Sunday, November 22, 2009

Long Time Gone

I did not die or get lost on a mysterious island with polar bears and smoke monsters on my way back from Australia. I probably should have mentioned that earlier... My main problem was flying out to LA on the worst possible day ever (when Michael Jackson died). Not only did this make me lose the pool on which celebrity would die next (I had my money on you, Stephen Hawking! You let the team down!), it made travel way more difficult. I have impeccable timing. So as always happens to me, I had a very odd time that day trying to get through LAX (the worst airport I have ever been to and now hate with a passion) battling weeping freaks who flew in from all over the world as soon as they heard the news, hoping to go to his funeral. Then on my other flight, a guy had a heart attack and we had to force a landing, causing me to miss the event which was the main reason I was going to Chicago in the first place. I wanted to punch everything, it was truly infuriating.

The reason I haven't updated is not because of a lack of interesting events (far from it), but I've been busy with an internship at a local music magazine. Well, I was until I was wrongfully fired. I won't go into it, because that's unprofessional and bitchy, but let's just say it's up there in crazy boss stories with the time I was fired from the cafe in Brisbane for being a Taurus and not owning a cell phone.

So now I have extra free time for updating blogs and doing freelance work, some links to which I will post here occasionally. One of the things I did for my former internship was photograph Thursday's concert at First Unitarian Church. I had photographed them previously on Warped Tour '06 and was excited to do so again, since they've long been one of my favourite bands and put on an amazing live show. The morning of the show, my boss called to inform me I'll be not only taking live shots, but a portrait of the band too. A few minutes after I got off the phone with him, I literally threw up from nervousness. Gross, yes, but I feel that needs to be part of the story to illustrate how incredibly excited/terrified I was.

We were supposed to do the photo shoot outside the church, but there were swarms of teenage boys waiting outside, so I started taking pictures of them sitting on the steps inside. It was too boring a setting, so I spur of the moment told them to go into the daycare center room. I then instructed them to sit in the tiny kiddie chairs. Yes, I told one of my favourite bands to sit in tiny plastic chairs in a room that spelled like Cheerios and pee. I'm still reeling from the absurdity of it. The resulting photo was fantastic though, and I despise that it was never used in the article. So for the first time ever, here it is, I guarantee there are no other photos of Thursday like this.

Among my other adventures, I traveled with my roommate Katie to Lancaster to interview a band I (at first) knew little about. I will be honest and admit that I originally wanted to interview them when they were on Warped Tour just so I could go to Warped again, but it fell through. When offered to interview them at another time, I decided to go with it since they seemed interesting. Hence the long voyage to downtown Lancaster, an area I had no idea contained any sort of concert venues. I'm very tempted to post the MP3 of our interview, since it's hilarious and the word 'bro!' comes up at least three times a minute. But I sound like a twelve-year-old boy, so I'd rather not put that out into the world, ha. Here's a link to the finished article (go to pages 12 and 13):

Due to a mix-up, Katie and I were unable to see that show, but they put us on the guest list for their next show in Philly, which was last week. It was mostly us and tween girls, but we had a blast and made all the teeny-boppers jealous when the guys saw us and ran over to give us hugs and ask how we were, haha. Katie also went up to their one tech (Colton, who I mention briefly in the article) and said, "Hello! I met you when you were sleeping!" She didn't mean it to sound super creepy, but it sort of did, and I died laughing. Katie, you're awesome.

Other highlights of the past few months include dressing up with my other roomie Sean as Bill & Ted from 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure/Bogus Journey.' It was most excellent. Don't have any photos of that yet, but I'll put them up when I do. I had people tell them I was a convincing Keanu Reeves, not sure if I should take that as a compliment or not. Another fun dress-up opportunity was Zombie Prom, which I went to with my fellow zombie obsessed friends Paige and Anne. My favourite part was doing the zombie shuffle into a Wawa afterwards and having a horrified cashier give us weird looks as we demanded "brains! Or pretzellllllllls? Raughhhhh, if you have themmmmm. Thanksssss, aughrawrgahhhhhhhhhh!"
(Anne, me, and Paige)

Apologies again that I haven't been updating. The Awkward American is far from being over, despite the fact I'm no longer abroad. Because even in America, I'm still awkward and American, so the title will always apply. More updates soon! <3

Monday, June 22, 2009

Last Goodbyes

I know, I did it again and haven't written anything for a while. Partly because not much of interest has occurred since my birthday, partly because the Internet here continues to hate me and refuse to post photos. The one adventure I did have this last month is dependent upon several pictures, so you'll all just have to hear that one in person with a presentation.

As you may know/have guessed, I'm coming home soon. I leave for the States in a few days and then spend a few more Kerouac-ing around (buses, not hitchhiking of course) visiting friends in the Midwest before returning to Philly. Now, I don't want to sound like I'm making demands, but there are a few things you all must know:

1. I won't have an accent, I'm not Madonna. Please do not ask me to do an Australian accent, because I'm really not good at it. I mean, if you really want, I can try, but it always ends up as Kiwi instead. You might not notice, but Australians do and they get really mad at me for it, so I've just refrained from even trying.

2. I'm sorry, but "How was Australia?" will be answered with an equally vague response. Also, please tell me how you've been and not just ask me about Australia, claiming your year "hasn't been nearly as interesting." I like telling stories about my travels, but I'd like to talk about you guys too because I haven't seen you in so long!

3. I apologize in advance if I let slip a curse. I've never been one for swearing much, but it's so frequent and nowhere near as offensive here. As a result, my curse quota has risen significantly. Not to Colin Farrell level or anything, but still. My top swears are still 'crap' and 'bloody hell,' so it's not all that bad.

4. Yes, I lost weight. No, I don't know how much, but thank you. Yes, I still don't have a boyfriend. No, I do not know my grades yet.

