Category: Not funny

A man of conscience

And it begs the impossibly mind bending question, am I doing it because I want to do it or am I doing it to prove a point to myself. etc. And so on, et al.

I remember my graduation ceremony well, it was my family’s proudest day. We were the generation on straddling the time when university was still an achievement. Proud as Punch: P.A.P.

Years later I’d look back with a sense of alienation at photos of my long hair and apathetic squint.
This person I do not know, yet we’ve lived each other, through and through.
You remember this time now, but will you think about it
when there are only seconds left?
Probably not.

A conscious man is not a man of conscience.
I learned this the hard way in Istanbul, this lesson was tough. Groundhog class.

Everything comes in three.

BEFORE:

That particular end of the week was quieter than he could remember in months. Jacob noticed the pacific December air as soon as he left the apartment on his way to a record shop, where in the stillness of a Sunday there was life in the city yet.

He’d made the acquaintance of a woman who he’d imagined he’d only ever read about and never meet, a Gertrude Stein type. Jacob was the traveler who became a regular and then the status of a regular became something more, with Julie. She’d told him that Hawtin was in town and was putting on a show at her Shop and that he was invited, he was one of the first to know.

As Jacob marched towards the Heart of Montmartre, Paris was a narrow, white sepulture. In the wake of violence the police patrolled the streets like lovers in arms.

The first time Jacob had met Salome she was a young girl.  She’d let a room from him on her travels through Sydney, She was traveling with a friend and the two stayed with Jacob for a month. They’d taken an add for a single room and the first time they’d met, the two girls mistook his Australian hospitality for lecherousness. Between teaching him about petty theft and blue cheese, the girls taught Jacob about their home. And such are the wonders of Paris.  
 

DURING:

That night, the first since they’d been together, there was no premier screening. Charline Dupont lay in her bed, carelessly not-reading a book waiting for her boyfriend to come and join her. He was late.

A shared love of cinema had become their ritual end to the night. The only rule: neither mustn’t have seen the film before. It was his job to pick the movie before starting the process of rejection, there wasn’t a movie she hadn’t seen and she never missed a new release no matter her schedule at the shop. Eventually they would find a title.

Routine is the sibling of boredom, and the ancestor of contempt, and forgiveness can be given where permission can not. Tomorrow he would leave, there would be no encore. His peregrination had come to an end, punctuated by the irrevocable fact that their relationship had been damaged. Foolish mistakes had driven a stake between them and pride now kept them apart. Right through to the end, their relationship had followed script of a B-grade romance — immoderate joy coupled with tacky and predictable mistakes. Like something they would have watched, and laughed at together, before eventually falling asleep.

They would say to strangers what they couldn’t say to each other. The unbridgeable silence eventually leading to his departure.

In retrospect, he would punish himself for his impetuous decision until his youth retreated and his face became slack. She didn’t know it yet, but she would suffer silently until time made the memories black and white: The bad forgotten and their love placed on her mind’s dais. They lay together for what he knew to be the final time, his open palm replete with the sadness of her ignorant touch.

He looks around the room at her objects collected over half a lifetime from various markets, second hand shops, and the kicks and knacks sent by her friends. She was a avid taxidermist.
 

AFTER:

As he pulled the shattered pieces of of a boiled egg stuck in the perforated plug at the bottom of the kitchen sink, the one that lets the water pass but stops the food-shit from falling into the hole, he realized that she helped him enjoy the mundane things in life.

What he couldn’t see then became clear to him now. He stopped, epiphanous, and thought that life is a series of uninteresting moments, to eat, to clean, to work and to rest is to live. This had become his life. She helped him punctuate the everyday with moments of rapacious sex and joyous laughter. And now that was gone.
 

 

Advertisements

Why I love the pub

The relationship between the number of times you visit a place and where you sit is inverse.

It’s across the board: restaurants, movie theaters even airports but especially the pub. No matter how many times you go, there’s usually only one or, like, maximum two places where you’ll sit, either alone or with a group. These choices are made on the first and second visit.

