30 November 2008

Dear Melbourne,
As much as i love Manchester...

Sometimes i really miss you...


Don't go changing...

Love Marsy

24 November 2008

Some months ago, Schroeder expressed an interest in getting tickets to the Warehouse Project... some DJ he knew was playing and it was basically just an opportunity to get as mashed as possible. So i got a ticket, not really knowing what to expect and not really caring because it was so far away. I figured everyone else of my generation seemed to have been to a rave sort of thing at some point, why shouldn't i? This week as the event loomed, excitement amongst the group grew and i started to shit myself. A rave? What am i doing going to a rave at my age!

I predicted the order of proceedings on Friday...

6pm finish work
6.15pm arrive home from work - get straight in shower, wash/dry/straighten hair
7pm get into bed for a nap
8.30pm wake up, get dressed (including getting changed 15 times), slap make up on
9pm ring and find out where everyone else is
9.30pm after further procrastination and outfit changes, leave the flat
9.45pm find gang and get first drink in
11pm locate warehouse party
11.15pm get drinks in, start bopping
11.30pm Columbo bored of warehouse party and starts petitioning to leave
1am Mars bored of warehouse party and starts petitioning to leave
2am leave warehouse party and make way back to Schroeder and Columbo's flat
2.15am continue party in flat - now known as 'flat party'
2.30am assume regular positions as night takes on familiar feel
4am lose a few to booze and sleep requirements
5am realise flat party is running dry of supplies
5.30am desperation sets in as we try to obtain supplies
6.30am realise party is over
7am go to bed
3pm wake up - begin two day recovery process

Although close, it wasn't exactly how it ended up happening. Best laid plans and all that... Basically my 'nap' was slightly longer than i intended, and the waking up process wasn't exactly as speedy as i'd anticipated. So at around 10pm i set off to meet the group up in the Northern Quarter, about a 20 minute walk from my house. Bad idea - was wearing new boots and feet got thoroughly butchered. Anyway, found the gang who were just about to move to another bar.

Ever since picking up these tickets two months ago, Schroeder has been begging me to 'put the tickets in a safe place!'... i deemed my wallet was a pretty safe place, and although he didn't think it was a good idea to keep them on my person in case i lost my bag or something, i figured they were right next to my passport which is one thing i like to have with me, just in case i wanna do one out of this country at a moment's notice. ANYWAY, for reasons unknown, i thought i'd leave my passport and wallet at home last night, and just take out what i needed.

We moved on to another bar and were ordering drinks as i stuck my hand down my top to pull out my money, Columbo asks what the hell i'm doing. I explained that i didn't bring my wallet tonight, just the essentials. Schroeder looks at me saying 'you remembered the tickets though, right?'... Uhh... It took a good couple of minutes to convince Columbo and Schroeder that i wasn't joking when i said i didn't have them, and it wasn't until i started backing out of the pub that they finally believed me. Fucking fuck!

So i get a taxi, zoom back to my house, collect tickets, zoom back to bar. About to order a drink, when someone notices written on the tickets it says LAST ENTRY 11.30pm. It was at that point 11.25pm and panic ensues. Drinks are abandoned, not that i ever had one - and all seven of us pile into a taxi. I am the last one to hop in and there is a distinct lack of space as i dither at the door the group yells at me to GET IN. No where to sit, so i plonk myself on the floor, certain of imminent death.

As i appear to be the only girl in the group wearing a bra, it was therefore my responsibility to smuggle the drugs in, it was a rave after all. We line up and i notice an absolute plethora of police and security and the fact that i still haven't managed to get one single drink in starts to effect proceedings. Tried to be cool, but couldn't help wondering if i'd get deported for getting caught with so many pills on me. Thankfully (most likely due to my age and apparent sobriety) i was not stopped or checked at all. Result.

