rion psychic

Light My Candle...

Why to I let myself get drawn into these situations?  Situations I could so easily avoid by feigning interest in my watch and walking right by?

I was so close to home... so close I could see it.  From the station overpass, I'd followed the skyline to my house and up to the moon above, before I started down the stairs towards home.  Then I stopped at the landing in the middle.  A woman seemed to be struggling with a large suitcase.  It appeared she'd dragged the case down one flight, where the effort had exhausted her, leaving her stranded in the middle, draped and panting over the railing.  Both myself and another guy heading downstairs stepped to her aid, offering to assist with the luggage.  The woman gratefully nodded thanks to us both.

'Have you got it?' the guy asked, and I nodded, and looked back to the woman for the first time.  As I picked up the red suitcase, she attempted to look at me, struggling, it seemed, even to lift her head.  She panted as she thanked me, through visibly chapped lips, and looked to be struggling even to draw enough breath for the second 'thank you' which she desperately spat out.

'No problem...' I sneered, telling her to relax and take her time, as I took the bag downstairs, allowing her some time to compose herself.  I flipped the beige tag on the bag with my thumb innocuously as I placed the bag down, revealing the name 'Mimi,' and a local landline number along with a mobile number.  Turning back to the staircase, I saw that the woman had struggled to move beyond the landing I'd left her on.

'Sorry...' she wheezed, the effort of just lifting herself from the railing and speaking in tandem seeming to drain her of energy.  She attempted a few steps down, before her panting resumed, and she needed to sit on the stairs to recover further.  She took a swig from a water bottle she carried, some of which I could see had previously spilled over her shirt.

I could have waved goodbye at that point.  I should have bid her a good night and contined briskly away.  But I didn't.

'Take your time,' I said, feigning a smile.  'Rest for a while.'  I waited by her suitcase.  I glanced up at the woman, against the darkening sky.  She kept attempting to stand, but her rotund form threatened to topple her in the opposite direction with each attempt.  I sighed, telling her again to relax, and regain her energy.  What was I doing?  Why was I still waiting, dumbly, next to this woman's heavy red suitcase?

It took her a long time to make it down the remaining maybe twelve steps.  I tried not to make it too obvious that I was monitoring her progress, though not sure what action I would have taken had she actually stumbled forward as she appeared so likely to.  When she reached the bottom of the stairs, panting even more than she had been before, I suggested another period of recovery.  She told me I was kind, and asked my name.

'Dann,' I told her, through clenched teeth, watching a dark blue ute circle the mostly-empty parking lot.  The woman told me her name was Vanessa, and I glanced again at the tag on the bad, with little extra thought.  'How far do you need to go with this bag?'

'Just to the carpark,' she told me.  I asked if she was parked close by.  Perhaps, I could walk this wretched bag to her car and see her on her way.  'Yes, just in the carpark,' she repeated in answer to my question.  I looked at the few cars, wondering which I'd be stopping at before I went home.

Weak, but apparently with some strength regained, Vanessa stood, without saying anything further, and took some exploratory steps towards the carpark, looking around, peering behind the steps we'd just spent so long traversing.  'Are you waiting to be picked up by someone?' I asked, after she didn't seem to be making progress to any particular car.

'No,' she said.  I waited for further explanation, which I was worried wasn't going to come, until Vanessa moved distressingly close to me.  Leaning in to my face, she said, without emotion, 'This is embarrassing.  My car is on the other side of the platform.'  She smiled widely.

I closed my eyes for a few seconds.  'Are you sure?' I asked.  'The other side of the platform is all bus stops...'
'Yes,' she nodded, looking back up the stairs.  'I was confused.  But that is where I'm parked.  I know where my car is.'

I sighed, and asked if she was sure that her car was on the other side, and if she would like help to move her bag back across the bridge.  "Oh!" smiled Vanessa.  "You're too kind.  Why are you so kind?"

I told her to come on, suggesting we use the long, winding ramp, rather than the stairs for the return journey.  As I wheeled the case to the start of the ramp, Vanessa started toddling off in a different direction.  I called out to her, telling her it was this way.  She didn't acknowledge the error, and I started up the ramp to the first of several landings on the ramp leading upwards.  Noticing her lagging behind, struggling to keep up with the pace I'd deliberately slowed, I slowed further.  Catching up to me, Vanessa took another break, leaning against the rails of the ramp.  When she started moving again, I let her lead, noticing that the effort was causing her to sway.  I didn't open conversation.  Vanessa started to a few times, only asking if I minded helping her.  Hearing the effort of combining speech with movement, I cut her off each time, telling her not to worry.

By the time we'd made it to the top of the ramp, Vanessa was visbily staggering, to the point that I'd lunged forward a couple of times, thinking I'd need to at least steady her so she didn't fall into the concrete bridge we were walking on.  When she stopped to lean against the glass panel overlooking the train tracks below to recover from the climb, I nodded in the direction of the darkness at the opposide end of the bridge.

'That's where you parked?' I indicated.  'Over there?'

Vanessa may have nodded, I wasn't sure.  By now, she seemed completely depleted of energy.  But a plan had formed in my mind.  If I could guide her into the station building, perhaps I could gain the attention of the ever-present station staff or even the group of police officers I'd noticed earlier to leave her in their care.

'Tell me when you're ready to keep going,' I told her.  She nodded, took a few steps, then stopped, swaying, and collapsed, her water bottle falling to the ground.  I lurched forward, and propped her up.  Vanessa's mass was significantly more than my own, though, and I struggled against her weight, able only to stop her fall, and lower her instead to the ground where she sat.  She sat in silence for a while, before trying to get up, telling me something I couldn't decipher, and offering me her closed fist, an action I didn't understand the meaning of.  Failing at standing, she remained leaning against the glass wall.

Looking into the station, I tried to gain the attention of station staff, but, for once, I couldn't see them pacing inside.  'Tell me something,' Vanessa slurred from the ground.

'What?' I asked, still looking into the station.  'What do you want to know?'

'Tell me a joke,' she smiled, her tongue, swollen, perhaps, appearing to get in the way of clear speech.  I considered that this is how the dying speak in action movies.  I reeled one off which I had read on my work's pathetic Yammer joke community.  She made a sound that I suppose was laughter, before she looked up.  'Hey... What's your name?'  I told her, and as she started to tell me her name, I cut her off, telling her I remembered her name.  Before I'd even finished, she asked my name again, and for a joke.

