Saturday, March 31, 2012

What We've Been Up To Lately

Martin now spends his Monday to Fridays at his job while I spend mine diligently trying to acquire one. Because of this, any stuff we do now has to be done on the weekends, which means this post will contain a few weekends worth of goings on.

Martin was - sound the nerd alert - dying to go to the local planetarium. There was a show playing called "Are We Alone in the Universe?" which, alien invasion movie loving me, thought hell yes. Also, it was narrated by Harrison Ford which, hot old dude loving me thought hell yes times two.

And I had never been to a planetarium before! I found that fact worthy of an exclamation point, not sure if you did. I enjoyed the show, except I really think they oversold it on the title. There was little mention of outerworldly life, much less sweet battle scenes with laser guns...not that I was expecting them or anything.

We saw this life sized space suit, which was cool and really gigantic. Lack of laser guns notwithstanding the show was very good and succeeded in making me feel small and insignificant in the universe. It gave me hope for our species that lots of people brought their kids to the show, rather than the midnight showing of Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed (citation).

The planetarium is on Mount Coot-tha, right next to a botanic garden so we swung through there while waiting for the show to start. While viewing various exotic plant species (riveting indeed) we stumbled upon this adorable, gigantic lizard. It was like a foot long!
This is as close as it let me get before it bolted. We also saw a few gnarly looking six-legged spiders but they didn't photograph well. I don't know if they were hiding legs or if they weren't spiders or what was going on with the odd (even) number of legs, but they appeared to only have 6, and there was no way either of us were going close enough to really inspect.

That week, his mere third week of work, Martin went on a business trip. That makes it sound fancier than it probably was but he had to go work elsewhere, to Bundaberg, Queensland to be exact. It is the very same Bundaberg of rum and ginger beer fame that I mentioned in the Straddie camping post. One evening he and his team got to see recently hatched baby turtles, which I am super jealous of. He said they are surprisingly strong and that 90% of them get eaten when they're tiny, which is possibly the saddest thing I have ever heard. They are so adorable!

The next weekend we really didn't have anything in mind to do so like any self-respecting Brisbanite we spent the day chilling here:

South Bank is an area of Brisbane with lots to see and do and eat. Eat, you say? I'm there. The main attraction for most is the man-made beach, which has real sand and salt water and, notably different from the nearby Brisbane River, is not disgusting or infested with sharks. It is a really neat part of town and booming on the weekends when the weather is nice, but not annoyingly so. It's an awesome people watching locale.

This area was converted from the grounds of the 1988 World Expo, which I'm wondering if that's where these weird things come from:

They totally reminded me of the electric fences in Jurassic Park that the dumb boy got electrocuted on. We spent the day eating fish and chips then just hanging out in the shade for hours (those weird fences really did serve a purpose) on our smart phones. Next time we'll know to bring a book. If you ever visit Brisbane this is definitely a must-go area to just bum around.

The weekend after that was a two-day-of-doing-stuff weekend, if taking public transit to a bar to drink beer is your idea of "doing stuff". But first: Pancakes!

Both Martin and I have tried to eat low carb/paleo/whole foods/primal or whatever it's called for severeal years now. Note I said tried, it's been with varying levels of devoutness for both of us. We make exceptions for things we just can't bear to part with, like fries and rice noodles in pho, but there are some things we just don't eat. Ever. Pancakes being at the very top of that list.

So imagine my excitement when I realized that almond meal (just finely ground almonds) can be used in place of flour for pretty much everything, and that I could easily access this magical powder at the grocery store! I could not wait to return to the world of pancake eating.

I whipped up a batch using an obscenely priced bag of almond flour, and they were definitely worth it. The last time I had pancakes was at least three years ago but I will not deprive myself of the magical stacks any longer. As is the tradition first we had pancakes, then we had beer.

Martin really wanted to check out the Breakfast Creek Hotel, which is an iconic booze establishment containing 5 bars under one "roof" (a lot of it was outdoors, and thankfully well shaded). It's located on Breakfast Creek, which is a silly and delicious name for a body of water if I do say so myself. It's located waaaaaaaaay out in the 'burbs so we navigated public transit to get there and marveled at the tranquility of life "so far from the city". That's in quotes because since we live in the tallest building town we rarely lost sight of the top of our building.

