Observant little ...

I don't understand the answer, but I may have some ideas on the question...

More family problems

I'm feeling bitchy today. Usually on my walk in to work I'm smiling and happy and looking at the colour of the sky and the sun on the water and things like that. This morning, I was grumpy and thinking nasty thoughts about my fellow walkers. I didn't say any of them, but that's not really the point. The point is that I'm tired and emotionally strung out and I may just snap. Not a pleasant feeling. And I still have two days of work to cope through until I can get pissed on the weekend. *sigh*

I went up to the hospital again last night. I've been up every night this week to try and give S a bit of a break from my niece as she's been up there on her own for most of the week. She looks exhausted and my niece was being a complete brat last night. S hadn't had a shower all day, hadn't eaten, hadn't been able to leave her for even 5 minutes or she'd crack. When I got up there, S was completely disorganised and hadn't worked out anything about food or anything like that (again - she did the same thing last night and ended up having to eat baked beans on toast for dinner as it was all she could get). It's so frustrating! I had told her last night that if she wasn't able to get something in, to let me know by 6pm and I would grab a microwave dinner or something from Coles before I jumped on the bus.

Anyway, my niece had managed to hurt her knee during the day - she just doesn't understand that if she throws herself around, she's likely to hurt herself. She's a bright kid, but a 4yo isn't that good on understanding that even fun things can have consequences (especially when every other kid can do exactly what she was doing without hurting themselves). So S was up there rubbing her leg and as soon as she tried to even hop off the bed, my niece would start whining.

Anyway, we eventually ordered pizza - tried Dominos first but they wouldn't deliver to the hospital, so went for Pizza Hut instead. While we were waiting for it to arrive, S headed off to have a shower. As soon as she left the room, my niece started yelling. I told S to just go, I'd look after it. And she obviously needed time out, because she did. Anyway, I did my usual thing, which was to tell my niece that Mum wouldn't be long, but she needed to have a shower and that I could do anything for her that Mum could. When she just kept on yelling, I gave her the ultimatum - stop it, or you have to have time out. Which I then did - count to ten (holding up my fingers so she could see the countdown), then took her off to a room that wasn't being used and let her yell it out. Unfortunately, being in the hospital, I couldn't just leave her the way we usually do for her time outs. Initially, I was holding her and talking to her and telling her that as soon as she stopped throwing a tantrum, we could go back in and play with the toys and watch cartoons on tv and do all of those fun things. But when she tried to bite and scratch me, I put her on the floor and then talked to her from there. I didn't yell at her and I didn't smack her. I just talked to her calmly and told her about the fun stuff she can do as soon as she stops throwing a tantrum.

Eventually, S came back from her shower and took over. My niece still didn't stop though and she kicked S as soon as S picked her up. She got a smack on the bum for that one, so she actually got worse from Mum than she did from me. I went downstairs to wait for the pizza guy, grabbed the pizza off him, and came upstairs and we had started eating by the time my niece eventually stopped throwing her tantrum. God it was exhausting.

But I think the worst thing was that when S first came back from the shower, she gave me this look as if I was mistreating her child. And she went to comfort her. Which of course, made me feel about this big. I think I know what the fight between her and Mum was over now. I'm betting she did the same thing to Mum and Mum's a lot more sensitive to that sort of thing than I am.

S also managed to drop a clanger on me as I was about to leave. Apparently she's pregnant. And the doctors have recommended an abortion because she's less than 2 months and has been exposed to all sorts of nasty drugs and radiation and stuff from the tests with my niece. She doesn't want either set of grandparents to know, because she's probably going to go through with the abortion. But I don't think she has any idea how emotionally upsetting this is going to be for her. She's going to need a support network, and at this stage, her support network basically consists of my family. It's a bit of a worry.

But anyway, it does explain why she's been so disorganised and distracted lately. She always goes a bit blonde when she's pregnant - it's like the energy all goes from her head to her belly or something.

So right now I'm wondering if it's a good idea for me to go back up again tonight. On the one hand, she probably needs a break and obviously needs to talk about the pregnancy (we didn't have time to talk as she told me right on visiting hours ending and the nurses were trying to get my niece to take her drugs). But on the other hand, I'm just not sure I'll be able to produce the appropriate response at the moment. And I just feel like I need a night off.

Ah well, I'll see how I feel by the end of the day.

Listening to: Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing

some more on selection criteria

Before we get onto that stuff, did you notice that unkymoods is back? I'm so happy....

And I now have a little weatherpixie down the bottom of my sidebar - the picture changes according to the weather and daylight/darkness... and she even changes clothes depending on the temperature. I love it! Actually, she even dresses a bit like me (except my docs are only the 8-hole ones).

So, selection criteria for government positions.

I've been in meetings all day for that panel I'm on for a job in my old area. In addition to my previous notes (from my preliminary run through the applications), I've come across so many that didn't address all of the selection criteria on a careful reading. It's really a shame, because our scoring system means that partially addressing the selection criteria, no matter how good your answer may be, means that you can only score a maximum of 4/10. And if you don't address them at all, you get zero, which can really bugger up your total. Even if you just barely answer them, but you address everything, I would usually give you a 5!

Many people we were rating had given brilliant answers to part of the selection criteria, but not even mentioned the other part. So they got a 4, even though they were often better qualified than the person who gave a perfuntory answer to each element, so got a 5.

So I thought I'd look at the selection criteria for a job that's up online now and give my views on how I would score it if I was on the panel. I don't know anything about the job, so obviously my comments come with the disclaimer that the actual panel may have a different view of the world. Chances are, you can't go too far wrong though.

The job is with Treasury as a PO3 Legal Officer which is pretty much an entry level position, but above a graduate position. You'd probably be expected to have some practical experience, but not a huge amount. It would probably be a 1st year PAE* solicitor who did articles or maybe a 2nd year PAE* solicitor if they did the legal practice course.

PAE - post-admission experience, i.e. experience after being admitted as a solicitor or a barrister, which is a little like passing the bar exam in the USA

The key duties for the position are:

- Provide legal advice on gaming issues and where requested provide legal advice on other legal matters.
- Undertake research and reviews of policy, legislative and operational issues regarding the gaming industry.
- Provide policy advice relevant to operational, social and economic issues affecting the gaming industry with regard to the Acts, regulations, legislation, agreements and characteristics associated with the industry.
- Assist members of the Legal Services Unit and QOGR in the preparation and development of legislation including aspects of the drafting of that legislation.
- Liaise with and instruct outside solicitors and Crown Law as necessary.
- Prepare complex and substantive reports, briefings, ministerial correspondence, presentations, publications and correspondence on a wide range of gambling related issues for the Office, Treasury, and the Government.
- Liaise with relevant statutory bodies, departments, professional bodies and community groups on legal policy matters.

The selection criteria are:

SC1 - Demonstrated skills in researching and providing oral and written legal advice, principally in respect of commercial law issues.

SC2 - Demonstrated skills, or the ability to acquire skills, in critically analysing and preparing drafting instructions for principal and subordinate legislation to give effect to policy proposals.

SC3 - Demonstrated skills, or the ability to acquire skills, in developing legal policy options in a highly regulated commercial environment.

SC4 - Highly developed oral and written skills including the ability to prepare briefing notes and submissions on a range of legislative and policy issues.

SC5 - Knowledge of, or the ability to acquire knowledge of, legislation concerning the conduct of gaming in Queensland, and the processes of the Executive Government and Parliament.

SC6 - Demonstrated ability to successfully work in a self-directed manner and to work effectively with staff from diverse backgrounds, and to ensure a workplace that is safe and free from discrimination and harassment.

As with ours, there is a Guideline for Applicants document attached to the position description online which includes:

You should therefore address each selection criterion with a view to clearly outlining your suitability for the position. Rather than stating that you can meet each criterion, give specific examples which demonstrate how you meet each criterion or how you have undertaken similar tasks in the past.

There is also some further information given about how to address the selection criteria, which includes:

Step 2 Identify the specific factors in each criterion carefully – ensure that all factors are covered.

Now, looking at the duties in conjunction with the selection criteria, I'm guessing that they would be weighted something like the following:-

SC1 - 8
SC2 - 9
SC3 - 9
SC4 - 8
SC5 - 7
SC6 - 6

I could be off on any one or all of these, but usually they are weighted between 5 and 9, with the most important aspects of the job being weighted with a 9.

You are then given a score out of 5 or 10 for each of your answers to the selection criteria. My area scores out of 10, with a zero for not addressing the selection criteria, between 1 and 4 for partially satisfying them, 5 for satisfying them and between 6 and 10 for basically how good your answer was after that (use of good examples etc). Obviously if you can show that you've actually done the job, as opposed to just that you know how it's done, you'll score higher.

Your ranking will be calculated by weighting x score for each selection criteria, which are then totalled to give a total score. Generally, the top 2 or 3 total scores get an interview. We will look at your CV to see if you can probably back up your claims, but your score will only come from your selection criteria answers.

So a response which gives a great answer, but only partially addresses the selection criteria, vs one which addresses each one, but only adequately, will vary greatly on the final score as follows (assuming my maths is right, which it may not be):

SC1 - 8 x 4 = 32; 8 x 5 = 40
SC2 - 9 x 4 = 36; 9 x 5 = 45
SC3 - 9 x 4 = 36; 9 x 5 = 45
SC4 - 8 x 4 = 32; 8 x 5 = 40
SC5 - 7 x 4 = 28; 7 x 5 = 35
SC6 - 6 x 4 = 24; 6 x 5 = 30

Total = 188; Total = 235

This could easily be the difference between getting shortlisted for interview and not making that cut.

