Saturday, March 28, 2009

"...I got something to tell you, I got something to say, I'm gonna put this dream in motion, never let nothing stand in my way..."

Have you ever been "zen-ned"? Well, after this week, I can say that I have. I had the pleasure of experiencing someone "zen" a room. She wanted to make sure that the room had a sense of peace and was cleansed of any negativity that had existed in it previously. This process involved her going into each corner and chanting in a "shamanistic fashion", her words not mine. Anytime someone uses the word "shaman", you know stuff is going down. As I watched this happen, I was able to see someone cry, shake, chant, fake an orgasm, play a banjo, and get a triple-word score on Scrabble. Ok, only parts of those are true. She doesn't own a banjo. Anyways, it was an experience. Today, I enjoyed a Scavenger Hunt throughout Sydney. We had to try and ask children and old women to give us the "finger" for 3 points, have a dance-off in public for 4 points, and hunt down several iconic spots in Sydney. After all was said and done, we did really well and came in last place. That's right, last. Now, I want to say that I think some of the other contestant were on steroids and I thought that we would get bonus points for napping in a cab. Oh well, it was a good time. However, the most important thing this week, is that 1980's pop star extraordinaire Billy Ocean has crept into my life. For no apparent reason, his music has stalked me. I was at the pub on trivia night, who was with me? Billy Ocean. I was walking to work and a car drove past me, whose voice was blaring out of the windows? Mr. William (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic) Ocean. It has been ridiculous. Below, I made a video of myself listening to and commenting on some of his greatest hits. I am sure you will enjoy it.

(Enjoy the Sounds of the Ocean)

(The Yellow Team - Slow and Steady loses the race!)

(Australia was started by convicts - it only seemed fitting)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

", close your eyes, escape this town for a little while..."

The other day, I was watching a movie and there was a line in it that said, "In the end, the only thing that you really own is your story, I'm just trying to live a good one." A simple line but it kind of speaks volumes. No material possession will ever be worth more than the tales that you are able to share about your life. I just think that it is really important for you to go out and do something if you really want to do it. Coming to Australia was always something that sat within the pit of my stomach and I knew that my life would always feel lacking if I didn't come here. It wasn't an easy choice to hop an ocean and leave everything safe behind me but if I needed to move forward, I had to move on. I placed no expectations on this experience because I wanted to come with wide eyes and an open mind. I still don't know all the changes that have gone on within me because of this experience but I think that is something that will be learned in time. I will walk away and realize what I have learned as opposed to being in the moment and seeing it there. Over the past couple of weeks, I have felt myself slip into my old habits of anti-socialism and I am going to have to try and break that. It is so easy to just go home and feel comfortable but I need to force myself out there a bit. I did well when I first arrived but now that I have a structured work schedule, it makes me just want to fall in line and be super boring again. People always say, "We are all just a work in progress", but I wonder when that work is going to be complete. To me, the thing that moves me forward and holds me back at the same time, is the idea that there is always something more and always something missing. At what point does everything seem "right" or "ok"? I don't know that that exists and if it does, I feel like it would be fleeting. Again, time will tell.

(Walkway on Welham Street)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

" any unchartered territory, I must seem greatly intriguing..."

Sunday night, there I am sitting in my room. I'm watching a movie on my laptop and a noise beckons. I hear festivities occurring and I go out to see what is up. The people that I live with are having a party in the courtyard and at this point, they are full fledged drunks. At first, I was a bit offended by the fact that I was uninvited. So, I said, "Why didn't you guys tell me that you were having a party?" The response, "Ohh, because you are very arrogant!" I was confused. Luckily, I didn't get offended since none of the people that I live with are native English speakers and "arrogant" clearly was the wrong word. Cocky, condescending, elitist, sarcastic...sure but arrogant, no! Either way, we cleared the issue up and they asked me to sit and have a drink with them. Right at that moment, before a drop of liquid even made it into my glass, one of the Taiwanese girls who lives here just randomly began to throw up. Yes, I know that one of my more recent postings involved vomit, as well but hey, this is real talk. Australia makes people like to drink and drinking makes people like to get sick. I am just here to document it. So, she is getting sick and now lying in the grass. I go and get the Dad of the family whose house this is and ask him to help me get her in bed. So, we are trying to get her to bed but there is this guy here, who likes her and was planning to have a good night with her. If you know what I mean and I think you do. He kept insisting that we leave her alone that she will be alright. Maybe he found her dry heaving to be a turn on but nonetheless, we continued to pick her up and carry her to the room. He kept barking out things like, "She is ok! I will take care of her!" Then I had to finally chime in and say, "Listen, A-hole, if you mess with her now, it is called rape!" He didn't seemed phased by it. So, finally the Dad of the house told him to "F-off!" and he got the point. We get her to the room and she begins the typical "I am drunk and gonna cry and tell you that I am sorry for throwing up on your feet" chat. It was humorous for 5 minutes and then, I said forget this, I am going to bed. She woke up the next morning and apologized 18 times and it is all good now. So, that was the start of my week. The rest of the week has been going well. My new job is good and I really like my co-workers, which I think is key. I like being the "foreigner" because it gives me insight into the US and how others view it. I notice every, little difference. If someone says a word one way and I say it another or with the spelling of words. We spell so many words differently and I always have to pay attention to that. I, also, like to be ignorant and say that "I am AmeriCAN not AmeriCAN'T!" It does me no favors.

