Thursday, 2 December 2010

Be careful of strangers... or don't.

Or more accurately: Don't do silly things. I wouldn't want to fuel the cynicism of the world.

“Sorry, but I can't find anyone.”

“Hey, how can I help?”

I listened, half asleep, as he told me one of the oldest in the book. It was another sob story involving a sick loved one.

“I was picking my wife up from the hospital. Someone broke into my car and stole my suit jacket. It had my wallet, phone, everything- can you please just lend me enough for petrol. We're from Albury.”

“That's on the Murray, right? Albury-Woodonga?”

“Uh, yeah. That's it.”

He looked really agitated. His wife smiled from out of her head scarf, looking a picture of health. Their son sat there, in his little suit; he wouldn't have been older than 11.

I'd just left the exam hall, leaving behind my last ever engineering exam. I hadn't slept enough. All the world had a hazy shine to it, as I contemplated the end of 20 variable equations in rotating coordinate space. There would be no more modelling flow over bodies at changing speeds. There would be no more specifications of machine parts. It was over. There was only the world, the sun, the smiling public; I was free to bask in God's Creation, without thinking of all the notebooks full of information I needed to memorise, recite and regurgitate for the next exam.

I was vulnerable and naive and drunk on freedom.

“Look, I'm a poor student, I don't have much.”

“I can pay you back tomorrow, I'll send you a check in the mail, or put money in your account.”

I eyed the shiny, new, black car with what was clearly inadequate suspicion. Of course they had money, I thought.

“Hey not a problem. No hurry. I'm happy to help. I don't have much on me, but I can head to an ATM.”

“An ATM? Yeah, I can take you to one, Brother.”

At that point my suspicion peaked, but not enough for me to do anything about it. I hopped in and took a good look at the family. The husband has a grey chin beard that jutted out and not much hair up top. The wife had eyebrows plucked within an inch of their life. The kid looked nervous. He stared at me, wide-eyed, shaking a little. I put it down to the creepy moustache I was sporting and initiated small talk with the parents. He said I sounded confident about the exam, and he congratulated me. He kept calling me “Brother”. His wife suggested she might have seen an ATM a block away, and her husband suggested he knew a different one, but was going to go with the wife's idea anyway.

The woman handed me a notepad which had pages torn out of it, and a pen. She also handed me a scrap which had what I assumed to be her husband's name:

Abdullah Hamze
0413456982

I put down my name and the address of the church where my mail gets redirected. She smiled and took it.

I stepped out at the bank and used the hole in the wall. They'd asked for $100, but I withdrew an extra $20 in the event that it wasn't quite enough.

I leaned in the car window and handed over the money.

“Don't worry about dropping me anywhere. I live a block in that direction. I hope things get better for you and your wife.”

“Thank you. Goodbye.”

I didn't feel anything but pride at my actions until I awoke the next morning. I might have subconsciously felt nervous about it earlier, because I recounted the story slightly differently to my sister, as some of the signs began to make me uncomfortable.

I even held out hope for a few days that a cheque might arrive in the mail.

Silly, gullible me.

The moral of the story is- don't ever lend a stranger money. There are always police stations and places they can go for assistance. If you do lend money, don't be under any false impression. You won't see it again. If you don't mind, and you think it will help, then that's your call.

******

On the flip side, investing in a conversation with a stranger can sometimes pay off.

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to have the privilege to spend some time with my cousin-in-law-to-be, Aun Qi. She was lots of fun and we had some wonderful conversations on life, the universe and everything.

One evening while I was waiting for my fiancée to finish at a work dinner, I took Aun Qi out to the Wine Bank as I knew her father was a serious wine drinker. We were shown out the back, where a row of tables ran against the building, sheltered from the rain.

Only one of the tables had any spare seats. At one end sat a solitary gent, looking despondently at his beer.

“Do you mind if we sit here?”

“Go ahead,” he said in a thick Irish accent.

“Groovy.”

The man snorted.

"Is there something wrong?"

"No, I just didn't think anyone used 'groovy' any more, except ironically."

"I suppose I do. Rather a lot, actually. Where are you from?"

"Well, I'm a local for the minute, I suppose."

The banter went on for not more than a minute or so. I asked Aun Qi what kind of beer she liked. She replied that she didn't really know. I asked the man what he drank.

"Jimmy Boag's is always good. You can't really go wrong there."

After some time spent deciding on what to order, and chatting about where the fellow's night might lead him- the man popped off. He returned quickly with two James Boag's. He sat them down in front of us and shook our hands.

"Thanks for the chat. The name's Toby. Have a great night."

He wandered off, leaving us basking in the glow of the amber.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The results are in!

And it looks like they're both staying.


Thanks for your input, y'all. It really is great to have such a friendly community spring up here on the interwebs- especially one who would take part in such a pointless poll.

Much love to you all,

TheSovietChairman

Monday, 15 November 2010

Unpleasant to behold



Urgh! Horrible, I know. Why am I doing this?

Movember, of course! Movember (the month formerly known as November) is when we recognise men's health issues, raising money for mental health services and research into prostate cancer.

How can you help? Easy! You can grow a mo (or suffer along side a man you know who is growing one) and raise money for this great cause. If you know someone who's raising money, please donate.

My Mo Space page is here, and donations to our team are greatly appreciated. My love is suffering along side and has to put up with many prickly kisses. Imagine that!

