Tuesday, February 1, 2011

happy february! & why i'm worried i'm a psychopath...

Happy February Everyone!

Ah, February. A month I hate spelling. Like wednesday. I hate spelling Wednesday. I have a perpetual fear I'm going to mess it up. I feel pretty proud of my spelling, so when faced with a word I'm not sure of, it worries me a bit. I only recently mastered ne... DAMN.... I had mastered it, and now, when I try and conjure the word from my brain, I'm left with just the first two letters.
Necessary. Necessarily.

Sorry about that.
But, in place of Necessary (which has apparently gained its own Capital Letter. You have no idea how long I have struggled to memorize how to spell it), I have only just realised that "Evidently" isn't "Evidentially". Though Word seems to be disagreeing with me today and not giving me a squiggly red line (see, I have to double-check these things so I don't look the fool) under evidentially so maybe I was right all along.

Anyway, that isn't really the point of this post. At all.
It's more about me being a terrible human being.

Oh! Before I do that, though (and I know you're all raring to read about why I'm terrible and bad and awful), I just wanted to share some exciting (to me anyway) news. Between December - January, my blog had a measly 90 pageviews. Most of them were probably me at work, and me at home before I figured out how to make it stop tracking my computer. Some of them would have been Nic.
From Jan - Feb I had 346 pageviews, which, for me, is huge.
And I know in the grand-scheme-of-blogging, it's nothing, and again, a bunch of them were probably me at work, or Nic, it's still.... well, some mathematical percentage more than I had in December. So, hello people! Welcome! Or thanks for reading for January! Leave a comment some time, I want to know who you guys are! What do you like reading? What do you find boring? I'm really enoying writing this blog, posting up pictures of Reya and Mallei, and I hope you're all enjoying it here too. That being said, if you want more stories or pictures or movies or whatever, I can do my best to do that stuff.

Now, onto why I'm wondering if I'm a terrible person. Backstory first.
About 2 years ago, my Dad moved to Townsville. I've been to visit him once in that time, because between study, travelling to Europe, working full time, and a hundred other excuses, I didn't manage to get up there until Nic arrived. Right now, a big fat cyclone is swirling its way toward Townsville and everybody is battoning down the hatches.
So I'm at home, baking in our stupid heatwave thinking: Well, Cyclones happen all the time in North Queensland. He'll be fine. It's all fine. I'm sure he knows what to do. They must just stick some tape over their windows. Done. Easy.

And then Nic emails me about the traffic and says:
"The Cyclone is moving toward Townsville. Is your Dad going to be ok?"


Well... I don't know!
Is he going to be ok?!
I hadn't even considered him not being ok!
How am I meant to answer this? What can I do to ensure he'll be ok?
Well, I can't do anything. I'm a few hundred kilometers away.
So I called him this morning, as I peered at the map in the first link up there, and did some calculations. The cyclone isn't due to actually hit until about tomorrow afternoon. But I only realised this as I was talking to his answering machine.
"Uh... Hi Dad! It's Em. Just... calling... because of the cyclone. And I saw some of the Retails Centres (for our company) are closing early so people can go home and prepare for the cyclone.. so... um, hoping you're ok. Or.. you know... will be ok... or... well, maybe if you could just keep me updated? Even through email..." Then I thought about this, and realized it was stupid because what happens during cyclones is that people go without power for 3 or 4 days and get trapped in their houses. "Anyway. That's all. Got to go to work, bye."
What a ridiculous message.
But the thing is (and here's the bad person part) I find it difficult to empathise with people in these situations. In natural disaster situations. And at times when I feel like this I wonder if Nic knows what he's getting himself into.

Example: The recent floods in Queensland. I can't... feel horrified. I'm worried I'm some sort of psychopath or something. You know, people are like: "IT'S AWFUL!!" And I'm like: Yup. It's pretty bad. And then I go and spend a day at the call centre my work set up to take donations, and there's pensioners calling in and donating $50 and appologising because it's all they have. And I don't. And I wasn't spending my day manning the phones to be a better person, oh no. It was so I didn't have to do my actual job, and could slack off all day and still get paid my normal rate. I suppose I could donate money, although realistically, pretty much everything I'm earning at the moment is going straight onto the next 6 months worth of rent... But I don't feel compelled to do it. This is what I mean, right? I'm a terrible person. I should feel bad. But I don't. I feel interested, I feel sad for animals who were trapped in paddocks, who got left behind because there wasn't any way to take them... But I don't feel like I feel as sad as I should for people.
Another eg: Black saturday bushfires: I cried a couple of times over the fires, but more because so many of my memories, gifts to my father, gifts to my late grandfather, memories of my grandfather, of exploring the bush, of his memorial bridge, of climbing the tall oak tree... all of that was burnt when the property, near Marysville, was burnt. I didn't realise how much was up there until Dad told me. Photos, baby clothes, mementos, books I'd written as a kid that he'd saved. I thought Mum had them, but Dad had squirreled them away. So I was upset at the loss of my childhood, in a way. The magical place I used to explore on weekends while my Dad and his Dad worked in the beautiful gardens.

So this is my concern. I feel like it was a terrible loss, that the bush was burnt. I felt a facination, similar to the floods, of the aftermath. I feel saddened when I go there and see the empty lots of land with caravans in the middle of a smooth area where a family home once stood. When I think about the koalas and wallabies and echidnas that couldn't do anything but try and run and burn or drown. Sometimes it's the animals that affect me more. (Affect? Effect? I'm too lazy to learn this one). Am I just incapable of feeling compassion for human suffering? Are there too many of us!? I don't know.

Maybe I'm just a bad person, deep down.
Or have a serious mental illness. Or something. This post turned out a bit more depressing than I thought.
To make me feel better, here's a picture of Sam.

In actual fact, this was apparently part of the bushfires -before- Black Saturday, but I still think it's a pretty awesome picture.


  1. Don't feel bad. I beat myself up over reacting more strongly to animal suffering than human suffering sometimes too. Maybe it's because animals are just universally easier to love?

    My only request for your blog would be more pictures of koalas! :)

  2. Haha, that is a fantastic request!!

    Maybe becuase they're easier to love but also because they're innocent. Humans know to flee- animals are trapped. Humans can drive away, animals can only run.
    I think that's what gets to me more, maybe.