Wednesday, March 31, 2010

He said what?

I was once talking to my ex on the phone about a year after we broke up, doing the whole "oh-so-what-are-you-up-to-now-not-that-I-care" spiel. This is what he said:

Ex-bf: Yeah, I dropped out of school. But it's okay, I work at a petrol station.
Me: Oh, okay.
Ex-bf: But it's all cool, I'm going to look for a new job in a while. You know, when I have time. I want to work in Politix (clothing store).
Me: Politics? Um, don't you need to have a degree or own a business or have quite a high profile in the community? Or be someone's bitch around election time?
Ex-bf: What? I don't think I even need to have finished school? I think I just have to look good.
Me: What? Are you serious?
Ex-bf: Are we talking about the same thing? I'm talking about the clothing store.
Me: Oh, I meant politics, like John Howard and Kevin Rudd.
Ex-bf: Pfft, politics? What a lame job.

She said what?

I recently had dinner with a very... blonde, spoilt friend. Since the diner was quite close to Coles I brought my backpack with me so I could do some convenient post-meal grocery shopping , and easily carry it home with a backpack (like I normally do). This is the conversation that ensued:

Friend: Hey, you're on my way. I'll drive you home.
Me: Thanks for the offer but I'm going to go to Coles first.
Friend: Why? You live like three kilometres away?
Me: Yeah, but it's the closest Coles to me.
Friend: But you don't have a car? You can't walk three kilometres! How do you bring your groceries home?!?!
Me: Well I just bring a backpack, catch a tram up and walk home.
Friend: WHAT? You carry your groceries? But that's like so third world.

I don't think there's a comeback for a comment like "But that's so third world."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

An open letter to Metro(sexual)

Dearest Metro,

I love you, and you've taken me places and helped me go where I want to go... but I think it's over. I need someone who doesn't fuck me over all the time. Someone who'll be where they say they are, and when they say they will. Someone who won't lie to me about what you are. I hate how you hide things from me. I need someone who's happy to see me first thing Monday morning and won't dump me in the middle of nowhere (Platform 14, if you know what I mean). You're never there when I need someone to help me at 1am in the morning. Actually, now that I think about it you're never there, regardless of the time. I need someone who'll validate my tickets AND me.

I know I always talk about my ex, but seriously I'd take Connex back any day. At least he gave me ice cream when he fucked up! If this is what being in a relationship is about, then I'm on the first limited express train out of here!

Yours truly (and please never contact me again),
Daily commuter

Amazing photo of Metro's "information screen". Thanks for all the detailed information.

Technically this was on a tram... but Metro and Yarra Trams can both take it up the arse.

Seriously, you'd think with the Internet and modern computer systems that they would somehow be able to correlate the information about the train so that the people on the train, the people on the platform, the train driver and whoever controls the network has the same information. But you know, just because every other city in the world has a public transport system that can, that doesn't mean that we should expect it.

Karma-flavoured chocolate

I went to work the other day and there was an opened block of Cadbury chocolate sitting on the back desk. I figured whoever worked there the day before forgot it so I left it there and didn't think about it twice.

Then a few hours later, my lunch cover Tilly came out from the backroom giggling. "Hehe, I'm a bit naughty," she said while munching away. "I had some of your chocolate." "Eh, it's not my chocolate." Tilly's face absolutely crumpled with horror, then she darted out to the backroom to gargle out her mouth.

Apparently the girls who were working a few days before bought chocolate from the disgusting convenience store next door (sleazy counter dudes who like to stand out the shopfront and stare at us, and all the food look like it's from the 80s) and they thought it smelt a bit funny. When they had gotten halfway through the chocolate they found - and this is truly disgusting - cobwebs and insect larvae on the chocolate. Some of it was moving.

Tilly had heard about it when they called her at another store for something or another but never quite connected it with the chocolate in the backroom (which for whatever reason they didn't throw away). When I told my boyfriend about it, he chortled and said, "Well that's what you get for eating other people's chocolate."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pirates aren't so bad after all...

I know I'm not a musician, and musos may feel a little differently about this, but I honestly think that most recorded music should be free. Case in point: me.

