31 October 2004

I am mingling with the upper classes

Had my first posh party with the English upper class. J. went to a private All Girls Boarding School so she went to school with a lot of kids whose parents had a good deal of money. And Saturday one of these girls had a 21st birthday party. Estimated cost: £10,000...... I was very very apprehensive about going. The invitation said the dress code was Black Tie for the men and Posh Frocks (dresses) for the girls. It immediately pissed me off that someone would assume everyone can just afford to pay money for a dress or a suit to come to a party. Here is my Social Justice brain speaking. I immediately went up in arms against the whole class society of England.

J. is used to her fair share of posh people around her, having been to an expensive all-girl private boarding school, but even she was apprehensive to go to C.'s party. We raided her mother's wardrobe as we had no clothes that would be remotely suitable for the occasion. And there was no way we were going to wear a dress. J. was prepared to wear one but I begged her not to. I would have been the only woman not in a dress which would have made me look like such a lesbian, with J. on my side looking gorgeous in a dress. And because I have a wonderful girlfriend, she understood and looked ravenous in a trouser suit.

To cut a long story short: we were both nervous, the venue was fucking posh (mansion-style) and we were not the only ones who felt out of our league. So did the 5 other friends from J.'s old school. The food was salmon and caviar, quail's eggs and duck pate..... that was the finger food.

I was a little worried by the fact that all waitresses of the evening were black... I thought slavery was abolished years ago. In the end, the evening was not half as bad as we feared it would be. I wanted to try all the different bits of fingerfood but I was not sure if it is 'posh' to keep eating the food or that you are supposed to just nibble every once so often. But hey, I don't get to eat caviar and duck pate every day you know. So I stayed close to the waitresses and engaged in conversations with them whilst sneaking food into my mouth, hoping the hostess would not know my incessant eating. Wonderful.

Anyone saying Britain is a classless society is a liar. I have seen that it is alive and well on Saturday night. After all, I went to the pub for my 21st. My folks did not throw a £10,000 party for me. And it did not even occur to me to throw a party with a dresscode and black tie.... it was an interesting experience.

27 October 2004

Ritalin, shrinks and the NHS

When I moved to England, I had a letter in English from my shrink, saying that I need Ritalin and the dosage. When I went to my GP here for the first time, she only wanted to prescribe me with a 2-week supply because she was not familiar with ADHD in adults and she thought my dosage was a bit high. That made sense as the dosage is partly based on body weight and a kid that weighs 11 stone would be quite scary.
Anyway, I went back today for the repeat prescription and the doctor, a different one from last time and a young lady, said she wants me to see a shrink. She was quite defensive actually when I tried to explain that I have been on the stuff for a while now and that I had a letter explaining this. She was honest and said that she was not familiar with ADHD in adults and that nobody in the practice actually was.

Great. It just showed me how lucky I have been in The Netherlands with the more advanced research in the subject. All it takes is a few people who are interested in a disorder and to start researching it. Obviously in Britain, nobody has bothered enough yet to make a national impact on GPs.
She reluctantly prescribed me enough pills to last me a month. In the mean time, she will find me a psychiatrist to talk to. He/she will need to re-diagnose me and confirm it with the GP so that I can get the Ritalin on repeat prescription.

I am not looking forward to having to go to the shrink again. After all, I will have to convince him/her that I am an adult with ADHD. And if the people in this country know very little about adults and ADHD, chances are that he is going to think I am making it up. And then I will have to fight all from the start to get my medication.

Bugger. Getting all depressed now.

26 October 2004

Bush voters likely to be found in darkrooms

A Dutch website has done a survey under gays to find out who they would vote for in the US elections. 90% would vote for John Kerry. That is not surprising. How can you vote for someone who dispises your very being?

I was very amused by another little snippet of information that came out of the survey. Kerry-voters have more sex. But Bush voters are more likely to go to darkrooms!!

Thinking about it, it is no surprise. A gay Republican, voting for a man who hates him and denies him his basic rights. You don't really want to let your political friends know you are a homosexual. And you don't want your wife to find out. So you go to a darkroom for anonymous sex.

I doubt that is the kind of gay vote Bush wants. But it one he has created himself: men who cheat on their wives in darkrooms because they are too scared to come out.

My first decent contact!!

Getting work in the media is hard. And it is nearly impossible if yo udo not have any contacts at all.
But I might be starting to get there finally. Last week I went to the media Carreers Day in London. Surrounded by 16-year old wannabe presenters, I managed to have a chat with Richard Gaisford of GMTV news. I explained him my situation (I am experienced but have no network in the UK and I want to get back into broadcasting) He gave me the name and email of a guy from the BBC in Birmingham (conveniently close to where I live). I mailed the bloke and he mailed back right away. he has taken the time to give me a list of options I could try, from volunteering (can't do for lack of funds) to free-lancing (can't do for lack of own equipment). But he also suggested two options I will pursue. He promised to give me relevant names and numbers for the things I am interested in and he offered to show me around the new BBC building in Birmingham, The Mailbox.
He was really friendly and helpful.


It is a tiny tiny step on the ladder but at least I am now off the ground. Eventhough I have not reached the first step of the ladder yet but have merely stepped onto a piece of paper.

Just such a bitch that I have no savings to sustain myself even for a few weeks without work. iif I could do that, then I could volunteer for a local radio station for a few weeks to show them I can do it and then get a paid job based on the work experience perhaps.

First things first: let's meet this nice man.

Band of Brothers

J. is a huge fan of Neil Finn, the guy of Crowded House and, in the eighties, Split Enz. He has also done some solo stuff. I like Crowded House but I don't think I would have gone to a concert of Neil Finn on his own. Neil has a brother, Tim Finn. Neil and Tim were both in Crowded House for a while but brotherly rivalry sort of stopped that after their album Woodface.
The Finn Brothers have released a new album, Everyone is here. A lovely piece of work. And yesterday, we went to see them perform in Wolverhampton. It was totally wonderful. I really enjoyed it. They have lovely harmonies and they did some Split Enx stuff like Message to my girl, I got you (I don't know why sometimes I get frightened) and I see red. Of course they could not get away with not playing any Crowded House stuff and it was wonderful. It made me feel part of something quite special actually. I mean, Crowded House split up a few years ago and I started appreciating them after that. So I assumed I would never get to see them live. But effectively I did last night.
Neil Finn is clearly the most talented one of the two brothers and throughout the night, I could feel there was a certain tension between the two. Quite interesting vibes there.

Afterwards, J. and I wandered to the stage exit and waited for about 45 minutes until the guys came out. There were about 50 people waiting. J. was not sure 'it was her thing' but we waited anyway. But when they came out the door, one guy ruined it for us (well, for J. and me). Everyone wanted a signature of Neil and Tim and this 'fans' decided to start discussions by constantly shouting things like

"Neil, what has happened to Some Song. I LOVED that song, Best tune ever written!! And Tim, when will you play Song title again? I LOVE that tune man. I think you guys are great. Why don't you play Song Title anymore......."

And one and on he went, shouting over people's heads. You could tell it pissed Neil and Tim off somewhat. And it certainly pissed me and J. off. To the point where were almost too embarrassed to stand in line and wait for our tickets to be signed. We just did not want to be associated with that guy by even standing next to him.
He just hogged the entire 5 minutes with his voice shouting over everyone. Really annoying. Pissed the guys off so much that they disappeared into their tourbus very quickly. And J. felt claustrophobic so we pulled away. That was a tad disappointing.

Oh, did I mention the support act was.....Minnie Driver! Yes, the actress has released an album and is touring with it. It felt kind of strange to be watching a famous Hollywood actress on stage as a singer, and a reasonably good one too. Nothing really great, but nice to listen to. Sort of shows how easy it is if you have enough money: one day you decide you want to make an album, you pay musicians, hire a studio and record as long as you like. And record companies will release it because you are Minnie Driver. But unlike many actors-cum-singers, she actually pulls it off.

But the best part of the night was being out on the town with my girl who was really excited and bouncy because she had seen one of her musical heroes again. It is wonderful to see the one you love smile with a big broad grin all night. Wonderful.

25 October 2004

Freaky stalker

Someone at work has a stalker. He is on holiday this week and has left me his phone in case any important business people ring. I am informed of 2 numbers in the phone that are 'hers' and I don't answer the phone when those numbers come up. But on Friday, I answered he phone when it came up with a Withheld number.


Hello, M. speaking
[stalker] Hello
[stalker] Hello
Hello, how can I help?
[stalker] Who is this?
This is M. Who is speaking please?
[stalker] I want to speak to X
Who is speaking please?
[stalker] Who are you?
Who are YOU?
[stalker] I want to speak to x
He is not in a position to answer his phone right now. Can I take a message?
[stalker] No. I....I just...I want to speak to x. Put him on.
Sorry, I can not do that. He is not answering his phone. What is your name and I will tell him you rang.

A silence follows as I can hear her breathing get more desperate and suddenly her worst fear pops into her head. The fear in her voice is audible when suddenly she bursts out:

[stalker] Are you his girlfriend?
I am the person answering his phone at the moment; can I help you at all?
[stalker] Is x there? I want to speak to him.
He has asked me to answer his phone. Can I take a message?
[stalker] Are you his new girlfriend? Well...are you?

I don't want to say yes or no as I have seen the pain this woman causes in x's life. I am not sure if it is giving her hope if I say that I am NOT his girlfriend. Or that it will ignite rage and anger if I say that I am indeed his new girlfriend. So I stick to my non-committal answers. But I am getting seriously freaked out by now. This woman is mad.

I am answering his phone at the moment, that is all I will tell you.
[stalker] But is x there?
He is not answering his phone at the moment.
[stalker] but is he THERE?
I am answering his phone. It does not matter if he is here or not, he is not answering his phone. Now can I take a message or not?

I am getting freaked out by now. Should I be rude and treat her like the stalker I know she is? Or should I treat her like any other stranger whom I just happen to speak to?

[stalker] You are a work colleague, aren't you? Oh God I am so sorry. PLEASE don't tell x I am behaving like this. He will be so angry with me if he finds out I have been rude to you. Please don't tell him. Please. Do you promise?
I will tell him you rang.
[stalker] Ok. But can you at least tell me if he is OK?
I will tell him you rang.
[stalker] But is he OK?
I will tell him you rang. Goodbye now.
[stalker] Surely you can tell me if he is OK?

And I end the conversation. My heart is pounding for some strange reason. Like I just escaped my own stalker. My God, this was only one phonecall. X's life must be pure hell. I wonder what she will do next.
It only takes a few seconds for me to find out. His direct line rings....I pick it up....silence.
The general office number rings. Receptionist picks it up and puts it down again. Obviously the woman hung up.
And then the mobile starts ringing again. I don't answer. The mobile keeps ringing for the next 20 minutes. And she leaves him voicemail messages. And text messages.
And when I arrived in the office this morning, there were around 20 missed calls on his phone. All hers I assume.

It is enough to put me off even the though of ever having an affair. it is like Fatal Attraction but worse. Poor X. I can only imagine the rage and anger she is pouring out over him in her voicemail and text messages. I am DYING to find out. But I am a good girl. I behave.
She threatens to kill herself if he does not call her. If he changes his number, she calls his ex-wife. She is mad. She tells him she has painted the bedroom in his favorite colours....he tells her to go away, she goes mad, he tells her he will call her later....

He wants her to stop, she does not stop. He says he has tried everything. But he has not really gone to the police. Or phoned BT to cut off her phone under the fair use policy. Or bar her calls from his mobile.

What is it in a brain that makes a stalker think FUCK OFF means I LOVE YOU AND I WANT TO STAY WITH YOU?


24 October 2004

Crap crap crap

For some reason, I can no longer post via FTP on this bloody weblog. Hence themove to the Blogspot address...... I am not ahappy bunny about that so to speak. I am however still alive so don't forget about me OK.......

19 October 2004

Aaaahhhh Space

Once again, I have run out of disk space at the place where I am hosting this bloody log. So it willhave to move again. Have no new address yet (Will be bloody NTL I am sure) soplease make sure you link to http://www.bunnyfactor10.com and everything will be allright, no matter where I go.

13 October 2004

The pig has flown!!!

We have internet at home. Well, almost!! It turns out it was not the registration that was wrong. Nor was it the modem that did not work. It was.....hang on.....THE TECHNICIAN HAD FORGOTTEN TO SWITCH OUR CONNECTION ON IN THE CABLE BOX OUTSIDE THE HOUSE!!!!!!

Yes. I am screaming on purpose. Fucking bastard. I shall now phone the NTL customer service and wait for 50 minutes and then demand that they restart my free two months internet from today rather than from September 20. What a load of wankers they are. If I had known they were so stupid, I would never have gone with them. And judging from this website, NTLHell,I am not the only one.

You say what???

The Conservatives won a major election victory in Australia. Smug bastard John Howard gets his fourth term in office. Howard was still washing Bush's shit off his face, from having crawled so deep inside George's arse, when he held his victory speech.
According to Little Johnny, Iraq was not an election issue for the Australian public. Just as well because it was a major one for Little Johnny. Unlike John Kerry, Howard was smart enough not to talk much about Iraq during the election campaign. Most Australians probably want their troops home by Christmas so Howard managed to more or less avoid the election disaster by simply not talking about Iraq. So, not a major election issue.

And what was one of the first things he said after his victory:
Australians might be divided over the Iraq war, but the election result proved most backed plans to keep troops there.

Excuse me? I HATE how politicians just take one issue and run with it. Just because Australians don't like foreigners, gay marriage, high taxes and all the other Labour/Democrat issues does NOT mean they voted for them on that ONE issue alone. It is a combination of things. So how the hell can Howard suggest that just because he got voted in again, Australians agree with the troops being in Iraq. Sleazebag Howard is making Iraq an election issue after the fact by ignoring it during the campaign and stating afterwards that it is obvious people like the troops being in Iraq.

What else did he say?

"I don't seek to take sides in what is a domestic decision for the American people, but my respect and regard for George Bush is very well known,"

Fuck off you smug little sad git.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Australians had made clear foreign politics choices in the elections. People never vote on foreign policies. They vote on what makes their life easier. They vote on education, pensions and all that. According to Downer, things are much better now in Iraq than they were before:

There are more active terrorists attacking Iraqis and the foreign forces helping the Iraqis there, it's true, but what was there before was Saddam Hussein, and you have to weigh these things up.

Who weighs what up? For the world it may be better than Saddam is gone. And all those nasty terrorists seem preoccupied with operating in Iraq at the moment, so that the world has become a safer place. Is that what Downer means? I am sure ordinary Iraqis don't agree with that assessment of World Peace. Yes Saddam did horrible things but at least most Iraqis were able to keep their head down and get on with their lives. I am not saying Saddam was good, but it is ridiculous to say things are better now.

Fuck off.
I fear for the American elections in November. I fear Bush will win. Big time.

12 October 2004

I will be a millionaire soon....

I got this most interesting email today. This man is offering me millions for just using my bankacocunt for a little while. Apparently he has a familymember who died in a plane crash and now he needs to get the money out of some African bank account.
He sounds like such a nice person too:

I am revealing this to you with believe in God that you will never let me down in this business, you are the first and the only person that I am contacting for this business, so please reply urgently so that I will inform you the next step to take urgently.

I will email him right now and offer him my help.
His name is Frank: frank_hambeu@mail2world.com and Call me on my direct telephone number for details: 00221 513 2211

My fingers are itching to reply to this bloke but people tell me this could be dangerous. I would LOVE to call the number and just lead the guy on. But I am a little afraid to get into trouble so I will leave it for now. Anyone interested in becoming a millionaire, just mail me and I will give you all the deails.

We're going on a holiday!!!

I am going snowboarding again! Some of you may remember my last experience with The White Stuff. I had a bruised coccyx for months after that. And in fact, I believe the thing is still a sore spot. But never mind: we are going at that makes me very happy. We are going to where I went in 2003: Kaprun in Austria. Quite cool as my old flatmate from The Netherlands is a ski/snowboard instructor there so we will know someone when we get there.

Not so happy about the fact that J. will be paying for it from the money she will get for her birthday in December. Her parents will give her the money and 'strongly suggested' that her little sister would like to go on a skiing holiday.....so now J. is using the money to pay for a skiing trip and her parents will cover the costs for her little sister. But as she does not want to go without me, we had to look very hard for a way to make J's money stretch enough to include me. We managed but only just. And that is only for the flight, hotel costs and lift pass. We still need to eat and pay all other stuff. I suppose it will just be a very cheap holiday. We will probably stay at the local youth hostel so that we can cook our own food at night. That saves money again. I don't mind that sort of thing at all. I like having a holiday that gives me all the fun I want and yet is reasonably cheap. Rather than moan about how I would like to have loads of money to go for a pampering kind of holiday, I like making do with the things I CAN do.

Snowboarding is fun. I am SO looking forward to it. Will be kind of nostalgic too. The last time I was in Kaprun, I had not met J. yet in person. I spent the entire week on the phone to her, racking up a massive mobile phone bill. I was going to Austria and then to meet J. the next week for the first time in Warwick. God I was so nervous. And look at us now; almost 2 years later...I like my life right now. Well...most of it.

My official debut!!

I made my official debut in a league match for the Old Leamingtonians Ladies Rugby team!! Ok, it was only for 10 minutes towards the end, but still. We were doing really well, playing against Whitney. There was a strong wind of which we managed to take advantage in the first half. At half-time we were leading by 10-0. 2 tries were scored but because of the strong wind it was not possible to convert them. Fair enough. It was a really good match, lots of fun. I was on the sidelines and the coach promised me some minutes on the pitch. I told him the team is important, not my personal interest. If the team is doing well, why would you substitute someone? But the good thing about rugby is that at some point, someone WILL get injured.

In the second half the wind proved to be the most important thing of the day indeed. Whitney scored 2 tries but did not convert either of them due to the strong wind. So we were at 10-10 and about 2 minutes later, Chris stormed across the touchline and made it 15-10! Nice of the ref to award us the try even though Chris admitted to dropping the ball behind the line, rather than pushing it down on the ground. Oh well, you want hear us complain. Unfortunately we did not convert the try and this proved to be decisive for the match. Whitney scored another try and they converted it as well 15 – 17. Bugger.

About 10 minutes before the end, I was sent on. I had no clue what my position was. I had to think: Who am I replacing? Oh yes, that makes me a forward....
We got into a ruck and somehow I just took the ball and ran. I was not afraid at all (I always though that I would be afraid to run into contact) but I did not want that realy nasty big lesbian ....I mean woman, to tackle me, so I sort of shook her off and ran a bit further. Then I got tackled and everybody fell on top of me, apparently in an organised fashion to protect me and the ball. One result from my little run was that we managed to get the ball across the touchline!! Unfortunately our player was on her back with the ball on her chest and that is no score of course. SHIT!!

I think I did reasonably well the rest of the match. But I was not as pro-active (or brash if you prefer) as I was in my first minute on the pitch. I started to think too much about what I should and should not be doing and I forgot to just tell people I was going to take the ball and run with it. I waited around the back of the ruck instead of diving in there like I had done the first time. But in the 10 minutes that I was on the pitch, we managed to get the ball across the touchline twice. Unfortunately both times the ball was held up over the line, rather than a try scored. Bugger bugger bugger. So in the end, we lost 15-17. Really annoying because I felt we were actually playing really well.
I have learned lots of things in the 10 minutes I was on the pitch. Mostly that it is incredibly difficult to keep an eye on the people around you. When I had the ball, I simply did not (have the time to) look around me to see where my other team mates were and to check if I could pass them the ball. I just ran straight forward.
The backs were pretty annoyed afterwards. Because for the last 10 minutes, the ball did not leave the hands of the forwards. All we did was drive, pick and drive, pick and drive. Nobody seemed to think about passing the ball wide to the backs to see if they could maybe score in the last minute. Oh well, can't have it all. But I have the Bug now. I can not wait for the next match to start. Even though I will not be starting, I really enjoy being part of a team.

J. is coming along to rugby as well these days. I think she would be a mighty fine back. Good. Gives me a chance to just be a nice forward. Now all I need to get tougher. It is a shame my parents won't be able to see me play when they come to visit me in December. We have an away match that Sunday and I won't be going to play as it, quite ironically, is near London and they are flying to Nottingham Airport after I told them they should......

Too long this post too long. I am sure most of you have given up already!!

06 October 2004


Ever tried to get internet through NTL? Don't bother. You won't get it. It goes something like this.

Day 1
Technician comes to install internet. Installs all cables and tells me there are no modems. But a 'guy in a van' will deliver one later today, before midday.
Ring...ring...ring...."Welcome to NTL, all our operators are busy but your call is important....etc...etc...etc..."
I give up

Day 2:
Ring...ring...ring... "Welcome to NTL, all our operators are busy but your call is important....etc...etc...etc..."
Hello, this is John speaking how can I help?
Internet, no modem, did not come, blah blah, still waiting, But I did receive a bill in the post today, not happy.....
Yes, there is a shortage of modems in your area but I will put one in the post right away and you will have it tomorrow. If you don't get it, call me back on extension 5017.

Day 4:
Ring...ring...ring... "Welcome to NTL, this is James speaking how can I help?
What the f**k!! I did not expect to get through this quick (Run to desk to get pieces of paper)
Internet, no modem, did not come, blah blah, still waiting, But I did receive a bill in the post yesterday, not happy, was promised modem would arrive yesterday but didn't. Can I speak to John on extension 5017 please?
No, sorry, can not put you through. I will see what I can do for you.......(waiting music) yes, shortage of modems in your area. John should not have promised you a delivery date. Will see if I can get one out to you before the end of the week. If you don't get it, call me on extension 5052.

Day 6 (end of the week):
Ring...ring...ring... "Welcome to NTL, all our operators are busy but your call is important....etc...etc...etc..."
Hello this is Margaret speaking, how can I help?
Internet, no modem, did not come, blah blah, still waiting, But I did receive a bill in the post already, not happy, was promised modem would arrive 2 days ago but didn't. Can I speak to John on extension 5017 please? Or James on 5052.
No, this is the Scottish call centre so they don't work here. How can I help?
Please hold and I will see what I can do....(waiting music).....I will send a courier out right now to deliver it to your house. Are you home?
No of course not, I need to work to pay for internet! Pop it through the mailbox around the back of the house.
OK, will tell him that. Bye now.

Day 9
Ring...ring...ring... "Welcome to NTL, all our operators are busy but your call is important....etc...etc...etc..."
Hello this is Lynn speaking, how can I help?
Internet, no modem, did not come, blah blah, still waiting, But I did receive a bill in the post already, not happy, was promised modem would arrive 2 days ago and then it would arrive yesterday, but didn't. Can I speak to John on extension 5017 please? Or James on 5052? Or Margaret in the Scottish call centre?
No, sorry but I can maybe help you. Hold the line (waiting music). Yes, I will send one out to you today, I will call you at 4.30pm to check if it has arrived. Bye now.
Ring...ring...ring... "Welcome to NTL, all our operators are busy but your call is important....etc...etc...etc..."
Hello this is Jim how can I help love?

[insert entire story here] had no call back from Lynn and modem has not arrived yet. Am getting pissed off as I DID receive a letter saying my direct debit was now set up and they are sure I am enjoying my internet.
Ok Love (love?????), let me sort it out. Oh yes, there is a note on the system: if customer calls back, apologise and tell her we could not call back due to technical fault. Still not arrived? Oh dear. You must be annoyed, love.
Yes I am so solve it!!
I will put you through to the dispatch unit in Cambridge to discuss a delivery time. Bye now, Love.
(waiting music.......)

Hello Fatima speaking, how can I help?
[insert story here] Jim said you would help me out this time.
Let me check...(waiting music)....yes...ok. I have checked and we should be delivering one tomorrow. However, I will make sure the teamleader calls you in the morning to confirm that you are home.

Day 10
I am getting all excited now so I got to work this morning, waiting for the call......did not come. So at 12.30, I call the Dispatch Centre in Cambridge. After 45 minutes on hold!!!!!! I get through to a bloke whos name I can catch because as soon as I say my name, his trainer jumps in (Remember "Your calls may be monitored for training purposes". Apparently it is actually true!). I suppose it is because they are getting sick of me by now. Anyway, she asks if she can help and I explain that I am awaiting a phone call and that I thought I would be pro-active and find out myself if arrangements had been made to drop the thing off..... I get put on hold for 10 minutes...and then a bloke comes back to the phone and his only words are: They dropped it off this morning, have you not got it yet?

Thanks for the phonecall buddy!!

So in my lunch break, I drove home and as I got to my back door, I saw about 500 pigs fly!! There it was, sitting outside the house, waiting for me. Ran in to the house, tried to install internet on my computer...no such luck as it does not allow for installation on a Dutch Windows system, only English. Fuck. So I tried it on J.'s computer. That works. Up to the point where I need to fill in my home telephone number. I do not have a landline. And so it does not accept my registration....I think I will call the helpdesk again. I am building relationships there. I can now choose to speak to either

John, James, Margaret, Lynn, Jim, Fatima and two people at Dispatch.....

05 October 2004

University life

And so the new season starts. J. is in her last year at university after having switched from Maths to maths and Business studies. This means that this year I cna finally discuss her studies with her. I will be able to understand what she is talking about. Marketing mix makes more sense to me than differential equations.

This will be a difficult year for me. I was crap at studying and I can see that J. does not really have much patience for it either. Procrastination is high on the list of sins for both of us. I will have to be careful not to be patronising and tell her to go and study every night. This will be a big challenge. I will have to trust her to sort herself out without me peering over her shoulder all the time. And I have never lived with a student so I will have to work hard at keeping my mouth shut. it is none of my business. I should help her and support her, not lecture her. Actually, I don't think I will need to lecture her. She will do fine on her own.

I guess it makes a difference now that she will be doing something I actually care about. We will be able to discuss things like marketing and have interesting conversations about it. Cool.

Now go and sit back in your hole Marieke and leave J. to it!!!!

01 October 2004

The world is a better place.....

In the first of the presidential debates on American TV, George Bush claimed the world is a better place now that Saddam is gone. Julie illustrated her anger at this beautifully but posting a picture of a man with a (dead?) child in his arms after another bomb explosion in Iraq.

The world COULD have been better off without Saddam Hussein than it is now. The world would have been better off if they had approached it slightly differently. Now it is a mess. The worls is a more dangerous place, terrorism is worse than before.

Apparently, the Americans do not get half of the bad press about Iraq that Europeans get (don't know about Australians). That is why a lot of people in the US still believe things are going well in in Iraq and that Bush did a good job.

No matter how much I hate Bush, I think Kerry is betting on the wrong horse by making the elections all about Iraq. His point should be that Bush has ignored EVERYTHING else since he went to Iraq. Economy, healthcare.... education....... Kerry won't win on Iraq alone. Especially since his own war-past is not something most Republicans like.

At one point in the 'debate' Kerry said: "Just because YOU (Bush red.) believe in what you are doing and because YOU are prepared to fight for it all the way, that does not mean you are actually RIGHT." Go Kerry.

By the way, the debates are hardly debates. The audience is carefully selected; nobody with extreme views on either side gets in; audience is not allowed to speak or ask questions and the weirdest of all is that the television networks are not allowed to make cut-away shots. (Cut away shots are short shots of the audience, the person who is not speaking etc to give cameramen the opportunity to change their position whilst their shot is not on-air). Neither of the cadidates wanted the networks to use cut away shots because it would show the responses of the person who was listening or they might get caught in a moment of unattentiveness and that would make them look bad.

Fox decided to use cut away shots after all. Good. Nobody should dictate what the networks can broadcast or not. it is fascinating how people see the same debate completely differently. For CNN, a Democrat and a Republican blogged live during the debate. They had a completely different view.