Wednesday, July 23, 2014

An anthropological study on the effects of gender on computer game choice, including observations on Gen Y social interaction in educational settings and uptake of cigarette smoking.

So my job at the uni library is weird.  I already mentioned that hanging with the youth of today makes me feel old as the hills, but in its defence working here does provide a relatively high level of entertainment.  I while away the hours on my late late shift (the library is open until 1am, can you BELIEVE IT!) silently observing the HUMAN INTERACTIONS around me and by God it's fascinating.

Some of the more enlightening observations, in an ANTHROPOLOGICAL sense (just call me Margaret Mead) include the following;

-  one of my main tasks involves issuing X box controllers and X box games to students so they can procrasti-game instead of performing legitimate LEARNING TASKS. Frankly, I think that this is what is wrong with the Youth of Today and I occasionally tell them so in no uncertain terms because I FEEL LIKE IT IS MY ROLE.  They find me terribly amusing I can tell you.  Also they often ask me for technological things like HDMI cords or something and blah blah syncing the controllers blah blah something and everytime they do this I have to ask them to tell me which thingie they are talking about by holding them up so they can point to the correct one. If they can't find a book, I say "Goodness me what is wrong with the youth of today!?" and if they can't use the stapler I say "Goodness me what is wrong with the youth of today!?" and it gives me no end of pleasure.  Anyway, back to the observations re X box thingies. I have documented an interesting phenomena that I believe speaks in a profound way to the possibility of INNATE GENDER DIFFERENCE. Basically it has come to my attention that;

         a) 9/10 times it is young chaps who borrow X Box games and
         b) when they do so it is ALWAYS either Call of Duty or FIFA that they borrow and NOTHING  ELSE even though there is an ENTIRE COLLECTION OF GAMES TO CHOOSE FROM and
         c) sometimes, if the rare girl borrows a game, it could be any one of ALL OF THE REST OF THE GAMES.

 Isn't that interesting? Do you see what I am saying here? Significant, no? I find it so and muse on it endlessly. There are definite ramifications for the nature vs nurture debate in that one, make no mistake my friends. *raises one eyebrow in a meaningful way*

- the university library is a hub of AWKWARD social interaction for PEOPLE IN THEIR EARLY TWENTIES and frankly if I have to witness another conversation such as the following I am basically going to go postal or call shenanigans on them or call their mums or something;

Guy [walking one way, to girl walking past him the other way] Hey! I know you from somewhere!
Girl: Yeah! Yeah....I think I know you from somewhere too!
Guy:  [pauses, staring at her meaningfully, leans back and points his finger at her] I know, the beer garden!
Girl: [looks blankly at him]
Guy (less confident now): Ummmmm....yeah it was you wasn't it?
Girl: Ummmm...
Guy [rapidly losing confidence]: Oh...no...I know...the other night...at the casino? You were drunk.
Girl [showing some signs of remembering]: oh yes! Yes! You work at the casino?!
Guy: No. No I don't work at the casino. Remember, we were all "I go to [insert uni name here]", and
"Hey me too!", and then we came back here, and then...
Girl: Oh yeah, yeah, i remember you, how are you?
Guy: Good.

At this point I had to retreat back into the returns area because OMG THE AWKWARD MAKE IT STOP OMG.

- There are also PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION and I CANNOT HANDLE IT MAN I AM NOT EUROPEAN THIS IS AUSTRALIA I AM UPTIGHT AND IN MY 30s AND I DON'T WANT TO SEE YOUR YOUTHFUL LUSTY WAYS THANK YOU VERY MUCH I JUST WANT A WARM BATH AND A HOT WATER BOTTLE.

I need two new signs made for the counter top - one is to read "Get a room alley cats!" and the other will state that the lobby area is a "Social awkwardness free zone".

-  all the KIDS TODAY still smoke.  It makes me think about smoking and then I start wanting to take it up.  It becomes quite an attractive prospect.  I consider the FOR argument for my taking up cigarettes to include the following points;

     a) it would make me thin
     b) it's not like I'm 14 years old, so I wouldn't be smoking for as long and consequently I would already be old and decrepit by the time it started to kill me, therefore it is totally not that bad
     c) I would look glamorous like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction

Obviously the AGAINST argument is basically;

     a) it's smoking you idiot!

