reviewthislife

It's my world – and I'm grading it

The Brunswick Green

So back in February I moved from my home town of Sydney to its major Australian rival, Melbourne. Brunswick became my hood, and pretty much the first thing I did (outside of jumping into a Masters course) was check out the local pubs. I had many reasons for doing so, ranging from the completely legitimate and practical (looking for work!) to the slightly more… indulgent. I am a writer. A writer without a glass of wine is like a doctor without a stethoscope, an air hostess without red lipstick, a producer without a gram of cocaine… I need somewhere to sit and think and formulate and, like… drink. Also, I like a drink. So began my search.

The first thing that struck me as I wandered up and down Sydney Road, with a bunch of resumes and a twinkle in my eye, was the attitude. Having over ten years experience in the hospitality industry, I do have certain expectations when I go to a bar. I know that your job can suck harder than a Dyson, but if I am a decent person who greets you with a smile, give me one back, even if it’s fake. Requirement #1 for a potential local: don’t be an asshole.

The second thing that I look at in a pub is the cost. Sometimes a girl/woman wants to gracefully sip on an endangered grape from a region so exclusive that it’s about to collapse in on itself; sometimes she just wants a house red. Truffle infused Dodo egg on a bed of quinoa garnished with edible gold leaf and served on a wooden board? Sure, whatever floats your boat. But in a pub? I need access to a burger and fries for less than $20. This is, of course, a gross exaggeration, but I do not think that I am completely out of line in suggesting that Sydney Road suffers from a moderate case of wank. Requirement #2: a wine and food list with decent prices.

Add to these things a great beer garden and soundtrack, and you have yourself a contender for a great local pub.

I started coming to The Brunswick Green on a regular basis because of its amazing beer garden. An array of benches and tables suitable for 2-10, covered or sunny, some hidden nooks and amazing heaters for cold times. For the non-masochistic non-smokers: big comfy couches and a fireplace inside.

Then I realised that I could get a glass of red wine for $6.50. The difference between $6.50 and $8.80 (or whatever) may not seem huge, but when you’re a student wanting more than 3 glasses of wine, dude, that’s a free glass!

Check out this antipasto plate:

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Char-grilled vegetables (eggplant, mushrooms, capsicum) and semi-dried tomatoes, olives, salami, prosciutto, feta, dip (I always choose tzatziki) and bread – ALL THE THINGS!

$15

In fact, nothing on their menu is over $15, and it’s a nice menu:

tmp_IMG_20140720_165208-1181317404

I have been down here quite a bit, writing articles, marking papers, thinking thoughts, and nine point eight times out of ten I have loved the background music. I hear blues, daggy 80s pop, rock’n’roll, funk… one of my highlights has been finishing up underneath a toasty heater at last-drinks and mentally dancing the tango. It’s classic, it’s eclectic, and it’s pretty much always on the ball.

But what has really made the difference, what has really made this place stand out and make me say “The Brunswick Green is officially my local”, are the personal touches. It started with the genuine hello and the realisation that they remembered me, which is a small thing to many, but huge to someone who is new in a city and doesn’t know too many people outside of a couple of friends and their housemates. “Hello, I know you, how are you?” – it means so much to me.

“A glass of the Shiraz?” – yes please!

“I’m pretty sure all of the heaters are on out the back, but I’ll come out with you and make sure” – wow, thank you!

To have the bar manager and the owner ask you for your name, and to remember it without fail every time you come in – how lovely. To be asked what you think of the mulled wine recipe and whether you can recommend improvements – amazing.

And on a personal level, when things in my life have become quite shitty, they have not only given me a genuinely sympathetic ear but have also actively tried to help me. I am currently looking to move house and one of my considerations is proximity to this pub. Think I’m being overly sentimental? I spoke to a young woman in the beer garden the other night who decided to move into the area after having visited The Brunswick Green.

In closing, it’s Tony the Tiger levels of grrrrrr-eat. If you’re visiting the area, new to the area, or simply haven’t been yet because, I dunno, maybe you have an aversion to the colour green (?) – check it out.

8.5/10… because I don’t want to come across as a total suck up, and they’re closed on Mondays (and it’s now Monday and I feel like a drink).

This Article Titled “23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged When You’re 23”

Maybe I woke up grumpy today – that’s a perfectly redundant statement, I wake up grumpy every day.

Maybe I stayed grumpy today, maybe I’m extra tired… maybe the sound of screaming children at 7:30am punched a hole in my aura next to my heart and the darkness has rushed in like so much air infiltrating a vacuum bag that your cat has punctured with its big dumb claws. Or maybe I just really dislike asshole opinions and bad writing. Whatever the reason, this article is shitting me.

Overview: A 22 year old girl accuses her 22 year old fellows of hiding from life inside the institution of marriage and missing out on all the things, and provides a list of said things that you should do before selling out and settling down.

Hey there, sweety-dear – your view of marriage is not infallible fact. This view, that:

“It is a way for young people to hide behind a significant other instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows on their own. It’s a safety blanket. It’s an admission that the world is just too big and scary to deal with it on your own; thus, you now have someone that is legally obligated to support you till one of you dies or files for divorce.”

is limited, negative, and entirely subjective. It’s also really fucking condescending. If two people decide to get married, then they must be in a relationship to start with. And if they’re in a relationship, that usually means that they have feelings for one another. Who are you to make comment on that? You, by your own admission, at the age of 22, have no idea who you are and what you’re doing; why do you think, then, that you are qualified to pass judgement on someone else and what they’re doing?

