Feb 25, 2010

Video blogging from Australia

Feb 24, 2010

Thursday Music. Well it's Thursday down under.

"Keep your handkerchiefs tucked in your sleeve," the guide said. "They're for if you sweat or get emotional up there."

The people gave a chuckle at the thought of someone breaking into tears at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. (BTW what the hell is up with other English speaking countries and their insistence on over use of the letter 'u'?) The guide gave us a smirk.

"Even burly Americans," she said pointing at me. "Yeah I've seen it happen."

The tour was an eclectic mix of folks from all over. Germany, Ireland, Great Britain, Korea, US, and China were all represented. The guide suited us up and we all headed to the tunnel to make the trek up 134 meters (ye gods I said 'meters') on top of a working bridge.

There was a young lad named Liam who was there by himself as well. He was a friendly chap from the UK who was on a day off from his job on a cruise ship. Liam was quick to befriend me and made sure he stood next to me in line for the next few hours of our journey across metal.

While I don't have vertigo I started to get a little wary when I first started my walk across the girder. Then I had to remind myself that I've leapt out of planes multiple times, zip lined, and jumped off cliffs before. I don't know why I felt that way as it's perfectly safe, but ever since an accident with a ladder years ago heights can take some getting used to. Still I walked on ready to experience what all the hype was about.

We finally made it to the summit and I soaked in the breathtaking view of Sydney and it's suburbs. We saw what they call the 'dark rainbow' and stood in amazement of the heavens and it's beautiful canopy over a picturesque harbor. Liam commented on how glad he was that we went and night and avoided the hot afternoon sun, but still we were a bit sweaty from the humidity and the long walk. We no longer cared about how stupid we looked in that jumpsuit nor how stinky our pits may have gotten, we were standing at the most marvelous 360 view human eyes can see.

I'll admit I did use my handkerchief. I really wished she was with me to experience all this.

The guide asked me if I was in the country to watch AC/DC. I had no idea the band was even touring while I'm here, but I did say I was a fan. She told me to throw up the horns for the pic. I complied.

Oh and Liam and the Irish girl made great drinking buddies.

So today (or night as may be in your case) I bring you more of one of the greatest white trash band ever.

"If you die I want your DVDs," - Corey

Feb 22, 2010


As most of you are probably familiar I call Seattle home. Not unlike what is depicted on Grey's Anatomy (yes I've seen that show...shutup) the weather is mostly damp with very few days of sunshine. Even when the clouds part for a bright day it rarely gets that hot here.

But in Australia....

After a nice shower I head outside and insert my feet into my flip flops. It was a scorcher of a day and I forgot that I left them out for more than two hours. My footwear burned with the intensity of hell. My feet felt like they were on hot coals and I did the most logical thing I could think of. I danced around and swore like Yosemite Sam.

"RAZZLE FRAGGIN JEP JOP JALOOP PRADDLE MUNGAR FIATU," I yelled loud enough for the entire country of Australia to hear.

I quickly take my feet out of the flip flops, but the hot cement didn't help matters. Without thinking I jumped directly into the pool, clothes and all.

Sweet relief and thankfully no one saw the stupidity I displayed. Kelly and Mark's nanny was out with the kids so I didn't scare anyone in the home at least. Still I was a little humbled by my stupidity so I climbed out of said pool soaking wet and changed into appropriate attire. I learned to dip my footwear in the water before I head out.

"Jackie Gleason said that comedy is the most exacting form of dramatic art, because it has an instant critic: laughter." - Chuck Jones

Feb 20, 2010

Nobody calls me chicken

"Dumb fat American," the clerk was thinking no doubt. This was the third time I decided to employ their services today.

I was at Manly harbor ready to take in some snorkeling, but the equipment was sold out. The water was smooth and the air had a nice gentle breeze, so I decided to do some kayaking. I paddled out in the harbor for an hour's rental, but had such a good time I came running back to the stand and asked for another.

There was a couple from the UK that launched besides me. They asked if I had a watch, which I told them I told time by the sun. They didn't buy it either. The man was a burly looking sort with rough beard and a body covered in tattoos, but he had a friendly demeanor. We started splashing each other, then his wife locked eyes with me.

