Monthly Archives: September 2013

All-out war, bitch

If I was in a Disney movie, I would be the antagonist. Although I was born a princess according to my family, I am no Princess Aurora, I am most definitely Maleficent. This is not to say I am not a good person. I’m constantly surprised at how we paint people as good OR bad. Black OR white. Where are the shades of grey? I seem to always come off as the bad guy (girl). I’m easy to dislike, & I guess this is because I have a penchant for distasteful language & think humour is just being crass. Even growing up pigeon holed to the dark side, I had no fucking idea what it was like to project something to the masses, & have most reply by character assassinating me. I mean fucking slaughtered point-blank-shotgun-to-the-head kind of assassinated.

Me when I don't get my way (or Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty).

Me when I don’t get my way (or Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty).

The people who get my humour have been the most wonderful human beings one could ever hope to come across, & there HAS been LARGE AMOUNTS of positive feedback. Sometimes I have been overwhelmed with kindness, & have wanted to find & hug each person who has taken the time to tell me to “keep going girl I LOVE this shit!”. It’s not that the flak has been in large numbers. It’s the POISON in it. The pure, unadulterated, I want to fucking kick you until you assume the curled up slater-bug position & beg for my forgiveness & swear off ever having an opinion again, kind of hate. Why are women so hard on other women? WHY IS IT WAR? Why is it whose life is harder, who works harder, who is smarter, who is skinnier, & who can write the longest & most hate-filled comment possible? Also, why do we think we know each other based on a Facebook status or a 900 word blog post? Humans are fickle. They are intricate. They have varying layers & are contradictory in nature. Especially women. Why do any of us (including myself) think we know someone enough to call them a whore, an attention seeker, or call them stupid & self indulgent? God, someone even said my writing had a DIRECT correlation to sucking dick. What? How? How can 900 satirical words about something have ANYTHING to do with how a girl gives head?

Degree almost in hand, home owner, sometimes blogger & purely '"second fiddle" with nothing to offer.

Degree almost in hand, home owner, sometimes blogger & purely ‘”second fiddle” with nothing to offer.

I am NOT saying I don’t say mean things. I am NOT saying I am perfect. I am NOT saying all women are like this. I am NOT condemning anyone, for each person has their own feelings & struggles no matter what they have done. I am concerned. Really, I am. I’ve had a week of deeply empathising with people, & reconsidering how I treat people. Namely other women. I will be the first to admit, I LOVE a good bitch. I love to rant. I love to get angry. I love to absolutely condemn someone’s opinion &let me tell you why this is so fucking wrong”. Would I call someone I do not know out on social media, tell them they are worthless & I hate them? No. There’s a line & that would be crossing it. Say what you will in your lounge rooms, at dining tables, at coffee shops or when you’re sloppy after having half a bottle of wine. IT’S FUN! It’s so much fun. Let’s not rip each others faces off publicly. Imagine if we actually had to fight each other with keyboards… That would be way more fun. Bash each other in the head with them until someone is declared victor. It seems way less futile. EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO AN OPINION. & god bless the internet for such democracy. But please, the right to an opinion is not the right to abuse. Save it for drunk talk with your mates.

Approach EVERYTHING you do in life with the assuredness of Mr. West.

Approach EVERYTHING you do in life with the assuredness of Mr. West.

I am not overly religious. More of a fatalist. But this is real talk right here;

Matthew 7:1-3

King James Version (KJV)

 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

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Ohayo Gozaimasu

“OH-HI-OH GO-ZEYE-MUSS”- Hello, or hi, or good morning, or something. I don’t know. All I know is NO ONE said konnichiwa in Japan even though I said it about every 2.5 seconds.

