Unintentional Hipster

I just like wearing women's jeans, not eating animal products and writing shit nobody cares about. It was an accident, I swear

Archive for the category “Blog”

Let Sexy Be Sexy! (Cosplayers)

Guys, I’m not sure if you’re aware of what the phenomenon of “Cosplay” is that’s sweeping across various communities of geeks and nerds alike (and if you knew me, you’d know I use these terms with nothing but affection and no derogatory implications meant!), but if you aren’t, you could really dig it! Why?

Well, cosplayers are pretty gosh-darned sexy. And that’s why I like it, cause I like things that are sexy and looking at them (in fairness, I think two-day-old-Chinese-food-fry-ups are hot on a level Ms. Delavigne just can’t challenge). However, that isn’t exactly what I’m writing about.

Today, I’m writing in a response to the dissent that many cosplayers are receiving in their own community for being “too sexy.” One needn’t have a PhD in feminist theory to know that fictional female characters are, more often than not, outrageously over-sexualized. Look at Jasmine and Ariel in Disney or Tifa Lockheart in Final Fantasy VII and do not even begin to touch the grenade that is the fact that Serena cannot become Sailor moon without her skirt shortening too far to really be necessary anymore (I’m not sure how sad it is that I actually remember her name…).

Cosplay is not a weapon of feminism to fight against this sexualization. Because it isn’t really about changing the fictional worlds that it seeks to imitate. And it ain’t really about conforming to any expected societal norms.

It’s about, first and foremost, turning what was initially a fantasy into a reality.

It’s about one bad-ass game of dress-ups played by people who are old enough for their mummies to let them use scissors unsupervised and old enough to afford the materials to build their own (sometimes glorious) costumes.

And in the interest of artistic integrity and attention to detail, these cosplayers are sometimes going to be one big bag of, “DAAAAAYUM!” Telling a Lollipop Chainsaw cosplayer to not show their midriff in the interests of modesty would be like telling a Mulan cosplayer to try not to look Asian in the interests of cultural sensitivity. That would be saying the exact same thing in the cosplay world.

Is it attention seeking to be so overtly sexy? Maybe. In some instances, almost definitely. Frankly though, my dears, I don’t give a damn, because it’s the means (the creation) of Cosplay that justify the ends (the attention). I’ll use music and a pair of jeans as an analogy:

If I spend countless hours and sleepless nights working on a piece of music and then drop a few hundred bucks to get said piece produced, should I keep it to myself? Shouldn’t only my own opinion matter? I can’t think of a strong enough argument to support that, so I’ll say no. I want to share it, I want my friends to listen to it and I want strangers to comment on it. I want my work to be acknowledged, and more ultimately appreciated and enjoyed by others. It makes me feel good. So when a cosplayer spends 2 months working on a costume for one day at a convention in order to achieve a perfect mimicry of an anime character (and their outfits are, more often than not, INSANE and definitely not for purchase), I feel like their wanting to be appreciated for it is not out of line.

“But it’s still sexy! Why?!”

Okay, let’s try this. Last year, I bought a new pair of jeans because I finally found a pair of jeans that gave me an ass (you have NO idea how hard that is!). I felt good in them, struttin’ around ma bedroom with my newly discovered ass (oh dear..). I didn’t need anybody else to tell me I looked good in them to feel good. But when people pointed them out, I turned into a spangling bundle of “stahhhp!” It feels nice. Cosplayers get to feel nice, and it’s a pretty harmless way to feel sexy.

I don’t like to purposefully hate on people on matters like these (especially when I sort-of agree with them), but if you are just going to say, “You shouldn’t care what anybody else thinks of you, you don’t have to dress sexy to feel sexy!” I suggest you have a very, very long “because” section attached to that as it’s really not that simple. It’s like saying, “Just get over it!” Things don’t work that way. Don’t forget how recent of a phenomenon it is that a woman is able to be single and independent and say, “I don’t need no man!” is and how universally shared that principle isn’t. Just take a breath and really think about saying that before you actually say it.

Cosplay can provide a very safe and constructive way to have both your something that yo momma didn’t give you and what she did appreciated at the same time (costume and physicality). The context leaves me under the impression that it’s perfectly okay to let sexy be sexy in this instance.

Now that we’re coming to the end of the blog, let me just explain that I’m not hugely in favour of the glamour-model side of things (glamour models in this instance being referred to as borderline pornographic in the name of nothing but being so). However, I realize this line is extremely blurred and I can’t say exactly where it is. Gross over-sexualization that goes well beyond being for the sake of mimicry (like Rikku) or a spot of fun (like a sexy Pikachu)? That line is also very blurred, but it’s roughly where I draw it.

I also really like the fact that cosplayers can be sexy in any variation of size, gender or beauty! The fat, the scrawny, the short, the acne-ridden, the flat-chested and big-assed: people who too much of Western society has not recognized as sexy finally have a niche to be sexy, bad motha’flippahs in!

And truly, what’s wrong with the sexiness that somebody exudes when they’re just expressing their creativity?

Fredkin x

How To Talk To Hot People

So I’ve decided, in the spirit of happy blogging, to not only share my unenlightened and probably terrible advice on talking to hot people (as opposed to just women, I want this blog to be accessible to people trying to pick up whichsoever gender!) but also to try out the weekly writing challenge. So, using images from mine and my friends’ lives, here are my top five tips on how to talk to hot people!

