May 15, 2016

Men and Women are Completely Different

It is obvious that men and women are completely different.

For instance, women love dressing up and reading horoscopes, and men love drinking beer and watching sports. But there are many other ways that men and women are different, and all of them are scientific fact.

The below well-known examples prove that men and women are very different.

Women are better at multi-tasking

This has nothing at all to do with the fact that men are not expected to multi-task, or that there is actually no such thing as multi-tasking.

I have to admit my husband cannot remotely multi-task, as he stops washing dishes while he's talking so he can wave his hands around to punctuate his sentences, which drives me crazy and makes me blurt out, "keep working while you're talking!" and then he gets annoyed and stops talking, so then I get annoyed, but he does go back to doing the dishes and I keep folding laundry and it means I get to dominate the conversation because I can do both at once. But that's not because I'm a woman, it's because I'm not him.

I can't actually multi-task either, unless you count listening to podcasts while driving or scrolling through emails while people are trying to talk to me.

When it comes to sexual arousal, men are very visual, while women are more cerebral


Women take ages to get ready

This has nothing to do with the fact that women are judged on their appearance which is generally expected to include flattering clothing, flawless makeup, smooth, styled hair and accessories that complement the outfit. None of that takes time to pull together. No, it's clearly a fact that women just take ages to get ready!

Young women wear ridiculously inappropriate and non-functional clothing

Well, we all know this is true. There's nothing quite as ridiculous as a tipsy young woman holding her shoes in her hand, or shivering in a backless dress on a winter street, or trying to hold down a wind-whipped skirt on a blustery day. Hilarious!

Here is something that happened to me more than once as a young woman:

Group of young people: Let's go to a bar!
Young woman (thinking): I am a girl, so I will need to look attractive at this bar. My boyfriend will be pleased and turned on if his friends and others like the way I look. I will feel confident and in control and we will have good sex later. If I don't dress up, my boyfriend will steal glances at other girls who have dressed up, and I will feel regretful and pissed off and we will not have good sex later.  So, I will wear something sexy, with high heels. 
Young woman (also thinking): It will be warm inside the bar and I don't want to carry too much as I already have to carry a purse and keys that I can't put in my pockets because women's evening outfits aren't designed to have pockets. So I won't wear or carry a jacket.  
Young man: I am a dude, so I will wear jeans or pants, a shirt and comfortable shoes. I will look good and be comfortable! 
Much time later, outside the bar, early morning. Group of young people stand around and realise there is no available transport. 
Young men: No drama, it's only 2 k's, let's walk home! 
Young woman (thinking): Fuck you all.

And when you are older, you may still be subjected to things like this, apparently:

Men don't like makeup

For sure, men hate makeup. They keep saying so!

Or maybe, what men like is natural-looking makeup and light, matte lipstick. On a naturally beautiful face. Which still looks better with makeup.

Men, this woman is wearing a shit-ton of makeup


Men are better at 'compartmentalising' work and family

God knows how I also manage to do this every workday.  Luck, I guess?

Mothers are naturally more bonded to their children / Women are more emotional / Women centre their worlds around family

For ages, I believed this one. When it suits me, I still believe it. But, since more dads are now performing a primary carer role (or even just a sharing-the-burden carer role), I've seen more and more men displaying the kind of 'motherly' behaviour that involves intuiting when your child is unwell, preparing lunch boxes, knowing your children's shoe sizes, etc.

So this one might be true if you substitute 'primary carer' for 'mothers/women'. When men perform these roles, they tend to have this outlook too.

When boys fight there's no drama. They get over it fast. Girls backstab and hold grudges

When I visit my kids' school to see a teacher or the principal or do some form of admin or whatnot, I see the student welfare officer mediating a constant stream of bitchy catfights, friendship dramas and tears, accusations and peer-exclusion. The fact that half of these incidents involve boys and the other half involve girls clearly makes our school a bit exceptional, as this is obviously very girly behaviour.


In conclusion, it's obvious. Men and women are, clearly, fundamentally different.

May 7, 2016

How To Find Out About Anyone: Great Questions!

One of my favourite sites is Quora, where people pose questions and others post answers. It's a great different kind of social media, even if these days it is more overrun by marketers and promoters than it used to be (welcome to any social media platform, right?)

Tonight I was happily browsing my feed while procrastinating doing some work, and came across a set of really great 'meme' style questions, in response to a question that asked, "What 10 questions can tell you the most about a person?"

