Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef

I really should be paying attention. I’m back on day one of yet another semester back at the university. I can’t say that I’m excited but I’m going to try my hardest to do a lot better than last semester. I didn’t do awfully last semester though. What I worked hard on, I did quite well and better than I thought.

A few things have happened over the last few weeks but this was the biggest:

Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef

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Cairns, Queensland

I just got back from spending a week in Cairns. If you have no idea what that is, you can either click the link I just made or I can let you know that it’s near the Great Barrier Reef. It is basically THE place to go if you want to go scuba diving and/or snorkelling. I went snorkelling because scuba diving freaks me out a little bit–something about the tanks exploding or running out of air. It was really beautiful and I am hoping one day that I can go again.

As you may have read earlier, Melbourne was freezing cold at the time so it was nice to get out of the cold, wet, windy weather and go into something that resembles late spring or early summer. I wouldn’t be able to do this in Melbourne at this time of the year anyway:

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Too much sun and not enough sunscreen!

The day after spending some time in the sun, I went to do a few things around and in the reef.

When I was on the reef, I decided that I was going to go snorkelling but was going to go without the wet suit (which I liked wearing, I’ll have to buy one I guess).

Absolutely not my best facial expression...

Absolutely not my best facial expression…

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Deep Sea Diver

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Fish! I think this little (big, actually) guy’s name is Wally.

It was a bit too much for me, I think. It was a really nice visit to the reef and I know I’m not sharing everything with you but if you were my Facebook friend, you’d see a whole lot more! (This isn’t an invitation because I tend to only add people that I know personally.)

After a few days, my friend and I went to Kuranda by train but I wasn’t feeling great at this time and had started getting a pretty nasty cold (probably from the airport in Melbourne since it sounded like a doctor office’s waiting room at the time). I had also taken some of that anti-drowsiness cold medicine that makes me feel quite drowsy anyway. It was a nice ride up there, the ride back was a little boring though (like this post).

Kuranda Scenic Rail

Kuranda Scenic Rail

Waterfalls, some of my most favourite things

Waterfalls, some of my most favourite things

Feeling quite tired, groggy, sick, etc etc etc

Feeling quite tired, groggy, sick, etc etc etc

So there you have it. I got home, got sicker and I am still recovering! All in all, it was a really nice trip and definitely one of my nicest. I got a lot of nice pictures there (most of them weren’t taken by me) and had an awesome time.

Trips like this remind me why I love calling Australia home. I look around at the beauty that surrounds me and still can’t believe that I am lucky to live in such a great place and have some of the best, most awesome friends. I don’t know if that’s something that I’m going to give up easily.

Moving will not be an easy thing to do when I do it but now I really doubt that it will be at the end of the year now. I must keep chugging along!

Escape from the Cold

Since this is a “post every Wednesday in July” kind of month, I decided I’ll post something really fast for you. I escaped Melbourne’s arctic blast that came in on the weekend. I’m up north in Queensland (Cairns) where…

  1. It’s not raining.
  2. It’s not cold.
  3. The sun is shining.
  4. The wind doesn’t suck.
  5. People all have leather skin (texture and color).
  6. My weekly migraines have given me a break.
  7. This is probably the closest to summer that I’m going to get this year.

So it’s not so bad here. I already started a post about being here but decided I’m just going to post something after I do all the fun stuff I’m doing.

It’s a bit strange because the climate feels similar to what I grew up with in Texas. I haven’t seen a ceiling fan in a long time. I know that’s something that people wouldn’t normally blog about but it’s nice to have them again. The sun is brutal though. I got out in it yesterday and haven’t looked at myself in the mirror so I see where I missed applying sunscreen. (Advice for anybody traveling anywhere in Australia, wear sunscreen even if you don’t need to. The prevalence of skin cancer here is very high and from what I’ve seen here, no one really cares.)

I’ll post pictures later when I get them all downloaded to my laptop.

That’s all for now! Enjoy your week, whatever day you might be reading this.

