Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oh, down to the river we ride...

Yet another mistake was pointed out to me (thanks Becky!), so now everyone can comment on my posts. I have no idea why it was set so only people with Blogger accounts could respond. Sorry!

Riverfest is going on all week in the city, but having gone both Friday and Saturday, I'd say the only day anything interesting took place was yesterday. Friday, a group of friends and I just wandered around looking for something to do besides shop and eat food. We passed by Hungry Jacks (what they call Burger King here for some reason) several times throughout the day and the same group of bored looking goth kids were always sitting outside. I had to wonder why this was their choice place to mope. Did Robert Smith get onion rings there once? Maybe some day I'll go over and ask them. More aimless walking in search of a Riverfest event, but the only noteworthy thing that happened was passing Hare Krishnas and being given pamphlets by the Socialist Youth Society. Nothing like being told you should consider a new religion and political party by people on the street!

Back at the flat later that night, I stayed up to finally watch a few hours of Rage. Rage is an uninterrupted six hours of music videos shown late at night on weekends. So clearly, this was a bit like heaven to me.

Haha, look at my happy little face! And please ignore my horrible attempt to grey out my flat's disgusting and ugly sofa set. It looks like someone trash picked it from a crack house. Needless to say, I never sit on it. Anyway, I was so excited to watch full videos that have more than just a band playing in a field or a rapper with some booty-shakin' hos (yeah, I'm looking at you, modern MTV and VH1 when you actually take time off from awful reality shows to screen a few videos). The absolute best one of the night was a song that I've heard before, but never seen the video of. It's called 'Letter from God to Man,' by the British rappers Dan le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip. Believe me, it's outstanding and not really as religious the title implies.

I know it's a bit difficult to understand his accent sometimes, so here are the lyrics. Seriously, I was watching this at around 3 am, on the verge of sobbing. Then it changed to The Kooks and my flatmate walked in to get a glass of water and looked at me weird, wondering why I was so misty-eyed over a bunch of rock stars in tight pants flirting with models.

Riverfest Saturday was a bit more impressive because that night was Riverfire and entirely too many people were walking around. So we opted to spend most of the day in the Science Center and Art Museum. They were both pretty neat, though I was creeped out at the sheer amount of taxidermied animals the Science Center had on display. What made it weirder was that every single one had it's cause of death underneath it. I realize that's so nobody thinks they were killed just to be stuffed, but do I really need to know this poor wombat died from impacted bowels? We waited in ridiculously long lines to get dinner, then at 7 a huge fire-spurting plane flew past way too low, scaring the bejeezus out of me and letting everyone know the fireworks were about to begin.

Unfortunately, I did not get to enjoy the display as much as I'd like to because a third of the crowd were taking pictures. Some using their flash. I wanted to scream, "Put your damn cameras down and enjoy the fireworks! Don't you realize your photos are going to suck anyway?" I was so angry that all these people were taking shots that were of the dark sky and one little green spark, then turning to each other and going, "Oooh, that's a good one!" WATCH THE FIREWORKS! Don't take pictures so you can instantly reminisce about that red heart shaped one and miss two minutes of other fireworks in doing so! I mean, I love to take photos and understand that they want to capture their beauty. But take a few really great pictures if you can, then put the camera away. Taking several bad pictures a minute for the entire half-hour fireworks show is just stupid. Since when did photography become about quantity over quality? Grump, grump, grump. Sorry for the rant, it just really annoyed me that I waited all day and people were ruining the show for me.

Today I slept in and am continuing work on a paper for World History, super exciting stuff! Tomorrow is the start of September, maybe I'll be a bit more interesting in the new month. Hope everyone has a good Labor Day! I won't because I don't get the day off. :[

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hot Glam! (I Love You So)

Oh wow, I just realized one of my favourite blogs, Popserious put me on their blogroll! Right at the top too, because it's alphabetical order, but that means I'm above Best Week Ever and Boing Boing! Whoa! Thanks guys, you're awesome! Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Airplane!, !!!, Oh the Places You’ll Go!, and a whole bunch more exclamation points! I'll stop now. I think that last sentence made my spell check have a nervous breakdown.

