Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Totally gross, but I've had enough

No one likes to talk about the female menstrual cycle.  It's the most disgusting week of the month, in more ways than one. 

First off, the sanitary industry seems to be under the idea that all women use tampons.  Tampons are great, and they do help alleviate 90% of the mess involved.  However, there are women like myself who can't use tampons.  Some women have suffered from Toxic Shock Syndrome, making it dangerous for them to use tampons.  Then there are women like me for whom symptoms such as cramps, vomitting and headaches are made worse by the use of tampons.  So we're stuck using pads, which in the main are often poorly equipped to handle the job.  It's all become about making things thinner, which doesn't bode well for those of us who rely on them heavily - especially at night.

Then there is the price.  For a decent pack of high-absorption pads you're looking at $7-$10 a pack.    This also affects males who are incontinent too - if they want a pair of incontinence underwear, they're looking at paying at LEAST $13 a pack (of about 8-10 pairs), and even then, I can tell you from experience that the underwear isn't as good as it sounds - it still leaks and smells.

My first question is, how hard is it to make sanitary items that work?  My slightly bigger gripe is, why do we all have to pay a premium just to feel clean?  It's not the nicest subject to bring up, but it's something that affects everyone.

Friday, 1 August 2014

#womenagainstfeminism - I'm not sure I agree

Browsing news.com.au while watching the swans murderate the dons, I stumbled across this article, and it concerns me greatly.

#WomenAgainstFeminism goes viral as people explain why they don't need feminism anymore

If these women feel like they're getting a fair deal in their lives, then I am happy for them.  However, while they seem to be happy, there are still women in this world who are being oppressed, even in our Western society. 

I believe that a person should be judged on their merits, words and actions, not on their gender or sexuality.  Unfortunately there are still people, both male and female, who insist on treating women as lesser than their male counterparts.  While this happens, then there is still a requirement for something like feminism to exist.  Evidence of this is in fact in some of these photos.






This photo really annoys me.  Who is this woman to demonise a woman for being sexually free?  What business is it of hers what a women does with whom in her own bedroom?  Who is she to judge someone who gets an abortion?  Anyone who uses the word "slut" to demonise a women who likes sex seriously needs to get over themselves.  No one should feel shamed for their sexuality, whether they're hetro, homo, bi, trans, sexually available or waiting for that special someone.  Your sexuality is your own, and no one should ever have a say about it.



I look at this one and shake my head. It's not feminism that's "defiles" the dream of becoming a stay-at-home wife, it's non-feminist men and women who think that a stay-at-home mother is less of a person than them because they get to stay at home all day and their work is unpaid.  Until stay-at-home parents are no longer looked down upon, someone needs to take a stand.

 
Again with the shaming of women for their sexuality and having a go at abortions!  What a women does with her body is her own business, whether it's having sex or having abortions.  Who are we to judge each other?


Hey, YOU might be happy with being underpaid, but I have to support myself as I live alone.  If I do the same work as someone else, whether they are male or female then I want to be paid just as much as them, 100%!

There are people, men and women, on both sides of the argument who push things too far, and who do really hate the other gender and want to dominate over them.  But I'd say the vast majority do want a world where people aren't judged on their gender.  Things like this don't help attain this goal at all.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Shyness and Loneliness - How I battled it

One of my latest favourite Youtubers, undertakerfreak1127, recently posted this video:







And I realised comparatively, I'm fucking lucky.  I go to the footy and I hang out with my friends (several different groups of them actually).  I go back to Oakey and I have my four best friends (Scary, Ginger, Baby and Posh).  How DID I overcome my rather lacklustre social skills?



Well, therapy helped no end.  So did that Modelling and Deportment Class my mother sent me to.  These two things taught me things like how to structure my thoughts so I could keep a conversation flowing without going all over the place, and the manners and little social niceties that are required in a social setting.  If you can hold a structured conversation while using good manners (and you can do it confidently) then that goes a long way to helping people forgive the little errors that you will make, and the fact that you're shedding anxiety and shyness all over the place.  Also, learning these little nuances and how they fit in to socialising and where to use them helps you see them and understand them in other people.  I did enjoy the Modelling and Deportment Class, but I didn't realise until now how beneficial it really has been.  I recommend all people with social anxiety and personality disorders look these things up - they will help give you the confidence and tools to navigate social settings and hopefully make friends.



However, I think this is only one part of it.  A lot of people have often commented that they love my wacky sense of humour and outlook on life.  I think generally being a kind, positive person who tries their best also helps when trying to make friends and get a foothold in society.  Things like giving footy cards that I don't want to kids who sit around me, helping my friends and club with whatever they need doing and just being there when someone needs you make people forgive and even ignore your little social lapses. 



So my advice to you undertakerfreak1127, go and find a class that teaches things like modelling, deportment, manners etc.  Especially ones where they make you go out and test your skills (our big test at the end was walking on the catwalk in front of a lot of people, including friends and family).  You'd be surprised how much of a difference to your confidence that those things can make.



(Random thought: I just thought of the poor little Eevee from the Abandon Lonliness creepypasta.  Even though it's just a story about a bunch of pixels I still feel for the little fella.  You're not a curse little Eevee.  No one is.)

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Farewell to the greatest friend I have ever known.

On Sunday, I got a message on Facebook from Mum wanting me to call her.  So I did.

She told me that His Royal Highness Prince Morgan Beaglehoven I (aka Morgan, Morgz, Morgy, Beagle Brains, Get back here right now, Get out of that, How the hell did you get out and How the hell did you get your paws on that) had deteriorated rapidly, to the point where he could barely walk.  She told me that the next day she would call the vet.

I immediately started blubbering.  Morgan has been my best friend since I was 10 years old (16 long years).  We got him when he was a little over a year old, he was supposed to be my sister Meagans dog.  However, the way things fell he ended up being my dog.  We were inseperable during my teenage years, we used to get up at 6am on school mornings to go for a walk (ending in a race to see who could get home first - it was always him), if I was going to hang out with my friends he came along, and I often spent my afternoons hanging out with him.  Much to my parents annoyance, he often slept on my bed (taking up most of it) and he nearly always came when I called his name.

I have so many fond memories of his life with me.  I can still remember one time (of many) he got out, and Mum kept calling him.  I called once, and he bolted into my arms.  I can recall the time we found an old softdrink bottle and turned it into a footy, running around like mad things.  This of course ended with him doing his hamstring, which he proceeded to milk.  If I wasn't touching him, he was shaking, and if I dared get up to go and get some food or go to the toilet he'd howl the house down.

There were numerous times he got into food he wasn't meant to, there was the time that he used a bike tyre hung up on a door handle to get himself out and numerous times he outsmarted me (one incident led to him being hit by a car, which was a dreadful day).   He loved to follow his nose, and anything that smelt interesting was fair game.  His favourite place (other than my bed) was the Oakey Creek, often times we went swimming there (one time we were both unlucky enough to end up landing in some rather not-so-nice plants, and spent the rest of the day very sore and very itchy!).  When I got into photography, he was right there with me, braving the Warrego Highway to get some snazzy sunsets and being my model (until he got sick of having the flash go off in his eyes, I could never get him to look at a camera after that!).

At the end of the day, I will never forget him lying on the bed with me, watching Neighbours and Big Brother '03, then waking up on a Saturday morning and watching Rage together (he had a great taste in music).

So yesterday, I headed back out to Oakey to say good-bye.  I got there and I could see he was done for.  He didn't even get up when I came in, and his tail would never wag again (although he did manage to polish off a whole bag of Schmackos - even on his death bed he was an eating machine).  I let him out for the last time to toilet, and he could barely walk.  I spent most of the day on the laundry room floor with him, crying.  About an hour before his death, we took him to the creek for the last time - he didn't even jump out of the car.  He raised his head, the old smells coming to him, but he couldn't follow them anymore.  He barely managed to waddle down to the creek (with a lot of help from Meagan and I) where he had his last drink (of his favourite creek water) and sat down in the mud, wanting to go for a swim but unable to.  We took him back home one last time, and waited for Mum to come home, when we took him to the vet and said our last good-byes.

