Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Let's Complain About Stuff

Hey, I have an idea: Lets take the things we like, make them smaller, and then jack up the prices.

This cup of coffee cost $2.80, which is about 2.30 in Uhmerica. If I remember right, I would, on a regular basis, go to Espresso Royale and get 4x this amount for 3.50 (if it wasn't free). These dammed pricey Australians, half of it is milk anyway. The conversation should have gone like this: "Hi lady, can I have 7oz of hot milk with an ounce coffee for, oh I don't know, 3 dollars? Great, thanks!" This means if I am to buy, say, 100 coffees this semester, it will cost sommmetthiinnngg liiiikkkeeee.... carry the 2, add the zeeerroooo..... two... two hundred annnnndddd eighty dollars?

p.s. I just caught myself in the 3rd minute of Distant Ocean Surf, good thing I had this coffee to keep me awake. Also, you're not mistaken, there are three wolves on my shirt (and one moon).

And thanks for all the comments, guys. It helps me not feel like I'm talking to Saskia's dolls again.

Did I say again?

I meant if I were to ever talk... or had ever talked to dolls... that, that's what it would feel like....

...except they talked back

Friday, July 24, 2009


Charles "Driving a Hyundai Santa Fe doesn't stop me from being a schlemiel" Barlow publicly complained that my blog has become "stale." Oh, I'm sorry that I can't keep you entertained, Dachaz. Typical Americans, "Entertain me. Give me flashy pictures and freedom fries and wild stories about drunk coeds."

But I did take some pictures.

They are here ...Shutterfly doesn't let me just link to the album, I have to create a corny website (which is geared towards families, or rather self-absorbed young mothers attempting to exhibit a happy life to their old high school friends) (I can say this because Monica and Saskia don't have websites... I hope). I mean, look at the stock images that I haven't removed yet, its pretty obvious. Anyway, whenever I put up pictures I'll just link to that site; I don't have children, and I don't expect you to check up on it. I pulled a Steve and decided to jog around and learn the area, but I got bored with running on the sidewalk and this little trail kind of attracted me, so I went down it - and the pictures are of what I found. I go back everyday now, so when I finally feel like I have covered the entire place (I get lost every time I go) I will put more pictures up. I'll also add unbiased pictures of the campus whenever the trees begin to bloom.

Speaking of getting lost, it is definitely one thing I have gotten a knack for. And not just since being here, back home I found myself getting lost a few times - I would tell about them, but that would be outside the canon of this blog. In the first 20.5 years of my life I don't really remember getting lost much, but I have seriously gotten lost like 10 times in the last three moths, and 6 times in the last week. Not just, "Oh I kind of know where I'm at, and there is a landmark to follow," I mean, "I honestly have no idea where I am at, or which direction to go, so I guess I'll just keep going this way," and often with no phone.

So recently I was in the midst of getting lost and I happened to walk through the ANU men's soccer team's first practice of the season. I happened to have my spikes on me, since I was looking for the Bruce Hall's soccer practice. When I asked them for directions to Willow's Oval, the coach noticed I had my spikes and asked if I just wanted to play with them. So I did. And now we have a game in Brisbon on Saturday!

No, actually that didn't happen. Well, I did wander through their practice, and the rest is what I was fantasizing about instead of listening to directions. Then I just got flat out lost trying to find Willow's Oval while daydreaming about all the money I would have when the professional scout came to one of our games and asked me to play for the Australian professional team.

I also thought about what would happen if I got mugged, but instead of thinking about where I would run or what I would do, I just thought of what I would say when I inevitably knocked him out. And the best I could come up with was "America, bitch." And then maybe take his money or anything of value he might have. You know, teach him a lesson right? Would you take something from a person who tries to mug you? Feel free to answer in the comments.

mmmmaaaaa huhhhhh ok where was I. Oh right, America. The classes here are pretty much the same setup. A few things different: they call discussion sections tutorials, lectures are the full 60 minutes - so no walking time (stupid), the overall registration/getting books schema is different, but those are all different within different schools. I'm taking a political science class called Money, Power, War - it seems pretty interesting, and of course there is a pretty good amount of anti-American sentiment. The English class I am taking is called Democratic Vistas: American Literature... something... its alright, seemed a little boring but we'll see. and then Im taking a narratology /newmedia class. I want to take a class just about Australia but there isn't much of a selection, and I need to keep my schedule clear for travel.

but that is about it so far, nothing too exciting - besides learning New Zealand rule Circle of Death.

p.s. at the bars they stamp the underside of your wrist... not going to lie, I kind of like the way the ink looks on my wrist....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Update

Ok, nothing really special has happened lately, so I will give you an observation of the nightlife

This week is like an orientation week, so the dorm/hall/(they call college) has a bunch of activities planned from Thursday to Sunday. Pretty much take your typical American dorm icebreakers and infuse them with lots of booze. It is funny how they embrace drinking here, as opposed to the US supressing it. There are signs advertising each social event in the halls and cafeteria so that everyone knows what is going on. I guess you could compare each dorm (or "college") to a fraternity - social events are planned for everyone, everyone knows each other, and you are identified by the college you live at. Ergo, each college has certain reputations; I don't really know what Bruce Hall's reputation is, but it is pretty social, more social than the rest I think anyway.

Another fun fact is that there is a bar in the dorm, which is pretty awesome. So while unsupervised American teens secretly get s-faced in their dorm rooms, Australian kids get together in the 'college' bar (called the Buttery) before going out - The Buttery is student run, and closes at ten. And this is all great and fun, except that alcohol is expensive as d. Seriously, one bar I went to charged $6.50 for a gin and tonic; the closest IGA sells a dece 6-pack for 20 bonaduce's. I guess they also refuse to drink beer out of cans, so there is no going out and picking up a few cubes of keystone for cheap, so today a New Zealander named Edmund and I went out and found 2 24 bottle cases for $30 each, not too bad. But we did have to walk the 2 miles carrying 24 heavy bottles (the beer is called Pure Blonde - I like my women like I like my beer (blonde - not cheap... or glass)).

So on Thursday night a lot of people just gathered in the hall, then went out to the pubs. Then Friday there was a graffiti party in the Buttery and then everyone went to the pubs. Last night there was a big bonfire. Tonight there is a "Back to School" party where everyone is supposed to wear their school uniforms from back in the day. I don't have one, so I'll have to be creative. Before that, however, Edmund and I are putting together a good ole fashion power hour, except Edmund calls it "Centurian" and there is no music, just a person with a timer, beer, and shot glasses - I guess they are strictly business in New Zealand.

Classes start next week, which will change things just as they started to settle.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Killing Them Softly

Another notable feature of the bathrooms here is that they are transsexual... or, no, that's not right... gender neutral - I guess would be politically correct. I don't really know the point of this, maybe its a coming-of-age homophobia sort of thing. Anywho, I knew eventually it would create some sort of trouble for me, and it didn't take very long. Today after my jog, (I'll write about this (and add pictures) later, it was AWESOME)), I went into the shower and as I was walking in the first cute girl I have encountered so far was walking out. So, as my brain was urging say something clever, say something clever, my body was doing a double fist pump, and my mouth was saying, "Unisex!"

And as my hands began to fall, my towel dropped.

Ok, that last part didn't really happen. But she gave me some sort of confused yet amused "I don't really know what that means..." look - the same look my brain was thinking - and shifted her gaze towards the door.

Strike two Myers, Strike two.

Also, first night out in Australia tonight (hopefully), we'll see what that has in store...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Might Be Home Sooner Than Expected

Today was the last day of International Orientation meeting things. A bus tour took us around all the sites of Canberra, past the Art Museum, History Museum, up some mountain with a good view, around all the embassies, and finally to the pride of Canberra, the Australian Parliament House. The house is pretty huge and awesome, we went on yet another tour through the great hall and each house (one house of Representatives, then one for the senate - the equivalent of American Congress). I forgot my camera, but took a few pictures on my phone of each house, they were pretty "neat". It is pretty new, built in '88, but I'm sure you all knew that... Anywho, we were given ten minutes to look around, and I, in true Myers-family fashion, was not satisfied with what was open to the general public. So, wandering off alone I found myself lost and far away from the giant herd of shuffling, picture snapping international kids - I tried using my time-tested gettin'-around instincts to get back to the bus but time was running out, so I started to worry. Then I remembered that the tour guide said something about going up to the roof to see the giant flag or something, so figuring that they all did what they were told I looked for the fastest way to get back into the group. I walked outside to see if there was a way up to the roof, and there was. It was easy, just a big grassy knoll that led right up to the top - how simple! Well, when I finally got to the top there was a fence that said something to the effect of "No Trespassing" (I didn't read it).