We're in the rave, the DJ they all wanted to see starts and we barge our way through the crowd (as you do at these things) and find a spot. I can't help but laugh at myself being in this position. Stone cold sober, getting shoved, elbowed and stood on by fuckwits, listening to this sort of scratch music i don't really dig and feeling thoroughly ridiculous... Everyone in there is about 19 years old, little scenester-types - some wearing sunglasses, some wearing lycra and fluro, others wearing jeans hoodies and backpacks, some shirtless up on other people's shoulders but one thing they all have in common is that they're on a mission, barging through the crowd, every one's got somewhere else to be. So i drop my first pill in the hope things will improve and make motions to Columbo about trying to find the bar.

We find the bar and there appear to be two choices - bottled water or cans of Budweiser. I decide i'll take one of each... 'Wun wordah and wun Buhd ploise' i say. Apparently when i try to talk really loud my accent suddenly sound like i'm from Queensland or something. The girl behind the bar just looks at me, Columbo looks at me, so i say it again... like they would. 'Wohn wa'er and a cun o' Bood thunks'. This time she gets it.

More pushing, shoving and getting stomped on, i start bopping.. but as usual, after about an hour i convince myself that 'it's not working' and decide to drop another. I check myself and my stylin', but when i look down, i'm not exactly sure of what i see. I appear to be pulling a move which can only be described at the 'heel and toe'. No, this wont do at all. A couple of beers later, an elbow in the boob, getting landed on by a massive dude 'dancing' and the whole scenario starts to wear a bit thin. It's about 2am and i'm bored of the rave now - been there done that. Columbo also seems bored of the rave too, but she doesn't want to leave as she's got two friends from Sheffield over for the night, and they want to stay.

Smiley is Schroeder's friend from university. I didn't get much chance to talk to her, but every time i looked at her, she gave me a big smile and an encouraging two thumbs up. Her friend, Ducky (cause she looked like a duck, obvs) made me laugh though, because she was so prissy.

At one point, i was wandering around with Ducky, looking for Columbo and Smiley. Schreoder was doing some serious bopping by this point, and somewhat uninterested in the apparent loss of Columbo and Smiley, he gives Ducky his phone as she's convinced they've gone off home. So she's stood in the middle of this open part of the warehouse, pouting while on this phone, ringing Columbo and Schroeder's home phone. Little did she know that the ringer is broken, so there'd be no way anyone would hear that - but i just let her go on, she was getting a bit stressed, so it was good she had something to concentrate on.

A fight breaks out near where we're standing and i swiftly jump out the way. I tried to grab Ducky and the phone, but she saw the men lunging towards us herself and shoved me out the way as she trotted off. Fine Ducky, was only trying to help - you're on your own. Anyway, Columbo and Smiley finally reappear and there is another conference on who's leaving and who's staying. This took quite a while - i already had my hat and coat on by this point, so am guessing it was pretty clear that i was leaving.

Issue resolved and Schroeder and Smiley are staying with the others who came with us, and Columbo, Ducky and myself are off home in a taxi. Ducky didn't bring a coat - she had on these short shorts and a singlet with these massive shoes which weighed more than she did - the weight actually looked like it could have snapped her skinny leg. She trots out of the warehouse and declares how cold she is. Not surprised, it was probably below zero. We start walking up the road looking for a taxi and Ducky spots one up the street turning around a corner.

She starts trot-running, waving her arms in all directions and squealing after this cab. She sees it slow down, but then as it starts to speed up, she starts squealing at it again. A really high pitched squeal, still waving her arms all over the place and trot-running off down the street. By the time Columbo and i caught up with her she was sitting snugly in the cab, but i couldn't stop laughing at the sight of her squealing after this taxi.

Anyway - i went home and the party in my bed started. Naturally sleep completely evaded me and my body temperature must have dropped about 15 degrees. For someone that 'it wasn't working' for, i suddenly realised i was more cained than originally suspected. Anyway, persist with trying to sleep before finally starting to come down at about 5am.

