Wednesday, May 30, 2007

There's No Place Like Home

In this case, I think I've found a place better than home, and that would be the hotel I'm staying at while I'm in Melbourne this time.

If I'd been coming by myself, I probably would have gone with the cheaper (but still pretty nice) option that I had last time, since it was close to the office and more than suited my needs. However this time, as I mentioned before, I came down with my colleague Corporate Barbie. While she's a bit of a princess (literally refuses to walk anywhere that is more than 5 minutes away, and uses her stiletto heels as a supposedly valid reason), I love that she's given me an excuse to splurge on this business trip, because I would move into my new hotel room if I could.

Apart from the room being huge and really pretty, there's a bed that must be bigger than King size, a bathtub the size of a small pool, a shower with three showerheads (two of which were suspiciously pointed at my crotch when I first turned it on), and a mirror that seems purely intended for watching yourself take a shower with the aforementioned showerheads. All in all, it's enough to make me wish I had a much more interesting sex life, if I'm going to be honest here. But I will still enjoy the room as much as possible, while restraining myself from taking pictures.

And there's always Corporate Barbie to enjoy it with, who has already talked me into a dinner in the hotel restaurant that consisted of 3 courses and a glass of wine, and now it's up to me as the project manager to figure out how to expense it all. Good times.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Watch Out For The Po-Po

It's Tuesday night and I'm exhausted because I've been awake for far too long today, but here's the latest so I can cross this off the list of things that I'm procrastinating on this week.

I had REALLY wanted a quiet and restful weekend, which is clearly why I was out dancing until 1am on Friday night and almost 4am on Saturday night.

I also love that I apparently went home just in time on Friday night, as my friend who I'd been hanging out with texted me late the next day to say "I was in jail". It ended up being for a completely lame reason that still barely makes sense to me at this point, but naturally I love an entertaining story, no matter how nonsensical. (The police also factored into my Saturday night when I was having drinks at Middle Bar and we watched them write tickets for two straight guys who decided to dry hump each other in the middle of Taylor Square -- imagine having to explain that to everyone you know.)

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day, so I spent it watching 28 Weeks Later because I genuinely believe there is no better way to spend a beautiful sunny day than watching blood-vomiting zombies eat each others faces for two hours. I then went home, had a lovely steak dinner, and passed out on the couch watching a documentary on Hitler's career. Good thing I fell asleep, as my next inclination would probably have been to go pray to Satan.

Now it's Tuesday and I'm in the Melbourne office again and it looks like I'm here until Saturday. This time I came down with my always fun coworker (known sometimes as "Corporate Barbie"), so it should be a good laugh, although I will try to behave as I have enough meetings for a whole month crammed into the next couple of days.

Stories to follow, I'm sure...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hilary Duff Definitely Writes Her Own Songs

Okay, now let me preface this post by stating two things up front:

1) I am not exactly a connoisseur of meaningful music. I am largely responsible for the success of the Spice Girls and Ace of Base in the 90's. I still can't get enough of "Girlfriend"by Avril Lavigne (me and Mickey have most of the dance routine down from the video as well). I still hope and dream for the day when Britney makes her big comeback and shows all you "haterz".

2) I have never held much faith in Hilary Duff as a musician, or even a human being. I am actually pretty certain that she's a fem-bot sent from some other world in a disastrously failed attempt to conquer this one, via preying on impressionable tweens with her awful television shows and extremely awkward music videos.

However the least I would have expected, even from Hilary Duff and the insane alien scientists who built and programmed her, is that song lyrics might have some connecting thread from one line to the next. I was watching music videos at 5.30 this morning (as I do) and listened to the chorus of this one many times to see if I was missing some magical key word that would tie it all together and was unable to figure it out:
Love me, love me
feed the flame
if you want me back again
burn to the sky
higher and higher
baby, can you play with fire?
The title of her latest album, in what I can only assume is some masterstroke of ironic positioning, is Dignity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

We Are So Screwed

Actual conversation with a colleague this morning:

Colleague: So I talked to [Big Boss] and she thinks that we need to give more time in the project plan for the content planning.