As of tonight, 11 people had responded with their lists of questions, but the best response to my mind was this one, from Barnard Law Collier, "anthropologist, journalist, writer, director":

"Dear Horatio," he begins,

"These 20 (ten is too few to be at all comprehensive) questions are meant to be asked of public figures and would-be or current politicians, but they work well with almost anybody. 
It's best to ask them without revealing them in advance. But even if the questions are known in advance, they are devilishly hard to "spin" even for the most slippery interviewee and her/his spin doctors. 
They have been tested extensively, and if they are all asked and their answers recorded IN FULL WITH ALL ASIDES AND REMARKS ON THE RECORD (make this stipulation crystal clear to the interviewee ahead of time: "Be careful, everything you say is on the record") results are often quite astonishing. 
Be sure to listen carefully and faithfully record all the asides; they are often priceless...."

The questions themselves are pretty great. They are different or deeper enough from the usual, that I can see some interesting responses - and asides - coming out of people's attempts to answer.

Perhaps one for a meme, Sunday Stealing?

What 10 (20) questions can tell you the most about a person?

Answers by Barnard Law Collier

Besides to your God, your family and your country and your constituents (if any), where do your loyalties lie?
In as much precise detail as you see fit, how does your mind work?
Have you ever been in love? If so, describe the experience.
If you were an animal, what animal would you be ~ other than human?
What did your father fail at?
Except for "nothing," what or whom do you hate?
In deadly peril, name three people you want in your foxhole with you?
Have you ever dealt a death penalty? If yes,please explain.
Describe your ability to dance.
What do you think your worst enemy really thinks about you?
On a scale of 0 to 250, where would you score your intelligence?
In eight words or less, please define intelligence.
What is the greatest weakness in your character?
How do you verify the truth of what you are told?
Name and define your favorite word.
Of the following, which gives you the most pleasure: a) Music; b) Money; c) Literature; d) Science; e) Spirituality; f) Golf; g) Food & Wine; h) Films.
Briefly describe your favourite hat.
Who is the best living lawyer that you know?
If you were made to live out the rest of your days as a famous fictional or non-fictional character, who would you select?

Source: Quora, 26 April 2016

What do you think - could you answer these?

The only ones I think I would be stuck on are 18 (whaaaat??) and 19 - though actually, for 19 I'd probably choose Julian Burnside.  But I don't know many lawyers.

Apr 2, 2016


Today I went to a Tupperware party, the second one I have been to in my life. The first one was about 15 years ago when, if I remember correctly, I came to my cousin's house, drank some wine and admired some plastic stuff, and didn't buy a thing.

A week ago I told a friend I was going to a Tupperware party, and she immediately waxed lyrical about $40 lunch boxes and asked if I had a catalogue. I had a digital one, and we looked through it together over coffee while I tried not to spray the coffee out of my mouth in a cliche of shock. Holy cow, this stuff was expensive!

My friend told me that the last time she went to a Tupperware party she spent $400.
"Oh my god," I said, while inwardly I thought, Ha ha, you big chump! How did you do that!

So today I went to a Tupperware party to support a friend, and thought I would just buy one thing, if I could find something useful that wouldn't require a second mortgage.

National Museum of American History/Flickr CC

I very quickly found my Useful Thing: a sort of a manual food processor which chops, blends, whips or purees at the pull of a string. Sounds dodgy - actually works great (I had a go). I don't own a food processor. My blender is only good for blending. So this was obviously worth the money.

Then I found another Useful Thing: a replacement for my rice cooker that got lost some years ago.  I used to have a plastic rice cooker I bought at Kmart that I used all the time, not only to cook rice but also to make risottos and to steam vegetables. (Ha ha ha ha ha, my kids used to actually eat vegetables and risottos!)

The red bowl of my old rice cooker was a really good size and I used it as a mixing bowl and storage bowl too.  Then the lid got lost so it just became a mixing bowl. Then I took it to the school to collect eggs one weekend when we were on chook duty, and left it behind, full of nice brown eggs, sitting on top of a compost bin in the blazing sun.

I have always intended to replace my rice cooker.  I could have easily gone back to Kmart (where they still sell them for about $12) and bought one there. But why wouldn't I actually get a nice purple one from Tupperware, for only three times the price, now that the catalogue and a friendly hostess were right there in front of me?  So that was obviously worth the money too.

But then, a really, really Useful Thing. Tupperware these days also make cookware, and sitting right in front of me on the hostess' benchtop in all its gleaming, steely glory, was the heavy-bottomed casserole/saucepan combination of my dreams.

Some years ago my mother gave us a pair of heavy-bottomed saucepans that changed my life. I had no idea how much easier they make cooking. We used those saucepans almost daily for years. The small one got burnt out in the forgotten boiling eggs incident of 2014, and the large one is still being used but the non-stick coating is starting to flake off in tiny bits on the bottom, and I know that's not good.

