If my Life was a TV Show

If my life was a TV show, it would be a Reality TV show. Now, sometimes (like BULKTEMBER) it's like The Biggest Loser or any other of those edutainment shows where you are entertained while occasionally learning something about Trans Fats. However, most of the time, if my life was to be a TV show, it would be one of those concentrated self indulgent series like The Osbournes or The Simple Life where viewers would simply take interest and joy in my movements and maybe learn a lesson in the end.
I think this year has been the hardest to journal ever. Not for any personal reasons, it's just that the internet has been creeping further and further into real lives over the six years I've been journaling and all of a sudden you realize wait, wait, wait... I am like in all these social networks that are reading this right now. Back in 2001 I couldn't pay anyone to read my Summer Journal and its non-WC3 compliant HTML formatted entries. But now I can meet someone on the street, tell them my name and within half a minute they can Google me on their (fucking) phone and have access to a library of all the observations I've made since high school.
You see, internet, it's like this. You want attention, but you also want privacy. You don't want that chick you met on the dance floor to have immediate access to how many times you said “Pull My Finger” last camping trip, but you also want every second internet viewer to read and leave comments about how you maybe used bananas and rock-melon in your breakfast smoothie instead of forest berries on some random Tuesday morning. So, 2007 has seen the comeuppance of the epic battle between narcissism and insecurity. And overall I think insecurity is winning because I'm just not writing what I'm thinking on the internet as much as I could. I mean, damn it, I'm paying almost $12 US a year to own this domain, and yet all I've done recently is spool YouTube videos or at the least link to accessible viral marketing campaigns.
I believe what I'm trying to say is, come a century when I'm either dead or existing as some sort of cerebellum powered hologram in a national museum for tall, creative types I have to ask myself what did I really care about and what do I regret not publishing on the internet? Sure, there are hundreds of colleagues and classmates and ex-girlfriends and future ex-girlfriends who might see this website as a tool for manipulating me (and by that I obviously mean learning about me and threatening me with the power to get close to me). But, a journal, like almost everything in life, is not worthwhile doing half-heartedly. And if the Writers Guild of America is going to strike and the world needs more reality entertainment maybe it's time to remount the keyboard and get kinky with myself. Time to get real.

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The woman with the fake tan stepped into my office, sat across from my desk and lit a cigarette.
At least, she would, sometime in the next 20 minutes. Smelling the future has advantages, but precision isn’t one of them.

I Had a Eureka Moment Tonight

It was at public speaking class. Public speaking class is where they make you stand up every week and deliver a speech that you're suppose to prepare over the week. Except in true high school style everyone just pushes something out the night before. And most of these people are mid-level executive types at the higher end of the corporation chain. God, nothing defines humanity like procrastination.

Anyway: seeing that public speaking is mainly about confidence and people are usually afraid of speaking mainly because they're nervous, this class - from what I've deduced - exists primarily to sugar coat a couple of recommendations each week in a giant tablespoon of compliments and praise about how good a speech was even if it was completely terrible. My theory is that two months of reinforcing to people that their public speaking is good will inevitably give them false confidence, which will lead to less nervousness. So it's just a big placebo to help them up to the next rung on the corporate ladder. Boring. Fake it til you make it jazz.

Those who know me would know that, particularly in front of a group, I don't lack the confidence to try and lasso everyone's attention and keep it with average-to-good tales and impromptu comedy stylings. So I don't really need feel goodisms about my speaking. I need cold hard coaching to turn me into the kind of powerful, dynamic motivator that can command a room.

Every week I would turn up, make a speech and despite in my head thinking I had the ability to appear as a powerful, collected speaker. But after each speech I always felt blunter than I should be. After tonight's effort I felt the same way. Shortly after I returned to the podium to hash a few points of evaluation of another speaker, mainly about improving his vocal variety and everything clicked. Faking it 'til you make it needs to be performed, or faked, in gross of what you're actually trying to make! So when I went up to demonstrate how he should have yelled here, or been more Irish there, I was bellowing. I was t'beshure-ing like a leprechaun. The result: the inevitable numbing of my public appearance dimmed everything down to a dynamic, powerful presentation that made me surge with confidence. After I finished and sat down I realised that this is how you I should be communicating with everyone. I need to be triple coated with confidence and strength so that any awkwardness or lack of clarity is sandblasted away.

