Monday, July 5, 2010

An eventful weekend

The colour scheme for our new house is going to be white with black, and highlights of a soft pink. There won't be much pink, just the odd candle or vase here and there, but it will lift it from being purely black and white.

Anyway. My current colour scheme is cream and brown with highlights of green, which is obviously not the same thing. All of my furniture is chocolate brown. So I had two choices. Spend around $20,000 buying new black furniture, or try to repaint all my current stuff, and buy a few pieces I can't repaint (like bookshelves - they're just laminated chipboard and the time and effort required to paint them isn't worth their low value). We're getting a new king size bed, which is going to be white quilted leather, but that's really the only major piece we're getting. The lounges we have now are cream leather, and while they won't match exactly, I don't think they will significantly detract from the overall look. We'll keep them for a couple more years and then upgrade them.

So I decided to go with the repaint option. My parents came and picked up my furniture last weekend, and William and I went out this weekend to do all the sanding and prepping so my father could spray everything.

We decided to take the cats with us, because we were staying overnight and didn't want to leave them alone all weekend. One of the cats (Alex) has been out to my parents' place before, but the little one (Fyodor) hasn't ever been anywhere. My parents have two poodles and my old cat George, who I didn't take with me when I moved out because he's used to roaming around the countryside, and he would have hated the city. George is massive. He is the size of an old computer tower when he sits on his back haunches, and his head is the size of a small plate. Huge cat. Alex and George got along well the last time, but I was worried about Fyo.

I should have been more worried about actually getting Fyo out to my parents' place, and not so worried about what he'd do when he got there. We put him in his cage (with some difficulty - he hates going in the cage. Alex, on the other hand, loves his cage and will sit in there whenever we leave the door open), and I had made the decision that I was going to cradle him on my lap if he got too worried about being in there. Whenever I'm sitting anywhere, he will jump up onto my lap and bury his head in the crook of my elbow (faceplant!), so I thought if I let him sit on my lap in the car, he would be less worried.

We got onto the highway and he was crying and crying and crying. So I took him out and he was sitting more or less happily on my lap. He was a bit worried about all the power poles and buildings zooming past the window, so I took his blanket out of his cage and put it over the top of him and just kept patting him underneath it. He sleeps under the blankets of our bed, so I knew he wouldn't freak out about being covered over.

Well, apparently he liked the idea of not being able to see even less than he liked the idea of being in the car. So he decided to pee. On me. I felt a warmth on my leg and told William to pull over when he could. And he kept peeing. And peeing. And peeing. I swear to fsm he was peeing for a good 2 minutes! There was so much pee! And it was all in my lap and all over the front seat! Of the car I am trying to sell! You can never get cat pee smell out! Argh!

We pulled over and put him back in the cage, and I had to get William to hold a blanket around me while I stripped on the side of the highway. My jeans and underwear were saturated, and I was not happy. The seat was saturated too. I managed to sort of clean myself with bottled water and put new pants on, but I was still extremely worried I was going to get some weird disease from having cat pee on my lady bits. My parents' place was still 40 minutes away.

I put a tarp on the seat so I could sit back down without absorbing more cat pee, and we started off again. Fyo was now howling in his cage because he was stressed, and didn't understand why he was back in there after having been comfortable on my lap. We called my parents and told them what had happened, and asked them to have the washing machine ready and a bucket of hot soapy water for the car. And then Fyo decided it was all too much for him and decided to do a shit in his cage. Which he couldn't bury nor get away from. And it smelled nasty! We had to drive for the next half hour with all the windows down, and the sound of the wind was further freaking Fyo out. He was now definitely not a happy camper. I have never heard a cat howl so much.

All the howling and commotion had now upset Alex too, so he started howling as well. He will usually just get in his cage and go to sleep, but he must have thought something awful was happening if Fyo was so upset, so he was getting upset too.

We got to my parents' place and I jumped in the shower. I then had to bathe Fyo, who by this time was covered in his own shit. Lovely. I put all my clothes in the wash and gave the cage to William to clean out. He also had to take the seat completely out of the car in order to try and clean it. Fun fun.

After I bathed Fyo, we let Alex and him loose in the house. One of the poodles, Amy, loves cats. Fyo has never seen a dog before, and Alex has only had experience with the other poodle, Tiffany, who is less crazy. Amy couldn't understand why the cats didn't want to play with her. They were completely freaked out! Poor tiny Fyo. He was traumatised. A scary car ride, then a scary bath, and then scary dogs. He was not a happy camper. We ended up locking both the cats in the spare room with their beds, a litter tray and some food, so they could de-stress for a bit.

