Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You wanted a blog - Here's a blog. Now Sush!

My friends, this is a limited edition blog post so don’t get used to it.  I’m writing from a desk in an office.  Not what you were expecting as a sign in?  Well that’s really too bad isn’t it?  I ran out of “Australia puns” months ago… You of all people should be aware of this.  You probably think I’m setting it up right now somehow don’t you? That a pun is just around the corner?  Well forget it! I will no longer be your Pun-dit.  Dammit. I did it again.  Why must you forsake me with such wit, universe?!

In any case, I’m writing this blog because recently I was privileged enough to be the main character in a story so unbelievable, so incredibly awesome that in an intoxicated haze I promised the wrong people that I would write a blog recounting the epic tale.  Thinking back, I’m strongly opposed to the idea as I believe that any night worth being a legendary story shouldn’t be documented and simply live in infamy for eternity – but then that’s just me.  I guess I can share this one time.

I guess I should start off by saying that I came back to Australia a couple months ago.  Yeah… I chased love all the while having set up a sweet internship to occupy myself during the daytime.  Marvelous idea! WOOT!  Well, couple months out, when everything was set up, the love I was chasing out ran me and I left doubting my trip was a good idea at all.  So I said to myself: “Self! Just change the purpose of your trip.  Don’t let a girl get you down.”   So that’s what I did – hoping that  I would not have to buy a carton of milk, scratch out the letters M-I-L-K on the bottle and replace them with “Legen-” to get my daily dose of Legendary while back in the Australian city that had provided me with so many great memories a few short months ago.  I’m almost done my internship and time here and I have to say that I did not purchase 1 carton of milk.  Australia delivered once again.  Key example – the following story.

There’s this local, well barely, music festival every year here called “Splendor in the Grass”.  You spend three days in a drunken haze sleeping in a tent in the country side with thousands of your fellow splendor lovers getting smellier every day while listening to great music.  This place turns into its very own mini-ecosystem for the length of the festival (Sure glad I’m not on cleanup duty…).  Anywho, the tickets to this insane experience are as insanely expensive (around 530$ if you’re going to camp) and with my travelling budget and the fact I’m not getting paid for this internship, I decided that not showering for three days, not cleaning the house, playing music loudly on the stereo at the same times they were supposed to play at the festival and roasting marshmallows over the toaster would have to do.  I called it “Splendor in the Trash”.  Patent pending. 
My roommates had tickets.  Well actually, the tickets took the form of a little pink bracelet that all the attendees had to wear.  They weren’t camping – which made it worse because they would come home and make fun of my marshmallows.  Jerks.  Yeah, I know you agree but we must give people a chance.  On Sunday, one of the boys couldn’t make the festival.  I can’t remember who suggested this but the idea of putting his bracelet on me came up.  BOOM!  You know those scenes where people float in the air to funky music in slow motion?  I had one of those.  To the soundtrack of the band I would be seeing that evening, about two hours later – for free.  Coldplay.  Now I don’t care who you are and what your musical tastes are – You don’t pass up a free Coldplay ticket (I’m looking at you Claire!)

Obviously, we had to get the bracelet off my friend and onto me, which proved difficult but with a little ingenuity (more like a couple beers, a hammer and some pump up music – Get creative in those thought basins of yours) we managed to make the switch just in time to jump in the car and head to the show.
Running towards the end of the show grounds, I got a sense for how huge this place was. Wow.  After a good 10 minutes of walking, we got to the entrance to the stage for the show and we were only allowed to go join the crowd from the very back.  The other entrance to the stage (leading right to the front) was closed and they were only letting people leave the stage.  Bummer.  We started walking up towards the back of the stage dreading the time it would take for us to get a decent spot and the number of people we would piss off doing it… HOLD THE PHONE.  We are walking up and I realize: “We are in the forest.  Therefore, the only thing separating us from the other path is… A FOREST! WHOOO!” I didn’t even consult my compatriots and I was off running through the forest – Suffice to say they caught on and minutes later we were in front of the stage, waiting for Coldplay to come on with bloody hands and dirty pants from all the falls and “god knows whats” in what I like to call the “Foresty patch of greatness” that led us to the stage.

