Monday, January 30, 2006

Ah Right, This Is What Mondays Feel Like

So I'm still getting used to the idea of having to wake up early on a Monday morning after a weekend of partying, but I'll try not to let the bitterness creep into the weekend recap.


After starting drinks after work at Senate Bar ("Why yes, I'd simply LOVE to pay twice as much as usual for my beer, thanks!"), I headed off to meet up with another crew for Mike's 21st birthday, because who doesn't love a whole dinner that basically just reminds you that you're old as hell and sliding quickly towards the grave.

With all the great cuisines and food from Asia in this city, it was only natural that we all headed to a trashy Mexican restaurant. It was like junior year of college all over again, really. But a good time, I swear. What's most important is that the birthday boy quickly ended up dancing around with a silly over-sized 'Mexican' hat (seriously, do they even wear those or do we just use that to make fun of them?) while drunk off of $14 margaritas.


Beach during the day, followed by a house party near Cronulla (the scene of the race riots last month, in case it sounded familiar, which I'm sure it didn't) for Jon Jon's friend's birthday. The party hosts had made the genius move of hiring a digital jukebox for the party and the theme was the 80's, so of course I immediately ran over and selected "Love Is A Battlefield", among other cheesy selections -- all of which someone promptly skipped over once they started playing. Why if I didn't know better, I'd think people thought I had bad taste in music! Hmmm.


Was meant to be pure recovery, until that last minute phone call telling me to get my ass over to a BBQ for Mike's actual birthday. Fortunately I was feeling practical, so after a few beers and the opportunity to call the other American at the party "fat and dumb", I headed home for a quiet night of dinner with the flatmate and the men's final of the Australian Open.


Work. Meetings. Yay. Fuck off.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I Heart Looking Through Resumes

Yes so, yesterday was Day Two, and I spent half of it looking through resumes and design portfolios because I'm expected to interview candidates for a graphic designer position tomorrow. At first this made me a little nervous, since the only questions I could think to ask were "On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your tolerance?" and "Assuming you're a bit dressed up for us now, how much hotter can you look on a regular basis?".

Of course any intimidation evaporated when I started looking through the hilarity contained in candidates resumes.

Props to "Gary", who chose to start every paragraph in his cover letter in the third person, but then revert to the first person after two or three sentences. Made even more hysterical when he accidentally called himself "Gay" at the beginning of the second page. Almost made up for having to read the longest cover letter EVER.

And snaps to a girl I will call "Ling Ling", who represented for the Asian community. Now I hate to be one to make fun of anyone's language skills, considering I have such a pathetic grasp on the ones I claim to speak on my own resume, but this was great. You know how sometimes you see those random products from Japan and the catch phrases that make little to no sense? Imagine an entire resume in that style. Still laughing at "[Ling Ling], always be willing to realise your target in a fantastic way." There was also another part where she referred to herself as a 'terrible weapon' against graphic design or something along those lines. God knows what my new employees thought of me cackling to myself at my desk, but I swear it was worth it.

Monday, January 23, 2006

True Life: I'm Starting A New Job

So the day is finally here. The day I have to accept the fact that my daily schedule is no longer eat breakfast, take nap, eat lunch, go to beach, take nap, figure out where I am drinking. The day I have to start dressing up in my business casual clothes once more and pretend to earn the pretty paycheck.

How most people would prepare for their first day at a new company:
  • Study company website in detail, learn product offerings
  • Google company name for any recent news
  • Perhaps read a management book considering they're about to be a boss for the first time

How Zander prepares for his first day at a new company:
  • To calm nerves, grab JuJu and go on a shopping spree (new shoes, pants, shirt, belt)
  • Schedule haircut and dentist appointment
  • Organize drinks on Friday night
  • Spend half of Sunday watching a Miss Seventeen marathon on MTV
  • Attempt to read company website but get bored and take a nap

So yeah I may end up failing completely, but god knows I'm gonna look good doing it. Always good to be able to remind myself that I really am the living embodiment of style over substance. Not that I'm particularly stylish, but I seriously have NO substance, and I think that's what's really important here. And I'm hot.