In conclusion, kids today eh? *shakes head knowingly, raises eyebrows, tsks meaningfully*

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Why I write.


There’s this THING going round, perhaps I could call it a meme? It’s blogging community related anyway, and it’s like a sort of pass the parcel for GROWN UP writery types.

My dear friend Caitlin from Mother Down Under has passed it onto me.  It’s an invitation to answer the question “Why do you write?”

Caitlin texted me to make sure it was ok to pass the torch on to me, so to speak, probs because basically I don’t really write much at the moment. HAHAHAAAAA. Not that I don’t want to! By God I’ve always got words swirling round my head but by Jove it’s tough to get a moment alone with a writing apparatus to get them down on the bally jolly buggery paper.

Still, I am jumping at this opportunity to SPILL MY GUTS about why I do what I (sporadically) do.
What am I working on?

I am trying to write some longer versions of blog posts in the hope I can craft them into something I can get published some place. It's proving difficult. Also I have started thinking in more detail about a book i want to write.  Yes. Thinking. Not writing.

I really feel the strong urge to come up with some sort of ingenious creative endeavour but I am sort of falling flat.  In that I am not coming up with one.  Any ideas?
How does my writing differ from others of its genre?

Genre? Genre? What genre even is my writing?
How does my writing process work?

I just have words and shit swirling round my head all day and sometimes I spew it out here. If I am trying to write something else I stop and start and stop and start. I used to take notes on my phone every time something good came into my head. I should probably start doing that again.
Why do I write?

Well. Look, I think the reason I write can be summed up eloquently in this way.

I write shit down because when I try and say it out loud, it always comes out all screwy and peeps end up looking at me like…


But you see, if I write it all down, man, it comes out SMOOTH LIKE….umm….SMOOTH LIKE PEANUT BUTTER OUT OF THE JAR ON A WARM DAY. Now that is MOTHERFUCKING SMOOTH PEOPLE.

You see what I’m getting at!?

Here’s an example.

Me [sitting at the desk at work]: HAHAHAHAHA

Coworker: what are you laughing at?

Me: Oh, it’s this thing on the internet, it’s a blog, she’s so hilarious and high fashion but also FUNNY and she was just going on about culottes and shit and she’s really thin and her blog is called Man Repeller, because she doesn’t wear makeup but it’s MORE THAN THAT it’s completely brilliant and guess what I just saw she was born like 10 years after me, how come she is so funny, it’s not really fair, but get this she has this MANIFESTO and it’s all about Man Repelling and I am totally a man repeller from way back because of my commitment to pubic hair and…

Coworker:

What Did You Say?

 

But like, if I totally write it all down it makes sense, right? Am I right? I’m right aren’t I? It makes sense? People? People? Anybody? Bueller?

Anyway I think I am supposed to nominate some other bloggers....

I choose my friend Housewife in Heels, and also ole Frank at Talking Frankly. Even though they may have already done it. Soz if you have guys.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Let age be no barrier.

Hello everyone. Life is very busy round these parts, and on top of that I've been doing a lot of unproductive deep thinking about life, love and the universe. And age. Actually, let's face it, I've mostly been obsessing about my age.

I feel really old at the moment. I've realised it has no small part to do with the fact that I am now working part time at a university library again (the same one that my husband works at no less, which is amusing in its own way).  I don't know if you know, but apparently it is possible to now be old enough to be a university student and to also have BEEN BORN IN 1997! WHAT THE FUCK!?  The first time I clapped eyes on a PYT's student card and saw her birthday I was momentarily lost for words.  I am ACTUALLY old enough to be her mother.  WAAAAAAAHHHHH! The last time I was employed at a uni library I was the same age as the kids studying there. Hell, I WAS one of the kids studying there! I was partying like it was 1999 (AND IT ACTUALLY WAS!) and working my way through some of the cute shelving staff. DON'T READ THIS MOM!  How things have changed. I'm reeling from the shock frankly.  In the last few months I've gone from working at an ARCHAIC and BUREAURATIC institution where I was still considered YOUNG and CRAZY HIP and OUT THERE, to a cosmopolitan educational institution where I am quite obviously OVER THE HILL.

