Sunday, October 30, 2005

Love, Loss and the BBC

Sure, it's sentimental, but Casanova did make me cry my eyes out at the end of it - it was sad! I mean, constantly striving for love and the one person you want and never getting there... it's sad. But the show was fantastic (review here).

And it made me think about a lot of things in regards to love and relationships.

Strangely enough, it never seemed like Casanova was using the people he slept with - there was a lot of care combined with his seductions. Of course, his heart was already taken with Henriette, although he never ended up with her. He was constantly chasing and searching and being sought.

So how long do you wait for love, and when do you say to yourself that it's time to give up and moving on? Hmmm... Quickly? After they marry and you are jailed? After you are forced to constantly be on the move? After you turn 70? Never?

His advice was to never lose your heart (meaning never fall in love), but when you refuse to lose your heart, do you ultimately lose it in another way? (potentially becoming cold and heartless?)

Maybe we should chase love and happiness, but then what if we never get it, in much the same way as Casanova never ended up with what he ultimately wanted and who he ultimately loved?

When do we get to the point where we say that perhaps we should settle for what we get? Sometimes dreams are unrealistic. You probably won't end up with a yacht, mansion and Porche in the garage. A Holden might be the best it ever gets to, along with a yearly holiday up the Gold Coast.


"Man is free, but not if he doesn't believe it." - Guiacomo Casanova
*teehee* I love going through old tapes and CDs and finding what there is to listen to! Such as the following song...

Nobody Likes A Bogan - Area 7

Well he's the king of fashion in his neighborhood,
With his ripped blue jeans and a flannelette shirt.
A well kept mullet and a packet of smokes,
His mates will all tell ya he's a real top bloke.

His real name is Barry, but his mates call him Bazza.
And his girlfriend's name is Sharon, but ya just call her Shazza.
Real top Sheila, real top sort,
She'll even change your stubby while your watching sport.

But don't victimize him for his way of life,
He's sick and tired of hearing people say...

Nobody likes, nobody likes, nobody likes a bogan.
Nobody likes, nobody likes, nobody likes a bogan.

He drives a VK Commodore with alloy wheels,
With a home made spoiler made of crappy steel.
Pair of fluffy dice and all the other toys,
But his No Fear sticker is his pride and joy.

Saturday night the boys hit town.
Yeah they're cruising the streets with their windows down.
Put on some Barnsey and they're on their way,
You'll hear the car com'n from a mile away.

But don't victimize him for his way of life,
He's sick and tired of hearing people say...

Nobody likes, nobody likes, nobody likes a bogan.
Nobody likes, nobody likes, nobody likes a bogan.
Nobody likes, nobody likes, nobody likes a bogan.

Nobody likes, nobody likes, nobody likes a bogan.
Nobody likes, nobody likes, nobody likes a bogan.
Nobody likes, nobody likes, nobody likes a bogan

Friday, October 28, 2005

Nachtviolen, Nachtviolen!
Dunkle Augen, seelenvolle,
Selig ist es, sich versenken
In dem samtnen Blau.

Grüne Blätter streben freudig
Euch zu hellen, euch zu schmücken;
Doch ihr blicket ernst und schweigend
In die laue Frühlingsluft.

Mit erhabnen Wehmutsstrahlen
Trafet ihr mein treues Herz,
Und nun blüht in stummen Nächten
Fort die heilige Verbindung.
One of my friends just sent me a whole lot of photos of his latest baby.

I know it might sound awful, but the photos were taken pretty much straight after it was born, and it grossed me out! I opened my e-mail and went, "Ewwww, I've just eaten! Gah!"

Babies can be cute, but personally, I don't wish to see someone's digital photos of anmiotic-fluid coated pink screaming baby creatures. Icky! At least wait until the thing is cleaned up and looking more like a human rather than goodness knows what...


Thursday, October 27, 2005

I found my Nana Mouskouri glasses!

'Cos Nana Mouskouri and I are like that, y'know... *holds up crossed fingers* *lol* Oh dear... these glasses are scary! But amusing at the same time.

My parents had a few Nana Mouskouri records, and I always meant to make some copies of them onto tape or something, but never did. Ah well, shall have to make do with the sitar music :)

That keeps me entertained :)
I've fallen in love.

And it's only been this month that I did it.

And now it's all over!!!

It ended last night... Spirited Away literally! It's so tragic...

Umm... just in case you hadn't guessed what I was talking about, I'd fallen in love with the series of Hayao Miyazaki films that had been screening on Wednesday nights on SBS.

They were all so beautiful, the ones that I saw, and made me think that if I ever produce kiddliwinks, I'm going to make sure that they watch Miyazaki films. Spirited Away was probably the best of them all, even though I loved Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind *sigh* All so lovely!

Official site

Cold as charity..?

This is rather interesting! Although there have been questions raised about it in the past , it seems like something's only being done about investigating it now.

I first read about it on the Anorak site, with their Charity case story:

And at the foot of the list is the latest gaffe. The Australian speaking tour - for which Cherie was paid a reported £102,000 - is attracting the attention of the Australian authorities.
The Times says that at the A$195-a-head gala dinner, held in aid of the Children’s Cancer institute, A$192,000 (£81,000) was raised. But only A$16,000 (£6,774) went to the needy. Celebrity speaker Cherie took home £17,000, although the Telegraph says her fee remains undisclosed.
This looks bad for Cherie, and worse the charity. Under the terms of the state of Victoria’s Fund-raising Appeals Act at least 60 per cent of funds raised in an appeal has to go to the charity.

Isn't it amazing that someone who is rich, secure and healthy can take home more money than was given to a charity to help children who are dying? Less than 10 percent of the money raised at the event actually made its way into the charity coffers. In addition to the money, she apparently got free accommodation, meals and flights.

Although it seems she's consistent with things at least - she accepted $US30,000 to present a talk in Washington earlier this year while Tony Blair was there to talk about canceling African debt. You couldn't get more ironic if you tried, really.

Death and Democracy

Two thousand and counting by Peter McGeough

More than 2000 American soldiers have died in the Iraq invasion since it started way back in... when was it..? Can't remember any more - it's been going on for too long already and shouldn't have even happened in the first place. However, it's sad that such a lot of people have been killed there.

Sadder still are the statistics for the number of Iraqi people killed by both soldiers and insurgents. Estimates put Iraqi civilian deaths somewhere between 26,690 and 30,060, which is around 13 to 15 times higher than the military deaths. But since these people aren't white, Western or non-Muslim, the numbers they're dying in (around 60 a day) end up being statistics at the end of news reports (and we're not meant to be a racist, ethnocentric society?)

Journalists have also been killed in record numbers in this invasion. I don't remember the figure, but apparently it's the highest number of journos ever killed in a war. And that includes the Viet Nam war, which went on for years and years. A fair few of the journalists have been Iraqis, and some of them have been killed by American soldiers who knew of their journalist status. At what price comes truth..?

I have a friend who's serving in Iraq currently, and I have to wonder what effect all of this is having on him. When I've talked to him lately, he's seemed to be more and more down, especially since Australian troops were attacked a couple of weekends ago. It must be depressing to see that things aren't working out there and that people genuinely don't want foreign troops in their country (as this article points out).

What cost is all of this coming at? What point did it ever have? What point will it have now? Who would honestly believe that the Iraqis would welcome an invading force with flowers, lollies and celebratory songs?

As Vladimir Putin pointed out, democracy has to be something that people of a country choose as part of their own internal processes. It can't be forced down their throats, but allowed to develop in their own time and their own way. Democratic nations should be setting an example for what good government can really be like rather than going into another country and killing its people.
Costello adds to Howard's terror woes

Thank-you Mr Costello. At last it seems like some more people are gaining sanity about this stupid anti-terrorism stuff. And if Costello has the bollocks to stand up on this matter, well, frankly, I'm impressed.

Although John Howard's still sticking by the shoot-to-kill policy. I only presume that it means shoot-to-kill anyone else but himself, though, because laws that apply to everyone else would never apply to a Prime Minister, would they?

Ohhh wait, was that seditious to have a thought there? Do excuse me while I go medicate myself and paste that happy all-Australian smile on my face again!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Shoeaholics Anonymous??

And people wonder why I want to move to England!

With shoes like these, what's there to not like about the country?

I mean, I read Harpers & Queen and salivate over the potential shoe shopping sprees that I could have had, were I to have been born British, and wish that my accent matched my birth place!

*cries into a hankie*


Oh well, all I need to do is win the lottery and then buy a ticket to the UK where I will attack the shoe shops! Mmmm... what a glorious day that would be!

And another shoe...


Oh my GOD!

After a year of searching for it, I finally found one of my old favourite websites! *does the happy dance*

It's got the most mind-blowing shoes on there EVER.

Oh, it makes me so happy to have finally rediscovered this... *gets all misty-eyed*

Now all I wish is that I could rediscover my Che Guevara badge which disappeared at the end of last year when I was moving back from uni. Dratted thing!
How's this for sedition? by Chas Savage.

The sedition thing worries me nowadays.

With the government betraying our trust and liberty, does it mean that now they can lock us up and throw away the key if we openly disagree with them? Will it be considered to be seditious if we say that we think that they're doing a bad job? What will or will not be considered to be sedition?

In the first draft of the proposed laws, the issue of seditious intent is really broad and covers all sorts of things that people could do without any actual malicious intent, but rather with questions in mind or comments to make about poor governance. And newspapers and the media in general won't be allowed to publish certain things, which would generally be fine by way of actual reporting or opinion.

And we're not allowed to "urge contempt" against the government or constitution or parliament or anything like that, which is a worry because what would you define as "urge contempt"? Would it be asking questions of the government? Would it be saying that they're doing things that are morally and ethically objectionable? Would it be telling the truth?

When we're not allowed to freely comment on our democracy and the people that we have chosen to lead us, then the question must be asked about whether or not we have democracy any more rather than a potential police state. Repressive laws and a lack of transparency in processes that should be open to the people is not something that goes hand-in-hand with democratic principles.

The terrorists probably have already won if they've managed to get the government to propose such things.

They've gotten a free government to work on taking away its own freedoms without even ever having to venture onto Australian soil or making that much of an effort.

*shakes head*

Now's the time the government should use ads with "unchain my heart..."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ahh... joy

Sometimes, just sometimes... I forget about why I often hate being an Adventist.

And then other times, I get reminded with a slap in the face.

Don't get me wrong, I love being a Christian and Jesus is really important to me. But sometimes it's hard to keep focused on God, though, when people around you are being a**holes in His name.

Like the good old gossip thing, and not bothering to come to talk to you about problems that they have with you. No, instead they talk to everyone else about the problem and then FINALLY after months, someone else who has also only just heard the "latest" gossip will come and talk to you.

Leaving and going on a long holiday seems more than tempting right now.
Reading though some old copies of The Bulletin here at work, I stumbled across an article about some new Australian novels (well, new for the August 23, 2005 issue of the magazine).

One thing struck me, which was the comment about one of the characters in Stephen Lacey's novel, Sandstone, which was: "Jack is one of those Australian characters, so numerous in our literature, who are in flight, whose world is always on the brink of disintegration..."

This is something I was talking about recently with a friend from overseas who visited and who had commented on Australian writing. For myself, I've always found that a lot of Australian novels and creative works feature some level of loss or disjointedness—Charades by Janet Turner Hospital, Eucalyptus by Murray Ball, Drylands by Thea Astley are some of the works that spring to mind. I think it's to do with our country and us being a young nation more than anything else.

We're still in an adolescent phase of writing in some respects. No, that doesn't mean that I think our writers aren't producing quality work that's of an adult standard. What I mean is that we're still young and finding ourselves as people. Australia is such an unusual country, too, that I don't think that given a thousand years we would have still figured it out.

There always feels to be a deep, silent watching to this country, like it knows you inside and out and understands that it has the power to decide when you'll become a part of the dust. We can't control Australia and its environment any more than we could squeeze mercury in our fist to try to hold it. Not that we can make it rest in the palms of our hands, either...

Welcome to Australia, Guantanamo Bay Mach II!

"Prime Minister John Howard has agreed to a meeting between state and federal legal heads to ensure new anti-terrorism laws are constitutional, Queensland Premier Peter Beattie says..." Anti-terror laws: "unconstitutional" summit

This was after Premier Peter Beattie had challenged the laws, calling them unconstitutional. Thank God someone's finally standing up against this crap (unlike the Federal Opposition Party - see Whitlam laments Labor silence on new laws). Sections of the proposed laws with "preventative" detention and control orders clash with the constitution, and a lot of it seems more knee-jerk and open for a lot of abuse rather than being considered and designed to make Australians feel safer (unless they're going to be feeling safer while locked in their own homes).

Constitutional issues aside, just who the hell are the voters who were part of the "overwhelming majority" who thought that the anti-terror plan was a great thing!? Voters say yes to Terror Australis:

"Australians overwhelmingly endorse the anti-terrorism plan agreed by the Commonwealth, states and territories, but strongly oppose the one key point of political dispute - John Howard's push to give police new shoot-to-kill powers over suspects.
According to the latest
Herald Poll, about three-quarters of voters think it is OK to lock up suspected terrorists without charge, put them under house arrest or shackle them with tracking devices.
But 60 per cent of voters - up from 55 per cent from a poll taken in August - reject the Prime Minister's shoot-to-kill plan, while 35 per cent support it."

Excuse me?!?!?!?

I'm a voter, I wasn't asked anything about this. Only 1409 people were asked. Where did ACNielsen get their sample group from to ask these questions? The local mental assylum? After all, anyone who has learnt about doing statistics (oh the joy of that last year... brr!) will understand that it's very easy to get the sort of results that you want. All you need to do is be selective about your demographic. Choose the right location, talk to the right people, and you'll have your results that "prove" that all people think the same way... ;)

I want to be included in the numbers who say that the laws are poorly thought out and are potentially dangerous! I don't say yes to terror Australis, I don't say yes to politicians trying to press the fear button in an attempt to push dumb laws, I don't say yes to abusing human rights, I don't say yes to shooting people who look like they might be a terrorist, I don't say yes to a lack of transparency on this, I don't say yes to no debates about it, I don't say yes to new sedition laws, and through all of that I definitely don't say yes to terrorism.

But it needs debate, consideration and proper work to make sure that we don't end up becoming one giant Guantanamo Bay
Civil Rights pioneer passes

RIP Rosa Parks.

You were a brave lady. Thanks for inspiring the people who followed in your footsteps, including Martin Luther King Jnr, to fight for the rights of all people.

Monday, October 24, 2005

No rest for the wicked

And the righteous don't need it.

I want it, though! I don't think I've had enough in the past week or so—too much time spent on talking, wandering, watching movies and whatnot *lol* But you know what? All of the lack of sleep was worth it because it was brilliant fun :)

It's fun having someone stay over.

And it made me realise that I am tired of being so solitary, even though it's what I'd thought I was happy with. It's just nice to have someone around the house who you can go, "Let's go out and do this/that/the other," and just do it. And no, I don't mean I want someone to marry or whatever for a perma-housemate :-p Just thinking in general :)

Plus it feels safer at night.

On another note...

Song of the Day: Groove is in the Heart - De'light

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I actually feel *lonely* o.0

That's something I NEVER feel. Usually I enjoy being alone and having solitary time to meditate, relax, watch bad TV, cook or whatever else, but right now I feel kind of lonely.


Oh well, give it another few hours and I probably will recover *lol*

And at least my dog seems happy to have me all to himself again. He's curled up sleeping at my feet at the moment, instead of sitting on the other side of the room, giving me looks that say, "And why aren't you paying attention to *me*??"

It's bizarre how when you've had people staying with you and they leave, the house seems so very quiet. Especially after you clean up and pack up bedding, do the washing, all of that sort of thing.


So quiet!

Oh well. The real estate agent is bringing some people through to do an inspection of this house soon, so it won't be that quiet for too much longer. Unless they're like the guys who came on Friday who said almost nothing, except for when one of them asked me if I was British because of my accent.

I wish I was sometimes.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


I feel less like a cat and more like roadkill now...

*crawls under desk*

Definitely feel like I've been through a threshing machine backwards. And I still have an editorial to write and there are three subjects that are wrestling about in my mind as to which one will get written on and it's not all that easy to choose!


I want to go home and lie down in bed with the covers pulled up.

And I will quite possibly break my code of never hurting wildlife if those two blue wrens keep bashing on the window at 5am onwards for hours and hours without stop. I will get a broom and chase them, the perverted little peeping tom birds! I don't want to have them smashing against the window OR frotting about on the ferns outside. It's just icky.

Silly birds.

Hurrah for sleep!

Even though I've been off of work sick for the past two days and am trying to cram everything into this day, I still feel like the cat that ate alllllllll the cream *stretches*

Mmmmm... Happy days.

I think it'd be a good thing to have more umm... cream... I guess you could say tonight *lol*

Sleep is not the enemy :-D

Monday, October 17, 2005

Always look on the bright si-ii-ide of life!

Okay, so that's not always easy to do with the looking on the bright side of life, but just when I was feeling all miserable 'n stuff, I was going through a folder and found this cartoon, which made me laugh.

Thank-you, Reverend Fun!

Laughter is good!

Things will get better.

God's got a plan... I hope. And if it doesn't show itself soon, I guess then maybe... well... who knows. But I'm not going to fly mecca anytime soon *teehee*

Today! Today! I hate you, Today! You're always...?

Today is a total walking abortion of a day.


Woke up early, cleaned the house, feeling so nervous about it all - inspections starting there at "home" today and all. Gah!

Then at lunch time, we looked at the rental house that we got invited to check out last week and it would be perfect... and they want a bond PLUS a month's rent in advance. Not cheap, not cheap at all! But I really like the place and it allows pets and if we don't take it, who knows what will happen. There ain't no better option.

Then I fell up the steps at the post office. The steps are tiled and have no grip on them, so when my shoe hit them, I managed to do the spilts which was a total freaking dent to my pride - arghh! *cuss, stab, kill, cuss*

This afternoon/this evening, another friend is arriving and I have no idea about where we're going to meet or whatever so that I can guide them up the mountains to the little place I won't be calling home for much longer. ARGH!

Oh, and payment of our wages isn't going through until TOMORROW because of a computer malfunction thing.


IR reforms ads, please go away!

I'm getting tired of the government using out money to help rip us off.

These Industrial Relations ads have got to stop - no-one's falling for them, anyway. And all of their shiny let's-be-so-happy-that-we're-going-to-be-screwed-over-you-never-needed-to-spend-time-with-your-family-and-who-needs-weekends talk is just so see-through. Adding the word "fair" to the mix doesn't make it so any more than adding "a genuinely nice chap with the interests of Jews far and wide at heart" to the Hitler biography would.

We've already seen that John Howard has lied to the working public of Australia about these reforms, as well as a whole lot of other things. Saying that public holidays will be safe and now that they're on the chopping block is just another thing to tick off on the list of long broken promises and utter piffle the Howard government has come out with.

If the government seriously wanted us to believe anything about the potentially impending Industrial Relations Reforms, they should have started advertising long before the trade unions did. That's something that you'd have to call fantastic timing on the trade union's behalf - being released long before the reforms were even being seriously considered and debated by the Australian public. The government left it months before they bothered to start advertising.

Their loss.

Although the trade unions have isolated themselves somewhat from the general public in recent years. A lot of this has to do with legislation that restricts the activities of unions, though. Unions used to do a lot for the environment, other unions not related to their own specific area, rights of women for maternity leave, community and so on, but a couple of years ago, the Howard government pushed through laws that saw unions restricted in what they can do and say (generally meaning they're stuck to their own immediate area of interest now).

The IR reforms are potentially something that could be a good boost for trade unions here in Australia. It'd be an excellent opportunity to remind people of what the unions are there for, other than squabbling amongst themselves. They could organise some protests (even though we all know that regardless of how many people turn up for them, the Howard government refuses to listen. The entire population of Australia could march in mass protest against something planned by the government and it'd still be pushed through as legislation... psh...), do more ads, help people to truly understand what costs there might be for people in real terms and move away from the emotive ads to giving people more information and facts.

The Labor party also needs to work on a really public level with this and make sure that it's making noise about the reforms. This could finally be a time for the Labor party to truly represent the general Australian public who are concerned about the IR reforms and want to make sure that their jobs will be secure. They also need to show how the government has disregarded the needs and wants of the Australian public. If they can be seen to represent the people, then I think there could be a resurgence in popularity for the party, which has suffered a bit of a battering lately.

Let's see what they can do.

*ponders* And if they can't manage it, then maybe it is time to see that Kim Beazley isn't a good leader and there's a reason he's lost the leadership of the party before... Hmmm.

Weekend highlights

1) Agreeing to marry my friend Danny if I'm single when I'm 25, which isn't a bad thing, because he's hot! *teehee!*

2) Downloading lots of songs that I love and having a Hendrix Sunday. Very tempting to redecorate the house in a 1960s/1970s style, but refrained because of there being house inspections starting today. Unimpressed about that, but such is life...

