rion psychic

Wolfenoot...

During a pre-Halloween conversation teetering on drunkeness, Jax suggested a trip.

'Do you think four days is enough time to see Japan?' he asked.

With a (debatable) long weekend approaching, he was considering a whirlwind trip.  I state my doubt that four days was sufficient to see even Tokyo, but also that I would join him if he decided on going.  As our bottle emptied, other desitinations were suggested, including Singapore.  I recalled my parents telling me they'd walked from one end of Sentosa Island to the other within an hour.  Surely, with that trivia in mind, that would make four days ample time to explore the island.

We ordered pizza and watched Suspiria for the first time, though my mind must have been elsewhere, because I couldn't even begin to explain the plot today.  When I reaised the trip idea again this week as a more pressing issue, if it were to proceed, Jax seemed confused.  He checked the calendar app on his phone.
'Oh,' he said, still studying the results on the screen.  He had lost track of the proposed dates, and had not realised that next week is the one featuring a public holiday.  (Considering the minor nature of the holiday, and that so much alcohol was consumed during the initial conversation that he had repeatedly spilled whiskey onto my couch, I shouldn't have been surprised.)  Nevertheless, the fact remained that neither of us had plans for the weekend.

During my lunchbreak on Halloween, I flipped open a few travel websites, but found prices to be quite high - particularly for Japan, where flight times and durations also meant that the four-day trip would barely include two at the destination.  Jax had apparently undertaken the same investigation, and we exchanged some emails.  Watching for Trick-or-Treaters from my balcony that evening, I plotted a budget alternative:  A train ride to Ballarat, where one can stay at what is allegedly Australia's most haunted hotel.  The trip would come in at under a hundred dollars.  The hotel even plays host to an impressive and diverse line up of live music most nights of the week.

By morning - yesterday - the last-minute booking market had softened considerably.  By the time I'd sent Jax my haunted hotel itinerary, he'd identified a very reasonable rate at a hotel in the midst of Sentosa's casino and bar district.  This lead me to find an incredibly cheap airfare for a flight from Changi to Tullamarine.  Before lunch, we had found flights to Singapore, and were booked to travel.

Now I am en-route to the airport, leaving the conference I've been organising full-time for the past month or two to deal with itself for a few days, and hopeful the the stormy weather I'm expecting to fly in to won't cause any of Universal Studio's rollercoasters to close.
  • Current Music
    My Baby - Crocodylus
rion psychic

Cola Festival 2018...

There was no Cola Festival last year.  I spent the time usually allocated to the festival overseas, though did sample a variety of European colas in recognition of the date, and, as a side note, tried Orangina at Sim's favourite café.  It was nice to return to the festival this year, so maybe this was why I sampled more flavours than I normally might.  Or maybe, in recognition of a poor release schedule for the last festival, there really was a lot to try.

Since I bought a SodaStream earlier in the year (and replaced it, before realising that all the store's stock were apparently supplied with empty gas cylinders,) the focus of this year was on home made cola, with a taste test between two brands of cola syrup:

SodaStream Classic Cola vs Soda King Cola:
That is the SodaStream version on the left, and Soda King on the right.

With Rob and Jitka staying with me at the moment, Rob joined me for the taste test.  After sipping a glass of the first, he announced that 'It tastes like cola!'

I agreed with him, and, after cleansing our palates, we sampled a glass of the second, with Rob proclaiming that it also tasted like cola, and I agreed, the flavours being so close as to be indistiguishable.  We revealed the results of the blind test.  The first test had been the official SodaStream version, and the second Soda King.  While Rob declared the contest a tie, I decided that Soda King would be my DIY cola syrup choice: it is cheaper per bottle than SodaStream syrup, and also more highly concentrated, producing more cola per bottle.

LA Maxi Vanilla Ice:
In February, I entered a competition to win a Ford Mustang.  On the day it was drawn, the promoter emailed me to tell me I had been 'provisionally selected' as the winner, and asked me to send proof of my identity.  I rushed to my parents' house to use my scanner for the ID and sent it, and the reply congratulated me, telling me that I was a winner of the consolation prize, a $100 IGA voucher.  I rarely shop at IGA, and hoped for some kind of exotic cola.

I was pleased to find a variety of LA Ice I'd so far never seen, Vanilla (along with a bottle of something called Sno-Drop, which I liked because it had a picture of a penguin on the bottle.)  I was less pleased when I was told that IGA vouchers are not accepted by all IGA stores, but paid cash anyway.

The vanilla flavour in the cola was so mild that it could be missed, though the drink could concievably work well as a mixer.  For a vanilla cola, Coca-Cola is still the best, and Pespsi is also usually available, and preferable to LA Ice's attempt.

Coca-Cola Orange and Raspberry:
Jitka didn't join Rob and I for the taste test due to her current no-sugar diet, but did contribute Coca-Cola's new flavours after finding them while shopping.  I didn't let on that's I'd already tasted Raspberry Coke, but included it in the festival anyway due to her kind contribution.

I thought the flavour of both Orange and Raspberry was good, with the flavour to cola ratio seeming just right.  It reminded me of the years that I worked at Subway and mixed a drop of Fanta or Raspberry soda to a glass of Coke.

LA Coffee Ice Cola:
My second attempt to use the IGA voucher produced an even greater surprise.  LA Coffee Ice Cola.  I wouldn't normally buy a drink like this, but in the spirit of the festival, I gave it a try.  I normally don't like cola flavoured with coffee, but, like LA Ice's vanilla, the coffee flavour was very mild.  It isn't one I would buy again, but I liked it more than I expected, and if it remains on sale, it is probably a flavour some people will appreciate.

Que:
When I noticed that the Coles homebrand cola had been replaced by an alternative called 'Que,' I presumed it was simply a rebrand of their existing cola.  On Twitter, Coles promised I'd love it.  I certainly liked the adoption of the red cola cliché and branding.  I can't be certain, but got the feeling it is actually the same drink as it was when it was simply 'Coles Homebrand Cola.'  (I noticed that the drink is produced by the same factory as LA Ice, giving Tru Blu Beverages quite the showing at this year's festival.)

Still, it is a quality cola for a good price.  It apparently also comes in a can, as I saw someone bring their own to the late night MIFF screening of Caniba.
haw flake

finalList 2017

Alex Lahey - I Haven't Been Taking Care Of Myself
Bec Sandridge - I'll Never Want A BF
Endless Heights - Come A Little Closer
Goat Girl - Cracker Drool
Kira Puru - Tension
MISSIO - Middle Fingers
Nothing But Thieves - Amsterdam
Planet - Aching Dream
Samsaruh - Beautiful Killer
Sløtface - Pitted
rion psychic

shortList 2017...

