Sunday, December 27, 2009

Make your own rules.

Literal lyrics is back! After a brief Christmas holiday in which it travelled to the ends of the earth in search of a good pavlova, it has returned victorious. Turns out a small coffee shop in western Ukraine really knows its New Zealand desserts.

This week we will be covering the first single from John Mayer's new album, 'Who Says'. In typical John Mayer fashion, he sounds just like a year 12 jock douchebag who bought a second hand guitar and takes it to every party because he knows like five chords and can totally bust out the first half of a bunch of Powderfinger songs and chicks dig that. Mr Mayer has totally nailed that market. Unfortunately, John is now 32 and hitting on 17 year olds is borderline illegal.

As such, it would appear Maybags (a smooth combination of "Mayer" and "douchebag" that rolls right off the tongue) has become a little jaded, probably after numerous attempts at failing to score with Jennifer Aniston, Hollywood's most damaged goods. Seriously John, I could bag that scalp if I wanted to, and I'm a poor, mostly talent-less Australian guy nearly 20 years her junior. You've got everything (well, not exactly everything, but money and fame are two good starts) and you managed to blow it.

So, Maybags has written what I can only describe is the apathetic anthem of the Naughties. Ladies and gentlemen, Who Says...
Who says I can't get stoned
Turn off the lights and the telephone
Me in my house alone
Who says I can't get stoned
Well, for starters John, the Government says that. They make these things called laws and the citizens of the country, who more often than not elect said Government (your country, as much as you desperately try to fuck it up, does this) must obey these laws. Now you may turn your nose up at this, but its these laws that keep people driving on the right side of the road, keep people from just waltzing into a shop and taking what they wanted, and stop angry members of the public from raping and murdering each other on a whim. They provide people with consequences, and help guide them in the right direction.

Laws aside though, the other thing that says you can't do that is our basic desire for sound mental health. If you sat alone in a darkened house and had no contact with the outside world, you would literally begin to go mad. And that's even if you weren't getting high all the time. Our brains crave social interaction. There are actually methods of psychological torture that involve locking people away from society for extended periods of time. It's called 'solitary confinement' and is regularly used in prisons to break the spirit of tough inmates.

Is that enough reason for you Maybags?
Who says I can't be free
From all of the things that I used to be
Rewrite my history
Who says I can't be free
You want a clean slate John, is that what you're getting at? You want everyone to forget all the terrible shit you've done? Or worse, all the cool shit you've done? Unfortunately Maybags, you are a worldwide celebrity, so the chances of everyone forgetting who you are and you being able to start over again are very slim. That would involve everyone else on the planet suffering a very specific kind of amnesia, in which we forgot just who you were but retained all other information. Plus there is the logistics of removing any trace of you from the internet and society at large. That's a pretty big ask Maybags, just so you can give being a different person a new try.
It's been a long night in New York City
It's been a long night in Baton Rouge
I don't remember you looking any better
But then again I don't remember you
Now we begin to see some evidence of how you managed to fuck up the whole Jennifer Aniston thing. I'm going to assume you're talking to a women in those last two lines. Bad move. "I don't remember you looking any better" is basically saying, "You look pretty shit right now, I much prefer what you were wearing last night". And following that line up with "I don't remember you" is bound to make any woman you've met more than twice feel like shit. I mean, sure, you're famous, you meet a lot of attractive women, but that is no reason to act like a dick. Do what most men do and lie, make shit up. And the excuse "It's been a long night in New York/Baton Rouge" really isn't going to work. Firstly, pick just one city (preferably the one you are actually in) and then say you've had a long night. Simply pointing out that it is the Winter solstice is not a valid excuse.
Who says I can't get stoned
Call up a girl that I used to know
Fake love for an hour or so
Who says I can't get stoned
More stoned talk, we've covered this Maybags. As for the drunk dialling, while there are no hard and fast rules on such a thing, it is generally frowned upon in social circles. More so by the person you are tricking into thinking you like them, but also by their friends. It really is a dick move. And just doing it over the phone and only for an hour is really just a waste of everyone's time. If you're going to mess with her head, at least invite her around and sleep with her. At least if she hates you she'll have had a night of pleasure. I am also getting the feeling you did this to Janiston, which probably didn't help your chances with her at all. As a general rule, no one likes any sort of emotions to be faked, particularly not love. And considering you did this to a woman who had her heart publicly broken by Brad Pitt and then Angelina Jolie basically spent the next five years rubbing it in.
Who says I can't take time
Meet all the girls in the county line
Wait on fate to send a sign
Who says I can't take time
Are you trying to tell me that you want to meet and, I can only assume, fuck, every girl on the county line (which, for Australians, is basically all the women in a certain post code) and then wait for fate to tell you which one to maintain a relationship with? Possibly an even worse idea than your psychological torture plan, Maybags. Firstly, the health issues. You're going to have to wear a condom the size of a pair of trousers, and that's not even considering oral sex. Secondly, those types of things can't just be left to fate. There will be a certain number of women who will pursue you and you will have to deal with them, you can't just wait for a sign. Finally, good luck keeping the fact you're shagging every woman in a 100-mile radius a secret. Much like the drunk dialling thing, women don't like being lead on. And considering you've already demonstrated your inability to talk to women, I can't help but feel this plan is going to crash and burn.
It's been a long night in New York City
It's been a long night in Austin too
I don't remember you looking any better
But then again I don't remember you
Again with the bad compliments and even worse excuse. Perhaps try "I've never seen you looking this beautiful" next time.
Who says I can't get stoned
Plan a trip to Japan alone
Doesn't matter if I even go
Who says I can't get stoned
Finally, you have proposed something that isn't frowned upon by normal society. I mean, it is a little depressing that you want to go on a holiday alone, but the fact you want to get out of the house is good. Baby steps Maybags, baby steps. And you're right, you don't have to go if you don't want to. However, I would recommend not paying for it if you're unsure about whether you'll actually show up to the airport. Otherwise you could waste a fair bit of money. However, considering the fact that you're both rich and willing to buy copious amounts of marijuana, maybe a missed flight to Japan isn't such a big deal. Also, a word of advice, don't fly stoned or take any pot with you. I may be incorrect, but I think that thing is illegal. They've been pretty anal about plane travel for the past few years and you could find yourself in a bit of trouble if they found you out.
It's been a long night in New York City
It's been a long time since 22
I don't remember you looking any better
But then again I don't remember you
John, you're a quick learner. Finally a decent excuse for not remembering someone. You haven't seen them since you were 22. That's ten years. She'll understand if you say that. Again I would avoid the thinly veiled insult and instead try, "You look amazing, I didn't even recognise you, have you lost weight?"

Wasn't that a fun journey into the inner psyche of John Mayer? Turns out he's just as much of a douchebag as you thought he was. Daughters is a pretty song though.

And now, something less vaginally cleansing than Maybags...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Test drive newborn.

Dear Parents-to-be,

There is a commonly accepted idea that couples, before they even consider having children, should get a pet. This, I assume, is to test their abilities to care for another living thing besides each other. Something that needs training and attention and doesn't understand what you're saying. In theory, it is a sound concept. If you can't look after a turtle, then you shouldn't have a baby.

