Monday, December 17, 2007

Where I'm At

Well it's a week before Christmas, finals are done, I'm getting ready to start serving at CPK after 3 painful months at takeout (okay it wasn't that bad) and life is pretty good. I'm a second semester senior officially (once I get all my passing grades of course) and it's more surreal than I expected. Last year at this time I was finalizing my plans to go to Australia and was getting ready to work the New Years Eve special for MTV. Today I'm sitting around listening to Bruce Springsteen live in London from 1975. Now it's time to start thinking about what I'm going to do after I graduate. Ideally I'd like to move to NYC or LA for a little while and work in the entertainment industry. If there was a position back at MTV I would go back, and I have made a possible connection at CNN (which could mean a move to Atlanta) but some recent events have made me realize that I'm not in a rush. I'm not all that worried about finding a job to start May 5. For those of you who don't know I graduate Friday May 2nd at Noon. I would not be opposed to working in Boston for a few months and live out my lease in my awesome apartment until September. I also will probably still job search here in Boston for some opportunities. But there are some great friends and connections that I've built and rebuilt after being gone for a year and I don't think I'm ready to leave that all behind just yet.

I'm constantly being urged, guided, pushed into looking at Grad School and Higher Ed stuff, which I think would be a lot of fun and I think I would be good at it, but right now I want to get a job and work for a little while Doesn't mean that in 5 or 10 years after I've made my first television series or produced a major motion picture and won a handful of Oscars that I wouldn't go back to school. Right now everything is possibility.

So for now I'm cruising and enjoying the semester break.
Merry Christmas all, Santa Claus is Comin' To Town

Peace and love

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My brother Peter

On a lighter note though I would like to send some kudos to my brother Peter. The opening of the highlights for the CBA vs Schenectady game on Fox 23 goes as follows:

"Off the opening tip the brothers' Pete Wolfgang streaking towards the basket for the hoop, one of those nights for the Patriot's. Wolfgang's only bucket of the game, and we got it."

"They don't rebuild, they reload"

Great job Pete, keep it up. If you want to check out the video go to http://www.fox23news.com/mediacenter/local.aspx and click on Schenectady vs CBA under local sports video.

GO BROTHERS!!!

Nebraska

Nebraska - Bruce Springsteen
I saw her standin' on her front lawn just twirlin' her baton
Me and her went for a ride sir and ten innocent people died

From the town of Lincoln Nebraska with a sawed off .410 on my lap
Through to the badlands of Wyoming I killed everything in my path

I can't say that I'm sorry for the things that we done
At least for a little while sir me and her we had us some fun

The jury brought in a guilty verdict and the judge he sentenced me to death
Midnight in a prison storeroom with leather straps across my chest

Sheriff when the man pulls that switch sir and snaps my poor head back
You make sure my pretty baby is sittin' right there on my lap

They declared me unfit to live said into that great void my soul'd be hurled
They wanted to know why I did what I did
Well sir I guess there's just a meanness in this world

Guns are bad. That's what it comes down to. Another mass shooting. This time in Omaha Nebraska. At least 5 people have been shot. What is going on in this world? People are falling apart. The world is falling apart. A 61 year shot in the chest, 34 year old shot in the arm, 55 year old injuries unsure. With 20 days until Christmas you would expect there to be some peace on Earth. Some effort to be nice, to go out of your way for other people, to not be selfish for a second, a minute, a day. But no. People think about themselves and not others or the big picture or the idea of the greater good.

Too much going on this week. My head hurts and my heart aches for those who lose loved ones this time of year.

PEACE

UPDATE 5:15PM : NINE DEAD

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cameron Diaz, Doubles, and Trust

First off, Cameron Diaz and I are meant to be together. Although she is a little too tall for my tastes, and is allegedly a supporter of the Matthew McConnaghy 'Au Natural' deodorant, I have twice had the opportunity to cross paths with her and twice think that she totally dug me. First time was back at MTV when she was promoting the Holiday on TRL. Most recently, she was in the CPK at Boston and as she and her assistants left (she is filming outside Boston at the Milford Academy) I said 'have a great evening ladies' and she turned and winked at me on her way out. One word, ladies and gentleman, FATE.

Second, today I worked my first double in over a year and let me tell you, I forgot how much it sucks. The opportunity to make some extra cash presented it self and I foolishly volunteered my Sunday to work a 12 hour shift on Take Out at CPK. I must have been drunk when I accepted this torture, I mean offer. It wasn't even a slow Sunday. I did about $2500 in sales for the day. Not bad, if i was a server on the floor with those numbers, I could have walked home with $500. In due time, in due time.

In this time of technology and digital media, there are more ways to communicate than ever before. But something about the technology has destroyed personal, face-to-face communication. Why call someone or stop by to see them, when you can just send them an email. I'm as guilty as anyone. I'll send an email or text message to my roommate who is one room away from me.

But are all these advancements hurting us? Is it really a global community if everyone is sitting in a 4 x 4 box of their own? While I was in Australia I was able to call my mother and speak to here like I was in the next room even though I was almost a day in the future, but when I'm sitting in the same room as someone I can't say half the stuff I can say behind the computer screen. Xbox live is a prime example of how people who are socially awkward can sit on their couch or recliner in their underwear and plan and carry out complex missions and objectives, but couldn't get up and give a 5 minute presentation if they were being paid for it.

With all the different forms of communication available now, there are also an infinite times more branches in the grapevine. A comment made to one person is on facebook, myspace, youtube, text messages, emails, phone calls all in the matter of seconds and what if done face to face would be understood as confidential, is now public record. I feel like confidentiality statements more typically found on fax and business emails now need to be attached to everything as a reminder that you do not have the right to pass on any information. Or should it just be assumed that no one is trustworthy and everything you say can and will be used against you?

I mean I get it. Nobody wants to put themselves in a position of confrontation. It's easier to let someone down or give them bad news if you don't have to see their reaction. That's why it's easier to break up with someone on the phone, or cancel on someone by email. Wasn't it K-Fed who found out he was getting a divorce by a text? And didn't Hogan just find out when a reporter asked him about it?

The world seems to be going in two opposing directions, technology is moving forward and causing society to move backwards. At least in my humble opinion.

On a lighter note, the Boss played Santa Claus Is Coming To Town last night, so the holiday season is officially in effect. This next week of my life is probably going to be hell, because I have two papers, a presentation (in about 8 hours), and have to put together a video project all by Dec 10. Seems like not a lot of work in a relatively long amount of time, but I'm a procrastinator. Which is why I'm up now and not working on my projects or sleeping. I'm observing the world instead.

Six months from today is graduation. That's a very sobering thought.

Peace.

Listening to:
Ben Folds - "Trusted"
Plain White T's - "Revenge"
Bruce Springsteen - "Waitin' On A Sunny Day"
Bruce Springsteen - "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ben Folds

I am currently working on bringing Ben Folds to Northeastern and in the spirit of Ben here are the lyrics to his masterpiece Still Fighting It which he wrote for his son. As I am counting down the days to the end of the semester and realize that in approximately 6 months I will socially be an adult (definitely not mentally), this song seems somewhat appropriate.

good morning, son.
I am a bird
Wearing a brown polyester shirt
You want a coke?
Maybe some fries?
The roast beef combo’s only $9.95
It’s okay, you don’t have to pay
I’ve got all the change

Everybody knows
It hurts to grow up
And everybody does
It's so weird to be back here
Let me tell you what
The years go on and
We’re still fighting it, we’re still fighting it
And you’re so much like me
I’m sorry

Good morning, son
In twenty years from now
Maybe we’ll both sit down and have a few beers
And i can tell you ‘bout today
And how i picked you up and everything changed
It was pain
Sunny days and rain
I knew you’d feel the same things

Everybody knows
It sucks to grow up
And everybody does
It's so weird to be back here.
Let me tell you what
The years go on and
We’re still fighting it, we’re still fighting it
You’ll try and try and one day you’ll fly
Away from me

Good morning, son
I am a bird

It was pain
Sunny days and rain
I knew you’d feel the same things

Everybody knows
Tt hurts to grow up
And everybody does
It's so weird to be back here.
Let me tell you what
The years go on and
We’re still fighting it, we’re still fighting it
Oh, we’re still fighting it, we’re still fighting it

And you’re so much like me
I’m sorry

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner

So I just finished my first Thanksgiving dinner as host/cooker of the turkey. I decided a few weeks to host a pot-luck style Thanksgiving dinner at my apartment with my apartment and the 806 Parker guys. I must say it was pretty successful. The bird first off went off without any problems. It took a little longer to cook than anticipated and we didn't have any sharp knifes so carving became butchering, but the taste was good. Luz said that not only was it edible, but it was actually enjoyable. Everyone else brought various treats the usual mashed potatoes made by General Adams. His inner engineer came out while he was making them, commenting on how I was dicing not quartering the potatoes getting angry when I didn't measure the salt when I salted the water. They came out okay anyways. Green bean casserole, potato casserole, and biscuits rounded out the menu and of course desserts. I even made gravy from scratch that didn't turn out half bad.

Overall it was good night. Would have been nice to have more people to enjoy, but there definitely wouldn't have been enough food or room for anyone and it wouldn't have been a Thanksgiving dinner without a little bickering among brothers, but nothing that a few drinks didn't fix, or escalate.

While I'm pissed I wasn't at the Springsteen show, this was definitely the next best thing. I am very thankful for the friends I have and the great times we have. Looking forward to getting home for a few days at the end of the week. Then cranking out the last 2 weeks of the Fall Semester.

Feeling fat from all this food going to lie down.

Peace and Thanks

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My first music video...

So Katie and I directed, shot, and edited this video for our production class. This isn't the final version that we handed in for class. After we handed it in I had some free time and went back and changed the sequences around a little bit. I also star in the video with Lauren, who was an awesome sport through all the shaking, beating, and throwing around that she had to go through. Hope you all enjoy it and no it's not real cocaine...it's just Splenda.



