I'm trying to right my wrongs, but funny these same wrongs helped my write this blog

2010 Wrap

Hello campers, I know I have been slipping on my pimping with this blog, so I thought I would get my Mary Schmich on and do a “Top 50 things I’ve learnt in 2010” post. It’s been a year of ups and downs, both personally, professionally and within the greater context of national and international congress. Anyways, enough with the foreplay and on with the list:
1.       Don’t ask people about their tattoos, unless it’s a legitimate and heartfelt question. Things such as ‘did that hurt?’; ‘you know that’s there forever’ are obvious and give us the shits. Sure we’ll talk about the meaning or reasons behind our choice, but come on, it’s such a personal thing; unless you are a complete psychopath we know that you are always going to be complimentary – you can’t really diss someone’s tattoo, it’s like saying their kid’s ugly.

2.       Keep learning. It’s good for the brain and it’s the ultimate selfish gift to yourself. Aah ‘selfish’. Such a dirty word. This is directed at the mothers out there who may not wear a superwoman costume, but try their darndest to embody it – trying to be all things to all people. Take some time to do something just for you. Your children will appreciate it and will most likely model your behaviour, making them well-rounded adults. Also, it’s incredibly fulfilling to be recognised for something other than making packed lunches and folding laundry. Go on ladies, stimulate yourselves – mentally.

3.       Learn how to take photos properly. Sure, the ‘auto’ setting is great, and hell, that’s what it’s there for – a nice default option for when we can’t be bothered fixing up ISO balance etc. But taking the time to learn about the rule of thirds and depth of field is really worth it, and when you look back in a few years, you will appreciate the extra care you took to capture all those moments that are long gone and mostly forgotten.
4.       Planning an event? Loosen up, Madonna. You’re going to have to accept the guest list is flimsy, the food might be burnt, the weather mightn’t be kind, costs will be higher than you thought, and your shoes are going to hurt. But it’s all gravy, because that stuff is quickly forgotten, but the memories of laughter, tears and stupid conversations are truly priceless.
5.       Eat natural food. It’s better for your intestines, makes you feel full for longer and is often cheaper. Wins all round.
6.       Gardening is brilliant, and I say this without a shadow of irony. It teaches you lessons in patience and there is something wonderfully wholesome about eating a salad that consists of tomatoes you have cultivated. Personally, gardening is probably the only good thing I can do with my hands. *side eye*
7.       Learn to cook. Foxtel has a channel dedicated to food, Masterchef is a ratings hit, and I can’t imagine there would be many households that don’t count at least one ‘celebrity’ chef-authored book as a well-thumbed edition to their library. Even your local supermarkets are getting a bit cheffy (kecap manis and broccolini regularly line the walls of my local Woollies), so there is no reason for you not to get involved as well. You don’t need to know how to cook a lot of things, but you should have a catalogue of about a dozen things in your arsenal. And ladies, say it with me – a dude who can cook = sexy.
8.       Also, food is love, so being able to prepare a meal for your loved ones is a very primal, nurturing thing to do.
9.       Don’t watch TV. It’s stupid, pointless and forces you to think in sound bites. Real life takes time and shows different layers and sides to the story. The media pushes one side relentlessly. Don’t get sucked in to the ignorance vortex.
10.   Realise that TV is pure hype. It blows everything out of proportion, and enforces drama onto otherwise meaningless occurrences.
11.   So-called ‘Reality TV’ is unbelievably, incredibly interminable. It is the bastion of lovesick, narcissistic morons you wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire. They are the dregs of humanity and certainly questions need to be asked of the people who would think shining a spotlight on these vacuous remnants of human beings counts as entertainment.
12.   If you’re running late, don’t log on to Youtube. Trust me, it starts with casually checking out your favourite vloggers, then descends into you singing along and trying to copy the dance moves from Aaliyah’s “Down with the Clique”, whilst your date is waiting at your front door and you haven’t progressed further than choosing which earrings to wear.
13.   Drink water. Lots of it. Daily. Good for the skin and most times we think we are hungry, we’re just thirsty.
14.   Travel outside your comfort zone, literally. I’m not sure what our purpose in life is, but I would not be surprised if it was somehow linked to personal and spiritual growth. One of the best shortcuts to enlightenment is travelling to other parts of the world. It forces you to think on your feet, and experience situations that are totally removed from your everyday life.
15.   Be suspicious of people who don’t like animals. Research shows that the way a person treats an animal reflects their disposition towards humanity. If you are on a date and a guy casually remarks that his childhood hobby was torturing the family hamster, excuse yourself and jump out the toilet window. Trust me, I just saved your life.
16.   If you don’t like your job – quit or shut up about it.

