Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hijinks and the like

I've always liked kissing strangers.

There's something thrilling about spontaneous passion. Meeting someone, striking up a conversation (not compulsory) and kissing for awhile before hopefully never seeing each other ever again. Or, at the very least, never speaking of it.

For me, the moment that best summed up this idea was with a guy who was, I guess, an acquaintance. He was the cousin of a guy I went to school with and we used to see each other about quite a bit. It was usually at uni, gigs or the pub, and it was always in a group with mutual friends.

One night, I was on my way home after a night out. As I passed by the pub that stood between the bus stop and my house* I ran into the aforementioned acquaintance. He was with one other friend who was too drunk to really participate in the conversation. We said a few words to each other, I don't remember any of them, and somehow found ourselves kissing. Afterwards, he walked me the rest of the way home, we kissed again and then parted ways. We never spoke of it again, and I was always quietly pleased with the way our friendship remained completely unchanged for it, the way we didn't even need to talk about it to know better than to make anything of it.

Of course, when I found out that he had an identical twin it did put something of a question mark on the whole event.

There were an absurd amount of multiple births in Newcastle. I honestly don't know what it was, maybe it was something to do with the coal. Or the steel-works, back when it was still running. I guess all that sheer manliness in the air started making the men's sperm super powerful, impregnating women with twins or even triplets every time they so much as held hands with them. It seemed like every year when school went back, we would see a headline in the local paper reading "Three sets of identical twins in same class!". I personally knew two sets of triplets.

Actually, the one time in my life that I ever babysat was for one of those triplet sets and their older sister. I'm fairly sure the only reason I agreed to it was because I read a lot of the Babysitter's Club when I was a kid and I thought that 'sitting' for triplets could only possibly result in wacky adventures, possibly even the solving of a mystery. Imagine my disappointment when we just played hide and seek for a few hours. I never did like children.

Of course, the sheer volume of identical twins meant that zany sitcom-esque misunderstandings were pretty commonplace. I remember when the band I was in played an all ages gig where it turned out the drummer of the support act was our guitarist's identical twin. Or when I was working at a league's club and a new girl started. A new girl who happened to be the identical twin of a girl who'd been working there a good few months. Naturally, she was placed in the same section, required to wear the same uniform and not issued a name tag for at least three or four shifts. Or the pimply, choir-singing twins at my high school who had the misfortune of having a last name that sounded a bit too similar to the word 'poo' to avoid hilarity, hilarity that was only increased when it was revealed that one of the twins was gay, but the other straight.

Sometimes I wonder whether my entire childhood was just a complex series of practical jokes.

-Smackie Onassis

*There are a ridiculous amount of pubs in my hometown, even by Australian standards. If you walked two blocks from my place you would hit at least one or two pubs in all but one direction.

P.S. Heat one of my band name poll is closed, with both Goddamn the Rhythm! and The Sentient Entities going through to the next round. Personally, I'm hoping to put Parsley Disaster through as a wild card, because come on you guys.

'Tea Party' used to be a phrase with such positive connotations...

Recently, I've been drinking more tea than I used to. At least, I'm fairly sure there was a time when I drank less than a million billion cups of tea a day. I only really started drinking the hot stuff while working in a tea shop with Meattrain and Vegatrain. You might be thinking that the three of us living together while also working in a tea shop together would make us the quaintest share house in the world, but you're probably only thinking that if you've stumbled across this page by accident and have never actually met any of us. Most people, when asked to recall the first time they visited our old house (which I believe has now been demolished?), will tell you a story that will almost definitely involve one of the boys throwing kitchen knives at a target. Just the other day I found myself asking Vegatrain why exactly it was that he set Meattrain's bookcase on fire that one time (it was because Meattrain had been using a deoderant can and lighter to throw him some flames). I have done my best to train them out of it, but pyromaniacs will be pyromaniacs. The best I can do is encourage them to throw wine around instead.

But back to tea.

