Tempus Fugit

Time Flies…

   Sep 18

Beer, Two Israeli PIs, A Czech Headhunter and Roast Duck


Very empty spacious new looking airport.  Another stamp in my passport.

Convoluted travel from airport to hostel. 

Bus 119 to metro A stop.  Change to a Metro B train at Muzeum.  Catch a Tram from the stop you get off at.  Any more forms of pubic transport I’d like to catch?

Was waiting at tram stop to catch tram to hostel and ran into Juanita who’d actually gone out to airport to meet me – but missed me by five minutes.

Went to Old Town Prague – Tourists fucking everywhere.  What a bloody nightmare.  Tourists, My runny nose and Cigarette Smoke did not put me in a good frame of mind.  Saw some VERY funky churchs.  Walked through some streets.  Feet sore.  Got back to hostel.

Beer cheaper to drink than water.

Juanita and I decided to go on a Pub walking tour of Prague.  Turns out that the only other two tourists who decided to take it were an Israeli couple from Tel Aviv who run a private investigation company.  Their stories were…interesting.  I did wonder about interrogation methods.  “Ve have Vays of making you talk”.  Tour guide was a local who was doing business administration at uni.  One of his other jobs was as a headhunter….he would ring businesses and lie through his teeth to glean information about people and pass it onto the recruitment companies who would try and woo these people into jobs with other countries.  Very intriguing.

Pub tour included half a litre of beer at each pub.  Three pubs in all.  Was well feeling drunk by third pub which was off the beaten track because the pub we were supposed to goto was booked out.  Food was delicious though – local czech food – deep fried blue vein cheese was one of my favourites.  Everything in Czech republic is very oily and rich.  Minimal salads.

Turns out that Czech Republic has one of the highest incidences of heart disease in Europe.  Not surprised.  Beer cheaper than water…..fried everything…..yummy none the less.  We tried the roast duck (being apparently a Czech dish).  Never been much of a fan of duck…still not a fan of duck….probably ate too much deep fried blue vein cheese.

Tour over.  Having had a good time… the two israeli PIs, the tour guide and us went to a bar called “The goat”.  Most bars seem to be underground here in cellars.

Trams stopped running at midnight…which meant a long walk back to hostel.  Feet very sore.

Slept till three PM today….combination of hangover and flu.

Went to a concert with Prague Symphony Orchestra at the Smetana concert hall.  Knew most of the pieces performed.  Very enjoyable…even if fucking tourists were using flash photography all through the concert.

Home now and in need of a good sleep. 

   Sep 18

An Amsterdamsel to Ease My Distress

Well… 24 hours in Amsterdam.  Probably not long enough.

Was initially non-plussed.  Arrived.  Caught train from Schipol which turned out to be the wrong train….but transferred to the right train without too much angst.

Walk from Central Station to Hostel was convoluted and involved walking in many circles as I had a dodgy ill-informed map (and possibly because I was tired).  At 0730 the city is almost like a ghost town.  Not a soul or a car to be seen.

Arrived at hostel.  Can’t use room till 2pm.  Ate breakfast.  Walked through town with a 2 euro map that was considerably more helpful than the dodge one I had previously.

Sat in a park for 3 hours writing and watching the world go by.  Very serene.

Wandered into a funky cafe full of people reading books and using laptops.  Ate lunch.  Sat reading a funky book – “Marley and Me” which had me laughing out loud for the most part and almost bawling at the end of it….not cool when you’re in a cafe.  People look at you weird when you are laughing uncontrollably one minute and about sob the next.

Walked back to hostel….THOUSANDS of people around….turns out shops don’t open till 10am but very busy after then.  Wandered into an H&M and found a heap of cheap clothes that I thought I’d like….so wandered back to hostel to shower and freshen up then wandered back to try on clothes….120 euro later and I had more clothes.

Had Maoz for dinner …mmmm felafel….was what I had when I was in Barcelona.  Wish they had Maoz in Australia.

Wandered back to hostel and propped up hostel bar for an hour or so drinking Heineken.  Contemplated checking out the Red-Light district (very close by) but being awake 42 hours with five hours sleep did not make me feel like wandering.

Slept at 2000.  Was petrified I would miss morning flight as I had no alarm clock thanks to leaving phone at home.

