Tuesday, December 28, 2010

World Cup Diary - Part 7

I'm wearing a Oranje jacket. It's cut like a vintage MJ jacket. We take our seats and all around us are Brazilians, chanting songs in Portuguese and downing beers. As we look around the stadium, the drone of the vuvuzuelas is intense and the stadium is fill. I'd say it is the support is equally divided between Brazil and Holland.

It's great to see Robben and the Dutch team so close. The ground looks immaculate.

The anthems are sung, I put my hand to my heart as always when the anthem of my team is played. As the Brazilian anthem is sung, all around us the Brazilians sing along, hands to hearts. A cheer goes up when it finishes. The Brazilian fan closest to me rips off his shirt and starts dancing up and down, screaming at the top of his lungs. I wonder what he'll be like if they score a goal.

I don't have to wait too long as the Dutch defence is split apart and Robinho coolly sidefoots a goal through. The Brazilians around me erupt and I start to wonder if this will be a mauling... the Holland defence is makeshift as Ooijer has come in for this game. The cheers turn to outbursts of rage as the goal is disallowed because of offside. Later replays will show that it was a clear offside, but at the time it seemed like a harsh call.

It doesn't matter too much as minutes later, Melo puts a perfectly weighted through ball into the obliging gap between the center backs and Robinho cuts across the defender's blind side from the left and finishes calmly. Robinho is amazing to watch live. He's small in comparison to most of the players but even from the first whistle he just exudes so much confidence. He controls the ball so well and is able to hold onto it under immense pressure, his awareness is fantastic. Throughout the tournament, the skill of Robinho, Kaka, and Luis Fabiano has meant that Dunga has been able to play a very defensive team and get away with it, because teams cannot contain all three for an entire match.

As time goes by, the Dutch get a grasp on the game. My Brazilian friend has gone from ecstasy to the more usual location of a football fanatic - anxiety bordering on anguish bordering on frustration. He is constantly yellling, most of it in Portuguese but every now and then his friends have to apologise for him. I don't speak much Portuguese but it is quite clear that he is not saying very nice things. He's calling the referee a Japanese filhio de puta. When the ball gets near Robben, his yelling reaches another level. He cheers each time that Robben is clattered into, screaming at him to get up and I guess saying that he has nothing.

This Dutch team is getting back into it though. The keeper makes a great save from Kaka after a beautiful move which involves Robinho twisting and turning past three defenders in the tightest of spaces. Kuyt puts pressure and steals the ball from Maicon and tries to set up van Persie for a shot on goal. A foul on Robben leads to a free kick for the Netherlands. The free kick is taken, Julio Cesar come out to punch but the ball sails into the net. I notice a Dutch fan in front of me, a young kid with Dutch flags pinned to his hat. He has the tiniest celebration in the world at this goal.

From a corner kick, Kuyt flicks it on and Sneijder heads it in. He can't believe he has scored with his head. Now, Dutch fans seem to materialise from several places around me and have found their voice to celebrate.

Dunga and every Brazilian gets progressively more frustrated as the game goes on. There are challenges and dives flying in all the time, it feels like the Dutch are baiting Brazil or it could be the other way around. The difference is that this is the best game of football I have ever seen live, the control and movement of the players is amazing. They always seem to do the right thing with the ball and know that even the slightest mistake will get punished.

Van Bommel of course is the chief instigator and enforcer. Where he excels, Melo fails... as he commits a terrible challenge on Robben .... the difference is that van Bommel always gets away with it, but Melo is sent off. My Brazilian neighbour is incensed and leaps out of his seat and tries to jump the hoardings.... he is held back by security guards but thrashes at the fence in frustration. He returns to his seat, chastened but still raging.

Brazil have to change their tactics and Dunga brings on Nilmar. They push and push for the equaliser and do go close from several corners at the end of the game. The best chance probably falls to Huntelaar but he fails to put it away... it doesn't matter though as Holland hold on and win the game.

The joy on the faces of the Dutch is amazing, paired with the deep sorrow felt by the Brazilians. The Brazilian fans around me are disconsolate and trudge away.

For the Dutch, they can put behind them their terrible record against the Brazilians and have confidence that they can actually achieve it... they have beaten the best or second best team in the World.

As we leave Port Elizabeth and head back to Australia, I feel blessed to have had a great adventure following the team and World Cup in South Africa.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

World Cup Diary - Part 6

Sometimes it's the first step that seems the hardest. And then you realise that it might have been a mistake, and that each step is progressively harder. And so I have splurged on fantastic seats, Category 1, right on the halfway line, in line with the TV cameras. Every flight to PE is booked out. Not only that, but there are no seats on the connecting flights from PE to JHB to get us back in time for the flight back to Sydney. After investigating buses and trains it seems like we don't have a way to make it to this game.

Our saviour is the English receptionist. Her uncle is driving through PE on his way to his son's graduation from pilot school. She is able to organise us a lift with him and another backpacker tags along with us. His name is Karthik. He is not amused when we reference Karthik calling Karthik (a Bollywood movie that I thought was pretty good).

It's 5:30am as we wait in the dark for our lift to PE. I see a white hatchback and meet Uncle Bernard. We pile into the car and I find that he has brought a small dog along, who becomes my companion in the front seat for the journey.

Everything is going well as the four of us + one dog + suitcases in a small hatchback leave Cape Town just as dawn stretches across the sky. Bernard is polite as we chat through the usual introductions. After about an hour in, Uncle Bernie feels comfortable enough to start making some jokes. Before you know it, he's launching into anyone and everyone. It's the tour guide that is not in the books, even the quirky tour guides have nothing on this. Bernie says he is a soutpiel. His family is originally from Britain but settled in South Africa. Soutpiel in Afrikaans means salt dick, because he has one foot in South Africa and one foot in Britain... so his dick is dipped somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. Bernie gives his assessment of Aussies, based on his time growing up with them in South Africa. A bunch of arrogant womanising drunks who love to surf sums it up. He seems to have got this image from the film 'The Adventures of Barry McKenzie' and in his slang refers to Aussies as 'Bazzas'.

As we are going along, we notice a clunking sound in the car. Bernie doesn't know what is going on but assures us that his car has been serviced recently and he has had the oil changed as well. We keep going but the clunking gets more insistent so Bernie suggests we stop, let the car cool down, check the radiator and stretch our legs. We come to a rest stop and wait for ten minutes. As we set off again, the clunking noise comes back after a few minutes and then we hear a thud. I hope that we have just passed a bump on the road but as we pull over and trace back along our path, we see a steaming hot piece of the engine has fallen on the road. It looks like what I imagine a meteor would look like, dead black, oddly shaped and alien looking. We need to get help so Bernie goes to the farmhouse opposite the rest stop. The owner is willing to help so we push the car back along the road and into his driveway. Bernie tells us the owner is a typical Afrikaaner farmer, he must have been about 6'2" but massively built. Bernie says he'd probably eat us if it wasn't against the law. He also said he'd probably fuck your wife and then kick her out but that is neither here nor there.