EVERYONE should go to Japan. I went around this time last year & although most people were all like “why are you going there? What an odd place to decide to go” it was SO AWESOME WOW. SUPER KAWAII HAPPY FUN TIMES! Here is what I want to pass on to anyone who wants to go/is going/might go/doesn’t get why the hell you would go to Japan:

Like Christmas but BETTER

Like Christmas but BETTER

CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS
I am partial to a cat or 300. I LOVE cats. Cats are so funny & sometimes they’re really selfish & grumpy, which I really relate to. One second they want to be patted then they get sick of it & they will claw you & run away. This speaks to my soul. The Japanese love cats as much as I do, maybe even MORE (insane). They have what are called CAT CAFES. These are cafes filled with fricken CATS people. What was more fun while I was in Japan: Disneyland or the cat cafe? The cat cafe hands down. I had one of the most embarrassing experiences ever in Disneyland (coming up), even putting this fact aside the cat cafe was as if I had died & gone to lonely-lady heaven. It was in the most nondescript building in Kobukicho, I was concerned maybe we had misunderstood what a cat cafe was & we were going to be treated to the infamous fetishes of the Japanese people. Calico Cat Cafe was two stories, & filled with every which cat. Fluffy cats, munchkin cats, evil cats, sleepy cats, cats in bowls, cats fighting cats… CATS! Do you like cats? Go to Japan. If you do nothing else, go sip on some green tea while playing with 50 cats at the same time. Like heroin for the cat lover, but better.

Did, in fact, turn out to be a cafe full of cats & not the other kind of pussy...

Did, in fact, turn out to be a cafe full of cats & not the other kind of pussy. Photo bomb by me.

How does one find somewhere happier?

How does one find somewhere happier?

LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS
I know heaps of people say this back here in Australia, but I’m sorry, LEGGINGS ARE PANTS. I wear them as pants. Like, daily. It is acceptable to wear them as pants here, people aren’t going to stare & laugh. If your arse happens to be less than perfect then maybe someone might make a snide comment to their friend when you’re not looking but generally, leggings are pants okay. I treat leggings as pants. PLEASE, DO NOT WEAR LEGGINGS WITHOUT A SKIRT IN JAPAN. DO NOT DO IT. IF YOU’RE GOING TO DO IT JUST PUT ON STOCKINGS & NOTHING OVER THEM & GO OUT. I’M SO SERIOUS RIGHT NOW! How do I know this? I did it. I wore a top & stripy leggings to Sea Disney & wanted to cry all day. The amount of kawaii Japanese girls giggling & staring at me was excruciating. The more I paid attention to it, the more I realised that in Japan you MUST wear shorts or a skirt over leggings. That is what they are for. I wanted to throw myself into the sea surrounding the theme park & let it carry me into oblivion. I had done the equivalent of wearing stockings as pants, & never will I ever forget the embarrassment. The shame. It ruined my day. Leggings are not pants in Japan.

Me at Disneyland without proper pants. Also I am dressed in a Stitch cape. I can't believe I am showing the world this.

Me at Disneyland without proper pants. Also I am dressed in a Stitch cape. I can’t believe I am showing the world this.

CULTURALLY CONFUSED FOOD
I thought Australia’s version of ‘Chinese’ food was muddled up. The food in Japan is so insane (I’ll add in a good way, here). Would you like some sausages baked in mayonnaise in a German beer hall, all while you eat with chopsticks? TOO EASY, THAT IS THE SPECIALTY IN TOKYO! Some sort of animal’s penis fried up? (I didn’t experience anything like this, but people I know did) Seriously, way too easy. You’re going to have to try harder to stump these amazing people. You think of it, they have it. Also, the tiny supermarkets lining the streets were stocked with sushi on sushi on sushi. & bento boxes. They made for a really beautiful sight, in a spot as mundane to the locals as the sidewalk.

Yes please.

Yes please.

Role reversal: I took photos of everything. I was THAT tourist.

Role reversal: I took photos of everything. I was THAT tourist.

WHY YOU HAVE TO GO
I also sipped sake like a pro (I thought so anyway, I was drunk though). I sat in little lane way bars that were so skinny you could barely fit two people in its width. I ran around Tokyo in heels & got blisters the size of small children on the balls of my feet. I danced in a gay club with transsexuals who were hotter, & had bigger heels, than me. I made a wish on the wishing tree in a temple, & was touched to the core at the beauty & tranquility of the place. I saw a traditional Japanese wedding. I wrote directions into google translations at the start of each morning so the cab driver would understand me. I played with Japanese toys. I was stared at everywhere I went like some amazing oddity with blue eyes & a funny voice. There is a pattern emerging: I start off my posts laden with satire & end on a serious note. I’m sorry, I will try break that habit. But I simply can’t seriously let you know how beautiful, diverse, spiritual, & crazy this part of the planet is. The people are amazing. The food is amazing. The clubs are amazing. The sake is amazing. Even being laughed at was amazing. I would move to this place. I loved it that much.

