Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Logic Of A Future Fatty

Earlier today...

Flatmate: Crap, it's already 8am!
Zander: I know! And I just woke up!
Flatmate: Uh...why are you eating ice cream?
Zander: I didn't have time to make pancakes.

Aussies Just Don't Understand

Now that "winter" has set in here in Sydney, and even though I've been one of the people bitching about how cold it is, I keep things in perspective. The sky is bluer than it's been since I moved here, the sun is shining 6 days of the week, and the only reason I wore a jacket to work today is because I think I look pretty damn good in it. The coldest month in Sydney is July, with an average high of 62F (17C), so really when you stack that up against 36F (2C) in your average New York January (which sounds kinda high if you've had to suffer through it in person), and the fact that I'm pretty sure it never gets below freezing here, this is NOT a winter. Granted we're allowed to be somewhat bitter that there are 3 months out of the year here that we're not really able to lounge around on Bondi as comfortably as usual, but genuine complaining isn't particularly warranted.

But the main thing that has me intrigued is Australian winter dress. Since some point within the last few weeks, I can guarantee that each time I leave my apartment or office, I will see some idiot walking around in a t-shirt and shorts, and even flip-flops & sunglasses...topped off with a big warm winter hat. Like the kind with ear flaps on the sides that researchers probably wear on Antarctic expeditions. Best of all is the even more common girls in flimsy shirts, short skirts, open-toe shoes, and...wait for it...a massive SCARF.

Ladies, I would love to know -- what, pray tell, goes through your mind when you assemble such an outfit? Yes, I realize the importance of keeping certain parts of our bodies warm over others in order to prevent sickness, but let's think things through logically. Fine, your neck is cozy and warm and you won't have a sore throat in the morning. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure there's a steady breeze blowing up your fallopian tubes, and there's a good chance your ovaries now have pneumonia. Way to go, dumbasses. Maybe a little consistency is in order?

In the end, I suppose such is the reality of being in a country that doesn't actually know what a real winter is. But I'll be damned if I'm not going to comment on it...

Monday, May 29, 2006

Moments Of Inspiration

Okay, well I won't bother to give you my whole weekend this time (mostly because I don't want anyone to die of boredom) but I do fortunately have photographic evidence of what was probably the highlight:

In case you're wondering, this is an 85-year old man in a silly hat and glasses. The photo of the front of his sweater didn't come out at all, but it read "BIG HOT AND SWEATY", and the back of it which you can see here said "SHE LIKES IT LIKE THAT".

You know I'm not sure I've ever known what I wanted to be when I grow up until that moment. Sir, I salute you.

Friday, May 26, 2006

As Promised, Shanghai Photos

Okay, well, I've recovered from my post-holiday funk just long enough to throw together the photo album from Shanghai.

Comments as usual so you can follow along with my A.D.D.-inspired photos. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the pub for a long beer-soaked lunch.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Back Down Under

Not sure why I'm bothering to post right now considering I'm in a really foul mood. Got irritated at work and yelled at my boss, the sales manager AND one of my staff within about 3 hours, and I'm tempted to go start screaming at strangers just to get it out of my system without getting fired.

Anyway, other than my pity party, I'm back in Sydney and Shanghai was seriously brilliant. I am aiming to have my pictures out within 24 hours, I figure if work pisses me off so much then the least I can do is preserve my sanity by completing personal projects during office hours.

So yeah, pics coming soon. Now I better go curl up in bed before I cause any serious bodily harm to any innocent bystanders.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Shanghai Surprise

Well, not so much of a surprise seeing as I've had the tickets for over a month now, but I'm about to pop up to Shanghai for about a week (as foretold so long ago) of hanging out and checking out the city known as The Whore of the Orient. It's also known as The Paris of the East, although thanks to Ms. Hilton the words Paris and Whore are synonymous, so I guess they can drop at least one of those nicknames.

I'll post if I get a chance, otherwise expect pictures etc. in the near future (and yes, I am aware I never delivered on those NYC pics...what are you gonna do about it?)

Hits A Little Close To Home

Thanks to Jessica for sending this link through:

I was laughing hysterically until about halfway through when I realized that there's probably similar video of me out there from any given Friday night. Although perhaps set to the ageless melody of "Tipsy" by J-Kwon, since I'm oh so black.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Why Americans "Work" So Much

One question that a lot of people have asked me about being down here is "What's it like working down there?" And of course I generally tell them the fun (and true) version -- everyone isn't as uptight and PC, people just seem friendlier with each other on all levels, and we drink in the office on Friday afternoons. How can you not love it?

Of course there's one more major difference between any office job I've had in the US and what I've noticed about my coworkers and Australians in general -- when Australians are in the office, they actually do work. What I mean by that is Australians actually focus on what they are supposed to be doing. Generally when I walk through my office, almost all of my staff are coding HTML or working on designs or whatever else it is that they are being paid to do at the time. They focus. In the end they spend less time in the office just because they're simply more productive and efficient.

Now I think anyone who is completely honest about things knows that isn't how we do things in the US. Back home I can witness someone respond to all of their personal emails, check their usual blogs, make their own blog post, maybe even go to get a coffee (not from the office machine, they actually make a 15 minute trip to pick it up from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts), and shoot the shit with everyone in the immediate vicinity, and THEN have the nerve to follow it all up with "Oh man, I have SO MUCH to do today. I am just swamped." Uh yeah champ, that's cause I just watched you liquidate a solid hour and a half of your work day. And then the same person wonders why they have to put in an extra 2-3 hours at the end of the day to make up for all of that.

In NYC I would send out an email to a bunch of friends and just watch the responses roll in. Didn't matter what that person was supposed to be doing -- editing a soon-to-be best-selling book, making high risk investments, performing brain surgery -- everyone just HAD to chime in with their two cents and a witty comment within 2 minutes of the original email going out. And god knows I loved it.

Down under, most people could get the funniest thing they've ever heard in an email, and you'd be lucky to get a response back before the work day is winding down. Most will just comment on it the next time they see you. Even with a certain group of friends that does have the periodic email chain, you have people responding with "Can you take me off this please." That NEVER happened to me before I came down here. Weirdos.

In the end, especially since I'm a proper manager down here, I appreciate the Aussie work ethic over the American A.D.D., just because people get things done and I can leave at a reasonable hour. Even if it means I'm the only idiot sending out pointless links all day.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Oh Right, Happy Monday

Jonathan sent this one to me because it reminded him of me.

I love it when I see things like this and it actually recalls a specific conversation I've had with someone very recently.

This Should Be Getting Old By Now. Shouldn't It?

Someday I will be able to appreciate a Saturday or Sunday morning and not have to struggle to regain my humanity through the dark cloud of a ridiculously painful hangover. But from the looks of it, that day is far far away. Here's another weekend recap that I may as well have just copied over from a couple of months ago, cause god knows it's the same old shit.


Met up with The Flattie and crew for more than a few Carlton Draughts. After a few hours they apparently thought it was time to have dinner, which was my queue to head to another bar (Eating is cheating!) and keep hope alive. Hope of developing early cirrhosis of the liver, anyway. Ended up at the usual bars, intermittently dancing and commenting on how gross everyone is (although I doubt anyone thought I was looking so hot after 9 hours of drinking on an empty stomach) and decided it was time to put down the beer when I hit "The Wall", when you know that taking just one more sip of that drink will result in either vomiting or doing something stupid and getting kicked out of the bar. Stumbled into the apartment at 3am or so (that's an extremely rough estimate) so I could wake up on Saturday and do it all over again.


Actually managed to stay away from the booze until about 5pm on Saturday. At that point I went over to a friend's place to "help them move". Thank god they know me so well and weren't too offended, since my version of "helping someone move" is sitting there with the two bottles of wine I bought on the way over and talking about myself while they unpack boxes and slide heavy furniture from one side of the apartment to another.

Eventually made it over to a dinner party about three hours late so I could drink more wine and be conned into even more tequila shots by people who were apparently entertained by my performance last weekend. Promptly passed out on the couch and had to be woken up and sent home at god knows what time in the morning. At this point I'm pretty sure they won't be engraving "WINNER" on my tombstone after I die.


Can't remember another day where I spent so much time in bed. I got up only for lunch and the pizza I ordered for dinner, because even when you feel like life isn't worth living, it's still important to shove inane amounts of junk food into your face just in case you change your mind later.

Speaking of which, it's now Monday and I was trying to figure out why I feel so crappy, and then realized that eating ice cream, leftover pizza, and drinking a huge cup of chocolate milk for breakfast at 7am probably wasn't the best way I could have started my day. Go figure.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wanna Be On Top? Be A Twat.

So, after a hiatus where Ellen and I were unable to watch America's Next Top Model together for various little reasons (me being on another contintent, me being drunk, me being hungover, etc.) we were finally able to pick up where we left off last night for the latest episode to air down here.

This is the one you guys in the US would have seen about a month ago where Tyra pretends to faint/collapse. Oh wait, I'm sorry, she was "acting". Now even the people I was watching the show with who didn't know it was fake started laughing as soon as she got her "pained" expression on her face. It was terrible. The only contestant on the show who was genuinely fooled (and subsequently burst into tears) was Furonda, but I think we can all agree that until Furonda gets a real name and starts speaking proper English, her opinion that "Tyra is SUCH a good actress" is rather irrelevant. Now don't get it twisted folks, I love me some Coyote Ugly, but if Tyra is ever paid good money to be in a real movie for more than 7.2 seconds, I will be highly annoyed. She makes Jennifer Lopez look ready to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, in comparison.

As you can imagine, I was rather appalled when her picture popped up while I was reading Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People yesterday. Really? Is she the best you guys could think of?? I guess what truly bothers me about Tyra Banks is that she is SO FAKE with EVERYTHING she does. She would clearly sell her mother's soul to the devil if it meant more attention. Or she would make a big publicity stunt about turning down Satan's offer, if it meant more attention than that. She so desperately wants to be a not-fat Oprah, but her attempts to relate to people with issues are just so lame.

Other person: My stepfather raped me and hacked my entire extended family to death right in front of me before walking into a day care center and detonating a bomb.

Tyra: Oh girl, I know just how you feel. This one time I had this blue car and it totally didn't match with my dress...

Now granted, that actually sounds a lot like someone trying to have a real conversation with me. But at least when I'm being self-absorbed and insensitive, it's more of a personal hobby, a not-for-profit activity if you will. This silly bitch is making ridiculous amounts of cash off of this nonsense. And she thinks she's fooling people!! Her most genuine attempt at relating to another's hardships is to tell potential models how people call her "five-head" (instead of "forehead", for those of you a bit slow on the uptake here) because her forehead is so big. Um yeah, I'm pretty sure that I could take that with a smile and nod if it came with a check for 20 bazillion dollars. Actually for that kind of money, someone would be more than welcome to call me various offensive epithets while dancing on my ancestor's graves, and I'd still send them flowers. Not a problem.

In the end, Tyra has really driven home the meaning of the phrase "someone I love to hate", which I never really understood until about the 4th "cycle" of Top Model. I think she's phony, retarded and annoying, but god damn there would be a serious chasm in my life without her on my TV on a regular basis. (That statement might actually say a lot more about the state of my life rather than anything substantial about Tyra Banks, but let's not think too much about that, okay?)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Not Quite Madison Avenue, But It'll Do For Now

So as some of you may have noticed (but most of you probably haven't), I've subscribed to Google's Adsense program, where I place some silly text ads on my blog and get paid for each random person that clicks on them.

Now before there's any confusion, I am definitely not in it for the money. If the fact that I placed it in one of the least conspicuous spaces on my blog isn't evidence enough, I think I can count on no hands the number of times I've clicked on a random ad link lke that in my life, so at that rate it should only take me about 12 years to make my first $10.

No, it's more about curiosity to see what Google ends up considering 'relevant' ads for my blog. To be honest I've wondered what their magical formula must be ever since I noticed that all of the targeted Google ads they place in my Friendster profile seem to think that I have a burning desire to be an actor, and keep asking me if I want to sign up for acting classes.

So far I've been less than impressed with their choices. Here's a rundown of the ones I've noticed:

Amazing Chinese fat loss secret -- Probably because I'm always ragging on fat people. Fair enough, if I'm gonna bitch about chubsters all the time, I might as well have a resource available for them to cure their terrible terrible disease.

Tasty foods -- I guess this is for the fatties who, when criticized about their weight, decide to eat more instead of hitting the gym or eating a few less tubs of chocolate cake frosting. Something for everyone!

Drink recipes -- I suppose if someone reads the blog and feels inspired?

Apartment search -- Let's face it, when you drink like I do, there's a good chance you're gonna be asked to move out by your housemates on a regular basis.

That's all I've personally noticed so far. I think I'll be satisfied when one pops up for Alcoholics Anonymous, but until then I'll just have to wait with bated breath for that and my check from Google for 83 cents.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Unsung Heroes of Saturday Night

So I have something to add to the weekend wrap up. You see while the rest of us were engaging in more innocent drunken activities like dancing and eating floor (haha man, that will never get old for me), there was a situation brewing towards the end of the night that I was warned about but didn't really believe would happen.

Namely speaking, one of the members of Team America felt she had been ripped off by the bartender/manager chick at the Eastern. Apparently she had given a $50 to pay for a round of drinks, and was told she had only given a $20, and was subsequently gypped of her change. Now most of us might have stormed out of the club in anger, since there's not really much you can do in this situation. But no. Apparently it dawned upon our victim that revenge is a dish best served cold. Quite literally. So she waited until most of the group had headed home, walked up to the manager, and tossed a glass of ice water in her face.

As if that isn't awesome enough, she then went running for the door, and ended up being chased down the street by FOUR SECURITY GUARDS. She just made it to a taxi in time to make her getaway. This bitch has some balls. And to that I say...AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!

