Capitalism and poverty are two of the greatest contributors to the oppression of women in the world today. Focusing precious time and energy on examining whether or not a small proportion of those women are enabled to participate freely in the system that expressly shackles the rest of them seems to me to be entirely missing the point.Clementine Ford on why the whole "can women have it all" thing is besides the point.
Where I try to overcome my self-loathing about even having a blog by drawing attention to blogs which are actually good.
Anna writes about anxiety, parenting and anxiety about parenting. She also manages to balance said parenting with work, compulsive tweeting and editing the excellent digital magazine, Bide. Anna’s writing has moved me to tears more than once, and not the tears of frustration which appear after I realise I’ve been link-baited into reading a post on Mamamia. This entry about her eldest daughter’s experience at a school disco got me right in the feels:
I don’t know how to help her make friends because she’s spent 9 years without any, and now when the other kids do show an interest in her she grabs them like a favourite toy and won’t let them go, until they slide out of her grasp like mercury and she says ‘people don’t like me’. I am hard up against a wall that shouts that it’s true, the other kids don’t like her, but it’s not because she’s not clever or funny or pretty or generous or considerate because she is all of those things. How do you look your child in her enormous crazy eyes and try inelegantly to explain that it’s the others who are missing out, not her, when you know from experience that all she wants is to be a normal kid and not give a shit about the needles in her heart and just have one friend– just one – who will cross the road to say hello to her.
Gumtree is the Australian version of Craigslist – online classifieds for almost everything. This blog chronicles the weird shit that people post on there, including things that aren’t actually classified ads.
Arnade is a photojournalist who has spent the last few years with the residents of Hunts Point, arguably the worst place in New York. His portraits of sex workers, addicts and the generally down-and-out are as stark and confronting as the stories behind their subjects.
It’s been a really long time since I’ve enjoyed drinking moderate amounts of alcohol. It’s been even longer since I’ve enjoyed getting drunk. I haven’t actively hated drinking – especially since I moved to Melbourne and gained regular access to Gypsy pear cider – but I can’t think of a good time I’ve had in the last 18 months that has been improved by me being drunk.
I’ve felt uneasy about alcohol ever since I was a kid – long before my teenage run-ins with Bundaberg Rum. My first serious boyfriend was a sweet guy, but a nasty drunk. In one of our many fights about his awful behaviour, I told him I didn’t like him being drunk or being drunk with him because a) he behaved like an arsehole and b) so many bad things in my life were connected with alcohol. He countered that the best times in his life were because of alcohol, and I was being unfair to deprive him of more good times. He was right, I suppose. No-one likes a killjoy, so I kept my misgivings about alcohol to myself and chose to drink in moderation or not at all.
A few weeks ago I flicked through a copy of The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. I gritted my teeth to get over the fact that true non-conformists are probably too busy being rad to read a book about not conforming and found a few good ideas in there. One was defining frugality by not spending money on things you don’t value, as opposed to things you don’t need. Guillebeau says:
My view is that if you like having a latte every morning and feel that the purchase is a good value, by all means, pick up a morning latte. It’s more important to be clear about the bulk of your spending.
Music is the greatest source of joy and comfort in my life. It always has been, and it’s certainly treated me better than any drink I’ve ever had. I drew up a budget soon after I moved to Melbourne and have a pretty good idea of my cash flow and expenses. After budgeting for bills and cutting out the stuff I didn’t value (booze, taxi fares) I realised I had plenty of money to pay for at least some of my music consumption without hurting my savings. I’ve been funnelling that money into digital downloads from Bandcamp and increasing my vinyl record collection by a steady rate of an LP a week.
Most people value paying for alcohol over paying for music, and I guess that’s fine. Pubs – particularly live music venues – have bills to pay too. Then again, for the price of two pints (in Melbourne), I got Screamfeeder bass player Kellie Lloyd’s solo album as a 180g vinyl LP, a free download of the album in MP3 format and a bonus flexidisc of the album’s lead single. I reckon that’s a better investment.
A Perfect Circle’s album ‘Thirteenth Step’ is one of my all-time favourites. I listened to it hundreds of times between 2005 and 2009, when I finally got over my first ex-boyfriend and discovered the wonderful world of post-punk.
APC toured Australia earlier this year as part of Soundwave Festival. The announcement stirred up nostalgic memories of teenage angst, and I looked up the album on streaming service Rdio so I could listen to it on the tram home.
Here’s how Thirteenth Step appears in my iTunes library:
And this is the correct track order, as it appears on Rdio:
It turns out that the burned CD I imported into iTunes in 2005 had a jumbled track list, which means I’ve been listening to a botched version of Thirteenth Step for nearly a decade.
