Saturday, December 26, 2015

Girlfriend Tattoo

Goldfinger's Gay-Tattoo Removal

To me, getting your girlfriend or your wife's name tattooed on you is just another way of showing everybody that you're missing some vital chromosomes. I mean, as if breaks up and divorces aren't agonising enough already. What? We want to add some drawn-out and expensive searing pain to it as well. But my biggest gripe is that this is an age-old tale! It's up there with don't drink and drive, don't fuck the monkeys and don't walk off cliffs; you're not the Roadrunner. It's always the same story: they break up and they either need to invite Darth Vader into their divorce to laser that mistake out of them or invite Banksy in to twist the name into satirical-delight. But you know, surely enough you head to the beach or someone takes off their jacket at the dinner table and tada! Obvious mistake number one on the lower left arm. Some chick’s name! It makes as much sense as a McDonald's salad.

I have a tattoo, and I've also been in a few long-termers myself. Most recently, I was in a four year relationship which I thought was the be-all and end-all of unions. Even toward the end, I pictured myself in my sixties watching Bold and the Beautiful 4.0 with her and our grandchildren, and yet I still wouldn't have inked up. This had nothing to do with any fear or commitment issues on my part, but because shit happens, and in this case, shit did happen and now that whole operation is a shambles. So I think it was a smart move, because I could just walk away without having to make a doctors appointment. I'm sorry to say, but these tattoos seem to be more permanent than the love that went into creating them, and that's not good news, especially for men.

But I suppose that's the charm of it, right? And take my word for it, I'm as romantic as they come, but what are we? Cattle? We're not men! Women have conned us into being branded. But ladies, that's not milk, but you’ve got us. I suppose that way whenever we're drunk or another woman tears our shirts off and we catch a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror, we go "wait a second, I have a wife and kids! I better get home!" It's like a 'don't feed my man' sign posted next to an animal habitat. I mean, who are we? For a freshly single, flesh and blood male with pent up fantasies of new sex, a man finally set free from the shackles of monogamy, being branded with a woman's name like a Holocaust survivor could be what keeps us from waking up with someone in the morning. Think about it.

But why not, ha? I mean, “YOLO” or whatever, right? Well...yeah, sure, you only live once, so why spend over 10 hours of it paying someone to torture you like you're Bond in Goldfinger. You see that's what actually happened. It was a deleted scene. 007 fell head over heels for Goldfinger's German gut and impulsively got a tattoo professing his gay-love for him. But you see, it was the 60s and the maniacal villain was quite homophobic, so he immediately took him to his private gay-tattoo removal clinic. "Do you expect me to talk?" "No Mr Bond, just don't scream because you're a little bitch for getting this done in the first place."

Who knows though, maybe I'll get one someday, but I think I'll pick the name before I pick the girl in that case; something with some versatility. Perhaps a Jessica who will let me call her ‘Jessie’, that way I can just make it into Jessie's Girl and hope to fucking God that Rick Springfield has some other songs. Maybe, I'll turn the name into lyrics, perhaps some of those names which are notorious for breaking the hearts of many popular singers. ‘Suzanne’ used to be a big one, with Journey and Leonard Cohen. ‘Natalie’ perhaps, like the ones who hurt the likes of Bruno Mars and The Killers. Could even make that one an homage to how much I dislike Natalie Portman. Or better yet, make it a double-homage and depict her as a bottle of Port Wine, and it would be the worst tattoo ever. Clearly I'm out'ta ideas at this point.

At any rate, can we please just cease with the girlfriend tattoos. I think the jury is in on these things: they're disasters. I've been hearing it since I was just a tadpole. Instead, get something germane to you as a couple. Something particular to the first place you met or fucked or whatever. If it was a skating rink, get a small ice skate on your arm. If it was at an Italian restaurant, get a cute little Spag-Bowl. If it was at the monthly Arian meet-up, add an extra special Swastika to the rest. Whatever! Just something that doesn't have to be zapped away when reality zaps away your happiness.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

RIP BRB


If Russian spies blew my front door off it's hinges right now, stuck a pillow case over my head, dragged me out of the house, and into a van to some basement, all they would have to do to make me give up all of my government secrets is make me text them and not reply for five hours. That's it! Guantanamo be damned, because that's real torture! Texting always irritated me, since even before my teens. Unfortunately, I've since developed the same ill-will toward instant messaging too, which is weird for a dude who counts MSN Messenger as a cornerstone of his puberty. I attribute all of this to a loss of what I call the BRB-generation.

