Oz to Eiffel

I got up early enough on Sunday to check out the eastern side of the area that I’ve been staying in. It’s not particularly interesting.

After a few hours of plodding around, I skipped into Cafe Oz to watch Australia vs England in the rugby. I made my €6,50 pint of Fosters last about two-and-a-half hours and ended up sitting next to some old farts and some local rugby players. Local as in Kiwis and Aussies (including chubby-face himself, Matt Dunning) who played for French clubs that turned up to watch.

I didn’t wait for long after the full time whistle to leave and walk all the way back to the Eiffel tower. My feet were already sore by the time I got to the ticket queues but it wasn’t long until I was feeling giddy and nervous due to my fear of heights. The view is genuinely astounding but that’s all it is – a view. A view from a tall, brown hunk of nicely-patterned metal. I circled around a few times taking photos but it wasn’t too long until I got bored and descended. I walked back to the hotel once more and nearly had my feet fall off.

Supermarkets and clothes shops aren’t open on Sundays and the supermarkets close at 8 or 9pm every other night. I had no food or drink so I bought some more beer and snacks from a convenience store and lounged around my room (yet again) in my underwear watching the football (or soccer, if you like). I had to slightly shut my bedroom window as a man opposite could see directly in and admire my pasty, sweaty physique. It failed to perturb me too much, as I eventually drifted off into sleep.

Montmartre

I haven’t even updated my own journal, yet here I am informing all of you about my antics! Talk about getting my priorities mixed up.

After my last update on Saturday I went wandering past L’église Saint-Eustache, taking a few happy snaps of it and the surrounding gardens. Not much else happened during the day apart from my purchase of jellybeans and beer to keep me entertained as I whiled away the afternoon and Parisien humidity in my hotel bedroom.

That evening (although it was still as bright as a typical Sydney day at 3pm) I blindly walked in the direction of Montmartre. As I went back past Gare de L’est and Gare du Nord I walked through a quaint market filled with fruit and vegetable sellers, cheese stalls, butchers and fishmongers. The fish stunk from being exposed to the heat for the entire day, causing me to gag as I hurried past them.

There was an increase in commotion and commuters further up the road. I turned into a densely crowded street of what appeared to be predominantly tourists walking by a carousel. My curiosity forced me to investigate.

They weren’t there to ride the carousel. They were there to marvel at the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart). It sits high upon a hill overlooking Paris. Definitely something one has to see for themselves as no words can describe it, inside and out. I spent some time listening to people pray as I sat on a pew with Jesus looking down at me from a dome above the altar. I’m sure he wanted me to purchase a souvenier coin from one of the vending machines surrounding the church’s exit.

I returned to the road and the ubiquitous French restaurants, passing by a cemetary that I would have entered if the entrance wasn’t on the direct opposite side of where I stood. The Moulin Rouge had to be somewhere. I knew it. For some reason there didn’t seem to be any street signs to give me clues as to its location. I was about to give up and check my map but resisted defeat.

Deciding it could be time to get some food and perhaps (on the off chance) find something interesting to do, I walked south, past the cemetary, into an area named Clichy-something. It was humming with activity. That’s if you call eating in restaurants a humming activity. Spotting two dressed-up young Frenchwomen walking by, I (in an act completely out-of-character, I assure you) began following them in the hope that they were going somewhere interesting to do something interesting. My discreet prowling lasted for about 30 minutes as I shadowed them off the main roads and eventually into a back street. They disappeared inside a non-distinct residential building and left me alone and lost with nothing to show for it.

I spent an hour walking back home via yet another direction only to return disgusted with the lack of Paris’ nightlife on a summer Saturday.

Alone in Paris

Bienvenue!

I can’t speak French, I can only copy what I see.

Compared to Incheon International, Charles de Gaulle is miniscule. Customs don’t even bother comparing your face to your passport photo, let alone stamp you into the country. They don’t even bother with declarations. I guess anything goes if you’ve got a history this long.

I had to repack my bags after I grabbed it off the carousel (yes, it arrived) so that I could attach the daypack, transforming my luggage into one massive, cumbersome, bulky travelpack breaking my back and an overstuffed green manbag hanging off to my side, the nylon strap digging into my neck.

I had no idea how to get a train ticket into Paris, I just knew where I wanted to go. In typical French style, the ticket vending machines at the international airport are French-only and accept only European credit cards. I found this out after I’d queued up and bravely attempted to purchase one.

Fortunately for me a middle-aged Englishman stood behind me in the line and ended up buying the ticket for me so that I didn’t have to queue in the other ticket line with ticket staff. He then took me down to the platform and caught the train into town together. We spoke about the packaging industry, rugby and university. Not something you’d expect as your first encounter in Paris.

I finally reached Gare du Nord and hopped off the train, confident I could somehow find my way to my hotel. Somehow, I managed to locate it without getting too lost or collapsing under my backpack. I checked in and took the 1m² elevator up to the fifth floor, found my room and gratefully dumped my bag onto the bed.

The bulkiness of my luggage had not only irritated me but it had made me concerned that I’d brought too much. I immediately unpacked my clothes and re-arranged everything I’d brought with me until I was satisfied that my new system was not only more efficient, it was going to be more comfortable as well.

I was forced to run a bath in my en suite as there was no way to attach the showerhead to the wall. I pondered for a while as I soaked in the steaming broth of my own filth as to what the hell I was going to do with myself this first week. Somewhat scared and in need of reassurance (and with the desire to let people know I’d made it safely), I rang dad and Emily and spoke to both of them for a little while. I ended up surrending to fatigue and fear of the unknown by curling up under my bedsheet and falling asleep.

By 8am the following morning I’d already bathed, eaten my supplied breakfast of croissants, bread and coffee and was out the door. I figured I’d go exploring incognito so I left my bag and camera in my room, only taking ,y wallet, phone, passport and a map.

It took me about 30 minutes walk directly south to reach the Seine and I followed it west until I wandered around the Louvre – it’s enourmous. I’m going to try and get inside on Monday as I heard the tickets are half-price then. Continuing my exploration, I sat for a moment at a fountain then kept walking until I crossed through the busy intersections surrounding the Place de la Concorde. I kept going all the way up the Champs-Elysees for kilometres until I hit the Arc de Triomphe and the terrifying round-a-bout circling it.

After taking my shoe off and adjusting my sock whilst sitting under the Arc, I casually followed my feet towards the Eiffel tower. There’s an abundance of streets and roads named after dead US politicians just opposite the tower, something I found out considering I was practically underneath one of France’s (and Europe’s) most famous landmark.

Before I checked out more of the magnificent, metallic monstrosity, I skipped down to the banks of the Seine and stuck my hand into the water for nostalgia’s sake. I walked back up from the artificial shore and admired the construction of the monument and the monumental queues winding underneath it. I touched the north-western buttress (if that’s what you call it) before I walked through the Champ de Mars and all the way back towards Notre Dame.

I gave in to exhaustion before I reached the hunchback’s residence and ended up dragging myself back to my hotel room for a 4 hour nap. When I woke I again ventured south to Cafe Oz, an Australian themed pub that was overcrowded and lacked seating. I drank my €6,50 pint of some mystery Aussie beer the barmaid thought I’d ordered and left.

I stopped by the Hotel de Ville and noticed some workers erecting an outdoor screen for what I assume will screen rugby matches for the local competition. It was still daylight at 8:30pm, so I walked around Notre Dame and continued into the Latin Quarter until I found the student restaurants and bars near the Sorbonne which aren’t any cheaper.

There are no cafes here, only restaurants and bars. It’s not cheap either and I’m being quite miserly. I walked all the way back from the Quartier and sat on the rock wall 2 feet above the waters of the Seine for a while to rest my weary legs. Eventually I made it back to my hotel room and collapsed into a hot bath in an attempt to numb the aches and pains I’d acquired from walking probably 30km or more during the day.

Summary.

Here’s the weekly wrap-up for all you go-getters looking for the down-low:

Tuesday:

No valentines for me (aww) and I didn’t give any out (haa), apart from those silly ones that people do when they have no one else to pretend with. I had about 27 of those. Mostly with men.It was also my mum’s birthday, so I gave her a call and did all that “good son” stuff. Well, some of it. I guess. I don’t know. I said happy birthday over the phone and had a chat for a while. That seemed good enough to me.

That night palmy and I met up with Emma and Kat at Zanzibar after work at around 12 (yes, for drinks). The two of us got drunk (again) and managed to chomp down on some free savoury finger food that was placed conveniently next to our table. We only started eating it when it was a fresh platter that hadn’t been soiled by the hands of other dirty patrons, of course.

We decided we’d go visit the bakery afterwards for a roll or two and on the way ran into a shitload of police all surrounding one of the buildings that’s being constructed up the road. They were all around the sides and even one cop was on the roof with a torch wandering around the scaffolding. No idea what had happened and they didn’t want to spill any details. I heard some man who was being questioned mention something about something. The details are hazy. I was drunk, ok?

Turned out the bakery was shut, so we went to the 7-11 and I ate my first ever Traveller pie. Delightful, I must say. I’ll do one again sometime.

On the way back home we decided we’d make the obiligatory visit to the Townie and scrounged up enough change to buy a few more drinks there and even have a slight flutter on the poker machines. We won nothing and the only thing of note that palmy earned was a big wet patch on his pants after spilling some of his beer. When we sat down again at the main bar we were unfortunate enough to enter a conversation with an old guy who was missing his middle and ring finger on his right hand so that he looked he was constantly “throwing up the horns”. He kept going on (tongue-in-cheek) about how metal he was because of it and explained that he had them chopped off from a metal press. Everything about this guy was clearly hardcore, so we tried to get him to leave us alone as soon as possible.

Somehow we started mucking around and abusing another woman sitting a few tables away for being soft, right before they turned the lights on and kicked us out. Nothing much of interest occurred in the dialogue, just a lot of name calling, so I don’t recall much of it.

