Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Final BEDA. Work. T-shirts.

I'm doing my final post for BEDA in August uncharacteristically early in the evening - if 11:00PM can be considered early - because I have a full day of training for work tomorrow. Training is no doubt going to be a day packed full of role-playing and self-applauding, so I guess I need to have as much sleep as possible so I don't:

  1. Laugh at how clichéd it will be
  2. Get annoyed with my coworkers for being bad actors
I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound unenthused. It's just, if I wanted to be in stilted little sketches about disgruntled customers I would join the community theatre.

And in "I love my job" news, I found out today that Borders is getting uniforms (I'm 'meh' about that bit but wait I haven't finished) and the uniforms are going to be FAIR TRADE ORGANIC COTTON. As someone who has looked into fair trade organic t-shirts quite a lot lately, I know for a fact that would have cost the company a junkload. Good job, Borders. You did not forget to be awesome today.

Speaking of which, I'm still trying to find a good supplier for blank t-shirts. Mega-thanks go to Andrew, who basically did all the work for me. I'm thinking I might go with a local shirt producer so it's guaranteed sweatshop-free, but I won't go organic. Organic adds at least $5 to the base cost of the shirt, and I just can't pass on that expense and still expect people to buy them. Sorry environment. I even had the idea to buy shirts made from bamboo so I could claim SUPER-ULTRA-SUSTAINABILITY-ENVIRONMENTALISM! Those shirts were, like, $35 each though. Bamboo is cheap to grow! What is their problem?

And speaking of Borders and not forgetting to be awesome, my boss wants me to found a Nerdfighter book club at my store. This sounds like a great plan to me - indeed, I've been wanting to do that for a while now - but I need to rustle up some Gold Coast Nerdfighters. I know they are out there! I just don't have ANY of their contact information. Maybe I can just be like, "Hey it's on" and then put posters everywhere and then hope that they see them when they come into the store.

Anyway, enough about work and t-shirts. Let me talk about how I'm going to miss BEDA but I definitely won't be blogging every day NEXT month. BEDA always brings me a lot of good things. I always feel more connected to you guys because you KNOW there's going to be an update, so you visit every day and it's all nice and dandy. My friends IRL often read it too, which leads to me having some great conversations when I see them face-to-face. It also means they see me use phrases like "nice and dandy", though, which is a little emasculating, and totally all my fault. Finally, it makes me feel accomplished and helps set a routine for my evenings (mostly).

What it also does, though, is takes away from my sleeping and other online socialising. Sometimes I forget to blog until I'm just about ready to sleep and then I'm like NOOOOOOOO! So I'm going to take a little break. I'm doing quite a few other something-every-day-for-a-month things though, including Roboctober and NaNoWriMo. For September I am going to READ EVERY DAY. This is going to be a good month. I'm going to read, like, FIVE BOOKS. I haven't read that many books in one month in a quite a little while but I want you all to hold me to it. Okay? Okay.

I'm going to go and mentally prepare myself for the onslaught of powerpoint presentations and "Okay now you be your boss and your boss can be you." Apparently there's going to be free food at this thing, so it'll probably be worth it. Maybe. Oh, I get paid, so yes, definitely.

Your song today isssss... I've run out of inspiration. Your song today is...!

Yeah, you go ahead and enjoy that. I'm going to bed now.

See you SOON I PROMISE, but not tomorrow.

Ta-ta!

Monday, 30 August 2010

New week's resolutions. Kingdom Assignment. T-shirts.

Oh look look look! This is actually happening! But the image of me uploading a video isn't uploading because I'm uploading a video! Anyway, I'm uploading the first of my 'Week in 60' videos. This week I've made a number of resolutions. I'll outline them here:

  • Upload all my 'Week in 60' videos
  • Start the push-ups and sit-ups again after taking a week off
  • Finish Knightly Academy. It's been too long and I feel bad that I haven't read it yet!
  • Get the ball rolling on the Kingdom Assignment
This is going to be actually kind of difficult. I'm working 30 hours this week and a lot of them are afternoon shifts, which means I don't have the afternoons free to get things done. I've actually got to email my friend and co-worker Ellie tonight after my video finishes uploading so she can get started designing the RoboFillet shirts. She said she'd do them for free because she did not forget to be awesome today.

Yes, I've decided to go ahead and make them. The response I got from you guys was great and encouraged me to get going. I'm glad, you guys, because I'd like to see this idea I have become real. In my next video (that isn't a 'Week in 60' video) I have to announce/ask a couple of things - one of them being for people to email in with shirt orders. I won't start printing until I get all the orders sorted - that way I won't have left-over shirts.

Um, if you want to jump the queue you can do so by ordering through blackduckfails -at- gmail DOT com. Keep in mind that I'm not sure how much I'm actually going to sell them for, because I'm not sure what the cost of production is going to be, but I'm looking at a pricepoint of about AUD$15-20 plus postage. I might go as high as $25 if I can find a cheap way to get fair trade or locally produced tees, but right now that's looking like it's going to be prohibitively expensive. It's a shame because I'd have liked the production as well as the consumption of these shirts to benefit people. If you know of not-particularly-expensive fair trade Ts please let me know!

Okay, I'm going to choof off and read and do push ups for half an hour or so. Sporty nerd is sporty and nerdy. Here's Embrace by PNAU ft. Ladyhawke. This is probably my favourite song from PNAU.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Plants vs Zombies. Kingdom Assignment.

I think I've grown a little obsessed with Plants vs Zombies. I like devising new strategies for defence. I play it when I should be reading. I can see it behind my eyelids when I close my eyes.

I try and distract myself by watching YouTube (which I'm behind on - aaaah so many videos to watch!) but only find myself looking up videos of people cheating at PvZ.

It's just so addictive. Best $10 I've ever spent. I would totally play this on an iPad, if I had one.

Anyway, enough about that game. I should probably ban myself for a while so I'm free to do other things. I like to play it while video footage renders, though. AAAAH MUST NOT PLAY ANY MORE. READ INSTEAD.

READ INSTEAD.

Enough about that game, for real this time. My church is doing a wonderful thing and I haven't talked about it yet. About a month ago Ralph was delivering a sermon and called for "about 45 volunteers" to do something to expand the Kingdom of Heaven. Forty-two people and I got up and said yes, whatever it is we'll pitch in and make this idea work. Then Ralph handed each of us a $100 note and told us to use it however we felt would best benefit the Kingdom. He called this the Kingdom Assignment.

People have come up with all sorts of ideas. Some people are using the money to help launch a Gold Coast youth culture magazine that doesn't focus on getting drunk on the weekends. Some people are using it to set up microfinancing loans. Some people are using it so they can buy coffee and catch up with people who are having trouble connecting with others. Some people are using it to hand out free bottles of water to nightclub patrons on Friday and Saturday nights.

Other people are investing the money in order to multiply it so it can be donated back to the church. My idea falls into this category. I'm thinking of creating Kingdom Assignment t-shirts which I can then sell. I'm also considering creating a RoboFillet t-shirt for people who want one. Those proceeds would also go towards the Assignment. I've been thinking about how I can use my online presence for the glory of God and not the glory of myself; this seems like one way I could try.

The design I was thinking of for the KA shirt was a parody of the KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON design from the British WWII propaganda office. I'm not sure about it now, though. My idea was to replace the KEEP CALM slogan with:

POOR
MOURNING
HUNGRY
MERCIFUL

or some other combination of some of the beatitudes. I thought there may or may not be "BLESSED ARE THE" in small caps above the word "POOR". The idea is that these are the people the shirt is designed to help. The crown at the top implies the Kingdom part of the Kingdom Assignment, and the reference to the original poster represents everybody pitching in and doing their part. I'd probably print them on chocolate brown shirts to represent 12:two (brown is our colour) and to contrast with the original series of posters, which were printed on red, blue and green. I'm not entirely sure it's a good idea though. Would anybody wear it? Would anybody even want it in the first place?

The RoboFillet t-shirts would be designed by a real design-person (Karen Kavett?) but would probably be white and would definitely feature my signature chicken.

You're all so lovely and had plenty of useful things to say about my posts about New Monasticism. I think I'd like your feedback on my idea. Would you buy a t-shirt if I sold them? What do you think of the design idea for the KA shirt? How much would you pay for a shirt?

And, just out of curiosity, what would you do if you were given $100 to make the world a better place?

EDIT: Oh! I totally forgot to include a song today! Here's Hillsong United's Tear Down The Walls. We sang it in church tonight.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Mockingjay (spoiler-free, I think)

I just finished Mockingjay. I stayed up even though I think I'm supposed to go to church early tomorrow morning. I've been away for this entire term though - what with going on holidays and sleeping in that one time - so it seems like going for the last two weeks is a total waste. Also I haven't heard from Mat about it (my own fault - ugh) so I'm completely not prepared. Why did I volunteer if I'm not going?

Anyway, I really liked it, but not as much as the first two. What I loved about the series was how Katniss was able to take situations that were out of her control and then flip them so she ended out on top. This one is more like THE WHOLE WORLD'S OUT TO GET YOU AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. It's still a compelling read, but had less of a V For Vendetta feel than the other two. Even so, I can tell I'm going to be ruminating on it for days. I'll go back to this series and love it as much as I did when I first read it; I can tell.

Okay I really need to sleep. Here's Cosmic Love by Florence & the Machine. It plays at work and I like it.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Hectic day. No Apple for me. New, new Sufjan.

I've had a HECTIC day. I can't really go into detail about it though because I was supposed to be asleep an hour ago. I'm working from 8:30AM to 6:00PM tomorrow. It's that soul-destroying, lose-faith-in-humanity shift I did on that day everyone filmed their days for YouTube. Um, I can't remember what it's called.

Anyway, today was my friend Hannah's 21st birthday celebration. We went out and did things allllllll day. Hannah et al are probably still out even as I type this. We checked out some really cool spots on the Gold Coast that I didn't even know existed. I had teppanyaki for dinner. It was awesome (and expensive). Also, I wore a suit coat over a t-shirt.

I also had my second Apple interview today. I have no idea why they asked me to go back and talk to them again because upon arriving home just now I found an email informing me that I did not get the job. I must have confirmed some fears they had in the first interview or something. Anyway, I'm definitely not upset about this - I feel like I've had a decision made for me. I'm sort of relieved. I can stick with Borders quite happily for now.

Remember how not very long ago I was excited because Sufjan Stevens released a new EP? Well now he's apparently releasing an album in October. Here's a track from it. I'm not sure about the echo on the vocal, but I think it might be growing on me.

Ciao, Knives.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Twitter conversations. Plants vs Zombies. "Professional" videos.

Colleen just sent me this tweet:


I responded with:

I'm thinking I should probably blog like she obviously wants me to. If I don't she will fail the commenting every day on my blogs in August and then I would feel AWFUL. Plants vs Zombies is a LOT OF FUN though.

Today I found out that the videos I made for work were seen by the area manager and the Big Boss. Both of them loved them. My boss even hinted that the company might might MIGHT ask me to make videos for them more regularly which is something I never even dreamed would happen. Tomorrow I'm not actually working (although I do have that interview with Apple to go to, which is sort of embarrassing now) but I'm going to drop by Borders and give them the files of videos which feature me.

Come to think of it, I can actually upload them myself right now. I have the username and password for the Borders private training account. I think I'll do that after I blog. Unfortunately for you, readers, you'll never see these videos because they are all on private. They're not especially entertaining though - they're mostly about books people like, or different ways we display the stock on the shelves. So don't feel like you're missing out on too much.

Anyway, my point is I hope the company DOES ask me to make more videos for them and that can be a bigger part of my job. That would be the ideal situation, I think. But even if that doesn't happen, I'm pretty sure I've got it worked out now that I can finish with Centrelink and still have enough money to live and save for going overseas. You have no idea how much of a relief it is to say that. Centrelink's paperwork and interviews and job search requirements are practically a part-time job in and of themselves.

On an unrelated note, YouTube started sending new subscriber emails again today. I like seeing each person's name as they subscribe. I also like seeing people's names who I know. Ha.

Okay, I am getting slightly delirious. I'm going to sleep now.

Here's Mouthwash by Kate Nash. It was playing at work today and I was like "Oh yeah I forgot how much I like this song!"



I use mouthwash and sometimes I floss. I've got a family and I drink cups of tea.

Ok, goodnight!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Senses.

Tonight is yet another night I really do not want to be blogging at all. Not for any PARTICULAR reason - my day was fine. But I don't actually have anything to say.

So I guess I'll do Hayley's senses thing:

Today, I saw: some videos I'm happy with come together at work. I even got paid to make them. Good times. I even asked if I could get paid to make videos for the Borders Facebook page in the future. I got a tentative yes. Makes Apple look doubtful.
Today, I touched: my copy of Mockingjay.
Today, I smelled: a teabag at my friend Luke's place. I like the smell of tea.
Today, I heard: this music, made by Ze Frank's cousin. You can download it for free, too. I also heard my friend Mitto try (and fail) to play Final Fantasy music on the piano. I didn't try at all, though, so I guess he wins.
Today, I tasted: butterscotch pudding, baked by Luke.

Your music recommendation was up in the senses thing. Here's the cover art to make the post look pretty:


See you tomorrow, when I'll (hopefully?!) be more enthusiastic about this blogging caper.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Jobs. Interviews. Decisions. Travel.

Mystery breeds intrigue, I suppose. I still can't say what a lot of the uninternettable things are, but I can guarantee none of them are nearly as exciting as what you think. Sorry for getting your hopes up! I think quite possibly the cat is out of the bag on the other thing though, so I'll tell you about it.

I had an interview with the Apple Store today. It was awkward. They were like, "So why Apple?" and my answer was, no joke, "I love Borders." Laaaaame!

(Okay so that wasn't my whole answer. It's just funnier if you imagine that's all I said.)

Anyway, I didn't feel it went amazingly well; other awkward moments included the question "How long do you plan to work for us?" and the invitation to "...make this interview whatever you want. Just talk to me for a bit." I did somehow manage to get a second interview though which is scheduled for Friday. I haven't actually told my big boss that I took a job interview yet, but one of my supervisors knows.

Truth is, I'd love to work for Apple but if Borders can come back to me with more hours I'd rather stay at a place I've been at for a while and feel comfortable in than make a sudden change. It's just one of those things. I love books and I love computers and video editing. I'd happily work in either of those fields, so long as I'm given enough hours and enough money.

I did a lot of work for Borders today. I filmed enough content for three or four videos and got one completely finished. I also filmed one myself but I only had four and a half hours sleep last night (my own fault) so I am... not at my best. I think I'll quickly re-film that one tomorrow after the store closes. I really like getting to the end of a work day and going "This is what I have to show for my efforts today". Sales targets are just numbers that I don't feel like I have any control over. I always do my best to help customers and make sales whether we've got $500 to go or $5000, so at the end of a usual retail work day I can sometimes feel like I've spent my time running in a hamster wheel. This is something different though. It makes me feel accomplished. I wonder if it will last.

Do sentences beginning with "I wonder" need question marks? I don't know.

Anyway, the fact remains - I'm going overseas next year. Nothing's booked, I haven't decided exactly where and I don't know quite with whom, if anyone, I am going with - but I'm going. If that costs me a job at Apple then so be it. I think honesty is pretty obviously the best policy.

Which actually brings me to a frustration I've shared with a few people over the past few days. It feels like whenever I make a solid decision something comes along and completely upsets all the reasons I used to make that decision well. Having the carpet pulled from under you once is one thing, but recently I've been feeling like it happens to me as a matter of course.

Indecision is a really unattractive quality. There's nothing more frustrating than watching someone dither around and flip-flop on all their plans. That's me, though. See how I can't decide where I want to work anymore? See how I'm leaving all the details as hazy as possible for next year? As soon as I got a job interview for a new job things at my old job took a turn for the awesome. I'd like a guarantee that if I nail something down it won't then slither away. I suppose it doesn't work that way, though. You've just got to be firm and then live with the consequences.

I'd say I wish I was 14 again, except that I really don't. I'm probably imagining this.

So! I'm up way later than I intended to be! What a surprise!

I'm sleeping in tomorrow. I'll only work in the afternoon.

Here's Relient K covering Sloop John B by the Beach Boys.



Cya!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Uninternettable stuff again. Work videos. Quality time. Tomorrow. Little Sister.

Remember how yesterday I said I had a wonderful day but that I couldn't put any of it on my blog? Today was exactly like that except it made things about four times more complicated. It's a good kind of complicated but it's still complicated ifyaknowaddimean. I also obtained A CERTAIN SOMETHING that I will not disclose, mostly for legal reasons.

GOOD HEAVENS I FEAR I HAVE SAID TOO MUCH.

*Flees*

Also, work wants me to make videos for them. Ten videos by Friday. This means a lot of extra hours for me (yay!) but also, like, how on Earth am I going to make ten videos by Friday? This has something to do with the uninternetable wonderousness of the past two days. You'll get the full story in time but for now you'll have to make do with only that half of the story. It's time to dust off my vlog-coaching skills I formed on my holiday to Auckland. YOU WILL NOT BE AFRAID OF THE CAMERA. LOOK, IT IS VERY SMALL. STOP LOOKING AT YOURSELF IN THE VIEWFINDER. OKAY, I'M TURNING THE CAMERA AROUND NOW. SPEAK UP. LOOK AT THE CAMERA BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH.

JUST DO WHAT I SAY, OKAY?

I don't actually coach like that, I just imagine that I do. I'm feeling strange.

I also had a catchup with Ralph tonight. We saw Salt and it was a pretty good film! You should see it if you like pretty good films about secret agents. (For the record, I like pretty good films about secret agents.)

After that we had a good talk. I'm a quality time/words of affirmation sort of person, so tonight was like a drink of cool water for me.

Tomorrow I'm going to film four, hopefully five videos at work - early. Then I'm going to sit in the tea room and edit like CRAAAAZY until 2PM. Then I will <redacted>. Then I will probably go home and edit some more without getting paid on account of how badly I need to get these videos done. Then I'll script my next Week in 60 video which I feel has to tiptoe into the precarious world of Australian politics. I promise I won't take sides. Then I'll script a bunch of other videos?! Some of them are going to be fun to make. Having fun on company time for the good of the company? WHO WOULD'VE THOUGHT?

Then I will read pretty much nonstop for a good six or seven hours. Sorry to everyone I'm neglecting on Skype. I love you but I was just impressing upon my pastor the importance of reading stories and how it makes us better, more empathetic people. I need some more of that in my life.

Tonight I also blogged the following words on Tumblr:
I’ve always liked songs about little sisters. I’m the youngest in my family by a span of nine years. I think I’ve always wanted a little sister. “Little Sister” is such an affectionate name, too. I’d love to be able to call someone that.
And here's the song to go with that little snippet: Djohariah by Sufjan Stevens. It's 17 minutes long but totally worth it.
Go on, Little Sister! Go on! For you're beautiful! Beautiful! All the fullness of the world is yours.
See you tomorrow! (Wow BEDA is almost over! I can return to normalish sleeping patterns soon!")

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Uninternettable

I don't want to blog! A whole lot of things happened today (despite the fact that I slept in and did not go to morning church) but I'm not willing to put any of them on the internet. Rejoice, blog readers, for I had a marvellous day. Marvellous for reasons that are uninternettable. And those are probably the best reasons of all time.

Politicswise the country is still in a bit of an uproar. Tony Abbott is claiming that Australia wants a change of government; Julia Gillard is claiming it wants Labor to stay. Australia is wishing they would just go away because they're being more annoying than ever. Also, commenter Jen, basically this campaign just past was a nonstop "they suck we don't but we won't tell you why", which is why we're in this predicament I think.

I'm going to try and sleep now if that's okay. I'm listening to All Delighted People EP and it's making my brain explode with colours and beautiful things. I'd love to keep listening but I also need to work tomorrow and I can already tell its going to be a struggle to get out of bed.

Here's a song for you. It is the Passion Pit remix of Marina and the Diamonds' song  I Am Not A Robot. I quite like it. It's a pretty good remix.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Election summary. Uncertain future. Lovely Comments. Birthdays.

If you would like some context as to what happened in the leadup to this election that I'm about to talk about, please watch this Taiwanese (?) news summary animation. It's more entertaining and informative than any other report I've seen on the situation here I've seen or read. Make sure you've got subtitles turned on:



Today was election day and what a day it turned out to be! Australia made known its overwhelming lack of enthusiasm for this election by refusing to elect anybody at all to govern - leaving us with a hung parliament. Now each major party is claiming a mandate to govern, even though it's clear no such mandate exists. It's going to be at least a week until we know who's going to try and take us through until 2013. They've got one Greens Party member and three or four independent members to try and form a coalition with. If it doesn't work we'll be going back to the polls early. I don't want that, but I'm not sure I want either Labor or the Liberal/National coalition to govern outright either.

As I predicted, the only real winner in this election was the Greens, who managed to snap up an extra five-or-so senate seats in addition to the five they won back in 2007. This result leaves them with a healthy block of ten, as well as the balance of power in the Senate. Also, Family First leader Steve Fielding was shafted from the upper house and replaced by a Democratic Labor Party senator. The DLP are another socially-conservative Christian party, but according to their policies they have a commitment to "economic and social justice" which is more than I could ever say about Family First. It's likely they will vote against offshore processing of asylum seekers (although I'm yet to find anything concrete to confirm this). It's a result I'm happy with for now, although along with a hung parliament it could prove to be a volatile mix. We'll have to wait and see.

The comments on the last post were very lovely, as always. I'm glad to hear Colleen doesn't read my blog for my body. Also Colleen just in case you didn't see, Joy left a comment for you in the comments. Andrew, I'm also tempted to say All Delighted People is the best song Sufjan has ever recorded except that all his many other masterpieces spring to my mind and make me all unsure. It's definitely beautiful though. It gets five stars in my iTunes for sure.

Today I went to work and also went to a 21st birthday party. I had to dress up as a song title, so I covered one eye in black face-paint-crayon with the idea that I was going as Black Eye by Derek Webb. Unfortunately I had all sorts of people asking me if I was the Black-Eyed Peas. That was something I couldn't stand for, so I did my best to wash it all off (more difficult than I anticipated) and I drew tears on and wrote SOO SAD on my left cheek. Yes, I went as I am so Sad, so Very, Very Sad by Crash and the Boys. I then sung it for anybody who asked me what song I was. Later, I won a $15 iTunes voucher for being the only one at the party willing to perform my song in front of everybody without backing music. FTW.

Here's some old Ting Tings for you, because I think this song (Great DJ)is much better than their current single, Hands. It won't let me embed it (SUPER LAME! WHEN WILL RECORD LABELS LEARN?!) so you'll have to use the link above. Thanks!

See you tomorrow!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Comments. All Delighted People EP.

Last night's post about New Monasticism provoked some pretty lovely comments. I'll respond to each of them because I don't have anything else to talk about that I'm willing to have sit on the Internet forever. Also because the comments are interesting in and of themselves, so - everybody wins!

