Monthly Archives: April 2014

Gazzler’s List

My good friend Nolan Dalla recently wrote a blog piece titled “Ten Common Things I’ve Never Done”

Nolan’s list is quite a fun and interesting read, as it does shed new light on someone I feel I know reasonably well.  But I also feel compelled to respond to Nolan’s list, and to make a list of my own.

Nolan, you know I love you.  But as friends do, I like to get the boot in, whenever I can.

I shall respond to Nolan’s list first.

1)     Nolan has never used illegal drugs.  Not once.  Period.  This from a man who was a teenager in the 1970’s.  Nolan, I assure you, you’ve at least inadvertently done illegal drugs.  And mate, not all “illegal drugs” are as scary and dangerous as you seem to believe, especially if only used recreationally. 

2)     Nolan has never bought a new car.  Nolan doesn’t know what he is missing.  New cars are awesome.  It’s not like you’re beta testing by being the first to own a new car.  All the behind the scenes safety and performance checks have been done.  There are no bugs to iron out.  Wouldn’t you rather a gorgeous, shiny kitten that purrs for you?  Rather than a tattered, shabby old tabby, with diarrhoea and half of one ear missing, that mews and spits whenever you go near it?

3)     Nolan has never been on a Cruise Ship.  Ironically, I am in the same boat.  I wholeheartedly concur.  Once you’re in the middle of the ocean, you’re stuck there.  If I’m not having a good time, I like to be able to pack my bags, check out and go someplace better.  You do not have that luxury on a cruise.  If the cruise is full of screaming children (and I hear that many are) there’s no escape.  If the cruise is full of boozy Spring Breakers, there is no escape.  That reminds me, there used to be a party Cruise Liner in Australia in the 90’s called “Fairstar the Fun Ship”.  Little did they know, it was also known by many as the HMAS Herpes.  Party cruises.  Can you imagine anything worse?   There are only so many times you can call me “dude”, or even worse “duuuuuuude”, before I will hurt you.  Oh, and lean in, and listen closely, drunken college students.  I’ve hurt people before, and not one of them has come back and asked me to please hurt them again…

4)     Nolan has never watched the Simpsons.  WTF??!!  He mentioned some other TV shows that he’s never watched, including the Sopranos, but I just can’t get past the Simpsons.  It’s been on for almost half of your life!  You do realise it is not a children’s cartoon, but an “adult” animated series?  And it is freakin’ hilarious?!   The writing is second to none.  So many memorable characters, so many catch phrases.  Indeed the character development is superb and has evolved, and honed to perfection over the course of the years.  And the voice actors are simply brilliant at bringing the characters to life.  I’d suggest you buy the boxed set (but if you watch it for 8 hours straight every day, it will take you the better part of a month to watch it since you have so many years to catch up, you schlub).  However I fear that watching it now for the first time, would not be the same as watching it from its inception.  I actually feel sorry for you Nolan.  You have truly missed out.  D’oh.  In fact, this has outraged me so much, my next blog post is going to be “My Top 10 Favourite Simpson’s Quotes”.  It actually saddens me Nolan, that you may not recognise (or chuckle at) a single one of them…

5)     Nolan has never eaten at “Subway, Carl’s Jr., Capriotti, Chick-fil-A, Quizno’s” et al.  I’m afraid your list doesn’t effectively sort the wheat from the chaff.  Subway, for example cannot be compared to other fast food chains such as Chick-fil-A that peddle mostly in deep fried fare.  Subway is ostensibly a fresh sandwich franchise (and Quiznos, to a similar extent).  Admittedly, some of Subway’s cold cuts are processed and full of preservatives, but they do also offer fresh-cooked meats, an array of healthy salad ingredients, and bread baked “same day”.  If you ate Subway every day, there’s little to no risk of becoming stricken with “Supersize Me” syndrome as evidenced by Morgan Spurlock.  I’m not saying you should eat fast food.  Your general fast food philosophy is quite sound, and indeed meritorious.  I’m simply suggesting there are some healthier chains out there that shouldn’t be tarred by the same brush.

