Monthly Archives: October 2007

Acts of Kindness

Mood: Philanthropic

I have always thought of myself as a charitable person. I always buy a bandanna on CanTeen’s National Bandanna Day. I boast a small army of Bandage Bears. I have a terrific collection of star wands and star shaped keyrings from Starlight Day and red noses and earrings from Red Nose Day. My apartment always resembles a field of daffodils on Daffodil Day and I have quite a few pins and badges from organisations such as Jeans for Genes, Breast Cancer Australia and Legacy. I have also been collecting silicone bracelets in just about every colour under the sun.

Every few months, I give my wardrobe a thorough clean, and whatever I don’t fit into any more (or I haven’t seen or worn for at least 6 months) and is still in good condition, I donate the clothing to St Vincent de Paul. And I never ever walk past a Salvation Army donations box without putting in a few gold coins.

Since 2000, I decided that these random acts of kindness weren’t enough. So I began donating my time to a few charities at their events. These are just some of them.

The company I work for has a long history with this charity and since 2004, Redkite has been my main charity. Over the years, I have volunteered at the Corporate Quiz nights in both Sydney and Newcastle, and have helped to raise funds for Redkite through other company functions at both the corporate and staff levels.

“8 years ago, 8 young professionals had 1 big idea: they wanted to throw a fresh, vibrant and memorable party that would make a difference to the lives of children with cancer. This is how the Redkite Y4K Colour Ball was born." The event is aimed at gathering young Sydney professionals for a sophisticated cocktail party to raise funds for kids with cancer. I was part of the committee for a short period this year. In any case, I have now attended 2 balls – last year’s "Green with Envy", this year’s "Solid Gold". I can’t wait until next year’s ball when I’ll be dressed in Electric Blue. (In case you’re wondering, Y4K = "Yes 4 Kids".)

In only its second year, this event attracted over 10,000 participants and helped to raise vital funds for 4 very special charities: Heart Foundation, The Cancer Council, Beyond Blue and Diabetes Australia. The course is a 25km closed loop circuit around Sydney Harbour and crosses 7 bridges: Sydney Harbour Bridge, Pyrmont Bridge, Anzac Bridge, Iron Cove Bridge, Gladesville Bridge, Tarban Creek Bridge and Fig Tree Bridge. I came to hear about this event through the Events arm of my company, who are the organisers of this event. For both years of this event, I have acted as the Village Manager for Brennan Park.

Some of my colleagues are quite fit and healthy and love to test their bodies with strenuous exercise. A group of them competed in the Sydney to Gong race last year and I became involved in the event as the Support Crew, driving my car down to Wollongong in support of the riders. My little yellow Holden Cruze (aka Tom, aka "The Crew’s Cruze") was easily spotted at various locations for the riders to refuel with sports drinks and energy bars. I hope to be able to support the team again this year.

I have just put my hand up to help out on the Day of Difference Foundation’s inaugural Acceptance Day. In December 2003, a terrible accident left two-year-old Sophie Delezio with horrific burns to 85% of her tiny body. It was only due to the magnificent response of medical staff on that day and in the months that followed, that Sophie survived. Sophie became the catalyst for change, the embodiment of which is the Day of Difference Foundation. Sophie has inspired so many and I for one can’t wait to meet this brave and awesome little girl. This should be a terrific event and is something I am definitely looking forward to assisting.

Movember is a charity event held during the month formerly known as November each year. In general, men lack awareness about the very real health issues they face, have a "she’ll be right" attitude and are reluctant to see a doctor about an illness or to go for regular medical checks. The aim of Movember is to change these attitudes, make male health fun by putting the Mo back on the face of fashion and in the process raise some serious funds for key male health issues, including prostate cancer and male depression. Since hearing about Movember 3 years ago, I have been involved in this initiative from a supporter’s perspective. Whilst I have not devoted time to this per se, I have supported the growth of at least 8 mos and look forward to supporting more mos!