Managed to wake at 0300 WITH THE FUCKING FLU.  Snotty dribbling away, I wandered from hostel to central station.  Amsterdam has more people and more traffic at 0400 than at 0730.  Train station didn’t open till five and automagic ticket dispensing machines out the front only took cashcards or coins.  I didn’t have my maestro or cirrus cards with me dammit.  Had a 5 euro note….so I had to beg an old lady standing out the front of the train station to change my note into coins…..I wasn’t sure if she was a lady of the night or just a weirdo…but she gave me the change nonetheless.

Loved the automatic checkin machines at Schipol – you just scan your passport through the machine and then you can check yourself in – choosing your own seat.  I managed to get an exit row which meant a very large amount of leg room.  Very happy.  Not happy with the miniscule “Chicken roll” I got for breakfast that I was able to consume in one mouthful.

   Sep 15


Have arrived in Amstterdam.  Foood on KLM is not overly desirable.  An´omlette´is a brick shaped green and yellow blob that might descend from eggs.  They serve pot noodles for snacks.  The tea sucks. 

Oh well….cheap and nasty…you pay for what you get.

Now….to explore Amsterdam in 24 hours before flying to Prague.  

   Sep 14

The HOT “I don’t believe that’s chicken” burger

The Europe trip for 2006 is underway.  Even if I did leave my mobile phone at home.  Grrr.  I must either be missing an awful lot or travelling lighter as my bag only weighed 13kg.  Not sure how I will cope without a notebook computer.

Finished packing this morning…..washing was still wet last night.  Woke at ten in a tiz …. a little later than had been planned.  Dropped car off at Teneriffe…to discover missing mobile…had to sweettalk the lady at Station 8 into calling me a cab.  “But I’ll miss my flight to Europe” works remarkably well.  Had a cabby that hardly said more than two words on the entire trip out to airport….almost tipped him for not having to make inane conversation.

Didn’t buy any duty free.  Couldn’t be fucked.  Although I did smell an awful lot of EDT…will think about getting some on way back. 

Flight to Singapore went uneventfully.  Thank fuck for video on demand on QANTAS flights.  Saw a number of movies I wouldn’t have bothered seeing at the cinemas but were watchable nonetheless.

So here I am once again at Changi airport awaiting departure of my flight to Amsterdam.  Went to buy myself a hot and spicy chicken burger (the supposed local equivalent of KFC I guess).  Forgot that hot and spicy in Asia means HOT AND SPICY not pissy tingling like the Australian burgers.  Can’t say it was a chicken burger though….there was a few millimetres of white stuff dripping in crispy oil soaked batter that I think was what they were intimating might be the poultry part of the food – but all I can say is it was more paltry than poultry.

Am sans digital camera – there’s a backpack of mine with a UQ library book, digital camera and goodness knows what else missing – have turned house upside down…but to no avail.  Anyone know of its whereabouts?

Anyhoo…..must go and try out the free foot massagers before I have to get on my flight.

   Sep 01

Blah and Bleughh

Whenever I have a good idea that shows some pruomise of being something worthwhile writiting about, I am always no where no a computer or something that allows me to record the idea to expand on at a later time when I can think about it.  I am usually driving.

Consequently I hcom to sit down to write said good idea and then I discover I can’t think of anything good to write about.

Not that that is any excuse not to write.  One should find a time and sit down during the day and do such menial tasks.

Alas that was not to be.

….pause for falling asleep in the middle of writing…..and being rudely woken up by the hospital switch telling me I was needed to assist in theatre….and driving in and sitting around for two and a half hours for them to decide that the category two would need to bump the BKA (below knee amputation) that I was to assist on….so being sent home….

So now here I sit, rain tumbling down outside, chicken madras and a cheese & garlic naan, little creatures pale ale and a good book.

Should be bliss.  Can’t say that it is though.  Not sure why, today being the first day of spring should be simply smashingly marvellous.  Instead I’m feeling dysthymic and melancholic.

C’est la vie.

Nothing a good sleep won’t fix.

   Aug 26

The Pyjama Game

I have to say I love the concept of sitting around in pyjamas all day drinking coffee and chatting to people….and get paid for the privelege.

Welcome to the world of Anaesthesia.

I think I could quite easily get used to this kind of lifestyle.

And you get to feed people yummy drugs…and put them to sleep.

Still I guess it’s not all smooth sailing…. I saw a patient transfused with twice his blood volume in blood the other day….and then there’s the odd occasion when the soothing sound of a regular well-oxygenated pulse stops and alarms start going off and the shit hits the fan….but…that’s usually short-lived….hopefully the patient isn’t and the relative peace and calm of the operating theatre returns – the friendly flirting and banter between the staff resumes.

