Sunday, April 06, 2008

Paying for that Greener Grass

A few years ago I worked in Denmark (that's Denmark, Europe, not Denmark, the little town in the south of Western Australia with the great scenery) and it was very good.

I may have returned from that trip needing an insulin drip (mmm, pastry) but as always, travel broadens the mind. It opens your eyes to areas where you fall short, but it also makes you appreciate home that much more.

If you have a spare five minutes, do have a read of Paying for that Greener Grass, my latest piece for the CNG, and let me know what you think.

P.S. If you would like to leave a nice comment and some stars (I do like the stars), please leave them under the actual post on the CNG website, and not here. Thank you!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Life Before Death picture series

Warning: the "Life Before Death" site (I have linked to it below) contains images of dead people, and some people will find them upsetting. If you don't want to see the pictures, the article about the process, "This is the End", by Joanna Moorhead, is very good.

I read about the Guardian's Life Before Death picture series on Dooce's blog, and naturally, morbid curiosity sent me to the site.

The site has 22 photographs, of people before and after their deaths, with a small blurb next to each one about their thoughts on life and death.

If you are going to pay the site a visit, I strongly suggest you read the words as well, although it can be hard to do so, especially with the death pictures.

Well, I found it hard.

The pictures are sobering. As I clicked and read, I felt myself growing smaller and smaller, until I got to the very last one and found myself touched by what the last woman had said.

It was hard to go through all of them, like swimming in water and finding it thickening around you the farther you swim. 

There is no gore. They are gentle, intimate portraits. Nothing is frightening except for the finality that they represent.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Monday Meme

I have 17 minutes to finish this Monday Meme! On Tuesday night! Sigh.

This was sent through from the lovely juliness. (If I owe anyone else a Meme and haven't paid up yet, I'm SO sorry and will have another go if you remind me about it. Juliness just happened to catch me on Red Eye Tuesday.)

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1) What was I doing 10 yrs ago?
I had changed to a degree in Computer Science after being deliriously happy doing English Literature and French and aceing them all the way.

Why? Just dumb fear. I was worried I wouldn't get a job with an Arts degree. So I became an adequate IT person instead. What a dumbo, eh? But I was young and too scared to follow my heart.

I should have no regrets though, I still get to work with fantastic people, earn a decent wage, and pursue my interests on the side without having to answer to anyone. Sometimes not being paid to do something you love is freedom in itself. I can create what I want, without a client breathing over my shoulder, making changes to my babies.

And when it's time to take that next step, I'll be ready.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Oh, such hush-hush things! But I never blog about the day job. Not everyone can get book deals like Dooce and Petite Anglaise, you know.
Some non-work ones:
- Get 8 hours of sleep. (Already in the dust.)
- Pack away the snowboarding crap on my bed (I might be going on a trip in LOTS OF months time).
- Buy a proper snowboarding jacket and pants that aren't too big (I was in a hurry and they were on sale). I like Bonfire. They make good stuff.
- Win my two eBay auctions. Who knew there was so much competition for pants suits? Rrreow!
- Pay the nice man at the auto-repair shop (who has probably jacked up my bill by 20% because I called him "Steve", instead of his real name) $1300 for repairs. I will also have to fork out an additional $500 for new tyres soon, and try to NOT decapitate myself in despair.

3) Snacks I enjoy: Rice crackers (the little multi-coloured ones), ba gua (but the only ones I like are in Singapore-boo!), soy bean milk (in a can!), sugar-free Caramel Chews (can't remember the brand, starts with "D"), Red Vines.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
- Pay off my family's loans: mortgages, uni, perhaps establish an income fund for my parents and siblings of $50,000 a year each (adjusted to inflation) so no one would have to work if they didn't want to. Except my little brother, he'll have to work for 5 years first so he can appreciate what it's like to not work. Hahaha! Oh, OK, 3 years. The rabbit doesn't get an allowance.
- Build my mother her dream house.
- Build myself my dream house, next to my mother's (although this is five suburbs too close for MFC).
- Build my sister her dream house, but not on the dubious piece of land she has chosen.
- Donating to R&D for sustainable energy and water, making quality education affordable, installing body fluid and graffiti traps around train stations that electrocute night-time urinators. Make it nice and cheap and easy and safe to take public transport.
- Give a lot more money to charities like Médecins Sans Frontières and the Lions Eye Institute (not altogether altruistic, I'm hoping they can build some awesome bionic lenses for my defective peepers).
- Buy this very awesome drawing tablet.
- Buy a new PC that will play Neverwinter Nights 2 and handle all the 3D art that I want to do.
- Travel several times a year. In style.

I'm probably still thinking too small. It's fun to dream anyway.

5) Three of my bad habits:
- Drinking far too much water and having to make a lot of loo stops.
- Becoming so engrossed in something (like the latest Temeraire novel, Final Fantasy XII, fixing my e-mail client, working on a piece of art, writing a post, looking at snowboarding jackets) that it's 2am before I know it.
- Eating far too much of something, even after my organs start to complain.

6) 5 places I have lived: a country in South East Asia I will not mention because of political issues, Singapore (only for weeks at a time), Denmark (again, only for weeks at a time), Australia, nowhere else. I would like to try living in North America for a bit, though.

7) 5 jobs I have had: Most of them in the IT field (i.e., boring), but I was a florist for a couple of years!

8) 5 bloggers that I wanna know more about: It is past midnight. My brain is dead and I can't think of anyone.

Angie go sleep now.

Doh! Now it's Wednesday!