Saturday, April 25, 2009


Well kids, I'm off to South America this morning. In true Zander form it's 6am, I have to leave for the airport in less than 2 hours, and I haven't even started packing. How could that possibly end badly?

Junior and I have upgraded to business class using our points, which is good considering it's a 13 hour flight, although I'm more concerned that it will make the flight back in a month seem even more painful.

And I should probably mention that I doubt I'll be updating the blog much, if at all, while I'm gone. Most of my trips usually include at least a few days in the comfort of a home in a developed country where I can post the occasional inane blurb about how my trip is going, but this time I'm likely to be too busy turning down drugs and dying of malaria to log on. May I recommend the vintage posts starting from 2004 to keep you busy, as I was much more obnoxious and entertaining back in those days anyway. See you guys soon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Was It Something I Said?

Apparently something about my latest posts has Google Ads thinking that you, dear readers, are clearly suffering from various behavioral and speech disorders:

I still say the ones for alcohol treatment were more relevant.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gee, Thanks

Not too much to report from the weekend.

I had a quiet Friday night to save energy for what I knew would be a hectic Saturday. I went to a BBQ in the afternoon, and then went to three different birthday parties over the course of the rest of the night.

The result is I am proud of myself for making it to everyone's birthday celebrations, even if I didn't have any fun because I was always getting ready to head to the next event.

Also, there's nothing more fulfilling than getting out of a taxi in the pouring rain 1am to go for a drink with the last birthday boy, everyone being completely hammered, and all of them subsequently not remembering you were there when they wake up the next morning.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

We All Make Choices In Life

Last night I received invites to after work drinks from two of my friends who I would comfortably class as "almost alcoholics". Fortunately for me, I already had plans to head over to a friend's place for dinner, and so I turned down the offer to grab drinks and told my friends to have fun without me.

I just received a photo from the evening that I missed, and all I can really say is that one sign of hitting rockbottom is meeting someone for a drink after work on a WEDNESDAY and ending up like this:

(Well, some would argue that rockbottom is more like your friend taking a photo, emailing it to another friend, and that friend posting it on his blog for all to see, but that argument is really neither here nor there at this point.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Swear On Mickey Mouse

Sorry, this just popped into my head...something that actually happened to me, but I get the feeling that no one believes me when I tell them. So I'm going to blog it, because everyone believes what they read on the internet.

Years ago, when I was still living in NYC, I went to the movies one afternoon with a friend. We had a few minutes before the movie started, so I figured I would get some snacks, and saw a vending machine for ice cream bars.

I went over and selected the frozen Mars bar, put in the appropriate amount of money, and waited for it to arrive.

Finally, it fell out of the vending machine with a thunk. And as I looked down and prepared to grab it, I saw a mouse run out from under the machine, and straight into a movie theater. Which, by itself, is kinda gross. But I then looked up, and the theater the house had run into was showing none other than...Stuart Little 2.

I shit you not.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Four Days Is A Bit Much

We just finished the 4-day Easter weekend and I realize I might be in the minority for saying this, but I don't think 4 days off from work is really necessary. Mostly because Australians purely see this as a reason to be drunk for a week straight, and with my new wiser and more mature sensibilities, I look down on such things.

Having said that, I fully participated. For some reason I organized after-work drinks on Thursday evening. You know things are going downhill when 1) the first bar you are at tells your group to leave because the bar is closing (at the random time of 8.41pm), but doesn't seem to be mentioning this to anyone else 2) the coworker who has a habit of getting completely shit-faced and waking up in weird places, including a stranger's backyard and a towel closet at a 5-star hotel, says that things are getting too messy and he needs to go home and 3) one of your colleagues goes to the bar to ask for a water and the bartender serves extra waters "in case anyone else over there needs one". We so classy.

In the slightest nod to the holy weekend, not to mention the need to stop Australians from drinking because they certainly won't stop themselves, bars in Sydney close at 10pm on Good Friday, thank god. We all went out for Junior's birthday dinner and some drinks, and I feigned disappointment when it was time to go home but really I was sort of relieved.

On Saturday I hosted a bit of a lunch/BBQ/roast at my place and invited around 10 people over. You'd think that eating unnecessary amounts of food would have slowed down the intoxication of those in attendance, however shortly after 6pm at least two people could barely stand up and the party ended a bit early. Considering we didn't really start the party until 2pm and ate a massive meal at 4, that is nothing short of tragic.

