A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a
lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the
walls of his cell.
Campolo: Eradicating corruption is key to establishing the Kingdom of God http://t.co/yhQAMlRz6I
Censoring a #gay kiss on @Eurovision? Tell them to speak out for @KristaSiegfrids & #equality now: https://t.co/FamL6KmRel
“... sin of your sister Sodom: ... arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; did not help the poor and needy.” Ezekiel 16:49 http://t.co/29dvsgKi30
@JoRoyal My darlin' & I polished off some left over MaltEaster bunnies - yummo!!
If you did one act of kindness, would it end up like this? By @LifeVestInside. (via @Upworthy) http://t.co/zuRPZcs4RV
@vicarwill Was it a famous quote before The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? :)
RT @beccadean: Really interesting, The Teenage Prayer Experiment... being conducted and written by @MirandaTHolmes and her son... http://t.…
How does the worst human being of retail sleep at night? After he sees this, he won't. (via @Upworthy) http://t.co/xpfUpoTqx0
If you #bully a kid, he might just do something about it. By @bullymovie (via @Upworthy) http://t.co/xn3w0w9719
RT @AgeKills: bad news: there's no key to happiness good news: it isn't locked
“@Screenjabber: Drupal person needed ASAP for web project. Please get in touch if you can help. Please RT.” @euanbayliss ??
RT @freitasm: IGLOO sales expectations down from 50k to 17k. And for that kind of crap TVNZ sold out, closing TVNZ7 and moving TVNZ6 to pai…
@tonyblackburn I believe you're thinking of a married weed dealer ;)
RT @POTSC: Also, let's take the time this week to go out of our way and encourage one another. #POTSClive
Struggling with idea of Unitarianism. Friend has just started attending UU church, and invited me along. Not sure.
Research says 3 Chinese Jujubes (dates) a day will keep the doctor away. I should be fine for a while as I just ate a whole packet...
.@DemandAction found out how it costs to pay senators to ignore the American people. (via @Upworthy) http://t.co/mpkfKCK1VJ
RT @dealwithpeeps: Sorry. No. We won't move your entire house of furniture across town in return for a donation of two cushions.
Love! / When He Met Me at the Mailbox | A Deeper Story http://t.co/4Ekhb3Wskt @tamaraoutloud @DeeperStory
What with all this talk of end times, and Stephen Hawking having a whack at heaven's existence along with God as a creator, it's making me wonder whether I should cram in some chocolate - you know, just in case?
Updated 21st October: Camping's keeping us guessing again - apparently, I didn't miss out on the Rapture last time, he just got his dates wrong (again). Today's the day folks!
That's a question for me to answer - I'm struggling with this.
I'm not ashamed of being gay. I'm not ashamed of being a follower of Christ. I brandish Romans 1:16 as my banner. I can quote scripture that has shown me over the years how I am made with His plan in mind, with His loving hand on me. I am learning to walk with Him as my teacher, my unconditionally loving Father. But I'm not being totally honest to those I hold as friends. More specifically, my gay friends.
I tweeted today that one of the hardest things to do as a Christian was to tell your gay friends. I know so many of them are atheist or agnostic, and they've known me longer as gay than as Christian. I've never had a problem coming out about my sexuality. The church I currently attend knew about that before I first ever went there (a whole other story). And for some reason, that way around works for me. What I stumble on, is how to be totally up-front about my Christianity with my gay friends.
To all extents and purposes, my gay friends here (in NZ) are like my family; heck, we even say "He's family..." when talking about someone who's gay! It's a home away from home, thousands of miles from my blood relatives with whom I may or may not have a particularly close familial bond.
Over the past few years, there has been another family that I've grown part of. That's my church family, my homegroup, my community, and the trinity of faith all around me. These families are quite separate. I don't go to church with any of my gay friends. I don't talk about my Christian faith when I'm at events where there are primarily gay people. But it's worse than that.
I post a lot of links on facebook. I post links to blogs, news articles, videos, songs, a whole range of stuff. BUT, I'm wary of posting certain links because I worry about how they will be perceived. If I post a link to a Christian song on YouTube, I'll exclude (most of) my gay friends. However, I don't curb my enthusiasm for posting gay links to the whole of my friend list. Why?
I don't know yet. I'm working on it.
Someone asked me today if there was anything I needed prayer for. I'm guessing this is one of those moments. Maybe I need to make a video like this one - and then of course I'd have to post it to everyone...
This book, like that one, puts talk of God, Jesus, the Spirit, theology, religion and more into a fictional setting but with real implications - at least, there are implications for me and my journey as I seek to find Him in my every day.
I read a paragraph earlier today and immediately thought about sharing it - and even though putting it in here means it won't get much airtime, it's too important to squeeze into a tweet or facebook status. So here it is:
"Just like a butterfly taking wing from its cocoon, Jake. Isn't it sad that we thought we could press people into spiritual change, instead of helping them grow to trust the Father more and find him changing them? You can't press a caterpillar into a butterfly mold and make it fly. It has to be transformed from the inside." (p.133)
Speaks volumes to me. This whole book speaks to how I think of the church. I recognise, and struggle with, my own longing to be told/taught how to be a Christian. Yet how I also understand it can only come from me, when I fully open myself up to His possibilities.
