This is the interesting and exciting blog of Christop - one of the 84 000-or-so people of Ballarat.

Friday, February 28, 2003

Are You a Male or a Female?
Made by altern_active

After work last night (I'm a cleaner at a Catholic boys' school in town), I went to membership classes at the church, because I want to become a member.

Tonight after Photography I'm going with some of the other from church to VCYC (Victorian Christian Youth Conference), in Belgrave. Belgrave is a small town on the other side of Melbourne, near where my parents live. Sons of Korah, Spoonfed and Amabassador 77 are playing, and apparently there's going to be a heap of great speakers too.
Anyway, I'll relate how it went when I get back.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Yesterday we had the first UoB Students for Christ meeting, and I was able to go because my Fantasy lecture only went for an hour, and the tute (in which this mature age student called Peter cracked it at me for suggesting that before the World Trade Centre was destroyed most Westerners were living in a fantasy) was straight after.
We got quite a few new people, mostly first years, probably due to the promos we did last week. I stayed for the free barbeque, then got a lift with Yolande and Flip to Camp St, where I had Issues in Television.
Issues with Television looks like it'll be very interesting, especially the stuff on television as a conspiracy.

After Issues with Televison, Adam, a guy in my class offered me a lift to the church, where we have home groups each Wednesday, because he lives near it. I should've accepted his offer - he seems really interested in joining a church and has been asking about when the services are and stuff, but I declined. I'll have to ask him for a lift next week.

Today, during Trav's lunch break we went with Shaft to donate blood. I filled a pack in 7:40, Shaft filled his in eight minutes and Trav in nine. My record's six minutes something.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Okay, I got a new battery put in my watch, and then went to the Christian book shop, which is being taken over by Keswick in March. Got a copy of Left Behind for just $3.95.

Hade rice for lunch at Central Square, then cought the bus back to Mt Helen, because apparently all Professional Writing & Editing Students doing the double award (Dip. Arts (PW&E)/B. Arts) were meant to be at the School of Behavioural & Social Sciences & Humanities at 12:55 pm.
Went to School of BaSSH, and no-one was there. Looked at the list of tutorials for Fantasy & Speculative Fiction (which I'm enrolled in), and they were all full. Asked the admin people where I was supposed to be, and they had no idea, and were surprised that I hadn't been told anything about classes or anything. They said to just turn up to my two lectures (Fantasy & Spec Fic and Issues with Television) tomorrow early and try to get fitted into a tute. Hopefully I can get my Fantasy & Spec Fic tute on Thursday so I can go to Students for Christ at lunch time on Wednesdays.

'Do you have the time?'
he asked me.
'Sorry,' I said
as I rolled up my sleeve.
But I could've checked my phone.

The youth prayer meeting last night was pretty emotional.
I'd known something bad was going on Sunday night, but I wasn't sure what. Turned out someone from the youth group'd made some pretty serious allegations about two of the leaders, and a lot of people were upset, particularly the people this person told. Fortunately those two people went to Harvey (the youth director for the four Baptist churches in Ballarat) and he was able to sort things out as best he could before they got any more out of hand.Unfortuantely the person who made the allegations is feeling pretty isolated now, and thinks everyone hates them.

Today Shaft* is moving out of the Bach Pad**. He moved in about two weeks ago when he arrived back in Ballarat from Sale, after staying with his parents for the 'holidays'. He's moving in with Russ (who lived at the Bach Pad last year) and Bussy.

This morning I went to Centrelink to tell them what I've earnt over the last three weeks - even though I'm supposed to do it fortnightly. Oh well... They said my Youth Allowence shouldn't get lowered again.
I also took Short Story - An Introduction to the Students and Apprentices Association (SAA) at SMB, to see if they can sell it, since it cost me a whole $80 last year (with student discount). Delia (my short story teacher) reckoned I could proabbly only get about $30 for it, but the SAA said I could probably get $45, so that's good.
I still have to go and the the battery in my watch replaced. I can afford to now 'cause Nathe and Shaft paid me back for Saturday's shopping.

