Wednesday, October 23, 2013

She No Like the White Man!

In terms of racism, I don't have a real lot to complain about because I’m white, and thank god for that shit! But I've never been met with so much racism as I have whenever I’ve tried to take an Asian girl out on a date. Them bitches were racist, and there’s a lot of that going around.

If you're a white guy and you're dating an Asian girl, there is no girl you cannot get, because most Asian girls have no interest in us. I mean, you'd have a shot with Megan Fox, Asma al-Assad, any of the nuns from Sister Act - by my standards, completely unattainable women. In the romantic-marketplace, to Asian females, we're like the condom section: they walk straight past us as quickly as possible hoping no body saw us near them. Ekhhh! A white boy! Get me an oriental man ASAP!

When I say that though, I’m talking about young people like me. You can be white, but if you're over fifty and that bitch came in an envelope, that doesn't count. Don’t be expecting any pats on the back from me.

And It’s not that I have a problem with rejection or anything if that's what's swimming around your head; receiving or dealing. Quite the contrary in fact, I find rejection somewhat cathartic. Beats the shit out of having awkward begrudging sex, that's for sure! It’s the reason I was denied that frustrates me. It has nothing to do with my muscle-tone, my height, my weight, my teeth, my geriatric-cynicism, it’s my race. I was at a Filipino girl’s sleepover once, unbeknownst to me, nobody was actually going to sleep over. So that left me, stuck in some trainless suburb in the middle of the night, and she joked about what her parents would think waking up in the morning and finding some 'white boy' sleeping on their couch. Now, I’m sure she was just kidding around, but I was less than amused because that was some racist ass bullshit! It’s because these girls don’t see a person, they just see an asexual walking white box when they look at people like me, sort of like what you would put over an ex-wife in a really nice picture of your family, and aside from guys, no body wants to have sex with a box.

Who knows? Maybe I’m the one that's racist. Perhaps I’m the one walking around with the deep-ceded sense of superiority over other races, and how dare one of them reject me? Maybe this is my mechanism for dealing with my own bigotry, by pointing my pale finger at the race in question. Eh! Who knows? Just talking shit. Shit-ballin? Ew, no! I take that back!

Bullshit aside, that's why whenever I see an Asian chicky-babe with one of my many white-brothers, I fucking rejoice. I could take that couple by the hand and break into a scene akin to the black gospel churches lead by James Brown in the Blues Brothers. Amen to that shit!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Dollars & Recentments

I actually have a lot of respect for thieves, because at least they're doing something other than whinging! Unlike some...

Like the law-abiding, low to middle class. When it comes to money, all they do is whinge, whinge, whinge! And in my head, I’m like “Why couldn’t you just rob me? I’d prefer it!” I'm a middle-class guy. Of course, things could be better, but I could also be selling heroine to ten year olds out of a Mr. Whippy truck, so things could be much worse. I've always appreciated growing up middle class too, because most of the people I've met that were born into money I'm pretty sure have lived their lives with paper bags over their heads. But somewhere in my middle-class schooling, I must have been sick the day they taught us that we should resent the rich simply because they can write bigger cheques. We hate the wealthy! How do I know this? Because the main and most common complaint among non-wealthy folks like me about the upper one percent is 'if they have so much money, why don't they just give shit away for free?' And that makes zero fucking sense!

These people have such a bittersweet and delicate sense of entitlement, I don't know where they get that from.

They say things like "Why do these headphones cost so much, Sony have lots of money?" "Why do I have to pay for parking, Frank Lowy is a billionaire?" "Why aren't Michael Jackson's albums free, he's loaded (and dead!)?" But all I hear is: Stomp! Stomp! Whinge! Whinge! 'Why do they have more money than meeee? Not fair!'

What? Is there something that we don't understand about money? Is this the reason why we don't have a lot of it, because we're so dumb that we don’t know how to play this big Monopoly board we live on? Maybe it's because most of us haven't read the rules. One of the principles of the game is the more property and houses a person owns, the more money other people owe them; where did we get the idea that it was the other way round? It's this crazy notion that the heavier the pockets, the higher the lower classes should be lifted. But the rich don't stand on a balance-beam with the poor, they're in a whole different playground. In fact, every business lives in it's own playground, and like children, we the consumers play, play, play!

The rich aren't somehow duty-bound to the poor and there isn’t some rich rite of passage stipulating that from there on in they need to make concessions to the poor simply because their are a lot of numbers in their bank account. Sure, it would be nice, I'm not saying that it wouldn't be nice, but not everybody is like Bill Gates! And even he's not giving Windows away for free.

The funny thing is that the ninety nine percent are happy to hand over kings ransom amounts of money to business-owners they deem to be of equal or lower class to them, but if they meet those same people later on down the track whom have had ten or twenty years to build their business and have had the time to make sizable amounts of money as a result of that hard-work -"Fuckin' rich arsehole! Wanting my money! Fuckin' dick!" The same person and they would hate them! What these classes fail to appreciate is that most rich people were like us once. Not all rich people are Kim Kardashian, they're actually more like rappers. They're born with little money but then went out and earned lots of it, and now they're rich; you think they would know that by now, it's in like a million hip hop songs!

I'm confused. Is it also not understood that the whole business thing doesn't just somehow change the moment a person becomes successful? It's exactly the same as when they started with peanuts. (Whatever that means? Do poor people eat a lot of legumes? What's the deal?) The company may be bigger now, bigger account, more staff, but the core-concept of business still remains exactly the same - they earn money in return for a service or product. Very, very simple stuff! (No Economics Degree required)

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of attending Westfield's Annual General Meeting where nine percent of shareholders voted for the Australian Mr Selfridge himself to step down as CEO of the company; nine percent, I soon learnt, is a lot. The reason? They felt that he, Frank Lowy, was earning too much from the company. In fact, get this, 'too much' in their minds was anything at all. They wanted him to work for no pay because, wait for it, the Lowy family already has enough wealth, so why should they have anymore! What's this bullshit that they're already wealthy enough? Get over it! Now, I know that I have no experience in shareholding and I did also get the impression that the shareholders felt that his pay grossly outweighed his current contribution to the company, but so what! He's one of the founding fathers of the company! Here's a man whom not only grew up with no money, but he also grew up as a Jew in Hungary during World War Two, not exactly something you want to be at that particular time in that place if you like your freedom. Then, while most of us would spend the rest of our lives whinging and crying on the leather couch (which we do anyway), fifty years ago he moved to Australia, built a department store in Blacktown and since then has turned it into a multibillion, multinational company. As far as I'm concerned, with all the time already spent coupled with the heartache of his childhood, he can do as little work for as much money as he wants! Even if I did have money tied up in his company, the man has paid his dues!

It's not that I want to bang the guy, but I'm just giving you a classic example of rich people resenting richer people. Instead of ‘why should I pay so much for these headphones, you're a rich company’, it's ‘why should we invest in your company if you're going to get paid, aren't you rich enough!’

So, it just goes to show that it doesn't matter: poor hating the rich, rich hating the richer, it's all the same fuckin' shit! People resent others whom have more money and they expect them to pay for things. So for anybody whom has anything more to comment on how the rich should somehow serve our financial needs, here are some instructions on what to do.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

James Caan’s Phone Policy

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If this were the 90s then a no phones policy would be absolutely relevant but, alas, it is not. That's why if you're my boss and you see me at work, you are going to get hell'a angry, my friend, because it's 2013. I'm not sure if you've walked into a phone store or crawled out from under your rock in like the last decade, but if you have then you would know that phones can do a little more than call, text and make monophonic ringtones, leaving these policies with more holes than James Caan's car in The Godfather. However, since absurdity always prevails, workplaces and educational facilities alike continue to pump fuel into James Caan's no phones policy, despite the fact that the phones that this policy was originally intended for hardly exist anymore. So if it's antiquated and makes no sense, then why aren't I eating toast right now instead of writing this post?

To kick this off, let me ask the question: how would you even define a mobile phone these days? Because I'm going to jump ahead and assume that everybody has their own idea of what a 'phone' is, most notably the Calculator Generation. The Calculator Generation are the large group of the population who grew up either before or in the time when the biggest technological advancements were the television and the calculator - two devices that each serve (or served) their own single purpose. How they differ from the generations that followed is that many of them find it difficult to shake this notion of singularity in a time when a product's top selling-point is multi-function. This is understandable considering that calculators were not unlike everything else at the time: fridges cooled things, cars drove and played analogue radio, pencils wrote, Africans served Satan and, most importantly, phones made calls. For example, if anybody has ever pointed at your laptop or smartphone and asked you 'what does that do?' and your head has almost exploded from the sheer shock of the question, rest assured that they are from the Calculator Generation.  And with the Calculator Generation, this is with whom these no phones policies live on, because they weren't brought up to ask questions like 'what is a phone?'

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So once again, what is a mobile phone?

