Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Zippy Did It!!!

Over at The Friendly Atheist, Hemant put up a post about another blogger, Lindsey, who recently went through her old bible and was looking at what her younger self found so inspiring and important to her as a believer, that now kind of freak her out. So Hemant asked the rest of us to dig out our old bibles and have a looksie and see what what was important to us as youngsters with belief and report anything interesting.

I was never a big believer anyways and have always found religion and church a bit creepy. Especially when filled with worshipers. Empty churches are great and I love to visit them when no one else is around. I can appreciate the aesthetics and histories within them much easier without God's fanclub in attendance. It was no surprise then when I opened my old bible, given to me on Christmas 1984 - what a dreadful gift. Sorry Mom and Dad, but really, what 12 year old wants a bible? - and it was pretty much untouched. The white cover had, after 25 years molded to the protective book sleeve, so no secrets were held within its files. A quick leaf showed nothing highlighted, nothing underlined. I did come across an interesting card insert, though.

Zippy the Pinhead

That Zippy The Pinhead, he sure does get around. I think I blamed a lot of my hijinks on him as a kid. Zippy did it!

Some of the language is a bit dodgy. "As God enables me" because I can't enable myself. what exactly is a "faith promise"? I thought I was offering cash - why would faith have anything to do with it? One either has faith or doesn't, just like one either has cash or doesn't. However one doesn't need faith to donate cash. It's a silly concept, is a "faith promise". Can you imagine trying to get a mortgage on faith? "...faith promise is a covenant between me and God." Can you imagine what would happen if you fell behind in your payments? Would God come and bust a kneecap? "It will extend for the next twelve months." unless I choose the one-time option but thanks for the pressure. "However I'll not be asked for a payment at anytime." We'll just let your covenant guilt eat away at you, you scum. " It is my sincere desire to commit myself and my financial resources..." can you just feel the hand slipping into your pocket and rifling for the billfold already - and you've not even signed yet! "...to the cause of worlwide evangelization." UGH! This was in 1984 or 1985 when Africa was starving and the world needed a whole lot more then a bunch of guilt-trippers fobbing off bibles and preaching about god.

Apparently I didn't think too much of it at the time, either.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Back in 15 min.

I should put this sign on my face. People shouldn't talk to me just now and expect there to be any measure of attention leveled towards them. My brain is in LaLaLand. Not because I'm particularly busy, run off my feet or even slightly stressed. I'm languid. I'm remarkably laid back. I'm not expecting this to be anything more than a day the kids open new presents and run away to play with new toys, and maybe later if the weather is nice, we'll drive down to the beach and let our feet get wet in the surf.

I woke up this morning with two strange things going on in my head; the first was the last word from a dream I don't remember: Sheetcake. I have no idea why sheetcake was such an important word that it was shouted and woke me then left me confused as the dream dispersed into nothingness. Second was the song Tom Sawyer by Rush. Now that is stuck in my head. It didn't disappear. For now it's ok, but later it may grate on me.

I have no need to Rush a sheet cake.

Coffee and a cookie for breakfast. Diet must begin ASAP. Sugar will have to be excluded from my life for ever and ever. I'll try the reprogramming of my mind to associate sweet things with sewers or something.

My hair is a nightmare right now. It's at that in-between stage of growing out. I'm starting to talk myself out of growing it out, because it looks so crap all the time. Shorter is easier to handle. No combs, no clips, no nothing. Scrunch in some product and go. But I still have the love for a long ponytail. Doesn't a ponytail say young? Doesn't ponytail = youth? Fact is I don't know that I have the right face shape for long hair. No one ever compliments me for my long hair. I think I'm just holding on to some old romantic ideal of beauty. What suits me is short and curly. What to do, what to do?

I feel slightly inadequate as compared to others who are so busy at this time of year. The manic baking, the decorating (I have the tree and that's it. Nothing else. Not even a wreath or some garland on the fence) the guests. It's just the four of us this year. Feels strange.

I need to go out and buy some drink. Wine and beer. Gin would be nice too. Maybe just spending the next few days slightly buzzed...nah. Doesn't work for me. I'd just fall asleep.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Happy Holidays!




...sheetcake.

Ok, what do you think....

Long hair

May 09 long hair

Short hair

July 09 short hair

For your amusement. Merry X-mas.

Sept. 09 Silly

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Awesome!! Awesome awesome awesome!!

See, this is a far more appropriate way to talk about sex. He even says fuck and doesn't come across as filthy like Oral did. I love Dan Savage!




Share this with a teen who may be thinking about inflating some douchebag into "The One"

Creepy!! Creepy creepy creepy!

Oral Roberts was a sick bastard.



Glad we didn't erase that bit.

But it's all vagina, poison, booby fondling is ok, but you'll get AIDS and die if you poke about in the poison like a queer. I'll have to listen again to see if he uses the word penis, I think he just says male organ over and over. Vagina is ok but penis is a no no.

Religious zealots are the biggest perverts around.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Am I too paranoid?

I don't think so. I'm comfortably skeptical but not yet paranoid. I don't think so - it's why I'm putting it out to you. Reason I ask is, I'm replaying a conversation I had with Sassyface this morning about TV commercials programming you to have a preconceived idea about what something should be like, but when you actually get it it's never like the commercials. So you get more of it, telling yourself it must have been a bad batch, or maybe you weren't in the right mood and yet time after time you may get the same results. The ads still run saying "This product will make you young, sexy, attractive, popular" etc so at some point a person either accepts the ads are rubbish and lies or the person begins to force themselves to take the product regularly and pretend it works, thereby mimicking the ad and creating a false persona. Trust me, she's 10 and she totally understood! I think.

I used the example of McDonalds. Asked her to tell me what a McDonalds ad tells her, what does she see, who does she see, how does she think those people are feeling? Does the ad make you want to have those same experiences? Do you think the food is what makes them happy? Did a Happy Meal ever make her that happy? "No it's just a plain burger and I never eat the chips. Sometimes the toy is nice!" Is McDonalds a toy store or a food store? Food store. Is the food as good as the toy? No. So why don't kids just go to the toy store instead? Hmmmm....

Then I told her about Budweiser. Told her about how the ads are for adults, but they show barely out of teens youth doing fun things like beach volleyball, or having fun camping trips or whatever. Young, fun, popular. Or they use animals and the animals are popular and funny. The ads are shown when kids can see them. This gets the kids brand aware many, many years before they are even legally able to drink alcohol. It sets the seed in their minds. It's the only explanation I can come up with for why so many people drink Budweiser because really; it's piss. It's awful stuff! (Thankfully I've not had to endure the eyesore that is Bud on TV for a long time.) (I'm sure it shows)

I think we can sum it up with cigarette ads of the 70's/80's. Young? Sexy? Independent? Rebellious? Let's personify with a smoke in our hand. I know I did. I was highly insecure as a kid and was roped in easily to the idea a cigarette would make people think I was better than I thought I was. Despite the fact that when I started smoking it made me feel violently ill - I pushed through it. It was a right of passage, not a sign I was poisoning myself. Cool people don't puke from a cigarette! Never once did I think I was being a sucker to an ad campaign - I was creating a cool, confident persona. I bought Marlborough Reds, then moved onto Marlborough Lights. Smoked nearly three packs a day for six years. Quit when I was married, hopped back a few times after bad things made me depressed but never never back to that level. Have not had one in over 3 years now. Still crave them though. That's the problem - most of these products have some element of addiction to them, be it habit or chemical dependence or both. You don't hear about vegetable addicts, or water addicts or deep breathing meditation addicts.

