Sunday, April 30, 2006
  10 Things I'd Rather Do Than Listen To Joe Magrane do D-Rays Games on FSN Florida
1. Hammer nails into my head
2. Get a lapdance from Joan and Melissa Rivers
3. Hammer nails into every vital organ in my body that would fail to work when punctured with a nail
4. Sit next to the D-Ray heckler guy that thinks he's really funny
5. Hammer nails into the D-Ray heckler guy (wait, I would like to do that)
6. Eat a bowl of maggots
7. Delete all the good songs on my iPod and replace them with "The Best of Wham!"
8. Have Wily Mo Pena tape a nail to his bat and hit me with it
9. Fight to the death with Jet Li
10. Or Bob Sapp (below)

(oh my God, Magrane just referred to Linda Ronstadt's "Blue Bayou" in a homophonic way, like "blew by you" for a fastball from Scott Kazmir...can someone at the Trop please lob a smart bomb in there? And can MLB Extra Innings never, ever show a Red Sox game and not have it be the NESN feed? C'mon, it's complete bullshit.)
Saturday, April 29, 2006
  The Crew
There was Jimmy, and Tommy and Me. And there was Anthony Stabile, Frankie Carbone. And then there was Mo Black's brother Fat Andy and his guys Frankie the Wop, Freddy No Nose. And then there was Pete the Killer who was Sally Balls' brother. And you had Nicky Eyes and Mikey Franchese. And Jimmy Two Times who got that nickname because he said everything twice (I gotta go get the papers, get the papers).

(Friday night's for the comatta's, Saturday night's for gangster movies on the on-demand.)

To the next step. One.

  Go Ask Alice When She's 10 Feet Tall
Ok, so 29:00 into "Broken Flowers," when Bill Murray's lonely character was sitting in a dark room with a glass of wine and the bottle sitting idle on a coffee table mimicked the real-life scene in the luxury apartment here in the M-to the-K-to the-E, I thought the flick was going to be good.

And for an hour and a half or so, it was. Then the ending came and it mortally wounded the movie. It's a shame. It was a 4 1/2 star flick until the shite ending. Now, if you want to get terribly pseudo-intellectual on the existential triangle of despair at the end, so be it. But that, PHIL 101, two quarters and a cup of coffee gets you 50 cents and might wake you up in the morning.

I felt like it was a kick in the balls. Which, if that was Jim Jarmusch's plan all along, he should win the Oscar for testicular pain. Don't waste my time building plot, character, and the stream of life's foibles and coincedences that seem to make up reality, then force an ending.

Not on a Friday when I'm shacked up watching a DVD.

Especially not on a Friday when the Sox have painfully coughed up another one.

Eventually this blog is going to have a baseball feel to it. But that can only be achieved with a few W's. I know it's only April, but I'm close to becoming concerned. I'm just mildly annoyed right now.

Ah, curse you sweet Tintara. And my friends and companions who formed a Black Velvet Band.

Apres moi, le deluge. One.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
  I did have a lot to say today...
...but after watching this video, featuring Bob Knight play golf, I forgot them all on account of my hysterical laughing.

Enjoy this video, please, and we'll have more for you tomorrow.

To the next step...One.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006
  Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner
Again, and apologies for the ad nauseum apologies, but the blogging has been scarce.

Shameful on my part, but over the next few days and weeks, I will attempt (key word there, “attempt”) to make this daily blog such a thing again.

No more cutting and pasting old stuff, no more letting the site lay fallow like some Iowa cornfield (What the shampoo was that reference? Get me outta here).

You need new and original material, and I need stuff to do everyday in between waking, sleeping and Red Sox games.

To show you how serious I am, here’s the return of The Hand.

For you new readers, the Hand is a cute little idea I came up with, using the five fingers of a hand to discuss five hot topics of the day. You’re impressed, I know. Do try to contain it.

Here’s the breakdown of the Hand: thumb (either up, for a good thing, or down, for something that pisses me off); index finger (usually the universal sign for “We’re #1” or the top tool for picking one’s nose; the middle finger (usually the universal sign for a personal invitation to shampoo yourself); the ring finger (dedicated to the aesthetic beauty of a female); and the pinky (since it’s kind of a random finger, you get a random topic).

The Thumb: I’m going thumbs-down to two baseball folks: Keith Hernandez and Willie Harris.

First to Keith Hernandez. You sucked as an ’86 Met, you sucked on Seinfeld (see left), you suck as a commentator, and you suck on those lame “Just for Men” ads (as if shiny black or burnt orange hair will get you laid more than if you just went gray…).

On top of your continued pattern of sucking, you’re an idiot.

As many may know, Keith made some stupid sexist comment on a Mets broadcast last week as to why there was a woman in the San Diego Padres dugout.

Dugouts are gross, confined, nasty places. Full of seeds, tobacco spin, crotch-scratching, and steroid-fueled farts. A woman would not choose to be there, unless she had to…unless she was a part of the team.

And as it turned out she was. Kelly Calabrese is the full-time massage therapist for the Pads. Been so for the last few years. And by all accounts by Padres officials, she is damn good at what she does.

Calabrese came out with a prepared statement, calling Hernandez out for what he was: a sexist jerk.

My reply would have been a bit simpler and a bit harsher: “Who is Keith Hernandez?”

As for Willie Harris, hey pal, you’re batting a buck-ten, at least beat out slow grounders to short and, goddammit, lay down a shampooing bunt. You’re completely useless if you can’t do those two things.

Bring back Dave Roberts, put in Dustan Mohr. I don’t care.

Index: Martin Scorsese (right) is a pretty good director. Has made a few decent movies.

Bob Dylan is an OK singer-songwriter. Put together a few better-than-average albums.

Welcome to today’s exercise of understating the obvious.

So when you combine the filmmaking genius of Scorsese with the overall genius of Dylan, what do you get? Answer: you get “No Direction Home,” which is a four-hour bio-pic-documentary on the life of one Robert Zimmerman, from the mind of the guy who introduces himself with a hearty handshake and an “Hi, I’m Marty,” with not an air of arrogance.

Watching it was both informative, entertaining, awe-inspiring, shocking (the Brits booed him after he went electric, which you can add, somewhere around #432, to the long list of reasons to hate the British). The genius of Dylan and the genius of Scorsese were like two snowplows colliding head-on, both going 100 mph. It was a brilliant crash.

