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TIFU

Sigh.  It’s poem time, guys—and for those who don’t know, ‘tifu’ stands for ‘today I fucked up’.  And I did.  Lesson learned: never ever use your photos from facebook anywhere else.

_____________________________________________________

I decided one day it was finally time,
For a new adventure (which I’ll tell you in rhyme).
After four years of single, and in a new State,
It was once more time to look for a mate.

My horizons had broadened, and I signed up
(though I wish that I hadn’t, had the strength to say ‘nup’)
To online dating – OkCupid to be precise,
How I wish I hadn’t! (It bears saying twice.)

After 48 hours of constant distress –
‘Likes’ and messages, it was a huge mess –
I felt like I was drowning under the tide of desperation,
Too much work responding to would-be flirtation.

So I closed my profile with a great sigh,
And couldn’t care less that I found not a guy.
It was all over – what a relief! –
Then someone hunted me down (oh disbelief!).

It turns out this guy had downloaded my pics,
I don’t know why – perhaps just for kicks?
When he found that my profile was now deleted,
He didn’t stop – oh no, he wasn’t defeated.

Instead he used reverse image search, our Google Overlord –
One of my pics was on fb – I’ve fallen on my sword.
Despite being hidden from all search engines,
It didn’t get in the way of this guy’s intentions.

He’s now tried to add me, and sent me a message,
Of depth and length rather impressive.
It’s left me creeped and invaded – how fantastic!
(And “cos now we’re saying it,” that was sarcastic.)

At least there is ‘block’, and I’ve learned my lesson:
No online dating, no responding – and hopefully no more transgression.

_____________________________________________________

I am so creeped out!!!!!

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Hands Down

Some of the alternate names for this post which had me giggling inappropriately on the train:

  • All Hands on Deck
  • The Handover
  • Pants Party
  • The Masturbation Poem (less euphemism, more accuracy)

Today a friend commented on an article which suggested, through fallacious ‘science’, that people should masturbate less.  I wasn’t quite sure if it was a joke.  I mean, who doesn’t like orgasms?!  Robots?!  (News-flash with an emphasis upon the ‘flash’: I’m pretty sure even robots like orgasms, biological imperative or not).  Haha and under the heading of ‘Men: 5 Reasons to Stop Masturbating ASAP’, it had a picture of what was obviously a woman’s hand.  Sexy good times for all!!  (Note that I’m hoping the article was an April Fool’s joke, but either way there are a lot of people who appear to have bought into it, which makes me sad face.)

So now, with no further foreplay delay, I present to you a poem about masturbation.  It’s not even an angry poem this time—I just thought it would be fun.  Enjoy!  (I know you will.  Ayyyy.  😉 😉 ;))

I had a talk with my phone today,
It was being quite contrary.
It would not type ‘masturbation’
(I think it thought it lairy.)
And so I was forced instead to use
A little imagination
And I found some euphemisms
To suit my sweet flirtation.

To wank, to jerk, to flick the bean,
To come into your own;
To shake the snake, a solo flight,
Dial the rotary phone.
Tame the shrew, work one out,
Teach the Cyclops the lambada;
Wrist aerobics, digitise,
Show yourself some ardour.
Playing naked air guitar,
Giving a low five;
Spank the monkey, find yourself,
Do the downstairs jive.
Spin a record, choke the chicken,
Play upside-down piano,
Have safe sex, do handiwork
Give yourself a go.

We’ve heard all about going blind
And growing hairy palms
So instead I’ll list the goods,
To sooth all of your qualms.
Now listen up dear reader,
The benefits go on for hours
But the most important is that
It gives you super-powers!
I swear I am not lying,
though there’s more to tell.
(And let’s face it, masturbation
is an easy sell).
It helps you wake, it helps you sleep
Stops cancer of the prostate,
Reduces cramps and yeast infections
what a happy state!
Improves muscle tone and orgasms,
For both women and men
And the best part of it all
is it releases endorphins.
‘And what are these endorphins?’
I think I hear you say,
They’re the things that make you feel good
When you have a play.
Then of course there’s oxytocin
Which makes you want to hug.
It makes the world a cuddly place,
it’s a great old drug.
And you know what this means, right?
If these things you increase?
With happiness and cuddles,
We’ll bring on global peace!
Then there’s the boost to your immune
system (I’m a fan)
Between that and better sleeping, and lower blood pressure, and learning how to have multiple orgasms, and coping better with stress, and being more focused, and fighting depression, and increasing self-esteem, and helping with chronic pain
It makes you super(wo)man.

