We Don’t Go In There…

This week we thought we’d start out a little different, rather than our usual hello and long-winded interlude to another episode of A Mind of Its Own, we thought maybe we’d just get straight into it and fire away at the subject that has weighed most heavily on our minds and wallets for the week. Then again if we did that this paragraph would become redundant and you’ve have to hear the writing staff drone on incessantly about how they weren’t given the opportunity to introduce their writing and this weeks stellar topic.

Continuing on with our travel theme we decided to actually take to the skies in an attempt to give our readers a more in-depth look at modern-day travel. In doing so we opened our wallets and let the moths take flight grudgingly. The Amex was swiped, our bags were packed and we took to the closest airport to board a flight bound for the City of Churches. Before we could that though we had to endure a rather hands pat down, explosive wanding and the worst part of all, the part that really got our goat and almost saw the Incredible Hulk make an appearance in the middle of the Gold Coast airport. Well we’ll get to that shortly for now we need to take a breath, relax and let you join us on our journey.

Around the world no matter what continent you are on, or where you may call home. The moment you step foot into the terminal its like you are entering mini city that allow for us to fly from A to B in less time than it would take to drive. A little like the towns that highways haven’t quite bypassed as of yet. Like any city, they have their own economy, their own vibe and most of all their own inhabitants. We are talking about the people who call these places work, not just the pilots and flight crews but the ground staff right through to the ladies and gentleman that man the information desks, shops and kiosks around the airport. Think of them like Santa’s elves if Santa was a multibillion dollar industry oh wait that’s a topic for another day.

Does that include the people trying to get you hooked on wine as you walk from gate to gate you ask? Yes it most certainly does, we call them the naughty elves and they are unfortunately apart of the airport community but really no different to the airport bars. They just soften you up with free samples first before they get you to open your wallet in order to pay for the monthly subscription of wine you’ve drunkenly been talked into before you walk past all their little storefront friends who lure you in for a look while you waste time before your flight boards. The more shops you walk into the more the suggestive the devil on your shoulder becomes reminding you of all the things you forgot to pack or might need on your journey. All the advertising doesn’t help either as it subconsciously erodes away the commonsense walls in your mind.

It’s no wonder that a trip to the airport often starts with a trip to the bank to take out a loan. Mostly for the time spent at the airport on either end of the trip no matter how short or long. So why is it that food and items are so expensive at an airport compared to heading down to your local Coles or Woolies and loading up the trolley?. After our arrival yesterday we were shocked and almost fell off our stool as the barman put down an eagerly awaited cold amber ale in front of us an promptly demanded payment to the sum of $12.50. Now before you ask it wasn’t a pint, it wasn’t a craft beer or an international beer. It was a bloody Great Northern and we found it very un-Australian to be paying an arm and a leg for a beer. Whilst paying that amount for any beer that is of a standard size is still ludicrous most people would be ok with paying it for a craft beer or a beer they may not have tried before maybe.

An Australian Beer at an Australian airport at those prices has us scratching our heads and wondering whether we need to start investing in airport shares in order for the dividends to fund a beer or two while we are there. Now it would be ok if the excessive pricing was kept to just alcoholic beverages however we soon discovered that price hiking expanded across any and everything. Head into the newsagent type store, books take a $3 to $4 dollar increase. Lollies increased by a dollar or two. The surf shops have everything at the recommended retail price not a dollar less. Even heading over to Hungry Jacks for a Whopper will cost you an additional $3 dollars more than it would if you were to head through drive on your way to the airport.

So what makes retailers increases their prices to the maximum chargeable amounts in the market. Some would argue the cost of rent is higher at an airport and others would argue that it’s the cost of staff and the weird hours airports keep. But the plain and simple argument we will make at A Mind of Its Own is simple. Costs of goods at airports are what they are due to supply and demand. They have a product, you want the product and it’s not like you can simply leave to go get it somewhere else unless you are hours early for you flight which lets face it most people are not unless they have nowhere else to go.

What are your alternatives you ask? Either plan ahead or take out small loan if you plan on spending more than an hour while you wait for a flight ensuring you fed and well hydrated. Perhaps stopping off at a shopping centre on the way might be your best bet to cover all your bases and ensure you save yourself a couple of hundred dollars and a trip to the bank before the creditors are on your case about repayments. Or you could just choose to drive if you’re heading interstate and have the time. God knows taxiing on the runway at Kingsford Smith Airport feels like you are driving down to Cronulla in order to get a big enough run up for takeoff.

Whatever your preferred method of travel, the one thing we have learnt this week is that airports are expensive places where supply and demand reigns supreme. If you are thinking about taking a trip, do yourself a favour and plan ahead. Like everything, money makes the world go round and the aviation industry is a multi billion dollar beast that sees you coming from a mile off, not just because the planes are big and rather noisy. So for another week we bid you farewell and hope you have a pleasant week. Please remain seated until the captain has turned off the fasten seat belt and when opening the overhead lockers, please take caution has luggage may have moved during the flight Thank you for choosing to Fly A Mind of Its Own.

P.S Keep your eyes peeled for another sneak peek chapter of Fire for Effect coming your way…

Assemble the Empire…

In an effort to keep the momentum going, A Mind of Its Own is looking into the future, not in a Marty McFly back to the future kind of way. Mainly our future and where we are going as a movement, as a blog and more importantly as the think tank we feel we’ve become. Our intention is not to preach, educate or push our opinions but to let your mind wander in amazement at the world we live in as you (The reader) switch on the old noggin and think about the topics before you. We look to inspire and provoke the creative side of your brain in an effort to create conversation and wonderment.

No less than two years ago you would not be reading any of this. All writing from this particular writer was personal and off-limits even to those closest to him. Confidence in himself and the ability to write something interesting let alone thought-provoking were at an all time low, in fact truthfully they were non-existent. Besides those points the mindset to put writing out there for others to read and share. Wind the clock forward two years and you have numerous blogs and a book on the way. What changed you ask? A lot changed, but the biggest change of all was acceptance of who he was and where he was headed.

The first part was admitting the need for help and admitting to himself that he needed to allow his brain to just let the thoughts flow. The minute that acceptance was granted was the moment the thoughts became clear and the mind was finally not just a jumble of thoughts but a myriad of possibilities. The creative portion of the brain was finally allowed to operate freely without any restrictions or fears to where those thoughts might lead once they were put on paper of listed in a word document or google document before being divulged to the public by way of blog post.

It didn’t happen in one instantaneous moment like a flash of lightning striking the earth, it took a long hard journey with many ups and downs. Before the rebuilding of the mind, body and soul could commence. It was something that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of family and friends. There were changes that needed to be made to the mindset and acceptance that a busy mind isn’t a curse. Out of chaos often comes beauty from rebirth, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. In this case it was a creative ability that was willing to throw caution to the wind and put fear of judgement aside. To allow you to read thoughts, feelings, fears, opinions and options open to the world.

