Monday, September 22, 2008

Finally, finally, finally I was forced to face...

Gee, Brain. What are we going to do tonight?
The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world... of graffiti. Then try to convince Danielle to do something other than schoolwork or watching movies!

That's right, everyone. I actually went out and had fun this weekend instead of being my usual hermit self! Huzzah! I worked on Friday morning, then left all giddy with my first pay in hand. So of course I went to Queen St. to spend half of it, ha. It was 'Talk Like a Pirate Day' and there were a few people dressed up, including this one lady who had THE coolest swashbuckler outfit I've ever seen. It looked like it could've been stolen from Kiera Knightly's 'Pirates of the Caribbean' wardrobe. I was really tempted to ask her if I could take a photo, but I got lily-livered. Then I walked around taking pictures of the cool graffiti and sticker art in the city. I also had at least eight lizards of varying sizes cross my path, including this fella who let me go camera happy on him.
Every time I saw an iguana or lizard I said, "OH MY GOD! LOOK AT IT! WHOA!" to nobody in particular, causing passersby to either question my sanity or know immediately I'm not from around here. Speaking of crazy visitors, looky what I found:
And here I thought he was down in Georgia! (For those of you that don't get it, that's a nerdy music joke, not a diss at the South)

Later that night I was ready to settle down for a Cameron Crowe marathon, but Alexa called and told me to get ready for a trip to the Gold Coast. Her super rich cousin was having his birthday party in the penthouse of the tallest building on Surfers Paradise over the course of four days and originally Alexa wanted to go Saturday (when I had work). She found out that Saturday he was going to have 70 people there and Friday was a calmer total of 20, so they decided to change nights last minute. The majority of the car ride up was spent by Alexa's recently engaged (at 18!) friend saying, "Ooh, I want to have my wedding reception there!" to practically every three or four star restaurant we passed. Then we reached the Huge Fancypants Hotel I Can't Remember the Name of.
I apologize for the bad quality, but my flash wasn't working for some annoying reason. Everyone at the party was pretty drunk when we got there, so we broke off from the main group and sat in one of the seven (thats how big it was!) bedrooms admiring the view and sipping some rum & orange juice in honour of pirates. Get it? The orange juice is to prevent scurvy! Anyhoo, the view was astounding and slightly reminds me of Atlantic City.We joined the rest of the party again only to find them talking about cartoons and a guy with dreadlocks screaming, "LETS GO GET ICE CREAAAAAAAM!" So, we opted to leave and go to a club that Constantly Planning Her Wedding Girl was raving about. They stamp your arm with a huge red 'SIN' when you enter (the place was called 'Sin City,' kind of a tacky name). How very Nathaniel Hawthorne. We didn't stay there for long, but it was fun enough. The ride back home was spent mostly by me singing along to Kings of Leon songs on the radio and obsessing about how they're not only one of the greatest contemporary bands but also the best looking family in music (which they totally are, even back a few years ago when they were in their '70s hair and too much flannel phase). Yes, I realize how pathetic it is that my conversations tend to revert to the topic of cute boys, bands, or cute boys in bands.

Saturday was my first time working movie night, which was awesome. The movie was 'East of Eden,' one of my favourites and it was hosted by a fabulous tranny who was just a bit tipsy. Oh boy, was that interesting. I kept getting called 'Raquel, Darling' and had to deal with a lot of gossip. I was supposed to meet up with friends later, but some bad directions and an idiot cabbie later, I found out I was only a five minute walk away. This really got me angry, because I should've known it was going to happen, I consistently get terrible taxi drivers. Then I get there and find my friends left. ARG! But fortunately I knew she lived nearby and remembered how to get there. I also had a cute guy come up to me and ask to help settle a bet with his friend for $10 that he couldn't get a random pretty girl to kiss him on the cheek. And yes, I gladly helped, teehee. I found Angie's house and we watched a DVD of Adam and the Ants videos (her favourite), exchanged concert stories, and all that fun stuff. She invited me to go to the beach with her posse next weekend, so it looks like I'll actually have something to write about then too, yay!

I finally got a steady social life over here, aren't you all proud?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why can't we be friends?

Well, I tried, I really did, but thanks to the Josh Pyke concert I wanted to go to being sold out, the outdoor Operator Please concert being rained out, and my flatmates boyfriend issues causing all other plans to be drama-ed out, I spent yet another weekend doing nothing. However, my first day of work went well, so yay, but not much to really go into about that.

Don't get me wrong, as I've said many times, I like my flatmates a lot, but it always sucks being the only single friend. Especially when you're trying to comfort them and they basically tell you that they appreciate the sentiment, but I shouldn't give advice when I've never been in a relationship. Ouch. Speaking of friends, all they wanted to do was watch the sitcom of that very name which I've never been too keen on. Maybe its because I was only eleven when everyone was getting Rachel haircuts or perhaps its because I know there is no way they could ever afford an apartment that size in Greenwich Village, but I just don't find "Friends" that funny. Naturally, they had to do the whole "Oh, I'm such a Monica type of person!" thing and I was instantly labeled Phoebe. Figures I'm the kooky and artsy yet street smart one who marries a gay Canadian ice dancer so he can get his green card.

But seriously, I know I should be trying to make more friends so I don't have to rely on the same people when I want to actually go somewhere or do something. I'm just not very good at making friends the traditional way. Most of the people I've known for several years will tell you about the strange circumstances under which we met. For example, when I hit Paige in the face with my sock at a sleepover five minutes after being introduced to her and we're still close over seven years later. Or how my Mom made me carpool with Jenna because we both liked Tamora Pierce books and after a few quiet rides I broke the ice by comparing a picture of a bald man's head on the back of a bus to a cheese knish. I'm just not very good at 'get to know you small talk.' The other day, I got into a conversation with my Screenwriting classmate about 'The Sixth Sense' and I literally followed her onto her bus just so I could keep talking with her. It wasn't the bus I needed (though I told her it was) but it went close enough to where I live and I got home an hour later than usual because of it. I think I may have weirded her out, but I have that effect on lots of people.

In a similar vein, a few weeks ago my flatmates dragged me to (eurgh) Pub Night, which I can't stand. This guy told me he was from Stewart Island, adding that I'd probably never even heard of it. But I knew exactly where it was, I told him, and he was very impressed. "Well," I said, "I'm good at geography. Not so much capitals outside of the US and Europe, but the basic 'where countries are' for everywhere else at least, you know?" I then went on a long tangent about how as a child, I loved 'Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?' while all the other kids adored that annoying math game '24,' which we were forced to play in school. I spent my time playing the 'Carmen San Diego' computer game instead of studying for the '24' tournament and I lost in the first round. Kids laughed but I told them I was going on the 'Carmen San Diego' game show and winning a real prize, on national TV none the less. Unfortunately the show ended right before I was old enough to qualify and I was devastated, but my geography skills stayed with me. The guy looked at me and went "Okayyyy, I'm going to the bar..." Later my flatmate informed me that he was trying to flirt. Dammit. Always a Phoebe, I guess.

EDIT: This is for those of you that don't know/remember what I'm talking about. Look at how high tech those animations are, haha. And I love that the roach is named Kafka. Boy, did I want to wear one of those neon fedoras and ACME Crimenet ketchup & mustard coloured blazers so badly! *sigh*

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink...

Well, it's a bit past 6 am here and I'm awake. "Good for you," one of you might be thinking right now, "getting up early to tackle the day!" Um, no. I just haven't slept all night. No need to worry though, I'm not so fraught with emotion that I can't partake in slumber or pulling a hectic all-nighter to write a paper my grade depends on. It's mostly due to the stupid ravens and kookaburras outside cackling all night keeping me awake. While home to some incredibly cute fuzzy mammals, creepy bugs, and poisonous things, Australia is also blessed with some of the most annoying birds in the world.

So what did I do to whittle away at these early morning hours? I wish I could say I enjoyed a cup of tea while reading a classic novel, but alas I did not. Unfortunately I haven't read a non-schoolwork related book in the entire time I've been here. It saddens me greatly. I have been pouring over every magazine and newspaper I can find though, so at least that's something. Their library here is in the mall, which I just can't get over. The MALL! That's like putting an Urban Outfitters in the middle of Home Depot. So I thought it over and using the wonders of Youtube, I've done the closest thing to curling up with traditional literature: Watched old episodes of 'Wishbone,' of course!

The sad thing is, I remember almost everything that happens within these episodes. A few seconds into 'Salty Dog,' (the Treasure Island episode, which weirdly enough, was written by now famous comedian/political commentator Mo Rocca) the main characters all bike ride up to an abandoned barn. Suddenly I think, "Wait a minute, there's a lucky horseshoe that Sam (the girl) wants and later they go in there, get stuck, and the barn is burning to the ground when she finds it!" That's precisely what happens and I haven't seen this show since it aired over twelve years ago. I have to wonder how much space in my brain is wasted just by storing early '90s TV show plots. So I decided to watch other shows I loved as a kid to see if I could recall them as well. Sure enough, I knew main turning points in episodes of 'Ghostwriter,' 'Blossom,' 'Family Matters,' 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch,' and 'Are You Afraid of the Dark?' from only a minute or so in. Hell, I even remembered a few direct quotes from an episode of 'Boy Meets World' I chose at random from the many seasons it ran. All that's been in my noggin for at least nine years and I never realized it until now. No wonder I can't recite my 7 and 12 times tables, they've been replaced with meaningless trivia!

