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Mar. 8th, 2010

a regular irregular post

Seven months, man. Damn. Blah blah must update more blah blah been busy blah blah.

Yet again this post comes to you from Melbourne. I have finally moved out of College Square after two and a half years, and am now the proud occupant of a rather spacious two bedroom apartment in Brunswick. Yes, I moved from upmarket student central to hipsterville; and I love it. Traveling to university, the city and to work all feel like a genuine journey rather than my own backyard. It might be less convenient but it feels more adult, more real-world and much less live-off-microwave-mac-and-cheese-student-life. I have a balcony, two bathrooms, cable television and real internet after the bullshit I had to put up with for the last two and a half years.

But best of all, the kitchen is about three times the size, if not more, than what I had on Lygon Street and I've been putting it to good use with the help of a brilliant foodie across the Pacific (and the subsequent continental USA). Her suggestions, recipes and love of all things gastronomical have been nothing short of an inspiration for me to slowly but surely get even more involved in the kitchen, become more adventurous and explore new horizons in food. Alas, I should emphasise the SLOWLY BUT SURELY. And now, the plug - she puts that passion into a brilliantly-written blog at stricteating.wordpress.com

I suppose the biggest news to report is that in a few weeks I'll be crossing the Pacific to visit that very writer, foodie and very close companion of mine in Boston. It should be a very good trip, she has already lined up several restaurants and new places in Boston for us to visit, and over Easter weekend I'll be visiting my aunt and uncle in New Jersey. I promise that if nothing else, I will post one or two photos after I return in April. As always, the journey itself excites me - it's my first time flying internationally out of Melbourne to somewhere other than Singapore, and it's my first time flying with the new and highly-rated V Australia. 

In all honesty, though, it's the company I'll be keeping once stateside that excites me the most. Read into that what you will. 

As for university, well as always another post brings with it another swift progression in my life as a University of Melbourne undergraduate. I'm now into my final semester of the standard degree, and am considering whether or not to pursue the honours program. I'm starting an internship with a boutique PR firm in a couple of weeks, and want to see if I'm ready to get out there and start working rather than spend another year on academia. 

Righty-ho. I suppose that sums it all up for now. I won't bother promising more frequent posts because we all know it won't happen. Until next year, I suppose!

Aug. 8th, 2009

the only one that got through

I must try and update this damned blog more regularly. Even if no one reads it.

So, given the date, I am back in Melbourne after three and a bit weeks in Singapore, and have just finished my second week of third year. The schedule this semester is absolutely glorious - two days of class a week, and even that's just two or three hours a go. Must try and keep that to myself though, or I'll start getting the old noise about how I should be making better use of my time. Of course I am, I just overtook Manchester United in the league standings.

In all seriousness, I'm beginning work on my research project; 8,000 words on new media and the Iranian election. A very fresh topic, I reckon, so hopefully I'm at least riding the trend if not slightly ahead of it there. Will probably be regretting that in a few weeks' time, but hey ho.

Absolutely murdered my bloody trotters yesterday with a 10,000 step walk in one go IN WORN FLAT SOLES. That was a bloody good idea, forgo the (almost) new Timberland trainers that make you feel like you're walking on air in favour of what is essentially walking barefoot. Not to mention they had almost no grip and there were some wet patches on the path so I had to engage a sort of manual traction control on my ankles.

Speaking of shoes, the ones in my display photo remain to this day my favourite ever pair. Adidas Jerez, I think they were, and I wore them to their bloody death. Never found any that I've liked as much since.

And speaking of traction control, I took my first driving lesson on Wednesday. I'd like to say I absolutely mullered it, but if anything I was a bit iffy. Starting and moving off was perfectly fine, but I can't seem to stop without stalling yet. Can't wait to get better at it, get hold of my license, a car, some petrol... oh it tires me out just thinking about it. Taxi!

Haven't done much in the way of cooking since I've been back. I continue to blame it on the small kitchen. I also continue to laugh at this pathetic excuse for what is essentially laziness.

Eh, this feels like a bit of a pointless rant.

so to end this post
a clever little haiku
hope all's forgiven.

Jun. 27th, 2009

ironing out the kinks

Ah, it has begun - the final run before flying back on Monday morning. Going to random shops in the city to pick up this or that for this person or that person. At least it gets my walking up again, I've slacked badly on that for the last couple of weeks.

The suitcase is out of storage (under the desk), has been wiped down and is gradually filling up. Passport, ticket, boarding pass, immigration forms and Singapore currency is in one neat little spot on the bookshelf. This has become a bit of a routine nowadays.

