Monthly Archives: August 2012

And Then You Meet Your Childhood Hero…

I recently celebrated twenty-one years without serious injury or accidental death. It was a momentous occasion, celebrated in true style with a Batman themed colour scheme in the club rooms of a football club I have absolutely no affiliation with. If that’s not a twenty-first birthday party then…well okay…I’ll probably get over it. Anyways it marked my 21 years of being a person on this Earth, instead of being a manatee (which is a real possibility people so you better buy those African Anti-Manatee Charms from that dude near the bus-stop who smells like horse-shit and paint) and was pretty excellent. However perhaps one of the coolest things to stem from my twenty-first transformation (no transformation was had which was disappointing…) was the gift I received from my familiars.

It wasn’t a Bat-mobile, clearly missed that memo Mum, it was a single ticket to see my childhood hero Sir David Attenborough at his live show in Melbourne. Single ticket. Yes. I am a badass. Yes. I am over here. And yes…looks like. Back onto the point (lol POINT): I was going to see my childhood hero live. In the flesh. On stage. We were going to occupying the same building…there was a very real chance he would be breathing the same air I was breathing…we may even end up sharing a molecule or two..

Well that show was on the 18th. It is now the 20th. I have seen my idol in person. I have heard his words. I have breathed his air (sounds gay, it’s not…promise). I have affirmed my belief that my single ticket was the best 21st birthday present ever.

Let’s expand upon the notion of childhood heroes. They are the single most important part of a person’s growth from a kid to a semi-serious, adult (or manchild). Think back to your childhood hero or role model and think of what having someone like that to look up to did for you…or conversely think about your lack of such a person in your life as you carve another notch into the prison wall beside your bed. I’m joking. But only because I’m deadly serious. See. I even typographically altered the word deadly to emphasise my point (FUCK YOU AMERICAN SPELL CHECK I WILL NOT PUT A “Z” IN THERE!). Seriously though, I idolised this guy. I had videos, yes hipsters we are the same, of his documentaries. I borrowed the same doco on killer whales from the library about three times a month because it brought me closer to the man I admired…hell…the man I wanted to be. While other kids were being Superman or Ronald Reagan I was walking around my background narrating imaginary animals in a rich British accent.

It’s always dicey when a childhood hero is seen in real-time. It can go several ways, most of them ending in bitter disappointment and a drinking habit, which is why many people often try to distance themselves from their idols or choosing new ones as time wears one. It makes the possibility that your childhood idol is really a tool easier to bear. So going to see my idol live was always going to interesting…what if he was crazy? What if he was boring? What if his voice sounded nothing like it did in all of those movies about seals and lizards?

Fortunately for me this was not the case. My fondness for Sir David (cos I like met him sort of we’re on first name basis…but you’re all so jelly) has only grown since seeing him speak. This is a man who has achieved so much in his 86 years that it could equate to fourteen different lifetimes. I sat there the entire time in state of bewildered rapture, it was a state that transported me back to that little boy running around the background narrating his dog instantly. It was amazing. In fakt it had such a profound effect on me that I immediately went to the library and borrowed two of his books that haven’t read and a DVD I hadn’t seen. Old habits and that Bruce Willis franchise I suppose.

A night in the presence of the king of natural history wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t also include learning. And not the lame kind that your father insists is a part of basically everything ever invented ever (no Dad a highway does not make me feel happy about not being car bombed you weird, weird man). So here are some fakts I took away with me that night (no-one noticed that I took them so I think I’m in the clear).

Things That Sir David Attenborough Taught Me Besides The Rediscovery Of Childhood Wonder

1. That blue whales can hold their breath from anywhere between 30 to 40 minutes at a time, and when they come up to take a big gulp of air they tend to only surface for around about 90 seconds. This makes filming them very difficult…but when you do it’s amazing.

