Friday, December 30, 2005

Why This Country Rules, Chapter 47

Because Sydney's #1 radio station just played a new dance-synth remix of the original Baywatch theme, with nary a hint of shame in the DJ's voice.

And in that spirit, I will admit right here and right now, that I have always fucking LOVED that theme song.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Santa Thinks I'm A Ho Ho Ho

So now that all my Christmas gifts are in, I thought I'd post the rundown of what I got, and what the life implications are associated with each.

Cousin Emma seemed to think it was appropriate to buy me a pair of pink Aussie Bum knickers. She clearly got me confused with one of the more solidly built models on their website, but I can try and work it. And it's always good to know that your 19-year-old cousin thinks you dress like a table dancer at a trashy gay bar.

Besides, they went so well with the baby blue track pants and the wife beater, as you can see here.

Of course the piece de resistance would easily be the pair of speedos Emma also thought I could use. I'm pretty sure most of my friends would disagree, since the last time I donned a pair of tight swim shorts they reacted by projectile vomiting in my general direction, but why not give it a shot and show some sun to parts of my body that haven't seen any since I ran around naked as a toddler.

And finally, the only non-trashy present I received was this lovely bike. As soon as I got it I thought about how much money I could save riding a bike to the bars instead of taking taxis. I then thought of the increased medical costs involved in attempting to ride a bike back from the bars, and figured maybe I'll have to find other uses for it. It's purdy though, huh?

So yeah, overall I think it's a pretty good haul for my first Christmas down under. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go expose some of my paler nether regions on Bondi beach.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

True Photographer: Back In Business

That's right, after the personal and public tragedy that was losing my glorious camera in Tahiti, a special someone has given me an even more amazing camera! Which of course means I can take tres classy pictures, like what appears to be my own impersonation of white trash on Christmas Day in Australia:

I'll try and post some more Xmas pictures this week, although considering the weather is just a little bit perfect for the beach, I'm not sure when I'll have the time!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Things That Go Crunch In The Night

Easily one of my biggest fears when I came to Australia was that I would see spiders and cockroaches all the time. As many of my friends know, while I'm more than willing to jump off of waterfalls or go swimming at Bondi Beach the day after a massive tiger shark has been spotted, point out an ugly insect and I'll scream like a woman and do something resembling an Irish jig for about two minutes straight.

Since this sort of thing is constantly in the back of my mind (and everyone here loves to bring it up and make fun of me), I figured I would break it down just a little bit, so people can be a little more understanding of my fears...


Yes, so I realize this is a completely irrational fear. But while they may not be poisonous or anything, I still constantly have awful images of waking up to find a cockroach has crawled on me in the night and eaten part of my face, or something equally stupid and horrible. In the end though, they are just really really ugly, and much like ugly (or fat, or poor) people, I'd really just rather pretend that they don't exist. Which makes it that much more shocking when I see one.

Of course with the almost constant summer weather there are plenty of roaches around here, or at least more than I would see in New York, so there have been several displays of my ridiculous fear of these things.

My favorite rebuttal from Australians so far is "well yeah you might see them once in a while, but they're not dirty like the ones in New York".

RIGHT. Thank you. Seriously I feel so much more comforted. Because really, it was the fucking DIRT on the roaches that was freaking me out. Assholes.


Now this one makes just a little more sense. As most people know, Australia has something like 7 of the most 10 venomous spiders in the world. Granted I'm unlikely to ever see one of those, but it doesn't stop me from worrying about it.

The other day I thought I saw a poisonous redback spider (it wasn't, of course) and was told that they often hide under toilet seats out in the bush, and bite you on the ass when you sit down.

Now let me tell you something. I have determined several acceptable ways to die. In a helicopter crash in the South Pacific is one. Perhaps a small yachting accident off the coast of Greece would be another. On the other hand, I can confirm right now that being found lying dead on a bathroom floor with my pants around my ankles and a turd hanging out of my ass is definitely NOT on the list. So forgive me if I keep such things in mind when I'm wandering around in anything resembling nature.

Anyway, that is all. I hope this little rant has given you all a chance to understand me a little better, and perhaps be a little more sympathetic in regards to my delicate mental state. Good day.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Well Played

In yet another bid to make me homesick and return to New York sooner rather than later, Emla has just sent me the link to Gawker's 123 Reasons To Love New York Right Now, and it's totally working.

