Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wishing You All A Merry Merry Christmas

I'd just like to send all of you who frequently visit my blog the best of wishes for Christmas this year... especially those on my Hall of Fame who've cared to add some words of wisdom, or have shared in the laughter by adding a couple of comments in here.

And as you probably all know I'm off to Albany during this festive season, so I'm not likely to be back here until next year - in fact this will probably be my last post for the year (as I'm flat out).

So to FJ, Jen, Mandy, Katrina, Ali (if you're still there?), Dana, & Victoria have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I'll see you all when I get back.

PS - did I mention that Karina was a last minute addition to our little group staying in Albany?? She'll be staying with us for the first couple of nights before heading back up to Perth to celebrate Christmas and New Year's with family and friends (considering she hasn't doesn't so for the last couple of years because of all her travels). It will be interesting to see whether she's all of a sudden single or perhaps just "looking" (to upgrade?), and whether she really does have a strong intense personality (which I'm not attracted to), or whether it's just nerves.

Anyhoo, I'm sure it will make for interesting blogging when I get back!

Gift Wrapped?

On Sunday night I went to dinner with a group of friends in South Perth (at Mends Street Cafe) and when we had finished eating we pulled out onto Mill Point Road and came across this scene...






What an idiot!

Obviously Santa gave my Ferrari last year to the wrong person!

The email that came with the photos went as follows...

If your $300K Ferrari doesn't get you enough attention from the opposite sex what do you do?

Line up a traffic light in front of the busiest beer garden in South Perth!

These pics were taken yesterday at about 8pm. Apparently the driver had a heavy session at the Windsor then took off from the BP petrol station [ME: that's where we saw his car when we drove into South Perth], losing control and sliding straight into the traffic light.

Police were promptly on the scene, where the driver was breathalysed and subsequently arrested.

DUI means his insurance would be null and void.


What's that saying??

Pride comes before a... traffic light???

Dear Santa

I've been a REALLY good boy this year (as all the blog posts in here can testify).

Unfortunately I've moved since last year and the house I'm in this year doesn't have a chimney, so I cannot offer you a healthy meal - unless, of course, you can climb through aircon vents??

Add to the fact that I wont even be at home during Christmas and you can no doubt imagine what my request will be: could you please deliver my Christmas presents a little early... preferably Thursday night while I'm asleep, as I leave Friday morning for Albany.

As you know Santa, I'm a simple bloke. I don't demand much. In fact, with all the goodness I've done throughout the year, I'm sure my Christmas wish will be a bargain.

So, without further ado, here is what I'd like this Christmas...
  • One Tesla Roadster please - I didn't get the Ferrari last year so I thought I'd lower my expectations a little and get something more practical, and better.

  • Kate Beckinsale... if she's available could you please drop her off. I don't mind if you have to wake me when you deliver her, I'm sure I wont be able to sleep Thursday night anyway!

  • If Kate isn't available could you possibly get Livinia Nixon. I know she's single.


See! I'm not such a fussy bloke.

Anyway, I'll leave the back door open and the back light on so that you can easily get in and out... just leave the booty in the lounge room on the floor if you happen to find it - otherwise anywhere will do.

From your good little boy down under,

Ryan

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Strength

Found an interesting quote that complements this post I made a couple of days ago.

There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.

-Booker T. Washington


Nice.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Anchorman

Today was a very difficult day... I spent it on a 40ft yacht at Rottnest Island snorkeling around Rotto's reefs and lounging around on the yacht's bow trying to get a sun tan.

It was great.

I even applied copious amounts of sunscreen to ensure I wouldn't get sunburnt, but I don't think I was too successful.

Hmm, the sunscreen directions say that I have to reapply every 3 hours... does that mean if I apply it on twice, right now, I have to only reapply it every 6 hours?

Well that didn't work.

But the funniest part of the afternoon came when we were to set sail for home. As Kylie and Florence made their way to the bow where all the men were peacefully enjoying some sun they decided to bring up the anchor by winding the anchor's winch and grabbing the anchor's heavy chain.

Or so they thought.

As they struggled away trying to move the thing all the boys egged them on to keep trying harder and harder.

After several grunts and groans they eventually gave up... amidst chuckles from the boys.

"How do you get the anchor up?" asked Kylie frustrated that after all her efforts the thing just wouldn't budge.

"It's motorised," replied Aaron maybe a little too bluntly.

The boys erupted into laughter.

"Well thanks for telling us," left the girls in disgust rubbing their sore hands.

Hehehe [evil laugh]

But then something odd happened... the motorised anchor wouldn't work! In fact the exact opposite happened - it let out more chain!!

Eeek!

We tried some adjusting on the motorised winch, but it still didn't work - the chain just wouldn't catch... and every attempt let out more and more chain.

In the end us three boys had to winch the anchor in by hand!

... all to the choral chuckling of the 6 girls at the back of the yacht.

*sigh*

(And gee there was a lot of chain.)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Minority Report

I have a plan.

Before the next election I'm going to set up a political party. I don't know what my party would be about, probably nothing, but provided I get one or two votes I'd be assured of becoming the next prime minister of Australia!

I can picture it now.

Think I'm crazy?

Well, apparently not. It seems minority groups run this country nowadays.

Huh?

Last week I read an article in our local newspaper about how schools are no longer doing nativity plays because it MAY offend one or two people who don't want to celebrate Christ's birth. Therefore, in the interests of the one or two people who MAY be offended the public schools have scratched nativity plays.

Of course the minority could have withdrawn their children from this extra-curricular activity, which no one would have objected to, but unfortunately everyone now gets to go without.

So, if the majority have to do what the minority want then I'm strongly thinking about setting up a small political party to run this country! Of course we'd have to cap the number of members at a minority number whatever that figure is (although I suppose you couldn't have any more than 49.9%).

Not only is this strange thing happening in schools, but I've heard some stores (such as GAP) also no longer use the term "Christmas" anywhere in the store... it's just replaced with Holidays. So instead of Happy Christmas we get Happy Holidays. And again this action is done because it's in the best interests of the minority's feelings - we don't want to offend that small minority group who should've known better about coming to Australia because that's just what we do.

In fact I'm tempted to go into a GAP store and ask several questions...

1. What are the holidays we are celebrating about? (Every other public holiday we have is for a reason, so what is this one?)

and...

2. What is the current year? (2006 represents the year since Christ's birth. So if you're not willing to recognise Christ in any way shape or form, especially his birth, then what year is it?)

Monday, December 11, 2006

The True Nature Of The Beast

I don't think I ever mentioned it before, but during the rocky relationship Chris had with his ex there were moments where I'd see his ex say things that I personally detested.

These things would be such where if a person had something that was slightly abnormal she'd pick it out and make fun of it.

One such night in Freo, we were eating at a restaurant and she began laughing at some lady's weight, a guy's large nose, and some other lady's hairstyle.

VERY immature stuff... and yet my mate was dating this low life form (love truly is blind)!

It was as if by highlighting these things she was hoping that everyone would turn around and glorify how perfect she was!

Yeah, pretty low stuff, huh?

At the end of the night I couldn't even hold it back anymore and told her to shut up in an angry tone. Chris saw my aggravation and quietened her down.

I wasn't a happy chappy that night believe me. The next day I told Chris in no uncertain terms how superficial and shallow this woman was.

Fast forward to a week or so later, and the relationship ended.

"It's off for good this time," Chris said.

"What happened?" I asked.

"I told her pretty much the stuff you talked about. I told her how immature she was, and how you hated her..."

"Whoa whoa!" I stopped him, "I don't hate anyone. Hate is a strong word, just as love is. Dude, I never said I hated her."

"Oh," he thought about it for a moment, and then I began to wonder whether I came across a little too strong when I talked about her that night, "well, anyway, can you believe she said that she only got that immature stuff from me!"

Fast forward to Melbourne, and this immature 5-year old nature reared its ugly head... but from him!

I kept to myself during his tirades, but upon reflecting about the two incidents I began to wonder whether his ex may have done the things she did to try and impress him.

Maybe she was right.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Finishing up my series on Melbourne there are two other things I'd like to mention...

THE GOOD: Well that's easy, it was the U2 concert. It would've been great if Channel 9 had got back to me about watching a Temptation episode, but they never did... maybe they read this blog and thought I was some Livinia freak!