5. I missed all of you so so much and am going to try to spend as much of my (short) summer catching up as much as I can. I'm going to be spending time with all you family folks first at the get together. But I know you'll probably want individual hangouts too. I'm definitely up for this and will do all I can, but please don't feel bad if you call up asking to go to a movie or something and I'm out with a friend. See, you have to understand that though my generation is the 'connected Internet bunch,' most of my friends have awful communication skills and they've only talked to me once or twice in the past year. Family gets first dibs and probably more over all time seeing me, but if I get a rare chance to spend time with my plan-challenged friends, I'll jump on it.

I can't wait to see everyone again! I'm disconnecting the Internet in my room soon, so I might not be able to e-mail as often, but I'll e-mail from the library when I can and at the airport before I leave. Love you! xoxo

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Twenty-One (Jump Street)!

I apologize profusely for not posting in quite some time, especially when I promised you all photos and stories from my Sunshine Coast vacation. Unfortunately, both my Internet connection and the Blogger photo uploader hate me, thus banding together to unleash much technological frustration. I’m sorry to say I’ll have to put yet another massive delay on that. Please accept the following word-heavy but hopefully humorous post as an apology.

One of the many ridiculous facts I’ve learned in my disgusting yet delightful Human Biology class is that every cell (with the exception of parts of the brain) in your body is replaced over the course of seven years. You’re literally a new person every seven years! Today I turned 21, meaning I’m in my ‘third body.’ So I figured I’d tap into that section of gray matter that’s been with me all along and have a little conversation with my ‘past selves.’

Note: For those of you unfamiliar with what I looked like, simply picture a girl version of Little Pete from ‘The Adventures of Pete & Pete’ for Seven. Fourteen was a bit like this picture of Caleb Followill (but with a way bigger nose) and Eighteen makes a cameo, she’s a less ginger female ‘Goblet of Fire’ era Ron Weasley. You all know should what I look like now, although my hair has gone a bit Nigel Tufnel the past few months.

21- "Wow, at least I've had consistently strange men’s haircuts!"

7- "Quiet, fart face!"

21- “Crap, I forgot. You’re at the stage where I was a little brat for no apparent reason.”

14- “Ooooh, what phase am I then?”

21- “If I’m not mistaken, you just started the hanging out in Target and obsessively listening to bands like Sum 41 era. I can’t believe we used to think we that was fun.”

14- “RAWK!”

21- “Your Sum 41 finger puppets are going to be stolen soon. Along with the whole backpack.”

14- *gasp* “Do I ever get my bloody little black backpack back?”

21- “No. And Deryck Whibley marries Avril Lavigne.”


7- “Haha!”

14- “Shut up, 7! George Harrison and Jack Lemon die.”

7- *breaks down crying*

21- “Hey now, stop it! Some good things happen in the future! I’m a writer and I get to go to concerts for free! Plus, I’m living in Australia! Pretty cool, huh?”

14- “Do you have a boyfriend?”

21- “Um, no.”

7- “Are you a famous writer?”

21- “Not at all.”

14- “Have you at least met Heath Ledger in Australia or something?”

21- “He’s dead too.”

14- “Why must you tell me all this?! WHY?”

21- “Because you can be a tad annoying, 14. Not as annoying as 7, but yeah. It’s nothing personal, I mean, as 14-year-olds go you aren’t bad at all. You’re just in that starting puberty thing that makes everyone a bit naturally caffeinated and spazzy at times.”

7- “I made up a story about a ghost that was so scary, nobody wanted to use the second floor bathroom. Jean peed her pants. Then I jumped over the playground fence and ran home at recess. Escaping school is fun.”

21- “You creepy little evil genius. Why couldn’t it be anyone between 3 and 6 instead of you here? They were adorable.”

14- “Well surely you aren’t the oldest one, why are you here? Shouldn’t there be at least a 28 here too?”

21- “I’m probably busy by then! Perhaps touring the country with my rocker husband, taking pictures of his band along the way and writing our adventures.”

7- “Yeah, dream on. Or you're dead before 28.”

21- “God, you are so morbid! And mean! The ghost fascination stays 8 through 12, but we went back to being nice again. Why are you so bitter for just that one year?”

7- “Because I really hate school, duh. They wouldn’t let me in the special smart class. They get to play 'Zoombinis' and 'Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?' all day!”

21- “That's why? Really? Hmmm, yeah, I was never cool, was I? Damn.”

18- “Psh, what are you talking about? I’m cool! And I’m not just saying it because I falsely think I am, like 14 does. Now if you excuse me, I’m going to go babysit 3 and 4, the only other ages we were totally awesome.”

14- “Ooh, I forgot to ask, does ‘Return of the King’ turn out well? I bet it’s amazing! OMG, so excited for that!”

21- “18! I’m cool! Take me with you!”

18- “You spent the first few hours of being 21 watching Wolverine and obsessing over the inaccuracies. I like X-Men too, but man, that is pretty lame. You’re like, 21 going on 50 now.”

21- “Dammit. She’s right.”

7- "Haha, you're stuck with us!"

14- “WHEE! Look at me! I’m a pirate sailing around the living room in my purple sparkly inflatable chair! YARRR! WHEE!”

Sunday, March 22, 2009

You are the King of the Divan

Good news, everyone! I actually went out and did stuff this week! Then again, at one point I also said, “Oh man, we played Dungeons & Dragons for so long that I missed 'Lost!'” Which is about the geekiest thing a person can say outside of discussing string theory. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s top moments:

* Went to see an awesome local band called The Paper and the Plane. I actually found out about them through one of the music magazines Mom sent me in a care package. I told this to the band and we all agreed the irony of discovering a Brisbane band through a publication written in Ohio is much appreciated.