RED JUMPSUIT APPARATUS - FACE DOWN

Monday, November 12, 2007

My day of nothing...

Well I haven't published too many blogs lately because I like to think that they are well thought out and pretty relevant. So while a few things have happened I just couldn't justify them in the blog to post them. My day, today is worth that effort.

Last night I worked at California Pizza Kitchen until about 10 o'clock. I've been working there for about a month now and its going very well. Hopefully next month when my schedule is more open I will be serving and not doing just take out. So I'm looking forward to that. A little more cash in my pocket would not be a bad thing. Unless it lets me afford an XBox360. Which is the focus of the last 24 hours of my life.

After work I went up to the Hill to Dustin and Steve's place because they are always talking about Halo and playing Halo and when I play on the random occasion, giving me shit because I suck, to put it plainly. End up shooting myself or teammates more often than not. Now this isn't because I have poor hand eye coordination or because I suck at video games, it's just because I am not familiar with Halo or the XBox 360 controllers. So a couple weeks back I said on Veteran's Day I'm going to highjack their apartment and play all day to get used to the game/controller. All of them had to work today which would give me the peace and quiet I needed to focus on my skills. (like nun chuck skills) So instead of getting up at the crack of dawn and walking to the hill to get in before everyone left I decided to go after work last night (bring food to bribe them) and crash on the couch.

I get to their place around 11:30pm. Watch the end of Chuck and Larry with Steve. Then everyone went to bed. That's when it started. Instead of going to bed and getting my rest before my big day I decided to get a head start. I joined the online community and signed up for my XBox Live account (which took about 30min). Then I played some of the single player adventure mode (the Gamers will correct me on this, mission mode?). Then I got into Online Multi player. When I got up to get a drink it was 5:15am and when I went to pee it was sunny out and people were getting ready for work.

Then I fell asleep and woke up at 12pm. Now where a normal person may have said okay time to get my day started and go home and shower and charge my phone, I did not do any of that. My breakfast was my leftover CPK food and I cracked another Coca-Cola and jumped right back into Multi-player. When I left their apartment for the first time today it was 8:00pm. 22hours after I started and during which 16hrs I was wearing a headset and yelling at random 12 year olds who probably should have been doing their multiplication tables, not using the language they were followed by "wolfpac, how long have you been playing? You suck."

All in all I played 49 games of Halo online and am currently a Corporal. Just about 1000 games before I catch up to the rest of the Parker Hill guys.

In other news classes are almost done for the semester. Only 4 weeks left and they aren't even full weeks. Working on a Music Video for my production class which has been a trip. We did Red Jumpsuit Apparatus "Face Down". You probably don't know the song. It got some play on MTV2 and MTVU, but other than that not a big radio hit I don't think. I am the coke using, girlfriend abusing star of the film that looks like it is going to come out awesome. I'll post it on here tomorrow night or Wednesday when it is finished.

The new members of Kappa Sigma rocked on Thursday night during Greek Follies, the annual song and dance routines of all the new members in Greek Life. Maybe I'll post that video too when I get it converted. They got second, although they deserved first.

Still no complaints here, except that I wish I were going to Springsteen on Thursday in Albany, and I kind of wish I had an XBox so I could be playing Halo right now.

Peaces

"talk about a dream
Try to make it real
you wake up in the night
With a fear so real
Spend your life waiting
for a moment that just don't come
Well, don't waste your time waiting"
-Badlands Bruce Springsteen

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's been a while...

Sorry it's been a while folks. A lot going on here in Boston if you haven't seen in the news. The Sox are on another crash course to a World Series win, some college in Newton came back from down 10 with 2:00 minutes left by some miracle. And our own Northeastern Huskies, well, they have a game this weekend. It's homecoming and we kicked off the week with a show by Jim Gaffigan. He talked alot about bacon and Jesus and there have been some jokes that linked the two...but I don't really remember, I just remember laughing.

Speaking of Jesus (how you like that segue), Monday night I'm going over to BU for a speaker series with Eli Weisel (author of Night and a million other books) and the "Jewishness of Jesus." Mike McD told me about and he went to the first two parts of the series and just said you know you're in the presence of a great story teller when you sit and stare at the 80 something year old man for an hour, absolutely captivated.

Back to my week this week, Tuesday night was the Meet the Court event where our boys TK and Chris Bourne represented Kappa Sigma to the fullest. Always fun to watch guys do karaoke and make fools of themselves. Good luck to both of you guys Saturday, let's bring home the crown.

Afterwards Adams and I went to Conor's for a drink and ran into a bunch of people I hadn't seen since freshmen year which was cool. Still catching up with people 7 weeks into the semester. It ended up being a much longer night than anticipated and I'm pretty sure Steve is still passed out on his couch, three days later.

Last night I worked and since the Red Sox were playing at Fenway the store was pretty dead. Hopefully tomorrow night won't be so bad. It makes the shift go by much faster when it's busy. Then after work tomorrow it's time for float building and Midnight Madness. It sucks that it's supposed to rain all day Saturday, not only because it means the family isn't going to come out for the day, but also because I don't remember a homecoming where it didn't rain. Thought five years trying I'd get at least one, but oh well.

Bruce has been occupying much of my time. I sit and watch the setlists if I'm home. So far the shows have been pretty entertaining. Pulling out some classics and some not so classics which is cool. Meeting Across the River into Jungleland and the Thunder Road the other night have been two of my highlights so far. Downloaded all the shows and have been living with them on my iPod. No tickets yet, but I'm hoping to score some for Albany or one of the two Boston shows.

No classes tomorrow, just work at the scheduling desk then work at CPK. Got to love the free meals. Looking forward to the new menu rollout in a couple weeks to see what they are going to add to it. Luckily they are only dropping a few things and nothing that I absolutely love.

Life is good no complaints on this end. In closing here's a little something I wrote about music in my life:

You are my soul
My heartbeat
Your bass line fuels
Your lyrics guide

You are my companion
In good times we celebrate
In bad we mourn
All the time with me

You are my confidante
In darkness I whisper your words
In the shower I scream them
Only you know my secrets

Peace...
Shawn

Monday, October 8, 2007

Adjusting

So here I am. A month and half back into the Boston scene. At first glance things are awesome. Things are working out well with the apartment, just started working at CPK again. Not too much to complain about. I catching up with a lot of the people that I hadn't seen for almost a year and things seem relatively normal.

But they aren't. Not even close. Because while I was away doing my thing in NY and Australia, the world kept moving. WHAT?!? I didn't hit pause walk away for a little bit and am just going to start back up where I left off? If only life were like TiVo, things would be that simple.

Don't get me wrong I'm getting to know a lot of the new KappaSig guys and there's that core group of friends from Australia that I've been hanging out with, but it seems that everyone else has new friends. I walk up to a group of my friends and the new kid from the group makes some stupid comment about 'who's the new kid?'. YOU ARE ASSHOLE. I was here first WAY before you were.

It's weird that's all I'm saying. I'm still trying to fit back in.

Katie Cameron was in town this weekend. Haven't seen here since sophomore year or so. Had an awesome time hanging out with her and Tom and Ryan and some of their friends. We did a Freedom Trail pub crawl from Charlestown to Faneuil (well I started about 5 bars into it) It was a really fun night and I'm looking forward to the next one. Katie in Ohio gives me another place to travel to this year to. The list is getting too long right now.

I got to be a fly on the wall in the world that is Halo 3 yesterday. After the Patriots game and in between Red Sox innings the Parker Hill crew went into Gamer mode. Not since freshmen year with Johnny Applesauce have I been so terrified in my life. I mean these kids go all out they have the headsets and everything. I enjoy it don't get me wrong, I just have to get used to the controllers. I don't care how awesome the graphics are nothing will ever beat Goldeneye for N64. Maybe next time I"m home I'll dig that out and bring it to school with me.

Steve called me fat yesterday so I have to go eat lunch and then go to the gym, or watch a movie or something. Music update will be coming sometime this week. Also I get the news about the marathon this week so keep your fingers crossed.

PEACES

*Edits also courtesy of Steven

Sunday, September 30, 2007

one more time....

"If I have to watch a rerun of The Today Show one more time, I will stab you."
-Mikey

Bruce, Melissa, KappaSig, Marathons and more

Do you think it means something when you have no problem waking up at 7am to mentally prepare yourself to watch Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform live on The Today Show, but struggle when you have to get up for a class at 1:35pm? Hansen repeatedly tells me that there is something wrong with me. And not Chris Hansen from To Catch A Predator, my roommate. I don't think there is anything wrong necessarily, I just have a completely natural, healthy obsession with a 58 year old man from Jersey. And in the effort of full disclosure I also have this strange fascination with a 46 year old lesbian. The roommates asked who had DVR'd Regis and Kelly and I had to admit it was me, because ME had performed. What? They just speak to me okay!

In non music news, Kappa Sigma just wrapped up another strong rush week. It's weird to think that this was my last Fall rush as an undergraduate, weird and yet somehow liberating. Last night Kappa Sigma sponsored our 5th Annual Comedy Night with Colin Quinn and Stephen Lynch, who both had me laughing my ass off. Check them out if you haven't seen them.

I applied to run the Marathon for the Children's Hospital and will know the end of this week if I get a number. Been running pretty consistently, but this week got me a little messed up because of rush and some projects I had going on. Back on track tomorrow.

Start working at CPK again sometime this week. Free food is always good, and a paycheck again.

I guess I don't really have more right now, but I'm going to try and update more this week than I have been.

Thanks for the music.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I'm Back in Boston

Well its September 11th and I'm back in Boston and senior year is well underway. This morning I finally completed my schedule for the semester. Shouldn't be too challenging, and hopefully I will be able to bring my GPA back up to where it belongs after the semester in Sydney.

