Observant little ...

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


I have lots to talk about today, so I'm not going to talk about any of it. I'm going to put up some more of my poetry from a couple of years ago.

Some of you may remember a movie with Janet Jackson in it called Poetic Justice. The movie was pretty bad, but the poetry she quotes was written by an actual black American poet and I really liked it. There was one poem in particular that I liked called Phenomenal Woman.

I first saw that movie and heard that poem when I was starting to build up my confidence after having had it knocked out of my through primary school and the early part of high school. It was the first time that I really thought about the fact that most women don't look like movie stars, but guys find them beautiful and sexy anyway. It's like stating the obvious now, but it was a revelation to me at the time.

The following poem is along the same lines. It's actually lyrics to a song, so the first stanza is the chorus, the 3rd is a refrain, and the rest are the verses.

I'll never be a supermodel
I'll never be a beauty queen
But I look in the mirror and I like what I see
I look in the mirror and I see me

People used to tease me
I'm the proverbial square peg
I felt left out in high school
'Cause I wasn't tall with long legs

But things have change since those years of insecurity

I like the way my eyes shine
The way they change when I'm shirty
I like the way my mouth kinks
When I'm thinking something dirty

I like the way my body looks
When I'm wearing stuff that suits me
I like the colour of my skin
It's delicate fragility

But even more than outside looks
I like the person I've become
I like my brains, I like my strength
I like my own sarcastic tongue

As I've matured I've learnt to see
That beauty's in your attitude
That sexiness is dependant on
Your confidence and your mood

So now I'm sorry for those who will
Never learn what I now know
Those bitchy girls in high school
Who'll never see: it's all a show

Another one, which I suppose is along the same lines, is a poem I wrote a little later called "Image". I suppose this one was inspired by Ben Folds Five's "The Best Imitation of Myself". When I was little, I really wore my heart on my sleeve - you could tell exactly what I was thinking by the expression on my face, and generally you could tell what was on my mind because it came out of my mouth. Out of self-preservation, I eventually learnt to tone it down, but it's always felt a bit fake to me. Also, I wrote this back when The Ex was overseas and I was trying not to let it bother me. There was a lot of crap happening around that time and I really needed him, but he was out of contact. Hence the depressing note of the poem.


I show this happy face to people I don't know
They can't understand the troubled waters below
My acting ability has reached the point where
My feelings are unknown, even to my own ear

But I'm a coper, I cope with everything
I laugh, I shout, I smile, I sing
I never let them see
That there's another me

I'm everyone's agony aunt when things go wrong
I'm the one who copes, I'm the one who's always strong
I deal with other people's problems, never mine
My solutions to their hassles, that's where I shine

For I'm a coper, I cope with everything
I laugh, I shout, I smile, I sing
I never let them see
That there's another me

Only with my best friends do I become myself
I give my feelings reign, not sit upon the shelf
Although they sometimes scare me with their force and strength
They are a part of me, from them I draw my strength

Since I'm a coper, I cope with everything
I laugh, I shout, I smile, I sing
I never let them see
That there's another me

So though these other people don't know the real me
My friends understand and it's me they want to see
Even when I'm bitchy or moody or not fun
They still like the real me, my true self, and one on one

So I'm a coper, I cope with everything
I laugh, I shout, I smile, I sing
I never let them see
That there's another me

I'm listening to Garbage at the moment. Listening to their first CD always reminds me of my first Livid. In particular, jumping and running through the crowds from the alternative stage, where I'd been in the mosh pit for Weezer, to the main stage, where Garbage had started, singing along to the chorus of "Not My Idea" and getting some very strange looks from people until they realised that I was actually singing along to the band on the stage. ;o)

Listening to: Garbage - self titled


I took this photo of the Story Bridge the other night.

I really like it. I think it's a good photo, even if I do say so myself.

I wasn't happy with it initially - the light was better earlier in my walk, and the moon had less cloud cover, but those photos came out blurry because I don't have a tripod and have to rest my camera against something solid for photos to be clear in such low light.

Anyway, I like the way the clouds are in this photo, and a CityCat has just passed by, so the water was all rough and reflected the light in a way that I thought was pretty cool. I'm pretty well obsessed by interesting light, reflection and shapes when it comes to my photography. All this one needed was a couple of birds silhouetted against the moon or the water and I would have been in heaven. ;o)

A little later on, I got this photo.

The light's not as interesting in this one, but I like the halo around the moon and the contrast between the sharp shapes of the concrete pillons to the left and the haziness of the river and the Story Bridge lights and the moon.

I know, I can wank on with the best of them huh? ;o)

Listening to: excerpts from Ben Fold's new one Songs for Silverman (or at least, I'm trying to!)

new flatmate

I have a new flatmate. He moved in on Good Friday. He's 10 years old and a tabby. So far he seems to be settling in well.

The Fairy is going overseas today and I've agreed to look after her cat while she's away. I've decided that I'm going to refer to him on here as FFF, the furry feline flatmate.

I haven't lived with a cat for a while, so we're still getting to know each other's quirks and habits. He's not a really affectionate cat - he's sociable, but not cuddly. He's adopted my two floor mats at either door as his and has been sleeping on one or the other most of the weekend, when he's not sleeping on my bed or exploring the neighbourhood that is.

He wandered around a lot the first night. I know this because I kept on waking up when he made a noise. But since then he's either settled down, or I've learnt to sleep through the noise. Actually, I think it's the first. I woke up this morning to him curled up next to my leg, purring and drooling on my knee. Apparently this happens when he's really happy. Thankfully, he doesn't drool much, just enough so that my knee was vaguely damp. ;o)

Listening to: FourPlay - The Joy Of

Toasting Eros

I've just finished reading this book, Toasting Eros by Louise Kean. It's basically about an English couple (Eve and Henry) breaking up on holiday in Las Vegas. Although the circumstances were different, a lot of it rang true for my breakup with The Ex. I guess a lot of it rings true for any big-time breakup.