Could a phone be something that makes calls? Well yes. However, if I put Skype or Viber on my iPod, now it can technically make calls as well, but it's still an mp3 player and not a phone, otherwise it would be an iPhone! So actually no. In fact if we're going to go ahead and define phones this way, then if I install Skype on the computers at work, under a no phones policy, those computers should be confiscated immediately.

Still not convinced? Then what is a mobile phone? Could it be something that holds a SIM card? Actually, not even a little! Sure, maybe in the 90s when only mobile phones and Improvised Explosive Devices had SIM cards, but we're a little more versatile now. Many laptops and tablets, like the iPad, can hold a SIM for 3G and 4G wireless connectivity, and needless to say, they are not phones, they just are what they are! Need I delve any further in regards to SIMs?

Um...what else? If not those things then what is a mobile phone?

Jesus! Maybe it's something flat with a screen, some buttons and can fit in your pocket, but you'd be wrong about that too because that could be anything: once again, an iPod Touch - which looks almost identical to the iPhone 3G; any seven inch tablet - because they simply look like big phones and the Galaxy Note II is only an inch and a half smaller than that; a Kindle or any other e-reader device; a television remote; my solar charger looks like an orange iPhone; my black gloss portable hard drive looks like a phone as well. So don't be getting any of that shit out at work! Especially if you know that your boss monitors your productivity via the surveillance cameras (which is all kinds of illegal in New South Wales, by the way).

But let's play devil's advocate and stop arguing semantics for a minute. Say that a phone is simply something that's sold with the sole purpose of being a 'phone', by a phone salesman at a phone store - can you tell me when the last time a phone was just a phone? A time when people didn't use them to surf the web, watch TV, check their schedule, shop, look at boobies on their lunch breaks - a phone was just a bug the shit out of your worker phone! Simply an upgrade from a Pager. Name a year! 2003? 2005? Let's say 2005 for safety. 2005! Eight years ago! Not two! Not five! Fuckin' eight years! Lets put this into perspective: the Bird Flu broke out in 2005; the London Bombings happened in 2005; the Xbox 360 was released in 2005; Pope John Paul II died in 2005; Fuel prices started to rise in 2005; the fourth Harry Potter film out came out in 2005 - and there were eight of them! That's how long ago it was, and I'm still getting lip about this having my phone bullshit? C'mon! When are we going to get over it?

But you know that I could have probably gone with an earlier year, right? I just chose 2005 so that I could safely say that smartphones and feature-heavy mobile devices were becoming more prominent, but you think that's when it began, na, na! People had plenty of warning to adjust their stubborn-attitudes! Let's dig a little deeper. Five years prior, Bill Gates gave ugly man-birth to Pocket PC 2000. Putrid looking devices, but they were just that: Pocket PCs - smart devices, but not at all phones. When 2003 came around, it was rebranded to Windows Mobile and offered in three different flavours. While 'Classic' continued the Microsoft Pocket PC offering, 'Standard' and 'Professional' brought phone capabilities to the plate, thus giving us what we now call 'smartphones'. Now I'm quite well versed in what technology is out on the market and how they all compare, but if somebody on the other side of the room whipped out a Windows Mobile device right now and asked me to tell them if it's a phone or not without me getting a real good look, I'd need binoculars and a case lodged with the FBI to give a definite answer - Windows Mobile devices, phone or not, were virtually identical. So if I can't tell, what the fuck good is my boss that was born during the disco going to be at telling the difference! The moral of this paragraph is that just because something looks like a phone doesn't mean that it is.

I do understand though; holding a phone at work is not a good look, especially in customer service, but only because there's a stigma attached to it now that has been propagated by my generation. Of course, in stark contrast to the Calculator Generation, by 'my generation', I refer to the overstimulated, 'this phone is a tablet hybridised with a laptop and entertainment system with an attachable vibrator' generation. When I was a kid, like all kids, my parents couldn't get me to read a book over the sweet allure of watching a film, now kids are like'fuck movies!' They can't even sit through an entertaining hour and a half without pulling out their phone anymore, let alone sit through an excruciating eight hour shift at work, and it's only going to get worse. But despite that somewhat accurate stigma, despite the fact that I may well be one of the people that attach that stigma, I still resent the assumption that just because I have my phone out that I am definitely, one hundred percent checking my Facebook or Instagram or playing Angry Birds or I'm texting or tweeting pictures of my food over the more useful things that were originally envisioned in the advent of the smartphone, things like checking my to do list, appointments, writing, reading - essentially, things that I can do fine without technology but choose not to.

Another stigma attached to phones is that they're unsafe when used in moving vehicles, but that's all that's prohibited - phones. The problem with that is we still don't know what a phone is! Fuck! I don't know about you, but there's nothing like the rush I feel when I pull out my iPod Touch when behind the wheel of a car or when I'm sitting thirty thousand feet up in an airplane; I mean, that's guts, you've got'ta know that! You would think...oh yeah! You would think because there are lives at stake here that we would want to be a little more specific, but obviously the lawman isn't doing much thinking at all here! In the latest, very helpful NSW Road Users' Handbook, I can find sections restricting the use of 'mobile phones', 'GPS units' and 'visual display units'. What I cannot find are sections on media devices, mp3 players, tablets, ebook readers or even laptops. This is unless of course you were to class these as 'visual display units', but I suspect this refers more to any DVD or TV displays, so I suppose we're throwing this one into the 'open to the interpretation of the cop on duty that day' basket then! Even in last year's amendment to the road rules, which tightened up on mobile phone usage, it still failed to mention any other device apart from phones, even though it specifically admits that drivers use their phones for other things by alluding to the 'audio playing functions' of a phone. But I know all too well that one day I'll be pulled over to the side of the road, arguing my way out of a fine, trying everything I can to explain the subtle differences between my iPod and the iPhone they allegedly saw me holding. Mark my words!

You want to know Australia's mobile phone rules on airplanes - juuuuuust forget it; we have no clue what's goin' on! But in the US, they know. This is all I need - from my boss, my teacher, my flight attendant, the roads and traffic authority. Just three magic words, because after all, the last five minutes of your time I've taken up has simply been a word game. "Portable Electronic Devices!" Oh fuck, just take me now, America! "No person may operate, nor may any operator or pilot in command of an aircraft allow the operation of, any (here it comes!) portable electronic device on any of the following U.S.-registered civil aircraft". Say what you want about the United States, but that's how you do a no phones policy!

Don't take any of this the wrong way, it's not that I have a problem with rules, I just have an issue with the stupid ones, and this one is supremely-idiotic. It's not even that I think that it isn't warranted. I just don't want people coming to me with their dumb-fuck rules, filled with their dumb-fuck terms that were probably made while watching new episodes of Friends and expect me not to have a litter questions. I personally would like to see a no nonsense policy, that way my bosses and teachers will make sense when they talk. All I'm saying is to be specific about rules, not wishy-washy, otherwise all you're doing is building an easy path to dissent. It's all well and good to say that you can't take guns into the courtroom and you can't be holding an electronic device while the engine is running because those are black and white concepts, but when you throw terms like 'bullets' and 'phone' around in this day and age, you might as well have said nothing.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Relatively-Awkward

My personality consists of many layers. Peel a few away and you'll discover a virginal, four foot tall, ten year old. This is the person that attends any of my various family events, rendezvous, swarrays and the occasional hootenanny instead of me; a little shy boy that bares my likeness. That’s how big I feel when family are present: not very! Even when I’m at a cousin’s party and I’m having a conversation with one of his friends whom is my age also, I still can’t help but listen to that irresistible thought in the recess of my brain that reminds me that my invitation was extended by blood, not friendship. Maybe it’s got something to do with that homeless man that touched my shoulder in the park when I was five, or perhaps the fact that all of my family members have probably seen my penis. I don’t know.

You’re arriving out the front of a party. As you draw closer, you hear the twitter of guests over the shallow roar of music. A couple stumble out the front, giggling, having a good time. The sounds, the sights - they’re getting you pumped. You’ve got your party-face on. You get in and the host gives you a drawn-out ‘heyyyyy!’ You pour yourself a drink. You're getting comfortable with the place; feeling good. You scan for anybody you might know. Ooh! She’s attractive, and I like that guy’s shirt, and then BOOM! There’s you're aunty looking at you while you look at girls and sip a drink so breathtakingly strong that it could get you through heart surgery. And then you turn and your mum is next to you and she’s saying things like 'our tummies aren't used to greasy food' and 'you don’t drink often do you, Ryan?' And under your breath you’re like ‘Mum, just shutthefuckuprightnow!’, but she doesn’t listen. Then in your mind, you’re just praying, praying for some sort of plane crash to happen nearby so that everybody can focus their attention on that and this excruciating moment can end!

