Friday, 18 December 2015

Return to the Wastelands

WARNING: A lot of negativity and references to Stephen Kings "The Dark Tower" ahead. Continue at your own risk.

So once again I find myself back in little old Oakey. For those not in the know, Oakey is a tiny little shithole about 20-30 minutes west of Toowoomba, which is a big shithole.  To be fair, these areas are great for a visit...once...but honestly, I simply cannot muster any love for these areas. The people have a tendancy to be on the horrid side (mention "gay marriage" or "alcohol in moderation" and watch what happens) and the government has completely neglected the place. Religious bigotry, domestic violence, dole bludging, alcohol/drug abuse and a complete lack of facilities abounds around here and it makes me sick. It's definitely no place for a young forward-thinking young lady with mild autism and a thirst for constant growth.

However, I suppose I should list some of the positive things about the Wastelands (as I like to refer to them). If you ever get it into your head to venture west of Gatton, make sure you do it around September when the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is on, when the city of Lud (Toowoomba) is at her finest. Don't bother trying to go shopping however, Grand Central is shit and Clifford Gardens is shittier. Next, you should drive through the gorgeous countryside to Oakey briefly just to check out the Army Air Museum. Then head out to the Jondaryan Woolshed before a nice drive out to the Bunya Mountains (which is the nicest place out West) before never, EVER coming back. The only reason I return is to see my family, who are still out here for various reasons.

Every time I return to this place I feel icky, and only feel better once I see the Gabba and the Brisbane River. However, my Mumsie is awesome, and I love my grandparents dearly so it's worth the trip. Just don't expect me to mix with the locals - it's not like any of them would recognise me anyway.

Friday, 4 December 2015

The Biggest Loser: Why I love the Jofres.

Before I go into this though, you're all going to go to Google for me. No questions, just go to Google. Now, type in "Chuckles and Giggles". That's right. My story is now the third entry down from the top on the FIRST PAGE if you don't mind! Plus, if you go to the Images tab, the first 3-4 pictures you see are the amazing artwork of one Thien Uncage. I did not pay one cent at all towards that placing, it's all totally organic and it means I might finally be getting somewhere (or not, I'm not sure how much "Chuckles and Giggles" gets Googled).

ANYWAY, on to this season of The Biggest Loser. Not that I was particularly fond of Fiona in season one, she was one of those annoying Red Teamers after all (I can still remember when Adro won, my family and I were so thrilled). To be honest, I haven't watched too many more seasons, mainly owing to the fact that I really don't have the attention span for television. But this year, I was drawn to three brothers who I relate to more than the other contestants (including their uncle Rob; it's not like I'm ever going to be a parent now is it? *sad face*), and those three are Pablo, Tony and Daniel Jofre.

I can easily sympathise with Pablo - it's a tough gig being the oldest, especially to siblings that seem to always be doing better than you (trust me, I know how you must feel when Tony wins everything in his path, I have a brother and two sisters who insist on doing the same thing to me). I admire his sensitivity and strength though, and what he's going through is a reminder to me that I'm the example to my siblings - sorry Pablo, we're the ones who can't afford to let ourselves go lest we drag our impressionable siblings down with us (and they never seem to stop being impressionable...).

Now on to Tony, IMO the hottie of this years contestants. At first I was angry at Tony, he'd been on his way to a pretty snazzy career as a PT and he threw it all away. Then I realised I was being a major hypocrite and cut the poor man some slack. When I was 24, I was also pretty much on top of the world - 62kgs, following my football team around the country, popular as you please. Of course, I got lazy. I didn't save money, I didn't look after my health (nothing like being a junk-food junkie) and I got arrogant with my mental health, thinking I was finally cured of autism and anxiety and that I'd never have to worry about it again. Well, didn't I find out the hard way that complacency kills. Tony at least has put in a major effort to get back to where he was, and I think it's about time I got off my arse and did the same.

It might just be my uncool big-sisterness coming out, but every time I see Daniel my protective instincts go into overdrive. He reminds me of my three younger siblings, so much potential that could go so wrong if they're not careful. I'm willing to bet both Pablo and Tony spoil him a bit, like I do to my baby sisters. Maybe I should curb that a bit...

Anyway, Team Jofre seems to be the team to hate this year, which sucks because all four of them are pretty awesome. My money is certainly on Tony to take it out. I guess it's time to quit stalling though, and take a look at myself. I've made some small starts (anyone fancy a 50km walk? Anyone? Hello? Hellooooooo?) with sticking to my writing, walking here, there and everywhere (I reckon 80% of my mental issues are solved by me walking it out. Maybe I'm not walking far enough to walk out the other 20%?) and taking up dancing (trust me, eventually I'll be writing a blog on West Coast Swing, but for now just trust me when I say it's awesome and you need to go and do it), but I really need to commit 100% to change. It's time to quit the junk food (cold turkey, apologies to my coworkers who will be suffering the wrath of my sugar-deprivation), it's time to start saving money (towards an overseas trip and maybe a train set of my own) and it's time to take my mental health a bit more seriously, which means more of those disgusting Rescue chews (UGH).

Go Team Jofre, and see you next blog (and read Chuckles and Giggles darn it!).

Friday, 13 November 2015

Cum On Feel The Noize - Slade vs Quiet Riot

"Cum On Feel The Noize" is up there with "Mama Were All Crazee Now", "Darlin' Be Home Soon" and "Look At Last Night" as one of my favourite Slade songs. Of course, 90% of the world is more familiar with the inferior Quiet Riot cover, which propelled the song to the status it holds today.

The superior original

The inferior cover

Give them both a listen, and I think you'll agree that while the cover is a bit faster-paced, the original sounds much more complete and fits the lyrics a lot better.

Let's look at what we're losing by "mainstreaming" the song, which, you have to admit, Quiet Riot did. First, I don't know if you notice, but the guitar of the original is to DIE for. It's upbeat, it's twangy, and it sounds great and distinctive. Quiet Riots version sounds bland in comparision. They try to even this out with a token guitar solo, which sounds like every other guitar solo of that era. In Slades version, it's a part of the song from beginning to end.

Slades version, while sounding like a bit of an anthem, still has that groovy dance quality to it. Quiet Riot turns it into a complete anthem, completely erasing the groovy out of it. What you're left with is a song that sounds like it's been remodelled to fit in with everything else - it loses its individuality, and that's why I much prefer the Slade version.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Survivors need to speak up.

In my last post I shared a photo of my new tattoo, the semi-colon in the jigsaw puzzle piece. The normal, autistic girl who lived. This post however is going to be a lot more worked on, because this one is very, very important in my opinion.

I started writing this blog because that's what I do - I write, therefore I am. Selfish maybe, but true. Then the Facebook messages started. Thanking me for writing the blogs, saying that they could relate to what I was going through, and what I had been through, glad that they had someone who they could identify with. Now, as a survivor, I write for those who are still suffering.

From my experience, the absolute, 120% WORST thing for anyone suffering with mental illness is ISOLATION. Whether it's physical isolation (like me just lying prone on the bed all day instead of going to work), self-inflicted isolation (sitting at dancing not talking to anyone because I'm scared), purposeful isolation (people bullying/being dicks because of the mental illness) or accidental isolation (people not understanding the mental illness so they back away), isolation is great for leaving your mind free to think of all of the worst possible things in the world, a fertile breeding ground for things like anxiety and depression. Don't get me wrong, some time to yourself is vital for happiness, however cutting yourself off from life completely is a surefire way to keep yourself sick.

Now, when you're sick, you're not thinking about what's best for you, and you need the support of healthy people to guide you to wellness again, much like you need people to help you when you have the flu or gastro (I had to work some toilet humour in somehow; it's how I cope, okay?!).  However, they need to know a) that you're sick in the first place and b) how best to help you.

When you're depressed, anxious, or suffering from any other sort of mental illness, opening up and talking is the LAST thing you want to do. Unfortunately, most healthy people either don't want to help due to a) fear (born of ignorance mostly) of getting sick themselves, making things worse or just fear of YOU b) not knowing how to help or c) they can't tell that you're sick because hey, you're hiding it out of fear yourself! You're scared of being judged, you're scared of being hurt, you're scared of everything. So you're not in the best position to educate the masses.

But what about the survivors?

Those who have been through it, but are now mostly strong and healthy again? Those who might be able to take a couple of hits that would destroy the suffers?

