That Gum You Like

Oh hey guys

Posted in Uncategorized by Dave on December 6, 2009

Hola Amigos–

I guess at this point, it’s silly to keep apologizing for taking so long to update this sucker. I’ve established a standard of at least about a month of silence between posts for much longer than I updated every few days. Although this isn’t really what I envisioned for this little project, it’s kinda whatever at this point. I’ve always thought I’m pretty good at talking about myself, but trying to keep a personal blog up to date has shown me how little effort I’ll expend in extending that beyond in-person conversation.

Which is not to say that I don’t think that my life here over the past two months has been anything but pretty boring. Not that I’m actually bored myself, but I can’t imagine my description of a day in which I sleep till noon, make an egg sandwich and read Underworld for five hours being met with anything but a yawn and a few clicks over to youtube to watch that video where the baby gets kicked in the head by that breakdancer again. Particularly when that routine has become so crystallized (although I finally finished Underworld) that it’s applicable to nearly any day when I don’t have to go to work.

I’ve also completely abandoned the part of this thing where I attempt to play the critic or nerdy friend who recommends things. In part, because I don’t really have access to what’s new in the world of music and movies (although I saw The Informant! yesterday (So-So. has its moments. damon is good.)) and would feel weird trying to hip people to things that came out three years ago. Trying to go the other route of actually writing something where the criticism itself is of interest seems self-indulgent, and I’m not really sure that this is the right kind of venue for it. Partially because I’m not really confident of my skill at that kind of critical writing, but largely because it feels exploitative to trick my family and friends who are trying to find out if I’m still alive into reading a half-baked argument about why a book they don’t care about it better than another book they don’t care about.

Anyway! Things are all right down here in Melbourne. Thursday was my final day in the Boeing plant, and thank god, yo. The mind-numbing oblivion of factory work has its upsides (notably: money), but damn if I don’t feel really stupid these days. This is the longest period of time I’ve ever gone without being in school since I started kindergarten. And, unexpectedly, I can tell. The other day I found myself in a used bookstore, and bought Foucault’s Madness and Civilization and a mammoth collection of Wordsworth’s poems. Thumbing through them on the tram ride home, I realized that I probably picked those two over the vast selection of novels that I’ve been meaning to read because they’re the kind of thing I’d normally read in school. And although I’ve just started Madness and Civilization, I recognize the curious mix of serious interest, confusion, and occasional apathy as something that reading for classes brought out. Really though, it’s just been making me feel sluggish and out of practice. I should probably stop talking about anything academic here–anyone I know at college right now is probably in the thick of finals, and wishing that I would kindly go choke, sitting here on a lovely saturday without a care in the world.

Academic, at least. Because on the admittedly skewed scale of stress I’ve got operating out here in Melbourne, last week was a doozy. So I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I’ve been trying to roll on out of here and embark on a road trip. The plan has morphed considerably since I first envisioned it– as it stands now I’ll probably just drive to Adelaide, then on to Alice Springs, and then back to Melbourne. But obtaining a car has proven to be the most complicated logistical adventured I’ve embarked on in quite some time.

First, I tried renting a car. I had heard that, unlike the states, people under 25, and even 21, could rent cars, although it might cost a little extra. Turns out this is only kind of true. You can rent a car if you’re over 21, but almost no rental companies will rent to people younger than that. Almost. I did find a place called Travelers Auto Barn that would rent their camper vans and station-wagons out to anyone with a license, but upon further investigation, they admitted they were all booked out well into January. However, they told me that most companies would rent a specific kind of Campervan, called the “Breezer” (god knows why), to Under 21s.

Now, I was pretty opposed to the idea of renting a campervan. For one, it’d be a lot more expensive to rent and I’d end up spending twice as much on fuel. But, even aside from these practical issues, I have serious aesthetic beef with these things. I mean, the vans are hideous already, but most of the companies renting them out take ugly to the next level in their painting schemes. The only way to explain some of these decisions is a serious level of intoxication for everyone involved. How else do you explain this:

Nothing says "Rob me, I'm a dumb tourist" like a garishly painted trio of demons that look like the aliens from Space Jam.

But by this point, I was desperate for anything that would get me out of melbourne. As it turned out though, all the companies I checked were sold out of that one type of campervan I was legally allowed to rent. So, for renting, I was SOL. I briefly considered buying a car, and then selling it back, but I chickened out. Confronted with striking a balance between buying something cheap (thus decreasing the chances of it breaking down) or something a little pricier (thus increasing my losses if I didn’t have enough time to sell it) I eventually backed out all together.

However, all is not lost. After some talks with my bosses at work, I’ve worked out a supremely complicated plan that will give me access to a rented car for two weeks, starting on tuesday. So after Tuesday, I’ll be updating a lot more frequently, from the road, hopefully with plenty of hilarious stories about the outback.

See you then. Be good.


2 Responses

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  1. l said, on December 6, 2009 at 7:39 am

    “it’s kinda whatever”

    this blog is like poetry

  2. Piers said, on December 7, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    hahaha – great comment about the van – this is a Wicker Camper and they are just crap – check out this great investigation by Current Affairs – PRICELESS!!!

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