(Sandy) Alex G - Proud
A. Swayze & The Ghosts - ICU
Active Bird Community - Newbie
Ainslie Wills - Running Second
Airways - Reckless Tongue
Albert Salt - Glass Plains
Alex Cameron - Stranger's Kiss {Ft. Angel Olsen}
Alex Cameron - Runnin' Outta Luck
Alex Lahey - Torn {triple j Like A Version 2017}
Alex Lahey - I Haven't Been Taking Care Of Myself
Alex Lahey - I Love You Like A Brother
Alex Lahey - Perth Traumatic Stress Disorder
Alex Lahey - I Want U
Alex The Astronaut - Not Worth Hiding
Algiers - The Underside Of Power
Ali Barter - Cigarette
Ali Barter - One Foot In
Allan Rayman - 13
Allday - In Motion {Ft. Japanese Wallpaper}
alt-J - 3WW
alt-J - In Cold Blood
Alvvays - In Undertow
Amber Mark - Lose My Cool
Aminé - REDMERCEDES
Aminé - Spice Girl
Amir Obè - Wish You Well
Amy Shark - Drive You Mad
Amy Shark - Blood Brothers
Anatole - Outgrown {Ft. Tom Iansek}
Angie McMahon - Slow Mover
Angus & Julia Stone - Chateau
Angus & Julia Stone - Baudelaire
Anna Of The North - Someone
Apakatjah - The Dead Heart
Arcade Fire - Everything Now
Arcade Fire - Electric Blue
Arlie - Didya Think
Asgeir - Afterglow
Asgeir - Dreaming
AURORA - Teardrop {triple j Like A Version 2017}
Ayla - Shallow End
Babaganouj - Star
Babe Rainbow, The - Peace Blossom Boogy
BADBADNOTGOOD - God Only Knows
Baker Boy - Marryuna {Ft. Yirrmal}
Ball Park Music - Exactly How You Are
BATTS - For Now
Beaches - Void
Beautiful Monument, The - Manifestation
Bec Sandridge - I'll Never Want A BF
Beck - Dear Life
Beck - Up All Night
Belle Haven - "Selfmade"
Belligerents, The - Science Fiction
Ben Wright Smith - Hellion Heeled
Bennies, The - Get High Like An Angel
Bernard Fanning - Isn't It A Pity
Betty & Oswald - Figure It Out
Big Moon, The - Formidable
Big Scary - Come As You Are {triple j Like A Version 2017}
Big Shaq - Man's Not Hot
Billy Davis - Goldfish {Ft. Denzel Curry}
Bishop Briggs - Dream
Black Lips - Can't Hold On
Black Summer - Young Like Me {Ft. Lowell}
Blaze, The - Juvenile
Bleachers - Don't Take The Money
Bleachers - I Miss Those Days
Blink-182 - Parking Lot
Bliss N Eso - Friend Like You {Ft. Lee Fields}
Bloods - Bug Eyes
Boom Tish - Hello, How Are You
BØRNS - Faded Heart
Brand New - Can't Get It Out
British India - Precious
British India - My Love
BROCKHAMPTON - QUEER
BROCKHAMPTON - SWEET
BROCKHAMPTON - SUMMER
Cameron Avery - Wasted On Fidelity
Camp Cope - Footscray Station
Car Seat Headrest - War Is Coming (If You Want It)
Cayetana - Mesa
Chase City - A-N-X-T
Cherry Glazerr - Nuclear Bomb
Circa Waves - Stuck
City Calm Down - Blood
Cloud Control - Zone (This Is How It Feels)
Cloud Control - Treetops
Cloves - California Numb
Clovr - Cold {Ft. Amela}
Coin Banks - Be Real {Ft. Atom/Danny Martin}
Coin Banks - Forgive Us {Ft. The WAAPA Gospel Choir}
Cold War Kids - Love Is Mystical
Confidence Man - Bubblegum
Confidence Man - Better Sit Down Boy
Cousin Tony's Brand New Firebird - Morning Person
Crepes - Sexyland
Crepes - Mild Conversation
Cut Copy - Black Rainbows
Cyhi The Prynce - Nu Africa
Dan Croll - Away From Today
Daniele Luppi & Parquet Courts - Talisa {Ft. Karen O}
Day Wave - Something Here
Dead Love, The - Sugarcoat
Deafcult - Rubix
Dean Lewis - Lose My Mind
Death From Above - Freeze Me
Diet Cig - Barf Day
Districts, The - Ordinary Day
Districts, The - If Before I Wake
Django Django - Tic Tac Toe
DOPE LEMON - Home Soon
Drake - Madiba Riddim
Drake - Signs
Dream Rimmy - Oxygen
Dream Wife - Fire
Drug Church - Weed Pin
Drums, The - Blood Under My Belt
Drunk Mums - Hot Flush
Dude York - Love Is
Dumb Punts - Got It Good
Dune Rats - Like Before
Dustin Tebbutt - Atlas In Your Eye (For Jasper Jones)
DZ Deathrays - Shred For Summer
E^ST - Life Goes On
Ecca Vandal - Broke Days, Party Nights
Ecca Vandal - Future Heroine
Ecca Vandal - Closing Ceremony
Ecca Vandal - Cold Of The World
Ecca Vandal - Price Of Living {Ft. Dennis Lyxzén & Jason Aalon Butler}
Eilish Gilligan - The Feeling
Electric Guest - Back For Me
Eliza & The Delusionals - Falling Out
Elk Road - Pressure {Ft. Timberwolf}
ELKI - Beautiful Mess
Emily Wurramara - Black Boy
Empire Of The Sun - On Our Way Home
Empress Of - Go To Hell
Endless Heights - Pray I Fade
Endless Heights - Come A Little Closer
Evan Klar - Deepest Creatures
Everything Everything - Big Game
Everything Everything - Good Shot, Good Soldier
Everything Everything - Ivory Tower
Everything Is Recorded - Close But Not Quite {Ft. Sampha}
Ezra Furman - Love You So Bad
Father John Misty - Ballad Of The Dying Man
Fazerdaze - Misread
Feelds - Colourblind
Fiction Writer - No Rumour
Fifth Dawn - Pressure
Fletcher Gull - Light Up
Flowertruck - Dying To Hear
Foo Fighters - Run
Food Court - Not My Way
Fountaineer - Sirens (Parts 1 & 2)
Franz Ferdinand - Always Ascending
Future - Incredible
Gang Of Youths - Fear And Trembling
Gang Of Youths - Achilles Come Down
Gang Of Youths - The Heart Is A Muscle
Gang Of Youths - Our Time Is Short
Gang Of Youths - Atlas Drowned
George Maple - Hero
George Maple - Everybody Here Wants You
Girlpool - 123
Goat Girl - Cracker Drool
Gorillaz - Andromeda {Ft. D.R.A.M.}
Gothic Tropic - Stronger
Green Buzzard - Dream In/Out
Greta Stanley - When January Comes
Gretta Ray - Towers
Grizzly Bear - Four Cypresses
HAIM - Want You Back
Hands Like Houses - Drift
Hatchie - Sure
Hayden Calnin - Collision
Heaps Good Friends - I Could Eat A Full Packet Of Yo Yo's
Highasakite - 5 Million Miles
Hockey Dad - Homely Feeling
Holy Holy - True Lovers
Horrors, The - Machine
Horrors, The - Something To Remember Me By
Hot Spoke - Calm Down
Househats - All Together
Human Buoy - 200 Days
Husky - Ghost
iLoveMakonnen - Love {Ft. Rae Sremmurd}
In Hearts Wake - Passage
Introvert - December
IV League - Change My Mind
