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

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

'Bowling' scores in Australia
SYDNEY -- "Bowling for Columbine," Michael Moore's examination of American culture and its obsession with guns, Monday became the highest-grossing documentary ever in Australia, taking AUS$2.46 million ($1.4 million) since it was released Dec. 26, playing on only 16 screens. It expanded to 40 screens Jan. 23. The film's distributor, Hopscotch Films, said the result reflects the highest boxoffice per capita for the documentary in the English-speaking world. The previous record holder in Australia was "In Bed With Madonna" ("Madonna: Truth or Dare"), which grossed $2.2 million ($1.3 million), as well as topping other successful documentaries released in Australia, such as "When We Were Kings," "Buena Vista Social Club" and "Microcosmos." (Blake Murdoch)
The Hollywood Reporter, April 4 2003

Detailed ...a still taken from the video game Escape from Woomera. - Sydney Morning Herald

A screen grab from the new video game, Escape from Woomera.Ruddock fury over Woomera computer game
It's a dose of virtual reality that the Immigration Minister could probably do without: a computer game in which players try to escape from Australian detention centres has received $25,000 in federal funding.
The game, Escape from Woomera, will be modelled on four of the country's most contentious detention centres. It received the money from the Australia Council, the federal arts funding body, last month.
The Age, April 30 2003

I only found out about this yesterday. Quel horreur!
Picture: Craig SillitoeList grows in recall fiasco
Some of Australia's most popular brands of vitamin pills and other health supplements yesterday joined a growing list of suspect products ordered off supermarket and pharmacy shelves as fallout from the Pan Pharmaceuticals debacle spread.
A day after the launch of Australia's biggest health product recall, the Federal Government said it was considering new laws to require owners and executives of pharmaceutical companies to pass a "fit and proper person" test.
The Age, April 30 2003

The media are certainly having a good season. First the war, then SARS, now this.
I'd better check my vitamin C pills aren't on the list.

Last night Trav wasn't working, so I was going to have to do a two-hour walk home, through town.
In town I went to an ATM to check my abalnce, expecting it to eb about $0.03, due to me emptying it last week. To my surprise it was more like $27.83, so I decided to go to Subway and see if the scam James had described to me was availiable there. It wasn't, but Anna was there, and she said that Sarah R was coming up to drop Anna's son, Mannie, off, because she'd been minding him. Sarah lives near me, so I could probably get a lift home with her when she went back.
So I got takeaway, and sat down with Anna while we waited for Sarah.
Her ex Toady came in and sat down with us. He's a cab driver, and has just gotten a new job as an escort driver. (That means he has to drive prostitutes to their clients' houses, wait outside while they have sex, then drive them back to the brothel. I didn't even realise that was a job till last night.)
Eventually Sarah arrived with Mannie, dropped him off and agreed to give me a lift home.

Today I was supposed to be catching the bus up to Creswick to do some photos, but it's real wet, so I'm just doing homework. Hopefully I can go up there tomorrow or Friday.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Read Tale of the Radioactive Boy Scout.

Lil Yoda*'s site (completely under construction).

*A friend from high school

Dandenong Ranges National Park (part 1)

These are called 'trees'.

These are also trees.

Looking up at trees.

A break in the clouds.

Partly burnt trees.

I did not put these rocks like that. It was someone else.


More trees.

There really are a lot of trees.

Look at the trees.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Went to jewellers to have watch battery replaced. Got it done free because they're meant to last 12-18 months rather than three.
Bought three rolls of 24 exposure, 200 speed film for $10.
Ran into Amanda (gothic kid from next door) who said to come to a party at her place on May 10, and bring my firends. Dunno if Scotty, Devo and Nathe'll want to come.
Got lunch. Bought some printer paper from the newsagent.
Ran into Amanda again, this time with some of her friends. Turns out she's friends with Elise, a kid who was at the Halls Gap youth camp I led on end of last year. And she also knows Hendo, a guy from Nathe's church, who I know.

Read this at Kevin's blog.

Appointed by AmericaNew Fox Reality Show To Determine Ruler of Iraq
LOS ANGELES—Fox executives Monday unveiled their latest reality-TV venture, Appointed By America, a new series in which contestants vie for the top spot in Iraq's post-war government.
The Onion, April 23 2003

Mobile playground
Mobile phones will soon be ringing up high scores as often as hefty bills. Wireless gaming on mobile phones is the next big growth area in the video game industry and new phones hitting shelves this year are offering colour screens, Java technology and the processing power of hand-held PCs.
Herald Sun, April 26 2003

All sounds fun, but does anyone really need it? Or is it just to keep the masses occupied/distracted for a while?