I've been drinking a lot of tea lately. I have both a wonderful selection of teas and a wonderful selection of tea pots available to me. I've been drinking it for the taste, for warmth, for relaxation and even as an attempt to prevent myself from flying into a fit of murderous rage. Although my choice of crockery for that last one may have been a tad counter-productive:

Exhibit A

I've also learned a lot about the various types of tea. One thing in particular I have learned is that man, oh man, do I want a slice of the chamomile teabag industry. What a sweet, sweet pot that must be. You see, what a lot of people who buy chamomile in teabags don't realise is that for the price they would gladly pay for a cup of the stuff in a cafe, or for a small box of pre-packaged chamomile teabags, you could buy a whole pillow-case full of loose chamomile. All you need to do is whack a bit of string on that bitch and you can sell it for an utterly insane profit. Genius.

I've had a think about this and I'm pretty sure there are two reasons why you can get away with this type of nonsense. First, because most people don't know about it. The second reason is because amongst the people who drink a lot of herbal teas and chamomile and the like, you find quite a lot of a certain type of person. For argument's sake, let's just call them 'hippies'. You see, hippies are used to paying exorbitant prices for organic produce. And often, there are good reasons for those prices. But sometimes, I think it's just because the sellers of those products have realised what they can get away with. There is no easier way to sell someone anything than by agreeing with their politics. 

Customer: Bit pricey for a bag of leaves, innit?
Me: That's just because of the new tax you have to pay for not killing puppies. This flippin' government, I tells ya.
Customer: Damn straight! Here, have all my money. Keep up the good work!

There you go, you've just completed Marketing 101. And don't go thinking I'm having a crack at hippies because I'm anti-environment or some rubbish. As you probably know, I'm a vegetarian. In fact, I'm so dedicated to recycling that when I make a typing error, I'll only delete the letters I can't reuse for the phrase I was trying to write. It just feels so wasteful to delete perfectly good letters like that.

-Smackie Onassis

P.S. I hope you've been enjoying the updates from this blog's newly appointed 'Future Reporter', your friendly neighbourhood Vegatrain.

Hey It's The Future II by Vegatrain

Did I already mention that it is the future? I am pretty sure I did. Well, either way, it totally is. And here's why.

Deflexion(tm) Technology Textiles

This stuff is totes totes crazy. This range of silicone based impact protection gear is SUPER crazy, and they use it to protect everything, you can even wear it out cycling, and if you crash, it acts like silicone armor. Silicon
armor is no bronze armor but dude, you're on a bike! And they can make this crap into t-shirts!
This is especially useful for motorcyclists, because when they crash they tend to do not so well. Testing of a limb cover of the material showed that it reduced the pressure of impact by about 33% by absorbing and dispersing the energy. That's pretty important when you're, well, halfway through a motorcycle accident.

I don't know how I'm going to top th-

What? Oh man.

You know when you think, 'I like physical bees! But I can't have those because they will sting me. So I will get virtual bees. But the bees are too virtual. These bees are not physical enough!!!'? Well if you do think that, like I do, you'll love Phirtual Bees.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hey It's The Future by your friend Vegatrain

Hey everyone!

Have you noticed lately that it's the future? I have. I know it must be the future because when we were in the present, we didn't have robots and shit. And now we TOTALLY DO.

(from "Japan apparently didn't get the memo that the whole Space Race is so last century, so it's going ahead with a project that will confirm just about every hard sci-fi stereotype about Japanese innovation: they're going to put massive, intelligent humanoid robots on the moon. The Japanese space agency JAXA is moving forward with the $2.2 billon project that aims to get the robots to the lunar surface by 2015, and have them build their own unmanned moon base by 2020. Weighing in at 660 pounds, the proposed space bots will be equipped with HD cameras, solar panels and tank treads. They'll have seismographs and some other scientificky instument-y things, too -- but we don't want to lose focus on the fact that there will be giant robots on the effing moon. And even though the robots' masters will have a remote link on Earth's surface, the bots will be able to make decisions for themselves and operate with "a high degree of autonomy," according to Popular Science." 
Pretty cool, right. But I hear what you're saying, sure, robots on the moon, why should I care? I liv in Earth, man, y u gone talkin' bout the moon? If you are saying that your grammar is atrocious. But alright, I'll show you an even cooler Earth Robot:

What's this you ask? Oh it's just a friggin NURSE BOT. Here is the lowdown from engadget:

"NEDO, an administrative institute in Japan, has been working on what it calls the "Project for Strategic Development of Advanced Robotics Elemental Technologies" since 2006. The project has now entered its second phase, and boasts some pretty impressive looking bots. Murata Machinery's robotic delivery system (pictured above) which is designed to help in places like hospitals, delivering medications late at night so that nurses and aids don't have to spend a lot of time on such tasks. The company plans to test it and monitor the bot in use at hospitals in order to verify its effectiveness."

So! It's totes the future, case closed. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

So... how about that World Cup, huh?

I don't know if you noticed, but the World Cup is happening at the moment.

If you didn't know that, you're most likely being kept prisoner in a basement somewhere, in which case you probably have more pressing issues with which to concern yourself. But at least now you have an explanation for that low, droning buzz that's been contributing to the horror of your situation. 

I've tried to picture the person who decided it was a good idea to start selling vuvuzelas to drunken soccer fans. Sometimes, I picture a guy washing his hands in a sink full of cash, cackling madly to himself. Other times I picture a guy crying himself to sleep, haunted by the knowledge of what he created. However, in that second scenario, the guy is still crying himself to sleep on a bed made of money, so I think he probably still comes out ahead.

I have to admit, I was surprised when I heard the Cup was going to be in South Africa this year. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. You see, as dignified a sport as soccer may be, it does tend to result in an awful amount of rioting. I think they've actually factored it into the rules of the game. If your team doesn't win, then extra points can be scored in any ensuing riots, based on which team's fans do the most damage. Kind of like overtime, but more violent.

And South Africa, well, they're kinda known for having a whole bunch of riots of their own. This is what seemed strange to me about the decision to have them host the World Cup - basing a sport known to attract riots in a country known to attract riots did seem a bit like asking for trouble to me. What I'm guessing is they looked at the situation and decided that if they host the Cup in a country where there's already quite a lot of rioting, then the soccer fans can just join in with the existing riots. The result? Less riots overall! Smooth move, Sepp Blatter.

Oh, by the way, I do like that the President of FIFA is named Sepp Blatter. Say it out loud, you won't regret it. Sepp Blatter. Sepp. Blatter. I have noticed over the years that having a freakin amazing name seems to be a prerequisite for any kind of international sporting official position. All you need to do is brush your eyes over the list of International Olympic Committee members to confirm that. My personal favourite is Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz, although anyone who watched The Dream back in the days of the 2000 Olympics will remember Jacques Rogge and Dick Pound with a certain fondness.

Although, if it's memories of the 2000 Olympics we're talking about, my personal favourite is when the designers of the medals decided to leave Tasmania off the Australian map that they put on the back of them. I have not yet stopped laughing at the way Tassie got all offended and every other state banded together to say 'Have a cry, Tasmania!' and then laughed behind their hands.

Good times.

-Smackie Onassis

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A List Of My Favourite Lists

I can't express how much I love wikipedia. There's nothing I enjoy more than interesting facts and if I'm craving a big tasty bowl of Knowledge Pops, all I need to do is hit that 'random article' button to find out that the study of neuroscience and free will is totally interesting or that Rufus Wainwright parties like a motherfreakin' rockstar. Then I follow the links from those pages and it's all one big learning adventure.

I particularly like the lists on Wikipedia. Mainly because they're usually well organised collections of relevant links, but sometimes because, well, they're just... amazing. Over the last few months I've been collecting a few of my favourites in a list of my own. The one that inspired me to start taking note of these lists was their category of Fictional Characters who Can Duplicate Themselves, a surprisingly long list that includes the likes of Gumby, Shredder and the T-1000. It wasn't the content of the list that amazed me so much as the fact that at least one person cares about this subject enough to compile a detailed list for the internet. I couldn't help but wonder what purpose this could possibly serve, why anyone would find themselves thinking 'Quick! I need the names of at least ten fictional characters who can duplicate themselves and I need them NOW!' without then waking up and realising that it was all a dream.

Then I remembered that this is the internet, where "purpose" is an irrelevant concept. If you ever ask 'Why?' the only necessary answer is 'Who cares why? Check it out!', one of the many things I love about this wacky world wide web.

Following the duplicators on my list were another few that were just plain old interesting, such as the lists of Messiah Claimants or Sole Survivors. I wish I could say I was surprised to see how many people are claiming to be the Messiah, but gee whiz, Christianity really did leave itself wide open for that one. I also found the list of Feral Children notable for only having eleven entries. I guess Wikipedia has a much narrower definition of 'Feral' than I do.

Of course, the real joy comes when you get down to the really oddly specific ones. I could barely contain myself when I discovered that some wonderful human being/robot had created a list of Ships Named The S.S. Lesbian. I know there's only three on the list, but that's enough for me. The list of Eponymous Laws provided me with a bunch of great new phrases to use, among them the wonderful 'Hanlon's Razor' ("Do not invoke conspiracy as explanation when ignorance and incompetence will suffice") as well as something to do with physics which I liked because it appear to be named after someone with the same last name as me, along with another guy with the last name 'Beer'. I don't care what the actual law is, I now use it when I need to answer the ever-present question of 'Should I have a beer?'. Just FYI the answer, according to the law, is yes. 

But possibly the most entertaining list of them all is the List of Ice Hockey Nicknames. The list eases you in with the type of name you'd expect, but I guess somewhere along the line they realised that they can't all be named Ace. So then you start seeing names like Dipsy-Doodle-Dandy and the very confusing Baby Dominator, who I 'm assuming was a roller derby player who wandered into the wrong building and went along with it. Then, a few names that are actually a bit clever such as 'The Puck Goes Inski' (Steve Buzinski) and 'Net Detective' (Jim Carey). Well, when I say 'clever', you have to take into account that these are people who basically get hit in the head for a living. You need to cut them a little slack. On top of that are the ones I find simply baffling, such as Cheesy, Grapes and Darryl, which I found confusing as a nickname for a guy whose name was actually Sidney Crosby. And those are just my highlights: the list itself is longer than your attention span could possibly be. 

-Smackie Onassis

P.S. I have decided to use my polls to name the band that I am eventually going to form. I have a list of adequate names, the only hard part is narrowing it down, which I will be doing in heats because there is just SO MUCH GOLD. In Heat One, you fine folk will be choosing between Goddamn the Rhythm!, The Sentient Entities, The Sexy Fenders (GEDDIT), and Parsley Disaster.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Facebook: A Public Service Announcement

I'm going to go right ahead and say it: I have never been as opinionated in my life as I am right now. I have always been fairly passionate, but at the moment I seem to have an opinion on pretty much every subject.

There's a reason for this sudden influx of ideas. Like most things happening in my life at the moment, it can be traced back to that dreaded CFI*. You see, before the Incident I had always been a terribly busy person. It was all study and work and theatre and music and writing and on and on and on. Then, suddenly, I find myself all holed up on the couch scarcely able to make myself a sandwich, let alone any of those other things. I spent a good majority of that time reading about issues and then forming opinions. As a result, I've got opinions coming out of all major orifices at the moment.

Of course, it wasn't the only thing I did with my time. I also watched a great deal of youtube clips and as a result, I no longer have anything resembling an attention span when it comes to movies. If a movie can sensibly be measured in hour units, I find myself wondering, 'Do they have anything closer to the three minute mark? Preferably featuring a pug?'. I could give you a full list of pug-themed youtube clips off the top of my head. I think that when they sell pugs, they come in a deal with a video camera and a youtube account. Which is just fine by me.

Due to the constant thinking, reading, evaluating and opinion forming, the way I use other aspects of the internet has changed. After noticing that I rarely spoke to a huge portion of people on my facebook list, I made the decision to do a mass cull. It seemed irrelevant to have more than a hundred people classed as my 'friends' who I never even communicated with. I even felt used, like little more than a cog in a wheel fueled by self-indulgence and false popularity. So I cut them from the team.

But it wasn't just that. There was also an element of self-preservation. You see, I have this debilitating condition that is unfortunately prolific on the internet. You see people afflicted with this disease on every messageboard, every discussion forum, every corner of the internet that some poor fool has allowed people to comment on. This condition means that if I see someone, anyone, express an opinion, no matter how unimportant, and I think they're wrong, I must say something. I have no choice in the matter; I simply need to call them on it. And, quite frankly, it was getting a tad inappropriate. I mean, when you haven't spoken to your sister in over a year and suddenly you're all up in her internet, informing her that whatever unimportant sentiment she has expressed is sadly misinformed, it does start to feel slightly awkward.

So I thinned the numbers. Cut a few from the team. And it felt good. The more secure, more select shortlist of people. It felt like some kind of elite group. Some kind of elite group whose membership was decided solely by me.

It was a buzz.

After that, I would skim my list of remaining friends every now and then, evaluating who could stay and who could go. I was like the mad and all powerful judge in some kind of awful reality tv show. I told myself that this was all just me being very sensible. I told myself that no longer would I be used to bolster some cockknuckle's gargantuan number of friends. No longer would my friendship be treated as a commodity. No longer would I fall victim to this online popularity contest that social networking has become!

But after a while, I found these deleting "sessions" becoming more and more frequent. I'd had a sniff of the power usually only experienced by Endemol producers and Southern US Governers: the power to kick people out of an elite group at will, with no real pre-requisites other than because I said so.

Soon enough, I found myself looking for faults, waiting for another person to slip up so I could slam my finger down on that button and declare to the world, 'NO FRIENDSHIP FOR YOU'. A power trap that I'm sure more than a few people have fallen victim to since Facebook's inception in the early 2000s, back when it was known as Facemash (seriously).

So I urge any of you, if you start to feel yourself drifting into this pattern, just... just let it go, man. Are you blocking that person because you honestly don't want them to be all up in your business on the internet, or because when someone says something stupid it feels good to punish them, damnit. Before too long you might find yourself doling out timed banishment sentences for minor grammatical offences.

So by all means, delete the jerk who updates three times a day with the same cut/pasted piece of self-promotion. Delete the guy who hasn't replied to your comments in just over 8 months.

But, be careful. Because by the time you realise that you're trapped, it will already be too late.

-Smackie Onassis

*The now standard abbreviation for the Circus Flip Incident. I feel it makes me sound just slightly less ridiculous.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Smackie Onassis is a Hypochondriac

By now, some of you may have noticed that I'm something of a hypochondriac. Sometimes I figure it's better to get my neurotic medical worries checked out, even if it might be nothing. After all, I could have Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disorder or something equally as wonderful.

But recently I was going to a bunch of doctors for some actual real symptoms I was having. I had about four different sets of blood tests, each coming back with something different that they needed to follow up on. Because I go to a free clinic, I had a new doctor almost every time I went. My favourite would have to be a wonderfully straight-forward Vietnamese doctor who seemed to approach medicine with the attitude of someone selling fresh produce at a market. What follows is actually a fairly accurate transcription of the end of one of our consults:

Doc: Ok, I'll order tests for these things.
Me: Sure. Will I need to fast?
Doc: You wanna fast?
Me: I guess I could fast...
Doc: You fast, I'll throw in tests for cholesterol and diabetes.
Me: Deal.

At first it seemed most likely that the stomach problems I'd been having were caused by acid reflux, an after effect of that damn flip. So, I tried some treatments for that, taking the pills and drinking milk to settle my stomach, something I'd heard worked wonders. Unfortunately the problem actually turned out to be lactose intolerance, so I'm not sure the milk really helped too much.

It seems like a cruel joke to make me lactose intolerant. I love cheese more than anyone else I know. You've got a chocolate bar, I can take it or leave it. But a thick chunk of matured cheddar and I am all over that like a bitch on heat.

Here is a flow chart of how the average meal/snack worked for me prior to this lactose business:

One of my favourite hobbies up until now was shopping for discounted cheese, combining my love of salty dairy produce with my other true love: bargains. I remember once finding such a good deal on a wedge of blue cheese that I had to buy it, despite leaving for Melbourne later that afternoon. I managed to get through a surprising amount of that cheese in those short few hours before my flight and I regret nothing.

Not being able to eat cheese has seemed crueller and crueller as the days have passed. First it was finding myself hungry at a party, with little more to eat than Cheezels and Cheetos, two of my favourite foods that I can no longer consume without "consequences"*. Then, wandering to the shops and seeing a deli that suddenly had free tastings of French Roquefort, one of my favourite stinky cheeses that I haven't been able to afford for a while and now, tragically, can't eat. It all started to seem like an elaborate prank played on me by my stupid jerk housemates.

I even found myself gazing longingly at a picture of a big, round thing of blue cheese on a facebook ad. Until I looked closer and realised it was actually a hat.

I am officially a cartoon character.

-Smackie Onassis

P.S. Four votes on my poll have somehow resulted in a four way tie! Come on, children, don't let it end this way!

*Butt consequences

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Traditional Gender Roles Are For Quitters

thisI've always been something of a tomboy. When I was a kid my favourite hobby was bush-bashing, in its most non-innuendo sense. I learned how to abseil in the bush behind my grandparents' house before I was old enough to watch M-rated movies at the cinema.

As for other hobbies, I was originally enrolled in the local ballet school but after a few years of utterly and vocally hating it, I was switched to the local swim team. Eventually, I ended up in water polo, a sport I enjoyed a whole lot more. Our team was even sponsored by the local steel works, it was that macho. My personal motto was 'It's not whether you win or lose, it's how badly you injure the opposition'. Words I still live by to this day.

I remember in primary school when I tried to follow social convention and be friends with girls. I remember trying to pretend that I would rather watch some bullshit about Disney princesses than the latest episode of Pokemon. The most valuable social tool I figured out for myself was when I realised that if I accidentally caught myself singing the Pokemon theme, I could switch to 'Part of Your World' from the Little Mermaid halfway through and no-one would notice. Seriously, sing the first line from each, they're exactly the same.

Needless to say, in my teen years I became friends with a lot more boys than girls. I had a big group of friends and for conversational purposes we would often split off into sub-groups. Around year 10 I noticed that these sub-groups usually consisted of girls on one side, and then boys + me on the other side. Every now and then I would feel a bit disloyal to my gender and try to join in their conversation, but after about three minutes of talking about tv shows that I found about as entertaining as watching a turd dry in the sun (see my current poll for more details) and gossiping about who was asking who to the formal, I found myself smiling, nodding and wandering back to the boys so I could outline why I thought Steven Bradbury should be our national sporting mascot. For the record, it's because nothing embodies the Australian spirit more than cruising casually into the gold medal position after everybody else stacks it at the last minute.

Don't get me wrong, some of the best friends I've ever had have been girls. But in general, I just plain old get along better with boys. Spitting, swearing and belching are three of my favourite activities. I remember being out in the courtyard when Vegatrain pointed out that a certain tree needed watering. My sole response was to spit on said tree, which he followed by filling a glass of water and then throwing the glass itself at the tree's trunk (for the record, the tree is doing just fine now). I also quite enjoy being able to drunkenly make out with my mates, then never mention it again apart from to say 'Hey, remember that time we totally macked?' and then high five.

I know I'm not a proper girl. When girls are upset, they are supposed to watch romantic comedies with a box of tissues and probably some ice-cream on hand. I know this from the films. Personally, if I'm upset, there's only one movie I will watch and that's Die Hard. What would cheer you up more? Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman and a whole lot of explosives, or Hugh Grant weeping for two hours? I know which direction the scales are tipping for me.

Needless to say, a lot of people have thought that I was a lesbian over the years. I remember conversations with my mother where she appeared to be encouraging me to 'come out'. I think it may have been wishful thinking on her part, due to her complete and total paranoia that I would one day come home knocked up.

These days I get mistaken for a lesbian a lot, although it's mostly due to the fact that I have a boyfriend who is mistaken for a girl so often he doesn't even react to it anymore. When I first moved into the sharehouse known to all as the 'Dude Ranch' there was some discussion of whether it could keep that name with a vagina under the roof. In response, all I needed to do was point at Vegatrain, who was probably talking about how much he loves Charmed (but only the parts with Julian McMahon, on account of dreaminess).

I am well aware that my boyfriend is a total and utter girl. If there is so much as evidence that a spider has been near his desk, I am called in for the kill. Or if it has since disappeared, it is my job to find and destroy it on the chance that it might come back. I am sure that I'm one of the few heterosexual girlfriends in the world to utter the phrase 'Sweetie, do you want to keep these ticket stubs for your memories folder?'.* When we go out, he's always the one who takes ages to fix his hair and decide which pair of bright pink fisherman's pants he's going to wear that day. I have often said that dating him is the closest thing you can get to lesbianism while still having regular access to a cock. The reverse is probably true about me.

And, realistically, what more could you want in a relationship?

-Smackie Onassis

*On a related note, I feel that I might be in the minority of girls to have said to their boyfriends: 'Clearly, you have not seen Star Wars enough times.'

EDIT: On reading this entry, Vegatrain turned to me and pouted, saying '...but I only have ONE pair of bright pink fisherman's pants.' I think that in itself says enough.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dear Steve Jobs,

Steve Jobs, we've had our differences.

I remember growing up in a strongly pro-Mac household. Every computer we ever had was an iMac, an iBook or later, a Macbook. I guess when you need to make a new technological innovation every six months, you start to run out of names. I can understand that, Steve.

I can remember being sat down on my father's knee and told that these Apple things were the way of the future, that everyone would soon be using them and that if I ever so much considered buying a PC, I would go straight to Technology Hell. They only have dial-up there, you know. And someone's always on the phone.

If anyone ever so much as uttered the phrase 'But that Steve Jobs is a bit of an arse, isn't he?' there would be a cold silence, followed by a hurried and awkward change of subject. Usually to how many days each person's iPod could run without repeating a single song, each time with the reluctant clause of '...but I guess the battery would only last for a few hours, though.'

But Steve, I find more and more that I'm starting to drift away from you and your somewhat overpriced but admittedly very shiny products. I was genuinely disappointed when I found out you were well, kinda evil. Following that, I remember the frustration when I needed a new charger for my old iBook G4 to complete an assignment, only to discover that a new charger for such a model would cost me $140 as it was now considered 'vintage'. I guess that's why you decided to appeal to the hipster demographic. I admit, that was very clever of you.

I've noticed that you tend to target the indie market a bit, managing to cling onto your edgy, underground branding despite being a huge corporation whose logo is as easily recognisable as the golden arches. I remember when you set one of your ad campaigns to 'Bruises' by Chairlift, probably assuming that featuring the work of a hip young band who could count MGMT among their fans would do nothing but endear you to hipsters and music lovers the world over. I guess you didn't consider the fact that ensuring a great piece of pop became known worldwide as 'that iPod song' is a pretty excellent way to piss off the exact people you were targeting. And yet, somehow, it worked.

But Steve, I think we should put aside our differences.

Because, well, let's face it. You have lots of money. Lots and lots of money. And me, I don't really have any. I have a couple of musical instruments and a top notch badge collection, but those aren't really worth all that much as far as money is concerned.

Now I'm not just asking you for cash. I mean, you could give me some money if that's something you feel you want to do, but that's not what I'm suggesting here. I'm suggesting you give me a job.

I may not have any computer skills to speak of. I remember not being able to access something on an old housemate's computer for the simple reason that I honestly couldn't figure out how to turn it on. People seem to find it funny that I was studying Media and Communications at the time.

But I have other skills, Steve. Skills that you can totally use. For example, I make the best damn cup of coffee in Adelaide. For real. On the eve of the recent state election, a certain party leader was heard to remark that the coffee I made for him in my home kitchen was the best he'd ever had in our fair city. I believe the term 'Melbourne-Standard' was used but those were his words, not mine.

Jobsy, if I may call you Jobsy (which I'm assuming I may), I'm offering to personally make your morning coffee every day. See here an example of what you can expect:

It's starting to fade due to needing a few minutes to find the camera, but you can see what I'm going for there. And considering what you can get away with charging for anything with that little symbol on it, you can imagine what kind of fee I'll be charging here. But don't worry, I'm sure it'll be peanuts to you.

I'll even make sure to use this mug every time. Might even wash it.

Yours Sincerely,

Smackie Onassis

P.S. I don't want to insinuate that you're going a bit off the rails, but if you also need someone to give you handy hints about how to run your life, I have a close personal friend who can leave friendly little notes like this around your house:

"This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen in a fridge. You can't REFRIDGERATE TOAST!"