Queen of Spain's Public Address

Location: Sydney, Australia

Single, Hispanic, I have two dogs, a mini schnauser cross named Dougal, and a cattle dog/chihuahua cross named Rinky-Dink

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A Beautiful World

I spent the last week in the Hunter Valley on a first quarter planning meeting. There were nine of us attending this meeting and seven were American. Visiting with Americans always puts things into perspective. Conversations expose stark differences in opinion I didn’t realize I possessed when I lived in the states. It appears that sometimes it really takes someone from a different country to bring certain things to your attention.

For example, notice how many Americans don’t say please when they ask someone for something, and don’t say thank you every time someone does something for them. This happened numerous times during the conference. I felt embarrassed to be in the company of people that appeared so rude when in actuality they either just didn’t care or didn’t know any better.

Then there is the assumption that America is better in many ways compared to other countries. In ideals perhaps, but once you weigh up the realities objectively you really come to terms with this attitude. These are just a few leading indicators that countries use to measure their quality of life:

Americans better educated? Not really. High school students’ scores on standardized tests aren’t even in the top ten countries scored. Better healthcare? Well, considered how many middleclass people struggle to pay for rising healthcare costs I think it’s a very bad time to be getting old or have a serious illness in the states. Cost of living? Getting worse instead of better with rising oil prices, weak dollar, and mounting debt.

What about freedom? Considering the level of media censorship at the moment one has to really question if the situatution isn’t reverting back to times when what was portrayed through the media wasn’t actually what was taking place in real life; reality being more Pleasantville than Donna Reed, or Kids than Brady Bunch. The difference between now and the past is that there are alternate voices struggling to bring to attention the differences, only people are working hard to silence them. If I were an artist in America now I would feel threatened.Gay-Themed High School Play Sparks Va. Protests

Well, it seems a sad state of affairs but change is ever on the horizon, but as is the nature of change it happens slowly and not without a cataylist that may be tragic. On a lighter note, let's instead turn our attention to the proposed budget..just kidding.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Unexpected Events

I didn't intend on acquiring a blog of my own to neglect, but for the sake of communicating with my friends, and faceless constant readers, I now have a public forum to post my thoughts and ramblings. In the beginning it makes sense to discuss the purpose and function of a blog, but as this could take several postings I will expand on this topic at a later date. Instead, I will provide an anecdote of unexpected events.

At Sydney Park (a large public park with leash free areas) a woman, along with her young boy and a golden retriever, were feeding ducks in the pond. This in itself isn't an uncommon occurrence. Neither is the fact that many people take their dogs to the park to run around free without much restriction from them. I suppose it's much like parents taking their children to the park. Us dog owners also take the opportunity to smoke, gossip, and generally take our eyes off the dog for a while without feeling guilty.

As for the woman, boy and dog, they were happily throwing their stale bread to the ducks when my silly companion, Dougal, ran up to them to see what fun they might be having. To his delight it involved food. Dougal, not being one to pass up on even stale, boring bread, had a sniff in the bag that contained the bread. The woman, perhaps not quite remembering where she was, told him to get lost. How a woman with her own dog could get upset that another dog might want some bread too confused me.

I thought she was there to do something nice for an animal. What could be nicer than feeding bread to a dog? They certainly are grateful compared to a duck, which if it hasn't eaten in a long time will attack you for food, people at Richland College know what I am talking about. Having owned a duck as a pet when I was a child I know you aren't supposed to give them scraps anyway.

You would think a grown woman who passed something the size of a watermelon out something the size of a lemon would realize the scraps of bread she was feeding to them would have a hard time turning into a duck's normal, watery poop, would think twice before continuing. Well, then again, she might not. She had her head up her ass, and if it weren't for the fact the there was a kid around she would have gotten a piece of my mind.