Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Part 1: For once, I’m glad I went to the Prom

In high school I always hated dances and the Prom. People would tell me to go, that I would regret it if I skipped the prom. Then I would get all spiffed out in some ridiculous dress and hairstyle and be stressed and nervous and go to some hotel conference room decorated with streamers to have a boring time that was at best a let down and at worst a total disaster, all set to a soundtrack of Garth Brooks. I don’t think I have any high school readers, but if I’m wrong about that and you are a high school student, trust me, skip the stupid Prom. Unless, that is, you happen to be in Victoria at Wilson’s Prom.

The drive from Melbourne to Wilson’s Promontory is just a couple of hours and getting out of the city is fairly congested. It’s worth the traffic. The get away is a stark contrast to the city. The peninsula is beautiful wild national park with lake and ocean exposure. There are lots of Wallabies and Kangaroos and colorful Australian birds. There are supposed to be Koala there, but for now they proved elusive, not for want of my searching. (Koala freaks: stay tuned for Part 3). We stayed in a modern, hip cabin that was warm and bright and fully outfitted. There were huge screened windows that would allow you to basically open both ends off the cabin if it was warm. There were ceiling fans. There was a nice kitchen and hip little throw rugs. There were high ceilings and the top meter of all the walls were big windows, to there was lots of natural light. I started plotting how I could move in permanently. We hiked to Observatory Point from Telegraph Saddle, the highest point in the Prom. We could see the ocean on 2 sides. See it’s gorgeous there:

We also did a 20 K hike down to the beach. There were camp sites right down by the ocean, for those tough enough to pack in all their water and not need a shower. I saw at least 20 Crimson Rosella. It was tough to leave the prom.

After a fantastic day of hiking the drive to
Mallacoota was 5 hours along the winding Pacific Highway in the dark and the rain. I did some screaming about the frequency of Roo carcass (they are a nuisance akin to deer on US highways) but we made it to Mallacoota. It’s a charming little town on the ocean with beautiful lakes and rivers in town. There were good cafĂ©’s and bakeries. There were huge pelicans. They have these beautiful pink birds everywhere called Galahs. These are as common as pigeons.

Here is one of the thousand picturesque inlets in Mallacoota.

It was hard to leave but we had to hit the road. I needed to be in Sydney for camp by Saturday morning (see part 2). Another 4 hours or so up the Pacific Highway is Wollongong which reminded me a bit of St Louis. It is a Sydney Suburb that is trying hard but has more than it’s fair share of charmless retail. There were a lot of drunks staggering around downtown. Parts of it look like Atlantic City. When you come to Australia, go ahead and skip Wollongong. I also lost my Tennebaum-esque Adidas track suit top there when I left it in the hotel room and called later and the cleaning staff had never heard of it. Jerks. Now I guess it’s in heaven with the Triple 5 Soul Jacket I lost at Battle of the Beach in West Palm Beach in 2004 and the other Triple 5 Soul hoodie I lost in Copenhagen.

(Unrelated to my Tour, thanks to Tucker for passing on the
Ultimate Ice-capades and to Paige for getting me hooked on this prison dance troop. She’s right, the best one is Thriller, but look around YouTube they’ve also danced to the Black Eyed Peas and something about a Jumbo Hotdog.)

Monday, July 30, 2007


Hi. I am back from my trip. I had a great time and I have a lot to tell you, but I am currently snowed under with work, ultimate laundry (the worst kind), errands, Yahoo! and Accenture and Telstra e-mail accounts and a deep seated need to unpack. I also have to do my Australian taxes. Check back in a few days for posts about the trip to Sydney, the national training camp, the trip to Brisbane and finally Halibut.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Quick update here. Next weekend is the National Training Camp in Sydney. I'll be doing drills and playing with the 40 or so women trying out for the Australian worlds team. I'll be in Sydney July 21-22.

The following weekend I'll be in Brisbane for the co-ed Halibut tournament (July 28-29). Brisbane is farther North and it should be quite warm up there. That should be a ton of fun.

The week in between I'll be away from Melbourne and away from work. Weeeeeeee!I may drive up the East coast, or I may fly up and park myself at a beach somewhere.

Updates may be a long time coming so now you are warned. I'll try to come back with some photos.

In other news, I'm watching a lot of the Tour de France. Like all international sporting events there is an Aussie in contention and the public is following the tour closely in the news. The Tour is on pubic TV live, every night from 11 PM until 3 AM. This conveniently replaces my late night Wimbledon addiction.

In addition to late night sports viewing, this week involved work, running, and swimming. I went to a Jazz place near my house which had a very Chicago feel. I also went to the MCG with 90 thousand other Melbournians to watch the Geelong Cats in an epic battle against the Collingwood Magpies. (The Cats prevailed.)

On Sunday, I did a little loop that included Brunch in Albert Park, an ocean side walk in St. Kilda glass of wine at a Fitzroy wine room, a brief stop at the ANZAC remembrance shrine,a quick check of the Royal Botanical Garden with the drought restrictions lifted, and a quick stop off at the National Gallery of Victoria to see how the Guggenheim looks down under. (Crowded.)

Hope everyone at home is having a great summer.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Some times our heros let us down

This probably aired weeks ago in the US, but last night while watching Law & Order SVU or CI or ESP or TNA whichever one it was, I saw my beloved David Cross portraying Howard K. Stern of the Anna Nicole Smith celebrity distraction from the war in Iraq. Seriously. Check it out. This mad me sad, but also reminded me of the great R&B group TTOMO (Three Times One Minus One) and this made me smile.

Now I'm not so apologetic for stalking him that night at pianos. He doesn't deserve any reverence if he's going to be in Dick Wolf's TV universe.

Also, I'm told the last post was overly grouchy. Sorry. Don't be alarmed. All is well... All is well... All is well...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

planet = bad

I am so sick of this present day media super saturation of extreme everything-overs telling me what makes a meaningful life. I know why Thoreau went to Walden. I feel like I am in a Folger's commercial with the volume at 100 decibels and a wind machine set to 'full force gale' just behind a haystack of fiberglass shards.

On the upside, I have a new goal, and a new reason to keep going to work. Now I want a sensory deprivation tank of my very own.

Also, if you are thinking about any early Christmas shopping I could use a t-shirt that reads, "LEAVE ME ALONE."

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Lazy Americans

Lazy Americans! You take a Wednesday off in the middle of the week and now you want a post from me? Nice try. My 4th of July was uneventful.

All I can really tell you is that once again this week involved much going to work, some going to the pool, and some playing of ultimate. I also stayed up way too late many nights this week watching Wimbledon.

I had some co workers over to the corporate pad for sushi and nachos on Saturday afternoon while we watched the Collingwood Magpies overcome a 20 point (4 scores) deficit over the St. Kilda Saints in rainy and windy conditions. It was a great game.

After the game, I went out to celebrate a birthday for Teegan who's on the Victorian Squad with me. About 6 of us went to see the very scary documentary Jesus Camp (yes, Mara a second time for me) at the swank ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) which is about 2 blocks from my house. They have a big pixar exhibit on now.

After the movie the Australians celebrated not being Americans by going out for Japanese food and then to the James Squire brewery for beers. It was a fun night.

The posts should pick up soon as it looks like I have a full slate of visitors lined up. Jesse will be here later in July. Sarah will be here in August. Sipper is passing through town on a whirlwind Australian tour and before I know it my Mother (and #1 comment poster) will be here with my Dad, Aunt Vicki and Uncle John. Look forward to thorough coverage of all those visitors.

Extra special thanks to Andy for this which reminds me that some good things do occasionally come out of the good ol' U. S. of A.