Sunday, May 31, 2009

Music Video

As a result of my having 12 days until my next final, I have free time. I've been photoshopping, video editing, napping, sleeping late, and generally being lazy but also productive in a weird sort of way. Here are some things that I've been working on.

New Website

And what you've all been waiting for:

Underwater Princess Land from Kevin Weir on Vimeo.

No worries,

Friday, May 29, 2009

Australia Rocks

I've been a little long winded lately, so I'm going to shorten up the writing style. I'm also extremely tired, as a result of three straight days of sightseeing. Wednesday I took about 2 hours of bus/train transportation to get to an aquarium, which was great. There was a giant tank filled with huge manta rays, sharks, and sea turtles, with a circular underwater tunnel (complete with moving walkway for old and/or lazy people) that sat beneath the tank. Over the past few days I've been working on putting my video footage from the aquarium to the hit single Underwater Princess Land - it's finished but I've been having some trouble loading it. Hang in there, though. It's going to blow you away.

These past two days, a bunch of us rented one car and borrowed another, and took a few spontaneous road trips to various Australian rocks, hence the titular pun. Our borrowed car, for some infuriating reason, would only start for strangers. As soon as one of us tried to turn the key, the wheel would lock and th
e car would start crying like a wounded seal. Not to worry though, Australia has a plentiful supply of friendly strangers with magical car powers.

Rock formation #1: The Pinnacles. These are a bunch of rock pillars that stick out of the desert, formed about 50,000 years ago by calcium deposits, then eroded/buried/unburied/eroded/buried/unburied/national parked. Like any mature group of 20-something year old college students, we used it
as a giant playground and remarked, as tastefully as you can imagine, on the phallic structure of many of the formations. Not sure what else you could expect, honestly.

Rock formation #2: Wave Rock. Big rock formation that looks like a wave. We did the tourist thing and pretended to surf the 15 meter granite swell, and then took about 800 other pi
ctures (to be fair, my camera whoring is partially/entirely to blame). We then hiked to the top of the rock, where there were giant boulders just ASKING for a lion king opening scene reenactment.

Went for a run this morning with my friend Nichole, got lost, ended up running about 7-8 miles. Once we regained our bearings, I sprinted the last half mile so I wouldn't miss the wave rock expedition. I arrived, breathless, to find that I had like 30 minutes before they were going to leave. I then realized that I had locked my room key in my flat, and since none of my roommates were around, I had to climb about 15 feet up to my flat balcony, like spiderman. The balcony is a sharp place, and I look like I've been cutting myself. Add boulder climbing, sprinting like a mad fool to catch a sunset, and 8 hours in a cramped car, and you might begin to understand how badly I want to pass out and sleep for 18 hours right now. Oh, and I haven't slept properly since 12:30am, because my body decided to wake up to an accidental alarm and not want to go back to sleep. wtf. Unfortunately, I have a test tomorrow at 9:30am / death 'o clock. Still, going to pass out. Hard. Goodnight.

No worries,

Friday, May 22, 2009

The 2009 Australian Rock Paper Scissors Championship


5/20: Attended the 2009 Australian Rock Paper Scissors Championships
5/21: Slept through my last class of the semester
5/21: Received confirmation on my summer internship! 40 hours/week, $10/hour, NYC, woo!
5/22: Perth is battered by cyclone-force winds, and it rains for the first time in two months


Rock, Paper, Scissors, Machine:
The Rise of a Legend

Once a year, Australians all over Australia put aside their differences to compete in the most epic challenge of wit, mental fortitude, and wrist strength that the civilized world has seen since the savage Incan-style basketball where the losing team was sacrificed to some kind of jaguar/spaceship god. I'm speaking, of course, of the Australian Rock Paper Scissors Championship. Imagine my delight when I heard that several rounds of semifinal heats were to be held right here in Perth! I was ecstatic for the opportunity to spectate, but was almost overwhelmed with excitement when I discovered that I would actually have a chance to participate. Upon our arrival, we learned that the arena was housed in the upstairs room of a rather nice bar, where two referees were begging people to sign up for the 32 slot bracket of competition. We obliged, giddy with anticipation for the brutal gameplay soon to come. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a lone figure casting an ominous shadow on the dark wooden panels of the bar area. The fire in his eyes reflected the grim red top of his stained shirt. I saw greatness in those eyes, and an eternal sorrow. I later came to know this man as "The Machine."

