As today is the last day at work, or as I like to think of it, the first day of the rest of my life, I’m thinking of starting a new project. Or two actually, but completely different from one another, so…anyways.
I mean, something, well, a bit more useful than just writing about rubbish all the time. Okay, maybe not actually but still. So, you’ll be the first ones to know about it, now that I’m making it all official and stuff.
Project 1: I want to take more photos. How is that even possible you ask, since all I seem to be doing is to take photos. Well, I shall tell you since I know you’re all so curious and just dying to know. I’ve always been interested in photography, right, ever since I was a kid when I said I wanted to be a photographer when I grew up. (I still do, by the way. Just maybe not a professional one.)
Anywho, so I don’t want to go out and by myself a superflash camera and start pretending I know what I’m doing, since I clearly have no clue most of the time. But i figured, if you want to get good at something, you have to just start doing it a lot, yeah? Hence my project.
I’m am aiming at making the everyday and mundane stand out. Every single day we all do the same thing over and over again, and never stop to think about it. We go to work, spend time commuting back and forth on the same tram or train route, or sit in traffic for ages, staring at the bumper in front of us. Several hours in the office (or kitchen or wherever you happen to work), the same boring commute home and then what? It is rare that you see people just enjoying themselves on a daily basis. And I’m not saying you should go out and just go nuts every single day, ‘cos that would be tiring and possibly very expensive. I’m just saying that it might be nice to stop every once in a while and just…be. So that’s what I’m gonna try to do. But through photography.
I’ll try to keep you updated, but if I forget, please don’t hold it against me.
Project 2 is completely different. I feel like I’ve gotten way to fat and lazy from spending way too much time in front of the computer since I started my second job. So now that I only have ONE job (yay!) I’m going to try to get back into it again. So, project number 2 is something else I have been wanting to do for a while, as I’ve started a few times but never found the time or motivation to keep going. This time though, goddammit, I am going to. And since I am just about to make it public, I’ll feel shamed if I don’t keep it up. And that’s probably a good thing. Maybe it’s got something to do with my dad, since he’s been doing this for as long as I can remember. Anyway, getting to the point, I want to run a marathon. Which means that I have to start somewhere, right? So, now that my tattoo will stop me from going swimming for a few weeks, I’m taking up running instead.
The idea of the marathon is obviously a project for the future, but I’ll get there. Eventually. Just have to start somewhere, right? So that’s what I’m doing. So from Monday September 27, I’m starting with my 3 times weekly running project. (Don’t worry, I’m starting slowly, ‘cos my knees will have a fit otherwise.)
Again, I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Wish me luck, I’ll probably need it.
So, today was time for part two of Project Marathon.
Felt incredibly good actually, very good about myself too for some reason. Figured I just had a bad day last time, and that must have been the reason everything was s damn hard.
Decided to go down by the river this time, run past the Abbotsford Convent and everything. Said and done, I managed to persuade Clara to come with me, yay me! Or rather, go us!
She wasn’t superkeen on the idea at first (probably ‘cos she was in the middle of eating something), but since she had already said yes…
Listening to some peppy music on the way (Belinda Carlisle, how very rock ‘n’ roll), got to the river and off we went. Suprisingly fast too!
Didn’t take us long at all to get to the convent and past, running along Johnson street, feeling very much like superstars. Since we couldn’t be bothered going all around on Nicholson and back around to where we parked the car, we turned around and ran past the convent again. Much nicer that way too.
Everything fine and dandy ‘til we got to the end, and had to walk up those bloody stairs! Three sets of very steep, very hard to walk stairs. Normally they’re not a problem, but today…whoa.
Felt like a million bucks once we got up the top, Clara decided it was time for Queen and We Are The Champions. Felt a bit great to be honest, I was very surprised at our effort. Decided to go again on Saturday, as C’s busy Friday night, unfortunately.
