Friday, July 29, 2011


As part of my ongoing struggle with insomnia, I followed a friend's recommendation and made an appointment with a naturopath for last night.

Until I got there, I have to admit that I had no actual idea what a naturopath was. All I knew was that she'd helped my friend get over her insomnia a few months ago, and at this point I couldn't be that picky about trying new things.

So it turns out, a naturopath is basically a witch. Who went to school. A certified witch.

First we did normal stuff, like talk about my insomnia, and of course my health in general. I was as honest as possible, and pointed out that while I generally eat healthy (not counting yesterday's McDonald's, which totally doesn't count anyway for a reason I have yet to come up with) and get more exercise than most people I know, I probably drink more than most people I know as well. She didn't seem to think this was a bad thing, especially after I pointed out that the few times I've slept well lately were after a few hours of boozing.

But then she pulled out what looked like a cheap 21st century magic wand. It had lights and made sounds, and she pressed it to certain points on my ears that supposedly corresponded to the rest of my body. I half expected her to yell "Patronus!" at some point, but she just kept pressing it to different parts of my ear every time it made a high pitched squeal. We can thank old Chinese medicine for that one.

Then there were the things I'm supposed to take every night before I go to bed. The magnesium and potassium supplements were normal enough, but the odd herbal concoction (which I refer to as "the potion") looks and tastes disgusting. And might turn me into a toad.

In case you couldn't tell, I'm not totally sold on naturopaths. Having said that, I'm pretty desperate for something to cure my insomnia, so I'm actually going to follow her advice for at least a week and see what happens. Feel free to check in on me and make sure I haven't turned into a winged monkey.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Where Not To Go

I just read a New York Times article that left me in hysterics. As obnoxious and pretentious as Sydney-siders can be at times, it only takes a few stories to be reminded that New York still holds the trophy when it comes to complete and utter jackasses.

In a style article on "Dress Codes in New York Clubs", the writer goes around to hipper-than-thou establishments in Manhattan (and the Hamptons) and asks the owners/managers/promoters what sorts of fashions will get people let in or turned away at the door. Naturally those responding to the question manage to be vague and contradict themselves at the same time.

My favorite quote is probably:
For women, shoes are key. “Minimum five-inch heel,” he said. “Christians are our favorite,” he added, referring not to the faithful but to Christian Louboutin, the designer known for his red soles. Jimmy Choo and Christian Dior are also welcome.

I'm guessing the number of women who can both afford those shoes and walk around in them without looking like polio survivors is small, even in Manhattan. Also, I'd imagine your door staff would have to be made up entirely of gay guys who have far too much time on their hands, as I'm not convinced anyone else would be able to tell the difference (or at least I hope they wouldn't).

Best line that insulted people from LA:
“You get guys in from L.A., they think a brunch is a brunch,” Mr. Koch said. “We have to say, ‘Look, dude, this isn’t what you think it is.’"

As much as I dislike LA and most of the west coast, even I find it hard to be condescending because someone thought a brunch was actually a brunch.

And the award for total lack of self-awareness goes to:
Guys...are encouraged to wear “a nice sports coat, a really great flower-print shirt underneath, maybe a matching pocket square,” Mr. Dusheiko said. “We respect individuality.”

Uh yeah, the same way Communist China in the 1960's respected individuality, I imagine.

In any case, I've never been known as any sort of style guru, and it's unlikely I'd ever find a reason to go to any of the places mentioned. So in order to avoid sounding like a hater, I will stop mocking all of these people now and try to find a list of places in NYC that I'd actually want to hang out in when I'm there in a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Snowing in Sydney

Can't forget to relay the most ridiculous part of the weekend, which occurred at the Christmas in July dinner I attended. For the record, this was indeed a dinner involving proper food brought along by the guests.

Which made it even more shocking when a friend's 3-year old daughter ran up to her mother and said "Mummy, there are people upstairs putting white makeup on their noses."

For the record, I was not one of those people, and I went home before the 3-year old did. Good lord.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Who Needs A Doctor?

You guys!