In 2003, I bought my first Nokia. I was 12. SMS messaging was still a fresh concept so everyone was still coming off the heels of having to hear the other person's voice in order to speak to them, exchanging voice mails and weird archaic shit like that. I speak of the days where a text message would hurt you and your friend's wallet every 160 characters, which meant that only the girls I really liked ever got a message from me. Personally, I didn't like it from the git-go. It felt like I was writing messages on little pieces of paper to someone and we were passing them back and forth across the classroom without the teacher noticing. It's the longest way to have the smallest conversation, especially in a world where there are these awesome things called "phone calls". 

In what will soon make sense, at the same time I adored instant messaging. Despite sharing certain similarities with texting, the attitude toward MSN Messenger was so different. While a call would begin with hello and end with goodbye, an MSN conversation started and ended in pretty much the same vein. Walking away from the computer without saying "BRB" or "be right back" was a crime amongst crimes. In fact, the days of dial up internet meant that many of us only had a meagre couple of hours a night to IM, which is the typical length of any great phone session anyway. With MSN existed the same etiquette of a phone call only reapplied to a different platform. Even once the always-on nature of broadband internet became more affordable and therefore more pervasive in this country, remarkably the etiquette still remained with MSN. But RIP BRB , because that shit ran it's course a while ago!

BRB died with the death of MSN Messenger (Windows Live Messenger) and the birth of Facebook Chat. Gone are the days when a window sat at the bottom of your screen like a small friend jumping up and down in strobing orange. Gone are the days when we sat at our screen and were as present in the written word just as we were with the spoken. Gone are the days when SMSing was about character-counting and your pocket money. Gone are the days where we said hello and goodbye because conversations very seldom end any more; have you noticed?

With the rise of the smartphone and the introduction of Facebook Chat and Messenger, BRB became more of an implied social convention rather than an enforced one. To my chagrin, it essentially turned IM into texting, while texting became more like IM with the iPhones conversation view, with both ironically just becoming the same beast in the end. Just look at the Facebook Messnger app and the messaging app side-by-side.

Nowadays, I see any non-verbal electronic communication, regardless of the platform, as a mountain stream that never seems to end but you take sips from whenever it suits, and that's fucking grim. In contrast to the fulfilling and exciting MSN conversations I had at 14, I'm now 24 in the middle of a grocery list of week-long, fragmented conversations, which are neither deep nor engaging, and kind of feel like nagging chores. How good can a conversation really be when the other person drops a message like a grenade and dashes away without a trace for hours? This is the entire problem.

BRB still occurs, sure, but it's unwritten now and it's implied following every single little exchange. "Hey" BRB "Hi, how are you?" BRB "Good thanks" BRB. No longer is it an acronym for "be right back". It's instead an indication to me that I'm in that classroom passing ripped pieces of my workbook back and forth again, only this time the classroom is significantly larger. IM is dead and it's shit.

Whether the unwritten-BRB follows "okay," "cool," "I hate the blacks", or "I've loved you since the first time I met you", they've BRBed you indefinitely. Sometimes it's just because we are no longer glued to a desk anymore. Maybe they just got off the bus, or they bumped into a friend on the street, or they're back at work from their toilet-break, or maybe they just don't give a fuck about whatever it was that you were saying. It's allllllll BRB, because you can't have an MSNesque BRB in a conversation which consists of no beginning, no end and no solid location. 

Call me an old fashioned funny-duddy, but I'd give my left nut to open up a conversation with a hello and close it on a "GTG" again. I'd give anything to not have to deal with radio-silence, constantly questioning whether or not the previous reply will be the last for 8 minutes or 8 hours. Do I close the window and move on with my life, or do I remain glued to the screen in anticipation as I did back in "my day"? This didn't happen with MSN, and if it did then your friend was a dick whom you would spam until they replied. I now make more calls now than I did ten years ago thanks to the generation which has preceded my own; either that's maturity or I'm just fed up with having long, empty, fragmented exchanges with people. It's a frustration which feels so starkly familiar to the frustration I felt as a teenager texting girls.

