“This is your time here to do what you will do…”
So much for keeping this thing up to date, eh? I’m not going to apologize for my lack of posts here but I do hope to become more consistent here on out. I know those may just be empty words at the moment but I do truly enjoy writing on this blog so I hope to get better at it.
It has been just over three weeks since I got back from my Spring Break vacation and life here has been simply fantastic. I did have an awkward moment where I realized I had paid much less of my housing than I had originally thought and that forced me to make a decision about how I wanted to spend my last two months here in Australia. Basically, I could live like a hermit with no social life so that I could travel when school was out or I could give up the idea of jetting off to an exotic beach and live it up in Melbourne with concerts, footy matches, and crazy nights. I opted for the latter as I have already done a significant amount of traveling here and in a way feel like I have yet to truly experience the city that I have been living in for the past four months.
THE VACATION HANGOVER… and a presentation partner from hell
The week that I got back from break was pretty laid back. Everyone’s wallet was still in a mild state of shock, there was school work that was due, and we were all pretty buggered from the vacations. I myself had a presentation due that Wednesday that proved to be much more work than I had intended. See, I had made sure to make it very clear to my group that I would be out of town for ten days just before we were to present. My group partner Brian and I had gotten all of our work done and turned into the group weeks before I left so that we could iron out the paper and presentation before as well. Unfortunately all it takes is one oblivious fuck waiting to do his entire portion of the assignment until after I have left to make all of that work completely pointless. When I arrived back from the airport I checked my email and saw that I had nearly thirty unread messages about how to format the paper, what the presentation should be, and so on. Even if I hadn’t just had the worst travel experience of my life I would have been upset by this because it meant rather than not having to work on the project like I had planned I would need to spend the next 48 hours trying to fix said oblivious fuck’s version of the paper. In an ironic twist the only one of us who was truly concerned about our grade was the oblivious fuck which actually made the presentation on Wednesday incredibly enjoyable. His complete lack of presentation skills aside, the kid was so nervous and worried about our grade that he could barely even sit down before we went and afterwards spent the entire class shaking. I thought it was absolutely hysterical as it was his fault we had to do everything so last minute anyways. Karma was on my side that day. With the presentation out of the way and no classes on Thursday or Friday, I set off determined to enjoy the weekend. The usual Thursday and Friday shenanigans took place but on Saturday we did something a little bit different when Elliot, Stephen, and myself joined Kiwi and Steve when they went to celebrate a friend’s birthday at a bar across town. The night started earlier than it should have and unfortunately Stephen wasn’t allowed to enter the bar so him and Elliot left while the rest of us partied the night away. It was a interesting night complete with pool, spontaneous crying, beer spitting, and failure to roll cigarettes (the cigs were NOT mine). After almost getting hit trying to hail a taxi we returned to our humble UniLodge abode and tried to find our missing friends. Sunday I slept in late and then ventured out to the Glenferrie Road Festival that was happening down the block. When I left it was a bright sunny day and by the time I left it was dark clouds and rain. Melbourne is worse about its weather than Ohio is. The festival was actually really cool aside from the creepy life-size Smurfs that were dancing on a stage. I ran into the girls and Kiwi where Kiwi brought to my attention that we had all made a deal the night before to go on a weeklong bender so I better rest up for. *facepalm* We grabbed some chorizo sausages and smoothies before heading back out of the weather.
