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.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Big Things in Australia

This past study break, eleven friends and I took a bit of an epic coming-of-age road trip along the southern coast of Western Australia. Our rapscallious band was composed of nine naive Americans, two incomprehensible Norwegians, and one intrepid Australian. Challenging the perilous Australian freeways with our indomitable rental cars, we paid friendly visits to the smallish towns/villages of Dunsborough, Margaret River, and Albany. In alphabetical order, our activities included: beaching, bodyboarding, brewery-ing, casual drinking, caving, fishing (failure), modeling, photography, raving, tree climbing, winery-ing, and zleeping. Altogether, the achieved amount of fun rivaled a week at Disney with your two favorite celebrities: Antonio Banderas and Cher. I got a good taste of the backpacker/hostel lifestyle, which will come in handy when I graduate, make a religious pilgrimage to Potterworld, then backpack across Europe for several months.

The journey was rather uneventful in terms of revelations into Australian culture, UNTIL halfway through the ride home when we made an important discovery. We saw a sign for "The Giant Ram," and followed our hearts all the way to the center of a small town. In a surprising and completely unexpected turn of events, what should we see but... a giant ram!When you're a small Australian town in the middle of the outback, you obviously want to get put on the map so you get some traffic. So you think to yourself: "What are the ways I can do this? Wage war on another small Australian town? Build a nice tourist center and run a small ad campaign? Create a town blog? WAIT! Let's make big things!" From this dialogue, about 150 large objects have been created and bragged about in small towns all over Australia. There's a full list here. Among my favorites are the giant avocado, beer can, guitar, mango, scotsman, and rolling pin. Us lucky blokes got to witness the giant ram, in the town of Wagin. It was a life changing experience, I can tell you that much.

In closing, I invite you to witness the pinnacle of my modeling career, in a piece I like to call "The Dutchman Sights a Ship on the Horizon That is Likely Also Dutch." Cheers.

No worries,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The closest I've ever come to a vicious street fight

Last night was probably one of the most eventful nights I've had in a long long time. It started, innocently enough, with a birthday party held at a club called the Geisha Bar (it's not what you think) in the downtown area of Northbridge. Although there were no geishas to be found, it was an excellent night with lots of dancing in and around the fog machine area (note to future roommates, that's you Mike, we need a fog machine REAL BAD). Passion was in the air, and young bodies danced and sparked against each other in a wild frenzy, as if that night at the Geisha bar was their last on this earth. We left the club in high spirits.

A few minutes later my friend got attacked by an aboriginal woman! I had broken away from the group with a couple guys because I was impatient and the girls were being slow. They stopped to get food and lagged behind a bit more. Kebabs in hand, they started walking towards the train station when a couple aboriginal women walked past them, bumping their shoulders and calling them "American sluts." My friend April turned around, and yelled something back at them (she was in a bad mood). She had just turned back around when she was kicked in the leg, punched in the back of the head, and then punched in the face. Before she could react, the aboriginals scurried off into an alleyway.

We reunited at the train station, and then WHO SHOULD WE SEE coming down the escalator but the two aboriginal women?! One of them spotted April and started throwing not one but TWO middle fingers and swearing at us. While April was restrained, I engaged in an intense staredown / gestural battle with the aboriginal woman. My modeling skills came in very handy here, as I was able to convey an extreme level of ferocity. Though enflamed and angered by my tenacity, they were too scared by my street presence, notorious reputation, and imposing figure to advance on us.
Great success.

Later that night, I earned the title "champion bloke" from an Australian friend. Though it was bestowed upon me after an unrelated incident, I felt that an incredible honor had been placed on my shoulders. It was a big night.

Naturally, I celebrated by sleeping until 2:30 today.