*Shaft was doing a Computing course at Mt Helen last year, but he quit, and is trying to find a job now.
**The Bach Pad is where I've been living for the last year. Devo, Nathe and Scotty also live there.

Monday, February 24, 2003

I am... a grass-eater.
What are you?

I just had lunch. Meat samosa. Usually I get a vegetable one, but they would've had to microwave it for me.

Today in Short Story Delia wanted us to write a 55-or-less-word story to submit to the Herald Sun's Short Story column. I didn't think of anything until a last minute, 14-word effort:

'Daddy walked along the street. Nearly home.
A bomb went off and killed him.'

Congratulations, you're Los Angeles, the City of Angels.
What US city are you? Take the quiz by Girlwithagun.

This morning I had Short Story for the first time this year. 'Cause we're second year we have to organise the readings nights. I'm MC-ing the 1st Semester one. David says he'll cater - cold baked beans.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

This morning I auditioned for the worship team.* You're supposed to have two auditions, but I was cleared anyway.

Trav and Emily came to Wendouree this morning. It turns out Emily knows Shaft from ESA camps. Also Trav knows Bussy's family, who've been coming to Wendouree since they came back from two-years in England.
Ray's sermon was on war. The main point I got was that we should be more concerned with the spiritual war than the physical one.

After the service Shaft and I hung around with Stacey at her place for a while.
We went to Wendouree Village and got some stuff to eat - cheese bread, doughnuts, soft drink and meringues - I think that was it. Most of the time we were at Wendouree Village, Shaft was wearing a sticker that said 'Stacey', because he forgot that she'd stuck it on him before we left.
When we got back we watched Romeo Must Die and ate. I ate all six of the meringues.
Later Hannah and Erin came over and we all just talked till it was time for church.

Tonight at church I met a guy called Alister, who's just move to Ballarat from Bairnsdale, and is doing PE at the uni.

*It turns out I was supposed to before singing or worship leading at a youth service. Oh well.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

This morning Trav came over. He an Emily moved in at the uni yesterday.

This afternoon I went into town to get my photos back, but the shop was already closed, at 3:3o pm.

I had a very late lunch at a certain fast food franchise. There was a family sitting at a table nearby. One of them threw a chip at me. 'What w's that for?' I asked them. They got up and left.

Friday, February 14, 2003

This morning a card was found stuck under the door for Mr Garry Devo, who is currently working in Portland. On the front it says, 'LORD DEVO,' and inside it says, 'WE LUV U.'

This afternoon I went to a second hand shop to get a kettle, and also to check out how much vacuum cleaners were. Got a brand new electric kettle for $3o, with a year warranty, and also bought two Beatles CDs - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road - for $12 each, perfect condition. They had a heap of vacuums as well, but they were all way to expensive considering how old they were.

I also took some photo to get developed.

Then I went to La Porchetta where we were meeting for tea. I had gnocchi with calabrese sauce, very good. Tabitha started picking on Dave Who Is Not Called A Doctor, as usual. Also, she claimed that an elephant is the only animal that can't jump. And it is, as long as you overlook:

    single-celled organisms like amoebae (although Giles says these aren't classified as animals anymore)
    sea turtles
    dogs that have no legs
    sea cucumbers
Please e-mail me if you think of any more.

After tea we went to Tab, hannah and Stacey's and watched The Tigger Movie(?!?) which was very funny, but I'm sure Christopher Robin didn't used to sound English.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Had dance lessons again tonight. We started learning a rumba, and it was a lot easier this time, probably because my partner was a bit closer to my hight.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

This morning I put Doomie's camera, a heap of books and Taco (my axoltol*)'s tank in my suitcase. I put Taco in a small, transparent bucket.

