Monday, December 22, 2008

And a Danny Bonaduce!

Just a quick post made from the airport terminal, where I sit way too early in the morning awaiting my flight to Sydney to spend the holidays with my parents. I had this whole great end of the year thing written, but that on my laptop back at my flat, so much for that idea.

Instead, I'll simply wish everyone a happy holiday and New Year. I leave you with my all time favourite Christmas video, yes, the animations are weird, but stick with it. Never fails to crack me up, I've watched it about 7 times in the past few days.

Have a good one, everybody! Much love.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Makin' mama so proud

A week or so back, I was on the quest for jobs as usual, this time in Fortitude Valley, and I stopped for some lunch in Gloria Jeans (the way better Australian answer to Starbucks). While ordering, I noticed the cashier was staring at me a bit, almost nervously. I began to panic, running through all the things that could be wrong in my mind. Was I obviously sunburnt and didn’t realize? Was a man with a knife standing behind me? Was there a huge bug on my shirt? And yes, I thought them in that order, which shows you how mixed up my priorities are. I noticed she was about to say something and braced for the worst. “I like your sunnies!” she said sheepishly. I thanked her, wondering where that came from and was about to turn away when she continued. “Um, you’re American, right?” I nodded, still confused. “From where abouts?” I gave her my standard answer, “Philadelphia, it’s about two hours from NYC.” She looked really excited by this and I wondered why it was so interesting that I’m American and have cool sunglasses. “NYC,” she asked gingerly, “where your cousin lives?” Holy crap, how does she know I have a cousin there? Before I could ask, she looked at my shocked face and did a little dance. “I knew it! I knew it! You thought nobody would recognize you, but you look so much like him!” she squealed with glee. I had no idea what she meant, but I knew it was too good to pass up, so I played along. We had the following conversation with me completely improvising:

Me: “Really? Man, I never thought we resembled each other at all.”
Crazy girl: “Well, I mean, not exactly, since he’s a boy. But you really have the same hair and nose.”
Me: “What can I say, those are our best traits.”
Crazy girl: “I bet Ben gave you those sunnies. That was the other thing that made me realize it.”
Me: “Actually, no. I bought these myself. But Ben has a similar pair in red.”
Crazy girl: “Shopping with them must be loads of fun, eh?”
Me: “We are complete shopping whores when I go to NYC. Yup, we raid Beacons Closet, Trash & Vaudeville, you name it.”
Crazy girl: “Ooooh! Have you met Kirsten Dunst?”
Me: “Um, no.”
Crazy girl: “So Andrew and her aren’t really dating?”
Me: “Uh, I’m not at liberty to talk about Kirsten.”
Crazy girl: “Sorry! That was wrong of me to ask. I’m just such a big fan of your cousin! And Ben too, obviously. Will you be there tonight?”

And then it all clicked. She was talking about the band MGMT, who were in Brisbane that night. She thought NYC cousin+ similar hair and nose+ nice sunglasses meant I was cousins with Andrew from MGMT. If having the same schnoz and androgynous messy hair style as rock stars from my tri-state area meant we were related, then I have a way bigger and cooler family than I thought. I once met Adam Green briefly after his concert, he was incredibly high and grabbed my hair, saying, “Hey, we’re twinssss.” With crazy girl’s logic, we must have actually been separated at birth, along with several of The Strokes, Joan Jett, and way more NJ emo bands than I’d like to admit I know of.

Another thing that made this strange scenario even funnier to me was that I’ve been told I am the spitting image of other famous musicians, usually males. The only female celebrity I’ve ever been compared to was Claudette Colbert. A classmate’s mother told me that when I was in seventh grade and I had no idea who she was at the time, but now I’m flattered. My own mother, however, loved to point out I looked just like the lead singer of Fall Out Boy circa 2003. My friends even insisted I dress up as him for Halloween (not much of a stretch because I wore boyish clothes anyway) and people did double takes. He’s a lot heavier and slightly balding now, so that comparison no longer stands. Hey, it’s not so bad though. I’d rather be told I look like the girl version of an attractive guy than have someone say, “Are you Janet Reno’s daughter?” That would be rough.