I prefer the no man’s land between the two types of clientele who visit the pub, between drink and food service to my left and right. There are obviously two camps here. They are easily identified by posture and attire. Food service humans tend to wear collars, white or blue, it doesn’t matter; while others are characterised by the depressive haunch of excess. Food service is sotto voce. Drink service is baritone. And seldom does Food talk to Drink or vice versa. I sit in the middle with my headphones in without the sound on so I can hear what these people say.

It’s in the PM and I’m hearing these two men talk, they’re sitting in Drink and their chairs protest as they shift and adjust. They’re dressed in cricket whites, presumably teammates. And what I hear next: ‘You’ve become more confident in yourself, it’s a step forward,’ the big one says to his supposedly timorous colleague. This man, the less confident of the two, has just hit his first century I imagine.

On my right in Food, a woman in her early thirties tells a friend about a lunch where she met a man. Her frenzied tone is indicative of recent events as enthusiasm often wanes with the passage of time.
‘He’s an account manager. I think I tried to sound a little too smart and it came off as wankish,’ the one with shoulder length mouse-brown hair says to her heavily pregnant friend.
‘Are you going to see each other again?’ asks Heavily Pregnant.
What both ladies don’t know is Mr. Account Manager fancies blondes, and went home with the sure thing he’d had his eye on that day. Mouse-Brown had mistaken general conversation for specific interest. She is unlucky in love.
‘He said he’d call me’, Mouse-Brown says to Heavily Pregnant.

Pub is short for public house, where most are welcome. It’s the perfect place for voyeurs. On any given night one thousand personal narratives are acted out between walls decorated with flat screen televisions, freckled trophies and fading photos of bygone champions. Every narrative within these walls is personal and unique, and utterly bland until it’s blessed by meaning by an observer. And that is the job of the fiction writer. To take the personal narrative and make it relatable, analogous, allegorical — to make other’s give a shit, about the cricketers century, the love life of another, or find out what the fuck this guy’s staring at?

My favourite time to collect data is in the morning, although, in the morning people mostly drink alone and rarely talk. At ten in the AM, pubs don’t really open much earlier, patrons mostly discourse with their pale gold pints and sit in the patches of feeble morning sunlight and smoke.

At times like these a fiction writer needs to bridge the gap between reality and the fantastic to create a story. An imagination for the emotional prostration of the public-morning drinker. A time when the bottle shop is also open and it’s far cheaper to drink at home. Is this the highlight of the day for these tired men, drinking till they run out of money, or are cut off from service, before placing one foot in front of the other until they arrive at their door.

Perhaps it’s analogous to the man (it’s almost always a dude) who sits on his laptop at a cafe making obvious frustrated sounds into his computer screen holding the people around him hostage with self importance.
The guy (again, mostly men) at the pub at this hour, it’s like he’s drinking in an observed environment to somehow give the story of his addiction resonance. Like the act of writing, or a creative pursuit in general, our personal narratives are meaningless to the world until they are, for lack of a better term, recognised. They drink in public to be observed and in doing so their story is legitimised, for however brief a moment in time.

Or maybe like me they just love the pub.

By safehands

Quitting smoking – Day 3

So I went and got a prescription for Champix — the gnarly quitting smoking drug from Pfizer. This happened on Friday. I had my last cigarette on Friday night.

A little research on the internet and a word from my doctor warned me about some side effects, including vivid and lucid dreaming.

Last night (second night on the pills) I had a dream about a French animated film called ‘Yay + Souvlaki’. It was recommended to me by a friend who has a tendency to recommend obscure films, often foreign, and I remember watching the last scene of the movie over and over again just to get the title. It had something to do with the Tour De France and probably took its queues from the very real French animated movie, ‘The Triplets of Belleville’. So yes, the dreams on this drug are crazy. There was a whole bunch of shit going on in this dream that I care not to share, but some deep personal issues seem to be coming to the fore in full surround sound and lazy high definition.

Champix, Pfizer branding of Varenicline, seems to take it’s name from the ‘No, Gary, No,’ school of thought. Under the PBS, a four week course costs the same as a pack of cigarettes. Even if you don’t plan on quitting long term, Champix almost completely kills your cravings in the short term so it is an alternative if your short on cash one month. You’ll need to see a doctor for a prescription to get the discounted price. The government will give you about 12 weeks at cost, you’ll have to pay full price after that, a hundred bucks a pack, which again still works out cheaper than buying a pack a week.

