Wednesday, August 30
One of the more interesting aspect of working in the F&B industry is, regardless of how long you've worked, you're always learning on the job.
I waiter in a mid-sized hotel in the CBD, and understood the true meaning of 'learning on the job' several evenings ago.
Working the busy dinner shift, a regular customer by the name of Brendon Roughead must have had a truly bad day at work. He must have made it a point to be the meanest man-bitch to anyone who was serving him.
Unfortunately, that was me.
Brendon asked for a Carlton Cold, which i duly obliged. The beer was served, and while working the register several minutes later, my manager came up to me and whispered that Brendon didn't like the way his beer was poured.
I paused for awhile. "Bad luck," i thought, "the beer glass was freshly washed and there weren't any cold glasses."
Brendon called out to me several minutes later, and asked for a glass of red. "What kind of red?" i asked.
"Do you have a shiraz?" he asked, barely looking up at me as he flipped through the papers.
I had checked the bar counter earlier in the day, and remembered seeing only bottles of merlot. The bar has seen lots of action the night before.
"I may have to check with the manager. I'll get back to you." i quirped.
Going through the wine store thoroughly, i found 3 bottles of Little Penguin shiraz sitting idly in one corner. The shiraz was poured, and i brought it to his table.
"What shiraz is it?" You could almost sense the sinister sneer from his voice, snarling and cursing at my youthful face.
"It's Little Penguin from South Australia."
"Which region of South Australia?"
I was bowled. I honestly had no idea. Brendon was trying to make it difficult for me. Perhaps it wasn't obvious enough that i was a casual staff, not a fully certified sommelier. But i was more incensed at his remarkable lack of courtesy at a staff. I've never agreed with taking your anger out on someone else, and though i may at times have been guilty of it, it's always been at people i know really well. This Brendon dude, i've only seen twice.
A beat. And i told him honestly, "I've no idea."
Brendon looked up and peered at me for the first time. He shook his head and waved me away. "Oh nevermind."
If this was a Hollywood movie and i was a blonde teen, i'd have ran to the back of the kitchen and cried. But i saw in this awkward situation, a challenge. Brendon had presented to me a perfect opportunity to learn a little about wines. I'm not much of a wine drinker, though i do enjoy a nice glass of sweet white from Brown Brothers or sweet red from Monichino.
A full hour later, Brendon stood up to leave. I stopped polishing the glasses, looked up and wished him goodbye. And threw the wine region at him.
Unexpectedly, Brendon laughed.
"You're quite a character, John" Brendon's face flushed red with wine and food. "I just had a bad day at work, i apologise for being nasty."
We stood there for a moment or two and chatted.
Before he left, i told him cheekily, "Ring in the next time you come for dinner. I'd like to serve you again."
Brendon laughed heartily, bid me good bye and left for his room.
Now, if you'd excuse me, i've a sommelier course to attend.
Tuesday, August 29
This week, my worthless Asian hands found a gem of a treasure. A book. Not just an ordinary book, but a very old book.
Saturday, August 26
Great. It's 8am. The manager calls me up to replace someone else. I'm due in 2 hours.
Ok that didn't sound right.
Happy weekend everyone.
Thursday, August 24
I come from a city that claims to be 'multicultural'. I used to believe in that hogwash as where else can you find a mix of Malays, Indians and Chinese living harmoniously with one another.
Then i arrived in Melbourne, made friends with the wonderful folks here, and had a change of heart. And a whole new opinion and mindset.
No disrespect to other metropolitan cities, but i can't think of anywhere in the world where you find yourself sitting next people of Hungarian, Macedonian or Colombian background.
Or become good friends with Polish, Sri Lankan or German heritage.
How about enjoying some excellent Bulgarian hospitality, tasty Greek delicacies, Italian cuisine or French fare?
I can drive my Australian car to a shop to buy a Chinese-made refrigerator, a Japanese-made television or make a detour to an Indian spice shop or a Vietnamese milk bar.
Perhaps sip coffee with Jews, snack on fast food with a Romanian, go shopping with a Moroccan or talk about politics with an Iranian?
And of course, the huge number of Anglo Saxons too!
They're all lovely, and this is what makes Melbourne a wonderful city. Call it multicultural or multitolerance, we're all immigrants who left our countries for a better life.
