Category Archives: The Rest

-real-life happenings (with some creative license)
-semi ranty semi educational thoughts

How to survive a breakup in 2016

If there is one thing I have learned in the first few weeks of singledom, it is that the standard ‘how to survive a breakup’ tips and tricks, just don’t fucking cut it anymore. You just cannot escape like the people in the 60’s who probably wrote the book on breakups. The world is shrinking and as a result, everything and everyone is a little bit closer. Like you, reader. I have likely never met you and look at me sitting on your lap or in your hand. Travel is easy, communication is immediate, and alcohol is expensive.

Short of sitting in your room facing the corner and slowly starving to death, you really can’t avoid the world until the end of your days. So time to re-write the book, Pride and Prejudice with Zombies style. How to Survive a breakup with Zombies.

Toss your dignity out the window.

Let’s be honest, you probably lost it in the mish-mash of breakup fights, dropping the washing machine on your toe during moving out, or accidentally losing their set of house keys down an elevator shaft.  So while your fresh out of dignity go do all the things you need to. Cry, eat, cry, eat, cry. Do all the things that irritated them in one night. Comment on the economic damage in super hero films, rearrange the fridge so that the cheese and ham are in the same compartment, light the smelly candle they hate. Eat Krispy Kreme’s for dinner and KFC potato and gravy for dessert. Do it on your own if you can so you don’t have so far to climb when you decide it is time to regain a little.

Cut

Not your wrists, and not their brakes. Where possible, delete them off Facebook and Instagram, delete their mother, delete their friends, and delete their favourite TV show off your hard drive. Unless it was your favourite first. You aren’t going to be able to delete them out of your life but give yourself the best chance at not being unpleasantly surprised by hourly reminders of stupid thing they liked and being tagged on Facebook, out having the time of their lives probably. You can claim everything back when you have your shit together again.

Spend a lot of time with your friends.

Separately. Friends who want to talk about it, friends who want to drink, friends who want to go to Ikea. Then put them on a rotation so you don’t irritate them with your depression. Because let’s face it – it’s going to last longer than you would like and everyone has a sympathy expiry date.

Develop an Obsession.

Because when you go home and there is a long empty night with you and your thoughts, you’re going to have a bad time. So get obsessed with something that you can’t wait to get back to when you’re at work. Something that’s going to keep you up till 3am when you have work at 9. Great if it’s exercise, realistic if it is TV shows, bad if it’s hard drugs.

Locate tossed dignity from outside the window

And depending on how liberally you took the first tip, this one may take a while.  You get on with your life. Maybe you exercise, maybe you just get a fake tan so you look skinnier. Set some goals and actually start them. If it helps, you can start to spite your ex, though you will only reach them if you do it for yourself.

 

I’ll let you know if it works.

The five stages of putting on a sports bra

Sometimes the hardest thing you will do all day is get dressed. If you are putting on a sports bra it is definitely the hardest thing you will do all day. I’m not talking about the soft little boob-hammocks you wear when you are long past impressing the boyfriend/girlfriend/neighbour kids. I’m talking about the ones that you wear when you have the intention of doing a far-out hardcore session of the big E. Ecstasy. Exercise

Stage 1: Denial

Yes it starts off the same way as the stages of grief. The blissful ignorance, or perhaps absolute subconscious refusal to accept the task that lies before you. The workout before the workout, the beginning of the end. 

A sports bra looks the same as any small top. Usually brightly coloured, seemingly flexible, and a noticeable lack of fangs. You, my friend, have reached stage one. Now slip that bad boy over your head.

Stage 2: Feeling trapped

By ‘slip’ did you mean wrestle my suddenly large head into what feels like an armband? Why did this look bigger from the outside? Where is the elastic stretch that was promised? You wriggle your giant head through the point of light at the end of a tunnel looking for an end to this limbo, but alas it is just the other side of the sports bra. 

Full of broken dreams you break through, arms windmilling madly. You wind up with a suffocating necklace. Your arms sticking awkwardly out the top like some humanoid pot plant. One boob at a time you detach your various body parts like snake would unhinge its jaw to swallow a warthog. Resist the urge to call for help or cry. You can do this. You summon up your last vestige of strength and pull it all down and wallah! It is on! You think this is the end but no. There are five stages. You’re not even halfway done.

Stage 3: Acclimatising 

The air feels thin in here, you are feeling slightly lightheaded, maybe you ought to sit down? You are panting and feeling tired. Imagine, if this is getting dressed, what will the real exercise be like? 