In Audrey Niffenegger's novel The Time Traveler's Wife, the protagonist, Henry DeTamble, time travels involuntarily. After he marries, he begins to frequently travel to various times in his wife's childhood, during which he befriends her, which leads to their eventual marriage. Shortly after his wife's younger self first meets him, he dictates to her a list of the dates on which he will reappear; when she eventually meets his present self (who has not yet traveled into the past to meet her), she gives him the same list of dates, which he memorizes so that he can dictate it to her when he travels into the past. Neither character can figure out how or where the list originated.
Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_paradox
When I feel myself losing my temper, if I can muster the mindfulness to be self-reflective, I ask myself these questions:
1. Am I at fault? I hate to be criticized or to be in the wrong. Often, I’m angriest when someone is chiding me about something that I am, indeed, guilty of. When I’m about to hit back, I remind myself to accept criticism politely, if grudgingly.
2. Will this solve anything? I often snap when I feel like I’m confronting the same annoyance over and over. Fact is, people often have irritating habits that aren’t going to change. Failure to meet deadlines, failure to return phone calls, untidiness, etc., etc. I try to remember that snapping isn’t going to make any difference, but will only make me feel bad.
3. Am I improving the situation? This is particularly important with my younger daughter. If I lose my temper with her, the problem just escalates to a whole new horrible level. She dissolves into tears and wails, “You talked to me in a mean voice!” It’s far more effective to stay calm. Also, nicer.
4. Should I be helping you? Often, I lose my temper because I’m actually feeling guilty about my own unhelpfulness. My guilt makes me crabby, but it’s really a sign that I should be taking action.
5. Am I uncomfortable? Discomfort shortens my fuse. I’ve become much more careful to dress warmly (even when people make fun of my long underwear and double sweaters), to snack more often, to turn off the light when I’m sleepy, and to take pain medication as soon as I get a headache. The Duke of Wellington advised, “Always make water when you can,” and I follow that precept, too.
6. Can I make a joke of this? Using humor is extraordinarily effective, but I usually can’t find the inner depths to laugh at an annoying situation. A distant goal for which I’m striving.
It’s tempting to dwell on questions like, “Whose fault is it?” or “Why am I upset?” but in the end, these tend to stoke my temper instead of soothe it. I try to remind myself that no behavior is annoying if I don’t find it annoying. A hackneyed observation, but true.
Leave it there for now... no one's reading this anyway LOL
You may have heard about Air New Zealand's Grab-a-plane competition (and if not, I've provided a very handy link for you). As the web page says, it was won by Salvo Air - a nicely titled airline-for-a-day put together by our pastor... we filled a plane, it was entered into the competition, and our entry was drawn. Now you have the background. And here's a few highlights...
The flight down was hardly standard. Our pilot had put in several hours of planning time to make it as exciting as possible. We circled Mount Cook! How totally cool is that? He made sure the folks on both sides of the plane had excellent views, and with the special permission he got to descend to 16,000ft, it was mindblowing. We could have reached out of the plane and touched the mountain tops.
When we got to Queenstown, we had a bus waiting to take us into the city centre. The weather was perfect, and quite different to what I'm used to in Auckland. Down there, the sun is scorching (as it is up here), but in the shade it's *cold*, at least in the morning hours. And the air is dry. Lovely. No sneezing LOL. We walked around looking at the Saturday crafts market, and getting a feel for the place, then most of us boarded the bus again (some took scooters) and took the short drive into Arrowtown for lunch. Beautiful old gold-rush town.
Then back to Queenstown where we went on the gondola (for a very reduced price thanks to Air NZ), the breaktaking views and the opportunity to hurtle yourself down part of the hillside on a luge which was enjoyed by most... even if I did take the scenic, or 'granny', track twice heh.
After that we walked down a beach area on Lake Wakatipu for a barbeque courtesy of Air NZ again... Some of the guys had a quick swim in the lake - never did ask if it was absolutely freezing... it certainly looked like it would be! And then we were off back to the airport. And here's another quick sidebar - the airport was kept open for our flight... We were leaving two hours after the airport would normally close on a weekend.
And this isn't a plug for Air NZ - but I really to have to say that the idea of winning a plane for the day was huge in itself, then they went over and above to make the day as special as they could. A 6am start, and back home around 10pm - it was full of amazing experiences and memories to treasure.
The Parachute trip the next day was a last-minute decision. We had thought of going to P08 specifically to see Switchfoot on the Saturday, but of course the free flight down south took its place. But the pull was too strong! We were driving around on Sunday morning listening to LifeFM who were broadcasting live from Mystery Creek, and when my darling suggested a quick tikitour, it was too good to pass up.
That was an amazing and memorable experience too...
My current 'mood' descriptor describes how I feel about the whole weekend.
So yes, I'm off back to school. I'd love to know what it was that finally got me accepted into the programme, but I'll never know, and it's not keeping me awake at night. I like to think I dazzled them at the interview... This paragraph sounds kinda blasé in my head, but believe me, it's nothing like that. I guess I should blog more often so that the news is fresh in my own head so I can relate it with all its appropriate alacrity to you, my public (oh please... stop... someone get a tissue so I can wipe my eyes...).
I'm constantly getting emails from around the company asking where my leaving bash is so they can come and wish me a drunken farewell. I'm not really into those under-the-table events (seriously folks), so it's not on my priority list, but it seems to be a required pastime. The thing is I don't know who to invite. Sounds odd I know. I started preparing a list to which I want to send my final farewell email. There are over 200 recipients. I doubt that a tenth of those would actually come have a drink, but wouldn't it be a hoot if they all turned up?
