Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Mark Made Me Do This

Let's Go Outback Tonight

And no I don't mean the Bloomin' Onion. *(Editor's note: I have never actually been to Outback Steakhouse)

Okay here we go, I've got Macklemore going and a frozen pizza thawing, so let's kill this.

Over Spring Break AKA Mid-Semester Break AKA "Mid Sem," Mark & I made the voyage over to the Northern Territory to explore Australia's outback. 
These are our stories.

The Trip

Well it certainly could have started better. We had a nice and early flight, of course. So, leaving our apartment before the sun rose could only be accompanied by a tropical-storm level wind and a flash downpour. Naturally.
Making the long walk to the bus station, en route to the airport, was only made better by Mark losing his headphones and both of our bags getting drenched.

Highlights from the bus ride, airport and flight:

  1. Girls near us on the bus almost got sick. 
  2. Australian Airport security is a breeze compared to back home, although I definitely was the victim of racial profiling, as they selected me for a "random" check.
  3. Almost got Hungry Jack's (BK) twice.
  4. Got very jealous of the high schoolers who were just carrying around boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. 
  5. Sat in the last row of the airplane, man some people did a number on those toilets. 
  6. Landed in Alice Springs, all set to conquer the dangers of the Australian wildlife

Alice Springs (part 1)

I won't spend much time talking about the hostel. It was a hostel with typical hostel stuff: awkward roommates, gnarly bathrooms and questionable beds. But it was not the worst thing in the world.

Hello. My name is Dan. And I'm a KFC-aholic. I almost never eat that stuff. And yet, here in Australia, it's been my crutch. And how can you resist all those secret spices and original recipe and OKAY, I have to control myself. I'm sorry. I've only gone twice the last 24 hours, so I'm getting better, okay? But yeah, Mark and I went there. And it was a-ma-zing.

Day 1

The first day of our three-day, two-night journey into the unknown started bright and early, as we had a long drive ahead of us before reaching any of the juicy parts of the wild. 
Oddly enough, the first stop of our trip (besides fueling up at the most fly-infested gas station known to man) was the most intense of the trip. That's not really saying much, but it was a hot, steep and longish hike around King's Canyon.

To be continued...

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Insert Title Here

This is an old draft that I have hanging around. I guess this was supposed to be a platform for me to work off of, but that never really happened, huh?

Well here's a fun take on what I currently think of those ideas.

Post ideas:
-Australian slang

  • "G'day mate, how you going? I have no appreciation for the letter 'z'"


  • Not even going to lie, Mark and I have killed it with food so far. So kudos to us.
  • Hit us up.

-Feeling like death butterflies after drinking

  • Mark and I spend a lot of Saturdays just sitting around on the pull out couch
  • From above, "Hit us up"

-My affinity for Starbucks wifi

  • NEVER EVER EVER EVER use the internet we have. Looking at you, Big Air.

-Anthony <3

  • Just some serious bromancing going on over here. First Australian friend!

-Girls Drop bears

  • Watch out for those

-Poetry slam

  • Ha.

-Video blog

  • HA.

-Picture blog

  • I could see this happening still, but I mean, I don't take a lot of pictures.
Cool. Y'all want a picture or something? Well I've got those. Let's see...

I think I've run out of things to plug on here. Oh wait, connect with me on LinkedIn!!!

But actually posts coming soon.

Featuring, but not limited to Uluru, my encounters with poisonous animals, my parents visiting and KFC.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Whoops & Dan Looking Foolish

Sorry all.

I just really haven't had much motivation to do this sort of thing lately.

Also, I haven't really done any bloggable things recently, so you're not missing much (except my dry wit).

Anyhow, I'll try to post something later this week, like maybe Wednesday or Thursday. Whatever.

Here's a great picture, for your eyes only! And here's what I was going for.

An outtake from my film class assignment

So yeah, I had to put together a visual sequence for my Making Movies class. This one didn't make the cut, but I liked it enough. I didn't bother to mess with the lighting or focus, because I'm not really good at that anyway.

I may post the finished product if I can get all actors' (read: Mark's) consent.

Until next time!

Oh hey, my instagram! I have so few followers on there. *cough*cough*cough*

Thursday, 22 August 2013


Life is all about the people you spend it with

For Grady

Why can't it all just be easy?

Life is precious.
Life is fragile.
Life tugs at the chords of your heart.

Frustrating, infuriating, devastating.

Life is Brewers games and Nwallace.
Life is hanging out, playing poker and talking until the early morning.
Life sends you to George Webb's because it's the only place that's open.

