Observant little ...

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

not the post I promised

Oooh! Blogger has a new photo feature that I can actually use without getting nasty messages from work's firewall. I like! So to test it out, I uploaded this photo from last year's Woodford Folk Festival. Hopefully it will come through okay.

It's not cold here any more. It's wet instead. Very wet. Quite a few people aren't at work today because they were flooded in. I had no problems getting to work, but I did arrive looking a bit like a drowned rat, which is always an attractive look. And my feet were wet.

It was so wet when I left this morning, I took pity on the cat and left him inside today. He just looked so comfortable curled up on my bed. Well, actually, he didn't look all that comfortable since he was sleeping with his face planted into the doona (how does he breath when he's like that?), but he did seem very comfortable. And he was all warm and purry. He didn't even leave my bed during the night to move to the couch (as he usually does) when I kicked him in the head (as I usually do - not intentionally, he just tends to want to sleep where my feet tend to want to be). Mind you, I would have been happy to stay in bed this morning as well.

I've not been blogging much this week because I'm neck deep in work and also have to get a job application (complete with selection criteria) done for Monday. I was at work until 9pm last night getting my first draft done. I've sent it off to the usual people who help me with my selection criteria (it's always a good idea to have someone else critically look at it to see what you've missed) and hope to get some answers back today or tomorrow so I can tweak it over the weekend and have it all ready to go on Monday.

So this is not the post I've been working on all week. This is just a tribute. Though that post is not going to be the greatest post in the world - I don't want to build up your hopes. I've only written about a paragraph on it. I just want to write more about that before I post it, and I want to chuck in a few links. But I just haven't had the time yet. Maybe today.

Listening to: speedstar - Bruises you can touch

Aussies aren't friendly?

I'm in the middle of writing a post about when I was 13yo, but it's still a work in progress and I've been working on it since Monday. So in the meantime, I thought I'd post this story about American students leaving Aussie unis because of "hate attacks".

A couple of sections stood out:

"Griffith University student Ian Wanner, 19, from Oregon, said abusive Australian students had repeatedly called him a "sepo" – short for septic tank. "It is so disrespectful. It's not exactly the most welcoming atmosphere here," he said."

Actually, it's short for "septic tank yank" - rhyming slang that's been used by Aussies for Yanks since WWII. We called all of the American exchange students "Seppos" when I was at college, but I was good friends with many of them. It was used more as a term of endearment than disrespectful - like calling a guy with no hair "Curly". And I know that they found the Aussies at my college very welcoming, despite the fact that they tended to come over here for an American college year and so were arriving mid-way through our university year and leaving mid-way through the next one. Admittedly, this is back in the early 90's, but still, that was around the time of the Gulf War and Americans were certainly not universally loved.

"I have had a few incidents in bars. I had a guy and he heard my accent and he said: 'I hate your president. I hate your country.' "

I heard a few Americans complain about this sort of stuff when I was travelling. Most responded with "well, I didn't vote for him and neither did most of my countrymen" or something similar. After all, most people of my age and younger dislike John Howard as well.

"She said some students suffered culture shock because of the belief that everyone loved Americans."

Really? Do American uni students honestly believe that everyone loves Americans? I wouldn't have thought that was possible. Are they not aware of the impact of their country's foreign policy? Or the general ignorance of American tourists causing problems and/or hilarity? Admittedly, this is mostly middle-aged Americans, not students, but the taint is certainly there.

I do wonder if the reason why these particular students have problems is due to their attitude. Aussies are generally a laid-back people, but we are proud of our country and our country's achievements. And never more so than in the face of rampant nationalism of a "furrena"! ;o)

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


South-East Queensland is experiencing a cold snap at the moment. I went out last night wearing a singlet, a long-sleeve t-shirt, a long-sleeved polar fleece, and my furry warm coat from Dublin. Oh, and a scarf and beanie. It's just ridiculous. This is Queensland! According to the paper, we've had sleet in Brisbane and it's been snowing at Stanthorpe which is only three hours drive from here.

With the cold snap, I've been wearing a lot of my clothes from Europe. So it was handy that I found out about Google maps via today's inbox. In particular, check these out:

- the Eiffel Tower

- Arc de Triomphe

- the Louvre

- Notre Dame

- Sacre Coeur

- the Colluseum

- the Roman Forum

- Berliner Dom

- the Reichstag

I also found on the Brisbane Map where I live and where I work. You can actually see the swimming pool for my unit complex on the map! Very cool!

Listening to: Elisa Korenne (from This Fish)

In the news

More on the sexual studies article I talked about before - this article also claims that "people find it easier to have an orgasm when they are wearing socks in bed" - although considering the locality of the study (The Netherlands), I suspect it's more of a "people find it easier to have an orgasm when they have warm feet and are comfortable" thing than a truly socks-wearing fetish sort of thing.

Listening to: JJJ Mixtape - Damon Albarn

Platonic dating

This Fish posted about a concept she called "Girl Dating". I was trying to explain the concept to someone last night and having great difficulty. I think he was thinking that I'd turned into a closet (or not so closet) lesbian. Until I changed the terminology to "platonic dating".

Think about it, platonic dating - in particular, "the purpose of a date is for the people dating to get to know each other and decide whether they want to have a relationship".

But when you think about it, what is the difference between real dating and platonic dating. Really, it's just the nature of the relationship isn't it? For platonic dating, if you enjoy each others company enough, the end result is a friendship. For real dating, if you enjoy each others company enough, the end result is (or is supposed to be) that you become lovers.

For both types, you are there to find out how much you like each other. You might know each other through friends, work, or just met down the pub when you were both smashed on Saturday night. But the purpose is the same. And the mechanics are very similar - you are on your best behaviour, you for for drinks or coffee or a meal, you flirt a little and smile a lot (as This Fish said, girls do flirt with each other, it's just in a different way), you split the bill. And if it all works out, you make arrangements to see each other again.

I've always said that the definition of "dating" is going out one-on-one where there is the possibility of sexual contact at the end of the night, without it being a given (ie where you go out one-on-one with someone you are already in a sexual relationship with). But I like the definition above better - it makes allowance for all those other types of dating as well.