Oh, and don't even get me started on that thumbs up feature of Facebook Messenger!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Things Chicks Do

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There are two types of girls in this world: ones that like me and ones that want me dead; most of the ones I've been involved with live in between those two poles. In my travels, I've heard quite a bit about the signs to look for if you want to know if someone is into you. This loser I used to work with Googled it so much on our computers that I logged her Chrome browser into a dummy account so that I could check her search history from home whenever I wanted to have a right 'ol laugh! (I haven't worked there since last year and she still has no idea!) You know what they are: Some chicks will wait a few hours to text you back; some will graze your chest while laughing at your lame jokes; some will hook their hair over one ear when they speak to you - if it's to the left she wants you, if it's to the right she's a Nazi. I've heard it all. But here's my little cookie-cutter framework I use to neurotically observe and analyse female-primate behaviour so that I can start placing my bets.

She'll read your blog
People's blogs say a lot about a person...because that's all they fucking do! Some of them are just "Me! Me! Me!" It's literally the worst thing about blogs. So naturally if a chick is intrigued by you and wants to take a shot at figuring you out, what better place than the nucleus of narcissism: your blog. There's a good measure here as well, because the further back she goes, the more you know she likes you. And for those social-albatrosses with no time to write one, Twitter and Facebook are a substitute. There's nothing more arousing than a girl who unwittingly knocks the "like" button on something you posted a year ago.

She'll make alternate plans
Strap yourself in for some sexism because the most disorganised person I've ever met was every woman I've ever known. They act like they don't know how long make up takes to apply! What this means is that she is bound to cancel on you at some point. But don't sweat it, her uncle's friend's cousin's dog's funeral is a really important event, it saved her from that fire when she was three. But if she wants to keep you around, any cancellation will be tightly coupled by at least the promise of alternate plans; this I can guarantee. She won’t want  to risk cutting the cord you two have been slowly unravelling. There have been a lot of girls and even guys in history - Joseph Stalin, Helen Keller, Queen Victoria, Martin Luther King - who I can say with absolute certainty were like "Baby! Baby! Not until after I change race relations forever! How about this Sunday?" If she's not doing this, then your goose is cooked.

She'll watch, read and listen to you
While your blog and social media are a huge thing, what you recommend is another. If she likes you, she’s going to want to listen to the songs you recommend, watch the things you watch and read whatever it is you read. She'll not only be on a quest to know a little more about you and your taste, but it'll help her to feel like she can better relate to you. Also, if she has a high opinion of you as the fallen often do, she'll hold those tastes in high regard...at least at first. By the way, once she's checked all of that stuff out, it's all good if she thinks that your taste in music deplorable, that you have no idea about comedy and that your books are glorified pornography, because it's the curiosity and the desire to connect which you're after, not her approval.

She'll never tell you that she's not into you
In my experience, whenever it's come down to me and another guy in the marathon for a young lady's affection, I'm never the victor. I say that not for sympathy but because while that is the unfortunate truth, not one of them ever told me to fuck off. They didn't want me, but they didn't want me to go either! I used to tell them "just tell me to go. Just tell me you don't want me." They never did, because it wasn't the truth. So unless she's a good liar, you'll never hear her say that she doesn't like you and that's how you know she does. It sounds kind of obvious, but it's something that can be easily overlooked when you’re plane is careening into Mt. Heartbreak.

She'll look at you
That is unless you're like into blind chicks, because in that case, just a word of warning, her gaze maybe a little off-centre. While people look at you, girls who like you look at you! Like really look at you, trying to figure you out. Because what you really want is not success, or a million dollars, or loads of sex, it's actually to instil intrigue in the girl of your dreams. Albeit, it is hard to achieve and it may seem like a trivial thing, but it's not. Intrigue is remarkable because it's one of those things that will work for you while you aren't even doing anything. Once you plant the seed, you don't even need to be on the same continent! You could be in the outback, Bear Grylls-style, no mobile reception, no contact, and your intrigue will still be working this chick like you're a Bond villain and it's your henchmen! Intrigue plants lingering questions which the girl can only answer by getting to know you, and she can't get to know if you're off gallivanting around without her. It'll keep her coming back.

If Stephen Hawking is an expert on general relativity, then I am an expert in people just not liking me that way, or enough or whatever. So while I would never declare this list as gospel, it's just a bit of food for thought and to let you in on the nylon-strings I like pulled when I'm pining for a beautiful lady's heart.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Second Chance at a Second Chance

Preceding: To Find the Words

What is it about a beautiful woman sleeping in your bed upstairs which turns the man downstairs into an insomniac?