However I feel there is a hole in the logic of this process. Basically, you can't raise a child like you can an animal. Sure, there are similarities, but if you're looking for some baby-raising tips, I'd suggest looking elsewhere. The following is a list of reasons why getting a pet does not prepare you for having a baby.
  • You can't keep a baby in a cage.
  • Lining a baby's room with newspaper does not count as a diaper replacement.
  • Similarly, a baby cannot be forced to use a box of sand as a toilet.
  • It is not okay to not know the sex of your own child.
  • You can't use a plastic bag to clean up after a baby in public.
  • You can't raise a child purely for the purposes of breeding it.
  • Conversely, you can't neuter a baby is you don't want it breeding in future.
  • You can't feed a baby your leftovers.
  • Similarly, uncooked week old meat is not a safe or nutritious meal.
  • Hiding their food is not a way to distract them for a few hours.
  • Dangerous babies do not give you an edge.
  • If your baby bites another child, this will not be viewed as playing.
  • Putting your name and phone number on a collar around their neck is not an appropriate loss prevention technique.
  • An old blanket in the laundry does not count as a bed.
  • You should not have a second baby for the sole reason of keeping the first one company when you go out.
  • Leaving the radio on and locking them in their room is not a substitute for a baby-sitter.
  • If you go on holiday, you can't just leave your baby in the yard and pay the neighbours to feed it.
  • Babies must take a bath more than once a month.
  • You cannot restrict a baby to one part of the house for their entire lives.
  • If your child humps your leg, or anyone else's for that matter, it is not cute or funny.
  • Similarly, it is not okay if your child humps teddy bears, pillows or other children, particularly if it is non-consensual.
  • Letting your child sniff other children is weird.
  • You cannot race them against other children and bet on it.
  • You cannot ride your child around your yard.
  • You can't fatten up your children so that you may eat them at a later date.
  • If your baby gets too big you cannot simply give them to a family friend who lives on acreage.
  • You cannot shoot your baby if it breaks its leg.
  • Also, putting your child down if their medical bills get too expensive and you think they've had a good life is highly inappropriate.
  • If your child licks its own testicles or anus, you should be concerned.
  • You will not be excited if your child unexpectedly falls pregnant, particularly if you do not know who the father is.
  • It is not okay for your child to give birth to octuplets on the bathroom floor.
  • Letting your baby eat bugs, lizards, grass or their own faeces is unhygienic.
  • You cannot let your baby catch mice, birds or toads.
  • Similarly, if you find any of the above hidden around the house or half-buried in the yard, you should be concerned.
  • Do not milk them.
  • If your child dies, you cannot flush them down the toilet or bury them in the yard.
  • If your child does die, people will notice if you try to replace it with one that looks the same.
I hope I've helped you in your baby making endeavours.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Waiting room reading.

There are many things that men get shit for. We smell, we are messy, we look like a footprint. One thing in particular women love to get on their high-horse about is men's magazines.

To some extent, I agree. Men's magazines are trash. There are a few different types, but most are rubbish. You've got the sport/hobby magazines, which, unless you're a big find of Big Bass Fishing Monthly or Rugby League Weekly, really aren't interesting. They're a pretty niche market. Importantly, anything that involves body-building or tattoos is usually just an excuse to fill the pages with scantily clad women selling vitamin supplements.

Then you have the men's adult magazines, and I needn't say much on this topic. I am impressed as to how long they have survived considering how much better the internet is for porn. Obviously there is a strong market of gentlemen who crave the tactile page-turning experience of Hustler as opposed to the often laggy delights of RedTube.

The remainder of men's magazines are lifestyle journals which, if anyone has flicked through a Men's Style or Men's Health will know that they are full of wank and are aimed at wealthy unattractive men who are desperate to latch onto the latest trend, like bespoke suits or kayaking.

Understandably, those publications are the subject of much criticism. However, very rarely do people turn the magnifying glass around and look at the other side. Probably because no one wants to admit to reading the trash that is women's magazines.

Actual trash magazines aside (Who, NW and Famous) what is on offer for women in magazine form is pretty poor, and as bad if not worse than men's magazines. Besides the niche publications (anything related to weddings or crafts) there are really only two types of magazines.

Firstly, you've got your Mature Lady journals, which includes things like Women's Weekly (published monthly mind you, if that simple error is not a cause for concern then I don't know what is) and House & Garden. These magazines have become what is essentially glorified monthly cookbooks. Rarely is there anything of any substance in them. I bet the editors of Women's Weekly had a conniption fit when Julie won MasterChef.

The other type, and the type that is the target of my scorn, is the Woman's Lifestyle magazines. Cosmo, Madison, Cleo and Marie Claire fall neatly into this category. And they are, on the whole, absolute trash. I was lucky enough to have the most recent copy of Cosmo at my disposal while I was at work this week. It features Britney Spears on the cover, who I can only assume is their desperate attempt at giving women in their 20's a role model. Not a good start Cosmo. She's lip synced her way through a career in which she's had a complete mental breakdown and lost control of her children and finances. She also has a problem wearing underwear. But sure Cosmo, "she made it."

As the cover points out, this month's issue contains such riveting stories as "5 Snappy Fixes for Everyday Beauty Problems", "Clever Fashion Tricks to Beat Your Body Quirks" and "5 Little Ways to get Sexier Summer Hair". Oooo, topical. This is just the tip of the iceberg people.

Firstly, these types of magazines always have some sort of "Real Women, Really Naked" special. It's gone beyond being a gimmick and now almost every issue features average women getting naked and talking about how much they love their body. We get it Cosmo, different women look different naked. So often do these magazines speak out against men objectifying women, yet they are now doing just that. Women's bodies have become less an empowering element of their lives and more a point of discussion, a thing for people to look at and judge and say "Oh, look how real her body is, she's so comfortable getting naked." The real concern is that in every interview they do with these naked women, they always ask "What don't you like about your body?" or "What is your least favourite part of your body?" I suppose this is meant to illustrate that everyone has body hand-ups, but all it achieves is enforcing that idea that no one should be happy with the way their body looks, no matter how much you say "real women are all different and we embrace them!"

There is also always a section on understanding guys, specifically what some trivial behaviour they perform says about your relationship. In this issue, the big article that fills this criteria is "What His Sex Style Reveals About Him... And Your Future Together". Firstly, I can pretty much guarantee that if a guy is having sex with you, he sees some future with you. That future may just be more sex, but men certainly do not have sex with someone and think "Now I will never see or talk to this person again" let alone not think about the possibility of future hook-ups. Secondly, basing the future of a relationship on something as trivial as someone's sex style is completely ridiculous. I'm no sexpert, but I am well aware that no matter what kind of person you are, you usually want different styles of sex depending on any number of external factors. Not only that, people can have the most dramatically personality changes once they start having sex with someone. It would be foolish to try and find a pattern and then use that to judge their long-term potential.

One of my favourite sections is all the pointless quizzes. They link your favourite number to your success with men, your last meal with your relationship with your mother and your shoe size to whether you were reincarnated. I believe this is referred to as a 'pseudo-science'. The December issue of Cosmo contains, amongst others, an article that hopes to explain the connection between your favourite colour and your prowess in the bedroom. When I saw this I thought "Wow, there are a lot of colours, this should be interesting." To my surprise, Cosmo had taken some liberties with the concept of colour. The options? Orange, green and purple. What the fuck kind of colours are they? No one likes those colours, let alone wants to compare them to their skills in the sack.

Finally, these types of magazines have a real problem with contradicting themselves. For example, the issue I was flipping through had an article that warned of the dangers of over-exercising, specifically intense "crash exercise". A handful of pages later was an article that encouraged a quick-fix (read: crash) guide to getting a bikini body. Make up your mind Cosmo, do you want me to exercise or not? Not content with just one level of contradiction, they also had an article that warned of the dangers of exercising, specifically relating to assaults on women who exercise alone. You're sending some very mixed messages Cosmo. No wonder you have a bunch of over-weight readers who need to see their naked counterparts to feel better about themselves.

I have reached my offensive quota, so I'll call it a day.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Self-esteem issues.

Time for another dose of literal lyrics. Under the microscope this time is an Australian lady by the name of Vanessa Amorosi. Now Vanny (we're friends and she lets me call her that) has been around for quite a while, beginning her musical career in 1998 with the dance anthem "Absolutely Everybody". This song did indeed annoy absolutely everybody with its repetitive pop loops. Then then disappeared off the face of the earth, only to be reborn with the following track. Lucky us.

The song is basically a, "You are beautiful no matter what anyone says, you are strong, just keep fighting!" anthem to all the ugly teenage girls who listen to Vanny. Too harsh too soon? We'll see.

We open on an empty stage. Vanny enters with her guitar. She begins to sing in a heartfelt manner.
I spend my life
Trying to do things right
Better than trying to do things wrong I suppose. That can end badly. So far, nothing new though.
But all I do is fall to my face
with my hands on my head so many times
You what? You fall to your face... with your hands on your head? How about using your hands to stop you falling "to" your face. Considering you've done it so many times, why haven't you learnt how to stop landing on your face? (Note: other versions of these lyrics read "my hands and my hips" which makes even less sense.)

But then I learnt, after being burnt
To get back up and push straight on
stop the tears people move on, on
No no, if you've been set on fire, you should go to the hospital, or at least a doctor. Don't keep going like nothing has happened. You'll regret it once your skin starts to peel. It's also okay to cry if you've just landed on your face, been set on fire, or both.