I'll have to get some ads together to show her the ways advertising manipulates people, and how kids are the most susceptible because they aren't often taught critical thinking skills. They aren't encouraged to question adults. In fact they question the wrong adults. Don't question me when I tell you to go clean your room. Question strangers who tell you you must have a certain toy, food, magazine or sneakers. Toy stores won't ground you for belligerence, Mom will. But if Sassyface feels she can challenge me, then maybe she'll grow up confident enough to challenge others. Especially since they can't ground her, either.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Let's talk spirals.

What is the Norway spiral? I saw the initial news of it, but so far there's been not much boo about it down here. Have the Aussies figured - C'mon it's obviously a fucking light shown up on a cloud. Do you think we're stupid??

Well Aussie Atheist has strapped on his sparkle tiara to have a chat with someone who thinks they know exactly what the spiral was. It was a sign from God.



There are people like that out there (Not meaning the weird Aussie with a tiara on his head) who look at these kinds of phenomena and clap gleefully that it must be sign everyone's gonna die! Yippee!!

But sadly, he's not alone. There are lots of people whose first thought is something nonsense. Just google "Norway spiral lights" to see the examples of foolishness rattling about the electronic ether: (Fuck, how do I take a google screen grab??) I'll save you the hassle: It's Aliens!!! Aliens wanted to give the Norwegians a light show. NO they wanted to show support for Obama! NO, They wanted to show Obama he was bad. Has anyone checked Nostradamus's predictions?? One headline read "Norway's Wormhole is First Encounter!" Give me a break.

Turns out, the spiral was a failed Russian missile test. Sneaky bastards! Although they had told Norway they were going to test a missile and had a window of opportunity in which to do so, they kept quiet until Thursday night before confessing the fubar.

Sorry weird man, your rapture will still have to wait.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What's next?

My class has finished and I have my certificate. Sadly, there's not much I can do now until February. First off, most of Australia takes its summer vacation pretty seriously and the whole pace slows down considerably after X-mas and New Year, or so I've been told to expect. The radio school is out of commission for the next few weeks until the middle of Jan and the kids are on break until Feb 1st. So for now, it's time to lay back and relax...

Yeah right. I'm too fired up now to relax. The mind is churning. I'm even more determined.

My last class was somewhat anticlimactic. We had a visit from the general manager and he gave a bit of a talk about the close knit family that is his radio stations. He manages all six. At one point he was asked if working in radio was a full-time commitment. I think he sort of misunderstood - I hope so anyway - because he began to go on about how radio isn't a 9-5 job. Folks work hard, happily, and may do 60 hour weeks. I asked what percentage of staff were part timers and he said none. He says the only regular 9-5er was the receptionist. No part time in radio. That doesn't quite bode well for me. I began to get a bit choked in class, hid it well. Telling myself I'd look into it. It's not his stations are the only stations. Then he left and we started the last homework assignment which was to prepare interview questions from a list of acceptable topics given to us by another classmate. Mine went pretty well as the guy was very much interested in Ultimate Fighting Championship and MMA, which I'd not known much about and spent some time researching to gain.

When it came around for me to be interviewed, the girl - who was sitting next to me - hushed me. she was hoping the instructor wouldn't notice she'd not conducted her interview. At the time I was fuming because I don't get much opportunity to talk about myself apart from the daily explanation of where I was born and from where we've emigrated. That gets tired - it was tired 13 years ago. (Most people think my accent is Irish which will amuse most people as the only Irish accent I can put on is Mrs. Doyle from Father Ted.)She did get away with it, the instructor didn't notice, not only that she'd not done an interview nor that I'd been interviewed and I was hurt because I felt so unimportant. I managed to talk myself out of that pity-party and realized the important part was conducting the interview - which I did. She was the doofus for chickening out. Things always make more sense when I remove my own ego from the problem.

First thing the next morning I looked around to community radio stations. Commercial radio may be all full time, but community is much more easy about scheduling. I looked about and find the station 3CR suits my needs. They also have classes to learn lots about how the station works. Sure, I'd be a volunteer, but no one gets into radio for the money (If they do they'll be disappointed). they also want new show ideas.

New show ideas.

They don't have an atheism show. They have an anarchy show, a pro-Palestine show, a few Women's interest shows but no atheism/free-thinkers/rational thinking/ secular humanism show. I bet they've pitched one. I'll also bet they've feared it's too controversial - several community radio stations have in the past, I've been told. So I'm buying a new, fresh notebook and I'm thinking. what would I want to hear in a show about modern atheism? What would I want to tell believers about atheists? How do we build bridges in society between multi-faiths and non faith? I wouldn't want it to be angry, shouting religion bashing because that gets old and people tune out, also I'd love to be seen as a good and decent person regardless of the fact that my morality doesn't come from fear of eternal damnation or making Big Daddy angry, or because of a holy script's instruction. Lots of things to ponder and even more to write out as a pitch.

Finally, let me tell you about an annoying thing that happened during class that's bugged me to no end, but that I've ignore and put aside, and I never should have...

Our instructor often wrote up things on a board. He would refer to it as the "White board", "Grey board" as it was grey and the "Not so white board". One day I quietly said "Wipe. Board." to him. He asked me to repeat. "Wipe. With a p, as in you wipe the words away. Wipe. Board."
His face lights up. "I've never heard it called that. Is that an american thing? Did everyone hear this? it's a wipe board!" I felt a tad silly, he was either having a genuine Eureka! moment or he was being sarcastic and I didn't pick up on it. But I think he was genuinely Eureka about it. Until the know-it-all at the other end of the table said "No it's not."

"Yeah it is."

"You made that up."

"Google it."

Now "Google it" is exactly what I should've said! From now on when I know something with absolute certainly and someone says "No, you're making that up." I'm going to say "Google it." as it was I shrugged and ignored her. I should be content with just knowing I'm right and she's an argumentative snotface. Google it, you'll see I'm right. Why keep calling a grey board a white board when you can legitimately call it a wipe board - I just don't know!!

So help me come up with ideas to pitch for a radio show! Doesn't have to be the atheism thing - what else would you like to hear about?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Well, he asked me nicely in a song...

I kind of have a sick love for Parry Grip. Check out their youtube pages. Become addicted.



OK..ok. One more!!



Wait!! Wait...Spaghetti Cat!!



Vive the Black Hamster!!


I think I'm done now. Fuzzy fuzzy cute cute.

I'm done.

Monday, December 07, 2009

So busy! I'm a bad blogger...

Lots of things going on just now - just as I'm sure they are with you all too. the season of busy, the fact my radio course finishes this week and I've been putting in lots of studio hours to improve and overcome my nerves - I think I've done it. Pretty much. Getting better all the time.

The big thing we've been doing this week and last week is news reading. Taking the "just in" stuff from Reuters, rewriting it and then reading it for the radio. The thing about rewriting news is you not only have to include the who,what, where, when, why and how but you also have to ciut all the fluff and go straight to the climax and conclusion - no build-up. Just shoot your wad and move on again. Isn't that a classy way of thinking of it? I've been practicing this because editing is always something that makes get headaches but since I didn't write the news, it's ok. I'm editing someone else's work and that makes me feel smug and superior. Even though I'm still not very good at it.

Other good news is I will get my driver's license next week. My USA one expired in 2005 but here in Australia, if you're license is not expired for more than 5 years then they'll just do the eye test, take your cash and voila! I get my license!! Suck on that one Scotland you punks! Failing my driver's test for cutting off a white van that most likely cut off 100 people before I'd crossed his path - you pussies! Australia loves me and says "Here Lyvvie! you can drive here and drive whatever takes your fancy, mate!" Love that. I called VIC Roads (the equivalent of the DMV) and asked them and got all the info and even had a New Yorker on the phone! Small world. I go in next Wednesday, we'll see how my picture turns out before I share.

