Friday, September 29, 2006

This is a random selection of photos from our travels. Don't ask me why.

Twas a freezing cold night in Paris, as were they all... A slightly cliched, touristy shot, no doubt, but I rather like it.

The Coloseum by night - also cliched. Not quite so cold, though.

Gay Pari, also at night. I like night photography, can you tell?

A real sunset in Budapest. It's so red because of the thick smog.

More tourist shots. Brandenburg Gate.

A funky photo of a beer in Barcelona. I drank that beer. I enjoyed it.

A beautiful beach in Barcelona, where I got scratched by a stray cat. I'd go back there, if I knew the cat was gone.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I have just come from the dentist. I had a filling. I haven’t been to a dentist since I was about 16, and that was only for braces. Never had a filling or an extraction or anything else. I feel like somebody has hit me in the jaw – the right side of my mouth is numb and I just know when it stops being numb it will be very sore. And I’m at work right now. Fortunately they’ve let me just do faxes for the day, no phone calls.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Read that.

To me, that simply reflects the susceptibility of people to the media. We fear what we’re told to fear, regardless of logic or immediate relevance. Logically speaking, how likely is a child to encounter a bomb, or by affected by one? Why should they fear this above more immediate concerns like being sent to the principal’s office? I know I’ve never seen a bomb, nor have I ever known anybody who was injured or killed by one. Terrorists do not target primary schools (unless it’s the one where the politicians’ children go), particularly here in geographically isolated, politically stable Australia. Any child’s fear of a bomb must therefore be a result of media saturation, and snippets of overheard and misunderstood conversations.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I am Australian!

More and more, in recent times, politicians and news articles have caused me to wonder exactly what this means. After all, I’m just me and I just happened to have been born here – it’s not a matter I’ve ever given a lot of thought.

I was brought up in the bush, that’s pretty Australian I suppose. I’ve got a bit of a clue about deadly snakes and spiders, I can climb trees and ride horses and I know one end of a sheep from the other. I’ve mustered cattle, I’ve slashed bracken, and I’ve helped butcher calves. But that only makes me a minority, despite the inherent Australian-ness of those things.

I’ve got a sense of humour which encompasses Monty Python, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and the Grant/Naylor combo. But even though many Australians share that humour, all of those people are in fact British.

I love my friends and family – but doesn’t everybody?

I appreciate my freedom and my rights... but even those who don’t have those things strive for them, I believe that to be a human trait rather than an Australian one.

I’m a hard-worker, but based on observation I wouldn’t say that’s typically Australian these days.

As for any other “Australian values” – see – most of these concepts seem to me to be 50 years out of date. Culture, like everything else, changes and evolves. I cannot deny that Australian culture still very strongly reflects our convict heritage, Irish immigrants, and so forth... but these are just layers in a deep and varied history. Every layer, every period of time, will have it’s impact on the country and the culture and I think that trying to adhere to values which were extremely relevant last century is only going to result in stagnation.

Wake up Australia! The world is getting smaller and we’re too busy guarding our borders against it all to notice! What are we afraid of? The country our grandfathers fought and died for is already gone in favour of Coca Cola, McDonalds, and reality television. What more can a few Muslims do? What are a few half-drowned asylum seekers going to do to this country that’s any worse than what we do to it ourselves?

We’re a young country, that’s for sure, and we’ve got a lot of growing up to do.

Tragedy has struck.

Yet another person is leaving the sales centre where I work – and it’s the only other remaining weirdo. As of next Monday, I will be alone in insanity. I honestly don’t know how much longer I can take this job without somebody to bounce off. I mean, everybody here is really nice and I like all my colleagues, but but but... you know. There’s always somebody you really click with. Sigh.