I love Melbourne, do you?
Many people have asked me why i did not choose Networked Media as a subject. I've been blogging and dabbling with HTML for almost 3 years now; studying Networked would have been a given and scoring a Higher Distinction would have been easy.
I disagree. Having a knowledge of HTML and interest in blogging is one thing, but blogging about your lectures and readings is another. I believe one of my greatest strengths is to make something out of nothing; i can make a trip to the milk bar seem like the sexiest journey ever or embellish bullshit to the point of complete unreadability. However, I can't for the life of me blog about a Bruce Mau reading, the beginnings of HTML or why Fugu is a bloody bitch of a program. Also, i highly disagree with Macintosh's accessibility. It has compatibility issues with PCs; for every smooth OS or gimmick that a Mac possesses, it can never truly replace the ubiquitous PC.
There's another reasons why i've chosen not to do Networked Media. My closest pals in Professional Communication would know why. For obvious reasons i cannot state what (or who) is. And for this reason alone, i decided to study Broadcasting instead.
You can learn a lot about the Media and Professional Communication (Networked) students from their blogs. A curious thing about the nature of the Prof Comm structure is we're so bloody scattered; sharing a lecture and tutorial with first year newbies does feel like a throw back to the days when your mom still changed your diapers. It's great to see my mates on their blogs and find out what's going on in their lives.
So what have i discovered so far? Apparently, a lot! As you can see, i had problems finding where my Prof Comm friends were. They're only apparent after i found Nicola.
Monica's blog is an online representation of her - diligent, no fuss and comprehensive. Talk about scary! Her shout out to my blog scores brownie points with me too! (Thanks Mon!)
Ziba likes her fashion! Like i couldn't tell! :O
I've gotten to know Alexandra a tad bit this semester. This blog betrays what she really is, that is, an interesting and opinionated girl! Go Macedonia!
I personally don't know Ash, but how can you not spot a girl with funky pink highlights in her hair sitting in class? You can almost sense her pride when she finally figured out how to put an image up on the server.
Justine usually comes to uni dressed like she just got out of bed, but woah she's a party animal! Or was that a ploy to show everyone that she has heaps of blonde friends? And she likes her soccer too. Which is damn cool.
Caity writes like an absolute weirdo in her blog. Nah just kidding, you really don't.
Sandra's blog makes for easy reading. As she has absolutely nothing on it. 3 posts? Cmon girlfriend...wtf?
Latch is weird. Quite weird indeed.
Harry is gay. As usual. PS: dude when're you getting on Starcraft man? GOGOGO Zealot rush!
Jen's blog requires a pair of binoculars to read for users with a default 'smaller' font. Once the size has been rectified, it's a really interesting read.
Matt loves himself. And his blog. Go statcounter.
Stare at Sean's background for too long, and you may just cross-eyed.
Fraser's asking for a pinch on his buttocks what with putting my full name on his blog roll. But hey i'm on his blog. Cool. PS: any response from Mr Jolly yet Frase? And change my name! It's ugly!
Siobhan's favourite color has to be green.
Nicola loves her grandmother. To bits. Oh and your sidebar isn't correctly aligned Nic. Or is it just me?
I'm still trying to find out who Corporate Honey is.
Gabrielle likes flowers.
I love you Sophie :O
Jenika's been blogging many entries. Far more than many others. Where's the fire Jen lol. Why the rush?
Argh Greta, too pink! And half your images don't work. Meh.
Samantha likes fairy floss and kitties. Oh wait, we already knew that :O Eh, your sidebar's not aligned Sam.
Who have i left out?
Wednesday, August 23
It's Friday night. I stepped out from the warm interior of Shoya restaurant into the cool, wintry air. Melbourne sits on the cusp of winter and spring, but it's still a tad bit chilly. I pulled my jacket closer to my body, and conscious of my Yebisu breath, i poppsed an Eclipse mint into my mouth.
Melbourne CBD changes on Friday nights. The working crowd, starved of fun and excitement in the week, walk around the narrow streets, talking loudly and happily. On occassions, you get the odd karaoke fanatic and reckons getting an old shoe thrown at them is an attractive proposition, as they burst into their rendition of *insert song here*.
