Saturday, December 29, 2007

El Nino

I saw this today and it was very amusing. It's hard to read I know, but for me at least, it was totally worth it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

Merry Christmas everyone! The last week's been a great one of Christmas-y sort of stuff.

Christmas service on the 23rd was great. I played an elf, with much makeup. Although, I did not look so much like an elf as a VIP member of the Mardi Gras floats. Fun fun fun.

I actually enjoyed Christmas shopping this year. I did stress for some of it, but it was fun. I filled a room with balloons for a KK, bought a funny shirt, DVDs, etc. K and I also exchanged gift boxes, and filled them each with plenty of surprises. 'Twas fun.

Yesterday was spent at church in the morning, then giving presents to friends, then lunch with family, then visit to K's family, then night with K. It was a great Christmas.

I am very aware that this is a not very interesting blog, so to liven it up/keep it at its same monotone boring pace, here is a Christmas cracker joke:

Q: What lives at the bottom of the sea and shakes?
A: A nervous wreck!

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yes. I am ashamed. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Formal Recap

Thank you to everybody who came to the formal. It was a great night. Much fun was had dancing, and prancing, and de-pantsing. But not really. Maybe the first one, a little of the second.

The current total raised is $1050 for my favouritest charity in the world, but I hear there is even more around the corner. This officially kicks off our 2008 campaign to raise $30,000 for Buikwe Primary School in southern Uganda. They need money to support more students, more classrooms, teachers, books, etc. It's going to be a busy, tiring, draining, but also fun and very rewarding year. Bring it on.

PS. If... I dunno, maybe... I was just wondering if you felt like... donating $29,999? Because then... like... we could just skip 2008 and go straight to Uganda. Deal?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Zoo

On Saturday, K took me on a surprise date to the Zoo! It was very exciting, as I haven't been there since I was five. My favourites were the elephants, giraffes, monkeys, and wildcats. I wanted to steal them all. I would put up my pictures but... I don't know how to transfer them off my phone? Wow. A bit embarassing. Also, when I grow up, these are the pets I would like:

  • Labradors
    A cat (maybe) [a wild one would be best]
  • A Galapagos tortoise
  • A gorilla
  • A panda
    Several others
I'm not sure if it's legal to own all those. Probably.

Monday, November 26, 2007

DCC/Africa Aid Formal 2007

GET THERE.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Whiz

I wrote before about the Ads on My Everest. Well. I now have one that beats them all in the weirdness factor...

THIS was what was displayed today. I didn't think I'd written about that topic at any point here... It seems I thought wrong.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Grandma

Yes. That is the bottom of a set of antlers growing out of Grandma. Jealous?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Camp

Last week I was helping out on the Serpell Primary School/aka best school in the world Grade 6 camp, alongside LP and MW. Twas a fun weekend of heat, horses, harneses, hats, humour and harassment. Maybe not that last one... but maybe yes.

We were at the Coonawarra Farm Resort in Stratford, with 109 boys and girls, 9 teachers and we 3 volunteers. Basically, we just did whatever the kids did, with a little bit of safety checking on the side. Or, in my case, moving a ladder back and forth, climbing up and down, and helping kids get out of their wedgied harneses at the flying fox. Other than that, we just played games with them like soccer/frisbee/volleyball/I was going to write something mildly humorous here, but it was a bit offensive. End.

Also, there were special events at night. Notables were the movie night, when we watched "The Brothers Grimm", and the disco night. I don't know where they got their perception of 'dressing up' from, but it was about 80% fluoro, 60% short skirts, 10% flashing belts, 40% massive pink eye shadow and 90% boys not caring. Unashamedly, I also wore fluoro? But at least my shirt said something that is from a time closer to the disco era than anything theirs said.

I was mostly impressed with their choice of music/one song that mixed every song in the universe into it. NOT impressed with their choice of dancing. There is some dance called "the shuffle" which they challenged me to do, and it was ridiculous and stupid. It's pretty much the Moonwalk, without the sliding effect that makes it cool. And you only ever go backwards. It's just like marching and waving your hands while going backwards. It requires less talent than Bindi Irwin to do. Apologies to any fans out there.

We formed a circle on the floor. MW calls me a circle addict, because I pretended to breakdance and impress the Year 6's. But that was nothing. The highlight of my night was dancing with a young man named Boris, who is a shy little kid from Hong Kong that doesn't speak much English and doesn't speak much to everyone. He certainly unleashed the dragon that night, because his circle count was up around the 20s, and everyone was shouting "Go Boris!" to the rhythm I can only describe as the same as "Go Ricki!" on Ricki Lake. Sad? I think not. If you know what rhythm I mean, you can join my club. Boris' move was to run on the spot and flail his arms like he was skipping. I'm going to steal it.

Also. A girl got her friend to tell me she likes me. I was totally. impressed. That's how I'm going to propose one day.

Things to know:

  • It is annoying to sit on a bus watching Shrek, and have every single line recited to you ten seconds before they happen by the kids sitting behind you.
  • My horse Puddles was awesome. It peed on, bit, nudged and farted in the faces of all the other horses. It was also the biggest.
  • Teachers are totally not like how I remembered them. It's funny seeing them away from kids.
  • Eating toothpaste is apparently the thing to do.
  • The camp disco night is like the formal. Getting a date is serious business. Stealing a date is completely legal.
  • Do not offhandedly say, "Sure" when a girl asks you to the disco. Especially if you are 19. And she 12. They get upset when you do not walk them into said disco.
  • You make it up to them by swinging the skipping rope for them and their friends the next day. Ha.
  • "The Brothers Grimm" is a twisted movie. Especially the bit with the Gingerbread Man.
  • I hate flies.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Four Crowded Hours

Yesterday I went with K, my brother J, and K's friend J2 to see Crowded House. It was awesome awesome awesome. The only downside was that I got gastro, and so I sat with dinosaurs tearing up my insides. (Story may have been exaggerated to add dramatic effect).

They were supported by an Irish group called The Walls & Australians Augie March. The Walls were ok, I wasn't really listening. Was kinda trying to sleep during that bit, on account of dinosaurs. Augie March were like how I feel about Augie March cds. I love some songs, and the rest of them aren't great to me. It feels a bit lame to say, but truthfully, the songs I enjoyed the most where the ones everybody knows. But I guess that's why people know them - because they're the most enjoyable. Anyway. Augie March played "There's No Such Place" - which is a beautiful song that I really like - and "One Crowded Hour" - hence the title + Crowded House, and these last two performances were good.

Crowded House came on and the crowd went nuts. I didn't know most of their songs from the latest album, but that was ok. They had cool lighting and after each song, a new image or prop would be added to the background - there was a giant snake eating a man, skyscrapers that came out of the ground, a tree, a caravan, a chandelier and some stuff I can't remember.

Best bits:

  • Crowd singalongs. During the really popular songs, the band would stop, or just Neil Finn would play keys or acoustic, while the crowd sang. In such a big place - Rod Laver Arena - it was an awesome sound. They did it for "Fall At Your Feet", "Don't Dream, It's Over", "Weather With You" and "Better Be Home Soon". It was coolness.
  • Their keys/backup guitar/backup vocals guy also played the melodica. I love. Mum gave one to me to play when I was a kid.
  • When the band went off stage, to milk an encore, a whole group of dogs got released onto the stage. They fetched something and then left. This wasn't really a best bit, but was so weird I though I should mention it.
  • During the final song - "Better Be Home Soon" - Neil Finn remarked on how people used to wave lighters and now it's mobile phones. He had all the lights turned down and the whole crowd lit up their lighters or phones and waved them. It looked awesome to see thousands of lights in darkness while everybody sang.
It was a fun night, and I really enjoyed seeing some good music. I even forgot about the raptors in my intestines for a while.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Blogiversary #1

Well here we are. One year from my Very First post. Now that this blog has reached its century, it's time to take a recap of the past year of magical/sub-par posts. I will just link to a few of my blogs that I enjoyed doing, that challenged me, that others seemed to enjoy, etc etc. It's all very self-indulgent. Soon I'll do the same, but of all the other people's blogs that I read.

Blog I found hardest to write: Letter/Follow-Up
This one is a tie. In April, one of my favourite teachers ever died, and I regretted something I had not done, which was to write her a letter. I felt crap about only writing it here, I wasn't sure if it was something that should have been put on a blog, and I struggled greatly to find the words to write for it, because even now, I don't think they do her any justice at all. I also thought it was interesting that the very post just before Letter was Free. Simple. - a blog I wrote about being extremely happy and carefree... and a few days later, I came crashing back down... Life's twisted that way.

The other one, strangely enough, was the follow-up blog to the letter. I had no idea how to follow up such an open, emotive post without ruining it, or taking away from its seriousness. I joke around a lot, and write some stupid things here, but I wanted that one to be very serious. I don't think the follow up did anything good either, but I didn't want to just stop, or get stuck writing very serious blogs all the time.

