I love it when my brother visits. Not because I love my brother, which I do (though, all things considered, it’s a “small doses” kind of thing. If we had to live together the story would be very different), but because of his whole attitude. Dave lives in Broome —which is basically an oversized tropical resort in Australia’s northwest— and given that he spends all day examining blood and vomit and semen and whatnot (medical scientist… go figure) he doesn’t get to visit Perth all that often.
And by “doesn’t get to visit Perth all that often” I mean “doesn’t get to visit a city with more than two shoe stores all that often”, or “doesn’t get to visit a city with a decent bookstore all that often” or, well… “doesn’t get to visit a city with an abundance of stores in which he has any interest at all all that often”. Being a tourist center, Broome isn’t so big on the things that the modern man needs from day to day — like JB Hi–Fi.
Consequently, any time he (and his wonderfully geeky girlfriend Sarah) are in town, they go nuts and shop ‘til they drop… which is something I can certainly identify with and participate in. For all our differences, David and I do have some things in common. Shopping is one of these. For the two days they were in town, he and Sarah must’ve spent upwards of a grand on shoes, DVDs, CDs, clothes, and books… which was great fun to participate in; and while we were at it I picked up a copy of Eric’s CSS2 Programmer’s Reference (Sarah grabbed the definitive guide), a Belkin Voice Recorder for my iPod, and a book I grabbed at random from Boffin’s called Lovemarks… which, for want of a better description, is an interesting meditiation on modern branding by Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts. A light read; moderately interesting thus far.
The reason Dave and Sarah would fly from (always hot) Broome to (incredibly cold right now) Perth for a matter of two days is quite simple.
Many years ago David and I, for one reason or another, watched Due South religiously. We also watched Home Improvement a lot, so I’m not going to vouch for our taste. A Canadian mountie and an Italian–American cop upholding the law in Chicago? Buddy cop show? The original odd couple? It was high–larious knee–slappin’, toe–tappin’ fun with a wolf and a touch of MacGuyver, too. Everything a growing boy needs. Now, towards the end of the first season there was a great big story arc concerning the mountie’s forbidden love for his on–the–run felon ex–girlfriend, Victoria. Great stuff.
Story aside, the theme music for this entire torrid love affair was Sarah McLachlan’s Possession, from her third album, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. Dave fell in love with the song (and McLachlan) instantly, and has since then bought every album and DVD he can get his hands on. I, by fraternal association (and because I like women, music, and musical women) also came to love Sarah McLachlan’s stuff… though my purchasing is a little more, uh, subdued.
Add to the mix Sarah. Sarah is a rabid Sarah McLachlan fangirl who, by sheer coincidence I’m sure, ended up dating my brother. Perfect match. A rabid Sarah McLachlan fangirl who, by sheer willpower, scored front–row–center tickets to last night’s Sarah McLachlan concert. A rabid Sarah McLachlan fangirl who, by sheer awesomeness, scored passes to a pre–show meet–and–greet and had the devotion to make us hang around the stage door after the show. Now you know why they were in Perth for the weekend. And now you know what my birthday present was this year, even though my birthday isn’t for a few months.