Our helpful farmer gives us a lift into the nearest town. The nearest place we could possibly rent a car is Albertinia, almost the middle of nowhere. If we fail there, we will need to go to Mossel Bay. We get there in no time as the farmer has a massive green 4wd and blazes across the road at upwards of 140km/h. As a sign of his general disregard, as he leaves his own driveway his car monsters over a potted tree that got in his path and he just accelerates through without a glance back.

Albertinia is a sleepy town, not much to see here. We stop at the petrol station which seems to be the main hub of the town. We find out from the petrol station attendant, who also seems to be running the tourist information office, that there is a bed & breakfast that might be able to help us. We go there and meet a charming old couple that offer to give us their daughter's brand new car to rent. They seem really trusting, as they only ask us for a deposit as an afterthought. As we are getting things organised, Uncle Bernie spies their daughter. He describes in graphic detail his psychic determination that she would enjoy sex in a variety of athletic and limber positions. Unfortunately, it is time to leave... and we head on.

We've lost just over an hour on our car ride so Bernie is now pushing our new car for all its worth. We pass a few interesting sites along the way, a stretch of road that is marked by the sign 'Hijacking Zone'. Any smart hijacker would just move to another stretch of road though, wouldn't they? We lock our doors to be safe just in case they haven't gotten to that level of thinking.

As we sit at the traffic lights just past this zone, a beggar comes to our window asking us for money. He's selling vuvuzuelas and other trinkets. I'm studiously avoiding eye contact. Bernie rolls down the window so the puppy can growl and snarl at him, tells the man to get a proper job and then says he'd give 1,000 rand for the beggar's sister. We drive off again.

Somewhere along the car ride, Bernie tells us why he has recently moved away from Johannesburg, where he and his family had lived for over a decade. Bernie lived in a walled estate, a fancy townhouse. I don't know how he affords that doing his stated career of petrol station fit outs. One summer's night, Bernie and family have another family over for a few drinks. It's a warm night, so they leave their windows open, have a joint or two. They bid farewell to their friends around 10 and turn in to bed. Bernie is woken barely an hour later. Men climbed in through his son's window and asked him who else was in the house. His son leads them to Bernie. There are five men, all ex-military from Mozambique. They don't wear masks, they don't need any disguise. They are not on any database and can't be found. Bernie and son are made to lie on the floor and their hands and feet are tied. They ask Bernie for his safe, but he says he has none and they believe him. They go through the house methodically and take everything of value, plasma tv, jewellery, even the money from Bernie's wallet. One man is left behind to watch the family, and he menacingly loads and unloads his gun in front of their eyes. The sight and sound of bullets is chilling.

After 4 hours in the house, a man puts a pillow behind Bernie's head and puts the gun to it. Bernie prepares for the worst but the man leaves. After 4 hours in the house, the five men leave with all the valuables and Bernie's wife. Bernie and son do not move for the next fifteen minutes.

The wife comes back. They had just used her to get past the security guard at the front gate. The car is found the next day, abandoned not far from the house. The men are never caught.

This incident happened a year ago, and Bernie is in the process of moving his family away from Johannesburg. He says Joburg is run by the blacks, and they are aggressive and resentful towards the whites. They drive fast cars, spend big and there are some places that you definitely shouldn't go to. I ask if I could go there because I'm brown and he says I'd be gone within minutes. Bernie seems to think that South Africa is going to get a lot worse before it gets better and draws parallels with the decline of Zimbabwe.

We finally arrive in Port Elizabeth, an hour and a half before kick off. Bernie is adamant that he wants to get a beer. It's the only thing he's had to eat since picking us up. We pick up a beer and Bernie has a drink and drives on to the airport, where we leave our luggage. We then say our goodbyes and head off to catch a bus to the game.

Now onto the game ....

So long 2010

A selection of the things I enjoyed in 2010 were being mesmerised by Massive Attack on the steps of the Opera House, having beers in the sun and watching the Sydney Swans, my family looking after me while recovering from a knee reconstruction, partying it up in Singapore, having Johnny Walker Blue at the casino to celebrate Fitzy's graduation, winning the horn in craps, mascara cross-dressing cigars football soulja boy dancing American gossip and allegedly getting herbally jerballies at the Halloween party, catching the pointless monorail to work, Chelsea winning the double, Elmander's goal against Wolves, watching Fitzy win the game with a last second goal, a random trip to Goulburn involving drinking and shenanigans, chaton for Fox 8 ANTM, brunch with Gam, Bea, Artee, Susie or Fairina, and road tripping to Newcastle where I met a local who declared his undying love for me.

Above all, the highlight was taking part in the mobility parking scheme. My friend Fitzy tipped me off to it after he broke his leg falling down a slight hill. After I did my ACL, as soon as I could get on crutches I got to the RTA to pick up the form and then got it signed by my surgeon. It's an amazing feeling knowing that you can park anywhere without having to worry about paying for it. A 1P zone becomes unlimited. I used to just want to park in great parking spots and just sit there all day. Everything becomes so accessible.. instead of spending ages trying to find and pay for parking, life was a breeze. It turned my hour long commute by train to North Sydney into a 15 minute ride across the bridge to park right in front of the building. I realised it is a great privilege, a great power, and the temptation to abuse it was so strong. I still have the expired permit in my car... been meaning to return it when I get the chance. I used to feel bad sometimes towards the end of the 3 months, when I could walk pretty decently... so I would exacerbate my limp a little as I approached my car. Now, it seems those 3 months are a distant memory, they go by so fast... but at the time, I think I made sure that I used the privilege as much as I could.

To the 6 people that read this (7 if you include me) so long 2010... and on to the next one.

World Cup Diary - Part 5

Well rested, re-energised it is time for Cape Town. Will the World Cup finally have gripped some part of South Africa?

We stay in the Big Blue backpackers. It has some fantastic reviews on the website. The hostel is run by an alcoholic man. His face is weathered as if he has been out at sea for days, there are deep cracks in his face. Almost as deep as the flaws in his logic as he engages in one long monologue. At first, I think they are conversations. There is no pause, no let up. He talks about anything, in the space of a few seconds veering from how Japan's team draws its strength from its samurai past to how much he loves bourbon for breakfast. His voice is amazing, the kind of accent that belongs in a Victorian garden from the turn of the century. It is the kind of voice you imagine talking about the colonies in a simultaneously dismissive and quizzical tone.

The receptionist/bartender is a lovely Canadian who has come on a holiday and never left. She has deep brown eyes and brown curls and most of the day there are lonely backpackers loitering around the reception talking about mostly nothing with her. The other receptionist is a short English girl who has family in South Africa.

