a little east of reality

Monday, April 27, 2009

look! it's a puppy nightlight

Glowing puppies.

Seriously, I get that this comes from some sea anemone, but I'm not sure I want a pet that appears to be radioactive.

If I'm going to go for a nightlight pet, I'd rather have Sheldon's fish:

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Friday, April 24, 2009

not for the reason you think, christian lander

He's always calling me correctly, but I get out of this one, because even though I am technically a white person who loves Bob Marley, I am also Bajan and quite rightfully love most West Indian music. And Marley did make some amazing music.

In other news, I must really love the Dancer Boy, because I've just spent way too much money to buy a Beyonce ticket so he doesn't have to go to the concert by himself (his friends don't have the money). It's not like I hate her music or anything ~ and she's the kind of artist who pulls out all the bells and whistles for an arena concert ~ but it's unlikely I would have seen her in concert if there were no obsessed 14-year-old desperate to be there (tragically he knows the entire dance in the 'Single Ladies' music video).

What I DO get out of it is a fun roadtrip to Sydney with a kid I like and to be there when he gets to do something that he's thrilled about. It's almost a tradition ~ I've been on similar roadtrips with his brother and sister. And in the end it's only money.

Now that I come to think of it, this month the government is giving me $900 free in K-Rudd's stimulus package. I guess I'm already spreading the wealth. You're welcome, Economy!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

important legal advice

Email exchange between my and a friend who is not supposed to be getting personal email at work:

Chosha: Dear Friend. If I buy a manual that teaches me how to use a computer application that I use in the course of my work, but I was not required to buy it by my workplace, even though it is used to improve my work skills, is that a deductible item? And while I just happen to be writing about this very important tax-related legal question…are you up for a movie? I have a bunch of vouchers for $8 movies at Hoyts that have to be used by and looking for suitably eager moviegoers.

Friend: Dear chosha. Thankyou for the opportunity to provide advice on the deductibility of certain expenses incurred in relation to employment. Division 8 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) indicates that I love seeing movies. I get into all genres and most actors (with the possible exception of Johnny Depp - am suspicious of him and his alleged 'appeal' Do you like him?). Let me know when and I'm in! A senior legal advisor has approved this advice. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require clarification or further information.

Clearly her mistrust of Johnny Depp is misplaced, but I <3 my friends. :)

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

sinking in an ocean of stuff

But bailing as fast as I can. Where did all this stuff come from?! I mean, I recognise it. It's not like I can claim that some clutter elf came and delivered it during the night (or the last 700 nights). But holy cow!

I have identified at least three sources of this clutter:

1. paper
This category includes paperwork not filed or thrown away, supplies for future scrapbooking (including fliers and tickets and stuff like that, and also the actual supplies for the craft part of the exercise), notebooks and other evidence of my considerable stationery addiction, and unrecorded info (addresses, recipes, hexidecimal colour codes) on pieces of paper that otherwise would have been thrown away. Etc, Etc, Etc.

2. things that I've been meaning to give to other people.
It's going to be like Christmas in April when I start dropping these things off or mailing them.

3. projects not yet completed
Occasionally projects not yet started. (Oh, the shame.) I am severely well-intentioned. I am also (apparently, according to my clutter) a procrastinator of epic proportions. Or maybe I have too many plans for my limited time. I'm sure any number of valid-sounding justifications exist.

All I know is that I am extremely glad to have this big L-shaped ex-government workstation desk of mine. This means that to the left of my computer there is a workspace. Once the declutter is complete, these projects are going to get ticked off, one by one, because I am never again going to watch TV (which I watch on my computer) without doing something off to the left.

I really need to find my camera battery charger. Or maybe it's a good thing that I can't show you this clutter. Hmmm. Anyway, I'll keep swimming. Gotta reach the shore sometime...

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Friday, April 17, 2009

my melbourne trip o' laughs

Every year the Melbourne International Comedy Festival brings great comedians not only to Melbourne, but also to tour other cities around the same time. It's my favourite time of year. I'm on a stricter budget just now as I'm buying a friend's car in about four weeks time, so I chose just three shows to see from the many, many available: Danny Buoy, Judith Lucy and Adam Hills (of purple balloon fame).

And then I got a call from the people at Thank God You're Here! Turns out the studio audience tickets I requested last year finally came up. TGYH is an improvisational comedy show. Each guest (mostly well-known comedians) walks into a scene, with only their costume as some sort of hint as to who they are. They need to figure out their character and respond to various prompts on the fly. To give you a taste of what the show's like here's a fabulous TGYH piece from Cal Wilson:

Well, the taping date they offered me was right in the middle of the comedy festival. So I had to see some more comedy shows, right? I mean I couldn't go to Melbourne during the festival and not see any comedy - it just wouldn't be right! So my 2009 entertainment budget suddenly expanded to include Potted Potter (fun, but more fun for kids), The Delusionists in Bunker Five (small budget production I can't recommend highly enough ~ if you're in Melbourne, check it out), Fiona McLoughlin and (drum roll please)...Janeane Garofalo (awesome).

I was in Melbourne for three days and it was so great. Carl Barron was a guest on the TGYH episode we watched, which was a treat. Brian Nankervis was the audience wrangler ~ there were lollies and juggling and jokes ~ he was great.

As a nice bonus, I met Janeane Garofalo in the park on Sunday. She was gracious about me interrupting her reading and I was pleased to hear she'd like to come back for another comedy festival. I'd definitely go see her again.
I happened to be sitting (also doing some reading) in a very quiet, blocked off Collins St when 500 or so people walking the 'Way of the Cross' for Good Friday descended in orderly fashion on their way to the next huge, old, beautiful Melbourne church on their list. At each stop they read a scripture and sang - it was quite beautiful (a fabulous tenor was leading the crowd in the hymns) and I travelled along with them for a few stops before heading into the city for lunch. Nice way to be reminded that it was Easter.

I'm determined that one year I'm going to take two weeks leave, go to Melbourne and wallow in the comedy festival goodness. It's going to happen, people. It is.

And simply for your listening pleasure, David O'Doherty on Spicks and Specks performing his song, 'Very Mild Superpowers':

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

atonement and reincarnation

Last night I had a discussion with a friend about whether the concepts of Christian atonement and reincarnation were compatible or could be reconciled. I've always seen the whole idea of this life as a test and redemption through Christ as a one-shot deal. If reincarnation is real, I don't see a place for the atonement - at least certainly not the same sort of place it occupies if this life is our only life. My friend Tesla* (whose religious beliefs can probably best be described as 'Christian alternative') sees Jesus as having achieved perfection through the process of reincarnation, and the Atonement as an act of mercy so profound that God granted him the right to forgive sin and in essence to help us move along the path of spiritual development more quickly. We also went off on about eight or nine tangents, but I won't go there.

Now I'm not asking you what you believe exactly. But if it interests you as a debate topic, I am interested in your ideas on whether you feel the two concepts can be considered compatible. (So, in other words, even if, say, you don't believe in reincarnation, assume it's real just for the sake of the discussion. Same goes for Jesus Christ - assume he existed and performed an act of Atonement for all humankind.) This is more about the concepts than any actual spiritual belief of individuals.

Do you think that the idea of redemption through a saviour can apply to many lives as it applies in most Christian doctrine to one life? Why might that work, or not work? I have some ideas to add, but I'm curious to see if anyone else has an opinion first.

By the way, I'd planned an Easter post with a Lent recap, but it's still in draft. Stay tuned!

*I love choosing nicks for people mentioned on this blog. It's become like a tiny hobby.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

2 things challenge: playful/solemn

My entry for this week's 2 Things challenge:

He was a playful monkey, but this was a solemn moment.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

book binge!

I'm hoping MaryP is cool with me squeaking in late for her April Book Binge, because I already added the button to my sidebar. :) This is the kind of binge I should get into more often!

Here are the rules:

1. For the month of April, keep track of the books you read.

2. On May 1, post your list on your blog.

Easy, no? You can write a review or reader response if you wish, but a list of titles and authors is also perfectly acceptable.

Three other points:

1. You may include books you re-read, so long as you re-read them in between April 1 and 30.

2. You may also include books you start but don’t finish, just note the page at which you gave it up. Something like, “Quit, page 47 of 322″.

3. Children’s books must be at least 125 pages long to be counted. (Books you read to your children, if they are at least 125 pages, would also count.)

I think this is going to be fun.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

no man is an island...sadly

I used to be one of three people in a pod of four cubicles at work. The other two have left and been replaced by people located in Melbourne. I can't count the number of people who've commiserated with me on how 'lonely' or 'quiet' it must be. As if every person working there wouldn't want their own office if they could get it. And that being the case, why do they feel the need to have these inane conversations with me about it? Seriously, everybody commented on it as they walked past the pod for at least two weeks. Other people sit five seconds walk away! Not only that, but I am near the break room, so I see people all day long as they walk by and they often stop to chat.

Before I went to Adelaide I was told that I needed to move four pods away to sit next to Haigh (which I did yesterday). He wasn't too happy about it either, as he's had a two-cube pod to himself for a few months now, but we get along okay, so it doesn't completely suck to work next to him. But then the new round of comments began ~ people wandering by and feeling the need to express how nice it must be now, to be with everyone else and not all alone in my 'distant' pod. The truth is, the new location is a lot noisier and I have less space. I'll get used to it and soon it won't seem so busy, but again, I just don't see why they feel driven to make comments they don't even believe. We currently have two other people working in pods on their own and neither of them has given the least indication that they want to move. In the near future they'll need to, but they won't like it any more than me.

I could have it worse ~ I could be this guy (watch no.1). But it's still frustrating. Is it just that other people are more into small talk? Am I complaining about what is really just social grease? I know what they're saying is pretty harmless. Still, can't they just ask me if I've seen any good movies lately and leave it at that?

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

magic eye

I used to love magic art pictures when they first came out. It took me forever to see a picture in them at first, but once I'd figured out the trick of it, it became easy. How about you?

Edit: Now that April Fools Day is over, I'm adding a real magic eye picture. Hey I never actually said those were magic eye pics! :)

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