The More I Bleed The More I Learn – Part Two: The Hello Kitty Maternity Hospital

Ever woken up, checked the calendar (okay, more realistically the date on your phone) and thought “oh golly gee, seems like I should be surfing the crimson tide today” (okay, more realistically “fuck it, my period is due sometime soon”)? And like, it’s never really a good day when you realise that (if it comes it’s a 4 or so day bummer and if it doesn’t…blargh let’s not go there) – you’ve gotta find silver (crimson) linings where you can though, it’s the small things y’know? Like the excitement of reading the fun facts in the Libra wrappers. Yeah, life is really peaking.
For more info on why I write about the facts on Libra wrappers, check out part one here or read on below for part two….

FACT # 2: There is a Hello Kitty themed maternity hospital in Taiwan.

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So I assume that the clever people in the Libra marketing department make the conscious decision to include fun facts on the wrappers of their sanitary napkins as a casual distraction from the fact that not only are you suffering grave discomfort but you’re also surfing a tidal wave of emotions, inexplicably having thoughts of the devastating way that your year 6 crush was also the boy that spearheaded the campaign for you to be known all over the school yard by the descriptor rabbit teeth – that was a really tough time emotionally. “Why do you I keep playing the moment over again in my head”, you wonder, “where he said to my face that he’d ‘be surprised if anyone could kiss you without getting bitten by your massive chompers’ – he was actually really mean. But he was pretty hot for a 13 year old”. A sentence that is probably going to get me on a watch list somewhere.
Anyways, I rekon Libra put the “fun facts” in their wrappers to distract you from thought processes like that.

Like all people in modern day marketing, often they get it wrong – and this “fun fact” (okay so they don’t call them fun facts, they call them “odd spots” which is a cute little period pun (probably a phrase that should never be used)) is actually not really that fun when you actually start to think about it.
You see on the surface learning about the existence of a Hello Kitty themed maternity hospital in Taiwan seems fun. Quirky – how “Kawaii” (yes, I am aware that is a Japanese term and this is about a hospital in Taiwan, themed around a Japanese cat, I think I am being culturally appropriate enough but if not, deal with it), but dig a little deeper, think a little harder when the hormones are hitting hard and it won’t be long before you’re having an existential crisis as you process this information. Think about it babe, you’re living in a world where women choose to give birth in a hospital where a giant statue of Hello Kitty dressed in a doctors uniform greets them as the first stages of labour kick in – but luckily miss Hello Kitty (is that her name?) is there to (in the words of the hospital) “ease the stress of childbirth”.

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Image of what looks like a birthing suite designed for a child (sorry not sorry) sourced here: https://goo.gl/images/xab2UF

Women enter a pink elevator filled with yet more Hello Kitty imagery and their new born babies are dressed in Hello Kitty themed rompers while being tended to by nurses dressed in pink uniforms with cat themed aprons. You get the picture. You don’t want to though because the more you picture this the more you begin to wonder if you still want to live in this world.

The hospital claims to be the only medical institution of its kind which has been authorised by the company to which I say “good” – though I would be interested to see the kind of people who would be attracted to a Hello Kitty themed cosmetic surgery hospital. I’ve heard of women getting work to look like Barbie…but this is something new.

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It’s not okay. Image via: https://goo.gl/images/NywIFO

When researching this I found the following extract from an article; “The director says he hopes the white, mouthless cat that is one of the world’s most recognisable characters will ease the pain and fear associated with childbirth and being admitted into hospital” which was basically too good not to share.
Personally I consider Ronald McDonald or perhaps Big Bird to be more recognisable – and I wouldn’t want either of them making an appearance if in a situation where I’ll likely shit myself.

Anyway, long story short, this is why seeing the aforementioned fact while at the most emotional part of my cycle made me doubt the world we live in – I just hope that I’m not alone on that…

 

The More I Bleed, The More I Learn: Part One The Russian Beard Tax

The more I bleed, the more I learn
Making the most of the luxury goods tax, one factual month after the other.