And you know...you know alllll too well that it’s not only about the naive verbal-dysentery that spills forth each time she opens her mouth that’s the most aggravating portion of the day, but she’s also doing that thing that mother’s do with their body language toward the younger spectrum of the family. It’s that overly positive, very familiar, ‘I’m not touching you, but I might aswell be’ thing they do - you know, it’s love and affection...but for a child.

And that’s the typical ordeal I like to call ‘spending time with family’.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I hate my family or that I don’t want to spend as much time as I can with them or even that I don’t want people to know that I love them, I just want my family to be more like the Corleones from The Godfather. When Brando takes both his hands, grasps the back of Pacino’s head and kisses him on the cheek, now that’s the sort of family affection that a dude can respect and a bird can fall head over heels for. Sure, as Corleones, there’s a big chance that some of us will get gunned down in the street, but I guess that’s the compromise. What I like is that Brando’s an adult, and he treats Pacino as Pacino would him - as an adult, but to my family, I’m just the guy who cried all the time and wet the bed, only difference to them now is that I’m bigger. And it’s not like they have any control over it, my relatives. Whenever my mum comes up to me, especially in social situations, she manages to express that very maternal attitude of hers outwardly through body language and a lot of accidental pet-names - not exactly the stuff that typically precedes alluring conversation and garments dropping to the floor.

It’s almost like my family have the supernatural ability to impose the Benjamin Button curse on other family members at will.

Putting that aside, when two world’s collide, it just cramps my style. I’m on one end of the room drinking Johnnie Walker and lemonade, my mum’s on the other drinking West Coast Coolers; it’s weird. Even though I can be as candid as they come with my family, even if it's a touchy subject, I still feel that there’s a level of respect and decorum that social situations and family situations do not share. So when we get into these quasi-family socials, it's just torture.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Intercourse about Intercourse

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I’ve been thinking a lot about sex lately (Ha! ‘Lately’!) and how there is no activity better and basically no activity more human. In that light, I’ve come to learn that calling somebody out on their sexual activity is a pretty harsh crime to commit. It needs to be mentioned that sexuality and depravity are infact two different things.

For example, the word ‘slut’ used to be in the quick-list of my vocabulary, but I never truly had a grasp on what that meant. I used to think it was a numbers game; if you had lots of sex, you were a slut - immature outlook. A ‘slut’, a ‘tramp’, a ‘whore’ is a statement of not what those people do or how much they do it, but the attitude they have about what they do.

What the hell does that mean?

Well let’s say there are two people, one named Kelly and one named Sam. Kelly’s attractive and perfectly capable of holding down a relationship, but for the moment she only wants to be held down by whoever that night’s obsession may be at the time. Kelly loves sex and he/she's not ashamed to admit it either, but Kelly still does it with a sense of propriety and class. And for no other reason but that, Kelly has sex, preferably protected, with whomever he/she pleases.

But to my left we have Sam. Sam doesn't like sex, he/she just had it because this person on top of them was sort of showing interest, and hey, it’s a fleeting opportunity that won’t ever come to his/her hideous ass again! Besides, all of Sam’s friends are having sex anyway, so why not? There was also the pressure, that daunting, misplaced sense of obligation popping it’s head in through the door. I mean they were invited in, so I suppose he/she felt that it was only courteous.

Sam’s the slut.

Now that I've stepped a little further up the ladder, I can now see that a slut is just a person who tears open that condom wrapper for any reason other than because they wanted to. Not to settle some score; not to prove something; not because they’ve weaponised it; not because this may be the last chance they get - only because they wanted to. You fuck a lot with lots of different partners, good on you! ‘Inhibition’ is just another word for ‘not living life’ in my dictionary! But you aren’t a slut for that. In fact I have far more respect for somebody who has a healthy sex-life than somebody who treats sex like it's a big horny elephant in the room all the time.

And there’s my next point.

Sex. The word. The act. Some people do it, some don’t. Some people say it and some people shh! It’s all up to preference. But then there are people that think the act is a low one, and to mention the word is something to scoff their throats at. They keep what happens below the belt so close to their chest that the word ‘slut’ is placed above people's head not just for those that have lots of it, but just for people who have it at all! The word and the act of sex are disgusting to them! Prudes! And the entire notion of prudishness is something I’ve never completely been able to get my head around, even when I take into account age, upbringing and culture.

I mean, it’s natural. Can that even be argued with?

In my opinion, arousal is perhaps one of our most primal urges. I personally love sex. And doing it is only half the fun; talking about it is where it comes full-circle. I mean, what’s sex if you can’t talk about it? For me, sex makes being human worth it. It’s the fruit of our being. It's where stress goes to die. It’s awe-inspiring. It’s utterly electric. It’s natural. And then add love into the mix and it’s perhaps one of the most beautiful things that two people can ever experience together.

So then for somebody to come along and basically step on all of that by beating sex down into dirt and pretending that it’s this grotesque act that needn’t be mentioned in any forum, open or otherwise, that’s upsetting. Who the fuck are they? From what I understood in school, all of us are here as a direct-result of doin’ it, so if what got us here is low, then what does that make life? Any life, in or out of wedlock? It’s also unsettling to know that there are people on this planet that aren’t experiencing this beautiful thing that quintessentially makes us human. How can that be?

How the hell can that be?

Besides, isn't life already hard enough? Do people really need to drag sex down with everything else? Our lives are already burdened with so much bullshit, more important bullshit at that - we have no social lives because we spend most of our time climbing into and out of debt, overseas people suffer with war and persecution, a fraction of us here don’t know where we’ll be sleeping tonight or where and if we’ll be getting dinner tonight. We add so much onto stress, onto what could be a simple life, so can’t we just go home at night and knock boots without feeling fucking bad about it? Why can’t we just have this one thing?

Your choices are your choices, but I’m just saying, don’t be so hard on yourself about the sex you’ve had and especially the sex that others have had. It’s like god gave each of us a one million dollar cheque but we're all too scared to cash it. Cash that shit, just be responsible about it.

Photo credit: Melania Brescia

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Road from Misanthropy

Every time I tell a car owner that I prefer public transport they always say the same thing to me, they say 'Ryan, you just don’t understand. I hate public transport. When you start driving, you'll change your mind'. Even though they were wrong and I still prefer a bus over a dollar thirty per litre and thousands more a year for a bunch of ‘juuust in case this happens’, there is still one thing that I hate about public transport which driving helps eliminate: being near other human beings.

There are some days where I’ll wake up and the birds will be chirping and the burgeoning sunlight will be just flooding my 1950-esque kitchen and I’ll have this impulse burning inside to stab the first arsehole that annoys me. Needless to say, those days are pretty dark. So in that regard, I really enjoy the passive aggressiveness that comes with driving a capsule that shields me from the rest of the world. Even when some twat wants to get out of their car and criticise me for not driving the illegal speed that they want to, they can’t touch me; if I ramp the volume knob on my radio passed halfway, I don’t even have to listen to their bullshit! Gift from the gods.

 

The Footpath Race
Firstly, I’ve lived in my neighbourhood my entire life, and what would be the point of living somewhere for over two decades if you aren’t going to make some enemies. Unfortunately, those enemies do in fact leave the house sometimes, and they do so by catching my fucking bus! Normally, there aren’t many scenarios that I can think up where I would voluntarily share the same air as some of these jerks, but a bus just puts me right there...with them! It’s seven in the morning and there they are, awkward and tense, just like me! It’s the end of an exhausting day and there they are, practically on top of me! And it’s never a manageable amount of tension either, it’s the type that if you tugged on it, it would snap like a rubberband.

And I know what you’re thinking, you think it just ends with the bus ride, but na, na! Some of these people live in my street, like the infamous girl down the street. Can you believe it? Of all the places! What this means is that we share a bus stop, and suddenly the footpath home becomes a mono-lane raceway. We’re both thinking the same thing: who’s going to get off the bus first? I wonder if it’s worth getting off at a later stop and getting some exercise? How the fuck am I going to get passed this person on the footpath without it being weird? In fact, for me personally, I hate overtaking anyone on the footpath for that matter. You know, I’ve got to speed it up, I’ve have to go off-road for a moment, there might be a ditch in the grass, sometimes they’ll match your speed and then you’re just awkwardly stuck walking next to them; it’s awkward.

 

She Doesn’t Wanna Sit!
When you're a boy, you get taught that it’s gentlemenly to forfeit your seat for a lady, and I still follow that to this very day...well, vaguely. What they don’t teach you is that sometimes the bitch won’t want to sit down! Then the end-result is that I’m left standing like a dickhead, she’s standing there not sitting, meanwhile there is this vacant seat right there, neither of us are sitting on it and I fucking hate her guts! This is an innocent lady who has done nothing to me and I hate her now. All the while, she has no idea that the inner-Ryan is just thrashing around in there, hating on her, yelling expletives, probably about the Blacks and the Greeks.