Even better than the learning and viewing experience of No Direction Home was chatting with my Dad about it all – he being 19 when the 1963 Newport Folk Festival featured Dylan, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, not to mention the Kingston Trio, Pete Seeger, etc, etc etc. Yeah, he went. Hung out with his buddies, drank a few beers, slept in a park, saw the shows, went home. My friends and I have been known to go out in Newport. Rarely do we encounter genius. It usually just involves Advil the next day.

I Netflix’ed it, watching it quickly this weekend, and returned it today. You’d think I want to hold onto it and watch it again, but no…that angle has been covered. I logged onto and purchased it. That, and Godfather I…it was a big Scorsese weekend.

The middle finger: Who is pissing me off lately? Hmm, you might be better off trying to figure out who isn’t.

But I’ll narrow it down to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. And specifically, the genius crew that is governing the Marquette Interchange project.

I won’t get into what exactly this public works infrastructure project entails because, well, I don’t know. I am a 45 second walk away from my apartment to my office, so the highways are taboo for me. In fact, anything outside of a six block radius of the luxury digs is pure savagery as far as I’m concerned.

Back to the Interchange. It’s a big deal out here. Obviously they’ve never driven in Boston or heard of the Big Dig, but it’s like milk and batteries time when they close an exit, open a new one, tweak a route, or hammer an orange detour sign in somewhere. I won’t even get into the roundabout-assbackwards-shampooing stupid cab driver I had take me to Mitchell Field for my Easter trip home. (It should cost 25 bucks. His roundabout way cost me $31.50. I gave him a 20, a 10, two singles and waited for the two bits.)

Part of whatever phase they were in to start mid-March was to knock down an old building by the side of I-43 North. And apparently, it was a big deal to knock this down because it wrecked a wall with whales painted on it (no, not the Wailing Wall or ever the Whaling Wall…it was just some whales painted on a big concrete wall…)

(And it was NO big blue bug. Not even close)

Since the building is soooooooo close to the highway, they couldn’t possibly demolish it while the interstate was open (can you sense the sarcasm?). So they waited until they could close the road. That was 11 p.m.

And, according to the leaflet that was hung in the elevator of my building, the demolition “would be during the nighttime hours for the next three days…we apologize for any inconvenience.”

The individual who typed that leaflet must have made a typo or mental mistake. Instead of typing “three days,” that person should have written “three weeks.”

Three weeks. 21 days. From 10:30 p.m. to about 4:30-5:00 a.m. Jackhammers. Wrecking balls. Crashes. Booms. Bams. And as Brick Tamlin would say, LOUD NOISES!

Apologize for my inconvenience? How about the 12 hours of sleep I got, combined??? Slapdicks.

I even went home for a week at Easter, came back seven days later, and got to experience the last night of it. How lucky.

Funny thing is, while I was home in the Greatest State in the Shampooing Union, the fine folks of the Rhode Island DOT blew up a bridge – the old Jamestown Bridge. Blew it up. Gone. Like boom, orange flames, black smoke, (green shamrocks, blue diamonds, purple horseshoes…they’re always after me Lucky Charms…). After the dynamite, there was a LOUD NOISE, then splash…500 tons of steel hit Narragansett Bay.

During that time, RIDOT closed the Jamestown-Verrazano bridge for three hours. Three. And the two bridges were about 30 feet from each other. 30.

They blew up the old one. But here in Wisconsin, they couldn’t implode this old Courtroom annex building and save me three weeks of insomnia? Nooooo.

Right around day 10 of me-no-sleepy, I was considering buying a bazooka off the black market or eBay, firing into the place and taking care of the demolition. Or, as I considered on day 18, going over and stabbing the foreman.

But that would have done me no good. Why?

Because stabbing is murder and the jailhouse they would have sent me to is located where? Yep, you got it. Right next to the demolition project.

Sleepless and imprisoned. Oh-for-two.

The ring finger: This one goes to Sienna Miller.

She’s been the object of affection for the hand before, because she’s very pretty and also very stupid to stay with Jude Law while he makes his way through the supermodel/actress white pages, logging a notch on his belt after every name. I think he’s up to the “G’s” on the list now.

But that doesn’t matter to the English siren. She keeps coming back. Sure, she tries to “get back” at him by hooking up with some other actor, but it doesn’t really work.

Then he does that serious brooding shit he’s oft to doing, puts on the limey accent, and wins her back. Then he goes back to the book for “Gisele.”

Well, according to today’s New York Post, they’re back. Again.

Safe money on a break up, when Jude gets to the “H’s” and shacks up with Heidi Klum, Hilary Duff, or Keeley Hazell (google her, trust me).

The pinky: You know it’s getting crazy when a gallon of gas could reach the $4-a gallon level. Four bucks. That’s almost a Fenway Frank (mmmm...). That’s expensive.

Explain the 9-11 movie phenomenon to me, please. Why do we need these? Trust me, there are plenty of Americans out there, living their lives everyday with constant reminders of that day. We don’t need Nicolas Cage to frame it for us.

If you’re looking for a good way to spend $9.99, go to iTunes and pick up Rocky Votolato’s “Makers.” Is good.

Anyone going to take the NC State coaching job? Anyone? Anyone?

Wow, over 70,000 hits. Just under the one-year anniversary of May 10. That’s crazy. And much appreciated.

Hope to bring you much, much more. Stick around.

To the very next step…one.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
  And now, the conclusion (almost) of...the Oz Blog
April 10
8:19 a.m. – Tiger is six-under in the Masters? WTF!?!

11:32 a.m. – Tooling around Hobart has been nice. Ate one of the most delicious spinach and cheese pastie. I could eat about 16 of them.

1:37 p.m. –The Tasmanian Gallery of Art had an exhibit on prisons in Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land)…very interesting. I’m very glad I was not a prisoner back then. It must have really, really sucked. Big time.

4:11 p.m. – It was a nice day at sea level. It was nice weather driving up Mt. Wellington. At the peak of the mountain – 1,260 meters above sea level – it was raining, sleeting, hailing, cold, and windy. Glad I’m wearing just a t-shirt.

April 11
10:11 a.m. – I am ready to go home, but trust me, a few more weeks here would receive no formal complaints. I’m ready to tackle the next stop, I’m prepared to make a move, and I’m not scared to do it. I am ready to renew, reform, revise, reshape, re-dream, remodel, redesign, and re-succeed. And maybe get a new job.

At the moment, I’m in the Hobart INTERNATIONAL Airport. It’s International because it flies to New Zealand…International the same way the Buffalo Airport flies to Canada. If the departure terminal is smaller than my office, bzzzzzzt, sorry, you don’t get to be an International airport.