I am 35 years old and I have yet to be in a serious relationship (I don’t think that what happened between 15 and 17 really counts). So when the topic of relationship advice comes up, do you know what I say? “I have never been in a serious relationship, so I’m not qualified to give advice.” That’s a hint to you.

I also highly doubt that you have “already experienced more of the world in the last 22 years than [your] married peers will ever experience in their life”. You’re 22, not 72, and for the first 18 or so of those 22 years you were doing exactly the same fucking thing as them: being a pain in the ass kid. Maybe if you were 32, minimum, and 8 years divorced from a failed early marriage, I would concede that you could be justified in giving life advice. Paradoxically though, 32-year-olds don’t generally go around telling people what to do, they’ve learned to keep their fool mouths shut and let people make their own life choices.

I won’t bother picking out the finer details of the article, pointing out that marriage doesn’t actually render you incapable of being able to “grow, learn, travel, party, cuddle, read, explore”, or that “those friends are going to get knocked up and fat soon soooo in retrospect, who really is winning here?” is the most immature, snide comment that I have read in the last… week, surely. I’ll leave that to you, the reader. What I am going to get straight to is The List:

23 things to do instead of getting engaged before you’re 23

1. Get a passport – “fill out a bunch of paperwork, pose for a stupid photo and fork out a wad of cash”; what a fucking achievement.

2. Find your “thing.” – You might find your “thing” at 15. You might find it at 50. Some people don’t ever find it, and even more people don’t actually have one. Most importantly though, marriage need not stop you from doing this.

3. Make out with a stranger – Did you never go to a dance in high school?

4. Adopt a pet – I… what? A pet??

5. Start a band – I… what? What cliched world have you lifted this one from?

6. Make a cake. Make a second cake. Have your cake and eat it too – Make. a. cake. If the percentage of people in the Western world who reached the end of their childhood without having made a fucking cake is higher than 10%, I’ll eat a fucking sock.

7. Get a tattoo. It’s more permanent than a marriage – That’s some stellar advice right there. Make it a Chinese/Japanese symbol for “moron” and place it on your lower back.

8. Explore a new religion – Why? What if religion doesn’t interest me?

9. Start a small business – Again, why? I have no interest in starting my own business.

10. Cut your hair – In the words of a friend:

“Really – get a pet? Make out with a stranger? CUT YOUR HAIR? Is she Amish?”

11. Date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face – That’s just nasty. Why advocate toying with people’s feelings?

12. Build something with your hands – Again, high school.

13. Accomplish a Pinterest project – Holy shit. Excuse me while I bow down in the face of everything that you have achieved.

14. Join the Peace Corps – see points 8 & 9 and adjust accordingly.

15. Disappoint your parents – I feel like a fucking parrot. High school.

16. Watch Girls, over and over again – That sounds like a valuable use of my time and energy, and if it’s going to make me grow as a person…

17. Eat a jar of Nutella in one sitting – you so ZANY!

18. Make strangers feel uncomfortable in public places – Welcome to my world, Sweetpea.

19. Sign up for CrossFit – No. I don’t want to. I have no interest in doing that.

20. Hangout naked in front of a window – zany AND sexual *reow*

21. Write your feelings down in a blog – Yes, I should do that immediately, before I fall in love and my ability to convey thoughts through words is lost underneath a never-ending pile of wet towels and faded men’s trunks with one small hole right underneath the waistband (big enough to be annoying, not big enough to justify throwing them out just yet). Also – HIGH SCHOOL.

22. Be selfish – Do you even know any married couples? Apparently that’s all they do.

23. Come with me to the Philippines for Chinese New Year – I think I’d rather have root canal surgery*.

*the funny thing about that is that I actually would, I have an infection that I’m dying to get rid of.

I appreciate that you’re living it up and having the time of your life, but not only do you not have any right whatsoever to impose your views on anyone, your views are also extremely skewed. I’ll discuss them over the weekend with my friend who just came home from an amazing trip to India with his wife, and my younger sister who married at age 23 and would not give up her husband and two sons for anything in the world. There is no: “It literally isn’t me, it’s them.” No one is making the wrong decision.

Also, just giving you a little heads up: you don’t actually have as much time as you think. See, while you’re running around becoming you, evolving into the sort of person that people will want to marry, other people are getting married. By the time you’re “ready”, your market will have decreased significantly, and on top of that, you’re going to be so worldly and experienced and amazing that you won’t be willing to put up with the shit that people your age now are willing to put up with. I can see your future – and there’s a lot of red wine and cat hair up in that shit.

2/10 – because you’re published and I’m not

Tinder

Yes, I’m a little late to the game, I know. But I’m not really a huge fan of online dating – to be more precise, I don’t like it. I don’t like the pressure that I feel there is to be impressed by someone (you’re looking, aren’t you? well then, why not me?). I don’t like the spiels and their cliches, all these people who “only live once” and who know that their pictures aren’t the best, but are positive that you’ll like them once you get to know them. The people who are “sick of playing games, so if you’re into playing games, don’t bother contacting me”. And fuck me if the entire Western world doesn’t like to have a good night out every now and then, but is also just as happy to spend a night on the couch with a DVD and a nice bottle of red. GAH!

