An unrelated piece of graffiti art.

SO, I went on a spontaneous date with the dude from the previous post (the conversation on the bottom).

The scene: I was sitting in my room enjoying my usual form of entertainment – watching a couple of guys yell at each other on the street below to see if it would turn into a fight (oh Footscray) and eating popcorn with this spicy salt stuff I bought at the Asian grocery – when he invited me for a drink.

Under normal circumstances I’d tell him I was busy (with fun glamorous plans of course – must maintain the ruse that I am too cool to spend a Thursday night doing any of the things I just mentioned). But, if I’m honest I really didn’t care because I didn’t know him at all and he can think whatever he wants.  Plus, I was intrigued because no man has ever told me that I seem “hardly like an axe murderer at all,” assuring me at the same time that HE is not a murderer (bonus!).

He sent a car to come pick me up, which was awesome and slightly sketchy in equal measure. (Text: “send me an address and in 15 minutes you’ll see a black car.”) It certainly didn’t help his credibility as a certified non-murderer, but when I thought about other, even shadier circumstances under which I’ve gotten into strangers’ cars (midnight South American border crossings in unofficial taxis, I’m looking at you), grabbing a free ride to a bar called Mr. Wows Emporium seemed like a perfectly alright thing to do. It was an Uber car, by the way, not a personal limo – I’m not suddenly starring in a Jennifer Lopez movie or anything.

Although: he did invite me to get on a 6 am flight to Cairns to go scuba diving, which is kinda movie-ish. It sounded exciting so I actually went to his house in another mysterious black car and seriously considered going until I remembered I had a) a trip planned with a couple of friends for the long weekend, b) a job interview scheduled for the next morning, and c) an unfinished scuba certification due to an unfortunate case of what may or may not have been dengue fever last year.

He actually was quite charming and funny, though a bit dorky. I wouldn’t exactly call him normal (ed. note: the goal was a NORMAL date, Fiona. YOU HAD ONE JOB).  To wit: he says the style of his room was inspired by Scandinavian heroin addicts (I hope to God he means in the movies). He claims to know the names of the U.S. vice presidents in reverse chronological order (why??).  Also he lives with an actual genius that spends his spare time fencing and crocheting characters from his favorite video games. (ed. note: WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK FIONA, WHERE DO YOU FIND THESE PEOPLE? SERIOUSLY.)

But he was incredibly confident, and confidence is attractive. I was, of course, immune to this because of my iron will and the fact that I’d said, in so many words, “I’ll go to your house, but don’t get excited because I’m not going to fuck you” before getting in the second mysterious black car.

SIKE!  I slept with him anyway. I was supposed to be a woman of mystery and everything, and I SO did not plan for that (to the point of not shaving my legs, ew), but my willpower is feeble in the face of all that romantic shit girls (me included) like. Ya feel me? Anyway, I suppose it’s good to sample the merchandise before you find yourself on date #10 with a guy who can’t get off without looking at a Nickelback poster, or what have you.

Anyhoo, the whole thing went so fast I don’t even really have an opinion.  



So I’m trying to make myself meet a normal man.  Like, you know, one that isn’t a 30-year old with an air mattress or an actual believer in UFOs.  A while ago I signed up for OkCupid and Tinder to further the cause.  My friends at home probably think this is weird or whatever but I’m a woman of this century, dammit, and I shall date online get hit on by the freakshows of the world if I so choose!  Actually I’m always halfway about to delete these apps, but due to a mix of morbid curiosity and optimism I never do.  Maybe I should, because the shit below is TYPICAL:

A veritable orgy of ellipses combined with the unsettling phrase ‘angel smile’: Snip20140417_5





Grammatical implosions: 






Confusing, roundabout poetry:







12 messages in a row, collect the whole set:

















One-liners indicating the sender may have mistaken me for a gay man, and Tinder for Grindr:







Oh hey, something slightly naughty without being disgusting:















You just HAD to go there, didn’t you.

But then sometimes someone is sort of witty, and quirkily strange without being utterly horrifying, and doesn’t immediately talk about buttholes (fyi, for the ‘you should message me if…’ question, my answer is ‘if you want to buy me candy.’:
























And then I’m like ALRIGHT, online dating apps, I guess you can stay.  FOR NOW, and only if that dude isn’t an axe murderer.  BUT WATCH YOUR BACK BECAUSE SRSLY I WILL DELETE YO’ ASS IF YOU DON’T BEHAVE.



For the first week of my mind-meltingly boring data entry job, eating the two-curry lunch special from the Indian restaurant down the block was literally the highlight of my day.  I had to shove it down in half an hour and suffer the food coma that inevitably would set in afterwards, but the small chunk of time I spent not processing applications made my heart happy.

