Javid’s Halloween Horror Hotels Guide

sh_8_3-620x463It’s Halloween – an occasion I can recognise the importance of, but also lament the importation of every year as more and more Australian kids join in on the distinctly American tradition of developing diabetes while wearing a costume. Anyway, I’m not here to talk about that. I eat way too much chocolate (or candy if you’re American) as it is. I don’t need a freaking occasion, OR a stupid costume. As a matter of fact it’s quite often a spoon and a jar of nutella in my underwear on the couch late at night.

But I’m getting off track.

I will say this, the work I’ve been undertaking (good, unintentional pun there) lately has a lot to do with hotels, and as we move towards this annual occasion I couldn’t help but wonder why the hell TripAdvisor or some other organisation hasn’t decided to embrace the theme. Who knows, maybe they have and I just missed it. Continue reading

At The Movies With Javid #17

Kid's got a better plastic surgeon than Michael Jackson..

Kid’s got a better plastic surgeon than Michael Jackson..

Thanks to being far more busy over the last week than I anticipated I haven’t had the chance to delight you all with my witticisms and hilarity. For that I am sorry, but it’s OK – I’m back! – If only for a while.

I decided to ditch the book vs. movie format I experimented with all of once, because let’s face it, the book is always better – but the first two are movies I watched within 24 hours of reading the last page of the book.

Pet Semetary (1989)

I’ve recently fallen into King, which I guess makes me a late bloomer. But I’ve been marching through his books slowly and watching the movie renditions. I’d warn of spoilers but the movie is 25 years old. There are a few key differences between book and film.

The most annoying to me was probably the cat. After he dies and Louis buries him, he returns. In the movie he’s immediately portrayed as sinister, through cuts of hissing and yowling. Terrifying? Sure. In the book, though, the cat (named Church), is more eerie than terrifying. He loses his cat-like qualities such as agility and speed, and becomes a docile, reclusive and uncoordinated anomaly. Why is this different? I guess it’s pretty hard to justify the use of some kind of heavy sedative on a cat just for the sake of the movie. Still, it’s weak.

Continue reading

Wanderers take on ACL Final Boss Level

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As the Wanderers head into this Saturday’s Asian Champions League final, things could be better.

Two bad losses – a 4-1 hammering and a 3-2 loss after being 2-0 up – have already got people writing them off, but that’s OK.

And it’s not just the same people who have enjoyed watching them lose two A-League grand finals in a row, the same people who sit there going ‘tut-tut’ at the rapture of the RBB while sitting stagnantly in their seat filming free kicks on their fucking iPhone. There is concern, and it’s not unwarranted.

There is an unfathomable degree of hatred towards the Red and Black in this country. Yes, Essendon are drug-taking schoolgirl-molesters, yes, the North Sydney Bears don’t exactly exist anymore and I’m not sure how to fit them into this, but I digress.


Or do I? It really shits me, you know? If Brisbane Roar, or Melbourne Victory, or even those fucking smurfs from Sydney FC were in the final of Asia’s biggest club competition, I, as a lover and supporter of Australian football, would wish them all the best.

Would I watch the game? I can’t honestly tell you, and that’s not important. What I would do is wish them well and understand what winning the tournament would mean for an Australian team. If they lost, I certainly wouldn’t revel in laughing at my fellow supporters. I wouldn’t spend all my time actively rooting against them – and there are many out there in the Australian football community who desperately want the Wanderers to lose. I’m calling Tony Abbott because YOU’RE NOT A PART OF TEAM AUSTRALIA YOU KENT!

Anyway I could go on and on in a rant-like fashion about why we’re the most hated club in the league, but it’s not going to stop a whole bunch of you cynical people hoping against hope that the Wanderers lose this weekend and next.

You might ask “why care what other people think?” – to which I would respond with “why actively support a team to lose? Is your life that empty that you have to take some footballing schadenfreude from the Wanderers because they’ve experienced more success in three years than most A-League clubs have in the last 10? Is your life so miserable that you have….”

Anyway I’m ranting when I said I wouldn’t. Ironically enough, we’re getting just as much support from Saudi’s with the same mentality towards Al-Hilal as the Australian anti-fans I’ve just criticised so… I dunno.

Western Sydney Wanderers player Cole is surrounded by teammates as they celebrate after he scored a goal during the Asian Champions League soccer semi-final game against FC Seoul at Parramatta Stadium

BUT TO THE GAME

First and foremost, I hereby revoke everything positive I said about Allianz Stadium the other week. Not because the capacity changed or because it’s any less practical, but getting in and out of the stadium and surrounds last weekend reminded me of every other game I’ve gone to that stadium for, and what a fucking nightmare it is. Fuck Allianz, Parramatta all the way. 10 minute walk down the road or a transport cluster fuck 40 minutes drive away? I was wrong. Well, I wasn’t really, but I’m now lazy and annoyed. Yes, the packed 40,000 atmosphere is spectacular, but I genuinely cannot be fucked going through all that again.

And now some largely irrelevant random statistics.

The last two A-League seasons have seen pretty slow starts. Last year the Wanderers didn’t get our first win until Round 3 – the same round it would be this weekend if they didn’t have the ACL final. Sadly I don’t think this helps much – they’ve conceded 7 in the last 2 games, previously unheard of in Wanderers history.

Then again, they’ve been in two finals and lost them both so maybe the script is going to change in that regard too. Specious reasoning at best, I know.

Wanderers haven’t conceded at home in FUCKING AGES.

