Sunday, November 30, 2003

California Dreamin'

Well, we made it in to LA OK, and I have to say that LAX is the most horrible airport around! Very hospital-like, with low ceilings, stainless steel and those yucky spotted concrete floors. And American immigration/customs is pretty full on - we had to fill out a form on the plane declaring that we had not been involved in any terrorist activities, engaged in any activities of moral turpitude, or been involved in the Nazi movement between 1933 and 1946. Almost answered yes to that one just to see what kinda reaction I'd get, but I've been told the immigration folks don't have much of a sense of humour!!

We arrived pretty wrecked, at 6 in the morning, and managed to negotiate the extremely poor public transport system to our hostel in Hollywood. Didn't do much after that - pretty much crashed in the afternoon, and watched a movie in the lounge room at the hostel last night. It's a tres cool hostel, although there are a few too many Aussies here!

Headed out to Disneyland today - American commercialism at its absolute sparkling best. I've never seen so many people crammed into one spot before. Thanks to a great tip from Graham, we managed to jump a few queues for rides by getting "fast passes", but we still ended up lining up for 1.5 hours for Splash Mountain (well worth it though!!) Tamara and Daniel are keen to head out to Six Flags Magic Mountain for a bit more serious rollercoaster action - we'll see how that goes - not sure how my stomach will cope!!

Friday, November 28, 2003

Leaving on a Jet Plane

What an auspicious start to our holiday - Tamara and I are in Sydney airport at the moment, after a midnight horror flight from Perth... we arrived at around 6.30am, and waved Daniel off on a plane to Auckland (yuck, where's the sense in flying to LA via *Auckland*??) and were wondering how to pass the time... and Tamara mentioned that she had a couple of guest passes to the Qantas club lounge. Only hitch was that we couldn't get into the lounge without being attached to a member, and unfortunately, we didn't bring any members with us. So, we staked out the escalators leading up to the lounge, and we propositioned the first two guys we saw heading up to the lounge, who were more than happy to escort us in to the FIRST CLASS LOUNGE and have a couple of drinks with us!! Score, huh!! They've headed off now - to Chile, of all places, on a business trip - and Tamara and I have feasted on danishes and muffins, drunk to our hearts' content, and even had a SHOWER to freshen up (soooo lush!!). So I'm feeling much more prepared for the 14 hour flight to LA now... though the chances of getting any sleep are undoubtedly slim. We'll arrive at 6am (how bizarre - earlier than we arrived in Sydney!!), meet up with Daniel at LAX (he gets in an hour after us) and I guess wander the streets of LA for a while, soaking up that atmosphere!!

Anyways, I think our plane is boarding shortly...better stop hogging this computer (FREE internet access in the lounge - good stuff!!!)

Friday, November 21, 2003

The Final Countdown!

It's my final day at my current job today...can't believe the last 9 months has zipped past so quickly!! It's been a little strange, as I've known from the word go that my secondment to this agency was always just that, and I wouldn't have to deal with the consequences of my work efforts (or lack thereof) into the indefinite future...except, of course, that I'll be dealing with this agency as a client when I'm back at my permanent job. (Which won't be until January - yippeeee!!! Here I come, LA, Canada, Hawaii!!!)

It's kind of a weird feeling, knowing that you're leaving a job for sort of reminds you of how replaceable you are, that things will just roll on as usual once you've gone, without anyone really noticing that you're not there anymore...makes you feel a little insignificant, really. But then, on the bright side, once I'm out of here I won't have to deal with Einstein's witty repartee every more insightful comments like "you're the teaspoon of sugar that sweetens my soul" more hearing how him and the Real Einstein have a lot in common, as they have the same IQ... Thank You God!!

Bring on the farewell lunch & drinks :)

Thursday, November 20, 2003


I subscribe to an email service called A-Word-A-Day, which is kinda cool...each week has a new theme, and you receive a daily email giving a usually obscure word, its origin, and examples of how it has been used in modern day parlance. Sounds a bit daggy, I know, but I've found it really interesting (though most of the "new" words haven't made it into my vocabulary!). One of the few bizarre words that I do remember is "mondegreen":

mondegreen (MON-di-green) noun

A word or phrase resulting from mishearing a word or phrase.

[Coined by American author Sylvia Wright from the line "laid him on the
green," interpreted as "Lady Mondegreen," in the Scottish ballad "The Bonny
Earl of Murray."]

There's a website dedicated to mondegreens related to songs - we've all done it, been convinced we knew the words to a song, and found out after singing it wrong for years what the true lyrics are!! Like that Toto song "Africa" for me - I always thought the line was "Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like a lepress [like a female leper - don't ask???] above the serengeti" - and it's actually "rises like OLYMPUS" - how bout that!!

Each A-Word-A-Day email also gives a quote from a famous person or a proverb, and I've compiled a few of the ones that I thought had something to them:

You are never too old to be what you might have been
- George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), novelist (1819-1880)

Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations
- Leo Buscaglia, author, speaker and professor (1924-1998)

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a
listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of
which have the potential to turn a life around

- Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)

We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones
- Francois de La Rochefoucauld, writer (1613-1680)

The great tragedy of science -- the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an
ugly fact

- Thomas Huxley, biologist and writer (1825-1895)

For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, "It might have

- John Greenleaf Whittier, poet (1807-1892)

The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the
greatest virtues

- Rene Descartes, philosopher and mathematician (1596-1650)

The tears of strangers are only water
- Russian proverb

Hmm, enough deep thoughts for one day, I think!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Sa-a-a-d Movies (make me cry)

My expectations were not high. I mean, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" as a title would hardly lead you to anticipate a brilliant, witty, thought-provoking or intelligent film. But even I didn't expect the movie to be quite so bad. It was quite possibly THE WORST movie I have EVER seen (yes, makes Gattaca look like an Oscar winner). I'm just glad that it was a freebie and I didn't waste $13.50 to go see it.

Let me summarise the plot for you:

1. Set in the 70s. Group of 5 dope smokers driving in van back from Mexico. They stop to pick up freaked-out girl who loses the plot when they drive the wrong way, towards a small Texan town, and blows her brains out in the back of their van.

2. Group of 5 drive into town to try to find the sheriff and get rid of freaked-out girl's body. Psycho family consisting of psycho sheriff, psycho freak with a skin disease, psycho old guy with no legs, psycho woman who runs the local store, psycho mother with a baby and psycho little boy proceed to kill each of the 5 one by one and psycho with skin disease adds them to his collection of various body parts kept in his basement (he was tormented growing up, which justifies dismembering any random strangers he happens to come across).

The End.

There was nothing remotely funny, entertaining, scary or the slightest bit interesting about this movie. Just a lot of psycho freak running around revving a chainsaw. DO NOT GO TO SEE IT.

[If only I'd looked at first - 34% fresh - "A splatterfest remake that relentlessly assaults the senses and mind with no discernable redeeming social value." -- Lou Lumenick, NEW YORK POST]

Monday, November 17, 2003

Baby, Baby!

Wow, what a fantastic weekend I just had! Started off well with a lazy Friday night, pizza and a video with Allen - we watched "The Secretary" - a rather unconventional love story with a bit of S&M thrown in - definitely not your typical Hollywood romance... I really liked its originality, and I think I enjoyed it on the whole. (Thanks for the recommendation, Dave!) Just don't watch it with your parents ;)

Saturday, I caught up with a few friends from school for a farewell lunch for Marijana, who heads to Melbourne this Thursday, to live there indefinitely... had a good girls' goss session, and followed up lunch with Baskin Robbins icecream - yummo!

Yesterday was another beautiful sunny day... played a bit of tennis in the morning, and had lunch with a work colleague (aka Einstein) at the Boat Shed in South Perth. Lovely venue, weather was perfect and the food was delicious (if a little overpriced). Conversation was bearable ;) Then caught up with a couple of uni friends at Clancy's Fish Pub in Subi - Jo-Ann and Justin are heading off to work at the Ombudsman's Office in Port Moresby, PNG, on a 2 year contract. What a huge call - such a big lifestyle change from Perth! Jo-Ann was saying that Port Moresby isn't the safest place to be these days - you wouldn't want to be wandering the streets on your own. Good on you guys for going, it'll be an experience!