I had hoped to make friends with the other temps and have someone to eat lunch with, but above social interaction they all seemed to prefer hunching over their phones and declining offers to use the coffee machine whenever they weren’t dealing with the mountains of paperwork in front of them.  There was a tall guy with snaggly teeth, a pretty Indian lady with two kids, a guy who laughs like Mike Myers, and a girl who wore a see-through shirt over a hot-pink bra one day and managed somehow to have plumber’s crack…in a skirt.  (Incidentally, her Facebook profile indicates that she is also a dancer at a strip club called Kittens.  Nobody can figure out if this is a joke.)

Killing time between jobs back when I had two of them, I bonded instantly with Lisa, the only other sane (or insane?) girl at the office.  Over burritos one day she filled me in on all the work gossip, 99% of which consists of people being rude to one another in the mail room because they have nothing better to do.  She also alerted me to the fact that our boss, a thin and polite lady whose face has definitely been lifted several times, frequently gets up and grabs her handbag to make an aimless lap around the office, always ending up back at her desk without having done anything or talked to anyone.  After I began to notice it, I couldn’t unsee it.  It drove me crazy: where was she going?  What was she doing?  Did she think someone would steal her purse in the two minutes she was gone?  In an effort to keep tabs, Lisa and I began to email each other the word HANDBAG whenever we saw her begin one of her little missions.  At first Lisa reckoned she was having clandestine cigarettes in the bathroom, but over a few drinks last week we decided her handbag held the stolen souls of our fellow employees, which she would suck out in a dementor-like fashion and sell, at a discounted price, in the alley behind the building – a fact that would explain both the general drabness of the place and her need to keep her bag close to her at all times.  

Handbag (as Lisa now calls her) wrote me a nice little recommendation letter, so I feel guilty about the dementor comparison.  Lisa hates her, though, so I think that small morsel gets her through the day.  By the way, Lisa also made friends with the temp who may or may not be a stripper, so we’re planning to have drinks with her one evening and see if we can’t get the truth out.  I bet we can.




Do you ever feel like you’re regressing?

When I arrived in the Southern Hemisphere a year and a half ago, a few curious effects took hold. The toilet water swirled in the opposite direction (I think). Signs in the restrooms urged users to exercise courtesy by leaving the seats up (hey Malaysia, you’re crazy). And I somehow started aging backwards.

Sometimes I look through the Facebook feeds of my five best friends back in the US – the ones I used to hang out with constantly.  I love them dearly, but I do not understand how they manage to be so infuriatingly successful and adorable at the same time. They’re all getting engaged, working on their PhDs, running marathons and making homemade greeting cards. They get their nails done. They have Pinterest boards dedicated to vegan recipes.

Meanwhile in Australia, I have a roommate and an early 2000s phone that’s still set to French. Today I ate ramen for both breakfast and dinner. For the last six months I’ve been carrying a handbag I found on the side of the road. Last week my friend-with-benefits and I had sex on a trampoline in his father’s backyard as if that’s an actual thing people do. And lastly I finally got around to liking the OK Go album that drove me nuts a decade ago when my freshman year college roommate played it nonstop. All of these things point to one of two conclusions: 1) I’m on the fast track to living in a van down by the river or 2) I’m experiencing a weird, ass-backwards loop in time that has reversed any progression I made in my twenties and pushed me back to college.

This is probably bad.

Remember when you were like six years old and tried to do things like jumping on the kitchen table and watching cartoons all day and eating chocolate for breakfast? Remember when your mom wouldn’t let you? When she told you you could do whatever you wanted when you grew up, figuring you’d surely grow out of the desire to do so?

Well, I’m totally living like my six year old self would have wanted, that is if you replace “drive a Hello Kitty car” and “adopt ten dogs” with “hitchhike” and “stand in a thirty-minute line in the corner of a dark warehouse to buy laughing gas balloons with some dude who describes his musical duo as more of a concept than a band.”

I honestly can’t figure out whether this is shameful or not. Is it immature and wrong? Or is it my hard-earned, justifiable right as an adult – a prize for doing all the right things when I was younger? I think about this more than I should, and I do see one ray of hope: I just can’t put away shots like I used to, and usually I don’t feel like trying.  Progress?

Anyway, fuck it. I have better stories to tell at cocktail parties, and we all know that’s the most important thing.


I’m down to one job: I don’t work at the restaurant anymore.  To be honest I’m relieved – it was vile.  

I suspect Adrian and Donna grew weary of the base, senseless orgy of destruction into which my shifts had a tendency to descend.  Witnessing the motorcycles crashing through the front windows and careening down the bar in a blaze of sparks and exhaust bread baskets placed one shelf too low.  Gazing with horror upon the spontaneous, violent hot-oil wrestling matches tray of tea light candles, several of whose wicks had been improperly flipped into their fully upright positions.  

