Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thank You, Interwebs

Due to a lack of sleep related to an overwhelming combination of drinking and stress over the weekend (probably more the former than the latter), I had that annoying eye twitch thing that sometimes happens when you're really run down.

After a couple of days, I figured I would look it up on the web and see if there were any little home remedies I should try.

Unfortunately, the first website I found has advised that I may have Tourette's Syndrome.

So yeah, there's that.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

If I Must

Although I am quite the self-proclaimed Grinch, I am at least willing to hope that everyone enjoys the next couple of weeks of festivities. I expect stories for the blog, if nothing else.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Guess We're Done Here, Then

Had a brilliant night out with the gang on Saturday, where we started with a dinner that was meant to be the focus of the night. We finished off what little food we intended to eat for the evening, and headed off to the trashy bars around Bondi Beach to get right into it.

Eventually we ended up at a bar called White Revolver, apparently one of the most exclusive clubs in Sydney. We've all been to a place like this - where you have to find the secret, unmarked doorway, and know that the secret password is "dolphin teeth" to be allowed entry. (That's a true story. In this case though, you had to be, or be with, a member who was holding a specific key and know that the entrance to the club was behind a revolving door.)

Turned out to be a brilliant bar playing awesome hip hop for hours on end, and I decided this was easily my new favorite spot in town.

It's a shame, then, that on the way out, Neels had a misunderstanding with the "lady" at the entrance, and called her a "miserable fucking bitch" as we left.

Totally fine. I didn't want to hang out there anyway.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Last night we went to an event where all of the beer and wine was free, the DJ was brilliant, and because it was sponsored by a swim wear company, we were at all times surrounded by hot people in bikinis and speedos. Pretty awesome Thursday.

Of course, not content with enjoying our free booze and having a bit of a boogie, we started in on the Cafe Patron shots from early in the evening.

Juice ended up pulling his first Irish Goodbye in quite a while, and when I texted to ask if he'd gone home I got this response:

"City girls just seem to find our early"

He has subsequently claimed that it may have been a lyric to a song he was listening to at the time. An explanation that makes no sense because a) how would that answer my question and b) even as a song lyric it is still random and nonsensical.

Needless to say, he can't blame this one on auto-correct.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ugh, This Again

As many of you know, I'm basically a mixed race version of the Grinch. I am annoyed by Christmas music, despise Christmas decorations, and in particular, hate exchanging gifts.

It's not even the religious stuff that I can't stand - I don't believe in that part of it either, but if there are people out there who want to believe that a baby was born to a virgin in a barn and didn't manage to pick up even one bacterial infection in the process, they can knock themselves out.

It's more the commercial bullshit (most of which centers around ridiculous Pagan rituals and mythology and has nothing to do with Christianity) that really grinds my gears, to borrow a phrase from my spiritual leader, Peter Griffin. I'd rather celebrate Thanksgiving two months in a row than have to listen to generally terrible Christmas carols while surrounded by glittering Christmas decorations made out of material even a Russian woman wouldn't wear.

And of course, there are the gifts, which tend to fall into three categories:

1) Generic/pointless - Oh wow, thanks for this gift card. So not only did I have to brave holiday shopping crowds in some horrible department store to fulfill my obligation to purchase something I thought you might like, but now I have to go back to said awful department store to get myself something because as it turns out, you don't even know me that well.

2) Crap I didn't want in the first place - Shit, how did you know I was dying to own the latest Enrique Iglesias album? That is some mighty fine detective work considering I hate that song by him that they won't stop playing on the radio, and I haven't actually purchased music in over a decade. Way to go, Nancy Drew.

3) An incredibly cool/thoughtful gift - This happens like less than 1% of the time, so let's not even spend time discussing.

In the end, the best gift I get each year at this time is a solid amount of money from my mother, who knows that if we are going to honor silly traditions, we may as well be practical about it. Shame I'll probably have to spend that money on presents for you lot.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Brush With Fame

It was a boozy weekend, but that goes without saying in Australia at this time of year.

Friday night was meant to be quiet drinks with a few people at my place, and ended up as a chaotic binge session with far too many people and red wine casualties. Apparently I eventually got drunk enough to tell everyone to get the hell out of the apartment, but fortunately 90% of people were far too drunk to actually remember the incident. Thank you, alcohol.

Saturday was a pub lunch with the family followed by a white party at a posh house of a friend, however given my inadequate recovery time I only lasted a couple of drinks before it was time to call it a night.

Sunday was a long ago scheduled lunch at Bondi Icebergs with some friends, where we thought we'd spend the afternoon pretending to be wealthy and fabulous in the run up to Christmas. While the cocktails and food were all great, the only slight disappointment was the fact that we'd apparently missed Oprah by minutes, and she'd even occupied the table next to us shortly before we sat down. Needless to say, that brief contact with a seat that had recently been in contact with Oprah's ass was enough to make me wonder where my free car was.

Merry fucking Christmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

This Is How We Do It

This time of year is always a truly brilliant reminder of why life in Australia is so good.

After last Friday's work Christmas party, we're about to head to our third long lunch of the week, and it's not even mid-December yet.

And that is essentially my excuse for not blogging any more this week. (Funny how both drinking and not drinking both end up being reasons not to post here.)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Still Learning

Just because I'm now "in my thirties", doesn't mean that I can't still take on board the occasional lesson in my later years. For example, from my birthday celebrations over the weekend:

Lesson #1

Just a few sips of some awful colored slushy type drink is always a bad idea, and if done directly before taking a photo will result in the appearance that you may have just finished sucking off a leprechaun.

Lesson #2

When you order shots and the bartender pulls out plastic medicine serving cups instead of actual shot glasses, it's time to go to another bar.

Lesson #3

I look hot with tattoos.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Shit List

So today I participated in a charity run that was meant to involve me running on a treadmill in the middle of Sydney for a specific 30 minute time slot.

The run itself went well, and I achieved my goal of running at least 6km in 30 minutes. At that point we were all told to turn off our treadmills and pass over to the next person from our company who would be running for the next 30 minutes.

Except my replacement wasn't there. She just didn't show up. And since my company is the primary sponsor of the event, I basically had to turn the treadmill back on and run for ANOTHER half hour.

I have run for over 10km and I am now sore and nauseous. I also have to attend the work Christmas party in a couple of hours, and will have to summon every last bit of self-control to not throw my drink in the face of the woman who did this to me.

I make no promises.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fatter By The Minute

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to check in and assure you that not only did Thanksgiving in Sydney go ahead as usual this year (devolving into a mini-dance party ending after 1am, sorry neighbors!) but we even managed to demolish a bottle of Patron XO Cafe within well under 30 minutes.

We were musing the other day about how a half Jamaican half Scottish New Yorker throws a Thanksgiving dinner in Sydney, attended by mostly non-Americans, to eat food that includes a stuffing recipe that I obtained from a Japanese friend, and then everyone ends up dancing to awful European house music by the end of the night. Drunk on alcohol from New Zealand, Russia, and Mexico.

Imagine how pissed off the Pilgrims would be.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I met up with Newman for some drinks after work yesterday, and we decided to be responsible and grab some food to go with our beer and wine.

We stopped into a tapas bar, had some great food and a bottle of good French wine. Except once the bill came, we noticed they'd only charged us for a glass, and we may have forgotten to bring it to their attention. Oops.

Instead of appreciating our good fortune and heading home as planned, we applied what I like to call "alcohologic" to the situation, and decided that we clearly had to go celebrate our good fortune by spending the money we'd saved on more drinks at another bar. It made perfect sense at the time.

It's quite similar to the reasoning behind pretty much every night out, where I say I'm going to call it a night and someone negotiates with me, saying that they're going to a bar between our current location and my apartment, therefore I should come along for one more. Forget the fact that a bar being "on the way home" has nothing to do with actually being at home, in bed, and not consuming more alcohol. It's all the rationalizing I need to extend my evening.