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The problem is that I’m too stubborn to ask beforehand. I’ll never enquire as to whether or not they want to sit, because they’ll just say no! We're all too emotionally-flawed (or intellectually-retarded) by proper etiquette to accept what’s offered to us, ever noticed that? 'Want my seat?' 'No thanks I’m fine' meanwhile, inside the lady’s probably like 'fuck me, these heels are barkin’!'. So if they're just going to do that, then they're fucked if they think that I’m going to ask the same question twice a day for the rest of my life, only to be turned down majority of the time! A man can only take so much rejection!

What I’m getting at is that I may soon boycott the whole being a gentlemen-commuter thing.

 

The Aisle-Seat
Finally, when you sit on the aisle of any form of public transport, you’ve just entered into an unspoken socially-binding contract called the ‘Get the Fuck Up contract’. It stipulates that when the people next to you need to get up, you get the fuck up!

Pretty please!!!

Where this contract is particularly vital, and I may punch you if this is where you choose to break it, is at a three-seater on our Sydney trains. I don’t care enough to know what the seating arrangement is on the choos in other cities, but in the main seating area of our trains here, this is how it goes: two-seater, aisle, three-seater and maybe a misery-seat near the stairs (picture above). Why it’s important here is if you choose to sit on the end of one of these three-seaters, you hold the responsibility of not one, but two fellow-commuters on your back. So if you don’t get up and the guy at the window wants to get out, you’re not only being an arsehole yourself, but you make the guy in the middle feel and look like an arsehole too. He can’t get up! He may want to get up, but you’ve tangled him in your contract-breaking, fuckhead net (eBay it). So now the middle-guy has to helplessly watch window-guy struggle passed two people with his bag in hand and his knees cripplingly-contorted between your knees and the back of the seat in front. It’s not easy, but with some thought, it’s easily-avoidable.

I know people try to squeeze further back into their chair or they angle their legs as an alternative to getting up, but this only really awards the person trying to escape nothing more than a measly extra inch of space. Another problem too is that you have no time to talk about it when you’re trying to get out. You can’t argue and then get off. You’re pulling up to your stop! You’re train driver is just waking up from his nap! You have no time to explain the contract or you’ll miss your stop! So, it’s either principle or get off at the desired stop, and that’s a hard decision for me.

Yeah, I know you’re tired, and I’m tired too. Mornings I could kill a guy and afternoons I could sleep on a guy, sometimes I’ll have my laptop open in front of me, but the only answer when somebody needs to get off their seat is to get the fuck up!

 

So, public transport really isn’t ideal when you’re trying to curtail your exposure with the human race; it’s just one big misanthropic-adventure. Financially-speaking however, public transport is still at the top of my list of preferred forms of transport, banging for a ride coming in at a close-second. If saving some money means that I have to deal with some arseholes along the way, that’s fine, I’ll have to deal with other ones on the road anyway, so it makes no difference.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Misfortune Cookies

When I’m choosing where to eat, I don’t care about the food, I could eat shit food until it annihilates me from within; it’s the experience that I’m interested in. And I think that's the case with most of us; we want an experience! Decor, atmosphere, comfort, quality for money and staff so nice that they'll restore your faith in the human race. I know me I’d happily visit a place with mediocre food and a fantastic atmosphere over one with great food and a stupid bitch who can’t speak to people politely. This is the part that puzzles me about how most Chinese restaurants are run. Do they not want to make money?

For starters, let’s talk about my local Chinese restaurant. If I had to sum up this place in one word, I think it would be...'depression'. The food is fine, but I ate there once and I think I may have discovered the coldest place on earth. Not literally, but more in the sense that I’ve seen psychiatric wards with more personality than this place, not to mention my house, which has been the only place I've consumed their food since that one...yawn...experience.

Often there will come a time when I want a dine-in experience, and in that case I'll travel the extra ten minutes to somewhere a little less...annoying.

Close your eyes and imagine eating in this: a room with white walls, white tiles, a white ceiling, white tables with black metal back-support chairs, a counter and a display fridge, on top of which sits a portable stereo that looks and sounds older than I am. That's it aside from some picture frames, like that would make much of a difference. Even the tables are bare; no table cloths, not even utensils.

I wish I could say something different about the staff, but I can’t, in part because there aren't any staff. Its just a husband and wife. He’s the cook and she’s the everything else. She runs back and forth between the counter and the kitchen and the tables like she’s passing a baton onto the next runner. This woman though, speaking of things that are bare, for someone that works with people she is one of the blandest people I have ever met; she’s an absolute dial tone! Pleasantries deflect off her like she’s Clark Kent - 'hello' nod, 'how’s it going?' Nod, 'busy?' Nod. Never smiles, never makes eye contact, she just stares at your hands all the time, probably waiting for the money. Since she is basically forced to do everything, they’ll bring in their daughter as an extra pair of hands on occasion. She’s a touch more personable, I’d presume that’s because she can speak better English and is probably more assimilated.

The restaurant area is sizeable too. It’s probably one of the biggest family-owned Chinese restaurants I've seen. It could fit about three groups in my opinion, with space left for a few couples. Want to know how many people I've seen in there at any one time? Maybe two couples. No word of a lie. They don't home deliver, so I've been in there a lot to pick the food up. I'm quite sure I saw a tumbleweed the last I was there.

I can't just pick on them though. Don't get me wrong, they are the worst I've seen, but a similar business mentality ripples throughout majority of the restaurants that serve Asian cuisine, mostly Chinese. 'Baffled' would describe the expression on my face right now.

So my question is: why do they all collectively seem like they're not interested in bringing in more customers? Is that not strange? This is what goes on: the owners, typically a husband and wife, are at their drab restaurant for every minute that it’s open, normally six or seven days a week, making just enough money to stay alive and in business, and then eventually they’ll die, having achieved nothing. This all makes zero sense, because the whole idea of owning a business (as per my Western upbringing) is to build the business up until you have enough money to hire a staff, maybe open up more businesses and eventually enjoy the fruits of other people’s labour without having to get out of bed and put your big-boy pants on. And there you have it! What you’ve exhausted years of your existence into building is now operational.

These people aren't building shit!

All they do is put tables and chairs in a room, sit around not living life, cook fried rice, tell you how good looking your children are and sometimes they'll bring in their kid to take people’s orders - that's the pinnacle of their growth! Why even bother? Just go work for somebody at an already established business! You’ll end up doing a fraction of the work for more money!

So they’re there; Mr Deng, Mrs Deng and Little Deng, just playin’ with their thumbs.

Meanwhile, in a neck of woods a little farther from my own, there is this mammoth Chinese restaurant rolling in figures well over two hundred thousand dollars a month. A month! Now, that’s get-out-of-bed money! The reason they make that money: because it’s not horrible to eat there! They didn’t do anything amazing. They didn’t put cocaine in the food to keep ‘em coming or anything. The place is just well designed and the staff are nice. This isn’t groundbreaking stuff.

So for kicks, let’s put this into perspective: there are probably thousands of Chinese restaurants in Sydney alone. You don’t need to open up a map on your phone to find one, you just need to open up your eyes and chances are there will be one right in front of you. So considering that this is an already flooded market, wouldn’t that be the ultimate motivator for you to strive toward being unique and the most desired? They just have so much competition and they’re sitting there doing nothing about it! I’ve got to be honest, considering the frequency of these restaurants, I wouldn’t even open one now, let alone open one up and not doing anything special with it. And have you ever walked into a Chinese restaurant without already having an alright idea of what you might be ordering? I haven’t! That’s how alike these places are. The shit is all the same! Fried rice, spring rolls, chicken and cashews, barbeque pork...same! It’s like if you opened up a restaurant that sells Big Macs and French Fries but you didn’t try to make it better than McDonalds, there are still screaming kids and hungover staff; who would go there over an actual McDonalds?

But let’s pretend that Chinese cuisine is a niche market and your business is the only place in the area selling this food. Even then, why not make it nice? Why open a business and pour so much time and money into something and not do whatever you can to squeeze every drop of juice out of it? So, let me get this straight: they’re going well looking for a place, they get a loan on it, register for an ABN, register for a business name, they buy all of their particulars and thennnn...that’s it? Is that the end of the initiative-rope for them?

I just don’t get it. It’s not like the Chinese aren't good at making money either, especially with electronics, my gawd! Just open up a Forbes list: there’s Lenovo, Hisense, Huawei, ZTE...then whatever crazy shit they’ve got in business over there. That’s just China; if you consider all the world-renowned companies in Asia; wow! I mean, Nintendo didn’t just make some dreadful console or just release one great game and then just left it at that for thirty years like Microsoft did with Windows Mobile - they brought out console after console, great game after great game and then expanded into handheld gaming; that’s business. It must just be something about the Asians that come here, the plane ride must make them lazy. Clearly ching ching doesn’t translate very well to ching chong.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When the Boss Visits

Ever since I was just a tadpole, I’ve wanted to become an area manager and then eventually a CEO, but I don’t have any ill-feelings toward cardboard...so I guess that’s out of the picture then. Plus I like to see hard work being done...should probably start thinking about something else, maybe take up cracking open beers as a hobby, hangout on the sidewalk a lot, play the flute for cigarette money with my three-legged dog, ya’ know...homeless shenanigans. I mean, that’s the requisite to higher management right? Because whenever the bigger boss visits, in any job I’ve worked, my kiss-ass boss nauseatingly scurries over to me in their freshly-pressed, freshly-washed uniform to remind me to cease work and begin Operation: Look Pretty. It makes as little sense as it is universal...universally idiotic, that is. And among all the illogical bullshit that you need to grow accustomed to in order to stay fed, this one really takes the cake. Operation: Look Pretty! Where hard work looks bad, so let’s not do it.

