I’m not that much into politics, really, as it’s a subject that has, for almost 18 years, failed to interest me. But today, on a whim, I was doing a bit of research on Pauline Hanson, who, as any Australian will know, is making what might be called a comeback. Please explain.
In her maiden speech when she was elected in 1996 Hanson said, among other questionable things, that “we are in danger of being swamped by Asians. They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate.” Form ghettos. Swamped by Asians. What was she thinking?
Now, this may come across quite contradictory, but I’ve always been something of a Hanson admirer. Not because I’m a closet racist but because the lady had balls. Yes, she was a xenophobe, yes, she did miss the lesson on political correctness, and, yes, she’s a nutbag, but she was saying what a lot of Australians believed (and many still do) at the time.
She reminds me a bit of Germaine Greer, actually. They’re both women I respect, albeit fear and question the sanity of. They were both a bit radical, both controversial, but what makes them different to all the other lunatics we’ve got wandering around Australia is that they were influential. Indeed, wikipedia tells me that in 2006, The Bulletin named Hanson one of the 100 most influential Australians. I mean, if that’s not something to be proud of I’m not sure what is.
Greer too made her mark through controversy. The Female Eunuch was flying off shelves in the 70s (or so I’m told- that was about 20 years before I was born), and that book pissed a LOT of people off. Looking at Hanson, it’s easy to draw comparisons- feminism was a crack-pot idea back in the day but it changed the world. Who’s to say Pauline’s views and continued popularity amongst a very small public wont, one day, change the way we think. On the other hand, racism is a thing of the past. A lot of people might argue that Hanson’s views are archaic, as well as illogical.
The whole point of this post wasn’t to express my support or disdain for Pauline or Germaine, or even to make a point at all. In fact, in all honesty, it was to examine what life might become like for me over the years- reporters aren’t very popular people, and, as a Uni student studying the very art of Journalism, looking at what a life of controversy and being the underdog has done to these women and their reputations, I’m not really sure if I could handle it.
March 7, 2009
I’m not that much into politics, really, as it’s a subject that has, for almost 18 years, failed to interest me. But today, on a whim, I was doing a bit of research on Pauline Hanson, who, as any Australian will know, is making what might be called a comeback. Please explain.
March 1, 2009
1. All men want is sex. Period.
2. Parking bays need to be wider for people who can’t drive like myself.
3. Facebook is an addiction and I need to seek help.
4. I’ll be lucky if I can stay awake through my lecture tomorrow.
5. Tim Tams are the food of Gods.
February 21, 2009
It’s a term I don’t like to use loosely, in fear of tempting fate (pun intended), but I believe that what happened to me yesterday was fate. It was a series of events that led to several things- firstly, it renewed my faith in the kindness of strangers, secondly, I met a boy who I believe will become a close friend of mine, and lastly, it was a defining moment for me in that I recognised that, in adversity, I truly did have the strength to overcome it.
It begins at my old high school, where I was visiting yesterday evening. The sun generally doesn’t go down until about 8pm, so when I left the school at 6, I was sure I’d have ample time to make my way back across the city. My brother had said to call him if I needed a lift, but he was out with his mates and I was eager to prove that, as a semi-independent adult, I was more than capable of handling the public transport system on my own. Or so I thought.
The first major problem was that I’d missed the last bus from the school to the train station. Never mind, I thought, as Cheese offered me a lift to the bus station. I’ll just catch the next one. Except that there wasn’t a next one. After waiting an excessively long time in the increasing darkness and coming to the realisation that I was lost and alone, I flagged down a bus. The driver was on his way home. After hearing my predicament he asked me where I was trying to get to. In my city, all trains lead to Rome, so to speak, so any train I caught would ultimately end up in the city centre. From here, I could find my way home. Even if it did take me all night. He offered to take me, free of charge, halfway to the nearest station, an offer I accepted with gratitude and relief. At least I was going somewhere, albeit to the dodgiest area of the city with the most violent train line. Sitting on that bus I realised how kind people could be. He wasn’t required to take me anywhere, but it was a small act of humanity that saved me a great deal of heartache and restored my faith in humanity. It struck me that, with all the doom and gloom of today’s media and the fear campaign they run, it can be easy to ignore the simple gestures of selflessness in society.
