Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Don't Worry About A Thing

I believe I have discovered the secret to happiness.  That doesn't mean that I practice it every day.  It's hard.  But here it ready?  Practice selective memory loss.

Australia has just been named the world's happiest industrialized nation for the third year in a row according to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's) Better Life Index.  The United States finished sixth in the rankings.

I've met a lot of happy people in my lifetime.  But I've probably met just as many sad or depressed people. I've been both types and I think I've identified the differences between the two.  For one, happy people have the ability to truly shrug off things that don't matter.  Selective memory loss.  Aussies have two words for this, "no worries."  Yes, they may overuse it and make it more of a response like how we use the word "okay".  But, I believe there is merit to it.  If something goes wrong, no worries.  If you say something wrong or it comes off wrong, no worries.  If your day has been horrible and you snap at the cashier, no dramas. But here's the kicker, from that point on there really is no worries.  You have acknowledged it and now it's time to move on.  Done.

Imagine this the next time somebody says something to which you take offense.  No dramas. All of that energy you use to be angry and focus on how you were wronged can now be used in other areas.  I mean what's the point of being angry anyway?  Of course it helps that most Australians also live within an hour of a beach.  It is called the Lucky Country for a reason.

When you live close to this it's hard to not be happy. 
I'm mainly writing this for my benefit but hopefully some of you will read it for what it's worth.  Sometimes I find myself not wanting to forget when someone treats me poorly or says something stupid to me because I was wronged!  Wronged, I tell you! (That last statement has lots of reverb and an echo effect inside my head)

But there is no point to that train of thought.  Until I can achieve total enlightenment I'm trying a 'fake it till you make it' attitude towards being happier.  Saying "no worries" until I actually have no worries.  It doesn't make me stop being frustrated when the m20 bus says it's going to be there in 12 minutes and I wait but it never comes then I check again and it says another 12 minutes and now I'm going to be late.  Ugh, first world problems.  Oh well, no worries.  Hey, I do feel better.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tommy can you hear me?

It seems like every other story about Australian sport these days involves gambling.  That's because there are big changes coming involving betting in this country.  They call gamblers "punters" here which makes me laugh every time I hear it.  But I've thought the attitude towards gambling was weird since I got here.  For example, I'm watching the Australian Open, tennis for Pete's sake, and part of the commentary cuts to the current odds just like it was someone commenting on the health of an athlete.  Huh?

Gambling is apparently a big part of Aussie culture and history.  They even let anyone gamble freely on ANZAC day in what they call two-up.  It's a traditional game involving coins that diggers (soldiers) used to play to pass the time.  So, they honor this tradition by letting you gamble every ANZAC day without regulation.  It's not hard to see why they have let gambling creep into every aspect of their sports.

Every newspaper includes a TAB racing form in the middle of the paper you can pull out and check all information needed to place bets.  Horse racing, rugby, cricket, AFL, you name it, they have the odds.

When watching a game on TV it is hard to distinguish the normal commentary and the gambling commentary.  The only difference is that Tom Waterhouse is giving you the information and his microphone is advertising his betting website.  This is only after he was required to leave the main desk and not use a Channel 9 mic.  So try to picture this with me:  You are watching an NFL game and when they cut to the halftime show there is a guy from Vegas sitting on the panel also talking about how the play is affecting the betting odds.  Can you imagine?  How could a kid tell the difference?  Well, the point is, they can't.   Tom Waterhouse has become a star and kids even ask for his autograph at footy games.  A bookie is giving autographs to kids.  What an example!

Tom giving the rugby odds. He is everywhere...

Now government is finally stepping in and beginning the process to ban live odds updates from the airwaves.  The South Australian government has voiced its intent to ban live odds during sporting telecasts and at grounds to try to curb the growing problem it is having on their society.  But the problem is not easily fixed as the main sports leagues are used to the money they get from the bookies and sports bets.  How do they juggle big money and the welfare of their fans?

Aussies have been betting on sports freely for a long, long time and no one seemed to have a problem with it.  So what has changed?