Zander: Uh...can I sound really stupid for a second?

Colleague: Yeah sure, what's up?

Zander: What IS a content plan?

Colleague: Err...I was hoping you knew. It's in your project plan.

Zander: Somebody else wrote that part.

Colleague: Crap. This isn't a good sign, is it?

Zander: Not really.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Time To Reel It In

This weekend kind of crossed the line between Fun-and-silly drunk to I'm-embarrassed-for-myself drunk.

I believe I already mentioned that Thursday was a big night, so I have to admit I didn't think that I would last very long on Friday. I had even plotted to have a few bottles of wine on the flight back from Melbourne, and ended up falling asleep before take-off and waking up when we landed in Sydney, so that idea was out the window.

I managed to drag myself to Martin Place Bar to meet up with a few people, and I suppose that's where the trouble started. Well to be more accurate, the trouble started when it didn't occur to me to eat after 12pm on Friday.

The point is, I ended up being a very messy drunk and don't remember all that much of the evening apart from what friends have told me. One truly unfortunate moment that popped into my mind on Saturday was when I was walking down Oxford Street and completely stacked it, tripping over a tree and literally ending up lying on the street being helped up by people walking by and everyone else simply giving me one of those "Ohhhh SNAP!" looks when someone has seriously embarrassed themselves. Not exactly the kind of drunk I like to get, I will be honest.

I didn't wake up until almost 1pm on Saturday and was still totally smashed, so I opted for a softer landing and went across the street to meet friends at the pub. Two cases of beer and various jokes about Asians later, we were at Ellen and Danny's new place and I was passing out on the couch.

Sunday just involved me feeling rather worthless and depressed (that much alcohol will do that to you), but I did manage to perk up to have friends over for a few bottles of wine and a three course meal, since my new hobby is cooking drunk.

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

The only thing that makes me feel better about such a stupid weekend is the fact that one of my colleagues emailed this morning to say he wasn't coming in because he got married this weekend -- that's either a drunken mistake, a lie, or a really convoluted way to get out of working on a Monday.

And I was just laughing a moment ago because Sesame told us how earlier today her Dad went to open the garage door, but pressed the wrong button and backed the car through the other garage door. PRICELESS. At least my drunken buffoonery didn't involve damage to personal property (unless you count the cuts on my knees).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Not Just A Tan

I love that Australians are completely unable to recognize the fact that I'm mixed. In the US this was never an issue, and most people would just ask me what mix I was. Here, people just think I'm a white dude with a tan.

Case in point -- yesterday I got into the elevator with a couple of my Melbourne colleagues, and one of them actually says to me "Zander, you're so brown!". I pointed out that I'm actually half black, and she was probably totally embarrassed because she hasn't looked at me since.

Last night was great, went to a couple of very funky Melbourne bars with coworkers, and then met up with Dean, who simply took me on a tour of bars in Melbourne I have no interest in visiting again.

After some McDonald's around 1am I got into a taxi, and the driver asked me where I was from, and eventually spat out this quote of the year:

"In America the black people can shoot anyone!"

AWESOME. Made my night.

In any case, I'll be on a plane back to Sydney soon, ensuring that I will be back there for after work drinks with the usual crowd. God willing, the cab drivers there will be just as racist and ignorant, because damn I find that funny.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Same Shit, Different City

Yes I've gone quiet again, mostly because work has gone insane again and I've ended up in our Melbourne office for a few days. It should be noted that our Melbourne office is creepily almost identical to our Sydney office, so I barely notice the difference. Maybe that's the intent.