Finally, we passed by this church on Saturday and the sign caught my attention...

Burwood Uniting Church with kind of creepy sign.

...now i don't know about you, but my first reaction was to think they were inviting me in to have the baby Jesus wipe my butt. What about you? Did you make the Change the Baby/Baby Change You connection? Not to mention the slightly odd shining star spearing the baby on the altar in its manger with golden blood spurts and everything. Nice image. Can we add this to Fail blog?

Ok...just spent a stupid amount of time over at failblog.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

HEY!

This has been out since 2006 and no one told me!! I'm particularly annoyed it was not shared with me. I'm going off in a huff and I'm taking the Kahlua and the pecan pie with me. I hope an apology will be coming my way soon...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Web Browsing or the World's Biggest Text Adventure?

I spend way too much time in the internet. It's a fact. I know it. The size of my arse knows it. It's one of the few things that gets me all the information I crave. In fact I didn't even know I craved so much information before the internet came along - boy was I an ignorant chit in my youth! I was so gullible! You could tell me something, sound all serious like you know what you're on about and I ate it up because I knew I didn't know anything about it. I seriously hate researching in a library and wouldn't bother to fact check. I don't like the way libraries smell, I don't like the forced eerie quiet and I don't like the snooty older gent who hogs a whole table, has elbow patches on his wool cardigan and smells faintly of moth balls. I think those guys are a unique library-bred species of human because I never see them out in the real world. If I was canny with my Latin I'd make up a name for him.

I find web browsing to be the modern equivalent to a text adventure game. Long ago before Nintendo made consoles there was Zork, Adventure and the like. Games that were exclusively text based and understood only the most basic instructions. North, South, East, West, Up, Down, Take, Drop, Attack, Stab, Kiss... That was pretty much it. Yet one's imagination created a wonderful world from the simplest script. You had to create your own maps. It was Fun!!

Web browsing is just like that but unfortunately there's no end to this game. There's no reason for it. You simply start in one place and end up...you just don't know where. It's Urban rambling at your desk.

Today I was trying to find a particular skit in a UK TV show and I can't remember the name of it - not unusual. It's the big guy shouting into his huge phone. Just remembered his name! Dom Joly - how could one forget that name??? Anyway I couldn't at the time and googled "Hello?? I'm on the phone!!!" because that's what Joly shouts on his enormous phone. Yet I get a hit for an article that talks about how people are now being buried with their mobile phones and their family members are still paying their phone bills so that they can keep calling and leaving messages to them - in the grave!! Is there no escape?! Can you imagine in 2000 years when the archeologists dig those people up what they'll be thinking about our society?? I keep thinking about how people used to be buried with a string attached to their hand which was then attached to a wee bell above ground so if it turned out they weren't really dead they could ring for help. Will they think it's just a modern version of that? That medical science was still so shit that they couldn't be trusted to diagnose death. That they would still need to be buried with their phones to call for help?? Wild.

Anyways. Internet. Great way to waste some time.

This is the bit I was looking for before the corpse calls distraction...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27aVPqpnL7Y

No embedding allowed. Nerds.

...now imagine you've buried your loved one, and they actually do call you "Honey...why am I in a dark box? I'm down to one bar...you're breaking up..." or worse they get your voice mail, and you're like me and never check voice mail for months.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ray Comfort needs a dictionary...

Ray gets his knickers in a twist and makes a wee mistake.




First of all Ray here's the definition of plagiarism:

–noun
1. the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.
2. something used and represented in this manner.


That's from Dictionary.com but I'm sure if you look around you'll find they all include the words "As one's own work" which obviously, from your video, Richard Dawkins doesn't do. He openly confesses that the ideas are yours and then does an admirable impersonation of yourself. That's not plagiarism, that's mimicry, mockery and even apery. All wonderful words which you can also look up in the dictionary. After all, Ray; imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Now get off your high horse and stop annoying the busy people who have something useful to give to society.

Twilight Resistant

I've not read any of them, I've not seen any of the movies. This has amused me however...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Husband Rocks!

A RCA phono lead with 3.5mm headphone jacks; one for the Mac, the other to my mobile phone, a free download of Audacity and I've got my homework done.

He's the best.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Why do Atheists care about religion??

Here's a few reasons...



...and that doesn't even go into the despicable shame of blasphemy laws in Ireland, Finland and...did the U.N. pass that blasphemy resolution set up by all those, mostly Muslim, countries?? No. But don't think the OIC isn't still trying.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Free Day

Thursday is now my free day. The wind down after the Wednesday night. It went pretty well last night, I got some good feedback on my radio technique. I'm still not coming across in a natural way, and I'm speaking way too fast at the same speed. Although there's voice fluctuation, there's no pace fluctuation. During my reading I didn't make one mistake...until the end when I kept pushing the end button instead of the start button to play the last song. I've got it down as to when to talk over the end and beginning of songs - something which used to bug the shit out of me as a teen who would tape songs off the radio and not want the damned DJ talking over the song, but we're supposed to do it. I guess it's to stop people doing just that - stop recording off the radio. If folks want the song, they should just go buy it, but tell that to a 12 year old who doesn't get an allowance.

Next week's assignment is I have to record an hour of radio and transcribe the formats. Each of us has a different station to listen to (I got Vega 91.5, which you can listen to online. although it's not a top station. We're to choose a time between 10am-4pm. Here's my problem: I don't have a cassette recorder! I can't figure out how to record live stream radio on the Mac and GRRR! Who owns cassettes anymore? I'm going to have to pop out and buy a cheap radio cassette recorder just to do my homework. I'll have another go at trying to find a program for the Mac, because most of them are free and would make life much easier, but if I've not found one by the weekend, then I'm going to have to buy an outdated POS cassette recorder.

Not that I'm some kind of technology geek. I only found out last night my mobile phone has a radio tuner in it. How cool is that?!

My friend Jill sent me an E-mail asking me a Four Thing Meme but I didn't fancy forwarding it on to tons of folks, so I thought I'd post it here, and anyone who wanted to play along could put there answers in the comments.

Four places I go Regularly: School, Grocery store, playground, garden.

Four Favourite Smells: Baking bread, fresh coffee, jasmine*, lily of the valley*

Four Favourite TV Shows: Glee, Border Patrol (Australia Airport customs show. In the UK it's called Nothing To Declare), CSI, Samantha Who?

Four People Who'll Respond: This is a wasted question. I'm going to make a new one instead.

Four Favourite Place to be: Lakeside (any lake will do so long as it's free of man-eating beasts), Campfire, City center at X-mas just as it goes dark and the lights come on, busy café with chatty friends.

*The real plant not fake scents.

I feel like I have a cold coming on. It's going to be hot and stormy for the next few days and I'm wiped out. But I have to go and get this radio and something for dinner. Onward!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Killing time before the panic attack!

I seem to have not quite yet gotten over the adrenaline rush surge flood tsunami that gets me as we line up at the radio station to present our homework in the studio. This week's homework I started two weeks ago to get myself a real head start and get as comfortable as possible because this is thrown in the deep end stuff. It's been all about copywriting this week. I've had to write two scripted commercials, two "live read" commercials, a radio promo for another show on our station and and community service announcement. Then I have to perform all, save the scripted commercials. So I've written out my own script which includes station tags, artist and song information, weather updates, news teasers, my live reads and...well it's a lot of work for what amounts to five minutes speaking! I'm sure eventually a lot of the stuff becomes second nature; the radio tag, music tag, news and weather stuff should be habit. I'm damned lucky I have 10 years reading out loud experience from bedtime stories and adventure games otherwise I'd seriously be in the shit. But it's all done, and I'm kind of farting around today trying to keep my mind off it, trying to resist the urge to re-read the script for the millionth time...

