Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bad Habits

Met up with Becs and the Hickster for lunch on Sunday, with the Hickster and I proclaiming that we were NOT going to have a repeat of last week's Sunday lunch that ended with the Hickster incomprehensibly ranting about Ikea taking over the world.

Long story short, we pretty much repeated the entire affair all over again but with a slightly different cast of characters, and the Hickster harassing an old woman in the street. (She had the best of intentions, if that means anything to the old woman who is probably afraid to leave her apartment now.)

I'm tempted to plan another Sunday lunch for the upcoming weekend, but I'm concerned that the Hickster may not make it home alive this time.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

And The Winner Is...

I haven't even talked to most of my friends about how their Christmas went, but I am well and truly confident that the Hickster finding her boyfriend Copps unconscious and covered in blood (after falling off the sofa and hitting his face on the corner of the glass coffee table) after Christmas drinks with friends won't be beaten.

Any Christmas evening that ends with paramedics is a good story. I should start planning something for next year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

We Wish You A Bogan Christmas

I'm about to head to the airport to spend my Christmas up at the Gold Coast, pictured here:


Yes, it looks lovely, doesn't it? However it is known for being populated by bogans, a type of person pictured here:


Should I not post again for a week, send Santa.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Just Like Old Times

Yesterday was a Sunday lunch with a few friends, which we knew would be a bit of a piss up, and so we all got a bit carried away.

Carrying the torch for the group though was the Hickster, who managed to go from sober to drunk over the course of about a minute somewhere around 6pm, and never recovered. After her incomprehensible ranting about Ikea taking over the world, Wilks and I faked all of us leaving just so that we could get her into a taxi home. (We then went back inside for a few more rounds.)

Needless to say, the Hickster woke up fully clothed the next morning, calling around to find out what the hell had happened, since she essentially didn't remember anything after 5pm or so.

And it's not even Christmas yet.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And So It Begins

Well my two weeks off work have begun, which is rather timely as it means I can focus on getting hammered every single day until January 4th. That seems to be what the Australians think the Baby Jesus would have wanted.

Due to a long stressful day and a big dose of jetlag, I managed to remain relatively steady in my drunkeness throughout the night. Carrying the torch, however, was Stranger. Among his many atrocities committed during the course of the evening, he at one point decided it was appropriate to urinate on the fence in the front yard of the house party we were all at, instantly earning the total and likely permanent disgust of the party hosts, who have since declared they want nothing to do with him.

If nothing else, I should at least be able to churn out a few blog posts based on his drunken stories alone. Bring on New Years...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Oh, Yes

After neglecting the blog for the last 10 days or so due to family commitments, I'm on my way back to Perth, which should leave me with plenty of time to update the three people who still have nothing better to do than read about my social life in decline.

I'm also hoping that I will have the proper photos from my 30th birthday celebrations to post. In the meantime, enjoy my favorite photo from the afterparty:


And that pretty much sums up the end of that evening.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Yesterday, after picking my brother up from the airport, I got to work cooking a massive Thanksgiving meal for my extended family, including a 9.25kg (19lb) turkey that I wasn't quite sure would fit in my oven.

Once everything was served, everyone ate and then was able to focus on the primary reason my family ever gets together - drinking.

As the night came to an end, my mother refused to stop dancing, and my godmother was asking me if I'd designed my bathroom (WTF?) because she wanted to take some photos of it.

Success.

Friday, November 27, 2009

You Know You Need A New Job When...

...year after year, your Secret Santa at work gives you an alcohol-related gift.

Stupid reputation.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

You May Go Now

Thursday night was the only night I had a chance to catch up with Chip, who was in town from London for a couple of weeks, naturally while I was trapped in Perth on a work assignment.

Needless to say, we met up at the Colombian and went from there. Alas, upon arriving at the Colombian, we made the poor choice of sitting near a girl who almost seemed normal, only to find she was completely batshit insane. After showing us her domestic abuse scars and telling us about the impending custody battle, she ordered herself two Smirnoff "Blackouts" (I get nervous about ordering just one of those things) and shut up for 5 minutes. This left us to chat and naturally someone - probably me - mentioned that I was half black.

About 10 minutes later, when we were in the middle of a completely different topic, she suddenly pipes up and asks the following:

"Wait. If you have babies...will they be black?"

Once we'd finished laughing, I did what I always do when someone (even a good friend) is annoying the crap out of me at a bar. I told the bartender that she'd had too much to drink, and within minutes she was refused service and left.


I should probably note that the following night, I went to a friend's 30th birthday where a long-time acquaintance (who has hung out with me enough times to know my name without blinking) seriously asked me "Hey, did you get an accent? You sound American or something." I promised not to tell anyone he'd asked.

Oops.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

25 Glasses Of Wine

According to this obviously reliable internet calculator, that's all that stands between me and certain death. I was skeptical about this figure myself, since I'm sure I've had more than that before, but apparently they are specifying that you'd have to drink this amount within a 3 hour timeframe, which makes more sense.


What I really need is a calculator that tells me how many glasses of wine it takes for me to make a complete ass out of myself and wish I had indeed died.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hi Perth, Welcome To 10 Years Ago

Nothing fascinating to say (don't worry, I'll be back in Sydney within 48 hours), but I can't get over the fact that Western Australians were apparently the only people in the world who didn't realize that Britney Spears didn't actually perform live in her concerts.

No, really: http://www.timeslive.co.za/entertainment/article184132.ece

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Glowing Reviews

As I assume I must have blogged about here at some point this year, I turn 30 in December. And I intend for the birthday celebrations to be over the top. Because really, if turning the big three-oh isn't an excuse to make everything about you and only you, then what is? (Some would argue that I already make EVERYTHING about me and only me, so how is this different? Well at least in this situation I would be mostly perfectly justified.)

And so, most of my friends and much of my family has had to listen to me harp on about my 30th birthday for months now. I've guilted most of my family into coming, with 6 of them flying in purely for my birthday. I was stressing about finding a venue back in June, and once I'd booked one in July, I then ensured that I would have a DJ. As a matter of fact, I have two.

One thing that I've avoided admitting to too many people (and no blogging about it is not incongruous with that approach considering less than 100 people per day seem to hit this blog and I'd imagine 75% do so by accident) is my canape spreadsheet that has a column for the name of canapes, how much each of them are, the number of them that I am thinking about ordering, and the amount for each. This is followed by various calculations telling me the total cost, number of canapes per person, and so on.