6)     Nolan never runs the air conditioning in his car.  What is that, I don’t even?  You’re in Las Vegas for fuck’s sake.  It’s the middle of the fucking desert!  Just because cavemen were too tired after a long day of hunting and/or gathering to take the time to invent air conditioning, rest assured they’d have used it in a heartbeat if it existed.  And Nolan, your reasoning that it causes motor damage is spurious.  I bet that’s something a mechanic told you back in the 80’s and you’ve never forgotten it.  You probably also believed that no-one would tire of “HyperColor” t-shirts.  The reality is, modern cars (even second-hand ones) are designed for air conditioning to be seamlessly integrated into the engine’s operation.  Not running the air conditioning, but then turning it on for the occasional dinner car pool, is actually worse for your vehicle.  In fact, I’d hate to be the person who purchases your car second hand.  They switch on the air conditioning, the vents splutter a cloud of dust in their face, and the engine conks out.  The post-purchase “cooling off” period is quite ironic, in your case.

7)     Nolan has never owned a female pet, because they are walking “kitten factories”.  Seriously, you’re blaming female cats for bringing kittens into the world?  Nolan, come up and sit on my knee.  It’s time we had a little talk.  Now when a boy cat and a girl cat love each other very much…

Anyway, all that aside.  You should neuter your pets, regardless of whether they are male or female.  That goes for everyone, neuter your fucking pets, you irresponsible ignoramuses.  And never buy from Pet Shops.  Pet Shop puppies are mostly bred in puppy mills.  Puppy mills are evil, conveyor belts of torture and deprivation.  Don’t give these evil people your money, while millions of perfectly happy pets are being needlessly euthanised in animal shelters.  Adopt from a shelter, save a life.  <end Gaz rant>

8)     Nolan claims he has never worn white shoes in his life.  I call bullshit.  But regardless, it seems an absurd philosophy.  If we only wore clothes that camouflaged us against the most common causes of soiling, we’d all be wearing brown and yellow underwear.

9)     Nolan has never seen Van Morrison in concert.  Nolan you’re not Robinson Crusoe there, although I daresay a lot of Britney fans could learn from your philosophy.

10)  Nolan never says “Goodbye” when leaving a social gathering.  Nolan, amen brother.  Fuck convention.  This trumps all of the above in my books.  Words to live by, my friend.  I’m stealing that one.

Now it is time to throw together my list of “Ten Common Things I’ve Never Done”.  It was not as easy an exercise as I thought it would be.  I’m fortunate to have enjoyed many, many fun and interesting experiences. However, there are a handful of things (well, two handfuls, if you’re going to be pedantic) that I’ve never done before.  Here goes:

1)     I have never, ever waxed.  Anything.  And never will.  Sure, I do the odd spot of manscaping.  It is important to trim the undergrowth from around the base of the ol’ oak tree, (it makes it look taller) but I have never felt the need to do any widespread, comprehensive land clearing.  A man is supposed to have hair.  So are ladies, for that matter – how else is the plane supposed to know where to land?

2)     I have never snow-skied.  This will come as a surprise to most of you who know of my love for Whistler.  Truth be told, the idea has always terrified me.  Strangely, I am perfectly comfortable snowboarding.  I think it is the fear of each leg being independently responsible for my safety.  Don’t trust the fuckers to act in unison, so strap ‘em together, I say.

3)    I have never been arrested, or even detained.  Either I’m very straight-laced, or I’m extremely good at not getting caught.  I wonder if Nolan can say the same?  No judgement buddy, it would just appear that some are not as wholesome as some, on the whole.