I would also like to add #124: Because theoretically, you could get banned from a bar every weekend and still never run out of places to go. Never underestimate the importance of having that quality in a city.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Simple Life

*Please excuse yet another awful StillDrunk graphic, but I felt it was very necessary.

As any of us know, the most important part of being a socialite is having someone to be a socialite with you. So you can imagine my dismay when the last couple of people I knew in Sydney who were all for hanging out on the beach all day every day went and got full time jobs, selfish bastards that they are.

Fortunately things have taken a turn for the better, because last week at drinks for Irene, I met her friend JuJu, where we had this instant bonding moment:

JuJu: Ah, you're Zander, great to finally meet you.

Zander: Same here. And what do you do?

JuJu: Oh, I don't work.

Zander: Omigod, me neither!

JuJu: We need to hang out.

Zander: That's hot. Gimme your number.

And so we met up for a late lunch yesterday (we were both sleeping in, obviously) which lasted past 9pm, while we bonded over how hard it is that people think we "don't do anything", as if those beaches are going to lay on themselves or something! It was really deep.

Anyway I must say, I was already happy about missing the NYC winter, but with the transit strike going on I'm even more thrilled I'm here in Sydney for the time being instead of riding a family of Mexicans to work, or whatever the current transportation options are in Manhattan.

Now if you'll excuse me, big day ahead -- doing the beach with JuJu this afternoon, and can't forget the season finale of America's Next Top Model tonight. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Overheard In Sydney

Guy #1: What's the baby powder for?

Guy #2: Oh, it's great! You throw some on your balls and ass, and you're still fresh as a daisy when you get home with whoever you picked up at the bars that night!

Guy #1: Ah.

Pregnant woman nearby: [Horrified glance as she walks away]

--Sydney supermarket

Redefining "A Quiet One"

For some reason I had it in my head that this past weekend would be a relatively quiet one, so of course both Friday and Saturday nights ended past 3am, Friday night including a stop at an Indian restaurant to consume a really offensive amount of north Indian cuisine before heading home to pass out.

So really I think this all just means that I need to give up on the idea of a quiet weekend, since they're all going to involve at least 16 hours of drinking, the only variable is whether we start at 6pm or noon.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Language Barrier

If you will recall, it's been more than a few times that I've slipped up and used an American saying that doesn't go down so well in this part of the world. Yeah well, it's happened again.

You know how in the US, when you see someone with two drinks, you might note that they are 'double fisting'? Definitely not a term to use down here, for more than obvious reasons. Unless you're eager to have people you've known for months stare at you with a look that says "I think you should sick sick bastard."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Can We Move On?

Wednesday night meant farewell drinks for my flatmate Irene, who's out of the country for a month. Of course once everyone had told her how much she'd be missed, the conversation devolved into everyone recapping what an ass I was at my birthday party on Saturday night. Just a couple of tidbits that I had no recollection of:
  • Having the same conversations with each person about 4 times
  • Suddenly holding my breath (I probably had the hiccups) but not telling anyone why, leading everyone to think I was about to projectile vomit all over them...kudos to Kate for actually taking cover behind Cathy
  • When Kate accidentally took a picture of my feet, starting to laugh hysterically and yelling "THANKS! Just what I fucking needed! More pictures of my fucking FEET!", and then laughing at how hilarious I thought I was for a good five minutes

Apparently when others were leaving the club after I'd gone, there was an ambulance outside and everyone figured I was probably in it, but turns out some girl had to be taken to the hospital. Strange how it's the little things like this that give me comfort in times of shame.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Current Events Blah Blah

As a nasty reminder that there are things going on in the world that don't revolve around me, people have been writing to ask me if I'm okay with the "race riots" going on in Sydney. So I thought maybe I'd make a quick comment to let everyone know that I'm okay.

In addition, I'd like to put this whole thing in perspective for the folks back in New York. Basically the disturbances were down in Cronulla, which is I don't even know how far from the actual city. So think of it this way: imagine if there were some kind of riots and gangs running around on the Jersey Shore. Would you really care? Not so much. Actually, you probably wouldn't be too upset if some of the people involved managed to knock each other off in the process, and make the world a better place.

So yeah, not to sound completely insensitive, but it's kinda like that. But thanks for your concern!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

At Least I Know Myself

If you'll refer to my prediction of how Saturday's birthday celebration would most likely turn out, you'll be pleased (or maybe just disgusted) to know that it was almost dead on accurate.