I'm heading to Hisense Arena to see Ross Noble live "in the round" tonight. I can't wait. Saw him last March and I haven't laughed that hard EVER. Plus his shows go on for a good three hours so it should make for a good night.

Nagambie was a bit of a whirlwind. The first night I ended up sleeping early thanks to my screwed up sleeping pattern from the exams. The second I slept early from a combination of my lousy alcohol tolerance and my desire to wake up at 6 for the early train back to the city. Needn't have worried, my fellow gentlemen travellers saw to it that I was well awake and ready to leave at about 4.30. Fun.

So tomorrow is the final wrap-up, laundry and all that rubbish, then a fairly early sleep for the 5.30 start on Monday. Think I might try and get a Singapore-Zurich run going on the simulator, but that's all tentative.

Right then. I'm off to get some Portugasm action and then it's off to ol' Richmond for me.

Jun. 21st, 2009

fucking up the end game

So I have one more thing to get done, a Middle East Politics exam tomorrow afternoon. Then, hell month begins to draw to a close.

Kurt, Garry and I are heading up to Nagambie on Tuesday for a couple of days. I can't wait to get the hell out of the city. I love it here but sometimes I just want space, so being out in the country for a bit should help solve that. By day two I'll be crying out for civilisation again but I don't really care.

Thursday, Sohrab comes into the city to stay the night before he flies back to Singapore the following afternoon. So a trip down the pub on Thursday night then, before a busride to the airport the following day - which shall be the first time I'm going to the airport and NOT leaving on a jetplane.

Friday night - Essendon vs Carlton. Go the Blues.

Saturday - shopping for the usual things to bring back to Singapore, then ROSS NOBLE LIVE AT HISENSE ARENA. Oh god yeah.

Sunday - about three laundry loads while packing.

Monday - SQ238 straight home.

So close now.

May. 21st, 2009

hello world, did you miss me

Well this thing nearly died, it's been nearly a year since my last late-teen overly-emo broken-heart rant. Haven't done much writing lately, so let's see if I can get this going again, hopefully with a little less wah my girlfriend left me and a little more insight into life. Ha. Like that'll last.

Facebook people, you're probably reading this on a feed through my notes. I'm going to de-link that, since I like to keep the two things seperate separate (i always mess that spelling up), but if you want to keep up with things, check out alexnadder.livejournal.com every now and again, and hopefully I'll be keeping it somewhat up to date.

So what's happened in the last ten months or so? Almost finished my second year at university, and just saying that scares me. Had a relatively decent semester, found my niche in Middle East politics and history subjects, but unfortunately I'm supposed to be doing a media degree so I'm not going to get another shot at those. The course itself has left me pretty disillusioned, I'm definitely not where I wanted to be going into third year, but from what I've been told that happens to a lot of people. So who knows, really.

Still flying back to Singapore during the breaks, but after Winter break 2010 that'll probably stop. It's not that I don't like the place - I don't, but that's not why I'll stop going back - I go back to see the family, have a break from semi-self-sufficiency (read: mother's cooking) and all that. Eventually, I want to stay here - barring any enticing opportunities abroad, of course. There's a lot to like here.

In other news? Still in College Square. Still don't like it. Still haven't got much of a choice. The inability to get my own choice of internet provider or Foxtel greatly weighs on my hatred deep dislike towards this place, but at the end of the day it's a roof over my head. Swings and roundabouts, I suppose.

Brought my flightsim computer here last July, so that's a nice distraction. Also, went Mac. Combine that with the livejournal and things start to look pretty dire. Just fucking give me my beret and hobo gloves already. Oh wait, got the gloves as well. Time to change my name to Solstice, I suppose.

As for music, tastes have remained largely the same but Radiohead now rules the roost, and Pink Floyd's The Wall has been on repeat for the last few weeks. It's staggeringly good.

And I've started cooking... kind of. Better than chucking instant pasta on the boil for eight minutes like I did when I first moved here. Jeez, that actually made me feel like I was really cooking.

Haven't used my camera since the Sydney trip last September, though. Should probably work on that.

Well this wasn't too hard (said the actress to the bishop). Here's hoping I can keep this up, without much inanity.

Jul. 14th, 2008

on the road again

Just returned from a three and a half week trip to the UK.

A few months ago, I was planning to visit New York, but funnily enough my last post was all about how funny change is. I'm not going into details. There's nothing really to say that can't already be guessed - my relationship with Lauren ended in the beginning of March and this blog is the only public space I use where I haven't said anything about it yet.