The survivors know the signs to look for. They know what can work and what is best avoided. They've BEEN there, they can share that experience. They are the ones who can educate others, helping to shed light on the darkness and removing some of that fear of the unknown. WE know the truths. We know that not everything works for everyone, we know that even a kind word makes a difference, we know that the simple knowledge that someone thinks we're worth a damn can make the day bright enough to live through, that someone being there can cut through the darkness, even if they feel they haven't done much.

I see it at work all of the time. Most of the guys at work are taken aback by how open I am about my struggles. You know what though? Being open about my struggles is a large part of what saved me. If I hadn't been open, my boss wouldn't have known that I need to be treated differently sometimes. We wouldn't have been able to work stratagies to get through the dark days (because they still come, and they can spring up out of no where). Now, if someone else with issues comes through that workplace, they know now that it's not this big, scary thing. They have a frame of reference, and the person coming in can see that they have experience with mental illness, which in turn makes it less scary for them. Everyone wins.

It's easier therefore if those who are well can talk about their experiences. My workplace got thrown in the deep end, which from what I've heard nearly always ends badly (again, I am so, SO lucky). It would have been a lot easier for everyone if I'd been able to say "Hey, look, sometimes my brain chemistry goes mental and this can happen. If that happens, this is what I've found works." People find it easier to cope when they're not suddenly forced to deal with a huge issue, it's easier to accept someone who says they've been through hell than someone who is currently going through hell. That is why the survivors need to be ones to open the dialogue. We're not as scary or as intense as the sufferers. We can be the bridge between the two, helping people to understand mental illness, and maybe even gaining some acceptance by the broader majority of people. I can dream, right?

So how do you open dialogue? That's a good question. For me, the dialogue kinda got forced open by my mental breakdown, which probably isn't the best way to open discussion (I lucked out majorly here). What I've found out in the past week though is that my new tattoo helps open doors - some people are familiar with the semi-colon, but are interested in the jigsaw piece and they ask, which allows me to tell them "Yeah, I have autism." Most people don't think it's a big deal. Obviously getting inked isn't for everyone, so perhaps a pin or something similar might have the same effect. The ribbon for mental illness is a green one, so maybe wear a green wristband.

Once discourse is open, try not to be offended by questions. Remember, healthy people really have no idea what you've been through (no one does) and might offend out of ignorance. Steer them in the right direction, towards websites like Beyond Blue that are full of information. The more people talk about mental illness, the more information that is out there, the more people will start to accept our disabilities as disabilities and not "laziness" or "softness".

I want to get a movement going. I want to start seeing survivors speaking up. I want to get #survivorsspeakup trending. Let's stop hiding in secret Facebook groups, where the suffers can remain safe and sound, let's go out there and make the world a safer, more informed place for them.

After all, we survived the horrors of our own minds. Anything after that should be a piece of cake.

Daydream Believer

I like to think that things get better than this, even though I have it pretty good. It just irks me a little to think that I'll spend the rest of my life living in tiny little studio apartments barely making enough to survive while being worked to the bone by evil scumbags.

The most likely of my dreams is that I'll finally find someone who will put up with my insanity and will marry me, father 3-4 children with me, and spend the rest of his life wondering what he was smoking at the altar. It's a nice little dream, but the rest of them are a bit grander.

The second most likely is that I spend the rest of my life alone, but manage to earn enough to buy a nice, big house. Big enough to take on boarders, hard-luck cases who need a helping hand through the toughest parts of their lives. I'd like to be able to help others, I tend to have a bit of a nuturing nature (copied and pasted directly from my mother).

My favourite one though is when I either a) get discovered or b) work up enough courage to take Chuckles and Giggles to a studio. Production starts on the television series, which becomes a big hit and gives Australian TV making a huge boost. THEN I find someone who will put up with my insanity and marry me, father 3-4 children with me and spend the rest of his life wondering what he was smoking at the altar.

It'd be cool to have fans, and to autograph peoples books, clothes, bags, pictures etc. I even have a logo now on my right wrist, a semi-colon surrounded by a puzzle piece. For those who don't know, the jigsaw puzzle (usually brightly coloured) is accepted as the symbol for Autism, and the semi-colon has recently been adopted to represent sucide survival; the logic is, a semi-colon is used when the author chooses not the end a sentence, you are the author and the sentence is your life.

For now, I guess it's just about getting the rest of my life together - my house is currently an unholy hell, so that needs to be fixed. Hopefully once I get that sorted, everything else will fall in line, as I think I'm a lot better than I used to be.

Cheer up sleepy Jean.
Oh what can it mean to a,
Daydream Believer and a,
Homecoming Queen.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Our Nations Disgrace

Of all the things I've avoided blogging about, alcohol is the biggie. Mainly because I know if I do, I'll lose readers and friends (at the very least, I won't be making any friends) but after what just happened, I'm sufficiently pissed off enough to make a comment.

I am a teetotaller. A very tolerant teetotaller, but a teetotaller none-the-less. If I had my way, alcohol would be banned, it's a disgraceful substance and I won't tolerate it in my household (so don't bother coming to my parties, there will be zero alcohol). This view was cemented ever more today, on my 27th birthday.

Yup, my birthday was cut short by alcohol - or rather, other people drinking it and getting out of control. As I said in a previous post, I love cricket and hold the five-day Test format in the highest regard. Others however, don't.

I left the Test at the Gabba today early. I missed my favourite player Joe Burns make his second half-century. Why? Because of the actions of the drunken majority. Jumping up and down and demanding other patrons "scull" their beers (blocking the view and making a god-awful racket), throwing around those stupid beach-balls and roundly abusing anyone who dared let them fall over onto the field never to be seen again and generally not being very friendly citizens. My mother and I left at the drinks break after lunch, just as one of these arseholes was being evicted (he was one of about five in our area that I counted - I felt for security who were coping abuse left, right and centre).

I expect this sort of behaviour at a one-dayer. I even expect it at the footy (where, surprisingly, it rarely happens). But at a TEST MATCH? To really rub salt into the wound, I'm going to take a guess and say 99% of the young people who read this will say that I'm over-reacting. That I'm being a "wowser" or a "do-gooder". It just goes to show how ingrained this behaviour is in our culture for us to accept this as normal or even acceptable or fun.

Wanna know how accepted this is? CRICKET AUSTRALIA ITSELF INDIRECTLY CONDONES THIS BEHAVIOUR BY CONTINUING TO ACCEPT MONEY FROM THE DISGUSTING COMPANIES THAT MAKE THE DISGUSTING SUBSTANCE THAT CAUSES ALL OF THIS! You only need to take a look around the Gabba today - nearly every section was getting rowdy and unmanageable (bar the super-hyper-ultra-expensive B.C.C seats). And if you dare suggest that this behaviour is unacceptable, you're branded un-Australian. What is un-Australian about wanting to enjoy a Test match without feeling threatened?!

My suggestion would be to stop the sale of alcohol after the lunch time break (cue the cries of outrage) and to stop the advertising and glorification of alcohol (have you SEEN some of these ads? "Are you an experience collector?" SERIOUSLY?). It'll never happen of course, and my birthday will continue to be ruined by arseholes who just won't allow us true sports fans to enjoy the cricket.


Thursday, 5 November 2015

"Sensation" stories

Lucky you lot, getting two blogs from me in 24 hours. Anyway, I did it again. A nice big dose of red cordial before bed. You know what that means.

As you all know, my favourite book is the combination of "Little Women" and "Good Wives" by Lousia May Alcott. There is one chapter in that book that speaks to me, and that is chapter eleven of "Good Wives", which is simply titled "Friend". In it, Jo discovers that she can make plenty of money by writing cheap "sensation" stories with no substance or moral in them whatsoever (In fact, Mr. Dashwood, her publisher, even tells her himself that "morals don't sell"), nearly disgracing herself. Thankfully her friend and future husband Prof. Bhaer takes her to one side and shows her the error of her ways.

This chapter speaks to me, as does the whole book, and I definitely agree with it. "Little Women" is still a classic, it's still widely read, it's still studied. Why? I think it's because it's not a cheap little sensation story (which is why I get SO pissed off when people try to condense it into a cheap little love story between Jo and Laurie), it's a story of growing up, learning to be the best of oneself, to work with others and to love others. There is something in that story (and its sequels, including "Little Men" and "Jos Boys") that you can take away with you. THAT, in my opinion, is what a book should be.

Another brilliant example of this is "Harry Potter". There is so much you can take from it, like learning to accept death and learning to love. Another favourite of mine, "A Solitary Blue", also has plenty to take away from it. Learning to accept who you are is a lesson I don't think many people (including myself) ever really learn.