So you might not be aware but menstruation is a thing that happens on the reg for many around the world. For the uninitiated let me enlighten you: there ain’t much joy to be found in it. For some, slight happiness can be found in the revelation that they made it through another month without accidentally bringing life into the world but that’s where it stops for silver linings – or in this case, more like reddish brown linings (sorry not sorry).
The monthly shed is accompanied by additional items being added to the shopping list with a luxurious 10% tax added to the price tag of these items – pads, tampons, panty liners, chocolate – you know, all the essentials.
It’s a dubious tax and adds maybe 10 cents a month, give or take, to the budget– which may not sound like a lot but a) it can add up over a while, and b) implies that these goods are something we CHOOSE. In a sense we do (it’s 2017, there are options, you can even get knickers that soak it all up but frankly they sound kinda icky to me) – but you know what I would choose if I could? To not bleed, mostly.
A nice consolation though, if you could call it that, to justify the spend, are the ‘fun facts’ that are found in the packaging of some brands (okay, one in particular but whatever). They’re great for pub trivia nights – they totally make the 3 to 5 days of pain, moodiness and icky feeling almost worth it. Almost.
I’m no campaigner, no activist but what I can do is string a few words together so when I thought, how can I help the sister hood I thought, I know, I’ll write some shit about the Libra facts – it’s the least I could do. Look forward to months more of entertainment. Unless I get knocked up. Dear God don’t let me get knocked up.

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A little tough to read, I actually had to Google to find out the fact…curse you Libra!

FACT #1 – April 2017: During the reign of Peter The Great, any man who wore a beard was required to pay a special ‘beard’ tax.

What a ‘fun’ first fact to explore – I mean come on, they paid a tax, we pay a tax – it’s like we’re equals!
I mean yeah, these guys were being asked to pay a tax for something that was optional – no one was forcing them to have a beard (unless they were one of those dudes that has a bit of a nothing chin – then they’re doing society a favour by covering that business up!) while I’m sure if you asked most women, they’d agree; involuntary bleeding once a month isn’t really something we’d choose if we could.

That being said, I’m sure that there are some of us ladies who would grow a beard if we could – because hey, why not, it’s all about choice! So Emperor Peter the Great was in power in the late 1600s – it was 1968 in fact when he introduced the beard tax mentioned on the Libra wrapper. The aim of this was to bring the Russian society in line with Western Europe (don’t worry he was doing other stuff too apparently) as beards had previously been deemed unfashionable in the society.
Wouldn’t it be a different story if old mate Pete was around now and trying to bring Russian society in line with the trends of inner city hipsters? Pete wouldn’t be making extra dough from taxing beads – if he was smart he’d have started an online store selling organic hand crafted beard oils and waxes at premium prices in 2012, just before the beard resurgence and flash forward to 2017 he’d be a cashed up entrepreneur. Pete you missed your calling.

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In case you were wondering, this is Peter. In 2017 he wouldn’t look out of place with a fedora perched on his dome.

Actually no, if Pete was alive in 2017 he would be a politician. Not an emperor, just a plain old minister, definitely found somewhere on the right side of things – probably inappropriately given the role of Minister for Women if I think about it. Because actually his beard tax was a bit dumb. First up, while people of different backgrounds and social status were charged the tax taking their status into account (the wealthy were appropriately charged more than the poor), the cost was still excessive. I mean come on; the blokes were just trying to look slick – or were just too lazy to shave and ladies, can’t we all relate to that? Especially this time of year, I know I’m not ashamed to admit that by then end of this month leg warmers aren’t going to be an added accessory on my body.
Imagine if we got taxed for something that our body did involuntarily? Oh, wait…

Peter The Great (I’m starting to think that is a terrible title, more like Peter the…shit)’s tax was abolished in 1772 – almost 100 years after it was first introduced. The internet tells me that he isn’t the only person to get wrapped up in taxing facial hair over the years but I guess feminine hygiene product wrappers don’t have room for all that. So let’s say that this tax was around for almost 100 years, here’s another fun fact; disposable menstrual pads have been made on a commercial scale since about 1888. Let’s just say that logically they’ve always been taxed – that’s now far more than 100 years that this even sillier tax has been around.

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The modern bearded gentleman. Apparently. If so, I think my fella is doing it wrong.  Pic was found here

In summary;
Beards = optional (but sexy, oh so god damned sexy) and a great place for accidentally losing your food and dignity (I found pizza cheese in my boyfriend’s the other day and we hadn’t had pizza for three days!)
Periods = unwanted, unavoidable, uncomfortable, unaffordable.
Both have been taxed rather unnecessarily. Despite the fact that I once got incredibly upset about finding a thick black hair growing from my cheek, if I had to choose, I’d take facial hair any day – at least I could put glitter and butterfly clips in my beard. You should have seen what happened last time I tried to do that with my period.