With a little luck, perhaps I’ll be in the back of the JetStar plane surrounded by 20 screaming kids and “Jive Talkin” by the fucking Bee Gees on powerdrive. Gee, that’d be swell, Wally.

10:40 a.m. – Bingo! I’ve got Bingo! And by Bingo, I mean a babbling little kid. “A wheel! A wheel!” Hey, do you have a cousin? “A duck!” “A duck!”

10:56 a.m. – There’s a bizarro Sinead O’Connor sitting in the aisle seat next to us.

1:54 p.m. – Ok, this trip is making me soft. Right by the tennis courts you walk between to get the Clifton Hill train station, a young kid came up to me and asked for $2.20 so he can go swimming with his friends. And I gave it to him. And I hope he had a great day with his friends - I really do. It might be the best $2.20 I’ve spent during the whole trip. Unless he went off with his friends to buy crack.

Then I’ll feel crummy, knowing that I’ve contributed to the downfall of a young Australian. But I’ll still hope he had a great day with his friends.

2:19 p.m. – Bizarro Michelle Wie, the golf phenom.

5:44 p.m. – It has been a gorgeous, unbelievable day so far in Melbourne. At the moment, I’m chilling in Melbourne.

No. Seriously. The sun has gone down and I’m literally chilling. It’s fucking cold. Booked a daytrip tomorrow for the vineyards in the Yarra Valley, among other touristy things.

Ok, forget this, I’m going back to Clifton Hill. I think I can cut glass right now.

April 12
8:16 a.m. – Doing a daytrip to some spot for a devonshire tea (tea and biscuits), then to Puffing Billy (an old steam train), then to the William Ricketts Sanctuary (aboriginal art), then to several vineyards (drinking wine).

May have had the best night’s sleep of the trip last night; feeling rather fresh and alert today. Billy the Bus Driver (his real name’s David, but Billy sounds better) is a funny dude.

8:40 a.m. – On the drive out to the Puffing Billy train, passing through the Melbourne suburbs. They’re very nice, look quite livable. It’s like Westchester County, except it doesn’t suck.

9:36 a.m. – I’m generally opposed to tours – at least, organized daytrips through tourist agencies. I prefer to naturally explore, get lost, figure it out, whatever. This one, however, is necessary. Some poppycock, like feeding birds or something, but mostly it’s been good.

10:41 a.m. – On Puffing Billy right now. Cool old train, cruising along at 10 mph. Acela it ain’t. Just got a call that the World Champion Boston Red Sox won Ring Day, 8-1. Nice…

11:59 a.m. – Just finished William Ricketts Sanctuary. VERY interesting. This gentleman had quite a lucrative jewelry business going before he decided to sell it all, move to the mountains, and make sculptures of aborigines as he felt they were slighted in the greatest possible way by the Australian government and people. The work was as fine and as detailed as you could ever imagine.

Ricketts committed himself to his work. The cynic would argue that he should BE committed. The life authentic is lived outside the box. Fascinating.

1:54 p.m. – First vineyard stop: the Rochford winery. A decided success. One of the tastiest meals of the trip, followed by several glasses of vino. Also had lunch with Billy (David) the bus driver. Interesting story. Nice guy. Looks like Hopper from Easy Rider.

4:07 p.m. – This wine tour is one of the many highlights of the trip. The views were amazing, some terrific tracks of land, and certainly the fruit of the vice was a plus. Good food, good wine, good company – was joined on the trip by a couple of professors from WPI. Small friggin’ world.

Bought three bottles of three different types of wine and I plan on enjoying each. Two bizarros on the Chandon tour – Randy Johnson and Tom Brady (our tour guide).

4:16 p.m. – Wine makes me happy. It also makes the Worcester couple happy. If they packed Cialis in the carry-on, then it’s on like Donkey Kong for them tonight.

6:45 p.m. – We went back to the Vietnamese restaurant Binh Minh, with Sara, Trina, and Louise – another friend who plays Gaelic Football with them. They talked Gaelic Football all night, so I worked on a few different plates of veggies and noodles. Yum.

11:59 p.m. – After dinner, we went to a bar to meet up with a guy Louise was interested in named Eli. Two things came to mind before I met Eli: Yale University and Owen Wilson’s character from “The Royal Tenenbaums.”

One thing came to mind after I met Eli: Sideshow Bob. Spitting image.

But at least it was a bar, they had beer, and the Gaelic Football talk was to a minimum.

The wine tour so ruled today. I wish I could take it twice. What a great time.

April 13
10:49 a.m. – I am on the clock. Twenty-four hours to go. And what a trip it has been.

12:33 p.m. – Today might be the most gorgeous day here in Melbourne. I need to go around and walkabout (Australian reference #3?) and get some sun. Sorry Shonda, but in the process of not limiting the fun, I’m maximizing the sun.

I also have half-a-metric tonne (Australian word #4) of change in my pocket, as they use one and two dollar coins. I’m buying diet cokes at 2.50 a pop every 10 minutes to rid myself of the added body weight.

Dinner (Italian) with Sara tonight at 7:00 p.m. God, it seems inconceivable that I’m already having my goodbye dinner. I just had the welcome dinner. It’s not fair, it’s just not fair.

Also wrapping up my final purchases. Got a bunch of souvenirs for people – already sent Mom and Dad’s home – and now I need to souvenir shop for me. Do I pimp out with a pair of R.M. Williams boots or the phat shirt/tie combo? I dunno. God damn I love the sun. Almost home.

12:54 p.m. – Wow, bizarro Dave Magarity.

Everybody in this country runs/jogs. Everyone. Australia is safe. If anyone ever tries to invade them, they’ll just lace ‘em up and run. No one’s ever going to be able to catch this country; they will prevail simply by fleeing.

2:19 p.m. – My tour guide at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds is a bizarro Lou Holtz. Lots of bizarros today, huh?

3:28 p.m. – Damn, two more: bizarro Frances Russell and Emma “Baby Spice” Bunton.

3:50 p.m. – And the circle closes. Back to the Oxford Scholar – my Australian Plimoth Rock. What cheer, Netop?

A famous Percy Sledge song came on the jukebox and I had to laugh. Irony does that to you, eh? The iPod karma follows me around wherever I go. As do the schooners and pints of Carlton.

4:39 p.m. – I’m in a country chock full of attractive beer-drinking women. Which poses two questions: Why didn’t I come here earlier and why am I leaving?

4:43 p.m. – You simply cannot just have one beer at the Oxford Scholar. Next to division-by-zero and cold fusion, it’s impossible.

5:05 p.m. – Went with the shirt/tie combo. The boots weren’t that comfy.