Sunday was another BBQ but at the risk of sounding weak, 4 nights in a row is too much even for me, and I was home and in bed before midnight. And so, Monday was a quiet day involving leftovers and the first season of 30 Rock, about 2 years after everyone else watched it.

And just as I was ready for a quiet short week and avoiding alcohol until Friday, I've just been reminded that I have a birthday dinner tonight, and dinner at a friend's place tomorrow, and I am now starting to wonder if any of my South America vacation will be refundable if my liver falls out before I get to Buenos Aires in 2 weeks. Help.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Babysitting Services Available

We recently started chatting about children in the office -- we only have a couple of people in our team that have kids, although a few recent marriages probably means more are on the way. Great, just what the world needs.

I'm personally torn on the topic -- I think kids are cute and lovely, but only as long as they do what they're told and don't cry or throw tantrums or require any extra effort other than playing with them for my own personal entertainment and giving them back to someone when I'm done.

Not only that, but I find a crying child completely unacceptable in public. I recently sat on a 5 hour flight listening to someone's brat scream the whole time and by the time the plane touched down I was possibly a few seconds away from lecturing the parents on how they could have left the baby behind for this trip and just brought some photos along instead. Likewise, I think young children in restaurants is just rude, and I believe it should be understood that if you choose to get knocked up and pop these suckers out, then you have just chosen to confine yourself to private houses until your child knows how to act in public. It's only fair to the rest of us.

In the end, if children of any age refuse to act appropriately, I stand by the school of thought that says it's acceptable to use statements like "Hey kiddo, why don't you go play with the pretty bottles under the sink and I'll come see how you're doing in a couple of hours". Consider it a sort of Darwinian situation, with the end result being win-win for society as a whole.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Every year around this time we get a few days that are cooler than what we've seen since before summer started, and everyone in Sydney starts whining about how winter has arrived. Many of them bust out the scarves and winter jackets and might even call in sick claiming they have a cold.

Just to give you an idea of "winter" approaching in Sydney, please see the weather forecast for the next 5 days:

(For those who speak Celsius, a.k.a. the vast majority of the world, it's going to be around 25 degrees on Friday/)

And so, please join me in serving my fellow Sydney-siders with a hot, steaming mug of shut the fuck up. Seriously.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Let's Have Some Fun, This Beat Is Sick

Per usual, I was hopeless this weekend at staying quiet and not spending more in one weekend than most people on the planet make in a year.

Friday wasn't too bad (I was home before 10, although considering we started drinking at our desks at 3.30pm, it wasn't exactly sober) and Saturday went from my plan for quiet lawn bowls in the afternoon to partying at an apartment and contemplating getting into the massive jacuzzi on their roof. Don't worry, didn't happen.

Now I'm struggling because a friend has just texted to let me know he's at a bar nearby, but I'm determined to stay in and spend the evening cooking. And as I've been typing this I've decided that a happy medium might be opening a bottle of red to keep me company while I'm slaving away in the kitchen. Photos of my third degree burns coming soon.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Status Report

I'm feeling guilty about slacking on the blog front this week -- alas, my week involved a trip across the country to spend less than 24 hours in Perth, hence being busy and disoriented. You know you've just gone on a pointless trip when you don't see any purpose in bringing along a charger for your phone or iPod, and don't actually set your clocks back because you'll be back in your original time zone so soon anyway.

While in Perth I had a few hours of meeting and attended a trivia night with the client. Clearly you're held in high regard in the office when you tell your boss about the trivia night beforehand, and she pleads with you not to get too drunk and act like an asshole.

In other news, I have tried to set myself a $400 cash limit each week to cover drinking, eating out, and taxis. It's Friday morning and I have about $100 left, despite the fact that we haven't reached the most expensive two days of the week. I'd consider this a total budget fail, but the Australian government has just approved stimulus payments so I think I'm covered, and will try again next week.

In the meantime, there are farewell drinks tonight and possibly drunken lawn bowls tomorrow, check Facebook for embarrassing photos that I don't manage to untag quickly enough, which is my new favorite pasttime.