Category Archives: Public Observations

Til’ Text Do Us Part

Many things in life infuriate me: war, Human Rights violations, One Direction.
But nothing quite hits me like the stance Gen Y holds towards phone use and driving. It’s an obvious equation: Phone Use + Driving = Dangerous.
Yet, I continue to see selfies being taken on the M4, phone calls answered on George Street and Facebook statuses written on Parramatta Road.
I also see proof every day of the ease in having a car accident, via the news, in front of my eyes and through the experiences of loved ones.

So I ask, why? Why is so much of this generation too ignorant to accept the obvious risks of using phones while driving? Why is it our hearts ache when a loved one is lost driving, yet we can’t learn from their mistakes? Why does the death of a teenage driver leave suburbs or towns in agony for some time, yet we can’t leave our phone untouched for 10 minutes?

I am fed and absolutely full on all kinds of excuses to these questions. Now please allow me to destroy the most common ones.

1. “These things don’t happen to me”
Play with fire and you will get burned.
Run with scissors and someone will get hurt.
Turn your back on the ocean and you will be mauled and assaulted by a 15 foot tidal wave.
My point? Play with your phone whilst directing a moving vehicle surrounded in humans, cars, bicycles, children, trees, fences, gutters, houses and dogs and you will surely cause some damage. It’s that simple.
As difficult as it may be to believe, you are not invincible. Inspire the next Marvel Comics based blockbuster and I may reconsider.

2. “It’ll only take a second”
That’s nice. So will a collision with an oncoming vehicle.
Too harsh? Ok, let me sweeten this up for you. It only takes the moment you look down to pick up your beloved Samsung Galaxy s3 to read a text from MyBabeh’exOh, to miss the Mazda 2 speeding through a red light, serving you a sweet plate of well-done T-bone.
A major mistake made by many young drivers is the failure to recognise the attention to detail required to be a safe entity on the road.
You will more than often survive your sober swerving tendencies (and I pray that you do) but your mother won’t appreciate paying the excess on your insurance.

3. “I’ve been doing this for ages”
So you think that makes you a pro? Reality check: Unlike Need for Speed on your PS3, the roads, surrounding drivers, weather and your energy levels aren’t forever static. Driving conditions change; so no matter how much “practice” you’ve had defying driving laws, you can never prepare yourself for what’s coming your way.

4. “Just don’t worry”
My favourite of all time greatest revealers of ignorance.
When over a third of 20-29 year olds surveyed admit to texting while driving, how do you expect the state to not worry?
When you are selfishly putting the lives of others at risk and teaching younger generations poor practices so you can text mindless dribble to your mates, we will continue to worry.
When I, like so many, have lost a friend to a car accident caused by unlawful driving habits, I will worry.
Using your phone whilst driving is against the law for a reason, so do not tell us not to worry.
It’s time you started to worry a little more.

I bet you’re wondering “when will she ever stop complaining”. The answer is, now.
I now appeal to all of you to please stop text-driving, and to stop your friends from doing so too.
I’m not the only one. Governments all over the world are legislating against it, with campaigns such as the NSW Government’s Get Your Hands Off It [see video above].
But it is clear that the law isn’t enough to break the phone habits of younger generations. What is required is societal disapproval (or the amputation of telephonic limbs). You wouldn’t drink and drive, nor would you speed through a school zone. So why would you text and drive?

There are a number of things in life that will never be possible: world peace, hole-proof stockings, teaching school kids on trains to stand for adults.
Eradicating phone use and driving doesn’t have to be one of those things.

Drive safe kids.

If you want a refresher on NSW road rules, follow this link: http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/licensing/downloads/gettitestsdrivieduca_dl1.html

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Bare Truth.

Destiny’s Child were not just a girl group. They were a voice for the strong and independent women of the millennium searching for a representation of their daily struggles. Grapples with love, money, work and ‘the other woman’ featured heavily in their music, quickly transforming them into the common woman’s theme songs; and their unequivocal 2002 track Nasty Girl was no different. Capturing the “classless” women of their time who incessantly reduce self-respect in exchange for male attention; it was a homage to the integrity of young women their opposite.

