Observant little ...

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

In a quiz-y sort of mood

Once again, I'm shlightly shloshed and at work. You guys are going to start thinking that this is a habit of mine, but actually, it's probably only the 2nd time it's happened all year! It's just that both time happened in the space of one week. Ah well.

I got invited to Beer O'Clock this afternoon. We had so much fun, we're thinking of making it a habit. I think this is great since I've always bemoaned about the fact that we don't tend to socialise much in my area. And apparently I'm so very amusing when I'm pissed. ;o)

Anyway, I'm a little too far gone to write anything serious, but I'm also a little too far gone to refrain from posting, so instead, I'll post some quiz results:

What Your Underwear Says About You

When you're bad, you're very bad. And when you're good, you're still trouble!

You're sexy, in that pinup girl, tease sort of way.

Have I done this one before?

You're an 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

Your World View

You are a happy, well-balanced person who likes people and is liked by others.
You question whether many conventional views on morality are valid under all circumstances.
You are essentially a content person.

Sometimes, you consider yourself a little superior.
You are moral by your own standards.
You believe that morality is what best suits the occasion.

I didn't like this one because I couldn't answer - none of them were moral! Maid Marion should have let Robin and John be martyrs since that was obviously what they wanted. Robin was the least moral since he should have accepted that she did it for him. Little John was probably motivated by lust and covetous thoughts about his best friend's wife. So maybe I really am just a cynical old pessimist after all! ;o)

But then....

Your Inner Child Is Happy

You see life as simple, and simple is a very good thing.
You're cheerful and upbeat, taking everything as it comes.
And you decide not to worry, even when things look bad.
You figure there's just so many great things to look forward to.

So it's not all bleak.

Listening to: the vacuum cleaner - that means I need to go home!

Danger Will Robinson!

Forgive me if I shlur a bit during this post. I've just been to a work function and had a couple of red wines. Thankfully, I managed to keep it down to a couple and didn't get caught up chatting to anyone from work, so I managed not to disgrace myself. It could have been a close thing otherwise... ;o)

I think that lightening might have hit near where I live last night. I was woken up at about 1:30am by thunder so loud that it shook the ground. I hate storms (it's a childhood trauma sort of thing), so this meant that I then paced the floorboards for the next 2 hours (with the cat - he was nearly as freaked as I was, but his eyes go wider *g*) while I tried to convince myself that the roof couldn't possibly come in because there are other people living above me and their antics haven't brought the roof down yet.

This meant that, overall, last night I got about 4 hours sleep. No wonder it only took a couple of wines to get me smashed tonight. ;o)

And that meant that I nearly did two things at work today that I'd rather not do, being:-

(a) cry (always a danger when I've overtired and overstressed); and/or

(b) tell my boss exactly where he could shove the latest "little thing" he wanted me to do.

The second option would have been worse. I normally have a great relationship with my boss, and I wouldn't want to ruin that by snapping something I don't really mean because I'm at the end of my tether. Especially since I'll probably be completely over it after I've had a decent night's sleep. Actually, I think I was completely over it about an hour later. But in the moment....

So I'm glad I managed not to do either.

It's late, I'm tired, and while working when a little bit tipsy is fun, it's probably not all that productive, so I think I'll go home.

Listening to: Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head (again/still)

Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005

The whole debate over the Anti-Terrorism Bill (pdf document) is heating up. There was the whole furore over John Stanhope posting the Bill on his website. And some of the advices listed on that site are interesting. I did a quick Google search to see if I could get access to the full range of submissions, but it seems they aren't published anywhere. I want to see if anyone outside of the government is actually supporting the Bill in it's entirety.

I think the parts that are causing most people the most concern are the sections that deal with financing terrorism, and sedition. Most lawyer groups seem to be getting all upset about them too.

I can't wait to see the Amnesty submission on it.

Was there a similar backlash to the Anti-Terrorism Bills in the USA and UK?

Listening to: Machine Gun Fellatio - Paging Mr Strike

where angels fear tread?

A few days back, I got the following comment to my post about last month's eruption of violence in Belfast:

As an Orangeman whose moved from Belfast to Brisbane I can easily see how those Orangemen in Belfast feel.

The question is - why are there Catholic areas. Why are there areas where Protestants are not allowed to go.

Its been an eyeopener living in Brisbane. If there were parts of Brisbane that were no-go areas for people of a certain religion - there would be riots too.

Since the author linked to the Brisbane page for the "hub of Orangeism on the net", I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the comment, but it was more that it raised a couple of more Brisbane-centric issues, or perhaps they are more global issues, that I found it interesting.

For starters, I would say that there are areas in Brisbane that are no-go areas for people of a certain religion - I certainly wouldn't want to be a traditional Muslim wandering around some parts of Brisbane. Just because they are defined more by common sense than by legislation and policemen, doesn't mean they don't exist.

