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Links & Stuff #5: Procrastinating on so many essays right now

Sunday, August 24th, 2014 | Filed under: Links and Stuff

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Whoa hey links yeah:

And finally: if you’re bored and procrastinating and wants something to fill your time, head to my sidebar and sign yourself up for email updates. It’s the gift that keeps on giving…shitty writing delivered straight to the comfort of your email inbox.

If you’re even more bored, leave me a fucking comment already m8.

 

A quick admin note

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 | Filed under: Uncategorized

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Hey hi friends! Quick note, please help me out here.

I’ve changed the way email subscriptions to this blog work. If you’re receiving this by the current feedburner email subscription, that’s rad, and that will continue to work if you’re an old fogey and don’t like change. The new system in place should format emails more nicely for you, though (providing it works, heh). If you have a sec, consider signing up to the new one (in the sidebar, looks exactly the same, don’t be deceived). Leave me a comment and let me know if you do/if it’s working.

(the upside of this system is it makes it easier to see how many people read this. Which is currently zero. You can do your part to save my ego today.)

If you don’t already subscribe by email, now’s a pretty hella time to start doing that. I’m changing (or attempting to change) the way I post a bit – rather than the sporadic and unreliable shit of yesteryears, there will hopefully be three posts a week, (Wed/Fri/Sat) most weeks from now on – granted, some of those posts will be things like link collections as opposed to Actual Writing, but I am also trying to write more – this blog is going to become a combination of sharing cool things I like, and posting the writing that doesn’t really lend itself to getting published elsewhere. On which note, I’m also writing more here, which is a fun place you can check from time to time if you want to keep tabs on my very slow and faltering ~journalistic career~.

Seriously, sign up for email updates. If you get sick of me, you can unsubscribe in one easy and soul-crushing click. (You should also leave comments. Shouting into the void is nice, but hearing back every once in a while is super rad too.)

Thanks friends, have a good Saturday. Now go read yesterday’s post, it’s much more entertaining.

Brutally realistic and completely unexaggerated* depictions of a Friday

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 | Filed under: Adventures in Real Life

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Today I woke up to find my mother vacuuming the inside of a cake stand. As in, she’s standing there in a matching grey tracksuit, skilfully manoeuvring  the nozzle-thing around the pieces of cake inside so as to vacuum up the crumbs and produce an appearance of poise and cleanliness that is UTTERLY AT ODDS WITH THE CONCEPT OF A CAKE STAND.

“Mum,” I said. “This is madness. A cake stand is supposed to have crumbs on it. This is why we employ a cake stand, rather than just letting pieces of cake flop limply around on furniture like obscure metonyms for our decaying and crumbly existence.” This very reasonable piece of logic apparently did not fly with her. She continued vacuuming the cake stand, producing an artificially perfect piece cake display I’ve documented below for posterity and, more broadly, science.

photo 1 (1)

[Figure 1: Cake stand, post-vacuum. A premonition of a brave new era.]

 

As I donned my Friday-morning uniform of an old flanno (possibly unwashed) and bed socks (definitely unwashed), it became apparent to me that the cake stand was not one isolated incident, but part of a broader scheme of Cleanliness and Making Household Objects Conform To Unrealistic Societal Beauty Standards. The house in general was cleaner than I’d ever seen it. I couldn’t find any of my eight sort-of-dirty-but-reasonably-fine teacups on the sideboard, and had to actually get a clean one out of the drawer. And there was a pile of interior design magazines in a strategically careless (yet not messy) pile on the kitchen table. (Also documented below by Yours Truly in the name of Good Journalism and Avoiding Essays).

[Figure 2: "Oh yes, we always casually leave visions of unattainably bourgeois bliss at perfect 45 degree angles on our dining table - don't you?"]

[Figure 2: "Oh yes, we always casually leave visions of unattainably bourgeois bliss at perfect 45 degree angles on our dining table - don't you?"]