What came from that is the blog you are now hopefully subscribed to including this one you are reading and several extracts from a book that will be released later in the year. Does that make us a little scared? Yeah more than a little… Even for the most extroverted person in the world it is still often hard to put yourself out there for all to see and judge. I guess that’s one of the things wrong with Human beings we are often quick to judge. At some point we all need to learn ourselves before we judge someone else. But who are we to instruct on how you should treat others heck, if the government won’t apologise properly for the stolen generation why shouldn’t we or you for that matter pass judgement?

We’ve worked out that A Mind of Its Own is not for everyone, it’s often a little quirky and like the name it does often deviate off on a tangent, taking a mind of its own. We head down the rabbit hole like Alice in Wonderland with each and every topic pouring our heart and soul into every piece whilst giving it a touch of A Mind of It’s Own magic to make it even the darkest topics seem a little lighter as they flow from your screen to little part of mind that gets you thinking and questioning everything you already knew about life.

So what are we going to do with A Mind of Its Own and where to from here? Well if we are honest we’d like to get the public involved a little more. We’d like to get requests for topics from our loyal and supportive fans. There are plans to throw a podcast into the mix and we’ll be showcasing a lot more of this writers coming debut novel. One thing we can promise you is that we’ll continue to write with our no holds bar, comedic style about topics that may fly under the radar or more specifically your radar.

We’ll expand our reach utilising social media platforms and hopefully word of mouth from you our readers in order to grow our user base. Before heading to Washington and challenging Trump for the presidency. We figure we’ll challenging him to an old-fashioned duel on the white house lawn. Back to reality we just hope to continue to bring you some good writing that can make you laugh and forget about your worries while you focus on the house of cards that is the world. One strong wind and it’s all coming down around us.

In an attempt to answer the question of where A Mind of Its Own is going. Well we could have done that in one word. Nowhere. Well nowhere in terms of it’s not going to disappear. If anything it will grow and we’ll spread across platforms, mediums and where ever else we can make our presence felt. Who knows we might even get some t-shirts made for you to purchase should you want to support your favourite new blog on the net and keep a roof over our heads. Ok now we are getting ahead of ourselves but as they say… Dream big or go home.

So as we assemble our empire and prepare to take over the world one blog at a time. You’ve been fortunate enough to read this weeks installment of Doc Brown’s favourite blog from the future. We’ve joined forces to with Marty McFly to ensure you’re aren’t chicken and continue reading. Until next week thanks once again and we hope you’ve enjoyed a little insight into the thoughts on where we’d like to take this here blog and any other outlets of media we decide to pursue in getting our public service announcements to the greater public. Until the next episode jump in the DeLorean and take a trip down memory lane or into the future.

Rattling the keys to the Kingdom…

After last week’s excitement of space camp… ahhem… Oh yes sorry we meant Space Force, we scratched our heads and wondered how we could ever top such an insight into the most exciting thing to happen to America since the Olsen twins discovered puberty and Trump asked Mexico to build a wall between them. With the world around us crumbling into a pastry chefs worst nightmare we went to the true powers of the world, google, to give us an idea for this weeks Mind of Its Own.

We thought we might find some inspiration from recent travels or something in the news to write about but it seems the world we live in (The writers at this here institution) has become a little boring over the last couple of weeks. Have we used all our best material? and like a dressmaker before the big show are left with something that looks more like a potato sack than a dress for a special occasion. Unless it’s a potato sack race then you’ve nailed it better than you ever dreamed of.

So after a lot of procrastinating, typing deleting and repeating the process we decided to focus this week on the wonderful world of dieting. That’s right you heard it here first, we are tackling diets like a fat kid on a cupcake. We’ll trim the fat, exercise your… Minds unless there is some new fad where you lose weight from staring at a screen while you read online blogs? Heck there probably is you know and some clown is making millions off it. Ok maybe not millions but he or she is living comfortably in their beachside house or apartment having never spent a day in their life at university, but all of a sudden has become suitably qualified to give, yes you the reader dietary advice.

Where to start??? Atkins, usually A comes first or should we head straight to the latest fad, what was it again? High Fat? Yeah you heard us high fat and if it’s not high fat it’s some hybrid paleo/neolithic/vegan diet where you only eat things raw. Surely soon enough we’ll just go for the foragers diet that consists of nuts and berries with the occasional feed of campfire cooked meat of whatever variety you can get your hands on. There’d certainly be a lot of lean, malnourished people in the world who would be happy with results.

Like a fisherman on the high seas we baited the hooks, cast our nets and trawled the internet to find out just how many diets are listed online. We didn’t have to go far to find sites promising to make you trim, taut and looking terrific in weeks not months just like any infomercial will promise you. Started to remind us of all the ridiculous workout contraptions that have need produced over the years. The office favourite is still the shake weight and please do yourself a favour and head on over to YouTube type in Shake Weight and enjoy the laughs.

Back to our diets from Keto, to Paleo they all have one thing in common! That would be the ultra fit person spruiking them. You can guarantee this person works out five to seven days a week, has always worked out and already eats quite a healthy diet. He or she won’t be found in the line at the local Colonel to get a bucket of the colonel’s original recipe in yet another attempt to crack the 11 secrets herbs and spices. They certainly aren’t propping up the local bar as they down their 10th schooner in an effort to out drink Macca from work who’s been talking big onsite all week as the concrete base to yet another greek monolith home is built in Carlton.

After further googling to understand terminology that has clearly been coined by today’s generation the team finally started to get a handle on the various weight loss diets available to the average Joe. We visited both mens and womens sites offering us insight into how each of the diets on offer for free, introductory prices or a fee that will have you selling a kidney just to participate and die of starvation. Confusion aside some of the diets started to sound appealing particularly when they promise better focus, control and long term benefits to the mind, body and soul.

DASH, Flexitarian, Weight Watchers, MIND, Atkins, Keto, Paleo, CSIRO, Pollo something or rather, hell even religions are offering belief based diets. Whilst some diets are clearly needed for people who are intolerant to certain things we pretty much came up with a diet for everything you could potentially think of. Remember Jared from Subway? I don’t but apparently in an effort to lose weight be dropped the Big Macs, Zinger Burgers and Whoopers replacing them with a healthier fast food option of sugar packed subway sandwiches.