We came all this way just for a drinking establishment so we damn well better drink, we reckoned, so we paid $12.50 (a surprisingly reasonable sum) for this genius pitcher of beer:

The genius being the well in the middle which is filled with ice to keep the beer cold, and the cap on top to prevent the ice from spilling out during pouring. I can find no other word to describe it than 'genius', which I apologize for overusing, but damn that thing is genius. I hope whoever invented this is a rich, rich person.

The next day we attended the Enrich Brisbane fair, an event designed to expose attendees to the best of Brisbane's offerings of "life", food and wine. I couldn't pass up this event after we attended the Edinburgh Tesco Wine Fair last year, where we got got proper drunk on a Sunday afternoon sampling the various wines from throughout the world for one reasonable entry fee. As a bonus, Enrich had more than just wine, but beer and cider, too! Score!

The Brisbane event had booths dedicated to things other than alcohol - to which I say, WTF is the point? - but it was an entertaining afternoon none the less. We got there just in time to see the show I really wanted to see, called Travel Tips and Trips, featuring some minor Australian celebrities (including the wife of a gigantic NBA player and an actor from a film by the super famous Wear Sunscreen song guy). Martin got totally suckered in to spending way more than the budgeted $0.00, so we've got some South African-style beef jerky and a quarterly wine club to look forward to in our impoverished, destitute future.

We got tipsy by strategically hopping between servers who didn't recognize us, even if we had spent a good half hour talking to the server right next to them not too long before.

There are few things in this world I enjoy more than a good Sunday funday! Weekends in Brizzy are fun when you drag your arse out of bed and explore the place!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'm filled with piss and vinegar. At first I was just filled with vinegar.
-Abe Simpson

Friday, March 16, 2012

Camping on Straddie

The first weekend after Martin started work some of his coworkers went on their annual camping trip, and we were graciously invited along. They had no idea if we were serial killers or not, so it was nice of them to invite us. This meant that Martin's first Friday, only his fifth day of work, he left the office before noon.

HOLLA at the Australian work ethic!

Our destination was Stradbroke Island, known by the locals who don't pronounce a full world unless they absolutely have to, as Straddie. It's not too far east of Brisbane, in the Pacific Ocean and is the second largest sand island on the planet. If you wish to learn which is the largest I suggest you stay tuned to this blog.

We navigated ourselves via taxi and a coworkers borrowed-from-parents car to the coast and, this being an island, had to take a 45 minute ferry to get there. The ferry was pretty similar to the Moss to Horten ferry which Martin's parents house looks right onto. And like the Moss to Horten ferry, they should just build a freaking bridge already.

Once we got to the camp site we pitched our tent (we were living rough, you see) and took a leisurely 2 minute stroll to this:

The ocean! We could hear the waves beating the whole time. It was awesome. We didn't dive in immediately since it was getting dark quickly. It's crazy how early it gets dark in this country/hemisphere. By 7 p.m. it's pitch black.

As Martin and his coworkers headed into town to pick up dinner and drinkin' supplies I stayed back with his manager's two kids, aged 9 and 6. Please note I had met these kids just prior to boarding the ferry, so I had known them and their father (and they, me) for roughly 1.5 hours.

HOLLA at Australians still having faith in humanity!

The kids were dying to go down to the beach and "catch crabs" and I couldn't very well win this battle of wits so I agreed, even though "catching crabs" is usually something I work to avoid. Here is one such caught crab:

All over the beach were patches of these teeny tiny balls of sand, which the kids informed me were made by the crabs digging. Or something. They are 6 and 9, I get my nature knowledge from David Attenborough, not them.

They were a hoot, though, I really liked those kids. Watching them run around the camp site and beach reminded me of my own gleeful youth camping at Icelandic State Park and swimming at Renwick Dam. This is my second mention of that glorious place, and I hope to work it in to most, if not all, of future posts.

Here are several caught crabs in a pan because, you know, you want sand insects on something that touches your food (no permission was sought or granted to put them in there):

The crabs were super teeny tiny, probably about the size of a cricket. There were frogs of that size on the beach, also, and they were so cute! I'll throw a picture of one of those on here. It's appropriate since 95% of Friday night was focused on tent pitching, food grilling and wildlife, and the animals were the most blog-worthy part:

Saturday we were up earlier than I think I've ever been on a Saturday, the clock was actually a.m.! I'm surprised we didn't get smoked out of our tent by sun and heat, as one usually does, but after a night of nothing but a thick sleeping bag between you and the uneven, hard ground you're ready to get up and start your day.

