Start the Revolution!

I really think we need one about now. A whopping big revolution where the masses tell the politicians once and for all that they are fed up to the back teeth with the way they have trashed the country and it’s people and this is especially so here in Australia where the current useless excuse of a government has imposed a carbon tax of all things!

Like that’s going to achieve anything! Australians as a whole did not want it, fought against it and lost because some idiot thought it was a good idea and here we are now, stuck with an extra tax that we can’t afford. Okay, so technically it is not a tax, it is an added expense for companies that are required to purchase carbon credits but it just ends up as another “tax” on the general population because these companies, not wanting to see their huge profits diminish are passing the cost on to the next guy, who then passes it on again and so it goes on until it hits the man on the street who has no one to pass it on to, hence he pays it many times over (on his gas bill, his electricity bill, at the petrol pump, in the supermarket and at various other places) and this ludicrous government we have at the moment claim it’s not going to impact much on us at all. Who do they think they are kidding?

So far, bands of people protesting, bad press and growing bad feeling nationally have done nothing to persuade the pompous fools in Canberra that the carbon tax is a putrid idea so we need to step it up a notch. Now, history shows that those in power tend to ignore the backlash from a very unpopular law until it comes crashing over the walls in the form of an extremely angry mob, bristling with weapons, murderous intent and a lot of bad feeling. It is usually at this point (unless they are really, really stupid) that the penny drops and they begin to realise that possibly the population has reached saturation point and have taken their dissatisfaction to a whole new level! Funny that.

Now doesn’t that thought give you goosebumps…but in a good way? Maybe that’s what we need to do here? Storm the bastions of power and let them know in no uncertain terms that we Do Not Want A Carbon Tax! I can’t help wondering what would happen if the companies being slugged with having to buy the carbon credits just refused to do so. What could the government really do about that? Fine them all? Shut them all down? What if they refused to pay the fines and refused to close their doors? What could the government do etc…?

The thing is, we all need to step up to the plate here and do something concrete and I guess that’s where I started thinking revolution. It’s an interesting fantasy anyway but we really do need to do something because what this government has done to us ever since it came into power is just digraceful and should not be allowed to go on. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way and so far, of all the people I have spoken to, only one has agreed with the introduction of the carbon tax (but I showed great restraint and did not force his hybrid car down his throat).

Meanwhile, back to the Revolution! Someone hand me a club and a pitchfork!


Is time speeding up?

Has anyone else noticed this? Could be it’s just me but I could swear the weeks are flying by faster than usual. Like, one day it’s Monday and then before I can get my head round the start of a new working week, it’s Friday afternoon and for the life of me I don’t know where the days are going! I initially put it down to the fact that I’m fairly busy through the week but I don’t think that’s it, time is just speeding up I reckon.

Not being a scientist, I can’t come up with a logical explanation but there are others out there who feel as I do so it must be happening! Esoterical types may have an explanation and some astrologers have also touched on the time thing too but so far I’ve yet to hear a really down to earth reason as to why time as we know it has gone into hyperdrive! Someone knows though.

Well anyway, we all know that time does tend to be a relevant thing. How many times have you been sweating on something to which you are really looking forward, to actually arrive? How slow is a wet week? But on the other hand, when you are running late or on a mega tight deadline the hands on the clock spin at an alarming rate! What’s happening now though seems to have nothing to do with longed-for events or deadlines (unless you have a fixation on December 21. I don’t.) it just appears that time itself is on Prozac or something and I’m dizzy with the speed with which this year seems to be hurtling towards its end. I’m not sure that I even like it!

Okay, I will admit that I do like it during these winter months. Here we are almost half way through July and it seems like only a week ago it was early June but not being a particular fan of icy weather I am happy for time to up the speed a bit right now. Even a lot. But when September comes around I would definitely prefer it to hit the anchors and take a breather on the speeding-up thingy through spring and summer. I have no aversion whatsoever to a go-slow through the warmer months. In fact, I’m putting in a request to the Universe this very minute!

But perhaps 21 December 2012 is significant here afterall! Aren’t we entering the Age of Aquarius as of that date or there abouts? I so, we will be entering a golden age by all accounts and perhaps Mother Earth can’t wait, hence the time race (or whatever it is). Let’s face it, the last 2000 odd years have not exactly been a walk in the park and perhaps our planet is as over it as the rest of us are. Maybe the rush is a good thing afterall?

