Thursday, August 31, 2006

Weird Winter Weather??

If you didn't think our summer was were weird enough then you're not going to believe our winter this year either...

Right now I'm dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, and have been so for the last few days.

Whodathunk?

In fact, Monday saw Perth hit something like 27 degrees!

27 friggin degrees!

3 more degrees and it would've hit my minimum lets-go-to-the-beach temperature limit.

Can you imagine? Going to the beach in WINTER??

What's happening to this crazy world?

But yes, as we finally say goodbye to winter I'm doing so standing outside waving with shorts and a t-shirt on.

I'm all ready for summer.

Plastic Surgery On The Inside

A chic that smiles creates more of an impression on me than what I've initially been led to believe.

See, there have been several instances where I've gone over to a mate's house and as we've sat there watching TV he'd ask whether I thought a particular chic was hot or not (something guys often do when they're bored watching TV and have ran out of things to say... which is more times than not).

Take for example the chic on the World Poker Tour show.

I didn't think she was that hot, and when my mate asked one night I told him so. He thought I was mad... or gay.

But ever since the explosion of plastic surgery I think guys have got to be careful what they rest their eyes on as you just don't know what's "real" these days. Sure, a woman might have the perfect figure, but how did she get it? Working hard by staying active, or a quick nip and tuck?

And while everyone can see that plastic surgery may make one "feel good" does it really transform the "real" person - the one inside? I mean, everyone has bad habits, are they something that can be cut out and had new ones inserted too?

But... I'm digressing... getting back to the WPT chic - last week I saw a full length show and at the very end when the credits were rolling they showed outtakes of this chic when she had stuffed up.

And there it was: a beautiful smile, some laughs (even at herself), a splash of personality and my heart nearly jumped out of its sockets and kissed the TV!

I'm so easily impressed.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Dark Side

To top this fabulous weekend off I had a good present a message at his local church this evening.

I have known this person for over 10 years now and looking back at our history I have to admit that he rarely spoke about his past. It never bothered me, and I knew he never felt comfortable talking about it whenever a conversation turned to history.

Tonight though he invited me to come along and hear his message which I was glad to attend.

Initially his message was going to be about Jesus' first miracle: turning water into wine, however, before he started he got all the kids' attention when he tore a white pages telephone directory in half!! And no I'm not talking down the spine like anyone can do, I literally mean in half!!

By then he had everyone's attention... including me (I gave it a try at the end of his message but failed to even get through 250 pages!). And it was then that the topic changed to something he knew a lot about: his life story.

And what an interesting story he had to tell!

Everything about his past was now laid out before the congregation at church and everyone was on the edge of their seats.

He told everyone about his days as a "gangster", a drug user, a fighter, and the friends who ended up in prison, as well as the day he *almost* became a drug dealer.

I never knew his past was going to be as bad as he said it was, and I now understood why he never felt comfortable talking much about it.

"Eventually," he said as he reached the climax of his life, "I reached a point in my life where I was within minutes of being caught by a police raid, and I also found out one of my close mates was physically abusing his partner."

He stopped, "My friend would beat his partner up and then lock her in the CUPBOARD!"

He looked around and shook his head at the memories that were no doubt flooding back.

Women had always been this tough guy's weak spot. He continued by saying that he helped the woman leave her partner and when she did he set about changing his own life. He hated what he had become and he saw the bad influences his friends were having on him.

Interestingly he called to God for help. And interestingly God began putting new people into this man's life that DID help him. In due time he ended up marrying and as he neared the end of his personal testimony he thanked God for his wife.

Again, I was moved.

Now things began to make more sense in the conversations we had and the things that were done.

At the end of his message he came over and asked how it went, I told him the truth - "It was VERY good."

It was so good in fact that several youth were moved enough to accept Christ as their personal Saviour that night.

It's amazing how a life can never be too dark or too far away from Jesus that he cannot save.

I hope my friend continues to give more personal testimonies to kids and that he continues to work with the youth at that church.

And I also hope he doesn't break a wrist trying to rip up a yellow pages!

Wedding Talk

Today at church pretty much everyone was talking about the previous day's wedding.

In fact there were some people who were still a little teary as they reflected on the occassion and speaking of tears I will confess I *almost* got a little teary myself yesterday.

