Friday, March 31, 2006

For The People

Okay well it's Friday morning, I had more than my share of the wine last night during our Lost viewing party and dinner, and you're not gonna get a real post outta me. But thought the least I could do is respond to some of the comments from the last post...

Commenter: Joe
Comment Summary: Aren't you afraid of being dooced? (Meaning, someone at my company finding my blog and getting me fired over it, a la
Response: Yeah I probably should be, especially considering the guy I was talking about is the systems admin and has access to everything that I do on my computer. But I've taken what precautions I can (never blogging at work, or reading mine or my friends blogs while in the office) and really that's all I can do. Or I could not talk shit about coworkers, but really that's the only reason to have a job.

Commenter: Vicki
Comment Summary: A paragraph longer than my initial post, all about her.
Response: Yes, you are awesome indeed. Rock on.

Commenter: Jonathan
Comment Summary: There are fat people in Australia?
Response: Supposedly they're out there, but there definitely aren't many in Sydney. Seriously, the people here all have amazing tans and gym bodies, it's almost enough to make me want to get exercise. Almost. But yeah, the fat quotient in this city is way lower than in NYC. So I guess they save all their fatties for TV shows where we can laugh at them.

Anyway, I hope I've answered everyone's questions. Or self-absorbed tales that have next to nothing to do with my post, as the case may be.

I should also stop ragging on fat people, since god knows I'm meant to be one. Yesterday I actually just saved myself an extra trip and picked up two lunches at once -- tacos and then sushi. Which I truly believe were meant to be together, if only that pesky Pacific Ocean hadn't gotten in the way.

Alright, I better finish my massive glass of chocolate milk (that's chasing down my Big English Breakfast) and get moving if I want to get to work by 10am. I also have two costume parties to go to tonight, and will probably wear my 'costume' under my work clothes. A horrible idea with hopefully fun consequences.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I Have A Candidate For Next Season

There's a massively fat guy in my office. Seems like a nice person and all, but I think he's one of those people who is so fat he has trouble breathing sometimes.

Now we all know I've never been hugely sympathetic to the plight of the obese, but I think even you guys would agree that if you're a solid 300 lbs plus, you would at least consider NOT having certain items on your desk at all times. Namely, a salt-shaker, a loaf of bread, and a bucket of butter. Honestly, am I being judgemental here? Okay well yes I am, but isn't it warranted??

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In other fatty news, I saw the gay guy from Australia's Biggest Loser waddling down the street the other day. They didn't actually say he was gay, but his first sentence on the show was "My mother is my best friend" and he spent his few weeks on the show mincing around the house and bitching about everyone behind their backs, so I think TOTAL HOMO is a good call on this one.

Anyway, I believe my original point was -- he's still fat.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Home Sweet Home

In exactly 2 weeks I will be on my way to the airport for a flight back to New York. And it's things like this that get me so excited about that:

Woman #1: Don't you hate taking the train so early in the morning? I take it every day.
Woman #2: Could you not talk to me?

--A train

Suit: Bless you.
Chick: Who the fuck are you?
Suit: You sneezed.
Chick: Whatever, do not talk to me again.

--5th Avenue & 10th Street

Director man: Excuse me, we're trying to shoot this scene, please move out of the way.
Chick: Excuse me? I'm trying to catch a motherfucking train. I think you can film a movie some other damn place, but I'm trying to catch a motherfucking train and this is where they keep them: in Grand fucking Central.

--Grand Central

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

BBQ...Australian for 12 Hour Drinking Marathon

Funny how many things translate to drinking for 12 hours in this country. Yeah so, it's Tuesday morning down under, and I'm still not completely sure I've recovered from the weekend. Unfortunately it also means that I don't remember much, even though I'm sure it was awesome. Here's what I can gather from conversations I've had in the last couple of days...


