How are we?

I’ve been thinking about lots of things, so this is a slightly stream-of-consciousness post.

How a sincere compliment can make someone’s day. ๐Ÿ˜

I’m currently eagerly listening to a podcast called 13 Minutes to the Moon, which tracks the USA’s space race journey over thirteen episodes. ๐ŸŒ•

I am a bit of an astronomer โ€“ I love the stars, the moon, space. If it were safer and personally cheaper, I’d love to see the Earth from space (which is what the current episode is about.) We exist in a vast universe, which leaves me full of wonder. Including the little things here on Earth too. ๐ŸŒ

I hope we continue to experience these wonders for years… though that does depend on action being taken against the bad things, like climate change. This leads to thoughts of what-ifs which are sometimes scary, because even if us little consumers do everything we individually can (which varies person-to-person), real action (not tokenism!) still needs to be taken by governments and major polluters. What will it take for the latter to be more concerned about changing for the better than preserving the current status quo? Bah humbug. ๐Ÿ˜ 

My mind returns to other matters: all I can do is raise my voice and live my life as best I can, doing what I can. That includes being a part of the future through my work and communities โ€“ choir, church, online groups, friends. ๐Ÿ˜Œ

Spread love and do what you can. ๐Ÿ’œ

#WearItPurple

A young white woman takes a selfie, wearing dark purple jeans, a light purple jumper and a mauve top underneath as well as dangling mauve and white earrings. She is smiling.

All-purple outfit today! #WearItPurple is a day to celebrate LGBTQIA+ diversity, and “To foster supportive, safe and accepting environments for rainbow young people.” See more at the Wear It Purple website.

The 2018 theme is Empower Together. Wear it proud, people!

I’m happy; I can now say that I’ve finished the project. Just a few little things to tie off before my holiday next week beckons.

Take care of yourselves this weekend!

Finally! Rental reforms introduced to Vic Parliament

These reforms were announced last year. Now, after months of consultation, whatever that means in this instance, they are finally ready to be introduced to Parliament.

Here’s hoping there are no delays – the Government’s lack of majority in the Upper House, and the tight timeframe (this is the fourth-last Parliamentary sitting week for the year) – notwithstanding.

These reforms mean a number of good things for renters – new protections for people escaping family violence, new protections about pet ownership, new rights about minor modifications, and other reforms. See the announcement here if you want more details. See here and here for news media about it.

Yay!

 

 

 

Three Years Ago: WGS

Three years ago today, I shaved off my shoulder blade-length hair to a number 3 cut, in order to raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation, while challenging myself a bit. I’d never had hair shorter than my shoulders since primary school. You know what, though? Since the shave, it hasn’t grown very far past my chin before getting chopped back!

The “World’s Greatest Shave” is an annual event. Why not pop over to the website and see if you can sponsor a few people?

That is, if you’re not doing it yourself… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Apparently, this year is the event’s 20th birthday.

Reblog: IWD

After I published yesterday’s post, I realised that I could have posted something a bit more directly relevant to March 8th, International Women’s Day.

My day consisted of doing placement duties driving around and sitting in offices, as well as a gym session followed by dinner with friends. In the car when we were driving around, I made sure the radio was tuned to Triple J. Every year they celebrate International Women’s Day by having “Girls to the Front”, highlighting female artists and presenters all day. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I also read this piece by Carly Findlay, appearance diversity activist and friend, highlighting eight disabled women (and one non-binary person) to follow on social media.

http://carlyfindlay.com.au/2018/03/08/eight-disabled-women-and-one-non-binary-person-you-should-know-this-international-womens-day/

Quote from Carly, introducing the piece: “Happy International Womenโ€™s Day!

May your mental load be reduced, manteruptions be kept to a minimum and your voices be heard.

This yearโ€™s themes are โ€œNo Woman Left Behindโ€ and โ€œPress For Progressโ€œ. Disabled women are often forgotten in discussions about diversity and violence and media and women in general. So Iโ€™m going to let you know of a few who you need to follow.”

#PostYourYes

Aussies, have you sent back your survey yet? 

Times are pretty tough for LGBTIQA+ people right now. There’ve been quite a few nasty attacks. This whole survey is in a way an attack because why should everyone have the right to decide on the validity of the relationships of a few? … If you were inconvenienced by a text message on the weekend, maybe have a think about that, ey? 

Anyway, here’s a brilliant (polite) video, directed at those who are considering voting no. If you are one of those, please watch and think before you do. 

Also, see this: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/logically-theres-only-one-good-reason-for-voting-no-20170922-gymr7n.html 

Just… think about it, please? 

I – and my funky-toe socks – am a yes. I posted my yes within 12 hours of collecting the survey (filled it out minutes after receiving). Go do that.  

Pair of feet in pink, brown and white socks with separate big toe part stand on grey tiled floor

Then watch this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3FkwaMGpnrg

So proud of all of those who made it!  Beautiful. โค 

Equip yourself for life…

Sepia-toned photo on beige background of Sir John Monash in WWI Australian Imperial Forces full army uniform. Has stripes and peaked hat of a General. Over Monash are words in white: Peace A Cantata for John Monash. Behind him is an indistinct motif of the Shrine of Remembrance and a steamer ship.

Front cover of concert program

The title is taken from a quote by Sir John Monash: โ€œAdopt as your creed that you will equip yourself for life, not solely for your own benefit but for the benefit of the whole community.โ€ 

On Saturday evening, after months of hard work (including many rehearsals in the final few weeks), the John Monash concert was held. 

It was an amazing experience. There were 29 songs. 13 of them were massed choir pieces, along with pieces for the children’s choir and soloists, all accompanied by a talented orchestra and conducted magnificently by Dr David Kram. David was also the composer, while lyrics were written by poet Kevin O’Flaherty or taken from speeches or letters from Sir John Monash himself. The soloists were Lisa Ann Robinson (Soprano), Michel LaLoum (Baritone), Kristen Leich (Mezzo Soprano), Eddie Muliaumaseali’l (Bass). The orchestra was a hand-picked selection of Melbourne’s finest. 

The concert celebrated the life and values of Sir John Monash. He was an Australian army general in WWI, whose ingenuity enabled a decisive victory in Amiens, France which hastened the Allies victory. But he was so much more than a general. He was a peace-maker, born of migrant parents, Jewish, educated and intelligent, a firm believer in democracy. He was a keen advocate for those under his command, an engineer, lover of music and languages; a family man. 

The Cantata demonstrated this through song โ€“ if only all history was explained this way! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It also had some great songs about the peacemakers and the folly of war โ€“ the experiences of nurses, Indigenous men, family waiting back home for news, Turkish and Australian soldiers at Gallipoli, and the children of France. 

It was a wonderful experience to take part in. On one level, I sang with friends and my boyfriend, so had the shared connection of that. But more than that there was the music itself. The songs involved a few tricky-to-master parts like fugues and synchopated timings, as well as some entries on high notes. And the songs are memorable โ€“ the way lyrics and music worked together evoked images of the song’s message. Everything from the dread and anguish of a pink telegram (MIA soldier now confirmed dead), violins and the timpani sounding like planes strafing and machine-guns) to the importance of peace. It was beautiful. 

I do mean beautiful. It was a evocative Australian story, told through song. At the end of the Cantata, as we sat down after our final bows, I felt incredibly moved. A sense of awe swept through me. I wanted to sit with the feeling for a few moments, it was that strong. 

I cannot thank More Than Opera, the Melbourne company who supported the concert, enough for the chance to be a part of it. I’ve had concert songs float through my head every day since and they still bring a smile to my face. 

Let there be peace! 

Marriage Equality Survey Starts being Mailed Today

Key Dates for the Marriage Equality Postal Survey:


I’ll be voting yes. I hope you will too.

I’m voting yes for my friends and family and those who want to get married but can’t. I’m voting yes because as a progressive Catholic agnostic woman, I think that love is love, fairness is fairness, and those who rush to judge should take a look in their own eye for the plank of wood before hunting out a supposed speck in someone else’s.

I’m also voting yes because I feel that the arguments of the no side – the most strident, loudest arguments particularly – don’t hold water. They’re obfuscations and distractions. Often they’re downright homophobic and transphobic too. Read my marriage equality essay if you haven’t already – I pull things apart a bit more clearly there.

Tbh, I would have much preferred a free vote in Parliament. Human rights shouldn’t have to be decided by popular vote. But since it’s going to happen…. may love win.I welcome discussion, provided it’s not based on bigotry, on the blog.

Return your form on the day you receive it. This matters. At the end of the day, it’s about celebrating love and commitment.

Miscellaneousย 

It’s been a busy time lately, hasn’t it? I’d intended to write a few lengthier posts this week but so far, life’s getting in the way. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hopefully you’ll see them soon. In the meantime, here’s a link to the latest post of a great blogger whose archives I’ve been reading through: ahoy, Captain Awkward, boon to socially awkward people everywhere! 

Don’t forget to buy your John Monash Peace Cantata concert tickets

Register for MIV? It’s going to be heaps of fun. 

It’s a bit of a silly world out there atm. Make time for the things you enjoy and the people you love. 

Have a cuppa tea and a nice day, people. 

Lemon & ginger tea sits in a white mug with dark polka dots. It takes up the whole picture (handle faces right).

A half-finished lemon and ginger* tea that I made myself last night.


* = how the heck did predictive text get “hungover” from my starting to type “ginger”??