Sunday, December 21, 2008

In The Field...

In the field, God said to me...

do not be afraid. Take your love to the poor and I will take care of the rest.

In the field, God said to me...

you have been created to amaze, to do great things...but there is a difference between greatness and recognition. Some of the greatest things you will do will only be known by me.

In the field, God said to me...
don't turn your back on everyone here. It is possible to be with the poor and still be with them. They have helped make you who you are.
In the field, God said to me...

this world is already amazing. Don't spend so much time trying to fix something you don't know much about. Go and find the wonder and love that already exists.

In the field, God said to me...

be beautiful, bring beauty to others.

In the field, God said to me...

go. Do what you were made to do. Be amazing.

Explanation tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brother Jimwell

Today is Blog Action Day - an online effort of (at point of writing) over 9,000 bloggers to discuss important global issues. This year, the issue is poverty. So in light of that, apart from encouraging any of you with blogs to get involved, I would like to share a story from the Philippines that both broke my heart and inspired me.

There are many heartbreaking stories, all around the world. What makes me want to hear more of them is knowing that in so many there is still light and hope. Don't get me wrong. I'm not wanting to be a junkie that gets off on other people's misery or some sense of gratitude I get because I know my life's better. And I don't want to downplay the fact that there is a lot of negative in the lives of these people - that's a fact, and I will never know what it's like to deal with those problems. Someone, and I can't remember who, once said that we (as privileged members of the minority, of the affluent, developed world) will never truly know what it is like to be poor. Back to the point, this story is about a young man with so many hardships in his life (none of which were brought on by him) that has still, or perhaps because of them, turned out to be an amazing individual. This is the story of my experience with Kuya (Brother) Jimwell.

I met Jimwell during the week and a bit we spent with Pastor Raffy and his community in Cumadcad. Pastor Raffy is the pastor of the church and community that our church sponsors. He was just another one of the boys at the church - friendly, smiled a lot, and eager to help us foreigners all the time - whether it was carrying water for us, helping package food for the feeding missions, coming along to the feeding missions and making sure everything was ok for us. We were looked after very well.

My perceptions, or understanding, of Jimwell changed massively when MW and I went to stay with Jimwell overnight. He lives in a tiny house, actually smaller than my kitchen, right next to the police station on the main street. It is loud and noisy there - when we rocked up the cops were having a blast at the karaoke place right next door. The house is dark, cramped, unfinished. The roof has had some of its many holes covered up with street signs and thrown out cardboard. There are roaches everywhere. Jimwell lives in this house with his grandmother Vergie and 8 year old cousin Genesis. They also own the place next door, which they rent out to a bakery. Vergie's brother lives at the back and he has terminal cancer.

So, a bit about Jimwell. He is 18 years old and was studying business in his second year of college. He is the product of rape and has never met his father. He has a step brother (or half brother, I'm not sure of the details) in Germany*. His mother was the one who supported their family, until she told him two years ago that if he wanted to remain in college, he would have to support himself. One year later, she disappeared with all the savings. Jimwell says she has gone to live with the step brother in Germany; and that even though he writes to her every month, she has cut off contact. As a result of the mum shooting through, Jimwell chose to drop out of college in order to support his family. He loved college and told us how much he values education. He is bright too - and had to reject a scholarship to study, because he had to support Vergie and Genesis. I can't help but feel guilty that he wants to study so much, would give anything to be able to... and I can't be bothered writing my essays for Uni.
* Vergie was so happy - to the point of tears - to see MW, because according to she and Jimwell, MW is the spitting image of the step brother in Germany. I can understand MW looking a bit German...but not Filipino as well. In any case, it made them really happy.

Kuya Jimwell.

We found out that the next morning, Jimwell would be going off to Subig, to work. He works on a shipyard there for at least 9 months of the year. It is 12 hours away from his home and he is allowed a week of leave for every there months. He chose to take his week early, just because our team was going to be at his church - and he wanted to help us. (He is also the youth minister at the church - and manages to organise events and groups for them, despite being so far away most of the year.) Jimwell told us that more than 1800 people work on the shipyard - all poor and trying to make some money. People get injured or even die all the time there, since there are no safety regulations or equipment. Jimwell is the youngest on the worksite. He stays at in a boarding place with many other workers. His working day (which is everyday, as he works weekends for extra money) is from 3am to 10pm. For all that, he earns just under $30 a week - below minimum wage here. Nobody I know has to work that many hours everyday of the week for such small pay. The fact that $30 can support the family is amazing. It forced me to think about how far my money can go. So many of us complain about not having money to do things like go out, etc.. but he doesn't even complain about having just enough to survive. Vergie attempts to help out by selling ice candies... but they bring in 20 pesos a week (less than a dollar) and she has to sell them out of somebody else's fridge, because she can't afford one.

This is only part of Jimwell's story. I don't know much more and I can't do justice through writing to the things he told us and the things we saw. My heart broke though from hearing his story, from seeing their situation and from knowing that it was out of their hands. I felt guilty that they were so hospitable - that they gave up the single bed they own and share for us, that they made sure we were comfortable while they slept on the floor or shared a couch, that Vergie had been saving and spent the money on a nice breakfast for us. They couldn't eat when we ate, because the table was only big enough for M and I to sit at.

The morning spread: Suman and ibus (different rice) with condensed milk, tea, and meats.

Jimwell's story, however, isn't one of just sadness and hardship. Though they have played a great role in life, they have helped create an amazing, caring, incredible young man. He has incredible faith in God. He thanks God for his life, he prays constantly for his family, his mother, his father, his brother. For an outsider, it's very easy to focus on the hardships in his life. For Jimwell, they are life, so he moves on and focuses on how he can help people - the youth, the church, our team, his family. Something I was blown away by in the Philippines was how strong people's convictions in God were. How passionate their worship was. How deeply they desired to journey with God. And how much this contrasted to my position - an often apathetic Christian, who struggles to feel connected to worship - just because I don't have the energy or don't like the words - who has trouble even talking about God, let alone trusting in God. Something I had to learn hard in the Philippines was that I, we, nobody can do everything, or help everyone. Nobody can save anyone. We can help to a point, but when it comes down to it, there are a lot of things that are out of our hands, and we have to trust that God will look after those. We couldn't feed everyone at the programs and that was hard. We can't help Jimwell and the family through all their problems and that is hard too. We can't elevate the Philippines completely out of poverty, nor can we solve all the cultural problems that lead to it. Those are things we must trust God to look after. Jimwell, and many other Filipinos, seemed to understand this.

There is much, much more I want to write. This post has just kinda happened as I typed; and I whilst I know it is not well articulated, I don't feel like I can go back and change it anyway. I hope that if you are interested, you'll come talk to me personally. But most of all, I encourage you to take your opportunities to meet these people - because Jimwell's story is one like so many others and it has taught me so much. Jimwell taught me a lot about my relationship with God, with my family, about my desire to serve others, that to truly serve definitely does not require a title or role, and many other things. Who knows what you might learn for yourself or about yourself?

I'll continue to pray for Jimwell, his family, and the Philippines because that's another thing I've been working on, that the importance of has been reinforced to me. I look forward to going back one day and meeting my brother again.

