Archive

Archive of : General

To Blog or Not to Blog? (My Examination of Motive)

I might quit blogging. It might be a good thing. A healthy thing. There have been a variety of reasons for my blogging, across the timeline, but right now there’s no other reason than this: I’ve published a blog post every week since June last year. That’s not even a...

How to read what a job ad’s not saying

Most people understand that when a real-estate advertisement promotes a property as ‘ideal for first-home owners’, they mean ‘nobody would live here if they could afford somewhere else’. And when those ads label a house a ‘DIY dream’, they mean ‘the roof is currently held on by duct tape’....

Your Memories are Lying to You

The grass, apparently, is always greener wherever we’re not. I haven’t lived in Queensland, Australia, for almost 10 years now. But I remember it fondly. Especially when winter hits, and in New Zealand everybody stops ageing for several months. Unfortunately, memories often lie, and if I wasn’t such an...

Learning to Cook by Watching People Who Know

I have many skills. I know how to dance the chorus choreography to 5ive’s ‘Baby, When the Lights Go Out’. I know how to take a blood sample from a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I know how to burp on command. But I can’t cook. I’ve blogged about this frustration before....

Learning NZSL in a real live classroom

I finally did one of the things I’d scheduled for the elusive ‘One Day’: I went to a New Zealand Sign Language class. A real one. With a real live teacher and real live people. People who looked just as fidgety and unsure as I did. I’d already concluded...

How does a Thinker teach a Doer?

I can parse linguistic etymologies, but apparently I can’t teach the alphabet. It’s a tough reality for me to face. I don’t know how to enable information to reach my 3-year-old, Daniel. He doesn’t think how I think. How can I make myself think like I don’t think? I...

How to Not Hate Cooking (Apparently)

I hate cooking. I hate that I have to do it every day. I hate that it takes much longer to cook it than it does to eat it. I hate that by the time I have it on plates in front of my family, I’m so sour about...

How to Acquire New Tastes (by force)

Taste is a fickle thing. It makes critics of us all. I knew a guy who’d make fun of me for talking about the different flavours I could detect across a range of coffee beans. He thought I was making it all up. But the same guy would then...

Why are Werewolves so Popular?

The fascination with werewolves, it seems to me, has overtaken that of vampires in modern popular culture. Werewolves are the new and exciting subject of sexual allure. (Or possibly the old and repeating one, but with a long enough reprieve behind it to push it out of living memory.)...

How to give a Surprise Gift with Skill and Common Sense

If you say you have a surprise for me, but you don’t say what it is, clearly you have no idea how human psychology works, and the nature of desire. If you remember only one thing from this post, let it be this: Don’t tell someone you have a...

The Noble Thief

Is a person counted as noble, or not, if they hand in a wallet they find…but after relieving it of its cash? I’m glad to have my wallet back, with all its cards. It’s a hassle having to call places, cancel things, and wait for new things. The success...

What I learned from failing Mensa

Taking the Mensa admissions test had seemed like a good idea at the time. With the high-IQ society offering the test free for a promotional period, in recognition of World Intelligence Day, taking advantage of the opportunity had seemed like a no-brainer. (Ironic, that.) It wouldn’t cost me anything....

Success and Spaceships. And cancer. (A rational assessment of irrational inspirations.)

I’ve been seeing a lot of article headings like this, online: ’7 Things you need to be successful’, or ‘5 Things you must do to be successful’, or ‘Lists you need to keep to be successful’. At what? Successful at what? When I read the lists, they don’t tell...

New Zealand Sign Language and Te Reo

There are two languages that I believe would be immensely helpful for the typical English-speaking New Zealander to know: indigenous (te reo Māori), and sign language (NZSL). I know neither. And thus, I feel like a tourist in my own country. As is the social typicality for an individual,...

Timmy and the Excessive Solution

This week, what started with a cut on Timmy’s lip ended with his having a midnight surgery in Acutes theatre, staffed by seven sets of blue scrubs. For no serious medical reason. It was just the result of a social tendency I’ve noticed; a near-consistent psychological algorithm: If a...

The Mirror in the Time Capsule

I like to think I’ve changed since I was a teenager. Safely ensconced in my 30s, I’ve never looked back at the maturity and mentality of my teenage years and thought, “I wish that was still me.” I don’t know any grownup who does. We look back on our...

Multipotentialism: the art of being lured in all directions until you explode and die.

The proverbial ‘they’ say that the first step to solving a problem is acknowledging you have one. I don’t even know if I’ve made that first step, because I can’t decide whether this thing is a problem or a gift. If I figure out a way to make it...

Even experts can be wrong

Psychology—the study of the mind and human behaviour—is fascinating. Knowing how it works is the closest you can get to activating gameplay’s God mode, in real life. Psychiatry—the medical study of mental disorders—is, I think, a bit hit-and-miss. Mostly miss. I had a psychiatric assessment four years ago. Before...

5 Ingredients of an Angry Person

I’m not irritated by much. Well, there’s the reasonable stuff. Indecisive people, overattentive people, clingy people, leechy people, snooty people, wishy-washy people, emotional people, fickle people, obtuse people, naive people, people who expect an answer to a rhetorical question, and Jodie Foster. And pleonasm. And other things. Maybe I...

Homeschool by any other name…

Teaching a child to write is like nailing jelly to tree. It’s one of the first lessons of home schooling that I’m learning. Hot on the heels of that, is the realisation that this is going to be as big a growth exercise for me as for them. Maybe...