So I have been wanting a replacement large, heavy-bottomed saucepan for some time, but I just couldn't afford one. Until today, I guess?

So... yeah. I can no longer chuckle at my friend spending all that money on Tupperware.

Mar 28, 2016

Five (the Easter Meme)

Another nice little questionnaire from Sunday Stealing - a good short one

Five Things I have a Passion For:

  • reading
  • writing
  • art
  • technology
  • animals

Five Things I'd like to Learn Before I Die:

  • Mandarin
  • guitar
  • ballroom dancing
  • coding
  • how to project calm, control and confidence (all at once)

Five Things I Say A Lot:

  • Hi, how are you? (Even when I remember or know people's names, my brain doesn't move fast enough in greeting mode)
  • Large skinny flat white, no sugar, thanks
  • Why are there socks on the floor?
  • Do you have any homework? 
  • Quiet, Harry... Quiet.... Quiiiiiet....Good boy   (training dog not to bark at everything)

Five Books and/or magazines I have read lately:

  • New Scientist
  • Readers Digest
  • Royal Auto (the RACV magazine!) 
  • Christine, by Stephen King
  • Joyland, by Stephen King (on a bit of a Stephen King thing at the moment)

Five Favourite Movies:

  • Arlington Road
  • Heathers
  • Casino
  • The Bourne Identity
  • Madagascar 2

Five Places I Would like to Travel To:

  • Egypt
  • India
  • China
  • Japan
  • Vanuatu

HI FIVE by Paul Liu/Flickr CC

Mar 26, 2016


My friend Pandora runs a blog on which she assiduously posts every Sunday.  Once upon a time I had this level of discipline - okay, I didn't, but I did post every week - but I possess it no longer. However I do enjoy her Sunday meme posts, most of which come from Sunday Stealing.  Sunday Stealing posts are a good way to keep a blog up to date instead of letting it languish a month or more between posts - as I am wont to do lately.

So, this week I am going to try my hand at a meme post, this one called 'The Currently Meme', courtesy of Sunday Stealing.

Currently, I am...

Bazaar of Bad Dreams, by Stephen King
Fool Me Once, by Harlan Coben - the latest in the ever-growing genre of 'well-off wife finds she can't trust her seemingly perfect husband and her life has been a lie'
Chasing the Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, by Johann Hari. I thought we should legalise drugs before, now I'm doubly convinced

Project plans; blog posts; a short story that is going nowhere

Fetch and tug of war with the dog every morning

Better Call Saul
Politics in Australia, with trepidation
The Trump Show in America, with horror

To keep up

A roast dinner every Saturday. I have just decided that this week. I did a chicken roast last Saturday which the kids loved and I quite enjoyed it myself.
But not this Saturday as I'm planning a family lunch for tomorrow.

Pinot Grigio 
Coke Zero
Lots of water to make up for the rest

The shots, when I can.

Hairstyles. Dream on, frizzy-haired me.

#Fairfax #fintech

Nothing. I have zero interest and less talent.

Too much and not enough. The modern existential dilemma.

On holiday to a little rental beach house on the Peninsula in two weeks - can't wait.

The free trams in Melbourne CBD.

Knee-jerk politics.

Season 1 of Fargo on Stan. I forgot how good it was. Every actor in it is fantastic.

Silly YouTube videos: The Community Channel, Everything Wrong With, and Brent Rivera.
Perfect weather in Melbourne last week, and a mild (late) start to autumn this week.

How to marry agile cloud-based small-vendor project management with big-client requirements. 
The implications of the current tech bubble (If even I spent 20 minutes this week considering building a service app then trust me, we're in a bubble).

Optimistic - despite the bubble, despite Trump.

Blog reading. Have to find time.

The Americans don't elect Trump - but also that they don't elect someone who turns out to be awful just to avoid electing Trump.

Clever :)

Too much Radio Nova thanks to the kids. Why was everyone doing covers of Justin Bieber's Love Yourself which is a terrible song? I don't get it. Thankfully some new songs hit this week. 

The fact we can afford to go on a little family holiday for the first time in two years.

Mould in the crockery cupboard again - time for a clean and those way-too-expensive damp-soaker thingies.

The state government for awarding the paramedics a pay rise. Everyone working in emergency services and health should get a big pay rise.

What the hell to get my husband for his birthday. He's impossible.

To relax after spending the day cleaning and preparing lunch and an easter egg hunt for all my family on Easter Sunday.

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