In addition to a fabulous concert, we met some cool people, some wise wizards and probably pissed some people off blasting Coldplay in the parking lot after the show during the massive traffic jam that ensued.  All in all, it was probably the best concert experience of my life and it had very little to do with the band we were seeing… I think it was because usually you have many months preceding the concert in which you progressively get pumped to go.  I did that in an hour and a half.  Pure gold, Jerry.

Now, I dash back to the blogless hole from whence I came to keep considering whether or not I should start a blog back again.  Hopefully it happens some time soon. 

Australianly yours,

Joey Jo Jo   

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The End of An Era...

SPOILERS - This is the last post in the series of blogs.  Go back to the beginning if you're just joining us!

I have some grey news today I’m afraid... It’s my last blog post pertaining to my trip to Australia... But not to fear, there is good news at the end of the post.

Also, no pun for you today I’m afraid... I’m all juiced out.  It feels like someone pointed an “Oust Ray” to my head and emptied it of all creativity.  On second thought, I’m lying.  I’m telling a bold faced “Oust Ray Lie, Yeah.” One last one for the road!  You can now regain your sanity!

And that is no longer where I am writing from... 

You must be wondering why I haven’t updated my blog in over a month... Well, a month ago I started writing a post entitled: “A Month Left” and it just got me thinking that my time in Australia was almost up and I think that subconsciously, I kept delaying finishing it because I didn’t want to have to think and write about the fact that I was leaving Australia.  Nevertheless, trying to delay the inevitable never works... As I am the witness, sitting here in my parent’s house, back in Ottawa, 16 000 km away, the time came when I had to pack my bags and say my goodbyes.

For those of you who enjoyed reading this blog (I’m still not convinced these people exist...), I’m sorry I couldn’t give you more material to sink your teeth into... But I just couldn’t get myself to the same mindset I had been in while writing before.

It seems that only yesterday I was dreading having to pack my bags for 6 months.  The only Australian I had ever met was Lauren, who was on exchange at my school.  I had met her twice for brief periods of time and she instantly offered for me to live in her share house. I must say, Lauren, that I don’t even want to consider what my experience would have been without your offer.  Alright, let’s say it... CRAP!  It seems silly that your simple gesture set the tone for what, to me, turned into one of the most beautifully ephemeral periods of my life.  No worries... An Australian motto; basically the motto for my trip.  Although sweaty as hell for the major part of my stay, I was able to strengthen my sense of self and, for the most part, be completely at peace with that sense.  That, my Australian friends, is the greatest gift that you gave me throughout the ridiculously generous amount of gifts that I received during my stay (Seriously, I felt cheaper than a cheap student!).

It is with a heavy heart that I headed for the airport on that Wednesday morning.  Emotionally exhausted for having stayed up basically 3 days in a row before leaving (I went to my room, but I didn’t sleep much...), I was clutching to people, places and things that had made my experience what it was as they slowly seeped through my fingers like a fistful of sand.  Ask anyone who had the unfortunate task of accompanying me to the airport, I lost it.  At a loss for words, I gave my final hugs, picked up my bags, swallowed my courage and headed to security.

I’m glad my trip ended up taking so long (36 hours).  I needed some alone time to think things through and live out whatever had to be lived out.  Yes, I grieved for the end of that particular moment in my life and sorrow was the main theme but near the end of my trip I was no longer preoccupying myself with sadness.  I started thinking about possibilities of new adventures in the future.  That even though this particular one was over, the details pertaining to the adventures I was to have in the future were largely my choice. After that, things didn’t seem so bleak anymore.  I was, and am, in control (to the extent that one can be) of my future.  We do not decide when, how or where we encounter the people and places that influence us, but we do decide how to react to them.

