Sunday, May 31, 2009

Five Fives

For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook, a couple of days ago I asked folks to challenge me with blog post subjects, as I was feeling the need to "stretch my legs" a bit with my blogging.  I have some suggestions, which I will start to work on over the next few days, but I'm still open to suggestions (er, challenges) if you have any.  Everything suitable will be attempted!

So this is going to be my first challenge blog, and I'm going to start with a nice simple one until I find my feet.

@lilabris (who is my luvverly friend Kylie) challenged me to a "5 Things" meme.  Which is basically groups of five things about me.  So, here goes.

Five Favourite Musicians Ever (tough one)

  • Elvis Costello
  • kd lang
  • Tom Waits
  • Queen
  • Indigo Girls

Five Cities I Could Live In (Besides Brisbane)

  • New York City - it's all shades of awesome!
  • Perth - so pretty and laid back, and much less built up
  • San Francisco - it has EVERYTHING and is very creative
  • Chicago - or nearby, I have beloved friends that live at Aurora, I'd love to be near them and Chicago was so funky.
  • Melbourne - I love the coffee culture and the CBD is so lovely there.

Five Favourite Fictional Characters

  • Mr Darcy - Pride and Prejudice (what woman doesn't?)
  • Nick Schultz - Blue Heelers (what can I say, I fell in love when I was very young)
  • Anne Shirley - Anne of Green Gables
  • Hellboy - one of my favourite comic book heroes of all time.
  • Arthur Dent - I always kind of felt that I know just how Arthur feels in the Hitchhiker books.

Five Strange Things I Have Eaten

  • Echidna (damn good!)
  • Scorpion (crunchy)
  • Testicles (Rocky Mountain oysters, bush oysters, prairie oysters, whatever you call them)
  • Haggis (it was worse than the testicles)
  • Ostrich (kind of beefy really)

Five Random Facts about Me

  • I used to own a music shop.
  • When I was 21, I started a radio station with my friend Marty.  It's still running today, over 15 years later.
  • I collect postcards, but they must have gone through the post (not necessarily to me)
  • Peas make me gag.
  • I am a sucker for underdogs and "waifs and strays" in life.
So there you have blog challenge post number 1!  Watch this space for more to come.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Need a Lover that Wont Drive Me Crazy...

Any of you who follow me on Twitter, or my Facebook page, will probably have seen my statement last night that I am rather fed up with being single at the moment.  Please don't take this as a pity party, I don't in any way feel sorry for myself, just a bit bored and frustrated with this particular place in my life, and I feel I'm ready to change that.

What did surprise me was the number of people who suggested that I find a "friend with benefits".

Hang on a minute... didn't I just say I was sick of being single?  Doesn't that imply that I would like to be part of a relationship?

Personally I find the idea of "friends with benefits" quite insulting.  So what you're saying is, you just want to have sex with me, but you don't want to value me enough to actually have a relationship with me?  And I should feel good about that because...???

Anyhoo, I'm actually in the market for a relationship.  A no games, no bullshit, adult relationship.  I'm not in any way desperate, I don't feel less of a woman because I am single (I used to, but that was about low self esteem, not being single) and I don't have any agenda of any prospective partner other than that he treat me with respect and honesty.  I'm not out for a man to support me, rescue me or "complete me".

I would really just like to share life with someone.  Oh and the sex.  I miss sex!  Just because I don't like the friends with benefits deal, doesn't mean I'm not looking for a damn  hot lover!  I'm just looking for a lover who is willing to commit to me in the long term, because I deserve nothing less!

The whole dating world is fraught with peril for the fat woman over 30.  The single, unattached man pool is somewhat smaller than when one was younger.  It seems a lot of men are much pickier past 30 and tend to want to date women younger than them.  Age doesn't really matter to me, it's about the person he is, not the statistics he is made up of.  Or if they're not looking for a younger woman to settle down with, they're committed to the unattached life, and are not looking for a relationship.  That's not to say ALL guys fit into these standards, but many of them do.

Plus we folk (both guys and girls) over 30 have a lot more to lose in the unfortunate event of someone who misrepresents themselves.  Lived through that one not too long ago.  We're financially stable, we have assets and investments and unfortunately there are some who would like to get their hands on that, and do prey on those suffering loneliness to do so.  That has nothing to do with gender, it happens on both sides.  Thankfully I'm in no way lonely enough to let that kind of behaviour slip through ever again, as I may have done in my naive youth!

But those things aside, I know that there are lots of awesome guys out there, and not all of them are already snapped up by other ladies, or gay.  I know there is a nice bloke out there for me somewhere, not intimidated by a fat chick with a brain, just looking for an awesome woman like me!  One that he can relax and be himself with, and not worry about all the games and bullshit that some women like to play.  And one that isn't going to expect him to support her while she does nothing for him, or cling to him like a limpet without a life of her own.

If you know that bloke... send him my way!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Trolling: What's it All About

As my regular readers may have noticed, this blog has been plagued by a troll (possibly two, if the latter person is a real person, but I have my doubts).

I wanted to tell you a bit about trolls  and how to recognise them.  For a really in-depth definition, the Wikipedia one on (Internet) Trolls is pretty good.  Click here to read it.

What I want to bring up is that as annoying and confrontational internet trolls are, letting them stop or disrupt a discussion is exactly what they want.  They crave attention, and are unable to get it in the regular healthy ways that you and I do, so they stir up trouble and are generally just irritating to all others involved.

I really believe that the best way to deal with trolls is a two part action.  Firstly, do not change your behaviour in your blog, or other forum that the troll has turned up.  Ignore them as best as possible, and keep to your normal activities on that site/application.  

But secondly, when you do spot a troll, it's a good idea to call them out if nobody has before.  Because once they realise that people can see through them, they tend to just go away.

I choose not to delete comments that trolls leave because it outs them to the internet community.  But if it is particularly offensive or upsetting, it is ok to delete it, that's up to you.  And don't worry if they crap on about how you're censoring them, it's your blog, if someone is behaving like a troll you have every right to delete that.

Unfortunately, as much as we pick up on trolls behaviour, they find new ways to be a pain in the arse.  For every new application there is out there, they find a new way to troll.  So it's something that genuine people do need to keep clear about, and share information when they do suffer troll behaviour.

If you are not sure if you are dealing with a troll, a few questions to ask are:
  • Do the posts this person makes stir up the community un-necessarily?
  • Does this person hold double standards? (ie, accusing others of name calling but being name callers themselves, spouting their opinion loudly but not liking it when they are challenged or debated with etc)
  • Does this person try to get other people "on their side"?
  • Have a look at their account profile and others connected to them.  Do they look fake, lack detail or depth, or seem to come from the same source?
  • Take a look at spelling, punctuation and grammar.  Trolls are more likely to have bad writing skills.
  • Trolls are rarely rational.  They contradict themselves, throw insults, swear, ridicule people, and generally create a bad atmosphere.  Someone who is sharing a valid point is rational and balanced about it.  Trolls are not.  Trolls often end their posts with things like "HA!  I told you so!" like small children would.
  • And most of all, trolls disappear when the subject is positive, fun or happy.  They like creating anger and misery.
I just found this rather interesting article from the eCommerce Journal, which gives a  nice simple explanation of trolling behaviour and the type of trolls you will find.

Most of all, I guess the wisest advice is:


Blog Love

Got a lovely Sunday morning surprise today!  I found a comment on one of my blog posts alerting me that I had been given a blog award.  Awwww!

My friend and fellow blogger Megan from over at Doing What the Cool Kids Do has left me this award:

Blog Award

I'm very touched!

Now as these blog awards go, it's my turn to award it to some of my favourite blogs.  So, here goes:

Life of a Flibbertigibbet - I don't even remember how I stumbled across this blog, but Ms Flibbertigibbet seems to me like the kind of lady I could be great friends with, if we didn't live a gazillion miles apart.

Katagal Kapers - Kerri is a friend and colleague of mine, and she's such an amazing lady who sees the best in situations, even when they drive her to distraction.

Big Fat Deal - a collaborative blog of fat activists, challenging the common attitude that being fat makes you less than other people.  Which they do with humour and attitude and a whole lot of intelligence.

Sleepy Jane - A lady from South Africa who's blog I never  miss, and I enjoy her posts on Twitter too.

Enjoy your cupcake awards ladies, and keep putting out the quality blog posts!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

iPhone, uPhone we all Phone

After the heat of last night's blog post, I wanted to settle things down just a little bit tonight so that I can think about some stuff before I get back into the big meaty topics.  I blog at night after a long day at work, so I do need a wee brain rest from time to time.

So tonight, I want to talk about my shiny new iPhone, which is only two weeks old.  I am in love.  I know, I know, it's just a gadget, but OMG it's revolutionising my entire life!  Oh alright, maybe not that much but I am finding that it is streamlining a LOT of things for me.


It has an excellent diary/calendar function.  I just pop in the details of stuff right then and there, when I hear about it, I can set reminders and I can see it all per week or per month, whatever suits.  No more forgetting when I've booked to be somewhere and I can put in people's birthdays and such too.

I have access to the internet wherever I am (pretty much anyway) with the iPhone.  Need an answer to a question?  Google it or use Wikipedia.  Need to know how much money in my bank account?  Netbanking.  Want directions?  Google maps, and the iPhone has a built in GPS, so it can find ME.  Need news?  ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)  have an app, as do a lot of other news agencies.  Looking for a restaurant or cafe?  Urbanspoon will help you find one using GPS and a tool to choose your type of food, location and cost.  See something in a shop you  might like to buy?  Use Amazon (or many other apps) to get a price comparison.  Hear a song somewhere that you want to buy, or can't work out the title/artist?  Shazam listens to it and gives you the details, plus links to it on YouTube and iTunes.  And these are just some of the useful applications you can have with your internet access.