I thought about it recently when I put "Chuckles and Giggles" aside in favour of Project B.A.D.A.S.S (Bitches And Demons Against Soul Suckers), which was nothing more that a stupid vampire/zombie story with no substance. Once I realised what I was doing, I turfed it and got back to working on C&G. At least in "Chuckles and Giggles" I know I've tried to give my audience something to take away, like the Sunny Saga, where Belle and Charlie learn to look past appearances and show kindness to Sunny who desperately needs a friend, or the Webster and Tate Arc, where obsession leads to Tates untimely death compared to how Belle handles her similar situation. My personal favourite is the Chuckles vs. Giggles Saga, where both Belle and Charlie have to face the fact that both of them are growing up, and that growing up will bring changes - some good, some bad.

I think myself and my fellow creators should think a bit more about what we write instead of just churning out cheap "sensation" trash that earns $$$. When future generations look back, we don't want them to skip us over in favour of older generations who took the time and care to write stories with meaning and substance.


I don't like cricket.

I LOVE IT!!!!!

Seriously, if you've never heard "Dreadlock Holiday" by 10cc, then you're not a real cricket fan IMO. Go listen to it. NOW.

Anyway, summer is here and cricket is back! As it write this, Joe Burns (my current favourite cricketer after the retirement of the great Daniel Vettori) is showing his stuff in his first Test opening for Australia at the Gabba against the Kiwis, our brothers from across the sea. In my opinion, he's doing great and hopefully will really hit his strides after lunch.

I love Tests. There's just something a bit more upper-class, a bit more posh, a bit more cultured, a bit more serious about Test cricket. It's something that while good fun, should be treated with a bit of respect, which is why I'm writing this blog. Because over the past few years, I've noticed that the respect that Tests once held is slowly erroding. One could blame this on the emergence of T20 and the party atmosphere of one-dayers, but I reckon that's a cop-out. I'm of the belief that if you attend a Test match, your behaviour should reflect that.

Last year I went with my good mate/senpai/coworker Dave. While we had a good time, it was dampened somewhat by the "Australian Drinking Team", whose sole purpose seemed to be to drink as much alcohol as humanely possible while not paying any attention to the cricket whatsoever. Seriously, why go to a cricket match to get drunk, especially at the Gabba where alcohol is so expensive even Bill Gates would have to save up. Go to the club if you want to get drunk, and go to the cricket to appreciate the game. Unfortunately this wasn't an isolated incident, apart from the family-friendly atmosphere that the Big Bash League is fostering at the T20 level (thank you, thank you, thank you!) it seems the bogans see cricket as their opportunity to cause trouble.

NO. You stay away from our great national sport. I'm not saying that there shouldn't be any fun at the cricket, just keep it respectful - save the getting drunk/partying for after the game (or the one-dayers, where it's encouraged).

Friday, 30 October 2015

The Curse of the Writer

Oh I do love passing on curses. I passed on one to my Mumsie - check out her blog Enjoy the writing bug Mother dear.

Writing is what I do. I write, therefore I am. My pen is my power. I could go on forever. I also love sharing writing. I like to write about people, with people, have people write about me, see what other people write, have people see what I write. However, some don't quite get the frustration that comes with knowing the writers special brand of magic.

Fellow writers can probably relate. I have my favourite places to write, places where my inspiration is highest, kind of like the Life Fountains in Medievil (I really need to play that game again) only instead of spewing life, they spew inspiration. One of these places is indeed the Laundromat at the start of Merthyr Road. Another is where I'm sitting right now on the New Farm Riverwalk, next to my dear friend the Brisbane River, facing another friend of mine the Story Bridge. There's another just across the River from South Bank near the Botanical Gardens, where the inspiration is so strong it's quite frustrating that I can't fully process it.
A photo posted by Kerryn Wik-Grutt (@kezzstar24) on

So, being the sadistic fuck that I am, I want to share this feeling with everyone else. The feeling of having inspiration so close, but not being able to grasp it. About that next sentence that you KNOW is there but you just can't write it yet. I think I've figured out a fun little game that will allow me to share my eternal frustration with the world.

You'll need a friend for this. Stand facing each other. Get your friend to close their eyes. Now, without actually touching them, move your hand from their non-writing hand up the arm and across and down to their writing hand, never touching them - they should still be able to sense you. Now, while their eyes are still closed, get them to try and catch your hand, trying to keep it as close as possible to their hand while not quite letting them catch it. If my guess is correct, they will be quite annoyed.

That's what writers block can feel like at times - like you're on the edge of something amazing, you can almost feel it in your fingertips but at the last second it pulls away going "Neh, neh, neh, neh." Happened last Sunday to me while I was walking. I was ropeable.

I suppose I could ignore it, but where's the fun in that? Sometimes it's impossible to ignore too. So I'm just gonna sit here and enjoy my little patches of inspiration, and I'm sure you all will enjoy reading them and laughing at me, thinking about what a lunatic I am and that I should probably be in an institution.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Top 5 Fast Food Joints

I admit it, I'm a fast food junkie. I love pizza and hamburgers and fried chicken and kebabs too much. So here are my top 5 favourite fast food places.

5. Nandos

The food is irresistable, but the customer service at just about every store is RUBBISH, which is why Nandos is so far down the list. Not to mention they don't respond to online complaints. Other than that I simply can't get enough Lemon and Herb Chicken. OMG YUM.

4. Pizza Hut

Their pizzas are pretty good and I won't say no to their chocolate mousse (neither did my Bastet when he was alive). However dealing with them feels very clinical and I feel like little more than a number sometimes. However they're great at getting your pizzas to you quickly and I can't fault their efficiency.

3. Sunshine Kebabs

Mainly friendly and with great kebabs, I don't mind heading out for a quick kebab at lunchtime. Do they have to be so expensive though?

2. McDonalds

I feel so dirty putting Maccas on this list, but their brilliant staff at Central Station have won me over, as have their steak and aioli wraps. Customer service is the way to my heart.

And at number one we have...


To be fair, when I knew they were once known as Beagle Boys I was hooked (YAY BEAGLES). Their pizzas are the BEST, their customer service is above and beyond, and I was devastated when they closed their Fortitude Valley store. For me, nothing beats a Garlic Prawn pizza, and I hope one day they open a store that services New Farm again.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Weird is AWESOME.

Have seriously considered changing the title of this blog to "Tales from the Laundromat". I mean seriously, it's starting to become the only time I blog!

Except that today I'm going to talk about autism again. It seems I can never escape it, and all it brings with it, including my obsessions with writing, footy and trains, my anxiety and just the fact that I'm plain weird.

And I like being weird. I like being able to tell you exactly what model of train just pulled up at the station, and being able to recite the stations in order from Yerongpilly to Mitchelton (Yerongpilly, Yeronga, Fairfield, Dutton Park, Park Road, South Bank, South Brisbane, Roma Street, Central, Fortitude Valley, Bowen Hills, Windsor, Wilston, Newmarket, Alderley, Enoggera, Gaythorne and Mitchelton). I like amazing people with the deep and intricate details of my writing, especially all the hidden gems in Chuckles and Giggles. I like sometimes singing out loud as I walk to the train station from work (I'm dancing to MMMBop as I type). However, it seems a lot of people don't like other people being weird.

To be fair, not many people actually make any comment on it (mainly my co-workers, and even then it's with a bit of love). However, the way people speak to me, the fact they avoid me, and especially when they laugh at me (as opposed to with me, alas after a lot of experience I can tell the difference) lets me know that people notice it. It sucks. It seems being weird is a great excuse for people to treat you as less of a human being.

"So stop being weird." I hear you say. First off, go fuck yourself. Secondly, I tried that. You try suppressing your true self to people. Everything comes out in the wash, and you will get found out for the phoney that you are. Then people don't trust you (deservedly so) for deceiving them.

So what's the answer? Screw the world, enjoy your weirdness and always be true to yourself. If people make comment, slap them down. They'll either learn to live with you while appreciating your honesty and courage, or you're better off without them.

And yes, I'm singing "Daydream Believer" at the laundromat. Out loud. It's an awesome song!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Age of Conspiracy! Yay!

I love a good conspiracy. I love coming up with conspiracies even more. Anything can be a conspiracy, and if you believe half of what you can come up with, you'll drive yourself batty in no time.

A good conspiracy has a good mix of the following elements: government, aliens, the end of the world, world domination, curtailing of freedoms, thought-control and/or mind reading. The one I've had for a while tries to incorporate a fair few of these elements, but trying to fit them all in is hard.

