Sunday, August 21, 2016

Shannon's Moment's Meme - Part One

I am supposed to be at the gym. I'm writing instead. It's been a big weekend. It's set to get bigger as we're off to see Matilda tonight after a nice lunch at the Studley Park Boathouse later today. See, it's birthday weekend and there have bee many celebrations. I also have to work out when to finish a CV, do my food shopping, do my ironing  and try and get some rest in. So the gym didn't happen.

I have plans. You will see.

Questions, as always, are from Sunday Stealing.

1. Do you like blue cheese?

Yes. I like blue cheese. However, blue cheese does not like me and more than a taste sends my blood pressure through the roof and my gall bladder screaming, as proved last weekend when we had a Gorgonzola sauce on polenta chips and I suffered for a day. Great stuff, but we have to be sometimes friends.

2. Have you ever smoked cigarettes? If yes, how did you quit?

I'm an ex-smoker. Only ever a social / light smoker thank goodness. I gave up about ten years ago when I started having blood pressure issues and I quit cold turkey. I only miss the social aspect of smoking.

3. Do you own a gun? How are your feelings about gun control/2nd amendment rights? 

Hell no. I'm Australian and we have very strict gun control laws here. I have no problem with farmers, soldiers, cops and gun club members owning guns> I've not too much problem with hunters owning single shot guns. But I also look at America's issues with gun control and shake  my head. Like why do you need so many guns? When the second amendment came through wasn't it so citizens could protect themselves from the British Militia with a single action musket? I don't get America's love of guns. Never have, never will.

4. What is your favorite flavor of water or liquor flavors?

I'm a lemon and vanilla fan. Either or. Love them both.

5. Do you get nervous before a doctor visit? Why?

Yes, but only because I ragged about my weight and blood pressure.

6. How do you like your hot dogs?

Okay, not an Australian thing, but I LOVE getting a hot dog from the Keith Roadhouse on the way to Adelaide. They do them like they used to when I was a kid. Toasted roll, lots of butter and tomato sauce. The Keith Roadhouse is a revelation (and in the middle of nowhere)

7. Although it’s been asked a lot, tell us about a favorite movie that you haven’t shared before.

I saw Sing Street on the plan back and forth from Sydney this week. Loved it.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?

Coffee. Lots of coffee.

9. In a dating situation, have you ever misrepresented yourself to seem cooler or hipper? (Yes we know for most of you it was long ago…)

1) Can't remember being on a date. 2) I can't even pretend to be cool.

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? Why?

I've got a faux Cartier tank watch,. It's a good watch, but it didn't cost me five grand. it looks like a Cartier Tank watch, but it's not. Very fond of my Pandora bracelets too.

Image result for cartier tank

11. Favorite hobby? Tell us about it so we understand it.

I'm not sure if writing is a hobby or a vocation.

12. Do you have A.D.D., or have you suspected it?

No, I'm too chilled for that.

13. What’s a thing you dislike or would change about yourself?

I'd love to have a faster metabolism so I could eat a lot and remain slim.

14. Middle name? Like it or not?

Jane. It's boring and very late sixties.

15. Name three random thoughts you might have on this week:

1) I hope I get to see Maow Maow on the weekend.
2) What am I going to do with my screenplay.
3) I hope I don't get a certain tutor next semester.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Tell us a bit about them.

Gin and tonic. Best drink ever.
Coffee. It's life elixir. Much needed and necessary.
T2 teas. I feel virtuous drinking them.

17. Current worry: 

Staying employed in a job that I love.

18. Current annoyance:

Australia politics and Donald Trump. Both are dangerously annoying.

19. Favorite place to be in the summer? Give us a wee bit more than “the beach”.

Give me a decent beer garden with a glass of Pims. Or if it's over 35 degrees (read 100 Americans) I tend to put myself in a movie theatre.

20. How do you usually ring in the new year? If forced (how we’d do that without Judd coming to your house, if you even know who he was) to do something new, what would it be?

I'm normally in bed and asleep by midnight. Never been big into New Year's Eve.