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders - Susan
Jack River - Fault Line
Jackie Onassis - Palo Alto
Jade Imagine - You And I
Jai Wolf - Starlight {Ft. Mr Gabriel}
Jamiroquai - Automaton
Jay Som - 1 Billion Dogs
JAY-Z - The Story Of O.J.
Jens Lekman - What's That Perfume You Wear?
Jeremy Neale - Small Talk {Ft. Pool Shop}
Jess Locke - Dangerous
Joey Bada$$ - ROCKABYE BABY {Ft. ScHoolboy Q}
Julien Baker - Appointments
Jungle Giants, The - Waiting For A Sign
K.Flay - Giver
K21 - Rider {Ft. Rhymefest} {Prod. Jayteehazard}
Kacy Hill - Hard To Love
Kardajala Kirridarra - Two Worlds Collide
Kasabian - You're In Love With A Psycho
Kasabian - Bless This Acid House
Kele Okereke - Streets Been Talkin'
Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE.
Khalid - American Teen
Khalid - Young Dumb & Broke
Killers, The - The Man
Killers, The - Run For Cover
Killers, The - The Calling
Killers, The - Tyson Vs Douglas
Kim Churchill - Breakneck Speed
Kim Churchill - Second Hand Car
Kimbra - Top Of The World
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Billabong Valley
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Melting
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Open Water
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - The Lord Of Lightning
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Crumbling Castle
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard & The Mild High Club - Rolling Stoned
King Krule - Czech One
King Krule - Logos
King Nun - Hung Around
Kingswood - Atmosphere
Kira Puru - Tension
Kirin J Callinan - Bravado
Kita Alexander - Hotel
Kite String Tangle, The - Selfish
Kooks, The - Be Who You Are
Lakyn - West
Lana Del Rey - Love
Lana Del Rey - Summer Bummer {Ft. A$AP Rocky/Playboi Carti}
Lance Ferguson & One Above - Back To You {Ft. EMRSN & Mosé}
LANKS - My Own Mystery {Ft. Ngaiire}
LCD Soundsystem - american dream
Le Pie - Go Unsteady
Lea Porcelain - Bones
Lil Yachty - Forever Young {Ft. Diplo}
Liza Anne - Paranoia
Logic - Killing Spree {Ft. Ansel Elgort}
London Grammar - Hell To The Liars
London O'Connor - Guts
Lorde - Green Light
Lorde - Sober
Lorde - Supercut
Love Junkies, The - Past Intense
LPX - Slide
Lulu Raes, The - Fake It
Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog
Mac DeMarco - One More Love Song
Macklemore - Marmalade {Ft. Lil Yachty}
Majora - Aphotic
Make Them Suffer - Uncharted
Mallrat - Better
Marika Hackman - Boyfriend
Marilyn Manson - KILL4ME
Marmozets - Habits
Meg Mac - Grace Gold
Meg Mac - Cages
Methyl Ethel - Ubu
Methyl Ethel - L'Heure des Sorcières
Metro Boomin - No Complaints {Ft. Offset/Drake}
MGMT - Little Dark Age
Mikhael Paskalev - Shotgun
Milky Chance - Blossom
Milky Chance - Firebird
Milky Chance - Bad Things {Ft. Izzy Bizu}
MISSIO - Middle Fingers
Miya Folick - Trouble Adjusting
Moody Beach - All I Do
Moon Brain - Pliskin
Movements - Colorblind
Muncie Girls - Respect
Muse - Dig Down
N.E.R.D. & Future - 1000
Nicole Millar - Blindfolded
Nick Murphy - Medication
Nine Inch Nails - Less Than
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Holy Mountain
Northlane - Anthem For The Year 2000
Nothing But Thieves - Amsterdam
Nothing But Thieves - I'm Not Made By Design
Ocean Alley - Overgrown
Orielles, The - Sugar Tastes Like Salt
Pale White, The - Reaction
Partner - Everybody Knows
Partner - Play The Field
Planet - Aching Dream
PLTS - Spill
Polish Club - Divided
Portugal. The Man - Feel It Still
Presets, The - Do What You Want
Pumarosa - My Gruesome Loving Friend
Queens Of The Stone Age - The Way You Used To Do
Queens Of The Stone Age - Fortress
Rise Against - The Violence
Robinson - Don't You Forget About Me
Royal Blood - Lights Out
Royal Blood - Look Like You Know
Rubens, The - Million Man
Ruby Fields - P Plates
Run The Jewels - Thieves! (Screamed The Ghost) {Ft. Tunde Adebimpe}
Samsaruh - Beautiful Killer
San Cisco - Kids Are Cool
Sarah Blasko - Phantom
Saskwatch - Renoir
Screaming Females - Black Moon
Self Talk - Bedside Dictionary
Skegss - Got On My Skateboard
Sloan Peterson - Rats
Sløtface - Magazine
Sløtface - Nancy Drew
Sløtface - Pitted
Sløtface - Galaxies
Slowly Slowly - Aliens
SOHN - Rennen
Sorority Noise - No Halo
Soulwax - Missing Wires
Spit Syndicate - Houdini
Spoon - Hot Thoughts
Spoon - Can I Sit Next To You
St. Vincent - Los Ageless
Starcrawler - I Love LA
Statik Selektah - Put Jewels On It {Ft. Run The Jewels}
Stella Donnelly - Mechanical Bull
Stella Donnelly - Boys Will Be Boys
Steve Lacy - Dark Red
Sufis - Anymore
Superorganism - Something For Your M.I.N.D.
Sweater Curse - Fell Asleep
SZA - Broken Clocks
Taj Ralph - Undone
Tame Impala - List Of People (To Try And Forget About)
Thrupence - Conversations {Ft. Edward Vanzet}
Tia Gostelow - Hunger
Tigers Jaw - Escape Plan
Timberwolf - Íkaros
Tiny Little Houses - Entitled Generation
Tired Lion - Fresh
Tired Lion - Dumb Days
TOKiMONSTA - Don't Call Me {Ft. Yuna}
Tom West - Prescription For Reality
Tonight Alive - Temple
Tove Styrke - Say My Name
Towkio - Drift
Trophy Eyes - Hurt
UNIIQU3 - Trunk {Ft. Yungkiid}
Vera Blue - Regular Touch
Vic Mensa - OMG {Ft. Pusha T}
Voyager - Ghost Mile
WAAX - Wild & Weak
Wavves - Animal
West Thebarton - Bible Camp
Wild Ones - Paresthesia
Willow Beats - Be Kind To Yourself
Winston Surfshirt - On A Lock
Wolf Alice - Don't Delete The Kisses
Wolf Alice - Formidable Cool
Wombats, The - Lemon To A Knife Fight
Worriers - The Possibility
Wu-Tang Clan - People Say {Ft. Redman}
xx, The - A Violent Noise
xx, The - I Dare You
yaeji - raingurl
Yon Yonson - This Evening
Yoste - Moon
Yung Lean - Hunting My Own Skin
Yungblud - I Love You, Will You Marry Me
Zefereli - Fake Happiness
rion psychic

