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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Reverse psychology.

The idea of reverse psychology, essentially, is to get someone to do A by suggesting to them the opposite. This generally works when the person really doesn't like you, really doesn't like the opposite of A, is downright stubborn, doesn't like being told what to do, or all of the above.
People sometimes like to take it a step further, and think of reverse reverse psychology. And then reverse reverse reverse, et cetera, et cetera.

That's my short explanation on the idea before launching into the actual point of the post.

God can't be tricked. That's a fact, pure and simple. And it's also true, pretty much whatever God you believe in - you get examples throughout every culture's mythology of people trying to trick God/s and failing. (If they succeed, generally they're at least part-God themselves, or there's some other factor.) And you get examples in the Bible, as well. A well known one is Ananias and Sapphira, at the beginning of Acts 5.

Now, some time ago - probably a year and a half ago, maybe a bit more - I was thinking, just in passing, that something couldn't possibly happen. I'm pretty sure my thoughts were, I bet it won't happen. (Sorry, not giving specifics as to what it was. It's not really significant to anyone else.)
But it did.
And my immediate thoughts were, of course, God, why you trolling me? But then, because it's my mind, I got thinking.
I thought - hang on, if he trolled me by making something happen when I thought it definitely wouldn't - what if I thought that way about something else, that I actually wanted to happen?! Maybe that would work!

Of course, you can see the flaws in my reasoning, there.
Firstly, it's God. He can't be tricked.
Secondly, if you do want it to happen but you're attempting to act like you don't think it will, chances are there's a part of you that thinks it will. And it's like trying not to think about the pink elephant. (Thought it was a reference to Inception, and was wondering whether they said pink or purple - turns out they just said elephants. Boring.)
However, it's my mind. It kept trying, even though I knew it wouldn't succeed.

Recently, I've come across something that I would very much like to happen. I also, however, believe that there is almost no chance that it will.
And the seed of doubt is planted. Has part of my mind actually succeeded in blocking itself off enough that it can manufacture such a feeling without me detecting it? In reality, if I look at the pros and cons of the situation, I should not be as pessimistic about the possible occurrence. And yet I am.
And so, what am I to conclude? That my brain has managed to trick myself, in an attempt to trick God (which will, of course, fail, because he's God), in an attempt to make this work out? I'd be impressed if my brain was even at such a level where it could trick itself. Though perhaps I shouldn't be surprised - we're often told that our brains have much more potential than we utilise. And my brain is certainly not typical.

So, in short; I know that my mind won't succeed in tricking God. But has it managed to, essentially, use reverse psychology on myself? Or am I just reading way too much into this?
God knows. *shrugs*

A Good Friend.

A good friend of mine once said, start yesterday. Since I don't call it tomorrow until I've gone to bed and woken up again (unless I don't go to bed, in which case it just makes it all kinds of weird), it is now yesterday, from tomorrow, so I thought I'd write this.

Now, as I've told you guys one hundred bajillion times by now, I am absolutely fantastic at communicating. <sarcasm> I love it to bits. <slightlyless_sarcasm> And I'm even better at it in person, particularly when it comes to chatting up the ladies. *slowwink* <absolutelydrippingwith_sarcasm>

However, over the past couple of years or so, I've actually been keeping up a fairly constant conversation with a good friend. I've talked to him almost every day. Not in person, admittedly, but he prefers online too, so that's OK. Though he still touts the benefits of face-to-face communication, don't get me wrong. It's just simpler this way sometimes. Particularly given the tyranny of distance.

And because of this discussion that I've had going with him, I've been able to get to know him better. Create with him. Bounce ideas off him. Seek advice. Ask him questions. Not so much ask for feedback, he'll generally only tell you whether he thinks it's good or not. But with the other stuff, he's very helpful. And he's been a tremendous help to me over the past couple of years. I don't really want to think about where my head would be at right now if he hadn't been there.

So today (or yesterday, as the case may be), I want to say thanks. You've been amazing to me/for me. I'm not going to forget that. And you're one friend I won't be forgetting, either. You're not only a good friend; you're one of my best friends. And I look forward to the day when we're laughing together in heaven. At some crazy kids like us down here, attempting to figure out why it all is the way it is. And probably getting nowhere close.