If you’re the type of person who buys a song or two off iTunes a year and is otherwise happy to listen to whatever’s on the radio, track listings might not be a particularly big deal to you.
I am not that type of person. I am one of those obnoxious people who buy albums and then talk about the flow of them, and you know what needs to flow? The order of the tracks.
Tori Amos’ debut album Little Earthquakes was released as per the record label’s request – minus a few songs and with a completely different flow. Tori re-released the album in its original form as part of her eight-disc b-sides and rarities set, A Piano, and I have to say – I can see why her record label intervened.
I realise I could’ve avoided this problem by actually purchasing a copy of Thirteenth Step, but I’ve become attached to my muddled version. I think the album is stronger opening with ‘The Nurse Who Loved Me‘ and ending with the moody co-dependent love song ‘Weak and Powerless‘ – particularly considering the album’s supposed to be based around the theme of addiction.
Still, there are A Perfect Circle/Tool fans out there who are more tragic than I am. At least I’m not a perfect tool.
2 years ago, a masseuse told me my calf muscles were tight because they were storing suppressed emotional trauma from my childhood. I told him my childhood was wonderful, he replied that my tight calves indicated otherwise.
Today, my new masseuse told me my calf muscles are tight because I have high arches and unsupportive shoes. I FEEL VINDICATED.
New and exciting ways to rate and review every single activity in your life.
Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder if the internet will ever collapse under the weight of all the opinions heaped on it every second of every day. Did you have a particularly good meal? Tell Urbanspoon. Read a good book? Tell Goodreads. Find yourself stuck in a really shitty motel? Warn other travellers by reviewing it on TripAdvisor.
Between these review sites and millions of personal blogs, I thought we had this whole reviewing thing covered. I was wrong.
Readers, meet Sleeping In Airports. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
Are you looking for a way to skim a few bucks off your travel expenses? Well, why not consider sleeping in an airport?
Sure, it may sound a little cheap and degrading at first, but read-on and you’ll soon discover a travel community that (for over 16 years) has been sharing their experiences and advice with fellow airport sleepers.
The site rates the best airports to sleep in around the world, as well as offering tips for people who choose to set up camp in the terminals. I know plenty of people who’ve been stranded at the airport due to flight cancellations, but I didn’t realise going to the airport to sleep was a movement in itself. It’s only a matter of time before I gamble on a Tiger Airways flight and lose, so I guess I’d better read up.
I’ve also been spending a little too much time on Doctoralia. I’m on the hunt for a Melbourne based GP (if anyone knows a good one, let me know), and my aunt sent me a couple of links to the site along with her recommendations.
Of course, the first thing I did was look up all the medical professionals I’ve ever encountered. My old doctor/miracle worker in Rockhampton has a 5 star rating, and a couple of reviews along the lines of “she saved my life”. On the other end of the spectrum, Dr C (who once told me to drink a nice orange juice if I ever felt suicidal) has a 2.5 star rating, and a couple of rough reviews criticising her attentiveness. Sucked in.
I’m a longtime Destiny’s Child fan, and was thrilled to see Kelly and Michelle pop up in Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime show.
Michelle’s the only member of the group who isn’t a) Beyonce b) related to Beyonce, which means she’s always copped a raw deal.
Poor Michelle is a tumblr commemorating all the times Michelle’s been treated like a second class citizen/a mere backup dancer for Beyonce.
There’s also this excellent MADtv sketch. “Michelle? There’s no Michelle in Destiny’s Child!”
This classic scene from The Bold and the Beautiful.
Bold is apparently the most-watched TV series in the entire world. I am one of the suckers who watches it. Here’s a classic 80s video of my two favourite characters having a cat fight, complete with hammy acting and an unplanned dip in the swimming pool.
CAPS LOCK IS TOTALLY NECESSARY
Gloss colour cover, black and white insides. Features stories about my old life in Rockhampton (live music, bikies and high-speed highway vomiting), my new life in Melbourne, mental health and handwriting. I’ll be selling the zine at the upcoming Paper City Zine Fair in Melbourne and the Canberra Zine Emporium in our nation’s capital, as well as putting it in shops. If you don’t live in any of these places and want a whole bunch of bonus stuff with your zine, pre-order it before this Friday the 8th of Feb.
My car arrived from Queensland earlier this week, and I embarked on my maiden Melbourne car voyage on Friday afternoon. It was the first time I’d driven in nearly 4 months, and the first time I’d driven in a city in nearly a year. Here’s h0w it went.
1. Turn car on. So far, so good.
2. Put car into reverse, look over shoulder and in mirrors to check for grannies, small children or dogs. Cats have nine lives – not my problem.
