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Never turn down an invite! February 26, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary.
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I am sitting here at 4.30 on a Sunday arvo and my gut is still churning. My head is vacant, and my mouth tastes like a garbage lid.

Why you ask?

Well, let me start this story 2 weeks ago. With my hosts, I was invited to the house of someone who used to live where I am staying, and now lives just up the road. It was a small dinner party. Just us, and another family. Now, this other family was very nice, father, mother and 2 kids (around 18 (f) and 20(m)) . So, we had a nice evening. The conversation flowed and as the night went on we noticed that Braxton (the father) was quite a character. He spoke with an interesting accent, almost half English, but he was very funny and witty and along with his son, he had us in stitches most of the night with fun stories.

So, just before we left, I gave my contact details to the daughter with the promise that I would be invited to a party that they were throwing in a couple of weeks.

Coolo! You see I have promised myself that I would not turn down any invites that i am given while I am here, so the more parties the better!

2 days later on the Monday I received an email from Braxton, inviting me to the shindig. It was to be a Mardi Gras party where costume was required.

Ok, no worries, I can work out something to wear in 2 weeks can’t I?

Yeah, right. 2 weeks came and went, and I didn’t do a damn thing about a costume did I? i shopped around a little yesterday whilst trying to decide whether I would even go or not. In the end, I thought I should live by my promise and I slapped on some clothes and headed up at around 8 (the party was supposed to start then, but hey, I could be fashionably late).

So, I metro’d over to the city and walked through Georgetown. I ended up walking all of the way over to the house which took about an hour. My plan was to skulk around and stake out the joint first before going in just to make sure I wasn’t going to be the only guy not in costume, and also to see what sort of crowd was there. So I checked out the place and watched a couple of people go in, and then when a couple of guys headed up there I decided to follow them in as well.

So there I was in a party with probably around 80 people and I knew 5 of them. Before the bricks in my pants grew too large, I thought I’d better head for the food and drink.

And this party was awesome. There was food. And I’m not talking about your cheese square and cabanossi. We’re talking plates and platters of oysters, prawns and sushi. This stuff was amazing. I couldn’t stop eating it. It was tasty shit. I also came across the bar. There were waiters delivering food around the house, and also barmen serving drinks with a huge array of grog. I went and saw ‘Good Night and Good Luck’ yesterday (review coming later!) so I was inspired to drink scotch. So, with scotch in hand I went to meet this array of masked people.

PatchAs the waft of wacky tobacky floated through the house I met a whole bunch of different people who were all exceptionally nice. I met a guy from Zimbabwe, another from Uganda and then I met the actual ‘Patch Adams’ (yeah, the one that Robin Williams played). He has long white hair and an awesome moustache

I was talking cricket with the guy from Zimbabwe which was very cool, and meanwhile I was downing the scotches pretty regularly. Even the barman knew what I was drinking when I walked up and a black dude was suitably impressed at what I was drinking and shook my hand.

I must have met around 15-20 people last night. The thing is, I suck at names and I can’t remember most of them, but I remember faces a lot better.

Anyway, the night travelled along well and I was enjoying chatting to everyone and then it was announced that we should all move off the rugs. Then they rolled back the rugs to reveal the wooden floor boards. The disco lights were warmed up and the music started to pump. It was like a nightclub and everyone got involved. Everyone danced and partied hard, except for a small intermission when someone slipped and hit their head in the kitchen and an ambulance was called. (that can put a downer on things!). We danced. We drank, and then in the wee hours, all the guys took their shirts off (the waiters had already taken theirs off) and I don’t remember much after that.

I do, however, remember heading downstairs and throwing up all of that lovely sushi, oysters and prawns into the toilet except for the bits that got on my jeans. Yes. Lovely.

So, I ended up crashing on the floor with my head on a beanbag and tried to sleep just as I saw the early morning rays peeking through the window. I don’t think I got much sleep. Maybe an hour. Maybe not.

It was a hell of a party and i was informed that Braxton throws these sorts of shindigs on a pretty regular basis. I think he might be a good person to know!

So, that was my night. I’m glad I went! Although my stomach probably doesn’t agree with me….

Tomorrow? The Wrestling!

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I’m alive! February 21, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary.
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Yeah, I survived 2x 6 hour Greyhound trips to North Carolina and back on the weekend.

People said to me. “You’re taking the bus? Are you crazy?”

You see, the bus is the cheapest mode of transport in the US, so you get all walks of life on the bus. But hey, (I thought) how bad can it be?

Well actually, not that bad at all. Apart of there being a bit of a bitch slap going on beside me on the way back of the reclination of a seat, it was quite pleasant, quiet and quick. Mind you, sitting in a coach for 5 hours each way wasn’t exactly fun, and the terminals were eye-opening, but on the whole it was not a bad experience.