First we slipped, then we slapped, then we slopped. This is how Aussies remind each other to wear sunscreen and not get skin cancer and die. I'm a huge fan of this method so I slip, slapped, slopped - a lot. Then we went to the beach!

The water was great. So green! So wavey! Some of the waves were huge. Well, huge by my frame of reference (Renwick Dam).

See those 2 flags in the picture above? You're supposed to swim between them, so Pamela Anderson can see you and rescue you in slow motion if need be. The swimming area wasn't huge but there were people swimming/surfing outside of the lines. Those people flirt with danger. I bet they don't slip slap slop.

By 11 a.m. everybody was making their way back to their camp site to escape the midday sun. We had snatched up the one little patch of available shade on the beach but with the sun overhead, that was long gone. It was time to seek shelter. And booze.

Someone (not me, I swear) had the brilliant idea of cracking open a bottle of wine at 11 a.m. Who am I to say no to this? So we spent the rest of that afternoon - and evening - doing this:

Bundaberg is a town a few hours north of here in the state of Queensland, and the Bundaberg company makes rum and ginger beer, both of which are delicious. I had never even heard of ginger beer until I moved to the UK and I'm not sure if it's because I live in a bubble or if it doesn't exist in the U.S. It's kind of like root beer, but gingery. I love it. If you have never tried ginger beer, hunt it down and try it. Delish.

We planned an actual meal for that evening, and walked less than 10 minutes through this gorgeous sunset to the restaurant:

Martin's company *may* have sponsored our drinks during this meal. Group morale or team building or some such thing. This company is clearly too big to remain sober. As is often the case in situations like this I wound up with a bottle of wine in my purse as we left. That poor thing didn't last a half an hour.

We finished off the evening uneventfully, since we had been drinking for roughly 12 hours. So we hit the hay to sleep it off. Until a screeching kookaburra woke us up before dawn. It must've been right outside the tent because it was SO loud. Have a listen, and imagine waking up to that. In the pouring rain.

Ugh. Bird aside, nothing sucks worse than being in a tent in the rain.

It pissed down on us, which meant we had to pack up our tent and belongings (such as beach towels that sat outside all night) soaking wet. It suuuuucked.

Straddie being a popular weekend destination you have to book in advance the ferry that you are planning to take on and off the island. We had to pack up our tents and leave the camp site by 10 a.m. Our ferry wasn't booked until 2 p.m., which suuuuucked.

We killed some time at a snack bar that, I kid you not, was run by a 10 year old child. The service was about as reliable as one could expect from a 10 year old child, so that actually killed a lot of time. Then the highlight of the weekend happened. Scratch that, it could very well be the highlight of our entire life in Australia.

We drove down to the ferry port to see if we could get ourselves onto an earlier ferry. The dude directing traffic at the port is what I can only describe as THE quintessential crazy Outback Australian. And I do mean crazy. Maybe flamboyant is the word I'm searching for, but not in that way.

Martin whipped out his iPhone as we approached him because we knew this would be an encounter worthy of recording. We were not wrong.

Watch the video here (sorry, having problems getting an embed code to work).

I will transcribe the first half of the video for those who can't view it or don't understand what the hell he is saying. Crazy Australian dude will forever be known as Crikey Man, and is abbreviated as CM below. For reference he's checking with the boat to see if they've got room for 1 more car.

CM: I think they're full, just wait, just wait a second.
Coworker: We're small! We're tiny!
CM: *unintelligible* Just one bloody more! Crikey! Get us on, we're only small.
Coworker: We're the smallest car in the queue.
CM: [speaking into walkie talkie] They do have prawns, they do have and prawns, in the boot.
Coworker: Um....
Me: Rum.
Coworker: Shapes [shitty rip-off Cheez-Its]? Pringles? We have beer.
Me: I got rum.
Martin: Lots of rum.
Coworker: We do have rum.
CM: The captain likes rum. All captains like ruuuum.
Coworker: That's true.
CM: *unintelligible* Sorry girls. And boys...