It all started when I heard people whinging about filling in government forms, the common argument being "But the government already HAS this information, I put it on other forms!" Me, being me, starting thinking - of COURSE the government has all this information, they know everything. They know where you live, who you live with, what you're eating, what you're drinking, what you're thinking. But HOW?

Then I played Metal Gear Solid and the answer came to me - NANOMACHINES (Thank you Hideo Kojima!). Then the question was, how do did the government get the nanomachines inside of us? Not vaccines, because not everyone gets them (you fucking idiots). Then a fellow co-worker described a theory he'd come across about commercial airlines spraying poisons (thanks Luke!) and then it all came together.

The theory in it's current form is this: We are all filled with nanomachines, that are passed down from our parents, thus keeping a record of our genetic history. Of course, nanomachines are fragile and can be easily damaged, lost, or passed on via childbirth. So the government regularly has aircraft flying overhead spraying out these invisible nanomachines which we then inhale, and they can download the information they require from older, surviving nanomachines. These nanomachines don't always just record data though, they are also useful for thought-control and thought-implants.

You see, I can tell right now that my readers are probably having a good chuckle to themselves thinking "Good one Kez." That's what the government wants you to think. However, it'd cost too much to constantly have nanomachines controlling our every thought, so the government had to find a way to do it sneakily. Enter the entertainment industry, more specifically, movies and books that are marketed as fiction but are actually fact. They're designed to screw with your mind - surely those things in movies CAN'T be real, right? Well, I can tell you right now, you're playing into what the government wants to you think. But how do the creators of these works of fiction know about these state secrets? The government can't risk having such public figures who are constantly out in the open knowing about these things, so they send specially-coded signals to the nanomachines, which are interpreted by the brain as "inspiration". Every once in a while you get someone like the great Gene Roddenberry who comes up with stuff on his own, which the government then allows the public to use, just to screw with us further.

Insert some story about getting the technology from aliens and I've almost covered everything (still can't find a way to shoe-horn the end of the world in there but give me some time!).

And now I'm scared, I'm sitting at the laundromat and outside the window is an ibis that keeps staring at me. It hasn't moved since I started writing this blog. If I go missing, I think we'll all know what happened.

Anyway, coming up with conspiracy theories is fun. It's creative, it scares the shit out of people (whether it's because they believe you or because they think you're a total fruitloop) and it passes the time.

Sunday, 11 October 2015


Did you know that my epic, Chuckles and Giggles, is over a year old? How times flies huh? Especially when you consider that this week I'll be releasing the big Chapter 50! I can still remember publishing the first chapter, debating on whether or not I'd splurge on an artist (I did, and I'm glad I did, Thien Uncage - formerly Ginc Dmon - is now one of my great friends and artistic associates. At least he doesn't suggest I kill off all my characters every time I ask him for advice), seeing my characters for the first time (as my team got walloped by the Crows. Fuck you Adelaide) and completing the story I started back when I was 18. The original story was pretty much the first 39 chapters that I've published (minus the Tate and Webster saga, which was added later in response to my personal life, but adding another saga which I swear will see the light of day eventually), so chapter 40 and beyond has been completely new ideas that I'm now having to come up with as I go - it's interesting, and the way I've come up with ideas is pretty interesting too. From random flashes of brilliance in the middle of the night (UGH) to my co-workers insisting that because characters have died in my books that I am a cold-blooded murderer (AM NOT AM NOT AM NOT), inspiration has certainly come along in many forms.

But that's not what this blog is about. This blog is celebrating the fact that despite low views (including family and friends who for whatever reasons refuse to read it) and some set-backs I have managed to apply myself consistently to a project for a full year and see it out. I'm pretty proud of myself on that front, and that's something I haven't felt in a while. When you're suffering from depression, it's easy to just brush off everything you've achieved ("Oh, anyone could have done that." "So what, it's just what I'm supposed to be doing anyway."). So today, I'm going to try and celebrate how far I've come from last year.

1. Getting to work regularly

At the beginning of the year, the thought of coming to work every day for a full week, let alone multiple weeks in a row, seemed like a pipe dream.  Now, apart from the odd day when I'm physically ill or so roont that I can barely move, I'm getting to work every work day. I'm no where near working at my optimal levels, but still, it's progress.

2. Exercising

Ask anyone who lives in Oakey what you'd see if you looked outside at 5am on a weekday morning back in 2012/2013 and they'd answer "Kerryn walking to work." At lunch time every day I went out walking (and dodging Swoopy the Magpie, and boy wouldn't Jerry Springer have a field day with him and the POTYs!). I was healthy, happy and fit, and many insults were thrown my way when people asked how much weight I'd lost over the years. I let that slide when I moved to Brisbane, to my deteriment. Now I walk at lunch times on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and walk home via the New Farm Riverwalk. On Saturdays I usually do a short walk and on Sundays is my 16/17km hike around New Farm, Kangaroo Point and South Bank. I'm looking and feeling much better for it.

3. Dancing

I used to love Latin dancing (Ballroom not so much). But West Coast Swing is SO much more fun. Either way, twice a week I'm dancing, which is not only great exercise, but my posture has improved (mainly due to taking every opportunity I can to practise my "frame" and "anchor") and my anxiety is lower than it used to be.

It probably doesn't look like much, but every achievement is a big thing when it comes to recovering from depression. Even if you've never suffered depression or any form of mental illness before, I think you still owe it to yourself to take a moment to celebrate what you've achieved. YAY US!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Typing stuff into a blog post

-I should totally do a blog post on the random things that run into my head when I'm sitting at the laundromat waiting for my washing. Or I could write some of my books...nah, this is fun.

-Although that stupid thing where if I'm accidently holding the shift key when I hit the space bar on my shiny bluetooth keyboard and it tells me to fuck off is really annoying.

-Fall Out Boy can be catchy as hell. No shame.

-Wow, I finally decide to write down everything I think and suddenly my brain goes blank. Maybe I should start trying to go to sleep with a keyboard and an open blog post in front of me.

-I am such a spazz.

-I wish Meagan was here. I haven't seen that little twerp in like forever. I think she's probably gotten too cool for me though. I remember when she used to try and hang out with me all the time and it annoyed me. God I was such a shit sister back then.

-I wish Natalie didn't live so far away. I wish my two sisters could meet one day, and we'd all get along and be BFFs and cause all sorts of trouble. I miss my sisters.

-I wish I had room for a dog. Skipper would love it here, just chilling out at the laundromat. It'd be her version of heaven on earth, just chilling out with her human.

-I wonder if he's figured out I like him yet? I mean, surely to god it's as obvious as the dick on Eddie McGuires head. They'll be making windows out of me soon I'm that transparent, I think everyone else has figured it out.

-OMFG I LOVE THIS SONG! I so want to sing. I wanna sing so badly, but there are strangers around and I have earphones in and her dogs talking me but she's outta reach, oooh she's got a body, under that shirt, but all she wants to do is rub my face in the dirt this song is the greatest thing ever man. The only reason I'd drive a car is so I can listen to this song and sing as loud as possible. I can't dance, I can't talk, only thing about me is the way that I walk!

-I wonder what my readers will be thinking when they get to this point?

-What the fuck am I going to do for the next Chuckles and Giggles story arc? I have a whole list of ideas yet none of them are really popping out to me. Y'know, for a story that's supposed to focus on both Belle and Charlie I make it so Belle-orientated it's not funny.

-OMG Locked Away, suddenly I'm thinking of dance class. I am SO glad I got back into some form of dance. Dancing, writing, colouring in, singing, sometimes I wonder why I ever bothered trying to play footy...oh yeah...

-I wonder if I'm good enough for him. I mean, he's so attractive and intelligent and funny and cool and I'm I have no chance. I'm not particularly pretty, I'm still overweight, I have the social skills of a decomposed horse that just farted and I'm overall just weird. All I can really do is write, dance and be nice to people. Oh, and make really bad jokes.

-*incriminating thought deleted*

-I really have this love/hate thing going on with water. Seriously, sometimes the mere thought of it makes me want to vomit, and sometimes I love it. Usually first thing in the morning when I wake up is when I hate the taste most and I have to dilute it with cordial, which is probably the worst time to be drinking cordial.

-Are my legs going to get sunburned sitting here? Maybe I should move over slightly so I'm not in the sun. I hate my skin sometimes, I have the most awful tan lines because I inisist on going outside and exercising, and then I can't wear anything strappy or backless. First world problems, on my birthday I'll just get a spray tan and even it all out. God I'm pathetic.