Sunday night... Went for dinner with sis, bro-in-law and friend at the Orient, on Scarborough Beach Rd in Mt Hawthorn - absolutely delicious Thai food, prolly the best I've eaten. Definitely beats Royal Thai on Oxford St - and Bennie, FYI, Thai food is so NOT poor man's Chinese. Mmmmm mm. After dinner we wandered down to the Paddington Ale House to see Tex Perkins (of The Cruel Sea fame) perform live, and ohmigod, what a HUNK OF SPUNK!!! Somehow we managed to score a table front and centre, RIGHT in front of the man himself. And things just got better - about halfway through the show, he decided to get a little bit closer, and climbed ONTO our table and sang "I Know Y'Know I Know" standing on our table!! Only problem was we were a bit worried the table would collapse - he was getting pretty into the song, and we had to rescue our drinks to stop them sliding off the table altogether. And then he lay down on the table, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, so that our faces were about 6 inches apart, and sang TO ME. And touched my face when he finished the song. Whooooooaaa, good thing I was sitting down, or my knees would have collapsed!! Unbelievable!!!

Still got a goofy grin on my face :)

Friday, November 14, 2003

Horror Movie (right there on my TV...)

OK, well maybe not a horror movie, but pretty close... the plague of the 21st century, yep, you guessed it, reality TV. For the most part I've managed to resist the fly-on-the-wall lure of shows like Big Brother, Survivor and The Mole, preferring to stick mainly to the good ol' stock standard classic soapies, like the Bold and the Beautiful, Neighbours and, looking more and more like a soap now, the Bill.

However, recently I've been dabbling my toes a bit in the dreaded reality TV genre... I'm ashamed to say I watched the entire series of the Bachelor III (thank God that Andrew chose Jen - I couldn't believe that bitchy, backstabbing, catty Kirsten made it through to the final round!! Boo, hiss!!) and I've been watching Australian Idol too (though I very nearly threw in the towel when Paulini was kicked off - what a travesty!!). I must say that the show really needs to shop around for its hosts a little more carefully next time - Andrew G and James Mathieson drive me around the twist every time they open their bloody stupid mouths. "Don't forget, Austrayyyya, if you wanna see YOUR favourite back here next week, you've JUST GOTTA VOTE". And don't get me started on the Monday night episode where Cosima pulled out. But despite my whingeing, I know I'll be watching the final showdown to see Guy win the title...

Anyways, I just came across an article in the UK paper the Sun, describing a new reality TV series that has been filmed, but there is a bit of controversy about whether it should actually be aired, with some of the contestants taking legal action to prevent its screening...the name of the proposed show is There's Something About Miriam, and the twist is that unbeknownst to the male suitors/contestants, the woman they are wooing is actually a "shemale"... Hilarious stuff!!! (especially when the contestants include a "champion kickboxer" and a "crack Commando"!!!)

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Foolish Games

If you're suffering from a little tedium at work (or looking for a general time-waster...) try one of these games links for a bit of relief:

Dark Alleyway - find yourself lured to the realm of the undead

Clay Kitties - strangely enjoyable

Yahoo games - of course, the classic Diamond Mine, and I also find Alchemy kinda cool...

The Man from DEFRA - cool text-based semi-role play game


Runaway Train

Do you ever wake up with a song that you haven't heard in donkey's running around in your head?? How on earth does that happen?? This morning, it was that great Soul Asylum song (the only one that I know of by them)... and I have no idea where it came from. Maybe I dreamed of it and forgot that it was in my dream?? I know that I haven't heard it in a looooong time. And I can't think of any associations that would have brought it to mind... I remember that it was released when I was back in Year 8, in the pre-CD days when I used to sit by the radio on Saturday nights so I could tape all those cool songs off the Top 40, except those stoopid DJs would always start talking before the song finished and you'd get their crappy comments invading the last few bars - grrr, Mike Hammond, you suck!!! Nyeh, anyways...

So this is my new Blog, making me an official entity floating around somewhere in the ether, one of the thousands of faceless nameless people who feel somewhat more self-important by posting their mundane/inane/random thoughts in the public domain. I'm quite proud of myself actually, despite being almost totally computer illiterate (none of that programming mumbo-jumbo for me!) I managed to get a "comments" function happening - hopefully it'll do the trick :) I'm a little disappointed that I can't post pics to this site, though...or have any "side" pages, just the blog...I guess you can't expect too much when you're freeloading!!