In order to brighten up my exam period, me and my high school friends got together for a coding/artwork session concerning a simple software project we're working on. As usual, I'm head of the art department. Oh, wait. I AM the art department.

The most important purpose for this escapade was to make jelly (or jell-o, as you zany Americans would have it) in all the (worthwhile) colours of the rainbow!

Hurrah!

Impressive, no?

I hope your day is just as colourful,

♥TSC

Isaiah 48:1-11

(A paraphrase)

You people of the chosen lineage; all you who swear by me: Listen!
All those who use my name, without an ounce of sincerity: Hear what I'm saying!
My message is for those who call themselves people of God, citizens of my city, and for those who place their trust in me, the Lord Almighty.

I told you all of this before- and then it came to pass!
You're so stubborn that you can't turn your heads and see for yourselves. I knew you were obstinate, so I gave you fair warning.
Now you can't say that your trinkets and man-made gods made all this happen.
Isn't this proof?

Now I will tell you brand new secrets, newly ordained. You can't say you've heard them before, and you certainly haven't understood. You never listened, you were born with your back turned away from me and you grew up in rebellion.

So that you will worship me and see my glory, I will not bring on you all that you deserve- and you will stay my people. Look at how I've been burning away your impurities by these trials.

I do all these things so that My Name will be held high, and so that you will know to whom you owe the glory.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Time to get back to it

It's a brain spew today.

Emotional roller coaster.

A tag line spews forth form the television. It's about another terribly contrived scenario to tear at the heart-strings. It reminds me of a woman me and Dad met on a walk in the Adelaide Hills. She was travelling around the country on her bike. I don't remember her name, but I do remember what Dad said afterwards.

"Did you catch her initials?"

"Huh, Dad? What do you mean?"

"J. C. Her initials were J C."

She didn't practice a religion, but she believed in a Creator God. What she didn't believe in was the status quo. She talked about the countries she'd travelled through, and the adventures she'd had. One of the things she spoke about was the media. She said she'd been in New Zealand cycling up and down, feeling happy with what life had given her and the geographical, and psychological place she was at. She stopped at a service station to buy some necessities and when she walked out she felt her joy draining from her. She couldn't work out what it was.

She realised later that it'd had been the row of newspapers in the displays out the front that had shifted her mood. The images and big, black headlines stared through her. When something awful happens around us, it's so hard to hide from the news- news that we wouldn't have heard in the days before our existences were saturated with media. In our lives there will be weddings, births, beautiful gardens and wonderful evenings with friends. Although these stories let us empathise with suffering outside our immediate vicinity, it's hard for them not to have a negative impact on our moods, which affect our actions, which affect our relationships.

Long story short- TV, newspapers, the web and radio often leave me feeling worse than if I hadn't spent time consuming their message.

Except if it's a little TV show called Community.

Joy and Happiness.

Yeah, this one gets two capital letters.

In many Christian circles we use these words to distinguish between the knowledge of sanctification by Jesus' death, and the buoyed feeling we get from everyday, earthly experiences. And often we're told to hold onto the first, but not be assured of the second.

"At least she's happy, right?"

Sometimes this is a necessary reminder that to be sure of our joy in Jesus, and our investment in Him who saved us, we must forgo the immediate pleasures in life. An analogy would look like forgoing the heavy drinking session, to honour the work we have to do the following day (let alone for the sake of our body). Or it could look like turning away from pornography to honour the partner we might share a life with- even if we haven't met that person yet.

When someone says they're doing something damaging, I find it little consolation knowing that they're happy. I hope everyone will know the great joy in Christ Jesus one day.

There are many days when I wish myself to see it more clearly- when unpleasant tasks rear their heads, or fear for a loved one weighs down on me. My hope is in Him. Even in sadness, His joy will come when we ask for it.

There will always be sadness in this life. But sometimes it's worth missing out on the pleasures at hand to be sure of our spiritual health- and as a reminder of the joy we have and the happiness we will have.

What to do and what to be.

Aside from studying myself silly over the last few weeks, I've really had to face up to some laziness on my part. I'm not talking about evenings spent gaming, or lectures where I may have allegedly brought episodes of certain Korean dramas to watch on my phone (a friend tells me that the Nokia N900's 900x480 resolution screen is amazing for watching DVD quality or better video). It's the laziness of inaction when something stares me in the face. My course. I've known that there are certain things I should have done earlier on in my tertiary education- some things that everyone can see. Some things I've wanted, but haven't had the guts to reach out and grab them. But it's time to speak up.

So I will. I'll shake things up.

