Credit Where Credit is Due.

It was pointed out to me yesterday, by my very dearest and very oldest (she’s not so old, I’ve just known her forever) friend, that I have a long standing habit of ‘referring to other people’s authority’ in conversation.  A statement which initially confused me somewhat, for as anyone who has known me for longer than twenty minutes has probably figured out – me and authority don’t get along so well.  Never have.

However, my friend’s keen sense of observation has noticed a particular idiosyncrasy of mine – apparently when passing on information, I have a tendency to reference what I am saying, to others whose expertise I acknowledge and respect, rather than just stating the information out right.  Presumably to lend or gravitas to the argument, according to my friend.  For example when discussing infant bottle feeding, at some point I have told her about the myth of baby bottle sterilization – that we, as an ever obedient consumer society, are conned into buying expensive bottle sterilizers to clean baby bottles.  However, apparently I didn’t just tell her that these expensive products were time consuming and unnecessary because if you think about it, common sense tells you that once you remove the bottle from the sterilization unit they are no longer sterile… No, apparently I referred to the authority of a microbiologist friend who had initially informed me, that sterilizers are no more effective than simple hot water, dish washing detergent and air drying practices (don’t use a dish cloth – your average kitchen dish cloth is bursting with fruit flavour… ie: germs.), thus lending expertise and weight to my assertion.

On various another occasions I have shared general information with her about cars, car maintenance and even driving practices, apparently drawing on the authority of an ex-boyfriend who worked in the car industry and raced cars for a hobby as the relevant authority.  Likewise apparently with IT or computer related issues, always referring to someone that she perceived, that I perceived, held more expertise than myself in the area under discussion.  I also have a tendency to cite research and articles I have read rather than stating things as just knowledge or facts that I have acquired (likely this a habit of the perpetual student, in me).

Not only that, but she has also noticed that I apparently unwilling to take ownership of those little idioms that you come upon in life that stay with you – eg: ‘Having one child takes up all of your time, and having three children takes up all of your time as well’ (wise words passed on as being from my mother).  So after many years of study – yes, my friend is a particularly analytical creature with an extraordinary memory, and she has a habit of studying her friends – she has decided that I have some underlying habit of referring to the authority of others.  She didn’t express a hypothethis ,as to why I do this.  Whether it is because she thinks I have difficulty trusting my own judgement, or whether it might be simply to reinforce my position with my listener by referring to a (perceived) more expert opinion.

But I have been thinking about it and honestly?  I think it is simply a matter of giving credit where credit is due.  We all learn things from so many sources around us, especially now in the Information Age, some of it credible, some of it not so credible, some of it down right bullshit and for many many years now I have been taking things I learn with a grain of salt unless it is from a well respected source or well referenced.  And yes, this often includes information gained from my friends.  Can I claim credit for realizing all on my own that my baby bottles are no longer sterile as soon as I open the container?  No.  I would have keep on wasting my time using the stupid thing, like a good little consumer, if my friend hadn’t pointed out the nonsense staring me in the face.  So I pass on the credit for providing this jewel of common sense, to my friend.

It’s weird how this works in my head.  But I strongly suspect I am not alone.  I believe this, giving credit to individuals for the information they bring into our lives, is important to a lot of people.  On Facebook, for example, if we want to ‘share’ a link that a friend has bought to our attention, we are given an option to include their name on our page, connected to the article/webpage/photo, as the original finder or provider of said information.  Now, unless Facebook is being stupid (which it frequently is, especially from your phone), I ALWAYS leave the name of the person who originally posted it.  If someone has provided me with information that I feel is worth sharing, then I feel they deserve to have the credit for finding it.  My finickity nature on this one also extends to things that are sent to me privately – if a friend sends me something via private message or something, and I think it is worth sharing with the world at large… I often feel the NEED to ask that friend if they mind if I share it on Facebook, or Reddit or via email or whatever?  I have no idea why I do that, except that I feel people should be given credit for the knowledge they bring to us that variously (or vicariously?) enriches our lives in some way.

So yes, in discussions I am probably frequently heard referring to authors of authority, especially on politics and current events.  But when discussing the wisdom that friends have generously bestowed on me, and which I am now sharing with others – I strongly suspect it is primarily a matter of making sure I am passing on the credit to the person to whom it is due.

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You want to tell me that you love me…

Why is it that he always sends an, “I love you” message, right when you are in the middle of storming around the house cursing his fucking name?

Is it ESP or something?  Does he feel that right at that moment he is mentally being burned in effigy and suddenly feels the need to try and buy some good karma or something? Because I frequently get the text message that says, “I hope you’re having a great day. I love you.’, when I am so pissed off I want to scream!!!

