Just another disenfranchised father

Sometimes the things worth reading, incredibly important issues in our world, can be really hard to read. We can shy away from them because they spark such incredible moral outrage in us that we can't, nay we don't want to beleive that they could possibly be true.
Its altogether so much easier to pretend you never read it, and that things like that can't be true, they simply cannot be happening in our enlightened western world, or even in the greater international community. Australia is so advcanced, how can people live like "that".
At times like these, it seems so much easier to focus on Boy bands, "tragic" dead actors, stupid teenagers.

I don't know what to DO about the real issues of the world. I certainly don't have the answers to the water shortage, or to the growing presence of Islam. But maybe if I read enough, if I open my mind enough, I will find a way, within my own life.

I point you now, to Just Another Disenfranchised Father.
"If you have ever lost someone very important to you, then you already know how it feels, and if you haven't, you cannot possibly imagine it." -Lemony Snicket.
A disenfranchised father is an adequate father who has been unreasonably and unwillingly removed from his children's life. By "adequate", I mean a father like any other, a father who cares for his children, who sees himself as a valuable part of their upbringing and who has invested a significant part of his identity in his role in their lives. By "removed", I mean that he no longer lives with his children, that he is reduced to a visitor in their lives or possibly prevented from seeing them altogether. He has no say in what happens to them. The mother works to keep him out, limits and controls their interactions, she likes it that way. To her, "the best interests of the child" are what she wants, period.

Many believe that the system is supposed to prevent this sort of thing from happening. That if such a father, loathed by his ex, can find no support in the courts, then there must be good and valid reason. These people are sorely mistaken. They have no understanding of the gaping holes in family law. By default they believe that the problem of absentee fathers must be the fault of the fathers themselves, single mothers are saints fighting the good fight against tragic odds and through no fault of their own.

A father who has gone through the worst of this may have "trust issues". He has probably spent a lot of time among supposedly professional people who have examined him closely and found him wanting according to standards impossibly higher than those to which his ex is held (to which nor even should be held any typical parent). People he thought he could trust have lied to him, have given him false hope and have actively worked against him, only for him to realize too late and leaving him with only resentment.

He will have spent a lot of time in an environment where the only appropriate response is outrage and yet any sign of anger from him would have cost him dear. The stress may have been too much and he may have expressed that anger and then seen the satisfied looks of those who look for excuses to do their awful work. An angry word may have been enough, he didn't need to actually get violent (although that would have produced all the more satisfaction and definitive result).

He may seem obsessed, only able to talk about one thing: the betrayal to which he has been subject. Alternatively, he may not want to talk about it, having learned that most people can't take it, can't accept the obvious pain he feels and melt away leaving him alone with it. "I've got my own problems, I can't get involved with that", or "I wish he'd just get over it".

They wish he'd just get over the loss of his children.

He may be a strong enough person that it no longer shows at all. Until you dig a little, if you're so inclined and if he is inclined to let you.

Sometimes, to lose a child like this, especially in the event of a complete lockout, is compared to the loss of a child to death. Not so. That would be what the philosophers call a category error. The circumstances and consequences are completely different. The death of a child is forever, it is final, it is by definition resolved even if the consequences are not, it must be survived, and those who are left behind must try to rebuild their lives without the dead child. Everyone with an ounce of humanity is sympathetic, tries to accomodate it.

Disenfranchisement, by contrast, is ambiguous. The child is not there, but is elsewhere. Many do not know if they should feel sympathy or not. They don't think "there but for the grace of God go I" because they know they're good parents, and there's no risk and, after all, he must have done something wrong, mustn't he? There is always hope, for those who have not had to spend years trying to maintain hope, even after years of no contact, because the child is not dead. If he does have contact, it may be difficult. He may have to run the gauntlet of the ex's bile (as she pockets the child support check - you think she should thank him? That's what the man says he owes her). He gets limited time, perhaps supervised, shoving down his feelings, to engage the child who would otherwise engage by default, whenever he or she was ready. How long do you think he should tolerate it? How long would you? Why should you have to tolerate anything? Why should he? Or his children?

The tiredest cliché a disenfranchised father will hear and keep hearing as long as he lets on what has happened: "Don't worry, they'll come back to you, just wait and see". This is poor comfort for two reasons. First, it's a statement of faith, not fact, and his faith has taken a severe beating. He may have believed in justice, the good motivations of psychologists, the objectiveness of court personnel. But the system that was supposed to prevent this, either did nothing of the sort or actively caused it. The society that touts the value of family life proves itself a deranged lunatic by doing nothing to preserve it. You want him to believe that his children will somehow absorb the importance of a father in their lives while not actually having one around to show them? That it should be somehow instinctive and one day they will wake up and realize this, tell their Machiavellian mother where to shove it and run back into his arms?

The other reason for this "wait and see" being bad advice is that it takes no account of the lost years. In advance, it shrugs them off and resigns to their being lost forever. Not just the normal security that the children should have as they grow in knowing that their father is there by their sides, but also the satisfaction and love that a father should feel in having his children near so he can watch over them and calm and keep them from their fears. All this is lost, not fully appreciated until it is gone, and only really by those who have lost it.

How do you talk to such a man? It depends, in part, on your own resources. How much of his anger are you willing to explore? That may seem odd, why should he get angry at you? Once you show some sympathy, you may find that his anger comes to the fore. He can't get angry at the people who deserve it. They have power over him and his children. Show him some sympathy and he may let that anger show, not necessarily at you, but in front of you. Are you man or woman enough to take it? It's difficult to express anger without offending someone, will you take it at face value or look for the deeper meaning he hasn't the lucidity to express?

Grief? He surely feels grief, and surely you're old enough and experienced enough by now to have been able to comfort the grieving and to have felt some yourself. But what if that grief goes on for years? What if it never really goes away but becomes a permanent wound that won't heal? He can't visit a gravesite, he can't really mourn. What, after all, does he have to mourn but the loss of something that, however improbably, could come back any day? Every time you see him, you will be conscious of his pain, even if he isn't. We all assess each other by what we know to have happened to each other.

One thing he may need more than anything else (besides his children) is validation. His self-image as a man and as a father has been under sustained and ongoing attack. Powerful people have either found him wanting or not found the spine to help him when they could (or should). The erosion on his sense of self worth is inevitable. All around are conflicting indicators of what he must do - shrug it off, take it like a man, grow a pair, don't give up on them, do everything that you can, fight!, don't fight!, never give up, build a new life, keep calling them, give it up. Whatever he does, it won't be the right thing (and there's no shortage of judges), but he has to do it anyway.

Perhaps the most meaningful thing you can say is: "what has happened to you is wrong", it'd be nice if you believed it.
Post reproduced here in full with the permission of John Doe,
author of Just Another Disenfranchised Father.

What is happening to these fathers, is wrong.

Backstreets flat Alright!



One of these boy bands is fictional. One is not.
You would be forgiven for not knowing which one is for real, and which is taking the piss.
For my part, I think the Backstreet Boys (lol, typo, I wrote BayStreet Boys initially, which sounds like some sort of low-key jazz band out of San Francisco that performs at RSL's)

Ahem. I think the Backstreet Boys may have done their dash. Their lyrics are shocking.
I'm a house of cards in a hurricane
A reckless ride in the pouring rain
She cuts me and the pain is all I wanna feel
When did song lyrics become so crap? There's a reason the parody has lyrics like
I cry, when I see a little bird....
Tears on my pillow....
My river of pain....
Whoops there I go......
Now I'm crying again!
They have totally decided to just surge ahead with their "reunion" even though they're missing a whole band member. I mean, Take That did the same thing, but Robbie Williams is at least famous enough that the fans understand why he doesn't want to be part of commericals like this again, because I know they were a highlight in his long career.
And just in case you thought this was a terrible mistake on behalf of the BSB's record company: EXHIBIT D.

Boytown are the best. If you haven't seen this movie, GO. Go now. (to your local Blockbuster that is, its not showing at the movies anymore.) Youtube have a few of their "videos" if you search BoyTown.

Psst I'm not alone!
-> Exhibit E- comments from "fans"
Will S.:
Someone please tell these "boys" that melodramatic power ballads died in 1999. There's nothing innovative in this album. It's the same cheese fest of pop songs they used to sing back in the day. Too much drama and sugar it makes me nauseous. I hate to admit this, but Britney's new album is a hundred times better than this***. At least she doesn't take herself too seriously when it comes to pop songs.
***Sadly I agree here. Someone's done something right with that album, its irritatingly catchy.
Brian Shine
..Backstreet Boys, please, shoot more interest videos. Inconsolable its too much boring. ..

