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Tuesday, 25 September 2012


 This is the start of a story. Thinking of maybe doing it as an audio-story-type-thing, because it's sounding like that sort of thing. Yeah. This is all I've got so far. Note: this is an alternate reality, not a possible future. These people are born this way, not because of technology.

People say that you can do anything if you try. Except, of course, that's never quite true, is it? A blind person can't see. A deaf person can't hear. A person without legs can't walk. If they can, then they're not blind, or deaf, or whatever. And it's the same with me. I can't think. I mean, I can think, but - OK, I'm going to need to explain this a bit.

You know how everyone communicates thoughts, just by touching? I mean, if they don't want to it doesn't happen, it's not like they instantly have access to all your secrets or anything - but, yeah, you know what I mean. You just have to touch someone, and you can communicate any sort of thought to them. It could be a word, a sound, a feeling, a picture, you name it. Some people with crazy memories make a business out of sharing entire movies and songs with people.

Well - I can't do that. I can't communicate thoughts to other people, and they can't get anything to me. And I've tried. Trust me, I've tried. And I've been to a dozen different specialists, doctors, psychologists, everything. But nothing. I can tell when other people are trying to get through - but it just doesn't work. It's like there's a wall around my brain, and no-one can get in or out. And I hate it.

I mean, sure, it means I don't get the overload headaches from ETP (oh, Excessive Thought Pile-up), as well as a couple of other things everyone else has to deal with - but that's a pretty massive price to pay. And, as far as I know, it's just me. I'm alone.

A blind argument.

Leonardo da Vinci is a pretty cool guy. No questions asked.
But he makes an interesting argument in one of his writings. He says that if poets can call painting mute poetry, he can call poetry blind painting. He then claims that the eye is the king of the senses, and thus would prefer being 'mute' over 'blind'.

Firstly, I've argued previously for my order of the senses (though speech isn't a sense, but more a faculty; but it would come in third).
Secondly, however, words can incite the imagination in greater ways than pictures can. Pictures may captivate an audience more immediately and fully - such is the nature of vision - but words may suggest a million different things, while the painting can only ever be what it is. A person, in reading a story or poetry, will inevitably let his imagination picture it in a way that will be unique to him; while the viewer of a painting, if he imagines what the painting is to mean (which some do not) - then these word imaginings inspired by the painting will not compare to the visual imaginings inspired by the words.
Though, painting and pictures certainly have their place. They can convey in a moment what it can take a writer many pages to depict sufficiently. They can also, however, leave much unsaid that words will not; or have excessive information that is not seen in the text either.

However, if one may be called 'mute', and the other 'blind' - perhaps both are also 'deaf', and it is only music that can hear. And, while it may be blind and mute - these I would prefer over something that is deaf. For, while something that is not blind can see people's faces always; and something that is not mute talk to them always; something that is not deaf can hear them always, hear their stories, their sorrows, their joys and triumphs. And that is one blessing that I would not sacrifice.

Monday, 24 September 2012

You asked for it.

As I've mentioned countless times, I can be a bit of an introverted, secretive, shy person. And I appear to be as such even more than I am.
Along that line, there are many questions that I've been asked before that I just don't answer - or, at least, not truthfully.

In short, I'm trying to turn over a bit of a leaf. Well, more of a cement slab, but you get the drift. Generally speaking, I'm attempting to be a more honest and open person. I've taken a couple of steps towards that, but I thought that it was important that I put this up.

Some of the more frequent questions that I've historically answered either dismissively or inaccurately: what have you been up to? How are you doing? Do you have a girlfriend/have you? Do you like someone? Do you like person XYZ? Do you think person XYZ is hot? What's your favorite song?
Yes, there's a bit of a bias there in the questions. If you know me at all, that shouldn't be too surprising.
And now, I will answer each of those questions, without saying "I won't answer that."

I usually say "nothing". It's never nothing. There are always details and little things I could tell you about. I just generally assume that people want a short answer to that question. That's the only fairly honest short answer to that question I've found as yet.

Generally, I'll say "good". Almost all of the time, I am. I'm good at being hopeful and such. But most of the time, it's also more complex than that. Hint: if you want to get a better answer out of me, "Are you OK?" is a better question to ask.

I do not have a girlfriend, and I never have.

