"All sorts of entertaining" - Elizabeth Seckman

"Michael and his pals make me wish I lived in Adelaide" - Cherdo

"If I had a daughter, I'd send her to Australia to meet him (and marry him)" - Robyn Alana Engel

"An Australian version of me. Only younger. And Talented. And better looking. Okay, nothing like me." - Al Penwasser

"Whom must I fuck or pay to get a quotation at the top of your blog post?" - Janie Junebug

Friday, 30 October 2015

Your Self-Worth

This question occurred to me this morning and literally stopped me in my tracks when I realised that I didn't have an answer.

How do you measure your self-worth? Are you one of those people who measures themselves by their job or their material wealth? Or do you consider yourself by your morals? Is it the way you deal with both success and hardship? How you treat others? The company you keep? Your value to society? Is your self-image tied to the way others see you?

Most importantly - and this is the part about which I'm most clueless - how high or low is your self-worth? How good do you think you are at being a human being?


Monday, 26 October 2015

Make a List. Just... Make One


This is a bloghop started by Bish Denham, whom I met through a bloghop that I started. It all goes in circles.

The bloghop has two rules.

  1. Make a list.
  2. Make it between 5 and 25 items long.
So here's mine...

Things I've Done for Money This Year


  1. Put listings up on eBay for an antiques dealer.
  2. Run the lights and sound at a comedy show.
  3. Hosted pub trivia nights.
  4. Handed out food samples (most notably Lindt chocolate where I had to dress up as a chef and walk around grocery stores).

  5. Dressed up as a bogan and hosted a bingo night.
  6. Run the lights and sound for a comedy/hardcore strip show.
  7. Performed Dr Seuss stories for primary schools.
  8. Performed improv theater.
  9. Dressed up as Grover for a political publicity event.


  10. Umpired Aussie Rules games for primary school clubs.
  11. Entertained kids at birthday parties (dressed as Batman, Spiderman, Leonardo the Ninja Turtle and so on).
  12. Commentated junior club football games.
  13. Hosted a private school's annual pub trivia night.
  14. Run an AFL handball zone at a shopping center.
  15. More football umpiring, this time for adults in a social league.
  16. MCed the SA leg of the national Rally Championship.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Young What of the What?

At the time of writing, I haven't told this to a single person. I still refuse to believe that this could really happen. I'm telling you first, but only because it gives me something to write about. I won't say much, I'll just tell you what's happened so far and that's it.






Tuesday, 20 October 2015

TED Talk Tuesday: The Unexpected Beauty of Everyday Sounds

This lady is really in love with her work and it's infectious. Normally in a TED Talk, the camera will cut to the audience once or twice to show their pronounced reactions to the subject matter. In this talk, the camera spent almost as much time on the audience as on the speaker. They had looks of wonder on their faces.

The speaker attempts a couple of jokes every now and then and they fall flat, which I find hilarious. But she doesn't seem to care and she lets the beauty of her work do the talking in the end.

Monday, 19 October 2015

The One Time I Ever Considered Buying a Suit

In a trendy clothes store, buying a birthday gift for a friend...

Me: Hi, just the shirt thanks
Lady: Certainly.
Me: Hey, how much are the suits?
Lady: Well you can get the jacket, pants, belt, tie and shoes for $450.
Me: Okay... How much for just the jacket?
Lady: You can get the jacket and pants for $250.
Me: ...Just the shirt thanks.


Friday, 16 October 2015

I Was Affected

"No tattoos before you're thirty.
You can have one on your face after that, but rest assured, you won't get a dolphin leaping over your belly button if you wait till then."

 I'm going to say something that sounds a bit insensitive. I don't usually pay much attention to the deaths of public figures. When Michael Jackson died, I heard a lot of people say he was a huge part of their lives growing up. When Australian celebrity Steve Irwin died, I sure thought it was sad, but I never had to go through any sort of grieving process like most people do when someone they love dies. Every couple of months, the name of a newly deceased person appears in the news and the people around me will reminisce about the role that person played in their childhood. Often I wouldn't even know who the person was or I'd have to be reminded of some of their work I might have seen. I figured that the essential element in being affected must be that connection to growing up.

"Read the newspapers.

There's nothing quite as scary as people whose sum knowledge of the world is what their parents have heard on talkback radio."

Robin Williams stirred something in me. I was always jealous of how he could make any person break into hysterical laughter with no effort at all. I was also aware that that ability tends to come to those who have a lot of demons to contend with. I was in love with the way he dealt with his demons by making others feel better about themselves on a truly altruistic level. I do miss him.

"Always choose the man who makes you laugh.

Don't date men just for their looks, money or status. The six-pack of abdominals fades, the sense of humour doesn't."