It's great to be back in Boston. I jumped right back into campus life, teaching a leadership class and already travelling for Kappa Sigma. This past weekend we went up to Burlington, VT to install the guys of Alpha Lambda. It all brought back memories of my own pledging and initiation. Getting geared up for rush and am currently working on planning a charity fundraiser for sometime in March so keep an eye out for that.

I'm in the works for getting a radio show for the semester. It's always something I wanted to do for a while, but I never really had the time. Not that I really have a whole lot of extra time, but I'm pumped to put a show together.

Right now I'm at work jamming to the new Kanye album which Becca bought this AM. So far so good just got to Stronger. I want to check out 50's album too maybe tonight after I get home.

How about those VMA's? They were a little disjointed for my liking, personal I would prefer full length performances. What was up with Adam Levine performing with the house band and not the boys of the band? Wake Up Call is killing it right now and someone else said it and I must agree, "I don't really get the video, but its HOT."

I'm just going to avoid the whole Britney fiasco, because she's been shit on enough over the whole thing. The POP bubble has been burst. Take your money and run.

If you are at Northeastern stop by the Kappa Sigma table across from the food court and support fallen heroes. $2 gets you a wristband. Good Cause, Good People.

Laters.

9/11/01 Always Remember. Never Forget.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Jetlag Sucks

So it's 7am on Tuesday July 3rd and I am wide awake. This probably because I was wide awake from 8am July 1st until 7pm July 2nd before I finally crashed and burned and slept for 12 hours last night. I'm back here now in good ol' Albany, NY. It's definitely a weird feeling. It's like I left yesterday except that yesterday there was 18" of snow and today its 75degrees and sunny.

It's seems all I've been doing since I've been home is eat. It's not even that I'm all that hungry, it's just that I see something that I haven't eaten in 18 weeks and I have to have it. On the drive back from the airport, we stopped at a rest stop on the Pike and even though I had two meals on the first flight and a big burrito in San Francisco's airport I had a bagel with cream cheese and a coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Then we stopped at the deli to get laundry detergent and I had two dill pickles, a bag of Cape Cod Robust Russett Potatoe Chips, and a Diet Stewarts Root Beer. I didn't sleep very well the first night. Ended up staying up until 5:30ish then napping for about 2 hours. I got up and had a Brueggers Bagel with olive pimento cream cheese. Then I went over to my Grandparents and had a bowl of cheerios. Then down to the deli for lunch and I had a nice tossed salad, another dill pickle, another bag of Cape Cod chips, an italian mix sub. You get the idea. I guess you don't even realize you miss so much until you are reminded of it.

It's still chaotic here to the point that it really hasn't hit me yet what exactly I left behind in Australia. I've been so busy with everything here running around already that I haven't really thought about it until now that I can't just walk down the hall and wake up my best friends and be like 'he you want to play some clue'. Sure I could walk next door and wake up my 5 year old cousin and play some memory or something, but it just won't be the same. What was in Australia will forever stay in Australia.

What did I learn in Australia?
I guess the biggest thing that I learned is that you create your situation. Regardless of the surrounding circumstances and the people around you, you are the most influential in making or breaking a situation. I guess mind over matter is true in a ways. Did I love the city of Sydney? Not really. I liked it a lot, but what I did love was the people I was with and the trips we took and the stupid fights we got into that made it all somehow worth it. I was talking to one of my aunts about our infamous 'nuclear saturday' when some of us let our emotions get the better of us and she summed it up perfectly. She said you were at a point that you felt like family and that you could say what you needed to say and you knew that it would be okay. That was the truth for me. I knew that regardless of the outcome of that night everything would be okay. And it was, sometimes I think it was better than okay and that we were stronger because of that night.

I learned that friends are people who know everything about you and like you anyways. Every single one of us has our flaws, but we also have amazing qualities that true friends will value more than our flaws. The most comforting thing about coming home to the states was knowing that I left Australia with some amazingly close friends. When you are forced into a situation where you are half way around the world from your closest friends and family you reach out for people. When I reached out I grabbed some keepers and I'm grateful for that.

I learned that it is more important to be yourself than to be who other people want you to be. There are enough people out there who will appreciate you for who you are, you don't need to be friends with everyone. You especially don't have to pretend to be someone you are not to make other people like you.

I learned that jetlag sucks.

Shawn

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tonight, it hit me...

Well, we know I'm going away
And how I wish, I wish it weren't so
So take this wine and drink with me
Let's delay our misery...

It ain't easy to say goodbye
Darling please don't start to cry
'Cause girl you know I've got to go, oh
And Lord I wish it wasn't so

Save tonight
And fight the break of dawn
Come tomorrow
Tomorrow I'll be gone


Tonight was a long, but much needed night for me. For the past two days I've been fighting a head cold and against my better judgment had a few drinks last night which made it even worse this morning. So I laid in bed all day drinking water, taking Emergen-C, and sleeping. Then I mustered up the energy to go to my last night of poker at the AB Hotel, because I hadn't said goodbye to Colin and Charnae and the other Glebe locals I've come to know. I had a pretty good feeling I wasn't going to do great, because I just didn't even have the energy, but I lasted until the top 15. I am now the only one of our group of regulars to not get first place at all in the poker tournaments at the AB. (I did however get first at Landsdowne and first at Ivory Lounge, so I don't feel too bad about myself) Well before I left Colin gave me a winners chip and told me to just tell the others that I won, and he asked me to come back to Sydney for his birthday on New Years Eve. I said it's a little soon and not so cheap, but I'd see.

Next stop was Friend In Hand Pub. When we first got here Babs and I went to the Fall Out Boy show. We approached some random people who had I Love NY shirts so we had someone to talk to. Well turns out they were actually Australians. Got to talking to them and they gave us some good places to go and hang out and one guy Scott invited us to go to crab racing with him at Friend in Hand. We went for a few weeks, but then got sucked into poker and never really made it back. Doug had never been and we told him you have to do it once, so I met Doug, Stacy, and Jess there after poker and caught the races which brought back a lot of great memories.

Then it was on to Sidebar. Before there was ever poker or crab racing there was Sidebar. More importantly there was Dan and Dave. About a week after we moved in to Unilodge we had a barbecue for all the new residents. The live entertainment was an acoustic duo named Dan and Dave who rocked. They played a bunch of great American covers that reminded me so much of High School proms and what not. They also played a few Aussie songs that we've come to know and love like "Wish You Well". Well after their set on the roof we all went to Sidebar "Where the World mixes". From that day on we spent about 33% of our nights in Sidebar. Specifically the nights that Dan and Dave played. Matt and Brandon got the hook up early on and were sure to share it with all of us so a good night at Sidebar rarely cost anyone more than $10. Then there were a few weeks where we travelled or went to different bars and somehow we and Sidebar grew apart. Then we had the urge. The urge to go back and hear Bob Sinclair or The Killers and we forced ourselves into going. Well one thing led to another there were comments made and beers thrown and Alex got banned for life by 'Little Randy'. But no one else did and since Alex is away...we went to Sidebar without her. (Did I mention she is slightly in love with Dave?)

Somewhere after the first three chords of Save Tonight, it hit me. This was it. This was the last night we were ever going to see Dan and Dave, this was the last night I was going to play poker with Colin, and that was the last time I was going to get squirt with a hose while watching Hermit Crabs race across a table. It was a truly bittersweet moment because here was the finale of a lot of things and some of my closest friends were missing it. On the walk back from Sidebar it was Stacy, Jess and I talked about how we had come full circle. It was the three of us that left Boston together to fly here 18 weeks ago and it was the three of us saying goodbye to all these things we loved in Sydney.

I don't ever want to feel
Like i did that day
Take me to the place i love
Take me all the way
I don't ever want to feel
Like i did that day
Take me to the place i love
Take me all the way (yeah yeah
)

The feelings I've had here in Sydney are feelings that I never want to forget. I never really want to re-live them either. It's a once in a lifetime experience and I wouldn't have changed a thing. The good times were really good and the bad time made me a stronger person (I hope). Sydney is definitely an awesome city. I don't really feel like I was able to take advantage of everything that I wanted to here. But then again 4 months isnt really all that much time to get to know a city. I've spent almost 3 years in Boston and there's a lot I haven't experienced. You get caught up in the little things, and forget sometimes to look outside of the box.

The more I feel like I'm ready to go home the scarier it is to realize that I only have three nights left. I'm reaching to hold on to everything I've experienced and remembered it all. I wish the weather was nicer so I could get a few more pictures of my favorite sites. It's been cold and rainy all week, good for them since its been a drought for decades. One city outside of Sydney recorded the most rain in June in 10 years. If it doesn't though, I have the memories. I'm pretty sure they are well engraved in my brain at this point.

With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you


Dan and Dave end everyone of their sets with "With or Without You" by U2. It seems a fitting way to end one of my final blogs from Australia. To my the crew here in Sydney. You guys have been my best friends for the past 18 weeks and I can't thank you enough for that. From Sidebar to Pontoon to AB Hotel to Wedges at Landsdowne to Bob's Kebabs. From weekends in the bush on Wilson's Prom or at Star City and Crown. From Cluedo to Creeping and Cap'n to Soco we've created some awesome memories and even stronger friendships. Sometimes it's very hard to live with you all non stop;) but 100% of the time I know I could not live without you. When Sunday comes let's just remember it's not going to be "Goodbye", just a "See You Later".

OZ074L

Friday, June 22, 2007

Done

Junior year complete...one more to go...9 days til home :)

Rihanna feat Jay Z "Umbrella"
No clouds in my storms
Let it rain, I hydroplane in the bank
Coming down with the Dow Jones
When the clouds come we gone, we Rocafella
She fly higher than weather
And G5's are better, You know me,
an anticipation, for precipitation. Stacked chips for the rainy day
Jay, Rain Man is back with little Ms. Sunshine
Rihanna where you at?