1: Dis ass, not dat ass!

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I am one SEXY bird!

Any player worth his salt and a vast majority of women will tell you that confidence is key to a successful interaction with women. This is a true story of almost everything in life, let alone talking to hot people. Confidence is sexy. We all know this. However, if you were like a sixteen year-old me, one doesn’t simply become confident. Sometimes, we do that little thing where we believe, “nah, they’re way too hot for me!” No! Bad! This is mistake number one.

I always found however, trying to take the approach, “Hey, maybe she’s so babing that she never gets hit on??” isn’t the best one. Whilst this does take the competitive pressure out of picking up, but doesn’t alleviate confidence issues. So, this is my mantra: dis ass, not dat ass. The basic principle being: I am definitely hot enough to talk to them. So turn around, grab a cheeky squiz at that wagon you’re draggin’, get fired up and get ready for STD scares!

2: Being hot is literally being uncool (The Hipster Principle)

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Unfashionable? Maybe, but I got spanked that night so gneh!

This is probably the second most important thing to keep in mind in the art of talking to not just hot people but also a very valuable thing to take on board in your real life: it’s hip to be square. I know a few of you are reeling and saying, “He could not possibly have just said that,” but let me go on.

Think of the coolest people you know. Not necessarily the coolest people on the telly but the coolest people you hang around with. There’s something that all these people will share in common with each other and that is that they just don’t give a fuck what other people think, or at least enough of one to stop doing whatever it is that they’re doing that makes them so gosh darned sassy and fun to be around. This is a little bit different to saying, “Just be yourself!” because who you are and how you behave is constantly changing. This is about becoming who you want to be.

Not to get all philosophical and wanky, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with changing who you are if it will make you feel better. If you’re a smoker or heavily overweight and want to change that, isn’t that a good thing? The same way that if you can’t stop talking about Skyrim or fart on strangers to try and impress them with the depth of your humour, it’s okay to want to change. Once you decide upon what you want to be and are confident in your own skin being that, you will  become cool. That’s what a REAL hipster is- not necessarily somebody who buttons their top button, wears lensless glasses and tight jeans. BUT if that’s what you dig, what you think is fashionable and cool, do it. To hell with the haters-I wear women’s jeans, play blues and know way too much about Winnie the Pooh. Find your skin, get in it and love the hell outta it.

3: Thinking is for winners and you just told me to be a hipster!

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Maybe think more than this…

Now that you think you’re sexy and you’re the coolest guy/gal in da club, it’s time for you to now approach said hot person and wow them with your sexiness and coolness! But what do you say? How do you introduce yourself?

Do you aim to be charming, make them feel like the cutest person in the world and that they want to keep your company cause you make them tingle? Do you aim for intelligence, showing off your worldliness and cultured mannerisms with the elocution of a monarch? Or do you try to be funny, connecting dots light years apart in unpredictable and hilarious ways? Want me to tell you?

IT DOES NOT MATTER IN THE SLIGHTEST. Through rigorous experimentation in various social scenarios, unless you start getting really extreme with things, the approach is in many ways, completely meaningless. There’s a youtube channel called SimplePickup-look them up and watch people who really just don’t care. I find the easiest thing is to be super blunt: “Hi, you’re really cute and I just had to say hi. I’m Toby.” Lines from all across the spectrum from devilishly charming to gag-worthingly blunt have been tried and really, the approach just doesn’t matter.

Two minutes later, all they’ll remember is that they’re now talking to one sexy bad mothah (bamf, if you prefer). My favourite pick-up line is connected to my fifth point so I’ll share it with you then 🙂

4: Talk about cats.

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Meet my cat: Tepinyaki the Food Destroyer.

Did you read the last section? Good, then this one can be delightfully shorter in comparison to all the other ones.

When asking the question over how to keep a conversation going, talk about stuff that you can actually talk about. Seriously, talk about cats. So many people love cats that you can usually get away with it. Maybe they like puppies over kittens and now you can get them talking about things they like. I just really like cats is all…

5: Dis ass: part II

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Me as a sexy, yellow Yoshi, pretending I have an ass.

This is what I find to be the most important part of talking to hot people: the pick-up process is just as much for you as it is for them. Remember the first and second points-dis ass is hawt! Regardless when I’m trying to pick up, I believe that they have to impress me as much as I have to impress them before either of us can get a lil sugar ;D One of my favourite pick-up lines I’ve invented exemplifies my philosophy pretty accurately really,

“Excuse me, you’re amazingly cute and I just had to come and introduce myself to you. I don’t want you to think I’m trying to pick you up yet cause I’m not sure, for all I know you could be an awful person who kills cats and likes Nickleback. I’m Toby.”

And it could turn out five minutes into talking to them that wow, there is no way I could date or sleep with this person. If you’re as much of a tramp for an intellect as I am or are possibly accustomed to getting hit on a lot, you’ll know the process is a two-way road. Don’t settle for less, you’ll just feel filthy.

So! There’s my first weekly challenge done and if you know me, you’ll understand how ironic and hilarious this blog is. Remember-this is just about how to talk to hot people. Nobody mentioned anything about success plsdon’tsueme ❤ As always, feedback is wonderfully appreciated and I’d love to hear other people’s opinions on how to do this!