21. What have you done this summer that’s special? Pictures please.

It's the middle of winter. I bought a new car yesterday.

22. Have you ever walked into a room with just shoes on? 

I'm not a big one for clothes at home, especially as I live alone, but I'm known, in Winter, for shoving on a pair of shoes to go into the kitchen-  as the tiles get really cold. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Gal's Meme Part Two

Well on the first trip to Sydney this week. I'm home tonight, but back here later in the week for work. Lots of time at the airport.

I got a note on my facebook page today - five years ago I was participating in the City to Surf. Part of me wishes I could do that again. Maybe I will.

Today's questions, as per usual, are from Sunday Stealing.

What did your last text message say? 

"Cool".  I was answering the arrangement for a time and place for lunch today.

Are you someone’s best friend? Tell us about your friendship. 

I don't think so. I have  number of close and good friends who I've known for years, but I don't think I'm their best friend. Definitely in the inner circle however. Take Blarney for example - she's more like my sister. I don't tell her everything - just the important stuff.

What are you doing tomorrow?

Working and seeing my trainer.

What do you think of when you think of Australia?

I'm Australian. I think of a weird dichotomy. A place of generous people who lock up refugees like animals in offshore concentration camps where the population stick their heads in the sand. We have a government who couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery - take the census they just did last week.... We have so much going for us - it's going to the dogs.

Last person you talked to on the phone? What about? 

My manager on Friday afternoon about what was going on with my part of the project.

Any plans today? Do tell.

Going to see Absolutely Fabulous before going back to Melbourne.

What makes you happy?

Writing, Movies. Animals. A well turned sentence. Cuddles.

What’s your favorite room where you live? 

Most things get done in my living room. The bedroom is good too. Don't like my spare room as I really need to clean it out.

Biggest annoyance in your life right now?

Other than our Federal Government? I've had a rugged few weeks at work. Annoying, but it will pass.

Last movie you saw? Review, please. 

I saw the Globe Theatre's Henry V last weekend. Brilliant. Wonderful to see Shakespeare done as it was when it was first written. Jamie Parker was excellent as Henry.

If you are jealous of anyone, tell us about it. 

No. I'm not 14 any more.

What is the most serious relationship you’ve had? 

The one with myself. It's long term and ever growing and changing.

Should anyone be jealous of you? 

No. I know some of my friends with kids are a bit envious that I get to do what I want when I want. That's about it.

What do you usually do during the work day? 

Work. Which means write, push paper and go to meetings.

Tell us about someone that you really don’t care for.  

Donald Trump. Hideous person. The world would be better off if he didn't get any air time. Scary, scary man. Peter Dutton comes a close second.

Do you use the phrase “Have a good one” daily? 

Yes. I'm Australian. Of course I do.

How old do you wish you’d be turning on your next birthday? Why? 

32. I'd love to have another crack at 32. I messed up my 30s in some ways, but did a good job of them in others.

Do you still like amusement parks? Tell us about your last trip to one.

No. Can't ever remember being to one.

How did you get one of your scars?

The ones at the back of my ankles were from an operation to make my achilles tendons longer when I was eleven.

Will you still love me tomorrow?

Of course.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Gal's Meme, Part One

A big weekend, which is why I'm writing this later than normal. I'm also doing jobs in between questions as I have so much to do.

But, this weekend was big because I got my assignments in for this semester - which is fantastic, especially since it's not been my favourite subject to date - though I''ve met some great people.

I also bought a new car yesterday. Took my car into be serviced and came out with the receipts for a new car - pick it up in two weeks. It's red. :)  Interestingly, I was only talking about replacing my car on this blog last week - and the car I bought was sitting next to the Veloster I was talking about last week. I'm getting a Mazda CX-3 but the way.

Anyway, questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

What’s your favorite word or phrase?

I love the word serendipity - a happy accident. If I ever had a daughter I would have given her that as a middle name.

Tell us about a person who made you smile today.

Jay at the gym. Walked in and growled "Don't talk about the football." You had to be there.

I also saw a very good Henry V today at the cinema. they filmed a performance at the Globe in London. It was great. The guy who played Henry was excellent and this made me smile.

What were you doing at 8 am this morning? 

Dressed for the gym, drinking coffee and giving a last pass to my assignment that was put in after I got back from the gym.

What were you doing 30 minutes ago?

Doing my census form, which is due in on Tuesday - just one more thing to get out of the way.

What is your favorite holiday? Why?

I love going to Ubud in Bali. It's like my spiritual home. Spain is another motherland - love the place. Love the food.

Tell us about a visit to another country. 

Which one? I've visited 14 of them. I think Singapore is one of the most sterile places I've ever been - and it is the one place I got rather nasty food poisoning.

What is the last thing you said aloud? 

"Goodbye". I was leaving Blarney and Barney's place. Went out there for dinner.

What was the last thing you had to drink? 

A cup of tea at Blarney and Barney's place.

What are you wearing right now? 

Jeans, top, bra and underpants. I will be getting into the shower soon. It's not cold enough to wear socks at the moment.

What was the last thing you ate?

Apple crumble and ice cream (I think the American's call it cobbler) I made it and took it round for dessert tonight.

Have you bought any new clothing items this week?

Not this week. Thought about it.

When was the last time you ran?

In the gym a few weeks ago - but only for a few minutes. Prefer low impact cardio now. Better for the joints.

What’s the last sporting event you watched?

I watched a bit of the Olympics this evening at Blarney and Barney's place. Also watched about 10 minutes of football yesterday. Aussie Rules football that is.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I'd really love to do the Camino de Compostella de Santiago in Spain. Would love to do that.

Who is the last person you sent a comment/message to on Facebook? 

A couple of my study buddies to see how their papers were going.

Ever go camping? If yes, tell us about one time. 

I don't go camping. I'm not a camper. Next.

Do you think a tan improves your looks?

I'm pale and interesting - but a little sun does brighten things up a bit. I can't wear fake tan so really, I have to keep on being pale and interesting.

Have you ever lost anything down a toilet?

The odd earring - that's about it. I'm not somebody who takes my phone into the toilet.

What is your guilty pleasure? 

Tattoo programs on the telly. They're tacky reality television - and I like the fights as much as I love the art work.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Gongetzling Meme

I'm in essay mode, papers are due next Monday, so I will  be pretty brief here.

I also promised I wouldn't start the new Harry Potter book / play until I'd finished my assignments completely. Like that worked... I'm 100 pages in .

Ah well. Anyway, questions, as per normal, are from Sunday Stealing.

1. You’re building your dream house. What’s the one thing that this house absolutely, positively MUST HAVE? (other than the obvious basics of course) 

One very large, very deep bath. I love a good bath - and I only have a shower in this flat.

2. What is your dream car? 

I'd love a Mercedes sports car, but that is very unlikely - however, if I can't have that, I've been looking at the Hyundai Veloster. We had one for a hire care a few months ago and as I'm starting to think about replacing my car, this could be an option. But not in orange.
Image result for veloster

3. What is your favorite website that isn’t a blog. - I love knowing what the weather is doing.

4. iPhone or Droid, which do you want/have? 

I've currently got an iPhone 6. Love it.

5. When you’re feeling down or lonely or just generally out of sorts, what do you do to cheer yourself up?

Read, go for a walk or see a movie.

6. Tell me about something or someone that you love that most people seem to hate. 

I rather liked the new Ghostbusters film. I adore gory medical programs like Embarrassing Bodies and RPA. Love them.

7. What did you want to be when you grew up? 

Writer or doctor. I'm a writer.

8. Would you go on a reality show if given the chance? 

Other than maybe Masterchef, no. Absolutely not.

9. Who was your favorite teacher when you were growing up? (Grade school, Middle School, Jr. High or High School only.) 

My French teacher was a great person at high school. She helped me get through the rot that was high school.

10. You get one pass to do something illegal or immoral. What are you gonna do? 

Cocaine. Just once to try. That is all. I don't want to try it really, but it does sound sort of fun. Just once.