So why am I using Tinder? Well I appear to have a terrible habit of falling back to online dating when I’ve been dicked around by a guy. That’s right, buddy, I’m gonna go out and get all the men, ALL THE MEN. Then we’ll see who doesn’t need who! I could have had them all along, actually, I just didn’t FEEL like it.

And so it goes that I just done gone got dicked again, and not in the good way. So here I am.

I have tried both RSVP and Oasis Active on a few occasions, and the experience is like… it’s like being in a bar full of sausage with a giant flashing neon sign over your head that says “SINGLE AND LOOKING”. The sausages all see this sign and regardless of whether or not they would normally approach you, they do. All of them. And you politely say no to about 98% of them. For the other 2%, you both then need to decide if someone wants to buy the other one a $20 cocktail so that you can start talking. Unless you’re using Oasis Active, in which case you’ll probably end up sitting out in the gutter drinking tinnies of VB.

I have also tried eHarmony, which is akin to visiting a small bar every single night. If by chance you happen to like anyone out of the 5 or so present at any given time, you communicate in Newspeak.

Tinder is like walking into a bar, scanning the room with your eyes and thinking “You, you, and you – you’re hot.” And if one of your hotties makes eye contact with you, you talk. This, I feel, is about as close to real-life as this whole virtual dating thing is ever going to get.

A massive upside to it, I have found so far, is that you don’t have to really go out on a limb to show someone you’re interested. It’s just eye contact, as opposed to walking over there with a giant glass with a little umbrella sticking out of it and getting knocked back. I know it’s online, and that they don’t know you (not the real you, amiright?) and so it shouldn’t hurt, but it does. Using Tinder, I’m free to say yes to whomever I like, and the only way they will know that I have is if they have also said yes to me. I like that.

Another thing that I like about it: minimal personal information shared. All of those dating sites are so concerned with making sure that you meet your “perfect match” that they don’t stop to think that maybe you don’t need to know all that stuff straight up. That maybe it’s better if you actually don’t know. Remember, we just met – I just think you’re cute, is all. Let me enjoy the feeling of finding out that we have the exact same taste in music. I don’t need to know that you’ve spent the last two years traveling and are now trying to settle back into the real world and you don’t feel like you have any friends, not yet! And please, just let me enjoy the fuzzy rush of attraction brainjuices without judging you on your atrocious understanding of the written word. Who knows, if everything else is good, that might not even matter! But if you give me the chance to reject you for it right now, we’ll never know (and same goes for you rejecting me for coming across as a cynical, sarcastic genius).

Again, let’s keep it real. Tinder runs out of facebook, and basically the only information that is shared is: A/S/L; some photos; mutual friends; mutual things liked on facebook. It’s like walking into a friend’s birthday party, spotting a cute guy/girl you’ve never seen before, and then maybe at one stage you both hum along to the song that is playing. And then you talk about it.

At the very least, you might get laid that night.

I created my Tinder account Monday night and it’s now Wednesday afternoon – less than 48 hours. I’ve been swiping pictures left (for no) and right (for yes) with almost absolute abandon, free of the fear and guilt of rejection (both receiving and giving out). I’ve got 7 matches, which is waaaaaay more than I was expecting – unfortunately there’s no real way of avoiding the awkward online conversations, but I’m hoping that I’ll find some quality in amongst all the “so how was your day?” (it was shit, it’s always shit! but you don’t need to know that right now!).

This review is a work-in-progress, so I won’t be giving any sort of numerical grade, not right now anyway. For now I give it: so far, so kinda ok.

UPDATE: It is Sunday, meaning that we’re approaching the end of the first week. I have seen so many photos of men that it’s starting to affect the way that I see them in real life. I’m looking at ALL THE MEN, and my eyes are mentally flicking right or left to accept/reject them, never mind that Woolies is not a real life dating program and they’re not actually there to show that they’re single – they just also happen to be buying potatoes right now. I feel like I’ve become something of an expert on the subject, and I’ve seen some pretty baffling things, so I thought I would use this update to give the men out there some friendly (or not so friendly, depending if I’m putting shit on your style or not) advice about profile pictures.

First of all, in this day and age, there is really no excuse to not have at least one clear frontal photo of yourself, just one that shows your facial features and your natural eye colour (apologies to any vampires/devilspawn reading this, your red eyes are lovely). This app is entirely dependent on the photos, we need to be able to see you. Hiding your face behind ski gear, motorcycle helmets, a dog, or some strange gauzy mask made of layers of cotton wool and blur, is not conducive to getting the green light. When you first download the app and set it up it automatically picks photos from your facebook profile for you, but these can be changed. Review your profile and pictures and choose those that don’t simply defeat the entire purpose of doing this in the first place.

Have more than one photo – if you only have one photo of yourself, it doesn’t matter how great it is, we will think “he only has one good photo of himself” and will probably pass. Give a cross-section that allows us to compare and check for consistency. Photos of dogs, sunsets, etc, are completely useless.