So I hopped the fence... well, both fences... and just as I was about to slither and blend right back into the crowd a policeman came and called me out. He took me back over to the fence, and took my information down, yadda yadda yadda (except I don't know what happens with my information... it must be entered somewhere, otherwise what is the point of taking it?) Apparently I was "trespassing" because the only allowed way to the top is through the elevator, since to be on the elevator is to be inside, and to be inside is to have "security clearance." He was actually pretty nice, had just gotten back from a vacation to Vegas, so I chewed the fat with him about that and other stuff. He apologized for having to "bust my balls" which I thought was funny. He also noted, and I realized, that in the States I would probably be knocked up to some security threat level orange, not let on airplanes, and thrown in the cellar prison for three days of interrogation, instead his prosecution was to "see me out" and I went back the way I came.

So there you go, four days in Australia and I'm already in the books.

Monday, July 13, 2009

put another shrimp on the barby

If you're reading this it means you are using the internet! Hooray! You are better than me, I am currently writing this offline, because that is how bored I am. No internet, TV that I know of, or anything else really. Aren't those the only things in life anyway? What am I supposed to do, read a book? I have to keep the people happy, you know. And they would probably charge me for reading anyway, these damn Australians.
They are annoyingly green here, I just want to live at my American wasteful self. For example, instead of an unlimited roll of toilet paper there are little two-square pull outs (like tissues). I mean really, I am just going to pull out handfulls still. Its not like I am going to be like "Eh, good enough I guess, need to keep the planet in mind." Future generations won't care about me, so why should give an s about them? Anywho, a few other things they do are the half-flush (which is actually a good idea) and due to the 11 year or so drought here they want to limit shower times to ~4min. Oh, and internet costs $7 per GB, which SUCKS. GIVE ME UNLIMITED INTERNET!!!!!! So I won't be able to load up as many pictures here as I would like or anything. I think I can go to an internet cafe or something... maybe... and the library allows me a free GB per day which is pretty good, but all this will hopefully be figured out soon. Pray the internet rationing never comes to America, pray that as an American your internet stomachs shall never go hungry. "this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from rationed internet" -Abraham Lincoln.

My room is pretty small, but no room mate which is good, because I generally hate people. Yesterday (Sunday Jul 12) I was pretty unhappy. After 30+ hours of hectic travel (long hot lines, 14 hour flight, missed flight, waiting for luggage) and little sleep, I was forced to walk ~2miles to the mall (which is pretty huge) and buy a bunch of stuff that these penny pinching australians didn't provide (bedding mostly) and other stuff, which cost a lot of money. Then I forced myself to sleep/collapsed at 430, missed dinner, and slept until around 6am. Today I met a fellow American, Ricky from Queens, who was pretty much in the same boat, we all just got thrown into our rooms with no internet or anything. NO INTERNET! That is pretty much it so far. Things are starting to get better, I register for classes tomorrow and it looks like I could have classes limited to Tuesday and Wednesday, which would be sweet if there was anything to do here... but it is only the second day and I could discover more things. Its just that if I were in New South Whales or Sydney I wouldn't have this problem; I would just go to the beach every day. But Noooo I had to pick boring old Canberra, but Ill see how boring it gets. I could just sit alone in a pub 5/7 days I guess. I hope I can travel alot, but it seems like the people I have talked to so far just want to go to New Zealand, but I want to visit every worthwhile city in Australia plus New Zealand and Thailand. So maybe I will meet some people who have the same mindset.

Weather: Floating around 50 F, partly cloudy... feels like Fall in Illinois.