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 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