Also, my Mom pointed out to me that I accidentally had last week's entry as August 13th, when it was really the 20th. So that's fixed now, thanks to the observational powers of Editor Mom. See, all those years of me asking her to proofread my essays payed off.

I make a point of checking a few Philly news sites every day just because I like to keep up on what's going on back home. The last thing I saw on Australian news regarding PA was about the Phoenixville Blob Festival. But it was this piece of (where else but) New Jersey news that made me laugh. Oh you Joize kids and your shenanigans, how I miss you. When I saw that headline, I half expected it to be the group of guys I lived next to last year. They were in the martial arts club and would all stand up then bow at the same time after finishing meals in the dining hall. That was a bit weird, but the Ninjas were nice guys and I never had to worry about my room getting robbed.

Unfortunately my neighbors this year aren't so respectful. Well, just the one. As I said before, all my flatmates are wonderful, but it's the guy who lives below me that's in for a fight. Usually people have to complain because the person above them is blasting music and it's going through the ceiling. I have the reverse problem. To try and handle it politely, I went on the school's chat room because he's constantly on it. I figured it was an easy way to let him know he should turn his music down, but then I didn't think over the fact I was talking to a college chat room full of 18-year-old boys...

Dani: Pace... It’s past midnight. Also, this is like the 10th time today you've played 99 Luft balloons. Could you please turn it down?
Void: stick a luft balloon in his pooper. then inflate it.
Dani: No... I just want him to know his music is way too loud and way t
oo crappy.
Morven: put your vagina on the floor and enjoy it.
Void: pace, can you hear the vagina on your ceiling?

Dani: Listen closer and you'll realize it's my fist.
Pace: hahaha, haha my window aint even open. must be loud.

Dani: Yes, yes it is. That's my point. I have to sleep.
Pace: 99 luftballons cued for 7:40 am

Dani: I'll be up then anyway. HA. And you're just lucky I don't have speakers myself.
Pace: *points speakers upwards*

This went back and forth for a few more minutes, with them getting progressively more lewd and I finally left because got sick of trying to reason with such idiocy. Fortunately, the RA came and made Pace turn off his music shortly after that. They must've heard it themselves because I didn't even call them. But they apparently continued the stupid 'vagina on the floor' thing in the chat long after I left. My one compu
ter savvy flatmate saw that they were being jerks and used a secret trick to kick them off the server for two hours. Thanks man!

EDIT: Pace and my flatmate Gus are good friends that go way back, which means Gus is trusted enough to have a copy of Pace's key. He's also pretty sure of the password to Pace's computer. Did I mention Gus lives right across from me and has
to get up really early, so he hates when Pace blasts music too? Next time it happens or Pace is rude to me, Gus and I are going into his room, deleting all the songs he blares repeatedly, and downloading every single Yanni, Goo Goo Dolls, and Jonas Brothers song in their place.

Despite that one annoyance, I had a great weekend. I went to a Glam Rock
themed party (I was supposed to be Debbie Harry, but it didn't quite work considering I don't have blond hair or look anything like her) and got to hang out with a fun bunch of punk kids in hilarious outfits. The party was in a cute little rented Russian hall that had pictures of Catherine the Great and Leo Tolstoy. It looked like a babushka's house. Even better, it was directly across the street from the AFL (Australian Football League) stadium. The AFL fans sure were taken aback when they saw a bunch of 20-somethings dressed up as Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Marc Bolan, Ziggy Stardust, and Suzi Quatro going into a Russian hall. COMMUNISM! After about two hours of dancing to glam, we decided to just play what we normally listen to, and by the end of the night, we were dancing (in the same way they do in this video) to our favourite Eurovision song:
We then decided to go outside and somehow our conversation turned to jingles from several years ago. Iggy (I don't remember half the real names of these people, m
ostly because they were introduced to me as their character) was saying he remembered one that had a fat kid saying some phone number over and over. Naturally, we had to call the number to see if the fat kid answered. Apparently that number is now the hotline for a radio station and the operator asked Iggy what he wanted to talk about. "Um, life... Love... How my stupid girlfriend just ran off with the fat kid and took the dog with her. Now I only have the cat, who hates me." Either the story sold them or they were desperate for callers at 1:45 am, because we got put on air. We practically died laughing. Nobody has any idea what station we even called.