Brothers M, Jimwell, B & Jonathan.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Things That Sound Bad Out Of Context #3

Sorry guys, just had to get one in before I start on the Philippines stuff. I'm pretty much ready to write on all that, but first...

"Breast milk is SO good."
On second thoughts, that sounded bad even in context. I had several laughing fits that day.

I'm off to Sydney tomorrow morning for this conference. When I get back, apart from starting to write one billion words of essay that I missed out on, the Philippines posts will start.

PEACE.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Home

Well we're back now. It was an amazing experience, something that anyone would find challenging to sum up and answer when given the question, "So how was it?" Instead, over the next little while, I'm going to put up some of my journal entries or reflections from the separate days of the trip, to try and give you a better idea of what went done and how I was feeling about it.

Before that, just wanted to point some stuff out. It's hard not to experience culture shock when you come home, even worse than when you go there. As our fearless leader, Linda, was saying, you go over there expecting difference, so it's not as big; but when you come home, you expect it to be the same, and it never is. So here's a list of some differences I've noticed over the last two days I've been back + some random notes + thoughts:
  • I can't help comparing everything. Especially telling stories about houses we were in and trying to use a room in the house (usually bathroom or kitchen or one bedroom) to describe the size.
  • Everything is so organised in Australia. Everything is so neat.
  • The roads are quiet and one billion times more orderly here. But there are more jerks.
  • In the Philippines I saw one traffic light. It was red, and our driver Alan just drove straight through it. So did everyone else.
  • I ate ridiculous amounts in the Philippines, partly because I was hungry and also because they were so hospitable and made us so much. Despite all that... I lost 3 kilos.
  • I keep thinking, "A week ago I was..." or "A week ago I was with these people..."
  • I'm annoyed that I feel so back to normal.
  • It's weird to be back to being so short. And not interesting to people. Perhaps it was the just the novelty, but it felt like people were more friendly there. At least at uni, it's hard not to feel like everyone puts up a shield.
  • A great guy Jimwell (who I will write about soon) was so desperate to stay in education, but had to give it up for the sake of his family...and I can't even be bothered to read my textbooks. I know that guilt will never be a good motivator for doing anything, because it'll just run out or you'll get used to it or just that negativity isn't very good at producing positivity, BUT...I still feel like I should suck it up and do my work just because I have the chance to.
  • Church was different. Better, I felt freer and happier. But that might also be because it was my first time back and I was excited to be there.
  • There's heaps more stuff, but I just want to post a bit. More will come.
PS. I have now learnt that the mountain in the picture in the previous post is Mount Mayon - a tourist attraction, a live volcano, and the subject of legend: If you can see the top, you supposedly have a pure heart... We did not see the top the whole time we were there. Unfortunate.

PPS. Speaking of photos, if you want to view all my Philippines photos, go to my Facebook. Here is one of my favourites:

Kel, Matt + I with the local kids in Cumadcad

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gone, Going

I turned 20. Friday Night Games was great! We raised just about $1000. Thanks to everybody who came, supported, gave ideas and suggestions, donated, everything. You're all awesome. It was a busy birthday.

I'm packed. I'm ready - to go, to get on the plane, to see a different side of the world, to be challenged, to be rocked, to be happy, sad, angry, hurt, excited, all of it. Probably won't be as ready when it all suddenly hits me in the face. But for now, I'll just hope and pray that we all get out of this what we're meant to; that we stay safe; that we can be as much help as we can over there, without being imposing; and that things are great for all of you still here.

This is a picture from a Google search of 'Bicol' - the place we'll be spending the most time. I think it's amazing. A nice little juxtaposition of natural beauty and poverty. (PS. Juxtaposition? VCE English points!)

...and that's it! I'm out. Peace. Much Love. God Bless.

Until I return, stay safe. BC.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Life on Film

I have a list of movies that I want to watch or have been recommended to watch. Two movies that I have checked off that list that I really enjoyed were:









and










I have seen parts of "RENT" on stage before and loved it. Once I had "Seasons of Love" in my head for at least a month after I saw a production. Some parts were hard for me to understand, such as Maureen's protest. Others were fun and a bit corny. There were some bits that went deeper and the actors and music did a really good job in conveying this. Examples: (Don't watch if you plan on seeing the movie) At the funeral and the Life Support scenes. Overall it all added up and become a great story about the lives of separate people and the impact they had on each other once their lives began to overlap. I especially enjoyed watching the development of the group's dynamics: from the build-up and exciting times of the group's formations, through to the breakdown at the funeral, then to them all being brought back together by their care for a friend in need - something that made their previous arguments to trivial. As I'm sure most people can, I can tell of that sort of transition of friendships in my life. Perhaps without the same ending. In any case, "RENT" was great.

Juno was also really good. The soundtrack was awesome and the story was funny and still dealt with some issues that are reality, but still seem to make some uncomfortable. When I watched it, there were some people who judged it instantly, the fact that there was swearing, teenage pregnancy, pre-marital sex, etc. - all these things that happen everyday in the real world - so why shouldn't they be allowed to be on film? In any case, the movie was moving and even got through to some of those people too. Good fun.

These movies were both about lives and the ups and downs that people experience all along the way. Unsuprisingly, a movie that wasn't so much along that line that I also checked off my list recently, and wasn't very good was...:

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Things That Sound Bad Out Of Context #2

Benjamin. says:
how does baby taste

Kyla says:
oh shut up.. i only ate him a little today


...what.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

27 Days

...till I leave for the Philippines! I had my typhoid shot AND fully paid off my fees today and it feels like someone just punched me in the arm/bank account. But not that bad.

Here's what's bad. I was reading through a list of "The 6 Most Terrifying Foods In The World", and guess what's No. #1? Something that we'll be eating if we lose in a game of Egg Lucky Dip. One bucket. Lots of eggs. Half of them these 'delicacies'... something to look forward to then.

The future of breakfast.

Monday, August 18, 2008

3

Today, K and I have been together for:

  • 3 years; aka...
  • 36 months; aka...
  • 1096 days; aka...
  • 26304 hours; aka...
  • 1578240 minutes; aka...
  • 94694400 seconds!

Happy Anniversary Potato Head!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Alphabet


In the typist pool, this is what makes me the kid who just got facial hair amongst a group of pre-pubescent boys.
Edit: Eight minutes after posting this, I broke my record. 2.05s.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Things That Sound Bad Out Of Context #1

Oh my goodness another beginning of a series that will not doubt die by next week.

Today's words of wisdom:

TH: "It hurts, but in a pleasurable way."

Reckon I'll get that tattooed on my hip. So deep.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Awesome German Expressions #1

Check out this gem from my study today:

"Erzähl mir keine Märchen!" = "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining!"

I'm pretty sure that if someone is pissing on your back, both of you have bigger problems than them telling you lies.

Note: Kyla, how'd you like me to attempt a re-use of that last label?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Open

Like many people, I watched the Opening Ceremony. The first hour or so was amazing. The drums were incredible. Movable type was awesome. And then... watching all the countries was none of those things.
The only things that made it amusing were:
  • Watching the Chinese girls in white who formed the big circle around the athletes drain in energy, coordination and synchronisation over the two hours of dancing while the athletes walked. By the end, they weren't doing the same moves, or at the same time, and I'm pretty sure half of them were dead inside.
  • Being a fashion critic. As if I'm (not) qualified for that.
  • When Azerbaijain came out, the cameras did the usual flick to any dignitaries that were in the crowd. They showed a well-dressed man and woman standing next to a grumpy looking boy. He looked like he'd been forced to wear a nice shirt, but he'd untucked it in defiance. He had a combover. He didn't seem to enjoy it. He wasn't smiling and waving when the cameras came on, so the woman (who I assume was his mum) nudged him. He waved, but the sort of weak wave you might give to someone you're not a fan of... and somehow looked even more upset. That's what the Olympics is about right? Unhappy children?...No? Crap.