We venture out around the Green Point area and go to the pub to watch the Korea versus Uruguay game. Every tv is showing the rugby, South Africa absolutely pummeling some unfortunate team. We have to ask to get the tv turned onto the game. It's a fantastic match. Unfortunately South Korea let themselves down with some terrible defending for both Uruguay goals. It would have been amazing to see them go through. We all know Cha Du Ri was a better player for the opposition... some of his crosses still haven't landed. He tried hard though, and every team needs a comedy player.

We hear Long Street is the place to go and so we head to the Dubliner. The place is absolutely packed and beer is about $1 Aus. It feels like your duty to consume and take advantage of this amazing low price to compensate for the extravagant pricing of the stuff in Australia. It's USA vs Ghana and I desperately want USA to win. They have the finest team they have probably ever had, led by Landycakes and Dempsey. Americans are passionate about the game and are endearing in their use of terms like 'power strike to the upper 90', 'midfield stripe', and 'PK'. It would also be great for the rest of the world if America did win it, so they would start giving them some respect instead of patronising them... oh wait.

Patrick Demspey is a fine actor if you want to believe that. I've never watched the anatomy show, my only encounter with his acting skills was his quite ludicrous portrayal of an ordinary man. In this advertisement, his friends are shocked and puzzled by his sudden transformation into an attractive man. He winks without moving his eyelids and replies - Just for Men.

We christen Clint Dempsey 'the Doctor' in tribute to his sharing of a surname with McDreamy. As we drink beer after beer, a few Americans join our chants of 'Give it to the doctor' as America have chance after chance. The cheering for Ghana drowns out our chants and I am crushed as Ghana get an ill-deserved victory against the valiant doctor, who did everything in his power to haul the US through.

The rest of the night is just flashes. I remember the club being mostly packed with guys but somehow remember dancing with two beautiful girls. I remember losing my magic coat, the coat that has saved me through many a cold winter, with deep pockets filled with everything you could ever need. I remember getting a lift home to the hostel but somehow getting a lift further up, ending up in the hills near the university campus. Finally I remember catching a cab back somehow to the backpacker lodge.

The next day is when I made the decision to never drink again. After 10 years of drinking, it was all becoming too much. It was not fun to lose control, to lose memories of the night, to lose whole hours, to lose magic coats, to lose money and maybe friends. Not to mention the hangovers that lasted well into the next day, or that what I really enjoy on a night out is good conversation with some friends, instead of just relying on alcohol to create the fun and silliness for you.

It was all part of the life changing experience that was Cape Town.

Being hungover certainly wasn't the best way to experience shark diving. Going out onto slightly choppy water to be handed a wetsuit and then jump into shark infested water, where only a cage separates you from one of the deadliest beings out there. I am a big fan of sharks though, I think their overbite makes them seem quite charming and I always think that they could beat a lion if their surfaces were matched (sort of like how Federer and Nadal played on a half clay/half grass court). I will have to do it another day but Ray did seem to enjoy the shark dive.

I had been trying each day along with the usual ritual of Facebook and internet gambling on everything relating to the upcoming matches to squeeze in some time to try and buy tickets to the upcoming matches. Finally, I was able to buy tickets to the game in Port Elizabeth between Brazil and Holland, the first quarterfinal of the World Cup. The game was to be played on the day before our flight out of South Africa....

World Cup Diary - Part 4

The day of the final group game, and we make the one and a half trip to the stadium. It is a late kick off and the stadium looks beautiful, I can recognise now that the structures around the stadium look like giant giraffes.

The crowd is about 80% Australian and 10% Serbian and the rest are made up of the Bafana Bafana. The Serbians are relatively subdued compared to the Ghanains from the previous game. I think the Serbian crowd has the highest disparity of attractiveness between the sexes.

We take our seats and are next to an Asian Australian. A true rarity in this part of the world. The crowd is nervous and I have huge chills down my spine as I raise my scarf in the air and join the crowd in singing the national anthem.

The game starts and it is frantic. Krasic falls over dramatically and his reaction provokes the crowd. From then on, each time this Swayze doppleganger touches the ball, a deep reverberating boo comes from the crowd. I tense as this Shane Watson lookalike is through on goal and knocks it to the right around the goalkeeper. Why is it that so many people look like Shane Watson but they don't look like each other? There is no offside flag and no covering defender, just an empty net. I laugh as he puts the shot into the side netting. I've never seen a sportsman be influenced so much by the crowd's reaction. He sees so much of the ball in the first half but it is comical how little he does with it. Eventually he is moved infield by the coach so that he can't hear the crowd, and is the first player substituted by Serbia in the second half.

We're lucky to end half time at 0-0, and look more positive in the second half. Maybe it's that we are playing with 11 men, or that it has always been our game plan to just wear the opposition out.

It's amazing to see Tim Cahill live. He leaps so high it's like he is on another planet, he can just hang up there. He scores and ever so slightly you start to think that it could happen. Then, it happens. At any level of football, from the park to the A-league (not a big leap), the casual fan is always screaming for a player coming through on goal to just shoot it. Usually the player just passes it around and the move fizzles out. This time, Holman does shoot and skids through past the keeper into the bottom left corner. The stadium goes mental and I'm hugging everyone in sight. I lose my voice screaming and we can start to believe. Just one more goal and we will be through. The whole crowd it seems is willing the team on. It almost seems like a formality now, the goal is going to come. It feels like we have resisted everything Serbia threw at us and now we just need to knock them out.

I remember what happened for the Bafana Bafana, in a similar position, getting the sucker punch from an unmotivated, barely there French team. I try to put that thought out of my head. But then it does happen to us, Serbia get the goal out of nowhere. We try to summon up the hope again. The Serbians are going crazy on the sidelines. Only later do I realise that they want to score again to avoid finishing last again. It is too much for Australia to come back from this. We all stay back to applaud the players, who allowed us to believe for a moment that the impossible could happen. A win is still fantastic and the team has done well to come back from the thrashing against Germany in the first game.

We leave Komatipoort the next day, giving a lift to an American who has gone even further into disguise than the usual Canadian flag. This American wears an Ivory Coast jersey and does not speak much and when he does so, it's soft spoken and polite. We take the quiet American to Nelspruit and motor on down to Cape Town....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

4 years boils down to...

We learn a lot at work and I guess some of the times you remember are those that make you laugh. Names are changed to protect the guilty.

d (when girls chat to him): Do you know who Cerpin Taxt is? He was in a coma for 10 years. Once he got out of the coma, he killed himself.

g (chats to girls): I'm a support employee at Ipsos. I provide the desks and the mice for everyone.
rg: Mice doesn't sound right, for computers.
g: You are right, meece sounds better.


g: this morning, i was thinking of looking at the between group and within group variance of wankerness in my social group

g: let's go to teenwood at 12
d: isn't 12 preteen?

g (gets out at level 6): i thought it was a g
g: it happens all the time
g: i always get 6 and G confused together

a: from now on, i'm going to be gay
d: what do you mean, from now on?
a: girls no longer turn me on, seriously, they do nothing for me.

a: i'm in a pod with x and xx.
g: so a pod with three people?
a: yeah i'm in a tripod, get it? im the massive front stand of the pod!
d: actually, it's more like a quadropod with three people.