The following happy words are the chorus.
Well it's alright to be myself
now I've learnt to stand
well it's ok to be just who I am
I spent years really hating me
longing to be friends,
now I hope that you can understand
This is who I am
Lighten up Vanny. You hate yourself, you've just learnt to stand, blah blah. No wonder no one liked you, you're a wet rag on the party of life. If who you are is a mopey bitch, then I would contest that's not an okay thing to settle for. You should really try to not be a downer.
Now when life gets tough
I'm quick to hurry up
I run all day, I run through the night
I break down walls, I hit up high
It would seem Vanny recommends the following coping mechanisms for those on Struggle Street:
  • excessive and dangerous exercise
  • vandalism and property destruction
  • grievous bodily harm
Not the wisest of choices, but I suppose if it stops you killing yourself then it's better than nothing.
I don't care if I'm fat, or if you think my clothes are bad
You should care if you're fat, because its actually unhealthy. I realise the media places too strong an emphasis on being thin, but the reality is, fat people get sick and die much quicker than thin people. That's a fact. Bad clothes is less of an issue, but I guarantee if you're fat and poorly dressed, no one is going to want to be your friend.
'cos I can go to sleep at night,
I'm a good person and I'll get by
Most people sleep at night, thats not a feat of strength. If you said you wrestled alligators at night, or kicked bears in the shins, then I'd be impressed. The same goes for being a good person. Big deal. Lots of bad people sleep brilliantly at night and get by just fine as well.

Are you someone, are you someone, are you someone,
someone like me
Fat, badly dressed, self-loathing, violent and well rested? No. You're appealing to what I can only assume is a very niche market here Vanny.
You deserve, you deserve, you deserve to be free
Free from what? Their own shitty lives? If they deserve it so much, they can go out and earn it.
Because the world will keep spinning,
and you'll be trapped in it
Not only do you have a poor grasp of the basic sciences of the planet, you're being very threatening here Vanny. These people aren't the most confident souls on the planet, and I can only assume they don't react so well to being told they'll be sucked into the Earth's core if they don't emancipate themselves from their shame spirals. Maybe not though, maybe that's what they need, a good scaring.

The chorus repeats a few times, and it's just as depressing as it was the first time you heard it. I'm not sure where Vanny went wrong, but whoever is writing her material should really get themselves checked out.They've gone from poppy anthem to borderline emo rather quickly. Well, that's a lie, it's taken 10 years, but still, they should be on suicide watch.

Multitasking bonus: The music and lyrics in one hit!

If you're feeling down about your weight, listen to this:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wake me up when movember ends.

Guess what today is? It's November 30th. And that means one thing. It's the end of the fictional month 'Movember'.

I'm sure you all know what 'Movember' entails. But if not, here is a quick rundown:

Step 1: Grow moustache.
Step 2: Get donations.
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit!

I completed these steps. And let me tell you, it's not as easy as it sounds.

Firstly, and most importantly, you have to deal with the moustache. The first week is hard, because your moustache is in its first stage. You look like a pubescent Mexican child. It gets mistaken for either a shadow or a coffee stain. People laugh. The second week your moustache hits it's stride, and it's actually the easiest week. It's not long enough to be annoying yet not short enough to be confused for a dirt smear. At this point your commitment to Movember becomes evident, and people stop laughing and start paying attention.

Week three is without a doubt the toughest. Your moustache is now at a length where it is starting to catch food and sweat on your face. It's gotten to the itchy stage, particularly if the weather is unpleasantly hot. If you're lucky, you can do a bit of a trim, but everyone knows that isn't in the spirit of things. By now you will have received all of your donations, and the whole thing feels like a waste of time.

The final week is highlighted by a general numbness. You've got mere days to go, and your heart is set on shaving your unsightly facial hair off. But part of you has grown attached to the little guy. You're starting to think "I don't look so bad with a moustache, maybe it is something I could pull off in the long term." These thoughts are horribly misguided, but at this stage of the game, anything is possible. You get few stray donations rolling in, nothing to write home about though. People start to say things like, "I don't hate it as much as I used to." or "You know, you look like *insert famous person here* with that moustache."

I've worked through all of this, and I can tell you, the end is totally worth it. Knowing I'm going to go back to my normal self is great. Not feeling like I have pubes stuck to my face is going to be very freeing. Not startling myself in the mirror every morning will be fun. However, I will miss it. It was a great conversation piece. Plus, I got compared to the following people:
Check out my Facebook for some pictures of the big shave.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Guns kill people.

It's 'Literal Lyrics' time again folks! I realize we skipped a week, but I had a very good excuse. Not only that, but this awesome blog called 'nine summertime' liked my last 'Literal Lyrics' so much that they want me to write for their blog as well. So this is going to appear on both blogs. Hurray, new audience! Anyway, enough ego stroking, lets get down to business.

This week's song is 'Russian Roulette' by Rihanna. Don't get me wrong, I think she's great. But only at dancing and singing. And getting punched in the face by her boyfriend. OH NO YOU DIDN'T! The song opens with some basic instructions on how to live.

Take a breath, take it deep
Calm yourself, he says to me
If you play, you play for keeps

Rihanna, you're hanging with the right crowd. These people have their head on right. Breathing, calmness, playing for keeps. Good on you girl.

Take a gun, and count to three

Jesus Christ! Rihanna, what the fuck is going on here? I take that back, these aren't nice people. Guns are not toys. Get out while you can!

I’m sweating now, moving slow
No time to think, my turn to go

No Rihanna, there is most definitely time to think. It doesn't have to be a long thought. A simple "I don't want to shoot myself in the face and die" will suffice. Also, I hate to point out the obvious, but if you're moving slow, then you're probably buying yourself those few seconds necessary to think about how much of a bad idea it is to play Russian Roulette.

And you can see my heart beating
You can see it through my chest

Now, either everyone is sitting too close or you're dangerously skinny. If people can see your heart beating, you've got some issues. I'm going to assume these same people that want you to play games of life and death are also encouraging your eating disorder. Rihanna, as much as I applaud you for leaving Chris Brown, perhaps you should reconsider your new choice of company.

And I’m terrified but I’m not leaving
Know that I must must pass this test

How topical. Is this song a metaphor for something? Perhaps a destructive relationship you had recently?

So just pull the trigger

Nooooooo! Rihannaaaaaaa!

Say a prayer to yourself

Oh thank God you're still alive. Get out now. Either you're going to die or you'll be an accessory to murder.

He says close your eyes
Sometimes it helps
And then I get a scary thought

Only now? You've just nearly killed yourself and now you're thinking scary thoughts? You're crazier than I thought Rihanna.

That he’s here means he’s never lost

That doesn't make him a winner. Nor does it make him a desirable partner. It most likely makes him a killer. Or at least a cheat. While I don't know how many games of Russian Roulette he's played (he does seem to have a lot of handy hints), I'm guessing the laws of probability would prohibit anyone from becoming too good at it without some element of rigging.

As with all pop songs, the chorus begins its monotonous repetition about here. Rihanna "pulls the trigger" two more times, so either there isn't a bullet in this revolver or they're playing with a machine gun. She does offer one more word of... warning, I suppose you could call it.

As my life flashes before my eyes
I'm wondering if I will ever see another sunrise
So many won't get the chance to say goodbye
But it's to late to think of the value of my life

Once again, I must point out that there is always time to think of the value of your life. You don't have to write an essay, just a brief "I have loved ones" would pretty much cover all the important arguments. This whole song is making me question Rihanna's sanity. She really doesn't seem to care much about her own safety, or how her death (read: suicide) might make people feel. Instead she worries about seeing the sunrise. Never mind how her parents would feel, or her legions of fans, or her friends. As long as you're impressing a boy by gambling with your own life, it's all good.

You know, Chris Brown may not have been the nicest guy, but I doubt he would have made you kill yourself to prove you like him. He wrote a song called 'Kiss Kiss' after all. Maybe you should give him another chance.

Read the full lyrics here
Listen to the song here.

I've been your literal DJ, here's something less dangerous than shooting yourself:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Circle of life.

Previously on Pazzwizzle...

