Friday, February 27, 2009

And Y'all Said I Ain't Classy

I'm no profound lover of art, but I think we can all appreciate the beauty in a truly touching photograph:

You can find the entire gallery here. It's all very moving. And I'm not just saying that because my breakfast consisted of stale Ritz crackers and some cheese I found at the bottom of my fridge.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

And That's Two Strikes...

I've just been assigned my first permanent "counsellee" since coming to this job, a new graduate who joined the team this week. I've had a few summer intern/vacationer types before, but this will be the first time I actually have to care because they will be here for more than 3 months.

I already had mixed feelings about the whole thing, but the following items are already threatening my relationship with my counsellee, and thus, his career:

1) As is common these days, I went to Facebook to look him up once I found out what his name was. Not only is his profile freely available to anyone who might want to take a look, but one of his profile photos is definitely of him smoking a bong. This treads the very thin line between excusable due to being young and needing advice, and just lacking common sense as a fundamental trait. And just when I was willing to dismiss this as an easily overlooked error on his part...

2) the email that goes around when someone starts, we ask what songs they have on their iPod or something equally inane. And so, I have major issues that one of the "artists" on his list was none other than Nickelback. I hate Nickelback with such a passion that I'm not sure I can even put it into words. Apart from from the hideously ugly lead singer, and the fact that you can essentially sing almost any of their songs over another because they are the SAME SONG, I don't even think it's possible to like Nickelback in an ironic way. Sure, I like Britney Spears, but not only do I refrain from taking her seriously, but I'm not even sure Britney Spears takes Britney Spears seriously, and therefore I excuse myself from being labelled as someone with genuinely awful taste in music.

And so, it's day 2 of this kid's new job, and he's only one strike away from officially sinking his career in online consulting. Just try me, buddy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm Not Supposed To Be Here

Per my usual weekend plans as of late, I had intended to have a pretty quiet one.

On Friday, I accidentally wore jeans that were somewhat moldy, due to having left them sitting in the washing machine for about, oh, 47 hours longer than I should have, before finally drying them. (It was a busy week, cut me a break.)

Even better was how I realized I was wearing moldy jeans when, as I was sitting on the bus to work, I decided something smelled and started looking around for a homeless person before realizing it was me. My day continued to lack dignity, as my boss (20 minutes into a meeting) asked me if I thought her office smelled, and I spent the last 3 hours of my day having my colleagues spray me down with Febreze every hour, on the hour. Fortunately, my evening was spent at crowded bars and restaurants where no one could smell the difference.

On Saturday, having washed my jeans and aiming for a decidedly quiet afternoon, I went over to a friend's place dressed like an idiot thinking my night would end there, and that said outfit would help prevent me from going out.

Cut to 10pm, when I left a bar and headed to a housewarming party I had forgotten I was supposed to be attending. Nothing says class like getting to your friend's place and being high-fived by a bunch of random frat-boy types because you have an image of a sheep on your shirt and a comment that suggests an interest in beastiality.

And so, I'm sure you can all see why I wasn't that disappointed to head to work dressed in "smart casual" attire on Monday morning. Bring on Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fat Camp, Here I Come

There simply has to be a strong correlation between how hard I am forced to work and how much revenue the McDonald's across the street from my office takes in.

This week has been completely insane in terms of work, and it's unlikely that I'll get a chance to breathe before Thursday evening. And for some reason, the combination of stress, exhaustion, and not being quite sure what time I'll be able to go home and eat a normal meal, justifies in my mind the decision to get a McDonald's meal and a McFlurry around 4pm every day to hold me over until dinnertime.

