Wednesday, November 30, 2005

And This Country Just Gets Better

So I'm sitting on our new sofa bed at 1pm on a Wednesday afternoon (I realize that sentence doesn't make my life sound terribly exciting at the moment, but I can only keep up a certain pace for so long) and I turn on channel 7, expecting to see a talk show or a cooking show, or something along those lines.

Instead I see a woman baring her breasts while some guy goes at them with his tongue and starts heading for her crotch before he gets interrupted and has to leave. 1pm. Network television. WTF.

God. Bless. Australia. That is all for now.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A How-To Holiday Guide For Tahiti

So I'm back from my trip, and my French Polynesian tan is proof that I had an awesome time. Actually that's all the proof I have since I managed to lose my beloved camera on our last night out. A moment of silence, please. Thanks. Anyway, I decided instead of a standard recap you guys are gonna get a how-to guide on vacationing in Tahiti, just in case you're feeling inspired...

1) Fly out of Sydney, or any other location just west of the international date line. That way you too can experience the ridiculous fucked-up-ness of leaving Saturday afternoon and arriving at your destination on Friday night.

2) Admire the scenery, including the graves in the Tahitian front yards, since that's where they customarily bury their dead family members. Let's not even think about the logistics involved in moving to a new house.

3) Gawk at the "rae-rae". These would be the many many transvestites you will see on the islands, due to the Polynesian custom of raising the family's eldest son as a girl. Yes, really.

4) Be rich. Granted, this isn't the easiest accomplishment, but I don't recommend traveling to French Polynesia under any other conditions (unless you happen to know someone who works in corporate travel, yay for Jon Jon!). Just so you understand why, here are some of the prices you can expect to pay for standard items:
  • Taxi from airport to hotel practically next door - $30
  • Bottle of beer at our favorite bar in Tahiti - $15
  • 3-course dinner for two, with wine - $150 (reasonable, but still, we're on like a desert island here, gimme a break)
5) Decide to have a vodka tonic during a pre-dinner game of Scrabble. Once you've finished half the bottle and the quality of words has deteriorated to each person playing "TO" and "THE" once every 23 minutes, head to dinner. Get distracted by the bar, where you drink more, make friends, and end up swimming naked under someone else's overwater bungalow at 1am.

6) Despite a hangover that would make Jesus beg for the cross, go swimming with sting rays at 10am. If you're a 25 year old man named Zander, feel free to squeal like a bitch and yell "Get it off! Get it off!" when the sting ray swims up on top of you. (In my defense, I wasn't scared, just totally grossed out because those things are slimy and really really ugly up close.)

7) Remember those friends you made at the bar? Keep hanging out with them, since they just might give you a free ride from Moorea back to Tahiti in their helicopter.

8) If going out one last time in the capital, be sure to start drinking at 6pm. The night is over once Rob has ordered a third bottle of vodka for the table, Sheryl is dancing with random Tahitians, Zander has passed out in the booth, and Jon Jon has stripped his shirt off while dancing with the rae-rae. And if you're feeling generous, be sure to leave your $500 digital camera sitting on the table when you leave.

Random web surfers who find this may also want to use it as a subsitute for the Lonely Planet guide. Enjoy.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Off To Tahiti

Just a post to let you guys know that there probably won't be anything posted here over the next week, since I'm off to Tahiti on holiday in the morning. And yes, it's already been pointed out how obnoxious it is that I'm basically taking a holiday from a holiday, but hey, a boy needs to take a break every now and then, even if it's a break from nothing.

So take care, and I'll be sure to come back with pictures and tales of swimming with sharks and whatever other tropical shit we have planned.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I've Never Been More Inspired To Get A Job

Sorry I haven't really posted this week, but I've been distracted with various things - like planning Sydney's first celebration of my birth, yay! And to be completely honest, other than a supposed attempt at a surfing lesson that turned into just another trip to a pub, I haven't been up to much.

But today, the most glorious thing happened. I went for a job interview (no, that isn't it, smartasses) and I'm not sure I've ever wanted to work for a company more. Granted, I'm easily impressed, so little things like the big marble floor and the 25th floor view of Sydney Harbour would have been enough. But really it was when my interviewer walked up and said "All the conference rooms are full, do you mind if we sit down in the bar?" that my heart skipped a beat.