Having friends is important. To some women, photos with friends is evidence that you’re affable and socially capable. But photos with friends is not going to help your cause if a) ALL of your photos are with friends and we don’t know which one you are, and/or b) you and your friends kinda look like pack-rapists when you get together and pose.

Having female friends is also important, but I would advise against having too many photos up there with your arms around some beautiful woman. Try to look single. Wedding photos where you are not obviously a groomsman are an absolute no-no.

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it does happen

And ok, I understand using your photos to give a little bit of insight into yourself, I’ve done the same thing! My selection reminds me of Krusty the Clown showing his “range”, there’s daytime makeup cute smile shot, whacky onesie shot, cheeky wine shot, professional ZOMG shots… the many faces of me! But GAWD, am I sick of seeing the following:

  • surfing
  • dogs
  • snow-boarding
  • dogs
  • fishing
  • diving
  • dogs
  • tourist shots that show the places you’ve been… oh, you like to travel? I like to travel! It’s a match made in motherfucking heaven

Yes, I see it… I’m a cranky bitch and that’s probably why I’m single and trawling dating apps, whatever.

But my last piece of advice is for a very special bunch that I’ve come across a few times now. I’m talking to the pre-pubescent boys trying to use Tinder to get some Mrs Robinson action. Sweeties, darlings – cap your age at 20, max. (and then pray some hot moron comes across your profile).

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UPDATE: Here we are at the one week anniversary of my original post. My “match” list is now numbered at 16… 16!! That’s more requited attraction than I’ve had in the last 1o years. The list is running off the edge of the screen, dripping off it, forming a little pool of validation on the ground… it’s almost on par with having heaps of people “like” something I’ve done on facebook. But for this whole “dating” thing to work, there needs to be a next level – conversation. Out of my 16 “matches” I think I can safely say that I have had two interesting/amusing conversations, one of them being some banter about the habits of highly effective unicorns, and the other being with one of my best friends [male category]. Everything else can be divided into three groups:

  1. Polite small-talk about weekends/weather
  2. Variants on the “let’s get sexy” theme, such as “you seem cheeky”, “that’s hot”, and “a massage would help *wink wink*”
  3. Waiting for a response/first message

The third group is currently in the lead, with number 2 probably coming second.

One of my best friends [female category], who was inspired by the original post last week to reactivate her account, is officially over it and has deleted it again. I’m determined to give it some more time though. It’s my usual way to give up on these things, to find fault and dole out shit… regardless of how good I am at it, though, I need to fight the urge. Hell, it’s Christmas! Holiday times! Persistence could reward me with a date/chat/snog/otherthing – at the very least, it gives my finger something to do while I’m hungover.

It is frustrating though, and apparently it’s worse for the guys. I don’t agree with the notion, though, that we’re the ones with all the power, that all of the pressure is on the guys to man up and impress us – I try, I really do! I look at your photos and pick up on conversation-starters, if you have something written in your profile, I’ll read it. I’ve tried the “mutual interests” tactic and the “acknowledgement of something in your profile”. I’ve tried “acknowledging that this whole thing is awkward and I’m just trying to say hi”. Sometimes I do try the “screw this, you can be the one to talk to me” – lately I’ve simply typed out the conversational prompts that the Tinder app gives you verbatim and had a giggle.

Time, give it time… I mean for all I know, these people could have lives. It’s almost as if they don’t have to spend every spare moment plugged in, as if they’re happy to amuse themselves with past-times both interesting and trivial, and only think about their being alone on random vulnerable occasions. As if the constant buzz of thoughts in their minds hasn’t settled into a metronomic counter, marking the death of every hour of every night in which some kind of connection could have been made, but wasn’t. Shush, do you hear that? That’s the sound of a minute passing by in which I did not try to quell the ennui via the internet…

FINAL UPDATE: When did I begin this?? December 2013… here we are 6 months later and I have recently remembered that this whole Tinder thing is a thing, and that I wrote about it, and now I have to finish that off.

First, some stats from my experience:

  • # of men who didn’t disappear after one week = 1
  • # of “hook-ups” = 0
  • # of party-pashes = 0
  • # of “in the flesh” meetings = 0
  • # of men who reached the phone call stage = 0
  • for God’s sake, woman, did you get anything out of this??

No. No, I didn’t.

There is this image, though, which I am going to use to wrap/sum this whole saga up. Oh, Tinder! You just keep being you 😉

No. We cannot.

No. We cannot.

 

FOR REALZ FINAL UPDATE: I lied. I lied to you all. It wasn’t over. But mostly, I think, I was lying to myself.

You see, when I wrote my “final update” I actually had a Tinder date lined up. I told myself that it was the “Sydney Saga” that I was wrapping up. How is the Sydney Saga any different to the Melbourne Saga? Well, I guess I was telling myself that things were going to be different down here… that Tinder worked down here… that yes, I was going to meet a guy, and that it wasn’t going to be the same old hogwash I’d been writing about.

It was indeed different, but more in the sense that I haven’t been exposed to such nutjob levels of inane rambling since my days of handing out flyers outside of Kings Cross nightclubs at 4am (on a Tuesday).