Even though I know it was the right thing to do, because it wasn't fair for him to suffer, I can't shake the hollow sadness that has settled over me.  Morgan helped me through my teenage years, through the bullying, through the good times and the bad.  It hurts so bad to know I will never see him again and that he was so close to his 17th birthday, but I'm glad he's now okay.

Good-bye old friend and thank you.  See you on the other side.

RIP Morgan 8/8/98-28/7/14

Friday, 25 July 2014

Todays Lesson: Listen to your gut

I was upset and embarrassed.  They had tried BOTH arms for my first platelet donation and neither arm would yield any blood.

"We really need you to keep up your whole blood donations." They said.

"I really don't do whole blood that well." I replied.

"But you're a Universal Donor, we really need your whole blood if you can't do platelets." Was the mantra.

So today I headed in and gave whole blood, very much against the feeling in my gut.  I sat down and she put the harpoon in.

"Hmmm...nothing happening." There was little blood coming through the needle, so the nurse adjusted it.  It took a little while, but suddenly WHOOSH - a fast stream of blood poured out of me.

So fast in fact that I managed to set a record - four minutes and thirty-four seconds to fill the bag.  I've always had a pretty fast flow, so I wasn't too surprised by my feat.  Nor was I surprised when a minute after she withdrew the needle and I started to feel faint.

I KNEW it would happen.  But still I ignored my gut and went with what others were pressuring me to do.  I ended up lying there on oxygen, needing a wheelchair to get to the toilet.  Still, I got a free taxi out of it.

It DOES highlight the fact that I didn't listen to my gut feeling - the one that said "Stick to plasma or platelets" - and dove into whole blood even though I knew it would be trouble.  It seems a lot of people tend to do that.  They ignore their better judgement and end up in some very sticky situations.  The biggest reason is peer pressure, either wanting to do the right thing by someone or not wanting to be seen as weak or different to the crowd.  However that is no reason to not listen when something inside you tells you to stop.  You have no one to blame when things go wrong if you've ignored your gut feeling - you're the one who chose to go against your inner warning system.

Nature gave us our own personal alarm system to make sure we didn't get ourselves into stupid situations.  I wish I'd listened - I'd probably be feeling a lot better right now. :-(

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Walking of an afternoon.

My favourite part of the day is the afternoon on the way home.

First is the train ride from Gaythorne station - a nifty little station within striking distance of where I work.  It's much nicer than Enoggera station in my opinion, even if it is similar walking distance (and more chance of me getting killed by a speeding car.  I live dangerously).  As you all know, getting a SMU is a bonus, but most of the time it's a dinky old EMU - and worse, today was those awful swing-handles.

courtesy www.railpictures.net
Seriously, how hard would it be to send a 220 every so often?!

Now, a sane, rational person would get off at either a) Fortitude Valley and walk home or b) Central and catch the bus home.  I choose c) South Bank station and walk home past the Gabba and along River Terrace.  Why?  Because I love Woolloongabba and I love Kangaroo Point.  Plus I like taking photos with my good pal Rog.

This is Rog.  He's a camera.

Probably the best part of the afternoon is walking past my spiritual home, the Brisbane Cricket Ground, more affectionately known as the Gabba.  If you're ever at the footy and you're walking past section 11, come and say hi!






I have a few favourite spots to take photos from.  One is where I used to live on the Kangaroo Point cliffs, it's great for that sunset snap, especially with the sunlight bouncing off buildings and the boats cruising past.


The next spot is just before the Story Bridge - the buildings are usually lit up by the time I walk past and the lights in the offices contrasting with the sky behind them never ceases to fascinate me.  I could easily spend hours just taking photos of the same group of buildings if it weren't for the fact that I do need to get home, eat, shower and go to bed.



Finally, I LOVE taking a photo of the lit-up Story Bridge from the Wilson Outlook Reserve in New Farm.  The reflections make the photo in my opinion!



Back in Oakey, if you wanted to take photos of the sunset, people tended to look at you funny, plus there aren't very many places to take good sunset snaps from, unless you're willing to get yourself killed on the highway.  In Brisbane however, photography is an accepted form of entertainment.  People tend to treat you like part of the scenery if you're standing there with a camera or smartphone taking snaps.

And while I'm not the most savvy photographer in the world (I love the auto function, Rog tends to know what he's doing and gives me what I want) it's something I enjoy, plus I get a good bit of exercise every afternoon doing it (over 6kms every afternoon is nothing to sneeze at).  Sure, many will question me taking photos at the same locations every day, but in my opinion no two sunsets are the same and I tend to treat sunsets like Pok√©mon - I gotta catch 'em all!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

When did I become sane?!

No, seriously, when the hell did I stop doing crazy shit like jumping out of a train 4 stations early just to get a photo?



Although to be fair, it IS a nice photo.

I used to do things like that a LOT.  I used to walk 14-15kms every Sunday because it suited me.  I used to add 30 minutes to my walk home every day because I wanted to walk through South Bank and walk past the Gabba.  My Twitter feed was full of random thoughts and lyrics to songs I was listening to, and people liked it.  Facebook was just as full of randomness.

I loved living in Kangaroo Point.  Because it didn't matter that I wore dorky bright blue board shorts or ratty old Lions polos walking home.  It didn't matter that in the middle of the pouring rain I'd rush out to get a photo of the Brisbane River.

But it got taken away when I got stuck in poopy old New Farm.  Where people DON'T wear daggy polos and rush out in the rain to take photos.  I started to stack on a bit of weight, but nothing too serious.  I still had my Twitter feed, which was growing a bit more angsty seeing as I wasn't getting the exercise I was used to and was slightly embittered by my exile from Paradise.

Then there was an incident (which I won't go into to protect innocent parties) which seriously hurt me, and had me completely disappear from social media for a month.  Things were resolved, and I tentatively made my way back onto social media, but I was definitely too scared to ever use Twitter again except to advertise my blog and Instagram (plus it tends to crash my browser) and I've locked up Facebook a bit too.

It didn't do my anxiety any good, plus my physical health has deteriorated too.  I've become lethargic and miserable, and almost tempted to get back into my shell and stay there.  Until a couple of nights ago as, like I said, I decided to get out of my train at Newmarket to take some happy snaps and wait 15 minutes for the next train.  This evening, instead of going to Central and grabbing the bus home or walking along the Riverwalk, I got off at South Bank station and walked my old path again, including past the ruin that was my old home.

Sad face.

I even took my old mate Rog the Camera (yes, I named my camera) and took a photo or two from my old vantange point.

Paint Shopped for ease of viewing

And then had a stop by the Story Bridge too.

Also Shopped for your viewing pleasure.

When you're diagnosed, whether it be Aspergers, Anxiety, Depression or any other mental illness or personality disorder, you're whacked with a very uncomfortable truth - you are so different from the rest of the world that they see you as having something wrong with you, and while you can learn to cope with your condition, there's really nothing you can do to fix it.  It comes with a harsh choice - you can go on the way you have, you can try to assimilate, and then there are those of us who try to do both.  Doing both isn't really working out for me at all, and assimilation would involve the use of drugs that wipe out my entire personality, so it looks like I'm going back to being a looney.

Which you all love me for anyway.
 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

I LOVE TECHNO.

