Buddhism for Bogans


Warning: May be offensive to everyone.

Buddhism for Bogans

Buddha was just a normal guy who tried stuff and thought about stuff. Afterwards, he told people about the stuff. The were four things he was pretty sure about:

-life sucks
-because you make it suck
-you can stop making your life suck so much
-by doing these things I tried

He thought these eight things were the way to go:

Stop thinking about what life, the world and other people should do, it’ll piss you off when they don’t.

Don’t try to make people do what you want, it won’t work and people won’t like you.

Say it like it is.

Don’t make stuff more complicated than it is, don’t read something into everything.

Your job probably sucks – do it properly anyway, you lazy shit.

Stop fighting everything, go with the flow, chill the fuck out.

Pay attention to what you’re doing, don’t live with your head up your arse.

Sit still and be quiet sometimes instead of playing Nintendo. You don’t need to stimulate yourself 24/7.

If you do all this, you can get to nirvana, a constant state of not-a-single-fuck-was-given-that-day.


Bonjour Brûlée

Like most fancy food, it’s not all that scary. This post talks you through it.

The Mix Masters


I must admit I was a bit hesitant to try making my own creme brulee. The actual recipe doesn’t look too intimidating but being a fan of this dessert i’ve tasted my fair share – the good, the bad and the ugly. This trepidation saw me standing in my kitchen staring at my ingredients, all lined up in a row and thinking “If i pull this off it will be great, but if I stuff it up it will be gross”. No one likes curdled custard.

IMG_1916         IMG_1917

There are plenty of recipes around for creme brulee. You’re pretty much spoilt for choice – whatever your flavour there’s bound to be one or two for you. This being my first time i decided to go with the classic vanilla bean creme brulee. Recipes for this kind of brulee don’t vary too much, they’re all basically sugar, eggs, cream…

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Tea for everyone


“What is dollie drinking now?”, Angela to Victoria, our 6-year-old model.

“Gin and tonic”, Maureen, baby wrangler.

“Mommy likes gin and tonic”, Mommy on set.

“What does mommy like to drink Victoria?”, Angela.

“Tea”, Victoria.

“We’ll call it TEA”, Maureen.Drinking tea

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What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

Good advice, worth sharing.

Don't Die Until You're Dead

If someone asks me years from now, “What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?”, I will definitely have an answer for them.

Up until six months ago, I’d always heard things that are useful, or seen people I admire in interviews say things that can be noted down, but nobody had every said anything directly to me that had impacted me or my life to any degree.

However, last October, after one of 16 nights of a run of a city play, I was sitting in a pub with some of my cast members having a fairly angry (text) argument with someone.

Obviously I couldn’t see it, but I expect my face looked like a wet weekend and one of my cast mates leaned over and asked me what was wrong. I explained and he offered me these words of wisdom:

“Don’t waste time caring about people who…

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A Lady’s Guide to Linguistic Pedantry



Correct grammar, pronunciation, usage and sentence structure were drummed into my tiny head at the dinner table. My parents were most annoyed when I started drumming back.


When it comes to correct English, here is normally a simple split, nerds on one side, casual sexters on the other. But there is a rare, more extreme level of nerd – the linguistics student, who, surprisingly enough, sides with the slangers.


The social linguistic argument is simple and logical, it has changed to minds (but not the habits) of many nerds. It goes thus:


The purpose of language is to convey meaning to the intended audience. One might add that this should be done clearly and in an efficient way, but both of those conditions are in contention. Either way, if a phrase is understood by its intended audience it is, by definition, successful and therefore ‘correct’.


By this definition ‘sup’ and ‘how do you do’ are equally acceptable. In some subcultures, you could argue that ‘pacific’ and ‘mischievious’ are more acceptable than ‘specific’ and ‘mischievous’.


Yet we still cringe, well, I do.


Language is very closely connected with culture, even at the micro level. Only geeks from the 90s use ‘bogus’ as a swear word, only Eminem fans give the finger and three half fingers, only lab techs write ‘SPF C57B6J sentinel, B107/13’. Linguistic differences define us as members of our races, religions, cultures, subcultures and even occupations. To most young people, being accepted and gaining status within a group of immediate peers is the main concern. To most older people, being accepted and gaining status within large scale culture is more important. This is why teenagers love to spout new slang, while their grandparents bang on about how terrible they sound. The younger generation is defining itself specifically, with a large variety of different linguistic styles, to fit closely with immediate peers, while the older generation is becoming cosmopolitan in an attempt to be accepted by larger social circles.


