sofala.
Jill, getting excited behind the wheel before we set off on our random trip.
Legend handing Matty a fake cheque for our team coming second at pub trivia last night, after losing on a tie-breaker in the final round to the "Bar Whores."
Unlike the other teams, we generally change our team name each week, and usually to something quite ridiculous. This week it was "Champions of the Leather Regions, People?" I'm sure Legend, who runs the trivia nights appreciates having to call such names out, and as a question, after all he is always smiling.
For the record, the tie breaker question was "how many Davis Cups in Tennis has Australia won?" The obvious answer is: Who cares? But the required answer was 28, with our guess being 21. I think most Souths fans might be able to tell why my guess was 21 (sad in-joke, don't ask).
Left to right: Marnee, Skye and Jasmine
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
I'm not really thrilled about mine. Friday I turn 30. It's come so quickly and like a lot of people who have reached that milestone I wonder if I could have, or more realistically should have achieved more in the time I've been given, and no I don't mean regarding monetary gain. It's a downer, even if I am pretty happy with who I am, and where I'm slowly going. I think on Friday I'll do as a mate suggested regarding her own birthday and do something nice for my parents, as a thank you for creating me.
I usually spend my birthdays on the South Coast of NSW, getting pissed and eating meat with the other birthday boy and another mate (who this year might be a bit pre-occupied looking after his twin baby boys), but this year I'll give it a miss. Still, I'm sure they will have a great time.
Personally I thought that Hairspray might be pretty good or at worst passable, but I have to admit that it hit the mark in every way with me. John Water's did a brilliant job in writing the original film, but it was a wise choice for the remake to have been based on the Broadway show rather than original 1988 film. As much as I love Waters imagination, his execution can also be a bit off-putting. So, without giving anything away, this movie is excellent an excellent way to spend a few bucks and gain a feel-good buzz for the rest of the day. There are no idiotic plot points with forced character anguish or emotional drama, and that in film today is a very rare thing - just like it always has been. Sometimes people just want to be happy. We might love a sad ending like Casablanca, but overkill is definitely the word when it comes to how Hollywood usually tries to manipulate people's emotions and wallets.
Great flick, wonderful cast and very catchy music. If you're not an uptight bastard then go see it. If you are then go get drunk and see it anyway.
Monday, 1 October 2007
If this post is somewhat disjointed then I shall have to ask you to leave and come back when beer hasn't had a slight influence upon my already meagre skills as a writer.
Saturday, 29 September 2007
Friday, 28 September 2007
Well let's just say that for all of the flak it gets, Microsoft can't be that bad.
I'll get around to having it repaired, but apart from a slice of Late Night with Conan O'Brien I'm not missing it. Yeah I have another TV, but it's in the next room, way over --> there. So now I'm listening to more music, buying more books and comics on Ebay and watching football at the pub with mates, rather than at home. Maybe I should do an Office Space on my TV?
In the meantime, let's turn our gaze back, and reminisce about some of the joyful times I've had with TV. Let's see if there's still some room in my heart for my idiot box, by looking back at some of the more interesting, obscure, odd, terrible and not so memorable shows that nobody else my age seems to recall:
Manimal - This was an odd 80's action show that I'm pretty sure lasted for less than a season in the US, but surprisingly was still shown in Australia. The stories were rubbish and the action incredibly lacklustre but what made this thing so cool to me at 6 or 7 years of age is that the lead character could transform himself into any animal he liked. At least that's what was supposed to have made it cool. Instead I found myself being frustrated by the fact that the guy had no imagination whatsoever (thank you pissy budget). In almost every episode the guy only ever seemed to transform into either an eagle or a panther, neither of which ever did anything of note. I think maybe once I saw him become an elephant, which I believe was when probably, if my memory serves, when banging a stewardess in an aircraft toilet.
Robostory - This was shown on the ABC during the mid 80's, usually at about 7.30 in the morning, weekdays before school in a block with another pair of animated classics, The Wizard of OZ and Vicky the Viking. It's perhaps one of the best animated series I've seen when it comes to high quality, multi-layered storytelling. A French production, the story revolved around a small girl who followed her dog into an unlikely predicament that leads to being hurled across the universe in a space shuttle and being stranded on a planet populated by two groups of robots. On the surface it sounds simple enough, but this cartoon was very dark in its nature, despite plenty of humour thrown into the mix. Rather than the typical Hanna-Barbera or Filmation light hearted morning animation, Robostory's tone, particularly in the later episodes is closer to the more complex and adult oriented, allegorical commentary styled works of Ralph Bakshi (In particular, a film like Wizards comes to mind). Check it out for yourself on youtube.