Anyway, still haven't decided where or when or even if. At this stage it's looking like it might be even after I leave as there are only two weeks left and they're both short due to Anniversary weekend and Waitangi Day... tip: Second week in January is a good time to hand in a month's resignation (in New Zealand) cos you get two paid holidays.
And as I don't really have any structure to my blogging experiments, let's now turn to a wonderful time in Holland with my darling and her kidlets. It wasn't a full-on tourist experience, not that I expected it to be. It was more a family time, the girls now at an age where they can meet (and remember) their Oma and Opa, for darling to catch up with some friends, and for me to meet the immediate family also. It was overall totally fab. This isn't a detailed blog about the things we did over there (Darling, if you want to blog about that, please feel free heh).
If there is one thing I bring back with me, it's the quality time spent with the girls in... dare I say it... a family context. What I mean is this - in case anyone isn't following me. Up to the trip, the girls got to know me in little chunks, a few hours here and there. You'll be familiar with some of those times, and the challenges they presented to us all. Being away with them, being constantly 'there' from morniing til night, from breakfast to bedtime, sharing a bed with their Mum to joking around on a train trip, and all of the above being perfectly... normal. All in all, that went very well, to the extent that the youngest would even crawl into bed with us in the morning, and the eldest (the one I had the most difficulty vis-a-vis acceptance) was fairly easy-going about the whole thing.
Two days ago, I picked them all up from the airport. I was holding my breath a wee bit wondering how they'd react to me after three weeks of absence. I had to keep a tight reign on my emotions because quite frankly, I was blown away by their response to me. I don't want to jinx anything - but they were, well, it seemed at least, actually excited to see me. Sure, everyone was tired, and who wouldn't be after 24 hours of travelling. To shorten this a little, last night we all caught up properly with photos and stories of their time away since I'd come home, and it was good. More than good.
I don't doubt for a second that there will be challenging times again - for goodness' sake, there's puberty and adolescence to go through yet (hahahaha)...
Oh, I'm going to stop there. I'm quite frankly very emotional about the whole thing. It's f*ckin' fab
The blog category hardly fits anymore, but I don't care - there isn't a category that reads "life changing experiences and other tales"... so I'll stick with it.
That's all for now folks... my brain hurts!
You may know by now that my blog titles are generally ethereal, somewhat tentatively linked ideas as opposed to an introduction to what the blog may be about. I'll not disappoint on this occasion either.
I had my interview at University of Auckland yesterday. I won't go on about it. Suffice to say I did OK at the maths test (with the possible exception of the fractions and simplify exercises), think I did fab at the written assessment, and handled myself with worldly aplomb during the group interview (LOL). I was pretty nervous to start with, but the other interviewees exhibited such obvious tremours that I was somehow put at ease. Ah, there is something to be said for having 25 years' experience in the workplace... seriously.
So, I wait to hear if I've been accepted into the programme, and whether they will recommend to the Uni that I be accepted as a student. *This* is because my UK certs don't automatically qualify me for entrance (the irony here is that if I was applying to be a student here from the UK, they *would* be enough...), so I've put in a 'special' application which appears to take into account more lifetime/career experience rather than hard and fast qualifications.
In the afternoon, I was due to have a performance review meeting with my manager in order to go through projects and outcomes to date, plus a look at the next 6 months. Having already decided to hand in my notice in the New Year (regardless of Uni application) I decided to pop out the honesty card and gave her the low-down. She was actually very accepting, and after about 15 minutes of discussing my future plans, we literally just chatted for the remainder of the meeting time.
It turned out to be an emotionally tasking day, but a totally rewarding one.
In two days I fly to Holland for two weeks. I am really looking forward to not only getting away, but also meeting my darling's family, and putting the past few months of worry and uncertainty firmly behind me so I can start the year afresh.
I remember writing sometime ago that 2007 would be an interesting year. It certainly has turned out to be just that, and 2008 looks to be even more exciting!
Happy Christmas all. My very best wishes to you and yours.
Yesterday I discovered funded healthcare.
Since I arrived in New Zealand, I've worked for a large corporate that subsides the Southern Cross Regular healthcare plan. I used to pay extra for Supercare (can't remember what that included - try the website), then I 'downgraded' to Hospital and Specialist care. I think I pay an extra $400 or maybe more per year for that. Under that plan I pay to see a doctor ($58 for the privilege in Remuera) and prescriptions ($15 per item). If I needed to see a specialist, such as for my allergies, that's about $125 per visit, but I can claim all of that back from Southern Cross. And of course, under the hospital part of the plan, I can go get myself sliced and diced (for medical reasons rather than for pleasure) up to a grand total of $60k... I'm thinking that would be fairly major... Then on top of that, I pay $11 per fortnight (which is of course almost $300 per year) to belong to another healthcare thing through work, which will refund me 60% of my prescriptions. That $11 also means I'm a member of a holiday home club thing, but I've never used it.
So, as I said, last night I discovered Procare. There was a new Medical Centre built near my home. I was only registered with the doc in Remuera cos my ex was registered there and I needed to see a doc, obviously, many years ago. I think the last time I went to see her was about four years ago...
Oh yes - Procare. This is a government funded organisation. Go check it out if you don't know about it. Short version? Oh ok then...