While I'd been on the look-out for staff inside the station to wave over, I'd noticed a young guy with a BMX spending a while ordering from a vending machine.  He spotted me in what must have appeared a strange situation.  He asked if I needed help.  I nodded discretely.  He asked 'You want me to call the cops?'

From the ground, Vanessa unleashed a sudden, gurgling growl.  I looked down, then back to the guy  'No,' I said, loud enough for him to hear.  'Can you see the station staff around?  Just wave them over.'

'No!' Vanessa gripped my pants leg.  'No, don't call the cops!'

I told her that I wasn't, but said that I'd waved to the station staff.  'Maybe they can think of somewhere better for you to sit for a while...' I said, seeing station staff inside, finally.  I wasn't sure if they'd noticed me waving to them, but thought I saw them look over, and sharply away.

'You can't!' Vanessa gurgled.  'You can't get the police...'

She kept talking, and I said stuff quietly, still trying to wave the attention of the staff.  Behind them, I saw the boy on the BMX appear at the other end of the platform, pointing in my direction.  The crew of police officers I'd passed when I first arrived at the station followed his directions over to me.  I don't remember what the group asked, but an officer, waved me away while some of his colleagues kneeled down near Vanessa.

'I'm Nathan,' he started.  'What happened here?'

I told him I'd found Vanessa on the stairs, and offered to help her with her bag, and that I thought she'd exhausted herself carrying it, but that now I wasn't sure.

The officer asked for my name, and told me his again.  He asked me if I knew the woman, to which I said I didn't.  I heard his colleague asking Vanessa 'Who is Mimi?'  The officer asked me where I had been, and where I was going, and I told him.  He asked for identification, and I had to explain why my license and passport both had my previous address on them.  He told me he was conerned about the woman's mannerisms, and asked me if she was using drugs.

'I don't know, man,' I said.  'I only met her ten minutes ago...'

'I just came from down the road,' I heard Vanessa complaining behind the officer.

'You're good to lend a hand,' the officer told me.  'By the way, my name is Nathan.  Keep up the good work.'

I, finally, said goodnight, and walked quickly back down the stairs.  I didn't look back or even listen to what was happening on the bridge behind me.  Once I got home, though, I did take a look through my binoculars, and saw that the group of officers was still tending to the woman on the railway overpass.  Watching from afar, I recalled a couple of previous incidents, also on public transport, where I'd assisted people, several years ago.  A couple of times, people had reprimanded me when I reacted negatively to the exaggerated displays of gratitude shown.  A quote has stayed with me:  'Why do you even bother to help if you don't want thanks?'  Again tonight, I wonder why I do.  I always thought it was, in some holistic sense, required of humans.  Wasn't that the point of an infamous Seinfeld plot at some point?  I was never a fan, so I don't know.  But as recently as last month, members of what my colleagues refer to as my 'Tram Club' mocked me for helping a mother lift her child-laden pram onto the tram.  Maybe they were right to do so.  So little benefit come from helping people, and usually there is some annoying burden too.
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max's eyes

finalList of the decade (2010 - 2019)...

Ball Park Music - Frank
Cub Sport - Come On Mess Me Up
Elliphant - Love Me Badder
Hellions - Nightliner Rhapsody
Major Lazer - Jessica {Ft. Ezra Koenig}
Metric - Speed The Collapse
Nothing By Thieves - Amsterdam
The Rubens - My Gun
SAFIA - Paranoia, Ghosts & Other Sounds
Vampire Weekend - Step
rion psychic

Something Has Changed...

The man is an artist.  The woman is a consultant of some kind contacted for police investigations.  They had met in unlikely circumstances but found themselves drawn together socially, despite their differences.  After his son goes to bed, the artist prefers to debate the nature of the universe over a glass of wine, admiring the sea views from his (barely) converted warehouse home curiosity.  The sometimes-detective would rather a more adventurous evening, her penchant for sports cars and fast driving often impressing or intimidating her dates.

After meeting professionally, they'd each tried to ignore their mutual attractions, but had easily fallen into a pattern of 'dating,' (although neither had ever used such a word to describe the relationship.)  Each found the other fascinating, delighting in each new revelation, none of them feeling like a complete surprise.

I don't remember how I became involved with the pair, but tonight I've been assisting the 'detective' in her investigation, my insight apparently unique and useful (a compliment which, I can't deny, I feel pride in.)  The artist's son has accompanied us for reasons I don't think were ever really explained to me, and he now sits in the passenger seat next to the detective on the driver's side.  From the dark back seat of the current-model Porsche 911, I watch the detective shift her eyes from the road to the boy from time to time, surprised yet impressed with how easily she has been able to connect with the boy, the first time she's had much reason to interact with someone so young.  I understand the look completely as she glides the car quickly through the sparse evening traffic, even though we are not in a rush.

As we draw nearer to the dock on which the artist's warehouse home sits, I notice the driver cast another glance at the boy, this time a brief one filled with concern, though she makes no comment and returns her focus to the road ahead.  A moment later, and I understand the cause of her expression.  The sight of flashing emergency lights becomes visible to me in the sports car's back seats.
None of us speak as drive closer to the lights and the car slows.  All three sets of eyes in the car are locked onto the distinctly human shape which has been covered by a tarpaulin, shockingly bright blue amidst the assemblage of police outside the warehouse.

An electronic tone draws my attention from the form beneath the blue sheet.  Loud but not obtrusive, it is distinctly not organic to the scene, and goes unnoticed by the other two occupants of the vehicle.  Taking one last look at the shape on the dock, I acknowledge the source of the sound, and wake up to switch off the alerm ringing on my new mobile phone.  I smile to myself at the potential of the dream I've woken from, and sigh at the knowledge that, like the last episode of a prematurely cancelled television series, this story will not be continued.

I used to have detailed dreams like this reguarly, and kept dated notebooks outlining their plots, should I need to refer to them for some reason - inspiration, perhaps, or curiosity.  The dreams didn't stop, but did stop being as detailed or easy to remember.  Based upon the dates of the notebooks, I theorised that I suddenly started remembering my dreams due to the use of Tegretol and noted that the notebooks have less entries after I ceased using the drug.

The content of the dreams could certainly be explained.  Themes have continued through my life to this day.  A recurring element is my missing some catastrophic event whilst being inside a building for work.  I could always tell I was working too many hours, and sacrificing too much time, when things like that happened within my dreams.  Obviously, since I haven't been working a lot, and variously at that, this plot hasn't been evident recently.