Time has passed since the first battle with a page void of words. Present is a man with a head full of nonsense, a belly full of cashews and a mouth full of Scotch. But it's not quite the same man as when him and this blog first fought it out in the ring. No, no. These eyes have since seen a love far beyond that of the silver screen. These cheeks have endured the caring hands of a magnificent woman. These hands know the agony of touching another's for the last time. These hands know the tap of white and black keys in the unbearable calm of night. Who do these hands belong to? They belong to a man in love with one and lost, and infatuated with another not present. Fuck.

Like the act of a clairvoyant, the last venture into loneliness and finding the words to accompany it was a pretext for the four and a half years just passed. This man spoke of loneliness as if it were upon him, little did he know that it would be snatched away by unpredictable beauty shortly thereafter. He yearned but then he found. He came to terms with loneliness but very soon fell in love. He wrote the words and then she walked into a restaurant and into his life, almost as if the two acts went hand-in-hand. Coincidence? Or fate brought about by confessed-longing? Today, the building where they first kissed is in ruins, and she's walking out of his front door and out of his heart. He kisses her for what he knows will be the last. She cries because she knows the same.

He punches in these words in the hopes of a similar result as before. How much pain is needed to bring a man to pen a new revelation, a new pretext to foreshadow the second half of this decade? How much delirium is needed for him to actually believe that this foolish act will have any outcome? How many jiggers of it are needed for him to reach the height of hysteria? He wonders. Three? Six?

He's not done with love, although he should be. He's a fool. He was given a cheque for a million dollars and threw it away on account of rain. After such a loss, what could possibly be his source of hope at this point? It's not in a page filled with words, nor is it the bottom of a bottle. Is his heart not still and silent? From where could he possibly be instilled with warmth after such a chilling ordeal?

Well, what if this man believes that he has already been given another shot, another golden cheque as it were? Perhaps he believed it even before he endeavoured to rid this page of it's emptiness. What if by some miracle another chance at love fell right into his lap? Could this be his source of hope; of his faith in love? Unsure of the cheque's value but certain it's big, his sun rises and sets on this single thing. Here we find the focal point of his infatuation. If the key component of faith and hope in love are questions, then who is she? And could she really be as sublime as she seems?

Still aware that a sail-boat with no water inside of it is one not yet pushed to its pinnacle, her boat has certainly sailed. The only difference is that the puddles and slippery spots are enough for her - she no longer yearns for another because she has found him. Another man. The bank has closed indefinitely and this other man may never let it reopen again. Waiting a little but losing a lot; noble in action but crippled by indecision; this man, our man, the man in these words, with cheque in hand, let that ship sail. The fool.

As this man once again tries to find the words which found him love the first time, this time his cheque fades further into oblivion with each sun that sets. Once again, he yearns for someone, and once again, that makes him lonely - so perhaps this self-talk is not as much an exercise in prophecy like before, but instead a desperate plea for a second chance at that second chance.

*This is a repost from the 10th of August, 2015. I've schizophrenically posted and removed this post so many times. I've had enough. It's here to stay.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

5 Best Slots Games for your Phone

Slots are likely the most accessible casino games in the world. They’re dead simple to play, easy to understand and they don’t require a lot of brain activity. You just spin the reels and go. As it turns out, you can now enjoy that same thoughtlessness without having to ever leave your bed or call the moving men, thanks to iOS and Android. Let’s take a look at the best ones.

Slots-by-Big-Win-Casino-screenshot

1. Hit It and Don't Quit It Free Casino Slots

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
First up is Tigertown's first foray into the popular slots games genre for iPhone and Android. There are a lot of options here. There are over 20 slot machines that players can hop onto and the game prides itself on its good-looking slots. The developers also promise that four additional machines will be added every month. It also features some odd but fun features like playing up to 99 lines, and the ability to auto-play. It’s a decent experience, even if winning is a little hard to come by sometimes. Also, the in-game drunk Chinese gentlemen playing the machine next to you isn't much help either.

Slots-Magic-Wonderland-screenshot

2. A Husband's Paradise Casino Slots

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
A Husband's Paradise is another game with a lot of options, but it's missing the key ones, like losing all your family's money and dragging your spouse and two young girls through a messy divorce. Oh yeah! That's right! Because it isn't a real casino, and it isn't a real slots machine! It's just your phone, and you're on the bus! This free app may try to fool you into spending real money just when you're on that sweet hot streak, but it never gives you that opportunity to dip into your life-savings or to re-mortgage the house which gives real slot machines any viability as a game.

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3. The Pharaohs No Skill Tester

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Pharoah's No Skill Tester is a slots game themed around a concept which they give 85% of slot machines: Ancient, Samurai, Mythical shit. It's sort of a metaphor for how the machines operate and manage to trick people into not spending the money on something more worthwhile, like hookers and blow. Where Pharoah's stands out (but not really) is that it's on your phone now! It succeeds in taking an already mind-congealing "game" of pushing a button over and over again and putting it on a significantly smaller screen. You can do this all without the money, the risk, the beer, the guilt (although that's unjustified), and, most of all, without the adrenaline rush of almost ruining your life.

Wizard-of-Oz-Slots-screenshot

4. The Movie I Love Justification Slots by Statynga!

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
The Movie I Love Justification is the best justification for more pointless slots apps, as well as a great way to turn a harmless film that you love into a runaway train of life-ruining destruction. This slots game occupies the remaining 15% of machine ideas and includes a variety of themed slots, including: Wizard of Oz (because they get high as balls in that movie), The Terminator (because it's another metaphor), Sex and the City (because it can't just be men destroying their families), The Mummy (because let's sneakily fill this remaining 15% with Pharoahs anyway), and many others. So, If you like the slots and you like movies, but don't like trying to win real money, then head on over to the Google Play store and grab The Movie I Love Justification app.

Zeus-Casino-screenshot-710x399

5. Zeus’ Sober Adventure

Although not the best, this app takes you on Zeus’ Sober Adventure, where you see Zeus play a game you must be drunk to enjoy sober and on the toilet instead, like you. Actually, the reason I picked this one for number five is not because of how good a game it is, but because it just cuts the shit and makes sure it's clear that for some strange reason you've been playing slot machines not to win money but...what, you like the pretty pictures?


To wrap up...oh! You're still reading this? Ha!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Quench this Crazy!

A priest once described hell to me as an outer-darkness where you'd be tortured both physically and mentally. A place where you'd see nothing but faces of agony, weeping and the "gnashing" (yeah! "gnashing!") of teeth, and I'd say to myself "Mm! Doesn't sound too bad. It's basically just a day at the RTA." He then added that hell is like a "furnace of fire that will never be quenched" and only then did I drop the stolen 100 dollar note I'd been using to snort cocaine off my friend's wife’s back! That's a deal-breaker for me. Dangle me over a flame by my neck and I'll promptly give up the Jews hidden beneath my floorboards!

But I've spoken of this before, so in the spirit of warming you up this winter, I'm instead here to tell you about the two times the heat brought me to the cusp of bat-shit insanity.

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Skin-tags
It was 12 years ago on a hot summer day. The keyword to remember here is "skin-tags." It was disgustingly humid that day. The air was so thick that it was an effort walking through it. My mum had dropped me at my friend Steve's house for what was still considered at 12 years old a "play-date."

Steve's folks were not well-off. They lived in a fibro home with zero air conditioning. I could have just said "no air conditioning" there, but zero is a motif here, because due to the heat, my interest in being in that sauna of a house was zero. There was zero ice, zero places of refuge and zero shirts on Steve's overweight father. Sure, it was so hot that we could've been mass-producing cacti, but is it too much to ask to keep our gear on when there's company around? But that's not the worst part, because what he did not have zero of were skin tags. Not even close to zero! There were big ones, small ones, dangly ones. It was like there was a Saturday morning soccer field on his back! There were so many in one spot that it looked like he was smuggling grapes!

This, combined with the relentless heat, made me fucking nauseous! I had no choice but to take breaks outside every few minutes, from both the spectacle and the stale air. I'd actually see my mum's car pull up on the street in what I would keep realising was a fucking mirage (not the Mitsubishi, an actual mirage!). It actually was hours until she was coming, but I swear it felt like days, and needless to say, I counted down every second (each of which I could’ve counted on his father’s back). Until then, sanity had transcended me like a hot air balloon.

