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.