(I know what you're thinking, and I too am still in disbelief that this seriously happened. But there are supposedly witnesses, and until I'm told otherwise I'll stick by the story.)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Jose Gets The Best Of Me, Yet Again

Apparently not having learned my lesson about getting drunk before even leaving the office on Fridays, this night just turned into a bit of a mess. Not that I can remember most of it, but I do remember the first and second tequila shots. What I don't remember is apparently yelling at a friend, or how I ended up getting home. As a rule I avoid tequila (and gin, for that matter) since nothing good ever comes of either of them, and I do remember saying "Oh no! Not tequila shots!", but apparently I didn't object enough that I was able to stop myself from tossing them in the general direction of my mouth. Ah well, at least after whatever transpired following the shots will probably make that group of people think twice before suggesting tequila next time.

Despite feeling awful all day Saturday, I still managed to rally for the drinks at my place at 5.30 for Angie's bday. I told everyone how I probably wouldn't be able to party for more than a couple of hours that night, which is clearly why at 3am I was still tearing up the dancefloor at The Eastern after practically everyone else had gone home. Although props to JuJu for making me look not that bad when she turned to leave, tripped over her own heels, and got a face full of floor. Which left me laughing so hard I simply didn't have the strength to help her up. I am SUCH a good friend.

Sunday I had fortunately bought tickets to see Mission Impossible III moments before I got a call inviting me to drinks, since god knows where that would have ended. So other than sending JuJu a text message along the lines of "Morning babe, eat any good floor lately?", my day was generally free of too many asshole moments. Felt a bit empty, to be honest. Oh and possibly the only thing worse than going to the supermarket while hungover is going to a NEW supermarket while hungover. I actually had to call my flatmate to tell her I was lost and that I needed help getting out, it was tragic.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

It's Like Kentucky, But With Funnier Accents

I just saw the most glorious thing on channel 7 news. It was a segment on neighbours who can't stand each other, and had the most ridiculous people I've ever seen in my life. Old Armenian women with thick accents who won't stop feeding thousands of birds in their backyards. Women with hair that would have looked silly in the 80's yelling at each other and calling each others daughters whores. Tall skinny men in leather vests with ponytails and no teeth slapping fat women who appear to only be wearing an XXXXL white t-shirt and nothing else. I haven't laughed that hard in ages.

The world is such a magical place sometimes...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

You Guys Sure About That?

So, word has arrived this week -- my Australian work visa has been approved, despite the fact that I violated the limits on my temporary work visa, my job doesn't fit into the pre-approved immigration guidelines, and the fact that we barely submitted the information required to complete an application.

Several people have expressed amazement that the Australian government would allow me to remain in the country any longer than I've been here already. I have a few theories for why this may have happened:

1) They want me to stay here because when you put me next to the average Australian, they actually manage to look less loud and obnoxious in comparison. This is much like how hot people always have that one fat friend who they let hang around because it makes them look better. Fair enough.

2) They didn't request my chest x-ray results. This is a good thing because although I don't have tuberculosis, they most likely would have noticed that my lungs (and all the other organs in my body) are saturated with beer.

3) Affirmative action.

In any case, it looks like I'm here for a while longer. The current plan is one more year, but who really knows how it will all play out. All this really means is that I have yet another reason to drink this week/weekend/month/etc., and I plan to take full advantage.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Intervention, Please.

I generally don't think of myself as having an addictive personality. As cool as smoking looks, I'm too practical to take up the habit. I've never had the slightest inclination to do drugs. Gambling isn't at all exciting for me, as every time I bet $10 on blackjack, I think about how that could have bought a couple of perfectly good drinks.

On that note, I'm sure many people are reading this and thinking "But you're drunk for half of any given week, enough to have an entire blog about your drinking habits. Doesn't that count?" Well not really, since I've never crossed over into the addiction stage of my love affair with booze. Getting drunk is fun and all, but it's not like I'm taking sips from a bottle of gin I have hidden under my pillow or anything. As sexy as that sounds...

Anyway, the point of all this rambling is that I have a new addiction, and it's starting to cost me. There's a video arcade downstairs from my office, and at least two to three times a day I'm slinking off into the elevator so I can play yet another round of Raiden Fighters Jet (I believe we can thank the Japanese for the butchered grammar in the translated name). If anyone is familiar with this game, it's one of those silly games from the early 90's where you're a plane and you have to shoot all the other planes. Intellectually stimulating, I assure you. And as if spending $3/day on this habit wasn't bad enough, the other night I woke up in a sweat because I was dreaming that I hadn't detonated my bomb in time to save my plane, or something equally geeky. It's like when we were in 6th grade and I would wake up at night because I was having some dream about being a plumber who needed to eat mushrooms to be big enough to save that whore princess from King Koopa. Don't act like you have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm losing sleep over this. If I had it in my apartment, I would never go to bed, as a matter of fact.

So yeah, it's a problem, and right now I simply don't have the willpower to fight it. And besides, who am I to deprive the world of my awesomely high scores?