Now we could give you a brief outline on each of the diets we came across but 94 pages later I fear we would have lost some of you to starvation. We know once you pick up that smart device and start reading you can’t put it down until you’ve got your weekly fill of A Mind of Its Own so we chose not to write 94 brief paragraphs outlining all the diets Wikipedia listed. It did get us thinking though that perhaps we could start a distraction diet where you distract yourself whenever you feel the need to eat. Weight loss diet fad here we come. You get your money for nothing…

94 different diets out there categorised into 7 major subcategories and further subcategories in each. It’s amazing that scientist can come up with all this information on nutrition but still haven’t come up with a way to stop world hunger. I mean if people can choose to be polopescatarians surely we can choose to combat hunger for those less fortunate and don’t have a choice in their diet due to lack of shelter, money, food and water. No, no you continue to look at your who magazine, cleo, marie claire and ponder whether you look ok based on what hollywood tells you. Does Who magazine still exist?

So here’s some friendly Mind of Its Own advice!!! Unless you need to be on a diet for medical reason or you are vegetarian either by choice or because you can’t break down meat. Exercise regularly, eat things in moderation and be happy! Things could be far worse for you. If you are reading this life is already pretty damn good for you. You no doubt have a roof over your head, power, clean water, clothes, food in a refrigerator and most importantly access to a smart device. So like drinking wisely, diet right and take the time to create your smoothie to go outside and visit nature it’s that place outside your house with trees and water.

That’s a wrap for another week! We dipped our toe in the deep end and chickened out when it came to diets. There is just far too many choices for us to decide which ones to cover and what isn’t going to put you all into a deep sleep through sheer boredom. We hope you’ve managed to digest your way through our skimming of a topic that really doesn’t hold much of an interest to anyone here. Until next week, eat, drink and be merry and if you can’t be merry be Mary…

Starships and Apocalypse…

Well, well, well… Another week down and we are powering into the second half of the year. What a year it has been so far! A Mind of its Own has worked hard over the past 6 months to bring you some quality pieces to take your mind off the working week allowing you to enter into a world of numerous possibilities. We’ve given you our take on a lot of topics but this week we thought we’d enter a world that quite honestly seems like a place for private school kids and fish n chip shop owners.

Politics or politicians is certainly something we never thought we’d find ourselves writing about and it certainly isn’t on the approved list of topics that adorns the office wall. So why politics this time you ask? That’s a damn fine question and one which we will answer in the following paragraphs to come but before we do that we need to take you on a journey to a galaxy far, far away. Ok maybe we don’t and we might need to check with Disney if we can use that line before they sue us for copyright infringement.

There is one man that has said some of the dumbest things you will ever hear in your life. Hated by the intellectuals and adored by the those who lets say aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed and think insest is ok. We’ve asked the question and we know our readers are certainly asking the same question. How on earth did this mexican hating, balding, red faced, douchebag make his way to the white house? It does lead to even bigger questions about America even allowing him into the big gig. Yes we know there options weren’t great Hillary or Donald but come on Yanks really Trump? The same guy that wants to build a wall to keep out the mexicans?.

So by now you are asking yourselves how on earth we ended up down this rabbit hole and started on our anti-trump campaign. Well let’s rewind to three days ago and if you watch the news it was the most exciting thing Trump has done or said in his time in office. For those of you that prefer to get your news through social media or like to be updated in other ways we’ll spell it out for you. There are currently five branches of the U.S Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines). Well our wig wearing buddy announced he wanted the Pentagon to create a sixth branch.

Yes you heard it here probably not first but what Trump announced would have certainly got a lot of geeks super excited and putting there stereotypical wussiness aside and running down to the closest enlistment office to join the one, the only U.S Space Force. Space Force it sounds like something from a 1960’s science fiction film where the earth is attacked by flying saucers and giant aliens from outer space. We honestly wouldn’t have believed it ourselves if it hadn’t been televised on every news station around the globe. He’s buddies Putin and Kim Jong Un were having heart attacks as they looked at their own military forces and their plans to ward off the impending alien attacks.

This comes on the back of the US leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council, it got us wondering whether they were already preparing to build black sites on the moon and Mars in order to interrogate aliens for all their secrets? Oh wait didn’t they already do that at Roswell and then area 51? Hmm are we heading down the conspiracy theory path, no we aren’t but we thought we’d throw that in for a little twist in the plot and to get the readers thinking about all the silly things the US have done throughout the years in their pursuit to police the world and become the dominant power.

Back to the orange faced toupe for a moment this is the same guy that doesn’t believe in climate change but wants to build a wall in space to keep the aliens out? We don’t know that he wants to build a wall for sure but we do know that he wants to build a death star and ensure the US dominance in space incase Russia or China decide to join forces with the aliens and attack the states. We’re not sure why they wouldn’t just attack them on earth but hey a lot of us have always dreamt of joining the Space Force and fighting outside of our atmosphere.

Next thing we know Trump will be spruiking the light and dark side of the force and sending troops off to learn the ways of the force from an old little green man who is full of philosophical one liners. All the while his mate Kim Jong Un will be dressing up as Darth Vader so the two of them can have light saber fights instead of saber rattling on an international scene. What we are questioning though is this the start of a new space race? Who will get to Mars first? Who will build the first space wall and who will have the first space plane?

One thing Trump’s announcement has done is send the defence industry into a spin as they plan and develop weapons for future tenders that will no doubt come out from the Pentagon over the coming years. Will we finally see some lasers and star fighters? We can only hope! As for Donald Visionary or lunatic? It’s a fine line and one we know that he’ll continue to walk while his time in the white house but for now Space Force onya Trump you’ve just made every five year old boys come true! Who didn’t want to fight aliens in a far off land at some point in their childhood!

Well that’s a wrap! Another week down another blog that has taken on a mind of its own. We hope many of you have relived your childhood dreams or at least had a good giggle at our slight insight to the wonderful world that is Mr Trump and his great idea to create SPACE FORCE. We are still laughing at the name surely the military will come up with a better name for this fighting force in outer space. Until next week Peace out and hopefully we won’t need Space Force to save the day.

Our laywer made us change the name of this song…

Fake tits, big lips, blonde hair and they don’t care, skin shown everywhere! We are coming to live from the Gold Coast. Home of the cashed up, smashed up bogan, the worst sports teams in every code, some of the best beaches in the land and Australia’s home to theme parks. A Mind of Its Own sent a couple of our own reporters into the heart land of the surf coast to get the low down on the land and why it’s so popular with schoolies, New Zealanders and Holden V8 drivers.

Like an insurance company investigator we blended in as well as neck brace being put on in a Centrelink car park. Decked out in boardshorts, a singlet and a pair of thongs, the footwear for all you New Zealanders who fled your own country to come and live across the ditch not the underwear. First thing we noticed was that when you are a pasty white guy who doesn’t spend a lot of time in the gym… you should cover up on the beaches of the Gold Coast. Even the kids were tanned to a nice shade of brown. If i was ever to work for the cancer council the gold coast would be a great place to show kids what happens when you don’t slip, slop, slap.