Snag a Snag: The Lazy Girls Eating Guide

Today I stopped by Bunnings just to get a sausage. I wandered in the door to make it look like I had a legitimate reason to be there and all I did was pat a dog (yes, people can and do take their dogs to Bunnings, note to single men out there, take your dogs to Bunnings, it is an excellent place to pick up).

Once I felt like I’d done enough to disguise my reason for visiting, I jumped in line, surrounded by people balancing bags of soil, new plants to shove in their garden and genuine power tools. There I was, empty arms, free hands ready to grab the snag as it was placed in front of me. I certainly didn’t feel even a pang of guilt (okay, maybe just a little…)

You see, the only thing that I’d achieved so far at that stage in the day was getting out of bed, showering (the thoroughness of which could be questioned) and meeting a friend for brunch. Yep, you read that correctly; I ate fancy hipster brunch (I paid $14 for a toasted sandwich that, granted, tasted like it had been carefully constructed by heavenly angels) and as that substantial yet probably overpriced jaffle was still digesting, I took a detour on my way home just so that I could shove a charity snag down my gullet too. $2.50 is what I directed towards the Mile End Rotary Club (I’m not sure of their profit margin, maybe they only made 50c out of that interaction, maybe they pocketed $2).

I think guilt and shame were probably the two biggest things I felt at that moment, closely followed by confusion as to why I felt so strongly about having consumed a sausage in any way at all. Surely I had more important things to be concerned about? Nah not really, it was a Saturday afternoon and I’m a middle class white woman. Sure there are still plenty of challenges facing us but I have a strict “feminism in business hours only” policy (I’ll explain it some time, but it’s the weekend now so I can’t) so I was feeling fairly care free.

One thing I do know about myself is that regardless of how full I am, there are certain things that I will always make room for in my stomach; brie, double brie, triple brie, vintage cheddar with pickled onions, chocolate covered pretzels and Bunnings sausages. So help me God if all of those things are readily available in the one location at the one time.

Should I feel ashamed about the power that my tastebuds hold over me? From an ethical stand point, probably. From a social stand point though? Nah, get stuffed. Life was made for living and Bunnings sausages were made for binging on. There’s just something about them that makes them way better than the snags that you’ll consume at a family BBQ but I just can’t put my finger on it…oh yeah it’s the relative anonymity (if you choose a Bunnings far away enough) and the lack of judgment from Aunty Joan; “If you eat another bite you’ll never look good in a white dress dear.” Oh shut it sugar, at least I’ve still got time to fix myself, you made that mistake 20 years ago sweets – and it wasn’t your ass that was the problem, it was your face. Yeah.

Despite the fleeting confused feelings earlier in the day, at home later I realised; when you can make a microwave meal without double checking the box instructions then you know you’re in a special place in life. You’ve been eating meals of sadness just long enough to be aware exactly how they should be prepared but not long enough to just hit up eat now or Uber Eats every day (that’ll come in about three months time).
I’m not stuck in that place forever but that’s where I found myself today. And shit, they’re getting so good at making meals in a box that I rekon I’ll just stay home and dodge queues at the hardware store – especially if someone starts a delivery service where an average looking guy brings over a dog and lets you pat it and suddenly you think he’s an absolute hunk.

Yeah.

The Adelaide Stuff It List

Adelaide, you’re amazing! You’re my home town – the only place I’ve ever lived in fact, but that’s all about to change as I do one of the most typical Adelaide things to do…and leave Adelaide.
Many a list has been put together of fantastic things to do in Adelaide (here’s one from the Adelady gals)  before you kick the proverbial bucket but what about a list of things to do when you’ve decided to leave the city (for a while)? What about a list for when you say “I’m going into hiding (moving to Melbourne) for a while”?
I present to you, the Adelaide bucket stuff it list.

