Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween, but not Hallowe'en.

So it’s Halloween (I always hated putting the apostrophe in between the e's. It was a thing they only did at school). And for the second year in a row, I’ve done nothing. Admittedly, last year I came to work dressed as an undertaker, Craig came as Zoidberg and Rick came with a knife through his head. But we were the only ones. This year I didn’t even do that. The extent of my Halloween dress-up was to wear these shoes to work. They made my feet greener, and me taller but really weren’t all that Halloween. Sigh. On the TikiBar forums, people are posting Jack O’Lantern Tikis and on Neil Gaiman’s blog, someone posted a photo of a Neil O’Lantern. I miss punkins, even though watching them get gutted makes me throw up.

Tanja and I drank some fancy beers on the weekend. I had the idea after watching too many Diggnation episodes. We went to Vintage cellars and got some beers (mostly Belgian, one British and one German). The list was as follows:

-Two bottles of a random German doppelbock of a brand that we’d had before. Ok, not spectacular.

-Two bottles of Chemay Trappist White : A Belgian Trappist blond beer. Quite floral, but very dry as well. 8%, which is getting towards proper beer strength. Good. Thumbs up.
Two bottles of Chimay Trappist Blue : A Belgian Trappist dark beer. Quite sweet. 9%. Fuck yeah. Got the seal of approval from both me and Tanja for the next time we’re there.

-One bottle Delirium Tremens Belgian Strong Pale Ale . Apparently, the shop only gets in one case of it at a time. It’s 9.0% strength and cost $8 per 330 ml bottle. But it was smooth as silk, floral, and just really really nice. Plus the bottle was opaque ceramic. Which is awesome. Plus, it’s named after the shakes that hit when you’re detoxing. Cool.

See what happens when you try new things?

Monday, October 29, 2007

So, yeah.

Not much to update, only that Tanja and I head to the Hunter Valley in about 3 weeks time.

Work continues as work does, only more so.

My hair and fingernails continue to grow.

If you’re thinking webcomics, I’ve been reading Home On The Strange, Flaky Pastry, and of course, Penny Arcade. I’ve been looking up Alice In Wonderland (which I’m not a fan of) and a Vertigo series called Fables (which I might be if I could find it).

Zombie Ghost Train was very good, despite wasted Jane and not much money in pocket. Cat empire was great, despite (at first, soon remedied) not being able to see and standing the whole damned night.

The flies in the city and its surrounds have been fucking nuts lately.

(That’s what you get when you bug for an update, Ted.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Optimus Prime Truck is going for 50K on eBay!

You'd be the coolest dad picking up kids from school in this thing.

"The Optimus Prime replica is being auctioned for $50k on eBay's Canada store. The seller has converted a 1994 Peterbilt into Hollywood's version of Prime, complete with blue and red flame paint job, dozens of chrome switches, and a 17-inch entertainment system floating above the bunk in the back. The only thing it lacks is its abilit[...]"

read more digg story

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Busy, busy, busy.

So I have a busy weekend ahead of me. Tonight, Tanja, Ted and I are going to see the Cat Empire at the Metro. Should be awesome. As this is Ted's first Cat Empire show, I hope they're going to be on-form. I reminded Ted (who had forgotten that he gave me ticket money) who then reminded me about band practice with JesusPete Saturday morning (which I had forgotten about). Making my weekend that much busier because Ted and I are going to see Zombie Ghost Train again at the Annandale Saturday night. The show starts at 8:15, but ZGT doesn't come onstage until 11. So Ted and I are going to go early and drink. :)

All this is of course compounded by the fact that Tanja is on Study leave for the next three days (and last night) to write her BIG-ASS MAJOR ESSAY. Which means she's understandably stressed. So I'm walking quietly at home. That not hard. The hard part is MY stressing that SHE'S stressing. This is no fault of hers. Example: my father came over to borrow some movie last night. Due to his wonderful timing, he showed up just as we were about to start dinner. He was also in a taking-the-piss mood, and didn't know why I was acting so twitchy and odd (I was the equivalent of Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2: Die Harder, kneeling on the runway, waving torches to stop the plane trying to innocently land, unaware that it's going to crash and burn on the runway). He saw her piles of post-it notes that she had arranged to help her organise her argument. "You missed a spot. And they're out of order" he says. (Wave, wave, pull up!) Tanja, slightly tersely, explained what they were. "Why would you do that? (wavewavewave, stop!) Tanja starts eating, and my food starts to get cold. I was acting so twitchy and tense that Dad left, thinking I was a bit batty (and slightly narky with me for being short 'n' sharp with him). I gave myself a tension migraine in that 15 minute time that nearly comatose'D me for the rest of the evening.