2. That ‘David Attenborough’ when spoken aloud over a shitty radio sounds a lot like ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ hence why an island tribe in New Guinea greeted David as though he was royalty when they came to film a doco there. This included a rendition of ‘God Save The Queen’…that featured all of the verses, including the ones no-one knows.

3. His favourite animal is a human baby, but because Ray Martin wasn’t satisfied with this answer he changed it to the Bird of Paradise, which is so named due the fakt that it was first presented to the Western world stuffed and without wings or feet. This prompted questions from those who had received it, which were answered with the explanation that the birds were from ‘paradise’ and floated between the clouds feeding on condensation and crashed to Earth upon their death.  This was seen as fakt and was printed in many natural history books on the subject. Obviously this has been changed as we now know they eat more than condensation. They also eat baby’s laughter and rainbows.

4. If you put an axolotl in a tank, fill it with water and then sporadically add something called thyroxine to the water, the axolotl will lose its gills and leave the water, becoming a land based animal. This is because an axolotl is actually the larval stage of a Mexican salamander that can remain in the larval stage and still reproduce (kind of like teenage mothers…)

That’s all for now. Have a nice evening and if you must wear crocs…do it discreetly….

Treed.

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This Chair Is Uncomfortable, This Essay Is Not Writing Itself & The Monster Is Growing Impatient

I had to leave the apartment in order to finish this essay on the film-musical. How’s it going? The essay you mean? Well it’s going pretty much like a carrot in a blender: it’s making an angry growling noise and is mostly orange slush. The more pressing issue is the reason behind my vacation (written like that it looks like I have gone to the beach to write my essay…that would be terrible you idiot. Sand would get in my lap-top and every time I typed it would make that horribly crunchy sound my iPod click-wheel makes after I dropped into some pocket-sand accumulated one summer).

It started like any other Thursday, with the small contingent of the Russian Mafia upstairs ‘taking care of business’ (the laundry) on the balcony. This was followed by a truck being really noisy and a guy deciding that if he just put his fist into his steering wheel it would benefit the whole street by filling their lives with the sound of his car horn. Needless to say the Russians weren’t happy with this and went off to ‘take care of business’ (this time I mean murder). If you see a crash on the evening news keep an eye out for a rather oppressive looking gentlemen sporting a handsome yet distinctly Eastern European moustache. He borrowed our sugar once. It came back. Fine actually I’m not sure why I broke that up dramatically.

No my problems didn’t begin in the morning. In fakt things progressed from that point at the normal rate. Michaela ate muesli in order to gain some sort super power that has yet to manifest (fingers crossed it’s not the kind that makes one crazy and evil) and said goodbye to the blankets I was hiding out under. It’s a nice set-up that. I stay in bed under lots of blankets and she practices her voice projection skills by saying goodbye and waking me up. Although I usually just drift off again only to re-awaken fifteen minutes before I have to be anywhere.

But this morning that didn’t happen. Even Dan’s Guitar Hero-ing was met with wide awake eyes. I woke at 9am and….and I’m pretty sure I have secretly changed tense. I could go back and check which one I was using but this makes it more fun to see if I can pull the ship back (or rather pulled the ship backed).

Anyway my attempts to essay were met with many obstacles that may have seemed insurmountable to the untrained eye but I had my eyes closed due to getting a toast crumb in them so it didn’t matter what my tasks looked like. I tackled them with vigour. I did dishes…LIKE A BOSS. I emptied those two tupperware containers that had been in the fridge for only a little bit too long…LIKE A BOSS DISGUSTED BY THE SMELL OF RANCID SOUP AND CURRY WHICH ARE TWO THINGS I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW COULD GO RANCID AND NOW I’VE FALLEN INTO A PIT OF CAPITALS AND NOT EVEN GOOD ONES LIKE TOKYO OR MOSCOW BUT BAD ONES THAT MAKE ME LOOK LIKE I AM YELLING WHEN I’M NOT AND WHAT HAPPENED TO MY PUNCTUATION DID I DROP THAT IN THE SINK TOO? Nope. There it is.