Everything I just described is actually a symptom of acute mountain sickness. Much like the mountain climbers in the Himalayas you are now attempting to live off a 30% (not an actual figure) oxygen intake. In fact if you google “how to train to climb a mountain” the first answer is just a link to Lorna Janes online shopping website.

Panting and clutching at the sink you wait to recover.

Stage 4: Examination

Once you have recovered your sight you will then start to study this new you. A you who likes to exercise and wear the equivalent of Chinese foot bindings on your boobs. Look how fit you are and how tanned that bright yellow top makes you look and – the fuck is that? Am I growing a second arm? Is my back pregnant? No. That is every ounce of fat you have squeezed out because this sports bra is at capacity. Sit back down caterpillar. You are not the beautiful butterfly you imagined. Wrap up and wait another six months. 

Stage 5: Acceptance

Because you know no matter how bad you feel now, what is coming is ten times worse. Priorities, am I right? Sigh and thank god there is another layer to this outfit.

The Bitchy Resting Face Phenomenon

Just before I start – this well researched and passive article has a sexism angle so if it upsets you to read about women being prejudiced against, I suggest you go read something else. Like the label on a protein bar.

***

Everyone has heard of the phenomenon known as ‘bitchy resting face’. I bet most of you know someone who has it, or perhaps you are peacefully reading my article with unintentional disgust because that’s just how your face is. I bet once a day someone will say one of the following:

What’s wrong?

Did you have a bad day at work?

Or the absolute worst….

Cheer up! Smile!

FIRST OF ALL. If you weren’t having a bad time, you are now. Some idiot has carelessly, indirectly told you that you look unhappy. Unhappy enough to warrant a comment from a stranger. Who’s the real bitch here? I don’t know how it is socially unacceptable to walk up to someone and tell them they’re ugly, but totally acceptable to walk up to them and inform that the expression on the ‘at peace’ face was making them uncomfortable enough to come up to you and ask you to change it.  I may look like a bitch however you are an actual bitch, to be perfectly candid.

Side note: I actually don’t suffer from bitchy resting face. I suffer from friendly resting face, which is a million times worse. Because while I look approachable. I really don’t want people approaching me. I would actually prefer fear to love. (I would make such a great villain).

I am writing this to every idiot who has gone up to a complete stranger and asked them to smile. You are especially worse if you said it to a girl behind the bar. I have literally heard someone say, “I’m only going to tip you if I see you smiling.” You sir. Are a dick.  Do I come to your office and shove my face in front of what is probably a stupid-drunk excel spreadsheet and say “why aren’t you smiling?” Yeah now it seems foolish. The day I walk around with a plastic-fantastic grin on my face, is that day you should actually make for the hills, because I’m about to go on a mass murder spree.  I’ll smile when I’m happy and not a moment before.

SECONDLY. Why is it that only females get this? Why do brooding males not get idiots asking them to smile? In fact, why do males get ‘brooding’ while females get ‘bitchy’? I’m sure this is present in nearly every workplace. The man gets the not-to-be-fucked-with, and the woman gets I’m-a-giant-bitch-and-therefore-unreasonable. Maybe next time you see a guy getting all frowny you should inform him he looks like a bit of a bitch, and maybe a smile wouldn’t hurt anyone. Let’s see how he reacts. Let’s see if he doesn’t reach a hand out and crush the nearest butterfly with absolute rage. God I could really use a butterfly right now.

6 Rebuttals of Insanity, OR, Why I am Not Going Crazy

When you work in an office, there are some things that people will say on a daily basis that sounds a little crazy.

How was your weekend?  I went to the – oh you’re not listening are you? Alright just tell me about yours.

Is that a new jacket? I wore this yesterday.

Ooooh pasta again? A moment on the lips forever on the hips.  Shut up Karen, go ‘enjoy’ your salad.

Then there’s what I call: The 3:30 snide remark. For me that remark is “Are you talking to yourself again?” <Insert some cliché about going crazy>. And maybe I am. Every time I walk into the office I feel like its groundhog day. That’s the one where he gets caught in a time loop right? Repeating the exact same day over and over. And no one else but you seems to be aware of it. My response is usually: “Ha ha ha, I am!”  (muttering quietly) “I’ll kill you one day.” I don’t know why most people insist on getting their medical knowledge of psychopathic’s from 1950’s stereotypes.  So maybe I do odd things at 3:30pm. Maybe there’s a reason. Maybe…there are 6 reasons.

1.Talking to yourself is the first sign you’re going crazy

Rebuttal: Talking to yourself is the first sign that you need an expert opinion but are surrounded by idiots people whom are not experts.