The marathon project is going superfine right now, and it’s very cool to have a running buddy, I have to say. Makes it much more fun, and you become much more motivated. So, as Clara wanted to try out her new, fancy pedometer, it turns out we did just under 3 k. Off to a good start, I think.
In other news, I finally paid off my student loan I’ve been reminded about for the last 5 years. Mind you, not the ACTUAL loan, but rather the extra bit they acidentally paid me some years ago, which I have been owing ever since. Still a very good feeling though. I don’t start paying the real loan until next year, so I have a few more months to save up.
Luckily, ‘cos I’m gonna need it, since I’m meant to pay quarterly. And we’re talking some 7.500 a year or so.
Listening to Aretha Franklin always make me feel good. Eating Russian pastry, drinking soda and thinking about gardening too, although I am not sure if this has anything to do with the good feelings inside.
Ha, I just realized what a wrote, “thinking about gardening”. Oh my. I AM old. Well, there is a reason. Clara and I was having breakfast in the backyard (geez, we’re like a married couple. It’s almost a bit weird, but I like it so who cares? I guess that just happens when you live with only one other person. Maybe it’s something about us human beings, that we just somehow automatically go into some sort of relationship mode whenever we spend a lot of time with one person? I mean, sure this IS a relationship, obviously, because we are good friends who live together and therefore by default spend a lot of time together, but still.)
Anyway, a long tangent aside (me and my trusty steed Tangent, we get along so well together. And we’re off again…)
So, right. Stay focused here. So we were having breakfast in the garden, right, and we we’re just talking about the ugly back wall, and that we should do some thing about it. Thinking about honeysuckle or some form of ivy.
Ideally, I’d like to get rid of the horrible tree on the side and plant some sort of creeper, maybe some form of jasmin or something? The honeysuckle would go great on the back, over the trellis. Alright, I’ll stop now.
I can’t seem to stay on track today, I’m off on all sorts of tangents. I blame it on Curtis Mayfield, that I happen to be listening to right now.
Damn jazzy soul brothers and sisters! (I made a playlist, so I’m also listening to Bobby Womack, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Carla Thomas, The Poets of Rhythm, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, El Michels Affair, The Bamboos, Al Green, Etta James, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Solomon Bourke, Lee Fields & The Expressions, The Mighty Imperials, The Budos Band, Antibalas, Menahan Street Band, and as I said, Curtis Mayfield. I blame my recent obsession with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, as well as some music Jez has forced me to listen to lately - well, not THAT lately but you know what I mean).
Anyways, so I’m on a soul-related high (it’s GREAT to work to, btw) and thinking about gardening. Whoa. I know how to live, huh?! I am supposed to be working, but yeah…you get the point.
On a different note (again), we were down at the pub again last night. Yes, Clara and I, of course (who else?). The pub being the Royston, btw. We were meant to go down for dinner, which ended up being like 4 pints of Celtic Red, a few shots of sambuca and a lot of water (luckily). Clara’s favourite barman wasn’t working, but mine was, so we ended up chatting to him, and just being generally silly. It was a bit great. Well, until I woke up this morning anyway. I blame it on that stupid cigarette I decided to have. Hell knows why, really, ‘cos it didn’t even taste good. Blah.
So, as I said, right now I am meant to be working so I can have time off on the weekend, but that probably won’t happen. Fair enough too, since I have barely done anything all week, apart from faffed around. I’ll write this week off as holidays, get back into on Monday.
Project Marathon (although this link is for the 5 k run I would like to do, just to keep myself on track) again tonight. Taking Clara with me too, to try out my new runners (fancy orange and stuff) that I got yesterday, as my old ones have finally packed it in completely.
Now, for some work and some of El Michels Affair’s Incarcerated Scarfaces. You can find more about this excellent cinematic soul-band right here, if you’re curious. I know you are. They opened for Wu Tang Clan in 2005 after all.
“And if you wanna do right all days woman
You gotta be a do right all night man”
( i LOVE Aretha Franklin’s lyrics)
So, I just signed up Clara and myself for the City2Bay 5 km run, which raises money for kids with cancer.