Cousin? Eh, I can sort of see it...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sitting on the dock of the (Byron) Bay- Part 2

Day two in Byron commenced with me sleepily pouring an instant coffee packet into my cup of tea thinking it was sugar, then spitting said concoction all over the kitchen. T, who by some miracle didn’t have a hangover, was watching TV with a middle aged Irish woman that was also annoyingly upbeat at such an early hour. As T tends to do, this woman became her new best friend within minutes of meeting. Soon, the Irish woman was demonstrating her clog dancing for us. I stared, trying to stay awake during her spontaneous talent show, then she announced she was going to get her violin out for an extra treat. Because there’s nothing better than playing a scratchy rendition of an Irish jig for people you just met at 7:00 am. I’m sure the people who were still asleep especially appreciated it. T gave a standing applause and exclaimed, “Omigosh, could I have just like, one quarter of your energy?” I choked on my tea. I know what T meant, but the way she phrased it seemed like she was asking the woman if she could siphon a bit of her soul. If someone had asked me that, I’d instantly be disturbed, but the Irish woman laughed and said “Sure!” She then grabbed T’s hands and made a “swoooop” noise. It was like watching an overly enthusiastic version of the Wonder Twins. I loudly announced I was hungry, in hopes C would come out of the room and we could finally go to breakfast, leaving the madness behind.

Breakfast consisted of a delicious smoothie and T rambling on about how awesome the Irish woman is, like she’d known her for years instead of a half hour. We parted ways with C (she was going snorkeling) and headed for the tour bus that was taking us to a ‘genuine hippie town’ called Nimbin, which T could barely contain her excitement about. I’m quite accustomed to seeing hippies and therefore don’t find them as novel as T does, but the description on the tour pamphlet sounded fun. Plus, I don’t know how to swim, so I couldn’t go with C. The driver/ guide was awesome and played music he’d perfected to go along with the ride. Looking out the window at beautiful Australian countryside landscapes while listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is indeed oddly fitting. I noticed T had her iPod headphones in, listening to Brittany Spears. “Dammit,” I said, snatching it from her and throwing it into my bag, “You want hippies, you listen to their music!”

About a mile outside of Nimbin, the driver pulled over and asked if anyone was an undercover cop. “You have to admit you are if asked,” he said, matter of factly. Nobody was, and he went into a long prepared story about marijuana and the laws of Australia. I had an idea what was getting on, but T was frantic. We finally drove into Nimbin, an incredibly small town in the middle of nowhere. Yup, it was essentially a tourist spot for people looking to easily score pot. T became so paranoid, you’d think she was on the stuff herself. “THESE AREN’T HIPPIES! THEY’RE... THEY’RE... DRUGGIES!” she hissed, clinging to my arm. I told her that druggies evokes the idea of a heroin addict passed out in an alley, these people around us were merely stoners. She didn’t care, they were the same in her eyes. Now, I don’t smoke pot, but in my opinion, it isn’t a big deal and T was way overreacting. One of my favourite moments was when a groovy older woman with silver hair in pigtails came up to us offering us cake and cookies. I politely declined and T said, “Hey, you didn’t ask me! I want cake!” I laughed, “Not that kind of cake.” T got all wide eyed, the concept of drugs in baked goods was clearly unknown to her. “That cool old lady, she was trying to sell us POT in CAKE?! How was I supposed to know that? I’m not from Philadelphia like you.” T has never been to Philly, but for some reason she thinks it’s this crazy place straight out of Grand Theft Auto and it’s a miracle I’ve survived the rough and tumble streets for so long.

Nimbin is best explained by the following pictures I took in the strange town ‘museum,’ a wonderful place full of random crap that creeped T out and made me giggle. Sadly, I couldn’t get a good quality photo of the black light room plastered with glowing velvet Unicorn and mushroom posters.