This man, we’ll call him Danny (because that is his name), is pretty darned handsome. He passed all of my tests: he could chat; he could spell; he wasn’t Sleazy, Dopey or Grumpy… he’s Polish, raised in Paris, has lived here and there and could speak to me of books… and then he called me, spoke in a fairly articulate manner and we organised to meet.

Saturday 2pm came round and I found him at the appointed place, and even as I was sitting down I was thinking to myself “girl, this ain’t right”. He looked at me like I was the only woman in the world, which is lovely – except when you get the creepy feeling that “the world” is “his basement”. Of what we spoke, I could not rightly tell you, because the entire conversation was uncomfortable (me) and incomprehensible (him)… tripe! Basically. Utter tripe. Sentences begun and not finished, repeating himself, cutting me off, staring at me with arrogant, dirty eyes, starting a thought, trailing off, staring some more, and talking about realities, how dating should be awkward, it’s good that I’m uncomfortable, more about different realities and different planets, staring at my boobs, and what does he have to do to end up spooning me tonight? I am still quite literally gobsmacked when I try to recall and make sense of anything that was said.

The highlights included:

“I mean, you’re a total bogan, you’re sitting there and you exude bogan, but you’re an intellectual…” – him

“To look at you, you wouldn’t think you had any degrees. I’m serious.” – him

(I have 3)

“Just give me some of that fucking house stuff.” – him, to the waitress of the really nice establishment we were in

“I have to ask… are you high?” – me

That’s actually one of my theories, that the big night he’d had the night before was actually still going (guy couldn’t even pick up his wine properly at one stage). The other two theories are that he does this on purpose, takes girls out and then sees how long they last listening to his offensive and crazy bullshit, or that I was suffering under some kind of nerve gas attack at the two precise times that he called me.

For the record, I lasted about half an hour. I stayed that long because the champagne was $19 per glass and I’m too nice to walk out without paying my way (so damnit, I was finishing it). But walk (eventually) I did, after telling him that “this conversation is incomprehensible, I have no idea what you’re saying. I’m uncomfortable and I’m feeling awkward. You called me a bogan and I’m really offended… so I should leave.”

Fin.

“Is this really the end, though?” – I can’t blame you for asking, I’ve led you on before. But I think we can safely say that I have been scared off Tinder for good.

And when the inevitable day comes and I’m sad and drunk and lonely, and I whip it out again – I promise not to bother you with it 😉

The Haunted Vagina

The first question on your lips is going to be: “why?” And I’m afraid that, like many of the decisions I make in life, there is no real answer. People do all kinds of things just to be able to say that they did: eat bugs; swim with sharks; have a threesome. I read a book called “The Haunted Vagina”.

The Haunted Vagina, by Carlton Mellick III, belongs to a genre of fiction known as “bizarro” (a word that I had previously only heard inside a cheesy Sandra Bullock film). And that is exactly what it is: bizarro. I could just leave this there and feel that I had done an accurate job, to be honest… but I wouldn’t be too proud of myself. So we’ll continue, shall we?

But if you are planning on reading this book for yourself, you’d best stop here, because I am going to give the plot away.

Our protagonist, Steve, is quite possibly the most laid-back guy in all of motherfucking history. Like, Moses – he was pretty open-minded, yeah? He goes out one day and sees a bush on fire, it starts talking to him, and instead of wondering whether some funky herb he ate was playing tricks with his mind (or it might be a toomah?) he just accepted that it was God having a natter. Just rolled with it. And told a heap of people about it, all cool-like, and then they all rolled with it too. That’s… yeah, pretty open-minded.

But this guy, Steve, is engaged in a mutually beneficial oral sex act with his girlfriend when he hears a voice coming from her lady-region, continues with the act as her stomach swells so much that he is lifted several inches and, after an exquisitely timed orgasm, watches as a skeletal figure starts clawing its way out of her vagina. He’s such a sweetheart though, he doesn’t run; he instead helps to drag the creature out of her, kills it, covers it with a blanket – and then takes her out for a drink.

Turns out her vagina is a portal to another dimension.

Yep.

And Steve is pretty cool about it.

Long story short: he goes spelunking inside her lady cave, comes out the other side, meets the locals and metamorphoses into one of them, and then lives forevermore inside the secret world that now exists inside the baby she falls pregnant with after having some casual sex (and almost drowning everyone in the process… I’ll let you think on that) because she’s jealous of Steve falling in love with a freaky-deaky rubber girl in… there. In there.

Oh god *facepalm*

I would like to take a page from Steve’s open-minded book, though, so I’m going to try not to rag on the subject matter and plot. To each their own, ja? And it’s because of the subject matter and plot that the book works, and by “works” I mean that you keep turning the pages. Because you simply have to know what the fuck is going to happen next. And it does have some genuine ZOMG moments. Like when Steve places his ear to her vagina and it’s “like listening to the ocean in a hairy flesh seashell.” Or when he is struggling to make his way through her love tunnel and he has to “push the meat ceiling up with the back of [his] head as [he goes].” Or, or, wait, my favourite: when the inhabitants of her inner dimension feel an earthquake and all gather to watch the cliff-face that contains the entrance (ie. her cervix) and “a geyser erupts out of the side of the cliff, a burst of white fluid. Then another burst of white fluid. Then another.”

