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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's not a clown car lady...

The other day a woman came into the store and asked me what part of Canada I was from because that’s what happens when people pick up on my accent. I don’t know if it’s because my southern accent is so off kilter compared to mainstream Hollywood or it’s because not enough Americans travel. When I repieled I was from Arkansas, USA all she said was, “Do you know the Duggers?”

My first reaction was to be very annoyed. For those who don’t know, the Duggers are a highly religious families that have their own reality TV show and they fall on this side of crazy. At first I hated the show but like most things people hate, I didn’t understand it. They are very unorthodox right wing god fearing folks and I would never follow most of their values but I understand them.

You have to let people do what they want as long as it’s not hurting anyone else. Life is short. Don’t waste your time worrying about others.

After thinking about why I was annoyed, I realized it was because of stereotypes. When I tell people I’m from America, all they can say is; guns, bibles, fast food and Hollywood. Yes, I grew up on all those things but that don’t define me. Yes I own a gun, yes I was raised in the church, yes I take comfort in a Egg McMuffin and most importantly; yes I’ve seen a majority of popular movies in the past 50 years, but that doesn’t describe who I am.

Hi, I’m Jeremy. I believe in a universal god but since I was raised in a small town America I’m not suppose to be able to compare my god to yours. Ok, you were raised in the middle of Africa and think the sun eats the moon, I understand that. We all want to rely on a higher being but because of my own background I’m suppose to understand the world better than you.

Nope.

Life is as simple as tribesmen hunting a wild animal in bush. We’re just trying to make it out alive.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Being There

Eventually I’ll get around to writing about my travels in SE Asia and India but for now I’ll start with Australia. I arrived in Oz running low on funds and the fact that beers are $8 and a decent breakfast will run you about $15 didn’t help. A friend told me about a job placement service before I arrived and I tried it for 3 weeks with no luck. It’s very disheartening to sit 5 hours a day in a place that blares MTV videos over the T.V. while eating microwavable noodles for lunch and still walk away jobless. After seeing Pink’s Fuckin’ Perfect video about 50 times I was about to start cutting myself.

With the borrowed money from my grandpa dwindling away, I was about to google the closest sperm/blood bank. Then I met a French couple that told me about another job service and 30 minutes later I had a job in the middle of nowhere. It’s funny how things work out when you just bide your time.

I took the roadhouse (truckstop) job because I needed money and it was an easy way to save since it was in the middle of nowhere. Being from a family of truckers I also knew I would meet some interesting people and the stories they had to tell.

I’m a month a half into a 3 month stint and everything is going well. When I get cabin fever I hop on the train to Perth and meet up with some friends before coming back to my books and music in Tammin.

I was eating breakfast and this rolled threw.

5 pieces of a giant shovel.

Monday, April 18, 2011

May you stay forever young

When I meet a true Dylan fan I know I just met a common soul. A soul that knows the magic behind the words. A soul that will sing every word to Say Hello during the early morning of a campfire jam. I try not to defend his singing style much anymore but get a couple of beers in me and I might just give you my thesis on why he’s one the greatest singers, ever. With that said, his show last night was god awful.

It's harsh but man he was just going through the motions. I’ve had friends tell me that he was losing his touch but I blew it off. I'm stubborn, you can tell me I'm on fire but until I feel the burn I'll just give you a smirk. But I came to realize my error when he spent most of his time on the organ, only to pick up the guitar for two songs. You know the classic Dylan emphasis at the end of the verse, where he draws out the word in a higher pitch? He was doing that on every syllable on some of the songs. I didn’t even recognize Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright until the second verse.

I make myself try to look at both sides of any of my opinions and even though I think he should retire to save his legacy, I have to give him props for doing what he loves. I’m pretty sure he’s not touring for the money. But is he really doing it because he loves it or because it’s the only thing he knows? For a man that has reinvented himself so many times maybe he takes comfort with road? I for damn sure wouldn’t blame him if that’s the truth.

The point that drove his whole concert home was when he finished with Forever Young. He sang it with the indifference of a vagabond that just wants to sleep. I might of missed him in his prime but I’m thankful for DVD’s and the internet. I can watch this video a million times and never be tired of it. Even though critics pan that it's average because of all the coke that was done that night, just look at his shrug 40 seconds in. The man exudes what it is to be cool.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thunder Dome

I’ve decided the Australian dialect is the quintessential Valley Girl speak. They shorten all their words and the ones they do finish they end on a higher pitch. Australians have yet to find a word they can’t just shorten and put a ‘Y’ at the end. Breakfast is breaky; expiration is expiry, expensive is exy and the list could go on forever.

The first couple of weeks I spent most of my day behind a cash register wondering what the hell was just said. Instead of saying thank you after a transaction there would be a good on ya, cheers, thanks mate, beauty, or my favorite ta. Yup, ta, the shortest and most common way possible to say thank you in Oz.

I like to think of myself as seasoned and having figured everything out by now but that’s far from the truth. Yesterday a woman came in asking for rubbers and I gave her condoms. Turns out rubbers are erasers. Before that it was an old man wanting thongs. No, not the sexy panties but flip flops. I think I might be hopeless. They have the luxury of Hollywood and can pretty much understand everything I say. I have Mad Max and Crocadile Dundee, the Hollywood version of Oz. Yeah, I’m screwed but that’s half the fun.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Random Thoughts, Statements and Questions.

  • Do random memories from your childhood ever just pop into your head? I'm talking about things I thought were meaningless. I work the graveyard shift at an Australian outback roadhouse, basically an all in one truck stop, and I'm by myself from 10pm-6am. I'll be mopping away and all of the sudden I'll flashback to when I was 9 and painting rocks at the the river. I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever done.
  • While I'm on the subject of the roadhouse, I'm pretty sure the twins from the movie The Shining grew up and moved here. I'll be mopping away at 3 in the morning and look up only to see two freaky ass twins staring at me. They're locals and are nice even though they mumble to each other in twin speak.
  • I'm seeing Bob Dylan along with some other bands at the Blues and Roots Festival next week in Perth. Each night at work I'm listening to a different Dylan album to pump me up and I have to say Nashville Skyline is just kind of weird. The music is average beside Lay Lady Lay, one of my all time favorite Bobby D songs, it's just his voice. Why did he change it to sound like a crooner? Luckily it only lasted for an album or two.
  • I'm also seeing Mavis Staples at the festival. While she mainly sings gospel and most people will dismiss gospel; I highly recommend her album You're Not Alone. If you're ever feeling down or unloved just listen to the title track.
  • I read in a interview that back in the 60's Dylan asked Mavis' father for her hand in marriage. What I would give to have a time machine... Hopefully they'll do something together at Blues and Roots.
  • I'm addicted to NBC's Community and are using all of my download credits to download season 2. At $100 for a 8 gigs this shows you how good it is. Check it out. If you live in the States you can watch it for free at HULU.
  • Here are some pics of the road house I'm working at for the next month and half.