Friday, December 9, 2016

Photos from Australia, 2016, Part II: Castle Hill to Port Macquarie

After a week or so in and around Sydney, including a reunion with a friend of mine from Hollywood (who is now the dean of a film school in Australia), the road trip north began!

This would mark my first time significantly north of Sydney and (later in the trip) my first time in Queensland.

*I forget where some of these photos were taken... I'll come back and update as I figure that shit out.

The wrong side of the road AND 110???  Oh, wait... that's KPH.  Shit.

Was meeting a friend at a famous brewery... that had apparently burned down the week before.

This is the guy who recommended the brewery.  He was getting married in a few days, so I didn't hold it against him.  But I am now, god dammit.

I think this place is called Dark Point.  Myall Lakes National Park.

A panorama of Dark Point.  Super windy, though.

Broughton Island.  You can camp there if you can get out there.  I shall return.

Just a cool sign.  On a truck.

A fake Ayers Rock, for those too lazy to drive all the way out to real Ayers Rock (or Uluru, as it's now appropriately called).

A goana up a tree.  I think.  I'll verify that.

The tallest tree in New South Wales, supposedly.  The Grandis something or other...

I forget what this beach is called.  My friend Helen wanted to stop here.  An aside: there may or may not be a lot of beach photos in this series of blog posts... Australia has a shit-ton of beautiful beaches... and they're all empty!!!

Coles grocery store in Port Macquarie.  The kangaroo section.  Sooooooo good.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Photos from Australia, 2016, Part I: Settling In

Oh, yeah... just did another six weeks in Australia.  My third trip there, and every time I go, I want less and less to return to the United States.

One day, I'm going to bet, I'm just going to stay.  Preferably in Adelaide.

Until then, enjoy some photos:

Rainbow lorikeets.  I think.  Enjoying some seed.

An Australian possum.  Cuter, nicer than our opossums.  Although this motherfucker broke the bird feeder.

A temple known to Australians as "Dan Murphy's."  Oh, me.  Oh, my.

Can't remember the bar we were at, but it's got a nice view of an Australian icon.  Didn't catch a concert at the Opera House this time around... I'll have to make up for that in 2018.

There's a famous school of design in Sydney, I believe called Billy Blue.  They opened a student restaurant and decorated it with all of their stuff.  Pretty good, I'd say. 

Interesting story about the real William Blue.  Australia is full of American undertones... but don't tell them that.

Student food?  Fucking amazing.

Just a cool moth.

When I went to Australia in 2014, I bought some shoe polish for some reason.  My friend still had it, and I wound up polishing my old Army boots.  People who know me will know how silly this concept is.

My third time to Oz and I'm only just now realizing their paper is a different size than ours???


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Adventures at a Film Festival in Fayetteville

So, I mentioned before that one of my short films was accepted into a film festival in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a city I used to live in when I was with the Army Airborne at Fort Bragg, North Carolina...

Another acceptance for "Gloriana"

I debated going to this one.  I wanted to see some old friends, but I don't hold any special love for the place, and I feared the film festival would be a low-brow, po-dunk affair.

Needless to say, I decided on going and - after staying a night with an old friend of mine - I checked into the hotel and was pleasantly surprised by the festival's swag bag.  Immediately, I was glad that I had come.

Pleasantly surprised by the swag bag

"Gloriana" in the program

On opening night of the festival, I meandered down to the hotel bar, where I imbibed several (really good) whiskey sours and snapped a photo of my old school's banner.

My alma mater's pennant at the hotel bar
Then it was off to the Cameo!  I used to watch foreign and independent films here, and it was cool being back.  Although I spent thirty minutes in the restroom during the opening film, alleviating my digestive tract of whiskey.

Art house theater, Fayetteville - first time here in years
The morning of the screening for "Gloriana," I woke up to some serious rain and a wee bit of flooding... but... the show must go on!  Picked up by an old Army buddy (and current business partner), we rolled into downtown to watch our film.

Rain, shmrain... that ain't shit
And my old creative writing professor showed up!  Both of us are a bit grayer, but I think I'm still winning the youthful-look contest.

A student and his teacher
Afterward, two of my old Army buddies and I waited out the storm as emergency services began rescues and telling people not to drive.  So I chatted up some film festival volunteers, and they hunted Pokemon.

Hunting Pokemon
And then we had to take shelter at a place called the Rainbow Room, which lost power very shortly after this photo was taken.

Told to "shelter in place" at the film festival
So a new friend and I hit the road back to our hotel...

Debris!

Eh, not so bad...
After a night of drinking whatever wine we could get our hands on, I woke up to a safety notice and the inability to take a shower.

Ironically, the water was out, so there was nothing to boil
So a friend picked me up and drove me around my old stomping grounds.

My old campus... this wall was not there before
The next day, on my way to the airport, another Army buddy and I went to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the country (favorite for nostalgia purposes... I've certainly had better Mexican food).

A frozen margarita after a fajita's trio, Mi Casita's

And then the film festival mailed me this:

Another set of film laurels!

I earned it, dammit!