Monday, August 13, 2007

What I Did On My Weekend

Sobriety Edition

Was invited along to a random gig on Friday night. The venue was Bar Broadway, which is always an odd place to visit. It's right next to central station as well as being two blocks down the road from a trendy indie club and literally over the road from a popular metal club, so on a Friday night you'll find it packed with an interesting melange of subcultures; office workers stopping in for an after work drink, girls in expensive dresses heading to swanky CBD clubs and an assortment of goths, metallers, hardcore kids and whatever those tragic indie kids who go to Purple Sneakers call themselves.

So anyway, the bands. I had no idea who any of these guys were so I had no idea what to expect. First up were Judgement Party, who are pretty hard to describe. There are seven of them: guitar, bass, drums, two keyboards and two vocalists (one guy, one girl) and they mashed together an original blend of funk-metal and this upbeat industrial-pop kind of thing that seems to be popular in Australia. A lot of what they did seemed cliché, but it was combined ways that I can't say I've ever heard before so it didn't matter. They sure had tons of energy and the vocalists especially harmonized really well with one another. I'd definitely see these guys again.

Next up were .hinge, visiting from Melbourne. If you're a fifteen year old emo kid who can't believe how underrated Incubus are then these guys are highly recommended. Otherwise look elsewhere.

Many Machines On Nine were up last, and they were pretty good too. They play that kind of industrial rock that is clearly derived from Nine Inch Nails but sounds nothing like them. Maybe Stabbing Westward is a good point of reference but to be honest I can't remember Stabbing Westward well enough to be sure. At any rate these guys rocked out pretty hard and while their songs ranged from light and poppy to heavy and angry they were all big stompy industrial anthems that got the whole dancefloor bouncing. Highly recommended for everybody.

That was Friday. Saturday I did nothing, as I was in preparation for the fun run on Sunday. Last time I managed a respectable ninety minutes and I was determined this year to SMASH that record. We'd trained pretty hard for it over the last few months (I think we started in May), and it's no exaggeration when I say that we had ex-military trainers yelling at us as we ran up and down the stairs, just like Rocky. Of course all that preparation was effectively rendered for naught when I came down with the flu last week. A fifteen minute walk after lunch on Friday almost incapacitated me, and my girlfriend remarked as I lay wheezing in bed after a round of laboured, slothful love making, “How the hell do you think you're going to run the City to Surf in that state?!”

Refusing to listen to those who didn't believe in me, I still manfully strode up to the starting line on Sunday morning. It didn't go so well. For the first half of the race I struggled to maintain anything faster than a shuffle. It's a bad sign when you see creaky old octogenarians and guys dressed in drag passing you. I kind of picked up a bit of energy for the second half and my result, while nowhere near what I was aiming for, still knocked a solid five minutes off my previous time. (This might sound pretty good but all of that and probably more can be accounted for by the fact that they let you start closer to the front when they have a decent (sub-100 minutes) time on record for you for previous years.)

My boss kindly invited everyone back to his place for a shower and refreshments afterwards which was nice and after that I decided to go home. Recalling that last year I opted to catch the bus and spent half an hour waiting for the damn thing and then an hour sweltering inside it as we slowly crept through traffic (before giving up completely when the road was blocked by a gay pride parade). I decided to be smart and walk up to Bondi Junction (twenty to thirty minutes uphill) and catch the train home. Unfortunately I forgot to take into account my legendarily bad sense of direction. I walked five metres out the door and ran into two friends, E. and J., on their way out for a drink. I ended up walking home with them and then realising I had no idea where I was. E. helpfully pointed me towards a major road that ran towards Bondi Junction, and I set along down it. Before long I noticed that most people were travelling at ninety degrees to the way I was going so I turned and followed them for a while, before getting confused and deciding, in typical Jon-getting-lost fashion, to compromise and head off at forty five degrees. An hour later I finally reached the train station, having seen some interesting parts of the city that I'd never been to before (including all the incredibly tacky mansions and gated apartment complexes on Bellevue Hill) but after running for fourteen kilometres it was the last thing I needed.

I went to bed at about 10pm (very early for me) and fell asleep so fast I didn't even have the time to turn out the lights beforehand.

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