Peace, love and happy travels yo!

Fredkinstein

What I learned in Albufeira

So, in case you haven’t noticed yet, I use my experiences gained travelling through specific little places through Europe as a means of growing and/or bettering myself. Then, I sit down for a little while, think about how these experiences have changed me and try to put them into words.

Just a litle precursor-I put all these things into words because it helps me to better understand it. Maybe I’m just lacking in sufficient enough memory to just think these things straight out in my head. Regardless, writing it helps me make sense of it. And I miss my friends back home so this is a more efficient way of sharing everything, since finding enough time when you’re constantly nine hours apart is very difficult.

So, Albufeira! I wish I had my computer so I could show y’all photos but unfortunately not. I’ve been here for two days and all I’ve done is walk through the most confusing series of country back roads I’ve ever seen (street signs? loljks) and walked along a few cliffs. Oh, and I found a tiny little beach that was essentially completely secluded from the world. Until a family of fifteen French people crashed my party and I left.

I haven’t been into the city (although I’ll pass through quickly on the way to Lagos-that blog is going to be messssssssed up) and only two beaches, but I’ve purposefully tried to keep off of the tourist trail here. Why? Because I don’t feel that most other people are attempting to gain the same things from their travels as I am. Not in a, ‘They’re doing the wrong thing!’ sort of way…I just kind of like being alone. I can’t understand the incessant need to gaggle that accompanies tourism, being silent whilst the waves crash in a cavern hidden between the cliffs is a wonderful thing.

And, whilst sitting on my secluded little beach, uninterrupted in the most part for three hours, I started geting my little lesson from Albufeira. And after waving goodbye to the Dutch couple with unpronouncable names, whom I’ve promised to visit in some unpronouncable Dutch city, I got it. I’m still slightly confused how to put it into words properly but I’ll try :

If you can’t fix it yourself, then find help. It’s okay to do that.

My first day I spent alone and it was a very healing and therapeutic day. I thought a lot, I did a lot of writing and got terribly scratched up trying to find hidden beauties off the beaten track. But I sort of began realizing that, whilst it is all well and good to try and find happiness in ourselves, it’s just as crucial to find happiness with others. I’m not specifically talking about love or any rubbish like that, just the happiness we find in connections with other people.

To say that I possess the capability to solely fix myself is absurd, I thought. And, however true or untrue this may be for other people, it’s the truth for me.

But, through the kindness of strangers, a long walk and a stolen orange, fresh of the tree in a back alley, I understand a bit better that maybe I’m investing too much effort into directly solving these problems alone.

So-the next four days are in Lagos. Which will be heinous. My problems-whichever part of my life or body they are attributed to (I’m talking about the heart or mind, cheeky), are for the next four days the ‘Octopus in the Corner.’

Maybe if I just don’t pay attention to it, it will go away? I’ve heard crazier.

Go to Albufeira my friends. It is just too pretty for words.

Toby Fredkin

What I learned in Faro: The Kindness of Strangers and Peace

I have never, not in my whole life of (admittedly very limited) travels been somewhere as sleepy, gentle and, most notably, peaceful as Faro in my life. Faro has been my first stop in Portugal before I trek around the coast up to Lisbon and Porto (via some shiny beaches, of course) and initially, I wasn’t too sure if I really wanted to come here.

There is next to no tourist influence on this city, even though I have still only met one person in two days who actually speaks Portugese. A few guided tour officials roaming about the place trying to sell boat tours to the beach in the vastest multitude of languages I’ve ever seen before, but that’s really it.

I chose to come and spend two days here because I really wanted to relax somewhere and get my head put on straight. The last few weeks for me have been very tumultous and confusing, a lot of things have changed in a very small period of time for me since Madrid. I guess that”s what we travel for, to help find ourselves somewhere that we are completely lost.

The first thing I learned in Faro actually began at Gatwick Airport, at 1am, trying to find the shuttle from the South terminal to the North terminal. I became wildly lost in what I can only imagine was the staff carpark, looking for this terminal. I met a French girl who was also flying out to Faro. We chatted a little bit, she was a very sweet girl. We finally found our way there in the end and we sat out the front of the airport for about four hours, just chain smoking cigaretes.

We talked about travelling to learn (she was living in London to improve her English so she could work as a stewardess), crazy and intolerant people in the world and some absolute rubbish. But if you talk with a stranger for four straight hours in the freezing cold with nothing but a few packs of cigarettes, some rubbish is bound to come up. She offered me cake and coke (the drink!) and it was nice.

We got to Faro and her parents were picking her up from the airport. I was terribly confused, I had no idea how to get to the hostel from the airport (there were no signs for buses or trains or anything else of the matter). I met her parents, they didn’t speak a word of English  but they were very sweet and bought me orange juice. Then, they drove me to my hostel.

Faith in humanity: very much restored.

Then, after a good nine hours of wandering the terribly beautiful and wonderfully boring streets of Faro, I came back to the hostel and met the owners. We went out to have a look at buying a guitar for the hostel, then for some dinner and wine. Today, they took me for sandwiches and coffee. They are a wonderfully sweet couple and outrageously hospitable. I don’t have any other word to describe how hospitable they are except outrageous, they’ve taken great care of me in the last two days, even offering to help me find gigs in Faro.