On any given day, I do my job and I’ll catch bullets to do it well, but sometimes instead of having horrifically mutilated hands, my job is to simply receive things from couriers. In my current job, it’s marketing materials; in my previous one, it was clothing. These things however come encased in what we call ‘cardboard’. In order for me to remove these things from said encasing, I need to open it and take the things out, thus rendering the cardboard empty! In my case, it has now become ‘rubbish’ and from the time the contents passes the reciprocal of the box to the box being thrown into a rubbish bin, whether that takes five minutes or five seconds, it is cardboard that is not in a bin; apparently that last part keeps our poor bosses up at night. So what's the solution? Just don't open any boxes when the boss is around. Since whatever’s inside is what I need to work on, this then frees up a lot of my time to walk around looking like I’m doing something, like pretend to fix things that don’t need fixing, tidy something up that I already tidied the day before, email my girlfriend, you know, things that look like work but aren’t necessarily work.

To me, this behaviour raises a lot of questions, questions I don't like having because they're as dumb as dogshit but, inspite of that, still equally as valid. For example, if you're like me and you thought that everything you've been doing up until this point has been great work and has been within the rules, then when the boss-man visits shouldn't we just act normal? A change in the way things are done when an authoritative figure is present implies that what we were doing before was wrong, does it not?

And if the work prior to the bosses visit was infact good and correct, then since when did actual work become an infraction? It’s not like the area manager walks in and we all have to quickly tuck in our shirts and change our computers from Candy Crush to whatever we’re meant to be doing. Instead we’re being asked to change from whatever we’re meant to be doing to something that looks sort of like what we’re meant to be doing, but isn’t! This is of course because when actual work is being done it doesn't typically look pretty, nor can you stamp a pretty face on it; that’s just a fact of life.

It’s just like how workplaces have a cleaning blitz before a boss’ visit. Once again, shouldn't it be clean all the time? To me, any out of the ordinary cleaning before the boss arrives implies that we care more about what they think than what customers think. You know, customers? The life-blood of a business? Last I checked, bosses didn't pay the company, so why don’t we extend the same courtesy, if not more, to customers? Ahhhh! They’re just lowly customers, let them swim in filth! What difference will it maaake! But God forbid if Mr Rich Dick gets his shoes dirty!

Egh! Doesn’t it just make you want to vomit?

To me, it’s not about customers; it’s not about having a sense of pride at the end of the day; or the accomplishment of a prolonged effort; it’s about covering one’s arse. That’s all it is. And while everybody is soooo paranoid about losing their jobs, working so hard to prevent it, no real work gets done. This leads me to wonder how we’ve ever achieved anything in history. I wasn't working twenty years ago so I don't know, but if this is the way we've always treated things, then I don't see how this isn't all just forest and dirt and shit, and we aren't just living in shacks made out of branches, because houses and all that weren’t designed and built with the blood and sweat of worrying about what the boss thinks, were they? Someone somewhere had to work hard to establish the things we have today! So I’m curious, at what point historically did staff go from being an entourage of hard-workers to a place where everybody is selfishly too busy working on projects ‘look over my own shoulder all the time’ and ‘get a load of me not doing anything wrong!’?

 

An old man once said to me, “If you don’t want your boss to see rubbish, then don't preach it to your staff...yo!” Pass that onto your kids.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Gift That's Never Returned

thegiftthatsneverreturned

If you give me a gift card, prepare yourself for some looks that you normally would only see in films about samurais, because I hate gift cards and I always have. I lose a few months off my life each time I receive one and an angel dies each time I have to sell one. Yeah, you heard right! I'm part of the problem, and just when you thought I couldn't like them any less before it became my job to push them on people, you can't imagine how much additional hate has piled on since I’ve learned so much more about them. So here’s a handful of things I’ve learnt on my travels with gift cards.

Has something gone awry? Too bad!
Firstly, I'm not ignoring the fact that some people just have stones inside their heads and naturally those sorts of people can be tricked into buying dumb shit, like stones, but I can’t blame them entirely. I think there's an implication with gift cards, mainly due to their popularity, that no matter what happens everything will be fine. The problem there is that it won't.

When these cards fuck up, they fuck up good! What this means for the person is that they now need to start digging through receipts and invoices trying to prove that this money is theirs like some financial lawyer. It's ridiculous. I've never had to prove that I'm holding an invisible fifty dollar note, because those don't exist! But you see, you could very well be the proud owner of a piece of plastic that says fifty dollars but actually has no value; those do exist. And if that is the case and you don't have a receipt to prove it, I can tell you right now that you're never seeing that money again. All you are to us is some person with two things: a card that's empty and no way to prove that it shouldn't be. Of course, I could just say 'keep the receipt and everything will be hunky dory' - and you should - but if only life was really that simple.

Although on the upside, the glass isn’t always half empty with gift cards, because if I lose a gift card and I have a receipt, with some places I'd be able to get that money back, something I’d never be able to do if I lost real money. So in a way, putting aside the fact that the money needs to be spent before a certain time or it's lost anyway, you’re attaching an element of security to it, so that’s great. But on the other hand, glass half empty, gift cards unfortunately open up this opportunity for people to bitch and moan to people like me because of their own carelessness. For example, when you lose a note, it’s just gone because you lost it, there’s nothing you can do about it and people just accept that; it’s a very, very simple procedure. But with a gift card, it’s just a whole lot oooohs and ahhs and dealing with second and third parties and being recited terms & conditions, which is all a very big complicated waste of time when you consider the alternative if you ask me.

Just spend it, and spend it now, awright!

IMG_20130404_081311
Secondly, there was this hilarious advertisement hanging around Westfield once that read 'gift cards, the gift that’s never returned' (left) and that's funny because you can't! Getting a refund on one of these things is like pulling teeth from a pack of rabid dogs, and you'd need a pretty extraordinary reason in order to get one. I trusted that this wasn’t just the case at my work, but I wanted to make sure just in case. So I called a few places under the guise of somebody who just found a gift card amongst a recently deceased family member’s possessions but didn’t feel right spending it. But even under my unfortunate feux-circumstances: Myer said no to a refund, Westfield said no, so did David Jones who explained that there’s actually no facility setup to process card refunds and Coles Myer Group said no as well, which covers eight stores in itself. So, forgive me for feeling a little uneasy about something that won’t can't be returned and also something that isn't very well regulated by the law.

On that note, there's been a lot of talk in the government these last few years about bringing in stronger and more elaborate laws, and the main argument is that money doesn’t have expiry dates so therefore neither should gift cards, and I'd have to agree with that. In fact, funnily enough, when I called Coles Myer Group, the dude said that they can’t refund gift cards on the grounds that they’re treated as if they are cash and you can’t refund cash, and I thought ‘well, isn’t that interesting logic.’ So, when it comes to using them wherever you want and putting expiry dates on them, they’re gift cards, but mention the word ‘refund’ and suddenly it’s just like cash! Very interesting.

To be honest, at first I was stumped as to why they would expire, because if the company already has your money and if the dollar appreciates with time making products relatively more expensive, then why would it matter? But then I realised that these companies don't want to take that risk. If there's no expiry then who's to say you won't be moving a cupboard in ten years time, find the card underneath it and use it. You never know, that company could be teetering on the edge of bankruptcy by then and you could be in one of their stores taking stock from the shelves without having to hand over any new money. It's unlikely, but not impossible, and that’s the problem, they would rather make it impossible, otherwise gift cards become loose-ends. You see, the number one drive behind the sale of gift cards is to make money for nothing. So they're counting on you to forget that you have twenty bucks still sitting on your card or to just not bother spending the twenty seven cents left over, so then the card can expire, they have your money and they don’t have to worry about you anymore.

You shop where I think you want to shop. Burn!
Thirdly, getting a gift card feels the same as what I would imagine being handed the keys to a house in China would feel like, you know, because you have no choices. I have to shop where you think I want to shop? Is that a joke? Here's an example, my mum got a five hundred dollar bonus from her work a few times over the years, but she didn't really get a bonus, instead she got five hundred dollar David Jones gift cards. Now I don't know if you've ever stepped into one of their stores, but if you have, you would know that five hundred dollars in the real world is only really about two hundred and fifty in David Jones’ world. Their prices are pretty bloated, like their prices just ate Brazilian barbeque-bloated. And that's just not nice. It's not nice that you have to use your bonus on something that's overpriced when you know that if they'd just given you cash like normal people do that you could get it at a cheaper or at least a reasonable price elsewhere. That’s just a nice gesture that they transformed into a shitty one.