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"Ice"-machine
Just when I thought I would never see the day again, I relived the same hell four years later. The keyword here is "ice-machine." I was at the blossoming age of sixteen. Ten of us, most of which I wasn't entirely fond of, seeked refuge from the heat inside Angela's place, whom I was also not quite fond of (and for good reason; fuck me!). We huddled into her meager loungeroom like sweaty, panting cattle. We asked, no, we demanded ice water, for which we received, but it would not suffice. We reigned blows down upon the coffee table, ordering for more! And then Angela's old-lady wheeled out a portable air-conditioner and we cheered like she was Russell Crowe in Gladiator! She was our hero! I was instantly attracted to the blonde, less-than-average forty-something; that's how mad I was going!

Upon plugging it in, Angela's mother walked into the kitchen for some reason and began slamming ice cube trays against the counter top like it owed her money. A small part of me was puzzled as to what she was doing. A much larger part of me wondered why the god damn air conditioner wasn't doing its job yet. She walked back into the room with a bowl of ice cubes and proceeded to pour them into the unit. I salivated like a dog with a vacant expression as I watched her do this. It was the most sensual thing I'd ever seen a woman do, and mind you, I was a sixteen year old with a broadband connection. She assured us that this would cool us down.

So, we waited and waited, meanwhile the number of us versus the size of the room was not helping one bit. What's worse is that we were watching a music channel which was showing songs from Good Charlotte's awful new dance-rap album. I was losing my shit! And then I was looking at the unit, thinking "What is this thing? Is it...wait a minute! This isn't a portable air-conditioner at all! It's a big, huge, ugly fan!" And believe me, it did nothing but make an annoying sound. This thing was as much an air-conditioner as Mike Tyson is a feminist. So, once again I was stuck, and instead of skin-tags, it was a machine that taunted me with noise and Dance Charlotte which essentially did the same thing. It's hum sent me around the bend and up the arse of Lucifer himself! I didn't know if to go or stay, but once again, days felt like they were falling off the calendar. NO! Seasons were, allll of them still hot! Spring, Autumn, Winter. Hot! Hot! Hot!

 

Never again!

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Time is Now

 
In my teens, I would always use my age as an excuse for the little I'd achieved and the lunch money pittance I had in the bank. I'd look at famous musicians, directors, writers, models I wanted to be with, and say "I've got time; I'm just too young." Well that line of bullshit has run its course! I'm 24, and the people I went to school with are now married to those models, both of whom have careers and the people on the television are my age, or had at least started by my age. It's time, and I'm petrified by the realisation!

You see, deep down inside lives a 12 year old...well, actually he's not even that deep; he's me. I still work casual, I'm still aimlessly building toward a vague idea of a career (in a dying industry, I might add), I'm still blogging, it takes me a millennia to grow facial hair, and whenever I see a model now, it's not their chest that gives me palpitations, it's their date of birth. They're no longer ten years older, sometimes they aren't even older at all! That's right, models are fucking younger than me!

But it's not about models, it's about wanting to do some good and no longer having an excuse not to do it. It's about taking responsibility for my own inaction and to stop blaming it on a false-technicality. I can no longer just sweep my aspirations under the bed like a teen would with a mess, because these things are attainable now; they're an arm's length away. I'm an adult, not some man-child. It's raining opportunities and this adult wants to get wet!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Too Sane to Treat

You know those days, where you wake up and you're just like "what the fuck is the matter with me?" You're at someone's birthday dinner and you're ruining it. Everybody there hates you. Your eyes water on a weekly basis. You're too preoccupied by something that happened to you six months ago to focus on an essay due tomorrow. Why didn't she say please; he didn't say thank you. Everyday it's like this and you know you're a mess! Fuck! Everybody else knows it! You know it can't go on like this, so you realise you need some help. Finally you pass through the threshold of the therapist's office, you shake their hand thinking "oh yeah! This dude has some work ahead of him!" And then you sit down on that chair, take a sustained breath through your nose, and realise that you got nothin'! You basically catch a glimpse of yourself in the metaphorical-mirror and recognise that you're maybe one of the most well-adjusted people to walk into the fucking building. I don't know why that is, because I'm insane!

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Before last year, I'd never really been to see a counsellor or a psychologist. Since then I've been in four different offices for about twenty consultations, everyone of which confronting me with this same realisation - that perhaps there is nothing wrong with me.