Throughout the entire knockout stages of the ACL, where they’ve faced quality opposition multiple times, they haven’t conceded a single goal in their home legs. This is incredibly advantageous and what you really need in knockout football, and entirely contrary to recent form where they’ve actually been able to use our ACL back 4 in the A-League, or even that first 3-1 loss to Ulsan back at the start of the competition.

But it’s the same back 4 that have quickly had heads down when things have gone wrong in the A-League. If they lose their perfect record with a mentally-fragile defense and concede an away goal, Wanderers could be in trouble. Concede two and it’s over. Poppa will know this.

Al-Hilal aren’t going that great either

By their own illustrious standards, Al-Hilal aren’t having a great season at the moment either. 7 games in and they’re fourth on the ladder, having also lost on the weekend to rival opposition of comparable quality. I’m not writing them off by any means – they wouldn’t be here if they weren’t a good side – but they haven’t been crushing it, undefeated with 5-0 domestic wins all season either.

They’re not coming last, like the Wanderers currently are, but combined with massive wealth distribution in the Saudi league, it’s not particularly intimidating.

Win or lose, who really cares?

This has been an incredible journey for a little Australian club, and facing off against a team with a ridiculously large budget and royal patronage, in our diminutive multicultural/bogan home in ‘farken Parra’ illustrates the contrast perfectly.

I barely expected us to make it out of the group first time around, and while I haven’t gone to subsequent games with a pessimistic mindset I’ve just been happy to be there.

By contrast, the Wanderers have shown that they’re not just happy to be there anymore. They’ve beaten some of the best teams in Asia and there’s every chance they can continue to do so, and lift their first ever trophy. What’s the point of coming this far if you don’t believe you can take that final step?

Even if they’re the ones sitting on that dry Riyadh turf, heads in their hands after losing next Saturday, and the joy swimming through the veins of Wanderers haters on social media is enough to make one sick, I won’t be disappointed.

Win or lose, the Wanderers have taken fans on one hell of a ride since they arrive. Just like all good roller-coasters, it’s far better being on it.

If you don’t like roller-coasters, stop complaining and LEAVE THE FUCKING THEME PARK.

By which I mean, watch the Melbourne Derby instead. Just in case you’re stupid.

Gone But Not For-Gough-Ten

"Mama Mia! Here I Gough again!" (That's a historical joke, 100 points if you get it)

“Mama Mia! Here I Gough again!” (That’s a historical joke, 100 points if you get it)

Most people with even a vague understanding of Australian political history know who Gough Whitlam was. He was our 21st Prime Minister, sure, but that wasn’t what made him notable.

For the few who don’t know, I’ll keep it quick. Gough was the only Australian Prime Minister ever to be dismissed by the Governor-General, after a constitutional crisis in 1975. He’s not the lead singer of the Whitlams, that’s Tim Freedman.

Younger, less-informed Australians might think that the only way a Prime Minister can be dismissed is by their own party, and I can appreciate the history lesson they’d all get in the coming week if they ever bothered to watch the news on television or read a newspaper. Sadly, they won’t.

There’s a certain prestige and place-in-history for those who get fired from the post, and that’s probably why the ALP have continued the time-honoured tradition started by Sir John Kerr on that fateful day. Continue reading

Life Stories: Lock N Pop

article-2016053-0D0F7E8D00000578-896_634x386I consider myself relatively lucky when I think that, at 29, I’ve never broken a bone. None of my own, at least. I did play a large part in a friend breaking his wrist many years ago but that’s another story.

That being said my life hasn’t been injury free. As well as the dog attack, I’ve given myself permanent scars from a few bad cuts, had my entire foot parked on by the weight of a Holden Commodore, hit my head many times and more.

Perhaps the closest I’ve ever come to what I presume is the next level of pain was only a few years back. Continue reading

At The Movies With Javid #16

It’s been a while, so let’s get straight into it!

22 Jump Street (2014)

I honestly didn’t mind the first one of these. For a reboot of a show I’d never bothered to watch it was funny enough to keep me entertained for the duration but THAT DOESN’T MEAN I WANT TO WATCH ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME MOVIE WITH THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BEING THE FACT THAT THEY’RE NOT FITTING INTO COLLEGE INSTEAD OF NOT FITTING IN TO HIGH SCHOOL!

And that’s the problem with this movie, for me. Unless you’re Michael Bay, you don’t need to go on making endless sequels UNLESS YOU HAVE SOMETHING MORE TO SAY. This movie does not.

Exactly

Exactly

Continue reading

ACL Stadium Decision Far From Pirtek

What the hell, guys?

What the hell, guys?

I’d tell you how I became a Wanderers member, but I’ve been over it before.

As you might know, we’ve made it through to the final of the Asian Champion’s League – an absolutely massive feat not just in our club history but in that of Australian football.

We’re up against Al-Hilal, a giant club from Saudi Arabia, with a 60,000 seat stadium, a vocal following, lots of money and the hefty support of the Saudi royal family.

By contrast we’re a team that was started by the league and is now financed by a consortium, does NOT have lots of money, and only a 20,000 seat stadium.

What we do have is the vocal support, and the supporters are a massive part of the club. The club wants them to feel included, so they asked all members to vote on where they would like us to play our leg of the Asian Champion’s League final. We were given a few options, and as much as I wanted to select Parramatta Stadium (it’s seriously just down the road, we walk to home games) I went with Allianz in Sydney. Continue reading