-Alice Cooper! Funnily enough every time I hear "Poison" I think about when we were driving from Adelaide to Penrith. I can't remember whether or not it was when we moved or when we were visiting but meh. My mother gave me good taste in music.

-Washing done - damn it, socks got caught in the lining, I hate it when that happens and they're all wet and ugh, anyway, now to move this shit to the dryer and make myself look like a tool. Not that I have to try hard.

-Anyway, what was I thinking? That's right, the number 24, because my washing is in the dryer for 24 minutes. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth dropping the 24 from my pen name, Kezzstar24, because let's face it, I'm well over Joel Patfull, but I can't ever change the fact that he inspired me and made me want to be a better person. If it wasn't for him, I might not have had the courage to leave my ex and move to Brisbane...and I certainly would never have met HIM. The 24 stays. Besides, you can't deny that Joel is probably the greatest defender in the histroy of ever.

-I must be the only person in the world who looks forward to work. Not the actual work, but just chilling with my cool coworkers. It's nice to finally have coworkers who give a damn about me and I can actually call friends. Like Jess. She's awesome. Wish Natalie would come back sometimes, us girls could have some fun (at the guys expense of course). Garry is pretty awesome too. One day I might actually get around to telling him how much I appreciate him and Grant and Timmy. I miss having all four of us in the same office, although it was probably for the best we got seperated, someone might have walked in at the wrong moment and got all offended. The new guys are pretty swell too, I'd love to get to know Luke, Jeff and Darren better. I'm glad Jeff's the "Key Bitch", I reckon we're gonna get along great and be good friends. I'll always be grateful to Luke for re-introducing me to dance and he's also a surprisingly calming influence. Darren seems like the cool dad type too. I can't stress enough how Carl is the best boss in the world, without him I daresay I'd probably be in a really bad place or dead. Did I mention how cool Jess is? It's nice to have someone who will help me antagonise the boys.

-I'm listening to Bruno Mars. Sweet.

-Now I'm getting bored. And I've gotta lug this lot home yet. UGH. Wish I had Tenny, I could sing "I Can't Dance" on the way home. I really need to get over that little hang up. I should start singing in public and be proud, damn it!

-Annnnnd I'm thinking of HIM again. I really do have a one-track mind.

-I wanna ride a steam train. I should have been a train driver. That'd be so cool.

-Icy poles. Want

-I wonder if any of my coworkers will read this. I wonder if they'll be flattered by what I've said about them, or creeped out. I'm going with creeped out.

-Really want to start dancing now. Not proper dancing, I wanna just have fun. Start shuffling.

-I miss Dr. Evil from Oakey. He was one of the very few people from that god-forsaken hell-hole that I even bother talking to anymore. I should send him an email at work tomorrow, see how he's doing.

-I hope I don't have to go in a lift tomorrow. I hate lifts. I hate the jolting feeling under your feet when they move and it goes straight to my stomach and my nerves and I hate it! Same with planes taking off, landing and turbulance. Don't get me started on fucking STAIRS. That moment when you've only got one foot rooting you to the stair above has got to be the worst feeling in the world.

-Less than 3 minutes to go, then I have to sort and fold my washing and then lug it home. UGH.

-I should go for a walk after I get home. That'd be awesome. I love walking and listening to music. I should go past Kangaroo Point again. I love it there. The moonlight walk last night was so sweet. Wish I'd had someone with me though...*hint hint*

-Less than one minute to go! Well, I hope that everyone has enjoyed my random thoughts that probably make no sense. If you have no idea how I made the connection from one idea to the next, congratulations, you probably won't be wasting money on a shrink any time soon!


Friday, 2 October 2015

We aren't so insignificant

Note to self - no more red cordial before bed, because I highly doubt I'm qualified to talk about what I'm about to talk about.

ANYWAY, as happens when I'm lying in bed at night, infused with aforementioned red cordial, I tend to think of the stars. Big, beautiful, shining stars that are huge, great hubs of energy that power entire solar systems, worlds, lives. I think to myself how small they look from Earth, but how big they really are, and how many of them there are. Amazing to think how big not just the Galaxy, but the entire Universe is.

On the flipside, look at what the Universe is made of. Tiny little molecules, atoms, that not even our eyes can register. If your mind is blown thinking about how many of those tiny little specks make up one human being, imagine the WHOLE UNIVERSE being made out of those tiny little building blocks.

And then there's us. It's easy to pass us off as being as insignificant as one of those tiny little atoms that make up a huge picture, but while at the moment we're only one tiny speck, I reckon humanity as a whole is only going to get bigger. The past week alone has been proof of that, we've sent technology, OUR technology, that WE made, to another planet in our solar system (Hi Mars!) and not only that, but we're communicating with it. It's massive when you think of where humanity has come from. Not even a hundred years ago, if you wanted to be heard, you were very strapped for options. You could send a story to a newspaper or publish one yourself, but you were at the mercy of publishers, and many voices were cut off at the source.

Today is so, SO different, and this blog is proof of it. This blog can be seen by ANYONE IN THE WORLD WITH AN INTERNET CONNECTION. My voice, my words, are out there for the entire Planet to see. Sure, most people ignore it, but I have a voice, I can be heard. It won't be too long now in my honest opinion before the whole Solar System can hear me, and many like me. After that, the Galaxy, and after that, the Universe. Hell, we might even take over the multi-verse (told you I wasn't qualified to talk about this sort of stuff).

So next time you look at the stars, don't think about how tiny and insignificant you think you are. Think about the endless possibilities each one of those stars, powering its own solar system with its own planets, can be.

No more thinking for me!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Desex your pets for the love of all that is good in this world!

Back before Morgan Beaglehoven I died, my sisters dickheaded then-boyfriend bought home a beautiful black-and-white boxer cross named Skipper (herein referred to as Skip or the Skipper-dog) for my sister. She has since grown up to be the most loving, beautiful dog you could ever hope to meet. The only thing is she's clingy. Very, very clingy. She's currently living with my brother, my sister-in-law, their two sons and Eli the staffy, and has already destroyed a screen door. My short-tempted little shit of a brother (I love him, honest I do) has decided that the Skipper-dog has to go, and now the hunt is on for a no-kill shelter to send Skip to. What is my sister doing, considering Skip is technically her dog? Nothing. My poor mother is distraught, as she loves Skipper dearly, but is unable to take her as she is trying to sell her house.

I have since found out that Skipper is the only survivor of her litter, the rest were destroyed as pups as they were unwanted. I am FURIOUS. This whole mess could have been avoided if the owners of Skippers parents were responsible pet owners and bothered to get their pets desexed. Because none of this is Skippers fault, it's the fault of my sister and her ex, neither of whom are willing to take responsibility for the dog they brought into my mothers life. I myself would LOVE to have Skipper, however I have no yard for her. Otherwise she'd be spoilt rotten with the love that she craves (she lives for the words "Good girl!"), being allowed to sit inside of an evening and rest her head on my lap or play with her cousin Cheynee.

Animals aren't a novelty, they are a beautiful gift that lasts a lifetime. They are family, not toys, and as such should be treated with the reverence and respect they deserve. Unless you are a registered breeder, it's no big deal to desex your animal. Unless you are prepared to put the time and effort in, with walking, playing, feeding, cleaning, and just plain chilling out with your pet, then don't get one.

How can you not love that Skipper-dog face? I so wish I could keep her!
Morgan was my sidekick and best friend. To this day I consider him to be the greatest friend I have ever had. There will never be anyone or anything that can replace him, and my memories of him are my most treasured.
Bastet, my son who was taken from me far too soon and far too cruelly. I can never forgive myself for my anger with him the day before, even though I told him that I loved him I wish I could have him back just so I could hold him one last time and tell him how much he was loved, and how much light he brought to my life.
My suriving fur-daughter Cheynee, who has only grown more dear to me since I lost her brother. There's nothing like her cuddles after a hard day at work, and although she'll never be Morgan, she fills a hole in my heart and fills my life with love and cat fur.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

My Top Five Boss Themes

I've written a blog on Final Boss Music before, stating that annoys the ever-living crap out of me when for main boss battles you get awesome, fist-pumping music only to be given something rather lacklustre for the final boss. So, today I've decided to celebrate the Main Boss themes that I think should have been carried over to the Final Boss. Enjoy!

5. Final Fantasy 7 - Fight On!

How can you NOT love the heavy rock sound that gets you pumped to beat up on the toughest of foes. My first memory of this song was watching my older cousin Alan get his backside handed to him repeatedly by the Lost Number in Shinra Mansion in Nibelhelm. Since then I've loved it to bits, and was disappointed when it was overtaken by One Winged Angel for the final boss fight against Sephiroth.

4. Deep Duck Trouble

This one pisses me off on SO many levels it's not funny. Not only did they do away with the fun and interesting "Escape the Boss" battles of the earlier levels, they even changed the music to something I can't even remember! Come on, the last level should have been an awesome escape from the island after all the inhabitants you pissed off come back to try and stop you from getting away with their treasures.

3. Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

THIS BOSS MUSIC IS SO AWESOME! Not only that, but the main castle theme is pretty rad too - and both got nerfed if favour of two rather forgetable tracks. The first time I heard this against the Dragon of the Blacksmiths Castle I was PUMPED. It helps that I love that boss too.

2. Sonic 3 and Knuckles

That opening gets me every single time. As much as I do enjoy the final Boss theme of this game (not including the Super Sonic stage) this one is superior in every way in my book. It's fun, it makes me want to play fast and it's super-boppy - what makes a great boss theme in my opinion.

1. Lord of the Dance - Warriors

What, I never said this was limited to video games, did I? I've loved this piece since I was eight years old, and in my opinion it never gets old. It just oozes badassery and power, intimidation and energy, and after listening to it I need to calm myself down a bit before I can listen to anything else.

And who can forget the best boss battle ever?

When Michael Flatley jumps in I get a huge rush of energy like you wouldn't believe. I love this piece!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Top 5 Giants Players (other than Joel Patfull)

So, my first season as a Giantess is over. After spending the preseason determined to hate every moment of it, I have, to my shame and horror and disgust, grown rather fond of the Orange Army. Of course, I'd rather lose as a Lion than win as a Giant any day of the week, but even I have to admit, having a second team isn't a bad idea. For a start, there's a definite reason to watch more footy on the weekend (and is that ever a bad thing?), not to mention the players that you start to fall in love with. Speaking of, here are five of the Giants that I fell for this year.

5. Heath Shaw

That is the sound of my mother disowning me. I really, really tried as hard as I could NOT to like "Heater", but I couldn't help it. It's not his fault he and his brother used to play for one of the scumiest teams around and that his uncle is one of my least favourite commentators. Not only is he hilarious, he's also a great defender and a good club man. Just not at the Lions.

4. Devon Smith

My first Giants game was the win against Hawthorn, and this classy midfielder definitely got my attention with the first two goals for the Giants. He's had a solid year and although I'm always going to be for the defenders, this young man has definitely got my attention.

3. Matt Buntine

If it weren't for that unholy man bun then he'd easily have taken the number two spot (well, maybe, he DID take out Joel Patfull, albeit accidently). He reminds me a little of Justin Clarke, a classy young defender who will be highly dangerous once he gets some experience under his belt, and with players like Joel and Heath Shaw around him he's easily headed in the right direction.

2. Jon Patton

Would be number one of this list, except for the little fact that he's not a member of the Mens Club (YAY DEFENDERS). You have to admire this young man, even though he's had to endure two knee recos already he's still working his guts out and looks determined to be a Giants legend. I first saw him play live at Metripong when he smashed the scums reserves, kicking himself a bag and putting himself back on the map. I honestly can't wait to see this young man shine, and would be thrilled if he somehow made his way up north to the Lions. Good-looking young bloke too

1. Phil Davis

It was watching this guy talk to Joelly in the Virgin Australia Arrival videos that made me want to get to know him, and by extension his team mates, better. This guy was like the gateway drug that made me start to care about the Giants. And if it wasn't his charisma, it was his playing. Phil Davis owns that backline, and in my opinion there is no one better to run the joint. Yes, it might help that he has a couple of experienced heads with Patfull and Shaw there, but he manages them beautifully along with youngsters like Buntine and Bugg. I can easily see why he's one of the Captains of the Giants, and they can only go from strength to strength with him in charge.

These players have made me learn to appreciate footy as a whole a lot more, not just being a one-dimensional Lions fan. That being said, they're still the enemy and I hope they get creamed next year when they come up against the mighty LIONS.

Otherwise, I hope they all have a great 2016!

Monday, 7 September 2015

It's okay to be okay

First off, sorry for the hiatus, my laptop pulled a Mr. Spock on me - but it's all right, it's come back better than ever (8GB is better than 4GB after all!) and I can get back to writing rubbish.

Anyway, as many would be aware, December last year I had a complete mental breakdown that ended in depression, not helped by my anxiety and my ever-present demon Autism. Thankfully I have a brilliant boss and a great team at work around me, not to mention an awesome family and I'm on the road to recovery.

It's taken me a while though to admit that I'm getting better. Recently I've been very up and down, and I suspect my reluctance to accept myself as a functioning human being isn't helping. Every time things have started looking up recently, I haven't let myself enjoy it as much as I should be. Why? Because I'm terrified. After the train-wreck that was 2014 I've become gun-shy of admitting that I am a pretty snazzy person and that good things do happen to me, and that I deserve them. I've been angry with myself for getting depressed and being sick, not to mention I've been worried about what others think of me - I think everyone with depression and anxiety can relate to the number of times I've questioned whether or not my co-workers like and respect me.

The thing is though, by denying myself the healing I need and deserve, I'm also doing a disservice to those who have stood by me. I mean, I'm sure some of my co-workers will read the last paragraph and feel a little hurt. After all they've done for me and I think so little of them? That's what anxiety does ladies and gentlemen, it sucks.

Over the past week I've accepted that I'm not a horrible, broken human being who should be wiped off the face of the planet. I'm a pretty good person who just got lumped with some shitty programming. I deserve to heal and be happy, and to have good things happen to me.

So that's my message to those who are in the same boat as me. You deserve to be happy, you deserve to heal and most of all you deserve to love yourself.

And with that, I leave you with my new theme song:

Friday, 21 August 2015

Self-esteem: I don't gots

Self-esteem. The measure of your own self-worth, your ability to love and like yourself, to believe good things about yourself.

Yeah, I don't have it. Seriously, my self-esteem is so broken I flinch when complimented, and if anyone says anything to really pump me up (like my poor unfortunate boss tries to do) I completely recoil and can't process it. It physically hurts to accept a compliment.

Of course, I mask this well by having great self-confidence, but there's a huge difference between KNOWING you can do something and BELIEVING you are good enough to do something. Unfortunately, it's a case of having to fake it 'til you make it, but as anyone with an anxiety-based disorder will tell you, the task is compounded by a constant fear and anxiety - how the hell are you supposed to believe in yourself and value yourself when you're always scared? Of course, then you get frustrated with yourself and that doesn't exactly help matters either.

One thing I always try to hold on to are my friends and family, particularly my brilliant coworkers who I know believe in me and try not to let me fall. I'm exceptionally lucky to work in a place where I can be open about my mental illness and know that I will be supported. It's a start in rebuilding my self-esteem - I'm sure I'll get there one day.

Thanks everyone. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Theme Songs

Heavens to Murgatroid I can not be the only one who has a theme song that they belt out daily before they get to work/school/whatevs. A theme song is a song that defines you at that point in your life, that announces to people that you're here, and this is who you are. So here's a few of my previous theme songs!

2001-2005 "Runaway" by Linkin Park

I WAS A TEENAGER! A drastically misunderstood teenager, but a teenager none-the-less. The dream of leaving Oakey for the big city in Brisbane pretty much started here, and I spent many nights dreaming of the day I would run away from that miserable place and the people in it. Trust me, I'm not the only one who wants out of there.

2005-2011 "Rollin'" by Limp Bizkit

My favourite wrestler of all time is definitely the Undertaker, and I loved his "American Badass" persona. I was coming out of my teen days and was going through a tough relationship, so I needed something that made me feel invincible.

2011-2014 "Escape From The City" by Ted Poley

This song always makes me think of the great 2012 and the even better 2013 I had. I had just left my ex and I was ready to break free and take on the city. Nothing was going to stop me. Except 2014, but that's another story.

2014-present "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)" by Nine Days

2014 SUCKED, and it ended with a mental breakdown. So now I'm the girl who cried a river and drowned the whole world. Hopefully even though I look so sad in photographs someone absolutely loves me (and hopefully it's the guy who I'm currently harbouring a crush on. Nope, not naming names, and it's not Joel Patfull for once!). After all, my whole point of existing is to make people smile.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

More Bullying

Let us go to the school yard. An average school yard in an average suburb. Here, we find Fred. Fred has been picked on by a small group of bullies for a while now.  Most of the time he can just brush it off, but when they go and pick on children smaller than him, he gets upset. He's often been to the teachers about it, and while they've managed to help make the group of bullies smaller, they've not quite been able to stamp them out yet. One day, Fred manages to completely one-up this group of bullies, calling them out on their bullshit and making it as clear as day what's going on. Suddenly, Fred finds himself under attack from just about every student in the school. And this goes on for months.