Blog I am most glad I wrote: Letter

Blog that amused me most while writing:
Deliverance
30 Things I Miss About Primary School
Tetris
Funny Cos It's True (also because of my misundertanding Jono's comment as being a lecture)
Thoughts
Chain
Ramble
Ramble #2
Kid Who Ruins Primary School Games...
Depressed Ex Kids Game Show Host
Trouble in Guess Who Town
Since I laugh at most things I do/think/say more than others, I'd say most of the posts. Yes, no modesty here. You can vote on which amused you most, if any.

Blog that promised much more than I could deliver: The Standard Three/Mr. Men
Well. I liked the idea of the three wishes, but I just failed to be able to come up with stuff. And so it sits... and waits... and dies a little with every new blog I write. And Mr. Men... was just a crap idea. Ha.

Blog with the most comments: WYR #3/Duke both on 20 comments.
I think WYR #3 would have won, since Duke racked up a lot of comments thanks to the unceasing commenting of one Simon Albury, in the quest to make Duke the leader. These were followed closely by WYR #2 (18 comments), The Standard Three (17), and Wisdom From Agent K (17). Most of these are pretty silly, so out of the more serious ones on M.E., Consumption probably rates highest at 12.

I would find more categories, and put up more links, but then this would be huge, pretty much every post would be linked, and it would be already far more self-indulgent than it already it.

So Happy First Blogiversary My Everest. I hope you've enjoyed reading my rubbish. I'll leave you with this important service announcement: If my blog were a human... it would still poo its pants. Hooray!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Year From Now...

Bond that flickers, dulls and wanes,
Mind's tongue speaks fire, refrain refrain,
Do they know? They hide it well,
Would kill my heart, my thoughts to tell,

Circles are strong and last forever,
A rhyme written with such endeavour,
To prove what bond and circle share,
But is this lies? Beware, beware,

What once was used to forge my week,
Now leaves me empty, with much to seek,
Those gone are ones I wish to keep,
Fire's shallow, when once what burned was deep,

It's strange, how same yet far we act,
Words spoke and crafted with such tact,
Yet barely veiled when time's escape,
Those words long gone, no longer shaped,

Fire's out, the end, the end?
Is there substance with which to mend?
Or is there even need to heal,
Is it valid that I feel?

The worst is I might be you,
Though I think not, chance says it's true,
This ties my tongue and burns my mind,
Just let it be, my thoughts unwind,

But how to let such fire go,
To vanish, clean and bare like snow,
I wish to change, to fix, renew,
Though fire's weak, the spark's still true,

Days gone by I wish were here,
But so much changes in a year,
Where will we be a year from now?
The mend, I hope, time will allow.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Burger

Study? Pfft. I am sick of learning about the Weimar Republic and the non-musical Franz Ferdinand. No offense to any mad Weimar Republic fans out there, all power to you. It's just not my thing.

In pursuit of more heart-killing foods and procrastination, I googled (Yes, that is now a verb. Says I, Benjamin "Miriam Webster" Chong.) [Wow, I'm pretty sure that was the first time I've ever put my name on this blog. Not that it was hard to find out anyway, since almost everybody that reads this knows me, or has somehow tracked me down.] {Extra brackets. Now back to the story...} World's Fattest Burger on a whim. This is what I got back.

Now. I'm aware I'm about three years late in terms of the news, but whatever, I was too busy tagging school desks back then to worry about a burger that could eclipse the sun. The Hardee's "Monster Thickburger" is "two 1/3-pound slabs of Angus beef, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese and mayonnaise on a buttered sesame seed bun" — and it sells alone for $US 5.49, $US 7.09 with fries and a soda. How many calories you ask? ...1,420. I'm almost 95% sure that the gas released from all people that eat this thing is the real cause of global warming. The only thing that's missing from this is the "sweet kiss of chocolate syrup".

To the real issue at hand... somebody please do my exams for me? I'll buy you one of those burgers, and cover it in chocolate myself.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What Your MSN Status Really Means

Online: I'm online, but I'm not talking to you because I'm sitting here admiring how big my list of contacts is. Either that, or we have some sort of history and it would be even more awkward to talk to you. Also, you might have been from that stage in Year 8 when you decided it was cool to just add eveybody's email, and ask people to give you other people's emails. I'm glad nobody is talking to me, because I hate the little flashing thing on my Start Menu, and it would get in the way of me admiring my list. I'm so popular, don't distract me. Kindly get lost.

Busy: I'm on MSN a bit, but even if I am, I'm too important to talk to you. Kindly get lost.

Be right back: I'm not at the computer - probably doing a poo - or I'm busy stalking people on MySpace. I'll probably be longer than 'right back' but this sounds cooler than Away. Either way, you've still got no chance of talking to me. Kindly get lost.

Away: I'm either dead, watching a movie, or that poo has taken a little longer than I thought it would. I might also just not want to talk to you, but didn't want to offend you by putting Busy. In any case, don't talk to me, as Away clearly has a silent "Stay" in front of it. Kindly get lost.

In a call: Hey everybody! Come see how important I am! I have a call! Also, instead of signing off MSN, I'm going to hurry through the call so I can come back and change my status back to Busy. Kindly get lost.

Out to lunch: It's actually probably dinner time right now, but even if it was lunch, I just want you to know that I'm stuffing my face. I probably have a bit of sauce in my hair and stains on my shirt. Doesn't matter, because at least I'm not here, not talking to you. Kindly get lost.

Appear offline: I'm hiding because I would rather take a blender to the face than talk to you. If you talk to me while I'm offline... you must be some sort of stalker. Kindly get lost.

... I'm so lonely...Please don't block me. Ha!

PS. So much for the hiatus.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Freaked. Out.

I know that I announced a hiatus just yesterday, but I have something to write about. I partly decided to have a blog break for a while, because the inspiration to write anything hadn't been there, so I thought I'd see what would happen after a while. In the 24 hours since, I have had many ideas. Ridiculous? I probably scared my blog brain into action lest it be shot, or scrambled by the rotating lady.

So a lot of the stuff I write on this blog is all a big joke. Whether it's funny is another issue, but generally, M.E. (My Everest for those of you struggling) is about 80% stuff that amuses me, 10% stuff I've actually thought about or believe, 10% mountain. However, I assure you that what you are about to read is a serious matter, and I am definitely not laughing about it. So it begins...

Yesterday, feeling the call of nature, I visited my usual toilet in the underbellies of the uni. Don't get me wrong. I don't have a thing for underground toilets, or a rare condition in which I can only go to the toilet when I know there are at least ten storeys of classrooms and hundreds of students above me. It's just the toilet closest to where I usually am, which is the 'Batcave', which I will write about eventually.

So I go into a cubicle - specifically, fourth from the left - as today's agenda requests it. I drop the pants, sit down, and am just about to begin when... A FREAKIN HEAD POPS UNDER THE CUBICLE WALL. Yes. I do not kid. A head pops under. I noticed it a split-second after it happened, and only saw it retreating. I did not see the eyes, and I'm glad I didn't.

I sit. Absolutely freaked out. The shock means I no longer feel the urge to go to the toilet, but to run away as fast as I can and have a shower, possibly in another country... as surprisingly, I feel dirty. I take my bag off the hook on the door, slowly undo the lock on the door, flush the toilet and flee - yes...flee - the most disturbing experience of my life. What made it even worse was as soon as I flushed, the cubicle of the perverted head also flushed (even though I'm fairly certain they had only been in there about twenty seconds - most of which were used to be disturbingly freaky). I saw the door of the cubicle open just as I was leaving the toilet, and I didn't bother staying to see who it was.

I eventually found some other toilet in the uni, and though a little hesitant, decided to finish my previously interrupted business. As I sit there, being very careful to watch the space under the cubicle walls, I think about all the factors and variables. Why would they do it? How did they even get there? There's not that much space in the cubicle to get on the floor. Plus... it's dirty. What did they want? There was a lot of homosexual writing/graffiti in the cubicles: eg. "For fun times and naughty hookups, call Dan on ########## ;)"... perhaps they were expecting someone? If so... I'm never going to that cubicle again.

Then I thought of what I'd do if I found the person behind the head. If I was in that cubicle again, I'd probably stomp their stupid dirty face. A little violent? Yes. But I am outraged. My generally pleasant public toilet experience has now been soured by somebody who'd be better off in a toilet with George Michael.

This is the end of my rant. Hopefully now that this is out there, I can begin rebuilding my relationship with the university toilets, because I'd hate to have to walk an extra five minutes to the next ones, just to avoid the painful memories of this twisted encounter.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hiatus

Well I am being very busy at the moment, and so, probably will have this blog on hiatus until November 2nd, which is when I will have finished all exams.