[Rihanna:]
You have my heart
And we'll never be worlds apart
May be in magazines
But you'll still be my star
Baby cause in the dark
You can't see shiny cars
And that's when you need me there
With you I'll always share
Because

[Chorus:]
When there's sunshine, we'll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh )

These fancy things, will never come in between
You're part of my entity, here for Infinity
When the war has took it's part
When the world has dealt it's cards
If the hand is hard, together we'll mend your heart
Because

[Chorus:]
When there's sunshine, we'll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh )

You can run into my arms
It's okay don't be alarmed
Come into me
There's no distance in between our love
So go on and let the rain pour
I'll be all you need and more
Because

[Chorus:]
When there's sunshine, we'll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh )

It's raining
Ooh baby it's raining
Baby come into me
Come into me
It's raining
Oh baby it's raining

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Double Deuce

There is something about birthdays that gets me all excited. I don't know what it is. I feel like for most people over the age of 5 it's just another day, but our family has always made a big deal out of it and for the past 21 years I was with my family on my birthday. It just worked out because I'm an early summer baby that I was home or could get home on my birthday. So this year was real strange to nt be with anyone. BUT Nap and Alex and I had a fun time anyways. I told them both that if I couldn't be with my family, they were the people I wanted to be with. Nap had an exam in the morning so we didn't get the day started until 4ish and then we had a few drinks before heading over to the CASINO. The weather was crappy so the attempt to do a pub crawl were scratched and we ended up staying at the casino for a few hours. Always a good time in my book. Win or lose.

From there we went to Baja Cantina a Mexican restaurant for a late dinner. I had the chicken chimichanga which was delicious. We ate ourselves silly. I spent much of the rest of the night complaining that I was 'tuft' and getting the weirdest looks from the other two. We just ended up hanging out and playing cards for the rest of the night here. There were actually cyclone warnings and people were asked not to go outside. There is a reason I like being a summer baby. Most birthdays are spent by the pool, where as here I was in jeans and a sweater. Soon enough I'll be home in the heat again.

This past year has kind of been a big blur. For the first time in a while I spent the entire year devoted to me. I moved home for the summer for the first time since I left for college, I moved to NYC for 4 months and worked for MTV, and then I came here to Australia. I've learned alot about myself and I know I am a different person than the person I was a year ago.

The past few months here in Australia have given me a chance to examine alot of things about myself. Things I recognized or things that were pointed out to me. I've already blogged about them a million times it seems, and now I'm ready to make the next step in the process of being a better me. I'm going to make a concious effort to change the things that I now know that I don't like. That's the hardest part because old habits die hard. Sometimes it feels like I take two steps forward and then one back. This next year I want to just be constantly moving forward.

It's only 10 days now until I go home. It's going to be weird to say goodbye to everyone here. I've been putting together a slide show of pictures from the trip and its hard to describe the time I've had here. It will definitely always be a part of me.

Only one final between me and the summer and being a college senior. Wish me luck
Shawn

**Safe trip to Florida Uncle Joe. Can't wait to have a beer or two with you at the wedding**

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Almost 22...

Well this weekend was an absolute bust. Nothing I wanted to happen happened, but oh well. I'm over it. I'm ready to pack up my things and head back to the states, but I have one more final to do before I fly home. It's been a long and crazy trip and I've enjoyed the majority of it. Hopefully this week will be outrageous. I love my birthday and hopefully I'll get everyone here to love it to. Then Saturday is Alex's birthday as well. Exactly two weeks from right now I'll be enjoying my last meal in Sydney...weird thought. So check out Missy Higgins "Steer". She's an Aussie girl and she's awesome. Love this song, just kind fits right now.
SEE you all soon
Shawn

STEER

Feel it falling off like clothing
Taste it rolling on your tongue
See the lights above you glowing
Oh and breathe them deep into your lungs

It was always simple, not hidden hard
You've been pulling at the strings playing puppeteer for kings
And you've had enough

But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know that you control where you go
You can steer

So hold this feeling like a newborn
Of freedom surging through your veins
You have opened up a new door
So bring on the wind, fire and rain

It was always simple, not hidden hard
You've been played at a game called remembering your name
And you stuffed it up

But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know that you control where you go
You can steer

'Cos you've been listening for answers
But the city screams and all your dreams go unheard

But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know that you control where you go
You can steer
Year get out of the box and step into the clear
'Cos now you finally know you can steer

Friday, June 15, 2007

Well I played lots of rummy...

Cairns Australia the resort destination...or not. So this trip has been sub par. Crappy weather was just the beginning of it. Today Nap and I signed up to go Skydiving. Got up early the sun was shining and there was blue skies. Then we get into Cairns to meet the bus and its overcast. By the time we get an hour away to the airport there is a steady mist coming down. They decide to see if it clears up and we chill in their house for about 2 hours before they call it a wash. So we head back into Cairns and grab a bite to eat. Which was also sub par. should have just gone with our first instinct of Subway. So tomorrow I thought I'd just go back to Sydney. Read the signs and get up and leave, but Nap said he'd kick my ass if I came all the way up here and didn't go to the reef. So after checking with the place that does the tour I knew I could do the tour and make it back for my 630 flight. Book the flight. Go to book the reef trip and they are like, you have a flight, you can't scuba then bc you can't scuba and fly within 24 hours of each other. So now I can go to the reef, but I can't scuba, only snorkel. Haven't decided if it'll will be worth it or not. If not I have another day to kill in this hell hole that is Cairns.

Anyways...that's been my weekend to a T. Oh and Nap kicked my ass in Rummy every time.

Can't wait to be home
Shawn

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What happens when you don't make plans...

There is a reason you should plan things out and not just wake up one saturday morning and decide to fly to the other side of a foreign country. Weather is warm, but not sunny. I didn't get a chance to go on a reef trip today for a couple reasons, and not so sure if the weather is going to hold up for Skydiving tomorrow. Maybe this is a sign that I'm done with Australia and its about time to head back to the states. Maybe this will turn out like Melbourne and things will all work out. At least I'm not renting a car and can't get tons of random speeding tickets this trip.

Oh well...Birthday in 5 days then home in 17.

Shawn

Friday, June 8, 2007

World, Hold On

AHHHHHH...
It's going way to fast. I just woke up to realize that it is now June 9th and we have three weeks left here in Australia and I don't want it to end yet. There are two papers and a final between me and Senior Year of college and that is one of the scariest thoughts. A few weeks ago I was wishing my life away and I just wanted to be done with school and graduate, but I've changed my mind. I'm done with schoolWORK, but I could stay in school for another couple years. Or at least stay here in Australia with the crew. It's going to be weird to go back to everything after having been here for so long. They warned us about culture shock, getting to a different country and having to adjust to the things they do differently than us. They also warned us about reverse culture shock, which I thought was kind of pointless, but now I see it. I have to go back. I have to jump back into everything that I have left and put on the back burner for the past four months and expect to just fit right back in. It's going to be weird, strange, bizarre, and probably challenging. That's why I just want to stay here and just do my thing here, but I get to see everyone again which will be awesome.

This past week or so has been nice. Classes ended without much fanfare. We bought Monopoly and played that for a few days before we got sick of it. I enjoy Monopoly, but it's just one of those games that you can get bored with easily. We then got Clue though (Cluedo here) and that has been entertaining to say the least. I have been woken up at 8:45 on multiple occasions to a knock on my door, "Colonel and Scarlet want to play Clue and no one else is awake." We then proceed to play for hours on end. This is no ordinary Clue either. The scenarios we create may as well be rewrites of the scripts for the movie. There are all kinds of relationships between characters and exactly how Mr Green kills Mr Body with the rope is discussed in great detail every time.

Matt's parents are in got in to town at the beginning of the week. I went to lunch with them on Tuesday. I had a pumpkin, sundried tomato burger type thing that was suprisingly delicious. They love pumpkin over here, pumpkin sandwiches, soups, and desserts. Matt and his parents left yesterday to travel a bit up the east coast. I just book my flight to head up to Cairns on Wednesday after I finish my final. Everyone went on Spring Break and I felt left out so I'm going now. It's a lot warmer up there and I'm going to go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. I felt it was one of those Australia experiences I needed to do. Matt and his parents will be up there the same time as me so hopefully I'll be able to meet up with him for a couple days and maybe do something crazy...(MOM STOP READING)...like go skydiving. We'll just have to wait and see.

Today's Jason's birthday. Happy Birthday Jas we'll go out for drinks when I get back. My birthday is 10 days away and I can't wait. Jess and Barbara will be in New Zealand (I'm still mad about that girls), but the rest of us are going to go to lunch in the Sydney tower I think, (think Seattle Space Needle) then do a pub crawl from downtown back home hitting our favorite pubs of the trip and maybe find a few new ones.

Well I have to get started on my paper and studying so I don't have to bring work to Cairns. Love and miss you all. 21 Days

SHAWN

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Final Countdown

So here it is June 2. It is unbelievable how quickly the past four months have flown by. Everyone tells you high school flies by, college flies by, and you don’t believe then they do. You’re so caught up in everything that is going on, you don’t see as time slips away. As most of you can tell it’s been an amazing four months so far. I don’t want it to end yet, I want to just pick up everything I have here and transplant it back home and keep going like nothing changed. Except things do change and the people change and the location changes everything. There is something about being on the other side of the world where you kind of put all your worries behind you and you leave a lot of your inhibitions at the door. Things you would never think about doing back home with people you know seem like obvious choices. I’ve made some great choices while I was here and I’m happy about that.

Last night we just hung out in my room. All of us here, just hanging out enjoying a few drinks and playing games. For once I felt like home. I felt genuinely comfortable and if I didn’t know any better I could have been chilling in Gram and Pa’s garage on a nice summer night (which I’m very much looking forward to). I guess that’s what made it a bittersweet night. I realized just how fast things are going to go this next month. Matt’s parents get here on Monday for two weeks. A week from today Barbara and Jess are going to New Zealand for 10 days. Alex and I are trying to plan something while everyone is gone. Maybe just another road trip or something. Then we are all trying to do something after my birthday when everyone is done with finals. We originally had talked about going to Thailand, but it’s the middle of their monsoon season and flights right now are over $1200. Fiji is a little more reasonable around $700 for the flight, but now we are talking about just driving up the Eastern Coast of Australia for a week and stop at beaches and parks along the way. I think this would be the most fun and hopefully will spend the next day or two crunching numbers and working out all the details so we can get something planned.