So yes. Now at work. They've cut off the booze run today because legal bigwigs will be walking the floor. Bugger.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Doov, doov, doov.

Well, it seems headphone karma is after me. While I was on my way to Ted's yesterday, casually thinking of looking for some behind-the-neck headphones so I can wear hats with a brim, and the right speaker craps out on me. It'll only work when I hold the cord a certain way. Bugger. So I stop in at a local hi-fi shop that sells them, and ask about the warranty I know comes with all Sennheiser headphones. He explains I need to take it back to JB and they'll usually send me a new pair. Cool. While I'm there, I notice they're selling behind-the-neck headphones in the same model, quality, and price point ($129) as the ones that just broke. On a impulse, I buy them, thinking that I'll try and find the receipt for the broken ones, but even if I don't, I'll still have good ones. I go to Ted's I practice, I come home. Leter that evening, Tanja and I can't find the reciept. So I can't return them, despite their crapping out 7 months into the 2-year contract.

So it's fate, see?

Friday, October 12, 2007


I thought I had seen it all, then I saw this:

HMS Pinafore. Done as a Star Trek Musical.

And this is a great idea too. Think of the momentum!

Also, is it wrong to want a second set of earphones so you can wear hats that your over-the-head-but-awesome-earphones won't fit over?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

ständiger Konkurrenzkampf

I now have proof that Tanja is a girl (aside from the obvious).

Now, this takes a bit of explaining. At the backdoor of the house, there is a hallway that leads to the door. We’ll often leave that back door open for the cat to wander out into the backyard. That hallway is also where we stack the recycling before we take it out. Since we had pizza the night before last, there was a pizza bow on the floor. Tanja and I were watching Spicks and Specks and she wandered up to the backdoor to look for the cat, and then quietly had a peek inside the pizza box.

Then let out a blood-curdling yelp:

“Oh my God, Lucas, there’s a RAAAAAAT!!!!!”

I’m not sure caps can communicate the shrill horror of that shriek.

I came tearing up the hallway. She was pale and freaking out and pointing at the box.

“What?” says I. “A rat? Where?”

“It’s a rat or a possum! It’s in the pizza box! It’s moving!”

“Well, how big is it?”

*Tanja holds her hands about a foot and a bit apart* “I’m sure it’s a possum!”

Right. First I shoo away Magrat, who is hovering like someone who’s just found silver ingots while digging a new privy. I carefully hold down the edges of the pizza box, holding it shut, and lift it up, expecting at any moment for a possum (which near us are the size of small cats) to start freaking out in the box, and carry it into the backyard. Tanja unlocks the gate and I set the pizza box down on the pavement of the alley like I’m carrying a bomb. Then flip open the lid of the box.

To see a little rat. Maybe four inches long. Brown fur and pink tail. Cute as a button, washing its ears.

It scampers off under cover of darkness.

I turn back to Tanja. She looks, to her credit, a trifle embarrassed.

“Foot and a half, huh?”

“Shut up. I squealed like a girl.”

“Yes, you did.”

So I bugged her about it a few times. Then, karmically, this morning I poured my cereal into the bowl, went to the fridge, got the jug of orange juice, started to pour then went “Oh shit!” and stopped. So I had slightly orangey meusli. So nobody’s perfect. (Even Steven strikes again!)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Personal Growth

So this morning on the way in, I stopped by the Campos coffee stand by Central station. I was going to get myself one, and I had messaged Adrian, as he usually has one too. He hadn’t replied, but I know his network plays up sometimes, so I ordered him a coffee anyway. Mine: Strong Flat White with Two Sugars and Vanilla shot. His, same but with Caramel shot.

Then I got to work and realised that Adrian was off sick.

Now, once upon a time, I would have drunk both coffees which (combined with my one at-home coffee) would have had me jittering around the office for the rest of the day. However, I did not do that.

I gave Adrian’s coffee away.

I think this shows I’ve grown as a person.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Adrian has come back from Hawaii. And he has brought with him a wonderful thing.

It's a Tiki Mug. It's a monkey's head with a fez on it.

It's awesome.

Adrian said "It's two of your favourite things: monkeys, and fezes."

I corrected him: "FOUR things. Monkeys, Fezes, Tiki and booze!"