So what I'm trying to say is, alcohologic is a beautiful thing, even if it is an ugly word.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I just over heard the big boss say that she's on leave from December 2nd to January 7th.

Guess who's "working from home" for a month...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Avoiding the Hoi Polloi

In an attempt to participate in the snootiest and most obnoxious event happening in Sydney this past weekend, some friends and I went to watch the polo being played in Centennial Park.

While this was my first polo event, I am more than happy to make sweeping generalizations based on my single experience, and explain how these things go. Basically you dress up pretty nice, pay a silly amount of money just for entry to the event, and then overpay for cheap champagne while sitting with your back to the game and judging every single person that walks by. Ridiculous tan lines are part of the package.

Can't wait to do it again next year.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And The Award For Most Ridiculous Restaurant Dinner Ever...

...goes to Juice, which I suppose should be no surprise.

We went to a Japanese restaurant where the food is good and cheap, but the main draw is that we had our own private room with touch screens to order our food and drinks, not to mention our own entertainment system. Once we'd plugged in the tunes, it wasn't long before we were:

1) dancing on the table and seats to whatever song we were in the mood for

2) posing with various items around the room that were meant as decoration but worked better as props

3) rapping along to hip hop classic "Put It In Ya Mouth" by Akinyele

4) drinking enough that some members of the party wouldn't even remember leaving the restaurant

So, well done, Juice, and happy birthday. Your complete and utter inability to keep even dinner at a restaurant as at least a mildly classy affair deserves recognition, and we should probably just be happy that recognition didn't involve us all getting kicked out on our asses or charged for the damage.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Zero Motivation

I should blog more than once or twice a week, but I just can't find the energy sometimes. I have no excuse considering I'm really not that busy at work. Hell, I just spent 12 minutes talking to Juice about how we should launch a debaucherous airline that completely ignores international law and has a policy of "not our problem, airport security should have caught it". Trust me, you don't want to know what goes on in our imaginary planes.

In any case, I'll make a real blog post tomorrow. Maybe.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Halloween in Sydney 2010

Well I flew back in to Sydney yesterday morning, but you'll have to wait a few more days for the recap (or if I'm feeling lazy, just the photos) of my luxurious getaway to paradise.

In the meantime, here's a rundown of just a touch of the awesomeness that was in attendance for my annual Halloween bash:

He-Man, She-Ra and Skeletor

Yes, that's me in the blond wig. Wait, I mean the short blond wig.

The Hangover

Not only an awesome "costume", but something of an accurate omen for most of us that night.

The Birds!

Most people would have completely missed the reference to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. And before I sound too snooty, the only reason I had a clue was because my flatmate in Brooklyn did this costume about 7 years ago.

The Winner

This was the guy who won the prize - not only because his costume was entirely homemade, but because it even involved electrical engineering to get those lights working. Also, he couldn't sit down.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scary Stuff

Well folks, it's finally that time of the year again - tonight is the big Halloween party that I throw with Jules every year, and I'm pretty sure this will be the best costume I've had in ages. A comment that shouldn't be lessened by the fact that my costumes are usually half-assed and thrown together at the last minute.

There will be music, prizes, and hopefully a mix of fake and real vomit.

Of much more concern, and much more horrifying if you ask me, is the fact that I need to be up at 6am tomorrow morning to head to the airport for an international flight to the Maldives via Singapore. Given the condition I was in when I woke up the morning after last year's Halloween party, I guarantee whatever I look like tomorrow morning will be the scariest thing those Singapore Airlines flight attendants will have seen all year.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Seal of Approval

Someone just sent me an article in Psychology Today titled "Why Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol". Not that I actually read through this thing to find out what the actual reason was, but it's good to know I'm behaving appropriately for my clearly superior intellectual level.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Desperately Seeking New Friends

Granted I was totally busy being hammered and would have had trouble squeezing this in to my busy schedule, however I am incredibly upset that there is apparently an annual Zombie Walk in Sydney, and no one told me about it. New friends required, immediately.

In any case, it looks like it was an awesome time, so enjoy the photos:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

For Shame

Started boozing at lunch yesterday, and basically continued through the afternoon in anticipation of the big work party last night.

Woke up this morning with little recollection of coming home, and an empty box for a Pizza Hut large pan pizza on my dining table.

(That's over 2000 calories, in case you were wondering. All eaten by me.)

And now I feel pretty average, and need to be ready to start drinking again by this evening, and then wake up again for a boozy pub lunch tomorrow. That will be followed by book club where we'll be discussing Faulkner, which has to be the worst planning of any sequence of events by anyone, ever.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Speaking of Career Management

Juice alerted me to this classic news headline, made much more inappropriate by the fact that this is actually one of Australia's more respectable daily news publications:

The headline was updated within minutes to something a little more professional, however we're betting the original headline writer will either be fired today, or treated to free drinks for the remainder of the week.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Well for the most part, the weekend turned out to be what we thought it would be, with two people falling over (a total of three times) in the first night. But instead of writing about it, I'll let the photos tell the story...

Circle of Death (1 of 4 games):

Modern interpretive dance to Khia's classic tune, "My Neck, My Back":

The end of the night:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Back to Basics

I know I've been boring you all to death with my quiet weekends of not acting like a complete ass-hat recently.

To make it up to all of us, I'm thrilled to announced that I'll be driving up the coast today to beautiful, sunny, beachy Port Stephens, with a few of my friends who would be identified by some professionals as clinical alcoholics. We have already planned to spend some $500 over the course of two nights, which means in less than 10 hours a few of us will definitely have thrown up on each other.

Photos and stories to follow. Unless it's bad enough that we have to pretend that the weekend never happened at all.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Skid Marks

A couple of years ago, a group of friends from here in Sydney all moved to London. While it was sad to see them go, and we all still trade stories about the insane drunken times we used to have together, I still appreciate the fact that I don't see how I'd have a job at this point if I still partied like I did back then.

Fortunately, they've generally continued living exactly the same way, which means there's always at least a trickle of stories that get passed back to us Down Under. Just a week or so ago, Mickey reported having woken up in bed one morning with the lights on, wearing his suit and shoes, and without a clue how or when he got home. On the plus side, someone pointed out, at least he was ready to go to work.

And then there was this instant message conversation this afternoon:

Juice: oh did you hear [franz] shit himself at a bar the other night

Zander: WHAT?!?!?!

Juice: yeah at the Village

Juice: flushed his undies and kept drinking

Zander: how does that even happen???

Juice: i don't know

Juice: he said it was close to the start of the night as well so he wasn't that drunk

Monday, October 11, 2010


I barely believe it myself, but I just finished my THIRD (and probably last, don't worry) quiet weekend in a row. It's actually getting a bit creepy, I am starting to understand what characters in sci-fi horror movies feel like when they're being controlled by an alien entity.

However, this quiet weekend was pretty much unavoidable. I flew to Brisbane on Friday night for dinner, had to wake up early on Saturday for a christening (yes, a christening), and flew back to Sydney on Saturday night but had to go to bed early to wake up and bake banana & raspberry muffins at 5am.

Stop laughing and I'll explain.

See Sydney has this annual event called Breakfast on the Bridge, where they close the bridge for a few hours on a Sunday morning, lay down grass, and let 6,000 people have a breakfast picnic with music, gift bags, and various entertainers. When I first won the tickets I was horrified at the thought of eating breakfast on a bridge at 6.30am on a Sunday, but I have to admit it was a very unique experience. I mean in the end, how many cities would actually close their iconic and well-trafficked bridge so that bleary-eyed residents can eat croissants on grass that is barely worth the trouble to put down so it can be ripped up and disposed of hours later. Have I mentioned I love Australia?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The End of Productivity

After almost 4 months of avoiding having a TV on my desk (which is no small feat given the fact that I work at a major TV company), I've moved desks and my new location has come equipped with a television and cable box.

