Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Advantages of Old Age

You don't need a sarcastic blogger to enlighten you on the many negatives associated with old age. Despite enduring illness and losing your friends to disease, there are a few positives. By drawing your attention to them, I'm hoping we can all incorporate some of the better aspects of aging into our technologically advanced existences.

Prescription Drugs are Encouraged
I shall state that as far as drugs go, I have no idea. I've never even smoked a cigarette. But the idea of medical practitioners recommending you drug yourself up on a regular basis sounds delightfully intriguing. It seems like the perfect way to combine a mid-life crisis with a big “go get 'em, Tiger!” from your doctor. I doubt a medical professional would feel the need to tell an elderly patient not to hit up a club after taking their meds.

You Can Always be Overdressed
I often wish I lived in an era where gloves were an essential part of a woman's outfit. Being old means that it's adorable to wear a broach, hat, gloves and Italian leather shoes just to grab coffee. If you make similar sartorial choices when you're 24, people assume you'd like to be a hipster but have no idea of how to go about it.

You're Treated Like Royalty at a Cosmetic Counter
One of my favourite things about Christmas is observing the well-meaning but confused elderly men at the cosmetic counter of a department store. Whether they're seeking a gift for their wife, daughter, granddaughter or assistant, they have no idea and it's the cutest thing in the world. It's a little sad when the sales staff pounce on them like they're free Lady Gaga tickets but at least they cater to the man's every whim.

Baked Goods – Every. Single. Event.
Sunday mass? Marge's 70th birthday? Tuesday bowls sesh? Little cupcakes and slices are everywhere. Sure, you may have to pitch in and whip something up from time to time but if you're an aging social butterfly, the ladies at bingo will bake for you more than you bake for them. Just don't get caught using a packet mix or you'll be removed from the guest list of the next bridge afternoon.

Book Club
Am I the only one who believes book club is a thinly veiled excuse to drink wine at 10am with your girlfriends? Surely I can't be the only person who spends their Monday morning wishing she was attending a bottomless brunch. The addition of books, doilies and Beryl's charming young grandson only add to the allure of such an event.

Depending on your circumstances, there are many more alluring aspects to aging such as grandchildren, travelling and determining whether or not you can pull off a pink rinse when your hair turns white. I think that at the very least, we should celebrate elderly life for one weekend a year. The concept of spending an entire weekend dressed immaculately while eating baked goods and drinking gin from a coffee cup sounds rather appealing. Or is that just me?

Six Foul Aspects of Being a Writer

Before you call me a douche bag, I shall explain. I use the term 'writer' loosely to reference lifestyle rather than professional success. It's to describe the people who use writing as a way to process their lives, not because they choose to, but because they can't choose not to.

1. Not wearing pants while working
I dunno 'bout them fancy writers that work in them offices with lotsa glass n stuff but for us non-prof folk, the term 'working' often refers to hanging out at home with your laptop, sans pants. I'm not trying to paint some sexy image in your mind. I'm talking about unwashed hair, an oversized t-shirt, food on your face and/or in your beard. I'm currently editing this while on a plane and I cannot describe the pure agony I'm experiencing by trying to work while dressed as a respectable member of society. It's messing with my head.

2. Eavesdropping in Cafes
If I could go to a cafe where pants were optional, I would be the most productive Gen Y in New Farm. Sadly, I must endure the binding restriction of my cobalt skinny leg pants while overhearing elderly patrons discuss the many residences of the de Bella family. I don't mean to alarm you, but I just heard confirmation that the de Bella family would relocate from their Oxlade Drive property if only they weren't experiencing financial difficulties. It's the opinion of these patrons that the Cerebral Palsy League should sell their block next door as “they have no business owning a property on one of Brisbane's premier streets.” They could easily sell their block to the de Bellas (if they had the funds to purchase it) and relocate to somewhere around Lutwyche. I know it's wrong of me to listen but the nerve of these people truly astounds me.

3. Crippling self-doubt
No matter how many people laugh at your words or publish your articles, you still think you suck. It's not just me, it's most people who write. Regardless of how the finish product turns out, the first draft will always make you want to give up on life and wear a matching velour tracksuit every time you leave the house. Seeing your failure so obviously, every time you work, is certainly enough to prevent any true belief of talent from infiltrating your ego. There's nothing more grounding than being incomprehensibly talentless at something you're passionate about.

4. Over thinking EVERYTHING
You will never know true mental anguish until you spend two hours debating the use of a single comma. To be a writer is to over think everything. You can't even look at a goddamn street sign without your internal monologue noting how the afternoon sunlight enriches it's metal surface with a menacing glow, displaying an accurate portrayal of the day's troubling events. Seriously, I have the mind of a pretentious twat.

5. Hating clichés, because you're one of them
You look at the group of bros in the club with their flat brimmed hats and v-neck shirts and cringe while they attempt to convince girls they can remember their names. You feel just as much resentment when you lock eyes with someone in a public space who's reading the same book as you. It's not their choice of reading material that makes you suppress the world's biggest eye roll, it's the fact that they view the coincidence as a sign that you'll one day end up married. You find clichés to be vomit inducing and unoriginal yet you are well aware that your daily life is about as cliché as it gets. Just like every other Gen Y wannabe, you wake up before you'd like to, come to terms with your torturous reality and try with all your mite to drag your arse out of bed and be productive... in the quiet corner of a trendy cafe, wearing Wayfarers and an ironic knitted beanie.