Having decided that the night had not been random enough to qualify as a “Good Random Night” we jumped the fence of the local church and found a hole in the back fence which allowed us to slide down into the schoolgrounds. Fortunately we managed to get under this fence without ripping the living shit out of our clothes or faces. It was kind of fun, pretending we were commandos as we stalked around and trespassed. There was one staircase we jumped off for fun as it was easier than climbing the fence next to it. The drop was about 3 metres but there was a nice, soft flowerbed underneath for us to fall into. So comfy.

As we walked out to the back streets behind the school we found a playground, full of swings and see-saws and slides. This is one of the best things you could ever find at 4am when you’re drunk. We spent some time in there giggling like schoolgirls and having the time of our lives until we began singing Bohemian Rhapsody (since we couldn’t think of any other song that we’d know the words to) whilst bouncing on the see-saw and someone screamed from their front door “SHUT THE FUCK UP”. In horror, we tried to bolt back up the road. Instead, palmy stacked it and ripped his pants along with the skin on his elbow and knee. It was funny.

It was only a few more fence hops to get home but thankfully I got to demonstrate my resourcefulness by using a stray iron bar as a support in order to jump over a barbed wire fence. I think we fell asleep around 5:30am. No, not together. Valentine’s day was over.

Wednesday:

I went to work then went home.

Thursday:

I was booked in to help out Benecke’s mum with the Ravenswood girls again for this website project they’d been working on. I managed to get it finished for them, with their help of course. It was six girls from year six all writing a little piece on new technologies and how they can be utilised as learning tools. They also drew cute little pictures to accompany each page. It was nice to help them all out and it reminded me a little of when I was doing kindergarten teaching for work experience in year 10.Doing something charitable wasn’t the only reason I felt good that day. Mrs Benecke gave me a bottle of wine and Kahlua as a thank you, too. What a nice lady.

That afternoon Lloyd came around and we hit up the white russians, drinking them out of pint glasses. We watched Alien vs Predator and then Cube immediately afterwards as I knew he’d love it (which he did). We spent the rest of the evening just chilling out and webcamming to everyone that would bother watching drunk people act like idiots.

Later on, Ross, Joel and palmy all turned up one way or another and we continued doing whatever we did. Ross gave me a bottle of Coke Zero. I still have it here to fawn over. Joel brought his pots and pans over and started cooking yet another curry (on our stove). It was very spicy but not particularly tasty. I still ate some of it. palmy just played soccer.

I fell asleep at about 2:30am due to exhaustion from getting up way too early that morning.

Friday:

Ross left early in the morning because he’s soft then was disappointed to find out that we were all up by 10:30am. Joel had already gone home during the night and Lloyd was fretting about getting home to do lame shit before he returned to the city to watch a Swans match. He stayed for a while before he fled to watch a couple of episodes of Prison Break while we failed multiple times to burn the episodes onto a DVD for him. After about 6 attempts we finally found out that one file was corrupted and it was completely ruining any attempt to write them onto a disc. Finally we got it happening and we were done.palmy and I walked up to Corelli’s for breakfast after Lloyd left. He paid. :D

That night I went to work and was rather bored then went home to see mum. Dad had already left for the shack with some friends for a good old boys’ weekend. Mum was glad to see me, since she’d just gotten a year older and all. We watched half of season two of Arrested Development together as she needed to catch up in order to see season 3, of course!

Mum also introduced me to the stray cat she’s taken aboard at least temporarily. A very cute young cat that had been hiding under the trailer in the front yard for a few weeks (no, not a caravan). She had named her “Lovey”. She has a microchip that we got the vet next door to scan (very convenient) and he’s going to find out who she belongs to. Mum wants to keep her and I don’t blame her. Cats rock. Even Salesi isn’t too bad around her, considering he’s never had any other cat to share his space with. Still, we’ll see.

Saturday:

I turned up late for work (again) and bummed around with palmy, whinging about how hot it was. Another lazy shift saw us return back to the flat and attempt to psyche ourselves up for going to Vortex later in the evening. Our bank accounts psyched us out, so we stayed in and got a takeaway and finished off the last of the vodka from Thursday night with (you guessed it) more white russians. It was a similar string of proceedings to those of Thursday night, except that we stood on the benches on the balcony for a while practising dance moves by the Hinoi team, to the Hinoi team.At some early morning hour we gave Heli and Krista a phone call because we were drunk enough to forget about the cost. palmy and I spent about an hour on webcam laughing as I sent the funniest/most offensive random pictures I could find from my 4chan folder across MSN. There’s nothing quite like hearing the satisfying cry of a man shrieking “what the fuck? That’s a cock!” in the background when you’re talking to people on the phone.

