Tag Archives: life

Mostly human, probably NSFW

The blog’s Not Safe For Work. I, I will be partly pony. Yep, I’ve decided i’m not a real girl. Not a sex pony, you know, that’s not me. The ones you see on those bizarro reality TV documentaries acting out their childhood or teen angst by dragging leather/lycra-clad people around in carts.

“Of course,” they say to camera, while ‘owner’ cinches them into a corset, cos sure, that’s what ponies wear, “it’s a secret, my adult pony playing. That’s why i’m appearing on a sensationalist show that will be shown all around the world for the next 100 years.”

*Pony-play person neighs and tries to get lycra pony-suit out of her butt-crack with one of her plastic hooves. Eventually ‘owner’ takes pity on her and undoes the velcro holding the hoof on.*

Nope, that is so not me. I’m the bolshy kind of pony. The pony who crushes you against the fence, who stands on your foot, the one who bites you as you try to get into the saddle. Who, when you finally make it into the saddle, takes off at a gallop before suddenly dropping my head between my fetlocks and kicking up my back hooves. And smirks as you fly off into the nearest tree/mud/water/fence/brick wall.

And seriously – saddles are for the tamed. I won’t wear that kind of thing. I would like a new leather coat if someone’s offering, mine was eaten by mould when i lived in New South Wales.

Why am i a pony? Or Part-Pony? Being human’s not working for me. I’d be better off with hooves. Fully opposable ones, of course. My hair’s in my eyes, let’s call it a forelock and be done with it. I don’t have a tail, but we could put that down to a Terrible Accident. The alternative is one of these, and i am SO not going there.

Tasha-Reignbow-Pony-Tail-Plug-4-colors-326x326

Of course someone has made girly pony tails as sex toys. Everything else is also available, why not pony tails? And yes, that link is so NSFW you probably shouldn’t click it.
Some things you can’t unsee.

I’m not really a My Little Pony kind of pony. I will roll in mud, get brambles in my mane, and children will find me scary.

“Mummy! The pony’s looking at me funny!”
“Don’t be silly, darling, ponies don’t do that.”
“Mummy? The pony just said if i tell tales someone will cut my tongue out.”
“Jacinta!” Mummy tries not to shout. “We’ve had this discussion before, darling, we don’t pretend animals talk, do we?”

*Mummy decides it’s way past time for an afternoon white wine. Just out of her sightline, pony mimes cutting motion with one hoof across its throat.

Jacinta begins to hyperventilate.*

Why a pony? As i said, human’s getting harder. If i could survive on grass, lucerne, pony nuts, and the occasional apple i’d be much better off.

I’d be hyper-cute and Social Security wouldn’t be something to be afraid of any more.

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My Little Ponies aren’t as nice as they pretend to be…

So, if i shift species i’ll be free of worry. All i have to do is keep Jacinta in line. How hard can that be?

Compared to dealing with government departments, coping with hate from idiots who think disabled people are all bludging fakes because MSM (Mainstream Media) and their own government tell them so?

I reckon ponyness poniness pony-ness will be a doddle in comparison.

devilpony

Do you feel lucky, Jacinta?
Well do ya?

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


The Best Things in Life

The next bit of that quote is “are free”. Which is where i’m about to head with my books. That’s right  – the ebooks will be free. Not yet, so don’t go buying one. I don’t get the money anyway. I put a stop on any payments while i got myself sorted out, and (as i explained in the last blog) there’s never been enough sales to warrant taking the stop off.

[EDIT So much has changed since i wrote this, that as of 28 May 2017 i’m doing a whole new blog post which will be pretty much contradicting everything below. So yeah, everything below this point is possibly no longer current. I’m not even sure i’ll try crowdfunding. The e-reader stuff is useful and current.]

So, the ebooks will be free. I’m tired of struggling with online US-based publishing, and with trying to explain  my tax situation to the US tax office at a distance of tens of thousands of miles. Every time i’ve figured out which form to send in, they change the rules! All for the sake of literally cents.

Most of all, i’m going nuts with my books not being read. Book 1 came out in 2011. It’s been SIX years.

So when i finish this edit (of three books into four) the quartet will go up on Smashwords. EDIT After some thought, the first 2 will go up – the other two will be available (with 1 & 2) as free ebook gifts for people who support the crowdfunding.

For all my frustration with e-publishing, I do like having my Smashwords books available in any format, not just for Kindle. You may not be aware, but Amazon’s MOBI format is exclusive to them. Most other e-readers use EPUB format.

Amazon (& other formats) also lock the book (via Digital Rights Management or DRM) so you can’t move the book you own from your ereader to your laptop. I’ve always been against that so Smashwords suits me. I  like people to be able to read my book when they want, on whatever platform they want. If you accidentally delete a book from Smashwords, you can just go back to the site and re-download it.

If you don’t have a Kindle or other e-reader, you can download various free e-readers for smartphones, tablets, desktops or laptops. Kindle’s one is good (and free) available here.

If you’d rather go with a non-Amazon reader (Kindle can’t read anything except Amazon MOBI format books, and it’s better on very small screens because of its display limitations), there are more. I have a desktop and have used the Kindle one, but i tried others, as i have to make sure my books look okay whatever format they’re in.