Essay. Right. So I set about starting that essay (which I’d already started and just needed to finish but it was so poorly constructed that it was probably going to need a violent rewrite) when I heard that creak of doors that always made me nervous (I had been locked in a creaky door warehouse as a child once and was still suffering the after-affects…I’d definitely started writing in past tense…like a time-traveller). This creak was different because it was followed by the sound of shoes being eaten…

I slowly placed my laptop on floor and shuffled towards the kitchen. The shoe eating stopped. A sniffing invaded the awkward silence…Dan had a cold. I pressed a finger to my lips and waited. Suddenly the bedroom door burst open and there was the BEAST. It growled and started to talk like Tom Waits. I panicked like a bitch and grabbed my laptop and ran.

And here we are. Or here I am, sitting in a corner of the library surrounded by people doing real degrees, on a chair that can’t make up it’s mind whether it wants to sit too far back or too far forward but either way is making me hate ethnic food for some strange reason.

How’s it going? The essay? Well I’ve stopped to write this nonsense…so needless to say it has stalled in fourth. I should get back to it but for some reason I have accidentally found Jimmy Kimmel on YouTube (and by accidentally I mean I searched it). Whatever. Have a nice Thursday and if you see Serge from upstairs tell him we can do dinner on Tuesday.

Yours Indifferently, Treed.

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Don’t Hate The Screenplayer, Hate The Game.

I really think that should be an official title: Screenplayer. It should be on t-shirts, in bold monochromatic colourings and using a simple yet readable font so that every person everywhere will easily be able to identify the wearer as such. Screenplayer…or optionally spelt “Screenplaya”, you know if you’re a douchebag and rely solely on your ‘swag’ to get anywhere in life (ironically making you more like a certain jolly bloke camping by a billabong rather than any sort of reputable badass). Scratch that last part actually. If you spell it with an ‘a’ you ought to be put to death in act of humanitarianism (which on the subject of words should be used to describe cannibals).

But on a serious note (loljks) we are gathered here today so that I can bitch and moan about screenplaying (it’s a thing). As previously mentioned I am trying to transform myself from a regular ‘player’ into a fully-fledged, and capitalised, ‘Screenplayer’. However…

However: usually followed by a contradictory statement or gripe about said topic. Example- She is truly beautiful…however her voice sounds like a dying beluga whale.

However I am ready to perform extreme acts in my frustration at not being able to come up with a single idea for the screenplay I have to write for mah assignment(20-30 minutes in length with a pitch). I’ve had lots of ideas. Too many. It’s starting to look like a dance-floor full of dicks in my brain (and no not like that you weird person…but actually a dance-floor full of peni doing the bus-stop…penis is like the word octopus right?). Anyways the problem is I can’t focus on one single idea long enough to create something worthwhile or if I can I find that in a matter of hours it slowly gestates and mutates into a bizarre amalgamation of five or six ideas and that the concept has become bastardized beyond recognition.

The other major thorn in my side is that I have begun to second guess my ideas, in that they sit there for so long that I go from being enraptured by their nice qualities to only noticing the faint moustache on the upper lip or that their breasts are uneven…wait what? GET OUT OF MY HEAD!

Basically its a horrible vortex of self-doubt and blurred focus that is slowly dragging me into it’s octopus like grip of death (so many cephalopod references today…) and the only way to get out is to slam the contents of my brain onto a suitable surface and examine the residue left behind. In English: I’m gonna put shit on here that I been thinking of and then see what sticks (on a side note my eyes are feeling painfully aware of the fakt that they are eyes and it’s making them hurt…maybe I need glasses).

So before I become distracted by something else nearby I am going to briefly spit out the three ideas currently wrestling for breathing space in my head. Some of them aren’t very coherent (one is really just a title and atmospheric setting) and all of them need expanding but I feel that if I commit them to a concrete form then perhaps I will be able to create something worthwhile. If you have anything you would like to say on the matter…well do it…unless it’s racist. Then go somewhere else undesirable person!