And, now that I've thought about this more, maybe I'll be able to describe platonic dating better next time I'm blurting out my opinions.

Listening to: JJJ Mixtape - Faithless

In the news

Via Bliss, this story on the sort of study that could probably never happen in Australia.

Apparently the study showed that the "parts of the brain that govern fear and anxiety are switched off when a woman is having an orgasm but remain active if she is faking" - perhaps why great sex is good for headaches and stress?

Anyway, it's the methodology that got me thinking:

For men, the scanner tracked activity at rest, during erection, during manual stimulation by their partner and during ejaculation brought on by the partner's hand.

For women, the scanner measured brain activity at rest, while they faked an orgasm, while their partners stimulated their clitoris and while they experienced orgasm.

All of this, I assume while a bunch of scientists in white lab coats looked on. Can you see this getting past the Aussie ethics committees? And if it did, how would they advertise for volunteers?

WANTED: couples to participate in study on the effect of orgasms on the brain. Must be prepared to manually stimulate your partner in scientific surroundings. Women must be able to achieve genuine orgasm and realistically fake orgasm. Men must know where the clitoris is.

*sigh* Or maybe I just read too many women's magazines. ;o)

Listening to: Gorgeous - Air Balloon


I'm currently listening to an MP3 of FourPlay live on ABC radio. There is a whole bunch of cool recordings up there, including Ben Lee and Jens Lekman - I was really disappointed that I missed Jens Lekman when he came to Brisbane, so I'm pretty chuffed that I got to hear this recording. And to think that I didn't even know this program (The Deep End) existed...

The FourPlay recording is very cool - it's all new stuff that isn't on their CDs:

- Trust (an original I've talked about before) at 1:05 to 4:49
- 2+2=5 (Radiohead cover) at 10:54 to 14:29
- Reptilia (The Strokes cover) at 14:55 to 18:15
- Now to the Future (another original) at 18:51 to 25:05

Plus a lot of chat in between about how they started and the songs they're playing. I think this is going to be constantly on play on my work computer until the new album comes out. I really like Trust - that song is catchy.

Listening to: FourPlay, live on ABC (podcast/MP3)

still a bit mopey

Over the weekend, it turned cold and wet here. It's still cold and wet today. This is never good for my mood.

My furry feline friend either agreed with me that snuggling on the couch was the best way to spend the weekend, or he felt my mood and was being comforting, since he spent most of the weekend sleeping on my chest or my stomach. Usually, he is content to sleep beside me, but this weekend, he had to be on me. Which made it more difficult to get up. So I didn't. ;o)

I was supposed to go home to the folks place on Friday night, but things are a little up in the air at home at the moment, and it was not going to be a relaxing weekend. I wanted to go home and get hugs from my Mum to cure my mopey-ness, but, all things considered, I don't think she would have coped. She would have dumped her problems on me and I would have ended up even more mopey.

The "all things considered" is that my niece is sick again. She was in hospital all last week getting tests done and the test show that she has some sort of problem with her bile ducts. So she has to go off all of the medication for her liver problem while this other stuff is sorted out. She's back in hospital again this week and they think she's going to be there for a couple of weeks yet. Which creates major problems for the family - not just due to concern about my niece, but because there are the other 2 kids to think of. The youngest is only 6 weeks old, so has to come down to Brisbane with his mother and sister. My sister-in-law can't cope with an ill 5yo and a 6 week old baby at the same time without some help, so my brother will probably come down to Brisbane as well and work out of the Brisbane office of his employer. But he has to work - he can't take time off at this time of year because it's the end of the financial year and the busiest time for him. And so my sister-in-law will still have to cope with the 2 kids for much of the day. And then there's my nephew, who is 2yo. He's far too active to be happy in the hospital (especially with my sister-in-law trying to cope with a sick 5yo and a 6 week old baby), but if he stays with his grandparents (which is what happened last week), he's the only one of the family being left behind. So you see the conundrum.

My Mum was talking about coming down to Brisbane with them so that she could look after the two youngest kids while my sister-in-law cared for my niece. But she's also busy with work, and isn't all that well herself, so the kids exhaust her. I can't take time off work this week because one of my colleagues is already on holidays and I have court appearances nearly every day this week. In any event, I don't have enough holiday leave built up to be able to take a couple of weeks off to help out.

It's possible that my sister-in-law's mum may be able to come down and help out. But I don't know yet whether that is going to work out. And she wouldn't be able to help for the whole week anyway. The only upside is that it's school holidays at the moment, so there are a few friends who are teachers who may be able to help out in a pinch.

So anyway, I moped around home instead of moping about Mum and Dad's place. As it turns out, it was probably a good thing. I went out with Genie and The Tall Guy on Saturday night, which helped to break up my weekend of intensive television viewing and book reading. About half way through the night, Genie, her mate and I all left the boys and went dancing at this techno club which was full of drunk teenagers, but was set out pretty well so that we still had a good time. I hadn't been dancing in ages. I'd forgotten how much fun I have when I'm dancing - I probably should do it more often, but most of my friends have settled down now and don't go out as often, and when they do, we rarely go dancing. At the end of the night, when I decided that there was only so much I can take of drunken teenagers, Genie gave me a couple of big hugs and told me that they all love me. Which was nice. And exactly what I needed. I felt much better after that.

I finally got around to watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind over the weekend. It's one of those movies that every man and his dog has recommended to me, but I never quite got around to seeing. And I can see why the recommendations kept on pouring in. The acting was spot on (and it was nice to see Jim Carrey in a "straight" role), the cinematography was amazing, the storyline was weird yet believable, and the whole film was just very satisfying. I watched it twice over the weekend and I think it's the sort of movie I could easily watch over and over. I'm seriously considering buying it on DVD, which is about the highest accolade I can give a movie. I give it a 10 out of 10. It also helped to cheer me up out of my mopey-ness, since it reconfirmed my belief that you should regret nothing, and every nasty consequence you may have for your actions is a part of who you are. You don't get the good without the bad, and deleting the bad will also result in deleting the good. And that's not a good thing.