 

Just to wrap this up. This post itself is a pretty good example of why people shouldn't buy them, because gift cards only serve to complicate something that’s simple. I could never have written this much on normal currency, because normal currency just works. You could simply hand me a fifty dollar note, but instead you've handed me a rigmarole of expiry date this and 'I can use it here but not here and only here if it's there' that. Blah! blah! blah! It’s all noise. I’ll give you this, gift cards are a lot nicer to look at than money. It also shows that you didn’t just pull something out of your wallet at the last minute. But at the end of the day, it’s not enough to excuse the homework assignment that comes attached. Whatever happened to money in a nice card? As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, I don’t know about yours, but money ain’t broke! So, if you're going to take anything away from this post, just remember to exercise some caution when purchasing a gift card; they're not as nice as you think.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wash Me, I’m Stoopid!

wash me

You know, a joke is usually never told quite as well as the first person that told it, and I’m reminded of that fact everyday by people who can’t come up with material of their own. I myself am a fan of credibility, so I’ll only ever borrow a joke if I know that it’s buried deep in obscurity, and I’ll return it after I’ve used it once or twice so I don’t get caught and end up looking like a twat. What bugs me are the jokes which once could have me folding over in laughter be strained into a trite ‘go to the same point of reference’ cliché by unimaginative knuckle-draggers. Here are a few examples I hand-picked.
 

“Something something Hookers and Kings Cross.” Hahaha!
Yeah, and grass is green. Contrary to what I trust a lot of people think, being able to draw a straight-line between prostitution and Kings Cross in Sydney is neither funny nor cunning. Each time the topic of prostitution comes up and somebody makes some quip about the Cross, I may seem calm on the outside, but really, the inner-Ryan is violently thrashing against the cage that stops me from lunging across the table and strangling a motherfucker. Why is it not funny, you ask? Because everybody knows that there are prostitutes there! It’s not an unknown fact and it’s no longer taboo. It’s called the naked mile for crying out loud! They made an Underbelly series about it! The joke’s clearly over!

Another thing that kills me is that people who I don’t think have even been there are making these references now; they’ve just built their entire opinion upon a humourous stab at hyperbole. As intentional exaggeration, it’s funny, but when people start saying it because they truly believe that Kings Cross is just whore-island and that’s it, it ceases being worthy of even acknowledgement, let alone amusement.

A couple of things people should know: one, Kings Cross maybe known for its ladies of the night, but it’s not the only place in Sydney that has them. Go to any industrial area after eleven at night and call me when you don’t see any walking around. Two, Kings Cross also has its fair-share of other things too; stuff that always seems to go unmentioned. For example, that place is virtually shoulder-to-shoulder clubs - strip-clubs, nightclubs, ‘gentlemen’s’ clubs. It’s not like the CBD where they’re all scattered. If you’re in one club and the tank-bouncer threw you through the wall because you touched the stripper’s boobies, you’d end up in the next one. What about the drugs? I’m sure you could find quite a few drugs circulating the naked mile at any one time. But you see, it’s hard to make jokes about those things when you haven't actually been there and especially when other people aren’t making jokes about it for you to copy.

 

Amster-dumb!
I’m sick and tired of people saying that they want to go to Amsterdam, because before they even get to '–dan', I already know where the conversation is heading: marijuana.

Not funny!

I don’t think a month goes by where I don't hear somebody say that they want to move to or visit the Netherlands. Yeah okay, it is the ‘weed capital’, but people know that it’s only informally legal, right? It's accepted but not legal. But then again, why would you know about that when you're only source of information is other dipshits and Harold and Kumar? Also, drugs may be your main motivation, but Amsterdam is not just a park with smoke-able flora and fauna. It's also known for its bordellos and as the birthplace of van Gough and where he left all his shit after he died. But nope! It’s all just weed this and pot that. Fuckin’ retarded!.

This one’s an odd one too, because unlike most jokes, this one was never funny. It's probably because it's not as much a joke as it is some half-baked (pun intended) aspiration, so why say it then? I'm beginning to even wonder if these people are actually serious about the Amsterdam-weed thing, or is it meant to be a joke?…gah man! I need a rest after this.

Okay, okay, fine. If you don't care about things like reasonable taxes, not feeling cramped, being above sea-level during what is said to be global warming (see: dike) and minimal illegal immigration, then fine, the idea is not that stupid because it would seem that you've clearly thought it through, but if you're going there thinking that it's going to be exactly the same as Australia except with relaxed marijuana laws, then that explains why you're doing drugs in the first place...coz ur dum!

 

#69
Can somebody please just nix the number '69' completely? Instead, we can replace it with 'eh'. It will go ‘67, 68, eh, 70’.

Okay, ha-ha, it means mutual oral sex and the number looks like it too, but is it really necessary to slip it in every place that requires you to input a numeric value. Phone numbers, vanity license plates, the 'age' field. Eh! Dath god have no mercy? Trust me, unless you end up being a Heffner or a De Niro, once you actually hit sixty nine years of age, no woman in your particular purview will be agile enough to straddle your face, so don’t even.

 

Sex: M/F/Yes, please
Step aside, comedic genius coming through! The form asked for his sex and he wrote down 'Yes, please.' SOMEBODY REMOVE MY STITCHES BEFORE I POP THEM!

It's not like it's a line from Austin Powers fifteen years ago and the millions whom copied it or anything.

 

ShityRail
My train was late. Theres trackwork. There aren't any seats. Worst train service in the world. Jesus, kill me. When I was a teenager, I adored Shityrail.info. It was a rich source of vitamin chuckles. The site hasn’t changed much since, but now it just reminds me of every drone that has made a quip about how CityRail are the ‘worst’ train service in the world because of normal stuff that would happen pretty much anywhere else.

A few things: Your train was late or cancelled? Call Shit Happens Magazine and tell them! I’ve heard that they’re very interested in printing stuff that just happens.

There’s trackwork on your line and you don’t like it? Call one of the eighty people who died in Granville because trackwork didn’t exist and tell them!

And you’re late to your shit job because of trackwork, go here and be more prepared!

Where ShityRail created the joke, people have basically stolen it and turned it into the Nickelback of Sydney that only trendy kids tease.

 

Smoking kills you, life kills yCOUGH!ou COUGH!
This line was clever, still is sort of, but it’s stale now, and not the sort of stale that you can just get rid of in the toaster. However, it is to the point, it's cocky, it's sort of true and it's a pragmatic way to escape fruitless discussions with anti-smokers like me, but it is over. It had a good run guys! It has become so overused that it's not just in the smoker's handbook, it's the title!

Smokers need to come up with some new material I think...or quit.

 

Spit with a side of Big Mac
Regardless of whether or not it disgusts me or not, I don't want to hear about how Dudz in the kitchen may have added a bodily fluid to my food. I'm perfectly in tune with that possibility, thank you! But the likelihood of it happening means that I don't give a fock! Also, other restaurants hire foreigners and ex-convicts too I'm sure, not just fast food, so what am I going to do, go through life armed and with a pocket full of seeds, hunting and growing my own food? No. So I just eat out with the expectation that my food has been through something resembling the bathroom in Saw and I do just fine, then it’s a nice little surprise when I don't spend the night burying my head in the toilet.

The only time I'll accept or even make this joke is when I haven't made nice with the help, then obviously the risk of an undesired ingredient increases and I find comfort and humour in self-deprecation.

Eating kills you? Semen kills you, that’s what I always say.

 

Autocorrect ‘Mistakes’
Like any joke, this was funny at first, but then the more I saw, the more I hated seeing screenshots of people ‘mistakenly’ disclosing sexual activity to their parents via text message. And that's all-it-ever-is! A message from a child to their parent about how good the sex they just had was, or vice versa. Be-ooooooring!

wash me im stoopid_autocorrectBut what's worse is that I'm a little skeptical about how many of these things are actually what the professionals would deem ‘mistakes’. Has anybody noticed how convenient some of them are? To me, it either wasn't really a mistake and the sender just set it up to look like one. Either that or somebody's been pulling shenanigans with that person's phone dictionary, which doesn't make it as much a mistake as it is a successful prank, and pranks are normally only funny when they happen to people you know.

On the plus side, if you’re texting somebody who has a phone where the dictionary automatically populates using the terms they’ve used in previous messages, then at least you know that they’ve been talking about blowjobs with somebody. I know you can’t see it, but I’m winking at you right now.