My Pet email hates

You wanna know what bugs me?
When people email me "warnings". For example, you may have recently recieved the following email
Fwd: Don't answer a cellphone while it's being charged

Don't answer a cell phone while it is being CHARGED!! A few days ago, a person was recharging his cell phone at home. Just at that time a call came through and he attended to it; with the instrument still connected to the mains After a few seconds electricity flowed into the cell phone unrestrained and the person was thrown to the ground with a heavy thud...
etc etc
With this Picture included in the email

This email is a hoax, its not true, the picture is from a completely different incident, as are all the others. It took me about 12 seconds to find out if this was true or not. For chrissakes if this was really true don't you think that it would at least make the goddam news!? Amazingly, the scientific community doesn't figure these things out and think "hmm, what's the best way to get this message out? Oh I know, we'll email it around! Don't bother with Fox, CNN or even Today Tonight, email is the way to go!"

To see the breakdown of this hoax email, see here.

Others warnings can include,
"panadol will kill you"
"balloons are coated with arsenic on the inside because its all a sinister plot from latex manufacturers to kill everyone that likes parties"
"never open your email again or you could get that disease in I am Legend and Die"
I've gotten countless warnings from well meaning friends, the first one I think I decided to actually research was the "Bin-Laden and Olympic Torch Virus Warning". This email was going around saying a virus was hidden in "pictures" of Bin-Laden being hanged. People would be unable to sate their curiosity at the devil of the free world (read-America, last I hear, there's no beef between him and Oz) being killed finally, and their hard drive would be burnt to a crisp by the "olympic torch".
Riiigggghhht. This hoax debunked here and here

My beef with these stupid emails is that no one takes the fricking time to bother to check if these things are true before they blindly forward them on to the next helpless sap who forwards them to his entire address book, and so on and so forth.


It's not that hard people! You go to Google and type in "computer viruses" "hoax emails" "virus warning". Whatever you want! Please research this shit before you send it on if you REALLY think its so important for me to know, and you're really so concerned for my welfare.


The other thing I hate, is funny forwards. Now the actual content, not a problem, I like funnies as much as the next girl because my job allows me to sit and read/watch them as soon as I get them, I don't sit down every few days and discover 50 of them in my inbox, which I know can happen to others.
But really, if you're going to forward them en masse, can you take a second and check who sent it to you? And mostly, you'll be able to see who sent it to them. If I am one of those people, I don't need to see it again!
Yes, I know it's funny, I sent it to you!

If we have common friends, or we are related can you do me a favour and take that extra milisecond to see if I've already received it?! Is it so hard!!!

This happens all the time to me!
Am I the only one who checks these things?

Gah! *collapse*

Bizarre-o! Part II

Part I here.

More strange and wacky behaviour from our American Neighbours.

Starbucks, {you know, the multinational, highly profitable coffee chain} after the September 11 attacks, charged Emergency workers for bottled water to treat victims.
Shortly after the Sept. 11 attack, rescue workers rushed into a nearby Starbucks store to get water to treat shock victims, Rapisarda said. Ambulance company workers said employees in the shop demanded they pay $130 for three cases of bottled water. The workers paid cash, out of their own pockets.
Reached by telephone, the manager of the shop, the Battery Park Plaza Starbucks, declined to comment.
Wtf! Talk about lacking compassion. They'll do anything for a buck.
I hated Starbucks anyway I suppose. LOL

There is also an email hoax going around saying that Starbucks doesn't support the war in Iraq, which is false. Just so you know.

New format

So I found a template that will stretch and squeeze based on the size of your screen! I have a widescreen at work and I've always found it really annoying that the text was squished into the centre. So Yay!

Also thought I'd go for a bit of a change of scenery, little less Pink, little less busy looking.
Let me know what you think, if it's good, if it stretches a little TOO much now.


Sometimes I really AM blonde...

Hollywood actors, like Heath Ledger, who died in their 20s.

- James Dean, 24, died on September 30, 1955, after a car crash on a highway near Paso Robles, California.

- Sharon Tate, 26, was murdered on August 9, 1969, by followers of Charles Manson in Los Angeles.

- Freddie Prinze, 22, died on January 29, 1977, after shooting himself in Los Angeles.

- Brandon Lee, 28, died on March 31, 1993, after accidentally being shot on the set of The Crow in Wilmington, North Carolina.

- River Phoenix, 23, died on October 31, 1993, from a drug overdose outside a nightclub in Los Angeles.