Mixed about with a few people in the hostel who have been very generous with their wine and cigarettes, I learned my first lesson of Faro: the kindness of strangers is truly limitless, as long as you show the same kindness back. Without these people I had never met before in my life, I would have had the most miserable two days here. I mean yeah-the sunshine is beautiful but it can only cure so much loneliness in a man. Never again will I take for granted how good people can be. This city has made cynicism seem like a joke.

The next thing I learned was on my very, very long walk through a very, very small town. I had nothing with me, barre a bottle of water and a packet of cigarettes. Nothing but me, a seaside landscape, the sun beating down and my thoughts. It was incredibly peaceful.

There is no way to be in this town, I feel, and to not be instilled with a great sense of peace about the world. Yeah, there’s good. Yeah, there’s bad. But here in Faro, there’s just peace everywhere.

So I soaked it in, and I began to come to peace with something. Now, these little black bubbles of spiritual disconcertion that have been hanging over me have not been come to peace with. But, I became at peace with the fact that I have to face up to them and ‘pop’ these problems. To me, I think accepting and preparing yourself to deal with your problems is as important as dealing with them in itself.

So, I have come to peace with the fact that I have to make peace. And I’m ready to do that now. What’s that, remnant teenage angst of an immature 21 year old? You wanna fight?

Bring it on bro. I’m ready for ya.

Toby Fredkin

What I Learned In Brighton

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Brighton is a wonderfully beautiful little city. There’s just absolutely no way to describe how swiftly and how heavily I fell in love with this place and I really wish I’d invested some more time in being there during my stay in England. Before I planned on traveling about Europe and returning back home, I had the full intention of relocating my life from London to Brighton in search of spiritual greener pastures.

So I’ve only ever spent three days in Brighton and I’m terribly unfamiliar with not only the streets and the nightlife but wholly unfamiliar with the locals. I mean, I’ve met a decent few people from Brighton whilst I’ve been out and about but not people from Brighton in Brighton, if you know what I mean.

Whilst I was in Brighton, I sort of began to develop a sounder understanding of what it is I wanted out of life, there was an atmosphere there that I simply couldn’t put into words. In a manner of speaking, minus the fact that it still has English weather, Brighton was exactly what a city needed to be for me. No more and no less perfectly suited for me.

First of all, it was jam packed full of music, veganism and too numerous to count shops promoting ethical consumerism and manufacturing. Just to stress again, I LOVE MUSIC, ANIMALS, MOTHER EARTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS! AND BRIGHTON LOVES THEM TOO! It’s dreadfully fun to imagine being somewhere where I don’t have to preach anything to anybody who’s curious because everybody knows! As I’m fairly sure people in most every language in the world but English say: Super Cool!!!!! Me and my best friend got lost on a walk from the Pier to Race Hill (where we were staying) and it took us well over an hour to complete a half hour walk, in the most heinous rain I’ve ever been out in in my life. It was a Wednesday night and every single bar and cafe we walked past had live music pumping. Amazing!
So, the obvious little part aside, down to the little things.

The way the city is set up and decorated is beautiful. It’s nothing grand and magnanimous like London or Madrid (my only focal points) but it’s quaint and colourful. It doesn’t scream out, “Hey! Look at me, I’m gorgeous!” because it’s not that sort of place, but you walk through and just think, “Hey…Look at it, it’s gorgeous!” Yet underneath all of this understated beauty was this strange feeling all around me. And I simply couldn’t pick up where it came from…it was just…right. Kind of like when you can’t figure out the next chord in a progression you’re writing, so you just stick your fingers down in random places and push it out and get your answer.

Most of you will know I’ve been going fairly crazy in/on/about life right now and it’s been like that for a while, but every time that I sneak off to Brighton, everything’s just totally fine.

I had 99 problems. Brightoned up, got none.

What I learned in Brighton is very difficult for me to adequately put into words-it’s not like the Madrid or London or Sydney, which I’d find blogging on easier (to verbalize, not to get it right!). Most of what I learned was very internalised, it was very strongly to do with myself and not so much a grander scale of things.

I learned that no matter how crazy I am, there’ll always be a place I’ll fit in, even if it’s for not all the right reasons.

I learned that happiness can be as simple as jumping on a train to the beach.

I learned that no matter how much I learn about and struggle to obtain knowledge of what’s right, and then to practice is, I’ll always be wrong…

…And I learned that being wrong is most often the right thing to do.

And finally, I learned that I’m not as stupid as I’d always thought myself to be. Which was…well, nice.

How did I learn this from three days wondering through shops and a beach? I don’t know. Nor do I particularly care, I’m just glad for the experience!

I feel much better about myself after today. Cheers Brighton, I’ll really miss you! You really do Brighton up my days!

Toby Fredkin

Madrid Riots-Changing the World

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One of my friends took this photo from the balcony in my room at the hostel we stayed at in Madrid. This was later in the night, around 11:30. It’s just off of the Grand Via and, although the photo quality is a little poor (my bad, still learning to set the camera up properly), you can see riot police speckled everywhere and people running about. Earlier in the evening, all you could see were tens of thousands of people running to and fro-there were enough people to fill a football stadium with ease!

