Monday, March 21, 2005

March 21 - 2am

- Back home, Poppie continues to grow more feeble and disoriented. He fell a few more times and it has been decided that he can no longer live on his own in the retirement home and must be moved into assisted living.

- Nobody had even heard of refried beans when I first got here, and now I just discovered another set of tortillas, beans, and cheese in the community fridge that undoubtedly belongs to one of the newly enlightened Malaysians on my floor.

- I took a long nap tonight at 8:45pm knowing full well that it would only exacerbate my already fucked-up sleep schedule, but I was too unmotivated, bored, and tired to care.

- Ethnic cliques have begun to solidify at International House, though there are definitely some exceptions.

- Ironic thought: How many racist white kids have Asian tattoos?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Mar. 12, 2005 - 4:37am

I still haven't done my laundry. I did shave my head bald for the Leukemia fundraiser, "Shave For A Cure", and people have been calling me brave and commendable all day long. What they don't realize is that it wasn't really that big of a deal for me to chop off all of my hair. In fact, I've been looking for an excuse to do it for quite some time, and essentially, this allowed me the opportunity to do a good deed and get a free haircut at the same time. Now I've got to worry about not getting sunburnt on my scalp.
Today (I guess it's actually yesterday) also marks my first day of Self-Help at International House, in which a person helps out around the college and in turn receives a deduction off their housing bill. I was assigned to maintenance, and so I trimmed hedges, mowed a lawn nobody ever even sees, and moved around furniture with the woman in charge of Self Help, Dot - a 70-something year old lady that's 5 feet tall and loves to swear.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Mar. 8, 2005 - Noon

I just can't bring myself to do laundry. I've completely run out of clean shirts and I think today is gonna have to be the day; this is the point in a game of Russian Roulette where the gun goes off. A lot of times I even have a hard time bringing myself to shower because I just don't want to be bothered. The previous 5 days are one such example, but the streak had to end because there was no way Regine was going to be a happy camper sitting next to my smelly head - even with a hat on - seeing "Lawless Heart" last night.
This past weekend I took a trip to Lorne on the Great Ocean Road with some kids going to compete in the Victorian Lifesaving State Championships. They all came in last place. One kid not only finished last, but he actually came in with the first kids in the 2nd heat of a swim race when he had started in the first heat.
The weather was quite cold and rainy, so I never even made it into the water. One of the days in Lorne we went to see the waterfalls and hiked 8km in the rainforest. On Saturday night at the pub, I ran into this Dutch-Indonesian girl who had been in the Melbourne Welcome program with me. We talked for a bit, then I made a joke that I'd never been kissed and she suddenly landed one on my lips, subsequently telling me that I could no longer use that line now. That's as far as it went, and soon afterwards a brawl broke out between an Aussie Footy Club and the bouncers. The police eventually came, but not before the footy players dropped their pants, smacking their asses and flapping their cocks out in front to further taunt the bouncers.
Lorne was fun.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

March 2, 2005

The pace of life here is slowing down. My hair is growing longer and I haven't looked at internet porn in over a month.

Feb. 27, 2005 - 3:50am

I think that I've tried to call Lane more times here than in my entire life and I have yet to get through to him once. How can a mobile number always be fucking busy?

19 hours, 13 minutes later

People often make excuses for why they haven't accomplished the things they want to in life. I'd have to say that I've long placed the blame on being single for 20 years. The quintessential problem/distraction for me has been girl trouble and the subsequent insecurities/bitterness it has produced. Just because I haven't gotten my love life in order, though, doesn't justify a lack of forward progress in pursuing my creative ambitions. Now that I've recognized the problem, the trick is to rediscover what those creative ambitions are and do something about it. (editor's note 2.5 years in hindsight: I'm absoutely cringing)

When you believe everything that can be said has already been said before, it's easy to see why people are cynical and disenchanted. Of course life is going to be boring when you think that everything there is to do has already been done before. But for fuck sake Jared, don't be one of those people... (editor's note: Did I mention I was cringing?)

Feb. 26, 2005 - 5:45pm

-Dilworth got DQ'ed from districts after he'd already qualified for regionals due to unnecessary roughness in the consolation finals match. He'd been consistently ranked top 8 in the state at his weight class throughout the entire season.

- I had to babysit this girl named Alex last night while she was hammered to ensure that some sleazeball Aussie didn't take advantage of her, but I think she wound up hooking up with him anyway. By the way, they don't call it hooking up here, they call it picking up.