(and there’s your answer to the question I placed in your mind earlier)

Hey, I just said “ZOMG moments”- I didn’t say in what sense ;)

I have to say, though, in a totally non-snobby way – the writing is pretty bad. Like, ok: “The cries are coming from one of these houses. I can hear them coming out of a window. When I slam open the square metal door, the cries stop. I search the ground floor. It is empty of statues and furniture. There’s nobody here. I take the winding stairs.”

And then I was hungry. I went into the kitchen. I took two pieces of bread and I placed them in the toaster. After they toasted, and I spread them with butter, I ate them. You get my drift?

But you know what? This guy has a market. He has a following. This story fits within a genre, a genre that exists (look, proof!), and this Carlton Mellick III has published something like 40+ pieces, while I sit here bitching about shit on a blog that no one reads.

So I’m going to give The Haunted Vagina, as ridiculous as it is, 4/10. Because I paid $4.99 for it, so fuck it – he wins.

haunted vagina

Aussie Bodies

So I was making my way to work today, walking the 15 minutes or so to my bus stop, when a bus of a different route drove past me. “Hmm,” I thought to myself, “if I’d caught that to my bus stop, I wouldn’t be so late for work.” And then the bus was well ahead of me, and I saw the back of it, which had this ad emblazoned across it:

protein

Words really cannot describe the bullshit contained therein… but I’ll try

At which point my thoughts took on the form of “Fuck you, assholes!”

I don’t really need to explain myself here, do I? You can see how fucked up and dangerous this is?

I am going to explain, though, because I’m cranky.

Stage 1 of perceiving this ad: “High self esteem comes from being physically attractive”

That is essentially what it’s telling me. In order to have high self esteem, to have a high regard for my own sense of self worth, I need to be slim and pretty.

“But ad,” I said to the back of the bus, “I don’t place such a high value on being thin. Like, I want to be thin, and I want to be pretty… but the things that really make me feel good about myself come from elsewhere.”

Stage 2 of perceiving this ad: “Your values are wrong”

It’s right there in larger than life image and text, this is what is going to make you feel good about yourself, and if you think differently, you’re wrong. There is no room in this ad for “if you happen to place a high value on physical appearance then being thin will make you feel better about yourself, and we believe our protein bars might help you to achieve that.” No, it said to me, no no NO, the things that you think make you a worthwhile person are wrong. WRONG.

“But ad, like… if I’m wrong, and you’re right, and I don’t look like that… what do I do to fix it? HOW CAN I FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF??”

We need their product, of course.

The hypocrisy at play here is so glaringly blatant and obvious, but you know what? I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t even see it themselves. The company’s name is Aussie Bodies, and a google search brings up the following by-line:

Aussie Bodies promotes good health and fitness through protein supplements and drinks that gives you energy and nutrients for weight loss and bodybuilding.”

My head is seriously spinning, eyes jumping around from “good health” to “drinks that give you energy” and “weight loss”, “supplements”, then back to “good health”… you see it too, yes?

This spiel on the Vitamin King website claims that “Aussie Bodies is a rapidly growing, progressive Australian company dedicated to nourishing both body and mind” – how is telling everyone that they have to be thin and attractive in order to be worthwhile human beings going to nourish their minds? I’m stating the bleeding obvious here and I really hate doing that, but holy shit… amirite?

Have they even considered what “self esteem” actually is? I really hope not, because then they would also understand the effects of having negative self esteem. And to know that, to fully understand it, and to exploit it to try to make sales – that’s fucking despicable.

Hey, Aussie Bodies, you know what powers MY self esteem? Getting praise for my writing, and good marks at uni. Getting my head around a philosophical concept. Having friends who think I’m pretty awesome, that I’m a nice person with intelligence and humour.

And you know what fucks with my self esteem? Thinking too much about what I look like.

Another good thing about being me is that I can handle this, I know that it’s bullshit, and I’m not going to let it dictate my sense of self worth and make me feel bad about myself.

The more impressionable ones, though? You’re gonna fuck them up, Aussie Bodies *slow clap*

There isn’t a scale that a grade for this could be placed on… just imagine a steaming pile of dung with a used tampon sitting on top, that should adequately express the rating that I’ve given it.

The Basement Sydney

At some stage in the last 10-12 months, I discovered the music of Olafur Arnalds. This entry is not specifically about him, thank god, because I don’t think I have the words to explain how much I love what he does. It’s just stunning, perfect music. When I found out that he was coming to Australia I promptly lost my freaking mind, bought tickets to see him here in Sydney, and then ticket/return flights/hotel room for the Melbourne show too. Like, I really love this guy… really. In order to better understand what is to follow, have a look at this: my favourite youtube performance of his. And for good measure: I’m linking my favourite song again. And now that we’re all nice and prepared:

Screw you, Basement.