At about halfway, he dropped me off and directed me toward the station. It was about a kilometre’s walk and it was getting dark so I pretty much legged it, heart-in-my-throat, the whole way. I stood behind a tall boy with blue hair as I bought my ticket, and made it onto the train with seconds to spare. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was going in the right direction, I could relax.
One of my favourite things to do on the train is people-watch. It’s difficult on a train line such as the one I was on because outrightly staring at someone usually leads to a stabbing. But I watched the boy with the blue hair. I studied his body language, tried to suss out what music he was listening to, where he was coming from and where he was going. He was good looking, in a sort of derelict way. He had old clothes, which impressed me the way old clothes always do, in that the wearers are usually so comfortable with themselves that they don’t need fashionable clothing to be confident. It’s something I’ve always aspired to.
It sounds creepy now that I say it, but I watched that boy the whole train ride. This is where fate comes in. There are two stops I could get off in order to catch my train home- the city stop, or a smaller stop just before it. I wasn’t sure which one I’d get off at but eventually decided that the smaller stop was the way to go as it would probably be quicker. So as the train slowed, I stood up, and so did the boy with the blue streaks in his hair. I shook my head to myself in disbelief. Surely he couldn’t be catching the same train as me.
So I stood at the platform for a few minutes before another young man approached. “Darling, they’ve cancelled this train tonight, the last one came about an hour ago”. It’s pretty safe to say I was devastated. It sounds like an overreaction now, but at the time I was a long way from home and fighting back tears. “Thanks”, I mumbled, and looked around in despair. “Come on”, the boy with the blue hair said, beckoning me. “We’ll go into the city and catch the train replacement bus”. For a moment I just stared at him in disbelief and, I’m not afraid to say, fear. Did he want to help me, or rape and murder me on the train tracks? I decided the latter was a bit unlikely, so I followed him like a puppy, up and around the overpass. By the time we got to the other side and on the train, I’d established that most of what I’d thought about him was hugely incorrect. He talked about Tafe, anime, trance music and University. Once we’d got into the city we were chatting like great friends.
The transit guard tried to fine me for having an invalid ticket, but I flashed a smile and pulled the “damsel in distress” act so he let me off. The boy had waited for me as I argued with the guard. As we waited for the bus to come, I learned his name was Joel, and he told me there was another bus that went straight past his house that he could have caught. I asked him why he didn’t. “I have to make sure you get to right place” he replied. We stood on the crowded bus and I watched the sun go down behind the buildings of the city. He didn’t talk much. He didn’t smile much. He looked straight ahead as though there was something very interesting about the man’s shoulder in front of him. He was mysterious, but kind. Again I was astounded at how kind people can be. I’m a cynic by inheritance- my Mum thinks everyone is a rapist or a criminal. But Joel’s kindness and selflessness made me want to be a better person.
I finally got home. It was 9pm. It was dark. I was frightened. But I got home. Safe, alive, and I had this warm glowing feeling you get when you’re truly content with something.
I don’t know if the people I met were only nice to me because I was a girl and they had this weird masculine tendency to protect me. I don’t know if they’d have done the same thing for a 30 year old man. But I know that the kindness of strangers is something this world would do well with more of. It certainly changed my day, if not my outlook on life.
February 9, 2009
I went out to dinner on Saturday night, which turned out to be dinner and then wine, some sort of cocktail and me staggering back to the car when Mum finally cut me off. I’m still blaming the wobbling on my heels, rather than my complete inability to refuse drinks when they’re offered to me.
We ended up out at the bar with Ves and a couple of her friends, including these two gay guys and one of their cute brothers. It was a bit amusing really because the age group was about 20-35, except 17 year old me and my 41 year old mother. I could tell she was feeling out of place, and when she told me afterwards how “old” she’d felt, I could relate to how I feel when all of her workmates come out with us and I feel like a pre-pubescent naïve idiot. I’m kind of glad that now she finally knows how it felt for me for so long.