Now, I'm not actually saying that I'm not as bad as I thought I was or that I've ever been miraculously cured from just one session, or even four, no. What I am saying is that my counsellor is bored out of his fucking mind by me. Nothing I'm telling these people is at all new or ground breaking. I'm not the Bieber of the emotionally-disturbed. They all ask the same questions: how is your sleep? How's your eating? Is it healthy? How's your fitness? How's your finances? And with each answer I give, I just dig myself little-by-little out of the metaphorical crazy-hole, because I’m not a liar and all of those things are fine, if not fantastic…unfortunately.

The point of this post is that I'm always expecting a bipolar-diagnosis and instead they hand me sheets about controlled-breathing. It's gotten to a point where professionals are asking me "what can I do for you, Ryan?" after only a few sessions. Which is basically the medical equivalent of “gimme somethin’!” Of course, I just sit there scratching my head, saying something asinine, like "I don't know." But instead I'm thinking "Wave a magic-wand and stop me from crying in the middle of the street, for fucks sake! Slap me across the face and remind me that I'm healthy, I’m male, I'm white, I'm loved and that I don't live in Baghdad! Just do something!"

One problem I've found is that my life never feels like it's crumbling the morning of a session, or even the night before. Every time an appointment is nearing, the days seem like the best ones I have ever had. I'm never sick. I never fight with anybody. I'm on top of my workload, not to mention the world. The car starts. It's like I’m waiting to see a doctor for a grazed-knee, but when he finally calls me in, I don't have a grazed-knee. Those days are so good in fact that I'm considering just booking my psychologist in for, you know, every day. Maybe the problem is that no counsellor has ever seen my temper. I’ve never thrown a chair and yelled “she’s such a cunt” or whatever. Happy-Ryan isn't raving-lunatic-Ryan's greatest salesperson. What I probably need is for an ex to show up and just verbally beat the shit out of me in front of him, that would warm the cockles of my heart.

It almost sounds like I'm begging to be worse-off just so that I can demonstrate that I actually am tearing down Worseoff Road with bad brakes, which is true, I am. I'm just in some sort of weird emotional limbo at the moment – too nuts for happiness, but too sane to treat. What's worse is that an imposter shows up to these sessions. I'm quite sure that both university counsellor's thought I was only there fishing for an extension on an assignment, that’s how sane I sound. To that notion I'm either right or just thinking exactly the way I always think, which is paranoid and neurotic. See why don't these kind of thoughts ever bubble to the surface when I'm on that couch, that would really help me out.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Group “Work”

like the facebookz
The university year has just kicked off and you know what that means, a bunch of late-teens grumbling about group work. In class! In the hall! At dinner! On the train! We know! So I'm not about to add to that. But what does make the inner-Ryan thrash against his cage is when people say that group work in school is an authentic replication of the forthcoming workforce. Teachers say this and I've never heard such bullshit! Which leads me to wonder if those that make the claim should even be allowed into any workforce at all; here's why.

1. You don't need a resume (or a C.V. for fans of dead languages) to get into university
But in a job, you do need a resume...and an interview! Every job opening gets a bag of flour's worth of applicants which they sift through in a long-winded series of reading, recycling, analysing and confronting-conversation. They weigh things like your skills, job history, your overall attitude and how much your old bosses hated you. For university however, they choose whoever could remember the most shit and whoever can pay up. Actually, strictly-speaking, if you consider bridging-courses and alternate-pathways into university, grades aren't even really a consideration, only money. They don't care what sort of person they are or if they can perform, they just wan’na see that wallet. I cant imagine that bribing my way into a position would be very effective, except in mobster movies when they're being hung out a window or they have  their head in the toilet.

Most importantly, employers make sure that a person can play nice with others and that they're hardworking. The absence of such assurances before receiving an offer of study is, at the very core, why group work has become the education-equivalent of Nickelback to students and is more like an episode of Big Brother than work.

2. Full time work and full time study aren't the same thing
I know this because I own a clock! Typically one foolishly pursuing a career will ritualistically blow nine to five, Monday to Friday on it. That's pretty common. A full-time student, however, could get away with eight hours spread over two days like peanut butter. Hm! Where’s that cafeteria? The career-oriented live their work; students have other shit goin' on, like working at a real job for instance! And not the pretend one teachers claim group work to be. To make matters worse, there's community and volunteer work if they're at all serious about winning scholarships.

