Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Cairns –

Cairns was awesome. The landscape around Sydney is not all that dissimilar to California, but in Cairns you get a sense that you are somewhere way off the map, somewhere tropical. Luckily it didn’t have that third-world ‘jamdung where people are dead at random political violence cyant done’ feel. The city itself isn’t big. An esplanade lines the shore in front of hotels, little kebab cafes, aboriginal art stores and miscellaneous souvenir shops. There is no beach per se near downtown Cairns. Crocodiles and box jellyfish rule the local waters, so tourists and locals are relegated to a tasteful public lagoon at the water’s edge. You probably wont see a postcard from Cains that doesn’t feature the lagoon. It’s essentially a large and oddly shaped pool-beach hybrid, a meter and half deep, that is separated from the ocean itself by a narrow walkway, with a white sand beach that slopes into the water from the southern side. The place was packed every time I went. 
My first day there I went cable wakeboarding up by the northern beaches. Cable wakeboarding uses the same system as a chairlift but with ropes and handles substituted for chairs. I cruised around for a while, going off some of the smaller jumps and ramps. There were a few huge ones, but I had plenty of activities left to do on the trip so it wasn’t the day to be a hero. 
Day two was whitewater rafting on the Barron Gorge. The Barron’s most dangerous perils include flash floods, several ‘guaranteed drowning points - as described by the guides - and man-eating crocodiles the size of short buses. As the guides gave a detailed safety briefing I threw my hands up as if to say I aint scurred of nothing. As a veteran rafter of the Deerfield river these pitfalls seemed unimpressive, almost pedestrian. The trip down the river didn’t last as long as I would have liked, but my group did get to see some poor asian girl get absolutely tossed out of the raft ahead of us. Like rag-doll tossed. Like double bounced off a trampoline tossed. I ended up going out drinking with some of the guys in my group that night and had a good time. 
Day tree. Snorkeling at the great barrier reef. Hands down the highlight of the trip. Boat left for the reef at 8 am, bright and early because it was a two hour trip to the good spots. During the trip out to the reef I noticed, to my surprise, a girl on the boat was wearing a Yale shirt. I immediately countered with my nike Dartmouth shirt, but I couldn’t tear the sleeves off in time so it was a stalemate. Sleeveless is the obvious trump card in that situation. She and I conferred extensively and finally decided it’d be best to join forces and consolidate our power over the rest of the passengers. Before long we had engineered a wholesome, old-time caste system: The fourth estate was down in the windowless lower level dancing and arm wrestling while we were on the sun deck wearing whites and eating a catered lunch with billy zane. Real men make their own luck indeed. 
The fish at the reef were unreal. There literally were no boring looking fish. It was like the reef was a box of lucky charms and the reef-warden had hand picked out all the boring bits, leaving only the tasty delicious marshmellow fish. I’m talking lion fish, parrot fish cuddle fish and ill-tempered, mutant seabass. I even saw a turtle, and anybody who knows me knows that I like turtles. 
The carrier really hammered the safety precautions into us on a verbal level, but once we were out there it was pretty much every man for himself. The multinational assortment of employees iterated the constant presence of a keen look-out on top of the boat. I don’t know how good of a lookout the guy actually was but he was pretty sick at just standing there looking remiss. 

Apparently clams can get huge. I didn’t know this. There were some massive ones on the ocean floor at the reef sites we visited. You can touch them near the mouth (I hope that’s a mouth?) and they clam up – pun not intended but totally intended.  

Last week 

My last week in the Sydney area flew by as I buzzed around in a last ditch attempt to cross the remaining items off my bucket list. On Friday I went to Bondi beach, which is considered the most iconic and well known in Sydney. It was fine. It’s a beach. The water was absolutely freezing though. Way colder than the water in Cronulla. The highlight was finding a little bakery near the water that had carrot cake like fucking heroin. I posted up on the beach with a beer and a carrot cake block the size of a car battery. Made me think of all those poor mutts back at Dartmouth enjoying the throes of final week. See me now baby!

The following day I made the stupendously long trek to Manly beach, which is located north of Bondi across the bay. I took a ferry from circular quay and got a nice view of the opera house and bridge. Bumped into a friend from the states and caught up for a bit. She was one of two people I saw during my whole time in Australia that I knew previously in the states. It was overcast when I was at manly, so I didn’t go in the water. But I did get a beer and a delicious lamb kebab. I sat on some steps near the water when I witnessed the most brazen thing ive ever seen an animal do. As I was eating a seagull flew over my head from behind and kicked the kebab out of my hand. I just sat there, stunned as a bunch of other seagulls raced in to scoop up the scraps that had fallen. It was a spectacle, people had actually stopped to watch this pitched battle between a swarm of rabid seagulls and myself. I was furious. Nobody touches a white man’s lamb kebab. I literally wanted to just start stomping them like Costanza did to those pigeons in the park during the Merv Griffin Show episode. I’m sure theres a law against that too, but fuck it I’m an American tourist so I get automatic diplomatic immunity right? 

I spent Sunday at the beach in cronulla, getting my surf on and my tan on for the last time. 