In the following paragraphs, Eve is talking about the breakup with Henry and why this one is causing so much pain. I've had a similar discussion with The Fairy before (and had it again yesterday) - she's said a few times that she was amazed that that breakup (in my late-twenties) was the first time I'd had my heart broken. It's not really that I hadn't been in love before, just not to that extent. Not with someone that I could see myself having kids with, getting old with, being together forever with. You don't recognise that it's different until you've been there yourself, and I'm not really sure that The Fairy has loved any of her boyfriends like that, or at least, hasn't at the time of the breakup. Anyway, maybe this excerpt will explain it better than I can:

"I've had my fair share of boyfriends, mini relationships, one-night encounters, friends who have become lovers, and vise versa. But nothing where I have ever even entertained the notion of permanence. I have liked some men more than others, and some romantic interludes have lasted that bit longer. I haven't deliberately run away from intimacy, but I haven't forced it either. I have spent my time with the people who meant most at that time, and whose company I enjoyed for a sometimes brief period. But I have just always known that things haven't worked out, or won't work out, or that I would like to spend my time with someone else now thank you very much.

I haven't always been the executioner in my relationships. I have been told it's him and not me a few times as well, but I have always somehow agreed. I have never held on too long, and maybe I have let go too easily.

This is certainly unchartered water for me, you see. The prospect of losing somebody I don't want to lose. Of having the rug pulled from beneath my feet, when I was actually quite comfortable, and had a future mapped out. This is not an instance when I could ever look back and smile. I think this is why it doesn't seem entirely real to me. I don't think Henry and I will actually call it quits, because I don't feel I am ready to. My mind's eye sees quite clearly that we would still like to spend quite a bit more time together, so why should it end?"

Which explains why I was in shock when he moved out, and why him getting together with "the one after me" a month later was a bigger shock than the breakup. I think in some way, I still believed that he loved me even when he moved out. And finding out that he didn't, that he found it so easy to move on, was incredibly upsetting.

I've had relationships since, but nothing serious. I don't fall in love easily - I must have been with The Ex for more than 6 months before I was in love with him. For me, being in love is a total commitment. It's about really knowing a person and loving not just who they are, but also who they could be, who they are growing into being. I would do anything for that person, except lose myself, my own identity. I would give up my career, my home and probably even my family (though it would have to be for a very good reason). I fall in lust easily, I fall in like easily, but love? That's a different matter. I fall hard, but I don't fall easily.

The following passage I also thought was rather insightful. Eve is talking about the differences between men and women and how they think differently. In particular, (to paraphrase), how women multi-task, while men are more single-minded. Which leads to mens' "complete inability to understand women when they argue". I think it's fairly self-explanatory, and certainly is my experience, both in my personal and professional arguments.

"When woman argue they will invariably bring up the past, the future, and many different perceptions of the present. Men just argue the point that they are making. For instance, you could be rationally discussing with your boyfriend that you would prefer it if he did not stare at the barmaid's breasts at your local pub. As a valid point in this argument you can bring up the time that he stared at that girl on the train in the cropped top. It is the same thing. But you see, to him, it is not the same thing, because he is only thinking about the barmaid, and it is too much for him to jump back to the girl on the train, even though he has probably thought about her since then. You will then identify his looking at other women as a consistent problem, whereas he will insist that we are only talking about the barmaid in the pub, and that does not a consistent problem make. At this point he will call you irrational for bringing up something that has nothing to do with the point in hand. You will retaliate with the absolute relevance of the train girl to this discussion. He will get frustrated by your inability to discuss the matter in hand and call you a "typical woman" like it was some kind of insult."

While I don't get jealous about my boys looking at other girls (never really seen the point as long as they (a) don't compare me to them, and (b) look, but don't touch), I've definitely faced exactly this problem in an argument. Where I see a instance as being part of a larger problem and he's getting annoyed that I'm making such a big deal over something insignificant. I'm thinking that maybe this book should be required reading for any guy that wants to date me. That, and The Idiot's Guide to Body Language. Those of you who only know me through this blog will probably find this hard to believe, but I mostly communicate through my eyes, facial expressions and body language, not through words. So if you're only hearing my words, you're only getting half the message.

Listening to: (and watching) Crossing Jordan

The Frames

I think I'm becoming a violin groupie. I went to see The Frames last night and spent almost the whole set watching this guy.

True, he's a bloody good player, but there's something about those soaring violin lines, especially in music like The Frames, that just gets to me. The lower part of my body dances to the bass and drums, but the upper part of my body moves to the violin. And I love watching them when they play. I love the way their whole body moves with what they play. And the way their fingers look so delicate, yet have that strength and speed about them at the same time. I'm sure it's all part of my overall passion with string instruments, but I'm getting more and more to the stage where I watch the fiddle, violin and viola more than anything else.

And I have a new crush - Glen Hansard, the lead singer of The Frames.

He actually bats his eyelids when he sings the sweet lines of their songs and the passion in his voice during the more intense moments was just beautiful. He's cheeky and irreverant and grins like a naughty little boy and quips almost as much as he sings. He also makes great eye contact with the audience. I was only a couple of rows back, so I got a lot of eye contact. *sigh* Heavenly.

It was also a great set. They played all of my favourites (except Santa Maria), plus a couple I didn't know so well (including one right at the end about being a vampire, which was an audience participation song). I had enough room to dance my butt off during Revelate and Star Star and Lay Me Down, so I was a pretty happy chappy.

During the early part of the set, I was between two boys that were standing there with their arms crossed, so I felt like I had a couple of bodyguards. I went to the gig on my own, and, as per usual when I do that, the guy next to me (one of the boys with his arms crossed) chatted me up during the break, which is always nice for the ego. Mmmmm... boys with Irish accents.

And thinking of boys chatting me up. I also got chatted up while I was walking home! This guy runs up to me, mutters something about hair-conditioner, and asks me out for drinks. Again, nice for the ego, but I was a little weirded out by it, so I turned him down. For some reason, a guy chatting me up in a pub or venue seems perfectly normal, but chatting me up in the street is weird. *shrugs* I think maybe it's because the chatting up on the street was so bloody fast - "Hi, what's your name? Will you go out for drinks with me?" - it was like being in Paris again, except this guy didn't ask whether I had a boyfriend. ;o)

But back to last night. The supports were Melanie Horsnell from Sydney, who I've heard about, but never seen before. She's pretty good and has a lilting voice that complemented the Irish acts well, but her mike technique is a little off and whenever she belted notes out, she was too loud and piercing - she really should move away from the mike for those notes. But other than that, very good. Not good enough for me to rush and buy her CDs, but very good nonetheless.