My first few hours were spent clicking around trying to find something to watch at any given moment, before I realized I was at work and not sitting on my couch, and needed to consider how much this was pissing off anyone sitting near me. I've now mostly settled on watching music videos or the news, as both are relatively easy to tune out.

Having said that, it's only a matter of time until I start watching my favorite movies and shows (and bringing popcorn to the office, of course), and I personally don't think they should be allowed to reprimand me for it, since they're the ones who put the TV on my desk!!

Will let you know how far that argument gets me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why We Watch

As I mentioned previously, the highlight of my week (month? YEAR??) was being able to attend the live finale of Australia's Next Top Model last night. I've been watching this show from the first season and what it lacks in the entertaining ghetto-ness of the contestants, it makes up for in actually recruiting girls who have a shot at an international modeling career.

Anyway, the event was fun, if a little dragged out, until it was time to announce the winner. Judging from the dozens of emails I had from overseas about one of the biggest television screw ups in memory, you've probably heard about it already. If not, I think Dlisted had the best write up:
"This kind of mistake does not happen! Babies getting switched? That's a mistake that happens. Accidentally pouring NAIR into your roommate's bottle of leave-in conditioner. That's a mistake that happens! Marriage. That's a mistake that happens! But declaring the wrong winner on a dumb reality show? This does not happen!"

I mean, really, I couldn't have put it better myself.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mission Bored To Tears: Achieved

After a few unnecessarily boozy weekends, I had promised myself that this last weekend would be different. And so, despite the AMAZING weather, I refrained from planning any fabulous lunches or drinks, and focused on dinners and the sorts of things that I know are far less likely to end up with me doing tequila shots.

On Friday I met up with a friend and checked out a new bar, but ordered some food (this is what passes for personal growth in my life) and headed home around 10pm.

Saturday was easily the most painful part of the weekend. I ignored an invite to rooftop drinks nearby and simply stayed at home all day, gazing at the warm and sunny weather outside. What's that you say? That I could have gone outside and done something that didn't involve alcohol? If that's what you're thinking, then you clearly know very little about Australia or me, and probably shouldn't have an opinion on such matters.

Eventually I went out to dinner to a tapas restaurant I've been dying to try out for a long time now, and after one post-dinner drink, headed home and got into bed. Sunday was a picnic with the gang, and we limited ourselves to a couple of bottles of champagne between us, after which I went home and cooked up a storm.

Most people I've told about my weekend have noted that even my version of a quiet weekend seems to involve doing a lot more than most people would do on a busy weekend. But still, all I could wonder was how fat people live like that every weekend and don't cry from the utter boredom of it all. (Or maybe they do. I've never spent much time with one.) Granted, no one needs to be shockingly drunk every (or any) weekend, but forgive me if I plan a long lunch for this coming Saturday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease

As you may have picked up from the occasional posts about the topic, I generally try to watch any incarnation of Top Model that's available to me. Because I don't see how there could be anything more worthy of my time than judging other people on their appearances. I'm sure you agree.

In any case, I've had a vested interest in this year's competition because a draw in my office where the staff who were allocated the models to make it to this year's live finale would get tickets to be in the audience. Naturally, my model (who I never would have picked if it were up to me) got booted in the first episode, so my best hope was that one of the people in the office who cared the least about the show would get a ticket to the live finale and give it to me. Once again, no such luck.

And so, I spent the 2 days after the second to last episode bitching and moaning about the fact that "everyone except for me" would be attending the live finale, and get to see if Kelsey, Amanda, or Sophie becomes Australia's Next Top Model.

People, don't ever let anyone tell you that complaining never gets you anywhere. Within 48 hours someone was so sick of hearing me whine about it that I had a ticket on my desk, courtesy of their connections in Marketing.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be practicing bitchy comments about the models just in case I get interviewed on live TV.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not Meant To Be

As previously mentioned, I wanted the approaching weekend to be a mellow and relatively sober affair. Therefore, I have been planning dinners, movies, and other sorts of things least likely to end in shame and a hangover.

Unfortunately, someone up there clearly has other plans for me. Within minutes of getting a cancellation for Friday's dinner, I had an invite to after work drinks from someone else.

I'll keep fighting the good fight, but I make no promises.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I recently read a comment that said something along the lines of "instead of posting to your blog to apologize for not blogging in a while, just delete your fucking blog". On that note, I won't apologize for my absence. Between work and drinking, I simply haven't had the time to jump on here and blog. Not to mention that I can't say anything overly interesting has happened in the last couple of weeks.

Just over a week ago, I went over to a friend's place and got unintentionally hammered, which was embarrassing only because it seemed like such a rookie mistake. Fifteen year old girls might often be stupid enough to drink so much that they accidentally get smashed and need to apologize to people the next day, but my drunkenness is generally fully intended and therefore acceptable.

And so, Hickster and I ensured we had planned a big dinner before we headed to CDP's birthday drinks on Saturday night, knowing it would probably be pretty boozy. Eating before drinking isn't generally something we're great at, so we were quite proud of ourselves for being so responsible.

In what should probably have been a predictable turn of events, the dinner just gave us the ability to drink absolutely insane amounts of booze (we figure about 2 bottles of wine each, plus numerous tequila shots) and as a result we are all on Day 2 of our hangovers.

Thus, I have decided that I will not be drunk over the course of the next week. I won't rule out drinking altogether (I don't believe in detoxes and diets), but I'm curious to see if I can pull off just having a couple of drinks with dinner and heading home at a reasonable hour. Place your bets.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Time For Facebook

Late last year, I was told all about Foursquare, and made a conscious decision as an online professional (and someone with far too much time on my hands) to fully embrace it. For those who aren't familiar, Foursquare is one of these "location based social media applications" - in short, it's all about telling everyone where you are at any given time of every day.

I was skeptical at first, and didn't often "check in" to every bar, restaurant or shop that I stopped into, but eventually I got into the competition side of things (you get more points the more places you check into, you get "badges" for certain types of activities, and if you're the person who's been to a place the most in the last 60 days you are crowned "mayor" of that location) and consistently racked up the most points every week among my friends.

The cons of this entire endeavor are too easy to list - it's a waste of time, it's distracting when you're "checking in" to a bar when your friend is trying to tell you about their latest heartbreak, it makes it easier for people to stalk you, and it makes it easier for people to rob you because they know when you're not home.

The pros are pretty much impossible to determine. Some establishments have decided to give a discount or occasional freebie to the person who holds the title of mayor, but I fail to see how saving 20 cents on a coffee makes it worth the cumulative hours one must spend each week checking into every bar, cafe and train station they go to. If nothing else, it only illuminated the ridiculously small number of venues and neighborhoods I go to on a regular basis:

And so, I woke up one morning last month and deleted my account and the app from my phone. Which I believe makes this the only bad habit I can remember giving up successfully at any time in my adult life.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm late for a binge drinking session.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Worst. Book Club. Ever.

As some of you would know, I accepted an invitation to participate in a book club this year.

I've often thought that book clubs were the province of geeks and/or women, but as it turns out I've got more than enough of each in me to find book club somewhat appealing. It encourages me to read more regularly, often books that I'd never really consider otherwise, and talking about it (a.k.a. arguing) afterwards makes me feel like I'm a lot more intelligent than I actually am.

The issue with our book club (and most book clubs, I would imagine) is that we tend to be more focused on what food and drinks everyone is bringing along than the book in question. As a matter of fact, we have yet to hold a book club meeting where even half the members have finished reading the book (or even started it for that matter - one guy watched the movie the day we met), and we always end up awfully tipsy.