I’m considering creating a new category for my blogs after this and the last blog. If I did, it would be called, “The Wrong Life Lessons I Learned in the Right Places to Learn Life Lessons,” because that’s what I’m doing.

A quick little pre-cursor for anybody who may be viewing this blog under a different impression of what it will be-it’s not so much to do with the riots because realistically, we kept completely out of them. It’s about what they got me thinking about. Cool? Sweet. I’ll hop on with it.

Obviously, I’m one confused little boy. My life is awash with indecision and unmade judgements of things. The reason I’ve been overseas is to try and piece together the little puzzle pieces that is my future. Not the distant future, things slightly closer at hand. Though despite how much closer they may be, they’re still as difficult to figure out.

The main thing that’s been tugging on me isn’t love, because that’s just something I gotta leave alone for it to sort itself out. There are far, far more intelligent and emotionally mature men and women out there getting destroyed by the concept, so I’ma dust my hands and have none of it! And the “where” of everything hasn’t been a problem either-I figured that out over the last three months that I know where my home is-at least my home right now-the sunny and gorgeous Sydney. And I wanna be back there to get sorted on the thing that has been really grindin’ my gears…

What am I going to be when I grow up??

There are so many options and I definitely don’t want what I want two years ago (I guess it’s kind of good that I dropped out of university huh?). Two years ago, I wanted to work strictly in the music industry, although my path was undecided. I absolutely love and adore music in near all its forms, and the music that I don’t like I adore the fact that somewhere, people out there are adoring it, just adorable. And I still want to work in music I guess, it’s just I got thinking about something else.

The riots in Madrid occurred because the Spanish government passed a bill that would see huge and sweeping cuts to public funding all across the country, affecting most, if not all, public services. And the people were, quite obviously, a little bit unhappy about the whole ordeal. So all across Spain, people lined the streets to shout their protests. They weren’t having any of it for themselves or their fellow men and, in their seemingly infinite Spanish passion, they tried to change the world.

Change the world.

So the riots really got me thinking about the world-about how big and how small it is. About what the world actually is, how do we define it? And then once we’ve defined it, what do we do with it?

I would love to grow up and play guitar in a rock’n’roll or blues band. That would just be the coolest thing ever in ever. I’d just have such a whale of time-and one of the cute whales, like a killer whale! Ohh I feel a bit tingly just thinking about how awesome that would be!

But then I step back and think hey-I wanna have a wife and kids one day-I really want to actually be there for all of it, which I can’t do if I’m on the road all the time.

And then I step back even further and think, “Oi, Toby. Why are you looking at so much of this as just yourself? Isn’t there kind of like…a bigger picture at hand? Like the sort of thing that a-hundred thousand people line the streets to kick up their feet at?”

So I think about myself a little bit…I’m a pretty smart guy, truth be told. I always have been. This isn’t me being conceited, just honest. I try and do most things (if you barre anything post-2am on Oxford Street…) with the absolute best intentions for everybody in mind, whether they be friends or complete strangers.

So um…why aren’t I trying to do this with my life as a whole? No no, refocus. Why aren’t I trying to do this with my career? It’s very difficult for me to put this in a way that doesn’t just sound wildly, in every sense of the world, condescending to other people but right now, I don’t think I want to spend my time working towards a career that won’t help other people. Now, this isn’t to say that music doesn’t help people but I really don’t think, unless I were to become a music teacher, that I would have the ability to impact on anybody’s world. Maybe my own, maybe it’d help me write a song to make a girl fall in love with me or help a student to do the same thing but it won’t change anybody’s world.

I want to change the world, whichever world that may be. I’d love to be a writer maybe, but I’m not sure how I could use that to help the world-maybe a generous reader could tell me what to do? I’ve been toying around with the idea of going to law school and working for Legal Aid, helping those who are unable to help themselves. I considered social work or psychology and in all honesty, I just don’t think that that’s what I want to be doing with myself.

Truth be told, I don’t think I’m strong enough to do that. And that’s okay, at least I realize that.

Thanks to anybody who stuck around long enough to read all of this! Not sure if anybody noticed really, but I talked about sort of defining what the world was. I learned a fantastic lesson about that from one of my friends, without her even knowing I pinched this knowledge ;D So my next blog is going to be about that.

It’s 5am and I’m not sure if I should bother getting some sleep or just rolling through the day and crashing early. Ehh, that’s a decision in my life that is, most definitely, unimportant.

Toby Fredkin

What I learned in Madrid

On Monday evening just passed, me and one of my friends from home hopped on a plane from London to Madrid to go and meet other friends from home, who we had(for the most part) not seen in months. Five nights and, by a rough calculation, seventeen hours of sleep later, I was back in sunny ole’ London! (Sarcasm aside, the weather this week is actually amaaazing[for London standards…twenty-seven degrees whoop!)

It’s the sort of place you go to and come home from rethinking-why on Earth have I been living my life this way?

Madrid was the first time in my life I’ve ever been to a place where the dominant language spoken was not English. Although I had briefly holidayed in Fiji when I was younger with the family, Madrid was my first real experience of being in a place that wasn’t strictly under an American/British influence. And really, although I know Madrid doesn’t stand up to other places in the world like India or Brazil, it was the first time that I had ever actually been anywhere so influenced by poverty. And it wasn’t a rampant or sweeping poverty but just hundreds upon hundreds of beggars and buskers lining the street.