As for this blog, I tried to use it to give you a window into my experience but there are countless experiences that I left out simply because there were too many to choose from...  Being Kidnapped to Byron Bay, Park Life, Tom and Kara’s 21st, the Normandy nights, Jess and I’s Sydney & Maryborough trips, the epic saga that was golf with the boys, the Wisest Wizard, countless nights on Caxton St. (whether they be inside or outside the manor).  I will most likely undertake another blog endeavour in January and will let you know then what is in store.

To my friends from Australia, I’m still at a loss for words... Thankfully, music has been there for me since I’ve been back and in the words of Marcy playground in their song, “Sex and Candy”, all I can muster up to convey my experience to others at this point is: “Mama, this surely is a dream...” (Link)  Your humility, generosity, kindness and blatant obliviousness to how cool you actually are gives me faith in our generation; worldwide(Those of you to whom this applies, you know who you are... Yeah! You!).

I leave you with a few pictures that have marked my trip and the solemn promise of: "Till next time".

Watching rugby at the Caxton. I love rugby.
My girls from exchange! Didn't get a photo with Kat :(
First night out with the coolest kids I know.
Kara's 21st. Da bomb.
Tom's 21st.  Never seen a birthday party like this one... lol
EDIT : Late addition following threatening comments... lol 

Your unconditional friend,

Joey Jo Jo

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tales of Fraser Island - Part 3. The Epicness Peeks and Unfortunately Ends

It’s now time for the long awaited conclusion to my most memorable trip here so far, by far.
Now where were we?  Ah yes, we made the sky cry.  We did not know it at this point but everything was about to go “austral, yah”? (Credit to my good friend Tom for coming up with this beauty.  “We’re not worthy!” Austral: relating to the south.)

...and that's where I'm writing from
By the time we got to the tents, it started to really pour down.  We parked the truck, grabbed everything we needed and went to the biggest tent to spend our evening.  Thankfully, we checked all the tents and we had closed them before leaving in the morning so everything was still dry (including Nicol’s guitar, WHICH HE HAD STILL NOT USED).  We hung out in the tent for most of the night and eventually it stopped raining.  It’s a pretty great thing that Nicol and I were staying in the same tent because eventually, everyone went to bed except us.  Absolutely not ready to stop our evening dead in its tracks, we headed to the beach with an ipod and some speakers.  We spent the evening rekindling with music I had listened to profusely in high school (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and the likes).  Let’s just say that chilling right by the ocean, which only hits land again in South American, hours away (or days, depending on your mode of transportation), listening to some sweet tunes, you feel insignificant.  Oddly enough, that feeling makes me feel alive.  When I stand there, looking out into the ocean, my worries seem as important as a grain of sand on the very beach I am standing on; basically, they disappear.  Euphoria.

Next stop, South America! (and with that raunchy beard, you're sure to score some chicks)
But it gets better.  A kilometre or two down the beach, Nicol and I spotted some lights.  They were moving from side to side on the beach at a fairly good speed, creating lines of light… Curious, we decided to walk over and possibly:
A)     Make some new friends.
B)      Make some new enemies.
C)      Discover a light new creature of the light emitting variety.
D)     Walk onto the set of a crazy light show setup for the filming of a music video to be aired on MTV.
As we approached, we discovered the source of the light.  Battery powered, rainbow lit, glow in the dark FRISBEES! I swear, I was like a kid in a… Battery powered, rainbow lit, glow in the dark Frisbee store. What’s the bonus I hear you asking? The people throwing around the Frisbee were all Canadian.  WHAT! UP! (Thank you Barney for associating words to that feeling).  Unfortunately, they were heading to bed, but they let us play with their Frisbee for a while.  After a short burst of total content, we also got sleepy and headed for the tent and went to sleep.  I got up at a certain point to go get something in the truck.  So to my own surprise, when I got to the truck, I could not remember for the life of me what I had come to get.  Since the tent was pretty far away, I decided to simply sleep in the truck. ZZzzzz!
A couple hours later, I awoke to the sound of frantic exchange students all trying to get into the truck as fast as possible.  To their surprise, I had already won the race! Hehe… “What are you guys doing?”, I asked. “Can’t you hear the rain?” I then turned my attention to outside.  I kid you not, I have never seen rain like this.  It seemed like a solid curtain waterfall, yet it was falling out of the sky.  The only words to describe it are Monsoon type rains!