Weak blog.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Pig in a Blanket

My goodness. Will the madness never end?

Note: I must admit... I laughed at the Why section.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Solitaire

I have recently rekindled my relationship with Solitaire. Don't get me wrong. Minesweeper will always hold a place in my heart. But after one evening when I couldn't finish a single game in about fifty tries, I had to fix the problem.
So: Here's where I stand currently:

And yes. I do want to deal again.

PS. Points to anyone who can spot the must-attend event for August, and then adds themselves to the attending list, then turns up to solve a murder!

PPS. Clue: The murderer isn't you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Super Cereal

The first episode of Serial Drama Movie #2: When Chess Pieces Attack* is officially released! After the award-winning box office release of Serial Drama Movie #1, the latest installment is looking like it'll completely blow The Dark Knight away**.

* May or may not be a false title.
** Based on general estimations***.
*** Give or take several million in ticket sales.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When Blogs Stand Still

Things are moving very slowly in blog land. I feel like writing, but it's quite possibly just for the sake of keeping the words, "I have a blog," or "I blog," true.
Some thoughts:
First, let's begin with the most important philosophical one. What is the correct spelling of the sound someone makes when they blow a raspberry? Additionally, why the hell is it called a raspberry? I don't call it that, but when I was trying to explain it to someone ages ago, they told me that's what it's called. Back to the matter at hand... I'm going to go with "Pllllrrrrr".
It's funny/interesting/lame how if I write a blog that I've put some effort and thought into, it receives little/no comments. Yet the ones I write in a minute based on passing moments of amusement can get up to 30. Granted, half of those are me responding. Even so, I think it's to do with the length of the things maybe. Or that response to a half-serious blog requires a half-serious effort to think. That's what makes me slack in sharing my thoughts on other people's serious blogs.
How come the natural disposition of lots of students at uni is to be isolated in a class, until someone talks to them, in which case they become friendly? Imagine if you were friendly, and then when talked to, you turned cold.
Speaking of cold, the common room I am sitting in is freezing. It's underground and has no heating, or at least, none that is apparent at the moment. They also took my suggestion off the suggestion wall. It was "Monash should grant us all superpowers for being so great. I shotgun turning into animals." Surely that is better than, "I stayed back on the last day of term to wash all the dishes. I will consider your thanks with cash, cheque or money transfer. Regards, Tom." I'm sure Tom was highly reimbursed. ANYWAY. The moral of this story is my common room is cold. I took a photo of my surroundings, just so you get a feel of what I'm dealing with. I know... it doesn't look that bad. Trust me though... it's colder than a Saharan summer.../anything else that isn't cold.

Dean Scholar's Room, Monash University

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Where The Hell Is Matt?

This guy goes around the world, travels to beautiful places, and dances. Add that to my list of things I want to do in my life. His video for 2008 was just released (below), but go to the site, read stuff, watch the other videos. I'll put in the comments later the places I thought looked coolest.

Something's pretty awesome about seeing something so simple and silly. That's also a bit of a tongue twister.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Family Tree

... if only this was mine.

My first was the SS 60 Blaster.

Am I a nerd? Sif!

Edit: The article looked weird with
such short sentences on the left.
So...this is on the right.

Re-edit: No love for the middle man?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Some Notes On Boxing...

  • You should do it.
  • You should not turn up late. Grumpy boxers are, surprisingly, not relaxed.
  • If you don't know what you're doing, shadow boxing can make you feel stupid.
  • Punching continuously with one arm for five minutes is also painful.
  • Ab exercises hurt when done for ten minutes.
  • Do not underestimate how ridiculously fit the old dude running the ab exercises is. He was far better than everyone.
  • Stretching is probably a good idea... in hindsight.
  • Skipping is hard. As I told one musical instrument friend of mine... I probably fail Primary School P.E.

So, in summary, boxing was awesome. Does it sound like I like pain? Maybe.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Half-Yearly

We're not exactly half way through the year, but here's some stuff I've been thinking about.

I've halfway through my course! That's crazy man.

Life is awesome. I'm pretty sure that now I write that, I'll become more aware of something crap, but that's ok. God and people around me (familiar and strange) have always gotten me through.

Africa Aid, Elev8, everything are whipping me in meetings, work, planning, etc. I love it. I'm tired. I'm excited.
I'm also excited to be starting boxing on Friday. Since it's a trial first, I'm hoping that it's fun and challenging and that we can keep on doing it. Otherwise, we'll just move on to something else.
I've also been playing lots of basketball lately with little brother. We ball hard... / pretend.

I have watched listened to this song four times straight. Haha, twice on MySpace, twice on YouTube. Awesome? I think you'll agree. It makes me want to have another crack at guitar and song writing. See below below below.

I ran a Veta session on Monday that, apart from being an awesome meal together that we all cooked dishes for, had a great sharing environment for open and honest discussion of our years so far. I asked three questions: "What has been a highlight for the year?", "What is something you've been struggling with?", and "What is something you're looking forward to?" I can't remember my answers, so here are new answers.
1) I've got lots of highlights. I'm very thankful for the healing of my skin.
The new challenges in the things I do, especially of Africa Aid, have been really rewarding when achieved, and just makes me more excited to tackle the next. Of course, I get tired, but that just leads to another highlight - the continual support, encouragement and love shown to me by my family, friends, K, and all others in my life.
I'm also starting to think seriously about music again (or probably, for the first time), and I'm motivated to try and become a better musician because I want to make something beautiful, not because I want to impress or anything other pretentious feelings I might have had in the past. Besides, what I can do isn't really that impressive.
Finally, last year didn't end on a great note in terms of some friendships in my life, but this year has been full of new friendships or growing of some into even more meaningful and valuable parts of my life.
2) I told my Veta group that I've been struggling with fear. I think it's more like insecurity. I get so caught up in doing things and taking on projects that I forgot my limits and capabilities. I like to think I'm a fairly capable individual, but I can't be so ignorant as to think I can do everything. I need people. Other people do things better than me. Unfortunately, in the midst of organising, planning, stressing, I forget to delegate or ignorantly/arrogantly think that if I don't do something, it won't get done; or that if I let someone else do it, it won't be done well. So, I stress and take on stuff, and then what I fear is that I won't be able to reach the goals that I set. Realistically, if I trust my teams and support, who are all awesome people that, when I think about it in this frame of mind, would definitely be able to take on those projects...we could do really great things. Much bigger than what we're aiming at now... But let's not get ahead of ourselves. So. Trust. Fear. Insecurity.
Also, I get annoyed at catching up with friends. I'm crap at it. Because there is a group of friends that I see on a regular basis, it's easy to become complacent and not try hard with the others. Then I get discouraged if I do try to organise something and whoever I'm trying to meet cancels or isn't free, etc. It's irrational. I need to be better at it.
As I wrote in 'Vocation', I have been thinking on and off about how much I have to give up or need to sacrifice to be able to properly serve God and people. Perhaps it's not that I have to give up everything, but I think it's an indicator of my consciousness telling me that I'm probably spending too much time and money thinking about material things that aren't really necessary. This year I've come into more money than previously and it seems to disappear so easily. Even if I don't give up everything, I should make sure I control myself and keep my irrational desires in check.
3) I'm looking forward to the Philippines. I know my eyes will be opened, I know I'll be challenged, I know I'll get angry, I'll be inspired, I'll be hurt. It'll be good for me and I'm also looking forward to spending time with the team.
I'm starting to read more and write more, like I used to, and I love it.
I look forward to sport, because I miss it and it makes me happy.
I'm looking forward to growing more relationships and meeting more people, especially at uni.
Red Frogs will be interesting.
Summer. I'm hoping that all the hype I built up in my head of freedom when I got my license will actually somewhat exist. Ha.
So that's that. I'd love to know your answers on highlights, struggles, points to look forward to. Hope your 2008 is going great, that you're able to tackle your challenges as they come, and that the rest of the year will be beautiful. Peace.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