The rest is him crushing our dreams, informing us that we were the first car that can't fit on to that ferry. So we had to wait another 2 hours to catch our regularly scheduled one. Le sigh.

Crikey Man reminded me of Steve Irwin, may he rest in peace, in his general over excitement and jovial attitude about life. But at least Steve Irwin had something worth being excited about, this guy was just directing traffic! He was awesome and I hope to meet many, many more crazy bastards like him.

Our wait for the ferry wasn't all bad. By this time the rain had stopped and the sun returned so we took out all of our tents and sleeping bags and anything that was soaked, laid them out, and let them dry. 2 hours in the midday Australian sun dried everything right up.

Martin's manager (the one crazy enough to trust me with his kids) had a super cool "camping trailer" that starts like this:

And folds out to this:
He had a ton of extra camping gear and was kind enough to give us a tent and four sleeping bags!

This means we're pretty much obligated to go camping again soon and utilize our new gear. Wherever shall we camp next?!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Big Day for Adulthood

I'm often at odds with how old my birth certificate says I am and how old I actually feel. I can't truly know what it's like for others, but I assume they have a little light or bell inside of them that goes off one day and goes DING! Welcome to adulthood, your life insurance paperwork awaits you in the veranda. And from then on they feel like an adult.

I have never felt any such ding. And I don't know what a veranda is.

Living a nomadic lifestyle (in search of fun and adventure, mind you, not pemmican) makes the postponing of adulthood magnificently easy. You can't very well buy a house or have a baby when there's new places to see and dingy hostels to lower your standards to. Nor should you very well do those things when you just don't wanna.

Which is where I stand, pushing dangerously close to 30.

However! Adulthood does creep up on those who actively try to avoid, which brings me to today. A few things of rather adulty significance happened today, regardless of how hard I tried to fight them off.

Numero Uno: I cooked a meal in my very own crock pot, which I own and is mine
I mentioned my love and loss of a crock pot a few months ago when I was living in Norway. Martin got me a crock pot for my birthday (a huge surprise, as they were brand spankin' new to Norway and I didn't yet know they existed there). Very shortly after that we learned we were moving to Australia (yay!) so I knew I had to take the crock pot back to the store to be loved by somebody else (boo).

But I knew I'd fill that void with an Australian crock pot, which would no doubt be a fraction of the cost of its Norwegian cousin. And I did! As the lord sayeth, "and it was good". Here is the recipe I used to inaugurate my crock pot with, in case you are a low carb disciple, like to prepare meals ahead of time and wish to revel with me in nostalgia.

Numero Dos: My grad school student loans came out of deferment
Which is code for, "pay up, bitches". I am not the first person on this planet to discover prolonging adolescence. My ancestors who came before me pretty much perfected it by attending grad school. However they had the good sense to go to an American university, where grad school takes two years (instead of one like I did) and where there's a decent chance of getting the school to fund some of their education. Not I, though. I prefer my schooling short, sweet and at an unfavorable exchange rate. Have you seen what the US dollar is compared to the pound? It basically means I get to pay double the sticker price.

So pay up I shall. Americans have the distinct privilege of paying for their higher education out the arse. Just because I jumped ship years ago doesn't mean the world of free universities (which is rapidly shrinking) is open to me. I am bound by the chains of the citizenship of my birth. Which brings me to the next step on the ladder to adulthood:

Numero Tres: I mailed my absentee ballot application
I voted! Well...I submitted the proper documentation so the County Auditor in the county where I last resided in the United States will send me an absentee ballot during the next general election.

Sadly, you don't get a sticker to wear on the day you do that.

Come the month or so prior to the U.S. presidential election I'll get a ballot in the mail so I can vote from abroad. Civic duty, future of the country and all that BS. I saw Obama - twice - when he was a freshman senator, did you know that? It remains one of my least dignified moments in the history of my life, to this day.

When you're pushing 30 with nothing "grown up" to show for it, you've accumulated an undignified moment or two in your day.

And, really, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Now if you'll excuse me, I believe I have some sleeping-until-noon to attend to.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Place to Call Home

As I've mentioned, Martin's company put us up in a serviced apartment for 2 weeks while we found a place of our own. Alas, his expat contract isn't an expat contract at all, but rather a local contract with a few expat perks thrown in.