P breaks his foot in a kick boxing accident and still wants to go out for lunch with us:
P: Is there anywhere nearby we could go so i dont have to walk far?
g: Maybe there is a chariot we could get you in Hs office?
P: Where can I find a chariot?
d: Sparta Prague?
a: This is Spaaaaaaaaarta

G: I think one of the best songs ever to be made is Rihanna: Umbrella. I mean, once the ella ella ella part comes on, it just gives me chills at how good it is. The lyrics are so deep and profound.

D: Lets call it "I know my alleys!' (lets not)
One of those 'let it run straight back to the keeper' moments.

Guythhh, seriouthly, the eastth is tho much better than the north, like seriouthhly! Think about it.

I've had thursday for ages on my itunes, but i haven't listened to it on a thursday yet. guess i'll be doing that tomorrow?

A talking to D about Barcelona after their 'win' against Chelsea.
A: Look, as far as im concerned, all Barcelona fans can go and eat my freshly made shit!

a: i'd never go out with anyone from the greenwood. they think they are so hot and cool.
g: you think you are so hot and cool too.
a: but the ones from the greenwood are not. they think they're so cool to be working at the greenwood, but theyre not, like, seriously.
g: i don't really see the difference.
a:I am at least graceful and dignified in my hotness and coolness.

a: I call my brother Peter after Peter Andre, because he's gay.
e: Peter Andre's not gay.
a: Yeah but I thought he was. He just broke up with his wife. The things I would do to that woman, would be illegal in EVERY country
d: Is she your sister?
a: I would f%#$ her in her nostril
d: So.... it's really that small?
a: I would f%#$ the shit out of her (waitress clears and tables and hears everything that was said). I would quite literilly, f%#$ her brains out!!

What are you? A sphinkter??

The story goes that during the State of Origin II last week, Nate Myles had a bout of poopies in the middle of the field. After confirring with his colleague in Sam Thiaday, he then proceeded to 'scooping' the pooh out of Nate Myles pants, wiping/cleaning his hand on the grass and carried on playing as if nothing had happened. The things people do to win a silly old game.
He was Man of the Match.

D: I'm feeling very flaccid today.
G: Placid.
D: No, I 'mean flaccid.

Some P quotes:
(with two beers in front of him): Are you drinking in stereo?

Sometimes, when you see a girl from behind, and then you pass by her in your car, you should not look back. There is a high probability that it will not be as good as what you are imagining, like 99.9% chance.

My friend escaped from marriage to Australia.

My friend walks up to girls and says 'I want to f*** you?'

D: In my experience, the frequency of South African girls I have met that are hot is the highest of any country.
G: Why do you have to bring statistics into everything? Just have some fun every once in a while. You know, just say 'South Africans are so hot.. I can't wait to go over there and you know ... '.
D: Ahh but that's not it. I said in my experience, the sample size I have, they are the hottest.
G: So it's like the opposite of what we do with beer? We export the shit ones, keep the good ones here?
D: Hmmm, maybe it's the opposite of the opposite... don't know what the word is?
E: The same?
D: More sleep.
G: More red bull.

me so whiiiiiiiite, you sooooo yelllllllow!!

D: Look at what Ash is eating.
A: Yeah looks like curry.
P: Ash, you must have a lot of experience. In India they have the Kama sutra right?
D + A: hysterical laughter
P: Too much sex makes you short-sighted right? That's why it is in large print, right Ash?

A: Do you ever sing that song My Girl to her?
D: No.
A: You know, it's got that lyric 'I've got the month of May'.
D: How bout I get this bottle of wine and smash it on you?

D: When I was in Thailand, these dudes turned into guys.

G: we stumbled across a hip hop night
i thought i'd finally achieve my blackie
alas wasn't to be
ahhhh dammit... did u chat to any??
No. Blame it on the boogie

Random chick is explaining something animatedly to her friends, G, S, and L are there during EOM drinks
S - OMG what the hell's she doing? She's so scary, she looks like she could eat you up
L - That's the way its sweetest... she'll be eating you up, in control on top - then just before the climax, you flip her over and teach the bitch a lesson

u guys fly everywhere in sydney
i just drive mate
often take train too
havent' got wings yet
my wish is to fly high in sydney's sky
if we put enough money for your farewell
we will get wings for you
i think $5 raised so far
will keep you posted
at the moment, butterfly wings
haha.....it is in accordance with the current economic climate.

A: I'd get a second opinion too if I was just asking myself.

l:i love peas! they're so full of juicy pea-ness

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

World Cup Diary - Part 3

The World Cup fever hadn't quite gripped Rustenburg. We went to the FIFA Fan Fest one day. We'd been to the one at Darling Harbour before leaving Australia. I was turned away because it was too packed. This was at 4am on a Monday morning, in the freezing cold of winter in Australia. People were packed in to see Australia get smashed by Germany!
Here we were in the heart of the World Cup, at a reasonable hour, watching Chile play Honduras. We only counted about 15 people there. The DJ was fantastic, he played great music sets at half time. The game was amazing, Chile play some wonderful, expansive, direct football with players like Alexis Sanchez, Vidal (Sasoon), Isla, and Jara combining so well.

And so we travel to Nelspruit in the hopes of finding more festivity and welcoming a change of scenery. I have used Google Maps to book our accommodation and found some difficulties in getting places in Nelspruit. We end up at our hostel and it is about an hour and a half from the stadium. Koomatiport is right on the border of Mozambique and near the Crocodile Gate to Kruger National Park.

We get to our place and then taken up to our rooms. My face turns ashen. I definitely asked for a double room, I'm sure of it. It's a honeymoon room. It is a loft style, there is a king sized bed, a desk, a small 2 seater couch, and big windows that overlook the living area. We can't change the room. I look pretty angry, there's nothing we can do about it though. Ray suggests putting a line down the middle and making sure we face away from each other. After five minutes, he's crossed the line and facing towards me. I creep away from him in terror and try to fall asleep. My night is fitful, I can't sleep too well. At one point, I do fall asleep. Then I wake in the middle of the night, sore, and find myself curled up trying to squeeze into the 2 seater couch.

We got to go on a safari which was pretty amazing. The safari started at 5 am and by 10 am we had seen all of the big 5 (the most dangerous animals to humans: lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino). The leopards were the hardest to spot, even when it was pointed out to me I couldn't quite see it. All I could see was a series of spots swiftly disappearing into the bushes away from us. Kruger is amazing and you feel so much at peace there.

I don't know why people want to see the most dangerous animals. Fear is pretty interesting. I wonder what would happen if a lion attacked me. Would I freeze up? Would my survival instincts take over? It seems we live today so far removed from these instincts but every now and then we are reminded of them. Sometimes it actually makes you feel alive.

From our guide we learn that:
Leopards are the most dangerous animals. They will attack from the side and you will not see or hear them coming. They leap and will aim for your neck, killing you instantly.

Lions will give you a chance. If you go on their territory, they will growl and roar and mock charge you. If you are still stupid enough to go through it, they will kill you. Lions mock charge because they are interested in self-preservation. Most lions don't have the taste of humans quite yet, but she says that some are learning the taste and figure them to be a good, easy prey.

Ostriches will go for your belly to disembowel you, so if you are attacked by them, curl up in a ball and then you will only have a cut back.

Hippos have bad eyesight. Zebras are colour-blind. When I asked her how they knew this, she didn't have a clue.

A few years ago in Kruger, a rangers wife was killed by lions. She used to do a regular jog during the day. Lions don't really ever attack humans or come near the camps but they do pick up on routines. One day they attacked her and for a few years after that, they did not have any more guided walks in Kruger because it was too dangerous.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Not the same old news

Why do newsreaders all have such a similar tone? Accents in funny places, robotic delivery. Maybe it is to equate a terrible earthquake in a far flung country with a rise in interest rates. Remember, the scale of harm is proportional to how many Australians were involved in the tragedy.

Traditional news has always tended to focus on the more depressing elements of the human condition. War, famine, civil unrest, oppression, acts of God, accidents, terrorism and the like. There is a primal attraction to events of a life and death nature and these images are stored more easily in our brains (especially if there are more Australians involved... if there aren't too many, we think maybe this earthquake thing avoids attacking Australians who are visiting that country). I remember watching SBS or ABC news that had more of a global focus than the commercial channels and it seemed like they packed in even more doom and gloom because they included even more regions in the world. It always puzzled me why the good news didn't get reported as surely good news does occur in some places at some time. However, traditionally this has not been newsworthy, not attention grabbing or important enough.

News then seemed to develop as there were channels dedicated to it, covering it 24 hours a day. Something had to be put up there. News changed from reporting actual facts to covering speculation, with news stories about allegations of corruption, speculation that someone was going to be fired, backstabbed... speculation about racism in the Australian cricket team. Anything. It almost becomes the sort of news that is reported in women's magazines. Anyone can speculate. All it takes is to put two events together and hypothesise what the next outcome will be. Scrutinise everything, always looking for hidden meanings to support your theories until they come true. Even if they don't, it was only speculation.

Then there is the development of social news, which is even more powerful than the traditional news. The relevance of an event increases greatly when it is brought down to the level of effecting your circle of contacts.

There is a competitive element to social newsmaking, i.e. the Facebook status update or the twitter. There is a sense of showing off about it, the need to be slightly obscure yet at the same time connecting with people. Making out that your life is interesting. Challenging people to 'get' what you are talking about or else they just don't know what is going on. There is the chance that it increases the feeling of boredom and inadequacy in those check this news regularly as they continually see exciting things taking place in the lives of their peers. At least that is what it is some of the time, but whenever I feel like my life is so boring compared to the exciting events taking place elsewhere, I see someone's post on twitter about what sandwich they just made or complaining about something very mundane. This is one of the saving graces of social media.

It is interesting to see that the format of the two leads to different types of news being reported. This is not just related to the character limits for twitter or its inability to reply directly to someone's posts. These limitations make twitter more obscure and punchy, and its crypticness means that it can be used as an even tighter circle, while at the same time being broadcast wider (depending on your privacy settings).

Facebook's decision to have a 'like' but no 'dislike' button means that comparatively more good news is reported via Facebook than twitter. The ability to link comments to it also reinforces this effect.

The line between news and non-news is always going to be a tough one. Some might say a twitter update about what Demi Moore had for breakfast is not newsworthy. Then again, the traditional free-to-air news wouldn't think a riot in Sri Lanka was worth reporting on. It depends on what is relevant and now that relevance is being more directed by people we can see that the content of what is news is changing. If you look on a news website you will often see that the most read stories are not the traditional doom and gloom stories but sometimes good, light-hearted or quirky news.

The latest development in social media of checking in to places... I'm not even sure if that is news? I think we will have to wait and see. At the moment, I am happy that we don't have to watch or listen to the same old news that we had no other alternative to a few decades ago.

Monday, September 6, 2010

World Cup Diary - Part 2

Driving in South Africa is on wide, flat roads where the speed limit is just a guide. The system that they use for overtaking is ingenious and courteous. The car in front will move onto the shoulder of the road, you flash your hazard lights when you overtake as a 'thank you' and they reply 'you're welcome' by flashing their high beams. Sometimes the overtaking gets a little dangerous as people like to cut it a bit close at upwards of 140km/h. We saw a few crashes around.

The radio stations are great, they have a primary school sense of humour. They seem to only play about 3 songs, one of which is Jet. In fact, South Africa has this weird relationship with Australia. In a sporting sense, they seem to hate us. They think we are arrogant, bad winners, too aggressive. It's strange because we really just have rivalries with England, New Zealand, and maybe America. We really don't even think about South Africa. It's kind of endearing that they hate us, and it made me want to give them a pat on the shoulder.

Arriving at the first town we stayed in Rustenburg, we looked at the sites of the town while we waited for our room to be made ready. There we were in the middle of the Bafokeng Shopping Plaza (adjacent to the Bafokeng Stadium). All the shops were closed except for Shoprite. Ray felt a bit out of place. In Sydney, you would maybe see one African walking on the street in a week. Here we were in a whole shopping plaza full of Africans. We were definitely the odd ones out in this town and it seemed like everybody's eyes were on us. By the next day, we felt right at home. I helped an old lady with her groceries that day, and helped some people with directions.

We decided to head to the match really early, aiming to get there two hours ahead of time. Our hotel arranged a shuttle to the stadium for a cost of $10. The shuttle took us about 1 km before the driver stopped and said we were at the park n ride stop, and we would have to walk the rest of the way. Thankfully, we had some loud Americans who did all the arguing for us, so we hopped out the side of the bus, hanging onto our $10 and walked to the stadium.

At the stadium, it was an amazing sight to see the gold of Australia everywhere. We headed for the beer tent, and all I could see and hear was the sounds of Australians abroad, mostly acting like bogans. There is no such thing as RSA here, so people could buy as much alcohol as they wanted. Beers were about $3 a pop. One guy happened to ask for a whole case of beer. No problem at all. The reputation of Wayne Carey and other Australian ambassadors had preceded us, so the bottles of beer were all made of some plastic composite. Plus the beer was Budweiser. No complaints though, it was all pretty good. No need to get drunk as the joy of holidays and football was unbeatable.

We take our seats and the view is fantastic. Someone starts singing 'Come on Aussie, come on, come on'. The drone of the vuvuzuelas is a great buzz, and after a few minutes, you barely notice it. Looking around the stadium, the proportion has gone from 80/20 Australians, to about 50/50. It turns out some of the initial people wearing gold turned out to be the gold of Bafana Bafana.

The anthem comes on and scarves are in the air. Chills down the spine as I look around at being in the middle of this foreign country surrounded by thousands of people all brought together by Australia and football. It's amazing how distance can bring people closer..

The game kicks off and we are playing pretty well. Kewell is starting and his movement and ability to drop into space and challenge for the ball is impressive, and he is starting to link up well with the other players. We are all ecstatic when Bresciano's free kick is kept out by the keeper only for Holman to follow it up and score. I wasn't sure if I should jump with my injured knee, but I found myself leaping like Cahill and hugging everyone within the vicinity.

Unfortunately, minutes later, Kewell is sent off. I try to message Aneka to find out what exactly happened as they do not show it on the replays here. Ray says from his point of view it was a handball by Kewell on the goal line. The law really should be changed. Harry had no choice, he didn't move his arm towards the ball. The combination of a penalty and a red card is too harsh, it should be just a penalty.

The rest of the game saw Ghana have several chances, mostly from long range. In some ways, the best chance fell to Wilkshire but he just couldn't get there. 1-1 was a great result though, and it kept hope alive for the final game, and most importantly, gave us a lot of happiness that our team could actually play.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

World Cup XI

The players who have inspired me in the World Cup

Paston - An amazing keeper, great at stopping shots. It seemed like quite a lot of shots came straight at him, but that's hard to stop with a ball like the jabulani.

Enyeama - Something about him seems like a lion, or a leopard. Sleek, athletic. He lefthandedly kept Messi goalless.


Isla - Smart, quick, great attacking player from the back in the 3-3-3-1 formation for Chile. Worked really well with Sanchez.

Salcido - Likes shooting, from anywhere.

Metresacker - A big friendly man. Never gets a yellow card. Can actually pass the ball. The best German player against Spain.

Cha Du-Ri - Always left in plenty of space by the opposition. He got so much of the ball against Uruguay. I think it was on purpose. He tries so hard though.


Ozil - Constant craving. k d lang's had his photo as her Facebook profile picture. Quicker than you'd think he is. Doesn't hold on to the ball for a second longer than he should, puts the ball in the right place.

Alexis Sanchez - Not a dirty player at all. Direct. He doesn't see opponents, he just sees training cones. His neck bulges with veins. He loves shooting. The ball.

Mark van Bommel - Stereoscopic vision with a chip in his head that knows exactly where the cameras and ref are watching at every point in time. He can do the most vicious foul and make it seem like it was all the other guy's fault. Did not get a yellow card until the semi-final, and that was for wasting time in the 90th minute. The shortest yellow card in history.

Arjen Robben - The most handsome man in world football, when Robben smiles, the light can... it is hoped, one day make Craig Foster see teams that aren't Arsenal or Barcelona. His implied speed makes time slow around him. The most beautiful left foot in the world. You know what he's going to do but you can't stop him, aka his goal against Slovakia. The unique wobbly way he walks, kind of like a penguin.

Chung-yong Lee - The darling of Korean football, skills, trickery, great shooting. Even scored a header against Argentina. Plays for one of the brightest teams in world football, Bolton Wanderers.

Clint Dempsey - Give it to the doctor. McDreamy. He can play in midfield or as a forward. Tough, fast, texan.

Landon Donovan - Runs like he's taking lots of little steps and rolls his sleeve up, like he's going to get to work.

Milos Krasic - The worst Shane Watson look a like. My how we booed when he played Australia. It really got to him because he did absolutely nothing with the ball, missed an open goal, hit every cross into the crowd, got moved into the centre of midfield away from the crowd, and then subbed off in the second half. Serbia finished bottom of their group.


Harry Kewell - Looked absolutely amazing playing as the lone forward against Ghana. Shame he got sent off, everything was going through him.

David Villa - He can shoot and actually looks like he might score. Unlike every other player on the Spanish team. The most defensive team ever to win the World Cup.

Georgie Welcome - Thank you. You're welcome. No, you're welcome. I'm Welcome. Georgie Welcome.


Jogi Low - That cardigan. So beautiful, baby blue. They made a wonderful couple, him and his assistant coach. It's a new Germany.

World Cup Diary - Part 1

23 June, 2010

The last trip to South Africa was more about the place. This trip has been more about the football.

It's always hard to predict World Cups so I decided to place a few bets on some long shots at the tournament. I bet on S. Kalou, S. Eto'o and Obafemi Martins to be the top scorer. All have been knocked out of the tournament, grand total of 1 goal scored between them. My tip of a Brazil - Nigeria is over as well, I think I will get it half right.

The surprise of the tournament so far was a sparkling performance by Slovenia against USMNT. They were ahead 2-0 at half-time. The first goal, a cracking left foot shot from about 20 metres out that flew past the keeper's outstretched left hand.

I was at the blackjack tables making up my losses from the previous day during half-time, and was on a pretty good run so I missed most of the second half.
The Sun City complex was pretty good to watch the game on the big screen. We bumped into Australian royalty. Robbie Slater. It also turned out we were sitting next to Eugene Galekovich's sister. Lovely person, really down to earh, bit surprising that the FFA don't pay for her accommodation.

It's always a weird feeling when you are on holiday because you think that you didn't come thousands of kilometres just to hang out with Australians. Maybe it is the natural tendency just to stick to what you are familiar with.

We stayed at Kedar Hotel. Unfortunately, Ray discovered there was no hot water only after getting in the shower. I usually test the water before going in. The bathroom even had a bath tub, there is not much better.

Rustenburg means place of rest. The daily routine was pretty perfect. I think it's much better than my normal routine. A day went something like -
  • Wake up sometime between 7 and 9
  • Put the television on and catch up on the news and action you missed
  • Have a nice hot shower
  • Stroll down to breakfast
  • Sit at any table you like (the table at the juice bar is the best) Juice comes in tiny glasses, not sure why
It was on this trip that I realised that breakfast should be a 3 course meal
  1. First course is bacon, with a fried egg, beans. Have a slice of toast if you feel the need to impress people
  2. Second course is pancakes or pikelets. The serving I was previously familiar with was three pancakes. Why stop there. I really think six is a lot better. I still need to figure out how to get even syrup distribution across the stack.
  3. Third course is a bowl of plain yoghurt with a sprinkling of sugar. This cleanses the palate.
  4. The fourth course is then a serving of fruit salad.
  5. The fifth course is then a mini muffin or a croissant.
The beauty of a buffet breakfast is that you do not feel like a pig because there's so much that you didn't eat. I realise that you can sometimes feel full, but it's more like you are just over it. Like you wouldn't really want more bacon and eggs, but definitely a bit of fruit salad.
  • Have a nap
  • Wake up
  • Head out to lunch, and eat while watching the first game
  • Then watch the second game
  • Come back to hotel
  • Have buffet dinner
  • Go to room and try and watch third game

