Friday, December 28, 2007

Oh Yeah

And I'm getting on a train back to Paris soon, to spend some quality time with Audrey and Dom before I fly out to India tomorrow. So I may go quiet for about a week, not that many people are around to notice.

I'll try to take pictures, but there's no guarantee as to how long my camera battery will last so I may end up having to use stock photography from the internet at this rate. Which could be interesting. Check you later.

Maybe I'm Not Perfect

It's funny, I was intending to rant a bit more since I still don't have my luggage and will be lucky to have it by the time I fly out tomorrow to India. I mean I do think it's a bit ridiculous that it's been 4 days since they supposedly located my luggage at Heathrow, but have yet to call me to say it's in Paris and ask me where I want it sent.

But what is a bit more annoying is the fact that after4 days here, it's becoming apparent that I didn't need any of that luggage. Although I pack rather efficiently for a business trip of a few days, when I'm going on a two week trip in varying climates my policy tends to be to pack EVERYTHING and at least that way, I'm prepared. But really, the fact that I thought I needed several belts and shoes for a few days in the French countryside becomes rather ridiculous when I think about it properly.

Since I've been here I've bought a few things (that I will try to force Air France to reimburse me for) but other than a coat and maybe a couple of outfits in addition to the one I was wearing when I got here (and a few toiletries, obviously), the only other thing I've purchased is a duffel bag to carry all of this crap around for the rest of my trip. And it's not like I'm going to Mars -- I will be able to buy anything else I need at the next stop. Not to mention the added benefit of being able to say "Oh, it's just a little something I picked up in Paris" when someone asks me where I got it. Can't put a price on that.

So this rant is really about myself. Mostly because we all know perfectly well that the next time I'm packing to go somewhere, I will be trying to shove that eighth dress shirt into my suitcase JUST IN CASE. It's not easy being stupid.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Zander La Rock

I've only found about an hour out of my time here to sit around watching music videos and seeing what euro trashy dance music I've been deprived off by choosing to live somewhere other than the mother contintent, but here are a few gems so far:

Mondotek - Alive

The most awesome thing about this song is actually the video. I mean the song is catchy, but the video is BRILLIANT. I just really relate to it...or something. It's like someone made a music video of how I envision my own life.

Yves La Rock - Rise Up

The video is definitely pretty cool, although I actually love the song for this one too. I should mention that I'm a sucker for dance music that involves some sort of reggae or dancehall.

John Dahlback - Blink

I find this song rather generic, but the video is pretty cool. What is this style of dancing called? And where do I go to learn it? Having said that, if I actually saw someone dancing like this anywhere outside of Europe I'd be inclined to throw a bottle of beer at their head.

Sesa featuring Sharon Phillips - Like This Like That

More dance/reggae music (described on the web as ragga-house) that I actually have heard back in Australia, but deserved sharing here.


And of course if I make any other great discoveries during my travels, I'll be sure to spread the word to the people. Enjoy.

So Much For Things Going Smoothly

Hey, remember when I said my trip would only take 37 hours if things went smoothly? Well it took nearly 60. Yes, SIXTY. Let me explain why.

  • The check-in line at Sydney airport for economy looked about 2 hours long. Fortunately I fly so much that even when I'm flying with the poor people, I'm allowed to use the first class check-in counter and hang out in the Business Class lounge. But that didn't make up for what followed.
  • My plane left Sydney almost 4 hours late due to technical problems. Sorry, but even when that shit is fixed, the last thing I needed to hear was "The power on the plane has failed" AND "one of the fuel pumps isn't working". Good thing I'm not a nervous flyer.
  • My plane took an extra hour during the Singapore layover because, once again, "one of the fuel pumps isn't working". Funny how the more tired you get, the less you care about these things.
  • By the time I got to London, I had missed my connection to Paris by about 4 hours. My assumption was that they could stick me on the next flight, but the next one they could confirm me on was on a different airline EIGHT HOURS later. I reluctantly took this, as it was the best offer.
  • But wait -- due to the most ridiculous fog I have ever seen, most flights to Paris were cancelled. Mine was allowed to go -- over 4 hours late. That's over 12 hours in Heathrow. Once again, I was allowed access to the Air France lounge, so the free booze and snacks made me feel a little better, but not much.
  • Many thanks to the Greek quasi-midget I chatted with over dinner at a pub in the airport, and the random fat black American who happened to be stuck in the Air France lounge for far too long as well. I was desperate for company by that point.

Now let me say that I took all of this in stride, with a few low moments, understandably. I finally arrived in Paris over 12 hours later than planned, and realized I would have to spend the night (or at least a few hours) at an airport hotel before I could get on the next train to my mother's house. But just when I had thought to myself "well at least I'm in the right country", the other shoe dropped -- Air France had lost my luggage. I consider this the log that broke the camels back. I filed my lost luggage claim, checked into the crappiest little hotel at the airport, showered and shaved with a cheap plastic razor that makes those disposable Bic razors reek of luxury, and got into bed. And this is when it occurred to me that I might actually cry. I didn't, of course, but I don't think I could have been that far.

Anyway, I promptly headed to my mom's house the next day, and everything has been fantastic since. We went on a 100 Euro shopping spree that Air France will reimburse me for, and apparently my luggage was found at Heathrow and sent to Paris, so I will hopefully be able to pick it up either during my 24 hours in Paris on Friday, or before I fly to India on Saturday for my New Years celebrations. And I feel at least one more rant coming...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Longest. Trip. Ever.

Well folks, for the second year in a row I am about to embark on a journey that, door to door, will take me THIRTY-SEVEN HOURS, assuming all goes smoothly and according to plan.

I'll be exhausted by the time I get to my mother's house in the French countryside, but I clearly remember thinking last year that it was worth it, so I'll just stare at my postcard of the French village I will be in soon and hopefully that will get me through the ordeal. I'll be sure to post in a few days, once I'm at least a little recovered from the jetlag.

Friday, December 21, 2007

So Fired

I just had what might be my winning work moment of 2007, appropriately on our last working day of the year.

Our firm partner isn't in the office today, but left the team a Christmas gift. Around 9.45am, the PA said I should go ahead an open it. I unwrapped it, and it was a snow globe to add to our office collection. "Was" being the key word.

While attempting to remove the snow globe from its packaging, I managed to drop it on my desk, which is now covered in broken glass, glitter, sparking hearts and the odd gelatinous fluid that snow globes are apparently filled with. My entire team is very amused. I had to call the partner and explain the situation, she just laughed through the whole phone call.

This is following a week where on Wednesday, we all went out to lunch to bade farewell to a few colleagues, and by 2.30 I had a coworker telling me I should probably put down the wine. So it should be no surprise that the rest of my day and night included singalongs in taxis, dancing on tables, and repeated threats to show everyone my Mr. Perfect underwear that Sesame gave me as part of my Secret Santa gift.

I am leaving the country just in time...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Overheard At Dinner Last Week


Sesame: God, I can't wait to go to Europe for three weeks.

Murphy: Oh, do you have any plants or anything that need watering?

Sesame: Nope. Well, I do have a fish...but he's a trooper.


-- Nepalese Kitchen

Monday, December 17, 2007

How I Know I'm Getting Old

Because I have barely had anything to drink since Friday's work Christmas party, but I'm still aching and exhausted and dreaming of collapsing into my bed this evening.

Now to be fair, it did end up being an 11 hour drinking binge, including 4 hours of champagne, too much beer to count, dancing, karaoke, and at least a few minutes in a McDonald's, desperately trying to consume something that could possibly absorb the horrendous amounts of alcohol I had foolishly decided to pour down my throat just because I didn't have to pay for it.

Saturday was a simple lunch with the family (and a bottle of wine per person, now that I think about it), and Sunday was a viewing of Bee Movie (cute, amusing, but not on the level of Finding Nemo or anything like that) followed by Top Model at home with Fry, after which I fell asleep watching the Spice Girls Interview Special. I'm cultured like that.

And work so far today has included various stories about Friday's drunken tomfoolery, a donut eating contest (pictures will be posted when available) and we have free drinks upstairs in 10 minutes and I don't even remember why but I'll try to drag myself through a couple of champagnes before heading home. I'm a trooper.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...Betty Ford

This is really a fantastic time of year in Australia. Everyone in the country is still drunk all the time, HOWEVER it becomes even more socially (and even professionally) acceptable, and half of the drinks and meals are free.