But something has changed.  I've started remembering my dreams, and dreaming vivid plots like I used to, in the last few months.  Perhaps my mind is understimulated.  I don't know if medication could be an influence - I haven't spoken to anyone about my dosage in eight years - but I am not dissatisfied with the symptom anyway.  A highlight was a dream in which agents Mulder and Scully were interviewing me about the sudden appearance of a second sun in the Earth's sky.

I guess I'll just enjoy this while it lasts.
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rion psychic

finalList 2019...

Alex Lahey - Am I Doing It Right?
Harper Finn - Conversations (With The Moon)
Lana Del Rey - The greatest
PUP - Morbid Stuff
Rex Orange County - New House
Skynd - Tyler Hadley
Slowly Slowly - Creature Of Habit Pt. 2
Thelma Plum - Better In Blak
Tones And I - Johnny Run Away
Thornhill - In My Skin
max's eyes

shortList 2019...

100 - Weightless
A Day To Remember - Degenerates
Aitch - Buss Down {Ft. ZieZie}
Alex Lahey - Don't Be So Hard On Yourself
Alex Lahey - Am I Doing It Right?
Alex Lahey - Interior Demeanour
Ali Barter - Ur A Piece Of Shit
Ali Barter - History Of Boys
Alice Skye - I Feel Better But I Don't Feel Good
Alison Wonderland - Peace
Allday - Restless {Ft. The Veronicas}
American Football - Uncomfortably Numb {Ft. Hayley Williams}
Amyl and The Sniffers - Monsoon Rock
Angel Olsen - All Mirrors
Angie McMahon - Pasta
A•sgeir - Youth
Ashe - In Disguise
BABYMETAL - Shanti Shanti Shanti
Bad//Dreems - Sonny
Bag Raiders - Lightning {Ft. The Kite String Tangle}
Baker Boy - Meditjin {Ft. JessB}
Bakers Eddy - Can't Afford It
Barrie - Clovers
Beautiful Monument, The - Deceiver
Bec Sandridge - EYES WIDE
Beck - Saw Lightning {Ft. Pharrell}
Beck - Uneventful Days
BENEE - Find An Island
benny blanco & Juice WRLD - Graduation
Big Thief - Century
Billie Eilish - all the good girls go to hell
Billie Eilish - bury a friend
Billie Eilish - my strange addiction
Billie Eilish - xanny
Birdz - Black Child {Ft. Mojo Juju}
BLESSED - Memoirs Of The Melancholy
BOI - Imaginary Boys
Boo Seeka - Rush
Boston Manor - Liquid {Ft. John Floreani}
Bring Me The Horizon - heavy metal {ft. Rahzel}
Bring Me The Horizon - mother tongue
Broods - Sucker
Butterfly Effect, The - Unbroken
Cage The Elephant - Ready To Let Go
Catfish And The Bottlemen - 2all
Catfish And The Bottlemen - Encore
Ceres - Me & You
CHAI - Choose Go!
Chance The Rapper - Ballin Flossin
Chance The Rapper - Hot Shower
Chats, The - Pub Feed
Circa Waves - Movies
Clairo - Alewife
Crooked Colours - Never Dance Alone {Ft. Ladyhawke}
Cry Club - DFTM
Cry Club - Two Hearts
Cub Sport - Party Pill
CXLOE - Devil You Don't
Dave - Black
Dean Lewis - 7 Minutes
Dean Lewis - Hold Of Me
Dear Seattle - Daytime TV
Dear Seattle - Try
Denzel Curry - RICKY
Dizzy - Twist
Dune Rats - Rubber Arm
DZ Deathrays - Year Of The Dog {Ft. Matt Caughthran}
Eat Your Heart Out - Carousel
Erthlings - Returning
Fergus James - Mistakes
FIDLAR - By Myself
FIDLAR - Flake
Foals - On The Luna
Foals - Black Bull
Foals - The Runner
Fractures - Chains {Ft. ROZES}
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes - Anxiety
G Flip - Lover
girl in red - dead girl in the pool.
Gracie Abrams - Stay
Green Buzzard - I Don't Want To Be Alone
Greta Stanley - Kick
Haiku Hands - Dare You Not To Dance
HAIM - Summer Girl
Half Moon Run - Then Again
Harper Finn - Conversations (With The Moon)
Hayley Mary - The Piss, The Perfume
Hein Cooper - The Fear {triple j Like A Version 2019}
Hilltop Hoods - Be Yourself {Ft. Ecca Vandal/Nyassa}
Hilltop Hoods - OOFT (Ponda Baba)
Hobo Johnson - Typical Story
Hockey Dad - I Missed Out
Holy Holy - Teach Me About Dying
Holy Holy - Maybe You Know
I Know Leopard - All That She Cared About
I Prevail - Breaking Down
I Prevail - Paranoid
Illy - Then What
Injury Reserve - Jailbreak The Tesla {Ft. Aminé}
Jack River - Adolescent
Jai Wolf - Lose My Mind {Ft. Mr Gabriel}
James Blake - Don't Miss It
John Floreani - Echoes
Kat Edwards - Good Girl
Kevin Abstract - Baby Boy
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Cyboogie
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Planet B
Kingswood - Say You Remember
Kira Puru - Why Don't We Get Along
Lana Del Rey - Doin' Time
Lana Del Rey - The greatest
Lizzo - Cuz I Love You
Love Fame Tragedy - Backflip
LSD - Heaven Can Wait
Mansionair - Alibi
Meg Mac - I'm Not Coming Back
Methyl Ethel - All The Elements
Methyl Ethel - Ruiner
Mickey Kojak - Video Games
MID CITY - Fake Friends Forever
Milky Chance - Daydreaming {Ft. Tash Sultana}
Milky Chance - Fado
Miss June - Anomaly
Montaigne - Losing My Mind
Montaigne - Love Might Be Found (Volcano)
Murlocs, The - Comfort Zone
mxmtoon - Blame Game
Nilüfer Yanya - In Your Head
Ocean Grove - Ask For The Anthem
Ocean Sleeper - Light In My Dark
Of Monsters And Men - Alligator
Olympia - Hounds
Owl Eyes - You Don't Know Love {Ft. Tapz}
Palehound - Killer
Phantogram - Mister Impossible
Polish Club - Breakapart
Polish Club - Iguana
Pond - Daisy
Poppy - Scary Mask (feat. Fever 333)
Post Malone - Goodbyes {Ft. Young Thug}
Press Club - Get Better
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - Hymn For A Droid
PUP - Free At Last
PUP - Morbid Stuff
PUP - See You At Your Funeral
Rapsody - Ibtihaj {Ft. D'Angelo & GZA}
RedHook - Paralysed
Rex Orange County - New House
Rex Orange County - 10/10
Rex Orange County - It Gets Better
Rich Brian - 100 Degrees
Rich Brian - Yellow {Ft. Bekon}
Rubens, The - Live In Life
Ruby Fields - Trouble
Ruel - Free Time
S.L.P., The - Favourites {Ft. Little Simz}
SAFIA - Resolution
SAFIA - Think We're Not Alone
Sahara Beck - Queen Of Hearts
Sam Fender - Hypersonic Missiles
Sam Fender - Will We Talk?
SebAstian - Run For Me {Ft. Gallant}
SKYND - Tyler Hadley
Sløtface - Telepathetic
Slow Pulp - High
Slowly Slowly - Jellyfish
Slowly Slowly - Creature Of Habit Pt. 2
SOAK - Deja Vu
Stand Atlantic - Hate Me (Sometimes)
Stella Donnelly - Lunch
Stormzy - Vossi Bop
Tame Impala - Borderline
Thelma Plum - Better In Blak
Thelma Plum - Homecoming Queen
Thornhill - Nurture
Thornhill - In My Skin
Thornhill - Lily & The Moon
Tones And I - Johnny Run Away
Tones And I - Dance Monkey
Tones And I - The Kids Are Coming
TOWNS - Safe To Stay
Tyler, The Creator - I THINK
Tyne-James Organ - Something New
Vampire Weekend - This Life
Vanns, The - Deranged
Voyager - Colours
WAAX - Big Grief
Washington - American Spirit
Wave Racer - AUTO
Wave Racer - This N That {Ft. Lunchmoney Lewis}
Weeknd, The - Blinding Lights
Windwaker - My Empire
Yeasayer - Fluttering In The Floodlights
YUNGBLUD & Halsey - 11 Minutes {Ft. Travis Barker}
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haw flake

