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,'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:


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.


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...


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.


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.


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.


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.