THE BAD: (Where do I possibly start??) And not to forget the episode we had trying to catch a train to Chadstone...

You'd think buying a ticket, finding the right platform and catching the train would be a simple process in Melbourne, but nOOoOoOoooooo.

"Tickets are this way, dude," I said pointing to the sign that pointed left.

Upon walking for several minutes...

Okay, we've now walked out of the station? I don't see anything??

"Did you see any other sign?" I asked Chris looking around for the magic words "TICKETS HERE", but to no avail.

"How about I just ask someone?" he said stating it as if it should've been our first option.

Good idea.

But did you think that was easy??

Okay, how about we ask someone who looks like they're a local AND can speak English?

Again, it proved very difficult, and even when we received another pointed direction from someone who looked like they worked at the station we were again walking outside.

"Are we just blind?" I asked confused that we were missing the bleeding obvious, "we're probably on candid camera or something."

We're going to be the laughing stock on Melbourne TV tonight I can feel it.

But alas, we eventually found it: it was behind the big construction sign, tucked away in the corner behind the toilets. If it hadn't been for the fact that I asked someone IN the toilets I don't think we ever would've made it.

And then there was the catching-the-right-train ordeal.

I don't know what it is with Melbourne but in Perth you can easily find which train you want to go on because on the front of the train an illuminated message shows where the train is going.

All trains at the platform we were told to go on read "City Loop".

"Is this the one?" I asked Chris, who had studiously grabbed a timetable booklet.

"Umm..."

Reading the thing was again a complicated matter. One versed in quantum physics would have had no worries divulging what was trying to be said.

"Quick dude, it's going to go."

"What time is it?" he asked.

"11:47am"

For a moment there it felt like we were on the Amazing Race. Chris traced his finger down the timetable...

"Yep, if this is the 11:47 train it's the one!"

We quickly jumped on.

Big mistake.

Who thinks that trains run according to their scheduled time?

Anyone? Anyone?

We ended up catching the wrong train, and ended up in some unknown forbidden part of town...




We waited for about half an hour before we finally caught the right train (which also said "City Loop"?!?).

Thankfully there were no other dramas on our way to Chadstone, and after all that effort there really wasn't anything exciting at Chadstone anyway.

*sigh*

THE UGLY: Another funny episode occurred when the four of us went to Essendon's DFO (Direct Factory Outlet). Emma, being the only chic in the group, was in her element here with shops selling discount stuff left, right and center.

However, the incident we had was with a Pakastani cab driver we had on our way back to the hotel.

After instructing the driver where we needed to go he never seemed quite certain.

"King Street in the city," said one.

"It runs off Bourke street," said another.

I think with everyone talking at once it probably confused the poor guy more.

"The Kingsgate Hotel... King Street," I said.

"Ok ok," he acknowledged.

It wasn't until we were driving away from the city that we all began to ask whether he knew where he was going.

"Hey mate, King Street in the city," yelled Chris from the back seat of the taxi van pointing to the city that we had now passed.

It didn't twig, but the guy did an illegal U-turn and began driving back to the city.

We might be tourists, but we're not *that* dumb - our hotel's in the city.

When he finally found the right road, Chris again yelled from the back...

"You need to get into the left-most lane, mate."

The guy stayed in the right-most lane.

We neared our destination, and Chris yelled a little louder...

"You need to get into the left-most lane, mate."

Again, no change, he drove in the same lane.

Aaron now tried, "Mate our stop is just up there," pointing to the Kingsgate, "you need to get over."

I don't know what was going through this guy's head, but it certainly wasn't the English we were instructing him with.

"Left," yelled Chris, who was now beginning to annoy everyone, "LEFT!"

Without looking, or indicating, and the Kingsgate Hotel's entrance bearing down upon us the taxi driver turned sharply left.

The problem with his sudden turn was the car driving alongside us in the left lane.

*HONK* *HONK*

But the honking fell on deaf ears, just as the instructions to get into the left lane hundreds of meters before had. The taxi kept cutting in and it gave no choice for the other driver but to drive up onto the sidewalk and slam on his brakes!

Thankfully no one was walking on the sidewalk at the time.

"Bloody hell mate," continued Chris who had the best view of events from the back seat, "STOP!"

He slammed on the brakes.

Somehow we had arrived.

Planes, trains and automobiles (aka cab drivers)... aaah, Melbourne, why do I ever leave?

U2 Night

I'd better jump straight to the U2 night otherwise I'll never get there!

The night was a blast. The atmosphere was electric, and even though we had seats we didn't sit once U2 were out! And for those that watch Thank God You're Here we even bumped into Hamish Blake and Andy (Emma had photos taken with them).

Unfortunately I didn't take my camera on the Melbourne trip as on the ticket stub it said you weren't able to take ANY cameras into the event at all. However, after seeing someone with a camera, Aaron decided to race back to the hotel and use his... and he was successful in getting it through security (hopefully I'll be able to post his photos soon)!

Anyhoo, I decided to use my mobile phone's in-built camera and here were the pix I took during the night...





I don't know why Kanye West was used as support? I think maybe only one or two people were getting into his music, whereas everyone else just couldn't wait until he got off...



The anticipation...



Finally, it was here...








The Telstra Dome was packed...











The Christmas tree...







Goodbye...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My Big Fat Mouth

SETTING: A dinner party Tuesday night

DAVID (don't call him Dave he'll give you a karate chop to the back of the head): Did you know my brother can fit a whole cheeseburger in his mouth?

EVERYONE (in awe): OoOoOoooooooo

ANDREW: My brother once stuffed a whole super sized muffin in his mouth!!

EVERYONE (still in awe): OooOOoOOOoOOooo

ME (turning to my brother): Why don't you tell everyone that your brother beats them all hands down.

Even though everyone heard me, my brother announces over the table that his brother can beat them all hands down.

ME (now whispering to my brother)

Upon hearing what I can stuff into my mouth, he laughs and announces...

MY BROTHER: My brother is notorious for putting... his own foot into his mouth!

EVERYONE laughs.

ME (chest up, announcing proudly): And when I'm on a roll I can usually get both in there!!

Yep, my big fat mouth.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Beach Blisters

Every time I've run along the beach I've always worn shoes as the sand can get quite hot and you don't want to accidentally cut yourself on anything sharp (especially a syringe! Eeek!).

However, I've felt a little weird on my Mullaloo beach runs as I've noticed that everyone else runs without shoes on.

You look like a tourist! Be a man and run naked, yelled the coach.

Well I suppose the sun now does rise an hour later, so the sand isn't so hot anymore.

So this week I decided to run naked... well, half naked... I wore no shoes.

Unfortunately though running on sand didn't prove to be too beneficial for my feet - I didn't realise running on sand would cause so many blisters!

And, being the crazy beaching bloke I am, this morning, even though I had blisters from my previous run this week, I decided to run again.

Come on! Toughen up.

So now I've got blisters on my blisters!!

Add to that the fact that one popped and I went into the water...

AIYA!!!!

It's at moments like these I wish I had a wheelchair.

Crown Casino

If there's one place where we spent a lot of our time in Melbourne it was the Crown Casino.

And I didn't wager 1 red cent, but I sure felt sorry for those on the pokies pushing their life away with a button.

On the first night of my stay in Melbourne Chris and I found a comfy little cafe that played episodes of Seinfeld! It's been ages since I've seen Seinfeld.

We sat there for hours and hours, all the while sipping large coffees.

As we sat there I couldn't help but look out at the sea of elderly people playing away on the pokies.

"A part of me wants to slap these people round and get them out of here," I said to Chris acknowledging another newcomer who had come to sit at an available slot machine, "but another part of me says that they deserve everything they get."

Chris nodded, but really wasn't paying any attention to my ranting.

"And to think that even if they win something big they'll be back continuing to flitter it away in the hopes of getting more money. Greed is an insatiable beast."

Chris laughed, but it had to do with what was happening on Seinfeld, and on that note we decided it was time to head back and get some shut eye.

I wasn't terribly tired or jet-lagged. My body clock was 3 hours behind Melbourne time, and I had drank waaay too much coffee.

Upon us exiting from the casino, James Packer (the owner), obviously wasn't happy with us. As we walked outside towards the King Street bridge we were almost cremated!

