Archive | August, 2014

I had a month in Brisbane one week.

25 Aug

The sand and the rocks whispered to me the secretes it shares with the dingos

The sun rises, casting an aura of normality to life.

dreams continue into the beyond

Furreaks in Australia.

I almost scheduled my entire time in Queensland around The Furry Festival.

"Missing it it would be way less fun than going."

More twinkle in a single eye than most people have in both.

To say that The Furry’s excite me while making me feel slightly awkward is
like saying they make my dreams come true.

This year I brought Dan (alias, Cassowary). He opens things with his sunglasses and is a converted skeptic — “Attending was way more fun than not attending.” — Although he surmised that there “probably aren’t any Rhodes Scholars present.” Which is obvious because everyone knows a monkey can’t be a Rhodes Scholar.

Me and Bagel, fraternal twins.

Furternal twins.

Before this, where I had been living, people did not have a high opinion of where I was going: Mike Goldstein has named it Brisghanistan. Call me Americ-honest but I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that The Commonwealth games don’t let the best countries compete?
Anyway, I loved Brisbane. I had a fantastic time on the drive up — highlights being the layout of Lismore, the markets in Bellingen, a beach run in Newcastle, and that gym in Nimbin. I got to reconnect with legends from college, eat homemade sandwiches, explore Toowong cemetery (which is better than it sounds), and link into the Irish network. I surprised myself by being momentarily cut when 5-year-old Henry had never heard of the United States but referenced South America by name.

And, I got to hold a Koala! I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m a tree. His name is Bagel so naturally I asked if he was Jewish which confused everyone. He smelled delicious, like eucalyptus, and I’d like to think that he also has this picture of us up on his blog. With the exact same caption.

Dreams continue into the beyond and one shower is five minutes long. So if I’m in the shower for 10 minutes I’ve showered twice that day.
wag wag wag,

Here Here!

11 Aug

I had been in Canberra, the capital of Australia, for four hours when one thing led to another and I SAW TONY ABBOTT, Ze Prime Minister.

This is how close I was.

I’m pretty sure he’s somewhere in this picture.

Katie, a friend of mine, has been a lawyer in Washington DC for years and has never been this close to President Barack Obama’s secretary.


with (what I’m only assuming is) standard amounts of red tape and corruption,

The Zillion Star-Hotel

1 Aug

The moon is right-side-up in Australia — least you try to tell anyone here it’s
up-side-down — and about a week ago I drove to Darby Falls to visit what Lonely Planet presents as “the best place in all of Australia to star-gaze.” It ended up being not quite the “observatory” I was expecting and more like ‘Mark’s backyard’.

Mark hand-built that 16" microscope.

Mark hand-built that 16″ microscope.
I’m no expert but I don’t think he’s converted 16″ correctly.

No one else showed up to the inconveniently-located observatory that night so I had a private, extensive tour of the breath-taking night sky Down Under.

* * * * **** * ********* ******
There are 100 billion stars in our galaxy
and over 100 billion galaxies.

* * * * **** * ********* ******

This is a guy who believes that the theory of evolution is…er, how do you say…? Right.

We saw a red star, a blue star, a yellow star, and the rings around Saturn. After telling me that I’m not the center of the universe (ouch) Mark suggested we sleep outside. As if he was suggesting something as conventional as eggs for breakfast he went on to convince me, “It’s good when the moon is this bright because the snakes are shiny in the grass”. In Turkey I learned to say yes. So in the private casino of my (current) Australian mind (these blokes love to gamble) I hedged my bets and muzzeled my objections: We rolled out our sleeping bags. And I survived. While I can’t say with certainty that having more leg room was worth the fear I felt every time I woke up, I can confirm that the hot shower in the morning (my first in 5 days) absolutely was.

I left soon after, clean and full of wonder — and drank a coke-a-cola because none of it really matters anyway.