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Archive for the ‘me stuff’ Category

growing up and moving out

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We’ve come a long-long way together, baby.

And by “baby”, I am adoringly referring to– of course — “the internet”.

From my first X-Files fan site over at Geocities or Tripod (or where-ever-the-hell-that-was) (hey, give me a break, it was 1997!), to Blogger, to LiveJournal, (back to Blogger) and then WordPress.com, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter(with a few others places in between) (OMFG! Fanfiction.net!!), I have basically grown up online.

I’ve gone through (and/or described) a rainbow of human experiences on some sort of online public forum, from puppy-love, family dramas, deteriorating and blossoming relationships, depression, work, politics, activism…  anything and everything.  To this day, my best friend in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD is a lovely young woman I met online over 7 years ago.  If I’ve lived it, it’s probably happened or documented online.

Some may call me a geek, but I like to think that I was more of an “early adopter”.  Because if MC Hammer uses Twitter, and then re-Tweets me, how on Earth can you call it “geeky”, huh, punk?

Yeah. EPIC WIN.

Anyway. I was talking about growing up. And becoming mature and stuff.

Because, yes, I’m getting older and accruing the odd responsibility that I need to start taking seriously.  The time has come for me to settle down with my internet shenanigans; to assess and consolidate my online presence and to set myself up for what the future holds for me.

However, that by no means involves quitting the internet or passively waiting for work, mortgages and come-what-may to smash me into boringness.

It just means thinking about things like “branding” instead of just blogging my brains out for no particular reason (or, like, because I’m angry at a politician or freaking out about my career), and setting my online-presence up in a way that works for me rather than against me.

Oh, gods. That sounds horribly boring, doesn’t it?

Sigh.

But, honestly this was inevitable.

As they say in Swahili, my favouritest language ever: Hakuna matata, the Circle of Life (™?), et cetera…

Because I am old, now, you guys. O-L-D. And I am about to work for a large, influential corporate entity that works for other large, influential corporate entities, and, yeah… I have to be responsible and sensible and stuff so that I don’t get fired or sued or whatnot.  While the property market might be Just Where I Want It as a flash-hot young law grad at a large corporate firm, it will not be so nice to be unemployed or a freelance whinger who does not even have a Google AdWords account.

So while I am not quitting the internet, I am just going to be a bit more grown-up in the way that I use it.

Phase One of this grown-up online makeover has been completed: about a month ago, I quit Facebook.

Oops, sorry, did you spit out coffee all over your screen? Um. I probably should have put a little warning before that little announcement, I guess. Anyhoo…

While I may have been referred to as The Queen of Facebook on more than one occasion — what, with all my friend-approving and blog-importing and link-posting and group-joining and event-creating and wall-writing — it got to a point where, just like for Gretel Killeen, it was Time To Go.

(And we all know what happened there after Grett-Grettz left, don’t we? Just sayin’…)

As cool as it was to see what people were up to, and to have “ambient awareness” or whatever they call it about all these people that I know, Fb was turning into an epic time drain and the people that I interacted with the most on there were people I would see, or call, or text message, or Twitter to, on a regular and more meaningful basis.

And because I don’t have any photos of me drunkenly groping a life-sized cardboard cut-out of a boss’s opponent that might one day cost me a promotion or something (like this guy) (because I am, we’ve pretty well established, a square) there was nothing Fb had to offer me any more.

So buh-bye!

I was told I wouldn’t last a week, but a month later I am doing JUST FINE! I may have Twittered a wee bit morethan I had done so while I had Fb, but otherwise, I have not missed a thing. (Or if I have missed them, I have not noticed I have missed anything, and that suits me fine.)

Upon the successful completion of Phase One, I have continued to push the cogs rolling ever forward.

I now present to you, Phase Three:

sunili.net

Spiffy, huh?

Yup, I went all-out and invested in a domain name and hosting and all that fun stuff!

Hurrah!