Brown skin covered the beaches as the UV factor pushed into the red. Banana Boat executives were no doubt sitting in their expensive penthouse apartments looking down at the beaches watching all those dollar signs lather up before tanning away to a crisp. Occasionally you see other whities who need a seriously good dose of vitamin D and to lay off the $5 spirits booze at their backpacker hostel. Yes we made the assumption they were backpackers might of had something to do with their inability to walk straight and take their eyes off the topless airbags trying to rid themselves of last weekend’s tanlines.

As we watched people of all walks of life we began to notice several recurring themes popping up over all over the place. Firstly we noticed more billboards for plastic surgeons than we’ve ever seen in any city in Australia. The odd thing was we didn’t see any women doctors adorning these billboards. Now we are sure they are out there but it is a little creepy that all the plastic surgeons on the Gold Coast seem to be men and the number one surgery is breast augmentation… Not that the clubs are complaining as they pay gorgeous enhanced women to stand outside an lure young men into their venues.

The next thing we noticed was the amount of sheep. Sorry sheep shaggers, they are everywhere. It’s almost as though they look at a map of Australia and go what’s the closest flight for us. Awww true bro it is Gold Coast, they have good beaches hey and lots of women who love tribal tattoos hey bro. Choice hey bro. Nothing against our neighbours from across the pitch just stop claiming you invented everything and moving here. What’s wrong with NZ? It looks great if you are a hobbit loving, sheep shagging, rugby loving, jandal wearing, fash and chaps eating, chilling bin filling clown.

So Kiwis and plastic surgeons aside the next thing that struck us was the amount of hotted up cars being driven around. We tailed a couple at a safe distance expecting to see a well suited Roger Moore type of character to exit the vehicles only to be disappointed by blokes stepping out of them wearing board shorts or tradie yellow. Enter the cashed up bogans. We took along our ‘terp’ or interpreter for those not down with the slang in order to understand a conversation with one of these Ferrari driving tradesmen. We were keen to understand exactly what it was they did for a living that allowed them to drive such a fine machine while having a mullet or rats trail.

As far as conversations goes even our terp couldn’t get past the first couple of sentences of our new mates high pitched slow drawl. We quickly gave up on that idea and decided to watch our new tradie friend buy a six pack of rum crack one before jumping back into his expensive ride and speed off down the street. It wasn’t long before we sat there conducting a high school type math experiment and were counting cars. From our observations and findings it was clear that Holden was winning the car of choice for Gold Coast residents. We aren’t talking your average Commodore we are talking your top of the line V8 SS Commodore.

With it’s meter maids, yearly invasion of school kids making terrible decisions and constant flow of holiday makers hitting it’s golden sands it wasn’t long before the casinos and nightclubs found a place on the surf coast. Formally jupiters now crown and redeveloped it’s a monsterous place of sin that welcomes you and your money only to leave you feeling used and abused as you leave it’s doors 5 minutes later scratching your head wondering what in the hell had happened to all your hard earned cash.

From the bright lights of Surfers Paradise we make our way out to towards the gold coast hinterland? Looking around our rented Holden SS Commodore the faces said it all… The hinterland? Well we were in Helensvale and hanging out the front of Movie World all our favorite DC characters and Looney toons wait for us to enter and get that photo that adornes every family photo album who have visited Australia’s theme parks. You ride a few rides praying that Batman leaves you alone before heading to Dream World where your praying takes on a completely different approach approach. Every god that or higher power suddenly becomes your best mate as you pray the rides don’t break down and kill you.

With most of the themes parks done we look at Top Golf and wonder why they continue to tease us by not opening the doors and allowing us to smash balls at targets. With Wet n Wild and SeaWorld left to explore we decided if we were going to see large mammals in the water we’d head to SeaWorld. Upon entering we cringed at the aquatic beasts in captivity although we thought we might drop Socks off for some training seeing they can get all types of aquatic life to learn tricks they might be able to teach him to gather lunch once in awhile at the office.

Looking for some solace we took to the water only to discover that Maroubra isn’t the only place where the locals think they own the beach and the water. Not wanting to get our heads punched in by several blokes who look like the kids from Hanson and should be singing Mmmbop and not threatening to beat the living shit out of you. So like the latest kookslam video we crashed our way onto shores of Burleigh in a explosion of sand and surf. Greater by a lovely gent in bright red budgie smugglers making sure we were ok. Like a wounded dog we limped back to the car with our tail between our legs

To recap we’ve seen way too much plastic surgery, way too many Kiwis, bogans with nice cars and too much cash, meter maids, schoolies who should never again be allowed out of their own state. Surfers who should be singing pop songs instead of popping skulls and old ducks and dudes who looked more like crocodile skinned handbags. They say first impressions last well lucky enough we’ve spent a lot of time around the GC otherwise we’d have run for the hills and never looked back.

So for all those looking at the GC and thinking it would be a great place to live… Ah maybe just spend a week there and head to some of its less affluent suburbs before deciding to settle down by the beach. You need to be a lover of the Kiwi, a fan of silicone, a ford or holden fan and friends with Mick Fanning if you want to surf Snapper on a weekday. So not at all a bad place if you are laid back, chilled and like the beach and want to support two shit football teams.

For another week that’s A Mind of Its Own! We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of the Gold Coast. If you live there it’s all in jest, if you want to visit please do. After the disaster that was the Commonwealth Games they could do with the commerce.

Every Dog Has its Day…

Rrrrrr, ruooof, woof! Ah crap that’s right you clowns that are supposedly intelligent don’t speak dog. Like the title of this week’s blog, it’s my day so listen up human overlords! Welcome to another week of A Mind of its Own, I’ll be your host for this journey into, well into me! You may call me socks like the two humans i live with or you can call me Boy like every other human with a male dog does. My time around the team so far has been great although the boss is of the opinion that I’ll go and get his slippers and fetch him a beer at some point in time. Fat chance of that, skinny bastard wouldn’t get of his arse and fetch me a treat if I barked at him.

As the newest addition to the team here at A Mind of Its Own, the boss thought it only fitting that i introduce myself and tell you all a little about me for future reference. It was part of my employment contract I get one blog and mention from time to time. They also needed someone to spell check and ensure the boss is using correct grammar throughout his work. I mean seriously if I can do it and English is my second language that clown should be able to.

Where to start, Let’s see… I am or was I should say an orphan, I don’t know who my folks were, all I know is that I am part border collie part something else. Some would call me a mongrel but they’d want to be careful with what they say. I am at that age where I might just wee on you or start chewing at your ankles if I don’t like you. I’m black and white in colour with massive paws. You know what they say about big paws right?

So I came into this world around 12 weeks ago and it already confuses the hell out of me. Like the fact that one of your human years is 15 of mine. I mean what the hell I’ll be a teenager in 8 months time. That doesn’t give me a lot of opportunity to pretend I don’t know what’s going on and wreak some havoc around the house. I was adopted by a couple of humans who live on the coast, they seem quite adamant that I will enjoy the ocean! If it gets me out of having a bath I’m all for the salty swims and chasing seagulls up and down the sand.

