Friday, 18 December 2015

[ the unusual xmas stocking ]

About 18 months ago I wrote a piece on technology, and its function in our society. Being a total technophile myself, I adore new gadgets, software, anything tech that makes life more interesting.

That being said, my opinion is still that we are inventing things faster than we understand them; the program capacity is far beyond our comprehension, and we are basically trying to create life - but not as we know it.

Being that it's the holiday time of the year, I also like to have a rant - ehem! - topical discussion and get the blood flowing. With my usual all-singing, all-dancing, arm-waving, hair-flicking style, I suggest you all prepare for this like you would a Sondheim musical, and get the drinks in now...


A close friend recently posted this and I'm reasonably sure my IQ dropped five points knowing that sex robots are a thing. It seriously occurred to me that this is where we need to start having a good look at ourselves as the superior creatures we are, the apparently evolved creatures, and this is what we spend time on.

Reasons I don't want to have sex with a robot are many and varied, but are pretty much the same reasons I don't want to have sex with my toaster. Firstly, it's a fucking toaster, and even having to say that out loud makes me feel like a complete twit. A toaster changes soft, bready products into toasty, crunchy, warm bready products. It does not, shockingly, stroke my shoulder, whisper sweet nothings in my ear, and make me a cuppa in the morning. That would be the coffee machine's job - also a piece of machinery with whom I like to keep my relationship platonic.

The breathtaking vulgarity of such inventions is hard to fathom, and yet, here we are; in a time when a machine can replace intimacy, apparently fulfilling all the needs you require in the bedroom department, without all the pesky emotional baggage that comes with it.

Theoretically, I'm not unaware of the allure of such technology. Dating is hard! Meeting someone new, putting yourself out there again and again; it's tiring, not to mention bruising to the ego. There's only so many cocktails you can drink, smiles you can fake, small talk that you can make, before the thought of slow water torture starts to look infinitely appealing. Thank gods for Netflix and online gaming.

Seriously though, shortcuts to happiness are sinister and insidious, and come in shiny boxes for a one-off fee of $4,999.00. And yours truly is not buying it, figuratively or otherwise.

The reason I'm dead-set again set against this type of technology is quite straight-forward; we are taking what makes us unique and amazing as a race, and attempting to mass-produce it. And not very well either. Surely I'm not the only one who finds this stunningly creepy...

I'm talking about emotion, interaction, eye-contact, blood flow, heart rate. A robot cannot reproduce these things and you cannot convince me otherwise. A chemical imbalance in the brain spawned some of the greatest poetry ever written, lines of prose that bring a tear to the eye. And I'm telling you now, unless it's trying to break your leg, a robot cannot make you cry like that.

Now before you get to it, let me not forget all the technology that is based on human body parts that have revolutionised medicine today; the humble hearing aid, the pacemaker, hip/knee/shoulder joints, robotic arms, and more recently, remote surgery which lets surgeons do the operation from a computer with a precision never seen before.

Let me also point out that all of the above are based on actual human body parts, that function as an extension of the body, where it cannot function for itself, or would better function with assistance. And in case any of you missed the point; these devices are helping your body do what it needs to do as a human body, they are not replacing an entire being.

A greater concern is the invention of machines that are making us lazier, while dehumanising us, one evil robot at a time. Have you thought about the good old dishwasher? No really, go with me on this; I know a goodly number of people personally who use a dishwasher every day. Every. Single. Day.

Now before you all lose your shit and start spouting the glories of timed washing, sparkling glasses, and water efficiency, let me tell you a little more about these friends of mine. Couple A are upper-middle-class, earn six-figure salaries each, spend a decent amount of time in their mortgaged apartment, and have no children. Friend B is a successful graphic designer who works from home most of the time, spends 4 days working long hours then takes 3 days off, and also has no children.

Finally, Couple C have 2 children, both over 10 but under 18, and swap who works to who stays at home with the kids regularly. They also earn close to $200K between them.

All these people, to a being, talk about their dishwasher with all the enthusiasm of watching paint dry. All of these people, TO A BEING, have washed up with me and told me how nice it was just to chill in the kitchen washing dishes and feeling the hot, soapy water. All these people, every one, washed up when they were children. Confused? Yeah, me too...

When I was a kid, washing up was done as a family. With two older brothers and one younger, it kept us out of mischief for a good 20 minutes and we spent some pretty quality time together when we did chores.

I'm well aware that not all families worked like this. I'm also aware that money is a big issue when it comes to conveniences. And whether by default or design, I am, in hindsight, ever so grateful for a life without a dishwasher. It represents all that is backward with domesticity in modern times and demonstrates a passive approach (a topic I've harried you with already) to life that borders on obscene. Poor dishwasher, who knew I thought it such a diabolical device!

Back to the sex robots. I desperately want someone to hold me just right, tell me I'm amazing, and make me laugh. Do I want it to be easy and fun? Of course. Do I want that without the messy, emotional stuff? Hell, no.

Sexbot cannot intuitively figure out if I want coffee or tea. It cannot laugh at my jokes in appropriate levels of enthusiasm, it cannot pick holes in my arguments and fight with me about comic books. It doesn't have the conceptual reasoning to do so.

And if I wanted the the kind of relationship where I didn't have to talk to anyone ever but still have sex, I'd get a lifetime subscription to Maxx Black and call it a day.

The insufferable arrogance of people who invent these types of things stating that we may prefer relationships with robots to those with humans or animals is top of the list of things I find unbelievably irresponsible as a duty to the human race, and makes me want to punch them. Hard. These people say that people like me are just afraid of them and the future of technology. Afraid of you? No, asshole, I'm not afraid of you, I'm afraid of being you.

The ratio of people who would prefer a robot to human contact is preposterously unbalanced, and stating that we are moving into a future where it will become more equitable is utter bullshit, mainly because if you haven't done a peer-reviewed study, followed by a publicly recognised groundswell, you are talking out of your ass.

Getting back on track though, my innate horror that we think it's appropriate to perpetuate such rubbish in developing our society only increases as we move forward. As I get older, my sincere hope is for a society where we get back to the grass-roots of communication; talking to each other. Eating meals with each other. Making eye-contact and transmitting unseen energy through our corporeal beings to each other.

This may seem at odds with an earnestness for flourishing technology, but it's simply not. Technology is the invention that is supposed to be making it easier for us to connect to ourselves. Not connect to depictions of ourselves.