  • Walk Burnside Village in your pajamas
  • Hit up an unnamed outer suburb dressed (and behaving) as Tru and/ or Pru from Kath and Kim
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#heros image from here.
  • Sit at the start of the Mt Lofty hike eating a KFC family pack. Make eye contact and smile at everyone who passes by. Continue until you pass out from overeating.
  • Join The Adelaide Fountain Diving Team (a concept concocted by equally crazy aunties. It’s pretty simple; you swim in Adelaide fountains. Bonus points for fountains protected by fences…)
  • Head to the Central Market (or any other fabulous local market) and shamelessly consume ‘samples’ until you are content. Take a disguise for seconds if need be, but don’t forget, you’re leaving so who cares?!
  • Maslins Beach. Do it good and do it proper, you know what I mean.
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Live. This Dream. Image from…
  • Busk in Rundle Mall. Don’t have a talent? It don’t matter – everyone can yodel after a bottle of wine
  • Ride the bull at The Woolshed. Bonus points if you do it in a dress
  • Ride a bike along the linear trail and tell your deepest darkest secrets to walkers (and pray to god that they only hear a tiny snippet as you whiz by)
  • Hit up a late night eatery along Gouger street and order the house wine by the carafe (or BYO for a bargain price) play drinking games until you’re politely asked to leave
  • Go to windy point. Go stand outside a rocking vehicle and just start cheering. When you get sick of cheering, start singing “Sweet Caroline” (for no reason other than that song is so fun to sing and it’s kind of hilarious to harass a snogging couple with)
  •   Ride the Popeye and convince a stranger to go all Titanic (no, not the bit where they bang in the car…or where they die an icy death) and head to the front, get nice and cozy and shout “I’m king of the world!” or alternatively “that plank could have fitted two”
  • Head to the Zoo with the classic book “where did I come from” and read it to Funi and Wang Wang. It seems they’re not all that sure on how to make it happen. Our whole city is rooting for you guys (pun intended)
  • Attempt to mount the malls balls
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Image from here!
  • Do the same with the malls pigs
  • Streak at Adelaide oval? (if you can cop the massive fine…)
  • Photobomb weddings in the Botanic Gardens
  • Live like a tourist for a weekend – pitch a (canvas) tent in Vic Square!
  • Have a drink on the Balcony at the Hotel Richmond. Take a spray bottle full of water. Come on, you know what to do (if it wasn’t clear, you’re here to squirt people in Rundle mall as they walk on by…and then DUCK!).
  • Get “Adelaide famous”. To be clear being “Adelaide famous” isn’t necessarily a good thing. Below is an image of my version of “Adelaide famous” – I was twenty and I was not aware that this photo was being taken. Then I recognised my legs on a Marble Bar poster. My friends will NEVER let me live it down.

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I’ve done a few of these things already (though I won’t admit to which) but what I will admit to is that, despite abandoning Adelaide for Melbourne, I don’t really have any very good plans. I’m so lost in fact, that I’m putting on a Fringe show (my debut solo after being nominated as best new comer by Adelaide Comedy in 2016!) all about writing a bucket list! Want to help me with the challenging task before I abandon our beautiful city? Hit up Fringe Tix for your own ticket here.

10 Reasons To See One Beer Weird

Hey gorgeous! If you’ve made it this far you’re probably my kind of people already. I mean to get here you had to knowingly click on a link or type in a URL featuring my name – which is pretty confronting in itself – so go you! Pour yourself a wine, you deserve it. Don’t worry, I’ll wait til you’re done (I’m polite like that (which is a good enough reason to see my show, right?)) but even though you’re here, maybe you’re not sold yet. If so, fear not, for I have compiled a list, complete with 10 excellent reasons that my show is perfect for you.

  • You saw the 2007 film The Bucket List and which you found it endearing and inspirational, you thought “I reckon a 26 year old girl from Adelaide could do that better”
  • You understand that there is no science behind vision boards however you’ve read (and kind of believed) that they totally work
  • You have the bizarre desire to exercise some control over another person’s life (you weirdo)
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Could YOU even choose between Whitney or Britney?!
  • You get very chatty after one drink
  • You don’t even need one drink to get chatty
  • You know what a bucket list is and the first item on yours is to write one
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Come on, I dressed up as my dead dog for a party…
  • You have one single signature dance move that you pull out at every social occasions and sometimes just when a really good song comes on in the supermarket
  • You’re a generous, loving weirdo who wants to help a lost little kitten (me, I am the kitten in this scenario) find her way in this big bad world
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Help me, I’m so lost…
  • You like to laugh (well that was a given)
  • You sometimes wonder if you’re alone or if everyone else is just as nuts but just not showing it…

Are you convinced yet? If I got you across the line, you can grab tickets from here but if you aren’t there yet, maybe I’m not for you (and you therefore have terrible taste!)

Embarrassing tales of Christmas’ past.

 

Merry Christmas my loves, at this time, this precious beautiful time of year, let us all take a moment to remember the special moments of festive seasons past. I hope my reflections help you too, to reminisce about the times that you wished you could swap families, go into witness protection or simply disappear, never to be heard from ever again.