It almost looked like I might stay in on Friday night and catch up on some sleep. As if. Walked over to the Centennial Hotel to meet a few peeps for drinks around 10 or so, and then caught a cab into the city to meet up with some others. This sadly ended in a trip to The Palms, the epitome of trashy bars in this city (at least that I've encountered), and where I encountered the following:
  • People who think the DJ playing "Since U Been Gone" means it's time to turn the dance floor into a mosh pit. Chill the fuck out.
  • Two grown (and painfully gay) men suddenly busting out some lame-ass dance routine. It was very Romy & Michelle, and also inspired me to loudly exclaim things like "LAME." and "THIS is why you're both going to die alone."
  • Okay now brace yourselves, because it was shocking enough when it happened to me once but on TWO occasions I went into the men's bathroom and there were "women" peeing at urinals, and I think they had...ahem...twinkies. Or whatever crappy euphemism you want to use for penis. Anyway, it was freaky and gross and I applaud your courage in going through with the operation ladies, but sweet jesus you should still have to use the women's room.


We'd planned to have a BBQ in Centennial Park at 3pm, which I then made everyone change to 1.30, following which I showed up at 3pm anyway. So I already had fans that day. Did the usual BBQ stuff, like eat and talk about me, including Zander gems like "Eww rain is gross...but I look pretty hot when I'm wet." and telling tales about that time I did something somewhere and someone else was there but that doesn't matter because I'm talking about me, remember? People love that.

Stopped by my place afterwards, where I showered and shaved not only drunk, but with a beer in my hand (that takes SKILL, people) and we yelled at our neighbours through the windows and danced around to S Club 7 before walking over to the Woollahra Hotel. Which naturally meant it was time for racist and dead baby jokes.

At this point I did something I never do -- I stopped drinking for 45 minutes, because I could see things were getting pretty bad and my liver needed to breathe if I was going to keep partying. Photos up to about that point can be found here.


What's most important about Sunday is not that I woke up around noon (very unlike me, I'm that annoying asshole who jumps up at 8.37am with bright eyes and a bushy tail, even though we were all out until 5am) but that I was still completely trashed.

Headed to Yum Cha (Dim Sum) with The Flattie and JuJu, where the hangover started to kick in as soon as the food hit my stomach. Of course no matter how hungover I get, I can still be mean to fat people. This included singing the theme song to Australia's Biggest Loser every time a fat person walked by.

Finally, there's no better place for recovery than Bondi Beach, so I met up with Ayesha for some fun in the sun, and we spent the evening eating at her place and watching the "Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama" video numerous times because it's just that good.

Friday, March 24, 2006

"I'm sorry that people are so jealous of me... but I can't help it that I'm so popular."

So the other night, LN and I did something we'd wanted to do since we ran into each other months ago -- buy a couple of bottles of wine and look through our high school yearbook and talk shit about every. single. person. Not an easy feat when there were 800 people in your graduating class, but somehow we managed. (We should also thank LN's sister for actually dragging that thing all the way to Australia, it weighs about 30 pounds). Sample conversations:

* * * * * * * * * *

Zander: Oh she was nice.
LN: Yeah her parents must have been proud...until she got knocked up and had a baby 5 months after graduation.
Zander: Slut!!

* * * * * * * * * *

LN: Oh he's gay now.
Zander: What?! No way.
LN: Well, I heard it from a pretty reliable source.
Zander: Okay we'll give him a 60%. It's not like it was on his Friendster profile or something. Moving right along...

* * * * * * * * * *

Zander: Oh man that girl was just gross. Like I didn't even know her at all and I hated her. You can tell she sucks just from looking at her.
LN: [Turns to the personal photos section of the book where there's half a page of pictures of her and this girl from 3rd grade through to senior year]
Zander: Whatever, she still sucks.

* * * * * * * * * *

Was heading home when I saw the greatest thing ever -- a fat bald guy with tattooes everywhere, halfway through a six-pack of beer, just sitting on a bench and yelling incessantly at no one in particular. He also smelled like pee.

It's really heart-warming to see a kindred spirit every now and then.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I'm Totally A Scientist You Guys

As I've mentioned before, for me and the crew back in NYC, the drink of choice is grapefruit and vodka. The initial reason for this was that grapefruit juice, while not particularly pleasant on its own, was pretty decent with a splash (or 17) of some Stoli.

Of course the first time Emla and I actually partook in the "Grapefruit n' Goose", we finished an entire bottle of Goose and headed into the city. Neither of us remembered much from that night (that was actually the night I first met Madame Stickles, but to this day don't recall a thing about that), but we did get together the next day in Prospect Park to draft a letter of apology to New York City and its residents. Alas, the blog had not even been conceived at that point, so there's no record of what was probably the best letter ever written.