*I sat in the wrong class for an hour and was completely terrified the entire time because it was a complicated web design course and everyone was writing advanced HTML codes. All I know how to do in HTML is italicize and bold fonts. Sometimes I can add a photo or link. Why didn’t I just leave, you ask? Well, when I peeked in, I asked the professor, “Is this Digital Imaging?” because it was in the room we’re normally in, but a different teacher. He said it was and after ten minutes I figured this was the wrong class and he probably thought I asked him something else (for having a not overly difficult to understand accent, you’d be shocked how many times people have no idea what I’m saying). And you can’t just get up to leave in the middle of a lecture or they yell at you. It was horrible. Plus, I never found out where the class I was meant to be in moved to. :[

*None of you probably care about this, but The Horrors released a new single that’s completely different from their old style, yet still fantastic. It’s over eight minutes long and never lags once, that’s how good it is. I almost cried with joy when I heard it the first time (music geek alert!) and have probably listened to it twenty times since.

*In small groups for my Human Biology class, we had to do an exercise where we were given a list of symptoms and had to diagnose the 'patient.' The rest of my group, who are Forensic Science and Pre-Med students were convinced the ‘patient’ was just drunk. I knew right away he had a diabetic shock. Guess who was the correct one? I then convinced my group that I knew this because I’m an Anesthesiology major with a specialty in small mammals. Yes, I have outsmarted the future doctors and scientists of Australia. Twice! Bwahahaha. I really only knew it because I have a diabetic friend and watch 'House' religiously.

*My flatmate Madeline is obsessed with the comedian Tim Minchin and has tickets to see him every single night he’s here, so I went with her on Thursday. It was the first time I’d ever been to a comedy show and I loved it. Then again, it was a bit concert-like because Tim Minchin does mostly comedic songs, kind of like Flight of the Conchords, but one Australian guy with a piano instead of two Kiwis with guitars. Turns out, the friend Madeline was supposed to take Friday night canceled, so I went a second time. The other great part about this show was the venue, a reconverted powerhouse. Much silliness was had pre-show taking pictures with all the graffiti left over from when it was abandoned. After the shows, we got to meet Mr. Minchin and he’s lovely. He has a huge bit in his show about Americans and when I said hello to him he was all worried he’d offended me. I just laughed and said, “Well, I’m from Philadelphia, so I’m pretty much in agreement with you.” (His jokes were mainly about the Bible Belt and Manhattan)

*On the way to the second Tim Minchin show, we saw The Kiss Army! Well, it was only two guys dressed up as Kiss, so it was more like a Kiss Small Battlement. Still, it was pretty darn cool, they went all out with the costumes. People over here really like to dress up, it seems.

*This weekend I attended a small party for a friend’s birthday, which was actually on St Patrick's Day, but we couldn’t celebrate it then. So we wore green and pretended to be Irish a week after the fact, haha. It was good fun and like all the best parties, ended with us driving around wearing cardboard crowns from Hungry Jacks, blasting ‘Ca Plane Pour Moi’ while receiving many stares from passing cars. Yes, we started out Irish and ended with a Belgian punk/disco song. Yes, there is such a thing as punk/disco.

*If you haven’t seen it already, I posted my Ace Enders interview over at Popserious. Woo.

Also, thanks again for the happy stories, everyone. They were very effective. With the exception of the wrong class incident and a particularly gruesome lecture on skin diseases, I had a significantly more uplifting week. :]

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hello Today

Poor Australia, we’ve been taking quite a beating over here. First the fires, then floods, an earthquake, and just recently there was an oil spill right off the coast of where I live. I wanted to help clean it up, but they weren’t letting any untrained volunteers in. They keep showing footage of dead turtles covered in slick washed up on the beach. The news over here has been depressing the past few weeks, so if any of you have any cute stories or a happy article about a puppy becoming friends with a duck or something like that, please leave them in the comments.

Despite not being able to watch TV without seeing bad news, I’ve had a great time so far this semester. I get along with everyone in my flat (the jerky note-leaver has gone, hooray!) and have especially become close friends with the other girls in only a short period of time. This year is looking considerably better than the last, everything’s looking up Milhouse! Like always, I have a very strange bunch of classes to further my already schizophrenic transcript:

*Romantic and Victorian Literature- We read awesome novels written by long dead authors.
*Ghosts and the Gothic- We read awesome novels written by long dead opium addicts.
*Human Biology- We study biology way more in-depth than high school. The teacher shows pictures of unspeakable things that make all the medical students around me go ‘oooh’ while I try not to throw up.
*Digital Imaging- We Photoshop. From 6-8 pm on freaking Macs in a freezing cold room. I try not to smash the computer.

Fridays are my free days, so I spend a few hours volunteering in the food co-op. Which is nice because I get paid in store credit so it’s the closest I have to a job for now. Will work for soy milk. While sitting behind the ancient cash register that mocks my basic math skills, I realized that yesterday was the two year anniversary of the infamous Spring Break ‘bar fight’ incident with The Horrors. This trip down memory lane was then burst when a Hare Krishna customer asked me to help him pull a splinter out of his thumb.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Let's Pretend That It Was Perfect

Before I tell my Soundwave tale, I would like to note that I'm not trying to be a smug name dropper. Granted, most of you who read this blog either don't know or don't care about the musicians I'll mention, but for those of you who do, I assure you I'm not trying to rub it in anyone's face. Yes, I got to meet some cool people, but my life is not glamorous. I spent five hours last night creating a character for Dungeons and Dragons because the guys I live with were short a player and begged me to join them. I have transcended my already very high level of geekiness.

