Friday, May 30, 2008

Scarred

A friend was talking to me a few days ago about my scars (Hi, A!) and asked if I worried about the reaction of people to them. They also asked if I think I’m “different” because of them.

(Quick recap – Two scars: One runs most of the way across my stomach from an operation I had when I was six weeks old. The other is a burn scar that covers the right side of my chest, which is as a result misshapen)

To be honest, I might not be the best person to ask for two reasons. Firstly, neither of my scars is in a place that is exposed to people on a regular basis. You’d have to have X-Ray vision to spot the stomach scar, and the burn scar isn’t exactly getting shown round at parties. Although there is one small round portion of it that sometimes sits above the neckline of low-cut tops, it isn’t terribly noticeable. The shape of the right breast is only obvious sans top, so it isn’t obvious to many.

Secondly, I’ve had both since infancy. The burn scar is courtesy of a hot cup of coffee I pulled over myself when I was six months old. It was made a little worse when I was involved in a (minor) car accident about six years ago and the seatbelt cut across some of it, so bits are redder than others. But really, I don’t know a time when it was any different. I’ve always had the scars. They have always been a part of me, and don’t occupy my thinking that much.

That’s not to say that if I had the choice I wouldn’t wake up tomorrow without them, but I’ve never had a moment where I run through my head what someone’s reaction to them will be. They are there. In the case of the stomach scar, I thank god and all his tiny angels it is there, because the alternative is me writing this post with one hand whilst the other fiddles with a harp atop a cloud in one of the less-cool parts of heaven.

Every time I see a piece on TV about a person with a facial scar or some other obvious scar, I am thankful that mine aren’t in a place where I have to worry about the reaction of strangers. So maybe I do care. I know I usually make a small effort to warn people in some way that I have scars if they’re going to be in a position to see them, but I can’t say I’ve had any negative reactions to the scars. I mean, I don’t recall anyone being in raptures about the scarring, but I’ve certainly never had anyone recoil or anything.

Jesus, it’s complicated, isn’t it? I know at least one person who has asked me why I haven’t “Just had them fixed”. But it really isn’t that simple. For a start, after nearly 25 years, I don’t know if anything could be done. I know the stomach one couldn’t really be fixed. As for the burn scar, I have no idea. I’ve been told it would probably involve some kind of reconstructive surgery because of the shape of it, and I don’t know if I would go through something that involved for the sake of vanity. Really, do I want to go through that for something that in the grand scheme of things isn’t that big a deal? If it was on my face I’m sure I’d feel differently. If it was on my arm, no doubt I’d look into it harder.

But I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I won’t change it. I won’t spend time, money, energy and involved myself in painful procedures unless I am truly unhappy about them, and I’m not. I’ve grown up knowing that, in the case of the stomach scar, my parents cared about me enough to fight for my life when doctors told them I wouldn’t survive. I know in the case of the burn scar that it was my mother’s quick-thinking actions that saved me further pain and scarring. If I took them away, would it change me? Would it make a difference?

I know I’ve never worried that anyone would think differently of me because I am scarred. I’ve always thought that they are simply a part of me, a part of my life. I know when I was a bit younger the burn one bothered me a little. But never enough to contemplate doing anything about it. I’ve always though it was me that should change, not what is on the outside of me. I don’t think any differently today.

To be honest, the only answer I can give you, A, is that it doesn’t really factor into my thinking all that much. If there was a pain-free, cheap way of getting rid of them available, of course I’d take it. But there isn’t. And there won’t be in my lifetime.

I can’t say how it has affected me as a person. I have no way of telling how it has affected me at all. I don't know if it's made me a better or worse person, or if it's made no difference at all.

Bah! As usual, my friend, my only answer is that there isn’t really an answer. And it’s taken me 902 words to say that.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sex tips from Mills & Boon

This nearly gave me an aneurysm.

Any article that ends with the phrase "eager manhood" is tops in my book.

RIP

Sydney Pollack has passed away at the age of 73.

I really knew him more from his character-acting work than his Directing work, and I had no idea that he was 73. I would have said late fifties, early sixties at most.

I can remember when I first saw him in Will and Grace as Will's father and I thought it was such a great part he played, making it such a likeable character, when it could so easily have gone the other way in the hands of someone less skilled.

RIP, Sydney.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Eight Minute Post

I have less than eight minutes to write, edit and publish this post.