After that we kept drinking the grapefruit and vodkas, and were sure to initiate the rest of the group on them. Mostly by making sure that the only ingredients I had at my place for pre-gaming were grapefruit and vodka. Many a drunken night ensued, culminating in The Night Emla Ate 63rd Street, a night that will always be remembered and told as an example of what drunken twats we all are.

In the meantime, we figured that grapefruit juice had been the turning point of our lives (a turn for the self-destructive yet way more fun and good for telling stories, that is), and heard rumblings about it inhibiting the bodies ability to process alcohol or something, but we didn't heed the warnings. As Jordan even put it on his birthday (about a year ago today!), it's much like having sex with a prostitute that might have AIDS -- you don't really know what will happen, but you're definitely asking for trouble.

Well ladies and gentleman -- I officially pronounce my friends and I to be scientists, as there is an article in the NYTimes that Emla emailed out as "scientific proof that Goose 'n' Grapefruit juice is a recipe for AWESOME!"

Joe also found the best line in the article: "Fooling around with grapefruit juice is not a good idea."

This blog begs to differ with that particular statement, but no matter. What we should really be concerned about is the fact that we were essentially the leading edge of research on this phenomenon but we were clearly too drunk to realize it. Thank god we have records of it all. Why yes, Harvard, I will accept my honorary PhD now. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Weekend Best Forgotten

I've decided that I need to be WAY more careful about my drinking on Fridays. As nice as it is to have someone walk into my office at 4pm on a Friday and hand me a beer, it's about time that I recognize that it's only the beginning of a very slippery slope into being a drunken mess mere hours later. For example...


After drinking in the office for a couple of hours, I headed across the street with coworkers for a few drinks. Of course I drank extra quickly because I was already late to meet various people at another bar. Once I got there I drank quickly because it was getting close to the time I was supposed to head someone's house for drinks. And finally, after arriving there I poured myself a couple of vodka tonics, and that is pretty much where my memory ends.

Based on text messages and IM conversations I've had since then, I am lucky I escaped without a) a restraining order or b) a stab wound. Apparently I recognized someone from TV, couldn't quite remember where, and thought it would be perfectly okay to harass him to try and get him to tell me what show it was despite the fact he constantly denied it. In my defense, I remembered as soon as I woke up the next morning that he was a photographer or something on Australia's Next Top Model.

Supposedly I also may have yelled something along the lines of "Can a nigga get some collard greens up in heeya?!" No idea what would have prompted that. Guess I was hungry.


Took it easy for most of the day since I knew I had to head out to Epping in the evening for my cousin's birthday dinner and drinks. Epping is north of Sydney, so it's like having to leave Manhattan to go to Westchester for a party. Oh, and did I mentioned that the trains weren't working? Took me about 90 minutes. Guess who REALLY needed a drink once he got there.

Of course I then started running my mouth (it's what I do best, as most of my friends can attest to) and prompted my uncle to utter the line of the night, by far:

"You're an even bigger bitch than your mother."

Possibly made better by the fact that he followed it up with "And you can tell her I said that!" No problem Uncle Mick, she reads the blog. Have fun with that.

We proceeded to head to the Epping Pub (aka the strictest place on earth, especially considering it's in the suburbs; they made me show my passport at the door because my NY State Drivers License wasn't good enough, and drinks were not allowed on the actual dance floor) which was fun in that cheesy way where you can do whatever you want because you're surrounded by people from places you wouldn't go unless they had the only remaining liver transplant that you desperately needed, AND refused to bring it to you for large sums of money. So yeah, we had a blast and naturally I had my camera so now you can all enjoy the nonsense that was my Saturday night.


Crashed at my cousin's place in Epping, and by the time I'd finished lunch with them and got back to my place it was too late to make it to meet LN and Dan-man at the beach to touch up my tan. Tragic.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Random Question Of The Month

Actually before I get to my question, I should apologize for basically not doing ANYTHING interesting all week. With St. Patty's today and my cousin's birthday tomorrow, I should have ample opportunity to make up for it.

But now, moving onto what's really important -- does anyone remember that weird ass cartoon character with funny hair who LOVED paprika? I've mentioned this a couple of times and people look at me like I just smoked a whole lotta crack, but I'm dead serious. I know this cartoon character exists. Paprika. Help.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ladies, You're Watering At The Mouth

Just a moment ago I emailed Domini, Jessica and Emily, and invited them to a family wedding in NY in a few weeks that I'll be attending. Apparently there were a few open spots, so the bride-to-be told me I'm more than welcome to bring a couple of extra people who may want to take advantage of the open bar and fancy food. All three girls responded to my email within 2 minutes.