Sometime last year, a boy gave me a mixed CD of his favourite Pixies songs because I mentioned that I wasn't that familiar with them. I fell in love with their stuff, went to the library and borrowed Doolittle and ripped it onto my iTunes. Then when the Doolittle Australian tour was announced, I went ape shit. I convinced a male friend (who is now my boyfriend, coincidentally) to go to the concert with me. He actually bought their entire back catalogue legally. Then I bought him a biography for Valentine's. And now he's started a Pixies cover band. We went to the first Melbourne show and both bought tee-shirts, and he also got a copy of the live CD recording of the show. He's probably going to go to their Tuesday show again and is probably bringing along three friends (who he's infected with Pixies fever).

So to record labels and bands who think they're losing money (and sleep) over illegal file-sharing and CD swapping, let's look at the figures.

Maybe it's just me, but $657.94 is quite a bit more than $33.98. If I had never gotten that "illegal" CD or borrowed Doolittle from the library, I never would have gone to the concert. Or bought merchandise. Or turned a grown-man into a Pixies zombie.

Sure, so Universal are trialling that $10 CD thing in the US, but I don't think that's enough. There are lots of bands that I kind of want to get into, but not prepared to actually invest money on until I know I actually like them.

It's pretty cool that most young bands are now realising that the actual music (CDs, MP3s) are more like advertising/promotional materials for other things like concerts, special edition CDs and DVDs and merchandise... all of which sell for a lot more. One particular band who does this obsessively is a really cool Melbourne act called Premodernists, who have habit of giving away their excellently reviewed Dance A Little EP to anyone and everyone who'll have a listen. I actually play their EP at work (a cult fashion boutique of sorts in Melbourne) and have given random people off the street their MySpace.

* I'm not a musician. I don't know what it feels like to give away songs (that you've worked on painstakingly for months and have spent thousands of dollars to get recorded) is like.
* I'm not claiming to be an expert in how the music industry works. This is just what I think.
* Just for the record, I have never successfully obtained music illegally off the Internet. I once tried to download a Franz Ferdinand album and it gave me a nasty computer virus. So if you're from the government and are thinking of fining me, pleaaaaaaaaaase don't.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Don't be a boob

A while ago I was talking to a fellow flat-chested girl, and she complained that the reason why men don't like her is because she isn't well endowed. Which is absolute bullshit in my opinion.

I have been with more men that I can, erm, count on both hands. And none of them have ever had an issue with my breasts. Quite the opposite, actually. My boobs have been called a lot of things - gorgeous, sexy, hot, alluring - but never a turn off. I think the reason why my poor unloved friend had problems was more to do with her depressing attitude to life (I swear, whenever I talk to her I feel like slitting my wrists) than her bra size. Here are some reasons why having small boobs rock the casbah:

  1. Men don't stare at your chest constantly.
  2. I can run! Watch me run!
  3. I can get away with wearing ridiculously low cut and revealing tops without looking skanky in the slightest. And vintage lingerie as outerwear doesn't make me look like a whore.
  4. Not that I follow fashion, but most mass-produced clothes out there aren't meant for boobs larger than a C-cup. Many a time I've been chatting to my F-cup friends when one of their buttons has spontaneously flown off in some direction. Brings a new meaning to "those boobs could take an eye out".
  5. Stretch marks? What are those?
  6. Woman-on-top position doesn't hurt.
  7. I get jobs because I am qualified.
  8. I actually look skinnier than I am because people associate massive knockers with... massive everything. Not always, but quite often.
  9. Gravity can't work if there's nothing to pull down to earth.
  10. Being able to wear lacy, skimpy, sexy and unsubstantial bras is pretty sweet.
  11. I don't have to spend $80 to buy a granny-looking contraption to hold giant boobs to my body.
  12. Being able to hug people and still wrap my arms around them is quite nice.
  13. Lying face down in bed. Wins the competition.
  14. Having men (and women) be attracted to my intelligence and personality rather than just being something to look at.

* By no means should large chested women read this list and start wearing minimising bras or get breast reduction surgery. The rest of us are all still a little jealous.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Have your balls dropped yet?

The other day I was waiting for a tram and a bunch of 14-year-old boys started hooting at me and making sexual comments. Sure, it's probably some sort of behaviour necessary for their male bonding or sexual "development"... but I felt like the biggest pedophile.

