Saturday, February 26, 2011

Onya Sport

For a long time professional sport has been more "business" than "sport" but that certainly hasn't stopped the crowd attending games. And at the same time as the marketing power of individuals and teams has increased, our expectation of them as role models has also risen.

I would like to think that people would be selected to be role models based on the content of their character (yes MLK) rather than their ability to run, kick, jump or whatever but it is a crazy world.

So while we cry foul when someone has an affair, drinks to much and does something dumb or just proved him/herself to be a dick is that particularly fair? Yes they are paid a fortune by both their team and sponsors and they might even be a 'star' but isn't it something of a default that our kids look up to them.

Surely we as parents or significant persons in a young person's life have a responsibility to educate them from an early age about the content of character and the wisdom in selecting our role models carefully. And while someone may be an excellent role model as a rugby player (or insert your sport of interest) , it doesn't mean he is an ideal man, father, businessman or whatever.

Added to that is the hypocritical nature of us as fans. We are disappointed when our favorites get into trouble with alcohol but we put up with all of the advertising at the games, not to mention having a brew or two while we watch. We are outraged when there is reports of match fixing or other incidents of gambling, but we sit through television coverage that provides the odds for various things literally every 15 minutes as both advertising and comments byt he commentators. We call "shame" when a player has an affair, but offer intense public scrutiny of what WAGS wear and how they act.

I am not excusing bad behaviour. I am just pointing out that there is a bigger picture in play and we as adults, parents and fans have a responsibility in all of this as well.

Image: "sport" by dragonslairfoto

Friday, February 25, 2011

All Roads ....

If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.

Lewis Carroll

Image: "Direction" by synapxe

Dreaming of Dallas

I always miss Miss Weasley and her family like crazy but I am now missing my Dallas experience too. Admittedly it may just be a variation on a theme but you get that.

Last week I was hankering for food from Abuelo's big time. We have lots of "yellow box" Mexican here (Tex-Mex really) and it is really hard to get ingredients to cook real Mexican - especially in my regional area. In the end I had to compromise and fix up some black beans and make enchiladas and do it that way.

Then I got a taste for pulled pork. Now that would have to be what I would request for my last supper and fortunately it is something I can do myself. Last night dinner was a pulled pork sandwich with a side of homemade coleslaw - divine!!!!

Now, it is Red Hot & Blue that I am hankering for. I have ordered ribs from the butcher so I am thinking hickory smoked ribs with twice baked potatoes and slaw would be fabulous for a meal next week sometime. Now if I could just replicate their iced tea - I am sure they use fake sugar or something which you just won't find at my place lol.And I haven't forgotten the peach cobbler either but it isn't peach season so that might have to wait.

And there is just food from Chilli's to go :-)

I so have to figure out a way to get back there ....

Problem Fixed???

I have taken the responsible, mature step and written my neighbors a letter. I used lots of "I" statements and emphasized that it one one singular behavior that I had a problem with - not the child, or them as parents. I tried to be as nice and diplomatic as possible. I thought about it for 24 hours. I got someone else to read it.

I left it at their front door last night.

And now I am playing chicken and not going to my front door to see if there is a response.

The child did do one scream this morning and was gently corrected. Since then .... nothing. He appears to have gone out. Co-incidence? Not sure - I am playing chicken - I so don't want to offend them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hmmm ....

The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.

Paul Fix

Image: "Into the Maze" by BronwinRain

Patience is Not (My) Virtue

Yes I have another opportunity to learn the joy of patience .... and it isn't really happening surprise, surprise lol.

After years of wanting, yearning and dreaming I have taken the plunge and have started to dreadlock my hair. I do confess that before I started it all I did check I could take them and that I should avoid washing them for as long as possible (about 5 or 6 days) out but that was about as far as my investigation went - apart from knowing that I wanted them to be fatter versions of Whoopi's version.

