Top Ten Lists

2020

There is no doubt that 2020 will be a year for the history books and not only for its apocalyptic vibe.

This is not the worst pandemic ever but never before has a single virus had such a profound effect on so many lives. It is everywhere and almost every society on this planet has felt it’s effect, a fact that should be credited to social media and 24 hour news broadcasters rather than the virus itself.

So why NOW are we seeing such a mass global movement against racism?

The timing is extraordinary. June 2020 is microscopic pin prick point on the timeline of history. A time when the world already felt more united than ever. A time where many people were coming out of a period of unprecedented reflection. A time when we are so socially conscious of what is right and what is wrong that we started to change the habits of a lifetime. Also, if we are to be completely honest, a time when many people are out of work, afraid and requiring a distraction from a pandemic which has just gone on too long.

A perfect storm. And thank God we didn’t let the moment pass or fade without taking a significant stand.

Whether you agree with the global mass gatherings during a pandemic or condemn the recklessness in risking the undoing of the lockdowns, there is no doubt that these protests are an almighty “fuck you” to the establishment that tried to save us from a virus and has always failed to save us from each other.

Systemic inequality is the real enemy here. And has been for hundreds of years. Children aren’t born racist rather we allow society to make them that way and for hundreds of years we have struggled to break the cycle.

Bigotry is responsible for more deaths and suffering than any virus. Read that sentence again.

But, unlike a deadly virus, it can be prevented and cured.

History will, and should, credit the death of George Floyd to the success of the positive changes that are about to come. He is our Rosa Parks. I am sorry George that you had to die. I’m sorry you suffered and I am so SO sorry that you mama wasn’t there to comfort you.

🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊

The new “C” word

Today’s episode is brought to you by the letter “C”

Many of my favourite things begin with C: champagne, chocolate, cake.

Comedy. CATS – particularly curvy ones.

There is of course another “C” word. 😳

For the first 44 years of my life I detested it with a passion. In the last 12 months I’ve come to realise that sometimes it’s the only word that fits and the satisfaction I get from saying it is enormous.

In 2020 we have discovered a new “C” word. I wish it was “calm”, “controlled” or even “compassion” but it’s not. It is the most talked about word on the planet right now.

For some reason my mind keeps turning to 9/11. I think it’s because the global solidarity over that event seemed unprecedented. Today we find ourselves united against another force. But unlike the events of 2001, the overriding emotion is not compassion and sympathy for the victims, it’s fear and panic for ourselves.

When this stockpiling business first broke out my mum sent my dad to the toilet paper aisle to see if he could find any. He proudly came back carrying a packet and told her there were about 12 left on the shelf so he got one! Not 12. One. Yesterday my sister and I met for a coffee and she told me that a local two dollar shop still had tissues. We went and sure enough they were heaps so I bought a couple of boxes. It didn’t feel right to her that she should buy any more as she had bought a couple of boxes earlier that day. THIS is normal human behaviour.

The statistics on this thing are mind blowing. If you are interested click on this link for live tracking on a global scale with country by country breakdowns

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

A colleague and I have been following this for weeks and doing live updates from our desks to the rest of the office. It wasn’t long before the conversation turned to the fact that the one thing missing in this pandemic is compassion. Compassion for the victims and families of those who have sadly died, compassion for those infected and compassion for each other in our local communities.

Yes. Compassion needs to be our newest-new “C” word. And it needs to start now.

The Power of One

Hmmm …. people are simultaneously simple and complicated.

Yesterday afternoon I snuck (is that even a word?) into my Director’s office when he wasn’t there so I could look out his window at the climate change protestors.

There is something so powerful about large groups of people moving together as one. This is why I cry at the theatre when everyone comes onstage at the end. This is why the roar of the crowd at the footy is so electrifying and why we get chills at a rock concert when the crowd sings.

I loved every minute of it. The ones that had passed by, the ones directly below me and the seemingly endless stream still making their way down the street. 100,000 people marched in Melbourne alone.

A girl had a sign that said “There’s no plan(et) B”. Then there was one that said “Recycle your signs”. That made me smile.

There were school kids everywhere; some still in uniform. There were entire families with young children; some even in prams. Looking towards the junction of the cross street I could see the Worker’s Unions descending on the crowds to join in. They may have had their their own agenda, but so what. They are good at protesting and it just seemed right to have them there.

I snuck back out and went to my desk. I couldn’t see them from my window but I could definitely hear them. Someone behind me piped up and said “They should all be shot.”

“Really? Even the children?” I queried

“Well, you know …. They don’t even know why they are there most of them” he said “Bloody parents should be at work”

“So we are shooting the kids for standing up for something that they don’t fully understand, but they know in their hearts to be right, are we?”

“We should at least get the water canons out. It’s a f&$kin crock of s$&t.” He announced. “The planet doesn’t need saving”

“You’ve decided have you?”

“And what they don’t understand” he continued “is that the industries they are protesting against made this economy. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be where we are today”

(“In more ways than one” I thought)

“So what do we do”I asked. “Continue down the wrong road? Shouldn’t we try to correct our path? Maybe it’s not too late”

“What do I care. I won’t be here anyway.

At that, I looked around and everyone had turned away and were shaking their heads slightly.

I’ve been thinking about this conversation a lot over the last 24 hours. By his own admission this guy is not always very articulate. What he was trying to say in our conversation was parroting some of what he had heard others say. The trouble is he is loud. And he is confident and he likes to be controversial.

He took snippets of someone else’s opinion and isolated them as his own. He couldn’t back up his argument so he used the threat of violence to add weight and mask any flaws and that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a violent extremist is formed.

Just an observation.

MAFS – Males and Females Screaming

There are about 7 billion people in this world but indulge me while I temporarily lump them into two groups

1. Those who watched Married at First Sight.

2. And those who did not. Aka busy people with a life.

I fall into the first category. I couldn’t look away. I felt like I was slowly driving past a car accident, concerned for those affected, curious as to how it got to that point. Needing to understand the whys and hows so I could avoid it ever being me.

Yes I know …. a lot of it was staged. Some of them were actors blah-di-blah-bi-blah BUT whether reality or scripted there were A LOT of lessons to be learnt.

So here is what I got out of it:

In life, be a giver not a taker. And avoid people who are primarily takers.

Even the most beautiful looking people can appear ugly if they are nasty.

Speak your truth. Gently

If you love someone TELL THEM. Don’t let the words get stuck in your throat.

Blend your makeup

Tell your friend if their make up is not blended

Be accountable for your actions. If you were wrong, say so. You are, after all, human.

There are lots of reasons that you shouldn’t throw red wine at people. Wearing a white dress is only one of them.

Filter appropriately. Too much and you may as well not speak. Too little and all your words lose their effect.

And lastly ….

You absolutely cannot stop Karma … but remember there are two kinds and your actions can control which one comes to visit. That’s on you.

Married at First Sight ….. or as I like to call it: “Adultery on the Karma Express”

All Aboard!!

International Women’s Day

So last Friday was International Women’s Day.

As well as celebrating the magnificence of women it was a day to channel all the energy this planet can summon to further advocate and enhance the rights of women. It’s about coming together, standing up, speaking out. Women and men together saying “this is not okay. In 2019 we should’ve come further than this.”

And we really should.

This is why ….

1/3 of women globally have or will suffer physical or sexual violence in their lifetime

603 million women live in countries were domestic violence is NOT a crime.

There are approx 757 million illiterate adults in the world and 2/3 of them are women

And this:

There are 2.7 BILLION women who are still, to this day, legally restricted from having the same choice of jobs as men.

Whhaaaaatttt??!!

But this is all overseas right? Wrong.

In this “lucky country”, 1 in 6 women have experienced physical or sexual violence. 1 in 4 have suffered emotional abuse and 1 in 5 have been sexually assaulted or threatened. Lucky is a relative term I guess.

But I am lucky. I don’t consider myself to be one of these statistics. However, in “first-world” world I have experienced gender discrimination in the workplace and it was not nice.

In context of the stats above, it needs to be acknowledged that no one was harmed in the making of my experience except I was left pretty embarrassed. You see, a long time ago in a galaxy far far far away I used to work for a very large company. I had several roles with them over the years but in one particular one I discovered quite by chance that I was being paid 30% less than my male predecessor. Not his fault, he didn’t know. But my boss …. SHE knew. Yes you read that right. She.

This was a publicly listed company who purports to be a champion of equal opportunity. I don’t think anyone made the conscious decision to judge me on my gender. But I do believe that they subconsciously saw an opportunity to save some dollars because I am female.

So what would’ve driven my female boss to tolerate this discrepancy in the first place? I think it was simple apathy (with a touch of laziness thrown in for good measure). My situation simply didn’t affect her and her bubble and she assumed I would never find out.

It’s fair to say we all live in a bubble. We know what is going on in the world but whilst we are unaffected by it, we rarely take time to consider what, if any, action we can or should take.

Well, no more.

Now is the time to start more conversations with your family and friends, male and female. Make these conversations part of your daily life. Call people out on their discrimination, encourage others to do the same. Give these issues the prominence they deserve on the world stage. Have a voice at the polls. Join the movement that will allow women worldwide to at least have a seat at the table.

If you are a female reading this, do not expect gender equality to land in your lap. You may think it’s a right but you still need to, and should, fight for it. For yourself, your friends, your daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, nieces and if you are empowered to do so, your employees.

When male or female, we all have the right to feel safe in our homes and in our communities. We all have the right to equal rights under the law and equal opportunities to be judged on our merits and not our gender.

Rant not nearly over ….

The Garden of Good and Evil

Junk mail day! I LOVE junk mail. Every week I read it and decide all the things I am going to buy. Then I throw it in the recycle bin and forget to buy any of it.

However …. in case anyone is wondering, I won’t be buying this:

WHAT (and I mean this most sincerely) the actual HELL, is going on here?

I couldn’t bring myself to google “vaginal flora” – I was scared to okay?

But I did look up “flora” just to make sure that it does in fact mean what I think it does. And it does. It’s “plants peculiar to a certain region”.

Now I’m not disputing that the nether regions are not a legitimate region but I do vehemently dispute the presence of plant life down there.

Wait …. is this why some people refer to it as a “lady garden”. Pretty sparse garden if you ask me, no trees, plants, flowers, bush …es. Oh okay, I see what you did there. But isn’t it more like a playground than a garden??

But seriously – what have people got going on down there? And while I’m at it, what’s next? “Vaginal fauna”?? A little bit of wildlife? A rare vi-jay-jay jay bird?

I am going to go ahead and assume that Blackmores and Coles are pulling my leg, which they are able to do with great force since there’s no plant life to destroy close by.

Post script – someone has just explained it to me and it’s something to do with good and bad bacteria. I guess along the way someone decided flora was a prettier word to use.

Here is a photo of some actual flora in an actual garden. #notmine #notbacteria

The Summer People

It wouldn’t be summer if I didn’t come up with a poem. No camping this year – and I don’t miss it – but this place comes with its own challenges.

SORRENTO

Sorrento is a lovely place

There are people everywhere

But lots of them are up themselves

And it makes me stop and stare

Beautiful bodies everywhere

One girl was dumb but flirty

I shit you not she asked her friend

What’s fifty minus thirty

To the beach, there’s crowds galore

And the laughs are heaven sent

One group of five took half an hour

To fold their new beach tent

When walking home we saw more people

With a very peculiar habit

Amongst their towels and folding chairs

They had also brought their rabbit

Parking is a nightmare

The cafes are all full

And still more people come each day

To pretend they are super cool

Summer is a busy time

There are queues for one and all

So I’ve written this acrostic poem

To explain it to you all:

I Am Sorrento

I am ….

Seriously

Objecting to

Really

Rich

Entitled

Nobs (the k is silent ok?!)

Taking

Over

The next big thing ….

Free to a good home: This genius idea.

A couple of month ago I spent 53 minutes on hold with a power company trying to arrange a disconnection for work.

It was excruciating – hands down THE worst hold music ever. A short and repetitive instrumental piano piece. By the end of it, if I’d had a touch tone phone, I reckon I could’ve played along.

I was calling from a landline in an open plan office so putting the call on speaker phone was not an option. Therefore I couldn’t get on with much work as I had to hold the phone. Also, it was lunchtime. I was hungry. And the bottom drawer of my desk only had disappointing Saladas on offer

To pass the time, I invented an on hold system for large corporations to better enhance their customer experience.

This is how it goes.

“Hello. Your call is important to us so while we keep you on hold please enjoy our interactive experience”

Press 1 to play multiple choice Trivia

Press 2 to access our daily Spotify playlist

Press 3 for the seven day weather forecast for your postcode

Press 4 for your daily horoscope

Press 5 for world news

If you are calling to break up with us, you are low on our priority list therefore you may also like these options

Press 6 to order something from Uber Eats

Press 7 to listen to a variety of Ted Talks

To hear these options again, please press 8

Can somebody PLEASE take this idea and run with it?

It may involve a few phone calls and some time required on hold.

A New Chapter

Last month I resigned from my job. Why did I RE-sign? Shouldn’t I have UN-signed. Resigning should be done when you agree to stay for longer. Or was I re-signing up for a life of leisure?

While I am at it, why did my parents RE-tire? Didn’t they UN-tire because now that they are not working they are not as tired anymore?

I am very glad I didn’t get RE-trenched. Sounds muddy.

When I RE-joined (ok, that one works) the work force 6 years ago, I was hired. That means “borrowed for money”..

They really should’ve paid a bond, refundable only if I am handed back in good condition because they broke me and then looked the other way as if they weren’t responsible. But I let them do it so more fool me.

Anyway, I digress. Yes I “un-signed”. Kinda a big deal for someone who loved their job but time to pause and take stock for a little while.

My New Year’s resolution for 2019 is to practice mindfulness as often as possible. Leave the past where it belongs (but bring the good people with me) and let the future unfold in its own time. Be present in my own world. Easier said than done.

But here’s the plan for the next few months: Phone off. Look up. Breathe. Listen to the ocean. Don’t buy into other peoples’ dramas.

I will read more books, draw, write, research everything that interests me, listen to music, sit in silence. And laugh – a lot.

I will eat slowly and move at my own pace. I will visit the city more. I will walk through gardens. And I will choose to spend time with people who love and appreciate me.

And I will remember I am only responsible for what I say and how I say it. I am not responsible for what people choose to hear.

I am pressing reset. I am in control.

Let’s see how this works out …..

Orange Friday

The history of Black Friday is simple. Back in the day, violence and chaos would often erupt amongst the throng of shoppers heading for bargain on the day after Thanksgiving. It was a “dark” day hence Black Friday.

Thanksgiving day – lets give thanks

Black Friday – lets punch someone for queue jumping

Got it.

According to the spokesperson from The Department of Google (ie the search engine in my iPhone) orange is the colour of Joy. So today I am celebrating Orange Friday. Because orange is the new black.

Peace out ✌️