Ten Speed...

I hold certain beliefs, which could probably be described as religious or more broadly spiritual, although I rarely think to define them in such ways. To me they are just some expectations that lay beneath more concious thoughts... Forces that seem likely to exist. They aren't really something that can be proven, but that is a part of why they are, and the reason why actual religions are described using words like 'faith.'

I don't often think about these forces although I am sometimes aware of how they drive my responses to different stimuli, usually when people point out that I am behaving oddly. Usually at moments that could be described as extreme landmarks in our timelines.

I started a new job last week, though not one I hope to keep for much longer. It was the week of Halloween, and the first one celebrated in my house, so many of those memorable milestones existed already. On top of that, my former colleagues contacted me, proposing a reunion of sorts. We'd been calling and missing each other for the months since I returned from the boat trip, but a public holiday seemed a good excuse for the event to finally happen. A lunch was suggested, without needing to specify that drinks would be plentiful. I stated my availability, and it was agreed that those still at the company would discuss further arrangements on Monday at work for the Tuesday holiday.

I didn't hear anything further, and left a couple of messages. I guessed that they were swamped with work, and possibly even forced to work the public holiday, as we had precisely one year ago. This morning, while I was at my new job, my phone rang. I saw the name on the screen, Paulo, and smiled to myself. An explanation, perhaps, for the lack yesterday's lunch.

The call seemed routine. Familiar, even. 'How's it going?' The same greeting which I had heard from him for all the years of the tradition under which we were the two staff in the office who started early with the improbable goal of finishing early, and one which extended to the times when we started early by the crushing necessity of workload, when the response inevitably became 'Just doing the needful.' But, despite the harshening situation, the company was always appreciated. The conversation, even his tone, were the same as all those mornings. He explained that it wasn't work that had disrupted the intended plans for Tuesday, but each team member having a big Sunday and feeling disinclined to do any kind of needful. I smiled again, maybe recalling familiar Mondays with those people. Then.

'Well, I haven't called with good news.'

Thoughts flipped through my mind of things that could be considered bad. During our time working together, we'd shared bad news. Resignations, contracts lost, too many redundancies to count. I also wondered why he would be sharing these with me. Then he said, in that same usual tone, that Bryce had passed away over night. It was so far from anything I'd expected. I asked if it was his heart condition, and Paulo said that he believed so. Several months ago, Bryce had been found collapsed in the office he was working in, away from the CBD or any other sites with the rest of us. He was rushed to hospital, and after some time off, returned his usual self, with explanations of a heart condition that was still being investigated by doctors.

I asked Paulo how he was, and he said he was okay, though he planned to call Angela after me. I asked about the rest of the team, and was given mid-range assurances. I didn't really know what else to say, so we said goodbye, and oddly agreed that it would be strange to be catching up at a funeral.

I continued with work, and felt like I got a lot done. I left early - the new job was described to me as around two days per week, though it seems more practical to the workload to do more frequent, short days - and was surprised to find on the way home thoughts slamming into me of Bryce. I was listening to Ozma's Pasadena, and I thought about how, although Bryce was anything but a fighter, he would definitely be against The Darkness, then realised these were the rambling thoughts of the grieving. I did concede, when I realised Motorology... would play soon, that it would have inspired a debate about the merits and practicality of time travel with Bryce, and I smiled, and it lead me to thinking of some of those amazing late-night-style debates and discussions we had either at the middle of the night or a quick lunch break. I felt sorry we wouldn't have more. Other thoughts crept into my mind, thoughts of resentment - of how much he deserved to do amazing things, design innovative houses, and how maybe he was held back from doing so in some way - to a kind of stubborness, a feeling of wanting to rebel against some reality despite the impossibility. I suppose this is grieving, I've just never had to do it before.

I shouldn't be surprised though. Bryce was someone I admire immensely. Professionally, he set the benchmark of how I, and my colleagues, wanted to be. I get the feeling he knew it, though would never have stated it himself or held it against anyone, instead chosing to impart his knowledge in a way completely free of judgement. Personally, I just always enjoyed being in his company.  He had no problem with anyone taking his time purely to dwell on the wonder of his mind, to help work through a challenge. It was enjoyable, even, to take problems to him to work through. With Bryce, the expression 'Getting there is half the fun' (which I may be misquoting) was usually true.

We literally travelled the world together. We pondered the big dilemmas, played giant Jenga, co-facilitated, climbed into a volcano and robbed a casino.  Bryce was my colleague, my mentor, my friend. I'm feeling grateful for the weird series of coincidences that saw us meet and then work closely together, and sorry that I, nor anyone else, will have the opportunity to do so again.
rion psychic

Feet, Don't Fail Me Now...

My usual modus operandi is to not sleep on flights. The one time I did, I ended up like Lil Wayne. For this trip though, I planned to sleep. The plane from Melbourne to Doha had an impressive selection of movies, but I watched only the new Deathnote between naps. Our flight from Doha was delayed, but I'd lost track of time and didn't notice. The view during takeoff was unlike any I'd ever seen before: arid stretches of desert punctuated by the construction of luxury towers and oceans spotted with artificial islands carved into intricate shapes. It was much different to the green pastures that awaited when we landed in Budapest.

