To Blog or not To Blog
Various rantings, thoughts and points of view from a 29 yr old father living in Canberra.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Last Post here for a while...but...go to....
This blog will be on hold now, but do not fear! (like you would) I have started a new blog just for my DC Adventure. Click here to visit, and then you can add it to your bookmarks and stuff!
See ya back here in 11 months!
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Only 31 Hours to go....
...until the voting for the Triple J Hottest 100 closes.
Get 'em in!
I LOVE the Hottest 100 with all my heart and every year I make sure I listen to it, but this year, I will be at the Big Day Out instead. Not a bad compromise. :)
Here's my ten songs I voted for this year:
Be Yourself - Audioslave
Wish You Well - Bernard Fanning
Lounger - Dogs Die In Hot Cars
Best Of You - Foo Fighters
I Was Only 19 - Herd
Oh My God - Kaiser Chiefs
The Special Two - Missy Higgins
Pretty Girls Swear - Regurgitator
B.Y.O.B. - System Of A Down
Joker & The Thief - Wolfmother
I think it's a pretty eclectic mix. 50% Aussie.
Yeah. It was a great year for music. Better than it has been for a while.
I am going to try and listen to JJJ overseas online, because I want to keep up with Australian music, but I will also try and catch some local bands and widen my horizons a bit, but..
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
The first flight: JFK to DCA
So, I fly into JFK International at 4:50pm on the 27th of Janurary.
Then, I have to get to Washington. SOMEHOW.
Yeah, I only got a ticket to New York cause it was cheaper, but now I have to get to Washington and the price it will cost me to get there would have been the same as if I had just bought a ticket from Sydney to Washington, but ANYWAY!
How do I get from New York to Washington?
1) Plane - I can get an American Airlines flight from JFK to DCA (Reagan National in DC) that leaves at 8:41pm, and arrives in DC at 10pm.
Travel Time? 1hr and 19mins.
2. Train - Amtrak has trains running every 45 minutes or so from Penn Station in New York to DC. I could probably get to the station by 7pm.
Cost? $150, or $68 if I want to leave at 10pm.
Travel Time? Around 3 hours, depending on if I get the express or not.
3. Bus - There are a fuckload of buslines that travel from NYC to WAS and I could catch any of them. Thing is, again, I would have to get myself to the bus station from the airport.
Cost? $20 for the cheapo, and $40 for Greyhound.
Travel Time? About 4 1/2 hours
4. Hitch - Yeah...I probably don't want to die in my first few hours in the USA.
5. Hire a Care and Drive there - This has positives of freedom and the adventure of driving, but I would have just been on a place for 20+ hours, and probably won't be in a state to drive for 4 hours on the wrong side of the road to a place I have never been.
Cost? $75 for a Chevrolet Aveo, or $90 for a Pontiac G6.
Travel Time? Probably around 4 - 4 1/2 hours drive.
I don't usually analyse things quite THIS much, but I have lots of time on my hands at work :)
I am thinking I will probably just go the easy route and take the plane, which means I get a few hours at JFK to stretch my legs, and then I get to DC at a decent time to an airport just 10 minutes from where I will be living.
What do y'all reckon?
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Movie Review: King Pong (a few little SPOILERS but everyone knows what happens anyway)
In a word. "Meh"
I had high expectations from King Kong.
I thought it had a lot of things going for it.
A Catchy Film Title.
Ok, maybe not that many things....
..but I went into this movie hoping for a bit of substance and a half-decent movie.
What did I get?
A 75% computer animated movie with a thin boring plot and more 'big' things than Australia's tourist attractions.
For starters, it took nearly 90 minutes to even see the title of this movie. Lots of lead-up, and most of it I just couldn't give a crap about. BRING ON THE APE!
Having said that, I thought the actors did a decent job with what they had. The forever anxious looking Adrien Brody was a stand-out for me, but Jack and Naomi held their roles well.
Actually it's bloody great to see Jack Black in a serious role. I think he has great character and charisma flowing out his ears, and it was just a matter of time before he hit the big time.
Now, I have not seen the original King Kong. I mean, I'm sure it was a blockbuster in it's time, but the storyline that Jackson has used for this remake is really nothing short of lame. The weak plot and predictability of the ape and damsel's relationship just made it all a little ho hum.
