Sunday, December 18, 2005

Beer painted on the side of a pub in Yarraville.

I have a few rant/issue posts in my head but they will have to stay there for probably another week because things are too frantic at the moment.

Mr T arrived on Tuesday.

I slept a total of 4 hours the night before. His plane was also about 10 minutes late and it took about 40 minutes to get through customs. I swear that 40 minutes was the longest of my life. Yes longer than a boring day at work. My heart was pounding, i felt like i would vomit, i couldn't stand still and each person who walked through the gates i did a little 'is that him? no! ohhhhh'. By the time he arrived i was ready to collapse.

Thankfully i didn't, i did however get sick soon after. The next 48 hours consisted of the worst hayfever ever (which i should mention i rarely get), vomiting, and just feeling completing exhausted.

I can't help but wondering what the psychological connection was. Its like after I went skydiving after you get down from the adrenlin high your body just wants to sleep.

Depsite that though, i am happy, he is happy, we are both very happy. God am i making you sick?

I've since been showing him around, and running the neccessary errands, and unfortunately working.

We did however manage to see Sons and Daughters at the corner on wed night, which was an amazing show.

Working has been hard, i feel a lot like I imagine a mother might feel, slightly guilty, and a little concerned if they can manage on their own. He has been fine though my family has adopted him and he had fun roaming around melb all by himself.

Anyhoo, will be back very soon.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Protest Against Racist Attacks

The text message read:

"Can this text spread as well as the race riot ones did?
Nonviolent protest against racist attacks Fri 16th 5 pm Bourke st Mall. Spread this like wildfire."

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Yet another time to feel ashamed as an Australian.

As taken from the The Age

Mobs yelling racist chants chased down and bashed people of middle eastern appearance at Sydney's Cronulla beach today, also turning on police fighting to prevent a full-scale riot.

Some groups in the crowd, estimated to have peaked at 5,000, also stomped on and swarmed around police cars trying to move from one violent flare-up to the next.

The trouble began with scuffles about midday after thousands of people, many carrying Australian flags and dressed in Australian shirts, rallied at the beach.

As the crowd moved along the beach and foreshore area today, one man on the back of a ute began to shout "No more Lebs" - a chant picked up by the group around him.

Others in the crowd, carrying Australian flags and dressed in Australian shirts, yelled "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ... Oi, Oi, Oi".

Many had adorned their bodies with racist slogans. One shirtless teenager walked by, this message painted on his back: "It's time for a f---ing war, so join the army of hardcore".

What the hell is going on in Sydney?

I of course went looking for answers at Darpism who shed a tiny bit of light of the situation.

According to Darp (which you should read for a more detailed version of the events):

There most certainly have been times where large groups of Lebanese youth have acted in an anti-social manner down Cronulla way. The initial incident which sparked off the Cronulla situation being no exception.

From what i can gather from his blog and the SMHl ebanese youths were involved in the following:

North Cronulla Beach, in Sydney's south, was the scene of two violent incidents last week - an attack on two lifesavers on Sunday and a brawl later in the week in which youths turned on a media crew.

Whatever the reason though that behaviour is not only inexcusable, its also disgraceful, disturbing and absolutely disgusting (yes threes ds).

As Darp put it:

Whatever the case, one thousand people fueled with alcohol seeking to beat the crap out of someone because they look different is certainly not the Australian way.

Probably not a good idea to mention in less than 48 hrs Mr T hops on a plane on his way here. We are not all like that, I promise! Besides there is something in the water in Sydney, Melbournians on the other hand are a different breed all together

Ok maybe not all of them, but we do have a lower crime rate!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I am woman hear me roar

I chose some what of a sarcastic title for the rant that is about to follow.

I had two slightly unrelated yet related disagreements today.

The first:

Today at work i was talking with co-worker A about lunch when co-worker B attacked me on the whole vegan thing.

The worst part co-worker b is a vegetarian and his argument against veganism was that socially it was too difficult.

Yes, the whole conformity issue!

I then said actually its not so bad, a little more difficult than vegetarianism but there is generally food options around. He then went on to probe more and more, what about ?, to which i replied with what dishes i ate where and also commented that i have more of an issue getting a meal without fish than eggs and dairy since when i eat out at non veg restaurants it tends to be at asian restaurants (thai/chinese etc) more than anything else and they don't generally use dairy, that wasn't enough though. Nothing was enough, what about italian? to which i answered i normally eat ... I even told him about the few choices i had at food courts. The conversation went on from there to, to the social issue. The whole thing i found pretty hypocritical considering almost all of the arguments could be made forth against a vegetarian diet: limits your choices, holier than thou, makes eating out hard, socially difficult, what you won't have a little bit of mayo? what you won't have a little bit of fish sauce, chicken stock, minced meat etc etc?

And the whole social thing please conformity and mainstream doesn't make it right. The majority once thought a lot of things that we now don't consider ok to be ok: like slavery.

As if to make matters worse I realised that once again i'm seen as the bad guy, if i defend myself i'm seen as argumentative, how does that work?

To confirm this further i finally had enough of arguing and walked away so i could continue eating my lunch which was taking way too long to eat and of course no sooner had i walked away had my work colleagues started talking about me behind my back.

Guys if you are going to do to it try to make it subtle!

My question to you though is what should i do? To me it seems like a lose lose situation. I figure if is say nothing or choose not to discuss it then they think they are right and frankly veganism doesn't get a fair hearing.

The second:
Talking with an acquaintance after work about renting and he got all argumentative about how i should buy a house blah blah. I then said no its not for me, of course that wasn't enough he wanted to know why? and then kept going on and on. I don't even care much about the issue but i do care about people telling me what to do. So i played a long with a few reasons why i am not buying a house right now.

The problem I have with both issues is if i've seen talking my mind or even defending myself particarualy if it is a view outside the norm than i am seen by others as emotional, opinionated, argumentative, difficult etc.

If a man does exactly the same thing then no one blinks a eye.

On the other hand, why do I have to defend myself to others? and why the hell do others care so much when you do or feel differently about a issue?

The proposed answer: they feel threatened, often its about their own insecurities projected onto you, or it makes them question themselves.

Hence the reason vegetarians often feel more uncomfortable about vegans than anyone else.

I realised as soon as i got home what may have prompted the first demand that i defend MY CHOICES.

In the first case, co-worker b is vegetarian and earlier on the day we were talking about making risotto and he mentioned he put both cheese and sour cream in it. Cheese i get, but sour cream? that was my statement. I then make some passing joke about vegetarians over-using dairy (i'm reading diet for a new america at the moment will explain later) and about it overpowering the other flavours. I should have realised then that i what did insensitively was made him feel like i was attacking his lifestyle, when in fact it was actually all about flavour, and really who put sour cream in risotto? Vegetarian friends please feel free to jump on here and tell how i don't normally criticise your lifestyle choice.

I'm also quite certain that most of the things he said to me had ben said to him by a meat eater about vegetarianism.

In the second case, i suspect that he had some insecurities about being well into his late 20s and still living with his parents so he could buy a home. I suspect that quite a few people gave him a hard time about that and hence the projection onto me.

Ahhh people people people!

The thing is, it in actual fact MY life and MY choices.

if i'm wrong with my proposed answers, then why do you care so much about something that actually has no impact on your life?

You would think that i was doing something wrong from the way it is demanded that i explain myself when in actual fact in the first instance I'm living a lifestyle i choose to minimise suffering much the same as yours. I never once said vegetarianism was bad or that you weren't doing enough, or that i was holier than thou in anyway. In case two i'm simply broke.


This was written on my own blog so i could get it off my chest! I don't intend to participate in any more arguments at least not this evening, i'm tired.

I know there is a strong possibility that co-worker b will read this but i am not going behind your back about how it made me feel as i told you i was disappointed today.

If you do have issue with it written up here or want to keep asking me to DEFEND my OWN actions, email me.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Nov 16th: A sad day for vegans

yes very late with this one but just got news via a email list that i'm on.

Donald Watson founder of veganism died aged 95 on that day.

Not so bad age wise for someone who didn't eat ‘proper food’.

It is due to him that we can thank him for the term vegan rather than the other suggested names: dairyban”, “vitan”, “benevore”, “sanivore” and “beaumangeur”.

Imagine that: 'no i'm a beaumanageur'

'a what?'


News taken from times online.


In other news i have perhaps been listening to too much punk music, as i allowed my hairdresser tonight to colour my hair bright orange (or copper as he calls it).

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Photo taken somewhere along the Great Ocean Road on our first break from long distance

Long distance almost over

Its less than a week to Mr T arrives and i can barely contain my excitement.

Which means we survived 18 months of long distance with only a couple of very short breaks in between.

When i first left HK i told Mr T quite surely that i didn't think i could handle the distance for longer than 3-6 months.

Prior to leaving i was even questioning being a in a long distance relationship relationship at all.

But unfortunately due to financial reasons 6 months turned into 9 months, 9 months turned into 12 months and then eventually 18 months.

People say to me all the time 'i couldn't handle a long distance relationship' and i can understand it.

