Thursday, October 22, 2009

Packing the Bags and Moving

Hi folks,

It is time for The Sleepydumpling to pack her blog bags and move home. Blogger has served me well for the past three and a bit years, but I need a little more functionality, so I'm going to give Wordpress a try.

I will post some regular reminders here to let you all know that I've moved, but for now, come on over to the new blog:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Somethin' For Da Haterz...

Here are a whole bunch of photos of me. Because I'm not going to let some moron the inability to spell correctly make me feel bad about myself because he wants to call me a "fat bitch".

Here is the photo that drew the comment:


Yep, fat bitch being eaten by a dinosaur. Cos nothing else is big enough to eat me. Rawr!


In this one, I'm drinking away my sorrows, because I just can't cope being a fat bitch.


Look, an almost full body shot of my fat bitchness.

Zombie Me

This is me as a fat bitch zombie.


How about a recent photo. Taken yesterday, just moments after I dyed my fat bitch hair. I'd hate to be noticed, just in case someone saw how fat I was.


And here is my big fat bitch arse. Which "Edward" can kiss.

(Actually, it's not my arse, I can't get the camera around there to take a photo of my arse, but it kinda looks like my arse.)

If the haters think they're going to shame me by calling me a fat bitch, or insulting me in any other way... well, let's just say they've got as much chance as my arse has of ever being thin.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let's Play!

I've got a story to tell you.

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk, merrily working away, with my iPod firmly plugged into my ears.

Now anyone who knows me, or has seen my desk, knows I am only happy when I can be surrounded by groovy things I love. In the case of my desk at work, it's a large collection of snow globes that I have inherited over the years (to the point that my colleagues now buy them for me when they have holidays), a few toy cars, a stuffed toy giraffe that is wearing a leopard print coat and hooker boots, a few little wind up toys that hop and jiggle and spin and Super Baby and Captain Underpants toys.

Yes, I am childish. Just ask my friend Kylie.

So I'm sitting there happily clacking away at my keyboard, grooving to something fun on my iPod, when along comes this man down the corridor. This man is impeccably turned out. Very high quality tailor made suit, good professional haircut, with the distinguished silver at the sides, carrying an expensive leather compendium, totally exuding professionalism and "high up-ness".

He gets to level with my desk, spots all the toys and trinkets, and breaks into the most beautiful, enormous smile. Then proceeds to stop and play with all the toys, shake the snow globes and chuckle to himself. All without saying a word to me. After about 5 minutes, he puts down the little cow-truck and makes his way off to his meeting or whatever important event he's going to.

It was a delight to watch.

It got me thinking about the importance of play as an adult. How often do you play? Whether that is goofing off with a friend, or just tinkering about with something like Lego or the stress toys on your desk?

On Saturday, Kylie and I were at Robina, and we found a games and puzzles store that had some boxes of the most wonderful little wind up toys. I wanted them all for my desk at work. We must have wound up every single type of toy and tested it. Then we found an Australian Geographic store and played with the stuff in there for awhile. My favourite was the giant dinosaur head on the wall. Check it out:


As adults, I wonder if we're trained not to play? It's either seen as a waste of time, or immature. People look down their noses and say "Be serious." For me, I'm not sure that being serious equates to being sombre. I know myself that I feel so much more relaxed if I can spend a little time tinkering with something, or goofing off with friends than if I "buckle down and be serious" all the time. Not to mention that I can be completely serious about something while also seeing the humour in it, without needing to be sombre.

It doesn't hurt to play sometimes. Go buy yourself a little Lego kit. Or a Matchbox car. Head to a toy store and don't just look, play with some of them. Get yourself a little wind up toy for on your desk at work. Take a photograph with some big display prop. Laugh.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Freak Out Your Inner Geek

I had a bit of a geek girl dream day yesterday. In the afternoon I was lucky enough to go and visit with new Twitter friends at their lovely house on the Gold Coast. Not only is their house absolutely beautiful, but it's a true geek girl haven with the most exquisite mini theatre and all the gaming bizzo you could dream of. I'm not a gamer, but sitting on the floor of their theatre room watching a group of gals playing Beatles Rock Band, was so much fun. Made especially fun by the fantastic company.

However tonight's blog post is going to be about the total orgasmo-fest that is the Apple Store at Robina. That's what we did in the morning - made a special trip to the Robina shopping centre just for the Apple Store. It did not disappoint.

It looks great, right from when you walk up to the front door. A big glass front with no displays in the windows. The store IS the display. And simply the Apple logo in white above the door. Just like their products, you know straight away what you're getting and what's in there.

Once we went inside, there were lots of "squeeeee" noises because they have several tables with iPhones just laid out on them for you to play with. Some are loaded up with apps, some are showcasing particular features, others are just there for you to tinker. Some goon had left his email open on the one I went to, and I had the overwhelming desire to send him an email on it, but I did the good karma thing and deleted it from the iPhone.

Even though I already have an iPhone, I still tinkered and played with the ones there. Mostly because I got a taste of some of the apps I don't have. And they'd set them up to do things I haven't learnt to do yet.

While we were there, they had a class for people in the Snow Leopard operating system. A very personable young man was taking a group of about 8 people through the operating system, in what seemed like a clear, concise way. I wouldn't mind having a go at one of those sessions myself.

I am planning to buy an iMac in a month or so when my PC lease runs out, so I decided to see if I could get someone to talk to me about it. It didn't take long for someone to acknowledge me, and he asked if I would like some help. When I said yes, he said "I'm just with someone right now, but I'll get someone for you while I'm at it." He kept with his customers but acknowledged me every time he came past and found me someone within about 10 minutes. The guy who came to talk to me was friendly without being pushy, helped me with my questions about leasing/finance/full purchase and then asked me what I would mostly like to use my computer for. And gave me a demo of iPhoto, which is pretty bloody impressive.

I also had a look at all of the MacBooks, all laid out on the table and up and running for customers to tinker with. Perused the walls full of accessories for all your Apple goodies. Watched a huge mofo television with Apple TV hooked up to it. Gazed at the very attractive but also friendly staff. And plotted and planned for when I can get my very own iMac.

If you're of the geeky pursuasion, even if you're only dipping your toe in the pool of geekdom, make your way to the nearest Apple store to you. Not only are they absolutely gorgeous, impressive products but you are encouraged to tinker and play by the very friendly staff. You will have lots of fun (and be planning your own iPhone/iMac/MacBook purchase in the very near future!)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

My Auntie Dot

I've just heard today that my Auntie Dot probably won't make it through the day.

It's bittersweet, because I'm sure she's chosen when she's ready to go (she's just that damn stubborn) but I will miss her when she does.

Auntie Dot taught me my first dirty jokes.

She taught me to play most card games, and how to cheat at them.

She was responsible for most of my early sex education because she had boxes and boxes of smutty cartoon books that I used to sneak copies out of and read under the blankets, giggling at all the jokes I didn't understand and the drawings of nude women. Boobies are hilarious to a six year old.

