Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Cairns Day 59

Havn't had a chance to update for a few days because i've just been working quite a bit. At Vivo, I worked all weekend (friday night, all day saturday and sunday morning) and then on Monday and Tuesday i started work at Peter Pans. It's a REALLY easy job but I don't really like the work atmosphere. However, I'm only in it for the money I save on my future trips so ti balances out. It was a bit tough working since I don't know any info on travel stuff and a lot of people come in and start asking me questions and i was told to jus t"Sorry I'm just the INTERNET GUY! I know nothing. If you want to talk to one of our travel agents I can put your name on the list and you can have a seat o none of our nice couches or feel free to use the interent until I call your name. I know after a few shifts the work will seem like a piece of cake and I won't feel so overwelmed.

Aside from that, last night i got a suprise call from my friend Rachel, who I knew from my McGill days in Chemistry. She's going to be in town on Sunday and wanted to let me know so we can hang out and catch up, etc. so I'm looking forward to next week since I havn't seen her in a long time. Then, today I got an e-mail from my friend Nils who I met in Melbourne. he's also going to be in Cairns sometime in July so I'm really excited about that as well. I'm starting a collection of visitors it seems!

Last night I rented 3 films:
Identity - starring John Cusack, Ray Liota, Amanda Peet, Jake Busey and others.
GREAT film! Really out there but I loved it! Totally recommendf it for those who want a weird psycho thriller with a twist!

Subject Zero - I remember it bombing when it came out in Montreal and my friend Norm said he walked out of it after the first 15 minutes or something but decided to rent it anyways. I wasn't really watching it, my house mate was, but from what I did see it just seemed really weird and stupid and dont really care about findingout how it ends.

Garden State - Starring Zack Braff and natalie Portman. Have not had a chance to watch it yet but will get on to it when I return home from here (intenet cafe). I have heard great things about it and I like Zack Braff.

stil playing guitar almost everyday and still loving it! I think I still need a LOT of practice btu a lot of people keep telling me I"m getting better or that i'm learning pretty quickly for someone who's been playing for only a month. I really hope I can keep it up in Montreal!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Cairns Day 53

Today has been pretty BLAH!

I woke up kind of early from the phone ringing non-stop for what felt like 30 minutes. I decided to take advantage of getting up early and phoned my brother in Toronto. His wonderful wife picked up and although he was out I did get to have a great chat with her. Turns out my little nephew can roll over! I can't wait to see him when I'm back in Canada. After the phone call I went back home (I use the pay phone around the corner for long distance calls0 and rather than doing anything productive I ended up watching Fight Club. I've seen it before but it's one of those movies you need to watch a few times to understand it fully and now I can say I am on eof the few people that DO understand it FULLY. I also discovered there is a slow motion button on the DVD remote so that was....

WOW! Sorry to break from a really EXCITING (read boring) description of my DVD remote but this guy just interrupted me and turns out he's Graham. I met him in Melbourne many moons ago. We were in the same room and went out to Dallas the week I was leaving to go to Sydney. He remembered my name and everything. Tres cool. It turns out he's leaving to go back to Canada on Monday and with my work schedule it looks like i won't be able ot catch up with im but we may be able to hang out for a quiet one on sunday night. Wow! it's just great to still be bumping into people i"ve met throughout my travels. Even if I didn't know them well, it's just a great feeling knowing that someone knows you, you know? (haha).

My plan the afternoon has been to go into town and get the next set of guitar notes. I don't htink I'll get a chance to practice a lot today but I have been playing everyday and for at least an hour. Yesturday I tried to get that Nirvana song going and I'm hoping int he next few weeks I;ll be a pro at playing Smells LIke Teen Spirit. I still need a lot of work on almost ALL the songs I'm learning but iA figure rather then sticking only to them and trying over and over unti they are perfect, I'd rather continue on with my lessons and learn new things. I have been good thoug, and i still go back to the all the songs I'm learning and pay thenm a few times if I can rather than neglect them and only play new stuff. I have yet to read the notes in detai lbut this weeks lesson includes:
a barre chord
a blues shuffle
the b flat chord
and a few songs:
Hote California - The Eagles
Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan (I'm starting to learn that almost EVERY SONG that Bob Dylan has made has been RE-MADE by someone else and as far as I can tell the remakes are ALWAYS better...)
Otherside - Red Hot Chili Peppers

The only problem with trying ot play any of the songs I"m learning is I don't have the audio tracks of many of them and the tablature notes I'm using don't give tempo or strumming patterns so I'm kind of winging some of it and it's tough trying ot play something when you're not sure it's right or not. I'm hoping when I get back to Canada I'll go back to most of the songs and try hard to get them perfect so I can play them at parties and stuff.