It works by stimulating the Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in your head. These guys go off when you inhale cigarette smoke, Champix is giving them a continuous gentle stroke so you don’t crave cigarettes and if you do smoke they taste like shit.

Other benefits include: Although sleep is riddled with crazy ass dreams, the quality of rest is better. Food tastes better. No more shit on the lungs.

Some cons: The after meal cigarette, I miss it.

Another last cigarette

Quitting smoking and generally toning it down

I first heard of the idea of reverse pressure from Jeremy Cabral. His was my boss and a somewhat mentor. The idea is you tell people about your intentions, for example quitting a vice, and by verbalizing and putting it out there, the implications of failure are a public event. The act of writing a blog about quitting smoking is reverse pressure on steroids.

I have about half a year to get myself to an elite level of fitness. I have an application for the Australian Special forces commando regiment and I want to pass the test and join their ranks. It’s possible. Right now I’m fit enough to pass the entry fitness test; however, probably not fit enough to pass the final testing. There is no pass grade for the final test, rather, you’re assessed against your peers.

I’ve purchased what I hope to be my last pack of rolling tobacco, even after I made my intentions clear last night to a group of old/new stranger/friends about how I was having my last one. There’s time for another last cigarette. I think a gradual cut back will be the best way to approach this journey, at least get it to he point where they’re testing good again. I have stopped certain substances cold turkey in the past, and have the personal intensity to do such; however, I’m about to start a shit job telemarketing and will need the meditative and relaxing effects of nicotine to do perform well in my new commission only job.

420 Guide: Melbourne. What you need to know about the law when buying weed

Marijuana laws in Melbourne

What’s the law if you get caught with weed in Victoria, Australia?

While medicinal marijuana has been legalised in Victoria, unless you have a licence, it’s still illegal to buy, sell and consume.

Like many countries, the laws for cannabis possession in Australia vary between states. Each state has adopted a harm minimization approach.

According to Victorian Legal Aid, if you’re caught with up to fifty grams of marijuana in Victoria, you will get a caution from police, rather than being formally charged in a court. However, you can be charged with possession no matter the quantity. The decision to warn or charge you for possession of marijuana is at police discretion.

If you’re buying small amounts of weed, for example, you purchase five grams of pot from a Melbourne based website, and you’re caught for whatever reason, this will almost certainly result in a police caution if it’s your first offense.  Police will allow up to two cautions before you’re charged with marijuana possession.

In the above situation where you’re buying dope online, it’s hard to imagine the police posing as a dealer in order to entrap you — with most the deals being so small scale and all — but you never know…

Places where police are active in Melbourne

Police sniffer dogs are found at the international and domestic airports, on public trains, trams and major public events such as music festivals and sport and cultural activities. Police in Melbourne and Victoria are equipped to carry out roadside tests for the presence of illicit drugs. At the time of writing, these tests are targeted at truckies and have not been rolled out to wider public as we’ve seen in New South Wales.

What to do if you get caught

If police do catch you smoking weed, be polite and professional. Victorian police are not like overseas police, do not try and bribe your way out or make a deal as this will put you in a worse position. Your best chance of getting off the hook it by showing respect and compliance.

If you are charged, the police will need to prove that the substance was actually yours and that it was dope. If the police find weed in a space you control, such as your car or handbag, then it’s considered to be yours. And if you’re charged with possession, you can also be charged with consuming marijuana, which can carry an additional penalty.

How I made a thousand women feel uncomfortable before I met your mother

Nine seasons. Four days. One man. No life.

01d1488ae9c654e00c80250fa426baa9

Watching How I Met Your Mother (again) gave me a look into Ted Mosby’s sad and at times predatory search for love. With Barney we expect sexist and misogynistic behaviour, Ted’s attempts at sensitivity make him as much as a jerk. The show should be called how I made a thousand women feel uncomfortable before I met the one who can put up with my shit.