Monday was the start of the weeklong bender we had all agreed upon at the bar on Saturday. To kick start it off we went to the weekly trivia session at The Hawthorn that is just around the block from campus. We had a few drinks before heading out and then descended on the place determined to win the $100 bar tab that comes with first place. We might had one if Steve and I hadn’t been so distracted by the pool table (or if we knew anything about Australian sports) but alas we came in second to last place. Ironically this is the second best place to finish as we were rewarded with a bottle of wine. To drink the loss away, I suppose? It was my first time at trivia and it was great fun. Regardless of the result, hanging out with everyone and laughing at our horribly wrong answers was a perfect Monday night. Tuesday was the true party day. Since it was ANZAC day the next day there was no school so it was an absolutely massive night to go out. Everyone and their 15 year old siblings were out in the clubs and bars. The group pregame was held at Matt and I’s place but after an incredibly horrid venture out to the clubs we returned and just decided to play the game there, too. We definitely left way too late because by the time we got to the clubs all of the lines were stretched for at least a block. With no wait being less than two hours we just gave up and decided to return to my apartment to finish the night out. Wednesday was much more relaxed. Tuesday had gotten the best of all of us so we decided to take it easy, make pancakes, watch footy, and have a beer. By 2pm I was too hungry to wait for any more people to wake up and join. The decision that it was time for breakfast made, Kiwi, Steve, and I went to Woolworth’s to buy the fixings. It was positively fantastic. With more pancakes and bacon than we could possibly eat we sat down to watch the footy game. Kiwi was unknowingly the victim of a sick game of infectious-virus-hot-potato so he passed on the beer but Steve and I shared one over an ANZAC footy match. Great fun. Thursday was the day the bender ended. We were all just blown out, Kiwi had discovered that he was a victim of infectious-virus-hot-potato, and the clouds that had come during the Glenferrie Festival were still hovering over the city drenching all hope and happiness from the atmosphere. Actually to be honest I am not too sure what I did on Thursday or Friday of this week so we will just skip to Saturday, okay? Saturday morning I woke up and worked out before joining Kiwi and Stephen on an adventure to the Victoria Market. Now, this was my first time at the market which I am ashamed to admit so I was having quite an exciting time. Stephen’s Victoria Market cherry was popped that day as well and I think that Kiwi got a bit annoyed at us being so overly excited at food by the time the day was done. The plan was to grill out on Sunday so Kiwi and I grabbed three kilos of wings and I threw in some salami, limes, and steaks on top. When we returned to UniLodge we just hung out at my apartment and had a little party. The cookout on Sunday was probably one of the most unorganized things I have ever participated in. What was supposed to start at 1pm didn’t get going until 3pm and a combination of stubborn coals and poor lighting technique didn’t have us cooking until 4:30pm. I was starving by the time the wings started to come off the grill and they were absolutely delicious. Not quite like the wings back home but pretty damn close. The cookout was a great success once it got started and it was nice to just have time to sit around and talk with everyone. We also learned that Olle is a pyro.
The week of April 30th was a pretty big one around the apartment. It was finally beginning to sink in with everyone that school was quickly coming to an end so social life picked up a bit and the consequences of procrastination were beginning to lurk nearer and nearer. But procrastination be damned, Morgan was here! Morgan is my roommate Matt’s lovely girlfriend who came and visited us Melbournians for a few days beginning on the 30th. Matt hadn’t stopped talking about Morgan in the three months that we had been living together so I was very excited to finally get the opportunity to meet her. She was only here for a week and they would be in Sydney for part of that time so I didn’t get a whole lot of time to get to know her really well but it was still a great visit nonetheless. The beginning of the visit was understandably slow; a full day of flying and a 14 hour time change will do that to just about anyone. She rallied in the evening though and came out with us to trivia night at the Hawthorn. We were not nearly as successful as we were the week before and Morgan hit the wall about halfway through but it was still a good time. Tuesday was more interesting than any of us planned on it being. I was obligated to go to my Ethics class so that I could turn in a paper but while I was there I got a text from Matt that we had just gotten a new roommate named Fabio. At first I thought it was just a sick little joke he was playing on me but he insisted that it was not and upon my return to 322 I did indeed discover we had gotten a new roommate. I suppose worse things could have happened but this definitely put a kink in the lovely setup Matt and I had going in our apartment. Thankfully (sorry Matt) Fabio had been moved into the room on Matt’s side of the apartment so I was still more or less by myself but Fabio’s arrival was followed by a series of increasingly awkward situations. Do any of you know how awkward it is when a stranger tries to put their yogurt on your shelf in the fridge and because of said yogurt you cannot find your blackberry jelly for your peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Super awkward. Borderline infuriating in fact. But I digress. I did feel a bit bad for the guy though so I did what I could to include him in on the kitchen conversation Morgan and I were having but he was by no mean my priority. So while Fabio sat there awkwardly listening to our conversation Morgan and I did what we could to catch each other up on our lives until Matt came home. A frenzy of dinner, showers, and goon ensued before the three of us ascended to the next floor were Bronaugh was having the predrink. This was where the night took a turn. The predrink was a smashing success both literally and figuratively. By the time it was over there was a gaping hole in the wall next to the bathroom which someone had so eloquently labeled “glory hole” and I lost track of the smashing glasses about halfway through the night. Once we were all assured that we wouldn’t be the first ones inside the Hawthorn we set out for a night on the town. As far as the Hawthorn goes it was a great night which I was glad for because Morgan would only get to see one so it might as well be a good one. Wednesday went by without event as both Matt, Morgan, and myself were all anxiously waiting for Thursday to arrive. The two of them flew out for their little vacation to Sydney on Thursday morning and then that night I would be going to see City and Colour with Anna. I met her outside the Palais and we went to grab a few drinks before returning to watch the concert. I was a bit disappointed with the venue because it was all assigned seats and we didn’t get as good of tickets as I had originally thought but it was still a fantastic show. So fantastic that when we got back to my apartment I ended up buying tickets to see him again in July at Riverbend. We had a mini jam session and scheduling spree into the wee hours of the morning before calling it a night. Friday was spent cleaning up and preparing for the Cinco de Mayo celebrations that would be occurring on Saturday and I also managed to get a little bit of an essay written. It was either that or go to a house party that turned out to be not only an incredible bust but also sketchier than the ShapeUps the servers at Waffle House wear. Mmmm, Waffle House. Our celebration of Mexico’s independence on Saturday was a huge success. Complete with frozen margaritas and nachos, the day was quite exciting. There weren’t a lot of us but we made up for it. Since Spencer had left to go camping for the weekend we decided to sneak into his apartment with the help of one of his roommates. Initially we were just going to bring the 400 balloons we would be blowing up but then we decided we were starving so we brought nachos and we knew the nachos would make us thirsty so we would need drinks. In other words, we moved the party into Spencer’s apartment while he wasn’t there. The balloons got pretty tedious towards the end and it was just slightly awkward when his roommate came back while we were all still in there but we successfully filled his room and impatiently waited for his reaction upon his return. Matt and Morgan got back that night too so the party got a little bit of new life when they got back but it died down pretty quickly once the balloons and nachos were all gone. Sunday was more cleaning and I spent it all attempting but failing to get more work done on my essay. Morgan would be leaving early Monday morning so that night I said my final goodbyes and made tentative plans for a road trip to Boston sometime in the near future. Any takers?