Think this is an innocent looking pillar?



THEN THINK AGAIN!!!



And you think it's just a small flame, right?...



This thing's only just getting started! And to think that the camera hadn't melted and that I hadn't turned into a pile of dust by now...



The fury of James Packer upon all those who didn't waste their money at Crown Casino...



Here's what it looks like from a distance...



I was tempted to go and grab a stick and put a marshmallow at the end of it, but I couldn't find anything long enough.

So that was our first night at Crown Casino.

But before I leave the topic of the Crown Casino there was one thing that irked me during our travels there, and I'll sum it up in two words...

Allocated Seating.

Huh?

Yep, I had never heard about it before, but apparently at Crown Casino's Village Cinemas when you purchase a normal ticket you are allocated a seat number on that ticket and this is the place where you sit.

So, being unaware of this on the first night that we saw a flick we walked into our respective cinema and found a nice comfortable seat at the back.

Easy.

It wasn't until the movie started that a group of latecomers walked in and as they were fossicking away for their seats, one just so happened to have the seat that I was sitting in.

"What number are you Dorcas?" asked the boy who sat down next to me.

She said some number.

"That's... here," he said pointing to me.

By now I was wondering what the hell all this noise was about and I turned to him. His girlfriend excused herself as she made her way towards me and said,

"Ah, you're sitting in my seat?"

"Huh?"

"It's allocated seating. You're sitting in my seat."

"Allocated what?" Are you nuts?

"These cinemas have allocated seating."

"Allocated what?" I said as I got up to reach for my ticket in my back pocket.

"You're down there," she said a little too smugly.

It was at this point that I wished I had brought a drink in. A nice big bladder bursting jumbo sized Coke, and to have... ummm... let's say "accidentally" spill ALL of it onto something, say... a particular seat I had warmed to.

Drat! Out of all the times I wanted a drink, even though I wasn't thirsty, NOW would've been the perfect time. Drat, drat, drat.

"Oh, I'm sorry," I said as I alighted from my seat (alighting seems pertinent to use at the casino!).

As Chris and I were booted from our comfy seats we then tried to figure out where OUR seats were.

"What does your's say?" Chris asked.

"G19. And you?"

"J5."

Huh?

Now we were sitting at opposite ends of the cinema?!?

"This is crazy?" he laughed.

"Stuff it, let's just sit down in the middle there."

Being rebellious we found some available seats and watched the remainder of the movie.

On our second trip back, we asked the guy behind the ticket counter about this so-called "allocated seating" and believe it or not the guy said it was true and in force.

We then booked two tickets at the end row and when we entered the cinema had the pleasure of kicking somebody else's ass out of our seats (it actually felt quite good).

"Watch that drink," I said to the boy who had now become a bootee.

But our booting started a domino allocated seating effect - those boys kicked someone out of their seats, and in turn the new bootees kicked someone else... etc etc.

And all the while we were sitting at the back enjoying the mad shuffle before the movie started.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pre Day-Light Saving Party

Yesterday I received a text message from my mate Jon-Jon's wife about a small party they were having that night...

"and I'd really love for you to come."

...she ended in the text message.

Weird to word it like that, I thought.

I didn't think too much about it, and sure enough when I arrived I was introduced to Karina.

Ah, I've been set up!

So what were my impressions?

Have we found a winner yet?

Well, unfortunately... no - she's already seeing (if you can call a long distance relationship "seeing") someone else and I'm not the type of bloke that interposes (as I know I wouldn't like it if it were done to me and my woman).

How would she have gone if she were single?

Good question. Physically she was attractive - she has beautiful crystal blue eyes, and a nice smile. She's a physio and enjoys maintaining an active lifestyle by running, swimming and cycling (the trifecta!).

Personality-wise she's a very strong willed person. She has travelled a large part of the world with some parts on her lonesome. I think women with a personality like that can intimidate some blokes and until they can display a "softness" in their personality will likely remain single unless they fall in love with someone who has an even stronger will, or is extremely long-suffering/patient. But if such a woman doesn't respect her partner it doesn't matter if the bloke has either of those qualities she'll walk all over him.

That's just my experience... and I've had a lot of it throughout my years - I consider my sister to have such a quality.

Anyway, another thing I found out last night was that Karina was good friends with a previous date I had many moons ago (for those that have been here awhile it was the one that stalked me for 5-odd years after we broke up!).

"Oh... you're *that* Ryan," she said surprisingly when she found out that I had dated her friend.

Uh-oh

She pondered it silently and I just kept quiet.

So, yes, some of Karina's mannerisms had reminded me of her and I suppose with Karina being friends with her throughout the years she's no doubt rubbed off on her a little.

Karina left early (another party) and as she left Jon-Jon and his wife tried to push her to come to Albany for our Christmas-New Year's holiday in a couple of weeks. She said she would, but she said she'd only be able to be there maybe a day or two if she did come.

So, yeah, that was Karina - if she were single, softer, and had slightly longer hair she'd probably be close to perfect.

However, gauging what a person's like in one night is terribly difficult, but first impressions do count... a lot.

Day-Light Saving... Again

Well, it's in.

Obviously Betsy didn't complain loud enough because Perth is now trialling day-light saving for the next 3 years.

It was some 14-15 years ago when Perth trialled DST and it didn't prove too successful. I don't mind having it in... more sun time can be spent at the beach until 9pm when the sun sets now!!

Woohoo!

I have to admit though - adjusting the clocks is a bit of pain I can't believe how many I've got!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Thanksgiving Christmas Family Do

As one side of our family will be celebrating Christmas down in Albany this year, the other side decided to celebrate Christmas early.

So on the Thanksgiving weekend we had a little get together at Pelican Point... where there are no pelicans, well, at least not on that day.




Much fun was had with the frisbee and footie.

The Best Saddest News Of The Year

It was a tough day for my sister yesterday... she broke up with her man of 7 months, and let's just say it wasn't a smooth break up.

I don't think I've commented about their relationship on this blog as I've done so with other relationships and there's never really been anything positive I've said about any of them - two relationships I know about that I've posted a lot on were definitely negative, with one of those relationships braking up, and the other getting happily married.

(If there's one profession I know I'll never get into and that's pre-marital or relationship counselling!)

Seeing the relationship my sister had with this loser was a difficult one. Initially after meeting the guy and trying to get to know him I wondered what she ever saw in him, as I couldn't find anything of substance. However, after learning from my mistakes of not being encouraging enough to the relationship that married I decided to swallow my opinions and just be happy for them.

Maybe it's just me because I'm all bitter and twisted due to my singledom, I thought.

But believe me it was a hard thing to swallow and I'm thankful that I wasn't alone in my opinion of the bloke. Many friends and family members couldn't believe it and they'd often ask me questions about what she saw in him...

"What does she see in him?" they'd ask.

"Uh... I dunno."

"Does he have money?"

"Uh... no."

"Does he have a job?"

"Uh... no."

"Does he have personality?"

"Uh... no."

In fact, come to think of it, I don't think there was one person who actually said to me "Gee, don't they look good together."

That's sad.

As time past I began seeing more and more of how little depth and character this bloke had.

And eventually when the times got rough in the relationship she asked for my opinion about the matter.

I could no longer keep my concerns in, and on that one quiet night I let it all out. We spoke about it for hours.

Thankfully she took it quite well, and even though she still dated the guy for a month after that talk I think it gave her the fresh eyes to see him for what he really was: a spoilt little boy.

(He definitely wasn't a man.)

Soon, things came to a head, and on Thursday night he exploded and verbally abused his grandmother, all in front of my sister and my sister's friend. The next day (yesterday) my sister had had enough of his childish outbursts and confronted him to break things off.

He wasn't happy.

He threw objects around the room, and swore at her. Scared of the situation she quickly left and went to my parent's home, where I was too, and burst into the house crying her little heart out.

She had plenty of shoulders to cry on thankfully.

It was hard, but it had to be done.

Unfortunately though, the next wave of abuse occurred when he then called her and tried to reconcile, but it was all too little too late.

Sensing the losing battle, he then resorted to all desperate measures even telling her that he was going to commit suicide.

What a friggin jerk (I'd use much more colourful language believe me - my blood was boiling yesterday).