My priorities were significantly reassessed after it happened. I realised that, yes, when you're with someone you want nothing more than to spend the rest of your lives together and make plans for the future. I did anyway. But in the last four months I've realised just how young I still am - 20, for christ's sake - and what sort of a life there is waiting for me over the next few years. I'm living in a fantastic city, one that, a few months ago, I was so ready to give up after graduating in order to fly across the Pacific to be with her, and now I can see myself calling Melbourne home for many a moon to come. I've got university to enjoy - the studies and the social life. And I have to say, now that I've gotten used to it, I quite like the single life at university.

I've got different goals for the next year now. Instead of working to barely scrape the cash together for a ten day trip to the States, I can now get a more casual job, relax, and save some cash for my next trip to the UK in 2012 for the Olympics. I can focus on getting my goddamn driving license. And, with the exception of this latest winter break where only three out of my six weeks off are spent with the family in Singapore, I can devote my holiday time exclusively to being home from now on.

If you're reading this, though, thinking "wow, he clearly was miserable and now he's happy to be well shot of her", that's not quite the case. Like I said, when I was with her, I was more than happy to give up plenty and aim for different goals - things which, at the time, meant the world to me and felt like they would make me happy. What I'm saying is that now, as unthinkable as it was to the Alex from four and a half months ago, I'm just as happy with the prospect of the rest of my life without her.

Am I completely over it, completely shot of any feelings of any sort? Of course not. But I'm doing fine now. I've moved on significantly, and that's why I've waited until now to write about this here, now that I'm settled, relaxed and happy.

Apr. 29th, 2008


God damn this city.


Every now and again, you’ll read a facetious little novella about how “every city has two sides”. That’s bullshit. Cities have layers. The first layer is the one sold to happy little tourists from across the two oceans, flying over in their snap-happy millions and dragging home little plastic models of landmarks they could easily find in their own shopping malls. The second layer is where the ordinary people live, the ones that scurry from home to work and back every day and spend their weekends with family in the suburbs. There’s a few more layers in between.


My layer is just above the festering core of this place. It’s the grade-E meat they serve at gone-midnight diners, the second-to-last class at your old high school. No one cares as long as the smackheads keep to themselves and don’t shoot anyone who makes more than a buck below minimum wage. Murders only raised an eyebrow when they were either tabloid brutal or came in groups of three or more, and it was the latter as I got off the phone with Precinct. Staring across the grey river, I drew my cheap smoke right down to the filter, flicked it into the water and got back in the car.


We had a ten minute drive to the scene. In the last two weeks, I’d been called to three DOAs, all within a ten block radius. Every single one of them had a severed index finger on the left hand, surgically removed right at the base. They had all been shot three times, first in the leg, then in the stomach, and finally in the head. Always the left leg. Always the left temple. It was as if the sick son of a bitch wanted to immobilize his victim, let him begin to bleed to death, and then executed him when he got bored. And like all serial killers, he had a gimmick. A wreath of buttercups.


So far, the victims had all been white men, no older than forty, no younger than their mid-twenties. No real families to miss them. Half-assed rap sheets - a dropped minor assault charge here, a DUI there. These were such average Joes they were almost a rare breed.


The flashing blue and red illuminated the alley and I knew we’d come to the right place. The back of my neck bristled as we got out of the car and neared the body. Seventeen years of this shit and you still never get used to your first sight of the dead. It’s the realization that this cold, slumped, bloodied bag of bones was a walking, talking, breathing person just hours ago. It had probably loved and lost, grown up with a family, gone to school. And with a couple of trigger-squeezes it was now exhibit A in another murder case. Another ‘vic’.


Like the three before it, a makeshift wreath lay at the poor bastard's feet. Nothing but buttercups. I knelt down to find that number four was missing his left index finger. What a surprise. Bloody gunshot wounds lined the left of his cold lifeless figure. Leg. Stomach. Temple.


The bog-standard boys in blue stood around discussing the blood-spattered bright yellow petals. Personally, I couldn't give two shits if we were dealing with a schizophrenic hitman who yodeled his victims to death. I was more concerned with the sick, twisted adventure I was being dragged into, an adventure in which yet again I was a thousand steps behind, going nowhere fast. I had a bunch of sick calling cards but no phone number, thousands of dots that connected into nothing but a mess of blood and maimed hands.