"I wanna be a ninja, it could be so fun,
I'll use my secret magic to kill everyone.
I'll be a ninja, it could be so sweet,
So won't you run away to Japan with me?"
-Becky "I wanna be a ninja"

Add a bopping beat and a distinctive high-pitched bridge and you've got yourself a tune!  I love good, fast paced electronic pop that just makes you want to jump up and dance.

However, there seems to be a large majority of people who HATE techno.  I don't get it.  Sure, most if it's not the most lyrically impressive even if there are a few gems such as "Don't Don't Go Away" by Foxxie.  Speaking of "Don't Don't Go Away", there are multiple versions, both of which seem change the whole meaning of the song.

"Don't Don't Go Away,
Is that what you want to hear me say?
If you want to leave today,
I'll help you pack.
If things end today,
You won't break my heart that way.
You will never hear me say I want you back."
 -Foxxie "Don't Don't Go Away"

The DiskoWarp Main Mix gives a very empowering vibe.  Whereas the Richardo Autobahn Nightmare Mix gives it almost a pleading sound, turning it into more of a "Please don't leave me" instead of a "Well feck off then".

One of my absolute favourites though is the Panik mix of J-Mi and Midi-Ds "All Night Long".  The song is as upbeat and as catchy as they come, with some decent lyrics, and a myriad of musical changes throughout the tune.  From the percussive intro leading into the distinctive high-pitched tune which then leads into the main beat it's just such a fun song!





The Radio Edit isn't too shabby either.  I bet you're sorely tempted to dance along with either mix! 

Sadly, my favourite producers DiskoWarp are on indefinite hiatus, which means no new music for a while, but I keep hoping they're gonna come back better than ever!

Monday, 14 July 2014

My Favourite "Ships"

We've all done it.  We're watching/reading our favourite shows/books/whatever and there's always a pair of characters that you just KNOW are perfect for each other.  Whether or not the creators agree with you or not is another thing...

Snake and Otacon - The Metal Gear Solid series.


Oh come on, like you haven't noticed the great chemestry these two have.  Besides, who says 'ships necessarily have to be romantic?  Why not bromantic?  These two became instant best buds on Shadow Moses Island in the first Metal Gear Solid game, and at the end of Metal Gear Solid 4 Otacon vows to stay by Snakes side until he finally dies from his own genes.  That right there is love, and these two share it.

Barney Stintson and Robin Scherbatsky - How I Met Your Mother






I was SO pissed when I saw what happened to these two.  After building up their relationship, including a great friendship where they bounced off each other beautifully, what happened?  Robin got stuck with that idiot Ted (who honestly, I don't think she had anywhere NEAR as much chemistry with) and Barney gets a daughter.  Wow.  Anyone who saw the interplay between these two KNOWS that these two are meant for each other.  Both are witty, sassy, and the only ones thick-skinned and stubborn enough to put up with each other.  I can't believe they broke these guys up. 

Jeff Greene and Dicey Tillerman

The relationship between Jeff and Dicey is a special one to me.  They are the exact opposite of each other, yet both are brought together by music and what they can give to each other - headstrong Dicey pushes Jeff, challenges him to be better and motivate himself, and Jeff can reel Dicey back in when she starts getting a bit wild.  Their relationship nearly fails when Dicey gets too headstrong and stubborn, thinking her way is the only way, but Jeff wisely steps back and lets her learn.

Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley



I've been cheering for these two ever since Harry saved Ginny from the Chamber of Secrets.  Ginny finally got her hero, and Harry joined the Weasley family - how well does that work out?  There's something romantic about staying true to someone until they finally realise it's you they want.  Plus, Ginny's one of the few people in the world to actually be possessed by Voldemort - not just possessed mind, but confided in him and bonded with him until she figured out what was going on - and as such is one of the few people who can even begin to understand what Harry has been through.

Uzumaki Naruto and Hyuga Hinata



If Masashi Kishimoto stuffs this one up and puts Naruto with that stupid moron Haruno Sakura I will FLIP. Naruto was treated like DIRT by nearly all of the citizens of Konohagakure purely for being the unfortunate soul who happened to house Kurama, the Nine-Tailed Fox.  Only Hinata loved and respected him, looking up to him and even adopting his ninja way in never giving up and never going back on her word.  Not to mention when Naruto was getting his butt handed to him by Pain trying to save Konoha, there was only one person game enough to step in and protect him, even though she stood no chance and was 100% certain to die, and that was Hinata.  Not Sakura (who was one of the ones who looked down on Naruto), Hinata.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Favourite video game death sequences

Dying in a game SUCKS.  It means you have one less chance to get through the game, not to mention it's a bruise to the ego and in some cases FRUSTRATING!!!!  But some games do mitigate this somewhat with funny death sequences that make you giggle and make your pain a little more bearable.  Sometimes deaths make you want to kill the character just for the hilarity.

Oh, and for those of you who reckon this list is too morbid - your face is morbid.

Deep Duck Trouble starring Donald Duck - Falling off a ledge


I should feel bad for laughing, after all Donald is a much-beloved Disney character, but watching him struggle back up only to fall again is hilarious.  Although it is frustrating when he's grasping at the air above the cliff you fell off only for him to fall down again no matter how much you push the button!

Chuck Rock II - Son Of Chuck

Even when he gets hurt it's funny...in a sad sort of way




Oh come off it.  Like you don't throw the exact same temper tantrum as Chuck Jr is throwing when you lose a life.  Or get game over.  Especially when you were SO close to winning.

Let It Goat - Falling off a ledge


Ah, Let it Goat.  Everything that Flappy Bird aspired to be but failed miserably.  I'm sorry, but the sound the goat makes when he falls is hilarious, and cracks me up every time. FYI I am NOT addicted, I just play it a lot.

Action Fighter - Falling in the drink


Again, it's more the sound effect than it is the actual action.  Makes me giggle every time!

Special mention goes to the Fatalities from Mortal Kombat and all the ways you can kill your Sims.  Even though killing of Sims is more malice than hilarity....

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The "Good Old" Country Life

I talk to a few people around the city, and they all seem to be under the same delusion - life in the country is much simplier, more wholesome and overall better than city life.  Yeah...nah.

Don't get me wrong, there are people who make country living their own and good on them, but even they can't ignore the negatives that come with living rurally.

First off, poverty.  Yup, it's out in the country too.  Whether it's dole bludgers or farmers hit by poor farming conditions, it can get really dicey financially out in the wild wild west.  It doesn't help when you then add the nasty environmental changes that can devastate a farm to the point of collapse, and insurance can only go so far.  You still then have to clean up and get the farm running profitably again, which takes time.

This can then lead to other issues like depression and alcohol/drug abuse/domestic violence.

One thing I found is that the drinking culture is certainly alive out west, particularly amongst the younger crowd and when things are getting harder.  It's almost a rite of passage every weekend to head to the pubs and drink and play pool/darts/gamble on the NRL.  For some, alcohol goes in hand with drugs, which leads to the gang problem.

"Gangs?  In the country?" You may ask.  Oh yes, there is plenty of gang activity out in the country.  And since the police are spread thin, far and wide around the rural landscape, chances are they can probably get away with it.  Out in the country, you don't go out walking by yourself at night - if the gangs don't get you, then you're probably going to get hit by a car, because footpaths and street lights are either non-existant or faulty.  At least in the bigger cities public transport seems to run forever and there's more of it, but out in the sticks the people are usually ignored when it comes to things like transport and other things like roads.

Speaking of transport, good luck getting medical attention quickly if you need it.  Living far away from society means living away from things like shops and hospitals - some of my friends need to drive at least 15 minutes/half an hour to get to the nearest corner store!

I've already spoken about domestic violence and how mining is encroaching on farmland, which are other problems that come with living rurally - even if you do have a successful farm, how long before it's taken off you by the government for mining?

