Wednesday, April 30, 2008

UPDATE: Red Sea Hair Part Girl Strikes Again!

If you remember the post about the woman I saw on the train that had her hair parted all the way down to her neck, then you'll appreciate this.

I saw her again, and what's even better is her hair petting boyfriend works in the same office building as me.

I tried taking a photo of her hair because it was doing the same same weird parting thing, but she wouldn't turn her head in the right direction, thus not allowing me to get a clean photo.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

When the kangaroo punches back.

Since I moved to Australia, I have been waiting patiently to see some wild animals. I mean, isn’t the general perception of Australia that everyone commutes to work in a kangaroo pouch, and instead of dogs, everyone has a koala? Don’t dingoes eat babies EVERY DAY and the drink of choice is Fosters? And I have yet to see the headquarters of the restaurant chain Outback Steakhouse because seriously folks, that is obviously an Australian company.

Moving on, I finally got my chance to see some wild animals in their natural habitat (zoos are for the weak animals). While visiting Kangaroo Island this past weekend, I saw loads of beasts – koalas, echidnas, New Zealand fur seals, Australian seals, loads of birds, and of course, kangaroos. It was an amazing trip and I'm happy that I got to see such an amazing place.

The next day, I signed up for a wine tasting tour that took me to the Barossa Valley. After visiting the area, I still prefer the Napa Valley, but the Barossa is still very nice, as is Adelaide and I had quite a good time. However, while stopping for lunch, I made the fatal mistake of ordering kangaroo. I can honestly say that I had qualms about eating something I also wanted to cuddle, but I thought it was a chance to try something new, so I went for it. In retrospect, I should have gone with my gut feeling of “You like to cuddle puppies. Therefore you would never EAT a puppy. You don’t like to cuddle chickens because they will peck your eyes out. You can eat chickens.” Just after the first bite, the kangaroo meat in question lodged itself in my throat. At first I thought, “This is a bit embarrassing. Hmm…let me drink some water and maybe that will help. Well looky there…the water won’t go down. I’m choking.” At this point, the other diners noticed what was happening. A woman grabbed me from behind and started the Heimlich maneuver while another woman shouted at her that she was doing it wrong. One would think that I would be scared at this point. Perhaps it was the shame of not being able to swallow food properly at the age of 26 or maybe it was because I couldn’t stop thinking about what an awesome blog this incident was going to make, but I really wasn’t freaked out. Finally, someone hit me on the back as hard as one could imagine, the kangaroo meat dislodged and flew across the table, eventually landing on the floor. Oddly enough, the wadded up piece of meat kind of looked like a fetal kangaroo, which I believed is called a “joey.”

Despite the fact that my lunch had fought back, I finished the meal. Hey, I was starving and not much I could do about it. However, I chewed each piece until it could have been sucked through a straw if I had wanted. So what is the lesson to learn from all this? Don’t eat anything you want to photograph (seriously, who wants to photograph a cow?) and chew your food until it’s liquid. Also, for all the militant vegetarians reading this blog and thought that I would renounce my meat-eating ways, I guess you feel pretty gypped to know that I finished the meal. And I’m laughing my ass off about this.

When you least expect it, every clock is ticking down FOR YOU.

Last week, I was the last person in the office as I was tying up some loose ends in preparation for the long weekend we had in recognition of ANZAC Day (to my American friends, ANZAC Day is like our Memorial Day, but generally focuses on one specific Australian/New Zealand war-related tragedy). I had decided to walk home from the office that night to get some exercise, so after changing into my work out attire, I went back to my desk to pack up my purse, tidy up my desk and put on my walking shoes. While bending over to tie my shoelaces, I heard a noise. An ominous noise. As if I was in a film and the scene had suddenly gone into slow motion, I turned my head in the direction of the sound. On the wall, there are maybe seven or eight clocks, each noting a different time zone in the world by representing a city in which my company has an office.