Expect changes. BIG changes.

~~~

Okay. That's enough. No birdies today. No drawings. I've got too much work. But I think it'll be alright.

Oh, fine. Here's a moth.



Also, excuse spelling mistakes and typos.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Mr. Saturn, a skeleton man and a licorice moustache.




Hoorah for cupcakes!

P.S. If you don't know what a "Mr. Saturn" is, then I suggest you look it up.

*Giggles*

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Because I can't be with you-

I wish I didn't have so much work to do. I'm very grateful for the time I get to spend with My Love.

On account of the fact that I haven't had time to do any serious blogging, but I still want to hang out with all my blog pals, I've decided to get you to help me out.

I've had a lot of fun making (not)chickens (and the turtle) out of felt. But I also like doing he drawings of (not)chickens. The drawings are quicker to whip out, but I've also grown attached to the arts-and-craft feel of the felt ones.

Hmmm...

Here's where you come in. See that over there on the sidebar? Yes, that. You can vote there. It'd be great to get your feedback. If no one really likes the felt ones, I won't bother. If people reckon it'd be better with exclusively soft, fuzzy (not)chickens, I can do that. If people like a mix of both, then I'm happy with that too.

I gotta get back to the books.

*Squeeze*

TheSovietChairman



P.S. How was everyone's Halloween? I know someone's was awesome. We don't really celebrate it here in Aus. Although, for some reason our supermarkets started stocking "Halloween pumpkins", which were (according to their advertising) "ready for carving".

We've never done that before...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

To those who can't grow a mo-

-Be it because of your heritage, gender or because you have a prosthetic upper lip, I say-

Head on over to San Churro's or hop online and grab an Instant Grow Chocolate Mo!

Help support the Movember appeal by raising money for men's health issues.

Have a great day!

Much love,

TSC


P.S. Check out my Mo Space page to donate!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Movember



See that picture above? Scary, huh? Why am I looking like that?

Movember, of course!

Movember is a time to get one's face all icky with a dirty moustache, but most importantly, it's a time to recognise men's health issues.

Men are often really bad at seeking help, so Movember raises money for Beyond Blue, a mental health service, as well as research into prostate cancer.

Much to My Love's annoyance, my face will be all festy for the month of November, and it'd be great if you'd like to donate any amount at all to support these great causes and give some consolation to all the girls who have to put up with prickly guys for a month.

Thanks, everyone!

Have a great Movember!

♥ Evan

(TSC)

Friday, 29 October 2010

3 free tickets going for tonight:

The Potbelleez, TRAK Bar. Tonight. 9:00pm.

Call me on 0425 723 563 if you want 'em.

♥TSC

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Looking back...

...is something I really like to do.

I often wonder what my children will think when they look at how their father used to make shapes out of felt and how he used to write about nothing in particular. Almost every day.

My father's pretty groovy. He can be a handful sometimes. So can I. But he's looked after me all my life. My mother's a great listener. She is slower to judge and will try and understand things, even if her initial impression of a situation is way off.

I love both my parents.

What will our children think of their strange father and beautiful, energetic mother? Will I still be making (not)chickens and reminiscing? Will my sketches be the same? I might go back to the sketches for a while.

Or perhaps not. After all, the turtle fellow did just arrive.

Even if your day didn't start out so fantastic, I hope it got better. I hope it surprised you by being better than you could have hoped.

The future is bright.

♥TSC

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Buon Compleanno!

To the friend I've known the longest,
thanks for being a wonderful friend and gaming buddy!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!



(Totally not) in response to "Stories no one wants to hear"

My Love posted a little piece in response to my first two SNOWTH posts, among other things:

[[

I was thinking that I should post a response to "Stories Nobody Wants to Hear, parts one and two"; I don't, however, have TSC's storytelling flair. Also I have a much less romantic spin on the whole thing, which would (a) make me look quite callous and naughty, not to mention selfish and impertinent, and (b) make for much less interesting reading anyway. I doubt it would raise my daily blog views much higher than about five per day if I were to blog about how I was simply very interested to kiss a cute white boy, whose arms were big enough to catch me when I was tipsily unsteady at my own birthday party, whose smile was ready and whose eyes were soulful, and with whom I had flirted all night long while my ex-boyfriend-who-wanted-me-back talked to other people three metres away, paying no attention to me. (Or so it appeared.)

I doubt anybody would be interested in reading about the fact that I considered TSC a bit of a player, a one-night stand, good for a kiss and a cuddle and for making the other boy jealous; but something in me that was empty and sad sparked to life when TSC asked me to go on a bush walk. As I kept telling myself, making friends is an important part of life; and so I drove my little car to Bunyip Park, got lost along the way and was angry at my useless navigator, then flirted outrageously with him on the walking track in order to see just how far he was going to go on this with me. Interestingly while he got the hint (how could he not?), he took absolutely no action, which intrigued me and only made me flirt harder ...

... and I guess I blogged it anyway.

^_____^

]]

I think our story is a beautiful one. It has sad points and difficult points, and points that are probably best not remembered too often, but in everything we've done and been through, God has worked with our mistakes, building us up to better love each other and better serve The One who created us.

*Raises glass*

Here's to many years of growth to come!

I love you, Beautiful One.

TSC

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The big snooze

There's light still? That's odd. Must be dinner time, methinks.

5:32am??

Hmmm... How very odd. I guess not.

