Friday, June 29, 2007

Things Are Lookin' Up

So I've spent most of the week being a jackass, mostly because I've been working 12 hour days and I'm not a huge fan of living in a hotel room for any amount of time.

I've also been bitter that I was unable to get a room in the hotel I liked so much last time, the Park Hyatt, so I had to settle for the Grand Hyatt, which I suppose is fine but it's kind of like flying First Class and then having to downgrade to Business. It's just not up to my newly established standards.

I haven't really been able to enjoy Melbourne just yet either. I went to dinner and drinks with a friend and some other people last night, and made it to around 9.30pm until a week of 12 hour days finally caught up with me and I had to head back to the hotel for some sleep.

However today is looking much better. I've managed to time my visit here with the Melbourne office quarterly event, which is none other than 10-pin bowling, one of my favorite activities where I make a complete ass of myself because I'm so childishly competitive.

Not only that, but some friends from Sydney are all flying in today to spend the weekend, so I will party with them tonight but be the only one who didn't actually pay for his own flights or hotel. Suckers.

Friday Funny

I'm pretty sure I've seen this before (got it as part of a "You Might Be A Redneck If..." email), but it was like seeing it for the first time all over again and I wanted to share:

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Greetings From Melbourne...I Hate Everything

So I'm down here for work, extremely stressed, the weather is awful, and all I can think of is a couple of things to bitch about, so here goes:

1) Toothpaste -- I keep meaning to write to Crest and Colgate after each trip to the supermarket where I need to buy toothpaste. Because someone, somewhere, NEEDS to explain to me why there are so many different types. Not brands. I mean, one whitens your teeth, one freshens your breath, and another one prevents cavities.

Now correct me if I'm wrong (which I'm not, because I never am), but isn't toothpaste supposed to do all of those things? And what numb nuts walks down the aisle thinking "Well, I definitely want whiter teeth, but fresh breath, no way!" If that person exists, I want to lobotomize them with a plastic spoon, if that isn't what's happened already.

2) Grapes -- or more specifically, grapes with seeds in them. I just need to know...WHY?! Are there really people on this planet who enjoy biting into a grape and then having to spit out the remnants of a seed? Why aren't all grapes seedless? Why do the fruit growers and distributors of the world hate me?

That is all. I will try and be a little cheerier tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Everyone's A Little Bit Racist*

A friend forwarded me this article today, about the rapper Xzhibit storming out of a popular late night talk show here in Australia because he felt like someone said something racist to him.

When you actually read the article you can't really tell for sure what the offending crew member really meant (although I will give the benefit of the doubt and assume he just meant a rapper as opposed to a black guy), but I am loving the hints of racism in the article itself. In particular:

Xzibit took this to be a racist remark and immediately “went out the front door hopped in my sh*t and rolled out”, which presumably means he got into his car and left.

Loves it.

*I feel like I've used this title before? My apologies.

Yes, He Has An Afro

Sorry yet again for not posting right after the weekend. It was quite eventful, but work has continued to blow up in my face and I haven't had a chance to update you all on things. I've been frustrated enough at work that everyone is calling me "Mr. Grumpy", which just irritates me even more and makes me say bitchier things. It's an ugly spiral.

Fortunately, I was able to relax and have a great time with my colleagues on Saturday night, as it was our company's annual ball, this year's theme being...Gotham City. Awesome, I know.

From our team, only two of us really dressed up for the event, but other than the expected characters (Batman, Robin, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, etc.), most people seemed to throw the theme to the wind and dress up however the hell they wanted. Attendees included:
  • A Super Mario Brother
  • The Transformers
  • He-Man
  • At least a few "Goth" freaks
  • A Klansman (I wish I was kidding -- imagine how mortified his table must have been having to sit with him)
And there were plenty of others, but I fail to remember them off the top of my head at this point. I have lots of pics though (which continue all the way until I got home around 5am), and will post the link here once they're ready for sharing.

In the's a teaser:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

We Were Robbed

People generally don't like playing games with me at the best of times. As I'm sure I've mentioned here before, I am childishly competitive, managing to be both a sore loser AND a sore winner.

Trivia is no exception. It's one thing if I have no idea what the answer is and someone takes a guess. However people arguing with me really irritates me, since it clearly means that they didn't get the memo that I'm always right.

The other thing that bothers me is people not paying attention. So you can imagine how frustrated I got on Tuesday evening when Team America Kate decided to commandeer the answer sheet, but then failed to pay any attention to what was going on, and ended up putting answers in the wrong boxes and combining answers that had nothing to do with each other.