Cola Festival 2019...

Coca-Cola Energy:
I always like the chance to try something new from Coca-Cola (and, it was their pre-summer release schedule that inspired the timing of the festival for August,) so I was glad to see something quite different from the brand - an energy drink version branded as simple Coca-Cola Energy.

I tried the regular version, with a sugar-free option available. (The can design for each is almost indistinguishable, so I didn't even realise I had choices to consider until later.)  The flavour was interesting, with the tang common to energy drinks, but less pronounced than in V or RedEye.  The cola flavour is not the distinctive Coke taste, but more of a vintage cola.  Overall it wasn't a bad addition to both the cola and energy drink market, though one that was hardly groundbreaking.

Soda Press Co. Blonde Cola:
Soda Press Co. are another welcome addition to the apparently burgeoning DIY soda syrup game.  Whilst sitting alongside Soda King and even SodaStream syrups on the shelf Soda Press's syrups might seem a costlier option, the larger bottles seem as concentrated as Soda King's, so the difference is a wash.  Soda Press also produce more exotic flavours, though my first attempt, when I excitedly tried their pink graprefruit syrup, made me realise I mix a lot less grapefruit cocktails than I had thought I might.  A new flavour, Blonde Cola, arrived in time for this year's festival.

When I mixed it, I wasn't sure I had the dosage right.  I'd been expecting the liquid to remain mostly clear, like Bart Simpson's Clear Cola which was available in the early 1990s (peculiarly sold in a car, negating the product's novel clarity) or the new Coca-Cola Clear released in Japan.  Mixed at the prescribed dosage, the result is a pale, almost ginger ale colour.  The bouquet, though, is distinctively cola, almost like the flavour of those Japanese cola bottle lollies.  The flavour was refreshing, though not as distinctively cola as the scent.  I am excited to try the drink as a mixer, and especially curious about how it will work with gin.  It seems like a perfect match for Canadian whisky, being less dry than ginger ale, and not so strong as to neutralise the whisky's flavour.

Pepsi 1893:
I'd been looking forward to trying PepsiCo's (presumably) heritage recipe since I'd first spotted its appearance, but it took until the Festival to do so.  Unfortunately, I think the reduction in price is probably a sign of the discontinuation of the product line, rather than a generous celebration.
I tried the Original Cola flavour first, and was very impressed.  As expected, it had the base of what I tend to call a vintage cola, but was also more carbonated than these typically tend to be.  Beneath that, deeper flavours rose in the aftertaste, almost like the calm slowBurn of a spirit.  The cola taste was followed by nutty, spicey flavours that truly are quite unique in this market.  I even started to wonder if the drink, as well as being refreshing in the afternoon, might have the medicinal qualities of Pepsin as Brad's Drink had originally intended.

The following day, I sampled the Ginger Cola variant, pleased to find another Ginger Cola on the market after CCA's short-lived attempt.  I was even more pleased when I opened the can: the ginger scent is immediately apparent, but the taste was not overwhelming, as it was in Coke's ginger edition.  The result was an instantly refreshing drink, the perfect balance of traditional cola and ginger spice, added with the right amount of carbonation.  PepsiCo's 1893 varieties were a nice change, and it would be good if they could stay around.

Bickford's Kola Nut:
Another syrup, this one is described, oddly, as being archival. Like the 1893 Pepsi, this was clearly reduced as a deleted product rather than in recognition of the Cola Festival (the entire shelf was marked 'Reduced to Clear.')  For $1 per bottle, I thought it was worth a try.  Mixed with soda water, the concoction didn't have a lot of flavour.  Even when mixing well beyond the recommended dosage, the result was mediocre, with slight hints of a Sunnyboy Cola taste, but it is so faint as to render it meaningless.

Nexba Cola:
Billed as 'Naturally Refreshing,' Nexba Cola is one that I have seen and been tempted by at Festivals for at least the last few years, but have never actually sampled.  Something about the product never appealed to me.  Maybe it was the 1990s style graphics on the packaging.  Unfortunately, the flavour also had the same impact on me.  It wasn't bad, and was certainly a refreshing drink as advertised.  It was just kind of bland.  The cola taste was indistinct, and perhaps even closer to something like Creaming Soda.

Lo Bros Organic Cola Kombucha:
Despite being surrounded by Kombucha in my previous job, where everyone seemed to drink variations of the drink at lunch time in my last couple of years, I had never actually tried it before this festival.  I had not realised the drink is promoted as a probiotic, I guess a more refreshing alternative to Yakult, and maybe something with health benefits.  I was not interested in that though, and was just here for the taste.