My plan for the rest of the afternoon is to just go back home and eat dinner before work and amybe squeeze in a bit of quitar playing. In promotion with Batman Begins, KFC has this special combo deal called the Bat Box. I have food at home but i"m SO tempted to try it while they have it ( it's probably a very short term thing) so I'm going ot buy it on the way home. That being said, I still have some time to kill so I decided I would just share some random thoughts:

They have this thing in Australia called Vegamite. For those who don't know what it is, it's basicalled a yeast extract (thats what the bottle says). It's this really salty, black spread that you put on toast or other things. I hated it at first but one day I just acquired a taste for it and last week I bought a bottle and now I eat it on my toast all the time. It's quite tasty in small quantities. I'll try and bring a bottle home if I can.

Another weird thing I noticed in Australia is that they don't have three holes in their papers, only two. I bought a binder and a hole punch for my guitar notes and was suprised when I only found 2 holed items. I had to ask a store worker for assistance and she told me thats how it is here.

The other night I went to the Wool Shed and had the weirdest feeling. I saw this girl throughout the night who reminded me SO MUCH of my friend Nadine from back home. She didn't really look like her facial wise all the way but she was the same size and height and just had her hair up in a similar way and had the same type of clothes I coud see Nadine wear. The freaky thing on my end was I just kept staring at her throughout the night and I'm almost certain that girl thought I was some freak.

Finally, the last thing on my mind lately is this WEIRD dream I had the other day. It's not really WHAT the dream was about but what happened DURING the dream. In the middle of the dream I realized something was odd and that the onl yanswer to it was that I was dreaming. Once I was aware I was in a dream I called out to wae myself up. Then I woke up abruptly in my bed. I've NEVER done that before. It was like out of the twilight zone or something. And the weird thing is the dream wasn't about me in danger or anything, it was just me at home in Canada telling someoen about my trip as if I was there right now but then I realized I didnt travel to the places I intend on going to after Cairns and that made me realize something was awry. TWO WORDS: WEI RD

Wow I"m getting hungry now! To the BUD MOBILE! (which is my bicycle)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Cairns Day 51

Today was a sad day. I had to say goodbye to my friend Sophie. She is flying back to brisbane for a few days and then flying home to Quebec! We promised erach other to meet up again in Montreal for she is moving there to be able to go to Concoridia and study Media and Design. Her, her friends and I had a barbecue righ tbefore she left and it was a lot of fun. I cooked a whole bunch of beef sausages. MM MMMMMM!

Yesturday I spent the day by the lagoon jamming away on my guitar. I'm still loving ita dn learning so much. I still need to work on a lot of my songs but rather than slow myself down and repeat the same songs over and over I'm still readuing and learning new things about guitar playing everyweek. Probably tomorrow I'll pick up lesson 5!

I couple of weeks ago when my hours got cut from Vivo I decided to apply and work at Peter Pans again. I figured if i work for them I'll be able to get a discount on the trips I want to do in the future. They said they'd get back to me and this girl , Kat, who works at Peter Pans and happens to be the girlfriend of a guy who works with my roomate Carl, told me on Monday she was quitting to move on and then yesturday I got a call to com ein for a trial for today. I got up early and made it over to the place and had to work for an hour. It's really easy work, al I have to do is:
Ensure everyone who walks in the door cvomes to the from desk
Find out if they want ot use the internet, talk to someone about a trip or both
Find out where they are heading to after Cairns and if they need to talk to anyone
Burn a photo CD for them if asked
Work the cash for all the money recieved form the internet use
Clean up the place when I have time

It's not really that bad a job, and hope i can stand it for 8 weeks.

Also, last night I saw Batman Begins. It was great. Not he best movie I've ever seen but aside from Batman 1 being a cult classic, this one was the best batman movie I've seen. It was quite cool although I wasn't such a huge fan of th eplot involving the back guy adn his intentions to do evil. If you're into comic book movies and enjoy Chris Nolan (Director of Momento) you'll enjoy this flick, a lot.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Cairns Day 49

I havn't been up to much lately except work and playing guitar. Work is going okay but I have 4 days off in a row (from sunday until wednesday). It's not bad having so many days oof except that:
a)there isn't too much to do that isn't free
b)I'm trying to save my money
c)By not working i"m making less money

So money is the key here. That being said, if anyone whould like to make donations to the "Give Budman Money" fund feel free to donate anything from 1$ to 1000$.

Guitar playing is getting really fun. I picked up a new lesson last thursday. Iotal, I am now know and/or still learning:
The basic chords - A,Am,C,D,Dm,E,Em,G,F
Power chords - For the sixth and fifth strings
The Chromatic Scale
The E Phygarian scale
The A Blues Scale
And I'm learning a handful of simple songs (mostly just the back ground chords, no melodies):
Leaving on a Jet Plane - John Denver/Chantel Kraviazuk
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrisson
Take it Easy - The Eagles
Last Kiss - Pearl Jam
American Pie - Don McLean
Kiss Me _ Sixspence None The Richer
Smells like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Have you Ever Seen the Rain - CCR
Still havn't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
Mr. Jones - Counting Crows

I can only plauy a few of them semi well and need work on the rest but for someone who's only played over 3 weeks, I'm doing OK. I'm really loving the guita playing and just spent the last 2 hours sitting under the shade by the lagoon and jamming. I think thats my new favorite thing to do when not working, hanging by the lagoon on a beautiful sunny, cloud-free day and just strumming away for a couple of hours. I stopped because I got hungry and my hand started to hurt.

Tomorrow i"m hoping to go see Batman Begins and maybe rent some movies with my friends Ben and Mandy. I'll write about any movies I see, so keep checking for updates.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Cairns Day 44

First off I realize the pics are TOO big and I will try to fix it sometime soon (or never) depending on time and money.

As for this weeks MOVIE REVIEWS, tuesday I rented Sideways, Pulp Fiction and The Jewish Hammer.

Sideways - stars Paul Giamatti and Christian Hayden Church (think thats his name). It was quite good. I love Paul Giamatti. He played in Confidence and American Splendor. I definitely recommend it for those that like more independent type movies. It's a comedy/drama about a depressed guy who takes his best friend on a wine tasting getaway week before his buddy gets married and certain things happen on the way (but not CRAZY things for that rent Harold and Kumar go to white castle).

Pulp Fiction - I'm probably the only person who never saw this movie. I REALy wanted to finally watch it and loved it. I'm sure everyone has seen this but if not it's with agreat cast including John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. Directed by Quentin Tarentino (Kill Bill, Resevoir Dogs, Jackie Brown) it's just one of these gangster movies with weird plot twists and lots of shooting. Cult indeed.

Jewish Hammer - By far one of the FUNNIEST movies I've seen in a VERY VERY long time. You may not understand the jokes that much if you're not jewish but there non jewish jokes are all hilarious. This movie just takes the piss out of jews and christians. The premise is that Santa Clause Jr. (Andy Dick) kills santa Clause Sr. for his plot to erradicate Chanukah (the jewish holiday that happens around christmas time) so the Jewish Justice League calls in help from The JEWISH HAMMER (Adam Goldberg)! Totally taking the same format as Shaft, this movie is just great with one liners and crazy jokes. Favorite lines the Hammer are by far "Remember... Stay Jewish!" and "Shabbot Shalom MOTHER FUCKER!"

I also saw a B-rated movie called the circuit (Adam, roomate rented it) and it was also very funny but it's an action movie and isn't supposed to be funny at all. Not worth even mentioning the plot because it was just SO BAD.

Cairns Day 43

Here's a little run down of what I've been up to since moving to Cairns but this time with PICTURES!

As always, I've been going out and having fun at the bars. My newest hang out is the Woolshed where as I've mentioned before, I have a VIP card and I get cheap drinks!
Don't worry I'm not going overboard or anything...

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Here are photos of my lovely room that I have to myself in the most awesome house I've lived in so far in Australia.
I got a double bed to myself and I already decorated the room slightly.

