Monday, August 30, 2004

We've moved!

And thousands of thanks to those that helped, especially Nickos. I hope your toe feels better and that the microsurgeons were able to reattach that thumb. Now begins the slow task of turning a house full of boxes into a home. We've got a lounge room and we've all got bedrooms (albeit extremely messy ones) and we're also insured now! And our ducted gas heating works! Very comfy 20 degrees here at the moment. :)

Not much else has happened, really, except that I've been given the role of Sonders in On The Razzle for ReP, so yay me! Of course, I haven't been able to ring Stephen back yet, but I hope that a 24hour gap between calling me and me confirming I can do the role is not cause for them to go to their second choice. :)

Four things I learned recently;

  1. Putting all your books in big boxes is a bad thing to do.

  2. If at some point in your moving day you find yourself lifting a chest of drawers on your own, you should stop, it'll hurt come night time.

  3. Pide pizza reheats well when cooked for 30 minutes in an oven at 150 degrees (C).

  4. Our new chef, Matt, makes the best omelettes ever.

- Marcel Marcaeu, The Silent Movie

Thursday, August 26, 2004


"My Youngest Son" version by Billy Bragg

I've been feeling a little intimidated by the vast amounts of text that Ratti, Graham and Jared have managed to attach to their important songs. Although Ratti assures me that there's no rules that say I have to write a lot or even take the exercise seriously that, of course, didn't stop me from feeling kinda lame by writing "the first song I learned on the recorder" while Jared was writing hundreds of words on his early love of show tunes.

Anyhoo, I may not always go this far, but I thought a vaguely serious entry in my list couldn't hurt.

Many moons ago, before the oceans drank Atlantis and all that, there was a group of friends who called themselves - amongst other things - the Recycled Virgins. One year, over an Australia Day long weekend, they went down to Graham's parent's beach house (near Browlee[sp?]) and had much fun. They relearned - at age 17 - the joy of the ice-cream man. They cooked and et and played Magic and Scrabble and other fun games. They kicked the water at twilight and watched the iridescent algae. And a very young - well, quite young - Euan was taught a song walking back from the beach.

It was a warm night, and the sun had been gone for a couple of hours, so true dark had fallen, and after a walk on the beach we headed home. One of the group heading home was Robyn Scholes, at that time still dating a chef, and she it was that taught me the song. I do not remember the exact reason the song came up, but I do remember Robyn singing it as we walked along roads still warm from the day's sun. I remember looking over at her more than a couple of times and I also remember that I regret not kissing her that night. Of course, I was still all young and innocent then, and she was still dating someone, so I never would have, but the regret was there.

The song itself is actually about an IRA soldier killed and his return home to be buried, his return home marked by a parent (father assumed, 'cause Billy was singing, mother assumed when it was Bobbi). My own opinions on terrorists in general and the IRA in particular are well-known (and formed in not a small way through conversations with my father (who served in the RAF in Northern Ireland)), but the sadness of the song, and the simple folk-y-ness (for want of a better word) of the lyrics means that this is still one of my favourite songs of all time.

The reason for this, I feel, is because politics do not enter into the song. It doesn't have an "the English are all demons" verse or an "all IRA members should burn in hell" verse, it is just a simple, sad song about a dead child coming home and the things that child will never experience.

And when a good-looking girl sings you a sad, beautiful song on a warm, clear night, it can turn a guy's head.

My Master Plan

I'm calling on everyone in the hospitality, retail and customer service industries. We have been oppressed and talked down to for too long. It's time to turn the tables.

You see, I've had an idea. A real eureka moment. Here's what we're gonna do.

Almost everyone nowadays has a digital camera in their phone, or works with someone who does, right? Also, almost everyone who works in hospitality or retail knows someone else who works in a different restaurant or shop, right? Are you all still with me? Starting to get the idea?

My plan is simplicity itself. Every time you encounter a needlessly rude customer, just take a sneaky photo of them and save it to your camera or phone. Next, print off a few copies and distribute them to your friends that also have to deal with annoying customers. And so, the faces of people who are rude without provocation will become known not just at your restaurant or boutique, but at *every* restaurant or boutique in the city.

We could even develop a rating system, to determine whether a customer's rudeness warrants merely a heads up for staff at other businesses or even a pre-emptive refusal of service. Of course, the bosses'd have to be in on it too, and value their staff's happiness above the money-earning potential of a few patrons (unlikely), but it would at least give us a clue. So if you have an annoyingly rude customer, you could check your 'mug shots' and match them up.

I think it could work, and while being met with coldness and a lack of service will do nothing to help the temprament of these rude customers, it'll at least give us a chance to warn each other.

Whaddya reckon?

Four things I Learned Recently;

  1. Packing gets old real quick.

  2. Brains are cool.

  3. Writing a blog entry with Catalyst in the background is a process fraught with distraction.

  4. My new phone is groovy.

"I love black people, but I hate niggers!"
- Chris Rock

Monday, August 23, 2004


How y'all doing?

I'm a little sleepy, m'self, but doin' okay. I'm ranked about 10,780 in KoC, and I wish people would stop asking me to join their damn alliances. I DON'T CARE ABOUT ALLIANCES!! My captains and I support each other, but I wouldn't necessarily call it an alliance, so that means that attacking my officers cause I attacked you is a little lame.

Also, I helped bump in Bell's 12th Night today, and the set looks pretty damn cool. It's kinda based around a pivotting (sp?) truck that forms a picture frame and is just groovy. A little over-engineered, but otherwise nifty. And I got to go home early, while everyone else had to work til 2300. Of course, that does mean I get less money, but it did give me a chance to have a nice relaxed bath and buy a sundae on the way home (the Manuka McDonalds are pussies, they close the drive-thru at - like - 9).

Moving day is this Saturday, and I think we've been spoiled by all our private rentals, 'cause we're (read; "I'm") going to get our bond and rent by Thursday, not saturday. However, we can't get the keys early because the lease starts on saturday. Now I actually understand that leases and stuff can't easily be changed, and have noe issues, but it does make the obvious point that when you're renting privately, you can just call the dude and say "Hey, can we start moving in two days early?" and they'll probably say "Sure". Just makes the difference more obvious.

I'm tired, too.

Four Things I Learned Recently;

  1. When you cut masonite with a power saw, bits of it go everywhere.

  2. Vodafone can be nice sometimes, too.

  3. Living in a house full of boxes does my head in.

  4. Light Pringles are tasty.

"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The first is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia', but only slightly less well-known is this; 'Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line'!"
*He laughs*
*He dies*
- Venzini, The Princess Bride

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Fire's Burning by... um, actually I have no idea.

The first song I learned on the recorder.

A couple of quick links...

Go here. Some of them are frickin' hilarious, and some are just plain wrong. More than a couple are both!

Want more wrongly amusing humour? Check out Tshirt Hell. You've all heard me misquote them form time to time, but some have to be seen to be believed.

Overheard conversations

When you overhear things in cafes, it can sometimes lead to questions. Today’s question is; What is it with Queanbeyan and guns? For those non-Canberrans among my readership, Queanbeyan is a NSW town that borders part of the ACT and whose proximity to the main population centres of Canberra is largely seen as a reason why the ACT doesn’t really need slums. Now, for those of you who may not know, Michael Diamond – one-time gold medal winner for Australia in the sport of trap shooting – lives in Queanbeyan. Our newest shooting gold medallist, and the first woman to win a gold medal for Australia in her event, Suzanne Balogh (now with Accurate Spelling[TM]!), also comes from Queanbeyan.