As an example -- apparently, in the 70's at some point, Stevie Nicks sang a duet with...Henry VI. Also, the toy made famous by Donald Duncan in 1929 was...Jack Nicholson. Who knew?

We ended up coming in around 3rd or 4th, meaning there was no prize. Probably a good thing, since the prizes tend to be bar tabs, and I have had a sore throat for days now and really shouldn't be drinking at all.

In other news, I just had the worst day at work since I started this job, and so I've decided to spend the last few minutes watching Japanese people being weird. I'm feeling better already...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pinch Me

So yesterday I had to stop by the dentist on the way home.

Like almost anyone, I don't like going to the dentist. I used to absolutely hate it, but my obsession with knowing my teeth are clean (do you guys ever have that dream where all your teeth are falling out? I used to have it all the time and I'm still traumatized) has ensured that I go approximately every 6 months for my cleaning and checkup.

However this time I'd managed to put it off for 10 months, and last week a paranoia suddenly struck me and I was convinced that despite not having any pain or anything, I was going to end up like this kid.

Anyway, I trudged over to my usual dentist last night, where he inspected my teeth and then said to me "Okay Zander, I'm going to clean your teeth now and then we can have a chat."

I'm sorry, but doesn't that sound really ominous. So I sit there while he cleans my teeth, convinced that he's going to finish and then tell me that they all need to be ripped out because I haven't flossed 18 times a day for the past 27 years.

Finally he finished and had me sit up, and his words to me were "Your teeth and gums are perfect."

I will swear by all that is holy that I have NEVER heard that from a dentist before, and never expected to. Generally all I get (even from this dentist) is disapproving looks and then a lecture about how much I suck and all of my teeth will fall out by the time I'm 40.

So I'm still just a little bit ecstatic and loving that my investment in a $300 electric toothbrush last year may actually have been worth it.

And that's it. Me bragging about my teeth. Although I'm on my way to pub trivia at the moment, so I will try to bring back stories about how super smart I am after 8 pints of beer.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Everything Is So Blurry

I can barely see my computer screen right now because I'm so outrageously tired. Let me try and explain why...


The usual crap.


Woke up having had not nearly enough sleep. Met friends for lunch, had a couple of beers over a game of pool, and then headed out west to spend the evening with the family. My cousin Emma was in a surprisingly good production of Les Miserables, after which I immediately went back to the house and crashed.


Woke up and still hadn't had enough sleep. Went back to my place so I could shower and change and then head to a farewell/birthday BBQ for someone moving back to the UK. Was so exhausted that I went home by 6pm and was passing out on the couch when I got a phone call from Murphy.

Naturally this somehow led to me drinking with Murphy and his gang until close to midnight, and all I've been thinking about for the last six hours is my bed. Unfortunately my trip home will involve a long overdue visit to the dentist for a checkup. Will the fun never end.

Friday, June 15, 2007

It'll Last Longer

I've never been much of a sentimental person. I generally throw out tons of things that most people would probably hold onto as mementos of this or that, like ticket stubs to great events and random little things like that. I've always just thought my memories were good enough, and couldn't ever see myself being one of those people who opens up that old shoebox and gets teary-eyed while grasping a piece of string that no one else but that special someone would know the meaning of. I may vomit just from having typed that.

Having said all that, I love pictures, as many of you would know. If I go away for a long weekend I am sure to come back with around 100 pictures that I want to put online, write narrative captions for, and send to everyone I've ever met. However I generally never bothered with hard copies...until now.

I recently have been having little pangs of homesickness, and not that it really makes anything better, I decided, apart from framing and hanging a NYC subway map over my bed, to order prints of a lot of my favourite pictures of me and my friends back in NY and frame or hang them. Just in case you're wondering how I chose these pictures, the process pretty much went like this:
  • Am I in the picture?
  • Do I look good?
  • Do I even like the other people in the picture?
  • Even if I don't, do I look really good?

I found a picture frame that held three photos, and chose three rather civilized shots to go in there. However I had tons of additional photos that I wanted to put up and realized that buying 20 picture frames would be overkill, so I went with buying the cork picture board and just putting as many as possible on there.