Last night was a Christmas and Secret Santa dinner with about 12 friends, which may have been more energetic if half of the people weren't hungover from drinking for two days straight. It probably didn't help that one of the guys had managed to vomit in the middle of a bar the night before, so the fact that he showed up and drank anyway was impressive. And even on a mellow night, me and Murphy were clearly trashed, and Juice managed to be refused service at the bar. And I'm pretty sure we all headed home by 11.

Now I'm about to leave for our work Christmas party, which starts at 1pm and will keep going until we run out of money. I'm in a great mood thanks to plenty of good news about work throughout the week, however I'm also thinking it might be a good idea to leave the festivities before things get too messy and I end up the main topic of conversation in stories that are told on Monday morning.

And not that you care, but the place we're going for our lunch/drinks/disaster was listed in the 100 of the World's Best Bars coffee table book that I gave to Sesame last night. Cause we like to do things in style. And then make it trashy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wind Beneath My Wings

You know, it's very rare that someone can come along and give you new heights to aspire to in terms of being the biggest drunken asshole ON EARTH, but this guy is definitely up there:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/travel/airport-anger-man-sculls-litre-of-vodka/2007/12/13/1197135587505.html


I can only dream of being able to frame that sort of a story and hang it on my wall for the rest of my life. This man is amazing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Uh...Thanks?

As is the nature of my job, I sometimes will go through a whole project working with people at my firm that I've never met before because they work in another state.

This recently happened with a relatively brief month-long project, where a Director from Melbourne and I were on the phone with each other several times a day, but we had never met in person.

This week he happened to be in Sydney for some meetings, so me and the main designer on the project went to breakfast with him as his way of thanking us for quite a large amount of stress during those four weeks.

Upon meeting us in the building lobby, his first words to me were "You look how you sound on the phone. LARGE."

Still not sure what I think of that, but the designer definitely almost pissed herself laughing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Starting The Week Right

I met up with a former colleague last night, and we decided to use the logic that if we're both drinking white wine, we may as well get a bottle! Which inevitably results in at least a bottle per person by the end of the night, and I'll go on record as saying that I had more than my fair share. There's a good chance my blood type is officially Sauvignon Blanc. And I'm okay with that.

And now a coworker has just called saying they are by the ice cream shop, and thought to pick me up a chocolate milkshake. And it's 10am. This does not bode well.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Getting A Bit Old For This

As usual, my birthday resulted in many people coming together to get drunk, act like jerks, and apologize to each other the next day.

Because my birthday two years ago was a total wash because I scheduled it for the evening and was far too drunk to actually remember anything (or stand up) by the time, my tactic both last year and this year has been to schedule it as an afternoon event and just see how long I can keep going before it's advised that I head home.

This year it started around 2pm, and from looking at my phone memory, I was most likely home and in bed around 11 that evening.

And so, the highlight reel:
  • I told a small group of friends to get there early so we could do lunch together first, and then I showed up around 45 minutes later. Not like me, but it really wasn't my fault.

  • I was determined to pace myself so I could last longer. Apparently my idea of pacing myself is drinking a coke first, and then heading straight into the beer (and eventually tequila shots) immediately after. Not so effective.

  • My colleague showed up already smashed from a lunch he had been to, and by the end of the night he had physically attacked two of my other party guests for no apparent reason. (He texted to apologize the next morning and I told him not to worry about it. He's English. It's just what they do.)

  • His friend who came with him and managed to give his number to at least 4 of my party guests within a few hours. We're still not sure what his intention was, since he was equally drunk.


Really this is the sort of thing I love about Australia. I can schedule an event for 2pm in the afternoon and people still manage to show up completely hammered.

As for my own drunken stupidity, most people have been polite enough not to tell too many stories. However one of my favorites was how, towards the end of the night, I took the bottle of Absolut Disco that had been given to me as a gift and started to put it in someone's purse, leading to this exchange:

Friend: Zander. What are you doing?

Zander: Putting this away before I lose it.

Friend: Do you know whose purse that is?

Zander: No.


Fortunately, it turned out to be Sesame's purse, and she was kind enough to return it to me the next day when the last thing I wanted to touch was a bottle of alcohol.


Now it's Monday, and we are well into the swing of things in terms of celebrating the holiday season. I've already been to a fantastic free lunch today, where the wine has left me extremely sleepy and rather useless, and this link was just circulated to my office. Yes, that is a woman's body my head is on. I'm over it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Drinkin' Bacardi Like It's Mah Birfday

Yes it's finally that time of year again. When I force everyone with whom I may even have only passing contact to celebrate the day I was born, 28 years ago.

Although I didn't really intend for it to happen, it looks like I may have something of a birthday week panning out. Tonight I will try to take it easy with just drinks and dinner (although considering the drinking is starting at 5 on the dot and dinner starts over 2 hours later, I'm not sure how low-key this will really end up) and there are vague plans for drinks over the next couple of days before my big bash on Saturday afternoon.

Most importantly, I have already taken this chance to solidify the perception that I am a raging narcissistic asshole by sending out the below image with my birthday drinks invite. Go me.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Karma's a Bitch

You know how sometimes you go to a cool laid-back party, and there's that one person who shows up and seems to be determined to impress everyone in stupid ways? (I know what you're thinking, and no it's not me. While I do have the habit of talking about myself a little too much, it's because I genuinely think know that I'm that interesting and funny and surely no one minds.) Well on Saturday, a friend of a friend showed up and did just that. I've hung out with him in a group before, and while he's a bit much, I can't say I minded too much when he insisted on getting the $300 bill himself.

This time, his tactic was to buy $200 bottles of vintage Moet and then insist that everyone else have some while talking about how great and expensive it was and they'd be insane to turn it down. So you can only begin to imagine my glee when one of his own careless hand gestures managed to knock the bottle over and send what must have been a good $70 worth of fine French champagne flying everywhere. Honestly dude, why don't you just tear up some money as an encore?

The rest of the weekend was fun but relatively uneventful, other than the very odd patch of sunburn I managed to get on the right side of my chest from the beach on Sunday. I guess that will teach me to apply my own sunblock while hungover.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Better Luck Next Time

Sorry kids, but the way I feel right now, there's no way I'm going to muster much enthusiasm for an entertaining blog post.

After two nights in a row of heavy drinking and no way to escape the bottle tonight or tomorrow either (in addition to drunkenly agreeing to a Sunday session that I am optimistic I can get out of), I'm actually feeling a little ill knowing that I'm expected to have at least a few beers starting in less than an hour.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nice One, Detective

I managed to hold off drinking for a few days this week, but last night was the trivia night with a bunch of the firm partners along with free booze and snacks, so clearly I had to give in.

I was rather useless for most of the game (although I am disturbingly good at knowing the answers to questions about chick flicks) but had a great time being a smartass and rubbing it in my coworkers' faces when we were winning, which totally bit me in the ass when they won by a few points.

Favorite moment of the night had to be this one though:

Trivia Host: Okay, next question. The picture below is of a TV detective. What is the character's name? -- Sledgehammer OR Mike Hammer?

Colleague: [grabbing for the answer sheet] Ooh, ooooh...it's Perry Mason. PERRY MASON.

Team: [looks at her in confusion]

Colleague: PERRY MASON.


She eventually processed the rest of the question and quieted down. I asked her about it afterwards and her defense was that she loved Perry Mason as a child. To which I pointed out that maybe she should have realized that the picture wasn't of Perry Mason. In any case, we will just consider it a blonde moment and move on. At least I have a new nickname for her in the office.

After that was over around 8.30, me and two others decided to stop by Establishment for "one more" before going home. Cut to us stumbling out of there some time around 11pm, and at some point in there I must have picked up some Indian food before getting home, judging by the paper bags in my apartment this morning.

I'm a little hungover at work, but still looking forward to drinks and then a party tonight. And of course tomorrow there are company drinks, wedged in between team drinks and after work drinks. If nothing else, I should have a little more material for the blog than I've had of late.

Monday, November 26, 2007

American Style

After days of panicking because I hadn't prepared at all to cook my part of the Thanksgiving dinner we invited about 30 people to on Saturday, I got my shit together on Saturday morning and roasted a 16 pound turkey, made homemade stuffing, not to mention the garlic mashed potatoes with cheese on top, and of course some gravy. Hours of work, which was all demolished by confused but hungry Australians who have taken to celebrating Thanksgiving with us each year despite still having trouble understanding why exactly we do it. ("So you're basically celebrating killing off the Native Americans? Is that right? By getting fat?")