With a stern look she started paddling straight towards me. Oh it was on. I did the same as we stared each other down wondering who was going to chicken out. I started paddling harder and harder gaining fierce momentum as I glided across the water. It was time to show these Brits what real American brass was made of. She started to match speed with me, but I wasn't about to let up. Our bows got closer and closer to each other...

...ok I lost the first round. The girl showed me up. Humbled by her humiliating splash and laughter I was but undaunted. It was time for round two of which I was the big winner.

Third round was won by myself. I was on a roll.

Then the guy started to join in on the fun. Surprisingly he was more chicken than his gal and was loudly reminded of that fact by her. Still we had a good time splashing about and calling each other friendly names.

I spent most of the day in the water soaking in enough sun that's unhealthy for God and man. I was so sweaty I had to buy a shirt so as to not offend the locals in the bar I've been frequenting.

I've done so much beach combing, hiking, sightseeing, and even got in a show at the Sydney Opera House. My vacation (holiday) is only half over. Truly this has been amazing. A friend asked me if I'm coming back home. I told her I am, but maybe just to get my stuff.

"Mmm, well that whole thing about having to look tough has never left Australia." - Robert Forster

Feb 16, 2010


I arrive at the Manly Wharf ready to take a ferry into Sydney. Yes the town I'm staying in is named Manly, which is all kinds of awesome. I order some coffee and hop on the boat.

The boat ride was largely uneventful, but as we turned a corner in the harbor we saw the Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House appear on the horizon and it was one of the most breathtaking views I've ever seen. A local gal noticed I was captivated with the scenery and asked if I was Canadian or American. I was honest about my citizenship.

She asked what all I had on the agenda for that day and I pulled out my touristy map. She said her and her friend were going to meet her husband at the first stop and offered to walk me there.

We arrive in Sydney and I took some photos. We then walked down the waterfront to the Museum of Contemporary Art and I hear blaring techno music. Upon further research I find a native playing a didgeridoo to some electronic tracks with a mildly amused girlfriend clapping along. She was mostly there to sell CDs. He would pause and raise his hand signaling the crowd about some notes to come. It was actually kind of pleasant.

I put many miles on my feet as I visited museums, art galleries, parks, and the Botanical Gardens where I encountered a freakish amount of bats. I did my best Rauol Duke impression and got the hell out of there.

After all that walking around downtown I decided to visit St Mary's Cathedral, but I started feeling queasy. I had no idea what was wrong with me. I figured it may be the almighty punishing me for past, present, and future sins, but the superstition quickly subsided when I realized I hadn't eaten anything since that early morning croissant.

What am I twelve? I was having so much fun I forgot to eat. I was like a kid in Disneyland.

I was beat tired, sweaty, and probably was the least sexy I've ever been. I sit at an outdoor eatery where a waiter brought me a sandwich and some water. It was very tasty, but that's probably due to the fact I was so hungry. As I left he thanked me for my patronage, but I learned later that I shouldn't tip. No wonder the guy was so friendly.

I make my way to the Sydney Opera House and approach the box office to buy tickets.

"Hot out there mate," asked the employee?

"Yeah," I said. "I'm not used to this kind of heat."

"Yes," he agreed. "I just got a gust of wind." Yeah I was that ripe. I apologized for my smell and promised myself to carry around deodorant for the rest of the trip as reapplying would be wise and just good manners.

When I got back on the ferry home I found the gal and her husband. I told them all the places I went and they both were shocked at all I had done especially given the heat. I told them I would take it easy the rest of my holiday. Yes I said holiday.

They stood upwind from me. I don't blame them.

"I want to give my compliments to Australia. Ever since your government paid a few million dollars for a Jackson Pollack painting, I figure that it must be a marvellous country." - Morton Feldman

Feb 15, 2010

Flip flops in February

"Ok," I said with authority. "I wanna buy a round for all the Mullets and Jorts in the bar."

"What's that mate," the bartender questioned?

"Jorts. Mullets. They get one drink on me."

"Jorts and Mullets?"

"That's right. Everyone one of them in the pub gets a free drink."

"I'm sorry mate," he said confused as all get out. "But I have no idea what you're going on about."

I explained to him the true meaning of Mullets and Jorts. He stared at his colleague who responded with a blank stare and a shrug. The bartender then rang a bell and took a deep breath.