No worries,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Footy and my Foolish Dutch Sleeping Disorder

Ahoy. In direct defiance to the listed title that I have just created, I am going to jump ahead to the second, more pertinent topic of note. I have not slept in about 27 hours. The fact that I am still functional right now can be attributed to my batshit insane sleeping schedule, and the energy that I've stored within the fat reserves in my upper thighs (like a walrus). Additionally, my internal clock is operated by a foolish Dutchman by the name of Johanne, whose idea of a good time happens to involve tricking me into being a doofish nap-mongrel. The Dutch aside, I've had a rather stressful week. I'll use bullets to describe these events in a way that will be both engaging and lethal.
  • sunday: struggled with beginning my Australian literature/film paper on how nationalistic myth has driven Australia's tenuous anthropological history from the nation's cultural mythos. (bedtime: 4:15am)
  • monday: seduced into attending ultimate frisbee practice and movie night (intensely violent and irish!), followed by further attempts to attack the aforementioned paper. (bedtime 4:30am)
  • tuesday: woke up at 9, got back from class at 10, checked email, got rejected from Ogilvy (grrrrrRRR), fell into an anger-induced 6 hour nap (thanks a lot Johanne), woke up extremely disoriented, and managed to finish my essay. (bedtime: 4:45am)
  • wednesday: woke up at 2:30, worked on my abnormal psychology essay on OCD, which I've actually diagnosed Mike with, for almost... 18 straight hours? yeah. (bedtime: n/a)
I sit before you battered, bruised and sleep-deprived. The good news is that my essays are done and that I can now devote time to my favorite past-time of huddling into a small sleep-ball and dreaming of dinosaurs. Something of note: I think that the only reason I made it through this vicious half-week from hell was because of some excellent new/old music, namely Phoenix (new album), Andrew Bird (new album), Bon Iver (not very new), Of Montreal (the old stuff), and my rediscovery of Simon and Garfunkel's soothing power.

Alright, since you're probably all sitting there saying "shut up Kevin, we don't want to hear about how stressed out and sleepy you've been lately, we all know that you're just a lazy curmudgeon," (who uses that word, seriously?) "what about the Australian culture? have you learned anything interesting lately? Seriously Kevin we need to know!! Blearghdasfkjl!!!!"

The answer is yes. Yes I have. And take it easy, please. No need to get all crazypants on me. I recently attended a match of Australian rules football (Footy), which is sort of a mix between soccer, rugby, quidditch, and Calvinball. Basically, you punch/kick the ball to your teammates and try to kick it through the middle of these big poles at the ends of an oval-shaped field. It's the most popular sport in Australia, just ahead of "Synchronized Throwing of a Boomerang in the General Direction of a Wombat." Aside from quarter and halftime breaks, there was almost no stop in gameplay, which is something I respect in a sport and its players. The West Coast Eagles won! They were the team that we were supposed to be for. Oh! Australian culture! In Australia, you don't "root" for a team, because "to root" literally means "to f***." Instead, you "barrack" for your team. I got some weird looks in the beginning of the game, before I remembered this.

(Wikipedia can give you a super good better explanation if you're really interested.)

Next monday I will be taking a road trip down South to some of Western Australia's nicest beaches and wineries. In the absence of the guides that kept me down during my Northwest trip, I think I will finally be able to conquer the Australian wilderness like I've always wanted. Look out, kangaroos. I'm coming. To ride you.

No worries,

Friday, April 3, 2009

Skipping Spring

As the Australian Summer transitions into the slightly cooler Fall, I'm realizing that I have completely skipped out on Spring this year. Spring is my favorite season, and having experienced the winter-spring transition for the past 20 years of my life (yes, I'm including year zero), I'm feeling a little thrown off. I was feeling a little despondent today (partially because Ogilvy is either being a tease or a dick), and wrote this.

When April makes her entrance
Dancing light steps 'cross the stage
March, forgotten, bows to
No one, and fades away
We are all watching April
Swing 'round her corn field sky
A colourful parasol
Warm colors we know and love
A moment passes, we ask -
Has it been that long, April?
Since we hummed in your breeze?
Since small newborn grasshoppers,
Grass-hopped in tender fields?
Since new leaves reminded us
How green green can be?
But that moment passes too,
As we smile, taking April's hand.

No worries,