But throughout all the tirade it showed the true nature of the beast - an insecure, pathetic little boy who never takes responsibility for his own actions.

Half of me hopes that he does come around here, but the other half hopes he doesn't... I don't want to do anything that I might regret later, but I tell ya, it wont take me much after what he put my sister through yesterday.

I've got to cool down... I'm off to the beach.

The Hotel Of Horrors - Part II

(Part I of this series is here.)

I was a sight to behold for sure.

Water was everywhere.

The only alternative left for me was to change back into my old clothes and to search for a dry towel... even if I had to walk all the way down to the administration desk and get one.

My patience was wearing thin.

Nothing in here works.

As I placed my good clean clothes on top of the stuffed-up hand dryer I proceeded to put my shorts back on.

At least they don't smell as bad, I thought - something was at least going right.

But in all my scurrying around I failed to neglect a very small issue. No... wait, I never really FAILED to neglect it, there were just more pressing issues at hand that I concentrated more on and pushed this issue to the back...

When I placed my shorts out in front of me I opened them up getting ready to put one leg through.

...the thing I failed to neglect was how wet the floor was from the overflow that had come from my shower, and trying to balance on one foot proved very dangerous indeed - getting the first leg through was easy, it was the second that proved harder.

So as I motioned with my right leg raised ready to insert it into its respective part of my shorts my body tried to compensate for the change of balance and through a strange set of what begun as small hops, soon turned into one big flop on the floor.

*hop* *hop* *hop*

"Eeeek!"

*plop*

As I laid there on the wet floor I wondered whether or not it was even worthwhile getting back up.

Maybe, if I just lay here in the men's loos the water will eventually dry up and by that time the rest of my clothes will have dried too.

But no sooner had that thought entered my mind did someone walk into the men's changeroom.

In one super fast motion I fed my right leg through my shorts, pulled them up and stood upright.

"Arrrgh," my backside was sore from the fall and now I had a large wet circle on the backside of my shorts.

"What the...?" said the bloke who had just walked in, he saw me standing there, half-naked, and although he never said anything the expression on his face asked, "Just what the hell happened?"

All I could do was look at the mess, as though I too had just come in, shake my head and with disdain say, "Kids!"

*tsk*

I didn't want to have to go into detail about what happened, so I hurriedly grabbed my wet clothes and walked outside.

Okay, now what room was I in again?

Errr...

I couldn't quite remember, but at least I could remember what the door looked like - it was right near the fire hydrant.

Okay, now where was the fire hydrant?

Upon spotting someone who looked like they knew the place, I asked, "Excuse me, do you know where the fire hydrant is?"

It probably wasn't the best question I could have asked. I mean, there I was, half naked, dripping like a soaked rat, asking what was probably the cleaning lady where the fire hydrant was.

What? You need more water? she probably thought.

"Well there's two on this floor, honey."

"Err, give me both."

"There's one that's just down this hall and to your left. And the other is down the other end of this hall, but on your right."

"Easy. Thankyou."

I made my way to the fire hydrant on the left and when I saw it I felt a huge sigh of relief.

*phew*

As I didn't have the key to get in I had to hope Chris was still in the room.

*knock* *knock*

I heard a strange groaning sound, followed by a shuffling of some sort.

I probably woke the poor sod up, I thought.

Eventually the door swung open and a lady in her mid-50s stood at the door in a bath robe.

"Well hello," she said, "what can I do you for love?" she asked raising her arm up the side of the door and licking her lips.

"I'm so sorry. I've got the wrong room."

"Are you sure?" she said as she proceeded to reveal her left leg.

"Oh yeah, I'm sure."

As I turned to make my way out of there, she walked up behind and gave my ass a slap.

"Argh," I winced in pain from the fall I had in the men's changeroom.

"Come round any time," she whispered, "I'll give you a hand drying off."

I quickly hightailed it out of there, even though walking fast was a little difficult.

I'm probably going to have nightmares tonight.

My body quivered.

It was quite easy finding my way back to where I had met the cleaning lady. The floors at the Kingsgate are carpeted and my wet feet had left marks of where I had been.

Walking down the main hall and turning right proved to be the right fire hydrant after all.

After tapping on the door I was ever so thankful to see Chris' face.

"Hey, what took you so long?" he asked, "I was beginning to think you'd got lost."

"Me? Lost?" I tried to put back on a brave face, "What do you think I am? A woman!"

I used his towel to dry the remainder of my body off (which had pretty much fully dried by now) and changed into a cleaner pair of clothes.

"Aah."

Boy it felt good to get into something warmer.

Soon after I had applied some deoderant did both us hear a knock at the door.

Uh-oh, maybe that's the manager of the place. I'm probably going to get kicked out.

Chris opened the door.

"Oh, hello," said a somewhat familiar voice, "is there a half naked man in there?"

Oh no! It was the old lady from the other room near the fire hydrant!

As Chris turned around, I mimed a ferocious "NO!" whilst flailing my arms all over the place.

He turned back and as he slowly closed the door said something that I couldn't quite hear. She then said a few words, and soon Chris closed the door.

"Thanks, man," I said, "I bumped into her when I was trying to find this room. She'll probably come back and try again. Let's get out of here."

"Oh, I don't think she'll be back in a hurry," he said scratching his head, "I told her you were gay."

"What??"

"But you know what she said?" he asked still scratching his head as I shook my head, "she said that explained why you have a sore ass."

Oh.

"What concerns me," said Chris looking at the two single beds in our room, "is are you *really* gay, because I'm kicking you out if you are."

"Mate, you wont believe what just happened," I said beginning to laugh, "but let's go grab a bite to eat - I'm starving."

And with that we scurried down the stairs out onto King Street.

The night was just beginning.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Hotel Of Horrors

There were several things that I should've paid more attention to as I ambled my way to the Kingsgate Hotel.

First, its name.

Why the King's gate, and not the king's room, or his palace, or something more grand? I pondered.

And then there was the cheap accommodation.

Unfortunately such thoughts weren't audible enough for me to notice as I raced across the Melbourne streets heaving my luggage trying to find... King Street.

Hmm, maybe that's why it has King in its name - it's on King street!

Surprisingly, the place wasn't too much of a walk from the station where I was dropped off.

Cool, now I can have a shower and get changed.

Before entering the complex I noticed an award plaqued on their entrance proudly showing an award they won back in 2002 for "Best Budget Hotel".

Uh-oh.

As I walked up the stairs to the foyer I saw my mate Chris waiting. When he saw me approach he put down the pamphlet he was browsing and beamed a big smile.

Is he smiling because the rooms are good? Or because he's just happy to see me?

"Ew, what's that smell?" he remarked after shaking hands.

"I need to get changed," I said and as we made our way to our room I told him the story of what had happened during the flight.

When I entered our room my initial reaction was a strange one. The room had two single beds, an old closet with a couple of drawers underneath... and a sink right in the middle between the two beds.

This is it??

"Whaddya think?" Chris asked.

Oh please don't tell me we bathe in the basin??

"Umm, where are the showers?" I asked more concerned about getting into some warmer gear.

"You just go down the hall, turn right, turn right again, go to the end, turn right again, turn left and then turn left again," he answered giving appropriate hand signals to each "left" and "right" like a policeman directing traffic.

"No worries."

Famous last words.

After grabbing my toiletries bag, a change of clothes, a towel and bar of soap provided by the hotel my body screaming for a shower.

Okay, right, right, left, right, left, left, right... easy.

Upon making my first two or three turns I thought I would've been there by now, but I found myself at a dead end!?

Great!

I walked back the way I came... or so I thought... and heard voices with what sounded like water lapping down from a shower.

Alright!

Upon getting as close as I could to the noise I had successfully found the showers... the women's showers.

Ok, the men's changeroom HAS to be nearby.

And do you think they were??

Nup.

I walked up and down the hall, looked around the corners at both ends and couldn't see any indication of a men's changeroom.

What to do, what to do?

Do I just walk into the women's changeroom and ask? I joked.

That'd be nice, but no doubt would more than likely see me thrown out of the hotel (unless they were Dutch tourists)!

What if I wait, and then ask.

It sounded like a good plan.

So I waited at a fair distance away from the door - at the end of the hall.

(Well I didn't want to look like I was keen or anything!)

And boy did those women shower.

Far out.