I shit you not, this company has its own bar. Not only that, but before we had even started talking about whatever position I was supposedly there to interview for, she uttered the words "Yeah we work hard but we play hard too. This bar opens at 5pm every day and it's all free."

I think after that she might have rattled on for anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes about something or other, but all I could hear was "free bar, free bar, free bar" in-between getting distracted by big shiny metal things I believe we call 'airplanes' gliding past the window.

I also liked this line: "Just to warn you, our company is definitely more corporate than most. One of our major rules is that there's no drinking before 5 in the office." Um, yeah, I think I can manage, thanks. Could you sound any more Australian right now?

So yeah...whatever it is you people want me to do, I will do it. Just hire me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Maybe I'm A Bit Cynical, But... I the only person that thinks maybe the Sydney Transportation Authority was just a little bit happy when this guy had his accident? Like maybe this ad was ready to go, and just needed a poster boy? Either way, it's one of my favorites and I wanted to share. Enjoy.

Friday, November 11, 2005

God Damned Fly-over States

Yes well, what can I say. Another trivia night at the pub, another chance for Zander to prove that he's an idiot when it comes to knowledge of his home country.

The latest question was pretty tough, in my defense. They asked what the 25th state was, when listed alphabetically. I don't know that stupid little song with all the states and the capitals, so I just started listing them out and somehow managed to have no idea why I only had 42 states. Granted we were better off than the folks overheard asking if there were 52 or 53 states, but in the end I just couldn't do it.

Honestly though, it's my own fault for going to the UN school until I was 12. Ask me the capital of Eritrea and I'm all set, but ask me to point out Oklabama on a map and I'm screwed.

Sorry for the lack of booze in this one, but between a dinner with mostly strangers tonight and a family gathering tomorrow, I should have plenty of chances to come up with something ridiculously embarrassing.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Movin' On Up

So for about two weeks now I've been living in Woollahra, which might possibly be the exact opposite of my former surroundings.

When I told people that I was living by Kings Cross, the reaction was "that's the trashiest drag in Sydney." A recruiter had called me and was really professional until we got into the topic of where I was living at the time, at which point she told me "Wow...I mean I party there on the weekends" Now that I'm in Woollahra I just get "Ooh that's posh", while they wonder how I ended up here.

Likewise, my former neighbours were a homeless guy, some porn shops and a bunch of nightclubs. Now it's Sotheby's, some foreign consulates, and a synagogue, if that gives you an idea. Kind of like the Upper West Side, really. I keep worrying someone might ask me to leave the neighborhood because I don't own a Mercedes and a yarmulke.

And I have to say that the best thing at the moment is that it takes me less than 20 minutes to get to Bondi Beach, probably my favourite city beach in the world. Not really helping the fact that I'm currently carrying out the most half-assed job search in the southern hemisphere, but until I'm so tan I'm mistaken for a sub-Saharan African and I've suddenly woken up with the swimmer's body I like to imagine will develop at some point, it can't be all bad.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Same ol' crap this weekend, so I won't really go into it. Friday was yet another life lesson about drinking without eating, and Saturday night was excessive enough that it almost (but not quite) put a damper on Sunday's trip to the beach.

BUT, we did catch that documentary Rize on Saturday, which had just enough fat people dancing to make my week, so I'll say that was the highlight. I'll blog something worthwhile tomorrow...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Apparently I Have A Face For Radio...

Not really in the mood to do anything original, so here's another internet quiz. I think it can only be healthy to take one of these on at least a weekly basis. No such thing as too many quizzes to tell you things about yourself that you already knew, such as a humor style test to tell me that I'm an obnoxious asshole and a lot of people probably don't think I'm funny.

the Shock Jock

(61% dark, 53% spontaneous, 42% vulgar)

your humor style:

Your sense of humor is off-the-cuff and kind of gross. Is it is also sinister, cynical, and vaguely threatening to the purer folks of this world. You probably get off on that. You would cut a greasy fart, then blame it on your mom, and then just shrug when someone pointed out that she's dead.

Yours is hands-down the most outrageous sense of humor; you like things trangressive and hardcore. It's highly likely (a) you have no limits (b) you have no scruples and (c) you have no job. Ironically, it's your type of humor that can make the biggest bucks in show business.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Howard Stern - Adam Sandler - Roseanne Barr

LOVING how it knows I don't have a job. Only questionable thing here is that Emla took this and it said that she was less vulgar than I am. Not in a million fucking years. That girl even grosses me out on a regular basis.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Cup Day

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to witness another miracle of life in Australia. Cup Day, the day of the Melbourne Cup horse race.