Obviously I'm not a expert at this yet, and my technique still needs honing, but I feel now that I'm in a new echelon of communicating. I also feel like I shouldn't have yelled so enthusiastically at the Indian guy in the Caltex on the way home when I bought my chocolate milk. Nevertheless, I'm practicing at new difficulty level.

Apples and Sunlight

Today's theme was Apples and Sunlight, because it was both of these which gave me energy today.
I slept dead last night. I remember setting Atomic Alarm Clock to play INXS's Don't Lose Your Head and the next thing I know I'm waking up to it. This morning, like most mornings, I say to myself 'I have to remember to Google "pins-and-needles in hands when waking" today'. Then I used those hands to pull my curtain open and took a big hit off nature's vitamin-D bong.

After showering and speeding to the train station I shifted into a seat by the window. I drank a Creatine-Phosphagen supplement before showering earlier so I gently charged as I read my book. As of last week I have decided my company's dress policy is relaxed enough to get away with having the top two buttons undone. The murky train windows still let some light filter onto my white skin.

During morning tea I was eating my apple and I remembered to Google pins-and-needles in my hands but nothing seemed too threatening. So I read random people's Melbourne Cup tips and by the time I'd got to the core I had a few bets worth putting on. I won 18.90 overall. Chuffed with a day of work enhanced by gambling I spent my winnings on reduced-price Mother energy drinks and caught the train to the gym. The natural, carbonated apple juice in my digestive system, I set about an hour of throwing weights around and left feeling reasonably satisfied. As I departed the gym around 8pm I was appreciative of the sunlight that was still warm on my cooling body. In my car I ate two more apples, because they're cheaper than Up&GO's and I read that they help neutralise free radicals that build up during weight lifting. Also I just really like apples lately. My car really smells a lot like apples.

At the gym there was a girl wearing the shortest shorts I've seen this spring. There were round little bits of bum poking out the bottom of each side. God Damn. She was on the treadmill in front of my exercise bike, running. I almost caught up. I rode more kilometers in a warm up than I'd ever done before. She had the best apple of the day.

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When the truth is MIA

In February 2006 I saw M.I.A. live in a boiler room of the Big Day Out and I cried. I fucking cried. Sure, to get to her set I had to cut short the vomiting I was doing in a port-a-loo toilet trailer caused by drinking a whole bottle of Jacks before 2pm but there was something about these lyrics (that I'd Googled earlier) that just spoke to me. A tale of liberation – at the cost of sibling's freedom – during Sunshowers crooned out over bouncy dance floor beats was sure to juxtapose a few tears when combined with a douse of whiskey. Even sober I loved M.I.A. During a summer where I spent all my time stressing about programming 60 hours a week for twelve dollars an hour it was enjoyable to hear uplifting songs that also conveyed that, all things considered, there were bigger issues in the world and by supporting Sri Lankan divas like M.I.A. I was making a difference globally whilst only acting and dancing locally.

Eighteen months later, as corporate jade-ism took hold and underpaid contracts were archived I was still excited about the release of Kala, the follow up to Arular (which was number twelve on my albums of the year in 2005). Upon first listen things seemed good. The album was poppy and upbeat, with the same raw, tribal feel of Arular. However on repeated listens it did seem like some of that passion might have herniated through the funk, gradually wearing through those Hip-Hop beats in the months since 2005 to prolapse through in certain songs; songs like Boyz. I wanted that song to mean something. I wanted it to be about reigning testosterone being the cause of global wars or something subtle yet powerful; a track like Amazon was on Arular. Anything global would have done, really. Anything with more meaning than just paying tribute to dance-moves from Jamaica. Fair enough I guess, but tributes seem to be a recurring theme in Kala. Take, for example, the single Jimmy, which is less than a tribute to anything and more just a blatant rip-off of a Bollywood classic of the 80's!

Alright, so M.I.A. is hardly unique in having a long list of samples and "influences" for an album. Sometimes artists take liberties, pay for samples and even base careers on this skill. Like Daft Punk! No one begrudges them for shit like this:

But Continue Reading M.I.A - Kala...

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Live at Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Nov 14 2007

UK rockers Muse have a fascination with the cosmos. They are also currently touring their fourth album Black Holes and Revelations which itself has a distinct planetarium theme. For eight years they have honed an apocalyptical rock sound built on riffs with the same dark, massiveness of a night sky. It's their trademark canvas, one they populate with planet shaking drums and synthesizers that streak like meteors between the constantly twinkling piano-key stars.

During their live show this galactic theme is on display and super-enhanced with hundreds of lights, lasers and projections – as well as the occasional giant balloon full of confetti. As the lights first go down you can see the outlines of vast light arrays built into every spare surface on the stage. There are lasers in the drum kit. Etched into the lid of the grand piano on stage left are banks of LEDs quietly powering up. The only noise is of the crowd stirring as the band walks through darkness onto the stage. Suddenly, a swirl of fluorescent glows pulse from a plasma display on a floating guitar. The crowd erupts. Muse will now be sending you into space.

The set launches with Take a Bow. Its rumbling chords pierce the shadows of the auditorium and steadily grow louder. Within ground control instruments are being checked and re-checked. Synthesizer sputter and then spiral into ignition and with a blinding blast of light and sound the room shakes as the crowd loses contact with the ground.

With no effort every patron has come under the control of guitarist and lead singer Matt Bellamy. The energy of thousands fuels the rocketing entertainment centre through a superbly balanced collection of Muse's latest album's singles and the best tracks from their earlier albums. Adelaide is particularly lucky tonight, Citizen Erased has rarely been played during the last few years but its opening riffs come in hot after last year's chart topper Supermassive Black Hole.

After six high energy tracks we have now officially left the Earth behind. The slower Ruled by Secrecy is piano heavy and Bellamy leaves the guitar to show his skills as a pianist. The cascading keys create a stargazing feel which works as an excellent peak of energy for the first half of the set. The next song is Feeling Good, and its chirpier keyboard lines pulse from the piano lid to light up the stage. It signifies our exit from the exosphere. This contrastingly lighter tune propels us to contentedly soar between the planets and suns, now freed from the clutches of gravity. The crowd all sing along.

Muse could never be accused of playing an intimate show. Their songs are built to be performed live and loud and the rest of the journey through the stars maintains the same energy of the first half. The balance between past albums and new material stays true all evening. Chunky riffs tease the audience between each epic orchestration and the opening bars of every song are greeted by cheers and screams. Dead Star gets the biggest response, plunging the crowd into a dying galaxy complete with the occasional UFO – though most could later be identified as glow sticks or empty beer cups.

After almost a hundred minutes of sound the wailing guitars of Knights of Cydonia finally come to rest, the lasers settle down and the lights go dim. Re-entry to Earth is now disappointingly complete. But Muse is less of a concert than it is an experience, and this is a journey that will be hard to forget.


If you would like to experience or re-visit the Muse show in Adelaide on November 14 2007, a surprisingly high quality bootleg definitely can't be found here.

A good day today

When I woke up the sun had something to say to me. "Fuck You".

By God it was hot, and as I had to run to catch the train after racing it in my car from Blackwood station to Eden Hills. Arriving at work plenty hot and ready for a solid Friday I deduced it was definitely time for the first Smoothycino of the Summer. A delicacy that has increased in price by 17.5%! They jack the price up over winter when you don't notice and then on the first hot day BAM! It was still good though. And a Smoothycino takes thirty minutes and two hands to drink, which I guess you have to spend reading interesting stuff on the net instead of working. Technically they pay for themselves.

A former team reunion lunch aside, the other entertaining portion of work today was using my ghetto phone that I stole from the cubicle over from me. To be plugged into the working jack over the wall the cord did not reach to my desk. So I bolted it up on my partition wall with a complex system of drawing pins and paper-clips:

image 333 from bradism.com

I was also entertained when I noticed the logo printed on the box of dividers I raise my keyboard up on to make it more ergonomic. Great news, paper dividers were created with recycled paper without dolphins being crushed to death.

Was there risk of that?

Needless to say, it wasn't my most productive day ever.

Needless to say, it wasn't my most productive day ever.

Tonight I decided it was time for the first fan of the summer. So I plugged in the Marble Air and set it up on a turned up carton of Super Dry and put it on Med. Like the price of Smoothycino, the dust on the fan has also gone up over Winter. I am now done coughing and am going to bed.

Toastmasters meeting notes and review:

About 20 people attended the meeting. Knew about half of them from the SpeechCraft courses. Also Peter who did the course was there.
First hour of the meeting was parliamentary meeting agenda discussion which a few people dominated and thought was quite funny while others seemed to find quite dry. It is probably worthwhile learning when to interject with a point of order and second motions, it looks like a good wank.

There was then a break for supper where as usual there was coffee and biscuits except this time there were also sandwiches! I didn't eat any because I couldn't exactly work out was on them, it was like curried egg or just lumpy butter? Wasn't sure, so didn't risk it.

After the break there were a couple of speeches and evaluations, table topics and more evaluations. Then we got to vote on four awards for the night: best speech, best table topic, best evaluation and best overall performance. Then each of the winners got a fair dinkum trophy. But you have to bring it back the next meeting so it can be passed to the next meeting. (If you forget to bring it there's a $2 fine).

There is also a raffle at the start of the night where tickets are 50c each or five for $2. Peter won the raffle and was handed a wrapped up box, but didn't seem that excited. I tried to hang around to see what it was when he opened it but he never did.

Afterward I spoke to Tom about how he was missing next meeting to visit a hypnotist who is training him to also be a hypnotist. It was an interesting subject and Tom didn't seem to rapport with any jokes I made about hypnotism. It was a little bit unsettling.

No evidence of any hidden, evil Freemason like society amongst the most distinguished of the Distinguished Toast Masters. Listened for coded words and watched for secret handshakes too, but didn't notice any. Thought I found a hidden room in the community centre but it was just an old disabled toilet.

Also tonight: the second Big Day Out announcement was awesome.

There Goes My Hero - Darren Lehman

Boof played his last game for SA today and in doing so crushed WA with an epic, magnificent century in a massive run chase.


What can we learn from Boof?
The skill of patience for when you can't get somewhere in life to not give up, and to never drop your head.
The skill of innovativeness, to have the courage to back your ideas or the shots you invented.
The ability to accept responsibility, and to apologise when you are in the wrong. Like when you call some Sri Lankans 'Black Cunts'.
The importance of being fucking awesome and to always make jokes about obvious things to interviewers because no one else will. And to have a the courage to commit to a wife and be faithful even if you are the hottest cricketer in the world who must turn away thousands of women and some men away every day.
Boof - a man of wonderful timing, smart decisions and a sense of grace not usually deserved by stockily built short people. God I love you and I will miss you. Thanks for the fireworks and champagne you brought tonight.

Back on Dry Land

Houseboat 07 is over. This time yesterday I was in a spa stowing two six packs and a bottle of wine in my stomach and wearing a Mankini.

Now after 5 hours sleep and a gradually increasing hangover my head feels like I'm still aboard the rocking waves... I also shaved my week worth of shit facial hair into a sleek shit handlebar mustache.

Happy Sixth Birthday Journal

Houseboat Adventure 2007

On our way to Mannum driven by Gus. Wiser says hi.

On our way to Mannum driven by Gus. Wiser says hi.

Tom is very excited about leaving. Until he remembers he will be doing most of the driving and all of the parking over the next 3 days on account of him having the only boat license.

Tom is very excited about leaving. Until he remembers he will be doing most of the driving and all of the parking over the next 3 days on account of him having the only boat license.

One of many pelicans in Adelaide's source of drinking water. I fed bread to this one.

One of many pelicans in Adelaide's source of drinking water. I fed bread to this one.

Continue Reading Houseboat Adventure 2007...