Dinosaurs, the Virgin Mary, an X-Files type of slogan, and a disembodied Bart Simpson head in the background. Quite possibly the best ‘museum installation’ I have ever seen.
We spent the remaining time eating goats milk ice cream (better than it sounds and T made me try it first in case it was ‘laced with something’) under a tent watching a guy with a banjo called Old Dan play weird songs. First he treated us to a version of ‘Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,’ then an original ditty that made me laugh so hard I wrote down the lyrics:
“My secret lover has a filmy negligee/
When our love was over, she said I didn’t have to pay/
I asked her why our love time was free/
Then she said, ‘Sealey’s Mattress sponsors me.’”

Back on the bus, T couldn’t wait to leave ‘the druggies’ and I chuckled, wondering how long it would take her to realize a good 80% of our fellow passengers were baked out of their minds. One Japanese girl sitting in front of us fell asleep and woke up repeatedly like she had narcolepsy, then stared at her hand for fifteen minutes. We drove through the rainforest on our way to a waterfall and the driver played a techno song because they used to have raves in the forest and the loud music was the only way you could find where the party was located. The techno music had a particularly interesting affect on the reefer crew. I think one of the reasons I don’t drink much or do drugs is that I get a lot more enjoyment out of watching other people who are drunk or stoned. It just amuses me way more than it should. I kind of wish I had let T get that piece of cake, as a sort of evil experiment to see how she’d react, but then again, she probably would’ve just been extra annoying. The waterfall was beautiful, but after I got a few pictures, it began pouring.

Our next stop was a random fellow’s macadamia nut farm, but because of the rain, we were unable to go anywhere on his property but a little cabin overlooking a pond. This is what greeted us on our way to the cabin:

He informed us these heaps of artistically arranged junk have been in the works for the thirty years he’s lived in Australia. Originally from somewhere in New York, he asked if there were any other Americans in the group. T, a couple from California, and I raised our hands. “I bet you’re all glad Obama won the election! Maybe now I can go back and visit the US again!” he bellowed. T winced a bit and diverted her gaze. I cracked a macadamia nut and willed the old hippie to notice her expression. “Why that look? You vote for Nader?” he asked. I could barely contain my excitement. T vs. Old Hippie Smackdown 2008! “Yeah.” she lied, knowing very well what would happen if she told the truth. Dammit. The last time she got in an argument about politics, her opposition asked what a “bright young woman like her would be doing voting McCain” and her defense was the dazzling gem of a comeback “Heidi and LC from ‘The Hills’ are voting for him too!” Disappointed, I ate more macadamia nuts than I’ve probably had in my entire life and took more photos.

This picture isn’t blurry because of my camera, but because that’s just how incredibly hard the rain was falling.

The ride back to Byron Bay was filled with even more excellent music and then we ran back to the share house shrieking after getting dropped off in the peak of bad weather. C had a good time and her session fortunately ended before the storm hit. Walking home, she discovered Cheeky Monkeys wasn’t open that night, so we opted for Japanese food instead. Back at the share house, it was more story time and violin recital with crazy Irish lady, her German friend occasionally chipping in sarcastically. “Is she always like this?” I asked in German, not wanting to offend the Irish woman. The German woman sighed and nodded. Oooh, I know all too well how German lady feels. My friendship with T is very much like that of Daria and Quinn Morgendorfer, minus the sister part. I once pointed this out to T, who of course had no idea what I was referring to. I showed her a few episodes and her response was the very appropriate, “You’re right! That’s soooo totally us!”

Day three was spent wandering a huge artist community in the cold rain looking for a particular glass artist T’s Mom once saw on TV. It sounds like a lot of interesting stories could come from that, but nope. Barely anything was open and when we finally found the place, T marveled at everything in there, but ended up not buying anything. I would have yelled at her, but I was too cold. The two and a half hour bus ride to Brisbane made me car sick and I had a grand ol’ time holding back vomit for two of those hours. Do you know how disgusting/painful that is? Very much so on both counts. So there you go, Byron Bay was not quite the beachy vacation I’d hoped, but it was certainly interesting save for the last day. T still tells me she misses the Irish woman, by the way.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sitting on the dock of the (Byron) Bay- Part 1

I'm finally getting around to writing about Byron Bay, which is funny considering it's not like I've had anything important keeping me from it. It's just a loooong story to write and I'd rather watch DVDs of 'Miss Marple Mysteries' while eating oatmeal. Because I'm 70.

