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Ranty Tuesday: people who sleep well – grrr

In particular, Mr S.

When Mr S puts his head on the pillow, he falls asleep instantly.

Not in 10 minutes.

Instantly.

If I wake him to tell him a story, which I do without remorse and do frequently – look, it’s not my fault, he goes to bed early so I have to wake him to tell him something that I’ve just remembered about someone or something that happened or a news item that’s just come on the tele. Anyway, I wake him, tell him the story and when he shuts his eyes, he goes instantly back to sleep. Instantly.

(Hence, my lack of remorse at waking him to tell him stories. It’s not going to disturb him. Even if I do if two times. Three is probably pushing my luck.)

When I wake him up because, say I’m flapping around because say there’s a moth or two dive bombing me, Mr S is all cross and snarly. “Stop flapping about!!!” But within minutes, nay seconds, of me stopping my flapping and fidgetting and flicking the sheets (to see if the moth is under the sheets), he’s back asleep. Hardly worth snarling at me, now is it?

When Mr S has an afternoon nap, he falls asleep – you know already – instantly.

When he wakes up, he has to tell me, “I must have needed that nap, I fell asleep instantly.” He tells me this EVERY time Like it’s something novel.

“No, you always fall asleep instantly. ALWAYS!!!”

If he gets up during the night, which he routinely does, he’s a man who drinks lots of glasses of water just before bed, ‘nuff said, or he remembers jobs like putting out the rubbish or writing himself a note so he doesn’t forget something for work. Anyway, he gets up, does whatever needs doing, slams himself back into bed (waking me up) and instantly falls back asleep.

You know what I’m not doing? Sleeping. Cause after I finally fell asleep, he woke me by slamming into the bed like a bear.

Are you an “eyes shut, fall asleep” kind of person? Or a “where are you sleep” kind of person? Me, if I miss the moment I feel like falling asleep, because I have to do something so mentally engaging like brush my teeth, then it’s too late. Missed the boat. Have to hang around waiting for it to dock again. Which could be hours away.

Ranty Tuesday: more racism

Remember the 1950s social studies text and its blatant racism?

Well, the author doesn’t confine racist descriptions to First Nation peoples. It must be reassuring to be so certain your way is the right way, the only way. But how unsteady must the ground feel, when the world changes, when orthodoxy is questioned, when values are shown to be hypocritical and views proven to be views, not facts.

The section sweetly titled “Peeps at Peoples of Other Lands” covers quite a diverse range of countries far from Australia. But the attention on the differences seems not to highlight our common humanity. Rather, it’s like a freak show of oddities and amusing tidbits.

  • The Lapps and their Reindeer
  • The Eskimos and their Igloos
  • The Dutch and their Windmills
  • The Arabs and their Date Groves
  • The Malays and their Kampongs
  • The Javanese and their Tea Plantations
  • The Chinese and their Sampans

Some of the descriptions are positive, but while understandable given the one page brevity, vastly generalised. So, it is nice to know the Javanese are fond of music and plays and they work for very long hours picking tea. The author’s advice “when you hear mother telling father that the price of tea has risen again, [it] may be due to some increase in the wages of the poorly-paid pickers and poorly-paid packers” may be to induce some sympathy for the hard working but poor Javanese. To me it reads like blame ‘cause the reality is the price rise is probably to give more profit to the company shareholders.

But the Gold Logie to Racism in this section, the following description of Chinese people:

These cheerful, yellow-skinned people with their straight black hair, slanting eyes and flat noses differ from us in many ways.

So they differ not just with their slanting eyes and yellow skin? But with even more ways?

Ah yes, the author tells us they put their family name first and their “Christian” names last. (Christian! Did you just spurt your mouthful of tea over the device on which you’re reading this? Yes, the author calls the given name, the Christian name.)

The author goes on to say, they “lift their food to their mouths” with chop-sticks. I don’t know, but that just strikes me as strange. They don’t eat? They lift food.