Another point in my argument, in case you think I've missed this one, is also the awareness that people often use technology to connect with someone who is unable to be in physical contact. Soldiers and their partners, long-distance relationships, parents and children living halfway around the world, friends you never see but are always able to connect with. This is where I think mobile phones, tablets, computers, Skype, social media and email are marvelous feats of human invention.

We live in a world where you can be literally on the other side of the world from someone, and still have the illusion of being able to reach out and touch them. In theory, I have no issue with that. In fact, it warms me deeply to know that I will always be able to connect with ones I care about no matter how far from me they are.

Essentially, it comes down to circuitry; on one side of a phone/tablet/PC is a human. In the middle; a machine, wires and electricity moving in space producing sound and vision. On the other side of that connection is a human.

When it comes to robots, it may have been designed by a human, but there's no circuitry, no connection to the flesh. A SEX ROBOT IS STILL JUST A ROBOT.


So when it comes to xmas messages, let my first one be this; please make eye contact with me and hold my hand. Please call me and actually speak to me. Send me a picture of yourself eating too much ham and slightly drunk.

Then do this with all the people you love the most. Rinse and repeat until the desire to ever spend time with something that have as much emotional attachment to as your toaster, fades with the heightened blood flow and warm, gooey feeling in your tummy.

Or hey, come over and eat my food and watch my Netflix with me ;)


Thursday, 12 November 2015

[All the tea in China, and the milk too]

Australians are known to be compassionate, hard-working, good-natured and down-to-earth. We are a multi-cultural little island, kind to our neighbours, and generally have a giving attitude. But when does our kindness run out and the line in the sand get drawn between caring and being taken advantage of? 

One such line appears to be the trend of the Chinese online shopping sensation, ChinaBuy. Taobao villages, which produce a variety of goods for online stores, are touted as the new wave to flush some cash into the slowing Chinese economy, and it doesn't look like good news for Australians.

Each village makes something different, and the cyber stores then on-sell these items for the lowest possible price to ship worldwide. (footnote 1)

Baby formula is the newest casualty in this silent global warfare. Groups of people are buying out the product in bulk to sell in the online stores, creating a severe deficit in the market and making it harder for Australian mothers to feed their children. One mother even snapped a picture of such buying, with the photos going viral in a matter of hours (footnote 2)

Katrina, mother of five and located on the Central Coast, witnessed some men buying the cartons of formula in bulk, and it "quite frankly pissed me off. Being in a low income family, we are literally living payday to payday, and could only afford (at $25 per tin) one or two tins at a time. When the shelves were empty at Woollies and Coles, that meant the bus fare again the next day. This could go for a week before we found a store that had Bellamy's". (footnote 3) Unfortunately, this isn't a random occurrence; stories across the country and now coming to light with witnesses viewing various people buying out supermarkets of their stock in a matter of hours, let alone the week. 

In a jarring juxtaposition, the formula online is actually 3 times as expensive to buy than from Woolworths. Unconfirmed reports have stated that Woolworths are meant to have a 4 -8 tub limit per customer, but with stores seemingly unwilling to enforce this, Australian mothers are left to find increasingly dwindling alternatives to A2 Toddler Gold and Bellamy baby formula. (footnotes 4, 5, and 6).

However, Australian mothers don't blame their across-the-pond counter-parts in any way for this mess; they believe the government needs to step in and address the deficit. After a contaminated milk scare, which included baby formula, in China in 2008, mothers are looking elsewhere to feed their children. This seems to very much put parents on equal footing - they just want the best for their children, and they'll go to any source to get it (footnote 7).

On a greater scope and as a side note, it's important to note the far-reaching effects. Much like when Pacific Brands (previously makers of Bonds), and now Holden (moving offshore in 2017), decided to take the global leap, the mood is equally sour amongst the Australian public about what this trend heralds (footnotes 8 and 9). 

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) was already making people nervous, with concerns over the job market and access to cancer medications, to name but a few. This new development now looks to set a direction for Australians goods never seeing Australian homes.

It begs such simple questions; when a mother can't get formula for her baby, are our all our staples, like fruit and veg for example, also set to disappear? 

Food for thought, Australia, food for thought.



1. Taobao stores

2. A2 Platinum baby formula scandal

3. K. Davis, Springfield, Gosford

4. ChinaBuy - Bellamy baby formula

5. Woolworths - Bellamy baby formula

6. Currency converter

7. The Project - facebook page - video story

8. Pacific Brands moves offshore

9. Holden production moves offshore

*In case the websites remove these products, I have saved screenshots with date logs for verification.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

[greatest love story ever*]

This is not a new story; it's an old one. It's got all the elements of a great romance; meeting, falling in lust, getting to know each other deeply, falling in love. Breaking up, getting back together. Breaking up again and getting back together permanently. Commitment, fear, sleepless nights. All the usual suspects are here. I'm not the first to have this story, and I'm 100% certain not to be the last. But each story is special and wondrous for the individual who experiences it, and mine is no exception to the rule. 

Don't be ridiculous, I'm not talking about a person. I'm talking about COFFEE. 


The liquid gold has been around for thousands of years, but has been in my life for about 20. It's been a strange journey, and our relationship has certainly evolved over the years, but my connection to coffee has never really slipped away and, much like tea (another story entirely), keeps proving to be a continuously surprising and endearing engagement.  

Coffee and I met at a restaurant my older brother was working at when I was about 13 or 14. Young and inexperienced when it came to taste - I still thought Pop-Tarts were a viable breakfast option - I'd never even tasted coffee, let alone developed a preference. I was getting to know tea and finding it suitably desirable, so why not coffee? 

The parental units thought this a solid idea and as I was a reasonable age to try such things, a plain latte was ordered. I supped this frothy goodness like the manna from heaven it was. 

It's probably no surprise to anyone, except my 14 year old self, that I was smitten at first sip. In a bold move, I asked for another and was allowed it. In hindsight, this was probably not the best decision I ever made, but being a fairly well-behaved child, I was indulged the treat and sallied forth with gay abandon.  

And so my first disaster with coffee began. I bounced off the walls like a hyperactive squirrel for hours on end and felt decidedly drained afterwards. This did not dim my desire for coffee at all. In fact, I was intrigued. 

What was this drink of such power that I felt superhuman? What magical properties did it contain that I might use them again? And again?! 

During the rest of my teens, I maintained a casual relationship with the smoky black liquid, occasionally choosing it over tea, having one as a treat on a weekend, and generally treating it like watching episodes of Friends; easy to dip in and out of, simple enough to pick up again after weeks of not viewing. It was fun, it was cheerful, and when things got a little too hectic, I just stopped drinking it.  

My twenties were when things started to get serious. I took a more industrious view of our relationship and started to experiment within the caffeine world; I tried flat whites and cappuccinos, espressos and macchiatos. I drank coffee in the morning before college, on weekends with friends over cigarettes and scripts (stop looking at me like that, the early noughties were all about being aloof and choking on your own brand of cool). 

It was a curious time for me; I'd started to feel slightly more comfortable in my own skin, but was still clinging a little to the highly-strung teenager of my youth. I suspect I drank some seriously good coffee, but appreciated it only half as much as it deserved. This would be the part of our story where I'm the bad partner and things got a little rocky; you can only drink so much shit coffee and think it's as decent as the good stuff before your body starts rejecting your sleazy advances and kicks you for it. 

After a few years of careening about, full of combinations of caffeine, booze, occasional contraband and crap food, I found a serious job and settled down. Having more money and quality time on your hands does strange and wonderful things to a person; you start to appreciate the simple things rather a lot more. You eat better, you sleep better, and you STOP DRINKING SHIT COFFEE. 

Around 2007-'08, approximately age 26, my mother, ingenious soul that she is, started a tradition that she continues every few years to this day; buying me a home coffee machine. Glorious inventions. 

My first was a pot-and-drip-filter affair. Sunday mornings when I wasn't working, I'd stumble out of bed around 10, slip a filter in, pour grainy goodness over that, flick the switch, and quietly listen to it gurgle away for the three short minutes it took to fill. Bliss. Absolute bliss. 

This started me on a path from which I have never looked back. And it also created a bizarre contradiction in our relationship. At home, I wanted straight black coffee, occasionally with a dash of milk and/or sugar, and that was it. Outside, I wanted my coffee as extravagant as it could come. And thus the new element to colour this epic came along; syrup. 

Fast-forward briefly; for those of you who spend any social time with me, you'll feel these words are well-worn, but never-ending. Soy vanilla latte please, hot as you can get it before the milk turns. Conversely so, at home, I'll flick the coffee machine on, pop in the capsules and voil√†, cafe! No sugar, occasional milk, but generally just variations of good coffee. Coffee and I have a solid, straight-up relationship that relies purely on how good the barista is (myself or a trained professional), and we stick to it. No, I don't think I'll try a macchiato, I'm not going to like it even if the beans have been harvested this morning by gypsy monks with virgin hands and rinsed in mountain water from Olympus. 

But I digress. The other turning point in my mid- to late-twenties was realising that I enjoyed the ritual and tools of coffee, as well the black brew itself. I found out I had some health issues late in those years, and had to start substituting soy for milk a lot. It made no noticeable difference to the relationship, except perhaps to enhance it. Why had no one told me that soy milk, being nuttier and creamier, made barista-made coffee taste even better? I could never quite get it right at home, and so reverted to coffee without, and found I appreciated it more. Curiouser and curiouser! 

Anyway, late into my twenties and now early thirties, the evolution continues. I drink more soy than skim, have all my favourite haunts, and have developed a disturbing but amusing penchant for stalking baristas in a fashion that would make Hollywood paparazzi proud. 

The last is something I ascertained I was doing after moving to Newtown around my 30th year. There's an old saying; a workman never blames his tools, and this seems relevant in any trade including hospitality. A cafe can use the finest Colombian, fair-trade, soft-harvested beans in the world - if the barista burns them, they are still going to taste like an ashtray warmed up.

I've found some great cafes in my time, but I've found some better baristas. Being the nature of the beast, baristas, like most hospo works, don't stay in the same place for long, so you have to be damn quick and latch on while you can. Luckily, I tend to be a chatty sort - spent my fair share of time in hospitality too - and baristas like me. It makes the stalking way less creepy, and much more flattering. 

Back to the coffee. On an average week I'll down 4-5 cups, and generally all before midday. For the serious drinkers that's not a big number, but considering the lengths I'll go to get a decent cup I think that's pretty good. 

Let's put it this way; I once woke up after my third day on less than 3 hours sleep a night and trekked all the way to Bondi Junction, waited 45 minutes for a Tobys Estate skinny latte, which was made by one of my baristas, Joey. I live in Newtown. I work in North Sydney. I had $4 left until my pay cleared and I wasn't entirely sure the place would be open. 

The gods smiled on me; they place wasn't open yet, but Joey is a good man, made me a steaming cup of java goodness, and gifted it to me without a second thought. 

See? All about the ritual, all about the baristas, all about the good stuff. 

I guess that's why coffee is probably the longest and best relationship I've ever had. Coffee doesn't care if I've had no sleep; it feels my pain and perks me up. Coffee cares not for my bed-crushed, 6am, crazy-faerie hair; it feels we are best spending time together when I am at my most vague and non-verbal. 

Coffee loves me no matter what mood I'm in; it hugs me warmly, says a prayer for the day for me, and quietly does its' work. It has some surprising health benefits; it is a natural aperient (look it up, you're a grown up, I'm not helping) which may be just a little too TMI, but a pretty important thing when you start to get older. Caffeine is said to be good for your skin, is full of anti-oxidants, as well as give you more energy to burn when you're training or working out (...I do neither of these things caffeinated - too much sitting and looking smug to do). 

Likewise, coffee is said to work on your metabolism and have some mental health benefits. There appears to be only preliminary studies for the latter, but I can personally attest to feeling way less homicidal post-coffee than pre. I'm almost certain my family and friends prefer caffeinated faerie to not. 


On a final note, the one word some people dread; decaf. This is where I think we will sharply differ. Decaf has copped a bad rap over the years, and I think it is highly undeserved. For those who drink coffee purely for the pep - YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. Seriously.

If all you are looking for is some extra zing, the get-up-and-go you physically lack without stimulation, then start taking supplements. Eat more apples (proven to wake you up better than coffee - science, bitches). Or how about just learning to be a bloody morning person already (we respect you people, but no one likes you).

On the other hand, if, like me, coffee is about the taste, the ritual, the placebo as well as the, for want of a better word, nocebo (also a real word, look it up) effects, then the occasional decaf makes almost no difference in the right circumstances. 

In fact, decaf can be the go-to if you've over-caffeinated and need to cut down. So for those of you who sneer at decaf, I sneer right back; you have no understanding of coffee at all, your relationship is purely selfish, and I bite my thumb at you. Quite forthrightly. 


That's my story. It's not really original, except to me. It doesn't have any fancy titles, it doesn't always look pretty or come dressed up in the nicest attire. But it's one of my favourites, one of my longest running, and is has forged a bond as strong a steel. 

Cheers, my darling, to 20 good years together and many more! 


...Excuse me now, I've a bar to find and a bartender to charm - apparently Espresso Martini's are back in fashion...  

*or [coffee appreciation : part one]

Friday, 18 September 2015

[ passive and itchy ]

As one may have gathered from previous posts, I'm not great at being patient. I know, shocking right? Considering how Zen I can be about some things. Also, my distinct lack of passivity as a person makes patience even more difficult.

Something I've also noticed recently is how hard it is to be around people who are passive and patient, and how just their very presence can sometimes make me a little twitchy.

Let me preface this with a big disclaimer; you people are awesome. Whether you have this ability consistently, or it comes and goes depending on the situation, I really respect the capacity for this sort of behaviour. Because honestly, I just don't have it, and inaction, in many forms, makes me a little 12 Monkeys, as it were.

Recently I have spent a great deal of time contemplating events in my thirties, and came to an interesting conclusion; I notice complacency a lot quicker and my desire to rectify it is swifter. I've discussed this before, in a professional setting, and maybe that was the start of my realisation of overall issues, an indication of my revelations to come. Though, clearly, I didn't know it at the time. 

 In terms that are not so bloody cryptic however, I've done a self-inventory and found myself wanting. I've hit my seven year cycle and the the start of Spring is on the way, so it's no wonder I feel so motivated. 

Every few years people have a Spring clean of their house and their surrounds then get rid of all the clutter that is taking up their space. Every five to seven years, people get what is commonly called the seven-year-itch, and make some massive changes. These changes usually start small and spiral outwards to their home, jobs, and relationships. 

Mine has kicked in with a vengeance and I'm now riding the wave like a pro surfer at Oahu, Hawaii. Except, you know, with more grumpy face and extra swearing. 

In relation to passivity, I'm struggling to be around people who are gliding along with nary a stray ripple. I'm not sure how that's going to work out in the long-term as, you know, passivity certainly has its place in our lives, but I'm hoping it starts to settle. Being twitchy all the time is just bloody annoying. 


The catalyst started with my second-in-a-week dream about my car flooding. On a scale of one-to-that's-pretty-odd, this isn't that high up there. For me, anyway. But it is an indication of the state of play in my life. 

Previously, I've talked about how dreams can mean your subconscious is trying to tell you something, or, if you believe in it, like I do, they are messages and glimpses of things to come. 

That doesn't mean my car is going to flood. Situationally, I'd be interested to find out how that would come to pass, but not really. Carpet car-shampooing is expensive. And I'm more interested in what my subconscious is trying to tell me; the obvious message behind it. 

Water is deeply connected to emotion, and at this time of contemplation and reflection, I haven't spent a lot of time being outwardly emotional. Letting negative events or comments, at work for example, effect your calm and leave you being the only one who suffers.  

That being said, when your subconscious, or sometimes even your conscious, starts to send messages like that, you need to pay attention. Losing your shit in the supermarket at the checkout person or bursting into tears watching The Bachelor is a sure sign that there's some emotional stuff that just needs a little more your attention. 


Last week I fell down some stairs and sprained my ankle in a nasty way. This would clearly be the universes' way of telling me to SLOW THE FUCK DOWN. Which was a fair call to be honest; there really is only so much you can fit into one day. Or one thirty-minute, oven-timed session, to be exact.

But here's why I'm finding passivity hard at the moment; I can't commit to the idea of a holding pattern. I can't. Like some people get deathly afraid of spiders, or confined spaces make them nuts, the idea of letting outside forces do all the work, even for a short period of time, makes my skin crawl. 

Don't mistake me here; I'm all for putting in the hard yards and waiting for the results to show. But when things are chugging along, no new projects or ideas have appeared for a good while, and most people think there's not much you can do but wait, that's when I become super motivated and start pulling rabbits out a hat like a magician on crack.

I can't stop. Ever. Whether you think that's a fault or not, that's the way I'm wired and I suspect that's the way I've always been. At this age, I've developed a finely-honed sense of when the wheels are about to fall off, and I tend to jump into action just before they do. It's when things are quiet and relaxed that I get this nagging feeling there's something missing and lose it. Conversely, when it's all chaos and whirlwinds, I've got a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

Where I'm going with this is thus; constant motion, physically and mentally, makes me feel safe and free. Stagnancy and static make me feel like my skin is trying to crawl off my body. Slowly and painfully. 

Now before you all think that I have no ability to be still at all, just remember that I said I was at my best when things were in flux. Which is also when I relax. I relax just before all hell breaks loose, when the fight is on, and when the everything starts to die down. And I breathe easy when the fallout seeps through. It's prolonged periods of inertia that make my face ache.

My point, and I promise I have one, is that I feel again the need to tout the importance of evolution. Like a hummingbird that is constantly in motion, I cannot accept that we as beings ever stop. Slow down maybe, pull back and dart forward perhaps, but never, ever stop. 

And I guess my incomprehension grows, the further along this path I get, when I come to people or situations that do. Stop, I mean. In a last-ditch attempt to get my point across, let me use the metaphor of traffic lights. 

When you stand at the curb waiting for the green figure to appear, you know that depending on where you are and what time of day it is, the wait between the green and red can be quite a variance. But you have no doubt, eventually, green it will turn. 

What if it didn't? How long would you wait? When would the frustration kick in? When would you say, fuck it, and try to duck through traffic or move down to another set of lights? 

Do you have a short attention span or do you wait patiently to see what will happen? Personally, I'm pretty chill with the whole thing; I stand patiently and wait, and when they do turn green - because Sydney is ludicrously dangerous - I even wait three seconds then step onto the road. But there is a limit.

I like to think I have a suitable deal of patience. But life is short and sharp, or long and dull, depending on how you live it, and I don't want to spend my life waiting for the fucking lights to change. Savvy? I'm not so cavalier that I'll risk my life just to get hit by a truck, but I'm also not going to wait passively until a function of society tells me when I can come and go. 

And if you're still with me after that epic amount of metaphor (so proud, actually!), then let me cyber-hug you and tell you how much I appreciate your patience and understanding. Let me tell you that your time will be rewarded with all my best moods, all my good times, all my crazy ideas, and all my clever and calm ones. You will bask in the warmth of my ambition and I will love you all the more for your dubious acceptance, your unwavering scrutiny, and even your passive support. 

If you gave up around the skin-crawling talk, that's also a fair call. This mentality is not for everyone. This merry-go-round isn't everyones' cup of tea. I can understand and respect that. 

Know this however; the path you choose leads you to your desires. Standing still is also a choice, but the path does not move closer to you because you choose only to stand near it. 

Be bold, be brave, be fierce. 

Be amazing. Be it like a brass band or like a whisper, choose motion.

Choose evolution.   


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

[song of the day]

When I was in high school, we didn't have social media. A fact I thank the gods for EVERY DAY. The amount of rubbish that passed my lips, as with most teenage girls, was ridiculous, and there is certainly no need for that to be shared with hundreds of my nearest and dearest online and in perpetuity.

In the past few years I have become quite circumspect about what I put on the world wide web. There's a fair amount of opinion, a lot of geekery, and a reasonable amount of family and friends events and photos.

One thing I have discovered, that surprisingly connects to my teenage self, is that when I can't describe feelings, I use music. Song of the Day helps me explain if I'm feeling energetic without focus, angry without purpose, happy and peaceful.

Sharing a song is also a great way to tell people how you feel without having the conversation. If you've been hurt by someone and there is nothing you can do about it, music soothes. Having a wonderful day with family and feeling a connectedness that's hard to explain? Share some tunes.

In a lovely moment of synchronicity, you can share a song and also connect with others. Nobody knows quite how you feel except you, but I believe music brings souls together.

So, here's a bit of fun and love, the top 21 songs of the moment that we (read=I) share when words fail. Enjoy!



An old favourite to start things off. This one works on so may levels; when you're feeling down it brings you up, when you get your mojo back, when all your motivation rocks up at once. For me, this one is all about getting my game face on; if I've lost focus, or even if I've just got a great plan, this song makes me exhilarated and ready to take on the world. 

WONDERFUL, Rob Thomas 

This one is all about feeling used up but carrying on. You've made something of yourself, but you're not sure if it's your dream you've made or someone else's. And now that you're at a pinnacle, you've discovered that you need all the things that you got built into to keep going, even if you don't want them. 
This is for those days that no amount of money is worth it, no amount of kudos or respect for your position, and no amount of pep talks take the sting out of not being the person you thought you were. Big, brass band music makes this one a rocker to help you get through the day. 


In the past few years, OneRepublic have become my go-to band (after Matchbox Twenty and Rob Thomas) for songs that explain how I feel. My teenage years were spent endlessly listening to Matchbox Twenty and Garbage albums mooning over various people, places and things. 
OneRepublic has put some new groove into my life with the honeyed vocals of the lovely Ryan Tedder and lyrics that mean something.
Counting Stars is my song about no longer living the mundane and going out there and getting the adventure, no longer living the lie of all the shitty experiences just making things hard - they actually do make you stronger. And with that comes inspiration and courage. Reach for the stars, lovers! 


I'm well aware that the gods of rock, The Rolling Stones, made the original song, but really, I just like the Guns version better. 
This is a lovely, convoluted snake of meaning in a song; recognising the bad stuff and owning it. Knowing who the bad guys are and not pretending otherwise - especially if one of the bad guys is you.
I heard this on the Interview With A Vampire soundtrack many, many years ago, after the Vampire Lestat had come back to the world and decided to be a rock star. This song is all the bad and badass things you do, and still being a good person.

SHAKE IT OUT, Florence + the Machine

Still on the devil theme, this glorious powerhouse from my newest favourite goddess is all about finally shaking off the past and all the bullshit you carry with you. It's time to stop torturing yourself with past deeds and begin afresh. I love the bold and bleeding nature of this song, and how it makes no bones about how you were foolish in the past, but that's about to end. Rock this one when you're finally admitted your past and your mistakes are not who you are.

MAD SEASON, Matchbox Twenty

Brace yourself - we're breaking out the sappy songs. Love songs, heart songs, I miss everything songs.
This album got me through the better part of high school, and the single through my twenties. When all you felt was awkward and misunderstood, this song made you feel like the one you loved still got you and that they'd be there when you needed them.
Strangely enough, this testament to time also related to people I was with. Someone finally admits they are a fuck-up but that they still need you because you are the only one who understands. It's very confusing to be on the opposite side of this song...and also very satisfying.


Like many songs with powerful lyrics, this one seems about getting outside your comfort zone to survive, and doing it with the one you love, a la epic romance. Hilariously, this song is inspired by the momentous events at the end of the '80's, the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Crazy marks a brilliant start to music of the '90's and was up there with other songs that had nothing to do with love, and everything to do with the state of the world.
This was ''our song'' between an ex and I, and as much as it was for us, it was also about being together with the greater community. Us, together. Which obviously changed, hence the ex part. Couples songs break your heart.


I never thought this could work, I never really wanted a relationship, I just wanted to be together. Now we've made it through more shit than I ever thought we could survive, and we're still here. When I find it hard not to dwell on obstacles, real or imagined, help me get through it, because we are meant to be. Forever and forever.
Tres romantic, yes?


Sinister as fuck, Sting admits this song is about how he stalked his ex-wife for a while after they broke up because he couldn't get over her. So damn romantic all the same; someone is so deeply obsessed in love with you that they watch you all the time. Surely not as creepy as all that...

IRIS, Goo Goo Dolls

Of course I'm not crying, dammit. The epitome of epic romance, this song was originally written for the film City of Angels, where Nic Cage's character is an angel sent to help humans transition to the afterlife. He falls deeply in love with Meg Ryan's character and gives up his grace to spend a mortal life on earth with her. In a heart-stopping conclusion, Ryan's character is killed in a road accident not long after they get together.
IRIS is played just as the couple get together, Ryan's character death, and a brief shot of Cage's character swimming in the ocean for the first time.
When your heart is too tiny a space to hold all the emotions you feel, release this beautiful bird and set them free.

MEZZANINE (album), Massive Attack

Everyone has a rainy days' album; this is mine. Of all Massive Attack's albums, this has consistently been my favourite, with glorious tunes such as ANGEL and TEARDROP, both of which get their meanings mistaken for something else. The heavy bass and honey bourbon vocals of both Horace Andy and Elizabeth Fraser send shivers down my spine every single time, and every time I move into a new house, change my bedroom around, or even just do some serious Spring-cleaning and rearranging, I play this album. It's like a musical smudge stick.

HOME, Depeche Mode

Someone very close to me once said that this song was one of their favourites, and at the time I don't think I quite realised the significance. I love the intensity and rawness of this song, and only found out years later that it's about alcohol addiction. Which is interesting, because this person was/is an alcoholic.
I've never really been addicted to anything, so I have no comparison, but the deep, visceral rush that comes from listening to this song feels familiar.
This is a gutsy song, full of darkness and hope. Hard to share and hard to keep to yourself, this one is for when you remember that something imagined can never be lost.


While technically not in the same category as the above - having no lyrics to convey feeling - this is an old-school classic that slams you in the back of the head and gives you a full-body slam. Part of the Matrix soundtrack, this song is the rush of being super smart, super fast, and super cool. Friday-afternoon-before-the-weekend sharing complete with Boom! caption.

GHOSTS N STUFF - deadmau5 featuring Rob Swire

 A friend who is madly into his skiing, snowboarding and other extreme sports, first played me this song as a soundtrack to an epic skiing video of a few guys doing one of the largest mountains in the world. I was mesmerised. I love snow but am not that keen on snow sports (read=sports). As with Clubbed to Death, this one has no lyrics, but conveys all sorts of meaning. It's a heart-soaring, world-is-an-adventure, anything-is-possible song.

SONG 2, Blur

Lead singer Damon Albarn has a history of being a too-cool-for-school groover, who also gained status as a gay icon for a while. Also doing some brilliant vocals for Gorillaz, Albarn wrote this one as a jibe at grunge music in America at the time.
Song 2 was the epitome of getting hyped up and psyched out for a weekend of fun and shenanigans in high school and my early twenties. Though I have some more recent favourites to fill that slot, this is still a great one to rock out to on a sunshiney Saturday morning.

SECRETS, OneRepublic

You get to a point in life where you realise all the hearts you've broken, all the lies you've told, all that pain you caused; it catches up with you. It eats at you until you can't stand it. So you give all your secrets away. You don't become a better person by one act, but you take that step and still remain true to yourself. This song makes me think of the god Loki; he's never going to stop being a trickster, but he means well and loves his family dearly. Sing along with this one, it's good for your soul.


Without lyrics, this song is simply amazing and beautiful and makes you think of far-off lands and adventure. This is my Summer days song, when all I can dream off is brightly coloured tents, hazes of incense and the smell of the ocean... 


A whimsical little tune, this jazz band elicits feelings of '20's glamour and glitz, when people worried about real things in real times, so they partied like it was the end of the world. Seriously, we have no comparison to war-time, food stamps and inequality. Have a wiggle and give thanks for all that you've got.  

BRAVE, Sara Bareilles

Brave is my favourite tune when I've had the courage to tell the truth. It's bold and funky and makes you want to dance. Sometimes it can be hard to say what matters, but nothing beats that feeling when you do. 

THE GOOD LIFE, OneRepublic

Another Friday afternoon, feel-good tune. The whistle stays with you long after the song has ended. As with a lot of other OneRepublic songs, I love this song for the simplicity of the message and the feeling it gives me; you have all you need, life is good, enjoy it while it lasts. 


By no means an exhaustive one, I hope this little list has made you remember all your favourite tunes and what they mean to you. Bring them out to share and I hope we all understand each other a bit more for it. 

Bright blessings earthlings, 


Thursday, 9 July 2015

[ 600 circles ]

This is a meditation that I created from a few others and from having a hectic life. It's a simple exercise, but I hope - like some of my favourite meditations - it has a bigger impact than first thought.

It's a straight-forward little exercise, but the devil is in the details. Here, I've tried to come up with something that isn't about making it to the end, but about developing a routine, feeling the discipline of flow. The counting is something everyone can do, so there's no special skills involved or needed, just the power of concentration, and a little imagination.

Hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!


600 circles should technically take 10 minutes. The idea is to imagine a loop circling you with every number and breath; one, breathe, and around you it goes, two, breathe, and around it goes, three and so on.

 The circling itself can be anything you find soothing and easy to visualise. For me, I like to imagine a little white or blue ball of light whizzing gently around my body. The light spins around me as I breathe, and each number counts as a revolution. 

Sometimes I like to mix it up and change the visual to a little black and white spotted bee, called leafcutter bees. It buzzes lazily around my head, moving in a swaying motion. Very peaceful. 

To begin with, this meditation works best when you are trying to get to sleep and your brain just won't shut off. It quiets the mind by making it focus on a picture and a mental action, as it were. You can drift for a moment or so, but the rhythm should help bring you back. Let's start...

Take some deep breathes to focus. Feel the air go in and out. Trying breathing through your nose and out through your mouth, see if this feels different to just breathing through your mouth. Don't force it, just let your breathing slow and become relaxed.

Start to visualise your circling object now; see the little ball of light come into being, watch it bob before your eyes. See a little bee float towards you, hovering about your head, shifting to your breathing.

One deep breath in, and as you let it out slowly, begin the first revolution. Firmly imagine your little object circling your body. Does it turn around about head height? Or does it drift around you in a wide, low arc? Does it take its time, or whizz quickly about and come back to the start like a little bullet?

Keep counting and breathing. There's no right or wrong way to do this, just that you keep breathing, counting and imagining. And this is where the magic happens; by doing all of these things at once, you are hopefully giving yourself a chance to slow down, be calm, and focus.

Little thoughts and worries are allowed to slip in and rouse you, but try to make them brief and let them slip away on the next breath or count. Once the circle passes the origin point, let the last thought go.

I need to do this at work tomorrow, orbit, blown away.

About that conversation I had with so-and-so, orbit, blown away.

I wonder how long I'm taking here... orbit, blown away.

Let the rhythm of the cycle lull you. If you are doing this to help you sleep and you start to doze off, great! There's no need to push yourself to 600, trying to stay awake to complete the circuit, you'll just tense yourself awake.

If you are using this as an aid to achieve a little much-needed serenity, just remember that it's not about getting to the end, it's about looking for the flow and enjoying the mental peace.

Personally, I need lot of mental stimulation. I sometimes have a low tedium threshold and my mind likes to be entertained. I'm able to do this myself, but without practise, I lose focus and get irritated by worries. Taking the time out to slow down, look around me, see pretty things, gentle my breathing,  and count the moments; all this gives me a chance to unwind, unclench and settle.

A wonderful yoga teacher has this brilliant saying which, in her gorgeous accent, has really stayed with me;

You are here, right now. In this moment, in this time, just remember; you have nowhere to go and nothing to do*

While you breathe and count and whirl, try not to forget this. You may be on the way to work, you may be on the way to bed. You may just have decided to take some time out in the day for yourself. But this meditation is something you do for yourself, a little space you carve out for inward reflection.

Once you lose count or focus entirely, stop. Again, this isn't a race and it isn't about finishing.

Mark the number you got up to and take a moment to think about why you lost count or focus. Were outside influences just too distracting? Were you just too tense and kept jumping back and forth between numbers?

Did you fall asleep or just drift off peacefully? If this happened, then consider it a win. It's all about the chill factor, and if you mellowed yourself out so much you faded off a bit, you've still done yourself a good deed.

600 is a special number, all multiples of 3 and pretty rounded curves, a spiral in a number. The higher, quietly cheeky, message here is to feel the greater circle of life and constant motion. We've talked about this before, yes?

Constant motion isn't about speed, it's about growing and evolving. Take a little time for yourself occasionally and turn inward, watch that amazing process and enjoy.

Bright blessings,


Enigma - Return to Innocence

*Claudine Lafond,  of Yoga Beyond, but whom I met doing a little Vinyasa Flow at Virgin Active years ago :)

Friday, 8 May 2015

[ hellfire ]

It's time for one of those discussions again. You know you had it coming, just go with it...


I recently went to Melbourne again, read Amy Poehler's Yes Please, and had some very interesting things happen to me. Not all of them were ooh, that's groovy things either. 

Here's the thing about Melbourne; it's wonderful. Straight up, hands down, fucking brilliant. It's cool and hip and chillaxed and hectic. It makes me feel inspired and desired and broken and reborn. Melbourne has the ability to pull me out of myself and put me back together the way I'm meant to be. 

Sydney has sucked the life out of me for years. We have an ambiguous relationship, and I feel my indifference more keenly when I'm away from it. It will always have a special place in my heart, but I cannot wait to miss it. 

Melbourne also gives me clarity on things. Maybe the air is different down there or maybe the company pushes the inspiration (all credit to l√° mama), but I think better in Melbourne. Job thoughts, home ideas, relationship issues, everything marinates gently in my brain and produces clear thought. Maybe it's not exactly Sydney that clouds my judgement, but it sure as the stars doesn't help it. 

The amazingingness that is Amy Poehler made me remember some truly intriguing things about myself recently. Her book verbalised some concepts so eloquently and made me recall some of my absolute favourite things.  

My currency is quirkiness and combination. I really hate fake people. I enjoy saying and doing whatever I want more than I let on. Pretending not to be angry is really tiring. 

When people are rude and selfish, I forget that my life experience exceeds theirs and demands more respect than they give me. Your mother always knows best, no matter how much you think otherwise. Sleeping through the night is better than just about anything you can think of. 

Amy made me remember that other people have struggled too, and they have kicked ass. They didn't become superheroes overnight, and they didn't suddenly solve all their problems with money and fame. 

She inspired me again to realise that the hard things happen for a reason. The hard things toughen you up, thicken your skin, and make your scars blaze with fire. 

There are two types of fire that everyone has; soulfire and hellfire. The former is the inspirational, the burning light, the good and warm flame that helps you be nice to be people, that fuels your creative juices, that makes you stronger in the face of adversity. It gives you strength where you thought there was none, and brings things out in a beneficial light. It's an outpouring-energy sort of deal.  

Hellfire is an altogether different beast, though of the same origins. Hellfire is the wrath of anger, The Rage we all carry. Some of us use little pieces of it all the time, some think they never use it at all. Some people only ever use it, and turn so far into the darkness that they are irredeemable as constructive members of society. Hellfire is the fire that keeps you as you. Too much feeding = selfish nightmare. Just enough = strong, independent, secure creature. Savvy? 

I realised recently that I'd lost my balance and been using too much soulfire. And here's the problem; the fires feed each other. Being amazing and wonderful means you know when to be harsh and firm. Letting your fangs out for a while and giving people hell reminds them you are not to be trifled with, and makes being gentle next time easier. 

Without clouding the conversation too much more with conceptualisation, I want you to think about something we have discussed before; have you said yes when you meant no? Have you smiled when you wanted to cry? Have you let someone else control your tide without consent? 

See where I'm going with this? 

Complacency is a dangerous boat if the trip is long (yes, I just made that up, go me). Seeing the good in people is lovely, but being aware is better. Enjoying the flow is beautiful, but staying hungry will keep you alive.

People, by nature, are self-interested creatures and are out for their own survival. You can't blame them for that, they are hard-wired that way. What you can call people on is open nastiness and hostility. But if you're complacent, your time may pass and you're left stranded. Who left you stranded? You did.

I got complacent recently. It's as simple as that. I let my mind wander and forgot that not everyone has my best interests at heart. Reading Amy's book and reviving myself in Melbourne have hopefully caught me up, but only time will tell. 

Using soulfire means that people can get the benefit of your light without paying for it. You openly share your grace and give freely of your love and wondrous spirit. Most will soak this up like sponges and give back just as heartily. A tremendous energy-sharing love-in ensues, and everyone goes away happy. 

This happens nowhere near half the time. Mostly, you just don't notice it because you are wonderful and fabulous, and with some luck have wonderful and fabulous family and friends around you. 

But you can't tie those people to you and carry them around for good luck (tried, didn't work, excellent awkward story). Eventually you start to bleed yourself dry because you haven't been feeding the other inner fire. 

Ever feel like you gave so much and have no more to give? Your hellfire died down to a cinder, and it will take time to stoke it back up. Do you feel mentally exhausted pretending everything is fine and being the biggest grown up in the room Every. Damn. Day? Your hellfire fell asleep waiting for you to let it loose for a while. Wake it the fuck it. Now. Right now. 

Righteous anger is an amazing weapon to have in your personality arsenal, and a million times better if you know how to use it judiciously. No one can teach you this but yourself. Much like everything else, remembering to rely only on your own good self will be the greatest risk you ever take. 

In this life, I got lucky. I was bought up by a woman with more inner strength in her little finger than most people have in their entire being. I hope more than a little of that has rubbed off or worked it's way into my being by pure osmosis. 

Because, at the end of the day, only I can choose to be strong. Only I can choose to stick up for myself and fight my own battles. You can be given everything or nothing as a child, but you choose your own destiny. 

That's why the next asshole who blames their parents for all their problems in their life can meet the business end of my fist. To a man, all the people I know don't live in war zones. They have money in their pocket, food in their home, and an actual home for that matter. The biggest threat to their existence is paying rent as well as eating out. 

But I digress. Sort of. Back to the hellfire. 

This makes it sound like I'm angry at people in general. And I am, but not just them; I'm angry at myself. I'm clever, educated, fit and self-aware. I practice what I preach and try to learn from others. Most of the time I try not to get defensive when I'm told I'm wrong, but I also don't hold back when someone else is off-track. 

Why then did I let myself be walked all over recently? And it occurs to me that I have been letting it happen for a little while. You know why; complacency. My hellfire took a nap because I was all sweetness and light for so long, it thought I'd become a doormat. 

It's never too late to breathe light into a dying fire. The time to fight some battles can pass, but pulling yourself back on the right path has many roads that can get you there. 

So, today I'm thinking about hellfire. I'm thinking about hauling myself firmly back onto that track and running as fast as I can. 

Understand, it's not about randomly ripping nasty people to shreds indiscriminately. Most of them aren't worth it, for one thing. 

It's about being bold and brave and badass. It's about reminding the world I'm a warrior first and a lady second.  

And it's about respect. Deep and meaningful, hard to earn, easy to lose. I'm not going to bullshit you and say you need to respect yourself before others respect you, but it certainly helps. 

My present to myself is going to be feeding my hellfire with my soulfire. Building my backbone back up and making sure I share my light with those who deserve it. 

To those of you who always support me, who always have my back, thank you. Words will never be enough and I want to tell you when things are mundane, not just in the heat of the moment. 

For those of you who have messed with me recently, I say this very quietly and very calmly; eventually I was going to wake up. Now we play by my rules. 

Be bold. Be Brave. Be Amazing. 


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

[ hate-reading and the art of driving yourself nuts ]

Some of you have heard of this, but for those of you that haven't, hate-reading is pretty much what it sounds like. You actively go looking for material that will piss you off, make you depressed, or a combination of the two, usually online. The next step is to share this information with friends, family, and co-workers in order to get a group-hate on and spread the toxicity.

Hate-reading can take many forms, such as news stories, articles or social commentary pieces, blog posts, status updates, and tweets. The more insidious types of hate-reading include, but are not limited to, looking for related articles to the original piece, following people you disapprove of or disagree with, or Googling the key words of your current irritant.

Personally, I have unhealthily indulged in all of the above at one time or another. News articles about Julien Blanc, Twitter posts by mouthy journo's, checking on an ex's facebook page, watching Tony Abbott or Kristina Keneally do interviews, browsing LinkedIn for old workmates who I didn't get along with. The list goes on.

Hate-reading is like scratching the scab until the wound reopens and you're bleeding onto the carpet. No good can come of it.

Occasionally it can be amusing; I recently got told by a co-worker that they think the moon landing was faked. I'm pretty sure it wasn't, but it's always fun to let someone talk for so long that you suddenly become doubtful and convinced they might be right (not really).

So I went looking for evidence that what they were saying might have some basis in fact. It didn't. Forty minutes and two coffees later, all I'd found was endless crap about lighting effects and shadows, and I was high as a kite and twitchy from too much caffeine.

Once you jump on the hate-reading train it can be hard to get off. Boredom at work is a high risk factor. So is emotional stress, tiredness, hunger, and misplaced indignation. Have I mentioned boredom at work? Watch out, you might not know you're hate-reading until you've told Betty in Accounts how much Steve Price's views on, well, pretty much anything, get your goat.

Let's not confuse hate reading with actually reading the news; current events and the state of the nation are certainly important things to know day-to-day. As someone who doesn't read the news (I get mine from friends, family and social media - yes, I'm aware of the irony, shut up), I tend to glance over the byline on the front page or online and see what takes my interest. This can leads to all sorts of issues, but one click is all it takes to change that.

Why then so I feel the need to find out about Alyssa Milano getting her breast-milk confiscated at an airport? Do I actually care the Ben Cousins has gone to court again (surprise, surprise)? Endless. Bloody. Articles. On Jeremy Clarkson getting fired. Or not fired, but suspended. Then actually fired. Notice how he actually looks pretty amused in most of the photos. What's that about?


There's workplace hate-reading too, which is sneaky and sometimes unavoidable. Reading emails from colleagues, suppliers, corporate partners, or anyone else for that matter, at 4.38pm on any day ending in y is a bad idea.

If your Spidey-sense starts to tingle within the first 2 or 3 lines, STOP READING. There are requests that need immediate attention, and for those, well, que sera, sera. Just roll with it and get those ones sorted without thinking too hard.

For the ones that state dumb assumptions before actual questions, STOP READING. With the ones that begin with ''Sorry for the confusion, I see now your previous email did actually say...", STOP READING. If someone hasn't been considerate and professional enough to pay attention the first time, you sure as hell don't need to stress yourself out about doing it straight away.

And finally, if the email has the words ''the deadline is xxx'' followed by ''Thanks!! / Heaps appreciated! / You're the best!" and/or a smiley face, FOR THE LOVE OF THE GODS, STOP. BLOODY. READING.

There is no deadline that that amount of joviality is called for. Someone has basically left everything to the very last minute and now expects you to save their sorry ass by using flattery. Don't do it. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that - but not at the last minute when you have your own deadlines.

The lesson here is obvious; while you were reading about how the iPhone 6 bends in certain conditions (fail Apple, fail journalists, fail reader), you missed out on finding out that Sir Ian McKellen might play Cogsworth in the remake of Beauty and the Beast. 

After reading 4 articles about the leak of the new season of Game of Thrones (seriously folks - the link to the downloads isn't in the articles, you know that right?), you missed out on Hilary Clinton's announcement to run for President of the United States (love her or hate her, she gets big points for going for it). 

And while you were busy hoovering up the story about some idiot who did a nudey run and went to court for it (was he eating a burrito and playing a banjo? No? Then not interested), you missed out on the fact that White Bay Power Station at Rozelle, near the end of the ANZAC Bridge, got opened to the public to see all it's history before it gets redeveloped. 

Get off the hate-reading bandwagon, my friends. Life is too short to waste on fuckwittery.