Now before I start, I have been repeatedly told by one of my travel companions, "Omigawd, don't tell people about what we did on that trip!" Which makes it sound like we were on Girls Gone Wild or killed a dolphin with a speargun then sold it to a tuna company. There was nothing of that sort, the trip was PG-13 at worst, this particular friend is just very paranoid and Republican. Actually, both the girls (who I will refer to as T and C since they're so freaked out about even their first names being used) I went with are Republican. Not that it matters or I care, it's just hilarious going to one of the hippie capitals of the world with a bunch of conservatives.

Anyway, the trip started from Surfers Paradise, where T and I met up with C. They forced me to go to a super seedy club called 'Bedroom' where there are actual beds for people to lie down and make out/grope/whatever on. Classy! They played all the songs I hate, and I literally spent the entire time standing with my arms crossed looking grumpy while T and C danced around me. Of course there were the guys (and in one case, a really drunk girl) who pulled the whole, "Come ooon, smile! Dance! " I gave them the death glare and they backed the hell off. The only time I danced that night was when they played a Calvin Harris song and 'What is Love?' You know a club is playing terrible music when you think "Thank God for Haddaway!" If for some reason I ever become a spy and end up captured in enemy territory, all they'd have to do to torture me is recreate that place.

Later on, I was straightening the coasters on a nearby table and one of the waitresses (whose uniform is basically a corset, panties, and garters) got mad at me because making the coasters presentable is part of her job. So I messed them up again and she yelled at me even more. Not only am I the worst friend to go to a typical dance club with, but I may also be the only person whose slight OCD tendencies end up getting a Pussycat Doll wannabe angry. Fed up, I told T and C I'd meet them in an hour or so and went outside to take a walk on the beach. On my way there, I saw a snake trying to break into a poor cockatoo's cage. Don't believe me?

I had no idea what to do, I mean, throwing something at the snake is cruel and could also make it leap at my face. But I didn't want the bird's owner to come out the next morning to find feathers and a fat snake in the cage. So I took several pictures hoping the flash would confuse the snake, then ran away terrified. Might I add, I had no alcohol this entire evening, I'm just naturally indecisive and a bit stupid in certain situations.

After a wonderful beginning such as that, who knew what the next few days could have in store? (Hint: Many more awkward occurrences! This blog has the name for a reason.) T and C forgot to tell the Greyhound bus driver to wait for me while I got my ticket and it almost left without me. Thanks guys! They also sat together, leaving me next to a girl who spent most of the ride obsessing over my bag (which I made myself a few years ago). She even took a picture of it. It was simultaneously flattering and creepy. After dropping our things off at the awesome share house, we went to the beach in search of a lighthouse C insisted we visit. Have you ever gone to Washington DC and seen the monuments at the other side of the mall, then decided to walk because it doesn't seem too far away? But it's really 20 times the distance than you estimated. This lighthouse was like that.The following pictures are beautiful, yes, but they were taken over the course of a journey which took two and a half more hiking hours than estimated.

There was no way around these rocks, so we had to wade through a pool of knee deep water. It reminded me of when you have to ford the river in 'Oregon Trail.'

The lighthouse was nothing compared to the many Cape May and Jersey shore lighthouses I've been forced to see as the child of an architect. But it overlooked a nice view and I spotted some manta rays in the water below. (Insert horrible Steve Irwin death joke here)

It ended up being a good thing that we spent most of that first day outdoors, because the rest of the weekend consisted of torrential downpours leading to floods in parts of Queensland. That night, T wanted to go to a bar/restaurant called the 'Cheeky Monkey' because someone told her she'd love it. I prayed it wasn't another 'Bedroom.' To enter, you must choose between "Door #1: For sex kittens, groove masters, rebels, and bombshells" and "Door #2: For porn stars, secret service, show ponies, and comedians." I chose #1 purely for the rebel, but being a groove master would be pretty awesome too. If that wasn't fun enough already, a cheerful hostess gave each of us four raffle tickets, saying we're bound to win something between the three of us and asked if we'd like to order a slice of raspberry cheesecake for only $3. I was sold. Originally we were going to stay for an hour or so, but we ended up spending a good five hours there. Everything about 'Cheeky Monkey' was bizarrely mesmerizing. There was a raffle or stupid contest every half hour and in between, they projected music videos (of actual good songs with enough variety to make T, C, and I all happy, a rare event considering we each have vastly different tastes in music) on the wall. One of the better contests was seeing how many clothes pins this guy could put on his face while they played 'Take on Me' by A-Ha for no real reason.

I think it was 33 pins and he won surfing lessons, a mighty fine prize. One of my raffle tickets was called and I thankfully didn't have to do anything embarrassing. I got a $20 bar tab, woo. We decided to use it the next night since it was good for the rest of the week, but then C had a raffle ticket called and she won a $50 tab that had to be used up that night. Hahaha, OH NO! C and I don't drink much and the drinks we like are a bit more expensive anyway, so we each only had two. But ooooh T... She was a bit special that night.

C and I thought maybe we should head back, but then they announced the 'Male Strip contest' coming up. T told me she would bite me if we didn't stay for that. That was interesting, to say the least. Nothing full monty, but still blush-worthy, especially since the majority of the participants were 17 and 18 year old guys on Schoolies (the Australian equivalent of Senior Week). The best parts were T's reaction and that they made one poor kid strip to 'Barbie Girl.' We managed to get T back to the share house and I gave my $20 card to a German woman in the room next to ours.

I'm stopping here for now and I'll post the second half tomorrow. Go rest your eyes.

P.S. The guy on the computer next to me is practically screaming, "WAKEY WAKEY! SHAKEY SHAKEY! WHY DO YOU TAKE THIRTY YEARS TO LOAD?" at his computer. I'm trying very hard not to laugh.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hot damn, Summer in the City

(Note: I know, I know, I'm supposed to write about Byron Bay. But last night I wrote this following post out of boredom and figured I should use it now.)

I fear I am turning into the local crazy lady. Granted, I’m not as outrageously strange/awesome in appearance as my two favourite home town weirdos, Penny Man and Leprechaun Guy (Penny Man has coins glued to every piece of clothing he wears and according to my Mom, has a habit of surfing for porn on the public library computers. Leprechaun Guy is obviously a small Irish dude with the stereotypical ginger hair and beard who always wears green, rides a bike, and hangs out behind the 7-11, most likely dealing drugs). However, if I continue living my life as I have the past two weeks, I foresee a future of a Winebago in New Jersey, a job as the person who writes descriptions for the absurd products in Sky Mall, and my only companionship from a flatulent Westie named Iggy Pop. Maybe I’ll have a shrine of James Dean or Jim Morrison on my wall to talk to, convinced that if falling in love with a photo of someone from the past worked for the guy in The Terminator, maybe I could have a chance to go back in time and save the world with them. And now having re-read that last sentence, I realize it makes no sense if you haven’t seen the movie. Too darn bad. Now having re-read this entire paragraph thus far, I realize my comma splices are horrible and if my Senior year English teacher reads this, he will bludgeon me with a copy of ‘Strunk and White’ when I return to US soil.

SEE? This is what I have become. No job, TV, or Internet make Danielle a dull and pathetic gal. Allow me to let you into my world by detailing what I did today, which is very similar to what I’ve done the past fourteen days. Warning: The following is still a tad boring, despite me using the best of my self-deprecating wit to make it seem more interesting. If you honestly have better things to do than read this blog, I suggest you go about doing them.