I’ll be in the middle of wiping the coffee stains off the kitchen benches, the cupboards and even the goddamn floor, and mentally calculating how many more times I am prepared to do this before I throw the malodorous filthy fucking espresso machine out the fricken kitchen window and my little iPhone will innocuously go *ding* with an ‘I love you’.

Or I’ll be scrubbing the toilet of HIS skiddies, or scraping phlegm off the bathroom sink or washing bits of beard off the porcelain… and wondering ‘Ferfucksake why?!?  Does he not see it?  DOES HE NOT FUCKING SEE IT?’ and the phone will go *ding* with little messages of love.

I’ll be thinking to myself, ‘what part of, “you need to find somewhere else to hang those ties” sounds like a fucking suggestion?’, or ‘he said he fucking cleaned this, and yet here I am, on my hands and knees, doing it properly’, or sighing in slumped resignation at the realization that my request to take the stupid garbage out has been ignored for the umpteenth time and my phone will go *ding* with a text window telling me I’m so awesome.   🙁

WELL FUCK THAT SHIT.

You want to tell me that you love me… scrub down your own damn dunny and leave it smelling fresh and clean for the next occupant.

You want to tell me that you love me… actually clean the dishes when you say you are going to, and realize that cleaning the dishes also involves wiping down the sink!

You want to tell me that you love me… look after your own shit and don’t leave disgusting coffee stains and smells permeating the entire kitchen.

You want to tell me that you love me… don’t use the bathtub as an ‘overflow’ laundry hamper hindering anyone from actually taking a fucking bath!

You want to tell me that you love me… don’t vacuum the floor in part of the house and leave another part of the house littered with crap.

You want to tell me that you love me… then fucking DO something useful and fucking do it properly!

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Here’s some free advice… thinking of getting married and sharing your life with someone until ‘death do you part’ or until one of you is lying about screwing some sort of window licking crazy in a dodgy hotel room on a Tuesday?  By all means.  Marriage rocks.  Having someone to share your life with is awesome.  BUT for crying out loud, save yourself years of heartache and marry someone who has the same sense of ‘clean’ as you do.  Else you are just buying into a world of fucking hurt.

And don’t get me started on having compatible concepts of ‘punctuality’…

Real Monsters for Halloween

I could spend hours scouring the internet for imagery… and no, unlike many of you who use the internet for a similar pursuit, I’m not talking about collecting untold gigabytes of pornography!

I like looking for art and artworks of obscure artists.  I think it’s amazing that I am able to see the works of an art student in Russia or an little known sculptor in Spain or an accomplished illustrator like Toby Allen who created these ‘Real Monsters’, as artistic representations of mental disorders.

mental disorder monsters anxiety mental disorder monsters avoidance mental disorder monsters borderline personality mental disorder monsters depression mental disorder monsters disassociative mental disorder monsters OCD mental disorder monsters paranoia mental disorder monsters schizophrenia mental disorder monsters social anxiety

Today is Halloween, which in Australia generally means very little, no matter how hard retailers are trying to get us to buy into this particularly un-Hallmark, but decidedly consumerist, holiday.  Popular culture seems to spend a lot of time cogitating on zombies and vampires and things generally undead, that generally go bump in the night.  Monsters of this kind do not bother me at all.  Never have and never will.  But these ‘Real Monsters’ of Toby Allen’s… well, them I got some experience with, and they scare the shit out of me.

Cards Against Humanity – We Love You.

Spent a side-splitting night playing Cards Against Humanity on Sunday night and was thinking… ‘I really need to get some of these, just to play with the family on Christmas Day’.  With expansions, of course.  So I jump on their website, and even though I already knew they probably wouldn’t ship to Australia, I thought I’d look for that ever elusive internet loophole.

cards against humanity logo

So having a look through their FAQs… cleverly disguised under the section entitled: “Your Dumb Questions” and yeah, had my expectations confirmed – no shipping to Australia.  But, there was a small glimmer of hope:

cards against humanity email

So, I thought I’d give it a whirl in spite of of their warning:

cards against humanity email warning ———- Outgoing Email ———-
From: borysSNORC
Date: Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 9:22 AM
Subject: OCD Chick Needs Proper Cards
To: CardsAgainstHumanity

Hi there,

I have the misfortune to live in an ‘inferior’ country as outlined on your website, in this case, Australia.  Yes, I know…  Anyway, as such, I do not have ready access to your excellent products through yourselves or through Amazon.

This presents a significant problem for me personally, as I have diagnosed obsessive personality traits and can not foresee any situation where home made cards would be acceptable… let alone the inevitability that would see future expansion packs printed out on inhomogenous card stock – the horror!