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I love food

Some offices are great, trusting organisations that care for the welfare and nourishment of their employees. My office provides toast, cereal, milk, cutlery. Even so, some of our richer employees bring their own food in, gourmet cereals. The kind that are lightly toasted muesli made in Switzerland.
Labelling is important. People like to know what they are getting into. And who they are. Usually a name will do.
The label for the food was a yellow post-it, 'I love food'. We don't really have anyone named that, so I was happily eating the lightly toasted, muesli. It was pretty damn good. A few other people started eating it too.
I asked them if they love food. They were so enthusiastic in their agreement. When I said I'm meh to food, they were astounded, flabbergasted. I love so many things more than food, like music, soccer, good conversations with friends, staring at the wall. Maybe that's weird because it seems like food is the best thing in the world to most people.
There is nothing cooler than professing your love for food, and talking about great new places to eat. I guess maybe we should all be a bit preoccupied with food, because there is an epidemic of obesity, people are getting taller, people are trying to eat better.
There are even slow cookers out there, which you can just set to cook before you leave for work and then come back and eat it! Outstanding. I nearly burnt down my office making waffles... slow cooking does sound like fun.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sponsored time

Diseases can do it. So can facial hair, in partnership with a disease. How do we decide who sponsors the time? We can have World Cocktail week, Movember. The length of time doesn't seem to relate to the importance. I always felt like a woman with great cleavage during Movember... people would just talk to my mo. I'm up here!

The Earth only got one hour. Then again, what has the Earth done for me lately?

I was at a party recently, and I didn't realise that it was Earth Hour. The party was split right down the middle. The people outside wanted the air conditioning off, because they wanted to have the doors open, to move in and out. The people inside wanted the air conditioning on because it was really hot.
The people outside asked if we could have the TV off, or at least the lights off and switch to candles. The Swans are always on during Earth Hour, but who knows how long AFL goes for?

Some people may think this doesn't make sense. Why should people outside complain and ask those inside to turn the air conditioning off? It doesn't really have any effect on them does it? Why, it's just like the US and other developed countries telling China, India, and the developing nations to not burn fossil fuels and so on. Or maybe it's just that the Hour itself doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. The future is not going to be one where we have to conserve energy like we conserve water, only switching our lights on every other day. We might be better off just getting better light bulbs and keeping them on all the time.

I guess it doesn't really matter. What's one hour out of your whole year? We could go our whole lives thinking like that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Watching the latest video clip by Lady Gaga, I was contemplating why she went to prison. Apparently it was because she'd been very bad.

Then I read that Lady Gaga can give herself orgasms, just through the power of her mind. That can't be bad?

It really could be. What if the secret got out, through her music and videos, or even through her clothes and pop icon status? What if we lived in a world where everyone could do that?

It's a power that not everyone should have. A pop star like the Gaga has evolved this ability out of necessity. She has repeatedly mentioned in interviews how she just doesn't have the time for relationships and dating. Not to mention, she is often travelling long distances, or trapped in public areas for long times so she just doesn't have the access to the necessary equipment/men. And by doing it all mentally, even though it does seem a bit lazy, and a bit selfish, it probably is the cleanest way to go about it.

If everybody could have this power, would anyone really bother with relationships? Wouldn't self loving just lead to more egotistical idiots going around?

This may well be the case. An alternative would be that with everyone having access to a gagasm (be it through mental means, or just an alleged anatomical perk), it really just removes the need for sex. That way, you wouldn't have to wonder about 'meaningless sex', because each relationship would just be out of choice, about truly wanting to be with someone.

I'm a romantic.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Oldest Person in the World

There is a new oldest person ever.  It's a woman (of course).  I can't believe she's Georgian.  I would have thought that she'd be Japanese, or Mediterranean, not from a former Soviet Republic, that is in the middle of Asia/Europe and right near Kazakhstan.

I'm a big fan of old people.  I can't wait until I'm old.  The beauty of being old is that people have to listen to what you say, even if it's the most inappropriate thing ever.  Old people can do whatever they want, really, because they've lived through it all.  Of course, the bad thing is becoming senile, and not really knowing what's going on.  

I think I'd be senile too.  I can imagine when Mrs Oldestwomanintheworldvilli was a kid, and hearing about the latest craze, the next new thing that was going to change the world.  Smoking whale blubber, the crazy fur hat, tattoos of countries on your head.  She's seen it all.  It's hard to get excited about an iPod when you're 129.  It's even harder to get excited about an iPod app.

She's earned the respect.  I just think it's a little too long, I wouldn't really want to live past 80.  

There is one thing I wonder.  What happens when she laughs inappropriately?  When she pulls a prank on an unsuspecting person?  What happens when she does something really stupid?  Do people tell her to 'act her age'? 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Life is defined by definition

Ever since I've gotten HD television, I've been exposed to a new clarity. It's more real than real life.
When I'm watching sport, I can see the blades of grass. I can see the people's faces. There is no way in reality I could ever get that clarity. Hyper-real.
I've started dreaming in HD too. It's vivid. Powerful. It's like being too close to a TV screen.
It's starting to transfer into real life. After a big night out, I wake up, and everything is in standard definition. Sometimes it's even in that television that was twenty years ago, the fuzzy screens when you'd watch SBS late at night.
Sometimes, I reach the zone. Mind at peace. And the world is in crystal clear HD. It never existed before. So I thank Mr HD.
It's hard to think that it could get any better. It will though. 3D. I am really looking forward to being able to dream in 3D. The problem I see with 3D tv, is that TV is really a social experience sometimes. I remember being in the cinemas and trying to have a chat while Avatar was on. I couldn't really, because my depth perception was all messed up. People are hard to understand when they are wearing 3D glasses as well. They seem like they are from the future, or from an alien world. I really can't imagine in the future that I'm going to be sitting around in my lounge room, 3d glasses on, chilling with my mates and watching football.


When I first started catching the train again, I used to look downwards on the people reading the Mx.  Reading something for free?  Surely they could do better. Why not get a book?  Or have a fantastic iPod collection.

Of course, after a while of reading it, I started thinking it was the best paper ever.  Light on the doom and gloom, funny at times, and just the right length to read.  I especially loved the 'Overheard' and 'Looking at You' sections.  I think the Overheard stuff had to be made up, some of the quotes were just so stupid.  

I don't really get how the 'Looking at You' section worked either. "To the blonde girl on the 5:33am train from Emu Plains, I was the guy who half smiled at you. Coffee sometime?"  I think it's just that delightful blend of romanticisim and stalkerness that really appeals.

The last time I caught a train, someone actually talked to me.  I wasn't reading Mx at the time, but it was a start.  The guy seemed happy to make small talk, not intrusive, just generally pleasant chat.  It was about a few minutes into it when I realised that he wasn't quite all there.  But that shouldn't matter, should it?  