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This is my "closet" which is basically a wire hanging from the ceiling in the corner of my room.

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This is my favorite part of the room. What LOOKS like a REAL closet is actually just
doors drilled into the walls of the room to give the illusion there is closet space,
but there isn't.

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I'm still working at that Italian restaurant Vivo:

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The Kitchen:

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My space in the kitchen:

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The view you get from the kitchen, there's a beautiful beach right outside:

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And the man himself, Ivo, the owner of the restaurant and my boss:

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My friend Sophie is in town so we went out for dinner the other night.

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She wanted Indian food but it was like 20$ a dish so we opted out for this food court where they have about 4 resturant competing, each offering a buffet style of food where you pay for the size of your dish. I was starving and took total advantange by shoving as much as I could on the plate.

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I get hungry everytime I look at that pic.

Today was another beautiful day so I went by the Lagoon.

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Basically it's just a fancy public swimming pool for everyone to use since the real beach in Cairns looks like this:

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and the funny thing is they are right next to each other so if you face one way it looks like a resort and then behind you it's like Swamp Thing's home land.

Being such a nice day as it was, I sat under a tree in the shade and played guitar for about an hour and half until I broke one of the strings.

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Thankfully, the guitar shop was nearby and I got it fixed right away and was told some tips to avoid it in the future.

Sophie just invited me to a BBQ which is perfect timing since I was going to buy groceries anyways today, so I'm off to the supermarket so by some BBQ food and cook up a storm.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Cairns Day 38

My work hours were cut recently and now I have 3 days off instead of 2. that being said, Wednesday night I went out to the Wool Shed to meet up with two irish girls I met the other day, Yvonne and Grace. Very nice people and we had a good time together. My relationship with the Wool Shed is improving though. The landlord of the house I live in, manages the bar, my roomate Karl, works in the bar, someone I met in noosa now works at the bar as a bartendress, and I also foudn out the same night that someone I know from Peter Pan travel (where I use the internet) is going out with a guy who works with Karl. Plus, I have a VIP card that gets me cheap drinks and free entry.

So I get to the bar on tuesday and Karl happened to be there for a heavy night of drinking and told the bouncer I'm coola dn that I live with him so I got to skip the line and got in for free. Then I couldn't find the girls but bumped into this guy, Stephen who I met the week before and we hung out. Karl came up to me and introduced me to his work buddies and I got a free drink from him and finally I met up the girls. We hung out until 2am but then I called it quits since I had to work the next day and even though I only started work at 5pm I like feeling good on a work day.

ON a completely different note it's about time I put this out in the open. I havn't been very honest with everyone and I've had a secret that I think I should now throw on the table since my mom found out about it recently... I AM GAY!!!!


No I'm NOT gay... BUT I WAS hiding something from everyone. Three weeks ago I bought a GUITAR. It's a Sanchez Steel String SK-17 Accoustic Guitar and it's bright blue! I kept walking by a guitar shop on the way to the city when I first moved into my new house and it kept tempeting me to pop in and look around. I gave it a lot of thought and figured if I work from 5pm to 12am and get up at 10am every morning it doesn't really leave me much time to go to the city and there itsn't much to do except watch TV or rent a DVD now and again. So I decided if I were to buy a guitar, I could teach myself daily and have something fun to do besides sit at home until work. I walked into the store, spoke to the guy and he told me that had a special going on. For 200$ I got the guitar, carrying case, a strap to hold the guitar on my holder, an electric tuner AND a DVD on how to play guitar. Howvere, I had a feeling even before buying the kit that the DVD would probably be crap (it's not very good), I looked online and found an EXCELLENT webside designed JUST for beginners. It written by a quitar instructor and basically he just put on the interenet the lessons he would teach to his students inreal life. Each lesson is designed for 1 week. There are a total fo 12 lessons and so far I am on lesson 3. After 3 weeks of plying I now know the 9 basic chords, 3 scales, 3 struming patterns and a I'm trying ot learn a handful of songs. I can't play the songs properly yet but the whole point of them, the instructor states, is just to practice changing chords. I didn't buy the quitar with any intentions of becoming a rock god but only a means to kill time and learn something new. I'm enjoying it quite a lot and I hope by the time I move back home I'll be able to play a few simple songs. I wanted to keep the news to myself but I forgot my mom pays my VISA bills and was wondering what I spent for 200$ in a music store.