We have our own fundraising page and everything, so all we need now is your help…
We have set a rather modest goal, but we still need your help! Please help, so our efforts dragging ourselves through 5 kilometres in the January heat won’t be for nothing.
Okay, sorry that all my posts lately have been about running. It must be boring to read about.
I just thought an update was in order, as Clara decided she wasn’t too busy after all and we actually managed to pile ourselves into the car, drive down to the river and GO FOR A SECOND RUN! This deserves all caps, as we were both pretty hungover today, but we still did it.
I don’t know about you, but I think we both deserve medals or something.
Just sayin’, you know…
We’re great, so keep that in mind.
Went on a playdate the other night. I don’t think it was meant as one, but it certainly turned out to be. Awesomely fun, though.
So, I met Techie at the tram, walked down to Chinatown for dumplings, which seemed to be a popular idea on a Monday as we had to try three places before getting lucky. So to speak. Ended up at Shanghai Dumpling, the place with the best dumplings and the rudest staff.
After several plates of dumplings and some laughs over the abruptness and general unpleasantness of the waiters, we wandered up to the State Library to lie on the lawns outside for a while. It was a rather warm night, after all. Talking about LOTR and Bilbo, Halloween and Zombies, we finally decided to move on to see if the ferris wheel in Birrarung Marr was still operational.
Turns out it wasn’t.
Luckily we’d found a paper airplane on the way, so we ended up playing with that for a while, after Techie made me another one out of a sheet from my Moleskine (which I had before it was cool, btw. How very hipster of me).
So, as we were already playing, and we were in Birrarung Marr, we ended up going to the playground at ArtPlay, going on the the slides a few times, playing on the swings, climbing the wee wall, and sitting in the hammock for ages. Speaking of sitting in the hammock, cue perfect snog moment. If this were a film, that would have been when the camera zooms in on the actors’ faces and the kissing action takes place.
Except that it didnt.
Wandering along the river, up the hill to the Federation Bells, taking some pictures and talking about ice-cream, eventually ending up at the silver bridge over the Yarra, that was quickly compared to the eye of Sauron (major nerd-alert!).
Cue another perfect snog-moment.
Still nothing. Probably a good thing though, as I wasn’t really that interested. Even so, it was interesting to be standing there, realizing that this would have been the ideal time for it. Curious, in a sociological kinda way.
After sitting on a bench by the river, discussing what turned out to be mutual acquaintances, we decided it was time to call it a night. Back over the river, bypassing a supermarket, a rather long wait for the tram and goodbye.
Lovely evening, really, made slightly better by the following day’s textmessage stating that I’m ace and definitely worth seeing again.
If only it was from someone I actually cared a bit more about.
Anywho, Tuesday night then. Yesterday.
Went down to the local to meet my new friend Mr T.
Took about 10 minutes before he started on the bad taste jokes, and my face was hurting from laughing so much.
The actual reason for the Tuesday night pub-visit was actually not just to check out barman Scotty’s new 70s pornfilm mo’, as that was just a bonus. We actually went down there to introduce our French couchsurfer Christine to the best Aussie food invention ever: the Parma.
After hearing about it, Mr T suggested we ought to take her to Parmageddon at some place in the city, but that seemed like too much effort, and we were hungry, so…
Anywho, after demolishing said Parma, and emptying several jugs of beer, Clara went home and Christine, Mr T and I continued on to the GB. As always. Ended up talking to some 20-something boys, Mr T got horribly drunk, I ran into an old squeeze and we decided to pack it in and call it a night. Walking through the Maccas drivethru, Christine and I ended up stumbling home through Richmond, eating chips and laughing loudly.
Tonight, being Wednesday, we are meant to go running (we’re up to 25 mins now, three times a week), but I have a cold so that won’t be happening. Instead, I’m off to do market research for soy products. Wohoo. At least I’m getting paid for it, so I figured it’ll be worth my while.