So here are a couple videos I found that broke up the crazy and made me forget my nerves:





Anyone else hear about Mikey, the kid from the 70's Life cereal ads, who supposedly ate pop rocks and cola and DIED?! No? Could be a New England thing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yet More Proof FOX is Shit...

Jon Stewart mocks Hannity on Fox for inflating attendance numbers (lying) and using older footage to mislead.

What a bunch of dickheads.

Grrrr!! The video won't embed! Here, go to HuffPo, they have it up.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Radio Gaga

I'm on the fourth week of the radio course and it's going pretty well. It's a lot more sales/advertising focused than I previously expected. I genuinely thought it would be about learning how to use all the technology, but they seem to think that's such a small part of it. Radio as a whole is a mega-business. All the advertising is either prerecorded or read live and is an amazing amount of hard work. There's one person responsible for scheduling all of that stuff and keeping it all flowing and keeping track that KFC isn't advertise next to McDs etc. and at the moment it's all a bit overwhelming when trying to fill in those small spaces of time between songs with; radio tagline, introduce yourself, weather, time, advert, short laugh, intro next song and go. It's high energy stuff and yet when listening to the radio it all goes so seamlessly. The traffic supervisors here in Oz all tend to be women, as well. Hardest job in radio, women dominate. I like that.

I'm still stuttering and stumbling and forgetting to turn off the mic while I call myself a fucking dingbat - but it's ok as there are no regulations against swearing here. I could say cunt a dozen times on the radio and not get fined. People would complain and I may get fired, but it's still completely ok! Also, I'm not on live radio, yet. I've been booking in a lot of time in the studio to practice getting used to talking in that way. I keep trying to imagine I'm just talking to my frineds, but then I don't normally update my friends on the time and weather every 10 minutes.

This is a writing job, something I'm feeling a bit more confident with - although when it was introduced that the station does a majority of the advertising following a slim brief from the client, I was a bit ARG!! But chilled out again because - I Can Write! I write a blog for fuck's sake. I've spent years trying to a write a novel that I struggle to edit and yet radio advertising is 100% edit to fucking essentials or else it'll run over time. So maybe this will be great practice.

I've got to write four 30 second commercials; roughly 70 words each and then present them in a mock radio show in which will be sprinkled some gossip and local events and public service announcements.

I'm a constant adrenaline rush from the second I get there. Ignoring the panic attacks. I'm told it's normal, and the rest of us are all exactly the same. We're all, also, about the same level of crap. I began to read ahead in the and have been practicing for assignments we'll be doing in 2-3 weeks time because I want to be good. Really good. I like being top student. Well, maybe second top student. Top students are often crabby. I need to be high energy and chipper to a fault! At least confidently laid back and fun. I've even gotten into the habit of cruising the Celebrity news online in the morning because the statistics say that Melbourne has far more women that in men
in population and that their number one favorite thing (in the 25-40 demographics) is celebrity news and gossip. True true. Scandalous and a bit shame worthy - only to me because I don't think I'm a gossip whore and I find celebrity gossip vapid and dull, but apparently I'm in the minority. So this morning I was talking about JLo's 11 hour long sex tape (It's not really 11 hours of sex, some of it is her fighting with her Mom which I would find far more interesting than seeing her shagging someone, but again I'm aware I'm in the minority on that) and also about Fergie Ferg who's been married a year and her husband has already been caught cheating with a stripper. *eye roll at cliché* What kind of thrill do women get from this??? Is it really that we like seeing famous people put on pedestals and then knocked off again? What kind of sick people are we in society?

It's fun, I'm enjoying it. It still scares the shit out of me, but I hope that will fade soon. The more practice I get in the studio is better. Shame I have to take Shorty with me. she is a bit of a distraction and she gets bored pretty quick even though she's got crayons, colouring books, Nintendo DS, iPod you name it. She's just not one of those kids who can spend time on her own. Today she was such a distraction I left early, which was dissatisfying as I'd had trouble with the computer in the studio and it wouldn't playback the audio and it took a total reboot to get working again (Damned Windows machines are utter shite). I have that trouble with computers all the time. They love to crash and burn when I get near them. Coincidence, purely!

Have I told you how hot it is here? It's been in the 90's since Saturday. Scorchio! I just thought I'd share that.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Bugs!

Just sharing...

Cicada nymph shell. It was about 2inches/5.8cm long and I thought at first glance it was a big hermit crab. Found this morning while walking to school. i'm now looking forward to hearing the cicada song! We have no cicada is Scotland so it's been 14 years since I've heard them. I used to love hearing them as a kid.

Cicada Nymph shell
Cicada Nymph shell

And I shared this one on Facebook but seem to have left my blogging friends out on the delights that is Spider eating Spider!

Young White Tailed Spider (with dinner)

I saw these two late one night and what I saw was a huge black spider eating a bee, but as it was late I left them to it. In the morning, they hadn't moved, but I had things to do and didn't get back until the afternoon when I noticed they were still there and yet it was a very different scene. The black spider was...smaller. The bee was more visible. Then I realised it wasn't a bee. It was in fact a white tailed spider - nasty wee beastie that does eat other spiders but has a nasty bite of its own that may lead to skin ulcers. So once I figured out what I was dealing with I took pictures, google searched, realised the White Tail is actually a juvenile, then I squished it. The black spider is a timid and harmless black house spider but they are big and scary looking.

Have a nice weekend! (Is your skin crawling? Mine is.)

Roller Coaster of Life

Let me start off, for those who don't already know, by saying that I fell off my brand new scooter on Monday and sprained my wrist and elbow. that was a great day. We were in the ER for 8 hours. Bring me back the NHS, please! But at least nothing was broken. I had pretty much assumed I had broken my wrist seeing as I'd done it twice before (granted, as a child once at 5 then again at 7, but if felt like yesterday) and it felt just the same.

Class is rather tough, especially for me as I don't know all the local stuff and I'm having to put in extra hours learning all the radio stations, which ones play to what demographic, which are government run and which are commercial. Right now it's a foreign language where thy just talk numbers and letters at me. I imagine foreigner coming to America would be equally confused about the K/W thing for radio stations (K is west of the Mississippi, W is east....at least that was what I what told) but still, when moving anywhere, you have to reaccustom yourself. UK was easier because there wasn't so much variety, at least not until they went digital and then the flood gates opened and there were hundreds to choose from but then they had blurbs like RainbowFM was GBLT, Shaddi was Indian music, etc. and it was part of the signal to get a description. I don't get that here. I've got to figure out the difference between 3AW, JJJ, Nova and FoxFM (Fox is epidemic out here. They run the cable and have the top radio station. It's nauseating.) and then there's the community radio to try and understand and my timescale is limited. (I'm listening while typing via live stream)

We took some time over the weekend to drive down to the Mornington Peninsula and went to a couple of beaches, watched surfers and enjoyed the sunshine (got a bit pink on the back of my neck) and played in the surf a bit. The kids had a blast. They'd never been allowed in the water at Scotland because it's not clean enough, full of glass or sharp stones and just unpleasant for waders. Other people had no problem with it, but I think when you share your beach with washed up baby wipes and tampons, it's best not to risk it. No such issue here - didn't see one tampon. We did see some cool tide pools, and a rock that was full of fossils which may have been an old coral. It was foggy on one side of the peninsula so we'll have to go back again and see it again on a brighter day.