Sunday:

I woke up and started writing all of this as Heli demanded I have an update before 1pm. I just realised they’re an hour behind me so it makes sense that she’s not online yet at 1:23pm local time. I thought I was just getting a lucky break. Woohoo! Still, I would have preferred another hour of lying around doing nothing, as usual.Later on Kat is meant to be dropping round on her way back from wherever the hell she is down south. Speaking of down south, she had some interesting things to say on the phone earlier but there’s no need to mention anything here. Apparently a band is playing at the Sandringham tonight that another friend of ours from work is associated with (by going out with one of the members, I think), so we’ll probably check that out before netball at 8pm.

It’s weird having a day planned out like that. I’m certainly not used to it.

Triple.

Alright. I’ve put these all off for too long. Let’s get into it, then. There’s a lot to read about.

Saturday, 21st of January, 2006 – Michael Harris’ buck’s night.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this. I was invited along way back in late August/early September after I caught up with the man I affectionately called “Bongo” during high school for a delicious barbecue dinner. The plan (which was revealed to me approximately 4 days before the actual event) was:

  • participate in a manly session of paintball during the morning
  • clean up and drink beer at a barbecue in Turramurra
  • go to “prestigious” strip club Men’s Gallery
  • continue drinking at bars in the city

I waived the opportunity to attend the paintball and barbecue due to needing the money from work (and being too much of a wuss to weasel my way out of the shift) and went home to change clothes while everyone else was in Turramurra. Having never been to any exotic dancing establishment before that anyone would remotely consider describing “clean” I thought I might gussy myself up as an attempt to make myself appear presentable. It turned out that a collared shirt and non-ripped jeans made me look overdressed.

When I arrived outside the club I was met by my old friend Vincent. He was patiently holding vigil while I walked from the bus stop at the QVB. Following him inside I was slapped by a $50 entrance fee – a sum I was prepared for as I was under the impression we had our own function room hired with some pre-arranged food and drinks. In reality, our function room was a table towards the front with a small “reserved” sign dropped on top of it; the drinks were $7.50 for a bottle of VB and $9 for Toohey’s Extra Dry and the food was four plates of party pies.

Fortunately, half of the group decided to take dear old Bongo into a private show for the pre-9pm price of $65. This provided me with a golden opportunity to achieve my $50 of value from the club by devouring as many party pies as I could before anyone else got back to eat them. I think I got through about $20 worth. Not too bad.

We were inside the place from 8:30pm right up to 11:45pm. It doesn’t sound like long, but when you’re sitting in a room (literally one room, check out the photo on the site) full of silent men (almost none of which you know, let alone speak to often) doing nothing apart from drinking, hiding their erections and waving fake “dancer dollars” around in order to fool themselves that they’re actually appealing individuals it feels like an eternity. Especially when you’re sober, hanging out for your pay cheque that doesn’t arrive for another week and sober since the drinks are ludicrously priced.

Value was added to my experience, thankfully, when Vinnie bought me a scotch and coke and a decent cigar. I’m an easy man to please. Alright, it was fun looking at a bit of flesh, too. There were certainly some sexy women dancing but most of what I would describe as “talent” were just the regular waitresses. Oh well.

After we finally left no one knew what to do next. Everyone was stone cold sober and almost out of pocket due to the cash they’d been throwing around willy nilly. I was strapped and I’d only spent the $50 on entry. All I wanted to do was drink and forget that it had all happened. Instead, everyone bitched and moaned about where to go and we ended up sitting outside Bar 333 for 40 minutes trying to get in, only to fail due to our group constituting what is known as a “sausage fest”. This meant that we had to jump onto the back of a large group of girls that randomly turned up in order to preserve the hallowed 1:1 male/female balance inside the club.

Inside was boring. Boring and expensive. Expensive to the tune of $8 shots. I bought one in desperation and fortunately scored a glass of champagne after someone ordered some for a toast. No one spoke inside the bar, either. I was having so much fun I almost sunk to the new low of going up to unaccompanied girls and starting a conversation in order to escape the sheer and utter boredom of being there. I probably would have, if I was drunk. Instead of getting my mack on I politely (and honestly) told Harris that I was tired and broke and would be leaving. He didn’t seem to mind and neither did I.

As I began my hour long walk back to Newtown, I sussed out every pub and bar along the way to see if, for some unknown and unexpected reason, I should bother going inside on my own. Every single place looked unappealing for various reasons. Eventually I made it back to my flat and ended up falling asleep in my chair for 20 minutes while I maintained my boredom on IRC at 2:45am on a Saturday night.

This Saturday is the wedding. I still have to buy a wedding present.

Thursday, 26th of January, 2006 – Big Day Out.

This day started literally at the beginning of the day – midnight. On a whim, I’d swung by to pick up Benecke, Frank and Byrne from Byrne’s place in Hunter’s Hill after work. I was also driving Andrew as we alternate who drives to work. The lads wanted a lift into King street and were already mildly intoxicated from three bottles of cheap wine. Not one to spoil a party, I happily obliged.

We met up with Kate and Jibby at Kelly’s hotel and continued to drink until the lights were turned on and we were kicked out. Typically, we’d planned ahead and stashed a few empty pint and schooner glasses inside people’s jumpers and hand bags and succeeded in smuggling them outside. The only disappointment in this subterfuge was that our grand plan of concealing the cups inside empty Smith’s chips packets was foiled (pardon the pun) when a waitress decided she’d pick up our bag of glass. God knows why anyone would pick up a non-empty packet, but she did. Bitch.