She taught me how to cook a lot of things, most of them full of fat, sugar and salt, all of them delicious.

She had more gadgets and doodads than anyone else I know, and I have inherited that.

She always had pet birds, with ridiculous names like Wrecker, that would roam the house freely, alternately terrorising people or charming them for tidbits. My favourite was an old galah that would steal cigarette butts out of ashtrays and put them in people's shoes. Most of these birds swore like fishwives. Kind of like Auntie Dot.

When we kids called out "Dottie!" through the house she would always answer "Whattie?"

She had a cat called Fonzie that was just like a ginger version of Horse from the Footrot Flats comics.

She had a vast collection of Footrot Flats comics. A vast collection of comics all together, from the aforementioned smut to Richie Rich and Archie and the Ettamogah Pub.

She liked silly toys that did poos or laid eggs or made fart noises. She loved dirty jokes. A few years ago one of her kids set her up with email and she has bombarded me with filthy jokes ever since. Whenever I see a really puerile dirty joke, I email it to Dottie. Usually if it has a picture of a penis in it, Dottie will love it.

She could feed a good sized township on whatever she could find in her freezer and her rather marvellous pantry. Jesus had nothing on her with his loaves and fishes.

Her door was always open and her phone always ringing. We have been known to sleep three deep on her livingroom floor. With various pets climbing all over us.

She loved kids, loved Christmas and would always join the two together and create the most riotous times.

She always complained about everything, but you knew she secretly loved everything too. Her laugh always sounded filthy, even when she was laughing at something innocent.

I'll miss her, the cranky old bitch.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Housekeeping Announcement

Just a heads up.

It's no more Miss Nice Girl.

If you don't like what I got to say, fuck off. You heard me.

Nobody is forcing anybody to read my blogs or follow me on Twitter. If you are here reading my blog or Twitter to get all pissed off and criticise me, you need to perhaps look at what's lacking in your life. You got nothing better to do than spend time reading the writing of someone you don't like? That's pretty sad.

I make the rules in this patch. You don't like it, don't let the door hit your arse on the way out. If you hang around in my patch, then I reserve the right to have fun telling you in many colourful and detailed ways how you can go fuck yourself.

Now, back to our regular programming.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Time to Re-Assess

As I mentioned earlier, I've been battling the black dog a bit the past few days. It's purely chemical, and will pass in time, but it's at times like this that the things that bother me, frustrate me or make me angry, bubble to the surface, so it pays to lay those things out in front of me a bit and examine them, to see if I can improve on them at all.

One of the things that has been high on the irritation factor lately has been the behaviour exhibited by several people on Twitter.

Now don't get me wrong, I love Twitter, have made some amazing friends and had some incredible experiences. I have been taking a bit of a break for a few days, because I was feeling low and didn't want to irritate anyone with my blah mood, but I am looking forward to jumping back in when I'm feeling a bit more robust. I've missed quite a few people while I've been on this hiatus.

However, I have realised it's time for a rethink on how I have been using Twitter. Up until now, I've been casting my Twitter net far, wide and deep. Which has brought me some amazing people to talk to and meet in real life too. However, the downside of casting that net out so broadly and deeply is you also pick up a lot of fish that are not at all pleasant. What's worse, is sometimes it's really, really hard to disentangle those nasty fish from the net and chuck 'em back. Which means they spoil the experience and take up valuable time from the tasty fish.

Unfortunately, the internet, and therefore Twitter, can be a great enabler of bad behaviour. Where face-to-face you have to deal with the consequences of your behaviour pretty quickly, online you can throw out any old statement, behaviour or attitude and you don't get to see the consequences. Needless to say, those people in the world who are arseholes LOVE this, and rely on it to be able to perpetuate their arsehole behaviour. This is not unique to Twitter understand, but as it's the broadest interface I have been using for connecting with new people, it's where I've seen it displayed the most of recent times.

Some of the behaviour types that have been bothering me the most include:

· The Passive Aggressive - people who are too cowardly to say anything up front, broadcast out snarky messages to everyone when it's very clear who the intended recipient is.

· The “But I’m KIDDING!” - Behaving in badly and then claiming they're "Just being facetious." when they're called on it. No you're not, you're being a fuck. Own it.

· The Judgemental - The level of intolerance has really astonished me. And it's not the usual offenders of the highly conservative either. I can't believe how vicious some people can be to those who are different to them - as if they'd accept anyone behaving in that manner towards them, but they're quite happy to give it out.

· The Bitch – not just women. It’s the snarky comments and put downs.

· The Bully - the old "Hey everyone, look at so-and-so said! Let's all point and laugh!" style. Fight your own battles.

· The Superiority Complex. There are a lot of people out there that feel that they’re better than others. They’re not.

· The Narcissist. Ever see that scene in Beaches when Bette Midler’s character says “But enough about me, let’s talk about you. How do you feel about me?” Oh how those people love online communities. Because they can always get validation from someone to say “But you’re awesome!” and feed their ego. So they spend their whole time saying things like “I suck.” So every conversation turns to them.

· The Drama Queen/King – instead of just opting out of the conversation, unfollowing or skimming, they chime in with a big “OMG!! Everyone is FIGHTING!! Oh I can’t handle it!” whenever anyone has a good debate. Closely related to the Narcissist, they have to make every discussion directly about them.

· The Wannabe – these people believe they’re intended for Internet Fame. They friend everybody, but only talk to those they think are going to make them appear more interesting and bring them more followers. If they ask a question and people respond, they only reply to those who they think are “awesome enough”.

· The False Networker – again, these friend everybody, but only so their follow count looks big and if someone is of use to them, then they’ll interact. Otherwise they just ignore most people.

· The Pick Up Artist – they’re looking for a root. They only want to interact with you if they fancy you or one of your friends.

· The Barnacle – these people just cannot let go. If someone dares to disagree with them, or there is some kind of dispute, they might unfollow, but they spend the rest of their time dropping hints about “certain people” and “remember that incident”. Other people in genuine concern then mention it to those “certain people”, which is exactly what the Barnacle wants. You just can’t shake a fucking Barnacle.

I’m sure there are more. These are the ones I find give me the shits more than any others.

So in light of that, I’m having a re-think of how I use Twitter. I have two accounts. One of which I am going to lock down now, after clearing out all of the extraneous accounts I follow that either fill my feed with irrelevant crap, narcissism or drama. This will be my private account and only people I trust will be welcome.

My other account will be opened up and I’ll follow all the local event accounts, work related stuff and people I don’t know yet. This account won’t get as much attention as the private one, but it will be where I get to know the character of people before I bring them close. That way I can hopefully filter out all of those personality types above.

It sucks that one has to put so much energy into directing something as simple as Twitter, but unfortunately there are a lot of unhealthy people out there who clearly don’t have enough of a life to live that they have to create drama, bad vibes and falseness to the rest of us who just are who we are and genuinely want to interact.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

An Alligator Beats a Black Dog Anytime

I've had a crap couple of days. The black dog of depression has been plaguing me. So I'm going to indulge in some gratuitous cheer me up videos in this blog, just so that I have them all in one place for next time.

Yes, it's more Craig Ferguson, or in particular, one of his puppets, Wavey the Alligator.

You know, I think it's the accent I like the best. Whatta do everybody!

Wavey has a friend in this one (above).

This one above is possibly my favourite.

Ok, let's give Craig a plug for his new book. Last week he released an autobiography called "American on Purpose". Here he is giving an author talk:

If you want to buy the book, Amazon have it available here. I've read excerpts, it's very good, and very funny.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Why Do We Hate?

After a conversation I saw recently on Twitter by the lovely Miss_Chicken, I thought I would talk a bit today about hate and hatred.

Every day you hear the word hate bandied around a lot. People hate foods, they hate music or books or movies, they hate famous people, they hate some douchebag that cut them off in traffic, they hate the green paint in their office, they hate the smell of petrol, they hate decaf coffee, they hate Mondays.

I'm not quite sure that most people quite know what hatred is, or what it does to them. I still catch myself doing it from time to time, though I've cured myself of doing it in reference to people. I caught myself saying earlier today that I hate bureaucracy, and I've had to give myself a little shake.

You see hatred is poisonous. It makes the person with the hatred the most ill. Hatred is also a waste of your energy. As the old saying goes, the opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference.

A few years ago, when I was at my lowest point, I talked about hate a lot. I hated myself, I hated my family, I hated how people treated me, I hated my body, I was just full of hate. My psychologist challenged me to change my thinking and let go of all the hate, which in most cases, was anger I wasn't brave enough to express. She asked me to take notice of every time I used the word hate, and see if I could find another word that expressed my feelings better than hate. I found that the more that I thought about it, what I was feeling was not hate. It was anger, fear, irritation, frustration, sadness. Those are all a lot more scary to deal with than hate. Hate is so definite, it's easy to latch onto.

I don't hate peas. I just don't like the taste of them. I don't hate Angelina Jolie, she just irritates the shit out of me. I don't hate spiders, I'm afraid of them. I don't hate homophobes, I am just very angry at them.

The question was asked on Twitter recently if hatred was borne out of jealousy. I think some hatred is definitely borne of envy, that's for sure. People who choose to literally hate other people are sometimes envious of those they hate. Particularly those that can't just leave that person alone. I've never quite understood the concept of "enemies". Why would you want to focus any more attention on a person that you don't like?

The thing is, one chooses to hate. It's not involuntary, and I believe it's something we learn. I am choosing not to hate. Like everything, it's a work in progress, but it's a decision I've made. I seem to have conquered the hating people thing, I don't even hate my family any more, though I'm still angry at most of them. But I still hate stuff sometimes. Because it's easy to hate stuff. I mean, it's just stuff, and it's annoying, or scary (like spiders, I still hate them a bit).

Every time I hear the word "hate" come out of my mouth, or my typing fingers, or cross my mind, I'm going to challenge it. Ask myself what I really feel about the think I'm stating hatred for.

Because I'm pretty sure it's not worthy of hatred, whatever it is.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In My Place

Tonight I want to talk a bit about self identity, self esteem and confidence. It ties into my previous post on depression and anxiety a bit, in that depression and anxiety have always fed my low self esteem and lack of confidence, and now that I am finding that I can have these things while still battling depression and anxiety, I want to share a bit with others my own experiences and lessons, and some things I have come to believe.


I used to have terribly low self esteem. I loathed myself. I thought I was the most worthless piece of nothing that ever existed. I blamed myself for everything bad in the world, and for every time someone was rude to me, or downright nasty to me, I convinced myself it was my fault. I spent far more energy than any human being could actually maintain on trying to please everyone around me.

My whole life, for the first 30 something years, I did everything I could to make people happy, to make them like me. I genuinely believed if there was anything that people were unhappy or angry about, it was my fault.

I was a walking doormat.


Strangely enough, there were plenty of people who told me just that. You're nothing. You're fat, stupid, lazy, greedy, ugly, worthless, pathetic. Some of these were my own family, some were people that called themselves my friends. Some of them were absolute strangers on the street. I believed them. Despite giving every ounce of energy I had to being, doing everything I could to please everyone else but myself, I believed them that I was worthless.


Then I was diagnosed with depression, and referred on to a psychologist who specialises in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Through CBT I retrained my brain to be able to recognise the patterns in my behaviour and thinking that were damaging to me. I learned to like myself. My self esteem grew. As did my confidence. Slowly but surely, I began to actually love myself.

I know, I know, when you hear the words "love myself" you think of having tickets on yourself, or being up yourself. But when you truly learn what it is to love who you essentially are, it's not like that at all. It doesn't mean you think you're perfect or flawless. It doesn't mean that you think you can't make mistakes, or there aren't things about yourself that you can hone and improve. It means that you respect who you are, are proud of doing your best when you can and see your value as a human being.

Nor does it mean that you're all shiny and groovy forever. Sometimes you forget to love yourself. Sometimes the confidence and self esteem slip a bit. Then you have to rework it, relearn all those lessons and find your way again.

I am a work in progress, and always will be.


One of the big lessons I have learnt over the past year is that it doesn't matter if people don't like me. I don't need them to. What matters is that I like me as I have to live with me 24 x 7.

I spent so many years trying to make everyone happy and get them to like me, but even when I did everything I possibly could to make people happy, there were some that still didn't like me. So here I was, trying so hard, with people not liking me, and I was still unhappy. I have learnt that if I work to make myself happy, then I will draw people into my life that DO matter, and they will be happy because they matter to me and I will show them.


Life is not a popularity contest. You don't need to collect the most friends to win. What you do need to do is value the people that matter to you the most, and give your best to life.

If people don't like me, fair enough. I don't like some people myself. A lot of people really. It doesn't hurt me if people don't like me. All I ask of people who don't like me is to leave me alone. If you don't like me, why are you bothering to expend any energy on me? As the saying goes, the opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. If I don't like someone, I travel in the opposite direction to them, not hang around paying them attention. I don't like them, why would I want to pay them any attention?


But what really matters to me is that I can be proud of myself. I try to ask myself with every decision "What will I be proud of later." Doesn't mean I always make the right decision, but it means that I make a lot more right ones than if I didn't ask myself that question!

There are a lot of people who don't like confident women. Some don't like confident men, but more don't like confident women. Women are supposed to be demure and dainty and humble. Women are supposed to be always giving, to be always supportive and enabling. Women aren't supposed to be proud of themselves. Women aren't supposed to not care if they're not liked.

Instead of walking away from those women, the people that don't like them feel the need to bring them down, to "put them in their place". NOTHING pisses these people off more than a woman who refuses to be "put in her place". What a bitch! She refuses to bow to what I think she should be, to conform to how I think she should behave!

I have a place. That is not for anyone other than ME to determine.


I remove those people from my life who want anything for me other than my happiness. Yet despite the cries of "You selfish bitch, you'll have no friends, you'll die alone and miserable and bitter." from these people who cannot bear the thought of someone simply walking away from them.

Yet here's the funny thing. Since I learned this lesson, the lesson of self esteem and confidence, the lesson of "I am beholden to no man/woman, other than myself." I am happy. And I have more truly wonderful people in my life than I ever had when I was trying to please everyone else. The connections I have made may not be as widespread, but they are far, far deeper. There is a sense of peace in me that I never had before. I feel light and strong and balanced. I carry no burdens of other people's bad behaviour longer than the time it takes for me to disengage from them.

Again, that doesn't mean that I don't still have bouts of self loathing, of fights with the black dog of depression and waves of anxiety, fears and worries. But it means that I can take a deep breath, stop and look around, see the people I love and who love me as I am, and set myself back onto the path again.


I want other people to feel what I am feeling now. I want others to know what it's like to let go of having to have the approval of others just because those others are vocal and domineering. I want to share this peace and strength. The only way I know how is to tell my story and share my experience.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Living with the Black Dog

I was going to write a post on Fat Heffalump about depression, but I've decided to broaden the topic a bit and post it here, because I'd like to talk to everyone about depression, not just my fellow fats.

One of the biggest challenges with dealing with depression is that in many cases, it is a taboo subject. Sufferers or the friends and family of sufferers just don't talk about it. It's demonised in the media as well, which makes it even more difficult to talk about. Ironically though, one of the most healing things you can do as a depression sufferer is to talk about it.

Talking about depression (both that I suffer and the experiences of others) has been one of the most healing activities for me, so I'm going to cast that onwards and talk about it some more here.

My name is Kath and I suffer depression. Some of you who know me may think that I am a confident, outgoing, bubbly woman. I am, sometimes. These days I am that woman a lot more than I used to be. However, I do suffer depression and anxiety, always have and always will. I am a lot healthier than I have ever been, but I have suffered severe depression and been suicidal in my past. I used to carry a lot of shame about my depression, but thanks to some really good cognitive behavioural therapy, I am not ashamed any more.

One of the hardest things to deal with when it comes to depression is the "Depression for no reason." That's when life's fine, there are no dramas or serious problems, but you get sucked into a quagmire of depression that is just there for no apparent reason. In my case the reason is usually a flood of whatever brain chemicals it is that cause my depression, but outwardly there is no "reason".

When you have depression, and are in the middle of a bout of it, your thinking is not rational. The judgements you make on yourself and the world around you are not clear and unbiased. Things that would normally not cause you to even think twice suddenly weigh heavy on your mind and your confidence, and affect your thinking more than they normally would. Then this feeds into a spiral, where your depression can get worse and worse, unless you do something to break the cycle. My rule, when I find myself in a bout of depression (which I have now learnt to recognise pretty quickly) is "Cast no judgement." I do my best to not make any decisions other than the bare necessities of living, make no judgement on situations, people around me or myself and to put any critical thinking on hold until the depression has passed. I find that if I just put one foot in front of the other and do what I need to do to maintain my daily life and take care of myself, I prevent myself from getting into a depression spiral.

Sometimes the people around you don't know how to deal when you are depressed. I see this a lot. People are frightened by depression. It's hard to know what to do or how to act when someone is depressed and you don't suffer it yourself. Some even worry that it's catching! In my case, when I am depressed I look like I am physically ill. So people will often ask me if I am unwell. I used to just say I was feeling sick, but now days I tell people that I'm unwell with depression, because I used to get upset at hiding how unwell I was with it. But you need to be careful because sometimes the reaction people have is very hard to deal with. Some people try to "fix" you. Others avoid you. Many say "Cheer up." as if you can actually just do that. Most people do mean well, but it's difficult to live with people's discomfort about your illness.

Depression is not imagined. It is real and it's as physical as any other ailment. Of course it's a little less easy to spot because you don't get a rash or a cough or a sniffly nose. But it is an illness that hits you for whatever reason (there are many different types of depression) and I find the best way to initially approach it is as though you have "come down with depression". When I am depressed, I am unwell, and I take care of myself in the same way I would if I had a flu or a virus or an injury. I take some time off work if I am unable to work, I rest, I eat foods that are good for me and drink lots of water (hydration helps everything, I am sure of it!), I see my doctor and I take care of myself as best I can. Sometimes depression is brought on for me by other illness. If I get a flu, depression is not far away. When I got shingles, depression came to visit too. Same as when I got a tummy bug of some kind. In fact, sometimes when I get depression, the first warning sign is a bout of sinusitis! I think for me, a low immune system brings on both sinus infection and depression.

Another thing I find really helps is to write a "cheat sheet". I have one in the front of all my notebooks (I am a notebook keeper) and now in the notes application of my iPhone. Basically, it tells me what to do to function through a day. It's as basic as:
  • Get up
  • Shower
  • Brush your teeth.
  • Dress (with makeup)
  • Wear sensible shoes.
  • Eat breakfast
  • Go to work, try to do repetitive "automatic" work (oh my databases and record keeping do well when I'm depressed, it's easy, it's formulaic and I can just get into it without having to tax my poor depressed brain.
  • Eat lunch.
  • Go outside at lunchtime.
  • Remember your tea (I keep peppermint and chamomile tea special for when I'm depressed, it does help)
  • Read or watch DVD's that make you feel good.
  • Go to bed by 9.30pm at the latest.
Pretty basic isn't it? But it really does help me focus when I am depressed. I actually do have certain clothes and shoes that I make sure I wear when I am depressed. They are comfortable and I feel nice in them. I can cope with things more if I'm not in shoes that hurt or worried about my outfit.

Most of all, go easy on yourself. Be KIND to yourself. Treat yourself with the same kindness you would treat other people. We are usually far harder on ourselves than we are on people around us.

If you suffer depression, let us know in the comments any tips or tactics you have learned to help you cope.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why I Became a Librarian

A couple of days ago I was having a conversation with a friend about my boss and why I admire her, and I said something about "She reminds me of why I am a librarian and am passionate about libraries." He asked me exactly why I am a librarian and as I thought of my answer, I decided that perhaps a blog post could come of that.


So.... why am I a librarian?

Well, when I was a little girl, the library was always a haven for me. It's no secret that I come from a pretty screwed up family. Things at home were usually pretty crap. So when we used to go to the library of a night time. I think it was Tuesday nights the library was open late in Rosewood. We'd go in our pj's and I had that whole building full of books at my fingertips, I was happy.

My school teacher-librarian when I was little was a lovely lady named Miss Stubbs. I thought she was amazing. She was pretty and had long straight blonde hair, and read books to kids at her job. She had a soft, clear voice and a sweet smile. And she was always really gentle and nice to me.

I remember her encouraging me to choose anything I wanted from the library to read. Even when I sometimes chose a book that was too young for me, or that I'd read time and time again, she never suggested I should choose something else. Sometimes she asked me what I liked about that particular book, and would offer something else that I might like for the same reasons. She was usually right.

When I returned books, she would ask me what I thought about it. She never judged me if I didn't like something that she had recommended, or if I liked it for silly reasons, like it was funny or it had rude characters in it. I loved Roald Dahl's books for the naughtiness of some of his characters. There was a Robyn Klein book called Penny Pollard's Diary that looked like an exercise book and like it had bandaids and polaroids and stuff all stuck in it. It looked all dirty and Penny Pollard was a bit of a naughty girl. Miss Stubbs thought it was totally OK that I loved that book, even though my mother thought it was stupid.

Once there was a competition in the library to name the mascot for the reading programme. It was a little pink water dragon, kind of like the Loch Ness monster with humps up out of the water. I nominated the name "Serendipity" and won the competition. I got three books, one of which was a Pippi Longstocking book by Astrid Lindgren, and one of Enid Blyton's Naughtiest Girl in School books. One day I will get that little dragon tattooed on me, along with the word Serendipity.

Miss Stubbs used to let me look in the box of new books first when they arrived, because I'd read pretty much everything in the library. I always remember it being like Christmas when those boxes would appear, it wasn't very often from memory, but there were always new friends in that box for me.

Whenever things were really bad at home, there was always a book to escape into. I could hide in my wardrobe with a torch and read whatever library books I had. Sometimes I would find a corner down in our yard, far away from the house, where I could read or just daydream my own stories. There was a jacaranda tree I would climb up and read in too. When I was a little older, I would get on my bike and ride across town to my school and I would go to the library. If it was closed, I would sit on the sort of verandah outside in the shade and read there. It was always so peaceful and calm there, compared to at home.


A few years ago, I was standing in line at a Michael Palin booksigning, when I thought I recognised the lady in front of me. I couldn't quite place where, but she turned and said to me "Excuse me, is your name Kathleen?" The minute she spoke, I recognised that soft, clear voice. It was Miss Stubbs. I was thrilled to tell her that I was now a librarian, and almost totally because of her. I found that she was still a children's librarian in the area where I grew up, and still passionate about her job. I'm not quite sure she knows how much she meant to me, either then or now.

After Miss Stubbs left our school, I was a little older, and the new teacher-librarian came along. Her name was Miss Browning. She was really cool. She was more extroverted than Miss Stubbs, and had a fat red cattle dog called Bear that used to sleep around the library. Miss Browning let me help out at the library a lot. Especially when there were bullies around. I would shelve for her, or get things ready for her classes. She was always so funny, and I remember laughing with her while we talked. She taught me to cover and mend books, as well as how to catalogue. I already knew Dewey really well when I got to High School because of her. She gave me a t-shirt with sunglasses on it once, and I wore that thing to rags.

I often wonder what happened to her.

Once I got to High School, the librarian was Mrs Scott. Or Ms Whittaker. Or was that the other way around? Mrs Whittaker/Ms Scott. I remember she changed her name while we were there, because she got divorced. At first she really scared me, because while she was only a little lady and I was already my adult height, she had this ENORMOUS voice. She shouted at the boys a lot. Miss Stubbs and Miss Browning never shouted.

But one night I went to the library after school (again, they opened it one night per week to the public) and I asked her timidly if there were any books like the one I had read, The Root Cellar by Janet Lunn. You see I really loved the American Civil War setting, and wanted to read more about it. She gave me The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. We were firm friends from that day on.

She too would let me help in the library during lunch time and after school, mostly to keep away from the bullies and avoid going home. Later the school built a fantastic new library, state-of-the-art with one of the first fully automated barcoding systems in Australia. She bought badges for me and two other girls that said "Library Monitor". Nobody had them before that. She taught us how to use the barcoding system, which had a pen shaped barcode reader. She taught me more about cataloguing and processing books. I could cover hardcover books with the thick plastic covering like a pro. I still can do it, beautifully neat and perfect.


And she encouraged me to read anything I could get my hands on. She had travelled a lot, and she told me about places she had been and things she had done, and gave me books to read about those places. Once she went on a big world trip and we had a substitute teacher-librarian. She sent me three postcards while she was away, to my house. I felt so special that she sent them to my house, not to the school like the ones she sent to the teacher's aide that worked in the library, Mrs D. One was of the Sphinx in Egypt, another was the Oracle at Delphi and the last was the Colosseum in Rome. I still have them nearly 25 years later.

She put up with me all those hormonal years when I fell in love with so many Senior boys. She would understand on the days I didn't turn up when I said I would, because I was behind the Home Ec building with Senior boys. She liked my friend Peter from Senior, who was called Fraggle because of his Robert Smith style hair. She sent me a card years later when he died of a heroin overdose, because he couldn't face reality in life, being gay in a small town. She also tolerated my very camp friend Marcus, who wore pants so tight that he split them in the arse squatting down to give CPR to a dummy. Marcus who also didn't know he was gay, but experimented with me behind the Home Ec block to find out if he liked girls.

She left when I went into Senior at high school and we had two teacher-librarians then, because they needed two to be as good as her. A man and a lady, who were nice, and let me stay a library monitor, but they didn't talk to me about books or places around the world like Ms Scott/Whittaker did. They didn't show me how to do new things in the library. They just wanted me to shelve and tidy up.

They let more people be library monitors, and some of them were boys. One of those boys was my boyfriend for a while, I can't remember his name but he had blonde hair and a cute bum and liked to talk about books. He could also programme games into an Amstrad 464 computer, which we had. He would sit on the tennis courts of the school with me when things were shitty at home, and I would bolt to be out of the house. When we moved to another house to be away from my father, he came to visit me one Saturday morning, the first person who came to visit me at my house for a lot of years.

The library wasn't the same after Ms Scott/Whittaker left. Then I was forced to change schools in Year 12 and went to Beaudesert, and the school librarian there was a dragon lady, who just screamed at the kids and made the library horrible. But I never forgot Miss Stubbs, Miss Browning, and Ms Scott/Whittaker.

Because of them, I'm a librarian. Because they showed me that no matter how screwed up my family and home was, I could always read and learn and dream about more. They told me that girls could put their mind to anything, and books were the doorway to that, even if the books were fluffy or silly. They taught me that reading would always elevate me out of whatever pit I was in, be it depression, a violent home, being broke or lonely. They taught me that so long as I could read, life could be better, that it would be better. If people in books could sort it out, I could. Sometimes that lesson was all that got me through parts of my life.


I would love to be that person for someone. If my being a librarian contributes to one person raising themselves out of the shit in life to be something better than they thought they could be, or others thought they could be, then I've given something back to Miss Stubbs, Miss Browning, Ms Scott/Whittaker.

Three ladies that saved my life.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

On Raising Literacy Levels in Australia

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 46% of Australians are sub-literate. (source)

This means that 46% of Australians do not have the prose literacy skills needed to meet the complex demands of everyday life and work. This not only includes people who cannot read at all, the illiterate, but also includes the rather large number of people who can read individual words, or simple sentences, but do not have the comprehensive skills to understand an average sentence or longer, or a paragraph.

At first this revelation shocked me. But on more recent experience, I understand it now, and can honestly say I can see the evidence of this in my day to day life. Even in online services and tools that rely solely on the written word (ie blogs, Facebook, Twitter, forums etc), I am noticing how many people struggle to comprehend what they are reading. It's not that they cannot read each individual word, it's that they are unable to comprehend the words together in the form of sentences and paragraphs. And what often happens is they compensate by taking in what they think the sentences and paragraphs say, and not what they actually say. I would say it's easily a good 20 - 25% of people I read daily (and often interact with) would fit in to the sub-literate category.

Never has this been more evident to me than recently. If you like, go and read the most heated comments in some of my earlier blog posts. How often do you see me respond with "You are not reading what I have written." or "But that is not what I have said."? It's alarmingly frequent.

As a librarian who believes deeply in literacy being the one thing that will better our society, I sometimes wonder how to contribute more to raising people's literacy in not only Australia but the world.

One popular school of thought is that writers should simplify their writing, take it to a more basic level.

I believe this is "dumbing down" and I believe it makes the problem worse. Can you imagine if we dumbed down brilliant wordsmiths because some people don't have the literacy skills to read them? One of my idols in language and writing is Stephen Fry. He plays with language, constantly tweaks it and polishes it. I can't imagine not having writers like this, who are not afraid to really get their teeth into words and language to read. Not to mention the fact that I dream to have the skill that he shows with language.

Newspapers are traditionally written for an 11 year old reading ability. Let's leave it to them to keep that level, and let's gently encourage people to practice their reading by finding writing that they LOVE. Recreational reading is fun and relaxing, or it should be - there's another whole blog post on forcing or guilting people into reading what is "worthy", which I may write in the future. If someone has found the subject matter interesting enough to pick up the book, or click on the link, or open the magazine/newspaper/comic, then that is the first major step to improving their literacy. The more someone enjoys reading, the more they're going to strive to do it, to expand what they are reading.

As writers, I feel we should all be honing our skills, not just opting for the easy road out and going for that approach that newspapers take, of sticking to the 11 year old reading level. As our writing gets better and better, so do the skills of our readers. At least this is what I believe.

The best way to improve your writing skills? The same way in improving all skills... practice. It doesn't matter if every piece isn't a masterpiece, but if you're doing it, and polishing it as you go, then you'll get better and better at it. You want practice at it? Then keep doing it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Think About That Ink

Any of you who know me, know how much I love tattoos. I have three, two of which are in highly visible spots, and I'm very proud of them all. If you want to look at the two most recent, you can find them on this blog post here. Recently I made the decision that I am planning to get both sleeves done, full sleeves down to the hands, as well as both legs from the knees down and on to my feet.

I probably won't get them done all in one go, because I'd love to collect ink art from truly great tattooists. Besides, I don't care WHAT I have to do, I am getting a piece by Chris Garver (you may have seen him on Miami Ink) if it kills me.

Anyway, as someone who loves their ink and has spent a lot of time learning about it and the culture around it, I want to give any of you who are thinking about getting tattooed some advice. Because despite the fact that it is fairly obvious that tattoos are permanent, people don't always think about what they're doing before they get one. And I will tell you now people, laser removal is not only expensive and painful, it also doesn't work that well. So here are my tips.
  1. Think about it. Sleep on it. Make sure you are really comfortable with the design you are getting. The longer you've thought about it and talked about it, the more perfect it will sit with you.
  2. A cheap tattooist will give you a cheap tattoo. Cheap = nasty.
  3. Ask people who have tattoos that you admire where they got their work done. You'll notice the same name come up on the stuff you really like again and again. Go to that tattooist.
  4. ANY good tattoo artist has his/her name as their best guarantee. They plug their name relentlessly and a quick Google search will bring up their work and reviews from their customers. We tattooed not only like to talk about our tatts, but we love to plug our tattoo artists too.
  5. If a tattooist has books or walls with stuff that you can walk up and say "I'll have that one please" - you're going to the wrong tattooist. Quality tattoo artists do not do "catalogue" work. Every piece is original for each customer. They may have lots of reference books to give them starting points and help you pick a look or style you want, but that's different to catalogues.
  6. Never choose a tattoo while inebriated in any form. You WILL regret it.
  7. Remember that tattoos spread and thicken with age. This means that anything too detailed will end up blobby.
  8. A good tattoo artist will guide you in the design, fit it to the contours of your body and tell you if something isn't going to work long term.
  9. Take reference material. Google image search the things you want done, print out a whole bunch IN COLOUR and take them with you.
  10. Check out the tattoo shop before you get your work done. Does it smell like a hospital? Bingo, that's what you want. You want to smell disinfectant, see lots of rubber gloves and every thing they use on you should be sterile. Only the very best of tattooists can work "remotely" to high quality, so beware of getting work done outside of tattoo shops themselves.
  11. Are you Celtic? No? Then don't get a Celtic tattoo, you'll only look like a dick. Same goes for Maori/Pacific/Polynesian/Native American designs.
  12. Ladies, please don't get a fairy.
  13. Getting genitalia tattooed on yourself is not classy.
  14. Nor is getting your genitalia tattooed itself.
  15. Get some good quality tattoo magazines. I love Post-Modern Ink.
  16. If the tattooist is rude, dismissive or makes you feel stupid, then they are not the tattooist for you.
  17. Any tattoo artist worth their salt will provide you with the artwork BEFORE you get anything done to you. They'll ask you to approve it before they go any further. If you want to change something, say so straight away.
  18. Be aware that certain tattoos don't go on certain parts of the body, and that tattoos need to face a particular way. A good tattooist will tell you this, and explain why he/she wants to mirror image a tattoo, or change the design a bit. It's for your own good!
  19. If you have made a mistake with a past tattoo, and you want a cover up, be aware that whatever you get to cover it has to be darker and heavier than the existing tattoo. Therefore if you have a big black tribal piece and you decide you hate it... there ain't much you can cover that sucker with.
  20. Don't get what everyone else is getting. Cos you'll end up hating it in a year or two. Get something that means something to YOU and that isn't a fad or trend.
But most importantly... THINK ABOUT IT! This is something you are going to have for the rest of your life, and you will want to love it every time you look at it. You'll want to show it off and talk about it and be proud of it. Don't get it until you've really thought about it.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


I think it's time for some fun on this blog. Something to give the haterz a rest.

I think I'm in love. Not with some bloke. Well... a little bit with some bloke. You see, I've rediscovered Winston. Smooshy faced, cranky, fluffy, he'll-eat-anything Winston. He's the most fun kitteh on the interwebs. Followed very closely by Maru, the fat Scottish Fold from Japan that likes boxes a little too much.

But you know why I really like Winston? Cos he has a cute boy who is his human. Check this out:

See? He's a hottie. And he likes cats. No he LOVES cats. That's adorable!

Why don't more blokes like cats? I must admit, I never used to be a big fan of cats. But I seem to be getting more fond of them as I get older. And I find it really cute when guys like cats. Especially if they have wacky cats with lots of character like Winston:

Yeah ok, I'll admit, I really like Winston cos his human is cute.

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Public Service Announcement

I would just like to clarify to all for one and final time.

I do not make personal jabs on my blog.

I do understand that these days passive-aggressiveness is the default action of many people, and we are all incredibly battered by it. We come to expect that when people have a problem with us, then we will be on the receiving end of passive-aggressive behaviour.

This is not how I operate. EVER. If I have a problem with someone that I wish to address, I will address it with them directly and personally. If they hear no more about it from me, they can rest assured it is of no consequence to me and I have moved on. Trust me, if I'm angry with you... you will know it, I'm quite comfortable in expressing anger with someone directly.

My blog posts are not of any targeted nature and are about my feelings, opinions, beliefs and thoughts on general situations. Sometimes a discussion or event may bring those thoughts to the surface, or assist me in illustrating a point, but I do not use my blog to make personal slights or attacks on anyone - unless they come here to this blog and attack me.

If you have read an opinion piece on my blog that does not directly name you, link to a comment you made on my blog or to something you have written about me, but you think it is directly targeting you... you are wrong and you need to let go of that attitude/belief.

If you have a problem with me personally, you are welcome to contact me directly to discuss as I will do for you. However if you make any derogatory comments, personal insults or behave in a disrespectful manner, I will delete everything and block you.

But this blog is not some snarking ground to bitch about other people. Others may behave like that but I do not. And I will not tolerate people trying to turn it into that in comments either.

No more will be entered into on this subject.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Be Careful of Taking the Easy Road Out

Tonight I want to talk about the concept of privilege. I was going to blog about this on Fat Heffalump but on further thought I think it's about more than just fat discrimination. It's about any kind of discrimination or prejudice.

Let's start with a definition.

privilege: A special advantage, immunity, permission, right or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual class or caste.

The context I am talking about today is the idea that any member of a majority has privilege over the minority, and therefore cannot understand, criticise or challenge that minority in their thinking.

I'm going to probably make myself quite unpopular here, but that's ok, I'm used to it. But I really think too many people use the concept of privilege as a cop out when it comes to discussions and debates.

While I do think the concept of privilege is valid, and sometimes yes, someone who is particularly close minded and cloistered in their privilege is never going to get it. But I think all too often those who feel marginalised and are unable to articulate their point just throw their hands up and state "Oh I can't get through to you, you're coming from privilege."

When the truth is, they either want out of the discussion, or don't have a valid argument to continue it. It is often used as the metaphorical equivalent of taking your bat and ball and going home.

Perhaps I see this because technically I live on both sides of the privilege. I am a fat woman, so I do not have privilege on my side in that aspect. But I am also a Christian in Western society, which technically does put me in privilege.

So I've seen it from both sides of the fence so to speak. As I said, I do believe there are instances when people just simply cannot understand or they use their privilege to silence those in the minority. But I think that those of us who are in the minority for whatever reason need to be very careful about how we use the cry of privilege.

Do we we really want to end up being the boys and girls who cried wolf?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Morning Wordplay

I've had a self imposed rest weekend this week. I told myself that I wasn't allowed to accept any invitations out, because I needed some time to just rest and sleep properly and recharge the batteries. By Friday morning I had such frightening green and purple circles under my eyes from simply racing around like a madwoman for the past few months, it gave me the determination to carry out a weekend of rest.

I was bored by 10am Saturday morning. It is now 11am Sunday morning and I have accepted an invitation to go out for dinner tonight because I'm feeling rested enough and think if I stay cooped up I will probably get very angry and ranty.

So while laying in bed this morning mulling over a bit of douchebag behaviour I suffered last night (which I will blog on Fat Heffalump later when the sting isn't so sharp) I came up with a brilliant word. What's the word you ask? Well...

Douchebuggery: when two or more douchebags get together and encourage each other in their douchebag behaviour.

Like it? You can use it if you like.

I posted it to Twitter and in response Agent X (who has a rather awesome web comic) responded with "how about "Douchebraggery" - where douchebags talk up their exploits."

I like that one too!

And last night I used "Douchebaguette". That's a young female douchebag, usually seen in packs on public transport on a Friday or Saturday night, slightly pissed and highly abusive.

I am sure there are lots and lots of others, so I'd like you all to put your thinking caps on and post some suggestions to the comments below. Let's create a whole collection of words to express our feelings and thoughts about the douchebags of the world!

Go to it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Epiphany on Love, Hate and God

This morning while laying in bed, I was thinking about the post I read over on Rickofawesome's blog last night. Not only is it a great rant, very eloquently put, but it's saddening that in 2009 he needs to have this rant. I was laying there thinking about how sad it makes me that people use God to justify their own hateful behaviour and attitudes, when I personally don't believe that is what God is about at all. My thoughts ran over how people like those that comment in this Courier Mail article, regarding MP Dorothy Pratt's comments in State Parliament about homosexuality being "not a normal part of life", use God or religion to spread hate.

Stick with me here for a bit.

Now let me just clear this up, I am a Christian. I don't belong to any denomination because I've not been able to find one that fits me and my beliefs, but I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and therefore that makes me Christian. I don't need to belong to a denomination or church to be Christian. I also don't need to prove my faith, evangelise it, defend it or convert anyone to it. I don't care if people believe different to me, so long as they allow me to hold my faith without prejudice. Personally I believe God is God, regardless of what name you call Him by or if you split Him up into a bunch of Gods that all serve the same purpose. But that's by the by.

But as well as being Christian, I also believe a whole bunch of things that people calling themselves Christian spread a whole lot of hate against. I believe that a person's sexuality is private and personal and has no bearing on their worth as a human being. I believe that pornography and prostitution have a place in a healthy society. I believe that there are circumstances where abortion is a legitimate option (sometimes sadly the only option). I believe that religion has no place in education, health care or government. I believe that women are equal to men. I believe that if someone is partaking in an activity that harms no-one but themselves, then it is their right to do so. I also swear like a trouper, drink like a fish and believe in pre-marital sex. These beliefs will draw me hatred from many of my so-called fellow Christians.

Which draws me back to my thoughts as I lay in bed this morning, thinking of the hate that so many people spread in the name of God. And I had an epiphany. It was a big one too. That epiphany was:

God is Love.

Simple isn't it? Or at least it feels that way when you look at that little three word sentence. But so many people simply don't get it. They spread hatred and anger (which is just the expression of hatred) in the name of God when they are actually doing the very opposite of what I believe God is. And it doesn't matter who or what your God is.

But it really goes for everyone, both those of faith and those who are atheists. If you want to achieve anything in your life, bring love into it. I'm not talking about sex. Or a relationship, though that form of love will count. I'm also not talking about a big hippy ideal of peace and love and groovy man.

If you want happiness, find love in your life. Now calm down, I'm not saying that you have to be in a relationship to have happiness, which is what everyone thinks when one mentions finding love. I'm saying focus on the things you love. Your family, your friends, your job, your art, your pets, whatever. But most of all, love yourself. If you can't find love for yourself, your struggle is still going to be there my friend. You don't have to get all weird and announce "Oh I am loving myself sick right now!" But you do have to find yourself feeling a deep like for who you are. It's not an easy thing to do, but work on making yourself the best you can possibly and you will find that love.

