Interrupting Cows

You know how they say never work with children or animals? That especially goes for cows.

This is a little video I put together in honour of the annoyingly awesome cows who frustrated made me smile while filming my last project (see previous post)

The Ethics of Eating Meat

This is a video I made for my major project in Practical Ethics, It even includes an interview with Animals Australia’s Glenys Oogjes, and a cameo from her dog Oscar!

The Ethics of Eating Meat

The best part? The interrupting cows right at the end.

The problem of identity. Also: writing this philosophy essay sucks

I am currently working on a philosophy essay plan, which is due Monday.  It’s driving me insane.  Here is the question:

Although the principle that our personal identity is preserved as long as we inhabit the numerically same body is plausible and well established (same body = same person idea), it seems questionable at times.  Consider the situation of Robert.  Robert used to be a very athletic person who spent all of his free time playing basketball and riding motorcycles.  In August 2002 Robert crashed his motorcycle and is now paraplegic.  Although Robert still has the same (numerical) body as before, he feels that he is not the same person since he cannot do the things he loves most. 

Do you agree with Robert? Explain and justify your reasoning to this by: Drawing on the works of at least two philosophers and one film from this course.

The thing is, in some ways I agree with Robert in that he is not the same person… but in other ways I don’t.  I believe it’s called ‘fence sitting’ and is not something I can do in writing this essay.

I will have to start by examining the body theory of identity, which to me is a logical theory, but is not in itself enough to constitute identity.  The fact that the body is constantly changing does not in itself constitute a change of identity (as far as I am concerned) as it is gradual and the cells themselves share a commonality as they grow and are expelled from the body.  We identify others by their physical appearance.  However, if person A had their consciousness transferred into a different body then would we still continue to identify them as the same person?  Intuitively I would think so.

If we look at identity being defined by psychological continuity, or by memory, then post-accident Robert is indeed still the same person as both his thought processes and memories are continuous with pre-accident Robert.  There are of course flaws with these theories also.  For example, if Robert lost all his memories in the accident, and his psychological continuity was eliminated, I would still consider him the same person.

These is also the theory that there is no self, and to think we have one is merely an illusion (Hume), and we are nothing more than a collection of perceptions.  But then what holds us together over time?  What gives our current perceptions context and meaning?  Our memories, perhaps.  Or maybe it’s just the thread that is woven between our perceptions creating an illusion of self.  If it is the case that we HAVE no self then what does this mean for Robert?

I like to think of people as a constantly changing and evolving thing.  Like the river analogy.  While you can’t step into the same water twice (as it’s constantly moving and changing) we would still identify it as the same river.  I think personality has the same fluidity, whether in regard to body, memory or perception.  Our past selves share commonality with our current selves, so while we are constantly changing we still remain identifiable as the same person.

I guess I do disagree with Robert after all.

I think my head just imploded.

Your thoughts and ideas about how I could formulate a reasonable essay plan around this question would be greatly appreciated.  I’ll buy you something pretty.

I’m far less entertaining when I’m mentally stable

I was making myself a coffee this morning, thinking about every single thing I could do which DIDN’T involve working on my essay plan for philosophy and then BAM! I remembered I have a blog.

What better way to avoid being productive than starting an archeological dig to find it under all the layers of dust and spam?

Of course, since it’s been about a billion years since my last post I am sure you have all forgotten who I am, hell, I’VE forgotten who I used to be.  Shall I provide a quick update? Yes?

I think my last couple of posts involved popping my ambulance cherry and sniffing glue.  Strangely those things weren’t related.  Since then it’s been about 10 months and I haven’t blogged because I’ve been busy shaking things up (and I don’t mean just other peoples beer) a quick time line update in dot point form is in order (yes, I’m still lazy):

  • I received an offer for a place at a University in regional Victoria to study psychology – which I accepted!
  • Left work, sold most of my household STUFF, and packed the rest into my car for the long drive to Victoria from Queensland.
  • Since this stuff included my rather large pooch, my guitar and my surfboard there wasn’t much room.
  • Spent a couple of weeks cruising down the coast… surfing, lazing about, and generally acting like a hippie.
  • Arrived in Ballarat and after a month sleeping in a shed and struggling to find somewhere to live I FINALLY hit the jackpot and moved into a place 2 minutes from the Uni (HELLO waking up at 8.20 for an 8.30 lecture!).
  • My pooch fell in love with my landlord’s pooch.
  • I fell in love with my landlord.
  • Learnt I am good at study, after getting 3 high distinctions and a distinction in my first semester.
  • Got a red and black Mohawk.  It’s awesome.