Speaking with a specific accent or style defines you as a member of a particular group (snobs, bogans, chavs, gangtas, nerds, yuppies, Londoners, country bumpkins, etc). It can make you ‘one of them’ and therefore ‘not one of us’ and subjects you to all the listener’s opinions and prejudices about that group. On the other hand, a shared linguistic style brings you closer to your peers, increasing acceptance and toleration. The typical teenager and the average grandparent both have sensible motivations, the only real issue is defining each other as wrong (or stupid, or out of touch), and refusing to consider viewpoints expressed in styles other than their own.


So what do you do? Obviously, whatever the hell you like, but here’s my solution:

It is said (mostly by my father) that you should write like a gentleman and speak like a local. This is probably the best way to be accepted (and have your point considered) by the maximum number of people. Or, to put it another way, when addressing a mixed or undefined audience (a lecture theatre, radio interview or anything written, as it read by anyone in the future), it is generally best to speak in the standardized style as defined by dictionaries, English classes and grammar nazis. The maximum proportion of your audience will clearly understand you and be open to your message. Also, by displaying an understanding of the fine details of “correct” linguistic style, you are likely to be seen as intelligent and well educated, thus further supporting your message.


If, on the other hand, you are addressing a small, well defined group (friends at lunch, small children, metal heads on the train), you can increase your own acceptance and the group’s understanding by adapting your style to closer resemble that of your audience. People naturally do this, it is an evolutionary strategy to increase personal safety. You’ve probably noticed that you quickly pick up the accent, style and slang of your immediate social group, as do children, often to the dismay of their carers.


Should a lady speak strictly correctly all the time? I say no, not when it’s likely to have you ignored by your students, shunned by your co-workers and beaten up on public transport. But understanding ‘correct’ English is a wonderful skill to have, it implies intelligence and good breeding and will help you succeed in many areas. Remember, however, that the ability to adapt is equally important.


Thank you and goodnight,




As an aside, a linguistics student friend recently surveyed three generations of Australians on two areas: their understanding of correct English grammar and style, and the importance they place on correct grammar and style. The results were interesting and rather pleasing.

The ‘grandparents’ generation had a poor understanding of the subtleties and fine details of the English language (making many mistakes in the English aptitude test), but placed great importance on correct usage.

The ‘parents’ generation had a fairly good understanding of correct English, and felt that correct usage was important, but not extremely so.

The ‘students’ generation had excellent linguistic understanding, passing the test with flying colours, but felt that speaking in correct English had very little importance.

Family, the greatest gift of all.

They say you can choose your friends, but you can’t shoot your relatives. This of course is untrue. 

Every week a different a colleague walks in with a huge, stressful personal problem. He or she invariably proceeds to tell a story about an exchange in which a sister-in-law said something surreptitiously nasty to their mother on a Facebook photo of their child on a bike which that family shouldn’t be able to afford anyway. 
These stories are always related with passion and great emphasis on the cruel injustice as it applies to the story teller, who is generally in no way involved. This seems to be the greatest source of stress in the lives of my colleagues.  
There is, I think, some small justification for this. The scariest and most damaging place in which to find bullying is in your own family. A family is a large, unruly thing, growing and evolving outside all control. Feuds and alliances seem to change without reason and tiny events somehow hold enormous significance (I never know why I’m not being talked to by whom, I just enjoy the quiet). A bully is also a strange, fluid creature. Every one of us has been victim to one and every one of us has been one (then denied it  and blamed someone else so we could sleep). The tight, dirty, petty pleasure of sneering at others is a feeling known to us all (particularly those on committees) and family feuds seem to bring out the urge in the most angelic of people. The bully is not one person, to be shunned, it is one small part of all people, especially people who didn’t come to your birthday and somehow ended up with nanna’s silver. 
There is in fact, a small insight in this rant, and it is this:
You CAN choose your relatives. My family, made up of a nauseatingly adoring couple, two thick spaniels and an apathetic rescued cat, is mountain ranges and oceans away from all its extended family problems. The worst they can do is snigger at the inaccuracies my self-aggrandizing blog. Let them enjoy it, why not?
So think about your family dramas, and ask yourself how much time and energy they are worth to you. Don’t give them any more, and don’t get swept up in waiting, white knuckled, for the next passive-aggressive Facebook notification message. Buy a good book. 
 Yours rediculously honestly,
I can see every family member everywhere in the Southern Hemisphere, slowly going red in the face, assuming that this article is a direct attack written just especially for them. They are drafting sarcastic emails to each other, but only to those took Jack’s side after that nasty letter Mildred got last Christmas.