After a brief encounter with the police outside the Town Hall hotel due to our gang bashing of Benecke which resulted in his shoes being thrown across the road after dumping him on a particularly uncomfortable looking bench, everyone went home. Andrew and I foolishly stayed up playing FIFA 2006 or some other game, I can’t remember. We didn’t get to bed until about 5am. I’m not sure why, really.

The latest dotmaen, RenoZuken, or Dylan, or Dilly Bag, or D-Train, or various other D names was due to arrive around 9am or thereabouts. He was on time. This meant that palmy and I had to get up, shower, purchase vodka hip flasks, purchase leukoplast tape, purchase sunscreen and make it onto the train bound for Strathfield in order to get to Homebush at 11:30am in time for the festival. We were on time. Everyone we were meant to meet there wasn’t.

Eventually we all got our tickets (thanks, nachos!) and pushed our way into the front of the queue to enter. This was a success. Another success was smuggling in the 11 standard drinks worth of vodka that we had purchased that managed to remain strapped to our legs under our shorts, courtesy of some tactical leukoplast wrapping. The failure came when we lost most of the hair on our upper legs when the time came to remove the tape. The moment of sadness was brief as palmy and I both finished the entire contents of our vodka bottles within 45 minutes. Most of the day after this (ie, practically all of it) was a blur. He’s a rundown of the key events that I can recall in another convenient list (I reserve right to have the events out of order due to the fact that I was off my tits):

  • dancing in the boiler room (this is where we drank our crunk juice)
  • running around drunk trying to get to the front of the mosh pit for Mudvayne
  • having my shoes nearly ripped apart halfway through Mudvayne’s set (which I was thoroughly enjoying, mainly due to the fact that the alcohol had made everything other than the beat of the music incoherent – perfect for moshing!)
  • going back to the boiler room to dance on my own for a bit since my shoes wouldn’t have survived re-entering the Mudvayne pit and no one else had left
  • waiting around the Wendy’s to try and find people and instead having 3 random people ask me to do them completely different small favours (all unfortunately non-sexual)
  • eventually having to hunt down who I was looking for at the other end of the showgrounds
  • trying to keep palmy alive after he almost passed out from jumping around too much at Mudvayne
  • getting 2 beers at a time from the Toohey’s Extra Dry tent
  • standing around the outside of the green stage for 30 minutes during Sarah Blasko’s set waiting for Jibby to find me whilst I drank both my beers and spoke to a lady about her camera
  • getting more beer at the Extra Dry tent and finding that a chicken burger had revitalised palmy
  • going off to see the Kings of Leon and scoring a dubious cigarette
  • squirting sunscreen over half of the crowd and getting away with it, bar the fact that a security guard held a hose on me for 20 seconds (this may have been during a different band, I can’t remember)
  • running off to catch the last part of Henry Rollins’ spoken word at the green stage and being upset that I didn’t get to see Soulwax
  • going back inside the main arena and queuing up for Franz Ferdinand while they were already playing then being at the front of the line to get into the mosh pit for what would have been the White Stripes (Iggy was playing on the other side)
  • leaving the queue in boredom only to return again and push up to the front of the non-moshpit crowd for Iggy and the Stooges
  • going back outside and falling asleep for an hour, missing the White Stripes
  • blindly following palmy’s green shirt towards the boiler room through the crowd in the dark after being awoken
  • dancing topless inside the boiler room until the place closed down
  • having my shoes finally ripped completely apart whilst boarding the train :(

When I say it like that it sounds like I didn’t really do much. It felt like a lot at the time. I’m sure more things happened, I just can’t remember but I suppose I was rather out of my head, so I can live with that. After we got back to Newtown we returned to Kelly’s and stole another 3 pint glasses then stayed up for a few more hours in the flat.

By the time I went to bed, I’d already turned 23. It was a very happy Australia day.

Saturday, 28th of January, 2006 – palmy’s housewarming.

Originally, palmy wanted to have his housewarming the very first weekend that he moved in. I told him no. Instead, we had it this night.

Both of us had work that day (I always work Saturdays) during the morning and early afternoon, so I frantically began cleaning up after we got back to the flat (virtually a solo effort, naturally). I can’t be bothered listing all the names of the people that came, but there were a considerable amount.

I suppose I may have still had a lot of alcohol sitting in my system from Thursday. Either way, I managed to deceptively get myself very drunk off white russians (what else?) or perhaps it was from the beer I sculled with some others from our newly-acquired pint glasses. Fortunately I didn’t get so drunk that I became sick. Just the way I like it.