The time has come now my dear friends,
my readers smart and fools
To suggest a couple of things to you
which you might consider rules.
One thing that is quite popular
amongst all sorts of folk.
Is auto-erotic asphyxiation
(that’s where yourself you choke).
But you must be careful, friend,
For thousands meet their end;
So if you want to cut down on your air,
Always invite a friend ;).
If you’re given to materials,
there’s one thing to remember:
If you confuse porn with sex
You’re like to be dismembered.
Another thing, a little tip,
You’ll want to think about
The slight miscommunication
In the phrase to ‘rub one out’.
This doesn’t mean outside, my dears
(well, maybe on occasion)
Don’t be seen by kids or unwilling,
or you’re off to the station.
(I see a raised hand at the back—
You have a question, pet?
Why yes my dear, I did forget
Not on chatroulette).
One last thing, ‘fore we get back
To matters at hand,
Don’t use those who don’t want you
To get to orgaz-land.
This means that without invitation,
No pressure over text.
And certainly no calling them
While you’re giving yourself the sex.
Cos people are not toys, my dear
Though there’s stores for that
And while we’re on the topic,
Let’s have a little chat.
If you’re open-minded,
There’s some things you can try
And the internet’s your market,
If you want to buy.
There’s dildos and dil-don’ts of course,
and vibrators, to boot
Then flesh-lights for the guys as well;
The need I’ll not dispute.

And now my friends, my job is done,
I’ve discussed bodies’ demands
And now you’ve the information,
I’ll leave you in good hands 😉

___________________________________

  • Laci Green, a sex-positive youtuber and blogger.
  • SourceFedNerd’s TableTalk on the stigma around male sex toys.  Also includes hilarious impressions of male vs female orgasms.  (They talk about shoes for quite a long time first–the show’s amazing anyway, but it skips to the above at 13:00).
  • Ian Kerner, sex-positive psych and an amazing writer

A Poem for Tony

There are a few things which make me angry. Pretty high on that list are sexism, racism, climate change deniers, stupidity, and people who are bad at their jobs. As you can imagine, therefore, I’m not a big fan of the current Australian Government. In fact, the last federal election sent me into an unparalleled fb friend cull, and I still can’t talk about it without getting a rage headache. Not just rage at the politicians you understand, but at those morons who were uneducated, greedy or simply short-sighted enough to vote for them. (Deep breaths Laura, deep breaths).

Now, as we’ve seen before, when I get angry I like to write angry poems (to Greyhound coaches; to my travel agent). So, here is, as requested, a hopefully cathartic and highly sarcastic explosion at our dear prime minister, Tony Abbott. In verse.


Dearest PM Tony, it’s little old me,
Wanting to say please DO take down ABC.
Impartiality has no place in journalism,
When it compromises values like good Aussie patriotism.Cos I’m just like you, our feelings the same:
To think other nations equal, it’s a crying shame.
You’re doing a great job, don’t listen to journos
Screw those balanced bastards, let’s of them dispose.

And the UN! How dare they suggest
That our actions toward asylum seekers aren’t simply the best?
Protocol on Refugees? Treaties galore?
I didn’t sign ’em, so I say ‘what for?’

And as to these upstarts, the ICJ
Us spying?  Rigging prices?  They’re being led astray.
So don’t worry, dear Tony, I say screw the law
Ignore our commitments with gusto and guffaw.

Then there’s those bloody boat people, how dare they intrude?
And how dare they say their return is so rude?
There’s opportunities where they came from, I can’t believe they’re so lazy
Instead on a cruise–surely they’re crazy!

At least we’re doing a great job, clearing the way,
Immigration’ll nab ’em, once we clear all the cays.
And I’m so glad we’re destroying the Great Barrier Reef
I hate fish, and coral, and tourists, believe!

Then there’s ‘global warming’, what a complete joke
And cancel the carbon tax–what total hoke.
And there’s news that we’ve added to our temperature scale
What reporting is this–another ABC fail?

And speaking of getting hot under the collar,
There’s another thing about which I’ll holler:
Those impudent Canberrans I’ll have to disparage–
They tried to legislate to allow gay marriage!

Thank goodness you were there, Tony, my hero
You destroyed that legislation, set them right back to zero.
Because this ‘love’ between other people is surely our business
How dare they claim rights, it’s all a great menace!