SECOND EDIT: At first I didn't put any pictures from the party for some reason, but now I've been told I can't describe a party like that and not provide visuals.

Angie should be a magician's assistant! I love Dennis' expression in the background, haha.

Dancing up a storm, a rather silly looking dance storm. This photo gives you the idea of all the crazy Russian paintings and memorabilia on the walls. That's me on the right in the black tutu and silver top that makes me look like a ballet baked potato. As I looked through pictures I realized that almost every single picture (such as this one) I'm in has me holding a beer. It makes me look like a complete alco, but it's actually the same beer I held all night. Because all they had was beer, which I am not a fan of. Too much carbonation and the taste doesn't appeal to me. So the entire night I took about three sips, yet I kept it with me because I didn't want to be rude. I'm the exact same way with soda. I've probably drank one can of Pepsi in my whole life. I realize that nobody would take offense to me disliking their beloved 'beeah,' but I always worry and over-think things like that.

This guy ('Marc Bolan') stayed in Glam Rock mode all night, he's my hero.

I should really know all their names, I'm terrible... I only know the one to the right who looks more like a member of Panic at the Disco is Rhys, because that's a pretty memorable name. Dude in the middle is so a rockabilly version of David Bowie! I have to laugh how he's posing tough with a clenched fist when he's wearing heavy makeup and the other two are flaunting it for the camera.

That's about it for now, nothing else interesting with me other than I'm a huge nerd and have been watching Mystery Science Theater 3000. Oh wow, the Australian news just said that "Jimmy Page from The Who played at the Olympics closing festival last night." It's called fact checkers, good job.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mystik Spiral

A few days ago I finished watching all five seasons of Daria (I forgot how oddly parallel that show and its characters are to my own life, perhaps that's why I love it so much) and switched to being an Olympics addict. I never used to watch them much in the past, but it's everywhere over here and I couldn't ignore it if I wanted to. There are giant screens all over campus and the city for people to watch while eating lunch, to take a break from their walk, etc. The ironic thing is I usually don't care at all about sports and sometimes could even go as far as saying I hate them (mostly just because rabid Eagles fans during playoffs are incredibly annoying). Yet the other day I was on the verge of tears when that one weightlifter kept slipping grip and lost his chance. I screamed in anger just as passionately as my flatmates when the Australian boat meant to win the race capsized only a few hundred meters from the finish. Yes, Phelps is amazing and totally deserves his victory, but I actually prefer watching the offbeat competitions and rooting for the countries I probably can't point out on a map.

I haven't just been sitting around watching active people though, I've been doing some sporty whatsits of my own. I went rock climbing last week and not just on an indoor wall like I'm used to, but an actual cliff face. That was a bit terrifying, but it's something I want to try to do every week or two, so hopefully I'll be a pro by the end of the year.

Spent the weekend at Stradbroke Island, aka Straddie, which is gorgeous.

We went surfing, kayaking and sand boarding, all of which were intense fun but completely killed my muscles. Unfortunately I don't have any photos from the first two, and the only one I have of me sand boarding is me with my butt sticking out as I try not to fall over. So I won't be posting that, neither will you see the video of me going down the dune then face planting in the sand. How about pictures of a pretty sailboat and a cute skink on a rock instead?

I was incredibly tempted to put a photo I took of my friend standing on the cliff and write, "Oops, that's a cute skank on a rock, wrong photo..." but I decided against it.