Another bizarro: Dan Shaughnessy

5:45 p.m. – iPod karma strikes again – Shadowboxer by Fiona Apple.

9:52 p.m. – At Flanagan’s Pub, bizarro Chris “Bucky” Brennan, which made me think of some of the funniest nights in the history of the State of Rhode Island with that kid.

10:20 p.m. – T.R.O.Y. by Pete Rock and CL Smooth just came on the jukebox. What a song from 1992. Thank god Australia is a little behind in its rap music.

To that next step, y'
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
  The Oz Blog continues...
Almost getting up to speed, matching up the days...

Here's some more from the Oz blog.

April 5
10:15 a.m. – Wow. When my brain and my body stops hurting, or maybe even starts working, I’ll recap last night.

11:45 a.m. – Wow. Still hurting. Still not working. Can’t think straight. Would love a Final Four update.

12:20 p.m. – This airport is dumb small, yo. Got a text from Sara that Carolina was up 13 at the break. Bollocks.

12:37 p.m. – Oh thank heavens, my first Virgin Blue flight without screaming kids. I will not be long for this flight…zzzzzzzzz…BTW, hey Roy Williams, give a shit about North Carolina yet?

12:39 p.m – This airport is really a one-room, one-runway place. It’s amazing. Do we have clearance, Clarence? What is taking so long, where are we taxiing to?

2:00 p.m – Do not have a clue how I am functioning at the moment.

2:51 p.m – Back in Brisbane with a 90 minute layover. the Blue Room. Seinfeld, diet coke; I feel like complete dogshit. Must find the number of a good detox joint.

3:53 p.m. – Ok, I knew it wouldn’t last. A screaming kid. Thank you for flying Virgin Blue.

6:45 p.m – More iPod karma – The Beatles’ “I’m So Tired.” How apropos. Hurry up, Skybus, I wanna get back to Clifton Hill.

April 6
9:30 a.m. – Whitsundays wrapup: I wish I had spent an extra day or two there, but all told, it was a great time. Maybe that warrants a return visit??? I vote yea.

I am in need of some rest and some low-key events over the next two days. Body needs to relax and recupe.

4:45 p.m. – Today was a nice educational and cultural day. First stop was the Immigration Museum. That was nice, decently laid out, but it definitely lacked. Australia has had some very, very dark moments in its history when it came to immigration and its ethnic diversity, which were sort of given the brushoff. But all told, it did a nice job, especially with the folks who voluntarily emigrated there – which excludes the prisoners.

Then I added some culture to my day at the Kylie exhibit. I am of the belief that Kylie Minogue is one of Australia’s national treasures. From “The Locomotion” to “I Just Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” she is just terrific. On a serious note, the exhibit was well-placed, it had all of her extravagant outfits, and plenty of her awards like Grammy’s (yes, Kylie has won a Grammy. Don’t hate.), MTV Music Awards, Platinum records, etc, etc, etc.

I also went to visit the Australian Football League Hall of Fame and Sensation. I’ve been to a bunch of professional sports hall of fames and this one is very, very well done. For the diehard fan, they can relive their favorite moments and for folks like me with a very cursory knowledge of the sport, it’s quite informative.

And to wrap up a day of knowledge, culture, and sport, no better place than Oxford…the Oxford Scholar Hotel. If they had a Rhodes Scholarship to eat chips with sweet chili sauce and pound schooners of Carlton, man, I’d be a nobel laureate.

5:02 p.m. – Sara arrives. God, she’s so pretty. Was that out loud? I hate it when my inner monologue doesn’t work.

10:54 p.m. - Ok, to say tonight was interesting was like saying Michael Jackson is a little strange. Sara grilled me on all things, from religion to civics to other stuff that just isn’t the best idea to talk about after a few cocktails. It’s either me just zoning out and staring into her eyes or that fact that I would lose any argument(s) badly, but I just kinda sat there and took it. Didn’t put up a fight or anything.

I don’t get a good read on it and I don’t think it’s a good idea to engage her and anyone when it comes to religion and politics…stuff like that has no gray area. People have too extreme and strong feelings about both. There’s very rarely a situation where the discussions don’t morph into something like an argument or heated conversation. No thanks, I’m having a beer and I’m on vacation. Brain disengaged. I’m of the belief that when it comes to matters of taste and opinion, there is no wrong. Either way, the Melbourne Inquisition is over and I’m going to bed.

April 7
10:07 a.m. – I am not afraid of home. No, I do not plan on moving my flight ahead so I can get home. In fact, I would be a lot more apt to push my flight back so I can spend more time here. By thinking of home, it does not mean that my trip to Australia is a failure. Quite the contrary, it is a resounding success. Home no longer scares me, home is no longer the bain of my existence, home is no longer the cause of migraines, stress, angst, and agita.

11:50 a.m. – Checked, nice to see the World Champs taking it to Mo Rivera again. I’m getting a basketball jones today. I think I’m going to head to Albert Park to play and J on some people.

2:19 p.m. – The three-point line is nine inches farther from the rim, but man, I still have the jumper. International rules can’t stop the funk.

8:35 p.m. – JetStar Airlines is Qantas’ version of Southwest. But it’s also close to my view of the Seventh Ring of Hell. A tight room, strapped in, can’t open the windows, with no way out, and the fucking Bee Gees cranking out “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?” Ugh.

The next stage? Locusts.

9:27 p.m. – So far, no screaming kids. Thank you for flying JetStar.

April 8
12:34 p.m. – Began to rain as we were in the Cataract Gorge. Very nice place. Came back to the hotel to dry off and head off to the Boag’s tour.

3:23 p.m – The Boag’s Tour was awesome! And the beer is unbelievable! Need to export that shit to New Rochelle.

4:10 p.m. – Arrived at the Irish Murphy’s and sculled a few pints. They advertised themselves as “drinking consultants,” so that was good enough for me. If they’re the Accenture of pints, then I really wish I had polished up my resume with my hands-on experiences the previous two weeks. I was over-qualified.

Bizarro Delores O’Riordan from the Cranberries just sat down next to us.

April 9

11:17 a.m. – OK, almost a dead kangaroo on the hood. Holy shit, that was scary. Deer and other animals are one thing, but Skip? I’d be devastated. Lots of dead Skips on the side of the road, though. Sad.

12:29 p.m. – We’re in the Middle of Tasmania. It’s like Kansas, with all the green farms and the sheep.

1:47 p.m. – Just did my first bit of ass-backward driving. And to top it all off, the first 10 kilometers was the craziest, windiest, mountain road I had ever driven on either side… As always, I passed with flying colors. Came up on St. Mary’s, oceanfront view. Untouched. Abso-freaking-loutely spec-freaking-tacular.