My rant, ahem, observation for the day

There are two types of people in the world:

1. Those who get jealous and use whatever it is that is making them envious as their benchmark for improvement,

- or -

2. Those who get jealous and make "witty" or snide remarks because they know they'll never amount to anything, and will probably become some pregnant fat bogan with hideous hair and a lowered IQ. You're already halfway there, honey.

Bird Watching

I was shopping with my good friend Gemma (one of those very, very, very rare occasions where I shop with someone, partly because we just had tea and I mentioned I needed a wallet), who is a store manager at a French Connection store and she described her shopper profiles to me.

The Owl:
The owl shopper is knowledge based - they want the facts. They'll want to know whether it is a small fit or a large fit. Where your factories are. What country the fabrics are sourced from. How to take care of the material. If you impress them, they'll spend big. If you try to fool them with cheap flattery and sales tactics (oh my gawd, you look seeeeeew hawt), they'll just stare at you and walk out. Oh, what a hoot.

The Eagle:
The eagle is a shopper that swoops. They know what they want before they go shopping. They know what they need. They'll know their exact budget and what colour or features the item needs to have and if your item doesn't suit, they'll walk straight out. You can't really do much unless you have what they want.

The Dove:
The most common shopper is the dove - meek, shy and easily persuaded if done right. They'll come in and not be sure about what they want or anything in particular but with some coaxing and not too much attention - which will scare them off - they may buy something. Usually something quite boring, but they'll buy something.

The Ibis:
Both Gemma and I grew up on the Gold Coast (but funnily enough didn't meet each other until we were on Brunswick Street one night) and are all too familiar with ibises. Usually eating trash out of a garbage bin. The ibis shopper is the one who heads straight for the discount bin and will always ask for a discount and get hissy if you decline because it's only 20 bucks and it's current season stock. Or they'll ask how much discount you get and ask if you can pretend you're buying it as a staff purchase (I have had that before). They're quite a disgusting, despicable type of person.

The Peacock:
The peacock is a very exhausting customer. They'll try a gazillion things on so you have more opportunities to lavish them with attention. They want to know that they look great. They're usually quite insecure and need a lot of flattery. They're really annoying.

It probably won't surprise you that I'm an eagle. If I want something, I buy it. Plain and simple.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lead-er of the pack

I'm a weirdo. If someone calls me odd, quirky, bizarre or strange, I am massively flattered. I've always been a bit left-of-centre, and I think I can point out the specific moment in my childhood where I decided I wanted to be different.

I was in kindergarten, and all the kids were comparing their pencils, arguing over whose pencil was the longest. From an adult's perspective, this is pretty fucking retarded because who really cares how long your pencil is... but you know, children.

All the other kids had those hexagonal pencils with red and black stripes (like this) and I had this uber-awesome shiny gold pencil (like this). So they couldn't really compete. Long pencil. Shiny gold pencil. Long pencil. Shiny gold pencil... I win.

So the next time you're trying to choose between the long pencil/short pencil option in life, go for the shiny option.

Side note: This may also explain my obsession with shiny objects...

Thursday, March 4, 2010


If I ever get married and my husband suggests that I quit my job and look after the house, I would probably file for divorce on the spot, citing irreconcilable differences. I don't care if he's a billionaire. There's no fucking way I'm going to be a homemaker. Perhaps it was growing up as a millionaire's kid - my mother's dating advice of only dating rich older men, and echoes from my school mates wanting to be trophy wives certainly rang a discordant bell with me.

Here's a few other things about that I think no self-respecting grown woman should do or expect:

