Monday, November 30, 2009

The Art in Departure


If you live in Ramsay Street,
keep out of the bush!



Girls wear make-up to impress boys;
Boys wear tattoos to impress girls.*


Owning a Danger powered device is a kick to the Side.**


Getting off of a bus well puts the
art in departure.


There is the possible,
and then there is getting Who’s The Boss? season two on DVD.


Only one faith drives Toyota Taragos.


*Smartest thing I have ever heard somebody with a mullet say.
**Pun Inten...Woops, Danger software does not allow you to finish
that sentence. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Alone

Today is Thursday, that’s actually quite amusing, the memory of the last time that I actually did something with friends is quite vague, that might be because it was last Friday. Looks like I can safely declare myself a loner, a forced one at that. The cause for this proclamation of negativity, as I sit slumped in my chair, is the fact that I am depressed about it, not heavily, just a little, because to put it simply, I am not built to be this way, alone that is. I am not a one-man show, I need some lots of consistent social stimulation, fuck, I need some friends, and I have no idea how to go about getting them.

For those that didn’t know me before, let me tell you what I once had - I used to have multiple best friends, a handful of people that I was able to message and plan something spontaneously within hours and whatever was planned would be a success, I used to have a group who I could laugh with and be funny, I had a friend whose house I could sleep at for nights at a time, it was like a second home to me, I had friends that would turn up at my door at strange hours, I had a handful of people that I could’ve planned a party with days before, I had a bunch of people that I would do things with almost every night, and not one Friday or Saturday night was spent alone unless I chose to, and this was, at most, while I was at school five days a week. Evidently, those days have passed for me, since that bunch of great mates have departed, I have never been able to reform an adequate bundle of people that are able unlock that treasure chest that keeps me happy, I just have a few people here and there that hardly call and because of that, just to plan something in even a few weeks time means me messaging several different people without success, it means sitting at home Friday and Saturday night bored out of my mind, it’s midnight rides on my bike to nowhere, it means that I no longer have any stories to tell other people, I have no body’s house to crash at when I am in a certain area, no body that I can just call and speak to; I feel as if I have no one, and this is while I’ve been taking the year off to hang out and relax; ironic, right? The friends I actually do have, which consists of only one male, are always too busy with study or too tied up with other people so it’s virtually impossible to grow close with anyone, no matter how eager I am, as I said, I have virtually been home in front of this screen for six days now, with the exception of eight hours of work and when I went out to get a few things.

I bet I know what you’re saying ‘Just go out and make some friends’, if only it were that simple. It has now become clear to me that, now that all of this has happened, I have no idea how to make new friends, not that I am saying I can’t, I didn’t do too badly for myself back then, I mean I am a very conversational person, a good flowing conversation is like sex to me, and because of that, I can make friends with anyone as long as the activity calls for it, by that I mean, work mates at a new job, weekend sport, pushing weights in gaol, whatever, but when it comes to things like saying hello in lines at the supermarket or a how’s it going? while getting a drink at a bar I have recently discovered that I am atrocious. I can do it, of course, I have no qualms with going up to a girl and speaking to her, but what if she sees it as a pick-up or what if I want to befriend a guy? This is where my social issue lies. You’re probably also saying to yourself ‘But he did it before?’, I actually didn’t, you see, every friendship I have ever had I have fallen ass backwards into, they have either been friends of friends, work mates, school mates, family friends, and the reason that this method is now failing me after so long is because of this social life I no longer have, in other words, you need friends to have friends of friends and I am shit out of them; it’s a vicious circle with a slap in the face half way through.

So, I started a new job and started sailing on the weekends, both of which have given me next to nothing in the friend department; what to do, what to do. I realise that the alarm bells are ringing and that it’s time to stop pussy-footing around, complaining and being unhappy about how socially under stimulated I am, I just have to work out how to meet new people without a middle-man introducing me, like I’ve been used to. It looks as if I have a bit of a battle ahead of me, I think.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Facebook-ing & Paranoid

If you are paranoid about people knowing things about you, then delete your Facebook account. Some people that I know are majorly paranoid about their information getting loose yet they have a Facebook profile to their name, funny I should say that because one of which is so paranoid that she can’t even bring herself to disclose her surname, which is ironic as Facebook’s database of full names is a signatory feature of the service, a matter of fact, she is so paranoid that I sent an SMS asking her for the name and I was forced to prove that it was indeed me who was using my number in order to get an answer from her. Why somebody with paranoia that extends to that magnitude would join a site which makes use of thing called a lifestream and is purely designed so that everybody knows what you are up to when, I don’t understand why you would join in the first place; just delete it.