Ten years on and it translates fluently to the lingo of the youth of our contemporary Sydney landscape.
Today’s trends?
Girls in booty shorts, micro-mini skirts, see-through fabrics, hip-high splits, super crop tops, lycra tights, and seeping bright coloured underwear.
Irrespective of suburb, culture or high school, the characteristics remain the same – skin-tight, see-through and far from modest.
Spotted in abundance across the city, they are commonly seen at night clubs, the local shops, your strip of restaurants, and even university libraries.
But why are girls starving for male recognition during their daily commutes?

Some may argue that today’s pop culture and soft porn music videos are placing unhealthy pressures on girls to reveal all in a disillusioned bid to be attractive. There is deficiency in embodying a concept of beauty measured by exposure of skin or acts of promiscuity. Our species once idealised the Princess of grace, Grace Kelly, and the enchanting mystery of Sophia Loren. Such allures, being historically natural to men and women, cannot have simply dissipated.
Possibly, the current standard of immodesty developed as a manifestation of female misunderstanding and naivety about what men want. Such an impression can have indirect consequences on today’s young men, as the sexualisation of women alters their expectations of everyday girls. A misconception?

Studies conducted by the Florida State University refer to the concept of “self-objectification” as a result of “social-physique anxiety”. The research delves into the theory that society’s historical and cultural development of contemporary concepts of desirability has impacted the female internal expectations of appearance. Do not condemn me for making young women the subject of this post, for the researchers found that “self-objectification decreases with age”.
These results suggest strong feasibility that our society’s general outlook on attractiveness has changed. Maybe Rihanna’s hip thrusts or Nicki Minaj’s unrealistic curves can be attributed to some level of contribution to this “development”. It comes with little surprise, but great disappointment.

Still,  it is possible that some persist to venerate traditional notions of agreeability.
Alexander, blogger for both The First Monkey and The Daily Quota gives a male perspective:

Ah yes, us men are smarter than we look.
We’ve sat by while feminism grew and grew to the point where it grew so big that it became self-aware – and since Feminism is most likely female, it then also became self-conscious.
You’ve burnt your bras, we’ve enjoyed the show. You ripped at your clothes in an act of defiance, we’ve enjoyed the show.
Oh you pretty things have walked right into our trap! 

The above is default proof that women are confused. Or perhaps they’re unsure if they’re confused?
Either way, we now have a generation of little women wearing littler apparel – then insisting that we do not look. No, they hadn’t anticipated that the Feminism umbilical cord stretched further than the Venus of Willendorf – where art thou, Fairer of the Sexes?
They seem to be wedged ambivalently between post-feminism, feminism and the Cult of Aphrodite – kind of like the hypothetical M Munroe & Associates.

On the one hand, they are more beautiful than ever. On the other, their new-found independence has taken a bite out of their femininity.
This has resulted in a disfigured hybrid of old and new gender politics, where silicon is on the rise, but for their own self-esteem; they squat and row and Zumba, but purely for health; and they hate when we don’t chase, but also when we do.

Alas, the Fairer of the Sexes is acting very, very unfairly.
I miss women being women, girls being girls. I miss their natural skin and hair, and their inability to hide their body language. I miss their vulnerability, and their appeasement of our egos.
Why quote Wilde when you’ve misplaced your feminine wiles?
Please, restore my view of the word Women – for as it stands, it is woe unto men.

Like The Daily Quota at https://www.facebook.com/thedailyquota

It may be agreed that many young women have misunderstood the feats of feminism and applied it in an disadvantageous way. Whilst a gross generalisation, many young men are consequently asking what ever happened to the passionate woman with the great allure of her self-affirmed natural beauty.