So what about this thing I keep on harping on about with addressing each aspect of the selection criteria? Well, it's like breaking down a section of legislation to ensure that each part is met. So for the above selection criteria, I would be looking for:-

- researching skills (principles + examples)
- using the research to provide oral legal advice (examples)
- using the research to provide written legal advice (examples)
- an emphasis in the examples on commercial law issues if you have that experience (those that do would get a higher score)

- skills in critically analysing principal and subordinate legislation to give effect to policy proposals (principles and examples)
- skills in preparing drafting instructions for principal and subordinate legislation to give effect to policy proposals (examples)
- if not able to demonstrate skills, need to show the ability to acquire skills by reference to examples where you have rapidly acquired similar skills

- skills in developing legal policy options in a highly regulated commercial environment (this one is fairly specific - not knowing about the job, I would possibly accept examples of developing legal policy options, combined with knowledge of working in a highly regulated commercial environment) (principles and examples)
- if not able to demonstrate skills, need to show the ability to acquire skills by reference to examples where you have rapidly acquired similar skills

- highly developed oral skills (principles and examples)
- highly developed written skills (principles and examples)
- ability to prepare briefing notes on a range of legislative issues (examples)
- ability to prepare briefing notes on a range of policy issues (examples)
- ability to prepare submissions on a range of legislative issues (examples)
- ability to prepare submissions on a range of policy issues (examples)

- knowledge of legislation concerning the conduct of gaming in Qld (make sure you include ALL legislation - do some research on the area) (list the legislation and examples of where you've used it)
- knowledge of the processes of the Executive Government and Parliament (again, do some research - it's all available online if you spend a bit of time on it) (list the processes and examples of where you've used them)
- if can't show actual knowledge, show your ability to rapidly aquire knowledge of legislation in a similar area
- same for Exec Govt and Parl - show what you know and where you've previously picked up processes in a similar area very quickly

- ability to successfully work in a self-directed manner (principles and examples)
- ability to work effectively with staff from diverse backgrounds (principles and examples)
- ability to ensure a workplace that is safe and free from discrimination (principles and examples)
- ability to ensure a workplace that is safe and free from harassment (principles and examples)

Demonstrated - means you must be able to give examples
Proven - means you must be able to back it up with a specific example in the exact area specified
Highly developed - means more than what you learnt at uni - pull in examples from other non-legal employment if necessary
Knowledge - is actual knowledge - show what you know by citing how you would do it and an example of where you've done it
Sound knowledge - is something greater than knowledge - you should be able to show that you do it all the time

For those of you who are reading "do it" and thinking the way my mother does, all I can say is get your minds out of the gutter!

And if you want to be the panel-member's friend, use headings so we can see that you've addressed each element of the selection criteria, and put a footer on each page with your name, the position number and the page number. These things tend to get mixed up a fair bit and staples come out - it's always best to ensure that you've been rated on your own complete answers!

Oh, we like it when you give us the 3 copies of everything as well - means we don't have to photocopy them. Unfortunately, HR doesn't do anything except receive and stamp them with the date of receipt.

There endeth the lesson.

Listening to: Custard - Goodbye Cruel World

quizes and tests

*groan* My butt hurts. I went to the gym last night and did my weights workout. Between my holiday to Melbourne, the various illnesses after that, and my niece being in hospital, I've not been (except for yoga) for about a month. Despite that, my arms don't hurt in the slightest and you'd think they'd be worse as I don't use them as much during yoga and my daily walk. But it's my butt which is telling me today how long it's been since I've done my weights workout. So I've made a promise to myself that I'll go back again tonight before I head up to the hospital.

I've got a fair bit to get done today and can't be bothered typing up an interesting and relevant post, so instead I'm going to cheat and just paste in a bunch of html from quizes I've done and have been saving for just such a moment.

I've posted before about my results for the Myer-Briggs test. Ages ago, I clicked on one of those "Next Blog" thingos at the top of the page and came across this site, which linked more a more comprehensive personality test here. My results were quite different from the Myer-Briggs test:

EXTRAVERSION...............73 (high)
Friendliness.............59 (average)
Gregariousness...........41 (average)
Assertiveness............75 (high)
Activity Level...........63 (average)
Excitement-Seeking.......71 (high)
Cheerfulness.............88 (high)

AGREEABLENESS..............37 (average)
Trust....................48 (average)
Morality.................45 (average)
Altruism.................89 (high)
Cooperation..............44 (average)
Modesty..................21 (low)
Sympathy.................20 (low)

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS..........53 (average)
Self-Efficacy............64 (average)
Orderliness..............29 (low)
Dutifulness..............58 (average)
Achievement-Striving.....26 (low)
Self-Discipline..........65 (average)
Cautiousness.............75 (high)

NEUROTICISM................18 (low)
Anxiety..................7 (low)
Anger....................35 (average)
Depression...............26 (low)
Self-Consciousness.......14 (low)
Immoderation.............93 (high)
Vulnerability............1 (low)

Imagination..............83 (high)
Artistic Interests.......80 (high)
Emotionality.............70 (high)
Adventurousness..........71 (high)
Intellect................84 (high)
Liberalism...............78 (high)

The capitalised ones are the main categories, with the others being a subset of the main category. The scores are percentages (being that I'm more liberal, for example, than 78% of people of my sex and age) and the meaning of all of this is below:

Your score on Extraversion is high, indicating you are sociable, outgoing, energetic, and lively. You prefer to be around people much of the time.
· Friendliness. Friendly people genuinely like other people and openly demonstrate positive feelings toward others. They make friends quickly and it is easy for them to form close, intimate relationships. Low scorers on Friendliness are not necessarily cold and hostile, but they do not reach out to others and are perceived as distant and reserved. Your level of friendliness is average.
· Gregariousness. Gregarious people find the company of others pleasantly stimulating and rewarding. They enjoy the excitement of crowds. Low scorers tend to feel overwhelmed by, and therefore actively avoid, large crowds. They do not necessarily dislike being with people sometimes, but their need for privacy and time to themselves is much greater than for individuals who score high on this scale. Your level of gregariousness is average.
· Assertiveness. High scorers Assertiveness like to speak out, take charge, and direct the activities of others. They tend to be leaders in groups. Low scorers tend not to talk much and let others control the activities of groups. Your level of assertiveness is high.
· Activity Level. Active individuals lead fast-paced, busy lives. They move about quickly, energetically, and vigorously, and they are involved in many activities. People who score low on this scale follow a slower and more leisurely, relaxed pace. Your activity level is average.
· Excitement-Seeking. High scorers on this scale are easily bored without high levels of stimulation. They love bright lights and hustle and bustle. They are likely to take risks and seek thrills. Low scorers are overwhelmed by noise and commotion and are adverse to thrill-seeking. Your level of excitement-seeking is high.
· Cheerfulness. This scale measures positive mood and feelings, not negative emotions (which are a part of the Neuroticism domain). Persons who score high on this scale typically experience a range of positive feelings, including happiness, enthusiasm, optimism, and joy. Low scorers are not as prone to such energetic, high spirits. Your level of positive emotions is high.

Your level of Agreeableness is average, indicating some concern with others' Needs, but, generally, unwillingness to sacrifice yourself for others.
· Trust. A person with high trust assumes that most people are fair, honest, and have good intentions. Persons low in trust see others as selfish, devious, and potentially dangerous. Your level of trust is average.
· Morality. High scorers on this scale see no need for pretence or manipulation when dealing with others and are therefore candid, frank, and sincere. Low scorers believe that a certain amount of deception in social relationships is necessary. People find it relatively easy to relate to the straightforward high-scorers on this scale. They generally find it more difficult to relate to the unstraightforward low-scorers on this scale. It should be made clear that low scorers are not unprincipled or immoral; they are simply more guarded and less willing to openly reveal the whole truth. Your level of morality is average.
· Altruism. Altruistic people find helping other people genuinely rewarding. Consequently, they are generally willing to assist those who are in need. Altruistic people find that doing things for others is a form of self-fulfilment rather than self-sacrifice. Low scorers on this scale do not particularly like helping those in need. Requests for help feel like an imposition rather than an opportunity for self-fulfilment. Your level of altruism is high.
· Cooperation. Individuals who score high on this scale dislike confrontations. They are perfectly willing to compromise or to deny their own needs in order to get along with others. Those who score low on this scale are more likely to intimidate others to get their way. Your level of compliance is average.
· Modesty. High scorers on this scale do not like to claim that they are better than other people. In some cases this attitude may derive from low self-confidence or self-esteem. Nonetheless, some people with high self-esteem find immodesty unseemly. Those who are willing to describe themselves as superior tend to be seen as disagreeably arrogant by other people. Your level of modesty is low.
· Sympathy. People who score high on this scale are tender-hearted and compassionate. They feel the pain of others vicariously and are easily moved to pity. Low scorers are not affected strongly by human suffering. They pride themselves on making objective judgments based on reason. They are more concerned with truth and impartial justice than with mercy. Your level of tender-mindedness is low.