So on New Year's Eve day the awesome Aleena volunteered to section and backcomb for a few hours. New Year's Day I jumped out of bed all excited that I would never have to brush my "almost long enough to sit on" hair. I think that was my last moment of actual excitement.

Things I have learned since that day:

Number 1 - they take about 3 - 6 months to fully come together - depending on how much work you put into them.
Number 2 - instead of the daily routine of washing my hair, followed by a brush and a tousle (no other work involved) to get dreads happening I have had to spend a good hour or two each day rolling or crocheting the little lovelies.
Number 3 - although you can avoid all of the commercial products that oh so many companies want to flog you, there does need to be some hair product if you want to leave the house without a hat - at the moment I have conceded to use mousse and gel.
Number 4 - Wendy is great at enthusiastically encouraging me to stick with them - and spending a few hours neatening, tightening and generally fiddling.

So my hair looks closer to the non-Whoopi photo which is so NOT what I want. I did threaten to shave everything off tomorrow if there wasn't some improvement, hence the use of hair product - and the improvement  over the last week (slow but sure improvement).

Now my brother's wedding isn't until the first week of July so I have plenty of time in that regards, and I live in a village that is full of hippies (and yuppies and farmers and arties with the occasional surfie thrown in for good measure) so no one is going to care if my hair is messy but I WANT IT TO HAPPEN NOW!

Sigh ....

The Problem with Neighbors

When i moved into this neighborhood I was informed that it was a condition of moving in that there would be no noise - it was a quite group of retired folk, shift workers and the like so there was to be no children, no pets, no loud music, no anything antisocial in the way of noise. It suited me perfectly - and still does.

Towards the end of 2010, my delightful neighbor Victoria moved out. For the next two weeks there was the incessant noise of  building teams replacing the roof, the decking and other general repairs. It drove me mad but I put up with it (except for the loud and violent swearing in which case I had to speak up).

Shortly after a new family moved in. Now this house is owned by a different person to the person who owns mine so apparently different rule applied.

They moved in with their chooks and ducks which make their noise consistently during daylight hours. They moved in their dog which likes to bark whenever they leave the house or at random hours of the day and night (especially the night). I can put up with all of these with varying degrees of patience.

What is increasingly driving me up the wall with insanity is their 20 month old child. Again I can put up with random crying, and continual calls of "dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad". What I cannot handle anymore is the high pitched squealing (not screaming, squealing like the noise that pigs make) which I have timed at occurring approximately 20 minutes out of every daylight hour. This squealing is done to get attention, if the child doesn't get his way, if he is happy .... well for any number of reasons really. And I would be lucky to hear either of his parents call him on it once a week! It is like fingernails down the chalkboard and I can't take it anymore.

Now overall I would regard the parents as being good parents, they spend a lot of one-on-one time with him, they actively and creatively play with him. He always appears clean and well fed. So in no way am I thinking that he is being mistreated - he just has a particularly unsocial skill.

I have spent months thinking about what to do. Being pretty much housebound I can't really go out every day. Nor can I move - and yes I have investigated. But apart from the actual costs of moving, this is one of the rare one storey places in town - and stairs aren't an option - especially in my price bracket. I have thought and thought and asked the advice of everyone I know but there doesn't appear to be any practical suggestions.

I admit I had a bad night and today isn't a whole lot better but he just started up again. I responded with a "stop squealing" which was only said at a volume slightly above a speaking voice (our windows align which makes the problem worse on my side). Miraculously there is silence!!!

I am split between guilt for possibly offending the father who is home at the moment, and for "disciplining" someone else's child and reveling in the space and quiet. I don't want to be a lousy neighbor - but I don't want to live next door to one either. Time will tell .... but I am always open to other alternatives.

Image: "neighbors" by estefannia

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's Official

It is Sunday 20 February 2011 and one of our major supermarkets is advertising that hot cross buns and easter eggs are now available for sale.

Yes, Easter really is on the weekend 22 - 25 April ....

Hmmm ....

I'm Going to Be a Nanna!

Yes in about 5 weeks I will be Nanna Pearl. Not biologically of course, but socially - which I personally think is just as fabulous :-)

Now I only had one living grandmother and she wasn't the best of role models but I think I have got this sorted - don't give baby raising advice unless asked, don't feed the child sugar or red food coloring before sending them home, have fairly consistent rules as those at home (with just a little more spoiling). Well that is my plan at this stage lol.

I do have one particularly positive memory of my grandmother and that was the treat of, when I was little, of being able to play with the lambs that were stored in the entryway cupboard. It was on top of my wish list when she recently moved into a retirement home and, well you can tell by the photo they have made their way to my place.

They aren't fancy as such - just made by Grandma from white corduroy with black fabric scraps for the feet and pink for  ears - but they were all the world to me. Now I do remember them being MUCH bigger (about double the size actually) but then I was MUCH smaller so I guess that balances out. And while the embroidered eyes are just fine, they did have silver buttons at one point - but I will have to find exact matches before any changes happen there.

In any case, I was thinking how magic it would be if my first grandchild when he or she is a little bigger also loved playing with the lambs - and I was able to pass them down so that their children might also play with them. Now I do acknowledge that the world has changed and everyone is different, and the child may not be interested in the lambs (I do have other attractions of the fluffy, book or crafty varieties). I just like the thought.

Time's Are A Changin'

Time's change. People change. Hey, even I have changed. But there are some changes I don't like. This week I have been missing phone calls - long chatty, rambling calls.

Now it isn't convenient to do these on the mobile/cell unless you have won lotto so that eliminates many of the many of the possible candidates. It is also necessary to have a window in your schedule that tally's with the same on the person you want to call. And having a job, family, partner or the like does preclude many of these calls from happening at all. It is also convenient if you actually like talking on the phone.

Now I certainly don't begrudge those who don't indulge for whatever reason, it is just a wishful missing for times when it did happen.

And while I have been reflecting on this, the solution wasn't far away - I spent almost two hours chatting with the awesome Graham last night and I was blessed with 90 minutes of the incredible Delma today. My cup runneth over ... now if I could just get motivated to hand-write a letter ....

Image: "Vintage phone call" by TarkinX

Thought For The Day :-)

There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good.

Stephen Colbert

Image: "History Keeper" by droopflight

Friday, February 18, 2011

Random Question

How many of you know a young person (say someone under 30) who regularly wears a watch? If need be, sit and people watch along a cafe strip or in a shopping centre for a few minutes as a straw poll.

Now obviously those who need them for work (say a nurse) don't count. And I am not talking about those people who  wear them as a fashion accessory periodically.

I am talking about regular folk who get up each morning, have a shower, get dressed and put on their watch - before the first cup of coffee. These are the people with a suntan watch band ... well the reverse of one anyway.

In this day and age, it appears that the cell phone has replaced the need to strap a clock to our arms.

Just something I am noticing ....

What Price Freedom

Once again I find myself watching in awe people for the basic right of a vote in a free and fair election. I am somewhat overwhelmed at the bravery and fortitude shown by those that are in the streets. Some face beatings, others torture and 'disappearances' to themselves or their families.

And again I reflect on those imbeciles (I am over being polite) who live in "free" countries like Australia, the US or most of Europe that refuse to vote - or for some, to even register to vote.

No government is perfect and I wouldn't pretend to claim otherwise. I know a number of ignorants and as much as I try, I don't understand. One example (just a random) refuses to enroll and vote because 'politics is silly' but she still enjoys working as a public servant and being paid directly by the government. This same person enjoys (it is her 'right') to free health care, access to Centrelink periodically, travel overseas, the ability to call the police and have them respond in a timely manner and sending her children to school. 

Voting is not a right but a privilege and while we live in a country that has freedom of speech, no secret police, and free and fair elections, not to vote is somehow sacreligious.