The 3rd Annual GIT Awards (Good Internet Things)

Look what’s back. Back again. GITs are back. Tell a friend.

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No long list of nominees this time. Just a quick nod to a couple of worthy runner-ups (keep up the good work Sometimes Interesting and Crumble Cult!) and let’s move straight on to announcing the winner!

And that winner is …

Waiting for Satan

“Oh my, I’m blushing. This is such an honour” – Quote from something that Waiting for Satan guy will say when he reads this. Probably.

Questions?

What is it? It’s a blog by a guy in the USA. It’s somewhere between actual writing and a comic.

What’s so good about it? All of the posts are highly entertaining, most of them are genuinely funny, and many of them are surreal or disturbing (in a good way).

Where should I start? Probably the about page – it’s one of the most beautifully bizarre out there, and it gives you some idea of what to expect (though be warned – it drops you into the surreal side of the blog pretty quickly). Also, I really like these ones about Canada and the difficulties of writing.

Can you compare it to something for me? Sure. Do you know “Hyperbole and a Half“? If not, you should really check out. Waiting for Satan has a somewhat similar flavour.

Did this guy draw you a picture of his interpretation of Australian politics? Why yes, as a matter of fact.

 

It’s strangely accurate.

Missed the previous exciting installments of the Annual GIT Awards? Have no fear! 2012 and 2013 are right here!

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This is Why I Didn’t Post Anything on ‘Refugee Week’

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Further watching:

Further reading:

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The 50 Greatest Songs by The Eels

I recently made a big career change. It’s scary and exciting, but I can tell that it’s mostly exciting, because whenever I think about it, this song pops into my head …

“I’m tired of the old shit. Let the new shit begin!”

That’s the Eels’ ode to getting on with moving on, Old Shit/New Shit, and it just so happens that they released a new album quite recently. So in celebration of new shit and new albums, I thought I’d ressurect my “Mega-List” tradition, where I pick a favourite band and choose my 50 favourite tracks by them.

So here it is. I’ll write a little about selected tracks, and include a quote from each song (seeing as E’s lyrics are often the best part). If you’re a fan of Eels, please let me know what you think of the choices. If you haven’t heard much of them before, I hope this post will help you set off on a journey to discover their incredible music!

(Note: Songs from the newest album weren’t eligible for this list)

 

50. Hello Cruel World – A Man Called E (1992)
“Hello cruel world/So this is you/A broken heart/But with a view”

It’s a bit weird to start the list off with a track that isn’t strictly by the Eels (it’s from an early solo album by main man, E) but considering the title, it couldn’t be more appropriate.

49. The Man – Tomorrow Morning (2010)

“The old homeless guy who smells like pee/Stops talking nonsense and says “Morning, E”

48. Trouble with Dreams – Blinking Lights and Other Revelations (2005)

“Trouble with dreams is you can’t pretend/something with no beginning has no end”

47. Fashion Awards – Shootenanny (2003)

“Let’s go down to the fashion show/With all the pretty people and piles of blow”

46. New Alphabet – Wonderful Glorious (2013)

“When the world stops making sense/I make a new alphabet”

45. Selective Memory – Daisies of the Galaxy (2000)

“I wish I could remember/but my selective memory won’t let me”

44.  Love of the Loveless – Shootenanny (2003)

“I got something that you need/I got the love/Love of the loveless”

43.  Grace Kelly Blues – Daisies of the Galaxy (2000)

“The kid in the mall works at hot dog on a stick/His hat is a funny shape, his heart is a brick”

42.  All in a Day’s Work – Shootenanny (2003)

“When I was born the doctor said/there’s something wrong inside that baby head”

The band opened with this the only time I’ve ever seen them live. E was nowhere to be seen. Then he appeared on the balcony amongst the crowd, playing harmonica. It was brilliant.

41.  The Good Old Days – Shootenanny (2003)

“It’s up to you and me, and who’s to say?/These could be the good old days”

40. Peach Blossom – Wonderful Glorious (2013)

“Open the window, man, and smell the peach blossom/The tiger lily/The marigold”

39. The Only Thing I Care About – Broken Toy Shop (1993)

“Played every record that I owned today/But the only thing I care about got away”

Another one from an early solo album, which I don’t even have because it’s kind of rare. I found out about this song via. the ‘Eels with Strings’ live album – and that live version is still favourite.