F Grade Aerobics - Take 1

...These are the sorts of shenanigans we got up to in preparing for our routine. Whole thing coming soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Ning Nang Nong

This is a trip down memory lane. I was never a huge fan of Play School... but everytime I watched I hoped desperately that when we went through one of the windows, we'd end up with this video.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

QQ#1

QQ (Quick Questshon): What is the stupidest thing you've done lately?

...today I smashed a computer screen.

Did nay go down well. Although, kind of looks like a mountain side. Anyone?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Product of Procastinating Minds

This is a Facebook conversation between Ms. Sarah Lay and myself, whilst both avoiding exam study. Enjoy/be disgusted/be confused. We'll be fielding questions all week.
Status update: Sarah is stoked that Frankston won the grand final of intimate frisbee.
Ben: ...intimate frisbee?
Sarah: frankston thing, admit it, your jealous :) (later deleted)
Sarah: its a frankston thing, there's no need to ask. If it seems stupid, it is.
Ben: way to write twice, then delete once.
nonetheless, intimate frisbee would be an interesting experience.
Sarah: it's how it's done. plus i decided i don't paticularly like frankston in jokes.
Ben: ...would also be a painful experience. frisbees flying (intimately) out of nowhere. could take someone's eye out.
Sarah: a similar incident happened to aj, but not eyes.
intimately painful....
how long have you been on facebook today?
Ben: twas on while studying at midday, and then just came on again whilst watching ramsay's.
...not much study is getting done.
how long have YOU?
Sarah: twice while attempting to study. right now i'm learning about price stability.
it's not very interesting.
i'd much rather talk about my inability to write messages once, or intimate frisbee.
Ben: or your intimacy with writing messages once on frisbees.
Sarah: surely not.
..would you like to receive intimate messages on frisbees?
it seems a little odd/romantic way.
say you smacked the person in the face with your romantic frisbee message.. oh i give up.
Ben: knocked out (/up? ha) by the flying disc of love.
some say that is the ultimate way to propose.
others...don't.
Sarah: yes. and then you wake up with them in your face. how lovely.
some would say we have to much time on our hands...
Ben: others would say we are the greatest poets of this modern day era.
imagine if, one day, stuff written on facebook walls was considered great literature. first would be the myspace epoch, followed by the facebook reformation.
...i'm a literature nerd?
Sarah: ..ill buy your memoir.
as long as there is mention of our creepy conversations.
placenta anyone?
Ben: haha in cake or hair cream form?
oh kyla. you truly are the queen of placenta.
... this must look pretty weird on your wall. both this message... and placenta.
Sarah: i know, when she said that i was just thinking, placenta hair?
some of the odd things i come up with.
it doesn't matter, i have the words 'flying disc of love' on my wall, can't get much better than that.
Ben: you got my 400th wall post. congrats.
yeh i thought those words were a bit of literary inspiration.
quite clearly, i'm putting my intellect into facebook posts over philosophy of religion notes. i think most people would agree it's a good choice.
Sarah: yes, and some may find it wierd.
but you know i'm a fan.
blog this conversation BC. do ittt!
p.s i think i know how to use this wall thing well and truly now. yay.
Ben: i may just. THIS will be the last post in the run before blogging.
Sarah: hooray. blog on placentas & discs of love.
do you think anyone will understand?
Ben: most likely not. but it won't be the first time my blog's been incomprehensible.
* Edit: The conversation has just kept on going in the comments. Ridiculous.

SYG '08

She said she like my K-I-S-S-I-N-G... haha. For those of you who don't understand... your bad.
State Youth Games was awesome this year. It was my fifth year and the best so far. I didn't win as much this year but I think that was also part of why it was so awesome. Usually I get pretty competitive and angry, but this year was great and all the teams I took part in had fun just mucking around and getting to know other people. Seeing people I haven't seen for ages, building friendships I already had with people from my own community, and meeting some people along the way made it such a good experience.
Particular highlight was B grade basketball against Ringwood. We decided that since we weren't going to make the finals, we'd declare the game 'Street Rules'. In other words... anything goes. Everybody was in the jump, there was switching of teams, illegal moves, flips on the ball, and plenty of non-regulation bumps. All in all, it was a great game and an equally good bit of SYG spirit between two teams.
The speaker, Kim Hammond, had a good, simple and relevant message. However, he did mention how heavily he'd been briefed beforehand on the diverse audience he'd be preaching to, and I sort of felt like that came through in his address. Quite a few years the message has felt a little bit restrained. In any case, he was a funny speaker with a message I agree with.
Oh, and uh... F GRADE AEROBICS was totally the first win of any team for SYG 2008. Our routine is probably the coolest choreographed dance/aerobics number I've ever been part of. Stay tuned for video, it will blow your mind.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

On this day...

  • I woke up and made porridge.
  • I finished the sudoku and got the nine letter word in The Age for the fifth day straight.
  • I fell asleep on the bus to uni.
  • I sat in my common room, without a single other person in it.
  • I struggled to get motivated for studying for my least favourite subject.
  • I am faced with three exams for that subject in the next three days.
  • I am seriously contemplating quitting that subject. As much as I hate quitting.
  • I am grateful for a successful and fun weekend, which helped bring us closer to our target to build the classrooms.
  • I am conflicted over where Africa Aid should go, where I feel led, and how I should go about doing things.
  • I felt like blogging.
  • I have the same urge to write music that I've had for the last few weeks.
  • I also feel that anything I write sucks.
  • I will meet up with a tutor, and then a friend to study.
  • I am looking forward to State Youth Games.
  • I wish I was doing something else, or was somewhere else, or had some company.
  • And on this day, while I write about myself self-indulgently, there are far more important things going on in the world.

* Edit: Felt like this was a very moody post. Wasn't actually feeling that moody, I was kinda just blogging off the top of my head. Some credit for the last point to my little brother, who thinks that blogging is a self-centred exercise.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Licensed

There are some who say that many things would happen before the event of me getting my license. The return of Jesus, the reincarnation of dinosaurs, my grandchildren getting their licenses, the end of the world. But contrary to what they've said, I have now gotten my license. That's right. This is the story of personal triumph over abject adversity, negativity and obstacles...rather than the story of a lazy kid who got his L's way late, and then joined the frantic rush to get his P's before the new laws came in. That's probably one of the other 100,000 kids trying to get their licenses now. My story will one day be made into a feel-good movie starring Denzel Washington as me. It could happen.

So now I can drive, with the exception of not having a car. But the point is, that philosophically, legally, geographically, mathematically, linguistically, theoretically, illegally, etc. etc., I am now allowed to drive a car.

To think, just the morning of my exam, I started driving the car whilst forgetting to turn on the engine. So ace. See you on the roads!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sugar-Coated With Awesome

These clothes are the coolest things I've ever seen. Granted, I'd probably get sick of them after a few weeks/days/minutes. BUT! For now, they are a way to vicariously live in another world: a world in which I had the ability, nay - the RIGHT - to eat cool, fun and colourful meals in the morning, afternoon, evening or whenever I damn well liked; a world in which every day was filled with such fun phrases as, "Follow your nose!" or "Just like a chocolate milkshake, only crunchy!";... a world in which my mum had not clamped a vice-like grip over our consumption of anything other than Weetbix.

So here's the deal. Straight up. You buy me anything from that collection, and I'll make your wildest dreams* come true.

Here are some of my favourites:
* Not exceeding $50 or my own safety.**

** Nudity may be acceptable. It's a case by case sort of deal.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Nursery Rhyme for the Politically Correct

Quite aware these are everywhere. This is the work of an MSN conversation between EP and myself - two aspiring teachers. Your children will, no doubt, be taking material like this home as their readers in a few years.
Baa baa, African American sheep, have you any wool?
Yes sir/madam, yes sir/madam, three materials bound to serve as containers* full.
One for the master, one for the dame, and one for the vertically challenged boy/girl who lives down the lane.

* Someone might mistake "bag" as being a derogatory term for a woman.

A weak blog, this is undeniable. I was just... filling in the space between the last blog and the next that I actually put some thought into.

Otherwise, I'm excited that the new Flight of the Conchords show is on soon. Here's some of their work:

Be more constructive with your feedback.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Prayer Note: Burma

Note: The last time I can remember a major natural disaster in Asia (that is, not the most recent), it prompted me to find out more about problems in the world and how I could help be a part of helping in any little way I could. That was a month before Africa Aid was born.

I don't write about every single problem wrong with the world and it's not that I don't care about them or have no compassion for them. Burma's cyclone has just really caught my attention and made me feel like the least I can do is pray for them. So, amongst all the other things that are wrong in this world, I pray that You'll help the people of Burma. Amen.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Blank Check

Just back from an interesting weekend at Phillip Island, on the Vetamorphus retreat. Still working out what I want to say about it or if I want to say anything. Some positives, some struggles; some rational, some not. I'm really just drawing blanks on anything to write down from that adventure.

In the meantime, this guy tried to forge a $360 billion check. Probably the smartest criminal in the word. If not, then it's this guy:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Urine-Off

Apart from sounding like some sort of Russian spacecraft, Urine-Off was also the GoogleAd down the bottom of my page this morning. I'm certain (and I checked) that there there is nothing on my front page about urine or difficulties with the removal of its stain. So, um... I'm sure it's handy, if ever you have the repeated need for mass urine stain removal. Fortunately, I don't have a) children or b) friends that come over and keep weeing on my carpet. I must be missing out.


My two other posts on the weird GoogleAds given to me are here and here. One of them is also about peeing... but for women...standing up. Awesome?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Just read...

...these two books. They are very different.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy: A Trilogy in Four Parts

The first (above) was recommended to me by about a million science fiction fans, even though I'm not that into it myself. It wasn't too bad.

Love: The Words and Inspiration of Mother Teresa

The second is the one that I really enjoyed though. It's short, but the message was so simple and clear, it is impossible to ignore. What is hard about it is the call of action you feel after reading it, because it doesn't ask for a grand action, just ones that would appear simple, but ask a lot of your character and humility. I won't go much further into it, I just recommend reading it. There are four others in the series - Dream, about MLK, Jr., Peace, about Gandhi, and Believe, about Desmond Tutu.

PS. Sorry CB, probably one you'll want to skip, hey? No diatribes here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ramble #4

What shall I blog about today? I have absolutely no idea. So that means it's time for... Things That Randomly Pop Into My Head and Then Are Written Down Because I Find Them Amusing Post!... aka Ramble #4.

Is it ever possible to use the words edgewise and amok in sentences without the rest of their phrasing? Ie. minus the bold bits: "get a word in edgewise" or "run amok". I would be very impressed if you could do both, in the same sentence.

You know how there is synesthesia, when people involuntarily receive sensory experiences associated with stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway? You know how I just copied that from Wikipedia? Anyway. I know Jono blogged about it ages ago, because he has the one where things are associated with colours. I was wondering about all the different combinations of senses and things you might have. For instance, can you ever associate, say, music with... smell? If so, what would be the best (or worst) smelling song?

A list of songs involving smell in their title, because I was too lazy to find out what they were about:
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - That Smell
  • The Cranberries - Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
  • House of Pain - What's That Smell?
  • Chuck Hurley - I Can't Smell
  • Rammstein - You Smell So Good
  • (and my personal favourite) Polkatown Sound - You Smell Like Turtles

Sample lyrics from above song - "You smell like muskrats and wet hunting dogs. You smell like swamp gas, crawdads and hogs. You smell like turtles, catfish and frogs." So damn charming. I may just say those words in my wedding vows.

Remember the magnetic man? What if he met another magnetic person, but with a different polarity? Would they be incapable of walking with a few feet of each other without being subtley pushed to the side? Or if they were suddenly pushed towards each other, would they be violently thrown backwards? Awesome.

Edit: The website says he has other family with the magnetic power. A group hug would be very amusing/hard to get out of. You might even say that family is very... attractive... I hate myself.

What does the 'z' in ZOMG stand for? Why do people say it? At least it's not as bad as biffles. Ha.

Finally, I was discussing with Pfeffer the other day how Asians go red when they drink. I wish other races changed colours too. Imagine that! Going to a bar would be like partying in a rubix cube.

This post was much longer than I thought it would be.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

High Five!

Happy National High Five Day.

...That's it. Disappointing really, isn't it?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

100 Things About Me

I saw this somewhere. And decided to see what 100 things I would say about myself, and if anyone was remotely interested in them.

  1. I was born on 12th September, 1988. Mercy Hospital in Melbourne...
  2. Exactly 9 months after Mum and Dad's wedding anniversary...
  3. My middle name means 'Powerful Ocean'. My last name means 'Strong'. My Mum's maiden name (Ong - I know... not much of a change there) means 'Royalty'. My first name is Benjamin, which means 'on the right hand of God' or 'favourite son'. So, by my logic, my name means I am the favourite son, with the strength of an ocean, who sit on the right hand of God like royalty? Bit arrogant if you ask me. Hooray for Asian names.
  4. Speaking of Asia, being born in 1988 makes me, in the Chinese Zodiac, an Earth Dragon.
  5. Being born in September makes me a Virgo.
  6. I don't believe in horoscopes or zodiacs.
  7. I have two brothers. One older, one younger.
  8. I have a mum, she's from Malaysia.
  9. I have a dad, he's from Singapore.
  10. I consider myself an Australian. I don't really call myself Chinese.
  11. I have been in six different countries for at least a day: Australia, Germany, USA, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand.
  12. I don't remember Thailand.
  13. The countries I most want to visit are Egypt, Spain and anywhere in Africa.
  14. I did a three month exchange to Erlenbach am. Main in Germany. I can still speak German.
  15. I was part of the Global Young Leaders Conference 2005 in Washington and New York.
  16. I was super shy and introverted before those two trips.
  17. Now I'm not.
  18. Up until now, I have wanted to be: Policeman, astronaut, doctor, paediatrician, teacher, minister, charity worker, missionary, Lego employee.
  19. I currently want to be all of the last five, and I'm working on it.
  20. I have been at Doncaster Church of Christ my whole life.
  21. I'm a Christian, originally just because I tagged along with Mum and Dad to church.
  22. I started properly believing and asking my own questions in Grade 6, 2000.
  23. Then again in 2006.
  24. 2006 was a big learning and growing up stage for me. One of the reasons was Vetamorphus, a young Christian ministry course.
  25. Most of my closest friends did that course with me. Actually that's probably not true anymore. The first time I started writing this was in March 2007. It's a bit sad really.
  26. I do a youth ministry internship at my church.
  27. I lead a small group at church called The Garage, which consists of boys between Year 5 and 10.
  28. I helped found and now run a charity (in progress). It's called Africa Aid. It was started in 2005. This year we are trying to raise $30,000 for a school in Southern Uganda. Check out the Myspace or Facebook for more details.
  29. I am very unorganised in general, but also with Africa Aid. It makes me feel bad, and making it bigger and maintaining it scares me.
  30. I am employed as an Integration Aide and as a Small Group Leader for Elev8. It's very necessary since...volunteer work doesn't pay child support.
  31. Lucky I don't have to.
  32. I went to Serpell Primary School until Grade 5.
  33. I went to Trinity Grammar School for the rest of it.
  34. I study 2nd Year Arts at Monash University.
  35. I play touch rugby at Monash.
  36. I also do dancing with a group of friends at Monash.
  37. I have a girlfriend, who is rather pleasant. She has a nice smile and good oral hygiene. Sometimes she gives me muffins, but not so much anymore. She is also fun to chase. We have been going out for almost 3 years.
  38. I prefer trackpants over jeans.
  39. I would like to collect t-shirts, shoes or hats...if I had the money.
  40. My favourite food is most likely spaghetti bolognese, but I've never decided for sure.
  41. When I go out to eat, I still look at what comes with chips first.
  42. I love peach ice tea.
  43. I also love Choc-Mint/Bubblegum with nuts at Cold Rock. I ordered it the last 10 times I've been there.
  44. I have been to Cold Rock 10 times.
  45. I love most desserts in general, except pavlova. It's a devil cake. First it looks good, and then you have one bite, and it tastes stupid again.
  46. I do not like quite a few things: Tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, avocado, grapes, rocket lettuce (not to be mistaken with iceberg lettuce, which I love), egg yolk, fried eggs, sultanas and cheese to name a few.
  47. I struggle to not eat three times the suggested serving size if I'm eating chips or biscuits. But really, that's because the suggested serving size is ridiculous... eg. four biscuits.
  48. I play the piano, which I learnt for 10 years. Now I play for fun on a regular basis.
  49. I used to play the flute, which I learnt for 5 years.
  50. I can also play the melodica, which is an awesome instrument.
  51. I attempted to teach myself guitar, but got lazy. I want to learn still.
  52. I also want to learn the harmonica, the banjo, the ukelele, bass guitar, double bass, and the steel drums.
  53. I like to imagine I can sing but that doesn't make me awesome. I just sing to myself all the time.
  54. Like most people, I have an eclectic taste in music that is not really definable. I just like what I like. My favourite band is Lazy Susan, and I'll give you a dollar if you sing me one of their songs.
  55. In my life I have played or participated in gymnastics, swimming and basketball competitively (for a club). I also played basketball and soccer for my school.
  56. I have a third place from the National Gymnastics comp and a second from the State.
  57. I had to quit because I was too small. To stay on would have meant three years of training until I hit puberty and was as big as the other boys in my level.
  58. I have no pets, but used to have a big German Shepherd called Rex. He was actually called Sultan, which is a pretty cool name, but... us boys were young. And Rex seemed more dog-like.
  59. I also used to have a baby chicken called Timothy. One day Timothy escaped outside and saw Rex. He had a heart attack and died.
  60. I do not have a favourite colour. At least, not one I could say without feeling I was being unfaithful to the other colours.
  61. I love the game Taboo.
  62. I also love Risk.
  63. Like the colours, I don't know if I could say my favourite movie. There are lots up there.
  64. Disney holds a special place in my movie love.
  65. I once played Yoko Ono in a musical about John Lennon.
  66. I love Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. It's awesome.
  67. Amongst some other things I would like to learn are photography, video filming and editing, photoshopping and other digital imagery, cooking (especially pastry cooking) and surfing.
  68. I love to read, although I don't read as much as I did when I was little. No real favourite authors, but I do like Nick Earls a bit. Terry Pratchett too.
  69. When I was little, I would go to the library and before checking for any other books, I would go to the Childrens - Humour section first to see if there were any Garfield books in.
  70. This year I am going to the Philippines on a mission trip with International Needs.
  71. I am passionate about issues of social justice and equality.
  72. In the last few years, I have done some work with the MakePovertyHistory campaign. I was an Ambassador at the concert in November '06 and a Group Leader on the ZeroSeven Road Trip in 2007.
  73. I enjoy writing. It's one of those things that I love to do, but procrastinate over doing. I've been working on a few pieces for the last few years, but not as in actively working on. Just starting, and then leaving for a long time, until I've forgotten the ideas that made me want to write them in the first place.
  74. I once won a competition for writing. I felt like I'd plagiarised something I'd read but couldn't remember.
  75. I have recently developed a fascination at other people's obsessions with things. Most notably, bacon. Examples are here, here, here and here.
  76. I once had a phobia of heights. I was too scared to even go down the slides at playgrounds. After I started gymnastics, that left. I don't really have a phobia now.
  77. The first thing I notice on the opposite sex is their face.
  78. I like playing computer/video games. GTA: San Andreas is my favourite, followed closely by Mario Kart and Minesweeper.
  79. According to some website where you submit your monthly best Minesweeper score, I was third in the world. For one glorious month. I'm all washed up now. It's all downhill from here.
  80. I'm not interested in cars in the slightest. Shiny round ones attract my interest though. But not Volkswagen round, they're too small.
  81. I like Hummers, but it has nothing to do with them as a car, and definitely not to do with their contribution to the environment. It's part of a game we played when I was in America.
  82. I have shinier than average fingernails. Unsure why.
  83. I dislike cats. It comes from a deep relationship of mistreatment between the two of us that began in Germany. I was patting a cat, I wanted to get up and leave, cat scratched my face, I punched cat, cat disappears for two days, I thought I'd killed it. Cats are not as good as dogs.
  84. If I was an animal, I think I'd be a mongoose.
  85. My favourite animal used to be the Eastern Quoll, just to be different. I have no idea what my favourite is anymore.
  86. I would love to work with animals, but I doubt it would ever happen. I saw a documentary once about people who have moved to go live with orphaned elephants and look after them. I would love to do that, but there's also a million other things I'd like to do.
  87. I can type at an average of 109 words per minute. Mavis Beacon tells me so.
  88. I have attempted to read the entire Bible in one year, but failed miserably. I think it had to do with trying to read it in order, no dedication, and just kinda rushing through it. I would like to one day accomplish this.
  89. I have a dream of travelling with friends in a bus. I've wanted to do it since I was about 8. With cars, what attracts me is the number of seats, followed by cupholders.
  90. I have had a fascination with learning everything I could since childhood. Not exactly school things, but random facts of information. One of my favourite books ever was 1001 Amazing Facts, and I would tell people facts from the book at random. I used to do extra projects on things like Volcanoes and Pirates...just for fun.
  91. I like learning about history and important people of the past.
  92. I keep a list of people that I need to read and learn about.
  93. I enjoy public speaking. I used to be scared of it, and so my job on the debating team was to write the speeches.
  94. I like comedy, it's my favourite genre of movies and books. Mostly. My favourite comedians include Demetri Martin, Jason Byrne, Steven K Amos, Mitch Hedburg and Dave Chapelle.
  95. Doing stand-up is one of the scariest things I can think of, and I'd like to do it once in my life.
  96. My three most visited websites are Hotmail, Facebook and Blogger. That's not very exciting, so the next three are CollegeHumor.com, JakeandAmir.com, and YouTube.com.
  97. Before I die, I would like to do most extreme sports, learn the above listed things I want to learn, meet Nelson Mandela, go to a home game at Anfield, see the LA Lakers and the Detroit Redwings, and many others.
  98. I recently made the transition from standing to sitting when I wipe.
  99. I STILL shout at the kids on game shows for being stupid... even though I'm almost 20.
  100. This blog took 443 days to write. I'm glad it's over.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Uni-fied