You would think that given that farming is where we get most of our food and produce, not to mention a fair bit of industry, that the governments would recognise the problems associated with rural living and try to at least make it so things like infrastructure are top-notch to try and off-set some of the negatives, but it looks like my rural friends and family are probably going to remain ignored for a while to come.  They still can't get a train service running from Toowoomba to Brisbane - there's Greyhound Buses, but even they're a bit meh.

If you're going to live out in the country, sure you'll enjoy the benefits of fresher air and more autonomy, but expect also that you will face some very tough times.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Let's talk about trains

I can't help it.  Trains are awesome.  Some more awesome than others.  I love taking the train to work and back every day, so I'm blogging about the trains I take.  Before I go on though, I'll give you a bit of background into the trains.

All of the trains are Electrical Multiple Units, which were first used in 1893 on the Liverpool Overhead Railway.  EMUs are used all over the world, mainly as surburban passanger trains, but they are sometimes designed for mail or other luggage.  They're pretty quiet and low-pollution, making them great for in the city where people are living.

EMU


These clunkoramas are older than me, and it shows!  Some of them still have the old turn-handle on them!  The seat layout is awful, and most of them are filthy.  I always cringe a little when I see these rickity old things heading towards me.


SMU200






These things also make me feel a tad apprehensive when they approach.  They're not as bad as the EMUs, but they have a similar seat layout which is annoying.  Thankfully these I don't see too often.

SMU220

The 220s are pretty good, they have a nicer seat layout including more disabled spaces, meaning the front seat of the three carriages has a bit more legroom (provided no one takes the seat in front of you). They have a nicer decor as well.




SMU260

I LOVE getting these trains - the front seat has a bar in front of it, making a little footrest if you're lucky enough to snag the seat.  The decor is lovely too, and the back of the seats are higher, making leaning back and relaxing much easier.


Images from www.queenslandrail.com.au

Monday, 7 July 2014

Prior Opportunity and Incorrect Disposal

One thing I LOVE seeing on the footy field is a beautifully laid tackle.  Unfortunately, 90% of the time there's no way in hell that tackle will be properly rewarded.  It's very annoying, and makes it harder to introduce people to the game when the rules are applied inconsistently.

In the game of Australian Rules Football, there are only two ways to dispose of the ball legally.  That is a) holding the ball in your hand and striking it with your fist a.k.a handballing or b) kicking it.  You are also allowed to punch the ball away from you if it's in the vicinity.  Disposing of the ball by any other means should incur a free kick.  However, this is almost NEVER the case.  Players are constantly dropping the ball in tackles in order to avoid getting pinged.  As far as I am concerned, a drop is as good as a throw - blow that whistle umpy!

The OTHER issue is a little thing known as "Prior Opportunity".  It refers to how long the player had between receiving the ball and the tackle being completed.  If a player takes a mark, ops to play on and is then tackled, that should be a free kick to the tackler, as the tacklee had the opportunity to dispose of the ball in a legal fashion and didn't take it.  If a player is given a 360 spin in a tackle with both hands free, then he deserves to be pinged - he should have handballed it off while he was swinging around. 

Finally, it seems to location of the tackle has a bearing on whether it gets paid or not.  It doesn't.  The rules are the same in the centre square as they are in the goalsquare.  There should be no bullcrap about "the flow of the game".  There is simply a black and white rule that clearly states what the infringements are, and if an umpire sees an infringement upon the rules, then he blows his whistle and a free kick is awarded.  It's time to reward players who do the right thing, and punish the players who break the rules, whether intentionalyl or through their own stupidity - they're professionals, and should know the rules by now.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Bullying.

Something that makes me angry is when I go onto Facebook and see the anti-bullying messages - especially when they're paraded around by the very people who set out to make my school-life hell.

"Oh Kezz, that was back in school, nearly 10 years ago, surely you should be over it by now?"

The whole "It was in the past, they were kids" argument makes me want to strangle someone - it's usually sprouted by people who are still bullies.

First off, anyone over the age of 5 knows that bullying and making other people feel bad isn't a good thing, so you can shove that argument out of the window.  The fact that the schoolyard bullies are young should be no reason why they should be allowed to get away with it, because they soon turn into adult bullies who are infinitely worse.  One thing that drove me insane were the"anti bullying" lectures that we got - nothing about NOT bullying, but rather telling us how to defend ourselves from bullies.  Of course, all the bullies were in these lectures, so they became very redundant very quickly as bullies found new ways to torture their victims. Why aren't these lectures designed to teach children behaviours OTHER than bullying?  I don't care if you're getting abused at home, it's no reason to make MY life hell.  It's not my fault your parents are fighting all the time, it's not my fault if your parents are never home, it's not my fault you suck at school, why try and pull a power trip on an innocent victim to make yourself feel better? 

We need to teach children skills to communicate better for a start, and how to relate to one another.  Unfortunately there seems to be a great deal of parents who either are too busy to teach these skills, or are bullies themselves and encourage these destructive behaviours.  And why wouldn't you?  Bullying can be very satisfying (I should know, I used to bully my siblings a fair bit, it was one of the few ways I could get them to stay away from me) and it does make you feel stronger - at the cost of somebody elses self-esteem and feelings.  I'm willing to bet that if you asked the people who bullied at school, 90% of them would come back and say that the victim deserved it, or that they were in some way justified in doing it. 

Parents have a responsibility to make sure their children aren't bullies.  Very few of them actually do this.  No one wants to believe their child is a bully, and most parents defend their children instead of stepping back and trying to resolve the situation (and we wonder why people have superiority complexes).  Or worse still, they believe the victim deserves it and reinforce the behaviour in their own child.

If there are any schoolchildren reading this, I ask you this - have you said something mean to one of your schoolmates recently (either in person or on social media)?  Have you gone out of your way to make someone else feel bad?  Why?  What gives you the right to hurt another person just to make yourself feel better?  I don't care if they're different, you're better than that.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

One of my biggest Inspirations

Everyone knows of my hero-worship of two Lions greats, Alastair Lynch and Joel Patfull.  But before those two, there was someone else.  Someone who I think is the single greatest actor ever to grace our screens, and had a huge influence on my sense of humour, adding irrelevance and childish aspects.

That man is Alan Alda.

His character in the hit series M*A*S*H Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce continues to be one of my favourite characters of all time.  His quick wit, strength of conviction, irrelevant quips, good heart and all around amazing looks won me over for life (and I don't care how old he is, he still has that charm about him!).  Finding out a bit later on that Alan's also a strong advocate for womens rights and a charitable man to boot just make me like him even more.  

I adored Hawkeye as a kid - any episode focusing around him was always a favourite.  Some of my fondest memories are of his shinanigans - like after his eyesight healed in "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" and he started antagonising the nurses (that episode is also pretty special to me, as it deals with one of my worst fears - going blind).  Another memory is of Hawks reluctance to ever aim a gun at another human being or even carry a gun, something I respect quite a bit.

Another fond memory is when he punches out Frank Burns in "House Arrest", and tells Radar that he's fine the way he is, and doesn't need to wear shoes that make him look taller.  The only problem with this episode in my opinion is the "rape" scene where Frank is wrongly accused of rape and gets punished - I know this was back in the 70's but it still rankles me a bit.

My favourite episode by far is "Adam's Ribs".  Hawkeyes hilarious obsession with the ribs mirrors my own obsession with fried rice from a little store called Noodle Bento in Toowoomba (what, you thought I went back every once in a while to see my family and friends? Yeah, nah).

Unfortunately I doubt I'll ever get to meet him, he's 78 years old - older than my grandmother - and the chances of me getting over to the U.S any time soon are slim.  But he still remains an inspiration to me, many of the older characters I write are based on him. 