This time we actually even met on a Saturday - starting with wine and cheese at an apartment, and then heading to our dinner reservations at a trendy Japanese place nearby. One person hadn't finished the book, and another arrived at the party meeting with another 10 pages to go. And the girl who actually tried to talk about the book after the first 20 minutes was subsequently mocked for being a loser.

In other news, the soft shell crab was fantastic.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Poor Decision Making

Apologies for neglecting the blog for a couple of weeks - I was actually working pretty hard (seriously, guys, stop laughing) and for whatever reason I prefer to do most of my blogging during work hours. There's just something supremely satisfying about taking care of your personal activities and errands on someone else's time.

In any case, I'm not sure I had much to blog about. Until Friday night.

A bunch of us met up for after work drinks, nothing crazy planned but we thought it would be nice to see each other. Unfortunately I'd made two bad decisions before heading to these drinks: 1) that I would have a small lunch, because I've been a bit neurotic about gaining weight in the last few weeks and 2) that I'd skip dinner, which is pretty standard for a Friday night. Poor decision 3) was when I welcomed the suggestion of shots of Cafe Patron.

The only good decision I made that evening was heading home by 10pm, but by then I'd already fallen off my chair in the middle of a crowded bar. (I may also have fallen over in my lobby, but between the fact that I can barely remember it and the only witnesses were a bunch of Asians who I'm guessing don't speak English very well, it shouldn't really count.)

I actually felt quite good the following morning, although I felt even better when Kneels texted to say that she'd vomited on her front door (and her neighbour's) while trying to get it open as she got home.

Needless to say I'm going to aim for a relatively quiet Saturday other than the Swans game tonight (I'm so butch right now) and will make a note for next Friday that being fat is better than making an ass of myself in front of half of Sydney, regardless of how much more experience I have with the latter.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Bad Idea Convention

A few weeks ago I had lunch with Paks, and she managed to talk me into doing City2Surf, a massive annual 14 kilometer run from the city to Bondi Beach that had about 80,000 participants this year.

I've always laughed at suggestions that I might participate in this event, despite the fact that almost everyone I know does it most years. However, between the fact that I've taken up a bit of running over the last year, and the fact that Annie lives in Bondi and we could shower there afterwards, I figured why not.

Well the weather was beautiful and the run itself wasn't too bad, but people let me tell you, I can barely walk from my desk to the kitchen today. My right foot feels like half of it was torn off by some sort of rusty machinery, and I'm hobbling around like someone three times my age. Not hot.

The saddest part is that because I'm such a competitive asshole, I kind of want to do it again next year and take it seriously to see what kind of time I can get. I should probably start shopping for wheelchairs now.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Miss Zander, If You're Nasty

You wouldn't think renewing a passport would be particularly complicated. I mean sure, there's the badly designed government paperwork to complete, the ridiculously specific dimensions for the new photos, and the fees that change the day you're sending through the application. But if nothing else, the information on your passport should at least be relatively straight-forward. Should be.

Yes, this is what arrived for me in the email last week. Clearly someone at the local consulate is bored, retarded, or some combination of the two, but either way the joke is on me. I couldn't help but post this to Facebook and got some fantastic advice, such as traveling in drag, or using my passport as an excuse to enter some Business Woman of the Year competitions.

Unfortunately I'd like to avoid getting questioned whenever I cross the US border, so I've already sent the passport back in for a correction, which I'm sure will provide the folks over there with hours of laughter and entertainment.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


While I'm often up for a bit of mid-week socializing and irresponsible drinking, I'm in the middle of a big project at work and decided it was for the best that I take it easy until at least September. As such, I went to dinner last night but made sure I was on my way home before 10pm, having a feeling things were going to get a bit messy.

And here's a sample of the messages that the Hickster sent me this morning, truly validating my decision:

Hickster: I blame Juice.

Zander: Where did you guys end up?

Hickster: Where didn't we end up? Last memory is around 3am at the Green Park.

Zander: Jesus.

Hickster: I forced Juice to let me walk him all the way home to make sure he got into his building. He fell on his back in the road.

Zander: Glorious.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Family Man

Not sure I have much to tell about this weekend that would interest anyone. It was a pretty domestic weekend that even involved me babysitting a 4-month old.

On that note, though, I want everyone t know that FatBooth works just as well on babies as anyone else. I present the highlight of my weekend:

Friday, July 30, 2010

World's Best Invention

For those who haven't seen it yet, the Scottish have earned yet another claim to fame in this world - creating the World's Strongest Beer (again):

I'll let you read the article, I just love that it starts with a bulleted list of reasons that this needs to be top of mind for anyone who can't figure out what to buy me for my birthday.

  • Beer 55 per cent alcohol
  • Bottles cost $855 each
  • Presented in stuffed animal

  • Only about 4 months to go, folks. Better start saving.

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Fountain of Youth

    Now that the weekend is becoming less shameful of a memory, I think I'm ready to blog about it. Saturday night, in particular, was one of those nights where you wake up the next morning, look at the photos, and think "My god, we are far too old for nights like that." In other words, awesome. As long as they don't happen more than once every two months.

    Of course there's not much in the way of dignity that you can really expect from a night that essentially *starts* with tequila shots. The entire evening was a shit-show from the moment it commenced, and we quickly found ourselves in this condition:

    The last thing I remember is being asked to leave a bar around 3am because I was hanging out in the women's bathroom, chatting away to friends and strangers alike. Fair enough, really.

    Sunday, July 25, 2010

    Idiocy in Action

    After an absolutely ridiculous time last night (more on that later), Juice just called me this morning and said he was coming over to my apartment.

    He came in and said he had just come from the Four Seasons, because he had lost his keys and ended up getting a room there for the night. Let's not even go into the logic (or lack thereof) that must be behind the Four Seasons being the hotel one chooses when they're locked out of their place. This is the same guy who keeps the locksmith industry in business because he refuses to keep a spare set of keys at a friend's place.

    So he contacted a locksmith and then started telling me how he had looked everywhere for his keys and a spare key he even keeps in his wallet. As he shakes his wallet, the spare key falls out. People, I don't think I would have believed it if I hadn't seen it. But it happened.

    And then, he went out on my balcony for a cigarette to ponder his stupidity, and as he looked for his cigarettes in his jacket pocket, he found...yes, you guessed it...his original set of keys.

    He sheepishly headed home soon thereafter, mentally tallying the hotel expenses and taxi fares that will mean he's spending the next few weekends on the couch.

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    I Has Ideas.

    I recently read about a new dating website, Alikewise, that matches people to one another based on the books they like.

    It's generally a clever idea, however I could never use it for myself. I tend to read books that are far more serious and intelligent than I am, and the site would probably match me with someone who thought I was a vapid, superficial drunk. And they wouldn't necessarily be wrong.

    So that started me thinking about other ways you could match people. There's music, of course. But once again, wouldn't work for me, as I enjoy a lot of the music I listen to in an ironic way. Or at least that's what I tell myself in order to preserve at least some modicum of self-respect.

    And there are always the few people who love movies. I'm not one of them, and given my tastes I imagine I would be matched with a rifle-toting vampire, or someone who thought they were a rifle-toting vampire. Either way, that's not good for much more than a terrible first date story.

    The only thing that occurred to me that might actually work for someone like myself is matching people based on their drinking style. That way I'd be more likely to be paired with someone who enjoys sitting around in the afternoon sharing a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, as opposed to someone who drinks cheap gin and starts fights with lamp posts (which I haven't done in years). I'd probably call it or some other lame play on words that sounded much more romantic than a way for alcoholics to find someone out there to enable their bad habits.