One of my favourite parts of the trip was actually the part a lot of people hated. We were crammed into a seatbelt-less troopie (a type of van) meant for a lot less people to travel in and sped around the island going over logs, rocks, and such off road obstacles while our driver turned up Australian hip-hop to drown out the sound of us being tossed around and freaking out. It's sort of a 'you had to be there moment,' but at one point, the driver pulls down a little DVD screen and this music video starts playing on it:

I was the only one to recognize what it was from the start and thought, "Okay, that's a random choice!" Then other people picked up on it and soon we were all singing "YOUUUUUUUU... YOOOOOU GOT WHAT AHHHH NEEEEEEED!" at the top of our lungs while being thrown around and hitting our heads in the back of this van. It was a bit like that scene in 'Almost Famous' when they all sing along to 'Tiny Dancer,' except a lot less harmonic and with more bruises. It was worth it not only for that experience, but we spotted this little guy chilling out in a tree.

It's not very often you get to see a koala in the wild, our guide was telling us most Australians can't even say they've seen one outside of the zoo. Then he got way too excited about how koalas are constantly high/drunk from all the eucalyptus they eat, which made us a bit uncomfortable considering he was our driver.
Later, as we ate lunch in the park, I spotted a pigeon with a sweet mohawk (I wish I got a better picture of it).

The only bad part of the trip was the ferry because it was the car-loading kind that I associate with doom thanks to 'War of the Worlds' and that episode (the only one I've ever seen and it had to be this one) of 'Greys Anatomy.'

Fortunately we survived both times and managed not to be sucked under by aliens or crash into Seattle. Phew. I know, the chances of both those things occurring are incredibly high in Australia. We should all be grateful I'm alive.

I don't really have much else to say, so I might as well leave you with another purposely awful/hilarious music video by the namesakes of this post title and one of my favourite fictional bands (after Drive Shaft and Wyld Stallions of course), enjoy 'Freaking Friends' by Mystik Spiral:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

They're like, "Whehs the caah?" and we're like, "Wihs the cah?"

And then at the end the three of them go stand outside the Australian Embassy and flip it off, haha.
I keep watching 'Flight of the Conchords' with my flatmates, which makes it even better because one gets all mad when they make jokes about Australia (the others don't mind). There's a New Zealander in the dorms on my friend's floor and every time I see him, I say "Brit? Prizint. Jirmain? Prizint. Murray? Prizint. Ivrywin prizint? Litz start this band mitting!" Then he death stares me because I'm sure he gets jokes like that constantly. I think it's cute how New Zealanders pronounce the letter 'e' as 'i,' so I kid in good nature. They make fun of themselves on 'Flight of the Conchords' as well, and some of the jokes are true about both countries. Like when Bret and Jermain are fascinated because basic American TV has more than 4 channels.

Yes, there are really that few stations here. Well, there are technically seven, but two are repeats of other channels, and one is a crappy local channel. Though I shouldn't diss the latter, since that's what I watch most often. I haven't watched much recently because the TV is being hogged by the boys for rugby and AFL matches. The other day I woke up in my beige cinder block room, found a tall skinny guy in his pajamas yelling at a soccer match on TV, and forget what country I was in for a few seconds because I've experienced the same situation in three countries now. Guess I always end up living with tall skinny guys who get very angry at sports, haha (yeah, I'm talkin' 'bout you, Matt).

One of the great things about living with so many people is that someone is always around, and in our case, usually doing something weird. A few days ago, I took a break from watching movies (hey, I don't have any assignments yet) to take a walk and as I leave, my flatmate who works at a donut shop comes in with two dozen chocolate frosted donuts she managed to snag. Actually, they were just normal glazed, but she also had the melting chocolate and truffle shavings to make them fresh. I took a picture of the amazing sight (so much for my walk, eh?) before we demolished them:
As we're eating these, one of the guys says, "Oh, I should probably just have one. I'm a bit full from eating all that cookie dough earlier!" I thought he was joking, but a good ten minutes later, he's gnawing on a half-finished tube of raw chocolate chip cookie dough and reading aloud to us from an article he found online about a creepy British guy who has sex with his cars. Give us a month and this whole flat is going to get diabetes, I swear. Geez, are we a healthy bunch. That Freshman Fifteen I never got may just show up now if we continue like this.

To bring things full circle back to my favourite Kiwis, here's a clip that I have probably watched 30 times and still laugh at all the same parts. Um, just like I do with the actual Lord of the Rings...