So, I can no tick North Carolina off my list of states. I didn’t see a great deal. I saw Raleigh (the capital). I saw Durham, and I saw Hooters. Overall. A successful weekend! Hehehe

But I had a great time meeting up with an online friend, who fortunately I have a lot in common with and ended up drinking lots of Apple-tinis with and an awesome bottle of Italian wine. She has a room filled with action figures. Buffy, Matrix, Batman, X-Men. Awesome. Add to that comics from all the above and i was very impressed πŸ™‚

Yeah yeah..I’m a big kid, but we knew that!

So, I am back in DC and house/cat-sitting for a colleague this week in Arlington. it’s great to have a bit of space, time and a comfy bed to myself. I have a gym and a pool in the building, Full package of cable (200+ channels) and I am stealing wireless from one of the 62 Wireless routers that my laptop found πŸ™‚ Win win win!

Oh yeah, and just for Timmy. The Daytona 500 was on this past weekend, but I have now discovered that whilst V8’s have a wide ranging audience in Australia, from your local hoons, to your upper class yups, NASCAR racing is really reserved for the rednecks of the US. I mentioned to someone that I have been told to go to a NASCAR race and they laughed at me. So, yeah, maybe I won’t be able to find anyone to go with…..

EDIT: Oh yeah, and I’ve updated a couple of the pages over there —————————->

Oscar Movies…..again. 2 Down. February 15, 2006

Posted by Mick in Film.
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Well, if you read my blog last year, you will remember I had a mission to see all of the ‘Best Picture’ Oscar Nominated Films for that year. I failed miserably, only seeing 2 of them before the Oscars happened.

So, it’s time to try again! The Oscars are on March 5th, and I have now seen 2 of the 5 nominated ‘Best Picture’ films.

They are:

Brokeback Mountan
Capote
Crash
Good Night, and Good Luck
Munich

So, 3 to go in 3 weeks. I reckon I can do that. Crash is a DVD movie anyway, so it should be easy.

So, here’s a couple of my opinions on the 2 I have seen.

Munich

Let me just give you a quick rundown on Eric Bana’s career…..

So. yes. He’s had a diverse career. His role in Munich is like something you have never seen him do. Not only does he do a pretty damn good Israeli accent, he acts his way so well through this movie, you feel proud to have known him as the guy that impersonated Ray Martin.

I have not been a huge fan of Spielberg’s recent works. To be honest, I haven’t seen them either because his fascination for Tom Hanks is really starting to wear thin with me. Now, if he started a fascination with Eric Bana, I might reconsider. This film is strong, well cast and even though it runs for 2 hrs 45 mins it keeps you enthralled and unsleepy (I was really tired when I went into this movie). I didn’t really know the story of the Terrorist incident at the Munich Olympic Games, but after this movie, you really will know all about it. It’s almost filmed in a documentary style, but the character that Eric Bana plays really pulls you into the film and keeps you wanting to find out more.

No Spoilers here, but the ending may not be to everyone’s liking. I didn’t mind it. I thought there was a lot of texture and a real under current to the film which you really have to keep track of otherwise you may fade.

Anyway, I’m being vague. It’s good. It’s not usual Spielberg tripe. And Eric Bana is the best actor to come out of Australia since…..well…for a while. 4 bombs from me!

Brokeback Mountain

I just came out of this movie about 2 hours ago, so it’s still very fresh in my head. Firstly, let me say that if I were gay, I would so want Jake Gyllenhaal. Damn, I almost envy Heath Ledger getting to kiss him. But I digress. This is a freaking excellent movie. As far as movies go, too many times we see the same old worn out stories rolled out again and again. But has there been a film about gay cowboys recently? I think not!

This movie makes me want to go to Wyoming. Some of the scenery shots are magnificent, and the music? Damn, it may have been country and western styled, but it (almost) had me getting into it.

But what makes this movie so frigging good is the acting. They both act well, but Heath just kicks arse in this movie. I have not seen him perform like this ever, and I have seen most of his movies. (10 Things I hate about You included!) He portrays the confused, likeable, quiet cowboy with scary ease and his thick country American accent was almost perfect. The story in this film keeps you interested and the emotion it invokes, althought probably very different with different people, really pulls you in.

I am not the best person to ask, “Did you like the movie?” after coming straight out of the cinema, because I have a habit of saying that it was “..the best movie I have seen this year.” But this movie is, and maybe it will be all year.

I enjoyed picking the female actors in this movie too. Find Velma from Scooby Doo and Jen from Dawsons Creek.

It’s great! It’s gay! It gets 4 1/2 spurs from me.

