Category Archives: Diary

Hi-8-Us Over.

Let me just wipe the dust off this keyboard….

Oh…Hi! It’s me…

What’s going on?

Well if you ever look at this blog you’d probably think, ‘Not Much’, but quite the contrary!

3 months ago I was talking about a trip to Europe.

(just ignore the line where I say I am going to update this blog more frequently. Lying obvs)

Well, it’s been and gone folks, and what a trip!

I took over 2,000 photos on the trip and am still weeding through them.

It was a great 5 weeks. LaLa and I had a ball wherever we went and we didn’t even stress too much when:

– the hire car was locked in a parking garage on a Sunday when we were leaving
– our room in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland was the size of a shoebox
– a 2 hour search for Laksa in Kulala Lumpur was for nothing
– the toilets at the music festival in England had the most disgusting toilets in the world
– we made the bus for the Beatles ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ by 2 minutes.

Seriously, if you haven’t been to Europe, go and do it. There’s really no reason. Everyone speaks English, even if it is only ‘a leetle beeet’, the sights are even prettier than the photos and you don’t have to go into every church you see.

We did a 2 week driving trip including 3,500km through 7 cities. It was pretty ambitious but it worked out really well, although perhaps a little too rushed.

Since returning it’s back to the drudgery of the working week and not enough time to do anything on the weekend.

Fortunately the weather is starting to fine up (stupid Canberra winters) and motivation to get a pergola built, the house painted and the body fit are starting to take hold.

As for other things….

– I love Regurgitator
AFL is stupid
– The Eels disappoint me again
LaLa keeps me sane
Computer games keep me from being bored
– I have 2 cars in the garage for the first time ever
– My body has survived a whole season of football (soccer)
Probiotics are a medical miracle
– Car services suck
Metallica are the bomb

I am getting to the time of year where I escape hibernation and feel the urge to be more active. It’s a good thing.

As for this blog? Who knows. I am not going to close it, but I will try to keep it updated.

If you came here from my Twitter feed you would know what I am a lot more active on there than on here.

140 characters are a lot easier to type…

Thanks for reading. Comment if you like. Discuss amongst yourselves.

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The Future

Welcome to the Future…..

……..now.

Hey! I’m here. I’ve never really gone anywhere, but I’ve just let the blog slide for a while.

Most of my slackness can be blamed on Life really. That thing called Life can really get in the way of blogging…about…life.

So….what’s been happening?

Well…you know….not much.

When people say that, it really means they’ve been busy as hell but couldn’t be bothered telling you about it.

Which is what I’m going to do. Not tell you about it. Because…I couldn’t be bothered.

Truth me told, the 3 people that read this blog probably aren’t too interested anyway 🙂

BUT, the exciting news that is really the reason I am back here is that in 3 weeks time, the LaLa and I will be sunning (please be sunny) it up in Europe.

I intend to blog about our forthcoming trip to UK and Europe as a way to let you (3) folk know what it’s like in the warmer hemisphere for a month or so.

Where are we headed?

UK, Scotland and then Western Europe.

Oh..and then a quick 2 day sojourn in Kuala Lumpur on the way back.

All within about 35 days.

I am hanging for this. Both of us have been We’ve been planning for this trip for the last 7 or 8 months, but only the last month or so have we really started to get into the nitty gritty. Most of the accommodation is locked in. Car Rental is done. Flights to Prague. Tickets to festivals. Tours of Anfield and Beatles stuff.

…and let’s not forget the tickets to Lord’s for the Australia v Pakistan Test Match.

Freaking bliss.

How’s this for a nice little drive around the countryside in Western Europe?

So, I know more people have done the travelling thing, but I’m pretty green to it all. Fortunately LaLa is Lil Miss Traveller so she’s been great at the suggestions. I’d still welcome any ideas or suggestions as to how to make a driving holiday of Western Europe simpler, easier or better in any way.