As an American it’s only natural to regard foreign lands as fake-life playgrounds full of people whose only purpose is to maintain a kind of pseudo-life charade for visitors. As a cultural chameleon it was quite easy and enjoyable to create a fake-life identity for myself as well. I used a ton of different names, including: Ted Kennedy, Michael Scofield, Stanley Goodspeed, Kenny Fucking Powers, DB Cooper, Colin Powell and Matt Chesky. These were usually met with an approving nod and a quick name repetition, except for ‘chesky’ which they said sounded fake. But despite the inherent differences between the real world and the fake world, I did find a few universal constants, one of which was my Yale sleeveless. This single article has proved itself time and again to be a natural aphrodisiac whose potency is not mitigated with increasing distance from New Heaven. Seriously this is how Clark Kent must feel when he comes out of a phonebooth wearing his superman spandex. Just unstoppable. Everywhere I went in that shirt, the deafening cries of “omg do you go to yale?” and “have you been working out?” were sure to follow. Yes to both ladies, and the drinks are on moi.  Winston Winterbottom, Yale 2012, how are ya?

*The picture of me wiping out in AD basement while wearing the shirt provided indisputable visual evidence for the occasional skeptic  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Blogging Brainstorm

just a bunch of random stuff ive been mulling the last few days:
I'm worried hail's blog 'clean on the get but still nasty' is stealing a ton of market share from me. My herfendahl is sucking wind like you wouldnt believe. So ive come up with a response blog that has an equally sick/cryptic title. It's a healthy-eating blog called 'Low in sat fat but still tasty.' You cant get complacent in this temporary-blogging game.

I've been following the situation between north korea and south korea. Why does china still support Kim Jong we-the-illest? The man wears platform shoes to be four feet tall, he's an angry little man kenny! The plus side to this standoff is that the USA sends a sick aircraft carrier to the Yellow Sea and then publicy announces that were doing it just to tell them not to fuck with us. I fucking love 'deterrence.' And those navy pilots are just the balls. Flying over peoples houses, buzzing towers and definitely blasting tunes in the cockpit. There must be an unwritten rule in the navy/air force that pilots are allowed to blast Danger Zone in the cockpit whenever they want, or any patently american song in general for that matter. To a terrorist, the only thing scarier than a F-16 about to blow them up is an F-16 about to blow them up while blasting Skynyrd.  USA

Snorkeling on the reef today was absolutely awesome and ill have more to say about it later, but i noticed one thing that made me laugh while i was out there. There was this one couple who was snorkeling while holding hands the entire day - at all three sites. Literally they did not stop holding hands the whole time. Even Rose from the Titanic let go after a few seconds, and that was life or death. I mean i would do anything for love, but i wont do that. The reef is a place for freedom and exploration, not underwater displays of affection. These two were unstoppable. What was this woman so worried about? Some slutty parrot fish stealing her man while shes defogging her goggles? get a grip aussies.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Cable wakeboarding on saturday, rafting yesterday, snorkeling on the great barrier reef today. Rev. It. Up. More to come once I get some interweb access

Friday, November 26, 2010


My mate dave lent me a surfboard on wednesday and I went straight to the beach after work. The conditions were rough thanks to a sustained 30 mile an hour wind that made just carrying the board a huge task. I probably looked like a joke from the shore - not because I sucked but because my boardshorts are outdated. I was able to stand up a few times and kind of just slide out in front of waves that had already broken, but that was about it. However I did take a few fantastic spils including two nose dives that sent me right to the bottom. Also my nipples were chafed into oblivion by the end. After staying about the same for my first two days, something just clicked on the third day. I wiped out a few times, but then, out of nowhere I came up with the pontiac game changing performance. I was able to stand up and actually ride a wave and turn horizontally along the break. I was shocked, like a gameshow contestant with a parting gift I could not believe my eyes. Well I'm getting on a flight right now, taking the 10X world tour to Cairns.

rustic reazy

Finally heard from jesse, apparently he's been having fun in the malagasy bush. He told me about some demonic ceremonies he took part in. I'm sure they refer to him lovingly as equinsu-orcha: white devil. Anyway I was wondering what happens when you get back to civilization after six weeks in the jungle? I know that sleazy probably just runs amok, stealing cars and packing snus. Well to be fair that's actually pretty much what he does at dartmouth. Don't worry I aint mad at ya, I mean snake it till ya make it right? By the way after six weeks of snus withdrawl that first minty pouch is going to be like heroin. Kosher heroin.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

big wheel

I saw a guy in a knee high boot cast riding a bigwheel down the road today. Somebody get this guy a cold one! I mean talk about taking lemons and making lemonade, this is how you do it! He was smiling, the wind was in his hair, and I'm sure he gets 70 kilometers to the litre on that hog. I wanted a ride on that bigwheel so badly it was making me sick to my stomach. Just seeing it brough back fond memories of my own childhood bigwheel. Eventually I got too big and had to sell it to timmy from up the street. He stiffed me so I cut the brakes. Like I said, fond memories.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the girl with the dragon tattoo who proceeded to play with fire