Phase Three is still very much under construction.  I now need to save up so that I can pay the awesomeness who is designer extraordinaire Aja West of Swankmob* to design me a website and business cards and some other peripherals (note to self: ask her if she does personalised stationery) so that I can launch my brand — that is (pay attention, children!), ME — so that those who so wish to do so can hire me to write stuff and be fabulous (which is something that I want to do some day, down the track).  But it’s happening.

*Aside: You guys, if you’re looking for a designer and don’t have to get a second job making coffee to pay for one, HIRE AJA!! Because then she’ll give me a cheaper rate and my site will be done sooner, and you’ll have an awesome site too! WIN-WIN-WIN, people, it’s all WIN!

And now, in case you think I am a moron who cannot count…

I wish to take you back a step to Phase Two:

blog.sunili.net

Tah-dah!

With all the power vested in me upon the installation of WordPress 2.7(hot!) I have set up a new blog in honour of the New Year, and more importantly, the New Me.

I’m going to leave all the old stuff here without migrating it over because I want to make a fresh start of it, and I’m really excited!

So change all yer bookmarks and subscriptions and stuff, and start looking forward to joining me on this next step in my life online.  I’ll see you there!!

Peace out, Team Awesome Readers of Sunili’s Blog — I ♥ you, each and every one!

xoxo Sunili

[Cross-posted @ blog.sunili.net]

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Written by Sunili

7 January 2009 at 9:57 pm

Working it out

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In a massive turn of geekism, I have decided to start planning my New Year’s Resolutions already. At this stage, 2009 is going to be full of win.

Still planning, of course, but so far I’m thinking:

  • buy an apartment
  • run (and I mean, like, RUN) the City to Surf
  • win the [yet to be established] Pulitzer Prize in Blogging.

What do you think, team?

And, in an effort to get off to a running start (there is a pun there, too, just wait for it…) I started the “run 3 times a week” goal YESTERDAY.

I did the first session of DJ Steveboy’s Podrunner: Intervals First Day to 5K — a 10-week interval-training program that gets progressivly hardcore as the weeks go by.

The tempo of the music changes with a kinda comical hooter noise to tell you it’s time to speed up/slow down to guide you through the run, and I think I did alright for the first go!  I fast-walked and jogged on the treadmill with it pumping out my iPod nano for 30 mins and did nearly 3k! Hurrah!

I also signed up at http://www.gyminee.com/ but I do wonder how long I will stick with updating that. It is much prettier than the last social-fitness thing I played with (can’t remember the name) so that will help me be motivated to log on.  If anyone else is on there and wants to be a GymBuddy, let me know.

Written by Sunili

16 December 2008 at 12:24 pm

common tactics

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So the other day, my dad (who, incidentally, has an online subscription to Harper’s so now I can read all those awesome articles!!) forwarded me a communique from Murdoch Uni’s Guild about how that uni’s admin undertook in some antidisestablishmentarianism* that was eerily familiar to me.

To recap the backstory briefly, the Notre Dame admin people told myself, then editor of the student mag Quasimodo and the relevant Student Association officials that if we didn’t stop criticising the uni in our publication, the uni would seriously consider withdrawing financial support of the Student Association (which doesn’t charge student fees at all, and relies on elected volunteers and admin goodwill** for everything).

The Murdoch situation goes like this:

Chancellor Budge stated that the Guild should consider whether their campaigning “is consistent with an expectation that the University’s financial and in-kind support will also continue.”

This is a Gag Order from the Chancellor: the Guild is to cease campaigning on student issues [with regards to “matters that are damaging to the University“] or else it will not receive any of the prospective student services levy.

The saga, as outlined the The Oz’s Higher Ed Sup yesterday, is pretty much exactly the same as what us Notre Damers had to go through.

What, are the Vice Chancellors like meeting regularly to form some sort of anti-student Axis now? Do they swap cupcake recipies as well?

This issue going to be the topic for my next contribution to newmatilda.com.  For the first, click here.

* I so totally typed that correctly in one go. GO ME!

** I hereby pronouce that term The Oxymoron of the Day.

UPDATE

Oh, PS: I EFFING TOLD YOU SO.