In the main plaza, the Puerto de Sol, every day from around eight in the morning until the wee hours of the morning, there would be a group of ten buskers dressed head to toe in thick Sesame Street and Disney outfits. This is how these people made a living-they hung out in the square in these huge costumes all day and had tourists and kids take photos with them in exchange for some loose change. On my last morning, I sat in the plaza, eating breakfast and just soaking in a bit more of the beauty of the city before I left. I was there for about an hour and not a single one of these buskers had any success.
It was around 11am at this point. And, at a rough estimate, I’d say it was thirty-three degrees. Easily that hot.

And I know that almost nobody at home I know would ever, EVER even dream of doing a job like that without any certainty of payment. And these guys were doing it day in, day out, every single night and day I was there, they were there.

Then on the train to the airport, a guy who would have been no older than my brother hops on with an accordion and a little set of speakers and tears into some Ray Charles, Hit the Road Jack. He took a full blasted solo in the middle of it and holy shit, this guy was like Chick Corea on a keytar except he was playing the accordion. And he probably had no job-this was how he made a living. He would’ve made about 4 or 5 euros on that train trip. If anybody even remotely as talented as him was busking on Pitt St Mall, they’d have pulled in hundreds of dollars. It was strange to see, I suppose. I could never imagine putting myself out there like that.
Then again, I guess that’s why I’m not Spanish.

Money aside, there was the most amazing energy! (Except during siesta when everybody slept) Yet the whole place was so calm and relaxed. Energetic, bustling but without stress. And everybody so cheerful and in each others faces, but not in at all of a bad way. When people would come up to you and talk to you, they would be fully in your face but terribly polite about the whole ordeal.

Walking through the streets and parks, listening to the language with the superb backdrop that is the architecture of Madrid, it felt like I was in some sort of musical…or dream. Everything and everyone was just bouncy and charming and ahh!

These locals wondering the streets seemed to be living life in a way that almost nobody I’ve ever met has before: for the sake of living it. I saw it, I soaked it in and I questioned why I hadn’t been following suit.

So now, I’m trying to. A genuine, conceited effort.

I’ve spent so much time in my life fucking about and it’s cause I feel like I don’t know what the meaning of my life is yet, what the fuck am I meant to be doing with myself? Where am I meant to be doing it? Who am I meant to be doing it with? And I’ve spent so much time over so many years trying to figure this out and on that sleepy Saturday morning just before I hopped a train to the airport, it sort of hit me.
“Hey bro, you’ve been doing this shit all wrong.” None of that junk really matters that much. Gotta stop being such a self-entwined little bitch and just enjoy myself. Do things with my life of course-but stop worrying too much over the who, the what and the where and more on the how.

So I’ma try.

Next blog will probably be about how that’s all going. Truly ravishing stuff huh?

Peace out, have a good week everybody!
Toby

Personal Expression

So I grew up kind of weirdly, I won’t lie to you guys. There were some things that went very awry in my younger years, and I guess that a lot of them are realistically still going on now to this day. But I guess I’m still a very, very long way away from being anywhere near grown up, however long it is that I’ve spent pretending that I’m more mature and more understanding and more grown up than I should be.

It wasn’t anything weird my parents or any of my family members did. It would have been nice to have been something so simple, but realistically I can’t blame them for anything. I feel like if I went to a shrink they’d be completely dumbfounded cause there’s just nothing. Yeah, we had some fights. Nothing dramatic. Yeah, we had some money issues but we’ve never, ever been without anything.

And it certainly wasn’t anything to do with bad friends. My friends growing up were great-nothing out of the ordinary. I cared too much for certain friends and took on a lot of their pain and problems as my own yet it was in a very stereotypical way. You know, leaving my phone on at three o’clock in the morning so my crush could call me in tears to have somebody to talk to about her devastating boyfriend issues (“He didn’t say he loved me today omfg my life is over.” “Well, anybody who wouldn’t love you would be insane.” “Aww thanks! BFFL!”).

And it wasn’t poor luck in romance. Yeah, I went through some pretty bad relationships and developed what can only be described as an intimate relationship with fear of rejection, but I was a teenager. Of course I was going to get cheated on. Of course I was going to date girls more mentally unstable than I was, with whom I was simply too incapable of taking care of myself to take care of them as well. If any man hasn’t dated a woman who is crazier than he is, he’s probably been dating the wrong women. It’s the crazy that makes the love real.

It was some sort of self-entranced, artistic soul, bent on a discovery of things that people weren’t willing to talk about and share with me. Things that I didn’t understand and could not live without knowing. Experiences that nobody really need inflict upon themselves. But I was comfortably middle-class and without any objective-or even subjective-reason to feel how I did. And if I was feeling things that were realistically reasonless, what difference would living the experiences that should make me feel that way make?

The self-discovery that immanently presented itself to me over time through those things I constantly subjected myself to started to sort of…twist away from the end goal it should have reached.

They didn’t make the feelings any worse. But they didn’t make them any better either. Things started to sort of crack. I got really confused, because all of my emotions seemed be dictated under absolutely no logical formula. Good things happened-bad things happened-neutral things happened-it was all the same. But the way I felt was never dependent on it. Then the confusion ceased because it seemed that the confusion was just a slight figment of my imagination as well.