9:00 am to 10:30 am- Alarm rings obnoxiously and I set it for fifteen more minutes several times until I finally give up and decide I should start my day. At least two cups of tea are needed to set things into motion.

11ish am- Got my laptop and seemingly useless stack of resumes in their backpack, hoist on said backpack with sunglasses and headphones on. Commence drudging into the city while listening to The Smiths.

A little past 11ish am- Wave at the old man who feeds the lorikeets in the park everyday and now recognizes me as a regular fellow weirdo.

Noon to 2:00 pm- Go to whichever area in the city I haven’t hit up for job opportunities (I’m running out) and hand out my resumes. When they say, “I don’t know if we’re hiring, but I’ll put this on the manager’s desk for you!” it is code for, “I’m going to throw this out later, but now I’ll pretend I care.” Usually I do this for even longer than two hours, but today is Sunday, so not much is open later than 4 pm.

2:00 pm- Walk to the library still listening to The Smiths. Feel emo. Wonder if it’s bad that I relate to lyrics written by a (now) 50-something British gay man during the ‘80s.

2:10 pm- Go to library and download Youtube videos of shows like The Amazing Race and Nevermind the Buzzcocks to watch back at the flat later that evening. Check out the following books: ‘Candy Girl,’ ‘The Devil in the White City,’ ‘The Romanovs,’ and ‘The Encyclopedia of Saints.’ Get disturbed and judgmental looks from the librarian because these books are about (respectively) a stripper, a serial killer, a bunch of long dead Russian monarchs, and a bunch of long dead Catholics (some of whom were Russian monarchs). I’m sorry I have a varied and eclectic choice of reading material.

3:00 pm to 3:30 pm- Wander around the city aimlessly. Buy honey lemon bubble tea because it’s the closest thing to Wawa Lemonade Iced Tea. Mmmmm.

3:30 pm- Start to walk home, become way too excited to eat dinner and watch a reality show about a bunch of idiots running around Eastern Europe.

4:00 pm- Read ‘Candy Girl’ for a while and realize how awkward it is that my own mother has read this book as well. Then again, we watched Superbad together.

5:30 pm- Make dinner and have the usual once a day chat with my flatmates, which is either about food or our native countries. Tonight it was about both, and the Spanish girl flat out told the Chinese girl that Chinese people eat dogs. The Chinese girl was confused, fortunately wasn’t offended by this slightly racist comment and just said, “No, I don’t think so.” I had no idea what to say, so I blurted out, “I think it’s actually Denmark that eats dog. It’s a delicacy there. I saw it on Quite Interesting, and Steven Fry is never wrong.” They stare at me and we all silently decide we should each go to our own rooms. Our section of the UN, if you will.

6:00 pm- Let the wonderful cheap laughs from The Amazing Race issue forth. I love this show a bit too much. Their cameramen have the best jobs in the world, I think I may have found my calling. Although knowing my luck, I’d be stuck with the obnoxious bickering couple they have every season instead of the token strange underdogs like the Jewish fratboys who lost their shoes in Kazakhstan or last season’s awesome goth couple from Tennessee who had pink hair and constantly said, “OH MAH GOTH!”

7:30 pm- Finish reading ‘Candy Girl’ already and decide to write this post. Wish I could file an application for a life.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I am Tired and Broken

I hath failed you all again with my false promises. If it makes you feel any better, I was too busy being alone on Thanksgiving with nothing much to do. So I bought a small apple pie (not as good as home made and a bit pointless without the Tofurkey I look forward to all year) and ate it while reading a weird book my friend left me about chess and the French Revolution. That’s as close enough to the traditional as I could get unfortunately. I hear there was a mass Rickrolling during the Macys Parade and I can only imagine my family watching it with no idea what it meant. Oh how I’d like to be a firefly on the wall for that. I know that’s not how the phrase goes, but I don’t want to be a normal fly, they freak me out.