After all that, it was actually the invitation (inspired by the theme of "Sophistication") that elicited the most colorful of emotions from my friends and family:



Inspired by a Bond movie poster, it managed to evoke reviews ranging from "OMG u r hysterical!" and "This is your best yet" to "You pompous fuck." and "It's like you're getting married. To yourself."

At this point I figure the chances of me getting stabbed at my birthday party are pretty good.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Things I Didn't Need To Hear

I have no boozy nights to talk about this week because I'm back in Perth where my social life tends to consist of avoiding homeless people who try to talk to me between the office and my corporate apartment.

However I managed to find a few minutes to stop doing work and watch New Zealand's Next Top Model this afternoon, a show whose genuinely attractive contestants are outweighed by their awful accents.

It also didn't help that this conversation actually occurred:

Hair stylist: I'm going to give you a Mediterranean look.

Contestant: Oh, cool. Is that, like, near South America?

Hair stylist: Yeah.


It's bad enough that the girl asked that question, it's worse that I don't think the hair stylist was being sarcastic in his response.


(I should probably warn you that this is about as exciting as my blog posts are going to be for another week and a half. You're forgiven for not coming back until then.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Logically

The other night was the annual Halloween in Sydney party that I host with my friend Jules, and I'd like to say it was fantastic but I struggle to remember the last half. In absence of actual memories, here are some photos of the evening.


Myself and Jules -- please note that she actually made her entire outfit. All of it. Sewing, gluing, etc. Insane, I know.


We also had no less than two Lady Gaga's, which made me feel just a little bad that I'd decided against putting any of her songs on the playlist because I'm a little over her for the time being.


I thought the "clouds" were the best executed random costumes for the evening.


And Anna Wintour (seen here with her boytoy) was disturbingly convincing.


Sulu here almost got kicked out of the party for cramping my style.


And in the end, I am always a huge fan of anyone willing to dress up in a huge and uncomfortable fuzzy costume for an entire evening. Rock on.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Texts From Last Night

Actual text messages from a female colleague that I woke up to this morning:

(411): Puking. In my mouth. Yes. It's true.

...and then, 36 minutes later...

(411): So drunk it's ridiculous.


Apart from being gross, I feel like the second text was rather redundant in the grand scheme of things. I mean, if you were vomiting in your mouth (and based on seeing you 2 hours earlier I can be pretty sure it was due to excessive amounts of alcohol and not some gastrointestinal issue), then it would be relatively safe to assume that half an hour later you'd be classified as hammered.

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh, Maggie

Needless to say, the weekend in Margaret River (easily Australia's best wine region, for the uninitiated) was amazing. Great wine, amazing weather, fantastic food. I now have about $200 worth of wine sitting in my kitchen demanding to be consumed in a sad and lonely moment when I realize all my friends are on the other side of the country. Wait, did I say that out loud?

In any case, what I found amazing was that Junior and I were the ones on a wine tour from 10am to 5pm, and yet it was Jam and Chappy who had driven down that day who managed to be absolutely slaughtered during dinner. This included Jam looking like he was going to fall asleep in the middle of his own sentences, and Chappy dropped a full bottle of Sauvignon Blanc on the table and watching a few pours go straight down the front of her dress before one of us put a stop to the madness.

Just blogging about it makes me want to go back, really.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hurry While Supplies Last

I'd hate to go off on my weekend of wine tasting and fine dining in Margaret River without leaving you all with some very necessary information.

Smirnoff Vodka Mojito:



Go and buy this. And drink it. Now. That is all.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Should Have Known

That is, when my Chappy and Jam said they were going to pick me up at 1pm to go for "lunch" and then texted shortly before noon to say they were coming early because they were "thirsty", I should have known what would happen. But still, I threw on my swimming shorts because I was convinced that "lunch" actually meant a bite to eat and then a trip to the beach.

Even when I went downstairs and Jam, who was driving, walked out of the car with a beer in his hand, I still asked if they had any sun block because I'd left mine back in Sydney.

I started to get the hint when we got to their house at the beach, and instead of eating or walking down to the sand, I was presented with bottles of Smirnoff Mojito Cocktail, and told about the various sorts of wine and beer that were coming afterwards.

But I'd have to say I didn't really know what the obvious outcome would be until I woke up the next morning with little recollection of how I got home (thank god for taxi receipts) and dehydrated enough to drink about 4 liters of water before I'd even left the apartment.

Thanks, guys.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Best 10 Minutes In A Convenience Store Ever

Two posts in one day, crazy, I know. But it was necessary to share this one. When I first clicked on the link and saw that it was over 10 minutes long I figured I would watch a couple of minutes of it and close the window. But it was mesmerizing.

(My favorite moment comes around 8:20, if you're feeling impatient.)

Keeping The Toaster By The Bathtub Just In Case

Well, after blogging about it some 6 weeks ago, I've finally relocated to Perth for a couple of months, hence the reason I've been quiet all week.

If nothing else, the lack of a social life or pretty much anything to do means I can at least focus on doing things I usually can't be bothered with, such as exercise or work. I'm just trying to think about how fit and tan I'm going to be by the time by 30th birthday rolls around to stop myself from committing suicide, which is the official pasttime of Western Australians. True story.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Okay, Fine, They Make Me Pick Cotton

You know, I have spent a huge amount of time debating with non-Australians and trying to argue that Australians, despite initial appearances, are not racist.

Sure they perpetuate ridiculous stereotypes well after the rest of the world has decided that it's not appropriate to say such things, but I have argued that they just say what we're all still thinking, and as a result are much more willing to discuss their beliefs and change them than your average American. Generally, I actually find that preferable.

And then...everyone gets excited about the reunion of a sketch show called Hey Hey It's Saturday (which inexplicably aired on a Wednesday night, but I suppose that's besides the point) and this is what the producers decide is appropriate to air on national television:


And to think, this might have just slipped under the radar if it weren't for the fact that Harry Connick Jr. was one of the judges, and explained why he looked so uncomfortable while a bunch of guys in black face calling themselves the "Jackson Jive" yelled at each other in ebonics and danced badly.

(Having said that, Connick's explanation did sound a little weird, as it included the line: "I just wanted to say on behalf of my country, I know it was done in humour ... but we have spent so much time trying not to make black people look like buffoons that when we see something like that we take it really to heart." I'm sorry, I didn't realize it was that difficult to not make black people look like buffoons. But I guess we all know what he meant.)