The Scattershot Ideas of Tom Reed Screenplayer In Training…

1. It’s called Murk. It’s about bad people doing bad things and there will lots of violence and blood. Probably some cross-dressing hitmen too…because they’re interesting.

2. It’s called Irving & Frank. Young Irving Mars is a bit of a shit of a kid, and as a result gets in a bit of a scrape and finds himself working at an aged care home as a part of his community service. Here he meets an elderly man who is convinced his is actually Frank Sinatra and has been placed in here by the Russian mob as payback for screwing the boss’s wife. “Frank” lives in a fantasy world, but is happy, so Irving goes along with it…much to annoyance of the nursing home staff. These fantasy sequences involve “Frank” performing at a casino, trying to fight off the Russians, avoiding his ex-wife Ava and teaching Irving not to be such a prick.

3. It’s called Squidd. It follows the misadventures of Tiffany Squidd, a terrible private eye who is nearly killed by a truck…prompting a chance encounter with the voodoo lord of the dead: Baron Samedi. Samedi grants Squidd supernatural abilities and voodoo powers…at the cost of his soul and becoming the Baron’s errand-boy.

Already I’m feeling better…kind of like inducing vomiting… WHY AM I SAYING THESE THINGS!? Anyway I ought to get back to writing about philosophy (BLAH) and limit my procrastination to reading funny things on the internet (isn’t that why it was invented?). If you found this informative than I want to know what drugs you’re on and whether I can have some…if you thought this poorly written drivel…why did you read the whole thing?

That’s all I have to say today…except that some bitch is eating Maccas in the library and there are several signs saying don’t do that. May have to shiv her with my Batman USB (yes that’s a thing too). Peace and lumps Treed.

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Conditions Brought Upon Us By The Olympics

First of all don’t get used to this, two posts in two days is an exception not a rule. I don’t want you getting all this big expectations about me (you’ll be disappointed to discover that I merely a overtly hairy, lanky caricature who has already pegged himself as the guy who likes superhero films a little too much at uni) so I will quash them immediately right here.

Quashing complete. On a side note, I think that quashing is a brilliant word and fits into that category of words that sound like what they are. You know like stroppy or crisp (both of which conjure images perfectly suited to their phonetic phrasings).  Try and work it into at least three different conversations with three strangers this week. If you’re a shut in who speaks only to stuffed replicas of former British Prime Ministers then disregard the above advice and maybe just stick to making some real friends with a working set of lungs.

So the unless you haven’t noticed (in which case there is something seriously wrong with you) the Olympics are on…ruining the sleep of Australians everywhere (well except for those in London who can wake up at a decent hour to watch each event). Bringing me to my first topical post in the from of an A-Z list of malaises striking people down during this Triple X Olympiad (it’s sexier than the last one). You know because A-Z lists of fake diseases are wicked cool.

Olympic Special A-Z of Olympiad Maladies.

A) Athlete’s Shoulder: A shoulder strain brought about by carrying the weight of an entire nation’s hopes and dreams on one’s shoulders.

B) Bad Sport’s Fan-manship: A psychological condition (present in many Australians apparently) that only effects those watching the sport. It causes disgust and lack of interest when your team is competing poorly, and can cause the sufferer to unfairly claim that other team’s are in fakt drug cheats without any evidence to support such a claim.

C) Cyclists Crotch: More common in men, this stems from the restrictive nature of cycling uniforms, specifically around the groin area, prompting comparisons with division symbols and sausages stuffed into tight spaces. Makes for hilarious team photos…

D) Dysentery: That shit’s nasty…and a real thing.

E) Egotis: A general swelling or inflation of the head after inspired games performance.

F) France: A particular strong strain, specifically effecting the results of Australia’s 4×100 Men’s Freestyle Relay team…

G) Gold Poisoning: Michael Phelps is currently having treatment for this rare condition after bagging his 15th gold medal at an Olympic games (taking his total to 19 medals). In other news Great Britain doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of contracting this particular illness.

H) Hockey Hips: Not actually a Olympic illness, just looks like one. Is really the correct name for men owning a pair of large child-baring hips, named after the Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey (Doesn’t Shadow Treasurer sound so much bad-asser?).

I) Insomnia: Not typically associated with the Olympics, there has however been an influx of recorded insomnia cases, particularly from Dad’s sitting up at home by themselves, with the start of the games. In fakt it’s been a pretty bad month for sleep the world over with the Tour finishing up not so long ago as well…thank god the AFL decided to scrap their plans for sunrise matches…

J) Jamaica Me Crazy: Not so much an illness as much as it is a funny pun…

K) Kazakhstanism: A sudden and strong pain in the chest, often compared to a mild heart-attack, brought on by noticing that Australia is being beaten by Kazakhstan in the medal tally.

L) Light Sports Injuries: I’m not sure what this is, I just heard one of the commentators use it the other day. I think it’s talking about injuries that are 98% fat free…

M) Mopey Face: An excruciating facial tic caused by a crippling loss at the games, usually in an event that the sufferer was supposed to win. The tic can be cured quite simply by coming out the next day and carving it up.

N) Nine Hypoxia: This particular affliction is said to come from overt exposure to the annoying ad’s for Channel Nine’s other programs during their games coverage. The ads for Big Brother and Charlie Sheen’s new show are said to be the worst for inducing Nine Hypoxia.

O) Obscure Sporting Hotness (OSH): Not always a bad thing. This describes a competitor in an event who, for lack of a better word, is absolutely banging but is competing in a sport that is not generally respected or viewed by anyone…but thanks to their contributions may suddenly sky-rocket in popularity (have you seen some of those handball players from Norway/Finland?).

P) Part-Time Sports Fever: A strange ailment, that infects a large pocket of world. It seems to target only those who only seem to develop an interest in sport when the Olympics roll round. This fever only tends to last the duration of competition before fading completely and the sufferer will no longer be able to tell you the difference between The Missile and a Bolt, but before could list every single member of the men’s indoor volleyball team.

Q) Quick Call: An illness that effects the commentators who prematurely call an event only for it to go in the completely opposite direction at the final moment, making them look like an idiot. Also known as ‘Premature Elation’ this can be cured by a nasal delivery system.

R) Regretful Tongue: A debilitating illness that is usually caused by a bold and brash statement about one’s performance in an event only for that performance to be painfully underwhelming. Notable examples include the USA’s “Smash you like guitars” statement from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

S) Swimmer’s Television: Caused by Channel Nine’s belief that the only sport’s featured at the Olympic games are water-based. May cause the viewers television set to become waterlogged. Treatment can come from the land-based reprieve of an equestrian event or athletics coverage.

T) Tennis Elbow: An injury incurred by ‘wannabe’ tennis hopeful, trying to replicate a superstar serve on their Wii at home. May also result in Tennis Elbow Forehead if the overzealous serving action connects accidentally with a bystander’s forehead.

U) Usainity: A feverish feeling of crazed euphoria, brought on by Usain Bolt’s insane athletic prowess. Not to be confused with Usainelousy which is a bitter resentment in the pit of your stomach, brought on by Usain Bolt’s insane athletic prowess.

V) Velovertigo: A strange vertigo-like feeling caused by the weird shape and slope of the Velodrome.

W) Water Polo Nip Slip: Pretty straight forward…pretty damn funny too.

X) Xenophilia: A mental condition that starts out as a slight fascination with another country but slowly grows into a full blown obsession. Often exacerbated by the level of ‘foreign-ity’ of the country in question.

Y) Young Australianitis: A painful migrane like head-ache caused by the overuse of the phrase ‘young Australian’ by commentators and games worshippers.

Z) Ziggzooglazimzammerzoo: I couldn’t think of anything for Z.

So there you go. Hope you enjoyed that and Go Aussies Go.

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