And then there was Mark Geary. I saw him a couple of times at Whelans when I was living in Dublin and always thought he was great. I had one of his CDs before, but it's one of the many things that went walking while I was living over there. I would have loved to have bought both of the CDs that they were selling on the night, especially since this is his first time to Australia and he doesn't have a distribution contract over here yet, but I'd brought my wrong card with me and couldn't get any cash. Bugger!

Oh well, hopefully after the reception he got in Brisbane, he'll get that distribution contract. And hopefully he'll be back. Because he did get a bloody good reception. Lots of cheering and mostly a quiet crowd for his songs, at least from everyone sitting down the front. The rude buggers up the back were still yelling and yahooing, even when he'd asked for a bit of shush. And he recorded our cheering towards the end - said he was going to play it to the crowd in Sydney - and he used it in a loop in his last song. I thought it was lovely that he seemed so touched by it. Maybe he was a bit jetlagged - he did say that he'd just arrived that day.

Anyway, all in all, it was a great gig. Definitely in my top 20 - considering that most of the top 10 is taken up by Ben Folds/Five gigs, that's really saying something!

Listening to: The Frames - Setlist

Euthanasia and the right to die

It seems like everyone has been talking about the Terri Schiavo case this week.

Unfogged has talked about it here and here (which linked to this comment by The Rev. John Paris, a professor of bioethics) and here and here (I recommend you read the comments, they've got some really interesting ones).

They also linked to this post by Majikthise.

SwissToni has talked about it. But for some reason, whenever I even try to view his comments, my computer crashes. Otherwise, I would have commented on his post.

And then you have the commentary by Bliss, pd dude, UCL, Milbarge and Evan

What I know about the case is pretty much contained in the links in this post (ie bugger all). There were a heap of links in the comments to UCL's post, but they weren't hyperlinked, or their contents described, and I can't be bothered copying and pasting all of them into my browser (I'm lazy like that!).

But most of them were linked from the University of Miami Ethics Programs page on the case, which seemed to have a fairly unemotive reporting of the facts.

I'm not really interested in the current barny about whether there should or should not be legislation or a federal case to override the state court decision.

What interests me is the original court case, where Terri Schiavo's husband went to the court to ask them to determine what her wishes would have been if she'd had the capacity to make a decision. And the court decided that she would have wanted to die.

I've never made any bones about the fact that I don't want to be kept alive by any permanent artificial means. I don't really care what it is or how unobtrusive or whatever. If I have no capacity to make the decision for myself, and no hope of recovery without the artificial means, then I'd prefer to be euthanased. And I've got the Advance Health Directive to prove it. I ticked everything on p9 and ticked all of the "Do Not Want" boxes on p10 and p11. Mine is still in the old form though, so I'm thinking I should do an update.

Which brings me to my next point. When you have circumstances like those outlined above, what really is the difference between withdrawing treatment and euthanasing someone? They're going to die anyway if you remove the feeding tube (or whatever), you've got a decision to essentially kill them by removing it, so why not just do it the more humane way and give them a massive dose of morphine? After all, we put down animals who have no hope of recovery to save them the pain. Why not people?

Of course, the big difference is that people can tell you that they want to die. I know some people suffering from terminal illnesses who have wanted to spend every moment with their loved ones. But I've also seen people who wanted to go, but were being kept alive (essentially) against their will.

I feel for Terri Schiavo. I wouldn't want to live like that and I wouldn't want to be remembered like that. I don't care if she can feel or not or if she has any cognitive ability. To me, it's not about whether she's in pain. It's about her wishes and those of the people who are caring for her. If it was me, I'd want to go.

And on that happy note, I'll wish you all a happy Easter and bugger off.

Listening to: Coastal Chill 05

love poem

I wrote this poem back when The Ex went overseas for 6 weeks (including Valentine's Day) and I was missing him desperately. I sort of wrote it for him, but also I was writing about the way I wanted him to think of me. But it many ways, it fit us both.

When I first heart The Luckiest, it sort of reminded me of this poem. Not that I think my little swiftly-written poem with a mucky beat and no rhyme compares (Ben's writing skills far exceed mine!), but more that I think they share the same sentiment.

Valentine's Day Poem

I love the way you make me laugh
And the way that you laugh with me
I love the way you know what I mean
When I say there's a bump in the thingamy

I love your enthusiasm
For things and stuff in general
I love your sudden interest
In animal, veg and mineral

I love your Mona Lisa smile
When you're thinking something secret
I love that when things get you down
You think of a way to beat it

I love the fact you love your Mum
And your Dad and siblings too
I love you for so many things
But mostly 'cause you love me too

And while I'm on the subject of poetry, I wrote this little ditty on one of the loos at Woodford. I made it up in the minute that I was using the loo productively and staring at a blank door, so don't expect too much. But I just had to share... ;o)

I came in here to do a pee
To my surprise, what do I see
A door with zilch graffiti
When other doors have two or three

So I'm the first to make my mark
Composed this ditty for a lark
Scribbled it on this here bark
And left again for Woodford's spark

I should post more of my poetry/lyrics up here. It's a good way to keep a record of it (as opposed to the numerous little miscellaneous pieces of paper that are currently wedged into my diary).

Listening to: Ben Folds - The Luckiest

It's all about da music

Lushlife posted a music quiz and of course I had to take up the challenge.

1. Total number of music files on your computer.

425 files, 1.57GB on this computer. More at home.

2. The last CD you bought was...?

I bought AfroDizziAct and Kafka's latest CDs at their CD launch last Saturday week.

3. What is the last song you listened to before reading this message?

Ben Folds - Brick. Off the "Live" CD.