Dave, the gay guy, was telling me how he’d turn straight for Jennifer Lopez. “In fact,” he went on, “If I wasn’t into boys I would totally try to get into your pants”. By this time I was blushing and was very glad it was dark. “You’re gorgeous!” he exclaimed. His brother was absolutely dying of laughter and I wasn’t sure where to look. It made me remember why I love flamboyant gay people so much. To be so comfortable with being so different is something I’ll be eternally jealous of. And it was a massive compliment to receive from him.
When I got home at about midnight the Irishman called. Looking back through my phone log, we chatted for about 40minutes but I can honestly say, with embarrassment, that I can only clearly remember about ten minutes of the conversation. I’m still unsure as to exactly what I said and/or agreed to, so that should make for interesting conversation on our pending date this week. I tried to get out of it by being completely honest and telling him that I was 17 and would never get into any clubs, and making it clear I wasn’t some kind of slut who’d have sex with him if that was what he was looking for. He was still keen, though, saying he’d take me to breakfast and we’d go to the city park etc etc. All of my friends still think he’s a bit of a pedophile, but he’s quite sweet and I guess I’ll just go with the flow for a bit and see where it all ends up. Maybe I’ll live to regret my decision, but I’m young and I’ve got mistakes to make so my friends can feel free to say “I told you so” if it all turns to shit.
I really have to start packing for my flight so I’ll keep this one relatively short. x
February 3, 2009
My StepDad took me on a two hour drive today in a bid to get up my 25 logbook hours. He complained the whole time. He whinged and whined and told me it was like pulling his eyeballs out with a needle.
When we got home, I laughed. He’d sat in a car, bored out of hs senses, for two hours. He’d done it begrudgingly, but he’d done it. He’d done it for me.
We’re not close, and our conversations usually revolve around “Hey maggot face”, “What’s up dogshit?”, but it’s a relationship I woldn’t change for the world. Short of having my real father, he’s the best thing I could have asked for, and I thought I’d take a moment out to think about just how grateful I am for what he’s given up for me over the years.
January 29, 2009
I am so bad.
I saw the Irishman again. I gave him my phone number. I couldn’t help myself. He was so charming and Irish.
I almost hope he doesn’t call. What the hell am I going to say? Thank God I’m leaving in 12 days. At least I can pull the “I’m sorry but I’m moving away” excuse.
Then again, if he does call. I get to hear that accent again. *drool
I don’t even know his name! I’m expecting something really Irish like “Seamus”, but no doubt I’ll be disapointed. Oh my God what if he’s like 30?
Mum’ll kill me if she finds out. I mentioned him in passing in the car, se was all “The Irishman who is waaay too old for you?”. No Mum, the other amazing Irishman who, for some reason, thinks I’m kinda cute. SLAP.
Sigh. It’s so hard being me.
January 19, 2009
When I go back there now, I’m just “one of the boys”. There’s Matty and Jon, my geeky-but-popular cousins, Chris, Tom, and on occasion, crazy Ben. We play Guitar Hero (they make me sing), eat McDonalds, drive around in Matt’s tiny car which can’t cope with our weight, watch foreign movies and talk about people we went to school with.
They are the only people left there who accept me for both who I was and who I’ve become. With everyone else it’s different.
I was scared of going back. I generally like to think of myself as a pretty brave, hardy person (though this isn’t always the case). But for as much as I was dreading facing those girls, I knew in my heart I had to go- Cate was going to be 18. She, other than the boys, still loved me. And I was going crazy hanging out with my parents in this boring lame town.
So I went. I caught the bus (usually reserved for the homeless, derelict people), which gave me an extra incentive to pass my driving test this Thursday. Matty and Chris picked me up and we went back to Matt’s house to chill. The thing I love most about the boys (or perhaps “loved” is the right word, in light of the story to follow), is that they all just think I’m one of the guys- like a little sister. And the boys who aren’t related to me know the rules about hitting on your mate’s cousins- Don’t. So we played Guitar Hero Band, I was the worst singer who ever attempted 30 Seconds From Mars’ “The Kill”, and had a hoarse voice for about an hour afterward. We watched Transporter 3, which was a massive disappointment after the awesomeness of the second movie (and the female lead was the randomest, most unattractive weirdo I’ve ever seen), and we helped our Uncle Scott move into his new house.
