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September 27, 2008

Bitchy Gay Men

This made me laugh. Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Borat and Bruno) screws with the minds of a few male fashionistas. The hypocrisy (and Sacha's manipulation) is hilarious. Watch, and see how the fashionistas change their views at 'Bruno's' request and how they sign up here if you want a sex meet don't even comment on Bruno's 'train to Auschwitz' comment and how the final two bitchy fashionistas change their attitude about Paris Hilton (LOL):

Shop Pink

I like shopping but I like shopping more when a portion of the proceeds go toward charitable organizations that make a difference. Breast cancer awareness month is now upon us and making a donation can be as simple as stocking up on items. Earlier this week, I browsed around in the city and went through my usual retail convulsions of 'I like that,' or 'that would be wonderful (if my boobs could fit in it).'

Many charitable organizations are unified. For example, breast cancer awareness month takes place at the same time around the globe. Many labels support organizations by creating products specific to a cause. For example, September saw the availability of the Ralph Lauren Pink Pony range in Australian stores (the US online store has more products). Okay, I bypassed that one because I couldn't find a T-Shirt to fit over my boobs, without making me look like Dolly Parton (Ralph...boobs come in a variety of sizes!), but there were other things like tote bags, candles and notebooks that are available in the Sydney stores.

I ended up upgrading my keyring and supporting Breast Cancer Awareness month by buying myself a pretty keyring (above picture) from Coach (AUD$105.00 at Sydney's Queen Victoria Building). For those of you in the United States, the keyrings aren't become a member that expensive (compared to the Australian conversation: added Customs Duty and goods and services tax), and they're pretty, and 20% goes towards breast cancer research.

*The next thing I have lined up, noted in my diary is heading to the mobile blood bank in October. I know the Red Cross is going to love me (I'm O negative). It'll be my first time giving blood, not that I'm terrified, but getting to the Red Cross city location was always difficult in terms of booking the time whilst working various erratic shifts.

September 26, 2008

Cybersex & Depression

It's interesting to see the outcome of a study after you spend a few years thinking about an issue and its effect, especially when you see the effect on people you know but can't provide any information due to the lack of data, but now things are getting interesting because psychologists, and I'm not talking about the John Gray kind, are taking a scientific interest in excessive Local-Fuck.com cyber-sex activity on the web.

"Marcus Squirrell, a doctoral student at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, said the study, to be presented at a major psychology conference tomorrow, was the first to paint a full picture of cyber sex surfers.

Most concerning was the high rate of poor mental health among the sample group.

"We found that 27 per cent of them were moderate to severely depressed on the standard depression scales," Mr Squirrell said.

"Thirty per cent had high levels of anxiety and 35 per cent were moderately to severely stressed, which is of course extremely high."

The more heavily they engaged in online sexual activity the higher their level of depression and anxiety was, he said."

When the Internet boom hit Australia, I was still a new parent, and luckily I didn't have a computer or the time to sit on a computer because I'd probably find myself in the same situation. It's easy to find yourself in the above situation; using a computer to substitute for sexual encounters. When I was at college, a friend of mine became addicted to chat rooms and cyber; she'd average four dates a week, and over time, she reached a level of shiftlessness. Her motivation plummeted and she consulted her GP who prescribed her a course of Prozac. I was shocked because I thought a person had to have their life severely disrupted. She attended lectures, studied for exams, but as time progressed, it was obvious that her extra curricular activities interrupted her routine to the point where she'd take the idiots she dated seriously; crying over them, their get laid tonight for free attitudes, about-turns and so on. I was angry at the guys she'd date, from the web, and then I was angry with her; couldn't she see that they only wanted to get laid? It led to the question: does society place more emphasis on sexual activity than other personal characteristics and does this impact an individual, forcing them to adhere to some form of (virtual) peer pressure?

Of course, my lifestyle was different to hers. I'd go to uni, pick up my son at the end of the day and go home. I didn't have time to drink at the uni bar, attend the numerous social events on campus or date every single male that could be picked up on the web. I was never good at that but I have to admit that I did meet one guy from the web; it was purely sexual and that was it. It was done and dusted as far as I'm concerned, until he started his 'when am I going to see you again,' faux relationship behavior that I saw through; the idiot couldn't get the fact that I wasn't interested in liars, particularly married arseholes who justified their flings with bullshit excuses or lies. But I wasn't interested in having relationships at that point in my life because I had a heavy study load. My friend, on the other, was on a quest or convinced herself to be on a quest. There she was, studying for a degree, and she was dating deadbeats who hadn't even finished high school. When she'd cry over their assholery, I'd be livid. It was clear that the guys she dated were intimidated by her education status; insecurity moves in mysterious ways.