Not much to note though. Got in last night and checked into my hotel which is pretty nice considering it was the cheapest option on the list (I only chose this one because it's my project that will go over budget if I choose to be excessive) and my favourite part about it is that they have a little sand timer in the shower so you can limit yourself to 4 minutes to conserve water. Just makes me imagine really impressionable people shutting off the shower and stumbling out of the bathroom with shampoo in their eyes because the sand timer ran out.

Anyway I was nice and quiet last night (had a big day of meetings to look forward to), however I only have one semi-important meeting tomorrow so I am about to go with a colleague for a drink, and am meeting up with others later on for what will probably be a messy night. Here's hoping I remembered my Tylenol...

Monday, May 14, 2007

More Smooth Moves

Won't bother with a full weekend recap, as it's more of the usual -- various bars Friday night, long drunken BBQ Saturday, I still love my beer and I'm still awful to fat people.

But my favorite anecdote is probably from Sunday. Although I'd intended to have a quiet day doing nothing in particular, I naturally ended up at Bronte Beach for what was supposed to be a BBQ, although I'm pretty sure I didn't actually eat a thing. Why bother when there's wine, champagne and beer to take up that space?

By 6.30pm I was pretty smashed (took the bus home with some friends, where some random guy pointed at me and said "I'll have what he's having!", which would indicate the state I was in) and had the brilliant idea that I would go to the supermarket to buy food so I could make dinner for myself and salvage my original plan for the day.

So I should probably win some sort of award for getting home and realizing that I was missing half of my main ingredients, because I'd left around half of my shopping sitting there next to the cashier.

And then, I was too drunk to really care, so I just ordered Pizza Hut, ate half of my deep dish pepperoni and mushroom pizza, and then passed out on the couch halfway through a rerun of Ugly Betty, which means I was asleep by around 8pm.

I am such a rock star.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

You Are Not Beyonce

Last week, two of my friends decided they were going to start a new diet. Some "Lemon Detox Diet" they had heard about somewhere. This diet essentially involves drinking water with lemon and some sort of syrup in it for about a week, and consuming NOTHING ELSE.

Now I realize many people will think that I have no right to comment on the way other people choose to lose weight, considering the only weight problem I've ever had is trying to keep it on. But I'm offended, not as a wannabe nutrition expert, but as someone with more than an ounce or two of common sense, logic, and a vague understanding of the human body that includes knowing that humans cannot survive on water and sugar for more than a few hours. Shocking, I know.

So I told off my friends many times before they started this diet, and I was dismissed and told "Well it worked for Beyonce!", without any mention of the fact that Beyonce has professional trainers and nutritionists to help her perfect something like this, if she even did it at all. And come on people, if this was a reasonable way to lose weight and keep it off, surely the folks who produce The Biggest Loser would be promoting this diet, instead of all that pesky fitness and healthy eating that they're always going on about for some odd reason.

Anyway, none of it really mattered, as both of them started the diet on Sunday...and were done with it by Monday. Sesame got to work with a fever and a headache on Monday morning and had to eat something by noon to prevent herself from passing out/dying, and Paddy crumbled not long afterwards, and I doubt it had much to do with me yelling things like "I'm not visiting you in the hospital when this all goes wrong, you morons!"

And that's the end of that story, I just felt it was important to share with you guys, in case any of you were thinking of doing something stupid like trying to survive on green leaves and Diet Coke for months at a time. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to a BBQ to stuff myself silly and drink for what should be at least a 10 hour marathon session, which I have more than earned because it's 3pm on Saturday and I've been at work for more than 4 hours. Unacceptable.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ah Crap

Was about to walk out the door and remembered that I haven't blogged in days. Apologies.

I actually thought I was going to have more than enough time on my hands to blog and do other silly things, now that my huge work project has finished. I'm actually about to head to celebratory drinks for that one, at the company that has a bar right in the office. Should be fun.

However, the other day a partner in our Melbourne office gave me a call and asked me to manage another beast of a project, and I stupidly agreed. Because come on, she's a firm partner, and we're getting salary and bonus reviews over the next month. What the woman wants, the woman gets. At least until mid-June.