There also seems to be a lot more rules for me than there are for the humans. I don’t mind it, but I do find it a little hypocritical that I can’t lick my patch where my balls used to be yet my boss and the human I live with can scratch there’s whenever they like. There’s also the dinner table rule despite my numerous attempts to join the humans for dinner they are adamant that I eat out of a bowl on the floor. I don’t think they understand just how intelligent I am. I mean I speak 2 languages and they struggle to speak one properly with there shortening or words and abbreviations. Just lazy if you ask this pooch.

I can hear the humans in the next room discussing ‘Conehead’ that’s me for the week I’ve just had some surgery and feeling a little out of sorts. I plan on napping, eating and doing little else this week. I may watch a little Doctor Phil, that guy seems to be able to sort out everyone’s problems. Whatever happened to Jerry Springer? The guy in the white coat stuck a bucket on my head so I can’t lick myself but what the hell, it doesn’t really stop me, I just can’t lick my bits. I think the boss has a different idea of what I will be doing this week, looks like I’ll be getting used to rides in what they call a car. Lazy humans, can’t walk anywhere, they have to go in this steel beast to conserve their legs.

The folks I live with are pretty good, I’ve seen worse living conditions in CIA black sites despite the fact they make me sleep in the laundry. They’ve given me a bed and blanket, Lots of toys to play with. I get fed twice a day and they take me out of my cell once a night to ensure I don’t spray the walls and mark my territory. Do they think I enjoy shitting myself like a newborn or geriatric? I do not so my toilet breaks are quite welcome and they don’t seem to mind that I roll around on the grass a little before heading back to my cell for the night. They have however fitted me out with a collar instead of an orange jumpsuit like the humans in prison wear. I must say it’s much more flattering but then they attach a lead to it and parade me around like I’m part of Australia’s next top model.

The lady of the house is great she just wants to cuddle me all the time, which I don’t mind but she talks to me like I’m a baby which I am finding infuriating but I just look at her and smile. To which she squeezes me tighter and I roll over for a belly rub. Ah it’s like milking a cow with these humans. Yeah I use my cuteness to my advantage like a woman does her good looks to manipulate a situation wouldn’t everyone if they could. Most dogs can, except those little pugs, I don’t mean to speak ill of my fellow canine but really when your face looks like a screwed up butt hole you’ve got issues. There must be a lot of humans that like butt holes though as they seem to popular with the youth of today.

The man of the house, for the time being till I get a little bigger, thinks he’s hilarious, he’s already trying to rock the dad body without kids and has a plethora of dad jokes ready to go at the drop of a hat. Some of them are ok but most are cringe worthy and will be wasted on his little humans when they come along. He’s a bit of a geek but alright plays some game that involves my two favourite things to chase stick and ball so I’ll no doubt be digging my teeth into both of these at some point in the future.

All in all my time so far both as part of the team at A Mind of Its Own and living with my new family has been pretty good. They treat me well and I take advantage of the fact I am cute whenever I can to get what I want. I’m settling in well to my new surroundings and I don’t think I’ll need to complain to the U.N about my treatment, it terms of jails it’s quite humane. They don’t torture me and they give me 2 square meals a day. I get plenty of exercise and whilst I don’t have any balls if I had a purse I’d have my new owners in there. I’ve got him by the short and curly’s, he will literally do anything I want with one look. If he won;’t crumble it’s only a matter of time before the house of cards that is the lady of the house gives in and once again I’m top dog getting what I want.

Life is pretty easy when you are me! I make a few mistakes here and there but other that I tend to just sleep, eat, wee and poo a lot. If i am not doing that I’m chasing ankles and ensuring the humans are on their toes, literally… I’ve tried to trip the boss a few times to see if he’s paying attention. If he won’t pay attention to his poor spelling and grammar he can bloody well pay attention to his surroundings.

So that’s me Sock’s part Human, part dog but mostly happy to be part of a cool family, ah I hope they don’t read this they’ll get big heads again! So until next time the boss turns over the lead to me for another expose into the life of a dog, thanks for listening and remember, your four-legged friends also have A Mind of their Own… Now time to go and bark at some birds while I wait for my dinner to be served. I wonder what it’ll be tonight? Mince with veggies or mince with veggies. I see what she cooks him and get a little jealous his food looks amazing compared to the same thing I’m fed every night.

Ducks Fly Together…

I dug out some old pieces that were written over the years and posted on various different forms of media for you guys and for us as well to ensure we are putting as much content up as possible for you guys to read, comment on or take the piss out of the team here at A Mind of Its Own. This just happens to be one of my favourite topics to talk about with people as I somewhat consider myself an expert on this theory having to practice it more than I’d like to admit.

To start out those that know me will have seen it somewhere if you hang around me long enough. I was explaining to a colleague the other day a theory that has helped me out through both my professional and amateur sporting careers. It’s something that has helped me on a day to day basis both on and off the sporting field and holds a lot of merit for those who like me can be short tempered at times.

Let’s not beat around the bush, we all have good days and bad days no matter where we are, on the sporting field, at home or at work. In the office though our patience is often tested sometimes it’s an hourly event. We all have those colleagues who try our patience without even realising it. To explain the theory right we need to go back to the beginning where I was introduced to it.

I got into coaching in my early 20’s and was fortunate enough to work quite closely with someone who has gone on to do bigger and better things than I ever dreamed of. He has done very well for himself on the world stage and can proudly say he’s coached at the top level of the sport Including Commonwealth and Olympic Games. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor to learn coaching philosophies and how to the get the most out of the athletes I was working with. He also taught me that everything in the sporting arena can translate across into the business world and help me in my professional life. I would often find myself frustrated and getting quite annoyed when results or decisions weren’t going our way or as a team we were performing well below our potential.

In my first year under his tutelage I remember the first lessons he taught me always take notes and observe as much as you can. The second lesson was that you will learn something from everyone you come across and you will mould your coaching style by adapting little bits and pieces from each and every one of them and finally using the biggest weapon you have and that is you. I’ve taken this approach across to the business world particularly when it comes to managing and mentoring staff who report into me.

I was helping out with some national league games doing filming and just getting a feel for what it was like to coach and be involved at the open age level. In the dugout before one game, I remember it like it was yesterday, I looked down at the bench to where his notepad lay open with his notes on the game, plans, plays etc. It was the first time I’d notice it but it wouldn’t be the last. At the top of the page in BIG capital letters was the word DUCK underlined twice. At the time I didn’t think much of it but over time as we progressed through practice matches and training sessions in the build up towards national’s curiosity started to get the better of me and I started to wonder why DUCK made it to the top of his page or the whiteboard before every game.