Here’s an article on TechRadar explaining the current top free e-readers and with links to get them. They also have a link to a converter for when your e-reader can’t deal with a downloaded file type. There are a lots of free books online. Many, admittedly, are free for a reason. But there are gems – Project Gutenberg, for free e-books now out of copyright, is fantastic. There is now an Australian Gutenberg, for books pre-1955 – scroll down that page for links to wonderful Australian publications.

However, for me, giving away the e-books is a taster (EDIT and a reward) for raising money via crowdfunding. Many e-reader users still love books and will buy a paper book, and those who won’t buy e-books will buy paper.

So many would-be readers have asked me over the years, when is the print version coming out? When i said so far it wasn’t, they explained they don’t like reading anything long off a screen. Two of my sisters haven’t read Book 1 (they even got it free!) for just that reason.

So that’s where i’m at. Doing a quick edit to check balance, arc, strange spelling mistakes that have crept in, then it’s a quick paper edit. (Well, as quick as paper can be. Because once you’ve red pencilled your way through all that paper, you then have to transfer the edits into the computer.)

During that time, i have to sort out the crowdfunding page. I haven’t decided which site to use, other than having learned from my mistakes, i will be using an Aussie-friendly one. I’ll also be figuring out my legal standing on crowdfunding as income, who it needs to be declared to and how soon, because i want to make sure i don’t do anything wrong as far as the Authorities are concerned. (EDIT making progress, but omigod it’s so complicated! Not the crowdfunding, but how i have to organise everything before i go live)

Not much work, lol. And Mr Whatsit will be in hospital soon, then out with a 6+ week recovery period, so it’s not like i have anything else to do, like caring for someone. Yep, in a matter of weeks i should be getting all this on the road. When i say weeks, I mean 12. And when i say 12, i probably mean 16. Or maybe more. Especially as i don’t know yet if i have to move house this year.

Yes, if you care about me at all, pray to your deity of choice (or Siamese Cat of choice) that i get a lease renewal, cos if i don’t, everything is going to be extremely stuffed. And when i say stuffed, i mean fkd.

Because Mr won’t be able to walk, i have my physical limits, and moving at short notice is never fun, even for the able-bodied. On the bright side, i still haven’t unpacked everything from last year’s aborted move, so most of the knick-knack’s and a lot of the crockery is still boxed up.

I thought i’d leave you with some recent witticism from Twitter, but instead figured this was probably what you need to hear…

 

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


I Was Thinking…

The thinking took some time. Basically i had three books. They were somehow unbalanced. The more i tried to balance them, the longer they got. And the more out of balance.

I took some time out. Some more time out. I spent a lot of time on twitter. Getting retweeted is affirming, no doubt about it, and i enjoyed catching up with people i adore and had forgotten existed.

My head’s like that. Involved in a book, i can forget my own family. Even myself. Reading a good book should be like that, writing them possibly more so.

I did quite a lot of research while i tweeted, figuring out the intricacies of crowd-funding, on demand publishing, and deciding whether the previously only e-publishing model was worth sticking to. Quite simply, it wasn’t.

When i first published The Birthday Dragon, i accidentally took it off public display, not realising Adult (it was adult fiction, not ‘young adult’ or ‘children’s’) meant the same as X rated on the prim US site i was on, and my book was literally only available to those looking for porn. So sales were, to put it mildly, minimal.

It took me nearly 3 months to realise what was going on, and by then it was too late. I’d missed what booksellers call the golden window for sales. The book never sold. People agreed it was wonderful, reviewed it glowingly. Still no sales.

Even today, it’s one of the highest rated books on Smashwords. Out of all books on the site over 100,000 words, it’s still on the front page, admittedly at No 20, but it was published back in 2011. Put in ‘under $2.99’ and it’s number 8.

Currently, if you look at Sci Fi over 100,000 words, it’s number 1. Fantasy over 100k it rates highly, but if ‘under $2.99’ it’s number 1 again. But it isn’t selling. At all. It’s one of those questions – is it me? Or is it Smashwords?

I tried competitions, blogs, tweeting, sacrificing small geeks, edits, and still, no sales. So i gave up. It would be alright when i did Book 2.

Right before publication of Book 2, the person doing the cover art decided not to. Two weeks before publication. It rocked me more than a little. Doing it for free doesn’t mean to me that it’s ok to be unprofessional. I didn’t pillory him on Twitter, which shows control i didn’t think i had. I tried to do some artwork myself, and my graphics tablet blew up.

Mr Whatsit (and some articles i read confirmed the notion) suggested i leave Book 2, do Book 3, and put them both out at once. Maximise sales, give me time to do some artwork myself. Then my landlord at the time served notice.

A new graphics tablet dropped into my lap (via the post, a friend upgraded and sent me theirs), i completed the books, the interstate move (2013) plus three more (1 more in 2013, 2 in 2014) .

Finally settled, i finished off Book 3 and organised the artwork. I did take the nutso artist’s cover off Book 1. For all i knew he was about to demand i did and the cover didn’t match the book, so what the hell.

I had other real life problems. Mr couldn’t manage even the few stairs here. We were supposed to move. Again. Scheduling a book release when i couldn’t promote it seemed nuts, so i put it off. Again.

The move, late 2015, didn’t happen. My car needed a sudden injection of funds, all the moving money, and fortunately the landlord didn’t mind us begging to stay. Never mind, we’ll move in 2016.