Now though i realise that no one walks in saying 'oh yes i want a long distance relationship'. For us it was a simple choice, either stick with yucky long distance or break up and for the first time in my life breaking up was not a option.

Thats not to say that long distance is not hard though, it is!

There are so many moments when you go i wish he could see this, or be here with me now, or meet ... or whatever.

And of course there are arguments, its a big transition going from seeing each other to long distance. It also tends to highlight any problems in the relationship.

You do have to work hard to make it work. So i thought i would write up my thoughts for others in or about to start a long distance relationship besides from what I have been told the long distance memory will soon be a thing of the past that i will struggle to remember.

The success of our long- distance relationship is mainly due to:

1. Having an amazing partner
2. Having an amazing bond/sharing a lot in common

Beyond those things though I do have some advice:

Communication is the key!!!!!!!

* which means talking as often as possible
* honesty
* being able to talk about the not so pleasant things (I'm fortunate in that Mr T doesn't run away from conflict and instead will say to me 'we need to talk about x so it doesn't happen again')
* learning to argue fairly
* talking about the everyday/tiny things in your life

Before Mr T and I were together I was in another long distance relationship which didn't last very often (a couple of months despite being together 2 years before that) and one of the traps we fell into was not talking about the little things because its a long distance phone call and you don't think its worth it and ... Which led to two things happening, one us having nothing left to talk about because after all life is made up of lots of those tiny moments and most days just aren't that exciting. That of course let to the second thing: us growing apart.

It really is all about the little things. The co-worker bugging you, the cat scratching you, what you made for dinner etc etc.

Other things i found helped:

* trust (although as long as you 100% honesty shouldn't be much of a problem)
* packages (Mr T somehow went from Mr unromantic to Mr romantic with his thoughtful packages including a beautiful special mix cd). I really enjoyed making packages for him too.
* international calling cards (thank god for those)
* MSN-with webcam, its nice to be be able to see each other from time to time
* visits (as often as you can afford it)
* text messages (really not sure if it would have survived without all the text messages).

Having said all of that, i do have to admit there is perhaps one main benefit of surviving a long distance relationship. You end up with an even deeper emotional bond and lets face it you know for sure its not just the physical stuff keeping you together ;-)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Van Nguyen pic taken from The Age

I know I am a bit late now and I am sure it has been spoken about to death (bad expression considering) but still I have to express it in the only public forum I have.

RIP Van Nguyen.

I don't condone heroin and especially heroin trafficking.

But killing him in one of the most inhumane ways (hanging) has established nothing!

The government should have used him to go after one of the drug lords instead of killing a drug mule.

By the sounds of it half of the australian population doesn't feel the same way.

I understand that those who know someone who was killed by heroin want to blame someone, and why not pick the drug mule, i mean he is contributing to the problem.

Unfortunately though its not the simple.

A small part of me that wants to scream 'but you choose to take and buy heroin'.

I'm sure if I wanted to buy heroin and try it I could. But its a choice I and almost everyone I know chooses not to take.

The rest of the population though has to realise we (being the half opposed to the hanging) are not against him being convicted, or being inprisoned. But against the death penalty. And for some its not even about the death penalty, its about the horrible method.

Whats wrong with hanging?(as taken from wsws

If the hangman’s rope is too long, the victim’s falling body weight can result in death by decapitation. If too short, death by strangulation can take as long as 45 minutes. When the rope is correctly measured, the victim loses consciousness when his or her neck is broken in the fall. Brain death then takes about six minutes, while full body death takes a further ten minutes. According to the US-based Death Penalty Information Center: “If the inmate has strong neck muscles ... or the noose has been wrongly positioned, the fracture-dislocation is not rapid and death results from slow asphyxiation. If this occurs the face becomes engorged, the tongue protrudes, the eyes pop, the body defecates, and violent movements of the limbs occur.”

And the whole not allowing the mother to hug her son before he is killed is pure bullshit. What the hell is she going to do in the last minutes before he is killed that can be done through hugging but not holding hands? Sounds like a power game to me.

I'm left with no answers forRobert Richers question:

The great question is: what are we doing about it? We need to campaign hard and permanently to make sure that this does not happen again.

I am not sure about the whole boycott Singapore thing. Don't get me wrong i'm all for some types of boycotts (animal products, sweatshop made items, items tested on animals, and other companies that contribute to suffering of any kind of abuse) but i'm just not sure what it will accomplish with Singapore. With most of the things I boycott its almost about choosing a better alternative; no sweat shoes instead of converse for example. Besides are we going to start boycotting every country with the death penalty? I guess in all honesty I could since i'm poor and won't be travelling anytime in the near future anyway.

Yes like half the nation I am left sad and feeling kind of hopeless.