Mugged: Mugs I Want

This is going to be incredibly random, but I’m pretty sure that I need a new mug. (I have a thing for mugs for some reason.)

A lot of people have a problem with this word and I’ll admit it’s not the most pretty word. But it’s my opinion that everybody needs a mug that says “cunt”.

What else do I think I need?

I need another mug with another naughty word on it. I think everybody needs a mug that says dick.

Maybe I’ll get one of these for my birthday or Christmas. Maybe I’ll get it for myself! :)

A Weekend-long Stroll Through Migraineville

I thought I’d type you folks out a nice little weblog entry before I fall asleep. I’m amazed I can even get any sleep lately. For some reason, I have been experiencing some horrible pain in these areas here:

face In my left frontal, ethmoidal, superior nasal concha, and my maxillary sinuses. (Look at the chart.) It also has felt like someone hammered a nail made of glass and salt into my temple. Not only that, I had been seeing double, felt like throwing up and I was irate and bitchy. Oh yes, and I ended up having to wear sunglasses most of the day. Sounds like I was taking a leisurely stroll around Migraineland! It was awful. I ended up being quite unhappy most of the weekend because I kept getting reoccurring pains in my face and head. I’m okay now, obviously.

Honestly, I’m not sure how people live with this pain on a regular basis. From what I remember, it was the result of being thrown another 2-3 work projects without the manpower to handle it. I could say no, but since I am not working in my other job as much, I need to pick up the slack while I can, before I head back home.

I am having a hard time balancing my work life with, well, anything else. I do love what I do now and I am happy I am finally able to dip my feet into the career that I was meant to do in the beginning. I’m excited, but I am also finding it very, VERY difficult to get myself together and balance all my roles together.

More time lately has been spent suffering than getting any work done and I am so upset over that. When I do not balance my life well, I feel like a huge failure and I think it shows in the people who I need to lead. I want to be a good leader too but maybe that’s something that is going to take a little longer to perfect.

Hopefully my health improves. I hope that I can manage to get my act together.

Anyway, for any of you who are looking for migraine relief (since I know people will come here looking for it), I take aspirin (2) with Coke if I can get it or anything high in caffeine if that doesn’t work in a timely fashion, then I take Maxolon here in Australia. After a while, that usually does it but if it doesn’t, I wear sunglasses and go sit in the dark until I feel better–away from anybody who I might be a complete asshole to.

That’s all from me for now: a pretty chart with a face on it labeled with sinuses and my migraine “cure”. I hope all is well in your world. :)

Huge Win for Marriage Equality in the USA

I know I’m a few days late on this, but in a way I’m glad that I am a few days late and I’ll explain that later. In the meantime:

Rainbow-MapCongratulations, USA! This is huge and it’s what I have been waiting for. I’m excited though I don’t have anybody to call my own at the moment. I’m not even really so sure that I will ever get married. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I don’t know whether I will be able to get along with someone for that amount of time. It’s nice to have the option though. It restores a little bit of the hope I had in living in the USA again.

Facebook has exploded with a ton of rainbows but over the course of a few days, I’ve noticed a lot of people complaining about all the religious crazies saying the nastiest stuff. I have read some really terrible discussions and have read the dreaded phrase that all gay people have a disease and have AIDS but I jumped on that real fast. The whole thing is pretty sickening and I think that it’s the cause of my headaches I’ve had since yesterday.

I’d love to live in a world where people would shut the hell up if what’s happening doesn’t affect them in a personal way. People are going to get married. Get over it. Life will go on.

I wish this didn’t sound so terrible (this post). I am just not able to concentrate very well for some reason. I’ll have to let this go for now but I’ll be back soon! Still counting down to the day that I head back home.

Gun Control (USA) and Feeling Safe

There are a lot of posts popping up on my Facebook feed about gun control and how people don’t want to have their right to own guns taken away and all this other stuff. Well, that’s totally understandable since I am from an area where parents or grandparents give kids their own BB gun once they think they’re “responsible”. I got one when I was a kid but a few months later I got it taken away for shooting the glass out of welding equipment. Oh, and I shot the foot off of a green anole lizard (and I really felt awful about it). Poor lizard.