Because of our diligent apartment searching we moved in to our own permanent apartment 2 days before our 2-week freebie limit was up. We saved the company money! Where is my fruit basket?

The building we are in is actually still being built. The top floors (ahem, penthouses) are still being built but we on the ghetto 13th floor can't hear anything or really even notice. I won't give too many specifics on the building since I like to delude myself into thinking that this blog will one day be so popular that I will have "professional crazed fans" (a.k.a. stalkers). I will say this, though, it is the tallest building in Brisbane, which I find downright fancy.

This works out really, really well for me because I am quite possibly the worst navigator ever. Until I had my drivers license (age 14, holla!) I literally could not find my way anywhere outside of my hometown. Even today when I travel I rely entirely on others to get me around, which means I still know virtually nothing about the layout of Brisbane. Living in the tallest building in town, all I have to do is look up and head in that direction. WIN!

Here are the much anticipated photos that people have been asking for. The pictures are pretty crappy, I must warn you, but I hope the awesomeivity of the place shines through:

Living room (with a view of kitchen table at bottom right):


I don't know why Martin deemed it necessary to take a picture of the toilet and sink, rather than the sink and shower, but there you have it, a view of my crapper.

The kitchen:

I like this place a lot. It's quiet, it's shiny and new, and this is our view (albeit a little bit more obstructed than this):

However I do have one complaint. A "furnished apartment" to me means furnished with stuff I will actually use, not furnished with decorative bowls of plastic fruit - which is exactly what we got. This resulted in our recent epic journey to Ikea where obscene amounts of cash was dropped.

Instead of 10 decorative pillows on the bed, how about some actual bedding? Despite the appearance of the bed in the picture, it's bare and unusable underneath. Instead of not one but two decorative bowls of plastic fruit in the kitchen, how about a pot and pan? Furnished means move-in ready, yo. Not plastic fricking fruit.

I have a chip on my shoulder about that damn fruit. It's just so unnecessary.

Of course it ain't all bad, though, otherwise we wouldn't have locked ourselves into this place for a year. It does have a garbage chute which I am very much jazzed about. I've never seen one before! Exciting stuff for a small town girl! It's actually quite fun to use. The bed is the most awesome bed I have ever owned - not that I've ever owned a bed in the adult sense that you go to a store, buy a bed, bring it home and use it.

Now before you jump all over me, I've never claimed to be an adult. My name is Heidi, I'm almost 30 and I've never had a new mattress.

So this is our humble abode! It ain't cheap, but no places in Brisbane are. We pay by the week, which may sound like a system reserved for seedy motels but in reality it's just how things are done here. Every place we looked at listed the price per week. It has no parking space or balcony, which other places we looked at did. The location could not be better, right at the tip between the 3 districts of town we plan to spend the most time. It's all about priorities.

And our priority was frantically saying yes to the first suckers who would take us.

Friday, March 2, 2012

City Escape

After only 9 days in the bright lights of Brisvegas (seriously, people call it that), Martin was ready to get out and see some countryside. The real reason for his wanting to be a country bumpkin for a day - and he would never, ever admit this - is because he wanted to get behind the wheel of an awesome [rented] car. His dreams of immediately purchasing a sweet ride were recently crushed, as our permanent apartment doesn't offer a parking space, coupled with realizing the instability that our 1-income-ness brings.

A quick trip to Avis and Martin got to fulfill his motorhead fantasies and I got a trip to IKEA. Win win win win win.

Martin pretty much demanded I post a picture of the car, since my readers would be about as interested in the specifics of the car as I am (read: hovering a hair above zero):

Make: Holden
Model: Caprice
Year: 2011
Random letter I don't understand: V-series

[The] one [and only] thing I did find interesting about Holden cars is that in the US they were sold as GM's, including Pontiacs. I love Pontiacs and think it's a damn shame that they don't make them anymore.

Raise your hand if you didn't know they didn't make Pontiacs anymore. Sad times for the American people.

Our one and only destination for the day (besides the Swedish embassy) was Mount Tamborine, which I pronounce like the musical instrument "tambourine", which probably makes me sound like a jackhole.

We have no pictures of the mountain. None. And that is so not our fault! It's the mountains fault because there is absolutely zero places to stop and take pictures. I thought this was Catering to Tourists 101. Had we pulled over to get a view we would 1) be unsafely parked on narrow, windy roads and 2) not get to see much of anything, anyway because the forest is thick so there aren't good views off the mountain. Damn environmental integrity over my flippant touristic desires.