I obviously had to get to the bottom of this, so I conducted some very intellectual investigative journalism. “Mum,” I said. “Why are you cleaning everything on a Friday?” I had thought this question would catch her out, but unfortunately, she seemed to have anticipated me. I can now provide you with the exclusive information that apparently a real estate photographer was coming to our house to take photographs, as we are possibly attempting to sell our house.

“But aren’t we trying to sell to developers and capitalist scum who will just bulldoze the house and probably only require pictures of the land outside?” I asked.

“Yes,” said Mum. “But they might like to have a photo of our dining table in there, to demonstrate how homely it could be.”

“Ah, okay.” I said. “That makes a lot of sense.” I decided to do my bit for the cleaning effort, which involved transferring the pile of paperwork, assessments and bank statements I don’t want to deal with from my desk to my bed so that I could open my laptop and not do my assignments. I also found pants, so as to contribute to the Accomplished Bourgeois Vibe. Perhaps the photographer would also want a picture of me, to demonstrate that this is a place where incredibly attractive people can (and do) live. I decided to practise for my impending photoshoot by sending snapchats of myself (taken via the bathroom mirror) to all of my friends and acquaintances. I then sent some snapchats of my mother cleaning, because I have to maintain my reputation of sending Artistic and Unconventional Snaps. I made sure to obtain consent before sending these snaps, because I support ethical snapchatting.

Despite my air of unwashed hipster nonchalance, however, beneath the flannel-clad surface I was beginning to feel concerned. The cleaning process was beginning to seem like a hugely obvious metaphor for the Sisyphean pursuit of our existence – so much effort put into a thing that will eventually be crushed by capitalist greed and erased from this earth forever. I tried to tell Mum this, but she hasn’t read Camus. Neither have I, but I invest several hours weekly into cultivating an air of pretentiousness via Wikipedia. Still, I couldn’t shake my concerns. What if this was all a fruitless and meaningless pursuit? What if the photographer didn’t even come?

With a sense of fateful and dramatic timing, it is at this point that the phone rang.

“Wassup,” I said, because no-one has ever explained telephone etiquette to me in a simple and easy-to-understand fashion. Unfortunately, this “wassup” was a mistake, as it was the Very Serious Real Estate Agent on the other end. I quickly threw the phone handset in the direction of my mother and snapchatted my distress.

When my mother got off the phone, her face was grim. “They are not coming today,” she reported. “They are coming on Monday instead.” She seemed a little put out. I braced myself to provide comfort in the hour of her existential despair. Instead, she surprised me.

“It’s okay. I can vacuum the cake stand again on Monday.”

The world is fukt.

 

* Promise. Would I lie to you? (seriously, though, you can’t make this shit up.)

Another toilet story whoa

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 | Filed under: Adventures in Real Life

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(This is from last Friday. I’m posting it now because WHATEVER and YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD)

Because I’ve sold my soul to debating, I spend my Friday nights adjudicating overconfident highschoolers in various posh schools around Sydney.

The schools are not posh out of my preference, by the way. They’re just posh because posh ones are the only ones that can afford to shell out the unreasonable hourly rate required to sustain the (un)glamorous debating lifestyle. Otherwise, believe me, I’d be avoiding private schools (and, indeed, all high schools) like the plague.

The school I’m at tonight will remain anonymous because the quality of their classroom furniture makes me very sure that they can and would sue me for destroying their image or whatever it’s called (not a law student, won’t try to toss Latin at you). Anyway, this school is so well resourced it’s painful, because let’s face it, most schools aren’t. Hell, the teacher in charge of debating isn’t even called the coordinator, but the “MIC”, a snazzy acronym which I’ve learnt stands for “Master in Charge”. The building is better furnished than my house. The desks aren’t even graffitied. All of the fluorescent lights work.

The staff, headed by the pompous MIC, are likewise slick, prepared and organised. They’ve got signs directing people to the location of every debate. The signs are laminated. And instead of the usual debating fare of stale cookies and squashy grapes, this place has some fancy pastry things that probably haven’t even been translated into English yet. They’re essentially prepared in every possible way.