Unfortunately, my hopes were crushed, like a tender grape beneath a calloused brontosaurus foot, in the first round of competition
. My aspirations of fame as the lethal "Paperkut Kev" were short-lived. Oh, what could have been.

One by one, my friends were eliminated from the competition, until only one remained. Charlotte, aka "Spitfire," rose through the bracket, laying waste to unsuspecting competitors with her small but formidable hands. In similar fashion, "The Machine" ruthlessly flattened his opponents, like a triceratops tromping on plums, leaving dreams and wrists ruined for years to come. In what can only be described as "apocalypse/crash of rhinos/epic," these two titans found themselves facing each other in the final round.

Spitfire vs. The Machine. Could the earth survive such a clash? Or would the collision of two such forces cause a cataclysm unlike the world has ever seen? As it turns out, it would. As they approached the stage, the crowd watched in wordless, unspeakably tense anticipation. The Machine throws a rock. Spitfire counters, cool, with paper. Visibly shaken at this bold opening move from the rookie, The Machine weighs his options. He doesn't have enough time. The referee signals. Spitfire's rock crushes his hastily produced scissors like a stegosaurus would pound an avocado. In the pandemonium that followed, rule #2 was brought out, stating that all contestants must be Australian citizens, which didn't really bother Charlotte because she was going to be in New Zealand during the next round of the competition. She went home with a gift pack, and The Machine would represent Western Australia in the finals.

And so The Machine, with that unquenchable thirst for victory in his burning eyes, rubbed his balding head and disappeared back into the mists of legend from whence he came, now sporting an official "Rock Paper Scissors Australia and NZ Championships" wristband. One day he will have his revenge.

Afterwards, we celebrated. Hard. How often do you compete in the National Australian Rock Paper Scissors Championship, and how often do you get to wear matching Rock Paper Scissors wristbands into the clubs? Not often, my friends. Not often.

No worries,

Friday, May 15, 2009

packing up the circus

I have four weeks left in Australia. The nearing proximity of my departure doesn't seem real to me. I feel like I've been studying at murdoch for at least a year. I can barely remember my last semester at penn state, and can't really recall what it's like to live in state college. I can look back at pictures, but it all seems less "real" than this semester has been. I guess that's sort of what I set out to do with study abroad - distance myself from the collegiate routine that has composed my first 2.5 years of university academia. I've definitely accomplished that. In a sense, I feel revitalized, recharged and raring to go at one more year of penn state. The experience has also opened my eyes to how close-mindedly I have viewed the world, and my place in it. There's an entire planet of experiences, and I've sampled a very pathetically small portion of it. I've resolved to travel the world at some point. Back to reality, though. With only four weeks left - four weeks that will probably be consumed by finals, last experiences, and goodbyes - I feel like I've finished already. It's hard to believe that most of the friendships I've made here are more or less going to fade away, like happy friendship wounds becoming happy friendship scars. Macabre analogy, I know.

So I sort of meant for this post to contain things that have been happening to me lately, but in an infinitely more productive investment of my time, I've written a short story about a woodsman who travels to a foreign land.

Yes, it is a true story, and yes, it is based upon recent events in my life.

A Story
Imagine a grassy, wooded land of limited appeal. You were raised there, you made acquaintences, you had dreams, you built a sturdy log cabin in the wilderness from which you operated your small moose pelt business. One day, wandering the far reaches of the forest, you stumble upon the border of your woodland home, formed by an impossibly deep ravine. Squinting your eyes, you convince yourself that there is a blurred outline of land on the other side. There's something strange about that smudge, that distant possibility, that you can't seem to place. Turning to leave, you gasp and collapse unexpectedly. Light-headed and reeling, and you're seized with a spiritual feeling that you've never felt before, in all your years of moose trapping. Something wild, hot and primal has gripped you with the iron grip of a platypus; you feel it enter your tangled and confused mind, feel it sniff out your dreams, feel it lay a perfect marsupial dream egg. Barely a minute later, you wake in a cold sweat at the edge of the ravine. Shaken, you return to your cabin, visions of wonder and amazement swirling about your head. You sleep. You dream. Hot, arid dreams of adventure, each wondrous moment holding more excitement than the last.