Now, this was only a phase. Admittedly a very long phase-and I think my conscious mind is far more to blame for that than my unconscious mind ever could be. But something cracked during that time. I sort of became somewhat unattached from my own emotions-I liked to try and focus on what I knew was real and at that time all I knew was that I really liked bourbon and cigarettes. I started losing a connection with how to express myself with other people. Words would flash about in my head and then they just simply couldn’t materialize in my mouth.

I lost a lot of friends. I drove a lot of lovers away. I alienated my family. I completely lost myself.

I immersed myself wholly in the guitar, adamant not to lose all forms of self-expression. I lived my entire life within a few notebooks sprawled all over my room and word documents slyly hidden all through my computer. In those, I found I was actually able to understand why things were happening and what they were doing to me and the others around me. Shit started to make a bit more sense.

I started my first blog-it was on Myspace. I used to get people arguing every single point I made, questioning the basis of my “knowledge” and then having other people who agreed with it argue with them. It was nice, I felt like a successful, coloured blogger on youtube. I used to publish all the songs I wrote on there too-in hindsight it was a terrible idea (if you can’t tell already cause you haven’t been reading my shit for very long or at all, I’m a dreadful poet…but I like doing it I guess and I’ve always liked to share things I liked). Haw well.

I couldn’t express myself through any other medium. I spent so much time in my regular life pretending like nothing was wrong, so when things began going right I couldn’t remember how to show emotions because I’d spent so long trying not to. To this day, I still can’t cry. I’ve cried about three times in five years-not including the time I got caffeine poisoning on the side of the road at two in the morning on Oxford Street waiting to play a gig.

It’s funny how things go. So many years after that last blog-here I am again. Finding myself brimming with emotions befitting a thirteen year-old girl and having to take it all out on a blog again. Jolly good then.

I still find it kind of strange. I find it incredibly easy now to put my feelings into words. Of course, they don’t really possess the poetic brilliance of…well, a poet (am I making my point here?). But I say what I mean and it’s efficient. I find it near impossible to raise my voice in anger and difficult at best to cry in joy. I can’t cry and my eyes won’t show anything. But I can verbalize everything.

You won’t notice a waver in my voice between I hate you and I love you. And you’d never know which it was until you heard it.

This has been a very personal blog for me, take it however you please. I felt like sharing another little piece of my life with y’all, friends or strangers or otherwise. It’s been on my mind for quite a few months as of late.

Hope the coming week treats us all well, wherever in the world we are.

Peace!
Toby Fredkin

Get Big: Blog One-A little promise to myself

So, I’m pretty thin. Saying that I’m just a little bit on the slim-side would be a vast understatement, I’m heinously underweight. If you knew me back home in Sydney, you’d know this has been true for roughly twenty of my twenty-one years of my life (there was that year I dated a Korean girl whose mum used to cook me fried pork with white rice all the time and I took up drinking beer as a hobby…I miss being chubz =[ ) and I’m starting to feel a bit like, hey, this is enough of this hootananny. I am a man gosh darned it and I will represent myself as one!

…I’m sorry for the language, I wish none of you ever had to see me like that. But it’s gotten a little bit too far and my weight has never been anything I’ve made a really solid commitment to fixing. Right now, I’m just over 51kg (or pretty much directly on 8 stone for my UK frenz) and I don’t think being any height over 5ft at my age justifies that sort of weight.

Soooooo! I got some personal training sessions! Yay! I’m super stoked cause I’ve never had personal training before, even though my sessions with Kieran would give be DOMS so bad…once after a session of squats, I couldn’t sit down or stand still for 40 minutes. Just had to keep walking around swearing like a drunk and stoned, middle-aged Australian police officer whom, whilst on vacation to Byron Bay, has discovered the wonders of tetrahyrdocannibol with a talented pub covers band playing in the background. Yeah, it was THAT dramatic. The point is, I’m getting a diet plan worked out, getting solid measurements to see if I’m actually growing muscles and shiz. SO STOKED.

Turns out I currently have a 6.7% body fat percentage. Which is again, heinously low. Thankfully I’ve found out that a lot of my weight loss can probably be attributed to me trying to eat healthy! (Marley, you should read this bit). This is the first time I’ve ever lived out of home and realistically, the first time I’ve ever provided or cooked for myself. Call me spoilt or whatever, but fact of the matter is I didn’t really know what to do with myself. So I decided to try and call upon all the knowledge I’ve gained over the year of what is considered healthy eating styles (minus animals and what not..) and be a healthy little vegemite! So, all my pasta/bread/rice is wholemeal, I was cooking using low cholesterol oils and trying not to make everything too oily, lots of fresh vegetables and chili and garlic and what not. So, it turns out, my average diet is pretty much the perfect recommendation of a diet for somebody looking to slim up and slim up as quickly as possible.

Well….shit.

So, the purpose of this little rant is that I’m starting another little sub-section of blog: Get Big! A little promise to myself that this time I’m going to dedicate myself hard to this goal and I’m going to gain weight. I’m not sure whether to set an obscene goal but I’d rather do that than undershoot. I plan on gaining an average of a kilo a week minimum for the next two months, at which point I’ll be roughly cracking 60 kilos. If I can keep that up for another 2 months, I’ll get to 68 (jeez, this sounds a bit like a Rebecca Black weight gain blog…) and then I’ll be the heaviest I’ve ever been.

