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: