Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Curse you, Mr. Moneybags!

I just walked two miles (slightly uphill! In the humidity!) to get to a café with free wireless so I could post this. Sadly that’s not just an exaggeration and modern twist on the classic grandparents ‘In my day’ story, it’s because I’m too damn thrifty for my own good. I just moved to a new place for the summer (winter to all you not in this strange opposite land) where the cost of Internet use rivals the actual rent, so I guess this is the way it will have to be for a few months. It’s alright though, I get some exercise and then cancel out said exercise with a brownie in the café. Win-win!

The grand total of the five of you who read this will be excited to hear your wait was not in vain. Many interesting things have happened in the course of these two weeks, but I should probably start with the most recent. Yesterday I played the most pointless game of Monopoly of my life. Normally I love it, the thrill of buying up all the utilities and railroads, then laughing evilly when my uncle lands on one of them, maybe pretending to make my dog game piece pee on his race car game piece in a moment of gloating. I may be sarcastic in my writing, but I’m generally very polite in person and board games are the one time I get to be bitchy without feeling bad about it.

In my new flat, I share the upstairs with a Chinese education major that enjoys cleaning, while downstairs is a girl from Spain who is pretty much the sassy older sister from ‘Ugly Betty’ and a British girl I still haven’t seen despite living here for about six days. The two flatmates who actually show their faces were playing cards with an Indian girl when I got in and invited me to join. Let the language barrier fun commence! Fortunately I speak Spanish well and was able to ask mi amiga the rules. Unfortunately, I’m used to Spanish with a central American accent and it took me way too long to realize that in this particular game, threes were higher than aces for some stupid reason. But at least now I know how the Chinese girl felt when she told me my accent is a lot easier to understand than the Australians because I don’t speak as fast and pronounce my words clearer. My flatmates had to leave after a few rounds and I was left with the Indian girl. Whom I had no idea who she was or why she was in our flat. Clearly she wasn’t a guest of the others since they left and she didn’t go with them. I was about to sneak away up to my room and hope she’d leave on her own, but she decided we should play Monopoly.

I’ve never played it with only two people before and now know it’s especially not fun, but at the time I had nothing better to do and agreed. The game went on for three hours even though I had clearly won a little over an hour into it. But she refused to give up even though she had about forty dollars and everything she owned mortgaged. At first it was a bit pathetic and I felt bad so I let her stay at one of my three incredibly nice houses on Trafalgar Square (oddly, this version was all London streets instead of the usual Atlantic City) free of charge. But after a while, I wanted to throw the little wheelbarrow at her head and demand she declare bankruptcy as well as who she was. Right before she admitted defeat at my ‘Donald Trump but with way better hair’ skills, she asked if I enjoyed being in her old room. Her identity revealed at last! Who goes back to their old residence to pay a visit and ends up painfully drawing out a board game with someone they’d never met before?! I may just have to hide Monopoly and put out Uno in its place because if this somehow happens again, at least Uno is quicker and there are no excuses to try staying in the game. Plus, I have a very special X-Men Uno deck that is clearly one of my greatest possessions.

I’m going to keep this entry at that wonderfully Seinfeld-esque tale of nothingness, but will make the voyage again tomorrow to post a concert story. And of course, concert + me = something incredibly stupid bound to happen! Plus, it ties in with the X-Men Uno cards! CONTINUITYZ, I HAS THEM.

Oh, and P.S. My pictures and The Awkward American were totally featured in the Nylon Blog. Take a looksy! (You have to search 'Brisbane')

Friday, November 14, 2008

This is the Final Countdooooooooooown!

Sometime earlier this week I was supposed to post about a particularly odd occurrence I had last Saturday, but what I have written up and ready to go makes little sense without the photos we took. Photos that are on my friend’s camera because mine is apparently operable by my hands only. She was supposed to e-mail them to me but keeps forgetting so you might not get to read that story for some time.

