Thursday, March 25, 2004

Who Are You?

I'd like to think this is fairly accurate...not convinced on the decisive count, though - I usually have terrible trouble making up my mind!! :) The quiz has quite an interesting analysis of different personality types - if you do it yourself, have a look at all the results to see where you fit in the spectrum of personality types.

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz

Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Freak Out!

I don't consider myself to be overly squeamish or to have an excessive phobia of any kind of creepy crawlies. OK, so maybe I would stand on a chair and yell to my Dad for help if one of those disgusting, huge, flying cockroaches appeared near me, but they really are the most repulsive insects. And aside from cockroaches, I'm fine with all manner of multi-legged fauna.

You know there's a "but" coming, right...

My Monday morning shower was as enjoyable as Monday morning showers generally are. You know how it're half awake and you know you need to make it quick coz you're already running late for work, but it's a pretty chilly morning (we *are* in Canberra, remember) and the hot water is just I put off getting out of the shower as long as possible, before finally reaching for my towel. I flung it around my shoulders, and started drying off...and noticed that a HUGE scary brown spider was crawling on the towel, and was about 3 inches from my face! I didn't even have time to scream, just gasped and managed to flick the spider off the towel and into the shower (where I am afraid it suffered an unfortunate death by drowning).

I was shaking for about 10 mins afterwards, and for the rest of the day I felt phantom spider legs crawling all over me - up my leg, in my hair, across my arm... I developed a real spider paranoia. And to make it worse, when I got home from work that day and recounted my traumatic experience to my flat mate, she was like "oh, yeah, I noticed last night that there were two massive spiders on the ceiling in the hallway..." - TWO??!?! You mean there's another one lurking around the house somewhere, waiting for an unsuspecting foot to be inserted into a shoe, or hiding amongst the blankets on an unmade bed, or....eeeek! There are so many great hiding places for a spider in my room!!

The spider looked something like this - I think you'll agree that any rational person would be freaked out to find one of these sitting inches from their face!

[As an aside, if you're into gruesome stuff, while I was trying to find a pic of my spider friend, I came across this interesting piece about the victim of a brown recluse spider bite - thankfully it's a spider not found in Australia! Though we have the icky funnel web monster to compete...]

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

My Guy

I am happy to say that there is a new boy in my life. We only met on the weekend, but I think I can safely say that he's already stolen my heart. He's just gorgeous - cute, athletic, clever, and he makes me laugh. I just know that he's gonna be an important part of my life from now on.

He's a bit of a bed hogger, though.

His name is Oscar, and he's an 8 week old ginger and white kitten. I saw him in the window of a pet shop in Woden Plaza on Saturday, and just couldn't resist his sweet little face - half an hour later, he was mine. I've been wanting to get a cat ever since I moved out of home and left Sooky behind, but my parents always managed to talk me out of it - a pet will tie you down, it'll make it harder to find somewhere to rent, you won't be able to go on holidays, you won't be able to move overseas - and as always, my parents are right...but it's much easier to ignore their good advice from the other side of the country!! And I think my hankering to get a kitty was exacerbated by recently reading a few cat-friendly blogs, like Web Goddess (who also acquired a kitty recently), Myrr Purrs and Catboy.

Anyways, I am over the moon to have a beautiful kitty in my life again. He's settling in to the house well (although he hasn't quite sussed out Max, the dog, properly yet - he still arches his back and fluffs up his little tail when the dog is around - but I think he's getting better). He's very adventurous, and quite a skilled climber - he has struggled his way up to the top of my clothes airer a few times, to catch those pesky socks - and he's already affectionate, and purrs for no reason at all. Love him to bits!

In other weekend news, the French Film Festival opened on Friday night, with a brilliant film - Bon Voyage. I can't speak highly enough about it - anyone in an Australian city other than Canberra, please go to see it when the FFF arrives in your city - you'll love it! Well I did, anyway.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

What's Going On?

I was interested to see the issue of "not enough male teachers in our schools" pop up recently. Apparently only 1 in 5 primary school teachers, and less than half high school teachers, are male. The argument is that the teaching profession needs to be more gender-balanced, as boys need male role models and influences, and this is evidenced by the fact that boys are apparently falling behind girls academically. To fix this problem, the Federal Government has introduced to Parliament a proposed amendment to the Sex Discrimination Act, to allow scholarships for teaching to be offered to men only. The Bill was introduced in the House of Reps yesterday by Phillip Ruddock - you can read his Second Reading Speech here (at p 7).

I don't disagree that we need more male teachers - but this proposed amendment makes me really angry. Why should men receive a financial advantage over women to encourage them to become teachers?? How can this but devalue females in the teaching profession?? This doesn't address the root of the problem - as discussed in this article, one of the basic reasons that men don't enter or stick around the teaching profession is because they can earn more money elsewhere. And this results from teaching being viewed as a "female" profession, one which doesn't require as much skill as the traditionally male professions. Surely a better response would be to consider paying ALL teachers what they really deserve - I think it is generally accepted that teachers are grossly underpaid. But because women have been willing to work for the low salary that teachers receive, this isn't seen as an issue, and raising salaries generally is not even considered. Instead, the easy (and cheaper) solution is to amend the Sex Discrimination Act to allow this blatant discrimination, and to begin to erode the principles behind the SDA, and any credence attached to it.

Does the government intend to allow scholarship schemes to encourage women to enter traditionally male dominated professions?? Surely it is equally important that women are equally represented, for example, in Parliament?? After all, women constitute slightly more than 50% of Australia's population - isn't it imperative, then, that to have a truly representative democracy, around 50% of parliamentarians are female?? So where is the program to financially encourage women to run for election??

I’m not advocating special financial assistance for women to promote their entry into professions where they are underrepresented - I think that the price of education, available scholarships, job availability and promotions should not be dependent on gender. But the lack of women in certain professions IS a real problem. It concerns me that addressing the shortage of male teachers has taken such priority with the government, yet it is not an issue that women are acutely underrepresented in so many professions, and are *still* being paid significantly less than men across the board.

Grrr, makes me so angry!!!

*steps down off soap box*

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Jump Around

House Gymnastics... it's the new Yoga. Just too funny!!

Monday, March 08, 2004

Money, Money, Money...

Here's an interesting article from today's Melbourne Age, commenting on the still existent pay gap between men and women in the Australian workforce.
I Don't Like Mondays

Weekend wrap:

- Cary Grant was always such a suave charmer, a real gentleman... there's something so lovely about watching a movie where the male lead is a gorgeous, clean cut smooth talker who wears a suit and tie the entire length of a film (even when he's getting it on with the love interest) and whose most profane line is "Why the devil have you brought me here?!".

- My hair is short again. Not as short short as it has been before, but pretty close... I love it! Tip re getting a haircut - don't wear sleeper earrings - the hairdresser's comb kept getting caught in them which was really annoying!

- My (second hand) $125 Phillips 300L fridge is being delivered to my house this evening. Yay for cold milk, juice and veg!

- The bike riding didn't go so well. Ie, the bike didn't leave the house. Well, it was raining for much of the weekend - that's my excuse, anyway. Ditto for the swimming.

- Chocolat was a fantastic book - highly recommend it - although I wasn't quite satisfied with the ending. I might have to rent the video now.

- French homework all done. Tres bien. (This is the first time I've done it before the class...)

- I now own a new charcoal grey suit from Portmans - tailored jacket and knee length skirt. Nice new work shoes, too - mary jane style.

- I should learn to read my emails properly. I was running late for High Tea at the Hyatt (had been to look at the 2nd hand fridge, and got hopelessly lost driving around one of Canberra's outer suburbs...) and when I messaged the organiser to say I'd be there soon, she rang to let me know that I was actually running two weeks early...

- Fireworks are good, but not so good to watch when it's drizzling with rain. On the other hand, drinks at the Wig & Pen are ideal on a rainy Saturday night.

- Canberra actually has some decent wineries. Plenty of good tastings were to be had a the Taste of Canberra festival on Sunday, including some delicious fruit wines - wooded apple, and cherry were my favourites.

...and now it's back to work...if you're bemoaning how bad your boss is, check out some of the comments on this blog entry, on the topic of the most insane thing your boss has said to you.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon

Things I plan to do this weekend:

- Go to watch "North by Northwest" tonight
- Get a haircut (it's driving me mad - haven't had it cut in months!!)
- Buy a fridge
- Ride my bike in to work so I can see how long it takes (and whether I can make it!)
- Finish reading Chocolat
- Do my French homework
- Find a local swimming pool and go for a swim
- Buy a new suit
- Have High Tea at the Hyatt
- Check out "Skyfire" with a picnic dinner on Saturday night
- Go to the Taste of Canberra festival on Sunday

...and somewhere in there fit in a bit of cleaning around the house!!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

What's new pussycat?

If you live in South Australia, your days for eating cats and dogs are numbered. In October last year, the Summary Offences (Consumption of Dogs and Cats) Bill was introduced in SA Parliament - it has just passed both houses and is awaiting royal assent. The Bill provides that human consumption of meat from a cat or dog, or preparation of meat from cats or dogs for human consumption, is an offence, with a maximum penalty of $1250 fine. A similar bill has been introduced in Victoria.

Hmmm, I love cats and dogs, and abhor cruelty to animals generally, but it strikes me as a little ridiculous that a law is being passed to prohibit people from EATING them - why exactly do they feel it's necessary to pass a law like this?? Is eating cats and dogs such a widespread practice?? And how exactly does one go about policing a law like this?? And what about guinea pigs, birds and aquarium fish???