So after watching the five office episodes I've been able to download with my intermittent etherscape at least 5 times each I finally decided it was time to get a book. I went to the bookstore in town and once I got over the astonishment that there actually was one I went inside. I thumbed through their numerous books about surfing (ob-vi-ous-ly), gator wrasslin, bush whacking and beet farming before finally settling on something a little more my (lauren) pace. I had heard good things about it, and the dragon graphic on the front was super cool so I went with the girl with the dragon tattoo. Yeah I read chick books, so? After all, every book is a chick's book if the girl can read. Anyway I thoroughly enjoyed the intrigue, plot twists, vivid characters and strong sexual content of this first book in larsson's globally acclaimed trilogy. Spoiler alert: a car bomb takes out the entire character body in the final scene. Just kidding, or am I? So now I'm about two hundred pages into book two and the plot has basically devolved into pure first I was thinking ok larsson what's it going to be, porn or mystery? Pick a lane man. But he just plunges further into the smut pit. I would have my blogging rights revoked if I even tried to tell you how lewd, lascivious salacious and outrageous this stuff is. So I've pretty much decided that the whole murder mystery theme is a just a delivery vehicle for the smut. That being said, this smut is as pure as the driven snow - figuratively speaking. This stuff would make perverts blush, and I have decided that anyone who enjoys these books is a deviant unfit for life in a civil society. Needless to say I'm looking forward to book three.


I just saw hands down the worst look in the history of cronulla, the greater sydney metro area and possibly all of australia. This guy was walking along the street wearing all black vans, high brown dress socks, a yellow striped bathing suit and an old avalanches hockey jersey with sleeves down to his mid forearm. To boot he had a neon boogie board under his arm. Just absolutely devastating, or devo as aussies say. I looked at the mediocre chick walking next to him and just thought to myself: I would do anything for love, but I won't do that.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Over the past few weeks I've noticed that I'm absurdly good at bodysurfing. I literally almost stood up on a wave last weekend, I'm that good. And it makes sense; I'm all surface area, a true miracle of hydrodynamics. I need to find some competition and just start hustling people, like woody harrelson in white men can't jump. Ill show up wearing aqua socks and knee highs, cargo shorts and a shirt that says 'music changed my life' ( I saw some guy wearing one the other day). then ill come out of nowhere and light people up. Textbook hustle. And anyone who gets in my way is going home in a bodybag, force equals mass times acceleration and when I drop down a barrel, it's get out of the way or get stiff armed at 20 miles an hour.

where in jamaica do you live?

Rrright on da beach! I'm sitting on the beach right now and the water line just receded a solid hundred yards, which only means one thing: FREE FISH! Seriously they're just flopping around out there. I'm going to go collect as many as I can. Man just when I think australia couldn't get any more dangerous it goes and does something like this.... And totally redeems itself.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Today at the beach I was shocked at the number of tattoos I saw. I'm not completely opposed to tattoos, if they're small and done tastefully like a swastika on the forehead or something. But the fine cronulla residents are just overdoing it with the ink. I saw easily 5 male tramp stamps today. Male. Tramp. Stamps. Just devastating. And these weren't peoplple who had run out of canvas space on the epidermis. There was no process of elimination here, they walked into the parlor and traded their dignity for a spiky circle above their ass. Game blouses. Well I'm headed to the gym because I literally have nothing better to do. My eventual goal is to look like edward norton circa american history x.


So I finally found a rowing club nearby on the st georges river. I've been sculing there twice, once during the mid morning when the boat traffic had picked up to the point where it was unrowable, and another time at 6 in the morning. The river is pretty wide where you launch from, with a trestle bridge and a bunch of boats moored offshore. But as you go up the river it starts to look like something straight out of apocalypse now. And not the naked scenes with the playboy bunnies. There are mangroves on either bank that just look like they're probably concealing the most horrifying creature on the continent. And to boot, some of the employees were telling me about the great whites they have seen on the river. Apparently they go insane and swim up brackish rivers when they're sick. The normal residents are bull sharks, which can also get pretty big and aggressive. But do I care? No. And my hand is steady out there; it doesn't shake, just like leo's in the departed. I actually I hope I see a shark when I'm in a double, just so I can turn to whoever I'm crewing with and say 'were gonna need a bigger boat.' It's so rare to be able to use that line, especially in pretty much the exact context its used in for jaws. In other news I saw a guy at the gym today wearing sunglasses as he worked out. It was around 7pm. I asked if he was agent smith from the matrix and he was not amused. Why would he need to wear sunglasses in the gym. Either he's ill in the brain or he doesn't have pupils -just white eyes- and doesn't want to cause a scene in which case sunglasses are his civic duty. As a rule, if I see a guy with no pupils its usually game over for whatever I'm doing


Been sick for most of the week. Went to the local medical clinic on thursday and sat next to a goat in the waiting room. The witch doctor on call gave me a dozen newts and a rattle stick. I'm feeling better.

There's this crazy guy who lives across the street from me. He spends easily fifteen hours a day standing on his third story balcony just yelling at passers-by. Just bat-shit crazy. The other night i heard someone on the street screaming back at him, telling him he was going to choke him out if he bothered his girlfriend again. But of course this is a lovely neighborhood i swear. Anyway I havent seen him on the balcony since. Next time i see him ill just tell him.....yo homeboy, you played yourself.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

jones media center will be closing?

