Observant little ...

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

feeling like foo

Yes, I know, I know. You had all started to wonder if I'd dropped off the face of the planet. Don't worry, my "real life" friends have been wondering the same thing, so it's not just you! ;o)

Yesterday I had a breakthrough. The first day in about 3 weeks where I actually got to spend the whole day in the office - no meetings, no workshops, no training, no court. Oh boy, it was good! For the first time in that period, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with work - the pile of work may be up to my nose, but at least I can see over it!

And I may even be able to spend today in the office as well. Which could mean that I start to feel less stressed about my workload. It's not really that I have a huge number of matters at the moment, it's that I inherited a whole heap of established matters with little or no handover at the same time as a whole bunch of my old matters needed intensive work. So I haven't been able to really consider the new ones, but have just had them in a holding pattern, attending to the urgent stuff, but not really understanding the nature of the file or what needs to be done on it. I'm not usually this disorganised and I'm terrified I'm going to miss something. But a couple of days in the office will enable me to skim read the file, work out what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by, and put the new matters into my bring ups so I won't miss a deadline. And that would definitely be a good thing. For my stress levels if nothing else.

But thankfully, my workload hasn't interfered too much with my social life! Which is just as well, since I probably would have gone mildly nuts by now if I didn't have some form of stress relief. I'm still getting into the salsa - I'm even going to classes now to learn it properly, and they're nearly as much fun as the social stuff.

And my "international relations" bonanza continues. I think I've covered most of Europe, a goodly part of South America and a couple of Asian countries now in the nationalities of the people I've met. And *shock, horror* there was even an Aussie guy there last night. But he's only half Aussie, so that explains things. ;o)

My friend who got me into this whole salsa thing goes back to her home country this week. I'm going to miss her. But she tells me she'll be back in November. And then I'm going to take to Byron Bay to go surfing! ;o)

Listening to: The Informants - #1

What ever happened to regular posting?

I've noticed that my posting on my blog has become more and more eratic over the last couple of weeks. There's a reason for that. Well, actually there are a couple.

Firstly, I haven't had much time. I've been flat out at work, and then going straight from work to some social event and not getting home until 11pm or later, but which time I'm too buggered to even think about hopping online. All I want is my comfy bed.

Secondly, I also haven't had time to read newspapers or watch the news on TV. I'm getting to the stage where I'm not really sure what's going on in the world. So I haven't had current events I want to comment on.

And finally, I haven't been as introspective as usual lately. Because I haven't had time to be. Which could be a good thing, or it could be a very bad thing. ;o)

Listening to: Coldplay - X&Y

Joss Whedon leads a cult?

Cool! I want to join! Oh, hang on...

I saw the headline: Cult leader upsizes, in news.com.au and thought "what the..." and clicked through to read it. Then I realised it was an article all about Joss Whedon and got all excited about being able to join a Joss Whedon cult.

But then I realised that by "cult leader" they really meant "person who created cult series", and unfortunately (in this case) they're not really the same thing.

The article is mostly about his new "Whedon's futuristic action-adventure film" called Serenity, which was made after Firefly was axed, and is apparently the bigscreen movie version of the TV show. Hence the "upsizes" I guess. *rolls eyes* Talk about journalistic licence!

Listening to: Wesley Davison

"Everyone's a little queer, why can't you be a little straight?"

Why is it that that the fabulous unattached guys in this town all seem to be gay? I keep on meeting these fantastic guys who are cute, intelligent, fun, dress well, flirt like troopers (specifically, like American marines on R&R in Australia), and know how to dance. Of course, the last part is a dead giveaway. They are all gay.

Any why are they always the people who also think I'm fabulous as soon as they meet me?

If only it truly was possible to make a gay guy straight. But I don't think that's possible, any more than a guy can be "turned gay". I think that's just bisexual guys experimenting. *sighs and shrugs*

Listening to: Weezer - Pinkerton

violence in Belfast

I hadn't seen the news at all over the weekend, so I was a bit shocked to see this story this morning about violence that escalated in Belfast over the weekend after a march. Maybe I'm being naive, but I truly thought that the strained peace of recent years was going to be permanent, especially after the recent IRA announcement that it wasn't going to use violence to further it's aims in the future (or words to that effect).

