Day One-Hundred-and-Forty-Eight: Don’t be afraid to reconnect


But maybe they’re not as inarticulate and annoying in person, right?

There’s a spot on my floor, about the width of two tiles, that is noticeably warmer than the rest of the floor. I only notice it in the evening, when the weather cools, and the tiles take on a (sometimes welcome) chill. On my journey from the kitchen to the bedroom–usually with some food item in my hand/mouth–it gives me pause.

My boyfriend and I have discussed it. We’re not sure of the cause. Probably some pipe or power source running under there. Or our downstairs neighbours have a small heater on their roof. I like to think it’s a posh floor-heating mechanism that was partially installed during building, then scrapped when the owners found out how much it would cost (and how ridiculous it is to have a heated floor in Brisbane).

And what, you may be yelling at your monitor, is the fucking point of this story?

Well, it’s been 28 days since my last drink…err, post. For reasons that are clear only to the monkey who drives my brain, I felt like it was time to reconnect.

And that’s all it takes, right? Just a small thing to start a conversation, and get things rolling again.

I was talking to someone the other day about whether it would be weird for them to reach out to old friends and suggest a catch up. Now, I’m no well of wisdom (actually, the only thing I can say with any certainty that I’m a well of is blood and urine), but it seems to me that in this new-fangled age of Facebook and Twitter and all that self-broadcasting shit, reconnecting with people is as easy as liking a post or getting involved in an in-status debate about Tony Abbott. (Well, that’s if you think making sense of a plethora of poorly-formed sentences hurling abuse at bloody Labor/LNP/Juliar/Clive “Dat’s a Huuuuge Bitch” Palmer is easy.) The point is that striking up a dialogue has never been so simple and non-stalkerish.

For example:

Your high-school buddy posts a status about how fucking good Meaty’s Steak Emporium and Barbeque Palooza is. You’ve been to Meaty’s and you can totally attest to its jizz-inducing deliciousness. (You have the stains to prove it.) Why not post a casual “OMG I KNOW RIGHT LOL” and see what happens? Maybe you guys can go to Meaty’s together some time and eat ribs until you’re more pig-meat than man. Trade “What I’ve Been Doing with My Life” stories over a stack of buffalo wings. I don’t fucking know; it’s not my job to plan your meat-ups (ha!).

(By the way, if I open a steakhouse, I will call it Meaty’s Steak Emporium and Barbeque Palooza, so if you open one before I do and steal this name–thanks for reading!– I will hunt you down.)

What I’ve realised, through the magic of self-examination, is that nobody is going to react in a negative way when you attempt reconnect with them. (Unless you were a total c**t in school. I can’t help you there.) If you’re worried about looking like a desperate weirdo contacting old friends, think about it this way: if you got a nice message from an old mate, wondering what you were up to, and suggesting a catch-up, how would you feel? Warm and fuzzy, probably. You’re very unlikely to laugh derisively and delete their message. (Unless you are the the aforementioned c**t. God, you truly are a dick.) In fact, provided that the message doesn’t begin with “I wish to have tell you about the joys of Islam” (an actual Facebook message I received–please know that I am prejudiced against all religions equally), you’re probably going to be pleasantly surprised and happy to hear from them. Nostalgia is a powerful thing. (I’m not saying that you wouldn’t also be interested in the joys of Islam.)

I have friends whom I can go months without seeing. When they pop up on my radar again, or I swing them an “it’s been too damn long”, there’s no recriminations for the lack of contact, no raised eyebrows and WTFs, just a genuine keenness to meet up and talk shit about life (and eat, usually).

And yes, I get that sometimes people from our past are best left there, and you’ll probably hear a lot of “we should totally catch up some time” bullshit before you actually end up doing the thing, but, like an old friend once chided me, you’re never going to meet anyone if you don’t get out there. (I appreciated the message, but it’s totally not true. They could come to my house. And what with home-delivered groceries and the wonders of the internet, I could conceivably never leave the confines of my apartment. Or wear pants.)

Sometimes *cue sad, reflective music* you’ll hang out with someone again only to realise that your lives have diverged so obviously that you no longer share any common ground. You’ll sit opposite them in a cafe, smiling awkwardly and trying to react in a casual and interested way to the idea of a competitive all-male knitting club, and you’ll know that your future interactions will be limited to a ‘like’ and maybe a “sick cardigan, bro” here and there. The awesome (and terrifying) thing about the world is that it’s full of people, a good proportion of whom are statistically likely to share your interests. Expand your circles (not an advertisement for Google+). Old friends have new friends, who can be your friends too if you reconnect with the old friends. Friend poaching!

So, reach out or don’t. Whatever. The door is never closed (unless you’re in prison)(especially if you’re in prison for stalking and murdering former friends).


Good to see you.

We should definitely catch up some time.



Day Eighty-One: A technology downgrade is like dealing with a toddler


To my utter horror, I woke up a few mornings ago to discover that my phone had contracted some kind of phone herpes, which, over the course of several hours, slowly blotted out the entire screen. I don’t know why it happened, but it did.

Following this tragic development (and while my phone is spending three weeks at the warranty repairs place being looked at by obviously very slow technicians), I had two choices.

One: Go without a phone. Inconceivable. Ridiculous. I can’t even…

Two: Purchase another phone with all that disposible income that I have. Oh, wait…

Three: Use my and my boyfriend’s go-to “I’ve just broken my phone and need something for the interim” Motorola.


Of course, it’s got to be option three, and this is where the real fun begins.

It’s funny how you get by with outdated technology at the time and don’t think anything of it–case in point: I am writing this on a freaking brick of a Toshiba laptop that requires constant wall plug access, but it’s what I have so I’m dealing with it–but as soon as you’ve upgraded and experienced the joys of fast loading, awesome graphics, and the proper system to support all them cool apps, you can never go back.

Well, you can. But it sucks.

And thus, the Motorola. The Motorola is probably about three or four years old now. It has all that stuff a smart phone should have– touch screen, Android interface, the ability to surf the net and go on Facebook–but none of the power or speed required to adequately power these technologies. Using the Motorola is like carrying an unreasonable toddler around with you.

Here’s why:


1. The tantrums


This is how I imagine my phone looks internally. (On a side note, I’m always fascinated by Jill Greenberg’s pics of crying, lollipop-deprived children

You know the feeling. You’re out and about just doing yo’ thang, and somewhere close by a child just loses their shit. Only this time, you’re out and about, trying to map your way to an appointment, and the screaming mess of tiny human is in your hand. I really believe that if this phone could wail and shriek like some kind of deranged possum, it would. (I’ll look into appropriate ringtones.) Directions? You want DIRECTIONS? SCREEEEEEEEE! Or, more accurately, *freeze*, *flicker*, *force close*. Then there’s the silent treatment, i.e. the “you put me on vibrate, but I’ll give you no indication but a single light flash when a message comes through; take that you stupid bitch” treatment. Why do our children hate us so?


2. The sudden and powerful urge to nap


Too. Much. Breathing.

I get it. We’ve all fallen asleep in weird places before when we’re just so wrecked we can’t keep our eyes open. Little kids are notorious for it. I suspect, though, that this phone may be a toddler with narcolepsy. Never mind that I’ve given it a good rest (charge), and that I’ve only just picked it up and tried to use it to check my bank balance, it is most decidely nap time, mother fuckers. You want to call somebody? Well, that’s just too bad, because my internal clock says I need a reboot. Gosh, did you just try to move that app shortcut to your home screen? You know how that exhausts me.


3. The inability to handle simple tasks


You want me to attach TWO things? *bzzzzt* ERROR

I’m not asking for complex games with lots of colour and fast movement (I learnt that the hard way already). I’m not asking for it to mine Bitcoin or act as the server for Twitter. I’m no longer even asking for web pages, since that has proven to be beyond this phone’s capacity. What I want is to scroll through a Facebook feed, to type and send a text message, to quickly google the net worth of Bill Murray. If these things sound like basic smart phone uses, then you haven’t met the Motorola. From offering to force close the (clearly taxing) application, to simply restarting itself, the Motorola really is the dumbest piece of technology I’ve come across in a while.


4. The shitting itself


If only it were super cute Golden Lucky Poop…

Whenever. Wherever. Especially when you’re busy, rushing, or in desperate need of it to just behave.


Some people might tell me that this is a “first world problem” (and yes, I know, I agree) and that I should be grateful that technology has come so far since the humble Nokia 3310. Those people have never experienced this phone. Those people are probably reading this on their iPhones, while simultaneously watching a Youtube video, writing a text, and playing Candy Crush. I appreciate technology, and I am definitely glad that my back-up phone isn’t a brick with a black-and-white screen and monophonic ringtones, but you know what? I can’t handle the backtrack. I can’t handle the downgrade. I can’t handle this stupid, shrieking, gurgling mess of a phone for three weeks.

At least you can give a toddler a drop of whiskey to calm it down.

(Actually, liquid damage probably couldn’t make this phone any worse.)

(Or I’ll just have the whiskey…)



Day Seven: Stop chasing perfection


On the seventh day, God rested. Apparently. If God is anything like me, he/she probably looked back on the work he/she’d just done, found 15 things wrong with it (proximity of waste expulsion zone to genital zone, anyone?), and spent the whole day tweaking and fretting.

When I was in grade two, we got a one-hour block each week to write stories. Everyone had a special story-writing exercise book to fill with various tales of fun, adventure, and woe (and Super Mario if most of the boys’ pieces were anything to go by). Each week, I’d wait patiently for the hour to come, take my book from my desk, carefully smooth the pages, and get stuck into writing. The other kids wrote short stories. Two pages was standard. Four was a more detailed yarn.

I wrote a novella (comparatively). About a dolphin… who shared a special bond with a human–SHUT UP! The content wasn’t exactly ground-breaking stuff, but I had a story in me and that story needed time to develop on the page. I’m sure the other kids forgot about story time as soon as the bell rang. They’d toss their pencils and book into the belly of their desks and run cheering into the playground. I’d squeeze a few more words in until the teacher urged me that it really was ‘pencils down’ and I could finish it next week.

Ha! Seven-year-old me would think. This baby’s got another ten chapters in her at least. Every week I’d inch closer to an ending, and every week there’d be a unique (and usually far-fetched) twist.

“The dolphin delivers me safely to shore and I pat its nose. I’ve had a great time at the beach and will never forget this day. OH, but what’s this? Now my little sister is drowning! The dolphin springs back into action…”

You know how this shit goes. The problem with my masterpiece is that I never finished it. I never signed off at the end, drew a couple of accompanying pictures and took it home to Mum.

I have a whole folder of these filed away. Stories that captured me while I was showering, or popped into my head while I was climbing a tree. The initial fever of writing was exhilarating. After a few hundred words the doubt would set in. I’d eagerly picked a horse based on a cursory glance, only to realise a few lengths in that it was actually a donkey with a bung leg. (Apologies for the horse analogy; Melbourne Cup is still on the brain.) My stories weren’t stayers, and they were never good enough to finish.

Until very recently, my stories also remained unread–which is stupid. Isn’t having a readership kind of the whole point of writing? Philosophers have pondered this for thousands of years (I imagine). If I write a 50,000 word manuscript and show it to nobody, does it even exist?

“Who’s your target audience?” tutors would ask me of story assignments.

You, me, and the inside of my handbag, I’d think.

If only they’d had Twitter when I was a kid. Short, sharp, and posted instantly.

Dolphin @ beach. Magical bond #bestdayever #ocean #dolphins4lyf

Give me the next topic!


One of the first blogging tips I read was that perfectionism (which I hope is a word) is the downfall of a good blog. Learning to accept that a post is good enough and clicking that ‘publish’ button is the only way to generate content. If it were up to seven-year-old me, this post would have been written over six months and been well over 20,000 words. Instead, I shall embrace the typos (and rush to fix them when I find them later–thank god for the ‘edit post’ function), get to the god-damn point more quickly, and post as much word-vomit as I can.


In other news, I’m thinking of starting a progressive story-writing blog. One hour per week of intermittent and implausible dolphin action. Follow that shit.