On Australian Cities

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Here I am in one of the most modern countries I’ve ever visited and it’s harder than hell to find an Internet cafe that’s open 24 hours.

We’re in Melbourne, capital of Victoria. Land of fires raging and burning all around. There actually isn’t any smoke here (though yesterday it was almost 100, and today its 70…sweet). However the fires prevented me from heading up to the foothills today (that and the debacle of finding a rental car when there is a motorcycle grand prix going on). So the fires are very real. Most folks here have brought it up when I’ve talked to them, so any donations or prayers you have to send this way will be greatly appreciated. (And yes, I have been inspired for my next feature film after this years shoot).

We finally got out of the water, and into the cities. And honestly, I prefer the water. The cities here (Sydney and Melbourne) are both beautiful, modern, filled with great buildings, gardens, parks, people walking all about, harbours and rivers, cafe’s and opera houses. Art museums (VERY cool here in Melbourne. The building was awesome, with a waterfall over glass across teh front. You will likely see some of that in the sequel to “Lady CarLove” which we are filming…sort of). Cities great, people nice, but I’m ready for some adventure again. We’re heading out on teh great Ocean road for 2 days, so I’ll let you know how that is going later.

On Tuesday, after a day of Bondi Beach in Sydney, (amazing waves, beautiful scenery, and some fantastic views of some beach bunnies indeed!). We got ready, and headed off to the HORDERN PAVILLION on the Fox Studios Sydney lot for a little bit of NINE INCH NAILS! It was a great show, with the band only a 4 piece now. Hot as hell, but the people here are so damn nice, even the mosh pits are friendly!. The power went out for about 40 minutes right as Trent started pushing buttons for BURN to start. He said “Let’s see what this does?” and out goes the power! So we all sang “Bohemian Rhapsody” and other songs. It was fun.

The next day we fly to Melbourne, get into a hotel a bit outside the city proper but on a very regular tram line (man I wish LA had trams like this). And then off to NINE INCH NAILS! We had to stop at Hungry Jacks, which is a fast food place that looks just like burger king, but has a different name. they sell almost the same things, but this time it has an AUSSIE BURGER. With ham and egg on it!

The show tonight had no power problems, and during the Good Soldier, Trent was playing his tamborine (yes, a tamborine in industrial music!), and I thought “He’s going to throw it right to me”.

He finished his playing, tossed it in the air and I watched it sail up, and over, and down… and right into my hands!. And NO ONE FOUGHT ME FOR IT! Everyone said “nice job!” “Sweet mate!”. Even there they are friendly. In the USA that would have been a fight and a half for that thing.

The next few days were touring around Melbourne and seeing museums and sights. And on Thursday night we hit an AFL game (as in AUSSIE FOOTABALL LEAGUE). It was really fun, big big BIG field, about the size of 3 of our Football fields. And 18 people on each side. We were sitting near some super fans of COLLINGWOOD and some players from another team. So we learned the rules (which are pretty simple) and enjoyed the game. Afterwards everyone cruised back to the hotel but me and I went out and found some KARAOKE!!!! I did a little “Baby Got BacK” and then, because I’d made some new Australian friends at the bar, I had to do “Down Under” by Men at Work. It was silly, but they love it. After all it’s almost the national anthem. Some of the folks were from a country band called BOSTOCK, I haven’t gotten a chance to check em out, but will when I return. (yes, I said country band:)

Friday ended up with us all doing different things, Tom working on his show he’ll be doing tonight, and the others shopping. And as evening came I decided “Screw it, I’m going to the NIN show tonight as well!” They were playing in a festival with Alice IN Chains and other bands. Unfortunatly due to naps and train delays I missed them. But fortunately I ended up with a couple blokes from Melbourne Sky Diving who had free tickets waiting for them… and not all their friends were going. :) They offered me a ticket, as long as I could pretend to be “Sally Baker”. I said “It happens all the time. My name’s Sal Baker and they call me Sally.” A little bit later were heading into the festival for FREEEEEEEEE! NIN had just started, they were on song 3 or 4, and I headed in! During THE FRAIL, this mighty wind picked up and was blowing like crazy. It was really fun. This tour (which may be the last for a long time…or forever, yikes!) they’re playins some unusual songs. They’ve rocked THE FRAGILE all three shows. It stirs up some emotions from back when mom was sick, as that entire CD is about him dealing with the cancer and death of his grandma (who raised him like his mom), so that’s been a very powerful and unsual experience to have in a crowd like that. But a good one.

And here I am, getting ready for Tom’s bad ass show tonight, and off on teh great ocean road tomorrow…

It’s been a fast trip, but a mostly good one. In just a few days everyone goes home and I head of to Tasmania to do some rock climbing and stuff.

A few notes on Australia:

1. It’s a big country.

2. Everyone is super nice.

3. They actually have more rules and restrictions than the USA. (which I never really thought I would encounter).

4. It needs a lot of time since it’s so big.

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