17.   Okay, I get it. Current technology is all about ease of connectivity between our devices and social marketing spaces – direct upload to Youtube, options on our mobile phones to post straight to Facebook and ubiquitous card readers and USB connectivity means sharing your pics is pretty effortless. But here lies the rub – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Had a good night? Great, I’m happy for you. You’ve uploaded 45 pics of the night, and 44 are blurry – now I think you have suffered some sort of brain injury. Nobody thinks you’re a wild and crazy, wacky party animal – we just think you’re vapid, narcissistic, and an attention-whore.
18.   Keep some things private, and therefore sacred. With the advent and spotlight that Facebook and Twitter enable, sharing on phones is a hop, skip and a click to put it all out there. But you know what, don’t. Mystery is sexy, and when you continually post about what you’re eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner; I lose my hard-on.
19.   Status Updates – oh boy, where do I start? Like no. 18, keep some things to yourself. You and your spouse having trouble conceiving? Hey man, that sucks. It’s also intensely private, so perhaps don’t post it as a status update. Other lame moves – posting song lyrics and saying Good Morning! Or Good Night all – just go to bed already. And also, please for the love of Ghesquiere, do not ‘like’ your own status.
20.   The thirsty status update. You know the one – there is always some sadsack posting bullshizz about how hard life is. I realise you had George the Goldfish (or sickeningly, Georgie Boy) for a whole three weeks and now he is no longer with us, but please – life is hard. All but about 1% of the world’s population have to go out and toil for our wares, the rent is too damn high and why can’t I just stay home and watch Spaced reruns, dammit! Point is, most of the time we’re all going through shit, so get over it, and get on with it. Whining is for children, perseverance and class is for adults.
21.   Okay fine, you’re busy, so is everyone else in the fucking world. I don’t know if you’re looking for attention or you've chosen to live your life like an open wound and freely answer the question that nobody asked about what has been going on in your life in the past 30 seconds, and frankly, I don’t care – shut up.
22.   If you’re bored, go do something constructive, instead of posting that mess in your status and perioding all over my newsfeed.
23.   I’m not going to get uppity about spelling and grammar etc – as far as I’m concerned, Facebook is just for mucking around, so it’s not a biggie. However, what’s with the overuse of exclamation marks? Just use 1 – we get it, you’re excited. Any more and you look idiotic. Also, if you post more than 3 statuses a day – get a twitter.
24.   Ladies (and some of the tuna fish mens) please don’t duckface in your pics. You know, that thing where you purse your lips together like you’re blowing a kiss. For some reason, someone told somebody that this was sexy. Let me be the first to set the record straight. It is not. You look ridiculous.
25.   Same goes for those whack gang/sideways peace signs. Even if you are throwing them in an ironic way, please do so sparingly – you might think it is hilarious and ridiculously post-modern hipster to do so, but other people might not know you are taking the piss.
26.   I would like to retire the words awesome, epic, fail, win, indeed, and methinks. My beef with these words is perhaps a little harsh; it’s not so much the words themselves, but their continual use. It seems to have gone the way of delicious and beautiful – these words are so overused that they don’t mean anything anymore.
27.   While I’m at it, let’s bid adieu to LOL, FML, LMAO, w00t and any other absurd short hand. (u, ur, and emoticons are also included). Come on, we can do better.
28.   Facebook attention shouldn’t be currency. I suppose on some level it is sort of flattering to get a number of likes and comments, but hopefully your self-worth isn’t tied up in this sort of rubbish. Remember Facebook is free and for many I’m guessing it is a way to alleviate boredom, so getting a Happy Birthday from someone you haven’t seen in 5 years is okay, but not as nice as a coffee and sharing a cake with a real-life friend.

29.   Drop your prejudices. Its 2011 – with globalisation of brands and social marketing, your world is truly getting smaller. If we turn back the clock as recently as 2005, life was in many ways quite different. There is now a black president in the White house, and we have a female PM. Basically everyone is getting their swirl on, so I don’t know why you aren’t too, honky. Also the universe has a way of messing with any strong convictions you may have. Hate gays? Guess what, you’re gonna have a gay son. Hate niggas? You might have a car accident and have your life saved by a 250 pound black dude called LeMar Johnson from Inglewood. What I’m saying is, we’re all the same maaan... *bong load*