That would depend on how you define 'like'. (Well, it probably doesn't, but I think it's important that people actually know what I'm talking about.) 'Like' can mean anything from saying this girl's a friend, to I like her personality, to I like her body, to I love her. People generally seem to mean some lesser form of the latter. I tend to prefer it as it's meant to mean - romance, falling in love, you get the picture. Don't want to get you too excited. In short, yes, I've fallen in love before. No, you don't get to know who. ;) That's one I will still keep to myself, thank you very much.

Going along a similar line on 'like' in the previous point. In that sense, it would depend on who XYZ was, of course. If it's just meant to ask whether I find them attractive or not - there's a fair possibility of it, I know a lot of very good looking girls.

*sigh* Hot. Right. I prefer to not use that word, because it tends to be referring more to the bodies of people - almost as objects. I prefer to use the word 'beautiful'. No, I'm not just saying beautiful on the inside. There is that as well, but you can certainly also look beautiful. Difference between hot and beautiful: the former focuses on below the neck, and the latter focuses on above it. Not that they ignore the rest, they just focus there. Do I consider said person beautiful? Quite possibly, I know a lot of beautiful girls. Still attempting to figure out if that's a general thing with girls, a general reaction of guys to girls, or me being generous, or me being fortunate. *shrugs* Do I consider said person hot? See previous note on attractive. I consider them synonyms. Well, not quite, but that'll do for now.

I often say that either I don't have one, or I have different ones for different things. (Like sad song, happy song, instrumental, etc.) Latter is true, but I do have an absolute favourite, if you want to call it that. May be slightly clichéd/cheesy, but I don't care. Oh, and the video for it is pretty darn good too. Vanilla Twilight, by Owl City.

And that's it. If you have another question - apart from who I love/have loved, because I won't answer that - feel free to post it/email me/PM me or something.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Had a visit to the psychologist today. With this Asperger's thing, attempting to get an actual diagnosis.

Essentially, the word is this - my personality is more or less Aspie, but I don't necessarily have all the traits of your typical person with Asperger's. So the way I think about things etc is very much Aspie (and I'll always have that, really), but with how I do things/feel things and such, not so much.

So yeah, that's the essential idea. He said I didn't have a problem with too much really, mainly just the social stuff. And more the implementation tham the knowing it. Which is...pretty much what I thought straight off the bat, so that's cool.

And from now, the idea is that I'll be catching up with him one-on-one, and he'll be helping out with a few of those social things. Which I think will be realy good :)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

It could've been me...

In recent times, I've seen a couple of people I know quite well get fairly famous on a couple of prominent music talent shows here in Oz. And, of course, having tried for Australia's Got Talent earlier this year, part of my brain goes: that could've been you.

If you'd gone on to The Voice, or X Factor, and sung someone else's song - instead of singing your own silly song, just singing someone else's, you could've gotten in. And you could've done well. Maybe you would be famous by now. Maybe you wouldn't have to worry about a job for next year. Maybe you'd have thousands of young screaming female fans. Maybe you'd have dozens of girls asking you to marry them every day...

Erch. Had to stop before I vomited.

Needless to say, that's not really a voice I listen to, for a few pretty good reasons.

Firstly, because I've always said that if I'm going to become well known, it will be off my own songs. My own ideas and messages.

Secondly, I've said a million times, I love making people laugh. I made people laugh with what I did, even if it was just the high voice gag.

Thirdly, I've never had a great desire to be well known, or famous. I'd love for my songs to be well known, and for their message to be spread around to millions of people. But I'm very happy living in relative hermitude.

Fourthly, I couldn't deal with heaps of young girls screaming over me. Some - most - guys would probably love that. They go out of their way to get all the girls attention, and now they have all they could ever want. Me, I would never be able to cope with the gaggle of girls. Just in case people weren't already aware of that :P Never been too interested in impressing all the girls. In my mind, I want to be attracting one girl, not heaps. And you'd think they would find me more interesting as I am, rather than showing off.


NB: not diminishing from their success in any way. Fantastic for them, massive kudos etc due. It's just not my cup of tea. And in some ways, I'm glad I'm not drinking it.

Monday, 17 September 2012

I feel...

How do I feel?

I feel small.

I live on a pale blue dot in a universe as close to infinite as we can imagine, which is ever expanding. That tiny dot barely covers a tenth of a pixel in a picture of our whole solar system. Which is one of possibly billions in just our galaxy, which is one of further billions in the known universe. If you compared the size of the Earth to just one of the biggest stars we've found - if the earth were a golf ball, this star would be the size of Mount Everest.

And I feel tired.

Tired of a world that is full of sadness, and pain, and suffering, and war, and anger, and people hurting each other. Tired of the burdens and the sorrows that this world forces onto me. Aching for rest.

And I feel scared.

Scared of a world that could blow itself up many times over. That could poison the waters, the skies, the earth; and in some ways has already started to. That could trace everything that I say and do without me knowing. That could create some sort of biochemical weapon and kill us all.

And I feel cold.

Cold in an endless winter. Cold in an unfeeling world. In a world that does not embrace me, and would never want to.


More than that.

I am loved.

Loved by an endless, amazing, warming, rejuvenating, uplifting, courageous, crazy love that is so much greater than anything that I may feel.

And I want other people to know that they are loved too.

Not that they can be loved, or they might be loved - they are loved, and loved so much!

And that's you.  


You are loved. And that is the truth.

You might feel small. Or tired. Or scared. Or cold.

But you are loved.

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Generally speaking, I'm one of the more patient, laid-back people you'll come across. I'm the kind of person that often waits for an opportunity, and then it never comes around. But there are times that I've waited for hours....days....months....years....not many things fall into that last category, as you may guess.

But at the moment, I'm trying to make a change in myself. And, of course. I'm feeling impatient. Figures.

Thing is, it's not really the kind of thing you can rush. Because it's not doing something, it's not doing something. I mean, to not do something - depending on what it is you're attempting to not do - you often have to put in a few safeguards, failsafes, contingencies and such to help you out. Have someone else there to help you through it. Send a word or three up to God fairly often.

But you can't really rush it. You have to wait it out. Play the long game.

Hopefully, it's the last one I'll have to play that's this hard. Because I have a feeling that this will take a lot longer than I'd like.

But I'm hoping that at least this time I'll play it out until the end.

Being torn.

I've posted relatively frequently about the various ups and downs of my job, so chances are you know them pretty well by now.

On the one side, one of the things I hate most in life is feeling rushed. This occurs frequently, particularly on Thursday nights or later during the week. Most people love it when it's busy, cause then it's over quick. I love it when it's empty, cause then I'm not rushed (and I can actually keep up better :P). It's something I really really don't like, because generally speaking, it's the closest I'll ever get to being angry. And as I've mentioned before, I don't really get angry. And I don't like getting angry.
The pay is also not really that great. I mean, at the moment, it's more than enough. But if I was needing to be independent, have my own place - not a chance.

On the other hand, it's a fantastic place to be. You get to see how the chefs work, learn so much about cooking and the food business. You get to try some of the food now and then, if they're experimenting or something. You get dinner for no charge, and fizzy drink for free. (Doesn't mean you can take a bottle home.)
And they're fantastic people to work with. The other kitchen hands, the chefs, the pizza guys, the waiters/tresses - there's some really great people there, that are good friends. And we can have some great talks sometimes.

So it's a bit annoying. If I could do Monday/Tuesday night every night, maybe I'd be happy. Though for next year, the pay would really still be a problem. *sighs* So it looks like I'll need to find another job out there somewhere. That doesn't need qualifications, doesn't need experience, and isn't rushed.
I know I'm an optimist, but I'm not liking my chances at present. :P

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Friends in strange places.

Something I've noticed - which I think is a general thing - is that when you are used to seeing someone in a particular context, if they're taken out of that context, you often don't see them.

There's a number of times that I've seen friends at work, or in the shops, or somewhere else. And I'll smile and wave (or something like that), but they won't notice me there. Most of the time, at least; every now and then you get someone who does notice, which is nice.
Thought about doing a mini skit based around that idea at some point.

So, I don't know. Maybe that means that we need to be more observant. Perhaps look for things in places that we don't necessarily expect them. Though then, I suppose, it would be less of a surprise when they came around, if you were expecting it.
Oh well. You can't win, can you.

Monday, 10 September 2012

The sunglasses mentality.

This is a post I've had in mind for a while, thought I'd finally get around to writing it.
NB: I know a few good people who are of the sunglasses mentality, or a better variation thereof. Not attempting to dismiss them as wrong, or anything like that. They can make it work and do what I try and do, I can only manage the one. And I guess they don't really take it quite as seriously as what I'm talking about. Which is good.

I'm not a fan of sunglasses. Or even glasses, myself, but particularly sunglasses. Why? Because, if you have your sunglasses on, I can't see your eyes. I have no idea where your eyes are looking, I have no idea what your eyes are saying, and I don't know what your eyes are looking like at the moment. And I like to be able to know those three things. Eyes are extremely important for communication. They're also one of the more attractive features of the face, and the face has some pretty good looking features. As such, I pretty much never wear sunglasses myself. Only sometimes when I'm driving and the sun is right in my eyes, and I can't really see.

But as well as that, the sunglasses are another layer in between me and you. A separating layer, it distances us from each other. And if someone is putting on sunglasses all the time, it does make you wonder whether they're trying to somewhat remove themselves from the world. (Another NB: I do actually know people who need to wear sunglasses because their eyes aren't fantastic. Not a problem.)

And, of course, then there's the "cool" factor. Sunglasses make you "cool". What is "cool", really? What does it actually mean? Well, most of the time, if I'm saying that I'm cool, it's putting myself above you, apart from you. Now, there are times when A will say that B is cool, and B will then say that A is pretty cool too. But, generally speaking, apart from the elite of bros and such, there's a fairly clear division between "cool" and "not cool".

And with me, I don't like being divided or apart from people, particularly. It's kinda something I did a fair bit when I was younger - and I still sometimes do it now, but I really don't want to, and I certainly don't like to. I like being with people, together with people, sharing with people, laughing with people, smiling, playing, having fun. That's me, anyway.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Election Day.

(Pre-note: I'm not sure how much of this I'm actually allowed to put up, particularly with the counting stuff. However, given you can find this stuff in other places, I'm going to assume that it's fine for now.)

Worked as an Election Official yesterday at the Local Council elections. Place I was working at was actually just down the road, which was handy. 7:15am start, 10:30 finish. A pretty long day. There were four of us at that location, all up. Just four. Apparently, we had close to 1800 people go through there.

It's something I did at the last elections as well - can't remember if it was State or Federal - and I quite enjoyed it. You get to deal with people - and lots of people - and there's so many interesting names! (And yes, there was close to a page of Smiths. And they fit a lot of names on one page.) And as well as that, the way all the organisation and such works actually works pretty well with how my brain functions, so I find it fairly simple. While some weren't sure what the difference was between SATLs and RATLs, I had all the BTLs categorised. (SATL is Single Above The Line, one mark above the line; RATL is Random Above The Line, any more than one above the line; BTL is Below The Line, at least two marks below the line. It is actually a somewhat complex system, but it does make sense. BTLs actually had to be categorised according to individual candidates, while SATLs and RATLs only according to party. There are about 20 candidates or so, but only six parties.)

Though, of course, there's also the informal votes (or 'donkey' votes). And that ranges from blank, to people putting a line across the lot, to putting multiple unnumbered marks in boxes above the line, to derogatory comments/displays of artistic license. We had one guy who wrote, "Sorry, I didn't vote!" which was somewhat amusing. Note: SATLs, RATLs and BTLs get sorted and counted. Informals get dumped into a massive pile under the table and then just counted.

We also had quite a few hiccups. First up, having only four there, we didn't have anyone to replace us for a break. We had to wait until there wasn't really anyone coming in to have our break. Secondly, what a lot of people didn't realise is that there isn't really out of area voting for Local elections. There is for State and Federal, but not Local. Imagine trying to keep copies of forms for every area at every area. There's just too many areas. And the paperwork with this sort of thing is already monumental. (One of the many reasons I think this should become an automated electronic system. Save the trees! :P) So yes, we had a lot of people who didn't realise that, and tried to vote for the Sydney area or whatever. Then, we actually did three different areas within the one; we're in the Camden Area, but within that, there are three Wards - South, North, and Central. We were mainly South, but we also took North and Central. The two Election Officials took the South, the one Declaration Vote Issuing Officer took North and Central. A lot of people had no clue what the Wards were, thought Camden was just the one area. Tis slightly confusing.

Oh, and we had a fair few candidates/friends of them outside handing out fliers, with big posters, all that sort of thing. You know, the mandatory stuff.

So yeah, I found it pretty good. Guess I quite like that sort of work. Certainly prefer it somewhat to my work as a Kitchen Hand. Got no idea what exactly would be closest to that sort of work on a more regular basis, though.

Friday, 7 September 2012

I'm not leaving without you, Sam!

It seemed like an emotional-Frodo line. Pretty sure that isn't one of the lines from Lord of the Rings, but you know.
Moving on!

Was in Bible study the other day, and were watching a video by this pastor, talking about this friend of his. And he mentioned that one time he had said to him, "I'm not going to heaven without you." And this really hit his friend quite solidly, it was a comment that affected him quite a bit. As an aside, this wasn't a random comment said with no previous spiritual/theological conversation - they'd been friends for many years, and he'd gradually warmed to him over that time.

But I suppose it's a phrase that resonated with me, as well. Because I certainly know some good friends of mine that I'd hate going to heaven without. You know, I'd love to see them as Christians - I know some amazing people, and it blows my mind to think how amazing they could be if they were serving the Lord; how much of a blessing they would be to his Kingdom.

But, you know. With the way this world goes. Chances are, a lot of them won't become Christians. And that won't make me any less their friend, heck no. I'm not like that, not in a million years. It's not me.

And, you know, I've never been great at evangelising. In any sense, really - whether it's a theological discussion, doing walk-up at campus with the uni group, manning the CBM stall, or just talking to my friends about Jesus - I'm not exactly the best. In discussions, most of my opinions are copy-and-paste from other people; in walk-up, I tend to be fairly withdrawn, and similarly at stalls; and I've essentially never talked to a friend about Jesus. Well, I've never broached the topic myself. There's a couple of times people have asked me about it in passing, but I've tended to not really touch on it much.

And, you know, not all those types of evangelising are necessarily the best option. It should just be about being a friend to someone - being real with them. And part of that is being real about who you are, as a Christian. It's not about answering a million questions, or presenting what Christianity is in four dot points. It's about living. Relationships. Stories.

And I suppose, I'm not so great at that, either. I want to be. But, as I tend to rant on frequently, I'm not so good at communication, my social skills aren't great, etc etc. I don't really know many people's stories. At all. Even people I would call very good friends - I don't necessarily know a heck of a lot about them, or what their life's been like. And that saddens me somewhat, I think. Because I'd like to know. I love a good story. Ripe with all the details. You know, from things like what their favourite colour is, to things like why they aren't interested in God. Or whatever.

But yeah. Looks like I've strayed a bit from my original idea. Oh well.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Faith is a verb.

There's an expression you may have heard before, that say that love is a verb. The idea being fairly simple; that love is not really love unless it's actually doing something.

There's a very similar idea in the Bible, if you look at James 2, and other similar passages. "Faith without works is dead."
As such, I'd say that faith is a verb too. Easier way to think about it than to try and piece out the relationship between all these different things and whatnot.

In fact, I'd guess that most good things that are really worth it are verbs, if you have a decent look at them. There was a guy in an old Adrian Plass book (if you're familiar with him; if not, bit of a comedic Christian writer) who said that he used church as a verb as well as a noun. I think it's an interesting concept to think on, at least.
Food for thought :)

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Only Exception.

You might be somewhat familiar with this song, whether you have heard the original somewhere, or heard it performed on the X Factor a couple of nights ago (good on you Jayden! :D ) - but if you aren't, the essential idea is that generally, the singer of the song isn't that into love, but the person she's singing about is the only exception.

I think these days, you can sometimes see a bit of a reversal of that. When you talk about loving everybody, being nice to people, they're like - yeah, of course, that's fantastic, etc.
But then there's that one person. Their only exception to the rule. And they just hate them. They hate them to a ridiculous amount. Sometimes, it's pretty much loathing. And I've got some good friends who would be in this basket.

So what, you're thinking, you can't be angry at anybody? You can't get annoyed, peeved, agitated? Of course you can. I do. Not angry that often, but I get annoyed not infrequently. But don't hate people. And don't let anger consume you, either. Both of these things can be a poison to you, fill you up. Being filled with hate, filled with anger - it's not pretty. Because the thing is, the more attention you give something, the more it grows. And emotions tend to love themselves. You have a little bit of hate, give it a little bit of attention - if you don't watch out, that can grow into a lot of hate if it's not checked. Same with anger.

And you might think you've got it under control. It's just a little thing. You never even really think about it.
Well, perhaps not. But you darn well know it's there. You know exactly where it is, and you get it out to have another look just when you want it.

Don't let emotions like hate or anger consume or control your life. Let them go. If a person is really that bad that they deserve it - and often, if we really think about it, that's not the case - then forget about them. Ignore them. But don't hate them.

If you can manage to get through life without hating anyone, I think you're doing pretty well. Or you're just a bit of a wallflower, so you don't really get into it enough to hate anyone. Knowing me, I'm probably a bit of Column A, a bit of Column B at the moment. But, you know, in my mind, I've never had any reason to hate anyone. Or ignore or forget them, for that matter. Not saying I'm perfect. I've just been fortunate so far.

Just a little one.

Heading off to work shortly, but wanted to get a post done. I'm attempting to get one done each day, so this is making up for the lack of one yesterday. As such, this is just a quick one.

One of the things I find somewhat amusing at my work - apart from the people, of course, because they're always good for that sort of thing - but it's the microwave. And I know. You're wondering what on earth could be interesting about a microwave.

Well, the thing is. This microwave is either extremely confused. Or attempting to target the younger generation.
Some microwaves, as you know, plonk up a little message when they're done. Maybe, "Enjoy your meal!" or "Done" if they're feeling boring. This has one of those as well. But it says, "Cool". Cool. Hate to break it to you, microwave, but you're not a fridge. You warm things up, you don't cool them down. Things are actually quite hot when you've finished warming them up. They may start to cool down, but they are in no way "cool". In fact, we've had several burns from people removing some pretty hot stuff from the microwave.
Alternatively, it means the other sort of cool. And it's attempting to say something along the lines of, "I'm done! Isn't that cool?" or "You've just used a microwave! Isn't that cool?" or something like that. Which would, admittedly, make more sense than saying that it is cool temperature-wise. But would still be very strange.

Anyway, that's my little nugget for today. Gold nugget, or chicken, though? Hmmm.....

Sunday, 2 September 2012

What's in a name?

A friend of mine from church recently came back from a year-long trip to England, where she was doing some training and such. Tonight, she was talking about her experiences over there, and some of the things that really made an impact on her. One of the things that came up was the importance of your name, which I thought I'd pick up on.

In Bible times, names were all quite carefully thought out. They all had meanings to them, and you knew the meaning. They were quite specific to you. When you introduced yourself, you were pretty much introducing a description of you. For example, imagine introducing yourself as 'beautiful,' if your name was Belinda. (That's the meaning of that name.) It seems a bit weird, these days, but that's how it was.

And, of course, then you can get into last names, and how they came about. And you get things like Smith, and -son, and -vic or -vich, etc etc. But I think I've already done a post on that, so I'll leave that to the side for now.

If you look at names these days, though, a whole different meaning is there. You don't just have your first name. You have nicknames as well. Maybe a cool version of your name, or a gangster version, a Star Wars version, an upper class version, a short version, a long version. Maybe you've changed your name, because you didn't like the one you were given. I've known people who haven't particularly been fond of their names, for various reasons. Sometimes because of the people who gave them the name, sometimes because it's been butchered a million times over, sometimes because they're tired of having to spell it for people every single time. (I don't bother telling people it's spelled with an 'a', these days. Still got people who spell it with an 'o'.) And that can complicate things.

I, for example, have a number of different nicknames (I believe I posted them earlier for a different post, I'll just go and retrieve them);  Bren, B, B-Ray, B-Dog, Brenno, Brendobags, Brendo, Dexter, Dex, Gold-digger, Shadow, Stingray, Piano Man, Balloon Boy, Bleeker, and Fogel. Some of those have various backstories/connotations when I hear them (if you're wondering where on earth some of them came from, this is the original post:, which may be positive or negative. Or neither, maybe. A few don't really have much of a slant. And there's probably a few that I've missed.

Take a look, however, at my actual full name: Brendan James Raymond.
The Raymond is fairly self-explanatory. From my Dad's family and such. Goes back a fair way - apparently the Raymond name goes back to England, and if you trace it back even further, to France. Raimont or something by then, I'd guess.
James is a middle name that's been used a bit in my family before (can't remember which side, possibly both), and as such was also used for me.
Brendan is actually a name from an Irish saint, who made some sort of legendary sailing trip to the Isle of the Blessed, or St. Brendan's Island. (Supposedly somewhere in the Northern Atlantic; hasn't been found as of yet.) But my parents just liked the name.

Looking at the name meanings, we have; Brendan - either 'little raven' or 'prince', depending on where you look; James - apparently comes from Jacob, which as you may know from the Bible, means something like 'he who grasps the heel' (shortened to 'supplanter' on websites, it seems), though some theories apparently say it might be based off something else which would mean 'may God protect' (like that a bit more); Raymond - comes from two words that mean 'advice' and 'protector', which is sometimes put together to become a 'wise guardian'.
So, apparently, I could be a prince, blessed by the protection of God, who shall go forth and wisely protect others...
Or, a little raven, who pokes people on the heel, and squawks out some advice but nobody really listens (I'm thinking Blagden from Eldest, if you've ever read it).
Probably got bits of both in there ;) But, you know, being a romantic, of course I'm going to like the first. If I only had a set of armour....

But, of course, not just important is the words, but also how you say them. One person might call me Preacher and I quite like it, whereas someone else could call me that and I'd be somewhat annoyed. You can change the meaning of a word completely by the way that you say it. As such, perhaps said heartily - though that's probably more of a guy thing, I guess, and not even a me guy thing - OK then, sincerely. With a bit of warmth to it, if possible. And relaxed. I don't want you to sound like you're about to say that my dog's died, even if they have.

So yeah :) That's my thoughts on names. What's in your name? Kid.

Watched the latest version of The Karate Kid tonight, the one with Jackie Chan. Was pretty good.

Generally speaking, if you've seen the original - it's China instead of Japan (which applies through to everything), that's also where they moved to, and the main kid is African-American and only 12. Apart from that, most things are the same.

The well-known 'wax on, wax off!' has become 'jacket on, jacket off!', which is interesting.

If you have seen the original, it's interesting watching to see which bits are the same, which are translated across, which are referenced only briefly (notably, catching the fly with the chopsticks), and which are new.

It also explores ideas and themes that are more inherent in kung-fu than karate - for example, things like it being a way of life, rather than a fighting style.

All in all, a very interesting movie, and certainly worth a watch, whether you're familiar with the original or not. Though if you're not, do yourself a favour and watch it first, you'll get a lot more out of it.

Saturday, 1 September 2012


If you haven't heard of Adam Hills - good sir, you need to be educated. One of the best comedians in Australia, by far.

I've just watched - for the second time, because it was so good - his show from 2010, called Inflatable. It's called as such because it centres around this little joke:
There once was an inflatable boy and an inflatable girl. They went to an inflatable school, where all the teachers were inflatable, all the buildings were inflatable, and all the students were inflatable. One day, the inflatable boy made the mistake of bringing a pin to school. The principal took him into his office and said, "Son, you've let yourself down, you've let your classmates down, and you've let the whole school down."
But it went further than that. He turned it into something that had a real application for people; something that people could really get out of it.
There once was an inflatable boy and an inflatable girl. They went to an inflatable school, where all the teachers were inflatable, all the buildings were inflatable, and all the students were inflatable. One day, the inflatable boy wondered - well, what if the whole world's inflatable? And what if everyone's inflatable and deflatable? And you know when you inflate someone, because they go like this *happy face, rises up a bit* and you know when you deflate someone, because they go like this *sad face, droops down* And maybe, if you inflate lots of people - maybe then you know you've lived a good life. And maybe....maybe, if you can still inflate people after you're gone, then you've lived an even better one.
That's condensing it down a little, but that's the full idea there.
And I suppose - in some ways, that's really what I try to do. With my music/comedy, the way I live and act towards other people - I try to be an Inflater. And sometimes - sometimes, that's felt amazing. Particularly when you inflate someone when they've been deflated, that's...that's pretty special.
And I think that, even if you can't be certain about other things in life - even if you can't understand the head or tail of various philosophical, or scientific, or theological, or cosmological, or some other sort of arguments or theories - you can still be an Inflater. Leave the debating to the debaters. Live with people, and be Inflaters.

That's my nickel for today. ;)