Call me a philanthropist! I’m loving it!

Cops & Neighbours

Mood: WTF

Last week was weird in many ways. But the strangest of all would have to be the mystery surrounding the round-the-clock presence of the police on my floor in my apartment building.

You see, I live in a secure building, which means that to get into the building and up to any floor, you need a security access card to do so, or unless you are buzzed in by someone living in the building. The security access is limited to the areas you are permitted to be in, i.e. I live on level 8, so I am permitted to access the lift to level 8, my car parking space on level P7, and the mezzanine level where the pool and the gym are located. To access another floor, e.g. level 9 where my friends Thomas and Sarah live, I must either be buzzed in by Thomas, or be accompanied by someone who has access to that floor.

So it was rather strange that on Wednesday night, on my return from work at 6.30pm, to find 2 policewomen sitting outside my neighbour’s apartment door and talking quietly amongst themselves.

At that time, I didn’t pay much notice to them. I simply thought they were waiting for my neighbour to let them in. I continued into my apartment and didn’t think anything more of it.

When I left for my friend’s house for dinner an hour later, the police officers were still there. This time, I was a little bit concerned, so I asked them if they were being looked after. They said they were waiting for my neighbour, so although feeling uneasy, I decided to continue with my journey.

The police officers where still there when I returned at 10.30pm. And they were now joined by 2 more policemen and 2 other officers with "Forensics" stamped across their backs. The Forensics guys were in the full kit – overalls, cotton booties over their shoes, etc.

The police party of 6 were all standing in the lift foyer, in quiet discussion about their case, when I stepped out of the lift that evening. I heard one of the Forensics guys say "I’ll just go and grab the kit and start processing then" before he jumped into the vacant lift. The huge police presence in a small lift foyer was now quite concerning, so I tried to find out why they were there.

I asked if everything was ok. One policeman said "Yes." I then asked what was going on. I was met with "Everything’s fine, madam. Please continue on into your apartment." So I did.

I tried to go to sleep, but the police presence was very unsettling, so I thought I’d do another walk-by to see if the police were still in front of my neighbour’s door, on the pretence that I was taking garbage to the rubbish room. And sure enough, they were all still there. This time, I didn’t even ask. I went back into my apartment and dead bolted my door.

When I left for work on Thursday morning, the cops were still there. I overheard one policewoman say to her colleague, "I’ve never been involved in a crime scene like this case before." Visions of a dead body being wheeled out in a black plastic bag through the loading dock stayed with me for most of Thursday.

I did eventually find out what happened. My neighbour was taken away by ambulance on Wednesday afternoon, after appearing at the concierge desk in the building foyer with her face covered in blood. She told the concierge she was assaulted in her apartment and the police and the ambos were called. Because she claimed she was assaulted, the Forensics guys were there to check over the crime scene.

The concierge on duty (who supplied the above information) also told me that the neighbour was a bit kooky and has been known to cause self-harm. He was working as the concierge in the building where she last lived (not far from my apartment building) and a similar incident involving my neighbour had previously occurred. My neighbour suffered minor cuts and abrasions and was being held in hospital under observation for a couple of days. She was due to be released over the weekend.

Not sure how to feel after hearing the news. On one hand, I’m glad there were no dead bodies, but on the other hand, my neighbour is nuts!!! Here’s hoping she keeps all that to herself – I really don’t need to be served any more hot cups of crazy!!!

Nine Words Women Use…

Mood: Smiling

A male mate of mine sent me this – love it long time!

Nine words women use…

1) Fine : This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2) Five Minutes : If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3) Nothing : This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in "Fine".

4) Go Ahead : This is a dare, not permission. Don’t Do It!

5) Loud Sigh : This isn’t actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of "Nothing".)

6) That’s Okay : This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. "That’s okay" means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7) Thanks : A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say "you’re welcome".

8) Whatever : Is a women’s way of saying SCREW YOU!

9) Don’t worry about it, I got it : Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking "What’s wrong?" For the woman’s response, refer to #3.

Right of Reply

Mood: Speechless

What should have been the end of my blogs about Fat Bastard turned out to be the penultimate entry.

Below is Fat Bastard’s reply to the blog in question. I believe everyone is entitled to a right of reply, but I have no intention of outing the real identity of Fat Bastard, nor do I wish to see his face amongst the comments on my blog. I have therefore deleted the comment and reposted it here without any references to his real name nor his picture, both of which were present in his comment.

I don’t actually remember abusing you or flying off the handle about your blog entries and I certainly never threatened legal action. You can call me childish names on your blog all you like. My exact comment was that after never having a bad word to say about you to anyone, you felt the need to bad mouth me to my friends and on your blog. I was also extremely disappointed about some glaring omissions in your version of events, namely that I was not with S at the time which seems to be a convenient untruth you keep peddling, to by your own admission make you seem like the victim. I remember clearly that I was not with S because she stayed at my place on the night of the cricket on a mattress on my bedroom floor and that was the first thing the two of us had done together in a long time. The relevance of the cricket is that it was at the SCG that I asked you to give me some space out of respect for her. You know what happened next and I am not going to go into details, but needless to say your behaviour put me in a fairly untenable position as far as us continuing to have any involvement. You also knew that I had no interest in a relationship because of my previous long term relationship with S and again by your own admission post the event I was always upfront and clear about what I had to offer and you just did not want to hear that. I was also a little miffed that many years after I had long forgotten about all these events, you still felt the need to maintain the rage and blog about them and still today you have a lot anger about things that happened almost 4 years ago. I think it is time to let it go G.

I am not going to justify Saturday night nor am I going to correct your flawed description of what happened because simply it is none of your business, it is between K, S and myself. I will say though that you have once again given your distorted version of events and have a whole lot to say about something that a) you didn’t witness and b) has nothing to do with you. You yourself stated a hatred for S despite having never met her and never having done anything to you. This is different to K and S not getting along how? What happened on Saturday night was not just about her being there on Saturday night. I am not saying that I am glad that things happened the way they did and in the cold light of day without alcohol involved it could have been handled better.

I would also point out that although K and I spent some time sitting in the corner by ourselves, this is actually fairly common for us because we are very much in love and enjoy each other’s company. That is what being in love is about, being in a room full of people and not even caring what is going on around you, which is exactly why we are getting married. I never felt that way about S, hence why I ended the relationship. About the only thing I agree with you on is that yes she is much better off without me because now she can go and find someone that feels about her the way I feel about K. I actually want nothing more than S to be happy, but I have also told her clearly on a number of occasions that I do want her to have any involvement in my life. I am incredibly happy, in fact happier than I have ever been, so why would her happiness adversely affect mine.

So I am not going to tell you what to do with your blog entry. Leave it up if you like. I think most people are intelligent enough to see it as the rant that it is.

My blog, my thoughts. I don’t have to justify anything to you. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. And if, like you said, you’d long forgotten the events, why do you care if my writings are "distorted" and "untrue"? For all you know, this blog is a work of fiction, and I’m just a figment of your overactive imagination. No one invited you to this party, so how about you let me go? Clearly, you can’t seem to let go either.

Oh, and thanks for boosting my readership. I thought only a very small handful of my friends actually read this blog. Your eagerness to spread the word has given my blog a healthy boost in the number of times my entries have been viewed.

And don’t bother. Any further comments from you will be deleted, just so there are more convenient untruths for me to distort in the future.

Pfft. Whatever. Goodbye.

The Best Antidote for Poison!

Mood: Amused

This is definitely my idea of medication … after the weekend I’ve had (see previous blog), this is exactly what the doctor ordered.

VODKA DRIP SAVES POISONED TOURIST
October 10, 2007

Australian doctors used an intravenous feed of vodka to keep an Italian tourist alive after he consumed large quantities of a poisonous substance.