I think the problem stems from the popularity and celebrity of Tom Waterhouse.  As far as I can tell, bookies have been chugging along taking bets from punters for a long time without anyone caring.  Then good-looking Tom comes along and decides he needs to be on TV. It's all about marketing himself.  He is on the front page of his website.  He has a YouTube channel. He is in every commercial. You might even think it's a fashion commercial if you weren't listening closely.  I mean, "he knows what punters want".  He was seen drinking a latte in Surry Hills.  His wife is so pretty.  They were seen at a party at Icebergs in Bondi... So now it's in your face but you don't think anything of it.  Until your kid is asked what he wants to be when he grows up and he plainly states, "a bookie, just like Tom."  Uh oh.  That's not what you wanted to hear.  We should do something about this.

Check these ads out and tell me what you think.

His family has a long history of bookies including his father, Robbie, and grandfather, Bill.

He gives breaks on his (horse trainer) mom's picks.  Cause that seems totally legit. 

This is an actual news broadcast.

So, here we are.  Recently, Tom has been taking it from all sides.  He was involved in a major scandal here with his mother, a horse trainer (cause that's not a conflict of interest) and the owner of a horse that said that Tom had leaked information about a horse prior to a race.  It was a really big deal in the news here and fun to read about.  But when all is said and done the people that make the money still want to keep making the money so they tell all involved, "you did some bad things.  Don't do it again," slap them on the wrist and everyone goes about their merry way.  Meanwhile, the average punter is losing their shirts, homes, families and seriously needs help with their developing gambling problem.

Tom Waterhouse with his horse trainer mother, Gai
(photo by

It will be interesting to see how Australia deals with this growing problem.  I bet (pun intended) that other bookies are really ticked off at Tom right now.  I think it will result in a crackdown on bookmakers and public TV.  Not to mention if this finally starts the conversation that alcohol might not be the only addiction problem in Australia.

Lord knows the next time I watch an NFL game I will think about how glad I am that I have to get on the Internet to find out the over/under.  Because I still want to know and yet I never bet.  How weird is that?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

More random thoughts about 'Stralia. By Coley.

*There is apparently an Australian version of Crocodile Dundee.  I have now made it one of my primary missions to find this and watch it.  Stay tuned!

*By the way, no one will ever say, "Throw another shrimp on the barbie."  Primarily because they don't say shrimp, they say prawn.  I have issues with the use of the word "prawn".  I realize that's what they are but I was raised saying shrimp.  I normally would have no aversion to changing to use the term prawn if not for the movie, District 9. Any time anyone says prawn now I can't help but think of the alien prawns.  Not good if you are wanting to eat later. Thanks Neil Blomkamp for ruining my dinner choices.

*Funny grocery store story:
So, I'm checking out at the grocery store and I'm forced to use the self-checkouts because there are no actual cashiers at the time I go.  I don't mind this for the most part but I don't like it when I have a lot of different produce.  I get to the green peppers and select the 'items most selected' button.  Not there.  Okay now I get to use my alphabet skills to see if I can look it up.  I search for "P", no peppers.  I search for "G", no green.  Argh. I decide to scan the rest of my items and leave those for last.  I look up at the guy that's suppose to help. He obviously does not want to help me.

Okay, I can do this.  I check everything again still no go. There was a line behind me when I started.  They have all gone elsewhere.  Ugh, this is silly.  Hmm, what have I not tried?  Verde?  Wait a minute that's green in Spanish. Why would it be in Spanish?  Then it hits me.  Duh!  These are capsicum! I start laughing out loud and talking to myself.  "It's capsicum.  These are green capsicum."  The dude just looked at me and nodded like I was someone with special needs. Yes, crazy lady. Those are green capsicum, very good.  Seriously people, it was funny.  No one got it.  Crazy American.

Oh and did you know that the PLU codes for produce are the same worldwide? I didn't.  So bananas here are #4011 just like in the states. That's the only one I know by heart. AND you can tell stuff about your produce by looking at the number. For example, four numbers is conventional produce, five numbers is organic and genetically modified produce is five numbers beginning with the number 8.  Whoa!  I can't believe it.  It all means something...

*I will never get used to seeing adults on Razor scooters.  They are called pushbikes here but whatever you call them they just look silly.  When I see you behind me in line for food I will smile and laugh.  Please note I am, in fact, laughing at you Mr. Top Heavy Weight Lifter Guy who is riding a Razor scooter with his tiny little no muscle legs.  Once again, you look silly. And I know about looking silly.