We all know that I have a tendency to ramble, so I am going to try to keep it somewhat in line by grouping my gripes as follows:

Their bar service sucks ass

The Basement itself is an underground space with seating/stage/bar and food, but up the stairs at street level they have another bar, and it  was here that we met up with some friends who were not going to the gig for some drinks beforehand. My friend and I went to the bar for a couple of glasses of red, got our hands on the one wine list, and made our choice. And waited – which is fine, it’s a small bar and there were a few people waiting. But then when it was my turn, the bar guy grabbed the wine list off me and handed it to someone else, and then looked all aggrieved and surly when I could not point out which wine we were after. My friend remembered though, and told him – he then grabbed a completely different bottle and was about to start pouring when I told him it was the wrong one; “This is all we have”, he told us, again with all the surly, which irked me to no end because a) you don’t simply start pouring another wine because you’re out of the one that was asked for, and b) there were numerous other wines on the shelf behind him, one of which I chose in preference to the one he tried to force on me. And c) don’t be an asshole.

The subject of dinner came up. The top bar that we were in had a burger menu only, which was not suitable for the vegetarian in our group, and when asked about other dining options the staff had told our group that more food was available downstairs. This was confusing to us, as “downstairs” is where the event was happening and only half of our group had tickets and were attending. After some discussion, it was decided that we would split up, those of us attending the gig to stay behind for burgers and the others to head elsewhere. So I approached the bar at 7:45pm on a Friday night to order a burger and was told that “the kitchen is closed. There is more food downstairs, but they’re really busy and probably won’t be able to serve you.”

Okay then!

Small matters on their own, but all up, a pretty shitty service experience.

We almost missed the whole fucking gig on their advice

There was some confusion as to when Olafur would start, because the tickets simply said “6:30pm” and the website said “doors open 6:30pm”. So one of our group, who got to the bar before me, asked the staff. She was told that the support act would start at 8:30pm and that Olafur himself would start at 9:45pm. Heaps of time, right?

So after our burger attempt at 7:45pm was thwarted we went to the pub next door and ordered food, figuring we had time to quickly eat and make our way into the venue in time for the support act to start. At about 8:30pm, when we were about to start heading over, we received a text from a friend already inside asking where we were and telling us that the support act had just finished and it was jam fucking packed. We ran down there, got inside, found our friends, and I quickly used the bathroom. As I came out, Olafur had started – it was that close. Another friend of ours had to come from Slip Inn and was lucky enough to get a lift. Had he not, he also could have missed it.

They ruined the performance with noise pollution

Firstly, I note that when I was using the bathroom there were signs posted on the backs of the toilet doors that said something to the effect of “Olafur’s performances contain moments of extended silence, we ask that you respect them”. So they know what he is like. They know what the experience is like. And to the audience’s credit, everyone shut the fuck up and stayed shut the fuck up for the entire performance (which is no mean feat for a big group of people).

Our group were situated on the right side of the stage as you are facing it, and almost as soon as Olafur began, we could hear chatting, laughter, furniture being moved, high fives… so much noise, and really disruptive. After a particularly loud burst ruined a particularly poignant moment, I took it upon myself to see what the hubbub was. I made my way through the people, passed a barrier and turned a corner, and there were the stairs joining the basement to the upstairs bar, and this is where the noise was coming from. I quite forcefully told the security guard standing there to tell them they needed to shut up because they were ruining the performance, and it worked for about 20 minutes, but then started up again. Clomping up and down the stairs, laughing, shouting… what can I say, it was fucking infuriating (and before you latch on to the fact that I’m a whingy bitch and assume that it was only annoying me, no, everyone in the same area as me was affected by it). They asked us to respect the artist, but not their own staff, and the performance was seriously disturbed by it.

To sum up:

  • Their bar service sucks ass
  • We almost missed the whole fucking gig on their advice
  • They ruined the performance with noise pollution

Olafur himself was perfect, amazing, beautiful, ALL THE THINGS… but boy, am I glad I have another performance to go to in Melbourne, because if that had been my one and only, I would have been extremely disappointed. The Basement, as a venue, tainted it.

4/10

Seven Days of Lite n’ Easy

rubi shoes

My 1,096 word review of rubi shoes:

Seriously, rubi, what the actual fuck? I have had these shoes for less than 6 weeks. I have not worn them every day, but even if I had, shit, I’m not climbing mountains in them, or fighting zombies. I’m just walking. Awkwardly, now.

Stupidly, I purchased these shoes to exactly replace a previous pair of rubi shoes that practically exploded on my feet when I tripped at a train station. I literally replaced them right there in the store, placing the new shoes on my feet and the fragmented shoes in the shopping bag. Never again.

2013-08-07 10.20.22

EDIT: Later that night…

2013-08-07 22.08.55

Warning! E.L.E Extinction Level Event Cover Up! Aug 2013!

I thought I would try my hand at reviewing this Extinction Level Event warning that my sister found on Gumtree.

1. a) Kudos to them for upholding their responsibilities for all that time! I would have told someone within 12 minutes of hearing it.

1. b) Ronald Reagan could not have known about it in 1983 if the idea originated in 1995. To make this work you would need to expand the conspiracy, for example: maybe Reagan was one of the Zetans?

2. If they have indeed known about it for 30 years, if it’s that big, I would think that we would have noticed something happening a lot sooner, yes? Something more substantial than the illusion of two suns? It makes no sense that *now*, July 2013, one month before the big event, is the time that the whole cover up is coming undone.

3. a) This is how clouds are formed.

3. b) Speculation, overruled.