It is difficult to identify the catalyst, or abundance of. But there is no surpassing my final suggestion; mere laziness. Understandably, junk in the trunk can prove squeezing into a pair of jeans to be a difficult task. But ladies, that is no excuse to replace your pants with over-washed, stretched-out and faded remnants of Lycra, also known as tights. As formidable as it may be, your pink Bonds undies do not brighten up anybody’s day, so it’s time to leave the Lycra at home and a little to the imagination. Your Facebook friends can wait while you jean-shop with your mother this weekend.

Whatever the case, if your fake eyelashes are longer than your skirt, if your cleavage resembles the depth of a moon crater, if your gym clothes disappear into bodily crevasses when you walk, if your underwear covers more surface area than your shorts; the bare truth is it’s time to “put some clothes on”. As for the contently humble young ladies that continue to exist, I congratulate you.

Please donate generously to the girls of our generation, as their lack of clothing keeps them cold this time of year.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

To Read or to Write?

Neglect. That’s what happened here.

A blog left outdated, stuck in a stand-still of time, like a CD player with the 2008 Greatest Hits of Summer jammed inside it.
Why did this happen? Life, that’s why.

Usually life is a source of inspiration, particularly for writers. However, it sometimes spills over into an onerous, exhausting and un-enthusing land of artistic tumbleweed. So, among a schedule of work, class, assessments, exercise, cats and other commitments, one must find a sober moment to write.

What moment did I choose? A three-hour law lecture on human protein attended without my spectacles; irrelevance and vision impairment won the right to write.

Now let’s bond over identification of idiosyncrasies in the life of a typical university student.

You’re well into your degree and growing stale from the same classroom walls that surround you. The enthusiasm of first year students irritates you and you pity their naïve dedication. You’ve mapped out the traits of your peers better than Google maps, and formulated mental instructions of who has the coolest style, best notes, healthiest diet, hottest figure, greatest reliability, easiest company, most cigarettes, best study habits, and all the opposites. You walk into a tutorial and know who the repeat offenders of unnecessary classroom comments are, who will distract you, and who will make you look intelligent. You know which bathrooms are cleanest and which are a violation of Human Rights. The café ladies and barristers address you by name and watched you grow up into a premature arthritic, scoliosis ridden, caffeine addicted, cynical law student. You know which café serves the best food, and schedule your day to beat peak hour lunch lines. You argue more with your constantly nagging subconscious, bordering on schizophrenia, than your own parents. You’ve mastered the art of skim reading in the attempt to spend less time with your head in an overpriced 10kg textbook and more time enjoying hobbies. You are faced with the difficult decision of letting grades suffer for the sake of personal interests, or entering hibernation to get a D on your transcript. You approach the campus parking lot like a predator, hunting down the prey of students innocently returning to their cars, only to snatch up the remnants of their existence. Each day you wake up one minute later, and by fourth year, won’t accept anything earlier than an afternoon class. You cannot wait to graduate.

Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. Don’t let me deter you from tertiary studies. Truth is, you will enjoy making friends for life, discovering what you want and growing rich in knowledge.

But for now, let’s get each other over the line.
Does the struggle of a busy life-study-balance sound familiar? Of course it does – you’re only reading this to procrastinate. So to save you reading the YSS chronicles of Gen-Y observations you’re so tired of, I want to hear from you. Please comment, sharing those self-created Man Vs Wild tactics that help you cope with the final stages of university life.

Finally, characteristic of everything, your time at university must eventually come to an end, so appreciate every moment of it, and always be grateful for the opportunity our generation has to gain higher education.

Much love,

A Nerdy YSS in Hiding.

Tagged , , , , ,

Living Lactose Intolerant.

Soy Milk, mixed berry and banana shake

Soy Milk, mixed berry and banana shake

Human thrusts milkshake towards me.
Politely, “I’m lactose intolerant”.
Thick silence fills the air, jaws glued to the floor like a gamer’s bottom.
Finally, a valuable moment of relief… “That’s sh**!”
Sigh. Then follow the questions…

Stepping into my grandmother’s home, she proudly exclaims, “I made Labneh, go have some!”
Me: “I can’t Taita, I can’t eat dairy.”
In absolute horror, “You can’t eat dairy?! What is this disease?! Why were you dealt such unjustice?!”

