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2006-05-01 - 12:05 p.m.

I didn't quite manage to write in here on my last day off as has become customary, although that day was quite productive so I'm not too bothered. Going back to the beginning of my last cycle at work, I ended up going to see the Mountain Goats at the Annandale after my first morning (Wednesday 19th April). They were nothing short of a revelation. Chris had asked me if I wanted to go a few weeks earlier, and even though I didn't really know much about them I had heard good things, and I was keen to see some bands that weren't the usual suspects. Then I found out that Jules and Dan were going, as well as my sister and her boyfriend, and I thought even more about going. But then I heard it was sold out and I wasn't clear on whether Chris had a spare ticket or just wanted a gig buddy. Plus I'd been out Monday night, Saturday night and the previous Wednesday night (all post 3am) so I thought maybe I should just rest.

But Chris was persistent, ringing on the day asking if I was still keen, and he did in fact have a spare ticket, so along I went. Just comparing the energy of the show to the Lou Barlow show I saw there a few weeks earlier, considering both shows were essentially a guy and a guitar, well it was amazing how much noise and passion came out of the Mountain Goats set. I love Lou Barlow as a songwriter, but he's not much of a solo performer. I wont go into depth about the songs (I mean I could, given that they would be my first impressions of songs which I'd essentially never heard before, except for "Dance Music"), but they were definitely up my alley, as Chris put it, and I've since bought their latest EP (and will have to get their last album I'm sure).

I ended up at the pub again after work on Thursday. I still had time for a nap and to make dinner at home, but then I went up to the Rose where Jules (it's quite confusing because I know two Julies and two Nathans, but whenever I talk about Jules or Nathan in here I'll be talking about my friends from Uni and work respectively) was having drinks with friends, and I was giving her a care package to take to Jane, as she was going over to the US for a week and a half, including a weekend in San Francisco.

Then on Friday (we're up to April 21st for those of you playing at home), which was a changeover day, I saw Darren Hanlon at @ Newtown. I almost didn't go to that, because I've seen him before (albeit a couple of years ago) and I could have done with a quiet changeover night at home, but finding out the night before that Dan was keen to go (and essentially didn't have anyone to go with) sealed it. I already knew Mark and Phoebe were going. Nathan called asking if I wanted to have a beer with him first, but I didn't want to have to eat out when I'd already planned dinner at home, so I invited him around for dinner instead. I've started making a bit of a habit out of it actually- I had Steve around before going out for drinks the Saturday just past, and then Nathan around again last night. So after dinner, and a beer down the road, I hopped on a bus to Newtown and met Dan at the Townie. I also ran into someone I knew six years ago when she was about fifteen (the taller and less zany offsider of one of our more infamous underage gig buddies) which was cool. Had a quick drink at Mark and Phoebe's place which is around the corner from the venue, and then headed up to the gig. Darren Hanlon was really good- songs ranging from his "Early Days" EP to his forthcoming album as well as an awesome rendition of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire", plus his usual funny but oh so daggy banter.

Of course dinner, drinks and a good gig could never be enough- so Mark and I had to go to the Townie until about 3.30am and drink an unknown number of Kahlua and Cokes while having deep and meaningful drunken conversations, and I had to go to bed at some ridiculous hour and feel like crap the next day.

moderation (n): 1. the quality of being moderate; restraint; avoidance of extremes; temperance.

overkill (n): 2. any effect or result that far exceeds what is necessary or intended.

(courtesy of the Random house College Dictionary- Revised Edition)

So, Saturday and Sunday I slept all morning, went to work in the evening, and sensibly didn't stay up for long after getting back from work.

Monday I managed to get out of bed at a decent hour, possibly about 10am, and walked down to Video Ezy to return my Angel DVDs and hire out another one (but I can't for the life of me find Disc 4 of Season One in the shop so I don't know what I'm going to do now!). Tuesday was the Anzac Day public holiday, so I was contemplating seeing if Nathan wanted to do something after I finished work (he now works normal person hours and gets normal person weekends and public holidays). I didn't end up calling him but he called me- he was in Cronulla and was seeing if I wanted to stop by for a drink on the way home.

I brought our workmate Kel along, but after a drink and a half I was keen to go back to Marrickville or Newtown so I could drink and not worry about my car. I had planned to be back in the Shire the next day to have lunch with my parents, so I convinced Nathan and Kel to come to Newtown with me and I would drive them back to Cronulla to get their cars the next day.

The only problem with finishing work at midnight (well, one of the problems anyway) is that by the time you get anywhere, unless it's a Friday or Saturday night, everything is closing. I wasn't impressed, what with it being a public holiday the next day, but instead we went back to my place and drank red wine until 5am. Which was only a couple of hours in fact. Then I called Jane and didn't get to sleep until 6am.

The next day I was up by about 11.30am and felt surprisingly okay, then drove Nathan and Kel to their cars, and onto my parents' place where Dad had cooked up about 10 dishes even though it was just me dropping in. Hung around after lunch and watched some football, and some video clips on Foxtel, then went home armed with leftovers from lunch for dinner.

My middle day off (Wednesday 26th April) I think I must have slept in fairly late, done the groceries, cooked dinner, watched TV and done not much else. Which is necessary sometimes.

Thursday I had Yum Cha with work people (Kel, Val and Yvonne) before going to Flight Centre and organising my tickets for August/ September. It was lucky I did, because by paying in full that day (not what I had planned, but at least I had the available credit to do it) I saved about $600. For Jane and I to get from San Francisco to Vanuatu we need to go through Sydney, Brisbane or Auckland anyway, so what we essentially have is a Sydney-San Francisco-Sydney return ticket for me, a San Francisco-Sydney-San Francisco ticket for Jane, and two Sydney-Vanuatu-Sydney return tickets. All up it was $4500 Australian for the two of us, which is pretty good really. Accommodation in Vanuatu is another story- we'll be lucky to get away with anything less than $1500 Australian for 9 days- but I'm organising that mid-May when one of the Flight Centre girls gets back from a trip to Vanuatu (hopefully armed with unadvertised special deals- well, something like that :)

So I felt pretty organised after my days off (a good turnaround from feeling like all I was really doing with my spare time was drinking and sleeping too much). I also cleaned up the house, particularly the boxes of crap in the spare room- and gave some more serious thought to getting a flatmate (specifically Jane's friend Alex), but I'm putting off asking her if she's still interested- I'm not sure if that's because I'm worried she won't be and I'll have to come up with a Plan B or if it's because I'm not sure if I want to share this place and lose some of my privacy. But $600 odd a month that I wouldn't be getting otherwise is something I can't afford not to do in some ways, and I also think having a flatmate would be good for me.

So that was last cycle. Last night was the quiet changeover night that I needed, which exlains how I managed to get up at 9.30am, do the washing up, hang out my clothes, return my DVD and write this mammoth entry and still have almost an hour before I have to go to work. I'll save the antics of my last three mornings until my next entry.

 

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