Just heard somebodys rington go off on the train - it was the baker berry closing music. I'd recognize it anywhere. No because I spend time at the library, but it's definitely in the most played folder of my itunes. It's just so soothing. I watched the christening episode of the office the other day. Dwights line about vampires coughing on their sleeves, "yeah...and ruin their cloaks? Do you realize how expensive wool is in transylvania? Because of the euro..." Just legendary. Too bad tav is in a communist country that doesn't allow shows with obvious pro-democratic and pro-capitalist messages.

gypsy liquidation festival

I went to the Newtown Festival today the sydney suburb of the same name. It's set up in the town park, with little vendor tents lined up along walkways selling everything from posters to jewelry to soap made from goat milk. I politely informed the woman working at the soap station that trying to sell soap at this place would be like trying to sell american flags in islambad. She just sat there looking remiss. It was HOT at this place, easily 96 degrees in the shade; real hot, in thr shade. Anyway I've literally never seen more gypsy drifter types in one place, I sensed something was amiss. When I noticed the entire festival area - probably a half dozen acres - was fenced off, I panicked. The government was obviously going to lock the gates, round everyone up and do some cleansing- and not the kind done with goat soap. I made it out just in time. I wouldn't be too upset if this were true, not because I'm prejudiced against gypsies, but because of the second largest demographic present at the festival: yankees 'fans.' I say 'fans' because even though I saw probably 25 yankees hats at this place, I doubt that even a few of them follow the yankees in any way. Their team choice didn't surprise me too much because - there's only one way to say this - they looked like dirtbags. At this point I had an epiphany. As a lifelong sox fan I have always wondered: are they dirtbags because they're yankees fans, or are they yankees fans because they're dirtbags. The former reasoning is a little subjective, esp cause I'm a sox fan. But the latter logic is a little more compelling. With the mlb on the other side of the planet, these people have very little reason to favor one team over another, and even when they do choose a team and don their logo, their knowledge is threadbare at best. I know because I've asked. Couple this fact with the generally slovenly, deadbeat appearance and manner of the australian yankees-hat-wearing rabble, and it stands to reason that these people are yankees fans because they are dirtbags. With no reason to choose one team over another, they gravitate towards the franchise that best emulates their aura and way of life. For that reason, I'd much rather see yankees hats on these people than sox hats. Fine by me. But never try to act like the sox have as heinous a global reputation as the yankees. The lesson endeth here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

sports tv

Sports tv is hilarious in australia. The in between program and commercial montages are by far the best. They'll have a bunch of rugby clips, a clip of lebron dunking when he was with the cavs, some cricket shots, and then a clip of red sock john valentin striking out against the yankees in like 1996. I literally choked on my nutri-bits cereal when I saw this. Just the most ludicrous combination of clips I've ever seen.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On the way to work this morning I noticed a fairly large sign on the side of the road for the first time. I knew that Australia had some pretty absurd laws and penalties for breaking them, but I hadnt seen anything this ridiculous.

The sign says 'No Rubbish dumping,' with the maximum fine listed below, in bold red letters, as $250,000. That means, with an average american income, it'd take you nearly five years to pay off the fine from throwing a bag of garbage on the side of the road. And i'm just assuming they mean throwing garbage on the side of the road en masse. It may very well mean that you could get a $250,000 fine for throwing your empty dunkaroo out the window. I wouldn't put it past them. If they enforce this rear to kerb shit then who knows what theyre capable of.

But as ridiculous as that sign is, it still makes more sense than some of the other ones. Take the speed limit signs that say, "Speeding penalties exceed $110." At least the no littering sign tells you what you're in for if you litter. Throw an old tiger beat out the window and theres no way youll have to pay more than 250k. The speeding one is just too vague and ominous. Double up on the speed limit and youll probably wind up chained to a wall in the prime minister's sex dungeon.

Sometimes australia......sometimes

I'm going to just start giving the government IOUs for all my infractions. "250 thou - might wanna hang onto that one."

New Heaven

Check out those two links. 

Is New Haven officially in the matrix now? I'll give you some bulletpoints in case you dont feel like reading the article.
- Yale crewers throw party
-Police break it up, yale captain says this was a 'no-brainer'.
-Party resumes
-Five god-faring New Haven residents enter party looking for wholesome fun
- Crewers as men to leave
- Men not receptive
- Fight breaks out, everyone gets maced when cops show up
- Three people get arrested
- Party organiser says he thought the event "went well", but laments that the dancefloor was "crowded at several points in the night"
-yale captain shocked at how well the party went, expresses willingness to run it back

What's a bad party like at yale? Just people running amok, shanking each other while the police fire rubber bullets into the crowd? viva la high street

Monday, November 8, 2010

Royal National Park

On the way back from Wollongong this afternoon I decided, on a screeching three-lane crossing brake- slamming whim, to go to Royal National park. A friend back home suggested I check it out, specifically a place called Burning Palms, a hidden beach on the east side of the park.

I asked the lady at the ticket kiosk how to get to Garie Beach "Straight ahead 18 kilometers." Apparently this park is huge. So finally i got to the car lot and set off down the trail labeled Burning Palms wearing flipflops, a bathing suit and a 'singlet.'  In a few seconds I was walking through what Aussies refer to as 'the bush.' I was expecting a short hike, but after twenty minutes the trail turned pretty steep and treacherous. Flip flops were a bad choice. The only couple i passed were decked out in hiking gear, probably laughing at me as i walked by looking like a tourist who just made a real bad decision.