*I will always be alarmed when I see huge cockroaches roaming the streets.  Sydney is famous for them.  I like to think of them in cockroach gangs and when I only see one he must be living life dangerously away from his mates.  Is he coming back from a romantic tryst or maybe trying to find food for his starving children? Whatever it is it always startles me and then I usually say, "Hello Mr. Cockroach," (they are always guys, not sure why).  Then we both go our separate ways.  As long as they don't come to where I live we will both be just fine.

*Phrases that get dropped like they are hot. (aka I've heard them more than once)
Dob you in = tell on someone; ex. I'll dob you in if you take that!
Dobber = tattle tale
Bit of a damp squib = something that is supposed to be exciting that turns out to be disappointing
That's bonzer, mate! = (pronounced that's bonza, mayeet) that's great
Publican = Owner of a pub
Punter = Gambler
Skull it! = Chug it!
King hit = Punch someone with great force aka knockout punch
It's gone walkabout = you lost something and it's gone

*Can't figure out an Aussie accent from a New Zealand Kiwi accent?  Don't worry.  They can't figure out a Canadian accent from an American one.

What's the fastest way to tell an Australian from a New Zealander?
Tell the New Zealander there is no difference.

Also, when you tell a Kiwi "Aren't you basically Australian?" this is exactly like saying to a Canadian, "Aren't you basically American?" They don't take it well.  You have been warned.

Speaking of...
Sean had a guy at his work say, "You're headed to Portland, yeah I've heard that place is pretty cool. I've always wanted to visit Northern California."
Sean - "Wow, I have to remember to tell that to my wife. She will love that."
Guy - "Why?"
Sean - "Because Portland is in Oregon.  It's a completely different state."
Guy - "So, Oregon is not part of Northern California?"
Me - "Serenity Nooooowwww!!"

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Why Australia is America twenty years ago with a tan and an accent

I'm not sure how my Australian friends will take this post or my American friends for that matter.  But in the short time I've been here I feel a connection and honestly feel the need to try and help.  Not that me writing a post will do much but here I am writing it anyway.

You see I've noticed a pattern lately.  I made an off-hand remark the other day to my husband. Something made me laugh and say, "Ha, it's like Australia is America twenty years ago."  We both stopped and looked at each other.  Yeah, that's exactly like what it is. And then we moved on because seriously it wasn't that dramatic of a moment as I'm making it.

But that got me thinking and noticing.  Americans, do you remember what it was like in early 1990? Bill Clinton was campaigning to be President. The Iraqis had yet to invade Kuwait (that happens in August of that year).  The country was trying to pull out of a recession highlighted by the Black Monday stock market crash in 1987.  Rich people were rich but it still felt like there was a middle class. There was little to no fear of "terrorism".  The first real liability case that I can vividly remember happens in 1994 when a lady sued McDonald's because her coffee was too hot.  She won and our new litigious society emerges leaving us with warnings and disclaimers on everything from milk to diapers. Things always seem worse when you are going through them but looking back if you asked the average American their feelings on the 90's I think they would take them back in a heartbeat.

Flash forward to 2013 in Australia.  The current market is buoyed by a surplus of natural resources like iron ore and gold so it's a good time for rich people making more money.  People are moving in from everywhere and things seem really "good".  They have no real issues about safety and have never had an attack that can be labeled as terrorist on their shores.  The Americans know how your views on safety can change with just a couple of planes and bad guys that don't care if they die for their cause.  And yet, Australia is about to vote out the current labor party government and move in a more conservation direction.  I can't help comparing Tony Abbott to George W. Bush; big ears and all.

Australia has so many people wanting to get here that they are now having to seriously think about changing immigration and border policies.  People are dying every week on boats fleeing from oppression and heartache.  They long for the freedom of Australia. Sound familiar?

Then I hear about an Adelaide woman who is suing McDonald's over, you guessed it, her coffee.  It seems like they didn't put the lid on firmly so it spilled on her lap going through the drive-thru.  Does this suck?  Yes.  Really bad.  What a slippery slope Australia now finds itself on.  Up to this point they have embodied their "fair go" attitude and everyone is responsible for themselves. They have dismissed frivolous lawsuits for exactly what they are, frivolous.  I love it.  I don't find myself being warned about anything because, well, you should know better.  If people start winning lawsuits, and more importantly, people see other people getting money through lawsuits, look out!