Everyone bailing on the incredible rain.
-Why are you all coming in here?
- The rain collapsed our tents!
-Hold on, where is Nicol?
Joël: I’m on it!

I tore my shirt off to reveal I was simply in a bathing suit and dashed off into the distance to go check on our Scottish friend.  As I arrived to the tent, the zipper was… How do I put this? Open. For who knows how long, it has been “waterfalling” into our tent.  Nicol was sound asleep, and surprisingly dry.  We had set the tent up on a small slope and all the water had collected on my side of the tent.  I now had extra specs to add to my sleeping bag: “It soaks up water GREAT!” I considered waking Nicol up but my attention drifted to his guitar.  It was in the tent and minutes away from coming into contact with water.  So I grabbed it and ran it back to the truck as fast as I could. STUPID GUITAR!  When I got to the truck, they had made me some room to sleep.  I, being the stubborn person that I am, told them I had to uphold the Canadian in me by going to sleep in the tent… Even though, I was already passed out in the truck earlier… Nobody caught onto that.  Don’t worry my Canadian friends, I’m representing us as rugged, unphasable outdoorsmen.  However, before heading to the tent to attempt to sleep, I took the time to crack open a beer and bask in this rare rainy paradise.  Since the temperature was still fairly hot, I didn’t get cold standing in the rain.  It was probably the highlight of my trip.  Afterwards, I spend the rest of the night basically holding our tent up from the inside while Nicol slept.  When he finally awoke at around 6 am, we victoriously climbed out of our crappy tent, strutted over to the truck and claimed our 20$, very basic tent to have outlived all the other fancy, expensive tents (with a little work, but still).  Admittedly defeated, what they didn’t know was that we had about 5-6 litres on water inside our tent and that the only sleep I had gotten was curled up in a ball in a corner for about 30 minutes.

The little tent that could.
Visibly tired, we spent our last day on the island visiting a few lakes, creeks while baking in the sun.  My favourite part of the day was on a 5 km walk to a lake, we had to cross these hug dunes and while standing in a dip in the middle of the dunes, all I could see around me was sand and blue sky; amazing that this island contains so many different climates.

"Meditating on the beach"
On the drive back to the ferry, I decided to try driving the big 4x4. It’s INSANE to drive on sand and is definitely not for low confidence drivers… I felt like I was driving a boat.  The long trek home was only interrupted by the fact that we missed the last train back to Brisbane in a town about 2 hours drive away.  Next train, 4:30 am the next morning.  We sat at the McDonalds, eating away our pains with crappy food and pondering our next move.  Thankfully, when I called my roommate Renn, he offered to come pick us up; super Renn and super Kim to the rescue!  They really saved the mood of the end of the trip.  I am eternally grateful and in debt!


That’s not so much a lesson as it is an outburst of anger, but you will understand.

Did I not promise epicness?  Just in case you're not satisfied, I got this epic shot of me failing to hold a handstand and falling off a post:

What a pretentious idiot.
Australianly yours,


P.S. Shout out to my one and only Estonian reader in this post!  That's awesome!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


My friend Dorothy, which I nicknamed Leah, and I were walking in the woods today.  We strayed off the path and got lost.  I don't know how we managed because the path was made of bright yellow bricks.  When I finally spotted the path again I asked: "Shouldn't we go back on the Oz Trail, Leah?"


And that's where I'm writing from.

My plan was to sit down and write part 3 of my Frasier Island trip today but a more compelling story came to mind so unfortunately, part 3 will have to wait for a bit.