Dessert arrives at the table, selections are assessed: waffles with cookie and cream ice cream, Lindt chocolate lava cake with a dollop of cream, and a lonely dried-up little apple crumble. At least the friends find the juxtaposition of pleasurable calories amusing.

Like many humans (particularly Mediterraneans, Africans and Asians), I am sensitive to dairy and dairy products. The running theme? No one gets it, and many don’t understand how to live with it.
As a foodie, of Lebanese decent, I was raised to eat anything and everything, and in no way, be selective or difficult. However, my intolerance to lactose walks a thin line, as I struggle to satisfy the crucialities of a quality Lebanese grandchild: education, marriage and the ability to eat. I love food, but that free-for-all attitude of intense digestion unrivaled of discontent, and God-forbid, unease, before during and after a yoghurt saturated piece of bread, absolutely throws me. I lose in that arena.

Put simply, lactose intolerance suggests an inability to digest the sugar found in milk, without discomfort or symptoms. Just as simply, it’s not a difficult lifestyle to live. Society is accepting the greater prevalence of food intolerances that were once unheard of, by profiting off conventional new products. Im talking lactose free milk, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk (milk from anything you can milk that isn’t actually milk), soy cheese, lactose free and soy ice creams and yoghurts, sorbet, lactose free chocolate… you get the picture.

Now let’s be honest with ourselves. Your friends will laugh, your mother will cry and baristas will snarl. But lactose intolerance is a great method of staying away from naughty foods, and pretending to live like a true dieter; ice cream, cheese cake and pizza free. So wave your skinny arm in the air and proclaim to the world that YOU ARE LACTOSE INTOLERANT! (Deep breaths) It’s really not so bad.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Runners, Ragers and Roid Munchers.

Hercules, Louis Cyr and Vin Diesel. What do these three males have in common? They-they-they, they work oooout.
Men have forever been idealised as the fitter, more masculine members of civilisations. They were the labourer, the warrior, the hunter, protector and provider.
However, it seems today’s men are trading the goal of honour derived from polished pectorals and contoured calves for a desire to impress, to perve, and to update Facebook.
Similarly, Sydney’s contemporary young ladies aren’t free from speculation. They too fall victim to the construction of an image over image construction.

Intermission.
Construction of an image over image construction.
Definition: When the desire to create a persona for the purpose of presentation to the wider community far surpasses the desire to develop healthy internal and external physical traits.
Intermission End.

Gyms were once concentrated in ownership, and scarce to find. Members were largely limited to adults, training to stay fit and healthy, or lose weight. Some would even exercise in their garage, in front of the television before Cheese TV, or outside. Can you believe it? There was a time when exercise was actually about exercise. Preposterous!
Today, the ideals of old-school gym-junkies are being lost to an army in adoption of new-age methods. Methods of laziness and advertising. There is nothing a genuine fitness fanatic finds more irritating during a work out, than the man screaming at the bench-press, the chap scoping for chicks, or the young lassy treadmill strutting with her make up on.
Equally as pesky are the constant check-ins at gyms, photos of pecs and unnecessarily skimpy gym gear.

Regardless, there is a fitness kick blanketing the city of Sydney:

  • Weekend newspapers imposing “flat tummy today” over a fit-model’s abdominals are not uncommon.

  • Most suburbs have a gym for every need: affordability, 24-hours, non-affordability, women only, the elderly, and so on…

  • Gym gear is transforming into chic, designer attire.

  • Business for charcoal chicken shops is thriving off male body builders.

  • Facebook groups are drowning news feeds with photographs of fit-models.

  • At least one supplement store may be found in every central business district.

  • One fourth of your friends have or are studying personal training.

  • Young men are waxing and fake tanning their chiseled pecs.

This is fantastic! It’s about time we all got off the couch and into shape.
But what if it’s for the wrong reasons?
Unfortunately, there is transparency in changed intentions. We don’t care about preventing cholesterol or heart disease, strengthening postures or helping mum carry the couch when she’s vacuuming. What we care about is looking good topless at music festivals, letting society know we work out, and flexing at the most inappropriate times.