After collapsing at 6:30 last night, I awoke this morning to some lovely flowers on the dining table, courtesy of my house mate.



Breakfast had to follow. A salad for lunch yesterday, thanks to Ames, wasn't really enough to get me through.

I pottered around my room tidying (and texting My Love, much to her annoyance- understandable before 6:00am) until the supermarket opened.

Praise God for morning runs and getting work done, for flowers in vases and strawberries in a bowl, for good rest and bacon and eggs!



"I challenge anyone to be less competitive than me..."

Was he being ironic? Thank you, Max Cullen, during this morning's interview. I do enjoy Emma Ayres then Margaret Throsby of a morning. ABC Classic FM and a delicious breakfast. Yum!

Back to work.

*Squeeze*

TheSovietChairman


Sunday, 24 October 2010

Keep it up...

I made it all the way around the running track thanks to My love's suggestion of Podrunner.

*Pants*

Now, back to uni.

Thanks for the motivation. Thanks for the support, everyone! I don't think I'll have much time to post until after the 24th of November now.

See you on the other side!

♥TSC

Saturday, 23 October 2010

The perfect soundtrack to my morning run

Calmly bringing me into my stride was 'Under the Water' by Clare & The Reasons.

Once my body started saying it wanted to give up, the random playlist found just what I needed: the Gloria from Rheinberger's Mass in Eb major.

When the end was in sight, I got an extra push from 'I'm a Believer'-- The Monkees.

As I power-walked back, it was to the sound of 'Kooks' by David Bowie.

And as my joints and muscles unwound, I still hadn't taken my headphones off. I sat in the lounge room as The Small Faces' version of 'Every Little Bit Hurts' sung in my ears.

Friday, 22 October 2010

It's on.

I'm feeling rather uncomfortable in my skin at the moment. I feel heavy. Normal activities seem more difficult. I want to look good for My Love- she's so beautiful, healthy and fit. I will never be as beautiful as her, but it's time to shape up. It's time to do something about it.

Here's my goal:

I'm going to lose 15kg before Christmas.

The assignments are unrelenting. It's terrifying. I barely have enough time to hand one in and I'm frantically scrambling to get the next one together. Study needs to happen. Exams are approaching.

Here's my goal:

I will do a minimum of 12 solid hours of study per day.

I haven't had time for the most important thing of all. I haven't spent enough time in God's Word. It's something that doesn't take much time, but helps me with every step I take. I need to make sure I'm filling myself up with The Word, so I can draw on it to share with others.

Here's my goal:

I will read and analyse 1 chapter of the Bible every day.

Things will look a little different around here.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Whereby TSC became a sell out.


Yeah, see that blue guy in the sidebar? You guessed it. Sorry, guys.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Stories no one wants to hear, pt. II

She was a law student. I watched her cry and I couldn't understand how it could be that in her world of cold analysis and cynicism, a traditional ballad sung by a beardy Irishman could still touch her heart. He crooned passionately through the lyrics and I felt that this could be it. We could work.

Just because the bullet didn't fire this round didn't make the game any less of a dumb idea.

I was frustrated with her bleak outlook and the way she mocked me in front of my friends. She couldn't understand why I would put my trust in a God that made her feel like that- like she wasn't worth it. She didn't want to see her inadequacies as clearly as I saw my own. It was my appreciation of how far short of God's Will I'd fallen that made me ever more grateful for God's Grace on my life. I didn't put her down or criticise her way of life, but when she saw the things I loved, she couldn't help but hate how different we were.

In the end she told me our friendship couldn't work- I made her dislike so much of what she strived for. She didn't want to feel guilty any more. She mocked my dream of a family, and how little importance I placed on having money.

I'd put so much effort into our relationship. Most days ended with exhausted tears. Friends who'd seen our relationship grow, began to stay away. They were afraid there would be another screaming match, or that I'd go off and sook in a corner, bringing everyone down. Some arguments ended with locked doors as we cried ourselves to sleep, taking turns on who would be the one inside the room and who would be slumped against the door, craving resolution. She broke a broom handle on my door, I left crockery embedded in the plaster. In the end, every word was taken as a personal attack.

When we decided to put an end to all the nonsense, we began to function again. There wasn't the same investment so we could converse without tearing each down.

God began to open my eyes to people around me who were fundamentally more compatible- people with the same mild temperament, the same geeky habits and the same desire to seek the Creator. I became aware of how single I was and the learning, growth and fun that was ahead of me. Two girls caught my attention for very different reasons. One had a manner about her that seemed contradictory- there was always a smile, and always a put-down that showed her affection. She wanted to be further along in her spiritual journey before she considered dating.

Her sister is a dear friend of mine, and I was wary of the strain that might occur should we actually become romantically attached. But her sister was cool with it and helped me at every stage.

The other girl was so incredibly strange. She loved picnics in the sunshine and choral music. She was enthusiastic about our friendship, but was far too beautiful for me to believe we could be together. She was accomplished, talented, fit and confident.

And she was after someone else- someone who was nothing like me.

She'd never really been without a boyfriend, and her last relationship was intimidatingly long. I wanted a girl who sought commitment and looked to the future, but not a girl who already had one.

All this time, the law student conspired to help me in my romantic endeavours. She watched as I nervously messaged each girl. She told me her bets were on my friend's sister. It was only later that I realised her choice was made on the basis that one was clearly more intimidating to her.

Then came the camp. “Sex Camp” we called it. Each year our church congregation has a camp where we focus on a major issue that people in our stage of life are dealing with. That year it was relationships. The law student was glad that I'd have the chance on this camp to spend some time with the girl on whom her money was placed. But I had a different idea when I returned. I was glad to be single. I didn't want to chase anyone, and I just wanted to concentrate on study. And this made her very happy, indeed. In fact, when I started dating again, she referenced this often, and how she felt betrayed because I didn't stick to my decision.

But my decision wasn't not to date. It was not to chase. Nothing could prepare me for the excitement of My Love, though. She was that girl who introduced me to her collection of choral masses, and I took her on day trips in the sunshine. With every outing, she dared me to reach out and connect with her- and I was terrified. A girl like her was irreplaceable. If I was to date her, how could I go back to someone who, well, wasn't her?

She was well-read, she sung in the church choir, she bought her clothes from opportunity shops, she didn't wear make-up, she was into comics and the first time I took her out to a party, she wore a lacy, black and purple dress, a lace choker, ornate silver earrings, deep purple lipstick- and she had piercings. Boy, did she have piercings. But there was nothing about them that wasn't stylish. There was no eye-brow ring, no bull-ring, just elegant piercings that made her another dimension removed from any image I had previously constructed of my future love interest. For a time (further down the track) she and I would sport matching dyed patches in our hair.

After that party, I kissed her, and because of that kiss she lost one of her earrings. I returned in the sun light the next day to see if I could find it, and partly to relive the moment.

This girl had captured my attention, so that there was little else I could see. I took the risk. Moreover, I took the invitation she wasn't sure she was giving. I asked her if she'd join me and see where this journey would lead.

The law student was unhappy.

“But you said you weren't going to date! After that camp, you came back all prepared to focus on God, or something. What about that decision?”
“Well, I didn't say I wasn't going to date, I said I wasn't going to chase those two any more. And you were helping me, anyway. What's wrong.”
“I guess one of us had to date first. I was just ready for it to be me.”

One of my biggest fears is losing friends. I don't know why. Every time I've lost a friend, it's felt like a kick in the guts that won't go away.

The law student made me get down on the ground and beg for her friendship. My Love waited until I had a diamond in my hand before I got down on my knees to ask her anything. I still wish we could all hang out together, but there's always so much to be thankful for.

I'm writing this from the train, and my platform's approaching. I enjoy revisiting these places in my memory, so the stories no one else wants to hear will continue. Adieu.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Public transport talk

Sooner or later, we'll know what it means to love everyone around us. Hopefully sooner.

I'm rather good at handling the strange folks that wander the city- my home. It's not as much fun when there's a beautiful girl on my arm. I would hate anything to happen to someone because I mishandled an interaction with a drunk or a trouble-maker.

People just keep walking. People don't want to get involved. Several teenagers sporting black clothes, skinny jeans and eye-liner hopped across the road in front of a tram stop I was waiting at one night. There were businessfolk and students around me. When the youths proceeded to place some traffic cones on the tram tracks in the middle of the street, no one moved a muscle. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Some of the people around me were probably gym junkies, and had nothing to fear from that slender, effeminate bunch. After they popped into the Krispy Kreme across the road, I waited to see what people would do. After 30 seconds of waiting, I couldn't take it. Perhaps no one cared, but I perceived a rise in tension. I walked to the other end of the platform and jumped off the edge. After I rounded up all the traffic cones, I placed them behind a bin.

The tram that everyone was waiting for would have been obstructed and the driver would have had to stop the tram, get out, and collect them all up. People are strange.

Several nights ago, I pulled a (thankfully pleasant) surprise on My love. We'd just been to church on Sunday evening and she was to return home to her beautiful house after what would be a lonesome, 2 hour train trip, then a short drive from the station- but this was the last train back, and likely to be full of undesirables and the like. I managed to pack a spare shirt in my laptop bag, and convinced her that I wanted to do some work on the tram ride back after dropping her at the station, therefore requiring that I bring my laptop along.

We arrived at the station 45 minutes early. After 15 minutes in the waiting room, I professed my need for a latrine. Stepping out into the cold air, I made my way to the ticket office. I proceeded to purchase my ticket and walk back to the waiting room. On the way I was approached by a young woman who inquired as to my name.

“Evan. What's yours?”
“Bree.”
“Nice to meet you. Where are you headed?”
“I don't know.”
“That sounds nice. Sometimes it's a good way to be.”
“You have a paedophile beard- Bye~!”
“Okay... Bye...”

And then she turned into the public toilet and I rejoined My Love in the warmth and strangeness of a train station waiting room close to midnight.

A charismatic chap began to rap in the style of Australian hip hop. He'd found a fellow who could beat-box and they joined forces in a genuinely impressive display of rhyme and skill. Once the hip hop artist had throw down a few of his rhymes, the pair began freestyling and the result was, at times, a high quality show for anyone there who wasn't too old or drunk to appreciate it.

With 10 minutes left until the train would depart, we hopped onto the carriage and the rapper and his crew joined us. The conversation flowed and the announcements over the loud speaker went unheard thanks to the vivacious, musical gang seated in front of us.

We caught the last part of an announcement that ended with “...stand clear of the platform.” My Love looked around in a panic.

“It's moving! What'll you do?!”
“I duunno! Hang on let me check...”
“Where will you get off?!”
“Let me see... On no! What's this... In my wallet? A ticket! Wow! Look at that!”
“YOU! You, oh...”

She battered me across the shoulders as I pointed out her huge grin, then she tried to hide.

I'm glad you enjoyed that surprise, My Love.

TSC

Edit:
The rapper and his crew developed a system to ensure their partying would continue unhindered. Knowing the rules about drinking alcohol on public transport, the group used a safety word, "Kwhiskey", to alert their comrades of a patrolling conductor.

One of them (who had been too drunk to purchase a ticket) asked if he could buy our water bottle, assuming that it would of course be filled with vodka. Upon realising he was without a pass, he proceeded to hide under the seats as the conductor came to check tickets. Despite his inability to keep his legs from sticking out, he managed to avoid having his ticket checked. My guess it that it would have been too much hassle for the conductor to bust him.

All in all, it was an entertaining train ride.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Stories no one wants to hear, pt. I

She was vibrant, earthy and joyful. I remember her, preening in a corner. She knew our eyes were on her, and she loved it. She didn't have any make-up on. She wore a long-sleeve shirt with horizontal stripes and jeans.

That night I was maintaining a tiresome charade for my ex-girlfriend. She didn't want anyone to know we'd broken up. She made me wait several months before I was allowed to tell people we were dating. In a misguided attempt to avoid becoming the latest piece of gossip, she deemed it a clever idea to do the same thing coming out of the relationship.

I had little patience for this. I wasn't very good at holding up this fantasy, and I wanted to get a better handle on loving her in a way that was healthy.

She asked a lot of me that night, and I responded with disgruntled murmurs. The shining light in the corner could see how I was acting with my "girlfriend". She later reported to her ex-boyfriend that I certainly didn't treat my girlfriends well. Somehow this didn't put her off me. She really does have terrible taste, praise God.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

How did I not see the similarities earlier?

Edit: If the following topics don't interest you, head down the bottom. I promise the (not)chickens are cute.

I saw a production of The Sound of Music last night - my youngest sister was in the chorus - and apart from being really enjoyable, it reminded me of how strangely similar The Sound of Music is to the Korean drama, You're Beautiful. They have a lot in common, although one has Nazis and the other has cross-dressing and a boy band.

Here's a comparison. To make things easier, I've put any significant differences in bold.

Also a warning:

***SPOILERS***

YB: A story of a nun-in-training in training who is always late and daydreaming.
TSoM: A story of a nun-in-training in training who is always late and daydreaming.

YB: She is called away to join an unorthodox "family" in a world with which she has had no experience.
TSoM: She is sent away to join an unorthodox family in a world with which she has had no experience.

YB: The girl finds a connection with each member of the family and gets the best out of them.
TSoM: The girl finds a connection with each member of the family and gets the best out of them.

YB: The "family" is lead by a strict and usually prickly character.
TSoM: The family is lead by a strict and usually prickly character.

YB: The girl runs back to the abbey and confides in the abbess, asking to return to her former life for good.
TSoM: The girl runs back to the abbey and confides in the abbess, asking to return to her former life for good.

YB: There is a money-grabbing character who is close to the "family", but not part of it who offers some comic relief.
TSoM: There is a money-minded character who is close to the family, but not part of it who offers some comic relief.

YB: The abbess tells the girl that her new life might be the will of God, and that she shouldn't discount it, even though it isn't the life in the abbey that she'd previously aspired to. The abbess also tells her not to run from her problems and not to use the abbey as an escape.
TSoM: The abbess tells the girl that her new life might be the will of God, and that she shouldn't discount it, even though it isn't the life in the abbey that she'd previously aspired to. The abbess also tells her not to run from her problems and not to use the abbey as an escape.

YB: The girl returns and faces up to her romantic attachment to the head of the "family".
TSoM: The girl returns and faces up to her romantic attachment to the head of the family.

YB: The girl leaves for Africa to do aid work, with the promise to return to be with her new partner.
TSoM: The family escape together from the Nazis across the Swiss border to safety.

Well, it was pretty close up until the end.

Have a great week,

♥ TSC

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Banana, carrot and sultana


Using essentially the same recipe as last time, I decided to bake a cake for My Love. It was a banana-carrot-sultana cake this time around. I think it turned out rather well, although possibly a little more suited to my sweet tooth.

Next time I bake a cake, it's probably better if you just turn your head while I'm adding the sugar, My Love.

Have a good time examining tonight.

TheSovietChairman



P.S. Notice her beautiful platter and lovely new coffee table?

P.P.S. I better get back to work and stop doodling...

Something new,

and uncontrollable.

Yet at once familiar.

Lucas felt the energy pouring out of his mind, through his body- a terrible, powerful force. But it was also bright and pure.

Since the meeting with the Magypsy, it had been as if a new part of himself had been set free. And this hidden power fed on the hope and support of those around him, but could never be extinguished.

Lucas had spent too long mourning the loss of his mother, Hinawa. It was time to set things right and save what he could of the world before it mutated beyond repair.

The growing darkness would have to face a new threat-

PK Love.

MOTHER 3 game and scenario are copyright SHIGESATO ITOI and Nintendo

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

No, thank you.

It was my pleasure, My Love.

I had a really great night last night. Thanks for letting me loose on your kitchen.

Any chance you could send me photos of my second experiment cake? I think it was a success.

Soon we'll breakfast together every morning, and go for long walks in the evening.

You're right- without television I could have done a lot more with my evenings.

Lots of love,

Yours, always,

TSC



P.S. Mostly this was an excuse to include another (not)chicken.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Care to join me?

Swing Let's Swing - The Lucky strikes

Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing

Once upon a time I thought that life would be
Hard for me
No bells were ringing
That's about the time I found just what was wrong
Life's a song
And we can swing, let's swing

And when you hear that beating
Go stop your leaning
Against the wall
That's all

You care to join me on that big dance floor?
You'll find much more
Come on and swing, let's swing

And when you hear that beating
You'll stop your leaning
Against the wall
That's all

You care to join me on that big dance floor?
You'll find much more
Come on and swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing
Swing, let's swing





Apparently those lyrics don't exist anywhere else on the net. Unless Google just hasn't found them yet. I had fun scribbling that pic of Kumatora and Duster hittin' the dance floor. Here's the original. You can see the pixel-based inspiration (courtesy of Nintendo and Shigesato Itoi) up the top of the post, to the right of the heading. The colours might be a little intense, but... Meh.

Off to class I go!

*Mwah*

TheSovietChairman

MOTHER 3 game and scenario are copyright SHIGESATO ITOI and Nintendo

Monday, 4 October 2010

Porky Karaoke



Evil, time-travelling bullies from next door gotta party too, y'know.

MOTHER 3 game and scenario are copyright SHIGESATO ITOI and Nintendo

Here's my experimental banana-caramel-yoghurt cake




First I added and boiled:

1 cup water
1.25 cups sugar
150g butter
0.5 tsp bicarb soda

While I allowed this sugary, butter water to cool, I added the following ingredients into a blender:

2 bananas
100 mL plain yoghurt
1 cup caramel topping

I stirred in this mix to the butter water, along with:

2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
1.5 cups self-raising flour

Making sure that the oven was preheated (because the mixture looked very likely to separate at any moment) I popped it in for about 40 minutes on 190 (Celsius).

Although our oven is rubbish...

And there you have it. An experiment that worked! Also- Happy Birthday, Liz! Sorry for experimenting with your birthday cake...

Much love,

TheSovietChairman

P.S. Thanks for taking away the blues, My Love. Now I don't look so much like this:

Sunday, 3 October 2010

A pointless debate

I am of course referring to the "games as art" debate. I strongly suggest you check out this fantastic article, which might open your eyes to where things are at. If all you see is the advertising on TV and bus stops, you might feel that very little exists outside juvenile, mass market shovelware. What happens when an artist or a philosopher takes the helm of creative design?

Mother 3. That's what.

If games are to be considered as a medium of artistic expression, then technology and marketing isn't nearly as important as having an artist in control.

Enjoy the sun, fellow Melbournians.

Lots of love,

Ais Kacang


When I join you, I'll fill the garden beds with flowers and the veggie patch with all manner of delicious herbs and vegetables.

Also- Assam Laksa then Ais Kacang. Delicious. But not in the garden beds.

♥ TSC



Edit: Can I just direct people to take a gander at this amazing feast by a blog buddy and her boy? Friggin' wow. I just baked an experimental caramel, banana, yoghurt cake and I'm inspired to make more!

...After my assignments...

Saturday, 2 October 2010

I appreciate it


Friday, 24 September 2010

Driving

Edit: This is fiction. It's a piece called Driving.

*** Language Alert ***


...He says all the right things at exactly the right time, but he means nothing to you and you don't know why...


What egotistical shit is this? He hasn't got the right to pen this song. He hasn't the soul the comes from having it all pulled out from under his fuckin' legs. He doesn't know shit. He's sitting there with you on his lap, and what has he done to deserve you? Fuck all.

It takes me several minutes of this garbage before I become aware that sanity could be merely a station change away. My radio proceeds to some Indian rubbish, as Bollywood dancers fill the back seat. Before they get the chance to dirty my car, the radio's found some classical tune.

They all sound the same. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure each one is a masterpiece. They just feel like different emotions played out by string instruments of various sizes with a piano helping out. The only problem is, there ain't no words to work out what the issue is.
Pop music- I'm in love, I wanna fuck. Rock- I'm in love, I wanna kill someone. Emo shit- I'm in love, I want to cut myself. Classical- I'm in love, but I don't speak your language. But I do happen to have several different sizes of string instrument at my disposal. Would interpretive dance help? No? Then we'll stick with the violins.

Classical will do. When I'm having trouble navigating my way through my own head, listening to other people's problems – as produced and distributed by record companies – is the last thing I fucking need.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Holidays = Internet free

Not nearly as good as free internet. Hopefully there'll be a big backlog of scribbles and paintings and writings by the time I return. The hot springs were wonderful. I can't wait to be with My Love again this Saturday.

Missing you all,

TheSovietChairman

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The challenge

Me and my sister have set ourselves a challenge. Whether it's thirty seconds or an hour out of our day, we will endeavour to create a new sketch/painting/creation every day. One each. I will be posting them here. Sometimes we will collaborate. Sometimes we will procrastinate. Every day we will create.

TSC (& KR)

Kim Ritchie:

TSC: Bears

Monday, 13 September 2010

Sunday, 12 September 2010

It was a good party



When I come back with those smoky eyes, you know it was a good party.

TSC

P.S. Points available for identifying the poster in the background. Points void if contestant has actually visited this room.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

No birds, no scribbles, no sleep

Just a happy, but tired Engineering student.

I don't like to talk much about what I study. I understand how little most people would care about the design of a wind turbine's gearbox. It's mathematics and physics and, well... boring to most.

But that's what I've been doing. If any future employers are reading this, then I'd like to say how much I enjoy this sort of project work and would love to join your team of highly skilled Engineers, especially if you're in the Bendigo area.

Otherwise, I wouldn't like to say that so much.

"What extension?"

"The one you told me about last night."

"I'm sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about."

"I freakin' rang you, and you said we had 'til Monday. What was that about?"

"Nope. It's due today, right? How's it coming along?"

"No. I specifically remember asking you, LAST NIGHT. YOU SAID WE HAD 'TIL MONDAY."

"Oh. I don't remember..."

*Bursts into hysterics*

"I'm sorry! I couldn't resist!"

"Sh*t! Screw y- What the..? Aaargh! Okay. It's funny. I'm slowly understanding that this is funny. Oh, dammit. You got me."

*Joins in the laughter*

Yeah. Forty pages short on a one hundred and twenty page project is a LOT short. But we will get there. It's been a long, troublesome process. But we will get there.

It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who goes a little crazy. Don't sweat it when the nasties in your brain take over. After a message like that, My Love, I can sleep soundly and happily, for the couple of hours I've allotted myself. We're all needy in different ways. We both need to recognise how to help each other out. You have my attention for every minute I can spare it, and for many minutes where I can't. That's the way I like it. I like sitting, breathing with you, feeling your presence, even if it's down the phone line. I really appreciated the reminder of how much I mean to you. You got it in my language, to a T. When things get tough, and people snap, I'm learning to develope potholes down on Memory Lane (thanks, Randy). In time, I'll need the same.

"Is she The One?"

"Yes. It's awesome. She's awesome."

"Wow. I'm so happy to hear you've made the commitment. That's great. Walk with me."

She is The One. Not because of any concept I believe in that could possibly construe the Universe to offer me one person on the planet that I have to go out and find. Only because I decided she's The One. And she's chosen me to be her One. I decided she's The One I will marry- there won't be any other. She's The One I'll become one with- two separate units as part of another, different unit. She'll be the mother of my children, the caretaker of my heart, and it's not who she is that makes her The One. It's the decision to have One and for that One to be her. And I would never wish for anyOne else.

Hopefully I'll manage some sketching tonight- some scribble or other. It might not make up for the lack of posts, or the soppiness of this one, but it'll get the post-assignment ball rolling.

Much love,

TSC

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

HTML5 Showcase

Boring title?

You are sooooooo wrong. Check this out.

http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/

Run it in chrome, y'all.

TheSovietChairman.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Leave this place...

And check out Graham The Bat!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Eventful

A week in hospital looking after a sick bunny turned out to be the blessing I needed. One-on-one time was great, having solid days on end just to swim through conversations and to reminisce and enjoy the hospital cuisine. There were a few tears shed. She doesn't like being left in anyone else's hands, however (in)competent they turned out to be.

Being a doctor in a sick bed has advantages: Private rooms, spare beds for fiancés, friends coming in to "compromise one's care" with extra treatment and tasty noodles, etc.

All this took place when she was supposed to be moving into the new house. Praise God for the community He's built up around her- the choir ladies did a great job setting up the house with donations and gifts. Her med team friends were kind and the nurses did what they could to make us comfortable.

But what a house! I slept in front of the fire last visit, on account of the blue hue apparent in my face and digits. Saving gas is one thing, but... goodness, that was cold. The big, squishy mattress in front of the fire helped. Thanks, My Love, for your understanding and compassion.

Then: The party. Friends from all over came to share with us in the celebration of our engagement, as well as her house warming and birthday! Thanks to those who came. The party was well over-catered, but in the long run, the abundance of red meat left in her freezer should go some way toward helping with the anaemia.

Our friend's little boy now associates My love with me, I'm very pleased to say. He's the cutest little guy and gets all the attention at parties and on the wards. Kat told me how he ran into the living room and ran laps around the sofa, before looking up and asking, "Where Evan?"

I'm off to get some $4 pizza with friends from Bimbo's.

I'm sorry for not being around. I do love you.

Note: I didn't publish this post until now. The pizzas yesterday were delicious. The talk by Don Carson was inspiring. The birthday walking was fun. The pancakes were tasty. The sleepover was entertaining. The big brekky this morning rocked my stomach. The stomach pump this afternoon should be a hoot.

Almost as much fun as the group project I'm heading off to complete.

I had a great time, sneaking up to Bendigo to celebrate with My Love. Chicken nuggets and a Cantonese movie. Nice. And cuddles.

Have a great day, y'all.

Especially, Kei.

*Hugs*

Happy Birthday!

TSC

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The Mini Reviews are up

And that's no lie. You'll notice the link to the page in the side bar.

I intend to review (very briefly - hence 'mini') books, games, TV shows, music and more. These Mini Reviews are intended to give you an idea of stuff you may not have heard of, but I really enjoyed. The idea came to me while watching Korean dramas. I was overwhelmed by a sense that there is so much media out there that I have access to, but I sometimes feel like I have no idea where to start.

I'll keep the page updated with things I've seen/read/played via recommendation from my international/adventurous friends. Some reviews will be of more mainstream stuff as well, but there you go.

Anyway... Enjoy. I did.

TheSovietChairman

Monday, 9 August 2010

Old diary entries

I don't like to use this blog as a diary. That's what a diary is for. However, I found an old diary from the start of the year and remembered scribbling these pages in the Shanghai Dumpling House in the CBD.

The boat picture was done the following day, just before midnight at Eastern Beach, Geelong.