"NacBook is dead... my beautiful, black, second-hand MacBook... 'HAHA HAHA NACBOOK!!!'... I spilled its entire contents over my Mac... my Mac came crumbling down around me... the cancer had spread... I dropped it into the MacHospital again (this time Mac1 on James St)... what a mistake that was..."

I checked NacBook in on Saturday November 7th. The geeky Mac shop assistant assured me that their technicians would have a look at my laptop within the next 2-3 working days and get back to me, and if anything needed to be replaced, that'd take about 5-6 days. I was upset but I knew they were going to fix NacBook. Well, I thought they would. They seemed to think it was just a power button problem, and those are cheap and easy to fix. I thanked them for their time and headed home, Mac-less.

2-3 working days rolled past. Nothing. Not a peep. I began to worry. I spoke to some of my friends who also owned Macs. Some of them had used Mac1 before and none were impressed. Long wait times, poor customer service, high fees. I began to regret my choice of MacHospital.

Friday November 13th dawned and it was now into the 5th working day. I was pissed. I waited until lunchtime and then called Mac1 to see what was going on. A smarmy Mac techie answered. Put on your best "I'm an elitist MacTard and I'm better than you because I know about computers" voice and let's have a conversation. (Mind you, this is abridged for convenience.)
Tom: What's happening with my Mac? You guys said you'd call me within 2-3 working days?
Mac1: Hmm, let me have a look. No, we haven't checked your Mac yet. It usually takes 5-6 working days. We'll get to it.
Tom: Right, well, I kind of need my laptop back, so when do you think I'll get a call?
Mac1: Ahhh, probably not today, so definitely Monday, since the weekend isn't a working day. (Oh really? No shit, Sherlock. Did your Mac tell you that or are you just naturally gifted at knowing what happens on certain days of the week?)
Tom: Okay, I guess I'll hear from you Monday then.
I sat through my second weekend without NacBook. Tortuous stuff. I was using my mum's mini-laptop and it was like trying to make a phone call on an Etch-A-Sketch. Anyway, Monday arrived and still no phone call. Now I was mad. It had been 5-6 working days and that window had passed.

I didn't know what was so difficult about my problem. it's not like there was a program on the Mac that wasn't working, the whole thing wouldn't turn on. How long did that take to test? I can tell you, about five seconds. Once they'd identified the problem, all they had to do was solve it. Surely there are only so many things that can cause that problem. Yet somehow I was at the bottom of their list of things to do.

Tuesday November 17th and I finally got a call. Once again, get your "Elitist MacTard" voice ready.
Tom: Hey, Nice to finally hear back from you.
Mac1: Hey Thomas, we've had a look at your Mac and there isn't anything wrong with it.
Tom: Sorry, what?
Mac1: It's booting up fine. I've run a full diagnostics test on it. There is nothing for me to fix because there is nothing wrong.
Tom: There is, or else I wouldn't have dropped it in. It wasn't turning on.
Mac1: Well I've turned it on a number of times. It's working fine for me. (At this point, he is implying I don't know how to turn on my MacBook.)
Tom: Right, well I guess I'll pick it up then. So there is definitely nothing wrong?
Mac1: Nothing at all. If you do have any further problems we can look at it then, but for now it's good to go.
Tom: Okay, excellent, I'll pick it up as soon as I can.
I picked NacBook up the next day (well, my sister did as I was at work, bless her soul) and was excited to use it again. Due to prior commitments however, I was not able to properly test it until Thursday night. Thankfully, Mac1 had not charged me anything to look after my MacBook for 10 days, so I was not out of pocket. Lucky for them too, as what was about to happen would not have been so easy for me to handle if I'd given them so much as a dollar.

NacBook wouldn't turn on. I tried for at least half an hour, yet nothing worked. I did this thing that the Mac1 guy recommended, I prayed to various deities, I even got someone else to try just in cas I had actually forgotten how to turn NacBook on. Zip, zilch, nada. Not a sausage. I was furious. Mac1 had wasted ten days of my life. I felt like hunting the MacTard down and ramming my laptop up his over-clenching anus. Then I realised he probably already pleasures himself with Apple products so I'd just be doing him a favour.

I picked myself up off the floor and committed to getting NacBook fixed. I owed it to him. No doubt having to spend nearly two weeks in Mac1 would have been like shooting yourself in the face repeatedly. On Friday at lunchtime I dropped into Next Byte on Adelaide St. I explained to them the problem. I covered the whole Mac1 saga and pleaded with them to have a proper look.

They were great. I actually spoke to the technician who was going to look at NacBook. He told me what the problems might be and assured me he'd get to the bottom of it. In fact, within the 20 minutes I stood in that store I learnt more about what was wrong with my Mac than I had in ten days with Mac1. I did have to pay a $75 fee to get it looked at, but at that point, money was no longer an issue. They said they would get back to me in 2-3 working days. I believed them.

Two hours later and I got a phone call. No "Elitist MacTard" voice necessary this time. The technician informed me that he had opened up my MacBook and discovered water damage on the logic board. The logic board was basically the motherboard and it controlled everything in the MacBook.

It was going to cost about $1900 to replace, but I hadn't lost any data. He then suggested that a new MacBook would only cost $1300, so it'd be far more economical to just get a new one, considering NacBook had water damage. He even offered me the opportunity to turn NacBook's hard-drive into an external hard-drive for a small fee, and that way I'd have all my old data, as well as a shiny new empty Mac.

Once again, in two hours, Next Byte had done more for me than Mac1 had managed to do in nearly two weeks. Obviously I was upset at the prospect of having to pay for a new MacBook, but knowing that I was going to have all my old data made me happy. I did not want to have to re-download all my porn.

So here I am now, using my sister's computer to post on Pazzwizzle and check my e-mail. I am faced with the exciting yet expensive task of buying a new Mac this week. The moral of this story is fairly simple: Don't go to Mac1 on James St for anything Apple related. However, if you want to burn down a shop or rob somewhere, then its the place to be. I do, however, highly recommend Next Byte on Adelaide St. Not as an arson or burglary target, but as a place to get Apple things.

Smell you later!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Death of a salesman.

It is the end of an era.

NacBook is dead.

"What is a NacBook?" you ask? Simple. It's the name I lovingly gave to my beautiful, black, second-hand MacBook. After a solid 2-ish years of faithful service, it has finally shuffled off this mortal coil. It will never more play another iTunes track. It will no longer be host to my gigs of pirated TV shows. It has gone on its last Safari.

Firstly, a bit of history. A eulogy if you will. The name NacBook arose not too long after I bought the MacBook. I bought it second-hand off Facebook Marketplace. Having never purchased anything online before, I was terrified I was going to get played. So much so I actually had a nightmare in which my MacBook arrived, but when I opened it up, I discovered it was actually a cheap Korean knock-off, called a "NacBook".

In the nightmare, the keyboard had random symbols written on the keys. When I turned it on, it powered up and looked like a Commodore 64 and the screen stayed locked on an image of a monkey laughing at me as the tinny speakers pumped out the following on repeat:


I woke up in a cold sweat. It made the wait for my purchase brutal. However, when it arrived, the MacBook was perfect. A powerful, sleek, black machine that, once I got used to using the thing, was a dream to use.

The beginning of NacBook's demise was a few days before Christmas 2008. I was in London with my family, and they had all headed out to the shops. I stayed home, wanted to jump on the internet and catch up on the viral web I'd missed over the last few weeks that'd I'd been schlepping it around Ireland and Spain. I had a big glass of water at my side, and in what I can only assume was a fit of laughter, I spilled its entire contents over my Mac.

I'm sure they heard me scream across the English Chanel. I couldn't believe my stupidity. I turned NacBook off and wiped off as much of the water as I could. I placed it over one of the many heaters in the house and prayed it'd be okay.

Two tense days later and the big test came. I tried to power it up. And it worked! Oh joy of joys! I practically peed myself in excitement. There appeared to be no issues. NacBook had looked death in the face and laughed. "HAHA HAHA NACBOOK!!!" I assume.

Unbeknown to me, I had done more damage than I thought. Like a cancer that sits quietly in a man's testicles before it one day surprises it's owner with blood filled urine, the water slowly began to eat away at the inside of NacBook.

First to go was the hard-drive. In about April of this year as I watched an episode of Weeds, my Mac came crumbling down around me. It was running a marathon with a bad hip, and that hip had just disintegrated, taking with it all my music, movies and uni assignments.

