Thursday, September 27, 2007

I keep finding photos I love on the discs, so I guess you get to be inflicted with them. This was one I took at Frankfurt airport.

^ Random photo from Ulm.

I'm going through the wedding photos and finally sending them... Only taken since the early part of June. But I found a vid I'd done as well of the wedding party doing some variety of line-dancing style thing to medieval music, which was featured at the reception, and sent that on to Tobi and Andrea as well.

While I think of vids made on holiday, I should see if I can find the one of that guy at Stonehenge who was parading around, talking into his mobile VERY loudly about random things and his own self-importance...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hillsong, glass houses, stones and Jesus as an investment portfolio option

I finished reading People in Glass Houses by Tanya Levin last night after being given it to look over by my boss on Monday. And Bob, I laughed, I cried, it was great!

Well, not quite...

I admit I wondered how I'd approach it - I don't think overly highly of Hillsong to begin with, so I knew I wouldn't be approaching it from a truly objective perspective. And Levin isn't exactly an impartial observer.

Overall, I wished there'd been more references and that it had been more of a study or investigative work into Hillsong. As it is, People In Glass Houses is basically anecdotal, deeply personal experience. Her life growing up as a Christian, having questions and doubts, becoming alienated from the church, finally being rejected and excluded by it.

The book isn't motivated by malice and it's not about discrediting religion or faith. She admires people with genuine, strong faiths and laments her own slow loss of faith and trust in what her church had provided her with. There's hurt there, definitely. You do feel truly sad about the way Levin was treated by Hillsong - it would hurt to be told you're not welcome to come onto the premises of the church you'd gone to since you were 14 simply because you were asking some awkward questions.

I kind of wonder what would have happened if people in the church had been able to provide answers for her initial questions as a teenager, the doubts, the desires for more knowledge and why, instead of being told that it was Satan making you ask questions rather than God leading you to blindly accept everything. I was saddened by this, the lack of answers, the slow erosion of faith and the obviously deep desire to connect better with God that was not being dealt with by the church who could have helped nurture the connection. It seems like they chose not to because it was "too difficult."

Hillsong didn't and doesn't do itself any favours by refusing to speak to Levin or others who are inquiring about what they're up to, especially when it comes to money. Openness and honesty would probably give them a much better image within the community. I know I'd feel a lot more comfortable if they were more accountable with what happened with the funds they receive. Is it a church or a corporation? I should add that I really dislike the prosperity gospel.

The cult-calling I wasn't so sure about. Maybe I just don't really like the "cult" tag all that much, or would prefer things to be really, seriously backed up with hard evidence/facts/incidents to go with the points about what a cult is, etc.

And as for the "Shine" program... Well, at least knowing how to do your makeup and paint your nails will be the saving grace of your self-esteem if you're a girl. Remember, you have to look hot to get a nice Christian husband!

For further reading, there's a Signposts blog entry on it, as well as a 7.30 Report thing, and then there's Andrew Bartlett's comment on Hillsong's take on depression here. There's also this for a more biased-seeming kinda thing.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mmm, Melbourne

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? No, for thou art strange and cold even when it looks like it's sunny and warm outside and Southern Cross Station—which shall forever be Spencer Street to me—is like the interior of a fridge and somehow I defend its peculiar architecture to a visiting friend and that's when I know that Melbourne is the city I have grown rather fond of...


The busiest weekend I've had in a long time involved an excellent five or so hours catching up with a friend from High School (Kimmi!), a lazy brunch in a laneway cafe, wandering, attempting to shop (and failing outrageously because the vast majority of clothes at the moment are simply appalling and only served to induce laughter. Or occasionally, horrified looks and leaving the store quickly), coffee, political discussions, excellent hot chocolate, general merriment and a mutual hatred of bad books.

It was the perfect Melbourne day, really.

The only bad thing about it was the public transport racism. On the train on the way to Spencer Street, there was an older couple behind me. They spent some time discussing the murder of Anan Liu, with the husband presenting the sentiment that "All Asian males are animals." All while there's a sweet-looking young Asian man sitting in the seat across the aisle from them... I turned around and glared at him in disbelief, but he and his wife looked smugly oblivious. Then on the bus home, a teenage boy was expressing his thoughts about how non-white people should leave Australia and go back to their own countries if they had a different opinion to him about anything, including McDonalds.

Jerks. And racist jerks at that.

I should have said something to them, but the dude on the train was big and scary looking, and you sort of don't want to incite some variety of violence or whatever... Ugh.