11. What were you doing 10 years ago? 

I was a software tester living in this flat and doing a bit too much internet dating.

12. By this time next year, I ... 

Would like to be 20 kilograms lighter and a lot fitter. I'm fit now but I like being fitter than I am now - doing more cardio and it's great.

13. What is something that you need to do but you've procrastinated on? 

See above. And I really need to do my hard floors - they're getting grotty.

14. Which fictional, TV show character you would shag anytime? 

Mason Capwell - Santa Barbara. Tony di Nozzo. I used to have a thing for Grissom too. Rediscovered Mason Capwell a few weeks ago. Still wonderful.

15. What is your greatest pet peeve? 

People who are rude to waiting/serving/ retail staff. Big bugbear.

16. Tell me about your most recent trip of more than 100 miles? 

I drove back to Adelaide for my niece's funeral (and Christmas). It was better than I thought. 2000 kms done in a week.

17. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus? 

I use the both about the same - and frequently.

18. Do you have a nickname? What is it? 

Yes. Pand.

19. What are you dreading at the moment? 

The knowledge that I'm on my own with my trainer tomorrow night as Jay has some course to go to. Cleo is MEAN when we're on our own. Jackknives and the Nutbush here we come.

20. Do you have a meme you think we should steal?  (Yes, an old trick. But c'mon now. I gotta give it a shot. It's a lot harder to find memes now. But it's ok to answer "You're lazy" an all it a day.)

Nah, sorry.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Beach Boys Meme

Right, it's a case of write a scene, do a job and field a question here. I have papers due in a fortnight. I'm getting there.

I need another day of weekend.

Questions, as per normal, for Sunday Stealing.

1. SURFER GIRL : “I have watched you on the shore, standing by the ocean drawer, do you love me do you surfer girl” Were you ever interested in someone (other than a celebrity) who did not return your interest? 

Of course. Story of my life in many ways.

Hoovering done. Started the post Sangeet scene.

2. BE TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL : “So be true to your school now, just like you would for your girl or guy…” Looking back, how do you feel about your high school days?

They were pretty bloody awful. I was a brainy nerd. The studies themselves weren't too bad, but I didn't really have friends. Too awkward for that.

Hoover put away. Sangeet scene finished. 

3. FUN FUN FUN : “…and she’ll have fun fun fun till her daddy takes the T-Bird away…” What was the worst punishment you received as a teenager? 

I remember still getting the wooden spoon and a young teenager. But I was fairly obedient, so I didn't get much more than the occasional shouting at.

Coffee ready for tomorrow. Tube scene written.

4. I GET AROUND : “Round round get around, I get around” Where did you go on your last long trip? 

My last long trip was in 2010, I went to Singapore, Malaysia, the United States, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and the UK. I was gone for 35 days. Want to do something like that again soon.

Clothes put out for the day. Have enough script done now.

 5. HELP ME RHONDA : “You gotta help me Rhonda, help me get her off of my mind” What do you do to cheer up after a personal tragedy such as a lost job, power outage or broken relationship? 

Exercise and read. That fixes most things. If things are really bad, I go to Bali and hang out with the hippies in Ubud. That also helps.

 6. CALIFORNIA GIRLS : “I wish they all could be California girls. The west coast has the sunshine and the girls there get so tan, I dig a French bikini on Hawaiian island dolls, by a palm tree in the sand” Where are the best boys found? 

New Zealand and England. Good things about both of them. Both appear to be far more accommodating than Australian men.

7. SLOOP JOHN B : “I wanna go home, please let me go home, ya ya. Well this is the worst trip, I’ve ever been on…” What is the worst trip you’ve ever been on? 

I don't go on bad trips, but I had a few rough days with some  New Zealandish friends about 17 years ago. We weren't mean to travel together. We lasted about three days before I took off in another direction.

8. WOULDN’T IT BE NICE : “I guess the more we talk about it, it makes it harder just to live without it, but let’s talk about it…” What is your biggest wish? 

There is still part of me that would like to get married. There is also a part of me that wishes I'd win lotto and I could buy a house. Having a thunderbolt come down to deal with Donald Trump and Cory Bernardi - that would be good too.

