Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Musings on Music

Hmm after typing that title I am wondering if the word “music” was derived from “muse”. Must Wiki that... *

The Exercise
Here’s an exercise/experiment I want you to try. It’s really very simple!

1. Pick an album that you used to listen to a lot a long time ago (say 5-10 years ago), but haven’t really listened to any time lately.

2. Listen to it.

3. Be amazed at what emotions, thoughts, memories are brought about by listening to it.

To put the proposed exercise in context, I recently received an awesome present of an E-Reader, that ALSO PLAYS MUSIC! Oh yes, very excited I was. So I was going through my mum and dad’s computer to find some music to load onto said e-reader when I came across Howie Day’s Stop All The World now. Now I was borderline obsessed with this album in around 2007 (I tend to get obsessive and listen to one album or artist over and over for about 6 months then never again), and so naturally I thought why not slap it on and take a trip down memory lane!?

Now, without baring the secrets in the depths of my soul, the period I was listening to this I was pretty messed up, and did a lot of things that I’m not proud of; I found it interesting to be able to listen to the album and remember those times, but have some distance to reflect. How big and all-consuming those issues were at the time! How far I have travelled that those issues are so rarely thought of today! Perhaps, just perhaps, the issues that I feel are never ending and so distressing today will, in time, be observed with the same retrospective safety. This thought gave me a little smile at a period in my life when there is not much to smile about.

Big tangent
As well as just being a good pop/rock album, Howie Day’s Stop All The World now is a perfect demonstration of the Wolfenblergh Principle. Wolfenblergh is an entirely fictional person who, through rigorous analysis, has unearthed the veracity that the vast majority of music albums place their best songs as track 3 and/or 7. Think about it- yeah, that’s right- your favourite album? Chances are your favourite track is 3, no? And this is not a recent phenomenon, but has roots back to Chet Baker and Elvis Presley.

Here’s a list of albums (in no way exhaustive) that prove Wolfenblergh’s Principle:
Alanis Morrisette – Jagged Little Pill
Daft Punk – Homework
Architecture In Helsinki – Fingers Crossed
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm

Now, I have heard people dismissing the Wolfenblergh Principle by saying that their favourite track of most CDs is track 1. Track one doesn’t count, as of course it has to be the strongest piece- if you put a shit song as number one, no one is going to persist through the rest of the album, no?

Oh, also, a special mention needs to be given to Track 13. While it holds no significance in recorded studio albums (hey, lets face it, most albums released these days don’t go for 13 tracks) but is crucial when discussing mix tapes/CDs/Playlists/however the cool kids share music these days. Track 13 should always be the an incredibly awesome song, so when you’re out somewhere with the recipient and you hear the track you can shout loudly “OMG TRACK 13!” If you hear Track 13 and you’re not in the company of the person who made you the mix tape, it is obligatory that you text them “ OMG TRACK 13!”. If in doubt what particular song to use as YOUR Track 13 next time you are composing a mix tape, the default is If I Ever Feel Better by Phoenix. This is the original and the greatest Track 13.

More discussion 
After having fun reliving my uni years by listening to old Howie, here’s a list of other albums I plan to dig up, brush off and give an ear to:

The mix tape my friend Liz made for me in 1998, my first year of high school. This has such classics as the Austin Power’s opening theme song and Callypso by Spiderbait. I’m certain there us old school No Doubt on there as well. The issue is finding the tape, and then a cassette player to listen to it!

Naughty By Nature’s Nineteen Naughty Nine- another album I listened to 500 times in 6 months and then never again. Borrowed from and never returned to one of the coolest guys in my year (won’t use names, but you know who you are- you once got a phone call in class and told the teacher “sorry, it’s my psychiatrist I have to take this”. classic.).

Nelly’s Country Grammar- Remember Nelly, guys? EVERYONE had this in their car when people were first getting their licences.

Well, here endeth the lesson. Please comment on what albums bring up memories for you; what albums prove (or disprove) the power of Wolfenblergh’s principle, or anything really- PLEASE COMMENT!

Here is a link to a YouTube Playlist I made up of songs referenced in this blog article. Happy Listening!

According to Wikipedia the word music “...is ultimately derived from mousa, the Greek word for muse...” So there you go.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Three things that all men do!

A little light-hearted post to get all the ladies giggling (and nodding their heads furiously!) Here are three things that ALL MEN DO (except for my father, but he’s Swiss, so he’s less man and more efficiency loving, money stingy half man half punctuality-cyborg)....

1)      Leaving coins EVERYWHERE! I don’t know why, but men have an insatiable urge to litter their entire house with small bundles of coins from their pockets. Every time they venture out of the house, they return with a new pool of shiny metal that must- must dear God!- be placed in a different location to all the other little stacks of silver that lie around the house. To get a jar; a plate; a shoe, and place all their coins in there; a convenient central location where they can then select coins from for that time when they need $3.00 for a coffee and don’t want to break a note- somehow this concept is incapable of being comprehended by the modern man...

On the other hand, maybe this isn’t an affliction of all men... Just men until they have school age children who start to steal their piles of coins from around the house to buy zooper doopers and ovaltinees and all that other garbage from school canteens. I bet dads become much more coin savvy very quickly!

2)      Have a collection of empty deodorant bottles. Men, for some reason kept secret from women, must collect deodorant bottles and store them away for some forthcoming apocalypse. Empty ones; not ones that are actually of any use. But within this behaviour there are subtle differences among men... these differences, I am sure, point to some crucial hierarchy come Judgement Day, a hierarchy I am yet to figure out (but will). The hierarchy goes:
-        Men who keep their roll on deo in the bathroom collect LESS empties (usually only one or two)
-        Men who keep their roll on in their bedroom collect slightly more (three to four)
-        Men who use spray deodorant keep the most empties – I once counted five empties and two half used at a shag’s house. Men who use spray deodorant NEVER keep it in the bathroom, for reasons yet to be determined. I’m convinced manufacturing of bombs out of the empty cans has something to do with it.....

3)      I forgot the third thing I was going to say. Please leave a comment and remind/inspire me. Women everywhere, let’s keep this list growing of weird and wacky things that ALL MEN DO!

(Coming soon- guest post by a mate concerning three things that ALL WOMEN do; just to be even :-)  )

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

What makes me me?

So, a couple of weeks ago a friend, YK, sent out an email stating that she had a Uni project and needed 20 people to tell her in about 100 words"What makes you who you are." (She didn't stipulate for what particular course it was, which I only just realised now- hmmm, I would like to know)

Although I do love to lend a hand to people whenever I can, I did the exercise more for myself, to see what I would come up with. The following is what makes Miss Miss :)

My sense of humour. My kindness and thoughtfulness. My urge to do good in the world. My indifference to money and the useless crap money can buy. My family. My friends. My bad habits of overeating and hair twirling. My mental illness. My happy childhood. My not so happy teenage-hood. My self doubt. My passion for social justice. My bad fingernails. My guilt for things done and things left undone. My love of animals. My body.

Friday, 31 August 2012


A quick post because I am really my Mother's daughter and I love Joni....

I rediscovered this song today, haven't listened to it in years....

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My favourite line?
"When I thought life had some meaning ... Then I thought I had some choice
And I made some value judgements ... In a self-important voice"

This song is amazing and beautiful and (to me, at least) reminds us that, as we become older and change our views and opinions, the only reason is that we wish to be accepted, and to "Come in from the Cold"

I love you Joni Mitchel xoxoxo

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Five Books That Changed My Life...

Flicking through the Sun Herald over the weekend (something I don’t often bother to do), I came across a little segment I’ve seen in various forms over the years “5 Books That Changed My Life”. Basically they invite someone famous to write a little bio about 5 books that have inspired them. My train of thought went like so:

“Ohhh I wish someone would ask me to do an article about my favourite books. I love books!”
“You’ll never get the opportunity, stupid-head. They only get well known people to do that shit.”
“If only I had a blog where I could post it to the World without newspaper editors’ involvement...”
“See that’s why you’re a stupid-head: you already have a Blog!”

So without further ado; here is a list of 5 Books That Changed Missy’s Life (in no particular order...)

Captain Correlli’s Mandolin- Louis de Bernières

I recall reading this in my last year of Highschool with horror- horror because this book taught me more about WWII than four years of Modern History. The Australian History Curriculum really does suck ass. This is, hands down, one of the best written novels I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot!). Descriptive without being wanky; informative without being dull; romantic without being sickly. Anyone who hasn’t seriously considered moving to Cephallonia after reading this novel is an absolute heartless beast. Needless to say, I’ve not read any of De Bernières other work (No, not even Red Dog... Call me Un-Australian), for the fear of ruining my Godlike appreciation for his incredible skill in writing CCM.

This is how obsessed I am with this book- I own three copies (different editions); and have read it 6 times...

The Unbearable Lightness of Being- Milan Kundera

Ok, So the actual contents of the novel perhaps didn’t change my life; it was simply the catalyst to me seeking out more European Existentialist Literature, for which I have a great admiration for (think Cocteau’s Les Enfants Terribles and Camus’ The Outsider, etc). I feel a great affiliation with Existentialism, and not the watered-down pussy “Life is what you choose to make it” Existentialism of 80’s Philosophers, but the Romantic, Fatalistic, there-is-absolutely-no-meaning-to-life-and-it-only-causes-pain, ohso French Existentialism. Don’t ask me why. Probably because I’m a truer Atheist than Dawkins...

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe- Edward Albee

Ok, so the next two aren’t “Books” as in true novels, but plays, but I’ve read them several times in printed form as well as seen them performed- AND ITS MY BLOG DAMMIT ILL CHOOSE WHAT CONSTITUTES A BOOK!

Much like Unbearable Lightness; Who’s Afraid was not only important in itself (allowed me to peer into my future!), but it also opened my eyes to Theatre of the Absurd, which, you could argue, is the light hearted, performance cousin of Existentialism. My favourite Absurdist Theatre piece would probably be Waiting For Godot, but this was discovered a year after Who’s Afraid. For some reason (feel free to psycho-analyse me), I feel a great deal of comfort in works that view the World through a Framework of non-meaning.

Who’s Afraid will always stand in my heart as the start of a lifelong journey of enjoying non-narrative, non-sensical performance art.

Macbeth- William Shakespeare

I wish I could say I fell in love with Shakespeare the moment I began to study him. I remember feeling so grown up when, in year 7, we commenced studying ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. I had heard so much about how wonderful Shakespeare was, but had never been exposed to his work. Now I was at BIG SCHOOL and doing BIG THINGS like ALGEBRA and Shekey!!! I was bitterly disappointed. Bitterly. Disappointed. Why do they teach his comedies in High School? They’re outdated and a terrible introduction into his great mind (a great introduction into his opium riddled mind, however).

Anyway, so I hated Shakespeare at first. THEN came Macbeth, in year 8. So this is what everyone was talking about, huh? The awesome greed for power; the soliloquys while dying; the suicide! So intriguing! Back then I was still seriously considering a life on the stage (as seriously as a 13 year old girl can consider anything) and I decided it was my dream to play Lady Macbeth. I’d still jump at the opportunity!

Now I’m an old hand at Shakespeare lovin’, but still only really connect with his tragedies. The End.

We Need to Talk about Kevin- Lionel Shriver

I found this book impossible to put down, and all the while reading it, I was thinking to myself “I never knew I believed in Nature over Nurture, but this kid was borrn evviiilll!”. I just assumed other readers empathised with Eva, the mother of the high school student who commits a school massacre.

When I began reading reviews and critiques of the novel, and then of the film based on the novel, it was clear that the majority of the readership believed that Kevin’s actions were a result of neglectful/emotionally abusive parenting. I get that the novel is intentionally written to raise these questions, I was just surprised that I was in the minority of being “Team Eva”. Is it because I see myself in her? A woman, perfectly happy with her husband, forced by him and societal norms, to introduce a child into the World. I sure would be fucking resentful! This will be me one day, should I cave in to pressure and give up my long standing view that I would not be a good mother and do not want children. You’ve been warned...

That’s it, I’m getting a Tshirt printed “Team Eva 4 Life!”. Lit nerds will get it!

Monday, 25 June 2012

I'm still here, darlings

Hellooo Possums!

Ok, so I’m no Dame Edna, but I just wanted to write a little blog post to tell you all that I haven’t forgotten about you, it’s just been crazy with this redundancy (that takes effect in three and a smidge working days! Yikes!)

I really am glad this journey is coming to an end. I plan to go away for a few days somewhere (anywhere, doesn’t matter where) to collect my thoughts and be me once this is all over. When I’m away I’m sure I’ll come up with lots of new ruminations for no one to read!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


I logged on to my blog at lunch and, whaddya know, my blog has now been viewed 1027 times!

So I just wanted to say a quick thank you to the friends who read my blog, the friends who comment (which is none of you :( why are you all so scared to leave a comment) and also a huge thank you to the people I DON'T know who have read my blog- people from Japan, Belgium, and even Russia according to the stats.

Thanks again, and I promise I'll keep putting up pointless Ruminations to bore you :)

xoxo Miss.

Monday, 21 May 2012

How is it possible I haven't blogged about Euthenasia yet?

Ah, Euthenasia (not Youth-In-Asia as I thought the term was when I was 12)... The pinnacle of freedom. For others the slipperiest of slopes. For some the impossible to conceive. How have I not written about this topic yet, when it is one of my all time favourite thiings to ruminate on?

An article on Jezabel reminded me of this topic, it can be viewed here: http://jezebel.com/5912031/our-obsession-with-longevity-is-making-our-lives-miserable

In a nutshell, the article talks about how the "miracles" of modern medicine are keeping people alive for longer, but often with devastating economic, and of course emotional, consequences. What Mother wants her adult children to see her wither away into a demented state, a state where she oftyen doesn't recognise them, wanders off and causes panic for them, even in some cases assaults them? Or, the alternative, where the mind remains sprightly but the body fails, kept alive on machines and personal carers while you suffer the indignity of not being able to control your bowel movements.

I have always been a passionate advocate for Euthenasia, to the point where I considered contacting Exit Australia and smuggling back Nembutal from Mexico to donate to their cause (Nembutal is the clinical name given to the drug veterinarians use to euthanise animals- it is rigourously controlled here but freely available from pet stores in Central/ South America. It is the drug that Exit Australia condone using for end of life as it is relatively painless and very effective). But Legalising Euthenasia is not a popular song to sing in my particular field. Why you ask? I'll try and explain why...

Firstly, we have to define what we mean by Euthenasia. Sounds simple? Not really, but I'll give it a shot, in classic Missy confusion:

- Voluntary Euthenasia is when a person who is terminally ill/ has a disability or condition that will ultimately lead to death, performs an act (injecting a substance into themselves, swallowing a pill etc) that will kill them. The key is it is an action that the person takes themselves.

- Assisted Suicide is when a person has a terminal illness and has someone assist them with ending their life (most often has a doctor prescribe and administer the substance that will kill them). This is very controversial, there is a common argument that the more people that are legally allowed to be involved, the more likelyhood of coersion. It is also controversial as there are businesses set up who profit from assisted suicidde (The Dignitas facility in Switzeland, for example. Nicnamed the "Death Hotel", it has been condemned for making money out of providing a space and means for people to end their life).

Note that both Euthenasia and Assisted Suicide are illegal in Australia. What is legal in Australia is Advance Medical Directives, which is basically a legal document that states that, once you get to a certain point, you don't want any medical intervention that will prolong your life. This makes me uneasy because even if you're not actively prolonging life, by not having the medical treatment and allowing whatever illness to overcome you, you are likely to be in a great amount of pain.

Anyway, back to why people working in the disability sector don't tend to agree with the legalisation of Euthenasia. Most of the arguments used for Euthenasia centre around what I desribed above- not having the ability to attend to ones own toileting needs. Many people with significant physical and/or intellectual disability need personal care to help them with their toileting needs... Why does society think we are not of value if we cannot perform these tasks on our own? A lot of the arguments used for the legalisation of Euthenasia have a very narrow view of what a person should be able to do, and if they can't, then why not dispose of them because they OBVIOUSLY have no quality of life!?!

In addition to this, is of course what is colloquially known as the "slippery slope" argument. Disability advocates have argued that voluntary euthenasia will lead to pressure on people to assist in the killing of people with disability, as they are such a drain on both economic and emotional resources. Much like the legality of aborting foetuses that have a very slim chance of living outside the womb has led to the legalisation of aborting foetuses who have Downs Syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities, but would live for many years if born.

Adding to this already potent mix of arguments is the grim knowledge that Hitler and the Nazi Party used the term Euthenasia to justify killing people with disability that were "plaguing" Germany at the time.

So as you can see, I'm just rambling non sensically here, I have no argument, no point. I guess writing about these things just helps me to get it straighter in my head. I acknowledge the challenges and the concerns about legal Euthenasia, however I still whole heartedly agree with it. Because, at the end of the day, when you ask yourself "Do I want to be able to decide when to leave my family and let myself rest?" The answer, invariably, is YES.

For more information on Exit Australia, visit their website: http://www.exitinternational.net/page/Home

Monday, 7 May 2012

Loneliness is a four letter word

Maybe it’s because I’ve been pretty lax on my medication lately, or maybe it’s because I’ve been listening to far too much Angus and Julia Stone, but this weekend just gone was by far the loneliest for a long time. I literally did not say a word yesterday, saw exactly one person when I looked out onto the street from my balcony. I found out on the Friday that I am going to be made redundant at the end of June (38 days and counting!), and since then there has been this mounting restlessness. When you have a shock or a big event, you want a partner, someone who will sit there and talk about it in endless circles, until you figure it out. I know I have friends who would say that they are there for me, but it’s not the same thing talking to a friend as talking to a lover. So I wrote a poem, as a way to express the vacancy in my heart, and take my mind off the fact that I will be unemployed very soon.

Loneliness is a Four Letter Word

Hot shoe shuffle under the sheets
Turn your head so the tears don’t pool
I wish I wish
Someone was here to swim through the pain

Stone cold crawl out to the couch
Turn your mind so the emptiness fades
I want I want
Someone to scrub out the silence and fawn


Loneliness is a four letter word
Turning against your precarious soul
It morphs it morphs
Into hatred of the self

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

It begs the question...

So, lately I have found myself having this conversation with a number of people, and hearing different opinions on the topic. The topic is street beggars.

When I visited some family friends in Vancouver a few years back, the woman told me “never give money to beggars here, half of them aren’t even homeless. Some of them even own shoes but take them off and hide them while they’re begging to get more sympathy…” Bleeding Heart Social Worker Miss had to bite her tongue very hard to not come back with some hilarious quip such as “Now, is that manipulative, or good business sense? Wait there’s no difference between the two in the Business World, why should there be here?”

And that is basically the crux of my argument. If people choose to have it their job to sit out on the street and beg, then that’s their job, just like you go to work everyday, they go to their street corner with their mangled “Going through court, need money for legal costs” or “need place to sleep, not drugs” signage that sits behind their squashed hat to catch 5c pieces. Why should we judge this? An answer to this Q that deserves some consideration is “because they are duping/defrauding people to feel sympathy for them”. But I’ve thought this over, and I still believe that this is ok. Whether or not it’s an act/performance, people choose to freely give them money. And the givers feel a sense of righteousness because they have spared money on a poor person. So if you think about it like that, people who beg on the street are doing society a favour, they are providing the public a service by which they can feel smug at their deed of altruism.

What do you guys think?

Monday, 9 April 2012

Just another fist shake at abstinence, really

YES! Just the engaging topic for a Monday morning… What was that, it’s Tuesday? Oh, well, can I still write about it? I’m at work? and should be doing the job I’m paid to do? Oh fine, I’ll be quick…

To summarise, Tennessee in the US has an “abstinence only” law for it’s sex education curriculum. In itself this is nothing but shameful. Sex is a primal urge and teaching kids to say “no” to it isn’t going to take that urge away!!! But, what’s even madder is that they’ve amended the law to state that schools should also teach kids to say no to “gateway sexual activity”. Now the article points out that no one has been specific as to what constitutes “gateway” sexual activity, but could be interpreted by individual schools to mean kissing, hugging, even just holding hands, which if you can recall your early teens, was the most innocent but most thrilling sensation ever!

These poor gateways. Pot is a gateway drug, toy guns are gateway weapons, holding hands is gateway sex… next cheese will be gateway fast food, and be banned.

The sex education in Australia is poor enough, but the sex education in the US sounds insanely pathetic! Haven’t these conservative parents/schools/law makers heard that ignorance is NOT bliss? Education, in all facets of life, is so important, don’t they want their children to make informed choices, rather than struggle against perfectly natural hormones, fail, and end up putting their health at risk? GRRRRR I wish I had the answers; I wish I could make people see abstinence is not the answer! The end of the article states “a 2010 study published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that abstinence education can delay sex among teens”, but what it doesn’t state is that, once these teens do start having sex, even if it’s “delayed”, they may not be having safe sex; fully understand how to negotiate consent around different sexual acts, or be too afraid to speak to people if they are having issues related to sexual activity.

You’ve reached the end of another pointless rumination. Leave a comment to show that you care!