 

Any comparison of women from different eras
To say that women are less classy these days I think is purely just a matter of perspective. And as far as I can see, there is no way of proving it one way or another. Whenever it is attempted to prove that women are worse now, usually by foolishly optimistic people, it’s always a comparison between the best of the past era versus the worst of this one. And that’s pretty transparent, if you ask me.

Always Holly Golightly next to the bogan down my street back-to-back, with the caption ‘What happened?’ underneath. Well I tell you what happened, you were born dumb and somehow stumbled upon an internet connection - that’s what happened.

There are classy girls everywhere, dick.

 

FBI: Female Body Inspector
I used to work for the FBI, you know? Yeah. Fo sho!

Oh! You must of thought I meant the Federal Bureau of Investigations. No, no, no, no, no! A-ha! I was referring to my time with the Female Body Inspectors. Hardy-har-har!

I'm quite sure that the first time I saw one of these stupid shirts was back in the 90s, by that I mean, stop printing them and burn the one you own because in joke-years, this one is older than time itself!

 

Any quote that has something to do with Tom Cruise
You know, 'show me the money', 'you can’t handle the truth', him jumping on Oprah's couch or the Mission Impossible theme. SHOW ME A NEW JOKE!


I don't mean to toot my own horn in saying this, but I am fully aware that some people are just born stupid, but can they at least pretend that they aren’t by coming up with a thought of their own, or by not saying anything at all. Tip: you can't sound stupid if you don't open your mouth. I mean gees! I’ve indulged in listing the stupid shit that people say before, so you can go ahead and add this bunch of stupid shit to that list of stupid shit. But at least in that case it was their own stuff that I thought was stupid - I say stupid stuff all the time - imagine my surprise when people started repeating other people's dumb stuff, now that's just a whole other wavelength of dumb!

 

wash me2

Not sure which is funnier...

Monday, April 22, 2013

One-for-Two

Please don’t laugh at me for this, but I used to think that if something was a certain price and you had the money to pay that price, that was the end of it, you would be able to buy it. Silly me! Now that I am mature enough to know that nothing makes sense and nothing serves to make my life any smoother, I am all too aware of the fact that how much money I am willing to pay has nothing to do with anything! So, here are two places where price, quantity and the money you are willing to hand over have been made one hundred percent mutually exclusive for no other reason but to benefit somebody else’s agenda...and it’s all legal.

Paid Street Parking with Time Limitations
Every time I’m standing at the parking meter about to go on a jolly day out, especially if it’s anywhere near the city, I can almost feel the government’s hands reaching inside of me, pick-pocketing my time, my patience and my bag full of calm. I could’ve said that they’re pick-pocketing my money, but you see I have no problem with paying for parking here in Sydney because I understand why. But why the hell am I paying for parking if it’s still going to have a time limit, that’s my question?

Forgive me, but I thought that the benefit of paying for parking was that you were able to park for as long as you are willing to pay. I thought that time restrictions were only a thing in areas with free parking; how naive of me! I suppose the reason I thought that was because it makes sense to me why free parking is time-limited. You couldn’t just give people carte blanche on free parking otherwise they’ll stay there until there car batteries sulfate. But what doesn’t make sense is if the government are going to make bank every minute my car sits on one of their streets, an exorbitant amount of money mind you, then why not give me the opportunity to stay there for as long as I like? Please tell me what the purpose is of making me run back and forth between my car and whatever fun I could be having every two hours like a mouse in some science experiment just so I can put more money into the meter that I could’ve just put in when I parked? Unless the local council are syndicating with the nearby parking complexes that offer flat day rates, no sense is present here.

Two-for-One One-for-Two
You could pop my ego like a happy birthday balloon, so naturally I don’t like it when people try to trick me. By the same token, I hate knowing that I’m being tricked, because I’d imagine that life would be much easier if I were stupid. Case and point, 7 Eleven and their little two-for-one scams. Everytime I walk into a 7 Eleven outlet now, I hang on to my wallet so hard that you would need the jaws of life to separate me from it, because they’re crooks.

one for two

Here’s what they do: you go in for one bag of chips, you grab it, take it to the counter and they tell you that there is some two-for-five dollar deal on that particular item. But anybody who knows me will know that if you put two bags of chips in front of me, I’m eating two bags of chips! My parents always told me “Ryan, there are starving children in poor countries that are starving for some Smith’s Cheese and Onion Potato Crisps, so eat what you’re given”, so I just opt for the one bag. But guess how much one bag of chips is...fucking four dollars seventy! $4.70! The fuck, what?

To reiterate, I can get two for five or one for four seventy! And to that, I say ‘No, no. You misunderstood me, I just want to pay for one bag’ and they say ‘Yeah, it’s four seventy!’ and then I’ll argue ‘No, no, no. That’s one bag and most of a second bag, but in the end I’ll only receive one bag.’ and they’ll disagree with that, all with a straight face of course, because they’re obviously used to ripping people off. They’re crooks. Duplicitous and sneaky thieves, but I’ll say it again, they get away with it because it’s all within the law.

It is a little unfair to single out 7 Eleven on this though...okay, that’s a lie, it’s not. 7 Eleven are the masters of scamming people! Take it from me, never trust anybody that dabbles in the trade of oil. But another company that has been guilty of this one-for-two rubbish in the past, believe or not, is Woolworths. Those fuckin’ arseholes! You see, trying to scam me while I’m grabbing a snack or a porn magazine from some convenience store, I can handle, because I’m probably drunk, but it’s another story when you start fucking around with my grocery shopping; that’s sacred!

Whoever it is, whether it’s the local government or some Indian running a convenience store (poorly, I might add), I think of them as Batman villains. But not the Joker or Mr Freeze, that’s way too much credit. No, just the petty crooks you used to see in the old animated series, robbing banks and getting up to all types of other shenanigans. You know, the ones who wielded normal firearms and wore normal balaclavas and skidded off the road and burned in normal cars and normal fires - those losers. That’s how I picture these arseholes. Smart enough to pull off a bank robbery and have people obey their commands, but not smart enough to do it in a way where nobody realises. Once you get down to it, my ego and I just don’t like being bullshitted, so if you want me to buy two bags of chips or you want me to park somewhere that costs more money, just don’t lie to me about it; tell me when you’re trying to rob me.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fearing Insomnia

For about six months now I've been suffering with insomnia, but that's overstating it, because on most nights I sleep like I’m fresh out of the womb. I would actually define what I’m suffering with as a fear of insomnia, even though I don't actually have it. Yeah, I know. Makes no sense to me either.

Of course, in the past I’ve had my fair share of sleepless nights, but they were nothing to go crying to mum about. That was up until August last year when I got asked to go on a shoot for this music video. The director contacted me about four days prior asking if I could camera assist. Mind you, everybody involved were complete strangers whom I must have given my resume to somewhere along the way (I hope!). Jumping ahead to the night before, I had to be up at four the next morning for what looked on paper like a grueling twelve hour day in a laundry list of locations I’m not too familiar with. To put it simply, my girlfriend was spending the night, we lost track of time and next thing I knew, I was only going to get roughly four hours sleep, something you don’t want to have before a long day with strangers you want to impress in a strange place at a strange time. And that revelation freaked-me-out! I ended up tossing and turning all night - worried. Worried that I wasn’t going to get enough sleep. How nuts is that? The worry of not getting to sleep was keeping me from sleeping, and the later it got, the more worried I became. I was caught in a whirlpool that I created and I could not get out!

But it all worked out fine in the end. I only got two hours of shallow sleep at best, and of course I wasn’t chirpy the next day, but I did excellent considering. I managed to make it through almost ten hours and two thirty minute hikes - and they were hikes - through a mountainous gun range for the first location without a single drop of caffeine. Ten hours! I did end up grabbing a coffee at about one o’clock at a snorkelling beach where we were about to film some underwater stuff (Clovelly, if anybody’s interested). The sun was beaming down and they didn’t need me for a while, so I laid down on the sand for a ten minute rest and then I woke up an hour later. Thinking back on it, I still can’t believe it. I lasted ten hours on dead batteries, not to mention the six hours of shooting that followed my beach nap.

Afterward, the actress in the video dropped me in the familiar city, where you would think I’d just want to hop on the next train that takes me directly to the Sandman, or even his evil-cousin Krueger, no matter the consequences, but no, I kind of didn’t want to leave the city. So I got some grub, had a drink and dawdled home acting like someone that wasn’t teetering on the edge of unconsciousness. I didn’t even sleep on the ride home! I was a marvel of ‘sleep is for the weak’ that day. This is boasting.