What could they possibly be doing? I thought, waiting for what seemed like an hour, I could've found the men's changeroom by now, have finished AND eaten dinner!

Admittedly I was too far away to hear whether they were still showering, so after waiting an eternity I decided to walk past and sense whether they were still alive and maybe hadn't drowned.

The closer I approached to the door the more certain I became that they were no longer in the shower - there was no shower lapping noises.

They're gone!

I couldn't hear anything!?

How could I have missed them? I wondered, they would've either walked passed me, or I would've heard them walking up the hall in the opposite direction when I wasn't looking at the door!?

It didn't make sense, so to make certain that no one was in there I decided to put my ear to the door (no I wasn't going to go in... although it was tempting! ;op... Well, hey, by going in at least I knew I could get a shower if no one was in there, right?).

And then no sooner had I began edging my head closer to the door did I hear...

"Ok, ready?"

Followed by a sudden push of the door ajar...

*BANG*

Aw, my head!

The chic handling the door gasped and as I was rubbing my head she apologised profusely.

"Oh I'm so sorry, so so sorry, I'm really sorry..."

If there were a million different ways of saying sorry this chic said it.

"I'm fine I'm fine," I said rubbing the side of my head thankful that the damage wasn't that bad and that my reflexes were still sharp.

Now making use of their attention I asked, "Do you ladies know where the men's changeroom is?"

"Oh yes," said the overly apologetic woman, "you just go down the hallway, turn left, go to the end, turn left again, and then left again, and it should be on your right."

Okay, left, left, left, right.

"Thanks," I said as I began walking away with my new set of directions.

"Ew, what's that smell?" said the other chic, "Fiona, what soap did you use?"

"The one they gave us, which one did you use?"

I hurriedly walked to the end of the hallway and chucked a lefty.

After several minutes I finally found what I was looking for: the men's changerooms.

(Who said women are hopeless with directions? They must've been Dutch!)

And you wouldn't guess what.

The two showers both had occupants in them.

*sigh*

As there were no seats to sit on I decided to sit on one of the toilets and wait.

You should've asked one of the chics to kiss it better, you twit! I joked as I rubbed my head.

I wasn't thinking straight.

Never mind.

Thankfully, I didn't have to wait long for one of the blokes to finish his shower. As soon as he left I entered the vacant shower.

Aah, at last.

Unfortunately, though, I soon discovered that both showers shared a common drain. Even before I had switched my shower on soap and muck from the other bloke's shower was streaming through.

I quickly turned on my shower and began flicking his muck back over to his side.

And then it happened.

The worst possible sound that could be uttered on two showers sharing a common drain... the other bloke let out a deep guttural loogie.

*FFff-phew*

Eeek!

I turned up the shower pressure as much as it could bear and created mini tsunamis towards the drain so that no loogie could ever make its way over to my side.

Soon the second worst sound ripped through the men's shower... he blew his nose.

EEEEK!!

By now, there was so much water on my side of the shower that I could've easily had a bath. Water eventually lapped over the edge of the shower rim and began spilling into the remainder of the changeroom.

I didn't care.

I didn't want to battle and dance around my shower with loogies.

No doubt the water was spilling over on his side too, and it wasn't long until he turned his shower off, dried and then left.

But I was still fearful of those loogies.

Have they been flushed yet?

I tried my best at showering, but doing so with one leg keeping the tsunami tidal flow was difficult.

Upon jumping out I looked around for my towel.

Oh no.

I couldn't believe it. My towel had fallen off of its hook. Not only that but the clothes I was going to change into I had left on the ground (there were no shelves in the showers) and they were now soaking wet. What was worse was the fact that I only had brought one pair of jeans - thinking that Melbourne was going to be warm this time of year (I know - silly Perth boy).

How the heck was I going to dry myself off with a soaking wet towel?

Don't worry... just dry under the hand dryer.

Good thinking.

Okay, now how was I going to tackle this? Should I go out in the nutty, lock the main door, and then wriggle under the thing until I'm done? Or should I wrap the towel around myself, lock the door, and then dry myself the best I possibly can?

I don't know. I didn't care.

I walked out into the main changeroom area with my soaking wet towel around me and tried my best to lock the door. The wet towel didn't provide much cover, and what was worse was the main door wouldn't lock.

Okay, plan B.

I grabbed the only dry clothes I had left, which were the vomit stenched ones... see, when I went into the shower I put the clean clothes I was going to change into on the ground, took off my dirty clothes and placed them on top of the clean clothes, now the smart person would've probably swapped the two around (putting the dirty clothes on the floor), but remember: I was too busy creating tsunamis to keep Mega Mucuous Man from contaminating my shower space... anyway with my dirty clothes I made my way to the hand dryer.

I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do considering I couldn't lock the stupid door... and I definitely didn't want to get caught in any "strange" positions with the hand dryer while attempting to dry myself, and if things couldn't have got any worse today I soon found that the hand dryer didn't work AT ALL!

No, I lie... it worked, it just needed a hamster that was still ALIVE to run the stupid thing as the noise it was making sounded like whatever was generating the fan and heat had died a long time ago.

So there I was standing with a dripping wet towel around me, a change of good clothes that were also wet under one arm, and a change of dirty smelly clothes that were dry in the hand of the other.

What to do? What to do?

It's late. More later...

Monday, November 27, 2006

R. N. B.

I didn't realise how much I missed the beach when I woke up early Saturday morning and pushed myself to do the ol' beach run and surf.

There have been a few days in November that have breached my "beach weather" limit of 30 degrees, but I've either been in frosty frickin Melbourne or been too busy!

*argh*

But last Saturday was finally an exception and I pulled myself out of bed and went to a beach I had only been once to previously.

Boy was I ever glad I went.

I can't believe how much I missed the waves, the water and the... women!

Not to mention the burning pain in the calves and thigh muscles, and then the soothing cool sensation of diving into the crystal water whilst entertaining myself catching a wave or two.

Life doesn't get any better than this.

When you start your day with something like that it's extremely difficult to have a bad day.

I just wish I could enjoy the sunshine without its harmful UV rays as as time flies when you're having fun and some idiots just forget to apply sunscreen.

No immediate names come to mind, of course? ;o)

So what's with the title?

Oddly enough, Perth's summer pattern goes a little like this: we have a small heat wave in November which cools down early December all the way to about Christmas where it then really heats up for January and February. Last year our cool December period went a little longer than expected, which proved to be quite painful because going to the beach just wasn't worth it - it was just too damn cold.

So, even though it's not officially summer YET, beaching in November is nothing unusual, and this activity is known by its popular term RNB - Ryan's November Beaching :o)

Hopefully this year summer will be better than last as the surf at Mullaloo beach (the closest beach to where I live) is much better than Leighton and Coogee (previous beaches I lived near).

Can't wait until we have out next bout of hot weather.

(I've heard of rain dances before, but does anyone know the drill for hot-beach-weather dances??)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Bitter Cold Melbourne

I felt it straight away.

It was the equivalent of jumping into a pool or beach of cold water.

*BAM*

8 frickin degrees.

The coldest November day in Melbourne on record... apparently, and I just so happened to rock up in shorts and a colourfully painted shirt.

*bRrrrRRrrrr*

"Thankyou," said one stewardess as I left, "and have a nice day."

As if, lady. I've got shorts, a stinky shirt, and now I have to wait until this electrical storm blows over before I can even get my luggage.

Nice day.

*tsk*

I wasn't in the best of moods.

Who could be in such a weird place like Melbourne which frequently displays weird bouts of weather - and today was no exception.

As I walked to the carousels I looked outside and saw it hailing.

It's going to be summer in 3 weeks and it looks like we're in the middle of winter here!

I couldn't believe it.

Maybe this was all just some weird dream, and that I'd find myself back in bed waking up to my 6am alarm clock. I tried pinching myself, but even though my fingers were pinching I couldn't feel a thing... it was too cold.

Well, this is no fun, I sighed, as the luggage area built up with more and more people from other flights who similarly had to wait for their luggage.

I suppose I could go and try and find that bus shuttle service and buy myself a ticket.

I had to do something just to keep warm, and walking seemed like a good idea.

Unfortunately, as I walked up and down the terminal, I discovered that the shuttle ticket place had "conveniently" moved outside.