I think a GPS is a necessity. Whether we upgrade the maps on LaLa’s old Navman, or we hire a new one, I think it will be a good idea to be able to have a little computer person tell us where to turn instead of interpreting signage.

I’m still undecided as to whether I take my laptop or not. Most of the places we’re staying will have some sort of Wi-Fi, but then why will I need my laptop, other than to update twitter, blogging or read football scores.

I could just take my new Google Nexus phone, which has built in GPS and everything and is WAY better than those wanky iPhones thank you very much.

I’m a bit nervous about taking good stuff on the road with us as you never know where we might leave the car.

Am I being paranoid?

So, just to make you all a little more jealous, we’re staying in some shit-hot hotels along the way. It’s not that we’re loaded to the gills with cashola, but I’ve just been quite patient and clever with finding places to stay. Travelzoo comes out with their Top 20 deals each week and I’ve managed to snaffle some sweet hotels in Prague, Kuala Lumpur and Paris. We found a very cool bomhemian style hotel in Berlin, and a homely chalet in the Swiss Alps.

We still have Amsterdam, Munich and Edinburgh to go, and then we’ll be fully booked in.

Also, what do other travellers recommend for currency while we’re there? I have noticed that Travelex have these cash passport things which you can load up with currency and then use like ATM cards wherever you like. We could load up a card with Pounds and another with Euro’s for each part of the trip. That way we avoid conversion fees and holding too much cash. Any other suggestions are welcome though.

So, keep an eye-out, i’ll be updating this more frequently in the coming months!


Goodbye Naughties. Hello Tennies!

Right, so the naughties are gone, and to be honest? It’s been one hell of a set of 10.

What a tumultuous decade it has been for me. Great things have happened. Bad things have happened, and ultimately my life has been shaped in ways I would have never expected back in 1999. Wow. 1999 feels like a lifetime ago.

10 years ago I would never have expected that in the following decade I would have 3 kids, buy 2 houses, separate from my wife, travel to the USA for a year, return to Australia to find a new life with a gorgeous wonderful woman and then settle back into the house that I originally bought 5 years earlier.

But that’s what has happened. Who says 10 years go fast when you can do that many things. The Mick of 1999 feels like another person, but so does the Mick of 2004 and the Mick of 2006. I feel like I have evolved so many times in the last 10 years but I have to remind myself of the changes that I have been through.

I believe that everything in life happens for a reason, beit good or bad. You can’t lament over the bad times in your life, but you are allowed to bask in the good times. I am a definite proponent of the ‘glass half full’ theory in life. Bad shit is going to happen all the time, but you can’t dwell on it. Similarly, you can’t change it. You can only use it to your advantage, because Yes people, every cloud DOES have a silver lining. As corny as it is, everyone can find something good out of a bad situation. It may not be straight away, but eventually you’ll find it. As small as it may seem.

Everyone thinks of their New Years resolutions at this time of year. There’s the obligatory promises of less food, more reading, less TV, more gardening, but what about just wanting more of the same? What if our attempts at changing our lives are just putting more pressure on ourselves to change what is probably already working. Of course we all change, but that change happens everyday, not on January 1st.

One thing that I would like to do is blog more. I was pretty lacklustre in the blog-o-sphere last year as can be seen from these hastily compiled statistics:

The graph above show that my 2009 blogging was pathetic. So much so that I had 2 blog free months, which was a first in my 6 years of blogging. Time to pick up my game!

I hope your year has started well, and that any ambitions, goals or dreams you have are fulfilled in the next set of 365.

Time for me to get off my arse and actually make things happen!


2009 MeMe

It’s the last day of work for the year, of which there is only a few days to go, so it’s time for a self-indulgent meme to fill out my blog. I had been working on a deep, thought provoking post to round out the year, but…oh well.

I stole this idea from Trish’s blog. She’s about to do it too, so go check it out!

————————————–

1. What did you do in 2009  that you’d never done before?

I went to 4 weddings this year. That’s just ridiculous. Marriage seems to be the new black.

I prefer yellow.