Tickets for party - twenty pounds
New dress - fifteen pounds
New boots - thirty five pounds
Predictable party drugs - six pounds
Wasted taxi money - fifteen pounds
The only person in the rave wearing Bridget Jones undies? Priceless

18 November 2008

Mars and I are currently competing to see who hates their job the most.

Me? I’m working 14 hour days and have got way too much responsibility and am constantly stuffing up and ‘costing the company money’ and I’m just tired tired tired…

Anyway, I promised I’d post something. Luckily something strange happened to me on the weekend…

It was Saturday night and I was sitting at my kitchen table with the laptop happily reading Wikpedia ‘discussion’ pages when someone knocked on my kitchen window. Weird. I peered out into the dark and saw the face of our neighbour looking at me.

He said, 'Hello! Would you like to come over for a drink?'

I thought it would have been more polite to knock on our front door and ask, however our kitchen window does look straight out into his courtyard so I guess he couldn't help but see in and notice me. I was stumped as to how to reply. Blane was at the other end of the apartment and had heard our neighbour’s invitation. He was desperately shaking his head at me while mouthing, ‘No! No! No!’ However, I didn’t know how to say this to our neighbour without seeming rude and awkward, ie, ‘No, I’d rather sit here in my apartment, however you can continue to watch me through my kitchen window.’

So I said, ‘Yes.’ From an optimistic point of view it did seem like a good opportunity to stick-beak into his apartment.

I changed out of my pajamas and into jeans and a jumper and went next door to meet Enin the Hedge Fund Slave. He lives in an apartment three times bigger than my own, however I like to think it’s not that nicely furnished.

Enin and I sat in his courtyard drinking Bud Lights. I realized pretty quickly Enin was very drunk, however it was in a friendly gossipy way so it was kind of fun. I learnt from Enin the following information:

  • The basement of our building is full of cockroaches. Enin has seen them for himself when he went down there once.
  • After seeing the cockroaches Enin has been paying for an exterminator to visit the building once a month.
  • Enin’s apartment does not have mice. (I told Enin that our apartment DOES have mice… Hopefully he’ll get the exterminator onto them too.)
  • Enin pays three times as much rent than we do, but he thinks his apartment is ‘good value.’
  • Enin’s girlfriend is French. She recently got laid-off from her job (with a year’s salary!!!), hence the reason lots of French people have been hanging out in their courtyard. Enin’s girlfriend is currently in France visiting her family, hence the reason Enin getting really drunk on his own in the backyard.

When Enin tried to go inside to get our second round of beers we realized we were locked out of his apartment. Enin had accidentally picked up his front door key instead of his back door key. I suggested we climb in through my kitchen window to escape. However before I knew it Enin had jumped the back fence into the building’s backyard behind us. A group of people were having a BBQ in this backyard, and I listened to Enin introducing himself and then politely asking if he might go through their apartment to get out onto the street. They were happy to oblige (in other words, they were happy to show him out of their apartment).

While I waited for Enin to run halfway around the block and back into our apartment, one of the neighbours from the BBQ popped his head over the fence.

‘Hello!’ He shouted when he saw me.

‘Um… hi.’

‘What’s your name? I’ve never met you before!’

‘I’m Dot.’

‘Hi! Nice to meet the neighbours at last!’ He was obviously much more drunk than Enin. Only, unlike Enin, this neighbour had a very sleazy vibe to him…

‘Oh, I don’t live here.’

‘Where DO you live?’ He was definitely leering.

‘In another apartment.’

‘Hey… smile!’ Before I knew it this guy had pulled out a camera and taken my photograph. At the exact moment the flash went off Enin burst back into the courtyard.

‘Hey!’ Enin shouted at the drunk neighbour, ‘You can’t just take someone’s photo like that!’

‘Hey!’ The neighbour replied, ‘You can’t just jump into someone’s backyard and run through their apartment!’

Good point.

So Enin and the other drunk neighbour yelled at each other for a bit, before deciding they were probably both in the wrong. I stood in the middle of the yelling wishing I could just go home.