Listening to: David McCormack and the Polaroids - Candy

cat owner = slut?

I was going to post about feeling mopey since yesterday afternoon because a certain boy hasn't called and I'm feeling my singledom, but then I read Bo Peep's Sheep's entry about some of her doubts even though she's married to the love of her life, and now I feel better. Maybe my doubts are just doubts. And if not, then he probably wasn't worth it anyway! ;o)

So instead, I'll post about this article I got from Bliss. Apparently, cats carry a parasite called toxoplasma gondii which makes men become "more aggressive, scruffy, antisocial and less attractive" and women "exhibit the “sex kitten” effect, becoming less trustworthy, more desirable, fun- loving and possibly more promiscuous".

(T)he women infected with toxoplasma spent more money on clothes and were consistently rated as more attractive. “We found they were more easy-going, more warm-hearted, had more friends and cared more about how they looked,” he said. “However, they were also less trustworthy and had more relationships with men.”

Could it be true? Could my money-wasting, dating-around, promiscuous activities be blamed on my borrowed feline friend? *thinks* Nah! I was like that before he moved in!

Thinking of the cat, I forgot to feed him last night. I can't believe he let me forget! I usually feed him at roughly the same time every night so that he's not bothering me the moment I get home. But last night, I fell asleep on the couch incredibly early (at 7:30pm!) and when I woke up a couple of hours later, I just trundled myself straight into my bed (after shifting the cat over so I could fit in it). I didn't have dinner myself, so I forgot to give the kitty-cat his dinner.

He woke me up at 4am this morning by purring and rubbing his face on mine. I think he'd decided that he was hungry and that this was an appopriate time to be fed. I didn't agree - actually I was so groggy that I didn't even think of it. Instead, I just closed to the door to my bedroom so he couldn't get in and went back to sleep.

I did remember when I hopped up at 6:30am though and I fed him straight away. Poor thing - I hope his tummy wasn't grumbling too much! I feel so irresponsible!

Listening to: Machine Gun Fellatio - Paging Mr Strike

Dr Death enquiry

A completely law-related post today. For the non-lawyers, if you want to read on, the whole point of the following is that no government department is an entity capable of suing or being sued. If you want to sue a Queensland government department, then you sue "The State of Queensland" or you sue the chief executive of that department - usually, it's the first.

Lushlife referred me to the Dr Death inquiry transcripts which included this amusing little exchange on Day 1 between Tony Morris (the Commissioner - there's a photo of him down the bottom of the page here) and David Boddice (for "Queensland Health" - you'll why I've put that in inverted commas if you read on), both of whom are Senior Counsel, though Tony at #34 is more highly ranked than David at #72. I've highlighted in bold the parts that particularly amused me:

COMMISSIONER: Thank you, Mr Boddice, for those very helpful submissions. I personally have no difficulty with the proposition which you advance as to why Queensland Health has an interest in this matter or the criteria which should be taken into account in granting or refusing leave. My difficulty at the moment is in understanding precisely who or what it is that you will be representing. I take it from what you have said so far that you are not proposing to represent all of the staff of Queensland Health?

MR BODDICE: Yes, except to the extent of it causes a conflict or they seek separate representation.

COMMISSIONER: Then how do we know which of the staff you are representing and which you are not?

MR BODDICE: Because, as I understand the system that applies, staff who seek representation make application to the Attorney's Department, a division of it, and a decision is made as to whether to grant indemnity or not. If they are granted indemnity, I represent those people. If it is of concern to the Commission I can indicate at each time whether I represented that person or not.

COMMISSIONER: I think the difficulty arises at an earlier stage, though, whether - counsel, consisting of investigative staff, going out and interviewing people, how do we know in advance whether it is a client of yours or not? For example, our first witness today is going to be Ms Hoffman. At the stage when we were interviewing Ms Hoffman, how were we to know whether you were going to be appearing for her or not? I assume you are not, by the way?

MR BODDICE: Not that I am aware, no. I don't understand she has sought leave - I don't understand she has sought representation.

COMMISSIONER: You will see the difficulty, don't you? Who do your instructions come from? Is it the Director-General?

MR BODDICE: They come from the Director-General, and I suppose ultimately-----

COMMISSIONER: Or the Minister?

MR BODDICE: And the Minister as well.

COMMISSIONER: Well, isn't there a potential conflict there? Isn't it a situation where ultimately this inquiry will have to determine if there are problems within the department, whether it is a situation where the Minister was informed of the problem and did nothing about them, or whether it is a situation where the department withheld relevant information from the Minister?

MR BODDICE: No, because in my submission I am there representing the department, and as has been stated in public and I state publicly now, Queensland Health intends to cooperate fully, and all documents that have been asked forhave been provided and will be continued to be provided.

COMMISSIONER: We will come back to that in a moment. Do you have instructions to represent the Minister?

MR BODDICE: I expect that I will do.

COMMISSIONER: I can't give leave on the basis of your expectation. Will you get those instructions and inform the inquiry whether you are representing the Minister? Do you represent the Director-General.

MR BODDICE: At the moment I seek leave to represent Queensland Health.

COMMISSIONER: I am not going to give leave on that basis. Do you have instructions to represent the Director-General?

MR BODDICE: I expect when the Director-General is called to give evidence, I will have instructions to represent him while he is giving evidence.

COMMISSIONER: Only while he is giving evidence, not in cross-examining other witnesses?

MR BODDICE: I expect, as is consistent with my instructions, I am here to represent Queensland Health, which is the entity.

COMMISSIONER: It is not an entity, that's the problem. Queensland Health is a branch of the Government of Queensland. To say you are representing Queensland Health is like saying you are representing the Stones Corner Branch of the Commonwealth Bank. It is not a separate and distinct entity, it is part of the Crown right of the State of Queensland.

MR BODDICE: I understand that, but it is the organisation responsible for the running of the hospitals and it is that organisation I am seeking leave to represent.