After said foray into food marketing, we’re meeting Ol’ 45 and Hairy to go see awesomeness in the form of Cookin’ On 3 Burners at the Queen Vic Night Market. It’s supposed to rain, so I guess we’ll have to huddle under a brolly.
As i have a cold right now, and some nasty emails to deal with, i’m not feeling supergreat. Soldier on and all that though, however, I’m sure it’ll pass.
Finding myself wondering a little over people’s comings and goings in general, and Teach’s and Mr Arbuckle’s in particular. Something might be nice, even if only a wee cheerio, pip pip.
Human beings are so odd sometimes.
After a few delays, we’ve finally managed to get our third superhero, Su Ling Sim, to join Team Awesome Runners. As she started the challenge somewhat later than Clara and I, Su is now up to the 8, 10 and 20 minute runs, while we’re plugging away at 25 and 28 minutes.
Fear not, however, we still have lots (okay, maybe not lots, but still) of time to go before the big day in January. That’s right, January 9 is coming closer and closer. Starting to get a bit nervous already.
Also, as we now have a third superhero taking up the challenge, I’ve also seen it fit to raise the bar on the fundraising from $500 to $650. Big thanks to the latest two donations of $50 each too, so thank you again M and J, you rock my socks off!
Team Awesome Runners is in the lead for teams raising most money, btw, so please keep up the good work and spread the word! It’s all for a good cause, people, it’s all for the Challenge foundation - raising money and support for kids with cancer for over 25 years now!
So, in case you forgot, here’s that website again: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/awesome_runners
Big thanks to all our supporters so far, you guys really are fantastic!
edit: Turns out Team Awesome Runners have been surpassed on the top fundraiser list. In the lead now is Team Edward (a Twilight reference perchance?) with over $700!
Meredith came and went.
What a festival, what a weekend, what a lady…
So, as Clara and I were going up in a convoy together with Tex and whole bunch of other people (some 25 or so), we had a pretty early start to look forward to. “Meet us at the BP station in Little River at 5am”.
Oh, sure, no worries.
Hence, no running on Wednesday, as we had to get food and booze and squeeze in Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and maybe even some sleep to! Fair enough, this was Wednesday night, but still, Thursday was kinda busy as it was, trying to get as much sleep as possible and packing up the car and so on.
So, Thursday night we were packed up and ready to rock n’ roll. Clara went off to bed; I had some last minute stuff to do. ‘Oh don’t worry, I’ll wake you up” was the last thing I said as Clara trundled off to bed.
At 3.55am Clara knocks on my door, asking politely is maybe I should get up, as we needed to be out the door in about ten minutes. Seems I managed to completely miss three alarms. What an achievement.
Anywho, we set off eventually, in a pretty packed car, driving along towards Geelong and Little River. Managed to get a little bit lost, but made it eventually. Some five or so minutes after we got there, Tex’ car rolls in to the parking lot, next to a gazillion others, packed to the brim with camping gear and beer cans. The guy at the petrol station had a busy night.
After a quick pit stop waiting for some more people, we were off again. Clara and I took some bags in the car as the boys in the backseat were pretty stuffed in, next to Tex’ camping bed and tents and four slabs of beer.
About 40 odd minutes of driving later, Tex pulls over, black smoke spewing out of the exhaust. No one has a fucking clue what to do, several cars drive past, honking and waving. We’re off to a good start.
We manage to divide some of the more important stuff between the cars present, and drive off to meet the rest of the crew in Meredith town. The guys left behind come later, either by bus or by some friendlies that pick them up on the way.
About 8 km from the front gate (that doesn’t open until 9am) we stop. It’s 7.30. Time to open the first beer of the day, ‘cos we sure ain’t moving anytime soon. At a snail pace, we finally make it through to the campgrounds, where SJ has already picked put a great spot and started putting tents down.
We’re right in Hong Kong, on the corner of A Shady Lane and A Long and Winding Road. Right next to the rent-a-tents at the Rochester, in fact. Great spot.