The scenery was really pretty, though. Martin commented that it looked like Deliverance - not what I was expecting Australia to look like. It looked like California or England, you know, normal not-that-foreign places. I was expecting all Outback, all the time. I did not expect to see greenery! But there was oodles of it.

We went up to the top of the mountain and drove around a development of swanky houses. From there we actually did have an unobstructed view off the mountain and you could see this (photo courtesy of stolen-off-the-interwebz):

What is that settlement there in the distance? we wondered. Surfer's Paradise was my guess. But there was no time to debate. It was closing in on 10 a.m. and I had been up since 6:30 without a bite to eat. Things were getting critical. We had to get off that mountain, and fast. I was starvin' Marvin.

Martin had planned ahead of time where we would lunch, and we had to get there stat. This meant we had to go down the side of the mountain we came up, which I think did us a disservice when it came to getting the whole Mount Tamborine experience. It turns out there's stuff down that other side, like a winery, a forest canopy walk and other things taught in Catering to Tourists 102 and above. I'm not too sad about what we missed since I know we'll back, particularly when Martin's car ownership fantasy is realized.

The place we ate was a kitschy little restaurant/souvenir shop that was so little and so kitschy that it doesn't even have a website. It did sell baby onesies that said "I heart boobies", though. So you know it's legit.

While eating our gigantic delish burgers we did some research in to what we had seen from the top of the mountain and it was, in fact, the city of Surfer's Paradise, and it was only a half hour away. It was 10 a.m. and we'd pretty much done what we'd set out to do for the day so, really, we had no choice but to make the journey.

And I'm glad we did! Because I got to do this:

The water was gorgeous, green and clear. Here's another gratuitous beach shot in honor of the recent blizzards in the Upper Midwest, just so I can rub it in real nice and good:

Some people, such as the 10 people who commented on Facebook "OMG I can't believe Heidi went out in the sun", might accuse me of disliking the sun. And those people are by and large correct. I am not a sun worshiper at all but something about the sun, sand and water was infectious. We hung out for a long time watching the various happenings of the beach, which included several very old, very fat people wearing Speedos and bikinis.

I actually enjoyed myself. No doubt will get melanoma and die from it one day, but it was fun while it lasted.

I couldn't help but bring up Renwick Dam, which is the first and virtually only beach experience I had growing up. I absolutely loved that place, still do, and given the choice between Renwick Dam in Pembina County, North Dakota or Surfer's Paradise in Queelsland, Australia I'd probably have to pick Renwick. As Martin says all too frequently, "You can take the girl out of North Dakota..."

After giving our SPF 30+ sufficient mileage at the ocean (it is the Pacific in case you're wondering, I, too, had to ask) it was time to head back in the general vicinity of the city and stop at Ikea along the way. Usually I am 100% game for this shopping trip because Ikea means one thing to me = MEATBALLS!

Well it means 2 things to me, the other being brat-ass children with parents who wouldn't dream of keeping them in line, and unfortunately on this trip I got way more of #2 than #1. Boo. I was too full from our early lunch to indulge in the meatballs and lingon berry (not cranberry) jam, which is nothing short of a tragedy. Plus we had actual shopping to do, which always blows hard.

Our furnished apartment (more on that later, with pics!) is conveniently not furnished with any kitchen equipment. That blows even harder. We have to start from scratch and equip everything. "Oh, but Ikea's cheap" you might say. Yeah, well, we dropped over $400 and I wouldn't consider what we got a huge assortment. So now I'm poor and don't get meatballs. And that fricken kid is screaming at the top of his lungs while his mother just leisurely strolls along. Awesome. Life is grand.

**slips rope over head**

Time to GTFO of Ikea and get back to the city. We had 2 hours before the rental agency closed and what is quite possibly the most craptacular GPS in the history of satellite navigation. In this time we had 50 pounds worth of bulky kitchen equipment to drop off at our temporary apartment, find a gas station (really surprisingly difficult to do), fuel up the car (no pay-at-the-pump, hello 1992 nice to see you again) and navigate back to the car rental agency, all with a GPS that is a fraction above inoperable.

All that still sucked less than listening to that damn kid scream.