Thank god no New Yorkers have seen this, or else. The smell of the ocean, the sound of the waves, the untouched property around Denison Beach…it’s staggering.

4:40 p.m.- Been driving for three hours. We found a roadhouse. I’m going to go cross-eyed.

5:46 p.m. – Another pee break. We’re in Richmond, which is just 20k from Hobart. We saw a nice historic bridge. It was old. I’m shot.

7:21 p.m. – Settled into the Amberly House B&B, one of the nicest accommodations I’ve seen.

10:44 p.m. – We had arguably the best meal of the trip tonight at Pier One. The restaurant was very nice, the view from the outdoor seating was beautiful, and the food was second to none. After a nice hand-in-hand walk back to the Amberly House, the evening drew to a most pleasant close.

to the next step...

I remain your humble and obedient
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
  Opening Day, Then and Now
It's not officially Opening Day - that happened last week - and five up and one down later for the Sox, they return to open Fenway Park for the 94th season of good, clean, American League baseball.

In keeping with the Oz blog, today's installment (from April 4, 2005) was the season Opening Day from last year - Yankees vs. Red Sox.

So here's to the season, that now unofficially officially begins this afternoon. Enjoy.

April 4
9:24 a.m. – Ten days to go in the trip, but none…NONE…more important than today. It is Opening Day for the World Champion Boston Red Sox baseball club.

Got langoured last night – yeah, I know…shocker… - but absolutely, positively bounced back this morning, got some brekky, and found a comfortable spot at Magnum’s to watch the baseball until 11:30, until Hog’s Breath opens.

Ah, what a place, what a day. Opening fricken day, no better place to be. I am giddy. But I do miss Pokey.

9:46 a.m. – The World Champs…it’s setting in. The Spice Girls could be naked in front of me right now, I couldn’t care less. The World Champs are on ESPN.

9:53 a.m. – The TV is on mute. Kruk and Harold both pick the Yanks to win the World Series. I now hate them. Thankfully the calm sounds of Jack Johnson are on the speakers here at Magnum’s.

10:00 a.m. – The intro…Bucky Dent…Aaron Boone…who cares? Dave Roberts, beeatch.

10:02 a.m. – From here on out, dirty words will be replaced by the word “shampoo.” (author's note: in case any of you loyal readers wonder where the "shampoo" came from, this is where...)

Shampoo Billy Crystal. And cute sign, Yankee fan. 1918…2005…2090. Try winning one this millennium, pal.

10:10 a.m. – Johnny Damon then Edgar Renteria? I could learn to love this team awful quick.

10:17 a.m. – Three up, three down, two K’s by the Unit. Oh well.

10:18 a.m. – Well, that didn’t take Jeter too long…two pitches. Shampoo. Greatest. Leadoff. Single. Ever.

10:23 a.m. – Tough hop for the DP, fielder’s choice, Boomer K’s Ruben Sierra. Combined age of that pitcher-batter matchup? 86 years old.

10:28 a.m. – First beer of the day! Big Papi! To quote Vin Parise, “it’s noon somewhere in the world.”

10:30 a.m. – Millar hits a bomb, shampooing Matsui robs him in left. But Jay Payton manufacturing. Welcome to the Sox, JP

10:37 a.m. – Bellhorn K’s. Wow. Total. Shocker.

10:43 a.m. – Giambi. Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater. Damn, base hit. Well, at least Mike Lupica has an article now.

10:48 a.m. – “Solar interference to the satellite is interfering with the broadcast signal…We apologize for the delay in service and hope to be back shortly.” Oh you have got to be shampooing kidding me. What am I supposed to do, go to the shampooing beach?

10:50 a.m. – “Well, the bar IS open.” – Magnum’s friendly barkeep. Truer words have never been spoken. She’s right, if the Queensland government doesn’t have a problem with serving beer at this hour, I don’t have a problem consuming it.

When the sun is done interfering, and the game comes back with the Yankees up 10-1, I’m going to throw something.

10:57 a.m. – Jeter’s 2-for-2. Now Lupica has a sidebar. Derek Jeter. What. A. Champion. Greatest. Yankee. Ever.

10:58 a.m. – Brian Cashman being interviewed by the lovely Sam Ryan. I’d respect him a whole lot more if he went Namath on her. “Sam, I don’t care about Jaret Wright. I just wanna kiss you.”

11:01 a.m. – The other – and less publicly maligned – cheater, Gary Sheffield, rips an RBI double. Shampoo.

11:06 a.m. – Error, Edgar Renteria. O.C. woulda had it. Pokey woulda had it. Shampoo.

11:09 a.m. – Giambi HBP by Wells and Dave Wallace trots out to the mound. Tell him you’ll get him cheez fries and a bunch of dogs at Gray’s Papaya if he gets out of the inning unscathed.

11:11 a.m. – Bernie Williams has had 195 AB with the bases loaded in his career. Kinda puts his career in perspective. He’s pretty good. I’d like him if he wasn’t a MFY.

11:20 a.m. – Nobody deserves the “C” on his jersey more than ‘Tek.

11:23 a.m. – Oh good, there’s a foam party at Magnum’s tonight. Foam, sand, I’m fine with either one. I just have to check with Marisa first.

11:35 a.m. – Groundball to Jeter, he throws it to first. Score that 6-3 in your scorebook. It. Was. The. Greatest. Assist on a Groundout. Ever.

11:46 a.m. – Change of locale, back to the Hog’s Breath Saloon. Shorty the barkeep in full effect again. Sam Ryan is interviewing Theo.

11:50 a.m. – Boomer leaving as the pitcher of record on the L. Can’t help but think I’ve been on the Boomer Wells diet all week.

11:52 a.m. – Oh look, another cute sign from fans of a team in a city that hasn’t won a professional sports title since the NY Liberty. Bite me. All of you.

Just looked in the mirror behind the bar – and I’m not sure if I planned it or not – but my hat is tilted to the left, like Calvin “Pokey” Reese. I miss Pokey.

11:57 a.m. – Drunken Tourette’s Syndrome kicking in…just swearing indiscriminately…shampoo…shampoo shampoo shampoo…

12:06 p.m. – Who the shampoo is Blaine Neal?

12:09 p.m. – A-Rod RBI single. Jeter scores…The. Greatest. Run. In. Yankee. History. Shampoo Blaine Neal.

12:11 p.m. – A-Rod tags up and scored. Blaine, me boy, we hardly knew ye. Enjoy Pawtucket.