This was distinctly something with a cola flavour, rather than a pure cola, but the flavour was there nevertheless.  Combined with the flavour was a kind of dryness, like the texture of ginger ale, which was not unwelcome and did not make the drink any less refreshing.  I was also pleased to find that there was a slight carbonation, though not as much as I might usually like.  Still, the drink would certainly be a nice refreshment in warm weather.
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    Get To Know - Cosmo's Midnight feat. Winston Surfshirt
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rion psychic

Eric van Viele...

Eric van Viele was an actor renowned for his work on stages throughout Germany.  Like many actors of the day, Eric was skeptical about the new medium film, in which some of his contemporaries were starting to dabble.  Hearing of the international attention being given to the so-called 'Expressionist' cinema of Germany, Eric reached out cautiously to F. W. Murnau.  Little is known of how the pair came to be acquainted, but Murnau granted Eric a role in his upcoming film Nosferatu.  Despite being a novice within the medium, and, in the role of 'Sailor' - a bit-part, little more than an extra - Eric van Viele became known as disruptive on set.  He questioned Murnau's creative and technical decisions, and the pair were frequently witnessed involved in increasingly volatile arguments.  Amongst the cast and crew, rumours were rife surrounding the exact nature of the pair's relationship, and even of off-set violence.  While Murnau was promoting his later film, Sunrise, Eric also spoke to the media, referring to the director as dummer hirnloser dummkopf. Finally, Murnau complained to his solicitor about what he described as Eric's slander.  Arrested on charges of defamation, Eric van Viele was executed three days later, despite charges never being substantiated.

Except that he wasn't.

I'd heard about the film Nosferatu, read articles about its deviations from its source material, viewed stills in film history books.  But I'd never been able to view the movie.  Channel 31 played old movies, but tended to stick to talkies.  Once I started university, I found that the library had a wealth of DVDs, purportedly for film students to draw on for precedent, but I don't think Man Bites Dog ever served as anything more than salacious entertainment.  Even with my CAVAL priveleges, I didn't find a copy of Nosferatu in any of the libraries.  Instead, in the summer before my final year of study in 2003, I found a copy of Murnau's film on a budget DVD produced thanks to the film's lack of copyright protection in a discount store.

Sometimes after anticipating a movie for a long time, I am disappointed when I finally watch, but this wasn't the case when I eventually viewed Nosferatu.  It was the style of the film that made an impression on me, in much the same way as 2001: A Space Odyssey had.  Unlike 2001 though, I made a note of several flaws in the copy of Nosferatu which I had watched.  The soundtrack chosen by the DVD's author to accompany the originally silent film seemed to be mismatched, and at times maybe chosen at random (though sounds like bells matched to vision on screen are less tacky in practice than I might have imagined.)  The caption cards appeared to have been translated too literally from the original German, and presented oddly in a typeface I recognised immediately as one I'd downloaded myself for an earlier project, a proxy of that used by Coca-Cola.
I vowed to produce my own, more faithful production of the film, but so far the project has yet to be realised.

A few months later, the ABC premiered Welcher & Welcher, Shaun Micallef's sitcom about a husband and wife law firm.  Possibly in preparation for the online interactivity for viewers to work with in the upcoming myster-comedy Fat Cow Motel, the series was accompanied by a website which evolved with each episode.  Rather than merely promoting the coming episode with a synopsis, the site purported to be the homepage of the real Welcher & Welcher law firm.  The site offered free legal advice relevent to the upcoming plot, which I presume from its style, to have been written by Shaun Micallef himself.  The information for episode six's release, dealing with a case of defamation, included the document 'So you've defamed a politician?' which included the following excerpt within its Common Questions section:
Who directed Sunrise (1927) and was he ever defamed?
The silent classic Sunrise was directed by the great German director FW Murnau. Murnau was once called a 'stupid know-nothing silly' by Eric van Viele, an extra on Murnau's earlier silent film, Nosferatu (1922). The subsequent defamation case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. Three days later, Viele was beheaded.

The joke, of course, is that such a specific question is unlikely to be asked commonly.  Nevertheless, it amused my brother and I, and inspired him to watch my copy of the aforementioned film.  I joined him for a repeat screening, this time with suppositions about which actor could be the fabled 'Eric van Viele' character.  The meddling locals in the pub Thomas Hutter visits in Transylvania were quickly ruled out.  They seemed too plain to be someone we had decided in the time between reading the Welcher article and the first quarter of an hour of the movie to be someone of some renown, perhaps a recognised theatrical actor?  The carriage driver was a possibility, but we imagined someone without lines, but with plenty of ambition.  The sailors were a possibility!

I rewatched the movie a few years later, and remembered the story of Eric van Viele, the ill-fated extra.  Searching for information online, the only article that came up was the Welchers' legal advice.  By this time, Wikipedia was five years old, and well enough known for its dubious reliability for my brother's university to have documented rules outlawing its use as a source in scholarly work. (An exception was granted for one of his classmates when writing on the impact of Myspace on the music industry, due to the lack of other sources available.)  I'd recently dabbled in editing the pages of Wikipedia, usually merely correcting spelling errors or citing sources. When I'd discovered that my former high school's page featured little information other than promoting the achievements of a friend, I decided to elaborate.  Perhaps intending to build upon what I guessed to be his self-promotion, I expanded upon his profile.  The information was not untrue, but also not anything with sources that could be cited.  It was not defamatory, but written in such a way as to appear deliberately far-fetched.

So whilst I saw that it was flawed, Wikipedia was a page I visited regularly as a starting point for topics I might like to find out more about (research being a kind of hobby I maintain to this day.)  One of the topics I'd been looking into at that time was cases where belief in something had made it become (or seem to become) real.  And so, whilst looking at the history of Nosferatu, with my current research obsession in my mind, I added a character to the cast, citing the Welcher article as a source.  Perhaps, at the time, I wondered if this couple of paragraphs of backstory for the fictitious character from a joke could lead to some kind of belief, but I moved onto other areas of interest and forgot about it.

Then, last week, I recieved a number of emails.  I didn't see them until the deadline within them had elapsed.  All of them were headlined with a notification that someone had left me a message on Wikipedia.  I might have thought them a scam of some kind had I not looked into the content.  Until I saw them, I wasn't even aware that one could be sent a message on Wikipedia.  The earliest of the messages invited me to be a part of a discussion on the validity of my article on Eric van Viele.  Later messages increased in their urgency, culminating in one inviting me to view a message regarding the 'speedy deletion nomination of Eric van Viele,' and the stern warning 'Please do not introduce inappropriate pages, such as Eric van Viele, to Wikipedia.'