(Emphasis on ALMOST please)

During the ceremony there was a part after the bridal party had signed the registry and before they exchanged the rings where both bride and groom stood close together and everyone went silent. At first I didn't know what was going on, but as everyone watched we saw that the groom had his head slightly bowed and his eyes closed while the bride similarly had her head bowed and was whispering into his ear.

They were praying.

And when I realised this my throat caught a little frog.

I was definitely touched.

Their acknowledgement of God in their relationship was clearly seen to everyone who was "gathered here today".

That was powerful stuff.

(Hopefully by adding this to my blog I wont forget it when my wedding comes round - my memory might be good, but *sometimes* I have power failures.)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

One Wedding Down, One More To Go

The wedding today was spectacular.

If I had a wedding like that I'd be a happy man on my wedding day (no doubt my wife would too).

Unfortunately on such events like this I reflect on my own current state of life. In fact when I do such reflection I often hear my grandfather's voice saying,

"Where are you at? Where do want to go? And how best to get there?"

I'm a mixed bag of emotions after tonight.

I look at my mate Dan, who married today, I look at my brother who will be tying the knot in a fortnight's time... and then I look at myself and see... nothing.

To me they have everything: Dan is now married, has a stable job, will no doubt be looking to get a house soon, and the same thing applies to my brother.

Me?

Well, let's see, I still drive around in my first car, I have work that pays well but is so inconsistent if it were a rollercoaster ride at a theme park it would be the most popular ride in the world! No house, and no woman.

And do you know what's strange about the woman thing? I don't feel anything.

And even if such a woman were available I don't think I'd do anything anyway???!

Does this mean I'm turning gay?

HELL NO!

But I think my current work situation has a larger hindrance on my love life than what I give it credit for. I look at my ability to be a provider and can't see it happening with my current situation.

So why do I pursue this path? Why not just go and get a job?

Hmm... it seems to be the easy way, at least before I get too old!

Anyway, I'm tired - the rollercoaster seems to run faster when I'm more tired.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Blonde Next Door

Ah, I think I found the problem to the JW's who came over to my folks place today...

There's a blonde chic next door.

(My folks place is on a duplex block and the houses on the block both look the same)

The JW's were probably glad they didn't get my mum answering the door otherwise they would've left with their tail between their legs.

My mum has an aunty who is an ardent JW and has had many discussions with her about the organisation. After telling mum about the weird encounter she asked,

"So did you ask them about Beth Sarim in San Diego, California?"

Huh?

"Did you tell them which of the 144,000 they are?"

Umm, no.

"Or how many hours they've put in today doorknocking so that they can get to heaven through works?"

Forgot that one.

"Or where in the Bible they get Michael and Jesus being the same?"

No.

"Or how JW's have the highest percentage of cases of schizophrenia than any other group?"

Eeek!

My mum just looked at me and could see I was staring blankly back at her. She stopped.

"Well?"

And you wouldn't believe what happened?

The phone rang.

And no, I hadn't called myself.

Censual

Yes I've deliberately misspelt the title, to combine two words expressing today's activity: the damn census, and a hot chic.

It's a play on words, and no the hot chic and I weren't playing with each other!

(Okay, so maybe it wasn't the best use of my creativity!)

Anyhoo, over the last couple of days I've been at my folk's place doing my daily duties as well as helping out the old man's business.

As I've been here I've noticed that the census people haven't picked up my parents completed census form, which I guess is strange considering the census people came over within about a day or two and picked up my completed form.

Being rather busy this morning I wouldn't have opened the door to anyone, but with the unclaimed census form staring at me from the hall stand the door was knocked twice today... and both times I thought it would be the census person and both times I was wrong.

First, we had the lawnmower dude who felt the need to show me every weed around the property and how he was going to get rid of it. He then proceeded to continue knocking on the door and give a treatise on each weed's pathetic existence in this life.

On any *other* normal day I probably would have entertained what the bloke was saying and may have actually learnt all the Latin names for each weed that dotted my folk's place, but not today. Today I had the lawnmower mouth - and if it weren't for the phone ringing I don't think I would've ever gotten away from it.

Eventually the guy took the hint and stopped knocking on the door. In fact, every time he knocked I just used my mobile phone and rang my folk's number! That worked a treat!

(Man, I'm evil.)

When he finally left after spending over an hour pulling weeds another silent hectic hour passed until there was another knock on the door.

Alright! Census folk!

I happily opened the door and was met by two ladies: one younger, one older.

"Hello," I said wishing that I had her as my census person.

She stopped and stared at me for a little while and the silence was almost deafening. In a way I kind of enjoyed it that she didn't immediately ask for my folk's census form because I was enjoying the view.

Stammering she finally found her tongue and asked if a blonde chic lived here.

Huh?

(Both my parents have black hair, and my brother and sister are more brunette. I'm pretty much the only one that can be classified as blonde, and so I was beginning to think that maybe this census person was lost, or someone was playing some poor trick on this girl)

"A blonde chic??"

I looked out toward the road and saw a car parked.

Had someone been involved in an accident?

The cat had caught the chic's tongue. Silence fell on us again.

"I came over the other day and I gave someone with blonde hair my card," she said.

By now, as you can probably empathise, I'm as confused as a dyslexic with a dictionary!

"Errr... it could have been my sister," I didn't know, but unless my parent's were keeping a blonde chic in the basement as a 29th birthday present for me I just had to guess it was my sister.

"Is she here?" she asked.

"No, she's not."

She doesn't even live here I was going to add, but that would've meant saying goodbye and giving up a good view!

(Told you I was evil.)

"Well maybe you can give her something for us."

Now I was beginning to think that this was either the weirdest census form collection I had ever seen, or, it wasn't a census collection form. Heck, if it weren't I wouldn't have known any different if they asked for it and would've got all my parent's details for free!

She then proceeded to reach into her handbag and pull out a couple of magazines.

The penny dropped.

I was talking to JW's.

Great! I sighed, Why are all the hot ones either Catholic or JW?

The chic, who now introduced herself as Celeste handed me two Watchtower magazines - one was on marriage, which she was quick to talk about.

By now I'd had already spent waaay too much time away from the desk. If it had of been any other normal day I would've expounded a few things to them about their beliefs such as asking them whether she was one of the lucky 144,000 going to heaven, where in the Bible it says Michael and Jesus are the same person and probably a whole heap of other things that I can't remember right now.

But business was calling... the phone rang again and I had to quickly thank them for their time and answer the friggin phone.

I love JW's. I really do. They're truth seekers, but as with discovering the truth the biggest hindrance in trying to discover it is believing you already have it. JW's are almost there, they just slip up on some topical things.

Anyway, I've given up on answering the friggin door. Those census people can leave an envelope and we'll post the stupid form in the mail.

Alright, enough of me complaining, my lunch break is over.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Census 2006

Tomorrow Australia takes part in the census of 2006.

Oh what fun.

I think if the Australian government made everyone sit Who Wants To Be A Millionaire it might be a little more interesting, but answering a booklet of 60-odd questions is rather boring.

I've been filling out some of the general questions, such as address, name, birthdate, marital status, previous dwellings, etc etc.

As I've progressed through the booklet I've often thought what it'd be like if I became a little difficult for "big brother"... i.e.

Q16) Does the person speak a language other than English at home?
Answer: YES - Stra'yn (you'll need to be an Aussie to understand that one!)

Q18) What is the person's ancestry?
Answer: Primordial soup (billions and billions of years ago)

*sigh*

Yep, it's annoying.

My creative juices are dying.

I'm Turning Into An Elephant

I don't know what it is lately, but my memory is working reallly well.

Maybe too well!

(And to think that I haven't had any fish for weeks!)

So what's with my head this time?

I think I know how my Kate Beckinsale crush started.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't put to the *best* use, but I found the memory interesting.

It happened over the weekend where a mate tried to impress me with some photos he had on some chics he thought were hot. After scrunching my nose at all of them he began thinking I was either gay, blind, or, just picky and peculiar.

Hopefully he settled with the latter.

"So what chics do you like?" he said ready to do an internet search.

"Any chic with a great smile," I said, sighing at the all too often repeated answer.

"Any names?" he asked.

"Oh you know, Kate Beckinsale, Livinia Nixon... Lara Bingle - but she's too young... I'd feel like a pedophile staring at photos of her!" I joked.

It was the combination of "Kate Beckinsale" and "young" that unlocked, what I think could very well be the history behind the Kate Beckinsale infatuation.

Sit back and relax while you delve more into some of my history...

We'll need to go back to my primary school days at Samson, a new school that had just been built down the road from where we lived - it was to be my second primary school, but only for a couple of years. And I wasn't too happy about Samson during their building phase either. The area the school was built on cleared all the wonderful BMXing bush tracks.

But as I was soon to discover it wasn't all *that* bad.

Our first year of Samson Primary School saw me hit it in Grade 4. It was easy making friends as most of them lived just across the road and everyone was new.

It wasn't until 5th grade where I noticed a new girl in 3rd grade (eeek!!! I hope this doesn't make me a pedophile!!!). Anyway, I can remember her brown hair and her cute smile and I was immediately hooked.

I can remember playing some handball type game with her during lunch times, but as I was responsible for scouring the bush for lost balls these moments were too short-lived, but I didn't mind as searching for these lost balls meant I had a good excuse for getting back to class later than everyone else.

The best memory I have on the Shannon, the grade 3 girl, was the time when Samson had this "fun day" where we divided up into groups and did all these whacky obstacle courses. Oddly enough grades 3 to 5 were chosen to participate and even more bizarre was the fact that I was chosen to be a leader.

Each leader had to chose who they wanted on their team, starting from everyone in grade 5, then grade 4, then grade 3. I didn't really care about who else was on my team: I only wanted one - a girl in grade 3!

And I got her too!

Although, as my classmates soon ribbed on me, I found through my selfish act that I had all the "retards" on my team, I remember their ridicule at some of the people I had chosen, but I didn't care - we were going to have fun... and I had my girl, and that was all that mattered.

Amazingly enough we had a huge amount of fun... well, at least I did, I felt like a king and she my queen as I barked orders at the boys while she kept everyone attentive. Our team dynamics were awesome! In fact, we came together so well that we really did have a heap of fun with the obstancles, even completing some quite easily... and I think this had a lot to do with all the short "retards" I had on my team!!!

We were a nimble bunch.

I remember at one course a teacher couldn't believe we had finished wriggling through the maze of chairs that she demanded we do it again! We did... and at a quicker time than our first (because we knew our way) - she recorded our fastest time, too!

Eventually though we hit our wall.

Quite literally.

We were now no longer throwing things, or wriggling through things, or running around things, we now had to climb over what looked like Mount Everest: a huge triangular shaped thing with rope all over it.

As we struggled, I climbed up and then keeled over and reached down trying to help them up one by one. After about 5 minutes we had just completed our first... rung!

We continued helping each other up the face, using our clasped hands as steps and by the time we hit the apex it was easy sailing all the way down, but 12 minutes had passed.

And then it was over.

We all hugged... maybe some more than others... although I don't know which two! ;o)

And the principal read out the results.

He started out with the team that finished last, which surprisingly wasn't us, and then continued up to first place. As each team cheered their results I began to think that maybe they had forgotten about us.

The team looked up at me asking, "What did we get? What did we get?"

There were a couple of instances where I didn't hear the principal yell out the results so I told them that we finished "around the middle". Everyone smiled and clapped and hugged again.

"And in second place..." boomed the principal in the background during our happy-we-finished-in-the-middle-somewhere celebration, "... oh my, are we sure this is right?"

The principal stopped and we now begun whispering amongst ourselves at each of the obstacles, pointing to each of them individually and remembering who fell over what and who did better or worse than the rest of us.

"Is Ryan's team!" said the principal surprisingly.

We weren't listening.

We'd already celebrated.

To be honest it didn't register, as soon as the principal read out our name the only other team left, which therefore came first, roared in celebration. The principal then read out the first placed team.

We on the other hand just kept chatting and laughing amongst ourselves, oblivious to what had happened.

Even when the teacher came over and presented us with 2nd place ribbons we still didn't know what was going on.

"Here Ryan here are your ribbons," said the teacher with a handful of second place ribbons.

When I saw them I quickly ran to the teacher and said, "I think you gave us the wrong one's miss."

"What are you talking about?" she asked, turning around.

"We didn't finish second, we finished 10th or something."

"No, you finished second."

She walked off and gave me just-do-as-your-told-and-stop-being-a-smart-ass-and-distribute-the-damn-ribbons-to-your-team look.

I turned around looking to see if any team complained about their 10th-place-or-something ribbons and ran back to my disbursing team.

"Guys, guys," I yelled bringing them back in a huddle, "WE GOT SECOND!!"

Right then and there you thought we had won first place. Heck, if teams were given extra points on how noisy they were on celebrating their place we probably would've taken first!

We hugged again, and this time I got a peck on the cheek by Shannon and we proudly wore our second place ribbons.

We were the proudest "retards" you'd ever seen, I don't know how we did it, but somehow we did... and all I cared about was not washing my left cheek...

Ever.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Memory Like An Elephant

In my sixth grade I was transferred to my third primary school. This third primary school was a little different from the others I had attended, firstly - it was a strict private school (the others I attended previously were all public schools), second - it was miles away from where we lived (the others were only a hop, skip and a jump away).

Throughout the years my parents learned of other children who lived in neighbouring suburbs, as travelling to and from this distant school was taxing on the family finances. Eventually my mum was able to find two boy's in my class who lived in neighbouring suburbs: one lived in Bateman, and another in Bibra Lake.

Thankfully my mum was able to arrange transport with the family in Bateman even going as far as paying her money for the trouble. It wasn't long until the boy from Bateman, Nicholas, and I became good friends.

As time passed we graduated from primary school to high school (which was still miles away) and his family moved to a closer location to the high school. This then presented poor mother dearest with the original niggling problem of getting me to high school. As the boy from Bibra Lake, Ross, was still attending school she decided to contact his family to see if we could come to some arrangement about getting me and Ross home.

Unfortunately the family from Bibra Lake weren't too keen on any ideas.

My mother offered money - they refused.

My mother offered to do half the load - they refused.

We were stuck.

A plan eventually fell into place that saw me get 1/3rd of the way home, but poor mother still had to drive the remaining 2/3rds to come pick me up.

(I was beginning to wonder whether private schooling was really worth it?)

On the days when I missed the transport for my 1/3rd I knew the family from Bibra Lake was no help. Thankfully though another family who lived in Leeming (another close suburb) had a boy, who was a year older than me, along with his mum, who was the high school librarian, offering to drive me home.

Okay, so where's all this going?

Well, Nicholas and I were always good friends throughout high school. I think our friendship could have been much better if I had studied more, as he ended up being the dux of our class when we graduated high school. As I flunked my final year (and had to repeat) many saw me as a dead weight dragging his academic performance down, thereby keeping us apart while he persued a law degree.

The boy from Leeming, Chris, ended up becoming my best friend when high school was over (yes it's the same Chris you hear me whinge and complain about in here). I believe this was mainly due to the fact that we began to know about each other on the trips from school, and we lived close to each other.

The boy from Bibra Lake, Ross, I knew and called a friend, but we were never close.

And the weird thing about all this is that tonight I actually visited Ross' house... and I was amazed at how close they really were to our old house in Kardinya, in fact, I think out of all the families their house would have been the closest!

Which pained me.

I knew the struggle it took for my parents to drop me off and pick me up every day from school, I even remember the day when one of the teachers kept me behind for some lame ass reason and as I missed my 1/3rd trip, and Chris' mum, my parents had to travel all the way to high school to pick me up... I didn't get picked up until 8:30pm!

I thought of even staying the night as I was going to be back in 12 hours!

But yes, tonight I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it on two fronts: 1. I could even remember this stuff, and 2. how close they were.

I even asked Ross' father how long they had been living in this very house and he said they had been there for 20-odd years.

Now Ross has a single younger sister who several people have mentioned to me (including my parents) that we should get together.

But you know what friends?

Although Kerry has a great smile, and could possibly be someone I *could* marry... I don't think I ever could.

Call me superficial, call me vain, or whatever, but I feel like a rejected child with that family. They had space in their car, my mum was willing to give them money or to share the load, yet they went all funny on us.

And it wasn't like we didn't know how it felt to transport someone else's kid. I know our family had the same treatment from a boy who lived up the road who attended the same primary school I did (Kardinya Primary). His mother worked early morning hours and needed someone to babysit him before then taking him to school. My mother more than welcomed him and refused payment from the boy's mum when she offered.

So we knew what it was like.

And when I talked to that family tonight all I could think to myself was "Why?" - things may have been so different.

To be honest, I never knew how those memories surfaced, heck, I have a hard trouble remembering what I had for breakfast this morning and yet I have pretty much the same breakfast meal every day! But the memories came back, and maybe for a reason, the night ended no sooner than it begun and I was glad to leave.

When I arrived at my folks house only minutes later my mother enquired about how the night went.

I started with, "Do you remember the time when you asked the [Bibra Lake family] to help with travelling to and from school?"

My mum stopped.

And she too soon remembered.

"Oh yes, they were a funny family," she said replaying the memory of those times back in her mind.

"And you wanted me to date her," I laughed.