Except one. And it’s sort of a crucial one. In a fit of what I can only assume is entrenched misogyny (I’m only sort of kidding), it seems the all-male staff of this all-male school have forgotten that there will inevitably be non-male adjudicators (and, y’know, parents) attending. Crucially, they’ve forgotten that these non-male people will need a bathroom (and cannot use the men’s because, y’know, child protection). It seems that no one at all has foreseen or planned for this contingency, because when I wander over and broach the question, they look absolutely stunned.

It takes a few seconds of passable mullet impressions until someone confidently directs me to “the nearest female bathroom”. It’s not near. Nor is it unlocked.

I return to Stunned Mullet. He fumblingly apologises, and consults with his colleague. His colleague consults with another colleague. I imagine an endless line of colleagues stretching out, ad infinitum, (I lied about the Latin) or at least until my bladder gives way.

A mumbling consensus is eventually reached, and I’m given the most long-winded and uncertain directions of my short life. I follow them, and stumble down into a dimly lit corridor to apparently nowhere. “I will die down here,” I think, in a fit of sudden panic. I decide to return upstairs and just hold my pee for dear life.

I take a wrong turn on the way back up. It is in this stroke of utter accident that I find the bathroom.

Thank god I’m being overpaid for this.

This Week in iPhone Photos #1

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 | Filed under: Photoblogs

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It’s Friday (okay, Saturday by the time I posted this, whatever), and I’ve spent most of the day drinking tea and reading good journalism and feeling very businesslike and #actualadult every time I do a simple thing like make a bank transfer. Hurrah. (On a related note, a person’s level of pretentious-hipster-ness is probably positively correlated with the satisfaction they get from realising their fingers are smudged black from reading so much ~print media~)

This week has been super busy, so it’s really nice to relax. I sort of signed myself up for WAY TOO MANY DEBATING TOURNAMENTS which will be fun but also expensive and time consuming. Naturally, I’m only realising the expensive-and-time-consuming part in retrospect. Oh well. Onwards.

In other poor decisions lately, have we spoken yet about my timetable this semester? Because we need to talk about my timetable this semester. And what an idiot I am. Much like last semester, all my classes are squashed up into back-to-back blocks, which I, being a complete noob, looked at and thought “ah, yes, good, efficiency.” Except that I didn’t check the locations. Or a map. And now that my very efficient timetable is locked in, I realise I have days where I’ve got 900 metre sprints in five minutes between every class. Here’s an illustration so you can pity me.

timetable of doomSee? I’m an idiot. I don’t know what I was thinking.  I don’t think I was thinking. I’m gonna be so fit by the end of semester though. Maybe.

That’s about all I’ve got to say for the moment, because I should really definitely be DOING ACTUAL WORK or something. While I’m not talking at you, have some pictures I’ve taken over the past couple of weeks (the title is a lie), because having a phone (oh yeah, that happened) enables me to take more pictures and I enjoy it immensely. I’m trying something a bit new with this kind of post, because all of my serious writing energy is going into uni stuff/the student paper at the moment. Hopefully you enjoy.

USyd graffiti is pretty great.

USyd graffiti is pretty great.

city and trains

Two omelettes, some gozleme, and a lot of lemons. Food has been good to me lately.

Two omelettes, some gozleme, and a lot of lemons. Food has been good to me lately.

cool skeleton

Found this old mate in a shop in glebe. Also, whoever wrote the price tag on that coffin has a sense of humour.

craft yeah

The other day I stood outside for about half an hour and just watched the sun set. It was majestic. I actually cried, because I'm an overly sentimental and emotional piece of soap.

The other day I stood outside for about half an hour and just watched the sun set. It was majestic. I actually cried, because I’m an overly sentimental and emotional piece of soap.

changes

city at night

Alright, that’s me done. I wasted so much time doing that, so I need to go do some actual work now. Have a good one.

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