38. Mental – Beautiful Freak (1996)

“They say I’m mental ‘cos I’m not amused by it all”

37. Ant Farm – Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“Hate a lot of things/But I love a few things/And you are one of them”

36. Efil’s God – Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“Don’t close your eyes as I turn into dust”

35. Kinda Fuzzy – Wonderful Glorious (2013)

“In my heart there lives a little riddle”

34. Hospital Food – Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“Tiptoe through the alley and tiptoe through your life/You’ve still got comin’, be it gun or be it knife”

33. Fresh Blood – Hombre Lobo (2009)

“You gotta pull me out of this mud/Sweet baby, I need fresh blood”

32. Electro-Shock Blues – Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“Write down, I am OK/A thousand times, the doctors say/I am OK/I am OK/I’m not OK”

A harrowing, minimilast song with lyrics adapted from the notebook of Elizabeth Everett (E’s sister). Elizabeth was institutionalised then committed suicide shortly before E wrote this and most of the ‘Electro-Shock Blues’ album.

31. The Beginning – End Times (2010)

“Everything was beautiful and free, in the beginning”

30. The Medication is Wearing Off – Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“See this watch she gave me?/Well it still ticks away/The days I’m claiming back for me”

Matt Stevens

29. Bus Stop Boxer - Souljacker (2001)

“One lucky kid waiting for the bus/made a winner out of one of us”

28. Losing Streak – Blinking Lights and Other Revelations (2005)

“Feeling like the weight that weighed a ton/is lifted off my shoulders now/My losing streak is done”

27. Old Shit/New Shit – Blinking Lights and Other Revelations (2005)

“I’m tired of the old shit/Let the new shit begin”

26. That’s Not Really Funny - Souljacker (2001)

“The little boy will wipe his nose because it’s runny/Then point at me and laugh, but that’s not really funny”

25. 3 Speed – Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“Looked into the sky last night, and I thought I saw a bomb/Why won’t you just tell me what’s going on?”

24. To Lick Your BootsBlinking Lights and Other Revelations (2005)

“People spend their days trying to find new ways/to put you down, all over town/But they’re not fit to lick your boots”

23. Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor –  Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“Laying on the bathroom floor/Kitty licks my cheek once more/And I – I could try/But waking up is harder when you wanna die”

It’s one of the most brutal, emotionally-raw openings to an album ever. And I love it for that. However, it makes it one of the least appropriate albums ever to put on at a party.

22. Hey Man, Now You’re Really LivingBlinking Lights and Other Revelations (2005)

“Do you know what it’s like to fall on the floor/cry your guts out till you’ve got no more?/Hey man/Now you’re really living”

21. Bombs AwayWonderful Glorious (2013)

“I’m no longer keeping my mouth shut/Bombs away! Gonna shake the house”

20. Dog Faced Boy - Souljacker (2001)

“Ma won’t shave me/Jesus can’t save me/Dog faced boy”

19Saturday Morning – Shootenanny (2003)

“I’m gettin’ up and comin’ over/We’re gonna rock the neighbourhood!”

18. Somebody Loves You – Shootenanny (2003)

“Somebody loves you, and you’re gonna make it through”

E has known his fair share of depression and tragedy. So when he tells you that everything will be OK – because no matter who are somebody loves you – that means a lot.

17Sound of Fear – Daisies of the Galaxy (2000)

“Some people like to call me Chuck/It’s Charles, and you are shit out of luck”

16. Climbing up to the moon –  Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“It’s getting hard to tell where what I am ends and what they’re making me begins”

15. Souljacker, Pt 1 - Souljacker (2001)

“Trailer park of broken hearts/Won’t let you leave until you’re bleeding”

14. PS. You Rock My World –  Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“I was at a funeral the day I realised/I wanted to spend my life with you”

Electro-Shock Blues is a record that really takes you on a journey, and it’s nice to have that journey end on a relatively positive note. Especially when it’s as masterful as this.

13Tiger in my Tank – Daisies of the Galaxy (2000)

“I bought some rock-star ashes from the back of Rolling Stone”

12. My Descent into Madness –  Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“Twenty days go by and every day looks the same”

11I Like Birds – Daisies of the Galaxy (2000)

“It’s all right if you act like a turd/Cos’ I like … birds”

10. Manchild- Beautiful Freak (1996)

“I will quietly standing by/While slowly I am dying inside”

This song makes me want to cry. I could be wrong but I’ve always assumed it was about E watching his sister fall into a downward spiral – which is heartbreaking considering Elizabeth’s eventual fate.

9. Susan’s House – Beautiful Freak (1996)

“TV sets are spewing Baywatch, through windows into black”

8. Going to Your Funeral Pt 1 –  Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“Going to your funeral and feeling I could scream/Everything goes away”

7. Fresh Feeling - Souljacker (2001)

“Old paint is peeling/This is that fresh – that fresh feeling”

Most of the description I’ve written are for the sad songs, but the Eels work often has great humour to it. It can also be genuinely uplifting, as this track shows.