They all laughed at me when we were getting ready for the party. At the time they were watching Dr. Who and I was ducking in and out of the room so I wouldn’t miss the exciting part (it turned out to be a crap episode anyway). Chris ended up yelling at me. “What the hell are you doing in the bathroom for so long?” Boys just don’t understand. I had to look good for tonight- not “look good” like you normally do when you go out, but “look extra good”, because it would be the first time in a long time that I would see everyone- and immaturely, I wanted to prove them wrong about me.
In short, the party was fricken awesome. I got a bit drunk (but not as drunk as my Mother seems to think- more on that shortly), but that was totally not my fault- everywhere I looked people were handing me beer and this one girl kept giving me Vodka Cruisers claiming “My Mum will kill me if I go home with full bottles”…
I met this totally adorable guy from South Africa who I was quite certain I would rape if no one stopped me. Actually the story is that I was talking to an old workmate Demetry, when Jarred (the South African) came in, and (unnecessarily loudly) I told Demetry “Demetry, get me one of those”. It was highly amusing but it seemed to do the trick. Jarred and I got on really well. He was pretty shy though, which I am not used to from guys, so I think, in the end, he thought I was either too drunk to hook up with or too full-on. But he will probably be at Gorgi’s going away party next weekend so I’ll see what happens there.
Chris was actually more smashed than I’d ever seen anyone in my whole life (that includes the time I found my Mum asleep in her own spew in our front garden). The older boys (Matt, Tom, Chris and Ben) had gone to the pub beforehand, and whatever they were drinking had completely floored Chris, who, as it turns out, can’t remember much of anything that happened. Which I’m glad of. Now, I understand that when people get drunk they do things that normally they wouldn’t, and I like to apply this theory to Chris’ actions. “You know Ash, you’re really hot and sexy” he said with a slur, sidling up to me. I kinda cocked my head and laughed, telling him that he was really drunk, which he agreed to, and we left it at that. But things are never really the same after someone says that to you, and unfortunately Cate must’ve heard the exchange too (more on that soon).
I met another guy a bit later on whose name, I think, was Blake. There are about 50 photos of him on my camera but I can’t really remember saying all that much to him (he’s photo 36 On). Anyway, he was very good looking and I was a little overwhelmed when he started talking to me. It kinda symbolized, for me, the whole night- I’d never been the pretty girl but suddenly here were all these boys wanting to talk to me. Matty would later put that feeling into words for me.
The biggest surprise of the night was Rach. It’s no secret that there was a lot of bad blood there after what happened between me and Travis and then her and Travis. For almost three years she’s pretty much wanted me dead. At first, in that awkward half-hour when you first get to a party, she ignored me, as I’d expected. Later on though, we were talking and laughing like old friends. I was so relieved. I’d actually been half afraid that she would bottle me before the end of the night. I later asked Cate if she’d put Rach up to being nice to me, and she denied it wholeheartedly, which was even better.
So at the end of the night I gave Demetry and Gerald my number and told them to sort out what was going on next weekend because I’d be back in town with my olds, and the boys and I stumbled home at 2am. We sat about in Jon’s room drinking water in an attempt to reduce hangovers and just talking about shit. Eventually Chris had passed out and Tom was very close, and Matt said to me “You know, I’m really glad that you’re my cousin.” I was tempted to laugh, but he went on. “Everyone thinks you’re really cool and then they think we’re really cool coz we’re related to you. You know how all the guys at a party sit around talking about one girl? That girl was you. You were like, the cream of the crop. They kept saying “yo, hook me up with your cousin, put in a good word”.” It reminded me of something he’d said to me years ago- “Ash, you’ve got something that makes people want to be around you”, at which point I’d laughed and said “they’re boobs”. What Matty was saying was obviously drunken ramble about nothing very important at all, but it really showed me how much things- how much I, had changed. Cate said Demetry referred to me as a “model”. I couldn’t help but think about my fat days, and the time when I had really horrific acne. And for as much as I was flattered for all the attention I got, which I can only assume was a result of the amount of booze that was consumed, and the sheer deficit of pretty girls, I thought about what that girl- the chubby one, with the acne, socially awkward and tactless- what she would say to me now. And I knew that she’d tell me not to forget where I came from. I knew she’d tell me to remember how all these people treated me, and to think about just why they’d suddenly changed their tune.