4. Name five songs you often listen to or which mean a lot to you.

Hmm... this is a hard one. Not for songs that mean a lot to me, but to narrow it down to only five. And five I often listen to. So, in no particular order:

(a) Ben Folds - The Luckiest (if I could find a guy who felt like this for me, I'd be happy. It was also the wedding song for TBF and TBFH)
(b) MGF - Pussy town (when my friend and I travelled through Spain, this was our "day song")
(c) Custard - Apartment (my friends used to sing this to me when I first bought my little apartment back when I was 21yo, it always reminds me of that period of my life)
(d) No Doubt - Don't speak (possibly the ultimate breakup song, it's the been my soundtrack to breakups with boyfriends as well as friends)
(e) george - To the void (I'm not sure what it is about this song, maybe the heartbeat drumbeat, but it makes me feel sexy and radical. Also it reminds me of the good times with The Ex. I'm not too sure if the two are related. *g*)

This list would probably change in 1/2 an hours time though. The three songs that probably mean the most to me, I don't actually listen to that often:-

(a) The Beatles - Yesterday (reminds me of singing along with my Dad while he tentatively played the chords from his Beatles songbook. I also played it in my Grade 9 Eisteddford on flute.)
(b) Peter, Paul & Mary - Gone the Rainbow (this song reminds me of childhood camping trips and sitting around the fire singing along to whatever the person playing guitar could play. I still play and sing it fairly regularly but I don't have a recording of it.)
(c) Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall (this is the first adult song I was obsessed with. I was 6yo.)

5. Which three people are you going to pass this stick on to, and why?

sarni - because she's into similar music to me, but came to popular music much later than I did and I'm curious.

Peter - because I like the music he plays and am interested in the music he's into.

And I'd like SwissToni to answer, because I think he'd give a good answer and I'm curious if the UK influences would be different.

Listening to: No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom

I don't understand

There are some things in life I just don't understand.

I don't understand how someone can live their life without music. If I was to go completely deaf, I think I'd go nuts. But more to the point, I don't understand these people who have perfect hearing, but just don't care. They don't get that surge of emotion and memory with music. Their mood isn't changed by hearing something beautiful or uplifting or sad. And that I don't get.

Probably the same way that jocks don't get that I don't care about professional sport. I like to play sport, and I play to win, but I've never followed any professional sport. I don't understand how someone can get so completely wrapped up in "their" team that they would start a fight with someone wearing the opposing colours. I don't understand getting upset when your team loses. I don't understand being obnoxiously happy when they win. On the rare occassion when I watch sport, I pick a team to cheer on, but my mood isn't changed by the result.

In much the same way, I don't understand people who get all het up about politics. For me, politics are never black and white. Never Republican vs Democrat (to use the US example). I can't imagine refusing to date someone because they didn't vote the same way as me. But then I can't imagine dating someone who was very left or very right politically either. I'm an unashamed centrist. My decision to vote is based on the policies and the candidates at the time. Political parties are made up of people - the people change and so the policies change. And so my opinion of the party changes.

I don't understand why someone would write a computer virus. Why write something so destructive, so anonymous, so indiscriminating? I can understand mass murderers and bombers more than I can understand that, and my understanding of someone that can willfully take another's life is pretty dim as well.

I don't understand gambling. Why risk what you have for something that's only a slim possibility?

I don't understand quantum physics. But then, apparently very few people do. ;o)

Listening to: Ben Folds - Live

Nothing changes

I put in a job application today. I've known about it for 2 weeks and did the preliminary work on it ages ago. But I still left it until the last minute, wrote it last night and was frantically checking it for spelling mistakes, accuracy in describing legislation and so on today.

Which is just like what I did when I was at uni. I used to do all of the preliminary research pretty early on. I would photocopy the relevant bits of the relevant textbooks and looseleafs, and then it would all sit on my desk until the day before the assignment was due, when I would spend all night reading the research and usually wouldn't be writing it up until the day it was due. I never did multiple drafts the way conscientious students would. No, I had one draft if I was lucky and that was just so I could get TBF to check my spelling and grammar. Then it was frantically correcting the errors she'd found, printing it out and frequently sprinting across campus so I got it in for the 5pm deadline. Each time, I would promise myself (and TBF) that I would get it done earlier next time, and yet, each time I still left it until the last minute.

Which make it fairly surprising that I always got very good grades on my assignments.


As part of the 3-week Detox program I'm on, I'm supposed to be changing my diet. I didn't really bother too much about it last week, since most of the stuff I was supposed to cut out I don't tend to eat anyway. The only real change was that I had to cut out sweets/cordial and alcohol. I can really relate to what Markham must be going through - a year without alcohol! I'm having trouble going for 3 weeks and I'm really not a big drinker. But you feel like a bit of a wowser turning down that glass of wine with dinner: "No, just water will be fine thanks". And there are some events that you're just not interested in paying a fortune to go to if you can't take advantage of the free alcohol. Anyway...

Alcohol aside, it's been easy to stick pretty close to the "foods to avoid". Until this week. Because this week, pretty much the entire list of my staple diet is cut out - no wheat, no yeast (so no yummy bread or pasta), no eggs, no dairy. About the only things that I can eat which I usually eat are fruit and veg, fish and rice.

I bought myself some of that bread for celiacs, but it smells funny and doesn't taste much better. I toast the hell out of it and smother it with hummus or avocado (since I can't have butter - it's dairy) to make it edible.

I bought soy yogurt and soy milk to go on my wheat-free, yeast-free breakfast cereal. Thankfully, it doesn't taste half bad and is nice and filling.

And I'm having rice cakes with hummus, dried fruit and nuts, and a piece of fresh fruit for lunch.

So far, so good. But I only started it yesterday and I'm already drooling at the thought of some nice fried, scrambled or boiled eggs with fresh, lightly-toasted wholemeal bread. *groan*

Listening to: Wesley Davidson (his little 2-song CD)


I came across this test here when I was checking my referrals and we were both listed in the same search.


