Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


Garfunkel & Oates… or not

Okay, so here’s the thing. Back when I was contemplating going to Australia for a year, I read that Garfunkel & Oates were coming to Melbourne and I decided I would make my sister go there with me after we’d spent some time in Sydney. So we did that. I forgot all about it but then I remembered when I saw the Comedy Festival booklets, and so I decided to get me a ticket.

Now you probably think it is easy to get a ticket for a comedy event, but it really isn’t. First, a woman told me I could buy a discounted ticket for $8 for their comedy venue. I asked her several times if I could go see Garfunkel & Oates at the HiFi with this, and they said, absolutely. So I bought the ticket. Then I went to ask if I could make a booking on it and they told me, “I’ve never seen a ticket like that before. That’s not for the comedy festival. That’s only for the Comedy Club.” So yeah, no luck.

So then I surfed to their website to find out what day they were performing, but their website is not updated much at all and they didn’t even mention the Comedy Festival or anything. So I wrote to Kate Micucci to ask her when they’d be at the comedy festival and she never replied back to me. Boo.

So then I went to the Town Hall and they sent me to Ticketmaster, and they sold me a ticket for that night, sometime in March, after looking around in their booklet and deciding that they must be part of the Headliner tour. Right. So I was happy about my ticket and the prospect of seeing the two perform, but then I surfed to their website and found a link to their Myspace page (I have a strong dislike for MySpace, but what’s a girl to do?) and so it said they’d be performing in LA on April 2nd or so and at The HiFi in Australia on April 3rd. So I figured, apart from the fact that it’s a mystery how they’D get over here so quick, that there’s little chance they’d be in Australia that night. So I went back to the town hall and told them, “Are you sure they will perform tonight? Their Myspace page tells me….” etc. etc. So the woman went away to inquire and everyone was abuzz about “Garfunkel and who? Garfunkel and Oates.. hmm, well… let’s see…” I half expected her to come dragging both of them out from backstage to prove to me that they would perform, but of course she didn’t… because of course they were not performing. She told me it was cancelled… from the HiFi and moved to the Town Hall. And I could change my ticket to April 6th, though, because they would be performing then. So I finally got my ticket and extended the stay in Melbourne for another week (otherwise we’d have travelled over to Adelaide much sooner) and so I’ve been slightly bored since, waiting for the event.

Last night I had a weird dream about Garfunkel & Oats (and btw, you’d think I’d be a super big fan of theirs considering all the trouble I went to, but I just like them and figured, ‘hey, when else would I get the chance?'”) and so I had that in mind when I surfed the web today and checked out their Twitter account and there it says that they had to cancel the Australian tour because Riki is going to be in a pilot. THis is getting more and more ridiculous, I tell you. My sister says I’m just not meant to see them.

Anyway, as we have the hostel and as their “tweet” suggests that at least Kate Micucci is coming to Australia by herself (at least that’s what I made of it), I will go there on the 6th of April and see for myself. I’d be fine if it were just her, of course, although it’s a bit of a bummer, but really, I’ll just be happy if this event actually takes place. With my luck, it’ll be raining frogs that day and the whole thing will be cancelled because of amphibians or something weird like that.

But hey. At least it’s a good story to tell. Maybe.


Oz: Manly, Royal Gardens, Australian Museum

It seems more people are following my German blog now than my English one, so I will probably predominantly blog in my German blog now. Here’s the address:

I’m still going to fill you in, though. ;)

In the last few days we went to Manly [wiki], which is this suburb of Sydney that can be reached by a ferry from Circular Quay. There’s a part of it called North Head that is supposed to have a great view, and it does have a great view indeed, but the view is basically from a parking lot. It’s a bit of a disappointment, really, that the whole part doesn’t really seem to be made for your average hiker/tourist but rather for people that came with a car. Here’s where Manly got its name:

“Manly was named by Capt. Arthur Phillip for the indigenous people living there, “their confidence and manly behaviour made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place”.” [wiki]

Another day we did the free tour through the Royal Botanic Gardens, which was really interesting. The guide, a volunteer, knew something about pretty much every tree and he explained everything about all the different ferns to us and the birds and who planted what tree and such. I really enjoyed it, even though it meant walking through the heat for 1.5 hours.

After that tour, we went to Pancakes On The Rocks, which was recommended to my sister through someone. It’s an interesting restaurant where they sell mostly (but not only) pancakes, and I had The Ultimate, which was two crepes with a cheesecake-like filling:

The Ultimate at Pancakes on the Rocks

The Ultimate at Pancakes on the Rocks

It was very rich, of course, and I’m glad it wasn’t any more than it was or I might’ve had to barf. There’s just so much sweetness a person can take.

Also that day we went to the Sydney Observatory, where we looked at the sun through a telescope. It was basically a red disc with a little bit of activity on one side of it. Also included in the price of $7 was a viewing of a 3D movie about asteroids, which was also pretty neat.

Then yesterday we went to the Queen Victoria Building, which was pretty but the stores were mostly expensive clothing stores. Then we went on to the Chinese Garden of Friendship, which was also nice, but kind of overpriced at $6, as it’s basically just a small park. But it had a waterfall and bamboo and whatnot, and so it was nice as a little oasis in the big city.

Chinese Garden

Chinese Garden of Frienship

Then I made my sister go all the way to Star City with me, which is the casino in Sydney, and the walk was long and painful through the heat, only to find that as casinos go, it’s one of the more boring ones. They didn’t have a theme like casinos in Las Vegas do, and nobody brought you free diluted drinks and so basically it was just a bunch of slot machines and some roulette tables and such.

To go back, we used the monorail, which was kind of cool, and I bought two Australia T-shirts for $8 each because apparently my sister brought more t-shirts than me and I don’t want to have to wash my clothes before she does. Not much else happened that day, except that we booked a flight to Melbourne on the 19th. That’s where we want to seriously look for jobs then.

Today was a rainy day that we spent checking out the trains that go to Katoomba/The Blue Mountains, which we then scheduled for Monday, and apart from a stop to Starbucks we only saw the Australian Museum, which had a cool display of all sorts of different skeletons. They also had minerals and Dinosaurs and what not, but the skeletons impressed me most.

Platypus skeleton

Platypus skeleton (click for larger version)

That’s basically all we did in the last few days. Look at my Oz Album at tinypic for some more images and feel free to leave a comment.


Why we should encourage trap building

In the past few days, two stories have been brought to my attention, that involve unknown animals that have been killed because, you know, if you don’t know what it is, you’d better kill it. It’s a detestable mindset. Of course, if you are being attacked by something and you’re defending yourself, that’s a different story. Take sharks, for example. If you’re in the water and suddenly a shark is gnawing on your leg, it’s perfectly rational to shoot it, stab it or beat it. But if you’re on a boat and the shark is minding its own business in the water, don’t hurt the shark. And don’t rip its fin off and throw the dying, suffering animal back into the ocean. Shark attack victims agree.

The first story comes from Dickson County, Tennessee (see it on the map), where a man reports that he shot a Chupacabra (a “mythical type creature that is of Mexican folklore”) after it trespassed on his property a few times. He said: “It looks like it came from some other place we’d rather not go when we die.” So the guy is obviously religious and figured it was a creature from hell! Kill it, the demon offspring!
Of course, after he killed it, photos were shown to the Tennessee Wildlife and Resources Agency and it turns out it’s likely just a red fox with mange. Compare:

Tennesean Chupacabra?Tennesean Chupacabra (above)

Coyote with MangeCoyote with mange, as seen on Wikipedia

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a winner!
So he shot first and asked questions later, and then – even if you get over the fact that he shot it just like that (maybe he did feel threatened) – he just put it on ice for a while? Why not take it to a taxidermist? I mean, surely a stuffed Chupacabra would be a nice trophy for anyone’s fireplace.

The second story comes straight from Cerro Azul, Panama (see it on the map). There, some evil monster was “creeping” out of a cave and startled some teenagers so much that they beat it to death with rocks and sticks. Aww, poor little creepy naked Hoffmann’s 3-toed sloth, or whatever it was:

The monster stoned to death in Panama

So this is where the trap-making comes in. If people were more inclined to build traps and outsmart “beasts from hell”/cave-dwellers, they’d have built a trap and taken the creatures to the authorities, where scientists could’ve poked them with needles and probably a) cured the mangy fox, and b) figured out if the other creature is a space-alien or just a naked sloth. In the latter case, they might’ve given him hair implants or a nice wig.

So now, let’s all learn how to build some traps:
[Basic Snare Trap for Small Game

Dickson Co. man believes he killed a Chupacabra []
Kids Kill Monster in Panama []
Strange Creature Washes Ashore in Cerro Azul, Panama []
Survival: Basic Snare Trap For Small Game [YOUTUBE]
Animal Trapping [Wikipedia]


A blueprint of your destiny

In 1987, when I was about two years away from picking up my first guitar, the German band Rainbirds had their greatest hit with the song Blueprint. The song is truly great, and yet it would take almost 20 years for me to become aware of this greatness. I only ever really listened to the song when a friend of mine had it on a CD or tape or whatever we used to have early in this millennium (heh), and it’s a mystery to me how it escaped me for so long.

here is a blueprint of your past
here is a blueprint of your destiny
that all there is of you
and that’s all there is of me

Who wouldn’t like a blueprint of their destiny? Who wouldn’t like to know what they are supposed to do with their life?
Of course, I just got through reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes, just to see what all this was about, and according to her, all you have to do is visualize what it is you want. If you want a million dollars, visualize it and the universe will give it to you. After all, we’re all made of energy and the frequencies we send out will be reflected to us and.. uhm, something about magnets. So according to her, we’re here to get whatever it is we want. I like the message and the whole idea of positive thinking, yet her scientific explanations make me cringe. Also the thought that all the bad stuff in the world – war, famine, floods – are caused by the affected people thinking negative thoughts, well, that just doesn’t go over well with me. Also, if I visualize my beloved pet to come back alive, how should it?

To go back to the song, while the blueprint part is certainly positive, I can’t shake the feeling that the song is about breaking up with someone who doesn’t fulfill your expectations:

I walk ahead alone
you tell me never ever leave me
but i am already gone
i am further than the wall
you have built around your future
you said that i’m higher than the tower
you climb in a suicidal mood

What do you think?
I suppose the other person was just not visualizing well enough.

LINKS: Rainbirds – Blueprint (YouTube)
Rainbirds – Blueprint (Youtube, alternative link)