But worry not, I just returned from an equally stupid and embarrassing ordeal! My three and a half hour long Japanese Popular culture final. Nobody likes finals other than the fact that they signify the end of that particular course, but I especially can’t stand them because I seem to have things constantly go wrong on finals days. Last year, the train back to school from my internship in the city was stopped because of a stabbing (welcome to life in Philly!) two stations before mine, forcing me to take a bus then walk a few miles with a heavy backpack. I got in ten minutes before it was time for the exam and said final ended up giving me a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Today wasn’t physically as troublesome, but equally stressful. I got to the testing room twenty minutes early and chatted with two guys from my study group. Before I go on, I should mention that this class is basically Japanese students expecting an easy A, a bunch of cute nerdy guys, a girl with a huge tattoo of the Transformers symbol on her arm, and myself sitting around talking about things like ‘Battle Royale’ and J-punk. So basically one of my favourite University courses ever. I talked with the guys, sad that this is probably the last time I’ll see them again and just as I thought, “Oh duh, ask them for their e-mail!” the test administrator entered the room. Dammit. They allotted ten minutes for looking through the questions and being a quick reader, I spent a good eight minutes of this time ogling my crush’s strangely attractive new Wolverine-esque facial hair. He’s attractive, I swear it! Stop picturing a mutton chopped 18th-century geezer. He first got my attention the day he practically lead the discussion on Miyazaki films AND did so wearing a Horrors shirt. You instantly get points in my book for being a fellow fan of a band I love, especially bands barely anyone else seems to know about. Many a time I’ve terrified people by running across the street towards them yelling, “AHHH! I WAS AT THAT CONCERT TOO!”

Getting back on point, it final-ly (har har) started and I got past the vocabulary section to the essays. But halfway through my second essay, the nib of my mechanical pencil simply broke off. I had not anticipate this, as it’s never happened to me before and I thought it was a fairly solid pencil. I started to panic, shoving it back in with no avail and then opened the little canister of pencil lead to see if it was possible to write with only them. The answer is no, they snap in half, which is why you need the mechanical pencil nib to hold them in place. Arrrgh! I look around nervously and see that some students are using pens in their blue books. Since when were you allowed to use pens? I raised my hand to see if I could ask one of the two test administrators to let me get a pen from my bag. The closest one had seen me freaking out internally at my pencil, but gave me an evil smirk instead of any help. NOOO! “Relax, “I thought, “Ogle the cute guy for a bit, then try again.” That worked and I retrieved my pen, huzzah! I continued working, but after a few sentences, realized the pen was running out of ink. Why was I carrying a pen with barely any ink?! I don’t even recall using this particular one much at all! So an essay and a half of a final worth 40% of my overall grade was written in decreasingly visible ink. Near the end of the essay on the Takarazuka Revue (which I’ve included a link of the wikipedia definition for because it’s hilarious/awesome) the pen died fully and I scratched, “Sorry no conclusion, my pen’s life has ended” into my already suffering paper. Fortunately my professor has a good sense of humour and will hopefully understand, but I still slightly regret doing that now.

I’m actually traveling for once this weekend, over to Byron Bay after spending tonight at the Gold Coast. I look forward to attempting surfing again, but dread the thousand more freckles bound to form as a result. The other day, Elle commented that my arms were starting to look a bit tan, but then as she came closer, she realized that at a distance, my freckles sort of meld together giving the illusion of tan. Curse my Scottish paleness.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

lהngre borta הn hem

Unable to sleep and wanting to stop myself from further watching the strange Canadian cartoon about a bunch of teens taking orders from a fish with flattop hair to fight an old lady and her evil Chihuahua with a British accent, this morning I reread my last entry and I realized it was a tad snarky. They don’t even know about, yet alone read my blog, (psh, does anyone?) but I publicly apologize to my flatmates (not the one who leaves angry notes though, but he’s another matter) for being e-bitchy towards them. I just dislike how they have their own little ‘She-Ra Boy Haters Club’ and when I walk in the room they get all middle school, pretending to talk about something else like I don’t notice.

Then again, I can understand why they might not always want to spend time with me. See, they watch movies like ‘Sex and the City’ together, a film which I have suffered through seeing once already and considered breaking my own pinky finger as an excuse out of it. It’s the same reason they decline my offer to watch ‘Master and Commander,’ a Napoleonic war naval epic I have probably seen at least a dozen times. I get that I’m not exactly girly, but darn it, just because I prefer Henry Rollins to Hannah Montana doesn’t mean I’m against a good ol’ gossip fest about boys and whatnot. They should know that, considering my one wall: Kings of Leon :: the wall of an ‘80s fangirl: Tiger Beat pictures of Duran Duran. Please note however, Duran Duran < Kings of Leon, though I do enjoy the occasional boogie to “Hungry Like the Wolf.”