I actually managed to last a solid 75 minutes longer than expected, was only warned by the staff twice that I needed to stop drinking, and there was a stopover at Hungry Jack's (Burger King) on the way home that I hadn't foreseen. I also generally remembered who showed up to the club that night, although any actual conversations I had escape me for the time being. And of course since it was my birthday, everyone has to be polite and say things like "oh no, you weren't bad at all!" and "of course no one was offended". Liars.

Needless to say it was another excellent birthday bash, and I take full credit even though I barely recall anything past 7pm.

As for pictures, I think some people may have taken some, but I have no idea who they would have been so I'll have to wait until they turn up in my email, and so will you.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Wishful Thinking? Perhaps.

So, I believe all of my birthday wishes are in. Some were sent by Monday, Australian time, which was impressive and showed excellent preparation on the part of some of my friends. Others sent it on Monday, New York time. Probably only because Friendster reminded them, but certainly appreciated nonetheless. And then there are those who sent them about 72 hours later and still tried to give me some shit about the time difference. Uh yeah asshole, unless there's some fascinating secret about the rotation of the Earth that someone's hiding from everyone but you, I think you just need to use that little word "belated" and then we can both move on with our lives, mmmkay? Great.

Of course with pretty much every email or phone call, everyone was like "Oh my god I bet you're not gonna be sober enough to read this for DAYS!", to which I had to embarrassingly respond that I hadn't really gone all out on the actual date of my birth. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice day, with a trip to Bondi with my fellow New Yorkers (they got me a boogie board, yay!) and a lovely dinner at a French restaurant with all my closest friends here. But yeah, I was in bed earlier than most 6-year olds are on their birthdays, so it wasn't all that crazy. BUT that's all because I'm saving my energy for Saturday, which promises to be an interesting test of Zander's self-control.

The plan calls for a long boozy lunch starting at 1pm, with the same people who were responsible for my first 12 hour Australian bender back in September. That will most likely move to a bar or two until 8ish, when my party is scheduled to begin at Mars Lounge, as pictured, with 60 of my closest friends in Sydney. Or so my guest list would suggest, even though I've actually never met at least 9 people on that list in my life. Either way, that's a lot of drinking, and I figure there are a couple of ways this could all end up:

The Ideal -- I pace myself while drinking at lunch, perhaps having a sip of water for every two sips of an alcoholic beverage. I politely decline the offer of free drinks and shots until after 10pm. Around 2am, once I've made conversation with everyone in attendance, and the crowd begins to thin out, I gracefully make my exit, grab a taxi, and head home.

The Probability -- I start drinking heavily at the lunch table, maybe I've even had a couple of beers before I left the apartment, and quickly toss back any drink that's handed to me, even if it was meant for someone else. I am barely allowed into my own birthday party by the doormen at Mars Lounge, and around 11.15pm I am found passed out in a booth, poured into the first taxi that will take me anywhere, and I remember nothing.

Honestly, something in between those two extremes would be nice, but I'm not trying to kid you or anyone else. Bad things will happen.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

More Birthday Randomness

Other than Joe's lovely e-card, I got a few interesting ones. One that was a bit dorky but I really liked it (because it said nice things about me, of course) was from Apparently my birthday color is 'Riviera' (which looks a lot like the color of your average pair of jeans), and I am 'courageous, outspoken and intelligent'. Yay! Here's the rest:

TALENTED and persuasive, there is much that you can accomplish once you put your mind to it. You are a natural achiever, and you expect to win and often do. You want to move around and connect with interesting and important people. Similar to a game or a sporting event, you want to play with people who are on your level or hopefully better. Your personal color blends your depth with wisdom. Wearing, meditating or surrounding yourself with Riviera reminds you to stay lighthearted and enjoy the game.

Then again these things are always so positive and full of all kinds of jolly bunny would be great if just one would be like "you know what, everyone born on this day is a complete twat, and you are NO exception". Wouldn't argue with that either.

Now that I think about it though, there's always my "REAL" horoscope:
SAGITTARIUS: You are optimistic and enthusiastic. You are have a reckless tendency to rely on luck since you lack talent. The majority of Sagittarians are substance abusers. People laugh at you a great deal because you are always getting screwed.

Awww, and all this time I thought I was just funny.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Actually, We Prefer The Term 'Porch Monkeys'

Went to get a haircut the other day at a place I hadn't been before, but it's about a 3 minute walk from my apartment, so I figure it's worth a shot.

The barber looked about 70 or so, which is a drastic improvement over the 96 year old non-English speaking Italian barber I had in Brooklyn, so I figured I'd be fine.

Things were going well until he asked me where my parents lived, and I mentioned that my father lived in Jamaica, and that he was Jamaican.

"Ah, so your dad is Jamaican, huh? I was wondering why your hair was so curly, but it makes sense if your dad's a negro."

How awesome is that? I mean seriously, when was the last time 'negro' was an acceptable term for a black person? 1968?

This guy is offically my barber until I leave Sydney.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Birthday On The Beach

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the famed Bondi Beach, mere minutes from my apartment:

Not sure I can remember ever spending my birthday laying around on a beach, but that's exactly what I'll be doing with the other members of Team America this afternoon, followed by dinner at a French restaurant. Planning to spend most of the week relaxing though, saving energy for the big bash on Saturday. I'll share those plans with you this week and we can all sit around and imagine the worst possible ways it could all turn out.

In the meantime, let's all thank Joe for this birthday card, which came with the message "Hope you die a miserable old man. Love, Joe":

Not That I Needed To Be Reminded That I Make Awesome Decisions...

...but things like this really make me happy I'm taking a small break from the good ol' U.S. of A:

Mrs Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebago. On her first trip, she drove on the freeway, set the cruise control at 70 mph and went out back to make a sandwich. She crashed. Then sued for the manual not advising her not to do this. The jury awarded her $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. The company then changed their manuals on the basis of this suit.

I'm not even sure I have a real comment. But I promise things like this only happen in America. I mean stupidity is one thing and I'm sure it's an international problem, but why on earth would it be rewarded?

Then again I'm guessing we have someone in the US to thank for this as well:

Once again, not sure what to think, but I'm pretty sure it's kind of awesome. Thank god everything worthwhile ends up on the internet eventually.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Harry Potter and the Sauvignon Blanc

Met up with a few fellow Americans last night to go see the latest Harry Potter movie, since Australians, as cool as they are, apparently all think they are too good for "kid movies". Whatever.

We also decided to get the first class tickets, which included fancy seats, unlimited popcorn and soda, and access to the lounge and bar, all for only double the already extortionate price one pays to see a movie these days.

Having already had a few beers that night, I opted out of more alcohol and stuck to the popcorn and Coke. Last thing I need is to be that creepy drunk guy making comments about certain actors being "pretty hot for a teenager", etc.

Danny on the other hand thought otherwise, and bought a bottle of wine to help him through the film, which included calling one of the actresses a slut every time she appeared on screen. Well done, my friend. New York represent.

So yeah, that's my exciting Friday night for you. I'd go on, but in less than an hour large numbers of people will be descending on our apartment to begin drinking at noon before the Jamiroquai concert and I want to make sure I'm half in the bag before they get here. Hope everyone is having a similar weekend.

Friday, December 02, 2005

I Will Always Lube You

Another dinner party, another potentially civilized event turning into a drunken mess with two of the guests giving the rest of us a lip synch performance of Whitney Houston's greatest hits.

Plenty of memorable moments, but just wanted to share my favorite:

"See I can't actually sing, but I've got all the moves. I'll show you but I need a microphone. Pass me that deodorant."

"Um...actually, that's lube."

God knows where that conversation would have gone, but the German neighbors, obviously drawing on their culture's inability to grasp the concept of "fun", started banging on their side of the wall and the night quickly ended shortly thereafter. Total nazis.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Another Shocking Test Result

This time it was the Which Greek God Are You test, and surprise surprise, I was Dionysis, basically the god of drunken sex.

Gods! You scored 51!
You are most like the God Dionysis! Dionysis is the god of wine, intoxication and creative ecstacy. In short, a party god! He was often having drunken orgies with both men and women, as well as with helpless maidens his centaurs would carry off for him.

This obviously isn't based on this week, where all I've managed is a few beers on Monday night, a few glasses of wine on Tuesday night, and a few more beers on Wednesday night. Besides, I haven't hung out with the centaurs in ages.

Don't worry, if nothing else we are just over a week away from my birthday celebration, which promises to be a disaster for most of the hapless souls involved.