Actually, that reminds me of a joke:  “Jesus loves you”.  A nice thing to hear in Church, but not so in a Mexican prison…

4)     I have never been to South America or New Zealand.  Now I am a guy who has been everywhere.   Well not literally, obviously.  But I have undertaken some heavy business travel over the past 12 years, and have had the pleasure (and sometimes displeasure, truth be told) of visiting over 60-70 countries.  I have booked New Zealand trips on several occasions, but the fates got in the way and I have had to cancel each and every one of those visits.  And for some strange reason, I have never made it anywhere in South America.  I must fix these aberrations.  I hear there’s some sort of football tournament coming up down that way.  I simply must check it out.  Sao Paulo via Queenstown, por favor.  Sweet as bro.

5)     I have never, or will ever let this kind of thing happen to me:, which could mean my third point might still be in jeopardy.  I simply don’t suffer fools.  I would rather sort that shit out early, and have them seethe and glare at me while I enjoy the rest of the show, rather than seethe and glare at them, while not enjoying being able to enjoy the rest of the show.  There are unwritten social conventions that can sometimes only be taught by harsh lessons.

6)     I have never been to a game of baseball.  I don’t know why.  I have no excuse.  I’d actually love to go, but for some reason I’ve never made it happen.  I’m a massive cricket fan, and try to see it live when I can, so I can handle the tedium of long, drawn-out sports.  Fortunately, I like a drink, so I’m pretty sure I can remain entertained for a few hours.  And heck, I love the baby elephant walk.  It makes no sense.  I’ve been to countless NHL, NBA and NFL games in the US (including several Super Bowls) but have never experienced a live ball game.  Right, this is now on my bucket list.  My next invite, I am accepting. Except maybe if it’s the Pirates *shudders*

7)     I have never bungee jumped.  And I have never skydived (but I have zoomed in on Google Earth really, really fast).  And I never will.  Sorry, it’s unnatural and it’s just pushing your luck.  If I am in need of a head rush, I’ll simply stand up too quickly after tying my shoelaces.

8)     I have no tattoos.  My body is a temple.  I would never defile it in any way.  *hand me another gin and tonic, my good man*  Besides, any artwork I liked enough to hang on my wall 10 years ago is long gone.  I can’t say I have the confidence to settle on something I know I’ll like in a year’s time, let alone a lifetime.   Can you say the same for your Chinese symbol tramp stamp?  You do know it translates to “Goat Fucker” in Chinese?  Gaz’s Tip o’ the Day: Never haggle the price with a tattoo artist…

9)     I have never seen Schindler’s List.  I know, I know.  It’s not quite as bad as Nolan and the Simpsons, but it’s true.  I missed it during its cinematic run.  By then, most of my close acquaintances had seen it.  So whenever it came to hiring a movie, Schindler’s List was never considered, as everyone had seen it, and it’s generally not considered “light entertainment”.  As a consequence, I have simply not made the time to sit down and watch it.  I must fix this.

10)     I have never folded 7-2 under the gun.  This is because I like to live dangerously.  As for conservative, old “Blackshoes Dalla”, I cannot say the same…

Heck, why stop at 10.  Let’s make it a neat dozen.

11)     I have never broken a plate at a Greek restaurant.

12)     Although I have been heard to say otherwise, I have never beaten the following people at golf (at least fairly): Matt Savage, Ty Stewart, Shane Warne, Barry Hearn, Jim Preston and John Caldwell.  I am admitting it here, publically.  Seth Palansky however, anyone could beat.  The guy is a fish.

Right, that’s it.  As usual, I welcome some critique in the comments section.  Indeed, feel free to throw your lists in there as well, I could do with some shits and giggles.

Until then, bugger off.  I’ve got to whittle my next blog down to only 10 Favourite Simpson’s Quotes.  This may take a while.

Impersonal Training

Sorry for the blog radio silence folks.  My arms have been too fucking sore to type.

After the Green Vegetable Detox Cleanse was complete, it was time for the intensive fitness regime.

