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.