Baghdad, January 5 2003Baghdad Snapshot Action
Simple pictures to help remember the dead and fight for the living

AntiskepticThe show Saturday night was great. Wishful Thinking played first, and they were great, though not as good as they used to be. They have a different bass player now. No Plan be weren't as good as when I saw them in Geelong - they've got a new guitarist. Thinktank - I'd never heard of them before. They're from Adelaide, and are apparently pretty big in the UK. They were sort of allright.
Antiskeptic were absolutelyfantastic. Yes, they most certainly were.
I bought two Antiskeptic badges, and a Wishful Thinking one, which're now on my bag, with the 'Stop the racist war' one and a gold safety pin.
Got a lift back to Ballarat with Lucas, Trav, Tim and Laura. Got home about 2:00am.

Last night, after church, Graeme (Dave's dad) dropped Dave's computer (he's lending it to me while he's in Melbourne) off at my place, and I managed to set it up. Have to get some paper for the printer. And a watch battery - it's run out again already. And some camera film for when I go up to Creswick on Wednesday.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

This [yesterday] afternoon I went into the city with James, Angela and Gaz to see a Brazilian film called Cidade de Deus (City of God), because it was James' 19th birthday yesterday [Thursday]. Unfortunately we got there to late, and there were no more screenings for the day. We went and saw Michael Moore's anti-gun doco, Bowling for Columbine instead. It was very good.

After the film we went to an Italian restaurant on Lygon St. I got tortellini Bolognese. Then we went to a gelati shop for dessert.

We caught the train back to Bayswater station, and then drove to O-Zone for coffee.

Tomorrow [To]night I'm going to Antiskeptic's last gig with their bass player, Sean, at TLC (it's a church) in Bayswater. Supporting bands: Thinktank, No Plan B and Wishful Thinking.

Just finished a week plan, so I can try and get everything done this term.
Red is most important; yellow is least, shades of orange are in the middle; white is unoccupied time.

Hope it works - I've never done it before.








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SFCPrayer Meeting



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Short Story

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Friday, April 25, 2003

This afternoon I got back my first film from Wednesday. It turned out really good, so hopefully the second one (which isn't used up yet) will too.

Today I was in Dandenong doing some bargain shopping. Picked up a 48 CD wallet for $7, then found some sketchbooks which weren't priced.
Asked a girl who worked in the shop how much it was.
She said, 'I remember you!'
'Did you go to Chandler Secondary College?' I asked her, since I went there for three years, and it's in the Dandenong area.
'No,' she said. 'You're the guy who was looking for boxes!'
'I ... don't think so,' I said. 'I've never been in this shop before. I don't even live in Melbourne.'
'Oh okay. You must just look like 'im.'
'So do you know how much it is?'
'Nah. Ask the lady out the front.'

Went up to the Pool Room with friends from my second high school, Fairhills High School.
Played a couple of games of pool. Lost both, but not too badly. Had a Bundy and cola, which is unusual for me because I rarely drink alcohol at all.
Spent most of the night trying to keep Cookie away from Tash (Wob's ex) who was getting pretty irritated at him, being pretty drunk, being all over her. Eventually he was led off by some other distraction, and I talked to Tash for a while about why she was down, and about Ballarat, becasue she wants to move there.
At one stage this guy called from Fairhills called Jasper came over. We didn't get along well. He was always giving me dirty looks, and making sure he knocked me whenever he walked past. Apparently he was really unpopular when he came to the school, and he seemed to reckon he was real good because of the people he hung out with. Anyway, he kept saying over and over again, 'Man you look so f***ing different! F***!'
And there was this girl going around asking is she could sign everyones' arms.
Walked home with Shaun and Phil. On the way my cousin Elena pulled over and asked us where she and her friends could get alcohol, because by this stage it was past midnight, and thus ANZAC [holi]day.
And now I am back home.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Eucalypts at Dandenong Ranges National ParkThis afternoon I went up Dandenong Ranges National Park to take some photos for my Fantasy & Spec Fic creative piece, which is going to be on the symbolic role of the forest in fantasy.

On the way back to my parents' place I stopped at Leigh's. I went to high school with Leigh for three years.
He's been doing an IT course, and this semester he's doing practical placement, which is basically just working for an IT company, called Census.

Tonight at about 9:45pm James, Angela and Takashi turned up here and asked if I wanted to go down to O-Zone for coffee.
We met Gaz (Angela's boyfriend, who I hadn't met before) there, ordered coffee and some potato wedges and got a table right in front of the fireplace.
We talked about films, high school, rrromànce and what to do to celebrate James' 19th birthday.
It was kind of different to hanging out with my friends in Ballarat, because there I'm usually the only one who's not mostly Anglo. None of us that went out tonight is mostly Anglo. I'm half Anglo, half Hispanic. James is half Anglo, half Japanese. Angela's half Italian, half Maltese. Takashi's Japanese. Gaz is half Anglo, half Indian.
At about 11:30 we got kicked out of the café, and we decided to go home because Takashi's eyes were starting to hurt from having contact lenses in them all day and he wanted to get home and take them out.
On the way home we talked about Jell's Party, an animation series James wanted to do when we were in year 12, which was mostly based on people and events at our school. Now that he has the resources he's playing with the idea of reviving it. I think with the hindsight he has now it'd be pretty interesting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Spent the whole day at Belgrave today [yesterday]. Yolande's family invited me over for lunch.
And something rather coincidentally amusing: I was standing with Shaft and Yolande, when Mrs Watson, a lady Mum was friends with at our old church in Dandenong, came up to us and said, 'Hi John [Shaft]. Hi Chris. Hi Yolande.' It tuned out she knew Yolande because she went to school with her mother. And she knew Shaft because one of his friends boards at her house.

Here's what happened Easter Sunday:

Went to church and found out that Tobin's dad 'died suddenly' on Wednesday.
Later Nadine told me it was suicide. So that's the second suicide in Tobin's family - his older sister killed herself years ago after being gang-raped. That's what got his dad into such a bad state that his mum had to get in a marriage councillor, who she eventually ran off with, leaving Tobin to look after his dad and two younger brothers.

Also found out from someone 'on the inside' that the elders and the associate minister want to kick Dad's friend Barry out because they don't like him because of his mental and social problems (he was in a coma for three months after a car accident that left him with slight brain damage).
It all started when Barry and Heather (daughter of two of the elders) broke off their engagement. Heather and her family decided that they didn't want Barry coming to the church anymore. They started glaring at him any time he was a church, and most of their fellow elders caught on pretty quick to. When Heather's brother and sister-in-law were on welcoming duty* they'd lock the doors if they saw Barry coming. And they were always saying bad stuff about him to Doomie and Justin because my family were actually nice to him.
Late last year Heather took him to court to try and get a restraining order put on him so he couldn't come to the church anymore. Heather had seven church members (including both ministers) there with her for moral support. Barry just had my dad. The judge went off at Heather for wasting their time on such a ridiculous case.
Barry hadn't been around for a while. Then Dad asked him if he wanted to play on the church table tennis team, which Heather's sister Cherryl just happens to be on.
Apparently Cherryl complained that she felt uncomfortable with him around, so now they want to kick him out. One of the elders who's one of the few people in the church who've actually bothered to get to know Barry, told me yesterday that the other elders and the associate minister are set on kicking him out.
Two weeks ago one of Doomie's friends, who is autistic, got baptised there. I wonder how long he'll be allowed to stay? What if the Etienne, Adolphi, Martin and the other Congolese asylum seekers who're staying in the manse make someone feel 'uncomfortable'? Will their welcome be second-guessed? How long before they put up weirdo-detectors at all entrances?
And yesterday both sermons were all about friendship, love and grace.

*Though in their case it'd be more apprpropriate to just call them bouncers.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Been busy.

Good Friday morning went to my parents' church. Extremely boring, miserable funeral service. Seemed to go for two hours rather than thirty minutes.

After lunch went up to Belgrave Heights Easter Convention. Found Shaft and Yolande, and sat with them and some of their other friends.
This English guy called Charles Brice, who's a minister in Toronto was talking about what Jesus was like, particularly his humanity, and later about what a 'normal' person is from God's point of reference.
After the afternoon session I ran into Deb, who used to go to my church, when she was studying in Ballarat. While I was having tea with my family we saw this lady called Muriel, who we kept running into when we were travelling around Queensland in 1998.
After tea the Amsterdam Salvation Army Staff Songsters were singing. Absolutely fantastic, and the only decent choir I've ever heard.

Yesterday I was told [by my mother] that I couldn't go up to the convention, because we were going to visit Grandma and Uncle Mike.
Uncle Mike is fifty-something and still lives with Grandma becasue she does everything for him because he's a schizophrenic and she seems to think that makes him helpless. Therefore he doesn't get up until 2pm most days, doesn't do any housework or gardening, doesn't work. He won't even take her shopping.
Anyway, we went around to their house. The front door was open, but no-one answered the bell - possibly because they weren't up yet. We left a note.
When we got back home, Mum called Uncle John who said Grandma had been calling him up and saying she was depressed and lonely and wanted to die. (Note that this is something she always does when my parents go away on holidays.)
Mum called Grandma on her mobile. No answer - but she doesn't know how to answer it.
Grandma called just before we had dinner. She'd taken Uncle Mike for a drive in the Dandenongs.

After dinner we went back up to the convention.
This lady called Dr Something Inrig (a Canadian) did a monologue as Mary Magadalene. It was really bad. Really disjointed; her voice kept going up and down. And she kept using all this Christian jargon which made her hard to understand and sound like one of those televangelists who're on at 2am. And it was way to long. I reckon she could've cut it back to about a quater of the length.

Today [yesterday, actually] was a big day, so I'll relate that tomorrow.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Gave Doomie and Justin a copy of P.O.D.'s Fundamental Elements of Southtown* with Easter as the excuse.
And I just realised it is Easter now.
And while I'm in Melbourne, I'll most likely only be blogging between 1 and 6 am. My parents don't [won't] pay for net access [anymore], but I can use TGP NiteRider in the small hours, cause it's free.

*A.k.a. Mental Thunder

I'm in Melbourne now.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Angela, one of my friends from high school has broken her right humerous ('the bone near the elbow joint') in four places, while playing netball. She had to have an operation to get a steel plate in her arm. Thus, she's been stuck home all week with nothing to do, and can't drive. Hoping to catch up with her and James next week.

Have a look at Bushra's blog. I meant to link to it earlier, after finding it through Living Room, but when I went back to look for it couldn't find it. Luckily she commented on one of Tuesday's posts.

Just got back from the prayer rally. Went pretty good - we got 19 people, about half from Students for Christ.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Worked four hours yesterday afternoon, then went to the youth group evaluation meeting it the church. It was really good; a lot of people were able to get stuff off their chests taht'sd been bothering them.

Today's Devo's birthday. Got him a copy of Rage Against The Machine's film The Battle of Mexico City.

Saddam's 'love shack' discovered
Furnishings include shag carpet, Kuwaiti china, fantasy art
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- The doors of the town house opened to reveal a playboy's fantasy straight from the 1960s: mirrored bedroom, lamps shaped like women, airbrushed paintings of a topless blonde woman and a mustached hero battling a crocodile.
CNN, April 14 2003

Sunday, April 13, 2003

TONY Blair took a gamble yesterday by recording an episode of The Simpsons while Britain is still at war.
The Mirror, April 12 2003

Yesterday morning I went into town with Devo. I was extremely surprised to run into someone from my high school in Sanity.
Sarah was my best friend in year 11. She moved down from Sydney at the start of that year (2000 - she was glad to get out before the Olympics). Her family moved to a different city every year, because her step dad was high-up in some growing corporation. She was originally from Perth (where her father lives), but she's also lived in Brisbane, New Orleans and on Vanuatu. In year 12 her parents moved to some place called Kabulcha, which is in Queensland, near Brisbane, and she stayed behind in Melbourne. Now her mum and step-dad are living in Las Vegas, and she's moved to just outside Ballarat to live with her two sisters and go to uni. She's doing Arts (Commerce), which it turns out she thought I was doing too.

A ha-ha holdup
POLICE aren't sure what charge is appropriate for a man arrested after tellers laughed him out of a bank he apparently tried to rob.
Herald Sun, April 10 2003

Family stopped in for lunch yesterday.

Also, on the subject of Australian Rules Football (which I normally find extremely boring), Brad Fisher, a guy who was in my year at my high school, is now playing for Carlton, and he got two goals Friday night against some other team.

Went bowling after lunch. There were eleven of us playing, so we got two aisles.
I won the first game becasue I was on the aisle with bumpers*. I got 114 I think. And I managed to only hit those stupid bumpers a couple of times. Origianlly I wanted to be on the aisle without bumpers, but there were already six others on that side and there were only four on the other.
The second game I swapped with Dave and went on the no-bumpers aisle. this time I didn't do so good because I was playing against others who were comfortable without bumpers and this time I was trying to hard.

Last night at Dave's farewell party the swollen cyst behind my right ear started bleeding. Got a band-aid for it. It's not so swollen anymore, and isn't sore.

This morning dave got baptised.
After the service I talked to Erin's dad, Marcus a bit. He used to work as a pilot for MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship), same as my grandad, so they knew each other. He's a flight instructor now, and works in Melbourne. Marcus, Julie (Erin's mum) and Trav might have to move to Melbourne soon. Erin wants to stay here in Ballarat. They're probably going to keep their house here, so Erin can stay there, and they can rent the spare rooms out to other students.

*I really don't see the point of bumpers.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

George W Bush, President - a rather amusing blog.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Read Rachel from cre8d's entry on military Easter baskets.

Evangelical Views of Islam - these are the results from a survey that was done on evangelical Christian attitudes towards Islam, which I found through LivingRoom. It's pretty worrying.

I don't usually work friday nights, but school holidays have started now, so we have to do a big, thorough clean. I have to go back in Monday during the day, and probably Tuesday as well.

Tomorrow my parents and my younger brothers, Doomie and Justin are visiting on their way to Halls Gap, where they're staying in a caravan for a week. I was originally going to join them from Monday, but it turned out that Mount Helen and Camp Street holidays are different to SMB's this year, meaning I have classes all Wednesday. So instead I'm going back to Melbourne with them on Thursday, for Easter.

Tomorrow afternoon I'm going bowling with Dave and some of the others before his farewell party. He's moving to Melbourne for six months to do a course with YWAM. And Sunday morning he's getting baptised.

Axis of Eagle
Did this in Photography this afternoon, when I was supposed to be learning to use Photoshop. I'd already done that (I did work experience at a graphic design place in 1999), so I was just stuffing around and what you see below's what I ended up with. And there is absolutely no political significance to the title at all. It's just the first name that came to mind.

Here is the story of How I Got Home This Morning:
It was still raining at 5:30, and I was so tired I didn't care about getting staurated, so I decided to walk home through the storm.
At the top of the field I have to cross to get home from here I almost slipped. At the bottom I almost didn't slip.
Next obstacle between me and my home was the drainage ditch, which is was dry and dusty on the way up. Now it was overflowing. I managed to jump over it without slipping once more (not that it would've mattered, I was satumarated already by this stage). Then I stepped into the new channel that'd been formed by the dirtch overflowing. There were another two new streams before I got to the footpath.
I walked past the IBM building and got to Main Road. Crossed Main Road. Got to the service lane. Service lane was flooded. Waded through knee-deep water. Walked rest of way home.
Got four hours sleep.

There's a storm and there was a blackout, so i lost some of the work I've been here since 8:00pm yesterday doing, and I can't access what I had saved (except the story below) because Mt Helen's lost contact with SMB, which is where all my stuff gets saved. And I can't go home and sleep yet because the storm's stilll going.

For want of a better title:
The Crazy Old Man
Based on a true story


Elias and Miro go into the supermarket to get drinks. I sit down on the flaky-paint-covered bench outside, with the three warm pizzas in their boxes on my lap. It’s pretty dark, and no one’s around.
Wrong. There is someone around. Just an old guy in a dinner suit, walking along the footpath, muttering to himself. He has a blue, plastic shopping bag.
He stops and looks at me.
‘Hello boy,’ he says.
‘Hi,’ I say, smiling and expecting him to continue on his way.
But he doesn’t.
‘Can I sit viz you?’ he asks.
‘I … don’t see why not.’
The old man sits down next to me. He smells like Brussels sprouts.
‘Do you know vhat I haff in zis bag?’ he asks me.
‘Ahhh… no,’ I say.
‘Lots of soap,’ he says with a devilish grin. ‘Lots and lots AND LOTS of soap. I like to keep clean.
‘Tell me:’ he says, ‘do you dance, boy?’
‘Um … no?’ I say. Who is this crazy old man?
‘You don’t dance?!’ he exclaims. ‘Didn’t your muzzer ever teach you? Vhat ever to you do all day?’
I shrug my shoulders. Elias and Miro are making their way out of the supermarket.
‘My girlfriend and I, ve dance all night – until ze sun rises. Because vhen I dance, I go vild!
‘Tell me: do you speak German?’


‘Uh-oh,’ says Leah as she swipes the last barcode. ‘Looks like Brice’s in trouble.’
‘Why?’ I ask her.
‘See that guy sitting next to him?’
Elias and I look out through the front of the shop to where Brice is sitting. There’s an old guy in a black suit sitting next to him.
‘Yeah,’ says Elias. ‘Who’s he?’
‘This old crazy guy. ‘E’s always coming in and talking to us, telling us we’re real pretty and asking us to marry ‘im? Weirdo. One time ‘e grabbed Zoe, and we ‘ad ta call the cops.’
Elias starts looking a bit worried. He takes his blue, plastic shopping bag, and we go through the automatic doors. He walk over to the bench where Brice and the Crazy Old Man are sitting.
‘Tell me:’ the Crazy Old Man says to Brice, ‘do you speak German?’
‘Ah, no,’ says Brice, standing up and looking at us, ‘but he does.’
Brice is pointing at me. I don’t speak German. Brice knows I don’t speak German. I’ve learnt bits of Khmer, Italian, Japanese, French and Spanish at different stages in my life, but I only know about five words in German.
‘Hello boyzz,’ says the Crazy Old Man.
‘I know, like, five words in German,’ I say to the Crazy Old Man. ‘Are you from Germany?’
‘Yes!’ he says. ‘My son liffs in Germany. He works in a … a … He iss a butcher.’
‘Have you ever been there?’ asks Elias.
‘No!’ shouts the Crazy Old Man. ‘Neffer!’
‘Um, we’re going home now,’ says Brice.
‘Can I come viz you?’ asks the Crazy Old Man.
‘No,’ says Brice.
‘Don’t you have a home?’ I ask the Crazy Old Man.
‘I haff three,’ he says, ‘just around ze corner, and all right next to each ozzer.’


What a stupid crazy old man! As if he could afford three houses!
‘That is so sad,’ I said, as we walked back to Brice’s house.
‘Why?’ asks Miro. ‘’E seems pretty happy. ‘Nd ‘es got three houses.’
‘Yeah, right,’ I said. ‘Anyway, ‘e just thinks he’s happy. He probably sleeps outside three houses.’
‘Well wouldn’t that mean he’s happy then?’ asked Miro. ‘If you think you’re happy, you must be happy.’
‘Not if you just don’t know any better.’
‘What’s happy then?’
‘Having enough money, a nice house, nice car, hot girlfriend who’s nice to ya.’
‘So it’s to do with your lifestyle?’ says Brice.
‘Nothing to do with emotion?’ asks Miro.
‘Yeah. It makes you happy.’
‘But I thought you said that was what being happy was,’ says Miro.
‘And why would that make you happy?’ asks Brice.
‘I dunno. Because I’d ‘ave lotsa stuff.’
‘How do you know that’d make you happy?’ asks Brice. ‘Rich people aren’t happy. They always end up getting divorced and the fighting over everything.’
‘That’s because they need it to be happy,’ I say.
Don’t they know anything? They have to be as sad as the Crazy Old Man.
{Crazy Old Man}

I jog along the footpath home. I am perfect for the marathon. I am going to be in the Olympics one day!
I can’t wait to get back home to my family. They love me so much and they are all so proud of me!
I go to my first house and unlock the door.
‘I am home!’ I shout.
‘He’s home! He’s home!’ shout my family. ‘At last, he’s home!’
All three spotlights focused in on me and a shower of confetti and streamers falls from the ceiling. Everyone is so happy to see me!
Benji runs up to me, panting. He jumps up with his paws over my shoulders and licks my face.
Mummy waddles over and gives me a hug. ‘My darlink boy!’ she says.
My father comes and shakes my hand. ‘I’m prout of you, boy’ he says to me, and I feel my heart race with pride.
‘You know, we always hoped you’d turn out like this,’ says Mummy. ‘You’re perfect.’
I am happy.

My high school friend James has started a blog.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Iraq : Briefing by Amnesty International to the Security Council
In an oral briefing to the members of the UN Security Council, Amnesty International today raised its concerns about the current situation in Iraq and made a number of proposals to ensure the immediate and long-term protection of human rights of the Iraqi people.
Amnesty International Australia, April 10 2003

Stupid Stupid STUPID!Watched the BBC coverage of them pulling down the statue of Saddam Hussein. I think it would've been a lot better is the Americans had just let the Iraqis pull down the statue themselves, even if the Americans had supervised. And the American flag was really not a good idea.
But I am certainly glad it's 'over'.

Next Wednesday night, at 7:30, we're having a prayer rally at the uni, as part of preparetheway (PTW03).

Not real happy with how youth small groups are going at our church. It seems like there's way to many groups (so they're all real small) and there are so many leaders that each group is half made up of leaders. And there's only two senior leaders, which was a huge problem when Harvey was on holidays, leaving Tab as the only senior leader.

A lot of other people aren't happy with how things're going either, in terms of group size, number of senior leaders, and the fact that the groups have to be same-sex*. Devo's meeting with Harvey next week. I am too.

I spent about an hour this morning just waiting on God, wanting to know what to do. Please pray for ther situation.

And while you're at it, please pray for my health. Last eyar I had to have a benign cyst removed from my right cheek. I cost my parents a lot. Now I've developed another one behind each of my ears. The one behind my right ear's really swollen and sore. I really don't have the money to get them removed, and I don't want to have to ask my parents for it. Thanks.

*Most of last year they were co-ed, and conversation flowed a lot better, probably due to the fact that it was a more natural environment. I think same-sex groups are good sometimes though, to discuss some things.


Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Last night I got a letter from Jose, this kid in Guayaquil, Ecuador who I sponsor through Compassion. He says he likes maths and soccer; and wants to be as strong as Popeye. He also sent me a picture he'd drawn of himself outside his house, with a dog.

This was actually the post that has ended up at 2:01. Blogger stuffed up, I think.

Group therapy
Shortly after attempting suicide, Genevieve Bailley* wrote a farewell letter to her friends who regularly hang out in the depressioNet chat room. The message saved her life.
*Not her real name
Sydney Morning Herald, April 5 2003

Monday, April 07, 2003

Moose thinks my ripped pants are getting shorter and shorter. Cindy thinks my ripped pants are getting trendier and trendier.
Lucas thinks my new gotee makes me look like Daniel Johns (silverchair) and that I should bleach my hair, not get any sun and get blue contact lenses to look more like him. Tab reckons it makes me look like Jesus, except Jesus wasn't an Anglo-Hispanic (except in The Passion).
Flip thinks the brown-and-white-striped shirt Tab gave me for my birthday, which I repaired yesterday, makes me look cool.

Because of the war, stuff like this is getting overlooked:
1000 killed in Congo ethnic violence, says UN
At least 1000 people have been killed in ethnic violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the United Nations said today, one day after the signing of an accord to end more than four years of war in the vast Central African country.
Sydney Morning Herald, April 7 2003

As Nick says, 'so the US, as a proud defender of human rights, will wage war, right?'

Watched the first half of Goldmember last night. Utter garbage.
It's Devo's sister's, he brought it back from Hawksdale after going to his parents farm there on the weekend.


Found this at Nick Douglas' blog.
I Should Not Be Allowed To Say The Following Things About America
As Americans, we have a right to question our government and its actions. However, while there is a time to criticize, there is also a time to follow in complacent silence. And that time is now.
The Onion, April 2

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Despite the fact that this was extremely important back in December, I'd forgotten all about the following.
On Friday when I was out, there was a call from a cleaning company I had an interview with last year. They had a problem with the fact I don't drive, despite the fact that the school they needed someone at is just up the road from my house. I probably should call them back on Monday, even though I've had another job since January now.

Top cleric tells Iraqis not to resist invaders
A call by Iraq's leading Shia Muslim cleric asking his millions of followers to remain neutral in any fighting has undermined Baghdad's hopes of unleashing "holy war" to expel US and British invaders.
New Zealand Herald, April 5 2003

Bullying a country that'll be underwater in ten years:
Secret US terror plan for Nauru
THE US has coerced Nauru, through a series of secret deals since the Bali bombing, to outlaw offshore banks, ending one of the most notorious safe havens for terrorist funds.
"We have been given the riot act by the United States," says Nauru's former finance minister, Kinza Clodumar. "We feel our sovereignty has been compromised, no doubt about that."
The Australian, April 5 2003

Resurrecting the church
The church, it is said, is only ever one generation from extinction - a precarious state in which it has notched up nearly two millennia. But many today consider its position as dire as almost any time in its existence.
The Age, April 4 2003

This afternoon I watched Magnolia, which has now also gained a place as one of my favorite films ever.

Incidentally, it actually does rain frogs sometimes. And fish. And grasshoppers. And hay. And crabs. Apparently they can get blown really high into the air by a waterspout or a tornado, and travel ages trhough the air until they 'rain' down.

I stayed up until 5:00 am this morning to get Soul Purpose finished. Unfortunately there were some problems, so dave hasn't been able to print it yet. He reckons he should be able to get them printed before the morning church service tomorrow, so it can be released at the evening service.

Cardoso inspects the 100 starfish that will make up her installation, Woven Water.From fleas to frogs
After her debut with fleas at the Sydney Opera House, Colombian-born artist Maria Fernanda Cardoso is back with 126 dancing frogs.
Using unconventional materials, including preserved butterflies, starfish, lizards, seahorses and bats, the Sydney-based artist has created fragile sculptures and installations for Zoomorphia, an exhibition opening at the Museum of Contemporary Art next week.
Herald Sun, April 5 2003

Friday, April 04, 2003

Got my slides back from last week. They seem to have come out pretty good, despite the fact that my camera has no light meter. At 2:30 I have to use my six best slides in a presentation.

All suited up for Mars
MELBOURNE aerospace engineer James Waldie knows more than most about what life could be like on Mars.
Melbourne's own Mars man has just returned from a month living in the Mars Desert Research Station deep in the desert of southern Utah in the United States.
Herald Sun, April 4 2003

Dad called up last night asking for money.
'What for?' I asked.
'I've got a family to feed. You've got money haven't you?'
I said I didn't, which was not quite true - I got paid last night - but I kind of owe Scott $130 from the start of the year when Centrelink cut my allowence because Dad wouldn't pay his tax. Also, I have to buy a concession card so that I don't have to pay the full fare on the bus. And I have to buy some shoes and some warm clothes because it's getting cold and wet now. I definitely need some shoes before it starts snowing.
Then he said that another family member had broken a leg, this time Uncle David. He's the father of Alex, my cousin whose wedding I'm not allowed to go to because I'm not a Mormon and thus don't know the Secret Handshake. Uncle David was apparently playing table tennis (he's in the same team as my dad) and dove for the ball. He managed to reach it but also managed to break his leg, so they had to get an ambulance and send him to Box Hill Hospital.
Also, my dad now has nine pigeons in the backyard. He found them at a factory in North Melbourne where he had to do a job*, and their wings were all covered in tallow**, so they couldn't fly and they were really underweight. He took them home and has been looking after them. Now they can fly again, but they're still hanging around my parents' house.

*He's a quarantine inspector, looks at stuff that's being imported and exported to check there's no diseases or pests being carried.
**Animal fat.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Whitcher, a guy in my course, reckons all the communications've been knocked out in Baghdad, which would explain why Salam Pax hasn't updated. Other explanations are that he's dead, he's a fake or that he has more important things to worry about (eg. staying alive).

Plastic link to birth flaws
A common ingredient of plastic used for food containers, including babies' bottles, causes birth defects in mice - defects that could also occur in people.
New Zealand Herald, April 2 2003

Last night was Readings Night at SMB, which I MCed*.
This guy called Nimmo, who's in my Photography class was really drunk, and stopped in the middle of his story to go, 'Mmmmmmm.... Hmmmmmm... Ohhhhhh...' for about thirty seconds. When he gave me back the mic and went back to his seat he forgot his drinks (a VB and a UDL), so he had to come back to the podium and get them. Then he kicked me and went back to the seat.

*If that's actually a word.

Dial a battle
A DISPUTE over an unpaid telephone bill turned into a gunfight between two groups of villagers in northern Bangladesh.
It left at least five people dead and another 25 injured, police said.
Herald Sun, April 1 2003

Iraq puts children into front line
IRAQ is using children to boost its military ranks and as human shields for its troop convoys in an increasingly desperate defence.
Herald Sun, April 2 2003

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Watched Yolngu Boy last night. Really good. End really gave me a shock, when Botj suicided.

There is a note sitting next to this computer, written on blue-lined paper. It says:

Kezia. W.
Jason. C.

Two interesting articles at Kevin's blog: { 1 | 2 }

Last night Sonia came up from Melbourne. She moved there end of last year when she got a job as a nurse, after finishing uni. I don't think she likes it there much. I think she's pretty lonely, because she's come up three times in about the last month-and-a-half.. She hasn't chosen a church to go to because all the people at the churches she's been to are either old or unfriendly, and she's been working six day weeks. She has friends in Melbourne but she hasn't really seen them at all. She reckons she could probably just work all week and not do anything else.

I hate having to go back to my parents' place in Melbourne. Most of my high school friends've moved on and don't keep in contact anymore, and the people at my old church that I used to be friends with won't talk to me anymore because I think New Age isn't the go. I also find that people are generally snobbier and more stressed there, and of course it's not a real nice environment being a Big City. I don't want to go back there when/if I finish uni. If I don't stay in Ballarat I think I'll go overseas.