“Regime” is a suitably apt description, because three weeks in, I think my personal trainer has all the attributes of a third-world Dictator – oozing charm and charisma, but liable to rip you from your bed in the wee hours to inflict excruciating torture.

Anyway, the first thing Gaddafi sorted out was my diet and supplement plan.

Imagine my joy when he handed me a bag containing 30 premium grade, NZ rib fillet steaks.

I was to have one every morning for breakfast to sort out my protein requirements and energy levels.

“Don’t mind if I do”, I said to myself eloquently, “I fucking love steak”.

Well now I hate steak.

I never usually eat breakfast, so slugging my way through a steak every morning has proven quite challenging.  I almost miss the Brussels sprouts…

Besides the requirement of plenty of protein, and the right amount of good fats, the rest was obvious – don’t eat junk or carbs.

Half of that was easy – I don’t like junk food anyway – but I am seriously jonesing for some vegemite on toast.

We then did an intolerance and allergy work up, and found that I am gluten and lactose intolerant.  So no bread and milk for Uncle Gaz-gaz.  Actually that reminds me of an amusing David Mitchell rant on QI:

“Actually we’re supposed to live till we’re 250.  But no, we’ve been eating all this poisonous bread and milk all the time, we can barely limp past 98!”

The real downside is the cheese.  I love cheese.  A frisky Moscato and a silky Camembert go together like… well, wine and cheese.

Since I’m not supposed to eat carbs, the gluten intolerance is redundant anyway.  But fuck the lactose intolerance.  I will not be prejudiced towards cheese, no matter the consequences (and I’m pretty sure there will be consequences…).

The daily physical training started with basic stretching and simple exercises to get me back into the groove.  We now alternate days of boxing, with cardio and weights.  Normally, I wouldn’t go for a run if you paid me.  Now, I’m paying someone to make me run.  It hardly seems fiscally equitable.

Stupidly, I actually thought the boxing training would be fun.  It’s not.  I think it is best described by a line I’m stealing from the late, great Douglas Adams in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”:

“It is unpleasantly like being drunk”.

“What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?!”

“Ask a glass of water”

My boxing trainer is having a title fight on Good Friday, so he has turned me into his personal punching bag.  He is amazing.  And powerful.  And terrifying.

If I drop the pace, it’s 100 star jumps.  If I cower in the corner crying, it’s 100 star jumps.  If I lose count in the middle of my 100 star jumps, it’s 100 star jumps.

Thankfully he hasn’t demanded I do 100 push-ups, cos that shit ain’t happening.  Indeed is it wrong for me to pray that he’s taken a few too many uppercuts, and doesn’t have the visual or mental acuity to read this blog?

Regardless, if I let my guard down, I get a punch in the face.  If I don’t kick him hard enough, he demonstrates, with great vigour, just how hard he wants me to kick him.

The shit is real.  Frighteningly real.  But it is also exhilarating.

All in all, the training hasn’t come easy.  After a leg curling session (single leg curls), I’m embarrassed to admit I was hurting so badly, I had to take a cab home from the gym rather than make the 5 minute walk.

For most of the first week, I was so sore, if I dropped something on the floor, that was precisely where it would remain.

Another day I couldn’t lift a cup of coffee to my face.

That was all pretty dismal, but now a few weeks in, I’m starting to actually enjoy it.

Not only that, I’m feeling fantastic and have heaps of energy.

I’m also down a shirt size, and have discovered two more usable holes on my belt – I was wondering what they were for.

My personal trainers say shit hasn’t properly started yet.  Three weeks ago, that would have been a worry.

But now, I say bring it on!

Walks away humming*:

“Rising up, back on the street. Did my time, took my chances. Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet, just a Gaz and his will to survive…”


* Actually, I did no such thing.  My motivational gym song is actually Fatboy Slim’s “Right Here, Right Now”, but its lyric deficiency would have made it a lacklustre way to end this story…