Depressing, eye-opening, tear-jerking.

It's hard to imagine my life without my friend.
You see it. You see it everywhere. The news. Facebook. School. But it's different when it happens to you.

Life is hammerschlagen.
Life is driving the Mini-Cooper 10 blocks to State Fair.
Life eagerly and often reminds you of its friend, death.

I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say, or to whom to say it.

9.000 miles shouldn't prevent me from mourning, so why does it feel like I'm here all alone?
Life is a brotherhood.

Nothing will ever be the same. Nothing can ever be the same.

For every tear I shed, I am reminded that I am here in Melbourne, unable to do a thing.
But I know.
I know he wouldn't want crying. He'd want laughing. And witty banter. And swag like Caillou.

This is one of the hardest days of my life.

Life is everything.
But nothing.

Rest in peace.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles

My Apartment is Collapsing

Piece by piece, my apartment is crumbling before my eyes.

Let's start with the first issue: my bedroom. 
I like my bedroom. I like having a private room to myself, but I feel as if UniLodge is not really pulling its weight. Mark and I chose rooms randomly, so I can't really complain, but I got the short end of the stick. 

This morning I woke up at around 10:30 am, with no natural light whatsoever. I have a window in my room; however, the only view I get through the opaque glass is one of my kitchen counter. Natural light struggles to reach the interior of my apartment as we sit in the shadow of a 20 floor neighboring building. 
This illustration might help to ... illustrate my situation. I'm nuzzled in in the bottom room.

So now that my rant about room location is over, I digress. 
A brief review of the condition report completed by the landlord will reveal that my bedroom is supposedly "clean." I beg to differ. Each of the four walls have their own unique distinction that I wouldn't necessarily classify as "clean." From a dead bug smashed on the wall to some sort of brown stain is discouraging to say the least, I don't exactly feel as though my conditions are too ideal.

And the last thing I need to mention about my room: the walls. They are so thin! I don't really care all that much, but I've bumped my head a few times in the night with such force -- accidentally, but still -- that I feared I had made a hole in the wall. In fact, another thing that the condition report missed: A HOLE IN THE WALL (not too large, but come on!). 

Okay, now that I'm actually done ranting about my bedroom, let's talk about the rest of my apartment.
Just to cut the post down a bit, I'll be quick about it.

1. The fan sitting above our hotplate hasn't worked since we've moved into the place. We've spoken to them about this, and they've cautioned us to wait. Well. We're waiting...
The unfortunate part about us missing out on this kitchen appliance? Our kitchen gets very smokey. Even to the extent that Mark or I (whoever isn't the head chef of the meal) have to use one of our cutting boards as a makeshift fan to ensure that the smoke detector in our room does not go off -- again.
2. The microwave. It was old. It may have been on its way out. But come on. Let me give you a quick breakdown: Mark decided to heat up some leftovers. As with most microwaves, you have to open the door to operate it. Our microwave decided that when Mark opened the door, it would stop functioning. 
So now we don't have leftovers. 
3. There are two main lights in the apartment's common area. And sadly only one of ours is capable of emitting any light at the moment. For some reason, the apartment complex doesn't want us replacing the light bulb...
Hey UniLodge, how many tenets does it take to replace a light bulb? 

Okay, that's it for my rant today. I'm 100% positive that all this will be resolved eventually, but the fact that the administrative offices are closed on the weekends makes it a bit more difficult to expedite the process.

As a reward for reading through this anger-fueled rant, here's a pretty funny and funnily pretty picture. Enjoy.

For today's sign off, I'm giving a shoot out to this guy on the phone next to me in the library. Keep doing you man. 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Still Catching Up

Where was I...?

Friday, July 20th -- 
I had to make my sad farewells to all my newfound friends from my Welcome Week. After a a surprisingly sweltering -- remember it's "winter" here -- walk from Uni to our place at UniLodge (one of the accommodation options for students attending the school),  my roommate Mark and I worked on making our apartment a home. 

How does one go about doing this you ask? Well of course about two dozen trips to Big W. Big W is a poor man's Walmart, definitely great deals, but still lacking in selection in some areas. Did you know they don't have dryer sheets here? How annoying is that?! And don't even get me started on the lack of Crystal Lite.

To be honest with you, from July 20 to July 28, not a lot happened. 

Mark and I did our best as amateur chefs, even making some pretty good looking meals. It's been a lot of simple cooking, but we do okay, especially compared to some of our friends here.