Why do people in Queanbeyan seem to excel at shooting? Is it because shells are cheaper than lamb in the local supermarkets? I don’t think it’s because Queanbeyan is a lawless wasteland of Mad-Max-ian proportions, with rag-clad gangs of yahoos seeking to rob the honest, hard-working folk of their fuel and tradable goods and so it is essential to know how to shoot to defend you and yours. Queanbeyan is a lawless wasteland of Mad-Max-ian proportions, with rag-clad gangs of yahoos seeking to rob the honest, hard-working folk of their fuel and tradable goods where it is essential to know how to shoot to defend you and yours, but I don’t think that’s the entire reason that Diamond and Balogh excel at the sport. If environment was the case, then America’s pistol team would be full of gangbangers from LA and Miami (after all, UIT usually involves .22 target pistols, so Tony the Squirrel might have to leave his Glock at home).

Of course, it might just be that the Australian Trap Shooting Training Camp (or equivalent) is in Queanbeyan, and so that’s why they all live there, but I'm still curious to know why Queanbeyanians shoot so well. Any suggestions would be gladly accepted.

On topic, and making for a very long post, is something that is a source of frustration, and not a little genuine anger, on my part. I would like to complain about the coverage of Suzanne’s Balogh’s gold medal on the Canberra Times site this morning. I realised this morning that in my initial posting of the news of the win, I may have neglected – through no fault of my own – to spell her name correctly. I sought to rectify this situation and so jumped onto the Canberra Times site to look up her name and what letters went together in what order to spell it. This was at about 9am this morning, Australian time, so a good 12 hours or so after Balogh’s win. Could I find anything on her in our local paper? No. I tried headlines. I tried sport. I even tried to search on “Trap shooting”. What did I find? An article on Michael Diamond. It contained interviews from various international trap shooters saying how wonderful he is, and what fine form he has. There were only two mentions of Vella (a name check in the headline and a one line coverage of his bronze medal) in the article.

I know the point of the article was to look at Diamond, but could the coverage not have gone to Vella? Or Balogh? Why does Diamond deserve such coverage? He failed to qualify. In fact, he probably shouldn't have gone to the Olympics at all, given that he narrowly escaped having his shooting license revoked for, as I understand it, pretty serious violations of the storage rules for firearms in NSW. While there are other issues I may have with Diamond (not least of which being his current poster-boy status for the Radical Right in the SSAA), I still don't know why I couldn't find a single mention of a successful and first time female Gold medalist on her local newspaper's site 12 hours after the event, and yet could easily find a laudatory (if that's a word) article on a man who FAILED TO QUALIFY! Please, as they say in the funny pages, explain.

Four Things I Learned Recently;

  1. Apparently, Magnas have a habit of losing their ability to idle without stalling for no readily apparent reason.

  2. Valentino's Cafe makes an awesome fried egg and chipolata breakfast.

  3. Happy Days Amusements have gone back to actual money for most of their games, rather than the tokens.

  4. When funds are limited, and so is attention span, lurking in Civic can get very boring.

"Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers. *Ha!* You didn't know I was going to say that!"
- Jack Slater, Last Action Hero

Monday, August 16, 2004

Unoriginal Observations

People are dumb. Almost every time we are closing up at work - and I don’t mean 1630hrs taking the menus and salt and pepper off the table closing up, but 1730 in our civvy clothes and writing up our timesheets, all outside furniture in and gates half shut closed – someone sticks their head around the gates and asks “Are you open?”. Now I know this is a funny thing to mock people about, and possibly you have to be a hospitality worker to get it, but I honestly and genuinely, on more than one occasion, have had to stop myself from running after them and asking – in all honesty, and with minimal sarcasm – where the grey area in our being closed was.

If I walked into a computer store, and all the demonstration PCs were shut down, the glowing mouse wall display was switched off and the staff were putting on their coats, I would understand that they were closed. If I walked into an office and every workstation had a screensaver running, the chairs in the meeting room were up on the table and the secretary was putting on her coat, I would realise they were no longer open.


