A cassette tape.

Our landlord informed us today through our real estate agent, that the boxes in our parking spot cannot stay there as they had complaints from the building. Funny how hearing this really had a powerful influence over my activity for the evening.

What is that you ask? Going through the boxes and working out what I should really throw out. This just led to being distracted by every single item I pulled out of the box. After fifteen minutes I look around and see I have simply dispersed all the stuff around the room.

What I mainly became excited about was a small pile of cassette tapes. I havent had a chance to listen to any of them in years as, like most people, I havent owned a cassette player since 1999. One of my favourites that I decided to keep was a tape that was used over and over again in a small handheld recording device that was manufactured based on the Home Alone series. See exhibit A:

I was OBSESSED with this toy and I spent the evening listening through the tape, both sides. It was from 1995, and I was 11. From interviewing anyone around me and asking dull questions like, “What are you doing?”, recording an Indian radio station sped up so it sounded like chipmunks (hil-ar-i-ous) and sneakily recording my brother on the phone. Oh I was cunning. I am thankful to myself for being forward thinking and selecting it out of the few tapes I still have.

One of my favourite moments is when I interview my grandma. These days, my grandma is far along with dementia and also has had a stroke, so it is rare to have a conversation with her. Hearing my 11 year old self chat to her, even though it was basic small talk, made me grin.

The most cringe worthy moment of the entire tape was when I thought it would be a great idea to record myself sing. Back then I was convinced I was going to have a singing career. UNTIL tonight I thought I was an awesome singer until I hit puberty. Tonight, I realised I was not good. Not even kind of good. My pitch was constantly off and I seemed to be a massive fan of key changes, twenty times in the one song, usually mid sentence. That did take skill, so I may be wrong.

And one small clip, that I have include in this, is my sister. She secretly stole my Talkboy and recorded the following:

My parking spot is still full of boxes, yet I spent four hours listening to cassette tapes and swimming in those memories. Thanks Landlord.

Happy Birthweek to me.

This has to be one of the best birthdays. People say that all the time, I reckon I mean it. Deep in the bottom of my guts.

I had a party at my apartment, and the simple fact I had no expectation, made it a great night. Cal and I had been wondering whether to move or not, but when we had so many people compliment the place and say how homely it was, that was the deciding factor. We are staying.

Back to the party, we had people and music and conversations. The bestest combo, I read it in a book. It felt like my 21st, and I was surrounded by such a good group of people. To reflect back on my birthday last year and now, I have discovered so much and made so many new friendships. I am thankful.

Here are some photos, of the birthday festivities at the apartment. I had a bath with ice in it and drinks in the ice. It kept the cold.

Cal thinks this is funny.

The other birthday boy on the right, Dale and friend Dougy.

 

Change is almost here

Yes I have been silent lately, and the cliche “busy busy busy” seems to not cut it.

I am in middle of redesigning my blog and also possibly even changing the name. Southern Bloke seems a bit too young for me now, something I thought up when I was 20, and now I am turning 28, it is like I am logging into my teenage profile. Not that dramatic but just time for a change.

So stay tuned, more fun and laughter (and even an ant story) very soon!

Happy One Year!

I have been in Melbourne a year from yesterday. It clicked when my friend Chem posted on FB about him being at his current workplace a year. That same day I said goodbye to him (he was my flatmate at the time in Sydney) and then packed up the rest of my stuff and then headed to the airport. So happy one year to me. Remember back a year, to when we listened to digital music, drank Milo and we were counting down to 2012?

I sat at a BBQ today and loved the atmosphere. A BBQ can create a laid back and friendly vibe, an awkward, “how is life” extended family vibe or a “how good does the possum taste” vibe. Today was a happy and excited vibe, it was the gang that will make up the crew for the Famous Spiegeltent, beginning its run from February 7th until April 22nd. Getting to know the crew and colleagues has been a big tick.
Learning so many of the people’s histories and paths, some had bridges and some had roundabout routes. And some had a boat, with a small taxi between the boat and the train station which naturally occurred between the bus stop and the boat journey. Journeys hey, metaphors. I find that they make a paragraph complete, especially this one. I cannot wait to start in a few days and be a part of the magic.