Cancer clawed at me, thankfully caught by signs my doctor paid attention to. Not just one cancer scare, but possible tumours in breasts, back, uterus, and brain had my whole attention.

Not just moving was cancelled. My life was. Then it wasn’t. Thankfully they caught everything early, or it was benign, or it wasn’t cancer. I did go through major abdominal surgery, and ended up minus womb and ovaries, which seems a small price to pay for life, but did put paid to moving.

I was off Twitter. It seemed i had nothing to say, or at least nothing i felt like sharing. “My life is fucked, how’s yours?” I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like discussing depression with others. My depression that is, i’ll happily discuss other people’s. (I will go to a psyche, and endure the tears and laughter that make up a talking cure.)

I hit Twitter again. It was lovely, and i cursed myself for a fool for not enjoying my friends. Or for not giving them credit for being whole humans who might actually care about other people. I carefully avoided thinking about the books.

Suddenly, it came to me. The books needed to be a … wtf do you call a four book set? I pretended not to hear the thought for weeks. I did surreptitiously do that research on crowdfunding and print on demand. Under my own radar, while shouting about goddamn fascists on Twitter.

After some Googling and more thought, i decided a quartet was the right name. We were supposed to be moving mid year, so i was thinking seriously about how to schedule moving and books. Then Mr got some good news, the operation he’s been waiting years for is happening this year. So we’re not moving. Again.

And i have no more excuses. Unless the landlord springs the kind of unpleasant surprise every tenant dreads (Guess what? I’ve decided to double the rent/knock down the house and build an apartment block/evict you cos it’s a Leap Year) and i have to move.

My health isn’t good, but it never is. I wrote the books despite that.

So i’ve started splitting them into 4. Gives me 4 books of about 100,000 words. I’m hammering out the chapter summaries, which as the books changed, stupid me had not kept up. Without them, editing the books further is tricky, i can’t see the flow.

Looking at the price of self-publishing books this size, i may have to cut them further, either with editing or cutting them into more books. I’m not sure. Depends on what i want to crowd-fund. My education in that and Print on Demand is cursory, and to be honest, it’s more than a little scary.

Not as scary as real life with the continued demonisation of anyone on welfare – what we in Australia called ‘benefit’ up until the current right wing government decided we were all probably criminals and as ‘welfare’  was already a dirty word thanks to US hatespeech, it worked for them.

Freedom of speech as the USA calls it, and now our government’s borrowing that notion too – they want the right to call anyone non-pinkish coloured a n________. The right to discriminate against brown or black people, against non-Christians and anyone who dares dissent.

Yes, the same LNP government that when Trump declared his ‘Muslim Ban’, crowed, delighted that in their words, someone was copying their policies.

You know the disabled people of Germany were the first to the gas chambers? As the sick, disabled, and aged are called non-profit-making drains on society, as the government (of rich white men and their sycophant women) say they’re going to cut ‘welfare’ to ‘bludgers’, well, real life is a place i really don’t want to be.

As i said on Twitter….

 Time’s a wasting.

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com

 


A rightwing thinktank is running Australia

So, that’s a headline, eh? Many people now know about the Institute of Public Affairs, a very right wing thinktank, whose 70th birthday (it was formed at the same time and by the same people who formed our very un-liberal Liberal Party) was celebrated by noted Australians including Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rinehart, Tony Abbott, George Brandis, and Andrew Bolt. Andrew Bolt’s son works for the IPA, just by the by.

Also there was Tony Abbott’s Opus Dei-connected confessor and friend, Cardinal George Pell, now hiding in the Vatican, lecturing on ethics and ignoring Australian police asking to interview him personally over child sexual abuse in the Church. So Australia’s great and good – or rich and snivelling, if you prefer.

The IPA gets a lot of money from its billionaire backers – and it’s linked to right wing thinktanks in the US, like the Heartland Institute, and not just a little bit. People (if we can call climate denialists that), who work for Heartland also work for IPA.

Much of IPA funding probably comes from Gina Rinehart, daughter of a West Australian mining magnate and very bad poet. The inclusion of ‘special economic zone’ status for the North of Oz (#42 on IPA List) comes right (lol) out of the Gina Rinehart Big Wishing Book for Right Wing Billionaires, right before “Rig system so i only pay workers $1 a day”.

The IPA list? Well, they came up with a list of 75 things Tony Abbott should do to transform Australia. He’s the former Liberal-National Coalition Prime Minister – Liberal in Oz meaning right wing, they’re economic liberals, not social ones, and like most rightwing parties, can’t hold government without alliances.

IPA reckoned Tony could be like Gough Whitlam. Gough was a former Labor Prime Minister, leftist, considered radical for things like ‘equal pay for women’. Tony (the IPA reckoned) should be radical for the Right the way Gough had been for the Left in the 1970’s. Sad that actual equal pay for women is still too radical for 2017 except in Iceland.

Then the IPA came up with another 25 more ‘ideas’. 100 all up, which @elliemail has listed here IPA 100 Demands.

During a conversation on Twitter i stupidly foolishly rashly volunteered to see how many of the IPA’s suggestions had been achieved. Tony Abbott of course is not PM any more, instead Malcolm “My Money’s in the Caymans” Turnbull is but the IPA influence continues unabated.

Before he was even PM, Abbott promised the IPA that the following would be done. Info from Barry Tucker‘s blog at The Sniper Takes Aim. These are the 10 Tony said were already agreed: Crossed out like this are already done…

1 Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it. It will be one thing to remove the burden of the carbon tax from the Australian economy. But if it is just replaced by another costly scheme, most of the benefits will be undone.

2 Abolish the Department of Climate Change

3 Abolish the Clean Energy Fund

4 Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

6 Repeal the renewable energy target

42 Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including: a) Lower personal income tax for residents b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers c) Encourage the construction of dams

43 Repeal the mining tax

44 Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states

49 Privatise Medibank

69 Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built

Of course, the moment Tony Abbott won the election he went to work (thank you, Kevin Rudd, for losing an election that when you took over, Labor could have won easily .)

Tony didn’t manage his initial list of 10, but he did manage #1, Repeal the Carbon Tax. Because big polluters should not be penalised, at all. Most people’s energy bills have doubled since he did this, which he said would save everyone money. The Barrier Reef is in such bad shape our government had to throw a major shitfit to stop it being listed as In Danger in the UNESCO listings of World Heritage sites. It’s just in danger of being In Danger, so that’s alright. Already this year, (after last years ‘worst coral bleaching events ever’) the Reef is struggling.

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (#2) went (in the UK, right wing PM May abolished hers too, seeing the pattern?), absorbed into the horribly wordy Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. This was abolished less than a year later.

As Wikipedia mentions, “Its functions were principally transferred to the Department of Industry; with its environmental functions transferred to the Department of the Environment

Abbott also shut down the Climate Change Commission (established to provide public information on the effects of and potential solutions to global warming).

The CCC said bugger off, in true Aussie fashion, switched to crowdfunding and became the Climate Council. Concerned Australians keep it going, because even if idiots in the Liberal National Party Coalition and the other right wing idiot fringe (yes, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, we are looking at you) can’t see global warming, the rest of us can.

Tony tried to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (#3) and the Renewable Energy Agency (almost #6), but failed when some of the minority parties in the senate voted with Labor and the Greens. The LNP’re still chipping away, trying to make the money in the CEFC available to coal-fired power stations, providing they’re ‘clean coal’, something that’s a contradiction in terms.

Tony also directly broke pre election promises to not mess with the Renewable Energy Target but didn’t abolish it (#6). The Guardian has a list of Abbott’s worst 10 environmental decisions – truly scary.

Since his fall, the Liberals have continued his work, most recently with attempts to repeal 18C (#4) though they’ve settled this week for trying to pass changing the wording (which had worked fine for 20 years).

#42 – basically ‘make Gina the Queen of Northern Oz’, still being shouted about because without it Gina Rinehart’s money might not keep funnelling into Liberal Party coffers.

#43 – the Mining Tax was repealed after a bit of struggle. Clive Palmer’s PUP voted for it (he’s a mining magnate too) and it’s rather funny to note that while passing that, they passed the Income Support Bonus abolition and the Schoolkids bonus (welfare cuts). CORRECTION – Palmer voted for this on the condition that the Income Support and Schoolkids Bonus were put off. They’re due to zombie this year.

#44 – done – federal protections for the environment circumvented. This is why Queenslanders are now fighting the State government (which is afraid of losing votes if even 1 mining job is lost) over coal mines (the biggest in Australia!) and Barrier Reef destruction (weirdly, they don’t seem to give a crap about tourism, a much bigger provider of jobs – can only imagine Miner Adani’s hospitality must be better than anything offered in Queensland).

This goes with LNP’s federal legislating that the Environment Minister is above the law – giving then Environment Minister Greg Hunt legal immunity against future legal challenges to his decisions on mining projects – and they made it retrospective, which got Labor’s vote to pass the legislation.Yep. Don’t really have words other than horrifying.

“At the same time, State governments are seeking to ‘fast track’ major developments, such as coal mine and coal seam gas projects, reducing public participation and removing legal rights of local communities to mount legal challenges.”

#49 is quite funny – Medibank used to be a not-for-profit health insurer owned by all Australians, until it was sold off. So privatising it, as Abbott did in 2014, is like this huge joke on ALL of Oz. Technically, he was fulfilling a Howard government promise from 2007.

#69 Tony Abbott put now-PM Turnbull on the job of completely fucking up the NBN. Malcolm did an excellent job. It wasn’t stopped, not completely, nor privatised, just gutted, buggered, and ruined.

Malcolm decided that Fibre to the Home was no longer an option (despite him investing in companies delivering FTTH in Europe) but we would have the cheaper Fibre to the Node – which might be come off the optical cable a long way from your home, and be part-carried by the decayed Telstra copper network. Telstra’s been neglecting this for a decade while they waited for the NBN or some other form of cable broadband to come in. This charming article “Nope, copper network still rooted (and maybe worse than first thought)” explains.  So it would be slow. Very very slow.

In fact, Turnbull succeeded so completely that the NBN is in parts slower than Telstra’s rather pathetic ADSL2 (this can be completely destroyed by any errant radio frequency – in my last house, the Adsl2 went down every time neighbour’s badly-wired solar panels kicked in).

It’s also MORE expensive than the original by billions – he literally doubled the cost, then kept going – as this article explains “from $29.5 billion to $41 billion, and then last year to “up to” $56 billion. And instead of delivering 25 Mbps by 2016, now the MTM network isn’t expected to be finished until 2020 – only a year earlier than Labor expected to finish its rollout.”

So today in Oz you might be forced off your decent ADSL2 (if you think 10mbps on a good day is good) onto the NBN, and get LESS speed. Oh – and Turnbull called it the MTM – Multi Technology Mix – but nobody noticed.

People on Twitter still type angry tweets about the NBN. We’ve fallen to 51st in internet speed worldwide.

So. if we look back at the IPA’s list of 100, Tony did 5/10 he promised, we’ve covered 1-4 and 6 of the first 10 and several Tony decided were important. Next on the IPA list were…

  1. abandon Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council

Far as i can tell, this is still ongoing – the bid currently underway (we won a seat on the UNSC back in 2012 for 2 years, when Abbott was still in Opposition) culminates in seats available in 2029. *UPDATE – opposition abandoned when LNP decided being King Dicks at the UN felt good.

  1. return income taxing powers to the states

Kneejerk IPA hatred of Federal powers and their desire to apparently set up tinpot dictatorships in most states notwithstanding, though this has been put forward it hasn’t been made law, and the states don’t seem that keen.

  1. abolish the Commonwealth Grants Commission

This is an independent statutory body, that advises the Federal government on aid to the States and Territories. Why IPA wants it gone, i don’t know – except as above ‘tinpot dictatorships’. It’s still there.

  1. abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

This one’s easier to figure out as to why – the ACCC is the only thing standing between most Australians and being ridden over (totes rough-shod) by various businesses or  between businesses as some big Liberal donors set up monopolies or duopolies and get to rort the whole of Oz, something they’ve been happy doing since approximately the First Fleet.

Riding rough-shod over people is a Liberal and IPA right, so they want the ACCC gone. It’s still here.

May God bless the ACCC.

  1. withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol

Pollution is ok, says the IPA – now i’m writing slogans for them.

Air to breathe is not a right the IPA want to defend, not like ‘free speech’ that US import that seems to only be for the right when they want to call someone names because of their ethnicity, sex, sexual proclivities, or religion. Breathing doesn’t affect IPA members, most are reptiles who breathe through really cool filters in their skin. (Ok, so i’m not 100% on that, but why else would they try to poison the air and water and earth? Does anyone know?)

Anyway, our commitment to Kyoto was lukewarm and we even had a special land-clearing allowance in it. This meant we could get to meet emissions targets without actually reducing pollution.

As Crikey points out in the article linked to above:

“Which is why at the same time that we’re on track to meet our target, our emissions from electricity and transport had soared by more than 50% and 40%.”

You’d think the IPA would be totes behind keeping Kyoto seeing it’s so easy for us to fulfil, but ALL pollution deserves to run free, and be able to make up false rumours about minorities if it wants to.

  1. introduce fee competition to Australian universities

This was scrapped, then it wasn’t, then it was, then they cut university funding in the 2014 budget that became the 2016 budget, and at time of writing they’re still trying to pass as the 2017 Omnibus.

That’s me done for now – phew. I’ll come back to this in a new post. Which i will of course link from here.

If you have ideas on why the above are so important to the IPA, leave a comment, if it solves a question or corrects the above, i’ll edit to include it.

Next, we will try to do 12-at least 20.

EDIT – Amazed myself – did the full 100 – here, A Right Wing Thinktank II

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


Few words

Well, Donald Trump is about to be president of the USA – yeah, we might as well all go home, eh? I am trying to find the bright side – the Trans Pacific Partnership will now not be ratified by the US, which pretty much harpoons the TPP and Australia’s politicians’ lily-livered signing away of our nation to rich non-taxpaying corps.

Thankfully we should be spared most of the negative effects of politicians giving international corporations the power to sue local governments if they dare interfere with profit (by having laws against pollution, say), and the TPP’s power to give longer patents to drug companies so drugs would stay high priced longer.

However that’s about all i can think of when it comes to positive aspects to Trump winning the electoral college raffle and a bunch of gerrymandered electorates across America. It’s depressing that a racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic misogynist is now in charge, especially if you’re not an orange puffball who talks like he’s in the middle of an eighties coke inferno at a KKK rally.

So instead, go see First Dog on The Moon – he’s reliably funny and there is always the possibility of the Interpretative Dance Bandicoots, or the Wallaby Laser Death Festival. He even predicted, by accident (it was a joke!) Trump winning.

I feel better after some First Dog – i hope you do too.

copyright 2016 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


I can’t tell you that…

I’m going against my natural instincts. They are never to share. Blogging is so freaking alien. I was born in 1960, missed being Gen X, made it into the Baby Boomer generation by literally 8 weeks, but sometimes think i am a sekrit 1930’s gel who’s been trained to keep the real shit to myself.

When i told a friend i’d been offline (this was a few years ago) because i was depressed and didn’t feel like inflicting my real life downer on my virtual community. He was SHOCKED. He’s decades younger than me, and told me straight up, i should have said something online. I loved him for his concern but tell everyone i was depressed? Pht. Or perhaps ffft. Not sure of the spelling there, but take it as an expression of disbelief.

Every time i see that “ruok” anti-suicide campaign, where you say to someone who might be depressed, “are you ok?” and they are so grateful they don’t open their veins/OD/jump off the nearest cliff, but instead say “well actually i’m totes depressed and ready to like, pinterest my suicide plans but yr concern means i am now ready to live again!” i feel like laughing. I was relieved to see a few other pplz also saying, gawd, anyone realise really depressed pplz lie??” Yes, you can tell by my overuse of Z that i’ve been back on Twitter.