Not only is this a public holiday in Melbourne, but the entire country essentially comes to a standstill. For a TWO MINUTE RACE. People just leave their offices around midday, companies shut down, everyone goes to the pubs (after they've placed their bets, of course) and drinks until well after the race has finished. Yet another excuse to drink and gamble, Australia, I am impressed. Somehow millions of people in this country seem to have missed the fact that it's still just a bunch of midgets riding farm animals, but I'm not going to pretend I wasn't drunk for 9 hours and loving it.

I was talking shit about the whole event and attempting to claim that we didn't do anything so silly back in the States when someone was kind enough to point out that we actually have a day where no one goes to work so we can sit around with people we can't be bothered to see the rest of the year, all shove disgusting amounts of poultry and pie into our faces, and get even fatter than we already are. Touche.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sunday Night Fever

I'd heard that Sunday nights were a good time in Sydney, so capitalizing on the fact that none of my American friends had to work Monday morning, I organized drinks at my place before moving on to a bar.

I asked around for what bar would be a good spot to hit on a Sunday night, and the response was Deck Bar, which happens to be at Taylor Square on Oxford Street. I asked if it was gay, not wanting to make anyone in the group uncomfortable if that was the case. I was told it was not.

Lessons learned: generally if a bar is on the gayest part of the gayest street in the gayest city in the world, it's gonna be pretty fucking gay, no matter what anyone says. Not that I have a problem with hearing the new Madonna song FOUR times in one evening, I just like people to be up-front about these things.

It was a great time of course, until all the Americans wanted to go home around midnight. Bullshit plus. Naturally I ended up heading to another bar with three complete strangers and pounding more tequila shots than anyone should want to do in the wee hours of Monday morning, work the next day or not.

Which brings me to my question -- has anyone else ever done a few too many tequila shots, and the next day everything smells burnt? That's the second time that's happened to me, I want to know if it's normal.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

No Halloween For Zander :(

*Apologies for the weird spacing and layout, Blogger's giving me a hard time and I don't love any of you enough to mess around with it for one more second of my life.

Yup, that's right. As awesome and fantastically fun as the Aussies are, they don't really do Halloween, and there's nothing I can say to convince them otherwise. When I try to describe how amazing Halloween in NYC is, and explain how it's the one occasion that I'm probably most upset about missing while I'm here, they just look at me and go "But, why?"

Various people back home have suggested that I just dress up and go out and start my own Halloween, and think that everyone will stare at me. Um, folks, I think I need to remind you -- I'm in a country where they swear on the radio, naked people are used to advertise real estate and lemonade, transvestites are more common on the streets than homeless people, and Queer As Folk is considered appropriate for network primetime viewing. This past Sunday afternoon, I was at a nearby shopping center and I walked by an older bald guy wearing a purple Sunday dress and a hat, muttering to himself and swinging an umbrella around at the same time. And about an hour later I was walking down the street and a bus driver honked at me and flipped me the bird for NO REASON WHATSOEVER. And you really think anyone would bat an eyelid if I put on a silly costume and walked around? I think not.

Actually that's why I think Australians are so nonchalant about the whole Halloween thing. Every weekend is Halloween here, in one way or another.

Anyway, I've just finished looking through everyone's pictures from Halloween in NYC, and although I'm a bit depressed that I wasn't around to share in the revelry, I thought I'd post a few here:

This one is just vulgar and offensive. Therefore I love it. And of course half of the album was every female in the party striking a lewd pose with this guy.

Colin, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, in what might have to win my Favourite Costume award this year. Extra points because he apparently threw it together in like an hour.

Isn't it great how this scene is so common, and yet so fucking hilarious every single time? Lookin' sharp, Varghese. Emla claims he was able to just wipe it off when he woke up, which leads to my conclusion that all Indians have dry-erase skin. Discuss.

And this guy on the right wins my WTF award for 2005. If I had to guess, I'd say he's supposed to be a serial rapist/murderer with shitty taste in beer. Any other guesses?

Alas, all I can do is send all of these pics to my Aussie friends and hope they can catch just a glimmer of the best thing that's ever happened to anyone anywhere. And start planning my costume for next year. Jess, we are totally gonna be slaves.