Archive for the ‘General Rants’ Category

Christmas in Australia

Posted: December 25, 2013 in General Rants

Merry Christmas Everyone!

It is a glorious, sunny morning heading to a top of 30 degrees.


And 7 years on this weather combined with Christmas carols nearly blows a synapse in my brain.

Clad in shorts and sandals, I ventured out to get some photos to illustrate what Christmas in Melbourne looks like.

Christmas trees are still an icon of the season.


I took advantage of the free trams and trains on Christmas day and went into the city to view the window displays at Myer Department store.  Along the way I was surprised to see just how many people were in the city, and just how many businesses were open. McDonalds was open, but KFC was closed.  Come on, chicken is way more christmassy than burgers.

The city is decorated very much like cities back home. This is Melbourne city hall. Does anyone else see the irony of government being wrapped in red tape?


I had actually thought that on Christmas morning the city centre would be bare and I would be able to take some clear pictures of the display windows.  Alas, the place was swarming.


From here I went to St. Kilda. Melbourne’s historic beach.  Nothing says Christmas like a bathing suit and santa hat!


And someone was spreading the christmas message in the sand.


I have to say, I don’t know if Christmas will ever feel like Christmas in Australia, but even just as a day off work, touring around Melbourne it’s a pretty good day. And I have fresh mangoes.

And in Australia we have Rockwiz and their christmas specials.  I didn’t make a Christmas CD this year, so here is my music contribution. Enjoy!

(I’m not sure why it isn’t just playing on the page, sorry!)


I can’t hear you!

Posted: December 22, 2013 in General Rants

Maybe I’m getting old and losing my hearing.  Maybe I’m getting old and losing my interest in hearing.  Either way I’m finding more and more that I’m missing what people are saying.  It is very frustrating. Possibly frustrating for the people I’m not hearing, but that doesn’t really matter – this blog is about me.

These are a few of my pet peeves.

When I say “Pardon?” and you repeat yourself at the same volume, I probably still can’t hear you. If I then say “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you” and again you repeat yourself at the same volume, then clearly you aren’t hearing me! Seriously, from now on if someone doesn’t speak up on the 3rd try I’m going to respond with something unrelated and possibly nonsensical like “I think carrots would be better” and then walk away.

Please don’t start talking when I leave the room.  Rooms are divided up by these things called walls. They are pretty handy for maintaining privacy and were brilliantly designed to go from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. One of their many benefits is that they buffer sound allowing you to go to bed while someone else is watching telly in the living room and not be bothered by the noise (unless your room-mate is losing their hearing and have the volume up very high).  Anyhoo, if you start talking when I leave the room, the walls will make it difficult for me to hear you. You have a few options.  1) call my name loudly to draw me back into the room you are in and then commence talking, 2) follow me into whatever room I’ve gone into and commence talking or 3) wait until I return of my own volition and then commence talking.

Please don’t start talking just when I turn the tap on, or start the vacuum, or the blender.  These are very noisy objects and will likely drown out the sound of your voice (though never when I actually want to….).

If you say an entire sentence, and I say “what?” I probably missed the whole sentence. Or, if I catch any of it, I probably caught the end when I started paying attention. It is very irritating when you only repeat the last two words.

“Mwa mwa mwa mwa mwa the dog”.


“The dog”.

What dog? What about it? Seriously?

This is why I’m going crazy.

Yes, I am a psychologist. No I will not help you with your problems (but in a pinch I will direct you to someone who can). I have started this blog because I have a lot of ideas and even more opinions and realistically keeping a journal just seems so passé.

It is a curious thing to start a blog.  One presumes that someone will read the entries, but it is quite likely that no one ever will.

I have just spent an agonising hour trying to choose my blog theme and there is a solid chance that no one will ever see it rendering my angst unnecessary.  Funny – the possibility of someone reading this is great enough to compel me to sift through the themes repeatedly, previewing all of the candidates multiple times, but not great enough to compel me to shell out money for a fancy one.

It reminds me of an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati where Johnny Fever calls on listeners to dump their garbage on the steps of city hall in protest of a garbage removal strike. When hundreds of people do so, it is a shock realisation of how many people who actually listen to him.  Please do not dump your garbage on the steps of city hall. However please feel free to comment and let me know you’re reading.

About the name.  When I was in grad school, and coming to the depressing conclusion that psychology is like a deep, drunk conversation, I dreamed of leaving it all behind, moving to Ireland and opening a pub called The Shrinking Head.  Like psychologists, everyone tells their woes to the bartender. The difference being the bartender doesn’t have to actually do anything.  And most importantly, they can read books for fun and drink beer to be serious.

The entries in this blog are my own opinion. Some may be based on psychological or neurological science, but often it will just be my own ramblings about the absurd.  Please do not take the content as fact.  Indeed in psychology there is no such thing as fact – merely supposition until evidence is found that proves us wrong.