Friday, March 13, 2009

"...sometimes it seems, we'll touch that dream, but things come slow or not at all..."

Every single morning, I wake up and the same thought is in my head, "I can't wait to take a nap!" Am I an eternal 4 year old who longs for his precious nap after snack time or am I my 89 year old Great-Grandfather who nods off while talking to you? Either way, naps make me happy and you needed to know that. I have to tell you, now that I have a job and a somewhat regular routine, I find myself getting caught in moments where I can't fathom that I am actually here. I really did say that I would come here and I did it. As lame as this may sound, it really proves that if you want to do something, you can do it. I am a firm believer that "sacrifice makes opportunity" and by that, I mean that there were several times in Atlanta when I could have done something besides work all the time but I always knew that I wanted to come and try living in Australia. So, I sacrificed certain things in order to gain a bigger reward for myself. I have come here and not had to use one dime of someone else's money and there is a great satisfaction in that. To know that I have done it on my own terms is great. While it may not be easy all of the time, it makes it satisfying on a different level than someone else who would have been handed this opportunity. With all of that said, today was a small wonder. I rode in a car today and for most of you, that isn't a big deal but for me, being "Mr. Public Transportation" for the last two months, it was an event. I rode with my co-workers to a meeting for work and we had to cross over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which will never cease to amaze me, and we were doing so on the opposite side of the street. Riding in the car did make me miss my car, which is named Gertrude, and she is currently in her sunny, retirement village in Florida. For Easter, I am currently making plans to visit another Aussie city. We have a four day weekend here, so I want to make the best of it!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"...I know that I've got issues but you're pretty messed up too..."

Here's an image for you. A toothless, drunk, aboriginal woman with a plethora of facial hair is put on a jumbo-tron tv screen over a crowd of thousands. She proceeds to yell and scream obscenities and then, wait for it, she lifts up her shirt to reveal her mammary glands. I call them mammary glands because at this point they were no longer breasts. They hung so low to the ground that I wondered if she had single handedly kept the children of Ethiopia fed. Welcome to Mardi Gras in Sydney! Here's the deal, nothing about this event was like Mardi Gras in the States except the name. There were no real floats, no beads, and definitely no candy or moon pies thrown at me. What I did see were several people with little clothing, a wide variety of he-shes, and Joan Rivers. Now, Joan Rivers was the Grand Marshall and she looked like an animatronic character at Disney. I would bet decent money that that woman has only about 3% of her original face left. The parade perplexed me because it was just groups of people walking past. Some were on make shift floats but nothing intricate or extreme like we would have. It also lasted way too long. At the one hour mark, it was wearing thin and at the three hour mark, I was done. One of the floats was about bondage because hey, some people like to have the piss beat out of them! The float had a naked man and woman being beaten by people in masks. Fun for the whole family! One of the more enchanting moments was when in the distance I saw a woman holding a sign that said "Girls Without Vaginas" and for about 15 seconds, I thought, "Wow, I wonder what happened to her vagina?" And then, some common sense came rushing in and I realized that she never had one! Silly me! The night only got better once I got on my train home and the guy in the row next to me decided to go into convulsions and begin projectile vomiting across the train. He was making noises as if someone were performing an exorcism on him. It was disgusting. Ultimately, however, Australia is all about experiences and forcing myself to see some new things and well, I have. Now, I need to go shower and pray. Twice.

(In the middle of the crowd)

(People lined up along the parade route)

Monday, March 2, 2009

"...the early morning, the city breaks, and I've been calling for years and years and years and years..."

Within the past two months, Australians have beaten out Americans as the fattest people on the planet! Damn it, I hate when we lose. Therefore, I need someone to send me a box full of Fun-yuns, Dr. Pepper, and donuts with sprinkles on them. Why sprinkles? Because I like sprinkles. What? Don’t you judge me. If you put sprinkles on ice cream, my world suddenly becomes filled with happiness and joy for no apparent reason. That’s a true story. Ok, on to other news. Today was my first Monday at the new job. I started last week but this week will make the first full week and I am so excited to have a job. I know for many of you that sounds lame but I like to work and this place seems like it will allow me to work hard and really do something. So far, so good. Right now, in my head, I am now trying to plan my first Aussie vacation. I know, I know. You are thinking, "This S.O.B. has been on vacation for two months now!" Technically, true but I was looking for a job that whole time and finally getting one, makes me need a weekend away! Where should I go? Tasmania, Perth, or Melbourne? Those are my first three picks! This past weekend, I went out with some of the people that I live with and none of them are native English speakers and we went to a Japanese restaurant where the servers were, of course, non-native English speakers and it was a comedy of errors. My head hurt so badly from translating English to English. After dinner, we went to a pub and let's just say that that was too odd for me. Watching people from Taiwan dance to Ludacris and trying to rap and then giggling incessantly. Awkward! I, also, love that when you don't speak a language natively, cuss words have no meaning to you. So, these people drop the F-bomb like it is nobody's business. It is always like this "Hi, Edamun, ware da F*#@ is da bafroom?" Also, WAIT...this is truly priceless, one of the kids who lives in this house is from China and he sometimes stands on the toilet to urinate. Yes, that's right, I said it. He stands on the seat and aims down. One day the bathroom looked like a can of Mountain Dew had exploded in it. Graphic, I know but we all need to learn from it. And scene.

(I really did just randomly stumble upon it)

(Queen Victoria Building in downtown Sydney)

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