Though my biggest concern on this hike wasn't falling down into some precipice, it was snakes. I was so preoccupied with scanning the trail for any signs of snakes that I probably could have walked down a wrong trail, but luckily have an excellent internal -and moral- compass.  I finally broke through the bush and onto a ridge that looked just like something out of Lost, with Burning Palms to the south and Era Beach to the North. I bumped into two guys who suggested i head down to Era beach, which did not disappoint. It was easily the most beautiful beach i've ever seen, white-ish sand about three hundred meters long, bounded by cliffs on either side. I went swimming for a bit, but it looked like there was a storm moving in from the south so I hustled out of there.

On the way back I got rattled. The storm was moving in absurdly fast, and a light drizzle turned the trails into a muck that was impossible to walk in with flip flops. I kept telling myself - the spirit shall overcome - and eventually made it back.

Era Beach

And good thing i GTF out of there. The weather turned absolutely horrendous; this is easily the worst storm ive seen in the last 5 years and it's still raging outside (much like sig nu's backyard).

Burning Palms


Today I took some advice from the locals and drove down to Wollongong, which is about an hour south of Sydney. The drive was actually pretty nice; for about 2k you're driving along the edge of a huge plateau that looks out onto a flat strip of land which meets the ocean. Wollongong is on that flat strip, so i had a great view of the entire place as i drove in. Day was clear and warm.

However despite the buildup i didnt find the beach there to be any better than the ones in cronulla. To boot, the view of the horizon over the pacific never had less than ten enormous cargo ships on it - clearly a blue boardshort beach.

I ate lunch at a club near the water before leaving, where a grumpy poofy-headed woman told me that 'singlets and hats' are not allowed inside the club. "This isn't a hat, it's a visor but thanks for noticing." And apparently anything without sleeves is called a singlet here. She gave me a size large shirt to put on while i ate, it was so tight my arms started going numb. I wont be back to wollongong.

*As a side note, it was sad to hear that XH canceled the toga party. Lest the old traditions fail eh?


Friday, November 5, 2010


Time to go out and introduce myself to some australians

Kramer Prize

I want this $3,000 Kramer prize so badly it's making me sick to my stomach:

"Dear Students,

The President's Office, Palaeopitus Senior Society, and the Class of 1954 invite you to apply for the Kramer Memorial Prize.
The prize is intended to perpetuate the name and principles of Milton Sims Kramer '54 and is awarded annually to support students or student groups interested in addressing priority campus projects that benefit the Dartmouth community.... the President's Office is looking for students and student groups to submit proposals for innovative projects that promote "Dartmouth fellowship" in one of four areas: sustainability, campus technology, campus health, and interdisciplinary studies......The winner will receive a $3,000 grant to engage in the project during the winter and spring terms of 2011."

And what better way to win the Kramer prize than by using a genius idea by Kramer himself? I plan to win the 3K by proposing a plan to install every door on campus with a reverse peephole. Just imagine: it's wednesday night and you're getting back from amarna meetings, high on life, but before you barge into your room you notice that it's quiet. Too quiet. You check the reverse peephole and see the ominous silhouette of the sun god. The king has returned - to jack you with a sock full of pennies. The reverse peephole has just saved you a severe beating and years of psychological damage. 

And if President Kim  even tries to pay me the prize in US currency i'm walking. I only take Euros, just like gisele. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jungle Jesse

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to my boy reezy down
in Madagascar. Sources tell me jesse is headed into the
bush for the next six weeks which means no electricity,
running water, snus or Smirnoff ice. It's going to be
rough, especially with all the blow darts he's going to be
getting hit with. You don't walk around the Malagasy bush
without takin a few wormwood hollow tips to the neck,
everyone knows that. Three darts is too much.

Anyway I dont know what he's going to do for Chanukah,
there's no way smoky the bear is going to let him light a
menorah in the bush. Not because the place is a tinder
box, but apparently smoky is a rabid anti-semite.

But reezy has more practical problems than celebrating the
holidays. Just getting around in the Malagasy bush can be
difficult. When I asked him if he had a map he said, "No
but I have the Jungle Book. Hardcover."

Godspeed, Reezy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Over the last two and a half weeks ive accumulated about 25 dollars in change. The smallest paper bill in Australia is the 5 dollar note. They have two dollar coins the size of dimes and one dollar coins the size of quarters, so these things piled up on the top of my fridge pretty quickly.

Anyway I loaded all this change into my pockets before I left for work this morning and proceeded to pay for everything I bought – two meals and a drink at the gas station – with this heap of change. I sounded like a tambourine walking around with all this crap in my pockets, and the thing was, none of the people working at the places I went to batted an eye when I started dumping handfuls of change on the counter. 

I probably looked a little something like this

hell's kitchen

39 minutes.  That’s how long it took my stove to bring a small pot of water to a boil. With that amount of time and a normal kitchen, I could bake a family sized lasagna from scratch. With side dishes.