Anxious to get home, i flagged a cab. Something i shouldn't have done, as the cab driver got me laughing so hard, it was almost a crime not to shed tears.
How to laugh really hard in a cab
Sunday, August 20
Brothels these days sure don't make any attempts to mask their catalogue of women. This brothel has a choice collection.
Nah, just a hair salon along Mount Alexander Road with a funky name.
Saturday, August 19
I've got a Superman Mouse!
Thursday, August 17
WARNING: This post starts off really light-heartedly, and tapers off to an angry conclusion. How i manage to pull it off, i don't know. Let's just say when it comes to racial profiling, it's a lose-lose situation.
Is anyone aware of the awesome-ness that is Sam de Brito? I reckon he's the funniest journalist/comedian in Australia, and i absolutely love his writing.
Sam's blog, All Men Are Liars, on both the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne's The Age, appears everyday with the funny currency.
Yesterday's post, "How do you say 'yobbo' in Vietnamese?" was one of the most politically-correct article on Australian Asians i've ever read. Or the only one i've ever read. Sam's clarity of thought and his honest writings have always appealed to a large pool of audience. I don't agree with everything he says, but i must profess to love his form of humour and well thought-out articles.
Interestingly, the only ones who are irritated by "How do you say 'yobbo' in Vietnamese?" are of Caucasian background. Most Caucasians can never truly understand what it feels like to be a 'minority' as they've never been to a non-Caucasian country before. I'd like to find the fucker who claimed that Asians "may look different but so long as you act exactly the same way as us then that's fine, just make sure you subsume those nasty little cultural habits to the dominant white australian culture and we'll all get along fine."
I'll fucking kill you, you cock-wanker.
The truth is, Asians don't normally appear on the radar of Australian medias. They rarely register a blip. When they're not speaking English, selling bread in bakeries or trying hard to be understood, they're minding their own business in milk bars, insulating themselves from the supposedly 'superior' white culture or doing a bloody good job as a cultural outsider.
White-Australians claim that Asians do not speak English. They're always immensely surprised to find an Asian who speaks good and fluent English. I suppose in today's global climate, it shouldn't be surprising anymore. Hell, i'd hardly be surprised if some white man came up to me and spoke Bahasa Indonesian, Tagalog or Mandarin.
If Australia claims to be a free country - the government has a habit of saying that - then everyone should be allowed to do, say and practice what we want. As long as it's legal. This means if i decide to speak Mandarin in public (shock gasp horror!), visit the nearest yum cha outlet, shop in Chinatown or decide to start a Falun Gong rally, it shouldn't be anything out of the ordinary.
And just because i don't speak with your Australian accent doesn't mean that my English is worse off than yours. It just means i speak more than one language, have been to many countries and am more world-wise than you are.
Which makes me, more superior than you.
Look out for adrock2xander's reply to Sam's blog at the 12:35 AM mark. He tried his hardest to be civil to the white supremists on a public blog.
So i've been thinking of printing my own tee shirts. Some ideas i've thought of:
WTF I'm a Gook!
I shower twice a day
Today is Gook Pride Day
Ninjas killed my family, need $$ for revenge
Gook and proud of it
Wednesday, August 16
I'm terrible when it comes to my ex-girlfriends. They all tend to leave the country upon our unamiable breakups.
Yes, that's how loathe they are to see me. They want to get out of the country. Apparently, breathing the same air kills you.
Last i checked, i'm a really nice bloke. I walk on the outside of the pedestrian, i open doors, i pull out their seats, i drop little notes in their purses, i give them hugs and kisses, and i definitely leave the toilet seat down. Can't fathom their urge to leave the country. I think someone's trying to tell me, nice guys always come last. Fuck.
What's worse, is they always do better after they leave me. They must like using me as a stepping-stone of some sort. Someone give them a brownie point already.
I used to date girls with Chinese extract. So i find it hard to believe that people call me an Asian racist. Pfft.
Tina* (she of the statuesque model of Japanese/Chinese descent) left for Japan and became a globe-trotting air stewardess.
Tatyana* (she of the waitress of English/Chinese descent) uprooted for Southamptonm, England to be with her family. Last i heard she's working in her dad in a pharmaceutical company.