-My group won trivia night for International House's O-Week (orientation week for all you lame-o's out there) and I carried on the IH tradition of maneuvering underneath a table and around back on top of it without ever touching the ground. I was the only person this year of 160 kids to accomplish the feat without fucking up at all.
They consider me a fresher at International House considering it's my first year here, even though I'm older than mostly everyone else. Melbourne University (along with all universities outside of the United States) don't have a greek scene, so instead they have various colleges that serve as pseudo-fraternities (they're even called fraternitas) within the larger university. It's kind of like the greek scene on a larger scale, minus the negative stigma, though I did experience my fair share of hazing. I had to do this three-legged ice kick around IH with my leg tied to another fresher (some poor guy from Malaysia or Singapore - I can't remember) and every corner we turned, there was an o-week leader waiting there with some kind of sick substance to throw on us (ala soy sauce, honey, flower, tang, clumps of shit I don't even know what, etc). It was all in good fun, though, and now I don't feel so bad about not rushing Delta Sig back as a freshman at Michigan.

note: I was never forced to participate in any of the hazing activities, but the o-week leaders kept using reverse psychology on me and said that I would regret not taking part in such rich IH traditions for the rest of my life. What can I say...I'm a neurotic sucker!

Feb. 18, 2005 - 6pm

I think I might be bipolar. It should also be noted that I watched The Young and the Restless earlier today. What's worse is that I did it on my own accord and kind of enjoyed all the cheesey drama. I even found myself relating it back to my own life.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Feb. 16, 2005 - 4:42pm

Cat Power is performing in Melbourne tonight, but I just called up the venue to discover that the show has long since sold out. I've now been in Australia for almost a week and just finished up with the Melbourne welcome program, which is basically a five day rollercoaster filled with field trips during the day and crazy partying once the sun goes down. The hosts were Australian students from Newman college and the itinerary looked something like this:

Friday - explore the city, start partying, then off to the pub where Danny Nichols and I lose three games of pool in a row (because the Australian balls are smaller and w/out numbers - maybe I'm just making excuses)

Saturday - off to the beach for surfing where i expend an extreme amount of time and effort putting on my wetsuit only to discover it's inside out, so i go back inside and change it around. when i get down to the beach, everyone starts laughing and i realize that it is now on backwards. it is too much effort to go back and change again, so i just go into the water as is and all the water winds up making its way into my wetsuit anyway. That night I see "Closer" (which is a thoroughly entertaining and provocative film) and afterwards head to Strike Bowling, which is a stylish bar with bowling lanes.

Sunday - Meander around St. Kilda fest and that night go to the 4F dance club. Before this trip, I used to experience great anxiety freaking with members of the opposite sex to nightclub-type music, but a girl named "Grinder" has managed to lift my confidence level to new heights.

Monday - Wildlife sanctuary and aboriginal art museum, then the winery. At night we make our way over to the Purple Turtle where a girl with a 6-year boyfriend suckers me into buying her a drink

Tuesday - I get a mobile phone and take a tour of the Melbourne Cricket Grounds (where I stole a ping pong ball from the team recreation room - so basically, i now have a ping pong pall that once was used by professional cricket and football players). we go to this club called Icon at night where everyone gets up and dances on the bar. I dance on the bar with Grinder for a good hour and feel like a fucking rockstar!!!

All in all, the week was a hit and I managed to get my stomach under control and keep my alcohol down. A job well done, Jared, being able to get hammered five nights in a row and live to tell the tale. I also managed to acquire the nickname, PINCHES. Basically, someone confused Jared with the name Jeremy, there was an actual Jeremy with the last name Pinches, and the rest is history. When the real Pinches caught wind of everyone calling me Pinches, he was justifiably confused and a little angry.

Now I'm at the International House where everyone is pretty much Asian and I'm in over my head because I can't even begin to pronounce anyone's name...

Feb. 8, 2005 - On an airplane to Australia

C'mon Jared, you've gotta be thinking something. Surely you must realize that your life will never be the same again (at least that's what Joanna says). Things can never go back to the way they were before. Here's your chance to forget about all that has plagued you back home; everything that has inhibited you from ever having the courage and focus to pick up that bursh and paint a beautiful picture (bwah ha ha ha ha)...This is fate giving you a chance to break with your past and start anew. Remember, you always thrive in new situations (e.g. summer camp at Interlochen back in the day). Buzz your head, get a tattoo, screw lots of girls, write a slick screenplay - c'mon bitch, it's time for less talk and more rock! (editors note: I'm pretty sure the previous statement was intended to be least partially so) This is the opportunity that will bring you to the threshold of greatness. Remember your goal: to one day be a VIP guest at the Playboy Mansion. (further editors note: I can only hope I wasn't serious, though it's not too much of a stretch)


Her mouth is wide open, the woman sitting next to me. She's asleep and will definitely awake to a terrible case of cotton mouth. Should I do her a favor and try and close it? Probably not, that could turn out badly.
Several hours ago my mood cycled between giddyness and anxiety. Now I'm too numb to care. After enough time on an airplane, one begins to forget what life is like off the airplane. The airplane has become the only life that I've ever known.