Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Study Break Rant...............

.... about things that have ticked me off today.

To Apple; I realise that you are the makers of all things cool.  You are the pinnacle of cool geekdom.  More power to you.  BUT - if I get just one more call from an otherwise intelligent person asking me to help them get music onto their iPod, I am going to smash every Apple appliance I see, and send you the bill for my bail, and legal costs.  I have better things to do than do battle with your user-unfriendly software.  Especially since I don't own anything you have made. I have my reasons.

To local businesses;  12.10 is NOT 12.30.  I am aware that it is cold, wet and yucky, and that you would rather be home in front of the fire - or anywhere but work.  Trust me, I understand.  But I also understand that if your sign says you will close at 12.30, and I rock up at 12.10, to find the doors locked and the lights off, I am not going to be impressed.  If you want customers, you need to provide service.  By all means, leave at noon on Saturday, but let us know, before we arrive to find you closed, and your Hours of Business sign saying 12.30 is closing time.

To Channel 10; for the love of footy, send that female commentator for speech lessons!! I am all for female commentators (why did Kristy Malthouse have to get a life, she was fabulous!), but I want them to speak correctly.  I want all commentators to speak correctly.  I am all for them getting excited, and mising metaphors, that's half the fun.  But I do not want them sounding like the feral bogan across the street. I know this is harsh, especially coming from me, a Master Mangler of the English language.  I am not on TV.  I am not causing people to turn off, or write letters to the newspaper complaining.

And finally, to Collingwood Football Club - WAKE UP!!! You are currently 2 points down against the Brisbane Lions, and I do NOT want to spend this week hearing the lament.  1 week was enough.  Now get on with it!!!  You have 7.5 minutes.

That is all.

Monday, May 24, 2010

As you travel though life, remember..............

Not achieving what you set out to do is not failure. Look at what you have learnt on the road you travelled to get this far.

The road is not always going to be straight. It will fork, twist and turn back on itself.  There will be detours along side roads that seem to go nowhere.  You will eventually find your way back to the highway.

Drinking and driving is stupid.  Don't do it.

The going will not always be smooth.  Nor will it always be in brilliant sunlight.  There will be bad times, and long nights.  You will survive them.

Your goal may not be what you initially thought it was. That is ok, time and distance distort things.

The quickest path is not always the best.

A kind word, or a smile, may be the greatest gift you can give someone. 

Be good to everyone, even those who speak or act harshly towards you.

The long, straight cruisy stretches are more likely to bring you to grief than the mountains.

There is good, and there is evil out there.  You will encounter both.  Acknowledge the one, rejoice in the other, and be wary which you choose.

Crashes are a fact of life. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get on with it. If your vehicle of choice is a write off, walk until you get another.

The hard yards are the most rewarding in the end.

Rash actions are not always wrong actions.  The immediate results may not be the best, but you did it for a reason.  These are the things that teach us who we really are.

If you don't like what you learn about yourself, change it.  You can, you know.

Take the time to look around you.  You are not always going to be young, and the things you disdain now, may be the things that sustain you in old age.

Beauty can hide danger.  Ugliness can hide great beauty.  Treat everyone and everything on their merits, rather than their appearance.

You can't control everything.  Don't waste your energy trying.  Save it for the good stuff.
Sometimes, you will feel the need to rest.  Do so, you have a long way to go.  But don't stop so long that you forget where you were going.
If someone wants to keep you company on your travels, take them up on their offer.  They may cause you joy, they may bring you tears.  Probably both.  Enjoy the times they are with you, because once they go, you will find that it's awfully lonely out there ..................

The Parent in My Head

Before you go calling the men in white coats on me - well actually, hang on, I'll find the number for you..........

But seriously, I haven't lost the plot totally.  I just have what I refer to as The Parent in My Head.  Because, well, she is always there, and also because today is Monday, her favourite day tojump all over my self esteem with her hobnail boots.

You will note I say 'she'.  That is because TPIMH is a cruel, crude caricature of my mother, and her mother with a goodly dose of Nanna thrown in.  She is a mean, evil, controlling bitch, who wants me to know how badly I have failed, and will continue to fail, at everything.

I love my mother.  She had a tough time growing up, and as a wife and mother.  Her own mother was super-critical (I loved my Nan, but as an adult I can see her flaws), and Nanna was not a fan.  The fact that my mother breathed the same air as everyone else was an abomination to Nanna, and it was Mum's fault; she should have had her own air, rather than steal everyone else's.  Rather like she stole Nanna's baby boy.  But that's a story for another day.

So yes, TPIMH is a twisted, sadistic, rather pathetic version of my mum.  She knows where and when to strike, and she's good at it.  Dad doesn't really feature in TPIMH, because he was always rather distant, in terms of disapproving.  He applied the theory that we would get wherever we were going, eventually.

There is an adage that goes to the effect that we are destined to repeat the mistakes of our parents.  I have tried so very hard not to do that - my kids' best has always been good enough, even if I think they didn't give it all, I praise them anyway.  I encourage them to dream, and to aim for the stars. Someone puts them down, I build them back up.  I am not afraid to tell them if their behaviour lets me down, if they try their best, that is enough.  And if they say "I should have done A, but did B, and A was the right answer." I usually tell them they are a goose, suggest they go the other way next time and remind them that our failures teach us as much, if not more, than our successes.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Utterly Disgusted

It seems this week was the week when homosexuality once again made headlines in all the wrong ways, for all the wrong reasons.

Now, I could care less if someone is gay.  I don't care, it's their life, and if they engage in sexual acts with consenting adults, that's their business.

First off, we had Jason Akermanis warning gay Aussie Rules players to stay in the closet, as AFL isn't ready for openly gay players.  He has been painted as a homophobe for his remarks.  I found them off-colour, and not quite appropriate, but also, quite true to the culture of AFL.  Rugby has accepted openly gay players, and in that way, it more evolved than AFL.  The AFL is still not there.  I am not referring to individual clubs, or players, but the culture of the game.  I also wonder, if someone other than Aker had said it, would it stink quite so badly?

And then we have David Campbell, NSW frontbencher, who quit after being seen by a media snoop leaving a gay club.  Mr Campbell is married, and his wife is either fighting off or recovering from cancer.  This was enough for one journalist to tell us that while Australians are not overly fussed about our pollies sexual orientation, we do not trust our politicians when they cheat on their spouses, as it makes us wonder about their intent to keep the promises they make to those who elect them.  Excuse me?!

I would like to believe we are that enlightened, but we, or at least some of us - aren't, especially if you are a serving member of a certain political party.  It's ok to go to these places, but you must not know what it is when you walk in the door, and once inside, you must keep your eyes either closed, or focussed on the carpet, so as not to offend your delicate sensibilities.  Follow the leader's example, and remember it's "Do as I say I do, not as others tell you I did."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Defending Barry Hall

If you are even a sometime follower of Aussie Rules, you will know of Big Bad Barry.  If not, well, you are missing out.  Aussie Rules, well, rules!

For those of you not in the know, Barry was formerly a member of the Sydney Swans, he had a reputation for having a short fuse, and hard fists. After 1 suspension too many for violence, he left the Swans, and shifted to Melbourne, and the Doggies.

Today, I was watching the North Melbourne/Western Bulldogs game, and Barry was copping it sweet.  And he kept his temper.

Now, I am in no way a fan of the sort of violence that Hall showed himself to be capable of.  I have seen it all too often in my working life - that sudden explosion of rage, a punch landed, bruises and broken bones, followed by sincere, and ultimately meaningless, remorse.

To be fair to Barry, I think he was genuine in his remorse, he simply hadn't matured enough to learn to control his temper - it happens, people mature at different rates.  By no means a stupid man, and by all accounts, a lovely bloke, he just had to learn to count to 50 before making a fist.  And 100 before throwing it.

Today, he showed that he had learnt, maybe not enough to avoid a report, but enough to not start throwing at the first sign of annoyance.  To be totally fair to him, he took a lot more than many people would.  And when he did respond, it wasn't with fists, he did as much as was needed to get himself safe.

His opposing player spent - I have no idea how long all up - but in 30 seconds, I saw more than a dozen slams of an elbow, shoves, and shoulder slams to the back.  Barry took the lot, shoving away a hand, moving off, not even looking at the guy.  I was thinking that this fool needed to meet Big Bad Barry, he was being a total twat, and then it happened.  Barry did the nana, and applied a solid headlock.

End result, 6 reports from the altercation, which in the end, involved other players.  I will be seriously disappointed if Barry Hall gets rubbed out for his part in this.  Yes, he did step outside the rules, but he has the right to feel safe.  He was tying his shoelace, out of range of play, and copped a knee to the ribs from his opposing player.  His focus was on tying his shoe for crying out loud!! He didn't see the guy coming, he was attacked off the ball, responded, and is reported.  WTF?!