And I'm going to link you to this so I don't have to ask you in a few days if you've actually checked my blog recently, damn it.

And for the rest of you who have no idea who/what I'm talking about, remember your friends. Your best friends. And what they've done for you. Because, chances are, they've put a fair bit into what you are today. Don't ever forget that. Don't ever forget them.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

On curiosity, and little things.

I'm quite a curious person, naturally. One of my innate beliefs is that there's always another question. Always. If you can't think of another one, it's because you've discounted something or other. Sure, there's a trillion questions that are near identical - and may yield very similar answers - but there's always another question.

And I like asking questions. (I like being asked questions a bit more, honestly, but it's cool.) Partly because people are just so interesting. I think that every single person is interesting. I mean, naturally, some people are going to be more interesting to me in particular than others - I can relate to them better and such. But the people I don't find as interesting other people will find interesting. And so on and so forth.

And, you know, sometimes I'm interested in the big things. The whys and the wherefores. And we discuss the ins and outs of philosophy, theology, science, art, life, the universe, and everything.... (did someone yell 42?) but sometimes, I like to ask about the little things. Someone's favourite colour. Favourite song. Why they always wear odd socks, or decided to grow their hair long, or don't like cheese. (I think I have come across each of these, from memory.)

Just the little things. I think little things can tell you a lot about a person. For example, my favourite colours are "green, blue, or a mix of the two." A little rhyme I came up with a few years back. But they're my favourite colours for pretty good reasons; green is the grass, the leaves, the bushes and plants, forest - blue is the sky and the sea. And they're nice, deep colours.

My favourite song? That's one I'll keep to myself, for now ;)

Friday, 24 August 2012

Just a quick idea.

Had a thought recently about coalescing a bunch of my posts (opinion pieces, mainly) into a book of some sort. Probably just an eBook, given I don't really have the means to produce an actual book.

But if I was going to do that, do people have specific posts they definitely want to see in there? Also, if anyone knows of anything that would help me in making these into an eBook, that'd be great.

At the moment, thinking three sections - maybe my original A to Z, then all my "On X" ones, and all my religion/Christianity ones. Just one idea at the moment.

Faster, Higher, Stronger...

Recently, the Olympic games were on. Apparently. I don't really watch them. I'm not much of a sports fan, personally. I know, shock horror, Brendan James Raymond not a sporty person....
I like running, OK? And soccer. Doing them, that is, not watching them. I don't like watching sport at all, really. Those two I like doing in and of themselves (recently, Muggle Quidditch/wheelchair variant has also been good), and any other sports I'll typically just do for the company of the people I'm doing it with. Though I will still get into it somewhat.

But anyway. As you may (or may not) know, the Olympic motto is "Faster, Higher, Stronger." The original is actually Latin, but you know. Most people don't know Latin, for some strange reason...
But anyway, that's been the motto of the Olympics for a while now. A few decades or something. And it suits the Olympics, to a degree. Though personally I prefer their second one, which I'll mention at the end.

Though it does seem oftentimes as though this is the motto of the world, really. Faster, higher, stronger. Be faster, aim higher, get stronger. I don't do any of those.

Faster. I'm characteristically slow. Both in the fact that I actually am slow, and in the fact that I have little interest in increasing my speed. (Not so much applying to running. That's different - and I often don't run just to get from A to B fast, but because I like to.) A point which I'm often reminded of at work. Without fail, if I'm doing the washing up, the other kitchen hand on with me will relieve me after very long. Because I'm going too slowly and it's piling up. They will then proceed to finish it in half an hour. Not much exaggeration, really. It was a similar story when I did distribution. And when I do get faster, as I've mentioned, I can be somewhat clumsy. Also occurs with my speech, not good at speaking fast, or without thinking on what I'll be saying beforehand.
And even if you think in mind, rather than body - I'm not that quick a thinker. I'm a good thinker, but I often like to mull things over a bit rather than just get straight to it. Sometimes I can get it fairly quickly, but not like the real quick thinkers can.

Higher. I'm not much of a one for setting goals. At all. I don't aim for the sky. Generally speaking, I'm often fairly happy with where I am with a lot of things. Not all things, but a lot of things. There are some things I'm working on, as I've mentioned in previous posts. But often, I don't really set particular goals for them. Just generally...not where it is now. I'm not that specific about it. And also, because I know that I can fail with things now and then (sometimes a lot), sometimes I'll expect myself to do badly or fail - so that if I do, it won't be so bad, and if I do better, it will be a pleasant surprise.

Stronger. I'm not strong in body. I never go to the gym - well, I went once, when a hotel I was staying at had one. I went on a stair machine for a while. I mean, I'm fit-ish. I do stuff like running, Tae Kwon Do, Kung-Fu, whatever. But I'm not strong. Most people can beat me at an arm wrestle. I'm quite skinny/gangly. I can't see to well without my glasses. I would not last long in a fight, most likely. (Not a circumstance I particularly want to imagine.)
Though, fair enough, I'm fairly strong in mind. I have been somewhat gifted there, and for that I am quite thankful.

So, if you take each of these, just in their main sense, mostly thinking about body - I fail fairly dismally. Even if it's in mind, I'm just OK. But then, think about heart/soul. However you want to say it. Faster - I'm fast to love, care and befriend people, not to judge them. Higher - though sometimes I can expect the worst, I always hope for the best (well, what I see as the best, anyway). Stronger - I'm very strong-willed (*cough* stubborn *cough*), and strong-hearted. If I call you a friend, that doesn't change. Doesn't matter if I haven't seen you in five minutes, five hours, days, weeks, years. If you need an ear, a hand, a shoulder, a hug - I'm there. And, something interesting I've found of late - I can tell the depth of a relationship I'll have with someone from square one, pretty much. I mean, generally, people start off as friends, become good friends, very good friends, then best friends - as soon as I meet someone, I can generally tell which of those they are. And that's how I relate to them - like they're already there. I've met someone just this year that I knew - and have called as such since - was a best friend, pretty much straight away. We just connected really well. (To put it in perspective; including him, I'd say there are three people that I'd call best friends at the moment.) And we've had some really deep discussions, right from the get-go, and it's been great.

So I suppose, the world seems to rank it somewhat like this: body first, then mind, then heart/soul. Some places probably put mind first (China/Japan...just maybe...). I'm thinking more the reverse of that, myself. Heart/soul first, mind second, body last. I think that's a better way to do it, personally.

Oh, and I said I'd tell you the other motto of the Olympics. It's a bit less well known. "The most important thing is not to win but to take part." That's a better motto, I think. And perhaps, given some of their comments, one that the media should be a bit more aware of...

Monday, 20 August 2012

Faith and hope on love.

I'm afraid that this will be another depressing one. It tends to happen after I watch movies or TV by myself.

Faith, hope, and love. According to God/the Bible, the three greatest things. And, in some respects, what I've tried to live out.

But I'm afraid that in recent times, the prevalence of the former two in relation to the latter have been rapidly dwindling.

Admittedly, though, I never had much faith in the first place of love. It was mainly hope. And at one point, there was much hope there. Usually, hope is something that I've held on to fairly well. And so I hoped, and I prayed...but now, that shining light has reduced itself to a flickering candle at the end of a steep, dark tunnel, in which it is very easy to fall. And which I don't know if I'll ever get out of.

Perhaps, one day, it won't trouble me so much. But I think it is somewhat part of being this age that one dreads being old and alone. Of course, one is never really alone. But it can sometimes certainly feel that way.

Sorry if I'm getting people down. I'll attempt to make sure the next post is about something more light-hearted.

And don't worry too much about me being depressed, either. If I'm good at one thing, it's distraction and diversion of my own train of thought. Keeping one's self busy usually does the trick nicely. It's just these periods of inactivity that get me down. Not being self-motivated at all, they tend to crop up more than I'd like. And, of course, you can't stop the train. Sometimes you can slow it a little, but it always comes back.

Friday, 17 August 2012

P versus J.

And I've finally got around to it! Whew. Taken my time. Anyway, let's get into it.

This post is looking at the difference between people who, according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, are either Perceiving or Judging (I'm the former, as an aside).

The basics aren't too complicated. Someone who is P is more open to receiving information, is a bit more casual about things, and isn't so focussed on making decisions. Someone who is J is quite focussed on getting things done, making decisions, planning, being task oriented, etc.

Now, of course, each of these have their own advantages.

For example, a good boss will almost always be J. They're decisive, making the big calls and such. And if they're not, chances are they have a partner/adviser who is. (And v.v., often.) They're also quite handy when it comes to getting work done, of course. Assignments, tasks, plans - that's their language, their bread and butter. That's how they like it to function, and they're pretty good at it.

However, a good listener will usually be P. They're willing to listen to different points of view, open to alternative options, able to step outside what they think - suspend judgement; sometimes avoid it altogether. Loath to judge others, they can be good at conflict resolution, able to see both parties' arguments without having pre-judgements. They like to be more flexible, just doing it as they go.

The disadvantages? Well, each is not that great at the other one. Ps can tend to fall down on planning, structure and task-oriented work; Js can find it difficult to not make a decision, be flexible and accommodate different - perhaps contrasting - viewpoints.

Both are important in our world, and it's important that they work together - without each other, neither is really complete.

Friday, 10 August 2012


There seems to be a trend amongst argumenteurs of calling the opposing side's argument 'rubbish'.


This does nothing for you. It tells me that, no matter how well constructed your argument is, or how much time, research and thought you've put into it, regardless of whether I agree with you or not - I can instantly tell that, at least 90% of the time, you really haven't put any thought in to why this argument that you have denounced as 'rubbish' says what it does, the thought that they've put into it.

A little bit of empathy, please. It goes a long way. Everything begets itself. Start throwing rubbish around, you get more of it. A bit of understanding, compassion, and love - and it gets pretty amazing.

Thursday, 9 August 2012


That's probably the wrong word to use, because it's more of a subconscious thing. But anyway, that's the word I'll use for now.

I find that I often seem to get a bit...sidelined. I'm usually the odd one out, the one at the edge of the group, the guy that doesn't really have many conversations with people.

And part of that's me, for sure. I mean, the first step if you want people to interact with you is interacting with them yourself.
I've got over 500 friends on Facebook, and I don't talk to any of them on it, really. I don't really chat to people on Facebook at all. And the funny thing is - I can be a lot more talkative in the cyber world than in the real world! But there's pretty much only one person I have regular conversations with online. We moved off FB to Google Chat a while ago. We find it more preferable.

But yes. The first step of getting people to interact with you is to interact with's the trick. I am....hopeless when it comes to that. If I can manage to get past hello, I'm doing well. If I even get up to hello, I'm doing well. Particularly if you're by yourself, even more so if you're female and near my age. If I go any further than asking you how you're doing etc, then it's astounding.

And the thing is, I don't find any of that conversation interesting. Who. What. When. Where. *yawn* A computer can tell me that. I can just look it up on Facebook or whatever, and I can find out what you did this week. Too easy.
How is a bit better. It takes a couple of sentences.
But why is the best. The why is what I love to think about, throw back and forth, mull over for a while, savour, chew, digest, discuss - I'm quite fond of the why.

And the thing is, that's the problem. Because even when people do try and get me involved, where do they go....who. What. When. Whe..zzzz....zzzz....
Not quite, but it is part of the reason I don't get too actively involved in the conversation. And trust me, when you get me on to a good topic, I can be quite vocal. I mean, I've done public speaking - no, actually, I shouldn't say that. That's speaking at or to people, not with them. Anyway.

So yeah. I don't know exactly how to get out of this particular quandary. Maybe I should just say hi to a few people on Facebook more often. Who knows.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The wrong I'd prefer to be.

I know, I haven't done P versus J yet. Next post, hopefully.

 There's a lot of things I believe - as a Christian, mainly, but also some things as a person, a musician, etc - that many others will contest with me on. And that's part and parcel of anything, really. You take any stance, there are going to be people who disagree with you.

And with some things, I don't really mind that much. Let them like that movie/music/book/colour/socks/food. It's not hurting anybody. It's what they enjoy.

But I suppose that's my line. If it's something that hurts other people - then I'll actually put some sort of effort into arguing against it. Probably not as much as I should - I'm notorious for being backward in coming forward - but that's certainly my 'uncomfortable' line, I guess.

And that will, by and large, be how I define a lot of my views - if it hurts other people (intentionally, in the main, though some unintentional as well), then it's wrong, from a Christian perspective. That's why I'll stand against things like abortion, discrimination against various minority groups, people against women preaching, anti-gay marriage, etc etc. That's just a few. (Quick aside - I'm not an extremist, with an abortion. There are a  few isolated cases where I would leave it up to the mother/doctor's opinion, but they'd be a fairly small minority.)

And, I suppose, in each of these cases, I could well be wrong. With a couple of these, people can make very convincing arguments against me that come straight from the Bible. I've looked them up.

But, as a friend of mine recently put it (which I was quite delighted to read, as I'd planned to do this post for a while now): 'I would much rather be on the side I am and be “wrong” than be on the other side and be “wrong”.' I'd rather stand in front of God and be accused of loving too many people (which sounds absurd to me; look at Jesus, for goodness' sake), than stand in front of God and be accused of ostracising his people. I'm probably representing it in a bit of a black and white fashion, ad hominem, et cetera. I'd still prefer to be this wrong.

The Young Creatives' Festival of Awesome.

Because it was.

OK, over the last two nights (so, tonight and yesterday night), the inaugural Young Creatives Festival of Shorts was performed at the Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. It had seven short plays, a dance at the beginning and end, involved about 17/18 young people (including the writers), one great backstage manager, two amazing director/producer/everythingers, and was based on the theme of SPARK.

And it was awesome :D

Everybody did an absolutely amazing job. There wasn't a single actor on that stage that didn't put everything into it, and you could see it so well on the stage. The confidence level just soared through the roof, and the audience loved it, both nights. And, of course, as we actors love to do, as soon as we come off the stage, we're going on about how we mucked up this and missed that and this wasn't quite right - but every acting thing will have those, and the real mark of a good production is not whether they have mistakes and accidents, but how they recover from them, or even use them to make the show better. There was a great moment on the first night where one of the actors was pulling out a $20 note to entice the other character back onstage - "Twenty dollars! I'll give you twenty dollars!" And a coin dropped out as he pulled the note out. "And ten cents! - No, wait, five cents. Five cents!"

There's been a million great moments with this production, and it's so sad that it's all over now. I have to say a massive thanks to both of our directors, Nisrine and Randa - they put up with us through the good and the bad, helped us up when we needed a hand, gave us a word when we needed it, and basically just always knew what needed to happen.

Also, a big thanks to all the actors and writers that were involved - without you guys, there is nothing. You're all amazing actors/writers - but you've also become some great friends as well. And ones that I'm not planning to let go of any time soon. We'll be organising a get together before long, I'm sure ;)

And many thanks to Amelia, our backstage manager, as well! You might not have thought that you did much, but it's so important having that figure there to provide some form of assistance/organisation/reassurance.

Also, a big thanks to Riverside Theatres for giving us a place to show our performance, the various places we practiced in for letting us practice there, and the assisting directors for coming along and - well, assisting to direct!

And a massive thanks to our audiences on both nights, you guys are what make this so special for us!

A few of the best/most memorable moments:
Alem - "What, can't a guy have a drink? Sheesh!" (or something like that)
Anthony - that roar at the beginning, gets me every time, it's ridiculous...
Audrey - managing to pull off that performance, with so little notice. And not just pulling it off, but doing it really, really well.
Conor - the coat rack as a weapon. Yep. :D
Diana - Harry Potter. Need I say more? ;)
Esmeralda - those stairs. Which need a ramp alternative, most definitely.
Felicia - demonstrating fire safety has never been so hilarious - Stop, Drop, and Roll. XD
Jason - wearing that hair, and the nose. "I'm actually allergic to some plastics, are you sure this is....?" Gold.
John - the cake, always the cake. But particularly when it wasn't just the cake, but also the floor. XD
Jordan - being climbed while acting as a tree....yeah.
Kristen - when you managed to 'miss me by that much' with one of your legs swooshing past when you practiced.
Mariah - that drawing. And "See what?"
Monikka - I'm afraid it has to be the banana. Sorry!
Rachel - Booooooooooooyyyyyyyyys!!!

I'm going to miss you all so much :'( But, like I said, we'll catch up again soon :)