In the long wait at Hungarian immigration, Poppa wondered aloud how he would recognise his nephew Zoli. He mentioned that it had been quite some time since they'd seen one another, and I thought that seemed like something of a problem. As it turned out, they found each other easily, but poor Zoli had been waiting since 11am, and it was now well after 1pm. The trip from the airport to the home of Zoli and his family felt like a long way out of the city. On the way, a fleet of helicopters flew overhead in formation. No one in the car was able to understand my questions about where the helicopters might be going or doing.

The house was the kind of collection of mezzanines and sunken living areas that I love. Up the teak stairs without rails, I was shown to a room belonging to Zoli and his wife's eldest son, who has apparently moved out. I was greeted there by a shelf with a machine gun.
1MachineGun.jpg
I slept a lot. I suppose I was still recovering from the interrupted sleeps of Splendour and the flights, and it was good to be sleeping in a bed for the first time. In the morning I met Zoli's son, also named Zoli. He'd apparently offered to escort me into the city, though I said that directions to the train station would be sufficient. Still, his company helped me into the city, and when I bought him lunch, he introduced me to a local beer, Dreher, which I liked a lot. I'm not big beer drinker, but I did enjoy drinking that big beer. After lunch, Zoli left for work. I hoped that he had actually offered to show me around and that Poppa hadn't insisted upon it.

I checked into the Hotel Budapest. It is a round tower, not unlike the Saville in South Yarra, and about as grand. Its guest information hilariously stated 'contrary to the urban legend, the rooms of Hotel Budapest are not shaped like slices of cake...' It is luckily conveniently located to a Metro station, so getting around should prove no problem, although after arriving in town, I got around on foot instead.

I mainly used the day to familiarise myself with my location, and ensure I would know where to go for my tour in the evening. It was around 35 degrees during the day, so after trekking across the city, I wanted a shower before my evening's adventures. It was while resting at the hotel that I witnessed an incredible storm above the mountains visible from my tenth-floor room. Whilst impressive, I hoped it would pass before I needed to head back to the Zero Kilometer Stone for my tour. When the time rolled around, it was still a little wet, so for the first time in my life, I borrowed a hotel umbrella and started walking toward the Stone. I'd allowed plenty of time, and hadn't eaten since lunch, so I stopped into a bar overlooking the round-about and ordered lángos, and also ordered a Unicum cocktail - the first time I've ever enjoyed the herbal-mediciny spirit.

The guide, Fanni, arrived at the square carrying her lantern as promised, and was less vampiric perhaps than advertising for her Vampire History tour suggested. I enjoyed the castle tour though, and Fanni's combination of what would be fodder for the Horrible Histories show as well as tales of folklore and true vampire stories. Plus, despite the rain, the castle by night was amazing.

During the tour, Fanni pointed out what looked like a well, but was actually a portal into the labyrinth beneath the castle. I asked about the closure of the labyrinth, and Fanni gave me a tip about an entrance, which I took note of for today. Hopefully I'll be able to find it.
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haw flake

Gary Glitter...

As I stumbled out into the hipster streets, I thought it would be easy for people to think I've missed this career for the lifestyle. It's true, I'd felt like going home when I had my name ticked off the media guestlist. I was somewhat intoxicated, and I'd made the most of the antipasto in the private bar before the event.

I recalled the lifestyle, certainly - starting work in a pub at midday, evenings on duty in lobbies and bars - but as the thought crossed my mind, 'It's good to be back,' what I was thinking of was purely work. How could I create an honest review, whether positive or negative (and my feeling at the time was that it could go either way,) whilst still crafting enjoyable content?

That was my job before. It wasn't lucrative, but I enjoyed it. Perhaps now, I can enjoy it again. On Tuesday, May 16, I submitted my notice of resignation, giving my final date of employment as June 30. For the following week, I kept running into my new manager, Chris. He kept telling me that we needed to talk, and I promised that we could, when I had time, or after hours. It wasn't until over a week later that I was available for a few minutes. I was asked to stay. I was asked what I need to be given to stay. I can admit that I was surprised to be asked, but also satisfied with my autonomous respose - that I would only need everything that I have been requesting for the past two years: the minimum resources required to do my job to even an adaquate standard. During that meeting, I was promised that everything would be done to make those requests a reality. The CEO and other stakeholders were called. I responded that those improvements would be wonderfully beneficial to my antecendents... so I suppose my answer was moot. I would not stay somewhere where it takes one's resignation to be provided with a notebook, pens, and space to work.

It was nice after months of 12, 13, 14, and a few 22 hour shifts, to spend an evening going to a different type of work, the kind I enjoy. It might have only been a one-night deal, but it was good. The show - a premiere of a web-series - wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I'll need to consider it in context though. As Marshall McLuhan said, the medium is the message, and this was a medium which fascinates me. I'll need to consider the work in its original context before writing.

At the station, I discovered that trains were cancelled. Signage to the arranged alternative transport seemed to assume prior geographical knowledge, but all I knew was that I was somewhere near where I bought breakfast after Angela's birthday party. After a lucrative detour to a gaming lounge, I found my bearings when I spotted the Brunswick Hotel. I knew that the tram route with a stop outside would lead to the city, but a glance along Sydney Road revealed no tram in sight. Live music was playing inside the Brunny, so I headed towards the entrance.

A group of people seemed to be debriefing outside, and I was shuffling past them to the door when a large man speaking on a mobile phone grabbed me by the shoulder. I assumed I was being refused entry - perhaps my intoxication was more evident than I realised - but the man's arm moved from my shoulder to wrap around me for a hug. I looked up into his face and recognised that it wasn't a bouncer, but Adam.

I hadn't seen him in at least six months, but maybe closer to a year, and I'd been postponing returning his telephone call for over a month, knowing it would lead to a long conversation during a time when my hours between work were limited and generally dedicated to essential and limited sleep. So I spent longer than I had planned with him and his friends. With them, I praised, rather than heckled, a few dreamy guitar boys, each of whom wore his heard on his sleeve and his influences on his setlist. Both of them were undeservedly self-depricating in their banter, but this was perhaps fueled by the fact that the group I had joined were only half-watching, seated directly beneath the stage,and at similar stages of intoxication as myself. All of this, in hindsight, was probably causing us to speak at a higher volume than neccessary during an acoustic performance. We probably also did nothing to encourage the following performer by starting to leave right when his act was annuonced, but it was getting late and we all hail from the suburbs. The act was a rapper with an indeterminate yet charming accent rhyming over a backing tape reminiscent of the New York rap of the 1990s. Part-way through his first song, he demanded that the music be halted so that he could restart, though we had noticed no fault. We were leaving by that time though, so didn't get to see the song in full.