Friday, September 22, 2006

As the end of my long week approaches, I cannot help but wonder exactly how many times during the week I have answered the same question. No question in particular; there are two or three I’m asked many times each day. I have reached the point where I do not need the customer to finish phrasing their question; I am already in the right program and screen long before they stop talking, and have the answer ready for them. It’s no wonder I’m bored. Going part-time is looking increasingly attractive; either that or quitting. After the wedding. The reckless alternative would be to quit BEFORE the wedding, thus receiving my annual leave payout – but then I’d have no job to come back to, that’s a bit dicey. Tempting though.

We’re going to a play tonight. The Bible – Just The Good Bits. Should be quite funny. It has Andrew in it, so it kind of has to be!


Our fish died!!! Three of the four sadly passed away yesterday. Haley, There’s, and Beware are greatly missed. Please join me in a moment’s silence...

Thank you.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pointless post

I like wind.

I like rock music.

I like confusing people.

I like 6pm.

I like our apartment.

I like the taste of my blood.

I like trees.

I like animals.

I like putting pointless posts on this blog.

"Why has it taken so long for me to receive my order?"

Lineal time is a construct of the human mind to assist in dealing with the enormity of the universe and to explain the movement of the sun, changing of the seasons, and why people get tired. Time is merely another dimension through which we move inexorably. We may even be moving through time backwards, which would explain why we can see what’s behind us but not what’s in front of us. Time may even be cyclical; after all, history does always repeat itself. Any time which may pass does so only because we as a race subscribe to the belief that it does. As such, your question cannot possibly be answered in any meaningful sense and if I believed in lineal time this would be a waste of it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Groan. It’s hit me. I’m so tired right now. I still have just over 3 hours to go here at work. I wish I didn’t work such long hours. Nine hours a day. Yuck. Still, pays the bills. More importantly, pays for the honeymoon to South Africa. I have to keep thinking of that today to keep myself going! Not too long now, only just over nine weeks until we leave. Oh my god, that means nine weeks until we’re married. That’s weird and cool.

I just spoke to a very rude lady. So many people are rude. It’s hardly called for. I just don’t have the patience to take it nicely today, although I’m trying.

If you want people to be nice to you, never work in customer service.

Need to get out more

We went to see an accordionist last night! I assume that’s the right word for one who plays the accordion. The support acts were unfortunate at best, but the headliner was so cool! It was like this little novelty/cult thing, just a crowd of people who kinda went “Hey, an accordionist, weird, I’ll go along!” Mostly people who’d seen him at the Dresden Dolls the previous night. Anyway, that was surprisingly lots of fun, and we had yet another late night. That’s three in a row now, and I’m feeling young again because I’m only slightly tired!

The taxi driver on the way home was studying something related to religion, I forget because I was tired and out of it at the time. Anyway, he and Aidan had a good old gasbag about stuff. It was quite funny, the taxi driver kept glancing over at me on the back seat as if waiting for me to join the religious debate, but I just stared out the window.

We have reached an informal decision that we need to go out to more things like that last night. We’re becoming old homebodies at the age of 23, it ain’t good. Even just pub bands or novel little gigs, anything to get us out there in the world!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reminiscing (or, Why I Miss Travel)

If you can’t see any rubbish bins, you’re not in Budapest.

If you can see any Beatles memorabilia, you’re definitely not in Abbey Road.

If you feel like you’re living in LegoLand, you’re in Luxembourg.

If every street sign is in two equally incomprehensible languages, you’re in Belgium.

If you can understand anybody speaking, you’re certainly not in Scotland.

If waiters go into shock at the prospect of tea without milk, it’s gotta be England.

If the locals are rugged up in the mildest weather, you’re somewhere in Spain.

If the tall towers remain standing straight, you can’t be in Italy.

If somebody starts telling you about the first president of the third republic, you’re in France. (Nowhere else has had that many revolutions!!!)

If you can’t see any Goths, you’re not in Germany.

If there aren’t any drunken Poms, you’re not in Amsterdam.

If nobody has broken any of your electronic equipment, you’re not in Austria.


The Day draws ever closer...