Once the New York-style yelling stopped the neighbour offered Enin a peace-making beer. Enin said it was not necessary, however the neighbour insisted and placed the beer on the back fence. The neighbour then disappeared back to his BBQ. I took this opportunity to tell Enin that I must go home also. Enin was disappointed but resigned to the fact that the locking-out and yelling incident hadn’t made the best evening. I took my leave.

I think it is a rare and precious thing to meet your neighbour in New York. However, it's also slightly creepy. On Sunday I brought a plant to sit on my kitchen window sill. Hopefully this should block peeping-Enin a bit.


The view from my bedroom window is beer... just... out... of... reach...

09 November 2008

A picture essay of the last two fire-tastic weeks in Manchester...
by Mars

It started off a couple of weeks ago, when Schroeder and i were watching television one evening and we casually noticed the entire front room light up an iridescent blue. 'Whoa!' we both exclaimed... 'What was that?!' we curiously questioned as we leaped from our well oiled spots on the couches, and bound out on to the balcony.

Turned out it was a couple of dudes lighting rockets down on the street, right underneath the flat...
Next thing you know, Halloween has rolled around again and early talks of a Halloween party fizzle out. Questions of what Halloween actually is were forthcoming from work colleagues and it was vaguely ascertained that it began as some sort of a Pagan ceremony of sorts. Pagans, what are they anyway, and what is their place in this contemporary world..? More questions were raised and there was only one person really game enough to offer their ill-informed opinion on the topic. 'Pagans, ya know...' i begin. 'They like, run around Stonehenge naked on the full moon n shit' i continue. Little did i know, we had an (until this point, silent) expert amongst us.

Speedy, the bloke that sits next to me finally enters into the conversation... 'That's funny, cause i'm actually a Pagan and i've never done anything like that' he says, looking squarely at me... Uhhh.
Columbo and i went to this great little bar up the road from my new flat to see a guy called Sam Barrett play... it was a pretty good gig (aside from the fact that we actually could see it - we could still hear)... anyway, i was checking out Sam Barratt on myspace this week, when i saw a picture of him with a half naked girl called Dolly Mae.

When i was travelling through Asia last year, we really randomly met up with a girl Number 2 had met in a hostel in Darwin called Danni... anyway - long story short, Danni is a burlesque dancer and her stage name is Dolly Mae... the same Dolly Mae who seems to know Sam Barratt. This is just further confirmation to i do, in fact, know everyone on this planet.

Then a bit of English history came in to my life... Apparently there was a dude who tried to blow up Parliament back in the 1600's... it was back when England was still fighting with itself over being Catholic or The Other and Guy Fawkes (the dude) wanted to blow up the aristocracy (who happened to be The Other) cause he was Catholic... so he collected a whole heap of gun powder in order to do this, but at the last minute got busted.

And thus, Bonfire Night was born. And Guy Fawkes was hung, drawn and quartered.
Schroeder and i (and a couple of others) headed off down to Platt Fields Park for the fireworks and bonfire. Unfortunately, after making the poor decision of stopping off for some crispy southern fried chicken along the way, we managed to step off the bus just in time to see the very last firework.
Not satisfied with the bonfire we couldn't even get close enough to feel any heat off or the one firework we saw, we decided to buy some rockets and go make our own fun...

They were pretty good, considering what they were. You could definitely lose and eye if you were street savvy professionals like us. They had the desired effect... we heard the whistle, and saw the explosion. What a night! Cheers Guy!

I work just near the Manchester Town Hall, and for the last couple of weeks i've seen the gradual expansion of Christmas Decorations going up. A bit early you say? I hear you...

Anyway, it started with a giant blow up Santa... some tinsel up the top of light poles and the obligatory fairy lights in trees. All in all, not bad as far as Christmas cheer goes. Then! Last night the lights were officially turned on and there were MORE fireworks!

And they were brilliant! And i didn't miss them! And the Town Hall looked magical, like Disney Land!

The End.