I followed the link to view the message, and read through the discussion.  The users raised valid points, which I agreed with, and I admired that they seemed to have conducted some degree of research (though astoundingly mentioned seeing Eric's name appearing in the credits of Nosferatu.)  Following in their footsteps, I was surprised to find that an internet search on the exact phrase 'Eric van Viele' returns over four million results.  IMDb lists a second film credit in his name, and several websites include Eric van Viele in discussions of films of the era.  As well as the expected DVD copies of Nosferatu (and a two-disc set that I was initially curious about, until I saw that the second disc was merely a sepia-tinted copy of the same film as the first disc) Amazon advertises some unexpected Eric van Viele items.  At the end of the Wikipedia users' discussion, it was agreed upon by all that the article must have been created as a hoax, and that it should be removed.  They even went on to list it on an entry called 'List of hoaxes on Wikipedia,' though one user states this may be inappropriate as 'the guy was real but the story wasn't.'

And so, Eric van Viele, nothing more than a name devised as a part of a punchline of a joke which did not even appear in a television programme, has apparently, thanks to my ignorant actions, been recognised as appearing in a film he did not, and noted as the longest running hoax in the history of Wikipedia, at 13 years and 3 months.
rion psychic

FinalList 2018...

Ball Park Music - Frank
Basement - Disconnect
Confidence Man - Try Your Luck
Hellions - Smile
I Know Leopard - Landmine
Olympia - Star City
Ruel - Dazed & Confused {Prod. M-Phazes}
Stand Atlantic - Skinny Dipping
Trophy Eyes - Friday Forever
YUNGBLUD - Polygraph Eyes
haw flake

shortList 2018...

