Saturday, 27 August 2011

Techno-Machinery Issues and a Nutshell

Our p.c. recently curled up its millions of cables and died.
Just. Stopped. Working. Black screen, nada, zip, zilch, niente.

I consider myself to be (as with motor vehicles), a pretty-dam-good driver of a computer. Also, against type, I have an excellent sense of direction and CAN read maps!

I have no understanding, on a cellular level, of HOW a car actually WORKS, but I know how to drive it. I have a manual car because I like to drive and I don't like cruise control because to me, that's all about NOT controlling your car or paying sufficient attention.

I know, that if I had been taught, shown or included in discussions and explanations about cars, as my synapses were connecting and forming in the mechanical-understanding section of my brain, I would totally "get" how all the bits under the bonnet and that form the vehicle itself, work. But, as I was born with a vagina, I was not privy to that form of upbringing.

Now, where were we? Oh Yeah, the computer situation...
I can whizz around the interwebby and within numerous software programs with considerate ease. If I come up against something I can't understand or can't make work, I Google it and teach myself.

When I was frustrated with the blog designs offered as standard on Blogger, I taught myself some basic HTML and redesigned my blog. I do not know HOW HTML works or what it means or stands for, (and I don't WANT to know) I just know that once you learn to use it you can make it change how things look on your blog.

I see and read lots of stuff online about making your blog more successful by playing around in the back-end (Ooo Vicar!) and checking all your dooverlacky and thing-a-me-jig registrations and hits and bots and dots. As well as tricks and tips for getting found and tagged and and and...
But, just thinking about any of it, makes. my. brain. ache.
See? All tekky I am. Yep.

So, when the p.c. up and "dieded", I did heed the advice of so many, who for SOOOOO long had said "get thee to a MAC and never ever look back"

As I have developed a clear and possibly, unhealthy addiction to my wondrous iPad, I knew I would be fine in Apple-land and last week I went out and bought us a schoochzshee and fabulous iMac.

Talk about your jumping from left brain to right brain and wondering WHY the fuck it took me so long.

I now have a cardboard box, with the old p.c., monitor, 973 cables, speakers/ speaker wires, camera, mouse and keyboard sitting forlornly inside, awaiting its fate (the tip shop? or the op. shop?)

May I just observe, that the iMac is one hell of a gorgeous, sleek, glamorama, self-contained, GENIE with just ONE PLUG?.
I. LOVE. HER.
I am NEVER going back.
And you know what?
The poor old p.c. seems so very Howardy Liberal and rear-view vision-ey whilst my iMac and iPad are so very Keating in a sparkly, sharp, snazzily-visionary kinda way.

As well as this wonderful world of Appleyness, I have had a pretty good week.

In a very large nutshell...

I found my favourite sunnies, that I have had for 15 years and NEVER lost before. I had looked for days, in, on, under everything and everywhere in my home, car, garden EVERYWHERE. It made no sense because the reason I have never lost them before is that I always, reapeat ALWAYS put them in their case OR in the bowl inside the front door if I am not actually wearing them. I had given up and felt a wee bit sad over the loss of these, my favourite of favouritest sunglasses. However, today, I popped on my trusty old jacket, which I have also had for a gazzillion yonks and there, IN THE POCKET, were my beautiful old faithfuls. I have no memory, at all, on ANY level of putting them there. It makes no sense. I have now resigned myself to the fact that I am simply losing my mind and that the AGEING nightmare is with me in earnest. Oh YAY and YIPPEE umm NOT.

I saw the magnificent Ms Clare Bowditch in her brilliant show in dedication to Ms Eva Cassidy, I may or may not have shed a happy tear or two over how wonderful it was.

I DID eat a perfect old-school lasagne in the kitchen at Pelligrini's.

I DID get my nails painted a glossy and cheery turquoise at the hilarious "Hello darling, pick a colour" Elwood Nails.

I DID pop along with my dear friend Dottore Lloyd to a taping of The Tuesday Night Book Club and Jennifer interviewed the thoughtful and engaging Christos Tsiolkas. Talk about your brain stimulation 1A right there!

Mr I and I did have a delectable dinner with and prepared by the gorgeous Gourmet Girlfriend. It was indeed a joy and a pleasure to be with her and her divine family.

I did reconnect with an adored and much loved, very special someone and a big, black cloud moved off my horizon.

Here's a pictorial grab-bag of some the highlights of my past week or so.

Castlemaine on a glorious late Winter's Day
Chocolate pavlova ingredients


The final result of my chocolate pavlova, using Nigella's recipe

Two gorgeous cushions from the lovely Peta Pledger

My old favourites, lost then found

Chocolate croissant, cup of tea and new reading pleasures on the terrace.

All-in-all, a very good week.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Almost 10 Years After I First Wrote This, Not Much Has Changed

Written and sent to Howard and Ruddock almost ten years ago...


I am writing to register my family and myself as being completely opposed to our country's handling of the refugees/asylum seekers/*illegal immigrants/queue jumpers*, fellow HUMAN BEINGS!

I wish to convey my concern and disgust at our abhorrent, arrogant, small minded, gutless, pathetic, disgraceful, selfish, inhumane treatment of these fellow HUMAN BEINGS. I know I am not alone in my opinions, but am continually frustrated at not being heard.

We have watched (programs like 4 Corners and Sunday and those on SBS) and read for months, in basically a state of shock, our leaders embarrass and shame us and I cannot understand WHY we are treating fellow (desperate) HUMAN BEINGS in this barbaric and dismissive manner.

These fellow HUMAN BEINGS should be detained for the briefest of periods, only to be identified and health screened. They should then be released into the community to be monitored whilst they await assessment on their applications.

You should know that my family is willing to make our home available, as a refuge at the risk of a $10,000 fine or whatever pathetic, controlling threat you wish to throw at us.

You are WRONG Mr Ruddock. Your policies are WRONG and you need to admit it, accept responsibility and change them. I expect you and your Government will have to answer some serious questions and explain yourselves to the world in the near future. Are you prepared?

I believe my fellow Australians would be as outraged as I am, if our leaders provided them with the truth instead of politically motivated propaganda. You are playing on and manipulating the (unfounded) fears of many Australians. This is an abuse of power and clearly displays the incredible arrogance of this government.

I continue to become more and more upset and ashamed with the passing of every day. The Sunday program of 4th May 2002 left me feeling ANGRY, FRUSTRATED and FURIOUS with you, Minister Ruddock. I can barely maintain my rage. To describe these tortured and tormented fellow human beings as misbehaving, attention seekers, who can only be bad parents for allowing their children to witness others self harm, is INSANE.

What sort of future adults are we creating out of this nightmare? Who is going to take responsibility for their future care and treatment, in recovering from the lack of attention and meaningful education, the destruction of their families and the removal of all independence? To the point where children refer to fellow children as numbers?!

Please know that in most of the countries that these people are trying to flee, THERE IS NO QUEUE!!!

What do you think would happen to them if they approached their Government and said, “I want to leave?”

Would you not do whatever it takes to protect your family if your life/home/country was under threat from war, dictators, political unrest and uncertainty, violence, flood, famine etc, etc??

Why punish innocent people who have never been charged, nor found guilty of, ANY offence? In fact, under international law these fellow HUMAN BEINGS are legally entitled to seek asylum anywhere. They have broken no laws, yet are being treated and housed as criminals.

There is no logic in your decisions to separate families into different detention centres, or to allow some out and leave others in. How is that not harmful to the families and HUMAN BEINGS concerned?

Why are you not as obsessed with finding the tens of thousands of temporary visa holders who overstay, many never to be found?
Your racism is transparent, Mr Ruddock. Along with Prime Minister Howard’s.

Do we not have free press in this country? Why are they not allowed access to the detention centres to report back to the Australian public? What are you hiding? You are not protecting the people inside, you are denying them their human rights and eroding their identities.

It matters NOT ONE IOTA, what financial resources or social class these fellow HUMAN BEINGS have or belong to. After weighing up all their options they have made the incredibly difficult decision to flee, believing the risks to themselves and their families far out-way the risks of staying. They chose Australia because they believed what they had heard about Australia – that it is a free, democratic, prosperous country with open arms.

Even writing this now is making my insides boil.

Please do not bother to reply, if all you can offer is condescending, avoid the issue, buck passing, accept no responsibility, blame the victims rhetoric.

Yours in frustration and shame,

Michele Borghesi

post script 2011
They did send me back a standard, form letter. I burnt it in disgust.

Currently,
‎62% Aussies think boat arrivals are rising.
Reality?
2010 = 6879
2011 = 1675
Italy 2011 = 40000
What boat problem?

Monday, 1 August 2011

Crankiness, Crochet & Knitting

Warning!
Those not wanting to know anything about growing older in a female body, read no further.

This ageing thing has burrs, prickles, slime and shit on it.
Only good thing, is not being dead, yet.
This morning, I woke up with someone else's face on.
Mine had given up the good fight sometime overnight.
No amount of L'Oreal spackfilla & shine could hide the crevices & black caverns under my eyes.
Yesterday, I was so fucking tired.
Bone weary, leaden bodied, porridge brainally t.i.r.e.d.
I am in the throws of that hideously named section of a woman's life and let me be blunt...WHAT A FUCKING NIGHTMARE.
The "Menopause" Ewwwwww. Have I lost you? Are you in denial? Do you just not want to know or face or deal with it until you absolutely HAVE to?
That was me, too.
But here I am. And I am disgusted about how little it is spoken about...Really. Truthfully. Honestly. Unashamedly. Factually.

Sure, there have been many before me who talk about it, but mostly in a jokey, that's-life, kind of way. Focusing on the humour and the funny, cranky, old-ladyness of it all. And, yes there is plenty of literature available re: the process. But not much about how it DOES YOUR HEAD IN.
I am trying to convince myself I am strolling through the central plains of my life, but all this bodily upheaval is challenging every fibre of my being.

My period disappeared for 4 blissful months! Thought that was it. After 30-ish years of clockwork behaviour it just disappeared. Yes! Hooray! It finally ends, packs up and leaves.
But, wait...Oh no sister, enough with the glee for you! Here in it's place, I give you your own personal, built-in, faulty furnace which shall come on at 1000 degrees centigrade all hours of the day and night. HILARIOUS.

I had decided long ago, after reading all I could about HRT, that it was not for me, so I took myself off to Chemist Warehouse to purchase the alternatives. 3 hours later I walked outa there with me some Menoeze FORTE, full of all the supposed alternative, "natural" weaponry.

I started taking these as well as Mega B, Mega C, Zinc, Evening Primrose, Fish Oil & Calcium with Vit D. I swear, I gagged every day, on attempting to swallow this lot and after I had, you could hear me rattling as I walked.

After 5 weeks of this daily regime, the furnace switched off! A minor happy-making miracle. So, I got to enjoy a blissful couple of months with no monthly pest and no hyper heating.

It was heaven. I was well and truly over the monthly disruption, I must say and was at the stage of greeting it with a full throttled "piss off will ya?! You served your purpose thanks very much, but now you're annoying, disruptive and no longer required"

Then, the bitch showed up again! 11 days ago and still hasn't left AND on a couple of days I thought I was losing small parts of my kidneys. Seriously, felt and looked like all my internal lady parts were trying to evacuate.

Gross, sorry, I know, but true.

Thank-you very much life and nature and your bullshit deal for us women.

Now, to things of accomplishment and pleasure inducing...
I have three crafty-type projects on the go at present. If I maintain the form of my entire life, they will probably never be completed, but, for now they are helping calm the crankiness and focus my wandering, worrying mind.
Here they are...


A floor mat


A twirly whirly scarf


a bobbly, ummm, something.

Right, breathe in, breathe out. As you were.
Nothing more to see here.