Melissa* (she of the Literature teacher of Indian/Chinese descent) refused to see me for months and left with her mom for Taiwan. Friends tell me she's a public relations practitioner in Shanghai now.
You see, chicks generally flee from me. 'Coz i'm this big, bad flesh-eating necrophilic bastard son of a child molester. It's sad. I find myself singing "Nobody loves me, Everybody hates me, I'm gonna eat some worms" to myself all the time.
So imagine how i felt, when my stunning ex-girlfriend of Indian descent sent me a 'hi' message. Sasha* had broken up with me, packed for Spain and got married 6 years ago. She must really hate me as it seemed marrying was the only way to rinse me out of her system. Or so i thought.
Honestly i have no reason to respond to her. She has no reason to hate me either! Sasha was a real bitch to me, treated me like dirt and in the months leading to our eventual breakup, refused to communicate with me. Did my breath really smell that bad?
And wouldn't you know, i was the last person in our circle of friends to find out she's gone off to marry some bloke - who's pretty well-off if my sources are correct.
Oh well, you dump a poor Chinese in Singapore and marry a rich compadre in Spain. Not doing too bad yourself Sasha!
But i'm gona be civil. Hey this isn't schoolyard no more, and what's done is done. I think i may just drop her a friendly email. You know, we could become friends again. And i'll piss her off once more, and she'll pack off to the Moon and marry a funky purple Martian this time.
*Names have been changed
Tuesday, August 15
Meet Carly*. She's a bubbly 19yo girl who loves her high school friends, her partying and her booze. She finds it hard to hold down a permanent boyfriend and is popular, pretty and outgoing. She holds down 3 casual jobs but finds it difficult to save money. Her bank balance often reads into several tens of dollars, for quickly as her her weekly income is deposited into her account, she's out buying booze and partying.
And there's Danielle*. The pretty 19yo girl is slightly more introverted, but absolutely loves Uni nights, partying and shopping. She works a fair number of hours a week, juggles 2 jobs and also finds it difficult to snag a nice man for herself. Her bank balance, however, suggests she's far-sighted and thinking about her future. At last read, her bank balance hovers in the region of 10 grand. That's absolutely amazing money for someone so tender.
It amazes me how teenagers treat money these days. It's hardly a commodity, but the way some kids look at it, it's rather shocking.
In one camp, money is exchanged as quickly as they're earned. Transactions flow freely, and these teenagers do not give one thought about saving for their future. Their future is now. And this includes going out every other day, on Uni nights, on Fridays and Saturdays, and shopping for clothes. And more clothes.
In another camp, sits the teens who're careful about their hard-earned money. Displaying maturity beyond their youthful years, they put a dollar from every $2 they earn from their holiday or weekend job into their savings. That's good money management and wise cash handling.
I have a couple of money management skills for you kids out there. It's not just about saving money; it's about putting where the money works best for you. I know it's hard, when you're a hormone-raged teen, fueled with alcohol and looking for a quick pash. It's even harder to put money aside; you barely get by on a weekly basis, let alone thinking of your future.
I've had the privilege of growing up knowing exactly what these teens are going through. I was an excitable teen who had no want for anything; partying, shopping and causing grief to my parents became routine for me. I lived life on the fast lane, and enjoyed getting away with things most people can't. Of course, i was brought down to earth in late 1999 when i got into the wrong side of the law. I grew up real quick after that.
Save your money. Start now. It's never too late. It's never too big. Drop a dollar coin into a large plastic container every time you return home from work, from partying or from uni. Only stop to count how much you have when you can no longer shove a coin into the container. You'd be surprised how much you have saved.
Look out for saving plans that give you good returns. I know it sounds easier on paper, but the truth is, it's easier doing it. Let your money work for you while letting your money work hard. This means, put your money in areas where they can protect you (insurance policies come to mind), while maintaining a monthly contribution where the payoff is at least double (endowment policies come to mind). I bought myself a couple of endowment policies in late 2000 - a full year after my not too pleasant experience - and i can safely say that i've let my money work for me.
Also, dabble in stocks and shares. It's different from the Australian Stock Exchange game we had to play around with last year. This is real money we're talking about. Nobody's telling you to buy 1 lot (1000 shares) worth of ABC stocks. A smart way to do it, is to treat this more like a game and less of a serious, life-and-death matter.