  1. Hearing Things

Rebuttal: Different from hearing voices because sometimes you hear people calling your name, or the phone ringing, or someone saying: “is that a new jacket”. Guess what it’s called an echo. A mental echo.

Side note: a mental echo is something I definitely made up, I have no actual knowledge of psychology.

  1. Staring into middle space

You know how in movies people pick up photographs of their family and descend into flashbacks? That doesn’t happen in real life. In real life if we want to think deeply about something, we don’t have to stare at anything and we can think. And do you know how hard it is to stare at nothing? It’s literally the space in between you and the thing that is away from you. It actually a talent so maybe you should be encouraging it.

  1. Deja Vu

You know what. I’m not telling you I’m experiencing Déjà vu because I am experiencing Déjà vu. I’m experiencing the same story or bullshit assignment that I received yesterday or last week, or sometime between the time we met and now. I am being passive aggressive. I’m holding back from aggressive aggressive.

  1. You can’t remember where you left things

I’m sorry, is it tied to my wrist!? Then chances are I can’t be 100% sure where it is. But I have a mental list of the top three places it will be. How about you go find your own stapler. Or the one you probably stole from my top drawer, or the shelf near the kettle, or the filing cabinet where I just was.

  1. Temporarily forgetting your name

*ring ring*

*pick up*

“Welcome to Worky-work-work, this is… Um. This is. Just give me a sec.” It happens to the best of us. And by the best of us – I mean me. God help me when 3:30pm comes around, I space. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know who I am. You should consider yourself lucky that I remembered what the ringing sound meant. I’m as good as a trained monkey at this point. Why don’t you just call back tomorrow at 10am when I’m coffee-refreshed, or maybe at 5:30pm when I’ll watch the phone ring for a bit, before leaving the office skipping gaily.

Also, while doing some research, my room mate, Angostura (code name obvs) pointed out this article to me. Good for a read.

How to quit your job

In this life, we may occasionally find ourselves in a position that is wanting. Certain qualities that we believe, or have been led to believe are necessary to ultimate happiness and success. Maybe it is money or power. Maybe its fear-based respect, competency-based respect, benefits, location, proximity to adequate coffee, whatever. In the instance we discover a lacking of something we perceive as important for a ‘good job’ we almost simultaneously feel the need to move on. A change in the wind, if you will.

However you come about the desire to quit, however you come about the means to financially support yourself post-resigning, there is a moment of quiet reflection on how you should really go about it.

The following three modes of resignation are outlined below.

The: ‘I may need this reference/position again in a month’ quit

Otherwise known as, the respectful resign. This quit is only really ever done if you are remaining in the same industry, or you have a few reservations about moving into the new job.

How to do it.

  1. Apologise profusely.
  2. Make it clear you are only doing it because you are offered something greater than what you are currently receiving. Hard facts are your only option here. More benefits, better pay, closer to home, etc.
  3. Buy your own ‘going away’ cake and make sure its chocolate so that everyone likes it, and remembers you fondly.

Note: you will still be forgotten in a month.

The ‘Fuck this shit. I’m out’ quit

Otherwise known as, the breaking point. Maybe this has been a long time coming. Maybe it’s out of the blue. But some idiot has taken it too far and you need to get out, get anywhere, get all the way to the NYC.  Immediately.

How to do it:

  1. Walk into upper management office with current work pile. If your work is computer based – print off a few emails and spreadsheets for effect. This will substitute as a symbolic ‘work pile’.
  2. Set fire to paperwork and throw on desk, into the air, or hand to a passer-by.
  3. Walk out backwards giving him/her/them the finger. You will get a better effect if you can do this with both hands.

Note: falling or stumbling will ruin the entire show so if you are inherently clumsy, a strongly worded email will suffice.

The ‘I don’t like confrontation’ quit

You don’t want to work there anymore and you don’t want to talk about it. But they have your contact details so when you don’t show up to work on Monday they could call or get the police to stop by your house to make sure you haven’t had your face eaten off by the neighbour cats.

How to do it:

  1. Best done over the phone, email, or by telling your buddy at the office to pass along a pink or lime green post-it note to the boss when he/she is on lunch break or has gone home for the day.
  2. Create a ridiculous reason for leaving: you want to join the circus, you must eat-love-pray in India (or wherever), or you have been informed by your doctor that you are allergic to answering phones. This way your boss will think he/she is well rid of you because you’re clearly crazy.

Note: Make sure you don’t have anything you want to keep at your desk because craziness cannot be premeditated.

