Observant little ...

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

What a week!

Oh boy! I've had the most exhausting week.

I was flat out at work Monday to Wednesday and Wednesday in particular was incredibly stressfull. I was flat out working on one of my colleague's files from 9am until 5pm and then when it finally all got settled just after 5pm, I had to start work on my own files to get things finished so that I could get my week's work finished.

Thursday was a little less frantic (thanks in part to my very late night on Wednesday) but I still had to stay back a couple of hours later than I had expected. Added to my stress levels was that, on Thursday, I had an interview for a permanent position I had applied for.

I had the day off on Friday and I was looking forward to a relaxing long weekend. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be.

I had a late night on Thursday night and just wanted to sleep in on Friday. But I had to drop off my car for it's annual service early on Friday morning. And then I went shopping with Mum. And then my sister-in-law came over with the kids. She stayed for a couple of hours and was in tears a couple of times. My niece is still ill and it's just heart-wrenching to see her. She's also milking it for all it's worth and, when she has been ill and starts to feel better, she pretends to still be ill when she starts to lose her mum's attention. It's just so hard to watch and it tears me apart.

Then, after they had been there for a couple of hours, my sister-in-law really loses it and becomes very upset and I'm still not really sure why. She seemed to think that there was some problem with my Mum, but nothing I could say would reassure her, and I couldn't comfort her. She was crying while she was packing up the kids and getting them into the car, and she was still crying when she drove away. She said that she just wanted to be alone and she just wanted to go home.

Thankfully, I did suggest to Mum that she stay away as soon as my sister-in-law mentioned that Mum had upset her. I figured that if Mum got into the mix they would both just end up even more upset.

As it turns out, Mum still got upset. She cried on and off for the next couple of hours while we tried to find out what was wrong and whether my sister-in-law was okay. But at least she wasn't feeling guilty for saying something in the heat of the moment that she shouldn't have said.

Meanwhile, I was trying to keep Mum's spirits up, while battling my own emotional response. I managed to have a quiet cry in the loo, but I'm pretty sure Mum didn't pick up on it.

That night, we were supposed to all be going to a FourPlay gig. I managed to convince Mum that she would enjoy it once she was there (and she did), but it was hard work getting her to get herself ready on time. However, my cousin was also supposed to be coming with a mob of her friends and she bailed (I suspect because she didn't want to deal with Mum) and my brother couldn't come because he obviously had to be home to give my sister-in-law moral support. So it wasn't quite the family night we had planned.

But we still had a good night. Mum and Dad and their friends all enjoyed the gig and have placed dibs on borrowing my CDs (I did suggest they could buy their own, but at least it means I have some ideas for Christmas presents). We had a pleasant dinner beforehand and I drank a little too much red wine.

The band were brilliant as per usual. They played two sets and a lot of their new songs which I gather will be on their new album (to be recorded later this year). I'd heard all of them before bar one - the first song of the second set. I'm rapidly becoming a fan of a couple of the new songs, Evolve or Decay and Trust.

The only disappointment was that they didn't play Gypsy Scream. I'd been telling my Dad all about this song, and then they didn't actually play it. *g* Ah well, that's the way it happens sometimes.

So it was a good end to a bad day. At least I went to bed happy! ;o)

And then there was Saturday. I had to catch up with my brother to give him his birthday present, but I didn't really want to see my sister-in-law because I just needed a break from it all. So I put it off as late as I could and went around when I was on my way home. It wasn't as bad as I had been dreading though. It seemed that my sister-in-law was prepared to just let it go and didn't want to get into all of the reasons for the blow up the day before. And my brother liked his present. It was very tense for me, but I couldn't stay long and so managed to keep it light.

Saturday night, I went to see FourPlay again. This time with a friend rather than with family. Which worked much better. I was still buggered after my tough week, but thankfully it was an early gig and another good gig meant that I not only stayed awake, I also enjoyed it immensely. Not the least because they played my favourite song - a cover of Suede's The Two Of Us from their first album. I just love the layers and soaring arrangement of that song. It was FourPlay's version of it that got me into Suede - I just had to hear the original. And it's stayed one of my favourite songs for many, many years.