9. IN MY ROOM : “There’s a place where I can go and tell my secrets to. In my room. In my room.” What is your favorite thing about your own personal room or space in your home/office? 

I can lock myself away and nobody can contact me. Love being a classic introvert sometimes.

10. GOD ONLY KNOWS : “You never need to doubt it, I’ll make you so sure about it. God only knows what I feel about you” When was the last time you told a significant other or close relative that you loved them? 

Probably at Christmas time. It was a bit emotional last Christmas. Stuff like that got said.

11. GOOD VIBRATIONS : “My baby has good vibrations, she’s giving me excitations…” When do you get good vibrations? 

Normally when watching Clive Owen. Reading amazing literature gives me the shivers too.

12. KOKOMO : “We’ll go to Kokomo. We’ll get there fast and then we’ll take it slow. That’s where I wanna go…” What is your favorite warm weather destination? 

Ubud in Bali

13. DO IT AGAIN : “Let’s get back together and do it again…” If you could go back in time and gather up your school friends, what would you do again? 

I wouldn't gather up my school friends. There are a few things I think I could do differently if I had my time over, but I have no regrets. Would love to go back to Spain and do all that over again. Spain is great.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thumper's Law

When I was a child, I had Thumper's Law forced upon me regularly. Actually, there are a few bit's of Thumper's wisdom that I can quote, but there is one bit of crucial advice that this cartoon rabbit provides that I think all people should know - and think about before they open their mouths. (For those who don't know, Thumper is the rabbit in Bambi).

Thumper's Law is quite simple.

Thumper, I think, has it right. If you can't say anything nice, keep your trap shut.

Thumper had something else to say in Bambi - Thumper, it appears, was the philosopher of the movie.
 It runs like this:

Yep, that works - thought part of this negates what Thumper is best known for.

So, I've been thinking about Thumper and what he has to say - and then applying it to the latest media kerfuffles that have been going on here lately. Namely immigration and the dreaded "M" word.

The M word being Muslims.

And this is where Thumper's Second Law is being invoked.

If you're scared, be as scary as you can be to scare the rest. Is it working? No. Is it drumming up debate. Yes.

Sonia Kruger, bless her, opened her mouth to the astonishment of her colleagues - and to her credit, she won't back down on her views. Is she racist. Probably not. Is she xenophobic. Probably a little. Does she deserve to be vilified by the press and social media - to a certain extent.

I'm not going to start on Pauline Hanson. Not even going to go there. She's just loopy. Like if she's going after banning Halal certification, why not go after the Kosher certification - they're basically exactly the same thing! Sheesh. Anyway, I'm not pouring oxygen on that one.

Sonia Kruger spoke out of fear, and in doing this, invoked Thumper's Second Law.

From where I'm standing, Sonia probably should have invoked Thumper's First Law and kept her trap shut. In the words of George Brandis, "Every Australian has the right to be a bigot." But it's probably not the best to be a bigot on breakfast television. Maybe you have the right to be perceived as a bigot in your own front room, I reckon - and then have a bloody good look at your viewpoints.

What Sonia Kruger has done has spoken out of fear, and she's paid he price. I also think she's spoken out of emotion and a touch ignorance.

As it has been widely reported, the people who are perpetrating these terror attacks overseas have been people born in the country to which they commit these acts. They're the children of people who've moved to these countries to find a better life. A lot of these so called terrorists appear to be disenfranchised by the state in which they live. Many appear to have some form or quantifiable mental illness too.

So, what can be done?

Restricting Muslim immigration isn't the answer. That's just a witch hunt of biblical proportions. People who immigrate here have to go through thorough background checks anyway. Besides, Muslims, like Christians and Buddhists and Hindus and every other religion come in all shapes and sizes. Just as religious fanatics come in all shapes and sizes.

You're telling me that Pauline Hanson and Cory Bernardi aren't dangerous? Well, attitudes based on fear and ignorance (and in Bernardi's case based on White Privilege and rabid Catholicism) are just as dangerous.

