Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sloth - a neglected deadly sin

i'm slowing down to a crawl. The financial and legal paperwork mountain that resulted from the sale of the bar is fast reaching molehill proportions. My mobile phone that used to ring on average every 10 minutes now can go 24 hours without breaking silence. The emails have slowed to a trickle. Life is grand.

All this spare time is allowing me to investigate long neglected pursuits. Like getting up, doing the dishes, working out and then retiring for a pre luncheon nap. As an insomniac the novelty of this peaceful sleep is irresistable. The house is empty, the darling girl is at work and I've got nothing on my mind. Maybe the novelty will wear off, maybe it won't. I'll enjoy it while I can, because the process of updating my qualifications starts in a couple of weeks and this comfortable domestic hobo existance may be snatched away from me all too soon.

Monday, March 24, 2008


i've always been a bit down on Easter. As a kid Christmas was pure joy - presents, mystery, brilliant food, decorations, santa, carols while Easter seemed to be 18 hours of church over 3 days with a miserable payoff in chocolate at the end.

This Easter was a vast improvement. Firstly Lize and I had the four days together. Not since 1991 has this occurred. (Either of us always had some shitty job that got in the way). So Good Friday we had some mates around, barbequed some salmon, prawns and calamari and drank lots of yummy wine. I know this isn't quite in keeping with the spirit of the day, but there wasn't any steak or Jack Daniels so I'm marking it down as a day of fasting if not prayer.

Saturday we lunch with Lize's folks and her brother and sister, partners, kids etc. Goose and turkey, more yummy wine, chocolate.... Easter was starting to feel like the last days of the Roman Empire. Anyway after the family do, we had respective hen's and buck's nights to attend. The buck's night was great. We started off at my old bar, where they had the guitar hero game projected onto the wall. The combination of beer, classic rock and air guitar is possibly not that attractive to some people but we had a ball. After a couple of hours of this we dragged the buck, now dressed as a wizard (last year he foolishly took part in a promotional campaign at his workplace, a tourist theme park, appearing as a wizard) to the plastic paddy pub. There after fortifying ourselves with steaks and parmas we began the serious task of plying the lad with disgusting shots - chartreuse and tabasco anyone? and offering the lady patrons a chance to sit on the wizard's knee, a proposition that proved more popular than you might think. Being a bit older and wiser I headed off before the nightclub stage but by all accounts things went swimmingly, with no strippers or fights and the buck ending up dancing onstage with the hen in a romantic stylee.

After this arduous evening it was back out to my parents for Easter lunch - chicken, lamb, more chocolate and simnal cake but by this stage I was on the lemonade so no wine for me. The rest of the day was spent in romance and repose, watching the first season of Entourage and a bit of footy. We capped off the weekend by watching an amazing thunderstorm with a couple of cuba libres on Monday night and saw Ballarat get it's first good rain in a month.

Easter is rising in my estimation.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

St Paddy's day

on Monday we celebrated the feast day of my namesake. Its the first time in years I haven't been working or playing and it felt odd to be honest. The local irish community (what little of there is) didn't appear to be out in force and the local plastic paddy pub felt a touch more plastic than usual. Crappy covers guy not even trying to play vaguely celtic tinged music, a few drunk westies/skangers and orange (yes that's right folks - orange) shirts on a few of the barstaff. As they day wore on things picked up as crappy covers guy was replaced by a duo called Ballylicky who were not just capable players but even gave the tunes a bit of a twist. This also coincided with me switching to cider and things fired up from there. Despite the stifling heat the irish dancers gave it a good dash and finally the craic made it's belated arrival. Things get a little blurry after this, but my darling wife says the dreaded triple Jamesons in a pint glass of coke made several appearances. As did an inapproriate conversation about dead hookers with a soon to be married young couple and frequent full and frank appraisals of some of our drinking companions' ancestors. All given and taken in good spirit apparently but I had the sense to leave when I noticed Lize's eyebrows were spending more time in the raised rather than lowered position.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

survival of the fattest

Survival was the keyword of my Golden Plains experience. After a very cool and mild summer, the weather gods kicked it up a notch for the Labour day weekend with temperatures straying into the mid to high thirties. Dust, heat, dehydration and festival tummy all beset this merry festival goer, armed as he was with nothing more than sunglasses, gazebo, deckchair and ice chest full of beer, rum and gin. To be honest I think I did pretty well, I was pretty much drunk from the moment I got there but every hour or so I'd sneak in a bottle of water or a Gatorade as well as giving the yummy woodfired pizzas a solid workout.

The festival itself is pretty low key. A single stage, a huge grassy amphitheatre with lots of shady trees, minimal security and BYO alcohol. Highlights musically were Buffalo Tom's rough hewn charms, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings bringing on the funk and Jens Lekman's fey balladeering. Doubly fun was catching up with all the kids from the bar, a lot of whom we hadn't seen since our last night. The little buggers were all lit up like christmas trees on whatever pills they could lay their hands on but luckily no-one overdid it and it was good vibes all round. Except of course for Nick, whose misadventures have graced this blog before. After taking enough disco biscuits to stun a mule the poor baby took a bite out a vegie burger containing peanuts. Cue peanut allergic reaction while tripping hard. Even less fun than it sounds according to Nick, but he survived thank god.

Friday, March 7, 2008

sleepless in sebastopol

Insomnia is a bugger. Sometimes I feel like its a precursor to madness. If your thoughts are too rowdy and your mind too restless to sleep, you wonder if one day your consciousness will slip the leash altogether and go running through the fields with it's underpants on it's head.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

the plains

I'm going to a two day music festival this weekend! Its called Golden Plains and takes place about 30ks from Ballafornia outside a little town called Meredith. Its a spinoff from the Meredith Music festival which I went to a few times years ago. It differs in that its smaller, has no corporate sponsorship and tends to have a little less manic vibe. The acts are promising - Iron and Wine, The Dirtbombs, Ween, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Buffalo Tom and stacks of more obscure stuff. The weather is shaping up as stinking hot, I've got enough booze to drown Dean Martin and I'm looking forward to catching up with a lot of the old Karova crew and getting completely nuts. I've even talked Lize into coming (shes not a happy camper) so I won't get lonely when I'm all drunk and maudlin at 3am.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

fitter, happier.

i've said it before in this blog, I'm a big bastard. So for the first time in years I've decided to maybe try to do something about it. Not being distracted by employment at the moment, it's actually proving a little easier than anticipated. I'm a bit hooked on the weights, the compulsion to do curls is almost scary. I'm even doing a little bit of step to maybe get the old ticker out of first gear. Cutting the spud out of the diet has been a bit tougher, but at the moment weekdays are potato free and I'm adjusting reasonably well to the leaves and meat focus. Still its early days so I won't be getting cocky till I go from looking like a pale Notorious Big to a more svelte state.