So, after a few hours, all the tents are up, the marquee is in place, everyone has arrived. It’s about 10am and time for a beer.
Clara and I decide to go for a wander around the site, together with the Mad Kiwi Tex picked up on the bus over. As we’ve already picked out the bands we’re interested in seeing, and they don’t start until later, there’s not much else to do but return to camp, make sangria, drink beer and talk shit. It’s rather excellent.
I wander off in the afternoon, as I’m heading down to the Pink Flamingo to meet a mate of mine. The rest of the crew split between checking out the Puta Madre Brothers and having naps.
Several Pink Flamingos, some food, and a ride on the Ferris wheel later, we’re back at camp. The day passes pretty much like that, walking between the stage and our campsite, until around 9pm-ish when we all head down to check out Cloud Control, and later Reverend Horton Heat. Tex decides it’s time for a Meredith tradition and buys Clara and I a pink flamingo. I like traditions.
Back at camp, listening to Little Red, drinking some more beer and talking crap with Keung. Clara goes to bed; Keung and I have a laugh at the crappy hip-hop act that has overdosed on what sounds like hooligan horns. Finally, at 2am I drop off to bed too, only to wake up 5 hours later, at 7am, dying to pee and freezing to death.
Saturday is therefore off to a great start. Coming back form the (rather excellent) loos, I go hunt for some food and end up with a quesadilla from the Psybus, the only place open 24 hours. Sitting on a couch in front of the stage, I watch the word and the cleaners go by for a while, before returning to the car for a (hopefully warmer) sleep.
Clara wakes me up a few hours later, and we eventually stumble in to the marquee to find everyone else. After a few hours of faffing around (buying the compulsory t-shirt among other things), we pack up the esky, grab some chairs and head won to the red tree to watch C.W. Stoneking’s excellent set. All the good songs form Jungle Blues are being trodded out, and I’m loving it. Tex tells us about the cocktail party, as Girls starts playing, so we go back to the campsite to drop our stuff off, and head over to bush camp to find the elusive party we’ve heard so much about.
Turns out to be a Baywatch theme this year. This year, it turns out, is also being the last time the cocktail party will be out on, due to various reasons, mainly liquor-related. Bummer.
The party is excellent, beach balls are flying wildly through the air, a Hasselhoff piñata filled with various adult toys and flavours is being savagely bashed, and the cocktails are flowing freely. There is also an engineering student with a massive beer bong walking around, to some of the guys’ delight. We brought the beer, he brought the bong.
After a few hours, we wander back up to the Ranga tree, bypassing the Hare Krishna food tent. Back at camp, the beers are flowing again, and I go have a quick nap, in order to keep going all night. (Somewhere here, during the day, Clara also manages to lose her phone in the most excellent manner. Taking it out of her back pocket in order not to drop it in the compost loo, she quickly proceeds to drop it. In to the compost loo).
Early evening comes around, and with that, a quick stop at the Pink Flamingo for more drinks and a listen to the brilliant Combo La Revelacion, and later on the much looked forward to sunset set – the pretty awesome Neil Finn takes the stage and a massive sing-along starts up. He is really fucking brilliant, the way he mixes old favourites with newer stuff, and even brings a lucky punter up on stage to play the guitar with him for one song, and finishes off with a track, bringing Warren Ellis from Dirty Three up on stage. Clara and I, now armed with a bottle of tinto de verano, manage to find ST at the Pink Flamingo, so we get ourselves some beverages and follower her down to the front of the stage, just in time for Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.
As it gets a bit too crowded, we soon wander back up again, where you can actually see something. About 5 minutes later, the rain starts. It’s falling sideways, as it is combined with a pretty nasty wind. I’m soaked in about 5 minutes flat, and Clara huddles on the ground in her bright yellow poncho. As Sharon finishes her set, which was very much the same as Wednesdays one, but shorter, we go back to camp for some dry clothes and to secure our flimsy tents.
