Filed under General

Time for a list

A list, a list… everybody loves a list. Today I had a brand new installment in my list of Top 5 stupidest things I’ve carted across town on my scooter.

Betsy, my darling, my drafthorse. Bearer of a fool and his silliest whims. Today, #2 on that list was well and truly commanded by my latest acquisition. Let me explain.

Before I start, let me say that #1 on the list is, and will remain, me – drunk one night from the Regatta to St Lucia. Stupid as stupid, that one… And no further explanation necessary beyond the fact that there will be no recurrence of that feat, of that I’m sure…

So with that out of the way, let’s get to #2!

#6 – Last Thursday – Stink bug Snuss.
I should be incorporated into some sort of biodiversity metric. The recent rains have certainly amped up the levels of biomass on wings and there’s logic in having the number of times I get whacked in the face – eye, lip, throat – by a wing-ed thing as an indicator of insect population health. Last Thursday was somewhat different in the fact that the wing-ed thing that got trapped in my pursed lips was none other than a stink bug. No matter the speed with which the bug was flicked aside, it squirted its vile little bug sized load of stank into my gums and tongue, a most unpleasant experience at any juncture, let alone when travelling at 60km/hr on wet roads. Needless to say… nasty.

#5 – Mid-last year – Jimmy, Storm and $150 worth of groceries.
The groan and struggle was evident for the whole of the return journey from Coles. Betsy’s shocks – completely unaccustomed to having 200 odd kilos to counter – transmitted the finest nuances of every bump and pothole. Up hills, my normally timid Betsy was almost entirely subdued. 3 chocked green bags lay at my feet, coming up to the junction of the handlebars and making turning just that fraction more death defying. Groceries pushed up against the seat from within the compartment with much the same force as I imagine one who found themselves stuck in a coffin would apply. Storm, adorned with a backpack of the more brittle and fragile goods received the equivalent of 10 minutes on one of those preposterous shaking machines that people try to hawk to overweight and undermotivated souls in shopping centres. Thank goodness Storm purchased a car for future shopping (and beach) trips.

#4 – Sikh of an itchy head
Buy a helmet. Use it nigh on every other day for two years. Use it after showers, exercise, beach volleyball, heatwaves, head lousse cultivation conventions and tell me that your head doesn’t get itchy from using it. No detachable, washable inner lining? What are you going to do? Improvise… It started with a few pieces of toilet paper and moved on to paper towelling. From there, a chux seemed a step in the right direction despite the odd looks thrown my way when people driving or pedestrianising past notice flappy bits of blue blowing around the temples. When you’re riding a scooter with safety goggles and a mouth full of stank what are a few odd looks anyhoos? So it’s ended up with a turban. A black turban with a big knot right where a unicorn’s horn would protrude from your forehead were you thus endowed. A turban that must be removed in the same motion as the helmet so as not to look completely retarded. A turban that requires you to laugh at the idiocy of the guy it adorns. A washable, lovable, nit and itch free truban.

#3 – Sucky passenger
How big does a box need to be before it fails to be transportable by scooter? A fraction (only the smallest fraction mind you) larger than a vacuum cleaner it would seem. Wedged between the handlebars and destiny, the vacuum cleaner box protruded a foot either side of the bike. Guided by the fortune of the brave and pure arse, I was able to get the beast home in one piece. Now to figure out how to use it…

#2 – Can I leave this box here?
Today I bought a new set of speakers. Lovely, relatively expensive, weighty, dimensional speakers. Having negotiated a vacuum cleaner, it was hard to see from the giddy heights of my pride and ego the difficulties that could possibly arise from trying to get these badboys home. After securing the purchase and wandering to Betsy – proud, elegant, spatially challenged Betsy – I started to foresee aforementioned difficulties. Not even close. Not even close to close. For 20 minutes I wondered how the f$k I was going to get the speakers home on a scooter. I called 2 friends. I contemplated getting a taxi for my speakers. I contemplated delivery at a later date (never!). I cursed and smiled and did both in unison. Then I unpacked the box. Sure enough, with some spatial reorganisation – using skills honed through the likes of Columns, watching mum pack a car and redistributing a washing machine – I was able to fit myself and my goods upon my steed. With legs firmly clenched, and fingers metaphorically crossed – lest I not be able to steer or brake – I made my way home. But not before leaving the discarded box at the foot of a bemused music store clerk and contemplating the posting of this blog should I arrive home in one piece 🙂

Betsy - apple of my eye
Betsy – apple of my eye. Bearer of a fool and his foolish whims.

A louse and me

Somewhere out there, in the shallows of the pacific swims (or whatever other verb describes the movements of a sea louse) a very content sea louse. A few hours earlier, the louse, no doubt hungry from doing whatever lice do, decided to feast on my sausage and spuds. After settling ‘pon my nether regions the louse must’ve gorged itself with the lice equivalent of a three course meal and free glass of house white.

Needless to say, but said anyway, I was not impressed; nor were the many beachgoers who had to bear witness to me rubbing my crotch for just a little too long.

In the wrong line of work!

I found this website interesting. It shows that top 100 contractors used in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2004-06. At first I thought the sums were large… and then I realised I’d missed a few 000’s and realised they were huge, $52 billion in all. Although I’m not in the line of fire, I still may be in the wrong line of work…

An upping of all things dated…

Well… honours is done, submitted, completed, finished, and over. In what was a stressful final few days and weeks, the paper took on its final form with not too much drama and slowly tottered towards the required word limit. After a final proofreading on the due date and the requisite printing dramas, it was bound and submitted much to my… well… relief… I guess. You see, I didn’t, and still don’t, feel that much now it’s submitted. I guess when the 28th of November comes and my marks are etched for all to see I will make the transition to happy relief or disappointment at what could have or should have been. Either way, the closure is welcome.

In other news, it seems a happy era of domestic bliss is drawing to its close with my flatmate Shelley and her two-bit partner Willy ‘seriously’ looking to find a house to buy and move out of the McNab mansionette. Current auguries and tea-leaves point to a reshuffle of tenants sometime in December – Storm and I are thinking of taking the two smaller rooms to turn one into a music/choreography room and get a little more rent from the third person… We will likely stay here till the end of the current lease (Nov 2008) if we both decide to stay in Brisvegas.

If only we could sort out what we’re going to do next year. A committee will discuss my PHD scholarship application at the start of December and my current work contract expires at the end of the year. Then there’s the yet-to-be-seen niece in Chicago and a pocket full of dreams… Or I could just stay around and try and record some of the songs that have been doing the rounds in my various bedrooms over the last 3 years. Not to make a buck mind you, but just so there’s something to play when I’m old and senile.

Anyhoos, enough of the ramblings. Hope you’re all well…

The home straight

Well my friends (and family)… it’s time. Time the A got into G and I got into it. The submission date for my honours thesis has been set and penned in as the 31st of October – 51 days from today. Figuratively speaking, if my thesis were a 200m race, I’d be 41m from the finish line. Given I was asleep on the starting blocks whilst others rounded the bend, it’s time to put in that final spurt which will guarantee that most treasured of treasures… freedom.

So, as of today and until my thesis is bound and submitted I commit to not being over 0.05 BAC. That’s right folks… no drinky drinkies until I’m free. I’ve done the 100 days, I’ve done lent, I’ve played 3 consecutive games of pictionary…I know how to stick something out. I just need to do IT.

Ok… enough babbling… Time to get those fingers tapping…

beep, beep.

That’ll be my pasta in the microwave, ready for morning lunch consumption. This post is just a test afterall. But I am alive!

Blurgh…

<blurgh>

I grasp at thin air for emancipation,
Gasping at air thin with motivation,
Locked in a slow burn of blurgh..,
Like a boar on a spit in perpetual rotation.
Crackled and grizzled by ever patient coals
Woe is me; fair game, for the next sorry soul…

</blurgh>

Favourite Travel Pics

I’ve been to a few places in my time. I was fortunate enough to spend a year and a half overseas drinking calimocho, beer and revelling (with some compulsory study attached). I was also fortunate enough to get to attend my good friends’ wedding in India with Storm. From these many adventures, I have selected these 8 photos to carry the flag for my travels. They have been included because they:
a) made me money;
b) were cool;
c) make for a good story;
d) remind me that travelling was/is fun.

(Click on the back button after you’ve viewed the photo…)

So in no particular order they are

1) The jump into the Berlin fountain that won me 20 euros from my brother. He said I couldn’t do it, but my wet shorts and hypothermia proved him wrong.

berlin_fountain.JPG

2) The jump onto a stage at a Bratislavan Christmas Market to wish the good folk of Slovakia a merry Christmas from us good folk in Oz. Appropriately full of Gluwein, this gimmick earnt me an additional 50 euros from my ‘I’ll never dare you again’ brother.

bratislava_speech.JPG

3) A photo of me and the Romanian Border Dog asleep after being detained for having a dodgy brother with no visa. This was preceded by a Hungarian beer and some baked beans and succeeded by a 9 hour early morning train ride to whence we’d come. No money was earnt.

romanian_border.JPG

4) The remains of our car after our car crash in Morocco. This was the least enjoyable part of my trip it’s fair to say. But all’s well that ends well. For the record, no one was critically injured or worse.

morocco_crash.JPG

5) Las fallas in Valencia. By far and away the coolest fiesta I have ever been witness to. Click here to find out more.

las_fallas.JPG

6) Storm and myself were approached to by photographed for a hotel brochure in Varkala, India. A cocktail and free lunch later, we were presented with a replica of the New York Times ‘Titanic Sinks’ Edition and shown on our way.

brochure.jpg

7) and 8) Sleeping on the floor of an Indian train. What more can be said…the best stories later are the worst moments at the time. I can still remember the metal flooring in my bony ass. What an authentic experience (having said that, we didn’t notice any Indians sleeping on the floor…dammit!)

train_floor.jpgtrain_floor2.jpg

Changes and Holidays

Given that I can’t afford one, I may as well run with the other…

So, as you may have noticed, I have now switched to the Chaotic Soul wordpress theme.  The old default was getting a fraction plain and boring.  I really like this one; however, the text does appear to come up a little small.  I guess If I really cared I would tinker, but hey…my eyes are good.

I’ve also finally gotten around to putting a new front page on the index to replace the crappy text that had sat there for a little too long…Depicted are some images my little Canon400D helped me to capture and, well, at least it’s better than times new roman.

I’ve also fixed a few dead links like the blackholes mp3 (thanks steph)…

Anyways, a piece of poo in a tuxedo is still a piece of poo…so don’t expect too much to change 😉

Jameses

Blow Offs and Blow Outs

I guess it’s finally happening; this time for sure…

After two failed attempts and countless thoughts of quitting (for reasons too multifarious to mention), my honours has reached the point of no return.  Last week culminated in the handing in of my last ever assignment – a 3,000 word research proposal.  It was a stressful affair, replete with upset stomach and dreams of content analysis and, although it is far from my best work, it is done – assigned to the bound and sealed annals of undergrad assignments and pointless assessment.

On the same friday that this concluded, my sister handed in her final piece of assessment for the semester and my brother in law – after 10 years, 5 years of marriage and 2 beautiful daughters – submitted his final research report and will surely graduate come July.

So what better way to celebrate than a blowout?!? It had been a while since my last and I finally gave my liver its comeuppance.  A dinner with loved ones and mussels to commence the weekend and an expensive hangover to wash it all down with.  A day of watching Storm slip into sexy and sophisticated costumes/lingerie/stuff as she enforced her own bender – of the shopping kind.  A saturday night of You Don’t Know Jack and beer, when even the most elementary of human movements such as manouervring around walls or dismounting stools become sufficiently difficult to result in war wounds and humility.  Poker rounds that ended at 5:30am with more war wounds and humility.
Sunday morning pancakes with friends – ice cream, custard, cream, fruit and every other unessential item of life – and a guitar jam to keep the mind off vomiting.  The laziest game of beach volleyball I’ve ever played sober followed by the purchase of speedos to show off my long and ganglies for the first time in 21 years.  Playing the role of spectator as my friends finally overcame Federer-Nadal win loss ratios to finally vanquish their arch nemeses in the mixed netball grandfinal.  Particular highlights included quarter time debates of unabated passion about countless nuances and intricacies of the sport between a hairy, grown man in a skirt and anyone who would listen and finding five cents on the ground.

To top off the weekend, steak and mash taties with zucchini and feta slices and then back to the pub for one last dose of alement with friends.  Blow out complete and assigned to the still unfinished and unbound annals of countless blowouts and irrepressible stupidity and annoyance, I can now move on to this week….and this weekend.

Liver…you’re fucked.