Internet sucks here. It's really expensive and you don't get a lot. So if you're looking to Skype, have patience, I'm searching for alternatives. Living at a Starbucks is the running, so yeah, it's bad. I could rant on this for a while, but in a cruel twist of fate, the internet would likely kick me off having consumed my daily limit.

I joined a few clubs. Nothing special. Truth be told, they lacked the variety that BC had. Odd.
CAKE -- a baking club. Get at me, cookies.
Poker -- sounds like a chill way to get to know people
Chocolate Lovers' Society -- need I say more?
MUSEX -- the obligatory club for all exchange students. Basically, they set up events for internationals

One semi-confusing tid-bit: the terminology used here can leave you bamboozled (no, they don't say that here, but I really wanted to start a bit of a comeback with a few words. Baby steps)
Cheers means just about everything from thank you to, well, cheers.
Football isn't football. It's not even football like in Europe. It's footy. So when I mention to an American friend that football season is only a few weeks away, an Australian passerby will correct me in saying that they're reach round 18 already.
There are plenty more to discuss, but that may merit it's own post in the future.

Okay, back to business. So my life...

I registered for classes, which was an adventure that occupied my attention up until about two hours ago -- it's a pretty terrible registration & enrollment process. Here, the full course load is four classes. For the curious, here's my schedule:
Aboriginalities -- a class dedicated to the study and discussion of issues of Australia's historical and present relationship with the indigenous people of the land. So it would seem, this relationship mirrors that of the sad tale lived out by Native Americans. I really wanted to take a class that taught me a bit about Australia's culture, so I'm hoping this subject can do the trick. This class may also happen to satisfy a core requirement at BC.
Making Movies 1 -- I've always loved movies, so this class was a no-brainer. Taught by a twenty-something independent director, this class has been pretty great so far. The class discusses techniques and supposedly makes you a film expert (so when I come back as a film snob wearing a beret and skinny jeans, blame this class). Also, it's a fine arts core fulfiller. Clutch.
Organizational Behavior -- also known as "organisational behaviour." The mandatory study-abroad CSOM (BC's business school) class. OB looks to be pretty standard, it certainly falls in line with lots of other management courses from years past: a group project, by the book definitions and a final exam worth too much. Only redeemable thing about it? The classroom. 

Sports Economics -- this one is really cool. Not only is it the first time the class has been offered, the professor coordinating the course is a complete wiz at this relatively niche field. I need to learn about cricket, which is an intimidating prospect. I love sports and I think applying concepts from economics to the study of sport is a really interesting idea. As one of maybe 5 Americans in the class, it'll be cool to be the residential expert on all things North American -- except NASCAR, 'cause that isn't actually a sport, obviously.

So yeah, that's my life right now. Classes started the 29th and I'm nearly through week 2 as we speak.
Are people reading this? If so, follow me on twitter (@DarnoldPalmer) for all kinds of zaney (another word I want to bring back) fun!

The week ahead:
-Going on a bar crawl this weekend (sorry Mom, I can drink here)
-Visiting the Footy stadiums and the Olympic training center
-Time allowing, trying to check out some beaches

Monday, 5 August 2013

I have a blog now

Catching Up!

So this is my first post. Hooray. Okay, enough shenanigans. 

I've been pretty busy, but still, my apologies to all my loyal fans and soon-to-be avid readers.
July 14th -- arrived in Melbourne at around 10 am local time after a delayed and lengthy day of travel that started at 1:10 am on July 13th (again Melbourne time). I highly recommend exit row seating, a bit chilly, but worth it.
July 15th to the 19th -- participated in the University of Melbourne Winter Welcome Week! It was loaded with all sorts of great fun:
-I explored the spread-out city in a ridiculous and often embarrassing scavenger hunt,
-I went wine tasting, 

A brief time line of what I've been doing since arriving in Melbourne:

-I came within feet of some very Australian animals (yes, the koala I pet was dead, but it counts), 

-I discovered how to play Australian Rules Football (or Footy) through the help of an actual club here (the North Melbourne Kangaroos), visited an awesome public market and 

-And I closed down the week with a very fun down-under themed party at a local hole in the wall.
The BC crew (minus Caitlin, sorry)

So yeah, that was a great first week! I wish I could add more but my computer is about to die and I don't have my charger with me. Since I can't post this from home (more on that later though) I am going to just put this up for now.

I moved into my apartment on Friday, and that's where I'll pick up when I post again.

Hey! Side note! If you ever want your questions answered though, I'd be happy to send you an email. 
Hit me up (it took a lot for me to not just say HMU) whenever!

Until next time!