Tag Archives: grapeshot

The Blind Leading The Blind: iPhone a Friend

1vintage-phone-costume-602x400

WORDS M.K Smith

Whenever I’m hanging out with my friends it seems like they would rather play on their phones than speak to me. This is a trend I’ve observed with other groups of people too. I find this behaviour really rude, am I being unreasonable?

Having recently shirked my Luddite ways and upgraded from a dumb-phone, I certainly understand why everybody is so obsessed with their phones. You’ll never get lost again with GPS! You’ll never be bored on the train when you can catch up with the news on your phone! You can prove your friend wrong when debating the birth country of Fabio! Yet, no matter how tempting it is to stay glued to your phone, O Captain, My Captain, social protocols still apply.

There is nothing unreasonable about asking your friends to actually pay attention to you when they’re in your presence. Can you imagine what their reaction would be if you pulled a book out in the middle of a meal? What about if you procured a piece of paper and started writing a letter, longhand, while they picked at their salad? I’m sure if you kept popping off to a payphone to make calls your friends wouldn’t be very pleased either. If these square-eyed individuals really are your friends then I’m sure they won’t mind if you ask them to put their phone away for an hour.

If you’re a non-confrontational soul, you can just fiddle with your phone as well and throw out an “I’m sorry, do you mind if I use this for a second? I’d feel terribly rude if I sat here ignoring you without asking first”. Hopefully your friends will pick up on the hint and put the Apple product down.

It’s easy to seethe when the only dish your friends are interested in is the one they’re picking a filter for on Instagram (if they choose ‘1977’ they should be sterilised). But you can’t help that your friends are stupid. Just be polite and don’t forget your manners, it’s more than you can say for your pals. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my phone. If you own a smartphone and you don’t check it every ten minutes, it ceases to exist.

Leave a comment

Filed under Questionable Advice

The Blind Leading The Blind: My Slutty Friend

2x04_Good_Grief_69-602x338

WORDS M.K Smith

One of my best friends got badly dumped by her long-term boyfriend a few months ago and has started acting really promiscuous since. It’s starting to bother everybody in our group because she has no shame and everybody is discussing her sex life behind her back. She is giving herself a really nasty reputation. Should I do anything about it, or just keep my poker face? It’s making me lose respect for her.

I feel terribly for your poor friend. She’s not only been dealt the ghastly card of heartbreak, but also been dealt the ‘shitty friends’ card. I’m sure that bluffing her way through recovery from a nasty breakup has left her a little blind, and all of her chips are down (okay I’m sorry, I’ll stop with the poker puns now – but you started it). If this behaviour is new for your friend, perhaps she’s just acting out because NEWS FLASH, breakups suck!

Why is everybody in your peer group merely discussing her proclivity for casual nookie instead of, oh I don’t know, making sure that she’s doing fine? I’m sure by gossiping about her antics behind her back you are only adding to the reputation, not detracting from slander. And why do you care so much about who she’s sharing her swimsuit areas with? There’s this little thing called catharsis, and if this is what she wants, just let the girl be. But it’s also your job as a friend to make sure she’s using protection, not being taken advantage of by creepers, and actually happy with the choices she is making. Talk to her, not about her. After all, she has to make her own choices, as do you.

Will you be a supportive friend and try to understand if she is doing this for her own pleasure, or will you let your lack of “respect” get in the way of helping out someone you care about? Stop bottom dealing your friend if this is a relationship that you want to Texas Hold’on to, and I bet that, with a little understanding, your friend will feel like she’s hit the jackpot (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist).

Leave a comment

Filed under Questionable Advice

The Blind Leading The Blind: Sister, Sister

sister-act-acte2-02-g-602x416

WORDS M.K Smith

I’m friends with my 15-year-old sister on Facebook and I’m starting to worry about her. Her posts are way too personal and her photos are way too provocative to share with all 1,200 of her “friends”. She often fights with her school friends and bitches about her teachers on her public profile. I’ve tried to tell her that she’s not only embarrassing herself but leaving an online legacy behind her as well. She won’t listen to me. What should I do?

I saw the words “15-year-old” and peed myself, died of a heart attack, rose from the dead to gouge my eyes out with a crowbar and then cried blood before even thinking about answering this question.