Then it was time to focus on what Australians do best -- and that was drinking. Although my Golden Asshole award-winning moment came rather early on, which was what probably made it more shocking.

Zander: You're drinking champagne?
Hot Skinny Girl: It's non-alcoholic.
Zander: Oh god...why?
Hot Skinny Girl: I'm four months pregnant.
Zander: NO WAY. You're lying.
Hot Skinny Girl: Haha, not at all.
Zander: Who's the father?
Hot Skinny Girl: My partner is over there. [points at guy nearby]
Zander [to guy]: Is she serious?
Boyfriend: Yeah...
Zander: Whatever dude...she's just making it up to hold onto you.


I actually didn't think it was that bad until I turned around and saw Murphy's face -- the general rule in life is that if you say something and Murphy is shocked, you may as well ask for directions to hell immediately. Oops.

Needless to say, the party was great, and once we were all out of our food comas there was plenty of dancing to be had, while those who insisted on watching the Australian election results were forced to sit in a dark bedroom in the corner if they were going to be Debbie Downers. I actually went to an Election Party afterwards, but only because it was really being referred to as an "Erection Party", but it ended up being a bunch of people sitting around a TV by the time I got there, so I figured it was time to just go to bed.


Sunday was spent laying on the beach and soaking up some sun, which is pretty much the best decision I've made in ages, and how I should really be aiming to spend at least one day a week until summer is gone. Unless I'm drunk, that is.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Maybe I'm Weird

The weather has taken a turn for the worst today here in Sydney, and apparently this will last for a few days.

It's reminded me of a really off little thing I have where I am really really stubborn about taking my umbrella with me when I leave my place or the office. For some reason, I just don't want to think that I really need one. And I am inevitably stuck in some horrible downpour and show up to my destination completely soaked.

Sorry this was brief and random, but it needed to be mentioned.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thank You, Come Again

I have visited the Indian consulate three times in the past two weeks, a combined experience that I may be able to rank as being among one of the worst in my life. You think I'm being dramatic, do you? Read on, oh naive one:


Trip 1

As always, I thought I was fully prepared for any process. I had my passport, my itinerary, and several visa application forms completed and ready to present.

What no one can ever prepare for, though, is taking a number from the little machine, and then realizing that not only are there over 50 numbers between the current person being served and yourself BUT that there are only 3 windows to service people and all of the people behind them are moving so slowly that you think they may collapse at any moment. I sat down in an uncomfortable plastic chair in their non-air conditioned room, made some comment about them needing "one of those Indian chicks with like 8 arms that you're always seeing in their paintings", and waited ever so patiently for my turn.

An hour and a half later, my number came up on the screen, I completed my transaction within less than two minutes, and I walked back to my office wondering how it was possible that I could have wasted so much time on something so simple and trivial. However, I was assured by anyone who has been to India that I should consider that a small taste of how anything that should be quick and simple will so easily turn into a complicated debacle when India is involved.


Trip 2

This was yesterday afternoon. I figured I could go by at the assigned time for picking up passports, hand them my slip and walk out. I walked into the consulate to find the most chaotic mass of people I may have ever seen since arriving in Sydney (and this includes music festivals where everyone is clearly drunk or high), realized that my number was about 150 down the line, and walked out laughing. I don't think so.


Trip 3

I went at the exact time that the consulate was supposed to open this morning. And I was still about 75 spots away from being served. No one has explained to me how this is possible, but I took it all in stride. I got a banana bread and a coffee (I generally don't even drink coffee, but this situation was so ridiculous I guess I decided it didn't matter), whipped out my laptop, and proceeded to write a long overdue business proposal while chatting with the people on either side of me. It's funny how tense and out of the ordinary situations can draw people together like that. It took two hours for my number to be called, and perhaps 17 seconds for them to give me my passport, including the painfully slow speed at which the woman behind the counter moved.


And I suppose it's all over now, and I should be thrilled. But I just can't stop myself from thinking...there are like 150 countries in the world, and almost all of them manage to have something resembling an efficient process for getting this done. Surely these people can at least COPY what the rest of them are doing? I am going to stop writing or even thinking about this now, as I might burst a vein in my neck.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Study Finds Learning Improves With Alcohol

Well no, not that I know of anyway. But I assume that's at least some of the material that the organizers of my recent consulting course must have read up on before laying out the plans. The course is probably best described as a corporate prison camp set at a top notch resort with great food and tons of booze. (I actually was going to use the term "corporate Auschwitz" before realizing I wasn't 100% sure how to spell "Auschwitz", not to mention the cultural insensitivity inherent in such phrasing. And we all know how sensitive I usually am.) Here's how the whole thing panned out:


SUNDAY

After a game of Circle of Death in Kangaroo Valley the night before, let's just say I wasn't feeling quite so fresh when it was time to wake up at 7am so that we could leave at 8am to get me to the airport for my 11am flight.

I arrived at the vineyard near Melbourne around 2pm, and we pretty quickly got into the course. There was also plenty of free booze available starting at dinner that evening, but my hangover helped me fight off any temptation and I was in bed by 10pm.


MONDAY

Woke up feeling much better and would have loved to enjoy the amazing weather and the beautiful vineyard...but ended up indoors all day for the course. Which would have been much more painful if it weren't for the fact that we were served FIVE meals a day (breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner), every single day. Anyone who knows me will understand how easily I am swayed by a constant supply of food.

This was also the day when we finished early so that we could go to a wine tasting, then a three course dinner, and finally an open bar.

Now I realize most of you won't believe me, but I really was one of the first people to head back to my room and make sure I was asleep by 11. While I realize this doesn't really fit well with my character, I was aware from various reports that I would have to be awake and working well into the night the following day, and I figured there was no reason to make that any more painful than it was already going to be. Others were not so wise...


TUESDAY

We reviewed a work character profile that was done for each of us (basically a personality quiz) which, not surprisingly, told me I was an asshole. It also gave away that my team of 7 people for the course cast study had intentionally been put together because we were ALL assholes who were pushy, impatient, and convinced we always knew better than everyone else.

We then moved into the next stages of the case study, and around midnight I gave up and told my team to just leave me a list of things I could work on at 6am, so I could utilize my annoying morning person-ness instead of sitting around falling asleep in front of everyone else. I also may have finished off a bottle of the white wine from the collection of booze they made available to us around 9pm onwards.


WEDNESDAY

We woke up, finished off our final presentation, and despite getting off to a rocky start, we clearly kicked everyone's ass in the final "client presentation", so it all paid off. And finally, around 4pm, it was time to head back to the airport and fly back to Sydney.


To be honest I kind of loved the whole course, but I'm glad to be back home now, even if I am several pounds fatter than when I left. And I hope this didn't bore you too much (as I'm sure I tend to do when I'm a little too responsible) but I thought you deserved a detailed explanation of my absence from the blog for a week. And if it makes you feel any better, it looks like I will be drunk for the next 4 days. Party on.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Going Quiet

Just letting you guys know that I will be away in Kangaroo Valley for a few days with friends, and then I'm off to a vineyard near Melbourne for a work/training thing for a few days after that. So if nothing gets posted for the next week, you know why -- I'm drunk.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I Need New Friends

So Melbourne Cup Day was a blast, as usual. And this year, other than a few trashy photos and maybe an inappropriate comment or two, I think I managed to escape without sullying my reputation any further (if that would even be possible).

A couple of my friends, however, managed to have stories that I hope I never match in any way.

Mickey:

Was at columbian until 12.30 and then left with paddy and walked to burton st and thought I really want a kebab so i went back to oxford st and got one... then i wake up about 45 mins later with a half eaten kebab in my hand (in the back of the store at the table) with kebab smeared all over my face!!! i am trash but all in all a really good day.

Paddy:

ok I just arrived with bleeding knuckles. I slept walked last night and woke up locked out of my apartment in my underwear. So after trying to break breakdown my door with my fists , I eventually realised i was not that strong. I then woke up my next door neighbours (in my under wear) and asked them can I use their balcony. So I then climbed across their balcony (in my underwear) onto mine and got in that way. all in all a fun night .