Your score on Conscientiousness is average. This means you are reasonably reliable, organized, and self-controlled.
· Self-Efficacy. Self-Efficacy describes confidence in one's ability to accomplish things. High scorers believe they have the intelligence (common sense), drive, and self-control necessary for achieving success. Low scorers do not feel effective, and may have a sense that they are not in control of their lives. Your level of self-efficacy is average.
· Orderliness. Persons with high scores on orderliness are well-organized. They like to live according to routines and schedules. They keep lists and make plans. Low scorers tend to be disorganized and scattered. Your level of orderliness is low.
· Dutifulness. This scale reflects the strength of a person's sense of duty and obligation. Those who score high on this scale have a strong sense of moral obligation. Low scorers find contracts, rules, and regulations overly confining. They are likely to be seen as unreliable or even irresponsible. Your level of dutifulness is average.
· Achievement-Striving. Individuals who score high on this scale strive hard to achieve excellence. Their drive to be recognized as successful keeps them on track toward their lofty goals. They often have a strong sense of direction in life, but extremely high scores may be too single-minded and obsessed with their work. Low scorers are content to get by with a minimal amount of work, and might be seen by others as lazy. Your level of achievement striving is low.
· Self-Discipline. Self-discipline-what many people call will-power-refers to the ability to persist at difficult or unpleasant tasks until they are completed. People who possess high self-discipline are able to overcome reluctance to begin tasks and stay on track despite distractions. Those with low self-discipline procrastinate and show poor follow-through, often failing to complete tasks-even tasks they want very much to complete. Your level of self-discipline is average.
· Cautiousness. Cautiousness describes the disposition to think through possibilities before acting. High scorers on the Cautiousness scale take their time when making decisions. Low scorers often say or do first thing that comes to mind without deliberating alternatives and the probable consequences of those alternatives. Your level of cautiousness is high.

Your score on Neuroticism is low, indicating that you are exceptionally calm, composed and unflappable. You do not react with intense emotions, even to situations that most people would describe as stressful.
· Anxiety. The "fight-or-flight" system of the brain of anxious individuals is too easily and too often engaged. Therefore, people who are high in anxiety often feel like something dangerous is about to happen. They may be afraid of specific situations or be just generally fearful. They feel tense, jittery, and nervous. Persons low in Anxiety are generally calm and fearless. Your level of anxiety is low.
· Anger. Persons who score high in Anger feel enraged when things do not go their way. They are sensitive about being treated fairly and feel resentful and bitter when they feel they are being cheated. This scale measures the tendency to feel angry; whether or not the person expresses annoyance and hostility depends on the individual's level on Agreeableness. Low scorers do not get angry often or easily. Your level of anger is average.
· Depression. This scale measures the tendency to feel sad, dejected, and discouraged. High scorers lack energy and have difficult initiating activities. Low scorers tend to be free from these depressive feelings. Your level of depression is low.
· Self-Consciousness. Self-conscious individuals are sensitive about what others think of them. Their concern about rejection and ridicule cause them to feel shy and uncomfortable abound others. They are easily embarrassed and often feel ashamed. Their fears that others will criticize or make fun of them are exaggerated and unrealistic, but their awkwardness and discomfort may make these fears a self-fulfilling prophecy. Low scorers, in contrast, do not suffer from the mistaken impression that everyone is watching and judging them. They do not feel nervous in social situations. Your level or self-consciousness is low.
· Immoderation. Immoderate individuals feel strong cravings and urges that they have difficulty resisting. They tend to be oriented toward short-term pleasures and rewards rather than long- term consequences. Low scorers do not experience strong, irresistible cravings and consequently do not find themselves tempted to overindulge. Your level of immoderation is high.
· Vulnerability. High scorers on Vulnerability experience panic, confusion, and helplessness when under pressure or stress. Low scorers feel more poised, confident, and clear-thinking when stressed. Your level of vulnerability is low.

Your score on Openness to Experience is high, indicating you enjoy novelty, variety, and change. You are curious, imaginative, and creative.
· Imagination. To imaginative individuals, the real world is often too plain and ordinary. High scorers on this scale use fantasy as a way of creating a richer, more interesting world. Low scorers are on this scale are more oriented to facts than fantasy. Your level of imagination is high.
· Artistic Interests. High scorers on this scale love beauty, both in art and in nature. They become easily involved and absorbed in artistic and natural events. They are not necessarily artistically trained nor talented, although many will be. The defining features of this scale are interest in, and appreciation of natural and artificial beauty. Low scorers lack aesthetic sensitivity and interest in the arts. Your level of artistic interests is high.
· Emotionality. Persons high on Emotionality have good access to and awareness of their own feelings. Low scorers are less aware of their feelings and tend not to express their emotions openly. Your level of emotionality is high.
· Adventurousness. High scorers on adventurousness are eager to try new activities, travel to foreign lands, and experience different things. They find familiarity and routine boring, and will take a new route home just because it is different. Low scorers tend to feel uncomfortable with change and prefer familiar routines. Your level of adventurousness is high.
· Intellect. Intellect and artistic interests are the two most important, central aspects of openness to experience. High scorers on Intellect love to play with ideas. They are open-minded to new and unusual ideas, and like to debate intellectual issues. They enjoy riddles, puzzles, and brain teasers. Low scorers on Intellect prefer dealing with either people or things rather than ideas. They regard intellectual exercises as a waste of time. Intellect should not be equated with intelligence. Intellect is an intellectual style, not an intellectual ability, although high scorers on Intellect score slightly higher than low-Intellect individuals on standardized intelligence tests. Your level of intellect is high.
· Liberalism. Psychological liberalism refers to a readiness to challenge authority, convention, and traditional values. In its most extreme form, psychological liberalism can even represent outright hostility toward rules, sympathy for law-breakers, and love of ambiguity, chaos, and disorder. Psychological conservatives prefer the security and stability brought by conformity to tradition. Psychological liberalism and conservatism are not identical to political affiliation, but certainly incline individuals toward certain political parties. Your level of liberalism is high.

A lot of it makes sense, but some I'm not sure I agree with, being:

Sympathy. People who score high on this scale are tender-hearted and compassionate. They feel the pain of others vicariously and are easily moved to pity. Low scorers are not affected strongly by human suffering. They pride themselves on making objective judgments based on reason. They are more concerned with truth and impartial justice than with mercy. Your level of tender-mindedness is low.

- I would have thought I'd be average.

Self-Efficacy. Self-Efficacy describes confidence in one's ability to accomplish things. High scorers believe they have the intelligence (common sense), drive, and self-control necessary for achieving success. Low scorers do not feel effective, and may have a sense that they are not in control of their lives. Your level of self-efficacy is average.

- I would have thought I'd be high

Orderliness. Persons with high scores on orderliness are well-organized. They like to live according to routines and schedules. They keep lists and make plans. Low scorers tend to be disorganized and scattered. Your level of orderliness is low.

- I would have thought I'd be average, but then the most orderly person I know only scored an average, so maybe it's accurate.

Achievement-Striving. Individuals who score high on this scale strive hard to achieve excellence. Their drive to be recognized as successful keeps them on track toward their lofty goals. They often have a strong sense of direction in life, but extremely high scores may be too single-minded and obsessed with their work. Low scorers are content to get by with a minimal amount of work, and might be seen by others as lazy. Your level of achievement striving is low.

- I would have thought I'd be average or maybe even high, but then I suppose I'm not particularly ambitious and most definitely have a life outside of work, so I don't know. I suppose I'd have to see how people I consider to be ambitious scored.

Cautiousness. Cautiousness describes the disposition to think through possibilities before acting. High scorers on the Cautiousness scale take their time when making decisions. Low scorers often say or do first thing that comes to mind without deliberating alternatives and the probable consequences of those alternatives. Your level of cautiousness is high.

- I would have thought I'd be average, but then, most lawyers are fairly cautious and I'm certainly a hell of a lot more cautious than the Fairy (for example)

So that's the serious one, now for a couple of fun ones.

My political compass is
Economic Left/Right: -4.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.08
Apparently this puts me in the same square as Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama (though they are all both more to the economic left and more social libertarian than me - I'm fairly central really). Click here to see the graph of my results and on the here for more details about what this all means.

How likely am I to pull? Apparently I am all mouth and no trousers! Click here to see my results.

The Quirky, Yet Wonderful Left Arm!

Cheese_King thinks you're great because of your ability to indicate heart attacks. Some people write funny with you, but others depend on you more than their right. You're a bit odd, but still interesting nonetheless! You also wear a pretty ring when married! Ooh la la!

Personality Test Results

Discover which very useful appendage you would be.

I Am

Manifestation through will. Imagination, concentration, action. Spirit and Matter united.
A young man raises a doubly terminated wand in his right hand. The wand is held vertically, a tool for the unification of heaven and earth. His left index finger grounds this duality into creation drawing from the original chaos to bring into being the flowers of creation. His aura is shown as the horizontal figure eight, symbol of eternity, while about his waist is wrapped the serpen-cinture, the serpent devouring its own tail, another symbol of eternity. In front of him are the creator/magicians tools, wands, cups, swords and pentacles, symbolizing fire, water, air and earth.

Take the quiz: "What Is Your Kink?"

You live to serve! You're most excited when someone else takes the reins and controls the situation. You're happy to do whatever will make your partner happy, even if it isn't your favorite thing to do. In the bedroom, you aim to please. Your motto is, Yes Sir/Ma'am!
All of the possible quiz results for this quiz:
Domination (You scored 1)
Submission (You scored 2)
SadoMasochism (You scored 0)
Bondage (You scored 0)
Exhibitionism (You scored 1)
Nymphomania (You scored 2)

Which Dilbert character are you?

Lord of the Rings Guy For You

My Cure song is The Lovecats

Which Cure song are you?

I am Princess Ariel!

Which Disney Princess Would You Be?