Currently, there are more things to think about than my first time ordering at Subway. What type of bread would you like? What type of topping would you like? What type of cheese would you like? We have cow, goat, llama and tortoise milk. Tortoise you say? Will that be the Burmese Star or the Galapagos? What salads will you have? Would you like that lettuce farmed by blind Nepalese monks on top of a mountain during a solar eclipse or lettuce from the greenhouse of Colonel Mustard before his unfortunate incident with the candlestick in the Observatory? How would you like to pay for that? You can pay in cash, credit, Eftpos, cheque, giant over-sized novelty cheque, or in buttons. How would you like to be farewelled? You can choose "Goodbye!", "Have a nice day!", "See you later!" or the random animal noise of the day. I'm sorry, your decision time is up, you have taken too long. Please return your sandwich and head to the back of the line. Quack.

In the meantime, here is something for you to do. I managed after a while to get myself to see it going both ways, and it's completely ridiculous. My brain actually fell out of my nose when I did it. Is it fake? I don't know. But once you can master it and do it at will... you can use the force.

Interesting note... never have I ever: seen a Star Wars movie. Or a Star Trek movie. Or Star Gate.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Ad

Have any of you noticed how ridiculous some of the sites that appear on my GoogleAds are? If you don't know what that is, it's on the sidebar, right at the bottom. On the day I am writing this, it is linking to a site called "The Coming World War", that apparently predicts, on advice from Nostradamus, the third world war between 2008 - 2012.

The other day it was about the next and final Pope, who will apparently be an imposter of Pope John Paul II, and will be a physical form of Satan... Right.

The ads are supposed to represent similar topics to the stuff I actually write about. So... um... maybe I'm subliminally writing about the apocalypse and the doom of the world and all things dark and evil. Maybe I need all those candles being made from the chocolate-bacon person.

When someone clicks the ad, it gives me a few cents, that eventually add up to lots of cents. So if you feel so inclined, click it. Sometimes I click it out of sheer amusement at what it tells me - like that it likes the jumper I'm wearing and how my hair is today, but not as much as it liked it last week when it was all windswept, and that it has my daughter, and to leave a brown paper bag with the money in the post box outside my house.

In fact, pretty much the only problem I have with what the ads offer me is that there is no cheap Viagra. Guess I'll have to rely on my emails for those.

Just to see what sort of ad comes up, here are some random words:
Mongolia. Cupcake. Doodle. Blankets. Serial Drama. Mel Gibson. Bacon. I Love Chicken. I Love Liver. Meowmix. Meowmix. Please. Deliver.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ramble #3

I think they decided to use small pieces for confetti because A4 bits of paper just floated around, and saving the effort of making the paper and cutting it by just throwing a tree had an effect - just not the one that they were looking for.

If you love geometry...
What do you call a baby triangle with an incline of less than 90 degrees?

Acute!

I just bit my cheek for the third time in two days, which brings me to a WYR:
Bite your cheek everyday or get a papercut everyday?

Also, for those of you interested in having a heart attack for $7 (US), this looks healthy. Excerpt from the creator: "Just a bite of the bacon was too salty and yearned for the sweet kiss of chocolate syrup." It's probably a safe bet to assume that if all the fat was mined from their arteries and turned into candles, there would never be darkness again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Trouble in Guess Who Town

Doris: Alfred... do you know what day it is?
Alfred: Is it Christmas?
Doris: What? No.
Alfred: Is it Easter?
Doris:... Alfred, I'm not playing.
Alfred: Is it my birthday?
Doris:... I'm not playing your childish games. Our game days were so long ago. Let it go... Do you even know who I am?
Alfred: Do you have facial hair?
Doris:....
Alfred: Are you wearing a hat?
Doris: (sighs)
Alfred: Are you a man?
Doris: I don't think you even know who you are anymore.
Alfred: ... Am I a man?
Doris: NO MORE GAMES!
Alfred: Do I have white hair?
Doris: You're an idiot.
Alfred: Am I... George?!?!?!?!
Doris: I'm leaving you.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Update

Thanks for all the birthday love everyone. Including those of you who sent messages, and don't comment on this blog. But I know you read it. Ha.

Anyway. Sorry for long break in blogging. I have now finished three major essays and am so happy that it's holiday breaks... even if only for a week.

Essays aside, in the time between last post and this, I have:

  • Improved Minesweeper scores


  • Performed at Church Muso's night - "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?" with K, and "Hallelujah" solo.
  • ...Pooped.
  • Won a giant jar full of 742 jelly frogs.

I haven't blogged due to being busy, and being quite frustrated about some things and didn't particularly feel like writing, since I'd end up thinking/writing about these. I was also frustrated at myself. So that's that.

HOWEVER! I have written up a few posts, and we will be back on track. Hopefully.

Amongst other things that might amuse you, the final Serial Drama Movie episode + Outtakes is up. It might amuse you. It mightn't. On that note, here's a movie that amuses me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

19

Today I am 19. To celebrate this nothingness year, here is a list of 19 things - in no particular order, except for whatever comes out first - I want to do before I am dead.

  1. See all the Great Wonders of the World.
  2. Visit Egypt, Spain, America again, South America, Fiji, Vanuatu, Hawaii, Germany again, Thailand and many others.
  3. See a Liverpool FC home game.
  4. See a Lakers home game.
  5. See the community Africa Aid is now supporting first hand.
  6. Finish my novel (almost one year old, two pages in ha), maybe get it published.
  7. Get married, have children.
  8. Have a dog, a pig, a turtle (preferably Galapagos), a monkey and many more. At least. If it's legal. Ha.
  9. Learn to cook.
  10. Learn to dance some sort of style I don't know. Basically. All.
  11. Perform music at a gig of some sort.
  12. Play guitar well.
  13. Teach, minister, and leave Africa Aid in safe hands when it is time.
  14. Blog more.
  15. Not get fat and lazy and unhealthy when I'm older.
  16. Skydive, bungee jump, paraglide, all of those.
  17. Break the world record for Minesweeper. HA. I've got a long way to go. My expert record is 81 seconds, and the world record is somewhere in the 40s.
  18. Learn to count.

Here are some exciting things that happened on this day in history:

  • 1954 - "Lassie" debuted on CBS.
  • 1963 - "Leave it to Beaver" aired its last show.
  • 1966 - The Beatles received a gold record for "Yellow Submarine".
  • 1983 - Arnold Schwarznegger became a US citizen.
  • 1984 - Michael Jordon signed a seven year contract to play for the Chicago Bulls.
  • 1988 - A young man was born from an egg on a mountain top, the punkiest monkey that ever popped. Monkey Magic.
  • 2007 - Walked around the house in my underwear most of the morning.

Finally, a happy birthday to these cool cats:

  • 1913 - Jesse Owens (who I can outrun)
  • 1944 - Barry White (whose voice is so high compared to mine)
  • 1966 - Ben Folds (who wishes his name was my name)
  • 1972 - Liam Gallagher (who wishes he sang "Wonderwall" as good as me)
  • 1973 - Paul Walker (who wishes he was as Fast and Furious as me)
  • 1978 - Benjamin McKenzie (who wishes the OC was written about his life and not mine)
  • 1980 - Yao Ming (who I'll be taller than one day)
  • 1981 - Jennifer Hudson (who cheated me out of my Oscar for "Dreamgirls")
  • 3057 - Optimus Prime (who is actually me in the future)

The last one may or may not be made up.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Inconvenient

Some of you will have seen Al Gore's Academy Award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. If you haven't, I strongly recommend it. It's very eye-opening.

For my group assignment in International Studies, we are looking at the Global Environment - specifically issues of climate change and environmental devastation that have been caused or accelerated by globalisation. This may sound very large and above our heads, but it is a very real, confronting issue that is contributed to by and that has an effect on every one of us.

The issue is this: for the first time in human history, we have reached, and are exceeding the ecological limits of our planet. The global population is booming, while the global natural resources are being quickly depleted. There is not enough to go around, under the current consumption levels of this world. The major consumption is by people like you and me - in the developed world.

The world population is approximately 6.6 billion. At the current average level of global consumption, according to In a Nutshell by Ron Nielsen, our planet can only support about 4.8 billion.

Industrialised countries consume twice as much energy as developing countries, and people in these countries (that's us) personally consume more than eight times the energy that developing country citizens do.

On Sime's blog, he posted the link to the World Clock. Though the figures are estimates of the actual numbers, they are not hugely inaccurate. It is frightening to see how quickly the C02 emissions, Earth temperature and military expenditure rises. The amount of money spent on things that destroy people far outshadows the amount spent to reduce the things that are destroying the Earth.