COMMISSIONER: And that's where I have difficulty in understanding where you draw the line. If you speak about it as an organisation, that presumably means all of its staff, and you will be protecting the interests of all of its staff. If it is something less than that, I would like to know what it is, whether it is only the Director-General, whether it is the Director-General and its deputies. You refer to the Fitzgerald Inquiry. My recollection was Mr Callanan was given leave to appear for the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners of the Queensland Police Service, or natural persons, rather than the Police Service as an entity. That may be mistaken.

MR BODDICE: That's not correct, with respect. In fact, they were separately represented by other counsel, as were, of course, the union-----


MR BODDICE: -----separately represented by other counsel.

COMMISSIONER: In this case we have got - as I understand, the Queensland Nurses' Union will be seeking leave to appear. They obviously will represent a great number of people who are members of the staff of the department that you are purporting to speak for, the AMA Queensland will be seeking leave to appear. They obviously represent quite a number of the people that you are purporting to speak for. I just can't see practically how you can say, "I appear for the department", without identifying in what sense you appear for the department.

MR BODDICE: That must be the difficulty that confronted the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

COMMISSIONER: Well, perhaps the decision was wrong or perhaps the circumstances were so different that it didn't matter, but in this case, given the structure of Queensland Health, the zones and regions, and so on, before giving leave I would like to know quite specifically whose interests you are representing. If it were, for example, the council or the committee operating Bundaberg Hospital, they might have quite different views about the matters arising here from the Director-General or other staff in Charlotte Street.


COMMISSIONER: Again, I can't see how you can possibly get around the conflict of interest that arises from representing on the one hand the interests of the bureaucrats in Charlotte Street, and on the other hand representing the interests of people who are operating the hospital on the ground in Bundaberg.

MR BODDICE: That, with respect, assumes there is a conflict in those interests.

COMMISSIONER: I thought you just agreed that there was. Those parties would have quite different views as to the likely outcome of the appropriate recommendations and findings of this inquiry.

MR BODDICE: I don't think that necessarily follows at all, with respect.

COMMISSIONER: Well, do you have instructions? Have you spoken to the people from Bundaberg? Do you know what they are hoping to get out of this inquiry?

MR BODDICE: I have instructions to act for Queensland Health.

COMMISSIONER: Who gave you those instructions?


COMMISSIONER: Who gave you those instructions?

MR BODDICE: Those instructions came, I am instructed, through the Crown Solicitor.

COMMISSIONER: Yes, and who gave the Crown Solicitor his instructions?

MR BODDICE: I expect it would have been the Director-General.

COMMISSIONER: Well, I am inclined at the moment to give you leave to represent the Director-General, if you wish to have such leave.

MR BODDICE: Well, they aren't my instructions at the moment.

COMMISSIONER: I will adjourn your application until you have got instructions identifying quite specifically who it is that's going to be represented here. Not just some nebulous, amorphous body that's referred to as Queensland Health, but some quite specific description of who it is who is going to be actually represented, who is going to be the source of your instructions, and whose viewpoint is going to be expressed to this inquiry through you and your learned juniors speaking on behalf of those who give you those instructions.

MR BODDICE: I will get those instructions.

COMMISSIONER: Thank you, Mr Boddice.

Also for the lawyers, this calculator which shows you just how much time you have to put into the office to meet your billable hours requirement in private practice. Note: I don't think that any lawyer can get away without at least 1 hour private time, 1 hour professional time and 1 hour administration time. (via the dark goddess of replevin)

Listening to: Garbage - Beautiful Garbage

a bit of culture, a bit of music

This weekend just gone was a long weekend here in Queensland, which is always a good thing. So I got up to my usual mischief, but over 3 nights instead of the usual 2.


I went to see The Drowning Bride at La Boite Theatre with the Nymph, the Teacher and the Teacher's friend. It was an interesting story - set partially in the USA in the modern day and partially in Eastern Europe during WWII, it's about guilt and betrayal and Nazi collaboration and such things. It was very confronting, but very enjoyable. The acting was superb, the set was minimal, but multi-purpose, the story was intricate and interesting. We all had a good night.


I headed off to see Chris Pickering's CD launch at the Troubadour. The first support was Jo Lack on violin who also played in Chris' band. She's certainly talented and her songs were interesting without being particularly catchy. I enjoyed her set, but it didn't make me sit up and take notice.

Next up was Wesley Davidson, who was my real reason for going to this gig. I've seen him play a number of times before, but this was the first time I'd seen him play without a band. All on his ownsome, with just a guitar and some foot-tamborine as accompaniment, he still impressed. I prefer the sets with his full band, since he sounds more folky on his own and more pop/folk with the band, but that's just me. He played a nice set which I'm pretty sure included all 4 songs from his little home-burnt EP, and I thought I'd got my $8 worth.

And finally, there was Chris Pickering. I've seen him play with The Boat People before, but not solo. I would describe his style as country/pop on some songs and folk/pop on others - naturally, I prefered the folk/pop ones. He had a good band behind him with Jo Lack on violin, the drummer from speedstar, and another guy on guitar (other than Chris, who also played guitar). He has a really sweet voice, which sometimes went a little off-tune, but he tended to gloss over that well. I was impressed enough to buy his CD and have been listening to it ever since.


I headed off to see Tamas Wells at the Troubadour - the people at the Troub are going to start thinking that I'm stalking them soon!

The first support were The Meadows. They played a nice set and I'm more impressed by these guys every time I see them. The last song they played had so many guests up on stage, they sounded more like The Gin Club than speedstar (who I usually compare them to). I was glad that I got there early to hear them. I already have their EP.

For some reason, Tamas Wells were on next, rather than Tonjip, who were the 2nd support. I didn't really mind, other than that I was very disappointed in the crowd during their set - mainly the friends of The Meadows who were sitting down the front and having very loud and raucous conversations during Tamas Wells' quiet pop set. It was the rudest crowd I've ever come across at The Troubadour and I can't help thinking that the Troub's smoking policy* has something to do with it. Anyway, despite the fact that I couldn't always hear them properly, they did do a lovely set. I was in heaven. I really do love these guys - they play beautiful music and they play it well. The only other downer was that it seemed to be a very short set.