Soundwave started with a photographer friend and I being told the media entrance was all the way down at the third gate. Walking down there, we noticed that a Gun and Ammunition Show was being held across the street and this worried us considerably. At Gate 3, we were told it was really Gate 1.2 we wanted, the very gate that directed us to this place. Frustrated, we trudged up the hill, past the angry looking gun nuts again, and politely explained our situation to the man at the door. With much difficulty, we figured out where we were supposed to go with only ten minutes to spare until the first sets were due to start. My friend was one of only three lucky photographers with permission to take pictures of Nine Inch Nails and we giddily shared a quick unprofessional 'OMG WE GET TO DO THIS AS OUR JOB EEEEEEEE!' moment. But then the woman with the list informed me I was not down for a media pass. I freaked out and tried calling Jenn Enders (Ace Enders' wife who had called me earlier to confirm my interview) but it went to voicemail. Ace was playing in a few minutes, so I had no choice but to shell out entirely too much money for a ticket. Yay Ramen for the next month.

I ran through the crowd of every punk, emo and goth in Queensland to Ace's stage where I managed to catch the majority of his set. Phew. My interview was to take place at 2 pm but I didn't know where I should meet them. I asked the security guard if he knew and he went to check, leaving me standing next to the stage as the crew set up for Jacks Mannequin. Then I realized that a girl in the front row was taking pictures of me. "Oh God," I thought, "Please don't let her think I'm somebody important just because I'm standing backstage." Nope, she was taking pictures of Andrew McMahon and the other members of Jacks Mannequin who were right next to me and I totally didn't realize it for five minutes. Figuring they'd know where Ace was, I asked their bassist if he'd seen him. He hadn't, then offered me some of the iced tea he was drinking. It was a sweltering day and I wasn't about to turn down a chance to make the joke that I'd swapped spit with the bassist of Jacks Mannequin, so I accepted. After taking a few huge gulps I realized it was iced tea of the Long Island variety. I'd basically just taken the equivalent of three shots of rum and vodka. At 1:30 pm. On a hot day. With an empty stomach. I knew that in about ten minutes I would be, erm, just a bit tipsy. Oh crap oh crap.

I tried calling Jenn again to see if maybe I could reschedule the time for my interview. Still her voicemail. Thus began my search for the Enders backstage at Soundwave where I technically wasn't authorized to be. The 'iced tea' kicked in somewhere right before asking the dreadlocked guy from Moneen. Who when he said he hadn't seen Ace, I responded with "Raaaah, f*** my life!" and a little kick to the air. Moneen guy about peed himself laughing at me. AWESOME. But the absolute best was when I saw Keith Buckley (the Every Time I Die singer, not the actor from James Bond).



Have you seen Ace?




Ace Enders. He used to be in The Early November.

Oh! That Ace. No, haven't, sorry. What band is he in now?

Um, Ace Enders. It's pretty much just him solo.

Hahahahaha. Hey, are you drunk?

Slightly. By accident.

Hahaha. ME TOO! On purpose though. Australia is awesome!

*High five*

We should have our own comedy routine. I wish I could've talked to him more, especially about the hilarious column he writes for Alternative Press, but he had to go. I would also like to point out that Keith has one of the strangest tattoos I've ever seen: Spock crying because he doesn't have a mustache.

Eventually I found Ace and Jenn, but they were all "Let's do this interview!" before I could ask them if we could move it to later. So I interviewed Ace Enders, the former lead singer of one of my favourite bands, in a less than desired state. Needless to say, it didn't go as planned and I slightly made a fool of myself. Maybe it wasn't all that bad, but I can't bring myself to listen to the recording just yet. I know I said 'magician' instead of 'musician' several times and fumbled with my recorder because it kept beeping at me. I also made a really really dumb pun that caused him to give me that 'No, please don't' look. Then we were cut short because Jacks Mannequin finally took the stage and were super loud. On the verge of tears from screwing my interview up, I stood with The Audition and watched Jacks Mannequin play. Emo times three! A choice observation from my notebook that I don't remember writing: "Lead singer of Audition has a huge mouth. Like, an Aerosmith sized gob. Whoa."

Not wanting to waste the fact that I was miraculously still backstage, I took the opportunity to wander and somehow got recruited by the catering crew for an hour. This was a lot more interesting than it seems because I got to see the lists of 'requirements' aka the food and drink bands demand be in their trailers/tents. I also got to deliver some of them. The smaller acts shared tents and just asked for some bottled water plus a deli platter or fruit & veggie tray. The guys from Horse the Band even picked their own food up, which was considerate of them. Bands higher up on the bill had a trailer to themselves and some unusual requests. I helped deliver Red Jumpsuit Apparatus their box of goodies and had to explain to them that in Australia, light beer means a beer that is lighter in colour and flavour, not low cal as Americans think of it. You heard it here first, folks, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are a bit diva-ish. I am chock full of industry secrets.

After getting a 'Local Crew' wristband that would ensure I could get backstage again (which I unfortunately didn't get the chance to go back and use), I ventured back out to see Underoath. It ended up being more like hearing Underoath, because the crowd prevented me from actually seeing the band. I couldn't deal with that and headed towards another stage. On my way I ran into Craig Owens and chatted with him shortly then got a picture. I didn't want to bother him much, otherwise I could've talked to him all day. In person, he looks so much like Dominic Monaghan. Whom I also love. *sigh* There was a small crowd for Rival Schools, so I got a front row spot which I held through Hellogoodbye, Funeral For a Friend, and Chiodos. Standing in the same place for over four hours was well worth it, I've wanted to see Hellogoodbye for several years and Chiodos was undoubtedly the best set of the day. They even played the song I suggested to Craig (I won't say which, but if you know me you can probably guess). Usually being front row causes me ridiculous injury but this time it actually saved me because instead of pushing towards the front, people did a Wall of Death. Which is where the crowd splits at the middle then runs towards each other and start punching. Why people do this, I do not know. I just watch.