As for the furniture, we got most of it ready for painting. We sanded everything, cleaned it all, and then managed to get through most of the undercoating before we ran out. So we have to go back out next weekend to finish the two pieces which missed out, and to top coat everything. I hope it all works out. The furniture should be a nice glossy black by the end of it.

Lesson learned, however. When we drove back home, we kept Fyo in his cage the whole time and ignored his cries. He eventually went to sleep. I'm never letting a cat inside my car ever again - unless it's inside a cage! Only time will tell if the cat pee smell goes away :(

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Biggest moron ever!

Duuuuuuudes! You will not believe what I did! So retarded I am surprised they haven't immediately changed the modern Oxford to show a photo of my face next to that term.

So. It's exam time. I had one last week, which I sort of studied for, but not really. I got into the exam and, whilst I knew what I had to do, because I hadn't really studied enough, I sort of blathered around in my answers and ended up running out of time. So while I'm sure I passed, I don't think I would have gotten a 6 (HA) or 7 (VHA).

So the next exam, I was determined to do better in. I arranged for the day before off work, so I would have 3 whole days to study before the exam. I got up early each day, and went through all of my materials and took countless notes (or rather, 40,000+ words of notes). I was prepared, and I was going to kick arse!

Last night, after going over the final piece of information, I packed my bags up (it's an open book, but don't let that fool you - if you don't know what you're talking about, you won't find it in the books anyway), and then decided to make sure I knew what room I was in (I was pretty sure, but wanted to be certain). I went into my student account to look it up.

And then saw the most disturbing thing ever. I felt like I had been punched in the guts.

I had studied for the wrong exam!


I very nearly had a nervous breakdown. I don't know how this happened. I just can't work it out. In my calendar, it's entered as the correct exam. On my exam schedule, it's the correct exam. They haven't changed the dates. But for some reason, I had it in my head that it was the other exam. The one that's not until next week.

It was 11pm. I briefly contemplated pulling an all-nighter and trying to study for it. But my head was full of the other subject, and I am not so young that I can stay up all night with full mental capacity any more. Besides, this subject is the same subject that I had that piece of assessment for that I didn't know about until the night before. The one that, somehow, I managed to do in under 5 hours and get a 7 for. This subject is cursed. I couldn't do it again. I needed to be able to have the time to go over all of the information properly. Sure, I could have tried to wing it like I did with that assessment piece, but I just wasn't sure I could. Plus, I didn't have all of the books and materials I would need to take with me into the exam. I usually need to slaughter half a forest before an exam, and I hadn't printed out the materials because I didn't think I needed them until next week.

So, I decided the only thing I could do was defer. I looked through all of the emergency get-out-of-jail free cards, and the only thing I could reasonably get away with was an illness. But I needed something that was undetectable and untestable. So I decided to fake a migraine. I get them all the time anyway, so it's not like I don't know what they're about. And you can't really test someone for one.

So I skipped the exam today and went to the doctor. By this time, I had an actual headache from all the stress, so I wasn't exactly lying. She filled out my form, and I will now have to sit a deferred exam - right when we're moving house. But at least that's better than trying to sit an exam I hadn't even cracked a book on!

I can only imagine what would have happened if I hadn't decided to check the room details. What if I'd shown up in the morning with all my books for the other subject, and then only realised when I got into the room that I was sitting the other exam! I think I definitely would have had a mental breakdown. At least I might have been able to claim special consideration, I suppose!

On the up side - I now have another week to study for the exam I was already studying for, and I have more time to study for the exam that is the day after that one (I was concerned I would have no time for it), and when I get the date for the deferred exam, I will at least know which one I am studying for this time, and can give it the attention it deserves!

*an update on the snip*

William went to see the dermatologist today. He thinks it is some skin condition which means the scar tissue from the tear will continually break open. But he also says it's fairly common amongst uncircumcised men, and 90% of cases are treatable by circumcision - so yay! Win for me! He took a biopsy (ouch!) just to make sure, so William will find out in a week if it really is that. If it is, he will be able to get the surgery done if he wants it. The dermatologist did say there was still a small chance the problem would resurface further up the shaft after the circumcision, but he didn't think it was a very big risk (90% of cases solved). So yeah. Now I just have to gently talk him into accepting the potential risks from the surgery. So far, I have been very careful not to try to push him in any direction. But there's hope!

Friday, June 11, 2010

An update on the snip

William went to see the specialist. He was very reluctant, and he couldn't find a reason for the tearing. He suggested William might have a skin condition causing the skin not to heal properly, and he thought if he underwent the operation, the problem might just move further up the shaft. So he said he wouldn't consider the operation until after William had seen a dermatologist.

