Friday, December 31, 2004

Goodbye 2004, How I Knew Thee Well

First I would like to wish everyone I know a very Happy New Year and I would advise them not to consume the same mass quantities I plan on indulging in. Chances are if I see you on the night I might not even remember it.

No, that's not true. When I was a young boy, a gypsy woman placed a strange curse on me: I am doomed to have a good memory.

For me, this year has been a year of changes in perspective and of getting things done.

At some point around the beginning of the year I had the strong realisation that I was actually in a good relationship and that this could be my base for 'taking off' in terms of my personal goals.

Lotsa love to ya, baby!

My first novel is really chugging along. I started at the beginning of August and I've reached 35,777 words (or 132 pages). I'm just over half way. I only had a few major events planned for the second half of the novel, so the last few weeks has seen me plotting and scheming my way into the rest of the sordid details. So once I recover from New Year's Eve I should be able to use my lunchtimes at my other job for further adventures in wording.

My partner in love and I were forced into moving house a few months ago on account of the previous landlords. Initially, I ran around telling everyone that we were evicted and that we were stupid to have nominated each other for the eviction.

That's known as a dumb joke.

The reality of it is that our landlord's daugher wanted to move in to their house with some friends. Fair enough.

We've ended up in what we both think is a nicer place, even if it is a bit smaller. So the New Year will involve us warming the house with a few close friends and then rocking out on the town. Somewhere. I'm not telling where. Okay?

So here's a final toast to you all for the year:

Go lick a power point!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Jack Daniels

I don't have this drink that often because it holds some special memories for me. But last night I went to a BBQ and I ended up polishing off two four-packs of Jack & Coke in bottle format all by myself.

The first time I drank Jack Daniels was at the age of 17. I drank a lot of it. All on the one night.

It was my birthday and two friends of mine, lets call them Michael and Michael, bought a bottle of the stuff as a birthday present and brought it to school. So, 'straighty-one-eighty' Danny ends up carrying a bottle of whiskey in his backpack for the whole day. At school. To class. Where all the teachers are. I didn't get caught, but I did have a whole lotta worry on me.

Once the day was over the three of us boys headed up to the rocks near a tower at the local beach. It might have been a light tower, I can't remember. The bottle was passed around and for some strange reason I ended up consuming the larger portion of it. We then made our way down to the northern end of the beach. Michael had the bright idea of getting hold of a cask of cheap wine.

After a few plastic cups of that it was just like drinking water. Each successive cup went down unnoticed, much like mouthwash wouldn't if it was swallowed.

I remember confessing I had a crush on a particular girl and I'm sure it meant a whole lot to me, but it just fades into obscurity with the passing of time.

Another friend or two turned up later, but by that point we were lying on the grass, in the dark, vomiting out the side of our mouths.

Obviously this helped clear my head because I jumped up and decided to leave. I remember trying to tell the others of my decision through the use of telepathy, but they didn't listen, so I walked off in a huff.

It probably took half an hour to walk home and fifteen minutes to get my key in the door.

And something like two days to recover.

During the debriefing of the evening - back at school a few days later - we discovered that I'd walked off without my ghetto blaster and that Michael had driven the others home while drunk and hit ... maybe only a few parked cars on the way.

Michael, quite the graffiti artist (seriously) tagged our names all over the bottle and I still have it on my shelf.

At Michael's funeral a couple of years ago I came up with the idea of recreating that fateful evening from so long ago. We were to fill the bottle with Jack and drink it down at the beach again, minus one. I guess the idea was a bit too morbid for the others so the bottle stays where it is.

In my room. On the shelf.

Last night's drinks were for you Michael.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

A Date With Dentistry

I am NEVER going to do that again.

And neither should anyone else. Please, if any of you have a problem tooth or two, head over to your local sinister butcher (a.k.a The Dentist) and get a checkup. Get it sorted NOW. Before it's too late.

To explain: a long time ago I went to the dentist to have a wisdom tooth taken out. It was a trouble free operation and after it was over he mentioned that I should come back soon and get a filling done.

Ten years later and a few weeks ago, I went to have a checkup. I thought, maybe a couple of fillings and it would all be over. No such luck. I lost that tooth that very day and was told I would need thirteen more fillings. THIRTEEN.

Once the needle had done its numbing work on my gum I thought it would be a simple matter of a quick pull with the pliers.

No, no, no.

There wasn't enough left of the tooth to grab onto. He had to cut away some of the bone so that he could get his instruments of destruction in and split the tooth root by root. After that it was easy. After half an hour of grunting and pulling and jiggling with a selection of pliers and other pointy things, it was easy.

After it was over, I peeled myself off the chair and wondered what the assistant would use to clean the sweat from the plastic covering.

And to 'cap' it all off, I got to pay for it afterwards. Mumbling and spluttering to the woman from my medical insurer explaining that I'd been paying medical insurance every month for the last three years didn't stop me having to visit their office to process my claim manually.

That was a few weeks ago.

This weekend went pretty much the same, except we spent an hour or so trying to save the tooth by drilling and filling. Eventually we ran out of time and the next patient came in. I had to go home for a couple of hours and wait while the anaesthetic wore off so I could go back and get the tooth taken out.

In the interest of my own sanity I won't mention the earthing plate underneath my back or the smell of my own burning gums or the hour of agony after the anaesthetic wore off before the pills took effect.

I won't mention that although the dentist was a friend of the family and a pretty nice guy that locked the surgery door and stayed back to do the job right, he really did look like a gorilla.

I'll just mention the number of fillings I still have left to do.


Danny Hawaii OUT