So I was a very happy girl. I got me some Suede-y goodness. And they even played Gypsy Scream as their final song.

After all that had happened, it's probably not surprising that I spent all day today around the house and most of the day sleeping.

Hopefully, next week will be better.

Listening to: the ABC news

From Begging the Question:

1. Why did you start blogging?

A couple of friends had blogs and I was becoming an avid commenter without having my own space. So I thought I should set up my own blog and stop hijacking other peoples. And it's good to have somewhere where I can complain about the little irritants of my day without completely offending my colleagues.

2. Are the reasons you blog now the same as when you started? If not, what's changed?

A little bit. I blog less about my personal life now. I still use my blog for free therapy, but probably less so than when I first started.

3. What would make blogging better for you?

Being able to blog about my personal life without having to worry about the wrong people reading it. Or more to the point, without people trying to discover my identity.

4. Do you have comments on your blog? Why or why not? Do you comment on other blogs? What motivates you to post a comment?

Yes. Because I like the feedback. Yes. Having something to say/add.

5. What is your philosophy of the blogroll?

I don't really have one, since I use blo.gs, but the blogs I have listed in my sidebar are those that I can't get blo.gs to recognise. The blogs I add to blo.gs are those that I read. I don't add someone just because they've blogrolled me (especially lately since I haven't checked my stats in ages), but I often add people who've commented on my blog because I like to see where they are coming from.

Listening to: Coldplay - X&Y

Is it possible?

Is there actually a QC or SC1 in existence who would be prepared to give a written opinion on a 4 folder brief2 within 48 hours of the request? No? Didn't think so. But try telling my client that! *sigh*

Why can't it go to a junior? Who would still have trouble meeting the deadline but may actually have the time to dedicate an entire day to it tomorrow? Because we're getting it as a 2nd opinion because they didn't like the 1st opinion and there is no point in getting the 2nd opinion unless it's from someone more senior. *even bigger sigh*

Practising law would be so much easier if I didn't have to deal with people!

1 Queen's Counsel or Senior Counsel - they're basically the same thing, just QCs were appointed by the Governor-in-Council and SCs were appointed by the Chief Justice. But considering the Governor-in-Council acted on the advice of the Chief Justice anyway, the distinction is miniscule. Anyone who "took silk" before 1994 is a QC, after 1994 is an SC.

2 ie 4 large ring binders, not including the 400+ pages of legislation which no QC/SC is highly familiar with and which would need to be considered in some depth.

Listening to: Enter the Haggis - free downloads from their website

prosecutorial discretion

There's been quite a lot of discussion in the Queensland media lately about prosecutorial discretion, but can you imagine the furor if this happened here?

"This" is that a guy has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for drug trafficking, obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and possession of controlled substances. Not so bad huh? Except that the guy was in possession of prescription drugs used to manage his chronic pain. And the only reason he had the quantities he had was because he had to take excessive quantities because he was addicted to them, not because he was selling them to someone else.

What gets me is the charge for drug trafficking. It seems that you are guilty of this offence if you possess a certain quantity of a controlled substance (like a prescription drug), whether or not you had on-sold it or intended to on-sell it. Apparently the prosecutor in this case admitted that the guy was not trafficking, but they charged him with it anyway.

Leaving aside whether there should be a mandatory minimum sentence for something like this (which is why he got 25 years), surely this is a pure example of where prosecutorial discretion should be used to not charge someone with an offence of which they are technically guilty but are not committing the sort of offence intended to be caught by the statute.

I mean, honestly. Why not just leave it at the obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and possession of controlled substances? Why go the extra step and charge him with trafficking when you know he's not actually trafficking? At least that way, it's more likely that he would have got a sentence appropriate for the crime.

But apparently prosecutors think it's the guys own fault, since he was offered a deal and didn't take it because he wouldn't consider any deal that included time in prison. Which is his right. If he doesn't think he's done anything wrong, he's entitled to defend the case. It shouldn't lead to a manifestly excessive penalty!

Some people just don't seem to get that just because there's a breach, you don't automatically have to prosecute. And each charge should be considered on it's own. I think it's completely unethical to charge someone with a technical breach which has good public policy reasons for a non-prosecutorial compliance action just because you want some leverage to plea bargain it down.



Listening to: Mercury Rev - The Secret Migration

'Cause I'm in a quiz-y sort of mood

Part Expert Kisser

You're a kissing pro, but it's all about quality and not quantity
You've perfected your kissing technique and can knock anyone's socks off
And you're adaptable, giving each partner what they crave
When it comes down to it, your kisses are truly unforgettable

Part Shy Kisser

You *do* love to kiss, once your comfortable with it
And that means knowing the person you're kissing pretty well
You usually don't make the first move when it comes to making out
But you've got plenty of intensity in return

I think both are pretty accurate.

Your IQ Is 125

Your Logical Intelligence is Above Average
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

I thought I'd score higher on logical intelligence and lower on mathematical intelligence. Interesting.

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.

In love, you feel the most alive when your lover is creative and never lets you feel bored.

You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.

Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.

In this moment, you think of love as commitment. Love only works when both people are totally devoted.

I agree with everything except maybe the marriage comment. I certainly believe that marriage is something you should work at and not toss away the moment it isn't working. But then, I believe that about any committed relationship. *shrugs*

Listening to: Mercury Rev - All is Dream

Valley Fiesta (only a week late)

So I still haven't had time to post about the Valley Fiesta, but I really feel I should since I had a great weekend. So I'll do it in brief, by reference to the program:-

Friday 8/7/05
7.00-7.45 Elation - I liked these guys, they reminded me of Zephyr Timbre in some ways
8.00-9.00 Spod - not so big on these guys. Just didn't like their sound

And then it was on to Rics for Dave McCormack and the Polaroids. Gentle Ben and his Sensitive Side supported and I'm not a fan, but many of the audience obviously were. Dave and the boys were fantastic though. Rics was packed so solid that people who wanted to leave had to go upstairs to get out. I was sitting on the bench up the back though, so I was still able to see. They did a cover of a Weezer song - I can't remember which one, but it's one of the one's from Pinkerton, so I'm listening to that this morning to try to remember. I was very impressed.

Saturday 9/7/05
3.10-3.50 A view from Madeleine’s Couch - I thought they were a duo last time I saw them, but there was 4 of them this time. I like them, but they're not the most musically interesting band in existence. Very relaxing.
4.10-5.00 Misinterprotato - Even though I don't think they improvise, but they sound like your typical improv jazz. I've got to be in a jazz mood to really enjoy them, but thankfully I was on Sat arvo, so I did.
5.20-6.20 Doch - gypsy music with Slav influences. One of my favourite bands. I danced my butt off with a 2yo, but still missed The Fairy.
7.20-8.00 Dave McCormack & The Polaroids - got there early and wriggled my way up the front so I could see. Thought I'd be in the middle of the mosh pit (for want of a better word), but I think most of the kiddies around me didn't know who they were and were just waiting for Evermore to come on. Danced my butt off again and had a wonderful time.

Then I headed for The Troubadour to meet my mates for The Meadows, Kelt and speedstar. They'd managed to snag some of the comfy couches by getting there early and it was just as well since the gig was sold out. We were able to enjoy most of the gig from the comfy couches, but there was quite a crowd standing by the time speedstar came on, so stood for their set. Good sets by all. The Meadows seemed to have a couple of technical problems, but played some new songs I hadn't heard before and I do like their sound. I haven't heard Kelt before, but was keen enough that I went looking for a copy of his CD after (the gig was his CD launch), but couldn't find it. I haven't seen speedstar play live for a while, and I'd forgotten how much I love them. They played a nice mix of old and new stuff and I'm sure I would have been on my feet dancing even if I hadn't already been on my feet to see.

It was a little weird to see all of the Polaroid guys at the gig. They seemed to stay up the back and chat rather than come down to enjoy the music, but it still made them seem almost like normal people. ;o)

The one downside of the night was the amount of smoke in the place. I'm not sure whether their ventilation system wasn't working properly or something, but I hadn't been there long before my eyes were stinging with it - not helped by the chain smoker sitting in front of us. Again, I say that I hate the Troubadour's system of having a non-smoking area up the back near the bar and a smoking area up the front near the band. And I can't wait until the next stage of the smoking laws come in and smoking will be banned full stop from venues like the Troub and people will have to go outside to smoke. It will make things far more civilised (and my clothes won't smell so bad after a night out).

Sunday 10/7/05 - I was going to see..
1.45-2.15 Gin Club
2.30-3.00 Andrew Morris
2.50-3.10 Tribalicious
3.30-4.10 Jaleos Flamenco
4.30-5.10 Spankinhide
5.20-6.00 Boat people
6.20-7.15 Tim Rogers and the Temperance Union

but I had an asthma attack on Sunday morning and just wheezed around the house instead.

And now it's back to deal with my ever increasing workload.

Listening to: the mix CD I made for The Fairy's birthday


From this week's Time Off:-

Law changes to keep Valley rockin'

In a win for the Brisbane music community, the QLD Government and Brisbane City Council will make five changes to the law to make trendy inner city Fortitude Valley a designated "special entertainment area". A first in Australia, it comes into effect March 2006.

The state will adopt uniform noise levels for music venues, requires all new developments to have noise insulation, and stops resident complaints about existing clubs.

The issue blew up six years ago, as it had in various cities around Australia, with music venues under attack by residents, the latter aided and abetted by property developers wanting to buy the clubs at basement prices and turning them into apartments.

But QLD has taken the initiative. At last year's Big Sound conference, the Brisbane City Council launched its Valley Music Harmony Plan to try and broker a peace between the warring factions.

Q Music Executive Officer Ant McKenna says: "This will provide security and stability for artists and venues in Queensland and will mean that the burden will be put back where it belongs – onto developers creating new residential apartments within and surrounding our beloved Fortitude Valley. Instead of one new resident making a complaint leading to a vibrant venue closing down, this will pave the way for venues to know exactly what noise levels they can and cannot emit, they will be able to self monitor and emissions will be measured from the venue rather than from residential dwellings."

He expected to see more entertainment precincts in QLD.

This has been an issue very close to my heart for some time now - I guess 6 years since I was part of the original campaign. It's great to see that something is finally being done about it.

If anyone wants to know more, you can read about it on Q Music's website, the Department of Local Government and Planning's website, and Brisbane City Council's website. Submissions to LGP close on Friday, 12 August 2005 and to BCC close on Friday, 19 August 2005.

Listening to: Ben Folds - Rockin' the Suburbs

I feel like foo

I've been neck deep on one file for the last week. I now have to address the rest of the pile that has been sitting there waiting while I dealt with that one matter. *sigh*

So I'll probably continue to be quiet for a bit.

I'm planning on an "at home" weekend, so I'll probably post about Valley Fiesta at some stage over the weekend.

My earworms from last week were posted to SwissToni's blog here. If anyone reading here also commented there, I've finally got around to replying to your comments.

I haven't had time to read anyone elses blog either, so SwissToni need not feel singled out. ;o)

Listening to: Augie March - Live at Northcote Social Club

10 must own items

I think I'm still a bit shocked by the London bombings. I text messaged all of my London friends as soon as I found out and I haven't heard back from 2 of them. I hoping this is just because they're responding to texts from everyone else and not because they were hurt.

Sometime today, my earworms for the week should be appearing over at SwissToni's Place. Yep, I'm this week's guest editor and proud to be the first chick (and I think the first non-UK person?) to grace his blog.

Now for the subject of the post. A while back, Begging the Question had this question as part of the regular Friday Spies posts (Fitz-Hume's are here, and Milbarge's are here). Since then, I've been thinking about what my list would be:-

10 must own items for single men

1. A pair of comfortable dress shoes
2. A piece of sporting equipment that you've used in the last 12 months
3. Scented spray for the toilet
4. A cookbook that you've made something from
5. A wicked and earthy sense of humour
6. The ability to be open to new experiences
7. Self-confidence without arrogance
8. Jocks without holes in them that weren't bought by your mother or ex-girlfriend
9. More than one set of sheets for your bed
10. At least 2 books by the same author that aren't fantasy or non-fiction

10 must own items for single women

1. A pair of comfortable dress shoes
2. An outfit that makes you feel sexy
3. A neutral coloured lipstick that brightens your lips but matches your skin tone
4. A "signature" perfume
5. A wicked and earthy sense of humour
6. The ability to be open to new experiences
7. Self-confidence without arrogance
8. At least one set of matching lingerie
9. Condoms (just in case #2 or #8 are successful)
10. At least 2 books by the same author that aren't romance fiction or self-help books

You'll see that the personality must-have's (#5-7) are the same for both sexes - I think they are required if you are going to survive the dating scene. And comfortable dress shoes are required if your feet are going to survive the dating scene! ;o)

Listening to: Brendan Benson - The Alternative to Love

Are SNAGs the answer?

Two interesting articles I came across recently:-

- this one about women being angrier in the home than they are at work (compared with men who are angrier at work because they are highly competitive and career driven) because "Women are under enormous pressure in the home, particularly if they're working mothers. They have double the stress because they're effectively doing two full-time jobs."

- and this one about Spain's proposed laws to make men "pledge to 'share domestic responsibilities and the care and attention' of young children and ageing relatives" as part of their marriage contract.

It's a common problem. I know a lot of women who earn as well as or better than their husbands (or de facto partners) and work the same hours, but are expected to do the majority of the housework and child caring duties.

When The Ex and I were living together, I tried to split the household duties so that we were each responsible for roughly half each. But it inevitably happened that I would have to nag him to do his half, or just do it myself. I don't think you can truly get equality in the housework stakes unless each person takes responsiblity for their half, not just in doing the work, but also in remembering to do it.

In the meantime, I'll just happily live on my own. ;o)

Listening to: Faithless - Forever Faithless: The Greatest Hits


I'm currently sitting here nursing a bruised noggin. I had an incredibly stressful day and was still in hyper mode when I came home and was running around changing and taking drugs for my cold and such things, when the cat got right under my feet and I tripped and hit my head on the bench. I saw stars! Many, many of them!

And the cat ran away. I think he knew from the excessive swearing that tripping me wasn't a good idea.

So now I have a stuffed up nose, a sore throat and an achy head. I'm not a happy chappy. And I have to go to court tomorrow and deal with a problematic lawyer on the other side who is asking for unreasonable things. I haven't prepared my submissions, I'm not on top of the factual basis of the court proceedings, and I haven't dealt with a matter of this nature in about 2 years. I think I'll be going to work very early tomorrow morning. :o(

Listening to: Garbage - Bleed Like Me

one of those days

Ever had one of those days where you seemed to be flat strap all day but didn't seem to actually achieve anything? Well, I had one of those days.

Partially it was because I was helping out someone else on one of their files, partially because I had a bunch of completely unproductive meetings, and partically because I spent a good part of the day researching what I have to do to become a barrister because I'm so completely pissed off with the Queensland Law Society at the moment (I swear, half the time it feels like they actively discriminate against government lawyers! *sigh*)

Listening to: Garbage - Bleed Like Me

Down to 8 apostles

One of the 12 Apostles has collapsed into the sea. I think it's a real shame. The 12 Apostles are probably the biggest tourist drawcard on the Victorian coastline and they're steadily disintegrating. And this latest one to go was the one you could see the best too.

Compare this photo from the above news.com.au story:

To this one I took when I travelled down there last year:

It just doesn't look quite the same does it?