Can’t wait to see everyone really soon.
Shawn

PS Liz if you are reading this get better soon, miss you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Robin

Life is funny sometimes. I woke up this morning and realized that I LOVE to be the center attention. Now I always knew that I LIKED to be the center of attention, but never realized how much I love it. And I hate this about myself now. Not because it is necessarily always a bad quality. I like to be in charge and I guess control the situation which is natural. There are leaders and followers and I am definitely a leader, but I hate it because it is a quality that I hate in other people. I'm the first person to dislike someone who is an attention hog. Now I think I realize that its because they are taking the attention away from me. I'm working on this though. It isn't going to happen over night, but I will be okay playing second fiddle. I don't always have to be Batman (although I want to be), but I can be Robin every once and a while. Doesn't Robin end up with Catwoman or something?

I also never realized how paranoid I am. I have become that person who blows everything way out of proportion and think that everything is so much more dramatic than it really is. I guess you get screwed over once and you never really forget, but then again I never really knew what happened back then either so I probably am blowing that out of proportion too.

Either way this trip to Australia has continued to surprise me. I didn't know there was this much stuff about me that I didn't see before now. I am truly grateful for this opportunity and even though I'm ready to go home, I do get very sad thinking about the end. The saving grace is that the friendships will continue, no doubt.

Robin (hey at least I'm not the butler)
" We can't all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by." - Will Rogers

Friday, May 25, 2007

City of God - Lost in the Flood

Eighth Avenue sailors in satin shirts whisper in the air
Some storefront incarnation of Maria, she's puttin' on me the stare
and Bronx's best apostle stands with his hand on his own hardware
Everything stops, you hear five, quick shots, the cops come up for air
And now the whiz-bang gang from uptown, they're shootin' up the street
And that cat from the Bronx starts lettin' loose
but he gets blown right off his feet
And some kid comes blastin' round the corner but a cop puts him right away
He lays on the street holding his leg screaming something in Spanish
Still breathing when I walked away
And somebody said "Hey man did you see that? His body hit the street with such a beautiful thud"
I wonder what the dude was sayin' or was he just lost in the flood?
Hey man, did you see that, those poor cats are sure messed up
I wonder what they were gettin' into, or were they just lost in the flood?

The entire the time I was watching the movie City of God it made me think of this verse from Springsteen's Lost in the Flood. Great movie great song...check them both out soon

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Zen

So after my 50th post everything that was kind of up in the air and out of whack, fell into place. I ended going alone to poker Wednesday night which is exactly what I needed. It's kind of like running, you put everything else out of your head and just run, or in this situation play poker. I ended finishing 2nd on the night with $75 and sprinted back to make sure I was back in time to go out with the gang. I was back with plenty of time and we went out to a place called Establishment downtown. It was a really nice bar, but a little too fancy for my liking. Anytime I have to put on khakis for anything, usually makes me a little uncomfortable. But it was fine. Barbara's sister Diana has been travelling around Australia/Fiji/New Zealand the past few weeks and is now actually going to Bali then Shanghai before heading back to the states so this was sort of a goodbye night out for her. On a sidenote, yesterday Diana got all the way to the airport to check in for her flight and realized that her flight was today. So we all had a great time at Establishment. A lot of things that were on peoples minds (mostly mine I feel like, but whatever) were discussed and put out there and surprisingly it all worked out. At least in my eyes. Now I hope we'll be able to live it up these last few weeks without any of the crap. There shouldn't be anything holding us back now.

Speaking of holding nothing back, on the walk home from Establishment, (I made us walk because I really wanted KFC and the only open KFC was on the walk home. Turns out KFC is closed on Wednesday nights and its only open 24hrs on the weekends)we settled for McDonalds. Apparently Alex tripped and fell on her way up the stairs. Barbara and I didn't notice because we were running to place our orders. When I woke up the next morning we all felt so gross and couldn't remember why. Then we realized it may have been the Big Mac, Large Frie, and 20 piece chicken nugget that we ate in the middle of the night. I guess we all just needed food and a McDonalds was the closest thing to home cooking we were going to get at that time.

Yesterday was a blah day. It was nice and sunny, but cool again. We went and played poker and we were all tired out from the night before so we just came back and watched movies. We watched City of God, which is probably one of the best movies I've seen in a really long time. Really well made cool cuts and cinematography and the story line is insane. It's based on a true story which makes it even more interesting. We started Remember the Titans again but I passed out somewhere before the run to Gettysburg. Earlier in the day the girls talked us into watching The Holiday, which I thought was awful. Don't get me wrong, there are enough women in our family that I've seen my fair share of chick flicks, but this was just horrendous. The plot moved painfully slowly and there was only one or two points in the movie where I even felt slightly invested in the lives of the characters. At least when Spiderman 3 was bad it was unintentionally funny.

Today the plan was to go to the beach, but it's already 11am and no one else is awake yet. I'm going to go make the rounds and wake everyone up. Talk to you soon.

Shawn

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Where I'm at (post 50)

So this is the 50th post of my blog. Too bad I don't have any crazy or exciting stories to mark the occassion. Actually the past weekend has been kind of blah all around. Last week it seemed that I was having an awesome time. Things were just kind of going along smoothly and I was pumped to cruise through the last few weeks here. Now it seems like I just have a lot on my plate and a head full of thoughts and instead of cruising I'm going to have to bust my ass the last few weeks. I just got my first two papers back and let's just say that I did less than desirable. Since there are less assignments here it's worth a whole lot more. So now I have to put my nose to the grindstone to really finish out strong.

The other thing is hearing that everyone else is graduating back home. All of my friends from home and some close friends from Northeastern. Just weird to think about having a whole year when I get back. I'm ready to be in the real world somedays, then the next day I appreciate having another year to enjoy college. The weather is definitely cooling down here now though. Sun's always shining, but its been in the 60s and to hear that its warming up back home, just makes me miss the summer. I also heard a rumor from a little bird that the pool might be opening this weekend. As long as the waters warm when I get home I don't care when you open it.

I guess I'm just ready to be near people I know again. Don't get me wrong, some great people and friends here, but it gets to be a lot when you see the same people 24/7. At least home I can hang out with different people for short amounts of time and then go back to the group, or just stay home with the fam for a night. Here it's like you go out with the group or you don't. I like the alone time, but at the same time I spend a lot of time wondering what they are doing without me. It's quite the catch-22.

Overall I'm still really happy with the experience. If I could have come home for a week every couple months I probably would stay forever, but I won't, don't worry.

Love and miss you guys and counting the days (38days)
Shawn

Monday, May 21, 2007

Success

So some asshole knocked me out of poker after like 5 hands (JK). But its fine because I went downstairs and played trivia. I came in 4/5 but won a tray full of raw meat. Probably weirdest thing that ever happened to me and I'll send a pic when I take it. Anyways the sausage was delicious so far.

Later

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Backstreets

“Trying to learn to walk like heroes we thought we had to be
And after all this time to find we’re just like all the rest
Stranded in the park and forced to confess
To hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
We swore forever friends on the backstreets until the end.”
-BS

The past week there have been a lot of discussions and talking and venting session here in Sydney. It’s been kind of overwhelming to deal with it all, but we all have a lot of things going on that it seemed just needed to get off our chests. One day I was sitting talking to one of the girls for about 5 hours and didn’t even realize it.

What I’ve taken from all of it and some personal reflection is that you can’t take life too seriously or you’ll drive yourself mad. There are times when you need to sit and reflect about the serious issues, but if you do that too much it will also make you crazy. It’s all about a balance. The most important thing is to be realistic about things.

I feel like there is more, but right now I can’t think. Enough reflecting for now.

In other news, classes are going well. Only three weeks of them left. I should be getting my first two papers back this week. I have one more due this week and a presentation due next week then nothing but finals June 12 and 22. Looking forward to my birthday in less than a month. I love my birthday. Even though this birthday isn’t of any significance, it is always fun to celebrate with friends (and family when I get back). Yeah, that’s all I have for now.

Laters
SW

Saturday, May 19, 2007

You




I know there is a typo it should be our not are near the bottom...maybe i'll fix it later...now its time for poker
SW

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thoughts

It’s been a really long time since I’ve had this feeling
This indescribable ball in my gut
It feels so good and yet it hurts so bad
I wish that I didn’t have it now
But I’m glad to know I can still have it
A day late and a dollar short is
The story of my life some days
I guess I’m just hungry for it

This isn't the first time
and it won't be the last
But this time I didn't see it coming
I guess you never do
that's the fun of it
hindsight = 20/20

Thought I'd try something different with this post. Woke up this morning with some things on my mind that I needed to post so I just kind of wrote it down without any form or anything. Don't know if you'll get more of this but we'll see. It's a beautiful day so I'm going to head out to the park for a while before heading over to our poker game. Hope everyone had a great week and in case you forgot only 31 days til my birthday :) and 42 til I'm back in the states.

Me

"How much longer will it take to cure this
just to cure it cause I can't ignore it if it's love (love)
makes me wanna turn around and face me but I don't know nothing 'bout love"
-CC

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Real World: Sydney

Many of you who read this know that I have always had a not so secret desire to be on the Real World at some point in my life. Something about living with 6 strangers in a foreign city seemed exciting and intriguing and something I wanted to be a part of. I actually went as far as to go to an open casting call a few years back in Boston to no avail. Then I ended meeting someone who filmed the casting tape for her college friend Ruthie (RW Hawaii). I was joking with her about how I was going to apply and stuff and she said to me flat out don’t. She said you get sucked into a cycle of reality shows and appearances and never go back to living your life. So against my own personal judgment I didn’t apply for the upcoming final season of the Real World.