But the whole thing is that there aren't riots about it. I mean, face it, Australians tend not to riot about anything. The majority of protests these days are peaceful, and while Australians may not respect police officers, they generally respect their guns! ;o)

And this is part of why I love living here. With a couple of notable exceptions, we Aussies tend to be a pretty laid-back bunch. Sure it can be hard to get a hearing for a good cause here, but it's also damn hard to start a war here. So I'll take it as it is.

A couple of more specific comments:-

- the question is not "why are there areas Protestants are not allowed to go", the question is why a march which impacts on the heightened emotion of the residents of one area should be kept out of that area when the entire place has only a tenuous peace. Organised marches in Brisbane are still regulated, they still have a police presence, they are still restricted on where they can and can't go. The right to march is not absolute in any country I can think of.

- I got the impression that Protestants could go into Catholic areas, just not en masse, carrying weapons, or with the intent to incite violence. And aren't there the same restrictions on Catholics entering Protestant areas? I was able to walk into both Protestant and Catholic areas when I was in Belfast and no-one asked me what my religion was. Perhaps this is something that the author of the above comment could clarify - exactly who would be stopping an individual person dressed in ordinary street clothes from walking into a Catholic area nowadays?

- I still don't understand why being prevented from marching in a particular area would lead to a riot. They're still allowed to march. They must know that marching through a predominantly Catholic area when the march is all about celebrating a battle that the Catholics saw as a massacre that took away their land and their rights is a recipe for disaster. It would be like a bunch of white Australians celebrating the policy that led to the stolen generation by parading through Inala.

One of the websites for the Orange Order states:-

Orange Parades follow traditional routes. Parade routes are not picked to cause offence, but by and large are main arterial routes along which successive generations of Orangemen have peacefully paraded.

So why is the route so important? If the whole thing is about celebrating the culture and heritage of the Orangemen, can't that happen without going through Catholic areas? And isn't there also an argument that the reason why these marches traditionally went through the Catholic areas was precisely because they wanted to rub the Catholic's noses in their victory? As I said, I don't get it. But then, I believe that peace is more important than a parade. It's not like these are protests trying to bring worldwide attention to a human right which is being denied. And it's not like their right to parade is being reduced in any way. It's just placing some limits upon the practice for the safety of all concerned - after all, it's often the innocent bystanders that end up hurt.

I don't take sides on the whole Northern Ireland (or north of Ireland, depending on who you talk to) thing. As far as I can see both sides have a point, and both sides are to blame for "The Troubles". The CNN website and Wikipedia both have a pretty good summary of the issues and seem to be relatively non-partisan.

Listening to: Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head

what is your type?

I was talking to a couple of friends on Saturday night about what our "type" is. I think that everyone has a "type" - it's not necessarily who you date or are physically attracted to (since, for me at least, that's more to do with personality), but it is the type of guy/girl you are most likely to check out if they pass you in the street.

So my "type" is typified by what I like to call "the naughty choirboy", like the keys player in CFK (below).

I think I like the look of guys that combine an innocence and a rebelliousness in their attitude. It's the Johnny Depp thing. But then, everyone likes Johnny Depp! ;o)

And I like tall and thin. Which perhaps a little weird since I'm neither. Or maybe not so weird since opposites attract.

I don't really like classically good looking, but am more likely to find beauty in unusual features. I've never been a fan of Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt (though I have to admit that Brad has the most beautiful body in Troy, which I watched yesterday), but I've always had a soft spot for Ewan McGregor and Keanu Reeves.

But then, most of my crushes (even my celebrity crushes) have never fit this "type" either. So I guess when it comes down to it, it's not all that important. *shrugs*

Listening to: Charles Foster Kane - Northern

some covers just don't work

I'm a massive Jeff Buckley fan. So as far as I'm concerned, you shouldn't cover a Jeff song (or in this particular case, a song he made famous), unless you can do it as well as or better than Jeff. FourPlay did it. Damien Rice did it. Last night, Charles Foster Kane didn't. Halleluliah should give you chills. CFK's version just gave me the shits.

And then they topped it off by doing a terrible cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Like a Bridge over Troubled Water" (?? - it was definitely a S&G song, I can't be sure which one though).

I like Charles Foster Kane. I'm actually quite a fan of their originals. But I don't think his voice suits either song. The guy on keys was good though. I'd like to see them doing a cover of Suede's "The Two of Us" - if they want to do a slow cover, I think that one would better suit their style. But maybe it's a bit obvious.... *shrugs*

Listening to: Charles Foster Kane - Better Believe

I'm not scared

After that title, you probably thought this was going to be about something exciting. But no. It's just about a book I've just finished reading: Io Non Ho Paura by Niccolo Ammaniti. Though of course, I read the English translation.

I never saw the movie, and didn't really know much about it, though I had heard of it.

It was an amazing book: partially your usual "growing pains" story, part thriller, part mystery; I can see why they made it into a movie.


If anyone else has read it, I wanted to ask you: What do you think happened at the end?

I think that the police or army or whoever were looking for Filippo found the hiding place (possibly because they saw Filippo when he escaped?) and that one of them was the dark figure who approached Michele's Papa. And I think Michele died from the gunshot wound.

Do you agree?

Listening to: The Red Paintings - Rain

My favourite movie

I've just voted for my favourite movie - it's a nationwide survey like the "My favourite book" survey last year.

I voted for The Princess Bride of course. But the interesting thing was that you had to put in a comment on why you were voting for a particular movie, and I wanted to quote the bit in the beginning that I knew started with "Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture" and so on. But I couldn't remember the exact quote.

By typing what I knew into Google, I found a site that has the whole script! You have no idea how happy this makes me. This is one movie that really needed a script you can refer to since there are so many quotable quotes in it.

Nice to know someone else agreed with me on that! ;o)

Listening to: Elation - Solar Playground

a quick catch up

Oh wow. So much has been happening, I barely know where to start.

1. My niece is better. The new drugs are working and she's back off the transplant list. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that she won't need a transplant eventually, but the longer they can leave it, but the better the chances of success - both in finding the right liver for her, and in her acceptance of the new liver. So that's happy news.

2. I have to go shopping for some new clothes. Most of my usual work clothes are sitting a little too low on my hips for decency since I've lost some weight. Not that this is a bad thing, but I just haven't had time to hit the shops. At the moment, I've gone back to wearing some of my old stuff from 5+ years ago, which at least fits, even if it is a little dated. Thankfully, my suits tend to be classically cut, so it's not too obvious how old they are. My "play" clothes are looser, but are generally wearable if I use a belt to keep them from dropping to my ankles with a stiff breeze. ;o)

3. I've got a couple of interesting boys around at the moment. There's the "European contingent" from salsa, but they're just fun, being too young to take seriously. And of course, they aren't here for long. Which adds to the fun, but detracts from the seriousness. Then there are a couple of guys from online dating who are looking pretty promising. Nothing definite yet, but they're all cute, they're all into music almost as much as me, and they're interesting to chat to. Even better, they seem to think I'm worth the trouble as well.

4. I'm settled into my higher duties now and have finally got my "den" organised so that I know where everything is, even though I inherited a heap of stuff from the previous occupant. I'm here until the end of the financial year, so it was important to me to settle in properly and stop feeling like I'm just squatting. So far, I've managed to avoid going to trial by putting my negotiation skills into play to settle the matters, but there's one coming up next month which I think is going to be impossible to settle. Thankfully, the other side is quite pleasant, and it shouldn't be a difficult trial. In the last couple of weeks, I've taken 6 flights, driven about 1000kms and attended meetings or conferences nearly every day of the week. I even played devil's advocate with our QC, because we were concerned about his advice. It's been challenging and stressful and I can't believe how much I'm enjoying it! ;o)

The weird thing is that my "arch nemesis" - the reason why I was cautious about taking on this job - has been really good, and has actually been saying very nice things about my performance in the job. I think he didn't realise how extremely narky I can get in negotiations - I'm generally helpful and open to ideas (I think this part concerned him), but I'm not a fool and I usually have a good idea of our prospects at trial, so I won't let the other side try to bully me or my instructing officers. And with the sort of firms I'm dealing with, bullying seems to often be the norm. The fact that I've got quite snappy with the other side in a couple of conference has got back to him and seems to have bolstered his opinion of me. *sigh* These guys are weird. You're helpful and nice to them and they treat you like crap. But if you snap at them and show no fear, all of a sudden, the respect-o-meter goes through the roof. *bigger sigh* I don't get it.

5. I've been able to renew the lease on my flat, so I'm actually going to be in the same place without moving for more than 12 months. I can't remember the last time that happened. It was certainly more than 5 years ago. So I'm nesting whenever I'm home (which admittedly isn't often).

6. The kitty cat had an abscess a couple of weeks back because he'd been fighting and I had to take him to the vet. It scared the bejeevers out of me. Possibly, I could have been more blasé about it if he was my cat, but I'd feel horribly guilty if he died when The Fairy had entrusted him to my care. I've been more vigilant with him lately and making sure he's locked in as soon as I get home. But that means that I have to keep him out of my bedroom or else close the house up completely (which I hate doing because it gets so stuffy). He hasn't liked being closed out of my bedroom and is very vocal about his displeasure when I close the door. It has meant that he's way more affectionate when I'm actually home and paying him some attention though. Ah.. you treat 'em mean... ;o)

But I think that's most of the news. A bit of work, a bit of play, a bit of feline relations. Something for everyone I think. Except for music. I have to do up a review of the Amnesty gig I went to last weekend. Maybe next time.

Listening to: Xavier Rudd - Solace