I paid $30 to see the doctor. I enrolled, which means that the centre can get funding for little ol' me, and in three months' time, a visit to the doctor will cost me $15. I got five items on prescription. At $3 per item. It's amazing.
And because I won't be getting private healthcare next year, and because I won't have a lot of money to burn, knowing I can see a doctor and get drugs if I need them for a relatively minimal cost is a whole weight off my mind.
That's all... quick and simple. I've a lot to learn.
So, where are things after that last exciting episode one month ago?
I'll try to do a short version - you know how I go on...
A few months ago (yes I know, a history lesson first) I had my HBDI profile done (click on the link if you want details, otherwise the rest of this isn't going to make sense). I'm a very strong red, with a backup of green. Thing is, I've been working in the blue space for a long time, well all my professional career to be exact.
Ok, Ok... a brief run down...
Blue = Rational - tends to be logical, technical, factual - i.e. my 25 years of working in the IT industry, which don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed to a point
Yellow = Cognitive - visual, strategic - not talking about this one cos I don't have any
Green = Practical - conservative, organised
Red = Visceral - emotional, musical, expressive, spiritual
So, where was I? I'm a strong red. My team at work had an offsite thing and we went through some of our HBDI traits as a group. Our personal profiles were on display for all to see, and my boss' boss (nice guy, worked with him before - probably the primary reason I took this job in the first place) says, "Oh Jo, how is it you're not a teacher?" then a quick backtrack, "Oh, ha ha, that doesn't mean you can leave...!" Anway, you get the picture. Sowed a seed.
Short version? Oh yeah, right... So I'm about 90% on the way to going back to school. I've applied to Auckland University to be a student. I'm looking to do a Bachelor of Education specialising in Primary care.
I'll pop some more news in here about how that's going, application, etc.
Hm - reading back through that looks like a major leap, but believe me it's been quite a process.
I think I can make a difference. Supporting myself with little or no income for 3 years is naturally a little daunting, but with the emotional support of my darling, and many more friends around me, I'll get there. I'm also prepared to eat humble pie if I have to and go back into the corporate grind after say one year if it doesn't work out. Not being fatalist - just practical... (my green side coming out heh).
Still not. Want to from time to time. Don't. Fab.
Still grand. Making headway in leaps and bounds with the girls, which is fab too. Still not going to do a major blog on that just yet. I'm very very happy.
Mum (was Travel)
Got a nice, very civil email back from Mum after my last blurt to her about tons of stuff. Says quite simply (between the lines) we won't ever talk about that again, and let's just go back to talking about stuff that doesn't matter. I guess I can live with that for now. Shame tho.
And that's all for today. The current mood is hungry cos I was going to get some lunch before I started writing this, then forgot, and now people are turning around wondering what that grumbling noise is all about.
I should blog on other stuff - still have other major changes that have been going on in my life. Those that have an eye for detail might notice... I'll leave a little teaser...
You know...? Coming out as gay was never a problem. But there's a different kind of coming out taking place. It's wonderful. It's liberating. It's challenging.
Oh, and completely aside, I'm back in touch with some old school mates. That's what I was originally going to write about now I come to think of it. Another time.
Quick hunt for food and back to work. For now.
sucks. It's boring. Can't think for a moment what possessed me to take it on, but then again the JD didn't exactly say what was actually entailed. Do they ever? And it's not getting any better - I now have a new boss. Firstly, she's a woman - don't get me wrong, I've just never reported to a female boss before. I never knew how overbearing they could be (was I ever like that?). Second, and it was bound to happen at some point, she's younger than me. Third, she's a pain in the arse. She says "I'm not the type of person to micromanage..." and then asks every five minutes what you're doing. She big-notes all the time, and we (my peers and I) are quickly learning that there is nothing in the world that she hasn't either done first hand or had some close personal experience of. It's infuriating! But, on another tack, I had lunch the other day with a good friend and ex-colleague - he still works for the company, but we don't work in the same field or building anymore. He told me he was looking at things a different way. Coming to work involves five aspects - the job itself, the work environment, your colleagues, your boss and your pay. He decided that he liked four out of five of those, and now concentrates on those instead of simply hating his job. Using his analogy, I like three out of five... but right this minute that's not helping, although it could be related to
which I stopped doing (again) a week ago. Take a tip ladies... if you're going to give up smoking, do it when you're PMT - you'll be doubly cranky, but you can blame it all on the monthlies, and after the first week, it's not really so bad. Downside is I've already put on 2 kilos - need to work on that. Don't want to be a blob again. I'm known to my friends as being quite a slow eater... I appear to have sped up again. Not good - by the time I realise I'm full, I'm actually over-full. Wow, this blog is really interesting so far eh?
is grand. It's amazing. It's fan-f*cking-tastic. I could write a whole thing about just that, and maybe I will. Another time.
plans are afoot. I am joining my darling and her two girls in Holland for Christmas and New Year. Wow. That's pretty huge. Not huge for my girlfriend and I specifically, cos I think we'd travel well together; but important in that I'll be staying with her at her parent's house, and that they will be meeting me, the first real girlfriend ever. And it's cool that her parents appear keen to meet me (or maybe just curious?). Her brother seems keen for sure. On another pretty huge scale is me not going to see Mother while I'm in Europe. The timing just wasn't going to work out what with Mum and step-Dad being on cruise from 15th Dec to 10th Jan, and me being back at work on the 10th... so, well, Mum and I are actually having a major email heart-to-heart right now, and we're covering off some dark and sensitive stuff about my/our pasts...Heavy I can tell you. Long and short of that is that I'm not sure right now she'd even want me visiting her for Christmas (if ever again - I'm trying to set myself up for the worst reaction, although the worst reaction would be to get no reply at all right?). And to cap off the travel plan segment... The girls' three tickets were confirmed some time ago. Because of the Mum/email thing that's been going on, and now that I've decided to join them (without any side trip to Mother) and finalised taking leave from work etc, I can't get on the same flight! So we're all leaving on the same day, but we are flying around the world in opposite directions, and we'll meet up in Amsterdam some 24 hours later. Weird!!
I also want to write blogs on a host of other subjects, things I'm going through at the moment, choices we make, choices that are made for us or at least choices we are gently guided towards making. Oh yes, that's a whole different bag of tricks.
But this was intended to be a quick blurt between meetings at work... cos my darling was writing a blog and it made me look at when I last wrote one, and I nearly fainted.
To those that read this - hope it wasn't too yawn-worthy. However, if it was - tough!
The term comfort zone is used to denote a type of mental conditioning(a) resulting in artificially created mental boundaries, within which an individual derives a sense of security.
These boundaries tend to result in an internal state of mind(b), an example of which would be rigid attitudes and beliefs, which may not necessarily be true. This may or may not manifest as an external situation in the individual's life.
A comfort zone may result when the mental concept that a person has about something and actual reality of it, are not congruent with one another. A classic example to take would be of self image(c).
Self-image may consist of three types:
1. Self image resulting from how the individual sees herself
2. Self image resulting from how others see the individual
3. Self image resulting from how the individual perceives others see her
These three types may or may not be an accurate representation of the person. All, some or none of them may be true.
(a) Mental conditioning may be attributable to several causes - mass media, society, peers, parents etc. All of these may directly or indirectly create mental conditioning.
(b) State of mind redirects to Miriam Webster definitions of Mental Health, namely:
"A state of emotional and psychological well-being in which an individual is able to use his or her cognitive and emotional capabilities, function in society, and meet the ordinary demands of everyday life."
(c) A person's self image is the mental picture, generally of a kind that is quite resistant to change, that depicts not only details that are potentially available to objective investigation by others (height, weight, hair color, sex, I.Q. score, is this person double-jointed, etc.), but also items that have been learned by that person about himself or herself, either from personal experiences or by internalizing the judgments of others. Those items include the answers to such questions as:
Am I skinny? Am I fat? Am I attractive? Am I weak? Am I strong? Am I intelligent? Am I stupid? Am I a good person? Am I a bad person? Am I masculine? Am I feminine? Am I likeable?
Hey, you know me... full of useful/useless (delete as appropriate) advice... So here's the thing.
I'm an odd shape. Always have been. Certainly tried to do the fitting-into-the-appropriate-mould thing, and never found it to work. I got close to giving up on life itself when fitting seemed the only thing to do and turned out to be futile. Thankfully I was too juvenile and scared to do anything really serious...
As an aside I spent my formative years in a church environment which I quickly rejected, even when I was probably too young to fully understand what I was doing. However, in moving from front-of-house hymn-singing I found myself in the orchestra, and this confirmed a love of music from a different participation level, so no bad thing. In later life, I re-evaluated having faith in something bigger and more important than myself, and I'm happy with where I'm at.
So here comes the lesson learned from experience... I realise that I have straight edges (no pun intended), curved edges, sharp edges, fuzzy edges, black, white, every colour in between... There is no one shape that matches mine. I do not want to fit myself into something that could potentially surround and suffocate me. I like to be able to breath.
Instead, I try to gather around me shapes that compliment mine. There is no one shape that suits me best - I recognise that some shapes are more rudimentary, more conventional, and some parts of me match those too.
I have endeavoured to make big bits of me fit into the closest known shape, and the consequential fallout is not pretty. I now make a special effort to avoid that. Small bits of me can be honed to fit certain aspects, such as work environment for example, and I can live with those minor adjustments.
Those who I let get closest to me will understand what is fitting, what fits (pun definitely intended).
A couple of phrases borrowed from a friend's blog space:
Those that matter don't mind, and those that mind don't matter...
I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not...
Learn to love the shape you are. I'm getting there.
So instead, I changed one thing on my profile. Go on - have a look... it's subtle.
Oh, I changed the music around too, but that was done a few days ago. I tried changing the photo album, but there's some weird thing going on so it's back to how it was. I was working on a cool myflashfetish (same as the mp3 player) photo album, but it 'broke' - no, it was not user error.
Work: It has its moments. Friday was good, today was bad. It depends on a) office attendance, i.e. who's there on any particular day, and b) current headspace and/or motivation. Friday I was in a good headspace and motivated. Today I had a new person sitting about three feet away from my screen and felt intimidated, but it was that crap time of the month and I didn't feel like being there at all.
Social stuff: Yesterday was the Big Gay Out. The rain held off which was super cool. Our bowling group did a stonking good cook-out for our fundraiser - I'm sure we must have equalled what we made last year. I worked on putting the tent and stuff together this year, and was all done and dusted way before the crowds started arriving. Hung around with various groups of friends... walked hand in hand with my gf, which was absolutely lovely. So, so cool to have someone to share BGO with. And there's more Hero stuff going on... There's the 'D Thing' exhibition this Friday, and of course Flirt on Saturday - yes Machi... I guess it will be a sort of anniversary... And the Hero Debate next Monday. Sweet.
I'm on painkillers and a wee bit of alcohol - that's all you get.
Have fun out there.
suffice to say I'm still alive and well - extremely well in fact, barring sleep disorders
and fluttering hearts, which are probably related.
This is not a private letter, although to those in the know it might seem as such...
No, this is an open declaration (to those on the preferred list naturally) that I haven't
felt this alive in years. I have to say that the new job thing was really not going well
there for the first couple of weeks - I did not appear to have the mental capacity
to deal with a new job AND a new - oh, I'm going to say it - girlfriend. To those of you
keeping up with the story so far, this is continuation from the Flirt night out I wrote
about on the 26th Jan.
And that's all you get. Not because I don't want to write about it - cos indeed I do - but
it is kinda like airing laundry. Maybe a PL is the best place to do that, but I'm not
ready just yet. Still getting used to the blogging thing anyway.
And I'm writing this at work... which incidentally is getting better and better, more and
more stuff gelling into place, making sense, but still finding it hard to put a full 8 hours
in when my mind really is elsewhere. It will balance out I know.
Bad girl... yeah, whatever.
a) What's that?, or
b) Oh cool, I have friends/family there too!
For the 'what's that' people, I've inserted a link above. For those that can't be bothered, it is the largest Christian music festival in the Southern Hemisphere - 25,000 attendees and held over four days.
Now the reason I bring this up at all is because I was looking to the P07 schedule, and saw some names I recognised - for example, Nesian Mystik, a kiwi hip-hop pop band that burst onto the scene five years ago (who are incidentally also playing at the Edge fm Anniversary party tomorrow, Monday 29th Jan, at Coyle Park, Pt Chev.)
Looking further at the line-up showed some other bands that I know - and quite frankly I didn't expect that. The great news is that I've dug one of those bands out of the archives and listening to them again, namely Third Day. If any of you like the sound of say Nickelback or Creed, then from a musical and singing style, this band may be for you too. I'd encourage you to give them a try, and while you're there try MercyMe and Skillet too!
The other interesting surprise was my friend's reaction when I said I knew them - she wasn't expecting that either!
I love music. And without wanting to sound like I'm espousing simply because I've been listening to Christian rock all day - music really does transcend all. And that's pretty cool
On Tuesday I booked my return trip to LA, and on Thursday my travel companion confirmed the LA-Denver leg. Wow! I know I have a countdown timer on my page, but this does kinda make things even more real! The accomodation's all sorted except for one night, but we're working on that. We're going to share a room with the San Fran girls, and then go back and hang with them before the second tournament in LA. I am so looking forward to visiting a new city and state, and revisiting an old one where I used to live, even if it was only for a few months.
And that's my travel plans sorted anyway.
And talking of travel, tomorrow I have some online buds arriving from England via Hong Kong. I'm not 100% sure that they haven't arrived already, we may have a date mix-up, but no matter... they will call/txt/email when they're ready to be taken on a whirlwind tour I'm sure. Not that I'm any good as a tour guide I don't think. Maybe they'll be too tired to notice :)
Talking of tired, that's me. I've had an emotional week where I didn't really want one - that last thing you need when you're starting a new job in a totally different field is to have late nights and sleeplessness due to affairs of the heart or mind.
I have a long weekend to get over it.
Is it better to feel something good that might ultimately lead to hurt, or avoid the risk completely and theoretically control the level of pain involved? The cynical approach would be that it is bound to hurt anyway, therefore why make the emotional commitment? The eternal optimist will say that they go in with arms open wide and never think of a bad outcome.
How much of the heart we give while maintaining some defence against trampling depends perhaps on the lessons learned from previous experiences, and on occasion, some sort of resolve might come into the equation, i.e. "I will not allow myself to get in too deep", as useless as this may be in the long run.
And we make things more complicated for ourselves - we build those castles in the sky before understanding even where this journey might take us. In the world where two extremely emotional beings are seeking the ultimate in intimacy and understanding, we have a joke: What does a lesbian take on her second date? Everything.
It might be a limited-offer scenario, for example one woman might be leaving the country for good in a week, a month, a year... and in analysing the end before it's begun, we don't even allow ourselves to get to the starting gate.
What about chemistry... that 'wow' factor... those butterflies, the racing heart, the flush at the very thought of her? (Whether this is simply a sexual response or not is also open to debate.) Is it one-sided or is it that someone is working so hard on maintaining that reserve in order to avoid being hurt that it only appears one-sided? And round it goes.
Later on there may be evidence of compromise. Somehow you let her dreams become your only dreams, or perhaps your desires overpowered whatever her desires may have been. Too much compromise is simply accomodation. You may sell yourself out to keep the peace, to preserve the illusion of the relationship you have, to avoid an argument, but what would you be arguing about? Actually admitting that some aspects of your life are being denied? But didn't you put yourself in that situation but over-compromising in the beginning?
I challenge you to wear your heart on your sleeve. Speak your mind, discuss your innermost thoughts. There is little point in hiding behind a facade when ultimately you want to be loved for who you truly are. The adage "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all" is perhaps the truest of all.
Don't go through life wondering where all the joy might have been.
Here's a scenario:
A likes B. A is both sexually and intellectually attracted to B.
B likes A, however is simply intellectually attracted to A.
A and B are getting to be good friends.
B likes C. B is sexually and intellectually attracted to C. B is also emotionally drawn to C.
C likes B. C is sexually and intellectually attracted to B, and admits being also somewhat emotionally drawn to B.
However, C has a potentially unrequited love interest in D.
D is an unknown factor.
Disclaimer: While there are some apparent similarities to 'real life', the above is really not intended to resemble or represent any particular person or persons.
Firstly, I met with Machi and a sofa friend who's just transplanted from Seednee (although a pom anyway - I seem to somehow have few 'genuine' kiwi friends...), and we three met a couple of other gals from a google group for dinner at a local gay-friendly restaurant. We had a few laughs, the food was just OK for me - I've never really been a Kamo fan for those of you in Auckland (trying to get the next meeting at a Thai... love that!). We were all going to go on to Flirt after, but the organiser's flatmate txt'd to say he felt like going out, and there was her babysitter gone so she had to leave - but I now have her on myspace friends :) The other one we hadn't met before, let's call her D, said she'd pop into Flirt for five minutes - which incidentally turned into two hours - way to go girl! Good stuff for your first visit eh? Oh, she's not on myspace, so that's a bit silly of me...
And what on earth does that have to do in a PL blog... I already posted the F one earlier and I don't feel like editing it.
So anyway, there's this woman I saw on the sofa, but she's basic (membership) and I never sent a smile cos noone ever returns my smiles... (everybody say awww). And as it turned out, I found her on myspace... and we started chatting, returning eachother's surveys, and happy christmas and a happy new year. She's cute, smart, funny (but then again I only associate with cute, smart, funny women...).
We were both going to Flirt, and we said we'd make sure we said Hi if we saw eachother, and from the moment we said Hi, well there was something going on, and it was mighty good.
(and there's plenty that I'm not saying here, cos there's people on this list who know more - and this isn't really making any sense apart from to two people!)
That didn't say a lot, but I had an overwhelming urge to write something here, and gibberish came out...
Total nonsense. I'll be better soon.
Not sure what you make of all that - maybe the PL blog later will clarify, at least in part.
So, small magic moments just to keep things ticking over:
- The formal farewell work thing... I suppose saying goodbye to four out of five managers in just one group is a major deal. A combined work experience just at this company of about 60 years. Funny how some companies think it's OK just to let that go - but that's not what this blog is about. We had a pretty big turnout - ok, some just come for the beer and nibbles, but I was chuffed to see some of my old team come along (those who now live in other countries sent their apologies heh), and two ex managers (one of whom made a pretty nice speech about moi). I got a bit misty eyed again, and made a little speech myself, and got another leaving card with a whole bunch of really nice comments. Pretty cool.
- Machi came over on Sunday night armed with beer, pizza, and a hard drive with one more episode of Heroes (seeing as I'd exhausted the 10 I already had - another story). A bit of tennis on TV, a chat, and a parrot or parakeet in the neighbour's apple tree... Machi was not convinced initially, but here's proof for the rest of you (I don't have a particularly good zoom):
- Impromptu dinner with friends last night, but they really just wanted to catch up on gossip... oops - wrong blog ;)
And for the hell of it, one non-magic moment... the friend request I got this morning from a nut (no offense to those of a non-radical disposition) who wanted to save my soul. I was actually a good girl, and did not write back. Oh well, makes a difference from the African marriage proposals I guess.
Second day in the new job - not a huge amount to say about the first day, it's all a bit of a haze but hopefully something's sinking in. Apparantly my elevator pitch is getting better - a friend/colleague said I was starting to sound like I knew what I was talking about... It's a start
Four years ago (bear wth me), I started sneezing. No, it's not one of those Guinness Book of Record deals where I've been sneezing ever since... I started sneezing, and really violently such that after a few hours I'd hurt my throat so bad I'd lose my voice. This happened a few times in as many weeks. I went to the doc thinking I was maybe just extra run down, and had some sort of 'super virus' or something, and she said... all supercilious and knowing... You're allergic to Auckland. Yes, I did laugh - well it was actually more of a cackle as at that time I hadn't been able to say a word for two days.
This is the thing. A lot, and I mean a lot, of people who come to Auckland from Europe (primarily) or even the South Island, develop allergies after six or seven years here. It's like being six or seven years old, and the body goes into allergy building-block mode, and many people just don't build the necessary immunities and start to have fairly common reactions... like sneezing fits for example.
Off I went to the testing clinic and had a host of yukky things pricked into my arm, and lo and behold, there was swelling and I was diagnosed with allergy to dust mites. For those of a sensitive disposition, please look away now. It's actually an allergic reaction to dust mite droppings - how gross is that??? You can look back now. So now each year I visit the allergy specialist (Dr Ameratunga for those in the know... world reknown apparantly.. writes numerous articles for the Allergy Today magazine). I take two antihistamines every morning, and a delightful squirt of nasal spray in each nostril, and I'm safe. Well fairly safe.
And this relates to work how? OK... so I know from experience that if I travel to Wellington, I don't need to take my medication as I'm not allergic to WN right? And for those on the preferred list, being allergic to WN might have been a good thing... but I digress. I didn't take my medication from 27th December... until last Friday morning. And what happened to trigger the need to take it? I WENT TO WORK LAST THURSDAY! Do you think my conclusion is sound? I know - weird isn't it?
So that's that. I'm officially (at least in my book) allergic to my place of work. Now with the new job I was supposed to be moving to another building (which I previously worked in pre allergy diagnosis - the proof gets better...). But as per last blog, I'm actually just moving floors in this building, so I'm stuck with it.
I write about some fascinating shit don't I?
I leave you with this.
Tomorrow is my last day in my current job. For those that know me in the flesh, so to speak, you know that I have both hated and loved it. I have been frustrated by the lack of autonomy, yet having to constantly battle to perform miracles against the odds. Somehow, I have managed to make my team the most successful they have ever been. I might be seen as patting myself on the back (and why not?), but I am immensely proud of my, and my team's, achievements. I will miss them, and numerous other colleagues in my work area.
When I got to work this morning, there was a bottle of Pinot Gris by my keyboard, with a lovely purple ribbon tied into a bow at the neck. She's going to be as embarassed as hell (damn, I hope so!)... THANKS JULENA! You remembered my favourite wine from the 100 question survey a while ago. That was extremely thoughtful. When you get that new job, we'll go and celebrate :)
That's enough for now. I think I have a survey or two to answer
Well, with current weather-induced sleeping disorder in place, I set the vid to tape the new sooper-dooper (apparantly) series called Heroes. I really didn't think I'd last until 10:30pm when the 2 hour series opener would finish... It wasn't until this morning when I saw the machine flashing in an unusual way that I realised there was no tape... duh! So instead of getting upset, I waited until I got to work and read the review from my favourite cynic - sorry, critic - Frances Grant, from the New Zealand Herald, whose final words on the new epic were these:
In the meantime, we'll have to take on trust that somewhere in its vast array of characters with all their schemes and dreams, there lurks the intelligent design of a plot.
So I now no longer cared that I missed it, and after all do I really want to be stuck in front of the TV every Monday following something that only really looked good in the shorts? Plus, House is back soon (without his cane?), and the Amazing Race has just started up again. I do have my principles.
On a totally different subject, I met my new boss today. I signed my contract before he was finally recruited, so now he gets to meet his new team. Seems like a nice enough chap - I think he's a bit younger than me, but as I get older I guess it was bound to happen sometime. Then I was given the high-level brief of what I'd be focussing on initially... I now think I must have been a really, really bad girl in a previous life. I have been allocated the mother of all projects. Even on the intranet website, it says that this is the biggest single project ever undertaken by our company. Oh goodie. I get to stretch my muscles in ways I didn't even know existed, and I'm doing it on the cutting edge. Time to take a deep breath.
As I wind down the current job, I'm finishing off the half-yearly reviews so I can leave with a clear conscience! I was originally told I'd be moving to another building, but it looks like I'll just be moving to another floor for the time being. As part of the current restructure, there are still tons of vacancies and plenty of recruitment to do. Until that's all complete, we're pretty much staying where we are if possible, and then we'll play our next round of musical chairs towards the end of Feb or early March. Suits me for now - the building I'm in right now means less walking in this horrible heat as it's closer to my bus stop. Sometimes you just have to take the good where you find it.
Not fascinating I'm sure, but there you have it. I'm back at work, and the holiday musings will probably have to wait until the weekend.
Talking of weekends, this Friday I'm going out for a meal with my team and the interim replacement manager... should be a laugh actually. I almost hope they don't permanently replace me for a little while as I think the interim guy is good value. and the team appear to be relating to him well.
Well, finally NZ appear to be getting the better hand of someone in the cricket, and unfortunately, it's the poms. I've been here long enough to cheer the black uniform... actually, when it's kiwis vs poms, I just cheer whoever is winning :)
PS Missed half of the Amazing Race cos the poms decided to make a go of it, and ended up winning on the second-to-last ball... of course I cheered!
Adam Martinakis art
florentijn hofman’s giant rubber duck: the aftermath
Guillaume Nery base jumping at Dean’s Blue Hole, filmed on breath hold by Julie Gautier (by Guillaume Néry)
the principal at my school made an announcement yesterday that the girls need to start covering up and then i found this in the hallway
“So my amazing daughter, Emma, turned 5 last month, and I had been searching everywhere for new-creative inspiration for her 5yr pictures. I noticed quite a pattern of so many young girls dressing up as beautiful Disney Princesses, no matter where I looked 95% of the “ideas” were the “How to’s” of how to dress your little girl like a Disney Princess…We chose 5 women (five amazing and strong women), as it was her 5th birthday but there are thousands of unbelievable women (and girls) who have beat the odds and fought (and still fight) for their equal rights all over the world”
- Jaime Moore, Not Just a Girl
This is awesome!
Some (a tiny selection) of my favourite sci-fi movies.
I think the platonic ideal of my personality is one where I don’t think about any of the things I said or could have said after I finish a social interaction.
I feel like I’m almost there, that that inner peace is just within reach.
And then I talk to someone and it all goes away.
Well, like, you know - people *sigh*
what did the cow say to the duck
he said stop staring at me and the duck said your fat .
Love the art in agricultural installations. Love nature more, but this is fascinating.
USA on the left. The Netherlands on the right.
Thank you Google Earthbound:)