But what I did do was come here to Australia on study abroad. It just happened that the same time I’m here they are filming the 19th and second to last season here in Sydney. We’ve run into them a few times and seen them out and about, but I’ve come to realize something. I’m here in Australia living with at least 6 strangers, and it is very much real. If not more so than the ‘Real World’. Last night during a late night conversation with one of the girls here I said half the stuff probably wouldn’t make it on air because of how real it is. (Not graphic, just intense conversations)

I’ve talked before about how I feel at times that I’m back in high school and/or freshmen year of college. I was frustrated at the time with having to explain myself to other people or defend my actions to people who I barely knew. But now I see that high school and freshmen year of college were probably some of the most formative years of my life. The same is true for these past few months. By explaining myself to others I’ve really begun to understand who I am. These ‘strangers’ (honestly who’s stranger than me ) have helped me to see sides of me that I may not have seen before. When you are around people who have known you your whole life there are parts of you they don’t see. It takes removing yourself from the context to truly dive into who YOU really are.

Everyone one of us is a character in our own way. First, there is the quiet, removed one who doesn’t really open up to the entire group. She is very proud of who she is and stands up for what she believes in. She can be very sensitive about things and is very close to people back home. Sometimes her beliefs get mixed with emotion and can come off as arrogant and she ends up stepping on toes. Next one is the crazy carefree one. She is loud, outgoing, knows how to have a good time, and has few worries besides what her drink of choice for the evening is going to be. She lives in the moment but also has a plan about where she wants to be in 10 years and how to get there. Her best advice is do what you got to do and don’t regret the decisions you have to make. They make you who you are. Then there is the girl who needs to open up but can’t. She’s experienced things that many of us have never experienced and is very much invested in things that are going on back at home. She is physically here, but her head and heart are still home. She is a strong independent woman, and puts everyone else first, which I think is tearing her up inside. She struggles with being who she is without feeling like she has abandoned her family. Up next is your typical hot shot. The guy who thinks his shit don’t stink and that the world rolls out a red carpet at his feet. Every girl he meets ‘is checking me out hardcore’. He’s one of those guys who thinks that he is everyone’s best friend the minute he meets them, but probably isn’t. Then there is the kid who wants to be the cool guy. He follows him around and picks up on his mannerisms and sayings. If they aren’t together the poser is calling cool guy to figure out what he is doing. Worst of all he’s got beer muscles. After a few drinks this kid could take out the world heavy weight champion with one punch. Then there’s a girl who comes from east no where and isn’t really comfortable with herself. She tries too hard to fit in and somehow just doesn’t. She thinks that if she throws herself at guys they will like her and perhaps it fulfills some hole inside she has, but it usually turns more people off than anything. Her heart is in the right place, but she just needs to be herself. Last but not least, there is the guy who everyone gets along with and likes hanging out with. He’s a happy go lucky guy who has passions and goals and is comfortable in his own skin. He’s confident, but not cocky and knows how to have a good time any night of the week. Oh and he is the world pinball champion.

And then there’s me. In the past couple weeks something has happened that I’ve really become comfortable with myself, I’ve started to get ‘it’. I consider myself a very go with the flow person. I try not to sweat the petty things (or pet the sweaty things) and let things roll of my back. But sometimes you realize that you can’t take life too lightly. There are things that need to be taken seriously and if you leave your life completely to the roll of a dice or the deal of the cards, you’re never guaranteed to get what you want. You have to make decisions, even if there hard. You need to take risks, even if there is a possibility of failure. You need to be willing to make mistakes and possible hurt yourself, but know that you grow and become a stronger person by making those mistakes and correcting them, not repeating them. You have to be in control of your own destiny and your own happiness and not rely on others too much. It’s very important to have a strong support system for those times you do fall of the horse and need some help getting back up, but if you rely too heavily on them, you’re going to fall on your face when the first time you are alone.

Well then what is my character? I guess I’d be the guy who always makes jokes. Whether it’s to break the ice or cut the tension, I’m always making an inappropriate comment, doing a Julia Child impression or slipping into a Southern accent to make people laugh. I’d be the guy who people talk to when they have a problem, and the one to take care of people when they have had too much to drink. I guess I’d be the dad. In my sociology class, we were asked the question who are you? When someone asks you who are you, what do you say? My first answer was Shawn Wolfgang, but sociologically thinking we were talking about ethnicity, nationality, and other identity markers. I said I was American and American for the first two. In reality, ethnically, I guess you could say I’m a mutt. A little Irish, a little German, some French Canadian, some Polish, and a whole lot more I’m sure. But I don’t really associate closely with any of those. Of course I’m 100% Irish on St Patty’s Day or 100% German at Oktoberfest, but I don’t speak the languages, I don’t have any cultural customs that I recognize on a regular basis, and so I consider myself 100% American.

They say you don’t really appreciate things until you lose them. I didn’t really ‘lose’ America, but I miss a lot of the things that are associated with America. I find in defending myself to Australians really figuring out what it means to be American. America means good food; burgers, pizza, and bagels. America means great holidays; Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day. America means freedom. Even though I may not agree with the decisions of our president or some of the moral majority beliefs, I am free to disagree with them and they are free to have their opinions and beliefs. Here in Australia you get a fine if you do not go and vote on Election Day. Students I spoke with say they go and check off whatever or write in friends or Mickey Mouse just to avoid the fine. Although voting rates are nothing to brag about, in America, we have the right to go and decide the people who we trust to run our country. We also have the right, the freedom, to choose not to vote. America is home, and no matter how far away I travel around the world, I will always come home to America, because nothing beats it in the world. There are a lot of things that could be better, but every country (like everybody) has their own issues.

So besides being American I am:
A son
An older brother
A leader
A friend
A music fan
An inspirer
A thinker
Honest (sometimes brutally)
Realistic
Funny
A team player
Hopeful
Selfish
Confident (most of the time)
And I guess above all else, I am who I want to be.

There is only about 6 weeks left here in Australia and I’m going to live it up. I doubt I will ever get another experience like this again. I came into this looking to have a good time and have gotten so much more out of it. The group dynamic has made huge impact on my reflections while I’m here. I have made some great friends who no doubt will continue to be a part of my life for years to come. I’ve met some people who have helped me to re-evaluate my beliefs and my goals and although they may not be a part of my life in the future, they should know that they have helped to guide me on this path called life. I believe that life is a series of questions. You ask the questions to get ‘the answer’. Sometimes you get partial answers and sometimes you get more questions, but if we don’t ask the questions, then there is no possibility of the answer. So ask the tough questions and you will get the answers you are looking for. At least we can hope so.

ME

"La La La La Life is wonderful" - Jason Mraz

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Well Happy Belated Mother's Day to all you mothers out there. Hope you all enjoyed your day and it was sunny and relaxing :)

My mother's day was CRAZY. But CRAZY in a good way. It was a beautiful day here so Alex, Barbara, Matt, and I all went to the park and tossed a frisbee for a little while before heading over to the poker game. The week has been a good one for everyone all around with at least one of the four of us in the top 5. Matt got 1st and 2nd Barbara first and Alex made final table at least once. I was due to do well and I did. I was getting all the cards I needed and made it to the final table as the small stack. First two hands I doubled up though and was in a good position. They do a door prize right before the final table and I won $50 from the door prize so already I was happy with my night. When I made it to top 3 I went all in on Q 10 and lost. But I still walked away from the night with $75. We grabbed some food on the walk home and decided to watch some movies. So we watched The Rules of Attraction and everyone seemed to enjoy it. It was about 2am and no one had early classes on Monday or was tired so we put in Reality Bites. Matt and I were the only two to make it through the majority of the movie. I thought it was really good. It's funny how different things are now from 10 years ago in the mid-nineties. Overall it was a good story.


Now I guess you would say, Shawn that isn't that CRAZY of a night, but that is just the beginning. Now its 4:30am and Barbara has taken a nice nap during the movie, I snoozed for a 20min power nap and Matt was wide awake as well. We were out of movies but we thought, Why not walk down to Sydney Harbour and watch the sunrise? So we all went back to our rooms grabbed some pants and hoodies and headed out. We decided to grab a bus there and get breakfast at Pancakes on the Rocks(24hr restaurant similar, but better than iHop). We had about an hour and a half before the sun came up and we were all hungry. We sat down and all picked out our breakfasts, then Barbara suggested we split nachos because they looked so good the last time. Nachos and Eggs didn't seem to go together too well, but we thought what the heck. When our waiter came over he was very friendly. You could tell he worked the overnight shift and that we may in fact be the only people he had talked to all night long. We asked him how the nachos were and he said they were good, but the best ones he had ever had were at some place called "taco bell" that they used to have in Sydney about 3 years ago. We didn't have the heart to tell him that you shouldn't say you're nachos are not quite as good as taco bell, and we actually ordered them anyways. Matt and I ordered and it was Barbara's turn. She ordered her meal and asked for toast, which our friendly waiter replied "We actually don't have toast" (which was fine, but this comment was followed up with a 5 min conversation about a Spanish gentleman who came in and asked for bread as well and yelled at him for not serving bread in a restaurant and then ended up ordering their herb pizza crust appetizer) So Barbara looked over the menu again and said okay "I'll get the Margherita pizza crusts". Stupidly the waiter asked if she was replacing her meal. Barbara said "NO, I want both." When everything came out we looked like pigs. The crusts barbara ordered was in fact a small pizza, we each had our meals, and we had a big plate of nachos. The worst part is that about 10 minutes later there was nothing left. The nachos weren't better than Taco Bell and the pizza was one step down from frozen pizza from the supermarket, but the breakfast food was all delicious. We paid the bill and rushed out to under the bridge to see the sun come up. When we go to the Bridge the harbour was so foggy that we couldn't see the bridge or across the way to the Sydney Opera House. One guy jogging by saw us taking pictures and say "This is really rare, doesn't happen often". That was our luck, the one day we decide to go see the sun come up, is the one day that a freakish fog covers the city.