And speaking of things to do with people and beds
What a stroke of genius, giving $200 to newly-weds
And taking it away from disabled and old
Straight marriage is more important: way to be bold!

Then there’s your foreign policy, about which I can’t say
Because all I’m good for is a roll in the hay:
Don’t you worry sir, we’ll get to that bit
Cos, after all, it’s one of your hits.

While Indonesia threatens with missiles and planes,
It’s nothing to me if it goes down the drain.
And as to our vaunted relationship with China?
What do I know?–I’ve got a vagina.

And we all know what that’s good for, don’t we old chap?
It all comes down to what sits in my lap.
You’re the guy who sold his daughters on national TV-
“I’m the one with hot daughters, so vote for me!

But of course you’re right, despite what I thought
It must have been that I was wrongfully taught
Though I’ve got two degrees and have written a book,
I should be despatched to the kitchen and immediately cook.

I know, cos you’ve told me, men have these ‘aptitudes’,
(I can’t believe I’d listened to Y gen attitudes!)
If I did aught but housework, it’d be nothing bar tragic:
I’m good at these things, because vagina magic.

Keep stripping that money from higher education
We don’t need any more qualifications in our great nation.
Cancel the program, cancel the class;
Those ‘professionals’ at unis just sit on their ass.

Then there’s the NBN, the national broadband network
I have a great secret, don’t think I’m a jerk:
This whole internet thing is ‘evil’, it’s plain to see
The train’s full of people staring at phones on their knee.

It’s brought no benefits, it’s not useful for work
We don’t need it for community or to go to the kirk.
And while I guess I admitted in Russia it’s faster,
It’s fine staying slow, ignore these past ‘masters’.

And how could I forget–I love big oil,
Promise you’ll subsidise, and the Greenies you’ll foil.
It’s clear fossil fuels are the way of the future–
And those big mining co’s could sure use a booster.

But back to the fish, and the forests, and trees:
Declassifying World Heritage areas makes you the bees’ knees.
We need no trees in our future, after all, we’re Aussies,
And we know that air’s just as plentiful as mozzies.

I know there’s those reports about Australian living standards–
Second to Norway?  We’ll surely them hand it.
And clearly this sits not on liberties, nor education;
No need for such things to be super-nation.

It sits not on our economy (it matters not you’ve no plan)
Nor on our environment–I think you’re the man!
And obviously we’re intrinsically better than all other places
Take that, rest of the world, up in yo faces.

Because as we all know, it’s not circular logic;
(Which I don’t understand, for reasons gynaecologic)
Australia’s the best, we don’t need to try
So fuck everything, for this job you’re the guy.

Tony: “it dismays Australians when the national broadcaster appears to take everyone’s side but its own and I think it is a problem.”Tony: “[asylum seekers are] people who are attempting to break Australian law” (more links: 1, 2, 3, etc) 

(ICJ =International Court of Justice in the Hague)
Charges by East Timor. Asylum seekers allegedly mistreated; towed to Indonesia, in defiance of international law.Tony: “Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.”

 

Tony: “The climate change argument is absolute crap, however the politics are tough for us because 80 per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony: “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons”; “The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience.”; “What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year…”

kirk = church in older dialects

 

Tony: “Why isn’t the fact that 100,000 women choose to end their pregnancies regarded as a national tragedy approaching the scale, say, of Aboriginal life expectancy being 20 years less than that of the general community?”

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, my prime minister:

54hrs

After a 54-hour journey, I’m safely back in Australia.  And it’s, so, weird.  On the one hand, over the past year, everything’s changed for me; on the other, Sydney is more or less exactly as I left it.  It is amazing to have food I like again, though: hello, raisin toast, snack chocolate, nudie smoothies, Thai spices, and being able to buy whatever I want in supermarkets.  Yes!  I’ve been gorging myself.

It seems completely surreal that this time a week and a half ago (I’d say ‘a week’ but I’ve really lost track of time zones), I was in Colombia.  Which, as you’ll have gathered, was amazing.  I loved it, from meeting incredible people to David Attenborough-ing it up in the Amazon.  There are definitely things I’ll miss other than just the people I met and the experiences I’ve had though, things that were uniquely Colombian.  The air of magic, as I’ve mentioned before (in what turned out to be my most popular post thus far); the music, definitely (buying some Colombian dance music is going on my list); the amazing graffiti in Bogota; the swagger of guys on the bus as they jump off into traffic and usher you on; and of course, the unbelievable friendliness.  Colombians are by far the friendliest, most open people I’ve ever met, and I absolutely loved them for it.