A couple nights ago, the roommates and I had much to celebrate!  I don't remember the exact details but, in short, we ended up at the pub across the street and had a jolly olde good time.  Apparently, some of us... *cough* You know who you are *cough* had a hard time holding our liquor and came home early.  We proceeded to vomit in the middle of the hallway, turned off the lights, go to bed and leave it there, all the while making sure the front door was locked.  Now the hilarity about to ensue would have been hilarious for yours truly if it had not involved him.  A series of unfortunate events(UE's as I like to call them) unfolded, all prompted by the seemingly innocent and unimportant actions of others.

At about 10pm, I decided to swing home to grab my friend James' camera stuff because he was heading home.  He accompanied me along with my roommate and her friend, first UE.  I got home first, noticed that the front door was locked, second UE, and ran down to the back of the house to come around and unlock the door for the others.  James followed, third UE.  As I got to the top of the stairs and started walking towards the front door, at the other end of a long, narrow hallway, my roommate and her friend, realizing that the door was locked, started banging at the door, fourth UE caused by first UE.  I therefore increase my movement speed to jog.

So there I was, jogging to the front door to be a good Samaritan, minding my own business when a second away from reaching the door, the soul of my foot, which is normally a pretty sturdy surface to rest my weight on, became very unstable due to the fact THAT I WAS RUNNING IN VOMIT!  I pulled a classic, just like in the movies, slip on the banana peel kind of stunt and slid all the way to a very nice, yet unplanned and unorthodox meeting with the front door.  BAM!

My roommate, thinking I was trying to be smart with her by banging the locked door from the inside, politely asked me to stop fooling around and open the door: "OI! Open the door, $%&*!".  My only reply was: "THERE'S PUKE EVERYWHERE!"  All the while, James was following me and all he could muster up was: "HAHAHAHAHA!" When I finally got around to opening the door, and the situation became clear to my roommate because of the vomit smeared on my behind, I became the proverbial butt of the joke, that was mentioned for the next couple days.

Suffice to say I showered up and called it a night, for good reasons.  The next day, unmasking the culprit was my utmost priority.  Fingers and blame were aimed in all directions.  I finally found the culprit and forgave them, mostly because I still owe them lots and also, they added another hilarious story to my already sparkling collection.

I think you'll agree that putting part 3 on hold for a while was worth it.

Lesson learned: NEVER RUN IN THE DARK.  Nothing good will ever come of it.

Australianly yours,


P.S. You will understand that I chose not to include pictures in this post.

P.P.S. Google added this cool functionality in blogger that lets you see where people are reading your blog from.  I'd like to take this opportunity to shout out to my 18 readers from Russia!  INSANE! Let me know what you think/want to hear about!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tales of Fraser Island – Part 2. The epicness begins.

When the sky was lit up like an expensive pair of diamond studded macro made leather shorts on Fraser, I decided to lie down on the ground and try to spot constellations.  I came up with a name for this exciting and entertaining activity!  I call it and Astral Lie, ya? What do you think? Will it catch on?

Putting aside my ever worsening puns, we re-join the rest of my exchange buddies and myself about halfway up the coast of Fraser Island, waking up to the waves and birds on the dawn of our first full day on the island. Oh yeah, and we had brought Nicol’s still UNUSED guitar in the tent with us… It was in the way is all I’m saying… Hopefully, the main animal we are warned against while entering the island, the dingo, hadn’t tried to get into our coolers. Nope!  Everything was cool and our 20$ tent had held up the night! BONUS!  All it had to do was hold on for another.  Game plan for the day: Head up to the very end of the island to Indian Head to see the sights, visit the Champagne Pools and come back in time to make supper during daylight.  Wait hold on… Did you just say Champagne Pools, Jo? Yes. Yes I did.  Imagine my excitement.  Now imagine that same excitement being immediately crushed by someone telling me it wasn’t actual champagne… I died a little inside.  Yet, I keep my dream of one day finding a container, whether naturally formed or not, filled with beverage of any kind in which I can take a GLORIOUS swim.