The point is: teenagers are scary and weird and worrisome. The vast majority of 15-year-olds are as dumb as a brick shit house, and they smell like one too. I know this because I was as stupid and stinky as them, once upon a time. This unique experience makes me an expert.

Here are some options. You could add all of her friends and get freaky with the “@” button. Tag her in hundreds of old family photos or embarrassing statuses, for example, “MY LIL SIS JUST DID A NUMBER 2 LOL SMELLS SOOO BAD LOL WOT #SWAGTASTIC”. If there’s one thing teenagers fear, it’s being shamed into submission by their cool elders. You could wait until she leaves her page open and go on a deleting spree. You could report everything incendiary on her page and hope Facebook administration notices. You could tell your parents or at least threaten to. If you resent her, like most sisters do, you could report her to the school and get her expelled for trash talking her teachers.

All of these viable options, however, are going to make her hate you a little bit. Hopefully one day she will appreciate your concern for her. For now you can only hope she steps away from the computer and instead does what 15-year-olds should: wear crop tops, ship Larry, and annoy the shit out of everyone on the train.

Leave a comment

Filed under Questionable Advice

The Blind Leading the Blind: Mean Boys

george3

WORDS M.K Smith

 I’m not sure if my boyfriend is treating me the way a girlfriend should be treated. We’ve been fairly happy together for a year but he’ll occasionally talk down to me or just plain insult me and claim “it was just a joke!” I always feel like I need to prove myself to him. I’m not sure he knows that he is doing it though and I don’t want to jeopardise anything because I really love him. What should I do?

Your boyfriend sounds like a garden variety, grade-A douchecanoe and I’m inclined to tell you to dump that crusty arsehole. Being in a caring relationship means there has to be a sense of equality and consideration. If there isn’t, then you’re just engaging in passive aggressive monogamy when, alternatively, you could be bumping uglies with someone who doesn’t make you feel like you have to make an effort to feel cared about. You know you’re with the ‘right’ person when you don’t have to waste any energy trying to convince them that you’re lovable.

There is always the chance that you could, you know, talk to him seriously and tell him to quit being such an abrasive dickwad. But I have a feeling that it’s probably best to rip off the proverbial band aid and end it; cry for a week into some frozen yoghurt/red velvet cupcakes/someone else’s groin, and step away from the unappreciative boyfriend. Let it go, life is much too short to be with someone who is not only mean, but thoroughly unfunny.

Leave a comment

Filed under Questionable Advice

Q&A With Josh Pyke

1209024_10151926064418385_1576815001_n-602x401

INTERVIEW M.K Smith

Josh Pyke is a multi ARIA award winning singer/songwriter who has captured the hearts of fans with his whimsical lyrics and catchy tunes. He’s just finished touring his latest album “The Beginning and the End of Everything”, and can be seen next as one of the headliners for Conception Day 2013. He chatted with our resident fangirl, M.K Smith, about his inspiration, how to make it as a musician, and his special connection to the boys from fellow Conception Day act, Bluejuice.

I really enjoyed “The Beginning and the End of Everything” that was released back in July, what was the recording process like for this album?

It was amazing, actually. It was the most fun I’ve had doing a record, I think ever. I did half in Sydney and half in Melbourne and it was just a really good balance of being at home in my home studio. The other half was down in Melbourne with John Castle who co-produced the record in the studio and it was just a really quick and a really creative process. It felt really inspired and inspiring; we kind of laboured over a lot of stuff. It was really excellent.

What was the inspiration for the album?

I always write from personal experience so it was definitely a personal experience record. So, stuff that’s happened in my life over the past few years, coming to terms with being a Dad and also being a creative person in a rapidly changing music landscape. With everything that’s going on with technology and stuff like that, a lot of it creeps into the music.

You’ve been around the Australian music scene for a while, what kind of changes have you seen happen?

So many. Obviously when I first started, iTunes wasn’t even around. The rise of digital music and digitally distributing your music has been massive. Now with Spotify and stuff like that, it’s a brave new world for music and musicians. I think it’s the equivalent of the industrial revolution. It’s been pretty huge.

Your lyrics have always been a really charming addition to your music, how important do you think lyrics are to a song?