Can I just say -- I have written to them about my greatest fears, sent them pictures of special times in my life, and emailed them with tales of heartbreak...and the fastest I have ever seen them all respond to anything ever is at the mention of free booze.

That's my girls.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Zander Presents...Sydney Mardi Gras 2006

Well, considering I just warmed up leftover pizza and garlic bread for breakfast and my AOL Instant Messenger won't stop playing an ad for Always Maxi-Pads, this isn't really what I would call a shining moment in my life, but at least I've finally put together a photo album from what I captured at Mardi Gras last weekend. Knock yourselves out.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Snoop Doggy Rabbit

So, the rest of the weekend. Saturday was a good one. Spent the morning cleaning my place like a madman before The Flattie returned from 10 days in Singapore, because I can't stand the idea of being known as a messy person to live with.

Then it was time to head to meet my family. It was fun and there was plenty of booze, as usual. And this conversation left me thanking the lord there isn't an Overheard In Sydney site:

Zander: I really want to go see Snoop Dogg.
Aunt Mel: What's that? A movie?
Zander: Ha, no, it's a rapper.
Aunt Mel: A rabbit?
Zander:'s a rabbit.

And Sunday was one of those days that makes you love the weekend, and might be the most relaxing day in recent memory. Met up with friends to hang out on Bondi Beach for a few hours because the weather was absolutely flawless. Once I was in danger of crossing from tanned to singed, we headed up to a posh Italian restaurant with views of the beach and had a nice late lunch with wine until we all realized we were tired and dirty, and it was time to head home for crappy television. So maybe it doesn't sound that exciting all in all, but it was definitely just what I needed after last weekend's Mardi Gras fiasco. Speaking of which, pictures will be ready verrry shortly.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Now That's What I Call Friday

I love Fridays in this country. Not that they're so bad in most countries, but they do it pretty well here.

Started out like any other -- basically hoping no real work turns up, and chatting with coworkers. The perfect touch though was when JuJu (who was recently in danger of taking a job, but chose to maintain her socialite lifestyle, thank god) came to meet me for lunch. We walked down the road, found a wonderful little Italian place with an outdoor terrace, and proceeded to order a bottle of wine to go with our 3-course meal.

Two and a half hours later I strolled back into the office with a nice buzz, AND only 30 minutes to go before beer o'clock, which actually starts at 4pm on Fridays, and not 5 as I'd previously believed. It just gets better!

Of course drinking from 1pm isn't ideal for even my booze-saturated organs, and I was pretty much a mess by 8pm, which explains why I'm up-and-at-'em (is that how you type that??) before 9am on a Saturday morning.

AND I'm off to spend some time with the family today...expect major liver failure by 6pm.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Racism Or Irony? Either Way, I'm Laughing!

Before I begin my post proper, I should apologize for both a lack of real posts for most of this week, and also the delay in getting out my Mardi Gras photos. I've gone and done something stupid -- I got a job where I actually have to do work. Even scarier? I don't particularly mind having to do work. But more on all that later...

This post is really just to share with everyone a couple of great examples of things you would never find in the U.S., partially because of the language difference, and partially because we're so damn PC back home.

For example, my favorite cheddar cheese slices:

That's right, "Australia's Tastiest Cheese" is Tasty Coon. If only you could have seen the double-take I did the first time I saw this in the supermarket.

And then we have the most random billboard ever, this one for Cargo Bar/Lounge, one of my favorite nightspots:

Let's be honest here folks -- this would NEVER be put up in the U.S. Because if it was, either some uptight civil rights group would cry racism and sue to have it taken down, or it would be considered a public health hazard for old white seniors who got confused and actually thought there was a group of black people strolling through their fancy neighborhood. Meanwhile in Australia, the general reaction seems to be "Oh...never noticed." How can you not notice something so brilliant???