Getting back on point, I promised myself I would suck it up and rent a few movies all of us would like. I carefully chose three period piece costume drama type films that tend to have the right levels of romance (enough for them to keep interest but not so much that I want to gag) to battle scene (cool action, but not overly gory or annoyingly inaccurate to history) ratios. I was so proud for finally compromising like a big kid that I didn’t take much notice of the women in the city walking by with huge stupid looking hats perched on their heads. Which means I forgot today was the Melbourne Cup Horse Race, a joyous holiday which includes fighting back crowds of said hats, old men frantically placing bets, and people trying not to drop huge orders of food & booze they thought would be okay to transport back to their party on foot. It also means the TV was on the horses all day and there was to be no movie viewing tolerated. After all that, I grumpily gave up and took my bowl of store-brand Cocoa Pebbles back to my room where I spent the rest of my day reading to a soundtrack of music that's almost entirely in another language (for some reason, it’s been my favourite thing to listen to lately, especially if it’s in French or Swedish). I think this means I’m destined to end up living in a cave outside some strange modern Gaul or Viking community. Eh, it could be worse, at least I’m not one of the six people crushed to death by a vending machine every year (that was my Snapple cap fact the other day).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You're standing on my neck

I was incredibly disappointed by my Halloween, apparently nobody thought to tell me it isn't a big holiday here. Instead everyone in my flat got drunk and went to the big soccer game oh so appropriately called the FARR Cup (say it out loud with an Australian accent... There you go). I also had a disgusting cold which I'm just getting over, but that didn't prevent me from dressing up. I was Daria, for all you that I was going to surprise with a picture of my awesome likeness, but lo and behold I didn't get a photo of my costume. Some other time hopefully.

I sat around as a phlegmy Daria watching Halloween movies from my childhood on Youtube for a few hours and then the flatmates (along with that random irksome guy who always seems to be drunk and watching infomercials on our couch every Tuesday and Friday night) came in yelling louder than televangelists. They had with them yet another stolen parking cone and a bottle of Baileys that "guess what? We found this in a bush! Free alcohol!" I retreated to my room, but quickly went back to the kitchen to grab some toast and a cup of tea so I could properly bunker down. I was too late, the insanity had started and only a minute after happiness all around in Drunkland, I walked into the kitchen to find the girls crying. "What happened?" I accused Irk, who was trying to lie down on our newly stolen coffeetable. "Dunno, they just mumbled a word and that got them both going." Irk then fell asleep and I tried to comfort the girls, politely asking if maybe they could at least tell me part of what was wrong all of a sudden so that I could help them. But it was another one of those, "YOU WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND, DANI!" things because I don't have a boyfriend so that clearly means I know nothing about boys. The fact that I have common sense and lots of male friends who give me more insight to the male mind than I'd like is not good enough. In a very fitting Daria-esque rage, I went back to my room and watched more movies, hearing that ten minutes later everyone was happy and laughing again. Welcome to 170 Mood Swing Lane!

The day after Halloween I was supposed to go to an actual party, but I was even more sick that I had to skip out on it. Extra bummed out about that. But Halloween '06 was crappy and involved lots of drunk-wrangling as well, so at least last year was fun. As for the highlights of today, I got to watch my flatmate from China eat corn on the cob with chopsticks, a feat that takes mighty skill, and last night I had a dream I'm pretty sure was entirely in haiku. Exciting stuff. The end of the semester is approaching, which is insane because I still feel like I just got here sometimes. I only have one more final in two weeks, after that it's summer (weird!) and I recently discovered that means I have to move out. My job hunt in Brisbane isn't going great, so I was considering living in Melbourne for a few months. It would be weird starting over yet again, but I may not have another choice. The Awkward American in Melbourne? Maybe! I heard it's an awesome place with lots of cool independent bookshops, cafes, and boutiques, so my pathetic little resume qualifications might be accepted there. Fingers (and toes, because I'm double jointed, but you probably don't want to know that) crossed!