    Fortunately for any potential competitors out there, I'm usually too lazy/drunk/hungover to do anything entrepreneurial, so feel free to steal these brilliant ideas. Maybe I can at least use your website one day.

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Keeping To Form

    Just a moment ago, and not long after informing me he was very hungover and didn't remember the end of his Wednesday night, Juice alerted me to the fact that he'd found a cigarette burn in the back of his shirt. Possibly obtained while attempting to adjust the strap on his bag on his way to work this morning, which resulted in his cigarette being flicked into his jacket.

    All. Class.

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Australia's Next Top Punching Bag

    As yet another added perk of working at a major media/entertainment company, I was able to take an hour out of my work day yesterday to go to a preview screening of the first episode of Australia's Next Top Model - Cycle 6.

    I've never found the show to be as entertaining as America's Next Top Model, partially because the girls are much younger and whiter in the Australian version, and maybe also because the Australians seem somewhat genuinely interested in turning their contestants into global fashion models (one winner eventually ended up working all over the world, and on the cover of Australian Vogue a couple of times).

    One thing I do enjoy on the Aussie version is the judges:

    These people are a pack of absolute bitches, and I love it. Between mocking the models to their faces ("It's modeling, not brain surgery, darl.") and joking about Botox ("She's a bit short. I'd raise my eyebrow if I could."), they clearly don't have all of the PC nonsense that Americans have to worry about, and they make up for the fact that a bunch of 16-year old girls simply aren't going to have much to say that any of us will give a shit about.

    Alas, I don't think there are preview screenings of every episode during work hours. Life is so unfair.

    Sunday, July 18, 2010

    For The Children

    Wilks is an ambassador for an Australian charity, so a bunch of us agreed to buy tickets for their annual charity ball which took place last night.

    We started out civilized enough:

    However it wasn't long before we were all hammered on the open bar and I was making bids I couldn't afford in the blind auction, while loudly complaining about the crappy food and mocking other people's outfits:

    Needless to say, karma got the best of me and I spent most of today suffering through a terrible hangover that I have decided was brought on by cheap booze. I suppose some of the money has to go to the children with cancer, but surely this sort of experience doesn't generate a lot of return ticket buyers for the ball the following year.

    Anyway, it's about 30 minutes until my book club arrives, and judging from the amount of wine we drank at our last meeting my headache should be back in no time.

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    All Grown Up

    I don't know about anyone else, but I really feel like tax time is the adult version of Christmas. Except instead of going to sit on Santa's lap and lie about how good you were all year, you go to your accountant and exaggerate your "work expenses" to increase the size of your refund.

    I'm about to head to my tax adviser and it probably doesn't help that I had a few beers at lunch. I'll probably try to claim my Indian-food addiction as research. I do sort of work in IT, after all.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010


    Went to meet Busty and Juice for a couple of after work drinks, ended up finishing off about 4 bottles of wine between us and dancing (on an otherwise empty dance floor, I should mention) for a couple of hours before grabbing McDonald's and heading home.

    Not only am I not as old as I have been complaining about, but clearly I'm still as trashy as I ever was. I'm also about to fall asleep at my desk.

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    If Young Me Could See Me Now

    Alas, I'd apologize again for not blogging for almost a week, but to be honest it's rare these days that I have anything that fascinating to tell anyone about. Just the other day I was saying to a friend I hadn't seen in a while that I had truly mellowed out in my old age, and how the highlights of my week are more likely to be a new omelette pan or my upcoming book club meeting as opposed to the flight of stairs I fell down after doing too many tequila shots. Not that such things don't happen anymore, but they are certainly not as frequent.

    In keeping with theme, it was a relatively mellow weekend, the key social event being a Christmas in July dinner. For those who aren't familiar, Australians like to celebrate "Christmas in July" for reasons that no one quite seems to grasp. Something to do with the cold weather, supposedly, but we all know it's just another reason to get drunk. And who can complain with that. Especially when it involves a grown man wearing a Santa bikini, and various sex toys that I'd rather not post much about here in fear of attracting the wrong demographic.

    If this one bored you to tears, don't worry, I plan to find at least one school night this week to get Juice blisteringly drunk and embarrass himself for our entertainment.

    Tuesday, July 06, 2010


    I recently came to the disturbing realization that I might actually spend more time playing Words With Friends (basically Scrabble on the iPhone) than doing anything else in my day, besides sleeping.

    What started as something that I played with a couple of friends has turned into a full-fledged addiction involving some 20 or more friends, family members and acquaintances across a number of time zones and continents. I play from the moment I wake up, throughout my commute, during any gaps in my work day (amazing how many of those you can find when you want them), and into the evening.

    I have missed my train to work. I have almost missed my stop several times. I am late to send important documents through to colleagues, and I consistently miss key plot points in my favorite shows because I can't stop trying to find a way to play the J and the F in the same word.

    Many people find this whole situation ridiculous, and at times so do I. And then, I play a word that makes it all worth it. I give to you, my best play so far:

    In case anyone was wondering, my favorite words are QI and ZA.

    Friday, July 02, 2010

    Desperate Times

    Since I can remember, I have outright refused to bring lunch to work. I've always seen a weekday lunch as something to be enjoyed, and that includes some level of spontaneity that comes with deciding at the last minute which world cuisine my meal might come from.

    I now work out in the 'burbs of Sydney, and my options are severely limited. There is a Subway across the street, but there are only so many foot-long meatball subs one can eat before boredom and obesity begin to set in. And there are a few little places across the street too, however one is an Asian place whose main ingredient seems to be oil, and the others are more the type of food that one eats when they are totally shit-faced at 2 in the morning and any concerns about your health and well-being have fallen to the wayside.

    The one place that might offer some hope is one that I haven't been to yet - a shopping centre food court, which is not only a 15 minute walk away, but also refers to their food court as "infamous" on their website. No, really:

    And so, I now bring my lunch to work, usually some Asian stir-fry or pasta dish that I had for dinner a day or two before. And as part of my constant need to still have people I can look down on, I'd like to make it known that I still have absolute disdain for people who bring in about 20 different ingredients in order to spend their entire lunch break assembling an overly complicated sandwich that still doesn't look particularly appetizing. Losers.

    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    The Great Unwashed

    After having a relatively civilized Friday night, I decided at least a few drinks were in order for Saturday. Not being a dinner person (I tend to start dozing off at the table out of boredom), I met up with everyone around 9pm for a few drinks at Sticky Bar, one of the trendier bars in Sydney.

    Of course trendy and mature gets old rather quickly, and we thought, why not head somewhere a bit more upbeat. Which is how we ended up at The Colombian. I'm sure I've given some indication of what this bar is like before, as I used to think it was appropriate to hang out there several nights a week after work. However we were quickly confronted with the reminder that, on weekends in particular, The Colombian turns into one of the biggest freak shows in Sydney.

    Other patrons that evening included some of the following characters:
    • Drag queen
    • Aging Asian prostitute (with her even older, Caucasian client)
    • Middle-aged mother on her first night out in years, wearing a dress resembling a lampshade
    • People in various states of disarray, many of whom probably started drinking and popping pills at some point in the afternoon

    Needless to say, we were mostly there for the people watching. The key to a place like this is always ensuring that you're drunk enough to find these people amusing as opposed to disgusting. But then not so drunk that you tell them what you think. It's a balancing act, really.

    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Why I Love This Country, Reason #91

    I often get reminders that part of the reason I must feel so comfortable in Australia is that this is a nation with priorities that are just as, if not more so, messed up than mine. For example - two things happened over the last 24 hours:

    1) The Australian team in the World Cup, the "Socceroos", won a game. Just one. It is important to note that despite the fact that they won this game, their stunning 4-0 loss to Germany and draw with Ghana meant that they were almost never going to proceed to the next round of the competition.