This psychological study is interesting because such addictions would affect the way the individual pursues every other relationship. It would be interesting to see how it alters their attitude on relationships, their approach to future relationships or how an excessive time cybering online impedes real relationships or inhibits reaction time. Does it dilute natural instincts (it would probably explain why women and men pick the wrong partner time after time);excessive usage overtaking or numbing instincts that are useful in real situations? There is so much that can be covered. The researchers of this study should also study women, not restrict their research to men.

September 25, 2008

Houston...We Have a Problem

I came upon this article, and thought I'd share it. Plus, it made me feel better about my own (lacking) Martha Stewart skills.
The landlord finally entered his apartment in Houston to freak out at the state the tenant left it in. According to the landlord: "This has nothing to do with the Hurricane (Ike)."

If you want to see the full gallery (don't say I didn't warn you), click here.

If you were a professional apartment cleaner, how much would you have to be paid to sort out this hellhole?

The Bailout & Splurge: Do executives/CEO's require bonuses or a golden kick up their arse?

I'm anxious to see what will happen this week. After all the television coverage, one question that has reared its head concerns executive bonuses, namely CEO bonuses or 'golden parachutes'. Do CEO's deserve bonus payouts when they're already on higher than average salaries or annual salaries that can enable them to live (luxuriously) out the remainder of their lives?
The issue about CEO's and executives has always been around, but it's unfortunate that the subject gains more coverage during such times when the stockmarket is shaken like a dead squirrel by an Alsatian. One thing that I discussed today, while I was having coffee, was the way women were disadvantaged in the workplace. Yeah we have feminism, yeah sure...whatever. I used my workplace (it's sorta like a workplace, except I'm not there but I'm still employed - go figure, and no I don't give a flying fuck that I've revealed the place on this blog, they can sue me for everything that I DON'T HAVE.) as an example. In 2007, its CEO received upward of five million dollars as a bonus. That's just the bonus. Take note: this money could have contributed to other things such as childcare at work. What gets me is that companies whine about productivity, yet they do jack all about it. If you have daycare at work, then women don't have to stress about finding daycare for their young child or children, and they don't have to sacrifice their work hours or look for work elsewhere. But what do companies do? Board members (other greedy bastards) approve the bonuses, stick it up the shareholder's arse (if the shareholders are opposed to paying CEO"s obscene bonuses), and the CEO takes home the additional loot, like he's (most CEO's are male) God incarnate.
I said, "you're sitting there, as I was, just before the Christmas period, and you receive yet another email 'greeting' (that every employee gets) from the CEO that's sent by his PA, to say 'seasons greetings' (the PC way of including people of other religious denominations), to know that you will never receive a bonus let alone a Christmas bonus, for this twat to receive a five or six million dollar bonus. What does that do for morale?"
Then they want you to be productive. Go on about productivity, you have team leaders busting your balls about productivity (when they're surfing the net), supervisors feigning responsibility (pretending to be busy), and you think, 'there is no hell with a horned demon, this is hell right here.' From that point on, I 'binned' every 'intra-office' CEO email. I'd rather read chain letters.
Are corporations out of their fucking minds or what? It's pure lunacy. As I'm sitting here, three months from my last meeting with my workplace, I'm still waiting for an official response or update. Do you think I have received one? Absolutely not. That's what you call incompetence, but it's not about competence it's about wearing an individual down (ie me); "we won't reveal our faults and mistakes, we'll wait for you to resign before admitting culpability." It's okay, I can wait, just to stick it in their arse, but what gets me in these financial times, is that a small portion of people suddenly realize that senior executives are too much of an extravagance. Does it take financial collapse or recession for people to 'get this' and oppose it?
I'm sure that there are plenty of people who would take a CEO role with a base salary (of a few million dollars) without the obscene bonus. What are my hopes after this financial upheaval around the world? For governments around the world to get together to discuss tighter controls for corporations (around the globe) that don't enable corporations to relocate for tax breaks should they flout their duty of care (example: the asbestos issue in Australia involving James Hardie - how long did it take for those affected to receive their compensation?)

Maybe the bailout will be passed, then again it might not be passed and if it isn't passed it will undoubtedly be a severe (and lengthy) learning curve. A part of me dreads seeing the outcome (if the 700 billion) isn't passed, but the other half of me thinks 'it's about time something happened to make people stop and take note.' This world has gone spastic with credit and this has peaked. How long could it last? That's coming from me, a person who has never had a credit card in their entire life.

As for the golden handshake (AUS)/golden parachute(US), a lot of CEO"s need a golden kick up their arse.

The Search for Meaning: Surprise Defloration

The search for meaning can take different forms. There is the serious search, that cosmic understanding, but in our contemporary world, many consult the oracle of Google to find an answer to the nagging issue that torments their mind. This new series(The Search for Meaning) is going to focus on that because I can no longer be silent about the search engine queries that lead people to this here, blog. Seriously, one has to have a cast iron stomach to write about sex (on occasion) and have a blog because the search engine queries can amuse or turn one's stomach (if they pertain to illegal activities or 'out there' innovations that you wouldn't try even if you were paid a million bucks).
Today's search for meaning, or keywords, that had me giggling are as you see them in the title: surprise defloration. Now I can't think of combining surprise with defloration. When you lose your virginity (turn your mind back to the time that you did) it's not like you think, 'oh...gee...look at that? I lost my virginity!' or 'OMG! My virginity is gone! How'd that happen?'
This blog has been around three years, but I do think 'wtf?' when I come across the weird (sexual) search terms people plug into Google.
Surprise defloration, indeed. The only thing surprising about defloration is how mediocre the experience can be.



The Dubai Sex Guide

Each time I come across sex tip guides, I think 'oh here we go, more of the same.' Yep, it's all about adding spice to sex, and most advisers suggest having sex in a public or 'risky' place. Hey, it's all right for the book authors to suggest these things; they've received their book advance and don't cop a possible jail term (in certain countries) for public sex. I don't mind public displays of overt sex or R rated action as long as they don't take place as I am a) walking by b)the couple happen to be sitting at the table next to me (and tonguing each other furiously) as I'm drinking coffee c) sitting in a park reading the paper. But what kind of hypocrite am I to say that?

I've been guilty of similar things in the past; I cringe a lot when I switch those memories on. What was the point? To publicly display my sexual status to everyone? To assert my adulthood? I don't know, but now I think, 'yeah yeah, show us something new,' each time I see sexed up couples going at it in public. I don't think they should be heavily penalized for it, but I can see how other countries differ and appreciate that difference; cultures vary and if they didn't vary they wouldn't be alluring or interesting. If every country around the world had the same sexual standards, people going at it whenever, wherever at any moment, sex would be -at worst - boring or a ho-hum endeavor: an ordinary pastime like...heading to the gym for a daily dose of Stairmaster.

In Dubai, the 'beach sex' trial is the subject of much discussion. There is always a story of some hapless 'foreigner' being busted for some form of public 'sex' act. The issue of how this could impact tourism or foreign business relates to the heavy penalties, but business people don't start businesses (non sexual) with the view of sex. It's about profit, shifting product or providing a service. Seasoned travelers and other intelligent people tend to research the countries prior to their visit. Only a small portion, or the ignorant/arrogant/lazy percentage ignore information that is freely available from consulates around the world (or on government tourism web pages), which is why I don't really feel sorry for those who face trials in Muslim countries for having sex in a public place. I don't think there is any chance of Dubai (or any Muslim country) backing down due to the 'what would potential tourists think' reason. They will always have tourists and business, but their number one priority are their nationals. Every other 'visitor' will always be a visitor; Dubai nationals have it great. They have free housing, healthcare and education. What more could a national want? They are the envy of other countries (where free healthcare, education and housing is concerned), and foreigners (on tourist visas or working visas) have to accept the fact that they aren't entitled to identical benefits, but they do prosper when they're earning (tax free) high salaries. There is always a sacrifice. Anyway, I don't see the attraction in having sex on the beach, getting sand up your arse in Dubai - when there are many opulent hotels to choose from. Yeah, yeah, the 'adventure' or the 'taboo,' but when will some adults grow up? Is a jail term, deportation and a slur on one's personal record worth ten minutes (if that) of sex on a public beach? Some would say 'it's an adventure', but really, how much of an adventure is it when sex is everywhere (on the web, on television, on DVD, etc)?  Climb a mountain, go on a safari holiday, have a bungee jump..

The last word, is a quote from the British pair's lawyer:

"This is an Islamic country and the problem is not with the law, but with the people."

It's too general a statement, 'the people.' Not all tourists do this, only the minor portion of exhibitionists. When will exhibitionists realize that a portion of people don't enjoy their acts?

September 24, 2008

The About Turn

I've always wanted to do something completely different to the work that I've done for the last eight years. The short version: I can't stand working in offices and have no patience for humans within confined spaces (offices). If I compare the office to a zoo, there is no comparison. Humans within offices, that aren't like enclosures, display an array of character traits that may amaze the observer, but wear the observer down over time. Egos, selective competence, and other annoying traits do little to motivate some people - such as me.

There have been many days that have seen me return home from the office, any kind of office, thinking 'how long before I transform into Kevin Spacey (American Beauty) or Michael Douglas (Falling Down)?' I read some job adverts now and laugh each time I come across the most uncreative listings that always prefer someone with 'an eye for detail,' and I do have an eye for detail. I can walk into any new office and isolate the following:

  • The office lazy arse
  • The backstabber
  • The boss's minion
  • The gossip queen
  • The 'long service leave person,' that is only working for the sake of their accumulated long service leave.
  • Career prospects (the percentage of people that have worked in the same position for seven to twenty years without promotion)
  • Crap/shit/asshole managers (based on high employee turnover, that takes a minimum of six months to notice)

That's my version of 'eye for detail' and I think it's important to develop such an eye because if you obey it, you can move on without fear and save yourself a decade. But what to do with this kind of eye? I can't do anything with it, and I sure as hell don't plan on mingling in the same circles. Recently, my trips to the city (leisure trips) see me rolling my eyes each time I overhear office people during lunch. They bitch, whine and back stab, and if that isn't irritating enough, many are style challenged.
In my life, I've spent four years working in hospitals and nursing homes, three years in hospitality (restaurants and bars) and close to nine years working in offices. My least favorite place is the latter, but I can't deny the fact that I've learned something in all workplaces. The reason why offices shit me (to tears) is because I feel that I've learned less within them, this and the fact that I've seen -first hand - the myth of feminism within them. A portion of high powered women still use feminine wiles and bitchiness to get what they want and each time I am faced with that (via a boss, manager or boss-parasite) I feel like slapping them. It's not that I feel contaminated as a female or anything, but I feel embarrassed and disappointed for them, and I don't want to associate with them or be part of that game. Maybe my gender is incorrect; I've never been able to use feminine wiles or flirtation to get my point across or 'get the job done.' It doesn't feel natural to me. Besides, and this will be mean to say, I've always associated such people with limited intelligence and incapability, and the results of such things come back to bite: projects that fail due to superficial foundations, that may have financial implications. I have a fantastic example of this (work project going pear shaped) taking place, tolerating it (it was amazing I didn't have a breakdown) and seeing the conclusion of a stupid project (suggested to a male 'higher up' by his female floozy). It always amazes me to see a male executive take the side of the person giving him a blow job even if the project has more holes than fishnet stockings. Thus, after eight years of that office/corporate shit, and my shrink won't be happy (I think) to hear it from me, I'm well within my rights to say that I'd rather work in a zoo than an office.

I've always entertained the idea of working in a zoo. The idea has been around for more than a decade; I didn't know how to go about it, thinking that I had to take a detour, revert my course of study (at that time) and by then it didn't suit me as a parent (financial obligations etc - courses aren't free). I was also torn between obligations and others' expectations. In my late teens, early twenties, I was stuck between having a 'good job' and working in a job that paid less. Of course, this dilemma existed due to my living circumstances. If you don't have the regular safety net (parents, family), you have to think in pragmatic terms, or I did or thought I had to. Then I entered university (in my mid twenties), the world of 'knowledge' or scientific knowledge, with the hope to get into a post grad degree that enabled me to take the financial load off after a given period of time (ie a dental or a post grad medical course), but found it extremely difficult. I'm not great at learning by rote; I have to link things to meanings and functions.I was strong in some areas and weak in others: It took me six months to memorize the organic structure of all the amino acids, but I could give a rundown of the cardiorespiratory system in micro and gross (not the American 'ew yuck' definition, gross as in visible to the eye) anatomical terms. When I deferred my course and entered the workforce, I regretted not switching the major to biology prior but even so, my circumstances weren't favorable for full time study and most science courses are full time day courses - incompatible with the corporate demands of the working world.

This week, I returned to the old idea, researching online and came across volunteer positions in zoos and found one and thought, 'Eureka'. It's not full time and it's not paid, but I don't care about that. I mean, I was paid for my current job (the job in 'hiatus' based on corporate ineptitude: still waiting for an answer you lazy bastards) and what happiness did I get from it?
I got jack shit. I'd be content with 20% of the work, in terms of doing tasks that I found challenging, and the rest of the time I had to tolerate a bunch of bitches, assholes and inept dickheads that lived to make the lives of others (not just me) a misery. And to top that off, they'd lord it over us: "You should be privileged to work in this company." That was the view.

I'm going to apply for a volunteer zookeeper position at Taronga (who knows, it may lead to a full-time situation/position). And there is a reason for it. Animals aren't capable of the sadism that humans are capable of, and I'm done with the sadomasochism within the corporate world or the office. That part of my life is over; I can't return to it and refuse to consider it as a viable option for my sanity. My hope, for the future, is for this economic upheaval to alter the structure of the workplace, eliminate the corporate setup that has dominated the world because I don't feel that it gives anything back to humans in a spiritual or emotional sense. If anything, corporations have diminished humility, empathy and community.


September 23, 2008

Type II Sex Addiction

If you ask me, I think phone sex has been around ever since the phone entered our world. The exception between then and now is that phone sex wasn’t considered a commercial interest back then. Today, it’s a different story; you can’t watch late night television without being hounded by pseudo porno-star style babes asking you to call them.

Far be it from me to poo-poo phone sex; if people can afford it, go for it, but there is a line between moderation and absurdity. When phone sex becomes a full substitute for sex, I can only think about the lack of imagination. What can be said about a 22 year old man who racked up a hefty phone bill of seven thousand Euros for phone sex in a hotel? 22 years old. It’s not the amount that’s the issue but the time factor:

27 hours on the phone having phone sex.

Anthony makes out like he’s some virile freak; he ‘just kept going’ but I’m willing to bet that he wanked, ejaculated, told the girl to hang on a little bit before continuing and she thought ‘shit yes, this is going to cost him an arm, leg and the equivalent of a penile implant.’

The mini survey I undertook at home produced one unanimous response:

“What kind of people are these people?”

All talk and no action; twenty seven hours on the telephone, in a hotel room no less. It would have been cheaper to hire an escort for some physical action. The hotel is coming under fire now, for not limiting telephone usage. Is it the hotel’s fault? Not really. When you hand over your credit card for security, you take full responsibility.

Years ago or when sex addiction entered the world as an official addiction (circa the Eighties and Nineties), sex addicts were people that were addicted to real sex (with real people in a real setting); this was before the widespread use of the Internet. However, there is a new or subtype that is addicted to sex, and the sex is usually online or virtual/simulated sex. The recent revelation from actor David Duchovny relates to Internet porn. His sex addiction isn’t related to him seeing other woman but a rising addiction to porn on the web. Is it sex addiction or is it Internet addiction? It’s not like people are actually having sex in these circumstances.

When a person has a 27 hour phone sex session that is obviously more than a day; irrespective of all the ‘open mindedness’ about sex in contemporary times, that amount of time is problematic.

Question Time: Excruciating Answers

When I was in year 10, our history class went on an overnight excursion to Canberra. One of the highlights of the excursion was taking time to watch the  House of Representatives in action. The Labor Party was in power that time; Bob Hawke (then prime minister) and Paul Keating (treasurer famous for "the recession we had to have" - because he had no financial qualifications to begin with) were there, and it completely altered my mind. There, in the public gallery, people quietly looked on as these political bigwigs argued; you can't really classify Question Time as a debate because many politicians bring to mind primates. Even primates are more intelligent; primates get to the point. A male primate has a beef, he thwacks his opposition. End of story.

The House of Representatives is a different story. They argue, they resort to petty asides, and use creative verbal diversions to justify their points. I've recently started watching the House on the ABC channel, and it's better than Seinfeld. Treasure Wayne Swan has absurd body language that probably gives his incompetence away. He'll begin his argument, and he'll stop to repeat the previous sentence - probably because he has to remind himself what point he's making? Then there is Anthony Albanese, minister for infrastructure and transport, member for Grayndler (which is my local area - I'm still coming to terms for the idiots that voted for this dude), trying to justify a 41 billion injection (from the federal surplus) to infrastructure (states like NSW are still trying to figure out what to do with public transport; it's taken them a decade to decide, some of us ride trains from the Seventies) and being unable to provide anything concrete, but he spent most of his time making asides, and transforming into a Shining Knight, defending PM Kevin Rudd's trip to New York. I can understand a treasure taking a trip to New York, but a prime minister? This is the dude that wants to be hailed as a global leader; yes, the man who greeted George W Bush with a military salute (because he didn't know what to do - it was like a big celebrity moment, and Rudd was like a deer in the headlights).
One of the major issues that led to Labor entering federal parliament was the Liberal Party's support of the AWA (Australian Work Agreement). My short view on the AWA is the following: occupational blackmail - if you wanted a permanent job, you had to sign a contract that stipulated salary, bonuses (depending on your position) etc. And while this may seem reasonable, it wasn't. It favored corporations, or gave corporations more power. For example, if I refused to sign  an AWA contract, I wouldn't qualify for the accumulation of long service leave; I wouldn't be a permanent employee, and would have to return to working on a contractual basis (renewed each year). Also, the AWA didn't allow for penalty rates on public holidays (for me in my line of work). Thus, the AWA for me, was bullshit. When a company CEO clears five or six million as an added bonus, and employees are in a dilemma over an AWA but have to sign it, the gap is obvious. Glamorized exploitation.
The only person in the Labor Party who made a coherent argument about AWA's was deputy PM Julia Gillard. She had statistics to back her up, detailing that ordinary women were losing an average eighty dollars a week on these agreements (AWA = serf agreement). I call them serf agreements; my AWA was really amusing to me, the company having the audacity to determine my future employment should I be unsatisfied and resign; I wasn't allowed to look for work in a similar industry for an entire month. The AWA may work for those earning high salaries (executives) but it doesn't work for those who earn a standard wage in service industries. I mean, to be on -what is a minimum salary after GST and income tax - and sign a contract, is completely fucked up. When a company adds a clause that says, 'should you resign you're not permitted to gain employment in a similar industry,' that - to me - is like a form of extortion; you may as well work for an underworld figure. At least you know what you're getting or what you're likely to get if you screw up.
Julia Gillard continued, but she failed to answer the second part of the question: what obstacles, and how are they to be dealt with (relating to the abolishment of the AWA). She was already in her seat, for the Speaker of the House to call her again, to clarify. This was prompted by the opposition stating the obvious (her not answering). Then she returned, and she chose the most simple answer which, in my opinion, wasn't the right answer. She blamed the Liberal Party (as the obstacle), when really, it's The Corporation (collectively) that is the obstacle.
Don't get me started on this carbon scheme either. Our prime minister couldn't really provide sufficient evidence. But what pissed me off is that there will be all this funding into research, but for this carbon scheme to work, a definite number of countries have to implement it. What gets me is that Australia is sitting on a big pile of uranium; its cheaper to use a tiny portion of that uranium to power the entire nation, but this nation is willing to spend billions for questionable schemes to appease the enviro-warriors and enviro-corporations (yes, enviro-corporations) for questionable technologies, when they have a definite answer on reducing carbon emissions - nuclear energy - which would reduce (significantly) coal burning. But that is politics. Politicians would rather use uranium to create weapons of mass destruction than reduce carbon emissions; it's so phallocentric it's nauseating. Some countries guard their nukes like a man guarding his cock and balls. Nuclear warhead proliferation/accumulation is like adding an inch to a penis. So far, the US has the biggest dick, this is followed by China (second biggest shlong) and so on. And believe me, I'm tired of people saying, 'but we need these weapons for security,' the biggest bullshit argument in the world. Disarm every nation, and let men fight it out in the natural way. Hiding behind a nuke doesn't make anyone more 'of a man.' More of a pussy, yes. Humans may have evolved in terms of intelligent (scientific) and technology, but we haven't really evolved that much if some of us really think that a nuclear warhead maintains peace. After all, fighting for peace is like fucking for your virginity. It's never really going to work.

Question Time in the House of Representatives was a bundle of laughs. What made me laugh this morning was new opposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull's response to the media, about yesterday's Question Time - and he's not wrong (Treasurer Wayne Swan is robotic; his body language is repetitive, his arguments are repetitive):

"Have you ever had a straight answer out of Kevin Rudd?" he asked.

"I mean, question time is excruciating, it's just blather, words and words and you get to the end of a seven-minute answer - sometimes I sit there and I can't take a note because I can't see what point he's making."

September 22, 2008

4 Second Sex

I've never been one to believe sex scenes in conventional films. They usually depict a few seconds of a sexual blitzkrieg, that is choreographed and edited after how many takes, and the final product is perfect, with explosive orgasms. Guy Ritchie, film director (umm...Mr Madonna) is doing his best to promote one of his new films and is using the sex as a promo. A four second sex scene in his film RocknRolla was the subject of conversation in a recent interview.

I don't know Guy, but you can't convince me that a 4 second quickie is the way to go. Guy's justification of a 4 second sex scene:

"was kept to a mere four seconds, because quickies – in real life and on screen - are the “best type of sex”.

All I can say is, 'poor Madonna.' Despite all the career success and fortune, sometimes you can't have it all.

I've never found quickies satisfying. It's easy to say 'put yourself in a sexy frame of mind, just in case,' but as per usual (or as in life), quickies unfold at the most unpredictable time. One person is usually not ready for the sex but they tend to go along with it, being left less than satisfied or 'content' but short of reaching nirvana. It's the reason why I can't stand film sex scenes. They can set a person up for failure. I remember being a teenager, trying to get my hands on films that had decent sex scenes; short of porn, which was impossible for me to get at the age of 18 to 20 (I got my hands on that shortly after, and didn't find that educational either), films were the second best thing, but real-life sex is absolutely nothing like the filmed version, as most sexually experienced people know, and the rapid journey - arousal to orgasm - is practically impossible to emulate in real life. Sometimes I think that a portion of the orgasmic issues that women feel they have relates to 'quick sex'. It just doesn't give women time. The stages of female sexual arousal are completely different to male sexual arousal and while film sex scenes are fancy, they favor men.

Humans have evolved to such a degree - in terms of their desires and fantasies- that fast sex or 'reproductive sex' isn't a prerequisite anymore, but it seems that a portion of people haven't evolved that far in order to prefer 'quick sex' or sex that concludes before a woman has ascended toward orgasm. It's not like quickie sex requires a lot of mental work. It doesn't.

Do quickies work for you? I don't mean the occasional quickie, but quick sex on a regular basis.

Zoo Weekly = Dumb Weekly

This little article in SMH had me laughing this morning.
It also gave me more evidence. It's true. Zoo Weekly readers are a bit short in the brain stakes if they put a footballer in top position, and put a terrorist in second position; the terrorist in question bombed a nightclub in Bali killing many of their fellow citizens.





Life with Kids (or teenagers): from Coke to Aliens

I found out that my son slapped a boy in class. He confessed, leaving a twelve month period between the incident and revealing it. How the conversation began? With kids you never know what will become a topic of conversation, but the catalyst has to be Coca Cola.

You see, we have a new ad on Australian screens that lists the history of the drink. When it was aired last night, I laughed at the narrator (that begins by naming John Pemberton), particularly when he said that Coca Cola was made from "Natural ingredients," and said, "yeah, like cocaine." Coca Cola contained cocaine until 1903 or 1904. Today, it uses a cocaine free leaf extract. Anyway...the conversation moved along when my son mentioned cocaine being found in Egypt (dating back to ancient times) via mummy residues; other "new world" substances, such as tobacco, have been found. He then remembered one of his history classes, when he casually mentioned the possibility of the Incas traveling to Egypt or visa versa in class for the boy next to him to call him a retard.
"It offended me, so I asked him why he called me that mum," he said, "but he didn't answer,telling me that I was an idiot because aliens constructed ancient Egypt, then I heard that, so I slapped him."
What he said next, cracked me up.
"It's one thing to be called a retard, but I can't handle stupid explanations. Aliens," he said, shaking his head. Me? I was surprised by his belated admission. Slapping someone.
"Where did you slap him?"
"I didn't slap him, it was more like a tap on the nose."
O-kay.
"Then I told him that he watched Star Wars too much."
"What did he say?"
"He told me to eff off. I should have asked him if he was a scientologist," said my son.
It's nice to know that teenagers are still as charming today as they were during my adolescence.

September 21, 2008

Sunday Insight

This week almost brought the house stockmarket down. What a week. It didn't worry me much. I don't have personal superannuation (pension plan), only work superannuation (and corporations, such as Telstra, or the division I worked in, are so tight - they require a proposal to pay for Christmas parties). I don't have a mortgage, and I'm not rich enough to have investments (for the value to take a tumble). Sometimes, living in the now (ie not ferreting funds for rainy days on a personal level) can have benefitis, but saving for a rainy day is beneficial for governments, and it can indicate which government is (ironically enough) managed better despite the negative media spin.

For example, we have all read about the US deficit or the 400 billion shlong of debt. However, that doesn't explain how the government is able to bail out financial institutions does it? Well, I call it 'rainy day money'. There is always a reported deficit (name a western country that is in the black?), but that doesn't mean that there aren't any other funds or emergency funds. The US government bails out insurance and banking institutions so they don't collapse, for the market to avoid disaster (because if it all collapsed now, it would be worse than the Great Depression and the 1987 Crash combined) - to minimize loss, which is an intelligent way to go about things. Compare the Australian government. Banks in Australia had billions wiped from their share value. Did the 'smart' (note: sarcasm) federal treasurer of the moment consider bailing out some banks with surplus or the 'rainy day slush fund?' Absolutely not. That, in my view, is a measure of the ineptitude of the current Australian federal government. I'm still pissed off with the fact that the Aussie dollar has decreased, which is a pain the butt on currency conversion. In other parts of the world, there was the huge Sotheby's art sale of 'art' (note: sarcasm) by David Hirst, that coincided with the stockmarket disasters. Auctions aren't definite sales; to me, they're like telethons. Money is quoted, but it hasn't changed hands, so for all we know the poor sods that made arty bids had millions wiped from the value of their investments. Wouldn't that be an amusing example of schadenfruede?

September 20, 2008

Customer Service Nightmares: There is an After

"Wake up, wake up...phone!"
I muttered a few expletives, hoped to hell it wasn't relative related (no one dying), because I wasn't in the mood; would you be in the mood if the weather forecaster says 31 degrees Celsius in spring? Jokes aside, I still remembered yesterday's missed delivery.
I grabbed my cell phone. Yes, the butt-crack did call me back, and he picked the wrong person to try the usual customer service trick - using bullshit to diffuse a situation. Why I am the wrong person? Because I've worked as a customer service supervisor and the reason why I can't tolerate this industry is because I had the misfortune of working with people who didn't give a shit about the service bit. Yes, it's an industry that has more white lies or outright lies than Law, but here's the thing that many don't understand (middle managers, etc): good service isn't limited to providing a product, it also includes empathy and not pissing off a client (unnecessarily) with 'chicken-shit' behavior such as avoidance. In other words, if you fuck up, accept it and move forward, and don't try to blame the customer. Butt-crack tried to blame me - I didn't sign the form properly, the signature didn't come through.
"Is that why I can see my signature on my copy?" I asked in my best stainless steel (mincer) voice.
"Yes...but...but-but..." it was the Maharishi 'but-but'. Yeah, whatever, call me whatever name for saying that, but many people think it each time they speak to someone via Bangalore. I think some of them take complete advantage of their eastern accents; it adds more complications, and they go with the flow - if they explain things fast enough, with their accents, then they'll hopefully breeze through. No chance. It doesn't work with me. I can understand most accents.
"But-but nothing," I began, "I sign a contract, abide by your conditions and you don't deliver. That is not great customer service. It's bad ("bery-bery bad customer servish") customer service." And he understood me. Don't let their brief pauses fool you. They do understand. The problem many Anglos have is that many of them think that comprehension declines in proportion to accent. I saw this first hand as a child; my mother read and wrote English, but she had the typical 'New-Australian Greek accent' and many Anglos spoke to her like she had an IQ of 1. Some of these 'accented'  customer service reps, whether they're in India or China or imported, take advantage of this to get out of admitting their failure - they act like they don't understand what you're saying which, in my view, fuels the stereotype.
I told him that he couldn't hide the fact that he didn't call back to inform me about the form. All of a sudden, he had an insight and returns to me about the form? He was lost for words. Then the landline rang, housemate picked it up and he started his sign language. It was another rep, from the company head office. So I amped up my voice so she could hear what was going on. I ended the call, after telling the guy (who said he'd look into it with his manager) with, ''You do that," no goodbye, no thank you, nothing, and picked up the other handset, relaying the entire story to this female, who 'couldn't apologize enough." It seems that he didn't relay her message three days ago. But that still didn't cut the deal. Why confirm a delivery to begin with, to use the form as an excuse? But because she actually apologized for the disaster, I am willing to return to the store this weekend and resign the portion/copy of the form (it had four copies) so the signature goes through.

Such is my Saturday. To come:

2nd coffee

Smoke

Doctor's appointment

Chemist

Supermarket

Afternoon: writing

DVD Store (I'm sick and frigging tired of watching crap on free-to-air)

Dinner

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