I dropped NacBook into the MacHospital (Next Byte on Adelaide St) and hoped I wouldn't be apart for long. That same afternoon I got a call. They had the part in stock and would replace it for me right now. I peed myself for the second time in 6 months. $300-ish later and I had NacBook back. I rebuilt my music and movie collection, and restarted two uni assignemnts. Once again, I thought everything was fine.

Yet the cancer had spread. It hit NacBook's lungs (I've never felt a laptop heat up as much as mine could), brain (the logic [read: mother] board was slowly corroding) and liver (NacBook was a cheap drunk). It struggled on, like a rapper with a sore throat, but the audience know it was only time before this rap battle was going to end in a technical knock-out. Well, I didn't, but I was the ever-optimistic coach.

I began to notice that if I turned NacBook off, it sometimes didn't like to turn back on. It seemed that the power-button was faulty. Usually it would just take a few tries. But each time it took longer and longer. I was having to leave NacBook on permanently so I wouldn't have to boot up. This band-aid could only stick for so many showers.

Finally, on Friday November 6th, NacBook loaded it's last Facebook page. It seemed to be struggling so I turned it off, against my better judgment. And when I tried to reboot, nothing. NacBook was out. I tried all night but the poor thing was done. I hoped it was just a superficial power-button issue, and so I dropped it into the MacHospital again (this time Mac1 on James St).

What a mistake that was...

Coming soon: MacBook Medical Negligence

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hackers hack.

Right, so, avoiding my blog and focussing on study isn't going as well as I'd hoped. In my defence, I only have one exam, and it's not like I haven't been doing anything. I'm just pacing myself.

Anyway, I discovered today (during a procrastination adventure) that my old Hotmail account appears to have been hacked. Or at least it was hacked. On or about Wednesday the 6th of May 2009 at 9:0o PM. How do I know this you ask? Excellent question.

The hacker sent two e-mails from my account to a number of people in my address book. And it would appear that the hacker was a 13-year-old male. Once again, how could I know this? Let's review the sent messages.

Oooh, burn. Luckily this was sent to someone I barely know. Which did make it a strange choice. But who am I to question the motives of a twisted e-mail account hacker. The highlight of his activity was the second email he sent.

Brilliant, isn't it? This was sent to 6 people, all of whom are relatives of mine. Obviously the hacker found my contact group "Family" and used that as inspiration. Luckily, (somehow) it was marked as spam and never properly reached its intended audience. Although I did discover a reply from one of my cousins, sent about a month later, who expressed much confusion at my HIV e-mail.

The whole incident had me in hysterics. What an odd thing to do to someone. I have no clues as to who it was, and it hasn't been done since. None of my other online accounts been affected. I should probably update a few passwords though. I'm one of those people who uses the same password for a number of things.

It's given me a fantastic idea for some stand-up material. Evil spame. What if, instead of offering you penis enlargements and discount medication, spam went about destroying your life, telling family members you were HIV positive and e-mailing random acquaintances hate-filled letters.

Nigerians, eat your heart out.

And now, something that isn't spam.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sweat it out.

What up y'all?

I am entering the last Swotvac of my BA, and as such I will be hitting the books. Don't want to fail now, if I do, I won't graduate. And that would be shit.

Which means, sadly, that posts on Pazzwizzle will be sparse, at least until next Thursday.

I promise though, once I am through the veil, it'll be back to regular updates. No doubt I will have much to talk about.

As an interesting aside, according to the Wikipedia page for swotvac...
The term Swotvac derives from the Scottish word swot (or less commonly swat) originally meaning to sweat, which found use as a slang word describing a student paying careful attention to his work. Swot as a verb suggests acting like a swot, studying for one's exams. Vac is generally considered to be a shortened form of vacation, indicating the period free of classes. The use of the uncommon and outmoded word 'swot' has led to the backronym Study Without Teaching Vacation. There are many other different backronyms that can be derived.
Isn't that fun.

See you in a week.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The times.

I'm introducing another (hopefully) weekly regular to this blog. Literal lyrics.

I'm going to suck the fun out of pop music. Well, whatever fun that hasn't already been pitch-corrected out.

To begin with, a song called 'TiK ToK' by Ke$ha. See what she did there? A dollar sign instead of an S. That means she's gangsta, I guess. I'm not sure. To me, a dollar sign would mean economist. She restores cred with the song title 'TiK ToK', because spelling mistakes and bad grammar are... cool? In her defence, she did drop out of high school at 17. That's well before they start teaching you how to spell in the US education system.

The opening verse:
Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy
(Hey, what up girl?)
Put my glasses on, I’m out the door - I’m gonna hit this city (Let’s go)
Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack
Cause when I leave for the night, I ain’t coming back
So she wakes up and feels like P Diddy. I'm immediately concerned. Is that meant to be Diddy saying "Hey, what up girl?" Either she's got some serious schizophrenia happening, or her perception of what P Diddy's life is like is severely confused. But I digress. She puts on her glasses (reading or sun?) and she's off. But wait, before she leaves, she's going to brush her teeth. Psych! You thought she was already out the door.

Unfortunately, she doesn't know basic dental hygiene, because she's brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack. Her justification? Because when she leaves for the night, she isn't coming back. She plans on picking up with Jack Daniels breath. Good luck Ke$ha.

Her explanation of what makes a party girl (clothes, toes and phones apparently) continues until the chorus.
Don’t stop, make it pop
DJ, blow my speakers up
Tonight, I’mma fight
‘Til we see the sunlight
Tick tock, on the clock
But the party don’t stop no
Woah-oh oh oh
Woah-oh oh oh
Yeah, loud music, DJ's, popping. Whatever party Ke$ha is at, it's totally awesome. And she's starting fights. So my guess is she gate-crashed. Then she appropriately points out that as time progresses, so does the party. But the party never stops. How convenient, neither does time.
Ain’t got a care in world, but got plenty of beer
Ain’t got no money in my pocket, but I’m already here
Now, the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger
But we kick ‘em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger
Ke$ha, not content with her previous efforts of describing what party girls do, elaborates. She has not a care in the world, but she's got lots of beer. It would seem she does have a care. It is about how much beer she has. Obviously, due to all the beer she's purchased, she now has no money, but its okay, because she's already at the party, so she no longer has any need for cash. She'll just steal what she needs from here on in.

Dudes! Finally Ke$ha, you're talking about something other than yourself. These "dudes" have heard "we (assumedly Ke$sha and her friends) got swagger". Nothing more appealing than a girl with swagger. But Ke$ha is no slut. Unless they look like Mick Jagger (really, this guy?) she's going to tell them she's not interested. I'm sorry Ke$ha, I'm confused, what are you trying to say?
I’m talking about - everybody getting crunk, crunk
Boys trying to touch my junk, junk
Gonna smack him if he getting too drunk, drunk
Now, now - we goin’ til they kick us out, out
Or the police shut us down, down
Oh, I see. Drunken attempted sexual assault. And this will continue, Ke$ha says, until the perverts get kicked out (I get the feeling that will happen sooner rather than later) or the police come and shut the party down (again, considering the sexual assault, probably won't take long).

Since this is a cookie-cuter pop hit, the chorus is repeated twice, and then we head to the bridge... Which is basically just the chorus run through a Microsoft Word synonym check. More talk of DJs and their music. She does make one more interesting claim, that "the party don’t start until I walk in."

In her defence, she brings all the beer her money can buy, dudes who grope girl's "junk", she starts fights and she brushes her teeth with whiskey. She knows where the party at. My concern is that she implies that she leaves her house in the morning looking for a party. Yet the party doesn't start until she arrives. So does she just chose a house and walk in? Not a good idea if you don't want the "po-po" showing up. Or is she insulting everyone else's parties? If it's the latter, she really just sounds like a jealous bitch. Start you're own party if you aren't happy with what's on offer.

As an interesting aside, this song is also known as 'Dolla'. Again, bad spelling. Very hip. I hope that title was the amount she was paid to make this awful song. The song is a "bullet performer", having risen from 28 to 4 in the ARIA singles charts. Australian music consumers, you disgust me.

Read the full lyrics here.
Listen to the song here.