Well now that it's out in the open, I now have other things to talk about on this blog.

Different story all together, the other night I got a suprise call from my Russian Relatives in Bondi Beach, Syndey. They are such nice people! Jenny, called just to see how I was doing and wanted to make sure eveythign was ok. She asked me all the typical questions - ae you ok? Are you working? How are the folks? Have you gained weight? I was nice talking to her about all that stuff and I hope to meet up with them one more time before I go back to Canada which is looking to be sometime in September.

So for the latest news on my adventures, DVD reviews and guitar lesson updates keep checking this website!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Cairns Day 36

Well as of Monday ngiht I am now a VIP member of the Wool Shed. I am now entitled free entry and cheap drinks (and possibly even meals) at the most popular backpacker barin Cairns. The card even has a photo of me. It's the coolest thing I aquired in Cairns next to my movie store membership card.

Speaking of movies, yesturday I ended up renting The Village, The Forgotten, Walking Tall, Shown of the Dead and I picked up Alien VS Predator for my roomate, Adam - he wanted something horror-ish. I had already seen Shawn of the Dead but it's a great movie although, even though it's supposed to be a comedy it's REALLY graphic in the blood department but it's not scary. The Forgotten was OK, I liked th eeffects but the story does go downthe drain near the end. The village was quite good. I remember the reviews not being so great but it was worth the watch. I quite like M Knight Shamalayan (or how ever you spell his name) movies and this one was as good as his others. Finally Walking Tallw as a great brain cell killer. Got to love the Rock. After spending most the day inside watching movies I decided I should get out of the house, so I left my home ot meet up with Ben, this guy I met on my Whitsundays trip, and we went to go see Star Wars 3. I actually liked it! it's probably the best out of the 3 new ones. The only thing is I always get lost when they talk politics and I find there are just so many special effectsd and things moving all the time it's hard to actually focuson some of the sceneries. Like in a normal movie you have the camera start to focu on a building and maybe you see a cloud move or a bird fly by but thats about it! In Star Wars (1-3) you have space ships and aliens and robots and Storm Troopers and jedi And wookies and all sorts of things moving about in 1000 directions just while the camera focuses on ONE SIMPLE BUILDING! It's like that one scene could have taken weeks and cost thousands of dollars just to make up.

Today I just took it easy and have been in the city for a while. I have a few errands and then it's back to the house.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Cairns Day 34

Sorry I havn't posted anything in a while but the reasons are:

a) I was home sick with a really bad case of the stomach flu

b) I don't really have much to say anymore.

Don't get me wrong, I could type lines and lines about my bowel movement but I doubt anyone wants to read about it (and if you do you're just a very SICK person!).

Aside from that I'm not really up to anything that really exciting to write about. Since I'm stationary now in Cairns, I havn't really done any sight seeing. Cairns is VERY small. The main part basically has a giant pool/lagoon area, there are a bunch of shops, resturants, convinience stores and a supermarket. In the back of the city centre is a giant mall. Thats Cairns for you. Most people go off on trips to the reef or Cape Tribulation. I havn't looked into any trips yet but I still have that voucher for the day trip on the reef that I won last week.

Last night I was working and was now told that my hours will be cut because they want to share the hours witht he new guy they just hired. So, now I'm going from 35-40 hours/week to 25-30 hours/week, It's not too bad now though since I won;t be as stressed at work but now I got to figure out what to do with 3 days off in a row. All there is to do is watch movies, or go to the city and check my e-mail. I'll see if I can find something on the side to keep me busy (maybe sell drugs or even better my body).

Well at least tomorrow I plan on going to see Star Wars 3, I hear it's great so I'm looking forward to see it.

As for something semi-exciting to write about, last night I went out with 5 guys from work, Marco, Charles, Aaron, Hamish and Marco. We started at P.J. Obriens and made our way to The Woolshed. Good times had by all. I even bumped into 2 girls I met in Melbourne. They said they remebered me but I think they were so drunk they would have believed what anyone would have told them. All in al, though, it was a good ngith and i got to bed at like 4am. now I know it only casts 7$ to cab home!