Mum saw the photos. She was mad. She told me I hadn’t asked her if I could drink, and every time she saw a photo of me with a different drink in my hand she’d growl a bit more. She gave me the lecture on drink-spiking and how dangerous a place that town was, about taking advantage of her trust in me etc etc. I don’t want to undermine her concern for my safety, but I truly think it wasn’t the booze, but the boys that her concerned. I’m actually a good girl, contrary to what many think, but my Mum thinks I have a very great potential to become a slut.
On a separate note, Cate messaged me the day after and asked, point-blank “Does Chris like you?” I shrugged it off, of course- “He was just so drunk”. Later on, Matty would tell me that he thought Cate might have a bit of a crush on Chris- I asked her, and to this she replied “The jury’s still out”.
That’s all for now, really. I’m looking forward to the weekend because a mate of mine, Gorgi, is having a going away party, and it should be pretty good. If Mum lets me go, that is. After this weekend she’ll probably only let me go if she escorts me and I only drink water all night.
January 16, 2009
The only thing working as a check-out chick has confirmed for me is that I do NOT want to be stuck serving pain-in-the-arse customers all day every day for the rest of my life. Fingers crossed that will not be my fate.
There are lots of things that annoy me about work, but predominantly it’s that I could be doing something better. Standing about all day talking to people I don’t know and/or don’t care about is such a gigantic and utter waste of my time- for every minute I stand there, leant up against the frigging self-serve machine, I can feel myself getting older and ultimately, getting closer to dying. I know how morbid that seems, but it’s the God-honest truth.
It’s not as if my job actually has any positive ramifications. Working on self-serve, all I do is repeat the same instructions to every painful person who comes through- “Just wait until the green lights come on”, “You have to scan it and then put it in the bagging area”, “No, the GREEN lights”, “It’s not my fault, it’s a machine”. That place is turning me into a robot. I’m like a hotter version of R2D2.
Looking over what I’ve just written, it’s all a bit pessimistic and whiny. I guess everyone hates working, but it’s a necessary evil- you need money to survive, and unless you’re Paris Hilton, you need a job to earn money. (Sorry I just referenced Paris Hilton, the mere mention of her makes me feel like I need a bath).
And besides, not everything about my job is 100% sucky. Some of the people who work there are nice, or at worst, intriguing. And I’m pretty sure all guys have a secret sexual fetish about check-out workers. But by far, the biggest incentive to work is obviously money- I’m going to need every cent when I move out, and this fact has been playing on my mind a lot recently. Moving out means I have to pay rent, buy food, pay bills, buy petrol (the price for which is completely exuberant), and I’m going back to dancing, so God knows how I’m going to pay for all the costumes and makeup and whatever else.
Gah, I’m still complaining!
On the positive side, I’m going to be a Mum!
My dog’s having another litter of puppies and my folks have agreed that I can have one as a housewarming present. I’m thinking of calling her Luca, as a bit of a joke between my Mum and I. I have this Pawpaw ointment that I use as lipbalm, from a brand called “Lucas”. I have really dry lips because of my medication, so I never go anywhere without it. Whenever we go out, I’m like “Wait Kelso, where the heck is my Lucas?” Because I’m getting a female dog (I couldn’t handle a male like our male dog now, he’s so full-on), I couldn’t call her anything cricket-related, like Gilly or Punter or Roy, so I think I’ll settle on Luca.
Going to do some ironing (Gah I’m such a little old lady stuck in a 17-year-old body). Later x
January 14, 2009
I’ve already posted today so I’ll keep this one short. I got into University, accepted straight up by the Uni of my choice. I’m lost for words, which is, as you might know, a very rare occurrence for yours truly. I cried, actually, from emotion and from relief.