Written by Sunili

21 November 2008 at 1:36 pm

The Net Nanny Diaries: the Australian Family Associmorons #nocleanfeed

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I am now very wary of lobby-groups and political parties etc which put “Family” in their name. Because it is usually code for “Tory Bible-Bashing Wanker”.

When I saw that an op-ed proclaiming the net filter as “a great tool to help parents in their difficult vigil” against the Mean Nasty Ninternet was written by a researcher with the Australian Family Association, I snapped over to Google quick-smart.

Their Wikipedia entry probably requires a “neutrality warning” or whatnot, but it totes justified my prejudgment (and I also felt comforted knowing that the AFA probably hearts prejudgment, too!):

According to its stated objectives, the AFA aims “to cultivate within society an appreciation that the integrity and wellbeing of the family is essential to the stability, morale, security and prosperity of the Australian nation”.

In other words, the AFA comprises a bunch of ignorant wowsers, killjoys, and prurient perverts who really ought to keep their pathetic narrow-mindedness to themselves. The cloak of respectability called “family values” is made of transparent fabric, and barely conceals the stench of hypocrisy. (emphasis added)

Teehee!

But, aside from that amusing description, an old news story in the Google results drew my eye, too.

Apparently, Teh AFA once thought that “a ban on smacking children is going too far” and believed:

… to introduce laws which mean the Government has a role to play in deciding who and who isn’t a good parent, we think that’s going too far.

Um. I’m sorry. WHAT?!

So…………… firstly: those laws about, like, taking kids away from abusive parents and stuff goes “too far”? Because isn’t it the whole point of those that the government goes, “dude, you are a horrible, bogan parent — Step. Away. From the bebbeh”?

Welp. Might as well give them back their crack-pipes with their kiddies, no? Good idea, team. That’s a GREAT way to ensure the “stability, morale, security and prosperity of the Australian nation”.

And, secondly: but NOW they think the government should totally step in and decide that all parents (and, oh yeah, everyone else in the fricking country) totes have to have a filter even if they might prefer another method for educating their kids, like, you know, talking to them and stuff?

Urgh. How do morons manage to gather themselves into “Associations”? We seriously need a vetting agency to stop Idiot Collectives putting out media releases.

The pro-filter article, on how “claims of mandatory ‘censorship’ have been unfair and misleading”, totally misses the point of logic in several ways, and this is my fave:

Should we dismiss the effectiveness of the filters due to the fact that they are not perfect? Most would realise that an automated filtering system will never be 100 per cent accurate. However, having almost 90 per cent of unwanted material blocked is certainly a lot better than none.

Uhhh. Don’t be fooled by the apparently reasonable point. Read between the patronising bullshit and look at what they’re saying.

I don’t think we’re complaining about the 10% of nudie pics that are going to get through, love. We’re complaining about the ridiculous and preposterous proposition about this being an “attempt at making the internet safer for Australians”.

For God’s sake (you “Family” peeps usually like God, don’t you? Cool, so you won’t mind me appealing to his Infinite Reason and Wisdom, right? Awesome), get out of our wombs, our bedrooms and our effing computers.

For more deets on the technical issues with the author’s arguments, see the comments, and for more on the net filter proposal itself, see: http://www.nocleanfeed.com/learn.html (which actually includes like, facts and sources and stuff. Gasp).

Written by Sunili

4 November 2008 at 5:31 pm

October up-coming events

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STAND UP Perth

5:30pm, Friday 17 October 2008
Forrest Place, Perth

STAND UP Against Poverty is a worldwide call to take action against poverty and inequality and for the Millennium Development Goals.   It is a unique global mobilisation which calls on civil society, schools, businesses and NGOs and every day people to band together with the same message – that we must MAKE POVERTY HISTORY.

So if you are in town tomorrow night… join in to put your voice behind this call (there are other Perth STAND UP events too and also, check out more about Anti-poverty week 12-18 October).


