Sunday, January 20, 2008

... happy accident

i found this while i was trying to get an earworm out of my head. i went looking for a piece of music from the u.k. talent show "the x-factor" (and "kill bill") called "battle without honor or humanity". i looked on youtube for a film clip that accompanied it, found an interesting one cobbled together from bits of the star wars movies...

and then found this:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

... qfs

i'm very sad to say how utterly unsurprised i was to hear/read about the out of control party at narre warren over the weekend. i can't help but hear the voice of v in the background as i think about it...
how did this happen? who's to blame? well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.
how do parents instill in their children a sense of responsibility toward others when everything in the world around them tells them only to think of themselves?

i've heard people say that there comes a time when you have to think of yourself, which leaves me to wonder if it ever really need be true... after all, if you can have two people looking out for one another, making sure they're safe, why can we not have 22 million people in this country looking out for one another? why can we not actively seek to make sure as we step into the future that the person beside us is not left behind?

we talk about being "the lucky country" as if we are somehow different from other nations but the more i see our newscasts and read our papers, the more i see advertising and billboards, the more i hear people on trains and see them on streets, the less difference i see between australia and the rest of the western world. this is the effluent affluence that developing nations are aspiring towards? so they too can afford to crave the things we have? type-2 diabetes, spiralling divorce rates, people unable to build things or repair things but wonderfully trained to create web pages complaining about why the water pressure is poor or why new houses are so expensive...?

our very success is the albatross around our neck: our prosperity makes us targets which need to be defended by men and women with guns; our growing population weighs our economy down with credit card debt being paid to overseas interests while we import food because we cannot support our own appetites; there is no apology without the expectation of damages; there is no forgiveness...

when i started writing this i wanted to come up with a rant about irresponsible young people who could probably do with a good thumping when it comes to being punished for damaging people's homes and our community's police cars. i want to see the people i perceive as being the cause of this be punished.

what i want is wrong. what i should want is not recompense but redemption, not judgement but justification - not payment for past mistakes but a changed direction to a better future.

i read that some party organiser said that this young man's party organising skills would be worth $10,000. so heart warming that such public if deniably tacit approval of defying one's parents can be so rewarding; such a pity that that only comes halfway to paying the bill for cleaning up such a wonderfully well-organised party last weekend! one person thinks he's hot; another described him as having raided doctor zhivago's wardrobe.

it comes as no surprise to me that the community outrage that some might have expected to see about this incident hasn't much teeth. for the appropriate level of community outrage i suspect there needs to be a certain level of community responsibility felt within the community itself by its members towards each other, community responsibility that would have meant this would never have happened in the first place. five hundred people would have been fifty, who would have accepted that the police were there because the community as a whole empowered them to say, "you have gone thus far - too far".

so we have an acceptable level of debt, when any debt was something to be worked off rather than lived on; acceptable levels of unemployment, homelessness, divorce, scandal, corruption... what a lucky country we are! what? are we a lucky country? compared to others, perhaps. compared with what we could be, no.

we are some of us living on the verandah of a mansion, scorning the people on the stairs, ignoring those at the bottom of the driveway, and all of us together refusing to turn around and bring everyone inside the house.

... i love blogs like this

i came across this blog as i was logging in to upload my last entry. very cool.

Monday, January 14, 2008

... bicycle! bicycle!!! (1)

i want to ride my bicycle!

i did, yesterday, and so i took myself off to chadstone, shopping centre of the one-bike-rack kind. i ended up locking my bike to a light post outside, being warned off so-called "dumb" signs, those posts that are simply slotted into holes in the ground without being cemented in at all.

chadstone is busy! in a very terry-pratchett-it's-all-quantum kind of way, it exerts a strong socio-economic gravitic force on the area around it... distorting traffic movement, parking areas, public transport, property and rental prices, green grocery prices - the works. scary to see that kind of thing up close. i expect any large shopping centre would have that kind of impact but chadstone seems to be a bit more pervasive than most i've seen.

i did some exploring on my way home and by the time i'd put my bike away my thighs were screaming that they were about to cramp up at any moment! i had as hot a shower as i could cope with, scrubbed hard at the sweat that had caked my body (ewww, i know, but it also kind of felt good to have exerted myself that much), and took a great deal of pleasure in washing my hair.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

... no resolutions

well, none but this - i want to go walking for half an hour every day.

it's been a while since i blogged but nothing terribly exciting has really happened. not that i only blog the exciting stuff... it'd be the world's shortest blog, given my preference for avoiding (chinese curse-style) interesting stuff.

new year's eve last night was the first one i've had for about 13 years where i wasn't away on a camp of some kind. what did i do? i watched fireworks on telly, caught up with some filing on my computer, and watched a film on sbs. not a whole heck of a lot. i had sausages and baked beans on toast for dinner. i'm told the temperature yesterday maxed out at about 42 degrees here in melbourne - after so many steamy summers in sydney, it totally didn't feel that hot without the humidity i was used to over the Christmas period. anyone who saw me last (or was it the year before) new year's, when sydney had all those bushfires and it was one of the hottest new year's days we'd had and it was so dry, will agree that it's definitely the humidity that knocks me about, not the heat so much...

my mum and sister were over here on Christmas Day for lunch. that could be filed under exciting, i suppose, but from my point of view it was more scary than exciting. i made a slow-cooked lamb shoulder with mint and pomegranate, peas and parmesan, zucchini slices sauteed in olive oil, chilli and garlic, and potatoes with whole spices, with a variation on eton mess, serving meringue, whipped cream, cut strawberries and pomegranate seeds and juice piled up in a big heap for dessert.

i've never slow-cooked anything before, let alone 2kg' worth of lamb, so i was very glad to wake up and find the house had not burned down overnight. in fact, the cooking had filled the house with a yummy sweet, meaty aroma.

no surprises here either - i used nigella lawson's recipes for the lamb, the potatoes and the pomegranate meringue mountain (her name, not mine; i like the succinctness of "eton mess") and jamie oliver's recipes for the peas and zucchinis... truth be told, the green dishes didn't require much in terms of recipes but when you're uncertain of how even to cook frozen peas a simple recipe goes a long way. at least i could already boil water - i know more people than i'm happy to who claim to burn even that!