This is similar to the one I had. Pretty scary-looking for a BB gun, right? (Click the pic to go to the page that I stole the pic from.)

This is similar to the one I had. Pretty scary-looking for a BB gun, right? (Pic taken from a WikiHow page.)

I think I was a bit of disappointment for my grandfather and father because I just didn’t really have any interest in guns. They’d take me out with them and for these things called turkey shoots but I knew back then I’d pretty much rather be doing anything else like playing video games or better yet, making video games. I just didn’t see the fun in it. I think finally, they gave up because I just didn’t care. (There were a lot of manly things that I didn’t like doing. Another was woodworking which my grandfather loved but I hated it back then. I guess as we get older, we tend not to hate those kinds of things as much anymore. I’d love to build something now but don’t have a grandfather or father to do it with anymore.)

So, back on topic with guns. I don’t like them, even now. I don’t care for them and couldn’t care less if I didn’t own any at all. (I do. They’re family heirlooms, I guess you could say.) It’s a bit funny because I am a dual citizen of Australia and the USA and both countries have completely different laws concerning owning guns. Where I am now, in Australia, people aren’t allowed to own guns unless they have a valid reason for it such as if they live on a big farm and need to shoot animals that are causing problems. I’ll probably never live on a farm in the middle of nowhere, so that doesn’t and will never apply to me. In the USA, I have multiple guns with no permits or anything like that. I don’t use them nor do I really want to.

What’s even more sad is that when I go back to the USA, I don’t feel safe like I do in Australia. A lot of that deals with the fact that gun ownership is so rampant in the USA and I feel like I never know when someone is going to get angry over some trivial matter and shoot the place up because they can. It’s always in the news and I don’t think I can go a week without hearing about a mass shooting somewhere in the USA. To me, that’s pretty frightening. What’s even more frightening is that I am going back to an area where I swear that if people could carry guns in the open to the shopping mall, they’d think nothing of it and do it. Of course, these are the same people who have the rebel flag on their car and a gun rack in the back seat. (I believe that the rebel flag needs to removed everywhere too.)

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I think the people who do the mass shootings are probably mentally unstable too but that also means that there are a lot of mentally unstable people around. That actually tells the rest of the world that we, as Americans, don’t care about the mental health of the people living there. It shows that there is a lack of resources available for these people to go to and not enough education is happening at the government level to help curb the seriousness of mental health issues. This results in people who think that violence is an answer to anything they don’t like having easy access to guns. (This very thing comes up in conversations with people here in Australia.)

I understand that there are responsible gun owners out there. Sure, I get that. The ones I have in the USA are locked up tight as well. But there is no doubt a problem and one that I think the government (both Republicans and Democrats) need to come to an agreement on. It is a problem and ignoring it isn’t going to make the problem go away. If it means smelting every available gun into submarines, then so be it. I know that it will never happen though. I know it will never be possible to take the gun ownership rights away from the citizens of the USA but something needs done and the regulations need to be severely tightened. It’s not ever going to be a 100% guaranteed solution, but it is a step in the right direction. Ever so often, you hear about someone being shot here in Australia but it’s very rare now.

I also don’t think if someone broke into my house or stole something from my car that I’d necessarily want them to die. I wouldn’t even wish anybody to be in that much pain either.

Back home, it’s scary that I can be simply shot if someone doesn’t like the way I look, how I sound, who I’m in a relationship with, or anything. What I have found from the people who I chat with around here is that they think the same exact way. They tell me they are scared to go to the USA because they’re afraid that they will be shot. It’s a lot more common than you could ever imagine.

I had planned to show you a link where I read about the top 30 safest countries in the world and lost it. I can’t find it anymore but I’ve found this about the safest states in the USA instead:

Source: WalletHub

Notice the trend here between the north and south? I have. It’s one of the reasons that I don’t particularly like living in Texas. Some of the other reasons I would hate to live there are morons like Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott, and Rick Perry.

Note: Written days in advance so I can spread out my posts over a week or two. Busy, busy, busy this week.