If it’s done anything, it’s reinforced to me that my next wedding will be in Vegas.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Pfffttt…resolutions. I didn’t make any really, but there are probably some things I could look at…improving about myself. LaLa might have some suggestions…

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My best mate, Tim, finally popped one out and he’s a cutie alright. Another mate (also Tim) is next, and he’ll be getting double trouble!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Fortunately no. It may have been a year with 4 weddings, but luckily, no funeral.

5. What countries did you visit?

I wish! The furthest I travelled to was Hervey Bay, unless you count roaming the world of Azeroth.

But next year? Look out Europe!

6. What would you like to have in 2010/2011 that you lacked in 2008/2009?

Financial security would be nice. I  feel like I am getting closer to this, but it’s something that I have been lacking for a long time.

I would also like some inner peace and closure on the past..

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

July 30. Not only was it my birthday, but it was also the last day of work at my old job and the day before we moved into our new place. It was a crazy time of year and somehow we got through it.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Moving house (again!). It may not seem like it, but moving, cleaning, organising and settling in a new place was a big task for me (and us) this year. I would also rate getting a new job as a big achievement. It’s been an invigorating change.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not doing the things that I had planned to do around the house. Pergola’s, gardens, garages, painting. So many things that I wanted to do, but as yet have done nothing. Need to get my finger out of my arse in 2010.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

My stupid ankles and feet. The first half of the year was marred by a broken foot. This was caused by a rolled ankle whilst playing indoor soccer. That inevitably lead to an early retirement from the game. However, I now play outdoor soccer! I have ankle braces and everything.

Fast forward to a week ago where I rolled my ankle..again….on some uneven concrete on the way back from the supermarket! Stupid ankles.

Oh, and the gout licks the bag as well.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

PS3. Hands down. It’s the most awesome purchase I have made in years.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Gadgets and networking and hard drives. I spend too much on these things and am still to build a good home media storage centre. That will come as soon as I get to the markets in 2010. The PS3 sucked a bit of money too, but everyone needs the Guitar Hero drum kit, yes?

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The Parramatta Eels. What a season they had. Not only did they come back from the death to make the semi-finals, they almost went all the way. Late September, into October was a sporting emotional roller-coaster, but there were some great memories, the best being taking my 2 sons to the Preliminary Final against the Bulldogs and experiencing the best rugby league crowd of all time. Amazing.

14. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Lisztomania by Phoenix. It was probably the song of the year for me. Phoenix at their best. It’s so damn happy!

Watch this:

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

Happier! I feel more settled and I think LaLa and I are getting more comfortable with each other and what it’s like to live together!

b) thinner or fatter?

Hmmm…probably about the same, but I am fitter. Been going to the gym pretty consistently for the last couple of months. It’s nice to be able to see some muscle development and also get back into running/riding again.

c) richer or poorer?

Richer. The joys of contracting. I am actually saving the most money I ever have in my life….only to spend it. It’s a novelty to have some savings though.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

More time with family. As the kids get older I want to try and maintain a connection with them that goes beyond just being Dad. It feels like it could be a losing battle as they get closer to teen-dom, but I’ve gotta keep trying. Also, I have probably seen my family (cousins/aunts/Mum/Dad/sisters) less than I’d like. Hard to fit in time sometimes.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Facebook games! I have been stupidly addicted to some of those lame-arse facebook games (you know the ones) and I admittedly spend way too much time on them. I really should pick up a book, do a puzzle, play board games or just talk…more.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Well, I will be spending Christmas at both LaLa’s family and then my sisters’ places. Swedish dinner and then Christmas Brunch and then dinner with Mum, Dad, kids, nephews and LaLa. Boxing Day will be a big day with my Hungarian cousin and Aunts from Sydney.

Did you know there’s a Hungarian convention on in Canberra after Christmas? Well now you know.

19. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Already in love….but I did go a little mushy for Lily Allen.

20. What was your favorite TV program?

Confession Time.