Anyway, beer awaits me, and I hate to keep alcohol waiting. Peace out.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

This and That

It's not even 5pm, I've had five full meals so far today (I wish I was exaggerating) and I'm about to head home and have meal number 6. I can't decide which one will come first -- me going broke or my organs spontaneously exploding everywhere.

I just saw some guys dismantling one of the revolving doors downstairs, presumably to fix them, and couldn't help but wonder...where exactly does one learn to fix a revolving door? That must be a really rare skill. I bet they get paid millions.

I never claimed to be Mr. Clean himself or anything, but am I the only person in the world who didn't know that you should use newspaper to clean windows? Shouldn't they put that on the back of Windex bottles??

Some friends and I just booked tickets to Vietnam for a week in August. I wanted to do this purely based on the fact that several people have come back from there saying it was awesome. For all I know they were brainwashed by Communists. I need to stop being such an impulse buyer.

Our firm partner just stumbled out of her office in hysterics because she thought that one of the balloon horses tied to her desk (don't ask) had a big inflatable penis on it. Turns out it was just one of its legs. I hope I am still that immature when I'm that successful. And I'm not being sarcastic.

Monday, May 07, 2007

In A Nutshell

I am so exhausted, but I'm waiting for some colleagues so we can head to work drinks (yes I know I just said I was tired, but it's for work, and it's free) and figured I could squeeze in my weekend update.


Went to Longrain for some of the best Thai food ever, in honor of Cathy's birthday. By the time we had finished pre-dinner cocktails and dinner itself, it was 10pm and I was feeling rather dead from having partied a little too hard at "Old Skool Funk Night" at Establishment the night before, so I went home and caught up on some sleep. Very low key for one of my Friday nights, but it was necessary. Besides, I needed the energy for the next day.


Met up with the gang for breakfast and then off to see Spiderman 3, which was more of the same nonsense from the last movie. I walk out of these things knowing they weren't particularly good, but I think I had fun? Who knows. I would still see #4 if it was ever released, although from the way all the actors were sleepwalking through this one, I doubt that will be coming along anytime soon.

Had a great late lunch at The Malaya, and thought, why not have a bottle of wine? Of course this meant I had started drinking at 3pm, so after half a bottle of wine and a six pack at Juice's place after lunch, I headed to a party at Henry Afrika's in Manly around 8pm completely hammered, just like the good ol' days.

The party was a blast (it was a farewell for Angie and Kim who are moving to London this week), and the DJ they had hired basically played whatever we told him to, no matter how crap it was. So in all fairness, the best party ever. I maybe got home around 2am after drinking for 11 hours and dancing for the last 6, and even managed to sleep in a little the next day.


Officially the laziest day I have had since I moved to Australia, and probably much longer than that. Other than my morning swim and a trip to the home improvement themed shopping center across the street, I did not leave my apartment building at all. The highlight was probably when I ordered and finished off a large pizza from Pizza Hut, and then passed out in a grease coma, waking up 4 hours later. I then watched some TV, ate more food, and went back to bed. The living embodiment of "Sloth", and it was pretty much perfect.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Always The Professional

Ended up drinking with coworkers for a couple of hours last night before meeting up with friends, which was a good time until someone decided to remind me that I crashed a party for another team a couple of Fridays ago, and acted like a beligerent fool for the 5 minutes I was there. Their favorite was when I apparently saw some curtains moving and loudly exclaimed that there must be people getting it on behind them. Of course I went over to check, only to find that it was just an air vent. Ah well, I'll make detective some day.