But apart from him, I haven't been able to think of anyone who made that much of a difference to me in my childhood. There was no one whose music I listened to or whose movies I'd seen which had made that big a difference to who I would become. I didn't think I would ever feel that way about a person I'd ever met. Until it happened.



When I was in high school, trying to fit in with the crowd and causing myself no end of depression (as is the case with most high schoolers), I was in a mall with some friends and they wanted to go into a particular store for reasons that I forget. While they were taking care of their business, I was taking a look at a table of discount books. One small book caught my attention with its nice azure-coloured cover. It was entitled "No Tattoos Before You're Thirty" and it was written by a man named Sam de Brito. It was full of short pieces of advice that he planned to give his children when he had them. Advice that was mostly politically incorrect, but undeniably true. Advice that he "wished somebody, anybody, had told him twenty years ago." It was split into what he'd tell his darling daughter and what he'd tell his dashing son.

"Don't smoke hydro.

Hydroponic marijuana is full of fertilisers and pesticides. If you're going to have the odd joint, stick with naturally grown weed - and stop when the voices start."

Flicking through these little pearls of wisdom, I found myself laughing and felt my mind expanding. I'd never seen anyone talk like that before.

"Notice detail.

An unfilled glass at a party, a new hairstyle, a certain angle of penetration. Women love it when you remember the little things."

I bought the book for $12.95 and read it all that night. The next day I took it to school and showed my friends, who also loved it. I was lending it out to a new person each week and I myself reread it countless times, hoping to commit every rule to memory, whether for boy or girl.

"Never phone a man.

Ever. Guys don't need encouragement. They just get cocky if they think you're too attainable. Blokes are like weeds. Ignore them and they're everywhere. However..."

"Return his calls.

Even if it's to say "Thanks, but no thanks." Guys have feelings too and no one likes being ignored. Basic courtesy satisfies most stalkers."

Eventually, my friends moved on and so did I. This tiny book found a place on my bookshelf and I didn't pick it up again for years. I grew up (somewhat), developed my own identity (sort of), found new friends and started learning how to make the most out of life. Then earlier this week, I was shocked to come across this headline.


I was surprised by how much of a big deal I felt that was. There's probably not many people outside of Sydney who have even heard of him. But to me, this was sadder than anything else I'd been through in months. As I read on, the article talked about de Brito's newspaper columns, including his last ever article printed just the day before. It was about the backlash against parents who let their child sleep in the same bed.

"Homo sapiens and homo erectus have survived more than two million years sleeping with their children, and when I draw my daughter into my chest, smell her hair and mumble love to her in the quiet hours of the night, I feel more a father, more human, than at any other time. Best of all, my daughter wakes calm and happy ... before she sits on my head."


That was the last the last thing he ever wrote. Reading that, and re-reading the book I now had back in my hands, it was clear to me that Sam was a man who had a very deep love to share. I knew that he was a man who recognised the beautiful things in the world and allowed himself to be moved by them. I knew he'd been through some awfully rough personal challenges and come out the other side a better person. I knew this because I've seen it before many times. I've seen people go through it. I've been through it.

"Respect cops.

You don't have to like them, but appreciate the job they do. It's a brutal occupation, and they're the first people you call when the shit hits the fan."


People like that happen to be my favourite people in the world. People who are vulnerable and who notice the beauty that lies in loving and in being loved. Sam de Brito wrote a tiny little book that was probably under a thousand words. At the time I bought it, it was the smallest, most insignificant part of my dramatic, turbulent adolescence. Yet it turned out that that inconsequential piece of work had made a more profound impact on my life than I'd ever realised.

"Things you will never regret doing:

Visiting your Grandma
Standing up to a bully
Skydiving
Living in Paris
Falling madly in love"

Thanks Sam, for being the man you were. We need more people like you, who see the world in a way that really makes it a better place.

"Don't be scared.

This is so important it should philosophically inform every moment of your life. Unless you're in physical danger, fear is nature's way of telling you you're about to grow."

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

TED Talk Tuesday: Why Some of Us Don't Have One True Calling

Often when I see these talks I think "Shit, that's me! This person must be reading a page straight out of my autobiography!"

After I remember that I haven't written an autobiography (yet), I grab a pen and start taking notes. This time, I took notes about my many varied interests and why they're not a hindrance, but an advantage. Three traits are described in this video. The traits belong to all those people who change career paths often or can't decide what to focus on. I'm not shy to claim that I have these traits in spades. Are you one of these people?


Monday, 12 October 2015

Things Get Real

A few weeks ago, I talked about my love of the game show known as The Chase. I've seen the few weeks worth of episodes of the new Australian version and I have to say, they haven't captured the essence of the Brittish version. The Brittish version seems so much more genuine and spontaneous and Andrew O'Keefe, who was really in his element hosting Deal Or No Deal, seems bland and plastic in this new environment. They also try and keep the show so tight and slick that I find it hard to form a relationship with the contestant. It's like there's this rigid format which goes:

Andrew: So (insert name)! I hear you're into (insert hobby)!
Contestant: I am, Andrew.
A: What's that like?
C: (very short, scripted sentence)
A: (makes a pun which links the hobby to the task at hand and the contestant's involvement is pretty much done)

As a result, I find myself wanting The Chaser to win each episode as opposed to the contestant in the Brittish version.

But having said all that, I still do enjoy watching the show. And with my love of trivia, I decided I wanted to apply. I went on the website and find their apply section (it wasn't hard). They started asking me questions about who I am, what I like and dislike and what makes me interesting. If you've ever taken part in my Question of the Month, you'll know how attracted I am to abstract, off-topic questions that allow me to explore who I actually am. I found myself getting way too real with my answers and it turned into more of a journal entry than anything else. Have a look at what I said. Would you want this guy on your TV show?


Contact Details

Michael

D'Agostino

-

-

bulletproof-92 (at) outlook.com

-


-

South Australia

-

Male

9/01/1992

I have quite a few jobs.

Adelaide Australia

-

Single

No

  • No
About You



Current jobs (from most to least relevant):
Aussie Rules umpire
Pub trivia host
Food sampler
Kids party host
Bogan Bingo host
Promotions Actor/performer

Past jobs:
KFC
Pizza delivery boy
Door knocker


Cert III in Retail Tourism (like what travel agents do)
Cert III in Retail Management
Level 1 AFL umpiring accreditation



One of my favourite quotes includes a line about how a master in the art of living makes no distinction between his work and his leisure and often can't tell the difference between the two. A few of the jobs I've listed above, I would also list as a hobby or interest (particularly umpiring and pub trivia hosting). And there other other unpaid hobbies I have which I sometimes call work. These include writing a blog, volunteering at community radio station Fresh 92.7 and performing stand-up comedy.

Other things I love:
Board games
Giant chess
Mini golf
Laser skirmish
Green Day
Playing guitar
Superman
AFL
Port Adelaide Football Club
The Dallas Cowboys



I'm a member of the Port Adelaide Football Club and believe they're overdue for a premiership. If it was us playing this weekend against the Hawks, I'd already have the champagne open.



I love a challenge so much. My friends describe me as a sore loser, but I try and explain to them that it's not about whether I win or lose, I just want to be competitive and play a respectable game. If I perform poorly or embarrassingly when I expected to nail it, that's when I get upset. One time I was bowling with my friends and ended up on a score of about 30. With each gutter ball I became more and more bitter, to the frustration of my friends. In the next game I switched balls and got a much more respectable 115. I cheered right up. I also learned the lesson that sometimes it really isn't my fault.



People who judge or belittle others for any reason. being lied to (even if the truth will hurt my feelings), the whole nightclubbing scene, vacuuming the house and standing still & staring at the camera in photos (it makes for such a better memory if you're actually doing something).



That's actually the question I'm most worried about answering inadequately. I feel like it's hard to sum myself up in one paragraph. I think if I had a whole novel I wouldn't be able to properly articulate who I am. Maybe that in itself gives you an idea, but I'll give it a crack anyway.

I'm always busy, always trying something new, always starting new projects and always trying to experience as much of life as I can. I try hard to be the best possible person I can be. I try to make friends with everyone I meet and I almost always speak directly from the heart. That last part has earned me a lot of love and respect, but has also gotten me in trouble a few times.



Warm, friendly, loving, active, busy, funny (hopefully), motivated, stubborn and short. I've been meaning to ask them if they would add "passionate" to the list. I think they would.

  • Leader
  • Team player
  • Risk-taker
  • Planner/considered
  • Charitable



Charitable was pretty easy. It's pretty rare for me to reject someone when they ask for help. For a while I took 10 percent of any extra money I made after expenses each week and donated it to charity. I also spend any Thursday that I'm not working taking care of my grandma who's currently in her final months with us. The other one was harder. I do take risks, but not enough to describe myself as a risk-taker. I'm also not so cautious that I could comfortably tick that box. With any decision, I deal with it the way the situation demands - sometimes diving right in and other times carefully weighing up options. Over the last few years, the big decisions I've made seem to have worked out really well. I love being a leader, but I'm not put in leadership positions too often. I chose to describe myself as a team player because that encompasses leadership as well. I'll be anything that the team needs me to be - leader, follower, observer, critic, challenger... I have a very democratic style of leadership, where everyone's opinion is valid and I'm happy to be challenged and/or proven wrong. But I do worry that if I'm proven wrong too often, it threatens my position as the leader.
 Please rank the following subjects from one to  five based on your strength of knowledge about  them:


3


2


2


4


4


3


2


5


4


 Anything that can help me afford a cheap property. I  still live with my parents and my primary goal at the  moment is being able to sustain myself. With the way  my work life is currently set up, my income is very  erratic and no bank in the world would give me a loan.  That's why I'm happy to just get a unit rather than a  proper house. I saw one online for $70k and that  seems like a good target. I currently have $25k in my  savings account. Any 5-digit figure would be game-  changing for me.



