Monday, January 31, 2005

Frozen in the 90's

Right now the fake Danube river (which they invented possibly so my uncle's apartments could have waterfront views... which is not fooling anyone because you can see the much-cooler real Danube right next to it) is iced over completely, complete with stuck-in birds who were possibly playing 'chicken' with the freezing water. Despite this, it's actually not so cold today.

Anyway, I thought I'd put up some pictures of the general craziness that is Vienna. As I said before, the early 90's represents the coolest ever fashion period for them. Here is a set of posters that adorns their biggest subway station:

She pulled the steering wheel off her car? She must have been driving my Falcon.

Possibly the coolest remnant from the 90's is just down next to our local spar. It's an abandoned electronics shop complete with it's own half-baked superhero:

Not anymore.

They have awesome vending machines here on the underground stations. Only two euros for a delicious pack of Haribo gummis. But perhaps the coolest thing about the vending machines are their names:

Dust me some gummis of hari-bo selecta.

It's funny because in supermarkets here they sell alcohol. And they don't hide it in this sealed section up the back of the shop. No, it's blatantly stocked up the front with the delcious chocolates:

Viennese children will grow up to be fine winos.

Some other awesome stuff about Vienna? Well their flashing red man that helps you cross the road makes a very different noise compared to his friend in Australia. Instead of waiting for the loud beeping noise, you hear a monotonous drone during the red man, and then, when it is time to cross, a loud, 80's video game machine gun noise erupts. I swear Vienna is an awesome place for Vietnam vets, so many flashbacks would be started just by crossing the road!

Oh and here's an awesome sunset: how could something so red be so damn cold?

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Vienna & Jetlag & Crazy keyboards

Hello! Don't have much time to write since I'm using someone else's computer, so I'll put some awesome travel facts in point form... ok so actually, the real reason I'm not going to write much is becauße they have CRAZY keyboards here with mixed up letters and it's driving me to insanitz!

ß The plane trip was ridiculously long, but there were little screens in the back of the seats! Pity they only showed the following movies on repeat: Mr. 3000, The Little Black Book, Without a Paddle and Alien vs Predator. Look any of these up on the internet for instant suicidal feelings! I had to declare McDonald's cookies at customs!

ß It's minus 5 degrees and covered with snow! It's so far beyond cold that it's just pain incarnate. I think I could get used to it. Ok, the ' button on this keyboard has been hidden in a strange place and replaced with ä. So Iäm going to use ä as ' now. Hooraz! Oh zeah, the z is a y. I went trudging in snow!

ß The art galleries here are awesome! But I wonät go into that. Letäs talk more about crayz (actual spelling on keyboard) austrian things. Their mars bar packets are written in a different font! Thez have diet coke with lemon!!!!! AND thez have a popular drink which tastes exactlz like Diet coke with lemon. Trulz, it is mz paradisedreamland. Thez also have häribo gummi bears in VENDING MACHINES! Itäs supercool! Their train system is awesome, a train comes everz 4 minutes (thatäs real minutes, not cityrail minutes). Thez have 2 tv channels. One is boring german people doing boring, depressing german stuff. The other shows angela anaconda dubbed in german. They have a rapper here called MadDoppelT. And they sell good wine in supermarkets! Oh! And they have rich looking classical buildings which exist only to blow smog into the air 24 hours a day! Awesome!

ß Crazy little shops in sydney are actually giant chains in Vienna. Like SPAR supermarkets (thereäs a crappy one on king st) and Mr. Minit! And McDonalds!

ß Ads, fashion, posters, products etc stopped their development in the early 90s. I mean there are giant yellowed pictures of people donned in Hypercolour tshirts at the main station!

Anyway, I canät post pictures yet. But I will! Iäm tired, but we're going to a party tonight with a guy called felix. More later!


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Best Albums of 2004 (Part 1)

1. Green Day - American Idiot
Here's the deal. I know you hate Green Day. No matter what I say, you are convinced that they are the worst thing since sliced bread on fire. So I'll get to the point: from the 9 minute/5 part punk-folk-rock-sea shanty-piano ballad 'Jesus of Suburbia', the dark 'Holiday', theatrical 'Are We The Waiting', hawaiian punk 'Give Me Novocaine', to 'St. Jimmy', which recreates their entire back catalogue in 2.5 minutes but still has time still left for beach boy harmonies, it has the best 1st half ever. Given that by their 7th album, most bands are churning out earpoison, this punk-opera is easily my favourite album of the year.
Best Tracks: Jesus of Suburbia, Holiday, St. Jimmy.

2. The Futureheads - The Futureheads
Mum brought me this from England because she liked the cover, so I approached with caution. But what I found was 36 minutes of the most insanely brilliant four-part harmonies ever to be infused with new wave. Each track is so good, that by the time you reach the final, and best, four songs, you're almost too tired of good music to go on. The album is completely symmetrical, with the best tracks at the beginning and end, all leading towards the ridiculously good acapella drowning tale centrepiece of 'Danger of the Water'. And with their insights into the robothood ("I don't mind, I have no mind!"), you get the feeling that the danger that water poses to the Futureheads is more severe then to humankind.
Best Tracks: Stupid and Shallow, The Meantime, Danger of the Water.