Great!

If I thought it was cold inside the terminal, I was soon in for a greater shock when the sliding doors opened and I walked into the REAL cold outside!

Eeek!

Certain male anatomy froze.

Sorry boys.

I quickly folded my arms over my chest, inserted my hands under my armpits to keep them warm, and hobbled over to the shuttle ticketing desk.

"One, please," I said shivering.

I handed her a $20 note and waited for my ticket... and waited... and waited.

After spending what seemed like an eternity cryogenically frozen in the cold Melbourne weather I was eventually handed my ticket. I think the chic behind the counter wanted to see if I would turn blue.

No, lady, I'm not a Christmas tree.

I scurried back into the warmer terminal.

By now the carousel area was getting a little full, which worked well for a bloke that was cold like me. Wherever there was a dense concentration of people I just waddled my way there and bathed in their warmth.

At times I slotted myself between a couple that were cuddling, and at other times I decided that some people just needed a big... long... hug - even if they didn't ask for it.

When I had drained them of all their body heat I simply moved on to the next one - in essence I was a human heat seeking leech!

But most of the time I found it quite difficult to keep the hugged party hugged.

"Ew, what's the smell?" some would say as they'd try to wriggle away from this strange man that had clung to them.

"It's ok," I'd say knowing I'd only have seconds left to sap all heat from my host, "you get used to it after awhile."

Eventually an announcement boomed over the terminal informing everyone that the storm had now passed and that their luggage would now be coming.

Woohoo!

As I waited and waited and waited and waited, my luggage finally arrived.

Ok, now I can get changed.

No sooner had that thought popped into my head, did I notice outside the big red shuttle bus.

Eeek!

Scurrying back outside I jumped in line and awaited to get on to what appeared to be an already packed bus.

Am I going to be able to get on?

As the line slowed with each boarding passenger I got closer and closer to the bus' door.

"Sorry mate," said the bus driver when I placed my left foot on the first step, "you'll have to wait for the next bus. It shouldn't be long."

Drat!

He closed the door and sped away.

More and more people poured out from the terminal after successfully collecting their luggage and filed in the shuttle bus line.

If I go back inside to keep warm, I'm going to miss the red shuttle bus each time.

So I stood there.

At the front of the line like a frozen chicken.

If there was ever a time I needed a hug... now was the time, but no hug came.

The wind picked up, and let down another load of hail.

*bbRrRrrRrrrrrrrr*

"4 Minutes" read the shuttle bus display indicating when the next red bus was going to arrive.

What could I possibly do to keep warm in 4 minutes?

*beep beep* *beep beep*

My phone had just received a text message, from Chris, asking where I was. I hit the reply button and typed,

HIM AT TGHDED AHIQRPPNORT BC TUT HIMNM 20+

Which, as most Canadians will easily be able to translate, means:

IM AT THE AIRPORT C U IN 20

Replying to Chris was a Godsend. It took my mind off the pain and allowed me to waste those 4 minutes while I texted away.

I scampered onto the bus, threw my luggage into the holding area and sat on the back seat in the foetal position.

Upon arriving at the Southern Cross bus station I was instructed to ask one of the ladies behind the counter as to which shuttle I needed to go on to get to my hotel.

"Which hotel, sir?"

"Ah, the Kingsgate."

"You can actually walk to it from here," the lady instructed pulling out the ubiquitous Melbourne city map and scribbling where we were, and where I needed to go.

"I can do that," I said picking up my luggage and wondering just how to get out of this place.

And so, I set sail to what was to become the hotel of horrors.

The fun was just starting.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Touchdown

Being one of the last to arrive on the plane finding my seat didn't prove to be too difficult.

16... B.

Right in the middle of two elderly folk.

Great! Now I'm going to get the stories of "the good ol' days" in stereo!

But thankfully I didn't, which may have been due to the fact that I wore headphones during the whole flight! Thank God for Qantas' inflight entertainment!

Unfortunately, breakfast came around after takeoff and I wasn't impressed: sausages, bacon and scrambled eggs.

Yuk.

I think I'm the only person alive who doesn't enjoy eating meat or eggs for breakfast - give me muesli or fruit any day.

"What would you like for breakfast then sir?" asked the stewardess after I had scrunched my face in disgust at the options, no doubt thinking that I was probably some type of tree hugging hippie.

"Just the fruit juice, please."

Not long after the inflight entertainment did we begin experiencing some turbulence, immediately the dinging seat belt sign was turned on followed by the captain over the speaker...

"This is your captain speaking," he started, trying to remain calm, "it's going to get a little bumpy as we pull into Melbourne. If everyone could please move to their seats and fasten their seat belts."

The plane began to shake and wobble as it moved through the dense Victorian clouds. It would've probably been quite therapeutic had it not been that we were 35,000 feet above the ground travelling at several hundred kilometers per hour!

To my left, the old lady at the window, quickly moved her hand to her mouth.

Initially I thought she had spotted something gross, maybe a bird flying through the engine, or maybe even Superman getting changed, but what I soon discovered was her breakfast.

As she fossicked through the pouch in front of her, I looked over and gave the quizzical eye.

(BTW... if doing a quiz is to be quizzical, then doing a test is to be...?? lol)

She turned to look at me, and tried to motion what she was doing, but it was all too late.

The plane was hit with a wind pocket and it dove a couple of meters sending it in a short sudden drop.

All I felt next was a warm sensation on my left arm and chest.

Again, it would've been quite therapeutic if it hadn't been for the fact that it was somebody's half digested breakfast!

And if I had eaten the same I probably would've returned the favour, but all I had was a juice... something that had now proceeded to my bladder and was safe from ever being brought back up, but was busting to get out.

Unfortunately no stewardess came to my immediate attention. The plane was rocking all over the place making it hard to even stay seated, I couldn't imagine how hard it would be to walk.

The old lady eventually found her spew bag and proceeded to let out the remaining 10% of her stomach into it.

Bits of sausage and what looked like carrots (which I thought was weird because they didn't serve carrots??) speckled my red shirt.

After the lady had finished with the remainder of her breakfast she reached for her handbag and pulled out some tissues.

She showered me with apologies as she scaped all the little bits of sausages and eggs off.

"That's ok," I said trying to reassure her by finding something soothing to say, "I... get it all the time."

"You get women vomiting over you all the time?" she asked wiping away.

"Uh... no, I was talking about touching my chest."

We both smiled.

Again the plane rattled through the thick clouds and it wasn't long until we were finally underneath them and on the tarmac.

When the plane slowed to a manageable speed a stewardess saw my predicament and provided a damp cloth to wipe myself down with.

The captain came back over the blower,

"This is your captain speaking. We have now arrived in Melbourne, unfortunately there will be some delays as there is an electrical storm and all ground crew have ceased to work until it clears over. There will be a slight delay in retrieving your luggage."

Great! Nothing to change into.

As we waited on the plane to disembark the captain came over the speaker again,

"The current time in Melboune is a quarter to three and the temperature is 8 degrees!"

WHAT!!! 8 degrees????

Oh no.

Just how was a boy in shorts and a wet smelly shirt going to cope in such chilly conditions?

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Getting Ready For Take Off

0805

This was the time my flight was due to take off from Perth on Wednesday morning to arrive in Melbourne. Having planned an hour earlier to arrive at the airport I got there with 45 minutes to spare thanks to some crazy driving by my sister and crazy freeway traffic in general.

Easy.

Or so I thought.

Trying to keep calm under the stressful situation of getting onboard on my flight (and recovering from my sister's lead foot), I played it cool and waltzed on over to the long line where people were having their baggage checked in.

Easy.

Several minutes passed and as I looked around at the other folk entering the terminal I noticed that they all proceeded to these little touch screens.

Hmm, maybe they're just lost and need directions, I thought.

I progressed further in the line and saw a big red sign that read...

STEP #1 - Collect ticket
STEP #2 - Check baggage in


Duh!

What kind of an idiot doesn't know the two basic steps to boarding a plane: grab your ticket, load your luggage, and get on the friggin plane.

The baggage line moves at a slow steady pace, but having arrived with 45 minutes under my belt I know I'm all good.

Waddling a little further I eventually get to the counter.

26 minutes to take off my mind notices... plenty of time.

I heave my light luggage bag onto the conveyor belt and force a smile.