3) Cleaning the entire house. Not really a highlight, but it took lots of effort and it looks really nice.

4) Talked to a friend from England for hours and hours on the phone, which meant late nights, but never mind. It was so much fun, perhaps because when it's late at night/early in the morning, I do tend to go a bit bonkers (well, more so than usual) and laugh a lot...

5) My dog being allowed into the antique store in town. He's starting to be invited into more and more stores by shop owners here *lol* Isn't it amazing what you can get away with when you're adorably cute?

6) Making a cheesecake from scratch for the first time ever. Only ever done the packet things before, but I made and baked my own cheesecakes! Yay! And they're really nice, too. Raspberry and chocolate... mmmm!

7) Larie arrived!!! YAY!!!

8) Getting asked if I have children. I found it highly amusing. And it's the second time in about as many months that I've been asked if I have loinfruit *lol* I'm wondering whether people are thinking that I'm older than I am or something. Like the Telstra guy who came to fix the line on Friday assumed that I owned the house... hmm...

9) The ceiling in the bathroom FINALLY being fixed and finished after like, months. It looks nice. No more gaping hole in the ceiling!

10) Finally finishing my tax forms. Now I just have to hope that I've filled them out correctly and don't get arrested for my lack of knowledge about taxation stuff! o.0 *teehee*

How Many Yuppies... Oh Wait, That's Another Joke...

How many members of the Bush Administration are needed to replace a light bulb?

The Answer is TEN:

1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed

2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed

3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb

4. One to tell the nations of the world that they are either: "For changing the light bulb or for darkness"

5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Haliburton for the new light bulb

6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a stepladder under the banner "Light Bulb Change Accomplished"

7. One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally "in the dark"

8. One to viciously smear #7

9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light bulb-changing policy all along

10. And finally one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Do excuse the following blogtest things... I've been uninspired to write anything lately! But remember, I still love you all! *lol* Not personally... well... you know what I mean :-p

And the last test for the night...

Veggie Pizza

Upscale and trendy.
You're the most likely to go for a gourmet pizza.
You have impeccable taste in everything.
You truly enjoy the finer things in life.
You Are French Food

Snobby yet ubiquitous.
People act like they understand you more than they actually do.
Gummy Bears

You may be smooshie and taste unnatural, but you're so darn cute.


Hallmark-style romance and poetry is just twee and should be hit with sticks!


That is all.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

...and the sun's a bowl of Jelly Bellys!

Saturday afternoon relaxation after a delightful Saturday morning wander with my dog is complete with...

Jelly Bellys!

Mmmm :) I think I have two more packets of them in the cupboard somewhere, too *lol*

But it's too lovely a day to be spending it inside! The weather's gorgeous, the sun's warm and it's definitely time to go outside with some blankets, a lot of books and something nice to eat for a late lunch.

Totally Plastered

Well, after a few months the hole in the bathroom ceiling has finally been repaired totally - now my landlord's just going to paint over the area on Sunday and that will be all. Happy days :)

But the plaster!!!

Oh the plaster... I don't know how, but there is plaster dust from the sanding and whatnot all around the house! I cleaned the bathroom this morning completely and it's still kind of dusty. But at least it doesn't look like it's snowed in there any more.

Icky plaster.

Friday, October 14, 2005

*happy sigh*

Even though yesterday was hectic and kind of boring, yesterday evening and night kicked a$$!

I made chocolate and raspberry cheesecakes, which turned out really well. Definitely impressive 'cos I've never made cheesecakes before They made the house smell amazing when they were cooking!

And then I talked on the phone for hours with an old and very dear friend who lives in the UK and we laughed our a$$es off over British shows like Shameless and other such 'gems.' Finally hung up around 1.20am or so when I didn't think I could laugh any more but didn't want to say good-bye yet. Definitely the best time I've had in weeks.

Happy days :)

Today's been interesting, though. The guy came to fix the phone and it was a problem with the line, which had to be replaced. We had a good long chat about Telstra and lots of other things, and it was interesting to find out some perspectives about the potential sale and privatisation from someone who works for Telstra.

Real estate agent paid a surprise visit that I hadn't been told about. That was interesting. Thankfully I saw my landlord down the street when I was out paying bills and stuff and he mentioned to me about it then. Rushed home with him and his wife, cleaned the house in a hell of a hurry and it was all good.

The cheesecakes are really good, too! :-D

Thursday, October 13, 2005

And now for something completely different... (and kinda wrong *lol*)


Why am I dissatisfied with the Australian Federal Government? Reason # 4537 - Reactive rather than proactive anti-terror laws.

And where do these laws get us?

To this point: "Locking people up or seriously restricting their liberty when they have not even been charged are characteristics of dictatorship, not a democracy," [Brad] Adams [Asia director of Human Rights Watch] said. "Unjust measures are likely to alienate the very communities whose cooperation is vital to an effective counter-terrorism strategy through the criminal justice system," he added.(from Human Rights Watch slams anti-terror laws, The Age)

Instead of taking careful and considered precautions earlier, stupid laws get created in an hysterical panic and rushed through without a chance to debate or discuss their merits, faults or anything else. But I guess that our Federal (and State governments, who are equally guilty in this travesty) just like to p*ss all over human rights and democracy.

Frankly, it's embarrassing. We're meant to be a nation of friendly, sane and tolerant people who welcome others well enough and have a great spirit of community where we all help each other and are "mates." Instead we're starting to look like a bunch of idiots who live in a variety of wannabe-police state run by neurotics who abuse human rights rather than upholding them as part of our democratic principles (do we still have those or did they slip down the back of the couch at Parliament House?).

The Americans actually have the point of government summed up well with the "By the people for the people" statement. Who knows how long it's been since the Prime Minister has really listened to the people - and not just the people who agree with him on every point. And I mean actual listening where he doesn't just pat the person on the head and say, "That's so nice. Now have a lolly and go away."


Roll on the next election... but I guess things won't change - people seem to like voting for the current government, even though they've lied to us about lots of important things (GST, children overboard, reasons for Iraq invasion, elements of the industrial relation law reforms, etc) and taken away some of our human rights. How embarrassing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Holy calamity, scream insanity!

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990 - 2000 (in America)

This list is of the books most requested by people in America to be banned in libraries. Some seem to have a point, but others truly make me question the mental stability of America as a nation.

There's got to be something crazy going on when people are wanting to ban books including:

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, which was part of the year 10 curriculum in English at my High School.
Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson, which we studied in Year 9.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. A classic, something of childhood and Summer afternoon reading... why would you want to ban this book!?
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I remember nearly crying my eyes out when I read this book, and was glad that I'd decided to read ahead and finish the book rather than waiting to go chapter-by-chapter with the class in Year 9. The story is wonderfully sad and beautiful and leaves something with you when you go away from it.
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. Oh dear oh dear oh dear... sheer madness...
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous. I think this is the diary of an anorexic, and if that's what I'm thinking it is, it's really sad to read but also very important. Brutally honest.
The Witches by Roald Dahl, which really should be compulsory reading for all kiddies, along with the rest of Dahl's books for children. I loved them when I was growing up. Maybe it explains why I'm as warped as I am as an adult... *lol*
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. To want to ban a book as brilliant as this is sheer insanity, and I'm so horrified by the thought that anyone would even think about wanting to ban it that I can't articulate my disgust. I first read it when I was 12, and was blown away by it, and that was just compounded when we studied it in High School.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Will the insanity never end!?
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. It's a boring read, to be honest, but explores some interesting issues.
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney. I'm assuming this is the same as the movie of the same title, but I could be wrong. The movie was incredibly moving.
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Obviously the insanity will never end...
Lord of the Flies by William Goldring. Yes, yes, disturbing and scary but such great social commentary!
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. You would have to be bonkers to want to ban a classic novel like this!

As a totally dedicated book lover (who owns somewhere between 500 and 600 books), I can't imagine why people would want others to not be able to read something. Clearly people have choices about what they read and it should be up to the individual to choose their material for reading. When I was younger, my Mum and I would go to the public library basically every Sunday and borrow mountains of books to take home and read. I started out with a total love of Each Peach Pear Plum (and can still recite it by heart) and grew up through various books and styles and genres, expanding my perspectives, learning new things, developing an appreciation for the world and the people in it.

There are some books that make you uncomfortable for the wrong reasons. But then there are also books that make you uncomfortable for the right reasons - they make you think, they challenge things you do, they challenge you and your beliefs - and it's a shame to see that there are a lot of the "right" kind of uncomfortable books on this list.

Creative integrity

Sometimes there are articles about issues facing Christians that are just so twee! Like an article I read this morning about facing challenges which basically said to lie back, don't think about the problems and let God do all of the work without getting involved yourself.

*insert appropriate puzzled lost for words look*

Ever heard of being proactive? We have to help ourselves as well, you know! We can't just expect God to miraculously do everything for us, even though He could. We've got to get out there and help things along, as well as realising that often God's answer isn't, "Yes, right away!" to everything we ask for.

But there was an interesting article on called Confessions of an Elitist.

Some people ripped into it a bit, but I think there are some important points happening. Why should we like some well-marketed thing if it's crummy? Why is everything homogenised, processed, pressed down and packed into one mould when it comes to what's popular?? From books to clothes to music to movies to words even!

Good art of any variety is good regardless of its popularity. There are a lot of "no-name" artists out there who produce truly fantastic and inspiring work, while there are Sydney Nolan paintings hanging in galleries that look like he's painted them with the brush up his rear end. The current peasant/hippy thing happening with fashion has some perks but mostly it's not all that fantastic. Most movies that are being made are bollocks - think of Stealth for one and you wonder just what producers, writers and directors are thinking.

Mass-produced music where lots of the artists sound exactly the same, have no real meaning in their songs and don't have a whole lot to say because they're too busy lip-synching is another thing! Okay, I'm a music snob at times, but that doesn't mean that I think that other people shouldn't be allowed to listen to whatever they want. Just don't expect me to want to listen to it voluntarily. Beauty is in the ear of the behearer after all!

Balanced critiques are important (but that's not something I go into with TeleVixen because there are some shows that simply do not deserve balanced views because they themselves don't present any) (which reminds me, Australian Princess is on again tonight and the Etiquette B*tch looks to be in full flight if the ads are to be believed, which is starting to cement my belief that it doesn't matter how well you know how to fold the towels in the bathroom, if you are a savage old witch it simply doesn't matter - your personality truly is the thing that "shines" through).

Creative integrity is equally important. People should be trying to produce things that come from something inside them that inspires them, moves them, challenges them - something that has a meaning. And not just a meaning that's slapped on like, "This fork stuck on a banana represents the struggle and pain of the masses who feel like they are trapped beneath the iron dictatorship of the ruling classes and are crying out for freedom." Works of beauty should also be appreciated. If we couldn't admire works like Circe Invidiosa by JW Waterhouse (my favourite painting in the whole world and the one up in the above left-hand corner) or The Priestess at Delphi by John Collier or The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Divinci or Poplars along the River Epte, Autumn 1891 by Claude Monet or Sunflowers by Vincent van Gough, there would have to be something wrong with us.

We're made to appreciate beauty and pleasure and fun and enjoyment and happiness :)

Be werry, werry qwiet, we're hunting houses!

Hurrah for Reverend Fun!

There's such a lot of house stuff going on at the moment. Last night, the Welsh repairman guy came and started fixing the ceiling in the bathroom. He's a Dr Who fan and a vegetarian, so that was interesting.

I spent a chunk of the evening on the phone to Telstra because my phone line has decided to go nuts after the stormy weather last night, and they gave me the oh-so-useful response of, "We can't find anything wrong with your line. It must be the handset... Oh, so the line drops out when you're on the internet too? Ohh... Well, we'll send someone on Thursday between 8am and 12pm. What? Oh you work then??? Good Lord, shouldn't everyone drop everything for us and fritter away four hours when they could be working to wait for a tradesman? Where is that AWFUL static noise on the line coming from?!?! Oh alright, Friday. Between 8am and 12pm..."

We turned down the house that I looked at on Friday, too. If it had been in a different town, or on the other end of that town, I wouldn't have had any problems signing for it. However, when I mentioned to my boss about where it was, he got a look of horror on his face and immediately told me to talk to other people at work about the area. I was kind of worried about the area to start with and the extra info I found out about it just put me off of it totally.

Rang the agent and apologised but explained why, and he said that it was understandable (which made me wonder why he didn't mention any of the stuff about that particular area when I asked if he knew about the sort of things that were going to be concerns in relation to the area) (sales vs honesty, round one...).

So fingers crossed for another property..!!!

And not a tent!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

" really high and wandered off..."

The thing I like most about South Park is that I can just imagine how much better and more hilarious it would be if one actually took drugs.

I mean, last night's episode with the towel that would randomly pop up to say, "Don't forget your towel!" "A towel is useful when you go swimming..." etc was just so... so... hmmm... so much like some of the stuff some of my dope-smoking friends would come up with and laugh at crazily (until they're lying on the floor, crying with laughter and you're just standing there going, "Riiiiiiight... I'll go away now...").

"But then one day Towelly got high and wandered off..."

And Towelly was created by evil aliens who'd come to invade Earth and take it over and I just thought that I should have posted this on my TeleVixen blog, but what the hey... it's here now *lol*

Finally! My Snow Photo!

Why is it that in the times when I am definitely searching for answers and having huge issues with things, the eDevotion from the South Australian Conference's youth department always has the answers or at least some guidance and comfort?? Seriously, it's starting to freak me out.

This is today's devotion (apt, considering all of the issues with the house stuff):

An Appeal for Guidance
Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Send out Your light and Your truth;
let them guide me.
Let them lead me to Your holy mountain,
to the place where You live.
There I will go to the altar of God,
to God-the source of all my joy.
I will praise You with my harp,
O God, my God!
Why am I discouraged?
Why so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise Him again –
my Saviour and my God!
Psalm 43:3-5

Being lost in the darkness can be a very frightening situation. But imagine if you were also being pursued by people who were out to kill you! This was the psalmist’s urgent dilemma, and he didn’t know which way to turn. But he did know to whom he should cry out for help. He asked God to show him the way, to guide him in the truth, and to lead him to the Lord’s presence.

Pray that God will guide your steps. Set your sights on your final destination – God’s dwelling place – and encourage yourself with the prospect of living joyfully in the Lord’s presence.

Dear God, guide me with Your light and Your truth…

Monday, October 10, 2005

Cold feet..? What cold feet? Ohhh, mine!

Yeah, this house thing just looks worse and worse the more I think about it. I mean, if the house itself was in a different area and not in the town it's in, I wouldn't really have so many worries about it.

BUT I do have issues with it where it is. The area's dodgy, I don't want to live there and in fact, don't want to be anywhere near there. But then what to do? There aren't many other options. Actually, there *aren't* any other options at the moment.


Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if there wasn't the pressure on to sign the contract (by tomorrow), but there's stuff in the contract that doesn't gel well with me either (and no, I don't mean the stuff about not using the house for illegal activities ).

Grr... Now I don't know what to do!

I want a house that I fall in love with like I did when I first saw the house that I'm living in now. I don't want to have to debate it with myself.


What a day..!



Listening to 1980s music!

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes producing offspring (okay, I knew about that on Thursday, but couldn't bring myself to ponder that until today - it's like terrorist acts or other events that rank up there on the shocking horror scale) (although it might be a fake baby, just like the fake engagement) (but ewwwww, so very very ewww!)!

House hunting is oppressively not fun! Okay, so we got offered a house, but I'm really not sure about it. Have to sign the contract soon. Am going to spend tonight thinking it over. Some elements I'm not really happy with. And then what happens with moving and whatnot? Arrghh!

I wish I could buy a house!

But no! Renting! And renting blows goats of all sizes!

I need a holiday!

Arrghhhhhhhhh! *kicks things*

But I'm now listening to Your Jeans Are Too Tight by Paul McDermott and GUD and the line, "I gave Osama a 69!" is making me laugh. Thank heavens for comedy, or I think I would simply hurl myself under a bus.

Oh Kermie!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Sonnet 47

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,
And each doth good turns now unto the other:
When that mine eye is famish'd for a look,
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,
With my love's picture then my eye doth feast
And to the painted banquet bids my heart;
Another time mine eye is my heart's guest
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part:
So, either by thy picture or my love,
Thyself away art resent still with me;
For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them and they with thee;
Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
Awakes my heart to heart's and eye's delight.

- Shakespeare

Friday, October 07, 2005

It's Good News Week

One bit of good news:

My friend Ron comes back from Iraq mid-November!


*dances* Hopefully he'll stay safe and get back without any injuries or anything like that. Although it's bizarre in a way with my attitudes towards war and having a friend who's a soldier and who isn't bothered by it.

Safe as... houses???

Well, I did the property inspection/looking at thing this afternoon, and it actually wasn't too bad. The place is roomy and it has a generous back yard that's fenced and would be great for the doggies to run around in.

Not quite what I'd choose if I had lots of options, but I don't, so I've put my name down for it *lol* And I think Larie's going to apply for it, too. We'll see what happens, I guess! Although the lady is apparently really picky about who she wants there and when it has to be settled by (23rd).

It'd be nice to be in another place before people come looking through here for the sale of this place. I know it's awful, but that will really make me annoyed... But it can't be helped *sigh*

*curses under breath*

Oh well, hopefully there's going to be another house to move into soon. Or maybe the people who buy this one will want it as an 'investment property' and would want to rent it out ;) Or I could suddenly discover an inordinate amount of money and be able to buy this!

Ah, I can dream :-p

Quote of the Day

Lenny Henry was on the Classic Parkinson today, and I haven't laughed so hard in forever and a year! And now there's a quote of the day from it:

"You're the bouncy castle, I'm the party of overly hyperactive children..." - Lenny Henry (and yes, imagine him saying it in a really strong Jamaican style-accent!).

Well hello! *LOL*

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori?

Speaking of that in my previous blog reminded me of one of my favourite poets, Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918). Quite possibly the most brilliant war poet the world has ever seen and tragically killed near the end of WWI, he wrote with amazing insight and I've never been able to get his works out of my head ever since I studied them first in Year 9.

I think Dulce et Decorum est is probably one of his better-known works, and although not my favourite, I thought I'd post it anyway.

Dulce et Decorum est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep.  Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod.  All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas!  GAS!  Quick, boys! --  An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime. --
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, --
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie:  Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

More Wilfred Owen poems can be found here. Anthem for Doomed Youth, Strange Meeting, Futility and SIW still make me cry. Or maybe it's the futility of war and never learning from it that does that...
I got sent the link for this cartoon earlier today by Kel.

Ahh, Leunig... is it not said that you are so sharp that you'll cut yourself? *teehee*

But really, it's an interesting cartoon, and it reminds me of the way Christianity is portrayed compared to Islam.

Or the way "white" people get more media time and attention than "non-white" people (such as: One American solider was killed in a suicide bombing that destroyed his military vehicle. He had been manning a check-point when the bombing occurred and was killed instantly. 54 Iraqis, mostly women and children, also perished in the attack... or anything else along the lines of that old refrain...) (dulce et decorum est pro patria mori?)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Oh Mercy!

I have to wonder what Delta is wearing in this photo.

It looks like some variety of outfit for an Edwardian-era pirate vampyric hooker with a seat-belt fetish.

And the shoulder ruffles? Please, someone explain the shoulder ruffles to me? Are they meant to distract the viewer from the rest of the outfit? Are they a throw-back to childhood days of inexplicable ruffling on clothing? Are they actually small wings??

And why the dress is so saggy around the bust area? It makes the young and presumably perky Delts look like her bust is attempting to hide under her arms at waist level!

Please, why can't women who have lovely figures like Delta dress properly?!

Never Mind The..?

Waiting around to hear back from people is rather dull, especially when you can't finish your work until they get back in contact with you. There are two people I'm waiting to hear back from about some news stuff - one's out of his office until the 17th and the other's in a meeting. Hopefully the meeting will be over before the 17th. Oh wait, make that three people... one's in WA and that's practically the other side of the planet, isn't it? (just teasing... I love WA - I believe I went there as "luggage" prior to birth *lol*)

Listening to some CDs to kill some time, and I got to thinking about how much I'd love to audition for Australian Idol... Yes, my most hated show! But wait! There is a reason... I want to audition with the Sex Pistol's version of I Did It My Way. Either that or Anarchy in the UK. And at a pinch, perhaps I could do something with TISM's If You're Not Famous By Fourteen, You're Finished. Ahh, I can just imagine those judge's expressions... *smirk*

Another thought forms on this sluggish Wednesday afternoon! I wish to be in a punk band. Proper punk, I mean. Not like Good "I just wanna live to see you fall in the Grand Canyon" Charlotte or Avril "What's the Clash?" Lavigne or pseudo-punk like that. Thinking back, it's kind of been a dream of mine since High School, where I believe I was Tiggles the Punk Rocker... or something deeply odd like that... *ponders* Yes, that was the name. Too good at doing British accents, I guess.

Mmm, those were the days... Singing along to various punk stuff that Denise would tape off of her dad's records at lunch out on the oval, creating our own punk songs and being totally not punk-like at all, other than in those vague lunchtime moments where there was the strut, the look, the never mind the bollocks and then Denise went back to Holland.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Interesting point raised on Lateline tonight about the anarchy issues in Iraq due to the American invasion, not just about the problems that the invasion has caused.

The guy (I believe Robert Fiske?) on the show said: Would America have invaded Iraq if their main product was asparagus or carrots, rather than oil?

Good question. Would Saddam Hussein have been so vital to remove (illegally) from leadership if oil hadn't been present in Iraq? Hmm.

Not that I think Saddam Hussein was a great leader, but people have to choose democracy and change for their own countries. It's like Vladimir Putin said, "Democracy cannot be exported... it must be a product of internal domestic development."

Oh well. I guess we should already be used to the way in which American invasions of countries bugger everything up. Not that their track record makes it any more paletable, however.

Quote of the Night

"Ling-Ling is no pet! Ling-Ling here to kill, and to give children seizures!"- Ling-Ling, Drawn Together

Meant to post this yesterday...

Migrants welcome - unless they're from the Middle East by Joseph Kerr

This got me thinking, just how racist *are* we as Australians?

I don't think we've ever had to deal with racial reconciliation in the way that other countries, such as the USA, have had to. But this sort of thing extends far beyond reconciliation (something we've yet to come to grips with in Australia for the Stolen Generation, etc, where we seem to feel a total lack of nation guilt for the treatment of the Aboriginals in the past and to the present day).

It's like there's a new style of racism or something, one that's far more private and tied in to thought processes rather than actions. I mean, 53% of the people interviewed in the survey to be published in Monash University's People and Place said that they'd like to see fewer migrants from the Middle East. And it wasn't just Middle Eastern people that they didn't like. More than 36% wanted there to be less Asian migrants. And this is after a few years since the last survey where people interviewed were far less tolerant!

However, it's interesting to note that people from Europe or Britain were the ones that people wanted to migrate here, which seemed to be the case in the last survey, too.

Obviously people don't have an issue with people speaking a language other than English, if migrants from Europe are welcome, so it can't be said that Australians are hesitant to have people come to our country if people aren't born English-speakers.

So could it possibly be that there are a lot of Australians who don't want non-white people to move to the country?! *gasp* Yes, I said that. Perhaps Australia isn't quite so tolerant as it would like to believe itself to be. Maybe it doesn't think that everyone should have a "fair go," regardless of race, background, religion, gender, etc. Are we sacrificing our multiculturalism after all?

Perhaps some people feel threatened by migrants from the Middle East because they tar all Middle Eastern people with the "terrorist" brush. One example of this that I clearly remember was at the Sydney domestic terminal in January perhaps about two years ago. There was a large Muslim family there and people went out of their way to avoid standing near them, be in their way, etc. Perhaps it was an unconscious thing on the part of most people that did it, but then isn't that a worry, too? The silent intolerance was visible from a mile off and I felt ashamed by the behaviour of the non-Muslim people there that day.

Not quite sure about why such a large percentage would want there to be less Asian migrants. That makes no sense, really.

But then when has racism ever made sense?

Personally, I don't think we should have any issues with migrants, but should be welcoming them. Especially since our population is steadily aging and there's a predicted shortage of workers on the horizon (let's not think about the tax issues that will cause). All of the migrants I've met are really glad to be here, want to work hard and do their best at making a go of it here in a new country. Almost all of the issues that surround migrants are there because of the people who were born and raised in Australia and who treat new arrivals with suspicion or fear or intolerance. Things would probably be a lot better if Australians welcomed migrants and did their best to integrate them into the local areas with cultural and personal sensitivity.

Faith, youth, ranting

"God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him." - Andrew Murray.
"Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven." - Luke 11:2

Is it possible to have an epiphany when you're sitting at your desk, reading a book that you picked up the day before to give to your book reviewer to read and review, when the computer program that you need to be working on is consistently refusing to function, even going so far as to crash the computer when you try to work on it?

Perhaps it is...

And it makes me wonder about what God is up to when He lets these kind of things happen as they do. Besides, he knows I'm a sucker for books, and Pride and Seek by Seth J Pierce was just sitting here, innocently, when I decided to pick it up and read it while I waited to hear back from the IT guy. And now I'm almost finished! And I'm starting to wonder whether God was allowing this 'distraction' to happen.

This hit me smack between the eyes when I read it:

"You want to hear something scary? You want to know why some churches have explosive growth? You want to know why their sermons are deeper and more effective than so many of ours? It's because they have a larger focus on Christ's return than we do. Everything they do is in light of going to heaven and living in a powerful way for God to influence others to making a decision for eternity. They believe God will bring results no matter what. They believe that when Jesus said, "I will make you fishers of men," He really meant it..."
- pp 112-113, Pride and Seek, Seth J Pierce.

That's one thing I have to give to the 'charismatic' or 'evangelical' sort of churches. They really are enthusiastic about God coming back, even if they get some other elements of the mix really warped (like the prosperity gospel side of stuff, being slain in the spirit, etc). And there's a real focus on meeting people, regardless of where they're at or who they are, which is excellent. And it's about youth! Like my ex's former church, the big Salvation Army church a few streets up from Rundel Mall in Adelaide, has a great outreach thing for teenagers that makes it really comfortable to be there and you can integrate as quickly or slowly as you want - if you want to go to church with them on Sunday, cool, but if you just want to hang out at the Friday night programme, that works, too. And there's none of the jargon crap. Everyone there was friendly, too (except for my ex's friend Mark, who apparently referred to me as "that f*cking freaky b*tch," probably because on the one time I met him we were out doing a soup kitchen night for the homeless people in Adelaide and spent the evening joking around with the homeless people, giving them far more than the "regulation" and strictly instructed one teaspoon of Milo and avoiding the irritating people in the soup kitchen who acted like doing that was earning them points somewhere. Although I am a freak anyway, so who knows...).

I went to Paradise church a few times too (that's where Guy Sebastian was from originally... and that cued a whole lot of teenage girls after the Australian Idol thing which made me exit stage left... I *hate* Australian Idol, and in a strange indirect way, it meant that you couldn't get a seat in the mega-church unless I bothered to arrive at least an hour early). To be blunt, I never felt any real spiritual stuff at Paradise, but I did get a lot out of the times that I went to the Salvation Army church (including properly committing to God during a sermon mid-last year that was just amazing). At Paradise, they wouldn't notice if you slumped over dead and would probably think you were slain in the spirit until you started to decompose...

Apparently people need about seven close friends in a church to want to stay there and become active members. Aristotle said, "What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies." This is true, I think. It might not be soulmates or anything like that, but our connections to people are important. We're not going to show people that Jesus wants to be friends with them by bashing them over the head with a Bible and telling them that everything that they do is wrong. That said, we shouldn't make friends with non-Christian people with the view to winning them over or anything like that either. That sort of thing is just exploitative. I think we need to stop having such fortress mentalities with our churches and encourage people to make ministry and outreach more personal. AND work on making churches more friendly, welcoming environments. Because when you're not a church-attending person, they are kind of scary. You either get totally ignored or over-friendlied to death by people you don't know.

But back to what I was thinking about before! God coming back! How much do we totally forget about that? I know I never think about it. That makes me wonder how many other people who go to church think about it and really truly believe that it's going to happen. What's happened to our bold faith? What about the right sort of spiritual pride? And youth involvement?? Youth involvement is so important in the charismatic churches - they're never stuffed in a back room to twiddle their thumbs until they're 55 and "old enough." They're passionate about Jesus being a part of their lives and about Him coming back.

As someone who has a responsibility to youth, I have a big responsibility with God happening, too, and suddenly I'm seeing that this isn't just a job, but something much more enormous than that and I just hope that God can really guide me with everything and help me to find some answers to how we can get back the bold faith young people in charismatic churches have but ours seems to be so sadly lacking.

Hmm... your mission should you choose to accept it, eh...


Monday, October 03, 2005

cold comfort

This morning, Alexander Downer, our Foreign Minister, was on the Today show. He was on to talk about the latest Bali bombings and one thing he said was that there was no intelligence about this latest bombing, and that no-one saw it coming, basically.

Hmmm. Now I sort of feel like what I posted last night about Bali and ASIO and Australian intelligence agency information seems kind of a bit too true. Which is unfortunate. I know that we can't stop bad things from happening and that there will be terrorist attacks on all sorts of locations and people. But you'd still think that an intelligence agency would have some idea about things and you don't really want the Foreign Minister admitting that they had no idea on national television.

Just a bit worrying, really, all things considered.

But it really does raise the question of how terrorism within Australia could possibly be dealt with appropriately when these sort of things happen, and whether or not the anti-terrorism laws will actually be effective. Unless the plan is to lock every Australian citizen up and ask them, "Are you a terrorist?" and release them when they say, "No, of course not!" (as if a terrorist would say, "Why, golly gosh gee whizz, how ever did you guess! Of course! Hurrah! I'm so glad you knew," and put their wrists out for the handcuffs to be snapped around).

The laws just seem to cater to stupid things, really. Or stupid people... Like how much trouble you can get in for leaving baggage unattended or something like that. Does that have any implications for when you've done the grocery shopping and turn away from the cart to put a bag of shopping in the boot of the car? What about not claiming your luggage the second you spot it on the luggage carousel at the airport? Meh... stupid stuff. Besides, the guys who blew themselves up in Bali kept their "baggage" with them at all times.

So do we outlaw backpacks because they're potentially something a terrorist could use, subsequently making all school students suspects for ASIO questioning? Hmmm... the truth is out there, but the bollocks is in the politician's heads...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Bali again..?

With another Bali bombing that's claimed the lives of more Australians, as well as many locals and others from countries around the world, I've had to wonder about the sense of the new anti-terror laws that John Howard has been touting.

I mean, the anti-terror laws are meant to give ASIO more power, prevent all sorts of attacks and so on and generally make Australia a greater police state... ahem, I mean happy place where cricket can be played and American presidents are welcomed with showers of tax payer dollars!

If ASIO can't pick up on something like the 2002 Bali Bombing and the Bali bombing that happened overnight, would I trust them to be able to manage anything with the new laws? I'd have to say a resounding no to that.

Of course, Bali isn't Australia, but we are meant to know things about potential risks posed by terrorists and so on in other countries. That's why we have travel advisories... which usually appear *after* something's already happened in a place to make it unsafe, but you know what I mean.

How's ASIO meant to do anything properly within Australia if they can't manage to warn us about things like this latest Bali bombing in advance? Surely there'd be some whispers around about that sort of stuff. Or maybe the terrorists really *are* that good that they can keep secrets like that.

Or maybe ASIO's just not looking hard enough. But then I guess it's hard to see things clearly with their heads that far up their arses.

Personally, I don't believe that the new 'anti-terror' laws will be that effective, and not just because of what's happened with Bali (again). They'll work if people are really obvious about things and run around shouting through megaphones that they want to blow stuff up, but other than that? I don't know. And it worries me in a way. And that's not just because I see problems with the laws and personal freedoms and rights.


My sympathies to the victims and families of the victims of the latest Bali bombing, though...

Flower of Beauty

Flower of Carnage

I'm mostly a non-violent person (am I? Yes, mostly... definitely non-violent), but there are some times and some people that are really annoying and it can make me cross.

Right now, I would like to make like The Bride and rip the eyes out of a guy I know. Yes, that's evil, but he just infuriates me *that* much with how he hits on me, even though he's engaged. I try avoiding him, but he goes to extra lengths to contact me, etc.



And now, let us ponder wonderfully serene things, like mountain lakes, harmonious sunsets, ikibana floral arrangements, quiet Sunday afternoons with the birds singing and the sun shining warm, Turkish delight, painting...

*deep breaths*

What would you do...

... if you won the Lottery? Like the full-on jackpot, not just $23 *lol*

My friend Timmah and I were just talking about this and I was thinking that other than buying a tomato sammich, as he suggested, I'd want to:

# Buy the family farm back and work on my sort-of dream of getting into organic farming. More of a hobby farm thing, but I could see a lot of benefits with it.

# Go on a proper holiday overseas to Germany, the UK and some other places. And take my family, too! :D

# Donate a whole lot to charity.

# Set up some scholarship funds or something like that for my old high school. When I was in Yr 12, I won one of them, and although it wasn't much, it was really nice. Not sure what I'd want it to be for. Maybe something like Spanish or Classical Studies (which I won the subject medals for... huzzah!). Or Biology, just because of how much fun I had in that subject *lol*

Hmmm, that's about it, really. There are probably more things that I'd do if I could, but seeing as I've never bought a ticket for the Lottery, that kind of defeats the whole purpose! :-p

finally, the flowers...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Mental image not for the weak!

Try not to think of the former Russian president, Boris Yeltzin, nude, in the snow and dancing around singing In the Navy whilst giving you lascivious glances...

I bet you just saw that in your mind's eye now, didn't you? And now you won't be able to get that Russian hunka-hunka burnin' love out of your mind until something else comes along!

Now think of happy things. Yes, happy things, like puppies, kittens, lovely flowers, tall mountains, magestic sunsets and no Boris involved in any of them! No vodka-sozzled Boris, falling down in the snow and telling you that it's time to make lovely snow angels...


And no, I'm not high at the moment to write this, if you're wondering :-p It's like Salvador Dali said: "I am not on drugs. I am drugs!"

...and you won't be disappointed!

Sometimes things aren't as bad as you think they'll be...

Went to church and had lunch with some friends of my parents, which was actually *really* nice. I had been a bit hesitant about it all, but had a fantastic time, and saw some people I knew and had met earlier in the year.

All in all, it was actually damn good :)

Especially the Indian food at lunch!

Should do that sort of thing more often, although who knows how long I'll be around this area. Ah well, 'twas good :)