This is what I ended up with:

It's a decent mix, although I intend to tweak it in the future. Some stats though:

Most appearances:

A tie between Domini and Emily, no surprise there

Most appearances by someone I haven't really hung out with that much:

Joe's old roommate Jeff

Most random appearance:

My former coworker Kevin, who worked with me in NY for about 6 months and just randomly wanted to hang out with me and my friends one night.

Most overrepresented event, considering Joe is a total ass hat:

Joe's birthday, 2005

Most underrepresented demographic:

Asians -- only two of them in there, which is rather appalling considering most of the people I know from high school are from the yellow continent.

Anyway, that's it for now on this topic, as I've actually already changed some of the pictures since I took that, and I don't want anyone getting mad at me because they don't see themselves on there. You vain, vain bastards.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I was worried that I might not make it through the premiere of "Cycle 8" of America's Next Top Model last night. Not because of my odd sleeping habits, but because I had a 3 hour "work lunch" at Cafe Sydney (where I've been twice now and have yet to spend a dime of my own money) and had managed to get drunk enough that all I wanted to do was pass out from around 4.30pm onwards.

Anyway, I managed to stay awake, and it paid off. We were all in hysterics for pretty much the entire episode, and I can't wait for more. Having said that, if ANYONE ruins the ending for me, despite the fact that you've already watched it in the US, there will be pain. A lot of it. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Oh Sorry, I Thought This Was The Asshole Party

Saturday started off innocently enough. I met some friends for breakfast at Mint, and then we wandered over to a costume shop nearby, since I had somehow ended up needing to dress up in costume for at least three events in the coming month.

One of them was a Rock Star Party that night in North Bondi, and I took the easy way out and simply bought a rock mullet that I could wear with some sunglasses and shitty clothes for the generic Rock Star look.

After a couple of DVDs (Saw III, which was not that hard to watch, and Another Gay Movie, which was surprisingly hilarious, and gross) I headed off to Team America's place where I passed out on the couch while the girls dressed up as Avril Lavigne (old school, not the awesome "Girlfriend" version) and Bjork (in retarded swan dress, replaced with a kookaburra).

Anyway, here's what I ended up looking like:

And apparently there is some Sydney Swans (that's from the AFL, Australian Football League, and I still don't know the difference between that, the NRL, and Rugby Union, which are all apparently different sports and none of them are soccer, WTF) player that I ended up resembling, seen here:Ah well, I'll get it right next time. I have a costume all lined up for my firm's Mid-Year Ball and the theme is...wait for it...GOTHAM CITY. It shall be awesome.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ruining The Company Reputation

Well it was a long weekend, and I'd rather not try and cram it all into one post, so first...Friday night. We spent all afternoon at the Opera House for an off-site, which meant we had to pay our dues and talk about "strategy" and "planning" for the coming financial year. Which wasn't so bad, although I started to get a bit testy when I realized it was 5pm on a Friday and I was stone cold sober.

However, we made up for that.

Once we were all finished there, we headed down to the bar, opened a tab on a company card, and got started. Within a couple of hours, some of my colleagues were drunker than I'd ever seen them before, meaning things went from silly fun to rather weird and uncomfortable. The highlight reel:
  • Me and Chronster tearing up the dancefloor while she stole cupcakes for me that had been left out on the bar. All fun and games until she didn't put the cover back on the tray correctly and everything ended up scattered all over the place.
  • The guy who got married three weeks ago making out with someone who definitely wasn't his new bride. We had to send him home to his lucky, lucky woman.
  • An extremely candid discussion of phone sex. Or perhaps more of a debate between those of the team who were experienced advocates and those who kept saying "What do you mean by phone sex?", as if anyone actually meant copulation with an actual phone. Playing dumb isn't cute, kids. You're probably a professional phone sex operator.
  • A member of the team being found somewhat incapacitated in the women's bathroom, and being led away by paramedics (which may have been a bit dramatic, she's fine)
  • One of our analysts deciding to sit down at the drum set and play along with the DJ's music -- until the band ran over (probably upset that he was playing better than they were), followed by security who told us all to "finish our drinks and leave".
  • Things might have ended better if we hadn't walked out one door and back in through the other one to order another round of drinks, but hey, we thought we could get away with it considering we had racked almost two grand up on the tab. Apparently not, and we were asked to leave again, a little more sternly.
  • Stopped by McDonald's before heading home, which wasn't that notable except for the fact that half of the people there didn't actually remember it until we mentioned it this morning.

