Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Dear Magpies, a letter

Dear Magpies,

I think it's time we sat down and had a chat about your ridiculous behaviour lately. I understand that you swoop innocent bystanders like myself because you are trying to protect your nest, but seriously, guys! I'm not going to climb the tree, grab your children and dash them to the ground because I'm mean and spiteful. I just want to get to work on time.

I understand you think it's funny to attack me while I'm biking on my merry way, but I find it less funny, especially when I crash into a handrail in an effort to get away from you. It was even less funny when my chain slipped off and when my front brakes broke. Do you know what was even less funny? Getting swooped, again, when a kind passerby helped me fix my bike. It wasn't terribly funny when I had to avoid smearing blood and/or bike grease over my beautiful, gorgeous, brand new and now broken bike. 


You guys terrify me. I hate seeing your shadow as it bomb dives my face, mostly because you want to destroy me and everything I love. Why? Just why? We could have been best pals, you know.

I'm sure you can understand why I lost my temper and threw some sticks at you. I would have preferred if you could have at least allowed me to hit you instead of ducking out of the way. I didn't even know birds could duck. You couldn't have least flew away and let me feel better, right? Instead, it only served to make me feel stupid. Plus, I was twenty minutes late to work and had to endure the teasing at home.

So please, get your behaviour under control.

Sincerely,
Victoria

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Bonus Post: A response post to global suck

I am a huge vlogbrothers fan. About half an hour ago I was catching up on the videos I've missed because of exams and a couple of videos got me thinking. (And I realize that I don't usually do posts about stuff like this but hey, there's a first time for everything and it's good to branch out occasionally. (FYI, this won't be a regular thing.)) So this is my response post to about ten different vlogbrothers videos. (I may have been exaggerating when I said ten. Maybe like three videos.) (And you should probably watch the videos too, because the Green brothers are waaaay better with words than I am.) 

The cat thinks it's time to watch
vlogbrothers. Source. 

1) John's video on asylum seekers. This was awesome. I wasn't really aware of the issue of asylum seekers when I lived in Canada because I was young and a bookworm and preferred imaginary worlds to real ones. 

Basically when I moved I realized there was this problem of other people leaving their country because they had to, not because they chose to. These people were trying to get to this marvellous country called Australia because they were being persecuted or were fearful of persecution. They were so scared that they put their children on unsafe boats and set sail into unsafe waters. Many of them have died. 

I find this incredibly stupid and just a little bit humbling. I got here by a plane. There was little chance of us dying. We did not have to pay people smugglers to get here. We came from a safe country to another safe country (and granted, we paid a good lot of money to do so) and we got to live in a house and not a compound on an island. We didn't have to wait two years to step foot on Australia. (We did have to give up a lot and pay a lot of fees and spend a few unhappy months here and basically it wasn't easy.

The thing is though, God decided that we would get here by plane and they would get here by boat. Why? What makes me any different from them? It blows my mind that I am no better than anyone else, yet I get to come here safely by choice and they didn't have a whole lot of choice. I'm also incredibly thankful that I've had this chance.

I'm amazed at how far we let things get. Wars. Chemical weapons on civilians. Persecution. 

Aren't we all human? Or did someone pass out a memo that I didn't get? 

John's video was mostly focused on the issue in Europe, and I'm not familiar enough with it to say much. I do know that it's ridiculous that so many people are dying and that there is no easy solution, no matter where you live in the world. 

I'll echo John here and say that as humans, it's our job to look after each other. We need to stop the wars and accept more asylum seekers and figure this thing out. I get that there's both sides to the story. I get that we all have homelessness problems, I get that we need to look after our own countries and I get that it'll be expensive and hard and that there's no easy answer, but people are people (no matter how small). 

(And I will have a post about asylum seekers in Australia at some point in the near future, once I get my act together enough to actually do some research.) 

2) John's video on the Millennium goals. While I kinda feel disgusted at humans (see points above) PEOPLE ARE AWESOME!!! It's super awesome to know that when we set our minds to something, we can actually accomplish stuff. Granted, we didn't achieve all or even most of our goals we made way back in 2000, but hey! We did stuff! To quote the Green brothers, we decreased world suck! *confetti* 

3) Hank's video on making our world a better one. 



(I have a bit of a confession. I haven't looked at the new goals yet because it's 10:30pm and I'm leaving for a long car ride to Brisbane early tomorrow, but when I get back I'll take a peek, and you should do so right now.) Looking forwards, we have a big job ahead of us. It's so, so easy to get caught up in our own little world of waking up, going to school, talking with friends, doing homework, watching TV, reading and going back to bed. 

We kinda need to wake up. 

I know I get caught up in my little world, where I obsess over how many comments a certain post got or a slight bump in my grades or <insert minuscule problem here>. Maybe a lot of it is a distraction from bigger problems, like university and friends who aren't there anymore and the unending, unmapped future with a giant "here be dragons" scrawled across it. And maybe those are distractions from the enormous problems that our world is facing at the moment, and it just seems too impossible. Unsolvable. 

How can I change anything? 

How can any of us change anything? 

I believe that I was put on this earth for a purpose. I believe each one of us were put on earth for a purpose. My belief comes from God, and I think He has a plan. 

It's everyone's responsibility to change the world. Every. Single. Person. On. This. Earth. I don't know what the future holds, I don't know how to fix anything. I do know that I need to stop thinking that I'm at the centre of the universe because there's a lot of people out there who are hurting. 

To me, it makes sense to have a plan, and it makes sense to try to solve things like hunger, inequality and a lack of education. Let's try this thing out. 

Let's do something. 

Friday, 25 September 2015

Appreciate an Artist Week 2015

Ok, I'll admit that I just made this holiday up. But hey, I figured, why not? 

If you're like me, you are just a little bit introverted. (I myself am a lot introverted.) I am also quite shy. I love books and music and movies and stories. 

This presents a little bit of a problem. 

There's no doubt that art has helped to shape part of who I am. Half of my blog is dedicated to stories, after all. Being shy, though, I often don't let the artists know that I enjoy their art and that it inspires me, and I think that's pretty stupid. Why would I not let other people know that what they have created is awesome? Why should I let my shyness control me?

So today I challenge you (and myself) to write to an artist who's inspired you and tell them that you appreciate their work. Maybe it's your favourite author who you haven't worked up the nerve to write to yet. Maybe it's that kid at school who's posters line the art room walls and you love pouring over them at lunch. Maybe it's that blogger who always has an interesting view on an issue. If you want, you can even extend it to thank the person in your life who means a lot to you but you've never mentioned it. 

Write to/tell them why you appreciate them, because it can be super hard to be an artist and I know it always makes my day when someone tells me that they appreciate me. (Plus, I was kind and am making it a week long thing so I can gather my courage we all have enough time to write something meaningful.)

Every year, I'm going to write up a post about my newly created holiday and say which artist I've written to and why (because a little bit of accountability never hurt anyone). This year, I'm writing to Owl City (AKA Adam Young) because his music is awesome (seriously, if all you've heard is Fireflies and Good Time then you are seriously missing out) and has helped me out in some tough spots in the past couple of weeks. 

So in a nutshell, this week is about working up the nerve to thank someone for their art, because art is really what makes us human. (That and chocolate.)

Who are you writing to and why? Share in the comments! 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Oh, the Places You'll Go: 大久野島 (Ōkunoshima (Rabbit Island))

First and foremost, if you know Japanese and I've gotten the name of the island wrong, I'm sorry (and I blame Google Translate, for the record). 

This island was awesome. If you ever happen to be in Japan, it's kind of a no-brainer whether or not to go.


Monday, 21 September 2015

Bonus Post: Life's Like That (in which my IQ is lower than desirable)

I was sitting in the school assembly. Being bored, as usual. I'd been there for a good twenty, thirty minutes, my chair was uncomfortable and for some reason someone decided that it would be a good idea to leave the fan off even though it was Queensland. 

Why. 

There were sports reports talking sports I didn't do, promos for courses I didn't want to do and long reports about something or another that I wasn't really listening to. There were places I'd rather be, like in bed. Sleeping. 