Anyway, things are going great other than me discovering a lame excuse for a talent. I got an awesome new job at a cafe/restaurant and am pretty sure I also secured a (non-paying as usual but great opportunity) spot writing for a local music magazine! I was in such a good mood the other day that I went out and bought a ukulele. Yes, I impulse buy small stringed instruments, not clothes or chocolate like most females my age. It's the coolest instrument ever! I missed my guitar, which I was finally stating to get the hang of when I left, and decided it would be a good way to keep in practice. Plus it wasn't expensive at all and is much better suited for my tiny little hands. I've only had it for two days and I can play Frère Jacques already! Pretty soon I'll be a ukulele master and can do duets on a train with Patrick Wolf *sigh* I wish.

'Wishbone' and ukuleles... I realize how incredibly lame I am. I know I keep saying it, but I'll go somewhere interesting and take pictures soon. Once I have money from my job, I'll be able to travel more and who knows where the music writing could lead! This weekend, however, will be spent working said job and (finally) sleeping. Wooohooo.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Time flies by like fly time

This week went by waaaaay too fast. Maybe it's because the seasons have changed so drastically here, we've been getting spring showers already and winter just ended a few days ago. I still get confused by the opposite seasons. Because of said rain, I was forced to stay inside a bit, but I made sure to watch Australian Idol and read old issues of an amazing Aussie magazine called Frankie. Now, I can't stand American Idol, but find myself addicted to the Australian version. There is significantly more talent, variety of music styles, and the judges actually have more constructive criticism than "A bit pitchy, dawg!" Plus, almost every contestant knows how to play at least one instrument in addition to being able to sing well. See, I'm still experiencing Australian culture even though I'm indoors! Once the weather is better, I promise to be more interesting.

I've been here a week or so shy of two months time, but for some reason this week was particularly full of people asking me questions about America. For starters, I'm shocked how little about American geography most people I've met here know. Only one person knew right away where I meant when I said Pennsylvania. It's not like it's even an obscure state! I always hear on the news that America is the stupid one where lots of kids don't know even their own state capital and other countries around the world shame us in the US History and Geography department. But I had a guy as me if Philadelphia was "near Chicago, you know, that state where the Pilgrims landed, right?" Just explaining where exactly I'm from is frustrating enough sometimes, but then I get the same top five "oooh, I've always wanted to know this about America" questions:
1. What's New York City like?
2. Is high school in America just like in the movies and TV?
3. Do you see famous people like all the time?
4. Have you ever been mugged/ have you ever seen someone get shot?
5. Do people from the South/New York/Boston/etc. really talk in those exaggerated accents?

And I usually give the same answers every time:
1. It's so big that this question is incredibly vague. I've only been to three of the five boroughs [explains and names boroughs] and I still can't begin to describe just Brooklyn in itself. But New York City is awesome, though I personally don't think I could live there. You should try and visit it for yourself. It's not anywhere near as dangerous as TV and movies make it seem.
2. Not at all. Though I'm sure there are rich California kids who have amazing courtyards they're allowed to eat fabulous lunches in. The closest thing to my high school experience would be an updated version of 'Daria' mixed with 'Freaks and Geeks,' maybe a bit of 'Pete and Pete' thrown in. [That's right, my life was and still is more of a weird, under-rated comedy than a drama or coming of age romance.]
3. I see and have met lots of musicians that I find famous, but the only really famous person lots of people would be familiar with I've seen in Philly is Jay McCarroll, who won the first season of Project Runway. So no, not really. Only B and C-List folks.
4. Um, no. I know people who have though. And if I had, I don't think I would want talk about it.
5. Yes, but not everyone obviously. I don't sound like I'm from Philly at all, thank goodness. My vote for weirdest American regional accents go to Long Island and Wisconsin. [Then I do my impressions of said accents. No offense to people from those areas!]

I can understand people being intrigued by the fact I'm from America and don't mind answering their questions, but sometimes I hate that I'm 'The American.' Would people still be interested in talking to me if I wasn't from a place that's novel to them? Do they make assumptions about me based on my accent? Sometimes I want to put on a British accent and see if I'm treated the same way. When I was in Scotland, there were a whole bunch of other Americans, but here I'm one of three that I know of on the entire campus. The other two are from New Hampshire and Colorado, so they aren't as close to the big cities as I am. Fortunately I haven't had anyone insult me for being American, but I still can't help but think the big "I'm from a famous American city!" sign that seems to be on me overshadows everything else about myself.