12:18 p.m. – 6-1 bad guys. 161 to play. Another Carlton Draught please, Shorty.

12:22 p.m. – What’s this with Fat Joe? Damn, we don’t have anything to counter. Except Ed O.G. & The Bulldogs. “I Got to Have it” is one of the best rap singles of all-time.

12:24 p.m. – Someone put “Trouble” by Coldplay on the jukebox; Shorty the barkeep is here serving me cold ones; there’s not a cloud in the sky. Life don’t suck right now.

12:26 p.m. – Shampoo Tino Martinez. He’s old news.

12:29 p.m. – Bellhorn K’s. Total surprise.

12:35 p.m. – I’m talking to the television. Shorty seems puzzled. I had to explain to her why.

12:37 p.m. – Was thinking that I owe Dave Roberts a beer if I ever meet him.

12:54 p.m. – Nice replay of A-Rod cheating, with his bitch slap on Arroyo. Lots of cheaters on this team. Joe Morgan is defending A-Rod on that play??? Shampoo you, Joe.

12:59 p.m. – Shorty loves me. Game’s over. Time to go home and sleep this off.

6:19 p.m. – Awake. Sober. Barely. Need some food. The place next door had great asian noodles with veggies, I could probably eat two bowls.

9:20 p.m. – One of the friends of my bunkmate Josie – his name is Jans and he’s from Sweden – just told us the most amazing story about getting hit by a train when he was 14. He was dead…then revived…then dead again, times three. In the hospital for six months. Thought he’d be crippled. He went snorkeling today. And he’s playing songs by ear on the guitar.

10:17 p.m. – Heading out. Feel like I’ve been drinking for 12 hours. Oh wait, I have been.

To the next step, and the next 96-mph heater from the soon-to-be 2006 AL Cy Young Awardwinner, Josh Beckett. Good luck trying to hit it.

Monday, April 10, 2006
  After a short hiatus, more from Oz
Hey kids, back from a short break from updating TLBR, been sorta busy and stuff.

Was at the Final Four (first one) and I had an unbelievable time - I don't think I'll ever miss another one.

Also had the chance to attend the Championship game of the WNIT and let me tell you, it was truly a career highlight. Manhattan, Kansas is a town I think I could really settle down and retire to. Just so much life there in Kansas. Man, I...I can't even keep that sarcasm going.

So without further ado, TLBR will interrupt its usual meanderings, malfeasance and nonsense, and return to several installments of the Oz Blog - the 2005 tome that got this whole thing started.

March 30
8:33 a.m. – What a delightful day to be working on a hangover! It’s not too bad, actually.

11:23 a.m. –Just finished The Great Staircase – 900 uneven, not fun steps down. Whose great idea was this? Very tired, my legs are rubber and literally shaking. I think I may have blown a meniscus or two. But hey, like Simon & Garfunkel are singing on the iPod, “I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.” Ah… Carry on.

12:52 p.m. – Done…and done. Phew! What a ramble. Jeez, I’m wrecked. The Blue Mountains National Park is just an amazing natural preserve.

6:45 p.m. – Wrapping up today…lots of walking, climbing, and sweating. The Blue Mountains are amazing, though. Simply amazing. One of the finest nature-sorta thing I’ve ever seen or experienced.

After starting by the Three Sisters and down the 900 steps of the Grand Staircase, the total walk was terrific. Lots of wonderful sights, sounds, and smells. Katoomba might seem like it’s no more than a day or day-and-a-half kind of place, but I like it a lot. Why traverse back to Sydney where it’s more expensive, you have to find a new place, etc etc etc? Just hang here, goof around, go for walks and get lost and then figure out how to ge home, etc. It’s also a safe and clean spot. Off to Brisbane on Friday, which should be nice…I think.

7:49 p.m. – I flew 12,000 miles to watch American Idol? Crap-tastic.

8:50 p.m. – Still watching the Idol. Dunno why, but I just thought of Sydney and I now have this goofy grin on my face. Uh-oh.

March 31
8:28 a.m. – No hangover this morning, so I got out to a nice early start on things. Did the scenic railway at Scenic World, which was nothing special other than the fact it goes down the hill at a 52 degree angle. Wah-hoo.

I’m doing a hike on the other side of the Blue Mountains National Park. It’s nothing terribly exciting and a bit treacherous, so I may reconsider the route. But I just did something pretty cool. I found a comfortable rock, shut the iPod off, and listened to the sounds. Are those birds? No, they’re bats.

Fuck bats. I hate bats. I’m outta here.

10:11 a.m. – I’m also done with Scenic World, but the official victory song of the World Champion Boston Red Sox baseball club just came on the iPod, bringing a big smile to my face. I hadn’t really thought about the Sox, but Monday is the season opener and I need to find a spot to watch them.

10:35 a.m. – Correction on the bat-thing earlier. They weren’t bats, they were cockatoos. But still, fuck bats.

11:07 a.m. – Just got the feeling that even though I return to the US of A and the wonderful state of New York in just over two weeks time, nothing will be the same. Sure, the same shit that drives/drove me to my wits end will remain, but the memories of Melbourne, Sydney, and the Blue Mountains will last forever. I dunno. But let’s see how long it’ll take me to get pissed off.

1:35 p.m. – Walking back from the Leura Cascades and saw the first black person of the trip. The first one. I’m not kidding.

2:10 p.m. – Back at the same place I ate at one day one in the Blue Mountains. The Chinese guys that could neither understand me nor speak English well enough for me to comprehend them were still working behind the counter. That made the transaction for lunch difficult. But I went with the cheeseburger deluxe.

I love burgers. And I’m getting excited about my first non-American foray into the consummate American foodstuff. I also got my semi-narcotic Diet Coke fix.

2:21 p.m. – That was easily one of the ten best burgers I have ever consumed. And that’s not an easy list to crack. Well done, boys.

7:48 p.m. – Wiped out from all the walking I’ve done the past two days, I’ve taken no less than three naps so far today. After the 10 kilometers of walking, I passed out in my bed. And in front of the nice roaring fire in the living room at the Fox, I knocked out, ever-so-briefly, twice. I guess I’m getting old.

Might go for a pint or two with Stu and Tracy and then off to Brisbane for a quick stop before Airlie Beach. But the way things have been going, I figure to be asleep by 9 p.m.