Even if we look at it from the perspective of being a cultural misunderstanding (seeing as it's really only Americans that have such issues with black face from a historical perspective) you still have to wonder how the producers could have been so ignorant of this fact that they couldn't at least have asked an American for an opinion before sending this to air.

And so, to continue my defense of Australians -- I don't believe this was racist. Just amazingly, incredibly stupid and culturally insensitive.

All I ask of my Australian friends is that they help me out a little. Please. Good lord.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Like, Totally

Don't you guys seriously hate it when you're walking down the street and people keep looking at you and you're not sure if it's because you look super hot that day or if it's because there's a stain on your new shirt or something? And then you have to go walk by a store window with a dark background and pretend that you're looking in the window when really you're just checking yourself out?

Anyways, I have bought the answer...the best iPhone case EVER:

Now you can just pretend you're using your phone, when really what you're doing is making sure that everyone is just checking you out. For reals.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Overheard In The Office

Colleague: You need electrolytes.

Zander: I had a burrito.


That actually reminds me of a conversation I had last night...


Junior: The salad had spinach in it! good for your muscles.

Zander: Um, this is real life, not an episode of Popeye.

I Have The Dumbest Dreams

Seriously, though. I just had one that involved me (and a few others) being laid off from my company, and instead of severance pay my company offered us each a *really* good deal on a 2-year lease for an Audi.

Lame.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Best Laid Plans

On Saturday, I woke up early, came into the office to get some work done, and then headed home to relax in the afternoon before a friend's birthday drinks. I was even sitting down to watch an episode of Jeopardy.

Then, Juice called. He wanted to swing by and pick up his backpack that I had borrowed months ago for South America.

Within seconds of him and Stranger walking through the door, we were all drinking vodka on my balcony, and hours later I was incoherent and embarassing myself on Crown Street.

You know you've had an unacceptable night when a female friend texts you the next day and thanks you for grabbing her crotch in public.

Sweet jesus.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why Yes, Mr. Bowie, There Is Life On Mars

As I've Facebooked and Tweeted about earlier today, we all woke up in Sydney this morning to wonder if we'd been relocated to Mars without prior warning. It was kinda cool, kinda freaky.

Also falling into that category is this photo from the Texts From Last Night photo pool on Flickr that I didn't realize existed until now:



I will bet $200 and a Snuggie that this guy is English.


UPDATE: I've done a little research on "The Music Room" (as it appears that sign in the background says) and not only is it in England, but it's stumbling distance from the town in West Yorkshire where my family lives. Now emailing my cousins to see if this is a friend of theirs...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Clarification

I've been under the impression that my drinking was due to the fact that I am maturing and interested in more adult things these days. For example, I wasn't drinking on Sundays because that's when I like to stay home and try a new recipe.

This past Sunday, a friend called asking to do lunch, and I said I would prefer to stay in and we'd do lunch during the week.

Then, about 9 minutes later, another friend called and asked if I wanted to meet up for a few beers at the bar across the street. Needless to say, I was there within 5 minutes.

So the truth has come out -- I'm not any less of an alcoholic. I'm just a shockingly lazy one.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nice

Love how I trashed everyone else for not updating their blogs and then abandoned mine for almost a week. My bad.

As for my trip to Brisbane, I feel kind of bad about not being excited since it was a great weekend. And the fireworks were actually awesome, mostly because they actually fly FIGHTER JETS through the city and over the river as part of the show, after burners and everything. That makes it a winner in my book, mostly because I'm a firm believer that fighter jets should feature in EVERYTHING. I'm just starting plans to make sure they factor into my funeral somehow.

Otherwise, I've spent this entire week working my ass off on a client proposal, which means if we don't win this work I may as well quit consulting and become a basketweaver in the Mongolian forest. My other motivation is to get this done and sent to the client early tomorrow so I can join everyone else in getting hammered for free starting at 3pm. That's right folks, my alcoholism is more powerful than my work ethic. Makin' momma proud.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Crap

I thought I'd have tons of time to blog this week, but out of nowhere I was asked to do all kinds of WORK, if you can believe it. How rude.

Anyway I'm heading up to Brisbane for the weekend, which generally isn't that appealing, but at least we've booked a stupidly expensive hotel and the weather is supposed to be perfect. There's also something called "Riverfire" on tomorrow night, which is basically the 4th of July at a completely irrelevant time of year. And these things excite us because apparently we're still 8 year old. See you next week.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I Don't Suck As Much As Everyone Else

Despite the fact that my blogging has dropped drastically from 4-5 times a week a few years ago to 2-3 times a week now (pretty much precisely correlated to my drop in weekly binge drinking sessions), I think I've put in a decent effort at this whole narcissistic endeavour. I've likely been buoyed by my inability to stop talking about myself, with this blog being where I post when everyone around me has stopped listening.

My irregularity in blogging has likely left me with about 6 readers -- among them, someone in South Korea (according to my site stats) who I imagine is using my blog as one of the more unfortunate ways one could use to learn English. I also like to conjure up images of poor people in poverty-stricken countries, such as Paraguay and Mali, who randomly visited this site one day only to never be able to leave due to the poor condition of their ancient, charity-donated computer that they can't afford to replace.

In any case, I don't feel too bad because a recent check of my Netvibes account showed that none of the friends whose blogs I used to read on a regular basis seem to be posting anymore, and haven't done so in months.

Another, more insightful man, might take this as a sign that it's time to move on to bigger, better, and slightly more productive things than discussing his quasi-alcoholism and mocking strangers on the internet. I, on the other hand, think this should be interpreted as "I WIN", and have simply updated the links to the right so you have a few more options for time wasting for those days when I somehow find something better to do than blog (e.g. take naps, start drinking early, etc.)

Enjoy.

Monday, September 07, 2009

How To Become Immune To Alcohol

Really the only drinking session worth mentioning from the weekend is Friday afternoon, when I joined some colleagues from the office who had decided that it was too much trouble to come back from lunch when they could just stay at the pub.

Somehow I managed to catch up with them despite starting to drink 2 hours after they had, and the rest of my night is a blur potentially involving being accused of flirting with the daughter of our bosses boss (WTF?) and going to dinner with a friend and his mother and not remembering any of it.

Thanks to that performance, I managed to drink until 2am on Saturday night and also most of Sunday afternoon without actually feeling intoxcated, and at no time did I experience any sort of a hangover. This, of course, is one of the criteria for determining if you're an alcoholic, but I'm less bothered by that than I am by the fact that this was all much more expensive than getting hammered and passing out by 10pm.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Random Drunk

See, this is yet another reason to love Facebook. I was skimming through some friends photos from a recent vacation and came across this photo, instantly finding myself in the throes of a friend crush:


I have no idea who she is, but she looks amazing and clearly needs to be my new best friend. And you just KNOW she looks like this at least two nights a week. Probably three.

And before you say anything, YES, I do fully realize that this post is vaguely hypocritical and fully lacking in self-awareness considering the number of similar photos of myself that probably go up all over the internet every month. Does that mean one can't appreciate the small things in life?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Validation

As I start looking at ways to make my residency in Australia more permanent, a small part of me wonders if I'm turning my back on being an American, even if it means I'm only here another couple of years.

And then, I read things like this...
Who knew President Obama was not born in the United States? Nearly four in ten Americans in a Public Policy Polling survey. But he was born in Hawaii! Yes, but six percent of those in the same poll said Hawaii was not part of the United States. Another four percent were not sure of Hawaii’s status.

...and all I can think is that I should just start a fire and burn all evidence that I was born in a country of such fat, stupid people. If nothing else, I suppose we should appreciate the awesome entertainment value of watching the world's only super power self-implode before our eyes.

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's Like Watching An Entire Nation Go Extinct

In the absence of having anything original or entertaining to say, I thought I'd share this with you -- People of Walmart: a collection of all the creatures that grace us with their presence at Walmart, America's favorite store.

If you're thinking for even a second that you might not have to click on that link, I give you this teaser:


Happy Friday. Go get fat.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Most Reliable Sources of Schadenfreude on Facebook

Last week I was reading a CNN article profiling "The 12 most annoying types of Facebookers", and while we could all easily categorize most of our friends (and maybe even ourselves) into those types, it started me thinking about why I haven't deleted (or at least used the "Hide" feature on) some of the people on my own list. And I realized...I take some serious pleasure in getting regular confirmation that there are people in the world who make me look like a hard working, well-balanced individual.

And so, here's the rundown of the biggest assholes in my Facebook feed (who hopefully don't read my blog):

Who (is this loser?): Male, early 30s
How (do I know this person?): Worked with him for possibly a year at my last job in NYC
What (makes him one of the biggest douchebags ever?): Approximately once every three months, this dude updates his status to tell everyone he's met the most amazing girl. Possibly a week later we get another update saying that he can't stop thinking about his fantastic new girlfriend, which is consistently accompanied by a change in his Relationship Status to indicate he is "In A Relationship". And approximately a week after that we get an bitching about how people are passive-aggressive and should say what they mean, despite the fact that his chosen method of communicating this is a vague and broadly directed Facebook status.
Why (am I still friends with him?): Just to be clear, this guy is a complete douchebag. He constantly talks about how various women aren't up to his personal standards in looks or education, despite the fact that he is overweight and sounds like a neanderthal in both style and content. And so you can only imagine how good it feels to see this delusional twerp get trounced every financial quarter as a reminder that even single, desperate 30-something women think there's a limit to what they will settle for.

Who: Female, late 20s
How: Was a receptionist at my company a few jobs back
What: This nutjob added me to her list of friends just in time for her divorce, which she decided to recount in a blow-by-blow detail via her FB status. This included updates such as "The husband, well I guess now ex-husband, has moved out...I feel so alone" and "I should just get some cats and call it a life". As the months have gone by, she has graduated to that sad specimen of divorced women who tries as hard to convince everyone else as she's trying to convince herself that she's having a great time. "Yeah awesome I forgot how great it was to be single and independent!" or today's update of "I should probably stop turning down hot lawyers who ask me out on dates". Actually, you should stop completely making up unbelievable statuses on online social networks full of people who don't actually like you, dumbass.
Why: Because it's good to know that as pathetic as I've been after a few of my breakups, I will never be as sorry as this chick.

Who: Male, late 20s
How: Friend of a friend, who lives near me
What: Constantly posts new photos of himself that have been airbrushed within an inch of not looking anything like him, which are even more ridiculous when you know that he has a lisp and a lazy eye in real life. His shockingly bad spelling abilities also make me question how he could possibly be employed.
Why: If nothing else, this is an emotional insurance policy - no matter how freakish I may look one day, or how retarded I might get, airbrushing and government hiring quotas for "special needs" applicants will apparently be there to keep me afloat.

Who: Female, mid 20s
How: Friend of a friend of a my uncle's former roommate's dog
What: Is apparently a fan of every single singer, actor, artist, and inanimate object known to humankind. She is even a fan of "Not Being On Fire", most likely in a completely unironic way. She also feels the need to several times a day update her FB status with song lyrics -- as in ALL of the lyrics to any particular song. It's the kind of shit that makes you wonder why FB removed character limits.
Why: Whenever I comment on one of these to tell her what a loser she is, she tends to respond with "LOL ur so funny", which makes her a fantastic virtual abused wife. We all need one.

Who: Female, early 30s
How: Went to college with her
What: Generally has the typical lame statuses of anyone with a young child about whatever supposedly cute thing their little snot factory has managed to do in the last two days without choking on creamed peas. However every couple of months, she suddenly makes some ominous reference about her father-in-law coming to town which always ends with a frowny face, and the reactions of her friends ("Oh my god, I am so sorry to hear that!" or "Call me if you need anything") makes one start to wonder what in the hell this guy has done to her that requires such serious and dramatic reactions from her friends.
Why: She bores me to tears, but this weirdness with her father-in-law has "America's Most Wanted" written all over it, and I am collecting screenshots of these status updates to sell to the highest bidding news media organisation when shit goes down.


I actually have a ton more of these dickwads, but these are probably some of the best ones, and I may as well save a few for the next time I have to endure 4 consecutive days of not drinking.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sincerest Apologies

On Saturday I was excited about my plans to meet up with Pak, a new friend who is from NYC but also lives in Sydney. We'd had a few lunches together in the city during the week, but this would be our first boozing session.