It depends. For me, Nirvana is not so much about the lyrics as it is about the emotion and the angst in the songs. Whereas a band like Okkervil Riveror or The National are very much about the lyrics. I think it depends, but for me personally, it’s very, very important in my music. It’s definitely been a thing that people have connected with, with my music.

What’s the process for writing your lyrics?

It’s changed a lot over the years. Basically, as weird as it sounds, I just play my guitar and mumble gibberish until I can turn it into real words. I refine those ideas and turn it into a proper song. I have been writing stream of consciousness prose and cherry-picking little phrases out of that and spring-boarding points from that. I have to find subject matter to write about as well.

You’re one of the headliners at Macquarie University’s Conception Day this year, are you looking forward to anything in particular about the festival?

It’s always good to see Bluejuice play, they’re good friends of mine and I actually went to primary school with Jake, actually a couple of them. So I love seeing those guys play, it’ll be really cool.

We’ve got a lot of young musicians here at Macquarie, what advice would you give to bands just starting out?

It’s very tough and different these days. It’s hard to give any kind of blanket advice that covers all musicians, but I would say that nobody is ever going to care more about your music than you so don’t sit around waiting for opportunities to present themselves. You’ve really got to take the bull by the horns and do everything yourself. If you want to make a record, there’s really nothing stopping you from making a record, just save up the money and go to one of the many studios in Sydney. Make your own record and see what happens. Don’t just sit around waiting for people to discover you because it’s not going to happen like that.

Thanks Josh, we’ll see you at Conception Day.

See you there.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

How to Not be an Arsehole in the Library

tumblr_mt8c2uHSKr1r8mjgdo1_500-602x400

M.K Smith

I have a friend who has a panic attack every time they enter the Macquarie University library. If this sounds extreme to you, you’ve probably never set foot in there.

To put it diplomatically, the library sucks. I should clarify by saying that the BUILDING itself doesn’t suck (though I still find the design exceptionally confusing), but when there are masses of people involved, there are masses of problems.

According to 2012’s statistics, there are 38,747 students enrolled at Macquarie University. Even after the subtraction of external students (and other people who just don’t bother to come to class) this still leaves a significant amount of people who are probably going to utilise the library at some point during their degree.

Despite the upgrade in services since the new library has opened (replacing the old bomb-shelter library), something about this communal space turns students into desperate garbage monsters. Want a computer during lunchtime? Don’t make me laugh. Need a table for a group assignment? Forget about it, that girl with a Macbook Air has already spread the contents of her handbag around the ergonomic round table, effectively marking her territory. Feel like printing your assignment off from the print station ten minutes it’s due? You can’t, a first year is printing off an entire slide show and they WILL forget how to use their card. This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of exam time. I’m not mentally prepared to go there right now.

“But M.K”, I hear you sigh, “what can we do about this mess?!” I’ve got you covered, fellow student. Let’s all hold hands and heed my life’s motto, ‘Don’t be an arsehole’. Here is a quick guide to being a decent human in the library, taken from my 100,000 word manifesto. With any luck, this will be compulsory reading for next semester.

1. Keep your bodily functions in check. I understand that it’s not always easy to keep your body on lock down, the body’s gotta do what it’s gotta do. But for God’s sake MQ students, can we at least try to have some social decorum? DO place footwear on your feet; nobody wants to see your cracked and calloused heels. DO keep your burping and farting to yourself, or at least on the lowdown. DO wash your hands after you’ve finished in the bathroom (I know that the recycled water is always confrontational, but don’t be so shocked by the brown water that you forget to use soap and water). DO have tissues if you have to blow your nose, toilet paper will do the job nicely if you’re unprepared. If you sniffle constantly, I’m pretty sure that murder and passive aggression become legal. DO wear deodorant because it’s bad enough that we’re stuck in a musty sarcophagus trying to study, please don’t let your armpits activate our gag reflexes at the same time.

2. Don’t be a hog. Need a chair? Well then take one chair! You don’t need three. You also don’t need to sit at a computer with a screen visible to people waiting in line, especially if you’re just going to scroll through catchoftheday.com. Dear Girl Browsing Through Deals On Oven Mitts When I Really Needed Your Computer, I still hope you fall in a well.