I need to practice my celebrity news skills. I'm not overjoyed about this, but stats say women aged 24-39 are most interested in celeb news than anything else by a far margin. Women! Cut it out already. Celebs are just people. But no joy for me, I have to do it because if it's what people want then I have to blend and mingle in the shallow pool. Wish me luck and sanity.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shame about The View

While living in the UK I couldn't get the View, but here in OZ I can. I also get very up to date Ellen. After watching a few days of them I decided it just wasn't my thing. Ellen is ok, but the constant ad breaks are annoying and I don't feel like she ever gets enough time to dig into a topic. The View is all about digging into topics - but the two Righty/Fundies drive me batshit crazy. I am glad they're sandwiched in between two more sensible types but really - when you have show where one of the panel isn't even sure the Earth is round or flat....you have problems. I've bitched about the stupid that is Sherri before and won't carry on today but damn she is dumb. I just choose not to subject my sensibilities and blood pressure to her and Elizabeth's raving ignorance. YET...

Recently on the View they had a psychic, Laurie Levin on to promote her new book and Barbara interrupted the flow of the interview to ask a very pointed question. Watch the video and tell me if your BS detector doesn't go batshit crazy: Watch it here, then come back, because the fuckers don't let me embed outside the US.

Did you hear it? The alarms going off? Can you imagine?!! Who gives the first sign of "Oh really? Sherri! "And he got married to you?". Having this woman come up to you and tell you the brutal murder of your son was his chosen way of passing in order to open up your heart to care, to then tell him his dead son feels pain at his bad marriage and then...the psychic marries him instead?! That's one hell of a good scam (Or one hell of a dumb guy, but then he was grieving and these types do like to prey upon the grieving.)

I watched that bit and my skin crawled. How utterly vile. Where she says she did research on Levin before their initial interview and no one thinks that would perhaps, maybe, slant her objectivity in a reading??

Mental.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I knew it was gonna happen...

Remember the post I did a wee while back about how Husband and I had a bit of a disagreement over the religion class the kids are taught in Australia? How I wanted to exempt Sassy from taking it, but Husband thought learning about bible stores was important so I enrolled her in the class, even though I think it's stupid? Just to be sure about what the classes were all about I even went to talk to the vice principal to find about the curriculum and he said "It's just bible stories. A bit of fun really. Nothing heavy." Well this morning Sassy says to me "We had our religion class yesterday and the teacher said that when God created the heavens and the stars and everything that that was the Big Bang."


Just bible stories huh? I don't remember Big Bang being in Genesis, do you?

It's back to the VP I go with a letter of complaint. If this class is going to meld cosmology and religion then the school should offer the kids a decent science class that is 100% religion free. As O'reilly says "Just present it!"



You know how OReilly goes on about the peace on earth and Jesus was a "love your brother" kind of guy? But he's wrong because Matthew 10 line 34 quotes Jesus clearly as saying: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Then he goes on to say how families will be cleaved and blah blah blah.

So, I'm going to complain. What else can I do? Pull her out again? Not going to. I prefer to make her smarter by giving her the counter argument on these topics. Want to know why? Because in the end she'll have a lot more respect me if I do rather than letting her carry on in fairy tales and half truths. So let her learn the twisted information coming from her religion class - let her come home with a mountain of questions. Let her be able to grow up thinking rationally, sceptically and not be afraid to challenge what she's told. Let her know she can come to her family and get answers. then she will be free to make her own choices based on all the facts.

To help her understand, I'm going to let her watch the 1957 Disney movie Our Friend The Atom. I just watched all fives parts on youtube and it's fantastic! Here - watch!!



Then I hope she'll understand the Big Bang stuff a bit easier as it wasn't rocks and galaxies bursting forth fully formed. Granted, part 5 with the radioactive cows and corn i'll have to explain that's not gonna happen because it's way too dangerous.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Unkindest Cut

There is a limit to the defense of "My religion says so!" and that limit includes DIY circumcisions in your kitchen on your four year old son. And the outrageous conciet of the lawyer who says "...he would try to have the case tossed out on constitutional grounds, saying his client’s religious motive negated any criminal intent."

You'd think he'd have figured out he wasn't a dapper hand at this when he'd already botched his own circumcision! What a complete shithead.

Article is here

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Hulllo."

Met one of the neighbors from the neighborhood tonight while I was taking the trash out. He was hanging around the front door. Nearly shat my pants, then grabbed my camera.

Huntsman Spider

From the inside...like I was going to put my hand anywhere near it!

Huntsman Spider

YouTube video about the Huntsman, and their lively personalities.

Some pictures...

We went out last weekend, I forgot to post up the pictures. Flickr link here for all the pics

Where I want to retire to in the city...
The Yve apartments.

Objet d'art
Artwork for the residents.

Pier at St. Kilda
P1000155

Luna Park
Luna Park entrance

F1 pit lanes
F1 pit lanes, Albert Park Lake

View of Melbourne across Albert Lake
View of Melbourne from albert Park Lake

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My head will pop one day...

I get very frustrated at the limit of my mind to absorb information. I'm always searching, learning, reading, researching and finding new things to learn about. One subject often spins into another and then another. Eventually, after days of cramming, I will get a headache, my eyes will be puffy and sore, I get flu-like symptoms and I really need to stop but I keep telling myself; one more page. One more page and then I'll go find something else to do. Then I don't. I persist. Until the words on the screen actually begin to warp. At the moment the square of the Firefox window is slightly bowed in the middle. I know rationally it's not, I'm just seeing things. I need to step back and go paint my toenails or something but I really want to be smart. I want to know everything. I want to know what makes it all tick. I want to unravel the world and know all the answers, even if I make myself sick in the process. To be honest...I am making myself sick.

Sad part is, I'm not writing anything down, I'm just eternally skimming information because I've found the limits that my brain has for information absorption. I'm reading books that I have to re-read three times to get the jist of and then it's only a jist and not real understanding. It's so frustrating to think I'm not able to get this stuff, and yet I know I have struggles in these areas - I failed algebra four times and that's not exactly rocket science. I never want to accept that there is a limit to my abilities. I know I'll never do a split - trust me I tried for years, I just don't bend that way - but learning stuff was different! I can learn anything! And in all honestly I genuinely can learn everything, it just takes longer than I think it should.

I'm not thick. I just need a little more time. I need to feel confident I have the actual measure of the information I'm given. I just wish my brain would figure it all out a bit quicker, bnecause I'm impatient and want to carry on learning more stuff.

Also, I love that I can bake a fabulous fruit bread with chocolate chips, but hate that I then eat the bread. I am getting so fat. I must keep telling myself: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!!

My radio course starts next week. That may be the break I need to pull me out of my torments.

Been craving a cigarette like mad this week and I don't know why. I even have phantom smoke taste at the back of my throat. I've not had a cigarette in three years.

Sassyface is away until Friday on a school camping trip. I miss her and just want it to be Friday already so I know she's safe.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Dark Side To Relationships

You should not talk shit about your partner to their friends. It's common sense.

I want to have a quick dialog about an aspect of relationships that bothers me. I'm sure I'm not alone in this; I know a few couples where usually I've known the man first, and then I'm introduced to his new girlfriend. I have found a few times, and it is rare, but at 37 I can count this happening to a few friends now, the girlfriend (and each one has later become the wife) will spend a lot of the time talking shit about her partner while he sits there in silent embarrassment. He doesn't want to start a fight, he wants his friends to like her as much as he does, and she makes a complete arse of herself by treating him like an accordionist's monkey. I've even seen the woman go so far to actually pick a fight with him over something that happened years ago and then try and earn the sympathies of all of his friends, when in reality everyone hates her for causing their friend pain. She's an outsider. An Extractor. It will be a long seduction to the dark side where she convinces him that his friends aren't really as close as he thinks, gets him to move away, encourages him to join her circles and family and leave his childhood friends behind.