3. Take foot off brake, reverse into the street. Put car in drive, press accelerator and stop at the intersection.
4. Oh, that’s right, I’m not in central Queensland anymore. Put on left-hand blinker – fuck, that’s the windscreen wiper. Ok, indicator on… annnnd… go!
5. Put Mastodon on the stereo.
6. Ahh, traffic jam. Time to air drum to Mastodon.
7. Traffic is moving again. Turn off Mastodon as the urge to air drum is impairing my driving ability.
8. AHH! AHH! A DOUBLE LANE ROUNDABOUT! THIS IS LIKE THE ENTRANCE TO THE NORTH ROCKY HUNGRY JACKS BUT WORSE!
9. Ok, cool. Now I’m on the City Link, I think. Fuck. That’s not what I wanted.
10. OK, indicate right to exit. LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN YOOUUUUU KARRRRRNNTTT
12. Oh hang on, I do want to be on the City Link.
13. *motorists honk horns and yell at me*
14. SORRY! I’M FROM QUEENSLAND!
15. Note to self – do not remove your Queensland number plates until you have your shit together. Lucky it’s registered until December.
16. Traffic jam. Put Mastodon on. Air guitar.
17. Traffic’s moving. Turn off Mastodon.
18. All right, cool. I think I’ve got the hang of this. Just need to get into the left hand lane. Indicate… mirror…
19. LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN
20. Wow, this bridge is really tall. I guess at least I can check out the view now I’m stuck in a traffic jam.
21. OK, the bridge is shaking in the wind. The traffic isn’t moving. What if it collapses? It’s happened before.
22. HOLY SHIT I NEED TO GET THE FUCK OFF THIS BRIDGE OR I AM GOING TO DIE
23. Traffic is moving. I am not going to die.
24. WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT TRUCK COME FROM?! I AM GOING TO DIE.
25. Ok, no, I’m good. Indicate left… LET ME IN LET ME IN…
26. Phew. Thanks! Sorry! I’m from Queensland! We don’t have roads or laws up there.
Of all my years as a carbon-based life form, 2012 was certainly one of them. It wasn’t amazing, it wasn’t totally horrible, but it was important.
I don’t feel like I have a long list of impressive achievements to rattle off – not any external ones, anyway. That said, some of the things I’m happy about include:
- Reconnecting with my family and spending some time and effort being a good daughter and big sister.
- Putting out the Sailormouth EP - my first musical release since I ragequit my music degree in 2008.
- Writing for a couple of my favourite magazines and websites, and making it down to Melbourne for a writing residency for the Emerging Writers Festival.
- Mastering my old job in Rockhampton and handing it over to a most excellent replacement.
- Realising I wanted to move to Melbourne, then doing it.
- Not killing myself, ruining my life or ending up in hospital.
As far as music’s concerned, I don’t think the internet needs any more top ten lists or self-consciously witty blog posts trying to tie together a take on the year’s musical trends and releases. Instead, I’ve put together two mixtapes of my favourite songs from the past year – one for fans of sick riffs and one for fans of feeling feelings. Put them on in the background while you’re doing other things, and follow up any songs you like.
Enjoy. Or don’t. Do what you want, I’m not your mother.
Scene: A sweltering Saturday afternoon. I’m wearing a t-shirt, which means the tattoos on my upper arms are visible. The outbound 70 tram goes past the Rod Laver Arena, and it’s packed with kids (and their supervising adults) off to see the Wiggles play a matinee show.
A lady with two little girls is looking around for a seat, and thanks me when I stand up and offer them mine.
Little girl: Those are tattoos on your arms.
Me: Yes, they are.
Little girl: My mummy doesn’t like tattoos.
Me: My mummy doesn’t like them either.
The little girl’s mother smiles, embarrassed. She’s clearly mortified.
Little girl: Did she yell at you when you got them?
Me: No, but my Dad did.
Little girl’s friend: If I got tattoos, my mummy would make me have a bath and scrub them off.
Me: My mum mustn’t have known that trick.
Little girl: Are you a grown-up?
Little girl: Does that mean you can say “go away I don’t want to listen to you” when your mum and dad tell you to do things?
Me: I think that would hurt their feelings, so I don’t want to do that. They only tell me to do things because they love me, and they’re usually right.
Little girl’s friend: Are you going to the Wiggles too?
Me: No, I’m catching this tram to my house. The Wiggles are pretty good though. I saw them when I was a little girl.
The little girl’s friend’s eyes widen. I’ve blown her tiny little mind with this information.
Little girl’s friend: How old are the Wiggles?!
The tram stops and the passengers cheer. We’re at the Rod Laver Arena.
The little girl and her friend say goodbye in unison. The mother smiles apologetically, thanks me again and shepherds them off the tram.