We were sitting in his office before training one day working on the training schedule for the weeks leading into the tournament whilst discussing formations, playing styles, tactics and all things hockey. Around the walls there were a couple of whiteboards that had drills and training schedules as well as individual athlete programs written up and once again there it was DUCK. It was at that point that I bit the bullet and decided I needed the answers to my questions.

Before answering my questions I was grilled on what I knew about Ducks before he would proceed in telling me anything about what is now known as the DUCK Theory and the premise behind it. So from me to you… Firstly ask yourself what you know about ducks and how you would describe them.

When you think of a duck swimming on the top of the water they are graceful, almost gliding majestically through the water but most of all they appear calm, yet under the water’s surface it’s a different story. Those little flippers are flapping away furiously to propel themselves along evenin the strongest of currents. No matter where you are, what you are doing or whether it be as a coach, player or in your everyday life no matter what is going on we need to remain professional and keep our calm. If we can’t do that then we think of the DUCK calm on the surface and furious below where no one can see.

It wasn’t until my second year coaching that I truly found the value in the duck theory in our first game at nationals there was a critical moment in the game where a decision was made that I feel changed the outcome and quite possibly our final standings in the tournament. I remember our manager at the time asking me to keep my cool which probably made things worse telling me to calm down is not the best way to make me calm or keep my cool. With 5 minutes left in the game down 3-2 with the ascendency we scored the equaliser only to have the umpire rule it to be dangerous and therefore a free hit to the opposition. I remember watching the game tape over and over that night as we planned for game two, thinking to myself that one little mistake made by the umpire had cost my team at minimum a point if not three. It was a goal clear as day any day of the week. I’d tried to speak with the umpire after the game to question the decision only to be told I wasn’t allowed to speak with the officials. That further infuriated me as a coach, I wanted answers, I wanted to understand the reasoning behind the decision most of all I wanted some accountability.

I woke the next day still infuriated over something that was well and truly out of my control and went for a run with the assistant coach in an attempt to clear my head. After doing our recovery session as a team and going through the brief for the day’s game we prepared to head off to the ground. I walked into my room to find a rubber duck, a roll of duct tape and bag of lollies shaped as ducks on my bed. Laughter came from the kitchen as our manager walked in clearly proud of her joking reminder to me that I need to convey calm on the outside even when my blood is boiling away on the inside. To me it was a reminder that I needed to convey professionalism and lead by an example.

How I react on the sidelines has a direct impact on what happens on the field. From that day on even before a game started whether it was a club match or at the representative level, if I was coaching or playing DUCK could always be found somewhere on me. It was always on the top of my notepad, written on a piece of tape stuck to my stick or plastered on the whiteboard in the change rooms.

As someone that quite often suffers from white line fever it has been a good practice in keeping my temper in check on the sporting field as well as keeping the hulk from making appearances in the office when dealing with frustrating, infuriating people who just don’t quite understand. What is it that they say? Shit flows down not up?

Using DUCK at work has saved me countless trips to the bosses office, a lot of time not having to waste energy on people who just don’t listen, understand or even want to understand what it is that you are trying to achieve. It’s also put a halt to endless arguments at home and most of all allowed me to take a breath, look, listen and weigh up the situation before responding allow me to de-escalate what could roll into a full blown Chernobyl. They didn’t nickname me Angry for no reason but since the DUCK i have managed to keep it calm, cool and collected. Well most of the time, sometimes I just get pushed off the edge and unlike the Duck I am somewhat a flightless bird in these rare instances.

I now pass the duck theory on to you all… In times of frustration think what would a DUCK do? and just be more like the DUCK on the water’s surface… Graceful and Elegant! Until next time, Duck, Duck, Goose!

I Feel Naked Without My Cell…

What a week, the world is buzzing, some things happened, A Mind of Its Own added to its staff. Although we are still trying to work out what role he will play in the organisation other than mascot. Perhaps he can start out in the mail room and work his way up. All I know is he’s getting paid more than me. I know how expensive those premium dog biscuits are I see the transaction on my credit card statement when the other half returns to the office.

So we promised you not one, but two posts this week and we joked about throwing in some steak knives and no seriously we are giving you steak knives. We are however sticking to our promise and delivering a second post. Which will come first you ask? We’ll we have no idea it just depends on how quickly they are edited and what the topics are. Hold on to your hats, grab your gin and tonic and settle in for another adventure with the team as we take you on another journey through this wonderful world.

Saturday night in Australia, something that happens every week, Saturday comes after Friday it’s a no brainer and we are pretty sure it’s on some Gregorian calendar not sure who invented it and nor do we have the time and energy to research it for you. If you are interested just type something into google search folks or ask Siri. Back to the blog, it was your typical Saturday night in Aus, the footy was on with all the various codes splashed across free to air and pay tv respectfully. Social media was once again buzzing and we were busy tapping away at a keyboard while sipping on a glass of Pappy Van Winkle. Oh wait that was just a dream we don’t have disposable incomes here to waste on a bottle of whiskey that is double some people’s salary each month.

While we watched the Swans finally get the chocolates on the hallowed turf of the Sydney Cricket Ground after only managing to string together one or two home game wins so far this season. We promised we’d provide statistics if they were available. Back to the point of this blog. While I did the somewhat manly thing for a change and watched the football, millions of women and men, I know there were plenty of blokes watching their dreams disappear across the pond in London, we received several Facebook Messenger messages regarding the fading dreams.

With millions of viewers tuned in, both men and women watched their dreams disappear with the utterance of just two words. For the ladies that watched on in awe it was the realisation that the dark prince, no wait that was Dracula, that the bad boy of British Royal Family had finally been wrangled and was now a married man. The men saw there dreams of marrying a strong, gorgeous lawyer who knows how to keep a secret and stands up for man disappear in an instant. It’s at this moment that we all remind ourselves that even rangas need love.

So with the latest royal wedding in full flight over on channel nine, our team were way too engrossed in the football to even know what was going on. A quick check of social media told us all we needed to know. Rachel Zane married the ginger royal party boy in a large ceremony that wasn’t at Buckingham palace but at some grand church where a bloke spoke for apparently way too long as he gave his gospel style sermon to the Royals. A lot of Aussies got caught up in wedding fever and hosted dinner parties. Let’s be honest folks it was an excuse to have a piss up but that’s ok in our book.

We’ve just been told that the lovely looking lady marrying Prince Party Fanta Pants is not Rachel Zane and she is certainly not a lawyer. Apparently like millions of men across the globe I’ve been living in dreamland and she’s an actress not a lawyer. This young ladies real name is Meghan Markle and oooweee is she remarkable. Que the roll of eyes and bad dad joke abuse from my wife but hey it had to be said and I’m sure I’m not the only writer to find solace in a dad joke about her last name.