    2) A late night challenge to the Prime Minister's leadership of the governing party in Australia resulted, less than 12 hours later, in Australia swearing in its first female Prime Minister in it's history.

    And now, I ask you to guess which one of these took the top story slot on all morning news shows, news websites, and basically throughout the news media? That's right. A soccer team that is coming home early from the World Cup. True, even the New York Times article couldn't help but refer to the fact that Julia Gillard "is routinely mocked for her ever-changing hair styles and working class accent" (she's basically a trailer park version of Hillary, as Wilks put it), but let's give the woman the attention she deserves.

    If for no other reason, Australia should be excited that their Prime Minister could easily pass for Tilda Swinton, or simply SWINTON as the Fug Girls have dubbed/fugged her.

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Karma = Bitch

    Alas, the downside of being someone who talks so much shit is that it never takes long for my own words to bite me in the ass.

    For the last year, especially in recent weeks, I've taken plenty of time to mock Hickster for "ruining" Copps' birthday celebrations last year when she supposedly paced herself so she would be able to enjoy the entire night out, but still managed to be denied entry to Minsky's. That being the bar that people go to when they can't get in anywhere else.

    And so, it doesn't take much imagination to figure out what happened next. As we approached Minsky's, I inexplicably decided to act like an asshole and draw attention to myself by yelling at some of our group (including Hickster) who were taking their sweet time to cross the street. The door staff promptly informed us that there was no way I was getting into the bar.

    Thus, the circle is complete.

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Be Careful What You Wish For

    For much of my life, I always thought it would be fun and glamorous to work at some sort of media and entertainment company. And as of last week I am officially an employee of possibly the largest media and entertainment company in Australia.

    As you might expect, there are televisions EVERYWHERE. As in, anyone can get one on their desk, and most people do. I, so far, have declined to request one. My friends are flabbergasted that I wouldn't take advantage of such a perk, but I can too easily imagine people waiting for me in a conference room while I watch the latest episode of Gossip Girl.

    Unfortunately, I'm still surrounded by televisions, and most people choose to leave their TV on music video channels. And so, my CV will soon feature the important skill of being able to focus on work while surrounded by images of Lady Gaga's dancing ass. Talk about a differentiator.

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    New Best Friend

    As I may have mentioned here before, the most ridiculous of Australian public holidays is the "Queen's Birthday". Even if we ignore the fact that Australia has been an independent commonwealth for over a century, the entire thing is yet more laughable when you consider that England doesn't even celebrate the Queen's Birthday. Tack on the knowledge that not all of the states in Australia even celebrate it on the same day (which, we should mention, isn't the actual Queen's birthday) and you're almost tempted to go to work. Almost.

    The long weekend started out with "a few quiet drinks" with Juice and Caz, which somehow ended with tequila shots and dancing in Newtown well after midnight. Caz advised that she was forced to cancel her hair appointment the next morning due to the pain of her hangover.

    Saturday was spent saving energy for Shear and Keeg's farewell party, which started at 9 in Kings Cross, and ended after 4am for me, only because I decided I should head home to watch the USA v England World Cup match. In case you're wondering, I made it about 10 minutes into the game, and was found around half-time passed out in front of the TV, wrapped in my American flag.

    And Sunday was a long lunch that allowed Junior and I to introduce the gang to doing repeated
    shots of Patron XO Cafe, which we hadn't even known existed until our trip to NYC in April. Everyone is now addicted (despite not being able to actually remember doing said shots), and I can safely say that the demand for Patron XO Cafe will be trending upwards in Sydney over the coming months.

    The long weekend's last hurrah was waking up at 4am to watch the Germany v Australia World Cup match, which turned into an absolute flogging for the Socceroos who lost 4-0 and made us wonder why we weren't in bed. The only thing that softened the blow was that we watched from a private event that involved a hot breakfast, champagne, and gift bags.

    All I really want right now is the gift of sleep, but I've agreed to go out every night this week, and I'm guessing there's a good chance I'll be dead by Friday. Please remember to bury me with a certain coffee flavoured tequila.

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Not Fired Yet

    As mentioned previously, I started a new job this week. And it's only been a few days, but I am tempted to say that things are going well.

    On my first day, I left the office completed hammered around 9pm after a company wide drinking session. Yes, really.

    And I've already selected my favorite person in the office - a Russian woman who absolutely loves anything with animal prints, preferably worn with something made of pleather or coloured in tye-dye. I'm considering starting a separate blog as a chronicle of her truly fascinating fashion choices.

    Yeah, I think this is gonna work out.

    Sunday, June 06, 2010

    Let's Make That "Better Never Than Late"

    I somehow missed the original airing of the always ridiculous Eurovision song contest last weekend, and so have settled for viewing it almost a week later. If nothing else, it was a reminder that such experiences are much better in large groups, as it was actually a bit depressing to see these countries embarrassing themselves on a global stage. No better were the Australians who hosted the version that aired here, who even had the balls to ask the Greek contestants if they were sure their country could pay for the event next year if they won this year. Classy.

    Still, the theme this year was "Share the Moment", so the least I can do is give you guys a brief rundown of the annual trainwreck that is Eurovision. I may as well just give them in alphabetical order, as there's no easy way to rank a set of performances that delve into the realms of awful the way these do.

    Albania - The most notable thing about this performance was the three black backup singers. I'm all for globalization and multiculturalism, but those bitches ain't Albanian.

    Armenia - They had the hottest singer (Eva Rivas, for those who want to Google her), but considering the name and topic of the song was an "Apricot Stone" I have to admit I still have no idea what was going on other than her hotness.

    Belarus - Painfully boring song called "Butterfly Wings" that was almost worth ignoring until the 'climax' when the girls' dresses burst open into butterfly wings. Fantastic, if you then ignore the fact that they kept singing.

    Denmark - These guys had a forgettable song, but between various parts of the stage moving around constantly and the wind fans blowing so hard we thought the performers might tumble away, they get points for trying. And then lose them for failing.

    Georgia - I can't remember if it was truly horrible or just kinda crap, and simply don't have the energy to look it up on YouTube and suffer through it again.

    Germany - The German chick technically sang in English but it didn't sound like English other than a few key words. She still managed to win, with her acceptance speech starting with her saying the award was too heavy for her to hold, and then finished with her trying to get out of singing her song again, as is custom at these esteemed awards.

    Iceland - I have to say, I didn't mind this so much, despite it essentially consisting of a fat woman singing to dance music a la 1990's.

    Israel - This was so boring and horrible. Why even show up?

    Moldova - It started with a mulletted violinist on a spinning platform surrounded by fireworks. Need I say more?

    Romania - This performance had a man and a woman playing at joined glass pianos and singing, until halfway through where they decided to leave their instruments and sing. No explanation provided as to how the pianos they were supposedly playing were able to continue belting out the background music.

    Russia - A bunch of poorly dressed men singing in falling snow. It was highly depressing, and made me consider killing myself. The highlight (lowlight?) was when they sang something about "looking at her photo" and held up a drawing of a woman's face. No imagination needed, apparently.

    Serbia - The Serbian entry was actually painful. The singer was tone deaf, and was supposedly a man but looked more like a pre-op tranny.

    Spain - This was both boring and weird, a tough combination to achieve. What managed to spice it up was a random guy from the audience jumping on stage and mocking the weird clowns/court jesters dancing around the singer by joining in (rather convincingly, I should add). Unfortunately the contest managers decided to give them another chance, which meant we had to hear this awful song all over again at the end.

    Turkey - There was a dancing robot that sawed its own arm off halfway through. 'Nuff said.

    Ukraine - The Ukrainians offered us a hot, young girl singing about death, war, and humans killing each other, while managing to achieve increased states of undress throughout her performance. Obviously.