As a result of this highly anticipated get together, I have a few people to whom I owe apologies for the events that ensued:
  • Deeply sorry to the waitress who turned out to be standing right behind me as I muttered something about "Well at this rate it doesn't matter what we want because it doesn't look like anyone's ever going to take our order..." - you the situation very well, I have to say.
  • Apologies to the wine bar that we showed up at around 2pm and then proceeded to stay in the exact same seats for 5 hours. While I'm sure you appreciated the extra income, the beligerence was probably unnecessary.
  • I beg forgiveness of the two friends who met us at the wine bar about 4 hours into our session, as I barely remember you were there and can only pray that you didn't tell me anything important.
  • I regret having whipped out my iPod while Pak and I were heading into the city on the bus (because we couldn't find a taxi for the life of us) and instigating our rapping session, including a full length version of "Shoop". I don't think the two people sitting directly in front of us but too afraid to turn around appreciated it.

In the end our night only lasted about another hour before we realized we were in no condition to be in public, even if it was in the privacy of a friend's house, and we headed home. Between the shockingly painful hangover in the morning and the fact that I blew through last week's target budget by around 50%, I will be aiming to keep a low profile until Friday, at which points all bets are off, per usual.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Texts From The Weekend

(Juice): Dude come down to Bondi, we're here with beers in hand

(Zander): It's 11am.

(Juice): Well come over when you can, it's a gorgeous day

(Juice): Are you on your way?

(Zander): No.

(Juice): I'm hanging out with awesome Irish people

(Zander): That's not good.

(Juice): They're brilliant...are you almost here?

(Juice): Hello?


* * * * * * * * * * NEXT DAY * * * * * * * * * *


(Zander): Hey dude, how was the rest of your night? Are you still alive?

(Juice): Oh my god. What a night. The bar kept telling us to be quiet because people were complaining about all the Irish people singing. Then [redacted] was running to the bathroom because she was feeling sick but she didn't make it and threw up next to a family eating dinner. We were all kicked out. Kept partying at another bar though.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Weekend Starts Early

I agreed to go out for Thursday night drinks only because I was meeting up with Becs, who tends to be one of my more sensible friends and is less likely to get carried away in the moment.

Two bottles of wine and something called a "Midori Illusion" says she might need to be recategorized.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Goodbye, Civilization

I've been informed that a project in Perth we've been waiting on for ages is finally coming through, and I will be the project manager.

I generally wouldn't mind this, except that they believe that it's best that I essentially live in Perth for the duration of the project, and potentially longer depending on various client relationships.

The thought of spending more than a couple of weeks in a city with less than 2 million people, even if it was apparently ranked #5 in the World's Most Livable Cities, is almost heartbreaking. To fight the chances that I'll commit suicide within the first few days, I'm starting a list of things that should make me happy about this development:

The frequent flyer points - lame, yes, but a few round trips to Perth and I should make it to the next level of flyer on my usual airline. I'm pretty sure that means that each time I arrive at the airport I'll be massaged while carried to my flight by Burmese virgins.

Proximity to some of my favorite wineries - if I can drink 3 bottles of the stuff at 4,000km away, imagine the damage I can do if I'm actually over there!

Cold, hard, cash - for each month I spend out there I'll be entitled to collect close to $2000 extra in my paycheck, which is just a little bit amazing considering accomodation and travel will already be covered.


And by focusing on all of those things, I've almost dulled the pain of realizing that my social life is about to be decimated for the rest of the year. Almost.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Alert: Brain Cell Count Dangerously Low

After last weekend where I went out drinking and singing karaoke with a sore throat and then lost my voice, you'd think I would know to take it easy for at least a little while. But you'd be wrong.

While I managed to exert a little self-control on Friday night and headed home around 10, I seemed to see no issues with meeting Ginny and Jam at 5pm on Saturday and ordering wine by the bottle.

The last things I remember of the evening were possibly falling on someone I had just met, and inhaling a slice of pizza on the way home.

Needless to say I had even less of a voice on Sunday morning and declined to leave the apartment in fear of scaring any young children that might not be comfortable with the fact that I sounded like Cancer Man.

I am now aiming to not drink (much) until Friday, and would appreciate your support through these hard times.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Can't Liiiiiiive, If Living Is Without Youuu

With Twitter down for the second time in less than 24 hours, my colleagues and I have had to find other ways to distract ourselves in the office (doing work not being a serious option) and I came across this article that reminds me of one of the main regrets I have about moving to Australia -- no McRibs!



I realize some people are utterly disgusted by these things, as they probably should be, but I have been known to eat four of these in one go after a big night out, and it's hard to describe how much I need one right now after attending an MTV party last night that involved free wine, beer, and Jager shots for three hours. If I hadn't destroyed so many brain cells, I'd be starting a petition.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I'm A Simple Man


Colleague:
Why are you squinting at that piece of paper?

Zander: I have really bad eyesight.

Colleague: Really? Why don't you get glasses?

Zander: I refuse to wear glasses until I'm 30 -- only 4 months to go!

Colleague: Are you serious? Don't you get headaches?

Zander: Nope.

Colleague: But what do you do when you can't see something far away?

Zander: I stop looking at it.

Colleague: ...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Why There Are So Many Shitty Products On The Market

I somehow almost forgot to write about my amazing focus group experience last week. For the two-second backstory, I met up with a friend for drinks a few months back and she had just come from a focus group. She recommended I sign up, seeing as I love giving my opinion on pointless nonsense all the time, so why not get paid for it?

I eventually did register with a market research company, and finally last week, one of them called me and asked me to attend a focus group after work one day. This was after they'd sent me a survey where I claimed that I drink sparkling water all the time, which is an out and out lie considering I can't stand sparkling water. But why worry about these minor details?

Anyway, I went to the focus group, and while my attempts to drink sparkling water without gagging were amusing and all, easily the best part about it was meeting the people who apparently do these sorts of things all the time. Here's a rundown of the characters I was paid spend a glorious 90 minutes with:

The Country Bumpkin - Guy who apparently just moved to Sydney from the asshole of nowhere, and spent the first 5 minutes of the session ranting about how when he first moved to the city the water made him violently ill for 2 weeks straight. He had almost nothing to say for the remaining 88 minutes. Thanks for your contribution.

The Chauvinist Pig - As soon as the facilitator asked us if we drank water for a specific reason and gave an example, this guy would respond with something along the lines of "Nah mate, only chicks care about shit like that..." or "We're blokes! That crap doesn't matter!" I am willing to put money on the likelihood that this dude sleeps in women's underwear.

The Wannabe Advertiser - When asked about the intended advertising campaign for this new brand of sparkling water, this guy not only disliked the one they had, but then took several minutes describing what he thought were better marketing concepts, as if he thought he was in a job interview.

The Faux Doctor - Kept reminding us all that he worked "in the medical profession", although the fact that he never said he was a doctor makes me assume he is a hospital janitor. Used his "expertise" to repeatedly dismiss any benefits the brand attempted to advertise about water being good for you.



Those were easily my favorites, and I'm not sure what they would have thought of me considering I had so little to say other than nit-picking at some sort of marketing pamphlet we were asked to look at (" I don't know, using the word 'fairly' here sounds very non-committal..."), so I was probably the OCD American, which sums me up pretty accurately.

In any case, I really hope I get another invitation to one of these, I think I would actually pay them for this kind of entertainment.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I Should Go To The Supermarket More Often

After having a bit of a sore throat for a few days and doing the opposite of taking it easy on Friday night, I woke up on Saturday with an even sorer throat and no voice. Deciding to act like a remotely intelligent mammal, I made Saturday a quiet one. I skipped a BBQ with some friends, met some others in the evening for two glasses of red wine (which is basically cough syrup) and then went to dinner before heading home and going to bed early.

Sunday was heading in the same direction, until I headed out the door to pick up some food at the supermarket and ended up meeting a friend for breakfast. It seemed harmless enough at the time, but when one considers that I was meeting Juice, then it seems less than surprising that I found myself at a trashy bar in Kings Cross before noon ordering jugs of cheap beer.

If nothing else, I will congratulate myself on making it home before 7pm and getting to bed at a reasonable time. The same can't be said for Juice, unfortunately, who has no recollection of when or how he got home on Sunday night (or perhaps Monday morning) and didn't see the inside of his office until Tuesday.

In the meantime, my throat will clearly need a few extra days to heal. Shame about the drinks scheduled from Wednesday thru Saturday nights.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Nice Working With You, Bruce Lee

Normally I'd blog about something silly or offensive I'd done as part of my usual Friday night routine. Maybe I would mention the fact that we went to karaoke, and when the Chinese girl from work decided to sing a song in Mandarin, I grabbed the other microphone and sang backup with lyrics like "spicy pork dumplings" and "bok choy in oyster sauce". Or the latest offensive joke that I decided to tell at a work event.

But all of that pales in comparison to the fact that around 9pm, as I was standing chatting to a few of my colleagues, one of them suddenly went flying and landed on the ground halfway across the room. Turns out that another coworker had been discussing fly kicking with some of our young graduates, and decided to show off his skills on an unsuspecting victim standing nearby.

Needless to say he was immediately kicked out of the bar, and I'm sure this will result in us having to listen to some pointless speech on "drinking and violence at work events" and which parts of company policy they violate. But as one of the graduates summed it up with wide eyes immediately afterwards, 'That's the coolest thing I've ever seen!"

Damn right.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just Sign Me Up For World of Warcraft

In yet another breach of my supposed rules for myself when it comes to my iPhone, I have not only downloaded a game for my phone, but I even paid for it. I had told myself that not only do I not need games for my phone, but that I didn't want to pay for any applications because how could they possibly be worth it?

In this case, I was pressured into it and only gave in because I got an agreement that I was owed a beer if the game was retarded. After proclaiming that it was indeed a waste of time, it took only 24 more hours before I was so addicted that I played until my phone battery died.

To make matters worse, the game in question (Flight Control) actually is really dumb. Essentially I act as an air traffic controller and guide aircraft in to land at the airport without any of them crashing into each other. And yet, I am fully addicted to this crap:


The one thing that still annoys me about it is how every time a plane lands it congratulates you -- but in addition to the regular "Great!" and "Well done!", it also tells you things like "Jolly Good!" and "Good Show!", which leaves me visualizing Basil Fawlty yelling at me while I'm trying to waste my life playing a game that leaves my vision blurry after only a few minutes of playing.

Seriously, someone shoot me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Where's My Trophy?

As some sort of reminder to myself that a few quiet weekends doesn't make me any more mature and sensible, I managed to make a complete ass out of myself on Saturday night.

At the second of three parties I was attempting to make it to that night, I'd had just enough wine (I'd estimate about three bottles) to stumble and fall backwards over a friend's coffee table and take out all of the drinks on it. I hear the red wine stains have actually come out, but I apparently also managed to sent the table itself.

My lack of shame is probably something I should actually feel guilty about, but instead I'm just grateful that this was the only photo that anyone managed to snap before I stopped laughing hysterically and was capable of standing up:


Consider me extremely appreciative of the iPhone's lack of a flash for it's camera.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bring. It. On.

OMG OMG OMG! Hadn't checked my blog stats in months, and I went in today and found this:



I think it's a fair assumption that this is Sarah Palin, considering there are likely 2 computers in Wasilla, Alaska, and there's a good chance that one of them is only used to play solitaire. Hopefully the fact that I communicate using words instead of water color paintings won't scare her off too much on her first visit. Promise I won't tell my favorite joke about what the difference is between her mouth and her vagina. Well, maybe in the comments.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Saturday, In An Electronic Nutshell

Birthday Party #1

Drinking for three hours. Highlight: Telling a couple I've just met that their baby is cute but I'd rather they'd brought a puppy.


Birthday Party #2

Finding the atmosphere in the restaurant a bit subdued and telling racist jokes until it was time for me to head to the next event. Final words: "Let the bitch cook in the dark."


Birthday Party #3

Exhausted from 8 hours of drinking (not to mention old age), I have two drinks, grab a friend's breasts inappropriately and head home.



This is my life.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I Should Host A Game Show Or Something

Each month we have a two-hour meeting on Friday afternoon with the extended team of about 200 people. Drinks are provided which makes it marginally less painful to sit through people who do things I have zero understanding of talking about their latest projects as if the rest of us could possibly care.

One segment is just an update on engagements and marriages, people who had babies, recent hires, and people who have resigned. And for some reason, I was put forward as the ideal person to present that segment this month.