April 1
7:47 a.m. Early to bed, early to rise…I just needed my rest. Onto Brisbane today. Coming to Katoomba was a terrific change of pace. Melbourne was a nice, moderate to larger sized city to catch my breath and get my bearings. Sydney was huge. Up here – the first stretch that I was solo since I got here – did me a lot of good. Some fresh mountain air; the scenery; good, long, and challenging walks, hostelling and new people. Three different spots, three different disciplines, three different accommodations. That’s what I was looking for.

The trip is still exciting by the minute, although the laid-back attitude was a nice chance to stop the whirlwind and settle in a bit. I’ve also got to thinking about home a little more. Not in a bad or unhealthy way – and certainly not in the way I promised myself. Dunno about Brisbane yet, but I’m not there long enough to be concerned with it. Get there today, go to the zoo all day tomorrow, get outta there and head to the beach. Oh yeah, and the World Champs are playing.

This is the heart of the trip. Eight days down, 13 to go. It’s been great – beyond even my wildest expectations – let’s see what the next five days bring. I think my head is back in order; I could go home tomorrow and be good.

It’s been amazing meeting all the different, young travelers. Stu and Tracy, for instance, have seen more of the world and, by the end of their 11-month trip, will have seen more than most Americans will read about in their lives. It’s remarkable and as much as I’ve seen, proportionately, in my travels and for work…it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what they have seen.

It’s too bad most Americans don’t – and can’t – travel as much. Youth is definitely wasted on the young. It’s also the root of many of our problems. Heck, people at work were aghast that I would just leave and go away for three straight weeks. That is nothing to the travelers I’ve encountered…it’s a short port of call. When these guys get back to their homes, they will have become worthy members of society and the world. They’ll have perspective – something many of my countrymen lack. Ok, enough soap box. I have a window, a hell of a view, and quite some time before Sydney Central.

8:45 a.m. – You know one word I have yet to see out here? “Express.” Nothing is fast for fast’s sake and I do not mean that in a pejorative way. The trains plod along, the people move along. There isn’t any sense of breakneck rush. Things get done. It’s what I crave.

11:36 a.m. – Watching Seinfeld in the Blue Room at Sydney airport, waiting for my Virgin Blue flight to Brisbane. It is my first foray into the mysterious and sordid world of airline lounges and special rooms. I’m impressed. It’s relaxing, comfortable, a clean loo, and I’m watching television.

It is great, actually. And Seinfeld is pretty funny. I’ve realized a bunch of stuff on this trip, but none more obscure than my newfound appreciation for this show. Never much of a fan when it was on, but love Larry David and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” so I’m warming up to this.

12:38 p.m. – Richard Branson has it right. Virgin Blue flight attendants are hot. God bless you, Richard Branson. God bless you.

12:51 p.m. – I’ve got a kicking, screaming, annoying little kid behind me. But I have an iPod. God bless you, Steve Jobs. God bless you.

12:56 p.m. – The iPod isn’t drowning the kid behind me out completely and it’s doing nothing for the kicking of my seat. The kid keeps saying “a duck!” And “a bus!” Making matters worse are the kid’s parents, who are quacking and further encouraging the little shit to keep with the “a duck!” thing. It’s the closest I’ve been in eight days to getting pissed. A duck! A duck!

1:14 p.m. – Not to be the Audubon Society, but it’s not “a duck!” It’s “a seagull!” Not duck…seagull. Get it right.

2:05 p.m. – Selina the flight attendant is bizarro Morgan Young. It’s been a thoroughly unenjoyable flight, as the duck kid is still quacking and kicking.

5:51 p.m. – Been in Brisbane for three whole hours. And those three hours have been the three most tedious, nerve-wracking, and painful of the trip.

The airport was fine, it was a major airport and all, but not like Melbourne or Sydney. Took the AirTrain to Brisbane CBD, which was clean and quick, and got off at the stop prescribed by the print-out from the hostel.

Once out of the train, I walk up the stairs into the station, which is a sort-of mall/food court thing. The alarm bells should have sounded when the highest-end store was a McDonald’s. And then I got to the street.

A few seedy strip clubs. In the middle of Chinatown. A St. Vincent de Paul’s thrift store next door. Can you hear the alarm bells-a-ringing?

The printout said the hostel was three blocks from here, so the only logical thing to do was ask someone directions. But who? The drunks and winos outside? The folks who looked like they just shot up? A Chinese woman who looked like she may not have the best grasp on the English language? I headed toward the St. Vincent de Paul’s. They help people, maybe they can help me.

Nope. Not good. Weird. Strange. Icky. Gross. Perverse. I was met by a man – not that his long blonde hair, dress, earrings, and nametag that read “Erica” would lead me to believe that on any sane or normal planet that he was an Erica. I’ve met Erica’s. I even made out with an Erica once. This, Senator, was no fucking Erica.

It was April Fool’s Day, so maybe the ha-ha joke was on me, but for crying out loud… The first time I ask for help and directions in Melbourne, I thought the guy was gonna slip me 20 bucks for the trouble. This guy looked like his previous employment before St. Vincent de Paul’s was the ferris wheel operator - or maybe the petting zoo - at the Neverland Ranch.

He (Erica) had no idea where the hostel was, which was both a good thing and a bad thing. Bad news in that I had two heavy backpacks weighing me down, getting heavier by the minute. But good news in the sense that once I got to my hostel, I probably would not see much of Erica ever, ever again.

He (Erica) asked his co-worker, who looked like the spawn between Iggy Pop and Siouxsie Sioux, and she was as much help as a hammer in a gun fight. I venture on. Queensland so far? Grade: F. Brisbane? F.

I find the place and they have my reservation wrong and then charge me an extra five bucks. Bunk, the hostel? F.

I get to the room with Sammy from Finland. Seems nice enough. I didn’t really want company, I just wanted to go for a stroll and get something to eat, but Sammy invited himself along for the walk. I can’t really kill the guy on day one, especially if I don’t want my shit stolen. So me and my Finnish shadow head to Brisbane proper.

So to recap: Melbourne was quite like Boston. Sydney was similar to NYC. Katoomba was similar to Burlington. And Brisbane? Well, with apologies to capital of Connecticut, Brisbane had all the qualities of, well, Hartford.

There is a city here, and you know this because there are buildings and streets and people – some in business suits – walking around. There are stores like Foot Locker and restaurants, including a McDonald’s and a Subway.

The good thing about Hartford, though, is that two hours away, you’re near Boston and/or New York. I’m thinking the only thing that is two hours away from Brisbane is a place that mercifully puts you two hours outside of Brisbane.

So I roll back to Bunk and head straight to the bar. Yeah, there’s a bar here. And in keeping with the Nutmeg State theme, it looked like a place that crossed Hartford with Cancun. Ought to be high comedy later on.

