Monthly Archives: November 2006

News round-up

The big HURRAH!!! this week was obviously the Democratic Party in the US’ take-over of control in the House of Reps AND the Senate – huuuuuge W00t.  Can one possibly hope that some decent legislation will be ratified?  Crap legislation amended or thrown out? (anything to do with gay marriage and the teaching of “intelligent Design” *coughsplutter ohdearfuck* in schools) … maybe even a teensy weensy impeachment? Pretty please with a cherry on top?

The resignation of Ronald Dumbsfeld was the icing on the cake.  V.G.

Thank you, Murkans, for doing something right, for once, and not causing the rest of the world to groan in abject disbelief and horror.  Just don’t screw it up.

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It seems to be every blooger’s responsibility to comment on either/or a) the Democrats’ victory; b) Britney Spears’ filing for divorce.  To the latter I can only say how surprise and shocked – SHOCKED I tell you – that this has occurred.  Was positive that this would be a lasting fulfilling successful relationship, untainted by money/success/faux celebritydom. 

BWAH!

Personally I believe the white-trash Spears was paid (in Cheetohs?) by the Republicans to make the announcement this week in an attempt to re-direct some of the news/blogging coverage from their humiliating defeat.

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I was saddened by this morning’s news that Belinda Emmett had passed away at the age of 32 after a long fight with breast cancer.  There is some irony of her dying only days after October, Breast Cancer Awareness month.  While not a fan of her soaps or video shows she was a brave young woman who fought a damn good fight and worked hard and successfully to raise Australian women’s consciousness of breast cancer and research, long before Kylie was diagnosed.  Kudos Belinda; and sympathies to her husband and family. 

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I hate this AIDS ad (pinched from Pharyngula).  Practicing different sexual positions does NOT result in automatically acquiring AIDS, for the love of little furry shagging animals.  I do not like that implication one teensy bit, it’s ignorant and misleading and backward.  Which pretty much sums up the US’ sex ed policy.  Teens already believe oral sex isn’t *real, actual* sex.  Now, they’re being told that “Hey we won’t get AIDS if we only do missionary!”  It’s somewhat reminiscent of nineteenth/early twentieth century views of not getting pregnant the first time or up against a wall.  

Maybe if there’d been some way of showing that each of the 20 was with someone different and sans condoms.  Otherwise – BAH.  Stupid fucking Yanks getting it all wrong again.

(Also, is it bad that I could not resist going “check”; “check”; “check”.  And me a staid married lady!)

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Each year on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day my brother – who lives way out in the wheat belt area – goes around to all the services at the tiny farming communities to play the bugle.  For a couple of weeks prior to 25 April or (as per today) 11 November he can be found sneaking out to lonely paddocks at 4 am to practice his Last Post and Reveille-ing.

My brother has a truly mind-boggling musical talent – an orchestral-soloist standard trumpet player in high school, he can also play all other woodwind and brass instruments, classic, rhythm and bass guitar, and is a sound mixing genius.  And the only time he uses his talent are at his twice-yearly gigs for old Diggers.  And rehearsing to canola, wheat and the occasional sheep.

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These last few weeks have completely kicked me in the butt, health-wise.  The weather is so changeable (Perth’s version of “Spring”) and humidity has rocketed.  Gross.  So I’ve been dealing with lots of neck pain – good old occipital nerve pinch-a-rama time, muscle spasms, and headaches so bad I can’t see properly.  Tra la la.  I’ve had a hotpack permanently fixed to my neck/shoulders and an icepack frozen to my forehead … I wonder if somewhere in the middle the temperature balances out?

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As always I’m ecstatic the weekend is here again; in this household that means marathon sessions of Night Fall and the prospect of the next episode of Battlestar Galactica (Season 3).  The season so far has been pretty incredible, what with the best space battle scenes ever, life on basestars, and Starbuck in full-on Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder mode.  This show gets better and better … 

A very moderate and unbiased post on the show is in the works (muffled fangirl SQUEEEEEEs).

A short rant about blogging

One of the things I hate about blogs, bloggers and blogging are the so-called trolls; the sick fucks who make bloggers’ lives a misery. They’re the sad, small-minded, hate-filled types who leave comments telling the blogger how much they hate them (the blogger), what vile deluded people they are, what a sick life they leave, how much they loathe their writing and their site. And yet trolls keep visiting, and leaving ever-more venomous bile, then they start with the hate mail, and even personal threats on the bloggers’ lives and that of their children.

This crazy shit happens to those bloggers who have become famous, who share very personal information and pieces of their lives. Many of them fall into the dreaded category of “mommyblogger” (rather than “parent-who-blogs-with-the- sprogs”? or just blogger? Talk about bloody stupid pigeon-holing especially when many of them cover much wider – and liberal, now there’s a hint – topics as well). I’m talking about the Amalahs, the dooces, the Robs – who I adore for the magic job he is doing raising a very unique fascinating child who happens to have a really nasty beastie of a neurological disorder. I can relate to the obstacles the family faces and especially appreciate how Rob and his wife are raising/developing their daughter to be her own person, have a definite identity … Something that didn’t happen with me – I was just “that sick kid”. Gah, sorry, garbling again.

Anyway … real sick fucks go after these people. There are sites dedicated to slamming them. And even sicker fucking perverts who stalk the parents as in threatening phone calls along the lines of “we know your address” and imparting information only someone physically staking out the family could know; and even worse go after the kids, judging and tearing them apart in a twisted paedophiliac way. Especially if the blog has pictures of the kids. More judging. Your kid is ugly / retarded / evil / a monster / should be put down. There is no excuse for this kind of behaviour, no circumstance or action a child or his/her parents could have done to warrant such excess. I mean, the fuck?

And this is why I don’t “blog” much. Its why I keep myself distanced from what I write and rarely get too personal. Even writing about my health issues, I do not give away the whole picture and all the detail. I’m naturally cagey – people I knew and hung out with for years didn’t know – were not told – I had a severe illness. I didn’t even tell my mother I was planning on getting engaged and moving to Ireland until the night we announced our engagement. I’m even cagier online.

And that is why I DO NOT WANT to become a well known blogger let alone famous. I don’t want the stats, the million hits. I am ultra thin skinned; I still have screaming night terrors (not just the average nightmare) about high school, for crying out loud. That was some seriously bad shit that went down, and I AM scarred for life, I recognise that. I’m getting better at overcoming or at least dealing with both the scars and the night terrors but I do not want to go out and put myself directly in the firing line over something essentially trivial (not surprisingly I gave my 20 year high school reunion a miss).

I don’t want the judgement from people I don’t even know. OK, so I have a site on the internets where I ramble a bit. I’m actually a very good writer and have been encouraged by many people from many walks of life to write professionally – from science/medical to fiction/autobiographical.

I don’t want the sort of treatment that Amalah and Dooce get – I don’t want the fucking adulation, either. That freaks me as much as the trolls. I’d like to get a few comments every now and then and make some email-friends but that’s it. I remember high school all too well; the mental, emotional and physical ABUSE. I am not about to put myself in that situation voluntarily. And let’s face it, the level of behaviour to which I’m referring is exactly like high school – no, junior school. Pre-school, in the sandpit. I tried my damndest to get out of school and played hooky and ran away as much as I could (never got detention though, not once – but there wasn’t any positive intervention from teachers, either, despite the school’s big focus on “pastoral care”. VOMIT).

So yeah … blogging. And sick fucks. It totally stinks that a person cannot share their lives without getting frightened for their and their children’s lives. And sheesh, if any sick fundie redneck in the US knew about my planned rants on Teen Sex In The USA, not to mention the Creationists Are Morons draft …. Phew.

Except those types of small minded freaks would find that way too cerebral.

Name change

I always, always, ALWAYS swore that if I ever got married – an extremely remote possibility given my history of disastrous relationships with total arseholes – I would never change my name.  Feminist principles, outmoded concepts of ownership, wives as goods and chattels blah blah blah. 

So when Tuxedo and I married I stayed, resolutely, Juliana Father’sLastName.  Tuxedo was fine with this, he respected my wishes and my reasoning and didn’t pressure me into taking his lastname – even though I knew, really, that he would have liked me to do so.

Somehow though, my thinking has changed.  Whether it’s because we’ve been married nearly five years now, and together for over six, and I’m slightly more secure given the evidence of our mutual divine happiness (and that he will not bolt on me, necessitating a messy divorce and messy re-name-changing) but I have come to the following conclusions vis a vis the legal changing of my lastname.

First:  I am, and wish to continue to be part of Tuxedo’s life.  He and I have an amazing relationship – best friends, companions, partners, lovers, the lot; we are a partnership; we’re a family (I cannot see that having/not having kids makes you more or less a family; anyway we have cats).  Also – and this sounds disgustingly corny and politically incorrect and I DON’T GIVE A FLYING FUCK, we are part of each other, belong together, and belong to each other.  Therefore a shared lastname makes sense.

Second:  (and most logical)  Why keep a lastname that was given to you by your parent(s)/guardian/authority figure at birth, that you had no choice over, vs taking the lastname of the life partner you DID choose?  The way I see it, the parental lastname marks you as a good and chattel in just the same manner as becoming a Mrs Harvey Stokes (or whatever) does; maybe even more so given the whole patriarchal/patrilineal set-up of Western society.

Obviously if someone has a very strong association and identity with their given lastname then of course he/she should keep that regardless of partnership status.  If she/he has no particularly strong feelings toward that given lastname then s/he may as well abandon it. 

In my case I do want to keep my father’s lastname; I also want to take Tuxedo’s.  What to do?  I hatehatehate squinched together double-barrel names, I just happen to find them pretentious and naff and more importantly, totally meaningless unless both parties change their lastname to Fowington-Stokes (or whatever).  I know for sure that Tux wouldn’t (see: pretentious and naff).

So the conclusion I have finally come to is as follows;

To change my name so that my father’s lastname becomes a second middle name; and take Tuxedo’s lastname as my actual lastname.  Think Laura Ingalls WILDER or Frances Hodgson BURNETT.

Meet Juliana Fluffy PENGUIN.

Beauty and the beast: MAC holiday sets

Every year MAC comes out with a Holiday Collection; they’re a great way of trying out new colours/combinations in a very pretty palette.Generally, however, I give these a miss as while they are in extra-purty packaging they tend to include few shades/palettes I would use regularly – and the colours I like I have already!The exception was a 2004 palette which held a great combination of purples, which gave me the opportunity to try some great shades and eventually expand my collection with some groovy bold colours.

This year, though, MAC has totally outdone itself.A HUGE group of lip, eye and brush palettes and sets, all totally wish list worthy.All of them have excellent shade combinations, and absolutely fabulous packaging in stylish black metal compacts and clutches with fabric effect/detail (an extra draw if you happen to be a total packaging whore … like me). The mini brush sets are amazingly good value as full size brushes retail from around AUD$40.00 up, and here you get four or five for around AUD$100.00.Great for travel and starting or extending your make up brush collection (yes I know how important this is for the boys out there). Continue reading