Posts from the ‘Random Ramblings’ Category

Oh oh…

I’ve just moved into a new place but before I moved in I didn’t notice this…

What is especially worrying is that this is a very Jewish area as well as being really multicultural too.  The landlord really should have cleaned this disgraceful graffiti Off the doorstep before getting us to move in. Instead it is left up to me to do this. Then again I don’t know why any moron would daub this shit onto someone else’s door step.

Update

Hyundai i20 1.2 Comfort

Hyundai i20 1.2 Comfort (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought I’d update on where I’ve been the last twelve months. Things have changed dramatically in my life. P returned to Malaysia and we broke up. I’ve been going out with JA for the last nine months and am so happy, although I wish we could spend more time together. She’s the most wonderful, beautiful person I’ve ever met. We have known each other for three years but I must stress that our relationship did not begin until after I broke up with P.

I have tried to contact P many times by email but she has not replied to anything since October.There has been some important stuff that I have needed to talk to her about but she has ignored every communication.

In the mean time I have bought a new car, a Hyundai i20, which is a great little car. I went on a holiday with JA and her brother to the Great Ocean Rd and have had day trips to Phillip Island and Dayelsford. In a couple of months we’ll be traveling to the Philippines for a holiday too.

Work wise things have been very much up and down. I have made the decision to leave my work but will do so after my vacation. I feel just so worn out by work and desperately need a break.

Other than all this things are going well. I will make some other updates about specific incidents soon.

Weight

Just thought I would make a post about my recent weight loss. Since ‘P’ has been away, which is about 7 weeks, I have lost about 10 kilograms. I have gone from being 115 kgs to 105 kgs. Yep, I’m still overweight but it’s not as bad as it was two months ago. My goal is to eventually get down to about 85 or 90 kgs, which I don’t think is asking too much.

Of course there is no great secret to my recent weight loss, it has all come down to diet and exercise. I haven’t been starving myself but I have been eating healthier. ‘P’ used to like to go to McDonald’s or KFC quite often, whenever we were out. Even though I knew the food wasn’t the best for me, I’d still eat a burger, fries and Coke. Over the last 7 weeks I have had McDonald’s only once, and this was after I had walked from Fisherman’s Bend to Southbank, which was around four or five kilometres. I have also cut out soft drink, trying to drink more water and juice, although I still crave Ice Coffee Big M.

I have been doing more exercise. I have always been a big walker but now that ‘P’ is away I do so much more. Often I will just get totally bored and decide to go for a walk for an hour. Quite often, like when I was in Fisherman’s Bend, I won’t bother waiting for the bus and just walk to where I want to go. I have also been swimming a couple of times, which I have previously mentioned, whilst tonight I actually did a 40 minute work out in the gym. (I’m still sore!)

I think with ‘P’ being away it has allowed me to try to be the person I want to be. Previously when I have said that I wanted to lose weight she would either ridicule me, “You go to the gym! Ha ha ha!” or make me feel bad in other ways. “You want to lose weight? Why? Is there another woman?” With her away I can improve myself without worrying about that.

Controversy

The last few nights I have been watching the excellent SBS documentary ‘Go Back To Where You Came From’. The premise of the show was to gather six ordinary (white) Australians and have them trace the journeys that refugees have to make before they come to Australia. They get to meet both boat people and refugees who have come through official UN channels, see what the refugees have to face in the supposedly ‘safe’ haven of Malaysia, and then go back to Africa and the Middle East to see what life is like in the refugee camps. In tonight’s final episode they will go to the war-torn countries of origin of many refugees to see exactly what they are fleeing from.

Whilst the refugee issue is something that needs to be discussed further, it is not what I want to talk about right now. You see, the real villain of the show is Raquel, an unemployed 19 year old from the western suburbs of Sydney, who claims on the one hand that she’s not racist but on the other hand declares that she hates Africans. She is a real work of art! The problem is that I am meeting more and more people like Raquel these days. I think that part of the problem is the internet.

