Summer Festivals!

A couple of years ago, my slightly delicate friend and I attended the Byron Bay Bluesfest where we camped in the rain and danced in the mud.

Despite the weather I had a blast. My friend on the other hand, never really got into the spirit of it. I was never sure if this was because of the colony of ants that decided to take up residence in her backpack or the fact that she somehow contracted whooping cough and ended up in quarantine, but whatever it was, she just didn’t enjoy herself. Strange.

Either way, festivals are not for everyone. You need a lot of energy, patience and a high tolerance threshold for less than hygienic environs. If you possess these qualities then going to a festival is just about the most fun you can possibly have in gumboots.

Here are a few more tips for a smoother festival:

Don’t – smuggle in contraband by taping it to your legs, stomach or genitals – you’ll appear malformed, cheap and stupid. Whether you get caught in the act or not.

Do – avoid festival sex. You’re a bit smelly and your only real option for ‘privacy’ is a tent. Need I say more?

Don’t – camp within a 5 minute radius of the toilets. Don’t be fooled into thinking it will be ‘useful’ to be that close. It will quickly become apparent that you need to breathe fresh, pure air, untainted by poo.

Do – pack your supplies in a backpack. It is a mistake to think you can drag a suitcase across a field. Even if it has got wheels.

Don’t – be THAT guy/gal who brings the acoustic guitar. Just put it away. That is what the bands are for.

Do – strategize before you go, but keep it flexible for some aimless wandering time, discovering new bands and chatting to random people. No one likes a festival Nazi with a laminated excel spreadsheet of bands.

Do – decide on a meeting place with your friends. There’s nothing more irritating than walking around in muddy circles looking for your errant mates.

Don’t – forget to keep hydrated. Although there is fine line between drinking plenty of water and queuing for the amenities, you’ll feel much better in the long run.

Do – dance like a madman, talk to everyone, sing at the top of your lungs and fall exhausted into your tent every night.


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When parents join Facebook

I’ve noticed an interesting trend lately amongst my friends. They seem to be using Facebook less and less, turning to other forms of social media like WhatsApp and Snapchat.

There is one main reason for this – parents.

When you’re trying to communicate with your friends on social media, the last thing you want is your parents wading in on the conversation. In the real world it’s the equivalent of your mum not knocking on the door before she enters your room.

Facebook has become a minefield of potential parent disaster and embarrassment. At the very least some of them don’t understand that Facebook is public and that posts can be viewed by everyone. More worryingly, the more tech savvy parents have recognised the potential for humiliation and are wreaking a terrible revenge upon us.

Of course some parents still just don’t understand the concept of the internet…

Facebook is not Google

See? Facebook is just like Google if you keep working at it. I wonder how the chicken casserole turned out…





Public humiliation dad


There’s no denying that Dad is funny, but is it worth risking his daughter’s love? According to Matthew, yes. Yes it is.


Pun-tastic mum


‘I want’ gets a pun-tastic mum.


Tough love dad

tough love

Poor Sam. Torn apart by love multiple times and his insensitive dad just trampled all over his teenage angst. Is nothing sacred? Nope, not when parents join Facebook. At least the garage is clean.

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Student Urban Dictionary

Looking up words on Urban Dictionary is an activity fraught with danger. Innocence has been lost and monstrosities have been born.

For example, I could never understand why my fellow bartenders at uni would collapse with howls of hysterical laughter whenever I would jauntily say ‘See you next Tuesday!’ as I finished my shift. That was until one of them took pity on me and told me to look it up on Urban Dictionary. Tuesday has never been the same since.

Despite the fact that you can look up pretty much any weird looking word on UD and it will mean performing a questionable sexual act or will be another word for ‘camel-toe’, there are some occasional flashes of genius.

Here are my top ten student related favourites:

1. Antistalking
Methodically learning another person’s routine in order to systematically avoid them.

‘Harry is antistalking his professor today because he didn’t finish his essay’

2. Chipmunking
Cramming for an exam by listening to recorded lectures at double speed.

‘Dude, I totally haven’t revised for this exam. I’m gonna have to chipmunk it.’

3. College morning
The afternoon.

‘See you in the college morning for coffee?’