I tried on my entire load of crap last night while Aidan was out – wedding gown, shoes, veil, make-up, jewellery. I somehow expected to look like a bride out of a magazine, but I just looked like me only more strangely dressed than usual. How did I think that putting on a dress on make-up would make me look like somebody else? Perhaps it was more of a hope than a real expectation! Clothes do not maketh the woman.

Today’s newspaper headlines (this is not a joke, it’s really true):

1 – Man attacked on tram. Victim suffers head injuries in assault with butcher’s sharpening iron on city tram.

2 – Police accused of brutality. A culture of unacceptable and unlawful behaviour exists in Victoria Polic.

Ok... a man is attacked by a psychopath civilian on a tram, but the POLICE are brutal.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Explain something to me...

Australia is a big country. A young country, developing, half empty! So our government is insistent upon tightening immigration laws, effectively limiting growth potential and the “multiculturalism” the politicians claim to value so highly.

Sadly I’m at work and have little time to blog. But the above is food for thought anyway. Mmmm food...

Friday, September 15, 2006

People amaze me...

I keep getting faxes from people with their credit card details! This isn’t a secure building, anybody could pick those faxes up, we’re not technically trained in privacy, faxes can be copied or taken home... Do people have no concept of basic security? Common sense? Anything? Ok, End Rant.

I’m wearing a red shirt today. Very red. Bright red. It’s very odd, since I generally wear only black. I thought it would make me feel bohemian and funky, but it just makes me uncomfortable. Breaking the comfort barrier. Dark purple I can handle, blue I wear a bit, but bright red is just odd. Weird, because I would have no problem dying my hair bright red – in fact it’s reddish at the moment, kind of auburn.

What do my clothes/hair/accessories/etc say about me? I never give it much thought. But I judge people by their appearance all the time, of course, everybody does. So what do people think of me? Wearing black, but not particularly sinister black, hair colour changing every few weeks, geeky glasses... Most people probably don’t look twice at me. I guess that’s good!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Oddly quiet at work today... It’s a bit like working on a public holiday. I kind of hope it picks up, I’d rather be busy than bored.

Contemplating going part-time here after the wedding... take a little bit of a break, then find another job. I’ve never worked part-time in my life. Always full-time and sometimes over-time, but never part-time. I think I would like it. I have no problem with long days or hard work, but doing this menial job for nine hours a day kind of gets to me. If I could be doing something else for half the day, even just another menial job which is different from this menial job, that would give some relief.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

You are Agnostic
You're not sure if God exists, and you don't care.
For you, there's no true way to figure out the divine.
You rather focus on what you can control - your own life.
And you tend to resent when others "sell" religion to you.

People are batty today! Poor Mel had a guy start a phone call with “I’m p*ssed off because I haven’t got my fabric!” – not exactly a positive start to the day! I’ve had a hag on the phone blaming me for somebody else giving her the wrong information and intimating that the information I was giving may also be wrong.

Yet, it’s sunny and shiny and happy out there! I think I’ve had an epiphany. Or I might have taken a knock to the head. I feel as though I’ve figured it out. Life. Just to enjoy it! The best thing about any event/day/phone call is that once it’s done I’ll never have to do it again! When this day at work is over, I will never ever be obliged to go through this day at work again. On the other hand, I’ll never be ABLE to go through it again, which means I’d better enjoy it while it’s here! I’m feeling hyperactive and abnormally happy. Even the batty customers can’t seem to get me down! I wonder if it’s anything to do with the Satanic Bible which I started reading this morning? That would make a certain limited amount of sense. Perhaps I shouldn’t over-analyse but just accept the joy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It’s a lovely sunny day and I went for a stroll on my lunchbreak. How I regret that blissful wander now! For what should I chance upon but a dress! Such a dress! Full length, black “vegan” leather, laced-up at the front... I’m drooling even now. In that dress, even the frumpiest woman would look hot (not that I am frumpy). And the reason for the regret? It’s $200. I don’t have $200.

Goth clothing and accessories are once again becoming highly desirable in my eyes. They never really stopped being desirable, but more so with my increasing desire to differ. It’s as though the more bored and frustrated I am, the more appealing becomes the idea of myself as goth. I suppose that’s not entirely unexpected. It’s a form of rebellion, visible and easily interpreted, accepted but not embraced by the general public. It is even something which, in a moderate form, can be brought to the workplace. The only obstacle is the cash.

I awake,

Reluctant, recalcitrant

Discordant sounds irritate

The day looms

like approaching stormclouds

Refuge is found:

The snooze button

for temporary relief of symptoms

(if symptoms persist

see your psychologist)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Here I am

In a life too ordinary

Acting crazy

Lest I go mad

Anger rears its head

Unreasoned hate surges

Destined, though, for stifling

By conformation

By necessity

By unwritten rules

There’s a longing within

For rebellion, senseless and violent

Common sense prevails

And here I remain

In my life too ordinary

Ok, my turn. I don’t usually do Lists and stuff, but since I’m hyperactive and bored (even though I’m busy busy busy...) This is going to be difficult...

1 – The Book That Changed My Life: “Last Chance To See”, by Douglas Adams. It really brought home the plight of the natural world. Actually it made me cry, despite it’s humourous style.

2 – The Books I’ve Read More Than Once: Almost every book I own. Particularly Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series, anything by PG Wodehouse, ditto Douglas Adams (RIP).

3 – Books I Would Want On A Desert Island: Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” – firstly because it would keep me going for at least a day, and secondly to remind me that there is both misery and happiness greater than my own. Well, greater than my happiness WOULD be if I were stuck on a desert island.

4 – Books That Made Me Excited: “The Dark Is Rising” sequence by Susan Cooper. I know it’s silly, they’re childrens’ books, but they get me all psyched up and excited every time I re-read them! Perhaps I just wish for a life less ordinary! Also “Anna Karenina” by Tolstoy – how can he write 6 pages about a guy mowing grass and make it interesting?!

5 – Books That Made Me Cry: There are too many... “Elli” comes to mind, but the author’s name doesn’t. A holocaust story, need I say more? A real one, autobiographical.

6 – Books I Wish Had Never Been Written: Pass. Too many. But Homo Escapeons has a point with the censorship thing.

7 – Book I Am Currently Reading: Dostoyevsky’s “House Of The Dead”.

8 – Books I Am Meaning To Read: Everything ever written, particularly more in the following areas: Classic novels (Dickens, Austin, Wilde, etc), philosophy, history.


Psyyychos!!!! People ordering things that don’t exist, chasing up orders that haven’t been placed, blaming me for their disorganisation... In short, everybody is acting perfectly normal and human.

We went to Andrew’s birthday dinner last night, that was fun – lots of people we didn’t know, but they didn’t bite so we’re ok! Tired though – very very tired. So now I’m hyperactive and strange at work.

Busy busy busy tea tea tea busy tea talk drink busy tea.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Now Peter Brock is dead too! Pseudo-celebrities are dropping like flies this week.

I can just see the TAC (Traffic Accident Commission) having fun with this one... “Speed kills!”

What I have found most interesting is watching the story unfold, so to speak. We hear news on the radio, then jump onto The Age website ( At first there’s just a mention of a rumour, a few lines, then we hit “reload” every few minutes and a few more lines have been added – more detail, quotes, reports, it all builds up into a full article before long.

Another aspect which interests me is my own reaction to the articles on the deaths of Steve Irwin and Peter Brock. I am so accustomed to news only being true until another news article contradicts it, that somehow I do not believe these people are permanently dead. Surely next week they’ll be back? Every other news item seems to revert to a non-event in about week, so why shouldn’t these ones? It’s a distressing side effect of the over-saturation of media.