Last band of the night was Tonjip. They weren't bad, but they didn't exactly blow me away. Their music has lots of energy, but I didn't find it to be particularly musical, particularly as their songs were a bit same-y. They were a very unusual support for Tamas Wells, but I think were the band that supported Tamas Wells throughout their Queensland tour. The Meadows certainly seemed to fit the mood better.

In many ways, I wish that Tonjip had been on before Tamas Wells - partially because a lot of the friends of The Meadows left during Tonjip's set, and they might have left earlier and not disturbed Tamas Wells' set if Tamas Wells had been on last, but also because I think Tamas Wells would have been a nicer note to end the night on. I would have left on a high, rather than feeling bored halfway through Tonjip's set and leaving.

* They have the smoking area in the stage half of the venue and the non-smoking area in the bar half of the venue, which just seems backwards to me. People move forward into the stage area just to smoke, when they have no interest in the band. I think that if someone who wants to listen to the band really wants to smoke, they will happily move to another area. But making people who have no interest in the band move into the stage area to smoke is just silly, because they will (and do) have no respect for whoever is on the stage or the people who are listening to them.


I didn't go out on Monday, but I did have lunch with a friend and then headed over to TBF and TBFH's place and kicked the footy around with them while their bub toddled around and tried to run (he fell over every time ;o)).

Listening to: Chris Pickering - Hard to Find single

Boyfriends vs boy friends

Bo Peep's Sheep has been lamenting the loss of her straight male friends since her marriage. In particular, that her straight male friends don't hug her anymore. She says:

But apparently there is a practice among the men folk that you don't touch another guys girl, not in friendship or any other ship. It's apparently the respectful thing to do, and also the only guaranteed way not to get your head punched in.

I left a very long comment on her blog, and was going to write more, but then I realised that I should just blog about it here. To recap, I wrote (slightly amended):

I think the reason why you tend to lose your single friends when you're coupled up has to do with something different. I think it has more to do with the fact that the singles still want to go out every weekend and meet people, while the couples want to start spending more time at home. Or there's always the "they don't like your partner" problem.

As for the hugging thing - I managed to keep my male friends when I was coupled up mainly because I would hug them exactly the same way that I hugged my female friends. Also, I was perfectly happy for The Ex to hug any female friends. But I think I was lucky that The Ex was a friend along with all of my other male friends long before he was "the boyfriend", so there was that comfort zone there already.

I know what you mean about male friends. When I was overseas, I made some great female friends, but almost no close male friends. I think one of the main reason I was so homesick was that I missed that male influence on my life - I missed chatting to my Dad, my brother and my male friends about their perspective on the stuff that was happening in my life.

I like guys. Most of them, I like in a completely non-sexual way. I like girls too, but I need to have both in my life to feel balanced.

Guys tend to be more straight-forward. My male friends almost never notice whether I've put on weight or lost it (or if they do, they don't comment). They don't compliment me on that great top. They never notice my shoes. But they are the first to comment on my new job or to ask me in-depth questions about the kind of work I'm doing now. They are the first to say "you look great" when I'm happy. They appreciate my questions about what they've been up to lately - in work, in relationships, at play. There's no competition with my male friends.

Girls are also great. They will analyse with me exactly what that guy I like said so we can determine whether he really likes me or not. They will discuss boys as sexual beings and whether he looks better with a beard or not. They will talk about my hair colour or style with me and give me an opinion on whether it will suit me or not. They will tell me that they love my top or give me an opinion on whether that skirt makes my bum look big when shopping. They will go shopping with me.

As for the hugging thing - I'm a very touchy person. I hug everyone - male, female, gay or straight - they all get the same sort of hug. My Mum, Dad and brother get the same hug as well. The kids don't because I would break them if I did, but they get the equivalent for their size. The only people I hug differently are the guys I'm sexually involved with. Theirs are different - not just because they tend to be longer and involve the occasional kiss, but the way you position your body is different somehow. You can always tell from looking at two people hugging whether they are sexually involved or not.

Thinking of hugging, have you ever noticed how different people hug really differently? Girls mostly seem to hug much the same (though the greeting hug is different from the comfort hug), but guys vary from the quick, awkward patting sort of hug, to the quick squeeze to the enveloping bear hug. I personally like the last type, especially when the guy doesn't squash your face when he hugs you. Like flirting, some guys just seem to know how to do it naturally, some learn with time and training, and some never learn at all.

See? Told you I had a lot more to say! ;o)

Listening to: Rage on ABC TV

"we don’t think clients are God"

Very amusing. Obviously the ramifications of AAR's award speech are still being heard in the legal world.

Holding Redlich recently won a bunch of awards at the 2005 Fuji Xerox Australian Law Awards. It was reported that managing partner Ian Robertson said:

“We value our staff and we think they understand that. We are not particularly secretive, we have open communication with our staff; we are not particularly hierarchical, we don’t think clients are God.”

Got me chuckling.

Listening to: Tamas Wells - A Mark on the Pane

child support

Child support is such a tricky issue. On one hand, I know dads that can't afford to support their current family because so much of their income goes to a child from a previous relationship. On the other hand, I know mums that are barely scraping by because their ex is writing off his income through a business, so that the child from the previous relationship is being treated much worse that the children from the current relationship.

There's now this new plan which allows dads to keep the money from a second job for themselves so they can set themselves up in their new life. My only problem with that is that I can just see so easily how it could be rorted so that the dad pays minimal child support, but lives the life of a king, because it's from the income from his "second job". What happens if the second job pays more than the first job? Is it done on the basis of whichever job earns him the most? Is it fair that a dad gets to keep up to half his income quarantined?

I don't have a problem with it as long as it is a true second job - ie casual or part-time work to supplement his primary income, and not two part-time jobs just to rort the system. But how would the system be able to tell?