I had actually been doing really well over the last few weeks or so and avoided the Micky D's afternoon snack trips, but apparently I'm much weaker than I ever imagined. And at this rate it won't be long before I stop seeing ads for the Skinny Man Workout Routine or whatever it is that Facebook keeps showing me:

Which is extremely disturbing in its own way, because seriously, how do they know that I'm skinny? Do fat people get different ads? Because I swear that for the few months last year where I actually started to get concerned that I didn't qualify as "skinny" anymore, those ads stopped showing up. Does Facebook have some sort of scanning technology that looks at our pictures and tells them if I'm probably someone who couldn't fight off a 12-year old girl if needed? But I suppose that's a whole other blog post, and my 4 minutes of relaxation has apparently expired, so it will have to wait.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The New WebMD

I just looked at the stats for my blog for possibly the first time in a year or so. I actually had to ask a fellow blogger what the site was where I could go to check. Turns out that no matter how much or little I post, the same amount of people read this thing. Go figure.

However every now and then I get curious about the keywords people Google find my blog, and the one that keeps reappearing is often along the lines of "treating a broken toe" or "care for broken toe". It turns out that I broke my toe a few years back (which I don't really remember at this point) and briefly blogged about it. Since then, I'd guess that at least 100 and probably more people have ended up on my blog post when trying to figure out what they should do about their own broken toes.

Pardon my French, but that's pretty fucked. I'd imagine there's a lawsuit in this for Google eventually, since surely there are a million other websites with more relevant information than this one on how to take care of your broken toe, and all it will take is one kid with a broken toe and an extra chromosome to take my blog post seriously for the shit to hit the fan.

I'm not even sure where I was originally going with this post (I swear I had a point in mind when I started) because now all I can think about is how after this post and the fact that I've written "broken toe" 6 more times (now 7), I will probably become the leading source on broken toe (8) treatment on the web. And in a strange way, that prospect excites me.

I've just re-read this post and, well...I'm sorry. I promise to drink more.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The Hickster, who I've mentioned here before, is someone I met in July when I was up at Port Douglas on a snorkeling trip on the reef. Turned out she was relatively new to Sydney, which was perfect since most of my good friends were in the process of moving to other countries. At this point she's probably my best friend in Australia, as she is very social and always up for an adventure.

On Saturday night, me and the Hickster decided to meet up for a glass of wine because we hadn't seen each other in a couple of weeks. We instantly started ordering bottles of Sauvignon Blanc, and within hours were dancing wildly to the "greatest" dance hits of the 90's.

This tends to be how almost every outing together turns out. We briefly came to the realization that night that she and I haven't sat down to dinner or anything remotely civilized other than the day we met. It's by no means that we aren't able to have fun without being drunk. I would say that I have some of my most interesting and even, dare I say, philosophical conversations with the Hickster. Alas, we both love similar wine and that always seems to be more than enough justification to order bottles, starting a vicious cycle.

And so, we've started brainstorming for things we can do that wouldn't involve such ridiculous amounts of booze. We've attempted a games night at my place that resulted in no games being played and me dragging about two garbage bags of empty bottles down to recycling the next morning. We did a picnic in the park once which was mostly subdued, but probably would have taken a turn for the worst if we didn't each have somewhere else to be shortly thereafter. And once we tried to give ourselves credit for only having one bottle of wine after work one Friday, but considering I had a flight super early the next morning and the Hickster's flatmate was at home recovering from surgery and dependent on her for food, it's safe to say that it took something close to an act of god to accomplish that.

If anyone out there can help us find something to do that might be a little healthier and cheaper than supporting the Sydney nightlife industry, we promise to be fascinated by your suggestions.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Why Would That Be Okay?

There is no reason I should walk out onto my balcony in the morning, look over to my right, and see this:

And yet...this is what happened. I supposed I should provide a couple of disclaimers on my neighbors behalf:

1) It has been 30-35 degrees (80-90 F) in Sydney for at least a few weeks now, and

2) I myself have probably stepped out onto my balcony in my underwear, albeit briefly, to get a feel for how hot it might be, or to water the plants.