So just last week I was sharing my first world problem of not being able to sleep for 8 hours a night. Well on Saturday night, I actually did! Without sleeping pills! Granted, it was after some 7 hours of drinking all afternoon, but still! Excitement!

(Yeah, yeah, don't worry, I'm still going to see a naturopath on Thursday. Which is a little intimidating because I'm still not entirely sure what a naturopath actually is.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Enter Sandman

As I may have mentioned before, I've been struggling with insomnia for the last couple of months, and as anyone who has had serious trouble sleeping before knows, it's possibly one of the most frustrating conditions you can deal with.

Partially because you're just exhausted all the time, and yet you can't sleep normal hours no matter how hard you try. But also because there are a lot of people out there who have completely idiotic suggestions about how to cure your insomnia. These range from recommending a glass of warm milk before bed (yes, thanks, a full bladder definitely sounds like a good idea, moron) to comments like "well have you just tried lying there and closing your eyes?" Oh, thank you SO FUCKING MUCH, I really had never thought of that, you utter asshole.

So yes, I get tons of exercise, I drink plenty of water (but stop before 5pm to avoid having to wake up in the night), I take vitamins and have a pretty good diet, and I've even cut back on my alcohol intake (sacrilege in my social circles), if only because I'm too tired to stay awake in bars late at night. I avoid looking at any sort of computer screen just before and while I'm trying to sleep, and I have nothing at all to be stressed about in life at the moment, I promise.

The other night I actually tried the classic "counting sheep" method, but then found myself trying to decide if the sheep should have white or black faces, which led to pondering if sheep are racist against each other for things like that. Which is the crux of my problem - I have no problem falling asleep, but come 3am I wake up and start thinking about inane crap. It's like a prolonged form of jet lag or something, despite the fact that I haven't been overseas since some time in May.

So now I've resorted to sleeping pills twice a week. I only take one and it leaves me groggy for half the day afterwards, which I find funny only because the box says you can take 1 or 2...I imagine I'd never wake up from 2 of those things. If I disappear for a couple of days, you know what happened.

Friday, July 15, 2011

And The Worst Part...

I almost never remember my dreams. And after the dream I woke up from this morning, I wish it was just never.

This time I was in New York visiting friends, except most of the people there were more acquaintances than friends, and didn't look particularly excited to see me.

I was chatting to Fry, in the pouring rain, when some black beetle sort of thing flew into my eye socket/throat (which were somehow the same orifice, attractive I know) and we spent several minutes trying to get it out. It happened eventually, but I can tell you that I am still grossed out at the thought of it.

And the most horrible part of the whole dream was that Fry had the worst haircut that has ever existed. Think bowl cut in the front, huge 80's mullet in the back. Even a hipster wouldn't think it was cool in an ironic way.

Fear not, though. I've already emailed Fry and recommended that she don't do anything of the sort with her hairstyle anytime soon.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rapt In Ridiculousness

After a couple of quiet weekends, this past Saturday was a charity ball that we went to for the second year in a row, except this time we had about 30 people in tow.

The theme is always a different color, and this year it was Rapt In Ruby, which mainly led to us being amazed at the number of guys that think a plain suit and a red tie is making an effort of any kind. Honestly, don't even bother showing up.

I went with a red cravat (which is not "a big tie", as I took great pleasure in correcting pretty much everyone who commented on it) on an otherwise black and white outfit. Nothing that special, but compared to the uniform every other male was wearing it attracted a decent amount of attention.

This was a photo from earlier in the evening:

No one actually remembers this one being taken, despite it only being around 10pm:

And I'm not ensure sure who the other people in this photo are, but according to their comments on my Facebook page we are totally BFF's (Best Friends Forever, in case anyone over the age of 43 is reading) and need to start planning the rest of our lives together:

In any case, it's been a long time since I had a 3am finish, so forgive me if I don't have any big nights out for a little while. I'm sure Juice will do something insanely stupid for us to laugh about in the meantime.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Seriously, Hollywood? (Warning: Major Rant)

Did you guys see Transformers 2? Because it was awful. Like, HORRIBLE. It stopped making sense around 43 seconds into the film, and got worse from there. I tried to walk out of the theater less than an hour into that mess, but was forced to stay by my movie companions. I'm still traumatized by the memories of how angry I got sitting through it. I related to a recent tweet by a someone who said "I can't remember if I saw Transformers 2 or just had really bad diarrhea for 2 hours in 2009."