I hope both of these people are reevaluating their lives right now.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Cup Day Returns

Time again for that miracle of Australian life -- it's not an official holiday outside of Melbourne, however we in Sydney have already had a champagne breakfast, and we're piling out of the office at 1pm to a lovely French restaurant where we've booked the mezzanine out for the afternoon.

I'm technically way too busy to be doing things like this, but I figure I will just get as much work done as possible and leave my guilty conscience in the office, somewhere under this pile of work I clearly won't get to until far too late in the week.

At least this year I am bringing my camera, which means I may actually manage to record some of the moments that I would have preferred to forget in years past, including stories that trickled in a few days later.

And this picture, below, is probably my favorite ad for any Cup Day event that I've seen this year (and so representative of how I normally end up):


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Missed It Again

Every year I say I will be back in NYC for Halloween, because no city in the world does it better. And every year, something comes up that prevents me from actually attending. This year, I've blamed it on my father, who had the nerve to get married in August and forced me to use up my vacation days to travel to Jamaica for the wedding. I'm totally over it though, in case you couldn't tell.

In any case, here are some photos from the party I would have attended had I been in NYC. Just as many genius outfits as last year, including VMA Britney, a home pregnancy test, and a douche bag. Rock on, guys.














Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wow, I Suck

Can't believe I went this long without a blog post. Very sorry. And it's not that I haven't been out and about and drinking like a fool -- I just haven't had time. But since I have a few minutes before my next meeting, let's recap a few things.

FRIDAY

A relatively early night (meaning I was home and in bed by 11pm) but just a tip for the kids out there -- if you manage to knock someone's beer bottle straight out of their hand unesxpectedly, because you were showing off your "ninja fighting", and think that's an acceptable excuse for what you've done, it's time to go home.


SATURDAY

I had to go to work for a few hours in the morning. Not really because I was oh so busy, but more because I spent half of Friday dicking around with friends and coworkers instead of finishing a proposal.

The day was saved, however, when I headed to a friend's farewell cruise on the harbour. It started so civilized and pretty, and ended up rather messy and ugly. It's never a good sign when a boat full of people are witness to your Rick Astley routine when half of them don't know your name.

We had the boat drop us off at the Opera House, headed over to the bar, and I actually managed to last until around 10 something before I hit that point where I realized I could go home or things could go really really wrong. Thank god I can think practically at least some of the time.


SUNDAY

Brunch, shopping, a few drinks, and a quiet night. If only I could follow that formula more reliably.


MONDAY

So this week basically SUCKS, as more than a couple of projects have gone haywire and I have been struggling to keep up. Yesterday was awful, but was salvaged when I got two free tickets to the flamenco performance at the Opera House, preceded by some really amazing free food and drinks. Now if only all this pesky work would go away, I'd really love this job again.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Yeah I've been a bit quiet this week, both on the blog and in real life. It was a relatively alcohol-free week, with Thursday night being the only one where I ended up in a bar.

Even Friday night was rather quiet, and after a few drinks with colleagues I grabbed dinner and went home. (I should probably add some kind of a disclaimer here that notes that I had a long lunch with several glasses of wine, and started drinking again in the office at 4pm...but who really needs those details.)

Now it's Saturday morning and I'm actually in the office again, but it's okay because I will be boozing it up on a boat cruising around Sydney harbour with a few friends by 1.30pm. And that, my friends, makes everything else in life okay.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

All Over The Place

Not in any mood to create a coherent blog post at the moment, so just figured I would mention a few things:

1) I somehow forgot to blog about how a few weeks ago I was at dinner with a few people and towards the end, this conversation took place:

Female friend: So yeah...I found out I'm pregnant the other day.

Zander: Um...but...you just helped us finish two bottles of wine.

Female friend: Oh, well I'm not keeping it.


I wasn't sure if that was funny or disturbing, but I felt it needed sharing here.


2) Saw this story today about how Paris Hilton is going to Rwanda. As if those people haven't suffered enough.


3) Also in the news, I'm just so glad that events have conspired to combine two of my favorite things in the world -- elephants and booze. Rock on.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Best Racist Party Ever

Ended up going to a "White Party" on the beach, organized by some friends. I have to admit I was rather skeptical about the whole idea, but never understimate how good most people look in all white clothing. Also never underestimate how sloppy most people will get after drinking in the sun for hours on end.

Here are a few shots from the event:












Thursday, October 18, 2007

He's A Maaaaaniac

Reason #437 not to drink so much -- you may end up drunkenly agreeing to attend a funk dance class with two of your female colleagues.

We ended up in this class at 7.30pm last night, when all I really wanted to do was go to sleep early. But I had promised, and someone was picking me up, so I went along. And had the best time EVER.

Don't get me wrong, I was a complete tragedy, flailing around and screwing up almost every single move. However, fun was had by all, and I was mostly in hysterics for the entire hour.

I don't think I will be hired as a backup dancer anytime soon though. Except maybe by Britney. She needs people to make her look good right now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

He's So Lucky...He's A Star

Most people who know me generally regard me as a lucky person. While I have a couple of areas where I can't seem to get a break (notably, gambling and dating), things generally seem to "work out" for the most part. Examples include being laid off from a job and hours later getting a significantly better job offer from another company, or perhaps recklessly moving to the other side of the world and getting a job I could never have gotten otherwise. I personally think it has more to do with the way I look at life, but every now and then something happens that makes me think people are right.

It could be something small, like how last week my swimming goggles broke in the pool, and moments later I found an abandoned pair sitting on a bench near my clothes. (No, I did not steal them, I swear they must have been there for at least 12 hours.)

Or it could be something better. I've spent the last few weeks trying to plan my week in India around New Years. Between that and a week in France around Christmas with my mother, it looks like this trip will cost me around $7,500. Or maybe a little less.

You see, I called up an airline to book the last leg of my trip, from New Delhi to Sydney. To make a long story short, there were technical difficulties, and the airline and my credit card company had to sort a few things out. But eventually, the ticket was processed and delivered.

So imagine my surprise last week when I received my credit card bill, and the flight was charged to it...and then credited back. I quickly checked to make sure my ticket was still valid, which it is. And as a result, I am trying to hold onto the hope that I have just been given a $1,500 airline ticket for free.

I'll stop bragging now, but I had to share my potential joy. And I promise I will post an update here if I find myself stranded in New Delhi in January without a return ticket.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Another Weekend, Another Bender

I really did mean to blog on Friday, however my afternoon ended up something like this:

12.30pm - Headed to a farewell lunch for a coworker and was extremely proud of myself for declining to drink, since I had one more client meeting to go to.

2pm - Attended client meeting with one of my team members in tow. Felt very good about how productive it was.

3.05pm - Got into a taxi and told the driver to take us back to the office.

3.06pm - Told the driver we had changed our minds and would prefer to head to the pub, where some of our colleagues have been since lunchtime.

8.30pm - End up wasted at a karaoke bar with colleagues. Sing a Backstreet Boys song as a duet, and sing "Baby One More Time" with one of the designers acting as backup dancer.

1am - Stumble into bed.


Saturday was one of those days when you wake up and can't even think about drinking, but of course end up on your way to a pub by 3pm anyway. That night involved a Spice Girls dance routine performed by a construction worker, a fashionsta, and two Energizer bunnies, so yeah, it was just a little bit awesome.

And Sunday involved Chinese food and a viewing of The Nanny Diaries before fighting off invitations to drink even more. I went home and even stopped off at the supermarket with the intention of cooking myself dinner, however I later found myself with only enough energy to dial Pizza Hut and pass out while drooling on myself before 8pm.

Needless to say, I am never drinking again until tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Like Yeah, Totally Dude

I've just finished a 2 day training course here in the office - something to do with consulting techniques. I'd be a little more sure if I hadn't ended up sitting across a table from the poster boy for Attention Deficit Disorder who, apart from looking like a surfer who may have washed up in the harbour outside earlier in the week, has to be the most distracting individual I have ever encountered. He would either be tapping the table, staring out the window, or saying things that made me wonder if he was drunk or high at that very moment. (How he got a job with my company is a true mystery.)

My personal favorite random surfer dude comments:

"What does your hair look like if you grow it out?"

"You know that band that Native Americans wear on their heads, with the feather in it? Where do you think I can get one?"

"I'm having a party this weekend. Wanna come?"

"What kind of music do you listen to? Do you know that song by the fat black guy?"

"I think there's cupcakes over there."


His chosen moments to interject with these completely unrelated and irrelevant comments and questions always coincided with our group activities where we were supposed to be solving a business problem, which generally left us looking like complete morons when it was time to present back to everyone else.

At one point I actually asked him if he could come and sit with my team for just one day, since I'm often accused of being the most distracting person they have to deal with, and I think a little perspective would improve my standing in that department.

And now I have one hour to catch up on two days of work, and I am so not prepared for any of my client meetings tomorrow. Thanks, dude.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Polishing My Halo

This was one of those glorious weekends where I miraculously managed to behave myself while everyone around me seemed to be making complete asses of themselves. (This incidentally also makes me kind of want to get smashed and join the club, but that will clearly have to wait at least a couple of days).

Almost all of the mess occurred on Friday night. It started with a couple of fantastic quotes from our creative director, who had just claimed that she's fine when she drinks champagne all night, which drew a few incredulous looks from myself and a couple of colleagues in hearing distance who can all remember at least one or two instances that would serve as evidence to the contrary.

I had just said I wished it was easier to embarrass people in the office, and she responded with "Well, not to sound un-PC, but there are so many dark people in the office it makes it hard to tell!" This was followed by her saying to someone else "I know you're not supposed to say this, but I just don't like Aboriginal art." Which isn't that bad in itself, but it was all about the drunken delivery. (I also love when people start comments with "Not to sound un-PC...", cause you know it's always gonna be comedy gold.)

She finally headed to leave and ended up getting lost trying to find the exit and walking through a bush in order to finally make it out of the bar. Fantastic.

But that was nothing in comparison to the stories I heard this morning (since I was a good boy and headed home around 10). First, there is Bug, who apparently just started throwing up at the table my coworkers were all sitting at. She then outdid herself when one of the directors came to give her some napkins and she vomited all over his hand.

Think that's the worst that it can get? So did I. Until Abs arrived in the office and told us how according to someone else (since he doesn't remember himself), he was seen leaving the bar with some girl he had just met around 1am. He then woke up at 5am in a random backyard in the Sydney suburbs. But it gets better. He went back to sleep, and woke up 2 hours later and saw the laundry nearby and started washing his shirt since it was covered in stains. When the owner of the house found him and asked him why he was there, Abs simply responded with "I'll just finish washing my shirt, and then I'll leave." And then walked home, which took about an hour.

Sorry for all the italics in those last few sentences, but it was really the most subtle way I could come up with to convey how ridiculous this all sounds, despite it being true. I make jokes about waking up in random gutters or back yards, only because I didn't think it actually happened to anyone (with the possible exception of Margot Kidder), so I think this story might win the Asshole Award for 2007.

Then again, I still have almost three months to lodge another entry in that competition...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Attack Of The Killer Insects

Wow, I am getting really bad at this whole blogging thing. Such are the side effects of taking my job even a little seriously.

There wasn't much to tell from the weekend. Due to my ridiculous Wednesday night and then mandatory binge drinking on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I ended up having a very quiet long weekend. Thought I'd probably say one highlight from Saturday, between all the filthy jokes and the karaoke, was probably Fosse revealing that she had two vibrators and some strange sex costume-looking sort of thing in her bag, but refusing to tell us where she was going. How mysterious. And somewhat disturbing.

Otherwise, this week has been somewhat terrifying for me. I thought I had noticed a few large moths here and there, but decided it was just a random occurence. Hence my horror on Wednesday morning when I awoke to the massive shadows of mutant moths fluttering against my window blinds. I was barely able to eat breakfast that morning as a result.

And yesterday morning, I went to a client meeting at their offices on the 23rd floor of their building, and walked in to see that their usually beautiful view of the city was obscured by about 20 of these disgusting creatures, that had somehow gotten in through the air vents. I had to sit at the other end of the table.

This morning was the last straw though -- I didn't see any moths, and went to slide open the door to my balcony, only to have about 5 of them fall into the apartment and start fluttering around. This lead to me shrieking for about 10 minues while trying to hit them with last weeks Time magazine and then clean up the dead bodies.

I've been told by several people that this has to do with the recent weather and something about migration patterns, which really makes me want to just punch them in the face, because really, couldn't you be killing some of them instead of explaining all of this to me?

And once they're all gone and dead, we will head into fly season, and then cockroach season, the thought of which makes me wonder if I'd rather risk being shot by a drug-dealer in the Brooklyn ghettos than have to put up with this nonsense. We'll see how long I last...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Blind Leading the Blind

Someone found my blog today by googling "i stopped drinking how long until my liver works properly".

Sweetheart, all I'm gonna say is that you're definitely looking for answers in the wrong place.

Other ones in the past day include:

"how do you say sorry to a friend after a night of drunken stupidity"
"too drunk to go home"
"drunk texting regrets"
"crackheads"


Proper blog post coming soon...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Would You Like Fries With That?

Due to my painful hangover yesterday, I only lasted until around 8pm last night before I had to say goodnight to my colleagues so I could go home and die.

That ended up being rather tame compared to several people I know. Apart from Murphy calling me at 5am to let me know he was just getting home after a night out with his own coworkers, Mickey easily takes the cake by nonchalantly telling us about how he ended up drunk at McDonald's around midnight, got into an argument with the cashier, and ended up throwing his hamburger at the manager. I didn't realize people who weren't homeless crackwhores did things like that. Nicely done.

Since I've been feeling pretty good about life today (thanks to a good night's sleep), I decided splitting a bottle of wine with Katie Tay at lunch couldn't hurt. Now it's almost 5pm, I'm sitting at my desk with a beer in my hand, and completing my career plan, which I feel can only possibly improve if written while I'm intoxicated. Something tells me I'm not making firm partner next year...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Drunk Logic

Met up with Sesame for "a drink" yesterday. We decided that since we were both drinking white wine, we may as well get a bottle. Then of course one of us had bought the first bottle, so we had to let the other one buy another bottle so we'd be even. Of course then Paddy showed up and had to get another bottle.

A few beers after that, we were all drunkenly ordering pizza on Oxford Street, after meeting a guy who claimed he "fixes cigarette lighters for a living". Sorry, I wasn't aware that was a full-time job.

So now I'm at work the next day, and I have to squint to make out what anything on my computer monitor says.

And there are work drinks tonight...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All Out Of Excuses

Despite all my apologies, it seems that I'm getting worse at updating this thing on a regular basis.

Not much to tell at the moment, however I will try and give a few tidbits of the weekend.

Friday night was a quiet one, as planned. I had a few beers in the office as usual, and since there's a recruiting focus for our company this month, people are expected to get up and tell stories about successful recruiting.

So one of the directors got up and told a story about how last year they'd had a lot of trouble finding an experienced project manager, and finally someone came along, and it was me! So I was very flattered and she talked about how great I've been. But of course...she couldn't let me get away that easily. Finally she got to the end of her story, and she said "It's Zander. He's perfect. Just ask him." Which led to everyone in the room laughing at me for five minutes straight, since I'm pretty much known for sitting around in the office talking about how awesome I am in general. Ah well, comes with the territory, I say.

Saturday was a little more eventful. I made last minute plans to meet friends for lunch, and of course we decided we should order a bottle of wine (since my lessons from last week clearly didn't stick). Around 11 hours later I was staggering home from a trashy bar shoving NY-style pizza into my face and drunk texting anyone I could think of.

And so Sunday was all about recovery. I cancelled plans for lunch (god knows where that would have left me) and only left my apartment to buy food for dinner.

Now it's Wednesday, I've been mostly sober since the weekend, and to make up for that I have plans to drink every single day from now until Monday (it's a long weekend). Pray for my liver.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm Not Dead

Sorry I've been so crap at updating this week -- work has actually picked up again, and looks like it might be riding me hard for a few weeks at least.

I'm not even sure I have good stories for you. Tuesday night was Katie Tay's birthday and that was a good time, although the conversation was probably too filthy for me to print anything here. As a matter of fact, we're pretty sure the couple at the table next to us finished their meal a little faster because they didn't want to hear it anymore.

Speaking of Katie Tay, she probably had the best "Do you remember..." story from last Friday night. It went something like..."Do you remember stopping by my house on the way home? And as you left and I shut the door behind you, you opened my letterbox and yelled 'I CAN SEE YOUR VAGINA!' before finally leaving." I don't, in fact, remember doing that, but I think I'm hilarious.