Interest for May 8th @ Monash? Get. On. It.

It Continues...

Kyla is my newest hero. Why you ask? Well. She bought me these over the weekend:

Am I wearing one right now? Yes. Yes I am.


In case anybody doesn't understand the significance of these, read here, here and here.

If anyone was wondering... the free toy was a tiny little pig. Ironic?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Events

It's been a fun fun fun week. Tuesday night was one of the best nights out for a very long time. A random assortment of friends, some I didn't know until that night, but a lot of fun. We went to a Japanese restaurant in Chinatown, ate our meal in 15 minutes, then did that awkward walk fast, do a few steps of running until you realise you look stupid, then walk fast again all the way to the Forum Theatre to see Jason Byrne:

He was ridiculous funny. I actually have no idea how he keeps going with so much energy for two hours. I would pass out after ten minutes. Highlights included... extended vibration noises, putting a man in a suitcase and dragging him around the stage, lying face down on the floor, and swearing more than Gordon Ramsay.

Last night myself, K and some of her friends went to see Matchbox 20/Thirsty Merc. I actually wanted to see Thirsty Merc more, and I knew more of their songs so that was obviously more enjoyable. But all in all, a good concert anyway. Ironically, one of the best songs of the night was one I had already seen a few months ago, when Matchbox 20 played "Better Be Home Soon". Hooray for that.

Matchbox 20 "How Far We've Come"

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Vocation

I've been doing a lot of reading lately, as part of my new attempt at scheduling in TAWG (Time alone with God) in my life, amongst other things. One of the things that keeps coming up is vocation. Now I like to think that I'm pretty sure what I want to do with my life - and that's work out who I am and what it means to live how God intended me to. I don't stress heaps over what job I'm going to end up in, and that hasn't bothered me for a long time. Of course, there are jobs I would like to do, but ultimately, it's because of what I think my vocation in life is.

I feel called to give up things for others, to serve others and be lower than them. I feel that's just the way it should be for me. I feel a particular pull towards issues of poverty and injustice, and feel like I not only should, but can, and was meant to be doing something about that. Not solving it, but adding my effort. I don't want to be defined by my actions, but by the motives I had to do them. Sometimes I do get a case of the 'wanting attention for doing good stuff', but I mostly do it because I want to show love and care.

Where am I going with all this? Well, the people who's vocations I've been reading about scare me in how far they threw themselves in the deep end. People like Rosa Parks or Mother Teresa. The latter is the one I read today. At the age of 18, she got the feeling that she should be doing something with the poor, and she was called towards India. So she left her family - never to see her mother again - and just moved. She didn't even speak the language or have any training. Then after living in the nunnery, she decided it was time for the next step, and moved to the streets. She did things nobody else in the church would do, like begging for clothes, medicine, money, all to give to the poor ones around her. How do you have that much faith that God is telling you something? That what you think you're hearing is right? What if you're wrong?

I feel called to the poor. I still feel like I'm not doing enough. At Surrender last year, I was really challenged because we were hearing from people who have given up everything to go be with the poor and live like them, in order to help them side-by-side. I felt I was so far away from this, because I still worry about clothes and other material things, and spend my money carelessly. I was challenged once again on Sunday, when at Vetamorphus we were discussing why Jesus spoke so much about wealth and money. I think it was because he knew how much humans would obsess over it, and that it would be a major obstacle in them coming to know him. The passages that have always been confronting are ones like the Rich Young Man, when he's told to give up everything, or the man who keeps a little bit for himself instead of giving it to the apostles to distribute as needed, and ends up dying. What does this say about how I'm supposed to live?

If my vocation dictates (as far as I can tell), that I am to help the poor, I think I need to break free of the shallowness and humiliation (on my behalf) of having to stop living the way I live, and using my money wiser and only as needed, and use the rest to help others. It's extreme. It means I won't be able to do lots of things I'd like to do personally. I don't know where to draw the line and it's scary. I don't know how to have that much faith in something. It's something that I've become so good at procrastinating over, I barely think of it, until that once in a while that it comes back and hits me in the face. Each time it's stronger, and this time it's massive. So where to from here? I have no idea. Feel very, very confused at the moment. I am inspired though, and even if I don't go to that extreme (yet), I can start making smaller steps towards getting there.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Grateful

This is the new place where I'm blogging things I'm grateful about. Just so you know.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Isolations

...is my new favourite word, but are hard to do haha. We started dancing classes today, and after the events of yesterday, it was a good cheer-up. Today's lesson: Hip hop dancing is hard. Ballroom is quite a bit easier. Both are fun... cha cha cha. K and I also get to learn to dance together, which is cool.

Other things from today:

  • Shepherd's pie is nice, even with vinegar mayonnaise, which I had no idea comes with shepherd's pie.
  • Freshly squeezed apple juice looks really weird and has a layer of apple sludge.
  • David Coulter and I are almost ready for the NBA.
  • McDonald's is a fun place to have a chat and stay long after you've finished, up until when the security guard starts eyeballing you constantly because you haven't ordered anything in the last two hours.
  • It's really nice to catch up with people intentionally, even those you see a lot.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Rant #2

Very. Frustrated.

Complications with work have just gotten me angry to the max. Then I take it out on people and that isn't good either. I hate having things sprung on me all the time and not ever knowing what's going on.