However, i can understand that for other people, opening your veins in a figurative sense on social media is a way to ease that feeling of aloneness. I wish that worked for me when i’m depressed. So if you’re like me, and people offering sympathy/feelingz makes you want to run away, smiling brightly all the time, not because you don’t appreciate their concern, but because nothing stops the fucking pain… perhaps see a psychologist (because that DID work for me). Continue reading


I will never do that…

I was never going to learn to type – no kidding, this was when i was growing up last century (horses and carts weren’t even invented yet, because they only came after electricity, but we had manual typewriters and iceskates, even in Western Australia).

You see, if i learned to type, i’d never escape the steno pool – in 1975, a woman with ambition did not learn to type. Being typists was something women did in droves before men learned to use computers (email happened) and made the steno pool obsolete.

Steno is short for stenographer – someone who took shorthand (a form of hieroglyphs men couldn’t read), and operated the Gestetner machine and made it spit blurry purple copies. Men didn’t know how it or typewriters worked. All that stuff was women’s work. (No, am not joking at all.)

To my disgust, when they wouldn’t let me do woodwork at school i had to learn typing instead. To my surprise, it came in very handy, as though i’d discarded my idea of being a poet, turned out being a writer was something i wasn’t going to grow out of, and of course, computers were about to change the world completely.

I also learned to sew, much against my will, forced once more to do it while the boys did woodwork or metalwork. It too turned out to be stunningly handy, and i really think everyone should learn at least to sew a button back on. Meanwhile, as electricity was introduced, along with hair-dryers, (in my early 20’s, back before there was internets), I discovered computers.

I did not want to learn computers. At all. However, there was this game. Like many people before me, i was hooked. I don’t remember the name of it, but it came on a cassette tape. Yeah, it was the Dark Ages of Computing.

By the mid-80’s things were moving much faster – and the lights no longer dimmed when the rich woman down the road started up her electric toothbrush. Though i do wonder, in these days of moar RAM than a girl can swallow comfortably, how in the name of God did i write my first book on a machine with only 20 megabytes of disk space and a RAM so low it was in triple-kilobytes? (360k i think.)

The only way to accommodate the hugeness of my average-size 125,000 word scifi fantasy – basically a small text file by today’s standards – was to split it into small enough chunks. I kept splitting it until it was loading in seconds, not minutes. Yeah, that 125,000 ended up cut down to twenty chapters that each were separate documents, so the machine didn’t choke.

I fought against learning to cook. Oh teh stupid! Cooking is a joy, a pleasure, an expression of art, sustaining and tasty all at the same time. Being able to feed oneself something fabulous (as simple as good bread), is cool. Fortunately i absorbed quite a bit from being around women cooking and then being forced to attend cooking classes at school.

I was never going to …. well, pick almost anything i said NEVER to. It seemed the Great Siamese Cat in the Sky liked to mess with my head, and if i said NEVER, it was a guarantee the thing would happen.

I was never going to self-publish. Oh har-de-freaking-har.

copyright 2011 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


I’m going to peel and salt Justin Bieber…

I’m going to be nice for a whole post. Stop laughing. I can do it. Alright, i probably can’t. So i’ll let the voices-outside-my-head do a post and i can go back to editing The Thing. (I’m two-thirds through the edit, for those following that thrilling saga.)

The last time the voices-outside-my-head did a post, it was New Year and i was going through my usual dislocated why-doesn’t-the-weather-match-the-Christmas-cards annual fugue, and the voices wished you joy in your life. I said you shouldn’t be fucktards. Both good bits of advice.

****

Life can be an awful experience. No doubt about it. Bad things happen to good people and to bad ones, with no regard to who deserves it. No use getting stressed over it. Stress releases cholesterol into your blood stream, and it’s a fatty gunk that coats your arteries, and eventually blocks them. Use the energy to do something about what’s stressing you, but don’t just sit there.

It’s part of the old fight-or-flight-or-bugger-them-with-a-cactus reflex. The idea is you’ll burn that fat wielding your Cactus of Justice, or running away. If all you do is sit on your arse and shout, the way I do a lot, you’ll end up with high blood pressure, because your cloggy arteries are too small for the blood flow and your heart is over-worked. Oops, you just stroked out. (I’m not sure the voices should have let me type this, it’s much more cranky than they intended.)

Now, i don’t have high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, (any more), because i stopped worrying and learned to take joy in the moment. It’s not a permanent state, but it’s enough of the time that even with the extra weight i’m carrying, and my perpetual raging at the machine (on here and on Twitter), I’m not risking my life because i care.

Joy is where you find it. Watching nature, walking, cooking, making things, doing that perfect spreadsheet and knowing you’re going to make it financially through another month. Okay, so i’m not sure anyone but me gets that last one, but i totally love that feeling of being in the moment – i can get it washing up.

The big thing about the moment? Your brain is ostensibly off. You’re completely focused on the task in hand, even if that’s as simple as admiring the feather on a bird’s wing or that algebra formula.

You might be using your brain, focusing on some job, and the work might be hard, but you know you’re on the way to a goal, so it’s fine. And everything switches off. All worry, all care, all of it. You keep going, doing good work.