"Ticket please?" the bloke asks placing one of his hands out on top of the counter.

"Uh, isn't that what you're meant to give me?" I respond.

"No, you should have got your ticket from the touch screen terminals there," he points in the direction of where all the smart people who can read signs are touching away at their screen and grabbing their ticket.

Eeek! I thought that was an info finding thing.

"Thanks," I said as I quickly grabbed my luggage and walked over to the new fangle dangle ticket touch screens.

It's okay, you've got plenty of time my mind coaches, trying it's best to calm my body.

TO START PLEASE TOUCH THE SCREEN

It reads.

I touch it, but nothing happens.

I touch it again, but still nothing happens.

I try the other hand, and yet again... nothing happens.

Damn, maybe my hands have gone all clammy and cold? Just calm down, you've got 23 minutes... plenty of time says the strange, and now becoming a little annoying, coaching voice inside my head.

I need to use a warmer part of my body.

I try touching the screen with my elbow, but... nothing happens.

MAN!

I touch my chest and face hoping to find a warm spot, but nothing immediately comes to mind.

What about your tongue? says the coach.

Come on! You've only got 20 minutes, you'd better hurry!

I slowly bend over and crouch down to the screen.

With my tongue I quickly prod the screen.

*Zzzzzzzzzzt*

I receive a little jolt of static and quickly pull back.

PLEASE SELECT YOUR DESTINATION

Reads the screen.

Okay, be quick and hit Melbourne...

In one quick motion I bend down, stick my tongue out, get zapped, and hit "Melbourne" - if I had feathers I'd probably look like a chicken on a farm pecking away at the grass.

THANKYOU... PLEASE WAIT

I wonder why computers are always so nice? I think, rubbing my tongue.

As the computer whirrs away it asks me to select which flight to Melbourne I was taking - the early morning one, or the later in the afternoon one.

*Zzzzzt*... the early morning one.

THANKYOU... PLEASE WAIT

Aw, come on! I don't have all day... 17 minutes.

PLEASE ENTER YOUR NAME

CRAP!!!

The screen flashes a keyboard that has the tiniest keys I've ever seen.

Ok, give me a pointy tongue. Now go... the inner coach encourages.

*Zzzzt*... R... *Zzzzzt*... U... crap!... *Zzzzt*... [backspace]... *Zzzzt*... *Zzzzt*... GHY... CRAP!!! "Give me a pointy tongue," I said. "Sorry coach."... *Zzzzt* *Zzzt* *Zt* [backspace] [backspace] [backspace]... *Zzzzt*... Y... Yes!... *Zzzt*... A... Eww, gross, someone didn't wash their hands... *Zzzzt*... N...

By now my tongue was beginning to get a little swollen with all the static shots it was taking. I didn't want to drink anything cold less I drain the heat away from my tongue and need some other warm part of my body to touch the screen... and I really didn't want to use my bum as a pointer - well I've heard that your bum is the warmest part of your body, but maybe it's like that because we sit on it all day?!

I quickly zapped my surname into the terminal and began cleaning the screen after the computer displayed another...

THANKYOU... PLEASE WAIT

I then zapped confirmation of my seat and within a minute finally had my ticket.

Yay!!!

"This is the first boarding call for people flying to Melbourne on flight QF481."

CRAP!!! I've only just got my ticket!!

I quickly jumped back into the now even longer baggage line.

COME ON! COME ON!

Every second felt like a minute. My palms began to sweat (oh, so now you're hot!) and I had to keep tapping my foot as an outlet for releasing all the nervous energy that was welling up inside.

10 minutes to go.

A separate line opened up for late passengers to the Melbourne line and I quickly scurried into the shorter line.

"Ticket please," asked the lady behind the counter.

I handed over my ticket and tried to feign a happy face. I didn't want to talk. I didn't want to say anything that would otherwise make her work slower in getting my luggage on board that plane.

I just clammed up and tried to smile.

"Thank you Ryan, your leaving from gate number 2."

Phew! The hardest part is now over!

I quickly made my way to the departure gate. First though, I had to go through the scanner.

Oh please please please don't let anything beep.

I nervously placed all my stuff into the open container and fed it to the guy standing near the xray machine. I started scratching my forearms and my head as I waited to go through the arches. I just wanted to be on the plane ALREADY!

COME ON!! yelled the coach.

As I walked through the scanner I held my breath and closed my eyes.

Phew, no beep.

I collected my things from the successfully scanned box and as I was about to make my way to the gate a security lady walked up to me.

"Excuse me sir, could you please step aside."

"Why? What for? I'm going to miss my flight."

"You've been randomly selected for a drug test."

WHAT??

"Do I look like I'm on drugs to you, lady?" I yelled.

Although, I suppose in the nervous state I was in I probably did.

"It will only take a moment of your time."

Oh please don't let it be a touch screen, was the only thing I was worried about. I didn't care if I had to get probed, just so long as I didn't have to fry my tongue on another touch screen.

And with that I was taken to a desk and asked a myriad of questions on whether I had taken any drugs within the last 7 days, whether I had ever taken drugs at all (etc etc)...

"Does Panadol count?"

What seemed like an eternity soon finished and I was able to quickly get to my departure gate with a minute to spare.

Whoever invented the last minute should've won the Nobel prize... because if it weren't for the last minute I think we'd all miss a lot of things.

I was now onboard and setting sail (probably the wrong word considering I was flying?) for Melbourne.

And you'll never guess what happened when I landed in Melbourne.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Just A Quickie...

I'm BACK!

I've got so much to tell, so much to show, so much work to get through, and so many friggin emails that I think my Outlook program is going to explode any minute.

Besides sore legs, feet, throat, and back (all will be explained later) I'm in one piece.

I'm also dog tired and will hopefully detail everything in bits and pieces during the week when I can spare a few minutes.

Watch this space!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Cruel God?

"Everyone will be going to heaven."

Mentioned one bloke to my father yesterday (I think he was Bahai).

(Unfortunately he wouldn't let us get a word in edge wise, being extremely loud with his belief and us only standing a few feet away from him, so I'm letting out here what we tried to tell him yesterday.)

But doesn't it sound nice?

EVERYONE goes to heaven.

In fact, it wouldn't really matter what you do here on earth, whether it be good or bad, because in the end we'll all be partying in heaven, right?

So we can rape, pillage and loot throughout this life and regardless of what happens here it wont matter because everything will be good in the end.

Wait, a minute... rape... pillage... loot... now???

Hmm, maybe this everyone-going-to-heaven business doesn't sound so crash hot now, huh?

Well, you can believe what you want dude, but if you're going to start throwing Scripture around to back up your belief you better be prepared (2 Timothy 2:15).

So, dude, if what you say is true and it's backed up by the bible, then why did God give Moses the Ten Commandments? Why did God even let His Son die on the cross? And what about the rich man in hell (Luke 16) - if we're all going to heaven then He's obviously forgotten someone and needs to correct that mistake!

"And you believe in the Trinity. There is only one God. It says in John 1:1 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God' - see there is only one God, the "Word" and "God" are the same."

Again, dude, if you want to believe there's only God, then that's your prerogative, but don't start using Scripture to back your argument up, because using that verse you've just disproven your own belief. Just read 14 more verses down and you've got your answer... "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

"So you believe that if a murderer were to confess Christ as their Saviour on their deathbed they would be saved and go to heaven. As opposed to someone who throughout their entire life does something good for the benefit of mankind and doesn't accept Christ, and therefore goes to hell."

Well dude let's say that in order to be saved you have to be "good". Define good. How do we know what is good, or what is bad? Murder might be bad in our society, but what of the lost trides in Papua New Guinea that still practice cannabilism? And do I have to do more "good" than "bad" to go to heaven? Does each "good" act carry a certain amount of points, and each "bad" act similarly carry a certain amount of points? Where can this "point system" be found? Who determined which act carried what amount of points?

And what now of the murderer who lying on their deathbed now discovers this "good-bad point system" and wants to do the right thing? It'll be too late.

The message of salvation is a simple one and yet what we do with it in this short space of time will carry eternal consequences - it's the dichotomy of life. Which is why Jesus' closing words to his disciples were very important "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

Where will you spend eternity?