Ted and Adrian got to witness my truly-happy-dance.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

If you don’t want my peaches, baby, why’d you shake my tree?

In other words, if the world doesn’t want me to get angry, why does it keep doing STUPID THINGS?!?

So. I emerged from a nightmare of bureaucratic horror this morning (a bureaucrat being defined (by Dictionary.com no less) as “an official who works by fixed routine without exercising intelligent judgment”). I’ve been trying to get my passport renewed, which has been made difficult by the following facts:

1. The passport office is only open until 12 on weekdays.
2. It’s a labyrinth of paperwork and authorisations.
3. I’m really lazy so haven’t done the work in the months leading up to the deadline of the 8th of November.

Ok, first there are the forms. I fill them out, and hit the first roadblock. I don’t have a guarantor. A guarantor is classified as a banker, minister or lawyer who has known you personally for two years or more. I refuse to associate with these people, except my mother, who doesn’t count due to having birthed me. So there’s another form to fill out. And get notarised. Now, this morning, I was meant to start at 11 am. I cleared it with Rick to come in later if need be due to all the running around. So. First thing’s first. I’ve got to get my passport photos.

They take the most wretched photo I’ve ever seen. Say it’ll be 30 minutes. So I hang around Newtown waiting. Come back. Instead of giving me the photos in the legally required format of four-square, they’ve cut the photos individually. I say no, I need them together. They say it’ll be another 10 minutes. I wait, grab the pictures, and then go to the courthouse to get the ill-tempered Justices of the Peace there (Justice-of-the-Peaces? Justi of the Peace?) to notarise all the documents (which include a photocopy of my passport, despite the real passport being in the pack, because hey, I refer to the passport in a different sub-section of the paperwork).

I ask them to sign the photos first. She taps a sign. “WE DO NOT NOTARISE PASSPORT APPLICATIONS OR PHOTOS”. Fuck. Well, who does? She says she could print me a list, and then disappears back into the cubicles. I wait. Another guy asks if he can help. I start to explain, but he taps the sign again and says “We don’t sign photos.” “I KNOW! I just need to know who does.”

So he prints me a three-page list of JPs. Just phone numbers. No names. It is at this point I realise that the photos were not stamped on the back with where they were printed and when, making them invalid. I go back to the camera shop. They stamp the photos. With difficulty.

But before I do this, I call Tanja. Saying it’s all a fucking shambles. That I can’t get things notarised. And now I don’t have time to go to the consulate today.

She says I probably should have been better organised.

I reply incredibly rationally to this comment. I’m so calm it’s scary. I deliver a treatise on bureaucratic socialism and economic reform (Ok, no, I ranted and raved and was stupid, but give me a break).

So I come in to work, remembering a throwaway comment made by Rick that the Big Boss is a JP. I see the Boss on the way in. No, he says, I’m not a JP.

At this point I went numb.

So anyway, I’m relating this to Tanja via email that no, Big Boss can’t notarise stuff.

Tanja: "It's just ridiculous, isn't it. Can you call the consulate back and see if they can verify everything for you? I think I saw that on the paperwork that they will do this, but charge an additional $50 for it. Perhaps you can just take everything in and sort it out then and there."

Me: *furiously telephones the consulate in the two minutes left before 12 and finds out that yes, you can do that* “Hey, we can!”

Tanja: “Whosaclevergirlthen!”

Yes, she is.

They're gonna put me in the movies...
They're gonna make a big star outta me....
They've wrote a role for a man that's pissed and angry...
And all I have to do is... act naturally.....

Monday, October 01, 2007

Running! Sort of.

Man, making today the first day to attempt to Cecil-style run to work was not a good idea. First, it's fucking hot. Second, since I had changed into board shorts and a t-shirt, I was carrying work clothes in my bag. Which made my bag heavy. Too heavy, in fact, to run. So I walked quickly. And then I forgot to lock the front door. So I went back, dug my keys out of my very-full bag (damn board shorts having no pockets!) and locked the door. And left again. Then had to come back because I forgot the passport paperwork I had promised Tanja I'd bring. Then had to dig out my keys to UNlock the door. And then on the way to work I saw my Dad outside of where he's staying. He waves at me, and I cross the street. "Hey." "Hey Dad. Can't talk, I'm going to work." "This late?" "I start at 11 today, Dad. I've gotta go." "Why?" My father, ladies and gents. So Despite being all late to the point of ridiculousness, I only arrived like 5 minutes late for work. Whew.

Free malling

Yet ANOTHER reason why Parkour is so damned cool.