Waking in the morning, you find your thoughts clouded by sleepiness. The events of the previous day seem unlikely, you persuade yourself, so you set off to check your traps. The first trap is empty. The second trap is not. A dying moose, held tight by the cunning design of your contraption, lies there majestically. As you gaze into the creature's huge amber eyes, it suddenly speaks. "I will take you there," it rumbles. The moose does not move it's lips, but you hear the voice in astounding volume. The thunderously deep moose voice resounds in your skull, and the events of the other day are shaken into perfect clarity. You realize exactly what the moose is offering. Resolution grimly writ on your humble woodsman face, you release the beast from the trap. It shudders, rises, and kicks you in the face. Bright lights pirhouette in front of your eyes, then the world goes dark.

"Rise" says a voice. With a calm that you cannot comprehend, you realize that you are now a moose.
Opening your eyes, you struggle to stand. Your four hooves seem unable to find purchase in the leafy undergrowth, but after several trials, you stand. You run. Great galloping moose strides. You know exactly which direction to go. The forest races by. You reach the crevasse. You leap.

(that was for you, Dad)

Monday, May 11, 2009

quick weather update

It has rained four times since I've been in Australia.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


First off, I'm 21! Hurrah! To celebrate, I roused a Mongolian horde composed of 30ish friends, and conquered a small bar called the Orient. As you can imagine, it was an easy victory, and I was granted several free shots for my leadership (and/or birthday). It was a night to be remembered (or not).

Now, on to
strawberries. I've found, throughout my abroad experience, that I've always taken certain fruits for granted. For some strange reason, strawberries hold some strange allure to me, and my few experiences with them in Australia have been rife with infatuation, lust, and sensory exhilaration. This isn't something I can easily explain, but I'd guess that this happens to a lot of people studying abroad, with certain foods/things. To put the extremity of my delicious obsession into context, I've prepared this short narrative:

Dusk approaches King's Park like a wounded moose, as a haze of red gathers low in the sky. We wander the flowered trail, ignoring the night's shadowy advance, as young people do. I glance about, admiring the cut of the mulch, when I see something that sets my heart racing. A glimmer of red in the shade of an old gnarled eucalyptus tree. A bright red strawberry, glistening and ripe. My eyes dart about, searching for the trace of the picnic from which this impossibly passionate fruit had escaped. Nothing. Without any further pondering, I gently pluck my discovery from the ground. Aside from a few specks of dirt and pieces of quality mulch, the strawberry is flawless. I hold it under my nose and allow its sweet perfume to flood my senses. My mind reels as my heart explodes with passion...

This is getting weird. I need to stop
. Anyways, I gave it Patten, who washed it off, and we split it and ate it. I don't think I would do that with any other random fruit stuck in mulch. More recently, one of my roommates has purchased a carton of strawberries. I discovered them in the fridge yesterday, and flipped out (made this sound, "huhhhhooooohhhhhhhhhhhheeeeaaaahhh"). I've since engaged in a covert strawberry stealing operation. I doubt I've ever been sneakier. Basically, I wait for him (or her, I don't really know whose they are), to fall asleep, I tiptoe into the kitchen, gently lift the plastic wrap away from the strawberries, select one so as my theft is unnoticed (sort of like Jenga), and then ever so carefully replace the plastic. I'm not sure how much longer this can go on, but the strawberries have awoken something deep inside me. I'm not sure what it is, or what I can do about it, but I thought I'd mention it.

I'm going back for one now. Wish me luck.
Oh, has anyone ever read the story "The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Hungry Bear?" Come to think of it, that's probably where these feelings stem from. That was like my fave book growing up. Damn good book.

No worries,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Welcome to the Future

Since Australia is in the future (about 12 hours from the Eastern US), it gets certain future-benefits, including CRAZY ROBOT DEATH MACHINE GARBAGE TRUCKS! I saw one of these the other day and flipped out.