Indian Head – During our two hour drive up to this place, we came across 10-20 trucks stopped on the beach, with all their passengers disembarked and attentively staring and pointing at the ocean… Being the independent, strong willed leaders that we were, we stopped to see what the fuss was about…  Believe it or not, there were a group of humpback whales putting on a show about a kilometre out.  Jumping, diving and flailing about like we had paid good money for tickets to this show.  INCREDIBLE.  I started talking to one of the people on the beach who told me he had come regularly to the island for the past 20 years and had never seen anything like this.  We were mesmerized to say the least.  After about 20 minutes, the whales dispersed and we got on our way knowing full well we may never see that again, ever.  Then I noticed that my water bottle was missing from the car and I swear I had had it moments beforehand.  I swear… Someone trained those whales to distract passersby while they steal their FRESH WATER! It was never seen again. 
When we got to Indian Head, we walked up to the very top of a cliff out looking the endless ocean.  The water below us was clear enough for us to see everything going on beneath the surface.  Turtles, manta rays, fish, dolphins and sharks were all viewable from this incredible lookout spot.  The incredibly oversized cherry on top of this already towering (insert favourite cake flavour here) cake was that the humpbacks (whether they were the same ones are not is unknown) decided to start going Marineland on us once again, 1 or 2 kilometres out.  INTENSE! Which one? The present one.  I didn’t know what to do with myself! Yell, sleep, cry, dive out and join them? Let’s just say I was a bit overwhelmed! Plus this cliff was on a skinny peninsula so our peripheral vision was simply ocean.  It was like being suspended over this incredible ecosystem with front row tickets to its happenings.  I don’t know how much time we spent standing there but…  I’m sure dust collected on our paralysed, jaw dropped faces. 

Okay... Maybe we weren't paralyzed the whole time...
Champagne Pools – When we finally left, already content enough to go back home and call this trip a success, we headed to the Champagne Pools which had already disappointed me once today.  Stupid non alcoholic pools… So I set the bar really low for this destination and I believe that’s why I enjoyed it so much more! 

Look at this place! Two incredibly well deigned pools, formed by these rock formations at the exact height of the ocean and just deep enough for you to sit in without having you head engulfed by salt water.  When big waves came in and crashed against the rocks, we were treated to a water show only rivalled by multi-million dollar firework shows.  Now that’s value for you.  

There was a pelican fishing in the pools!
By the time we decided we should leave this place, the majority of our day had already vanished.  We drove back to one of the campsites for people not brave enough to camp on the beach and used one of the public barbecues because we were running out of gas for our Coleman.  Unfortunately, the sky was not as calm as the night before and we did not have the pleasure to meet the stars once again.  As we started driving back to our “campsite”, and I say “campsite” because we were basically camping on dunes, the sky became angry and started to cry.  We could not figure out what we had done to anger it but it wasn’t happy… Hopefully, everything at the campsite would be intact, in working condition and dry on the inside… Tune in for part 3 to find out!

Yours for the reading,

Joey Jo Jo

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tales of Fraser Island – Part 1

To start off, I have to mention that I met this smoker the other day. I nicknamed him Ash Tray. I noticed he wasn’t very good at telling the truth. Later that night, Ash told some stories that were questionably true. Hence, I am writing to you from the land of the “Ash Tray Lie, ya”?

Enough with the pleasantries… Fraser Island! Largest sand island in the world, it was the location I headed to last week for my spring break. Fairly remote and desolate, you absolutely need a 4x4 to get around on this island as there are no roads. I went with a few friends from exchange and did not have a great part in planning the trip and did not really know what to expect. I basically packed the morning of at 4 am, headed to the train station, unknowing of what lay ahead of me… Epicness my friends.