Jerry waddled over from somewhere I didn't care to notice. His name isn't really Jerry, but you can't look at a jackass like that and think of any other name. He's the kind of cop that protects his donuts, serving to get cheap laughs. As the cold, stinging wind laced with freezing rain lashed my cheeks, I studied him and his pot belly draped in yet another one of those garish Hawaiian shirts. Only two words could ever come to mind: fucking useless. Before he could utter the made-for-TV quip he'd been working on for ten minutes, I pulled a limp cigarette from my fourteen year old trenchcoat, battled with the elements to light the bastard, and went to talk to the sad ten dollar hooker who found the body.


And again it was the same story. Working the street. Saw a slumped figure in the alley. Thought it was an unconscious junkie. Went to check he was okay. (Like hell she was concerned about anything more than how much the guy had in his wallet.) Called the cops.


I followed the usual routine. Took her statement and headed back to the precinct. The captain was waiting for me. We’d hit the magical threshold – four dead bodies, each with a sick little similarity. The vultures at the Post and the Times were buzzing. Great news for the captain and his commissioner ambitions, the commissioner and his dreams of becoming chief, and the D.A. and his quest for congress.


Bad news for me trying to do my damn job in peace. Now every move would be watched by the press. They’d be snooping around in no time, leaking leads and giving the perp a head start every time he walked past a news stand.


I spent an hour going through the ridiculous paperwork. Victim’s mother’s maiden name. Who gave a fuck? Find me a case that couldn’t be solved without this and I’ll hand in my badge.


Way past midnight and even longer after the scum came out on the streets, I drove the seventeen blocks to a damp and dark little box I try to call home. It’s something out of a film noir, this place, with a broken elevator, staircases littered with used needles and “neighbours” of questionable immigration status. The only thing that kept this building crime-free was the presence of a cop on the second floor, although it was only a matter of time before someone conveniently forgot that little fact.


I went through the tedious process of unlocking my front door, then locking myself in for the night. By the kitchen sink sat a little blackboard from the meetings. I added a day to the tally – two years, five months and eleven days now.


Relics of a previous life were scattered across the uninviting excuse for a living room. A picture of an unfamiliar smiling family; two ridiculously handsome boys, one with his father’s eyes, the other, his mother’s smile, being held by their parents, a storybook couple. Her, a high-school teacher who moved to the city to help less-fortunate public school kids with her husband, a recently promoted detective with a bright future ahead of him. Beneath the picture, a photo album, with a faded romantic introduction, a youthful, happy middle, and a blood-stained mess of newspaper cuttings for an ending. A yellowing glass stood beside them with a wilting solitary lily.


I replaced the decrepit flower with a fresh one without even thinking, throwing the old lily out like the hundreds before it.


Every murderous scumbag I’d apprehended for the last five years, I’ve tried to imagine it’s him. The bastard who got himself so high on some insignificant variant of dope that he didn’t think it would be enough to strip our house of everything it was worth, but decided to spray the bedrooms with bullets as a fun little postscript. The one night I shouldn’t have worked overtime. The one night I should’ve been there to put my piece to his head and squeeze.


A crash of garbage cans and some generic swearing in the alley outside my window dragged me out of my pointless what-ifs and back into the damp squalor that was now the closest thing to a home I had. I checked the box, typical late-night crap, and decided to call it a night. A couple of years ago I would’ve opened up a bottle and only gone to sleep when my head hit the table. I don’t do that anymore. Maybe that’s a good thing.


The idiots in the alley were yelling louder now. No way was I having this tonight. I opened the window and leaned out to see two dark forms having a drunken argument a few floors below.


“Shut the fuck up and get out!” I yelled, and watched as they stumbled into the street and out of sight.


And then he shot me. 

tout de suite


hard. gritty. sharp.
piercing the soles of my feet
as my soul weeps as i stand
and i watch and the grey brute roars
and hauls you away.
miles away.

i can do nothing.
i can do nothing but wait
wait for hours
and hours
until you can go no further
and we can be pulled no further
miles and hours
and miles and hours
and miles
from where you should be.
in my bed.

that night.
as you sleep peacefully above the cold black water
breathing dry stale air, gliding so far away
it might as well be another planet
i lie awake counting every second i have to endure
before winter

then at last!
my table shakes, i hear your voice
and feel your hand
in mine.

and i am ready.
as long as you are ready,
i am ready.

ready to wait for you.

Wasn't 100% happy with this one on its own, but as part of the series, it was necessary.

Eternal Summer.

(last minute flight)

I am home again.
But the ground beneath us quakes.
I will not lose you.