There's no reason you should pick me over anyone else. I'd just really like to and it would be another amazing experience to my biography when it's written.



No.



I love the UK version and saw a TV commercial about it coming to Australia.
Availablity and Other



Basically we can work out a time and I can make myself available. The only dates this year that I absolutely can't do are October 11 and November 29.



I get sweaty palms sometimes.



No.



No.



There's a video on YouTube of me wearing a dress to the shops after losing a bet. If they find that, my political career is over.

Thank you for your time and effort in completing this application.  Good luck!

 

Please note:  The Chase Australia is filmed in our Melbourne studios and we are unable to pay the costs for contestants to travel to the studio for filming.  If you wish to proceed and audition for the show and are then invited to become a contestant, all costs associated with travelling to Melbourne including any flights or accommodation would have to be paid and arranged by you.  

Friday, 9 October 2015

Late Bonehead Bloghop: October


A funny bloghop hosted by Cherdo from The Flipside. Go to her blog now. Just do it.

I actually wrote this one years ago - when I was in grade 10 of high school. I had to write an anecdote for English class. I've copied and pasted it verbatim. Can you tell how young I am from the writing?

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

TED Talk Tuesday: Your Elusive Creative Genius

Most of the friends I've made on Blogger are writers. This one's for you.

I really like Elizabeth Gilbert. The writer of mega-hit Eat, Pray, Love is a woman who thinks very deeply about who she is and is in touch with herself in a way that gives every sentence she speaks an air of strong emotion.

Here, she talks about the pressure we put on creative people. She hits us with the blunt truth that her best work is most likely behind her. Once we realise that, the world of possibilities opens up much wider. It's funny and reflective. Go ahead.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Question of the Month: October


Each month, we answer a question set by the lovely and talented Michael over at A Life Examined. This month's question is

"Who would play you in a movie of your life?"

I used to spend a long time trying to figure this one out. It would have to be someone who's capable of playing the leading man. But I don't really look like anyone famous. Maybe because I'm Australian I could pick a fellow Aussie?


Don't give me that look Chris, a man can dream.
I guess if I went with an Aussie I'd have to go for someone with not quite as big a reputation for his looks. Someone who's down to Earth and has the short brown hair that would be required to convincingly pull off my look.


Shut up Sam, you need the work.
Alright, let's move off the Aussie path. I need someone with a bit more comic timing. Who else is a young, in-vogue male actor who can play equal parts serious and funny?


Okay now they're just laughing at me. This is unfair guys.
Fine, I guess I'll have to face it - I'm not a hunk. Getting Hemsworth or Worthington or Tatum to play play me in a movie would be like getting Anne Hathaway to play Susan Boyle. I should probably just find someone who can do the comedy and leave the hunky roles for my better-looking and more talented friends. There is a guy who kind of looks like me and is legendary for his comedic skills.


Um... something tells me he doesn't want the part.
I guess Rowan Atkinson is too physical. I use my words rather than my body. I'm also much, much shorter than him. And far less lanky. And, you know... he's a million.

I've got it. He's young. He's good at comedy. He can play a leading man, but works much better as the sidekick comic relief. Like me, he used to be quite overweight, but now he's lost it all and can look quite handsome when he wants to be. He's also much closer to my height, which makes it loads more believable. The person I'd hire for the Oscar-winning role of Michael G D'Agostino is:


Jonah Hill.
Here he is talking about his new role on Letterman.

Friday, 2 October 2015

When I Love Someone...

I will spend time with them. I often don't know what to talk about when I'm with them. I'm very introspective and am aware that not everyone's as interested in me as I am. But just being in the same room as them is enough to make me happy. A few times, I've even just gone to a friend's house just to do my work. It makes me feel more comfortable and I don't procrastinate as much.

I will argue with them. I don't fear having a difference in opinion with them. I'm not worried that if they don't like what I have to say, they'll reject me. We can challenge each other and annoy each other and even give each other the cold shoulder for a while. But I still know that they'll stick around through thick and thin. No matter what comes between us - time, distance, money, a girl or a moral value - I know that we'll eventually get over it and move on with life.

I will let them in. I'll allow them to see the scared, sad, insecure side of me that I often keep well-hidden. They know the struggles I go through with girls, my career, my sense of self... I trust them with that power. They know how to use it wisely.

And most importantly...
When I really, truly love someone...
I will tell them.
It feels awkward. I feel vulnerable. It sounds forced.
But I'll mean it from the bottom of my heart.


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