Monday, December 30, 2013

Impending Unknowns

I've been posting a lot lately. Well, writing a lot at least; I still have yet to post several that are already written but I didn't have internet at the time and forgot. I'll post them pretty soon.
What's going on for me now is an impending sadness. I have less than a month left in Melbourne and I don't know what to do with myself. I wrote on Facebook yesterday that I remembered produce is going to be sold by the pound instead of kilo and it was a huge revelation. There is going to be so much that's different. I'm scared and anxious. It's like I'm abandoning a part of my life that I've really come to appreciate. My move here wasn't like that; when I left the US I left something that I'd always had. Here, it's something I've found. My experience in Melbourne has been like a romantic relationship. At first it was new and exciting, then there were some ups and downs, and I became really sick of it. But now I'm past that. Melbourne is like someone with whom I've created a history, and now I have to break up with her. It's heart wrenching. Months ago I thought I wasn't too fond of her, but now it's like I can't think of a life without her. All of these truths that I've been putting off are growing, and it's at the point where I can't look away. I'm leaving Australia, against my will. The goal when I started out was to live here a year, get the experience, and go home back to essentially the life I had when I left. My plan was to get a political job for the upcoming election and keep plugging away at comedy, especially after election season. Now, it's like I don't know what I want anymore. It was a fairly brash decision that brought me here, and I can't really believe I made it. It's a horrible cliche, but I came to take a piece of Australia home with me, but Australia is keeping a part of me.
I'd like to think I'll be back, but I just don't know. I keep saying I'll be back for the 2015 MICF, but even that worries me. That's so far in the future; what if everything is different? What if I find somebody and settle down or something? What if I just can't take it any longer in the comedy world? What if I quit? What if when I come home I fall as far out of love with Melbourne as I did in love over the course of a year? I don't like these unknowns. I have friends here, a network, and a lifestyle. I don't know what happens next and I don't like being in the dark.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sometimes I Just Feel Like Writing

12:30pm, 12/23/13
I'm at a neighborhood coffee shop/cafe. Realistically, it's more cafe than coffee shop, but there's waitstaff, which is atypical. The place is quaint, lots of wood and white paint. It's cloudy and drizzling, that kind of rain that it's not quite worth opening an umbrella, but enough that it's visible and your can feel it.
I don't have a specific reason for writing beyond just a feeling that I should. I can't shake the feeling that none of these posts accurately capture my life in its entirety, but each is just a portion. And that I'm a super huge wanker for trying to get philosophical.
I'm getting scared of what happens next. I only have just over a month left living in this city, I don't know what happens next. It's that fucking unknown that's bothering me. Not that it's all unknown; I know what life as a backpacker is like. I also know that I prefer life living in a house, and having a space of my own. Beyond the obvious interim period, I've actually been thinking a lot about what I want to happen when I get home. I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do for a job when I get back, but I'm getting scared that comedy and politics are finally intersecting. What I'm alluding to is the Minnesota Fringe Festival that happens in early August, which is prime time for election season. In other words, if I do one, I necessarily cannot do the other. While it's the Fringe is definitely not a mandatory event, it's something that I have been planning on attempting as an approximation for the Melbourne Comedy Festival. I'm actually planning on applying for the Minnesota Fringe, since entry is granted via lottery in February. Really, I just don't want the preparation for the MICF to be a compete waste. But if I get a campaign job, that's what takes precedence.
That's not to imply that my time in Australia has been a waste, even comedically. I maintain that moving to Melbourne was one of the best (if not the outright best) decisions I've ever made. I think about what brought me here, and what I've accomplished. Clearly it's not the kind of a achievement that wins accolades; people move internationally all the time. What I'm really proud of is moving to a new country, making my way, meeting new people, and overall growing as a human being.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Summer/Winter Travel Plans

It's December, and that means summer. I haven't yet titled this blog post yet, but it will need a title. I'd rather not post "hey mid december!" as my title, but if push comes to shove, that's probably what will happen.