Even when you leave Sydney—no matter what it thinks of itself, it's ultimately a town of cashed-up, superficial bogans—and move to somewhere considered to be more multicultural, cultured and European in style, it seems you can't get away from that insidious racist element that seems to have crept into Australian life further and further and become more and more "acceptable" since Pauline Hanson made her political debut and J-Ho followed up by adopting some of her policies in the years following it.

It's one element of Australia I hate so much, that's so ridiculously unnecessary, that should have been left to rot in a dank, dark corner of history, that we should have learned from, that shouldn't be encouraged by people laughing along when someone says something obviously racist, that we need to put a stop to before it further feeds the fear of the "other" that's wrecking our multicultural goodness...

Other than that, it was the perfect Melbourne day.

Graffiti photos taken by me on the train ride in to Spencer Street Station.
Must remember to take the camera again next time and snap some more...
Gotta love graffiti on the backs of buildings facing onto the tracks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Avast there me hearties!

In honour of Talk Like a Pirate Day, my officemate and I have been ultra-productive and come up with a list of pirate pick up lines. Here 'tis!

> "You can walk me plank anytime, wench!"
> "Let me bury me treasure in yer x spot..."
> "Which marks the spot - x or g? Yarrrr..."
> "Lovely treasure chests!"
> "Care to sit atop me crows nest?"
> "Me leg ain't the only thing that's wooden!"
> "They don't call me Long John Silver fer nothin'!"
> "Let me show ye Davey Jones' locker..."
> "Is that a dagger in yer pocket, or are ye just happy ter see me?"
> "I'll sail yer seven seas!"
> "Yer really float me boat."
> "Polly wanna smack 'er!" (accompanied by appropriate booty dance)
> "Yer can fire me cannon anytime, lass."
> "I'm sure there's treasure in yer pirate cave!"
> "Yer give me a tingle in me dubloons."
> "Want a jolly roger?"
> "Two full treasure chests make me a happy pirate!"
> "A cap'n always goes down fer his ship..."
> "Have ye ever heard a song called Friggin' in the Riggin'?"
> "Care to join me in the hold?"
> "Ye take port and I'll take starboard..."
> "I'll scuttle me vessel on yer rocks!"
> "Yer really hoist me main sail!"

And that's all we have so far... But feel free to add any more you can think of! We've also decided that there should be more random "Talk Like" days, starting with Talk Like Barry White Day, Talk Like The Sound of Music Day, Talk Like a Robot Day (mostly just about talking like Bender), Talk Like a Wigga Day, Talk Like Fiddy Cent Day, Talk Like a Telemarketer Day, etc, etc... The list is potentially endless!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I have an excuse.

I've been sick. All weekend and still sick now. Went to the doctors today and got poked and prodded and had blood removed for testing, so I get to go back tomorrow for the results (hopefully they'll be in) and more poking and prodding and immunising. Bleh.

No idea what it is. The general feeling is one like I've been thrown down a flight of stairs and then kicked repeatedly by an angry midget. Hopefully it's nothing serious. And just to be on the safe side, I've been avoiding stairs and midgets.


Being sick is such a waste of time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Continuing on from the previous entry about disturbing music while shopping, tonight while doing groceries they had some song on the shop radio about taking someone home and makin' love to them all night, oh sweeeeeeeeeeeet lovin' baby, mmmhmm, that's what I'm talking 'bout kind of thing.

Kind of disturbing when you're in the fruit and vege section (kind of disturbing just in general). As Larie said, it made you glad you weren't holding melons at the time or something, all of which was observed as a guy behind us picked up some carrots.

He stared at us.

Just wondering what I'll hear next time groceries are to be done? Closer by NIN? Some Marvin Gaye?? A selection of Barry White? Or just a voice clip of Austin Powers saying, "So, shall we shag now, or shag later?!"

^ Of course, that pic's from Savage Chickens. They also have a guide to becoming the next Barry White, which can be found here if you're interested.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

When I feel down...

Non-disturbing thing of the day: Cadbury chocolate blocks at a sane price! Like the price they used to be around five years ago!


Disturbing thing of the day:
Hearing I Touch Myself by the Divinyls playing loudly in the supermarket while buying chocolate. Elderly person behind me at the registers humming along.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

RBHGM presents: APEC Fashion Suggestions

I was reading something on the ABC's Offbeat section of the news about how they're having some issues with trying to find appropriate outfits for the coming APEC meeting in Sydney. I decided I'd have a bash at some suggestions (and yes, the drawings are kind of bollocks, but they're just rough sketches!), so without further ado (trumpet fanfare aside), Random Black Heart Glitter Moments presents:

Le Aboriginal

With John Howard's recent interest in what's happening in Aboriginal communities, it is possible that Aboriginal-style outfits from the time prior to white settlement (or invasion, as it may be classed) could be something the PM might consider.

Le Convict

And if that doesn't work, then a return to the good ol' convict heritage, which so many people seem to know about around the world and immediately associate with our nation, could be appropriate. It would also be somewhat symbolic, too, of the current situation in which Sydney appears to be prisoner within three-metre fencing.

Le Stockman

Another Australian icon. Niceness.

Le Shearer

Yet another Aussie icon. And although our nation apparently is riding on the back of the mining industry now days rather than the sheep, we probably wouldn't be where we are now without the hard work of farmers and all associated with them. Mercy knows what'll happen if the drought keeps up.

Le Lifesaver

Mreowr. Although this will require all the world leaders at the APEC meeting to have the body of Vladimir Putin...

Le He-Bogan

It's still the 1980s, according to the he-bogan. Nothing beats a mullet, tight acid-wash jeans, a flannel shirt and various other bogan accessories, including year-'round beanies, TAB form guides and, if you're from Elizabeth, the neighbour's DVD player tucked under your arm. Perhaps not entirely appropriate for APEC, but it leads nicely to...

La She-Bogan

Low-slung trackies, general skankiness, fried over-dyed (sometimes extended) hair, you know the sort of thing. Usually seen with Le He-Bogan.

La Supre

You know the sort. Entire Supre outfits, including those things of horror - leggings - and skirts so short the world could be your gynecologist, were it not for the leggings. So maybe we should thank God for leggings. Anyways. Overpriced miniature poorly-made clothing will always sell. Don't think Hellen Clarke would appreciate it, for some reason.

Le Emo

In between MySpazz'ing and hanging around at train stations with other emos (is it the traditional meeting ground or something??), Le Emo can be found wearing tight skinny black jeans, some emo-ific tshirt, random haircuts and general androgyny. Something to share with other APEC nations, something we have in common, perhaps. And it could unite the leaders in writing emotional poems about walls, water cannons and oppression.

Le Wigga

Gah. Why, why, why?? Especially when you live out in the country? Anyways. Do you think this kind of outfit would suit Stephen Harper?

Also, on a more serious note, if J-Ho and the Aussie government are now oh-so-concerned about the environment, carbon emissions, etc, why on earth didn't they ever do anything about the Kyoto Protocol? Surely they'd have to realise how stupid it all sounds to be banging on about how we need to give the environment mouth-to-mouth and some flowers when they've avoided the Kyoto thing all along??

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I have a slight fascination with skulls and bones.

On Friday, I found a fantastic skirt that made me think somewhat of the Aztec-style skulls (although with a weird acidy twist to it with those odd hearts-for-eyes) and immediately *had* to buy it. No second thoughts, just, "Right, you're coming home with me!" (the print of the skirt is on the top pic) (the other pics are: my scarf, my backpack and the print on a cardigan.)

The only weird thing about it all was the guy in the shop calling me "mate." But we've seen each other often before when he's been working in that store and I've popped in to see what skull-y goodness might be on offer. Still, "mate" seems more of a term you'd use on guys. And I'm quite obviously not one of them.

Anyway. Skulls. Bones. Tombstones. It all seems kind of emo or gothic or something like that, but really it's not. For a start, I've got no desire to do odd things to my hair, wear skinny black jeans and write appalling poetry on MySpazz *shudder* I've just always been interested in such things. And I watched The Addams Family a lot when I was growing up, so that probably explains quite a lot.

We went across the Simpson Desert when I was younger, and I found a camel's skeleton among some of the dunes. It took quite a bit of convincing on the part of my parents for me to not stash parts of it in the 4WD. I was quite fascinated with a sheep's skull I found in a paddock when I was Kindergarten-age (it had such odd teeth). There are random bits of animal bones and teeth I've collected over the years in odd places around the house (including a shark's tooth I found on a beach on Kangaroo Island). My dog's ashes are in a wooden box on top of the television.

Morbidity is probably the only explaination. Either that, or I've been won over by the cute sugar-candy skulls that are a feature of Día de los Muertos...