Unsure when this post became about embarrasing myself. But, Sanrio Puroland! Home of hello Kitty!

Unsure when this post became about embarrassing myself. But, Sanrio Puroland! Home of Hello Kitty!

The home of Hello Kitty (HARO KITTI in Japanese) has a special place in my heart.

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The people who come after the people who come when someone dies

My first experience in the “field” was one that has stuck with me. I went out as an infant journalist in the first year of my degree & I interviewed a hotshot of the “Crime Scene Decon” world. I had nothing but my iPhone, a small purple pad & pink pen. I must have REEKED of rookie to someone like Peter, who I know had been extensively interviewed after a spate of interest from the media in crime scene cleaners. But I loved it so much. I saw body bags & photos of deceased that had been left so long they had liquefied. It was my first feature article, & I’ve never really topped it for want of a better word:

Peter Guerin faces the grim task of cleaning up after death has knocked on someone’s door. He does what is called crime scene and trauma decontamination. Or CTS Decon. Before the recent boom in such cleaning companies, it was the duty of the deceased’s family to clean up bodily fluids, human remains, blood, brain matter, and any damage left by Police in a residence. Now Peter and his staff at Bioclean step in once law enforcement and the coroner have left.

Peter has the hard exterior and no bullshit attitude of a cop. And this may be from his 30 years of serving in the Police force. His penchant for blood and strong stomach can be attributed to his eight years in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation. It started as a thought in the 80’s, when Peter drove past a Police shooting that had sadly ended in casualties. A cliché sure, but a tiny light in his head just went “bing”, he says.

He sits behind the desk of his Bioclean office on a drizzly morning and seems detached as he speaks. He radiates sterility and wears a hard mask. There seems no regret for what he has seen, and no mourning of any of these people’s deaths. “It’s not me, it’s not my family… I look at it from a biological point of view.”

“I say to everyone on my team, don’t look at the photos. Don’t look at the family photos,” continues Peter. “I know where they suffered… It sounds cold and hard. It’s to preserve yourself.”

He started Bioclean in 2004. He has three full-time staff members and around five casuals. They deal with stomach churning scenarios on a daily basis.

“We don’t just rock up to the supermarket and buy black and gold bleach,” he laughs. Certainly not when tuberculosis or hepatitis is on the cards if his gory job is not done exactly right. Large amounts of blood first clot to jelly then dry into thick crimson flakes when left for a long period of time. “That’s the worst blood because it is airborne,” Peter says.

Peter and his team not only make a tragedy easier to deal with for families, but are potentially also saving their health. HIV remains dangerous for a day, hepatitis B for a whole week and tuberculosis remains a hazard if any solidified brain matter remains.

One of the less disturbing images. Google 'Crime Scene Decontamination' at your own risk.

One of the less disturbing images. Google ‘Crime Scene Decontamination’ at your own risk.

Peter grew up in Surrey Hills NSW, and had a wholesome family. His mother stayed at home to take care of the family and his father was an accountant. He sees himself as the black sheep of the family. Although he has strayed from a more traditional path it seems he is making tracks. Peter has a slew of credentials, all covering the walls of his warehouse office. He boasts playfully of being the Vice President of the American Biorecovery Association and has fewer frames than he does certificates for his qualifications.

When pressed, Peter’s hard façade does falter. Long sighs puncture cocksure sentences when faced with the question of families of the dead. “It helps their grieving process,” says Peter.

The grieving of the families of the deceased is very much apart of the job, especially for Gabrielle Simpson of Clean Queens. While Peter dominates the industry in Melbourne, Gabrielle is based in NSW and brings a feminine and playful touch to a macabre business.

Her van is plastered with the image of a busty maid with glorious cleavage, suggestively holding a feather duster. “They’ll [people on the street] be smiling and looking at the girl… then they see what we do and their faces drop,” says Gabrielle.

She places high priority on the feelings of the family, and the act of softening a traumatic blow. “We go in to make sure the family aren’t stressed… [and] sometimes we get people who may not be able to pay premium prices,” she continues, “I take that into consideration.”

You would be forgiven for thinking Peter seems desensitised. But his partner John, also working for Bioclean, explains he just takes his job very seriously. “That’s just the way he is. It can make him a pain in the arse… he forgets he’s not in the Police force anymore.” John graduated from the Police Academy in 1976, along with Peter.

Peter sits at his desk projecting professionalism, while contrastingly John bustles about the office jovially calling insults and laughing. They bounce off each other like old friends, and their personalities seem to mesh like yin and yang. It’s quite warming, actually. 

Crime Scene and Trauma Decontamination is not just cleaning up what no one else will. There is a raw humanistic element to the job that is arresting to the everyday person. “The trick is to not look into their [a dead bodies] eyes,” says John honestly. “You do see some really sad things,” Gabrielle Simpson also laments.

But Peter seems to have found the right mindset to tackle death and mortality without being haunted by what he does. “It is a reward, at the end of the day.”

Dating an AFL player

A lot of people probably know a football player, or if not, his missus. Yet, I am always surprised at the amount of girls still wanting to date an AFL player. Some people also seem to think I live in this mystical land of free things, champagne & pretty people. Well, I just spent a good 30 minutes cleaning up dog turds on my decking because my puppies are really dumb & lazy. I clean up a lot of poo. So on that note, let me tell you why being a WAG is a BAD IDEA. VERY BAD IDEA.

This guy is lucky enough to be able to call me his girlfriend. Ashley Smith of the West Coast Eagles.

This guy is lucky enough to be able to call me his girlfriend. Ashley Smith of the West Coast Eagles.

It’s not about you.
Ever. I don’t mean sometimes, I mean all the time. Really sick & have no family because you moved interstate to be with the love of your life? (I’m an expert on this shit). Doesn’t matter. Your boyfriend has to play footy & the fact that you feel like you may have died & met the devil himself in a feverish hallucination is beyond insignificant. Can I just reiterate that I am an only child quickly? You may have garnered that fact even if you didn’t previously know. But seriously, it sucks. People ask about your partner all the time. Sometimes even omitting a “so, how are you too?” in the process. I grew up the apple of my family’s eye, & to be ushered to the sidelines both literally & metaphorically can be hard on a girl. The constant reminder that you are just another brick in the wall & your boyfriend is part of an elite group of professionals can kind of suck on those days where you’re up to your tenth blank stare from someone & you just know they’re thinking “who the fuck are you?”.

Footy becomes your life.
Don’t close the browser tab, I’m not insulting your intelligence. Footy becomes your life in a way you never really considered before. Let me elaborate. You’re buying the weekly groceries, & planning what to eat for the week. In a lot of households a “what do you want?” may suffice. Uh uh. Not here. “What day is the game this week? Are you playing AFL or WAFL? Will you even be home for dinner or are you doing a handful of appearances & clinics this week?” is what I need to ask. What day the game is is by far THE most important. Ladies, an AFL player needs to carb load. Even local footy players need to do this, but this is the big league & god forbid you better feed him right lest he have a shitty game & you feel guilty for not fulfilling your WAG duties. On a low carb diet? HA! Think you’ll make two meals & avoid that massive bowl of spaghetti on a weekly basis? I’m laughing. I have tried, & maybe my resolve is especially weak. But, you will be carb loading once a week too, I almost guarantee. & it hurts.

The WAG bit.
I am no Rebecca Judd, CLEARLY. I can best be described as “nobody”. I am about 10 kilos heavier than Mrs. Judd even though she has had a child (HOW?), & my bank account is much lighter (dear god switch these two things around will you, please?). This is probably why my WAG life is so different to what a lot of people imagine. But, I anticipate there are a lot of girls out there who would nod their heads in agreement because only a minority are filthy rich & extremely well-known. The WAG bit is hard when you’re a bit of an unknown straddling the perimeter. The ability to dress fabulously while maintaining you spent no time or effort at all is one that is really hard to master. Three years later & I’m still trying desperately. My role of WAG can be better described as this: a second mother, a lover, a cleaner, a chef, the cheer squad, the therapist, the psychologist, & the fierce lioness who will RIP YOUR HEAD OFF IF I HEAR YOU SAY ANYTHING ABOUT NUMBER 28. You have many, many roles to play. Many more than donning a dress & making your man look amazing at the annual Best & Fairest Awards.

2012 WCE Best & Fairest.

2012 WCE Best & Fairest.

I hope it is obvious that this is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek rendition of my life, & also an attempt to tell you what it’s really like for a lot of the partners of professional athletes. Most of all, what I would like people to understand most is that both people in the relationship of WAG & AFL player work extremely hard. My boyfriend trains roughly 5 times a week, but also with a game on the weekend in front of tens of thousands. & his midweek day off is taken up with various other commitments related to his job. Don’t get me wrong, there are perks. For some a lot more than others. But it is a taxing life. Emotionally, physically, & mentally. Life is hard no matter who you are or what you do, but it is an extremely misunderstood profession.

Ladies, date a tradie. He’ll have a killer bod & can fix anything around the house at your whim.

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Suicide

Does the sight of this word offend you? Did it take you aback to see it as the title of my first “proper” blog post? It’s not your fault. It’s not really anyone’s fault. I could say that society has stigmatised suicide. But, don’t we make up society? Who would I be scapegoating if I were to lump all the blame on them? I think we are the proverbial them.

I wanted my first blog post to be light, witty, controversial, maybe slightly offensive… All the things that I am when I’m chatting with my friends. I wanted to slide slowly into the bloggersphere. Dip my toe in the water before I ducked my head completely under. That’s the kind of person I generally am, I test the waters before I take the plunge. But enough swimming analogies, I’m sure my journalism tutors would blanch reading them. “Bad journalism. Have I taught you nothing in five years?”.

Last Saturday, I attended the Out of the Shadows walk in Perth, Western Australia. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, & Thursday is R U OKAY? Day. This week has been emotionally draining & I just glanced at my phone to realise it’s only fucking Tuesday. I’m really tired. I’m sure there are so, so many people out there who share my sentiments. I KNOW there are. I know them personally. I know too many of them personally. & I watch others from the spectator stand of ‘loose acquaintance’ struggle with the same thing. For all my passion & support of suicide awareness, I must admit hypocrisy. Awareness of suicide is so important. 400,000 people think about taking their own lives each year, the ABC tweeted this morning. Yet, do I talk about it? No. I told everyone that it’s okay to talk about suicide today on my Facebook. I mean it, I truly do. IT IS OKAY. & this dialogue needs to be started. But will I sit down & talk to someone about suicide today? Most likely not. I find it overwhelmingly hard. It is the elephant in the room everywhere I go, for it is something I carry with me every nanosecond of every waking moment of my life. I promised honesty, & holy shit I’ve just gone straight to the deep end.

When I was seventeen, I met a boy. I fell in love. It went pretty badly. I loved him so much that I HATED HIM. He INFURIATED me. I wanted to smack his fucking face & sometimes I did & then I would beg for forgiveness & ask him never to leave because please god I can’t breathe without you. Needless to say, it did not last. Not because I didn’t want it to but because I couldn’t let myself love someone like that. I had nothing left to give anyone or anything else. It drained me & hurt me deeply. So I found someone else, I busied myself, & I got on with making my first love a painful ex who I pretended to loathe because I would rather you think I hate his guts than you know that I have no idea how to ever not love this kid. More relationships, more breakups, more moving on while pretending I did not give one shit let alone multiple, huge, stinking shits that stained my heart. Then something miraculous happened. I actually fell in love with someone else. Head over heels, all in, make-this-the-rest-of-my-life kind of love. But did the other go away? No. Not really. This is what I think people don’t talk about enough: your first love will be forever. & somehow you have to make ALL the rest of your relationships work too. While having a very special, unattainable part of your heart firmly locked away for someone else. It’s messed up.

Aaron, myself & my mum on holiday in Sydney

Aaron, myself & my mum on holiday in Sydney

While holidaying in Bali with my current partner, my phone was ringing in the safe in our hotel room & I refused to answer it because “international calls are expensive & it’s ME who pays, not you”. No but really, I apparently HAD to answer this call. I don’t remember the finer details from this part of my life, probably because my subconscious blocked it out because there’s only so much heartache you can feel at one time before your chest really does explode, & your aching bones shatter & you just drop dead from sadness. But my first love had decided this place was not somewhere he wanted to be anymore, & I would never, ever, ever see him again in this lifetime.

“But he was your ex. As if you care that much. Didn’t you hate him? You didn’t want to be with him anymore, surely that made it easy for you to deal with”. I could almost hear people’s minds ticking over as they thought these things about me. “WRONG. SO TOTALLY WRONG. YOU COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG!” I shook them violently and screamed in their faces in my imagination. It has split my world apart. That’s the thing about suicide, it affects so many people. It makes the day-to-day a battle, for everyone that ever knew, met, spoke to or loved that person. Whether it was a moment together, a year together, or a lifetime together. When someone commits suicide that indelible print that they left on each person they came into contact with is then marred with pain at the thought that what they had with them is never coming back. Even worse is when you torture yourself with what you would do & say if they were still here.

I feel as though I am babbling, it’s hard to write succinctly about something that has changed your life so much. Let’s talk about suicide. Please speak to someone, because otherwise you leave behind people like me that will miss you so much that the pain is tangible. Daily. Forever.

“Oh yeah, here we go…”

Is probably what you thought when you clicked on my blog. Right? Insert not-impressed-whatsoever emoticon right about here.

Another blogger. As if the internet needed another girl with a keyboard & a wi-fi connection dubbing her opinions holier than thou & worthy enough of your scarce time.

Me. In case you didn't know. I went all Katy Perry recently & got purple hair.

Me. In case you didn’t know. I went all Katy Perry recently & got purple hair.

Well, let me just go back about 13 years & take you with me. I attended a snobbish, upper middle class private school from the get go. I did prep to year 12 there & never knew anything else. It was MANDATORY to get a laptop in grade 5. I’m talking ‘get-the-fuck-out-you-bum’ kind of mandatory. So I got my first laptop at about age 10. Most of the kids in my class played the Windows pinball that came with it, because back then the internet had to be plugged into your laptop with a cable. That shit was annoying & way too hard for kids our age & it meant that we only went on the internet when our teacher said so. I vividly remember sitting in the car on the way to & from school, not playing pinball, but writing. Writing novels. Writing poems. Writing a diary. I was good at it too. Stay with me here, I was really good at it. My grade four teacher was a published author herself, & when I wrote an illustrated series of children’s books called “Muck” (he was a blob of mud who had eyes & a lightening bolt for a best friend. I was an only child, okay?) she wanted to send them to her publisher.

We never did get them published. Obviously. But I’m blowing my own horn hard & loud because what I’m trying to say is I have always written since I mastered prose to a legible degree. It seems to be something I grew up doing, & I can’t count how many times someone ultra successful says they got to where they are by doing what they believed they were always meant to do, no matter what. 

I suffer from pretty hectic anxiety (blog post to come) & so right now my head is spinning, I feel nauseous & my heart is beating like I just double dropped some heavy MDMA caps (maybe a blog post to come on this, too). I’m scared. Really scared. But I’ve nearly finished my degree with a journalism major. And I love to write. And I have opinions. Heaps of them. I say things just to spark debate. I like when people get heated, & angry, & most of all when they get so caught up in the argument they start to get real. They peel away their layers & for a moment you can see what makes them tick & what makes them really passionate. What makes them passionate enough to abandon that mask we put on as we take a deep breath & step through our front door every morning. I’ll check my mask at the door every time I come to write a post. I promise.

As for my content: anything & everything. Head to my about page & fill out the form if you have ANYTHING you would like me to write about. I want to hear from you, & I want to write for you.

All-in-all, why did I start this blog? Why am I here?

work-fucking-harder (1)

(Source: www.charlespeters.net. Guy knows his shit apparently)

To work harder, to get real, to do my own thing, & to write.