Chili is good. Oh yes. February 13, 2006

Posted by Mick in Food.
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I had some mince meat with a bit of spice Chili tonight.

But not just any chili. This stuff was wrapped in a tortilla, draped with cheese, lettuce and tomato and then surrounded by cornchips with salsa and sour cream on the side.

Yum. Yum. Yum. Wish I has taken my camera!

Also found out today that I am house-sitting a house and a cat in a place called Crystal City for one of my workmates next week. I am stoked about this cause then I will be able to have some space and some time to myself, which will be very nice!

Yesterday was awesome in the snow. I have a heap of photos, but here’s one more that I thought you guys in Aussieland might like. We made a huge snowball by rolling a small ball around and around the croquet pitch until it got bigger and bigger. Almost too big to roll any more. Then we pushed it over to the hill beside the house and rolled it down the hill. I have a movie clip of it, but it’s pretty big. I will try and edit it a bit. Here is a pic of the big slushie!
Our Snowball!And then the sun goes down on a fun day…

Sun sets on a great dayHope you’re all having a great week!

Waking up to snow actually makes you wake up, but then you want to go back to sleep when you realise you can’t go anywhere… February 12, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary, Snow.
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Its white, it’s soft and it’s freaking cold, but how amazing does it look outside today??
Check it out… http://www.flickr.com/photos/mickrad/archives/date-posted/2006/02/12/

collage11

More soon once I go out there and do some snowangels πŸ™‚

Let it SNOW! February 12, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary.
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This is the view outside the window tonight…

Over the trees

It’s a glorious evening!

The snow is bucketing down over Washington and the whole east coast.

The Weather Channel was getting very exciting about it this morning and all the news reports showed people stocking up on toilet paper and milk! It’s like a blizzard was coming or something, but at around 3pm this arvo, the drizzly rain suddenly turned into light snow and it’s been snowing ever since.

There’s probably around 3 inches of snow so far….

The outdoor setting

There has been so little snow this season that everyone is getting pretty excited about it all.

I must say it looks beautiful out my window tonight, but I will get some better shots in the morning.

Out my window

Oh yeah, and I went to the basketball last night.

The Washington Wizards tooks on LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers. The Wizards controlled the game for most of the night and it wasn’t the most exciting or close game I’ve seen, but it was great to be in a big full stadium watching NBA basketball!

Here’s a couple of pics, just for Rowie πŸ™‚

A full MCI Center LeBron in action. (he missed)

Today, I finally discover what CostCo is all about. (A Huge Wholesale store) and I went to Marshall, bought some clothes and found a sweet Audioslave DVD.

Tomorrow night I go and see Supergrass at the 9:30 club! Woo!

…….

I’m tired….

I couldn’t be bother counting days any more…. February 8, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary.
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I went to another hockey (on ice) game last night! Got some 5 bucks tickets through my friend, Amber’s friend and we sat in the very very last row looking directly down on the ice.

P1000134

This time the Caps couldn’t match the awesome Goalie feats of the Florida Panthers’ goalie and they got flogged 5 – 0. It was fun though and I got lots more cool pictures here.

Things are cruising along ok. The days are getting colder. It’s like -5 in the morning and then gets to a top of 5 during the day. Well that’s my interperation of the conversion thing anyway. it’s a real pain trying to convert the temperatures.

There are chances of snow this weekend apparently, but I’ll believe it when I see it!

I’m off to a Washington Wizards Basketball game on Friday night and today I bought tickets to….

YES! I have to admit. I am a closet WWE (WWF for the oldies) fan!

It’s not like I follow it every week, or get all obssessed with watching the PPV’s, but I like to keep an eye on what the storylines are doing and which wrestlers they’ve dragged out of retirement this week. Back when I was in high school, there was Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, Jake the Snake Roberts and of course the Harts. It was fun suff and after Channel Ten stopped showing the late night highlights, I didn’t catch it until I got Foxtel and managed to catch the Raw and Smackdown shows.

So, I got to see legends like, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Undertaker. Things have changed though and The Rock is in movies, Stone Cold was unceremoniously expelled, and Hulk Hogan has a million broken ribs. But there are the new breed. John Cena, Rany Orton, Batista, Edge and Kurt Angle.

Anyway, it’s a big ‘Supershow’ at the MCI Arena and I am looking forward to see how stupid the Americans get over the fake wrestling. I mean, everyone knows it’s fake, but it’s not about the wrestling. it’s about the hyp. The Fireworks. The Storyline and the entertainment. That’s why they call it, ‘Sports Entertainment’ πŸ™‚

So anyway, that’s the news. I am in the big house alone tonight so I might go and whip up some toasted sandwiches for dinner or something….