I have an old clock in my apartment, it is 1970’s green and it works once a day. It hung in my family kitchen when I grew up and somehow I still have it. I need to find a clock lady/man who will help me fix it, the whole adventure it could/might/will be made into a film too.

I found an ant today, and it was in my mug. I wish I could walk directly up a ceramic surface and then get to the top, not be out of breath at all and just casually walk down the other side. Just on my way to the shops or something. Maybe on the phone having a chat to Beryl. Everyone needs a friend called Beryl. I feel the ant was not to the scale of this image, and also a different insect to that specified below:

I had my first proper conversation with my nephew the other day. My sister in law turned on Skype and up he appeared, and I have not seen him for a few months and in those months, conversation has been discovered. To have him know who I was and be informed that his daddy was at work, which led into some dance moves just made me smile. I wonder what technology he will use when he is my age, maybe electronic bubbles that wrap around your head and you have a 3D image of the environment that the person you are on the phone to is at. And you then discuss the environment, weather and what you are doing that day with your hover board.

Just like this tree, but less digital new age:

Cheeky Monkeys

Sitting here with a David Attenborough doco on, it is about cheeky monkeys. They are cracking nuts with big stones and I am finding it hilarious when the nut bounces off the wrong way into the shrubs and the monkeys run after the nut shrieking. Dunno why but that scenario is making me chuckle. Actually I do know why. Cause it is funny. Funny that. Huh.

I have started work, helping out a company who produce the merchandise for the Australian Open for a few weeks. It is really interesting to come into an office community and observe the dynamics. The people who are there to build their career, the people who work and live for the weekend and those who have been there too long.

And for someone like me who is just there for a brief period, it is really up to me if I want to invest with people. It is great noticing the ways different people have responded to me. The really nice thing is how friendly and relaxed the atmosphere is, with everyone being so welcoming. I reckon if I just got up and danced down the walkway I would have people join me. They so better not read this otherwise there may be some pressure. You know, to dance. And to dance up to the high quality standard I am known for.

I may have gone to see the Vengaboys a few nights ago. Remember the late 1990’s band that rocked the world with their Eurotrash Pop? With such intelligent lyrics like “We like to party, we like, we like to party” and “My hearts goes sha la la la la”. Well I was way to curious as to them touring and also the fact the venue was a pub down the road from me. A group of us went and we had no idea what to expect.

As we stepped inside, there was a sea of 18 year olds. 18 year olds?? They were probably about 6 when they were popular. But they were there, and screaming loudly. Cal and I were not drinking either as we are so smartly doing Dry January (no alcohol for the month) so Coca Cola was our sponsor. 90’s music was pumping via a DJ while everyone waited, it is what they called the support act. Pretty sure the DJ just pressed play on a CD. Or if he was technical, through an iPod.

Lights flashed on and off (the pub seemed to have an amazing lighting system, featuring an “on” and “off” switch. The red curtains open and there stood our Vengaboys. Complete with tacky outfits, they all looked a bit weathered but up for fun. They began singing (slightly lip syncing) their songs, all five of them. In between songs they spoke in their Dutch accent about how excited they were to be Down Under. Whether they were attempting to be dirty was lost in translation.

The Encore began when they walked on then off the stage and then suggested to play a White Stripes track. They then stopped and declared they never would, as they represent Sleezy, Cheesey, Trashy Euro Pop, and proceeded to sing their hits again. Hey at least they didn’t pretend to be something they were not. I may have danced slightly also. So thanks Vengaboys for providing high school flash backs where I can finally feel free to sing out “Boom boom boom boom, I want you in my room.”.

I have seen so many movies over the past few weeks. And there is a photo booth out the front of the cinema. It sucked Cal and I into it and we totally reenacted Amelie.

I really respect Sia. She is an Aussie music artist who has done so many organic and yet strategic moves, where she balances Pop and reality. She has worked with some of the biggest artists and still reflects how original she is. From the classic “Breathe Me” that was featured as the final song on the final season of the best show on TV “Six Feet Under” to writing a song and singing it for a David Guetta track (even though I cringe at him). This track below just grooves with me. Even if it is Flo Rider.