"Gents and girls," he bellowed. "Jorts and Mullets get one free drink on the yank." He pointed at me with a smirk.

People started crowding around me asking what the hell I was talking about. Some knew, but they played dumb and had fun with those who were unfamiliar. One young couple approached me and needed to know the definition of those terms.

"Well you see now," I said. "Jorts and mullets...."

".....are the coolest brand of people you will ever meet," interrupted a random American who approached my stool. "They have the coolest hairstyle every. Business in the front, party in the back."

"Jorts," his girlfriend carried on. "Are jeans cut into shorts. Denim you know?"

Oh this is cool.

"What would even make one cooler," she said. "If you were wearing the three wolf moon tshirt."

Oh yeah. We became fast friends.

The Aussies were confused until one accused us of pulling their leg. I tried to differ saying that if you go into a little town called Longview Washington dressed in denim shorts and sporting hockey hair that you'll be the sexiest man alive. I didn't tell them that in that town you could probably wear Osh Kosh B'Gosh and cover yourself in deer urine and you'd get laid within twenty minutes.

Finally we relented and told them how Yanks view those who sport such a style. Most were shocked, but some laughed as they knew what the deal was all along.

It gets better.

"So," some random girl said with a smile. "Does this mean I don't get a free drink?" I stared her up and down.

"No mullet," I replied. "And no jorts. Sorry my lady, but you don't qualify."

"I have them at my place."

"Run along and don't come back till you show up with jean shorts," the American girl said.

"I'll be counting the seconds," I said. She started to dart out of there as I yelled a countdown.

We all had a good laugh and drank some while I made small talk with the locals. One called us three the coolest Yanks ever and ensured we drank heavily. This was at three in the afternoon.

The Aussie girl came back in what was quite possibly the shortest denim shorts I have ever seen. The other American got a punch in the arm from his girlfriend when his eyes wandered no where but on the local gal.

"Excuse me sir," I said to the bartender without missing a beat. "One drink for the Jort girl."

I have no idea what came over me. I don't normally engage in this kind of behavior as I'm a quiet guy, but then again I did start drinking at like 10am. I'm afraid I wasn't representing the US well, but still everyone was having a really good time. I decided to make my goodbyes to the fifth pub I visited that day before I get myself into trouble. Everyone thanked me for the entertainment and wished me a good holiday. I got invited to a beach party.

Yeah I like this country.

"God bless America. God save the Queen. God defend New Zealand and thank Christ for Australia." - Russell Crowe

Feb 14, 2010

A Virgin in the Pacific

"First time in Australia," she asked with a bright smile and a thick accent?

"Yep," I replied. "First time."

She was a tall stunning brunette who probably modeled at some point. She was now working the ticket counter at Virgin Australia amongst the mood lighting, the soft techno, and her counter which was illuminated by red lights. The area was so swank I thought I was in a bar in Bellevue, but alas I was just checking in to a flight across the Pacific.

The plane had all sorts of funky lighting with my own personal media center in front of me. The attendants were all attractive and friendly, but the real entertainment has yet to come. A lady sat down next to me and introduced herself as Sheila.

"You know," she said with her 2 packs a day voice. "Sheila. They call women Sheila's down there, but I'm THE Sheila." She pulled out her passport as proof.

Sheila was in her mid 50s complete with peroxide hair, bad tan, terrible makeup, and had an odor mixed with cheap perfume and copious amounts of alcohol. She was an LA native and worked as a bartender all her life. She was wearing white jean shorts and pointed out her blouse which had a big red heart on it.

"I'm landing there on Valentine's day," she said to me and everyone in the vicinity as she displayed her attire. "I'm going to show these Aussie boys a good Valentine's day."

Sheila had the gift of gab and was so drunk she could hardly operate the media center. I helped her with her viewing selection and threw on a movie for myself (btw see The Hurt Locker, like right now), but Sheila was more interested in conversing with me as she nudged me every time she thought something about the plane was cool.

I attempted to sleep on the plane, but was constantly awakened by rocky turbulence and Sheila waking me wanting to visit. The air was so bad the captain at one point got on the intercom and told the staff to be seated immediately. We bounced around the atmosphere and Sheila threw up her arms and pretended she was in a roller coaster.