6. Beautiful Freak – Beautiful Freak (1996)

“You’re such a beautiful freak/I wish there were more just like you”

5. Cancer for the Cure –  Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“Father knows best about suicide and smack”

4Flyswatter – Daisies of the Galaxy (2000)

“Field mice, head lice, spiders in the kitchen”

3. Novocaine for the Soul – Beautiful Freak (1996)

“Life is white, and I am black/Jesus and his lawyer are coming back”

The Eels biggest hit (it made the US Top 40) is a little masterpiece of 90’s indie rock.

2Mr E’s Beautiful Blues – Daisies of the Galaxy (2000)

“God damn right, it’s a beautiful day”

My introduction to the band. Perfect pop in every way.

1. Last Stop: This Town –  Electro-Shock Blues (1998)

“You’re dead but the world keeps spinning/Take a spin through the world you left”

 Another incredible pop song, yet it’s also crammed full of the same eloquent misery that makes so much of E’s work so interesting. The two elements are balanced brilliantly – making it a track I can listen over and over again.

Hey, you made it all the way to the end! Wanna check out more lists like this? There’s plenty of Flaming Lips and Radiohead right this way.

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Tasmania!

A month ago, D and I spent ten days driving around the little island at the bottom of our big “island”.

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There we checked out MONA – a private museum owned by an eccentric, sex-and-death-obsessed billionare, …

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… soaked up the atmosphere at Hobart’s Salamanca Markets, …

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… took in the views from Mt. Wellington (it’s worth clicking to expand this one to full size), …

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… and immersed ourselves in the violent history of Port Arthur – Australia’s most famous convict settlement (as well as the fascinating, naturally occuring “tesselated pavement” on the way there) …

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… – a violent history that could also be seen at “Old Hobart Town” (a scale model of the city during it’s early days).

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After Hobart, we were off to the stunning Freycinet National Park, …

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… the picturesque Cataract Gorge near Launceston, …

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… the bizarre geology of “The Nut” at Stanley, …

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… the rugged peaks of Cradle Mountain (seen from Dove Lake), …

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… the less pristine, but still impressive mountains of Queenstown, …

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… the beautifully unspoiled Gordon River (near Strahan), …

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… the isolated Lake Pedder (which I managed to fall into), the controversial yet remarkable Gordon Dam …

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… and the simply breathtaking Russell Falls.

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But perhaps best of all, everywhere we went we had close encounters with the local wildlife; Tasmanian Devils, …      DSCN5001  … pademelons, …DSCN4918    … wallabies, …DSCN4708   … bandicoots, …DSCN4643   … and even a rarely-seen baby wombat and platypus!IMG_1435DSCN5245

Though, we can’t forget that some of the less-wild animals were just as cute, like these two at Giant’s Table Cottages in Maydena (our favourite place to stay out of all the accomodation we tried).DSCN5236

Now we have just one more state to tick off our list before we can say we’ve stepped foot in each one!

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Like this? Wanna check out our previous trips, like this one or this one in Malaysia, or this trip to USA?

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100 Followers!

811w2ro9yhl-_sl1200_Lesley Stanfield
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Malaysia Round 5

Oh, Malaysia, my old friend! It was so nice to see you again! Let us reminisce about those days spent together in January/February …

First stop was the island of Langkawi, where we stayed at the beautiful Frangipani Resort …

D silhouetted on the beach near the resort

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… took a cable car ride to the peak of Gunung Machinchang …

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… took a day trip around the islands with ‘Rampant Sailing’ …

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… and checked out their Underwater World.

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Then, after a quick shopping stop in Kuala Lumpur …
DSCN4101… if was off to the familiar streets of Kuching, where we re-aquainted with D’s family cat, Mao …

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… sought out another beautifual waterfall during a jungle trek at Gunung Gading …

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… and celebrated Chinese New Year with family, food and fireworks!
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Till next time, Malaysia!

Like this? You might want to check out our previous trip where we included Penang, or this quick video of our USA adventure.

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Andy’s Movie List 2013

Hey there! Here are some movies I liked from last year. (Note: The list might look a bit weird because eligibility was determined by Australian release dates – full list here)

10. Amour

A couple face the ultimate challenge to their love (old age and sickness). It’s a sad, seldom-told tale depicted with brutal realism, but there’s beauty to be found too.

Anne didn’t appreciate her new ear-warmers

DA (Devil’s Advocate) Says: Cold, clinical, depressing and dull.

9. Much Ado About Nothing

Admittedly my enjoyment of this film had a lot to do with the thrill of seeing so many Joss Whedon alumni together in one place. But it’s such a fun, witty adaptation of the Shakespeare play that even non-Whedonites should find plenty to admire.

“Must … resist … checking out … maid’s legs”

DA Says: An ill conceived update that ends up being an insult to the Bard in every way.