4. Dweet
To tweet while drunk.

‘OMG, don’t ever let me dweet again!’

5. Friendscaping
Trimming ones friends lists on various social media sites.

‘Hey Pete, why aren’t we Facebook friends anymore?’ ‘Oh, yeah, I was just doing some friendscaping and I realised you were boring.’

6. Ninja Sex
Silent sex while your roommate sleeps.

‘I woke up this morning and Simon had someone else in his bed! He totally had ninja sex last night.’

7. Peegret
Remorse for leaving the bar without having first relieved oneself.

‘Oh god, I’ve got bad peegret right now. I’m going to have to go in this bush.’

8. Rendezbooze
A designated time and place to drink with friends.

‘Let’s rendezbooze on Wednesday, yeah?’

9. Struggle bus
A particularly heavy course load.

‘Man, I’ve got a struggle bus this term.’

10. Sniff test
An olfactory examination of previously worn clothing.

‘This shirt is completely fine, I did the sniff test before I put it on.’


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The Photobomb

In its most primitive form, photobombing is merely being THAT person who, just before the photo is taken, sticks their fingers above someone’s head so it looks like they have ‘horns’ or ‘ears’. Not very funny.

Luckily, with the advent of digital technology, photobombing has evolved into an artform involving a massive amount of logistical analysis to achieve exquisite comic timing.

Of course sometimes the exquisite comic timing is purely accidental, which must make the professionals crazy with rage at the universe.

Here is a selection of my favourites to give you some ideas on how to produce the perfect bomb.

Granny bomb


I think we can all agree that Granny has performed a magnificent photobomb.


Historic bomb

This historic photo depicts the first ever ‘bomb’. And what an amazing specimen it is. Have a really good look…found it?


Clown bomb

This bomb will haunt my dreams forever. They are so innocent of the terror behind them!


Emu bomb

‘What kind of camera are you using? Is it a Canon Digital SLR? Nice, very nice’.


Pigeon bomb

After becoming bored with the classic lunch dive-bomb, this pigeon went for the more ambitious photobomb. Well played, rat-of-the-sky. Well played.


Ray bomb

‘Do you feel like something’s behind us? Yeah, there’s definitely something behind us…just try to keep smiling.’ ‘Ok, I’ll try’.


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The art of the passive-aggressive note

Like the invention of email for office workers, the art of the passive-aggressive note saves cowardly people from having to confront their irritating housemates in a socially awkward interaction.

The point of the note is to make the aforementioned irritating housemate express their thanks and gratitude for bringing this to their attention and profusely apologise from being a total dick (preferably in note form, thus avoiding the need to speak about it ever).

Of course, the reality is that on receipt of the note the irritating housemate a) doesn’t see what the problem is, b) thinks you are over reacting and therefore c) thinks you’re a total dick.

Personally, I am all for the cowards way out. Last time I verbally confronted my housemate about doing the dishes it descended into a slanging match where she cried and I shouted disdainfully ‘so you’re going to CRY like a GIRL now are you?’ Not my finest hour.

Here are some of my faves from the world of passive-aggressive notes:

The Traditional

If it’s double underlined, they really mean it.


The Disgusting

I am frankly amazed at this particular note. Firstly, who chews gum in the shower? Secondly, who REPEATEDLY chews gum in the shower? Thirdly, shouldn’t they have laminated the note to make it waterproof? I do, however, appreciate the attention to plural grammar by the third housemate.



Steve sounds lovely.


The Break-Up

This note makes me sad. Lenny and Justin used to get on so well.


The Conciliatory

Ahhh, that’s nice. Now do the bloody dishes.


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Historical Hotties

We live in society obsessed with surface and image, where the talents of the fugly go unnoticed in preference of those who rock a hot bod.

Being a total babe myself, I’m completely fine with the shallow perceptions of today’s contemporary society. But why stop at contemporary society when there is a whole untapped source of hotness from the ‘ye olden days’? There are loads of playwrights, authors, politicians and painters who were the celebrities of their day and a lot of them were smokin’.* Oh and made a massive contribution to our cultural landscape and all that crap.