Is this wrong? Are we creating a generation of self-absorbed, egotistic, yet deeply insecure human beings with shallow ideals and blurred futures, who will spiral Sydney into a colony of lonely fake tanners who will fail to love anyone more than their own reflections?
I don’t know. Should we continue to run blindly, squat sleazily and bell-dumbly, I have a feeling we’ll find out.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Our Train or the Highway.

The spirit of a train ride: we are all united in our different journeys.
It is therefore only fair that we respect those sharing the space, to make the trip as pleasant as possible for all.
This has, however, proven difficult.
Whilst countless social analysts and everyday whingers have attempted to communicate the importance of public transport etiquette, the message is forever being lost.

Stepping onto a train on my way to university, I took it upon myself to refresh memories.

  1. When the train doors slide, it is not the doors opening at a boxing day sale. Slow down and enter in a civilized, orderly fashion.
  2. Your Western line is not in need of redecoration, so keep the arts and crafts for your 3-year-old cousin.
  3. You may not have slept, but no one wants to feel like they’re at Trademark at 8am. Use headphones.
  4. If you have headphones in, and people are giving you a look, it’s not because you look smashing. Turn the volume down, you’ll give yourself a brain hemorrhage.
  5. Some of us have to eat. That’s fine. Just try not to make the carriage smell like the inside of an apartment building.
  6. If seats are scarce, move your bag. Bags are not people, they don’t have feelings, nor do they work all day.
  7. Let’s stop sneezing on one another. Please.
  8. Your best friend has gossip, we understand. Feel free to talk on the phone.. At a reasonable volume. No one else cares what, like, omg, Dani did.
  9. There is nothing comfortable about being in the presence of a parent screaming at their child. Consider your kid’s self-esteem in that environment.
  10. Can the real school children please stand up! No, seriously. Stand up, and let the pregnant and older members of society sit down.
  11. Let’s not clip nails. The train is not a bathroom. How would you like it if I waxed my legs?

I must be fair, the general population is fairly understanding of train etiquette; so, thank you. As for those unaware of the standards, they may simply be ignorant of them, or practising blatant disregard. If you should know a member of this exclusive club, please do forward them this post. You’ll be doing the rest of us a great service!

Tagged , ,

PDA? PD-NO.

Public displays of affection…
Ohh, how they make me loathe love.
Happy and frilly, always in the wrong places (there never is a right place).
Waiting at a bus stop after a long days work, jammed next to a couple on a busy train, sober and surrounded by grinding partners in a club… The giggles, the groping, the.. Urgh. Just thinking about it makes me turn.

Love is a beautiful thing, a state truly worthy of celebration.. Hence, avoid destroying the exclusivity of your precious bond, making it juvenile and dramatic. Hold hands, stare into eachother’s eyes; but certain things should be kept to your own space and place.

Let’s weigh up some arguments for and against:

For:

  • You’re so in lust that you can’t keep your hands off one another.
  • You’re so in love that should you let go, and the other floats away, you’ll forever be alone.
  • It’s cold, and Bear Grylls taught you to combine body heat.
  • You’re a free spirit who likes to stick it to the man.
  • Rihanna ‘found love in a hopeless place’.

Against:

  • What with weak stomachs and food intolerances, it’s difficult enough to digest.
  • Broken, fragile hearts need no more reason to hurt.
  • The elderly have enough reason to look down on us.
  • People, like myself, are encouraged to write annoying rants, like this.
  • Various cultures, religions, people and cats have different thresholds of public etiquette.

Now, don’t take me for a valentines-shunning, icy, love cynic who wishes pain and heart-ache upon all in love and lust, and death to unicorns and rainbows. I’m simply appealing to lovers and “friends” to, for need of a better phrase, “GET A ROOM”.

