Not again, Kyle… really??

First of all, I want to make it clear that I do not, and will never, watch or listen to anything featuring Kyle Sandilands or Jackie O.

But I can’t escape all the news reports about him and the things he says and does.

I want the world to know I’m sick of it. I’m sick of him. I think he’s a vile individual. It only makes it worse to know that he does these things primarily for the ratings spike a controversy always brings. I can’t even tell myself he’s simply being honest and utilising his freedom of expression; no, he’s just being a jerk for the sake of his show(s) and his income and his reputation as a “shock jock.” Somehow that’s worse.

Jackie O isn’t much better. She never does or says anything outrageous, but she sits by her co-host and does nothing to curb his behaviour or moderate his statements. By saying nothing, and continuing to work with him, she tacitly approves his behaviour, agrees with him, and makes herself just as loathsome as he.

I’m putting the call out. Don’t bother boycotting the companies that sponsor his shows; they’re businesses, and businesses need to put their brand out there to be seen and recognised and remembered. Sponsoring something isn’t necessarily a statement that they uphold the same values; it’s just an advertising move.

Instead, boycott Kyle himself. Any radio show, any TV show, any event in which he plays any part – ignore it! Don’t tune in to find out what horrible thing he’s going to say next. If nobody pays him any attention and his ratings drop, maybe his shows will be cancelled. Then we’ll never have to hear about him again, never have to see his face, never have to despair quite so much for the intelligence and compassion of the human race.

I just want to add that the journalist he called ‘fat’ looks quite average-sized to me… perhaps even slimmer than Kyle himself.

Following the rules with good reason

The world we live in is filled with rules: formal and informal, written laws and unspoken understandings. I understand that, for the greater part, these rules exist for a purpose. That purpose is to ensure that people can coexist in relative safety and harmony. As such, I endeavour to live within the rules, or to break them only in a considered and rational manner.

What boggles my brain is the number of people who do not seem to comprehend the purpose of the rules, and who accordingly break them willy-nilly. Few seem to comprehend the danger and inconvenience they cause by doing so.

Probably the set of rules I most frequently see broken unthinkingly is the Australian National Road Rules. Believe it or not, those rules do not exist to vex you. They exist to ensure that everybody is driving (and riding and walking) in a safe and predictable fashion. And really, when you’re dealing with millions of large, fast machines filled with highly flammable material, isn’t that what you want?

 

I walked away and left this blog post for several hours and lost my train of thought. But you get the idea. Obey the rules, dammit, or I’ll break one by breaking your neck!

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! (Turn and face the strain…)

Life is a series of changes, nothing ever remains the same for long – just look at Facebook. But some periods seem more turbulent than others, some times present more choices and options, decisions to make, changes to catalyse yourself. For me, this is such a time.

I have finally taken steps towards learning to drive properly. Over the years I have held various learner permits, and driven various vehicles, but I was more proficient on my scooter than anything else. However a scooter is obviously impractical now that I have children, and it is past time I figured out this car-driving thing. I haven’t driven a car in many years, and my permit has long-since expired, so on Thursday I will be re-sitting the test to get a new permit. The following week I will hopefully be having several professional lessons and getting some practice in with my parents. It won’t be too long, I hope, before I get my P plates and can drive alone!

The other big change possibly looming is a renewal of my interest in archaeology. It is a field I have often thought of briefly, but never saw as a viable study/career option – mostly because it seems so pretentious, so ridiculous, to say out loud: “I want to be an archaeologist!” However now I think, “Why the heck not?” I can at least give it a shot, right?

So I’ve enrolled with Open University Australia again to do a single unit on the subject, specifically focussed on Israel – because that is what they’ve got available, that is not a specific interest of my own. That starts at the end of this month. I suppose after I finish the unit, I will re-evaluate my interests and capabilities, and that will be the basis of a later decision on whether to pursue archaeology as a degree and career.

La Trobe University offer a Bachelor of Archaeology, and also offer “short courses” (single units) from the bachelor. The only issue I see with that is the need for childcare; both the bachelor and the short courses require attendance on campus and can’t be done online. Evelyn is only seven weeks old now; even if I enrolled in the bachelor from semester two next year she would still be less than a year old. It’s a little sooner than I had wanted to put her into full-time childcare; I’d hoped to be home with my kids for as long as possible. On the other hand, if I waited an extra year, would my enthusiasm have waned during the down-time? It’s something to think about. Perhaps a couple of short courses or online units will keep my interest up and give me the chance of RPL (recognition of prior learning) later on, whilst also allowing me to stay home with the kids just a little bit longer.

My usual advice to friends pondering whether or not to do something is simple: Do it! The reason behind this is, you usually risk little or nothing by trying something. But if you never even try, you’ll never know what might have happened. The only hard part is taking my own advice!

Ever-increasing imagination

Tea party

Elspeth has always been an imaginative child, and her creativity only seems to be growing over time!

We have just returned from a short holiday with Aidan’s parents, where his mother played imaginative games with Elspeth almost non-stop. They had tea parties and picnics, they visited friends, they played in the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh, and went shopping – all without leaving the front yard, and with minimal props!

At home she is much the same. Aidan has often been the shopkeeper of late, charging the poor innocent child hundreds of imaginary dollars for a single imaginary pea!

She doesn’t always need us or any adult for her play. She’s often quite happy to pretend to be several people or characters, and speak for all of them. Even as I type, she’s just offered herself some imaginary water, accepted gratefully, sipped it, and thanked herself.

It is extraordinary to watch. I hope her imagination continues to grow and be actively used for her entire life. If she’s anything like me, she will find her inner worlds far more appealing than reality, and a good antidote to it!

Increasing the exercise

Not so very long ago our routine consisted of boxing and skipping. Pretty simple! But today, Aidan redoubled his attempts to kill me.

Today we boxed, we sat-up (with 7kg medicine ball), we pushed-up, we burpeed (with medicine ball), we lifted weights, and we did something I don’t know the name of but it hurt.

I complain, but mostly in jest. It actually feels really good. I feel like I’m achieving something, right up until I come inside and eat chocolate. (Time of month, I’m allowed, yes?) I’m cautiously optimistic about increasing the time and intensity of the workout over time, and eventually being able to call myself… FIT!

Butternut Pumpkin Risotto

I’m afraid I didn’t get a chance to photograph tonight’s dinner before it was all gobbled up. But meals which are gluten free, lactose free, vegetarian, and yummy are quite rare, so I thought I should blog the recipe!

Ingredients:

Half a butternut pumpkin, cut into 1cm cubes

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons butter (I did use real butter, with permission from the lactose intolerant person, but it apparently works with lactose-free substitutes)

1/2 teaspoon all purpose seasoning (if you don’t have this pre-made, it’s basically salt, pepper, paprika, powdered onion, garlic, and basil)

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

1.2 litres vegetable stock

Method:

Sauté the pumpkin, garlic, oil, all purpose seasoning, and half the butter (1.5 tablespoons) for about 10 minutes. Be sure to stir almost constantly.

Add the rice, cook for 2 minutes, continually stirring.

Add the stock gradually as the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Keep stirring! The rice should be cooked in about 25 minutes.

Stir in the rest of the butter (the other 1.5 tablespoons), and season with salt and pepper to taste.

The future

In the past, I’ve held various positions in customer service and administration. I’ve never completed a degree or any other post-highschool qualification. I left a casual position to have children; no maternity leave was available, and we’ve moved, so I have no job to go back to.

And so I consider my future.

Part of me can’t help but feel it’s too late to start a new venture. At the age of 28, with two young children, can one really get into uni, complete a degree, and embark on a new career? On the other hand, the longer I don’t do that, the more I may regret it, and the harder it will seem to be.

I am also plagued with uncertainty and doubt. What if I choose an area of study and turn out not to like it or not be good at it? Or if I’m just lazy and unmotivated? Aren’t I getting too old and too settled (married with kids) to risk mind-changes and failure?

But I guess one of the most important things to consider is: Are the above issues sufficient reason not to try? Will I turn 50 and hate myself for not even giving things a shot? I don’t think I want to be a 50 year old who never really achieved anything or did anything interesting in the way of study and career, and never even tried to.

So what would be worse? Deciding on something and turning out to be bad at it/apathetic/dislike it? Or making no decision at all, taking the path of least resistance, and ending up back in customer service?