This year has seen LaLa and I watching a lot of ‘Gossip Girl’ (yes, I know what you’re thinking), Secret Diary of a Call Girl (good voyeuristic fun!) and Masterchef. Masterchef was probably the revelation of the start of the year. We both got into that and it helped me to inspire a renewed interest in cooking.

Otherwise I really love Flight of the Conchords and Entourage, which I am trying to catch up with. Season 4 and 5 for Christmas please!

21. What was the best book you read?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson. LaLa’s dad got me into this earlier in the year and it was a book that has pulled me back into reading this year. I have read this one and the sequel (…who Played With Fire) and enjoyed both. LaLa will attest to the fact that I don’t read very fast, but the fact that I have read at least 2 books this year is a feat in itself.

22. What was your favorite film of this year?

It came last week when I saw Avatar in 3D at Dendy. First 3D in forever, and although the pain in the bridge of nose was getting unbearable, the imagery and environment that James Cameron created for that movie is unbelievable. Story is probably only so-so, but the performances by the cast and the camera-work is worth the extra dollars for the 3D effect. Go see it!

Highly recommended is also ‘The Hangover’. Has to be one of the funniest comedies I’ve seen in many years and one of those ones that you know will become a classic over the years..

…hehehe…’Fat Jesus..’

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned the big boring 33. We went bowling! It was very nice to just spend it with friends and also had some pizza at Firestone with the family..

I got a kick-arse mixmaster. Red. It goes faster.

24. What kept you sane?

LaLa. This especially helps when my kids make me insane. She has a way of bring reason to any argument. Unless she’s wrong 😛

25. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

As previously mentioned, I think my crush on Lily Allen was a standout. It coincided with the fact that she say about 2 metres away whilst singing and recording an acoustic live set at the Triple J studios. One of my highlights of the year.

26. Who did you miss?

My mate Tim has been trekking around Australia in a winnebago with his wife and newborn son. I have missed hanging out with him. Missed watching the footy together, and missed our regular lunch catchups. Hurry back mofo!

27. Who was the best new person you met?

My new workmates. Although my new place of work is a sausage-fest (as opposed to a clam factory), it’s been great to find new people to chat with, new opinions to shoot down and new people to give shit to on coffee breaks, which ironically I have found now involves getting a coffee.

Also, another of LaLa’s friends that I can (hopefully) add to my ever-growing list of inherited friends is Mireille. Check out her awesome food blog here! She has excellent taste in music. Perhaps I will share my performance of ‘Ice Ice Baby’ for you one day.

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So there we go. My year in a nutshell. I do have another, more angsty, thoughtful and retrospective post about 2009 in drafts, but it may not see the light of day.

I’d prefer to just use point form!

  • Have a Merry Christmas everyone!
  • Get nice and drunk on New Years and utilise the extra couple of days of recovery time well.
  • If you’re staying home, relax and enjoy, if you’re travelling, be safe and take your time.
  • When the Naughties are over and the Tennies arrive, take a fresh look and dive head-first into the new decade with positivity and passion. It’s the only way to be.
  • Thanks for reading 🙂

NRL Grand Final 2009 – From Ecstasy to Despair

What a weekend it was.

For just the second time in 23 years, the Eels made the Grand Final and I was there again. Just like I was in 2001 when we roared into the Grand Final as red-hot favourites.

This time we had scraped into the finals and pounded the top 3 sides to make the Grand Final, riding on a wing, prayer and history. We could have been the first team to win it from 8th spot.

Last week was amazing. We beat our arch-rivals, the Bulldogs, in front of 75,000 people. The crowd was deafening and it was the best Rugby League match I had ever been to. My son told me it had been the best day of his life. Nothing warms the heart more!

But this was the big one. The one that counts. We had reached the prelimiary final 5 times since 1986, but only made the Grand Final twice. We needed to make it count.

So, Dougall, Yellster, Ed and I took the nervous train trip to Homebush to drink, cheer and hopefully be merry.