Those 60 year-long marriages are what you call love… not the naive and highly under-developed PDA-ers, who turn to social media, when the public isn’t enough.
On that note, Facebook-Display-of-Affection-ers, stop:

‘happy 2monfs babeh! I love you so much! I’m the luckiest boo in the world <;3’

… Gah.. Don’t get me started.

Tagged , , , , ,

Like Music to My Ears

Step on a train, go for a walk, enter a gym. What trend do you notice?
No, I’m not talking about chicks in Supre tights (I’ll save that for another post).
I’m talking headphones and iPhones.

When leaving the house, four things are necessary: wallet, keys, phone and head phones.
It seems peace and quiet are no longer of satisfaction, making music and apps necessary to get us through our long, tiresome days… What a shame.

We’ve become terrified of being left alone with our own thoughts. God forbid we’re led to some form of recollection, consideration, or plain old silence. *gasp!*

So, to avoid old-fashioned simplicity, and embrace the spirit of modern-day noise pollution, plug-in those headphones and attach that iPhone. That Facebook/Pitbull combo is just what you need to make you numb and shallow. Perfect for those lonely bus rides!

20120513-225328.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Best Foot Forward at the Races.

The Races. Aussies love them: the energy, beer, wine, clothes, sharp stallions and legs as far as the eye can see. Oh, and the horses are great too.

We, as Sydney-siders, are blessed with easy access to the horse-racing culture. The Australian Turf Club (ATC) – i.e. Royal Randwick, Rosehill Gardens, Warwick Farm and Canterbury Park – offers an abundance of racing events, including the Autumn and Spring Racing Carnivals, which grace the weekends of the mentioned seasons’ months. However, with attendance comes responsibility.

My fellow LADIES, After spending a day at this year’s Doncaster Cup, I discovered a tragic trend:

DISREGARD OF WEATHER-TO-SHOE-COMPATIBILITY.

Heelless Jeffrey Campbells at the 2012 Doncaster Cup, similar to Victoria Beckham’s Antonio Berardi look in 2008.

Some shoes are complimented by rain, while others simply were not produced to handle such climates. So, after the absence of a summer and absolute weather confusion, you’d think that Sydney ladies have invested in stealthy, weather appropriate foot attire. Well, apparently not.

From Acne’s needle stilettos, to heel-less Antonio Berardi’s; women simply are not considering the sinking abilities of a female on a mud-ridden racecourse. Insert floor length maxi dress, and you’re set for a day of tangles and torture.

Now, I’m not saying team your Maticevski cocktail dress with a pair of gum boots. I’m simply appealing to the ladies of Sydney to be practical and intelligent. In doing so, class will radiate from you as you gracefully glide across the venue, inappropriately dressed limping besty by your side.

Here are a few tips on how to prepare your feet for the races:

Tip One: When muddy, the greater the space your shoe covers, the lesser the likelihood of sinking. Think wedges, avoid pin-thin stilettos.

Tip Two: Wear the shoes, don’t let the shoes wear you. Comfort and confidence are your greatest accessories.

Tip Three: Sunny day? Big dress doesn’t mean big shoes. Instead, channel Kate Bosworth by opting for more subtle looks.

Tip Four: If it’s cold or wet, ankle boots provide warmth and stability.

Tip Five: Your coloured peep-toe pumps are perfect for a spring day. But remember, less is more.

Now, run along and plan your next racing-day-out by checking out the ATC’s schedules: http://www.ajc.org.au/

Then, before coordinating that fashion on the fields look, consider the weather. (Avoid asking your Iphone, Siri is a dreadful weather man.)

Happy Shoe Shopping and Horse Racing!

Tagged , , , , ,

I Skate; Therefore, I Am.

Skaties are interesting specimens.
Living on hats, backpacks, skateboards and accompanying tools. Sporting untamed hair, chilled attitudes and moving in packs. They defy the rules of pathways and dodge the traffic of roads.
Contemporary skate mobs often carry with them a camera, many accepting scooters into a multi-skateral nation.
They continue advancing… I can’t help but wonder how their hats stay on.

I’d write a song, but Avril beat me to it, so deal with an observational blog.

Tagged ,