It might be interesting for you to calculate your ecological footprint. It becomes very clear how much strain is being put on the Earth. I admit that I do not do enough to care for the environment. Most of the time, I tend not to even think about where what I'm consuming comes from or what had to be done or killed or removed for it to get to me. If everybody lived like me, we would need 4.1 planets. My total footprint is 7.7 global hectares, required to support my lifestyle. It shames me.

Though all these figures and stats are big and scary, there are lots of things you can do. You can lobby the government to do more to alleviate the gross inequality between rich nations and poor. You can investigate alternative energy sources, and research how to help make these more viable. You can catch public transport more or ride your bike or carpool. You can convert your house to green energy schemes, take shorter showers, turn off electricity points when they aren't needed. There are many tips on the Sustainable Energy Authority of Victoria website.

The developed world we live in is responsible for so much of the damage that has been done to the environment. As we continue to consume more and more, the Earth will die with us. Our children and their children and our future generations will be subject to an increasingly suffering Earth, until there is nothing left for them.

This is not just an inconvenient truth. It is scary, terrible, and it makes me personally feel very guilty. I will be investigating stuff I can do in my own life that can help reduce my own ecological footprint.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Integration

I worked my first day in a potential casual job on Friday. The title was as an integration aide, and I basically went to a few different classes and helped out students that needed a little support and encouragement due to intellectual or social disabilities.

Some of the classses and students I hung out with were labelled as "difficult", "feral" and "ratbags". Their behaviour might have been a little bad, but no worse than some of the other students around them - some of who were actually far worse. Most of the students were fun to be around, and I really enjoyed my first day of work.

One of the students I was with even asked me to join him on his weekly girlfriend search. Ha. He said he already has four, and is on the lookout for more. I politely declined.

I've still got to work out if I'll take on the job, as it will require some time juggling around uni, internship and Africa Aid. It was fun though, and I could really enjoy doing some more of it.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wristband

I wear a Make Poverty History wristband all the time. I don't care where I am or what I'm wearing. I heard somebody say once that they weren't wearing their's because it "didn't match the outfit". Stupid. I wear it because it matches who I am, because it represents something I firmly believe in.

Several times this year, people have asked me where to get one from, and how to buy one. Each time they've been relative strangers. Every time, I have felt the strongest impulse to do something nice. So in all cases, I've taken off whatever band I have on, and give it to them. Once, a person that I had given one to lost it within a week, and randomly saw me a week later. So I gave them the one I had again. Why? Because it's more important that they have it and remember what it stands for, because I can always get more, and it's already so firmly stamped into my mind and heart. Yesterday I gave away another one, to someone from one of my classes.

I don't want to come across as feeling very self-satisfied for doing such a little thing. Plus, I do lots of things that probably aren't very nice. But doing random nice things makes me feel good, and what's more, a $2 wristband for another person openly supporting and caring about making poverty history seems like a fair trade to me. (Ha. "Fair trade"... Make Trade Fair. I'm a poverty nerd.)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Theology?

This is an essay I found in the religion classroom at school last year. It's by a Year 8, and it's on the question: "Why did Jesus choose 12 disciples?" All spelling mistakes are part of the essay.

What was there purpose and what did how did Jesus teach them about the Kingdom of Heaven and how to peach the word of God? But why did he chose 12 disciples? Why not 27 or five or any other number. I looked this up on the internet and found two reasons. First he chose 12 disciples to representthe twelve different tribes around Jerusalem. And the second: seven is the holy number, three is the number of the Trinity, and if you multiply seven and three you get 21, and then reverse it and you get 12! Some people thought JEsus thought like this. Jesus did perform amazing miracles that were just never heard of, like turning water into wine and calming the sea, and these acts of unbelievable power must have given the disciples the impression that this was not just some nutter saying he was related to God.

Makes sense to me. Or, does it?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Armless

After a fun weekend away, these are some things that are hard to do when you have no arms:

  • Eat ice cream
  • Wipe your mouth
  • Blow your nose
  • Open a mobile phone
  • Read a text message
  • Write a text message
  • Play the piano
  • Balance when kicked in the back
  • Pull pants up when dacked
  • Scratch
  • Swat mosquitoes
  • Eat
  • Drink
  • Carry things
  • Write
  • Play Pictionary
  • Play Speed Stack
  • Blog

However, weekend was good. I have raised nearly $300 for the 40 Hour Famine, but if you still want to donate... you can. Hooray! In other news, it is my birthday in 9 days, and then again in 366 days.

To end, this is a video of Speed Stacking at its finest. Check out the boy in the yellow's face.


Friday, August 31, 2007

So...

...You Think You Can Dance. Started last night, and we watched it on a group of my friends' weekly Vegas/Poker (formerly Heroes) night. We started thinking up other concepts for the tv show. I might just ramble some off the top of my head, as quickly as I can, starting... NOW! (9:55 AM)

So you think you're from France?
So you think you've got pants?
So you think you've got hot pants?
So you think you've got shpants?
So you think you've got shpoveralls?
So you think you've got shpoverandals? (Apologies. In-joke. Shorts + Pants + Overalls + Sandals = the greatest one-piece outfit of all time.)
So you think you can imitate a kitchen appliance?
So you think you're a truck?
So you think you're Optimus Prime?
So you're kidding yourself and can't dance?
So you think you can make up other amusing concepts for the "So you think you can..." idea, and then fail?

Well, that was embarassing. Now I'm going to Phillip Island for the weekend. And am doing my 40 Hour Famine... ARMLESS. Awesome. Hopefully I can get someone to film me doing some stuff with no arms... and hopefully not when people kick me in the back so that I fall on my face.

Armless challenge starting... NOW! (10 AM) I typed this senternmcer with mmy feet and nodzse. YAY! yes i dfid jusdt usde twoop ffeert foprt the erxccllamation mnaarrkj!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mafia

Language warning on this one. But still, hilarious. Check out the website for some more amusing videos. I recommend the B-Boy Stance and Pennyweather Lemonade ones. Some are rather rude. But still... amusing.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fundamentalism

This week we're doing an interesting topic in International Studies on Religious Fundamentalism.

What got me to write this post though was something someone said in my tute yesterday. They are a very (self-confessed) science-oriented person. This is what they said: "In my view, religion and religious people are just so close minded, because they're all like, 'Do what we do or you'll go to hell', blah blah blah, crazy dancing and shouting and stuff."

It made me really angry because this person had clearly not even attempted to explore religions of all types and have an understanding before criticising. They had just taken what they had seen on tv and film - like the guys in Borat, and society's stereotype and adopted it on their own to try and seem clever. How close minded was that?! Here is a clip, which is pretty much about the very same thing, from everybody's favourite show, Family Guy.



I left the beanbags bit in there because it makes me laugh.

I am hesistant to even comment on other denominations of Christianity, let alone the numerous other faiths in this world. I respect them, and I intend to do some exploration in this lifetime, but until then I am not going to badmouth them with no real grounds to stand on.

What I wanted to say at first was really angry and attacking, but I didn't say anything. Firstly, because I didn't want to start any conflicts and have to awkwardly deal with them for the rest of the semester, but also because I didn't want to seem like the crazed fanatic she was so quickly labelling those who follow a religion. That said, we are talking about it again next week, and I am thinking about things I can say that are constructive.

There have been quite a few instances of comments like that at uni. Sometimes people are just cynical for the sake of being cynical or trying to sound intelligent. It's not unintelligent to sound hopeful and optimistic. In any case, I don't mind if they are against some things, or lots of things, as long as they have grounds to back it up and aren't wildly slinging accusations or just adopting a very broad generalisation from media representations. I understand that you can't help but be influenced. But at least try and be informed too. That's one of the fundamentals of a good, constructive discussion. Instead of inviting a heated argument.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Quotes

I didn't blog much last week because I've had five assignments to knock out. Finished them all, but they got progressively worse.

With a title like "Quotes", you'd presume I'd write some inspirational things that affected me, or something of the like. No. In the week of extreme stress, I have sort of reacted by being immature and silly. Here are some things I've said:

(Before Garage)
Transvestites... men but in disguise. (to Transformers theme)

(At a play)
Person: We should give them a standing ovation!
Me: More like give them a standing ovulation!

(In German class)
If you can call someone stingy a tightarse... can you call somebody very generous a loosearse?

Am I silly? Yes. I was somewhere between amused and intrigued - amtrigued, that I didn't get angry or anything during the week. Usually that's my stress reaction. But not this time!

... and that completes today's pointless post. I am aware it is useless and there's not really much interest in it. Whatever. This one's for me then.

PS. 40 Hour Famine is officially done, but I am still doing it. Sponsor me please? Email me if you will, you may have already. I'm considering 40 hours voiceless, sightless (again), or arms-less. Unless there are other suggestions?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Score

Just to keep you updated on my Minesweeper scores. New records in the last week. Woo!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Prejudice

It has been almost a week since last post! In the time in between, I had no less than five assignments due to uni. Incidentally I also died five times. Lucky I'd been collecting mushrooms with Mario beforehand, so I was in big mode, and didn't die. Just went to small mode. Whatever.
K and I also hit two years. To celebrate, I lit some candles and surprised K, then we sang and played piano and went out for dinner. Hooray! Here is a picture from the evening:

ANYWAY. What I really wanted to write about is another excerpt from Surrender. I went to a session called "No revolutions without anger (and shallowness)" run by Darryl Gardiner - the New Zealand YFC national director.

My reason for going to this session is that 1) I had heard Darryl Gardiner before at an SYG night and 2) because I'm a fairly angry kid, and was interested in seeing how I can use my anger positively for change.

What came out of the session was:

A quote from CS Lewis is "God doesn't make Christians nice... he makes them new." That is, as Christians, we do not have to be 'nice' or to tone down what we say or do just to avoid stepping on other's toes - Christian or not. Did Jesus? No. We should not be ashamed of what we believe and stand for, while still being open that others have the right to believe and stand for as they choose too.

At present, it seems that the inverse of that - that we are made to be 'nice' - is what is reality. Like we've become sanitized and clean and pretty and worried about floral arrangments at church. The opposite of nice doesn't mean we have to go out picking fights. But it means that we are honest, as honest as can be - and not hiding who we are or what we believe for the sake of what someone else thinks. Being 'new' requires that, it requires us to acknowledge we are not perfect, we are dirty, and not try to create an image to everyone and to ourselves that we are otherwise.

Jesus was angry and he made people angry. Darryl quoted one of Jesus' most sniping comments to the Pharisees, "You brood of vipers, sons of your father: the devil." Jesus said things that stung and were not 'nice', but they were honest. Of course, don't go calling other people sons of the devil. But what I got out of it was that I shouldn't be afraid to point out something I see is wrong, even if it's to people far more 'powerful' or 'higher up' than me in the church or elsewhere in society. Inversely, I should be prepared for anyone to come and point out things that I might need to work on too. As scripture says, I should see the plank in my own eye before commenting on the speck in another's.

I know I'm not perfect, that I'm a sinner and a fool. This is a quote that Darryl gave us, from John Newton, the writer of "Amazing Grace": "I am still a great sinner... and Christ is still a great saviour." We are not made 'clean' on our own. That's what I believe we have God for.

We talked about this in Small Group, about when to know it's ok to confront, and when not to, and when to curb what you say. It's something I like talking about.

The next day, I went to a workshop/forum where somebody was talking about how angry they are at the council/elders/higher in the hierarchy people at church, and one of the panel members - Mark Sayers - said this: "To blame your problems on 'them' or 'the elders' as a group is ignorant. It's like a form of prejudice like racism, because you've grouped them without getting to understand them."

It's definitely something I should be aware of, because I find it very easy to complain and whinge and be angry about things when I probably haven't worked out why I'm angry, or made an effort to tell the people who really need to know - ie the people involved - rather than the people I usually associate with, who share mostly the same sentiments anyway. It made me understand that if I'm truly to feel angry or upset or annoyed about something, I better be able to say I've made an effort to understand why whoever I'm angry at does what they do, what they think, and an effort to explain what I believe to them.

The result is that I am not so angry at the moment, and have not so much discontent, and have already started talking honestly and openly, and importantly - in an effort to understand - which has caused me far less frustration and more hope. This is a good thing. I'm definitely glad I went to that session. I need someone to come along every so often - whether stranger, foe, or friend - to slap me in the face and make me realise what I'm doing is wrong. So, come slap me some time. I might slap you back.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

From Little Things...

After a conversation with someone over the weekend, I decided to write about this gem of wisdom that came out of Surrender: "Do little things with great love."

For a person like me - who gets very caught up in doing projects and running things and joining things (and incidentally, finds it hard to say no to people) - this is especially relevant. It's part of the reason why I burnout so much. I get far too caught up in trying to do big things that will change people's lives or my life or the church or the world, and then forget that the reason behind doing all those things is because I care about people, and do it for them.

A prime example is from the Africa Aid dinner last year. It was a big event, and in our very naive, new stage, we were thinking mainly about raising big money (for reference, it raised $2200 in a night). We invited a group of refugees from camps in Sudan to come along, and they sang for us, and it was my highlight of the evening. Their leader, Martha, spoke about how it didn't matter how much money we raised. How when they were in their refugee camps, and heard about some sort of money coming in, it wasn't much of a big deal because they knew that, for the most part, they wouldn't see that money anyway. Martha cried while she told us that what deeply touched them was that there were people like us - young and foreign and strangers - that cared about them and wanted to help them, even though they had nothing to give us in return. That's why I do Africa Aid. But sometimes, you get too caught up in meetings and paperwork and logistics and boring crap, and you forget about the heart behind it all.

To simply have a conversation with a lonely person is just as valuable as running an aid organisation. They are at very different positions on the scale of largeness, but possibly, sometimes, the former is higher on the scale of love - if you are like me and get bogged down in stress levels. Like the old adage says, "From little things, big things grow." Whatever you do with love and with care, plants a seed that can become something much larger. For instance, Amnesty International began with a British lawyer, Peter Benenson, who wrote articles and letters to his local newspaper on behalf of two Portuguese students, who had been imprisoned for raising their glasses in a toast to freedom. This relatively small act of selfless care gathered so much support and feedback, that a commitee was started to help gather and collect it all, and use it to help free the students. From that, one of the largest human rights organisations in the world came into existence.

It is so easy to show love, if we try. Unfortunately, it's probably easier to just not show anything at all. But I think everybody has some sort of dream for a change in the world. It might not be a very big change, or a very big dream, or a positive change, but people dream. But to change the world, you must first change your world - and that includes yourself, your family, your friends, your community. They all need love in some way or another. Might I be called idealistic, a dreamer, 'weak' for thinking like this? Yeh, probably. But I don't care, because I believe it. So for all of us, to do little things with great love, instead of the inverse of big things with loss of love, is something I find to be very valuable indeed.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Depressed Ex Kids Game Show Host

Wow. Life used to be Amaz*ng, but now it's a total Wipeout. It used to be all fun and games, but nobody cares about kids game shows anymore. They want all adult things. I hate how with adult game shows It's Academic - stuff I can't handle. I want to go back to flashing lights and finding keys. Maybe I'll go Download some old episodes. That might cheer me up.

What's that Temptation? You think you're too grown up for me? You think you're awesome because your contestants pick faces off the prize board? Well. I'll Pick Your Face in a minute.

Man I miss the old days. Maybe I'll go hang out with Agro and the Cheez TV guys. Oh snap! Go Go Stop starts in ten minutes.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Minesweeper: The Movie

I found this, and it was greatly amusing.

EDIT: Sorry kids! Link is now fixed. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Recap

Well, this is it. It's been a month since I returned, and I've been putting this off, because it's so incredibly difficult for me to write. When people ask me 'How was the trip?', I have absolutely no idea how to respond. It's not the greatest of questions, but the answer is so great and so hard for even myself to comprehend, that I really do struggle to express what Zero Seven meant to me.

By now, you're probably reading the fifth or sixth re-write/edit of it, which just emphasises the difficulty of this task for me. I'm not going to write in great detail or length about the specifics of our activities. Too hard, too much. Stuff you can come talk to me/email me about.

The reason why Zero Seven made me so excited and reignited my fire is because I was around so many other excited, passionate people. Passion, as I have mentioned, is very contagious. Even when you disagree with someone, you are being passionate about disagreeing. It was really encouraging to know that there are so many others out there that genuinely care about a better world, and believe that we, of the First World, should not get to leave ignorantly in luxury whilst those of the Third World (which was inadvertedly created through the building of the First) suffer. I loved being around so many advocates for change, so many hearts filled with fire.

I also love having connections to people. You may have experienced this before, but sometimes on camps and holidays and anything that is removed from everyday life - people interact differently. They're more open, they hide themselves less, and they are more honest. Zero Seven was like that for me... but times 100. The rate at which you could build friendships with people, without any pretense or predetermined image, was incredible. The only sad thing about these sorts of trips (for me: Germany, GYLC, Zero Seven), is that once they're over, people go back to everyday life, and slowly the excitement begins to fade.

Luckily, I've been able to still hang out with excited people such as myself, which keeps my fire well and truly burning. Admittedly, I became passionate on my own, but that is another post for another day. Nowadays, what keeps me burning a lot of the time is other people.

Zero Seven was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It has encouraged me that my hope for a better world is not alone, and not unreasonable. It has re-excited me, and re-inspired me to continue doing what I do, and challenged me that I can still do so much more.
Zero Seven is not over. We are a campaign for change and for 0.7% GNI and for awareness and many other great things. And it's not over till change has happened. Which means I have a lot longer to finish this post. The end... for now.


Team Chong: Pretty much the best team of all time.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

T3xT

OMFG!!!1!!11!! t0d@ii !n unI w3 spk @bt h0w txt sp3@k !$ b3c0m!nG """N0rm@L!""" LOL! ROFLMAOQUACK. (XcU$3 m@I dUck LOL-LIPOPS)

Sum p33p$ 3V3n S@i T3xT sp3@K 0uT l()uD!!!!

... to those people, you're on notice. I'm going hunting. Or should I say, hUnT!nG!!1!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Duke

Beknownst to most of my readers, there is a very special person in my life. This person has been there for me through thick and thin; has shared in my tough times and in my happiest moments. I have seen this person grow and reach new heights... achievements that I could only have dreamt of. I cannot wait to spend many, many more happy adventures with this person. Of course, this holder of much love in my life is none other than... DUKE.

The GREATEST blob of all time, and the winner of Blob Season 4!!! Before I go on, let us hold a minute of silence for all his blob friends that he had to eat/kill along the way...

...and now that that's done. HOORAY! DUKE WINS! In case you do not know, Jono Croxford is a man of many talents - one of which is emailing a group of people daily with the adventures of a blob of their own, in which the blobs can eat, get rich, get healthy, grow, evolve, and of course, FIGHT.

That's all there is to say really, so below I'll just post all the different stages of my buddy Duke from his Season 3 self, then Season 4 baby through to his monstrous stage. Although, with the next season of blob starting...Duke will go back to his little baby stage. No matter, he will be great once again. Watch out blobbers. Duke's on the prowl.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

River

I wrote the other day, that I'm in a weird, fairly crappy state. It's getting gradually better. But I was speaking to a close friend about how at times like these it's not that I don't feel like there is anyone there. I know there are people there. It's that I find it hard to appear weak and lay myself bare completely.

I am very often open with a lot of people, often before I even know them well. But somehow, I fall into a situation where I feel I appear as a strong individual, and a capable sort of person. Which is true sometimes, but I also have a weaker side, as does everyone. So when I am in this sort of state, it is hard to express that I am feeling weak, and am very much floundering in a sea of thoughts. I am also really happy too, so sometimes I'm not feeling weak. Weirdness.

I feel like I should pray more. I don't pray very often. But I feel like I should. Know I should even. Like I should tell God how I'm feeling, even though it is already known. I think I struggle with that too. And with laying myself bare to God. I don't think I'm very good at doing it to anyone.

The following are the lyrics of two songs about that very thing - being open to God, especially in times of pain and suffering and emptiness. I like them both. (Note: I am one who often doesn't really connect with Christian music. Well, the Hillsong-esque stuff. It's because, sometimes, I find the lyrics shallow and barely graze the surface of how I, and others, feel about God. I know it's easy to criticise, and anybody could challenge me to write a better song. But the point of this note is, though I sometimes struggle with Christian lyrics, I still like these ones.)

I've had questions, without answers
I've known sorrow, I have known pain
But there's one thing, that I'll cling to
You are faithful, Jesus You're true

When hope is lost, I'll call You Saviour
When pain surrounds, I'll call You healer
When silence falls, You'll be the song
Within my heart

In the lone hour of my sorrow
Through the darkest night of my soul
You surround me and sustain me
My defender, forever more

When hope is lost, I'll call You Saviour
When pain surrounds, I'll call
You healer
When silence falls, You'll be the song
Within my heart

I will praise You, I will praise You
When the tears fall, still I will sing to You
I will praise You, Jesus, praise You
Through the suffering still I will sing

When the laughter fails to comfort
When my heart aches, Lord are you there?
When confusion, is all around me
And the darkness is my closest friend
Still I will praise You, Jesus, praise You

"When The Tears Fall", Tim Hughes

Find me in the river
Find me on my knees
I've walked against the water
Now I'm waiting if you please

We've longed to see the roses
But never felt the thorns
And bought our pretty crowns
But never paid the price

Find me in the river
Find me there
Find me on my knees with my soul laid bare
Even though you're gone and I'm cracked and dry
Find me in the river, I'm waiting here

Find me in the river
Find me on my knees
I've walked against the water
Now I'm waiting if you please

We didn't count on suffering
We didn't count on pain
But if the blessing's in the valley
Then in the river I will wait

Find me in the river
Find me there
Find me on my knees with my soul
laid bare
Even though you're gone and I'm cracked and dry
Find me in the
river, I'm waiting here... for you.

"Find Me In The River", Delirious?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Kid Who Ruins Primary School Games...

Kids: "What's the time Mr. Wolf?"
Kid: "A quarter past freckle!"

Kids: "...What's the time Mr. Wolf?"
Kid: "Time to get a watch! hahahahaha... guys?"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Consumption

Two of my subjects at uni, International Studies and Anthropology, are both focusing on the topic of 'Globalisation' this semester. Specifically, they are focusing on the spread of consumerism and the Western attitude that is dominant over the globe.

For both subjects, we watch a weekly video on the spread of consumerism as a major attitude amongst world cultures, and how it is overriding past values. It is sad to see how money/utility/material oriented we are as a society. For instance, in a supposed bid to eliminate the widespread branding of everything in society... Disney branded itself a town. Nothing in the town is a brand name... but it's owned by a brand name. The place is called Celebration, Florida. How crazyfull is that? If you want to investigate... the town's website is here, and the Wikipedia page (I love you Wikipedia) is here. Brands have not only extended their range.. they've created a whole new market. The people who live in Celebration are not exposed to a flood of brands - they are living under one entire one. Weird.

At Surrender, I felt compelled to buy something from a stand. It was the Klong Toey stand - a collection of bracelets, necklaces and other jewellery made by men and women under fair trade principles, with the profits going towards helping improve their quality of life. Klong Toey is a desperately poor slum in Hong Kong.

So. I wanted to go buy something. BUT I asked Simon this: "Was it because I genuinely wanted to help give money or just because I was a consumer and wanted to gain?" The answer is both. I wanted to do both.

For the record, I didn't buy anything, but it led to Sime and I discussing how even Christian culture is full of consumerism. Christian shops are a market of their own, as is Christian music and clothing and even Bibles. Even church itself can be consumed. Some go to church for their weekly dose of Christianity and feeling like a 'good person' (which is rubbish), and then they have consumed for the week and go back to other things. I am ashamed to say I do too on occasion. Used to much more than I do now.

I am not here to say that buying Christian goods is all bad. They have mostly a good message, and can help people connect with each other and with God. It is merely an observation of how much our society is about consumption and gain, rather than giving and sharing. Even Christians, who are not better people, but who often say they believe in the calling to rebel against the norm; to be real, true, God-like representatives in community; to be radicals against the injustices of society. So this is not a diatribe against Christian goods. No. This is saying that there are those out there who are in need. Every single day. And whilst we might see them on the tv one day, or read about them in the odd magazine, they are always in it. The tv goes off, but they stay in poverty... while we are off buying things and spending more money than we need to. We might even be in a Christian shop.

How to change the attitude of those with the power to help change the lives of those in need? I don't know for sure. But I'm not going to be like those people at uni who are ridiculously negative - "It's already screwed up, so why bother even trying?" or, trying to be intellectual, "Globalism might be able to help fix things, but really... it was Globalism that screwed it up in the first place." (Insert smug smile.)

I'll still try to do something. Anything. It's always better than nothing.

Ramble over.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Mum

I know. I posted a blog about possibly taking a break. But I felt this should be posted anyway.

I don't like this show, but while my parents were watching Big Brother, and it was announced that the votes were so close they hadn't yet found a winner:

Mum: "Well if it's so close... can't they just make it a draw and let that be it? Then they both win!"

I'm sure that absolutely everybody would be satisfied if they did that... Silly.

Escape

Have you ever felt really happy and strangely sad, at the same time? Well. That's how I feel. I've never felt it before.

I feel so full of ideas and passion and challenges from Surrender, but I'm not ready to blog on them yet, because like Zero Seven, I am still processing the thoughts in my head. They could fill a million libraries. I used this analogy to explain it to Emmalee: The thoughts in my head are like all the sea creatures in the world. They require oceans and seas and rivers and lakes and tributaries to swim in, but instead, have my little mindspace - which is pretty much the kiddy pool at the local swimming place.

I'm also frustrated at some things - about me, other people, and things - and to make it worse, I don't know what it is about a lot of them or why I'm frustrated at some of them. Added to that, there is just annoyance and sad stuff in my head that I don't understand and cannot articulate.

This week I need some sort of escape. I want to think and talk and blog about Surrender, because it was awesome and really challenging. I want to finish my Zero Seven blog. I want to do lots of things, but I think I need more time. For myself.