    UK - I can only assume this was a joke, despite how earnest the performer was, and it came in dead last when the votes were in. A little Eurovision 2010 trivia for you: the song peaked at #174 on the UK charts the week of the contest. How embarrassing.

    I personally would have given it to Moldova or Turkey, but I supposed garbled English sung by a German girl can't be totally discounted. I'm definitely organizing a viewing party next year, if only to avoid sitting by myself wondering if the world is really worth living in any longer.

    Saturday, June 05, 2010

    Peace Out

    Yesterday was my farewell celebration at my company after almost 4 years there. That may not seem like much to most people, but in my team it's an eternity, so naturally a messy afternoon and evening were planned well in advance.

    After a boozy lunch, we later braved the torrential downpour to make it over to Cruise Bar by the Harbour, and promptly started ordering beers, bottles of champagne, and enough shots to make the cast of Jersey Shore feel a bit queasy.

    In case you're wondering precisely how messy things got, here are a few indicative photos:

    (Yes, that's a glass of beer in the taxi.)

    I think we can safely assume that everyone in attendance is having a quiet Saturday, as I sit here wondering if some of the photos should ever see the light of Facebook. I suppose it's always good to have a few items around for blackmail purposes some day.

    Monday, May 31, 2010


    Had a boozier weekend than I've had in a while, more than enough to remind me why I don't tend to do that any more.

    Friday was a friend's surprise birthday drinks, which was supposed to lead to dinner until I apparently hijacked the night and said we should all spend the evening binge drinking instead. Genius, I know.

    Saturday was even worse - after having a ton of people over to the new apartment, I decided that 11pm was a great time to buy another bottle of wine and swing by a dinner party I'd had to miss earlier in the evening. After stumbling around for an hour and alternating between boring and offensive, I grabbed some Indian food and cabbed it home. I'd sum up the end of the night as a completely ridiculous way to spend $100, and don't recommend it to anyone.

    And so, Sunday was recovery, which involved not leaving my apartment complex and falling asleep on the couch around 8pm. I'm an old, old man.

    Monday, May 24, 2010


    The title of this blog post refers to a few things. First, that I'm working more than ever even though I've resigned from my job. That ain't right. Second, that I just had such a quiet weekend that I'm still a bit scared about what it means for my life going forward when I'm mostly sober for all of Saturday *and* Sunday. Third, that even when I'm a boring teetotaler, that Juice still manages to end up like this:

    Let me be clear - this isn't actually Juice. However, it not only looks just like him, but this is actually how he ended up on Saturday night. His face is now something that you expect to see on a woman who "fell down the stairs", knowing full well it means she probably overcooked her husband's steak.

    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    Movin' On Up

    Looks like I've forgotten to blog for over a week and a half. But in all fairness, I've spent the last week moving into a new apartment, and I even resigned from my job yesterday, so I've had a lot going on.

    The new place is shaping up well, and we had our first round of sunset drinks last night resulting in 12 beer bottles, 2 vodka bottles, and a wine bottle having to be discarded this morning.

    And in case you were wondering, the best conversation last night by far was the following:

    Juice: I know it's a bit morbid, but have you ever thought about what you'd want to be buried in?

    Junior: A Snuggie!!!

    Zander: That was disturbing for several reasons. First, that you clearly had thought about it. Second, that you were serious. And third, the excited look on your face when you said it.

    Junior: But they're so comfortable!

    Zander: But you'd be dead.

    Something tells me our balcony is going to see many similar conversations over the coming years...

    Wednesday, May 05, 2010


    Several years ago, while living in my last apartment on the second floor of a building in a leafy neighborhood of Sydney, I walked into my livingroom and found a huge spider on the wall. Shortly thereafter, I moved into a 9th floor apartment. Until this week, I have lived a blessedly spider-free existence.

    Last night, my flatmate showed me a huge spider he'd found in his bedroom. On Monday, I move into a 43rd floor apartment.

    Listen, Mother Nature - I know I've never really been a fan, but I'm willing to respect your existence and keep my distance if you're willing to do the same. Please don't have a flock of birds fly into my windows or something. Because, honestly, I'm not sure what I will do next, but it may involve investing in oil companies. And neither of us want me to do that.

    Saturday, May 01, 2010

    Ah, That Explains It

    Went to a birthday dinner last night where I only knew about two people at the table. This generally isn't something I mind, as I love a fresh audience. However my rigid inability to remember the names of anyone I'm introduced to unless I've met them at least three times tends to cause a problem. My current method of learning new people's names is receiving friends requests on Facebook and then scanning their profile photos until I've plowed through my faded alcoholic memories of recent nights to remember who they are.

    As I was saying, Friday night was yet another example. The sad part is that I was sober and trying to give off the semblance of tact, and yet this is the type of conversation that ensued:

    Zander: Do you have an accent? I know your name is Ryan, but it sounded different when you said it.

    Guy: My name is Graham.

    Zander: Oh.

    *Akwardness ensues*

    Class. Act.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    We Have Nothing In Common

    I'd write something here about my weekend, but I spent it in Brisbane. It's a city that I'd compare to Pittsburgh, where I spent my university days - great for families and old people, I hear, but not my choice of residence.

    A colleague started telling me about his weekend of camping and spending time in the country and seemed to think I should be remotely interested in the concept. I quickly informed him that I'm about to sign a lease on the exact opposite of anything he would appreciate - an apartment over 40 stories high in Sydney's tallest residential building in the heart of the city.

    Having said that, the fact that I have to pay a bond/security deposit and first month's rent in the next week (shortly after two weeks in NY that may have stimulated their economy, but did nothing good for me financially) means that much of my drinking in the next few weeks will have to be either subdued or done on the cheap at friends' homes. I'll be opting for the latter, thanks.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    We've All Been There

    Sesame just emailed this through to me, and it's absolutely brilliant - mainly because even if I can't remember if I've ever been this trollied, it's a sure bet that we will Juice in similar condition in the near future:

    God bless him.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    No End In Sight

    Despite taking almost 5 days to recover from my jet lag, I managed to have a rather busy week and a rather boozy weekend, despite my best intentions. And now that all I want is a quiet week ahead, I've managed to end up with a fully booked week before flying up to Brisbane for the long weekend.

    And yet, per usual, none of my drunken stories (including me falling on two people on Friday night) compare to the week that Juice had, and seems to be continuing indefinitely.

    The highlight of his weekend would have been Wednesday night (not Tuesday, when he was out until 4am) when he went drinking and has no recollection of how the night ended. What he *does* remember is waking up at 5am. Under his desk. At work. With no pants or shoes on. YES, REALLY.

    After managing to find his pants and shoes in the bathroom, he made his way home and called in sick for the day. He even took the night off from drinking. And has been drunk ever since.

    It's always a good thing to have one of those friends who manages to make you feel better about yourself. No matter what.

    Friday, April 16, 2010


    Well I've been back from my holiday for a couple of days now. People keep asking me if I'm depressed about being back in Sydney, which is a bit ridiculous - there's only so depressed one can be about returning to a place with amazing weather, relaxed attitudes about what's considered "work", and where most of the people around you seem to be intensely inebriated for a large percentage of their waking hours.

    No, my main issue with my return is that I am still jet lagged on day four, despite doing all of the recommended things. I've stayed awake all day. Gone to sleep at the same time every evening. (10pm in case you were wondering.) I've limited my alcohol intake, and even stuck to a mostly healthy diet, although the guy who served me a cheese naan with my Indian food at lunch yesterday might be a tad bit skeptical.

    In any case, it's once again 2am and I'm wide awake after only 4 hours of sleep. And so, I will be turning to the most reliable method of overcoming jet lag that I've encountered in my many years of international travel. I'm getting hammered tonight.