They responded by generously “giving me a night off” to “catch up on sleep” last Wednesday and Thursday, so on Friday morning I left an early-morning voicemail informing them of the sudden, unfortunate and mysterious illness that made working over the next week or so, you know, impossible.  

Which we all know is code for: Have fun on your hands and knees straightening that rug fringe with a toothbrush, yo, because I have a going-away party on Friday night.  Fiona out.  BOOM SHAKA LAKA!

I don’t feel bad.  They probably would have cancelled on me anyway, and if I hadn’t made it to the party I wouldn’t have seen one of the guests of honor affix a champagne cage (fun fact: this is called a muselet) to the end of his dick in a move he refers to as “The Greyhound.”  Win!

P1060734Saturday afternoon was luxuriously free, so I gave that photographer a call and went to cafe/gallery Thousand Pound Bend to be a part of the Redhead Project.  This means I sat in front of some interesting walls and tried, sometimes successfully, not to blink or do something strange with my face every time the shutter went off.  There’s an exhibition at the end of the year, but before then I will have a few nice photos that I can send to my mom to prove I’m still alive (bonus!).

And as it turns out, the photographer wasn’t a creeper out to kill me or take fetishy pictures of my fingernails or whatever!  The whole thing was legit and he was quite nice.  We did chat after the shoot about his feeling that he’s actually from a different planet, though.  Apparently the idea of being human feels foreign to him, and he thinks of himself as somewhat of an alien life-form.  Hm.



Back in Sydney, my friend Tiffany and I used to have what we called Adventure Thursdays.

Basically this meant we’d get together on Thursday nights, go for drinks, and see what Newtown threw our way.

Sometimes it stayed all chill and normal, like when we had cocktails at Earl’s Juke Joint and met a couple of guys and hung out on their patio all night talking about journalism?  Or something.

Sometimes it got absurd, like when we called a rave hotline Tiffany found on Instagram and worked out the directions only to end up wandering around in an empty field outside some power plant at the edge of town in the middle of the night because Tiffany – well, ok, both of us – had failed to see that the hotline had been out of use since 2012. At least we tried?

No matter what, though, we could always count on Newtown to show off its best attribute: its concentration of interesting weirdos.

One Adventure Thursday we were wandering around at like 3 am (as one does). We weren’t ready to call it a night, but all the bars were closed and nobody was awake to be social with us except for this transvestite who had been showing us around his favorite cemetery – and things were getting weird fast. Needing escape, we looked around for somewhere to be, when we heard a house party going on down the street. It sounded interesting (or, you know, at least it was there), so we went over to it.

Upon closer inspection it had kinda fizzled – there were just a few people hanging out in the backyard and a few more upstairs on the balcony. As we prowled around for someone to invite us in, I suddenly started to feel like a huge creeper and I told Tiffany we should probably just go.

Undeterred, she yelled up to the guys on the balcony and asked if we could come inside. I was super embarrassed, but it ended up working because they invited us up. So we went up the stairs to somebody’s bedroom, trying to act all confident like we knew whose house it was. As we came in the door we saw a skinny, long haired guy posing theatrically on the bed wearing a shirt with a knockoff Coca-Cola “Enjoy Cocaine” logo. He had chopped the bottom part off with scissors and wrapped this piece around his head. A second guy with a Hawaiian shirt and ironic mustache took pictures with his iPhone, thoughtfully considering each angle (when I told my friend Jamie about this, she asked if I’d somehow stepped through a portal and ended up in Brooklyn).

After a couple of minutes of talking about music I’d never heard of and pretending we belonged there, a guy in tight khaki shorts came crawling through the door on his hands and knees, looked at me with big saucer eyes, and introduced himself by telling me his name was not Dominic.

I asked if I could call him Dominic anyway, and he said that would be alright.

He told me he was an EMT, or at least part of an ambulance crew that was frequently called to trailer parks when women unexpectedly went into labor. He described, in graphic detail, the ins and outs of being the ‘catcher’ at ’emergency trailer park births’:

“When this happens, it’s usually the woman’s fifth or sixth child. You never know what to expect. Sometimes her muscles will spasm and shoot the baby out forcefully. I mean it can fly all the way across the room, and that’s where I come in. I stand behind the midwife and grab the baby out of the air, which can be hard when it’s covered in blood and slimy afterbirth.”

“That sounds stressful,” I told him.

“Yeah, but there’s a machine we have that helps us practice. A robotic vagina machine that shoots out plastic babies.”

“Like the machines that shoot out tennis balls?”

“Exactly. I’m fairly confident in my catching abilities now.”

Solid gold. I’ve decided I’m going to write a novel one of these days and use these people as characters because YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP.