Wednesday, June 01, 2011


I'm hoping that the creation of a new blog will inspire more creativity.

See you there :)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


I was talking to my dad today about television. Neither of us watch an awful lot, but he pointed out that a lot of TV shows and movies are all about people being irresponsible and silly, and I had to concede he has a point.

But it occurred to me later that most of the shows on ABC For Kids are quite the opposite. Various shows focus on the importance of friendship, generosity, co-operation, correcting your own mistakes, working hard, and generally being a decent human in your interactions with the world and other people. Almost every kids' show has some underlying message regarding appropriate behaviour.

It made me wonder at what point, and why, do the makers of television programs think, "Ok, enough good messages, lets go wild!"? Why bother drilling excellent examples into the heads of very young children, only to undo it all later with frivolity? It's not as though children simply stop absorbing things at age five with their personality fixed and no further influence permitted!

I hope that when Elspeth is older, I can easily find television shows that promote acceptable behaviour and demonstrate the negative results of being heinous. It's a big task, I doubt I can do it alone, so come through for me, TV!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I don't even know

Here I am at seven weeks and two days. I'm having trouble telling whether I'm hungry or sick, which makes me reluctant to eat, which makes me think I must be hungry because I haven't eaten much, but the thought of eating doesn't sit well... I don't know! The pickled onions which seemed so attractive to me when I bought them are now sitting in the fridge, half a jar left, looking sickening to me. I should throw them out. I want to try to eat, but every food I look at makes me go blergh. This is, I think, where most women would be delicately nibbling on dry crackers, but gluten intolerance makes that impractical; I don't happen to have any of the one single product which may be a suitable replacement. I'm making some popcorn, hopefully that'll go down alright.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Six Weeks and One Day

For the cave trolls who have not yet migrated to Facebook, or who missed the news, I'm pregnant again!

I've just been re-reading my pregnancy-related posts from last time. By five weeks I was nauseous and sore. This time, at six weeks now, I've really just been tired and hungry. Starving!

I'm going to go on record here and state that I think it's a boy this time - even though it's obviously far too early to tell. We'll see!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day

Australia Day. The 26th of January, a public holiday Australia-wide. It commemorates the day, back in 1788, that Captain Arthur Phillip rowed ashore from his ship, the HMS Supply, and formally claimed this land in the name of King George III. It is clearly an important date in this nation's history, and in the history of all Australians descended from Europeans. It is the date that got us here in the first place.

Yet I find myself unwilling to celebrate our national day, or even care much about it. I look around and I wonder what this Great Southern Land would be like without us, and sometimes I can't help but conclude it would be nicer. I'm not talking about Aboriginal rights or the fact that they were disregarded and slaughtered by white men, although that is also pretty heinous. I'm just talking about what we've made of the country, our culture, our contribution to the world stage.

We are, in European terms, a young country. Our history is short, although glorious - our contribution to worldwide efforts such as World Wars I and II was pretty awesome. We are an isolated country, geographically; we are (at least in our minds) hard to get to and hard to communicate with. We are a country of wide open spaces, and sprawling cities.

We are also a nation of beer-swilling bogans, self-important nobodies, and nationalistic racists. We so strongly believe ourselves to be the best country on earth that we behave in a way that negates any merit that idea had. We are proud of our "Australian values" which in reality are shared by people worldwide. We don't want to become like America, but we are doing exactly that more and more each day.

I read the news most days, and accordingly I find it very difficult to be happy about my country or my countrymen. For such an apparently great nation where everybody is happy and we're all mates, we do an awful lot of shitty things to each other. We hurt and endanger each other daily, we are rude and inconsiderate, we even kill ourselves to get away from it all.

Let's not allow patriotism and the Australia Day celebrations to blind us to the problems we still face and the issues that must be addressed. We could indeed be a great country, and we could meet our own expectations, but only if every single one of us wanted to.

Monday, January 10, 2011

"All babies are a gift from God"

"All babies are a gift from God and i think people really need to remember that!"

I think people really need to remember that not everybody believes in God, and if they do, it may not be the same God you believe in. Approximately one third of the world's population is Christian, which means two thirds (that is, a vast majority) are not. And even that one third can't agree on anything; that one third includes about fifteen different major denominations and countless smaller ones. What right does one third of the world's population have to impose their values on the rest of us? But they do, all the time, in ways both subtle and overt.

I have heard it questioned why Atheists feel the need to be so militant, why we are so vocal and determined to prove the non-existence of God. I'll tell you why - it's self-defense! We are bombarded by the opposite view, it is all around us all the time, and we are expected to back down before it and allow the bulldozer of Christianity to knock down our house of Atheism.

It's offensive. It's illogical. Give me a break! Let me disbelieve; I think I'm happier doing so than many believers!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Centrelink Woes

Centrelink are so good. At being useless, that is. It's a funny thing; most of the people in their call centre are helpful and friendly, but somewhere in the background, behind the scenes, Centrelink is a looming hulking monstrosity.

About 6 weeks ago I applied for Austudy. Well, first they lost my paperwork and I had to re-lodge it. Ok, annoying, but not fatal. Very quickly after that I was approved, granted Austudy, a nice respectable sum each fortnight. Hooray, now I can afford dentists and optometrists and driving lessons!

Here is my own personal mistake: I completely forgot that I had to report Aidan's income to them every fortnight. I've never had to do it before, so it just slipped my mind. So yesterday I got a letter from Centrelink saying my Austudy had been canceled for lack of reporting. Ok, no worries, my fault. So I called them to report the income and get the payment re-instated.

"Oh, your husband's income is too high. You will not be getting any Austudy."

But WHAAAT?! It hasn't changed since I gained approval. Nobody at Centrelink seems to know quite what has happened, as apparently I should not have been granted Austudy at all in the first place.

So now I await their little investigation and a callback to tell me what the hell is going on. Am I special? Will I get any money? Or am I just another poor sod mislead by the misinformation machine? I'm tipping the latter...

Friday, December 31, 2010

Being the Good One

The people across the road from me have been letting off fireworks for a couple of days now. I trust the intensity will increase in about 13 minutes, too. It is totally illegal to buy, sell, own, or use fireworks in Victoria - but if it wasn't, I would love to be letting off my own. How come THEY get to do it, and presumably get away with it? How come they feel no qualm, no fear, no guilt? Why do I have to be the good one all the time? I never do a bloody thing wrong. And you know what annoys me even more? Fireworks are illegal because they're unsafe if used stupidly. What that means is that too many people used them stupidly, and now I'm paying the price. I was going to say everybody else is paying the price, but clearly that's not the case, as the people across the road demonstrate! I'm fed up with being the good one while other people have fun. Why can't I go on a murderous rampage? Oh yeah, because I'm the good one. Why can't I steal things I can't afford to pay for? Oh yeah, the good one. Why can't I let off fireworks in my backyard on a total fire ban day? Oohhhh yeah, good one. Bloody morals!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

My grandfather died on Thursday, and his funeral was today. Don't chime in with commiserations; I wasn't close to him and I'm not really upset. But this is a musing on the funeral.

It would appear that my grandparents (dad's parents) were quite religious, and grandpa's service today reflected that. There was a lot of stuff about Jesus guiding us through our grief and knowing that grandpa is with Jesus now and looking down on us and stuff. And as I sat there listening to this tripe, I was thinking. I've never been religious, but I know that other people are, and I can accept that, in an abstract kind of way. But to sit there and listen to a person actually say those things brought it home to me in a way I've never before experienced: actual real live people in the world BELIEVE this garbage. This guy presiding over the funeral, whatever he was, really truly believed that my grandfather was now with Jesus, and that He personally would help each person there deal with their grief. The guy believed in God and Jesus and Heaven in a real and tangible way which seemed to me utterly ludicrous - and even more insulting, he seemed to expect me to believe that too!

By the end of the ceremony, I was wondering how many brain cells I had lost by listening.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ellie at mum and dad's
Elspeth has been a holy terror today! Perhaps holey might be the better word; she's got a graze on her head and a cut on her toe! But the injuries, as usual, don't seem to bother her. She's just having a random grump day. I guess it's because she just spent three days with her grandparents (my parents), and now she's back home and it's sooooo booooring!! Nanna and Poppa dote on her all the time and play with her and think she's awesome; but Mummy's trying to do other things - god forbid I do anything other than pay attention to the child!

Uni started today, for me, so I've been really keen to get into it. I have done quite a bit, certainly more than I expected to, but I was constantly distracted. I find it somewhat ironic that I was neglecting the eduation of my child in order to educate myself about educating children... (I'm doing a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education), so perhaps I should be applying each page-worth of knowledge immediately after reading it in order to keep the girl happy!

I have far too much on this week - which is why I wanted to get stuck into uni work today. Tomorrow I have a friend coming over for dinner; Wednesday is my grandfather's funeral (don't worry, we weren't close); Thursday is our mothery meet-up. Friday... oh, I think I actually have Friday free! I believe I shall sleep. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm going to the dentist tomorrow. I don't hate or fear dentists like a lot of people do, but I don't really like them either - which is why I've been putting this off for nearly five years. My teeth are in a shocking state; the dentist is either going to have a heart attack or a wet dream. The worst thing is I'll have to take Elspeth with me, as neither my husband nor my mother can look after her tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Begin rant.

Right, I hate people. Honestly, I never saw myself as being that great, until I started comparing myself with others.
So many people in the world are stupid, will-fullly ignorant, weak-willed, greedy, petty, and filled with hatred.
Oh my, I guess I fit into that last category, at least!
Seriously, I can't go ONE SINGLE DAY anymore without wondering WHERE DID HUMANITY GO WRONG??? Whether it's reading the news, or talking to friends (or mere acquaintances) or reading forums... there are fucked up people everywhere. I'm beginning to come to a point where I wouldn't mind if mankind went extinct, even though it would take me and the few people I love too!

My virtues:
I admit my ignorance on most matters, and will change my mind on something if enough reliable information is presented.
I try to discuss differences of opinion in a calm and rational manner instead of striding off in a huff.
I have come through some shit in my life and GOTTEN THE HELL OVER IT to reach a stage where I'm happy with what I've got - I don't do "traumatised".
I have NEVER gotten drunk to a point where I've done something completely and totally screwed up like this guy.

Why are there people older, and presumably wiser, than me, who just can't get their shit together and/or can't act like decent human beings?

So over it.

End rant.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Well, I'm not doing so well now. According to my calculations, I should be at 8,000 words by the end of today. It's 4.30pm and I've only just got over 5,000. Unless I have a big run tonight, I think I'm buggered! I probably should have been planning a novel for months, instead of deciding what to write about on the morning of the 1st!

Monday, November 01, 2010

NaNoWriMo strikes again! Yes folks, November is National Novel Writing Month. I'm aiming for 2,000 words per day, that should get me nicely over the required 50,000 words, or get me to the target a little early. So far today I have 1,589. Well on track!

This year's wordcount tips:

Give characters two-word names such as Mary Lou, Billy Bob, and so on, and use their full name every time they are referred to.
Try not to use contractions - don't is one word, while do not is two!
Have a character fascinated with etymology, who feels compelled to explain the meanings and/or origins of almost every word he says.
Include long descriptions of people and places - adjectives are your friend!

Wish me luck. :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The spiders are out to get me again. In recent days I have noticed a large number of very small spiders around my house, all of the same type - this says to me that somewhere around, probably inside, is their mummy. Just thinking of this makes my skin prickle and my chest tighten. I sort of want to find her and kill her, but I also don't actually want to come across her.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bloody Stupid Advertising

Take a look at this bus station ad which I photographed myself this morning.

"Life's better connected."

What does that even mean? You can't use a comparative term without giving something to be compared. Life's better connected than an unlikely shimmering silver sphere? Even if it were a complete sentence, it still wouldn't mean anything, and would certainly have no relevance to a car!

Advertising these days gives me the shits. So much of it seems meaningless, pointless, stupid. Are consumers so mindless that we buy into this rubbish? Do empty buzzwords really sell products? I guess they must.

