Friday, May 29, 2009

Can't find anything funny to do? Read the Asheville Citizen-Times!

It's always worth a peek at the online Asheville Citizen-Times because at random times during the day they put up stories with a minimum of spellchecking, editing and aforethought.

Today, the Bastard's favorite street name makes an appearance. I guess the subheading was declared too bland. On the other hand it is rather a nice Friday morning to be sitting out in downtown Asheville with open containers of beer and cocaine. I think she was just making the most of things.

This headline conjures up some more stunning visuals on a slow news day (apart from beer and cocaine on Short Coxe!). Phish phans are phucking coming and they will clog the streets of Asheville. You know if there's any city well-equipped for the onslaught of broke smelly jam band fans, you'd think it would be Asheville.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm back - Asheville get ready

I had one of the least stressful returns to the US ever - my passport and documentation are usually such a mess that leaving or entering any country is a hassle. I have a green card, four cancelled visas, an Australian passport and am usually drunk getting on or getting off a plane. It's tempting when you're an immigration official to dwell on the cancelled visas. In Philadelphia once I spent a few hours quality time in the little room they keep you in when they aren't sure if they're going to let you in to the country. Hilarity continued to ensue as by the time they let me out of the little room, my suitcase had been considered abandoned and everything was laid out all over two tables of another little room that they had for miscreants.

In any case I'm back and I'm embarking on a few new things.

Last night I did my first full-on improv show in about 20 years, performing with the OxyMorons for the last show at Buddha Bagels. Great audience, fun night, trying to impersonate Jack Nicholson I decided I sounded like Dick Sargeant and ran with it (unfortunately the game ended before I could suggest a foursome with the other Jack Nicholson, Nicole Kidman and Elizabeth Montgomery). I'll be doing some more shows with the OxyMorons, so watch this space for details.

The Feral Chihuahuas (new website coming soon!) are getting ready for a new summer season opening on the 4th of July Weekend! I'm writing away for this at the moment, we've got new writers, some great ideas and each show is going to be a spectacular. This year we're going to do the same show on Friday and Saturday nights, so there's no excuse for missing the best sketch comedy in Asheville. After the success of the April 1st extravaganza we're going to step up to the bigger venue - you'll be able to get tickets here soon.

Coming soon is the next Vortex Cabaret - sorry I missed the first one. This is going to be one cheap, weird and funny show.

Keep checking back to the Lack of Life for updates on local comedy and bastardry. It's good to be back.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What do you eat in America?

At lunch yesterday I was asked that very odd question by my step-grandmother (let's call her step-nanabastard). Several good answers came to mind, but I settled on "a lot". However we were having this conversation as I was about to tuck into a pretty Australian, all things considered, lunch. Now in the US we have the Outbreak chain of restaurants who claim to be the custodians of Antipodean cuisine, but I'm not sure if they really come up to the bizarrity that is the Australian palate.

I chose the signature chicken dish for the place I was at yesterday, and it was grilled chicken with satay sauce, guacamole and sour cream. Kind of tex-mex-thai. The classic Australian dish is a meal in a single course, something very savoury, something meaty, and something sweety in the one dish.

So next time you're at home and thinking "I'll cook Australian" just add these three ingredients together and you've got the perfect Aussie dish.

Pork a la Bastard:

Grill a pork chop, top it with feta cheese and olives, and cover it in raspberry jam.

It's easy to cook Australian with the Bastard!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Unabbaiodable

There are two things that just aren't a big deal in the US, but in Australia some people care and I can't really see why, but I'm suckered in anyway.

The Eurovision Song Contest, which has provided the world with ABBA, two or three one-hit wonders (Buck's Fizz anyone?) and a quarter century of nonentities is on TV running over three whole nights. The first night (a "semi" final where 18 countries started but only 10 got to move on) had a lot of time to fill, so they'd show the first song, then recap that song while getting the second song ready. Then you'd have a recap of the first two songs while the third song was prepared. The first song, which appeared to be performed by Belarusian pirate fetishists on stilts, made 18 appearances, but still didn't get to the second round. Apparently someone will win, and their CD will be prominent in the discount section of Serbian branches of Best Buy for the next three weeks.

Speaking of ABBA... we as a country have refused to let go. Yesterday, in honor of the Eurovision Song contest, I heard three ABBA songs on the radio (and the Australian in me came out, as I found myself subconsciously mumbling along with "I Had a Dream:"), and a few million mentions that the 295th re-run of "ABBA: The Movie" a concert film of ABBA in Australia in 1976 was going to be shown on Saturday prime time.

If you're thinking of bringing a country to its kness, kidnap ABBA and demand what you want from Australia, we'll give it to you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Things you take for granted

The internet in Australia is expensive. I remember it being that way when I was a University student, and it's gotten even more so. You pay per megabyte, and it's funny to watch what my laptop, Pornputer, chews through while it's "idly" connected to the interweebs. Just signing in to the Lack of Life took up almost a megabyte, and therefore cost me 10 cents. I don't think it's worth that much.

In my apartment in Asheville, a check for wireless access points shows at least 20 of them, and five or so of them are "scab internets" where I can log in and steal someone else's connection. There's nothing like that around here. On the rare occasion I can find a wireless hotspot it's locked down! So I got a prepaid wireless broadband doohickey. It plugs into the back of pornputer and dials up a wireless connection. Pretty nifty stuff - once my $10 of internet has run out (hopefully not before the happy ending), I can call up the nice people in Bangmanilastan and either give them more money for more internet or order nasi goreng to go.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bastard Internationale

OK, well I'm in Australia, and I'll be here for a few weeks. Reliving a few Bastard roots, I'm sitting right now in the bedroom I inhabited as a little Bastard (now a computer den). I'm getting a kick out of printing things out on larger sheets of paper, and watching the water circle the other way as I expel the remnants of Qantas cuisine.

My flight out of Asheville was delayed by three beers, but I managed to make my connections in Charlotte and Los Angeles. Qantas have a camera on the tail of the airplane, so you can watch takeoff and landing from a little video screen in front of you. I'd put some sort of deliberate warp on it so it looks like you're coming in to the runway at a crazy angle. When we landed in Melbourne, people in surgical masks got on the plane to make sure nobody has the sniffles. Thus far swine flu has stayed out of Australia, and apparently they think the spread can be having incoming international flights met by people in surgical masks. We all had to stay in our seats as they scoured the plane. I thought about coughing out of principle.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Au revoir, friend of the bastard


The Lack of Life is saddened by the loss of The Computer In The Cow Box, who left this world in the fading days of April, aged 9.

The Computer In The Cow Box is preceded in death by most of Gateway Computers, the Zip Disk system, an external DVD burner, the internal modem, Windows XP and its original Epson printer. It is survived by a Motorola cable modem, an Epson 3-in-1, and an elderly 15-inch CRT monitor.