Labor Readers’ Club

6.30pm, Tuesday 21st October 2008
The Velvet Lounge
– in the back section of the Flying Scotsman Cnr Walcott and Beaufort Streets, Mt Lawley

The next Labor Readers’ event will discuss the latest Quarterly Essay by Tim Flannery: ‘Now or Never: A Sustainable Future for Australia?‘ (Quarterly Essay, Issue 31).

Flannery, the 2007 Australian of the Year, outlines the threat that global warming poses to humanity. His essay is a passionate plea for both citizens and policy-makers alike to act now and adopt sustainability as a key organising principle.

David Hodgkinson, a climate change and aviation law specialist (see www.hodgkinsongroup.com and www.ecocarbon.org.au) will provide an introduction to the discussion.

Come along and join in the discussion, all are warmly welcomed. The only prerequisite to being a Reader is an open, critical mind and an interest in the future of Australia.

Written by Sunili

16 October 2008 at 1:35 pm

Blog Action Day 08: let’s talk about poverty, baby

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Today, 15 October, is Blog Action Day: where nearly 10 000 sites around the great web of the internets will write, design, speak, or whatever on one topic to get the word out and keep it there.

The topic this year is POVERTY.

Yesterday I wrote rather flippantly about wanting an iPod and going oh, look at me, I’m a 20-something in Australia with no responsibilities and a highly disposable income.   And that was just after I’d read a news story about how millions of people are at risk of dying of starvation in Zimbabwe.

When I did my Arts Honours thesis, I spent a year with my head stuck in textbooks on “international development” (as in from the Millennium Development Goals) and talking to people who were trying to “fix” poverty.  At some points it all got a little disenchanting — particularly when I realised that the concept of “development” was invented/thought up after World War II, as in sixty years ago, and we’re still trying to “fix” it.

It’s a big issue. There’s no denying that.  And yeah, sometimes it seems like there’s too much to do, and that no matter how many concerts Bono organises, or how much coffee Colin Firth drenches himself in (hello), nothing much is going to change anything.

But you know what? I still make the effort to do what I can.

I’ve been a UNICEF Global Parent for several years, donating money to that program every month even when I was a student.  When I have to give people gifts, I get them chickens or seeds or goats or small business grants from Oxfam Unwrapped (my friends get a card; people who could do with a goat get a goat).  I try to only buy coffee from cafés that use fair trade beans and I try to only buy fair trade tea and chocolate, too (sometimes, but, I really feel like a Snickers; I do then try to offset that somehow…).

I also joined the Make Poverty History campaign, and when they send me emails about lobbying projects that asks me to take 2 minutes to click through and sign a petition the government about the travesty of the maternal and child mortality in developing countries, I do it. Oh, and I am hosting The World’s Largest Fondue Party (or at least, a part of it) at my place in November (SAVE THE DATE!!), which is part of the Stop The Traffick campaign to end child trafficking labour in the manufacture of our chocolate.

Yes, I know those are only little things.

Like the way I also take all my recyclables home from the office because our building doesn’t do recycling, some people might think I am an idiot because just little me doing those little things probably isn’t going to make a big impact.  But you know what?  I don’t care what people think about the things I do.

I have a choice.  I have a choice between:

  1. doing those little things that might-possiblymaybe have some positive impact (no matter how small) but don’t require me to go very far out of my way at all; or
  2. not doing anything at all because, psh, that’s what most people are doing anyway, even if that will totally-definitely not have any impact,

My choice is, CLRLY, the first one.

And if people want to think I’m a little odd for my choice, all I want them to know is that I don’t give a shit about what they think.

And until I have time to set up a Kiva fund, or the guts to quit my job and go work somewhere like Cambodia like Laine, or the inspiration to set up a program for indigenous people in the Kimberly like Dan, I will keep doing those little things.  Actually, I’ll keep doing those little things even when (that’s right, not if, when) I get around to taking the bigger steps.

There’s a list on the Blog Action Day site about the Things One Person Can Do, but if you can’t be bothered to read that, they’ve got a video too.

Watch it, yo:

I hope this post encourages people to think about the little things they can do that will be part of a bigger effort to deal with the issue of world poverty.

Look, I know that with all these talks about recession and credit crunches a lot of people have issues to deal with that are even closer to home. But that’s exactly why, right now, it is just as important to talk about poverty which has been affecting entire countries, heck continents, for decades and decades.  Think about it. I guess that’s all I’m asking for. If you want to take it any further, and kinda maybe talk to me about it, my email is sunilisblog via that google internet communication thing.

Love,
Sunili

xoxo

Written by Sunili

15 October 2008 at 8:25 pm

money, money, money

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When I was growing up (in my totally fun immigrant family) we always had to listen to Sinhalese songs on cassettes on any long drives. Lame. My little brother and I never got any of it so we were consequentially deprived of pop-music throughout our youth. (That’s probably why my brother thinks he is/wants to be a brother ie a gangsta rapper.)

Except for ABBA.

For some reason my parents had a couple of their tapes and listened to them sometimes (were they big in Sri Lanka, too?). Yeah, sure, we were growing up in the 90s, but it was nice to be able to know the language of car songs — even if they were from the 70s.

My favourite song is probably Mamma Mia, but everyone seems to be talking about cash and stuff these days, so I am going to go with this:

I work all night I work all day to pay the bills I have to pay
ain’t it sad
and still there never seems to be a single penny left for me
that’s too bad
in my dreams
I have a plan
if I got me a wealthy man
I wouldn’t have to work at all I’d fool around and have a ball

Bless.

But from what I gather, it’s not so fun In A Rich Man’s World at the moment. And it’s probably worse that usual in a less-than-rich person’s, too.

I feel kinda out of the loop, though.

(Until, of course, I get evicted or have my rent spiked,) I don’t have to worry about feeding hungry tummies or paying off mortgages. I never invested in the stock market so the last month has been like very whatevs for me. And I paid off my credit card a couple of pay cheques ago.

So now, I just get more dollars miraculously deposited into my bank account than I actually “need” to spend in a fortnight.

And a wealthy man can go suck it, as I have no interest in (nor prospects of)  being an investment banker/drug dealer’s coke-addled trophy wife.

Because I have plenty of pennies left for me.  And that’s even after my direct debit to UNICEF has gone out.  AND, even though I’ve never reeeally been a good saver, I am also saving 16% (which > 10% suggested amount) of my pay because I’ve set it to be popped over to my savings account by my employer. (Thanks for the tip, Grendel!!!)

I am quite, quite lucky, I know I am. And I know I could lose my job (but frankly… I won’t complain too much right now… hah) and things could get really bad, and stuff, but I am a good Buddhist, I know this too will pass [also apparently a Jewish story??] and I’ll deal with that when I get there.

But what now?

I suppose I could save more (but that’s kinda boring)… or give even more to charity (maybes I can buy two Big Issues a fortnight??).  But with all this talk about consumer confidence dropping and economic stimulus packages and stuff, I’m thinking: welp. Mayhaps I might go get an iPod at lunch time?

BUT I CAN’T GET ONE.

DJ’s and Myer haven’t got the 16GB size I want, JB Hi-Fi haven’t got the right colour (dude, I am not like gonna just throw the cash away on one I don’t actually like!) and the knobs at DigiLife didn’t seem interested in selling me anything either.

W. T. F.

So, back at the office, I tried to order one online, but IT FROZE LIKE 5 TIMES and then when I rang the Apple Store, and patiently went through 3 recorded menus, I was told (by a recorded message, of course) that the Apple Store’s Opening Hours Are — [this is where I slammed the phone down].

Um… hello?

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY IF NO-ONE’S GOING TO LET ME BUY ANYTHING?

I am just trying to be a Good Capitalist Denizen (™).

Why can’t I do that?

What is the universe trying to tell me? That capitalism sucks, or something?

What. What?

OH RLRY?

Written by Sunili

14 October 2008 at 6:22 pm