Saw a few more bands after that, nothing spectacular, then I watched NIN from very far away sitting on a bench with a friend. I was so exhausted I fell asleep during 'Head Like a Hole,' something you'd think would be physically impossible. My day still wasn't over, I was invited to the after party at Rosies. Granted, I was sitting down for most of that. It was okay, Jimmy Pop from Bloodhound Gang DJed and I was going to introduce myself as a fellow Philadelphian, but my friend said Jimmy licked his face when he said hello, so I decided against it. A few other musicians showed up, Keith Buckley was apparently in the VIP room for a bit and I'm pretty sure I saw one of the guys from Houston Calls hanging out with the ginger one from Forever the Sickest Kids. The latter is a really bad dancer, haha.

So there you go. Another patented 'How the Hell Does Danielle Always Manage to Get Into Those Sorts of Situations?!' story. Hope you enjoyed it. I'll eventually put up my interview with Ace, if I ever get up the nerve to transcribe it. :/

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm a Troublemaker

First of all, I would like everyone to know I'm perfectly alright and the wildfires are nowhere near where I am, though I appreciate the concern. The fires are all the way down in Melbourne, which is about as far away from Brisbane as Florida is from Pennsylvania. There were actually some major floods here in Queensland, but I wasn't affected by them.

I'm back at Nathan, so no more 17-year-old central where I felt like 'Charles in Charge.' Now (so far) my flatmates are three geeky guys closer to my age who play World of Warcraft all the time. Meaning my life is now 'The Big Bang Theory.' Yes, I enjoy comparing everything to sitcoms. Unfortunately the move itself didn't go as planned and I nearly had a nervous breakdown in the bus station. See, I had to be fully checked out by 10 am on Valentines Day, but I couldn't move in to Nathan until noon on the 15th. My plan was to leave all my luggage in a flatmates room, check out, walk around the city until 5 pm (when the building office closes), then have a flatmate let me in and spend the night so I could move my things to Nathan in shifts the next day. I would've gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling kids! My one flatmate got incredibly drunk the night before and thanks to her stupid friend that's always at our flat for some reason, had the brilliant idea to go out at 1:30 am.

Nothing was stopping them and neither of them knew the city, meaning I was pretty much forced to go with them (damn you conscience!) or else they'd wake me up with a paniced phone call to come rescue them anyway. I told them I wasn't going anywhere you have to pay a cover because I'm poor and we'd only be there for about an hour anyway so what's the point. I knew this was going to be a bad day when my flatmate started making out with a stranger who looked like Nick from 'Freaks and Geeks' while waiting in line at McDonalds. Yup. They just looked over at each other and BAM then they were sucking face. Several boys worth of flirting later, we eventually ended up at the club she wanted to go to. The same awful place where T and I once ducked into to avoid the rain and had those super creepers hit on us (I forget if I actually told that story or not, I don't think I did because it had funny photos to go with it that T never ended up sending me. Long story short, the guy hitting on me said I looked like a cocaine user because I "have the big nose for it," which he actually meant as a compliment. I then look over to see the guy chatting up T doing the 'Stop Hitting Yourself!' thing to her. We got out of there as fast as we could.) "No," I firmly stated, "I hate this place, it's full of jerks and I have a very strict policy of avoiding places with stripper cages built into their walls." But I was outvoted by the brilliant future of tomorrow and spent the next hour miserable. My flatmate then decided we should try the gay bar across the street. I was relieved since I'd much rather be there, but then I discovered it was $10 to enter and my flatmate needed me to pay for her as well. We ended up staying about ten minutes and had to leave because 'it wasn't happening enough' and the friend was uncomfortable. So I essentially spent a dollar a minute to marvel at gay raver kids dancing the Melbourne Shuffle. To top it off, they decided we should go back to the first club again. Hiding my anger, I told them I'll be waiting outside instead.

At this point, it was about 3:15 am and I'm sitting outside on a bench by myself. This would be worrying if I did this in Philadelphia, but in Brisbane you're perfectly alright. I was tired, grumpy, and just knew my day was bound to get crappier. My face must have shown it because from beside me a voice whispered in my ear, "Why so serious?" I almost had a heart attack. Standing there was a guy dressed as The Joker for no discernable reason. I just stared at him and then a guy in a Batman costume jumps out, yelling "Leave that citizen alone!" They then began to slappy fight for a few seconds and ran off. My flatmate's friend came out several minutes later to find me still dumbfounded. I tried to tell her about the amazing thing she just missed but she thought it was more important to be snarky about my flatmate. "I don't care how many guys she's made out with tonight," I practically yelled, "I just saw The Joker and Batman fighting!" She leered at me, "It wasn't really them. They're not real." A random goth guy came up to us, "You don't get it. Obviously Batman isn't real, duh. Point is, it was AWESOME!" Apparently he had witnessed it too and we talked a few minutes, with him offering me a cigarette if I knew the smallest country in the world. Which I did (Vatican City), but I don't smoke so I told him to give it to the next person who asks him for one on behalf of me. The friends he was waiting for showed up and we said goodbye, which made my flatmate's friend happy because she thought he was 'a freak.' Yeah, all those guys trying to grab your butt in that skeezy club are normal because they wear Abercrombie & Fitch but the goth guy who has an innocent friendly conversation to pass the time is the one we have to watch out for.

Eventually my flatmate was ready to go and the cab ride home was entirely arguments between her and the friend. I tried to calm the tension by making a stupid joke which neither got made the cabbie laugh. "You don't get it?" he said, thankfully on my side, "It was a pun." NEITHER OF THEM KNEW WHAT A PUN IS. The cabbie and I tried explaining it, but to no avail. How did they pass fifth grade English? Once back at the flat, I knew I'd never get up at 9 am if I went to bed at 5 am, so I just stayed up reading. The first part of my plan was successful but I was too exhausted to go into the city, so I told all my flatmates I was going to nap on the couch and to warn me if building management were coming. The flatmate I sacrificed my sleep and $20 for ended up opening the door because "she forgot and their knocking was killing me, omg I'm soooo hungover!" And thus I was kicked out hastily and forgot several of my things. I was called a cab, which I had no cash to pay for and had to use my credit card (I hate doing that). The office told him to take me to a hostel so I could spend the night there. An okay idea, but dammit, why is it such a crime for me to stay one more night at my old flat? Renters rights! It was also not such a great idea considering the hostel was full. But it was across from the bus station at least. With much difficulty and cursing, I managed to get half of my things into the world's most high security storage locker ("Please enter your birthdate, then choose a colour, re-enter your birth date, then pick a four digit code") and struggled onto a bus to a friends house with the other half of my bags. We spent our Valentines Day night eating pizza, watching 'Mean Girls,' then dancing around to my new favourite music video.