First time experimenting with Haiku, quite liked it.



my silver steed rolls across smooth tarmac.
i am here for you.
i am here to save us.

this is my last lunge in a battle waged across seas
my fight to save our last dying breath
fighting for the both of us

and my quest is complete
in a matter of snow-covered days
we return to the surface after drowning for months
breathing each other

how close the two of us came
nothing can stop us now

yet as this gun metal grey tyrant roars yet again to pull us apart
to drag me away from you
i curl in a corner
silence the beast’s roar with thom yorke
and as i watch the city get smaller
and watch the figure i imagine to be you
getting smaller
and smaller
i enclose myself in a music box
Fog (Again) (Live)
and i cry myself to sleep.

but this time i have hope

the strangest thing
i promised summer for winter
and got winter for summer

Godknows what season.

impossible, this
the sharp scream of the flatline
i am lead balloon.

In the pursuit of sticking to the required 5-7-5 format, I found a fantastic line in "i am lead balloon".


forgive me.

what ridiculously venomous thing could i have said
with a gravity
a crater
a fucking apocalypse more devastating than this?


to leave you in a world and a mind
where you are nothing to me
another throwaway prick on legs
for a split second i wanted only this
but only a split second
only a second.
a second.


i hate the world i created in your mind.
a world i knew would weigh down and crush your shoulders
and compress your heart until it
like a strawberry
in the menacing grip of a stupid child.

with just a few vibrations of my throat
and flicks of my tongue
and pursing of my bloody lips

oh god.

when i lie here and bleed clear through my eyes
the mere thought of you
and your beautiful
pretty stupidity

oh christ!

to think
that you think
that i think
of you
as nothing

while you think
that i think
that you think
of me
as everything.

you poor, poor boy. 

to love you would be to save you
from the very evil that is me

to love you
would be to not love you
at all

my willing pet
my parrot in a cage
cawing at me from beyond the bars
i lock you behind
every night 

ignorant of the irony only i could see
that you would hang yourself
for me
and all i can do is tell you how much i
for it. 

the torture i put you through
stains from my lips.

i can only sob whispered sorrys to the cold bricks that wall me in every night.

Not written from my perspective, this piece was born out of a writing exercise that was meant to be a couple of lines and turned into an all-night attack on paper. The original draft is several pages long and much less organised.


fog. again. live.

what fucking irony.
now i can hear the lyric
“how did you go bad?”

Gotta love Thom Yorke.

Dec. 20th, 2007

it's certainly going to be a happy new year

It's funny how things change.

I think if you told me, a year ago, that I would be going to Boston in a year and twenty six days, I'd probably politely ask which institution you escaped from and if you would kindly not hurt me.

But then I'd react that way to a lot of things you could tell me a year ago.

I had no idea I'd end up studying in Melbourne.

I couldn't fathom flying halfway across the world on such short notice.

And holy shit I would've told you to shut the fuck up if you even suggested I'd ever wear bootcut jeans.

But things change, don't they?

So I'm going to see my girlfriend much earlier than I'd expected. I'm flying to Boston on the 16th of January, which means I have an extra week or so in Singapore, and then heading back on the 26th with a couple of days at home before hopping down under again.

Flight details? No, I know you're not interested, but here you go:

Northwest Airlines
Dep Singapore Changi Airport
Arr Tokyo Narita Airport

Dep Tokyo Narita Airport
Arr Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport

Dep Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Arr Boston Logan Airport

...and on the way back, all I know is I leave Boston 0905 on the 26th, and arrive in SIN at 0035 on the 28th.

Then I'm flying to MEL on the morning of the 31st.

It's going to be one hell of a month.

Nov. 25th, 2007

oh wow it's hot

So I'm back in Singapore.

It's weird. Apart from the fact that I'm not sleeping in my room anymore, it's like I never left. Everything feels, looks, tastes and smells the same. I've spent four months away from this nuthouse and I feel like I never left it.

Although it definitely got hotter.

I've just been spending my time back chilling and soaking everything in. I'm not going to go mad-tourist and demand to see Night Safari, Sentosa and all that other crap just because I'm on holiday.

But with plenty of flight simulator, of course.

Gradually meeting up with people and catching up on the last few months. But really, all I want to do is relax, have some beers and enjoy the next few weeks. Throw in some shopping for cheap winter clothes (namely one leather jacket from Topman). Then it's back down under, and time to get a job.

After all, how am I going to get to Lauren if I haven't got any money?

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