But it's not just lawsuits and government, it's culture.  More Australians are becoming overweight.  Reality shows are dominating TV.  Australians with one breath dismiss American culture and with the next deeply inhale and soak it in.  I can't quite put a finger on it but Australia still has a sense of innocence.  This creeps into everything you do and is something that you don't really notice until you take a step back.  Australia can still make fun of themselves and have fun doing it.

America has become serious. Too serious in my opinion.  Everything is politically correct and you can't say what you really feel without offending somebody.  We need to just get over it already.  Humble ourselves and realize that we need to pull up the sleeves and just get to it.  Stop blaming and start doing something.

Below is a video of the beginning scene in Newsroom.  It features one of my favorite writers, Aaron Sorkin, and sums up my thoughts succinctly.  Please be aware that the video clip contains strong language.  I do not encourage the use of vulgar language but as we learned from Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz recently, never underestimate the power of a well placed "f" word.  Hang in there with the clip.  It gets really good about halfway through!

I really feel like America has reached a point where parents should no longer be striving to create a world where their kids have a life better than them but instead, a life equally great as theirs. It's alright for you to acknowledge that things are pretty good.  It's called gratitude.  We need to be teaching our kids that they may not be the greatest, smartest, most wonderful person in the world but they are that and more in YOUR world.  And they can make a difference in the lives of others and this is way more important than getting a trophy for only participating in something.  It is okay to lose.  You learn more when you lose anyway.  That doesn't mean that you don't keep striving to win.  It actually makes it better when you do win.

For the bulk of its citizens, the "American Dream" has changed.  The groundwork has been laid by our ancestors.  Be grateful.  It is now our turn to carry on the tradition by making sure that things stay great.  Not everyone will make more money or have better jobs and that is okay.  I can think of no better job than a plumber who helps a family in need in the middle of the night because their water heater just broke. We need plumbers and janitors and trash men and hair stylists and mechanics.

Yes, continue to strive to be better but understand that this is not a right.  In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  The 'pursuit' of happiness.  Find happiness in the journey and understand that if you are living in the United States, you probably have it really good. If you are feeling bad find a book on the Great Depression. I'm sure it will make you feel a little better. Look at pictures from that time and see the determination in their faces.  Look at them sleeping on a dirt floor struggling to find their next meal.  Their resolve made things like cell phones possible.  Don't waste your breath complaining about your signal strength.

Picture from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Americans, you are not owed anything.  Australians, learn from the Americans.  Both of you, it's okay to look at the rest of world to figure out new ways to do things.  Finland is ranked number one in education. What are they doing that makes them great?  Australia has effectively eliminated gun massacres (none in the last 17 years since the ban) while still allowing people in the bush and hunters and collectors to have guns. How did they go about this? (Aside: this is an entirely different post in and of itself but regulation can be a great thing folks. Especially in urban areas.)  Japan has the highest life expectancy at birth. How can we apply these ideas to the United States?

Anyway, the result of all of this leaves me feeling like I'm back living in a bizarro version of the United States in the 1990's.  And I'm happy about it.  Please, Australia, you have a chance to make a difference in your future.  Don't try to change things that don't really need to be fixed.  You have it good.  Enjoy and take pride in it and find ways to tweak things.  Learn from America's mistakes and be better for it.  It's okay to say that you are kinda like America.  Especially if you take the steps necessary to restore the things that make you Australia and make you great! It's much harder to change things once they've been set in motion.  Just ask your brother, 'Merica.

If you're still with me, thanks for indulging me.  It feels good to rant every once and a while.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

You'll Come A-Waltzing Matilda With Me

Sean and I were talking about something the other day and "Billabong" came up.  "Yeah, like the surf company," Sean said.  I said, "that's funny I think of 'Waltzing Matlida'."  "A waltzing what?"    "No way," I say completely stunned.  "There is no way you don't know Waltzing Matlida.  You know, 'once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong," I sang.   He looked at me with a blank face.  "Nope don't think I've heard it.  What's a billabong?"

That is how this post came to be.  Waltzing Matilda is not only my favorite Australian folk song, it has a fascinating history behind it!  Of course, Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport and Kookaburra are favorites with the kids but Waltzing Matilda has everything; theft, tea, police standoffs, death by drowning, fun Aussie terms, and more!

So, with a little help from the National Library of Australia (they have a great website with archived collections and more so check it out, here is the story of Waltzing Matilda.