Before I left I went to Grandma and Uncle Mike's house. Uncle Mike was still asleep when we left at 12:3o pm.

At the train station I ran into Glen G, a guy from Fairhills who I didn't get along with at all for the first two years, probably because he liked yo beat people like me up. But in year 12 most people got over stuff like that, I guess. Glen's joined the army reserve and has started an IT course at Swinburne this year.

When I got to Ballarat I got on the bus. There were some American or Canadian students who asked me where to get off to go to the uni, and I told them there was a stop actually at the uni. Then they asked what Taco was.

When I got home I saw that all Shaft's stuff was now in the spare room with Twinkles' fridge**. He's staying at the Bach Pad until he finds somewhere permanent.
I filled Taco's tank up, and installed the pump, then put Taco in. She seems to have survived the trip fine.

Caught the bus to the church for the first night of small groups. Erin's back from all over the place.
As I said, Matt and I are leading the younger boys' group. Tonight we only got two kids, Josh (Giles and Mel's brother) and Matt W, but Matt W says his brother and one of his friends are coming next week.

*Nahuatl (Aztecese) pronunciation: 'ah-sholl-ockl' (the 'tl' is like a Welsh 'll', if that helps any)
Anglicised pronunciation: 'axel-ottle'
**Twinkles' fridge has been turned off since March 2oo2, and still has 'food' in it, because Twinkles couldn't be bothered cleaning it out or taking it with him when he moved out. Mouth has suggested leaving it on his lawn. Apparently his brother Steve's picking it up some time.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Today my Centrelink money came through.
Tonight after work I caught the train to Melbourne, because I need to get some stuff from my parents' place, and they said they'd pay about 40% of my TAFE fees.
I also bought The Living End's new EP, One Said to the Other and a copy of Rolling Stone, which I read on the train.

Monday, February 10, 2003

This morning my father's second tax return arrived, and Mum took it to Centrelink, who said my money would 'go straight through'.

Today the carpet people came back again and put in the new carpets, which are grey. I actually liked my old carpet, which had different coloured stripes, more even though though it has a hole in it and a lump of plastic melted onto it.
They had to move the big cupboard out of my room, and there were some old, brown socks and a PE course handbook from 1996 in there, all covered in cobwebs, so I'm guessing it hadn't been moved in a while.
Also, the floor under Mouth's carpet was all burnt.

This afternoon I went to the bank. My account was empty, so I went to Centrelink and asked why. It turns out that when they say the money will 'go straight through' they actually mean overnight, 'so I [the Centrelink lady] wouldn't expect it to come though till Wednesday.'

Tonight, after work, I went to the youth prayer meeting, which was combined with the senior one tonight.
Apparently the intercessors were worried about our church's name, because Wendouree means, 'Go away!' and is a pretty impolite way of saying it to. So we spent some time praying about that.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Today a heap of intercessors were meeting in Ballarat, so we had some came to our church in the morning.

After church Heather had to work and didn't have time to give me a lift home, so Tab said to come over to HaTaMa again. Her family were over, so we had lunch with them, and then I went shopping with Tab, Stacey and Hannah.
Tab has finally gotten her copy of Jeff Deyo (vocalist from Sonic Flood*)'s Saturate, which she ordered straight after we got back from Wavemakers - we used it for worship there. Unfortunately it won't play past track six anymore, because the 'Don't Touch the Lazer' sticker her discman sticks up and scratched it all. She says she's going to get a CD repair kit.

*Not Sonic Food, as I found out.

Saturday, February 08, 2003

    Colossians 2:16-17 (NIV)
    'Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.'
I think this means I can eat meat once again.

As you can see I've gotten rid of the Quote and Word of the Moment. I'd gotten sick of them, and it was becoming more and more of a chore.

Friday, February 07, 2003

    Jonah 1o-11 (NIV)
    'But the Lord said, 'You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?'
Why was God concerned about the cattle? Perhaps Charlie Page is right, so I will not eat meat again until I am convinced that it's okay once again.

Today we were supposed to be having a house inspection, so I spent a lot of time cleaning up, and then Penny didn't even turn up, so I was Not Happy.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

    Jonah 3:1-3a, 5, 1o (NIV)
    'Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."
    Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh.
    The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
    When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.'
Nineveh (or Mosul, as it's now known) is the centre of the oldest Christian community in the world, the Assyrian Church.
Although they are better off than Christians in most predominantly Islamic countries, the Assyrian Church has suffered heaps under the Iraqi government, which intends to 'Arabise' the entire country, and forces Christians to sign papers denying their beliefs. Many Assyrian Christians are feeling threatened by Saddam Hussein's government with the likelihood of countries like Australia, the US, the UK, Spain and Italy attacking Iraq. Many are leaving the country, as they did after the Gulf War ended in 1991, for Europe, North America and Australia.
Any day now, every Australian home will be receiving a package of pro-war propaganda from good old Johnny Howard, intended to frighten the Australian public. Jim Soorley, the Mayor of Brisbane has suggested that Australians who don't think Australia should go to war with Iraq should send it back to him, with anti-war slogans added if they like.
Jim Soorley's anti-war website

This afternoon Russel returned from Croatia, and came to the Bach Pad to get some of his stuff and take it to the house he's sharing with Bussy this year. He says he'd be able to speak more fondly of the trip once he's had some sleep. He also said that Nathe was moving in this afternoon, and I said I'd be out.

Mopped all the vinyl floors.

At work tonight I had to clean the whole floor by myself, so it took till 7:oo pm.

After work Heather picked me up, and asked if I had to go home before we went to dancing lessons. I said I didn't, so she asked if I wanted to have tea at her place, and I said that'd be nice.
Dave Who Is Not Called A Doctor (Heather's brother) was out with Hannah at Adam and Ruth's, and Graeme (their dad) was still at work, so it was just Heather, Jenny (Heather's mum) and myself. We had a vegetable and chicken stir fry.

Speaking of chicken, I got some abuse in the guestbook concerning my eating of chicken. I fully agree with Christopher White. Anyone who is a carnivore (i.e. person who eats only meat) should eat vegetables fruits and cereals also. But I must ask him why he thinks animals have souls. And if we inherit the souls of the animals we eat, does a cat inherit the should of a mouse it eats? To what measures is he venturing to prevent carnivorous animals from eating other animals and inheriting their souls? Do plants have souls? If not, why not? If they do, do you inherit their souls when you eat a felafel? Or wear a cotton shirt? Or use a pencil and/or paper? And what are the consequences of 'inheriting' a soul?


When we got to the dance hall, some of the others were already there. Al had jsut got back from Mareeba today. He said the guy his parents are staying with at the moment has a hugely swollen knee because he cut it and it got infected because of the tropical weather.
We're doing Latin street dancing, which is meant to be easier than proper Latin. It wasn't to hard, but it took a while to work out, probably because we were getting told three contradictory ways of doing the dance. It was lots of fun though.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

    Jonah 2:2b-6 (NIV)
    'In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
    From the depths of the grave I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
    You hurled me into the deep,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled around me;
    all your waves and breakers,
    swept over me.
    I said, "I have been banished
    from your sight;
    yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple."
    The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around me head.
    To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me forever.
    But you brought my life up from the pit,
    O Lord my God.'
Last night when I got home there was a note from Mouth saying the carpet people were coming at 1o:3o am to replace the carpets, so I've moved all my stuff into the spare room (which isn't getting new carpet). I was just starting to move Mouth's stuff into Garry's room (no new carpet for Garry) when the carpet person (note singular) came and said he was just measuring the floors today, and might not be actually replacing the carpets until Monday.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

This morning there was a knock at the Bach Pad door. I probably wouldn't have opened it if I'd known Penny from the res office would come barging straight in. She asked if the carpets had been replaced and the roof fixed*, and I said that the bathroom had been painted and that was it, so she cracked it at me. Then she cracked it because all Russel's stuff wasn't moved out yet, and said there'd be an inspection on Friday around lunch time, and if the Bach Pad isn't clean enough she'll make us pay for it to be cleaned properly. Then she left without giving me a chance to say anything.
When she'd left Scott got up and I told him what she said, and he said that some of Russel's stuff is staying because Nathan's going to use it.
Got to work about 4:oo pm. This time it took a bit longer because I had to sweep the halls, but not much longer. At one stage the sweeper stopped and wouldn't go, but then I kind of roll-started it. Terry said sometimes the motor stops if it overheats, and it was pretty hot today, so that was probably it.

After work Heather picked me up, because she works at Family Reading in Wendouree on Tuesdays. She finished early today, so she was looking after Anna's two-year-old son, Mannie (Emmanuel), who was sitting on the back seat. She asked if I wanted to go to HaTaMa for tea again tonight, and I said yeah, since Mouth was going back to Geelong tonight.
Apparently Heather'd told Mannie they had to find Chris**, and he was still saying, 'Where's Chris? Where's Chris?' when we left, so I said, 'I'm Chris,' so he pointed at me and said, 'Chris.'
We stopped at a certain fast food franchise in Wendouree, and Heather went in to get some food while I watched Mannie, who kept saying, 'Chip! Chip!'
'Yeah,' I said, 'Heather's getting you some chips.'
Then he started saying, 'Car! Car!' and hitting the sides of his car seat.
I pointed at a grey car and said, 'Grey car.'
Mannie said, 'Grey car.'
'Orange car.'
'Ringe car.'
'What colour's my hair?' I asked him.
'Nah, it's black.'
'What about your hair?'
'Nah, it's blonde.'
Then Heather came back with the food, and gave Mannie some chips, but he didn't want them yet because they were to hot.

When we got to Hannah and Stacey's we sat Mannie at the table and had tea with them. Mannie kept hiding behind the curtains, and playing with the exercise ball. He also wanted a banana.

I asked Tab where she got the shirt she was wearing. She'd got it at St Vincent de Paul in Wendouree. 'Why?' she asked.
'I like shirts like that,' I said, 'but I can never find them at the op shops.'
'It's a girls shirt; it probably wouldn't suit you.'
'I know. I mean, I like the ones with stripes.'
It turned out she had a spare guys one with brown and white stripes, which apparently suited me, so she gave it to me as a birthday present.

Carin and Jess came over, and we watched The Importance of Being Earnest, which was quite amusing. I really liked the camerawork as well.
After Being Earnest we watched Kung Pow, which was recommended by Dave Who Is Not Called A Doctor and Adam. It was very funny, but it was also pretty sick.

Today I got an e-mail from my Yr 11 English teacher, Hitcho, who is in London†. He'd sent it on Friday, and said that it was snowing so the schools were closed and he didn't have to work, while in Australia some schools have been closed because of fires.

*Even though she'd said that since I'd be away when the renovations were being done she'd make sure she was there. Obviously she'd been telling porky pies.
**That would be me.
†It's lucky he's an English teacher, because that means everyone over there will understand him.

Monday, February 03, 2003

This morning I got a call from Terry asking me to work tonight. So I called Tab to say I'd be late tonight and see if I could bring Harvey's dinner (satay chicken and rice) overafter lunch. She said that was okay.
I called my mother to see if Dad's tax return had arrived yet. It had arrived on Friday, but unfortunately he'd lost it, along with the $4oo cheque. Mum said she was looking for it, and would get Dad to look as well when he got back from work if she didn't find it.

I arrived at HaTaMa at about 2:oo pm and put Harvey's dinner in the fridge. Tab and Stacey (she's staying at with Tab and Hannah until she finds somewhere semi-permanent) had been looking through a name book to find out what everyone's names mean. Tab was putting the Now! programs into envelopes to send to all the people in her group and Erin's (because she doesn't get back from London till late this week, and then she's going straight to Tasmania with her family).
I asked Tab if she had a bottle I could put water in to drink while I worked, because I forgot to get one before I left the Bach Pad. She still had the one she used when she was a cleaner at St Pat's, so we filled that up, and put some ice in it. Tab offered me a lift to the school, so at 4:oo pm she dropped me off there.

The work wasn't very hard. My back's not sore from it or anything. I just had to vacuum the floors (with a pack like the ones from Ghostbusters) on the second floor, and tonight Beck (one of the other cleaners) was working on the same floor too. Tomorrow night I have to use the sweeper to clean the corridors. Eventually I'll have to do the second floor on my own.
Most of the rooms have statues and/or pictures of Jesus and Mary. One of the Mary statues has been given a papiêr maché makeover.

I wasn't expecting to be finished by 6:oo pm because I didn't know Beck would be cleaning upstairs too, so I had to wait till Heather came to get me at about 7:3o pm.

When we got back to Tab, Hannah and Stacey's, I had the meal Kelly had cooked for me (Mediterranean satay chicken), and we had the prayer meeting.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

    Matthew 11:28-3o
    'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.'
This morning there was no hot water, but I still had a shower*.
After breakfast we had some time for worship, and then Giles did a session on seeking God, listening to Him and obeying. He was originally going to do it last night, but he wasn't feeling well and had to go to bed early.
We packed up all our stuff while Greggy, Matt and Giles cooked some meat on the barbeque for lunch.
During lunch we decided to have dinner at Tab's before the prayer meeting tomorrow night. We're each going to cook a meal for someone else.
After lunch we cleaned up, and headed back to Ballarat. Except for Carin, who headed for Dandenong.

We started practice for the youth service at about 5:oo pm. I decided to cut 'Everyday' from the order of service because Mel (piano) and Harvey (guitar) don't really know it well enough yet, and we didn't have enough time to practice it properly.
The service went well, except that we'd forgotten to ask anyone to do the overheads or offering, but we kind of sorted that out during the service.
After the service they had the café open. After the café closed I went with Mouth, Heather, Dave Who Is Not Called A Doctor, Tab, Stacey, Adam and Ruth to a certain fast-food franchise on Bakery Hill**. It was about 11:3o pm†. The security guard eventually kicked us out because they were closing.

*In a can.
**This narrows it down to one of three possibilities.
†And that leaves only one.

Saturday, February 01, 2003

    Psalm 37:3-7
    'Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
    Delight yourself in the Lord
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

    Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
    He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn
    the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

    Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
    do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.'
Today we watched a Dave Busby video about tasting Jesus love, and how most people think Jesus is disgusted, angry, disappointed at or distant to them, rather than loving them. After lunch us 11up leaders (Mouth, Matt, Heather, Kelly and Harvey) seperated from the Now! leaders, so we could set some goals:
    That 1o kids will be saved.
    That six will be discipled.
    That the kids and their families will come to church services.
    That Matt and Kelly's dad will come to youth services.
    That we will have four close-knit groups after six weeks.
    That the kids will ahve a basic understanding of the Gospel by the end of the year.
    That each kid will have a visit from a leader in First Semester.
    That each leader will get to know the kids in his/her group.
    That the leaders will from trusting relationships with the kids' parents.
    That every group will get to run a youth group event.
    That we will get the kids involved in the camps and youth services.
After dinner (cooked by the Bach Pad boys**) I did a session on community, and then Carin did a session on love and affirmation.

*Dave Busby was this American youth pastor who had a huge ministry. He died a few years back.
**Including Shaft as an honory Bach Pad member since he is there every weekend during term and is sometimes there on his own. In fact, in 2oo2 hewas probably there more than Russel.