I might not update much this week, but then again, I might write lots. I write things that hopefully others enjoy occasionally. Sometimes I blog for myself, just so that the thoughts in my head are taken out and put somewhere else. So we'll see. At the moment, I feel like I could cry, have a burnout, be really excited, do awesome things, be really loud, be really quiet, and explode. All at once.

So now I will go and escape somewhere. Sometimes I feel like being alone, but having other people there. If that makes any sense. Sometimes I want to be in complete isolation. We shall see how I make my escape.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Surrender

I shall not be posting for the next few days, due to extreme busyness. I wish that I could write business, and mean busyness, and not business. Comprehendo?

I'm at the Surrender Conference most of the weekend, with various engagements in between. Shall be fun. Will blog about it (Ha! Isn't that what I say about every single thing I do? ... and then never do it?) when I return.

PS. I am in the process of writing my Zero Seven blog. It is extremely hard for me to express, so be patient.

PPS. Toodleoo.

PPPS. Toodlepip.

PPPPS. Happy Bday for this weekend to: Agents K & J. Once again: Am I talking MIB or something much more sinister?

Peace amigos.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Teachers

One of the things I want to do in my lifetime, and it's been a goal for quite a while now, is to be a teacher. Some of the others are to be a missionary, continue running Africa Aid, and more recently, to go into ministry. For pretty much all of those, lots of people - family included - say to me, "Why do you want to do that? You have to give so much time, and get almost nothing in return." Of course, they mean money. But you see... I know you need money to get by. Keywords being get by. I know I need to earn a bit to survive and keep up a standard of living (that will probably be better than that of the majority of the world, as I am part of the lucky 10% or so of Earth's population). I just don't care that much, and don't want lots of money. I never really have. Of course, if a million dollars was to come my way, I wouldn't say no. I'd want to do something good with it though. (and yes. would probably buy some crap too.) I felt weird about it in primary school, because lots of people wanted to be rich (that's not just in primary school I guess). I was more interested in doing something interesting with my life. I feel like I'm being high and mighty. Hope not. I don't want to come across as that.

ANYWAY. This is a video. A speech. A poem - part of 'Slam Poetry'. You might say it's a bit dramatic, but I think it holds truth, and it is like that because of how much passion(fruit) this guy has for teaching. I get the same sort of feeling when I teach someone something, or can see someone learning. Learning is one of the things I guess I value most in life, and to be able to be part of someone else's learning feels special to me. Enjoy. Interested to see what people think of it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ramble #2

What is the plural of nemesis? Is it nemesises? Nemesey? Nemesei? Nemesay? Nemesis? Nemeses?...Computer says, nemeses. That's awkward... Computer is now my nemesis.

Imagine the first time somebody gave someone else flowers. "So.. um.. what do I do with them? Cos like.. I could have eaten chocolates or worn a ring but... I'm just supposed to look at them?" (It's amusing to note that I made the face the person talking would have made - the whole time I typed this. Not amused? Whatever. You and computer are now my nemesises. I mean nemesey. I mean enenemies.)

Your in-laws are so because they are related through lawful marriage. So say you're in a long-term relationship, and you're pretty much married, just not actually by law. Is my girlfriend's mum my out-law? Mum-out-law? It probably helps if she's a cowboy.

As if you shorten madam to ma'am. That's like shortening radar to ra'ar. And that just sounds like I'm roaring. WHICH I AM.

It's strange that I can't write "Tell me where it is when it is ready," as "Tell me where it's when it is ready," and make sense, but I can as, "Tell me where it is when it's ready." Its contradictory nation is creating a lot of confuzzlingness.

Can you actually run someone into the ground? Like... actually chase them until they fall over, and then just run on top of them until they're a good 10 or so metres into the ground?

Man screaming while turning into a duck: oh...my...gosh..arrghrgARGRAGHRAGHAHAHRGHARGHARGHARGHARGHquack

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Tall, The Short & The Mongolian

The world's official tallest man recently met the world's unofficial smallest man. They are from nearby villages in Mongolia. Awesomeeeee.

Pictures here.
Video here.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Projection

THIS is the magic we saw on the Opera House, on the 07.07.07

It's not the actual Opera House, so it's not AS magical. But it's still awesome. Try to spot me!



DVD of the entire VIC Road Trip comes out this Saturday, free with the Herald Sun. Get one. Watch it. Love it. Then get out there and lend your hands.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Adventure

Last night I went on an adventure. First, I went to watch LP play netball. Then we went to party at the Hawthorn, which was fun-ness. Here are some important notes from the night:

  • If you stand on the dancefloor and stare at people, and judge them because they are dancing and having fun... get off the dancefloor. and then get out of my house.
  • If you are with your girlfriend/boyfriend/animal friend and are standing in the middle of the dancefloor, and making out and bumping into people... get off the dancefloor. or I'll be tempted to dance up on you.
  • Dancing is fun. Dancing right now. With my pants. on my head.
  • I was wearing awesome pants, with a fly that magically comes undone by itself. Usually, if I'm doing anything active, even just walking, they'll slowly sneak their way down. The secret is to dance and do moves that people think are awesome, but you're really just slowly doing up your fly? Luckily, it didn't happen last night.
  • Happy Birthday EW.
  • You definately feel old, when you've been dancing most of the night, and then can feel your calf muscles tightening, and say, "I'm probably going to cramp soon." I was amused... but that totally wasn't me. Or was it?
  • Toilets are disgusting. The guys' had vomit all over the place. I also saw a cubicle that very much looked like a whole zoo of animals had crapped on the floor. And the walls. And the roof. I did not see the girls', so let's just assume it was worse? Ha.
  • Overly drunk people are so boring, and if you say things like, "OH mannnnn, I am SOOoooOOO drunk!"... I feel like slapping you. With a wet fish. Covered in custard.

Anyway, after that LP and I walked in the rain to the car, only to discover... the battery was dead. Awesome! Then we found out it would be three hours till RACV could come save our souls. So we got a cab. And I managed to even give directions...on the final street before my house. For those of you who do not know, I cannot do directions. My Melways would need to be a popup book with landmarks.

There ends a fun night of adventuring. And here ends a not so pointless post. Adios.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Serial

The first episode of the McCrae SUFM Serial Drama Movie is now online! Look out for the sharpest and most colourful characters. Then come back here and comment on how good that joke was!/...Just kidding./But seriously. I am totally. Cereal.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wisdom from Agent K

"It's not change that sucks. It's the people complaining that suck."

I like.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Application

This is a video made by some of the ambassadors from the Victorian team as their application for the Road Trip. I think it's awesome.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

WYR #3

On the bus (Bus #3 cats), and on the trip in general, we played a LOT of hypotheticals. For the purpose of consistency, I will refer to them as WYRs. My wingman, Digger, and I entertained the masses with questions. The following are some of the ones we put out there, as well as some I came up with last night. Remember. The first rule of Hypotheticals Club? There is no Hypotheticals Club. But there is. And the first rule is, you must answer. Here goes:

Would you rather...

Your entire family die, and world poverty is solved forever OR It goes on as is? (Yeh I know. It's a bit drastic, but it was a tough one people took a while to consider.)

IF you chose Option 1 from previous: You must now be the one to kill them. Do you still go with it OR Let life go on as is?

See your 10 best friends naked OR be naked in front of your 10 best friends?

Be crucified OR buried alive?

Lead a wedding OR a church sermon naked?

Cheat with your best friend's partner and ruin their marriage OR have your best friend cheat with your partner and ruin your marriage?

Have superpowers that could be used for selfish means only OR no superpowers?

Never love OR never be loved?

Finally, not a WYR, but still one to think about (courtesy of Digger):

If you had to lose three senses, what would they be?

GET ANSWERING!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Zero Seven

Well. I'm home. The Road Trip was one of the best experiences I've ever had, and I'm glad that even through the struggles and stress leading up to it, and even some on it, that it happened.

I'm so excited at the moment, I don't know how to describe it. I thought, before I left, that I dreamt big. But now... I am so full of excitement that I feel like I will explode. I have so much passion, inspiration, desire to do so many things, and belief that I can. It's ridiculous.

I'm not ready to write on the trip yet, because I have so much excitement in me, it just won't happen. But just so you know. It was so awesome that I went, and had it, and that I was around so many other passionate, excited, inspired people. It proves how infectious all of that really is. More than the plague. I'm totally infected.

There'll be more later about my plans, future visions, ideas, dreams, and on the trip. This post in no way sums up how on fire I feel. But for now. Just be excited. I know I am.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sydney

In 7 hours I'll be in Toorak, campaigning for Make Poverty History.
In 12 hours I'll be on my way to a big press release and media launch.
In 13 hours I'll be on the bus to Ballarat, the first stop of the Zero Seven Road Trip.
In 5 days I'll be in Sydney, at the Opera House, listening to speakers and hearing Missy Higgins and John Butler Trio.
In 6 days I'll be at Live Earth, campaigning with over 500 other young ambassadors.
And in 7 days, on July 8th, I'll be home. Tired.