So there you have it, a somewhat brief, incomplete update of the last 10 months.  Something I have learned though – I am FAR less entertaining when I am mentally stable!

I will attempt to post more in the interests of avoiding study, and regale you with tales of my gay dogs, vegetable garden and deep philosophical and psychological discussion.  Or maybe not.
We shall see.

How Facebook made me sniff glue. Not really though.

I don’t go to Facebook very often.  Frankly because I get sick of seeing whose child has been recently toilet trained, or who has given who a plant/animal/sexually transmitted disease on those silly games they play.

But today while scrolling through the announcements of impending doom marriages, new engagements, pregnancies, job promotions and bowel movements I came to a rather harsh realization.

It seems while everyone else my age is falling in love, getting married and having babies I’ve been busy having abortions, getting divorced and making plans to go back to University.


Did you hear that?  Yep.  That’s was my emotional train de-railing.  The tinkle part was the shattering of my childhood dreams.

I realise it’s alright to be a wreck sometimes.  That it’s not THE END OF THE WORLD I’m fast approaching 30 and none of my dreams have yet been realized.  Lately, however, I seem to have lost all my strength and every single damn day is a struggle.

In this moment as I sit here wrapped up in my flaws and failings, safe in this uncomfortable but familiar bed I have made for myself I know I have two choices.

I can wish upon a star and just hope things work out for me.  Or I can change my attitude, and change my life.

So if you’ll excuse me I’m going to get out the dustpan and brush, pick up the pieces of my broken dreams and try to put them back together with cloth tape and superglue.  I won’t even sniff the glue.  Promise.

Then I’m going to put one foot in front of the other and keep fighting to make my dreams come true – or die trying.  Hopefully not in a train wreck though, because that would be kind of fucked up.

On a side note, the ‘i’ key has fallen off my keyboard and I’ve lost it.  After thoughtful consideration about writing this post completely without i’s and figuring that would make me look drunk be very hard to read I persevered.  You’re WELCOME.


My D-I-V-O-R-C-E becomes final today

Aside from having that song stuck in my head, today should be a good day, right?

After months and months of delays, process servers and rushed trips to court my marriage is finally, irreversibly and officially over.  I’m once again a free woman, and yet strangely I don’t feel like celebrating.

I really thought I’d be happy today.  I thought that closing this chapter would bring some peace to my life.  Instead it seems to have stirred up emotions I thought I had reconciled long ago.

So tonight, I am going to open an expensive bottle of wine.  I’m going to sift through the remaining possessions I have that remind me of my now ex-husband, and I’m going to think about the good times and the bad.

Then I’m going to get out my marriage certificate, light a match, and watch that fucker burn.

After that I will close this chapter once and for all, and turn a new page.  Tomorrow I will wake up and breathe in deep the scent of a fresh day and a new start.

My past has made me the person I am today, and I’m going to try my best to look forward to tomorrow.


Popping my ambulance cherry – A free-boobing story.

It was cold, raining and WAY TOO EARLY when I got up Monday morning to torture myself at the pool before work.  I packed my work clothes in my bag, with the bright idea that my brain actually functioned at zero-dark-thirty in the morning.  I should have known better.

I remembered my hair brush.  I remembered my deodorant.  I even remembered socks.  What I didn’t remember was my bra.  Running short of time, I thought to myself… no-one will notice right? It’s a thick shirt, the pockets are in the right place.  I’ll just avoid the rain, and everything will be fine.

My free-boobing escaped notice when I arrived at work and hurried to the sanctuary of my desk. Feeling brave, I picked myself up to walk over to the amenities building and that’s when things started to go horribly wrong.