I'm reading this, and I get to Freddie Prinze and I'm like, "Wha....?? I didn't know he was dead? When did he die? Oh wait... 1977??? Huh?.....

Hang on.....That's Freddie Prinze
Junior I'm thinking of....Oh right, JUNIOR......hmm.... I guess I never really thought about that did I?"

Brothers & Sisters, Joan Sauers ****

A woman who gave birth to a baby for her sister...Brothers who fought each other in the Supreme Court for the family farm...Two sisters who survived Auschwitz together, one convincing the other to choose life over death...A famous actress and her not-so-famous sister...Five loving siblings of whom four are adopted from different racial backgrounds....

....Sometimes sad, often quite funny, Brothers and Sisters is a book for everyone, and especially for those who still have arguments about who was the favourite child...
**Couldn't find the cover art, I tried! So here is cute pic of random brother and sister. :)
Great book. I really enjoyed the perspectives it offered on sibling relationships. My only criticism was that there was no summation at the end of the issues raised and theories offered.
The book finishes with Sauers' own siblings and their answers to the same questions asked of the included parties, but it is delivered in the same interview style as all the other chapters. I would have liked Sauers to have offered opinions and theorems on the subject and the "why's".

4 / 5

It did, naturally, make me reflect on the relationship I have with my own brother and sisters, and others that I know. There's also a few interviews with Single children, or "only children". {Hmm, has anyone thought about where that phrase comes from? Only Children? Only what? When you actually go to write that down you realise it doesn't quite make sense....}
One of the things I have speculated about often recently is my sisters. As they are both overseas presently, it does make you reflect more on your relationship with them, people are ask how I'm "doing/going". And I do miss them, a lot. Interestingly the way they interact with us while they are away affects how much we miss them.

At least I think it does, it's hard to say. I miss Beeb a lot, and I think the fact that she's constantly texting has an affect on that, but then its possible that it feels like I miss Eca less only because she's been gone so much longer. By the time she's home she will have been gone 2 years. I do think the time she's been gone though, has only been bearable because she's actually been back twice in that time for visits (which were fab!). I was definitely a lot sadder the last time she left, and when Beeb left everyone was a blubbering mess so I totally lost it.
In Eca's defence also, she's been way more communicative in Philadelphia where she can just sit at the computer at home and chat away :)

I actually think Facebook has helped a lot too. Its as useless as tits on a bull for friends that live in the same city as you (you remember them, the ones you actually SEE)
But it's been really great for communicating with my sisters.

My brother has always been a little left of centre. I hope as we get older we can relate better to each other. Interestingly I've always clashed the most with him of everyone I think, and yet, of the four of us, we've the most in common now as we're both married.


Oh my god Heath Ledger is dead

But I love him!
In that Celebrity-who-seemed-lovely sort of way.
Breaking News.

I'll always love him best in Ten Things I Hate About You

She's back!

My coffee lady that is.
So back on the good stuff, thank goodness. Today's was ten times better than anything I've drunk for the last two weeks, and I made sure to tell her, and I hope she feels appreciated.

Go me.

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Confessions of a Clerical Assistant

When I was between the ages of 10 and 19 roughly I kept a diary. The entries are generally narrative, no "Dear Diary" crap, and I thought everything I was writing was SO interesting. (hey has much changed?)
I think about my diaries often. They sit at the top of the spare wardrobe in two innocent looking boxes, numbering about 12 A5 books in total, and I rarely look at them. But I think about them a bit.
I don't necessarily muse over whether I should have liked that boy more than THAT boy, or should I have been less of a bitch to THAT girl.
I think mostly about my motivation for keeping them.
I know I reached the age of 19 or so and I realised I wasn't writing in them as often, and I couldn't be bothered making the effort to continue to write so religiously.
It felt all so contrived. And I kind of still think it is.
In a way I think it was a good outlet for my oh-so-angst-ridden teenage thoughts and feelings. I mean, every teenage girl thinks the sky is falling don't they?
Maybe they don't.
Somehow with my oh-so-easy upbringing I still felt entitled to have "issues"
non-existent as they were.
I mean don't get me wrong, it wasn't as though I didn't know girls with issues. Hell I DID!
I have often recounted to people that of all the divorced kids I went to school with, the ones I noticed most were girls, and without exception they all hated their fathers with a passion. I always thought that was an interesting reflection on how girls cope with family break down. They side with their mother.
I think it was probably a good outlet in some ways, maybe I simply didn't feel of any of my friends I could tell them absolutely everything that I told my diary.