  • The whole damsel-in-distress bullshit. Get a grip of yourself and do it yourself. When the going gets tough, take off your heels and put your game face on. The few times in my life when I have let a man help me has ended up in me being seriously disappointed and having to call the cops.
  • Expecting men to offer you lifts home or taxi money. I encounter more often than you would expect. Sweetheart, if you haven't driven there, organised a lift beforehand or researched your public transport, then you better have cab money. And if you don't, then DON'T FUCKING GO OUT. Many a time I've had to give my female friends my hard earned money because they've started crying about not getting back home or being raped in an alleyway. And they're usually too drunk to remember to pay me back.
  • Changing your surname. This may sound really stuck up, but I kind of like the name I was given at birth (despite the constant, at-least-once-a-week page jokes). I would only change my surname if I really actually liked the guy's moniker. And you should to.
  • Getting a man to hold your bag. The only exception is if the bag in question is perhaps a 10kg sack of potatoes and they're a body builder and you're a teeny girl. (Although my ex was a body builder and he made me carry all our groceries home for the 2km walk because he didn't want to make his muscles build in the wrong way. Wuss.)
  • Needing a male escort to make you feel safe. I used to live in some of the most dangerous neighbours in Victoria. I slept with a hammer and a foot-long knife next to my bed. I may carry a concealed weapon (but if I ever get charged with mauling an assaultant, um no, I honestly did find that knife in the alleyway) when I go out at night. If I'm in a cab and the driver looks dodgy, I'll call my mum to tell her I'm coming home and the cab number (doesn't really matter that she lives two states away). While it's no sure-fire way to avoid getting raped/mugged/murdered, I'm sure it would make me a much smaller target than a drunk, scantily clad girl wearing high heels screaming at someone on the other end of the line to come and bring her home.
  • People will hold your hand in life. Yes, you have a vagina. But yes, you also hopefully have a brain. So stop getting your mother to do your tax returns, or your older brother to get you a job, or your boyfriend to write your resume, or best friend will tell you that you look great in a pair of $400 heels, or your dad will fix your fridge, or... the list goes on.

PS I don't know if it is obvious enough, but my favorite character on The Simpsons is Lisa.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fucking around with words

I think there is no need to censor words like "cunt" or "fuck" in writing.

I write for several music websites and have never had to f--king dash out rude words. My editors have never censored me. Like a six year old will be interested in Eddy Current Suppression Ring's newest album or some re-release of Joy Division. On my private Twitter account (I only have 15 followers, all close friends who are equally as vulgar) I swear like a motherfucker because no child has access to my tweets in the first place.

So the other day, when someone suggested that I should start censoring myself in my writing and my tweets, my answer was "fuck off".

Side note: If any of you are interested in my other, public Twitter account, it's @PaigeXc. You won't really find too much vulgarity, just the odd swear word or two.


I've always been very behind with the times. I liked Korn after they were over the hill. I only lost my virginity when I was seventeen. I watched my first Simpsons episode in 2006. I seem to always jump on the bandwagon way past the due date.

So it probably wouldn't surprise you that I have never owned an MP3 player. Whilst all the other people on my train are sitting around, fiddling with their shiny iPods, I was there with my massive silver plastic discman. I would get the strangest looks when my battery runs out and I just whip out 2 AA batteries and replace them. My reasoning was that, no, I did not need to have a million songs on me at any one song. And no, I probably don't even know a million songs.

It was only when my discman recently started skipping like an eight year old with ADHD that I changed my mind. There are only so many dirty looks I can receive from strangers when I shake my discman around on the train, trying to get it to work and read the damn CD. (They probably thought I was deluded and under the impression that I could shake my discman around like an iPhone.)

I caved in, I sold out. I just bought a 16G black iPhone. Now Steve Jobs owns my soul. And I like it.

PS I'm not being paid by Apple to write nice things about the iPhone. But if any companies would like to bribe me to write lovely things about their products, I may be so inclined to accept completely unrelated money donations and coincidentally write a favorably piece about them.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The most obvious answer is usually the right one

"What should I wear these shoes with?"
"Um... clothes?"

I have worked in fashion retail for about a third of my life (to support myself through school, uni and now into my low-paying writing career). It never ceases to amaze me that women still ask me what to wear stuff with. I pretty much get paid to answer obvious questions. It's not like I'm a car sales man explaining technical sides of a car and gas mileage, or a travel agent discussing insurance. I tell people how to wear clothes.

Today, a lady came in needing an outfit for her birthday. I showed her a couple of tops (she was a very conservative mother, looked a bit frazzled and the type who wouldn't normally go out - thus a party frock would never be worn again). I showed her a pale pink silk top with a very, very slight pattern. What really tripped me out was how in awe she was when she asked what to wear with it and I pointed at a very plain black skirt. Then she needed me to tell her what type of jewellery to wear with it, what shoes and whether she needed to wear hosiery.It's not rocket science. We should have all started dressing ourselves when we were about five.

It's even worse when a woman finds something she actually likes... yet has to call her partner, mother or best friend to double check.

Women. Seriously. Get a grip and stop following what other people tell you to do. Be less insecure. Make a fucking decision for once. Perhaps I'd be out of a job but there would at least be a few more strong women in this world.