Having not planned the trip, I did not know how long it would take to get there… I figured I didn’t want to ask the others not to look like a fool who was just along for the ride… Besides… I figured it couldn’t be that far, right? RIGHT? *crickets*

Two hours of riding on the train later, we arrived at a station. AWESOME! We’re almost there. “So where is the 4x4 rental place?”, I asked naively… I was met with “Right off the main drag when we get to Noosa Heads” as an answer. Hmmm… Now I’m confused… Why did we get off the train? “Right-o.” was my response… “The bus gets here in 15 minutes guys”. Cool! We’re taking a bus. I can totally pull off looking like I know where were going. I get my ticket and get on the bus. About an hour later, we get to the final stop. “Everybody off!” I look around a bit and realise we’re in Noosa Heads! Awesome, we’re getting our 4x4 here and then we should be like 20 minutes away from the island! WRONG! We get our 4x4 and I overhear a phone conversation to people we are supposed to meet indicating we’ll be there in two hours. At this point, it’s about 11 in the morning. The fact that we left at 5:30am suddenly hits me. IT ALL MAKES SENSE! I’m in for a longer day than expected. We get to our meeting spot and try to fit everything in our car… Thank god I’m good at Tetris. Doo doo Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo(Count them… They are all there. If you don’t understand, FOR SHAME!). Still, we were packed to the brim. I was packed up in a little ball, had a guitar on my lap and well, just to make things sweeter and keeping with the Australian theme I was sweaty as hell. I mentioned in passing to the guy who brought his guitar that if he didn’t use it while we were there I would… How to put this… Dismember him.

I was obviously not prepared for this trip!
We finally got to the island about 20 minutes later and it became evident to me that this place was going to be an adventure and a half. As soon as we got off the barge and were officially off the coast of Australia, I knew we were in for something unique… We were driving on the beach, in the sand with the ocean as far as the eye could see to our right, forest to our left and endless beach in front of us! INSANE! I just tried to take it in… I swallowed a fly with my head out the window and told myself I probably shouldn’t try to take it in literally… After two hours of this, we came upon one of the main attractions of the island – the Maheno Shipwreck. I won’t bore you with the details of the ship, but it was caught in a cyclone in 1935 and washed up on the island. It was impressive to see this incredible structure defeated by time and weather.

We then continued on our journey up the side of the island to try to find a suitable camping spot behind the dunes to try to outwit the blanket of darkness that would eventually fall upon us. Nicol, a Scot, and I had gotten the cheapest tent possible (20$) and pitched it in about 3 minutes. While everyone else had trouble putting up their fancy tents, we had already cracked open our first beers. HA! It pays to be… Thrifty. I say it now, and shall repeat it many a times during this tale, I assure you.

By the time we started cooking diner, the sky was lit up with an unfathomable amount of stars. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many stars in the sky… If only we could turn off our cities at night we would be able to witness this spectacle on a daily basis. This excitement was tamed by the fact that we, as a group, forgot to bring a knife and that cutting things would prove most difficult with our stubby, unsharpened fingers… Thankfully, I had brought my trusty Swiss army knife.

Sidebar – There’s a Swiss army? And there still fighting with knifes!?! No wonder they never participate in the wars! They would get smashed!

I now realize that this post is getting pretty lengthy and would you look at that… I have a class starting so I will leave it at that for now and I promise that part 2 is at least twice as good as part 1. That’s where all the funny happened. Check in soon.

Joey Jo Jo

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The clumsiest day of my life, so far…

Important note: I saw a dingo on a recent trip to Frasier island (which will be the subject of my next post coincidently) and named it Lia.

Writing to you from a place where I saw "A stray Lia",

Waking up yesterday, I thought to myself, as I try to do every morning: "Another beautiful sexy day for me to love. Can't wait to bask in it's company". Well, let me tell you yesterday was a dirty strumpet and I never want to see her again.

It all started when I popped into work for my shift. Sidebar: I recently got a job at the restaurant directly across the street, The Caxton, as a waiter to accumulate some extra scratch… Yeah, thought I would try that word out. It's not working. Don't worry. I won't use it again. Promise. What was I thinking…

In any case, I knew I was walking up a slippery slope when I was trying to get some knifes from a drawer to set up some tables when I managed to... How to put this... Pull the drawer out of its socket, making it plummet to the floor along with about a hundred clean knifes. BAH! I JUST POLISHED THESE LAST NIGHT! This may not seem like a major event to you... Big deal, right? A couple knifes on the floor... WRONG. At this restaurant, after the cutlery is washed, every single piece is hand polished and I absolutely despise having to dedicate my smooth, soothing touch to this activity. That’s right ladies... Oh man I’m creepy. Suffice to say I produced a good 20-30 minute chunk of polishing work.