I think being kicked out of the bar was really a result of a culmination of all of those events, since playing the drums generally isn't that much of an offense. Although we were rather amused that this is the second time our team has been kicked out of a bar because of an incident involving a drum set. Rock on.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Not Much

Could have sworn I had a few tidbits for you, but nothing is coming to mind at the moment. The following is simply whatever comes dribbling out of my brain in the next 3 minutes:
  • I actually had to do my US taxes yesterday. Or more accurately, I had to do my taxes, and then fill out a form that verified that I didn't actually have to do my taxes. It was complicated and annoying and makes me wonder who comes up with these rules. Better yet, if I get much more in the way of salary, I apparently WILL have to pay taxes both here and back home. Huh what?
  • I'm over the Top Model fiasco, as we're referring to it these days, and simply looking forward to the nonsense that the American version will bring.
  • I've been 100% sober for the last few nights, and I'm planning to make up for that this evening. We are leaving the office at noon for an "off-site", which I'm hoping translates to getting horrendously drunk by 6pm.
  • Monday is a public holiday in honour of the "Queen's Birthday", which is amusing considering that even the UK doesn't have that as a public holiday. But hey, whatever gives me an extra day to recover from the usual Sunday drinking.

See you in a few days, kids.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

So Much For Healthy Role Models

Tuesday night was the season finale of Australia's Next Top Model, and I'm kind of glad it's over. While it can be entertaining to see a different version of the show, it gets a little old watching something that is trying so hard to be the original American version. The way they decided to be a little different this season was that the finale was live. Which might not have been quite so bad except for the fact that they weren't able to edit the bickering judges, and you start to realize how little they know about anything, and how much they all probably hate each other.

Most awkward was easily how they had each of the people who had votes say their vote out loud in front of everyone. This included not only the D-list celebrity judges, but the editor of the magazine where the winner would get a spread, the owner of the cosmetics company who would use the winner as their spokesmodel, and the head of the agency where she would get a contract. Which really just ended up taking away any kind of suspense, since the first three votes were for the same girl. Who planned this crap?

The last two girls we ended up with were Steph and Alice:

Steph was the girl who may have been really young, but had way more personality (or should we say ANY personality), and everyone loved her. Alice was the girl who looked like she hadn't eaten in three years and as a result barely had the energy to keep her eyes open, and definitely didn't have the energy to speak at an audible volume.

Naturally the skinny boring bitch won, which is a shame because apart from being disgustingly malnourished looking, she really did have the personality of a turnip, and in my opinion the most interesting models have always either been the ones who can actually hold a conversation, or the plain crazy bitches like Janice, Tyra and Naomi who are just pure entertainment. (Easily the latter role this season was filled by a girl named Paloma who would spend an entire episode yelling and being nasty to everyone, and then turn to the camera and with all sincerity utter things like "I just think I've been far too nice to everyone here.")

Ah well...we all know who the REAL Top Model in Australia is:

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Signs You Need Help

Randomly just remembered this conversation from Sunday (which means it must have been good, cause I don't remember much):

Zander: Check out that hottie.

Paddy: I think I see a wonky eye though.

Mickey: That's hot.

Everyone: WHAT?!

Mickey: What? I think it's cute.

Zander: What are you talking about? You like people who look retarded??

Mickey: Not retarded! Just a little bit...disabled.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Search of the Month

I should really post some of these more regularly, because it's absolutely hysterical how some people find my blog, but I glanced at the stats today and in the past 12 hours my favorite is..."listerine for midgets".

I've found it's rather pointless to even hazard a guess at what someone like that was actually trying to find, but I figure anything that leads someone new to my blog is a good thing.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Still In Pain

It's Monday afternoon and I am exhausted. Melbourne was a blast, including a truly ridiculous and unnecessary Friday night. Saturday was more relaxing, simply because I didn't have the energy to do much. And then I had the brilliant stroke of genius that led to me drinking all day on Sunday, which is why all I've wanted to do since I woke up this morning is go back to bed.

Friday was actually great, since I decided to stay the night in Melbourne so I could hang out with my coworkers a bit and bond over free booze in the office. They actually have Sing Star Karaoke in their breakout room, and I had the pleasure of kicking the former CEO's ass at "Just Like A Pill", which was kind of cheating considering I'd been at Pink's concert on Monday. I then proceeded to win yet again with "I Think We're Alone Now", leading a Canadian colleague to confirm that I was really good at singing like a girl.

And I feel like I should have plenty of funny stories from the weekend, but I unfortunately don't remember any of them or have the desire to type them all out here. I'll try harder this week though, promise.