070 Shake - Mirrors
1010 Benja SL - Ultimaybe
A Perfect Circle - So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish
A$AP Rocky - A$AP Forever {Ft. Moby/T.I./ Kid Cudi}
A$AP Rocky - Sundress
A. Swayze & The Ghosts - Suddenly
Aburden - To The Sky
After Touch - Six Feet Closer
Ainslie Wills - Society
Airways - Alien
Alex The Astronaut - Waste Of Time
All Time Low - Everything Is Fine
Amity Affliction, The - Feels Like I'm Dying
Amity Affliction, The - Ivy (Doomsday)
Amy Shark - All Loved Up
Amy Shark - Don't Turn Around
Amy Shark - I Said Hi
Amy Shark - Never Coming Back
Amy Shark - The Idiot
Angie McMahon - Missing Me
Another Sky - Forget Yourself
Antony & Cleopatra - Hurt Like Hell
Approachable Members Of Your Local Community - Semiotic Vision
Architects - Royal Beggars
Arctic Monkeys - American Sports
Arctic Monkeys - Four Out Of Five
Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Augie March - Bootikins
AURORA - Queendom
Baauer - 3AM {Ft. AJ Tracey/Jae Stephens}
Babe Rainbow, The - Supermoon
BABYMETAL - Distortion
BABYMETAL - Starlight
Bad Juju - Moving On
Baker Boy - Black Magic {Ft. Dallas Woods}
Ball Park Music - Frank
Ball Park Music - I Am So In Love With You
Ball Park Music - The End Times
Basement - Disconnect
BATTS - Shame
Bearcubs - Landslide
Bec Sandridge - Animal
Bec Stevens - They Don't Build Cars Like This Anymore
Ben Howard - Nica Libres At Dusk
Bene - Soaked
Beths, The - You Wouldn't Like Me
Billie Eilish - you should see me in a crown
Bishop Briggs - Baby
BLEACHERS - Alfie's Song (Not So Typical Love Song)
BOAT SHOW - Restless
Bob Moses - Heaven Only Knows
BØRNS & Lana Del Rey - God Save Our Young Blood
Boston Manor - Halo
breathe. - Are You All Good?
Bring Me The Horizon - Wonderful Life {Ft. Dani Filth}
BUGS - Glue
Burnout - Get Out
Cable Ties - Tell Them Where To Go
Canary - Two Step
Car Seat Headrest - Cute Thing
Carl Renshaw - Sence
Cautious Clay - Stolen Moments
Charli XCX - Don't Delete The Kisses {triple j Like A Version 2017}
Childish Gambino - This Is America
Christine And The Queens - Doesn't Matter
City Calm Down - Joan, I'm Disappearing
CLEWS - Museum
Cog - The Middle
Columbus - Don't Know How To Act
Confidence Man - Catch My Breath
Confidence Man - Don't You Know I'm In A Band
Confidence Man - Out The Window
Confidence Man - Santa's Comin' Down The Chimney
Confidence Man - Try Your Luck
Cosmo Sheldrake - Wriggle {Mr Jukes Edit}
Courtney - Barnett Charity
Courtney Barnett - Nameless, Faceless
Cousin Tony's Brand New Firebird - Transient
CREO - Plasticine Mezzanine
Cub - Sport Sometimes
Darwin Deez - The World's Best Kisser
Dead Letter Circus - The Real You
DEAN FOREVER - Ease The Nearing
Dean Lewis - Be Alright
Didirri - I Can't Get Last Night Out Of My Head
Disclosure - Where Angels Fear To Tread
DMA'S - For Now
DMA'S - The End
Dream On Dreamer - Let It In
Dream Wife - Hey Heartbreaker
Dylan Joel - Hollering Love
DZ Deathrays - Like People
E^ST - Blowjob
E^ST - I Don't Lack Imagination
Ebhoni - Opps
Editors - Hallelujah (So Low)
Eilish Gilligan - S.M.F.Y.
Emerson Snowe - If I Die, Then I Die
Emma Louise - Falling Apart
Everything Everything - Breadwinner
Faim, The - Saints Of The Sinners
Florence And The Machine - Hunger
Flowermouth - Gown
Franz Ferdinand - Lazy Boy
Fraser A. Gorman - Walking To Oman's
G Flip - Killing My Time
Gengahr - Before Sunrise
Ghost - Rats
Ghostemane - D(r)ead
Girlpool - Hire
Golden Features - Runner
Gooch Palms, The - Busy Bleeding
Goon Sax, The - She Knows
Gorillaz - Tranz
Gretta Ray - Time
Grimes - We Appreciate Power {Ft. HANA}
Haiku Hands - Jupiter
half•alive - still feel.
Hands Like Houses - Overthinking
Hard Aches, The - Happy
Hatchie - Sugar & Spice
Hellions - Smile
Highasakite - Out Of Order
Hilltop Hoods - Leave Me Lonely
Hinds - The Club
Hockey Dad - I Wanna Be Everybody
Hockey Dad - Join The Club
Hockey Dad - Sweet Release
Hopium - Leave
I Don’t Know How But They Found Me - Do It All The Time
I Know Leopard - Landmine
IAMDDB - Conjuring
IDLES - Danny Nedelko
IV League - Superstar
Jack Gray - My Hands
Jack River - Confess
Jack White - Connected By Love
Japanese Wallpaper - Fooling Around
John Butler Trio - Home
Jungle - Happy Man
Kanye West - Ghost Town
Karen O & Danger Mouse - Lux Prima
Kero Kero Bonito - Make Believe
Kimbra - Human
King Princess - Talia
Kira Puru - Molotov
Kite String Tangle, The - Give It Time {Ft. Aalias}
Kooks, The - No Pressure
LANKS - twentyseven
Last Dinosaurs - Eleven
Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers - China Beach
Leikeli47 - Hoyt And Schermerhorn
Leikeli47 - Mulita
Leikeli47 - Roll Call
Let's Eat Grandma - I Will Be Waiting
Lily Allen - Trigger Bang {Ft. Giggs}
Little May - Lover
Liza Anne - Small Talks
LOSER - Loser
LPX - Might Not Make It Home
LSD - Genius
LSD - Thunderclouds
Luca Brasi - Clothes I Slept In
Lykke Li - deep end
Mallrat - Groceries
Mallrat - UFO {Ft. Allday}
Mansionair - Falling
Manu Crook$ - Fuego {Ft. Anfa Rose}
Mark Ronson - Nothing Breaks Like A Heart {Ft. Miley Cyrus}
Meg Mac - Give Me My Name Back
Merk - LuckMGMT Me And MichaelDilemma
Methyl Ethel - Scream Whole
MGMT - Me And Michael
MGMT - When You Die
MID CITY - Old Habits
Middle Kids - On My Knees
Miya Folick - Stop Talking
MØ - Blur
Montaigne - For Your Love
Muse - Thought Contagion
Nicole Millar - Gimme A Break
Nine Inch Nails - God Break Down The Door
Nothing But Thieves - Forever & Ever More
Nothing But Thieves - Take This Lonely Heart
Nyxen - In The City
Ocean Alley - Corduroy
Ocean Sleeper - Save Me
Odette - Take It To The Heart
Olympia - Star City
Parcels - Withorwithout
Parkway Drive - Chronos
Parkway Drive - The Void
Peking Duk - Fire
Petit Biscuit - Suffer {Ft. SKOTT}
Phantastic Ferniture - Gap Year
Polish Club - Clarity
Pom Poko - My Blood
Post Malone - Better Now
Post Malone & Swae Lee - Sunflower
Press Club - Suburbia
Rich Brian - watch out!
Riton & Kah-Lo - Fake ID
Robert DeLong - Favorite Color Is Blue {Ft. K.Flay}
Rubens, The - Casper
Rubens, The - Freakout
Rubens, The - God Forgot
Rubens, The - Never Ever {Ft. Sarah}
Ruby Fields - Dinosaurs
Ruby Fields - Ritalin
Ruel Dazed & Confused {Prod. M-Phazes}
RÜFÜS DU SOL - Treat You Better
SAFIA - Freakin' Out
Samsaruh - The Beginning
Sarah Blasko - A Shot
ShockOne - Bleed Black {Ft. Cruz Patterson}
Skegss - Smogged Out
Skegss - Up In The Clouds
Sloan Peterson - New Direction
Slowly Slowly - Alchemy
Slowly Slowly - Ten Leaf Clover
SOPHIE - Immaterial
Stand Atlantic - Lavender Bones
Stand Atlantic - Lost My Cool
Stand Atlantic - Skinny Dipping
Steady Holiday - Nobody's Watching
Stevie Jean - Estranged
Story So Far, The - Let It Go
Superorganism - Everybody Wants To Be Famous
Superorganism - SPRORGNSM
Superorganism - The Prawn Song
Tapestry - Dark Shade
Tash Sultana - Harvest Love
The Gooch Palms - Summertime
The Story So Far - Upside Down
Thelma Plum - Clumsy Love
Thrice - The Grey
Tia Gostelow - Strangers {Ft. LANKS}
Tiny Little Houses - Drag Me
Tiny Little Houses - Team Player
Tonight Alive - Book Of Love
Tonight Alive - Crack My Heart
Tonight Alive - Disappear {Ft. Lynn Gunn}
TOTTY - Uncomfortable
Towkio - Symphony {Ft. Teddy Jackson}
Trophy Eyes - Friday Forever
Trophy Eyes - More Like You
Trophy Eyes - Something Bigger Than This
Trophy Eyes - You Can Count On Me
Two People - In The Garden
WAAX - Labrador
Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar, The - Pray For Me
West Thebarton - Stuck On You
Wombats, The - Cheetah Tongue
Wombats, The - Lethal Combination
Wombats, The - Turn
World Champion - Gun
Young Thug - High {Ft. Elton John}
YUNGBLUD - 21st Century Liability
YUNGBLUD - Polygraph Eyes
YUNGBLUD - Psychotic Kids
ZHU - Stormy Love, NM. {Ft. JOY.}
  • Current Music
    Boyfriend (Repeat) - Confidence Man
  • Tags
haw flake

A little North of the Equator...

We arrived at Changi Airport after an awkward stop at Darwin, from midnight until  Local time in Darwin confused us for a while, and we considered going in to the city until morning, but we were disuaded by the fact that we couldn't check our luggage in until four o'clock.  The airport had the only duty free shopping I did during the trip though, a $2.99 bottle of vodka.

After an impressive and luxurious airport breakfast, we were on board another plane.  I vowed to sleep, since I'd been awake for around 24 hours, but as usual was less than successful.  As the plane commenced its descent into Singapore, Jax and I resumed an earlier discussion about how we'd reach the island from the airport.  We'd learned that taxis are affordable, but, since we were arriving at and couldn't check into our hotel until three, I insisted we try taking the train.