The net is great in that it allows people to freely express their opinions. People who otherwise would not normally have a voice are able to use Facebook, Twitter or Blogger and instantly get things off their chest. It also allows people with unsavoury opinions to have a soapbox to spread outright hatred. One person in particular that I have had the misfortune of debating online with is Scott Pengelly from Melton, a white supremacist with a strange fetish for Asian pornstars. (I know it doesn’t make sense.) Scott is all over Facebook and other internet sites, telling everyone that will listen that Australia is being invaded by [insert ethnic/religious group here] and that they are ruining Australia. This loser of a human being has publically stated that only whites can be Australian and that anyone who is not white is a foreigner and should go back to where they came from, even if they were born here. I did ask him if the Chinese in Bendigo, whose ancestors came here over 150 years ago would qualify as being Australians or foreigners but for some reason he did not reply.

Part of this problem has been fostered by our politicians. Years ago I cringed when in the face of some rabid Hansonism John Howard declared that Australia was a tolerant nation. This idea of tolerance has since been echoed by Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott. To me tolerance signifies only a willingness simply to ‘put up with someone’. Shouldn’t we be looking more at accepting people for who they are and not just putting up with them? Shouldn’t we be embracing this wonderful diversity and learning from all the different cultures that make up the melting pot of multicultural Australia? The media too, particularly News Ltd and journalists like Andrew Bolt exacerbate this issue through misinformation and by constantly looking for the worst in the migrants and refugees that we take in and then claiming that this is a trait that the majority of them share and that we really should take no more.

Finally I think I will just add a bit about myself here to show where I am coming from. I have been called an inner-city dwelling latte sipping lefty who wouldn’t know what it is like living in the suburbs next to all the refugees, Asians, Africans, Muslims, etc. While it is true that I live in inner-city Melbourne I am originally from the suburb of Noble Park, where I spent the first 22 years of my life. For those that don’t know, Noble Park is recognised as the most ethnically diverse area of Australia. It has a bad reputation but that is unwarranted as most people who live there would say that the place is not as bad as others make out. When I lived in Noble Park I used to think it was great. We had Kiwis on one side next door and Serbs on the other. Across the road there was a Mauritian family who had a daughter who I fancied, while behind us there was a Greek family where the mum always liked to sun-bake naked. The local shop owner was Lebanese whilst down the road there was a Vietnamese church.

At school, University, TAFE and work I have had mates from all corners of the globe. In Uni my best mate  was from Sri Lanka whilst ‘P’ is from Malaysia and my current flatmate is from Hong Kong. My best buddy at work, who I muck around with all the time is from the Philippines. (She’s also a St Kilda supporter and after the Grand Final last year gave me a big whack on the arm after I gloated a bit too much about my Pies’ magnificent victory!) I generally find that no matter what a person’s religious or racial background is their hopes and dreams are usually not all that dissimilar to my own.

This has again turned into a bit of a ramble and I’m not sure if I got my point across too clearly. Again this is more of a way of expressing myself and getting all of these thoughts out than anything else. If you’ve enjoyed this rant (or hated it) feel free to leave a comment.

More Progress

While ‘P’ has been away and I’ve been on holiday I have gone a little stir-crazy. It’s very lonely at the moment and whilst I do have a flat-mate, she spend most of her time either in her bedroom, at school or at work. We barely talk except to say hello and goodbye, although she no longer runs to her bedroom every time   I arrive home. However she has pretty much started to take over the house since ‘P’ left, almost becoming a queen bee, leaving her rubbish lying around, making a mess in the toilet and hogging the couch and TV on occasions.  (Although the TV is OK as I did say she could use it if she wants to!) I’m not sure if the reason why she doesn’t really speak much to me is because she doesn’t like me that much or because her English is not so good! (My Chinese is much worse BTW!)

Anyway I have done some more work on my $3 jigsaw puzzle.

Reading

Whilst ‘P’ is away I have planned a lot of reading for myself to do, otherwise I will just get bored and waste time on Facebook or get myself outraged by reading the warped views of Andrew Bolt and his loyal goons readers. Here is just some of the reading that I have planned for myself.

Crashed and Byrned – The Greatest Racing Driver You Never Saw, by Tommy Byrne with Mark Hughes.

I picked this book up for just $5 a couple of weeks ago. It had been previously recommended to be by Everso Biggyballies at the Australian Autosport Community message board. I have started to read it and can see just how talented Irishman Byrne was as a racing driver, but the guy’s ego is out of control, even for a racing driver, and he seems like an arrogant prick with a huge chip on his shoulders. I can see why he never made it big in Formula 1 even if he can’t. So far I have only read up to the part where he decided to give up motor racing for drink and drugs.

Does The Noise In My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler.

I am a big Aerosmith fan and love reading rock ‘n’ roll biographies. I have read a few excerpts of this is various magazines and newspapers and am very interested in knowing about the various excesses that Steven has experienced. From what I have read just by flicking through the book, he tells a little bit about the process that Aerosmith uses when writing songs. I guess there will also be mention of sex and drugs and all the other things we associate with the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. I bought this yesterday from Target for $22.

Life by Keith Richards

Ronnie by Ronnie Wood

I have two books on order from Amazon. Both books I have read bits and pieces of in the shops, but never the complete books from start to finish. Both books are by members of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world, The Rolling Stones. These books are Life by Keith Richards and Ronnie by Ronnie Wood. Currently Borders in Melbourne Central, which is going out of business very soon, has Life on sale for $30, which is 40% off their rrp of $50. Both Life and Woody have cost me just $25 from Amazon. Add the shipping fee of $13 and you can clearly see why I chose to buy from here. Of course Borders and other retailers in Australia like Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman will call me un-Australian and say it’s unfair because I don’t pay the 10% GST when I buy from Amazon, yet if the book was just 10% more expensive at a local bookseller I would have no qualms about buying it there. I am one of those impatient people who like to have an item in my hands as soon as I have bought it and don’t like to wait. Paying just 10% does not bother me, as this would probably just be the cost of shipping anyway. But of course we do pay much more than 10% more than Amazon when we buy something in Australia. Mmm, how did this turn into a rant about the price of books in Australia? Anyway, from the little I have read these are very good, interesting books.

Not everything I have planned to read is autobiographies. I have a number of Penguin Classics that I have bought over the last few months that I really should start reading. I’m not someone who’s big on fiction for some reason, although last year I read a couple of books by Jules Verne (Around The World In 80 Days and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea) and I thought that I would get some more. With the release of a number of Penguin Classics with a rrp of just $10 (20% cheaper in Target and Kmart if they stock them) I thought I would buy a few. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan is the book which the Hitchcock film is based off. I have read the first two chapters and can say that it is very exciting, except that the little bit of anti-Semitism that I have seen (it’s all a big Jewish conspiracy you know?) has put me off a bit. I think that Hitchcock did a better job by replacing the Jews with Nazis as the bad guys. This is just my opinion. The War Of The Worlds by H. G. Wells. I am a sucker for science fiction. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a book ‘P’ bought at the end of last year and I have never gotten around to reading it. Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck. I liked the film version of this is one of Steinbeck’s most acclaimed novellas after The Grapes of Wrath. Finally I have Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift. I bought the hard cover version of this from Borders for $14.

 I do have one more book that I plan to read but unlike the others it’s not really a serious book that I need to spend hours concentrating on. Instead it’s a book I can pick up and read a little bit and put down again. That book is The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes by Jerry Beck. I guess the best way to read this is to do so whilst watching the cartoons. From what I have read it gives a very thorough insight into all the cartoons reviewed in the book although I do have one complaint, Frank Tashlin’s Puss ‘N’ Booty, which is one of my favourite cartoons, did not make the cut as one of the 100 Greatest Looney Tune cartoons. Oh well, perhaps when Jerry gets around to writing the 2nd 100 Greatest Looney Tunes it will get a mention.

This looks like a lot of reading and it is, but I have four weeks off work with nothing to do and no ‘P’ here to talk to or muck around with. I don’t really watch much TV because Australian TV is such crap, even when you add the fact that I subscribe to Foxtel there’s not much worth watching at all. (I have to get around to cancelling my subscription!) The only other option is to go out and spend (waste) money, which is something I am loath to do as I need to save up for some things.

Tom Petty

Cover of "Greatest Hits"

Cover of Greatest Hits

It was a pretty freaky day today. This morning I was listening to Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits on my iPod when I went into JB Hifi in Elizabeth Street. Guess what they were playing over the stereo when I entered JB? Yep, that’s right, Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits! At the time I entered the store the song Breakdown was playing on my iPod, but the song Runnin’ Down a Dream was playing in the store. This means that the store was about three songs ahead of me, so naturally I skipped forward three tracks and synced the iPod up with the store’s music, which took a bit of patience. I had to do this as otherwise it was just so annoying having Tom singing two completely different songs at the same time!