These days I am;
a) carrying an extra 15kgs
b) embracing the FARSHON concept MATRONLY BOHO which frankly I just don't think the KIDS catch the vision of
c) married
d) a mother
e) battle hardened
f) newly attracted to LIQUID EYELINER
g) prone to making DAD JOKES when the kids come to the desk which CONFUSES and sometimes ENRAGES them

I KNOW! I can't really believe it either.

Here I am preparing to FREAK OUT THE KIDS at work, in a TYPICAL matronly boho ensemble, inspired by Stevie Nicks, Kate Bush and Kath and Kim. If I can't answer a question they ask me, I just whoosh my batwing sleeves around and jangle my bracelets at them until they go away.
Still, I imagine it's not bad practice for when I get out onto the front line in a school and am twenty times everyone's age and still trying to impress them by throwing YOUTH LINGO around and making awkward references to YOUTH CULTURE AND MUSIC and shouting things like "YOLO!" at them like it ain't no thang.

I already have the sense that this will be embarrassing for the teens to whom I inflict this on, and yet it still holds great attraction for me.  I can't wait to get my hands on a class full of spotty teens and start rapping sections of Macbeth or beat boxing underneath someone's monologue. THEY WILL LOVE IT!

And it's kind of fun being an objective observer in amongst the kids of today, because you get to watch their awkward attempts at flirtation with each other, the YOUTH FARSHON, and also I have easy access to lots of DVDs to borrow out. Winning!

One of the whippersnapper shelving staff (they are all students) casually revealed he was 21, and my jaw hit the floor. 

Whippersnapper: It totally sucks I don't get paid as much because of my age
Me: What do you mean? 
Whippersnapper: I'm only 21 you know
Me: [Shocked silence]
Whippersnapper: Yeah, and we are all going to be saddled with huge uni debts when everyone like you got their education for free
Me: Now steady on! I'm not THAT bloody old, mate!

We also had another awkward conversation about his studies.
Me: So, what are you studying?
Whippersnapper: International relations and law.
Me: Oh wow that is so cool! I studied international relations!

[Awkward silence as whippersnapper processes this information and struggles to conceal the disappointment in his face]

Me: Yeah, haha! I used to think I might work for AusAid one day. And now look at me! HAHAHAHA!

[Student fails to conceal the complex mixture of emotions he is feeling - fear that his future will mean he ends up back on the loans desk where he started, pity for me and my disappointing career, fear again, then embarrassment, then back to fear]
That's right, kids, I am the GHOST OF FUTURE YOU, ready to CRUSH YOUR DREAMS WITH A DOSE OF REALITY AND LOTS OF STORIES ABOUT MY SMALL CHILDREN AND THEIR AMUSING PENCHANTS FOR POO AND BUM JOKES!! Mwahahaha.

As well as obsessing about my age I have also been worrying myself SICK about my weight which has ONCE AGAIN notched up another few kgs. FARK.

So I went and joined a gym.  I walked in with my LOUD floral leggins on, my 4.5 year old girl and B in a pram.  I got a small tour from a MUSCLED TYPE who I assume is what is known colloquially as a PERSONAL TRAINER.  He showed me that they had exercise bikes, cross trainers, weights, free weights and some other weird shit. I mean, was I meant to be impressed? It was a gym, right? I felt like perhaps I was missing something.
Here's me in my fancy leggings. They totally aren't ready for this jelly.
Me: Um, ok. Good-oh
Muscled Type: Yeah, and the {something something machine} does this, and that's really good blah blah
Me: [eyes glazing over} Mmmmhmmm
Muscled Type: So, how do you usually work out?
Me: I don't. 
Muscled Type: You don't what?
Me: I don't work out.
Muscled Type: [Shocked silence]


Me:  I do YOGA though.
Muscled Type: [Snorts] Oh RIGHT, YOGA!
Me: Ugh, it's GOOD for you!
Muscled Type: [Rolls eyes] Yeah, yeah, I know

Anyway, such was the level of my desperation to STRIP MYSELF OF FLAB that I signed up anyway.  Let's see how that goes.   


In other interesting news, I have gained inspiration from PINTEREST and repurposed our change table as a TEA AND COFFEE STATION, thereby reclaiming some bench space and simultaneously looking HIP and CRAFTY. What's not to like??

Aforementioned former change table. No more babies for us, just all the tea and coffee we can drink! 

How are you guys going? Joined a gym recently? Obsessed with your former youth? Repurposed the shizz out of anything interesting?

Mwah.
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