While this water was boiling I decided to take out the trash for the first time since I’ve been here. There was a lot of empty cereal boxes and milk cartons etc, so it was pretty hard to carry all at once. I ended up dropping just about everything at the base of the stairs, right into my neighbors door.
“Hey mate did you knock”
“Nope, just dropped everything I was carrying……welp, see ya later,”

Monday, November 1, 2010

Only in New Haven

A lot of crazy stuff happens in new haven, mostly because that's where sigma nu rages. But this article on cnn made me spit out my vegemite sandwich.

click for article

she must go to Q-pac

also - how is this the biggest news story in america right now? This also raises the question, would you rather get a 90 dollar ticket for parking 'rear to kerb' or would you rather make the front page of cnn for asking out a court marshal during an enormous, death-penalty seeking trial? If this chick is asking guys out left and right in a courtroom i'd like to see what she's like at toads/kappa sig/furman non-affiliated/tdx


So in the last few years this thing called 'Movember' has gotten pretty big in Australia. The concept is to grow MO-stache for the entire month of november in order to raise money and awareness for men's health issues.  Theres a website for it and everything. It took me a little while to decide, but i figured 'when in Rome....(Please, continue....) So i agreed to sign up last week at work. There are 26 guys on 'the Desalinators', and there no question i'll be at the bottom of the depth chart. Even in a place where people wear white boardshorts after labor day, patchy red mustaches are a faux pas.

And the thing that i'm most worried about - even more than looking like a dirtbag for an entire month - is having an awful mustache/goatee/fu manchu shaped tan line on my face when i finally shave it off.  I've already thrown the tanning thing in people's faces too, i cant let them get the last laugh.

mustache facts


I wanted to save some time on saturday so i decided to drive the kilometer into town to get lunch. I parked at a little municipal lot between a row of stores and the beach. I didn't see any signs that said no parking, didn't see any meters, and the lot was pretty full so i didn't see any reason why i couldn't park there, so i did. It wasn't until sunday that i and found the parking ticket under my wiper, and after reading this effing thing for five minutes i realized that it wasn't where i parked but how i parked.

In the infraction field the ticket read "Not park rear to kerb." It took several hours of deductive reasoning but I finally figured out that I had gotten a ticket because I had not backed into the parking spot. It wasn't like i had parked facing the wrong direction on the side of the road; all the spots in this lot were perpendicular to the center alley. But I still wasn't convinced that such a stupid and pointless rule could actually exist in the public domain. If it were a fifteen dollar ticket i probably would have stuffed my pride into my single boardshort pocket and retreated, but i decided the 86 dollar fine merited a two minute local walk to the police station.

There a middle aged woman with glasses came up to the counter and asked what I needed help with. She calmly explained that 'not park rear to kerb' in fact meant that I hadn't parked with the back of the car towards the curb. "That's not how you spell curb...Oh, you must mean curb like c-u-r-b because kerb k-e-r-b isnt a word."
"That's how we spell it."
"Right. Any other phonetic spellings i should know about? Like road spelled with an e?"
"Not that i can think of" Course not.
She couldnt tell me why it matters which way a parked car is facing in a spot, but she did confirm that 86  dollars was not a misprint. "No honey, the decimal is in the right place." Right. I hope you go to America some day and drive up a 'juan weigh' road straight into a fung wah bus.
anyway theres zero chance i'm paying this, so i'll be an international fugitive once i leave.

You parked rear to kerb? you sick bastard, youre gonna fry

Thursday, October 28, 2010

aussie style

Why is the brand Zoo York popular in australia? Somebody send me some zoo mass shirts and ill make millions

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


So contrary to what i though when i arrived here, Australians - although not with the same enthusiasm and joy as Americans -  do celebrate Halloween. It's probably too late to make this costume happen for 2010, but it is, without a doubt, the single greatest costume idea i've ever heard, and thus i hereby copyright it for Halloween 2011. This isn't some JV wear-a-cereal-box-on-your-head-and-say-you're-a-serial-killer costume. This is real.

Next halloween i'm going as one-time Jurassic Park game warden extraordinaire Robert Muldoon. The short shorts, the tan shirt, the tan-er vest, the high socks, the cowboy hat tipped up to one side and the Franchi SPAS-12 combat shotgun; it's unmistakable. And not only is Muldoon's look unreal, his lines in the movie are nothing short of legendary. Running around campus in my Muldoon costume screaming "shooot haaah!.... turning to chicks and saying "clever girl"... you can't beat that. 

Game; blouses. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

fear factor

I was in the lunchroom at work today and saw a jar of vegemite on the shelf with a bunch of other condiments. Vegemite - a yeast byproduct of the brewing process - is a uniquely Australian delicacy. It's even mentioned in thay song land down under by men at work. As a side note, before I got here last week my entire working knowledge of Australia came from thay song and the crocodile dundee movies.... And of course the opening scene of dumb and dumber. So I decide to try a tiny spoonfull of this stuff. My food spider sense was tingling, so I knew it could be trouble but I did it anyway. When I tell you this was easily top 3 most repulsive things I've ever tasted I'm not exhaggerating. Just absolutely rancid. And people here act like you could put vegemite on an old shoe and it would taste pretty good. I've heard public service announcements on the radio reminding listeners to eat their vegemite. There's no question the whole thing is a conspiracy. But there is a bright side, this stuff is liquid gold for pledge term, so ill probably bring back a few jars.

wet bandits

I met a couple australian dudes when i was out the other night. We did some bar hopping and had a good time, but one thing really surprised me. They were KILLIN it with american movie references. Lines like, "allow myself to introduce......myself" from Austin Powers and my favorite, a hilarious reference to the wet bandits, which is what the burglars called themselves in the first Home Alone movie. One of the guys i was with was named marv, which is also the name of one of the 'wet bandits' in the movie.