4. Chinese TV would not be showing pictures of it if, as you claim, every government agency is part of the cover up.

5. As a technique, I find this to be too simple and cliched – it just so happens that your local paper has a picture of the phenomenon? Too convenient, consider revising.

6. Ok, is it a star? Or an entire solar system? You really need consistency here, this object is your entire argument.

7. Again, I’m coming up against some temporal and spatial issues. Is it orbiting our sun only? If so, it’s teeny tiny and pretty slow, taking 3,600 years to do one loop, and has had no affect on our planet. Or is it orbiting our solar system? If that were the case, see point 2 – it would be affecting other planets in our system by now, and those effects would be noticeable.

8. Contradictory advice – “Go to higher ground… Japan’s tsunami” implies flood action that will be caused by an internal tremor, but then you tell us to get us far underground as possible to hide from solar activity. You haven’t made the threat clear – “chaos” only works as an outcome when the threat is supernatural, eg. “The thing brings chaos wherever it goes!” If this is a real, physical event, it needs to have a real, physical outcome.

9. You know, we do have a Prime Minister. I don’t understand why everyone is always standing around waiting for the US to tell us what’s what.

10. What’s your source on this? You cannot give an exact percentage with backing it up.

11. You’ve got two temporal markers there: “one day” and “3 months ago”. One is enough.

SUMMARY

Spelling/grammar: appalling. I have no other words. You do not have to be an acclaimed researcher to know that bad spelling and grammar will instantly negate your claims in the eyes of the reader, so FFS, type it up in Word first and note the squiggly lines.

The theory itself is not an original claim by Steven M, so he can’t really be held accountable for it. What he can be blamed for, though, is his failure to note the inconsistencies and check the facts. I understand that he would be in a hurry to get the word out and warn people as quickly as possible, but an extra hour or so to plug up the holes would have made all the difference to the feasibility of the claim, and more lives would be saved in the long run.

Advice-wise, I’m torn on how to respond… “stock up on food and water and hide underground” may add credibility to the claim by being relatively commonsense, but it’s not nearly as exciting as, say, “wrap your firstborn in Alfoil and hide in a vat of cordial”. Either way, I’m just happy that he hasn’t done what the original harbinger of Nibiru Doom did, which was to advise the world to euthanise their pets and, potentially, feast on their carcases.

2/10 – as thanks for the concern and well-wishes.

Midnight Son

A friend of mine mentioned on Facebook the other night that she “really needs to stop watching romantic comedy movies… [because] this stuff never happens in real life”. At this point my natural inclination is to quip that there are better reasons for not watching rom-coms, but I can’t actually do that in good conscience, because I have a few in my collection. Anyway, what she appears to be saying is that romantic comedies are creating unreasonable expectations and, I guess, making her pine for something that is never going to happen.

For me, this completely far-fetched romantic ideal that is prevalent in all of these films is actually a bit of a God-send, because /begin rant: I don’t want to pine for love. I don’t want to wish that I had love. I can’t even complain that love has kicked me in the ass too many times, because it hasn’t; it has simply refused to acknowledge my existence. When love waves at me, I gush at it and wave back before realising that it was actually aimed at the person behind me. When I say something to love, it looks the other way and starts a conversation with someone else. So fuck you, love, two can play this game, and so long as ridiculous Hollywood flicks are throwing ridiculous romantic plots at us, I can pretend that you’re not actually real.

Wait, what is this post about again?

Ah, yes… Midnight Son.

I wasn’t even really keen to hire a movie that night, I was only wandering around in there after returning something else because it was so damn cold outside, and even after it catching my eye, my noting the few obscure awards it had won, and reading the spiel, I still didn’t think it was going to be a good movie. I wanted to go out and get nicely drunk, not sit at home alone with a bad horror flick. But I didn’t actually have anyone to go out and get drunk with, and as I didn’t trust my ability to find such a person, I hired the movie “just in case”.

And then I watched it, and now I’m fucking lonely. Because this isn’t some ridiculously convoluted plot with unbelievable characters doing shit that never happens in real life, it’s two messed up people awkwardly getting past the bullshit and feeling feels for each other, and it’s exquisitely done.

The entire thing is beautifully shot, and its characters unique and immensely more believable than the usual “types”. It’s engaging, suspenseful, and its plot markers nice and subtle (and one thing I can’t stand is having “the point” rammed down my throat, as if I’m too stupid to make my own connections). Zak Kilberg is amazing, seriously, dude can ACT (and to sweeten the deal even further, he’s stupidly hot).

I don’t even know what else to say, this movie is good. And I hate on a lot of movies these days. I couldn’t sleep for hours after it had ended because my empathy/suspense fires were all lit, and I wanted to tell a whole lot of people what I thought of it but there was no one awake at 2am. I’ve been wandering around for three days now unable to shake the feeling that there is something missing in my life, and it’s because of this movie.

You should watch it.

Oh yeah, it’s a vampire movie.

8/10

(because 10/10 is, like, Pan’s Labyrinth level good, and something about the cop character at the end didn’t sit right with me)

https://i1.wp.com/www.getdvdcovers.com/wp-content/uploads/Midnight_Son_2012_WS_R1-cd-www.GetCovers.net_.jpg

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