He also said if it turns out it's a skin condition, and it can be treated, he won't perform the surgery, even if William wants it done. He said William would be hard pressed to find anyone who would. He gave him a list of the complications and difficulties that can arise with adult circumcision, and has all but talked William out of wanting it done.

However, if he goes to see the dermatologist, and it's not a skin condition, then the urologist will perform the surgery, albeit reluctantly.

So I guess I can just hope it's not a skin condition and can't be treated, because if it can be, William has basically said he's not going to get it done, because he doesn't think the benefits outweigh the potential complications.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

About time

Wow. I can't believe a post about rape garners no comments at all. Apparently heinous crimes don't get my few readers worked up enough to comment.

Maybe this will. I just read a news article about a Venetian town who is fining tourists caught buying counterfeit goods. An Austrian woman bought a fake Louis Vuitton for 7 euros (knowingly), and was then fined 1,000 euros. I'm sure there will be people who are outraged by this. People who think it's just revenue raising, and that there's no harm in counterfeit goods.

In reality, there is a lot of harm in counterfeit goods. And I'm not just talking about the massive companies losing out on revenue, or intellectual property. I'm talking about the behind-the-scenes harm this industry is creating. Did you know that counterfeiters and their crime syndicates deal in human trafficking, child labor, and gang warfare? Did you know that truly horrendous deeds are carried out on the children who work in those factories so you can pay a ridiculously small sum for your counterfeit LV bag? Dana Thomas (who writes for Harper's Bazaar) outlines in this article a raid she was present at where the owners of the factory had broken the children's legs, and then reset them in a position so the children couldn't walk, and thus had to stay at their machines working the whole time. I felt ill when I read that.

And then in this article (apologies for the Facebook link, I can't find a copy of the actual article), Dana goes on to detail even more harrowing details of child labour. Harper's also runs a website about the counterfeit industry, with tips on how to spot fakes.

Of course, there are some who believe Harper's is only promoting this issue to assist in the profit-taking of the big fashion corporations. They probably are. But even so, this is an issue worth acknowledging, and worth doing something about. Child labour is not ok. Exploiting any human being is not ok. And whilst I think targeting the end-consumer, rather than the crime syndicates themselves, might be a little bit unfair, it's clear that targeting the crime syndicates is a losing battle while there is still demand for the product making the manufacture worth the risk. If the practice of fining continues, and people know there is a consequence to buying fakes, and especially if they know the reasons why, the demand will drop and hopefully these crime syndicates will go out of business. And then we can start putting more pressure on the actual fashion houses who are possibly also utilising underpaid labour. Apple and Nike are two examples of big businesses who have had to become more transparent about their manufacturing processes. In the future, I think all fashion houses will need to be more transparent. This is most likely going to push the price up of luxury goods, but I would rather pay a premium for a handbag I know hasn't been made by some poor worker chained to their machine for 20 hours a day.

If you can't afford to buy a designer handbag, don't resort to buying fakes. There are plenty of derivative versions out there created by other companies in legitimate circumstances. Or, you could just save your pennies and buy the real thing, and then feel 10,000 times better every time you carry it around.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Really?! This again?

I just read this article. Honestly, I just can't believe it. What the fuck is wrong with people?

Sex is not consensual if the girl doesn't say no. It's consensual if she says yes! Didn't hear a yes? Then don't fucking have sex with her! Is she too drunk to say no? Then she didn't fucking say yes!!!

Section 349(2) of the Criminal Code (Qld) states that rape is carnal knowledge of a person without the person's consent. Section 348(1) of the Code states "consent" means ‘consent freely and voluntarily given by a person with the cognitive capacity to give the consent’. If someone is drunk, they obviously don't have the cognitive capacity to give the consent! This was further established in R v Camplin (1845) 1 C & K 746; and R v Fletcher (1859) 8 Cox CC 131. It is rape to have carnal knowledge of a woman who has been rendered insensible through liquor, or where she does not resist because her submission is due to the fact that she is drunk. A woman who is insensible is incapable of giving consent.

Further, just because the woman doesn't say no, does not mean she has said yes: a complainant who at the time failed by word or action to manifest his or her dissent is not in law taken to have consented to sexual intercourse ( R v IA Shaw [1996] 1 Qd R 641). Further, in R y Pryor [2001] QCA 341, the Court of Appeal said no element of violence is necessarily involved. The complainant does not necessarily have to forcibly resist in order to establish absence of consent. Absence of consent is establish WHEN SHE DOESN'T SAY YES!!!

Also, if you think it's a matter of he said/she said, and that if there's no evidence or witnesses, you'll get away with it, think again. A person may be found guilty of rape on the uncorroborated testimony of one witness (section 632(1) of the Code). A judge is not required by any rule of law or practice to warn the jury that it is unsafe to convict the accused on the uncorroborated testimony of one witness (section 632(2)). The judge must not warn or suggest that the law regards any class of persons as unreliable witnesses (section 632(3); Longman v The Queen (1989) 160 CLR 79), even if the complainant has a history of many sexual partners.

When will all you morons get it? If she doesn't say yes, you can't have sex with her! It's not about whether she didn't say no! Get it through your heads! Even if she was completely naked and walking down the street, then stopped to pick up a pencil, that is not an implied consent for you to have sex with her. If she didn't actually consent to you having sex with her, don't fucking have sex with her!!!!!!!

There was also another recent article in the SMH, the comments section of which nearly made my head explode (the article itself was pretty stupid, though). There were comments by men and women alike about how some girls are "asking for it", and how if the girl is too drunk to say yes, then why is it the male's responsibility, blah blah blah. It took all my strength not to go completely postal on those comments. I had to force myself to shut the article down and try to forget about it. I just don't understand why this is such a difficult concept to grasp! Did she say yes? She didn't? THEN DON'T FUCKING RAPE HER!!!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Is this thing still on?

Soooo busy lately, it's retarded. But, I only have myself to blame. If I'm not doing a bazillion things at once, I get very bored.

Anyway, an issue which has been plaguing me since I began dating William may about to be resolved. I am ecstatic, but I can't show it, because William doesn't know I ever had a problem, and it's not really something I could say to him, because it would absolutely kill his self-esteem.

There is a huge TMI warning on the rest of this post, so avert your eyes if you so desire!!

I like circumcised men. I know there are people who have issues with this practice, and say it's barbaric and what not, but I just prefer them. I think circumcised penises (penii?) are more hygienic, more attractive, and they make sex more enjoyable. The downsides to uncircumcised penii are that they tend to "hold" on to bodily fluids, which means stopping penetration to perform oral sex is never an option (I like girls, but I don't particularly want to get a mouthful of my own... well... you know). They also make condom usage a bit difficult, as the foreskin slides up and down with the condom. I'm pretty sure I have previously told the story where a guy "lost" a condom whilst having sex with me, and didn't even tell me! I found it 2 weeks later attached to a tampon. I could have died from toxic shock!

Anyway. I don't like uncircumcised men. William is uncircumcised. But there's uncircumcised, and then there's uncircumcised. Apparently, some men are afflicted with an excess of foreskin. I have only previously come across this issue once before, and I can tell you I have never seen an uglier penis in my life. It was like a deflated balloon was hanging off the end. The foreskin hung 6cm off the end of the shaft. It was gross. But of course, I couldn't say so. I had to just pretend I didn't notice his penis looked like it had lost a fight with the crocodile in The Elephant's Child.

Afterwards, I was hoping never to come across such a problem again. And then I met William. Of course, I had the luck of finding the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, only to find out his penis disgusted me. It wasn't quite as bad as the previous case (about half as bad), but there was still very obviously an excess of skin. All of the downsides to an uncircumcised penis have come into play while we've been together. Plus the added disadvantage of me not ever really wanting to perform oral sex because I think his penis is gross. I tell myself it's irrational. It's just skin! Why do I care so much? I have no idea. I guess that's like saying a person with an arm growing out of their head shouldn't stir certain feelings inside you - it's just an arm, we've all got them. It's an interesting observation of the importance society places on aesthetics.

Anyway. I remember asking a male friend back when I first started dating William about whether it would ever be possible for me to tell him I had a problem with it, or whether I could ever suggest surgery to him. I was told in no uncertain terms that I could never do so, because it would crush him, and lead to severe self-esteem issues. Which is exactly the answer I thought I'd get. Imagine if he had told me he didn't like my boobs and wanted me to enlarge/reduce them? I imagine I would also be extremely hurt. So I have never said anything. Just sort of plodded my way through and tried to deal with it.

Well, last night William came home from the doctors and said he had to discuss something with me. I thought he was going to the doctors just for an issue he's having with his broken ankle, but apparently he also went to get a referral to a urologist! He wants to get a circumcision! Apparently, aside from the issues I have with it (slipping condoms, unhygienic), he has problems with it too! Apparently, when we have sex, because it slips up and down so much, it tends to tear. Apparently always in the same place, and obviously with much pain. I don't know why he's never told me this before. He says it's the main reason he doesn't really initiate sex much - he's always afraid of the pain, and then has to rest for a few days afterwards to let it heal.