I find this style of advertising somewhat insulting. Clearly the people behind the product do not expect me to have the will or the capacity to question the ad. Instead I'm supposed to go, "Wow, that is so true, life IS better connected!" or something. I also find it disappointing that this style of advertising actually does work - it has to, or they'd stop doing it. In other words, I am upset that
a) they expect me to be stupid, and
b) other people obviously are.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spiders and I do not get along. In fact, they scare the living shit out of me.

This has not always been a case.

As a child, I'm sure I was tolerant of arachnids.

But one day in primary school, a substitute teacher told us a story of a woman who was bitten by a certain type of spider, and whose skin subsequently rotted away and she died.

Since then, my fear of spiders has gotten worse and worse, and now I have no hesitation in calling it a phobia.

As such, I am always a little bit proud of myself when I manage to kill one - firstly because I had rid the world of one more of the little bastards, but mostly because I know I got close enough to the sucker to kill it!

And so I relate today's incident...

There has been a spider living in a gap in the brickwork outside our front door for quite some time. I've known about it, but as long as I can't see it when I walk past, I can pretend to myself that I'm ok. However, today I finally decided to do something about it.

Now, knowing the randomly scuttling habits of dying spiders, I donned boots and long sleeves, and armed myself with an almost-full bottle of crawling insect killer - I know spiders aren't insects, but it does work.

So, with the baby safely in bed and out of the way, I began spraying. I was saying to myself over and over (yes, out loud), "You stay in your hole, spider, die in there, do not come out..." So, what did my friend decide to do? You guessed it - out he scuttled, ran halfway across the ceiling of the porch, and dropped to the ground, still moving, running every whichway.

And me? I was hyperventilating, my pulse was racing, and I kept on spraying! "Die, you bastard, die!"

Very shortly the spider's erratic course brought him towards the door. This meant it was moving away from me, but this could be even worse! If that spider got inside the house, I was definitely going to freak out. More. I couldn't handle it being in my house. It had to die before crawling under the door. Had to! I sprayed some more!

Oh god, yes, it was beginning to slow down! It fell into the gap between the doormat and the door. A spider who falls is a spider who is nearly dead. Oh yes! It curled up and died, right there beside the doormat.

It is there yet. No matter how dead a spider is, you won't catch me touching it or going any nearer than I have to. But I can handle stepping over it while it is obscured by the doormat!

So, the effect on me? Yes, my little bit of pride. But I'm also a shivering wreck. This always happens to me after a close encounter; my skin crawls, I imagine that every mark on the ceiling and every thread that touches me is a spider, in my mind they're everywhere. I can feel one on my back right now, I know it is there just as surely as I know it isn't! It is highly likely I will dream of spiders tonight.

But I won.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

For all my lovely and loyal followers, if there are any left, I now intend to blog more regularly over at The Baby, She Crazy! This is because most of my doings these days are baby-related, and somehow it seemed appropriate to pretty much give her a blog of her own! I will probably still update here sometimes, when I do things that have nothing to do with Elspeth. So, like, in 50 years or so... haha

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm complaining about last night.

Little Ellie has been sleeping right through the night 99% of the time since she was four months old. But last night was just the pits. She woke up at 2.15am, for no real reason that I could find. I think she does have a tooth on the way, but at that point she didn't actually seem to be in pain. She simply would not re-settle for over two hours; it was past 4.30 by the time she and I both got back to sleep. And then, of course, I had to get up at 7am as usual to feed her and all that morning stuff. It's now just past midday: Ellie has been fed twice and bathed and had a nap (I also had a nap), while I'm still in my pyjamas and haven't showered, and I've only eaten a couple of slices of tinned peach. I have a splitting headache and I keep feeling dizzy, and I know I should probably eat more and maybe even leave the house, but all I want to do is go back to sleep. I'm hanging out for Ellie's next nap (maybe another half hour or an hour...) and then I think I'll nap again. And THEN, by which time it will be about 2pm, I will start my day. :P

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ellie and I went down to the lake today for a picnic and some fun.

So many leaves! Only two hands and one mouth! What to do?!

The weather was nice, so we stayed down there just playing for a couple of hours.

She also tried to chase some magpies! They all got away, though.

She kept trying to shove leaves up my nose, in my eyes, and into my mouth. Yummy! I think she got more in my mouth than her own!