I also don't get my assignment for German at uni, and my German teacher can't explain it to me because he's not that good at English. Both of us don't understand each other because of the language barrier. I hate feeling like I'm stupid too. Usually, like last year, it would have just been a quick question, a helpful hint, and then I'd be able to do it. But this year, the quick question turns into a long discussion because we can't understand what each other are saying, and then being asked if we can come back another time because he hasn't prepared for our lesson yet, which is in the next hour.

Ich will etwas brechen - how's that for an in-joke for you?

Don't understand anything I'm writing? Yeh don't worry. It's just a rant, right?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Posted on behalf of MJ Waters...

All Matt's blogs are now up. I've been a bit slow, since I half type a few of them as soon as I get them, but then get distracted. But there's three new ones up so make sure you have a read.

Also, I stopped doing "What Matt Really Meant..." because 1) I didn't want to demean all the stuff he was writing, since it was a positive experience in his life, and 2) I was also lazy.

Matt comes home today! What a winner.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Earth Hour

"earth hour is a piece of shit

why….

its so pointless…nobody actually realises that its not helping melbournes or the worlds electricity resources. Also most people even believe that its suppose to show you how it would be without energy like a poor person…funny that you turn off your lights but keep your tv, heater and fridge on. Its fucking shit. All that it will do is save maybe 0.05% on your monthly electricity bill…welldone!"

Someone I know wrote this recently and posted it. Aside from being grammatically handicapped, it is a little bit ignorant. Yes, the 10.1% drop in energy use during Earth Hour will still hardly make a dent in the yearly greenhouse gas emissions for Australia and the rest of the globe. Yes, there were some people that didn’t get it and left some things on while turning off the lights. Yes, unfortunately I didn’t take part, since I was in a restaurant and wasn’t sure if they’d kick me out if I told them to turn everything off. But I thought it was clear that Earth Hour is a symbolic event? I thought it was about making a statement about climate change, not showing people what it’s like to be poor.

Nobody is pretending that one hour in the (366 x 24 =)8784 hours of the year is going to make any significant difference to greenhouse gas emissions. What Earth Hour was about, from my point of view, was symbollically stating that we are prepared to fight climate change and are serious about making it a national priority.

All problems such as climate change, poverty, slavery, etc., cannot be simply combatted on a global scale. They have to start locally, with people taking a personal interest in making a change in their life to help the global effort. As was said on the ZeroSeven trip last year, to change the world, you have to start with your country; to change your country, you have to start with your state; to change your state, you have to start with your community; to change your community, you have to start with your family; and to change your family, you have to start with yourself.

So to you, Mr. MySpace Pessimist, stop criticising what everyone else is doing. At least, understand what it is you’re criticising. Also, hate less?

How embarassing...

Well THAT was a mistake. Ignore the last post. In fact, pretend like it was never there... because I deleted it. I'm staying here. I will probably move the Reasons To Be Grateful over though. We shall see.

Edit: Also, one of the reasons I temporarily moved is because I HATE all blogger templates. I want a simple one, but they all suck and make me stick to their rules. If anyone wants to volunteer their template-making services, I'll give you $20. Deal?

Edit: Deal's off! I just spent the last two hours changing the template. Never done anything more confusing in my life.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Unstoppable

The juggernaut keeps on rolling...I didn't even look for this one. It just was a link on a page I was looking at today. The stuff's following me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bacon

I'm at home today, working on many an assignment. To cheer myself up, I did a bit more investigation on the strange phenomenon of people wanting bacon in things that really don't need it. Remember our bacon-chocolate bar? It turns out that was only the delicate chocolate layer on this growing pig-flavoured freakshow.

First off, we have this: Maple Bacon Morning coffee. From the creators: "Embark on a smooth sail each morning with this breakfast flavored coffee. The taste of sweet maple and smoky bacon blend perfectly to create a hearty start to your day." I don't think it's so much a hearty start to your day, as a heart-attacky start to your day. I've never put maple syrup on bacon. I certainly have never woken up and thought, "Damn. I haven't got time for the usual breakfast of maple syrup on bacon, but I need to feel like I'm getting just as much grease in my diet. What ever can I do?"

And, of course, why would you be needing such a big wake up in the morning? Because you got ridiculously smashed the night before on Bacon-Flavoured Vodka. That's right, you irresponsible alco you. I actually don't understand why people love bacon things so much.

The last site I put up also has its own archive of bacon flavoured things. Bacon cupcakes, bacon candy, bacon lollipops, bacon cigarette papers, bacon bubbles, bacon wrapped in bacon, bacon apple pie, bacon cookies, bacon hair conditioner, bacon breath mints (sure to attract the ladies), they even have a bacon suit - oh don't worry, it isn't made of bacon, it just looks and smells like it... which is so much better. It's like Bubba from Forrest Gump gave up on the shrimp business and moved into the obviously booming bacon industry.

You know when you say or write a word too many times, and it begins to feel like you're saying a word that doesn't exist? It's like you've reached the max quota of times you can use that word ever. Well bacon is definitely out of my vocabulary now. It doesn't even look recognisable as a word to me anymore.

So, what can we summarise from today's lesson? There are a lot of unhealthy bacon lovers out there... and I just wasted an hour of my time. I need a strong drink. Maybe some vodka, but it would need a little something extra...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cocopops

Here is a reason why my mum is annoying:

She has labelled ALL OVER the Cocopops box. We don't eat Cocopops much because mum is anti sugar/fun.

It now says: Cocopops MUST be eaten with Cornflakes or Weetbix otherwise I won't be purchasing anymore due to the HIGH sugar content.

I just ate a Cocopop with neither, Mum. Stick that in your pipe.

...Please don't tell?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sandwich

Yes I have been slow with updates (I have some drafts almost finished, promise). BUT! This is a very important moment. Why? Because with a tiny sandwich, I have demonstrated the gradual development of my maturity. Here's how:

Old Me Sandwich
Bread: Two pieces of bread, straight from the loaf.
Meat: Microwaved soggy chicken schnitzel. Trade-off of less time for quality. Seemed worth it.
Vegetables: Are you serious?
Extras: Thought about extras, did not bother getting any.
Enjoyment: Meh, was better than eating biscuits for lunch.
Other: Did not wash dishes.

New Me Sandwich
Bread: (I searched for Turkish bread or focaccia first.) Two pieces of bread, lightly buttered and grilled. Note: I USED THE FREAKIN GRILL. Big steps for me.
Meat: Oven-cooked chicken schnitzel in the oven for twenty-five minutes. It was crunchy. Definitely worth the wait.
Vegetables: Fresh rocket lettuce.
Extras: Mayonnaise, salt and pepper.
Enjoyment: Thoroughly enjoyed.
Other: Did not wash dishes. Pfft, that's not an ingredient to a good sandwich.

Now I know that I'm no super chef and won't be having any success in a restaurant any time soon, but it's massive for me. So there. ALSO, on the subject of cooking, my new favourite show is "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares". The dude honestly says the F word more than somebody with Tourette's. I counted 28 between ad breaks once.

Yehhhh, that's a good BBQ unit...WHY DOESN'T MINE LOOK LIKE THAT?

... you idiot, that's a sandwich, it has nothing to do with barbeques. Way to misuse a quote.

Don't bag me, or my inner monologue. Bizznatch.