Unoriginal Observation #2: Watching the Olympics makes you an expert on whatever sport is currently being televised. I just watched some beach volleyball on the TV. Australia was playing China and there was some to and fro and back and forth and then we won. I was cheering, I was enjoying the fit young ladies in bikinis and I was commenting to Ratti, without irony, on form and technique. I have never watched more than two minutes of beach volleyball in my life, but I knew exactly what was going on and who needed to do what.

It was very empowering.

Also watched the women’s trap and saw Aussie Suzanne Balogh win gold. It was great, I could genuinely hold an opinion, support my country and an aspect of my favourite sport all at once. I might’ve even said ”Woot” once or twice.

Four Things I Learned Recently;

  1. When American Pie is being repeated again on channel Ten and the shithouse Stallone remake of Get Carter is being broadcast on Nine, you can be pretty sure that Seven has something huge on (the Olympics, in this case).

  2. Sometimes you don’t need to hack on stupid people, sometimes they do it for themselves.

  3. Seems our male athletes need to pick up their game.

  4. I may not be the worst cook in the world.

“I’m wondering… where his dick is at…”
- Axel Foley, Beverly Hills Cop II

Sunday, August 15, 2004

More Musings

I was truly scared t'other day. And not a little happy to be Australian. Y'see, I was channel hopping and caught a bit of a speech by George W. on SBS, followed quickly by a chunk of Question Time on ABC. Now, I know I am totally not the first person to say this and will in no way be the last, but George W. Bush is a barely-articulate fool. He meanders on the topic, peters out halfway through sentences and just can't talk properly.

John Howard, on the other hand, heinous little troll that he is, can at least form a coherent sentence and get an idea across, if not clearly, then at least in a way that can be followed. Even if you can't agree with what he is saying, at least you don't sit there staring at the screen in confused silence with a "Wah-fuh?" look stuck to your face trying to work out just what the hell he is trying to say.

EATTISOML; #31 Farmer Bill's Cowman, The Wurzels

When I was a young boy, in more idyllic times, before my addiction to popular culture and cult TV had really taken hold, I would often enjoy nothing more than kicking back with an old record player and a stack of 45RPM singles by the likes of Max Bygraves, The Wurzels and even Bernard Cribbins. My Granny and Grandpa Taff had stacks of these old records lying around (not literally, Granny Taff kept a very clean house) and when we visited Sussex Inlet during the holidays, my brother and I would listen to them when it got to dark to bike ride or play french cricket or feed ants to the spiders that lived in the hedge. And out of our listening to these singles, an occasional after-dinner floor show of my miming to the songs would be put on in the lounge. Why was "Farmer Bill's Cowman" one of my favourites? It had lines about milking bulls and I had no idea what they meant, but Mum and Dad and Granny and Grandpa found them hilarious.

Four Things I Learned Recently;

  1. Sometimes, when you hear about a new production, you go all warm and fuzzy inside.

  2. It is important that all zombie-loving members of our group (and, indeed, all zombie-loving Australians) put the 28th of October aside.

  3. Working with someone who is in a foul mood who thinks that hospitality might not be for them any more is not as fun as you might think.

  4. Prawns are yummy.

"I am Jack's raging bile duct."
- Narrator, Fight Club

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Songs and words

Recently (only about eight days ago, in fact) a gauntlet was laid down before me that I guess I might as well rise to, given its use in padding my blog. Seems there's this guy called Nick Hornby (you might've heard of him) and he wrote a book called "31 Songs" in which he talks about the top 31 songs that have influenced his life, and asked himself why. Now, Jared and
have applied themselves to this question - as it pertains to them rather than Hornby, obviously - and the young master Wilkins even went so far as to raise the ante to 32 songs. Now, given the title of my blog and given that while we were having dinner t'other thursday Graham suggested I might like to join them, I thought I'd give it a go. I doubt I can wax quite so lyrical about the songs as they, especially given that I don't think that deeply about many things, let alone music, but I might give it a go. And so, here is #32 on Euans's All Time Top Influential Songs Of My Life (or EATTISOML).