And is it just me, or does that story seem a little... well... pro-police, and missing a couple of essential elements? I want to know what kicked off the violence (ie why it went from a protest march to a riot). I want to know if it was directed at the police or by the Orange Order at the Catholics and visa versa. I want to know if the rioters were just the protestors from the Orange Order, or included people from the Catholic area. I want to know why the decision to reroute the Whiterock march was such a big deal in the first place. Doesn't it just make sense to keep it out of the Catholic area?

And I'm not sure that plastic bullets can be claimed to be non-lethal. Sure that's their aim, but those things are bloody huge (see the photo below), and can still kill if they hit someone in the wrong spot.

Update 3:30pm: I've just seen this further article, which explains some of my questions above. Apparently the rioters were all Protestant (or is being blamed on the Protestant side rather than the Catholic side), and the Orange Order were upset at the decision to reroute the march because they think it "was the latest in a series of attempts to "erode Protestant culture" and deny Orangemen their rights". I still don't understand why it matters where they march as long as they are allowed to march. But perhaps that's because I don't have a really strong sense of loyalty to a geographic location, as I've never had to fight for it. If life became too difficult for me in Brisbane for some reason, I'd just move! ;o)

Listening to: Enigma (the first CD which consists of a lot of roman numerals which I can't remember right now.. ;o))

More answer to your questions...

I asked for and received more interview questions from Lord Bargain:

1. Should prison be for punishment or for rehabilitation?

In my opinion, punishment. I know it's not the trendy view, but (in Australia at least):-

(a) a large proportion of people who end up in prison have already been found guilty of a crime or misdemeanor before and punished by community service or a suspended sentence - so I really don't believe that they're going to stop because they've been put in prison;

(b) regardless of what is done in prison in terms of rehabilitation (unless you include putting sex offenders on that drug that takes away their sex drive), anyone who has done prison time is going to find it harder to stay on the straight and narrow when they get out than before they were put away. There is a lot of discrimination (quite possibly justified) against ex-prisoners;

(c) you don't get sent to prison because you need a better education. You get sent there to punish you for a crime you've committed.

That said, I still believe that prisons should be humane places, free from torture and deprivation of basic human dignity. Sure, there are some horrible aspects of prison life that are necessary to keep the prison population safe and to control the gangs, but prison guards and/or fellow prisoners shouldn't be able to satisfy any masochistic urges using the prison system.

And that's not to say that I don't think that the rehabilitation services should be removed. If a prisoner finds religion, or becomes educated, and stops committing crime as a result of that, I still think that's a good result for the community.

2. Is blood really thicker than water?

Sure! Have you ever seen the viscosity of blood? It's thick, gunky stuff. ;o)

Seriously though, no - I don't think it is. I think that I would do anything for my family because I know that they would do anything for me. It's a mutual trust and respect thing that probably has more to do with the fact that we all just know each other so well, than to do with the biological similarities. I think we would be the same if one of the kids was adopted at birth.

3. What is the thing you have done in your life that you are least proud of?

*ponders* That's a tough one. Partially because there are lots of things in my life that I'm not proud of, but also because I don't often think about them, so I had to dredge in my memory to think of the most despicable things I've done.

I did some pretty nasty stuff when I was a kid, but I had problems that were beyond my control and I never did anything intentionally cruel. I've told lies that have troubled my conscience, but not one that caused any adverse result that I was aware of. I hurt and manipulated my parents over and over when I was a kid, but I can't think of any one event that stands out.

And then there's a couple of things I've done that I'm not prepared to share on this blog. I may be anonymous to most people, but there are a couple of friends out there who read this who know who I am. I don't think they'd judge me, but the possibility of being "outed" and having something I've written held against me, or revealed to the wrong person, is always a possibility.

So, I think the thing I'm least proud of (that I'm prepared to reveal) is the way I broke off my friendship with The Ex when I found out about him and the one after me. Sure, I was badly hurt, and sure, it was self-preservation, but I still have a bit of guilt there because I think he's a little more damaged now than he was before. And maybe if I'd been able to be a bit stronger, we wouldn't have been estranged for so long.

4. What's the most important quality you look for in a partner?

Probably intelligence. It doesn't have to be book-learning intelligence, but I have to respect him, and I don't tend to respect unintelligent people. In fact, I can be downright cruel to someone I think is stupid or lacking in common sense, especially someone I'm emotionally involved with, because it's inevitable that you'll hurt each other, and my tongue is a vicious weapon when I'm hurt. But also because I don't mind playing the role of teacher, but I also like to learn.

I think I would put intelligence above a sense of humour. Mainly because I think everyone has a sense of humour - it's just that some are easier to understand or easier to unleash than others. And I laugh at anything except cruelty. ;o)

5. Would you marry for money, and if not, would it be a consideration anyway?

Finally! An easy one! The answer is no. Money would never be a consideration for me, because:-

(a) I earn very good money myself;
(b) I've never really been a fan of the big money lifestyle; and
(c) Anyone with intelligence and a bit of common sense can always earn money if they need to.

However, if someone of my age was in an extreme amount of debt, I guess that would be a consideration. It would depend on how they got there, but I've generally found that someone who is very bad with money doesn't get along well with me for long. I have certain thrifty tendancies which would grate against that sort of personality. So I guess it's still less of an issue of money, than an issue of personality, which the lack of money would be a symptom of.

I was actually having a conversation about this sort of thing with a colleague today. Part of my lack of ambition and lack of assets comes from the fact that I live for today, and leave the future to sort itself out. If, for some reason, I'm unable to earn good money in the future, I'm sure I'll get by. I don't really see the point in (for example) putting all of my money into buying a house, if it means that I can't have a life now and do the things I enjoy doing. *shrugs*

Listening to: Chris Pickering - Hard to find

new discoveries

I learnt to salsa last night. And discovered why Ka likes Mexican boys. ;o)

I'm definitely going to go salsa dancing again. Not so sure about the Mexican boy.

Listening to: Gorgeous - Air Balloon

gig review - The Devereaux, Iron On, Delpino

I've had this post sitting half finished in my drafts for ages now, so I thought I'd better finish it off and actually post it!


Since I hardly ever review the gigs straight after I go to them anymore, I've decided to just call these "gig reviews" from now on and not "what I did on the weekend"! ;o)

So anyway, on Friday night, I went to the Troubadour to see The Devereaux, Iron On, and Delpino (playing their last ever gig).

First up was The Devereaux. A 3-piece of guitar/singer, bass and drums, they had good tunes with bad vocals. Their sound is very Smashing Pumpkins, the early years. Except that Billy Corgan can do those screaming vocals and make them sound good. The most interesting thing in the band is the guitar - the guy is really good (even if he can't sing in key) - but he spends half each song facing the back of the stage, giving the audience a view of his not-cute-enough butt. So I spent half their set with my eyes closed. A shame really - if they got in a lead singer with deep husky voice and a lot of chutzpa, I think it would still suit their style, but they'd be a lot more interesting.

The first time I saw Iron On, I wasn't impressed and neither was anyone else I was with. I'm not sure if this was a better set, they'd improved overall, or I was less critical, but I really quite enjoyed their gig this time. I still wouldn't buy their CD, but I'll probably make the effort to go to their gigs in future if they're supporting or supported by someone I like. The blonde chick could still do with singing lessons though - especially in terms of mic technique.

Delpino's last ever gig was certainly impressive. A 4-piece of girl bass, boy drummer and a girl and a boy on guitar, their songs are rocky pop and their style was unusual but accessible. I liked them. Shame they won't be around anymore.

And, because I can't quite get away from the "what I did on the weekend" style of blogging, I also:-

* went to a scrapbooking party thrown by TBF - so very not my thing, I only went because it was TBF and she needed some more bums on seats. Oh yeah, and she fed us. ;o)

* helped The Tall Guy celebrate his birthday on Saturday night. He liked his present, which I was very pleased about because it took me an age to find something I thought he'd like. He's got to be the hardest person I know to buy for!

Listening to: Weezer - Pinkerton

Song meme

I've been very behind on my blog reading, so I only just came across the tag from Ka for this meme.

List five songs that you are currently digging - it doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions and the five songs (with artist) in your blog. Then tag five people to see what they're listening to.

Like Ka, in no particular order:

Xavier Rudd - Let me be

I don't have any of his CDs, but I have this song on the Coastal Chill album and I love it. It's catchy, has a great beat and the man has a beautiful voice.

Augie March - There is no such place

This in an incredibly beautiful song by an amazing Aussie band. Glenn uses lyrics the way poets use words. He never explains his songs, but allows the imagery of his lyrics to speak for themselves. Apparently it's about utopia, but I prefer to use my own imagination and interpretation.

Faithless - Mass Destruction (no link for listening, but click on Music then Forever Faithless from here and you'll find it)

This song has been going around in my head a lot with the coverage of the events in the USA following Hurricane Katrina, especially the lyric "fear is a weapon of mass destruction". I'm not sure that 'enjoying' is exactly the right word for my feelings about this song at the moment, but I guess in some ways it's helping me to make sense of the reactions of the people in New Orleans.

Jeff Buckley - So Real

I was chatting to a potential date about Jeff Buckley on the weekend. And this song just popped into my head and didn't leave. I dig all of the Grace album, but this song isn't usually at the top of the list of my favourites. But I guess it does epitomise Jeff's style, and that's something I don't think I'll ever get over.

Ben Lee - Catch my disease

I love this song. Probably in part because of the film clip where everyone (Ben included) just looks like they're hamming it up and having so much fun. But it's one of those songs that just makes you want to start dancing and smiling at everyone. I love those sorts of songs. ;o)

Because of my delay, I think probably everyone has already been tagged. But I'd like to see what sarni, lushlife, and Surviving Online Dating come up with.

Listening to: No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom


Questions for SwissToni:

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, other than the UK, and assuming you could speak the language, where would you want to live?

2. Have you ever considered becoming a politician yourself and curing the world of some of it's ills?

3. If you were to be a politician, would you join one of the current parties (if so, which one), or would you form your own party? If your own party, what would it's platform be?

4. On the basis that a gig is a main band plus two support bands, what is your ideal gig as of today, based on bands that are still together and actually playing gigs today? What would the venue be?

5. If you could choose your earworms, what songs would you WANT to be in your head for a week?

Questions for Ka:

(in the spirit of keeping things egocentric, because more egocentricism is needed in the world! ;o))

1. What is your favourite part of your own body? It can be as insignificant as the white bit at the top of your pinkie nail, or as significant as you like.

2. To ask the question a recruitment agent recently asked me, how do you think your work colleagues perceive you?

3. Is this how you perceive yourself?

4. If a friend was to come across your blog, but not know it was yours, do you think they would recognise the you they know from reading your blog (not from any pictures, just from the words)?

5. If you could meet any blogger in person (ie one you don't already know), regardless of where they live and regardless of whether you read their blog regularly or not (ie it could be a famous blogger), who would you want to meet? And why?

Listening to: No Doubt: Tragic Kingdom

Interview meme

The Rules

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below asking to be interviewed.

2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.

3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions

My questions from Bo Peeps Sheep:

1. Music will only ever be accompanied by one instrument for the rest of eternity and you must choose the instrument. The winner is?

Accompanied... so everyone will still be able to use vocals? In that case, guitar. It's the best accompanying instrument I think and there is so much you can do with it. Also, I like it. ;o)

2. Your mum wants to set you up on a date. Do you (have you?) let her?

I sort of have. She introduced me to the son of a client in the hopes that we'd hit it off, but it wasn't setting me up on a date exactly. But I'd let her if she wanted to set me up. I'll let anyone set me up when I'm single. After all, it's only a date - a couple of hours out of my life. And if I hate him, I can always leave early! ;o)

3. You see some kids spraying graffiti. Broad daylight. Brazen act of vandalism. Can you be bothered to report them? Why?

I'm very hypocritical when it comes to vandalism. If it's pretty or interesting I think it's art and leave them alone, but if it's just them scrawling their moniker in a single colour and doesn't improve the canvas in any way, I think it's vandalism and will report them. It's one of those areas where the law is very black and white, but my opinion on it is most definitely shades of grey.

4. Going to Riverfire?

Probably not. I'm going to a party on Saturday night though, and we might see some of it from there.

5. Law is redundant. There are no more lawyers. What do you become?

I'd probably go back to uni, get my post-grad in psychology and become a therapist. I think I prefer giving legal advice to giving personal advice, but it's still giving advice. Either that, or I'd become one of those consultants who tell you how to run your business or something like that. But I think if law was redundant, consultants would be redundant as well. After all, how would society operate? ;o)

Good questions BPS. I liked them - lots of variety and definitely some tricky ones in there. Having looked at everyone elses questions as well, I think you're good at this. Definitely better than the average bear anyway.

Listening to: a work sound recording


I'm reading through a transcript of a court appearance I did a couple of weeks back. There were a lot of oral submissions that I had to do off the top of my head with little or no notes to work from, and about half an hour worth of legal argument and responding to questions from the bench, so I was curious to see how fluent I was.

And the verdict? I didn't say "um" or "uh" once, but I do say "actually" a lot. ;o)

Listening to: Coastal Chill 05