Listening to: Women in Docs - Under a Different Sky

speedstar and Somersault

Well, some of the stuff from Friday has been resolved. I had a chat to my Dad and my boss about the complaint stuff and I'm feeling better about it.

I was supposed to phone my Mum on the weekend and talk to her about the fight between her and S, but I managed to procrastinate all weekend and avoid that. I figure if she really wants to talk about it, she'll call me.


I had the best night on Friday night. Genie met me after work and we walked home together, chatting about the crap we'd both suffered during the week. The Teacher (I've just updated the Cast of Characters to include her) met us at my place and we drank red wine and ate Indian and generally had a girly chat until we left for The Zoo.

We arrived part way into Guy Webster's set, which was a little disappointing - I would have liked to have seen the whole thing - but we got a table, which was very exciting - that hardly ever happens at The Zoo. The place didn't really get packed for the whole gig actually, which was sort of nice for us but probably a little disappointing for the bands. Anyway, I love this guy, he always does great sets and this one was as good as always.

Next up was The Boat People. I haven't seen them since they'd changed drummers, but it doesn't seem to have changed much about the way they do things. The drummer is quite cute actually - he looks like Chris Martin from Coldplay. I quite like the Boaties music, but I find their live performances to be a bit bland - they just don't show any personality on stage. At least they've moved the guitar off centre, which I think was a good move (it's actually something I suggested to their manager ages ago), but they still need to do something more. I think it's just that they lack energy or something. Anyway, once again, this set didn't change my opinion.

And then of course, we had the main act, speedstar. The Teacher decided during this set that she was in love with the bass player - I have to admit that he's cute, but I like the two guitars more... especially "the hairy one" as he was called by us all night (he has a beard, I don't know whether he's hairy in other places). It was a more laid-back set than the two most recent gigs of theirs I've been to - or maybe I was just more laid-back after my 5 glasses of red wine... who knows. I think the lead singer was having some voice problems, he was drinking some sort of honey concoction during the set and seemed to be straining to hit his notes sometimes. And "the hairy one" was doing most of the talking between songs. Despite that, it was still a good gig. The Teacher and I got up to dance about half way into the set and I was happily seat dancing before that.

Anyway, I was talking before about the bass player. Well, the Teacher bought the CD single and she wanted him to sign it, but was too shy to go up to him and ask. Not known for my shyness, I took it up to him for her. He was so nice! I think I have a little crush now. *blushes*

And I got chatted up by the merch guy. I usually chat to the merch people when I'm up there checking out the t-shirts and CDs, but this is the first time one has given me his phone number and asked me to give him a call sometime. I was just a tad surprised - actually, I think my jaw hit my chest. But I'll probably call him. He made me laugh - always a very attractive trait in a guy.

Anyway, it was a good night. We all decided that we'll have to do "girls nights" more often.


Woke up with a slight red wine hangover - not so much that seedy feeling of having drunk too much, but a sinus headache which only ever seems to happen when it's red wine I've been drinking. Took a couple of tablets and was fine within about 1/2 an hour. Genie stayed over at my place after the gig last night so we bummed around drinking water and watching Rage until mid-morning and then we headed into the Valley markets. She window shopped, and I bought a wallet (it's an Astro Boy wallet, it's so cute), a little top for $5 and a sarong for $8 - the sarong is actually for my window so that I can have it open without the people passing by on the path outside being able to look into my bedroom. Also, since the windows don't have screens, I'm hoping it will discourge flies and mozzies from getting in. And it's light enough for the breeze to still come through. It seems to be working so far.

Genie met the Tall Guy at midday for lunch, so I left them to it. Bought myself some Maccas (great hangover food) for lunch and headed home to watch my Ben Folds Five DVD that I'd bought a little while ago but hadn't got around to watching yet. It actually has a lot of footage from Recovery, which hasn't been on-air for a while now, but had a bloody funny segment with BFF when they toured here a few years back. By the end of it all, I was keen to go out, but still tired. I'd missed the beginning of the Latin Fiesta and couldn't be arsed heading over to Southbank by then. But I thought I might be up for Shifter later that night. But by the time that came around, I was asleep. Oh well.


Lazed around for the day and got some housework done. Met the Law Student and some of her friends from choir early evening to see Somersault, an Aussie coming of age art film. It's had fairly polarised reviews, but I really enjoyed it - I probably wouldn't buy it on DVD, but I'd certainly recommend it. I thought it was well cast and the actors were very credible in their roles. Heidi reminded me of me back when I was 14 or 15 (except I didn't have that much sex) and Joe was just like the farmer-boys I went to school with. A lot of the others in my group thought he was made overly complex, but the guys I went to school with were often like that. They grow up knowing that they're going to get the farm and expecting that that's all they'll do with their lives, so they often experiment with different things almost as if it's a way out. Anyway, I found both characters interesting and realistic.

The only thing that bothered me about it (and the reason I wouldn't buy it on DVD) was that a lot of it was shot with that shaky hand-held-like camera work, which I hate. I know it's supposed to be realistic and all, but it makes me feel queasy and it's really hard to enjoy a film when you're spending most of it feeling decidedly green. Other than that the cinematography was gorgeous and I thought the imagery was beautiful.

The Law Student's cousin (who was part of the group) has a scoring system for movies - 5 is a pass, 6 a thumbs up, 8 is a really good movie and 10 is one you'd watch over and over. Then it sort of works in from there with 1/2 points being allowed. Anyway, on his scoring system, I'd rate this movie an 8.5 and I think all of the group rated it 7.5 or above.

We all went for coffee after the movie and I got chatting to some of the group that I'd only met that night. They're a really nice group (though all a lot younger than me) and very friendly and chatty - it was a good night.

Listening to: Ben Folds - Live


*sigh* My mum and sister-in-law are acting like 2 year olds. And that's a direct quote from my brother, not me. One I happen to agree with mind you.

It seems they had a fight a couple of weeks ago. I don't know the details - I think I've made it pretty clear to both of them that I don't really want to know the details because I don't want to be stuck in the middle of it all. I'm quite happy to talk to them about how to resolve it, but I don't want them complaining about each other to me.

As far as I can see, it pretty much comes down to two things:-

1. They need to sit down and talk to each other about exactly what is bothering them - not just about each other, but in general. Easier said than done, because my bloody mother just says that S hurt her badly and made a very personal attack and she (Mum) doesn't want to go through it again. She just wants to "put it behind them and move on" - problem with that, of course, being that neither of them will actually move on until they've cleared the air. Pfeh! Honestly! *rolls eyes*

2. S needs someone outside of the family that she can complain about the family to. The problem here is that she tries to maintain this pretence that everything is perfect and that she's the perfect mother. No-one can be perfect. And it's bloody hard work to try to be. And so she won't talk to friends about her problems because she's trying to maintain the image. And she doesn't seem to have any friends that she drops the image for. I've suggested to my brother that they should both join one of those support groups for parents of sick kids. That way S will have someone to talk to outside of the family (who will also have some idea of what she's going through) and she can complain to them as much as she likes. Every girl needs a friend who will just make the right sympathetic noises during a bitch session.

Anyway, the immediate problem needs to be resolved by them talking to each other. With no kids and no husbands around. Considering Mum is concerned about talking to S on her own, I've suggested that they get a 3rd party mediator from outside the family to sit in. I've suggested Mum's best friend R or maybe T of T&S fame if they can get down to Brisbane. Or a professional counsellor.

Anyway, onto other things.

I was also called in as a witness this morning to a HR complaint that has been made by one of my ex-colleagues against others of my ex-colleagues. It's basically a bullying complaint. But as part of it, the person making the complaint mentioned in her statement that the people she was complaining about talked derogatively about me behind my back. While it doesn't really surprise me, I didn't know about it (well, it was behind my back) and am a little hurt by it. I knew they were bitchy, but didn't realise they were that bitchy. I'm an upfront person - if something you are doing bothers me, I'll tell you about it. I just don't understand the mentality of bitching behind someone's back about it without telling the person involved. And why is it only girls that seem to do this?

*sigh* I think I need a hug.

Thank god I'm going out with Genie tonight. I can talk through this stuff with her (she's also in government and an expert on bitchy behaviour, having born the brunt of it herself in the past) and she gives great hugs.

And it's a great gig - speedstar supported by Guy Webster (who I absolutely adore) and The Boat People. Three bands I like all in one night. And for free 'cause I won tickets! That's definitely cause for celebration! ;o)

Not sure what I'll get up to for the rest of the weekend - seems like everyone's away this weekend (most of them in Melbourne - bloody AFL grand finals) so I might see what Genie and the Tall Guy are up to and see if I can con them into doing something. Or maybe I can pull the Law Student out of study... that could be fun. Or I could set up a date I suppose. It just seems like too much effort right now though.

Listening to: BrisBand mix of Charles Foster Kane, Dave McCormack, Taxi, The Informants, Guy Webster, Tylea and Brindle.


Oooh - I've finally found a way to get photos on here without having to upload some sort of program onto my computer. Thanks to this post about how to blog (linked off Notes from the (Legal) Underground) I have discovered Buzznet. I'm a happy girl.

So here's a couple of my photos. They're not particularly good ones, but they don't disclose my secret identity and happened to already be on my hard drive. I may take more now that I know how to put them up here.

Twelve Apostles - sunset

Twelve Apostles - sunset
photo by: observantlittle

View over Brisbane from the plane

View over Brisbane from the plane
photo by: observantlittle

bugs and bities in Australia

Well, I've finally read up to the current instalment (pages 209 to 212) of Naylor's Canberra and must say, I think it's a bloody good read so far. I've been enjoying it. Now I just have to wait with bated breath for the next instalment so I know how the current dramas are resolved.