Are the only people that have conversations with strangers stalkers, or those who aren't quite 'normal'?  

Lately, I've had this dream of one day, the whole carriage spontaneously erupts to discuss what's happening in Mx.  It's pretty unrealistic, I know.  The weird thing is, I can see 60% of people reading it, reading the exact same stories, all silently.  Maybe I'm being weird?

Monday, March 8, 2010

A few thoughts

Music always sounds better at 4 am.  I used to think it was because of being drunk or something, but generally I think it's one of the best times to listen to music.

People who believe in fate don't believe in the kind of fate where some mysterious force guides them to a higher power.  They believe in the kind of fate that means that the little actions that they do turn out to be really important.  Being 'meant to be' or 'fated' is a way of giving themselves comfort that their actions were the right ones.

Why do single women find me repulsive but those with boyfriends find me hysterical?

Do people ever have gay marriages that are just a front and sleep with women on the side?

Just because people walk slow, doesn't mean that they are slow mentally.  They may just have a torn ligament.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Games

You may have seen the ads about Steven Bradbury, promoting the Winter Olympics.  Our first gold medal winner, winning in the great Australian way by bludging at the back.

Here's an exchange between him and my friend Julian that's a lot better than those promos.

Hey Steven,

My band wrote a song about you called "Believe in Steve". It's a humorous number all about how you are always the last man left standing and win everything - the medals, the girls, etc.

I hope you enjoy and I'd like to let you know how much of an inspiration you are to everyone!

All the best,


Believe in Steve

Saturday night and I was out with the crew
Ran into Steven Bradbury after he’d had a few
Was shocked to hear him say
“Tequila shots for everyone”

Little did I know
That the night had just begun
Next thing I remember is waking in a pile of spew

You can find him anywhere that the beer is cold
Often seen in the pokies room playing “Where’s the Gold?”
Had a hottie, knew that she was interested
Got too wasted, she went home with Steve instead
No-one can match the amount of booze this bloke holds

Steven Bradbury
Is not a Cadbury
When others fall over he will stay standing
He’ll keep buying rounds
Until you hit the ground
And you’ll wake just to realise your wallet can’t be found
Your clothes are wrecked, your girlfriend’s left
And Steve Bradbury is kickin it on in town

Despite the fame he remains humble and nice
Thought I was funny when I said he was skating on thin ice
Here’s to Steven
A true Australian hero
Here’s to your future
On every fuckn TV show
Maintaining your feet will always be sound advice

Steven Bradbury
I think he's rad-bury
When others fall over he will stay standing
He’ll keep buying rounds
Until you hit the ground
And you’ll wake just to realise your wallet can’t be found
Your clothes are wrecked, your girlfriend’s left
And Steve Bradbury is kickin it on in town


After reading the lyrics I was not expecting much from the song. But I was pleasantly surprised when i played it. You are right it is pretty funny.

Some things you might want to know about me:

Probably the only alcohol I won’t drink is Tequila. I hate it.
I don’t like pokies either.
I can drink a reasonable amount of piss but once ive had one too many im a complete write off.
Despite the fame I am the same.

Glad you drew some inspiration from me and i wish you every success with your band. What is the name of your band ?

Steven Bradbury OAM
Australia's 1st Winter Olympic Gold Medalist


Motivational Speaker

Monday, February 1, 2010


Lately, I've been worried about something.  It's not something to be particularly proud of, it's something kind of vain, I guess.  I've been looking at my Facebook friends count.

I'm cringing at myself.  When I first heard about Facebook (back when only American students could join), I remember thinking to myself, what's the point?  It all seemed stupid.  I didn't get how you 'won' at Facebook, and I remember laughing to myself that people just tried to get as many friends as they could.

And then, as time went on, I've come to this point.  Sure, I don't add just anyone.  I try to add people that I've met at least twice.  Sure, they might not say hi to me on the street.  I don't have their mobile number.  They wouldn't lend me $100 or come to my birthday party.  I guess those are the more rigorous tests of friendship.  Nevertheless, they've added me, and I think they are all great people.

The other day, I noticed my friend list had gone down 2, to 534.  I was sad (because I was losing at Facebook).  I googled to see how I could find out who deleted me.  There really is no easy way to find out.  

Then the next day, it was back up to 535.  Then 536.  Today it's at 535.  There's one explanation I can think of.  Someone is deleting themself from Facebook.  I remember the first time I deleted myself from Facebook.  Within an hour, I got a message from a friend, asking if everything was ok.  Facebook deletion is like virtual suicide!   Does anyone even exist if they aren't on Facebook?  I think it's a virtual indicator of real worry.  And so now, I'm not sad for the selfish reason of losing at Facebook, I'm sad for the real reason that someone out there, one of my friends, may be really depressed.

It's strange how much our world has changed because of this invention.  Even stranger though, is that one of my last nights in Singapore, I was hanging out with the inventor of the damn thing and I didn't even know it.  All I heard was whispers that we were hanging with the $600m man (don't believe rumours), and then from out of nowhere, this 6L magnum of Belvedere appears, in the middle of Attica, one of Singapore's trashier (but more fun) night spots.  I wish I'd known more about it, but let it be said, Eduardo Saverin is, for all I know, a top bloke.

Friday, January 15, 2010


And so it's time to bid farewell to Purple Sneakers.

Purple Sneakers was a magical night at the Abercrombie.  The floors were sometimes sticky.  The music was fantastic, pop indie beats.  It was always packed full of people who were cool, not the arrogant idiots that you often find in clubs.  There was only one time that it wasn't packed... that was the week the HSC was on.

If the world was always like Purple Sneakers it would be an amazing place.  Now I wonder, where can I go to give young, impressionable girls valuable advice for their careers and university entry?  Where can I go to see girls wearing nerd glasses, guys wearing skinny jeans and flannel... where can you go and have a completely random chat?  The ending of Purple Sneakers will leave a big hole in Sydney, and it makes me sad, but we did have a good run.  

Goodbye Purple Sneakers, I will always love you.  You gave the gift of fun, youth, trashiness, excitement and life was always fun and easy with you in it.  Rest in peace.

The Greatest Sporting Moment of the Decade

James McFadden scores against France.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The world is amazing, filled with so many different races.  I think it used to be traditional in some cultures to not marry outside their race.  When you see how beautiful the children of interracial couples are, it's hard to agree with that view.  Maybe it's the duty of each person to at least spend part of their life from a completely different culture, race, and way of life.  

For me, it was always Smurfette.  Blue is rarely found in any living creature on the planet.  That's why it was so attractive to see a blue person.  Unfortunately, Smurfette lived in a place where she was the only female, and as such, had to have multiple partners.  Papa Smurf, as the alpha male, sort of gave me the creeps as well.

Thankfully, the Avatar film has introduced a whole new world of blue people, some who have never loved before.  And for this reason, I think it is one of the best films of the year.