We downed 4 at the Brewery before the game. I had never seen so many Parra jerseys in one place. It was a sea of blue and gold and the feeling of anxiety and excitement was palpable. I felt good and I felt confident. I had bets on for a 13+ victory. Perhaps ambitious, but that’s how I felt.

We stepped into the Stadium and saw the swarmof people around us. We had nice seats behind the goal posts but with a great view.

parraseats

It was a game of 2 halves. The first, we had nothing to cheer about. Melbourne scored twice through some uncharacteristically weak defence. We didn’t have that spark. Hayne was very quiet. The crowd was nervous at half-time. I hardly even remember it.

The second was better. We lifted. Guru scored. Fui scored and we were happy.

Parra Try

All I could do was hope…maybe, we can come back…one last time.

It wasn’t to be. An uncontested bomb, a bullshit refereeing decision (fuck you Tony Archer), and a field goal later, and the Eels went down, 23-16. Melbourne win their 3rd premiership of the decade.

I was gutted to have lost again. It’s hard to lose a Grand Final after weeks of build-up. I can only imagine what it must feel like for the players.

nathan_hindmarsh_grandfinal

But next year is a new decade, and a new chance for the Eels to start their domination. Tahu’s back. Poore and Shackleton are in. We will hopefully keep the core of the team. There’s no reason we can’t get there again.

I just wish I didn’t have to wait 12 months to do it again.

parrasad


101 Things to do in 1001 Days

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while.

It’s a list of 101 Things to do in 1001 Days.  I’ve always been impressed with how Elizabeth has going.

As defined by the website:

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.

2. Stay Focussed. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.

3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.

4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.

5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

I reckon it’s a good thing for me to do as I have a habit of letting things slide, due to my inherently lazy nature. I always say I am going to get around to things. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t.

I think a list is a good thing (as LaLa is always trying to encourage me to do), and this one gives you like almost 3 years to get it done!

Maybe I can convince LaLa to do it with me…

The first thing is, I’d have to pick 101 things. I don’t know how I would do that. It seems very hard. But I guess I could start with cleaning out the garage, painting the house, putting up a pergola and landscaping the yard.

There’s also travelling to Europe, going bungee jumping, donating blood and driving the Great Ocean Road.

There are so many things that I want to do, and why not start to think about them?


Stuff I Like.

Thanks to you loyal friends for commenting on last post.

Ultimately I don’t really care if people read anyway. I do this shit for me!

So, yeah, I’m here. Does life ever slow down?

It’s frigging October tomorrow.

OCTOBER??

That’s the 10th month of the year. Faarrrk.

It’s been one hell of a year too.

I will get to all that at some stage, but not before I crap on about footy on more time.

HOLY SHIT, The Eels are in the Grand Final! This is ultimately awesome because, as a life-long Eels fanatic (watched 1981 Grand Final and was hooked forever), my footy fandom rides the roller-coaster of their successes and failures over the years.

It’s been 23 years since a premiership and 8 years since we made the Grand Final. Since 1986 we have gone to the lowest of lows and back up but just can’t seem to crack the big one.

THIS year is the time. THIS is the year we will do it.

Our mantra? It’s OUR turn.

LaLa is sick of me going on about it, but she just has to ride out one more week! I will be there on Sunday in the Eels Supporters section, riding the last wave with my fellow Parra nuts.

I went to the Bulldogs Preliminary Final with my 2 boys last week and it was fantastic. Not only was the game just amazing and the atmosphere and euphoria of the win, but Ewan turned and said to after we’d won, “Dad, this has been the best time of my life”.

Wow. Nothing warms my heart more than the fruits of my loins enjoying his first ever Grand Final Qualifier with his Dad. Beautiful.

So, one more game and the Eels fans will finally be able to shake 23 years of ‘almosts’, ‘maybes’ and ‘if onlys’ off our heads.

Oh yeah, and other stuff I like right now?

I will start to get to more posting soon. I think the warmer weather brings it out in me…