Mikes Random Musings

Monday, September 25, 2006

So it has been 365 days since I left the sanity of Australia to live in the insanity of America....

I was having dinner with Keith this evening (and some others from the IE team). Before the others arrived I was talking about the move, and the fact that I miss home. Keiths comment to me was to think about what I did this weekend, and would I have done anything like that if I was back home. I thought about it, and I came to conclusion that no I would not have. This weekend, if I was still living my old life back in Perth would probably have been spent, doing my grocery shopping, playing hockey and cleaning my apartment. This is not a bad thing, but I feel I am living a much fuller life (I am doing more), now that I am living here (funny how it took a job that consumes all of my time for me to get more of a life).

Also, I've made some really great friends while I have been here. Sure, it's not the same as hanging out with Scott and Richard, but they are still some really great people who I would miss if I moved back to Australia.

Finally there is the work. Sure, it's hard, long hours and sometimes really annoying, but overall I have fun, and I enjoy what I do. It has also taught me that I can care about what I do, without it controlling my life. I am able to seperate my life from my work, and not let one control the other.

So I guess I really am happy here, at least as happy as I can be.

Anyway, on to my weekend. Saturday night was pretty fun, I went an saw the musical 'Bombay Dreams' at one of the theaters in Seattle. It was a really great production, and reminded me why I like watching live theater.

Sunday I headed back out to Leavenworth for some more climbing. It was a long, but very enjoyable day. I got to meet a bunch of new people, and climb some very cool routes, including a lead on a 50ft 5.8 sport pitch. I took one fall, about 4 - 5 foot down to the last peice of protection (which thankfully held). I have been told I need to work on my clipping technique, and my general climbing technique. So my aim for this winter is to work on that, so next summer I am able to lead more outdoor climbs. Then who knows, maby multi-pitch is next on my list. (There are some photo's from the day on my flickr page).

I also wanted to plug a guy called Mick Pearson and his comapny Kaf Adventures. This is the guy who lead the group on Sunday. He was a really nice guy who knew what he was doing and provided a really good learning environment. He's was very positive about all aspects of the day, and really made you believe you could do whatever you wanted. I know I came away from the day feeling a lot better about my climbing, and like I had learnt alot. I will be looking for any more classes offered by him, and I recomend everyone else who can do the same.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tonight I was hanging out with Tarang, Dana & Ben down in the UDistrict. This is the first time since my first week in Seattle that I have really been down into that area. Wow, I realised how much I miss my old life. It was just like driving through nedlands, there were young people everywhere rushing home from classes, grabbing cheap (good) food, hanging out in university accomodation (dana lives in flats that are owned by the university, but are not the dorms).

I really wish I could live in an area like that, its the type of place that has some personality, rather than the bland pre-packaged existance that is Redmond. Around here a leaf on the sidewalk looks out of place, and nothing ever really happens (it is the suburbs after all). UDistrict, was more like Nedlands or Subiaco, a place where it seems that something is always going on.

Oh, and I also got to see my first american frat house... it's exactly that, a really big house with some greek letters on the outside, and way too many boys inside.

Also, for those I have not emailed yet. I'll be back in Australia at the end of the year. I am taking 4 weeks off and comming home for some sun, sand & real beer. I'll be in Sydney for the 3 days on the way in (around 12/16), then Perth for 3.5 weeks before heading back to the cold. I want to see as many people as possible, so if I have ever spoken to you, or even if I don't know you and you have an aussie accent and are willing to meet me for a beer, send me an email telling me where and when.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I went clubbing on saturday night. I wanted to write a bit about how much I hate clubbing, there is something about that entire scene that irritates me beyond belief.

Sure, when I was a teenager I went to clubs. Occationally I had some fun in them, but overall in my opinion they suck. My reasoning behind this..

  1. The music. I am a huge music fan but for some reason I just cannot get into dance music. There is nothing interesting about it, the beat is to standard, and there is no difference between every song.
  2. The venues. You ever thought about why the lighting in clubs is so bad, cause they really don't want you to see details. Most of the clubs are holes. They are too small, badly laid out and are designed to cause distortion.
  3. The people. Clubs are designed for the lowest common denominator. So what do you get when you mix the worst society has to offer wtih alcohol and other substances? People who are more stupid than usual.
  4. The motivations. The people who are there are there for one of two reasons, get as fucked up as possible, or hit on any member of thier prefered gender.

So, if we add these three factors together, what do we get for me? Music, if I want to listen to music, I will go to a club, but if it's dance music, forget about it. Venues, if I wanted to spend time in a building that should be condemed, I don't want to pay a cover for the option. People, I hate stupid people, I really hate stupid people in altered states. Motivations, I don't drink much any more, and I gave up all other substances a long time ago. I also won't go to a club to pickup, because I have two simple rules when it comes to dating,

  1. I don't date the type of girl who dates guys she meets in clubs (see the people comment above for explainations why).
  2. I don't do one night stands.

When it comes to live bands, the music side of the equation changes, and I will tolerate the other 3 factors in order to see and enjoy the music. However there would need to be *significant* (and I really mean significant) shifts in the other 3 factors before I would tollerate dance music and go to a club.

Oh, one more comment relating to people. In perth, most clubs enforced a dress code. Basically, if you were a guy, you would not be getting in if you wore jeans, a non collared shirt, or non-dress shoes. On saturday night, I saw a guy wearing a t-shirt, shorts and thongs (flip flops for americans). The thongs scare me, bare feet near that floor is asking for trouble. The rest of the outfit is also troubling, because while the bar to get in is already low, it appears that it is being lowered over more.

For more reasons why I hate clubs, take a read of Clublife, an insiders view of the NYC club scene.