After many hours of flight I got no more than a half hour sleep per interval. The plane touched down as one of the attendants made conversation with me about Guinness and Aussie bars. Sheila, noticing I was not wearing a ring, tried to convince me to meet her daughter. I stepped off the plane onto new found soil....


"I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the dictator." - Richard Branson

Feb 11, 2010

Thursday music

Tomorrow I fly down under to enjoy the warm weather, meat pies, and numerous pints of beer. Yes I'm excited to climb the bridge, snorkel, and try to keep up with Australian drinking habits. I'll make every attempt to chronicle my adventures there here on One Bad Apple, but if you don't hear from me after a couple weeks that means I've probably ended up on the island.

We Americans should give thanks to our ally as they have provided us with one of the greatest bands ever and that is AC/DC. I was introduced to said band by a friend who gave me a copy of Back in Black. From then I was hooked.

Yes growing up in a white trash town AC/DC were like gods. My friends argued over who could draw their logo on their trapper keepers the best. We drove our parents nuts listening to the Highway to Hell album. My folks went so far as to take it away from me claiming it was the devil's music. I bought another one and hid it.

So today I bring you music from AC/DC, who I admit should've stopped recording a long time ago:

"I'm sick to death of people saying we've made 11 albums that sounds exactly the same, In fact, we've made 12 albums that sound exactly the same." - Angus Young

Feb 9, 2010


"So what does 'up, down, up, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, start,' mean to you?"

"Uhhh...is it that dancing game?"

I was crushed. She was unfamiliar with the greatest video game code in existence. This will not do. This button sequence was like gold when I was young. This was the days before the internet where everyone thought it was their own little secret. Sharing the knowledge was like becoming a Mason. You could hear angels in the background chanting about your unique and special talents at Contra, one of the greatest video games for the NES.

I asked a friend if that should be a deal breaker. His response:

"I started dating xxxx because she said that Big Trouble in Little China was her favorite movie of all time. In retrospect, that's a horrible foundation to a relationship. Yes, she could quote the final lines of Blade Runner... but she was also quite psychotic."

That's sound advice. I'll let geek culture knowledge slide for the sake of my sanity.

Ladies, if you want to keep a 28-37 year old guy around a long time learn the Contra code. They'll marry you within six months. Then again said guy may have had...you know...a life when they were younger.

"So yeah, if she doesn't get NES references... do yourself a favor and never introduce her to your friends." - Alec

Feb 8, 2010

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is over and I for one enjoyed the game even though it turned out different than originally expected. The commercials were ok, but the party thrown by my friend Kyle was a good one. Many were in attendance and good food and beer were consumed.

Paul decided to keep his tradition going of swearing at the game every 30 seconds and teaching Alec's baby phrases such as 'pig fucker'. Yes the man is intense about his love for pigskin and decided to let everyone in the party, and the rest of the state for that matter, know his desire for the Saints to win.

Not content with antagonizing Colts fans Paul decided it would be a great idea to spark a debate about economic policy with Kyle. For those unfamiliar my friend Kyle is what one may call a conservative of the highest order and often likes to raise his voice when engaging in conversations involving politics. Paul thought it would be a great idea to grab the imaginary annoying stick and poke at our host with accusations that Republicans have no idea how to manage the federal budget. This angered our GOP loving pal and he countered Paul throwing points such as Keynesian economics and how Obama has devalued our dollar which has in turn killed our workforce. Paul wouldn't stand for that and stated how the party of Lincoln has....

...who cares?

I got tired of it and finally got in between those two and announced to the entire party how this is the only Super Bowl gathering in the country where a conversation of this nature is taking place. I'm willing to bet not even Buffett's party had a debate like this.

Kyle and Paul decided to drop it and I shook my head wondering how it was possible that any of us has ever seen a woman naked. Granted I'm known for bringing up political conversations at inappropriate times, such as pointing out the Vatican bank gives loans to despot nations while a girl's in mid-orgasm, but during the holy day of Super Bowl?

"Beware of geeks bearing formulas." - Warren Buffett

Feb 7, 2010


I've always considered Super Bowl time to be a good time. A day of warm camaraderie with friends and family full of food, beer, and fun entertainment. It's football at it's best, where champion meets champion in their lifelong quest to be crowned ruler of the gridiron. The holiest day of all in the sports world, the big game has captured the consciousness of the nation and it's turned into a non-official holiday.