 

First of all, let’s go back to last Christmas, when you (okay, me) got drunk with some of your aunties. One of them revealed that she can read palms (knowledge passed on from generations before) so you were keen to know your future and held out your hand. After gazing at your palm for a moment she declared, in front of family that “you are a very sexual being” – a conversation best reserved for friends rather than family but one which you survived none the less.

 

Now let’s kick back to a couple of years ago, when you had an afternoon Christmas lunch with colleagues. What a grand old time it was. Drinks and merriment were shared. On the way to catch the bus home you bumped into some old mates (friends of friends to be precise) and they convinced you that tequila shots and a strip club at 6pm would be a great idea. By 8pm you had vomited out of a taxi window and declared, in front of your parents at their work Christmas party “I’m gonna use my University degree to become a stripper” – I am not proud of my actions.
I believe at some stage that night I vomited on a cat.

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Aged 21. Hungover.

 

 

As an incredibly self conscious teenager I believe there was a Christmas spend it a cousins backyard swimming pool in which I didn’t realise white bathing suits could lead to embarrassment. Lest we forget.

At some stage in my teenage years I had two UDLs while hiding in a bush at the Stirling Christmas pageant and genuinely believed I was drunk. That in itself is incredibly shameful.

Prior to that, aged 14 I chucked a tantrum because I received a t-shirt that I didn’t like. It was the 2000s so of course it had a sassy slogan on it. The t-shirt said “it’s all about me” and I sulked – not at all comprehending the irony of that situation.

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Aged 19. Beginning to lose self-awareness.

 

There are probably plenty more festive moments that would haunt me if they unexpectedly popped into my head, so I choose to block them out, thanks to selective memory and years of therapy. In order to keep up the tradition of making a dick of myself at Christmas time I intend to use the following joke on as many people as I can at this afternoons work Christmas party before they tell me that “perhaps you should come back when the office re-opens next year” – here goes (feel free to adopt it for your own use should you have the same end game):
What does your job have in common with Christmas?
I don’t know Alicia, what could that be?
You do all the hard work and the fat, rich man in a suit takes all the credit.

 

Thank you and good night x

Ten Thoughts I’ve Had While Moving House

Hello Internet, I am moving house! Probably not news if you’re my Facebook friend though, since I’ve posted about 50 million status updates attempting to give away my furniture over the course of the last five weeks but that’s beside the point (however if you’re after a queen sized bed frame or a lounge, hit me up!). I digress.
Moving sucks. It sucks the big one. I’ve only been in this place for three years but I managed to accumulate so much crap (okay a lot of it was left here by my ex – a.k.a he of poor taste and excessive amounts of novelty aprons) SO. MUCH. CRAP.
I would estimate that I’ve taken around 25 garbage bags worth of stuff (that is probably not actual crap) to the op shop and chucked around 10 bags straight into the bin. Aren’t humans terrible consumption machines?
Once again, I digress. So here are some of the things that have popped into my mind as I’ve trawled through it all…

  • I don’t have much stuff, I can totally fit my entire life into my Ford Fiesta.
  • Actually would two moving vans be excessive? Better make it three for good luck.
  • I’ll need to get rid of some clothes, this should only take an hour or so…*five hours later* “can someone please cut me out of my year 12 formal dress? It seems I gained some weight at some stage in the last seven years”
  • Ohh look it’s the diary I kept from the age of 14 to 16, this should be filled with all kinds of juicy memories…*three hours later* “Okay, I was either the most boring teenager in the world or incredibly paranoid that my parents would read this…I’m hoping it was the latter”
  • OMG I loved this top when I was twelve, I wonder if it still fits. Yep, fits. I sure was a chubby twelve year old. Tie dyed dolphin t-shirts are cool, don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.
  • Hmm does out of date medication still work? And is it okay if it has someone else name on it?
  • I wonder if old Kinder Surprise toys are worth anything?
  • PAUSE – sorry, I zoned out for a bit, I was watching the Spice Girls movie on VHS. I still have a video plays – how crazy is that?!
  • Who was Richard and why do I have a pair of ladies underwear with ‘his’(?) name on the tag?
  • Hmmm do you think people would pay actual money for an urn full of Grandma’s ashes? Also, why do I have an urn labelled ‘grandmas ashes’ – both my Grandma’s are alive…

 

How I Developed My Love Of Booze…

I don’t know what it is lately but I’ve been getting super nostalgic. All I listen to is throw back playlists; anything released in the last ten years makes me want to violently plug my ears and I am OBSESSED with the memories function on Facebook. What was that? Six years ago I rode my bike to the beach? Shit, past me was a far more glorious creature than I am now.
That being said, prior to August 2012, I was absolute filth trash on a regular and frequent occasion thanks to a conveniently located local drinking hole. It gave off a vibe that simultaneously said “please, join us” kindly fuck off. It was unique. But in August 2012 my life changed forever YES IT DID when the pub closed with very little hope of it ever reopening again.