I've been your literal DJ, allow me to play you out.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Dear Artists,

Pick a title for your art. There are only three reasons for leaving your work untitled.
  1. Laziness. How hard is it to come up with a title? You've just created a work of art. However good or bad it may be, you did it. Now title it. I'm not asking for an essay, just a title. Call it anything. If you draw a bunch of colour boxes, call it, 'Coloured Boxes'. If you pained a pond, call it 'Pond'. Or just call it a random jumble of letters. You can't expect me to believe that you have the creativity to come up with the idea to draw a man with a Vicks Vapour drop for a head mourning an empty pack of Butter Menthols, yet when it comes to picking a title, you're stumped. Or too lazy to bother.
  2. Fear. You're worried I'll judge you on your title? Once again, you're not being asked to write an essay, it's just a name. I will judge you on how your art looks, but not on your title. In fact, I'm much more likely to judge you if you don't have a title. Plus, a title can be very helpful. If you don't have one, how will white people reference your work to their friends to make themselves feel more cultural?
  3. Pretentiousness. You're so arty-wanky that you refuse to title you're work? Get the fuck out of my gallery. If you're worried about a title "restricting the artistic boundaries" of your work then you've got bigger things to worry about than coming up with a title. Like how much you're going to get beaten up by people. Remember, for people to like you, and your work, people need to be able to relate to it, and you. By being so alternative that you call your 'finger painting/splatter/crushed glass' piece absolutely nothing at all, I have lost interest in it and you.
I hope we can work together on this one Artists.

Lots of love,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cash out.

Dear Treasury Department,

I hate 5 cent coins. They are the most useless of the small change.

For starters, most machines that you use that accept coins don't actually accept the 5 cent piece. They stop at 10 cents. Plus, most of the items in said machines cost $x.x0 anyway, so 5 cents are useless. they never give them in change.

And paying all in 5 cents is frowned upon. Either you spend ages at a machine, slipping tiny coins in as everyone lines up behind you and thinks, "Geez, what's this poor bastard doing?" Or you hand over a wad of them at a counter and the person behind the counter has to count them and they are never happy, neither are the people lined up behind you. Everyone is thinking,
"Geez, what's this poor bastard doing?"

Not even the bank tellers like 5 cent coins anymore. They get all snooty when you hand them over to be exchanged for normal money, like they're too good to count it, too good to even touch it.

But the worst thing is, you can't even give 5 cent coins away. If you give it to buskers/the homeless/charity workers, they look at you like you just spat on them. And rightfully so. It's like someone asking for some food when you have a whole sandwich and you give them a crust. Giving someone a 5 cent coin does not say, "Hi, I'm charitable." It says, "Hi, I want people to think I'm charitable, but really, I'm a cheap heartless douchebag." Giving away 5 cents is almost a hand-written invitation to the 'Why did you even fucking bother?' party.

You can't even give them away in a friendly gesture. Like if you approached someone and said, "Here, have these 5 cent coins." it wouldn't matter how many you gave them, it would still be a burden. Offer just one and they'll think it's a joke. A whole bag and its just an inconvenience that they have to take to the bank and suffer the condescending glares of tellers.

I personally have two stashes of 5 cent coins. One at my desk at work, and one next to my bed at home.

Help yourselves, because I sure don't want them.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cut and colour.

Listen up fashionistas, I've got a new dose of style advice heading your way. Open your ears!

Lesson 2: Long hair

Firstly, long hair on women is fantastic. I have no problems there. Want to know why? Because it's feminine. And pretty. And smells nice. All things that women also are.

However, on men, long hair is another story. Like not a sequel. An entirely new story. Of a different genre. Written in bodily fluids.

My problem is that I don't know what men with long hair, particularly long hair in a pony tail, are trying to prove. Why do they let it grow? I have come up with I feel is a fairly comprehensive list of possible reasons, and I will now tear them apart.
  1. The "Hey everyone, look how long I can grow may hair!" excuse. I'm sorry, you're proud of that? You think we're impressed by how long you've gone without a hair cut? Do you think that your ability to grow hair, a natural bodily function we have no control over, is special? Or are you just trying to be a dick to all the bald people out there? Are you rubbing the fact that they can't grow hair, a choice made not by them but their genetic material, in with your flowing locks? No one is impressed.
  2. The "Nobody tells me how to cut my hair!" excuse. Congratulations, you're living the free and easy life. Wind blowing through your hair as you hit the open road on yet another unplanned adventure. Odd that you have to clearly illustrate how free and easy you are by growing your hair. Most people would continue to get their hair cut no matter how free and easy they are. Also, let's cover the things that would tell you how to cut your hair: A partner, a sensible job, a caring family. Fantastic, you don't have any of those thing. Yes, you're a real winner.
  3. The "I'm rugged and unkempt, just like my hair!" excuse. You're an animal. You have no interest in hair cuts. They're for women and gays. You just let your hair grow. If it wants to be short, it'll fall out, like a badass. You're a bad boy, as untameable as your wild flowing locks. Except, if you've ever spoken to any woman with long hair (not including those with dreadlocks... I'll deal with you later) they will tell you how much effort goes into maintaining long hair. They wash it every day, they brush it every hour, they get split ends, they condition with treatments. If you are a man and you have long hair you are doing this to your hair as well (if not, you've probably got dreadlocks.... again, later). This is not rugged. This is the opposite of rugged. Want to know what makes you rugged? Growing a beard is rugged. Kicking the shit out of a crocodile is rugged. Fixing a ute with a combination of dirt and your own blood is rugged. Having long hair like a girl, not rugged
  4. The "Have you seen *insert name here*? He has long hair, and it looks awesome! I'm just like him!" excuse. Oh really? Fabio looks awesome? No, Fabio looks like a joke. You think Johnny Depp has long hair and he's awesome? Well, he is a cool guy, but that has nothing to do with his hair. List any other celebrity with long hair and I can guarantee they aren't cool because they have long hair. They are cool because they are in movies and have lots of money and date hot women. Their hair has nothing to do with their success. They only reason they get away with it is because they are famous. Want to know where having long hair, no acting ability and being in Hollywood gets you? In porn.
I think that about covers it. Let me know if there are any other excuses people use and I'll make sure I cover them in a later post.

Until then, stay classy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Doing what you do.

I was flicking through the Bronco Bugle (read: Courier Mail) this morning when i came across a large article about Wayne Carey. Apparently his daughter saved his life. He was addicted to drugs, gambling and promiscuous sex, but suddenly he realised that a small child, who is he created and relies on him to live, was more important. Yes Wayne, we're all very proud of you.

The thing that struck me though was the title of the article, which I can only assume was a direct quote from Mr Carey himself. It read something like this:
I knew what I was doing was wrong but I did it anyway.
Here's my problem. People use that line as an excuse, and they think it absolves them of guilt. Firstly, it is not an excuse. Knowing you are doing something wrong does not explain why you did it. In fact, it does the exact opposite. It makes it even more confusing as to why you did it. If you know something is immoral and or illegal, and you do it any way, without a decent medical reason, then you actually end up sounding like a worse person than if you had said nothing. In fact, it may even be better off to say "I didn't know what I was dong was wrong." At least that way you'll just sound ignorant. Doing something you know is wrong just because you want to is the height of selfishness, particularly when you are a father and the things you are doing involve leaving your eight month pregnant wife for an underwear model and then later being arrested for glassing aforementioned model.

Now I have nothing against Wayne Carey per-say (that's a lie, I think he's an arrogant jock who clearly never grew up), my problem is the use of the phrase "I knew what I was doing was wrong." That may be the case Wayne, in fact, I doubt anyone is stupid enough to think that beating up your wife or assaulting a police officer is the right thing to do. However, that does not excuse what you did. Nor does it make you any less guilty.

The line has been used before. Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street investment banker who ran a massive Ponzi scheme that defrauded innocent Americans billions of dollars, said he knew what he was doing was wrong. Again, I am inclined to agree. I doubt someone can spend nearly 40 years working in economics and business and not know that fraud is bad. He's clearly not a stupid man, he started his own business, that, despite being a brilliantly executed Ponzi scheme, was very successful. He avoided being noticed for over 20 years. But, the fact that he knew he was in the wrong does not make him any less guilty. It actually makes him more guilty. The two pillars of the justice system is the act, and the intent. For example, if you kill someone, but didn't intend to, you get charged with manslaughter, not murder. So by saying, "I knew what I did was wrong" you are admitting to both the act and the intent. Not a wise move.