   Aug 20

An Asphyxiating Performance

A little over two months of silence.  Well not really silence but a lack of motivation to put down on electronic paper my thoughts.  Certainly the words have been running around in my head…

Anyhoo, enough of that.

I attended the opening of Gasping (by Ben Elton) last night at a venue that shall remain nameless.  Having previously read the script I had great expectations of the show.

Alas I was disappointed.  Maybe it was first night nerves or something but I felt that individually and as a group each of the performers (with the exception of one) feel way short of the mark.

Ben Elton’s script, one of his first, written in 1990, was rich in comedy and social commentary that still rings true today.  Unfortunately the delivery of the dialogue failed to inspire.  It is amazing how much difference the delivery of a line can make to its impact.  Irony is lost when delivered with the expectation that people will laugh.

I suspect that perhaps the cast members were cast on looks as opposed to acting talent.

Acting aside I was impressed with the set design and construction.  Give it another two to three weeks of performances and perhaps the show will be worth while seeing.

   Jun 12

Caloric Conniptions

Well…. last entry…nearly a month ago….fuck I should write more…was right… I didn’t get the part I wanted but….no matter I’m still in the show… as a horse. Not quite what I had anticipated but….don’t look a gift horse in the …*groan*. Kind of cool costumes though.

Tomorrow I am catering for the weekly case conference.

I could have gone to the cheesecake shop…but where’s the fun in that.  I spent most of the afternoon (when I wasn’t rehearsing being a horse) making a double-layered mud cake coated in a chocolate ganache.  The finished product I think will not only feed the 9 or so people in the case conference but could (calorically speaking) feed a small starving african nation.

Some ingredients which feature…. 3 cups of sugar, over half a kilo of chocolate, a cup of cocoa, a cup of oil, 125g of butter…..*WARNING WARNING*  Arteries occluding at the mere thought of said cake!

I thought I should conteract such decadence with a tad on the healty side so I made a cheese and pickle dip and a guacamole into which everyone can dip carrot, cucumber and celery sticks.

I’ve been nibbling all day on cake batter, ganache remnants and what not…as such am too full now to even contemplate eating anything I’ve made.

   May 14

Dissection of an Audition

For the first time since I can’t remember I auditioned for a part in a play.

That is not to say I haven’t had parts in plays….it’s just that I haven’t had to audition in a million years.

I think it showed.

The 6 ‘P’s I think play a big part…. Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

I did prepare a monologue…but due to work committments I didn’t really have time to rehearse it to my satisfaction.

I was not overly happy about the selection of monologue either – but given the time I had to choose it and the time I had to prepare…it sufficed.

I think I read okay (nerves aside) but didn’t feel I really demonstrated the dramatic ability I felt capable of.

If I were casting this play, would I cast myself in any of the parts I was trying out for?

I think the answer to that is probably not….but not because I can’t perform – more that I could see other people auditioning who I think would better fill the parts I auditioned for. In this case I think I am either too old or too young for the parts I could do. Ironically, I think I read best for a part I would not have even considered auditioning for.

I’ll come away from the process richer in experience (about time I actually started auditioning more parts) but I am pretty certain I won’t be cast this time around.

What will be will be.

   Apr 15

Renting Locally

This evening I had the pleasure of attending ‘Rent’ the musical at the Schonell Theatre.

I have to admit, having seen the original broadway cast in New York some years ago I was expecting to be disappointed with the local homegrown production.

Fortunately, I was proved wrong.  This is a really good thing.

As I mentioned when I saw the movie of Rent, I believe that it is a show that should only be performed live.  The cast of the local production pulled together a moving, enjoyable and entertaining interpretation of the award-winning musical.

What impressed me was that in spite of the the occasional hiccough such as – momentof being out of tune, losing voices mics failing, and occasionally an ocker accent – the strong voices, excellent characterisation, and combination of raw energy & emotion still rang out and engaged the audience.  Even the senior citizens in the audience who I saw were looking a tad bemused at interval (I’m guessing they were perhaps not expecting explicit content and perhaps learnt a thing or two about the birds and the bees that they would have otherwise not have known) were moved with emotion by the end.
Composer Jonathan Larson’s chill-producing cords and lyrics being belted and caressed out by the company had me on the verge of tears even though I know the words and tunes backwards.  From my third row seat I felt well and truly as though I were there in the alphabet city of New York back in the late 80s where the show is set.

Congratulations to the cast and crew for doing justice to a musical I would rate as one of my all time favourites.

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