It couldn't have been long, because it seemed like only a couple of minutes later that the rapper joined me on the tram I'd boarded outside the pub. I asked him about the restart, and he told me that he needed to correct a mistake.

'No, you should have rolled with it!' I told him. 'You sounded great there at the start.'

He seemed disappointed, like he didn't agree. I asked how the rest of his set went, and was told quietly that it wasn't good. I asked if he ever went to dedicated freestyle nights, but the rapper told me that he needed a lot of practice before he tried that. I told him to keep it up, that he sounded on the right track. He thanked me quietly, but didn't say much else, which I took to mean he wanted to be alone. It is equally as likely that I was still speaking loudly and he simply hoped to avoid encouraging me, or that I would not draw attention to him.

Either way, I went to a different seat and opened my notebook to pen some thoughts on the series premiere. I suppose I won't be getting far on that though, since I've ended up writing this entry instead.
rion psychic

finalList 2016...

Amy Shark - Adore
Avalanches, The - Frankie Sinatra
Ball Park Music - Whipping Boy
Cub Sport - Come On Mess Me Up
Hellions - Nightliner Rhapsody
M83 - Do It, Try It
Midnight To Monaco - One In A Million
Miike Snow - Genghis Khan
Sløtface - Take Me Dancing
Weeknd, The - Starboy {Ft. Daft Punk}
max's eyes

shortList 2016...

