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Archive for December, 2006

A Season’s wish

I know it is now Boxing Day morning, so this is a bit late. But this was sent to me in game, and it tickled my fancy. So best belated wishes for the season:

“Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.
I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great (not to imply that England is necessarily greater than any other country) and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishes.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms:
This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.
Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the sending of this message; however, a significant number of electrons were slightly inconvenienced.”

This greeting was shamelessly stolen from Poki via DiscoDoris.

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Effusive

I’m in an effusive mood this morning, so here’s some random thoughts and experiences from the part few days:

1. Darren Hanlon and Laura Imbruglia.

I went to see these two play at the Houpetoun hotel last night, which was fantastic. I’d heard one of Laura Imbruglia’s songs and had her pegged as a punky female singer. What I didn’t realise was that she also has a wry sense of humour and can tell a good story. She had me laughing in almost every song. I am definitely adding her to my future CDs list.

The main reason I went was to see Darren Hanlon, and I am glad I did. He was warm and relaxed, telling stories in between songs and interacting with the small crowd. Like Laura he played two songs he had written about Christmas, the second of which fits into the “Christmas murder ballad” genre 🙂 He also played the first song of his I remember hearing: “punk’s not dead (she’s just gone to bed)” which was fun, however the best part was when he continued the theme and it morphed into Sid Vicious’ “Anarchy”. If you know the song at all, this was a perfect ending and a bit of a revelation about his influences. Darren originally started his myusic career playing in cover bands, so a few members of the crowd kept calling out for “chisel” and “oils” as a joke. So, after the Sid Vicious detour he immediately morphed into a well known Australian song (can’t remember which, except the chorus had “cheap wine and lalalala.” Chisels song). The crowd sung along with him, and then at the first chorus he just stopped, with a cheeky grin as the crowd kept going, you could see he was appreciating the joke as much of the rest of us. I got to hear four of my favourites, some I’d never heard before and a completely new song that had never been performed in public. It was a great night and I am glad I got to see him in an intimate venue before I see him on stage at a festival in April.

I almost didn’t make it into the gig. It had sold out by the time I arrived at 8pm. Luckily I was told this as two Canberra girls arrived, with a spare ticket. Hooray for serendipity! This brings me to my next rumination:

2. Independence

Things changed recently, both for the better and for the worse (as they always do). The major thing that I have noticed is my confidence in ability to deal with anything going back up. There is just me now, so I have to. Last night is a case in point. I went to that gig by myself. I had invited a bunch of people, but they all pulled out at the last minute. 2 months ago I would have decided it was all too difficult and scary to go to a gig in a strange pub by myself, but now… it was simple. And incidentally I wouldn’t have got in with a bunch of people anyway, since those girls had only the one ticket.

The other reason I noticed this change yesterday was that I mowed the lawn. The lawn which had grass a foot high in many places. It had not been mown since October. I’ve not mown a lawn since I moved out of my parents place, so going on 8 years now. But it felt good. I was brought up in a household where everyone could do and should do everything, there were no “boy jobs” and “girl jobs” my brother, sister and I all mowed the lawn, lifted heavy things, did the washing up and vacuuming etc. It was and is an integral part of my personality to believe that (to a certain point) there is not difference in what the different sexes can and can’t do. However, in the interests of harmony and an argument that was not really worth having, this had been suppressed over the past few years, so it was nice to go back to an “I can accomplish anything” mentality, including mowing the lawn. Simple and yet profound.

3. some interesting articles.

Two articles I noticed this morning:

Alan Paton on “Fragile environments: moral and ethical responsibility” in online opinion. I was particulary appreciative of the line: “It has been argued that war is a catalyst of progress and a basis of human evolution, but from an environmental perspective, in the long run, war is stupid”

Mark from Lavartus Prodeo wrote an article entitled “Is the end of the world near? Ask President (Chelsea) Clinton” which is about the role of science fiction in shaping the culture wars. I loved his conclusion: “Perhaps the left needs to understand that confronting the culture warriors with reasoned arguments is only part of the game. It will be won when, and if, we can imagine different worlds.”

I did warn you that I was going to be effusive…. enjoy your christmas if I don’t see you before hand.

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Thunderstorms

There was a fantastic storm over Sydney this afternoon, the first of the season. I was caught in it on the way home and got saturated. Which I absolutely loved. There’s something very liberating about walking in a summer rain shower. It’s warm enough that you don’t have to worry about getting cold and it just smells so wonderful.

While walking in the heaviest part of the down pour I felt the most happy and most at peace that I had all week. I was hopeful again.

A storm over Sydney in 2004

There’s a strong tradition in my family of being outdoors during thunderstorms. When we were younger we would all gather on the front doorstep to watch the storm roll across the Sydney basin. Then when we were slightly older, my brother, sister and I would put on our gumboots and tromp outside to play in the gutter. This eventually involved taking off the gumboots and using them as a scoop to throw water at each other. We’d dam the flow of water with our feet and kick water at each other and generally just have fun in the rain, secure that we could wander back inside to a warm house with towels.

The Thais have a very different idea of rain. They are scared of it. In a tropical country that experiences monsoon. It has something to do with catching the flu and something to do with acid rain. They used to think I was mad when I would walk (not run) between shelters when it was raining, usually asking “aren’t you scared?”. Thailand had some fantastic rain showers. One morning the entire school was lined up for assembly, singing the national anthem. Off to our right we could see a cube of dense water approaching, “cube” is the only way to describe the way this rain was behaving. That was the fastest anthem I have ever heard, since we couldn’t move until it was finished. Then we all bolted for the classrooms.

Rain makes me happy. A serious downpour makes me very happy. It’s nice to remember what that feels like. It’s been a dumb week, month, thing.

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