So to all those people who complain about Valentines Day because they're single or hate how commercial a holiday it is, you can shut it. Valentines sucks because something completely ridiculous (good and bad) always seems to happen to me that day. Fortunately I ended up having a fun time later on, but any day where you're dragging wheelie luggage and screaming obsenties because you're temporarily homeless thanks to your selfish flatmate is not really a good one. Damn you, Valentines Day curse!

On the bright side, this weekend I'm off to the Soundwave Festival and interviewing one of my musical idols, Ace Enders. I'll try hard not to cry like a Beatles fan when I meet him. Needless to say, next entry should be amusing and in a significantly happier tone.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Just Can't Take It Anymore

I’m currently being forced to listen to (and refusing to actually watch) ‘Beerfest,’ which followed up ‘Little Nicky’ and ‘Dodgeball.’ All with constant commentary and quoting! So those of you who know me well are aware this is a bit like my own personal hell. Although the ‘Sex and the City’ movie and ‘Undercover Brother’ would be on the schedule for Satan Cinemas too. If you haven’t guessed, this little film festival of idiocy was curated by my seventeen-year-old male flatmate. Actually I have two new seventeen-year-old male flatmates, along with a new American girl literally meant to replace me. Which means I have to move back to my old flat two weeks earlier than they initially told me. Boo-urns. Moving sooner than anticipated always sucks, but I’m feeling mixed about the actual moving.

*No more 17 dude #2 and his commandeering of the living room as a screening area for ‘movies you guys HAVE to see.’ I’ve only known him for two days and he was alright in the beginning, but he constantly makes insulting ‘jokes’ about my age and America. I mean, I’m used to little digs at the US, sometimes they’re true or just funny. But he made two remarks today that really offended me, and that’s hard to do. Also, he got drunk and threw up profusely his first night here. Why does that always happen?

*17 dude #1 is so nice. Like a cool little brother who has a very similar music taste and a rad video game collection. We watched ‘Battle Royale’ and a few zombie movies together, good times. See, I loathe most comedies written with a target audience of teen boys, but any action/thriller movie teen boys love, I am obsessed with as well. My taste in entertainment is very difficult to understand at times. Anyway, I’ll miss this guy (and Hannah!) a lot when I leave, hopefully I can still get to hang out with them.

*Back at Nathan, laundry and the internet are free. That makes my life a whole lot easier.

*You have to take a bus to get to the city or the closest grocery store. Where I am now, they’re within walking distance. I can never win.

*Even though it can be a bit annoying that the wireless signal only works in the living room (which is why I had to endure crap movies all day), I do enjoy sitting and working on my laptop in a comfy chair.

*As I’ve mentioned before, the living room area of the Nathan flats are disgusting and that means I have to be a hermit sitting in my room when I write.

It’s not like I have a choice about moving again, though. Oh well. The only other news I have is that I’m officially a contributor to now! Please bookmark this site and check it from time to time, especially feel free to leave comments. If we get more web traffic this could very well mean I’ll have my first paid writing gig! But for now it’s just super fun and I write little commentaries on music and movies. I’m moving on Valentines Day, which is funny because I definitely do not love carting my stuff around. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sting Would Have None of This Behaviour

I wish I had a real update, but no, things are dreadfully boring here. I've been cooped up the majority of the weekend because I haven't been feeling so well. But my Snood score is better than ever!

Anyway, I just thought you would all appreciate this. I usually walk by there every day and am a bit sad I missed witnessing such an ironic event. Knowing the local media, this is going to be on the front page of the news tomorrow and 'breaking developments' will pop up the rest of the month. Hooray?

P.S. I also get much amusement by turning the sound up on my computer and startling my flatmate with this.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Girl Can Do What She Wants to Do and That's What I'm Gonna Do

Looky, I made a weird new header for the blog! Sorry it’s a bit crappy, but I used a terrible online Paint-like program, plus I had to draw it with my laptop touchpad mouse (yes Dad, I know I have the wireless mouse you bought me, but it apparently doesn’t like working on my kitchen table). Do you know how incredibly difficult that is?! So yeah, the illustration of me looks a bit like a crazy cat lady, but oh well.

Anyhoo, actual events are occurring in my life now, holy crap! That reality thing is so annoying, it gets in the way of me sitting around all day watching DVDs of Piorot (I adore that fat little Belgian detective!) and reading Neil Gaiman books, you know? I can’t be bothered to write a chronological narrative about how I’ve been lately, so you’ll have to settle for a list of events in no particular order.

*I got a new flatmate, who I am getting along with already. Upon moving in, she didn’t mind that I had laundry strewn about drying everywhere (nobody warned me she was coming) and we just finished watching a few episodes of Daria together because she mentioned she loves it too after seeing the Daria picture in my header. Needless to say, I can tell we’re going to be friends.

*I did a guest post over at one of my favourite blogs, Popserious. My Mom and Dad are probably going to get mad at me for making fun of the name they gave me now. Sorry.