Anyhoo, continuing backwards to two Fridays ago, I got a photo pass to take pictures of some bands I was an embarrassingly big fan of in high school. I don’t quite listen to them as much now, but since I never got to see them back in the day, I thought I should at least make my inner 17-year-old happy. Well, even my inner 17-year-old felt like a geezer in this crowd. I’m pretty sure the guys in the band (who are only a few years my senior) and I were the oldest ones there, and that’s saying a lot coming from someone only about to turn 21. Halifax were the first up and I felt incredibly weird rocking out to their awesome cover of ‘Straight Up’ by Paula Abdul because looking around, I was the only one singing along. Sure, there was appreciative dancing and people seemed to like it, but nobody else knew the words. “Ew, this song is SO old.” scoffed the tiny scene girl to her fashioncore posse standing near me (they all had to be about 14). “Excuse me,” I interjected, “but some of us were alive when Paula Abdul was more than the crazy lady from American Idol.” But it turns out she didn’t mean the original, she meant this cover version was apparently ancient. This version which was released in 2004 on the Punk Goes Pop compilation I listened to obsessively my Junior year of high school. I was still older in 2004 than those kids are now. I wanted to cry. Then I’m pretty sure I did cry (in pain) when the next band came on.

The second act was one I wasn’t too familiar with, they’re called Haste The Day. I really need to research opening acts more before going to concerts, because this is usually where things go wrong. Haste The Day are a Christian metal band. Yeah, I’ve heard of that musical genre before, but like narwhals, I find them highly unusual and refuse to accept their existence until I see one up close. Let’s just say their fans mosh for Jesus enthusiastically. I was standing up front after Halifax, taking pictures (no guard rails between the stage and the crowd, every photographers’ nightmare) and when Haste the Day started, everyone rushed forward, causing me to sharply hit my shins on the foot high stage. Actually, it wasn’t even a proper stage, I’m pretty sure they were playing on way too low to the ground risers. I got to spend their whole set pushing backwards against a crowd of whippersnappers so that I didn’t topple onto the stage and be pray-screamed to.

Then Scary Kids Scaring Kids, the act I was especially there for, took the stage. Yes, I now realize I probably should have known a band with a telling name such as theirs might not have been the best to see in concert. But darn it, some of their songs are actually quite catchy if you look past the yelly parts. And I’ve always had a bit of a crush on their keyboardist, whom I was awkwardly about five inches from almost their entire set. My knee gave out a few times thanks to being smashed by the crowd into the stage and I’d be sent forward again, my hand landing on his keyboard to make a lovely BWAMP sound. That was embarrassing, but I continued taking pictures (with both a digital and manual camera, oooh impressive). The cameras are fine, but let’s just say that the bruises on my shins and knees are still healing over two weeks later. I talked to Pouyan (the keyboardist) afterward to apologize for being a guest soloist and we had the following conversation:

Me: “Sorry about being all up in your grill the whole time.”
Pouyan: “Aw, no problem. You were kickin’ ass and taking pictures!”
Me: “Haha, thanks.”
Pouyan: “Wait, are you American?”
Me: “Yeah, from Philly.”
Pouyan: “Oh, so THAT’S why you were holding your own so well, haha. When we played there it was mass chaos.”
Me: “Usually tends to be that way. So, I hear you guys like to play Uno when on tour.”
Pouyan: “Yes indeedy.”
Me: “Your other deck must be getting worn out, so I thought I’d give you my X-Men Uno set. I don’t use it much anymore and something that cool can’t just sit on the shelf.”
Pouyan: “Oh my God! You are my hero.”

With my former prized possession in even better hands and a hug from Pouyan, I happily limped to the bus stop headed back home. Even though it was crazy and I was a tad out of place, it was nice to finally see SKSK and Halifax. As I mentioned before, bits of their songs can be screamy, but I’ll leave you with this (sorry I can't embed it in the blog like usual) to see/hear why younger me especially loved SKSK. I still find it hilarious and one of the best music videos made on a low budget. Oh, and Pouyan is the one in the passenger seat playing Game Boy.

Next post I'll finally get to the Byron Bay trip, complete with lots of photos of nature and the beach. Hip hippie hooray!