If you spread hate, if you spend your day filled with hate, then that's all you're going to get back in return. People hating you back. All you're going to see in your life are the things you hate. You're never going to notice the good things that are right there in front of you while you are all about hate.

It's ok to disagree with things. It's ok to be passionate in that disagreement. But hateful? That's what's bringing you the shit in your life. Hate doesn't make you a better person, it makes you a worse one. If you disagree with something passionately, which you have the right to do, even if that belief is harmful or discriminatory to others, find evidence about it, discuss it in an intelligent, rational, respectful manner and listen when you are presented the opposing view. Even if others believe you are wrong, you have the right to hold that belief so long as you do so with respect. You have the right to hold a belief, you do not necessarily have the right to act on that belief. Learn the difference.

But most of all, stop hiding behind religion to justify your hate. God doesn't want you to spread hate. No matter which God or Gods you believe in. Besides you're fucking it up for the rest of us who would like to be respected in our faith.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Post for the Guys...

This post is especially for the guys. I would like to ask you all to please go and read this article:

On Being a No-Name Blogger Using Her Real Name - Kate Harding

Ladies may read it as well, but I wager it's all nothing you haven't heard or thought before.

I am not using my real name. However many of you know my real name, or I have enough information on here for anyone who knows me, to know that this is my blog. I did have my real name on my Twitter too but changed that, however I use my first name regularly there. I have toyed with using my real name everywhere, as I really want to be transparent in my blogging/tweeting etc, I want my name to be connected to my writing, but I have had some troubling experiences in the life of my blogging. I have been lucky so far, I've not had anything truly frightening, but I have had some upsetting experiences.

However I don't want those to take my joy of writing, tweeting, sharing photos and videos away from me. I want to stay transparent and open, I'm proud of that. I want to share my experiences and the wisdom I gain along the way, and dammit my opinions too.

So that's why I'm asking particularly the guys to read the Kate Harding article linked above. Because when you fellas let it slide when some douchebag makes our lives miserable, or insults us, or "drunk tweets" feral sexual comments about us, or harasses us in blog comments, or rolls their eyes when we get upset about something and so on, you're giving those misogynistic fuckers the message that it's ok. And that encourages them to take it to the next step, and the next, and beyond.

But I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those men who DO stand up and say "Oi, that's not right." when these things happen. I would like you to know how much it matters to women when you do that. Not just because you're seen as being on our side, but because it gives us a feeling that we are safer having your support. That not every man is out to crush us down, shut us up, force us into our "place". That there is hope for change for women who wish to be seen, who don't want to be invisible.

So thank you.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Things on Twitter that Give Me the Shits

I've had a yucky day. Mostly because I'm unwell (nothing serious, just ick, you know?) and some work crap is bothering me. So I'm going to be totally self-indulgent and have a rant about things that shit me on Twitter*. No, these are not rules or guidelines or what everyone should do. they are things that shit ME, and I am allowed to be shit by things. Get comfy. Or bugger off if you're easily offended. Don't say you weren't warned.

  1. Twittascope. It's spam. Turn that shit off.
  2. Those quiz things. That shit belongs on Facebook where I can hide it.
  3. People with no avatar picture. I hate that brown and blue default o_O thing. It's rude, put a picture up there. I don't care what it is. You, your cat, a flower, a cartoon, just put SOMETHING there so you have identification.
  4. People using the C word. I am the swearin' librarian, and I can swear with the best of 'em (here, have a "fuck", just for the fun of it), but the C word is really misogynistic and has no masculine equivalent. I just hate it.
  5. Links posted with no explanation as to what they are. Stick your rickrolling up your arse.
  6. Boring people who tweet the same thing every day, or that I can tell what day of the week it is by what they're tweeting. They may as well be saying "It's Tuesday, I had meatloaf, same as last Tuesday". Zzzzz!
  7. Got no location or bio in your profile? Piss off! I'd rather you just put your country if you don't want to put your home town.
  8. When people piss all over avatar colours or twibbons that are symbols of goodwill, when they're doing fuck all for any causes themselves.
  9. Constant spammy links to articles about your spiritual beliefs (or lack of them). Stop trying to convert me.
  10. ANY tweets that are denigrating to anyone else's spiritual belief (or lack of them).
  11. People who shit all over those who post pictures of their cat/kids/pet rock. So what if you're not interested, unfollow. Some of us LIKE cute baby/pet pics.
  12. When people bitch about twitter competitions. They're usually the same people posting three hundred spammy links to some anti-religion site or three hundred articles about how Apple is better than Microsoft.
  13. Apple haters.
  14. Microsoft haters
  15. Haters.
  16. Those who excuse disgusting behaviour through tweets as "Oh he was drunk."
  17. Those who shit on newbies. Everyone was new at some stage, and the whole point of social media is through SHARING.
  18. If someone is innocently doing something that is poor form, just tell them. If they continue to do it, THEN get snarky.
  19. Baying for blood. Put the flaming torches down people.
  20. Passive aggressive bullshit.
  21. Cliques
  22. Those who pick on the odd typo or spelling mistake. It's fucking Twitter, not a thesis. (I will admit that every tweet having spelling mistakes or typos does wear a bit thin though).
  23. People who are not famous (ie Stephen Fry or Nathan Fillion) but think they are too important to respond when asked a question, or acknowledge someone who answers their question.
  24. Social media experts.
  25. Any kind of experts.
  26. Businesses that have Twitter accounts and then ignore people who tweet to them.
  27. Businesses that spam with constant links to their products.
  28. Meatmarket tweets. All that shit about girlpashing and photos of their tits and trying to get into each other's pants. Take it to the Normanby you lot.
  29. Lurkers.
  30. Folks worrying about the number of people who follow them. Or folks touting how to get more followers. The numbers don't matter. How you engage and connect with people does.
  31. Shitting on other people's music/movie/book/whatever taste because you think your taste is "better/more important". It's not, get over it.
  32. Bitchiness. Sneering. It doesn't make you look cool or funny. You just look like a prick.
  33. Superiority complexes. "Well I knew all about it, I can't possibly understand how YOU didn't".
  34. Constant "Fuck my life!" tweets trying to gain attention. Everyone goes through tough patches and your Twitter buddies are there for you when you need to vent or feel crap. But when all you do is moan for attention, it's pathetic. Particularly if you're never there for others in return.
  35. Getting involved in other people's discussions when you're not even talking about the same thing as they are. Jump on in if you're on topic, but leave people alone if you're on a tangent!
  36. Posting things that are Not Safe For Work without an NSFW warning.
  37. RACISM. Not acceptable, EVER.
I am sure there is a lot more (that's a lot already, I know!) but I've had my rant and I feel better now. It's been a bitch of a day, I needed that.

Again, these are not "rules" for Twitter, they're things that just shit me personally (and make me unfollow usually).

*note: if I am following you on Twitter, this is NOT about you. I unfollow people who shit me.