1. On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?
2. How many states are there? (Don't laugh, some people don't know)
3. In which hand is the Statue of Liberty's torch?
4. What six colours are on the classic Campbell's soup label?
5. What two numbers on the telephone dial don't have letters by them?
6. When you walk does your left arm swing with your right or left leg?
7. How many matches are in a standard pack?
8. On the United States flag is the top stripe red or white?
9. What is the lowest number on the FM dial?
10. Which way does water go down the drain, counter or clockwise?
11. Which way does a "no smoking" sign's slash run?
12. How many channels on a VHF TV dial?
13. On which side of a women's blouse are the buttons?
14. Which way do fans rotate?
15. What is on the back of a Canadian dime?
16. How many sides does a stop sign have?
17. Do books have even-numbered pages on the right or left side?
18. How many lug nuts are on a standard car wheel?
19. How many sides are there on a standard pencil?
20. Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy,Dopey, Doc. Who's missing?
21. How many hot dog buns are in a standard package?
22. On which playing card is the card maker's trademark?
23. On which side of a Venetian blind is the cord that adjusts the opening between the slats?
24. On the back of a Canadian $1 coin, what is in the centre?
25. There are 12 buttons on a touch tone phone. What 2 symbols bear no digits?
26. How many curves are there in the standard paper clip?
27. Does a merry-go-round turn counter or clockwise?

Don't look at answers below until you complete all the questions.

1. Bottom
2. 50 (please tell me you got this one!)
3. Right
4. Blue, red, white, yellow, black, & gold
5. 1, 0
6. Right
7. 20
8. Red
9. 88
10. Clockwise (north of the equator)
11. Towards bottom right
12. 12 (no #1)
13. Left /
14. Clockwise as you look at it
15. The Bluenose
16. 8
17. Left
18. 5
19. 6
20. Bashful
21. 8
22. Ace of spades
23. Left
24. Loon
25. *, #
26. 3
27. Counter

I guess I really am observant. I got a score of 21. The only questions I got wrong are 2, 4, 10, 15, 21, and 24. And considering they are all very American-centric, I'm not surprised. I thought there were 52 states in America for some reason. I have no idea what a classic Campbell's soup label looks like. I thought water drained out a bath counter-clockwise (or does it in the southern hemisphere?). I couldn't even take a guess at what's on the back of Canadian coins because I've never seen one. And I don't know what "The Bluenose" is anyway. But I do know what a loon is, it's a bird. A sea bird if memory serves. Is that the same loon they're talking about that's on the Canadian coin? And the packets of hot-dog buns that I've bought have always had 6 buns in them. *shrugs*

And thinking of my referrals, who the hell is this chick (I don't want to mention her name in case I get even more referrals from people looking for her) and why do so many people seem to find my site when they are looking for her? And why are they looking for her? Is she a porn star or something? *sigh*

Listening to: Coastal Chill 05


It's raining here this morning. Varying between light drizzle and almost-a-downpour. For some reason, I always find it harder to get up in the mornings when it's raining - I sleep through most of my alarm and, even when I know I've woken up late and should get a move-on, I stagger through my morning routine yawning and in slow motion. When it's all sunshiney outside, I'm up and awake and eating my breakfast and chirpy and cheerful before 7am.

I love water. I love the fresh smell and clean taste of it. I love the smooth feel of it sliding over my skin. I love the sound of it, from the drip drip of a tap to the rushing roar of a waterfall to the soft tinkle of it in a small stream. And I particularly love the look of it - the way it sparkles in the sunlight, the way it reflects the mood of the sky, the way it deepens in shade as it gets deeper. I love lakes, the ocean, streams, rivers, pools and my shower.

So why don't I like rain?

Listening to: Radiohead - Hail to the Thief

half a boy's brain

I just did a quiz (via Joseph).

Your Brain is 53.33% Female, 46.67% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female

You are both sensitive and savvy

Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed

But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

I was actually a little surprised that I came out as being so female. In many ways, I think like a boy - I'm analytical and logical and I rarely focus on emotion in the decisions I make. But I'm a useless poker player and yep, my emotions tend not to be well hidden. In some ways, I guess this is a good thing. I don't play games with the guys I date, but am very upfront about how I feel about them. I'm not two-faced like many girls I know - if I don't like you, you'll know it. As a general rule, anything that I would say behind your back is something I've already told you to your face. My Mum says that I lack subtlety. I just like to think that I'm too open and honest for my own good.

Thankfully, over the years, I have learnt some diplomacy. So I still tell you what I think, but now I'll say it in such a way that the good things sound great and the bad things don't sound too bad. I think I've learnt the skill of constructive criticism... one of the people I mentor was giving me a ribbing the other day because I said "Yep, that's good" and she said she was waiting for the "but..."

I can't be that bad though. They keep on coming back to me for advice! ;o)

Listening to: The Very Best of The Pogues (in honour of St Patrick's Day)

site inspection

I'm going on a site inspection tomorrow. It's at a place where I'm fully expecting to get dirt and mud and other grot all over me. I have to wear steel-caps. And a hard hat. It's that sort of place.

But of course, the dilemma always is - how casual do I dress? Of course, I'm not going to wear my usual business suit. But I don't really want to wear my best jeans either in case they get irretrievably stained by something yukky. But I still want to look relatively professional, so I don't want to wear my grottiest clothes either. *sigh* It's always the middle ground that's the hardest to find.

So I've compromised. I went out today and bought a pair of cheap $40 jeans that still look okay, but I won't care if they get marked. I probably wouldn't have worn them out anyway, and I'll still wear them pottering around the garden even if they have marks on them. So I think it should be a good investment. And if they get marked stylistically, who knows? They may even be suddenly trendy? ;o)

Listening to: TerraFolk radio - specifically, their first album. The singer manages to make clucking like a chicken sound musical on the 2nd song

Comments? What comments?

Reading through my Blo.gs list at lunchtime yesterday, I came across this post by Ivan referring to the last paragraph of my post linking his post:

I got the link from Ivan, and would have commented over there, but he doesn't have comments (how could someone not have comments? Most blogs I read would lack 90% of their interest to me without them - but I still read Ivan's blog... so far! ;o))

For the record Ivan, I was actually having a go at you for not having comments enabled on your blog so that I could add my 2c about that article (and this reply as well if you will), not for not commenting about the article in your post. I like comments. I don't email about blog entries*, I comment on the blog itself - that way everyone can get involved! ;o) So the only way I can comment on your blog at the moment, is by blogging about it myself. You've posted about a lot of stuff that I'd be interested in commenting on, but without comments enabled...