All in all, not as bad as the resoundingly negative picture given of the First Nation peoples. It’d be another decade until Aboriginal peoples were considered citizens in Australia, their own land. Still, there’s no question, all these “odd little peoples” from around the world are amusing and oh! aren’t we lucky we live. in Australia are linked to Britain! [Lets be clear. This isn’t my view but the clear message from the textbook.]

I haven’t kept this book – threw it in the recycling bin.

I wasn’t surprised by the racism of a much earlier text I just read – Captain Cook’s journals. But the violence inflicted was breathtaking.

I know we should judge the past by our own standards but when that past is not so long ago and when the actions contradict with those own espoused values, it’s quite easy to judge. And be shocked.

The whole bravery of travelling in a small boat into the relative unknown is amazing and brave, but the violence is quite distressing. And obviously the precursor to the 1950s text book.

Ranty Tuesday – moths

It’s moth season. Not your little pantry moths. No, we get big buggers here. Not being entomologists, my friends and I call them Bogan moths. Forget worrying about spiders, I get more annoyed by moths.

For some reason, the moths just sit against the wall or ceiling all day – not flat but with their wings shut up so they look like little cocoons. So still. So quiet. Easy to forget. They might be dead.

But then, come night time, they decide to flap around like a bloody mad March fly.

When they flap around, it is so loud, it’s like there’s something much bigger.

They hit the walls and furniture with a plop and a plop flop.

But worse than the noise. I think they are attracted to my blonde hair. Maybe it glows like a light? Can you imagine how horrid it is to have a moth flapping at you, dive bombing you, getting caught up in your hair, in bed, when you want to sleep or do a bit of reading in prep of falling asleep?

Mr S has no sympathy. But then, he has no hair, so the moths aren’t bothering him.

The glow of my iPhone (which I’m still in love with BTW) brings them into the room. I lie in bed, reading, waiting for the next attack. (OK, I get it is the light of the phone, not my hair, but they still end up in my hair.)

One night, I squashed one between the headboard and mattress. Yay. That’ll teach it.

Next morning, when I went to remove the carcass, it was gone. Oh shit! It’s wasn’t dead. It’ll come back with more mates to get me.

And that’s what happened. The next night I was flapping around in bed because a moth was flapping around. IN MY HAIR AND AROUND MY HEAD!!! Mr S was not best pleased. Growled at me to keep still. What the actual hell!

So I went to the bathroom – I was sure the moth had settled on me. Stripped off my pyjama top and found the moth inside my top!!!! I flicked it in the toilet but it wouldn’t flush away. These things are indestructible!!!

And now I’ve to face species learning. They’ll all share the knowledge of me as the enemy, the one to get.

Next night … Unusually, I was in bed before Mr S. Reading, with the light on. Mr S comes in and turns off the main light. And hops into bed. “Stop. There’s a moth on your pillow.”

He cupped it in his hand and let it go outside.

Oh great! Another moth lives to come back another night. AND they all now know I am the failed murderer of their kind and Mr S is their saviour.

So now I lie here, waiting. Waiting.

I was going to write that the anticipation of waiting for a moth attack is worse than the actual attack but who am I kidding. They are both shit. Waiting to be attacked by a blind, crazy moth. And being attacked.

Why they want to come inside, I have no idea.

Oh and fly spray doesn’t seem to bother them.

Same night, middle of the night, I awake as usual. Can’t sleep. So start typing this post.

A moth now attacks me. (I know. This is turning into a soap opera.)

Into the bathroom. I’m sure they’re in my hair. No. All clear.

Back to room, stuff Mr S and his undisturbed sleep (which will form the topic for its own post on a future Ranty Tuesday), I’m turning on my bedside lamp. It will draw out the enemy, currently knocking and flopping against the back of the bed head and the wall.

Bloody hell. Two!!! Two come out. One I captured in a glass. The other may have succumbed to fly spray or gone elsewhere to mate.

(I worked out why they are so loud when they flap against the wall and furniture. They have tough hard bodies. I picked one up in the morning, in a bit of cloth, and squashed it between my fingers. Oh yuck. The crack. It was not nice.)

Is this all not rant worthy?

Ranty Tuesday: the not so prodigal son

I have always been annoyed by the story of the prodigal son.

What about the good son?

He’s worked hard. He stuck by his father. He persevered. He showed commitment and stick-with-it-ness. Day after day, he just got on with his routine. Maybe he wanted an adventure. Maybe he wanted some fun. But work had to be done. Money was not to be wasted, not to be squandered. He probably practised frugality alongside his father on the farm.

And what happens? His brother, who had been off having fun and having an adventure, gets the party. Do you know what prodigal means? Wastefully extravagant; spending recklessly and freely. That guy’s already had his party. He had nothing but party when he squandered his share of the money.

It’s like people who get cheered for getting out of debt. Or losing excessive weight. Or giving up drugs.

What about the person who day after day practises economy or good choices? Where’s their cheering? Where’s the interest in how they do what they do, did what they did?

Imagine a woman’s magazine having a front page headline: “Susie: how I haven’t got fat.” Or “Lizzie shares her story of not putting her money into pokies”. Or “Read inside for the scoop on how this woman goes to work every day, day after day, on time, for decades.”

So here’s to all the non-prodigals! Here’s cheers to you!

(PS: even if I was religious, I’d still be annoyed with the parable. Yeah, I get the analogy – believers squander God’s Grace but he’ll welcome you back. Still, give the party to the son who stayed and have the party-guy prove himself before he gets a big welcome back party – not just come back because he’s run out of money and there’s a famine in which the pigs are eating better than he was, and “Hey, let’s have a party”. Let the wasteful one do some work first. You know he’ll still want some more of the inheritance when the father dies.)

Ranty Tuesday: Apostrophes

I don’t get how people don’t get apostrophes.

It’s really quite simple.

Just because a word ends in an s doesn’t mean you put an apostrophe in front of the s.

An electronic sign on a local church made me want to phone and say, “It’s not how the church can help me but how I can help the church.” Apostrophes, people!

There’s only two rules:

  1. To show ownership.
    • Lucinda has a blog. = Lucinda’s blog
    • Jennifer has a book = Jennifer’s books
    • Mummy has a little helper = Mummy’s little helper
  2. To show a letter has, or letters have, been dropped.
    • I have had enough = I’ve had enough.
    • We will persevere = We’ll persevere.

But I just don’t get the mental block that some people have with apostrophes. It’s like they are trying to remember how to add or multiply fractions or do simultaneous equations. Apostrophes are not that hard. There’s only two rules. Learn them people!

There are many times I don’t care if people make mistakes. In texting. In writing me a missive (I am not one who corrects letters, no one likes that. I am thankful for a card or letter or email. And I know when typing quickly, we can all make mistakes.) When used by people who have learnt English as a second language relatively recently or without any classes.

But for a church sign on a busy road! If you can’t learn the two rules, how can I trust you to save my soul?

Ranty Tuesday: Phone calls on public transport

I know I’m old fashioned (as evidence, I don’t like bare feet in shopping centres) but I can’t stand people making phone calls on public transport. Quick, “Sorry. On the train. Can’t talk. But yes, I’ll meet you there” type of calls are fine. But loud, personal, long calls. No. Don’t do it.

Firstly, it is disrespectful to other travellers. Your noise is invading us.

Secondly, why would you want to share private details to all and sundry?

This girl was gabbling on for ages – across several stops. And hey! Face masks were still mandatory on public transport. But if one is busy having a talk with someone and sucking on a thick shake, clearly the law doesn’t apply!!!

[Video deleted not for privacy but because WordPress wouldn’t play it!]

She should have been fined three times:

  1. No mask
  2. Loud talking on public transport
  3. Inane conversation

I will admit to having made a chatty, catch-up phone call on a train recently. But that was because there was a woman talking loudly on the phone, so rather than ask her to stop, I passively-aggressively rang a friend and talked louder. She didn’t stop though!

Your views on this critical matter?