My heart started beating an irregular thump.  My breath became shallow.  My chest started to feel constricted.  I made it back to my desk, and sat down feeling dizzy.  Everything seemed to settle down, and I began to wonder what was causing these strange symptoms.  Did I overdo the exercise? Is it my quit smoking medication?  Or am I simply allergic to Monday?

I got up from my chair, and it happened AGAIN.  I quickly returned to my seat, but this time the symptoms didn’t disappear.  I put my head down for a little while to no avail, and I was starting to feel like a temporary citizen. I called to speak to my doctor and described my symptoms, and he immediately told me to hang up and call an ambulance.

Longest 40 minutes of my life, waiting for the paramedics to arrive.  My heart was palpitating and racing like a three legged race horse.

When the ambulance got there, two paramedics lifted me up and put me on a stretcher.  They hooked up cables and cords and the machines around me came to life with beeps and blips.  The sprayed some awful stuff under my tongue and stuck a needle in my arm, to bring down my heart beat.

By the time I got to the hospital, my heart had slowed and regulated, and I felt less like death.  Which was great except it gave me pause to remember I was free-boobing.  Sigh.  The one and only day I forget my bra, I get carted off to hospital?  Good thing the paramedics weren’t incredibly hot, or I’d have been embarrassed.



Trying to work out which wire to cut in case it turns out I am *actually* a bomb.


After a few hours of being hooked up to machines, the hospital diagnosed me as ‘not dying’ and sent me to see my GP.  As it turns out, I am the 1 in 10,000 who ends up with severe side effects from Champix, the medication I am taking to help me quit smoking.

I always knew I was special.

Now, I am going to have to quit COLD TURKEY.  Let’s hope I can do that without stabbing anyone.

Pain & Progress: Day 4

Exercise:  4.82km Bike ride & yoga

First, sleep in.  IT’S THE WEEKEND!

Second, head winds are the work of the devil.  The heavy rain that started half way through made me want to curl up in a little ball and DIE.  The pooch, however, thought it was all wonderful and spent 5 minutes rolling around in the mud at the golf course.  At least someone enjoyed themselves.

Third, YOGA IS PAINFUL!  This is the first time I’ve done the whole routine, and I can feel how un-stretchy my muscles are.  Though I do think the people on the video are actually freaks that have no bones so I shouldn’t compare myself to them.  It was actually quite relaxing despite the pain, and it should be good to improve my muscle strength and flexibility.

Quit update: Well, at lunchtime I still hadn’t had a smoke.  Hmm.  Wondering if that’s because I slept until 10am?  Definitely smoked a lot less today, and not JUST because I was too sore.  Still no side effects as far as I can see from the meds, and if anything I am sleeping slightly BETTER than before. That really isn’t much of an achievement though.  Insomnia sucks.

Dream Diary: I had trouble falling asleep last night.  When I did, I dreamt about going to a bar with my twitter friends.  The bar had the same name as the one we attend for twitter gatherings, but looked NOTHING like it, being very dark and dingy.  The staff were extremely unfriendly, and when I asked for a Corona they gave me a ‘Corona Zero’. The girl standing next to me explained it had a straw which was lined with Cocaine and looked like a cocktail.  It tasted like a fruit tingle and I drank three in a row to no effect.  Perhaps dream-me is immune to Cocaine?

When next I approached the bar, and asked for a Corona, the girl (who looked like a vampire.  Or a drug addict.  Hard to tell the difference) served me some kind of non-alcoholic flavoured water.  Sigh.  Dream me was getting quite angry and said “Look, just give me a beer!”.  She pulled a Corona out of the fridge and proceeded to pour it into another bottle, which had cigarette butts in the bottom of it… EWWW! I said “Look, don’t fucking worry about it, I’ll ask the other bar girl”, and the next thing I knew I was being approached by bouncers and asked to leave.  Actually, to “get the fuck out” if I remember correctly.  Then they picked me up and launched me out the door, which was fine because I did a commando roll and landed facing them giving them the finger.

None of my friends appeared to care that I was thrown out and just carried on drinking inside.  Hmpf. The rest of the dream was a bit vague, but I do recall ending up at a rave, on my own, which was directly across from the bar I had been kicked out of.  So THERE.  My dream friends should have come with me because it was AWESOME.  That’s what they get for being arseholes.


Pain & Progress: Day 3

Exercise: 11 laps & 6.25km Bike ride

Still woke up in an average amount of pain this morning.  WHOEVER TOLD ME THIS WOULD GET BETTER LIED!  Was not looking forward to swimming in the afternoon AT ALL. When I walked through the office door at work I immediately started sneezing.  Allergic to work you say? I think so too.  It proceeded to get worse until I felt like clawing my face off with a hammer.

Despite this I was determined to go for a swim, and upon asking Twitter (who make all my important decisions) the general consensus was that a swim would make me feel better and help my allergies.  Personally, I think they just wanted to see me suffer.

Despite feeling like I had man-flu, my swim actually went quite well.  I managed to do the first two laps back to back and completed 11 laps having only a minute or so break between them.  Then I realized my bag was at the other end of the pool, so I did a 12th lap to get back there.  I KNOW.  It’s like I’m starting to enjoy the pain.  My arms were so sore afterwards I considered taping my hands to the steering wheel to drive home.

After I had been home for an hour or so, resting my weary muscles, I put on my socks and shoes (to the excited barks of my pooch) and took him out for a ride.  I could feel the muscles in my legs, but overall it was a nice ride through a sprinkling of rain.  I went the long way, which turned out to be 6.26km which took around 40 minutes.  The pooch couldn’t keep up to my pace, which means I am fitter than my dog.  WIN.

Side note : I bought a pair of pants to exercise in, and they make my arse looks HUGE.  Is this suppose to motivate me?

Quit Update: Pretty sure I smoked more than yesterday, but less than the day before.  Two steps forward one step back?  Actually, it’s more like 1 step forward, half a step back.  Whatever. I’m not sure, but I am due to up the dosage of Champix today so hopefully that will help.  Come on meds, I am relying on you!

Dream Diary: SEX DREAMS FTW!

I don’t have a strong recollection of all the details, but I was at someone’s house where there were clothes lines (complete with washing) everywhere.  THEN I HAD SEX IN A SHOWER WITH SOMEONE I DON’T EVEN KNOW, though in my dream it appears I knew him rather *cough* intimately.  After we were… finished, the water from the shower turned into drops of blood.  Then I woke up.  It was both awesome and terrifying.

Pain & Progress: Day 2

Exercise: 4.12km Bike ride & Yoga (or lack thereof)

I woke up this morning with muscles aching in places I didn’t even know I had muscles.  Whoever is making me do this needs to be hung, drawn and quartered.  Oh wait.  I’m doing this to myself aren’t I?

After a miserable day of work I was actually quite looking forward to getting on the bike.  I know, I’m shocked too.  I quickly changed my mind as I realized all those muscles I found yesterday had not recovered.  It huuurrrttttsssss! I did manage to do 4.12km in 25.57mins with the pooch in tow, stopping once to chase the naughty dog as he ran over to greener pastures with two golden retrievers.  Naughty pooch!

I got home covered in sweat but relieved I had met my goal for the day.  Then I realized I still had to do yoga.  Turns out that I don’t feel comfortable contorting my body in front of my housemate, who happened to be home for the evening, so I decided to skip it. It’s not as much fun with clothes on anyway.

Quit update: I actually didn’t feel like a smoke on the drive to work, which is when I’d usually spark up my first cancer stick.  I smoked 3 half-cigarettes before lunch time, which is half the number I’d usually have.  Not sure if the meds are kicking in, or if my arms are just too sore to life the smoke to my lips.  Either way, WIN!

Dream Diary: I had an awful night of sleep, and woke up this morning with a vague recollection of finding cheap plane tickets to Japan but never actually going there.  Also, someone ate my housemate’s cat.  If dreams do come true, I really hope it’s only the first bit.