That said, it was (and is) a lighthearted dig. Obviously it's your blog and you can do what you want with it. Just like I can talk about shoes and toenail polish on here if I so desire. ;o)

One of your comments, I disagree with. You said:

So, if a major client rings on Friday at 7.30pm and says that something needs to be done on Monday by 9.00am, no firm would say no.

I know of many firms who would say no. Or at least question whether the Monday deadline is completely necessary. Especially if the client is a repeat offender. Sure, BigLaw firms wouldn't, but smaller firms rely on mutual respect with their clients (which, from memory, is something along the lines of what the winner of "Best Small Law Firm" said). Which is why I think they tend to have a better work/life balance and retain their staff. After all, AAR is notorious for their high staff turnover in the junior ranks.

Of course, this is coming from a government lawyer who still manages to work 12 hour days... ;o)

* mainly because I don't have access to the email address attached to my blog at work and I read most of the blogs on my Blo.gs listing during breaks at work.

Listening to: my new Kafka CD

the weekend

Well, it was another weekend of intensive sleeping for me.

I've bought myself one of those 3-week Detox programs (basically a bunch of pills and potions) and it seems to be working pretty well for me.

The only exciting thing all weekend I did was go to the AfroDizziAct and Kafka joint CD launch at The Zoo on Sat night. I went on my own - something I usually do a lot, but this was the first time this year as my friends have actually had the time/money/inclination to go to all of the gigs I've wanted to go to.

But anyway, it was a good gig. I arrived halway through the first band (whose name I didn't catch). The best thing about them was the guy playing the bongos - geez he was good! And the bass player was fantastic as well. Overall, they were kind of funky, but nothing to write home about Maybe a 3.5 out of 5

Next up were Kafka, who played a great set that I happily bopped around to. For such young lads, they certainly can play! I would descibe them as a jazzy funk sort of sound.

Then Spankinhide did their set down to the right of the stage. They're a bunch of people playing the bongo's and related percussion instruments - they sound kind of African and have infectious beats. I was having a lovely time - great view, heaps of room to dance - and then this tall guy with absolutely no sense of rhythm comes and stands in front of me. So I couldn't see a thing and he kept on stepping back onto my toes. Not happy Jan. I will never understand why tall people feel the need to stand directly in front of short people. But this guy seemed pretty gone on something (drugs or alcohol, I couldn't tell), so it's likely he didn't even notice my existence, let alone the inconvenience he was causing me.

AfroDizziAct started up almost as soon as Spankinhide finished their set. They're funk/rap and have a great twangy bass as the basis for most songs. Love their stuff and this set certainly didn't disappoint. I first saw these guys as a support for Taxi - they do lack the humour of Taxi, but probably have a more mainstream, less Brisbane-centric quality to their music because of it. And they're just as good sound-wise.

I stayed up the front for maybe half of their set, but then I had to go to the back and sit down - my feet were killing me from the guy standing on them during Spankinhide and they needed a break. Unfortunately, sitting down, my ennui returned and I headed home before Afro finished their set.

And then spent Sunday returning to my previoius activity of intensive sleeping.

I've just finished reading a bit of Di's e-book. So far, it's good. I like it. Go read it. And yep, that's an order! ;o)

Listening to: my new AfroDizziAct CD

miscellaneous thoughts

My mind seems to be going all over the place at the moment. I'm not really sure why. So instead of going to the gym like a good little girl, I'm sitting here and typing up a post instead. ;o)


I'm feeling better now. I used a combination of suggestions from the comments to my last post about this, and my tummy has settled down a bit. I'm still not 100% and there's still obviously something not quite right, but I'm actually keeping most of my meals down now. Mind you, most of my meals are still pretty bland, since I can't face anything too rich, creamy or greasy. But it's a definite improvement! So thanks everyone.


I would have replied to everyone's comments to my last post in the comments, but blogger is not letting me, so I'll comment in this post instead (links are to the comments, not to the commenter).

Ozbhoy - I have listened to Little Chills before, but don't own it for myself. I really like it, but not quite as much as Hello Stranger (which I already own).

tokenwoman - thanks for that. Always handy to know the name of the album if you want to go buy it! ;o)

SwissToni - I've already got "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" (I agree, it's great) and "Fold Your Hands Child..." and I'm now looking at other albums. Unfortunately, it will probably depend on what's available over here to some extent, though I might order in eventually.

Regardless, I haven't actually gone and bought any of them yet.

And seeing as I just spent $100 on a proper polar fleece (I've been wanting one for ages, and it was 1/2 price on sale, so I grabbed it), I may have to do the sensible thing and wait for a bit. Especially since there's a couple of bands releasing new CDs soon - and they're the kind of bands that I'd buy their CD straight away and not just add it to my list. *sigh* So many CDs, so little money.

Tsunami conspiracy theories

I've heard all of the conspiracy theories about September 11 (the US government organised it themselves so they could invade Afganistan) and the Bali bombings (similar deal, but the Aussie government instead), but now I'm starting to hear conspiracy theories about the Tsunami disaster!

Now I have trouble taking September 11 and Bali bombing theories seriously - if the US or Aussie government really wanted to invade Afganistan, I doubt very much they would have attacked in the way they did. I think it's far more likely that they would have organised for Afganistan to invade another country and then leap to that country's aid - like what happened with Kuwait. Why does everything have to be the fault of western government? Can't these people accept that sometimes bad things are done by militant groups that aren't attached to the US? *sigh*

But the Tsunami conspiracy theories really tick me off. This idea that someone has been setting off nuclear devices on the floor of the ocean so that 3rd world countries would be devastated by the results? Oh please! What is the possible benefit? These countries are not major powers in world politics or economics, and setting off a nuclear device on the floor of the ocean is not a good way to test it. And even if it was, that particular area was known for having a fault line, so why pick there?

I think that blaming what happened cheapens the disaster. It was a natural disaster people, they happen, get over it. We should be focussing on how to help these people, not looking for a world power to blame for it.

My garden

A couple of weeks ago, I bought some plants for my garden. All are still alive (a miracle in itself - I enjoy gardening, but I'm not particularly good at it), and one of my plants is flowering.

Here is a photo:

New Tattoo

I'm thinking of getting a new tattoo. Maybe one of Escher's knots.

I've been a big fan of Escher since I was in primary school. I think he was the first artist that I knew his name and was obsessed by his stuff. He was certainly the first artist that I could recognise his work before I knew it was done by him.

I really like Escher's more complicted drawings, but obviously they are too compicated to put on my skin as a tattoo. Though I have wondered whether this would be too complicated... I'll have to ask my tattoo artist.

Listening to: The Frames - Setlist

new music

I've decided that I'm going to go nuts and buy a bunch of CDs I've been wanting.

Now I just have to narrow down the list...

1. Brendan Benson - Lapalco

2. Matthew Sweet - (there's a couple here - I'd like to complete my collection, particularly Kimi Ga Suki if I can find it)

3. The Thorns - s/t (I love the song "Blue" - it's very Matthew)

4. The Frames - I have 2 of their albums, I'd like to see what else I can find in Australia

5. Belle & Sebastian - again, have 2, would like more

6. Machine Translations - Venus Traps Fly

7. Machine Gun Fellatio - On Ice & Bring it on

8. Gwen Stefani's album (you can tell how often I buy mainstream music by the fact that I have no idea what it's called! *g*)

9. Darren Hanlon - Little Chills

10. Pete Murray - Feeler (the 2nd mainstream album on my list)

11. The Gin Club - s/t

12. The 9th Wave - Falling from a cliff

13. AfroDizziAct - they have a new CD being launched this weekend

14. Kafka - ditto

I'm sure there's heaps more that I've forgotten right now. I usually have a list of about 100 CDs I want to buy, but I can't find it right now.

Listening to: Benjamin Wagner - Big Rock Candy Mountain

BRW client choice awards

I found that reading through these was really interesting.

- the main article

- Best Small Law Firm - Holding Redlich

- Best Value Firm - Hopgood Ganim Lawyers

- Best Large Law Firm - Allens Arthur Robinson

- Best Specialist Firm - Phillips Ormonde & Fitzpatrick

- Market Leader - Mallesons Stephen Jaques

State Awards
- NSW - Horwath New South Wales (accounting)
- Vic - Arup Australasia (engineers)
- SA - Minter Ellison (Adelaide) (law)
- WA - RSM Bird Cameron (accounting)
- Qld - KPMG Queensland (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Mooloolaba) (accounting)

I'm a little amazed that Hopgood Ganim was up there - I've always found them to be absolute shits to deal with on a matter, often thinking they know stuff that they don't. But then, they did get Best Value, not best overall.

Allens expects their staff to treat the client like God and put their personal lives second to the client. No real surprises there. It's one of the reasons why I've always avoided the place like the plague. It's a little surprising that the managing partner actually said it in an interview though.

And Mallesons said they focussed on staff learning and firm-wide values. I've heard that about them from other sources as well. But market leader? I'd always heard that they were one of the fuddy-duddy firms in terms of technology, so I'm a bit surprised by that one as well.

I don't really know much about the others, but I've always found KPMG pleasant to deal with, and they don't seem to work their staff quite as hard as the big law firms, so I'm pleased they got best in Queensland.

I got the link from Ivan, and would have commented over there, but he doesn't have comments (how could someone not have comments? Most blogs I read would lack 90% of their interest to me without them - but I still read Ivan's blog... so far! ;o) )

Listening to: Matthew Sweet - Time Capsule


I went to the doctor yesterday.

I've had a sort of low-grade nausea for a couple of weeks now and figured I should get it checked out. The good news is that I'm not pregnant, I don't have Motor Neuron Disease (which my maternal grandmother and a couple of great-great aunts died of), and I don't have Lupus (which my Mum has). The bad news is that they still don't know what's causing it and a couple of the causes left to investigate include an ulcer (though apparently that's unlikely since I usually feel better just after I've eaten) and the big C. The only good thing there is that, because it's only low-grade nausea, it's likely that if it's either of them, they've caught it quickly enough to do something about it.

In the meantime though, I still feel like crap.

I've had something like this twice before - when I was 16 to 18, and for a couple of weeks when I was about 24. Both times, I got a whole heap of tests done (including a gastroscopy), but they never figured out what it was. Not an ulcer, no inflammation of the stomach lining, all tests clear except for a slight elevation of something to do with my liver. Eventually, it just seemed to resolve itself of it's own accord.

The first time, I put it down to the food in boarding school - it was horribly greasy and I always felt ill about 1/2 hour after I ate, but I was fine at home (where I ate better). The second time, it was put down to stress over exams.

This time, I'm eating pretty well (certainly avoiding anything greasy since I feel so blah), I'm not particularly stressed, and I'm getting plenty of sleep. So there has to be something else right?

Ah well, I guess I'll find out when I go back to the doctor for the rest of my results.

Listening to: Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend

Question time

Firstly, I promised to answer your questions today, so here 'tis.

Aurelius asked:

If I give you a gift, assuming it is definitely mine to give (leaving aside copyright, mortgaged goods etc), is it mine?
What evidence do I need to say it's mine?
Are there any items I can own, which I cannot give to you?

I found this one a little confusing. So I've made certain assumptions:

- that the gift was a true gift and didn't have obligations attached (eg an engagement ring is consideration for entering into a promise to marry someone)
- that the gift was not illegally obtained (eg by fraud) or an illegal item (eg drugs)
- that we're talking about a civil matter, not a criminal one

In that case, if a gift is given from A to B, then it is legally B's possession, not A's. So A can't prove that it's his/hers because it's not. But B can prove it's his/hers by leading any evidence that is acceptable in the court for that item (eg land transaction have to be in writing). What sort of evidence you would need would depend on the nature of the transaction, but examples include a written agreement, letters, recordings of verbal conversations, computer records, and evidence of witnesses.

I can't think of any items which you can own outright, but which you can't give to another person. But there may be circumstances in which you can't make gifts, either at all, or of a particular item (eg lack of capacity, bankruptcy, conditions of a contract or will, statutory conditions of ownership).

I'm afraid it's a very generic answer because it was a very general question. Feel free to add some details if you want a more specific answer.