And in the context of sites I've been reading lately, The Ultimate Olympian could be an amusing site if it's kept updated.

Something else I read recently was the Toxic Custard Guide to Australia - oh my lord - I nearly wet myself laughing at some of the entries. Actually, it was mostly the questions (sorry Daniel) - some people overseas really do have a very strange idea about what Australia is like.

Which actually brings me to a topic that I've been meaning to get onto here for a while. When I was in Europe, most of the natives seemed to think that Australia was this incredibly dangerous place where the wildlife would bite or sting you as soon as you landed at the airport and you would die a horrible death. Now, admittedly, we do have more than our fair share of deadly spiders and snakes, but honestly, how often do you think we see them?


I happen to be deathly scared of spiders - I can't even look at photos of them without shuddering - and the big ones, like Huntsman's (thanks to Toxic Custard for the link) just scare the bejebers out of me. I know they're harmless to people, it's just the way they look (and their size, and their hairiness). But there are really only two breeds that you have to be concerned about (as far as I am aware) -

- Redback Spiders - they often live in suburban yards that are overgrown or have bushy plants. They live in underneath the growth and you have to wear gloves when gardening to make sure you don't get bitten. They'll also sometimes come into a garage, but I've never seen one in a house.

- Funnel-web spiders - tend to live under rocks and logs and you need to be careful when picking something up in the bush that there isn't something underneath it. You also need to be careful when putting on a pair of shoes that has been left outside.

We used to have redbacks living in our garden when we lived in Eight Mile Plains (though it didn't stop me wandering around outside shoeless, I did wear gloves when gardening), and I once saw one in my neighbours garage when I was a kid. That's the full extent of my contact with them. As for funnel-webs, I've never actually seen one, I've only seen their webs after they've vacated.


As for snakes, well I'm mind-numbingly scared of them as well. And yep, once again, that includes the harmless ones. It's partially their scaly sliminess, but mostly their eyes (I'm not overly keen on lizards either, but I do like frogs). I've only ever really seen one (on our porch when I was a kid - it was the same place as where we had the neighbour with the redback in their garage - it was a recently developed area with a lot of bushland around it, which would account for snake and spider-life), though I've occasionally heard them when I've been bushwalking.

Again, there are only two that I've been told to watch out for as being particularly nasty:-

- the King Brown Snake (I think this link is the same snake, though it's a different name)

- the Red-Bellied Black Snake

Again, both of these are not generally found anywhere which remotely resembles civilisation. Snakes generally don't like people much and will make some effort to get out of your way. When bushwalking, make sure you make lots of noise as you go and you probably won't even hear one, let alone see one.

Other dangerous animals

Now crocodiles - I've never been to the Northern Territory, so I've never seen one outside of a zoo. No great desire to either (see a crocodile that is, not go to NT - there are other things in NT that I would like to see). Basically, if the sign says there's crocodiles in the waterhole, don't swim there. Oh, and don't smile at them! ;o)

Sharks - I've been swimming, surfing and generally mucking around in the ocean since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I've only ever seen one shark - that was when I was surf-lifesaving as a teenager and it was about as long as my fingertips to my elbow and not particularly scary. The big ones tend to stay way out and you are never likely to encounter one in the ocean. I've heard that you have a smaller probability of being attacked by a shark in Australia as you do of being hit by a meteorite. That is, very small. It's not something we tend to worry about. You should be more concerned about rips and under-currents and making sure you can swim before you go out into waves beyond your waist. And swimming at a patrolled beach if you're not an experienced surf swimmer. There is a big difference between being able to swim in a pool or lake to being able to swim in the surf. We get a hell of a lot more tourists drowning that being attacked by ANY form of dangerous wildlife.

For more info on crocs, sharks and the like, go here.

Common Insects

The main things to look out for here are mozzies, ants, flies and cockroaches. The first two will generally just give you an itchy bite to scratch (and some flies do too, like March Flies) and the later two are generally just annoying and you don't want them around your food. All can usually be discouraged by a decent personal insect repellant or surface spray.

There is a good factsheet about insect bites and stings here (though head lice and bed bugs tend to be a problem of budget accomodation all over the world and contact with kids more than with Australian wildlife in general and I don't know anyone who's been stung by a wasp unless they've teased a nest).

So unless you're nuts like this guy, chances are you'll never be stung or bitten by anything that's remotely dangerous when visiting Australia.

Listening to: Tim Reid MP3s

poor little bugger

I'm feeling very sorry for everyone in my family right now.

I had a call from Mum last night and my niece is back in hospital today - we're not sure how long for, depends on how things go. She's had problems with her liver since she was 18 months old and has been on a bunch of drugs since then to try and cure or at least stabilise the condition. At this stage, she's facing a liver transplant when she's old enough (she's only 4yo). Anyway, apparently she's had a very painful back and was taken to the hospital on Sunday. The pain in her back is supposed to be caused by bone rubbing on bone because of some sort of deformity caused by the liver problem or by the drugs she's taking. Anyway, the short answer is that she's very ill and in pain and going back into hospital for more tests.

So I feel sorry for her with what she has to go through - something else which is going wrong with her poor little body.

And I feel sorry for B&S because they are going through what the parents of most children are going through. And apparently (so my Mum says) S is mad at B because he's always working and she thinks he should be giving her more support. But B is a typical Aussie bloke and will never give her the support she really needs from a girl friend - the ability to cry on someone's shoulder and have them say nothing more than "There, there". So I feel sorry for them both individually and as a couple.

And I feel sorry for my nephew because, once again, he's shoved off onto the grandparents while his parents deal with his sick older sister. He has had this happen to him ever since he was born practically, but it's got to affect him. The poor little bugger.

And I feel sorry for my Mum because she's had a big fight with S because S accused her of favouring my nephew over my niece - which is a bit hard not to do, because S so obviously favours my niece over my nephew (once again, something that tends to happen when you have a sick child). Mum thinks she's being irrational and is keeping her distance, but that's not necessarily the best solution with S and I can't tell my Mum that, she'll just get even more upset. But she doesn't seem to realise that sometimes avoiding the conflict just makes things worse.

And I feel sorry for my Dad because, if Mum's not talking to me about this stuff, then obviously he's copping it all. I'm happy that Mum's not laying it all on me, but I do feel sorry for Dad. Maybe I should try and have a quiet talk with him sometime when Mum's not around.

And that's the end of my family. All of them are being torn apart by this. And maybe I'm even feeling a bit sorry for myself because everyone else knew about this on Sunday and Mum wasn't going to tell me except that B might need to stay at my place while the niece is in hospital. I get that she wouldn't want me to worry, but I'm her aunt, I would like to know about stuff that is serious.

I can't help feeling that it's payback that I didn't tell her about my health problems while I was in Melbourne until I had to. I just didn't want her to worry or tell me that I should get the first flight back to Brisbane. I'm perfectly capable of looking after myself (even when sick) and don't like being told what to do. So she's not telling me about what's going on with my niece because she doesn't want to worry me? Or because she knows I don't want her to lay all of her problems on me? I'm feeling a little manipulated.

Listening to: Ben Folds - Sunny 16 and Super D

beer and freak storms

I had a pretty good weekend, well.. up until Sunday I did anyway.


Friday night was the Beer Festival. I had an absolute ball. Spent an absolute fortune, but had a ball. It cost $20 to get in, then I spent $30 on 10 tickets for beer in the main hall, then $10 for 6 tickets in the University of Beer (which wouldn't take the same tickets as the main hall bugger them) and I spent about $10 on food to share. So yeah, $70 for the night - that's a bloody big night for me. And I only gave away 2 or 3 tickets.

There was a fair crowd of us - The Tall Guy, his sister, a couple of their friends each, and the Ex - about 10 or so in all - so I got to taste a lot of beers that I didn't buy which was good. I think I'd tasted roughly half of the beers by the end of the night, which isn't bad going. Favourites were Paddy's Chocolate Porter, Gold Coast Honey Pale Ale and Jamieson Brewing's Raspberry Ale.

As the night wore on, I did get a little bitchy with the Ex though. It started with him the following conversation:

Ex: I've recently busted my right knee playing soccer and don't have the $1000 it would cost to get it fixed.
L: What you need is a rich girlfriend who can pay it for you or lend you the money.
Ex: Yeah right. How am I supposed to get a girl like that?
Me: You had one remember. You broke up with me.

It got a big laugh (even from the Ex) and it kind of deteriorated from there. As I said to the group at one stage, he may be my ex, but I still find him bloody annoying at times. He was being really flirty with me, and I think it just brought out the worst in me.

Anyway, we finally left just after midnight. I walked home and had my usual hangover prevention of a green apple and a Berocca. I don't know why it works, but it does.


Woke up, ate breakfast, went back to bed. I didn't have any hangover symptoms like headache or queasiness, but I did feel very tired and wrung-out. Checked my email and had an invite from a new guy via the internet dating to go for coffee. A couple of text messages later and I had a date for lunch in the Valley.

Met up with him for lunch. He's a really interesting guy - works for a record company so I got a different perspective on some of my favourite Brisbane bands from him. I'm certainly interested in him as a friend, but I'm not sure if I'm interested in him romantically. I found him to be great company, but once again, no spark. Maybe my mum is right and I am too fussy.

I'm not sure if he's pissed off with me though. I went completely blond and forgot to pay him back for lunch (he went and ordered while I minded the table) - it's only $8 or something, but I'd feel pissed off if someone did that to me. I did text him about 1/2 hour later when I realised, but I haven't heard back, so I'm not sure if he got it or not. I'll have to email him next time I'm online and apologise again.