So on to the ceremony… Based on the photos on instagram it was a star wars themed wedding? Prince Party Fanta Pants was wearing his best Imperial officers uniform flanked by his loyal storm troopers and Commanding Officer the other brother that no one remembers because he was too well behaved. Dumbo got an invite? Oh no that’s Prince Charles sorry old chap those ears are getting saggy and bigger with age. The imperial officers uniforms look sharp and before we know it Princess Leia is walking down the aisle escorted by Big Ears himself, it’s at this point I start scanning the crowd looking for Noddy and the rest of the gang. Maybe they’re shy but I’m sure they are there.

It looks like hollywood has come to the party, the cast of suits are there too taking up the back, back rows as are the rest of the star wars cast including Chewie, sorry again our mistake it was just Camilla. None of this actually happened at all, if it had, it would have been the wedding of the year and worth actually watching if it did. Instead there was a wardrobe change at some point and they exited the church looking very dapper. Gone was Meghan’s flour sack princess Leia dress now replaced by a lovely white grown. Prince Fanta Pants has also lost his Imperial officers uniform and has found himself a James Bond tuxedo and is looking sharp.

They jump into a vintage car and drive off to live happily every after, after they throw a big party and Lizzy has a few too many glasses of bubbly before begging the DJ to play the Macarena. That actually happened the car, I mean not Lizzy busting our to the Macarena or doing the worm across the dance floor. It was an amazing prototype Jaguar E-Type roadster, we knew it was an open top car but had to do a little research in order to share with you the exact make and model. What amazed us the most about this vintage Jag was that it had been retrofitted with an electric engine and was as quiet as a mouse, not that you would have been able to hear it over the roar of the crowd as Prince Fanta Pants and the newly appointed Duchess of Sussex left the church and headed off to the reception.

There were plenty of key moments throughout the ceremony from watching one of Macaulay Culkin’s kids hold Miss Markle’s’ dress train as she walked down the aisle. The resemblance to the young actor from the hit Home Alone movies was uncanny. To the BBC taking a swipe at Donald Trump. Most of the Royals were there and at the end of the day there was love in the air. The Duchess of Sussex and Prince Fanta Pants were loving throughout the entire ceremony as they held hands and whispered sweet nothings to each other and then there was the kiss the world had been waiting for. The one that would shatter the hopes and dreams of men and women around the world.

Megan (Rachel to most of us men) was now off the market and Harry (Prince Fanta Party Pants also to us blokes) was also spoken for. So as people shed a tear the world over for something that would only ever of happened in their dreams. The Royal Brat come good had finally met the woman of his dreams. Here at A Mind of Its Own we can only look on in awe that we were able to write this piece without watching one snippet of the Royal Love Fest. Instagram pretty much wrote this for us. So from all of us here at A Mind of Its Own we wish Prince Fanta Pants and the Duchess all the happiness in the world and truly do hope they live happily ever after because who doesn’t love a good story about a Prince finding his Princess on the set of a tv show. So until next week we’ve hope you’ve enjoyed the Royal Wedding addition of a Mind of Its own as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it for you. Oh and Lizzy if you are reading this we are sorry about calling Harry, Prince Fanta Pants.

Just sing like everybody else…

It’s that time of the week again ladies and gentleman, the time where we ask you to take some time, wind down, take some time out of your day, some time to sit back relax and most of all open up a A Mind of Its Own. Read along as we embark on yet another adventure into the wonderful world around us. This week we decided not to venture into the wilderness of unknown mass social gatherings in which we were overwhelmed by the smell of youth and their lack of care over personal hygiene.

I’d love to say we avoided gatherings of youth and poor choices in personal hygiene but alas we did not. In fact compared to where we ended up this weekend our adventures into the world of cosplay and pop culture masses were much more hygienic and less potent on the old nostrils. By now you’re thinking where on Earth did they end up and what did they end up doing? Well the west is about an hour West of the iconic Byron Bay in the little well-known town of Nimbin.

As we drove into town the mental image I had in my head of Bob Marley looking white folk was shattered. Driving through the main street was enough to have me start winding up the windows and locking the doors let alone get out of the vehicle. So we did just that like all good journalist chasing a story in war zone. Ok Nimbin isn’t quite downtown Fallujah. The team and I left the safety and comfort of our vehicle. I must say I was surprised that upon exiting the car that I didn’t receive a contact high from all the Ganja burning being smoked by locals but I honestly could not smell any pot. Yep Nimbin that’s two strikes, you disappointed me once again.

Walking along the main street of Nimbin, ironically Cullen street, surely no relation to any stoner relatives I may or may not have from yesteryear, a couple of things started to occur to me. Firstly everything I had heard about Nimbin was proving to be utterly false and secondly there was probably more ice addicts roaming the streets then the lovable, happy-go-lucky pot smokers. What was going on? It was like watching an episode of Sydney Weekender with Mike Whitney walking around a place that no one would ever want to go.

Midway down the main street it finally hit me that somewhat pungent yet sweet smell (Queue questions from parents and family members on how I know what it smells like. That’s a story for another day but I grew up in Canberra remember where there are 3 things biggest industries are… Weed, Fireworks and the biggest porn trade in Australia, thanks pollies you guys are hypocritically great!)

The highlight of our little walk down the main street proved to be the fire pit next to the pop up medical dispensary that had some scantily clad youths who like, the fire looked a little baked. Ok so there were some stoners still about and they did not disappoint at they swayed to the non-existent mellow tunes playing. One gentleman rapped his way through a crowd of people clearly still feeling the effects of whatever it was that he had decided was good for his system that morning.

Back to that hygiene issue, if we thought pop culture conventions were smelly Nimbin was taking it to a whole new level. I was starting to wonder if plumbing had made its way to into the town. The smell of BO was so overpowering in some parts it overpowered the smell of reefer in the air. Again I was on the hunt for some air freshener or hemp based deodorant, hell I would have been happy to sponsor the whole town as long as they took a shower in a can and regularly used it.

So besides Bob Marley what was it that I was expecting to see in Nimbin? Oh yeah that’s right pot I was expecting to see some Marijuana somewhere or at least a hash cookie or two, heck in a pot brownie would have made my day. The closest we came was the hemp store selling anything you could almost think of made from yep you guessed it hemp. I was tempted by the floppy hemp hats however the idea of this little excursion that just so happened to be by accident was to get an insight to the hinterlands iconic happy town of Nimbin.

The more I think about the more I think I expected Nimbin to be a fun, happy little town, well it was looking quite run down and there were more than one or two people who looked a little sketchy and like they’d be quite happy to mug me for my cash or lack thereof in my wallet.

