Saturday, April 30, 2011


I have a lot in common with my workmate Anna. 

We have the same name.  We are the same height.  We are about the same age. 

It gets very confusing sometimes. 

But there is one fundamental difference...

Friday, April 29, 2011


As I queued at the stationery shop today, I reflected on how there's nothing worse than being at the back of a slow queue.

 Except being at the back of a slow queue that noone else joins.

At least if someone joins the end of the queue, you have the satisfaction of knowing that if you hadn't joined when you did, you would be behind that person behind you now.  In a very small, insignificant way, you have beaten them.  You have won.

But when you're always at the back, you may as well have been sitting in the cafe next door while they were queuing.  Then you could have strolled casually up to the empty counter and completed your purchase quickly and efficiently. 

Queuing is stolen time. You will never get that time back.  Ever.
If you spent fifteen minutes a day queuing, then that would translate to 91 hours per year.  And if you charged yourself out at an hourly rate of say, $20, then they would owe you a total of $1820 for your time.  It's daylight robbery.

Patience has never been a gift of mine.

Nor has coping with disappointment.

The end.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Naughty child

I wasn't a naughty child.
In fact, I was a very good child.  Ask my mum and dad.
I desperately wanted to please all of the adults in my life.  Parents, teachers; I lived to please them.
I thought they would only like me if I was good.   

So I kept the naughtiness bottled up inside of me.  When the pressure of being so angelic got too much,  I would have to let the naughtiness out a little.  But I would always do it in secret.
I could not be told off.
The adults must like me.

So I became a stealthily naughty child.
Naughty in a sneaky, passive kind of way.
Naughty in a way that didn't elicit a telling-off, because...

...I never got caught.

I did things like sticking wet toilet paper onto the ceiling in the school toilets.

Throwing the skipping ropes over the moose's head at Brownies, where noone could reach them.

Spilling paint on the resource room floor.

I even stole wine out of the teachers' fridge at primary school.
(I had to mix it with sugar and warm water to make it palatable).

Nobody ever found out.  I escaped, scot-free, every time.
Adults loved me.
I managed to maintain my angelic reputation, and be extremely naughty, both at the same time.

But the biggest thing I ever got away with, was what I like to call, 'the great cosmetic surgery heist'.

When I was about 8 years old, a cyst grew smack-bang in the middle of my forehead.  It stuck out.  The other kids pointed at it.  It was ugly.

But it was so useful.

When I didn't want to eat my pumpkin at dinner time, I'd just cry and say that "my bump hurt."
I would be let down from the table.
I would still get dessert afterwards.
It was like a magic button!   

I used it frequently.

So frequently, that my mum decided we should get it removed.
And so we went to the doctor.
He decided it was too big to remove with local anaesthetic.

So I went to hospital for surgery, under general anaesthetic.
I was terribly excited.  I got a day off school.  The nurses wheeled me around in a bed.  And gave me jelly to eat for lunch.
It was awesome.  I was a celebrity!  I ruled the world!

Now twenty years have passed.  Enough is enough.
When we become adults, we give up our childish ways.  
We stop trying to please everyone.
We learn to love pumpkin.
We tell the truth.

And when we're adults, our parents can't tell us off anymore.  There is nothing left to fear.
We are free. 

So I have decided it is time to own up to my naughty ways. 

Because the truth is, my cyst never hurt at all.
Not one little bit.  Not once.
It was an ugly, ill-placed little flaw, but it never caused any pain.
It certainly didn't require surgery.

And I never told my mum that.  Until now.

Sorry mum.  I hope you still like me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Music is a powerful medium.  It can evoke strong emotions in humans.

A recent Canadian study found that when we listen to music we like, our brain releases dopamine, a pleasure-promoting neurotransmitter.  Well that makes sense.  But what about the flip-side?  What happens to our brains when we hear music we don't like?

I would like to offer my own anecdotal evidence to the Canadian neuroscientists.

One morning not so long ago, I woke up to the sound of what I would describe as late-20th-century-techno-pop-fusion.  It evoked a strong emotion in me.  Fury.

I sat up and looked out the window.  I saw crowds of innocent children on the school field across the valley, being forced by someone in an identity-masking animal costume, to perform some sort of synchronised routine to the techno-pop.
The music was ricocheting back and forth between the surrounding hills creating a terrifying cocoon of techno-pop horror, in which I found myself firmly encased.

I fled from my bedroom, stumbling upon my flatmate Micah in the hallway.
A wave of compassion washed over me.  He must be suffering too.  We were all in this together! 
"Are you okay?" I asked him in distress.
He looked confused.
Can't you hear that?" I said incredulously.
"Hear what?" he replied.
"That horrendous music from across the valley!"
"Oh, that.  I just assumed it was coming from your bedroom" he said nonchalantly. 

If there's one thing that can evoke a stronger emotion in me than late-20th-century-techno-pop-fusion, it is the assumption of a person who is known to me that I might
a) listen to
b) enjoy
or c) actively promote music of a late-20th-century-techno-pop-fusion variety.

Fury.  Musically-induced blind rage. 

There was only one thing for it...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter in the country

For Easter some friends and I went for a night away at the utopian country residence of Will and Steffen.

We went to sleep on an air mattress in their lounge, underneath a beautiful old grandfather clock.
The clock chimed, not just on the hour, but every fifteen minutes, all night long.
That's the kind of thing that would drive you nuts in the city.
But not in the country!
In the country, it has a rustic charm.

The next day, Will and Steffen took us for walk through the countryside to see some pretty elm trees.
This is another thing that distinguishes the country from the city.
In the city, you walk past a group of trees on your way somewhere.  But in the country, you walk past somewhere on your way to a group of trees.  

On the way, we stopped to admire some pigs at a farm.   
The farmer came to the door of his little red house and yelled out that we could feed them licorice if we wanted.  It was in a plastic bag next to the gate.
We did.  Country folk are so generous to their animals.
Then I ate some of the licorice too.  Country folk are so generous to me.
And they don't even know it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011