General Stuff



I’m seeing quite a few Australians on social media commenting on Michael Brown’s murder by police in Missouri. That’s not, in itself, a bad thing - but there’s a sense of smug superiority in some of these comments, like we’re all sitting around…

My late uncle was a cop…and he was blatantly racist about Indigenous Australians. The Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody could not be discussed in our house when he was around, as my parents so vehemently disagreed with him.

Struggling a bit right now as I imagine many of us are. Generally in a better place than last year - so, so much better - but the events of this week are a bit of a set back. Can only think of those who are more fragile at the moment - if it’s hit me this hard, how are they managing? Very worried about my cousin, as this has brought me right back to that awful night she called my parents’ home and I picked up the phone. I can still hear her voice as she asked, shakily, to speak to my mother. And I blurted out “is everything okay, [name]” because it was so evidently NOT okay, and she paused, and said “No”. Then thinking my aunt, in frail health, had passed…gave the phone to my mother, only to hear my cousin’s son’s name come up. To see my mother go from worried to devestated to upset.

And then to find out the circumstances. He was 17 years old, this great looking, gregarious, popular, sport kid. Not even his friends had an inkling what he was going through. He helped her hang out the washing that day, kissed her goodbye, and walked out the door. Not to school, but to the cliff from which he jumped. And whenever I hear the Black-eyed Peas song they played at his funeral -one of his favourites - I feel a wave of such grief before I even recognise what is being played. And I see my poor, frail aunt in a wheelchair asking to be taken to her grandson’s coffin, putting a hand on it, and sobbing. Not even all that love his family and friends had for him was enough to tether him to earth

Thank goodness for the compassion of the church and the schools - both is own and those nearby - who got together to offer support for his peers in responding to what happened. I might have little time for the RCC these days, but in this instance, the priest involved was supportive from the night it happened through the funeral. And there was so much love, so much recognition that this is a terrible, insidious illness. It can touch anyone. Even our political leaders are coming out and speaking about their experiences. I still haven’t gone on the record at work, but I sometimes think I should formally notify HR.

Someone wrote this today on Reddit, in response to what happened to Robin Williams: “I can tell you that just understanding the situation doesn’t mean it’s easy to solve it for yourself. It’s like theoretically understanding how the Earth’s magnetic field works but not knowing how to build a compass to help you find your way.” And it’s one of the best descriptions I’ve ever read. I know this is an illness. I know I should take certain steps (and I try to do it - one of the main reasons behind my rather insane exercise regime is that, working with my doctor, it’s what convinced her to let me wean myself off the meds. I medicate with alcohol (not good) and high intensity exercise…it’s better than the side effects from the meds).

Sorry about this. It’s just not something I like to talk to most of my family and friends about as I can see the worry and fear ramp up in them again, and I’m not at THAT place. I’m mostly doing much, much better, but they go on high alert for the signs (bless him, my brother’s response to Robin Williams’ death was to try and get me out to see Guardians of the Galaxy, because as he put it, we need to keep an eye on each other).

Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.
President Barack Obama (via trekkerbud)


palau’s jellyfish lake was once connected to the pacific ocean, but when the sea level dropped its population of jellyfish were left to thrive in the isolation of its algae rich waters. no longer needing to defend themselves from predators, the jellyfish lost their sting, allowing snorkelers to now swim with them as they make their daily 800 metre migration from one end of the lake to the other.

photos by (click pic) david kirkland, david doubilet, tomas kotoucjody macdonaldchean chong lim, eric changnadia aly and richard schneider  (see also: vancouver aquarium jellyfish)

I snorkeled here on my dive trip to Palau :) Magic! Have a photo somewhere of myself with the jellyfish…will have to find and scan it.








"birds and squirrels and earth and sky"


I freakin love my dogs.

Holy fuck. I love my dog. She ain’t ever going anywhere.

Does anyone else see “Dedicated to Rambo May he live a thousand years” at the bottom? Because I can’t. I’ve just got a dog treat in my eye is all

Butthole must sparkle



The joy of collies…


This does a good job at showing how ridiculously free-for-all and confusing WWI was.

And even more confusing when you realise that Australia and New Zealand were acting in tandem, and following their failed attempt on Turkey, they join in the general free-for-all. Not to mention Canada. Canada was totally onside with Britain. And let’s not even talk about Ireland…

Funnily enough, the “no hard feelings” thing was pretty true - my grandfather was a WWI Gallipoli vet, and his attitude was largely “fair play to the Turks - we were trying to invade!” Today there are many joint Turkish-Australian commemorative projects…the institution where I work is involved in one of them.


Repeat after me

"British investment" did not found Australia

Australia was not empty when Europeans came here

White Australians are not the first Australians

For fuck’s sake didn’t we cover this in ninth grade history come on

Tony Abbott, everyone. The man who said he would be a “prime minister for Indigenous affairs” and moved the portfolio  into the prime minister’s office. Isn’t he doing a brilliant job /S ? Just as good as his job bringing Women’s Affairs under his remit.

Noice, Tone. Noice.


I did not know that I needed to see this.