This is husband abuse. It's disrespectful to him and to his friends. It makes everyone feel awkward and uncomfortable and yet no matter how many times you tell him "Man, why is your girlfriend is total bitch to you - what's up with that?!" He'll defend her, and if he tells her about this she'll say "I told you so. They're trying to break us up." and then she'll probably give him a blow job or something to cement in the suggestion of how much better she is for him than they are.

At a cookout or party she may start off by saying how dumb he was at some other party and what an arse he made of himself, she may talk about some humiliating thing that happened between them that he really would rather be kept private. When he tries to stop her, she picks the fight "You're always telling me what me what to do! Why can't you just be nice and stop embarrassing me in front your friends!" and woe how put upon by this big dolt is she? Is she trying to broadcast to all the other women around that really he's worthless and they shouldn't bother to try and steal him from her (Although everyone now wants to save him from her machinations) or is she just so completely insecure that she needs to bully him to feel better about herself and he's so thick that make-up sex after will cure it all? How about both?

I just want to say I cannot stand women who treat their partners like this. I'm not saying it's just women either, I have known men to treat their wives to this kind of embarrassment too and everyone knows it's just him trying to alienate her from her loved ones. I have to wonder about what happens behind closed doors and does she attack him physically as well? Abuse breeds abuse. What can he do to stop this cycle? How can we as their friends support them without alienating ourselves but also not sell our souls to the demon in his bed?

Then they have kids. What kind of parent is she going to be? Head games like that on a child can be so damaging. You can just hear the passive-aggressive arguments already can't you, "I'm sorry your daddy prefers to be with his friends instead of reading you a goodnight story. You're lucky mommy is here to love you." and she'll say this within earshot of a large group of people invited into her home, suddenly feeling very unwelcome, and embarrassed. Watching this train wreck of a family.

It causes me sadness sometimes and yet there's nothing to be done and I can't even speak about it or it will set off a fight between them. I just want them to be happy, so leave it alone. Keep my opinions and feelings about it to myself. Close down. Withdraw. Smile and nod, check my watch.

Then I hug my husband and tell him how much I love him, respect him and adore him.

Anyone else know what I'm talking about?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Busy mind

I went to bed rather early to read a bit and fell asleep around 10:30. I was woken up sometime after 1:00 by Husband getting in and out of bed although that's not uncommon, or perhaps he was just getting to bed as he'd stayed up later than I did. For some reason, I was sleepily aware of the heavy rain outside that was pounding down on the roof. I have become used to this by now, the rain is pretty loud on the tin roof and it's somewhat exciting as opposed to annoying. What was annoying was my mind in its sleepy wandering was trying to define the rain; was it a pouring rain? No that's not quite strong enough. Driving rain? No there's no wind to drive the rain. Pelting rain? No there are no projectiles like hail or frogs in the rain to pelt down. I began to be more awake trying to scan my "words that go with rain" phrase book. Then my mind said I was cracking up and should go to sleep. Cracking up. Like a crackpot. But what is a "crackpot"? A pot for crack? That can't be right. There's the old phrase about the cracked pot that can't hold its water (or pee as I believe it was meant to be a chamber pot but I can't find proof of that.) and that would make sense as a "crackpot theory" won't hold up, or hold water, under scrutiny. So why don't we say "Crackedpot"? Besides sounding a bit strange it makes the better sense, but isn't it interesting how time has managed to morph the phrase down to into one word, crackpot, where when you look at it on its own it makes no sense.

Then I was a bit more awake and was thinking about the Ray Comfort story I saw recently where he's taking advantage of Darwin's Origin of Species coming out of copyright and reprinted it with his own 50 page introduction where Ray tells us about Darwin's misogyny, racism and how Hitler used Evolution Theory to further his regime. Which brought me around again to my futile attempts to understand how Ray got to be Ray and he says that we can be saved by accepting Jesus into our hearts and it's that vague, bland turn of phrase of taking something into our hearts that stumps me every time. It so ambiguous to me I simply cannot comprehend what he's talking about...

At which point I had to tell myself, for fuck sake it's nearly 2:00 in the morning will you shut the fuck up and go to sleep? And of course I couldn't, so I'm blogging instead. I may go get a cup of decaff tea and try sleep again soon.

Thanks for listening.


Pounding rain. That works. I answered myself at the beginning and didn't even notice, arg.

If you have no idea what I'm on about with Ray Comfort then watch this...



Isn't she hot! That's so sexist of me but OMG she's hot. Even I want to cuddle with her.

**Edited in the morning because I, in my wee hours' mind, managed to have skipped out important words and sentences that make the paragraphs flow easier. Also to say that once I did go to bed at about 4:10am, I was so damned cold I had to put a fleece on. Then I was still so cold, I needed a hat - and changed my pillow because I couldn't get comfortable yet I didn't want to jostle about much or I'd wake husband. So I got up and went to the ensuite, grabbed my hoodie, then put that on under the fleece and had a hood to keep the icy air from dripping into my ear - which is what it felt like before the hoodie. So that was me, in Australia, wearing a long sleeve shirt, socks, a hoodie and a fleece jacket and then I fell asleep. For 3.5 hours.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ain't Got No Rhythm.

I've lost my routines and I'm starting to suffer for it. Most noticeably on my waistline. Having left my regular gym routines back in April to get all that was needed for the move done (A big mistake, I was being a lazy wuss) and now not having a gym, or routine apart from walking everywhere which I still do (Ok I have less distance to walk and take the tram if it's over 2Km which is lazy too) and I've not been paying attention to what I eat, been enjoying all the goodies around me and Lo - I've gained 8kgs, lost some stamina and definitely lost some muscle tone. When I feel guilty then I'll do some star jumps and push-ups and stretching but that's really not going to help. So, I'm signing up to join the gym. I've finally found one that's going to work for me. It's a bit of a trek on the trams but they have a creche and all the facilities I need. I want to get back to jogging, too. All the extra weight has gone right to my middle and you know what that is: carb weight. I think a dip back into Atkins is in order and Australia is high protein friendly.

Being off kilter a bit, I've been a bit glum. Not overly and it goes away quick enough, but every so often I'm a bit *heavy sigh* and I'll grab a book and forget things for a while. I have so much going for me just now, and I don't really feel depressed - I wonder if it's just overstimulated? Maybe I do too much? It doesn't feel like it's too much and I can't do as much as I'd like because I have the kids and I don't drive also I don't have unlimited funds at my disposal. If only! So when I have to sit down and accept that there's no adventure today, it's just a typical dull everyday kind of day - I get a bit glum. I don't want to have to worry about laundry, dishes and dust when I'm on vacation! But it's more than a vacation, I remind myself. It's our life now.

I'm not homesick one bit either. Does that make me a bad person? I should fake it for the sake of others, but really - I'm not.

I'll post up the videos the kids made with their cameras, as they are on school vacation just now.

Monkey Moo-Moo



and Sassyface's producing debut: The Triumphs of Muffin Chunks




Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm Very Tired.

The shipping company arrived early yesterday morning (no really, like 7:30 am!) to deliver the last of our things from Scotland. That makes us officially, fully emigrated members of Australian society. Go us!