First of all we need a little reminder of how the song goes

Okay, before I get into the terms let me just say that I didn't really understand all of them until I got here.  I always thought it was funny that "waltzing" Matilda wasn't even in 3/4 time.  Ah, but waltzing doesn't mean dancing.  It is a poetic term for the way the hobo hero of the story wanders through the bush.

The song was written by Andrew Barton Paterson, affectionately known as "Banjo" after his favorite horse. Banjo wrote a lot of poems about Australian life but none more popular than the unofficial Australian anthem of Waltzing Matilda.  But did you know he also was the writer of "The Man from Snowy River" and "Clancy of the Overflow" which became the basis for one of the most awesome movies ever, "The Man From Snowy River"?

Banjo is on the tenner!

Well, good ol' Banjo was staying with the Macpherson family at Dagsworth Station, near the town of Winton in Queensland.  He must have told the poem there because that led Christan Macpherson to adapt a song she had heard by a brass band and put the words to it. They thought that would make a good bush song.  They were right.

Plus, how funny is it that the hero of the story dies by drowning in a country that prides itself on its swimming prowess?  Heads have been rolling after their poor performance in the last Olympics.  They have no time for such nonsense.  If you're not first, you're last.

Here are some of the terms used in the song:
  • Waltzing Matilda:  the act of carrying 'swag', a bush man's swag was regarded as his sleeping partner hence his 'Matilda'
  • Billabong:  a small oxbow lake
  • Coolibah:  Type of Gum/Eucalyptus Tree
  • Swagman:  an Australian itinerant worker, a hobo
  • Billy:  an open topped tin can, with a wire carrying handle, used for boiling water for tea
  • Tucker Bag:  bag for food aka tucker/tuck
  • Jumbuck:  sheep
  • Squatter: Station (ranch) owner NOT someone who occupied a residence illegally

Swag man, not really sure if he's jolly

Coolibah tree

Billy boiling
James Inglis, born in Scotland, moved to Australia in 1877 and was determined to establish his own Indian tea company in Australia.  He trademarked 'Billy Tea' and advertised with an image of a swagman boiling his billy.  He bought the Banjo Paterson poem along with "a lot of other old junk" in 1900. In 1903, he began giving away free copies of sheet music if you bought the tea. Marie Cowan was hired to 'tweak' it for commercial use and the version we now know was born. 

Here are the lyrics for the Marie Cowan version we all know and love:

Once a jolly swagman camped by a Billabong
Under the shade of a Coolibah tree
And he sang as he watched and waited till his “Billy” boiled
You'll come a‐waltzing Matilda with me

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
You'll come a‐waltzing Matilda with me
And he sang as he watched and waited till his“Billy” boiled
You'll come a‐waltzing Matilda with me

Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag
You'll come a‐waltzing Matilda with me


Up rode the squatter mounted on his thoroughbred
Down came troopers one two three
Whose that jumbuck you've got in the tuckerbag?
You'll come a‐waltzing Matilda with me


Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the Billabong
You'll never catch me alive said he
And his Ghost may be heard as you pass by that Billabong
You’ll come a‐waltzing Matilda with me.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Who run the world? Girls.

I did it! My first 10k; the Nike She Runs The Night Sydney. It really is an amazing feeling to set a goal for yourself and then do it.  We don't really get many opportunities to do stuff like that once we become adults.  Yes, my time kinda sucked but my new motto is the longer I take the more exercise I get.  The girl that won only exercised for 34 minutes.  I mean, I ran for almost an hour longer! Ha!  The real test was how I would bounce back.  So even though I had to deal with a sprained sacroiliac that left me out of training for three weeks I woke up the next morning feeling great!  Of course you all know I love gear so big ups to 110% Play Harder Compression/Ice.  They are fantastic! Y'all should check them out.

Warming up before the race. It was cold which was nice while running. 
The lead group. The blonde in the front left was the winner.
I'm still smiling!

As in everything else I have found so far Aussies are extreme.  When they drink, they get drunk. When it's time for work, they work hard.  When it's time to relax, you couldn't get them to work.  And when they run, they run fast. Of the 6,000 that were entered about 5,000 finished to get a time.  They cut off the course at 9:00 so you had a two hour cut off limit. I finished in the 4,000 range but the most impressive to me was that about 2,500 ladies finished sub 60:00.  Bravo!