Listening to: Mercury Rev - The Secret Migration

When I was 13

It was foggy here this morning. I like walking in daytime fog - it muffles sound so that people and objects kind of loom up on you and you feel like you're the only person in the world until they do. The Story Bridge looked very cool this morning - the bottom half was covered in fog, but the very tip on one side was uncovered and the sun was hitting it. I really wish I'd had my camera with me so I could have taken a picture of it. I really wish I had a decent camera again. :o(

I think I like fog so much because it reminds me of my early teenage years. Which segues nicely into the story I've been working on all week. :o)

Last weekend, I watched Suddenly 30. I really enjoyed it. It was fluff, but it was entertaining fluff and good to see Jennifer Garner in a non-serious role.

As the movie ended, I started thinking about where I fit into the teen scene when I was 13yo. In many ways, it was probably one of my happier years over the whole pre-teen to early-teen age. Grades 5 and 6 (10yo and 11yo) were perfectly horrible - I went from being a pretty self-confident kid to one thought everyone disliked me. I was a tomboy, overly bright, and a smart arse who hated my teachers with a passion and I think the feeling was mutual. I ran away from school a number of times and there was talk at the end of grade 6 of me being expelled. Thankfully, my parents talked the headmaster out of it, and I settled down a bit in Grade 7 (12yo) with an exchange teacher who I really liked and who managed to get the best out of me.

Grade 8 (13yo) was the beginning of high school. I was going to a different school from everyone else in my primary school, and (for the first time in my life) a different school from my "perfect" older brother. It was a new start for me, but also a huge challenge since I was quite shy and had trouble meeting new people and making new friends. After going to state schools all through primary, it was also my first experience with a private school (what the English call a public school) and an all-girls school.

While I had trouble complying with the rules, and found some of the schoolwork challenging (eg I didn't know what a verb or a noun were, but I got straight A's in creative writing in English), I basically cruised through that first year. I made friends easily and quickly became the leader of my own little gang. I wasn't exceptionally friendly with the "cool girls", but I played netball and touch football, so I trained with them a lot and we basically got along.

I didn't really fit in to any of the usual groups - I was too rebellious for the "brains", and too brainy for the "rebels" - but I had a best friend for the first time in my life, rather than being good friends with bunch of kids. I thought that having a best friend was the be-all and end-all of "fitting in".

I was what US colleges call "an all-rounder" - I was involved in something every day before school, lunchtimes, and after school. I was in the cross-country team, the gymnastics team, the netball team, the touch football team, the choir, the concert band, the orchestra and I trained with the athletics team (I was pretty good at hurdles, but the top 2 hurdlers in my age group in Queensland were at my school, so I didn't have a snowballs chance in hell of making the team) and played competitive tennis on the weekends (at the school).

Things weren't perfect. Teenage girls are pretty cruel, especially when I had developed physically a little quicker than most of them, didn't have the same background as them (my daddy wasn't a doctor, a lawyer, or a rich farmer), and was far more comfortable with the boys than most of them. A couple of the guys from my primary school went to our brother school and were part of the "cool kids" over there. I wasn't particularly friendly with them, but I did know them and we usually chatted a bit at the school socials.

I was basically happy. I was still pretty awkward, and I could relate to some of the themes from Suddenly 30, but I knew I wasn't cool and didn't really try to be part of that gang. My close friends at the time were all at the same school and I got along pretty well with most of the teachers.

By the time I hit grade 9 (14yo), that had all changed. My best friend had started hanging out a lot with another gang of girls that I really didn't like. My friends at school were split - I was in classes with the brains, but I spent my lunch hours (when not on detention) with the most rebellious kids in school - both groups were outsiders and I wasn't best friends with anyone from either group. I had become way more rebellious and started hanging out with a group outside of my school a lot. Most of them were from one of the local state high schools that we were banned from associating with at school events. I was dating a 17yo guy who used to pick me up from school on his motorbike. I had to drop a lot of my activities because I was in detention so much. My grades dropped to a B or C average, instead of an A average. I started playing bass instead of flute and played in a heavy metal band with guys from the same local state high school we were banned from socialising with. I was generally considered to be a bad influence.

And this all lasted until my parents sent me to boarding school when I was 16yo. But that's a story for another day.

On a completely different note, I took the MIT weblog survey:

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

I can't see the results at the moment, but I suspect I'm about average for a weblogger.

Listening to: Garbage - self titled