After our meal for a small army we decided it was best to WALK back the half hour to campus. There were lots of morning joggers and powerwalkers out for their apparent morning routines. As one couple walked past I made a comment saying "Man I'm glad we had the energy to get up and power walk." I was not trying to make fun of the couple who seemed to be enjoying themselves, I was commenting on how lazy we were, but it was still met with a middle finger from the lady walking and a dirty look from her husband. O well.


We made it home around 8am and watched two episodes of Friends before passing out. It was just a very fulfulling night of absolute nothing that could have been a Seinfeld episode. Felt like something you would do in 8th grade to defy your parents. "did you hear what Shawn did last night? He stayed up ALL night and his parents don't even know."


Have a great week.

PS. A small note on how awesome technology is. Over the weekend I received a myspace message from my cousin Chris who is currently deployed in the Middle East. Crazy to think about life without internet/cell phones/email etc.

Friday, May 11, 2007

You know you're from Albany, NY when...

You've ever been to Larkfest or the Tulip Festival.

You refer to the interchange of the Thruway and the Northway as "The 24 Tolls".

You still call the Pepsi Arena "The Knick".

You can correctly pronounce the words Kosciuszko, Cohoes, Coeymans, and Kayaderosseras.
(For more challenging names, see my Albany pronunciation site.)

You know what The Egg is.

You know what and where Nipper is.

You expect to see nothing but grey between the months of November and May.

You remember when Crossgates was only half as big as it is now. Bonus points if you know what store was there before Best Buy. -Caldor

You've ever rooted for the River Rats.

You grew up on Channels 6, 10, and 13.

The word "dredge" immediately conjures up thoughts of GE.

Spring means potholes.

You never expect them to pass the budget on time.

You are only mildly irritated by double-parked cars.

You know the 3 closest Stewart's shops to your house.

You've ever eaten something from Freihoffer's or Breugers.

You know where the governor's house is.

You've never called I-87 anything other than "The Northway".

Okay, maybe you've called it "The Thruway", too. Depends which side of Albany you're from.

You know when there's going to be traffic on the Twin Bridges.

You know that there are two different Route 7s off the Northway. Bonus if you know there used to only be one.

Hippo's has it.
You know what's at "1960 Central Ave., 3 miles west of Northway exit 2W".
"People 'auto' shop here."
"Hurt in an auto accident? You know who to call..."

You know what SPAC stands for.

Siena moving up to Division 1 was a big deal.

You go to or know someone who goes to UAlbany.

You know what SUNY means.

You know what a Karner Blue is.

You know what a pine barren is and where you can find one.

You know who the Albany Attack were.

You know somewhere in the Hudson that's clean.

Poughkeepsie is "downstate".

Arbor Hill and Hamilton Hill are as bad as Camden to you.

You know which lake people are talking about when they say "the lake".

Track season is the biggest time of year.

You remember the Cinema 10 in Northway Mall.

You've ever gone up in the Corning Tower.

You know where Buildings 1, 2, 3, and 4 are.

The name Arbor Hill doesn't bring anything plant-related to mind.

You've ever taken the Crosstown.

You know where the Stockade is.

You know which city is the Collar City and which is the Electric City.

Sunday, 5:00 PM, Exit 24 Tolls: I thought everyone had E-ZPass by now...

You've spent the equivalent of the GDP of Nicaragua trying to win a stuffed animal at the Great Escape.

You think Saratoga is classy.

You know Colonie Center is the mall to be seen trying to not be seen.

You or someone you know has grandparents in Amsterdam.

Your parents have asked you to consider SUNY Plattsburgh.

Your goal was to be the Gazette's Student Athlete of the Week.

If you're from Schenectady then Troy might as well be Mars to you and vice versa.

Milk = Stewart's, Cookies = Freihofer's. End of story.

You can't give directions to Albany Med to save your life.

It doesn't bother you that the Northway has no Exit 3.

It also doesn't bother you that Central Ave. is State Street at the other end.

January Regents Week holds a special place in your heart.

You know that somehow Sand Creek Road is the shortcut to everywhere.

You know the school colors of every school in your division.

If there's a chance of a snow day then every radio in your house is tuned to WGY.

You've argued with your parents to take the car out in the middle of a blizzard.

You refer to the place where I-87 crosses the Mohawk River as "The Twins".

You remember Ranger Danger (say, isn't he on Pyx 106 now?)

You can name 5 schools in the Suburban Council.

You have an ingrained taste for concrete architecture.

You know "The Track" is The August Place To Be.

You know it's "Awl -buh-nee", not "Al -buh-nee" or, even worse, "All-ben-nee".

You can think of at least 4 different ways to get to Stuyvesant Plaza from the same starting point.

You know what "Harvard on the Hudson" is.

You remember when Hannaford was still Shop 'n' Save.

You consider walking to the Plaza on the 4th of July because you know it'll be about the same time to drive there and find a spot to park.

You know that Mason & Sheehan isn't a cheap Champagne.

You know what a guy Ken Goewey is.

You know that AirTite Windows knocked Resnick's sign down (but then put it back up).

You know who Nina (of Manchester) and her husband are, and how they sell diamonds for less than 33%.

Everybody likes Jack Byrne.

You thought Hoffman's Playland was the bomb as a child.

You know that "The Berkshire Spur" isn't a foot ailment.

You know that "My dad Terry Morris is still number one!"

You’ve eaten at Bomber’s one too many times.

You’re bummed that the Firebirds left.

You know that you do nothing but eat and drink at the Pump Station.

You remember when Westgate Plaza used to be THE place to shop.

You know the Times Union is your source.

If there's even a chance of snow Ichabod Crane will be closed.

You refer to Albany as "the 518".

You know what "I Love" is.

You know at least three people whose last names start with "Van".

You have your choice of cities on First Night.

You know who Neil Golub is.

You know what used to be where Cohoes is at Crossgates -The Wiz

When someone meantions river rats you think hockey.

Thursday during the summer means Alive at Five and seeing everyone you know from High School.

You feel special because the Giants train in your city.

You love Madison Pizza and somehow always found yourself crammed in there with 40 other people.

You've heard of, or better yet been to, Indian Ladder Orchards.

Your parents or your friends parents work for the state...


Just showing some love to the 518.
Til Later

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Some of my friends...


So on rainy days like yesterday, there is a group of us that sits around and watches old episodes of 'Friends' and its kind of scary how the six of us actually fit into the characters. So I had a little more fun with my photoshopping skills and here is a 'picture' of the six of us. Thought you guys might get a kick out of it.

Later

I want MY poker back

So most of you already know that I have been playing a lot of poker over here. The stakes are good, the buy-in is $0, and its a great time. I've met a lot of local Australian and I have a blast doing it. Well it started out as a one night deal. Then I found a couple other places to play and we would play Monday nights as a group then the other night I would play by myself. Well things went well I was consistently coming in top 6 or so which didn't pay out, but it was getting there. Then Matt started coming and playing. Fine it was nice to have someone to go with. BUT, whenever he comes he does really well, and I don't do so well. He had to stay in one night I went back to play and AGAIN I came in 4th. Now I'm not saying he is my bad luck charm or that I am his good luck charm, I'm just saying it is quite the coincidence that it has worked out as it has. Then Barbara and the girls come and Barbara takes first place for $150. I'm having a great time with these guys, but COME ON...THIS WAS MY THING...

Just thought I would vent to you guys, because I know you guys understand. I remember when I started the countdown to come Down Under and now the countdown has begun til I'm home again...Soon enough

Til Later...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

New playlist




Enjoy it

Friday, May 4, 2007

Fun with Photoshop

Hey everyone,

After the REALLY long post about last weekend this one will be short and sweet. I've been playing around with some of the photos from last weekend and some from the beginning of the trip and I posted them HERE. I played with some color and some different filters and I think they all came out pretty cool.

I'll be updating the song list sometime this weekend.

Til later

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Pictures (see recap below)


This view was worth every minute of the drive and my entire trip to Australia.

Absolutely breathtaking

I took this picture I swear it isn't fake. This is from Whiskey Beach.

Here is a picture from the sunset on night two at Whiskey Bay. That's Colin over to the left.
When the clouds cleared we could see right down into this little lagoon. The color doesn't do it justice.
Matt, Steve, Colin, and I at the bar on Phillip's Island.
The parrot that sat on my shoulder after I refused to feed him.
The beach at Red Rocks on Phillip Island.
The first sunset of the weekend. This was as good as it got for that night.
Matt and Linda waltzing on the dance floor.
Here is a shot of the SeaGull after it ate the Colin's apple core.

Kangaroo's hanging out in Wilson's Prom.
This is the view from on top of the mountain we climbed.
Another view of the mountian from where we were on the top of the mountain.