But despite my overall ability to function on little shuteye, albeit uncomfortably, this one single incident has been the catalyst behind an ongoing six month bout of insomnia fears. And it’s not the night that’s the main problem, it’s the day before the night before a big day - when I say ‘big day’, I mean a long one in which I’ll need to be light on my toes and not, you know, lying on the ground moaning. This fear I’m talking about manifests itself as a minute thought in the back of my mind that I can ignore, but not turn off. It says ‘shit! I better get some good sleep tonight’. But as the day progresses and I draw closer to bedtime, that ignorable buzzing in my mind grows into an angry swarm of butterflies in my stomach which I can’t swat away, and then from there on in it’s just like I had caffeine intravenously shot up my arm. My heart beats through my chest, I toss and turn out of utter frustration, I play out the next day in my head starring a zombie-version of me, I juggle the notion of not showing up. It’s horrible...but it’s not really. It’s just me building myself into a night of little sleep and a lot of anxiety for no real reason, is it not? Given that I’m aware of how silly this whole thing is, you would think I would be able to calm myself down, but it’s not enough emotional ammunition to overcome the worry. I need something more.

As little as it makes sense, it is purely just a fear of not getting to sleep at night, and not a fear of anything else. For a bit of backstory, in the past year, I’ve been to shoots before not knowing anybody prior to the day and slept fine; I’ve started new jobs and slept fine; I’ve been to one-on-one and group interviews and slept fine; I’ve worked grueling days in the past and slept fine; fine, fine, fine! During high school, a high school in which I hated so much that it was lucky that I didn’t set it on fire and send a wrecking ball through the remains, I did lose a bit of sleep, but I managed to rectify that by falling asleep to the sound of my television, and I’ve done that every night since with favourable success. But alas, no amount of television can salvage my night when in the throes of my non-insomnia. I need something...something more.

One of the emotions I feel between the tosses and turns that mark a restless night is what I would describe as loneliness. Not physically, but emotionally. I could have one leg over my girlfriend’s hip, but I’d still feel it. It’s a sense that everybody is having a better night than I am, whether that is sleeping better, partying better, whatever. But meanwhile, there I am, studying the ceiling instead of sleeping. Ideally, what I really want - and need - is a buddy in insomnia if you will. Sort of like a buddy you would have from alcoholics anonymous which you can call whenever you’re tempted to drink so that they can talk you out of it. I want a buddy I can call which I know is having the same shit night that I’m having so they can talk me out of not sleeping and vice versa. If only there were insomnia-hookers I could order over the phone, that would great.This is something more.

For the moment, I haven’t found this buddy, but I do have one thing: my lovely neighbours. Most old people I know go to bed early and wake up before they turn SBS back on, but not these people. They are seventy years old but they go to bed in the early AM and wake up long after the sun has risen. They’ve always done it; it’s been a topic of conversation throughout my household since I was a tadpole. We know this because their kitchen window faces the side of our house and if they’re up, rest assured they’re in the kitchen. So all I need to do in order to check if they’re awake is peer out a window. And that brings me comfort. If it’s one in the AM and I see that woman with one of her foreign films on and her hands buried in the sink, I suddenly feel less alone. Somebody else in the world is up, not just me.

Fearing insomnia, but not insomnia, not even close. I realise that some people actually suffer with it and I really sympathise with them, especially after the last six months. If they had a choice between my measly handful of anxious nights and their being anxious every night, I’m sure they would love to be in my shoes any day of the week. So, what else can I say? Perhaps this is just another step I’ve taken into insanity. Or maybe it’s just my age and the pressure of responsibility that comes binded to it sliding down the hill toward me. Who knows, I’m crazy.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Photographic-Handover

You have a fun day with a bunch of friends, one of which takes a metric tonne of photos with their camera, and you think you're going to get a link to them later on, but then that night, they wrangle them onto their computer, lock them up and melt down the metaphorical key for scrap…and nobody can ever have them. It's always too hard for them. And they're not wrong; it is really hard to give photos. I mean if only there was a massive library we could access via our computers where we could put our stuff for other people to access from their computers. Actually that's not a bad idea. Perhaps I'll call it...the 'internet'!

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooa!

So when it comes to that time when you’re like ‘hey man, can I have those super-rad photos please?’, they’re going to say one of two completely moronic things: first one is ‘oh, but they’re on Facebook?’, like that's a solution, and the second is ‘ah yeah, I’ll go home tonight and put them on a thumb-drive/CD/floppy-disk for you’.

Right off the bat, I don’t want to be too hard on people, but the Facebook response is as dumb as dog-shit. It's not a photo-sharing site? It's not even like a photo-sharing site, so why treat it like it is? Facebook's just a place to put your pictures so that smartarses like me can make our little smartarse comments and then make a decision on whether we like or secretly dislike them, similar to critics at a catwalk.

Firstly, Facebook isn’t a viable substitute because it has no ‘download all’ feature. So say that there are a hundred photos. That means that I have to click ‘download’, 'next' and possibly 'save' a hundred times each. So 'unnecessary chore' in my language must actually mean 'answer' in their language.

Secondly, this may not be such a big deal to some, but a great deal of the photos on Facebook aren't that big. Don’t forget, It was only a couple of years ago that it added the ability to upload high resolution photos, before that you had no choice but to have the photos automatically resized down to something I could considerably obscure using my hand. In spite of that though, many of my friends still aren’t ticking the high resolution box when they’re uploading anyway, which bedazzles me even more when they think that Facebook is the answer.

Now, if you’re scratching your head because you're not real sure what the big deal is, it’s a personal preference of mine to have the originals and not the resized versions. If that’s not possible, then I’ll settle for something that will fill my twenty one inch computer screen. The reason is very simple: the future. What if it’s an amazing photo? I may decide to show my family on a big screen television or a projector, or I may want to frame it or have it printed on a canvas. With something tiny, I can't do any of that, I can't do a real lot of anything apart from stick it in my wallet. But with a big one like what every camera takes now, I have a lot of breathing room to do whatever my black ass desires.

So telling me to go on Facebook to get photos is basically as good as pointing and laughing in my face!

Numero Twoplah: why are we still treating the photographic-handover like it needs to be a face-to-face transaction? They're all like 'yeah, yeah, I've got your photos man. Can you drop your flash drive by my work tomorrow? Then you can leave, come back another day and pick it up.' What is this? The 90s? Give me a fucking break! Like I said, half the time they're already sitting on Facebook anyway and this arsehole wants me to make two special trips to his work because he won't use Flickr. Fuck him! He can keep them if he wants them so badly!

I don't know what's more frustrating: the realisation that people my age use the internet so much and yet they never actually use it, or just knowing the simple fact that people are making a painless, trivial matter so complicated. Do they not realise that they've already got the uploading principle down and now they just need to apply it to a site that isn't a social networking site? Do they not realise that there are hundreds of free photo-sharing sites out there...literally hundreds? Do they not realise that if they have Hotmail or Gmail accounts - which pretty much covers everybody short of my grandparents and the people you see in World Vision ads - that they already have either a SkyDrive or Picasa account, two fully-featured free photo sites? But no, no! Why better utilise the internet when we have writable CDs?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Personality & Private Parts

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I thought about writing a thousand words. I thought about writing five hundred astoundingly sarcastic ones to mask my petulance. I thought about writing a single sentence, not a whole lot longer than the title. But there was no quenching the thirst that I had to get my point across. A million words or five, it wouldn't make any difference. I figure I'm not going to change the way anybody thinks on this particular matter anyway, the same way that I can't possibly cover every single possible scenario that one may find themselves in regarding this. I’ve also gone over distrusting relationships already as well, but we’ve all heard that one piece of nonsense that makes all of what I said there garbage, “it’s not that I don’t trust my partner, it’s just that I don’t trust their friend”; you know, dumb stuff. So, let’s try this at a more rudimentary level, shall we. Here's what I think: if two people are friends, and I mean that in the strictest sense of the word, then the gender of each party is completely meaningless.

I'm sorry, but I'm not wrong.

I’m not speaking from a cultural bias either, undoubtedly that’s what I trust a lot of people think when I say this, with my white liberal upbringing and all. Nope! It’s actually coming from a being normal bias of mine; it's a bit of a hang-up I have from when I was normal.

Excuse me for being frank, but I don’t give a shit what any culture or religion says about the differences between men and women. When a person is in a loving relationship, there are no differences. But no, no, majority of people prefer to view gender as some personality flaw, and that’s not right. I’m not suddenly going to try and steal your girlfriend simply because I’m male, even if I am single, nor is some girl going to abscond with me just because she’s female.

Take me for instance; when I have a girlfriend, I view my friends in the same light that I view dogs: no matter male or female, a dog’s still a dog and a friend’s still a friend; I wouldn’t have sex with a dog and I wouldn’t have sex with a friend.

I do realise that as humans we are always taking cues from our biological urges, but there’s still a fine line between personality and private parts.

 

Oh, and just as a quick foot-note for any of my friend’s boyfriends who may be reading: when my sights are actually set on a person, I don’t muck around. So if you truly think that I’m after your girl but I’ve already had one or two of what you think are dates with her, and you decide that you don’t want her to see me anymore as a pre-emptive strike. Well calm your little booties princess, because if something were actually going to happen, you’re too late because it already has! Mark my words, I would not leave any doubt.