And by the way, if any of your readers out there want to leave comments, or email me, or anything, please feel free. I like hearing about things from home….

Day 10 – Superbowl Sunday! February 6, 2006

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I’ve always been a fan of American Football (or as Aussies have to call it, Gridiron, seeing as though we already have 4 other kinds of football), and I have watched a few Superbowls in the past, but I was looking forward to watching it live in the States and also to get to see the 2.5Million dollar (for 30 second) advertisements!

I ended up going over to my bosses place (not Dougall, but his boss) to watch the game and there were, count them, 8 gay guys there! So, watching the Superbowl with 8 gay guys, another straight guy, as well as Dougall and Liz was interesting! But fun! There was plenty of laughter at the ads (especially the Bud Light ads) and there were lot of snacks, and drinks to be had. I tried a Jamaican Beer called Red Stripe, which was damn good, and the bottle sorta looked like the VB bottles.
For the record, the Pittsburgh Steelers won it pretty easily in the end, but the Seattle Seahawks had their chances and should have lead by more at quarter time.

There’s a big hype over football in the states, and I think the main reason is becase the season is so damn short. There are only 17 games before the playoffs start and then they only last 3 weeks before the Superbowl! There is so much build-up to the game and it’s all over so quick that people really try to make the most of it.

But anyway, at least i can say I have seen a Superbowl in the US now, and that I was squashed on a couch between 2 gay guys… πŸ™‚

Day 9 – My New Toy! February 4, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary.
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Well, I’ve been playing around with my new camera (Panasonic Lumix FZ30) that arrived yesterday.

It’s a rainy cool day and I don’t much feel like heading into town, so I will take a few shots of the house and surrounding area.

Now that I have my good camera, anyone is welcome to check out my Flick account here. Leave comments, or join up and add me as a friend.

All of the photos that I deem worthy of uploading will be added to Flickr, so check back regularly!

In the meantime, here is the view from my 4th floor bedroom…

My View

Day 8 – Dupont, Adams Morgan, and New Orleans food February 4, 2006

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Ok, you didn’t really expect that I would blog every single day I was here did you?

Well, as it turns out i have had a few late nights this week, and I am just totally wiped in the mornings when I wake at 6:15 to leave the house at 7am to get to work at 8am. Then I sit at my desk like a zombie for a while, working out how to be awake enough to verifiy passport details.

It’s been a crazy week. I arrived in this country a week ago and it feels like it was a month ago. Everything has happened so damn fast. Somehow I have managed to find my feet this week, but I am still feeling very disorientated in this town. But hey, it’s only been a week, and I can’t expect to know everything straight away I spose….

The last couple of nights have been my first forays into going out in DC and experiencing some nightlife. Last night I went to an Irish bar which sold American food and Danish beer. The best part was catching up with an old friend who has really settled into DC life so much that he’s staying for good. It’s amazing what happens to us Big G boys in a new city πŸ˜‰

The food wasn’t bad though. I had some chicken wrap thing with buffalo sauce. A bit spicy and tangy and tasted nice. This bar was inside a hotel in the yuppy classy part of DC called Dupont Circle. This area was once a predominantly gay part of town, but apparently it is not so much any more as everyone has moved in as well, forcing the rental prices up and pushing the other people out and pulling the affluent in. It’s a pretty part of town though and I will post some photos as soon as I get my new camera going (it arrived today!)

Tonight I met up with the lovely Amber, whom I have known in cyber land for years, but just met for the first time tonight. She showed me around an area called Adams Morgan near where she lives and we ate in an awesome little New Orleans restaurant. I had Jambalaya with Andouille (spicy sausage) which was good stuff. So was the Rum Hurricane drink (ironically named) The owner gave us some beignets which are apparently famous from the Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. The owner of the little restaurant apparently used to work there and we gobbled down the fried pastry treats fast. They were damn good!

New Orleans Cafe

After dinner, we went to a pool hall (can’t remember the name now) and played some 8 and 9 ball whilst Sweet Child ‘O Mine blasted out of the jukebox…

DSC00541

Then we walked through Adams Morgan some more and I was shown some of the cooler and trendier clubs and bars on 18th Street.

The Toledo Lounge

Bear in mind that I just snapped these shots on my little K750i Camera Phone, so they aren’t the best quality or positioning!

After we walked on down to U Street and checked out the Black Cat and few other bars in the area we parted for the evening and I started my long commute home. About an hour later I reach the end of the driveway where I am living and made my way up to the house to where I am right now. It’s a bit of a spooky walk at night!

Cairngorn Farm

So, finally it’s the weekend. Time to get some sleep (It’s now 3am!) and hopefully a bit of a sleep in!