*I had another patented Why Do Weird People Always Talk to Me? conversation that was along the lines of this:
Me- “Um, excuse me?”
Metal Dude- “Cattle Decapitation! Woo!”
Me- “I really hope you’re talking about a band or something...”
Metal Dude- “F____ YEAH! Their album launch party! *guitar riff noise*”
Me- “Er, I hate to break it to you, but The Willows are playing tonight. Not Cattle Slaughter.”
Metal Dude- “I know, Cattle Decapitation are way too big to play here.”
Me- “But aren’t album launches where the bands play live or they at least let everyone preview the album?”
Metal Dude- “Uh, aren’t they playing it now?”
Me- “... They’re playing some emo band’s cover of ‘Umbrella’ by Rhianna. Which is almost the opposite of metal. So, I really don’t even know why you’re here, seems like there is no Cattle Mutilation party.”
Security Guy- “Is there a reason you’re threatening to chop the head off this young lady?”

*I watched the Inauguration at 3 am in my pajamas, sobbing at everything from Aretha Franklins hat to the awesome old guy who spoke at the end. When Yo-Yo Ma and his crew played their song I cried extra hard because parts of the melody were from ‘Tis a Gift to be Simple,’ which I used to sing at my Friends School. I can only imagine how incredibly excited the Quaker community is about Obama as the new president. Oh, and I should add that I was watching on the TV in the lobby with five strangers, so weeping (albeit with joy) in front of them was a tad embarrassing.

*At one point in a dream I was having last night, dream me ate a bagel and I woke up incredibly sad because I realized the past six or so months have been bagel-less. They have also been sans pretzel (both soft and the little Herrs ones), Ben & Jerrys, decent potato chip, cheddar cheese, Wawa in general, Butterscotch Krumpet, decent milkshake, hoagie, and Milky Ways. Mostly junk food, yes, but it’s a bit annoying not having anything worth snacking on. Or desserts that cost less than nine freaking dollars.

*While watching 'Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring' for the bazillionth time last week, I made the shocking discovery that Bret from 'Flight of the Conchords' is one of the Elves at the Counsel. He's sitting in the background, but they show him close up for about two seconds right after Frodo stands and declares he'll take the burden of destroying the ring. I then Googled it and turns out a whole bunch of fans thought he was so hot they made a fanpage for him and Peter Jackson put him in the third movie just because the fans demanded it. Hi, I'm a huge nerd that actually finds glee in things like this (even though I feel like a bad LotR fan for not knowing this until now).

*I can play two songs on my ukulele now! ‘Golden Skans’ by Klaxons and ‘Bad Reputation’ by Joan Jett, haha. Believe it or not, they actually sound really cool coming out of a uke. Next, I’m working on ‘Oh, This is Love’ by Hellogoodbye, which was written for the ukelele, so it’s a tad more appropriate.

*I discovered a magic closet of wonder in my flat that I’d previously never thought to look in. And now I have a new shirt and hot Kings of Leon poster that some girl (who I found out didn’t even live in this flat, how weird) abandoned. Finders keepers!

*What the hell, Oscar nominations? You're really lame this year save for nominating Heath Ledger (who we all know is going to win, no contest. I mean, why the hell is Robert Downey Jr. nominated for Tropic Thunder?!) and any of the awards Milk or Wall-E are up for. Geez, even the Grammys seem more interesting than the Oscars this year and I normally can't stand the Grammy awards.

*A very super awesome thing happened, but it’s a long story I’m saving for later because there’s likely to be further developments in the future. Sorry to get all Lost cliffhanger on you guys, but believe me, it may be worth it in a week or so.

Captain Vague signing off duty!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Watching Alfred Hitchcock movies alone on a Friday night is never a good idea, but I’m a stubborn idiot who felt the urge to see ‘The Birds,’ so that’s precisely what I did. I was camped out in the living room area, where I spend significantly more time now that the entire flat is essentially all mine and because of its close proximity to the kitchen. Pausing to put on an avocado face mask in the bathroom (embarrassing to admit I actually do that sort of thing occasionally), I come back out to find both doors to the balcony wide open. Commence panic. Closing and locking them, I decide to make a cup of tea to calm myself. That and should anyone have snuck in, I can also use the hot water to scald attackers.

But the water had not yet boiled when I heard a door click and footsteps. Three terrifying seconds later I found myself face to face with two guys and a girl, all of us screaming in shock. Before I could get up the courage to ask what the hell was going on, the girl angrily said, “Where is my cake?” This was not what I had expected to hear, so I just stared at her stupidly. Here I was in a bathrobe and produce smeared on my face encountering trespassing strangers wanting random food. The whole situation was like a cliche scene from a Disney Channel movie. All I could say was the very lame, “Actual baked good or like, the band?” I had also considered telling her I’d buy her some if she please didn’t kill or rob me. “It was in the freezer,” she yelled. Oh yeah, there had been a half loaf of pound cake in the freezer, I remembered it now. But I ate that two weeks ago because it was nearing its expiration date and was obviously unclaimed. “You’re the British girl!” I exclaimed, it all finally clicking, “I thought you moved out forever ago.” She explained that she had moved all her things to her boyfriend’s apartment two floors up, but on paper she still lived here. “But the other day I remembered I’d left that cake and now I want it.” It’s been over a month since I’ve seen this girl, I don’t even know her name and now I’m being harassed for something as incredibly stupid as this.

“What’s that black shit on your face and why’s it stank in here?” asked one of the two guys, whom I can only assume were her boyfriend and um, some other guy. “Avocado oxidizes. And the microwave spontaneously combusted a few days ago.” I stammered. Both statements are true answers to his questions, but I didn’t exactly phrase it the right way. The other night I was reading and looked over to see noxious fumes emanating from the empty microwave. Thank goodness I had an already wet tea towel nearby to throw on it and cease the flames, then fanned most of the smoke out so I didn't set off the alarm. I sprayed lots of air freshener, but it’s a bit difficult to get that lingering scent of burnt plastic appliance death. So now my toaster has been kidnapped and my microwave has gone the way of a Spinal Tap drummer. Hopefully the stove top, electric kettle and refrigerator stay loyal to me.