I also love having a camera on me wherever I go, without having to lug a regular one around.  Sure, the images are not super high quality and there is no flash, but you can get plenty of happy snaps and there are lots of applications you can add to give you cool effects and filters on your photos.  You can post them online immediately, email them to friends, use them as avatars for the people in your address book.

And finally, I love having my music on the very same device.  All sorted nicely, playlists and album details, videos and catalogued.  Lovely!

Wanna hear something freaky?  I was just laying on  my bed faffing about with Google Earth on the iPhone, and it pinpointed not only my exact building, but which part of that building I was in!!  It has GPS in it, and it showed an aerial shot of my building, with a dot over that part of the house.  WOW!  Love this!

So all in all, I'm rather in love with my nifty little gadget, and all the things it can do for me.  Call me a nerd, but technology gives me happies!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Let Me Make This Clear

I feel the need to have a good long talk with you all about a subject that is very difficult to talk about, but is REALLY important that people understand very clearly.

That subject is rape.  I know, it's not a pleasant subject to have to blog about, but I think it is needed.  I think not only do I need to speak up, but if you are reading this, and you agree with me, you need to blog/talk about it too, so that we can make this as clear as possible to as many people as possible.

Now let me begin, this is NOT about the current case around Matthew Johns, though that case has been the catalyst for much discussion, debate and even argument.  And that discussion, debate and argument is the catalyst for me writing this blog post tonight.  Also, you need to know that despite my very vehement statements on this matter, I am not angry or irate.  I am simply making it very, very clear as to where the line in the sand is on this matter, and it's not something that I believe falls into "grey".

Let me make something crystal clear for everyone.

Sex, without consent, is RAPE.

It doesn't matter who the victim is, be they male, female, straight, gay, young, old, virgin, promiscuous, married, single and no matter what their relationship to the perpetrator is.  Yes, a husband can rape a wife.  A client can rape a prostitute.  A person who has  had consensual sex with someone in the past can be raped by that person.

It's a very simple concept to grasp.  I'll say it again.  Sex, without consent, is RAPE.

The discussion that I've seen (and been part of) on Twitter is around the fact that it seems that some people, and sadly some of those are women, seem to discount an accusation of rape if the victim is promiscuous.  Or to paraphrase one woman, who calls herself a "community activist", "In my day she'd just be called a skanky slut."  So by this woman (and several of her supporters), the fact that the alleged victim is promiscuous negates her claim of sexual assault.

Again, this is not about the individual allegation of that case, it's about the attitude that a woman who is promiscuous or who has consented to having sex with others, must not really be a victim of rape.

I was absolutely stunned to hear a supposedly educated woman  have this attitude.  What year are we living in?  Do people still believe the "she asked for it" line?  Are there people out there that still believe that women are merely the objects of sexual gratification for men, mere vessels for semen?  I thought we cleared that up in the bloody 80's for God's sake.

As I posted to Twitter earlier this evening, let me make this clear.  If a woman is in a room with ten men, and she consents to sex with nine of those men, but refuses the tenth, and is forced to have sex with him anyway, that is RAPE.

It's time for people to get over that archaic attitude that there are any grey areas around rape.  This is why so many women (and men) do not report rape.  Or why so many back out during the investigations, because they are put under such scrutiny.  It's why so many women in particular do not realise that the sexual abuse they have suffered is actually rape.  They blame themselves, or make excuses.  They say "I didn't  put up enough of a fight." or "I slept with him before, so it doesn't matter if I didn't want to this time."

So long as these attitudes are perpetuated, perpetrators will be getting away with rape.  They will make excuses why it is ok.  They will say "What happens on the footy trip, stays on the footy trip."  They will say "Oh she's just a skanky slut, I can do whatever I like to her."

I want you to think about this.  What if it were you?  What if someone didn't believe you if you said you were raped, because they said you were a slut?  What if it were your daughter, your sister,  your wife, girlfriend, mother, aunt, your friend?  NOBODY deserves rape.  Ever, even if they're a collossal bitch who sleeps with whole football teams.  Nobody deserves to be violated, to be forced sexually.  NOBODY.

Say it again people.  Please.

Sex, without consent, is RAPE.

Update:  A Twitter friend shared this excellent article with me.  The Epidemic of Not Rape.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Men: How to be Sexy

Ok yeah, I know, I'm on a bit of a Craig Ferguson kick at the moment.  I do that, you'll get used to it.  But because I've been watching a lot of his stuff online lately, I get to find gems like the video below.  It's totally worth watching for the whole 8+ minutes, I'm quite sure you won't regret it:

Now, aside from the absolutely fantastic message Mr Ferguson is sending here with this monologue, I want to talk about sexiness and attractiveness.  Watching this video above, this man is one of the sexiest I have seen in a long time.  I swear, he really does it for me.

Now, recently, a male friend said somewhat disdainfully to me "Women bitch about men always being superficial, but they're only after Brad Pitt and George Clooney."


Some women are, yes.  But those women aren't after a man they can the spend the rest of their life with.  They want the pretty man right now.  They're not going to hang around as he ages and his looks fade.

Here's what I want.  I want a man who makes me laugh so hard I pee.  I want a man who laughs at himself, at the absurdity of life, but never at the expense of vulnerable people.  I want a man who has a brain and isn't afraid to use it and show it, but doesn't sneer at other people as somehow being less than him because he's intelligent.  I want a man who has the balls to speak up when he sees something is not right.  I want a man who thinks of others, and how his actions might affect them.  I want a man who cares.  Not in a "snag" kind of way, all "I feel your pain honey", but one that gives a shit about people around him and in the world.  I want a man who takes responsibility for himself, his life and the lives of his dependants.  I want a man who isn't intimidated by a woman who has an opinion, isn't intimidated by a woman who is proud of her achievements and who is responsible for herself and her actions.  I want a man who is into a woman for who she is, not for fleeting looks and perky tits.  In short, a man who is good.

Here's what I find sexy...


Jamie Hyneman is sexy.  He's uber-intelligent, has a great sense of humour, and has no tolerance for fools.


Chris Garver is sexy.  He's talented, humble, smart and known for teaching others his craft.


William McInnes is sexy.  He's down-to-earth, intelligent, has a great sense of humour and is a devoted family man.

And these are just a few who I find sexy.  None of them are pin-up-boy pretty, but they're all men who are comfortable in their masculinity, but don't need to posture and pose to prove it.  They're men who are who they are, and that is sexy.

In fact I can think of only one famous man that I find sexy that IS pin-up boy pretty.  Behold!


Yes, good old Hugh Jackman.  The bastard, he ruins it for all mere mortal men.  But what makes him sexy isn't just the outside package (though that is rather nice), it's that he's such a bloody nice bloke.  Loving husband and father, talented in many forms, nice bloke, smart, sense of humour, thoughtful, and willing to have a go at anything.  I do have a theory that he is either a mutant or a serial killer, because really, one man can't be that perfect.

But anyway, back to my point.  Sexy isn't about a pretty outside wrapper.  Sexy is about the man within.  I've dated pretty men, and they turned out to be not very sexy at all, in that they were arseholes.  No bigger turn off than a jerk, that's for sure.  Besides, pretty fades eventually and if that's all you've got...

Fellas, you want to be attractive to the ladies?  Then be a man from the inside out.  Nothing turns this woman (and I dare say many more women - holla back ladies in the comments if you're with me) on more than a man who is man enough to be respectful, intelligent, gentle, honest, thoughtful, fun and most of all a GOOD person.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

I'm Back

Yes, yes, I know, it's been awhile since I blogged.  This is because I've been sick, so quit your whining.  I had some kind of evil flu type thing (I blame Floss at work, he was sick before I was), which then exploded into a rather nasty ear infection, and my doc packed me off home for the rest of the week.  I had a few rough days there, high fevers, aches and pains, general misery which has left me feeling like any thing but being creative enough to blog.

I am feeling considerably better now, though I do still have a cough that has me sounding like some kind of crusty old smoker, but at least I don't feel sick and miserable any  more.

Anyway, what's been happening over the past week or so?

I got my iPhone a week ago.  And boy oh boy is it a fabulous wee piece of technology.  Especially as I have had cable internet with wi-fi installed in my flat, and now I can be online from anywhere in the place.  While I have been sick I have been able to lie in bed and still be connected to the outside world, mostly through Twitter and Facebook, while comfortable and resting.  And I also have internet access on a roaming basis, anywhere that can pick up a 3G mobile signal.

The other thing I really enjoy is the fact that it is all devices in one.  Phone, internet, camera, diary, iPod, you name it.  I now only need carry it, my purse and my keys and I'm pretty much good to go.  Nice!

Something else I've enjoyed while I've been taking it easy are videos of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on YouTube.  I didn't know that Craig had a late night talk show in the US, I loved him in The Drew Carey Show years ago, and had often wondered what happened to him.  Adam Savage posted the link to this little piece of goofiness about a week ago, and I've been rediscovering all of his stuff since.

However, tonight I found this piece from a couple of years ago that really moved me.  It was the Monday after Britney Spears had her whole breakdown thing with the head shaving incident, and Craig opened his how with this incredibly moving monologue.  It makes me remember that as well as a very funny man, and a bit of a hottie, he's an intelligent, honest, thought provoking man.