Sound familiar? Would you accept this if you were a student at Freds school? Would you participate in the systematic bullying that began to plague the poor child?

This is what has happened to Adam Goodes. Simply for having a voice and using it to try and bring a very serious issue to light, he's now being beaten down by the fans of our once-great sport.

Let me make this clear: If Adam Goodes, or any other player, takes a shot for goal at the Gabba, he's fair game for a good booing (I still reckon with a bit of work us Lions fans can generate enough booing power to start affecting goal accuracy). If Adam Goodes, or any other player, during the course of a game, takes out one of my boys (ESPECIALLY Joel Patfull or Justin Clarke), then he will suffer booing until the end of the game. If Adam Goodes, or any other player, ducks their head within the last 20 seconds of the last game of the season and doesn't get pinged for it causing us to lose by a point and our chance at finals I WILL NEVER FORGIVE PAUL CHAPMAN OR MCBURNEY! Sorry, forgot myself there for a second. The point of this paragraph is that there are some good reasons to boo a player within the context of the game. Hell, even turning traitor and racking off to another Club should earn a player a welcome booing when he gets back home (another reason why you never, ever see me attend a Lions/Giants game ever again).

In the situations above though, the booing should realistically end after the final siren, or be done by only one team. Not multiple teams across multiple games every time the poor bloke touches the footy. I can understand maybe the Carlton fans having a go from now on (they were on the receiving end of the war dance after all, which I still think is great theatre and needs to be seen more. Where are the Irish jigs as well?!), but what has Adam Goodes done to the Lions (well, apart from completely destroying us every time he plays us), the Eagles, the Scums, North, Richmond or Hawthorn?

I hear the argument that "He shouldn't be using AFL for this sort of thing." And to that I say well, what about Indigenous Round, Multicultural Round, Womens Round? What about the many causes that get played for during the year, like teams who play to support the Police, or even recently the Riewoldt family using the Richmond/Saints game as a vehicle to support those who suffer from bone marrow disease? Footy is supposed to bring people together, it's supposed to be a place where no matter what colours you wear, when one of us suffers, the rest come in and support them. We saw the greatest example of this when Phil Walsh tragically died. The AFL community came together so strongly and it's even just about ended the decades-long bitter hostilities between the two most hated rivals of the game.

So why aren't we getting around Adam Goodes? I'd hazard a guess and say he's feeling pretty isolated at the moment. He's trying to do the right thing by others, and stick up for those who might not be able to defend themselves (pretty Australian if you ask me). I have to ask, if you're not racist, then why does it offend you so much that he's making the big deal out of it that needs to be made? People really need to ask themselves what they get out of booing, because "because he's a cheap, sniping player" isn't cutting it. As far as I'm concerned, the Paul Chapmans/Selwoods/Lindsay Thomases/Brent Harveys/Hayden Ballantynes/Chris Judds/Scums (wow, I really don't like a lot of players, especially the entire Cold Toast Scums team) aren't worth the waste of breath (although on the day of the Torp back in 2012 I used the Port-coloured Record cover to wipe my seat. Satisfying).

So Adam, if on the off-chance you read this, don't give up. As Ghandi once said:

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
Also, could you please go easy on the Giants? Thanks!

Friday, 24 July 2015

My strained relationship with TV

I really don't have the attention span to watch TV.  Sometimes if I'm in the mood I'll sit down and watch an episode or two of something (usually M*A*S*H, Miranda, Red Dwarf, Blackadder, Naruto, Neon Genesis Evangelion, DragonBall/Z, Zoids, or if I'm REALLY in the mood, How I Met Your Mother) but I really, REALLY need to be in the mood, otherwise I'll get bored part of the way in and go and do something else (mainly lie in bed and think all sorts of interesting thoughts or go for a walk and think all sorts of interesting thoughts - I think I might spend a little too much time in my own noggin). Don't get me started on movies, my tolerance for them died off around my 22nd birthday which is when I discovered walking. Even before then my mind used to wander while lounging around the cinema snuggled up to my ex (and I even fell asleep during Avatar. I suck, I know). If I'm going to have any external entertainment, music or books are my poison of choice. With a book, you need to create the pictures and sounds yourself in your own head, and with music you can dance, unlike a television show or movie where it's all done for you and all you need to do is just sit there and watch.

That being said, as a child I did get through a fair amount of TV, and I do have favourite shows and characters. Here are my top 5 TV characters:

5. Shinji Ikari (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

A lot of people think Shinji is a whiny brat.  Well, technically they're right, but given everything that he goes through throughout the events of Neon Genesis Evangelion, I think he has a right to be. Abandoned by his father, who only ever sees him as a tool to get what he wants, psychologically manipulated into being an Eva pilot against the horrifying Angels (including one that absorbs him and Unit 01, sending him on a mega mind-trip), not to mention the pressure to defeat them lest they destroy humanity. That's on top of the usual crap that boys his age have to go through (puberty isn't easy on boys either you know!) and overall I think Shinji handles it pretty well. Especially in the original ending to the series!

4. Seras Victoria (Hellsing/Hellsing Ultimate)

This Draculina is BAD ASS with a captial BAD ASS. Able to wield giant guns and cannons, beat up guys with her little finger and smear Nazi heads along walls like I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, she's also very much a bit of comic relief from the dramatics of Alucard and Sir Integra. One of my favourite moments is when she firsts encounters Jan Valentine - and totally destroys him. Another favourite moment is when she guides some tourists between Alucard and Alexander Anderson to prevent them from fighting and destroying a museum. This spot could have easily have gone to Walter had he not betrayed the Hellsing organization.

3. Vegeta (DragonBall Z)

He's powerful, arrogant and clever, and easily the character who goes through the biggest transformation in the DBZ Universe. He goes from an evil bastard to just being a bastard, but a bastard who surprisingly enough loves his family and would do anything to protect them. Vegeta and Bulma are another one of my favourite 'ships, and I think they go well together, as neither of them are "pure of heart" (as Bulma proved when it was shown that she couldn't use the Flying Nimbus), yet still manage to be good people. His part in the defeat of Cell is one of my favourite moments, and I definitely shed a tear when he blew himself up against Majin Buu

2. Edward (Thomas the Tank Engine)

Oh leave me alone. If you follow me on Instagram (@kezzstar24) you know I have a thing for trains. I love the designs of the original Thomas the Tank Engine trains, and I love the models as well. Edward for me however remains a bit of an inspiration. He's old, should be worn out, yet is wise and hard-working, forever patient and does his job better than any other engine. I'm just furious they nerfed him in later episodes. One of my favourite episodes is when James abuses him, calling him old, and then has to be saved by Edward after a couple of kids get into his controls and set him off down the rails. Suck that James.

1. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce (M*A*S*H)

Like you DIDN'T see this coming! Not only is Hawkeye played by Alan Alda (who was GORGEOUS in his prime), but the character is so well-written and complex that I can't help but love him. He's funny, but that in part is a coping mechanism to the horror he sees daily, which he manages to be compassionate in spite of. He's not afraid to stand up for what he believes in, and will help those in need regardless of race, religion, gender. He's far from perfect, being a sexist, womanising alcoholic who eventually learns to have some respect for the female gender (thank you Margaret).

Of course, who can forget his greatest moment of all:

"Draftees of the world arise! You have nothing to lose but your cookies!"

Monday, 20 July 2015

How to tell if you're a "successful writer"

1. You and your cat have an armed truce over lap space


2. If you have a late night, everyone assumes it's because you were writing

And they almost never stop to think you might actually go out or even have a sex life.

3. Your family/friends/coworkers know the plot to your story and have never read a word

They even know when you're about to start talking about your book, and their eyes sort of glaze over and it's like, are you even LISTENING to me?!

4. You have the stupidest conversations about the most random things

Why didn't the chicken cross the railway tracks instead?

5. I was writing and I forgot

And it's your own fault if you catch a cold because you left your scarf at home.

6. You know you suck, but you just can't stop!

Let's face it, I'm probably the shittest writer in the world, no one reads my work and I'll never be rich and famous.  But damnit, I have my own universe and you don't so NEH NEH NEH NEH!!!!

7. You write stupid blog posts like this

Because it's fun!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Random post about randomness

Big thanks to my mate Haso (although he's probably getting his legal team together right now) for reminding me that I have a blog. Check him out.