You come to, some time later. And often the solutions to problems are right there, as your ostensibly switched-off brain nutted out the answers while you were cleaning the silver.

We repeat. The word ‘enjoy’ means ‘with joy’ – so enjoy your life. Have it with joy. What else are you going to do with it? If you don’t like it, for most of us in the Western world at least, there are other solutions, like changing it.

You thought i was going to say ‘then top yourself if you don’t like it here’? Honestly, I’m the Antichrist, not a jingoistic right wing Earth patriot. I can imagine us in the future, snapping at alien immigrants the way the nasty little one nation types do. “If you don’t like this planet, then get off it!”

****

That’s all, i can’t stand it. It goes against the grain, being nice. What with me being the Queen of Darkness and proxy Antichrist. New readers may be wondering how i got to be the Antichrist, and all i’m saying is that even the Antichrist turned out to respond to a good clout across the earhole with a walking stick, and is still in a coma. I have his passwords. Nuff said.

As for being the Queen of Darkness, that’s a much older story – when i used to be in a band, i was shouting about something i’d read about Christian fundamentalists, and said, “They’re so sure they’re on the side of Light. If that’s Light, then i’m the Queen of Darkness.” (Originally there was swearing, because it’s the only language muso’s understand.)

That was nearly 20 years ago, old news. The Antichrist gig is fairly new. But hey, i’m told i get to peel and salt the emos, and i can do what i like with Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. At the moment, i’m edging towards using the Gleaming Instruments of Death, but maybe the Cactus of Justice would do the trick.

Oh come on, who doesn’t want to torture Justin Bieber to death? Just for the fringe, people! Just for the fringe!As for Lady Gaga, well seriously, does anyone neeed a reason? Her whole schtick of pseudo-vulnerability wrapped in emo pouting deserves divine retribution.

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Ich haz bin ein songschreiber..

SQUEE. To the max.

Yep, even better than a baby hippo pic.

Though not quite as good, as, “Hey, peasants, guess what, i has agent with William Morris Agency,*sounds of triumphant squees*  and The Thing is represented round the world by people who will foment a publishers’ bidding war for meh.”

Instead of the William Morris Agency and publishers fighting in jelly, but quite good, all by itself, I haz announcement….

Since about 2007, when the super-cool 70’s/80’s US world famous pop duo (or one of them) happened to be in a farmhouse in Wales with a world famous member of a UK 60’s supergroup, who happened to be playing some songs of mine he’d recorded because he knows the guy who’s one of my co-writers *pauses for breath* well, since then, there’s been no interest in my music.

I hadn’t been pushing it, the people playing it at gigs weren’t gigging much, and I wasn’t expecting anything. But then i got the phonecall.

Someone wants to record one of them. Ooh? Ooh! OMG! Squee! And other things that signify excitement. So now i have to join PRS. Wait, all my musical education is non Aussie, and about 2 decades out of date (when i left the business side of the music industry).

It’s not even called Performing Rights Society here, but praise be to Baby Jebus and His Holy ButtPlug! There’s an Aussie version, which is completely free to join. ARPA… wait, no APRA-AMCOS! And it’s free – did i mention that? (And thanks again to the delicious and delightful @Gabfran, who helped!) Now we hope the person records it, and doesn’t just blow their brains out on coke.

See, i’ve seen it happen heaps. Too often to get excited. Not only did i see the business side, i was in bands, had friends in bands.  One friend ended up with no money left, half an album, and a producer flying on keys of Bolivian marching powder. A change of hierarchy at the record company left him without a contract. He was one of the lucky ones, they didn’t come after him for the advance.

The other thing? I wrote that song back in the 1990’s. So long ago i’d have to look it up in the archives to find out when exactly. Probably about ’96.  So long ago i’d stopped bothering to punt it about. And here we are, fourteen years later, and someone’s sniffing around.

This is the music biz. *sigh*

We iz nearly faymoose. Again.

****

The post title? oh – songschreiber = songwriter. “I am a songwriter.” With a bit of Lolspeak chucked in. It’s like when Kennedy said, I can haz Hamburger! Wait. He said Ich Bin Laden ein Berliner. Something like that. It was bad German, allegedly, just like my title.

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I’ll just be a minute….

Picture this…

You’re disabled, badly. In Queensland you qualify for a disabled parking sticker,  but in New South Wales you’re told, as that useless leg is still attached, you won’t get it. If you were enormously fat, says the doctor, acknowledging how bloody unfair it is, no problem. It’s a pity, he adds, that you’re such a fit cripple, and haven’t let yourself go, or eaten yourself into diabetes.

Women with children get close parking. You don’t. Okay, so you cope. You walk despite being crippled. You pull up outside the chemist, on your way in for your heavy duty painkillers and nerve blockers. Someone parks beside you, so close you can’t get out. Even an able  bodied person couldn’t slide out. You wind your window down.

Mate, you say, you’re too close, you’re blocking me in the car. I won’t be a minute, says the man, dashing past you. So naturally, you back out, re-park a few spaces away, and get out. You limp back to the car that was blocking you in. With your good leg, you kick the door in. Then you limp away.

****

You’re about to use the self-serve checkout at the supermarket. It’s evening, when you shop because there are less crowds, as it’s easier for you to deal with a trolley, something you find very hard with your bad leg. You can also get parking close by, which as you don’t qualify for a disability sticker, makes a huge difference.

A woman and her partner are blocking three self-serve checkouts. One with their two trolleys of soft drink, frozen food, and chips, then the one they’re using, and another with their giant pram.

Excuse me, you say politely, would you mind moving the pram so i can use the checkout? We’ll just be a minute, says the woman.  Five minutes later, they’re still feeding different cards into the reader, trying to find one that’s not maxed out. Your pain levels are rising, you don’t do standing well.

Rather than offering to kill them if they don’t get out of the bloody way making a scene, you go to the one manned checkout and queue for a while. You see the couple at the self service checkouts are now getting the staff to remove items from their bill, then going through the rigmarole of feeding through their twenty cards again. You notice there’s no baby food in their two overflowing trolleys. No nappies either. (Diapers.)

As you leave, fifteen minutes later, they’re still there, still looking for a card that works, apparently too stupid to walk twenty metres (about that in yards) to the nearest cash machine, and find out which, if any, of the cards has any money on it at all. You’re poor, you have sympathy for those in the same boat, but there are limits. You hope they choke on their bloody chips.

****

Up in Queensland, when you did have a disabled permit, you’re pulling into the bank parking area, when someone in a large 4WD cuts you up, and parks across two disabled parking spaces. Oi, you say. I won’t be a minute, says the man, hurrying to get into the bank.

So you stop right there, get out of your car, and even with your leg brace on,  something in your eyes warns the man,  he doesn’t pass you, and runs back to his car, which he moves into a non-disabled space.

****

You’re walking with a severely disabled friend. She’s had a stroke, only one side of her body moves. She can move at a shuffle thanks to her braces and cane. People keep barging into her, to the point where you are hyper-alert, watching ahead, behind, and to each side, ready to say oi!

There’s plenty of space around you, no need for people to come so close, but they don’t look, intent on their own lives, and insist on pushing past, in so much of a hurry that a two-step detour is impossible. You’re not in some central city area, this is at a quiet suburban shopping centre. It isn’t some once-off freakery, it happens every time she goes out.

****

You’re at the shops with your disabled friend. He’s walking with a stick, slowly. It’s Christmas time, heavy crowds.  Even so, as the woman nearly knocks him flying, and hits him (on his bad knee, which stands out, it being held together with a large metal leg brace) with her shopping, several people around see, and join in with your “Oi! Look out!”

The woman looks back,  and you shout angrily (over the noise of xmas carols) that she nearly knocked him over. She humphs, and says she’s in a hurry, like that’s a good enough reason to knock over a disabled person – or anyone.

The other people giving sympathy and offering help are very much appreciated, and make you both feel better, but you feel like chasing the woman down and cracking her on the knee with a shopping bag full of electrical appliances, just to see how she likes it.

****

You’re having a bad day. Along with the leg brace, you’re using your walking stick. You see some people walking towards you. They are spread out over the 4 metres of open space (12+ feet) that’s the walkway next to the shops, completely blocking it to anyone else. You stop, next to a shop window, close to it, waiting for the people to both see you, and move to one side.

They keep walking, looking everywhere but dead ahead, until one of them actually barges straight into you. It doesn’t knock you over, you were ready for it. They get stroppy with you and complain that you’ve hurt them when they bounced off your titanium leg brace. (Stroppy is angry.)

You point out they had plenty of space to walk through, they could see you clearly, you weren’t hiding, and point to your leg brace and stick. Some of us, you say, can’t get out of the way easily.  I’ve been standing here since you were over there, you say, and point some fifteen metres away (45+ feet) They seem surprised, both at where you appeared from (you being such a sprightly and fast-moving person), and that you didn’t get out their way if you saw them.

****

You’re waiting for a taxi you phoned for. You’re outside the shops, leaning on your walker. You have many problems, including being unable to walk unaided. The taxi driver pulls up behind you, and starts calling to you.

He gets out of his car and comes up, shouting and yelling. “What are you, deaf?” You hear him, finally. There are people all standing staring. “Yes,” you say, mortified, fighting back tears, “yes, I am. My hearing aid broke this morning.” The taxi driver looks embarrassed, mumbles something that might be an apology, and helps you into the car, folding your walker to go in the boot.

You want to tell him to sod off, but instead you decide getting home is more important. Your small revenge will be not tipping, and complaining to the taxi company. When you get home, with the door shut, then you let yourself cry.

****

What is it with humans? Can’t you put yourself in the other person’s shoes? Or in their orthotic brace? Have a bloody care – when something happens to you, and you’re not able to move as fast, or as surely, is that the only time you realise, gee, it’s a bit rough trying to get around with the other humans who think their needs take precedence over everyone else’s?

Can you imagine how fucking frustrating it is, when your body doesn’t do things as quickly or as well as you want it to?

I suppose not. However, you might want to remember, not all of us are crippled so badly that we can’t push you back when you shove us. Some of us studied martial arts, and can do things to you with our walking sticks you won’t believe.

So don’t mind me, and don’t be surprised when your car door gets dented if you park so i can’t get out of my car, and then expect me to wait while you go off and do your shopping.

This militant cripple has had enough.

NB – i don’t look crippled. Like most disabled people, i do my damnedest to hide how hard it is for me to look normal.
The above examples are all ones i witnessed or were related to me by the disabled people involved.

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