“Yeah, the microwave did that to me once.” British girl said poutily, then she and her dudes left with that. Thanks for scaring the bejeezus out of me, making slightly threatening demands, and not previously warning me about faulty wired deathtraps in our kitchen! After a few minutes processing that whole debacle, I went back to watching Tippi Hedren being dive-bombed by crows.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wiiiiiild Horses

When I was an intern at Citypaper, one of the editors had a running joke about me being the youngest of the group. Everyone else was over 21 and would go out to bars together, especially the one dive bar across the street. The first time I went along and just sat there soberly listening to tipsy journalists tell me about ‘that time they went to Dollywood’ or their cat, Samuel L. Jackson (I will perhaps some day write another post about this, because it’s a pretty funny story). As amusing as that was, I felt a bit left out and from then on only joined my co-workers when they went for the occasional post-work cupcake. Not that eating cupcakes helped my image as the baby of the group. I was assigned to doing the listings for kids activities and walking tours. Which was a bit redundant because 50% of walking tours are things like ‘Tots Explore the Woods!’ The other 45% are home or garden tours designed for all ages but you know only the elderly will show up and the last 5% are prison, ghost, or cemetery tours for history buffs/goths/Halloween.

One day, the editor threw something at me and said in a voice usually reserved for speaking to puppies, “You are going to love this one SO MUCH! It has ponies!” In my hands was a copy of ‘My Horse and Me,’ a computer game obviously intended for 10-year-old girls. The ironic thing being that even my preteen self probably would’ve gagged at the thought of playing this. I had to beat the game and write a review of it over the weekend. Now, I’m horrible at video games, the only ones I can succeed at are things like Myst or Rock Band. Even so, I beat Myst because my Dad helped me and in Rock Band I can only be the singer. Crap as I am at playing video games myself, I love watching other people and screaming at them to "get that guy over there, quick quick, auuuuuuuugh!" My friends refer to this as my ‘Backseat Gaming.’ I overcame all that and though it took almost the whole darn weekend, I achieved victory. The article ended up being one of the most fun things I’ve ever written, and for that reason I want to try it again.

I noticed the other day the library has several computer games that look deliciously stupid and thought it would be interesting to write about them once and a while as filler for when my life is boring. Don’t worry, you need not know anything about or even have an interest in computer games. I use no technical jargon and usually spend most of my review being silly (as you can see from the ‘My Horse and Me’ link above). So expect a few of these in the future, maybe I’ll expand into another one of my favourite subjects: awesomely terrible B-grade movies. I want 2009 to be more witty and less ‘Dear blog, I’m boring. Here’s what I didn’t do today.’

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So This is the New Year

So, how about this 2009? It doesn’t seem much different yet, but I always think that. I had a wonderful time in Sydney with my parents over the holidays. Believe me, I’d like to tell you everything we did. But those of you who know my Dad are probably aware how he packs as much sightseeing and activities he can into one vacation, using the guidebook as his personal Bible. If The Book deem it not worthy, thou must not partake and insteadith goeth somewhere involving much wearing down of thine sandals. The bottoms of my feet had bruises on them from walking so much. I practically have hobbit feet, so how I managed to bruise my thick soles is a mystery to me. And then when I said goodbye at the airport, my soul was bruised... Awwww, lame quasi-pun. But I was sad, especially since it was great having them as company again.

Now I’m back to Apartment 404 (which I like to call ‘404 ERROR!’), where I have no idea if I’m the only one still here. The Spanish girl moved out the day I left for Sydney and a lot of the Chinese girl’s stuff is gone. I thought the latter was staying for several more months, so it’s an absolute mystery. At first I was a bit freaked out, thinking maybe she was secretly a spy and had to flee, or maybe she had a heart attack in her room and now there's a dead body in her locked room I won't know about until I start to smell it decomposing. I need either Hercule Poirot or a Worry Hat. All I know is that she took the toaster, which we split the cost for. If I ever see her again, I am filing for custody. She doesn’t even use it, she neglects it and denies it love! *sob* I had to fry my bread this morning, it’s not the saaaame!

Unusual attachments to lost appliances aside, it’s a bit nice having the whole place to myself. I’m free to have my own little dance party in the living room and sell off the books Spanish flatmate left behind. But once again, I miss my Dad’s nerdy jokes and classic Mom statements such as, “Lizards run like a girl” and "You think he's cute?! But he's all... mincey!" Hell, right about now I wouldn’t even mind repeating the night of New Years Eve. It’s my absolute most dreaded of holidays, more than Valentines Day (because with that you at least get candy) and I’ve loathed it for several years. Despite having to stand around for about six hours in a huge crowd (another thing I’m not a fan of) while Dad herded us to ensure we get ‘the best view of the fireworks,’ I was glad to be there with my parental units. That was one of the first things I thought in 2009, along with, “Oh, please don’t start smacking people!”

This was in reference to the two Flavor of Love rejects (one wearing a ‘Sargent Sexy’ pleather getup and the other in a Playboy Bunny type of costume) standing near me who butted their way through the crowd half an hour before midnight and flirted with an old man to secure a place to stand. One woman yelled at them and it was a sass-fest for the rest of the night. It was pretty ridiculous, but then again, in 2008 the first thing I said was, “Hap-AUUUGH!” because my friend Paige tackled me and in 2007 I think I said, “Woo 2006! Wait...” The first thing I actually vocalized in 2009 was singing along to ‘Use Somebody’ by Kings of Leon, which is my idea of a perfect way to celebrate (as I drowned out the sound of “GET OWT MAH FACE, YOU JUST JEALOUS WE’RE SEXY AND NOT SHORT, UGLY YOU! SHUT UP ‘FORE I MAKE YOU MAH FIRST ENEMY OF THE YEAR!”).

Here’s to the ninth anniversary of millions thinking we were all going to die because of a computer error that never happened! Yay.