Anyway, I thought I'd write something here because that's what I do.  I write, therefore I am. It's what makes me, me. My love of words (not all English either, I've become very partial to Japanese honorifics recently - hi Joelly-kun!) and sharing ideas seems to be endless. Of course, it's not all fun and games, especially when I'm all like "HEY! LOOK AT ME AND READ WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN! Guys? GUYS?!" Maybe I should start kidnapping people and forcing them to read my blogs and stories. Of course, then the challenge would be getting them to engage in dialogue about what I've written outside of "It was good." My eye is twitching just thinking about it.

ANYWAY yesterday I went to the Scums v Giants game at Metripong stadium. I don't know what was more exciting, catching up with my hero Joelly Patfull, meeting some of the other Giants players/coaches (including ex Lions Craig Lambert and Luke Power), joining in and helping with the Giants cheer squad or the two wins that both the reserve team and the main team managed to score. If you had told me back in 2013 that one day not only would I be a Giants member, but I'd actually be sort of fond of them outside of the obvious player, I probably would have punched you (and you would have laughed, seriously, even flies laugh at me). Yet here I am, tossing up whether or not it's worth remaining a partial supporter of the Giants even after Joel retires.

Part of me thinks it's because of the newness of it all, it's like when I first became a Lions fan, learning about all of the players, finding out my favourites (Phil Davis, Cam McCarthy, Jon Patton and Devon Smith), meeting other fans and most of all winning (oh come on, like you really didn't think the winning wasn't a part of it). Yet for all the "Yay Giants" I'm feeling at the moment, there's still an element of "You're a big, fat, ugly, scum-sucking traitor." I love the Brisbane Lions. They will always be my first love. The ones that really got me into my favourite game. The ones who I followed around for a year. They're the favourites, and yet here I am having a fling with another club because of one player?

Maybe I got too involved at the Lions. Maybe I started taking it too seriously. Maybe following the Giants has actually been a blessing in disguise, allowing me to separate myself from a club that to be honest probably wasn't too good for me.


A photo posted by Kerryn Wik-Grutt (@kezzstar24) on

Monday, 22 June 2015

Why we shouldn't call people "soft"

I know Bigfooty isn't the font of intelligence (emotional or otherwise) so I shouldn't be shocked when people call players who might be mentally affected by their surroundings "soft", or when people get riled up because the AFL wants to make the game safer for players. but seriously, it still pisses me off no end.

The fact is, sexism and gender stereotypes don't just hurt women. They hurt men too. The one that I'm worried about in this blog though is the stereotypes surrounding mens emotions. They're supposed to be tough, unfeeling, never crying or complaining. Nothing affects them, especially not to the extent that it does those silly, weak, pathetic women. Men are impenetrable, emotionally robust and they don't bow to anything.

Yeah, right. The mens suicide rates disagree completely with that. Before you old folks start deriding the younger generations as "soft" (gahhhh!) check this out - mens suicide rates have always been high. In other words, men have always had emotions. They've always felt pain, felt helpless, uncertain, sad, miserable, weak, lonely. Exactly the same as their female counterparts. The issue is though is that stereotypically men can't talk about their emotions, for fear of being seen as "soft" (grrrr!) and being mocked, making things worse. I mean, look at the suicide rates around 1930, between World War One and Two. Imagine how many men were distraught with what they'd seen at war, seeing their mates killed in front of them, and how they couldn't just talk to anyone about it because it just wasn't done. The problems that we are plainly aware of - things like domestic disputes, mental illness, depression, drug/alcohol addiction, they were all there, but they were hidden away because that's what society stated was the standard.

Thankfully, we live in a more enlightened time where people who ridicule males have no where to hide - or so we should. Why is the male suicide rate still so high? Why isn't a bigger deal being made out of this? Because the same people who are laughing at women with veiled sexism are doing the EXACT same thing to men, thinking that they're pumping men up when in fact they are hurting men badly. Men shouldn't feel bad for reaching out. They shouldn't be scorned for crying. The worst people for this though are the ones who SHOULD know better, the older males who lived through those high suicide rates and who more than likely have a friend who has killed themselves, unable to see a way out.

It's time to make things perfectly clear. Men are not emotionless powerhouses and women are not emotional weaklings. We are all human, who can be happy, sad, strong, weak, as we go through our lives. Let's give men a chance to get the help they need, just as we're trying to give women the strength to pull alongside them. Sexism hurts both genders - and is potentially killing off one.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Building a fan base

So I'm finally doing the whole "post when I have inspiration" thing. Hard to do on a Galaxy Tab 3 without a proper keyboard but eh.

In the past 24 hours I've gotten about four more Twitter followers, bringing me up to 409 followers. Given it was only 6 months ago I had only 100 or so I think I'm doing well. Then I see followers of mine with hundreds of thousands of followers and I start to think I'll never get anywhere.
That wouldn't be an issue except for the fact that I desperately want people to read my two Blogspot serials "Chuckles and Giggles" and its spin-off "Experiment 24-42",  in the hopes of one day being popular enough for someone to make a television series out of at least one of them. I'm not ashamed to admit being famous for my own work appeals to me. There's something about knowing that people read and respect your work (other than family who have to believe you're awesome by default) that brings a grin to  my face.

Unfortunately unless your work is the next Shakespeare you've got a tough battle to get anyone to notice you in a world where anyone can publish online regardless of quality, especially when you're competing against other more engaging media such as video and music. If you're going into literature, you really need to have something that stands out otherwise you will go no where fast. It's why when I first started with Chuckles and Giggles I made a small investment into an artist and met Thien Uncage (formerly known as GincDmon), who has been worth his weight in gold not only in art, but in someone to bounce ideas off, help keep me motivated and a good friend. Some might say I would have been better off throwing my money into advertising and they're probably right, but I think this way has yielded me something better than popularity, which hopefully will come in its own time. Thien himself is trying to get noticed and get into the comic book industry, which will be just as hard as trying to strike out as an independent author. 

I don't know how I'm going to make it. All I know is that I want to make it, and I guess I am making it, albeit at the pace of a paralysed snail. I probably haven't helped myself with hiatuses on this blog, as well as some slow-down on Chuckles and Giggles and the slow start to Experiment 24-42, although it doesn't seem to have hurt my social media standing too much. Unless everyone is just following me for my photos, in which case I really don't know what to think.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Writers block or *expletive deleted*

I think every writer has been here. You have a BRILLIANT scene played out in your head, you've heard every epic word you want your characters to say, every little detail is exquisitely crafted up in that creative noggin of yours and you KNOW that it's going to blow the socks of anyone who reads it. So you rush to your nearest pen and paper and produce a big fat "D'oh" nut.

It happens to me ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Take Giggles epic moment turned to poo, trust me, the moment when Giggles finds out that she's been deserted looked a hell of a lot better in my head than what finally got turned out in print (although I will admit I think I did okay with the hiding sequence). When Joe died was supposed to be a bit more epic too (helicopter chases and everything, although I had to scrap most of it because it was SO out-of-character and wouldn't have made any sense in the context of the C&G world). About the only things I feel I got right were the reformation of Chuckles and Giggles and the rather lacklustre first date between 24-42 and M42 (I had SO much fun writing that, as much as I hate writing love stories. I'm sure everyone has a wonderful first awkward first date story).

It doesn't matter how long you spend on some of these pieces (it took me a month to get the beginning of chapter 41 of Chuckles and Giggles done, and even after that I'm not 100% thrilled by it), you simply never feel like you've done the scene in your head justice.

Of course, then there's the fun task of explaining how characters got from point A to point B. Neither of my stories would be any chop if I just went "These two became friends, then their school got invaded so years later they became superheroes with some other kids and then they became friends with the school bully." Writing in "filler" is a complete and utter drag in my honest opinion, and the biggest cause of writers block for me. Thankfully I've managed to combat this somewhat with a more episodic approach to my chapters, but I can't wipe out the need for it altogether.

The worst of all is when I know I've been neglecting this blog (which I do regularly...I'm sorry!) and I'm racking my brains for ideas when I know I had one twenty minutes ago on the train and I was too zoned out in my own imagination to think of writing it down (I'm bad, I know). I'd appeal for suggestions, but that would draw the ever-wonderful "You should write about what you want to write about" suggestion and I don't have enough room in my yard to bury that many bodies.

Maybe I should find a random subject generator, there's bound to be one somewhere on Google...

This is my Gyarados picking on a Magikarp. He's awesome like that.