I picked up a network map as we passed through Arrivals and plotted a course to Sentosa whilst we waited for out overnight bags to emerge onto the baggage carousel.  It looked simple enough, and proved to be such, with the most complex part being finding the way to the airport station.  I'd won the case for the train with the concession that if anything went wrong, we could disembark and take a taxi at any time.  The only unexpected moment came when a pre-recorded announcement aboard the automated, driverless train reminded commuters that they could press the emergency button upon sight of what it described as 'suspicious individuals.'  A moment later, the train jerked to a slower pace, and another recorded message advised that the emergency button had been activated, and asked that we remain patient as investigators boarded the vehicle to determine the reason for the delay.  Luckily, it wasn't us.

A bus took us from the mainland to Sentosa Island, where I was pleased to find that our room was ready early:  I'd been wearing the same clothes since leaving home around 35 hours earlier and really wanted to shower and clean my teeth.  I had also thought a nap might have been a sensible choice, but instead we headed out to explore the island.

The clean, Vegas-y atmosphere of the first actual resort town I've been to was inescapable, but fun to move within.  Unashamedly artificial, we started by navigating our immediate surrounds - American and Asian franchises and upper-midddle priced casual dining - and gravitated, perhaps predictably, towards the casino.  Unexpectedly though, we did not enter.  Maybe it was an acknowledgement of our limited time.  Instead, we set about circumnavigating the island, vowing to stop at everything that looked interesting.

Emerging from an articifial cave and waterfall that was the habitat of some turtles, we decided on the Chili Café for lunch, and my first Singapore Sling (of this trip.)  Spreading a map on the table, we identified points of interest over our next round.  Jax suggested we stop at the hotel we'd first considered reserving, the Siloso Beach Resort, until a cheaper option - the Festive Hotel - had appeared.  So we headed from lunch to Siloso Beach.  I appreciated this style of beach, overlooking a shipping port, and dotted with fully serviced bars.  We found the Resort hotel and ordered some drinks from the modest menu, and felt glad that we'd found the Festive Hotel.  Though cheaper, it was much grander and more centrally located.  Looking over my drink to the jungle-like surroundings on either side of the hotel's bar, I wondered aloud if Sentosa is home to monkeys, and scanned the treetops for evidence of any.  As though in answer to my question, we heard scurrying footsteps over the the verandah's rooftop, and I was not disappointed to see that they belonged to squirrels rather than monkeys.

While we were finishing our drinks, we heard the bass sounds of a party nearby, so we followed it to the Asian DJ finals, taking place inside Wave House, a bar which was also home to a wave pool for surf practice.  I added fake-surfing to my to-do list, and we took a seat in a cabana to hear the finalists perform.

En-route, I'd convinced Jax to join me at street luge by buying two passes before he had a chance to object, entitling us to four rides each.  We'd taken two before going to explore the bars of Siloso, and decided to use the remaining passes after some drinks and nightfall.  After leaving the DJ finals disappointed - I've never enjoyed DJ shows, bar service was unavailble, and table service seemed slow to the point of nonexistance - we went to a beach club called Óla.  Exactly my kind of place, the Tiki themed club quickly served me an icy, yet burning cocktail as we watched a wicked thunderstorm brewing over the ocean.
We remained sheltered under our parasol as we watched the lightning and swimmers disregarding the increasingly urgent announcements of lifeguards to leave the water.

As darkness fell, we returned to use our remaining street luge tickets to find the chairlift to the top of the slope closed due to lightning.  I worried that we would miss out on our last two rides, but Jax remained stoic - we could check back after the next bar, this time 'Beerkini,' a Hooters rip off with ocean views advertising a frozen Bacardi cocktail special.  Whilst the waitress was unaware of the drink, I was deeply satisfied with whatever kinds of frozen drinks she brought me instead, and embarrassed both Jax and the waitress by asking a woman seated nearby to take a picture of the three of us together.
The woman turned out to be the bar's owner, seated with an Australian friend.  Noticing our accent, the friend seemed to feel an immediate sense of comraderie, and asked us what were were doing there.  Jax explained the long weekend trip, but was cut off by the owner's friend.

'No, no,' she snapped.  'I meant what are you doing here on Sentosa?  The drinking is much better at Clarke Quay.'

We took note of her point for our next day, observing that my mother had offered similar advice in a response to the email I'd sent her from Tullamarine Airport letting her know I'd be away.  After some more drinks, the luge circuit appeared to be operating again, and we took our last few rides.  Proving the impact of alcohol consumption on driving ability, I observed myself to be much more daring for these rides, though Jax had confessed to being surprised at my speed on all four trips down the mountain.

Our subsequent investigation took us back towards one of Singapore's famous Merlion statues, and, upon seeing it indeed unlit (my mother had also recommended seeing the 'Merlion Lightshow' on the island, though none of the locals we'd asked knew anything about it) we inevitably gravitated back to the casino.  Having ascertained our hotel's proximity to the casino, I agreed to a single drink and perhaps a meal - it was well after midnight, and we'd not eaten since the (mostly liquid) lunch.  The casino's security checks were noticably thorough, especially when compared to the nation's Customs check point we had sailed through earlier in the day, but we made it in.  We went in search of a bar.  It turned into an extensive search operation, which made us questions whether local customs were perhaps different to what we were used to:  observing the floor, gamblers were alone, smoking in some areas, but drinking nothing harder than the bottled water being delivered en masse by casino staff.  Could drinking and gambling in tandem be considered taboo?  It certainly seemed so, but we had during our investigation come upon the Casino Royale bar where a band called Uber Duber were performing - and taking requests.  We ordered a drink each, and stood out against the other patrons, all of whom had bottles of the finest spirits laid out on their tables before them.  On either side of us, we looked on in horror as barely-touched bottles of Hennessey and Grey Goose were cleared away to some mysterious back room, where I imagined and hoped staff might indulge upon them after their shift.

Meanwhile, Uber Duber had demonstrated their style: chilled out takes on hits, cycling between and an English then a Chinese song, and Gavin asked what I thought the most difficult song for a band like this to play might be.  I considered their line up - drums, guitar, piano and vocals - and thought of slipping a request note for Chop Suey, but between us decided that a more realistic request would be Elton John's Rocketman.  I'd also slipped the band a request for something by Ben Folds but neither were played.  Before they finished, the singer looked over to me, lone Guero in attendance, and apologised for not playing what she presumed (accurately) to have been my requests.

We had a few spins of some old fashioned mechanical slot machines before I was overwhelmed suddenly with fatigue.  In fact, it hit me like a tonne of bricks, in a way I don't know that I have ever felt.  Jax was still hoping to eat, but my exhaustion must have been visible.  He sent me to the room despite my offer to escort him to find food, and I barely noticed when he returned.

I guess I've learned that the longest this device can operate is around 48 hours before a recharge is required.