As he said after the game, being niggled is part of the game, particularly with his reputation, but there is only so much bullshit that anyone should be expected to take.  This was above and beyond.  I for one, think that he did nothing more than anyone else would, or should.  In fact, he did less than I would have.

I am particularly disgusted with the North coach, who said that the player did nothing wrong, his job was to upset the forward and he did that.  TOOL!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

To Clarify..............

I was NOT referring to ............... well, you know who you are, in my last post.  I actually hope to come back soon.  I miss you.

I probably should have been clearer, but I was so gobsmacked and p'd off by the behaviour of certain people elsewhere (IRL and on the WWW), that I let fly, without thought.

My reasons for taking a break from you were what I said then, and what I outlined in my email today.  There's a whole heap more detail if you want it, but I don't think you do, I know I don't.  It hurts too much.

Those others are well - other - and will not be named, any more than you will, or my other faithful friend.  To name something is to label it, and I don't like labels.

I love you, and I miss you, and I hope you will forgive my lack of thought in posting my rant.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What is Happening to the Web?

When did it get so nasty?

I know that being anonymous allows people to pretend to be someone they are not, or to show their true colours without fear of presonal reprisal, but seriously!  This week saw a major shitstorm on one blog I used to read and comment on regularly - I missed it, saw the aftermath, and really, I don't quite know what to say.  Aside from WTF?!

I have been a member of several online communities down the years - one I have been a member of for more than 10 years, but in the past 18 months, I have left 2 communities, partly due to my own personal issues needing my focus, and partly due to the fact that the levels of nastiness and crap got to the point where it was just not worth the effort to wade through it to get to the good stuff.  Actually, mainly due to that.

Once, I went to these places for a break, to escape my day-to-day existence, and get away from the bullshit that was bringing me down.  And then, the bullshit mutated and invaded my havens.  I actually started to feel worse after a visit.  Eventually, I pulled the plug.

I miss some of the people I met there, but over all, I feel good about my decision.  Looking back, I realise that a lot of the problem, for me anyway, was that it was becoming like high school - the cool kids targetting the uncool kids, teachers (admins) turning a blind eye to the bullying because they want the kids to think they are cool, and the rest of the school wandering around aimlessly, trying to avoid becoming targets of the 'in' crowd.  I left high school a long time ago, I don't miss it, and I sure as Hell do not want to go back.

Maybe that is what is wrong with not just the Web, but the world - we are devolving back to high school.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

The day when we 'celebrate' mums, is this Sunday.  And boy is it big this year.  Not only do we have the usual plethora of big name national sellers telling us what mum would really want, and she could win a holiday to boot, but to save her (and us) the hassle of cooking, we can also buy a box of grease!  From the fast food giant of our choice - burgers or chicken!

WTF?!  Now, I know that Mother's Day is, rather like Father's Day and Valentine's Day, a massive commercial event.  I'm not THAT stupid.  What amazes me is how far in that direction we have gone.

I remember when my kids were little, the joy they took in telling me that they were making me something at school for Mother's Day - and the delight I felt on recieving it.  I got burnt toast in bed, and it was ambrosia.

Now, there is pressure on even the little people to get mum the 'perfect' gift.  For myself, the most perfect gift is one that comes from the heart - even if it's just 'Love you mum'.  I still have the macaroni necklaces, cardboard photo frames, hand painted cushion, painted ceramic plowerpots, and toilet paper insert kaliedoscope from years past, and they still make me smile.

I admit, I buy into it a little, I send my mum and my mother-in-law flowers.  I send mum Singapore orchids, and my MIL roses.  My mum loves Singapore orchids, and my MIL has a special affinity with roses.  But I have been doing this for more than 20 years, and I do other things throughout the year - weed my MIL's garden, took them both to lunch, made Mum a collage of photos of her parents, pruned my MIL's roses, picked the raspberries for a season for Mum.  And I tell them I love them every time I speak to them.  And I tell my mum that I see now why things were the way they were, and that I admire her for sticking it out, on a regular basis.

The gifts that mean the most are the ones that come from the heart; burnt toast in bed made by little hands, a macaroni necklace, a meal cooked at the end of a long arduous day at work - these are the things that show a mother she is loved.  And saying, just once in a while "I love you mum".  Those are the things that make mums feel like they matter.