Team up with your mom or dad. Let them do the big buying, and chip in 10-50 stocks. I assure you, your appreciation of money and how the economy works will sky rocket. You're never too young to invest. My first investment was made at 21. Al-Qaeda timed my investment to the dot, as they chose to commandeer planes into the World Trade Center on September 11. I lost several hundred dollars, some pride and a better understanding of foreign politics.
Oh well, you lose some, you win some.
Check out eBay. For a token amount of money, you can set up your own family business in the comforts of your armchair. Sell anything. You'd be surprised at the stuff people buy these days. And the best part is, in the heat of a bidding war, they pay far more than what the product is initially worth. Either way, you stand to gain.
Look up the smaller banks. Bendigo and St George's Bank have some of the best Term Deposits in and around the Melbourne metropolitian area. Awesome interest rates for a tidy starting sum of $1000-$5000. If you've always wanted to make money while sitting on your ass, your nearest branch is just a hop, skip and a jump away.
Hope this advice helps. Just being an elder statesman here, watching over you kids :O
adrock2xander is now worth over $13,000. His endowment policies do not mature till 2020+, but he's not holding out for it either. In his free time, he plays with shares in Asia, sells cosmetics and video games on eBay, consolidate funds in his Term Deposit account and is generally a very cash poor person. Do not turn to him if you're hard up for cash.
*Names have been changed
The Swanston Street Church of Christ has just found a new group of devotees - drug users. Shock horror gasp! Nah don't get too excited. Here's what's really going on.
Eh you Networked Media kids have such cool blogs. Us Broadcast Media lackeys ain't got them same cool stuff as you do.
Makes me wana swop Broadcast for Networked.
Then again, there's Seth Keen. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo! Geme a horrendous TV or Radio project over Seth Keen any day! Nah just kidding Seth. You know i love you :O
Btw Monica, why was your blog under lock and key with a security pass? I wanted to see what naughty stuff an almost married woman writes about! Haha...
I'm back to stalk more blogs. Pity i can't leave any comments.
Monday, August 14
Are you guys aware of Connex's fantastic travel deals on weekends? I don't recommend travelling on Melbourne's incredibly monolithic beast of a train system, but the weekend deals are awesome. Makes the hassles and delays look like scratching an itch.
Why drive when the train's so cheap?
You know what shits me? People gossiping about my life behind my back.
What's with all the cloak and dagger? Why don't you discuss it with me in person? It'll clear up your doubts, hearing it from the horse's mouth.
I don't bite.
Sunday, August 13
Millions of people walk down the streets each day not knowing how ugly they are. But all it takes is one person to point it out to them, and their lives are changed forever.
Poor ugly regular people. When you're so ugly, you must be blessed with some other talent.
My good mate in Edinburgh, Scotland Joe Gordon has passed the Curse of the Internet Questions to a very unsuspecting me. Aren't they supposed to have died a tragic death last year? I thought these questions were meant for 12yo who reckon walking their pet dogs is a viable alternative to glue-sniffing.
Joe, of course, needs no introduction. He's the first bloke in the European blogosphere to be sued by his company, for all things, blogging.
This curse Joe, has to stop! It's going the way of the dodo, or at least it used to! And now you've brought it back! But it looks fun, so let's get the curse under way!
5 Things In My Freezer
Ehm, i live with 3 roomies, so the fridge is a hodge-podge of stuff we generally whip up for dinner and brekky. Let's see what actually belongs to me.
Just under a kilogram of breaded fish cutlets. I love fish.
A bag of traditional Aussie meat pies.
A large bag of frozen peas.
A large bag of frozen corn. Peas and corn go hand in hand, no?
3 trays of ice cubes. Can't have my Midori and Coke without them.
5 Things In My Car
Who's batty enough to drive a car these days? With petrol prices beyond the stratosphere, you've gota be earning heaps to drive a car. I take the tram btw. So here's what's always in my bag.
Creative Zen mp3.
Canon A95 camera.
A large 1.5L water bottle.
Nivea Nourishing Care Lotion - gota keep my body moisturised!
A notepad and a pen - you'd never know when a new blog or story idea may hit you.