Let's just (and by "let's" I mean, I'm gonna write, and you're gonna read) talk about what I've been up to:
I've been unemployed here for over two months now. Amazingly, I'm not destitute. I'm not rich, that's for damn sure, but I'll survive on what I've got until I have to leave. I've been casually looking for employment, but at this point it's too late. In fact, I'm about two months too late. What I really should have done was start looking for a new job immediately after quitting Foxtel, but I didn't, and now I'm relatively stuck. Frankly though, I'm content with my decision. A little bit of extra cash would have been nice, but I'll get by with what I've currently got, plus my Australian tax rebate, and credit card. I get a distinct impression that what will likely happen is that I'm going to be coming home with a smidge of debt. But with a little luck I'll be able to knock that out swiftly.
What's left for me is what I want to do with my remaining time here. The month is booked pretty solidly, comedically. January specifically. My thought was that I'll leave Melbourne immediately following my last day on my lease, but I have a few gigs afterward, and furthermore Australia Day is on January 26th (it's like Australia's 4th of July), about a week after. While I could obviously celebrate it anywhere in Australia, and my plan was to be in Sydney, but it's really more of a bbq/hang out with friends holiday. I'd really rather be with friends rather than strangers on a day like that. So if that's how my plan goes, I leave Melbourne on the 27th, go to Sydney for a week or so, hit up Queensland for about a week as well, see Uluru (the giant rock I'm obliged to see), and then leave the country. Pushing my departure from Melbourne by a week really cuts into my tourist time, but so be it. Actually, maybe I can go to Uluru and back between when I leave Melbourne and Australia day...  Clearly I have to look into my further plans.

The only thing I know for sure is that I have to leave the country on February 21st. The plan had been to go to SE Asia for a while, then New Zealand, then home, but in part due to my financial situation, and partially because I'd really have to get back earlier, I'm thinking about skipping Asia. I know it's maybe not the right decision, because how long until I come back to this part of the world. I think what I really need to look into is what I can do and how long and how much it costs. I still really want to go skydiving in New Zealand, and want to spend at least a week or two there. I've started to wonder why I want to go to Asia at all. In part, it was because it's so cheap there, and it's a great place to lounge. Drinks are cheap, food is cheap, travel is cheap. But how much do I care about that? It's just another place to spend my remaining money. I honestly think what I've done here is as good or better than that would have been. I find myself having a really great experience going out constantly here. I have friends here. Any night of the week something is going on, and I know I'm welcome. It took some time before it happened, but I really feel home here now. I'm beginning to dread going home. I've also started seeing someone, and it's been nice having companionship. I'd forgotten how much I like simple things like holding hands walking down the street. Sleeping around is alright, but I miss somebody to actually care about. I'm not sure exactly what happens next, since I obviously have to leave here, but for now I'm in a good place. There's obviously plans that I could make, or at least think about, but part of me really doesn't want to. I'd rather let things go how they're going to.

What I think I need to do now is talk to somebody with a bit of information about travelling. I also think I just need to let myself max out my credit card and worry about the consequences later. Sorry Future Dan, but things might suck for you.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving, and the Retirement of danzorz

Hi. (editor’s note: Hi!)
(real editor’s note: I tried dictating this edition of the blog by using Android’s voice to text, realizing that I would probably have to go back and edit. At first, it seemed like it went swimmingly; but upon later inspection, there was A LOT more editing to do, and it’s become a hassle and a half to edit. That’s what I get for taking the shortcut. Thus, this post is about a week after I actually wrote (well, dictated) it. Sorry if timing stuff doesn't work out) (also, sorry for being a shoddy writer, um, just in general)
I know I posted last night, but today's Thanksgiving and I want to talk about my day. It's 2:30am here, technically Black Friday. It's a bit ironic really, that I'm up so early in the morning yet can't go take advantage of door buster deals. Well, it's technically still Thanksgiving morning back home. Regardless, it's been odd being here. It'd be strange enough to be abroad in the northern hemisphere for than Thanksgiving, but at least the weather would seem appropriate. Not only is the holiday non-existent, but you don't anticipate how big the atmosphere of the holiday is. I mean, I just didn't realize how different it was going to be until it arrived. Don't get me wrong, I knew that was going to be different; the whole atmosphere of the weekend is off, and it starts with the weather (it's like 90 degrees out). I found myself very homesick in a way that I did not expect. I spent a few hours researching where I could find turkey. On top of searching online, I spent time just walking around the city, specifically at American companies I thought might have Thanksgiving meals find such as McDonald's, and Starbucks (look, I didn't expect Starbucks to have turkey, but I thought they might have pumpkin pie). I'd gotten to the point of giving up (and just going to Subway for a cop-out turkey sub) when I was standing outside of Melbourne Central and I remembered they have a TGI Fridays. Turns out going up the three floors to check was a good decision, because they were indeed serving turkey dinners. Never in my life have I been thankful to see TGI Fridays, but that’s exactly what happened. It hasn't been very often that I really needed an escape to home and I was able to get it. That the staff was very friendly also helped.
They had a special menu for Thanksgiving, of which there were only four items: they have the full Thanksgiving meal, including turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, and stuffing, and pretty much everything else you can think of; they also had pie sized for two (three slices); they had a kids meal that was just Turkey, mash potatoes and grave, and green bean casserole; and the last thing on the menu was a slice of apple pie with ice cream (designed for children). While I wanted most things in the full meal, I decided I wasn't really that hungry, and more importantly, the price of $35.00 didn't seem worth it. What I ended up getting was the children's meal of turkey, potatoes and gravy, and casserole the staff was gracious enough to let me have (it was technically only for children, and despite my boyish charm, I’m over the age of 12) for $10. While I missed out on stuffing, which I did really want, the meal was good. Surprisingly good, actually. Maybe it was the fact that I was so far away and was getting a comfort of home on a day where I really needed it, but it was incredibly satisfied by the meal, and for that, I’m incredibly grateful. And while I really did feel like pumpkin pie as well, I just couldn't justify getting three full slices. I did get a beer though (Budweiser, to be exact (hooray America!)), and felt American enough to leave a tip. I think I’m starting to really miss home.

The other thing I wanted bring up today is that I changed my name on Facebook (as noted earlier, the timing may not line up 100% on this due to editing/posting. Just deal with it; it’s too much effort to correct, sorry). For those who've known me a while, I've been on Facebook as "danzorz" for as long as I've been on Facebook, ten years now. I've liked it, it's worked out in unexpected ways, but it’s time to retire it. First, let’s talk a bit about the back-story: when I first joined on Facebook just after high school/going to college, and I went by the nickname danzorz. It was more of a handle/internet persona. Now I recognize that it was kind of nerdy to do, but it was also a nickname that I was called aloud. I carried "danzorz", and later "zorz" for a long time and I really felt like it represented who I was. But it’s long been a fading feature from who I am. I don’t want to say I no longer go by that name, but more people don’t recognize it than do.
As for the other reason I left it so long; I noticed several years back that the only way to find my profile was to search specifically for "danzorz". In other words, unless you specifically knew what to look for, you wouldn't find my profile. And if I wanted you to find my profile, I had an exact phrase to search for. That fact was exceptionally appealing when I started performing. I wanted to leave my profile open for comedy purposes, but preferred employers not to find it. One of the reasons I now feel like I should change it is that my online comedic profile has expanded, and if you google me, you find references to me as a comedian. Thus, the point is pretty much moot, and it seems smarter to just go by who I am. I’m also very tired of the "what is 'danzorz'?" question I constantly get when I meet people and befriend them on Facebook. Thus, I've made the change.

(Final editor's note: the straight dictated version is pretty funny. I may post that at some point too)