8. The Impossible

By focusing on one (white) family’s story, it may skimp on portraying the unfathomably massive scope and tragedy of the Boxing Day Tsunami, but it sure does a good job of getting across just how much it would have sucked to have been on the beach-front when the wave hit.

“Dammit! I knew we should have gone to Afghanistan. But ‘no’ they said. ‘Too dangerous’ they said!”

DA Says: An opportunity to address a genuine catastrophe is ignored in favour of self-centred middle-class rubbish.

7. Frozen

Well, this is the first time I’ve included a straight-up Disney film in my list and left out the year’s Pixar offering (Monsters University). And why not, when Disney gave us such a visually exciting, funny, touching movie?

“Hi, I’m Cute Disney Sidekick Number 34″

DA Says: Unfunny and full of inane songs, with a plot that is entirely predictable yet somehow also makes no sense.

6. Django Unchained

Although it didn’t captivate me quite as much as Inglorious Basterds, it still provided plenty of everything you want in a Tarantino flick – great performances, snappy dialogue, nail-biting tension, and yes – copious amounts of violence.

A frame from the 15 minutes of running time where a character isn’t covered in blood.

DA Says: Juvenile, perverse, ridiculous and very poorly paced.

5. Hunger Games: Catching Fire

I never thought I’d care much about the Hunger Games franchise but the first film exceeded expectations, and by fleshing out the story outside of the game arena this second film shot my expectations through the heart with a dozen arrows. Bring on part 3!

“But seriously, is my hair okay? Did I go too far with the matching purple eyebrows?”

DA Says: It’s almost impossible to care about the characters, it’s over-long, and it has one of the most badly rushed endings in the history of cinema.

4. American Hustle

Like a great con artist, the film is overflowing with charm and wit. But there’s enough of a beating heart beneath the facade that it elevates itself above the usual clever but emotionally empty crime-caper flick.

Hangover-Guy would rue the day he messed with Batman’s hair.

DA Says: Overhyped trash that’s all style, no substance.

3. Before Midnight

Perhaps it wouldn’t be a great film as a standalone piece, but something about catching up with the two star-crossed lovers almost 20 years on from their first meeting in Before Sunrise is incredibly satisfying. As we see them deal with a whole new set of relationship issues (the honeymoon period is definitely over by this point) all we can do is watch and desperately hope it’ll all work out.

Celine was always a sucker for the shirt-half-tucked-in look.

DA Says: An uber-pretentious, whiny art-house movie that says nothing of actual importance.

2. Life of Pi

Just scraping into eligibility for this year’s list (it was released in Australia on New Year’s Day), this was the first 2+ hr film I’d seen in a long, long time that I actually wished was longer. As a fan of the book I had no some minor complaints but it’s still an incredible cinematic achievement – especially considering everyone seemed to think it was an “unfilmable” story.

Tony Tiger wasn’t too sure about the new Frosties commercial …

DA Says: Yes, it looks pretty, but the plot is dismal and the religious subtext is just lazy and pretentious.

1. Gravity

One of the most breathtaking cinematic thrill-rides ever created. It’s a technical masterpeice in every way, but despite all the flashiness, you do care about the fate of the characters. Also I think it may have finally convinced me that 3D movie technology can be used to make something truly special. Avatar eat your heart out!

“Tell everyone my last words were … umm … YOLOOOOooooooo”

DA Says: Full of plot holes, scientific impossibilities and unbelievably vapid dialogue.

Honourable Mentions: Cloud Atlas, Iron Man 3, Lincoln, Pacific Rim, Paranorman, Stories We Tell, Zero Dark Thirty

Just a Few of the Movies I Didn’t See: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Anchorman 2, Blackfish, Blue Jasmine, Captain Philips, Filth, The Gatekeepers, A Hijacking, Philomena, Prisoners, Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Worst Movie (That I Saw) of the Year:

Star Trek: Into Darkness

“Aww. Now you’ve gone and hurt my feelings”

Oh God. So many people are going to hate me for this. You’re hating me for it right now, aren’t you? Aren’t you!!?

Wait, before you answer that, let me make things worse for myself by admitting that I missed the entire opening sequence. The whole bit with a volcano or something? Yeah I didn’t see that. So maybe it’s an unfair choice for worst movie, but I feel confident in saying that I wouldn’t have enjoyed it much anyway. I just wasn’t on the right wavelength for it. Maybe it had to do with not being much of a Trekkie (I got the feeling that there’s a lot in the film specifically for long-time fans of the original show) but to me it felt too much like a big dumb explosion-fest … kind of like “Michael Bay presents Star Trek”.

Okay, I’m sorry. Bringing Michael Bay into it was uncalled for.

Edit: I just realised I totally left out The World’s End. That should be in the top 10 somewhere.

Like this? Hate it? Let me know what you think of my choices below, or check out my picks from 2012 and 2011.

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