3. Modest Mouse - Good News for People who Love Bad News
Forget death metal, I'm pretty sure that if the devil ever intended to put out an album, this is what it would sound like. In fact, I'm pretty sure he can be heard on backing vocals on 'Bukowski', singing about god "who'd want to be such a control freak". And there's no doubt that's him singing about leaving a bag of puppies out to freeze on 'This Devil's Workday'. As for the songs, they are all awesomely produced, played and written songs about death. As an indicator of just how great this album is, you should know that I love it even though 'Milo' commits the most heinous music crime: having a baby provide guest vocals.
Best Tracks: Ocean Breathes Salty, The View, Bury Me With It.

4. Phantom Planet - Phantom Planet
What happens when the actor filled pop group behind the much-loved OC theme 'California' and the feel good 'Lonely Day' want to earn underground cred? They enlist drums-happy Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridman and make a ridiculously distorted, loud and altogether awesome album. Of course, it was a commercial flop, and 'I Heart Huckabees' star/insane drummer Jason Schwartzman left during recording, indicating that they probably won't be seeing California for a while, but they wanted underground, and they got it. Awesome cover art too.
Best Tracks: 1st Things 1st, The Happy Ending, The Meantime.

5. Interpol - Antics
Upon casual inspection, you might think that Interpol are generally glum bunch. Paul Banks' whining voice sounds like a robot's thousand year search for the ability to feel emotion ended successfully with the discovery of depression. But under that you'll find an album about boats, which is full of danceable beats and hip hopisms (eg: "
make money like Fred Astaire"). As an indicator of some of the songs' themes, 'C'mere' sounds like a love song, 'Slow Hands' sounds like a love song, and 'Length of Love' sounds like the sort of celebratory song you would sing to a fashionable New York heroin junkie who has survived their 3rd OD for the night.... heart warming.
Best Tracks: Not Even Jail, Take You on a Cruise, Length of Love.

The Worst Album of 2004:
28 Days - Extremist Makeover:
In the song 'Use It', singer 'Jimmy' screams "In the end it's all about the music". But a sticker on the front of the album claims proudly that it comes with a free demo of PC game 'Medal of Honour'. WTF? Man this is such a bad album. Nothing is worse than hearing the balding, fat 'rapper' claim that he's "stone cold ready to fuck you in an alley". For the love of my fish.
Runners Up:
Good Charlotte - The Chronicles of Life and Death: What's with Pop Punk acts trying to gain musical credibility? It opens with a three minute choir piece. No no no no no!
Sum 41 - Chuck: NO! Not you too, Sum41! They used to be fun, talented and without a care in the world. They even had trash metal alter egos. But I guess they cracked due to the general hate against pop punk, because this uninspired, unironic, boring, over serious heavy metal shit is pure crap. And what's worse, they blatantly rip songs from themselves, the offspring, linkin park, metallica and... the cranberries! Argh!
Eskimo Joe - A Song is a City: Eskimo Joe burn all their bridges on this, refusing to even play their old songs live. It's a pity these new ones are so shit.
Machine Gun Fellatio - On Ice: It's underproduced, overlong, uninspired crap. How disappointing.

Also, that is, if anyone can be bothered, I'd be very interested to know other people's top 5 albums of the year.

Oh and in other news,
I found this in the telegraph:

All I'll say is that nobody will ever doubt the ferocity of the seemingly family oriented station wagon again.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Of ponies and scorpions

Just got back from my annual "act like a 'real' 'man'" day. It was, as usual, packed with near-near-death experiences, stingrays (is it just me, or has neighbours ruined that word?) and grime. We took our 99%-of-the-time-trailer/1% of-the-time-boat out on the shoalhaven river, and I knew we were off to a good start when the engine fell off on the way there. Then, loading the boat into the water, the tide came in and swept the unmanned boat into the middle of the lake. After that trivial nightmare had passed, we boated for 1 hour down the river, to a country that is filled equally by nothing, ponies and scorpions. Then, on landing at an isolated beach, the boat floated away again. Then there were jellyfish. And then there was jellyfish and the boat floating away all at the same time. After this, the boat ran out of petrol whilst we were heading towards fishermen and a rock. I had to pur petrol out of a broken can into a tiny tank hole to start the engine in time to avoid collision. It just happened. Then more unloading (ie: boat floating away). Then general grime and labour (washing boat etc, with these awesome "boat earmuffs", which look like regular headphones, except they fit over the motor and they spit out water). A fun, 10 hour, rugged "manly" day. And now a whole year until it has to happen again!

Can you see manly? I can!
I oart to put a pun here.
On a completely opposite note, I think I may have broken my sister for life. I have spent the last few months encouraging her to worship the OC, play grand theft auto and wear pink things. This was all just so I could have a fellow lifewaster to accompany me on my lifewasting journey. But have I gone too far?:

Dear God, what monster have I created?