I cringed so many times I eventually lost interest in keeping records. These moments add to an (overall) enjoyable and successful television program.

Season 1 episode 7: MATCHMAKER.” He propositions at women he knows is engaged even going as far as to use information he’d gotten on the sly to try and woo her. Viewed outside the prism of situational comedy this feels kind of rapey.


In the 10 or so episodes here, Ted meets, falls in and out of love with Victoria and becomes estranged with Robin in the process. Victoria is the bakery lady who ends up going to Germany.


Season 1 episode 19: MARY THE PARALEGAL.” Barney tricks Ted into thinking he’s on date with a prostitute at Robin’s dinner for some journalism award or whatever, the show closing on the message treat women like a whore and they’ll sleep with you. Ted stands in a hotel lobby talking to the woman, who’s actually a paralegal, and makes his fridget attitudes towards prostitution known, which gets him a slap in the face. Maybe this wasn’t the message and they were trying to get the opposite idea across; however, if this is the case they need to tone down their high-brow messaging because it went straight over my head.

Season 3 episode 4: “LITTLE BOYS.” Ted Freaks out right when he’s about to win a bet with Barney over sleeping with a woman, he breaks up with her instead. “All I could think about was you being there first,” Ted says to Barney. Barney tells her a lie, he says he already slept with her before setting up an elaborate ruse whereby he ends up getting to sleep with her.

When Ted is about to make his move on the woman, little Barneys appear exclaiming how they’ve been on her different body parts before and actually going as far as to plant a flag on her lips.

If you’ve made it this far, revelation: It’s simply a result of too much time on my hands to rag on one of the most successful sitcoms in recent history  rather than being a constructive member of society.

However

Will we look at these moments in years to come the same way as we look at The Honeymooners? The not-so-subtle representation of domestic violence was a representation of the times, but did we learn anything from it? Are we supposed to learn anything from these types of shows at all? In most cases, the difference between a romantic and a pervert is whether the woman finds him attractive… Lucky for Mosby.

How to buy weed in Melbourne

Thanks to the internet, buying dope in Melbourne is a delightful treat.

fullsizerender

I used a guy called KingMango or something like that and his service was amazing. Don’t pay up front, get the person to do cash on delivery (COD) and speak to them over the phone, if necessary, you won’t have any problems.


Are you wondering where to buy weed in Melbourne?

If you’re new to Melbourne, making connections has been made much easier thanks to the internet, specifically Craigslist.

Overseas there was a lot of dealing on the street. In Melbourne, if you have an internet connected smartphone, download a messenger application called ‘Wikr’. It’s an encrypted messenger service you can use to chat with dealers who will deliver throughout Melbourne for a fee.

Search the litany of dealers on Craigslist who come up when you type the words ‘buy weed Melbourne’ into Google, and do the message thing with Wikr until you find the right person. They all have names like 420 Melbourne or KushKing and so on. And many of these places will sell a whole lot of other shit like ice and coke if that’s what you’re in to.

Rough prices.

The minimum delivery is generally a quarter ounce: $100 – $120 + delivery. Although first time I picked up a guy was in the area so he did a $50 (an eighth). You can calculate the rest from there. Like everything, discounts apply in bulk; larger purchases come with the associated risk.

Learn about the law if you get caught with weed in Melbourne.

Never pay money in advance.

Look for the people offering cash on delivery. Move on to the next seller if you’re being asked to pay by wire transfer such as a Moneygram payment. Some sellers offer pickup and delivery, delivery can cost $10 – $20. The scammers are persistent and beg.

Regarding security and persecution, the state government adopts a view of harm minimization. The purchasing of small amounts of illicit substances for recreational use is a risk many people are willing to take, and the law reflects this. Unless you’re caught red handed, fingers crossed police have their sights on bigger fish.

The beauty of the internet is the ability to communicate and review. If you have a tip for other people to stay away from a particular seller, let yourself be heard below.

The walking paces of Amsterdam

The people of Amsterdam walk to the pace of their own drum

The Amsterdam red light district (RLD) is the world’s largest open air museum. Sometimes the people are the best thing about visiting a museum.