A Day To Remember - Paranoia
A Day To Remember - Bullfight
A Tribe Called Quest - Solid Wall Of Sound
A.B. Original - 2 Black 2 Strong
A.B. Original - Take Me Home {Ft. Gurrumul}
A.B. Original - January 26 {Ft. Dan Sultan}
Abbe May - Doomsday Clock
Action Bronson, Mark Ronson & Dan Auerbach - Standing In The Rain
Against Me! - 333
Alex Cameron - The Comeback
Alex Lahey - Let's Go Out
Alex The Astronaut - Already Home
Alex The Kid - Vinyls
Alexandra Savior - Shades
Ali Barter - Girlie Bits
All Our Exes Live In Texas - The Devil's Part
ALTA - Unbelievable
AlunaGeorge - Not Above Love
Amber Mark - Monsoon {Ft. Mia Mark}
Amity Affliction, The - This Could Be Heartbreak
Amity Affliction, The - Nightmare
Amity Affliction, The - Tearing Me Apart
Amy Shark - Adore
Amy Shark - Miss You Love {triple j Like A Version 2016}
Anderson .Paak - Put Me Thru
Angel Olsen - Shut Up Kiss Me
Anne-Marie - Alarm
Apothek - Waiting For The Thunder
Architects - Gone With The Wind
Arthur Beatrice - Since We Were Kids
Artificial Pleasure - I'll Make It Worth Your While
Atmosphere - Salma Hayek
AURORA - Warrior
Avalanches, The - Frankie Sinatra
Avalanches, The - Subways
Avalanches, The - The Noisy Eater
Avalanches, The - The Wozard Of Iz
Baauer - Day Ones {Ft. Novelist/Leikeli47}
Babaganouj - Sorry
BABYMETAL - Karate
Ball Park Music - Whipping Boy
Ball Park Music - Pariah
Ball Park Music - Peppy
Banks - Gemini Feed
Banks - Lovesick
Banks - This Is Not About Us
Banks & Steelz - Love & War {Ft. Ghostface Killah}
Basement - Aquasun
Basement - Oversized
Basement - Promise Everything
Bear's Den - Auld Wives
Beautiful Monument, The - Disorder
Bec Sandridge - You're A Fucking Joke
Beck - Wow
Bennies, The - Legalise (But Don't Tax)
Beyoncé - 6 Inch {Ft. The Weeknd}
Big Scary - Oxygen
Birds Of Tokyo - Brace
Birds Of Tokyo - Harlequins
Birds Of Tokyo - Gods
Birds Of Tokyo - Catastrophe
Bleached - Wednesday Night Melody
Blink-182 - Bored To Death
Blink-182 - Los Angeles
Bloc Party - Stunt Queen
Bob Evans - Matterfact
Brendan Maclean - Hugs Not Drugs (Or Both)
British India - I Thought We Knew Each Other
Broods - Free
Cage The Elephant - Trouble
Canary - Chameleon
Castlecomer - Escapism
Cat Empire, The - Bulls
Ceres - Choke
Ceres - 91, Your House
Childish Gambino - Redbone
Chvrches - Warning Call (Theme from Mirror's Edge Catalyst}
Chvrches - Bury It {Ft. Hayley Williams}
Chymes - Grow
Citizen Kay - Brickhouse/Uptown Funk {triple j Like A Version 2016}
Client Liaison - Off White Limousine
cln - Owls
Coda Chroma - Ones & Ohs
Columbus - Say What You Want
Confidence Man - Boyfriend (Repeat)
Courtney Barnett - New Speedway Boogie
Crepes - Hidden Star
Crystal Castles - Fleece
Cub Sport - Come On Mess Me Up
D.D Dumbo - King Franco Picasso
D.R.A.M. - Misunderstood {Ft. Young Thug}
Daughter - No Care
David Bowie - Lazarus
David Bowie - Blackstar
DBFC - Autonomic
Deadmau5 - Snowcone
Deap Vally - Gonnawanna
Declan McKenna - Paracetamol
Declan McKenna - Isombard
Deep Sea Arcade - Learning To Fly
Desiigner - Panda
Desiigner - Tiimmy Turner
Dillinger Escape Plan, The - Symptom Of Terminal Illness
Dillon Francis - Candy {Ft. Snappy Jit}
DMA'S - Step Up The Morphine
DMA's - Believe {triple j Like A Version 2016}
Dorsal Fins - Sedated
Drapht - Frankie Sinatra {triple j Like A Version 2016}
Dream On Dreamer - Stay
Drugdealer - Suddenly {Ft. Weyes Blood}
Ecca Vandal - Divided
EDEN - Sex
Eliot Sumner - Firewood
Elizabeth Rose - Playing With Fire {Ft. Remi}
Emma Louise - Colours
Empire Of The Sun - High And Low
Empire Of The Sun - Digital Life
Fakear - Silver {Ft. Rae Morris}
Feki - You Got Me {Ft. Dom Vino}
Felix Riebl - Shadows
Fil Bo Riva - Like Eye Did
Florence + The Machine - Too Much Is Never Enough
Flume - You Know {Ft. Allan Kingdom/Raekwon}
Francis And The Lights - See Her Out
Frank Ocean - Nikes
Frank Ocean - Pink + White
Frank Ocean - Solo
Frank Ocean - Nights
Frank Ocean - White Ferrari
From Oslo - No Sound
Gabriella Cohen - Alien Anthem
Gang Of Youths - Strange Diseases
Ghost - Square Hammer
Glass Animals - Life Itself
Glass Animals - Mama's Gun
Glass Animals - The Other Side Of Paradise
Glass Animals - Cane Shuga
Golden Age Of Ballooning - So They Say
Gordi - Wanting
Green Buzzard - Do You Ever Glow?
Grenadiers - Live Fast, Diabetes
Grouplove - Welcome To Your Life
Grouplove - Do You Love Someone
Hands Like Houses - Colourblind
Hands Like Houses - Don't Speak {triple j Like A Version 2016}
Harts - Fear In Me
Harts - Hope
Hayden Calnin - Caution Cares
Hellions - Quality Of Life
Hellions - 24
Hellions - Thresher
Hellions - Nightliner Rhapsody
Hellions - 25
Highasakite - Someone Who'll Get It
Highasakite - Samurai Swords
Hilltop Hoods - 1955 {Ft. Montaigne/Tom Thum}
Hockey Dad - Malibu {triple j Like A Version}
Holy Holy - Darwinism
Honeyblood - Sea Hearts
How To Dress Well - Lost Youth / Lost You
Hudson Mohawke - Play N Go
Illa J - Spiders
Illy - Hazard To Myself {Ft. Sir The Baptist}
Infinity Ink - Full Capacity
INHEAVEN - Baby's Alright
INHEAVEN - Treats
Introvert - Everything Is Different Now
IV League - Bleached
Jack Garratt - Fire
Jagwar Ma - Slipping
Jake Bugg - Gimme The Love
James Blake - Radio Silence
Jamie T - Tescoland
Jarrow - $$ Spoilers $$
Jarryd James - 1000x {Ft. Broods}
Jezabels, The - Unnatural
Joey Purp - Girls @ {Ft. Chance The Rapper}
JP Moregun - Street Signs
K.Flay - Blood In The Cut
Kacy Hill - Lion
Kanye West - Famous
Katy Steele - It Ain't Me
Kaytranada - One Too Many {Ft. Phonte}
Kendrick Lamar - untitled 08 09.06.2014.
Kills, The - Doing It To Death
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Gamma Knife
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Rattlesnake
Kingfisha - Left It
Kita Alexander - Damage Done
Korn - Rotting In Vain
Kuren - Home {Ft. Ben Alessi}
Ladyhawke - A Love Song
Last Shadow Puppets, The - Dracula Teeth
Last Shadow Puppets, The - Everything You've Come To Expect
Last Shadow Puppets, The - Sweet Dreams, TN
LAZERTITS - Boss Bitch
Le Pie - Up All Night
Lemaitre - We Got U {Ft. The Knocks}
letlive. - Good Mourning, America
Lewis Del Mar - Painting (Masterpiece)
Little Deed - Brother
Little Green Cars - The Song They Play Every Night
Living End, The - Keep On Running
Lonely Boys - Murray Island
LUCIANBLOMKAMP - The Overman
M.I.A. - Bird Song {Diplo Remix}
M83 - Do It, Try It
M83 - Bibi The Dog
M83 - Solitude
M83 - Road Blaster
M83 - Walkway Blues
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Light Tunnels {Ft. Mike Slap}
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Need To Know {Ft. Chance The Rapper}
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Dance Off {Ft. Anderson .Paak/Idris Elba}
Maids - Girl Power
Make Them Suffer - Ether
MANU CROOK$ - EVERYDAY
Margaret Glaspy - You And I
Matt Corby - Belly Side Up
Methyl Ethel - Cry Me A River {triple j Like A Version 2016}
Methyl Ethel - No. 28
Mezko - Everyone
Mickey Kojak - Move Too Fast
Miike Snow - Genghis Khan
Miike Snow - The Heart Of Me
Milky Chance - Cocoon
Modern Baseball - Wedding Singer
Money War, The - Recall
Montaigne - Because I Love You
Montaigne - In The Dark
Montaigne - I Am Behind You
MS MR - Genghis Khan {triple j Like A Version 2016}
MUTO - Through The Fog
Naked And Famous, The - Laid Low
Ngaiire - Cruel
Nicholas Allbrook - Advance
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree
Ninjas, The - Morphine
NOFX - I Don't Like Me Anymore
OLSSON - Hold On {Ft. Mapei}
Olympia - Somewhere To Disappear
ORB - Iron Mountain
Orwells, The - Buddy
Owls, The - Feels Like Gold
Paul Dempsey - Morningless
PEZ - Calling Out {Ft. Paul Dempsey}
Phantogram - Cruel World
PIXX - Grip
PJ Harvey - The Wheel
Polaris - Regress
Polish Club - My House
Pop Cult - Feels Right
Porter Robinson & Madeon - Shelter
Preatures, The - I Know A Girl
Pretty Littles, The - Sleeping In Water
Prism Tats - Death Or Fame
Promises Ltd. - Days Of Lavender
PUP - DVP
PUP - If This Tour Doesn't Kill You, I Will
PUP - Familiar Patterns
Radiohead - Spectre
Radiohead - Burn The Witch
Radiohead - Decks Dark
Radiohead - The Numbers
Radiohead - Daydreaming
Rat Boy - Move
Raury - NEVERALONE
Raury - L$D {triple j Like A Version 2016}
RAYE - Shhh
Remi - Lose Sleep {Ft. Jordan Rakei}
Remi - Contact Hi/High/I {Ft. Silent Jay}
Resin Moon - Feels
ROI - Maths & Engineering
Rubens, The - King Kunta/Hello {triple j Like A Version 2016}
Rubens, The - Same Drugs
Ruiins, The - Eventually
Ruminaters, The - Bad Bad Things
Running Touch - Aubrey
SAATSUMA - Floating
SAFIA - Over You
SAFIA - Together, Locked Safely
SAFIA - Bye Bye
Sahara Beck - Spinning Time
Samuel - Killr
San Cisco - SloMo
San Mei - Revel
Sans Parents - Can't Stop Moving
Santigold - Chasing Shadows
Saosin - The Silver String
Saviour - The Quiet Calm
ScHoolboy Q - Ride Out {Ft. Vince Staples}
ScHoolboy Q - JoHn Muir
Scott & Charlene's Wedding - Distracted
Shining Bird - I Can Run
Skegss - Spring Has Sprung
Skepta - That's Not Me {Ft. JME}
Sløtface - Take Me Dancing
Slumberhaze - Silence
Soft Hair - Lying Has To Stop
Sophie Lowe - Crazy
Soulwax - Transient Program For Drums And Machinery
Sticky Fingers - Our Town
Stonefield - Love
Storm The Sky - Jaded Ghost
Strokes, The - Drag Queen
Sum 41 - Fake My Own Death
Sundara Karma - She Said
Tash Sultana - Jungle
Temper Trap, The - Fall Together
Temper Trap, The - Burn
Temples - Certainty
Tenderfoot - The Balcony Tale
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - Nobody Dies
Thom Sonny Green - Vienna
Thundamentals - Think About It {Ft. Peta & The Wolves}
Timberwolf - Something That I Said
Tired Lion - Not My Friends
Tourist Dollars - Horse Girl
Travis Scott - Goosebumps
Trophy Eyes - Chlorine
Twelve Foot Ninja - Invincible
Two Door Cinema Club - Surgery
Urthboy - Second Heartbeat {Ft. Sampa The Great/Okenyo}
Urthboy - Daughter Of The Light {Ft. Kira Puru}
Vancouver Sleep Clinic - Killing Me To Love You
VANT - Fly-By Alien
Velociraptor - Hunk With A Hunch
Venus II - Inside Yr Sun
Violent Soho - Viceroy
Violent Soho - Blanket
Washington - Saint Lo
Weeknd, The - Starboy {Ft. Daft Punk}
Weeknd, The - False Alarm
Wesley Fuller - Melvista
West Thebarton Brothel Party - Dolewave
Why We Run - Hallway
Woodes - Daggers & Knives
xx, The - On Hold
Yellow Fang - Morning
Zeds Dead - Too Young {Ft. Rivers Cuomo/Pusha T}
rion psychic