The 24-year-old man, in an apparent bid at self-harm, had swallowed ethylene glycol, found in antifreeze, which can cause death.

Doctors administered pure alcohol, the conventional antidote, but exhausted the hospital’s supply.

Desperate to continue the treatment the doctors at Mackay Base Hospital in Queensland state hooked up an intravenous feed of vodka, hospital officials said.

"The patient was drip-fed about three standard drinks an hour for three days in the intensive care unit," Todd Fraser said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Fortunately for him he was in a medically induced coma for a good portion of that. By the time he woke up I think his hangover would have well and truly gone," Dr Fraser said.

"The hospital’s administrators were also very understanding when we explained our reasons for buying a case of vodka."

The Italian man was treated in the hospital two months ago and has since made a successful recovery. News of his treatment was released only on Wednesday.

–Reuters

Fat Bastard & His Poisonous Ways

Mood: Pissed Off

I haven’t blogged about Fat Bastard for a very long time. But in light of the exceptionally bad behaviour on display by him and his mentally disturbed fiancé over the weekend, I am in need of a very good venting.

The history behind Fat Bastard and I goes like this – boy meets girl, boy dates girl, girl leaves boy after finding out boy wasn’t as single as girl was led to believe, girl hates boy, girl tries to forget boy, girl moves on, boy calls girl months later, girl lets boy back into girl’s life, girl gets burnt by boy again, girl hates boy even more, years later girl finally forgives boy, girl lets boy back into girl’s life (again) and girl gets incinerated by boy.

Yes, so we met through mutual friends, we dated, and we split when I found out that I wasn’t in a mutually exclusive relationship with him. I moved on, but he came back for a second bite of the cherry, and I let him. Disgusted with myself afterwards, I trash talked him through years of hatred. I eventually forgave him and myself and started talking to him again, only be drawn into yet another web of lies and I wound up with a broken heart and messed up ego, again.

In early March this year, I told Fat Bastard about my blog. We met up for a drink, as friends, and talked through a number of issues. At the time, to complete my circle of recovery, I thought I needed to be completely honest with him, so I told him about a number of not-so-flattering entries relating to him in my blog. He was keen to read them, so I told him where to look but only after he agreed to remain calm at all times during his review. I also repeatedly reminded him that I was upset when I wrote the entries.

He broke his promise and flew off the handle. He told me that what I wrote was tantamount to libel and that the paper-thin disguise I gave him was a pathetic attempt to hide his identity. By calling him Fat Bastard, I may as well have flown over Sydney in an airship with his face plastered all over it, announcing to the world that he and Fat Bastard were one and the same.

I was crushed. For the longest time, I held on to a belief that Fat Bastard was someone special, someone I wanted to keep in my life, someone worthy of my time. I spent the next couple of months grovelling and apologising, hoping to be forgiven for allowing him to read my diary. In no uncertain terms, he asked me to remove those entries, to which I stupidly and blindly complied. I even posted a public apology as a follow up.

This proved to be the end for us. There was no going back. There wasn’t even a remote chance of salvaging some form of friendship. Fat Bastard and I were over. End of story.

In all the time I’ve known Fat Bastard, I’ve also know of S, his childhood sweetheart. They dated for 10 years before splitting for good at the beginning of this year. I had never officially met S – I’d heard about her and seen her a few times at social gatherings. Over the last 4 years, I grew an intense dislike for S, not because S is a horrible person, but because I chose to believe the fat lies that Fat Bastard fed to me about S.

When Fat Bastard and I first started dating, he told me that he had just ended a long-term relationship. He assured me that the relationship was over, and was ready to enter into something with me. As it turned out, the whole time Fat Bastard was dating me, he was still seeing S. I became suspicious of S’s presence, and Fat Bastard explained it away with "She’s been in my life for a long time and I want to remain friends with her". I was told I had to deal with it, so I tried my best to be understanding.

At the time, S too became suspicious about my presence. When S no doubt questioned Fat Bastard about me, he explained me away with the fattest lie of all. That I was stalking Fat Bastard.

Worse still, it was communicated to me that S was calling me names and branding me a stalker in public. Fat Bastard relished in the drama of my increasing loathing towards S based on his repeated reminders that S hated me. Lies, lies and more lies. And he loved it. Not only did he infect S and me with poisonous words about the other, he managed to create an illusion to the rest of our group of mutual friends that S and I were tripping over each other fighting over him. Talk about having tickets on himself.

Things may well have turned out differently for everyone if Fat Bastard hadn’t met Special K, the aforementioned mentally disturbed fiancé. They met earlier this year when Special K advertised for a flatmate. Fat Bastard moved into the house and they started dating almost straight away. Within 5 months of dating, Fat Bastard and Special K were engaged.

It was a bit of a shock to me, as Fat Bastard had always been against marriage. Earlier this year, prior to meeting Special K, he also told me that one of the main reasons he and S broke up was because S was pushing for marriage, and he knew he would never marry, so he had to let her go; set her free. So when I found out Fat Bastard was getting married, to someone he’d known for 5 minutes, my heart went out to S, even though I’d never met her and I still held a belief that she hated me.

On Saturday night, I finally officially met S. And I kicked myself for not having the courage to meet her sooner.

S is lovely. She’s funny, friendly and outgoing, exactly the kind of person I would enjoy spending time with. It was awkward for the first couple of minutes, but we soon chatted like long lost friends.

A mutual friend was hosting his birthday bash in the city on Saturday night. S and I were both invited, as were Fat Bastard and Special K. I arrived at the party first, followed by S. By the time Fat Bastard and Special K arrived, S and I had become fast friends.

I chose to stay out of Fat Bastard’s way, but we still managed to bump into each other. He was civilised and we exchange muted greetings before walking away. I saw Special K from afar, but was never introduced to her. Nor did I want to be.

Everyone seemed to be having a great time, but I couldn’t help but notice that at various points of the evening, Fat Bastard and Special K seemed ill-at-ease and chose to sulk in a corner and talk between themselves instead of joining in the party.

Whereas I kept my distance, my best mate Emily spent a fair chunk of the evening talking Fat Bastard and Special K. I will never understand why she does what she does. She said she "needed to appear to be strategically friendly" with Fat Bastard. If only I knew what that meant, then I might not feel like she is somehow betraying our friendship.

Meanwhile, I spent a fair bit of time talking to S at the party, and the more I talked to her, the more I was kicking myself for thinking she was anything else but a lovely person. S’s date, G was equally lovely and we shared many laughs throughout the evening.

Towards closing time at the pub where the party was, we were asked to move from our bar to another bar on the ground floor. As S and I were about to move, Special K barged her way through the very small gap between S and I and mumbled something along the lines of "move out of my way, midgets". Granted, S and I are both around the 5’3" mark – we can’t help being normal height. At nearly 6′, Special K was the freakishly tall person amongst us, but that didn’t give her the right to be nasty to people she’d never met, nor was it a free pass for her to drop her shoulder and hip into me to push me out of the way.

I chose not to let it bother me, and continued to the ground floor bar to have another drink. By this time, the body was getting more and more weary, and at 1am, I called it a night. I bade farewell to S and G and Em, who was originally going home with me but chose to stay on with the party, and went off in search of the birthday boy. A big hug and a kiss later, I was on my way home.

I was to find out over the course of Sunday and Monday what happened after I left.

At the next venue, Fat Bastard and Special K targeted S and displayed some incredibly appalling behaviour. Fat Bastard caught up with S and asked her why she was at the party, when the guest of honour was his friend and S had no right to be there. S countered that the birthday boy was also her friend, and she was extended a personal invitation to the party. Heated words were exchanged before Fat Bastard slunk back to a corner and continued to sulk.

Special K went one step better. With a drink in her hand, she approached S and proceeded to empty the contents of the glass all over S. For S, it was a complete surprise as 1) Special K was a stranger to her – they had never met, and 2) the action seemed to be condoned by a man she loved for 10 years. As if that wasn’t enough, Special K then took a swing at S, who fortunately missed the flying fist. Unfortunately, another friend, L, ended up copping the blow and left the pub with a black eye, utterly disgusted by Fat Bastard and Special K’s behaviour.

Amazingly, the bouncers did nothing to eject Special K, which left her and Fat Bastard with more time to plan the next assault.

Sure enough, Special K came back for Round 2. This time, she had another full drink in her hand which she threw all over S, with a large amount landing on Emily. Special K took another swing, this time connecting with S’s head. Some pushing and shoving ensued and the entire party was eventually ejected. S was understandably upset and shaken, and went home with her own black eye.

Round 3 continued on Sunday, when Fat Bastard sent S an SMS, telling her he hoped she had learned a lesson from the previous night, and that S should know by now that she was not f@#%ing welcome at future gatherings.

No, dude, you are the one that is no longer f@#%ing welcome at future gatherings. Too many people either saw or heard what happened, and your actions, along with those of your crazy fiancé’s have rendered the two of you persona non grata.

Did it irk Fat Bastard to see S having a good time? Did it make him feel all horrid and twisted inside to see that S wasn’t a wasted wreck of a human being that he had predicted she would turn into when he dumped her? Instead, appearing in front of him was one gorgeous and confident young woman whose date spent the evening fawning over her. One he can never be with again.

I can only surmise that it almost killed Fat Bastard to see S had moved on and was looking better than ever. He may have had delusions of grandeur that she would completely fall apart without him, but even Blind Freddy could see that she was much better off without him.

I too am better off without him. For so long, Fat Bastard fed me lies – how he felt, what S allegedly said about me, how S allegedly felt about me. I believed the poison he fed me. And that’s what it was – poison. No doubt he’s been feeding Special K the same brand of poison, only this time, the poison had a different effect, which saw Special K launch herself at an innocent S, someone Special K has never met and knew nothing about.

So, as a parting shot, I dedicate Alice Cooper’s "Poison" to you, Fat Bastard. You are poison. May your actions continue to speak louder than words, so that everyone may see your true colours.

Your cruel device
your blood, like ice
One look, could kill
My pain, your thrill…

I wanna love you but I better not touch
I wanna hold you, but my senses tell me to stop
I wanna kiss you but I want it too much
I wanna taste you but your lips are venomous poison
Your poison running through my veins
Your poison
I don’t wanna break these chains.

Your mouth, so hot
Your web, I’m caught
Your skin, so wet
Black lace, on sweat

I hear you calling and it’s needles and pins
I wanna hurt you just to hear you screaming my name
Don’t wanna touch you but you’re under my skin
I wanna kiss you but your lips are venomous poison
Your poison running through my veins
Your poison
I don’t wanna break these chains.

Running deep inside my veins
Posion burning deep inside my veins

One look, could kill
My pain, your thrill…

I wanna love you but I better not touch
I wanna hold you, but my senses tell me to stop
I wanna kiss you but I want it too much
I wanna taste you but your lips are venomous poison
Your poison running through my veins
Your poison
I don’t wanna break these chains.

Poison…

I wanna love you but I better not touch
I wanna hold you, but my senses tell me to stop
I wanna kiss you but I want it too much
I wanna taste you but your lips are venomous poison
Your poison running through my veins
Your poison
I don’t wanna break these chains.

Poison.

Holiday Blog: 22-23/09/2007, Days 16 to 17 – Hong Kong to Sydney, Australia

Mood: Tired but Content

The long journey home, stuck in a pod for a seat that did not recline in the new Cathay Pacific planes. Instead, I spent 9 hours slouched inside the immobile pod, with a back so scrunched up by the end of the flight that I felt lucky to be able to walk out of the airport.

More details to come, but below are pics of some of the mementos from the trip.