A career is like a massive puzzle and study is only a few pieces of it. Now if only we can work out where the hobby and social life pieces fit. They have jagged, peculiar edges and shit! To bolster my case shut further, I didn't even mention part-time study.

like the facebookz3. Students aren't being paid
The opposite actually. The biggest motivating factor to work and to work hard is money. With no motivation comes laziness. School is sort of like if you were Keanu Reeves who, in addition to selling your soul to the Pacino-lawyer-devil and watching your wife be assassinated like university does a social life, loses his job, loses the money and the benefits that came with it, but had to continue working there because Pacino has your soul, aaaand then they realise you owe money back due to a hellish computer glitch. Having to pay to fake-work is not a very motivating thing, being paid to real-work is.

4. If this was really a job, then the job-security is phenomenal
Being fired however stops the money, so you might say that another motivating factor to work hard is to not get fired. So if teachers are really convinced that group work is like real work, then get that fucking job and never let it go. This is the crème de la crème of roles because you can't lose it.

Any other job you can get the boot, but not this place! You can't actually fail university; that's a little secret. So long as you show up most of the time and put your shit in around the time it's due, you'll pass. And if you don’t do that stuff, we'll there's always next semester. I'm pretty sure I couldn't just show up at the first cafe I worked tomorrow and pretend like I didn't quit. Don't forget what I've said, school is a business and if you go, your money goes with you. They'll always give you another chance. So what's the point in working hard.

I guess what I'm driving at is that I agree with these idiots; group work is exactly like working in a real workplace. Of course, you just need to take out things like being paid, fear of being sacked, not having to prove yourself on a resume, not being interviewed, and not having a tonne of other external activities distract you. Now let's see what we have left, a lazy-ass teenager with a university library card in their fucking wallet! You want to show me what it’s like to work, then pay me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I’m a Friend-Realtor!

friend me on facebook for the friend-realtor?Whenever I'm in a new friendship and I go over their house for the first time, I want to see everything. The bedrooms. The spare room. The plumbing. The condition of the oven. Is the frontage suitable for possible redevelopment and rezoning? Was that light switch always broken? Woops! Sorry! I'm like a friend-realtor! Or failing that, a child protection services inspector. I'm like "I want to know where you sleep, what's in your fridge and where you jerk off in the shower."

For a long time, I never knew why being invited into somebody's home was so exciting for me, but now I get it - there's an innate sentimentality and spectacle in seeing where a person lives, especially for the first time. Where they sleep, eat, feel most comfortable and ultimately let their authentic-hairy-handed-selves out to stretch it's legs, and not the well-mannered-self that helped Ms Philopoulis with the groceries last week.

For me, the whole affair is like losing my virginity again. They invite you to come over and you're so excited by the notion that you want to come (over) right then and there. You stand outside their front door thinking, "this is different to how I imagined it." You walk in and you think to yourself, "oh my God! I'm in! Should it smell like vanilla in here?" Aaaand next thing you know, it's over. And you're like, "shouldn't that have gone longer?" But no, you're friend has to get up early for work the next morning. They invite you over another time when they don't have work, that way you have enough time to go through the entrees (foreplay), the main meal (intercourse) and dessert (gentle-sobbing), until you do it so much that you no longer need to ask where the cups are.

A person's home is their cave! An extension of their inner-selves! The wall-colour. The furniture. The pictures. These sorts of things speak volumes. A single bed? They're sleeping alone tonight! Pink walls? I'm either going to find a Barbie or gay porn under that bed. A queen bed and single? Definitely not sleeping alone! A single bed and a queen? Woa! Woa! This is getting confusing. Even a plain house is a style, because haven't you heard? Every thing's a style now! From genitaliaesque cowl-necks to 9/11 attacks, the same way that renting and not giving a shit is a style. The only problem is that rented houses always lack what paedophiles don't - a personal touch.

When I was just a tadpole, I went over this girl’s house for the first (and last) time and I was relegated to the equivalent of some light over the shirt action. We hung out in the lounge room the entire time! It felt like a prison! I caught myself thinking "fuck this! I can watch The Simpsons at my place any time! I need to know if the study gets good natural light otherwise I'm never coming over again!" Supreme agitation followed.

So if you ever catch me saying something like "I don't want to intrude," I'm lying! I love to intrude! I revere intrusion! Your business is my business! The place where slip off your gear and into something more lubricated is my next expedition! I'm the head friend-realtor of Quinn & Sons and we don't give a fuck!