Now, before I get onto the relationship between the beauty and the beast, can someone please tell me why they spent so much time on the adventures through the island, but refused to show how the fuck they got that monkey onto the boat or into the theatre? Then again 3+ hours was enough.
Yes, the scenes with Kong and Anne were well done. The emotions on his face and his steely huge eyes were awesome. You definitely felt sorry for Kong and could feel their connection. But to be honest, unlike TJ, I just couldn't feel very close to the situation or get emotional about it at all.
I mean, come on people.
This is a gorgeous blonde actress and a 30 foot monkey with scars, badly manicured nails and 'T-Rex' breath. If he had the smarts to hit his chest, then he had the smarts to realise that she wasn't going to stick around.
Anyway, enough of my arm flailing.
When I first heard that PJ was attempting King Kong I was wary. After the brilliance of Lord of the Rings, I knew that he couldn't stay at the level. It will be interesting to see what he comes out with next....
Monday, January 16, 2006
What sun? What UV?
Just remember that even though it may be overcast, and not that hot, the UV rays get through kiddies.
My back and chest feel like they have been sandwiched in between a foccacia grill for 30 seconds. Poor me...
On the up side, I managed to attached a cheapo sun-shade from Go-lo onto a pergola. On the down side, the shade was too big for the pergola and it flaps in the breeze, but on the up side it still provides shade for the munchkins.
And yes, the youngest munchkin turned 2 yesterday. Yay for the little one! He is able to make you un-mad with him with a simple tilt of his head and cheeky grin. The cheek!
Hey, so, this is my last week of work in Canberra for a year.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
I can now reveal the news that has been bubbling under the surface of my life for the last 2 months.
As you may have seen, I have referred to this news a little recently, and almost gave it away with an exciteable post a few weeks back.
So just hurry up and tell us. My attention span only lasts so long! Oooh....is that a possum....?
I will be moving to Washington D.C. as of the 27th of Janurary.
What the hell? What will you be doing there?
I'll be making passports! Lost and lonely Aussies in the Americas will call me up and tell me they lost or need a new passport.
Wow. Fun job. How long will you be doing that?
It's a 2 year contract. We'll see how I'm going after a year though.....Will be back in July and again at Christmas. I think I will be back for good at Christmas.
So, what about us? What about Canberra? What about the family?
11 months will go fast, but it's the right length of time that I think I need to sort out me and my life.
Without going into too much personal detail, 2005 really 'licked the bag' and so much stuff has gone on in the last 12 months, that I don't really know where I am headed, but more importantly, I don't really know who I am.
That's not to say that good stuff hasn't happened in 2005. There were good times and great people, but in general it was so tumultuous that I am really happy that it is in the past.
Hopefully this time away will help me sort out a lot of the stuff that has gone on in the last 10 years and then work towards setting me up for the next 10.
Blah blah blah. What the hell are you talking about?
Well, I turn 30 in July. In the last 10 years, I have married, had 3 kids, and now separated from my wife. It's been a rollercoaster, and I am still on it.
So, aren't you going to miss the kids?
More than anyone will know. That is the biggest and hardest thing about taking this job. I still don't know how I am going to feel when I get on that plane and know that I won't be able to hug my 3 munchkins for 6 months.
It may even be so hard being away, that I will return early, but the bottom line for this whole trip is that I am doing it for me.
Isn't that just selfish? How can you just leave them behind?
Yeah, in a way it is selfish, but what sort of Dad am I if I can't show my kids that sometimes you just have to take a plunge and do something to make yourself a better person and to experience life as biggly as you can.
I am very lucky that the mother of my kids is being so supportive of this decision and is doing everything she can to help me with the change.
Without that, I don't think I could go at all.
With Webcams, Instant Messager, Phone cards, Email and letters, I am sure that I can keep in constant contact with my kids, and that they won't forget who I am or feel that, even though I am thousands of kilometres away, I am always there for them.
After all, my 2 and 4 year old boys will probably not even remember I was gone, in a few years. A lot harder for my 7 year old girl though, and I hope that she comes to understand why I am doing this...
So, that's it. I'll bus it up to Sydney on Wednesday the 25th. (unless someone can give me a lift..) Then I will spend Australia Day at the Big Day Out. No doubt exhausted from that, I will fly out of Sydney with QANTAS, on the 27th of January @ 12:30pm, and arrive in New York City @ 4:50pm the same day. I will use the weekend to recover from the predicted jet lag, and then I'll start work on Monday the 30th.