Maybe I'm just too cynical and jaded after 10 years in this industry! ;o)

Also in the news today - apparently Australian houses are overpriced. Well, I knew this. The fact that I can't buy a house in a decent suburb on my income is just ridiculous! I earn more than my parents put together (though they do only work part-time) and my brother supports an entire family on less income than me. But then, apparently interest rates may fall, and the housing market has already slowed down, so I'm thinking that I may be back in the market by the end of this year.

On a completely different note, I came across this via Bliss (hey! That rhymes!) which is a very cool visual effect thingo - I can make the pink spots go away after a couple of seconds. Does that mean that I'm fixated? ;o)

Listening to: Wesley Davidson's little 4 song EP

my heart's desire

I'm supposed to be reading a bunch of cases on jurisdiction for a court appearance tomorrow, but they're boring and hard to read, so I decided to take a quick 5 minute break and do something else - the something else being writing another post.

I made a comment on Bo Peep's Sheep that "there are an awful lot of guys out there that are completely lovely people and very good looking that would never make the Ozbhoy to my Bo Peep's Sheep. ;o)". And she came back with "So who would be your Ozbhoy to my Peeps Sheep? Perhaps you could blog about who would make your heart swoon."

Good question.

I have no idea.

Well, that's not quite true - I do have some idea, but the problem is that I have all of these standards, but they fly out the window as soon as I meet a guy that makes my toes curl. The problem with that is that lust doesn't last, and I have a very short attention span. But from past experience, I suspect that the guy that ends up being "a keeper" for me will be:-

1. witty (has to make me laugh - thankfully, that's not difficult)
2. slightly smutty (a dirty sense of humour is a must to cope with my family!)
3. laid back in general (doesn't sweat the small things)
4. passionate about something (wouldn't understand my "thing" for music otherwise)
5. intelligent (if I think he's dumb he won't earn my respect)
6. widely read (or at least able to converse on a wide range of topics)
7. strong (he can't be a pushover - again, it's a respect thing)
8. confident (guys who lack confidence tend to resent mine)
9. family-oriented (I'm close to my family and I want kids)
10. attractive (not necessarily gorgeous, but not repulsive either)

Considering that I can't think of one friend of mine who doesn't fit the bill of at least 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 (and most have 3, 8 and 9 as well), I never thought it was a big ask. But most of the guys I've met don't quite fit the bill. The Ex lacked in 3, 8 and 9 - though apparently he's changed his mind about #9 (as guys tend to do between the ages of 25 and 30 *g*), and it's quite likely that 3 and 8 will come with maturity.

I guess the quality of #10 has a big impact as well. I have lots of male friends, some closer than others. Many of them will fit all 10 criteria, but while they are attractive boys, there isn't that spark, the toe-curling feeling of lust that is so essential in a sexual relationship. There is no point in marrying your friend if friendship is all you have.

In terms of strength, The Fairy (she's allowed to read at the moment because she's out of the country! *g*) recently said to me in an email: "I think for you, you definitely need someone who can stand on their own two feet... and I would kind of like to see you with someone who will take care of you occasionally instead of it being the other way around! "

That's what I'd like too.

Listening to: David McCormack - Candy

advocacy skills

I've been doing a lot of training lately. Pretty typical for a government department - the budget has to be spent by the end of the financial year, so we all go to insane amounts of seminars in June.

Anyway, because of the new CPD rules (at least I think that's the reason), a lot of my seminars lately have been conducted by senior QC/SCs. These guys are at the top of their game in advocacy skills, but they vary greatly when it comes to their ability as presenters.

So, after my last training course, I did up a bit of a list of what I think makes a good presentation:-

- practical examples
- be specific in what you say, not vague
- number things off (eg 10 reasons why you should read this blog *g*)
- a sense of humour
- move with the mood of the room
- use power points, but don't recite them, talk about the points you've put on them
- have any written parts of your presentation available to the attendees
- be interested in your subject matter
- be approachable

The last point took me a while to come up with. I was thinking about why some presenters seem to keep my interest, when others don't. And it came down to attitude - some presenters just seem to invite you into their world, while others stay remote from the audience. Doing a presentation is about involving your audience in the same way that acting in a play is. You may not be seeking the same level of applause, but the good presenters do get the same lever of attention and interest in what they're saying.

Of course, I'm not saying that I actually have any of these skills. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I don't, since I always sucked at acting and I don't think I have a "presence". I'm the calm behind-the-scenes type, not the out-there performer type. I excell at mediations, but I suck at public speaking. Which is kind of good in that it matches my litigation style... but anyway...

On another communication note - I've noticed lately that I talk to my cat a lot. Not about my life or anything, but like I would to a child: "No, I'm not feeding you yet"; "Would you like to move your head so I can close the fridge?"; "Eewwww! Stop drooling on me!" - that kind of thing. I've never lived on my own with a cat before, so I have to ask: Is this weird?

And thinking of weird, apparently Spamalot is coming to Australia. I'm looking forward to that so much that it surely can't be normal.

Listening to: Tylea - Colour Your Insecurities (Dark Album)

Intolerable tollerance lessons

Is it just me that doesn't see a problem with this? For those who can't be bothered clicking through - it's a story about students being "asked at school to place themselves in an imaginary world dominated by homosexuals and lesbians" as a lesson in tolerance. I don't see the problem. They weren't being asked to pretend to be gay, they weren't being told that it was better to be gay. They were just being asked to think about how it must be for a gay person in our predominantly heterosexual society.

I suppose I'm more tolerant than most. I have lots of gay and bi friends, both male and female, and have never seen their sexuality as being a problem. Being hit on by a lesbian is no worse than being hit on by a guy that I don't find attractive - actually, it's usually not as bad, since the girls who have hit on me have taken no for an answer better than the guys. But some women find it really confronting. And most men seem to think that it's incredibly offensive. I just don't get that attitude. Why is it an afront to your manhood that a man who is into men finds you attractive?