30.   Be nice to your friends. Obvious huh? But often it’s the easy ideas that are the hardest to implement. Your friends are a walking, talking link to your past, and will keep it real with you; when you fuck up they will be the first to set you straight, and when you are doing well, they are your loudest cheerleaders. And remember, friends are like sex – it’s definitely quality over quantity.
31.   Furthermore, the relationship between friends can be more intimate than that with your lover. Your friends don’t take shit as easily as your spouse, because there is an absence of sex, which, let’s face it, is a Get Out of Jail Free card. “Hmm, you really piss me off, but you’re hot, so I’ll let it slide”.
32.   Hold on to your knickers Twihards – vampires walk amongst us. Instead of feeding on your blood they subsist on your energy and time. Quit those bitches and step away from Debby Downer – it’s a reflection of their own internal unhappiness that they are directing all their negativity on you.
33.   Advice is rarely listened to – remember this when you are on the receiving end or dishing it out. People like to pass on information and seem powerful doing so – it is a way of feeling wise and is akin to taking a stroll down memory lane, with an ominous moral to the story. Please be patient and respectful of this intrusion and you never know, you might actually learn something.
34.   Schadenfreude. Yeah it tastes good at first, but it stings on the way down. The best way to play the game? Don’t. Like I said in no. 32, vampires exist, but don’t let them take your shine because they are feeling a little dim. It is true what they say – you teach people how to treat you, so if you continue to eat garbage, trashy types will keep shovelling it your way.
35.   Spend time with your kids. I can hear you from behind the screen “but I do! I make them breakfast, I drive them to school, I pick them up from their playdates, I do everything for them!” Yes I know. What I mean is, hang out with them. I remember watching an old ep of Oprah, about a family who decided to take some time off and travel, because the mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. They had seen many great things around the world, and you know what the little girl’s favourite memory was? Eating a bowl of cereal with her mom late at night. Parenting isn’t that hard – just be there. Be present.
36.   Chances are your kids are pretty interesting, I know mine is. It is quite touching to see your children flourish into their own style and personalities. It is also very touching to see echoes of your brother, sister, uncle etc in your own child, and quite fascinating to see elements that are entirely of their own creation. It’s easy to use your children as a vehicle for your own oft-lapsed desires, a sort of second-chance for opportunities that have long passed you by. Don’t do it, its insidious and disrespectful to their own development.
37.   Realise that when you are talking to someone, they are showing more of themselves than they realise.
38.   If you’re feeling bad, don’t worry, it will pass. If you’re feeling good, don’t worry it will pass. Life goes up and down more frequently than a Thai hooker servicing a buck’s party. What you need to know is how to deal with these fluctuations and the knowledge that you will be okay.
39.   Don’t compare yourself to anybody – you don’t know the real story. The only people who know the reality of their existence are the people in it, so don’t be jealous of anybody else.
40.   In any event, who cares? You live your life for yourself. It’s not a competition. Yes, money and status may change the parameters, but people’s lives are ultimately the same regardless of those variables. Being rich doesn’t make the loss of a parent hurt any less, we all have moments of weakness and doubt about job performance or if the one we are giving our love to is appreciating us, and just because you’re a Nobel peace prize winner doesn’t mean the icy fingers of sleep deprivation will forever be a thing of the past. Raising kids and balancing time is always going to be a tricky situation, there will be days when you are hit with the double whammy of a bad hair day and a fat ass day, but know this – I guarantee you are not alone in your angst, and there is always at least one person who wishes they could be you.
41.   Marriage. There are two types of people in the world – those who dig it, and those who don’t. Whatever your choice, make sure you feel it and honour it. Realise that marriage is sacred and for life. Yes I know divorce is widely (and disturbingly accessible) but that shouldn’t really be in your mindset when you take your vows – I don’t think you should get married if your thought process is ‘oh well, if it doesn’t work out, I will just divorce the fucker’. Historically speaking, marriage was necessary for the perpetuation of the species and a code for property rights and the protection of bloodlines. Whilst these values and tenets are mostly outmoded, the institution of marriage has been largely bastardised by modern media. I think Chris Rock says it best:
42.   Ladies, please drop all the self-loathing. Its way more unattractive than fat thighs. If a guy likes you, he will let you know in non-so-secretive ways. Take it at face value and enjoy the attention.
43.   Same goes for the ‘aging’ thing. Everyone gets old. Face it. And the ones who try and fight it, by lying about their age and dressing inappropriately are the saddest ones around. I’m not scared of growing older; it’s the growing up and living a beige life that I find most offensive.
44.   Take the plunge. At a cross roads in life and not sure if you should take the gamble or not? All I can say is every time I have taken a big risk in life, no matter how it ends up, I’m glad I took it.
45.   Watermelon, army green and gold go nicely together.
46.   There are three things that I think are very much part of the reason we are put on this earth, and they all start with H: Humanity, Humility and Honesty.
47.   Laugh. Take delight in the fact you are alive. If you are one of the 5 people who can be arsed reading this blog, you are probably richer than the 80% of humanity who live on less than $10 a day. Like I said before, be grateful for what you have – there are people in hospital beds and stuck in war zones who would give anything for the opportunity and treasures you have at your fingertips. Step into your moment.
48.   Be nice to your parents and extended family. Yeah, they drive you nuts, but when the chips are down, they will most likely be the first ones in your corner.
49.   Be happy being your own eccentric self. Into 14th century poetry? Fantastic. Don’t let ideas of what’s ‘cool’ that dampen your enthusiasm. Realise that you are a rock star. I would much rather talk to an honest literature geek than a fake, hipster who declares his love for Kraftwerk.
 50.   Realise this list should be taken with a grain of salt, and if and when I break any rules in the coming months that I have damned in the paragraphs above, please be gentle and remind me in private. Or should I say, it would be awesome if u didnt remind me of my epic fails :)


  1. Nice list! I know I myself can learn a thing or two from this. Thank you obi-wan, ur epic list is fully awesome!! (yes, obviously, I just don't learn!)

  2. But what if their kid is actually ugly...?

  3. Official statement: All children are beautiful!
    Substatement: Just lie.