Josef Fritzl, Austria's Father of the Year for the years 1977 to 2008 inclusive, also said, "he knew what he was doing was wrong." Really? You knew sexually abusing your own daughter, locking her in a basement for 24 years and fathering seve children with her was wrong? Clever boy. Once again this is neither an excuse nor an absolution of guilt. It seems as if people say this because they think it will endear them to the public. Like people with hear it and go,
"Oh, he knew what he was doing was wrong? Oh, well, that makes a world of difference. I thought he was just a savage who didn't know right from wrong. But clearly he is just a man who got caught up in a bad crowd. He couldn't help it. At least he knew it was wrong."
I don't know about you, but when I hear someone did something even though they knew it was the wrong thing to do, unless they are a comic book superhero, I think, "well, you're an idiot, show some restraint." I don't want to forgive them. That's essentially rewarding stupidity. "Congratulations, you were immoral even though you knew it was a terrible idea. Gold star!"

In closing, here's an idea. If you do the wrong thing, and someone asks you about it, do not, under any circumstances, say "I knew what I was doing was wrong." Try, "I'm sorry." It may not sound like much, but at least it means something.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Spare a moment.

I got stopped by those charity spruikers in the city the other day.

You know the ones. The girls are always British and they wear the shortest skirts and tightest tops. Like they've donated all their modest clothes to Rwanda. Yet somehow they all look like hippies still. Perhaps it's the clipboards. You don't see many people using clipboards except hippies. They seem to have a lot of documentation they need to carry around that needs to be easily accessed and written on.

The guys always look like giant douche-bags. They've got their Jeans West faded dark denim on and their popped Cotton On polo collar. But they're all so handsome. Sickeningly so. They're out there telling you about dying pandas or starving children and all you can think is, "you could be in an underwear commercial, you pretty pretty man."

Anyway so I got stopped. And I am the worst person in this situation. I once bought a shit homemade rap CD off a guy in New York. I don't even like rap music. But this black guy stopped me and I could hardly say no. It was around the time of Obama's inauguration, so racism was even less cool than usual. I certainly didn't want to offend him. He was huge and would have crushed me like a bug. Twenty US dollars later I was the proud owner of the worst hip hop CD ever recorded. I'm not even sure it was original songs. This guy could just have made a mix tape of his favourite tunes and sold it to me. I wouldn't know. That's how little I know about rap music. I gave it away. I thought that would get him back for making me buy it. He may have my $20, but I'm never going to listen to that CD again. which means I'll never recommend him to any of my friends. I guess the joke is on him.

I'm terrible at saying no. I even feel bad if I don't get a dry cleaning flyer from those people that hand them out in the city. I actually apologise. Why? I don't know. They're being paid to stand on the street and hand out paper. It may not be much, but they're getting it. And I apologise for not taking it. It's not like one sheet makes any difference to them. It's a third of the size of an A4 sheet of paper. I'm sure they're not struggling under the weight. but I apologise.

So you can imagine how bad I am when it comes to actual charity. I clam up. I've tried the old "I'm talking on the phone" trick but I bail as soon as someone says something to me. So I appear to have the shortest phone conversation ever. And they think I care much more than I do about starving sharks in Africa. They think I care so much that whatever important call I was on, I instantaneously ended when I heard them ask me if I wanted to hear about the plight of one legged men in Kenya.

For a while I got away with the old "I'm not over 21" trick, but that will only last so long. I'm walking around the city in a suit for gods sake. They're going to start figuring out I'm lying. Although it would be funny to see how long you could make that work. Imagine an old guy walking past slowly with a walking stick, maybe an oxygen tube coming out of his nose. Monocle. And they stop him and ask him if he wants to donate to Elephants Without Borders and he says "I'm sorry I'm not over 21". Would they buy that? Would they call him out on it? What would the point be.
"No you're not"
"I am"
"No offence sir, but you are most definitely not under the age of 21. You look like you're about to die."
"Well I don't care about elephants. Good day."
Anyway, so I get stopped and I spend the next 10 minutes of my lunch break being lectured about God knows what. I tuned out early on in the speech, hoping that if the girl saw the glazed look in my eyes she'd go, "This guy is a lost cause" and move on. Or feel sorry for me. Maybe if at the end I said "Huh?" she'd roll her eyes like my sisters do when they tell me something and I realise I haven't been listening so I try to cover it up with a skilful, "Yeah, totally." Eventually I manned up/hunger got the better of me and I said that I wasn't interested and thanked her for her time. Her time? Who was being the burden here? I suppose she had just filled me in on the situation of wells in Indonesia. That's handy.

I wish I could be more forceful in ignoring them though.

I saw one guy once, and I shall practice until I am as fantastic as he was. He went storming past a charity guy, he was clearly going somewhere. Had a suit on, looked important. This dick-hole from NAPLAN or APEC or something said, "Do you care about the environment sir?" as he flew by. And without missing a beat this guy has said, loud enough that he didn't have to stop walking, "Not enough." And then he was gone. He was a ghost. The spruiker looked so confused. I was pissing myself laughing by that time as I waited for the bus. Then enviro-douche came up and harassed me. I sat through his dribble for nearly 10 minutes until my bus arrived.

I must learn how to say no.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My first open letter.

So here's another soon-to-be-frequent style of post on my blog. The open letter. I'm sure you've all seen one. so I won't explain how it works. If you're new to this type of thing, you will catch on fairly quickly.

Dear Lincraft Lady,

Thank you for being an unhelpful bitch.
If it was at all possible, you made me want to be even less crafty than I already am.

Love, Thomas.

Also, how do you all feel about the new blog layout? Matt did it. Snaps for him.
I feel less minimalist.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The letter formerly known as...

I wonder what the world would be like if some letters never esisted? Like if they were just never thought up and, as such, never made their way into our alphabet. Would we find a replacement?

From my eperience, necessity is the mother of all invention. However, is having a certain letter a necessity? Could we live without it? I'm sure that if someone removed a letter from the alphabet right now that would cause fairly serious problems, but what if it was before our time?

I guess the entire discussion is a moot point. We have our alphabet with its twenty si letters, and it works, why question it? Because we can, that's why.

If we did get rid of one though, we could replace it with a fancy little squiggle, like Prince did. Ecept less gay.

Monday, October 19, 2009


So almost a year ago to this day (note: don't go fact-checking that, it's probably not right, it just sounds cool) Maddy and I were joking around about musicals, as the cool kids did in those days. I had written one, she had written one. It was the centre of both of our small worlds.

We came up with the concept of a haiku-sical, that is, a musical written entirely in haiku, songs and all. It was a joke, we had a laugh, and moved on.

Except I didn't.

I wrote the idea down. I re-discovered it the other day. And it has been bugging me ever since.

I'm not interested in writing a whole musical, however what I will do is convert a number of popular musicals into haiku format. For example:


Look, eight New Yorkers
Most are gay and some have AIDS
Death makes them arty

Or what about this one:

The Producers

Make a Broadway flop
World War Two is funny now
Mel Brooks irony

And finally:


Fat girl on TV
Dances away racism
Man in drag plays mum

Add your own ideas in the comments if you want. This may become a regular column.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Passion for fashion

I like to think that I have a bit of skill in the fashion department. I feel I dress well, and I think people recognise this. I'm no slave to fashion, you won't see me wearing the latest trends or paying hundreds of dollars for a brand name. However, I make sure that I buy things that are decently quality and suit my body shape. It's not hard to dress well, you don't need a stylist and millions of dollars. Just an eye for what looks good together and knowledge of a few basic rules.

Then why do so many people get it wrong!?

The following is the first of hopefully many posts in which I lay down a bit of wisdom. Not just any wisdom. Style wisdom. Now I'm not holding myself up as a fashion icon, however I do believe that I know a thing or two. This I owe mostly to having three sisters who, from when I was quite young, give me brutally honest advice on what I was wearing. Even if I didn't ask for it. They did also force me to dress in women's clothing on a number of occasions, but that hasn't had any noticeable effect.

Lesson 1: Joggers

When I say joggers I mean cross-trainers. Running shoes. I'm not picking on people that jog. Good on them for getting out an exercising. However, they should probably just harden up and run. Jogging is for sissies. But I digress. Running shoes. Never before has something so simple caused such chaos in the fashion world. Let's start with the basics. They are called joggers/runners/cross-trainers for a reason. There is only one excuse for wearing them: If you are jogging/running/training. That is what they are made for. That is the purpose they were built to serve. The name isn't a joke, they aren't trying to be ironic. In fact, few other items in this world are so obvious. They are named after the people who wear them.

So where do people go wrong? I'll tell you where... everywhere.

Joggers are not necessary if the only jogging you do is actually just walking, and that walking is only done between your house and the bus stop/train station and then between the bus stop/train station and your place of employment. This level of physical activity does not count as jogging. It does not require the assistance of joggers. I don't care how comfortable they are, they look ridiculous. I'm talking to you, the hundreds of office workers who pair their business attire with Reeboks.

No no, shh, there are other options. I refuse to believe that a pair of modest flats from, oh, anywhere, would hurt your feet so much during the 30 minutes a day you have to walk that you must resort to wearing wearing Nike cross-trainers. And to those that claim arch support I say, "buy a pair of orthotics." They slip right into your shoes and provide arch support that the Romans would be jealous of.

Did I hear someone ask me to stop picking on hard working women? Sure thing!

Men who wear jeans with joggers disgust me. This was the first fashion rule I learned. You can wear almost any type of shoe with jeans. But not joggers. Never joggers. Ever seen anyone actually jogging in jeans? No. Ever seen anyone jogging in a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors? No. Ever seen someone in exercise clothes wearing Vans? No. So why wear jeans with joggers? Once again, you aren't running anywhere. Sure, if your out and about you may be walking around a bit more, but that does not necessitate joggers. If you can't toughen up and deal with whatever minor discomfort may come from wearing shoes without proper arch support, then you don't deserve to be walking. Buy a wheelchair and donate those legs to a paraplegic who will use them appropriately.

I will call it a day there. I think I've made my point. For anyone that missed it, it was:

"Don't wear joggers with work clothes, or jeans."

I have a number of other fashion gripes, so expect to read about them in the future. I hope that I can, in some small way, help people be really, really, ridiculously good looking.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Never as tired as when I'm waking up

So I was doing my usual thing where I waste time by pottering around on the internet and finding funny/odd/interesting things and I cam across this video: It basically involves some film crew asking 50 people the same question. In this instance, the question was, "Where do you wish to wake up tomorrow?"

Most people gave the responses you'd expect, like "In my own bed", "Back home with my family", and "In bed with him/her." However, one lady, around the 2 minute mark (right after Philip Seymour Hoffman responds, "Outer space"), said the following:
"I would love to wake up in a world, like, where every closet opens in to, like, someone else's closet and then you come out of the closet and you're in a totally different place and you meet that person and get to have breakfast with them. I don't know if it's possible but that's where I'd like to wake up."
Now getting past her obvious deep-seeded sexual conflict (she wishes to wake up in a place where she can "come out of the closet" to a stranger who would accept her into their house and eat breakfast with her... I only did Introduction to Psychology but I'm pretty sure I know what this chick is trying to say... she is practically screaming it) I have some real issues with her imaginary world.

Firstly, how does she propose the world would function in this fantasy closet transport world? Assuming you had a choice as to whether you were warped across space by your closet, and not just sucked into your wardrobe when you went to grab your outfit for the day even if you didn't want to take a magical mystery tour, what happens once you've arrived? Sure, you have some breakfast, but what then? Is the closet transportation system a return-trip setup? Can you easily retrace your steps? Or do you have to just keep warping about until you arrive somewhere you recognise? And what happens if you arrive in someone's house who doesn't speak the same language as you? How do you explain who you are, what you want for breakfast, or even engage in simple meal-eating banter?

Secondly, the whole breakfast thing. Now it'd be nice to assume that if you just randomly showed up in someone's bedroom (I'm guessing that is where most people keep their closet) they'd welcome you with open arms and invite you to breakfast and want to hear your abridged life story over some crumpets. But that simply isn't the case. What if you're having a stressful morning, like you spilled coffee on your only ironed shirt and the toaster just died? The last thing you want is some person showing up unannounced for breakfast, especially if you don't know them very well, or at all. What if you had to be at work early and you've already left the house, and some person who had a bit of a sleep in thought, "I know what I'll do today, transport myself into someone else's house and have breakfast with them" and they arrived but you weren't home? Would you be okay with a complete stranger helping themselves to your Special K? What if you were engaging in some early morning hanky-panky and someone barged in demanding pancakes?

Then you have the matter of crime. Once again, it'd be nice to assume that the closet teleporter would only be used for good, but the reality of the world is that there are some real losers out there who just like to do bad things. Do we really want to provide a way for would-be thieves, murders or *gasp* rapists to gain entry directly into people's houses? I imagine you could run a fairly successful burglary ring with just the help of a few closets. What about illegal immigration, or terrorism? I can't see having a border control outpost in every single person's bedroom being a particularly easy thing to manage.

There are a number of other issue to consider, like time zones (just because it's time for breakfast in Brooklyn doesn't mean it is in Johannesburg) or what happens to the clothes in your closet (how do you stop them from transporting with you, or worse, transporting by themselves) but I think it's safe to say that this woman's idea of Star Trek closets is pretty impractical.

The lesson to learn from this is: don't say stupid stuff when you're being filmed, because it'll end up on the internet.

Oh, and no one wants to have breakfast with a lesbian.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gold medal position.

I'm going to skip the obligatory first post "OMG I got a blog you guys! I know I totes said I'd never do that but I was totally bored to DEATH and I just had to do it... so... New Moon is out soon, OMG!" because frankly, you don't want to read it and I don't want to write it.

What I will discuss, however, is the name of this blog. Pazzwizzle. Here is an interesting fact. If you Google (take that grammar, I'm using a proper noun as a verb) "pazzwizzle" it should return no results. Maybe one if this blog appears on the list. But other than that, nothing. You could say that I am the first person on the internet to use the word "pazzwizzle". It seems unlikely, considering all the weird fetish sites and kids who can't spell properly, that pazzwizzle doesn't appear in some form, somewhere. But it doesn't. Or if it does, Google (noun time!) doesn't know about it. Perhaps in Laos they are discussing pazzwizzle. Maybe it's the national drink, or it's the name of some glorified TV character. Does Google's reach extend into Laos? I guess we may never know. What we do know is that for now, this is the only website that will appear if anyone Googles (and we're back to verb usage... grammar nerds hate me right now... assuming they hadn't already left in disgust after seeing the blog title) "Pazzwizzle".

Pazzwizzle has a funny origin. I was stuck for a blog name, and after brainstorming a bunch, I was just getting sick of the whole idea. I tried song titles ('Royal in the Afternoon' was taken by both a shitty Whitlams cover band from England and some tool who had a LiveJournal), references to my career ('Statement of Loss and Damage' while kind of cool would have meant I'd turn into a blathering emo wanker), old ideas I'd had for other creative things ('stop. watch.' would have pigeon-holed me as one of those bloggers who just posts YouTube videos for the LOLs) and even random nonsense ('The Adventures of Hand Dog' was a brief favourite but fell from grace after I realised that Hand Dog might become the highlight of the blog and would have to start his own blog, leaving me to go it alone and ultimately crash and burn without his creative talents at the helm). Nothing was working.

So I went back to the drawing board. Or at least my old notebooks where I used to scribble ideas for things. I came across a list of names I had used in an audition many moons ago. At the bottom of the list, a "Carla Pazzwizzle" was written, with the last name crossed out. Don't fear, her name wasn't actually Pazzwizzle. Her parents weren't from the Lollipop Kingdom.
Her actual name was noted beside the correction. However, this recorded gaff on my part reminded me off one of my embarrassing traits. I am prone to mishearing words, names, even entire sentences. Instead of asking, "Could you repeat that?" and not sounding like a crazy old man, I regularly end up saying, "Did you just say *insert ridiculous sentence here*?". For example, at work today I was convinced someone had said, "I put everything in Veronica Small-cock so she can check it later." It didn't seem to matter to my brain that what I thought I had heard was completely ridiculous.

So that's where Pazzwizzle comes from.