Stupid Things Lori Does

The Pursuit of Happyness.

by Lori Dwyer on March 14, 2013 · 17 comments

“It’s not H-A-P-P-Y-N-E-S-S Happiness is spelled with an ‘I’ instead of a ‘Y
  “Oh, okay. Is Fuck‘ spelled right?”
Um, yes. ‘Fuck’ is spelled right but you shouldn’t use that word.
The Pursuit of Happyness, 2006.


I think everyone comes to a point, every now and then, when they realise that the road they’ve been walking is actually a treadmill. You’ve been putting in a stack of effort and it feels okay for a while. Until you’re exhausted and burnt out and you discover that, for all that effort, you’ve been going nowhere. And you’ve been staring at the same freaking wall for the last two hours.

I’ve begun to feel that way myself, lately, and I think it shows here, on my blog– the space where I am Lori, infused and decanted and dripped pure. The place that’s always been a public, viewable salvation.

Lately, it doesn’t feel that way. Lately, I’ve felt more like a money–grinding corporate whore than anything else.

I think it’s been bothering me for a while now, eating at the corners of my conscious, attempting to peak my attention without scaring the sh*t out of me. That feeling of restlessness and boredom always comes from somewhere deeper. I’m almost sure it began when the offers of sponsored posts and reviews and giveaways started gushing into my inbox in tidal waves, and I began blindly saying yes without thinking at all what I was doing. Accepting sponsored posts for far less than what they are worth, given that you lot– the people who essentially support my writing– are the ones that have to suffer through reading them, when I don’t even like writing them.

And lately I haven’t liked writing them. It’s gone from being a challenge– “How do I take this product that I genuinely like and make it interesting for people to read?”; to a soul–sucking chore– “don’t think, just write”.

What bullsh*t. How freaking rude to the people who read this blog. How f*cking undignified. I’m too afraid to open my email inbox for the horrible feeling of being a coward, too nice and too afraid to just say ’no’. I have words dancing the back of my mind, joyful pas de deux that become sad pirouettes as I ignore them, day after day, spending my time either worrying or procrastinating or writing like a robot, programmed by myself.

It came to a point a week or so ago, as things usually do– all those tiny thoughts nibbling in the shallows of mind created at the centre, providing an apex of reason from whence to see what was really going on here.

I found myself writing posts for products I would not necessarily endorse. And the worst part was, it wasn’t a decision I consciously made. I just said ’yes’ to the money, without thinking about it. Would I generally endorse one–use plastic products for kids lunches? No. Would I generally endorse a fruit purée in favor of half a piece of fruit? Well… maybe. I’d certainly buy it. But I’m not sure I felt right about telling other people to buy it, too.

It was only on the eve of publishing those posts, while writing them, that it hit me– this was not cool. How could I have not thought of this earlier?

Auto–pilot will get you everywhere. But it may also get you crashed into the side of a f*cking mountain if you don’t sometimes look where you’re going.

At around the same time I (finally) had that epiphany, I was smacked in the face with another one. Because, as we know, the Universe likes to poke me. With sticks and other blunt objects.

I’ve often raved on about blog events, how awesome they are and how much I love them. So much so that I think I may have, again, let the status quo dictate all my further actions, without stopping to ask myself the question of ’What the actual f*ck are you doing here, Lori?’. Is it really necessary to go to these things? What could your time be better spent doing…?

I attended two events in two days a few weeks ago, both in the Sydney CBD. With the M5 freeway being the veritable carpark that it is, I spent a total of seven hours sitting in a car. Not my car, which I was thankful for at the time– taxis and town cars, provided by the big corporations who had invited me in for a media launch and ‘discussion over lunch’ respectively.

The media launch went for a whole hour. The ‘discussion’, where we’d been asked to along to ‘share tips to make life easier for parents’ involved two hours of us being talked to about how awesome a relatively new software product with an awful reputation is. Admittedly, I left that event early. But I’m still not convinced there would have been any actual ‘discussion’ involved.

