Thursday, June 28, 2007

Isn't it funny...

how weirdly true those old cliche's can be. I suppose it's in the nature of a cliche to be weirdly true because they are notions that are based on a curious mix of experience and the chinese whisper effect of word of mouth, pushed onto the deaf ears of generation after generation. Yet recently I've been really struck by the phenomenal impact the meaning behind a cliche or wise saying can have.

Earlier this year I went on a date with a guy who liked to talk a lot about self-fulfilment and attitudes towards life. He loved his job and he loved his life and when I expressed my shock at his positive attitude toward EVERYTHING (by nearly choking on my steak no less), he said one thing that I'll admit I kind of rolled my eyes to at the time, but am now considering in a different light.

He said, "have you ever noticed that the things you want most in life are always the things that seem furthest away, and then in some weird round about way, one day you wake up and it's suddenly just happened? No one's there to congratulate you on it. If it's a personal goal no one else even notices. It's a quiet moment on any given day when it just clicks that everything you've worked toward has just come to pass". (No I was not on a date with Jesus, although he was a little bit Tony Robbins-esque - it didn't work out).

He didn't mean it in the sense that it just fell into your lap magically out of the sky (which would be awesome I guess, but then where's the challenge?). He meant that gradually over time we gravitate towards the things we need and the opportunities required to fulfil those roles gradually make their way toward us through this vast social matrix we live in.

Today I walked out of an exam with rather a lot of confidence that I did quite well. As a high school student I was always envious of the kids that were able to ace an exam and have a high grade average because I felt I simply wasn't capable of studying for an exam and doing a good job. Somehow this semester I managed to surround myself with the right influences and people with the right attitudes and together it helped me on the way to not only getting a pretty decent grade for a course I never should have struggled with in the first place, but I am now a giant leap closer to being that student I always knew I could be.

I've always wanted to be better with my money. I've worked part time ever since I was fourteen and I've never had the ability to save any of it or spend it wisely. This semester I managed to get my act together and form a plan of attack that means even if I do get a whopping $500 phone bill, I have a means to rectify the problem. In recent years (although not so much when I was in high school), I've wanted the self-confidence not to take crap from authority figures who don't know me from a bar of soap and think they can screw me over. Somehow, and I don't even know how, I've managed to pick up a knack for negotiating what I want and not settling for second best. I hope this trend continues.

So what's next for me? Who knows. Maybe it will all fall apart tomorrow. Maybe the cliche's won't hold true. Hopefully this gravitation will eventuate in me travelling again sometime in the near future and experiencing the big wide world again. That's all part of the challenge I guess.

Today was one of those random days for me.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Always one for self-analysis...

Here are your scores on the VIA Signature Strengths Survey. For how to interpret and use your scores, see the book Authentic Happiness. The ranking of the strengths reflects your overall ratings of yourself on the 24 strengths in the survey, how much of each strength you possess. Your top five, especially those marked as Signature Strengths, are the ones to pay attention to and find ways to use more often.

Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness
Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.

Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness
You are an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living your life in a genuine and authentic way. You are down to earth and without pretense; you are a "real" person.

Bravery and valor
You are a courageous person who does not shrink from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain. You speak up for what is right even if there is opposition. You act on your convictions.

Fairness, equity, and justice
Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance.

Perspective (wisdom)
Although you may not think of yourself as wise, your friends hold this view of you. They value your perspective on matters and turn to you for advice. You have a way of looking at the world that makes sense to others and to yourself.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The things men wished women knew!

How many of the following statements do you agree/disagree with, or can respond to?

bwahahahahahaha.... although... this is all tongue in cheek... naturally...

Things Men Wish Women Knew

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.

I know I'm not fat, but I like to be reassured =)

2. Learn to work the toilet seat: if it's up put it down.

I am not putting my hands on a dirty toilet seat when you can put it down after you pee and THEN wash your hands.

3 . Don't cut your hair. Ever.

Fine. I like my hair long. Cut your hair always. Long hair on guys went out ages ago.

4. Birthdays, Valentines, and Anniversaries are not quests to see if he can find the perfect present, again!

Think of it more a quest to see if you can do better than socks, or one of those "stop move away!" cookie jars. Think perfume, flowers, chocolate, and whatever has cropped up in conversation at odd and yet strangely concidental times.

5. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

There are some questions you need the answer to do - you may not want to know why guys leave their jocks sunny side up on the bathroom floor, but the answer can sure help you stop them doing it!

6. Sometimes, he's not thinking about you. Live with it.

Sometimes he's never thinking about me. It hurts.