Husband requested the unpacking service, however we still haven't gotten that second bookcase or the sideboard we'd planned in order to house our junk and have sleek, tidy lines everywhere. So unpacking meant movers unpacking the box contents onto our floor. It was mayhem - stuff everywhere. Kids hyper beyond measure about having their beloved toys back and playing with everything - at once. I couldn't walk in a straight line all day or I'd have broken something, most likely my foot. The mover was a chatty, friendly young man who asked me one of my favourite questions "What's with Canadians and America?" and I knew exactly what he was referring to. Most Canadians will get prickly and rude if you ask them "What part of America are you from?" and I make this assumption on the behaviour of Canadians from the bewildered Ex-pats who've fallen foul of the insult and ask me "Why, Lyv? Why?". I always say, I don't quite know myself, since the accents are so similar, I think - and correct me if I'm wrong, my Canadian Friends, they find it rude to assume they are American just by hearing their voice, as if Canada was invisible. My advice is always to ask what part of Canada they are from first - Americans very rarely (and I mean almost never as I've never heard of anyone being angrily corrected on the reverse.) get bothered about being mistaken for Canadian because it makes sense for there to be Canadians in ex-pat countries because they have special working visas. So just changing the question will avoid a big awkward moment. If by chance you do come across an American who takes umbridge, you can defend yourself by saying Canadians are more prevelent for the reasons listed above and they both have the Queen on thier currency.

So I've been sorting, lifting, moving from-to-room, shouting at kids to tidy up only to have them ignore me completely because they must see every toy on display to convince themselves they are really there. Today I reorganized the kitchen cupboards to take the volume of kitchen stuff I got today. Why did I have four whisks?? Two I can understand, but four? I don't even make meringue that often. All the clothes that were sent have the smell of the old house, and it smells foreign now. We don't smell like that anymore. It's not a bad smell (Ok a wee bit of musty closet on some of the things) it's just not our new Australian smell. It was weird. I knew it was ours and yet it seemed wrong. Husband is almost as joyous as the kids when he saw his CD collection and after dinner (which was fish and chips because I was not about to cook) he went into his office/music room and played The Pixies and other assorted things and it was nice to know he was happy.

Me? I was happy to have a comfy chair in the bedroom now where I can curl up and read my book without fear of falling asleep, because that's what happens when I read in bed. Comfy chair, good book and my mom's quilt on my lap because it's still a bit cold at night.

Why have I not updated much about Aussie life? Because it's been so easy. It's been so very simple to blend into life here. The kids are happy, everything is nice.

The meeting last week at the Atheist group was all right. I met a few nice people, but the talk was ok, and the Q&A after was dull, with a few know-it-all types asking questions and making mini speeches that showed their talent for debate where there was no need for debate. We were then subjected to own side blowhards which is not the purpose, in my opinion, of the meeting. You want to hear yourself talk, get a podcast or go on YouTube. There were even a few Christians there, but one in particular was rude and would sigh, scoff and call other questioners idiots if they said anything about there being no god. I left early, and one man said "God be with you." as I walked past him. Do I go to your church and say gods art created by man, go home and have barbcues, be happy with your loved ones and stop being miserable, controlling doomsdayers? Of course not. It wouldn't be tolerated. Yet, these people were, and of the whole group, the religious ones were the most tense, aggressive and negative. Really blew me away.

I'm not sure if I'll attend regularly, but if a good topic is up for conversation, then definitely. I'm going to look into meeting the Skeptic Society as well, I think they may be more kind of folk. We shall see.

I think I've avoided the clear up enough for now. I'm going our for dinner with Marg and her friends as she's leaving her job and moving on to pastures new. I get to have drinks and a meal where I don't have to worry if the kids drop anything and have a laugh with some grown-ups for a change.

Happy Friday folks. Wish me luck and sanity as the kids embark on a two week vacation from school. We'll do some more touristy things over the next couple weeks.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Newness of New

I'm going to attend my first lecture in...a long time shall we say. I'm looking forward to meeting new people. Like-minded people. I hope they are like minded anyway. This is a meeting with the Melbourne Atheists(MA) and the topic tonight is; Christianity's Redefining God and Jesus: A Secular Response. The meeting is at an Unitarian Church (Oh, one moment to ponder the correct usage on an with Unitarian because it's a bit painful on the ear, isn't it?) after a bunch of the members get together for a meal at a local Chinese restaurant. Sounds fun! So, we'll see.

There has been a bit of discord in the home this weekend. I attended a small meeting with some of the MA folks who are trying to put together a podcast to discuss local issues. They've had a late night radio show, but that's currently under some rescheduling issues and it's looking for a new station to host. So I went along to be a part of the podcast. Sadly, some of the folks didn't show so there ended up not being any round-table discussions, which I'd been hoping for, but instead became an opportunity to gather sound bites that can be edited into the podcast at the radio station. At least I got to meet some of the group and it's likely my voice will be heard on some of the podcast, seeing as I was happy to read some content. Hopfully the next time they get together there will be more folks involved and it can be a bit more lively. Also it was learned that when working with recording devices, Melba toast and raw carrots should not be included on the snack list.

The discord comes from Husband, who's getting concerned that my being an outed atheist could bring trouble to our home and family. He worries about violence being used to silence me, or punish me, or our children, for my involvements. I certainly don't want to belittle his fears and the only way to calm them is to go to some of these meeting and see what happens. I've not found any articles referencing violence towards any gatherings of atheists in the Melbourne area, or any of Australia, but then I only did a few searches. As a man who grew up hearing about sectarian violence, I can understand where his fears are coming from. Although I was disappointed that I was led to believe I had his full support until the day I was to meet with other members, I appreciate his want to have me slow down and observe. Often, I'm a jump in feet first, entanglement finder kind of person. The only thing can bring back harmony is to go through with it and see how it turns out. Besides, you never know, I may not like it.

I'm also gathering all the info for the radio broadcasting course I'm going to take. It starts later this month and runs for 10 weeks. I'm really looking forward to this too and will share more info as the days get closer. The end of the course includes a week working in one of the school's affiliated radio stations.

The ship has arrived this weekend, which is a nervous but exciting venture because although I'm very happy with the open sparseness of our home just now, I just don't have space enough for 32 boxes of stuff...do I? Right now it doesn't look like it, but I'm sure over the next few weeks, I'll have my hands filled with unpacking and rediscovering the joys of my stuff. Also, I'm sure a bunch of it will find its way to the tip because as hard as I tried to be cold about not bringing anything but our deepest loved things, I know some "Aw fuck it, just pack it anyway!" went on too. We shall see.

I'm getting a new camera soon and I can't wait to play with it. Once the Panasonic DMC-FZ35/38 is out here, I'm getting it. Woohoo! Was really wishing I'd had my camera with us on Sunday as the fgirls and i were walking back home after a short walk in the park and visit to the play ground, we heard this very loud noise above in the trees that had Shorty asking "Mummy! Is that a monkey?" Well, of course it wasn't a monkey, and it was very eerie as it reminded me of those scary swamp noises I heard as a kid watching Scooby-Doo; a kind of low growl followed by a loud Ah Ah Ah Ah, but in stereo as there were two of them making the noise. We stopped, went quiet and listened because the source of the noise was directly above us, but we couldn't see it. Then in typical five year old fashion, Shorty started running and shouting and spooked two Laughing Kookaburras out of the tree. Our first Kookaburras! And they sound like monkey swamp beasts on Scooby-Doo!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ask The Questions

In my last post where I mention things of religion and warble on about what to do now and other pre-menstrual musings, in the comments Nothern Musings mentioned having questions about the Bible that she's not had answers to. She asks:

When men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose. Then the LORD said, "My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for he is flesh, but his days shall be a hundred and twenty years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown....