5 Things In My Purse
A Purse? Joe what kind of questions are these haha. 5 things in my business card holder are:
An identity card from Singapore. Australians are arguing over the benefits of having one; many countries have had an i.d card for decades. I don't leave home without it.
My ATM card. Money = Power!
A student identity card. Some folks find it hard to believe i'm a student.
My credit card. Money = Power!
A photocopying card. A student can't afford to buy a $95 book these days. Especially when it'll hardly be used throughout the semester. At 7 cents a page, it makes more sense to photocopy what you need.
5 Things In My Closet
Who makes these questions Joe? LOL. I don't have many skeletons to hide ya know.
Clothes - My clothes come in every hue and colour. Mixing and matching is fun!
Accessories - No one can accessorise better than i do. I put Gianni Versace to shame. After all, i can't think of anyone else who uses a female scarf as a belt.
Undergarments - I need more underwear and boxers. I have this habit of losing them.
Shoes - No where to go, they're placed neatly alongside my clothes.
Cologne - I collect scents. Miniatures and large bottles alike. My favourite scents are Bulgari's BLV and Chanel Egoiste Platinum.
Ok, enough of dissecting my life! The curse ends here! :O
Friday, August 11
So what perilous obstacles does The O.C star Mischa Barton have to negotiate when she arrived in Melbourne for the first time? adrock2xander finds out as she appears in David Jones together with Australia's top supermodel Megan Gale. WARNING: Getting within 3 feet of a Hollywood star may be a considerable health hazard. Please consult your doctor before you visit the link.
M&M - melts in your mouth and not in your hands
Thursday, August 10
How do you say the word fillet?
If you're from the extreme British/Australian train of thought, you pronounce the word the way it is spelt - 'fir-lert'.
I just can't say 'fir-lert'. It sounds so much more right to say 'fir-lay' - the American version sounds so proper. Then again,you can't blame me as i've never EVER heard anyone say 'fir-lert' in Asia either.
I got into this conversation with Victoria last week. An Australian Anglo-Saxon through and through, Victoria was so amused and couldn't fathom how anyone could say 'fir-lay'. So much so she couldn't stop laughing during our live recording of the RMITv Uplate Program.
Firlay-ol-Fish at McDonald's. That sounds so fucking right. Man how could you ever destroy the word and say 'fir-lert'? Firlert-ol-Fish? Someone say omg...
How do you say fillet?
Tuesday, August 8
I've lost 4kg in the last 5 days.
No, i havn't been purging my food. I am not a bullimic or an anorexic. I've been afflicted with the WORST food poisoning and diarrhoea. Ever.
When your shit follows through your farts twice in as many days, you know you stomach's t3h fucked.
The amount of fluids i've lost could have watered a small garden. Eating and drinking has been reduced to tiny morsels of dry bread and jam.
To top that, i've been working flat out for the last week at the hotel, waking up at 5am in the morning. I need the money. Such is the reality of life.
I'm so sick and frail, even a gentle breeze will topple me over.
I'm just glad i've an off day tomorrow. I honestly need to rest.
Now excuse me while i replenish my lost fluids.
Saturday, August 5
Somewhere in Melbourne is the strangest light installation you've ever laid your eyes upon. Where is it? What's its purpose?
adrock2xander brings you there, in the comfort of your own home.
And God said: "Let there be light!"
Friday, August 4
Catch adrock2xander and his zany crew from Tehw00t Show at 2.30am tonight on Channel 31.
RMITv goes live for 10 hours!
Wednesday, August 2
Oh on the subject of my 'cheap production', just a quick note to all the Prof Commies out there.
Post-production for the pilot episode has taken longer than it really should have; we're currently behind schedule but it's definitely finishing. I urge all of you to be patient as the entire crew's on unfamiliar territory. My job as host may be over (for the Pilot at least), but i find myself sitting around Final Cut Pro and the team, offering suggestions and ideas for editing!
Hope this helps. We're just as anxious as you are.
One of the shittier hassles of filming for a low budget production is the distance we've to travel to establish a shot we want. We simply cannot recreate a scenario in our multi-million, cavernous studio.
One of the more wacky locations our crew ended up in was the Glen Waverly station. Who the hell lives in Glen Waverly? Gosh! Don't people live in proper, good old-fashioned inner city suburbs such as Hawthorn, Brunswick or Footscray anymore?
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]