Back at the stage, as the rain stops, just in time for Dirty Three to start up. At the same time, the glow stick wars start. Someone to the left of the stage is throwing handful after handful of glow sticks into the audience, who happily pass them on. The air is soon full of these multicoloured lights that look like demented grasshoppers they way they get thrown around.
Serious chills setting in, it being rather late, we go down to the Psybus for a cup of tea and run in to another friend. One who seems to have had a lot of chemical help to feel as good as she does. Nice one.
The sky show starts as we wait for our hot drinks, and so does Pantha du Prince. Neither of us being super fans of German electronica, we make it back to camp, where Clara decides to sleep in the car, as her tent is about to blow away.
I get the warm doona, and crawl into my tent and die.
Sunday morning comes around, as it does. Clara and I make it down for breakfast, after having spent some time packing up the tents and the car. I manage to get my hands on some of the last veggie burgers, which we quickly devour, sitting on a couch somewhere up the slope, as the Dead Salesmen Duo are playing. A guy walks up to us, asking if he can join. We say yes, of course. It turns out it is his couch.
We slowly walk back to camp, listening to the excellent set from Those Darlins, as we pack up the last pieces of junk, and help others fight their way through their tents. We find one of our mates, and decide its time to go eat again, as Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are jamming, and we want to find a good spot for the upcoming Gift.
After some cold noodles, and as the music draws to an end, we manage to find a suitable tree to climb, and thus get a semi-decent view of all the nudity lined up at the other end of the stage. The Gift is on. After a few hilariously commentated heats, and the discovery of a middle-aged man calmly walking around wearing nothing but a t-shirt and a pair of runners, we make our way back up to camp, say good-bye to everyone, pack ourselves into the car and slowly slowly drive back towards civilization.
It was only three days, but it felt like a lifetime. I understand now why so many people feel so at home at Meredith, and why you never really want to leave once you get there. I don’t know about you all, but I’m definitely back next year.
less than two weeks to our race, and I’m getting sick?!
I don’t have time for this shit right now!
Extended forecast coming soon, including all the madness we got up to over Christmas. Keep your eyes peeled, boys and girls, it’s coming
It’s time again.
Me and Pling are signing up for a the 2011 Run Melbourne 10km run on July 17.
The other third of Team Awesome Runners won’t be joining us this time, so it’ll just be Cheerio and the Wetsuit this time. But damn, we’ll be great!
Cheer us on, donate to our chosen charity (once we pick one, and set up a fundraising site), and come down on that freezing July morning to see us stumble through Melbourne town during what promises to be an excruciating 10 kilometres.
Training has commenced. I’ll keep you posted.
Just a quick status update on our awesome-meter.
Me and Pling ran 6km in the rain last night.
Yeah, that’s right.
In the rain.
Just wanted to say that. Feels quite good to be able to say that, actually. I’m quite proud of our efforts to date, especially since I didn’t have a day off in between my runs, and I still manage to keep riding my bike to work every morning. I’ll have thighs of steel by the end of this.
Speaking of thighs, amazingly I’m not even tired and achy today, as I used to be. Kind of a cool feeling when you can do stuff like that and still feel like a human being the following morning.
A human body really is an amazing thing when you think about it.
So, as you might know (or not, but you do now anyway), Pling and I signed up for the ultimate punishment: the Run Melbourne 2011 10km race on July 17.
As with last time, this means we’ve also got a fundraising page…
We could chose our charity, and as I was asked to run with the JDRF team (that’s the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, btw), I signed up to fundraise for them. Makes sense, since I am one of the interested parties, really. All the funds raised will go toward finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, and since I have it (celebrating my 8th anniversary this year), it sort of seemed to make sense.
So basically, all that’s needed now is a bunch of generous motherf**kers like yourselves to donate your hard earned pennies (c’mon, even 5 bucks’ll help).
Here’s the website you need to look at.
Now, donate, bitches.
Donate to your heart’s content.