Naturally, this is completely unacceptable and would render my game completely unable to be played.  *twitch twitch*   Why, the very idea of it is almost as traumatizing as that time, when the powers that be, released the first two seasons of The Sopranos in cardboard boxes and then latter seasons were released in regular plastic cases necessitating the re-purchasing of the entire series!

I am therefore humbly requesting that I be allowed to order the original Cards Against Humanity party game (RRP of $25) and the First, Second and Third Expansion sets (at $10 each) and have them shipped to Australia – and, if at all possible, without an ass raping, non-lubed shipping rate!  Just this one time, I promise.

Also, I think it worth noting, that as a group of individuals that are figuratively crying out to be ridiculed, I believe the OCD community are significantly and conspicuously absent from your most excellent game, which given the propensity for absurd behaviour tics is absolutely ripe for exploitation.

Yours in date rape and child beauty pageants…

borysSNORC

cards against humanity

And low and behold, I got a reply this morning!  😀

———- Reply Email ———-
From: Cards Against Humanity
Date: Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 2:43 AM
Subject: Re: OCD Chick Needs Proper Cards
To: borysSNORC

Hi Robyn,

Cards Against Humanity is technically only available in the US, Canada, and the UK right now . . . buuuuut since you asked so nicely, I’ll link you to our super-secret international store.
Password: yousickfucks
A few notes:
  • This is a private link. Please don’t share it!
  • You may have to pay import taxes depending on your country. You’re on your own there.
  • Shipping takes a few weeks, so please give it some time to arrive.
Thanks, and good luck!
J & the CAH

TeamTa da!  Borys’ most excellent letter writing skills, strike again.  I think I should write a consumer advice book on “How To Have Your Way With Almost Anyone”.   😀

cardsagainsthumanity

I’m not shuffling them again.

Several years ago – it doesn’t really matter how many, as it does no one any benefit to do the math and figuring out exactly how many moons ago it was! – I did an extended trip through Europe.  Nearly six months of just travelling through Europe with my sister, BigSal and a friend BuddyMary.  None of this ‘working holiday’ nonsense for us Cross girls – there’s simply not enough time for partying ’til all hours, getting stupid drunk on ouzo, puking on ancient ruins, falling down stairs with extra large cups full of margaritas, watching your travel companions nearly getting arrested by imams, peeing out of moving buses, getting stoned in Amsterdam, and ‘going to see his scoot’, if you have to, you know… go to work!!!  Anyway, we started in London (well, if you don’t count the unexpected detour to Bahrain because a some poor guy on the plane had a heart attack as we passed over Tehran), and we went through a bunch of countries: France, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Holland, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England (and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some!), many of which were done courtesy of a Top Deck double decker bus tour.

Sigh… They don’t run them like that any more.  But back in my day, 😉 they had a fleet of old London buses that had been converted to have sleeping bunk areas upstairs, kitchen and sitting areas downstairs and they pretty much ran like your average Contiki Tour, going from place to place, but without the time wasting and nightmarish packing and unpacking every night, and the tedium of putting up and pulling down tents every stop!  Truly, it was one of the best things I ever did.  The first eleven weeks was spent on these buses with total strangers, many of whom would do the Big Brother House proud!  One of the ‘not so strange’, total strangers was HtheVet, who was an already well travelled Kiwi lady, who had been living and working as a vet in London, fully armed with a plethora of gruesome work related dinner table stories, that frequently gave the four nurses on our trip a run for their money!  Anyway, HtheVet was one of the handful of people we met on the trip who we stayed in touch with, because, well… she was one of the sane ones!  😀   And she used to collect these little lapel pins on her travels and stick them up in her home.  Which I thought was a fantastic idea to remember my travels too, so I started doing the same thing, because it was that, or I was likely to end up coming home with a massive pile of ‘I heart <insert place of interest>’ t-shirts that I’d probably never wear!

By the time I got home from that trip, I had a bag full of souvenir pins that were a cool little chronicle of my travels. Several years after the particular trip in question, I asked my Dad if he would make me a glass topped coffee table to display these pins in, and he lovingly made me a beautiful timber table to put them in as a wedding gift.   And not surprisingly, thanks to my obsessive personality traits and persistent bowerbird tendencies, I’ve been collecting lapel pins on my travels ever since.

collectable lapel pins

But no more!  Now I’ve come to a grinding halt.  With my recent trip the Canada, Alaska and the US, the coffee is full (I repeat Ghostrider, the patten, err table, is full!).  That’s right no more travel for me, unless it is to third world countries where things like souvenir lapel pins are rather hard to come by.