Check out these historical hotties:

Anton Chekhov

Every playwrights pin up. I’ve also heard that the lovely Anton was also quite good at turning a phrase. And as if that wasn’t enough, he was also a fully qualified doctor.

Chekhov says: “Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress.”

Oh stop it, Anton.

Karl Marx

Pre the massive bushy beard that he became to be well known for later on in life (along with a couple of little books he wrote about economics), Marx was a total broodingly handsome hottie with his shock of thick luscious hair and big soulful eyes.

Marx says: ‘Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution.’

You betcha, Marxy.


Charlotte Brontë

Also known as ‘The total fox of literature’, Charlotte had a couple of sisters who were sadly not as hot as Charlotte. I believe they also wrote a few books. Whatever.

Charlotte says: ‘I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected.’

Such a flirt.


Pablo Picasso

Although best known and admired for his peerless cravat stylings, you may also like to know that Picasso was a dab hand with the paint brush. Mainly though he was Spanish and good looking.

Picasso says: ‘Every act of creation is first an act of destruction’.



Louisa May Alcott

Mainly from the success of her ‘come hither’ eyes and flawless skin, LM sold a few books about Little Women.

Louisa says: ‘The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.’

Such a cutie.


*obviously, these people are dead. Probably not a good idea to try and tap their asses.



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Shoestring trips

‘Is that weird, taking my Louis Vuitton bag camping?’
Jessica Simpson

Work and poverty doesn’t mean that the modern student can’t go on holiday. It just takes creativity and a more philosophical approach to the concept of ‘luxury’.

So now, that you’ve (un)ceremoniously burned your exam notes* it’s time to embrace your youth, freedom and shoestring for an adventure into the wide blue yonder. Here are a couple of suggestions to send you on your way.

The quintessential student trip. See life enriching sights and meet inspirational people. And that’s just in the YHA’s. Once, I was sharing a dorm with a lady in a youth hostel and she offered me a piece of cake which I thought was very generous. Then she charged me $4.00. True story.

The do-gooder volunteer
Building a school, planting some trees, teaching kids to read – the do-gooder option is a winner. It will change your outlook on life, look smugly impressive on your CV and will hopefully include food and lodging.

A bunch of mates in a remote beauty spot, camping out under the stars without a care in the world. That either sounds like
heaven to you or, if you’re slightly twisted, the opening scene of a horror movie.

Adrenaline fuelled
Bungee jumping! Kite-boarding! Abseiling! White-water rafting! Laugh in the face of exam stress and jump on a plane to Queenstown. And then jump out of one.

The day trip
The ultimate shoestring holiday. Bathing on the Northern beaches? Meandering in the Blue Mountains? Pile into the back of your mate’s car, turn up the tunes and discover a brand new hidden gem of Sydney.

*or tabbed and filed them, which is obviously the option I endorse


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Apps for procrastinators

Procrastination is the nemesis of every student’s life. The bane, the black abyss, the nadir. It’s amazing how interesting even contemplating the dirty dishes is when faced with the blank page of a 3000 word essay yet to be written.

Luckily, with the help of modern technology, you can combat this debilitating problem in the form of the app. Usually an enemy of the procrastinator (I’ve lost years of my life to bloody Angry Birds – I hate those stupid birds) the app can now be your friend and help you Get Shit Done.

Here’s a selection of apps for you to procrastinate over.

Pomodoro Timer 
A smart student cookie called Francisco Cirillo developed a time management method in the 1980’s and by some crazy Italian logic decided to name it after the humble tomato – hence ‘Pomodoro’. It involves using a timer to break down tasks into 25 minute bite size chunks (which old Francisco called ‘Pomodori’ – cute!) which are separated by short breaks.

The technique has now been developed into a handy app, also called Pomodoro, and has become an essential classic of GSD.

Billed as the productivity app with personality, CARROT is absolutely terrifying. If you don’t pull your finger out and DO the things on your to-do list, CARROT gets nasty. Eventually, you become CARROT’s bitch, and finish your tasks to please your master.

If that isn’t enough app sadism for you, there is the additional CARROT alarm clock, which makes you complete a series of tasks in order to shut it off.

Like I said, terrifying.