My last evening in Bogota was spent with Laura and Angelica at a local Chia restaurant.  It was a groovy little place actually, with a good menu, cushions rather than chairs, mood lighting and board games.  Needless to say, all of this (barring, perhaps, the board games) meant that the place was otherwise occupied by couples, who were all passing the time by making out against the wall.  It was hilarious!

I was to leave Laura’s place at 2.15am (how awesome were she and her family, by the way—I met her for a couple of hours in Athens nearly two years ago, and they let me live in her house for a few weeks).  I had a 54-hour journey ahead of me back to Sydney, and it did not start well.  At around 4am when I got to the airport to check in, I discovered that my completely incompetent travel agent hadn’t told them I was vegetarian, so I lost my temper and poemed him:

Good morning Ben, it’s a hell of a day,
And I’m sure you’ll be glad to start in this way:
After all, it’s great—what could be better?—
Than receiving a poem, rather than letter.

I will at this point happily admit
That it’s 4 in the morning and I’m feeling a bit
Put out, and tired, and a bit peckish
So it may be that I’ll be a bit feckish.

But we have to talk, it’s true to say
About the service you provide, for which I have paid
And I’ll tell you all (though hardly in confidence,)
About what you’ve done, and gross incompetence.

But where to start?  There’s much to discuss
Perhaps I’ll begin by making a fuss
About your complete lack of timeliness, in responding to emails
It doesn’t take three days to write out some details.

I know I’m a pain and I do change my mind
And I’ll admit, I was surprised to find
Your precursor replaced, it was all quite a shock
And compared to him, you’re easy to mock.

But let’s be fair, I booked flexible flights
(because I knew when I booked them indeed I might
choose to stay longer, or stay not at all
a trap into which I constantly fall.)

And I don’t expect to be told “there’s no way”
Especially when I’m willing to pay
But really?  Two grand?  On top of what was?
I don’t remember reading that clause.

So then I suggested, I ventured ideas
That perhaps we should use our mental gears
And arrange for a flight, not out of B Aires
But rather instead from further north prairies.

“No!” you cried, with simple disdain
As if the effort caused you great pain.
“It can’t be done, no flights can I find,
there’s none from L.Amer at round that time.”

So I jumped online and had a purview
And found many options—far more than you.
“Why not LA?  There’s many flights from there,
and I can see there’s competitive fares.”

“Mm maybe,” you concede, though not til days later
(while perhaps still trying to be vindicator)
I answered right pronto, with preferred carriers
(I shouldn’t have thought there’d be any barriers)

“This this or this”, I instructed directly
And to help out, quite correctly,
I did your job for you and found me a flight
All you had to do was book the delight!

And then, days later, you get back to me
With not that flight, nor the carriers three
But a different airline (I was put out
But already too tired to point it out).

“Okay!” I said, and agreed to pay more,
than the flights which I’d found, but my temper was sore.
At least this way I’d have a way home
And if not directly, at least not via Rome.

Next what do I find, but epic layovers
With no suggestion to have a stay-over.
(I would have asked but you can’t do your job
And no more time would I allow you to rob)

Bogota—San Salvador, and there to LA,
And there ten hours, but whatever, okay.
LA—Fiji, and there stop again
But now 16 hours, far more than just ten.

Fifty-four hours it’ll take me to travel
If I were a judge I’d thump down the gavel
And declare you unfit to hold down your job
(and then, perhaps, the gavel I’d lob)

And finally, the last straw, I came to check in
And you’ve committed the cardinal sin:
Though I told you three times, including yesterday
You didn’t tell the airline I’m fucking vegetarian, asshole.

Now it’s 9 hours til I get to LA
At which point I’ll finally be able to pay
to have a meal, and in the meantime am hangry
(don’t know what it is?  It’s hungry plus angry!)

You call yourself ‘expert’, it’s a complete fucking joke
I’m surprised your clients in anger don’t choke
So, dear Benjamin, I surely hope
You’ll open the job ads and straight away scope.

I hope I’ve conveyed the proper esprit:
You’re not fit for this role, evidently.