Where to Begin...My trip to Melbourne

So Wednesday afternoon my buddy Matt is deciding whether or not he wants to fly down to Melbourne to go visit his friend from home who is studying there for the weekend. He had asked me if I wanted to go a week or so before and last minute I had the money and said what the hell if you're going I'll tag along for the weekend. So around 11am we purchased our tickets for a 7 oclock flight. Pack our bags book the shuttle bus and get on our way. We get to the airport about an hour early and kill some time with a few rounds of golf (new card game we learned). We get on the plane for the hour plane ride and touch down in Melbourne, or at least what we thought was Melbourne. The airport may have been smaller than CBA's cafeteria and with Melbourne being the second largest city in Australia, behind Sydney, this seemed a bit odd. But we were rolling with the punches asked someone and found out there are two Melbourne Airports, the one we chose happened to be the one that is about an hour away by bus. So we buy our bus tickets and make our way into the city. From there we have to get on a train to Monash University where Colin goes to school. Of course our bus got us in about 5 minutes after the train leaves and we have to wait another half hour to catch the train out of town. No all this time keep in mind that Colin doesn't have a cell phone so we are completely winging it based on the directions he gave us and waiting for us to call. The school is another 15 minute bus ride from the train station and we think the busses will still be running at that time. So we grab some sodas and a bag of chips and get on the train. After being threatened with a $165 ticket for having my feet on the seat we made it in one piece to the train station. We didn't know which bus to catch and the girls we asked just happened to be going to Monash and offered to give us a lift to the campus. Making small talk in the car we realize that the girls actually know Colin and they take us right to his room, which of course he isn't in. It only took us about 15 minutes to find him and we decided to walk over to the bar to grab a few drinks after our adventure. The difference between University of Sydney and Monash University, is that in Sydney when you go out to the bar there are millions to choose from. At Monash when you go out to the bar you go out to THE bar. We get to the bar and Colin is introducing us to some of his friends and the first thing I notice is that one of the girls from the US goes to Northeastern and was my orientee my first summer. It's crazy how small the world really is. But it actually gets better. Another kid I got talking goes to Loyola. I was like that's funny my brother goes to Loyola where did you grow up? He says a small town outside Albany, NY. He goes you probably have never heard of it. He then tells me that he lives in Greenwich. I say I know Greenwich and oddly enough I've been there before. See I know the Talen's who used to live above me when I was growing up. Then the world shrank two sizes and he said his younger brother was dating Claire's sister Mary. Probably one of the weirdest bar experiences I've had on the other side of the world.


That was just night one. The next morning we got up and went to pick up the rental cars. The plan was to drive a few hours south to Phillip Island which has penguins and some really cool beaches adn camp out and then the next day drive a few more hours to Wilson's Promenitory and see some more beaches and do some hiking. Wilson's Prom as they call it is actually the Southernmost tip of the Australian Mainland. So we get in the car and drive Colin, Matt, and I in one car and two other cars full of people. We take our time on the drive down and take some awesome pictures of the scenery and landscapes. I drove the car for a while. It only took about a half hour to get my bearings on the road. Once you get used to driving on the other side of the road it really isn't as odd as you might expect. On several occasions though I turned the windshield wipers on instead of blinkers and we all got a good laugh out of it. We split from the group for a while and drove around to a couple beaches. We went to one called Red Rocks where we tried to catch a sundown, but it was too cloudy, so we met up with the group to set up camp. Now it wasn't very warm, but we had lots of blankets, but the clouds at sunset immediately turned into torrential downpours. Colin and I ended up sleeping in the car and the rest of the group in the 8 man tent. Luckily everyone was dry in the morning when we woke up. From Phillips Island we got up and drove to Wilson's Prom another two hours. The weather was overcast, but bearable. We drove into the prom and it was like nothing I've ever seen before. The mountains looked like something out of Lord of the Rings and the way the mist was on them was breathtaking. We saw some wild Kangaroos and some Wombats as well as some crazy birds. We stopped at the visitors center in the park before hiking the mountain and grabbed something to eat. While I was enjoying my PB and Banana sandwich, the birds kept getting closer. Then this little red parrot flew right up and sat on my shoulder and tried to eat my sandwich with me. We then moved into the car to finish our meal. Colin threw his apple core out of the car when he was done thinking the birds would just peck out it. Nope a seagull came over and attacked the other birds before swallowing it completely whole. We aren't sure but we think we may have actually killed it. It's squawk got noticeably higher and you could clearly see the core logged in its throat. It was still flying around when we left though so we didn't feel too bad. Next stop was the mountain.


The mountain we climbed was about a 3.5km hike. It was kind of rainy and the clouds were covering most of the peak, but we decided to do it anyways. We took about a half hour or more getting up the moutain and had a pretty cool view from the top we could make out a few other mountains inland and a beach below us. We decided to hang out up there for a while and take it all in. About 15 minutes or so later and the wind picked up. Within seconds the cloud had moved past the mountain and we could see 3 or 4 beaches up the coast and a half of dozen islands that were out in the water that we didn't even know were out there. The clouds came and went for a little while longer and we walked around the mountain a few times before heading out. The group wanted to head to the largest waterfall in Victoria, but our car decided to try and catch another sunset at a place called Whiskey Beach. After turning around a few times, we made it just in time. Just when I thought I had seen some awesome things in my life, I was literally breathtaking. The pictures look fake. There were enough clouds to make the colors pop out of the sky but not too many to block the view. I was done, I didn't need to see anything else on this trip and I would have been happy. Now I forgot to mention that two of our friends from Sydney decided right after we left Thursday to buy tickets and come to Melbourne friday morning. They called us and asked where we were we told them we were driving down and camping etc. They siad they'd think about it. Well long story short Matt's phone and mine died so we had no way of getting a hold of them and when we tried to call them from a payphone they didn't have service either. They spend the night in their car driving from campsite to campsite trying to find us. We headed back to Monash because they weather still wasn't great and we decided to crash at Colin's instead of in a campground again.


The third day Colin had work to do so Matt and I decided to head into the city and explore Melbourne. We finally got a hold of the girls and got a stern talking to about how we abandoned them and they weren't ready to meet us quite yet. We told them we try them again later because our phones were still dead. The city of Melbourne is very cool. The day was overcast, but we got to explore the downtown area and the river shores. We ate some decent Thai food and found a place to sleep for the night. The hostel we stayed at was pretty nice. The selling point was that there was free internet and breakfast so we spent the $30 for the night. Immediately after paying they said "Oh by the way, the internet isn't working right now". Figures right. We called the girls and they were still kind of mad. We told them that we were going to take a nap and shower up to go out to a couple bars that we heard were good. This was there second time in Melbourne and they said they might end up meeting some kids they met last time. We told them where we were staying and left it at that. Matt fell asleep and started snoring immediately. About ten minutes later when I finally closed my eyes there was a knock on our door. We were reunited with the girls finally. Bars are pretty expensive so we decided to buy a box of wine and drink a little before we went out. It didn't take us long to realize that we didn't want to go out and instead we made the fateful trek over to the casino. (Know that the girls have been 3 times since they had gotten to Melbourne two nights previous, and you thought I was bad). Well the night turned out pretty well, I lost about $100 playing blackjack for four hours which I didn't think was too bad. Especially since Matt walked away with $500 and treated to the worst pizza we have ever had. Day three complete, one to go.


So day four started out to a slow start. The 10am wake-up call to remind us that we were being kicked out came very early, but not early enough for us to have our free breakfast. We grabbed a bite to eat with the girls before they had to leave to catch there plane before going to grab a car to make our last journey of the weekend to the Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Road runs along the southern coast of Australia and is windy twisty turns along the waters edge and in and out of the mountains and a rain forest. long the way there are all kinds of beaches and cliffs to check out. Our goal was to make it to the 12 Apostle rock structures that have formed over time from the erosion of the water. We looked at the map and figured that we can make with plenty of time and we would go a little past and come back for sundown. Well we were told that it was about 3 hours to 12 Apostles. What they didn't tell us was that its 2 hours to the start of the Great Ocean Road and THEN 3 hours from there to 12 apostles. So we are meandering are way along the Great Ocean Road stopping at all these lookouts and beaches taking pictures. We stopped and grabbed some sodas and around 4 o'clock we hit Apollo's bay and decide to check the map to see where we are at. We were still only about half way. So we decided to stop chitchatting and taking our time and stepped it up to make it 12 Apostles. Now right before you get to 12 Apostles there is about 45 minutes of farm country with cows and sheep and ZERO ocean front. The sun was going down quick and we didn't think there was any way we were going to make it. We thought we were going to see the sun go down on a farm that may have been in Madison, WI. But we pulled up to the 12 Apostles as the sun was going down and sprinted down to the water to take some pictures and enjoy the view. Words cannot describe how awesome this place was. It was worth every penny and every Km of driving it took to get there. I love road trips and Matt and I definitely had a good time listening to horrible Australian radio and the same 7 songs over and over again. We played some movie game. Talked a little bit about life and the stuff going on with our group of friends and everything. It was just overall and awesome awesome trip.


We decided that since it was now dark out there wasn't probably much left to see on the Ocean Road so we turned back and headed towards Melbourne. We turned one corner while we were inland and the full moon just lit up a valley that was full of a rolling fog. It was incredibly creepy looking and looked again like something out of a movie. Matt got a few good pictures and if I can get a hold of it I will post it here soon. We made it back to the airport around 10:45pm. We were planning on dropping our car off and sleeping in the airport, because our flight was at 6am. But, we had chosen the smallest airport in the world and they closed from Midnight to 4am. So what did we do you ask? We went back to the Casino in Melbourne. I didn't bring any money in with me at all and Matt only brought $50 which he lost relatively quickly. We wandered around for a while and got to watching some craps and learned how to play the game. We stayed there for a while talking to some Aussies about Australia and the states. Then somebody recognizes the guy playing next to me as Colin Miller. Don't worry Matt and I had no idea who he was, but turns out he was a champion cricket player that retired a few years ago. It was the equivalent of running into say Dennis Rodman in the states. He was known for his outlandish hair styles (which were pretty tame tonight). After that we walked around Melbourne for an hour or so and went back to our hostel to use the internet which they had finally got working. Then it was the drive to the airport and the flight back to Sydney.


If you can't already tell by my hour long post, this weekend has probably been the highlight of my trip so far. With no expectations going into it, everything worked out perfectly. It was some great times with some great people and I would do it again in a heartbeat.


This weekend most of the crew is heading up north for a couple days. I have some papers to work on that need to get done so I opted out of this trip. Things are good here and I hope things are even better back home. Less that 60 days still I'm stateside again.

LOVE YOU GUYS

I have to give a shout out to Linda who Matt and I met at the bar we went to on Phillips Island. Linda was a 47 year old woman who thought we were the greatest thing since sliced bread. It was quite the townie bar and we were probably the most excitement they had seen in decades. Here's to you Linda *Cheers*