I think we all know what the most important computer-hogging rule of all is though – do NOT abandon the computer and leave your shit lying out to guard it while you go have lunch or nap with your head on the desk. Cut. It. Out. This problem became so widespread there are actual signs forbidding it. After fifteen minutes of absence, you lose all computer privileges. Now if we weren’t all so afraid of confronting these library losers, then the rule might actually be effective.

3. Shut up. Shut up. I mean it. Shut your damn mouth. If you’re in a quiet space, you are not allowed to open it and talk about your pathetic group project, or about your female lecturer’s tiny moustache. I don’t want to hear about your awkward Brazilian wax. I mean, of course I really do, but not when I’m trying to pretend to learn. If you’re going to text, put your phone on silent. If you’re going to take a call, then LEAVE. We all know it’s your mum wondering where you are anyway.

4. Get your gross food out of here. Eating in the library is fine, but the foods that so many people are eating in the library are not. If your food has a strong odour, please eat it outside. If your food is noisy as hell, please eat it outside. That goes to you, first year M.K digging your hand in a chip packet to shove more sweet chilli and sour cream chips in your gob. You’re a bad person.

5. If you’re wearing a school uniform… Everybody hates you. Sorry kids, but it’s true. Nobody in the outside world gives a hoot about the HSC, all they care about is your underage butts taking up a seat that they’re coveting. There are a lot of other desks in this city that you can plonk your Maths Extension homework on. Just don’t be surprised when you’re greeted with a sea of grimaces as you saunter into the library.

Do we all feel like better people yet (and by better I mean I feel like a classic case of first world problems mixed with a heavy dose of pent up frustration)? I know I do. Together, we can make the library a slightly less terrible experience. Together, we can make a difference.

Until next time Grapeshot readers: Don’t be an arsehole.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features, Questionable Advice

Q&A With Laura Dundovic

Laura

Former Miss Universe Australia, Macquarie graduate and Myer spokesperson Laura Dundović speaks to us on being a student in the limelight. 

INTERVIEW Nathan Li & M.K Smith

Congratulations Laura on graduating from Bachelor of Science (Psychology)! What made you decide to study a degree in psychology?

Thank you! I’ve always loved being around people and fascinated by science and the mind. All through school I wanted to be a psychologist.

How was the learning experience at Macquarie University for you? Any highlights or memories of the campus?
I loved going to Macquarie Uni. Growing up in The Hills a lot of my friends went there and I also met a lot of new people who I am still in touch with. My highlight was Uni Games! It was so much fun!

Winning the title of Miss Universe Australia in 2008 and coming top ten in Miss Universe must’ve been an overwhelming experience for you. How has it all been for you right from joining the contest to landing in the spotlight to now?

Joining the contest was scary because it was my first beauty pageant. My modelling agent at the time said I should enter, and that Miss NSW was the following day. I had an in-class assessment that day so I went to Miss NSW, back to uni and then had the Miss NSW final that night. A week after was Miss Universe Australia and three weeks later was Miss Universe. I finished my end of semester exams two days before I left to go overseas and needed to get good marks to get into honors so it was a very stressful time! The pageant was amazing. One month overseas with 90 girls from all over the world. Since returning home I have had so many amazing experiences. I have travelled overseas and through Australia, met incredible people and learnt so much.

So you have started a successful career in modelling and presenting, why do you choose to continue your higher education?

Psychology has always interested me. Even since finishing uni I am still watching documentaries, reading and hanging out with my Psych friends. Having the degree is not only a good thing for me to have in the entertainment industry but also something that I can fall back on if I decide it’s time for a career change.

How do you find balance between studying and working – between almost conflicting commitments and different deadlines?

I found studying and working easy to balance because I enjoyed my subjects. The only part which is hard is with my job I don’t have a lot of control on dates work is scheduled on and when you are offered an opportunity it’s important to take it because you don’t know whether it will be there tomorrow. Trying to make sure I was free for my uni exams was tough but I got there!

What’s next on the plate for you? Can we expect to see you again soon in Macquarie University – if you were to continue with your honours?

Once I have a bit more time I’d love to continue studying.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews