29 March 2006


Today I attended a motivational business seminar as part of a team building activity for work. In a nutshell it was one of the weirdest experiences I've had while over in the US. The end result is that I'm not really any more motivated than when I got up this morning but I did learn a few interesting things.

The speakers that I saw today included Steve Forbes, General Colin Powell and Zig Ziglar, apparently the #1 motivator in the US. There were other speakers I didn't get to see including Rudolph Giuliani, Don Shula and Jerry Lewis. I wasn't feeling too well (6 days straight of going out finally got to me) so my friend and I left early.

Basically the whole thing was very American. Duh. When a speaker got on stage to talk there was a massive blast of music accompanied by pyrotechnics. This brought on many a raised eyebrow by myself. There was also a lot of 'patting America on the back', where the speaker would mention how great the country was, how free it was, how it was the greatest democracy ever, how it brought freedom to other countries afar, and there were a few compulsory 9/11 references to boot. At *any* of these references the crowd would go completely wild and insane which caused me to shrink down in my seat and think to myself "I don't belong here..." If you know me then you know I totally and completely disagree with the whole Iraq thing and I think America's foreign policy stinks. A lot of the stuff mentioned simply did not fly with me.

So the whole thing seemed to be a little Republican convention. It was about being successful and how you can best serve your own interests. Just from what I've seen over here so far that seems to fit the Republican psyche very well. It also showed how effective the speakers were at instilling these belief systems in the general American public. There is so much pomp and fanfare and glitz and glamour that I nearly found myself getting caught up in the moment.

The whole day also seemed to be an telemarketing campaign where you actually paid (I didn't of course, my company did) to get advice from people pushing their own agendas. "This tool is the best... you can see when the three green arrows come up and that's when you buy stocks... this whole program is normally $7000 but today you can get it for only $1000! Hurry! This is a limited offer only available today!" While I don't doubt the effectiveness of the tool, the whole thing did seem to be very late-night telemarketing-ish. It also brought back memories of the timeshare experience I had a while ago.

An interesting day, that is for sure. I learnt a few things, although the things learnt were not intended to be sent across by the presenters, I'm guessing. I'm actually keen to go to a full-on Republican convention now. Call me a masochist, but I just want to see more of this sort of stuff to see how bad it can *really* get.

24 March 2006

I think I should move to Miami

Don't get me wrong. I love the Ft Lauderdale pub scene and the general laid back feeling that you get in most of the places. However, if I start from Wednesday night I was at the Hotel Victor for a Hilary McRae gig.

Thursday night I was at The Road for another Hilary gig.

Today I had a lunch meeting at the Ritz-Carlton in Coconut Grove for a breast cancer walk I'm participating in with friends.

Tomorrow I'm going to Ultrafest, which I am pretty bloody stoked about.

Sunday is the NASDAQ-100 tennis open. I'm hoping to get some good pictures there... I'll be sitting in the VIP section ;-)

All this leads to the conclusion that I really should be living further south than I am now.

20 March 2006

One heck of a cool movie

V for Vendetta. Just go see it. I can't remember the last time I've wanted so bad to go and see a movie again. If I can get to see another session tomorrow night I will. It genuinely had me shaking in a couple of scenes due to the just how powerful they were. What an amazing film.

The things that surprised me the most though? There were teenagers afterwards debating if what V planned could be classified as a terrorist act. It actually got people talking. I actually caught myself thinking that maybe there was some hope still... sometimes I feel that isn't the case. Sometimes I think I just need to chill out.

What I especially liked about the movie were the parallels one could draw to the current administration over here in the US, but I guess any movie that talks about using fear and the media as a means to get what they want from the general population would draw such parallels. It's nearly 2am. I'm out of here.


It's always cool to see famous people out and about. I had great difficulty getting a picture of this guy, coz the damn bouncers kept on getting in the way...

P.S. You do know who it is, right?

15 March 2006

13 March 2006

Calle Ocho

As I type this I am absolutely buggered. I have been running on a minimum of sleep for a while now. This, of course, is entirely my fault.

I can't remember what I did Friday night anymore... something.

Saturday night we headed out to the lovely South Beach area to check out some cool places. There were a few spring breakers about but not as many as one would expect since South Beach can get bloody expensive. We ended up at a really, really cool hotel on the beachfront called the Shore Club.

Sunday was spent at Calle Ocho where I saw a heck of a lot of hispanic people walking about (of course) and Santos Renuentes were playing there too. I of course have some pics from their gig that I'll put up later. I didn't get too many pictures of the crowd... I'm getting pretty paranoid these days about taking pictures of people. There were some angry looking hispanic dudes walking about in this case.

Sunday night was awesome. We headed to Nikki Beach, where I got some great movies and some pictures. They'll be put up online later as well. That place is awesome and oh so relaxing and there is *always* a bewdifal crowd there.

08 March 2006

Coldplay and Fiona Apple

On the weekend I got to see Coldplay and Fiona Apple play in Orlando. Actually, ha, let me correct that. I got to see a bit of one Fiona Apple song - "Fast as you can" - and you can bet I was running as fast as I could to get to my seat when I arrived at the venue.

It turns out we had a bit of bad luck with the traffic that night. What should have been a 15 minute drive to the venue turned out being over an hour drive. Whilst sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic we had to get to exit 83B on the I-4. Fiona would have already started her set, and being support act, would only be playing for 45 mins or so. Anyway, we came up to exit 82A... 5 mins passed ... exit 82B ... another 5 mins gone ... exit 82C... at which point I stated "ha, wouldn't it be funny if there was an 82D exit!" Nobody in the car really appreciated the humour.

We arrived, sat down, and Fiona left the stage. Excellent. I can't really express how much I was looking forward to seeing Fiona play live. I guess I'll have to wait another 5 years or something now.

Coldplay were awesome again though. It was cool to see all the massive yellow balls fall down again during "Yellow". Afterwards we were supposed to meet up with some people who were going to get us into one of the cool clubs. Unfortunately, one of them had a bit too much to drink and she was getting sick in the bathroom HALF WAY through the Coldplay set! Awesome.

Downtown was also bumper-to-bumper traffic so we decided to grab some grog and drink up at our hotel. I can't remember much after that, although I do remember us watching my copy of "You shoot, I shoot" for a little bit. It's pretty difficult to concentrate on subtitles when you're not exactly sober.