So no hats were purchased, not cookies, brownies or any other foods containing the sticky icky but we did do a lot of people watching. Feeling unsafe and constantly checking our pockets for personal items Nimbin had made its way onto the list of places we wouldn’t be coming back to anytime soon. We would miss the signs stating how weed was the people’s drug of choice while the government preferred alcohol and tobacco. Yeah we giggled a little at the politically charged billboard.

Here i was thinking this was a haven for people to live an alternative lifestyle, a place where the police turned a blind eye to the use of illegal narcotics. Maybe in the main street but get 10-15 kilometers out-of-town either side and Nimbin was hemmed in by Random Breath Testing (RBT) and drug testing. Smart play by the popo but word was starting to get around town about their shady tactics on a Monday.

After grabbing a coffee and running to back to the car as fast as our feet could carry us, the car was barely in gear before the wheels were spinning and we were racing out of there. Note to any would be bank robbers looking for a getaway car, the Mitsubishi mirage is not the car for you! Whilst it handles the corners quite well it does not have the zip of many other small cars available on the market.

The conversation in the car as we wound our way towards freedom, fresh air and a much-needed warm shower (Pretty sure I kept smelling my own armpits to ensure it wasn’t me that had smelt) turned to the legalisation of narcotics and whether legalising certain substances would stop people turning to ice, meth and heroin or whether it would create further issues for our law enforcement professionals. Legalisation of Marijuana for medical purposes we can see a point to, there is science to back up the claims particularly when coupled with cancer treatments and the like.

Legalisation of other drugs we aren’t so sure on, it may stop a lot of organised crime but it would also cause headaches for law enforcement and medical staff having to pump stomachs of those who overindulged or become heavily addicted. The only upside would be the quality of substance once being controlled and administered through federal pharmacies.

Whichever side you fall on in that debate is ok, people are entitled to their opinions and here at A Mind of Its Own, we hold no judgement. All we can say is there are pros and cons for both sides of the argument and if you’re reading along at home all we can suggest is don’t do them, you never know what’s in them or where they have come from. Not that you asked for our opinion.

So until next week we wish you a safe week, be cool, stay in school and don’t do drugs. If you have to, don’t do them in Nimbin and always make sure you are around friends who will look after you. Be safe folks!

Of all the gin joints in the world…

Another day, another dollar, well for this writer another dollar in the coffers of the multimillion dollar company I work for while I take home my meager salary that barely covers my wife and I for a month. The money men at the top take home there five figure salaries and world continues to spin but I digress the aim of A Mind of its own is not to be a platform for this writer to voice his woe is me moments but to make the readers aware of what’s going on in the world.

So where do we start you ask yourself and on what great topic will the team be enlightening us with this week? Well that’s a great question as we struggled for days on end to come up with a topic that will touch the hearts and minds of our readers. Then it came to us like a smelly fart on the wind. Well it was more a suggestion from this writers old man. In order to write this weeks blog I was going to have to step out of my comfort zone, well maybe not step out so much as step up and own my often geeky ways.

With much trepidation I jumped in the rental KIA carnival of death with my old man and headed off to the Gold Coast to gather some much needed content for this weeks piece. Now ladies and gentleman, I used to think I was a bit of geek, the cool kind who plays video games, reads comics and watches all the movie adaptations yet still likes sports and manly things like beer, guns and boobs. But as I learnt last weekend I am far from a geek let alone remotely geeky in today’s modern society.

So let me paint the picture of the land that I had just walked into. Everywhere my eyes looked they took in a world unknown to them. Men, Women and Children dressed up as tv, movie, comic book, video game, manga, wrestling, you name a character someone was no doubt dressed up as it. As I ventured deeper and deeper into the den of what i had by now dubbed the festival of freaks and geeks, i felt my IQ growing and a sudden love for dungeon and dragons. Maybe it was all the colourful costumes or perhaps it was seeing grown men living out the lives of their idols and heroes but I actually felt smarter.

The growing world of cosplay was all around me and here I was the odd one out for several reasons. Firstly no one had told me it was a dress up party and here I was in baggy pants and a tee shirt. Secondly I was wearing deodorant and wasn’t smelling like a high school gym after year 8 physical education class unlike many of my fellow event goers and thirdly which was probably the most surprising, my old man knew more people than I did. That had never happened to me before and we were in my Knick of the woods not his. Was my Dad more popular than then me?

We weren’t even through the main doors and yet my education had already began. Like a hyper colour explosion pop culture and its faithful surrounded me. There were some amazing costumes and some not so amazing. People had gathered from galaxies far, far away well as far as I’m concerned Logan and Ipswich often produce people from other planets. Yes Pauline I’m referring to you and I know you don’t like it.

I had peeled back the curtain and dared to sneak a look into a world of unknown. Like the first time your mates take you to a club of sin, I was filled with excitement and trepidation. What if I someone recognises me? What if my Dad posts we are here on Facebook? Dammit too late for that one, we haven’t even been here for two minutes and he’s checked us in. The Dalek is out of the Tardis on that one.So with no further risks of embarrassment I dove deeper and deeper into the throngs of fanboys and girls.

There were rows upon rows of fanfare and paraphernalia mixed in with some C and B grade celebrities with 100s of people lining up to grab a photo and autograph that’ll be worth something amongst these people in years to come. Let’s be honest they were more like D grade celebrities, I’d never heard of half these people let alone watched the shows they were from. I strolled past some authors and artist trying to hawk their wares. Listed in on a talk or two about fight scenes in video games and movies. And more than likely starred for way too long at some of the people squeezing through the throng of people gathered.

Now deep in the dungeon I found myself standing in front of what looked like a third world armoury bazaar shop in some third world country. Gleaming fake swords, mock guns and hammers made of foam hung from the ceiling of the store. If I was preparing for a fake zombie apocalypse this where I would come to arm myself to the teeth. I passed several other medieval fake blacksmiths and even an armoured heaven. The guys sitting there didn’t look very heavenly nor did the look like they had much to sell to masses. They did however look like they were decked out for a serious round of laser tag.

Forty minutes later I was done, my eyes hurt from gawking, my jaw from letting it hit the floor and my feet from having to dance around people to keep moving down the aisles. I was left with more questions than when I started, an expensive signed comic print and desperate need for air that hadn’t been contaminated by body odour. I was also starting to think of a career in marketing as ranges of pop cultured themed deodorants swam through my mind.

So what did I learn this week? Supanova, Comic-Con and many other pop culture conventions bring out people from all walks of life. The people that used to be referred to as the freaks and geeks now seem to be the norm and teenagers haven’t discovered the wonders of deodorant. Cosplay has hit Australia in a big way and is here to stay and my dad will always know people at these events than I ever will.

My first adventure to the dark side has left me wondering and wanting to ask more. What I can safely say is that everyone needs to at least go and check out a pop culture convention once in there lives. There is something for everyone and it was more than a little surprising. So for another week it’s over and out. We dare you to go where no man or woman has gone before…