Christmastime...

A little known fact is that I actually have extended family. I might not talk about them too often, because they are equal parts dead and not people I have spoken to for a long time. A result is that, since the phasing out of Gazareth, I usually don't have plans to report by Christmas. I still celebrate Christmas, but it is usually over before Christmas morning. For the last few years, when asked about my plans for Christmas, my answer has routinely been 'Sleeping in.'

This year, I was invited by my aunt to Christmas lunch, at her family's house in Bendigo. In years gone by, my family would often spend Christmas day either at that house, at my family's home, or at my other aunt's house, though the last time that tradition was observed was probably in 1988. In the lead up, I found myself looking forward to the lunch, and in particular to seeing my cousins. I figured it must have been over fifteen years since I had last seen them, and I had long sought opportunity to do so.

We left early on Christmas morning, with my father having offered Poppa a lift which he had declined. He had wanted to go to church in the morning at his leisure, but promised to drive himself to Bendigo, and he'd also offered to drive me home. My parents, meanwhile, were staying in Bendigo over night, and booked a hotel room large enough to accommodate me should I also wish to stay. It was suggested I leave my car at a station in case I needed to take a train home, but once Poppa confirmed that he would be driving home, I decided against the plan.

After a couple of hours, we arrived. It was a hot day, and I expressed my guilt for leaving Jessie at home, but she seemed to have very much enjoyed her gift which Simon had sent from Paris, care of PETA - vegan dog treats displayed in a stylish wreath format. It was great to see my cousins again, as well as to meet their partners, both of whom I immediately liked a lot. Then of course, there were all the people I had no idea about and how they fit in. It probably shows how far out of the loop I've become.

An announcement was made before lunch by my aunt Joy: My grandfather would no longer be joining us. He had phoned on route to say he couldn't find the address. He'd used his GPS to get to the correct street, but unfortunately navigated to the completely incorrect town, a similar distance from home in the wrong direction. Gifts were exchanged in a Kris Kringle (or Jidka-style) fashion, with my cousin Stuart proving himself to be the most colourblind of the males of our generation of the family.

'I'd like the orange present, Stu!' called Bob, innocently. Stuart looked blankly at the gifts, and whilst I could understand, having been in similar situations regularly (particularly in a professional context in regards to Mr Sketch tones,) I was surprised at the extent of his afliction. Meanwhile, my immediate family cemented our reputation by choosing distinctly bottle-shaped gifts each time our names were called.

My aunt, a real estate agent, asked some questions about my house, and my mother complained about the fact that I still didn't technically own a house - I must have forgotten to tell her that I actually had had the house signed over to me a few days earlier. When I revealled this, she became incredibly angry at me, as though I had kept the fact a secret for some reason. Perhaps I had failed to mention it, but if so, it was probably only because I'd worked so much and only seen my family when we were doing specific things.

My uncle Ian, as well as being a gunzel of the classic variety, is also renowned for his car collection, and I was pleased after lunch when the invitation was extended to browse his elaborate garage and see his vintage ambulance and Austin convertible (I think it is an Austin.) I had alterior motives, however. My parents had, at my cousin John's wedding, strategically mentioned my Mini, sitting devestatingly in need of repair. Their hope, I learned, was that someone might offer to give it a good home. Whilst that isn't my ideal solution, it is one I might consider. Apparently, my ideal solution was the one that was assumed by Stuart - that he'd like to repair the car for fun. So as people paraded to the garage, I sought opportunities to reintroduce the idea and state my strong support for it.

And then the point came. Either one was staying, or leaving. My parents suggested I stay, but I said someone had to look after Jessie. I had made my plan. Unline the previously anthemic Blink-182 single, I would be home for Christmas. So I headed to the station. I'd planned this. I had examined the V-Line timetable and packed my Gameboy and a book. Whatever research I had done was thwarted by the unpredictable country Christmas time table. I waited a couple of hours before the train came, quite certain of the direction I needed to travel, but doubting myself after several scenes of the game Secret Files: Tunguska were completed I started to find myself wondering if the trains that felt like they were going in the wrong direction might have been the ones I needed. Eventually the train that felt right came, and I climbed aboard.

I found a map to confirm that I was in fact going in the right direction, and settled back to enjoy the ride. I didn't need my Gameboy a lot, because I wanted to check out the scenery, but darkness fell quickly. It was a longer journey than I expected it to be, and it was after midnight when I arrived at Spencer Street. I opted to take the first train to Flinders Street to find the most suburban trains. My guess was, that by this time, I would need to walk home. As is my usual Modus Operandi, I took the first train heading in the right direction. It happened to be a Dandenong train, so I walked home from Springvale. On the way, I seemed to frighten a girl, who screamed when she turned a corner and came face to face with me. The walk also gave me a chance to observe some of the local Christmas lights, but by that time it was after 1am, and perhaps some had been deactivated, or maybe they just aren't as prevelant as they used to be.

I'd cited Jessie being at home without food as the reason for my desperation to leave, but when I served her a late night dinner, I realised she had had the vegan wreath treats to much on all day.
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    Black Ops - They Might Be Giants