However I tend to avoid doing that in briefs, and I certainly don't throw on pink rubber gloves and spend far too long cleaning my BBQ for hundreds of neighbors to see. Perhaps he thought no one would really see, or it didn't matter because it was just his balcony and not the internet or something. Oops.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Laziness Squared

Well I haven't blogged in days, and I still can't really find the motivation, so instead of a proper post, here's some recycled junk that's going around Facebook that forces you to make a list of 25 things about yourself and then coerce your unassuming friends into reading it by tagging them:

1. The first time I was tagged in one of these things about a week ago, I rolled my eyes and swore I wouldn't do it. By the 5th time I'd been tagged, I felt left out, and I hate feeling left out.

2. I didn't think I would have 25 things to say about myself, and then remember that I talk about myself like it's my job, so this shouldn't really be an issue.

3. 25 people isn't a lot, I'd probably tag more but I am surprisingly one to follow the rules. Otherwise I'd tag at least 75 people.

4. Once every few months I worry that having too many Facebook friends seems really lame and desperate, and I go through and cull around 20 people.

5. I keep people who have funny/interesting status updates, even if I have literally no interaction with them in real life or virtually.

6. I feel really really sorry for the people who have extremely boring status updates about their lives ("Toby Wilkins is eating breakfast!!"), and especially people who do day by day countdowns to their next vacation, which really just illustrates how little else is going on in their lives.

7. Since mid-2008 I have deleted at least 4 people for being Republicans, and I actually feel kind of bad that I'm so closed-minded. But I'd delete them all again if I had the chance. Preferably for a Burger King Whopper this time.

8. I just got a request to move a meeting to two hours later, which means I now have time to go out and lay by the pool and work on my tan, but I am stuck writing this because I can't stand starting something and not finishing it.

9. I clean my apartment for hours at a time at least once every weekend. I worry that it's a form of mild-OCD, but it makes me feel really good so I won't be seeking diagnosis or treatment.

10. If I didn't drink I would own at least one house by now. If I didn't travel internationally, I would own two or more. Seriously, I've done the math.

11. I think teetotaling 30 year olds who own a house and rarely travel internationally should kill themselves.

12. Sometimes I wonder if my natural tendency to speak constantly and very loudly are some sort of a neurological disorder that hasn't been recognized by medical science yet.

13. I've tried in the past to not talk so much at social gatherings, but I often find that I'm far funnier and more interesting than anyone else in the room and can't hold it in.

14. Every now and then I have pangs of sadness to think that I may never live in the same city as some of my closest friends ever again.

15. My excitement for my upcoming 4 week trip to South America only slightly outweighs how mortified I am at how much it's going to cost, essentially spending half of my 2009 tax refund 3 months before I get it.

16. Lately I've become addicted to home renovation and cooking shows, and I'm paranoid that as I approach 30 I'm turning into one of those boring people who wants to buy a house and throw dinner parties instead of getting drunk in random cities around the world.

17. In the past year I've started to feel guilty about eating junk food and not exercising, after almost three decades of thinking people who had to worry about that sort of thing were losers.

18. I just realized I've been writing this for almost 20 minutes now and I'm a bit worried that no one will read it other than the people with the boring status updates. (If you just read that, CLEARLY I didn't mean YOU!)

19. My dream life would be spending October to April in Sydney and May to September in New York, with plenty of other places in between.

20. I would love to live in Paris for at least a few months, but I'm not sure I'd ever have the balls to move there the way I moved to Sydney.

21. Occasionally I wish I had a really strong and consistent work ethic, but then I look around at the people that do and I think they're kind of boring, and I'm not so sure it's possible to have it all.

22. There are old fat ugly women on my hotel room TV screen right now and I am judging them.

23. Clearly I am struggling with the list of 25, as I really just want to head out to the pool now.

24. I hope there aren't any old fat ugly people at the pool. It makes me if I thought it might be contagious or something.

25. I can't believe I'm still writing this, or that you're still reading it. Now I remember why I didn't want to do this in the first place.