Anyway, I did a bit of shopping through the markets after that as I haven't been for a while. I found this great handbag of green bamboo and ordered a pair of handmade sandles for summer - I pick them up next Saturday. I've been meaning to get a pair for ages and now that I've paid off my car, I'm spending up for a couple of weeks before I start socking that money (about $1000 a month) away for a house deposit or my planning trip to SE Asia next year or something.

Saturday night, I headed over to T&S's place for dinner and a catch up. I'd planned to get there about 5pm and had told T that, so I was a little surprised when I arrived about 4:45pm (I woke up about 4:15pm after a nap and figured if I didn't get ready and leave then, I'd just go back to sleep) and I couldn't raise anyone. So I pull out my mobile to call them, thinking they might be downstairs and couldn't hear me. Only to find a text message at about 4:15pm telling me that they'd gone for a walk and should be back at 5pm. I figured they'd probably gone to the park, but couldn't remember exactly where it was and got no reply on either of their mobiles to check that they were in fact at the park and how to get there. So I just strolled up in that general direction for 10 minutes and then, when I couldn't see them, strolled back again, getting back to their place about 5:05pm. Still no sign of them. So I settle down onto their front steps to wait. Finally, at about 5:20pm, the Ex turns up with a set of keys. He was down at the park with them, but had to return to make a phone call. They didn't turn up until nearly 5:30pm! I wasn't all that happy with them as you can imagine. But I was determined not to let it spoil my mood or the night, so I said it was fine and let it go. These things happen. It's just a shame they hadn't taken their mobiles with them.

Anyway, it was a good night after all that. T's parents came over and T&S got terribly excited by the game, which was very close. The Brisbane Lions were down in the 3rd quarter and the mood was blue at T&S's place, but they scored a couple of good points towards the end and eventually won by 84 to 75. There was much jumping up and down and screaming and the like - T&S are going to be in Melbourne for the final, but could only get tickets if the Lions were in it. Something to do with tickets for members or something. Anyway, apparently it's a historic final because it's the first time that there isn't a Melbourne team in the final. The final has to be held at Melbourne because of a deal long ago between the MCG and the AFL people, which has caused a bit of an outcry in the past and is likely to stir more trouble with members of both teams (the other one is Port Adelaide) having to travel for the final. I don't really know much about it, but I've heard some of the complaints from T&S and their Lion's supporter mates.

Anyway, I missed much of the last quarter as I was getting the bub off to sleep. I figured that T and her mum were both a lot more interested in the game than I was, so I was happy to do it. They are just trying to get him to sleep without a dummy, so it takes a little effort to get him to sleep. It was okay though. I just waited for him to stop grizzling and start to drop off, then I removed the dummy and just patted or rubbed his back for a while. The main thing was that he didn't wake up completely, because then he would realised that it was me and not his mum putting him to sleep and he would really crack. It eventually worked.

Not long after the game finished, I started feeling a bit queasy, so I figured I should go home. I hadn't been drinking and ate the same stuff (fish and chips) as everyone else, so I thought maybe I was just overtired, so would feel better in the morning.


I didn't. Still felt pretty off. By the afternoon I was throwing up everything I ate and that didn't stop until about 8pm Sunday night when I finally started to keep down black tea and dry toast.

I still wasn't feeling too crash hot on Monday (yesterday), so I had the day off from work. I had a 3pm meeting that I was hoping to get in for, but went back to bed as soon as I threw up breakfast and didn't wake up until nearly 3pm. And here we come to the second part of the title - what woke me up? Hail! Yes, hail! A little freak storm hit Brisbane yesterday afternoon. Rattling my window and freaking me out (I hate storms and hate hail most of all - it all relates back to a childhood trauma). You get used to spectacular stoms in the middle of summer in Brisbane, but it's barely spring at the moment! Quite unseasonable. Anyway, the hail didn't last long, but the rain and thunder was still going well into the night. So I didn't sleep well.

I'm still feeling a little queasy today, but I'm keeping food down, so I came into work. And so far, so good. ;o)

Listening to: The Kerbs - Live

life is good

I'm happy. The sky is blue, the sun is shining and it's quite likely that somewhere outside of my airconditioned office building, the birds are singing.

I'm not sure why I'm so happy. Maybe because I've finally finished writing this policy document I had to do. It's not very long (only 4 pages), but I kept on changing my mind about how to do it, so I'd write a page and then delete it all because I'd decide that wasn't the way to do it. It was a bit complicated because I didn't really have good instructions, so I was making a lot of it up as I went along. No idea if they'll like it, but it had to be finished by today and it's done. Now I just have to wait and see if my co-worker agrees with it - considering he never likes anything I write, it's not exactly something I'm waiting for with bated breath.

Yoga last night was hard - I haven't been in about 3 weeks due to holidays and illness and my body told me all about it. I don't seem to have lost flexibility in my hips, but my quads and calves were really tight - probably a lot of that was from the hiking I did on holidays. And of couse, the lack of yoga. But at least I managed to get myself there (always the hardest part for me, motivation) and got those exercise endorphins happening.

And tonight I'm off to the National Festival of Beers with the Tall Guy, his sister, and some of their friends. Should be good. I'm looking forward to drinking many beers. And the entertainment program looks good too.

Then tomorrow night I'm off to T&S's place to watch a game of AFL with them and some of their friends. T&S are Lions supporters, so I'm pretty sure it will be Lions vs Geelong. I don't know who else is going, but I haven't seen them or the bub in about a month, so don't really care what game it is or who will be there, I'll be happy just to have a bit of a catch up.

Oooh! And I've just won a ticket to speedstar next Friday night! This day just keeps on getting better!

My old mood indicator, unkymoods, which I rather liked seems to be no longer. So I've put up this one from imoods until I find a better one. Anyone got any ideas? I don't particularly like this one because it's a bit boring and very small. I really liked the unkymoods one. Oh well.

Listening to: speedstar - forget the sun, just hold on

Competency and some of my worst moments as a lawyer

My date last night went well - we had a little confusion meeting up and then had dinner together. It was nice. I talk a lot more than he does though. Not sure if that's a problem. He didn't seem bored by my chatter, so I guess that's a good thing. But I do have quiet times sometimes and what will happen then?

Have been working for the last couple of days with a graduate engineer who is trying to write a statement of reasons. Oh boy. Trying to explain to someone about how to do something that I do instinctively, that is, writing a document so that it is clear and unambiguous as to the facts (findings), evidence and reasons. Not easy. In many ways, I'd rather just write it for him, but I don't know enough about the file or subject matter to have any idea how to do that. Bugger huh? I have finally managed to get him out of saying that a document was "inconsistent" though (inconsistent with what?) - he's now saying that the data was less reliable. Much better. We are onto about the 5th draft by now - I'm sick of it, I'm sure he's sick of it and we're not finished yet. We are closer though. Which is a good thing.

This post and this one got me thinking about some stuff that happened very early in my career.

First up, as a bit of background - I made the following comment about competency over at the first blog I linked to above:

"I started out doing some very basic debt collection files when I began my articles. Within maybe 3 months, I felt completely competent on those files.

As I became more experienced, I felt completely competent on more complex and difficult matters to the extent that, now, I can provide at least preliminary advice on nearly every area of law I can think of. Since I do volunteer work giving legal advice, this is something I do fairly regularly and with confidence.

Perhaps the only areas that I would avoid would be specialised areas like tax, IP, and corporate mergers. But since I have no interest in them (well, other than the copyright part of IP which I have a good general knowledge of but never wanted to specialise in), it's never been an issue I've had to face.

I guess it's a little different for me because we have the solicitor/barrister distinction here and I can always seek counsel's opinion if I'm not completely sure of myself. With that disclaimer, I would feel comfortable taking on any case that I come across, including in an area I've not tackled before.

It probably helps that I'm one of those people who tends to know a little bit about most subjects rather than a lot about one subject. So, when it comes to law, I will know the basic issues to spot and questions to ask in practically every scenario, and I will know what areas to research to get the answer I need. I believe that you don't need to -know- the answer to take on a case, you just need to know where to -find- the answer.

Which brings me to my two stories. Both of which were about people who were incredibly rude to me and how I mishandled each one.

The first was a old country lawyer who took offence at my explaining my client's case to him - he called me "girly" (a term I hate) and told me that he'd been doing this for 20 years and didn't need me to explain the law to him. I got angry and sarcastic and suggested that if that was the case, then he'd see why his client didn't have a leg to stand on.

In hindsight, I should have:

(a) cut off the conversation when he started getting narky about 5 minutes before and dealt with it by correspondence; or

(b) simply said "I understand that, but I merely wanted to be sure that we were working from the same base" or something similarly calming. I could always defame his character, using every swear word in my vocabulary, as soon as I'd hung up the phone.

The second was a doctor whose records we were after and I had to serve a subpoena on. The subpoena had to be served on the doctor personally and, as a courtesy, my firm always rang ahead and made a time when it could be served. So I rock up at the appointed time, explain to the receptionist who I am and why I'm here and sit down to wait. After about 15 minutes (while patients have gone in and out), I approach her again and explain (again) that I'm from a law firm and that all I have to do is hand the document over to the doctor - it will take about a minute. She tells me he won't be much longer. Again I wait. I go back a few more times and each time I'm told that he won't be long. In all, I'm kept waiting for 45 minutes by the time the doctor finally sees me. As soon as I'm in the door I place the document on his desk at his fingertips, tell him the explanation of the document is in the covering letter and turn and leave.