Colleen, the idea behind the communities I was talking about is to actually live a Christ-like life together in areas that are on the fringes of society with people that would not normally associate with the Church. A lot of the writing about New Monasticism and Christian Anarchism emphasises the need for both inward-facing relationships in the community and outward-facing ones. I totally agree this is necessary for a healthy life and a healthy worldview. Also shush, I won't be the perfect man until I achieve that marble-carved midsection (ha!), something that looks unlikely tonight because I am not no I will not I refuse to do my pushups on account of how I'm exhausted.

Tara, "The House of the Gentle Bunyip" has got to be the most golden name I've ever heard for a community of any sort. I'm glad it was a positive experience for your mother. I'm imagining the Gentle Bunyips to be an awesome group of people indeed.

Andrew, I've never heard of Thomas Merton until now but he definitely sounds as badass as you describe. I'm going to look into him a bit more when I'm not feeling all weird and sleep-deprived! We should probably make time for coffee again soon.

Oh! Just as I was writing this I got a most-very-lovely comment from Joy! You should all read her comment at the end of the post; it could be an interesting blog post all on its own. What you're saying is actually exactly what I was talking about and you've said it much better and clearer than I ever could. When I read Irresistible Revolution I actually cried all the way through the first half. I was on holidays in Sydney and I read it on public transport. I was the weirdest guy on that train. It just resonated so clearly with me; everything matched up. That book ruins lives in the very best of ways.

And that's all the comments for now. I just learned that Sufjan Stevens (also featured in yesterday's post) has JUST (as in, today, just now) released a new EP on Bandcamp. You can stream the whole thing or buy it for $5. You should do that. It's the only music you're getting from me today, so you'd better hop to it. You have no other choice.

Do ittttttt.

Tomorrow!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Quotes. Empathy. New Monasticism. Travel.

Hank, I know it doesn't feel this way all the time but we get to choose what to think about and what to spend our resources on. We choose what, or ideally whom, to lust after. We choose what to watch, what to like, what to build, how to spend the breaths we've been allotted, and the fact that many of our choices are unconscious - get that handbag, get that Starbucks, look at that Snookie - does not in any way make us less responsible for those choices. I'm happiest when I feel like I'm part of a community that helps me choose more intelligently and with greater empathy. — John Green
That quote can be found at the end of John's latest Vlogbrothers video. It dovetails nicely with the things I've been musing on these past couple of days and weeks. Even though John is talking about Nerdfighters (and I totally agree that Nerdfighters is doing what John says) but I also feel that this should be true for the Church. I'm lucky to have a community of people at my church who help me choose intelligently and with more empathy in many different ways. We are, as a community, trying to figure out what it looks like to live like Christ on the Gold Coast - a unique city in Australia.

I think we're getting there. Slowly but surely marvellous things are starting to happen. But I'm not sticking around. Next year I plan on moving overseas; most probably to the United Kingdom. I have a lot of worries about it but I feel like it's the right time because I've been wanting to do it since I was in Year 10 or so. I'm not sure I want to just do the Australian-in-the-UK thing though. I'm interested in exploring what it means to live in a Christian community that is even more explicit in thinking about how we consume, think and empathise.

New Monastic communities such as The Simple Way in Philadelphia are fascinating to me. Unfortunately, the United States is super-restrictive when it comes to long-term visas so I can't check out these American communities for myself. I did find a similar community in Scotland, though, called Iona. I'd love to live there for a bit and just see what it's like living in such a close community centered on social justice. Basically, I've become disillusioned with popular church culture but my love and trust in Christ has remained. I think Sufjan Stevens put it pretty well in the following quote:
I think what people react against is the institution of Christianity, which is what I call Christendom, but Christianity itself or what Christ embodies is so foreign to how we see Christianity manifested in institutions, in politics, in the current US administration, you know, the church as an institution is pretty disturbing because an institution yields power, you know, is possessed by power and possessed by greed and controlling things and controlling society and the principles of Christianity do not mix with that. It’s like oil and water. So I think what we have now is like.. what you perceive as Christianity in American culture, especially, is actually a bastardized version of it and feels very distant and very ugly to me and I consider myself to have very, very orthodox Christian beliefs but I have very deep emotional and political and spiritual convictions against so much of that. — Sufjan Stevens, 2004
The question is, "How does Christ want me to choose?" or (somewhat humorously?), "What does Christ want me to 'lust after'?" I want to explore these questions with the breaths I've been allotted for next year. I don't think I'd spend my whole trip living at Iona or whatever New Monastic community I find. I'd also want to see my friends, travel around mainland Europe and go to VidCon 2011. Nor do I think that living in a Simply Way-style community is actually something I should do for the rest of my life. How would my video-making fit in with the communities' call to simple living?

But it's something I want to try. I'd love to go there and learn how the community works and bring that back to my church here on the Gold Coast. I'd love to learn how to be part of a community that works so closely together to encourage each other to choose with greater intelligence and empathy. I'd love to spread that amongst the greater Church and change that culture to become less about power or image and more about loving God and loving your neighbour.

That post I've been talking about for the past few days? This is it, and I don't quite feel I've done it justice. Those are my first-draft thoughts on the issue, though, and I've got work in the morning so I have really, really got to sleep.

Here's a song from the aforementioned Sufjan Stevens - For the Widows in Paradise:



Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Election fever. Week in 60. Election fever again.

Election fever is taking me over. I know, it's embarrassing and really tragic but I can no longer stop my political tirades from hitting my Facebook wall. Tonight I learned that the Greens are poised to take out a seat in the lower house, which is an unprecedented step for the party. It would be nice to see the House of Representatives actually contain more voices than Labor's and the Coalition's, but I'm not sure what this means if we end up with a hung parliament.

In other voting news, I'm thinking I might vote for the Australian Democrats in the senate and give the Greens my second preference. Not that it REALLY matters anyway; the Aus Dems will never get back in. I think it's symbolic though, because I really do agree with the Australian Democrats more than I do with the Greens. It's a shame they lost all their support.

What are the political tirades on my Facebook wall I was talking about? Well, besides an exclamation of surprise at the potential Greens representative for the seat of Melbourne, I posted this - a video by lobby group GetUp! about the facts of our "boat people problem":



Didn't watch it? Well that's ok because spoiler: there is no problem. At least, not at the scale the major parties would have Australians believe. I refuse to vote based on fear, so I'm not having anything of it.

The election is on Saturday - I'm working in the afternoon so I'll have to vote early. I'm going to a birthday party in the evening which means I won't be able to follow the polling as the ballots come in. Most likely I'll hear the result from somebody with an iPhone and access to Twitter. That's how it goes!

Remember that epic blog post I was talking about yesterday? This isn't it. Just thought you should know.

Today I filmed a new Week in 60 video, which reminds me - I need to upload last week's to YouTube. *Sigh* I really don't want to deal with uploading things again. We need a National Broadband Network! Waaaaah!

See? Everything in my head right now is getting linked back to this truly uninspiring election. Even though it's got to be the worst, most boring campaign in ages I can't stop caring. It's driving me and all of my friends crazy. And you, blog reader - obviously.

The weird upshot of all my political awareness/obsessiveness is more than a handful of my friends have encouraged me to enter politics. Honestly I can't imagine anything worse; I'd make a much better activist than a politician. But one of the women from work told me she was writing my name on the ballot paper and giving her first preference to me. I told her not to invalidate her vote like that; if you have to vote you may as well make it count. She told me no, they are all bastards. I found I couldn't argue with that.

Here is New Jack, a song by Justice. It never fails at getting me moving in some manner or other:



Bye!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Quick Post.

Um, I'm halfway through writing a fairly involved blog post that I'm just not ready to publish right now. It's 2:40 in the morning and I'm just not going to be able to do what I want to do tomorrow if I push it any further.

So, sorry. I had a good day today. I went to work. I saw Scott Pilgrim for the third time (I'm determined to save it from its seemingly inevitable box-office demise, it seems). I thought about the future.

I'll try and finish the blog post I've spent all this time on tomorrow - or, today as it may be.

I'm not even making sense! Aaaaaaah!

Here is YouTube Boys Get Me Hot by my friend Paige. I feature in this song. Sometimes I sing my own line to myself... awkwardly.



Tomorrow! I promise!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Centrelink. Workin' out. Not much else.

Today I had an appointment with Centrelink and (surprise surprise!) the woman didn't actually have anything to talk to me about! The only thing that stopped this from being painfully, tragically obvious was that I actually had a question of my own. It was answered very quickly (it was quite simple) and so the entire meeting took less than a quater of the time I actually spent waiting in line. Social security is great, but it's also a bureaucratic nightmare.

Whenever I go to Centrelink I dress nicely so the people who work there treat me well. You'd be surprised the difference in service between a t-shirt and a collared shirt. There's this one PJ calls THE SHIRT because it brings out the blue in my eyes. I wore it today because I hadn't worn it in a while and tonight Mum said to me "That shirt is getting a bit small for you. Only in the arms though; your middle is fine. You must finally be filling out - broad shoulders!" Now, I know Mum reads this blog from time to time so I'll address it right to her: Sorry Mum, it's not your good genes at work. I've just been doing push-ups.

Unfortunately the expanding shoulders (although sexay) seem to mean I can no longer wear some of my favourite clothes. And those small t-shirts I bought? There's NO WAY they're going to fit me anymore. Laaaame. Can you tell I don't like spending money on clothes? I should hit up some op-shops.

I'm at this weird fitness level where I can't complete column 2, but column 1 is waaaay too easy for me. I always end up doing almost double the number of minimum push-ups/sit-ups I need to do for the final set. I mean, I'm generally fine with this. It would be nice to just be able to do column 2 though.

And with that I actually have nothing more to talk about. You guys! My life is so interesting! I feel sorry for Colleen, who is participating in "Comment every day on Rohan's blogs in August" because now she's compelled to talk about how I'm doing push-ups. Or she could just talk about this paragraph. See there Colleen? I gave you an out. Take it if you want!

Song for today is Mae, This is the Countdown. I read a five-star review for this album back when it came out but never actually sought it out. Now that one of my favourite Tumblrs brought this song to my attention I think I'd better actually track it down.



Until tomorrow!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

What happened today. Scott Pilgrim (again).

Today I slept though my alarm and so did not Bible the teenagers like I thought I would. Instead, thankfully, Mitto was there to do the Bibling for me. I am officially the worst YouthStreet Sunday volunteer ever. *sigh*

Anyway, I still went to the 10:45 service and it was really good. Stu preached on "The Power to Change", about how our understanding and our traditions change in response to discovering more about God. By the way, you can read the transcript or download an mp3 of Stu's sermons from his blog, What Matters.

After church, Mitto and I caught up with my friend Tom and we went to see Scott Pilgrim vs The World for the second time. I seriously think I'm going to see this movie at least once more before it leaves cinemas - I love it that much. It's just so well-written and entertaining.

After that I went to night church, 12:two, where my first Week in 60 video was screened. It got a really good reception so I'm looking forward to uploading it to the Tubes. I'll record a short intro for it so I can properly orient my viewers as to WTF is going on and then I'll upload it. Ralph spoke about the parable of the talents and how it relates to the Kingdom Assignment. If you want to hear Ralph's sermons you can do so at his blog, Shift>>>.


I'm going to leave you now so I can go and do other things. The song I want to link you to here is Black Sheep by The Clash at Demonhead (written by Metric). It's probably my favourite song from Scott Pilgrim. I've listened to it a million times tonight. I guess I have a thing for female vocalists. Unfortunately I can't find a version of this video on YouTube that allows me to embed it in another site - SO ANNOYING! You'll have to click on the song title up at the top of this paragraph. Or click here. Whatevs.

Kbye.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Things to do. ABC iView. Romance. T-shirts. Dress ups.

Okay, so tomorrow I have to get up and get to church by 9:00AM and say something reasonably intelligent and relevant (good luck!) about John 7:45-53 to a bunch of teenagers. But hot damn, you guys, my internet connection is running fast enough that I can actually stream video without letting it buffer. So I'm going on an ABC iView binge.

BBL

Okay so I watched two episodes of Yes We Canberra, one episode of The Making of Modern Australia and now I'm watching the latest episode of Gruen Nation. I wish I had time to watch the two episodes of QI that are sitting there but considering it's 1:00AM now that would be properly irresponsible.

Ok so that episode of Making of Modern Australia was about how our romantic relationships have changed since the 1950s. Right at the end there was a story about this farmer who ended up marrying a city girl after a two-year on-again-off-again long distance sort of thing. Anyway, it was very romantic and made me feel single for the first time in a quite a while. Normally it's not something I think about very much and in all honesty I'm not really, properly looking. I'm much too flighty, it seems.

But yes, single Rohan is single. I would like to go on dates to the library please.

This, plzkthx.
Oh hey so thanks for your comments, Colleen and Tara. They were just right. I'm rather pleased with the imagining people complexly comment because it affords me a rather handy segue way into the fact that I want to dress up as John Green at Mitto's upcoming from the internets party. In order to do this I'd like to have a shirt with the words "IMAGINE ME COMPLEXLY" written on it. My naturally puffy hair and some 3D-glasses-with-the-lenses-popped-out will provide the rest of the costume.

If anyone knows the best and cheapest way I can get one of these shirts printed please let me know. Right now I'm looking at a situation that involves me buying a plain white t and a black texta. You know, that'd do but I'm hoping for something a little classier.

And I'm going to leave it there for tonight; those teenagers won't Bible themselves you know.

Your song today is Gardyn by Pogo, which is a tribute to his mother. I love it because Dad is a keen gardener too, so I totally get why this video would have been a marvellous present for her. This was the first YouTube video I ever showed my dad that he actually seemed to enjoy. Plus, it's awesome - mixed from samples of Pogo's mother talking and gardening. Enjoy:



Bye!

Friday, 13 August 2010

World Vision. Video. Introspection. Ego.

It's nights like this that make me wish I could be like Hayley and pass on the blogging responsibility to my über-cool boyfriend. Unfortunately (and for a number of very good reasons) that's just not going to happen. The blogging responsibility falls squarely on me.

I don't particularly want to give you the usual, "Went to work, got mistreated by customers, hung out with friends, came home, sat on the computer" that I usually give. But there you go - that was my day today. Instead I'll respond to the comments on my last post, both of which were asking if the Internet will ever see Week in 60 as it's produced. The answer: yes, of course.

Now, whether that's as part of another video on my main channel or as a parallel series to the Poultry Press - I'm yet to decide. I do refer to the church by name (12:two) so that would appear a smidge awkward on YouTube where my subscribers are used to being called Chickens. Then again, I'm really pleased with this first video - I think it's a lot more professional than what I normally make and I'd like that as part of my online portfolio. What to do what to do? Should I specially introduce each Week in 60 video for YouTube? Should I just post them without explanation? Want to help me? Great! Go on, Internet, tell me what to do with my life.

In other stuff, I watched this frezned video tonight, in which I learned he's going to Africa to do video work for World Vision. I'm so excited for him and for the idea (which I have a feeling originally came from Shawn - Uncultured). If this sort of thing takes off it bodes really well for me, because this is the sort of thing I tried to do on my own this year in Peru (failed, alas!) and want to do with the rest of my life.



So. There's that. I guess it's one big Wait And See on that front, but I'm glad at least one charity seems to be getting on side with social media and the empowerment it brings. World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello is actually coming to speak at my church later on this year. I hope to ask him how the experiment went and maybe, if they wouldn't mind, adding another willing volunteer/potential employee to their roster. Hahaha! PRETENTIOUS ROHAN IS PRETENTIOUS.

But not really but really.

That reminds me of something Ralph told me today when I saw him briefly. I jokingly said my videos were the best in the world (or something) and he laughed saying "I never hear you talk yourself up." I guess that's sort of true, which is why I can't suggest that I'd be a good fit for World Vision without calling myself pretentious. Truthfully I think I'm sort of terrified by my own ego, by how large and self-consumed it is. I worry that other people can see it and judge me. I worry that in conversation I start too many sentences with "I" or "My." I worry that in worrying about myself I'm only making it worse.

Cue the requisite disclaimer that this is not a plea for attention; this is only what I happen to be thinking/feeling tonight, etc. Still, I feel like it's not all my imagination - that, in a very real way, I really do think about myself much more than I should. I'm not concerned with whether or not I worry about myself more or less than how other people worry; I'm only concerned with whether or not I worry more than is right. It would be nice to be able to confidently say that I'd be good at something without feeling like I'm inflating myself to bursting point.

And so I immerse myself again in the teachings of some of my favourite tutors: Shane Claiborne, John Green, Derek Webb, Daniel Klopp - and foremost: Jesus Christ. Each one living a life and articulating a message of concern for others and a denial of self.

Well. I wasn't expecting my blog to go there tonight, but go there it has. That's probably enough typing for now. Plus, it seems a bit weird even for me to, in one paragraph, exalt John Green as one of my favourite other-centered people, then declare my intention to dress up as him for an upcoming fancy-dress party. That's what I intended to do with this blog entry at the start.

So with that tantalising tidbit I'll leave you with today's song, What Matters More by the aforementioned Derek Webb - what's probably his most controversial song. Um, if you want to know more, I thought this video was interesting.



'Til tomorrow.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Week in 60

I had the day off today! I lazed about for a bit and then I made my first ever Week in 60 video. Week in 60 is going to be a video series that'll play at my church over the next six weeks or so. If people really like it I might do more, but six weeks is my initial commitment. The first episode is all done now bar the intro, which I'm spending waaay too much time on. I probably won't even use it. I'm having fun though, and that's what matters, right?

And the fact that I was supposed to go to sleep half an hour ago?

I'm starting work at 9 tomorrow morning, which is not usual. I wonder what they're going to get me to do? I mean, it's not that big of a deal, it just means I have to get up an hour earlier than normal. I know that if I were to go to sleep now I wouldn't actually sleep until midnight anyway so I may as well be productive.

Okay, now thanks to the wonders of not blogging for about an hour, the intro is done. It's not amazing, but I won't be embarrassed to show it in front of the whole church either. So there you go.

I actually have nothing else to report today, so this blog is going to be another short one.

Sorry/you're welcome.

Your music today is... One Thousand Nine Hundred and One Folks, a mashup of Phoenix and Peter, Bjorn and John by Immuzikation. I found it on Tumblr one day. Normally I think mashups feel a bit awkward but this one is pretty much on the money.



See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Work. Scott Pilgrim. Small group. Friends.

It's going to be a short one today. I chose to talk to my friends on Skype rather than do a long entry. Hope that's okay!

Today I went to work and it was pretty much the same as yesterday. Afterward I had a really long wait until small group but I decided I wasn't going to go home because it costs too much in petrol. Instead I hung around the shops for a bit and checked out what was on at the movies. That's when I found out this movie was opening a DAY EARLY OR SOMETHING:


It took me totally by surprise but I've been looking forward to watching this since I first saw the promo. I watched it on my own (the rest of my friends were either at work or at uni) and it was AWESOME. I'm definitely going to see this again. It was a real treat - probably my favourite movie so far this year. That's saying a lot because I've seen both Toy Story 3 and Inception and loved both.

After the movie I went to small group, where we talked about Ephesians 1 - which mostly concerns predestination and the power of Christ's resurrection to heal our lives. I know that might sound dull or complicated or irrelevant or whatever but it's always entertaining. We've got a good group.

Then I came home and got on Skype and had lovely conversations with my friends and began to miss them more than my little heart can bear. Oh dear.

Music today is Oh Happiness by David Crowder*Band, whom I love.



Byess

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Rain madness. Friends. Employment pathway.

Today I went to work and it rained. You wouldn't think that would be much of a problem, considering I work inside, but people here go crazy when it rains. We're emerging from a drought that has gone on and off for about ten years so when it rains people just can't handle it. They forget how to drive. They forget all their manners. They go shopping - but they don't buy anything.

That's what my day was today: junkloads of people all antsy sort of "Where's-my-sunlight?" in the store asking for books that went out of print ten years ago. And they didn't forget to bring ALL the screaming children. I did get to gush about Hunger Games, Chaos Walking and John Green's books to a local librarian though. I think that makes it all worth it.

It was only a half-day at work today and in the afternoon I had coffee with Dan. I also got a call from my friend Jeshua, who wanted to know what airline I flew to the States on. Apparently he might be going to some sort of police training thing in Florida next year. It was good to hear from them both.

I also had an impromptu meeting with my "employment pathway officer", or whatever she's called, while I tried to reschedule another meeting (staggeringly, this is a different set of people with their own meetings - oh bureaucracy!) Anyway, I went in to the office to reschedule and she ended up saying "Hey why don't we just make the meeting now!" She had nothing to say to me though, so the meeting was very short. But we still officially had the meeting. No, I'm not actually kidding.

Now I'm sitting in bed sort of feeling like I've forgotten something of utmost importance. I haven't actually felt like this since I was at uni. Is there an assignment I have due? An appointment I have not kept? There are two things I know I haven't done yet and they are as follows:
  1. Post a new video (I'm working on it, sort of)
  2. Read Ephesians 1 for small group tomorrow night
Um, I should probably do the second one now, so I have some time to meditate on it tomorrow.

Oh! I just remembered the thing I need to do! Employment pathway lady wants me to email her my résumé. That's not important enough to get antsy about. Maybe the rain is getting to me too.

Okay, prepare yourself for what will probably be the trashiest thing I'll ever put as my song for you. Just Be Good To Green by Professor Green feat. Lily Allen. I put it here not because I would actually have this on my iPod, but because I enjoy it so damn much when I hear it on Triple J. I like Lily Allen's vocal, okay?



'Til tomorrow.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Wendy Francis. Feeling frazzled. Official title.

Doing Week 3 Day 1 Column 2 of the Hundred Push-ups Challenge. Will I finish? We'll soon find out!

No, I didn't finish. Damn that final set of 17! I can never do it! I think I might have to move back to Column 1 so I don't keep failing this.

I was at work today again. I've got a busy work week this week. I'm working half days every day except Thursday, which I have off. There'll be no working in Kid's this week I don't think.

This morning I woke up all drowsy and befuddled, not at all refreshed, because I'd stayed up way too late venting on Twitter about QLD Family First candidate for the senate, Wendy Francis. The story goes that after I posted last night's blog entry I went to do a last check on my Twitter feed and I saw a retweet of the image you see here to the side. I was so shocked and angry I tweeted about it twice and then posted about it on Tumblr, as well as further retweeting the original tweet I saw.

After that I just couldn't shut off my brain. I was having heated, imaginary arguments with Wendy, as well as other people. The point I kept repeating to myself was that no matter what you think of gay marriage, these now-deleted tweets are still fundamentally unacceptable. Not only do they vilify and victimise a minority group, they contain a cruel irony: same-sex attracted youth are one of the highest-risk demographics for suicide - not because of any sort of chemical imbalance (or because of bad parenting, although this isn't exactly what Wendy meant) but because of a complete lack of support and because of messages like Wendy's. In decrying what Wendy believes to be a cause of youth suicide, she actually contributed to one of the leading causes.

It particularly irks me that Wendy implicitly uses her faith as an excuse to say that homosexual parents are emotional child abusers. Christians should be drawing close to gays and lesbians, getting to understand each other, not throwing up barriers like this. So while Wendy says these things in the name of Christ, or "values", or whatever, this is a fundamentally un-Christ-like act. Not to mention that the tweets were quietly deleted with no apology or attempt at reconciliation. Grr. I know who I'm putting last on my electoral ticket now.

Anyway, so I got up and I was still sleepy. Then I ate a pizza. Then I realised that Centrelink had scheduled a meeting for tomorrow that I could not attend, so I had to quickly call them and reschedule. Unfortunately, running the gauntlet of automated messages and voice-activated systems left me feeling frazzled even before I left the house for work. It was okay though; it was a quiet day and I was working with some great people. I left work in a much better mood than I arrived.

Tonight I applied for a raft of jobs. There were a few I was actually really excited about. Fingers crossed, but honestly I don't have my hopes up. In procrastinating about writing cover letters I responded to a tweet my friend Roxanne sent me with a link to my "official title - use where appropriate":
“Rohan Skillet, by the Grace of God; Protector of Poultry; Gentleman of the Network: YouTube, Twitter, &c; Fellow of Nerdfighteria and Dominions Beyond the Island; Don of Punct-Rock; Member of the Most Awesome Order of Best Wishes; Defender of the Semicolon.”
For the sake of individual blog posts not showing up in my search results I've replaced my real surname with 'Skillet'. Make the appropriate change. No word back from Roxanne yet.

Tomorrow I'm working in the morning and meeting with my friend Dan for coffee in the afternoon. I'm looking forward to it a lot!

Your song? Well Ryan declared it Nerd Core day today on Twitter, so you can have Don't Unplug Me by ALL CAPS. I'll post Tessa's music video because it just hit 1,000,000 views yesterday.



Ciao.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Sit-ups. Push-ups. David. Church. IRL/URL. Atrophy.

I'm writing this blog as I complete Week 1 Day 1 of the 200 Sit-ups Challenge. I've been doing the 100 Push-ups Challenge for a few weeks now along with my friend Steve. I'm glad to say I can now do 25 push-ups in a row. I thought it was time I started doing the sit-ups on the off days of my push-up programme. I'm not sure I'll actually ever get to the 100 and 200 goals but it feels good to finally do something about taking care of my body.

This is coming from a guy who ate a burrito from Salsas and a bacon-and-cheese hamburger from Grill'd today.

A window to the future
Um, okay so I'm near the end of the set and I'm struggling to do these last 8 sit-ups without cheating. Oh well, it's early days yet. Soon I will possess the rippling midsection of Michelangelo's David. Hopefully I'll have more clothes than him, though.

Okay, that's over now. I spent today at church and "doing church". Unfortunately I slept in and missed the first 15 minutes of the morning service but I was still able to catch my pastor Stu's double-sermon. The first half was about Christian joy and how transformed lives go on to transform other lives; the second half was a vulnerable sermon about the miracles of the Apostles in Acts and how Stu often struggles with these stories, despite being witness to miracles of healing in the past.

That's something I love about my church. Everyone is free to talk about their fears and uncertainties, ask questions and be vulnerable - even from the pulpit.

(Actually, my church doesn't have a pulpit, but whatever.)

After that I had lunch with my friend Reece and met up with my other friends Hannah and Anne-Marie from work. We spent all afternoon together and then went to church in evening. There, as part of the Kingdom Assignment (which I may talk about later) my pastor Ralph talked about the parable of the mustard seed. The Kingdom of Heaven is like the pervasive mustard shrub, he said, but is life-giving and a place of refuge.

After that I went and had dinner with everyone from church. I like that we eat together afterward.

On a different note, would you care to please watch this video and let me know what you think?



I use the term "IRL" but rarely identify my friends as being "from the internet" or otherwise when referring to them in conversation. What do you reckon? I might talk about this again later in the week.

This long-overdue vlog of mine continues to stall. I'm finding that I'm losing all enthusiasm for it. It's obviously best for me to set aside a whole day and just make a video from start to finish. Doing it in stages only leads to... well... what we're experiencing now. *headdesk*

Okay, your song is Crave You by Flight Facilities ft Giselle. It is lovely and tragic.



See you tomorrow!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

A happee. Work. Alice and Kev.

Today was a long day. However, despite my initial skepticism I did actually end up working in the kid's section today at work. It was probably the best day of work I've had in a long time. I felt useful and productive. I slipped back into the routine I remembered from working in the kid's section last Christmas:
  1. Clean up small mess left over from previous day
  2. Help customers
  3. Do story time
  4. Go on break
  5. Clean up colossal mess left in my absence
  6. Help customers
  7. Go on lunch break
  8. Clean up colossal mess left in my absence
  9. Help customers
  10. Go on break
  11. Return to find nobody was really there to make a mess
  12. Help the few remaining customers
  13. Chase customers out of the store with pointed questions
  14. Go home with aching feet and a happy heart

At least, number 14 is how it worked out today. Maybe if I keep working there I'll get bored of it, but probably not. I just like helping people, and parents with read-needy kids are the most helpless people in the world. "My son read a Harry Potter... AND NOW I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! I never knew there was so much reading for to have!" I compassionately take them under my wing and load them with as many YA books I can. "Here," I tell them, "These will help your boy imagine others more complexly." Then I dramatically touch my earpiece and say "I have to go! Somebody needs me in Political Science!" They are always very impressed.

The only bad thing about working there is when you have to duck out and do something else (such as to help someone in Political Science), only to return to find an explosion of books torn from the shelves and lying all over the floor. You know that scene from Inception with the exploding fruit? It's like that, only with books and caused by small children. The parents take a furtive look and, upon seeing the area free of staff, quickly gather up their toddlers and flee the scene; half-full coffee cups and ground-up cruskits left hither and thither as a final "thanks for your service!"

It's okay though; it's still my favourite.

Once I got home I found Mum made fish and chips for me. As you can imagine I has a happee.

In other news, I found a link to this blog called Alice and Kev while I was on Tumblr today. It's a story of two Sims in The Sims 3 who are homeless. I read it from start to finish in about an hour and it's a really good read. You'll laugh and you'll probably cry. These characters will surprise you.


Okay, I think I'm going to go to bed so I'm not a zombie for church in the morning. Your song is the ABC News theme remixed by Pendulum.



The Australians in the audience may well get more out of that one than anyone else. Oh well.

See you.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Work. Nerdfighters. Librarians. Stuff ups.

I am a bad person. I didn't edit my video today. I should have but I didn't and I'm working all day tomorrow. Booooo!

Honestly it's because I can't bear the thought of uploading it. My last video was a 48-hour marathon of frustration and anguish. Frankly, watching season 1 of True Blood is a lot easier, thanks.

But no really, I'll put this thing together tomorrow night. I'll be tired but feeling triumphant because I'll have survived yet another day at work!

Speaking of work, today I had a Nerdfighter come in and buy Paper Towns. She bought it from another sales assistant but I was standing right next to them so I was like "I love John Green's books!" I was just about to ask if the customer watched his videos as well when she turns to me and says, "I know. I love them too. I know who you are, actually. You know, from... but I didn't want to creep you out." I exclaimed that it totally wasn't creepy but I think all I did was alarm her. That's the ol' Rohan charm at work right there.

Still, it was pretty cool. I like it when Nerdfighters come in to my work and identify themselves. It makes me feel part of a secret club. Apparently my coworkers think it's creepy, but what do they know?

I got a comment from Jessie today saying:
I recommend making friends with a librarian. They're spectacular people who can extend library loans multiple times.
I agree! Librarians are much more awesome than most. I know first hand because my dad is one. He was always my school librarian and he would often let me borrow books over the school holidays: awesome!

In newsreaders stuffing up bigtime news, this YouTube clip gets me EVERY TIME:



Just marvellous.

Your music video for today is by Brisbane band, The Grates. I've always liked them, and this song - Burn Bridges - in particular:



I've gotta go because I'm rising early again. Apparently I'm working in the kid's section tomorrow? I dunno, I'll believe it when I see it.

Byeeee.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Politics. Dating sites. Friends. Reading. Road rage.

I'm sitting here wondering what the deuce I'm going to blog about. Then I remember Andrew left me a link to this rather glorious YouTube video of a debate between the Sex Party and the Family First Party. I'm actually surprised the sledging didn't start sooner.



In other video-related news, I just read Hayley's blog for today. Even though I'm subscribed to Joe I must have missed this video. I love it.



So anyway. Today I went to work in the morning and got snapped at by some customers, which was awesome. Then I went home and watched videos on my laptop. Then I had dinner at Nandos with my parents. Now I'm doing this. Oh the life I lead!

I actually have very little else to say besides this, other than it's days like today that make me miss my friends, both IRL and URL - although that distinction is becoming less and less relevant as my life goes on. I'm a little strange though in that, while I'm not normally socially anxious, sometimes I get these pangs where I think that ALL MY FRIENDS MUST THINK I'M SO ANNOYING. So even though some of my friends have been affirming me lately by telling me what a pleasure it is to know me, etc; and even though I find that affirmation almost too much sometimes; it's obvious it is something I actually really need.

I should have read today. I didn't read anything and that's a crying shame because I was just complaining about how much I have that I want to read. I've got Knightly Academy by Violet Haberdasher (a.k.a. my friend Robyn) just SITTING HERE, but I haven't finished The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume II, The Kingdom on the Waves by M. T. Anderson. The library wants it back but I've already extended the loan once. I'm not finished! It's very long! Leave me alone, I'm trying to read!

Anyway I should probably get to bed because I have to get up in time for work tomorrow and I just KNOW some dithering 'baby on board' driver is going to get in my way on the long, single-lane-no-overtaking-allowed-ever road I have to traverse every day. Woman, I love babies but for heaven's sake you should GO THE SPEED LIMIT. Going 60 in an 80 zone is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Your infant would appreciate getting there a little faster than this I'M ALMOST CERTAIN.

And then I'm too late to get my coffee before work. It happens every time!

Your song for today is... what just came on iTunes just now! White as Snow by Jon Foreman.



Enjoyyyy!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Blankets for Peru - Uncultured Project Collaboration

Hello BEDA friends. I nearly forgot to blog today. Hahaha! This is definitely going well!

All five of you left comments yesterday and I must say I'm very pleased. You are all wonderful. Andrew, I tend to agree with you that this is probably the least important election of all time, although I disagree that everyone knows who's going to win. The Liberals just jumped in the polls today - they're currently beating Labor by a good 5%. I think this is anybody's game.

Today I filmed a video but I didn't edit it. It can wait? I'm working tomorrow morning so I'll have all afternoon and all evening to hack it into something that flows nicely. I've got to say, I really hope our politicians do something interesting in the coming weeks because otherwise I'm going to turf this whole "following the election" thing I started for myself. I wish I had a stick with which I could poke them.

*Poke poke* Up and at 'em, Julia. Time to show us some personality, Tony. I mean, there's only so many times you can point out that the Liberal Party is being misleading about the whole boat people thing before people start to resent it. Same goes for Labor and their bloody citizen's assembly. Laaaaame! But also terribly boring. Old news, etc.

In much more INTERESTING news, last year my friend Shawn who runs the Uncultured Project contacted me before I went to Peru. "Would you like to do a video with me?" he said. I was thrilled by the idea of being part of the Uncultured Project because it's an idea I really believe in and would love to see take off on a much larger scale. Anyway, a year has passed and the video is now up and posted! I'd love it if you could watch, rate, comment, subscribe, sacrifice your firstborn, etc.



There's also an extended cut of the interview Shawn and I did together on Shawn's second channel:



I'm a little disappointed with the camera quality of my clips but it couldn't be avoided. I had some serious trouble converting the clips to a format I could edit, and so lost a lot of quality. Still, I'm really thrilled that the video turned out so well and is being received so well on Shawn's channel. I'm so happy I could be part of the Uncultured Project. I hope I can take part again someday soon!

I'm going to leave you with a bit of Sleigh Bells, one of my new favourite bands. This track, Tell 'Em is a favourite of mine. I love how the sounds in the lyrics fit so nicely together. "Propane champagne propane champagne!"



Also, have a go at Rill Rill.



See yas tomorrow.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Politics. Swedish Fish. Sia.

Okay so I'm sorry about yesterday's fail-of-a-blog post. It MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE* had something to do with the wine I decided to treat myself to last night. I was just like "You know what? If I don't feel like blogging about this I'm just not gonna." Then I realised I had nothing else to say and it was 2 in the morning.

Tonight my indulgence is a bag of Swedish Fish I brought back with me from the States. Incidentally, if you love me a lot and want to get into my good books, sending me a few 14 OZ bags of Swedish Fish is a pretty surefire way to do so. I just love those little red bastards.

So I said I would blog about the upcoming election. I probably shouldn't dwell on it for too long in blog-form, considering I'm probably going to almost-exclusively dedicate my videos to it in the upcoming weeks. I know it's not the best material for my foreign viewers but what can I say? Campaign trails are just so rich in content. Plus, I'm a political junkie and I just can't help myself.

(I'll make it up to you in October though. Roboctober is coming. You heard it here first.)

The thing about this upcoming election is that I'm not feeling very represented by the two major parties. The Liberal Party (which I always have to explain is actually the conservative party - look up classical liberalism) is refusing to put a price on carbon and is generally ignoring climate change. They have also committed to bringing back the Pacific Solution to our supposed "boat people problem". That is, rather then processing asylum seekers on the Australian mainland, we would send them to East Timor, Papua New Guinea or Nauru - thus exempting Australia of the obligation to accomodate them if they turn out to be legitimate refugees.

Normally this sort of situation would make voting easy. I could just vote for Labor - and in 2007 that's just what I did for those very same reasons. Problem is Labor has drifted to the political right on these issues. Instead of committing to a climate change policy, Labor has decided to defer the decision to a 'citizens assembly' in a process that could take years. Additionally, Labor is once again flirting with the Pacific Solution even though they abandoned it under the leadership of Kevin Rudd.

So the question is, who do I vote for now?! In Australia voting is compulsory, so I've got to show up to a polling booth on the 21st of August whether I like it or not. That's why I think I'm going to vote for the Greens, even though I wouldn't normally send my vote that far to the left. Right now they're the only party that even remotely represents my values.

When I made this decision I thought I was largely on my own. Although the church I attend is far from homogenous on issues of politics and theology I had the feeling I was going to do something out of the ordinary for that community. Also, my friends at work are all wilfully politically naïve and would never dream of voting anything other than Labor or Liberal. However, after speaking with people from church about the election I found that almost all my friends had also decided to vote Green for one reason or another. Mostly it was disgust over the way Julia Gillard seized the Labor leadership but care for the environment was also a large factor.

So now when people ask me how this election is going to turn out I say "I don't know, it's going to be a close one; I think the real winners are going to be the Greens. They're going to see their best year yet."

I guess it's only a matter of time to see if I'm right about this.

In other news, I went to YouTube just before writing this post so I could listen to Sia's song, You've Changed and put it at the end of this entry, like Adam does with his. (You should read his blog, by the way - he's doing BEDA as well). Turns out halfway through the video there's an annotation that says "Can't get enough of this track? Sia's giving it to you FREE at bit.ly/FreeSiaTrack".



So yeah, there's some free music for you if you want it. Sia is lovely. She's also Australian and so fills me with the rare feeling of national pride.

This blog post has been sufficient. I'll see you tomorrow! I don't know what I'll talk about. We'll soon find out!

Rohan

*Read: DEFINITELY