You’re missing the world… It’s pretty ordinary

If there is one thing that having no internet for a solid month has taught me, it’s that you feel mighty stupid writing blog posts and then saving them into a folder instead of sharing them with the world. I’m pretty much just writing a diary at the moment. Hopefully my internet will be connected soon and then I won’t feel like such a loser. Either that or I should go out and buy some smiley face stickers and doodle love hearts on my computer screen and really commit.

Dear Diary.

You are an inanimate object with no regards or knowledge to the fact that I am writing in you.

No wonder people don’t often do this.

A-wol. (That’s my hood name)

 

Calm down Amy, this is a diary – no room for street cred here.

See this is why you can’t have a diary. You know you’re just talking to yourself.

I’m out.

There is also a secondary teaching in having no internet and that is my having been forced to interact with the outside world. And by that I purely mean having coffee outside and glaring at everyone who walks past. I normally don’t notice people judging my short skirt if my nose is in my phone. I normally don’t have to watch people bicker in public when I can easily go to the comments section of any viral post to witness a decent (occasionally well-structured) argument. Does anyone else notice how bright it is out here? I think my skin is hyperventilating from the large amounts of Vitamin D it’s sucking up. I also think our O-zone layer is definitely thinning because I don’t remember it being so bright outside in my childhood.

What I’m trying to say is… What’s so wrong living through the rose coloured glass of a laptop screen?  The internet loves me more than the real world anyway!

I don’t like to think how much people become addicted to the internet and branding themselves to the world at large but it becomes glaringly obvious when you have to witness people doing the day to do day things. Instagram is filled with glammed girls and boys who look nothing like my friends Facebook is filled with these life events – look how in love we are, look how fancy vodka-lime-soda’s make me look, check out my selfie of the day that comes with the literary quote of a book I’ve clearly never read.

We got obsessed fast and accepted it like it was cute. Nope, this is the generation of narcissists – and while I may not be the selfie queen like some of my peers – I do essentially write a diary and put it on the internet like it’s everybody’s business. You tend to forget there is a whole world continuing on out there that isn’t going to change because another hundred people think you got cute since high school.

So I guess it doesn’t really matter if you participate in the world, because it’s only going to end up twisted in the archives for future generations. The official records for nearly everything is just a load of makeup and filters on an otherwise plain corporation.

I love this time for the sake of Netflix, literature, and really excellent red wine jus. But the state of social standing is a bit of a laugh. And we all know it. But we will still do it.

How to pacify the ghost you live with

Let me just start by saying, this isn’t a metaphor.  The ghost I live with isn’t the regrets I have or the things I never accomplished or the fears I’ll never face. It is an angry, door slamming, tapping on the table and calling my name from the kitchen. WHAT IS IT GARY! WHAT DO YOU WANT! I named the ghost Gary.

Rule 1: Don’t name your ghost.

No one wants to be named Gary. Not even people who are actually named Gary want to be named Gary. It may have become easier to reference him in real time, but it wasn’t worth the doors slamming at two in the morning, or the airconditioner breaking in the midst of the hottest week of the summer.

Rule 2: Don’t smoke it out.

I tried a few things to smoke him out and on to the afterlife. Incense, Glen 20, burning chicken chippies so badly they reverted back to their original carbon based form. To be honest, most of those things were to get the smell of no-longer-chicken-chippies out of my house. You could live with the ghost of Jack the Ripper but it really wouldn’t be as bad as having your house smell like wet cigarettes.

Rule 3: Remember that it is human

I made him a Netflix account. Netflix came to Australia last week. It was extremely convenient because the next week the Australian government passed the data retention law. In an effort to ‘catch the terrorists’ they can now track all the things we do online faster than you can say “double plus good”. But obviously I have NOTHING TO FEAR BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE.

Side note: how super hard is it to be sarcastic in 2D?

But I digress.  I found myself with the OPPORTUNITY to download the Australian version (read: subpar) of Netflix. You come to this little section after they lure you in with the free for month trial where you can make four different accounts. “Who will be watching” they ask. And you are encouraged to make four accounts for the four people who live in your house.

“Drat” say I, out loud because no one was home and I was starting to hear the blood rushing in and out of my head in the immense silence.

“What can I call the third account! Guest? Other?”

Then came the breeze on the back of my neck. In a house that was the air version of a swamp. Seriously nothing in and nothing out. There may have only been three people living in the house, but there were four people in the house.

Shani (housemate/sister) didn’t approve. Her coping method for living with a malevolent spirit is to pretend it doesn’t exist. You can imagine how well it went down when she discovered that Gary had become so fully fledged as to have a Netflix account. She’s going to faaaareak when she discovers he has been watching David Attenborough, Clueless, and That 70’s Show for the last week.