So when I saw Transformers 3 this past weekend, many would say that I had no one to blame but myself. But screw that, I'm ready to point some fingers.

I guess I'd been given hope by not only the slick trailers for the movie, but also the fact that the director himself had reportedly said he wanted to make a film that made up for the nonsense that was the last installment of the series. I was optimistic. I mean, I grew up loving the 80's cartoon of Transformers, and I actually thought the first movie was more than watchable. Enjoyable, even, in a mindless entertainment sort of way.

The thing is, there's a difference between "mindless entertainment" and "shit that is really just insulting to someone of even average intelligence". The most common argument that defenders of this pile of steaming excrement bring to the table is "you just don't think about it and enjoy robots fighting." Well, despite the admittedly brilliant special effects, the fact is that half the time I couldn't even tell which robots were fighting. Isn't that kind of fundamental? And really, if you're going to spend well over $100 million on making a film, surely it isn't that hard to shell out for someone who can write a script with a semi-coherent plot line and lines for the "actors" that aren't absolutely cringe-worthy? Notice I'm not even asking for good actors here, gorgeous people who can walk, talk and maintain respiratory function at the same time are totally acceptable. (Which is a good thing, if you've seen what passes for 'talent' in this 'film'.) Just maybe someone working on the film who is smart enough to realize how stupid it looks for a girl to fall out of a building, crawl through burning rubble, and still not have a single smudge on her white outfit, while she still has perfect makeup and manages to keep her heels on.

The thing I harp on the most about, though, is that the plot point driving most of the movie is completely ludicrous. (SPOILER ALERT, by the way, not that anyone reading this should actually want to see the film by the time they're done here.) I mean, why the hell would any Transformer want to teleport their world into Earth's atmosphere? They can teleport anything they need from Earth over there, right? Including themselves? And most importantly, wouldn't bringing a massive planet to that location completely screw up the orbit of Earth and everything else in our solar system, thereby destroying whatever it was they wanted from here in the first place?!?! The whole thing reminds me of X-Men: First Class a few weeks ago (more spoilers!) where the goal of the main villain is to start a nuclear war so that mutants can rule the world, completely ignoring the fact that such a conflict would proportionally kill just as many mutants as humans.

Please note that I am not some science geek who expects everything in every sci-fi movie to make sense. I mean, I can watch Star Trek without sitting around wondering how Einstein's theories could possibly make it possible to travel at warp speed. All I'm asking for is for someone to at least PRETEND that they've spent more than three and a half minutes thinking about the plot of a movie they are making for hundreds of millions of dollars, and will be subjected to even more people, not to mention the scrutiny of critics. I don't think that's too much to expect from people who are supposedly experts and professionals in the field of entertainment.

But whatever. Latest reports are that this movie is breaking all kinds of revenue records, despite being panned by most critics, because what we don't want to admit is that the success of such films is a pretty strong indicator of the pervasive stupidity and low standards of the average moviegoer. All I am left to wonder is why, given the resources at their disposal, the creators of this thing didn't think it was worth being remembered for making a good movie rather than just a profitable one.

(For a far better takedown of Transformers 3, you'll want to read this.)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Making Amends

In order to balance out the fiasco that was last weekend, I was determined to have a respectable weekend this time around.

There was a farewell dinner on Friday night, and I managed to stay sober despite the presence of FOUR English people. People, that's impressive stuff.

Saturday night was a Christmas in July party with a "kitsch" theme, but I was too lazy to put any real effort into it and ended up wearing a stupid Christmas hat for a few hours and then heading home at an obscenely early time to get some rest.

Based on my usual patterns, this indicates that the coming weekend will be full of embarrassing shenanigans, so stay tuned for that update.