I might have done alright if the segment had been closer to the beginning of the meeting. As a result, the following ensued:

  • I decided to bring a bottle of wine with me from the drinks table so I wouldn't have to keep getting up during the meeting
  • I got progressively drunker throughout the meeting, including talking while everyone else was presenting
  • I was still talking to the people around me when I realized the room had gone quiet, and looked up to see my name on the screen
  • I then swore - loudly - and stumbled to the front of the room
  • For some reason, I started by talking about myself
  • My first announcement was one I made up on the spot, about how a guy on our team had gotten engaged at lunchtime, and I made everyone give him a round of applause. He's never even had a girlfriend.
  • I fortunately refrained from saying that I think newborn babies are gross - but it crossed my mind
  • When one of our team's new hires declined to tell an embarrassing story about himself, I stepped in and told one about him
  • At the end I was supposed to congratulate certain people from another team within my division on passing some exam, which I worded as "Congratulations on passing your exam and becoming...uh...certified, or whatever it is that happens to you now."


The whole routine got more than a few laughs, but I think we can be confident that senior management was not impressed and I likely won't be asked to present at that meeting again any time soon.

On the plus side, I got drunk for free.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This Is Why I Don't Live In America

I originally saw this on The Soup the other day and was completely "flabbergasted", for lack of a cooler word. I was going to blog about it in more detail, but I think this guy has the topic pretty much covered. Wow. (Click on image to view the video on YouTube.)


Monday, July 13, 2009

It's Not Easy Being This Predictable

I went into the weekend with some semblance of a hope that it would be another quiet one. And I came so close.

My dinner on Friday might have been marginally more civilized if I hadn't started drinking at lunchtime, resumed again at 4pm in the office, and continued through dinner. I could have been tempted to stay out after dinner, but fortunately the two girls at the dinner table who apparently weren't speaking to each other kind of ruined the mood and I was home and in bed before 11.

On Saturday I attempted to stay in watching Law & Order reruns, but by the time 3pm rolled around I was in no state of mind to refuse an invitation to drinks, and found myself at the pub. The tequila shots before 7pm started a severe downward spiral involving champagne, Smirnoff Blackouts, and something in a can that may have contained bourbon, all of which resulted in my spending 90% of Sunday laying on the couch. Watching Law & Order reruns.

It's the circle of life, really.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Seriously?

Not to rehash overplayed recent events or anything, but this whole Michael Jackson thing is a bit too much for me.

On June 24th, he was a weirdo with a half-melted plastic face and creepy (read: probably illegal) attitudes towards children. And apparently starting from June 25th, he was one of the most amazing people in history and to say anything negative about him means you're a bad, bad person.

While I think some of the obituaries and articles that only focus on his scandals, legal issues and financial woes are in somewhat poor taste, the idea that I'm no longer allowed to even mention the fact that the dude was clearly one of the biggest freaks in modern times annoys the crap out of me. Or maybe I'm just bitter because I'm pretty sure the moment I die people aren't going to magically forget what a complete asshole I was. Whatever. If I want to tweet jokes about MJ being a dead pedophile all day while everyone else is being melodramatic, I will, and I won't feel bad about it.

The most offensive part is the people wailing in the streets and saying things like "A part of my childhood has died." Actually you self-obsessed dickhead, an ACTUAL PERSON has died, and you were not him, you were not related to him, and there's a 99.73 chance that you never even met the dude. As a matter of fact, your life before his death is likely identical to your life after his death, other than your incessant moaning about a guy who hadn't released anything worth listening to in over a decade. SHUT UP.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Is This What Being A Dad Is Like?

After a couple of years of fighting the iPhone craze (which wasn't too tough considering the original version didn't come with features that were considered basic on other smartphones) I have finally given in to the iPhone 3GS that came out in the last few weeks.

And after all that, I can also say that this thing is everything that I feared it would be - awesome and addictive being the first two words that come to mind.



(Not sure why a photo is necessary, I imagine everyone knows what these godforsaken things look like by now.)

For the first time I've actually bought a protective cover for my phone, considering the last few times I spent a lot of money on a phone, they've either ended up lost or with a cracked screen because I sat on them or something equally stupid.

My main concern now is that I've had this phone for 4 days and I've blatantly been sitting in the office playing with it at my desk the entire time, with only vague references to the fact that I work in the digital industry to defend myself.

Good thing there's probably an app to keep me warm at night once this whole employment thing falls through.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Slippery Slope

I just went downstairs for my morning swim, as I was a judge in a cake competition yesterday and also ate an unfortunate amount of food otherwise too, and was definitely in need of the exercise.

However I saw that there were far too many people in the pool, and I am now back upstairs in my apartment eating cheese and Ritz crackers.

Awesome.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Still Got It

After a few weekends that were neither quiet or retarded, one side finally won out this past weekend. Or at least for one night.

I met up with Juice, the Hickster, and a few stragglers on Friday night for a few drinks and "nothing too crazy". A few bottles of wine later I was destroying furniture at one of Sydney's most exclusive bars, and had trouble remembering how I got home. When I woke up on Saturday morning, the feeling that I might be dying was slightly outweighed by the comforting fact that no one else remembered getting home, although Juice did recall not being allowed to enter at least one rather trashy bar on Oxford Street.

After spending most of Saturday laying on the couch and hoping for a quick death, I allowed Junior to drag me to a showing of Transformers 2, which was shockingly bad enough to allow me to redirect my anger at myself for my hangover into fully fledged rage against those responsible for making such an awful movie.

We stopped by a 30th birthday later on but only lasted for 2 beers before I needed Indian food and my bed.

This was in sharp contrast to both Juice and the Hickster, one of whom started drinking before noon on Saturday despite waking up drunk, and the other partying until 7am Sunday morning and losing her third coat of the week.

I realize one shouldn't evaluate their lives by comparing themselves to their friends who are busy setting new standards for devious and self-destructive behavior, but it's really the only thing keeping my self-esteem afloat at the moment. I'm sure you understand.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Addition To My Shit List

From Overheard In New York:

Guy #1: Are you Xander with an x or Zander with a z?


Guy #2: An x.


Guy #1: Nobody likes a Xander with a z.

--Hunter College


I'm Getting Worse At This

Apologies for my absence, I'm not sure what excuse I can really provide for the fact that my commitment to blogging is deteriorating faster than the illusion of democracy in Iran.

In the meantime, my photo of the day:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

People Who Should Not Have A Job

I casually went to check the weather online and I noticed a scantily clad blonde dancing in the top right of my screen. I realize that some of the shock and tastelessness is lost without the animation, but I can't even begin to describe all of the things that are wrong with this ad:



I mean, where would one start? The incomprehensible text? (What's with the "4/9"? Is that a date?) The fact that regardless of the alphabet, "Alabama" should never the default option for anything? Or just the utter irrelevanance of a stripper when it comes to refinancing your home loan?

It's times like these, when unemployment is so high, that you have to wonder how the numerous people who must have been involved in getting that ad to where it is today are still being paid for anything.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Too Old For This

On Friday night I met up with a couple of work-related friends and we started drinking at a couple of the more respectable establishments in Sydney. Hours later we were hopping from one trashy bar to another on Oxford Street when the night ended around 2am because one girl seemed to have sprained or broken her ankle and couldn't actually walk. We confirmed the next morning that she was fine, meaning she was simply so drunk that her ankle had stopped working.

After sleeping until noon the next day, I managed to stay sober for just a few hours until meeting up with the Hickster and a few bottles of wine. My hopes of having a quiet-ish night to recover were clearly when I ended up dancing and doing shots at a club in the Cross after midnight, using someone's birthday as an excuse.

I think I have a problem.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Everything I Feared It Would Be

Despite the fact that I knew I'd essentially owe Mastercard my next paycheck when I got back from my South American holiday, I agreed before I left that I would do something I've always avoided - go on a cruise.

My mental image of cruises has always been a boat full of thousands of people whose average IQ doesn't come anywhere near triple digits and have a fashion sense that hasn't evolved since 1991 and wasn't acceptable back then either, in any case.

And so, when I boarded this cruise ship on Friday evening for a trip up the coast from Sydney to Brisbane, all of my fears were realized. Suddenly, I was surrounded by people with permed hair and tapered jeans who seemed to think they were living the life because they'd just spent what was probably a week's salary on a $400 2-day cruise.

While I will admit to having a good time, I can qualify that by saying that I was with a group of 7 people which meant we could close ranks and defend ourselves against the onslaught of bad taste and idiocy that we were surrounded by. I am also very thankful that I 'forgot' to bring my camera along, since there's only so much laughing one can do at this sort of a situation. In the absence of my own photos, here's one I found off the web that should suffice:


Needless to say, I will be drinking those memories away this weekend.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Oh Geez

It's Thursday and I haven't posted anything here since Saturday!

Tough shit.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Demand A Trophy

Last night the Hickster and I met a friend to take a tour of some potential spots for my 30th birthday party, and agreed that we'd go out for a couple more before heading home and having a relatively quiet night.

We jumped in a taxi, told him where we were going, and I started telling a few of my funnier vacation stories.

Suddenly, as we were almost at our destination, the cab driver flips out us. He turns around and starts yelling "IN EIGHTEEN YEARS YOU ARE THE WORST PASSENGERS I HAVE EVER HAD!"

While we weren't hammered by any stretch, we were feeling rather cheeky after a few wines each, and proceeded to qualify this statement.

Zander: I don't know how you can say that. Surely you've had passengers who have vomited in your taxi.

Driver: YES, AND YOU ARE WORSE THAN THEM! THE TALKING AND THE LAUGHING!*

Hickster: What about people who have sex in your taxi?

Driver: YES, YOU ARE WORSE THAN THEM TOO.

Zander & Hickster: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Zander: Well at least we know we don't have to tip him.


In the end it's a bit of a dubious honor - while I have no doubt that we were painfully annoying, the idea that our voices and laughter could linger long enough to trump the act of cleaning a stranger's vomit (or bodily fluids) out of the back of your taxi is implausible, at best. Still, we'll take it, and I'm already looking into where we can get little trophies made.


*Driver's statements are even more hilarious when re-read with an Arab accent.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Aye Carumba!

Well I'm back from a month jet setting around South America. The trip was amazing, but I will admit that as much as I love to travel, 4 weeks in one go is a bit much, so some part of me is happy to be back in Sydney with some sort of plan about where to be each morning.

I'm still in the process of putting together the resulting photo albums (and by that I mean I haven't even transferred the photos off my camera yet) so here's a quick rundown of each place I visited:

1) Buenos Aires - I actually went back to Buenos Aires for much longer at the end of my trip, so this 24 hour stint there just consisted of checking into the hotel, walking through a very dodgy area to get to a quasi-tourist attraction, and going out for an early dinner (that's around 10pm by Argentinean standards) so that I could get up in time for a morning flight the next day. More on BA later, though.

2) Iguazu Falls - It's either the biggest or highest or loudest waterfalls in the world, or something like that. In any case, it was cool, and didn't require more than 24 hours to see it. Perfect for my short attention span.

3) Rio de Janeiro - Pretty much everything you'd expect Rio to be...beautiful beaches, great restaurants and nightlife, and a certain probability of getting stabbed after dark. And of course we did the requisite hang gliding while there, which I can admit to hesitating at originally, but was one of the highlights of the whole trip.


4) Lima - We actually ended up flying through Sao Paolo and Santiago over 24 hours in order to get to Lima, but considering the detour also involved drinking for free with some cool Australians in the airport lounge in Santiago, it was probably worth it. Lima itself left much to be desired, but we were there less than 24 hours so I won't bitch too much.

5) The Amazon - Gross, as expected. That's all the nature I need for at least another 5 years, thanks.

6) Cuzco/Sacred Valley/Macchu Pichu - You may be surprised to know that I actually enjoy climbing around ancient ruins, even if a bar isn't part of the reconstruction plan. High altitude and low oxygen, on the other hand, sucks ass.

7) Lake Titicaca - I actually spent a night on an island in the middle of the lake with a local family that didn't have steady electricity or any form of running water. Please feel free to slap a few gold stars on my ass next time you see me.

8) La Paz - Creepiest city I've ever been to. I'm not sure how long it takes to get used to seeing dried llama fetuses hanging outside shops on the street, but I can assure you that I didn't reach that level of comfort in 4 days time.

9) Santiago - Considering we were only there for 2 full days, and after a big night out I only left the hotel on the second day to go to McDonald's for dinner, I'm not sure I'm in a position to say much about this city. Seemed clean, though?

10) Buenos Aires - I want to live here. Amazing food, nightlife that makes New York look a bit slack, and a low enough cost of living that I'm pretty sure even my salary and excessive spending would still put me on a path to home ownership.


And so I'm now back at work in Sydney, struggling with low motivation and jet lag, and officially poor for the next 2 months while I essentially transfer any salary payments directly to Mastercard. This means either a very quiet time over the next few weeks, or (more likely) an increase in trashy nights drinking in the apartments of friends. I know you're hoping for the latter, so I'll see what I can do. Assholes.