10735449_1407189266186357_1145592315_n

You can tell a lot about a person by the way they walk

It doesn’t matter what pace you walk in Amsterdam, as long as you’re comfortable in your sneakers.

Pervert pace

This is strange. You’d think people on the cruise for sex would take their time checking-out the women murated behind glass. In fact, the opposite is true. The pervs (as no stranger to the RLD, I mean this in an un-pompus way) walk noticeably quicker.

Groups of men, hands tucked deeply in their pockets and eyes mostly pointed down, burst forth from the cramped alleys of the RLD like ejaculate from a penis. The stance may or may not account for sexual insecurity, or intimidation at the amazonian sensuality of the women as they proffer passers-by for sex.

The couples pace

The word inspection comes to mind. The women watch their men, and the other women, like a Sergent on parade. The men adopt an ‘I only have eyes for you’ stance, which, in most cases, is absolutely phony.

Locals pace

1000% times faster than the perverts. Their eyes even further down, and if possible, hands deeper in their pockets. Walking at this speed may as well be the same as wearing a sign that says, ‘Not for sex… I happen to work this way’.

Dealer’s pace

Although the dealers are often stationary on alley corners. The dealer’s pace can matche the pace of anyone else if there’s a hint of a sale.

Pregnant pause…

One thing I love about the RLD is that it attracts people from all ‘walks’ of life in all life stages — pregnant women included. For obvious reasons: slow with the occasional break to sooth a sore back.

Pissed pace

More of a stagger than a pace, usually slow: “Who put this wall here?”

Drugged-up pace

Due to the legal status, magic-truffles are the culprits here and usually result in a starry-eyed fucked-up wobble of a walk. Trippers tend to walk the same route over and over again trying to find where they’re going, lost in the homogeneous alleys, looking for a landmark such as a windmill or coffee shop.

 

What happens if you get caught with weed in Paris?

The police are not looking for users, they want the big fish

A friend of mine recently took a trip to Amsterdam. On his way back to London, he stopped in Paris so we could catch up and have a beer and a smoke. The police searched him at the train station and found a bunch of weed and hash. You can read about his experiences with the marijuana laws in Paris, France below.

XVMd01cf048-8d47-11e5-a986-62500ab43d82

He came to Paris by train. There were no issues crossing the borders between Holland, Belgium and France. The Gendarmerie didn’t search the train (although I’m told if you get the bus, like MegaBus, OuiBus or a similar cheap option, the Gendarmerie have been known to stop and search vehicles, and they can do this up to a number of kilometers on either side of the crossing between countries. In my experience, I’ve never had any issues with bringing dope from Amsterdam to Paris.). Although weed is not legal in Paris or any part of France for that matter, carrying a personal amount is only a minor offense under French drug laws and, more often than not, will confiscate the weed or similar drug.

He (my mate) tells me he was carrying 13 grams of weed, two grams of hash and a pipe with him on the train. He arrived at Gare du Nord, the north terminal and one of the main stations of Paris. The police were waiting for him when he exited the carriage to the platform.Technically this is trafficking; however, he says the police were pretty cool about it. They took his dope and let him go with a warning. A French friend tells me that it’s not uncommon for Police to lock you up for a couple of hours or a night in the precinct jail as a warning; however, more than likely, depending on the amount, you’ll get a slap on the wrist and a stern warning.

The key is to be polite. If it’s your first offense, the police have so much to do that they don’t give a shit about the tourist on the street with a personal supply of dope. Gare du Nord is not the best part of Paris; there are pickpockets, junkies and violent people in this area, the police have better things to do than arrest a foreigner for some weed. That being said, it really can depend on the arresting officer’s mood.

The police did make a copy of his passport and they did say that he was now ‘known’ to the Police at Gare du Nord. I suppose he could book a trip to one of the other major stations in town if he was keen to try it again.

Read more: How to buy weed in Paris.

From the horse’s mouth

I got him to write about what happened.

“I’d tempted fate far too many times traveling Europe over the years by carrying what is essentially a harmless yet still illegal substance from country to country. The border crossing policy is relaxed, especially so if you’ve got a European or British passport.