But it doesn’t stop there. A footy team (don’t ask me what that is because I am all confused about sports here... All I ever see on TV is what I define as rugby yet I have never heard anyone utter the word rugby since I’ve been here) had reserved a part of the restaurant for a function and so we had to set up the restaurant to accommodate such an event; move tables, plastic plants, chairs, etc. Well, about halfway through the set up, my trustworthy pants abused the trust I had instilled in them by deciding to explode at the ass seam when I bent over to grab a plastic plant. Imagine the biggest rip you’ve ever had in your pants. Done? Good. Now double its length and you’re probably close to the size of the rip I had down the middle of the back of my pants. I’m really glad I decided not to go with the theme these plastic plants I was moving reminded me of: commando. So I took my break, after being laughed at by the staff, to run home and try to fix these pants and go back to work.

After about 15 minutes of trying to thread the needle with no avail, let’s just say my regular eloquent speech took a backseat to more raw emotional verbage. That’s right, verbage. Renn, my roommate, asked for a try and got it on the first try. WHY DO MY FINGERS HAVE THE DEXTERITY OF A LOAF OF BREAD TODAY?! It’s like trying to thread a needle with chopsticks... I then proceeded to sew up the pants and SOMEHOW, the needle broke in half...


Let’s be polite here. The pants were thrown with vigor. Renn offered to lend me another pair of pants. I accepted and went back to work taking a few deep breaths.

As I got there, the diner service was about to start and a few things were left to be done: amongst other things, filling up stations across the restaurant with cutlery. “Yeah, I’m up for it.” Carrying the cutlery bucket with these wooden pirate stubs I had for arms, I set it down on the corner station only to have it lose balance and fall to the floor along with half of its contents. I will spare mentioning the angst this creates as it has been mentioned but by this point, I reached a mental state of frustration and disempowerment only equalled when you get kicked in the genitalia. I then heard someone in the vicinity remark:”That’s the second time you do that today.” Yes. Yes it is. I’m glad someone is keeping count. Maybe I can take a stab at the record.

The rest of the shift went fine, but was overshadowed by my kicked in the balls feeling. I got home a couple hours later, nobody was home. Thank god this day is over. I did not know at this point that it in fact wasn’t over. Seriously. I went to the cupboard to take out a bag of cookies I was aching for. It was sealed. I, like any normal person, grabbed onto each side of the bag and pulled to open it. The part that separates me from mere mortals is that my arms generate super strength that explode bags and sprinkle cookies all over the living room. I have never seen a firework filled with cookies but I’m pretty sure that the closest thing to it I’ll ever see. I was planning on going to bed, but that was the thing that did it. I JUST WANT A COOKIE! In anger, I found the closest cookie to me and smooshed it with my foot. THERE! TAKE THAT! I immediately realised that I had crushed a cookie with my foot and started laughing... Scrunch it all to hell, I’m going for a beer with the roommates.

I love how analytic methods, if used properly, can convey emotion.
On my second beer, I unconsciously decided that I would rather have it on the floor than in my belly. Those rakes I was using as arms and flailing about as I expressed myself about how defective and dysfunctional my day had been, caught my glass and the sweet golden liquid it was containing fell to a pavmenty death. THAT’S IT! Crummiest, most dissatisfactory, junkiest, substandard day that I can ever remember having.

Although looking back on it, it was a fine day in the grand scheme of things... I think what made it crappy was that the little things got to me.

Lessons reminded: Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff. Also, never underestimate Murphy's Law. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Oh, and to be clear... I had a cookie off the floor. It was inevitable.

Thanks for reading,

Joey Jo Jo