At the moment, I'm feeling ok. I've been really stressed out with organisation and phone calls and a flooded inbox all week, but I know it'll be much better once we get into the action. I'm a man of action, not a man of paperwork. They call me. Action Man.

Hope all of you have a great week while I'm gone. Be good. Stay safe. Submit your face and others' to Face Up To Poverty. Change your underwear.

Feed the blogs for me while I'm gone.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

...Mail

On the previous post's note, here is one I recently received that I actually laughed at. It's stuff that is supposedly from real students' tests.



Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Chain...

I generally hate when people send me emails saying "This is funny" or "Worth a look". I always think it'll be bad. Except for this one time, the other day, when my good friend the Nigerian Prince emailed me about some sweet deal he's found. Being the great guy that he is, he's asking me if I want in on it. In fact, he made it so easy - all I have to do is give him my bank account details and wait for the money to come rolling in. I would be a FOOL not to do it. Right? He even offered to sell me cheap Viagra. He's definately invited to my next birthday party.

Anyway, of course I went ahead with it. Call me irrational, but I'm scared that if I don't, the love of my life won't call me back tonight, and I will have a bad sex life for the next seven years. Not only that, but statistics say I will contract gonorrhea, my shoes will turn into fish, my dinner will taste like staplers and my face might just fall off.

Let me know if you want in on this opportunity, I'd be happy to share the love.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Perfection

There's been a terrible lot of my mind lately. Over the last few months, especially at church, I've found it so easy to get frustrated at people. I've been angry at people for little to big things they've done, said, or even not done or said. I've also been angry at myself, because I am a hypocrite, and also do bad things, or not do things that need to be done.

I don't know how I would do this in a public setting, so this is where I'll start. I want to declare my imperfection, and confess that I am flawed. As a Christian, people sometimes judge us as thinking we are 'better' or 'higher' - indeed, some Christians I have met actually think this way. In no way are we 'better' or 'perfect'. We believe in something that is sometimes misunderstood as representing us as perfect people. We are not. I am not. I am a person seeking to be good as I can be, to live as good a life as I can, and to be as good to others as I can... and I KNOW that I fail many many times. This doesn't mean I'll give up any time soon.

To most of you reading, there will have been struggles I've had with you, that were either irrational, dealt with wrongly, or just not even said to you. I'm sorry for these. I am quick to judge, quick to think negatively, while masking over that I, too, make mistakes. I believe in forgiveness, and I am still working on forgiving some things, as well as myself for some things.

After reading Jono's blog a few posts ago, about relationships and the need for people to speak their feelings, I left feeling rather annoyed. I looked at the blog, the comments, my own, and realised - so many people are prepared to talk and give advice and say all these things they would do if they were in the situation, to state their beliefs - but it's so much easier to not act on it when you are truly faced with it. I found it so easy to judge people for what they'd said/written, because there had been instances I thought they hadn't done what they'd written. So once again, I have been to quick to judge, when I really struggle as well to follow my own advice. I often find myself talking to people, giving advice, speaking my mind, and then soon after, when faced with a similar situation, doing something completely opposite to what I had said. But the reality is, as I'm realising, is that what we believe in is intrinsically good. It's just a difficult battle to make that reality. This is the battle faced by all people who aim to lead a good life, by a moral code of some sort, or a commitment to a belief.

Simon wrote today in his blog that in Romans 7:18-19 it says, "For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing". And that about sums me up. I do a bit of good, but a lot of time time, I also do a bit, or a lot, of bad. I also see a lot of non-Christian people who I think are great examples to everyone of how to be a good person - to both Christians and non-Christians.

I want to not judge people so harshly, or so quickly, or even at all. I want to be able to see the plank in my eye before even thinking about the speck in another's. Too often I fall short of all the good I say or think I believe in. But I still have hope and faith that if I keep trying, good will outweigh bad. That's the best I can do. An imperfect sort of life, but as good an imperfect one as I can lead.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Passion

I love when people speak with passion, or very openly display it. It's such a open expression of yourself, and it's so easy to connect with, even if it's something that I'm generally not that interested in. You could speak to me about something really boring/silly - such as that childhood rumour that the amount of stitchlines on your cap meant how good it was - but if you do it passionately, I'll probably be interested.

Tonight, a guy named Peter Breen came to church. He's visually impaired - blind from birth - and if I remember correctly, something like a head member of Christian Blind Mission International. I know he's with them, but don't quote me on the headness.

Anyway, he played the piano and sang a number of songs for us. He was a talented pianist and a great singer - which was impressive alone - but the fact that he sang with such passion and a emphasis was what made it awesome.

Along with these, he told lots of funny stories and jokes, and related his experiences back to life and faith. He was pretty laidback, but it wasn't hard to feel his passion for his message - which was to find the light in the darkness. As the quote says in one of my old blog's, and Simon's most recent, "it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness". Through Peter's talking and singing tonight, it was very clear that he has overcome his darkness many times, and lit many a candle. It was so clear because of the passion he spoke with, and his solid belief in it, and that God could help him come through anything. I sometimes shy away from that sort of stuff, especially that adamant outright statement of absolute belief in God, because I doubt and wrestle a lot, but it was a great encouragement for me.

In MPH training, we've been telling the Ambassadors that they shouldn't speak about facts and statistics and try to guilt trip people into caring about poverty, but to just speak about what makes us passionate. This is something I've believed in for some time now. I find that I make better connections and reach people more when I just talk about what I believe in and why, rather than try to tell them the old 'a child dies every three seconds'. Real passion makes real connections. Winner.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

MYsweeper

In response to H2O and Croxfordium's blogs on one of my all time favourite games, I decided to show you how I fare in it:

I did not want to just post my scores, I wanted to break them for you. So I spent an hour or three playing Minesweeper, until all three records were broken. As you can see... I'm kind of a big deal. People know me. haha.

I began playing minesweeper in Year 9. I tired of playing solitaire, which I had become quite good at. (Record is about 52 seconds. But that was one card dealing. I have since moved on from my naive ways). During the midyear exam period, I discovered that this game of numbers and clicking that I had so often seen, tried once, failed and been scared of... was actually quite addictive. And so I played and played and played. There were other things that you would assume would take up my time, but there was always time for Minesweeper. I even had people at school challenge me to races, where we'd start at the same time. I never lost, except on beginner which is a chance sort of thing.

Now, I am proud of my friends who have begun playing Minesweeper. They, too, know the satisfaction of seeing that little yellow face don his sunglasses and flash you a smile. If you are not yet intrigued and/or converted to giving it a go, here's six reasons why you should:

  1. Seriously. The little yellow guy. He makes the best faces.
  2. It makes you think fast... really fast.
  3. Increases your reflexes and agility... in one hand.
  4. Boasting factor. I am not ashamed.
  5. Distraction factor.
  6. Finally, the last reason comes from the old adage "Wounds heal, chicks dig scars..." especially ones sustained while playing Minesweeper. Am I right girls? Right.

And the last part of that quote? "Glory... lasts forever." Except when that glory is a Minesweeper high score, because then it lasts until somebody comes along to beat it. That person will be me.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Transparency

I ran into someone I haven't seen for a very long time at church last night. He and I played basketball together years ago. Anyway, we got to talking, and at some point I said something like, "Wow. I had no idea you went to church." He had been doing it his whole life. He said, "Mate, do I go to church? ha." In like a "Yes I go to church" manner.

Anyway, several hours later as I sit here, a thought has just punched me in the face. He is, as I am, glad to be part of a church and faith community, and to be a Christian. When we were talking, after I knew that, he seemed very much involved in exploring his faith. So why was it I absolutely NEVER spotted it at basketball? Was it because I was younger? I could still see who was a Christian sometimes when I was young.

This led to me wondering this: "How obvious or transparent am I to people that I believe in God, and want to actively serve God and others?" Sometimes I get, "There is no way you're a Christian! Wow I had no idea you guys were like that." This not intended as an insult, it's just that I, as with so many other Christians, don't really fit the stereotype. That said, I think that might be also because I make mistakes, say silly things, do silly things, and these can also reflect onto the image I project.

On the other hand, I love talking to people, listening to them, doing things for them. Is that enough? I don't think that with everything I do, I have to go, "Oh by the way, I'm doing this because I believe in God." Sometimes, I do it because I want others to be happy, and God doesn't directly factor in, although I believe he/He gave me the ability to be able to do what I do.

I hope I 'wear my heart on my sleeve'. I hope people know why I am and who I am, if only partially, at least the major bits. And if not, then I hope I can continue to tell them, like I tell so many other people. Most are probably sick of me talking now.