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010

    Bon Voyage. To Me.

    After a truly hectic and stressful 6 months of work, I am off on my first real holiday in close to a year, even if it is a brief one.

    Despite my excitement about the trip, my ability to procrastinate crosses over into all parts of my life. I didn't do my laundry until getting home from a pub trivia night around 10pm, and this was a conversation with my flatmate this morning:

    Flatmate: Uh, shouldn't you start putting stuff in that suitcase.

    Zander: Yeah.

    Flatmate: Haven't you been awake for like 2 hours?

    Zander: Yeah.

    Flatmate: What the hell have you been doing?

    Zander: Uh, well, I was emailing, and I just listened to the new Lindsay Lohan song online, and had a snack.

    Flatmate: Wow...

    So yeah, now I'm blogging. Even though I need to leave in less than 15 minutes and I'm still not sure how this laptop will fit into my bags.

    Needless to say, I won't be updating here much, if at all, while I'm away. As always, you're welcome to go back in time and read about what an asshole I was in 2005.

    Sunday, March 28, 2010

    You Are Not Tall Enough To Experience This Ride

    It was a pretty typical weekend, with Saturday's boozing starting around noon and then moving to Fish's new apartment around the corner.

    It was seeming pretty civilized until I noticed that both Fish and Juice (unfortunate combination of nicknames, can I just say) were slurring and starting to lack any sort of coherence, despite the fact that I'd had just as much or more to drink than they had.

    When you're 6'4" (and a half, bitches), it's easy to forget that people who are almost a foot shorter than you might not handle large intakes of alcohol quite as well.

    In any case, photo of the month:

    Because passing out on your sofa when the sun is still shining is always a Kodak moment (even his dog looks disappointed in him).

    Friday, March 26, 2010

    Different Strokes

    Some people actually spend their average weekday doing "work". So I hear, anyway.

    I spend half my day trying to convince people that Chris Noth/Mr. Big has a secret past where he was the lead singer of Right Said Fred.

    Come on, get past the hair issue...can't you see it??

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Maybe He Just Hates Money

    Continuing in his crusade to offend anyone in the world who has ever had even an ounce of respect for money (never forget the iPhone incident), Juice managed to turn an otherwise low-key evening into the reason he will be eating soup in his final days before next pay.

    After having a few drinks out at Stranger's place in the 'burbs, Juice figured he hadn't spent much money so may as well shell out $50 on a cab ride home, which I suppose is reasonable. Except that when he got home, he realized his keys were still sitting back at Stranger's house. Oh yes. Guess who ended up taking another $50 cab ride BACK to the asshole of nowhere and spending the night there anyway.

    If that isn't almost the equivalent of simply flushing $100 down the toilet for no real reason, I don't know what is.

    Thursday, March 18, 2010

    What Not To Bring To Trivia

    Went to trivia the other night. We didn't do so well. If you want to avoid the errors of my ways, I suggest the following:
    • Don't go to trivia in Australia when you have no Australians on your team. Rookie mistake.
    • Don't go to trivia with 4 people who will mock you for wanting to hear the questions (thereby drowning out any chance of hearing the question repeated).
    • Don't go to trivia with a girl who will drink three glasses of wine and start playing some pictionary version where you draw your answers.
    • Don't go to trivia with a girl who insists on being the scribe, yet can't spell. Like, at all.
    • Don't go to trivia at a pub where you might run into your friend's drunk sister who happens to smell like she eats cigarettes for at least 2 meals a day, and has no sense of personal space.

    Oh right, I should probably mention that you should probably not go to trivia when you're secretly a super competitive asshole who will post a bitter blog entry about it later in the week, so that your friends will read it and then not invite you to trivia again.

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Schadenfreude, Interrupted

    There's a new channel here in Sydney (LifestyleYOU) that seems to be made for me - 90% of the programming is trashy UK reality shows about everything from fat people, to parents have zero common sense when it comes to raising children, to brides who are willing to let their husbands plan the entire wedding and surprise them on the day. I'm still not clear on why these people participate in these shows, but I love them and every single one of their silly sounding accents.

    The latest show that seemed to have a lot of promise was Spendaholics - showing us people who seem to have zero concept of personal finance management, and gladly drop a few hundred pounds on a pair of jeans that don't actually fit.

    The primary appeal of such a show, of course, is to remind ourselves that despite our own failings, we are not quite as dumb as these people. And so, the first 20 minutes or so is fantastic.

    And then...they bring in the psychologist. And he's like, a real psychologist. I personally tend to prefer the fake ones, like the "psychiatrists" they would have on hand at that makeover competition show The Swan, who would actually tell participants that their unwillingness to get a nose job showed that they weren't really committed to changing their life around. But no, this guy is serious. And within minutes we have to hear some pathetic story that ends up somehow linking the spendaholics purchase of a $2,000 projector to the one time their dad didn't take them to the zoo when they were six. And for some reason, it always ends with the spendaholic taking a walk on the beach with one of their parents to discuss whatever childhood trauma has been dug up.

    So yeah, my advice is watch the show, but switch off after the first 15 minutes. It's not like any of us actually want to watch people getting helped, for god's sake.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    That Hurts

    The blogosphere, twittersphere, and various other spheres are all enamored with the "90 Types of Bitches" list that seems to have been written by one or more 3rd graders in the DC-area, so I just want to make sure EVERYONE is across it.

    I qualified for the list by the time I got to category #2, but feel free to point out which other categories you guys think I fall into.

    And of course, the original blog post and full list can be found here:

    Go for the amazing list. Stay for the hilarious comments.

    Monday, March 08, 2010

    Successful Friday Night

    You know you had an awesome Friday night when you:

    a) don't actually remember getting home

    b) left your friend talking to a hot German

    c) made new best friends with a group of Irish people based on the retelling of your classic racist jokes

    d) can't bear the thought of drinking on Saturday until 6pm when you crack open a bottle of gin.


    Wednesday, March 03, 2010

    You Guys Are Gonna Love This

    As I may or may not have mentioned here, I started running a few kilometers every other morning or so starting a few months back. I figured it was the best way to make sure I wasn't fat in my birthday photos, since the swimming alone didn't seem to be cutting it.

    Last week an email was sent to the entire division of my company asking if anyone wanted to join our company's team for the corporate biathlon coming up in March. Since the distances didn't look too horrifying, I responded to indicate that I had some interest but was very new to running in particular so wouldn't be offended if others were a better fit for the team. I figured, maybe there would be a B or even C team where performance didn't really matter.

    About 10 minutes later I got an email confirming that I was representing the company in the biathlon with 3 others (who would all qualify as the most fit people I have personally ever met) and a corporate shirt to compete in was on its way.

    Needless to say, I am already having visions of being the next big thing on YouTube. Also, my mother hasn't stopped laughing since I told her about this three days ago.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    Clients Aren't All Bad

    While my clients generally inspire me to contemplate suicide approximately 2.3 times each week, every now and then one of them reminds me that they're not ALL bad. Or at least, they can be bad in a good way.

    Case in point - I went to a meeting with a new client and dialed into a conference call. When a certain woman started talking, the client in the room with me muted the phone and yelled "Someone needs to shoot that woman!" and unmuted the phone.

    Seconds later another woman started talking and the client once again muted the phone and yelled even louder "And someone needs to shoot *that* woman in the ASSHOLE!"

    Will you marry me?

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Good Question

    I was genuinely curious about why Americans call the main course an entree (turns out that it's a perfectly valid reason, we're not just completely retarded), but I can easily say that this was the best part of my search (click to enlarge):

    What, only 39,800,000 results for "why do americans think they are the best"?? Ah well, I guess it's better than "why do the french smell".