7. Don't ask him what he's thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as navel lent, the shotgun formation and monster trucks.

Don't complain about me talking too much unless you want me to run you over with a monster truck =)

8. Get rid of your cat. And no, it's not different, it's just like every other cat.

I'll keep the cat and keep your wallet. You and your ultimatums on the other hand are negotiable.

9. Dogs are better than ANY cats. Period.

Dogs are better than cats, but making a big deal about it just shows what a petty baby you are.

10. Sunday = Sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

If Sunday equals sports, then ever major social event involving your family (especially your mother), birthdays, weddings in which you are the best man, anniversary bashes and especially funerals, will all involve me hogging the bathroom and ensuring we get there an hour late. It's like the full moon or the tides. Let it be.

11. Shopping is not sport.

It's a lifestyle.

12. Anything you wear is fine. Really.

I know. It's nice to see you're finally paying attention.

13. You have enough clothes.

There are never enough clothes.

14. You have too many shoes.

They're worth more to me than your snide comments.

15. Crying is blackmail. Use it if you must, but don't expect us to like it.

Crying = feelings. They are like the full moon and the tides. Just let it be.

16. Your brother is an idiot, your ex-boyfriend is an idiot and your Dad probably is too.

I don't have a brother, my ex-boyfriend IS an idiot, and you're a mummy's boy.

17. Ask for what you want. Subtle hints don't work.

Give us what we want. Don't pretend you don't know what it is when you do.

18. No, he doesn't know what day it is. He never will. Mark anniversaries on a calendar.

Teach him how to write first.

19. Yes, pissing standing up is more difficult than peeing from point blank range. We're bound to miss sometimes.

There is however, nothing to stop you from "sparing a square" and saving others from having to clean up after you. Your inadequacies at aiming don't HAVE to mean poor bathroom etiquette.

20. Most guys own two to three pairs of shoes-what makes you think we'd be any good at choosing which pair, out of thirty, would look good with your dress?


21. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers.

"Yes I will pay for everything for the rest of our lives and not gamble everything on the crack black market" is an acceptable answer.

"No I will not admit paternity to that baby" is not.

22. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.

After seeing you naked I think I'll need a psychologist more than anything.

23. Your Mom doesn't have to be our best friend.

Your Mom doesn't have to be so interfering.

24. Foreign films are best left to foreigners.

If I can't have my movies, you can't have yours. Delete the porn off your hard drive.

25. Check your oil.

Check your face. Oh. It's always like that.

26. Don't give us 50 rules when 25 will do.

Don't drive me to a nervous breakdown because it takes you 20 years to figure out what the dirty laundry basket is for.

27. Don't fake it. We'd rather be ineffective than deceived.

Don't pressure us to experience "it". That makes it so much harder to have "it". The pressure makes us feel like mouldy cheese.

28. It is neither in your best interest nor ours to take the quiz together.

You'd only spell everything wrong anyway.

29. Anything we said 6 or 8 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. All comments become null and void after 7 days.

Same goes with my agreements to get pay tv, broaband internet, the new Audi, and my tubes tied. Oh and you're the almight breadwinner, so you pay all the cancellation costs =)

30. If you don't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.

If you don't want to be warm, sensitive and romantic towards US in all our glory, we certainly won't be that way toward your genitalia. Ever.

31. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad and angry, we meant the other one.

No. You didn't. You're just saying that to cover your ass.

32. Let us ogle. If we don't look at other women, how can we know how
pretty you are?


33. Don't rub the lamp if you don't want the genie to come out.

Don't poke me in the back in the middle of the night when I'm sleeping and rub me on the stomach in a half ass attempt to get me in the mood.

34. You can either ask us to do something OR tell us how you want it done not both.

Or you could use your initiative and do it the most sensible and logical way THE FIRST TIME.

35. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

Whenever possible, please understand that in a week you will have forgotten who won that game but I'll still be mad at you. And you'll be complaining that you don't know what you've done wrong because you were staring like a ZOMBIE at the screen while I was telling you what was wrong.

36. Christopher Columbus didn't need directions, and neither do we.

Christopher Columbus set sail in the face of all laughter at his dreams and ideas. His was to discover if the world was flat or not - you dream of owning the same four wheel drive our neighbour has. There's a subtle difference here. Oh, you don't know subtlety that's right. You're no all-knowing visionary. Gimme the damn map.

37. Women wearing Wonderbras and low-cut blouses lose their right to complain about having their boobs stared at.

Well start wandering around with your bits and pieces hanging out and we'll see how much you enjoy the nastier comments!

38. Consider Golf a mini-vacation from you. We need it, just like you do.

Consider upping my pre-nup.

39. Telling us that the models in the men's magazines are airbrushed makes you look jealous and petty and it's certainly not going to deter us from reading the magazines.

Telling us that we should be more like Tara Reid with her gross botched boob job and disgusting personality is insulting, and you wouldn't like it if we invited man-power Australia to perform in our living room and sat around lamenting how much we wished you looked like their leader.

40. The relationship is never going to be like it was the first two months we were going out.

The relationship is now boring and if you don't do something about it soon, I won't dump you - I just won't be in the mood for the next ten years.

41. Anyone can buy condoms.

You should always have them on hand just in case - for your benefit, not so much mine!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another five questions!

I completed the final component of my marketing audit today - the presentation. Our group got 4/5 four it and I got all excellent ticks for my part of the speech! Woo! Go public speaking Melissa!

Anyway, I now have sweet bugger all to do tomorrow until I go to work at four pm, so I figured I would tackle another five questions while I had the chance.

This set of five questions comes from Elonortrund, who will be getting a link in my sidebar following this post (if I don't fall asleep).


1. You are single and like to date different people. How can you tell the difference between someone who is fun to be with for now, vs. a man who has potential for a lasting relationship, or would be a good father for your children (if you want kids!)?

Jeez, you're not to shy with the heavy hitters are you? Hrm...

I found this question interesting because I honestly think (to the point where "know" might be a better word) that one of my problems in the dating and relationship games is that I tend to think all of them have the potential for a lasting relationship. (Not so sure about father to my children part, I really haven't thought that far down the track yet, I'm still working on having one I can pin down for more than a few months!).

I have a funny feeling for most people "the one" starts out as someone who would be fun to be with for now. Then in six months time, a year, two years, they're still fun to be with for now. Eventually you realise that all along, without you really thinking about it too much, they ARE that long term relationship you were originally looking for. It's just that things like that (the important things in life) always revolve around time, and things that evolve around time always creep up on us so quietly that one day you just wake up in the morning and realise you're there.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a dead sucker for romance, and the thought of meeting the love of your life in the supermarket one day and after ten minutes of chatting just thinking "yes, I see houses, I see babies, I see white picket fences!" is awesome, and there was a time when, although I wouldn't admit it, I probably thought that could happen. I've since learned that it's more a matter of patience, of realising that time is the one thing that consolidate the potential that is there. Also understanding that life can get in the way and there's nothing you can do about it.

It's a rather dull and unromantic analogy, but it's like anything that you want really badly - to save money, to build a business, anything that involves a goal at the end of the tunnel. You have to let the success creep on you gradually I think.

I also think women have a weird tendency to have that "wake up one morning and find" experience faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar earlier than the men ever do. I think men wake up one morning with "the one" stamped on their partners forhead and dont notice it, grunt, scratch their ass, haul themselves out of bed and start stuffing their face with cereal. They then rinse and repeat for the next five years, or until their partner starts making violent ultimatums.

2. You are Australian, and I believe you've also lived in Denmark. What is your impression of the United States?

Okay, having never been to the United States, I have had three major phases in my life where America had a distinct image in my head.

Before I travelled - America was Utopia. I really badly wanted to go to an American High School, play on the school basketball team, go on "dates" (we really don't do that here, I just do it because I'm strange), pick fights with other kids on New York streets, and go to Degrassi Junior High (this is when I didn't know Canada existed - to this day, the accents sound the same to me). I wanted to meet celebrities, I wanted to live in the big upper middle class houses and drive a convertible to school, I wanted the trendy, young hip "Mom". America to a primary school or early high schooler seemed awesome.

When I went overseas I got a different perspective. Rotary Youth Exchange was a great program but I found because the program involved your parents pretty much paying for everything, and that it was for teenagers, that I met a lot of Americans who I found quite shocking in their attitudes. There were a lot of suburban princesses who really did fit the cheesy stereotypes - the slutty cheerleaders, the bitchy princesses, the jocks. In short, pretty much all the ones I personally would have collected en masse from high school and sent to live on an island somewhere if given the chance. I found most of them to be spoilt, I found their "don't mess with me attitude" intimidating and more often than not, selfish and unjustified, none of them seemed to be very independent and have much of an idea of striking out on your own, and most of them got up to things that would turn their mother's hair grey (I wasn't perfect, but I just got drunk a lot). That was mostly the ones from the bigger cities, and I think most of them had attitudes like that because in a big city I'm guessing if you want to survive you learn to bite and not let yourself get trampled on by countless others. I found it was the ones from the south or the rural areas that I related to the most, the shy Iowa farm boys and the friendly Texans - I guess because I was the Australian version of the same.

First year at a boarding college on returning to Australia and I met Bec (HI BEC!), Ben and Emily. These three are seriously on my huge list of cool foreigners that I have to go and visit someday. Each of them still manages to bring a grin to my face on a regular basis. They are humble, they are happy, they are diverse, they are well grounded, they are opinionated, they share affection, they are awesome to talk to, and they are just plain cool. I love them to death. I want to go to America because of these people.

I plan to go to the States one day, I really do want to part of my degree there, studying Marketing. Where else to learn how to be a marketer than the capitalist capital of the world? I look forward to seeing every bit that beautiful and diverse country has to offer, with it's huge range of cultures.

Oh and Canada sounds cool too.

3. I've heard about the "Tall Poppy" syndrome in Australia. Do you think it exists, and if so, has it affected your life?

Yes tall poppy syndrome exists in Australia. Generally, in my experience, it applies to the Australian public or population. Australians have a very strong idea of what an "Australian" way to behave is. In my experience, the gist of it is that if you are Australian, you do not divert from what is considered Australian. You stick to the unwritten rules of mateship, loyalty, patriotism, and there's a very strong pressure not to "sell out", especially to American codes of behaviour, which are (sorry any Americans) often considered money grabbing and elitist. Those who make it big internationally are often (I think incorrectly) deemed to have gotten to their high status because they have done things that are considered un-Australian. They've sold their soul to American capitalism, they've indulged too much in a European fan base (Kylie Minogue has copped that one more than once, lucky for her the gay community won't let anyone tear her down), they've altered their product to meet a mass-market... The fact that they're Australian and they've reached that pinnacle doesn't seem to come into it - the perfect Australian is an aussie battler, who struggled to get where they are today and had to fight tooth and nail to achieve it. Those who seem to have flown from strength to strength go against this Australian ideal I feel, and so there is a tendency to tear them down, make them work for their success. They are constantly made to justify themselves. We are not a nation of people that builds its ambitions on something as idealistic as the American Dream. We are a nation that values the fight for success more than the success itself in many respects. (Australians reading this, do you agree or disagree?)

In terms of it affecting me... hrm. Nothing significant, maybe in slight ways. I was a very ambitious during high school and I don't think some (not all) of my school mates saw eye to eye with that, then again, the question below on being a stay at home Mum probably demonstrates I didn't see eye to eye with what a lot of the people in my home town had in mind for themselves either (my hometown was, and still is, the teenage pregnancy capital of Australia, with a lot of teenage girls choosing to become mothers at that young age. That was NOT something I had in mind for myself in light of the career paths I wanted to follow).

I get the wind knocked out of my sails by other people from time to time, but I wouldn't say that's to do with them being Australian, I think people all over the world do that. It's a self-preservation thing. If the people around you start getting too self-confident they start achieving too many goals and get too successful, then who's the one who feels they look a fool? There's always that nagging feeling in everyone that they should be doing just as well as the group standard. Everybody does it (girls are especially good at doing it, in very subtle ways too! Don't think I haven't done it).

4. Do you think you will have several careers throughout your life, or will stick to one? If you become a mother, would you consider staying home with children or not?

There are a number of careers I can see myself doing. Originally I wanted to be a journalist, and my arts degree does actually major in media so it is a path I could very well follow. I can actually see myself working in radio or print journalism, and as is evident from the fact that I run a blog, I would love to be a writer. I seriously don't think I have the discipline for those at the moment though. Many people who meet me often mention that I should head in a corporate direction, before they even hear me mention that I'm interested in marketing. I've also considered studying law before but I really don't see myself doing that, it really is such a cynical and jaded profession. I'm too much of an idealist to be a lawyer.

I have thought about the issue of motherhood and it is an interesting quandry. I've always valued my independence and I think I'm actually already shaping up to be a bit of a work a holic. I am never going to be the sort of person who is content with doing nothing. However as long as I see importance in the work that I am doing, I will be addicted to it. Whenever I see myself in ten, fifteen years time, I do see myself having kids, and me being an awesome Mum to them. I like to think I'd be the understanding Mum who always takes the time to explan things properly and help out with any problem and talks loudly but doesn't yell a lot.

People would be surprised to hear this but I genuinely would consider it. Being a stay home Mum I mean. When I was younger I couldn't fathom the thought of it - my Mum was a management executive and she was always at work the same time we were at school, on business trips, and home tired at 6pm, and she enjoyed the challenges of her work, as do i. I couldn't imagine being in an empty house all day doing laundry and cleaning dishes - to me that always felt subservant to the man, that it just wasn't what I was made for. The fact that I'm hardly housekeeping material myself bares a strong leaning on the matter as well.

The last year or so though in the back of my mind I've been lulling it over and I guess, the main reason I work, or do degrees, or travel, or do anything really, is to prove to myself that I can do it. Maybe at that stage in my life I won't feel I have to prove anything to myself anymore.

5. What is the healthcare system like in Australia? Is it national healthcare? Do you think it is high quality?

I never get sick. I actually have absolutely no idea. I went to the doctor when I was 17 to get a medical check before I went overseas and he couldn't find any notes on me because I hadn't been since early primary school. I just don't get so sick that I need to go to a doctor.

Last year though I had bouts of anxiety and spent six weeks in hospital. It was a pretty difficult time, having never been that sick before. I found the nurses were great, the ambulance was RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE and it took me months to pay off the cost, the doctors were kind and understanding, and that my hospital accommodation was excellent.

That said, I was the first patient to get stashed into a new wing and I think they wanted to make a good impression.

I had some pretty turbulent experiences in hospital due to some accidentally mis-diagnosed medication, after that cock up (they were trying to get funding for yet another wing if this one went successfully, wouldn't have looked good if the first patient in filed suit), I was treated like a queen. I don't think anyone else quite got the same level of "care". The experience left me pretty jaded to say the least.

Sorry I'm really not the best person to ask about that. All I know is when I was a kid if I ever wanted a doctor, I got one, that no one in my family has ever gone without, that there is a huge shortage of nurses, and that there are a large number of hospitals that should just be avoided like the plague in an emergency (The Royal Adelaide is the one to avoid here in Adelaide).

Well that's another five questions answered! I'll have to post that link in the morning I am tired........................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, May 20, 2007

5 questions to me

This week's (am I doing this as a weekly thing??!) blog post comes from fellow blogger John Iveson, whose blog can be read at http::// . He's a pretty cool and switched on dude, most certainly not native to Canada, and he asked me five questions. If you want me to ask YOU five questions, leave the URL to your blog and the text "interview me" in the comments section.

1. How do you think the world sees ..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Australia? And how accurate is that?

I have experienced a wide variation of how the world views Australia, most of it really positive. We have a very rich family lifestyle, often filled with beaches, swimming, barbecues, holidays and picnics, which is not something that I would ever argue with.

Currently in Australia we have the highest unemployment rate we've ever had, so most people are in a good (or at least average) position, and really, with our (annoying - I've bitched about Centrelink in this blog before) social welfare system in place it's generally found that people who are poor or completely homeless are so by hopelessness or choice (although I've experienced better - Denmark has one of the best social welfare systems in the world).

I found that the majority of foreigners when talking about Australia focussed on this beach lifestyle as the centrepoint, which I think is pretty accurate. We swim a lot, a lot of people who live near the beach surf, yes there ARE sharks in the water, and we love a good barbecue.

The conversation would generally then get a little hairier after that, with questions of kangaroos as pets, where abouts my farm was located, don't I get thirsty living in the desert (what happened to the beaches??!), and some really outdated ideas on how aboriginal people must live coming to the forefront.

While I think it's great that they know the Australian beach lifestyle is the only one (which I think is something the media would have foreigners think in order to boost tourism), I find it amusing that the idea of a suburban Australian lifestyle to a lot of foreigners in incomprehensible.

The majority of Australians live in a country town or suburban community (thanks primarily to the leadership of Prime Minister Robert Menzies in the 1950's who built a suburban dream to combat the threats of communism). They go to school (on a bus not in a kangaroo's pouch), they vote for their leaders, they live in houses (one girl in Denmark thought I lived in a tent and that I didn't know what a bus stop or a stand up comedian was). The young people, my age, are the same everywhere. There are language differences, and slight cultural differences, but at the end of the day all of them just want to complete their schooling and take the world on in the best way they know how.

It's funny though, we do the same thing to other nations. Canadians go to school on polar bears, Africans go to school in a jeep waving hello to the tigers and the monkeys. Apparently. Then you meet them en masse, like I did when I travelled, and you realise they really are just like you (maybe a little bit kinkier).

I can only put down such conceptions to a couple of things - the media plugging the assets of a nation for everything its worth until they become the only things foreigners associate with it, and the fact that, when thinking about a country's lifestyle, no one ever really sits down and thinks about it from a logical point of view.

2. What are the best places to live in Australia if you are: a child, a student, working and have no kids, raising young kids, working when kids are older, retired?

Okay... It has to be said here that I grew up in a country town and have only ever lived in Adelaide besides my stint overseas and aforementioned country town. I've been to Melbourne a few times and Sydney once and that is about the extend of my Australian travel. So don't quote me on any of this.

A child - I found growing up in a coastal country town worked a treat. It was very cost efficient and you grew up in a very familiar, close knit community. When you went away for the summer holidays you went to the same place the parents of the other kids went to, so you had consolidated friendships, and a lot of safety and security. The only thing I really regret about growing up there was that I didn't get to experience much of the outside world at a young age so a few things came as a shock when I got older.

If you're a student I actually do think Adelaide is the way to go. It's not so small that you know everyone you walk past at the local supermarket (and you accidentally date your cousin) but it's small enough for you to keep contact with people and have a good group of friends nearby that you can rely on. The university's are very well respected, it's not a particularly expensive place to live, it's not particularly well known for it but it is actually quite a beautiful place, and there's always something happening in the student life.

Working and have no kids - Melbourne is probably the place. It's got a lot of tradition and finery associated with it, and it has a very strong business sector. If you want to experience culture and high class society while you're working with no children, Melbourne is probably the place to be, with its very strong culture of cafes and restaurants. Unfortunately it IS located in Victoria, and people from Victoria DO tend to be wankers towards South Australians like me. So I'm going to pull the plug on plugging Melbourne right now. (Although I nearly went a few months ago when their comedy festival was on - the headline acts alone make me recommend it even though I'm yet to go).

If you're raising young kids and want to have a city lifestyle I'd suggest Sydney. It's the oldest city we've got and my experience of it (ten days about five years ago, plus a lot of press coverage on tv) is that it is genuinely a city for everyone. It's got fun family activities (we really enjoyed boating around the harbour etc on our holiday), it's got good schools, it's got good job opportunities when your children get older. The only thing I can see a problem with is the issue of real estate (it's pricey of course, depending on where you live), and it depends on whether you want to raise your kids in the place that probably has the most crime per capita in Australia (don't quote me on that either). If the city thing isn't your thing there's always somewhere on the central coast, within a stone throw of the city if you should ever want to go there.

In my family if you want to retire, you go to Victor Harbour. My Uncle used to joke about it, calling it "God's waiting room". Then his nagged him into buying some property there, and well, I guess now he's in the waiting room.

3. If someone says "I have no regrets", how, if at all, does this change your view of the person?

Hrm, I'm not really sure how to answer that question. I've got a few regrets already! Although I enjoyed my time overseas I think my timing was bad and that I shouldn't have gone when I was so young, especially not when I was fresh out of a very sheltered lifestyle in a tight nit community. I also regret that I fucked around a bit at my first year of uni and now I'm paying the price because everyone else is graduating soon, if they haven't already, and I was already a year behind because of my travels.

However, I look back on these things as life experiences, lessons I wouldn't have been able to learn any other way. I daresay if I hadn't gone overseas I wouldn't be anywhere near as cautious or analytical of my (or any) environments, because my eyes wouldn't have been opened up to what the world is capable of (I mean that in the sense of seeing poverty like poor children begging in the streets, concentration camps, etc). I wouldn't have been as insightful I guess. So I guess if you look at it in this way I don't really have any regrets at all.

That said, whenever someone tends to say to me "I have no regrets", I'll admit I'm a little skeptical. When I think of the poem "The road less travelled" where taking that less travelled road "has made all the difference", I tend to think of that "difference" as a positive thing, no matter the outcome. I am the black sheep in a lot of cliques, because I'm not a sheep at all (I'm probably a donkey!)

I'll admit I have a tendency to think the reason someone has no regrets is because they've taken the road most travelled. Having no regrets at all within the vast expanse of opportunities we as human beings are faced with during our lifetimes suggests to me a lack of drive to do something different from the norm. I guess this is just something I value.

That said, someone who says "I have no regrets" obviously has a very positive outlook and values each of their experiences individually in some way, which is something I try to do myself. A positive outlook is something I also value.

4. What would your friends name as your best (and if you're feeling brave), your worst characteristics?

loyal - i'm the first to stick up for anybody and the first to tell them when i think they're wrong. usually.

friendly - i like people in general, and as long as they're responsive to meeting someone new, i generally get along well with most people i meet. even if we're quite different as people.

always ready to talk about anything. i've got a pretty opinionated, probably seemingly black and white exterior, so some people get a shock when one day they're having a bad day and i actually empathise, and even more shockingly, respond to their problem

generous with the hugs (i love hugs. i don't get enough hugs. will you hug me?)

funny (sometimes, and usually inadvertantly. You may have noticed from a few blogs that I've got a very colourful way of describing even the most mundane things - I do that in real conversation too and people often find it amusing. Scarily half the time I'm not joking).


honest - I don't steal, I don't lie (my facial expressions just give it away anyway), I always at least try to do the best by people, i admit my faults (maybe not always outloud in front of other people, but at least to myself), and in a team i'm quite likely to be the most reliable person on the team.

look for the best in people (this has proven to be a big mistake on a few occassions but I still try to do it, you can't write the whole tree off just because of a few bad apples)


pour my heart and soul into whatever i put my mind to (people, ideas, missions, myspace... oh god I'm a geek...)

well intentioned

intuitive - i read people pretty well.


can be insulting in an attempt to be funny (i've called a few people "geeks" or "nerds" a few too many times for even my own liking - sorry guys)

don't always listen to things i need to hear - "Mel, you should read this book, it's called 'HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU'".

a bit of a conversation control freak (actually a bit of an everything control freak) - if i'm in a group i delegate tasks. If there's a debate happening I've always got my ten cents thrown in there. If other people aren't towing the line in some way it really grinds on my nerves.

i'm ambitious and ridiculously impatient and want all good things i want to come to me NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW and get annoyed when it doesnt happen (my degree being one of them)

i don't manage my money very well so whenever people ask me to do things i'm always broke

i'm really loud, sometimes unbareably so, and some of the opinions that come spouting out of my mouth, not even I believe in ("Mel can you turn the volume down a bit...?")

i have an obsessive streak which means i pour everything i've got into it and then one day just get bored and move onto something else (this year alone I've been through an art phase, a family history phase, a gym phase, now i'm in the myspace phase, next i can see myself in a cooking phase... mmm...)

i'm lazy and a chronic procstinator and it sometimes drives people nuts - not because it affects them in some way but because it's frustrating for them to see someone who's more than capable to do the work just plain NOT doing the work and suffering for it (i'm getting over that now though)

i'm really not the most sensitive person in the world, if something frustrates me i find it difficult to hide it/not to say something (although weirdly there are some people i just can't say anything to)

i actually have no fashion sense. despite all the talk of shoes and shopping in this blog, i still arrive to pick my sister up in the morning looking like i got dressed in the dark. it's been known to cause epileptic fits. believe me it's a bad trait.

if someone uses a commanding or superior tone in conversation it pushes all the wrong buttons and I find myself arguing with them when i don't even care about the essence of the conversation - the other day at work it was about whether or not this celebrity babies kid's father was in its life, just because the girl i was talking to implied i was a bit silly for thinking it was (i mean WHO CARES?!?!?!)

finally, when it comes to guys i feel i know them pretty well (i really do have a good sense of character judgement though, ask anyone who knows me, i'm pretty clued in on people) and so i want to jump the gun a bit in the relationship when they still feel like they don't know me all that well - that's when the my issues with impatience come into play

5. Are there any songs that you associate with turning points in your life? Which and why?

There is an entire soundtrack to my life. I seriously can't think of any of them right now except for Leaving on a Jet Plane by Bjork and Jewel, for obvious reasons. There are a few songs that make me go mushy inside though:
Alanis Morrisette's "Everything"
The Goo Goo Dolls - "Slide" "Irish" "Black Balloon" "Name"
Rob Thomas "Little wonders"
Disneyland After Dark (DAD) - nineteenhundredandyesterday

Plus about a million others, most of them too daggy to mention here!!! I actually listen to a lot of dance stuff these days so nothing too up to date and with meaning has entered my personal sphere recently.

Well, hope that answers your questions John!

PS. everyone (anyone?) reading this, I'm happy to do this "submit five questions" thing again, I thought it was pretty fun!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Another amusing incident

I just noticed that my google adsense has started to click in. Clearly the people at google liked my whingeing about the bus system in Adelaide so much that they started to advertise bus travel in the UK.


To those of you who have been strongly hinting...

that I should write another blog entry. It has been quite a while (for me at least).

I'm sorry. I've been really busy lately. They cut off my phone and I had to pay lots of money to reconnect it. Then there was work. Lots of work. Then there was Uni. Lots of uni. Throw in lots of KFC, mother's day, a lack of footwear besides thongs (flip flops), and a complete and utter lack of ideas as to what on earth to write about, it seems I have a million excuses.

Yet still, I am sorry.

I still can't think of any issues to blog about, so I'll just tell you some amusing incidences that happened to me recently. Here they are.