"Were looking for a kid in a Yale Shirt" - Dartmouth's Finest

I met some guy during the night who was having some trouble impressing girls. I immediately gave him my Yale cutoff shirt and encouraged him to tell every girl he could find that not only does he go to Yale, but that he also knows the goalie for the Yale soccer team - which is division 1. I told him to pronounce Yale with a capital Y each time but i think he botched that part cause i'd say he only left with about half the girls he talked to.

Took a spin class tonight at the big fitness club in Cronulla, which is also where all the pro rugby players who play for the sharks - the local franchise - work out. You could imagine my elation when they turned off the lights and i realized i was in the middle of a blacklight spin class. They didnt even blitz out and the place was packed. Had there been a slip and slide out back i probably would have given floor bids to the entire management staff. Good day to be a Herotian here in Cronulla, NSW.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

it's ok im a limo driver

Someone overserved me last night at the local bar. The place empties out by ten as everyone flocks en masse to 'fusion,' a decent nightclub that plays tons of forgettable american music. Before i went out i took credit cards, dmouth id and other stuff i didnt want to lose out of my wallet, but in doing so accidentally took out my drivers license too. This was a problem, as they check everyones id at the door. A girl walking next to me told me to tell the bouncer i'm on the sydney kings basketball team. I was receptive. As i walked up to the bouncer i fished out my new york state boaters license, flashed it quickly, and told him i was on the sydney kings. Gold jerry, gold. It worked and i got to cut the entire line, which was long and didnt appear to be moving too quickly. I went back there again tonight, with my id this time. The same bouncer was at the door, and i figured there was no way he'd remember me right? Wrong? "Hey you're the kings player right?" Long pause. "Not anymore man, they released me today, gotta go drown my sorrows..... well, see ya later."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

cinderella story

One of the process engineers at the plant gave me an assignment to do on excel. Had absolutely no idea how to do it, he couldn't even make it work so I didn't have a white man's chance in harlem. So in 2 hours I literally got nowhere, then I blacked out, and when i came to it was done and they were carrying me out of the control room like rudy. Confetti everywhere, people doing flips into the drinking water tank; place just went nuts. Engineer gave me a pound. It was a good day. Cinderella story. There's a company outing tomorrow evening to play some bizarre australian bowling/golf like game. I hope my frolf skills are transferrable. Time to shine

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

disappointment down unda

Australian supermarkets are disappointing. I was expecting great things, like shark bites the size of car batteries and meter-long twizzlers. No dice. Instead you find aisles stocked with unfamiliar and unappealingly named foodstuffs. There is no ketchup, just 'tomato paste' that comes in flat cardboard boxes. As someone whose favorite vegetable is ketchup, this was a tough one to take. But nothing could have prepared me for the cereal aisle, just an absolute wasteland. Nutrabits, vegawafers, rice bubbles... Any kids from the US under ten would burst into tears the second they turned the corner into the australian cereal aisle. Even I was choked up. These cereals made kashi go-lean look like lucky charms. Just devastating.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I saw two segments on phil hughes and jason taylor tonight while watching an australian sports show. Only they were talking about phil hughes the NSW cricket player and jason taylor the rugby player. Really australia? Come up with your own names

lab credit

I spent nearly all of day two in veolia's on-site water testing lab, a bright, large-ish room jam packed with beakers, magnetic mixers, solutions with five syllable names and state-of-the art water testing equipment. I got a crash course on testing for chlorine, salinity, conductivity, alkalinity, calcium and fluoride levels. And those were just the fun-for-mentals. The turbidity, silt density index, total dissolved solids and total suspended solids tests make up the varsity lab playbook. Matt and Abduhl were my mentors for the day, and I got to chat with them a bit as I learned about the lab. I found out something about these two that really shocked me though. Both abduhl and matt are huge seinfeld fans. And I wasn't even the one who brought it up. Imagine my shock when they asked ME if I was a seinfeld fan. And once the seinfeld references start, they don't stop. Abduhl was on fire with the costanza references, I could barely but pretty easily keep up. Matt told me about how his friends have a joke about blending seinfeld names with coffee themes. For example; jerry soyfeld, cosmo creamer, elaine beans, and I forget the one for cantstandya but it was definitely funny.

Monday, October 18, 2010

what the hell?

Reisner is just KILLIN it down in madagascar. Eating goat tongues while riding lemurs up trees and shit. How the hell am i supposed to compete with that?

"As an aside, today I ate goat tongue and it was delicious. It was cooked in its original form, long and curved, and part of the throat was still attached. It tasted like a lamb chop and was surprisingly tender. I have been really pleased with the quality of the meat here--it is a real treat."