#32; Spaghetti Bolognaise by Peter Coombs

One that we sang in the choir at primary school (when it was still Warramanga and before they sold out and became Arawang so Fisher primary could close and become an old people's home [True Story]). Why was it influential on me? Well, I was on my way to a choir session when I was running in the corridor and slipped over. I skidded up against some wire fencing that was waiting to be installed and took a lovely 2mm wide by 11mm long by 2mm deep gouge out of my knee. The circumstances around that song influenced me so much, I still have the scar to prove it.

In other news, I had an audition today for On The Razzle with REP and it went well. At least, that's what I think it means when the director says "See you at the call backs". :)

Four Things I Learned Today

  1. They'll make a video game about anything.

  2. I am easily excitable.

  3. Carmen steals the doona.

  4. Apparently, all you have to do is watch me cook breakfast and you can tell I've got English blood in me.

"Who's scruffy lookin'?"
- Han Solo, Star Wars

Friday, August 13, 2004

A Rant

Today's subject;

There are any number of courses, schools and on-the-job schemes that will teach you how to be a good waiter, or a good customer service person. There are any number of people - customers, mostly - who are willing to tell you when your service is sub-par, or not up to their particular brand of par, But, where can you go to learn how to be a good customer?

To the Euan Bowen School Of For Fuck's Sake Use Your Brain, You Asshole! Here you will learn important skills like; acknowledging your waiting staff when they are standing beside your table, moving your shit when a waiter/ress with full arms comes to deliver your food and accepting that when it says on the menu, and on two signs at the till, that we don'y split bills then WE DO NOT SPLIT THE FUCKING BILL AND WHINING ABOUT IT TO GET YOUR WAY MAKES YOU SOUND LIKE A FUCKING CHILD!

Don't actively resist friendly service, like a couple of people did today, or suddenly you'll find that everywhere you go there's nothing but curt, abrupt assholes unwilling to go even one extra inch to help you get what you want. If you've asked for water two times already, then asking a third and fourth time while we're still taking your order only serves to make it look like you have Alzheimers.

Like all human relationships, the customer/server relationship requires give and take. If we're friendly, be friendly back. If you've had a bad day, then - as cheesy as this sounds - accept our happiness as a chance to turn it around.

And for fuck's sake, if we're walking back to the kitchen with our hands completely full, we are NOT in a position to take YOUR FUCKING ORDER!

Thank you for listening.

And on a lighter note, WE GOT THE GOYDER STREET HOUSE!!! Yay us! :)

Four Things I Learned Recently

  1. Warren Ellis is an angry, angry young man.

  2. Reading too much Ellis will rub off on your.

  3. Sometimes the simplest dish is the nicest.

  4. If you pack early for a move, you'll need the thing at the bottom of the box on the bottom of the pile before you're unpacking in the new house.

"Kill the Gelfling!"
- Garthim Master, The Dark Crystal

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

I-Haul, U-Haul, We all Haul for...

So I got my cheque from Peter Pan. $520. Wa-hoo! Now I can afford to move! Our current abode, nice as it is with its gas stove and ducted heating, has started to grow a little small. It was inevitable, really, given the fact that its not the biggest house in the world and Ratti and I are both fans of books, comics, DVDs and figures (me muppets, her transformers), all of which need a great deal of space to store. We've literally run out of usable wall space to put the bookcases on. So, given that our lease is up in September, we started looking around for another place.

And it looks like we've found one. It's on Goyder Street, just around the corner from where we are now, and it's got four rooms (ranging from really big to just not bad), wood panelling in the lounge and dining and a weird room under the house. Now if we can just work out a time when the property manager hasnae hurt her neck, Sam's boss doesn't keep him at work and Ratti isn't working two jobs at once, maybe someone from the housemate group who isn't me can see it and confirm the excellence.