He told me this, and then asked if I thought he was silly for thinking about getting one. I had to pretend to be all concerned and supportive, when inside I was thinking, "Are you kidding?! Go! Go now and get one! I can't wait!!!!"

So yeah. I just hope the urologist will agree to do it, and there are no complications. And I really hope it improves our time in the bedroom afterwards!

Monday, April 19, 2010

I am awesome!

But probably more unbelievably lucky!

I do one of my degrees externally (I'd do them both, but one isn't offered), and each semester, I have an external attendance school to go to. It sucks. I have to give up a Friday, Saturday and Sunday and go to uni and sit through boring classes where morons ask ridiculously stupid and basic questions they wouldn't be asking if they'd actually read their material. But anyway.

During these EASs, I usually have a midsemester exam or two to take, but this semester, I didn't. At the start of the semester, when I drew up my assessment calendar, it looked like I only had one thing to do, and it would literally take 1 minute and was super easy. No actual studying required. So although I wasn't looking forward to the classes, at least I wasn't being assessed on anything.

Or so I thought.

At 7pm on the Thursday before, I was looking at my timetable for the EAS. And to my horror, I saw that I had a 10 minute presentation at 3pm the next day! For a subject I have done very little work for. Apparently, the problem had been released 2 weeks ago, and I was supposed to be arguing on the "for" side. And it was worth 20%! Argh!!!!!!!

I hit the panic button. The only thing I was grateful for was the "for" side seemed easier than the "against." I got William to flick through my textbooks with me and try to find anything that seemed relevant to my problem. I took an hour out for dinner, and then went back to it. I got to bed at 1am, completely stressed out that I was completely screwed. But at least I had something to present. Imagine if I'd turned up and had no idea I was presenting anything! I think that would be my first fail ever. I was actually trying to come up with ideas on how I could get out of going to the EAS. There was some turkey in the fridge that had been there longer than advised, and I even considered eating it and giving myself food poisoning. But I chickened out.

I had classes for another subject from 8am to 1pm, and then a two hour break until my presentation. I went to the library and tried to see if I could add anything further to my argument, or find any more sources. The only thing I can say in my favour is that I can be extremely persuasive when I want to be. I have had friends tell me that I speak with great authority even when I have no idea what I'm talking about. I was hoping to use that to my advantage.

5 minutes before I was due to present, I printed out my final copy. I was literally shaking like a leaf. I'm not much of a fan of speaking in front of people. I walked into the room and found out my opposing side actually worked in the industry for which the problem was based. "Great," I thought to myself, "I'm completely screwed."

There was one team before me. The first girl got up and started her presentation. She was freaking amazing. I just kept repeating to myself, "I am screwed, I am screwed, I am screwed."

Then it was our turn. I got up and gave my half. My partner got up and gave most of his presentation, but was clearly going over the 10 minute time limit. He had already been speaking for 20 minutes when the tutor said he would have to cut him off, but as he was interested in what he was saying, he was going to let him finish after the other teams had done theirs. So we sat back down. I thought this was pretty unfair. The time limit was clear. 10 minutes. I don't think he should have been allowed to continue past that, regardless of how interesting it was. Although some of the sources he had located to back up his argument was amazing. If we were getting graded on the outcome (whether we had convinced the tutor), I think I would have been screwed.

The other teams did theirs, and left at 5pm. We got back up. My opposition kept talking for another half hour. So 50 minutes in total, for something that was supposed to be 10 minutes. Some of what he was saying was preposterous. I was furiously scribbling notes down on the points I could have rebutted.

The tutor had noticed this, so after my opposition was finished, he gave me a right of reply. I got back up and started rebutting some of the points the other guy had made. Then he rebutted again, and then I rebutted again. 2.5 hours later, we were finally finished. I couldn't believe it. The tutor said he was letting us continue because he was fascinated by what we were saying, and because we were very good at speaking!

I was honestly very shocked. I couldn't believe I had managed to succeed with something I had pulled out of my arse in about 5 hours, with no previous knowledge, and very rushed research. Unbelievable.

Perhaps I should do all of my assignments 5 hours before they're due!

In other news: the house has settled! Yay! William and I are now officially part of the mortgage club, and are henceforth broke for the next 25 years! I can't wait until the tenants move out, and I can get the kitchen redone. And a walk in robe! I am so excited! I get to custom design one to go into the 4th bedroom. Very exciting! I'm going to have a wall of shoes!