I remember the first time I saw the videogame Super Mario Bros. It was at the house of two friends from primary school, twins, who lived right next to North Sydney Leisure Centre, where I went for after-school care. Sometimes I’d duck into their house for an hour or two (I’ve no recollection of whether I was allowed to do this) and sit on their sofa and watch agog while they made a chubby little plumber eat mushrooms of dubious toxology, jump on reprobate turtles and leap balletically atop flagpoles as he attempted to rescue a princess from a spiky, bad-tempered dino-lizard. Sometimes they even let me have a go. I felt the way I imagine our ancestors felt the first time they gathered around a fire. Continue Reading →
When I was a kid, Saturday mornings were sacred. Each week without fail, we started the weekend with a run to the shopping centre. Back in primary school, our regular haunt was Crows Nest Plaza, and if my brother and I behaved ourselves during the long, tedious loop through the supermarket, we were rewarded with a little square of fudge from the health food store. (“Health food” had a slightly different definition in the 1980s.) Continue Reading →
As I was writing this article, I discovered that the rapper Chris Kelly, one of the two members of backwards-clothes-wearing teenage rap duo Kris Kross, had died. Mac Daddy, that is to say, rather than his colleague Daddy Mac. Hearing the news made me suddenly nostalgic for the time in the 1990s when a particular variety of commercial rap tracks dominated the charts – the Vanilla Hammer Era, I call it. Back then, I was able to obey their order to jump around for more than two minutes without feeling exhausted. It was a happier, jumpier time.
For the last few years, I’ve been trying to write a novel. It’s a bit of a cliché to say you’re doing that to try and impress people, I know, and I regularly do precisely that at dinner parties. But I have managed to finish them before, although I wish I could remember how.
The novel I’m currently writing was supposed to be finished 18 months ago, but I still haven’t finished it. In the meantime, I’ve completed lots of other tasks that objectively aren’t as important to me in the grand scheme of things as finishing my novel, but which I temporarily convinced myself were so urgent that the book could wait. Essential tasks like, say, spending three hours reading about the bridges of New York City and its environs. (Note: my novel is not set in New York City.) Continue Reading →
I drink alcohol rarely, I’ve never smoked so much as one cigarette, and my experiments with more potent substances have been so infrequent that in certain circles I’m considered a limp Puritan. But there is one substance that’s approximately as essential to my day as oxygen, and that’s coffee. Continue Reading →
Right now in my life, two powerful forces are currently conducting a battle. My habitual laziness in respect of all domestic matters is locked in a death struggle against my powerful hypochondria.
Well, I probably won’t die – but like I said, I’m a hypochondriac.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was trying to reduce my excessively high blood pressure – a challenge at which I’m succeeding, fortunately. Well, fortunately for me, at least. I’ve also revealed the results of my various inept experiments with gym classes. But as many commenters have somewhat snarkily pointed out, the remaining element in the formula is cooking for oneself. Continue Reading →
Babies! Lots of people are having them. It’s how the human race survives! But just in case you’re one of these strange people who’s inexplicably opposed to the idea or doesn’t want to “give up your life” – if you can even call your sorry, childless existence a “life” – allow me to point out all the reasons why having children is a wonderful thing to do. Continue Reading →
Gyms. Some of us hate them, some of us tolerate them and some of us love them on account of Stockholm Syndrome. But they’re a good way to get fit, especially if, like me, you can’t simply go jogging because their knees are dodgier than an HSU credit card bill.
Now, it turns out that merely being a member of a gym isn’t quite enough for you to get into shape. And so, in a bid to lose a few kilograms along with the vast quantity of money that I’ve already shed from my bank account, I have embarked upon a bold new experiment. I’ve been trying a wide variety of classes at the gym to figure out which ones work, which ones don’t work, and which one are too much work. Continue Reading →
My blood pressure is too high.
Now, don’t worry. I wouldn’t want your own blood pressure to skyrocket in shock at the potential loss of these delightful columns of mine. My readings aren’t so high that I’m highly likely to drop dead tomorrow (I say, touching the plasticised wood of my desk), but they’re higher than they should be. And certainly high enough to do something about it. Continue Reading →
Middle age comes with the sense that you’re out of touch what the kids are into grows throughout your twenties, but middle age is when the mooring rope finally snaps and you can no longer make sense of trends even when they’re explained to you. On a related note, teenagers baffle you. Continue Reading →