The noise I was hearing was the synchronized ticking of all those clocks. It was as if they were trying to say “Time up Mary Ann…tick-tock…tick-tock….”, and obviously the clocks sound like Alfred Hitchcock or that scary, cross-dressing “Put the lotion in the basket!” character from The Silence of the Lambs. Needless to say I hauled ass outta there and all the way home. And when I say “hauled ass,” I mean walk really fast, because let’s face it, everyone knows my rule of only running whilst being chased AND only if I’m being chased by someone wielding a weapon that could cause some damage. So unless one of those clocks pulled some sort of Walt Disney Fantasia* on me and came to life and sharpened one of their clock hands into some knife-like weapon, I think I was probably pretty safe. Or was I?! No…I probably wasn’t.

*Come to think of it, I think I could have inserted any Disney movie where Fantasia is mentioned, as I’m pretty sure that every Disney film features a clock character. I’m going to do some research on this, but I think we can already exclude The Jungle Book and Pocahontas.

Krispy Kreme mania…or glaze-induced epidemic? YOU BE THE JUDGE! MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

On a flight to Adelaide, a total of six different passengers boarded a flight carrying boxes containing a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I’ve never seen such a consolidated group of people so enthusiastic about Krispy Kreme doughnuts…well…outside of the groups of Krispy Kreme customers I’ve seen inside the actual Krispy Kreme stores. There were enough people on the plane carrying Krispy Kremes that even one of the flight attendants mentioned so over the intercom system after demonstrating the safety procedures on the plane.

So as a result, I ask you, the reader, would you use one of your carry-on allowances to transport Krispy Kreme doughnuts from another state (in this case from New South Wales to South Australia)? As for me, I will admit that I had never thought of transporting large amounts of doughnuts across state lines, but after being on a flight in close quarters with such a wonderful snack food without the option to eat a doughnut myself (What self-respecting person would ask a complete stranger on an airplane if they could have one of their doughnuts when it’s obviously a prized possession that they are willing to carry across state lines?), I began to have a hankering for some glazed goodness. Who am I to say “no” to a doughnut? And that my friends, is why I was a fat kid.

Truf – Airport bathroom.

It is a universal truth that if you have to go to the bathroom at the airport and you hold it in until you learn that your flight has been delayed, you still shouldn’t go to the bathroom. Inevitably, if you go to the bathroom to relieve yourself, the airline will revert to the original flight time and you will have to rush. Truf.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

100% Guarantee I'll befriend some wild animals.

Hello reader -

As of 4 p.m. Sydney time today, I will be on vacation in the southwest of Australia, specifically Adelaide and Kangaroo Island. Apparently Kangaroo Island is ripe with wild animals, so it is very likely that I will (at least attempt to)domesticate some of them and bring them back with me. I think it's the only way I'll have any friends in this city - if I train some kangaroos, wombats, koalas and seals to hang out with me.

Some of you will be getting postcards. And for the rest, expect some exciting blog posts upon my return. I'm sure the airport will be full of weirdos and one can only hope that I sit next to a fat guy on the plane journey - that ALWAYS give me material to write about.


What do you think of the new site design?

For those of you who are less observant than some, you may have missed the little survey I set up at the top of the blog on the left hand side. Please take all of a millisecond to let me know what you think of the new design. Also feel free to post your comments here about features you would like to see or any other suggestions for improvement. If your suggestions suck, I promise to not publicly ridicule you (for too long).

Mary Ann

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I need a butler.

With so many people asking me about my dinner last night at Tetsuyas, the 9th best restaurant in the world, I feel that I should fully disclose something.

After eating at that establishment, I have grown a monocle and a pair of white gloves. The photo accompanying this blog post was taken of me this morning.

Turn that frown upside down...wait...don't!

Does anyone notice how the photo of the little chicken in the previous post looks like he/she is frowning? That's so cute. And depressing. It's like the baby chick is gazing at the broken egg and realizes it is witnessing the death of a sibling. I'm so deep.

I now feel about 0.00000000000007% more guilty about eating eggs. But not spatch-cock. Spatch-cock!


Last night, I ate at Tetsuyas, the ninth best restaurant in the world according to S. Pellegrino, the folks that make the scary, bourgeois water.

The food was good, but my god...the meal lasted for FIVE HOURS. I lost count of the courses after plate number 6 but holy christ almighty reel it in folks. Just put all the plates in front of me and let me go at it. If this was the process last night, I would have been in and out in an hour. I wold have plowed through that cold saffron soup and spatch-cock and had the check by 8 p.m.

And that my friends is why I'm high class.

Also, why researching whether spatch cock was one word or two, I came across these alternative meanings of the otherwise delicious game bird (Thank you Urban Dictionary):


A serail drunark who continuously gets smashed, hits on women well above his league, tries anxiously to phone his on/off girlfriend and repeatedly crashes out due to exuberant use of a glass of beer. Welcome to the world of the spatch-cock.

1 beer: Marc says "hows life guys?"
2 beers: Marc says "fuck off ya bawbag"
3 beers: Marc says "Your a chamsie shatner"
4 beers: Marc says " They all want it, every last one of them!"
several beers later: After picking 3 fights with his own pals, Marc decides to wander aimlessly through the night club, hiccupping on his journey, trying to find the nicest girl to get slapped from. "Marc, you alright?"
"Im fine ya cunt"
"gie that burd peace, shes not interested!"
"they all want me, hiccup"
"Marc, were going hame, come on"
"aye wait up, I hate yous, I hate yous aw"
"Aye, very good Marc, ya spatch-cock"

2. spatch cock

Slap your cock so hard the spatch cocked almost pass out with pain

"anyway last night i spatch cocked her and then i had to take her to the hospital...she had 10 stitches"

3. spatchcock

Reddening of the penis after beating off with a spatula

Monday, April 21, 2008

Parting of the Red Sea version 2.0

A few weeks ago during my usually non-exciting work commute to North Sydney, I had a genuinely unique experience…well, unique to some people, primarily the types that can be described as “extremely bored.” Typically, I wander off into my own thoughts, listen to my iPod and watch the world go by, specifically the traffic on the Harbor Bridge, but that day, something else caught my attention. The man next to me was petting the hair of the woman sitting in front of us. Of course, I gawked, open-mouthed and completely amused by what I was seeing. My thoughts ranged from “Why is -?” and “What in the he-?” I was too confused and/or excited to complete a sentence.

A few moments later, I noticed that the woman being petted was having a bad, if not unusual hair, day, and that the man petting her head was in fact, her boyfriend. I only figured out the boyfriend part of the equation because he moved to the seat in front of me to six next to her once the train emptied out.

But back to her hair. I would say it was mostly unusual, not bad per se. It was as if she had parted her hair all the way down the length of her head. As a result, she had a perfectly formed part starting from the crown of her scalp all the way to her where her hair line ended. I should have taken a photo, but I was too mesmerized with out ridiculously perfect her part was. I was also amused as she kept running her hand through her hair, but only to have it fall perfectly back into place with the awkward part.

About five minutes after I noticed this lady's hair debacle, her boyfriend told her why he had been molesting the back of her head. He was noticeably embarrassed by her hair’s decision to be an asshole and not follow its regular routine of…well…just hanging there. He kept trying to fix the problem and she sat motionless, letting him pull and tug and try his hardest to get rid of the part. It took everything in my being to not pipe up with “Stop it! This is just like Moses parting the Red Sea! Look how PERFECT that part is! And it goes all the way back! And may I say, you have a lovely scalp – what products do you use?”

Now I will say that this scary hair issue by no means trumps other events/terrifying displays of humanity (such as the thong) I’ve seen on public transportation systems (at the end of the day, this lady just had a shit hair day, plain and simple). The New York MTA is still the reigning champ of holding my amusement, and I honestly miss all the weirdos and freaks riding on the subway every day, such as the Hispanic woman who defied convention and plucked her chin on a crowded Downtown F train, or the British businessman who fervently picked his nose for half the island of Manhattan on a Downtown 6 train.

Also, please take note of the photo I have included: Was Moses really of African-descent? Let's discuss!


As my faithful readers will notice, So I saw on the subway today... has a brand new look, courtesty of EWP Design (a.k.a. my sister, Whitney Porch). Pretty cool looking, huh?