May not post much this week, but let's hope I do at least one embarrassing thing in the next few days that will inspire anything worth reading.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

"Take Me Downtown, Cause Baby Wants To Rock"

*Title of the post is my favourite line from the latest song by the Rogue Traders, possibly my favourite Australian rock-pop-dance group

I decided I wanted to use Friday evening to both celebrate my new job and mourn the end of my socialite lifestyle. I chose Fringe Bar down Oxford Street from my place simply because every time I'd walked by recently, I'd seen absolutely gorgeous people oozing out of there.

And we were not dissappointed.

There ended up being probably the most attractive collection of people I've seen in one place since I've been here. Of course that's in addition to your favourite devastatingly handsome blogger being in attendance.

The girls were drooling over one of the bar staff, meaning as soon as a drink was knocked over at our feet, he probably heard comments like "Yeah I've got a wet spot right here you can take care of", and other assorted classy remarks.

Otherwise I've tried to take it pretty easy this weekend so I can look just a little less clueless at the new job come Monday morning. Therefore, this is all you get.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Australia's Next Top Minger*

As I may have mentioned before, although America's Next Top Model ended a few weeks ago, down under we now have a whole new season of Australia's Next Top Model.

Despite all attempts to imitate the original American version, the show ends up having a really different vibe. And I can think of no better way to illustrate those differences than a session of Upgrade/Downgrade, so here we go:

There's No Tyra - Okay, so we all know that bitch is annoying as hell, and some would even say she just isn't that pretty and kind of looks like an alien with a forehead you could land a jumbo jet on. She's a megalomaniac who seriously overestimates her worth to society, and we often want to get up and smack her a few times, if only we could get into that television screen. But never underestimate the need for someone to hate on a show like this. Instead we get Erica somebody or other who is supposedly a former Australian supermodel, but I've never seen her before and she's rather boring most of the time and totally lacks Tyra's fiercocity. Besides, "Ooh we got EricaMail" seriously just doesn't have the same ring to it. I miss you, TyTy! Downgrade

People Are Mean
- Generally I find Australians to be really pleasant and nice people, but people are downright nasty on this show. Photographers tell the camera "What can I say, the girl just has awful skin!", models in the confessional room say "She needs to work on her on keeping them closed, anyway" (kudos for managing to not-so-subtly imply that your competitor is both fat AND a slut in one go, ladies), and one girl even shaved off another's eyebrow while she was passed out drunk in the livingroom. Granted there's plenty of bickering and a few bitchy comments on the American Top Model, but I think the bitches from down under clearly win this one. Upgrade

Ugly Models
- Um, yeah, this is a bit of a tricky one. You think models, and you think hot, right? Apparently not down here. And I'm not talking edgy looks that some people find attractive and some won't -- some of the girls who made it to the finals were downright gross. Somehow the photographers work magic and make them all look pretty good in their photos. And fortunately the biggest uggos have been eliminated, but none of us can figure out how a country with so many attractive people could end up with this lot as their choice for next top model. Downgrade

Drunk and Naked
- You know you're in for a treat when it's the second episode and all the girls are running around topless (yay for Australian TV showing us the titties!) and drunk and making out with each other. As we already knew, shame is a very American thing, and the lack of it makes reality TV that much better. Upgrade

Shit Theme Song - I didn't realize how horribly awesome that "Wanna be on top?" theme song was until I didn't have it anymore. Instead we get some knock off with someone singing "I feel the change!", whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. Then again I suppose it is rather representative of my feelings about this show. Downgrade

In the end the biggest kick is the novelty of an Australian version of one of my favorite shows. God forbid they ever air Uzbekhistan's Next Top Model, because I would then be able to die a happy man.

*'Minger' is Australian for someone really ugly, it rhymes with 'ringer'. Use it liberally.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Language Barrier Continues...

In yet another chapter on things we say in America that don't go down quite so smoothly in Australia, Ellen (friend from high school) has what I consider the best contribution so far.

She was talking to some co-workers and said "I think we need a period at the end of that sentence", at which point everyone looked at her with a mixture of shock and disgust. Yeah well, you know how we have at least two meanings for the word period in the US? Unfortunately it only means one thing here, and I'm sure we can all figure out what that is. Way to go, Ellen. I don't even want to think about what your nicknames around your office might be at this point.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Just Call Me David Brent

So yes, as briefly mentioned before, I have received my first proper Australian job offer. Now keep in mind that generally I've been looking for jobs similar to what I did in the U.S. -- vague middle management positions where I can blatantly do nothing and get away with it. Combine that with the fact that my "job search" would make even the most seasoned of lifetime welfare recipients blush ('God, I just sent in a resume and I'm exhausted! I need to take the rest of the day off and go to the beach.'), and I was pretty sure I'd be heading back to the US in a couple of months to attempt to get serious about life again, having not worked a day in my Australian life.

Imagine my surprise then, when a company showed so much interest in me that they offered me an actual management position. No, not one of those roles (like my previous one) that had 'manager' in the title but didn't actually have any hire/fire responsbilities. They actually want me to manage an entire web production team. In addition to sending me on a power trip, the contract they sent me includes the following:
  • a rather comfortable compensation package
  • a company mobile phone
  • a parking space (which makes it SO tempting to get a car, I must say)
  • they will pay the $5000 to sponsor me for a work visa, if things are going well after the initial two months
  • I would be "a member of the senior management team"

Honestly, who's resume did they confuse mine with that makes me qualified for this role? I realize Australia has a bit of a drug culture, but I didn't realize that was to the extent of smoking crack just before interviewing potential managers.

Seriously people, this is the stuff sitcoms are made of. Specifically The Office (hence the title of the post, for those not familiar with the original British version), but maybe I'd be able to inspire a new one. Anyone I've told simply begins laughing at the thought of me in a position of authority, and I don't really blame them.

Fortunately there is the 2-month trial window, at the end of which I can either make a run for it because actual responsibility is terrifying, OR they can tell me to get lost because all I've done is reinforced their stereotypes about both black people and Americans. Either way, I think it's only fair that I give it a shot, don't you? (Actually I'm 100% sure you all agree, cause this can only mean some awesome blogging material.)

Almost forgot an even better part -- if I am sponsored and end up staying on at the company, the Australian government has something called the "Living Away From Home Allowance" that basically entitles you to thousands more dollars a year simply for not being from Australia. Yes, really.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Happy Birthday Jon Jon And Other Events

Got a doozy of a job offer on Friday (more on that later) and was fortunate to have all kinds of excuses to go out and drink myself silly in order to celebrate.


Jon Jon turned the ripe old age of 25 last week, and so it was time to gather the troops and turn into a bunch of drunken assholes. There was drinking at the Dolphin Hotel and then dancing at Slide, the hot new club on Oxford Street.

I won't bother giving a full run down, but here are the pictures from that night. No captions on these, but to summarize: the boy in the brightest orange t-shirt ever is Jon Jon, there are a series of Zoolander/Fierce shots that Jon Jon insisted on having with each and every party guest, a piggy back ride from the bar to the club, there are a couple of hot lesbians to appreciate, and you can watch the birthday boy get progressively drunker as the reel continues. The fading look in the eyes was provided courtesy of most of a bottle of Belvedere, on the rocks.


Met up with friends to have more than a few farewell drinks for Janelle, Kari, and Chris, all of whom are moving to cities in China in the near future. Had a great time, but can't decide between these two as the #1 highlight:

1) Being introduced to a girl originally from New York, and then discovering that we both went to the UN School AND had two of the same teachers. As if that sort of thing hasn't happened enough already.

2) Meeting Teagan, a baby girl who couldn't even have been 2. She couldn't actually speak or repeat any of our names, but could identify and pronounce "beer" or "wine" on sight. How Australian.


Recovery, plain and simple.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Overheard In Sydney, Part II

Tween girl: Do you watch [Australian] Idol?
Tween girl: I love Idol.
Woman: That's nice.
Tween girl: I'm gonna name my daughter Ricki Lee!
Woman: Oh well, dear, I'm sure that's a long way off.
Tween girl: Nope, I'm due in May!

-- Bankstown Line

Toddler in stroller: [pointing at woman] NANA!
Mother: No, that's not Nana.
Toddler: [pointing at another woman] NANA!
Mother: No, that's not Nana either.
Toddler: [pointing at Asian girl] NANA!
Mother: No honey, Nana isn't Chinese.
Asian girl: I'm Korean. [Walks off train]

-- North Shore Line

Overheard by: Jon Jon

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"Is This How Eskimos Hang Out?"

Met up with fellow socialite JuJu for drinks and dinner and more drinks last night, the highlight easily being when we stopped by Minus 5, a bar where everything is made of ice and it's ridiculously cold.

Of course I was slightly wasted by the time we got there, and insisted on annoying the staff.

Staff girl: Please be careful in there, if you break any of the ice sculptures you have to pay for them.
Zander: Really? How much are they?
Staff girl: A lot.
Zander: Yeah but like, how much exactly? I could afford it right?
Staff girl: Just don't break anything please.
Zander: Like a thousand dollars? Something like that?

Of course JuJu and I found a table in the corner and proceeded to slide empty ice glasses across the ice table and watch them break on the ice floor. Mature, I know. Even better when we went up for our second drinks and they told us we needed our original glasses to get another drink.

Eventually it was time to head to meet Jon Jon and co., who were all getting ready to ring in his birthday at midnight. Naturally, we all woke up this morning still intoxicated. Might have to sit this one out on the beach...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Not To Bore You To Tears, But...

...didn't really manage any impressive partying over the past weekend.


I met up with Team America at their place where we ate BBQ with their parents and all breathed a sigh of relief when the parents finally walked out the door. We promptly headed out on the town and had a good time until I got tired and hungry and headed to the Indian place before I headed home at 3am, cause how else would you want to end a night besides chicken tikka wrapped in a cheese and garlic nan? (Anyone want a kiss? Anyone?)


This was probably the most painful bit, for you readers anyway. The most exciting part was renting DVDs -- we finally watched Sideways, which I would have liked better with a hotter cast, but you gotta love all the drunkenness. And The Notebook (NOT my choice, I swear) wasn't painfully girly like I expected, and definitely not the tearjerker we'd heard it was.


Another movie night, but a little more exciting. A bunch of us headed to a park where you watch movies on a huge screen that hangs over the harbour, and you have the bridge and the opera house in the background. More importantly, there's a full bar and you can take entire bottles of wine back to your seats. The movie was Me You And Everyone We Know, which was funny and cute, but not nearly as deep as it seemed to think it was. I'm sure it was generally appreciated by people who aren't nearly as deep as they like to think they are, since that tends to be the target audience in this case. Still, good times.

I'm shocked if anyone is still reading at this point.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

It's Ain't Much, But It's All You're Gonna Get

Sup peeps. So yeah, I realize I've been crap about taking and sending out pictures since I got down here, so here's a little something. It's not nearly as amusing as my travel albums, and I seem to have been too drunk for the second half of the night to take anything other than candid close-ups of people, but maybe this will tide you over until I can get my act together.

Click here to see how I spent my New Years.

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Years Weekend Recap

Well if my New Years weekend is any indication, 2006 is basically going to be just as messy as 2005.


Since it was the night before New Years Eve, the plan was for a quiet night playing Scrabble and maybe some wine and food. So one might wonder how I ended up at a McDonald's at 2.30am with a chicken mcnugget happy meal. I, unfortunately, couldn't tell you.


A nice long boozy dinner, and then an awesome house party where I did my usual party trick of drinking too much and then talking about myself all night. Always a hit.


New Years Day was ridiculously hot, so in order to avoid sweating like a blind lesbian in a fish market, I had to spend most of the day lying on my bed mostly naked and trying not to move at all. After a nap, I managed to rally for a few hours of drinking on Oxford Street before giving up and heading home to collapse for 10 hours.

And there you have it. It's a rough life. Must head to beach. In speedos.