In that spirit though, I thought I would list out some of my less professional moments over the last 24 hours:
  • While walking back from a work lunch yesterday, yelling at a cab driver and giving him the front of the entire team, including the new Director. Fortunately for me, "He's from New York" seems to be a perfectly good explanation for such behavior.
  • Drunk texting my firm partner from Establishment last night, telling her she should "come for a dance!"
  • Telling her this morning what a good time she missed, which included pointing out that they played "Love Is A Battlefield" and doing a bit of the dance from the music video, before realizing that her office indeed has glass walls, and everyone else could see me.
  • Stretching a little too much on my chair a few moments ago, resulting in my ass slipping off and me falling to the floor, much to the amusement of my colleagues. Seriously, it happened like 12 minutes ago and they're all still laughing about it. Except for the PA who is recovering from a cold and hasn't stopped coughing, in place of laughing.

Honestly, I don't know why everyone doesn't want to work with me. And thank god my review was on Monday.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I May Need Some Pills For This

So I've long recognized that I have a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It's not that bad and generally doesn't affect my life (I don't have to turn the lights on and off 12 times before I leave the apartment or anything), but there will be the occasional night when I get into bed, tired and exhausted from a long day (of drinking) and then have to turn on the light and get back up because I don't think the blinds have all been lowered to the same level. Things like that.

Actually this morning was an unfortunate case -- I had trouble sleeping, and somehow, between my bed and the bathroom, I touched the inside of one of my sliding closet doors and decided it was a little too dusty. Cut to me cleaning the inside of my closet doors at 4.53am -- neither the easiest nor most necessary thing I've ever spent my time doing before sunrise. Oh well.

But what I really need to blog about right now is ice. As in, ice cubes, and trays, and all that good stuff. I use a lot of ice. While I can live without it in my water, chocolate milk, beer, or wine, I desperately need it in pretty much everything else I drink, from soda to juice, and anything involving vodka. Sometimes I even find myself checking the freezer and refilling the ice trays when I don't actually need ice at that point in time. It just makes me feel better.

So it drives me absolutely INSANE that people who clearly use the ice out of the same ice trays that I do can't seem to refill ice trays properly. Until I came along there was no ice on level 2 of my office building. But I've done my best to provide for my helpless colleagues, who apparently can't make ice for themselves. I'm not sure which I find more aggravating -- when people don't refill them at all, or when they make a completely half-assed effort that results in tiny unusable ice chips. I mean seriously, WHAT BASTARDS think that's appropriate? How can people be so ridiculously pointless? And I swear, if I EVER catch anyone doing it csefestdrhbnwr as gvB IJBQIJqgibdgkNBV SRG BFBVPaxil!!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Heart Attack On A Plate

So my ridiculous eating habits have continued over the past week. The best example is probably Sunday. After my morning swim, I had my usual pancakes with syrup and a big glass of chocolate milk. I thought my next meal would be the early lunch I had planned with friends, however I got a text message that reminded me that I actually had breakfast plans at 10am. So I met up with Becs for "brekkie" (god, I hate that word) where I had a huge plate of bruschetta, and half of her omelette.

Not even close to satisified, I then headed upstairs to the chinese restaurant and proceeded to gorge myself on dumplings, BBQ meat, veggies, noodles, and god knows what else. It was really revolting. Keep in mind it is now not even 12pm and I've had 3 large meals. I actually managed not to have another full meal until around 7pm, however what I missed in quantity that afternoon, I more than made up for in quantity that night.

I had invited Team America over for dinner, and made them chicken, breaded and baked in mozzarella, with a side of parmesan oregano pasta, and some broccoli. If you think the cheese was the unhealthiest thing about that meal, you are so wrong, because the way I made it taste perfect was by dumping 200g of butter into the main meal.

To top it all off, I made cupcakes because it was Cathy's birthday week, and almost doubled the amount of butter you're supposed to put in (used 200g instead of 120g, oops), although in my defense we ended up with the best cupcakes anyone has ever tasted. Seriously, they were amazing.

So now it's two days later, and I'll be honest, I'm surprised none of us has been carted off to the hospital with cardiac arrest. And I think I'm having that chicken dish for dinner again tonight. Wish me luck.