On the phrase ‘man up’, and the correct response.

Another magnificent piece of poetry, and another beautifully articulated argument for the utter abolishment of these ridiculous gender roles. I’m starting to become a real fan of Button Poetry.

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Brief rant about Abbott’s idiot rampage.

Here’s a wonderful (and by that I mean tragic and enraging) summary of what the pathetic excuse for a Prime Minister Tony Abbott has done thus far. 
I’m so mad at everyone who voted him in out of apathy, out of ignorance, out of idiocy. I’m so mad at all of them. Tony Abbott is shitting all over my country. 

Dammit, where’s Captain Planet when you need him?

“You can’t taste these radioactive elements, you can’t see them, you can’t smell them.”

This video about the Fukushima plant’s nuclear radiation is scary, but I think it’s highly important you all watch it.

Another really clear indication that solar power is crucial to the future of the planet. Also, I think, another reason to rethink what you consume: where does it come from? What does it go through before it gets to you?
On a slightly related note, buying locally made, organic foods and, if you can, growing veggies and fruits and herbs instead of buying packaged ones is the way to go. Maybe it’s more expensive, or maybe it’s a lot of effort, but it’s fucking worth it, in my opinion. 

Language is a murrracle

I am fascinated by this video which shows the different dialects in the U.S.A. and I would absolutely love to see one done for Australia. Maybe it’s already been done; I’m going to do some research. If it hasn’t, I should probably make it happen. 

I remember when I was about twelve my older brother interviewed me for his linguistics class and asked me to read out a series of words like lieutenant, hue, pew, etc. and I found it really interesting. I also mispronounced ‘pew’ as ‘poo’ because I wasn’t familiar with the word, and my brother cried with laughter. 

The poetry of comfort eating

FEELING: The one where the sudden knowledge that someone will never love you drops into your brain chilly and small like a marble through gelatin, and whether it’s right or wrong it can never be extracted through that same neat bloodless tunnel; you will need to plunge your hand in after it and tear up everything.

HOW TO EAT IT: Bread pudding. Mac and cheese.

As someone with a long history of feelings-induced food binges (stress-eating throughout my entire degree and heartbreak chocolate throughout break-ups each get an honourable mention), I find this collection hilarious, poetic, and accurate. This one is my favourite, but they’re all brilliant.
A Guide to Eating Very Particular Feelings.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

I love Slutever and so I want to share her basic rules for having sex with people without socially shooting yourself in the foot.
(So much of this is pretty obvious but then so many people in the world are just walking through life with their heads up they arses, so there you go.)
From Karley Sciortino (aka Slutever):

Don’t sleep with a friend’s boyfriend; don’t sleep with a friend’s serious ex; don’t sleep with someone you plan on having an ongoing professional relationship with (often a hard one!); don’t sleep with close friends (unless you don’t mind that the dynamic of your friendship with most likely change after sex); and… don’t sleep with a bunch of people within the same friend group.

Obviously, like everything in life, there are circumstantial exceptions, but overall I think these are great guidelines for avoiding massive social blow-ups/being labelled a ‘fucktard’.
I would probably add ‘don’t sleep with a married man’, ‘don’t sleep with ANYone’s boyfriend’, ‘don’t sleep with your housemate’, but then I’m funny like that.

If that ‘don’t sleep with a friend’s serious ex’ part is at all confusing, this is a fantastic little flowchart by writer Kelly Williams Brown that clarifies it all quite nicely.

Words with no English equivalent

So, a while ago, one of my favourite bloggers (and favourite people) Olive Brown posted a link to a list of incredible words with no English equivalent. It warms my heart. 

I think we (Australians; New Zealanders; probably Britons and North American native English-speakers) are sort of conditioned to think of English as superior, since it is so widely spoken and accepted as THE international language (I think maybe it is the lingua franca of the world, but correct me if I’m wrong…) when, really, other languages are amazing in ways that are unimaginable until you learn a second language, which, incidentally, I think everyone in the world should do.

So anyway, far less impressive and poetic than the above link, I think quite lovely in its own humble way, here is my list of the best Spanish words that have no English equivalent:

  • ‘Anteayer’ – This word simply means ‘the day before yesterday’. Why does English not have a word for this?!
  •  ‘Parluegos’ –  An abbreviation of ‘para luego’ which means ‘for later’, this refers to the bits of food you get stuck in your teeth when you eat chips/corn/popcorn/broccoli.*
  • ‘Sopicama’ – It’s just the word for soup ‘sopa’ and the word for bed ‘cama’ squished together, and it refers to just that: soup in bed. You know, the microwave soup you have in bed when you’re sick, or the cup-a-noodle soup you drunkenly make yourself and then eat in bed after a night out. (No? Just me?)**

    *This is, I’m fairly certain, Madrid-specific Spanish slang.
    **I’m not going to lie, my friend Jaime actually invented this word but I think it’s brilliant and I will continue to advocate its usage in all hispanic countries throughout the world. 

The ethics of underwear shopping

I strive as much as possible to only buy second-hand clothing.

I do this partly because it’s a recipe for a more individualised ‘look’ (ugh hate that expression), partly because it’s (mostly) cheaper, partly because I like ‘vintage’ styles and find stuff I’d wear more than I do in popular chain stores, and partly I do it because it is sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and ethically sound in a way that a new dress from Topshop definitely is not.
The quality of ‘pre-loved’ clothing rarely bothers me; if it isn’t slightly stained/torn/worn/pilled already, it will quickly become so in my (lack of) care.

I tend to scour op-shops, vintage stores, markets, and Etsy for dresses, boots, hats, scarves, coats… anything I might like to add to my beloved collection of garments. Yeah, occasionally I’ll buy something new from, say, Topshop/H&M/i.d.s. and feel kind of shit about it but those moments are few and far between. I also sometimes buy new things that are fair-trade or locally made, but really, on the whole, I buy most of my clothing second-hand, and I do it without too much bother.

However, I obviously can’t buy second-hand underwear.
Aside from the fact that it’s pretty taboo and kind of gross, it’s just not available. Second-hand bras is fine except I never find any nice ones, and second-hand knickers is just not on.

So for a while now, I’ve been settling for American Apparel’s high-waisted black lace knickers, because even if they’re made all the way in the U.S., at least I know they’re sweatshop free, which is something. It’s definitely not a long-term solution because damn, they’re expensive and, believe it or not, there are some outfits for which waist-high black lace undies just aren’t appropriate underwear.

My question is this: where the flip does one buy underwear that’s made in an environmentally-safe manner (i.e. NOT in a factory that’s pumping toxicity into rivers in China), either locally made or fair-trade, from material that is breathable, and at a reasonable price?Oh, and high-waisted, and PRETTY, too??!

Sidenote: this whole issue also applies to stockings/tights.