Years ago I learned that there was as much as a 40% increase in domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday. Apparently men, who are brutish thugs anyways, feel compelled to beat their significant others whenever they walk in front of the screen during a touchdown.

This saddened me as more hype was surrounded these incidents. Commercials were aired during the big game asking men to play nice with women and some even called for gals to leave the house for a few hours for their own safety. This made watching the game difficult as I imagined some woman getting hit with a belt every time an turnover was made by a Bills fan.

Then years later it happened, the internet came upon us. I started reading the website Snopes.com, which is an interesting site which debunks media myths and common urban legends. The authors of the site (who still love the 1996 design apparently) did some actually research into the studies cited by reporters and F.A.I.R. and found to the surprise of everyone that the statistics were false and those behind the data made no implication of a sharp rise in battered women.

It seems the women's groups and the media were either misinformed or lying much to my shock. What really saddens me about this is that I bought it. My own prejudices about football fans took effect and I believed the rhetoric without question. What's even more sad about this is that I do watch the sport as do many guys I know. Not one of them commits acts of violence especially against their girlfriends/wives. The stereotype of the loud, unkempt, aggressive jackass who hasn't showered in a week watching a highly masculine sport while smacking their spouse for not bringing the beer fast enough was so impregnated in my brain that I failed to question the sources. Yes F.A.I.R. is an organization I tend to give too much trust to.

What's really sad about this is that Rush Limbaugh was the first to break the myth, but no one listened, cause he's Rush.

Be safe out there today!

"I predict one of these two teams will win the Super Bowl." - Gilbert Gottfried

Feb 2, 2010

Funeral pyre for Pablo Diablo (Pablo's blog)

(Translated via Babelfish)

Querido querido,

Aquí nos recolectan hoy para estar de luto el paso de Pablo Diablo' blog de s. El blogsphere será entretenido no más con las fotos raras, los cuentos de la crisis de la media vida traídos a usted en verso, o los acoplamientos numberous a los artículos y a los vídeos de MSNBC. Mientras que puede sufrir la pérdida concedida para arriba en nosotros por el paso de tal literatura trilingüe fina nos dejó recordar al buen mexicano concedida sobre nosotros.

Arqueemos nuestras cabezas en rezo.

Nuestra Pablo,
que arte en Microsoft.
Santificado sea thy nombre.
El Thy ranting viene.
Thy será hecho.
En un cuaderno como estaba en una PC.
Dé estas pastas,
y nuestras fritadas diarias.
Y perdónenos nuestras exnovias
Pues perdonamos a los que lancen sacadores contra nosotros.
Y llévenos no en la Florida,
pero entregúenos de McDonalds.
Para el thine es el decaf, Starbucks, y el BBWs es el suyo ahora y por siempre…

I think that's enough bastardation of Spanish for one day.

"I'm Not Traveling to Hawaii or Buying Any Hawaiian Product Until They Approve Same-Sex Civil Unions Bill." - Pablo

Feb 1, 2010


As some of you are fully aware I'll be traveling to Australia in a couple weeks. I've been doing some research as to what activities I'd like to partake in, because two weeks of straight drinking and doing my best to look at foreign boobies shouldn't be the only thing on my agenda.

I came across an article that claims that one in five Aussie drinkers would give up sex for drinking. Seriously. The report doesn't state if each one of them were women or not which shows a severe lack of journalistic integrity. I for one will not stand for it.

The article goes on to claim that some would even give up driving, their friends, and there are those who, wait for it, would toss their cell phones before they give up the drink. I could give up my friends easily, cause that would mean I wouldn't have to help anyone move ever again in my entire life. I could sit back and drink a cold Guinness while throwing peanuts at former acquaintances as they load their Uhauls. Then again I don't like to drink alone...hmm...this is tougher than I thought.

I've given a lot up for drinking as it takes up a good chunk of my bank account. I've lost personal items when under the influence, girlfriends, clothing, and my dignity. So yes I've sacrificed much in the name of the tasty beverages I love. If I tithed as much as I spend making the makers of Guinness rich I'd be as holy as the Pope.

"I admit I was drinking a Guinness... but I did not swallow." - Kinky Friedman

Sex, cars and mates play second-fiddle to Australians' love of booze