And that, my friends, is the reason tonight will be a quiet one.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Zander Style

Despite going into the weekend without any real plans (or maybe because I went into the weekend without any real plans) I essentially ended up drunk for 48 hours.


FRIDAY

It all started when my coworkers and I agreed to "grab a drink" at Martin Place Bar. Four hours, too many shots, and more than a little dancing later, we all piled onto a bus and decided to have a massive sing-a-long to "Always" by Bon Jovi before heading off for more booze.

Around that point we all split into smaller groups, and to be honest I don't remember much of anything. My conversations the next day mostly consisted of the following:

Friend: Oh wow, I've never seen you that drunk before.

Zander: Uh huh.

Friend: Do you remember [insert embarassing incident here, e.g. spilling a whole beer on my new jacket?]

Zander: Uh...no...

Friend: Yeah well...it's okay.


SATURDAY

Woke up with the most horrific hangover I've had in a while. I tried everything to get over it. There was water, there were pain killers, there were showers and naps, and I still felt like I might prefer death. So I went with the only other option -- I met up with friends at the Dolphin and started ordering bottles of wine at 2pm.

Around 10 hours later we ended up at Juice's apartment, where he made the fatal error of falling asleep while we were still there. Leading Murphy to suddenly yell "Let's rearrange all of his furniture!"

As Juice retells the story, he woke up around 6am for a glass of water, went to look at the microwave to see what time it was, and instead saw a painting. (We had placed the microwave on top of a wardrobe, which we had moved to the opposite side of the room). A good time was had by all. Except Juice.


SUNDAY

The second hangover is never quite as painful as the first, so late on Sunday morning Murphy and I actually went back over to Juice's place to put things back where they were supposed to be, and have breakfast.

I actually avoided having any more beer until around 6pm, and even then only managed to have one and a half with dinner before heading home to sleep and try to feel human on Monday morning because I had to spend 5 hours assessing potential interns. Hopefully they didn't take the yawning personally...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Hope The NAACP Doesn't Read My Blog

Me, on Tuesday night:
I hate watching the news in this country. They report on the dumbest little things. I mean, come on, I realize this is a small country and not THAT much happens here, but there's got to be something you can do about it. You know what you need? More guns. That would liven things up a little. Definitely more guns. And black people.


(I am so gonna get in trouble for that last part. But come on, it was a joke!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Drunk and Trashy in Vietnam

Oops, I've actually had these for a few days and forgot to post them here. Anyway, if you're interested in seeing how we made a mockery of what could have been a very cultural and educational holiday, click here to see my photo album from Vietnam, complete with obnoxious captions for each photo.

Note the severe lack of cultural sites for someone who spent a whole week there. But if you need any hotel, restaurant or bar recommendations, I'm your man.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Nothing To Report

Had a very nice weekend (mostly spent up in Newcastle, about 2 hours north of Sydney) and plenty of fun, however I don't think I've ended up with much bloggable material.

There was a moment on Saturday night when I thought I saw a lesbian midget, however it turned out to be a 9-year old boy and my hopes were dashed.

Anyway, there's a potentially major boozer planned for tomorrow night, which happily coincides with my 1-year anniversary at my job, so maybe I can drum up some mischief to keep you all entertained.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Overheard In My Office

Over lunch...

Colleague #1: I just had the best idea. We should have a jar in the office for one day, and every time Zander talks about himself he has to put a dollar in.

Zander: Excuse me...

Colleague #2: Ha, I love it. That would be so funny!

Zander: Um...

Colleague #3: Oh my god, that would totally pay for the next quarterly event.

Zander: I'm sitting right here!

Colleague #1: Yeah, we know. So will you do it?

Zander: [leaves the lunch table]


Bitches.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Dear Mr. President

You know, it's bad enough that "President" Bush continually ruins the lives of poor and middle class Americans day by day, and even murders civilians in third world countries whose names he can't pronounce. But now he's crossed the line. He has personally inconvenienced Zander. Has he no shame??

It's APEC week here in Sydney. For those who don't know, APEC stands for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation or something along those lines. And since these sorts of things tend to attract protesters, rioters, and various other hoodlums, it means that half the city has been shut down and 10 foot high fences have been erected throughout the city. This morning I had to get off my bus and walk an extra 20 minutes to work because the bus simply couldn't go any further. And tomorrow I have to come into work for a few things, but now have to fear for my safety because they have scheduled "Corporate Disruption Protests" directly outside my office building. How wonderful.

The only good thing to come of this is that everyone in the Sydney CBD has Friday off, by government mandate. To celebrate, Sydneysiders are throwing numerous "APEC Parties", in this case standing for "Alcohol Pot Ecstasy Cocaine". Since I don't partake in 75% of those substances, I'm actually planning to be out of town for most of the weekend, but I'm sure I will hear some good stories.

Monday, September 03, 2007

"It's [Zander], Bitch"

Sorry, I have once again neglected the blog. However things are finally getting back to normal, so I will do my best going forward.

Vietnam was all kinds of awesome and included all of the necessities of a great vacation -- good food, cheap drinks, awful dancing, and a really really horrendous night of karaoke. But the pictures will tell a much better story, so I'll work on those this week and try and get them out in a couple of days.

I've vowed to go on no more overseas trips until Christmas, so I'm hoping this will be a very settled few months of my life. I may even start focusing on work one of these days instead of blogging and listening repeatedly to the new Britney Spears song, which is the explanation for my vapid title today.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Still Jet Setting

Before anyone thinks I've forgotten about the blog, I wanted to post a quick message to say that I'm actually in Vietnam for about a week, so I probably won't update for a little while.

Me and three friends have been in Saigon for a few days, which has been awesome. Mostly consisting of eating, drinking, shopping for fake crap (I am the proud owner of at least two fake Lacoste shirts already), not to mention all the drinking by the rooftop pool at the hotel. It's actually around 1pm here and I'm already a bit tipsy. Rock on.

This afternoon we're hopping a flight to Nha Trang so we can relax for a few days at a beach resort. Because being drunk in Saigon has been oh so stressful.

Anyway, worst case scenario will mean I don't update for another week. Hang in there. I am sure there are more drunken idiots out there blogging that can hold you over in the meantime. I firmly recommend Vicki, if she isn't country hopping as well. And forgive me if this post seems a bit rushed, but Blogger seems to assume that because I am in Vietnam, that I actually read Vietnamese, and all of these funky characters are giving me a headache.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jetlagged

In keeping with the apparent pattern of countries I have either just left or will soon be arriving in being hit mb hurricanes, tsunamis, and various other natural disasters, Jamaica was hit by Hurricane Dean this past weekend. I assume that my family is fine, as usual, so I will just be happy that this happened on a weekend other than the one that I was on the island.

Unfortunately I spent most of the daylight hours of the weekend sleeping, as I've completely given in to a bad case of jetlag from that trip. At this point I'm not sure I will bother getting over it, as I'm off on another overseas holiday on Thursday, this time to Vietnam. It was still a good weekend though. The brief recap:

FRIDAY

I actually had to leave work at 4.30 so I could go home and take a 2-hour nap before heading out for drinks. The night ended up being the usual silly entertainment, although the Trashbag Award definitely goes to Juice, who had given his brother (who was visiting from out of town) his house keys and ended up locked out and sleeping in a friend's car for the night. All the more entertaining because I often refer to him as homeless, and for a night, he actually was.

SATURDAY

I managed to remain awake for around two hours in the late morning on Saturday, before going back to bed and waking up just in time to meet friends for dinner.

We then headed to the Opera House to see Katie Tay as a member of the choir in Carmina Burana, which easily qualifies as my dose of culture for the rest of 2007.

I then headed off to Dome Bar for my cousin Emma's 21st birthday celebration. Although no one here can properly explain to me why turning 21 makes a difference in a country where people have been legally allowed to drink and do everything else since they were 18 (and have probably been drunk since around 15), it was a great time and included an open bar, which is always a favorite of mine. Around 2am "the kids" all headed off to keep partying in the Cross and I went home for more much needed sleep.

SUNDAY

Since it was pouring outside, I spent the day between the couch and the bed, once again sleeping most of the day. If only I could get away with that during work today...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Jamaican Me Crazy

Sorry about that. Couldn't help myself.