Four Things I've Learned Recently;

  1. I'm not entirely sure what "meta" means.

  2. Simon Pegg's cameo in Black Books Season 3 is excellent, funny and damn creepy.

  3. Long baths with a good book are exceedingly enjoyable.

  4. Smoked steak doesn't go off for ages.

"If it wasn't for pizza and other fine Italian foods, there would be no happiness."
- Jonesy, Fallen

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

A test...

Y'see, I edited my profile (fiddling with colours and suchlike) and my comments links went away, so I went to the Haloscan peoples and tried to reinstate them, but I don't know how successful I've been...

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Catching up and catching up

A little too dramatic perhaps, but kinda how it happened, except it was Chris and Carmen getting on my back for not writing anything for ages, so here goes...

First, I've had a chance to catch up with a couple of amigos from my past who have moved to Melbourne. The first to visit was Graham, aka Unky Gra Gra, Captain Furry Knickers, Captain Coincidence and the Nasty Man. He's been making a very respectable, and very busy living for himself down in Melbourne and, of course, his blog can be found here.

Had an excellent meal at Verve - a local cafe - where we shared a fine bottle of wine (a Brothers In Arms Cabernet Shiraz, if memory serves), some fine food (the duck rolls were superb) and fine conversation. Found out just how damn busy Chook is, how hard it is for him to go five minutes without someone offering him a job and that he managed to get slabbed on the only show he operated here in Canberra. You could hear the laughter from the moon.

The second blast from the past came courtesy of Chris "I may have to make up some amusing nicknames with which to call him" Stewart (who also has a blog), who was - as you should remember - one of the people who mentioned in no uncertain terms that my blog has been somewhat static recently. We also talked about my Masters (he was disappointed I gave him my work to date on a CD as he would have enjoyed the 'thunk factor' of a paper copy), his Masters (futurist studies, so he gets to just make shit up... at least, that's the impression I got. :) ) and the world in general. It was a great afternoon, due in no small part to the presence of Carmen as a curbing influence on both our tendencies to spout utter shite at the least provocation.

It also looks like we may have a found a new house, if we can just get another look inside. I found out that organise two people with busy 8am - 5pm, monday to friday, jobs to look at a house in real estate operating hours is no mean feat, especially when you throw in a crook property manager and a tyrannical boss. But Ratti, Sam and I should get a butchers (for me, another butchers) inside and decide for certain. It would seem that we may already have approval for this one, given that the successful application that we put in for a big house in Pearce (that the owners then decided to sell, not rent) was just kinda knocked on to this one.

Fingers crossed here...

Four Things I've Learned Recently

  1. Rice crackers and refried bean dip don't work.

  2. My car can go quite a while with the fuel light on.

  3. Brown sugar is not so good for Creme Brulee.

  4. When making sugar syrup, take it off the heat as soon it starts to colour.

"You had best un-fuck yourself or I will unscrew your head and shit down your neck."
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, Full Metal Jacket

A Dramatic Interlude

Here's the scene;


A young BLOG sits at a table. She is nursing a tea that has long since gone cold, and her eyes are red and puffy. Every time the cafe door opens, she looks up expectantly, but it is never who she is waiting for. Finally the door opens, but she doesn't look up, just stirs another spoonful of honey into her tea and turns another page in her magazine.

A satchel is thrown onto the seat next to her and a scruffy-looking MAN in faded camouflage pants and a T-shirt with a witty and vaguely obscene slogan sits down. He smiles at BLOG as she looks up, but stops smiling when he sees her face.

BLOG: Where have you been?

MAN: (Confused) Huh?

BLOG: Where have you been? We're supposed to meet here twice a week. At least. Where have you been?

MAN: Um... around... I've been busy...

BLOG: You've had time to play games online and watch every episode of Cowboy Bebop though, right?

MAN: Okay, so I've been neglecting you recently... I understand that... but it's all going to change. Honest.

He takes her hands in his and BLOG looks up at him. You can tell she wants to believe him, but he's said this all before...