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Let's Hope This Isn't Foreshadowing

Sometimes I check my horoscope, it coincides with my current mood, and even though it's only the wee hours of the morning I have to worry that it's just telling me the inevitable:

There's one particular condition that's absolutely lethal to your sign when it comes to relating to the rest of us: righteous anger. You're feeling that now, and for good reason. Warn any innocent spectators to step away before the explosion occurs -- especially since the heavens have endowed you with the ability to let whoever pushes your buttons have it with every bit of intellectual anger and perfect prose you've got -- in no small amount, either.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Just Shake Whatcha Mamma Gave You, Get On It

This past weekend was Sydney Mardi Gras. Many think it's odd that it would be celebrated AFTER actual Mardi Gras, but it makes a little more sense once you know the history of the event. It actually started as a gay rights march in Sydney in the 70's, commemorating the New York Stonewall Riots about 10 years before. And now, as with anything involving large numbers of homosexuals, has turned into an utterly ridiculous freakshow for the masses. Therefore, timing to coincide with the religious calendar was mostly irrelevant, but 'Mardi Gras' sounds way more festive than 'Gay Rights Celebration', so I think we can all support the choice of name.

I like to think that the transition between gay rights march and circus act was very sudden. Like, the planners were sitting in a room one day, and someone said "You know what? Let's be honest. We're not gonna get respect and equal rights anytime soon. Let's get naked and have fun!" And then hundreds of drag queens and buff guys in g-strings descended upon the city, to the amusement of the world.

But I digress...


I decided to take it easy on Friday night so I would have energy for the actual Mardi Gras celebration on Saturday. And I succeeded! Met up with Team America after work (where I'd been drinking since 4, but that's status quo at this point) for a few drinks at Establishment and then headed to Oxford Street for a few more, but as soon as the clock struck ten it was time for an evening snack and a quick trip home.

Only moment worth mentioning would be when we were at a bar in a large group and only I was accosted by what I will generously refer to as a drag queen, who wanted me to come to 'her' party a few days later.

He also tried to tell me that he was a supermodel for Yves Saint Laurent. Um, dude, honestly now? You're a 50-year old black guy in earrings and a shawl. Other than the fact that I think you're on drugs right now, I'm guessing you and any supermodel I can think of don't have much in common. But thanks for playing.


What. A. Mess. Team America met up at LN and Dan-man's place for pre-gaming before the parade. And I'm guessing that when it's only been two hours and 5 of you have finished 2 bottles of wine, numerous beers, half a bottle of vodka and a bottle of champagne, you should be a little more concerned than we were.

Needless to say the parade was awesome - 3 hours of various gay groups marching up Oxford Street, most of them scantily clad and drunk off their minds. Just as good were all the spectators, who ranged from men dressed like nuns to little old Asian women standing on milk crates so they could get a better view. Scooter even dressed up for the occasion, borrowing Cath's shirt, belt and sunglasses, and looking gayer than any of the homos marching in the parade. Well done, dude.

Of course in my condition it was less than half an hour before I lost the rest of Team America, and ventured off to meet up with others, which is where things got fuzzy. But hey, when you find out the next day that 3 members of the original group ended up either vomiting, passed out half-naked on their bathroom floors, or crying in public, I think you've got a winning night.

And at least we didn't end up like this:

That's right, I have pictures, and they will be online later this week.


Woke up with an awful hangover, met up with JuJu for brunch (which is always great because she starts sentences with things like "So I was browsing through the sex shop yesterday...") and recapped the night for her. We walked down from my place into Woollahra village, and fortunately my senses were too dulled to realize that I'd just paid $12 for what was listed as 'pancakes' on the menu, but was clearly just pancake, no plural. Gotta love it.

Then it was time for recovery on the beach, and considered going to see Lord Of War with LN and Dan-man, but then remembered that Nicholas Cage is really really ugly, and my money would better be spent elsewhere.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Damn Right I Am

Not really in any mood to blog the light fantastic this week, so I think instead I'll share my favourite ad for my favourite beer, currently plastered all over Sydney at the moment:

You may also be familiar with the ridiculously awesome "Very Big Ad", also from Carlton Draught, part of my inspiration to move to this country. No, really.

And just hang in there...if things go as planned, I will have plenty of crazy pictures next week, as this weekend is Sydney's Mardi Gras. Hello, freakshow.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Today my first new hire starts. I'm a tad concerned because she's Asian and her English isn't exactly flawless, but I've seen Memoirs of a Geisha...I know how to handle these people.