Drop Box
Not strictly an app but more like a gift from the gods, Drop Box is totally essential if, like me, you’re a bit crap at filing and moving around a lot. So simple, that even your pet cat could use it because – IT PUTS EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE! Simple, but genius. Download Drop Box to your PC, Mac, laptop, iPad, iPhone/Smartphone and you will never lose a file ever again ever.

Zombie! RUUUUNNNN!!!

Zombie, Run!
Running. It’s so good for you and yet so boooorrrrriiinng. So you put it off in favour of the much more interesting beer.

But what if you were running from roving Zombie hoards and the salvation of an entire town relied on you getting supplies?

Welcome to Zombie, Run! the app that makes running fun by placing you in a virtual reality apocalypse. Incorporate your own music as the soundtrack and plot your chosen route as you attempt to collect food, medicine and ammo for the township. You can even incorporate interval training by adding in a particularly fast zombie chase. If you win you might get a glass of brains. I mean beer.


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Autocorrect fail

Thank goodness for the smartphone. The technology that allows you to bitch about people behind their backs more freely by reducing the chance of accidentally sending the message to the person you’re bitching about. Especially if that person happens to be your boss.

You: ‘LOL, I can’t believe the boss was actually wearing a blue and black suit combo today! What a total tool!’

You: ‘No…no…NO…NO NO NO NOOOOOO!!!’

Boss: ‘Let’s talk about this tomorrow’.

Happily, the embarrassing mis-sent text has been replaced by the accidentally hilarious autocorrect function. SMARTphones my arse.

Here are my favourites…

Double Mammy

The classic double autocorrect fail.


Sweet Treat

These two are so cute and cuddly that even their autocorrect fail is like something out of a Disney movie. Seriously? ‘Pookie Bear’?


Parent Plea

Such a desperate, lonely plea from a parent new to the perils of autocorrect.


Stick to Soup

This just makes me want to know the back-story to their relationship….I’m sensing some tension.


And finally…my absolute all-time favourite

Surely, SURELY the most awkward communication exchange of all time and space. Can you even imagine how badly that teacher conference must have gone?

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Rituals of Genius

Coffee. Coffee. Looking out the window. Coffee. Glass of water to dilute the coffee. Toilet break. Sigh, fidget. Look at Lunch.

That is pretty much the sum total of my own personal ritual for getting down to some serious creative thought. As you can probably imagine, I get shitloads done in a very long space of time.

But, I hear you ask, what strange and wonderful daily rituals do the genius’ of the past and present employ to GSD? Just so happens that during one of my more productive bouts of ‘work’, I stumbled across these fascinating characters.

Be a morning person
Although it may pain you to hear it, the early bird does indeed catch the creatively juicy worm. Author Ernest Hemingway would get up at 5.30am every morning to get down to producing some quality literature, despite his massive hangovers.

And the admirable but completely nuts novelist Nicholson Baker would get up at 4.30am because he liked the ‘befuddled’ feeling in his brain of getting up so early.

Have a cup of coffee
Beethoven was The Don of morning coffee. He would rise early from his slumber to make one perfect cup of strong coffee which he would prepare himself. This involved the laborious process of counting out 60 coffee beans, which I assume was the reason he had to get up so bloody early.

At the other end of the bean spectrum is bonkers Balzac who had 50 cups of the black stuff a day. Rather unsurprisingly he died of heart failure at 51.

Take an air bath
Now, the more literal minded of you are probably thinking that this must involve nudity. And you would be absolutely correct. In order to get himself in the mood for founding a nation, Benjamin Franklin liked to sit stark bollock naked by an open window before going to the office. We can only assume that he would have donned the wig for this activity, although sadly there are no reports to verify this detail.

Have a midday snifter
Probably the most fun daily ritual is the consumption of alcohol. Amongst the numerous instances of the abuse of Absinthe (hideous stuff) there is the comparatively civilised midday cocktail, as fully endorsed by V.S. Pritchett. This British writer enjoyed slamming down a Martini before commencing the afternoon slog. Probably worth a go…

My favourite of all the work rituals though, has to be the brilliantly niche technique employed by philosopher and poet Friedrich Schiller. He could only work efficiently in the presence of the smell of rotting apples. Genius.


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