Potterpuffs: NOT MY DAUGHTER

I aint'nt dead...

Hello All and Sundry!

So, I realised I haven't posted in forever. I have been reading my friends list though, so rest assured, I am up to speed with your life, even if you have no idea what's going on with mine. I have the following remarks to say about various people. If you think one of them is about you, just assume it is, because it doesn't hurt to hear nice things and take on advice.

1. You are extremely talented and there is absoultely nothing wrong with you. All the great geniuses in history probably felt like they were weird because they didn't seem to think like everyone else. You have a unique mind and that is something to be proud of. Please post more of your photos, knitting and other artwork, because I love to see it. I wish you would believe in yourself.

2. I hope that everything is okay with you. You seem unhappy, and I hope you are merely venting frustrations and not seriously depressed. Remember to ask someone for help if you need it, and if you ever want me, I'm here.

3. I think your discipline in using your new blog is admirable, and I am very jealous. I have decided to emulate you, and I hope to be posting regularly from now on. We'll see. Your photos are so interesting and beautiful, but I do miss your writing!

4. CONGRATULATIONS!!! The ring is beautiful! I like the two different coloured stones, especially.

5. STOP PANICKING!!! A woman of your talents is certain to get a job! Just relax and don't worry about it so much. It is only giving you stress, and you don't need that.

6. I'm glad your son is doing so well! Best wishes to everyone and don't let you know who get you down!

7. DON'T WORK SO HARD!!! I'm very afraid you're going to get ill, with the schedule you keep. The same goes for your sister. PS. I admire your positive attitude though! Your posts make me smile beccause nothing seems to get you down for long.

As for the rest of you:

8. HELLO!!!

Tomorrow (or maybe even later today!!!), a post about what's going on with me. But first, a quick poll:

Am I:

a) Getting Married?
b) Moving Out of Home?
c) About to Start a Job?
d) Pregnant?
e) Getting My Novel Published
f) All of the Above?

No prizes for guessing correctly, and those who know, don't spoil it for those playing at home.
Boosh: Gone Wrong

In which Kate comments on the Celebrity News of the week.

The first site I visit in the morning is Facebook, followed by Twitter. Then I check my email. So my news comes from the masses. People post links, and I see the Top 10 at Twitter and click, thinking "Hmmm... why is he/she/that trending?"

I watch the news on TV and read ABC headlines, but for pure bat shit crazy, you cannot go past the world of Twitter (and the Yahoo! comments section). News is analysed, over analysed, unfair judgements made. The most fun is the Celebrity news.

So... what's the big news for the week?

We'll start small.

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Doctor: Stunned

Twilight: Chapter One

I think you all know how much I hate Twilight and all that it stands for. I've said before that I read the first book and couldn't finish it. I think this was just after New Moon came out (is New Moon the second one? The second one anyway). Some friends with similar tastes to me REALLY loved it and were raving, so I borrowed a library copy and gave it a look, though I've never been keen on vampire stuff (Buffy excepted). I guess my expectations were high, and I was not impressed.

I found it sexist right away, perhaps influenced by my knowledge of history and mythology (the sexual dominance issues in it). Hearing from others what happens in the other books, I continued to be angered by the content.

Bren isn't a big fan, and he sees where I'm coming from with the misogyny issue, but he quite liked it. Anyway, I saw it on his bookshelf and grabbed it down. It's time for a second chance and this time, I'll read the whole series.

Because I found it so utterly uninteresting, I don't remember much of it. It wasn't a memorable book. I just remember being pissed off by it.

This time, I decided that with such low expectations, it could only be BETTER than I remember. I went into it with a mission of finding things I like or think are good.

So... Chapter 1.

Bella doesn't seem to have much personality at this point. It's only the first chapter, so she's not developed, obviously. She seems very full of herself, but maybe that's because I remember it from the first time.

I feel sorry for Charlie. So far he seems like a nice dad and Bella is super rude to him, but then I guess she's a teenage girl, so that kind of goes with the territory. What is she, seventeen??? She can drive, so I guess so.

I liked the line where Bella talks about her parents buying the house in the early days of their marriage and she says those were the only days of their marriage: the early ones. That was kind of sad but funny. And I liked the bit where she has the realisation that Charlie never really got over her Mum. That's sad, and I thought quite real.