SweetCaptcha Wasn’t Being Sweet, so…

You may have come across the cute-looking drag-and-drop, prove-that-you’re-human verification puzzles on my comment forms. If you don’t, they look(ed) like this:

Proud to bring you spammy links and popups!

SweetCaptcha: Proud to bring you spammy links and popups!

It worked quite well for a while and people sent me messages telling me how cute it was and what a nice idea it is because they were getting tired of trying to decode letters and numbers that looked like they were written by an over-caffeinated 2 year old with a blindfold. I thought so too so that’s why I went looking for alternatives.

SweetCaptcha decided they were going to inject pop ups and pop unders into their code so they’ve been fired. (Basically the company who I trusted to help stop comment spam decided they wanted to spam you with questionable advertising practices.)

I’m hoping the company didn’t intentionally do this because the places they were sending MY site visitors to were quite spammy. You know what I mean, right? You’ve won an iPad for just existing? Do the “survey” and get a $1,200 computer? Something’s wrong with your Mac, though the link says Windows needs optimized? Yeah…

At the same time, if they didn’t do it intentionally, then how did the code get injected into their servers? Exactly. It’s a potential security issue and it’s not one that I am willing to deal with myself and I certainly don’t want to put you guys and girls through something like that.

Apparently, it’s a problem and people are starting to walk away:

What’s really amusing is that the company have known about this for weeks and they haven’t made any attempt to fix it up. So yes, they’re gone now.

My deepest apologies if you were hit by their unethical business practices when you visited my site. If you’re still having trouble with ads on my site, please let me know as soon as you can.

Don’t use them for your blog. Oh and if anybody from that company comes by: fuck you. You’ve really screwed up and lost a potential paying customer. (I was actually going to get more themes, not anymore.)

I’ve changed back to Google’s Re-Captcha instead so you’ll still get pictures sometimes like this:

Just a sample.

Just a sample.

Edited because I originally posted it with my phone and couldn’t add any examples easily.

Will I Ever Be Good Enough For Me?

It’s a late night post from my phone. I’m yawning like crazy because I’ve spent most if not the whole day studying. I really needed it. I was having fun coding but have things to do in the morning and want to try to go swimming as well. 

As I lay here I think about why I feel the need to be continually told that I’m doing an okay job. I don’t need praise but feel like I need acknowledged at least but I’m not sure by who. I’m definitely not getting any good vibes from my head. I’m  always second guessing myself or feeling like I’ve done or in this case doing a terrible job at just about everything. I spilled my heart out to someone the other day about this but for some reason I don’t think he understood exactly what I put myself through daily. My inner self should be arrested for all the emotional abuse it puts me through. I don’t know how to get through that because I still feel inadequate and unhappy and I’ve tried to make it all better. I have. 

I’m just not really trying too hard to attach myself to anyone and if I do, I detach and keep my distance. It isn’t the best thing to do and you know, I’m exhausted. Mentally I’m exhausted. But you know something? I’m going to chug on because it’s what I have to do. I just hope at some point I can get to my happy place.

Random thoughts I know. Not worth a post really but this is supposed to be my whining place. That’s what I pay for my own blog for. 

Off to bed. Tired of winter. I’m over it. 

Five Months To Go

USA

I felt the need to push down that last post a little bit because it seems a little weird for me to post something like that, but yes, it was really me.

Anyway, a few things are happening at the moment. First, my week next week is going to be absolutely crazy. I have an exam at the end of the week which will determine whether I am going to continue my current course next semester. I’m going to spend the next several days to study.

Next, there are now less than five months left until I go back to Texas. It will be fun, I’m sure. I’m also going to add New York to my trip as well. In case you didn’t know, I lived in New York City for a while as well as upstate New York. I loved it and it would be good to go back. I haven’t been there since 2003!

Well, that’s all for now. I know it’s not very exciting. I hope to be able to get my Australian passport done soon. I kept putting it off because I thought I needed a renewed Australian driver license. I might not need it. I’m not sure but it has to get done.