From 2013 though, will time go back to normal? That’s assuming it’s running away with itself right now but as I mentioned earlier, I really think it is. If not, then my internal clock must have a glitch. Oh well, if that’s all it is I can probably fix that.

But not until September. Roll on spring and summer! Pleeeeeze!


Veging out works for me

You know, sometimes I just need to switch off. Ignore the phone, the computer and anything else that’s even vaguely technological and you know what? It’s wonderful!

I think it’s because I work so much. There’s this website, my social networking, my job and it all involves phones and computers and things and while nine times out of 10 I’m raring to go, there are those occasional moments when I think Enough! and switch off from all the electronics and just veg out with a good book or something. It doesn’t strike me too often but when it does, I can be a real sloth and keep it up for at least 48 hours and I just love it!

Sometimes I don’t even need a book. All I need is a mind that can wonder and a really good imagination (got both) and I can totally disengage from all the usual daily clutter and it’s really good for the spirit. It’s invigorating somehow and gets me all good and ready to hit the ground running again but sometimes it is important to step back and do absolutely nothing for a day or so.

The downside is that others think you are slacking off and try to organise you into something constructive and no amount of resistance has any effect on a person who is determined to stimulate you into action. Like, I’m not entitled to at least one slack weekend a month where I can hang out at home in my daggiest of comfy trackies and watch old movies on TV and not lift a finger other than to reach for the next snack? Apparently not! Inevitably someone will turn and decide that seeing as I’m doing nothing, I should get up and do something.

I have tried to explain in the past that I’m having a sloth thingy and will be over it by Monday and could they just please let me get on with it as it’s the first break I’ve had in ages but I’m just wasting my breath. “But Lisa! It’s such a nice day outside! Don’t you want to do something?” Well no. I don’t. It’s why I’m spread out on the couch! I’m having a “do nothing” weekend. Sort of recharging, you know? Having a break from it all with no intention of moving from the couch or whatever and I’ll survive the experience.

I think my problem has been that I would announce “I’m just going to hang out at home and veg this weekend.” This is a really bad idea if that’s what you really have in mind because someone is bound to think that all you need is some motivation. Well I hate to say it but if I’m in veg mode then motivation is the absolutely last thing I need, let alone want, and I just might get physical with motivating types, and not in a good way. Please get out of my face and close the door on your way out!

Look, I know that might sound a little bit stroppy. Oh all right then, a lot stroppy but like I said, I don’t often get a free weekend so when I do, I like to relax and not think about all the things I’m usually thinking about because I’m usually busy with something or other and, well, you know what I mean.

I’m actually planning to sloth out next weekend but please, don’t tell anyone!


No sneaky advertising, okay!

I’m not into sneaky advertising, okay! I don’t do it to others so I don’t really appreciate it when others try and do it to me.

I’m talking about comments that come into my website that have a YouTube video attached. I’m also talking about comments that have a link to their website appearing in their comment. Sure, many people will jump on the opportunity to get something for free, even free advertising, but my site is not the place to try and do it so please, don’t take it for granted that I will comply and post any comment, complete with link and/or advertising video, and seeing as I actually read every comment that comes in and reply to many of them, I am not likely to miss that attachment or link.

I don’t post them, okay! I delete unsolicited stuff like that because I think it is in bad taste when people assume they can get a free ride on someone’s website.

You know, I sometimes comment on other sites myself, especially if I like the site and it’s content but I would never a) put a link in my comment that leads directly to my site b) attach a YouTube video of any discription or c) say something nice about their site and then launch into a spiel about my own business! I mean, it’s bad manners right? It would be a bit like me running around placing advertising boards on people’s fences or ad stickers on their cars! It’s presumptious for a start, in really bad taste and let’s face it, it’s just not something that you do.

As far as advertising goes, should someone wish to advertise their business etc on my website then the courteous thing for them to do is to contact me, give some details about their business or site and then ask if I would like list their ad. If I felt the ad was relevent I would thank them for their interest, advise them of the fee and we could all take it from there. That’s how I would approach it if I wished to advertise my business on their site. It’s what any legitimate business person would do! So, what’s with all the unsolicited links and videos? Well, maybe I can understand some of them I suppose because their product/service could have limited options when it comes to placing an ad on another website.

As an editorial business I suspect the most likely advertisers to approach me would be those in fields like stationery, publishing, the art industry and related writing/editorial type industries. I would also like to mention that I would be open to businesses catering to fields I’m interested in like crystals, animal welfare, alternative lifestyle info, heirloom (pre hybrid) food, bookstores and academic sites. I haven’t been approached by anyone in these fields as yet but if they did, I would be interested. However, as an editorial site, I would be unlikely to make space to advertise any life coaching things in any way, shape or form, sex videos, sex toys or penis enhancement products, self help gurus, naked Russian girls who want to contact western men or chicken coops of any description (as much as I like chickens) because I just don’t think they would be relevent. They wouldn’t mesh, if you know what I mean.

So I guess that’s why I get comments from people in those industries with videos/links to their site attached. Why I delete them then is probably self explanatory. But to be honest, even if it appears to be fairly ordinary I do not give free plugs to those who have tried to slip one in under the radar.

If you like my site that much and believe it is popular enough to warrant an advertisement for your business, why not contact me first and ask me about it? Otherwise, it’s just not going to happen.


A little place beside the sea

That’s what I want. A nice little place beside the sea where the sun is shining and the seasons are a lot more moderate than where I’m living right now. So why don’t I just up and move, right? Good question, and one I have often asked myself over the last few years and while I would just love to pack up the pets and all my wordly goods and just hit the road on my way to coastal bliss, I have to accept the fact that right now it’s not a practical move.

Doesn’t stop me from daydreaming though and checking out the coastal real estate from time to time. I know the type of house I’m after and I know roughly the areas I’m interested in and now that we are just coming into winter here I am pining for warmer climes and wishing I was already there. But at the moment it is more practical if I stay put so here I am, wrapped up in layers and cursing the icy temperatures and praying for the break that will let me move. I do it every winter so you would think something would have heard my prayers by now but, so far no good.

I just don’t do winter very well. I am not a cold weather person and have no driving passion for snowsports. Okay, I will admit if it snowed here tomorrow I would probably go outside and play in it, but I wouldn’t stay out there for too long because the cold would start to get to me and that would be that. That’s what the cold weather does to me. It seeps in no matter how rugged up I am and so I shiver miserably from June to September and I so dislike it!

As a summer-loving person, I know I could be deliriously happy in a little coastal village with the sea practically at my door. I would be wonderfully warm from spring to autumn and come winter, well, I’d hardly notice it and that would suit me down to the ground.

Right now I live inland in a small rural village and while it is a nice place, it has typically rural Australian weather which means way too hot in the summer and way too cold in the winter and as I have lived inland for a number of years now, I really think I’m over it. Actually I know I’m over it and I want out. I want warmth and sunshine and a moderate climate because after this one, I really don’t want to do another inland winter or pant through another inland summer.

Perhaps I should put a plan in place. You know…pick area; find house; move. It looks pretty easy when I write it down and I have heard all the stuff about creating my own reality, but I have been picturing me in “my house” for at least three years now but I don’t seem to be any closer to it so either I’m not “picturing” hard enough or not truly “believing”. Look, believe me, I am “believing” as hard as I can here! So maybe it’s the praying part. Whatever, I am now at the beginning of winter here and wishing I was somewhere else. Maybe I need to do something a little more concrete instead of relying soley on the mental stuff. Like choose an area, pack everything up and hit the highway and the more I think about that, the more I kind of like the idea. I could even work from home when it’s all said and done, so what am I waiting for???

Just give me a beach and I’ll be happy.

When you’re running late…,

Trust me, if ever you are running late for an appointment, for work, or whatever, everything that can possibly go wrong will choose that day to do so. I think it must be Murphy’s Law or something but you can guarantee that the morning you sleep in will be the morning that no matter what you do, nothing is going to get you out the door in reasonable time to make it to work only slightly late.

On that morning, anything that can possibly slow you down will do just that and maybe you’d be better off calling in sick and going back to bed. For starters the kettle will take forever to boil. The hot water will take it’s own good time to reach your shower . You’ll find you forgot to get the bread out of the freezer which means you can forget about making lunch but if you think that will save you some time forget it because then you won’t be able to find your wallet to check if you have enough in there to buy some. This particular hassle will re-emerge at lunchtime when you nick out to the ATM only to find it’s on the blink and there’s a long line of people and only one teller operating inside the bank.

But back to the morning. There will be something amiss with whatever you pull out of the wardrobe and you’ll spend ages deciding what else to wear and nothing will look right. Or the thing you really wanted to wear will be the thing you forgot to wash but you’ll spend ages looking for it because you have forgotten that you forgot to wash it. You’ll be ready to scream by this point.

If you have kids they will do things like linger over breakfast and then won’t be able to find their shoes/socks/schoolbag/something else that’s vital and the more you try to hurry them the longer they seem to take. You probably will be screaming by this point but it will be a wasted effort because they’ll ignore you.

Then the cat will get stuck on the top of the bookshelf (what was he doing up there anyway!!!), the phone will ring, a kid will throw up all over carpet, the phone will ring again and some random will show up on your doorstep to see if you want to donate some time on the weekend to the community markets or something. The cat will be really complaining by this time and you’ll have to climb up there and get him because He Won’t Come Down!

One of the most frustrating things though when you are seriously running late is Bad Hair. You might have the kind of hair that other women would kill for but if you are seriously behind time it won’t go right no matter what you do and because it’s your hair you’ll waste precious time battling with it to try and make it look at least half way decent and it won’t work. I don’t know why this is but it always seems to happen like that.

Eventually though you will be ready to run out the door and uh oh, where are those car keys? It will be the one morning when they are not where they usually are and you will literally turn the place upside down looking for them and they won’t be in your bag, on the table, under the sink or in the fridge. The kids won’t have any idea. Eventually you will find them but it will be in the most ridiculous place and you’ll blame everyone else until you remember that it was atually you who dropped them on the coffee table and then put your book down on top of them without thinking. Then you won’t apologise to anyone. You’ll end up being incredibly late for work and without a decent lie to fall back on.

See what I mean about giving it up and just going back to bed?

Fighting that winter weight!

This winter I refuse to put on any weight! Not that I tend to gain much weight but come spring I inevitably find the odd kilo or two has snuck on me over the colder months and remained hidden under all the layers of clothing, not revealing itself until I go to step back into my spring/summer gear and uh oh, it fits just a little bit too snugly. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

Like I said, I only have a small weight gain but it’s enough to be annoying and then I have to lose it and for some reason that always seems harder than putting it on! I guess it’s the result of all that winter comfort food so this season I am not going to give in to it. On the whole I can pretty much eat whatever and not show any adverse affect but come the cold weather, I find myself craving things that I normally wouldn’t and it’s a real bad idea to give into it.

As a result I am now hitting the recipes for yummy stuff that Will Not ruin my waistline but will still leave my cravings satisfied and to be perfectly honest that’s not as difficult as it sounds. I can also warm myself up and keep my metabolism wide awake with some simple aerobic exercises (in front of the heater) while watching the evening news, which means I’ll be able to put in an hour’s worth of physical stuff every night! This sounds like a plan and I think it will work out fine. Well I hope it will work out fine as I am so over discovering those sneaky kilos as I shed the layers when the weather warms up.

I know I’m not the only one who suffers from winter weight gain but I could be the only one among my friends who actually worries about it. Don’t give it another thought, they say. Just don’t fret about it! But I do because I prefer my slim build to a not-so-slim one because the latter just isn’t me. And beside, I feel no desire to have to go out and do a complete new wardrobe because I’ve gone up a size! It’s just a whole lot easier to not give in to things that I know are going to sit around all season as extra weight that I don’t need to see at the end of it.

This could involve some serious willpower though and I am currently psyching myself up to be Very Strong in the face of delicious temptation. There might even be a delicious alternative out there somewhere and if there is, I’m onto it, but until I find it I’m just going to have to fly past those bakeries and the like that tempt me so mercilessly with one hand over my eyes while holding my breath. I realise I could end up walking into something and knocking myself out or else passing out from lack of oxygen but that’s okay. I can’t succumb to temptation if I’m unconcious on the footpath now can I? It’s a strategy I’m looking at anyway.

What would be really good would be to have a fighting-temptation buddy beside me so we could be strong together! As in “Lisa! Put down that dark chocolate mud cake that’s on special! Over here now and check out these bean sprouts and lettuces!”

Okay, maybe not a buddy that extreme or militant and maybe I don’t need a buddy at all. If I put my mind to it I can bypass those things and even do a deal with myself – stay away from it for a whole month and I can have a treat! That would do it you know and I might even put that one into practice this winter just to see if it does. So that’s it, no comfort stuff until the end of June, then the end of July and if I’ve been really good I can have a double treat at the end of August to celebrate my willpower and the end of winter at the same time.

I’ll let you know how I go!

Comunication breakdowns

Communication breakdowns can be the result of a whole swathe of hassles, from the telephones dropping out to your mobile dying or the Internet going on the blink. Or your written correspondence going wildly astray because either you or the Post Office got it wrong. It can happen and while it’s a real headache when it happens, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. Especially if it’s the phones, as you can’t ring anyone to complain about it!

But there’s another kind of breakdown that has nothing to do with wonky technology. It’s the one where the person you contacted, either by telephone, text, email or letter doesn’t reply. Initially you are okay with this as it’s not like you are expecting an instant reply but after three or more days you find yourself starting to wonder. Firstly you go back and check you had the address right. Did you send it to the correct email address? Did you text to the right mobile number? After a thorough check you find that you did and so you figure the person you sent it to is either tied up with something urgent and will get back to you as soon as they’re free, is away for a few days or maybe has not had the chance to even see your letter, text or email as yet. Yes, I know that last one is a bit of a long shot but I guess it can happen.

So you wait a few days more until finally, in desperation, you call them and guess what? They received your correspondence after all and just didn’t follow it up. I have seen this a lot with job applicants; hanging by the phone or repeatedly checking their emails or setting up camp beside their letter box while waiting for that elusive reply that never seems to come. I knew one applicant who waited several days for that call back until it just got too much for her. A week or so had gone by (they were going to call after a few days apparently) and in desperation she called the company only to find the job had been filled and obviously not by her. Their reason for failing to notify her was that they had been too busy.

This happens a lot in the job market and it’s so wrong. But it’s not just on a professional basis either. You send a text or an email or take the time to actually write a real letter and nothing comes back to you. If you’re the type to develop a complex over this type of thing then you are probably on medication as I write and if there was ever something that was bound to bug you anyway, then it’s got to be that person who just doesn’t reply to you. You inevitably check in with them at some stage and they tell you yeah, they got it, but seem to miss the point when you suggest that maybe they could have responded. Their excuse is always “Yeah, sorry about that but I’ve just been so busy, you know?”

Yes, we do know because we are busy too! We have work, some sort of social life, families, pets, relatives, appointments and deadlines! We also have very full days and and sometimes have to bring work home but if we have taken the time to send you some sort of communication for whatever reason, then it would be nice to get some kind of reply! I mean, how long does it take to answer a text or an email? To make a telephone call or even write an actual letter? Okay, letters can take a bit more time I admit, if you actually put pen to paper but hey, if you really wanted to you could so there’s no excuse for ignoring us.

I guess the bottom line is that one day we just won’t contact you. It might take a while before you notice this but one day it will dawn that you haven’t heard from us in ages and you might even contact us to find out why.

And when you do, we just won’t bother to reply. Ever again!

Why I write…

Someone asked me recently if I ever get tired of or bored with writing. Well the short answer is no, I don’t.

It’s a passion of mine and over the years I just kept writing and by sheer fluke found my niche as a columnist (humour) and everything else seemed to roll from there. I’m also a feature writer plus I do general news articles for the newspaper where I work as a journalist and I have a weekly column which apprears in same, so I guess when you you think about it the above question made sense to the guy who asked me. I’m always writing!

Except to me it was the same as asking if I ever get tired of breathing! I’m guessing that could mean I live to write and if that’s the case, well, at least I admit it. I do humour mostly but can get serious when I have to and about the only genre I haven’t looked at is romance. Sorry, but I don’t even read it so I’d probably do a lousy job there.

It’s a bit of an obsession with me really and if I have absolutely nothing to write about (a rare experience with writer’s block or some other nasty) I can actually feel a bit shell-shocked! A blank mind means a blank page and it’s a scary thing for someone like me. Fortunately it happens only rarely but it can be the stuff of nightmares, if you know what I mean. Other writers would understand that.

So where do I get all my ideas? Well gosh, I don’t know, they just pop up and before I can say “that would make a good column/article/blog/whatever” I’m on to it and sure enough, it makes a good column/article/blog/whatever and I thank the Universe for the fact that I can put thought into print so easily, especially when I’m at work because hey, that’s why I’m there and I have to work to a deadline so I can’t afford to dally! Newspapers are great levellers for writers in that respect because you have to come up with the goods (which have to be very good) in time for the paper to go to press. It makes you work harder, that’s for sure but it also makes you grow as a writer because you have to be able to write competently in more than one genre. Sometimes that can be a challenge but trust me, it’s good for you.

The thing is this, if you have a yen to write then by all means start doing it! Pick topics that you know a lot about or that you feel passionate about and write the way you speak. You want your writing to flow and a lot of short sentences will not cut it. Think about how you converse with others and write in the same way. Unless of course you punctuate with a lot of profanity. If this is the case you are going to hit a few brick walls as there would be almost nil publications out there who would want to publish you and as for the ones that would…well…do you really want to see your By-line there?

Just write okay! Even if you don’t intend to show it to anyone just yet the practice will help you hone your style and develop a “signature” which means people will recognise your work whether your name appears with it or not. It’s better if your name does appear though, after all it is your work.

I intend to continue writing until the day I wake up dead. After that I’ll try writing across the skies. Has anyone done that yet?


Why I haven’t moved yet…

It’s usually around this time of year I start asking myself, yet again, why I haven’t moved to a more temperate climate. It happens around the middle of every autumn. The temperature begins to drop into low double numbers on its slide down to single figures, the nights are downright chilly and the morning air as icy as the frost on the ground and I start to question my sanity every time I step outside the door.

If you’re starting to come to the conclusion that I am not a winter person, you are dead right. I’m not! I hate the cold with a passion which brings me back to the beginning; why haven’t I moved yet? It is a good question because when it’s all said and done, I’m the only one who can change my environment so why haven’t I?

Seriously, I do think about it every year but at the moment my current location is pretty convenient. I live in a small rural village which I quite like as I’m not into cities or the suburbs. It’s far enough away from the nearest town to give me peace and quiet yet close enough to same to mean I can be at my desk in 30 minutes on the days I go in to work…where there is a nice heater there, just waiting for me. The house I’m in is a good size, as is the block it sits on and there’s plenty of room for the chooks out the back. I don’t have any immediate neighbours and the rural outlook is attractive.

In the spring this little village looks lovely and in the summer it’s hot and sunny and the autumn days are pleasant once the morning chill and/or fog gives way to the sun. But the winters are really cold and icy and that’s where I have a problem. But hey, I should have figured this before I moved kids, pets and me to a location that’s only about two hours north of the Snowy Mountains!

But I didn’t, hence the feeling of “oh no!” in the pit of my stomach as the autumn gives way to winter and my whole system goes into a kind of shutdown in protest. I have seriously considered the hibernation option but who’d feed the pets and collect the mail? And of course, there’s my job. I work a few days a week in the newsroom at the newspaper office and typically, none of my editorial will write itself. Thank goodness for that heater then!

On the other hand, I have to admit that the winters in this region can be starkly beautiful. Everything sparkles under a heavy frost and if it snows this far down from the mountains it looks really pretty and I’m not immune to running outside to play in it! The skies on a sunny winter day here are of a blue that is stunningly lovely and I can almost forget I’m numb with cold just looking at it, so there is a lot of visual appeal but if I could admire it all from the window of a cosy loungeroom for the entire season I’d be a real happy girl! I try to do that actually, only venturing out into the icy cold when I absolutely have to.

Despite the convenience though and the visuals, I fully intend to pack up everything one day in the (hopefully) near future, say hooroo to the little inland rural village and make a beeline for a small coastal one. There are a few I can choose from and I can also have as many pretty visuals there as I can have here and most importantly, the winters will be a lot milder so I just keep thinking “beach”. I know it’s going to happen.

I can almost feel that warmer winter sun from here!