Forget the Big Banana, Big Prawn, Big Pineapple, Big Mini Uluru etc. I have found the ultimiate tourist attraction. Right here on the south coast, in the decrepit parking lot of the Unified Homemarket Store, it's none other than the Big Hawaiian Blues Brothers!

Let my wicked dance lend you a hand Elwood.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Cooking with Will in a hat: Episode 2

Thursday, January 13, 2005

There's a man mowing his roof/Love beam

This is the only image I made for the blog last year that I didn't use. I have no idea what it was originally intended to be. It looks like a radioactive possum.

A healthy glow.

Speaking of radioactive possums and things they should prey upon, Ruth's children are here. Did you know the care bears use super-bright (and possibly carcinogenic) "Love Beams" to force others to share and care? Then they do a dance. This formula is repeated for 2 hours.

Checked your horoscope lately? It's cancer.

MORE: I had fun swimming today. Does anyone else ever pretend that they are a superhero in the water? I like to pretend that my special power is that I can act as if I am swimming whilst in normal non-water environments. So I could swim around and bust out funky dance moves, all in awesome swim motion. Although I would have to hold my breath while I slept and sat down. And eating would be a problem. But such is the life of the superhero. Or am I just insane?

Today I finally paid the price for not paying the price of expensive shampoo. I got some in my eye whilst in the shower and it feels like pepper spray, although with no pepper taste and more of a 'herbal' essence. It really hurts and I can't blink. Although I do have the excuse that my eye is wateing, when I am really just crying. Ouch.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Pilgramage (... like the pilgrams did)

I don't remember exactly when it was that I fell out with Spod. Actually, yeah I do. The 9th of september. Back then, I was very excited about his new EP. Then it stunk. Oh well. But anyway, I used to worship him. And since last January was the height of my Spod Idolisation period, I decided to go on a little pilgrimage of sorts. So I headed out to Bi-Lo.

Some of you may be familiar with the soon-to-be-extinct-yet-highly-delicious array of chocofilled biscuit treats, pods. Well, I found a whole shelf of them in the Bi-Lo:

On special because they're not.

Then, when none of the pimply angry teenage workers (who are ONLY hired by coles myer, Scott, you know this) were looking, I made a switch:

I swear, 2 packets got sold within 5 minutes.

Mum's comment: "I think you like Spod".

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Today, whilst walking up from the beach, some guy shouted out to me "hey, why are you carrying that dog?". Obviously, my first reaction was fear that somehow pom had been glued to my back for the past four days without me knowing it. If I had known it, I would have slept stomach up on a bed of poison poodle eating cicadas. But no, they were just referring to our shady family friend, Sandy, who I was helping up the beach. Anyway, here are some photos of our holiday so far:

Sandy and Alice.

"Yes Sandy, this is how you make a sandwich... no no don't be scared, it's just a name... well actually it's not. Sandwiches were named after the great lord Sandwich..."

It's wednesday and there's Sandy, but it's not the Addams Family.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The beach

Happy 2005 everyone! I had a great new year's eve. It's traditional for me to disregard the fact that everybody else I see seems to be going out with their friends and getting drunk and having fun! Not for me! And this year was no exception. Mum, Dad, Alice and I were trapped (literally) in an apartment above Luna Park for the whole evening, with nothing but 2 bottles of sparkling red wine, some VB, a pack of salted nuts and my laptop (oh... so so nerdy). So, in the course of the evening, Alice and I watched the boats sailing on the harbour (amongst all the other generic boats, one... 'socially challenged' boat had a giant E=mc2 illuminated on it... maybe I should have been on it with my laptop), plotted how to break into the fairy floss storage room at the back of luna park and watched the Simpsons on my laptop. During this, mum and dad just fell asleep. The fireworks were, you know, generic. The hyped giant disco ball, on the other hand, was just bullshit. It alternated between flashing pale yellow and paler yellow. Wow. Who would have thought that possible in 2004? Here are some photos from the night:

Alice, stop spitting on the depressed, chain smoking employees at the back of Luna Park... you might hit the fairy floss!

2 hours into the evening. Fight the boredom.

The Harbour Bridge explodes and melts. Bullshit ball not shown.

I'm down at Hyams Beach now. Yesterday, a fun packed day of packing and moving was had. This included me having to take a detour into Kings Cross to return a 79c cake tin to Victor (half brother) because he desperatley needed to make a cake. It also included a traditional stop in Kiama to have bad fish and chips. Something was different at the fish shop this year, however. They had this sign up:

Small children eh? Well, wouldn't that be HORRIBLE?

So naturally, I set off on a mission to feed all of my fish to the listed bird offenders:

I couldn't stick around to see the results, unfortunatley.

Allmusic has a long best albums of 2004 up, and Jeph from Questionable Content has a pretty good one too. I, being obsessed with rating albums as I am, have been working on one for ages, but I got about 10 2004 albums in the last week which will need a few listens before I can tell if they should knock any of my current top 10 out. But it's been a great year in music... even if some of the shittest albums ever were released (ie: Good Charlotte... right Vladimir?).

Anyway, a great 2005 to you all!