Spoons

I had icecream the other day. And the type that you buy from a shop over a counter and you um and ah… and then chose the flavour etc. And then these days pretty much every type of these stores has things you can sprinkle in or mash in. I did not have any of these. It always reminds me of when I worked in an ice cream store. Memories, it was my first job and I wore a bright orange shirt. And most of the time jeans that had ice-cream wipes on the sides of them. Thinking about that makes me feel a little sick.

So I had icecream, as did Cal. We were quite excited about our flavours as we walked home. We also discovered we liked the other’s flavour better. As I walked along I dropped my spoon, and naturally I was teased for being a bit of a goof. Cal offered me his spoon to borrow, so I took the nice offer and several seconds later, accidentally dropped his spoon too. The light teasing I was given just prior disappeared. In its place was just simple “I am pissed off you dropped my spoon also” kind of vibe. And hey fair enough, what a dickhead I was. The ice-cream just sat there in the cup as it began to melt quickly in the warm summer night, though I am way too impatient and was drinking mine from my cup. Yep, I raise my hand and say, I have no dignity. Poor Cal patiently waited until we got back to the apartment where he scooped the ice cream soup up. Spoons are useful.

Now, Murakami. I may have discovered one of my favourite writers, and yes you may say “hey doofus, you really are a tad slow, he was cool 10 years ago” but I found him in the right time and place. The best time to appreciate his writing and it can only get better.

Sometimes I wonder why my gut feels tight. Is it protecting itself?

I started a few of my jobs this week. They have been quite different and you learn new things in areas where you didn’t think you needed to learn. Like, helping with an AFL promotion has led me to talk to hundreds of Australians and their passion for AFL. And also random suburb names. I got told off by one old man named Norm for not being able to spell Melbourne suburb names. “I thought all Melbourne people knew how to spell their suburbs.” He was from the bush.

Auld

So I didnt get as many posts as 2010, but ah well. 2012 is gonna be the one to beat anyways. Yeah, cause if you write it down then your resolutions will totally

Wait, just getting a cookie.

Yes so resolutions will totally be kept if you write them down. Or so I hear.

My ones, what are my NY Resolutions you ask? Well after a rather in depth discussion with my friend Dale, I want to be able to touch my toes sometime during 2012. I also would like to have written at least the skeleton of a major writing piece. I am going to reduce my swearing, go in more fun runs and look into either studying part time at Uni or doing another creative course. I want to write more actual letters, make peace with a few people and dance more in and out of my bedroom. I want to touch the earth of a country I have never been to, swim at a beach I have never swum at and eat a fruit I have never heard of before.

So, in summary:

– Touch toes
– Write structure of novella.
– Swearing, less of.
– Fun Runs, more of.
– Make brain bigger (study)
– Letter writing
– Peace Pipe
– Dance (in general, no specifics)
– Feel foreign earth
– Swim foreign seas
– Eat foreign fruit

I also want to be able to feel like my job is is part of my happiness. Not like this is anything new, as a job should always be a part of your happiness, supporting a contagious joy in the other aspects of life such as relationships, fitness and dogs. The casual cat is alright too. But yes, I got four jobs in January and I have never been able to juggle balls but pretty sure jobs will be OK. February, who knows? If it isn’t a dream job, then my personal time should be focused on building up the things I love to do and sew them into a career, no? It is the best advice about career I have been told. So if you like to collect stamps, do it. And then the investment in the stamps means you are training yourself up to file and collect and appreciate documentation from the past and present, that could lead you into a librarian role. Glasses and a debonair tie included. Well I get my point, and am proud of the point.

How good would it be to fit inside a fridge, just for fun! You would then feel really cool and it could be your party trick. Or maybe cause it is a hot day today and Melbourne really has not provided enough water options without chlorine that I am dreaming of being inside the fridge. Though I think the fact I dislike small enclosed spaces will counterbalance the desire to fit inside the fridge. The fridge also may start talking to me about the unfortunate old food that is inside him and how I need to get rid of it. Hmm… well he isnt talking to me so off to the giant walk in Bottle Shop fridge I go!! Damn, it is a public holiday. This kid gets what I mean.

Now I have in my google search history “stuck inside fridge”. Thanks brain.