He later rang up to complain to my boss. He blasted me for my "arrogance", complained that I "stormed" in there*, "slammed" the subpoena on his desk, and didn't even have the courtesy to sit down and explain properly what this is all about. Luckily for me, my boss didn't really have a lot of time for him after he told my boss that he'd kept me waiting on purpose because he was pissed off that he'd been kept waiting for hours at court the previous day by another lawyer from another firm entirely. So basically he was pissed off with lawyers in general and decided to take it out on me, then didn't like it when I bucked up. The arrogance of the man still stuns me. Has he not heard of professional courtesy?

Anyway, hindsight and a little more experience has taught me that I should have just left after 15 minutes. Told the receptionist that I couldn't wait any longer as I had another appointment and just left. Perhaps after suggesting that the doctor give me a call when he was not as busy and I could possibly return then to serve the subpoena.

* I didn't storm into his office - however, I have a long stride for a short person (especially when in a hurry) and heels on a wooden floor often sound very loud, so in all honesty, I can maybe see why he would think that way. I didn't "slam" it on his desk either, but I also didn't wait for him to take it out of my hand. I actually thought that I was being very calm considering how angry I was at being kept waiting, but I'm sure my body language would have revealed that I was pissed off.

Anyway, there's probably no point to these stories, except that maybe competency in knowing how to handle a case often comes from experience not so much because of a greater knowledge of the law, but from a greater knowledge of people, and learning diplomacy in handling them. My ethos now is "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" - the fact that complying with this usually helps me more than the other side is beside the point! ;o)

Listening to: Screamfeeder - Introducing Screamfeeder

feeling blah

I just feel blah today - my hair's gone frizzy, my back's sore, I have a bit of a headache and a little zit on my nose. PMS? You bet! You wanna make something of it? ;o)

And I have a date tonight. All I can do to counteract this is wear my FMB's and nice underwear. And eat chocolate - I don't usually like chocolate, but I'm craving it today for some reason. So I'm sitting here eating a Crunchie right now. Love that morning tea trolley.

Is everyone else thinking that the election almost doesn't seem to be happening? If it wasn't for the nightly news snippets of Howard and Latham big-noting themselves, I wouldn't even know that it was coming up. It's a little sad that I seem to know as much about the American election at the moment as I do about the Australian one. Even sadder that the reason for this is that they seem to be getting equal attention in the media.

I didn't even know who the candidates in my electorate are until I started thinking about this earlier this morning and did a google search on my electorate to try and find out. Good old ABC has an excellent site on the whole thing. The national broadcaster comes through again.

I'm thinking I'll probably vote for the Greens in the Lower House and Democrat in the Senate. I'm not overly thrilled with the Greens lately, but they're the best of a bad bunch. I also have candidates for Family First Party and Citizens Electoral Council in my electorate. Neither party seems to have any real policies and their views on what they have got are (in my view) pretty unrealistic, so they're out. I mean, honestly, with policies that refer to "cartel-rigged low prices for farm products", do these guys actually expect anyone with half a brain to vote for them? They sound as nuts as some of the guys I used to prosecute! Family First sound a little more reasonable, but one of their policies is that "a Families Commission be established to provide analysis and advice on the impact on the family by all legislation". I'm not sure that they have any idea how much legislation is passed by Parliament in a year - it's already a very slow process and having to jump over yet another hurdle on the "impact on the family" is just going to make it ridiculous.

So now all I have to do is work out my order of preferences.

Thinking of ABC, has everyone voted for their favourite book? I voted for Zigzag Street by Nick Earls - I've loved that book for ages and it's one that I can go back to again and again. Actually, I haven't read a book of his yet that wasn't bloody good. I think it's a shame that he's not that well known outside of Queensland. Bachelor Kisses is another favourite.

Listening to: Wesley Davidson

applying for Qld govt jobs

Having spent most of yesterday wading through applications and selection criteria, I have some hints for anyone applying for a Queensland government job:-

1. DO include your date and court of admission in either your selection criteria or your CV. We get a lot of interstate applicants and it is a mandatory requirement that you be admitted in Queensland or able to be admitted in Queensland for a position as a legal officer.

2. DO download and read everything that comes with the application (available online). The material with the application forms often points to how the organisation reviews the applications. For example, my organisation assesses each application on its merits from the selection criteria, and other skills evident from your CV will not generally be taken into consideration (especially where there are many applicants). The applicant's guide for my organisation also assists by pointing out exactly how we like to have the selection criteria answered. There really is no excuse for a sloppy or overly brief response from an applicant who is serious about wanting the position.

3. DO address each aspect of the selection criteria, even if you don't have any practical experience. The panel I am on just immediately discounted anyone who did not address every aspect of each selection criteria as we had so many applications to wade through otherwise. For example, if the selection criteria refers to consultation and negotiation, make sure you address both consultation and negotiation, don't just answer one without referring to the other. Even if you have absolutely no experience in that area, just make sure you address it (and maybe say how you would be able to acquire the skills necessary for it).

4. DO make sure that you give a full and complete answer. Most applicants take two to three pages to answer each selection criteria. Don't sell yourself short.

5. DO research the organisation. Each government department has it's own website and with a little research you will probably find more information about the position and where it sits within the organisation, as well as the type of work you will be facing. Many applicants made the mistake of assuming my department only handles a small aspect of its overall responsibilities and direct their applications to only that aspect without considering or perhaps realising that my department covers an extremely broad range of matters.

6. DON'T make assumptions about the job. If there's a phrase or term that you are not sure of, phone the contact listed on the application and ask about it. It's merit selection remember - you can make a fool of yourself by asking silly questions of your prospective boss and it won't matter. In fact, you'll probably be thought the better of for it. We know that government has its own language and won't think the less of you for asking for an interpretation.

7. And as part of that, DO phone the contact and check whether there is someone currently sitting in the job. This will show whether it is a true vacancy or whether it is a temporary position which has been made permanent. If it is the later, you have buckley's of getting the position (especially if the person has been sitting in it for 6 months or more) and may be better off directing your energies elsewhere. Though, there are many exceptions though - I recently didn't apply for a job because of this situation and the temp person ended up quitting. If you really want the job, go for it. You never know your luck. And it may be beneficial to go through a government interview even if you don't get the job (they're different from private practice as well).

8. DO use dot points and numbered responses. It makes it easier for the panel to find the relevant parts of your selection criteria in order to grade according to the weighting. (yes, each selection criteria is weighted and your answers are given a mark depending on how well you've answered the selection criteria. Regardless of who you are, how long you've been admitted, or how much experience you have, if you don't make the top 3 or 4 on this grading, you won't get an interview)

9. DON'T say you can do something just because you are a solicitor. Everyone who applies for the position will be either a solicitor or a barrister - it's a mandatory requirement remember? Tell us how you would do it, or when you've done it and achieved a good result. It may seem obvious, but you have to make sure you stand out.

10. DO get someone to proofread your selection criteria. Preferably someone in the public service who knows how these things work. There is nothing more annoying than finding a lot of obvious typos in someone's work. Or reading two pages which don't even come close to addressing the selecton criteria.

And just a last point - colour. Use it if you want to, but it won't make blind freddy's bit of difference for a government position. Merit review does not include whether we are impressed by your use of pretty diagrams, colour printing and/or paper. Save it for the private firms.


And on another note...

I'm the first (and so far only) naughty librarian. How proud am I!

And a couple of weird searches pull up my blog:

- Grant Hackett's favourite food (I come in 3rd) - why would anyone go looking for that? Weird. And even so, why would they click through to my blog?

- a couple of searches have pulled up me as the first hit if you are searching for tickets to Damien Rice in Brisbane at the Tivoli - for anyone looking for tickets that now comes here, they're only available at Ticketek.

- But this one was the weirdest. Because they seem to have gone looking for my blog. And clicked through to it. If you're one of my Brisbane friends reading this, when you know I don't want you to, then shame on you! *pouts*

Listening to: Machine Gun Fellatio - Paging Mr Strike

welcome back

The second installment of my Melbourne trip is still a work in progress - it's saved in my drafts from last Friday. I'll go up soon.

I've had another week and weekend plagued by this 'flu that I'm having trouble shaking, but I had a quiet one, with just going out to dinner on Sat night, and I'm feeling better this morning.

Saturday night's dinner was a welcome home to my friend, the Vegetarian (I'll update the Cast of Characters with him shortly), who has just come back after a year in SE Asia as a volunteer. It was great to see him and catch up with what he's been up to for the last year and what he's planning to do now he's back. Apparently the answer the later is to get married and have kids. He's just not sure who with yet.

I also caught up with his group of friends, who I have always got along well with, but never been particularly friendly with outside of my relationship with the Vegetarian. Thankfully, the ones I don't particularly like were either at the other end of the table or not there, so I had a really lovely night chatting to those that I like. Oh, and R - as per usual, he asked intense questions or provided intense answers. He's a nice enough lad, but he doesn't do small talk and he doesn't seem to have a sense of humour, so he's very hard work.

Anyway, it was good to find out what they have all been up to for the last 18 months or so since I last saw them. Especially the Vegetarian - I can't believe how much I've missed that guy since I've been back!

Listening to: Wesley Davidson

the Melbourne trip (Part 2)

So, back to work after a recurrence of the bloody 'flu. Still feeling a bit ordinary, but I've survived the day, which I wasn't sure I would be able to do when I first got to work this morning.

