Sunday, November 28, 2004

Balancing Online & Offline - An Overdue Update

[Life] Family, far-away friends and some regulars might've noticed the paucity of social update reports lately. Well, the weather's getting warmer & the days longer & when that happens I'm more inclined to be out & about doing things rather than sitting in front of another box after a days worth of being in front of boxes. When all's said & done, what are you going remember; that time you wrote that weblog entry or the good times with the people that mean something to you?


This time around I'm going to start with the here & now & work kinda backwards.

This weekend I've opted for the Do Very Little option aka Me Time. Friday afternoon was spent at the Civic Pub farewelling a long term team member with cook-your-own-cow, games of pool and beers. After a pretty full week of unplanned socialising, I was thankful when the good Capt Randy Roger called off the plan to see Dr Strangelove at OPH. I started camera shopping seriously and went home to crash out with homemade steak burgers in front of three taped episodes of The Amazing Race (IMO it's a pity the midget & her cousin got eliminated & Colin & whatsherface didn't get arrested) and crashed early.

Saturday morning started around 4am; I woke & couldn't get back to sleep despite several different attempts, so I got up & cleaning up the room, fired up the PC and wrote up a few pieces for ET and Nuts I know, but it was nice & cool & quiet. I got to listen to the rest of the apartment block wake up; around 5.45 there was the first sounds of movement, doors opening & closing and cars heading off to who knows where, around 7 there were the sounds of joggers & cyclists heading out and the rest of the place rose somewhere around 9, a girl yelling "...but you don't even remember my name!" followed by a slamming door - a telling sign of at least one neighbour's Friday night.

Mid-morning I headed to Woden to get cables to connect the PC in the bedroom to the home theatre gear in the lounge - nerdy I know - and ran into the good Capt and Courtney. We wandered & dined before hitting Revolve (a recycling centre with lots of furniture & house bits & pieces). I proposed a reality TV show where teams of architects, engineers and those designer & decorator types would be allocated a bit of land and free run of the recycling centre & the aim would be to build a house for some homeless people; there's enough building materials and stuff there to build and fit out a whole house, probably several houses.

As we wandered around Revolve, it struck me to ponder the "...if these things could talk..." possibilities; there were bits of furniture - cupboards, tallboys & desks - covered in stickers you could've used to profile the previous owners. There was the white tallboy with the Nike, Billabong & Ford stickers (young guy, outgoing, likes sports), one cupboard with the skate shop and giant chuppa-chup stickers (a skater who discovered the dance scence) and another covered in Disney characters (a little girl who loves happymeals and is babysat by the TV).

Then there were the wheel chairs. There were three or four normal ones, but then there was the giant blue one. The one with the straps, the footrests at different lengths, the headrest and the padding designed to protect when the convulsions kicked in. I felt sorry for whoever used to spend time in that chair, I felt sorry for their carers, but I also felt optimistic; that that chair was now sitting in a recycling centre might've meant that that person might now have a better chair. They might also have passed on, which would've brought both grief and relief for the carers. I digress.

Keen to catch up on sleep and continue the non-drinking weekend, I opted out of the northside poker night and spent the evening with the Capt, Courtney & Jim with a curry and a bunch of everything & nothing conversation that had a healthy dose of political speculation. The poker night would've been fun, but it would've been long and involved a lot of scotch, neither of which I really needed or wanted.

So what brought me to the point where I wanted quiet time? A weeks worth of unexpected socialising, with far too much drunk. Monday Andy, his girlfriend Kerry and I caught up over a few beers at the pub before a thai dinner with some really really good wine (a Victorian drop - a 2001 Balgownie Estate shiraz IIRC). Andy had been working in the UK for a while, so I hadn't seen him in about two years. I'd only talked to Kerry on the phone once after they'd had a heavy night on the piss topside, and it was really great to meet her (beautiful, funny & a great accent) and catch up with him again. It was like we picked up a conversation that'd just been paused for a moment. We held up the restaurant staff from closing up but we didn't care.

We were meant to catch up again Tuesday night, but after a full day of touring the national institutions they were were both stuffed which was a pity. Instead, I met the crew at the Phoenix. 'Michael from Canada' aka Kman was in town (he's now living in Dunedin, NZ, after a stint topside, but not in Canada - that was Robbie's brain-fart), so we revisited WTBN's old haunt - the Church Bar nee Aree Bar - for kareoke, but not before hitting Sammy's for a GAB (Grouse Aussie Banquet). Picture a bunch of pissheads trying to keep a straight face while ordering the most stereotypical Chinese food (Garlic Prawns, Chicken & Cashews, Mongolian Beef and ... Sweet & Sour Pork), that was us. Stereotypical yes, but it tasted bloody good. Later, as well as belting out Play That Funky Music White Boy and other kareoke crowd pleasers, T-bone & Kman tried to set me up with a tall blonde with a lot of personality. I was pretty annoyed at the time, but I now think that their intentions were basically good though misguided; she wasn't my type at all. The cute girl from the office was, however, but I have rules about workmates.

Wednesday night involved less alcohol, thankfully, but was still busy. Miss K and the Pawnstar came over for some tech support; I helped them convert an iMovie movie and made them a VCD for an office xmas party. I don't mind providing tech support at all; if you can't use all the tech & gadgets to help friends out then what's the point in having it at all. Apparently it went down well in the end, which makes it worthwhile.

Thursday was meant to be a quiet one, but that idea got corrupted shortly after seeing T-bone & the Pawnstar at the bus stop. "Come for a beer" they said. "One beer" I thought to myself. That plan got thrown out the window as soon as I saw Matthew at B Bar. One became several, food came & went and about five hours later. The other halves came along too and the highlight was definately the story of how T-bone got Kombiman with a kicker of a practical joke involving Em, Em's parents and crabs. All because of a stolen pie. I think Kombiman learnt his lesson.

I don't remember much of last Sunday, probably because I was stuffed from being part of the Skinny White Boys Removals crew (now aka Skinny White & Red Boys Removals) that helped Em and Kombiman move from their respective places into a place together. Aww. We kicked off around 10am Saturday, the boys in the movers traditional wife-beaters blue singlets and Triple M turned up to the point where the rental truck's speakers couldn't handle it any more. Between trips there was obligatory takeaway, both of the burger and chicken varieties, and beer. Capt Randy Roger won the moon-the-other-vehicle game that only he was playing and the rubber chicken - our mascot for the day - was stolen by Pawnstar in a daring raid at a red light. A BBQ and playstation cricket at the Burrow finished off the day, for me sometime around 10 or 11.

The other gathering I have to mention was the Capt's curry night a few weeks ago. Low key, good food and educational too; T-bone pointed out that in The Sound of Music, Mother Superior has a very subtle go at Maria: "What is it you can't face?" she asks.

Coming up in December & January: T-bone's bucks night, his casino/rat pack inspired birthday and then summer holidays that'll see me in Brisbane & Adelaide for weddings.


Posted by Dean @ 11/28/2004 03:41:00 pm

...Survey says...


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