I’ve never really tried to be all conformist and that shiz and try to confine myself to what society thinks is beautiful, like I should be my own person and love myself the way I am. I shouldn’t let the way I look affect my self esteem, right? Yeah, no. No offense to my previous self but I think that mindset is for overly fat or over skinny people who don’t wanna admit they got shit that needs sorting out. I look ridiculous. I don’t want to look ridiculous. I fucking want to be pretty. It’s not that weird of a thing in truth, when I think about it. I mean, judging other people for what they do with themselves is wrong.

Yeah, that girl might have lost her feminine edge when she shaved her head and dyed her eyebrows green, whilst wearing boots that a Nazi would call brutal but unless she worries about giving off a feminine image, what’s the issue?

I could make a counter statement about this for males but I think I’ve talked about myself enough.

So yeah, here’s my promise. I am going to get big. I’m going to feel pretty. Get the testosterone flowing and stop using words like pretty so much 🙂

Peace out everybody, hope you’re having a swell weekend!

Toby

p.s. My PT suggested drinking lots of Guinness to aid in the weight gain…my life right now>your life

Frenz! Or “Friends”, for those illiterate in internetspeak.

Let me start this blog by saying I’M NOT SICK ANYMORE YAY! Well, I am still sick but not as sick as I was before-I can do stuff now! Like eat! And breathe! And kind of smoke…the whole trying to go off of being vegan thing by getting ethical milk and eggs has taken a slightly poor turn..I’m fairly I’ve become lactose intolerant. But this is meant to be a nice blog, I’ll get back on track.

This is a blog about friends, family and home…

I have never, not at any single point in my life, been homesick until now. I have also never missed anything so debilitatingly as for it to make me confine myself to my room watching “Big Bang Theory” for hours on end because it reminds me of how they always used to watch it at home but I’d never join in. I guess that’s a bit specific but you get the idea. Please, don’t misunderstand me and think that I’m saying I haven’t missed anybody when they’ve gone away, I’m fairly sure I cried on a Netzer camp (a Jewish youth movement-they’re groovy you should all check them out! So vegetarian and happy!) when I was ten after just three days because I dreadfully missed my mummy. And if you’d ever met my mummy, you’d understand that’s not a sad thing at all to do. There’s no way for me to describe how nice she is without divulging my more instinctual Australian attributes, so I’ll just go ahead and say it. My mummy is fucking lovely.

I feel really stupid writing stuff like this sometimes but it’s really strange for me. I always hear about people saying, “you don’t really realise what you have until it’s gone.” And I’m like, well obviously duh. But scrap anything more than that really, really hot green-eyed girl I dated in the 11th grade for a few weeks and broke up with for next to no reason, I never really..got it I guess. And now here I am, today officially marks me being in London for two months. And I am just so enamored with everybody who I don’t have with me right now and it’s really, really painful. It’s really unfamiliar too. I just…I really miss everybody.

I feel like one of those really sad, little teenage boys/girls who has just had their heart broken. No matter where I go, what I do or what I try to occupy myself with they’re still not here. Every character on tv reminds me of my dysfunctionally functional family. Every animal reminds me of my ridiculous friends I’ve compared to memes. Every tree reminds me of that stupid little tree-hugger that won’t get out of my head (yeah, you know who you are. Asshole.). Every song makes me sad. I guess listening to Angus&Julia Stone to write a blog about people back home was a bad idea..I just miss ’em is all.

I miss knowing where the hot clubs are.
And I miss having those friends I could call who would always go there with me or take me to a house party instead of going there.

I miss knowing where to find specific types of food.
Especially having asian supermarkets closer than three train lines away (which in London isn’t that far, it’s just annoying).

I miss having my parents yell at me all the time for drinking way too often.
And now I hardly drink anymore because if it’s not upsetting them, what’s the point?

Guess you just really don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone eh? But it’s still there…I could always just…well, pop back? I mean, I could just not get my visa replaced and trek about for the next six months and be home in time for Christmas.

But that’s not what I’m going to do. In the words that I taught my very own mother, I’m going to (and please excuse the swearing again) “harden the fuck up, cunt!” God I’m a bad influence. Whatever. Yeah, I’m going to harden up and remember-I saved up to be here. I’ve dreamed of coming here for so long. And yeah, I left to try and forget about unfulfilled life and love goals and then found myself chronically ill. It’s just cold you little pussy-you’ll get used to it. And yes, I feel like crying every day but can’t. It’s just a bit of homesickness-you’ve been lazy in making friends-go make out with more lesbians. Seriously, that will solve everything. Make out with way more lesbians.

Just…harden up bro. Remember, we always shine brightest through the black, not the blue.

Not going to bother editing this. It was more of a blog to myself than anybody else. To my friends at home-I really do miss you all dearly. I wish the poetry I was writing about you was good enough to be shared, but it’s not. Don’t let that make you think that I don’t love you, cause I do. I’m just a shitty platonic boyfriend, I show love with thoughtful gifts, not beautiful creations. You’ll deal.

The same way that I will.

I love you guys. Taken me a little while to really realise it, but I do.

Peace out,

Toby.

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