Thanks Mr. Alda, you created a character I will cherish forever, and inspired me to do the one thing that I have found gives me the greatest pleasure in life - make people laugh

Friday, 4 July 2014

Disappointment

Ever build up something big in your head, only for it to fall flat on it's face and not be as awesome as you hoped?

For a few weeks now I've been eyeing off the yellow Gold Perino Sweet Snacking Tomatoes at Coles.  They're 50c more expensive then the red ones (which I LOVE) and I've been wondering just how good they are.  So I bit the bullet tonight and grabbed a punnet.

They're crap.  Flavourless crap.  They have none of the tang or aftertaste of the red ones, instead being bland and boring.  Thankfully I also got a punnet of the red ones, and right now there's a conga line forming in my mouth. YUM.

Sonic '06 was another disaster.  I bought it for my ex (because I am a Sonic nutter) and it took me forever to get past the first level - particularly annoying as every time I started the game again I had to go through the opening cutscene and that stupid first mission again.  Sonic '06 was meant to be awesome, dammit!

Don't get me started on the expectations of my footy team.  Would it REALLY be that difficult to win every game in the season by 100+ points?  Honestly...

Thankfully it doesn't always happen that way, there was that weekend a year ago I swore would be the best ever and it was.  There was my Veloster, Tenny, and she's more awesome than I expected her to be.  There was my first NRL game too, Broncos v Rabbitohs, and that was far more exciting than I thought it would be (I'm actually looking forward to the Broncos v Bulldogs game, provided my little bro still wants to come).

Leigh Matthews once said "Nothing is as bad or as good as it seems" or something like that.  Not everything is meant to go our way, but that's what keeps things interesting I guess.  I still had my cherry tomatoes in the end!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Bridge People.

I'm sure a lot of my friends and family have already read "The Bridge People", however I've decided to make the ending a bit more...morbid.  The old ending came off just a tad too "tacked on" for my liking, and I think this new ending packs a bit more of a punch, if not a bit more of a message.  But that's up to my readers to decide.

So I now give you "The Bridge People"!

I don't remember how long I've been here, standing on the Bridge, watching the water below. I can hear the sounds of the rushing cars behind me, and sometimes someone will walk past, but they seem so much like echos that I usually don't bother to look anymore.
There are others like me. In fact, there's one about ten metres from me. I sometimes chat with him. There's about ten others on our side of the Bridge, but there are about twenty on the other side.
We wait. We watch.
And when someone comes to join us, we cheer.
He's pretty young too, like me. He's about fifteen metres away on our side of the Bridge. He looks drunk, and I daresay he's been crying. Probably girl trouble, that's why a few of them have done it.
"He's up on the banister! Give us a big swan dive!" The old man yelled.
"Nah, he's going headfirst!" The businessman, about twenty metres away replied.
"Whoa up, he's hesitating, he might not do it!" I shouted with a giggle. Most of the time they chickened out. Or someone came and got them.
"You hesitated love and look where it got you! Go son, big jump for the old man!" The old man ribbed me. It's true, I second-guessed myself before committing.
Then we heard it.
"Mate, don't do it, you have your whole life ahead of you!" Someone behind us called.
"She's not worth it, come on home and we'll talk about it!" Yelled another.
Thought so.
"Boooooooooooooo!" A young woman from the other side of the Bridge called. "Don't listen to them, big bomb jump down!"
"Give us a belly-flop, haven't had one of those for years!" Another one of us called.
"I don't want to..." He mumbled, swaying dangerously.
"Mate, come down. It's okay." One of the others tried to reach out to him.
"I don't want to, I don't want to...No!" He screamed as he lept from the Bridge.
"Mate!!!"
We cheered. What started with him heading feet-first into the river ended up with him landing on his side. We didn't even need to wait for him to drown, he must've snapped his neck.
He stood with us as the cheering died down, and we all returned to staring forlornly into the distance, thinking of our old lives, and what had driven us to jump. Because while we cheered when someone new took their lives on our Bridge, we all wished we hadn't done it.
The old man had jumped after his wife died. The businessman had lost everything in a bad business dealing. The lady across from us had lost her baby. There were a few divorcees, an old war veteran, and one man with his two tiny daughters. There was the abusive couple, the bloke had thrown his girlfriend over before jumping himself, and a few teenagers who came from broken homes.
Myself? I was mentally ill (as were a few others). I was deeply infatuated with a man, everything about him made me happy. But no matter how many times we chatted and got along, he still dumped me, due to his "issues". He was a dear friend. Then my rival took the credit for all my hard work and got my promotion. To make it worse, she made a move on my ex-boyfriend. I was so angry and upset. Then my parents split, my brother turned on me and my sister and I grew apart. I needed my man, but he would never come back to me. Sure, he would always give me a bit of a hug and a pep talk, but he was never truly there for me. Even the one night we spent together, playing video games and making love...it wasn't enough. I felt like a cheap toy.
I supposed I should have spoken to him, but he was always so good at what he did that I felt I could never be worthy of having him back. Long nights I spent yearning for his touch again, crying because I was alone.
So, I went with a swan dive, breaking my back but not quite killing myself. I drowned. Not the nicest way to go for someone who's claustrophobic, but I went.
I often wondered if they missed me. Sometimes one would come along and throw a white rose (my favourite flower) off the side of the Bridge.
I'm lonely. So lonely. I have nothing, nothing except this view of the river and the city, and if I turn around the cars speeding past, people walking past laughing, focused, alive. I wouldn't wish this upon anyone. Nothing has changed, I'm still hurting, my past life replaying itself in front of my eyes unless I'm on my guard.
Don't let any of them come for me. Don't let anyone join me...
I don't know how much time went by, day and night are the same for me. But he came. He came for me.
He was drunk. So drunk.
He stood almost exactly on top of me. He was crying.
"I wish I had said something to you. You were my closest friend. I still remember the night we spent together. You were the only woman..." He sobbed. "I'm so sorry I left you."
So lonely...
"Come on mate, just drop off the side now!" The old man cackled.
"I just want to see you again." He got up on the handrail.
I'm so lonely
"Looks like he's just gonna fall with no help from us!" The businessman laughed.
"Put some effort into it mate, even I went with some dignity!" The drunk chimed in.
“Come on ya jerk, I bet you're too much of a coward to do it!” I cheered.
Please stop my loneliness!
"Good-bye..." He gave one last whimper and dropped.
"No!" I screamed as he fell and landed with a splash. I sighed.
"Forgive me. I'm so sorry." I whispered.
It took a few minutes, but soon he was standing with me, looking out onto the water.
"Well, that was smart." I snapped.
"You did it first." He replied, hugging me from behind.
"There was no need for you to jump!"
"There was no need for you to jump either!"
"Will you two shut up? I don't want to put up with your bickering for the rest of my unlife." The lady from the other side yelled, to much loud agreement from everyone else.
I frowned, and we both continued watching the water, waiting for the next victim of the Bridge People. All of us lonely. All of us reliving our past pain.
All of us wishing we hadn't done it.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Video Games

Video games can be great.  Absolutely love them.  Sonic the Hedgehog is and always has been my hero (although his treatment of poor Amy Rose leaves a lot to be desired) and I'm currently giving the Metroid series a bash.  Games like Llamas with Hats - Cruise Catastrophe and Adventure Time Card Wars also keep me amused, and I still dabble in Airfix Dogfighter and Unreal Tournament.

However, there comes a time when they aren't so entertaining.  There comes a time when you want to pick up your console and FLING THE FREAKING THING OUT OF A WINDOW!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, sorry, I'm calm. 

Metroid is the one that's really pissing me off at the moment.  I've given up on Zero Mission, Mother Brain is a bullshit boss, especially with the turrents, Ringas and KNOCKBACK INTO THE LAVA sorry, calm, calm. 


 The Ringas are ever-spawning (and home in on you) and the turrets don't let up.  Worst of all is once MB's glass jar is broken she starts firing a beam at you, and can only be hit when her eye is open. 

Metroid Fusion is another one - Yakuza is infuriating.






I can get past the first form without too much drama, but the second form?  The head starts jumping around uncontrollably (thanks to it's stolen Space Jump ability - give it back you X bastard!) dropping insects that HURT.  Plus there's always the fact that it WILL hit you a fair few times, which makes the X Core form all the more annoying, as the stupid thing homes in on you.

(And just after I wrote this, I finally beat the damned thing.  Good LORD!)

Anyway, let's leave Metroid.  Let's head over to Sonic.

Namely, Sonic CD.

SCREW WHOMEVER PROGRAMED THE SPECIAL STAGES. Sorry, breathing, calm.  The hit boxes of the UFOs are dodgy, making Sonic clip through some of them.  Then there's the fact that in the later ones they move erratically and speedily - and if you land in the water, the timer speeds up.





The backgrounds are beautiful though.

Finally, let's talk about stupid AI.  I'm looking at you Dogfighter.





There are two escort missions in the game, and both of them are tedious and boring.  Mosty because of the stupid AI that either a) get themselves killed or b) decide they're not going to move until someone shoots them.  The rest of the game is brilliant and I love it, but those two levels can go screw themselves.

All of these games are brilliant, but sometimes even brilliant games can get frustrating.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Creatures of Habit

They say us on the Autistic Spectrum are creatures of habit.  I probably take that a bit far sometimes to treating some of my routines as little ceremonies - like going to the laundromat.

If I want to wash my clothes at home, I need thousands of kilometres worth of extension cable to reach the washing machine room out the back.  Yeah, nah.  I much prefer to spend an hour and a bit at the laundromat.

It's always on a Sunday, usually towards the end of the day as the sun is beginning to set. I like to drive down Morteon street (even though I nearly got taken out at Bowen Terrace due to not being able to see - bloody street parking!) and go up Samuel Lane to Soap and Suds.  I park there and head into the Foodworks to get some gold coins for the machines.

I like the little store there, the people who run it are so polite and friendly.  I usually get a tray of celery and some sars (sometimes if I feel naughty I grab a choccy) and head back out to the car to get my washing.  There are two seats in the laundromat, one along the back wall opposite the washing machines, and one at the entrance next to the dryers.  I usually pick one of the washing machines facing the first seat, load it up for 33 minutes and settle myself down.  I usually like to dig into a Melina Marchetta or Cynthia Voigt story on my phone.  I usually get through my drink and a bit of the celery, until I notice the washing machine is done.

Then I head over to the dryer.  For the next half an hour, I'm usually engrossed in the Card Wars app (based on the episode of Adventure Time for those who are curious).  Recently though I've played a bit of Sonic CD as well.

Finally, the dryer is done and I head back home.

I love it.  It's a brilliant way to chill out for a bit while preparing for Monday.  Plus, it helps with getting me out of the house on a Sunday (otherwise I'd just spend the day in bed).  Call me a creature of habit, but my habit doesn't hurt anyone and comforts me, so what's the issue?

Friday, 27 June 2014

Look Ma, I'm bloggin'!

Some footy player will come on here and blast me for disrespecting them, but I honestly sometimes think that preparing to donate blood is pretty similar to how one would prepare for a footy game - eat the right meals (in my case, a stroganof -YUM), drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of sleep, and if you're donating platelets or plasma, extra prep is required in the form of more calcium-rich drinks (something I found out my first time donating plasma).  As you probably guessed, I'm preparing for my first blood donation in over six months (I got inked in January and it's a six month wait between tattoos and donating again), opening up a vein in my right arm to give plasma.  Being an "O neggy" and having a high platelet count means they'll probably be begging for my platelets soon, which I'd be more than happy to give.  Seriously, if you haven't given blood yet get your butt down to the Blood Bank and check your eligibility.  You need the feels. Call 13 95 96 or visit www.donateblood.com.au - it's worth knowing that you have saved lives (and free food!).

Speaking of life, I'm trying to get back into the habit of walking home of an afternoon - on one hand, it's nice to have the train/bus driver do all the work and not have to worry about crashing a car, but on the other hand people look at you weirdly if you start belting out "Jesus He Knows Me" on the Beenleigh line.  Of course, being in a car driving means no taking photos, and I do enjoy taking photos.  Especially now I've discovered the panorama function on my Galaxy Note 2.

From New Farm on Bowen Terrace


From the Botanical Gardens looking at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs

From the Riverwalk near Ivory Street

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Sheldon Cooper vs The Earl of Lemongrab

Again today my inclination towards being OCD and having Aspergers led to another "like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory" comment.

I can't stand Sheldon, nor can I relate to him.  He's a man who seems to project complete and utter arrogance and contempt for anyone who thinks differently to him.  While I can draw parallels between myself and the character...just no.

A much better comparision is between me and the Earl of Lemongrab.


To Lemongrabs credit, he tried.  He really does want to fit in and have people to share his Lemon way of love and life with, but because of the flawed way that Princess Bubblegum (who is a bitch who should be burnt alive) made him he has problems relating to the other Candy People.  In the end he couldn't and it ended with him becoming an angry dictator.  I really do feel sad for Lemongrab, he's not really a bad guy, he simply just can't relate to others.

Thankfully I have a much easier time than the poor Earl of Lemongrab, but there have been times when my "lemon way" has gotten me into trouble.  Road to hell paved with good intentions etc etc etc.  Whereas Sheldon is simply an abrasive arsehole who puts me off.

In other news, please check out this news article from the Brisbane Times featuring my mate Adam Staines from The Lions Roar - ESPECIALLY all my readers who follow Victorian-based Clubs.  You guys honestly have no clue, and this article might help shed a little light for you.  Or it could end in my blog being trolled by feral pies fans, but views are views and I like them all :-).

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Customer Service or Why I won't eat at certain places

There are two restaurants in particular that I have decided I won't frequent unless I have a voucher for free food, and those are Hungry Jacks and Nandos.  Why? Shot customer service.

With Hungry Jacks, at multiple stores I have been treated rudely.  When I filled in the online form to complain about said treatment, I got nothing.  Zilch, zip, nada, nothing.  It really irks me because a) I spent my hard-earned money at their establishment and b) I took the time to complain, surely even a "thanks, but we're ignoring you" was in order?

Nandos is another one.  Last night I had a bit of spare change, so I had some chicken.  When I got home and consumed said chicken, part of it was still undercooked.  Sure, I nuked it in the microwave and it was fine, but after filling in the complaint form on their website I still haven't heard anything.

Compare this to Eagle Boys, my favourite chain.  The MOMENT you put in feedback, you get an automated email thanking you for your feedback.  Then, within a working day, you generally get a phone call either from the franchise or from head office.  I've had to complain twice, once was about a driver who forgot the garlic sauce on my garlic prawns (SACRILEGE!) and the other time because my pizza was delivered with the topping anywhere but on the pizza.  Both times I got a sincere apology from both head office and the franchise, and a free pizza.  THAT is customer service.

McDonalds is another one I have to commend, mainly because of one person though.  I'm sure anyone who has been to the Maccas at Central will know what I'm talking about - there is one young lady there who always has a smile on her face and is enthusiastic.  She definitely has a flair for working with people and I wouldn't be surprised if she was the winner of multiple employee of the month awards.  She is another prime example of good customer service, and why I continue to enjoy McDonalds.

Customer service is so easy and so basic that it seems ludicrous that any business could get it wrong.  I'm sorry, but at the first whiff of bad customer service I am outta there - I'm not paying to have any negativity in my day.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Thank you Jonathan Brown

Yes, I know it's been a while, and no, I'm not telling you where and why I went.  What I AM here to talk about is someone who helped make the Brisbane Lions who they are.  The son of a Fitzroy player, drafted under the father-son rule.

The Great Man Jonathan Brown retired today.  I sat in sad silence while my disrespectful co-workers did their best to interrupt me.  Jonathan Brown is for Fitzroy what Michael Voss is to the Bears - a link to the past.  Two sides of the same coin.  Both amazing leaders and inspirational players who us Lions would follow anywhere. 

I don't want to believe it.  I still can't comprehend that Simon Black is gone, and the Big Brown Dog was supposed to play forever too.  They all were.  None of them were supposed to retire.  But in the wake of the old moving on, the new is coming through.  While it rips me apart to see the Legends depart, if they didn't we wouldn't have Jed Adcock.  Or Joel Patfull.  Or Dan Merrett.  Or Sam Mayes.  Or Izzy, Dizzy and Squizzy.  There'd be no James Polkinghorne to kick the torp, there'd be no Dan Rich to set the Gabba on fire with his left boot.

Jonathan Brown guided these boys, lead them and helped shape them.  He showed them how to be courageous and the way the game should be played.  He inspired them (and us), and now it's time for the boys to repay him and those who came before him.  It's time to make their own legacy, to do justice to the legends who have gone by.  This team belongs to the New Generation, to the Tom Rockliffs and Jack Reddens, the Matthew Leuenbergers and the Pearce Hanleys.

Thank you Jonathan Brown, for the great service and the amazing example you have given our Club.  I hope your retirement is all that you want it to be - just keep off a bike if you're in New Farm, I like my Veloster in one piece thank you!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Top 5 Brisbane Lions Moments

What a NIGHT.  Just got back from the Brisbane Lions Hall of Fame ceremony, an unbelieveable night where THE greatest players our combined teams have ever seen have been honoured accordingly (Mr. J. Patfull still not believing me when I informed him he was one of them and would one day be honoured himself.  I'd hate to see his tipping every week).

The most amazing part was saved for last when the truest Brisbane Lion of them all, the great Michael Voss was elevated to Legend status.  They called him a "Leader of Men", which in my honest opinion is a gross understatement - Michael Voss was and always will be a Leader of Lions, and even though he said he'd eventually end up at another Club, I honestly believe it will never happen because if it does then it means that the Lions have lost their greatest icon and leader.  If anything, I hope he makes it to the Board.

Anyway, off the back of the amazing high that was the Hall of Fame ceremony, I'm going to come right out and list my Top 5 Favourite Brisbane Lions Moments.

5. Elimination Final vs. Carlton in 2009


The first time the Lions had made finals since '04, and Vossys first year as the Coach.  Just about everyone who was there that night (including myself) will easily list that in their Top 10 moments, it was an amazing effort, especially those last few goals by Daniels Rich and Bradshaw, and the most celebrated behind in Lions history from Travis Johnstone (Yes, I'm leaving that sentence as is, you perverts).

4. Round 21 vs port 2009

Because fuck you port.  Best part was the port supporter in our section.  In the beginning of the game he was up and about swinging his scarf around certain of a win.  After the game he was all arms folded and stony faced.

3. The Miracle On Grass 2013

Oh. My. Fucking. God.  From being 52 points down and my hero kicking the goal that started the landslide, to the last charge that led to Ash McGrath kicking the goal of his career to seal the game, to Joel finding me after the game to give me the signed footy, it was beyond anything anyone could have ever imagined.  Anything's possible after this!

2. Joel's Hard-Running Goal, Round 20 vs. the Dogs 2008

The epitome of why Joel Patfull is my hero and favourite player.  Constant hard work that is nearly never seen by most people.  He deserved this goal, amongst many others.

1. THAT goal in the 2003 Grand Final

If you want a 10-second summary of the 2003 Grand Final, this is it.  Everything going right for the Lions, and everything turning to shit for the wobbles.  Cop that shaw you flog!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Vaccines don't cause Autism. REALLY?

During my lunch break yesterday, I stumbled across this news link.  Another research done debunking the myth that vaccines cause autism.

So I spoke to my Mumsie yesterday, who got all three of her children immunised.  Apparently I had the same reaction to vaccines as my siblings, which was feeling a bit crook and having a bit of a temperature.  If vaccines really were the cause of my Aspergers, then wouldn't my siblings have also been affected?  As it stands, my two older siblings are much more socially integrated and typical than what I am.  Part of me feels guilty that I haven't been able to be the optimal big sister to them, and I wonder sometimes if that also has had an impact on them.

In fact, in my case, there's definitely a case for Autism and Aspergers being genetic.  I have three siblings - one who has the same parents (non-autistic male), one who shares my mother (non-autistic female) and one who shares my father (autistic female).  It makes me wonder too if my brother could be a carrier for an Autistic gene, and whether that's something he's going to have to think about.

Even if Autism was caused by vaccines, would you really prefer your children dead or seriously ill over Autistic?  There's a lot of support out there for Autistic families, such as:

www.wrongplanet.net
www.autismqld.com.au
www.autismsa.org.au
www.autismspeaks.org

meaning that Autism, while certainly not optimal, doesn't have to be the sentence it once was.  Yes, it might mean you end up with a child whose lifes ambition is to serve on the Brisbane Lions cheersquad and have as many cats as physically possible, it might mean you end up with a child who can't speak but who is obsessed with dinosaurs who eventually becomes a archaeologist, or a child who simply makes it by.  But then again, there are children without personality disorders who go on to do those things too, so in the end does it really make a difference? 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Yesterdays Playlist

After norf got the first goal, I started on a very deep and dark musical spiral.  Seeing as I can never drink alcohol nor have drugs and thus never drink/snort/inject my woes away, I find other ways to get to that stage.

"Piano Man" - Billy Joel


You know it's bad when you start with the epitome of drinking songs.

"Bohemian Raphosdy" - Queen


It was still amusing at this stage.

"We Are The Champions" - Queen


I just let Spotify do it's thing really.  Had to giggle when this came on though.

"Another One Bites The Dust" - Queen


At this point Greeny kicked a goal and I thought we were still in with a chance.  I gave it a rest until the third term when they easily got one back...then it was time for something heavier.

"Gudbye T' Jane" - Slade
It was around this time that I was starting to lose whatever hope I had.

"Cum On Feel The Noize" - Slade
Slade > Quiet Riot

"Mama Weer All Crazee Now" - Slade



See song title.  This song should only ever be used if "Piano Man" has failed.  Which it did.

"Look At Last Nite" - Slade
I was slowly getting Sladed.

"Look Wot You Dun" - Slade

Look what Gastro did. Look what Gastro did, and I don't even have it!

"Darlin Be Home Soon" - Slade

Not sure what the neighbours thought at this stage.


"Look What You've Done" - Bread

I was sad by this stage.


"Comfortably Numb" - Pink Floyd



I just wanted it to be over at this stage.


"Another Brick In The Wall" - Pink Floyd



Another loss in the season.



Hope my misery has entertained you - especially considering how painful Blogger has been today.  Screw you Blogger.

And norf can take their disrespectful banner and shove it.  Not only did they disrespect my team, they disrespected the memory of Tom Hafey - it looked like the message to him had been stuck on as an afterthought. Poor norf, poor.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Fathers and their daughters

I've been on Twitter again today, and I saw this:

 
I gotta admit, even though if you really want to get techinical he's techinically my step-father (technically), my Dad is by far the best Dad in the world.  Yes, he can be an arsehole and his lectures make fremantles game plan look fun, but now I'm grown up and I have to admit, he lectured because he wanted what was best for me.  He wanted me to get good marks in school so I could have a comfortable job, he wanted me to keep my room tidy so when I had a house to take care of I knew how to do it.  Sure, his delivery could have stood some improvement, but the intent was good, so thanks Dad.  You're even cool on occasions when you're not lecturing.  Sometimes.  Maybe.  A little.

One thing I'm grateful to my Dad for is when it came to my relationships, he wasn't one of those helicoptor Dads who chases off every male who comes near.  He's the same with my little sister, and in fact gets along with my future-brother-in-law-to-be. He's always let me make my own decisions, while being there in case I get hurt (although he did tell my ex that I came with a no-return policy.  Thanks Dad). 

I don't understand these fathers who threaten their daughters dating prospects, even when they're younger.  All it's going to do is breed resentment on the part of the daughter, and encourage her to go around behind her fathers back so she can at least experience what love and relationships are all about.  Plus it's just plain sexist in a way - if you're going to kill a guy for touching your daughter, you should at least then be willing to hand over your daughter to the guys parents so they can kill her too for touching their son.  Not to mention it gives your daughter an unhealthy example - she will learn that males be controlling is okay, and that will affect her relationships negatively.

Parents have a responsibility to their children to model behaviour to their partners that they would like to see in their children, and how they would like to see their children treated.  If a child sees a father who is domineering and controlling, sons will become domineering and controlling themselves, and daughters glean that they are to submit, potentially landing them in abusive situations.  It's the same the other way around, if the mother is jealous and controlling, it will flow on to their children. 

We learn a lot about relationships from what is modeled to us, and what I have learnt from my parents isn't all good, but most of it is.  What I've learnt from my father is that being open and honest without controlling is a good way to be, and from my Mum I've learnt that it's okay to walk away if things aren't right.  I might not have always put it into practise, but after my last experience I think I know where I went wrong and what not to do next time.

So to all those Dads out there feel they have to threaten every male who looks at their daughter, relax.  You're going to have to let her go some time, and if you've done the best you can, she's bound to find someone who will treat her like the princess you think she is.  Just remember to be there if she falls, because there's just some things only Daddy can fix.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Remember when I wrote about Words?

I remember writing, and I quote:

Think about your words before you use them.  They are your main way of representing yourself, and if you use those words to hate or mislead, don't be surprised when people then turn around and have a negative opinion of you.
I was thinking about that blog when I heard about a young giants player by the name of Toby Greene, who stuffed up by going against team protocols leading to an assault charge and is now looking at appealing his punishment. It made me think of what I believe to be the most common lie told in the world.

"I'm sorry."

Saying you're sorry implies that you feel remorse over your actions and that you are prepared to work towards restoring the damage. By appealing his suspension, it makes whatever apologies Toby has made to his team mates sound very hollow indeed.

One thing that disturbs me though is that Greene will be backed by the AFLPA.  I hate the AFLPA with a passion, because every time the AFLPA gets involved in something it makes players look like even bigger brats than they do currently - not really a hard task mind.  Let's be fair, being paid millions of dollars to chase a piece of dehydrated cow around a paddock seems a bit unfair given those who willingly serve their country are paid considerably less and there are some who have lost their lives in the name of Australia.  I certainly feel pretty bitter towards the players sometimes, especially when I book a seat on a plane only to be forced out into an inferior seat because my team are on the same flight and they take priority over me.  I certainly feel bitter when I go to a Club function and the players, while lovely, don't make any secret of the fact that they're checking their phones and can't wait to get out of there.

Then again, I can't really complain given I give a fair chunk of money to these brats every year.  However, in exchange for me contributing to their rather wieghty pay packets, I do expect for them to behave like civilised human beings and not break any laws or bring their Cllub into disrepute.  Perhaps it's time the fans reminded these punks who foots their bills, and who can easily take that away if we don't like what we see.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

End of an Era

I just checked my email after getting home and saw one that gave me a little bit of a shock and made me feel a bit sad.  The publishing site Helium is going down.  I didn't get very far with Helium, although I posted a few articles on there (mainly creative writing).  Probably my best work was The Bridge, which was a bit morbid but I was feeling very morbid when I wrote it one day after taking a stroll over the Storey Bridge in Brisbane.  Another I wrote under the "Suicide and Anxiety" tag in an atempt to try and convey the sense of helplessness that anxiety brings is one I simply call "Abigail". Unfortunately after December this year the site will be taken down - I'll probably give these two a bit more of a polish and post them here (eventually).  Everything else I wrote in an attempt to diversify is pretty much rubbish, and best avoided.

It was my experience with Helium and a book I wrote titled "Chuckles and Giggles" which made me realise I am simply not cut out to be an author, no matter how much I love writing and how much it has been my dream since I was little.  I don't have the patience nor the talent to make a decent go of it, so sadly I've had to put that dream aside forever. Journalism was my next step, but getting into Uni to study would have been expensive, not to mention there are plenty of journalists out there and competition would be stiff.  It's not all sad though, even though I'll never write a well-loved and influential book, I do have this blog which seems to be getting a bit of attention, even though it's mainly a mix up of societial issues, music/book reviews and footy rage.

However, there is one young lady I know who is making a go of it and doing very well.  Morgan Burley is one of my sister Meagans school friends, who is working her way to publishing a book.  It's great to see her taking advantage of social media and working hard to make her dream come true - be sure to check her out, she's even gotten a mention in teen magazine Girlfriend.  Hopefully she keeps going and gets to where she wants to be in the end - don't give up MJ, just keep going and don't let anything stop you!

Speaking of Facebook pages, although a lot of you probably already follow me on Twitter, I've set up a Facebook page in the hope that the kinder Facebook interface will allow discussion to flow from whatever I write, and hopefully find out some of the random people who look in on my blog - give us a like and let's see how we go!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

My Top 5 Favourite Songs of All Time

5. "Runaway" by Linkin Park



This is from my days as a "Everybody Hates Me/No One Understands Me" teenager...although to be fair, no one really DID understand me until I got diagnosed.  The opening is what sucked me in originally, but the chorus is what kept me. Running away seemed like a brilliant idea back when I was a kid, just leaving all of Oakey behind and starting a new life in Brisbane as a Lioness...so good in fact that I finally got around to it at the age of 24.  Good number, 24.  Good number.

4. "Escape from the City" by Ted Poley



I gushed over this song in my "Top 5 Pump Up Songs".  It's SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, it's fast, it's rockin', and it's insanely fun.  My official theme song and definitely one I listen to every day.

3. "Electric Blue" by Icehouse



It is so, SO hard to have a favourite Icehouse/Flowers song - between classics such as "Touch the Fire", "Crazy", "Hey Little Girl", "Icehouse", "Great Southern Land", "Nothing Too Serious"...I digress, Icehouse is one band who I will always stop and sing along to.  "Electric Blue" was my first Icehouse song, and still my favourite.  Any song with a saxophone that passionate in it is a winner in my books. Plus I like electric blue eyes.  What?

2. "Stand" by R.E.M



R.E.M is by far my most favourite band of all time.  Their music is creative and enjoyable, Michael Stipe is a fucking lyrical genius, and STAND! Fun, boppy, has it's own dance and is surprisingly deep.  In fact, I am dancing as I type this because this song is so awesome.  It's even got a light anthemy quality about it - making you want to stand up and be counted.

1. "I Can't Dance" by Genesis



Genesis and Phil Collins were my first ever favourites, the whole "We Can't Dance" album was my crystal meth, along with songs like "Another Day in Paradise", "Easy Lover", "Don't Lose My Number".  This song is by far my most favourite song of all time, and I'll be damned if I can tell you why.  That opening guitar, the beat, the cheesy lyrics, Phil's voice...I don't know.  But every time I hear it I want to start singing and dancing and goofing off, it puts me in a good mood and I wish it was longer!