Then they called up the ICAS winners. (ICAS is a voluntary government exam. Or something. I'm not too terribly sure.) When I take the test, I usually don't do too well on it because I suck at government exams so I'll get a participation certificate in class. Everyone who did, um, good, in the exam gets a certificate in assembly. 

I was a bit confused because I hadn't gotten my participation for the English test yet, and I decided I must have done better than normal and gotten a distinction. It was certainly a possibility because I'm not an idiot. (Well, I say I'm not an idiot...) 

Everyone for the distinctions were called up, and I was certainly confused because I was still firmly rooted in my chair. Did I get a high distinction? That was improbable, but hey. I wasn't going to complain if I got a high distinction. 

Imagine my excitement. A participation to a high distinction? I WAS AWESOME, PEOPLE!!! 

Then, my name wasn't called. What? What was going on? Assembly was suddenly a lot more exciting. I sat forwards in my chair, ignoring the heat, humidity and boredom of the weekly assembly. 

One last category. 

One girl in grade twelve. 

Top 2% in Queensland. 

I WAS A GENIUS!!!

Then someone else's name was called. I sat, stunned, for a solid thirty seconds wondering what had happened. Then, it hit me. 

I had forgotten that I didn't even take the test. 

Friday, 18 September 2015

Book reviews: Contemporary

I'm not really a contemporary girl, but there have been a few that I've enjoyed.

Whisper by Chrissie Keighery - after contracting a freak disease, the main character becomes deaf and has to adjust to her new life in silence. It's not often we see novels about people with disabilities, so it was interesting to see a new perspective and learn about a different way of life. The MC's voice was well done, and she was interesting and relatable.




The Invisible Hero by Elizabeth Fensham - a class has to research different heroes and give a report. While the premise isn't terribly interesting, the novel did make me think about what it means to be a hero. It had it where it mattered; it made me think. 


The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis - in my mind this has become a classic. After Parvanna's father is arrested, she must pretend to be a boy in order to feed her family in an Afghanistan under Taliban rule. The biggest selling point for me was the cultural understanding that this book gave. The author had spent some time in Afghanistan, and it shows through the details of the culture and country given in the novel. I must admit that I'm largely ignorant of what life is actually like in the Middle East, and this book did a fantastic job of filling in some gaps. The novel is both simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting, told through the point of view of a girl who just wants her family back. The first of a trilogy. 




Loser by Jerry Spinelli (author of Stargirl) - ok, this is a middle grade novel for sure, but it still breaks my heart. We read it for our novel study in grade six, and it's remained one of my favourites. Zinkoff sees the world a little differently from the rest of us; there are furnace monsters in the basement, earwax candles to be made and track and field events to train for. Granted, most of the school sees him as a loser, but in the end, what makes you a loser, and what makes you a winner? Zinkoff is the sweetest boy you'll ever meet, and you can't help but fall in love with him. He tries so hard, like pouring his heart into track and field training, but still acts as if he's won the world when his team loses (because of him). This book is just too beautiful. (Stargirl is also beautifully heartbreaking.)


Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick- this one is a middle grade novel that we did a novel study on in grade seven. Two boys, one who has too much brawn and not enough brains and another who is the exact opposite become fast friends in order to survive a world that's stacked the odds against them. This is another novel that broke my heart. The boys get into all kinds of crazy adventures, but in the end they find out that sometimes friendship isn't always enough to change the world, but sometimes all you need is each other. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry. 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Canadian Myths Debunked

I love Canada dearly, but, like all countries, we have our stereotypes and myths that just aren't true.

1) Canada is cold. All. The. Time. And I suppose Australia is hot all the time, is it? And the U.S. is summer all year round except in December and January? (Which it seems to be in the movies for some reason.) No! It's not cold all the time! Of course, Canada is cold in the winter (just like most places on earth). Yes, it can get to -40 or -50 degrees Celsius if you're really unlucky (and live in Northern Alberta). But hey! We get summer too! And we get beautiful summers. We used to go down to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia every summer, and it has gorgeous weather. It's actually a desert, which isn't what you think of when you think of Canada.  



Proof that we have something other than snow. Sorry if
I seem a bit bitter about this one but I hear it all the time. 

2) We say "eh" all the time. I hate this stereotype, mostly because sometimes it's true. My dad says it, but he's said it a lot less since we moved (but I noticed it came back again once we visited Canada). My mom doesn't say it, and none of us kids do. Some people say it a lot, and some don't say it at all, and it depends on where you go in Canada. But the thing that I hate the most is when someone's mocking Canadians. They'll usually say something about beer with an "eh" tacked on the end in a stupid, uneducated voice. *sighs*


3) We don't lock our doors. I found this stereotype out when watching Bowling for Columbine in English. Apparently, Canada is so safe that no one locks their doors. Yeah, no. We lock our doors. Maybe some people don't, but everyone I know does. After all, there's all kinds of crazy people out there with lightsabers and ancient swords and weapons of mass destruction. Granted, it's not as dangerous as the U.S., (they always seem to have aliens landing or uprisings or terrorist attacks, or again, maybe that's just in movies) but still. Life's dangerous. We lock our doors. 

Lightsabers are dangerous (hence why we lock
our doors) and also incredibly awesome. 

4) Everyone in Canada speaks French. Not even remotely true. We have to take French from grade four to six (in Alberta, at least) so everyone knows the very basics, but not nearly as many people graduate from grade 12 French, and even fewer go on to actually learn to speak it fluently. Using my parents again here as an example, Dad can say maybe three things in French if it's a good day, while Mom recognizes the odd word here and there. There's pretty much always a French school, though, and I have a friend who's been in French immersion forever. However, because we're a bilingual country, everything is in French (at least in writing) and some people do learn French as their first language (like in Québec).

5) We hide our hockey jerseys under our shirts like Superman. I know that everyone thinks that we all play/watch/eat/breathe hockey all the time, but we really don't. I, for one, will only voluntarily watch three different types of games. One, if someone I personally know is playing. Two, the Stanley Cup finals, and if I'm being honest I'll only watch if the Flames or the Oilers are in it. Three, the Olympic finals, which are usually awesome. That's about it. I've never played it, and I'm not particularly interested in playing. My dad used to play, but he obviously doesn't anymore. Yes, lots and lots of people love hockey, but not everyone. 


What are some stereotypes (of you or other people) that you can't stand? Are there any that are true? Comment away, my jabberwockies! 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Writing Snippets: Free Writing

This is a bit of free writing that I did the other day. As a disclaimer, I have no clue what this means, or if it even means anything or whose perspective I'm writing from. It just kind of happened. Enjoy! *releases jabberwockies*

* * *

I remember when I first saw him, with his dark hair cascading over his eyes. I wanted to brush his hair away, to uncover what those eyes were telling me. There was no such thing as time, there was only us, there was only the roaring of a thousand drums in my ears, the rushing of a single wave at my feet as it devoured the warm sand. I wanted to ask him what his name was, to see if it tasted like a drop of sunlight on my tongue.

Instead, he handed me my usual hot chocolate, a little too hot with a thick sludge coating the bottom.

My knees were in danger of collapsing like an old and rotten building, left alone far into the back woods. The supports had been nibbled away at by the termites that lived in my ears, and before long they had no choice but to crumble and land in a cloud of ash and dust. I remember I coughed, the smoke smothering my senses like a good coating of fake identity.

I wonder if he remembered my name. It was on the cup, after all.

When the breeze lifts my hair and plays with it a little, an eight year old girl discovering the joys of hairdressing, I gaze up at the stars and try not to sigh. If I did, then surely the ocean inside of me would come pouring out and wipe out all life in my quiet city street.

The stars don't move an inch, but to me they look like they are dancing. Their swirling dresses swish around my ankles, too quick and light for me to catch them. Without them, I am lost. I have no way of getting home. I could wander here, for hours and days and weeks and months and years until my termite knees dissolve into powder and I slump to the ground. My skeleton legs would grind into the powder that we used to use in chemistry for experiments. Maybe some children will find my gaping jaw, xylophone ribs and always-staring eye sockets and drag me back for their afternoon biology lesson.

I do not want the stars to leave me. If I jump high enough, I think I can grab them and pull myself up to their level. Surely then, I would laugh with them at the foolish mortals who think they can roll their own dice. Maybe I could escape the roots that clutch at my ankles and watch from above instead. Reality is too harsh. It is a knife slipped between the ribs that just miss your heart, leave it beating but frantically so, spilling the sweet iron and thick sins onto the sizzling black concrete.

Up with the stars there is another ocean to explore, far away from the boy and the termites and the knives and the hot chocolate and the bones. I pull up an anchor and set sail on the other ocean, and the waves feel like a lost kiss goodnight. That one lost kiss.

Overhead there is no stars because I live among them, because I am one. I think the waves are the stars instead, I think I sail away to the edge on the sparkling diamonds that once watched me from above.

We used to catch sea turtles in the evenings, with the tide caressing our ankles and the quick splash of a more innocent time. They would squirm in our grubby, eager hands, wiggle and beg to be released back into their swaying home of dark dreams and twisted fairytales. I let them go back, too, because I wanted to follow them to their home beyond the shores, underneath the sun to where even the foggiest of dreams morphed into reality, more crisp and clear, a rock solid grape that bursts in your mouth, than anything behind us.

He didn't want us to, though. He wanted us to bring them back in jars, to dump them in tanks of stale water that's lost its salt. We can look at them all the time, he said. We don't have to keep coming back down here to catch them.

He takes one back with him, even though I beg him not to. I know what the house was like, I know they wouldn't like it there. They wouldn't like the curtains, so heavy with secrets and dust that if they fell on your head they would smother you like Death's kiss. The footsteps like to roam the hallways, too, move the ladders, knock on the walls as if wanting an invitation to join the living. When the books in the library come crashing down, I always run for cover because I know that their empty pages want to trap you in them, to keep you there forever between the clutches of their musty mouse chewed covers. You get lost in that house, and when you get lost you lose the doors first, then the windows. Then hope.

I beg him to leave the turtle here with me, I promise I'll come back with him if only he'll let the turtle go. When he leaves with the turtle, her eyes like shiny M&Ms through the glass jar, I dive into the ocean and try to forget the lines and textures of his face.

The first thing I notice is a hand reaching out for mine. I take it, and it feels warm and solid and real, unlike the beach which was hidden behind a layer of melting, slipping plastic. But then the fingernails are digging into mine, and I wonder if he was right all along, if the house was better than forgetting how to breathe.

But no, she's only here to help, to pull me under faster so I can catch my breath before I'm yanked back up into the sunlight. It isn't fair to her, to I know. I don't belong here, but the weight of the crushing ocean feels so good, feels like a warm hug, that I don't know if I can object.

Before long I can breath in this underwater world, in this sparkling city. When the sun sinks in the world above, our world comes alive. We stand on the edge of the drop off and watch as the lights blink on, one by one at first then faster and faster until the whole city is a bubbling glass of exhilarating afternoons running barefoot through the forest as the trees attempt to snatch our hair with their boney fingers. I want to reach out and smother the lights, to see if they'll obey me, but then I'm scared that they won't turn back on again so I don't.

The lights from the underwater city swirl and mix, a thousand colours dripping into a single can of paint, and I wonder why I've never come here before, why I've never wanted to watch the lights flick on and off.

When the colours are mixed, molten glass drooping into an unrecognizable shape, I blink and the colours fade to black.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Canada/Australia Explained: Schools years and seasons

Canadian and Australian school years are very different, so I've put together a guide for understanding how it all works. (Sorry for the weirdness of the table. Blogger does not appreciate me trying to put a table in.)



* Our school year is broken into four terms and two semesters (two terms per semester), and each term is about ten weeks. We'll have ten weeks of school, then two weeks off.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Bonus Post: Why I do not want to rule the world

Tons of people want to rule the world. Bookworms/movieworms (I suppose that's what movie fans are called) know this, thanks to many, many, (many) villains who want to rule the world. (Or the Tri-State Area, in Doofenshmirtz's case.) 


Doofenshmirtz. This is what all
world rulers should look like. 

But I do not want to rule the world. Mostly because I would suck at it, and I have a list to prove it. 

1) You must be awesome. All. The. Time. Everyone knows that world rulers are awesome. And while I'm not denying the claim that I am awesome, even I know that I cannot be completely fabulous all the time. Besides, once people find out that you aren't as amazing as you should be they start revolts. Revolutions! Executions! Riots! They are a lot more fun in the movies than when you are hiding in the bunker in your palace. 

2) You have to create laws and boring stuff like that (including paperwork and meetings). I, like most law-abiding citizens, like laws. They stop our society from falling into a world where chaos and ruin reign and where Artemis Fowl books are burned. (I like rules very much because I love Artemis Fowl very much.) Can you imagine all the meetings you'd have to go to? If I take over the world I would have to wipe out all previous laws and start over, and it would take forever to decide on rules. The consumer laws alone would take all of my reading time. *sobs*

3) People will always try to overthrow/assassinate/dethrone you. Accept it. It will happen at one time or another, even if you are an awesome and kind and smart world ruler. Someone will think they are better than you and try to take you out. I like not dying. 


It's all well and good when you're on the side of the
revolutionaries, but it's not so much fun when you're President Snow.

4) It is your fault when something goes wrong. When children are starving, who do you think they will run to with pitchforks and torches? When the aliens come, who do you think will have to make first contact? I do not like responsibility, my jabberwockies. 

5) People do not like to obey orders. Seriously, there are laws and people do not follow them. Do not drink and drive and do not speed. Right? There is a show where police go after people who are speeding and driving drunk. (Even better is the Border Security show. Love it!) I would have to install tough laws and I don't like punishing people (unless they make me angry). Eventually I would have to install instant-death laws where if you do something I don't like a lightning bolt will fall out of the sky and fry you, then the humanitarians will get upset and see point three. 

Hence, I will not be taking over the world any time soon. 

Do you want to rule the world? Why or why not? And what kind of minions would you have if you did? 

Friday, 4 September 2015

Annoying ideas that won't leave you alone

If you're anything like me, you'll be writing your novel, pounding out words (or trying to, anyways) and feeling pretty awesome about your novel.

Then, it hits. This character is a little thin. My plot isn't very original. This needs some massive line editing. No one will want to read my book. This whole thing sucks. I should just throw it out. The whole time these negative thoughts are building up, an annoying idea that won't leave you alone is spinning in the back of your mind. Maybe it's that one about zombie pirate aliens who live in caves on the ocean floor. Maybe it's that contemporary series where book one finishes with the end of life on earth as we know it. Maybe it's that romance one where a jumbo jet crashes into the building in the end and kills everyone. Whatever it is, it begins to sound like a more promising investment than the sucky book that you're working on. 

For some reason I couldn't find a picture of zombie pirate
aliens living in caves on the ocean floor, so I
decided that this was awesome enough to fill in for it. 

And this is a very, very dangerous place to be in. 


One of two outcomes can happen here. One, you ignore your newest story idea and finish the draft of your novel, then decide what to do from there. Two, you ditch your current novel and latch onto your new novel until you decide it sucks and get yet another new idea. This cycle will repeat itself. Again, and again, and again, hence why it's a very dangerous place to be. Eventually, if you are anything like me, you'll give up writing all together because you can't finish a book and you're a terrible writer and the world as we know it is going to end in floods and fire (not simultaneously). Being in this cycle is like Luke Skywalker being trapped in the Death Star. Or getting hypnotized by Loki. It is not a good place to be, needless to say. 


CAN I JUST SAY THAT THE DEATH
STAR IS AWESOME? Source 

I found that there's an easy way to get out of this. (Ok, I say easy.) You have to finish a novel. A whole one, from start to finish. No matter how painful it is, no matter how many tears are shed, no matter how many computers/notebooks/pads of paper/typewriters/family members/whatever are thrown at the wall, you must finish it. Granted, it'll still probably stink by the end of it. All first drafts do (unless you're inhuman, then your first drafts are probably good), but that's what editing is for. When you finish a novel, when you type The End, it's the best feeling. You know that you can finish a novel now. 

But that's not fun! you say. My zombie alien/contemporary apocalypse/jumbo jet book is so much cooler! That might be true, but we're avoiding getting sucked into the Death Star right now. Avoid getting pulled into the Death Star and finish your novel! 


Their armour may be thin, plastic and stupid, but they are
many and they wait for you in the Death Star. 

To avoid being utterly miserable while writing your novel, I find that writing a scene or two from your new idea then going back and finishing your novel really helps. That way, you get your ideas down, you get a break from your sucky novel and, most importantly, you get the new idea out of your system. However, the key word here is a scene or two. Not one hundred pages, otherwise you fall back into the New Idea Trap. 


I've used this method before, and it works great for me. I've finished my novel, and now I have several half-fleshed out ideas that I can go back to. 


In conclusion - zombies are cool, but don't become a prisoner in the Death Star. How do you avoid the New Idea Trap? 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Bonus Post: How to survive the apocalypse

The end is coming, one way or the other. Whether we come to a sticky end via zombies, giant aliens coming out of the Pacific Ocean or something more realistic like a shortage of fossil fuels, something will eventually happen. Maybe. Hollywood would like us to believe so, anyways. So, when (if) the end eventually does come, here's how you can survive it. (And note that all of my experiences with the apocalypse come from movies (and a little bit from Marcia).)


I'm not sure I would want to be living in those huts at the edges of the water.
 Something tells me it may not be the safest. Source.

1) Identify type of apocalypse. This could be very important. Are you battling angry zombies who have a shortage of breath mints or a tsunami? You'll have very different types of reactions. If it's a real world issue (in other words, not vampires) I would watch Doomsday Preppers (both for laughs and for preparation) and for a zombie apocalypse, well, Hollywood has got you covered. (If a vampire apocalypse, though, I would simply get a skylight.) 

2) Get food and water. This is so you don't die of starvation and dehydration. (Obviously.) I would suggest filling up your bathtub with water, if you're staying at home. (And if you live in a city, I wouldn't suggest staying where you are. The aliens always seem to launch their full-scale attacks on the cities.)

3) Get somewhere remote. Continuing on from point number one, the aliens/zombies/vampires/cranks/whatever cannot find you if you live in the middle of nowhere!

4) Set up fort. I don't know, if you can find somewhere like the maze from The Maze Runner, that would be ideal. How many cranks ever got into the maze, I ask? Find somewhere secure and settle down. 

4) Get your weapons of choice. If this is a movie, there's going to be a fight one way or another. My suggestions? 

-Crossbow
-Javelins
-Guns of various types
-Chainsaws
-Kryptonite
-Flamethrowers

(My brother was very helpful for brainstorming weapon ideas, for some reason.)

5) Wait it out. Or do something heroic and save the world. Either or, you'll hopefully survive. 

And that's my advice! I'm not sure how reliable it is, though, because I've always said that if I was in an apocalypse movie that I'd be one of the first ones to get run over by the alien war ships. 

Do you have any apocalypse survival tips? And would you rather face an apocalypse via zombies or shortage of fossil fuels? (And by shortage I mean there's none left at all.)

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

My favourite view

There's this one hill where we live and we call it Turtle Hill (even though that's not actually its name). We climb it occasionally (it's more of a climbing track than a hill) for a break and a bit of exercise. 

At the bottom, bush turkeys roam around the grass, looking for leftover food that picnickers have left behind, but we usually ignore them besides Dad making a passing comment about catching one and having it for supper. 

We climb up the gravel slope, stopping only occasionally for a drink of water or to admire/freak out about/throw sticks at (not me, of course, I'm too scared to) the large spiders that have made webs over our heads. Sometimes, a hidden animal shuffles in the trees beside the path, but we never see what's making the noise. 

At the first lookout, we stop to look for what gave the hill its name. Far below our worn-down wooden platform that doubles as a lookout and rest stop, the occasional brown circle will rise to the top of the gently crashing waves. A turtle! we yell, pointing before it disappears back into its murky home. I look at the sign written in both English, German and Chinese that warns about the dangers of falling four stories to the rocky beach. 

A few paces up the hill is another lookout, but this one lacks the turtles. It does, however, look out over the ocean to the many islands surrounded by the gliding aquamarine waters. When it's a windy day, I love standing as close to the railing as possible and letting the cool air whip my hair around. 

It's a longer climb to the top, but we manage it, sweating in the muggy Queensland air, our legs burning from climbing the many stairs.

And at the top?

Paradise.