6. Drinking alone
It's no secret that I'd like to publish a book one day. If you draw inspiration from the lives of Hemingway, Tenessee Williams or anyone else on this list, drinking alone could be considered invaluable work experience. Obviously, you don't need to drink to be creative, hugs not drugs and all of that, but let's be real here. I started this piece while drinking alone and devouring sherbet like it was cocaine. But I can stop any time I like. The sherbet, I mean. Certainly not the drinking.

Monday, 21 April 2014

30 Things Nobody Wants To Admit To

1. Leaving your hair a week between washes, then using dry shampoo to buy some time.

2. Preaching about personal hygiene on one of your dry shampoo days.

3. Accidentally wearing your underwear inside out.

4. Leaving your dirty dishes for a few days.

5. Purchasing singlets from a cheap, skank-ridden teenage store.

6. The lingering foul smell that entered the room at the exact moment you went quiet and / or awkwardly laughed.

7. Wearing your bed-hair in public and accepting compliments on your 'new style'.

8. Eating confectionery for dinner.

9. Irrational fear when the packaging of your favourite confectionery is redesigned.

10. Vomiting on your tuxedo. More than once.

11. Being more attached to your hair than some of your family members.

12. Feeling like it's Christmas morning when your typing speed or Excel knowledge improves.

13. Phone / laptop usage whilst in the bathroom.

14. Being completely weirded out by someone casually touching you.

15. Entering your apartment as fast as Usain Bolt when you hear a neighbour coming.

16. Purchasing new underwear to avoid doing laundry.

17. Never checking the oil level in your car.

18. Thinking about someone less than they think about you.

19. Thinking about someone more than they think about you.

20. Thinking about confectionery more than you think about your SO.

21. Eating a sausage roll for breakfast on your way to the office.

22. Awareness of Miley Cyrus' existence.

23. Fearing a terrorist organisation that targets cultures / religions other than your own.

24. Losing sleep over the fear of being attacked by aforementioned terrorist organisations.

25. Singing whist driving.

26. Rapping whilst driving (even though no one could ever be as bad as Lil Wayne).

27. Originally typing 'wrapping' when referring to the music genre... #swag

28. That one movie you love. Something along the lines of Human Centipede or Waterworld messed up stuff.

29. Feeling more comfortable around strangers than an acquaintance you bump into on the regular.

30. The hair surrounding your shower drain.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Held in Captivity

I surrendered my ID and other documentation as per their request. They took down my personal details and handed me a number – 118. I was instructed to join the many people waiting before me. It was here, awaiting instruction with the masses that I made a friend, Holly. As we waited for our questions to be answered, we speculated about what was ahead of us. No one in the room knew for sure.

After a short while, a woman appeared through a large set of doors to my right. She was short with blonde hair and an attitude one would assume to be similar to Kim Jong-un. I feared the persecution that the woman's tone implied. As she called several groups of numbers to stand before her, many of my fellow captives obediently formed the lines she had requested.

They were lead, line by line through the doors to face their doom. I looked around the room to survey the left overs. There were people of all kinds, from different backgrounds whom held different values to my own. There were also many who seemed similar to myself. How did so many individuals end up in such a bazaar situation?

For hours I waited, my restlessness growing with every passing minute. Important looking people wearing wires to their ears and indifferent expressions strolled through the room sporadically. They didn't look at those held captive, nor did they enjoy being spoken to by the daring few that caught their attention. Holly and I began to dream of escaping without repercussion. We spoke of turning to alcohol to solve our problems. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to devise an escape plan we could be sure would not further entrap us.

Kim Jong-un's evil nanny reentered the room to claim her next victims. She held the entire room's attention as she identified those to be lead away through the doors to my right. Once the fallen had followed the stout woman to their graves, the room began to imagine what was behind the mythical exit. Snippets of questioning could be heard from various corners of the room. My fellow captives had noticed the lack of people reemerging from the doors. Soon after, several new people entered our holding pen but were ushered straight through to the exit. Why were we not one of those people? Did I or my fellow prisoners even want to be?

Inevitably, my turn came. The small blonde woman separated many people, including Holly and I, from the friends they had made. That was the last I ever saw of Holly. I was directed to form a line with other people in the room. We stood with sweaty palms and bated breath until we were lead through the doors to our much anticipated exit.

The other side of the doors were rather underwhelming. If it wasn't for the peculiar circumstances surrounding my current predicament, I would have been disappointed. Two new women were waiting in the open space to greet us. They appeared to have more authority than the angry blonde yet they came across much nicer. I was firm in my belief that despite their kind dispositions, they were capable of ending things for me, right there in that room. We were instructed to perform rather questionable tasks and provide information about our lives.

My concentration was effected by the many unanswered questions surrounding the situation. When I couldn't bare it any longer, the two woman requested the group stand in a single line facing them. This formation felt similar to what I imagine one would feel when facing a firing squad. Before I had time to think, we were addressed. We were instructed to move to the opposite side of the room when called out. Others who weren't called were relinquished to their freedom.

Many of us fidgeted nervously as they read through their list. First, a tall man was called, he towered over both of our instructors. Secondly, a small, kind looking woman joined him. Two more people were called out from the line. Then, the two leading women looked up and informed us that it was over. The rest of us were free to go.

I sighed with relief as I heard those words uttered. I looked towards the exit and could taste my freedom. There was nothing I could do but smile. I left the room and pounded down the stairs with elation. I had one thing on my mind. I reached the ground floor of the hotel and could not explain the pure joy bursting from my heart when I laid eyes upon it. Although I hadn't made it past the first round of Big Brother auditions, I could finally go to the bathroom.