One of the interesting things that crop up when people talk about diaries and motiviation is fear of discovery. Some people are terrified their diary will be stolen and read. Some people will stop writing after this. I came to a realisation one day that I think I always wrote my diary hoping that someone would find it and read it.
I think I was hoping someone would understand me. its also possible though that I was looking for pity and maybe "if someone truly understood me they would feel sorry for me"
Except I wasn't worthy of anyone feeling sorry for me. I was a whiny bitch. That's what teenagers do. They feel misunderstood, until they get older and realise they were giant whingers.

I remember one of my diaries was a small Art Book, with blank pages. I was going through an arty phase where I was hoping if I had the tools of the trade I would be more arty than I really was. I had this romantic ideal of being artistic and talented. That fell on its ass. LOL.

In year 10 I took one of the career aptitude tests they give you in "Careers", which I'm pretty sure I had first period Thursday morning.
I ticked all my boxes etc and added my score. I was devastated when the field I was told I was destined for was "Clerical and Administration". I wanted to be in the "creative" category that would yeild me an interesting career like "Museum Curator" or something fancy sounding.
I look back on that test and I think, why didn't I trust that test more?
The job I have now? Well you could class the industry as Technology, but my actual job? Clerical/Administration. And I LOVE it. I've said it a hundred times in job interviews, "I like Admin. Hey it's not for everyone, I admit, but it's my thing. I like the preciseness of it."


Those crazy celebrity kids

Tom Cruise is nuts. This we know. This we take as fact.
***I always thought this image made it look like he was about to pounce on Oprah, kind of like some crazed cannibal.

New controversial-unauthorised-fame-hack-book aside, the Church of Scientology is trying to stop circulation of a video of Cruisey being fanatical. Gawker is the only site left still willing to host it, even after You Tube took it down.

As Gawker states
The Hollywood actor, star of movies such as Mission Impossible, is a complete fanatic. "When you're a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one who can really help... We are the way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures." There's much much more.
Let me put it this way: if Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch was an 8 on the scale of scary, this is a 10.
See the video on Gawker here. (hey I ain't risking a lawsuit when they're apparently so quick to sue)

And his wife, she's just plain boring now. Mia Freedman asks the question, is Katie Holmes/Cruise now a femme bot?

I ask, who is more wooden-Katie Holmes/Cruise - or Kim Watkins from 9am?
You decide. Here she is on Letterman, with him apparently desperately trying not to talk about the new book, or Scientology. I mean really, whats left? Does Suri pee often? How does she find mushy peas? And do you miss Gordon's Creek (His joke, not mine)
This interview is arguably worse than the Larry King Paris Hilton post-jail interview

And who knew Eddie Murphy had five more kids on top of the Scary Spice spawn?


Paintball Death - Man Dies at Bucks Party
Man Turns Up Alive at his own funeral
(umm...they didn't check a bit harder?)
Band use digeridoo to get out of speeding fine in US
Duh...we're Australian and clearly not capable of accepting responsibility. Watch every Aussie tourist in the US now get reamed by every State Trooper that pulls them over. So you got a lucky break, its bad manners to go gloating about it now.


"Popcorn Lung"- Man Sues after two-bag-a-day popcorn habit
Food Kills.
Body parts sold by Surgeon, replaced with PVC pipe
Its like something out of CSI! In fact I'm SURE CSI or Law & Order have done this plot.

Stupid child

More on this story

"Because my glasses are famous"
Uhh, Wtf??

Young & Stupid, Pt 1

When I was 14 I liked a boy and we started dating. He happened to be the brother of my (then) best friend. {At the time I thought my friendship would survive this, as she seemed to think it wasn't such a bad idea, and I had clearly had no foresight of how the eventual break up would affect us. }

This boy also happened to be 21 at the time, something I also lacked the outside perspective on, I was silly and thought I was the hottest thing getting around, and assumed that if a 21 year old guy thought I was interesting and attractive, it MUST be all about the assets I was bringing to the relationship. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with him and his mental state.
Now I will qualify this by saying I'm sure perfectly normal teenagers fall in love and live happily ever after with a 7 year age difference, but I'm sure there are 5 broken couples to every 1 intact.
My parents ordered me to break up as soon as they discovered the liaison, which of course as a 14 year old girl I railed against,

*hand to forehead* ....how could they possibly know what it was like, couldn't they clearly see I was the first girl to EVER fall in love with a boy older than me. My anguish must have been evident!

So we broke up, with collateral damage in that my friend and I never quite recovered our close friendship, and we drifted apart.

In the following years I realised he was a massive dropkick, and there was something strange about a 21 yr old boy who hangs out with his 14 yr old sister and her friends, with no friends of his own. I just thought they were so close as siblings. But no.

It wasn't until I turned 21 myself that the whole scenario hit home for me and I fully appreciated HOW weird it was that he hung out with us. In the development stakes, 14 and 21 year olds are worlds apart, and I couldn't imagine anything a 14 year old would say to me that I would find particularly interesting.

So it was at that stage that I learnt a valuable lesson. Parents don't have it in for you. They're simply old enough to see the bigger picture. I can't remember whether they tried to explain this to me at the time, its possible they did and I simply shouted at them until I felt I'd said my piece and conveyed how horrible I thought they were, and how unfair it all was. If they didn't try to explain, I can imagine why (see above) and I don't think I would have bothered, I would never have understood.

I saw that boy a few years ago. I was at TAFE, sort of like community college. I passed a classroom in the hallway that was full of "disadvantaged" and "special needs" students. He was sitting in the class, and it all made sense.

Feel free to leave your own Young and Stupid tale below.

The "youth" of today

I'm in my mid-twenties (yes, MID Eca).
My husband and will be having children in the not so distant future.
I'm not the first or last person to have children, and I'm certain I'm not the first to worry about raising them "right". This is not new ground for me, ever since I felt old enough to pass comment on the coming generations compared to my own, I have worried about how I will ensure my children are as well adjusted as I feel myself and my brothers and sisters have become. How do parents find the right mix of discussions, discipline, clothing, finance, manners.......or is it simply that no one ever knows, and we can only hope that everything turns out ok?
If that's the answer, how will a control freak like me ever let go enough to make it flow?

If you read ten books on parenting, you'll probably get ten different success plans or stories, and ten different opinions on how to do it.
Hugh Mackay, a social commentator who always put across his point succinctly, muses :

.....it's all part of the accelerated childhood (AC) syndrome, reflecting the curious desire of parents - mightily reinforced by the machinery of modern marketing - to hasten their children's development towards adulthood by encouraging them to act like mini-adults.

The "training bra" for prepubescent girls was an early sign of the AC syndrome. Now you can find parents who willingly serve young children drinks that simulate adult cocktails, and who buy their daughters clothes, shoes, cosmetics, dolls and music designed to create the illusion of a precocious, premature sexuality.

Full article. Worth a read.

I mean, it really freaks me out. This aspect particularly, how do you sheild your daughters from this? Is it even possible now?

I compare this to when we were young girls. When I think about it, I can vividly recall owning several pairs of these hard plastic slide-on high heels that must have been awful for my feet. They were hot pink and bright yellow I think, and they had interchangeable snap on bows and sparkly things on the front. They made an awful clack-clack noise as I walked up and down our polished floorboard hallway, and I think they are the root of the reason my mother now hates for me to leave my heels on when I visit. We also had little eye-shadow compacts that had about 25 different colours in them, and we would revel in putting on our peacock blue eye shadow. We owned these things, and yet, it seems so much worse now? Is it purely perspective? Those old enough to remember, like Mackay, disagree. It is worse now.

Mackay ends his Opinion piece by blaming the parents, becuase at the end of the day, they are the ones buying leopard print over-the-knee-boots for their 3-year-old. So maybe there is hope for us Future Parents.

More on bad parenting choices, and a recent discovery in Violent Acres, a blogger with a seemingly massive chip on her shoulder and a writing style that is virtually scornful of her readers and their ability to make money for her simply by clicking on her page. She has some ok things to say though and must have something going for her and I've been reading her site ever since I came across this post "Two phrases that Destroyed American Culture"
I really beleive that part is true, and I loathe the concept that "the Customer is always right" because its complete bullshit.
She recounts in this post a ridiculous situation in her family where they have two christmases so that one spoilt brat can recieve two lots of presents. Its so prepostrous I'm not convinced its entirely true, but possibly an embellishment to a truly horrid child.
Anyone that thinks this is a good idea for their child deserves to have said child taken away from them, as these children will grow up to become lazy self indulgent adults who contribute nothing to society. People like Paris Hilton.

And lastly, children behaving badly in our own backyard. If you haven't already heard/read about it, a Melbourne teenager threw a party over the weekend while his parents were on holidays. While this is generally not unheard of, boys will be boys and teenagers will act up while their parents are away, the stupid moron put the info on MySpace and 500+ people showed up. From the TV footage last night it looked like a fairly nice neighbourhood, clearly parents who had tried to provide their child with a balanced upbringing in not Over-priveledged surroundings.
What I thought was incredible about the story is that even though the massive group spilled out of the house, onto the street, damaging neighbours property and terrifying residents, this stupid kid, Corey Delaney, doesn't even feel bad. He doesn't think any of it is his fault,

In fact, Corey went one step better yesterday.

"Best party ever, that's what everyone's saying," was his verdict.

When asked by the Nine Network what advice he had for teenagers considering throwing a party while parents were away, he said: "Get me to do it for you."

What an utter idiot. This FOOL was also all over the 6 o'clock news boasting how great he was, parading in front of the reporters with this RIDICULOUS puffy hooded jacket without a shirt on. What he thinks he's suddenly P. Diddy??
You know you're encountering true teenage mindset when they come out with pearlers like that. There is just an inherent inability to accept responsiblity and to look at the bigger picture.
I can appreciate all this now of course. To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid.

Tomorrow- 14 year old girls know best. My tale of Young and Stupid.

My Jewellery apparently hates me

Well I am shocked and appalled.
Because I had thought my purple resin bangle was such a quality Made In Taiwan item.
Nothing a bit of super glue won't fix I guess

Day 3~The great Mona Macc hunt - Hooray! {Sort of}

We have small cup~!

Yippee! Sort of. Coffee is mediocre, but I will probably return. It was convenient, this cafe was on the street on the back way to work and parking was totally easy. I actually quite liked the interior and it wasn't too busy. Sometimes when you walk into a cafe for a takeaway it can be a little awkward, if there aren't clear signs directing you (or sometimes even if there are) and you can tell all the people waiting are regulars and know the system already. There was none of that. They also had great looking muffins and friands!

My regular cafe where I normally get my coffee when they aren't on holidays, its kind of a conceptual cafe. The owner used to be a chef and the cafe is kind of her SeaChange, and she makes all the food herself. Its great and everything, but there's kind of a lack of the "normal" things you expect to find in a cafe, like muffins. I mean, she has muffins, but they're savoury ones and they don't quite hit my muffin-mark. She doesn't do friands either. Not that I need to be eating friands I guess. *sigh*

At my last job, I was in a business park so there were only a few cafes to choose from, and I was usually lazy and chose the closest. They used to have these fantastic mini friand things, closest likeness I could find on the right. They were the size of the lid on my takeaway espresso cup, or just bigger than a 50c piece.
There were blueberry or raspberry to choose from and I think they used salted butter to grease the pans because they had a salty yet sweet flavour. They made one batch a morning, and they were free{!} with your coffee if you were early enough. If I had time to go before I started work I would get one, if I had to go mid-morning they would be gone. They were a great size as you could eat them in one bite, or savour them in three bites.
I miss them. Its the little things in life....

Sorry I wasn't clear Eca, after yesterday's effort I had no intention of returning, as soon as I walked out of the shop. Perhaps that's unfair, but it really does annoy me that much when they don't have little cups. It would have had to be the best coffee I'd ever had, to make me return knowing it would be served in a giant cup.

I actually had a terrible coffee experience over my break. My local shopping centre I'm still trying to determine who makes good takeaway coffee if I want a quick one while I walk around. So I tried a different place, and I tried to watch, but got distracted, (by anything: could have been navel fluff) so the next thing I know, I'm being handed a regular size foam cup (X grr), which when I picked it up, was too heavy (X) and when I took the lid off it was about three-quarters full (X)!!!

After conveying (nicely) that they didn't have espresso takeaway cups (X), it wasn't what I'd ordered, and there was way too much liquid, she offered to re-make it under my direction. In this instance I asked her if she could just put it in a proper cup as I was only going into Coles (next door) and I would bring the cup back. It was at this point I figured out that they serve macchiatos as LONG macc's, instead of Short, how I prefer them.
It was drinkable, but I wouldn't return. This is a rarer problem than it could be as I always try to specify "short" when ordering. Hmmm...
*And I did return the cup

Some funnies

Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.netCyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic

My name's Dataceptionist, and I'm a Coffee Wanker.


On goes the coffee search, in this difficult post-christmas-working period.

This is today's effort.

I have included the shot below to give perspective. The little cup on the left is the cup I used yesterday to tip my ristretto into. Standard espresso cup.

(Keen observers will note, even though yesterdays coffee was tiny, I still didn't finish it, evidenced by visible remnant in cup.)
So, today's : "regular" takeaway cup used again. X

This one was drinkable though, and I did enjoy it. But I can't really explain fully how much the wrong sized cup detracts from my coffee experience. Ok, this DOES make me sound like a giant coffee wanker, admittedly, but I think you have to be a bit of a coffee wanker if you're drinking short coffee. It's either good or bad, there isn't a lot of room for error. When you've only got 60mL or so to impress, you need to produce goddamit!

In other news, I think you will enjoy this blog I was put onto, as much as I do. Its by a Barista in a 24hr Sydney Cafe. Good writing style, good content. I've enjoyed it since I started reading.
So Check out Graveyard Barista

Billylou I am totally feeling you on the $3 for bad coffee thing.
I didn't mention in yesterday's post about the cost because it seemed a trifling isolated incident, but now, two days in a row, I have paid more than the menu price at two seperate places, which annoys me!

Yesterday's coffee on the laminated table menu (as opposed to the non-existant menu board) said $2.20 for a macchiato, which I must say I was really impressed with, and he could have had a returning customer if the coffee had been even passable, for price alone. He then proceeded to charge me $2.80??? I was just confused, as usually it's DINE-In that is more expensive (and we won't mention that I then got less coffee than expected for the price???).

Then today, I looked again at a table menu, to check out their breakfasts, {as discussed yesterday I do love a good brekky}, and I noticed (having already paid) that I was charged $3, which I feel is overpriced for a small coffee, the large flat white I ordered at the same time was only $3.30 but the menu price for my coffee dine in was $2.50!

So that's a X against them there too.
The hunt continues.....

Happy New Year Y'all!

So I'm back at work


It's not all bad, I was kind of almost feeling ready to return. Is that weird? Over the weekend (where we did painfully little) I was sort of thinking, oh yes, work. Something to do during the day.
I had actually reached the point (mercifully after two/three days) where daytime TV was going to make me stab my eyes out. Who knew 7th Heaven continued to run after it went off Prime Time??? It left for the programming wasteland that is between 9 and 5, and had all its prominent actors grow up and leave for "better" things ("'s for the fact that...where are they now??? Jessica Biel? The boy? ).

9am "summertime" with David & Kim made me feel like throwing myself off the balcony, or at the very least scratching the tv until I had nothing but nubs, those two presenters are so VERY wooden it drove me to tears. I will say though it is refreshing to see an interviewer cry when faced with an emotional subject and Kimmy was very convincingly touched.

So I had some wonderful breakfasts and outings during my time off. I love going out for breakfast, it can be the best meal of the day I think. I love cafe coffee when its made well. Hey it just has to be made nicely usually, you know, just not crap. That's not really that hard is it?
As many of you know, I drink a version of a short coffee, a macchiato, as below. This one looks great actually. I like them best served in a small glass as you can appreciate how good the coffee looks, and you can see what you're getting. If they look cool, it will generally taste good too as they've taken the care. Essentially in a nut shell, a macchiato means "stain of milk" so the way it is made is a single shot of coffee, with a tiny dribble of textured ("frothed") milk, with a little dob of "foam" on top. The shot part is usually the same everywhere, its the milk part that varies.
Can you see those different parts in the one below?
Looks so yum!

So I've started back at work today, and I would usually have a coffee, first port of call.
My local cafe makes my coffee great, the owner is the barista and she makes great coffee.
Unfortunately though they're closed for a further two weeks for holidays and I will need to source my coffee elsewhere. So I tried another place, there's no shortage of coffee places where I work. This is what I recieved (In a "regular" size takeaway cup no less, which didn't score points for them, generally means they don't make short coffees)

Its hard to tell exactly how much coffee is in this cup, I couldn't find a great photo to demonstrate. But I'm fairly certain instead of a macchiato, I actually got a ristretto which is an entirely different beast!
A ristretto is a shot of coffee with like half the water or something, its a very strong and VERY little drink. And no milk! I ended up tipping it into an espresso cup I have at work, and it took up about 2cm in the bottom of the cup. Probably not even.

Not a good sign for the new year. :(

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