Surprisingly tender? I quit. 

australian jams

As you'd expect i've kept an ear open for what jams are popular in australia. The fitness clubs play a lot of dance/electro, stuff like this:   and this I've also heard a ton of electro remixes of american songs; stuff by kings of leon and even the cranberrys (dreams)

Also I was pumped to hear one of my favorite quasi-girly basement jams get played at a nightclub in Cronulla:

The radio here plays lots of music that's also popular in the US; i've heard a bunch of peter gabriel and phil collins

*heard teenage dream twice in ten minutes while walking down the mall in cronulla
I've been doing a lot of walking around the past two days trying to figure out what Cronulla is all about. There's definitely a strong correlation between housing quality and proximity to the beach. Areas more than three hundred yards inland have a blue boardshort feel (they don't really wear collars). On the other hand, the houses near the water, while tightly packed, are unquestionably larger and nicer than their waterlocked counterparts. There are birds all over the place that make the most irritating sound; it's something between the whistling in the background of let me see you get low and the sound mariokart makes when you fall off a cliff. Infuriating

first day of work

Sydney's desal, located on the south shore of Botany Bay, is pristine and absolutely enormous. After donning hard hats, safety goggles and high-vis vests, the manager of the plant took me on a whirlwind tour of the myriad buildings housing the intake, pretreatment, filtration, RO, mineralization and storage facilities necessary to make the Tasman sea meet the tap. In the arto (how aussies say afternoon) I spent a solid 5 hours reading through the unit processing guide, and even then I only got through two and a half of 6 sections. While walking to the lunchroom I couldn't help but notice a poster pinned up on a bulletin board that succinctly names, displays and describes the seven poisonous snakes known to reside in the area. At least I have the comfort of knowing that if I look down and see a 'death adder' I'm going to die before it even gets a chance to bite me. When I got back from work I went for a walk along the beach and met a border collie that looked EXACTLY like my dog barkley. I knew it was going to be a good night

Saturday, October 16, 2010


There's nothing like sitting on a beautiful beach, literally on the other side of the world, and getting a blitz for milque and cookies. I'm like costanza down here - worlds are colliding


i get intermittent internet connection in my apartment so i couldnt post this till now

I arrived in LA on Wednesday about an hour ahead of schedule, my aunt picked me up and we went to the Santa Monica pier for fish tacos and a ride on the ferris wheel - but luckily not in that order.  Cloud cover hid the sun for most the evening, but occasionally it shone through and lit up the beach and the palisades, giving the whole panorama a ‘California’ feel as pure as the driven snow. 
            As it happens I have another aunt and a cousin who live in Santa Monica. The Dray side of my family clearly has some predilection for California, as three of my Dad’s four siblings live or have lived there at some point. There’s been no explanation offered for this, but after growing up in Old Deerfield it probably provided some nice contrast.
            After leaving the pier we drove to Santa Monica high school so I could surprise my cousin after her practice.  The place reminded me of saved by the bell or something., with absurdly tall palm trees lining the walkways. My cousin showed up and instead of jumping out and saying hi I walked behind her and asked, in a muffled voice, if she had any spare change. I don’t know if panhandlers regularly accost SaMo students coming out of buildings, but as if trained she immediately said no and started walking away from me. “Really?” I said, “Not even for your cousin?”
            The flight from LAX – read ‘chill’ – to Sydney is fourteen hours long. I had the middle seat, but what I lacked in elbow room I made up for with leg room. The emergency aisle was key. The second I saw all this open space in front of me I made plans to curl up on the ground, but the pilot actually made an announcement saying that sleeping on the floors is prohibited. I wonder how many people had to try that before they made it part of the pre-flight briefing.
            I didn’t sleep a ton, unlike the lady next to me who was conscious for maybe two hours of the entire trip. Mid-flight the guy sitting on my right saw a crewing picture on my computer and struck up a conversation. To my surprise I was sitting next to a former rower for the Soviet national team. His name is Boris Tarasov, former sculling champion.  60-something years old, these days he is a professor of physics as well as inventor. His most popular invention is – not surprisingly – crewing related. He made a bike called the Row N Roll that transfers the energy of the rowing stroke into forward motion. Think of an erg on wheels.
            We circled the Sydney area once before landing, giving an awesome view of the city and the suburbs. The opera hall and adjacent bridge looked spectacular.
I got to the rent-a-car place about a half hour later, collected my car – which makes the mini cooper look like the Grave Digger, and set out on my way to Cronulla.  Driving on the left side of the road is rattling to say the least. On the way to Cronulla I had to ask an old lady standing on the corner for better directions. She obliged and I departed, but not before cheerfully reminding her that senior citizens - although slow and dangerous behind the wheel - can still serve a purpose.  

australian tv

So I was just watching tv and I saw something unusual. Australian farmers have been using scarecrows dressed like michael jackson to scare off pests. Apparently young children are australias main crop pests

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

why you going to the airport? flying somewhere?

Boarding the plane in new york en route to Los Angeles . I'd feel more comfortable flying out of an airport named after ted kennedy, but the chappaquiddick incident sunk that possibility.(Pun not intended but totally intended) The only consolation is the name of la's airport: lax. There's probably no chiller way to travel than Ted Kennedy to LAX. I don't plan on being too vigilant about updating this page, especially when I face stiff competition from juggernauts like barstool, deadspin and jesse's madagascar blog. I think john rocker is on my flight.