Of course, I’m thrilled- this has been my goal, the one thing I have striven for, for five years. Five long years of hard work and sacrifice so that I could see those words; “First Round Offer”. I’m so excited as to what the future holds, and I’m determined to make the most of my Uni life. I suppose I’m just a little overwhelmed, is all. I’ve finally achieved what once seemed so elusive, something that, for so long, I’ve focused on single-mindedly. I guess I’m stuck on the old question of once you’ve conquered Everest, what more is there to achieve? It’s time, now, to sit down and reassess my goals, to set new ones and to move forward into what is going to be a very exciting chapter in my life.
New things are happening to me every day- new people, new experiences. I’m deeply blessed to be in the position I am and I can’t wait to get on with it. I’m a Uni girl now.
I’ve come to the conclusion that my parents really are lunatics. Going to boarding school meant that I only had to see them a couple of times a year, which was great, but now, having finished school, I’m forced to live with them for a couple of months before University, and they are driving me INSANE.
I guess I’m no different to a lot of other teenagers, whose parents are a bit eccentric and, like mine, can be overwhelming, but seriously- will it never end? My Mum is the worst- can Alzheimer’s set in at 41? She’s lost her marbles, and it’s enough to make you cut your wrists (not really, self mutilation=BAD). Figuratively speaking.
But I love her all the same. She’s a lunatic, for sure- she’s unpredictable and at times undesirable, but she’s kind and loyal and always up for a laugh. I think that’s where I get it from- because for sure, I’m just the same. I’m as eccentric as they come, a little crazy, a little moody, a little outspoken. But I’m not a bad person. I honestly think (and this might just be my ignorance talking) that people misunderstand me because I just don’t think the same way other girls do. I’m honest- sometimes brutally so, and people can be affronted by that. Similarly, I’m not overly vain- I don’t post photos on my Facebook because they’re taken from a good angle and make me look super hot- I post them because they reflect my personality, or they’re symbolic as to what I was doing at the time, or they’re just plain funny. I’ve got a lot of friends and I get along with almost everyone, but I’ve never been “popular”. I’ve had my share of boyfriends and what have you but I’ve never considered myself “hot”. I’m not even sure I know where all this is going but I’m in a ranting, confessional mood and I think I’m entitled to waffle on aimlessly every once in a while (or more often than not).
LOL. I saw the Irishman again today (refer a couple of posts below for full story)- it was pretty awkward, he was all cute and Irish and I was trying to stop myself drooling and start thinking straight before I ended up in his car with my shirt off.
I might digress as we progress- when we were in England, Casey, Cheese and I made a point of talking to other foreigners we met in elevators. We figured “we’re from Australia, they don’t know us here”. So each time I’d step into the lift I’d flash a smile and ask “where are you from?”, and the next time I saw my mates I’d say “Oh my God I just met China/Spain/Mexico!”. It was actually really cool meeting so many different people, but a lot of them (like this family from Barcelona) didn’t speak English so it was awkward but funny. It also gave us a chance to suss out which countries we’d like to visit because they had hot boys. For example, we decided boys from Macedonia were cute but rude, English boys were adorable but mostly had bad teeth, and Spain was definitely where we were headed next because the guys were, on the whole, totally hot and really nice! (except these two guys who we sat with on the bus- they spent the whole time talking in Spanish and making fun of us! L)
Anyway, it became a bit of a running joke so I messaged the girls the other night after the incident with the Irishman and said “Oh my God I just got asked out by Ireland!”. They thought it was pretty funny in light of my new obsession with all things Irish (again, refer below).
Ok that was super long and I can only assume super boring, I’ve got the rest of the arvo off work (it’s 1.30pm here in Aus), I’m going to wrap my friends birthday present (she’s 18 tomorrow!) and probably watch a Bruce Willis movie. Later x x x
P.S. Nitaro- Heck yes I have Facebook, I searched your email and added you, let me know if it worked!
P.P.S Keeping with my count-down until I’m 18, there are only 260 days to go!!
P.P.P.S I find out if I got into University tomorrow. Pray for me, if you’re into that, if not, keep me in your thoughts!