The other thing I liked was Bella's reaction to Edward's massive hostility to her. All teens, especially girls, have felt like people hate them for no reason. I liked how she's confused because it does seem ridiculous for someone to hate you on sight, but at the same time, there's a part of every girl who is CERTAIN everyone hates her anyway. (That's why Meg is my favourite in Family Guy- everyone actually does hate her.)

I think the end of the chapter where Edward is obviously trying to change out of her class is sort of interesting. I think if I went in totally blind, that I'd read on, wanting to know what his problem is.

Overall, I think one chapter is too early to pass judgement on whether it's absolutely as shit as I remember. Stay tuned for more. Not sure if I'll be reviewing every damn chapter, but I'll pop in for occasional remarks.
Hood: Fuck You

Bye Bye Laptop

Dear Computer,

I'm sorry that it has to end this way. You are the first computer I ever owned and nothing can ever take that away from you. I loved you deeply and you've been there for all my literary, school, social and gaming needs. But my love for you does not negate the central tenet of our original contract.

When I bought you (with my own money that I earned in my own job) you promised to meet my computing needs and I promised to look after you properly. I've held up my end of the bargain, so what are you playing at? Lately it seems I've done nothing but take care of you and all your contrary little episodes, and yet I'm getting nothing in return.

I don't like to fire someone with no explanation, so here is a summary of your recent (and sometimes long term) behaviour.

1. Your CD drive has been broken almost since day 1. Nothing should make that much noise unless it is a jet engine.

2. That loose connection in the screen. Sometimes we go months without an issue. Sometimes, you are unusable. Back when you were still in warranty, I took you for repairs several times, only to have you behave perfectly and refuse to show the computer doctors what was wrong with you. You can't get better if you deny you have a problem.
The black outs and those weird little flashy line shows are too frequent for me to take now. And I don't know what you meant last week by turning the image sideways and going black and white, but it wasn't funny. I'm told it's your graphics card, which brings me to...

3. The graphics card, aside from being woefully outdated, appears to be on the verge of death. Why must you constantly skip and freeze when I am trying to play even the tiniest of video files, or sometimes games? It makes it very hard to watch Glee or How I Met Your Mother.

4. Your fan, or rather lack of one, is distressing the whole family. When I left you sitting on the blanket while I went to the bathroom last month... you remember that? Yeah... you almost set the house alight. There was a distinct smell of burning and if dad hadn't been in the room to turn you off, I don't know what would have happened. When Plus One and I have our computers side by side, you burn his hand. Uncool.

5. Since I bought you in 2006, I think your inability to load software made after 1999 is somewhat cheeky. The Sims 3 has been out ages, and you won't even run the old version any more. You just have a fit and freeze or even just randomly blank out your screen and get all huffy.

6. You definitely have some serious memory problems. You seem to flinch at the slightest of tasks. I ask you to open itunes, not perform differential calculus. It shouldn't lead you to freeze and require two resets.

7. One of your USB ports does not work. This is a physical problem, as it has come detached from your body. One of the others is still physically intact but only works on occasion.

8. Maybe you heard me say I was going to replace you soon, but what did you hope to achieve with yesterday's tantrum? Deciding to have a faulty power plug does not change my decision in the slightest. It only makes things easier. After only two days of having to reposition the plug every two seconds, or else check Facebook while Plus One holds it in place have driven me to madness. And the way you go BEEP at the top of your lungs whenever your self-induced battery failure becomes critical is starting to make me twitch.

You could at least have tried to go out with some dignity, instead of being even more badly behaved. It shows a lack of class.

I'm going out on Saturday to get a new laptop. It's the end of the line for you.

I will miss you, but not the faulty screen, the jet engine noise, the skipping graphics, the trial-and-error USB port, the freezing, or the stone age software capabilities. And definitely not the burning smell.

Au revoir,


PS. I may of course, sell you for parts to one of my IT friends. I doubt they'll take most of you.
Scrubs: Elliot Horror

Wheelchair Face

So, I've been stuck in the house with fibromyalgia for more than three weeks now. I won't lie. It's a little dull. Been hanging out with my computer, watching TV and reading books. Bren's finished his teaching rounds for uni now, thank God. He was placed on the other side of town (with a teacher of the wrong subject, what's more) and was getting up 5:30 every morning for a two hour bus ride.

Now he's hanging out at home with me, which is much better than being all by myself, as you can no doubt imagine.

I can't drive, and I can only walk very very slowly around the house. I have to have a nap after I walk between bedroom and living room. No energy, which is very frustrating. Or it would be, if I wasn't too tired to be frustrated! I'm getting kind of used to the pain now, which I'm not sure is a good thing. But lots of leg exercises and getting myself up and shuffling is helping keep me from getting worse.

On weekends, my parents/Bren take me out shopping or whatever, in my wheelchair. Which brings me to the title of this post.

Wheelchair Face.

When you're young and in a wheelchair, you go out into a public place and you get nothing but Wheelchair Face from all around you. Except other people in chairs.

Maybe you've guessed that Wheelchair Face is that look people get when they see someone (especially a child or young person) in a chair. That look that says "Awww... poor thing is in a chair."

Some people give the look loud and clear, while others try to hide it and avert their eyes. Rest assured, world. When you make Wheelchair Face, we DO notice. And personally, I laugh at it.

The best one was on Saturday. Bren likes the feeling of power he gets from pushing me and he likes to go fast. He was pushing me fast through the shopping centre and I threw my arms up and went "Weeeeeee!!!" We were passing a lady, and the Wheelchair Face she had on was PRICELESS. It was like "Awww... poor thing. She mustn't get any fun except going fast in the wheelchair. Awww."

I laughed out loud.

The worst was when we were waiting for the lift (that's the really annoying part of needing a chair). It was a long wait, and the same woman gave me Wheelchair Face four times. Every time she looked at me, she pulled this utterly patronising, pitying face. And then she would pull one for Bren like "Awww... aren't you sweet pushing your crippled girlfriend around!"

And I said to myself "Bitch, if you're gonna look at me like I'm the most tragic person ever, at least give me some charity money!"

But what, you may ask, happens when two people in wheelchairs pass each other?

A nod happens, this look of solidarity that says "I don't need sympathy and neither do you."

But sometimes, you pass an elderly person in a chair, and you know what you get???

Wheelchair Face. Because oh my God, you're so young and would have had your whole life ahead of you and now it's all over because you need a chair.

Or maybe I'm just suffering a bad bout of illness and I'll be fine soon. And even if I never recover, which is a possibility I must accept, given the statistics, you know what? I'm just in a wheelchair. Not the end of the world. And you know what else? My legs and back are not working so well, but the brain is just fine. Don't need to be patronised.

Oh! And one more thing.

Doors are heavy, things in shops are up high and it's not always easy if you're out in the chair by yourself. If you're desperately trying to open the door into the toilets, you do NOT want to be given Wheelchair Face and pitied. Know what you want in that situation? Someone to push the door open for you. And no one ever does. They just watch and go "Awww". Not helpful.

And that's how it is.
Doctor: Dazed

Wheelings and Dealings

Well... crazy times.

Been super super busy and had a lot of fatigue on top of that. There have been lots of positives and also some major negatives these past few weeks, but I won't bore you with all the details.

It's been nice coming online every morning and every night to see what everyone else has been up to. I've had the odd MSN or Skype chat, but it looks like everyone else is just as busy as me!!! I've been getting all my gossip off Twitter, Facebook and here at LJ. So jealous of you all for leading more exciting lives than me!!!

I haven't been up to a great deal that's very interesting. I've spent time hanging with my "Plus One". Other acceptable terms for him are "Special Friend" and "A Pissy Little Bitch". He always answers to that last one. We're not wild about "boyfriend", so I'd appreciate it if everyone could try and use a less... expectation-laden... term. "That guy" is a good one.
Things are good and we've had a lot of fun. We see his friends quite often, primarily on weekends or earlier on in the evening. They're all pretty nice and they've been really accepting of me, which is great. But sometimes I think "wow... if certain of my homies were here, this party would be five billion times awesomer".

School hasn't started back yet. I wish it would!!! I'm bored and I miss all my friends from school. A lot of them are on holiday or taking the time to work, and some are home with their families interstate. I miss learning too, but I've been reading and doing a lot in my own time. I'll be going back part time next month. The job hunt has not gone very well, but I recently had a meeting with a lady from Centrelink. She's going to send me to a job placement thing, so I hope that works out. The doctor wants to limit me to about 20 hours or so a week, so I though perhaps three days might be good. Then I'll be at school the other two, which leaves me the weekend for funtimes!!!

My new game is planning the perfect round the world holiday. The rule is that money is no object, but no silly extravagances. I'm going with the best deals and looking at bargains, but not letting cost dictate where I go or how long. It's fantastic fun (especially on days when my computer doesn't feel like working!), and I just gawk at my travel magazines and imagine. I'll let you know what the whole thing ends up costing. Probably something like $50 000. Guess I don't get my own house for a while!!!

I've also been busy trying to get something organised around Plastic Reduction. There isn't any kind of group getting out there and taking action in the Real World. There's internet campaigns but I don't think that's enough. I want to start some kind of group to educate people about plastic and provide support and advice for people who want to cut down on their own plastic use. I thought Facebook maybe might be a start... Don't know yet. Anyway, I've started drafting up some letters to send to various companies to ask what they're doing about the issue, and others for politicians to ask what is being done legally. If anyone's interested, let me know.

MUST try and post more regularly. Probably won't. But I'll try.

Peace out!!!
Scrubs: Elliot Horror

Day One. Here we go.

I have been converted to the plastic reduction movement. Plastics are toxic, they are poisoning us and our environment. But above all, plastic never goes away. When we make something out of plastic, it remains in our environment forever. Recycling is not enough: most plastic bottles are not turned into new bottles. They are made into other products (insulation, for example). This new product is also permanent AND they make new bottles.

I have looked around my room and my house and in the fridge. Plastic is everywhere, and 90% of it, I'm just going to throw into the recycling bin and forget about, assuming that, because I recycle, it isn't my problem any more.

It IS my problem.

I'm not anti-plastic. Obviously plastic has some uses that are very important (medical supplies, for example). I am not advocating an all out rejection of plastics immediately. I am advocating a change in the way we see our own role in the environment. I have learned about the four principles of plastic reduction:


So, today is the first day of a plastic-reduced lifestyle. From now on, I will buy paper and glass packaging over plastic. This is refusing and the number one first step. Ideally, we should make as little plastic as possible, so wherever I can, I will be refusing it.

This breaks my heart. My favourite brand of juice comes in plastic bottles. No more for me. Tasty chocolate mousses and puddings. No more. No yoghurt. Unless I get it fresh from a cafe or something, in either a bowl or a non-plastic container I bring myself. I'll be using green bags from now on. Obviously, I have to keep buying my medication, even though the packaging is plastic. My computer keys are plastic, but I'm not throwing it out. But I am going to avoid all plastic where it's possible to do so.

Part of refusing will also involve writing letters. I'll be letting the producers of all my favourite products know how much I enjoy their foodstuffs, but informing them that I can no longer, in good conscience buy these products. By being part of the "demand" for plastic, I feed the supply. I don't want to be responsible for a single plastic lid.

Reducing is the second choice. If I cannot REFUSE plastic, I will reduce my impact. I'll buy LESS plastic packaging. I'll buy in bulk, so that less packaging is needed.

REUSE. I will not buy a new plastic bottle of juice every day. I will take my own plastic bottle, filled each day with juice I get out of a carton. No buying new pens. I will keep the pen shafts I have now, and buy new ink for them.

RECYCLE. I'm already doing this, but I will be more vigilant. Recycling should be our very last option. We need to stop producing so much plastic and recycling contributes very little to a reduction in manufacturing.

I will be recording this journey through video and photos. Stay tuned for updates as I open you up to what I now see with disturbing clarity: the world is made of plastic. And it's deadly.

If you're interested, here is a great site about reducing plastic use:

Where did I suddenly get this mad idea? From a TV show on the ABC called Hungry Beast.
Here is a video of Wednesday night's article on plastic pollution in the pacific. I nearly vomited. The intention of the piece was to make people think about the way we use our environment. I've thought about it and I can't do it any more.

But plastic pollution isn't just about the birds in the pacific. I'll have much more to say on the subject in coming weeks.