Some things that have been happening:

  • My hair is back to something approaching blonde. It's also looking dry and frizzy today, due to getting rained on first thing this morning. Damn you, weather. Damn you. I paid $100+ dollars to look like a pizza hut sign for a week?
  • My brother is convinced he is being stalked by a Tawny Frogmouth. Apparently, it sits on a branch near his room and stares beadily at him, and is always around. I'm not sure whether to laugh, or, well, laugh.
  • I'm attending a linen party this Friday, having a driving lesson on Saturday, and will spend a substantial part of my weeknights this week baking. I feel old.
  • This time last year (technically, tomorrow, I think), I was about to lose my job through no fault of my own, get dumped by my boyfriend, given two days to find somewhere else to live, and have to say goodbye to my beautiful, beautiful Tess. I can't believe it's only been a year.
  • I have one minute left. One quick thing - Does anyone have a simple recipe for Osso Bucco?

Will post something tomorrow, when I have more than eight minutes.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Art or Porn?

Everyone would now have heard of the furore created by the seizure of naked photos of “children as young as twelve” by acclaimed photographer Bill Henson.

I’m not entirely sure where I stand on this. On the one hand, Art has always had a different set of standards to other means of expression. I suspect that there would be no furore over this if Bill Henson was, say, an oil painter.

Cherubs are routinely depicted as small children or infants. Cupid is a naked child. There are a myriad of ads on television every day where small children and infants run around sans pants. In fact, the one that springs to mind is the ad with the naked babies flying all around the screen. That one always disturbs me. Babies are hard enough to handle at the best of times. Now you want to give them the ability to fly?

Hand me the broom, Marge! Maggie’s on the roof again.

We seem to be comfortable with small children being shown naked. Arse clearly on display, crawling away from mum whilst she tries to wrestle her child into a nappy, or using talcum powder, whatever. We don’t have an issue with the bank ads with naked oldies going at it in the garden. Adults are okay, as long as nothing “blue” is shown, within certain hours.

So what makes it not okay for a twelve year old to be photographed naked? Apart from the fact that these are not children - they are adolescents - and I assume there isn’t a question of a lack of parental consent involved, what makes this sexual?

Is it because they sit on the cusp of sexuality? They are no longer children – it’s no longer acceptable for them to run around naked in the paddling pool in the backyard. We aren’t comfortable to see them on TV whilst a loving mum chases after them.

But they aren’t adult either. We wouldn’t want to see someone this age in a pole-dancing club. To be blunt, you wouldn’t be ogling over a twelve year old in a pub.

Adolescence is itself a time of confusion. You are clearly no longer a child. You notice the other sex and hormones are running rampant throughout your body. But you aren’t yet sexualised. You don’t think of the opposite sex in terms of a bed partner. It’s that strange time when innocence isn’t quite left behind.

The only way I can sum this up is this – what is sexual is what adults perceive as sexual. These pictures aren’t porn in that it isn’t designed to titillate. Those who would consider this sexual would be those who consider adolescents of this age sexual anyway.

I think we are uncomfortable with adolescents being depicted naked because whilst we perceive them as not yet adult, they are no less subject to their own hormones – and ours – if not through action, then through attitude. Why do you think school-girl outfits are so damn popular?

If there are no signs of co-ercion, if the parents were well informed, present and gave their consent, do I really have an issue with it?

I don’t think I do. If the photos were overtly sexual then I probably wouldn’t be comfortable with it, but they aren’t. They are clearly not designed to be arousing.

Are they art? I don’t know. Who bloody does these days? A bag of garbage can be art these days.

Do I think they are porn? No. I’m no aficionado of porn, but I’m fairly sure there’s supposed to be, I don’t know, some kind of sexualisation of the subject. I don’t see that here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Here We Go Again

I've been getting calls to my mobile from a private number. No-one talks, and last night a strange number called me, and my brother and myself decided to leave the call open, recorded the number and sat back to see just how much money whoever it is was prepared to waste.

Four minutes odd is the answer.

It's been happening on and off since Friday, and last night it ramped up. Three calls last night and one today.

Did you know that even if you block your number, the number is still available to both your telecommunications carrier and mine?

No?

Well, you do now.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mobilising the Troops

What: Anti-anti-abortion picket
Where: Fertility Control Clinic, 118 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne
When: NEXT SATURDAY 24 May 2008

Time: 10am; good idea to get there about 15-20 minutes before then, to meet and greet each other. GrodsTeam will be easy to spot, I'm sure.
Finish time estimate: 12 midday

Enemy: Helpers of God's Precious Infants.
The Aftermath:
Everyone is invited to go to the Mountain View Hotel for a debrief and a beer or six, at 70 Bridge Rd, Richmond, which is just down the road from the abortion clinic. It’s a 15 minute walk east along Wellington Parade, or 5 minutes on the 48 or 75 tram.
Pass on this email to everyone you think would be interested in attending and if you've got a blog, post it! And that's an order from General Bron.

That’s right, people. General Bron has mobilised her troops, and they will be converging on the Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne.

For those not in the know, we are objecting to the fact that the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants choose to do so by picketing a fertility clinic - hassling women who are in the midst of probably the hardest decision they’ll face in their life. Personally, I don’t like the fact that they pick and choose what catechism they listen to – they’ll totally ignore the part about doing unto others as you would have done to you, not passing judgement, and having compassion and forgiveness, but disobey an edict that doesn’t even rate a mention in the Bible, and you’re off their Christmas card list.

If they’d consulted the website of the Vatican, they’d know that the Vatican’s own stance on people who have an abortion is that “…..Like all sin, forgiveness is as close as the nearest confessional”

This isn't about being pro-abortion. This isn't even about my own views on abortion - it's about the right to consult with a doctor - no matter what the reason, without being harrassed by fundamentalists.

If you need any more details, let me know.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

You must die! I alone am best.

I found two unmarked CD’s in my CD holder last week and as I was loading photos on to Flikr, and hoping they were some of the 400 photos I’m missing so far, I stuck it in the drive to find out what was what.

They weren’t photos, as I had hoped, but something even more interesting – two CD’s chock full of MP3’s my ex had copied for me from his old computer.

Some of them were total, utter crap – the kind of music I would be unlikely to listen to if you paid me – but a lot of it was great. Nineties songs and bands I had loved, earlier stuff & fairly recent stuff all vying for my attention. And that was so like our relationship, really. For every ten crap songs, there is a sold gold favourite of mine I had never been able to track down. So I thought I‘d stick a list of the songs I’ve been playing in the last few days.

Ant, you will notice there is not a single Beatles track amongst them.

Colour Blind – Counting Crows
Mope – Bloodhound Gang (Who doesn’t love the Pacman bit in this song?)
Louis Burdett – The Whitlams Live (I have no idea why I don’t have a live version of this song on MP3, but I don’t)
Lemon – U2
Cornflake Girl – Tori Amos
Comin’ up from Behind – Marcy Playground (I actually squealed when I found this. Ten years ago I LOVED this song. This and Sex and Candy by the same band are the nineties for me)
The One – Foo Fighters
Fast as you Can – Fiona Apple
Bastard Son – George (I always preferred Tyrone to Katie Noonan)
Get Off – Dandy Warhols (In my opinion, their finest song. When I find a place that has this as a Karoke song, I’m set. Alternatively, someone who can play the guitar bits)
Sheep go to Heaven - Cake (All of a sudden I’m 16, at Melbourne Central with a giant sheep someone won at the Show, letting it slide down the middle barrier of the escalators down to the station, laughing hysterically as people are startled by a large sheep gathering speed. We were SO cool)
Bohemian Like You – Dandy’s again. Before they became every ad on TV
Insomnia – Faithless
I love you, But…. – Friendly
Sexxlaws – Beck
Your Woman – White town

Bonus points if you can tell me what song the title of this post is from. Think late nineties/Early 2000

Orphaning and Anonymity

A bill was recently passed in the United States regarding Copyright.

I'll keep this brief, as no-one wants a huge dissertation on a legal matter, because, well, it's more boring than listening to me rattle on for an hour about how my brother was wearing my socks the other week.

Basically, what it means is that if the copyright holder is "difficult or impossible to contact", then the work is considered an "orphan" work and it's fair game - unless you register the work with a third party agency, who presumably would charge for the priviledge. There are also changes to the derivative part of copyright, and the limits an Orphan work author can claim IF they have registered the work, which would not cover the cost of legal action for copyright infringement.

What does all this mean for bloggers? Well, for me, nothing. I'm not anonymous, and couldn't be considered "difficult or impossible to contact", but for those of you out there who are anonymous, it could certainly be a factor.

Have a look, if copyright of your work is important to you. I just hope no such change is considered here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I knew there was a reason I didn't bank with banks

Dear nameless bank,

Why do you close at 4pm on all days except Friday? Why can't your staff work a full day? I start at 8am, finish at four thirty (well, I'm supposed to) and it's hard for me to get to the bank at lunchtime at the moment. I need a statement, and I haven't been able to get to your doors for a week. I haven't been taking lunchbreaks, so I've just wasted twenty minutes walking there and back to work for nothing. NOTHING.

Additionally, why can't I register for internet banking by any other method than with a bank card? I told you when I opened the account that I didn't want access to the netbanking account via card. I don't want them linked. I don't want that temptation. WHY DO I NEED A BANKCARD TO REGISTER FOR INTERNET BANKING? And if there's a good reason, why do your customer service phone monkeys not know what it is?

You just want me to spend all my money and get into debt, don't you, nameless bank?

I know I said I wasn't going to be around this week, but this ticked me right off. Now I'm going to have to go up there again tomorrow at lunch, and I really don't want to. I hate doing my banking at lunchtime. It means I have to take the full lunch hour to get there, stand in a queue and get back to the office pissed off and behind on my work.

Just, gah.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Temporary hiatus

Just a quick note to say I won't be around this week.

Too busy at work to take lunch breaks at the moment, and it's only going to get worse for the rest of the week.

Will be back early next week.

Talk amongst yourselves, children.

Oh, and does anyone else accidentally type busty instead of busy a lot?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My life is now complete

I’m used to people spelling my name wrong. Friends, Family, the Immigration Department, it happens. Unless the person knows me very well (Or the Australian Government sees fit to issue me a passport in the wrong spelling), I’m unlikely to care, unless I just want to give stick to them. I’ve got one Aunt who spells my name differently every time she sends me a birthday card, and sometimes there will be a different spelling on the envelope as there is on the card, both incorrect.

My name, as you know, is Keri Elisabeth James. Because my work email was set up before I started, and one of my forms of ID has a hyphen between Keri and Elisabeth, It was set up as Keri-Elisabeth James. Which is fine. I think it’s kind of purty. Distinguished, like.

But today, I think I’ve reached a new zenith in the arena of wrong-name spelling.

I received an e-mail for a work matter today, and it was addressed to Kerri-Elizabeth Jomes.

That’s right, folks. Not one, not two, but ALL THREE of my names spelt incorrectly.

My work on earth is now done.

Monday, May 05, 2008

It's going to be a long, long season.

So, Essendon.

We lost by 68 points last night. And I know we have our three best players out. Fletcher, Lucas and McVeigh. Backline, Forward and Midfield, shot. We played with seven players who had played less than ten games last night, but it wasn’t the younger players I was disappointed with. It was the older players who I felt let the side down. Mcphee should have come into his own by now, if he is going to be anything other than a liability. Lloyd stood up well, but needs to show more leadership. It was lovely to not cringe when the number 23 came within vision, and it was nice to see a bit of run about the boys. It bodes well for the future, even it means at the moment I’m sitting there wishing I had never met Tim Watson*

And umpiring. I don’t normally bitch too much about the umpiring, because as long as decisions go the same way for both sides, I don’t mind too much. If there’s a particularly cretinous decision I’ll get a little vocal, sure, but I try not to buy into the “maggot” thing, because it detracts focus from the game.

But the first quarter was easily the worst umpired quarter I have seen in memory. Holding the ball seems to be a rule the umpires have forgotten about. Now, I am the first to get annoyed at people who yell out “Ball!” within a millisecond of a player being tackled, and especially if there was no prior opportunity, but last night there were players tackled twice by different players and still the umpires didn’t pay it. And in the same quarter, one particular umpire seemed determined to have as much impact on the game as possible. Which I hate. I wish they’d just let the game be played and stop trying to impose their will on it. And I’m not being one-eyed and saying it’s all one way, because there were decisions that went our way, or didn’t go Port Adelaide’s that should/n’t have.

And good on the two Matthews (Lloyd and Knight) for standing up and saying something to them. They have, by the rule book, the right to, but they knew they would probably be fined for it. All well and good. When you send them the cheque, boys, attach a copy of the rule book, and the number of a good Optometrist.



*The reason I support Essendon is because one day, early after we had moved to Melbourne, I met Tim Watson at a K-Mart in-store thing. There was a handball competition, and I sucked. Tim spent probably twenty minutes teaching my brother and myself how to handball, so when the time came to choose a team, there could be only one choice. Plus, you know, I thought he was cute.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Once Sentence Reviews

Because I'm chronically long-winded and on my way to the football (Please, Bombers, please, don't make my journey be in vain), I've decided to do a quick review of the songs that have been haunting me lately. In one sentence or line only.

Lights & Music, Cut/Copy - What the hell? This song is disturbingly catchy, yet disturbingly bad.
I Don't Do Surprises, Axle Whitehead - I don't hate this song, which goes to show the formula, if nothing else is right.
Whatever that song is called by The Kooks - You've clearly been listening to too much Arctic Monkeys.
Fascination, Alphabeat - Why are you making the female singer sing in two different keys in one line?
Only a woman can, Brian McDelta - I know you've lost a lot of weight and can hold a tune, but for the love of god, could you have written a more prosaic song if you'd tried?

That's all for this weekend. Go Bombers! (Please)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Stereophonic Excitement

Very quickly, if anyone wants a free ticket to this evenings Stereophonics gig at the Forum, leave your e-mail/contact details in the comments section and it’s yours. If you know anyone who might want a ticket, direct them this way.

Additionally, I AM SEEING THE STEREOPHONICS AT THE FORUM TONIGHT. I’ve been waiting five years for this.

Since Kelly Jones can have me as his slave for all time, this may be my last post here.

If he’s already filled his slave quota, Review to follow.