Monday, November 16, 2009

The Music Industry

I just downloaded Harvey Danger’s third studio album Little by Little… – for free – off of their website, and it got me reading their explanation as to why they were doing it and it brought up some thoughts from back when Minutes to Midnight by Linkin Park got leaked before its release. So now it begs the question, is the music industry surviving the holocaust of sales that is peer-to-peer music sharing?

More realistically, are our beloved musical artists now depending on and grasping tighter onto live concerts and guest-appearances to compensate for lost numbers, as opposed to what they release to Compact Disc where the sales should be coming from? Logically, judging from the considerable difference in cost between walking into an entertainment venue and walking into a record store, I would assume that the most money has always come from live entertainment, I mean when The Beatles were around, they did shows for Queen Elizabeth II, but does this advancement into the future have musicians breaking a sweat about ticket sales in lieu of record sales?

The downloading of music is illegal, yet socially acceptable, but only because it wouldn’t be easy enforcing that law. I download…everything. Let’s put it this way, my music library is nearing two thousand songs, my physical CD rack has fifteen albums on it; yes, I am quite ashamed. To my defence though, most of the albums on that rack were initially downloaded and listened to but were then subsequently bought by me in the act of support years later. So when Harvey Danger said that ‘plenty of music lovers in the world will buy a record once they’ve heard it’, I am semi-righteous in that sense, and who knows, one day I may walk into a store and decide to grab a copy of Little by Little… or Day & Age by The Killers or any other album that I downloaded and loved in the same act of donation when I was buying the other albums, but let’s just say that I don’t, am I, and everyone else who has done this, crippling what is essentially people’s careers? Record sale figures aren’t exactly the most full-proof way of finding out; they differ from album-to-album for all types of reasons. However, it would seem that each time a big artist is bringing out an album in a week’s time, it gets leaked onto the internet and it is quite easy to find someone that possesses a music library much like mine, which is a clear enough indication to me that this is a growing problem, I might even go as far to say that most of the people with an internet connection has some sort of illegal collection of tracks. In that light, kudos to those that spend their change on iTunes music cards and such, but that springs some more thoughts.

I love the effect that technology has on our lives, but on music, not so much. Paid downloading is something that I refuse to contribute to. It seems to be the way the industry is dealing with illegal downloads, which in part, I have contributed to such a change, but it’s probably the only part of technology that I am not so happy with. When I pay for music, sure the tracks are what I want, but it’s also that physical element, the experience even - waiting months and months, finally walking into the record store to see the same album cover you’ve seen in your dreams sitting five-times on the shelf, holding that case with that name on it, flipping through that booklet with those people in it with art that those same people created, the album logo filling that empty space on your CD rack; the click of a link just doesn’t have that same effect on me, unfortunately. You see, some people may say that this is thinking far down the track, but the existence of things like the iTunes music store and the fact that I can no longer walk into a JB Hi-Fi and purchase a music single indicates to me that this ball has already begun rolling.

“Whether or not people will buy something they can get for free is obviously a big question, and there are facts and figures to support both sides of the argument.” This is why I ask these questions. I don’t believe that people will ever stop making music, but as time progresses, will what we call the music industry further age until it no longer has any money value? I mean, the money means nothing to me, but if that time comes, will it mean that all of our rich pop stars will pack up shop (which would please me) or will it mean that even our good musicians will seem less prominent, not gone, but perhaps harder to find (which would please me less)? If that were to happen, then money would have a more considerable meaning to me. As well as this, in fifty years time, I don’t want clicking a link on an online music store to be the closest we can get to physically pulling out a booklet full of album art about the songs that I would be listening to at that exact moment, I want that slot filled on my CD rack, even if it’s filled on my media player too. I may be a serial-downloader, but for those bands that I am actually willing to empty my wallet out for, I don’t want MP3 to supersede the disc, just like CD did to vinyl. At the cause of what I have done and how technology helps us do what I have done, I fear for the music industry’s future.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Bread & Marbles

I had this friend, I have seen her everywhere; she’s been a customer at work, a girl coming out of a pub restroom in the city, but at second glance, she has been a bunch of girls that aren’t actually her. It’s peculiar, for someone that I haven’t seen for years, I’ve seen quite a lot of, and I am not too sure why.