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No shame – my youth in a photograph.

Sure there were three closing nights – they kept it open until the kegs ran dry and the supply of beer glasses was depleted completely  (because I kept putting them in my handbag – on the plus side, I always have a very big beer sized glass of water every morning, such healthy, much hydration) so we got to say goodbye. I tried to dance on the front bar – I got told off. I was wearing ugg boots. I am only 50% glad that I have grown up since then.
So when I was recently alerted to the fact that the pub, closed for near four years and previously incredibly close to being completely condemned, was re-opening, I was filled with mixed feelings and flooded with memories – some of which I would rather forget.
If you know one thing about me though, that is that I have no shame – so who better to mull over these memories with, than complete strangers and a few close friends on the internet.
My first memories of this establishment were of it as my childhood pub – yes that is totally a thing. Feel free to correct me mother (because I know you will) but I recall swinging by the pub on Christmas morning after church. So many questions. Why was I let in a church in the first place? Why was the pub open on Christmas day? Should I have been removed from my parents? What is the meaning of life? These and many other questions will haunt philosophers for years to come.

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So I wasn’t a child here but it was still Christmas at the pub. Also I believe I had been at a dress up party…or I just wore clothes like that. Either tale is likely.

Flash forward a few years and I was eighteen, with a freshly minted ID to prove that was the case and you’d think being the Hills lass I was, I’d be striding up to the front bar to claim my first legal drink. You would be wrong. I was mega nerd to the extreme, I was at least 18 and a half before I made that front bar my bitch (and by “making it my bitch”, I mean getting silly drunk from a filthy shot called a “squashed frog” and vomiting in a bucket that the bar tender so kindly provided). You won that round alcohol.

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“The Bucket” that lived in the front bar. We made it look pretty since my mates and I were the ones who used it most.

After this point though, the memories began to flow (assisted by photographs and inappropriate Facebook posts)
All the bottles of passion pop consumed in the car park before actually entering the pub – we were poor students living at home with mummy and daddy, what did you expect us to do?
The shoeys (that’s drinks sculled from a shoe for those playing at home)

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A genuine, true blue shoey.

The cheeky strategic voms
Purchasing out of date fruit flavoured condoms in the ladies bathroom (for the LOLs Mum – but also, aren’t you happy I was never a ‘statistic’? though there’s still time..)
The friendships made…and broken
The sadness that the jukebox didn’t have any Aaron Carter – however that Fat Man Scoop song was the number one played song – you know the one “engine engine number nine…” – what a good time we had.
There was that afternoon we stopped for a casual cider and ended up watching a group of Morris Dancers do their thing and wondered if our drinks had been spiked.

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These, by the way, are morris dancers…yeah, we were all just as confused too.

I passed out on the not so comfy chairs in the pokies more than once and cried over plenty of lads (yes, I am going to use that word) who, to be perfectly honest, were not worth a moment of my time. But at the time it felt like the end of the world. Every Sunday afternoon was spent messaging my girlfriends, dissecting the events of the night before and living our lives by what happened in that place.
I learned to play pool, I learned to drink and I grew out of thinking pineapple and Malibu was a tasty beverage.
Then it all ended and I guess it coincided with us all changing too. Not long after the pub closed, I started dating a guy who lived near the beach and stopped hanging out at home, my best drinking buddy moved three hours away to start her teaching career and a lot people realised how much money they could save by drinking at home…alone. The thing that kind of kept us together was gone. Things really did change.
Now the pub has reopened its doors and boy howdy have things changed – but I have too. I only occasionally wear my ugg boots out of the house and sadly live too far away to stumble home from it.

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When we were young…

No longer falling apart, the new owners have brought out the original beauty of the building, the menu is phenomenal and the staff all seem way more friendly than the curious creatures that used to reside behind the bar there. All of that however won’t cloud or dismiss my memories.

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I did sneak behind the bar once…

A friend recently contacted me asking me to remove a few old pictures from Facebook. By my standard, the ones she had requested being removed were incredibly tame but I get it (sort of), some of my mates want to be lawyers, teachers or just respectable adults – not all of us are as capable of accepting our grotesque past with such levels of pride. Your memories though, make you who you are and the Uraidla Pub is absolutely brimming with memories for me. Not all of them (like barely any of them) are family friendly but the fact that a whole new generation of kids (and not so much kids) will get to learn how to drink (and maybe learn to appreciate a nice meal accompanied by a Malibu and Pineapple?) that’s pretty great.

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You know what? It wasn’t classy, it probably wouldn’t impress my high standards hipster mates but hey, we had a lot of fun.

Spotlight: Where Happiness Goes To Die

I would like to tell you that this is a happy story but it is not. At the beginning of this experience I was a happy go lucky young lady. Well a lot has happened since this morning and I write to you as a broken and fragile woman. This is not a tale of heroism; it is merely a tale of survival. There was no triumph over adversity in my adventures today however a simple and gracious, acceptance of my own mortality did occur.

This morning I awoke with only one simple goal – to purchase a pack of millinery brooch pins from Spotlight. A ten minute drive to industrial suburbia should do the trick and then I would be free to explore the surrounding stores within the 62,000 square meter compound of home making ‘bliss’. Right. I set out with all the determination of a true crafter (I woke up and watched outright abused my Netflix subscription for two hours in my pyjamas on the couch). By eleven thirty I was on the road, passing by a number of precarious establishments claiming to be ‘motels’  but better known as the safe house of many an affair.

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The unassuming location of my near emotional and physical breakdown.

It wasn’t long before I was navigating my trusty (often breaks down with no rhyme, reason or explanation) Ford Fiesta into the car park of an establishment that is likely responsible for more marriage breakdowns than Ikea and reality TV combined; The Gepps Cross Home Maker Centre.
If aliens visited earth and landed here, without a doubt they would get right back in and go back where they came from. A monstrosity of concrete and Mecca of capitalism taken most advantage of in the form of twelve month lay-buys and interest free plans by residents of surrounding working class suburbs; visiting this place is a risky voyage for the most mentally of sound individuals – unfortunately it attracts those who are not.
I undertook the voyage alone, not sure enough in the strength of my long term relationship to take that level of risk. I could have taken a friend however I value my friendships far too much to gamble what we’ve built on such a volatile yet petty expedition.

I entered Spotlight with all the trepidation that such an undertaking deserved. I was keen to get in and get out quickly so that I could soon reward myself with an overpriced warm drink in a nearby cafe. My goal was to engage as few people in conversation as possible – I would have no such luck. I made my way to the area that I expected to find the pins and in the process achieved my entire required daily step count, yet what I was looking for was not to be found.
Next step: engage a staff member – a task that turned out to be far more difficult than finding a genuine connection on Tinder. A few more laps of the store layout, a conversation with two staff members who looked at me as if I had three heads (to their credit I’d forgone makeup application for the day) and finally I found reached my goal, however satisfied isn’t a word I would use to describe myself. Looking at the selection of millinery brooches I was forlorn. Six for $3.50. In the past I’ve purchased 50 for around $10 in the same store however I wasn’t ready for my trip to be wasted. I grabbed two packs and headed for the checkout.

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Stealthy shot that I took of the line up. I hardcore resent the smiling woman.

 

This, dear friends, is the moment where I truly began to see my grip on reality fading away. Two very young and determined yet hopeless staff members had around thirty middle aged women, a few broken husbands and a handful of bratty children lined up and expecting to be served. A saner person would have dropped their potential purchase there and then and headed to the nearest fast food restaurant to eat their sorrows into oblivion however by this point I was determined – I had my overpriced pins  and I was going to buy them – even if it killed me.
By the fifteenth minute waiting I started looking at the woman in front of me, wondering, if I got the rest of the ever expanding line to team up with me, could we take her down and survive off eating her body until we were rescued?
The situation began to get dire when a woman marched through the line to get the drinks fridge near the front – she swiftly took water back to her shopping buddy who was clearly becoming dehydrated – in the mid-winter chill.
Never before have had I experienced a group of people share such a strong, negative emotion as they did when a woman marched through the shop door and immediately approach the front of the line exclaiming “I’ve just got a quick question!”  – she was swiftly shut down and sent to the back of the line, where she is probably still waiting, five hours later.
I was almost at the front of the line and I heard a woman paying $950 for the collection of curtain rods and throw cushions in her trolley. I couldn’t relate – I use milk crates for all manner of furniture in my home.