The total transport cost, to have me in the city for three hours over two days? $900.

The cab drivers were thrilled. I felt a bit… sick. A bit dirty. You could feed entire families on that for a month, if you went to where it was needed.

I can hear the obvious counter–rationale to this one– if not me, someone else will fill my spot. The money will undoubtedly be spent elsewhere. I’m fairly sure that’s okay with me. I’m certainly not saying I’m never going to another event– some of them are not only entirely interesting, but downright enjoyable. It’s just that the whole episode suddenly changed those lenses on the world, on the way I see myself.

It’s fairly well known amongst my fellow bloggers that I exist in somewhat of a social bubble. It’s quite common for me hear things like GOMI is talking crap about us or “Woogs had dinner with the PM and respond with “What? Really? Wow! When?!” So it was kind of timely to discover that I’m not the only who feels that way… it seems the shine is rubbing off what may turn out to be bullsh*t for a lot of us (and I think this is the point where I confess I have a massive girl–crush on Eden and she may just be the coolest person I have ever met. I also know I’m certainly not alone in this).

So… that’s that. I’m sick of writing blog posts about stuff I don’t really care about, and letting the writing I want to do slide into the background. It may mean I’ll be a bit harder up for cash… Or it may mean I’ll just have to get a bit more creative making it. I’m no longer attending every event just because I’ve been invited and I don’t want to miss out, especially if I’m well aware that there is no way on this earth that I’m going to be writing about it. I’m going to stop doing giveaways just for the sake of it, unless its something really, really awesome.

And I’m going to spend more time being happy– more time doing what makes me happy, I’m going to write what I want to write. I’m going to harness that ‘all bets are off’ attitude that’s surprisingly easy to come by these days. I’m going to spend more time doing yoga, more time playing with herbs and creams. More time exploring. More time in my sadly neglected garden.

And in reality, laced with the best of intentions as those ideals are– I may do none of those things. But I won’t be a slave to myself any more, either, and that’s the aim of the game here. The happiness, I’m sure, will follow.


I’m Afraid Of Aeroplanes. #BloggersToBorneo

by Lori Dwyer on March 4, 2013 · 4 comments

”I’m afraid of aeroplanes,
Even though I like the way
It feels to be a person in the sky…”
A320 Foo Fighters


I don’t like to fly.

We know this, I know– we’ve discussed it before. It’s something I’ve been working on, and a fear I think I’m in control of.

But I still pray every single freaking time I get on a plane. Actually, prayer never seems to quite be enough– during turbulence I often wish I was Catholic, so I knew how to say a Hail Mary or something else appropriate, without stuffing it up and acting like a blasphemous idiot.

Religion aside, it seems I’ll soon be spending an as-yet-undetermined length of time on a plane in just a few months time, winging it all the way to Borneo. And back. Cross country trips to Melbourne are one thing. International flights are totally something else.

In an attempt to lessen my own anxiety, I’ve made a slightly obsessive habit of researching aeroplanes and aeroplane safety. Some of the stuff I’ve discovered is fascinating.

And a lot of it is just damn… terrifying. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where I question the sanity behind my own thinking that ‘knowledge is power’, and the more I knew the less afraid I’d be.

But, perversely, that theory has actually worked. A least if the plane does come down in the ocean, or come down in a field, or catch fire in the middle of the tarmac… I’ll be prepared.

Kind of.

Whatever. Anyway– I figured, in the spirit of sharing, I’d fill you all in on what I’ve learned. The comforting, the terrifying, and the urban mythologies.

The brace position is not designed to snap your neck. Rumour has it, a la the movie Fight Club, that the brace position is designed to effectively snap your neck on impact, thereby killing you quickly. So as not to leave a planeload of horribly injured  moaning passengers wandering around the crash site. Because really, that would be a PR disaster.

That one’s not true. But there is a very correct way to ‘brace’. If you look closely at the (remarkably un-detailed) infographic on your aeroplane safety card, you’ll see either both hands tucked under the poor doomed passenger’s legs, or one hand placed over the other on the poor doomed passenger’s head. Left hand over right hand, if you’re right-handed, or vice-versa. Why…? Because if all that luggage contained in the overhead compartments does come piling down on top of you, you’ll want at least one set of unbroken fingers with which to unbuckle your seatbelt.

The brace position Actually not designed to kill you.

The brace position Actually not designed to kill you.

Speaking of seatbelts– they’re stupid. It’s apparently extremely common for passengers who have to ditch the plane to lose valuable seconds attempting to unclipping their seatbelt from the side. Logically. The way you would do in a car. Because your body just does that in times of extreme shock– muscle memory takes over. Best practice says to buckle and unbuckle your seatbelt a few times in order to give your muscles a better chance of retaining that information in an emergency situation… I’m not entirely sure it would help.

And speaking of shock…. A few years back, you may remember a commercial lane ditching into the Hudson River. Only a small percentage of passengers even remembered to grab their life jackets from under their seats. Because your brain is just awesome like that.

No... life jackets. Really. Ditchin'.

No… life… jackets. Really. Ditchin’.

“Please keep your window blinds open..” this directive has never really helped with that whole fear-of-flying thing. ‘For pity’s sake… why?!’ my internal-sensible-entity-who-likes-to-keep-her-feet-on-the-ground asks. Well– if you’re sure you want to know– it’s so you can tell them if something untoward happens. Like a wing catching on fire.

“Lights will be dimmed during take and off landing…” Annnnnnd this one always baffled me, too. Of course, there’s another morbidly curious explanation. It’s so your eyes adjust to the potential darkness of the tarmac at night. Or the fug of a smoke filled cabin. Dilated pupils are all the better to evacuate you with.

The morbidly curious question… do the oxygen masks really get you high? Well… ‘hem. Funny you ask. Oxygen masks are a necessity if the cabin suddenly depressurizes. But, having sucked on pure oxygen before, I can personally validate the theory that ‘pure oxygen calms you down and promotes a sense of peace and well being’. Logically (again with the logic, I’m even impressing myself here) oxygen should produce the totally opposite effect to the ‘panic and fear’ chemicals our bodies produce given the slightest whiff of carbon monoxide. Authorities strenuously deny that oxygen masks on planes are there to make you forget that your plane is currently plummeting toward the ground, a la Fight Club…. I am not so sure.

Bare feet get burnt. Potentially. If you have your shoes off when jump from the big bouncy slide onto the tarmac, you may find your socks covered in burning jet fuel. Unpleasant. So the ‘shoes on’ warnings are more for reality than anal–retentiveness.

You are your Captain’s personal responsibility. And, so the theory goes, therein lies the reason he introduces himself to you at the beginning of the flight. Because now, he ‘knows’ you, and psychologically, feels more responsibility for your life. And perhaps that means he (or she) will be less inclined to have a lapse of concentration at a vital moment.

“Please listen carefully to the safety warnings, even if you fly often…” As if you have a choice- you may have noticed that no matter how much you try to tune out the “exits are here, here and here…” spiel… you can’t. It’s not your fault. Listen carefully to the air steward giving your safety speech next time you take off. You’ll notice that every sentence they say ends with a…. downward….. inflection… of… tone. People don’t usually talk like this– the unfamiliar rhythm forces your mind to pay attention, even if you actually can repeat the entire speech word for word.


Uhhhhh. Well. I do hope we all enjoyed that. In order to send me on a great big tin can that logic tells me shouldn’t actually be able to fly, you should throw your spare change my way and donate to the BloggersToBorneo appeal.

Because for some insane reason, even after writing this post… I still really, really want to go.


Lori Gets A Nose Job.

by Lori Dwyer on February 26, 2013 · 6 comments

Sometimes, for o other reason than the opportunity presenting itself, I do ridiculous things. Like having my nostrils waxed in a very pubic place, filming it and putting it on YouTube. Enjoy.