Basically it was just a fun party with the odd highlight here and there. Some to do with me, some without. I’m not going to spoil the fun and fess up to my antics – that’s what everyone else can gossip about ;). Instead, I’ll mention that Simba somehow broke my computer chair in the most amazing way I have ever seen. He ripped the handles clean off as if they were cut with a laser. I was so impressed I wasn’t at all annoyed. I suppose it helped a little that he handed me $50 out of guilt, too. Nothing else was broken, no one fell off the balcony, no one threw up in our bathroom (I think people threw up in Joel’s next door) and palmy finally got to fully christen his new bed.

In the morning, after everyone else had left, Ross drove me to McDonald’s for breakfast. During our meal we challenged each other to take our shirts off and continue eating. We sat there quietly, topless, chewing away when a young man walked in from outside and gained our attention by calling to us. We turned to face him only to find that he, too, had removed his shirt and joined in on our fun. He then proceeded to offer us both ice and coke. Unsure of how to react to any aspect of this situation, we smugly said, “no, thanks”, before returning to our food. To apply a little icing to our stupidity of eating in Mickey D’s shirtless, I returned to the counter and ordered some hotcakes for Ross and I to share (I’d had a craving for weeks; I think I’m pregnant).

As we left I decided to test out the local drug dealer and asked him if he really had any ice and coke. He held up his drink cup and let me have a sip of his ice and coke. Ironically, the ingredients in Coca-Cola’s post mix are probably more brain-damaging than most other illicit substances. I smiled as I drank because thinking of this made me feel like a hard man.

It took me two days to summon up the energy to clean the apartment. We still haven’t taken the trash out.

End of stories!

What a long entry! I wouldn’t have bothered reading it all.

P.S. we killed the biggest, meanest, toughest fucking wolf spider of all time tonight. Eventually. It only took half a can of Pea Beu, one dozen splats with a floor swiffer, eight twists and grinds with aforementioned swiffer and a lot of courage and patience to finally kill the bastard. We dropped him off the balcony.

P.P.S. I’d like to mention that I’m no hater. I don’t mind insects as long as they stay outside. They’re only fair game for murder when they come inside. This is my territory, after all.

Random.

That’s how I would describe last night.

What I thought would be a quiet public holiday evening watching a low quality rip of the latest Harry Potter film turned out to be a loud public holiday evening watching a low quality rip of the latest Harry Potter film.

That’s right. came around. We ended up finishing off all of my beer, vodka, whiskey, half a bottle of merlot and he went through quite a few cigarettes. On any other night that would have been filed as “success”. Last night turned out a little different when our newest neighbour stuck his head over the balcony and greeted us. We ended up drinking and smoking even more then checked out his apartment and ate plenty of crappy leftover junk food that everyone seems to have in store come Christmas. I ended up passing out completely out of my head around 4am or so.

My alarm clock was palmy’s excited shrieks to the cricket at 11am. We took a trip to the dirty bird (KFC) for breakfast/lunch and now we’re putting off going to work. Well, I am.

Living with him is going to be interesting.

Tea.

Behold a different icon for once!

I’m drinking what I think is my first Earl Grey. With milk. No sugar. Is that protocol?

Tea isn’t my thing, really. I’ve never really been into drinking it. Sometimes I have odd cravings/curiosities about it, like today, so I drink a cup. I have to use coffee mugs as I have no teacups in my cupboards.

My highlight for today is that I don’t have to go to court tomorrow due to there being a guilty plea. The lady on the phone said I may need to still do something next Tuesday, but that’s alright. Whatever.

My highlight for yesterday is that the man from Mantech contacted me with a new job at the Australian Stock Exchange. It’s some kind of helpdesk position but it is 24/7 with weekend shifts, too. It could be real hard work but really fun, or at least interesting. “Mantech Mike”, as I like to call him, will take care of it for me, he said. Hurrah!

It’s started to disturb me that it seems 90% of the listed IT jobs are based in North Sydney. What’s the deal with that? I wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t such a bitch to get there from Newtown. If I get this ASX job it’s irrelevant, I know, seeing as it’s on Bridge street and all. Still, there’s clearly some conspiracy going on. I’ll crack it one day. When I care.

Tonight I’m meant to be going to a 20th at the Lowenbrau. I feel so old. Last weekend I went to a 21st so everything’s going backwards. Perhaps the world is letting me catch up for lost time. Or fate or destiny or some other guiding hand. Maybe it’s just because I have more younger friends these days. That could be it. Good thinking, old man Ollie.

The Electric Lady website is trickling along on the wheels of progression. I’ve been teaching myself PHP as I go. Most of what I’m doing is very basic but I suppose if you’re teaching yourself that’s how you start out. Jolly good.

I’ve just noticed I seem to have a weird habit of finishing my inane story paragraphs (ie, all of them) with some short sentence that almost looks like I’m talking to myself, or checking off each statement as I go. I don’t know if this revelation is important or not, even indicative. I don’t really enjoy reading over what I’ve written while I show this particular tendency, so I’m going to make a conscious effort to stop. Unless, of course, I realise that I have no other way to neatly finish off each paragraph.

See, that last one just feels like it’s hanging. I need my “full stop statement”.

Even that one seems cut off. Argh, this will be a challenge!

Just to show I’m not all class with my fancy pants Earl Grey, yesterday I finished off my last can of KB for lunch with some sickening Maggi noodles. I even whacked in a wee bit of sesame oil and soy sauce when I cookd them but I think the flavour sachet is what kills me every time. I’m going to throw the rest out if I can summon the courage/energy. I suppose I really should confess one more thing: I drank the KB out of a beer glass. Yes, I poured it out. That probably makes the whole event a little classier, unless it’s considered as a tacky action, seeing as it’s only KB.

I’m scared. I think my RSI-afflicted arms are going to haunt me forever. Pain is bad. :'( It hurts to use computers. How ironic. I think it’s irony. Let’s pretend.

By the way (I know none of you care, but I’ll mention it anyway), I made a last.fm account for myself. I left TISM playing overnight just to be stupid. I wanted to pump up their presence on the site. What a dedicated fan I am.

NIN.

Saw Nine Inch Nails tonight at the Hordern with and Tommy/orchard. I thought it was tops. Trent played most of his old hits and the “people’s favourites”. I was most impressed. There was no encore, but there weren’t any popular songs left to play in an encore anyway, so no one seemed to look disappointed.

The warm up/support band was fucking horrendous. As fucking usual. What’s with support acts being completely shithouse? The only time I’ve seen support acts I like was when The Drugs played before TISM (but the act before them was bad) and when the Spazzys and Butterfingers (but the Spazzys were better) played before Machine Gun Fellatio. Every other concert I’ve been to has had not only forgettable, but painful support acts. These pricks tonight didn’t even say hello or goodbye. They didn’t say who they were either. I don’t think anyone even knew who they were, let alone care.

Afterwards we walked back to the flat by foot, after wandering around Moore Park trying to decide whether to bus or taxi our way back. Now my feet are sore after about 90 minutes worth of walking. At least we didn’t get the bus back. On the way there I got abused by some shit-eating bus driver for only having a $10 note to pay for my fare. I already felt bad because I know they find it irritating (which I think is pretty lame that they do, but I tried to play along like a good commuter). I even dug out 60 cents in change for the $1.60 fare, so that it was nice and rounded out for him. My efforts were in vain as he gave me a death stare while I apologised for not having anything smaller. “That’s what they all say,” he said. He went on to tell me I should have prepared earlier and had smaller change available. I told him I didn’t have time to go and get change because I was in a hurry, since I had a bus to catch and all. What a fucker. Scott noticed he didn’t have his license/registration displayed in the appropriate slot either, so I was tempted to make a complaint and nail the bastard well and good, but I can’t be stuffed.

Huw’s having his buck’s night tomorrow. I’m going to meet up with them after work. I’ll probably only be able to make it to have a beer or two and watch the rugby and then hit some karaoke den for a bit of vocal chord action. I’m scared.

Word.

I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but I deliberately only use 1 word in my subjects for each entry. Only a couple of early entries defy this format. Fascinating.

I’ve been out at a Winesoc dinner and I’ve decided to write something. I think that (like most people) I open up more under the influence of alcohol and speak about more interesting things. Unfortunately there’s also the trade off of being lazier, so it doesn’t guarantee that I’ll actually say anything more in-depth or interesting that the usual boring bullshit I usually post.

So, what can I reveal to all of the 2 or so people that actually take interest in what I write here that is somewhat ground-breaking? Well, let’s see… There’s plenty of things I could say, but they’d probably be incriminating and come back to ruin my life within a few years. Fortunately I’ve always been self-aware enough to know when to hold back, even under the influence of alcohol. ;) Don’t worry, it’s nothing illegal.

I met a gamer tonight, one that I actually know/have played against/remember. That was pretty cool. I told him we should meet up during semester and drink a few beers and the like. He seemed genuinely interested and that’s enough for me. Did you notice I’ve changed tangent? Yes, I open up but still not too much. It’s more fun being a prick tease. Oh yes.

I hope all my effort at typing is paying off. It’s hard to hit the right keys, even with my awe-inspiring touch typing skills. Being a good typist makes me feel like a big man. I remember it always used to impress people whenever they saw me typing on computers at school and elsewhere. It’s like an extended e-penis but without the e… Although, it had something else instead of the e, so it wasn’t just an extended penis. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Geez. I’m starting to get dizzy and tired. I have to be up at like 7:30 am. That’s only 5 hours away. I wanted to bum a cigarette off Chandler tonight, so I could have a cigarette with coffee tomorrow afternoon. I’ve heard quite a few times that those two drugs seem to go well together, even though I can’t imagine it. I forgot to steal a dart though, so it’ll just have to be coffee on its own, unless I burn some paper and inhale the fumes from that. Somehow I don’t think it’ll carry the same effect.