<b>Today’s Twit Of The Day</b>

I work for a fabric wholesaler. That means we sell fabric to retailers, manufacturers, and the like. I just got a call from a lady asking me for a retail price on a fabric (she never gave her name or said if she was calling from a business). I said I could give her an estimate, but it would depend where she bought it from. She seemed to have no concept of the fact that a wholesaler couldn’t give her a definite retail price. Then she started asking if she could buy directly from us – without having said who she was. I said we only sell wholesale to businesses of the above-mentioned type. She said she had such a business. (So why was she originally wanting only the retail price?) I said as soon as we sighted her business credentials we could provide wholesale prices. She was silent. She had done this a few times – just didn’t say anything, as if she didn’t understand what I was saying and was waiting for more. There was no more. What more could she want?

Now tell me – am I being unreasonable? Do I expect too much? Why did she not simply state who she was and where she was calling from, and asked how to obtain a wholesale price? Instead she gave me nothing and expected everything.

Actually the rudeness and stupidity of many people I deal with bothers me a great deal. Rarely does somebody start a phone call with “Hi, it’s Bob calling from My Business, how’s it going? Can I order...” etc. More usual is “I wanna order...” and I’m left wondering who the heck I’m actually talking to, and if they’re rude to everybody or if I did something to offend them!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I don’t think I think enough. Sometimes I am full of cynicism and judgement which seems to indicate some kind of analytic process happening, but then I wonder how much of what I say has been taken from some other thinker, and how much is original, and if maybe I’m really just automatically gainsaying every position taken by the popular media and people I don’t like. Perhaps all my opinions and feelings are just as manufactured as anybody else’s, but in the opposite direction. How can I tell how my own subconscious mind is working? I think I’m independent and different, but so does everybody else, right?


On a lighter note, I heard a dreadful joke this morning, in very bad taste but I will reproduce it here. Any who find it offensive, well, that’s fine. To each his own.


Steve Irwin should have been wearing SPF 30+ sunscreen – for protection against harmful rays.    

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

As I’m sure the whole world knows now, Steve Irwin is dead. At various times in his life he was, according to popular media, a “drongo” and a “dill”. He was out of the spotlight for a while (as far as I know), then he died and became a “hero” and a “superstar”.  How did this transition occur? I am obviously among the unenlightened, for few others seem to have any problem with this. I’m sure he was a nice enough bloke, he did a lot of work for conservation and tourism which I respect. Somebody explain how dying made him a hero?

I’m sick of my life. I spend 12 hours, five days a week, at work or in transit between work and home. That’s 60 hours a week I cannot call my own. Even when I do get home in the evenings I’m too tired to really do anything, so that knocks out those few hours between getting home and going to sleep as well. Of course, the mornings are taken up by just getting ready for work... My life is dictated by a workplace, which I suppose is marginally better than “lives dictated by tradition, superstition, false religion” because at least a workplace pays me money.


The Plan:

Quit in February next year, having worked here for one full year. Find work in the hotel/hostel industry. Save lots of money. Travel. Travel some more. Possibly work while traveling. Come home, or possibly move to Brisbane or Canada (don’t ask the logic behind those two choices, there may not be any), and start a backpackers hostel and/or cafe and/or bookshop.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Possibly the silliest thing I’ve ever been excited about:


We’re seeing Jeff Martin tonight (The Tea Party frontman). That is very exciting. However what I am actually more excited about is the opportunity/excuse to “goth up” – the black silk shirt, the black velvet skirt, the collar, black lipstick, etc. I’ve felt so normal for so long, conforming to corporate clone standards (wearing only black, but respectable professional black), it’s GREAT to be odd again. I dyed my hair last night, it’s an awesome kind of auburn, dark red-brown, loving it. Aidan did his blue-black, which is extremely funky. Tonight is going to be fun fun fun.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The latest news article I’m annoyed at:

Essentially, an MP stood up and detailed ways of committing suicide, and they’ve suppressed online publication of that speech. The premier said “...if just one person follows the methods she outlined in the Parliament, she will have a death on her conscience” which I think is ridiculous. Let’s face it: if somebody wants to commit suicide, they’ll do it one way or another. Inspiration from an MP might suggest the method, but certainly not the urge.