Anyway, I will admit that I'm not feeling that inspired, but here are my learnings from my trip to Jamaica (via LA) over the past week or so:
  • It probably wouldn't kill me, just once, to start packing a little more than 20 minutes before I'm scheduled to leave for the airport
  • LA is still a good time for short periods of time. Namely, 12 hours. And only because Bella was showing me around. Otherwise, I will still never understand why anyone chooses to live there.
  • Thank god Air Jamaica makes it so easy to upgrade to First Class/Executive Business Class. Having said that, apart from bigger seats and better food, this really just means you don't end up sitting with the goats and chickens in the back.
  • A 4-hour layover in any airport is painful. A 4-hour layover in an airport without air conditioning or most first-world amenities? Excruciating.
  • Apparently when my father and his bride advised that it would be a "simple, casual country wedding", this description included 270 guests and renting out what resembled a small castle near Port Antonio on the north coast. Obviously.
  • Keeping to form, I was advised that I would essentially serve as best man (carry the ring, walk down the aisle)...about 4 minutes before the ceremony was meant to start. I will simply be grateful that I wasn't expected to come up with a speech.
  • No matter how many times I return to Jamaica, I somehow get a sunburn every single time I go there after saying things like "Eh, it's pretty cloudy...I'm sure I'll be fine." Here's hoping I remember this for the next trip.
  • Even after paying to upgrade on the way back to LA, Air Jamaica was no help whatsoever when I explained that the 2.5 hour delay on my flight was possibly going to make me miss my connection in LA. Such a charming airline, I must say.
  • I barely made my last flight back to Sydney, but was rewarded by getting my points upgrade to Business Class, which was better than sleeping in my own bed. Flying economy on a budget airline next week to Vietnam is going to be that much harder.

Anyway, I returned to Sydney safely yesterday morning, and lasted about 4 hours at work before giving up and going home to sleep, although I may have managed to make it out for a few drinks later on...social obligations and all. Don't hold your breath for Jamaica pictures though.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Back In A Week, Mon

I'm off to Jamaica tomorrow (with a decent stopver in LA to hang out with Belle) for my father's rather inconveniently timed wedding. I also bought a new camera this week, so I will try to make good use of it, although I have a feeling most pictures of this trip will involve me laying around on beaches reading Harry Potter. Not exactly the most riveting stuff, but I'll see what kind of trouble I can dig up for you. See you next Thursday.

Monday, August 06, 2007

You Can Quote Me On That

Banx has demanded that I start keeping a record of things I say that she finds utterly obnoxious and ridiculous.

Apparently Saturday's choice quotes included:

"Well, really, if I got dumped I don't really care at this point, cause I would still know I'm awesome."

"They can't resent me. It's not my fault I'm hot."

"Sometimes I get really worried that I talk too much and dominate conversations. But then I'm like, whatever, I'm really funny and interesting so I'm sure no one minds."


I would like to go on record as stating that I was rather intoxicated when all of these things were said. It was 2 in the afternoon, after all.

Trashbag

I'm still a little appalled at how much I had to drink this weekend, especially considering I really thought I had a chance at making this my first (relatively) quiet weekend in a long time.

Friday night just went from casual drinks after work with colleagues into making a complete ass out of myself with Murphy at a gathering for Fry and her coworkers. Fortunately Murphy was the bigger jackass. After shocking and insulting most of my work friends, he proceeded to continuously refer to Fry's colleagues as unemployed, which might not have been so bad if it wasn't the same day that they had all been given three months notice. (Fry returned the favor by calling Murphy fat all night.)

Saturday I woke up with a hangover like I haven't had in a while, and barely managed to pull myself together for 11am brunch with Banx and Cathy. So how we ended up at The Golden Sheaf drinking bottles of wine for 4 hours is beyond me. As much fun as it was, it probably wasn't the best idea considering I was attending Sesame's dinner party that night. My night ended around 2am after some trashy dancing and topped off with NY-style pizza on the way home. All class.

And Sunday...now after two nights like that, you'd think that just maybe I could refrain from drinking again, but you'd be wrong. I called Fry, thinking I would stop by her apartment to chat for a little, and ended up at Gazebo Bar in The Cross downing more bottles of wine and even a little sangria.

Therefore, today is meant to be my one alcohol-free day, since tomorrow night I have to attend a dinner, and I'm off on holidays on Wednesday, where I won't have anything pesky like work the next day to stop me from drinking like an even bigger idiot.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Australia, I'm Sorry

I actually feel just a teeny bit guilty at the moment. The reason is that I went to have my taxes done this week, and I will be getting a refund well over $5,000.

While I was expecting a pretty good refund due to my medical bills from the hernia surgery earlier this year, I will admit here and now (and anonymously on the Internet, because I'm brave like that) that I may have stretched the truth just a tad.

My worst offence was easily claiming my iPod as a work-related expense. Although I would like to state that this could be valid, as an iPod could be used as a file storage device for work materials, or maybe doing client research via podcasts, etc.

Anyway, most people here have cursed my name for supposedly stealing money from a country that I'm not even from. So I will be reflecting on my horrible lies over the weekend, between some shopping and buying everyone bottles of champagne. I'm a good person that way.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Designer Doctor

I've been a little under the weather lately, which is very uncharacteristic of me. Generally I feel fine, but my throat has been a bit sore and my right tonsil is about three times the size of the left.

Yesterday I decided it was about time to head to the doctor and make sure I'm not in need of medication or anything serious. I was going to go to my usual doctor, however he is off near where I used to live, which would have been totally inconvenient. So I asked friends which doctors they use, and Sesame's seemed to be the most convenient, location-wise.

Now I generally have a lot in common with Sesame. We both appreciate a higher quality of living, and will be the last two in that group of friends to cut corners and compromise on anything that might cause us any discomfort. However, when directions to a doctor's office include "just next to Armani" and "upstairs from Paspaley Pearls", even my expensive tastes aren't enough to keep from being just a little wary.

I showed up to the office, and it was possibly the nicest doctor's office I've ever been to. Tastefully designed, great music, lovely views. I almost felt like someone was about to come out to serve me a glass of champagne on a velvet cushion or something.

It ended up being about 40% more expensive than a regular doctor's visit, but much like traveling First Class, I'm not sure I will be able to downgrade from this experience, and I'm planning to go back in the next few days for my travel vaccinations.

Oh and I'm not dying or anything -- this is just what happens when you drink for 2 weeks straight, apparently.

Monday, July 30, 2007

"I'll take INAPPROPRIATE for $1000, Alex."

So it was a fun weekend and all. Saturday got off to an uneven start, when I decided to clean my apartment and managed to suck my mobile phone charger cord into the vacuum cleaner. I then realized I had no running water, but that was time easily killed in a pub. And after three birthday parties that night, Sunday was all about the recovery, which meant yum cha, the latest Harry Potter movie, and skipping a friend's birthday dinner so I could fall asleep on the couch watching Top Model.

For anyone who thinks I've forgotten Friday night, I was actually just saving the best for last. You see the rest of my weekend, while fun, drunken and trashy, isn't that different to what I usually get up to. Friday night was a quiet one, but much more interesting, as I visited Fry's office to witness their White Trash theme party.

In case you aren't aware, Fry works for the company that I mentioned ages ago that has a bar next to the reception area on the 25th floor of their building. And apparently once a month they will have a big theme party. White Trash apparently meant ordering KFC and putting up confederate flags on the walls. All fine and good, until I saw an inflatable swimming pool in the middle of the floor, and it was then explained to me that it was filled a couple of inches with petroleum jelly, and that there would be JELY WRESTLING later on in the night.

I kind of wish I was kidding, and at the same time I love telling people this. An office actually had girls in bikinis come in and jelly wrestle for entertainment. One of them even managed to keep slipping out of her bikini, and would then just giggle and put everything back where it was supposed to be, until the same thing happened a few seconds later. The announcer then came out during a break to announce that the girls would be back and would be revealing more in the next round, however I don't think I actually know anyone who stayed around for that since everyone just ended up feeling really uncomfortable.

Now, before you think this is another example of Australians being all crazy n' shit, I assure you that anyone I have told this story to has been shocked and appalled (and wished they were there). And I have no doubt that if any media outlet gets ahold of the pictures that I am hoping someone will send me this week, that at least a few people will be sacked at that agency. But it was a story worth sharing, and I think you would agree.

Happy Monday.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Nothing To Report

Nothing much to tell you here. Not that I've had one sober night in the past week and a half, but no crazy stories. At least night saw me attempting to cure my sore throat with my mother's recommended remedy of a few glasses of scotch. Probably shouldn't have followed that with wine and beer, but I'm sure I'll feel better before I start drinking today. Oh wait, too late for that. Gotta love lunch on Fridays.