Possibly Sonia could have looked past her emotions of seeing a dead child under a blanket on a Nice street and asked herself, "Why would somebody do something like this?" not "Who would do something like this?"

I think it's worth remembering that poor child who drowned in the Mediterranean  a few months back  - the one all over the papers - he was Muslim...

Maybe she should look to her Muslim friends and see what their reaction was to all of these messes of the past few years. Maybe she should talk to her Muslim friends and listen to their experiences in this country and hear about some of the things they've been subjected to over the last few years. (Same goes for the idiots wanting a plebiscite on the subject of same sex marriage - listen to people and get this legislated NOW!)

Maybe, instead of trying to be scarier than her fear, she should have a look at what is an extremely complicated, emotive and changing topic and become better grounded in what people really want (maybe have a look at Maslow's theories) rather than speaking out from her own emotions.

Yes, Sonia Kruger is a goose - an emotional goose. I'd be asking her to read wider, talk more and discuss the real issues behind what makes a man get into a lorry and mow down a crowd rather than make blanket statements which fire up people.

I think there's a lot of people who should be doing this. Walk a mile in another person's shoes before casting judgements. Find out what people are like. Work out why people stick together in their ethnic groups and don't assimilate with the mainstream. Think about what it is to be shunned by a society which has taken you in. And think about what you might be able to do about it rather than putting a blanket ban on having people of a whole religion turned away.

And most of all. If you don't have anything nice to say, keep quiet, until you can work out a better way of saying things - once you've looked around all of the facts.

P.S.  I rather like the Guardian's First Dog on the Moon's take on this.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Storyteller's Meme

I'm writing this from my mother's kitchen table in Myponga, South Australia. It's freezing, but a lovely day down here. Back to Melbourne soon.

Not a bad set of questions from Sunday Stealing  (bar the stupid and seemingly obligatory relationship questions at the end which blight these memes.)

1. What are your current obsessions?

The new series or Rake on the ABC.
Messina Gelati ice cream
Pokemon Go - I hope this obsession leaves soon.

2. What are you listening to?

The prattlings of Adelaide talk back radio. I'm sitting in my mother's kitchen - what else would be playing?

3. Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?

I've got a lovely pair of soft baggy jeans that I adore - a week doesn't go by when they're not in the wash.

4. What are you reading?

Currently reading "My Brilliant Friend" by Elena Ferante. Just finished, "The Natural Way of Things" which was incredible.

5. What’s for dinner?

Probably something take away as I get back to Melbourne early evening and I won't be bothered cooking.

6. What was the last thing you bought?

Lunch for my sister and her family yesterday. We went to the local bakery for pasties and bienenstich.

7. Guilty pleasure?

Candy Crush. Tattoo shows like InkMaster, Best Ink and Tattoo Nightmares.

8. What training did you get and how do you make a living?

I've got an Arts Degree and various certificates and diplomas. I'm trained to be a writer. I am a writer.

9. If you could go back in time, knowing what you know now, and choose a different career path, what would you train to do?

I still reckon I'd be an okay doctor.

10. What’s your best time of day?

I'm better in the morning until about 3 pm. Then I start yawning.

11. Do you like being on a team or are you a solo player?

I can do both. Depends on the team and the task.

12. What’s your favorite way to create art?

I write - that's my art - though I like to bake and crochet too.

13. Name three items in your refrigerator:

Mustard, olives, tonic water.

14. Tell us about your first crush:

It was Mark Holden. I was five years old. I had no taste in men even back then.

15. The first time that I became a boyfriend/girlfriend was with who, when?

I was sixteen. He as tall and had a lot of spots and was into computers.

16. Do you remember what you did on your first date?

We went and saw Police Academy - the first one and the best one.

17. How did you meet your current (or most recent) girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife?

Never having a long term boyfriend, can't answer this.

18. How did your first romantic relationship end?

Daft question - it was over 30 years ago. It ended badly.

19. Do you remember your first kiss?

Yes. It was a first kiss. I remember thinking, "Is this it?"

20. What do we still not know about you?

That's for me to know and you to ponder.