Ozbhoy asked:

Given that a pre-emptive strike has been accepted on a global scale and thousands can be killed on a presumption. And also given that the presumption was incorrect.
Would a person be able to pre-emptively stike another perhaps causing serious harm and legally get away with it?
Even if the pre-emptive strike was proven to be wrongful?

Short answer, yes. If a person personally believes that their life is in danger (and that belief is reasonable), that's a defence to a charge of murder or grievous bodily harm. For example, if someone is holding a gun to you head, the fact that the gun isn't real, doesn't mean that you can't effectively plead self-defence to a murder charge (where your pre-emptive strike kills the person with the fake gun).

Oh, and Di? Me being in your dream is just weird. Flattering, but weird. ;o)

Thanks for the questions guys. They got me thinking.

Now, my usual weekend round-up. Had a quiet one - went over to TBF/H's place on Saturday night for dinner (TBF's a great cook, so that's always a good plan) and played with the baby and watched TV/DVDs with them (well, they watched, I fell asleep on their couch! *g*).

Had a date on Sunday. It was a little disappointing. We'd chatted happily by email and over the phone and I was really looking forward to it. But we just didn't click in person. Making conversation was a real effort. I don't know - I was still pretty tired and he had just arrived in town after a 3 or 4 hour drive, so maybe it would have been better in different circumstances. It still wasn't a bad date, it just wasn't a fun date.

I came across this interview (via Stumblings in the Dark) with Douglas Adams today, where he says:

I am fascinated by religion. (That’s a completely different thing from believing in it!) It has had such an incalculably huge effect on human affairs. What is it? What does it represent? Why have we invented it? How does it keep going? What will become of it? I love to keep poking and prodding at it.

I think this admirably sums up my attitude to religion. Facsination. Yep, that would be it. I've talked about my own beliefs before. But the fact that I'm an atheist, doesn't make me any less fascinated. In fact, it probably makes me more so.

I know people who have a similar fascination with the law. Law doesn't facsinate me in that way, but I can see why it would for others.

Listening to: FourPlay - Catgut Ya Tongue

International Women's Day

It's International Women's Day next Tuesday (8 March). So why am I telling you about this? Well, because I went to the UNIFEM IWD breakfast this morning. It was pretty good - interesting speakers for the main part, nice food, all the good stuff. And I picked up a heap of brochures in the stalls outside.

IWD is a pretty big deal in Queensland this year, because this year is the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote in Qld (well, most women. Indigenous people didn't get the right to vote until 60 years later, so it's also the 40th anniversary of them getting the right to vote). That's right, women couldn't vote in Qld until 1905 and Aboriginal people couldn't vote until 1965. Thankfully, both events were well before my birth.

This afternoon, I head off for the funeral of an elderly relative (my great uncle). He is the last of the generation from my Mum's parents side, and we are a close family, so it's a pretty big deal for my Mum and her cousins. I probably knew him as well as most people know their grandparents - I'd see him maybe twice a year, he knew more about my life than I did about his, and I thought he was a lovely man. I felt that I should go to the funeral - after all, I live in Brisbane and the funeral is here. It's not like I have to travel to attend. And I can get the time off work easily. So I'm going. I've no idea what it will be like. I'm feeling pretty emotional today and I may cry. I've packed tissues into my handbag just in case.

Requests/Questions - since I've only had one question so far, I'll leave answers to Monday - giving the rest of you time to catch up on my blog, ask your questions if you so desire, and me time to think about the answers. ;o)

Listening to: Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

Everything you ever wanted to ask a lawyer, but were afraid to ask

The Lawyer Guy opened his blog to questions and got a lot of 'em, including:-

- if it's okay to kill someone really annoying

- why is necrophilia illegal?

- biting dogs, trespasser traps and ownership of abandonned skyscrapers

- copyright, obscene tattoos, and lawyers feelings

So I thought maybe I'd do the same thing, or perhaps a more generic All Request Day like Sherry does. I know there are non-lawyers reading (and I'll even answer questions from lawyers) - is there some burning issue you want me to answer? I promise I'll answer - if you're lucky, I may even answer correctly/honestly. Just ask your question in the comments.

Listening to: Canadian sampler from MK

When did my life get so busy?

I haven't blogged in a while. My life has sort of got in the way.

Saturday I had an appointment to get my car inspected for it's agreed value insurance at 8am, so I had to leave the house by 7:30am to get there in time. What? No sleep in? Dammit...

After that, I headed to TBF and TBFH's place for her birthday celebrations. It all started off with a treasure hunt - one where you drive to the appropriate places and have to pick up things along the way. My team came 2nd, so we were pretty impressed by that. Then it was back to TBF/H's place for lunch and a few wines.

Oh, and my present to TBF was a hit! I put together a "relaxation pack" for her - a voucher for free babysitting for a weekend, a DVD, some chocolate body paint, and some aromatherapy stuff.

I had a brief nap in the afternoon, and then it was off to the Valley Mall for drinks and dinner with The Vegetarian and some of his mates. He was back in town for a conference and Sat night was the only time he had free. I didn't get home until 2am - had to down 2 Red Bulls to last that long though... ;o)

Sunday I had breakfast at Fat Boys with The Fairy and her boy. She's heading overseas soon and we have been meaning to catch up since she moved. She's off seeing the family over the next couple of weeks and then only has a few days back here before she leaves, so this was probably our best chance to catch up. Which we did. It was nice. We finished up about midday and then I hit the markets for a bit of a look-see. I didn't buy anything, which I thought was very restrained of me.

I had big plans to check out houses on Sunday afternoon. And I was supposed to join TBF and some of her friends for a movie at the French Film Festival. But I didn't. I slept instead. I didn't even do my housework!

Then I was feeling off for a couple of days and worked the minimum at work and didn't use my computer at all at home. So no blog. I thought I had two completely unrelated things (backache one day, nausea the next, headcold the day after that), but it seems that this is the progression of the latest bug to hit Brisbane. I still have a bit of a headache and I'm downing the cold and flu tablets like they're going out of fashion, but I actually feel good today, which is a definite improvement.

Listening to: Canadian sampler from MK