A girl on the opposite side of the road - I was fourteen and she was my best friend and maybe my only friend at the time. She was the type to walk around with a short-skirt, liquid-thick eyeliner and black-stained hair. Thing was, she was a user, in all the ways that you could imagine, she wasn’t healthy and you could probably say the same for our friendship. Confidently, I could state that the friendship that spawned itself in 2005 and withered away the following year was the time where, with her, I met all the people and built all the foundations that have made me the person I am today. So as a result of this augmented version of myself that was born that year, I grew some sense and ended it, and I haven’t seen her since she was committed to hospital around that same time.

A commuter on a passing train - This is the thing, as far as I know, I don’t miss her, I’m not hung up on her, our friendship ended way past it’s expiry date so I have no regrets, so why is it that when I see someone that looks as if they have dressed for a sexy-funeral, like she always did, that I start to freeze up at the thought that it is in fact this girl from my past. Perhaps, I am thinking too far into it as I always do; it might just be that between each member of this dark subculture that the attire of each individual is much alike, or even just the fact that, between her and the rest of the people that I once held close, she is the only one that I fail to bump into on the street. Who knows? Who cares, really? It makes no difference to my life.

That girl in the group photo - I guess having these previews of what it’d be like to be face-to-face with her is just a shock to my system, seeing someone that I was so close to and that I disposed of so quickly such a long time ago. Since last seeing her, I’ve pretty much forgotten about her, but for these brief moments, I am reminded that she ever existed, it hits me pretty hard. To be quite honest, with the way things ended and the way I suspect things are in her life, I would prefer to leave the past in the past and keep seeing these imposters, because the day that I am actually staring into her eyes, I’d be staring into the print of a chapter in my life that she wrote and that I concluded, and I want that chapter to remain at that conclusion.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Issues with Tissues

We all have our idiosyncrasies, those little characteristics and habits that are particular to our day-to-day lives, some good and some bad. I consider myself to be quite idiosyncratic, aside from your usual page three fear of heights, clowns, spiders and whatever else, I am quite picky in the activities I involve myself in and how I do them.

Tissue Phobia
I know myself that this belongs in first – I avoid tissues, always have. It isn’t a germ thing, clean tissues bother me too. It’s that soft, flaccid ply of paper that can be torn apart, soaked and fused together into a ball; describing it to you right now is even making me a little ill. It’s been a prominent issue since before I can remember. At the behest of this phobia, I am forced to make use of hankies, as it is my only option. It’s not only restricted to tissues either; when I was younger I would often eat at Red Rooster, and there would be those little wet towelettes and they would similarly make me want to be sick; what a disgusting invention. Serviettes are fine as long as they remain dry, that goes the same for paper.

Public Pools and Beaches
Public pools is another big one – I don’t take public pools very well. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy swimming in water that hasn’t been changed in months which is the home to thousands upon thousands of other people’s filth, fuck that! If I wanted to unintentionally swallow a mouthful of somebody else’s piss and step on used bandaids, I’d go stick a used needle in my arm. School was the worst with forcing me into a pool, I am a fine swimmer but if the pool isn’t in someone’s backyard or in a complex of units or hotel rooms, you most likely won’t find me in it.

Going to the beach isn’t such a big deal. I love going to the beach with mates, and to me, nothing beats sitting on the sand and watching the waves crash. What I have always had an issue with, however, are those beaches that have moored boats just behind the waves, most likely leaking out oil and other chemicals, or some old sewerage (most likely no longer running I will add) pipe running into the surf (one of our Sydney beaches have this), like I said I can think of other fun and colourful ways to get diseases.

Can I have a sip of that?
Ah, no. It’s called meningococcal, and it sounds awesome and all but it doesn’t appeal to me, so I try my hardest not to share drinks.

Twenty-Minute Late Rule
It would seem that I have befriended every chronically-tardy person in Sydney, and for that, I came up with the twenty-minute rule. Only applied to those that I deem notoriously late, the rule is simple: If our meeting place is a place other than my home, if the person has not communicated to me that they would be late and if they have not shown up within twenty minutes of the time that we were meant to meet, I leave and consider myself ditched, no questions asked. At times I have broken the rule and called them on the twenty minute mark and then ended up staying, but for a select few I haven’t been so generous.

Boxers and Briefs…together
Yerp, I wear both…together. Well, I am slowly phasing out this unnecessary habit and am making good use of trunks, but for years now I had always worn both. The way I saw it was, the briefs would offer me the support and protection I required and the boxers would allow me to comfortably wear my clothes over my underwear. I know it’s strange and to be truthful, I can’t really justify it.