I boarded the flight soon enough, and caught the first leg to San Salvador.  As the next leg was to the US, we then had to go through some fairly hectic security procedures.  I’m used to having all of my stuff scanned of course, and to having the magic wand passed over me, but this was a whole nother level: the agents pulled everything out of our bags in public and went through all of it.  It felt really invasive, and put me even further off actually travelling to the US.

I spent most of my time in LAX hanging out on the free internet, looking up Masters programs and job-searching.  I was getting pretty hysterical with exhaustion by this point of course, but narrowed down my choices significantly.  I should also mention how lovely everyone at the airport was; it’s always nice to be in a smiley, helpful country.  *Eye-roll* the TSA agent thought he was a right comedian, and was cracking jokes at high volumes about every person whose details he checked.  My weirdest moment at the airport though (other than paying an outrageous $20 for two sushi rolls—wtf?!) was when I was by the boarding gate on my laptop, and a guitar-playing unwashed guy came up to me and asked to charge his iPod via USB.  I obviously said yes, at which point he leaned down, hugged me and introduced himself as ‘Sam’.  You should have seen my face (it certainly felt affronted)—I’m definitely not a stranger-hugger.

My flights from LA were with Fiji Airways.  They’re not as good as my favourite airlines (Virgin, Etihad, Avianca), but weren’t awful, either.  I was sitting behind a bulk-head with a young Kiwi couple and their seriously adorable (and well-behaved) baby.  Granted, I was asleep for most of the flight, but I was glad to be sitting with such fun people.  They were also as confused as I was by the Fijian customs declaration form: why on earth did we need to declare whether we had holy water or not?!  Is there a big holy water smuggling trade through Fiji?!

Upon arrival in Nadi, I had little idea exactly what I was doing or how to get there.  I’d booked a spa package for 11am, and wanted to visit some gardens, but that was about it.  I was told to get a taxi, so jumped on in.  The driver, Rakesh, ended up being my driver for the morning (yes, it was expensive.  No, I wouldn’t do it again).  First he took me to town, Lautoka, which was a complete waste of time, and the most expensive leg.  Then we went to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant (completely worthwhile), before I headed to the spa.  Were I to do it all again, I’d save around $100AU on the taxi, and only go to the gardens and Novotel.  The hotel do day-stay rooms (around $80FJ for the full day), and there’s a really nice restaurant, a pool, and spa: an infinitely better use of the day.  It’s also only around 15 minutes’ walk (or $5 Fijian, ~$3AU) from the airport.

Lautoka

The Garden of the Sleeping Giant

When I returned to the airport that afternoon (after my first-ever facial; incidentally, I had my first-ever manicure a few days before that: I am terrible at being a girl), I realised I had a slight problem.  Other than my lack of timeliness.  As I’d been walking through the markets earlier that day, lots of people were talking to me.  But, as it was in Fijian, I had no idea what they were saying: until one man said “sweetie, your bag’s open”.  I was so annoyed at my arrogance in instantly responding to the nomer ‘sweetie’ that I didn’t check that the contents of my bag were still there, other than my passport etc—so I didn’t realise that my padlock keys were missing.  My padlock, meanwhile, was on my suitcase at the airport.  My laptop was inside my suitcase, and I didn’t want to put it through the baggage compartment of the plane: but I only had five minutes until check-in closed, and no way to get the padlock off.  Happily, the airline let me check in sans bag, and I trotted off with security to try and break the padlock.  It took the attempts of about ten staff, some bolt cutters, a few sets of keys, a lock-picking set, and assorted pieces of metal before we finally got it open.  As I said on my facebook, it just wouldn’t be me at the airport without three big guys and a set of bolt-cutters:

I’m now back in Sydney and have been applying for temp policy/project jobs.  So what’s happening with the blog?  Well, I’ve still got a Scotland photos post to do, and I’ll likely do posts for any travel I do within Australia/NZ this year, but I don’t anticipate doing anything other than that until I resume proper travels again.  My intention is still to relocate back to Europe in about a year’s time, either doing my Masters or working, and I’m sure I’ll resume writing then.  I think Australia’s too familiar (oddly enough) for me to be really able to write about it—and certainly to rant about it.  But I could be wrong.  I will also do a post once my book is available for purchase/download, and of course any new posts will as usual be posted to both the ‘explaurafying’ facebook page and my twitter feed.

In the meantime, thanks to the crazy number of people who’ve been reading, commenting and emailing me.  It’s been fun!

Until next time—до встречи, счастливо, à bientôt and ciao.