Finally I was served, paying resentfully for my overpriced pins, attempting to feign a mixed look of sympathy and disappointment towards the assistant as I left.
I took a deep breath of what felt like my first taste of fresh air (which is reality was steeped in outer city fumes) as I walked out into the overcast day and appreciated my life in a way that I never had before. Whence previously I had looked forward to an afternoon alone strolling the 62,000 meters looking at Italian designed, Chinese made furniture that I could never justify buying, I was now just searching for the quickest escape.

As I got into my car and drove off, I experienced a feeling of freedom the likes of which I had never felt before. While my feeling was temporarily dulled by a red light causing me to stop and reflect on the hour that had felt like eternity, I had a new appreciation for online shopping and drive thru fast food.

Now as I sit here, now full of food that I took myself out to eat, to console my broken soul I Google “millinery brooch pins” and look what I find. Fuck bricks and mortar stores, it’s eBay for me here on out.

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Free postage as well. *Sigh*

This is How You Adult (Apparently)

Tomorrow I turn twenty six. Today I went to work wearing a purple tutu, unicorn jumper and a flower wreath in my hair. Instead of the customary birthday office cake (usually from Costco or made by a loving wife) I took honey crackles. Partially because I don’t have a Costco membership or a loving wife but also because I am a big ‘old, silly ‘old kid at heart.
As I sit here writing this, I’m wearing my unicorn pyjama pants (which I also wore to the supermarket yesterday…) and keeping warm with my purple hippo heat bag. Am I doing this adult thing right? Because when I was 16 (that’s TEN years ago) this isn’t how I imagined it.

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Oh yeah, mermaid leggings too.

I had this idea in my mind of what I would be like as an ‘adult’ and, though I’m not sure why, this certainly wasn’t it. I pictured power suits, late nights at the office and a house full of furniture from Freedom (because it was pretty, heaps pretty). I don’t know where my idea of adulthood came from but I remember thinking, aged 18, that I only had a few good years to keep wearing my classic Converse Chuck Taylors before it became silly – real adults wear real adult shoes. Seriously WHO RAISED ME?
Flash forward eight years and I’m dating a man (yes, MAN) who is thirty years old and those are basically the only shoes he owns, like twenty eight pairs of them or something. For some reason I pictured a corporate high flyer with who woke up early to go to the gym and enjoyed visiting farmers markets on Sundays – just for kicks.
Now somebody please slap past me because I’m pretty sure she had absolutely no idea who she actually was – the things that she enjoyed or wanted from life. I don’t like waking up early and while farmers markets are alright, I’d rather my food be prepared by someone else before it hits the table (I’m also fairly partial to the kind of specials that fast food outlets spin from time to time, yes I’m looking at you Maccas and your magnificent 24 nuggets for $9.95 deal) so why in hell would I want to date someone who was into those things? Sure, his bod would probably be a little more in check than my fellas (gosh, sorry babe) but the fact of the matter is that he’d probably be a self absorbed asshole and we’d have nothing in common. Plus, I could never date anyone more in shape than myself, I’ve got enough insecurities without having my physical superior lying next to me in bed every night.

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If I dated a health nut, all this beauty would be off the table. Like in the bin. How sad.

Thing is, not much has turned out the exact way I imagined it ten or so years ago and for that, I am so bloody thankful. I can’t imagine being stuck in a high flying corporate job where I go through as many pairs of stockings as there are jerks on Tinder (lots) or have to put my fakey professional attitude on all day long. I’m lucky to have a job where I get to have a nice fancy big computer screen that brings out envy in all the other staff, where I get to be myself for the most part and in some ways express myself creatively.
I am an adult, a ‘real adult’. Most of the time I pay my bills and I’ve even got a couple of ‘signature’ dishes up my sleeve (because Mexican food is easy to make and Banoffee pie seems fancy but really is truly simple). I’ve gotten pretty good at looking after my mental health, I can force myself to exercise and I eat spinach without it having to be hidden in my food.
I might not own a ‘power suit’ and while I do have some rather nice office wear, I’m most comfortable in a scuffed up pair of boots, the ones that are held together with a bit of tape. I’m happy. Way happier than I would be if I lived up to what I had thought I was ‘supposed to be’ all those years back. I’m glad I didn’t waste long trying to be someone who would have never made me happy – and the time that I did spend doing that was an interesting learning experience to say the least (if not some good comedy fodder…)
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve just started learning to hula hoop and I’m getting rather good so I’ll be practicing that until I fall asleep.