I'm hoping this new, sleek design will draw more readers to the site and encourage more involvement from you, the reader. Post comments, opinions, etc. It's great to see you getting involved and being just as much a part of this blog as I am.

Additional spin offs of So I saw on the subway today... are already in the works and will be debuting in January 2009, but some of you lucky ones might get to see the goodies in advance as your creative and artistic input will be needed and used.


A big congratulations to my friend Peter Ha who has just been named one of the Top 100 Bloggers in the U.S. by TechCrunch! Congrats Peter. Obviously your connection to me has sky rocketed your popularity. See, my charm and charisma ARE contagious!

Congrats friend:)

Also, check out Peter's new photo blog,

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Autumn in April = the most nonsensical phrase ever uttered.

The smell of roasting almonds on the streets is missing

Trees are still green, no specks of orange, yellow or red

Unlit Christmas decorations are not being hung downtown in preparation

Cozy bars in the Village aren't packed with the conversations on Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas

Pumpkins aren't for sale at the farmer's markets

Seasonal drinks are not on the menu, no one has ever heard of Pumpkin Spice or Gingerbread lattes

It's autumn in April and I miss New York when it's spring.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Something to think about.

I learned today that in Australia, people still pay money to see the band Matchbox 20. Yes, that Matchbox 20. I know, who would have thought?

I thought the band went to hell once the rumors started about Tom Cruise having an affair with the lead singer, Rob Thomas.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Poppy Odyssey: My ongoing, non-vocal battle with my neighbor

I always knew Poppy was an asshole. You know those types: snotty for the sake of it, think they are better than everyone else, like to hear their voice over everyone else's. Of course I'm speaking of Poppy, my neighbor's dog. Once again, what an asshole.

I'm not sure what breed category (besides douche bag) Poppy falls into. He's a lap dog, that's for sure. He's white with long hair and if you can imagine a dog that every old lady in the entire world would like, well...that's Poppy. I've thought about asking my neighbor what type of dog he is, but I don't think I can start the conversation off with "What kind of dog is that little asshole?"

Poppy and I did not get started on the right foot. My first encounter with him was a day after I moved into my new house. Poppy was on the look out next door, and as I often do with animals*, I said "hello dog." Instead of providing a heartwarming confusd stare like Sir Scrapsalot, the neighborhood cat**, Poppy proceeded to bark and snarl. I wasn't scared - he was locked behind a screen door. It was more obnoxious than anything. Here I am trying my best to be nice and make friends and this asshole pulls attitude. For those of you that know me, you know that I've had about enough of that since moving. At his point, I didn't know Poppy's name. I simply called him "the asshole dog next door."

My feud with Poppy reached a whole new level when he began barking at everything I did. Now I don't know if he can see through walls, but that damn dog would bark if I turned a page in a magazine. Brushing my teeth? Hell yeah Poppy, bark! Plucking my eyebrows? Oh, Poppy knew. The clincher was every time I opened my window at night to let in a breeze, Poppy would bark. And bark. And bark.

A few weeks after the first window barking incident, my roommate asked "Don't you just hate that dog next door? He barks at the drop of a hat! His name is Poppy." My enemy now had a name.

The other night, our hatred reached a fever pitch. After opening my window, Poppy began his usual protest. I had reached my breaking point and could not control the emotions that boiled over.


Shortly after, I heard Poppy's owner shuffling him into the house, whispering something softly, most likely "Watch your back Poppy. She might be into animal sacrifice."

I haven't heard Poppy in the past several nights. Ideally, he's been neutered and is suffering from the death of his testicles and has implemented a silent protest against the act of making dogs "non-breeders." In reality, he's most likely being kept inside due to the foul weather we've been experiencing in Sydney. All I know is this: I'm saving up my money to put a squirt nozzle and hose to attach to the bathroom sink. The second that dog pipes up, it's water fun time. If I don't blow a non-deadly adoption of acceptance regarding minimal noise making into that dog, I'm going to open up the lines for you reader: How should I silence Poppy (and don't say kill him - I might hate him, but I can't kill an animal (excluding rodents)).