Skippy - Probably the most famous of Aussie TV exports, and definitely one of the weirdest. I loved this as a kid and it's even more entertaining now with a beer in hand or when playing a drinking game. Some people like Lassie, and some might like that stupid dolphin off SeaQuest, or even the long forgotten Salty the seal, but nothing compares to seeing a kangaroo driving a car, changing gears, opening a safe or untying hostages. Simply awesome. What's even more awesome is that in order to film such plot points the camera would focus on a pair of severed kangaroo paws as some guy off screen manipulated them into action. What a great job! I do wonder what employment opportunities awaited someone with that prized position once the series ended. Picture it - the early 1970's and an unidentified homeless man is laid out naked on a slab in a Sydney morgue, with the only clue to his identity being the pair of severed kangaroo paws that the coroner failed to pry from his vice like grip. Fun stuff!
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
Several years ago I was presented an opportunity, where I was asked if I might like to be taught one of the more destructive and potent strains of kung fu. A strain so deadly that to even type its name here will lead to the deaths of several starving children in Africa. The gentleman who had offered me this chance was a master. I don't know if he was a master of a martial arts or not, but given his peculiar appearance and lifestyle I am quite certain that he had mastered something.
We arranged for my first lesson and we met at his house, shrouded in mysterious mists in the foothills of the mountain range near my town. I was shown how to fall. I was also shown how not to fall. Both were very important lessons, which I grappled with and failed to conquer in any meaningful sense. I now fall like an expert in not falling, which makes me one of the worlds most accomplished standers. My method of falling, once coerced to do so, is akin to a gazelle that has been shot in the flank whilst bounding across the Serengeti, with the moon high in the background as birds flock and twitter in the hardiest of trees (setting the scene is important).
I learnt very little, despite being taught very much. The one hand clapping, the take this pebble from my hand, and the can you pat your head and rub your tummy all featured heavily, at least now in the way I choose to recall this not so pivotal event in a stretch of several forgettable weeks.
I must admit that pain played a part in my choosing not to continue with the lessons. I recall that after my first lesson my arse hurt a great deal. I don't think there was any blood, but I assure you the pain was not from what you are thinking. No, to my knowledge there was no sex, only pain, stone grabbing and various tidbits of philosophy which I believe were taken from works of the ancient master David Carradine.
Some of what I've just written is true.
What is also true is that when the dude started eating and offering me weeds from my own front lawn where dogs often urinate I knew that my kung fu days were over.
I'm really not a fan of how little thought is going into writing comics these days (or is that heart). I'm sure the writers all think they are doing a hell of a job, but unless your name is Gail Simone, Alan Moore or Grant Morrison then the odds are that you're struggling for ideas. Why is it that killing characters or portraying them in a manner contrary to usual conduct is so readily acceptable now; is it editorial policy or ugly coincidence?
From an artists perspective I'm relieved that whilst the writing stocks are down, the visual element is still on quite a high. But then comics as a medium continue to be the one field where artistic endeavour appears to be pushed most of all. Yeah, plenty of people do look down on comics as an art form and in a literary sense, but then that's just blind snobbery, barely worth commenting on.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Some recent recommended listening, and other discoveries:
Largo al factotum - Il Barbiere di Siviglia (As recommended and loved, apart from the very camp introduction!)
Soave il vento - Così fan tutte (Another recommendation. This one's growing on me the more I hear it)
Largo al factotum - Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Stumbled across, laughed at and enjoyed)
Wagner's Tannhauser - Part One (I love the power in this stuff. Mmm)
Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjue (Miles Davis doing this version. I'm not even sure what basket this goes in)
So here's my guide to who I think people are, and what I'd rather imagine them as:
1. Barack Obama - Mr. Juicy intrigue. This guy interests me a great deal. My first thought when I hear him speak is not for his policy or background, but for the fact that he will probably be talking through one of those fuck-off shiny artificial voice boxes before taking any Presidential oath. Does he smoke? Fucked if I know, but he sure does sound like he's one of those sideshow guys who regularly packs 50 cigarettes into his gaping mouth with each passing urge for nicotine and dollars. As a side note, apparently this guy is black (yes, I too am shocked). Although apparently not black enough for some, and too black for others. Bigots come in all shapes and colours. Just who would have thought that some African Americans and white supremacists could come together in a hate love-in. I get tingles* just thinking about it.
2. Hillary Clinton - Bill's mother. It's his mother right? Surely he wouldn't have married her. Anyway, she's well orchestrated but not well castrated, so that makes for an interesting mix. I thought Bill did quite well as Official Sexual Being of America in the absence of a real President, even if his taste in women leaves a lot to be desired. So, if Bill didn't fall far from the ghastly tree that is his mother/wife, maybe Hillary will do OK and score herself some tubby Louis Anderson-like action too. Still, if there's any Clinton for parliament, then my vote's for George.
3. Rudolph Giuliani - Not sure what to make of this. The guy is more familiar to me as an occasional joke on Letterman or Late Night with Conan. Happy and friendly enough, he's run a city with more people in it than my country has, and I guess it's a positive that he knows how to deal with the cement making industry. But what does he bring to the table when it comes to crazy shenanigans? Does he get drunk Boris style? Does he have a thing for obese interns? Rudy needs a gimmick. Maybe he should lock himself in a glass case with angry monkeys or something. See who flings the most shit. Anything.
4. John McCain - Not too clear on this one. If memory serves, McCain's saucer was shot down over Roswell New Mexico some time in the 1940's when he was on a reconnaissance mission for his native Vietnam. Basically his popularity will come down to whether he is truly a genetically engineered Vietnamese UFO pilot, or if he is as I suspect a pawn in a global lie and is really a producer of fine frozen chips (french fries).
5. Zoltar - I'm not sure if this guy is running in the election, or if I'm merely confusing politics with a villain from the 70's cartoon Battle of the Planets (aka G-Force, Science Team Gatchaman). Either way, Zoltar should have the inside edge due to being both a man and a woman depending on what's needed at any particular time. Zoltar has all of the right qualities that one would expect of an American President. He's a snappy dresser, he takes his orders from higher up, if foreign policy fails he's only too happy to send in an alien death machine and to sacrifice the lives of countless thousands of henchmen, and best of all he has the kind of evil laugh one would expect from a very small man.
So there you have it. The 5 main candidates for taking leadership of the Australian Liberal Party from Prime Idiot John Howard. Go Zoltar!
Note: *My tingling feeling is neither 'spidey sense' or herpes.
Monday, 24 September 2007
Sunday, 23 September 2007
Not really my thing, but who am I to judge? If anyone has a heart-warming success story of when they hooked up with a dead ancestor, I'd love to hear about it (without too many details).
Saturday, 22 September 2007
John's Top 5 Online Conversation Killers:
5. "Cincere" - Maybe I'm over the top with this one and am verging on grammar NAZI territory, but if a person claims to be sincere then I'd at least hope they care enough to know how to bloody spell the word. "Cence" of humour is another that is almost as bad.
4. "Princess" - When I read the word "princess" it makes me think of pink leeches, sucking the life out of people, draining them of their finances and mojo, and who would then do absolutely jack with the energy once siphoned. Sure it's stereotyping, but when you're dealing with a global pool of potentially interesting people to converse with it's best to minimise the risk factor of ever having to deal with a chick who owns a poodle.
3. "Omg lol lyke how r u? I5 this 4 real? lolz!!11" - ...do I even have to explain this one?
2. "I'm the one your mother warned you about" - Oh really? God damn, are you following me? I swear I just saw your profile in the last page I clicked through, and two pages again before that. Not to mention that I saw you on the other site I'm a member of. What's worse is that your profile picture is always different, yet your personality remains the same! I can see why my mum warned me about you, you fucking stalker!!
1. "I like riding horses, sky diving, snow boarding, long romantic walks along the beach and rock climbing" - Yet you live in the city, rarely see the snow, are inland far away from the beach, have sky dived once with no intention of making it a hobby and the same applies to rock climbing. So, just who the fuck are you? I read profiles wanting to get to know a person. I don't want to know who you would LIKE to be! Tell me who you really are! I'd love to be He-Man, ranging around the plains of Eternia on a giant green cat that talks whilst fighting Skeletor, but I won't be putting that into my profile, at least not on the sites you frequent!
OK, so maybe there's a little emotion there in that post.
Maybe I should have just stood there, shorts to the floor and with a subtle breeze caressing me, beaming a smile and telling her "don't be alarmed Madam, I am comfortable with my own nudity, do you not see?" Boing! I'm sure she'd be delighted for me.
Friday, 21 September 2007
I don't think I'll be keeping this page as a diary - no, that would be bad. I'm open, but not in a "hey look at my tits" kind of way.*
Also, screw targeting people. I'm writing for me, and I'll hope some people join me for the ride because it's of interest. Although - pity is good too.
*Note: I don't have tits.
Step 1. Make the blog.
Step 2. ??
Step 3. $$ Profit $$
Yes, it's the intricate workings of a free-market economy in action, right before your very eyes (or your not so very eyes, depending how 'very' you are).