A sea of women
Cool lights all around the park!
This is how we entered

It was a very electric atmosphere with that many fit women attacking the park. They had lots of things along the way to keep our minds occupied.  Neon lights, DJ's with disco balls hanging from the trees, smoke machines, fire, led video boards with our facebook pictures, and much more.  My favorite was the fire.  It scared me a little bit as I'm just running along and boom, about twenty bursts of fire shoot into the sky, followed by each one individually as I run along with them. Very cool!

I will say that being an American in this race left me thinking about our different means of security.  Ah, the innocence of Australia.  Aussies have never been attacked and thank God for that.  Because it changes you when you or someone you love is involved in senseless crime.  Americans know this.  We go through unbelievable security every time we enter a sporting event, music concert, go on a plane, the list goes on and on.  But we have been hit and it has made us more serious than we should be.  My husband's uncle was running in the Boston Marathon and was getting close to the finish when the bomb went off.  He is fine.  But it changes you.  Sean had a backpack on at the finish and no one checked it. I wasn't checked except for a once over to look to see I had my flashing bracelet on.  This is how it should be.  Sean said he thought to himself, "I wonder if I should be this close to the finish," while waiting for me.  He immediately dismissed it but he thought about it.  I doubt if any Aussies gave it a second of thought.  But we ran anyway.  When I'm feeling like I don't want to run I think of the people who can't.  Like the motto on Sean's RoadID bracelet, "Don't waste the gift".
Moving pictures are everywhere!
These water bottles were already gone when I finished. But I guilted a girl into giving me one of the five she took. Score!
My favorite...FIRE!

All in all I'm pretty stoked to be running as it really does make you feel better after you get through.  Not before...but after, yes!  Thanks Nike! I have to thank my awesome husband for braving the cold weather and taking pictures and cheering me on. Thanks to my chiropractor who got me back running after my injury.  Thanks to all of you and your encouraging words too.  The Internet makes this island feel like it's next door to everyone I love.

I read that you need to set your next goal within a week of finishing so Sean and I will be running the 14k City2Surf in August.  Crazy!

What ran next to you changed as you went by
Green monster!
Name Wall of Fame


Xyloband. I was in the green group so it would flash along to the music on the route and at the after party.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Oh we're from Tigerland...

G'day! I've got to get used to saying that more often.  As soon as I say Hi! they immediately know I'm from America.  I actually like G'day and brekkie and other nicknames I can't think off the top of my head right now.  But it's really driving me crazy that no one says any running shoe company name like we say them.  They really like putting the emphasis on weird syllables and pronouncing them like I would never imagine.  Some examples for you:  Adidas = ADD-di-daz,  Saucony = Saw-CONE-eee,  Asics = Ah-SEEKS   I'll be anxious to see how people are saying Nike this weekend.  I've heard some say Nike like bike.  Huh?

On Saturday morning we walked over to Moore Park to watch a friends son play footy.  That's Australian Rules Football for those of you not paying attention.  I've been watching AFL on TV so I was anxious to see if it was as chaotic.  We are talking about 8 year old boys here.  Controlled chaos pretty much explains everything you hope to achieve with them.

I had taken him to practice a couple weeks ago so I'd already seen a little bit of the madness.  Actually, it's quite fun.  They have a barbecue every Saturday morning for all of the players and families to enjoy after the games.  Although we missed out on it this weekend due to the ANZAC holiday on Thursday.  Holidays screw everything up here.  Holiday lands on a Thursday?  Let's just take the rest of the weekend now everybody.  Anyway,  footy games are a very festive atmosphere with about 5 games spread out on the regulation AFL field.  It's that big!  Every club has attached themselves to an AFL club like the US does with little league and MLB teams.  Moore Park Aussie Rules is affiliated with the Richmond Tigers from Melbourne so it's the yellow and black Tigerland.

Jump ball begins the madness

Kicking a goal like a champ!

My favorite part is at the end of each practice or game they all join in a circle and sing the team song.  Awesome!  I'm going to suggest that all American little league, soccer and the like have a team song.  It's fantastic fun.  Below is a video of the Tigers singing their song after the game.

Here is a video of the actual song:

Here is a video of the kids singing on Saturday.  There's a lot of words to remember! :)