Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Listening is very country

I have a friend who is dating a girl from the country, really country, not the kind of country connected to the city public transport, which is essentially a suburb not yet overrun by urban sprawl. It is Greyhound bus trip or better kind of country. And recently I almost offended her.

She is from a remote island off the coast of Australia, and that part of the coast nearest to the island is three hours away from anything resembling civilisation and/or decent coffee. There is not even a bridge onto this island and only a couple 100 people live there. It is a beautiful place frequently visited by whales, seals (and the weirdos who like to watch them) and where the Koalas have STIs (true story).

My mate is not from the island and they met through working together in the past. They have been together for a while, have just gone halves in buying a house and therefore she has a permanent place within this particular group of friends.

We all got together recently and I was catching up with her on what she had been up to with my mate and how the house is going. We were having a good chat and laughing at many things, and then something came up about her home town island in the middle of nowhere and I asked, "What do your parents think of you dating outside the family?"

She said, "They were worried at first, but now they're cool with it". She did not hear me properly over the restaurant noise and she thought I was talking about the house. I laughed. She asked why, I told her and she laughed herself into a blushing red.

She pointed out that I grew up in a country town where teenage pregnancy was so bad at one stage that the average age was bucking the trend of the nation and getting younger. The surrounding towns thought it was the water that made you pregnant, but realistically it is the beer and lack of decent television. She asked me where my kids were trying to get me back.

I said “it would be irresponsible to bring my kids into a boozy environment such as this, and that’s why they’re still in the car”. Tongue and cheek.

It was not until after I realised that the situation could have gone horribly wrong from my initial comment. If so I would have spent the rest of the evening apologising as much as possible, because she is really awesome and makes my mate very happy. The last thing I want to do is offend her and ruin everyone's evening by saying a dumb joke.

It would not have been the first time that my mouth would open the way to trouble, and most likely not the last. It was the conversation before that saved me and brought it into context of the night, but it was the first time that I had a one on one conversation with her. It still makes me uneasy about how bad it could have gone. It is also what happens here Down Under; you are not true friends unless you start calling each other a dickhead.

How long do you wait before you playfully start hanging shit on new friends or new partners of friends?

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 is dead, long live 2012

Now that 2011 is disappearing in the haze of firework smoke, it is time to reflect on achievements and setbacks and hope for a feeling other than regret or shame. Hoping to avoid the feeling not unlike using tissues by yourself when you are not sick. 2011 must have been fun because it disappeared faster than the dips on Christmas day. Or was it just our dips that the flies covered? I'm not so sure now if that is an appropriate metaphor.


I tried a bunch of new things this year and achieved two out of the three goals. I went climbing on real rocks with a bunch of mates and now go climbing regularly, albeit indoors (it is just too bloody hot at times). I did get together with the Chess Hammer guys and did silly voices in a microphone. The only thing I did not accomplish was the first draft, but I am halfway there (whoa, living on a prayer) and look to finish that in the next couple of months when work dies down in two weeks. I have not been avoiding writing, I have just been writing things other than the novel.

Plus now I am inspired by the A Beer For The Shower's debut novel "The Missing Link", available at all good Amazons as an ebook. It is super funny and hooks you straight away with jokes about fat cats with diabetes (not a competition entry, the book is actually funny). Read their blog and get in to it.

Big shout out goes to Greg at Dogs On Drugs, your website is one slander case short of legendary and your insanity is helping me keep track of mine. I hope someone makes you a sandwich soon, preferably someone famous.

The Simple Dude in a complex world is worth a look if you're not already doing so on a regular basis.

Scott at It's MY Mind can manifest a good chuckle, get in to that too.

For 2012, life is going to get pretty busy.
  • I will finish that first draft, and if it is any good, start the second draft.
  • I am getting back into long distance running despite what I have said before. It is mostly because I like food too much, but there are a few ultra marathons that I want to do.
  • I'm going to do more stand up comedy. I have entered into Raw Comedy, which is an emerging stand up competition in Australia. I hope to develop my act, get more comfortable on stage, and be better at writing jokes in general. The less time my girlfriend rolls her eye the better I would imagine. But with more puns.
Let's see how that goes for now, I can always re-evaluate in a few months. That's the point of goals over resolutions.

2011 is dead, long live 2012.

Look after yourselves,