Monday, February 28, 2005

Wots inside the pumpkin?

Ever wondered why supermarkets sell all their pumpkin already cut up? Sure, for one reason it's because lots of people don't want to buy a whole pumpkin anymore, but by cutting open the pumpkin the supermarket hopes you'll see how bright and golden they are inside - much more attractive than the often roughened, sun-marked skin outside. Now I don't mind butternut, or golden nugget, I'll eat Queensland Blue at a pinch but I really love Jap pumpkins (or Kent pumpkin to reflect the current "correct" name). But I digress, as I so often do.

Looking at a whole pumpkin, its very hard to know what they are like inside. The skin might be smooth and unmarked and yet when you get it home and open it up the flesh can be pale and insipid in taste. Or it may be overripe, and the pulp around the seeds on the verge of fermenting. Nasty. Of course, if like me you slaved for eight years at the mercy of management in the fruit and vege section of a supermarket, you'll know damn well how to pick a good pumpkin because all the good ones got prepped for sale by machete wielding youths like myself - and woe betide the feckless fool who picked a pumpkin for cutting that did not reflect the standard.

So all the good pumpkins got cut up, and the (probably) not so good ones got placed out for sale at the slightly cheaper "whole" price.

So what lesson can we learn from this? Does there need to be a lesson at all? It's my blog, so yes, there is a lesson and you'll damn well like it. (helloooooooooo? anyone reading my blog??? No, Gren, they fell asleep during the last class. . .)

Life is like a pumpkin. No, that's not it, PEOPLE are like pumpkins, what you see on the outside is not necessarily a truthfull reflection of what is inside, and those that you can see the inside of have been opened up in some way.

I would suggest that this process of opening up is often painful (certainly for the pumpkins at any rate), but it would seem to be necessary in order to see the best bits of everybody. Sometimes someone comes along and cuts you open, sometimes you break open, sometimes you are so full of something that you burst open - whatever suits eh?

I wonder if there is something out there that has the job of going round opening up "pumpkins"?

Perhaps the universe just prefers pumpkins to be open and created supermarkets to ensure that this happens as often as possible. Have pumpkins in fact driven the evolution of the supermarket to its current heights?

Join me tomorrow when I discuss something else.

Or not.

I'll never listen to Smashing Pumpkins the same way again.

Friday, February 25, 2005

It's not easy being three!

It's not easy being 30 - ish either. Today was my older son's third birthday and with all the excitement a few tears were inevitable, but on balance he had a great time. I think his only expectations for the day were presents and cake, and he got both of those, so in that respect the day was never going to be a failure.

For those of us who aren't three any more, our expectations are often more complex, and more often not met, which makes me wonder if perhaps I need to have simpler expectations of each day. Tomorrow my expectation will be lunch. I will hold out for this at all costs, I will not however place any expectations on the nature and ingredients of lunch, just the existance and consumption of lunch. I will also not place any expectations on the timing of lunch, I'll just accept it when I get it.

Of course this means that in fact it may not be lunchtime when I get lunch, which introduces a complexity, one of the very things I am trying to eliminate. Is it lunch if you eat it outside the accepted lunch temporal parameters. I've adopted a simple approach: whatever it is and whenever I eat it, if I call it lunch, then it bloody well is lunch.

This approach probably would not translate well to my work which requires a little more stability in its definitions. It would make work more fun - at least until they fired me.

As for future expectations, for Sunday I am think I can stretch to an expectation of a glass of wine, and for Monday I might look at a repetition of lunch to which I will add the complexity of being at my office. Quite daring really.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The 5-year Itch

I seem to have a five year itch, as in, my career undergoes change like clockwork every 5 years. My last career change was 5 years ago come April, so I'm sitting at my desk with my toes tapping waiting for "the next big thing". I don't know how this came about, and it's not even really an itch, the last time it happened we were happy and comfortable and living in the Whitsundays. Holy crap, THE WHITSUNDAYS!!!, 67 tropical islands fringed by coral reefs, palm trees, sailing fishing, coffee and breakfast by the sea. And we lived there. Every day. For five years.

Next thing you know I am dragging our arses onto a plane west with everything we own just 'cause "there's this job over there that I want".

So, here we are in Perth, 5 years down the track, I have had some good opportunities and been able to make a difference but that old "what's next" feeling is there, and I've been doing the occasional job application for things that I think I'd like to try my hand at next. There is no urgency to this feeling, just a vague tugging at a subconcious level that if I were to translate would be a whisper of "hey you, shiny-bum, time to get moving". This time though I'm going to place some restrictions, lifestyle improvements - absolutely, started going to the gym already. Job change - possibly, I'll see whats out there that needs doing. Career change - unlikely unless some consulting firm sees what my ego sees and offers me obscene amounts of cash to "consult". Moving interstate again - no way, not even suburb, not even street. To brighton we came and in Brighton we shall remain.

At least for the next five years. . .

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Hooray for Horror

I've been reading Stephen King this month. Specifically his memoir titled "On Writing". Now I have read a bit of his work, I tend to lean away from the horror - except "The Stand" but the Dark Tower series, the Green Mile, the Shawshank Redemption and Hearts in Atlantis are among some of his works that really indicate the depth that some writers have. It is odd too think though that any person can imagine some events, and particularly those that are capable of scaring the pants off a crowded theatre when translated to the big screen.

We all have nightmares, sometimes we get to experience things we'd rather forget. My terrors of the mind usually resolve themselves in imaginings of things that could possibly happen to my family, particularly when I hear of tragedies experienced by others. Not that I choose to live my life in fear, in fact I would rather imagine these dark thoughts, negotiate my way through the scenario in my mind and get on with life than to remain blissfully unaware that it is a dangerous would.

I refuse to believe in the limited option scenario, I believe there is always a 3rd, 4th (or 5th if necessary) solution. I think one of these scenarios might possibly be located somewhere in the realm of "acceptance" but that is a better option than meeting fate arse end up.

I have seen some terrible things but I have seen nothing I'd rather forget. I'd rather some things hadn't happened, but I am determined to learn the lessons life is offering, and make a difference when and where I can. The work I do is not exciting in the "action" sense, and a "day of drama" in my workplace is usually the result of a coffee shortage, but the work I do does have value, and can impact a lot on peoples lives - it is not just busy-ness.

I think I've swept the spectrum with this post - I guess where I am going is this: Seizing the day is but a small step in the bigger job of seizing the life.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Demons, demons everywhere but nary a drop to drink

My cousin has Schizophrenia. He has been in and out of hospital these last few years, and when he is off his medication he can be violent, particularly towards his mother. His parents are fundamentalist christians. They don't beleive in Schizophrenia, they believe in demons, so he's not sick, nooooooo he's full of demons. Obviously they don't believe what the doctors tell them, so medication is not so important - he needs prayer they reckon.

Bloody hell, he may need prayer but give the boy his fricken meds as well.

Mental illness is such anguish for all involved without adding the warped metaphysical spectre of demons to the story. Are you really sure that you want a person who hears voices believing that he is chock full of evil nasties? That is the shortest route to self harm I have ever heard.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Heady Times Indeed

Well having bowed to the inevitable and created a blog I suppose that I should really make the offort to post at least once a month. Its a blog without a purpose for the moment, I guess I want to further develop some writing skills, and get myself into the habit of daily journalling. Ahhh whatever - lets just see where it goes.