1. At the place where I work, we have to talk on the phone on these little semi-cubicle things. They're about a meter and a half high, and separate you from the next person over making their phone calls to unresponsive members of the Australian non-radio listening community. I sat next to MARK TRENWITH (who has commented on this blog). He has this creepy habit of peering over the top of the wall to see how many people I've got left in the quota I'm working on. Unfortunately for Mark I seem to have a bit of a stalker complex and when I looked up to find him doing it yesterday I SCREAMED SO LOUDLY IT SHOOK THE WALLS. It was truly earth shattering, and very embarrassing. It did lead to a lot of laughs however.

2. Last week there was a big event on in Adelaide sponsored by one of the local adult entertainment clubs. The event was called Sexpo. It was a big event with things like dildos, porn, naked ladies, condoms and all sorts of sex related things on display. No I didn't go. (I was actually going to, I thought it would be interesting to write about Melissa's adventures at Sexpo but unfortunately I was too broke to afford the student concession entrance fee of $12. Go figure). The morning after Sexpo finished, I decided it was high time I took out the garbage. I took the garbage out. To the big green bin. Outside my block of flats.

It was there that I found a brand new copy of "Chicks with Dicks" propped up neatly on the lid of my big green bin, as if it had been waiting for me there all night. The cover looked innocent enough, it was just a chick in a red bathing suit. Then I noticed she was standing BEHIND the bent over dude.

Fucking Sexpo.

3. Last Saturday night I went for a night out at the casino for the first time in my life. I've been to the casino before but usually I just wander in at four am and laugh at all the pokie addicts, usually with a pretty massive hint of drunken leer. Over the course of the night I:

- drunkenly signed up for a casino discount/points card. The guy who served me was named James. He thought I had nice curly hair (he presumably said so because I said something along the lines of "James don't you reckon I have nice curly hair?") and that I was very nice and not that annoying for a drunken idiot. He assured me that I would win the air guitar competition upstairs and that all was not lost just because I wasn't sure how to best approach "Achey breaky heart". (If you think I'm random in my blog entries you really should meet me when I'm drunk).

- watched part of an air guitar competition. I think I actually lost brain cells for having anything to do with it but watching some of the people involved land on their heads trying to do a stage flip was quite funny.

- Got hit on by some weird eastern european dudes who looked like they could break my arm with their little finger. "Come now! You dance!" They thought my dancing style was strange because I was just walking up and down the edge of the dancefloor, peering at my shoes. I was actually looking for my friends jacket but managed to shrug it off as a quirky element of Australian dance club culture.

- Got DRAGGED onto the dance floor by this part legendary and part seedy drunken little old man. No joke, the guy was about 80, but he had a grip (around my wrist, dragging me onto the dancefloor) that would be the envy of Arnold Schwarzeneggar. He later danced with a woman in a red dress with far too much make up on. Little did he know he paid for it.

- Got POKED (as in literally poked, with the index finger) of some weird drunk guy walking past me when I was sitting by a slot machine. Weirded out a little but deciding to let it go, I ignored him. He walked past again about ten minutes later going "HOTTTTTTTTTTTtttttttttt!!!!!!! HOttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!". He was creepy and weird.

- I think think I got cracked onto by a chick. I was just sitting down with a friend and this girl kept asking if I wanted to go to another pub with her and her friend. I said no. Then when she asked me again a few times so I said "yes, I'll meet you there". I didn't.

4. This morning I realised my passport was in the Barossa Valley, which is about an hour away. My parents have a place there. I needed it to fill in this application I'm doing, for the police check, so I thought I'd go for a drive there to get my passport. Within ten minutes that plan fell through because my Mum for some weird reason (I rang her because it was Mother's Day) kidnapped all my personal belongings that were in that house and taken it to their permanent residence in Whyalla where of course, they are much harder to get hold of and impossible to use on short notice. So I decided to go to Marion. I wanted to buy a new jacket, because it's winter and I don't like the one I got last year anymore. I decided I'd go to Marion shopping centre because I'm sick of always going to the city. I filled up my car with petrol, bought some groceries and, in a bit of a daydream thinking about my new jacket, I was halfway down Anzac Highway when I realised I had no freaking clue how to get to Marion from there (I'm from Whyalla and don't really know my way around Adelaide all that well still, so if I go a different way than usual to get somewhere I inevitably end up getting stuck). In the end I drove down various main roads for about half an hour in a half assed attempt to figure out how to find it and then just cut my losses and came back to the city and went home.

I really need to start thinking shit out before I get in the car and start driving.

That's about it really.