I spent $40 on taxis tonight. Donated a bottle of Wolf Blass wine to my table and spent about $15 on drinks, plus another $10 on food. $65 for a night out, plus the $30 on the dinner. $95. I really shouldn’t have bothered going to North Sydney. That’s where $60 went of my night. What a pisser. I had Oportos. It was typical of Oportos, ie: bland. At least I shared my chips with some Macedonian guy called Bogdan who swore he’d had a foursome with 3 other girls (due to him being a guitarist in a band and having shoulder-length curly hair) in a gay bar. I have to admit, I ‘m jealous. I’ve never picked up in a gay bar (although I’ve come close, believe it or not), let alone scored a mini orgy with 3 other women. It’s almost offensive that a nerdy guy called Bogdan can, I have to admit. He was nice enough, though. I shared my Oportos chips with him, because I’m sweet.

Anyway, I’m falling asleep here in my chair, so I may as well at least doze off in the bed that I slept in until 12pm this afternoon. Good night, freaks.

ARGH.

Still no net. Hi home.

I need to find out Dad’s special rent account number so I can deposit all of my cash and be poor again. :<

Larry the exetel man says to try a few more things tonight and see what happens, if that doesn’t work he’ll lodge an ADSL fault complaint with Telstra for me, or some crap. God knows.

Stupid ISP only having office hours open during business hours. It’s not fucking good for either me or Scott as we both work outside of and through exetel’s business hours, so there’s only 1 or 2 days a week where we’re home to go through all their bullshit.

I bet the pricks bill me for the first month, too. Real fair. Especially when Larry himself (hallowed-be-thy-name) admitted he wasn’t even sure what the problem was. Hopefully I can fix it tonight, otherwise what’s another few days.

It’s just the convenience of the net that I’m missing. Having to drive home to do netbanking and check my email etc is pretty annoying. I can do most of the basic things at netcafes easily enough, but no fucking way am I doing any actual monetary transactions or banking from one of those places.

So what else have I been doing, then? Hmm.

Well, Scott and I have been checking out a few restaurants up King street, most are alright, bar Guzzle Tandoori opposite us. Totally shit. Lou’s been coming along now and then too. This week I’m gonna try and starve myself a bit because I feel like I’m overeating again and I want to lose some more weight. If that doesn’t work or I can’t handle it I’ll fire up the kick-start diet again and try that out. Yeah, just in time for Christmas. That’s ok though, I don’t really like Christmas food much.

Speaking of food, I think I’m going to Kylie Kwong’s (Kwan? Kwon?) restaurant with Lou and her parents next week… I think. It’s either tomorrow or next week. Hrm. That’s Asian-y food anyway, and if it’s Chinese I don’t particulary get off too much on that either. Still, I’m sure it’ll be fun.

Saw Garden State with Lou last week, very good and enjoyable and it didn’t feel Hollywood-bastardised, which is refreshing for an American movie. Much like all my Troma videos that I’m still ploughing through. I think I’m starting to convert Scott to both TISM and Troma. Look out. He seemed to enjoy the 10 year old TISM video I converted to DVD about some of their exploits. Jolly good.

Last weekend was the Christmas party for where I work. We went to the same place again: Harold Park Paceway (gotta love the trots). The food was alright, very RSL/bistro-y. I didn’t eat any of the seafood, of course. The beer seemed to be watered down but at least it was free. My costume (a “Christmas present”, ie a cardbox box with shoulder straps made of tinsel and wrapped in wrapping paper) fell apart when the wind blew the paper straight off it, so I ditched it. I couldn’t be fucked carrying it from Newtown to Glebe or wherever the Paceway is, I walked 35 minutes to get there.

After the party I decided to go to Newtown, instead of Oxford street where some of my other colleagues went. It turned out another girl I knew from work was hitting up a pub on King street so I met up there with her and more work people I’d never spoken to before. It went well enough. I then had to escort a girl called Alecia around the back streets of Newtown to find the Imperial where some more “upstairs” people from work were hanging around. No one stayed there long though as it was getting a bit late and no one was drinking enough to keep it going. I managed to fluke my way through the back streets and found my apartment really easily. Go me.

On Sunday, Deny came around to pick up his paintings and mum and dad came round to check up on things and help me with a few handyman style jobs. Scott and I were rather amused that orphic never bothered calling or dropping in. I’m sure she’ll have a good excuse. hehe.

As for work, well, I’m simply working too hard (as usual, of course) and I’m getting my RSI symptoms back again. I can only type for a little while before it starts to burn, but I have other odd jobs to keep me going for my 3 ten hour shifts a week. Good times, yes.

Hopefully I’ll be able to work my way in to the IT department after Christmas. Hopefully. We’ll see what happens.

Anyway I suppose I’ll get a wriggle on and get back to the flat. Oh maybe I’ll pay dad first and bust my bank account. Medicare still haven’t paid him his money for about the 6th time this year… Yes, Medicare owes my dad $30k from this year, and still haven’t paid up. They keep saying the forms he submitted must have been lost by Australia Post. Unfortunately for them he’s always delivered them by hand to Medicare’s office drop boxes. Bad luck on the excuses, you pricks.

So, that’s why he wants my money, now. :S

Whee.

Oh yeah, getting up at 5am for work fucking smokes it.