Half an ounce of weed in two separate glass, smell-proof tubes (which cost an arm and a leg I’ll add) and 3 grams of fine Moroccan hash stashed in a compartment in my grinder.

Read more: Where to buy hash in Paris.

I’d taken a similar amount on a bus ride traveling the same route with a friend a few years back and there were no issues then. I didn’t expect any this time either.

I slept most of the three hour train ride, and at one point as the train pulled into Gare du Nord, I thought, ‘I should probably stick this stuff down my pants, just in case.

The state of emergency had just been introduced to France following multiple terror attacks, there were more police than usual in the stations and on the streets.

As soon as the doors of the trains opened, the police came right up to me. They blurted something in French to which I could only reply: ‘No’ — It took a while to get the point across that I didn’t speak French. They patted me down and examined my passport.

Tip! The head cop told me wearing any clothing with weed or weed related images is illegal in France.”

[Editors note:  As an illegal drug, representation or promotion of weed is also illegal. This includes the display of marijuana iconography on clothing.]

“The police then asked me if I had any drugs in my possession. I willingly gave up my grinder with the hash in the hope they would pass on searching my bag with the rest of my weed. When they asked me if I had anything in my bag I said, ‘I might but I don’t think so.’

They found my dope packed in the airtight tubes very quickly. I turned to Dad-cop, who appeared to be the most rational of the group and gave him a, ‘you-can’t-be-fucking-serious look’. Dad-cop then asked if I’ve ever been to France and if I knew the drug laws. He said it was an offense that carried three nights in jail. I kinda sunk after that, deflated,  and let him do his thing as the prospect of a night in the pen was pretty fucked-up.

Bastille day was around the corner and it was late at night, they let me off. They figured out I was a heavy smoker and wasn’t coming to Paris to sell pot. I really don’t think they could’ve been fucked dealing with it. So I packed my bag, thanked the guy for his ‘gift’ (as he put it) and as one last cheeky parting shot, I looked at the weed and said with a serious face ‘I’m cool to take that, right?’ His face morphed and I laughed, said I was joking, winked and walked off. Not the worst experience dealing with the police I’ve had, but certainly not the result I wanted.”

 

 

 

 

Paris Performance: Micah P. Hinson

Micah P. Hinson on a boat in Paris HH.jpg

Who: Micah P Hinson.

What: Acoustic folk performance.

Where: Le Petit Bain, Paris.

When: 8.30PM Friday the 25th of April.

Why: Free ticket.

Drinks: €7.00 for a pint. €4.00 for shitty box wine.

Le Petit Bain (The Little Bath[?]) is a red boat on The River Seine.

Tall dark bouncers stood on the concrete bank and ushered guests across the gangway onto Le Petit Bain, a nightclub boat on The River Seine. My wrist was stamped with damp and dark ink and we descended past the mid-level bar to the performance space, which below the water line. We were to see the American folk singer Micah P. Hinson. On the upper terrace people gazed upon pastel orange lights of Paris in the evening reflected from the river, and smoked cigarettes.

Hinson wore a hat with the letter H embroidered on the front, for Heroin. He was wearing black overalls covered by a heavy brown animal jacket. Despite the clothes he was naked. It must take some courage to get up there and push yourself as the only product. Writers can hide behind their words, photographers their pictures and painters their art. Acoustic performances and standup comedy are next level. No one heckles a folk singer. Here.

He checks his watch a few times throughout the night giving the impression he’d rather be elsewhere. His inebriated state, and the watch checking, all comes across as disinterested. Hinson stumbled over his feet and his words he was a little fucked up. His reputation had preceded him and our party at the performance expected as much. It was his prerogative, viz the whole naked on stage thing — there’s no excuse for feedback from the microphone. I guess his torture and misfortune is the fuel of his creativity. Fingers crossed Hinson is miserable forever.

Hinson has just had a child, which he describes as, “A free little miracle.”

His last song was introduced: Good is God or God is Good, I can’t remember which. Hinson said he didn’t know whether the title of the song was a fact and this got chuckle from those in the audience with enough English to understand his American drawl.

He refused to take a photo with one woman, from what I saw she was both disappointed and pleased.