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Rev 3:20)

Hope Restored

I had a a fantastic time on Tuesday night at Dan & Melissa's place.

For the last couple of months (especially after attending a few weddings) I strongly considered the fact that I was more than likely going to die single because of the difficulty I had in finding someone compatible.

I mean, to be honest, it had been extremely difficult finding a single woman that...
  • Is a committed Christian (she doesn't just give Christianity lip service, but lives it)

  • Has a beautiful smile, gorgeous laugh and good sense of humour (a woman that has neither of these REALLY scares me half to death!)

  • Is proactive (likes doing stuff, such as walking, cycling, beaching... etc etc)


If a woman possesses those three qualities then we're more than 90% of the way there, but if she lacks any of those three it's like the Trinity... it'll be a difficult relationship (if she's not a Christian my spirit is saddened, if she doesn't laugh my soul is tormented, and if she doesn't enjoy doing stuff my body is weakened).

But all that changed Tuesday night... hope in the female species was retored!

The three other chics that were invited for dinner all had those three qualities, and what's more two of them were single!

We all hit it off pretty much straight away, but unfortunately, as I soon found out, these women hadn't caught up with Dan & Melissa for quite some time (one of them had just got off a plane from the UK!) and the majority of the evening was spent playing "catch up".

But hey, that's okay.

I was still able to join in on their conversation... it was just difficult trying to speak the single ladies individually throughout the night.

But I really had a good time (have I mentioned that?). And you never know, maybe something will eventuate in the future, or maybe it wont.

In any case, at the least, my hope in finding a partner is restored and I don't need to compromise on my ever-so-highly-set standards.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Co Inki Dink?

SETTING: Early Sunday morning... after church service. Thunder strikes above (no really there was thunder).

RYAN: G'day Dan.
DAN: Hey, how are ya man? (handshakes)

*...fast forward a bit...*

D: Hey are you interested in coming over Tuesday night?

R: (thinks) Yeah, should be fine.

(Ryan pauses, making sure there really is nothing is on that night and wishes he had a woman because they're always great at remembering anniversaries, birthdays and all that other small stuff)

R: Just text me so I don't forget.
D: No worries.

RYAN leaves church and goes home. An hour or so later his mobile beeps with a text message. It's from DAN, and reads...

Dont 4get Tuesday nite! Of coarse that is if you dont mind having four other women there as well. I need some back up.

RYAN replies...

Hey Dan. Na havin 4 other women wont bother me - thats why God gave me 4 limbs.

Coincidence?

Or am I just being set up again?

(Dan's married BTW)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

U2 Soon

My mate Chris left yesterday for Melbourne.

I can't believe that it's now here... well, almost here.

U2!

Two weeks and I'm outta here.

Woohoo!!!!

Women Are Like Onions

Ladies, please spare a moment for us poor blokes.

Consider the following...

1. Breast enlargements
2. Hair dyes
3. Foundation/make-up
4. Spray-on tans

Shrek once said that ogres are like onions. I'd like too that women are like onions too... there's so many layers you just don't know what's underneath!

Upon complaining about this last time, one woman once replied tongue-in-cheek with...

It's hard work keeping the natural look.

Yeah, but spray-on tans??

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Age Gap

Women are a little different than men when it comes the age difference.

For me personally I'm probably not likely to date any more than a year or two older than me (unless Livinia Nixon makes her available then this rule can be broken), but I've noticed that women on the other hand are willing to date guys twice their age!

Which I find odd, but then again, I *am* a bloke and anything women do I consider "odd"!

But why is that I wonder?

Are women who search for men two to three times their age search for a man that age because he is likely to be...
> experienced?
> mature?
> wealthy?
> all the above??

I don't know. I can't answer that... I'm not a woman, and I'm not looking for a 60 year old man!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Na Blo Ma Mo

I don't know what the acronym is for that thing people are getting all excited about in November on the net, but I know it has something to do with writing a book during the month... starting from scratch.

It's a good idea, because I know I've had the best of intentions of writing a book but always put it off.

I always seemed to have struggled with the simple things such as... a plot.

But in a sense I'm kind of glad I didn't get involved with a book club, or a writing club, or a na blo ma mo club because then I never would've blogged.

And blogging is waaay more fun than writing a book... I think (well I haven't really written a book so I wouldn't know).

And from my high school experiences I found it much easier to write a short story than a full on 10 page one, but that could've had something to do with the fact that I started and finished those assignments on the day they were due!

Oh well, at least that one person who reads my blog appreciates my being here.

So to you my dear friend...

You rock!

And you never know, if I keep blogging I might be able to put it all together and compile it into a book in the future!

Now there's a scarey thought for the na blo ma mo group in 5 year's time!

Who Jumped Over The Moon?

The controversial daylight saving topic has reared its ugly head in Perth again.

We've trialled it a couple of times, but with each time it gets vehemently opposed.

Apparently it has something to do with our cows!?

And you think I'm joking don't you?

I'm not.

Yep, believe it or not but ol' Betsy chuck's a wobbly when her teats get squeezed an hour early.

(Kind of brings a whole new dimension to holy cow now doesn't it!)

But yes, it's true - farmer's don't like getting up an hour earlier, neither do bakers, and Betsy definitely doesn't either.

And without Betsy's high quality milk Perth just can't function dear folks.

Kids don't get the calcium they need to get their bones strong and healthy, therefore their teeth rot, concerned parents drag their brats to the dentist to get their canyon's plugged up, dentists then go ape with the amount of work, which puts pressure on the chemical companies to produce their toxic flouride and amalgam concoctions, who in turn put pressure on mining companies to dig up that crap... and everyone's cranky because the baker's sleeping in and no one can have their toast in the morning with their tea because drinking milk in the morning is just shocking (and who the hell drinks soy milk bar tree hugging hippies???)... so all this leads us to our inevitably conclusion dear folks: the end of the world for Perth!

And to think it's all over a stupid cow that'd be better on a barbie rather than on my breakfast (I don't even drink cow's milk!).

Anyhoo, it looks like we'll be trialling it in December, so for any of those who are travelling to Perth during our summer this year I'd like to warn you that we could all be cranky and suffering from mad cow's disease.

You've been warned.

(Am I the only person who thinks the term 'mad cow' is funny? Mad cow, mad cow, mad cow, mad cow... hehehe... mad cow, mad cow, mad cow... ok, maybe it's not so funny after you've said a few hundred times, kinda like a joke - ain't as funny the second time round.)

Back In The Game?

On a different note I received a telephone call from my mate Jon-Jon tonight about a basketball team needing a player.

He was going to get back to me about whether they'd be interested in having me play, but he wanted to know if I was interested in playing on Monday and Thursday nights with them.

I couldn't for Thursday, due to other commitments, but Monday's would be fine.

"Do you remember Bruce?" he asked trying to help me remember who I'd be playing with.

"Bruce?"

"Yeah, remember the State Youth Games?"

"Oh yeah."

"Yeah, remember Bruce?"

"Bruce?"

"Yeah, remember Peter?"

"Oh yeah, roo boy."

"Yeah, that's right - remember Bruce?"

"Bruce?"

"Yeah, remember Julie and Deanne?"

"Oh yeah, that athletic chic and your ex's sister."

"Yep, and remember Bruce?"

"Bruce?"

I couldn't for the life of me remember a Bruce.

I know OF a Bruce, but he's in a wheelchair and wouldn't be playing basketball anytime soon (unless a miracle happens), but not the Bruce of the State Youth Games, roo boy, athletic chic and Deanne.

Bruce?

Proof I Had Brown Eyes

Here's proof that I once had brown eyes (I think - I mean they could be red?).

This photo was taken by my mum at my 28th birthday.

Oh ok, I'm lying... it was taken on my 27th.

:o)

But notice how my eyes are brown?



(I like that funky top!)

Well, what I want to know is where did all that green stuff start creeping into my eyes??



Can eyes change colour during a lifetime? I'm not going to turn blue by the time I hit 50 am I?

Weird.

Or maybe these baby photos around my folk's place aren't of me!!

Maybe I was adopted!!!!

Maybe I'm the long lost heir to the throne of some country far far away, or an heir to some rich family!!!!

Mmmm, I suppose that's just wishful thinking.

If I look around at other photos dotting this house I can see my brown eye evolution.

Oh well.