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2004-02-19 - 3:55 p.m.

I always have to read my last couple of entries to see where I'm up to in here. I know that my coverage of last year was fairly scant, but I'm not going to go back and write about things that happened 3 or 4 months ago- I'll just make sure I keep this year reasonably up-to-date.

So it's mid-afternoon, last of my 3 days off, it's sunny but the heatwave that seems to have hit the whole country has eased off. I feel like there's a million things I have to do before I go away and I've done none of them these last 3 days, but sometimes you need nothing days. Besides, I've done lots of domestic things like cleaning and cooking and shopping. Appalling isn't it?

I've been ripping songs from my CD collection onto my hard drive so I can burn some mp3 CDs to take overseas. Jane got me an mp3 discman for christmas with that in mind- for starters you can fit 10 albums on one CD and you don't have to worry about CDs getting stolen (just your discman :) I've been inundated with hi-fi recently- a DVD player for christmas, an mp3 discman, a computer that performs the functions of both the above items, as well as burning DVDs.

Currently I'm listening to "Desolation Row", the last song of Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited", and trying not to lt it distract me from writing.

Tomorrow night is Bowie! I don't want to build up huge expectations- but at least I know he's been playing his classics (of course I couldn't be content just going to the show- I had to look up what he's been playing). Let me see, top 10 songs I'd most like to hear (of those that have been doing the rounds this tour)...

1. Five Years

2. Starman

3. Changes

4. Life on Mars

5. Modern Love

6. Ashes to Ashes

7. Ziggy Stardust

8. Hang Onto Yourself

9. Rebel Rebel

10. White Light White Heat

I've just changed CDs, I'm in a Dylan mood, it's "Blood on the Tracks", and the very familiar strains of "Tangled Up in Blue". No more Bowie until after the show. In the last week I've been through Heathen, Reality, Low, Diamond Dogs, Aladdin Sane, Space Oddity, Hunky Dory and a compilation I made of standout songs from less than standout albums. I've managed to stay away from Ziggy- just.

Okay, so I'm flying out of Sydney in 25 days. Most of the US section of the trip is organised, or anything that isn't Meaghan is taking care of. I've just got to book our one night of LA accommodation. We're pretty keen to do a helicopter trip over the Grand Canyon, but we'll probably organise that when we get to Vegas. I have to organise 2 nights of Hostel accommodation in New York after Meaghan and Cristan go home (they're too chicken so we're staying in a hotel) but I think I'll just do that when I'm over there and if worst comes to worst I'll just stay at the hotel an extra 2 nights.

The other accommodation I want to organise before I go is Tokyo- even though it's at the very end of the trip I'm planning on staying at a popular guest house, plus it will be a lot easier organising from here.

London and Amsterdam I'll leave in the capable hands of Tara and Cathy in the UK. Liverpool I'm just going to jump on a train, and keep my fingers crossed I'll find accommodation. Or I might end up driving up there with Tara, as her work has an office/lab in Liverpool and they could potentially put us up in a hotel- not sure about the specifics, but I'm not following it up seeing as my backup plan (ie the jumping on a train bit) is easy enough.

Paris I'm keen to stay in this hostel which is a converted 17th century building, but I'm going to organise that from London and if I can't stay there because I've left it too late then I'll deal with it. Thing is it won't be unil I get to London that I'm positive how many and which nights I'm going to be in Paris. I'm still undecided as to whether I'm moving on by myself from Amsterdam or heading back to London for a few more days with the girls before taking the train to Paris.

At some point, either before I leave or in the US we might have to get visas for the Bahamas. Before I leave I want to get travellers cheques and cash in US$, Pounds, Euro and Yen. I'm not sure how much though. Maybe the equivalent of about A$200 of each in cash, for things lke airport taxes and the like, about US$1000 in travellers cheques and about A$500 in each of the other currencies travellers cheques. I'll ask Jane's advice there- she did most things on credit card but she'll have a good idea of when you need actual currency and how much, relative to her travels.

I need to get a backpack- I'm planning on doing that next Thursday. I need to make a list of what I'm taking. Is that irony, one of the things on my list of things to do is write a list?

I need to stock up on film and batteries- oh yeah, and get a roaming profile on my phone, or get an international phonecard, and get an International Driving Permit. Fuck, writing this entry is starting to stress me out!

I think we're having a party next Friday. Well- we're definitely having a party, but whether it's a cocktail party for a handful of people or another huge gathering like our last one depends on how many replies I get. (Blueshoe, your attendance at my welcome back party will be mandatory :P)

I don't think I've said anything about the last BBQ/Party Jane and I had. I wrote about the New Year's one. The most recent one was in lieu of my yearly Australia Day/ Hottest 100 BBQ which couldn't happen this year. I think it was the biggest party I've ever held (I won't count my 21st because my parents did a lot of organising for that and besides if you took away the relatives there was probably no more friends at that than there was at this one).

The theme was music of 2003, there was a BBQ, a fucking potent punch made of gin, champagne, orange juice and lemonade. Jane and I didn't manage to avoid a customary drunken fight owing to one of us grossly overreacting to something minor- at New Year it was Jane overreacting to me talking in depth to Sally about Annie, this time it was me getting the shits with Jane smoking (a cigarette)in front of me and proceeding to get my brother to roll a joint for me and not giving Jane any despite the fact that it was technically hers. Yes, a brilliant way to show I don't like her smoking- do it myself. While I guess you couldn't say it's a *good* thing that alcohol (or sleep deprivation) is involed in about 90% of our fights, there's something- I dunno- comforting in the fact that when we do fight it's usually about really stupid things rather than things which potentially define our relationship. Does that make sense? The times us fighting does really hurt (and I don't want it to sound like it happens often) is when it makes one of us feel like the other doesn't understand something that we think is really important. Even those ones we work out- I don't think we've ever gone to sleep angry.

Okay, back from that tangent. The best thing about the party was the huge range of people that came from all different parts of our lives. There was Steve who I've known since I was 8; two of my high school friends; my brother and sister; Meaghan, Cristan, Birch, Julie and Dan from the Uni group; Chris and Cindy were the only people to make an appearance from the... well, she'll kill me if I label them using a certain Sydney band which is how we all met; there was Carita, Craig, Yvonne and Jenny from work; a handful of people from Jane's work; Kim, Marty, Rob and Mark from Jane's group of usual suspects- god knows how we fit them all in. I was very very drunk- but perhaps surprisingly not at all stoned- I still don't think I ever have been (and if I can still say that when I get back from Amsterdam then I'll know once and for all that pot is not for me). Mind you I didn't quite hold my breakfast down the next morning and that might have had something to do with smoking a joint when I was already extremely drunk.

Jane and I both really enjoy being the eternal hosts but I'm starting to get paranoid that if we do it too often people will be less likely to come to "another one of our parties".

Hmmm, time to change the CD. Maybe it's time to start thinking about dinner. I had a thread about meeting girls on the platonic level and the parallels between making conversation with someone you've never met and "chatting up" someone you're interested in- because it's something that's bound to happen overseas and it's something I experienced last night- I guess it's just weird having a one on one conversation with a girl I've just met when Jane's not around- because really from start to finish it's exactly like talking to a girl when you're single, only when I was single it wasn't my choice for things not to go any further, they just didn't dammit- while now there's no thought in the back of my mind that "hey maybe this could lead somewhere" (or if there was I'd be quickly dispelling it). I think it's a healthy thing for me. I love meeting new people, and to be honest I just find girls a lot more interesting than guys about 90% of the time.

As Radiohead once said- "meeting people is easy".

Did this entry go anywhere? I think I just opened the gates to the dam of my mind, which is usually dangerous but I hope I kept you entertained.


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