'BEEP, BEEP'
I am a guy that loves his cereal. I can have it no matter what time it is (like Jerry Seinfeld). I also find it boring just eating one cereal at a time; I usually mix every cereal that I can find in the pantry. My standard bowl contains Weet-Bix, Nutri-Grain, Honey and one or two bananas, but it varies at times. Although sometimes I eat my cereal cold in the summer, I have always found that the intricacies of my cereal bowl in the morning are better enjoyed hot (and not just the milk; everything), especially in, but not restricted to, the winter. I guess I got the idea from porridge, but pin pointing a definite reason or even the age in which I began microwaving my cereal would be difficult.

Fear of Cows
Just kidding. This is my mother’s doing - I am a soy drinker, but I am in no way lactose intolerant. My only intolerance with dairy is the way that it causes me to have minor cold symptoms, and I suspect it has been the culprit behind some of my flus, so as long as I have thirty cents more in my wallet, I can easily avoid it.

Peas and my fake disease
My gosh, I have an ill-loathing for peas. Tissues and dirty beach pipes may only be enough for me to dry-reach but peas have actually been successful in being spat out with the rest of the meals I’d eaten that day. I am not a foodie like some are, but personally when I am eating texture can sometimes become a more distinctive trademark than taste is in some cases, and this solidly applies to my hate for peas. That little squishy burst of whatever the hell it is in my mouth, I can’t stand it, its torture. Love corn; hate peas.

Problem with this is, I also like my fried rice, and what does fried rice commonly have in it? Peas! Usually I have no trouble with asking for fried rice without them, plus it usually means that they will make a specialty batch for me which improves the dish, but on the odd occasion that I get refused (which has happened!), I have been lost-for-words mid-argument; this is where my fake legume disease was born. Even though I know that legume diseases only in normal cases extend as far as peanuts, but what I do know, however, is that if I were to be in their position, I wouldn’t want to be arguing with someone that claims to have a disease, I mean, the cost of making a new batch of fried rice is considerably less than a loss of business and a discrimination lawsuit if you ask me.

Right, right, right
When telling long stories, I am often told that I say ‘right’ a lot at the end of a sentence, for example, ‘So I just said whatever and got into the car, right?, right? It’s a bad habit, and I think that I do it just to make sure that you are still following.

Food of the sea and boneless meat
I am what you might call a poultrarian. Basically, I have never eaten seafood and now as a result, if the meat didn’t breathe air, then I don’t eat it; once again, my parent’s fault, not that they don’t love their seafood. I also prefer to eat meats that don’t have bones in them, but it’s simply just an ease-of-eating thing so it isn’t a big deal.

Fear of Heights
Any need to explain? Looking out the window of a plane has never bothered me and I do one day want to skydive but when it comes to looking down that little gap at the centre of stairwells or looking straight up at skyscrapers, I get a bit tense and a little dizzy.

Right?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

McJanitor

I have a big problem with fast-food employees. When I see someone sporting a McDonalds, KFC, or any other fast-food corporation’s logo, what I see is laziness, and the fact that it’s difficult to walk into one of the aforementioned food outlets and point out someone that isn’t currently going through puberty denotes a growing laziness among today’s youth. It goes janitor, garbage collector and then fast-food employee; it doesn’t get much lower than that. My question is, when there is an array of alternate jobs available out there, why do kids still insist on whoring themselves out for six dollars an hour only to do what every other bite-sized minion of this don't-give-a-shit generation has done before them, in other words, be lazy?

I’m not saying that I am some intellectual, I’m not even saying that when it has come to job hunting myself that I have done so proactively, I haven’t, I myself have even looked for easy opportunities for jobs in times of numeric desperation just so that the tedious task would end, but nevertheless, it's still as easy as dropping in a resume and by doing just that I have had opportunities at casual positions that pay over twenty dollars an hour, so when it's that easy for me to earn such a considerable amount by just chucking a few pages around, then why have people gone 'ah well, I’ll just waste eight hours earning chump change'? It’s either people are just too stupid to realise or too lazy to take advantage of opportunities that are virtually being given away. The only excuse that I will ever accept is if you aspire to win yourself a managerial position in which on multiple occasions I have heard that McDonalds (to pick at one) gives great experience for future employment, and to those of which have chosen that path, I say good luck to you, but for a steady job, even if you gave me an excuse, I would still be stupefied.

It just goes to show what we are heading toward, a generation of kids who lack the initiative and attention-span to think for themselves; the creativity that is required to make a unique decision is beginning to get lost in the vague midst of teenagers that grow up in this country. I don't want to make the prediction that future employment will consequently be effected, like our big-time money makers, but I certainly won't rule this out as a reason if we have issues. So, to those that are out there shoveling fries or aren’t practicing customer service at a register in some oily shithole, go out and get a real job.