7:11 p.m. – Entered a bar competition, won, and was given the valuable prize of a pitcher of beer. Yay! This place bites.

7:23 p.m. – Drink till I sleep, go to the zoo tomorrow, then bolt for the beach.

7:41 p.m. – They’re playing this god-awful remake of “Hungry Eyes,” by Eric Carmen. If Eric is dead, he is probably rolling over in his grave. If he is alive, this may well be his downfall.

April 2
7:42 a.m. – This morning began early – at 6:15 a.m. That’s not terribly unusual, considering the fact I was asleep by 9:30 p.m. the night before. Brisbane’s finest – the unsavories – greeted me at the Brunswick Street train station once again. This place can’t get in my rear view mirror quick enough.

9:15 a.m. – Bizarro Jeff Spicoli from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

10:45 a.m. – Pretty routine day so far: fed a bunch of kangaroos, fed a few apples to a giant African elephant, pet a few koalas, and even hung with a croc. Pretty run-of-the-mill stuff. I’m also going to watch the Croc Hunter, except not on the Discovery Channel. Nope, that crazy m-f is gonna be 10 feet in front of me at the crocatorium.

3:34 p.m. – On the train back from the Australia Zoo – unreal. I think I’m partially responsible for at least 25% of the kangaroo shit produced tomorrow. I spent about an hour feeding my favorite marsupials and it was so much fun. At one point, when this little Chinese kid pulled its tail, the roo looked a little disturbed…but for the most part, they were very calm.

The Croc Hunter is a crazy m-f. There’s nothing sane or logical about jumping around with a hungry, 17-foot saltwater crocodile. It is entertaining, though. At one point during the show, when the croc was mashing a possum around, Steve fell in the water. You’ve never seen people jump to action faster. If was like if President Bush was giving a speech and someone yelled “gun!” Steve was a bit thrown off by the whole thing and Teri had to take over for a bit, telling corny jokes until he caught his breath.

Well, one hour on the train back to bangin’ Brisbane. I have an early enough flight tomorrow, so I think I might just get out, get to the Blue Room, and check out some more Seinfeld re-runs.

6:25 p.m. – For a dead town like Brisbane, the restaurants sure are a bit pricey.

9:16 p.m. - Gotta love this one girl in the bar. She’s very pretty, bleached blonde hair to her shoulders, blue eyes, short skirt, and a t-shirt that reads “Sweden.” Nooooo, I was gonna guess Kenya. Zambia, even.

9:32 p.m. – Still haven’t grasped the Australian fashion, although I tend to forget that I am probably close to a decade older than these blokes.

But even when I was a younger clubgoer, I never really gave shit about getting primped and foofed up like these guys. At 3 a.m., if the determining factor as to whether or not you close the deal is the amount of gel in your hair or the graffiti on your tee-shirt, then your game is weak.

9:47 p.m. – I’m fascinated by the “woo-woo” girl. I call her such because everytime she and her friends do a shot, which has been every 45 seconds or so, she yelps “woo-woo!” Lame. But, considering the locale, lame is a pretty good attribute.

And by the way, do techno songs have subliminal messages in them like, “dance like a bell-end” or “act like an idiot?”

April 3
9:08 a.m. – Blue Room again. Seinfeld again. Diet Coke again. I am a creature of habit. But that’s OK. I could also use a nap.

9:53 a.m. – Memo to self – buy Seinfeld boxset. Or at least borrow it from Danny.

10:26 a.m. – Does God hate me? On this particular Virgin Blue flight, instead of a small child behind me, kicking and screaming, I have one next to me. Another bizarro - Lauren Simeson on the flight to Proserpine.

10:33 a.m. – Oh glorious glory. Fan-tas-tic-o… Twelve kids just got paraded onto the plane and they’re occupying the three rows directly behind me. A duck! A duck! Fuck.

11:32 a.m. – Here’s the Brisbane wrap-up, in three words: it fucking blew. Maybe I didn’t give it the proper time to, nah, screw that…I gave it plenty of time. There just wasn’t much there there. I bet Brisbane has some redeeming qualities, but I just didn’t see them.

The Australia Zoo kicked ass. All the interaction with the animals, plus seeing the Croc Hunter in action, was well worth it all.

But other than that, Brisbane was merely day four of the solo swing. I’m suffering the ill effects of me-being-overtired syndrome. There’s an easy cure for that.

11:49 a.m. – An orchestra of screaming, yelling, crying, howling, and totally unsupervised children is drowning out my iPod right now. It is the sound of chaos. So much for damned budget travel.

Memo to self – if you’d like to retire on that beach at age 35, invent a useful and humane muzzle for little kids. Call it SpongeBob STFU or something. One little girl just screamed and I think it may have cracked the crystal in the plane’s altimeter, thus affecting the navigational systems more than the illegal use of my portable electronic device.

11:54 a.m. – This airport, if you must call it such, is a singular strip of asphalt in the middle of nowhere.

Oh for fuck’s sake, open the pod bay door, Hal, and throw the screaming kid outside. (I just got pissed. Damn.)

12:34 p.m. – Proserpine was a one-room airport, just about the size of my office back at Iona. It was mostly an outside airport, like one you’d see in the movies or in Haiti. And the baggage claim? They just drive the tractor up and you fetch it yourself. But, in keeping with the good luck I’ve had fetching my stuff, my bag was last. Ah, it’s the consistency I’m after.

Dying for a Final Four result. Whitsundays seem very nice.

12:44 p.m. – Steve the bus driver is quite entertaining, giving us the rundown all about Proserpine and the Whitsundays. This is what the Cape and South County must have been like way, way back.

4:45 p.m. – Holy shit, this place is unreal. The beach is gorgeous, not necessarily ready-to-swim in thanks to the box jellyfish, but the view! The sun is also very strong, and the hostel is actually a nice setup. If I play it right, I could look like Ricky Soliver in a day and a half.

The bar across the way has ESPN and beer, so life is very, very good. Got to watch the second half of the UNC/Michigan State game. Fuck UNC and Roy Williams. But good on the Whitsundays. And Shorty the barkeep.

4:58 p.m. – Addicted to text messaging. Add that to the list.

7:06 p.m. – It’s amazing…when you don’t have TV, you watch whatever is on. I’m watching “The Santa Clause” with Tim Allen and Judge Reinhold. What an absolutely terrible movie.

Will jump ahead another few days tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by. To the next step...

A daily - or every-other-day - account of all there is in my head
that's dying to get out, via my fingers.
(I vow to attack this endeavor with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.)

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