To continue the story of my Melbourne trip:

Friday 27/08/04

Once again, I was awake disgustingly early. My roomie B and I actually had to hang around the hostel until they opened reception at 9am so that we could hand in our keys (and consquently get our deposit back). It was a bit of a worry. In the meantime, I took the car into Halls Gap and filled up with fuel (only the 2nd time during the whole trip - pretty impressed) and grabbed some sunscreen for my nose, which had got a little red yesterday.

Headed out, following my little plan as outlined on the map. B played navigator, but I mostly knew where I was going anyway. First up was the Reed Lookout and the Balconies - great way to start the day. Almost no walking and a very impressive view. I did my usual shoot (photos) and run and B sort of just followed me while waxing lyrical about the beauty of the spot.

Next up, we followed the road around to the MacKenzie Falls carpark and walked to Broken Falls and MacKenzie Falls. Now I'm a bit of a waterfall fan, so it's possible I'm a little biased, but both of these were truly spectacular. In many ways, it was probably the perfect day to visit them as it was a bright and clear day, but it had rained a lot the day before so the falls had plenty of water in them. Just gorgeous.

On our way back to the carpark from the bottom of the falls, we nearly fell over a couple of wallabies grazing by the side of the track. They were so quiet, they were almost tame. I got a couple of great photos and they didn't seem bothered by us at all until we come within touching distance (not that we tried to touch them, but it was a bit difficult to avoid getting close to them - when I say right beside the track I really mean it).

Next we headed over to historic Zumstein (see page 5). It wasn't quite as exciting as I thought it'd be. Pretty boring actually. The most interesting thing was the (now almost dry) waterhole that Walter Zumstein dug for his family.

We still had heaps of time, so we cut across to Boroka Lookout via a dirt road, where I got to have some fun as B trusted me as a driver and the road, despite being dirt and unsealed, was wide and very good. The friend I went to Spain with would have hated this whole trip - windy mountain roads with a steep cliff on one side and a steep drop on the other side with a speed limit of 60km/hr. I stuck to the speed limit. Just. ;o)

It was still before lunchtime, so we decided we'd head over to the Sundial carpark to do the Pinnacle walk. It was the only real hike of the day, with quite a bit of rock hopping necessary, especially since we wanted to avoid the mud puddles as both of us were wearing sneakers, not hiking boots. It was a really good walk - not too long, not too hot (even though it was the middle of the day), and not too hard. And the view from the top was really spectacular. We pottered around the top for about 1/4 hour and then headed back to Halls Gap for some lunch.

Then it was off back to Melbourne (after a brief stop at Ararat for me to visit a pharmacy and get something for my now incredibly swollen and red bities). B did herself proud - she managed to navigate me to my hostel in peak hour traffic without getting me lost once and managed to keep me calm throughout many mergers of traffic and weird turning lanes where I thought I was going to get a tram going straight through me. I really hate driving in Melbourne. Not only that, but she was a true champion by waiting for me to check into my hostel and then directing me into the city where I had to drop off my car. Here we said our goodbyes and she disappeared out of my life.

It's weird. As per usual with backpacking friendships, I practically knew this girl's life story, but I didn't even know her last name.

I managed to get myself lost trying to get back to the hostel and was an hour late for sarni and J. I was so embarassed. I'm never late and certainly never that late. I was also tired, footsore and very grumpy with myself, so it's surprising that I had a good time that night, but I did.

We all had dinner with sarni's brother first up (who wasn't as nerdy as I had expected from her descriptions of him), and then sarni's birthday party was in the function room of the same place. I spent most of the night chatting to fellow music geeks and left towards the end. A good night.

Saturday 28/08/04

I knew I was being picked up by my cousin D and his wife at about 11am, so I spent the morning in bed and trying not to scratch my bities. Actually managed to get bitten more overnight, so it was quite a difficult thing. The irritated part on my right arm now extended from my armpit to my elbow which was not a good thing. D arrived on time and we headed out into the 'burbs to his sister's (W) place. I'm pretty close to W and have caught up with her and her kids a couple of times in the recent past, but haven't seen her husband in ages. We all had a lovely lunch which W had put together. I was impressed. I was just thinking sandwiches or something, but she put on a full spread. I promised to tell my Mum all about it.

W and D's mother (my aunt) has Alzeimers and is no longer really with it. It's a tragedy - she used to be so quick and witty. Last time I saw her she was pretty confused, but now she's apparently gone dramatically downhill from there. They told me there was no point in my visiting her - she would have no idea who I was, or even who my Mum was (who she was very close to and I closely resemble a younger version of). And it would only upset me I'm sure. A lot of our discussion naturally centered around this.

During the course of the lunch, D (who is a psychiatrist and hence has medical training) saw my arm and suggested it might be infected. I wasn't overly concerned and said that I might just leave it until I got home on Tuesday - as long as I wasn't going to lose my arm or anything, I wasn't too concerned. To which D replied quietly that he thought I should have it looked at tonight or tomorrow. Shit! You mean I could lose the arm from this bloody little bite? Shit!

Got back to the hostel and asked about the nearest doctor. Turns out it's the hospital (being a weekend), so I headed down there to get my arm looked at. The doctor there managed to freak me out further by suggesting that I should be admitted overnight with a antibiotic drip because it was so badly infected (by now the redness and puffiness came half-way down my forearm and extended almost all the way around the arm) - I managed to talk him out of it by assuring him that I usually responded well to antibiotics, that I hadn't been running a fever, and that I would go back tomorrow morning if the redness and swelling had extended at all.

And so I got to leave, and join sarni and J for dinner at a vegetarian cafe on Brunswick St where I had a very nice pizza. We then headed over to Brunswick the suburb for a Charles Jenkins (from Ice Cream Hands) gig - it was good. I like that guy's stuff and enjoyed seeing it with sarni and J. The only slight downer was the annoying girl next to me (until I moved, then she was next to sarni) who was trying to look cool by smoking, but was only bum puffing so she was adding more smoke to the atmosphere than the usual smoker. Honestly, you really have to wonder about some people. I'll be a very happy girl when the new rules about smoking come in.

Sunday 29/08/04

After going downstairs for free pancakes and chatting to a guy from the UK and a girl from NZ, I spent the morning in bed. My promises to the doctor at the hospital had come true and I was responding to the antibiotics and the redness and swelling had decreased a little, but I was feeling a bit ick. Early afternoon I decided I should get out of the room for a bit and headed over to the Queen Victoria Markets. I found the tea I had promised to get for Genie and pottered around looking at the stuff. I bought a couple of things, but not as much as I'd expected I would. I still wasn't feeling brilliant and it was just too difficult to get excited enough about anything to be bothered buying it. I figured I'd head back over there before I left Melbourne, but never made it. My credit card is probably thanking me. Spent a quiet night watching the Olympics back at the hostel with my fellow travellers.

Monday 30/08/04

After a morning browsing the shops in Brunswick St, I met an old school friend for lunch. This was a little weird for me - I don't stay in touch with anyone from school. In fact, I hadn't spoken to A for over 10 years up until a couple of years ago when I got her address via a stroke of luck and she rang me to say she was in Brisbane. This was the first time I'd caught up with her since then, so the 2nd time in about 15 years. Despite this, we talked and chatted like we've been friends all along. Which is another weird thing seeing as we live very different lives from each other now. She's very arty and I'm semi-corporate (admittedly with an arty streak - I certainly don't look like your typical lawyer).

We spent the afternoon browsing Smith St and visiting various cafes along the way for tea or coffee whenever it rained (which was frequently).

I was not feeling too brilliant by that night - between the infected arm, and the other swollen allergic-reaction-bites (of which there were now about 20, all of which were about 3 to 5cm across with the allergic reaction and swollen), my poor little body was having a bit of a rough time of it I think.

Tuesday 31/08/04

I had to check out of the hostel by 10am, so I decided I would head over to the Impressionists' exhibition over at the NGV early. Probably not the best idea. The queue was huge when I arrived and nearly non-existant when I finished around midday. The exhibition was good, but it was very packed and loud and I did miss being able to just sit and look at my favourite pieces the way I could in the Musee D'Orsay. It brought back some good memories though.

After I'd finished wandering around the Impressionists, I went outside to have my lunch sitting by the fountain (it was a clear and sunny day again) and then went back in to look at the rest of the gallery. This was more like it. Set out very like the Louvre, there was plenty of room to see the bits I liked and comfy seats scattered throughout. I particularly liked The Art of Zen exhibition.

I headed back to the hostel mid-afternoon and sarni picked me up from there to take me to the airport. Unfortunately, this took a little longer than expected, as I forgot to remind her that I was flying out of Avalon, not Tullamarine and we were well on our way until I realised that the signs were all saying the wrong thing and we had to drive about 1/2 hour in the other direction to get back on track. Felt very guilty again. I did enjoy spending an hour in the car with her though - it meant that we got to have a really good chat about a lot of stuff that we probably wouldn't have talked about otherwise. It was good.

Arrived in Brisbane to find that it was raining for the first time in about 6 weeks. Just my luck. Thankfully, I managed to sweet-talk the nice bus driver into dropping me off in the Valley rather than the City, so my walk home was only 15 minutes and not 45 minutes and I didn't get too wet.

And that was it. My infected arm healed. After a few more dramas back home in Brisbane, I eventually got over my bities (though I had to have Wednesday through to Friday that week off with the 'flu and another allergic reaction to the drug cocktail I was taking) and they bruised up nicely once the swelling had gone down. But I did have a good time despite it all.

Listening to: Shifter - Waking up late