Tonight will hopefully be relatively low-key, since I have no less than three birthday parties to attend tomorrow night. A lot of people must have sex around Christmas...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Facebook Is The Devil

I've been even more lax than usual about blogging this week. I still can't blame work, which is still quite manageable at the moment, but what I can probably blame is my new addiction -- Facebook.

This site is fantastic. Of course the social networking thing has been done before, but Facebook manages to combine the clean maturity of Friendster (without the boring aspect) and the cheekiness of MySpace (without getting quite so trashy) into something that I can't stop using. Not only that, but it seems that the entire world has caught onto Facebook at the same time, which means my friends and relatives in various countries are all on the same site.

There are tons of stupid applications, but as soon one claims to measure your "IQ" of any sort in a "Challenge", then I am all over it. The game I cannot stop playing (or thinking about when I'm not actually in front of a computer) is the Traveller IQ Challenge, where you are given a world map and told to find a city or landmark, and then you're awarded points on how close you get to the actual location, and also how quickly you find it. For a world travelling geek like me, this is heaven. Especially a competitive asshole who insists on showing everyone that he knows more than them. The only thing that will stop me from playing this game is carpal tunnel sydnrome.

Of course one of the better Facebook stories I have lately is how someone emailed me a picture the other day of me with 3 girls I had never seen before. Apparently a friend of a friend had found the photo on someone else's Facebook page and recognized me. I was confused and somewhat creeped out, however we have determined that it was from a birthday party I attended with a friend back in April, and I decided to make a stupid face in a picture that had nothing to do with me. Rock on. I love this site.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Almost Famous

I should probably also mention that this showed up in a major Sydney newspaper yesterday, in the "Insider" section that always features photos of people at trendy events around town:


It was for a launch party for...something or other. In all fairness, I should admit that I only went because a friend invited me and there was free liquor involved. So I'm not nearly as cool as this would lead some to believe, but I will enjoy my 15 nanoseconds of quasi-fame. (I also love how I've blocked out my name in the photo, but left the names of my friends. I'm a jerk.)

Better Than Scrubs

I will try to piece some of the weekend together eventually, but at least wanted to share my favorite Overheard post in a while:

Nurse #1: The guy in room 14 is so annoying.
Nurse #2: No wonder somebody stabbed him in the fucking face.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Representin'

I wanted to make a real blog post today. However I started drinking at noon, and getting back to work just in time for a 3pm "meeting" that involves me drinking more beer.

So yeah. No real post. But I am already smashed at 4.27pm on a Friday, and tonight is a friend's birthday drinks, followed by someone else's birthday drinks tomorrow, and a BBQ on Sunday.

Life is good. Too bad I can't remember most of it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Blast From The Past

I am in awe of my own randomness at the moment. A friend has just forwarded me an email I sent one morning in February of 2005. Clearly I was in a mood if I found it necessary to write all of this out in an email and send it to someone:

so after being in a foul mood all last night, i wake up after a good night's sleep, the sun is shining, and all is well. i catch the F train just in time, and i'm walking down the R train platform.

then i notice that i can't walk any further because two teenaged puerto rican girls seem to think it makes sense to zig zag across the platform and block everyone from going by. overhearing tidbits of their conversation, i can hear them dropping the f-bomb every other word, and come to the realization that this is going to be an interesting altercation. i try to pass a couple of times, and if i didn't know better, i would think they were actually blocking me. so i suck it up, and walk to the right of them, saying "excuse me" and possibly brushing past one of them.

next thing i hear is one of them really loudly saying "NOW N!GGAZ TRYINA RUN ME DOWN, YO!". this is followed by various comments in some street slang that i could not possibly have understood unless i attended their ghetto ass high school in bed stuy, so i just kept walking and ignored them. i can rest easy knowing that these charming ladies (obviously destined to be productive members of society) will both be knocked up by the end of the year, so it's all good. i'll still be nice to them when they are serving meat wendy's in the near future.

oh, and good morning :)


So yeah...I've always been a bitch.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Still Breathing...Barely

Well, the weekend turned out almost exactly as anyone would have expected, and it was still one of the funniest weekends of my life. The only way to really try to cover even a fraction of what happened is with an old-fashioned bulleted list of highlights:
  • We showed up at the house around 3.30pm on Friday, and immediately sent a team out for food and alcohol. Food bill? Around $350. Liquor? Around $1000. That's what I'm talkin' about.
  • It took around 2 hours before this amazing Real World/Big Brother type house (14 beds, pool table, air hockey, ping pong, foosball, etc.) looked like we had been there for a week.
  • Me and Murphy sneaking around trying to get the better bedroom from Sesame and Patsy was a little too much fun...until they burst into the bedroom around 1am and Patsy yelled at me and told me she never wanted to speak to me again, followed by walking out and slamming the door behind her.
  • Waking up for a wine tour at 10am after a night of drinking and dancing seems awful, until you've had that third taste of wine, and all of a sudden the world seems like a much brighter place.
  • Loved when the guide at one of the wineries said that she had ME pegged as the troublemaker in the group. To which I quickly fired back "Yeah sure, because I'm black." I love pulling the race card.
  • Paddy decided to point out that Patsy has massive ears...in the middle of a wine tasting. We all ended up staring at them for the rest of the session, and whenever Fry tried to say something about it I hushed her and said "Shhh...she can hear you."
  • We headed back to the house after lunch because we were both exhausted and in serious danger of being kicked out of the Valley. After naps we woke up for a BBQ, which was marked by birds trying to steal the meat and a frog committing suicide by jumping onto the grill.
  • This was of course followed by Circle of Death. Congrats to Chip for puking before the game had officially begun ("I didn't really puke, it was just chocolate cake" is the most disgusting thing I heard that night) and Juice who seemed to have made it through safely and then vomited behind the BBQ an hour after the game. I'm sure the 65 year olds in the next house LOVED that.
  • And worst players of the game easily went to Chip (who ended up basically sitting by the bottle of tequila taking one shot after another for his stupid mistakes), Murphy (who, by combination of talking too much and generally being an idiot, must have finished off an entire bottle of tequila on his own) and Paddy the birthday boy, who would go fine for a while and then say someone's name about 4 times in 3 seconds). We finished off 3 bottles of tequila and 2 bottles of vodka, if I'm not mistaken. Not to mention all the beer.
  • Paddy was so ridiculously drunk by the end of the game, but was still insistent on doing his "performance". At one point Patsy went upstairs to check on him and he had fallen over while trying to get into costume. When the show finally went ahead, he needed the pillars to hold himself upright, and then completely stacked it in his heels and went flying over an ottoman, promptly ending the performance. I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard.
  • Five others attempted their own show after this, however the hosts were smashed and managed to knock both a laptop AND the playstation off of the mantle. If either still works properly I will be impressed.
  • I'm not sure I've ever seen so many looks of hatred as I did the next morning when I was full of energy and donned an afro wig and sunglasses and danced around the lounge room to house music while everyone else could barely shovel breakfast into their faces.
  • And an appropriate ending to the weekend was as we drove away from the house and managed to hit a duck within 10 minutes. It was probably our reactions that were the best though -- we all screamed once when we saw the ducks fly in front of the car (although Chip later admitted to screaming just because we were, at this point), again when one of them hit the front fender, and again when it bounced off the windshield. I turned back to see the poor thing flopping around by the side of the road, but we were too traumatized to do anything about it.

And I'm sure there's more, but I really can't even try and type it right now, and really, would you want to read any more than this? If some good pictures show up (none from me, as someone broke my camera after I went to sleep early on Friday night) I will see if they are appropriate for sharing. I'm guessing they won't be.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Can I rent a liver for the weekend?

I'm only at work for about an hour today. This will be followed by a 10am meeting with a client, and then heading off to meet the crew so a caravan of cars can head out to the Hunter Valley for a couple of days. We've rented a huge house out there for 14 people where we will spend the weekend drinking, playing games (including Circle of Death), eating, Sing Starring, and breaking that all up with a half day wine tour.

The occasion is Paddy's upcoming 30th birthday. All we can hope is that 14 drunkards in a house for 48 hours doesn't end in some kind of tragedy or anyone hating each other. In the very least, we should have some good stories and pictures to share when we get back. And the hatred.