I was having this conversation with a guy the other day and he said that I probably send out mixed signals, which is why I get hit on by women. I don't think that's right. I think that I'm just friendly with everyone and I'm very accepting, so a gay woman who finds me attractive figures she's got nothing to lose by hitting on me. I just tell her, "Sorry. I'm straight" and that's the end of it. I've never been abused for turning down a woman (and I sure as hell have gotten some lip over the years for turning down a guy!), and I've never lost a friendship over it.

Gay people exist. They are part of our community. So why shouldn't kids in their formative years be taught to think of how hard it must be for them to come out? *shrugs*

Listening to: Tamas Wells - A Mark on the Pane

birthday parties, girly nights and refugee benefits

I had planned to have a quiet weekend. As of Thursday morning, I only had one thing on last weekend, and that was a birthday dinner on Friday night. But by Friday lunchtime, my weekend was completely booked up.


The Nymph organised drinks and dinner for us all to join her in celebrating her birthday. I was only going to go for dinner since the drinks were in a pub that I loathe, but I decided that it was petty of me to do that, so I rocked on up only 15 minutes late. Unfortunately, she was nearly 45 minutes late. Not a good start to the night, since this meant that I was sitting on my own in a pub I hate and drinking way too much to stave off the inevitable uncomfortable feeling I get by being on my own in a "meat market" style pub. Add to this that I was still very tired from Thursday night... well, I'm sure you can see where this is heading.

I got completely smashed. As in there are parts of the evening that are decidedly hazy for me completely smashed. I don't think I've been that drunk since I was in my early 20's. When I finally got home at about midnight, after many many beers, I fell asleep fully clothed, including my shoes and glasses. Now that is very drunk. And probably also very tired. But I suspect the very drunk had a lot more to do with it.

But I had fun. It was a good night once everyone else arrived and I chatted mostly to The Nymph's sister, her boyfriend, her ex-flatmate, and some girl who I met at dinner (I have no idea where she fit in and I can't remember her name for the life of me). I probably made a complete fool of myself. But I had fun.


And the following day, I suffered the consequences. I was very hungover in that pounding headache sort of a way, not in the "I can't face food" sort of a way. So I ate greasy eggs on toast for breakfast, greasy chips for lunch, drank about 2 litres of water, ate an entire packet of lollies to negate the greasy taste and generally felt a lot better by 5pm (after moping around the house whimpering all day - it's times like these that I think that Markham has the right idea).

The Law Student came around for a girly night that night. We did the Thai take-away and DVD thing. We both wanted a quiet night and neither of us drank anything, so my body did have the chance to adjust a little. We watched The Notebook, which I had seen before, but thoroughly enjoyed again. Ryan Gosling is quite the hottie - especially with that beard.


I was supposed to have lunch with TBF and TBFH on Sunday, but I got a call from TBFH Sunday morning to say they were both down with a tummy wog and would have to cancel. I little disappointing, since I was looking forward to catching up with them both. I've seen TBF for lunch a couple of times, but haven't caught up with TBFH in ages, or played with the child.

And then Sunday night, I went to the Refugee Benefit gig at The Troubadour with the girl I met up with last weekend that I hadn't seen in years (I'm going to have to make up a name for her and add her to the Cast of Characters since I think we're going to be hitting the town together a lot from now on, since she's one of the few friends I have who are single and I'm one of the few that she has - that can be her name, The Single Friend, TSF for short). The gig must have started really early since we missed the first couple of acts, but we did see 8-Ball Aitken, Aaron Hopper from Stringmansassy, Guy Webster, and another guy who I never figured out who he was.

8-ball Aitken is a very strange looking man. The fact that he arrived in a fluorescent green caftan didn't help that. But he's bloody good at what he does and what he does is steel-guitar country/blues. There's a specific name for it. I can't think of what it is right now. I may amend this post later if I do. Anyway, his style of music wasn't entirely to my taste, but I did enjoy his set.

I was pretty keen to see Aaron Hopper since I quite like his work with Stringmansassy, but have always found the vocal warblings of the chick (Casey?) a little annoying and very distracting. I like his solo work better. His songs have a sense of humour, he has a lovely voice, and his guitar work matches what he does with Stringmansassy. I'd go see him again. I'd probably buy his CD as well.

Guy Webster is just brilliant. You'll see from my side-bar that he's one of my favourite artists and I've never seen the man do a bad gig. He puts so much passion into his songs that they almost make me feel self-conscious for him. But I keep on going back. Love the man's work.

Throw in a couple of dates and that was basically my weekend. So much for a quiet one huh?

Listening to: Tylea - Colour Your Insecurities (the Light Album)

Women in Docs

I was a bad girl last night - went to a gig, so had a late night and drank many beers on a school night. I'm feeling surprisingly okay today though - could be the V that I drank on the way to work this morning. Or it could be that it just hasn't hit me yet! ;o)

Anyway, it was worth it. I went to see Women in Docs at the Troubadour. It was the video-wrap party - they've just finished their first ever video clip for the song Nashville after having been together for about 6 years or something.

It was a good gig. I can't remember who the support band were, but they were two guys on guitar doing a folk-style thing. It was nice background music, but it didn't grab me.

But Women in Docs did a great set - I love their onstage chemistry and banter. I love their songs and they have great presence on stage - Roz moves around and does the rock god moves and Chanel is stiller but smiles at the audience as she sings. They played "I Wanna See" (my favourite song) and a heap of stuff from the Under a Different Sky CD. So I was a happy girl. And I really like their new single, "Nashville".

And the whole - if there was a movie of your life, who would play you and what would be the song for your entrance scene... killed me! I'd share, but I can't remember the punchline, so it would just spoil it for you guys.

And for the record, I'd be played by Kate Winslet (same as Chanel), but my song would be "Devil with the Green Eyes" by Matthew Sweet. The scene? Looking in the lit window of my unit and seeing me doing ordinary every day things, like cooking tea and sweeping the floors and patting the cat. There'd be those semi-see through curtains and it would be shot with one of those tunnel vision lenses so that I seem really remote. And then the scene would end with the camera changing to a normal (non-tunnel vision) shot and I would move through the door smiling and welcoming the stalker.

Listening to: Women in Docs - Under a Different Sky

getting where you're going

I saw this quote from Douglas Adams today: "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be."

I think that describes my life to a T.

When I was teenager, I had big plans. By the age of 25, I was going to be insanely successful in my career, be married to the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with, and possibly be pregnant with the first of my two children. Which meant that as I approached my 25th birthday with no degree, no boyfriend and certainly no children, I fell into a pretty hefty depression. For my 25th birthday, I cut off all my hair and went from hair I could sit on it was that long, to a style like the blonde Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors. I threw myself a big party and invited people I hadn't seen in years as well as people I barely knew. For probably the next year, I still dwelt on all that I hadn't achieved.

But then, within the next 12 months, I graduated, got admitted as a solicitor, started dating the guy that I thought was my soulmate, changed towns, changed jobs and generally started moving towards those goals that I had set myself when I was teenager. Like was suddenly looking brighter, and I found myself going where I had intended to go.

But I never quite got there.


- I changed jobs and moved out of the private sector and into government. Strike one for my highly successful and well-paid career. But check one for a happy and well balanced life outside of work.

- The Ex and I broke up. Strike one for my happy marriage and producing offspring. But check one for being able to do all of the things I'd put off because he couldn't afford them.

I'm not saying that I'll never do these things, but I've discovered that my success as a person is not dependant on my success at my career, or my success in a relationship, or my success as a mother. As a result of not being where I had intended to go, I've travelled New Zealand on my own, lived in Europe, developed as a songwriter, started playing keyboards and guitar again, thoroughly enjoyed my job without having to work a 14 hour day, formed friendships I never thought I would, and experimented with stuff I never thought I would.

I'm a happier person now than I was when I was going where I intended. I've come to the conclusion that it just wasn't me no matter how much I wanted it to be. Hence the identification with the Douglas Adams saying. Although, in my case, perhaps it should be amended to "I have ended up where I was meant to be"

Listening to: Mercury Rev - The Secret Migration

Face reading

I found this quite fascinating. I've never heard of face reading before and I sat there with a little mirror looking at my own face and trying to work out if I fit the personality traits associated with my features.

I decided that the following fit my features (some of them fit my personality as well, I've italicised those):

- A person with a developed backhead is more emotional, family and socially orientated.
- Thick wiry hair is an indication of your physical prowess and your resilience in life. You have great recuperative powers and may like a challenge in life.
- A wide forehead expresses your cleverness and practicality - being someone capable of executing duty diligently. This gives you high idealism and a wealth of ideas.
- Flat forehead gives you a more pragmatic nature, given to factual expression.
- If the eyes slant upwards the person is an opportunist - more so if the brows also slant in that direction (cats eyes look). Many models like Elle McPherson and Claudia Schiffer possess these eyes. They know how to get what they want.
- The closer set the eyes (Ed note: mine are just a tiny bit narrower than one eye width apart) the narrower the opinion and view of the world at large. It may also reflect an overdependence on parental and family structures. These people may need a nudge to develop their own independent lifestyles. Their willpower should be strengthened in the search for their own self assurance. Employees and workers displaying eyes of this type certainly need continual encouragement to grow in self confidence. You will find these types possess little forbearance or tolerance and may crack under stress. Trivial matters can be blown out of all proportion.
- Deep green eyes are not only highly energised like their blue eyed cousins but very inventive too - both in practical and personal affairs. You will need a lot of time to understand the spontaneous and sometimes wilful mind of a green eyed person. Men and women of genius often possess this coloured eye. You'll need to sharpen your intellectual skills with green eyed people.
- The highly arched or ideal brow often seen in the faces of film stars is described as a dramatic brow.
- The Ideal nose has a high, straight, full and fleshy tip with gently flared but protected nostrils. The fleshy tip indicates cordiality and warmth of personality. Deep empathy with others. Set high standards for themselves and are good mannered (Lailin).
- High bridge & pointed nose: High degree of energy and very curious mind. (Ed note: I can't decide if my nose is fleshy tip or pointed - it's kind of both. It's definitely short)
- Short nose: Happy, natural.
- The groove on the upper lip, below the nose is worth mentioning. It is called the philtrum. If it is clearly marked, deep and long, it augurs well for a strong and healthy energy levels and vitality.
- Lips which are full, round and even convey to you that the person is caring and sensitive. The upper and lower lips in equal distribution reveal a well meaning and communicative personality.
- upward curved lips which indicate the opposite - someone cordial and optimistic with a sunny disposition.
- Curved lips: Changeable.
- The chin should be rounded or square in shape with a gentle fullness. If this is the case, the latter part of life, during the 60's and 70's will be satisfying and lucky.
- Ears with no lobes: Unresponsive and lacks purpose.
- The stronger the cheeks, the more authoritative you are. Those in positions of control, executive power and leadership will often be seen to possess very strong, prominent cheeks. In romance and marriage, the partner with the more powerful cheeks is said to control the other.

And this one on face shapes was also interesting. I'm a round, which is emotional.

Some of the traits which are very me are:

- Your body type means that you are predominantly emotional, sensitive and caring.
- This makes you extremely considerate and compassionate. You like to extend this facet of your nature into every area of activity, including your work. Which is not to say you are a blob of maudlin sentimentality. You do however, seem to have a natural tendency to interact with others from an emotional base, making you "mother" to your peers.
- perform very well in professional arenas where a social and playful environment accommodates your naturally easy going style.
- emotions are perhaps not dealt with or "digested" correctly in your experience. This "indigestion" has its counterpart in the alimentary tract of your body. It's no coincidence that the medical fraternity refer to your type as an alimentive class of being.
- The Chinese face readers agree that you are a liquid and adaptable, sensitive and pliable individual. With other positive features this is a good basis for success in midlife.
- Strong sexual fantasies also feature strongly for you. Coupled with your natural charm and demonstrative affection, you can provide very loving and satisfactory romantic alliances which last. Men of your nature prefer to stay in committed partnerships and function at their best when love and home are stable.

I agree with the last sentence even though I'm obviously not male.

Listening to: george - Polyserena