* I only speak to animals when no one else is around, such as Sir Scrapsalot. I'm not talking full-blown conversations, but more along the lines of "Hi Sir Scrapsalot. Did you get any dinner tonight? No? That's a shame because I'm not going to feed you either. Better luck next time."

** Sir Scrapsalot follows me down the street now, due to our friendly relationship. I've explained to him that although I appreciate his company, I am allergic. He respects the boundaries and stays at least five feet away at all times.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Virgin Mary just appeared in my boogers.

I just sneezed and whatever flew out of my mouth and/or nose just made the shape of the Virgin Mary. I swear to God.

This reminds me of the time I was walking by the Church of Immaculate Conception on E. 14th Street and I could suddenly feel birthing pains. This really happened. I'm not even Catholic!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cheese gratin' irony.

I'm not much of a cook, but suddenly I've decided to take the plunge and become one. On Monday, I found a recipe for mac and cheese on the Food Network's web site, and psyched myself up enough to actually go to the store and buy the needed ingredients.

Bitches, I actually GRATED the cheese myself - none of this pre-grated, cheese in a bag bullshit you can buy at the grocery store. And did I make a sauce that required spices? You better believe your paprika and bay leaf I did. And can you believe that I have come down with a damn cold and was only able to taste the first couple of bites due to a stuffed up nose? Well, you better effing believe it. All that effort and only 2.5 seconds of taste. Sonofabitch.

HOWEVER, I think I'll have another chance to taste the outcome of my labor. I was sort of eyeballing the measurements as the recipe was in American ounces and the tools I was working with measured in British metric. In the end, I made enough mac and cheese to last me for at least a week and half, both lunch and dinner.

My next goal? Chili. I've discovered that my roommate has a giant pot that is just perfect for making some sort of beef and bean concoction. ( :: insert fart jokes here :: ).

Monday, April 7, 2008


While getting my hair cut on Saturday, the obligatory question once the stylist heard my accent was asked: "Where are you from?"

Then, she asked me something that no one has asked me since I left America - "what do you miss most?"

Well, here's my list:

1. I miss being able to call my family and friends whenever I feel like it. I'm now relegated to the brief window in the morning between when I leave my front door until I arrive at the train station. The time difference sucks - plain and simple.

2. I miss being around people who understand my sense of humor. I think my sarcasm comes across as rude in Australia. And for those of you who know me, you know it's virtually impossible for me to NOT be sarcastic.

3. Bodegas. In New York, you can't walk five feet without running into one. Sure, the milk on sale might be crunchy, but at least you can count on them to always have milk.

4. The New York subway. Now, I can honestly say that I NEVER thought that I would miss that sonofabitch, but man, you can't beat the convenience. There are subway stops everywhere, so no need to take a bus or walk for 30 minutes.

5. Really good pizza.

6. Living no more than 20 minutes away from some of the greatest friends in the world.

7. Only being a plane ride away from the Midwest.

8. Watching Strangers with Candy with Emily.

9. Watching the Food Network with Jessy.

10. Wandering around the West Village with Damien listening to him say "Not breadloaf, is baby!" about 50 million times in 37 minutes.

11. K-I-C-K-A-S-S cupcakes.

But most of all, I miss the energy of New York. No other city in the world has it - nothing seems impossible there. I can't wait to have that again.

P.S. My new hair cut rocks, by the way.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

If I knew how to do a cartwheel, I would have done one...

As of Sunday morning Sydney time, the University of Kansas Jayhawks defeated the University of North Carolina and are on their way to the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!

Memphis Tigers - Watch yo back. You don't even know the shit storm that is approaching.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

What's more disturbing - YOU BE THE JUDGE!

Yesterday, while walking to the train station for my commute to work, I saw a girl that was dressed like she either:

A.) Was partaking in a "walk of shame" after a long night of NOT sleeping at her own house and still had on the clothes from the night before.

B.) Has really flexible judgement on what constitutes "work appropriate" attire.

Either way, the outfit was crap. Imagine if Wonder Woman and Ally McBeal morphed into one - yeah, that's what I said. Has your brain exploded yet?