Were these the "old" gods and heros of Greek, Roman and Norse mythology?? and if the sons of god had children with the daughters of man - doesn´t this mean that Christ was not the ONLY son of God, but rather he had heaps already and lots and lots of grandchildren....


I don't know, but what fun to think about. I do know that were many, many virgin births being reported and also many prophets so why not lots of Jesuses? (Don't look at the Wiki on virgin births as it's hotly contested and has been fingered into uselessness by overprotective zealots). There are people on the web who spend a lot of time asking the questions and showing that the Bible doesn't always have this loving, forgiving God they try and convince us of. Here's a new video from NonStampCollector, he does a lot of these kinds of videos showing direct translations and their insanity. Today is Cooking With Yaweh


Now you know if God ever tries to make you do this to let Him know you've never eaten road kill! Unless you have actually eaten roadkill, in which case you're kind of buggered.

So after all the waffle of "What will I do with myself?" I find myself today getting information on a radio broadcasting and writing for radio course. I will also be helping with a podcast for the Melbourne Atheists on Sunday. So, it looks like I'm finding a path. Funny enough, it's the path I wanted to go on when I started university as a communications major but was sidelined with a sudden passion for psychology that like most sudden passions, fizzled out (Oh I still love psychology, I just don't want to be made depressed by terrible, heart-wrenching stories all day). I originally, at 18, wanted to get into radio broadcasting. Although then it was more music morning show stuff I fancied but then I dated a DJ and felt woefully out of my depth in music knowledge. I know now the reality is, you don't have to be Rob from High Fidelity to work in radio.

We'll see where this all leads.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I won't make time...

It's true. I'm not swamped with things to do, but I'm just not making the time to blog. I'm kind of puttering about, not being a tourist. Having some downtime. Cleaning the house, organizing cupboards, avoiding the blog. I'm entertaining ideas and not writing them down so they're soon forgotten. What was that cool thing I was thinking about? Don't know. Lost it. Bet it was the cure for all the world's ills too, or at the very least a recipe for cinnamon buns.

I've been rolling the ideas of religion and evolution and why do some people see only the religion and refuse to see the science, and why those of science refuse to see the religion. I wonder if letting go of religion is an evolutionary process. How many steps higher can we go when man has so much control over his environment? Are we at the top of our evolution? Is the only way for man to further evolve is to tap into the brain and overcome its shortcomings? The brain isn't perfect. It's certainly complex, but it lets us down all the time. The fact we still have a primal brain attached to the back our modern brains, I think, leads to the stunting of our evolution. The battles we have with that silly old-brain the cerebellum. Anxiety is born in that brain. Do you have panic attacks? Blame the old-brain. Work yourself into a fizz over small things? Old-brain. Obsess over death and dying? Old-brain. Can this be the beginning of a vestigial brain? Not entirely, we still need it for those important things like standing up and walking in a straight line, although it does contain vestigial components plus it houses the thalamus and hypothalamus - and don't get me started on the hypothalamus! I hate that annoying thing. Mine is a complete bitch. Can we make the cerebellum a proper vestigial brain and get the better more walnutey part of our brains to take over those important things we want like balance and equilibrium and control of our emotions and nervous sweating and weight gain. Can we? I'm not a brain scientist. I'm just someone who ponders.

What about primitive cultures - do they all have some sort of God worship? Have we encountered a primitive culture that has never had any use for gods of any kind? I'm also not an anthropologist. As far as I know, there aren't any. Most primitive cultures resort to gods and rituals of some sort to explain things they have no way of understanding. So as a developed culture, does this mean that since we discovered the scientific method, we've opened up a way for Man to evolve, and is the rejection of gods a sign of that?

Nature vs Nurture. Such a twisty argument. If we took a newborn from one of those primitive cultures and raised them with atheists, they would likely become a free-thinking person too. Someone who is able to understand everything just as his peers. Reintroduce them into their birth culture and they'll be just as confused as any other outsider.

Yet I have to admit, I struggle with the old-brain. I get hairs standing up on the back of my neck for no reason, and sure my first reaction is that someone is watching me even though I'm completely alone and years ago I'd have thought there was ghost in the room but now I don't believe in ghosts and don't have an explanation for why the hairs have suddenly stand up on the back of my neck. I know there is a reason, but I don't know how to look for it. It's not ghosts. It's that old-brain fucking me around. Giving me ancient "heads-up and look for danger!" warnings. Like I'm a meercat or something. That old-brain doesn't understand urban living and that I'm at the top of the food chain. Maybe that's all it is, some old holdover to keep alert for danger and then we humans with our elaborate imaginations have to create an illusion of Aunt Betty's ghost coming to visit because maybe I thought of her the other day. Sounds silly and yet look at the popularity of Mediumship, something else I kind of believed (although skeptically) and looked into and realized it was full of weirdoes and liars.

So what of God? Do people believe in god because they were raised to or do they themselves actually feel these things? I've had many people ask me to accept Jesus Christ into my heart, but quite honestly I don't get what that means. Open my heart? Have you seen the heart? It's kind of self contained. Open it and you'll bleed to death and yet apparently it's the only way to understand why all those religious people are so joyous. It's a walking over hot coals, right of passage to "Open my heart" and let in the Light. At least Islam says convert or die. I hate the insinuation that because I don't understand the whole opening up of my heart thing, that I must somehow not have a heart. Although I can feel it, hear it and under the right machines, see it. I'm not utterly pedantic to metaphor, you understand. I'm really not. I just hate the patronizing tone that come with the open up your heart crap. Have you thought about how many things we're asked to open our hearts to? What about my mind, how about we open up our minds a bit and think. That's a metaphor with an explanation - consider things differently with altered perception and see how it feels. Try on a few "what ifs". Try and answer the question, if God is the father, and Jesus is the son, then who is the Grandfather? Where did God come from? Just like the question of how did the universe come into being, no one can answer with certainty and I have to say, I have more respect for the person who can say they don't know but they know one day we will have the answer once research is advanced enough, as opposed to "I read in the Bible that God created everything, so I believe God did it." Lazy old-brain.

So yes, trying to work around if rejection of gods and religious practices is a sign of human evolution or have I just watched so many X-men episodes and I'm disappointed at not having a cool mutant power but I am at least an atheist and that somehow makes me special. Certainly makes me smug, I can put my hand up to that, but then no more smug that the religious person who thinks they're preferred by God over me and smile to themselves with the knowing I'll burn in their Hell for all eternity.

New topic.

My youngest starts school full time in February - stunning huh? I started this blog when she was just a few months old and now she's a big girl ready to start school. I'm now letting the old-brain have its way with me and I'm worrying about what I'll do with myself with all this free time during the day? I'll need to get a job? Will I? The kids still need me around, I do want to be here for them after school as it definitely makes a difference to their confidence.

I just don't know what kind of job I'd like. I'm not especially qualified for anything and any skills I did have are now five years out of date and would put me back to square one. Even more annoying is I simply don't know what I'd like to do. I'm content just getting a job in a shop somewhere as it's more the social and money that's of interest. I think it's time to give up on thinking I can have a career. At 37 I'd have expected to know what direction I'd want to point a career and yet I have absolutely no clue what I want to be when I grow up. I've never found that very deep passion for something that I could do for the rest of my life. Maybe writing, but even to get a a writing job I'd have to retrain in something. I'm pretty good at stringing words together but I don't know how to apply that into a career. Slightly pathetic really.

More than slightly. I envy you career people with your passion for your work. I hate being shiftless.

The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue. -Antisthenes