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2005-03-02 - 11:44 p.m.

Two-thirds of the way through my 3 days off and I'm feeling organised. I sorted through two boxes of papers and threw out a good half of them, cooked a roast duck (always a novelty to cook something out of the ordinary but it tends to reinforce to me that the chefs do it so much better and that's why I get duck 80% of the time I eat out), still managed to veg in front of the TV for about 5 hours (and I only got up at midday) and I'M WRITING IN HERE 2 DAYS IN A ROW. This could b the middle of a beautiful friendship.

So, let's update you on the missing week from my chronicles and see if I can't start writing in here regularly enough to not have to do this anymore.

My Australia Day BBQ was on the last of 3 days off. Which has it's good and bad points. I had plenty of time to clean the house and do the shopping but I'm sure I've felt better at work than I did the next day. The night before I popped up to the Rose to catch up with my Unifriend Julie, and Mark and Phoebe (who incidentally are no longer together but still friends) and of course Bernie. The BBQ went great- I am not ashamed that I have a tendency to get a little obsessed with the Hottest 100, what with the Top 10 predictions and the fact that it's able to get me out of bed at 9am every year without fail and precious few things manage to do that. It was great to have people sharing my enthusiasm, such as our delightful English friend Andy who does album reviews for Brag, and Phoebe and others. And several people messaged or rang me to ask what was Number 1. I had a lucky door prize this year which went down great. Everyone picked a song and whoever had the highest song won my own personal 2004 compilation. We knew Ruth had won with "Take Me Out" hours before the countdown had finished. BUT, if you chose one of the crappy Idol songs I'd strategically placed in the hat you went into the draw to win the "Shitest 10" CD. Let me see if I remember it correctly...

What About Me? - Shannon Noll
Out With My Baby- Guy Sebastian
Angel Eyes- Paulini
The Prayer- Anthony Callea
When The War is Over- Cossima
Am I Ever Gonna See the Biff Again? - Reg Regan
Burn- Usher
Pointless Relationship- Tammin Sursock
Ms Vanity- Rob Mills
Listen With Your Heart- Casey Donovan

Phoebe won it and dammit I'm going to make her play it one day. The Hottest 100 was one of the best I can think of. I judge them by the number of good songs not by the "big" bands (although they inevitably are the bands the likes of Street Press, Triple J and NME have been coming over all year- I never claimed to have unique taste and I don't think I've ever discovered a band before there was any sort of buzz about them). Dave Grohl featuring in 10% of all songs two years ago- not good. Franz Ferdinand, The Dresden Dolls, The Killers, Dogs Die in Hot Cars and The Scissor Sisters all emerging in the same year- awesome.

Sangria was the punch of the day, and it was a glorious day as well from memory. That's about all I have to say about it.

Thursday 27/1- feeling completely exhausted after the party and then a 9 hour shift we dragged ourselves along to The Polyphonic Spree at the Enmore, half wishing I hadn't decided to check out a band that I only knew a couple of songs of, and even more wishing I hadn't got dancfloor tickets. How I changed my mind on both counts. It was one of the most amazing and surreal gigs I've seen. Up there with the Flaming Lips throwing a six foot beach ball up to the balcony. As one reviewer said "it shouldn't work but it does". When people hear the concept they think "cult","drugs" or "Christians masquerading as hippies". But when the entire floor of the Enmore Theatre is bouncing (not just the people, the actual floor felt like a diving board), 22 people are singing in coloured robes in front of a gigantic sign reading "HOPE" and they finish with a rousing rendition of "Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band"- they sold me. It was like even if you tried to resist it a smile just exploded onto your face. No, like really man.

Then on Friday- well if I thought I was tired on Thursday, then another 9 hour shift at work followed by a 3 hour show at the Opera House an I was the walking dead. Unfortunately the Leonard Cohen tribute "Came So Far For Beauty" didn't do the same job as the Polyphonic Spree of engaging me enough to not notice my tiredness. I'm not saying it wasn't good, I just really wish I had the energy to appreciate it more. When a show has been going for close to 3 hours, you really don't want to be thinking "I hope this is the last one". I think also toward the end it got a bit too country for me. I'm glad Cindy loved it though- feeding of the emotions of the people around you can really make a concert experience. The girl sitting next to me I had sold one of my tickets to (due to making an executive decision over the phone without consulting everyone involved) and it was really enjoyable seeing her stamping her feet and clapping for the encore.

So after another 9 hour shift on Saturday, I don't really remember if I did anything that night but I'm sure I just crashed.

Oh God no! That didn't happen at all, understatement of the decade. I went to the rocks for my friend Anthony from work's Buck's night. He married the twin sister of one of my good friends from Uni. I picked up my pal Nathan and another workmate Leo on the way back from work (Nathan lives in Cronulla), dropped them at Stanmore station and then managed to unwind for all of half an hour before catching a cab to the Lord Nelson in the Rocks. I had to remind everyone that I'd been up since 4.40am since my ability to consume beer was woeful. Not that I was getting drunk cheaply, I just couldn't keep up in the Litres per hour stakes. After two pints at the Lord Nelson I was greeted with a Litre stein at the Lowenbrau- which is a restaurant/pub where it's Oktoberest all year round. Dinner came on silver platters rested on two tree stumps, with mountains of Sauerkraut (or however you spell it), mashed potatoes and an entire abbatoir of assorted meat. Could there be a more ideal place for a bucks night?

Did someone say Strip Club? Well, inevitably we ended up at one. And inevitably it became my duty to keep Anthony's night going when everyone else had left (because one drunk guy sitting in front of a pole for 3 hours is just so much more wrong). I was so tired but was willing to stay out until Anthony's first train came sometime after 5am- except none of the dodgy 24 hour pool and pokie bars on George St were letting people in at that time. So I took a cab home, left Anthony after he asked me which way Town Hall station was (from George St!) and then I'm almost positive I must have crashed. That's a pretty damn solid 5 days.

So the wedding was a week later. Reception held at a historic pub not 10 minutes from my parents house. So it made sense to drive from the wedding to the folks house, dump some clothes there in order to crash later and walk on down to the reception. How did Nathan, Jane and I end up at the Townie??? There are two short answers to that question. One- $50 cab ride. Two- we were drunk. Got there at about 1.30am, Erin and Ruth were there. Jane didn't stay too long- Nathan and I ended up at Ruth's house passing a joint around the table at 5am. Have I mentioned that I've already worked out that smoking pot doesn't and never will do anything for me? The alcohol free March is making a lot of sense now yes?


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