I get the feeling that this year will be one hell of a ride, and I hope that you, dear reader, are interested in coming along for some of it. I am trying to decide whether to keep this blog going, or to start a brand new one for the year ahead. Any suggestions on a blog title for my adventures in the USA would be most appreciated, cause I'm stumped. The best I could come up with was Mick in DC (pronounced, "Mick in Dic"). But that almost sounds rude.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Zambrero or Zambreros?
It's been a quiet weekend, but on Friday night, I happened to head into Civic to have a look at some of the cars on Lonsdale St, in Braddon.
For a long time now, Lonsdale Street has been a mecca for burnouts, hotted up cars and more recently, lots of cops. I am not sure what the attraction to the place is, but apparently it's fun to set up a folding chair at the end of the street and watch all the cars go past, and on Friday and Saturday night there were a LOT of cars. So many, that it probably took about 15 minutes just to travel 500m, from one end to the other, or around the roundabout and back up Mort Street.
I have no picture proof, but there must have been at least a thousand people lining the street when I turned up on Friday night..
Throught the gloom that is beer bottles, exhaust fumes, and Summernats t-shirts, was a new mexican takeaway.
This place stands out cause the front window is covered in bright green limes. It's called Zambrero on the outside, but on the inside it's referred to as Zambreros, so you take your pick...
The food is great though. They have tacos, burritos and nachos, and if any of you have been to Montezuma's recently you will realise that their mexican food has gone to crap in the last year (change of ownership and Phillip closing down). The chicken in the burrito I had was tender, juicy and damn good.
It's about time that there was some decent Mexican in Canberra. I tried some of their nachos as well, and the guacamole is awesome.
It's only a small store, but I think this place will get some good business, especially seeing as though the over-priced Debacle is directly opposite..
Speaking of Summernats. It's all over for another year and although there was a small accident with a stunt car, there are never any major accidents, which I think is probably thanks to the huge police presence in Canberra, but also that the people who go to Summernats are generally pretty behaved. They just love their cars, and seeing other cars that are loved.
I must admit that there is a small hoon inside me. It's not very big and it doesn't escape very much, but there's something about a bright green Commy doing a burnout that warms the cockles....
Thursday, January 05, 2006
News Reporting at its best.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Back to Work is as bad as 'Back to School'
As a kid, didn't you hate seeing those big 'Back to School' signs in K-Mart and Best and Less just weeks after you stopped school and don't want to think about it for at least 5 1/2 weeks?
Well, just as much, I hate the whole 'Back to Work' thing, which I am currently doing, as we speak, apart from the whole blogging thing, which means I am not really working so much.....yet.
But, hey, I'm at work. I even got here at 8:15 for some crazy reason....
And so, it's time for a recap of the last 11 days.
Friday 23rd - Golf. I sucked.
Saturday 24th - Book tickets....(what???), Morph into Santa and build trampampoline.
Sunday 25th - Be festive. Be Merry. Drink. Eat. Collapse.
Monday 26th - 10am start. Drink. Drink. Drink. Drink. Drink. Watch Cricket. Drink. Drink. Sleep. Drink. Poker. Pool. Drink. Drink. Sleep. Sleep Sleep.
Tuesday 27th - Sleep. Watch Cricket.
Wednesday 28th - Drive. Drive. Drive. Stupid bloody traffic. Beach. Swim. Swim. Snorkel. Sweat. Eat. Drive. Drive. Drive.
Thursday 29th - Sleep. Watch Cricket. Attempt to survive heat indoors with no Air Coc and 3 restless and extremely tired children, before giving up and sending them away to sleep in their beds...
Friday 30th - Sleep. Questacon with 3 tired and restless children. The Roller-coaster simulator was fun. The Earthquake House was lame.
Saturday 31st - Prepare for the evening. Have the evening. Drink 6 Coronas in celebration. Mingle with 20,000 in Civic. Sit outside 'The Cube' and be hit on my guys. Sleep.
Sunday 1st - Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.
Monday 2nd - Latte (what the?), Shops, Cricket (not. Bloody rain), Chicken Little. (it was very cool)
Tuesday 3rd - That's right now you idiot.. You should be working....
So, there we go.
Hope you had a good one.
I plan on releasing my much anticipated New Years Resolutions later today.
And oh yeah, that news that I was talking about? Not telling you yet......
Graphics and design by Ann Stretton 2001