The Beginning of the End
On Monday May 6, 2012 I had a terrible realization. Sitting in my Australian Politics class I was finally struck with the fact that I only had two more weeks left of class here in Australia. I understand that my classes here have been anything but challenging or time consuming but I never expected the time to pass by this quickly. It seems like yesterday I was meeting Adrienne in the Gold Coast and a week ago I was hiking through the mountains of New Zealand. I was happy to discover I hadn’t been focusing on the time and had just been living life but was just hit with a feeling of finality that I haven’t quite been able to shake since. I went the next few days trying to get some work done and attempting to write this blog but just kept hitting a wall where I had no motivation to do either. After my IB class on Wednesday I went with Kiwi and Fabio (who had awkwardly heard my discussion about the movie with Matt and then shadowed his way into joining only to follow maladroitly and silently for the rest of the night) to see The Avengers and it was nothing short of fantastic. We grabbed a meal/ticket special from the food court in Melbourne Central and then laughed our asses off for the next two hours despite being in the very front row of the theatre. I have no doubt I will end up seeing that movie again before I leave here. Skip to Friday and we have arrived at a day that would prove to be more than many of us could handle. It was Spencer’s birthday (he had saved all of our balloons for this occasion) so I planned for Anna to come for a surprise visit since she would be unable to make it to the party that night. Steve met up with us once we were there and the four of us just sat and talked about cars until it was time for Anna to head back. Then a few of us all met up at my place to enjoy some quiet beers together. At some point YouTube was pulled up on a computer and it never went away. LEGO comedic reenactments, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and bleeding body parts had us all in pieces for a good hour. Except for Fabio, who just stood there silently like a creepy statue. It was this afternoon that I gave up on Fabio. Up until this point I could understand his behavior or at least sympathize with it. He had moved into an apartment that Matt and I had obviously developed a balance in, Morgan was here when he first arrived, most of the times we crossed paths it was in a bigger group or party situation, and to be completely honest he is just in a completely different part of his life/mindset than the rest of us are. But if there was ever a place or time to try and bridge that gap it was in your own apartment with a handful of guys who are just sitting around and talking. I offered him a beer and for him to come sit with us but instead he accepted the beer, went and returned the vacuum, stood their silently while he finished his beer, and then went to his room without a word. My effort to make him feel more welcome ended there. But a creepy Italian wasn’t going to ruin the night, we had a birthday to celebrate! Steve said he had some snags he had to cook so we went up to Kiwi’s room for a bit of a barbecue before heading to Spencer’s for the real party. This was a party in every sense of the word. I have never seen a UniLodge apartment so packed or so loud. The place was absolutely insane and it was so much fun that almost no one even thought about going out to the clubs or bars. Although Matt did bitch out early with a piece of pizza (you can redeem yourself at a later point, good sir) the rest of us went on until almost 4pm at which point a Maccas run as the only sensible thing to do. Shrapnel in hand the party descended on those poor McDonald employees like an army and we took up almost the entire restaurant once we had all gotten our food. Before we were all done though Rod managed to get himself kicked out by beginning a wrapper fight with the other end of the restaurant. At least it wasn’t chocolate cake. I took a completely undeserved break from life on Saturday and did practically nothing all day except to venture out to the grocery store for food. Sunday was almost the same as Saturday except for I began work on planning out all the small trips and events that I hope to do before my time here in Australia is done.
BOOM! there ya go. That is my life up until May 13, 2012. Its not the most detailed of posts but I pray you will forgive me of that.