Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Our 'Justice' System Keeps Failing Women

Yet another woman dead because our 'justice' system decided that the rights of violent offenders were more important than the lives and safety of their victims and the general public.

A handful of men are killed by 'coward punches' and laws are immediately changed, with tougher penalties introduced. Women are killed at a rate of one every week (sometimes more) and nothing is done.

Every time the courts give rapists a slap on the wrist and let them out again, they are basically saying, "Hey ladies, you, your mothers and daughters, your sisters and friends, all of your lives are worth less than this rapist's happiness." All too often when a woman is murdered and/or raped, it turns out that the perpetrator has a history of violence against women but was out on bail or parole.

Anyone in the courts who is responsible for allowing these monsters to go free should be sacked and should be forced to compensate the victims and/or their families. It won't erase the trauma or bring loved ones back but helping them try to rebuild their lives is the least they could do when they allowed them to be destroyed in the first place (and maybe they'd think twice about letting violent offenders out to reoffend if there's a chance they might face personal consequences).

Also, fuck people who think these violent rapists should have a chance to be 'rehabilitated' (which doesn't work anyway) and have a second chance at a normal life among normal members of society. Their victims don't get a chance at a life where they weren't assaulted and traumatised. Families of women and girls like Jill Meagher and Masa Vukotic don't get a second chance at a life where their wife or daughter isn't dead.

These offenders are a good justification for the death penalty. And I know some bleeding heart idiot is going to go "But the death penalty is inhumaaaaaane!" Well, if it's a choice between the inhumane treatment of rapists and the inhumane treatment of innocent women, I know which one I'd prefer. Their sentences are far too lenient to begin with, but then the courts let them out on parole even earlier so they can hurt even more women. And even if they WERE serving life sentences, I'd rather my tax dollars go towards health or education or women's shelters (given that the government keeps wanting to defund those and make it even harder for domestic violence victims to get help, and therefore more likely these victims will end up seriously injured or killed) than keeping pieces of shit like this alive.

It's little wonder these crimes keep becoming more and more common when the perpetrators know they will face little to no consequences. Our so-called 'justice' system is little more than a cruel joke.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

ROW80 2013:3 3rd Update

It has been a couple of weeks since my last update, but I have been busy in that time. I've been keeping up with my writing goals and my art goals, as well as plodding away at my research. I picked up the keys to my new office today; it has my name on the door and everything :)

In other big news, I resigned from my contract at my retail job a few weeks ago, so last night was my last night. I am still a casual there so I will get the odd shift every now and then, but since I'm essentially doing more than a full time load at uni already, something had to give.

Anyway, progress:
Creative Goals 
  • Write at least 500 words per week: Yes, and have managed closed to 1,000 words in the last two weeks. Most of that was for my main WiP, but there were a few hundred words added to a side project as well.
  • Do one painting or drawing each week: I do have a painting in progress, which is almost finished; all it needs is the shadows from the objects on the table and background. I've reached that point of a painting where it's actually turning out quite well and I'm terrified I'll screw it up, so I'm practicing glazing on scrap bits of canvas before I do it to the painting (hoping to finish it this week). This is acrylic on a canvas pad:
I also hit up the local art supply shop when I saw they had a big special on... I couldn't help myself :)

Academic Goals
  • Begin research on PhD topic: Have started reading academic articles and jotting down a few notes. Also started doing some reading for my coursework units.
  • Teaching stuff: Have started looking over class material since tutorials start next week.
  • Research assistant stuff: Not much to do this week (still need to get software on my computer)
Health Goals
  • 20 minutes slow exercise-bike riding per day: Yes :) Have also been trying to eat healthier a well, which has mostly gone okay except for today (I had fast food for lunch AND dinner).
I don't think Judgemental Dog approves of my art supply shopping spree: 
See how other ROW80ers are going here.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

ROW80 2013:3 2nd Update

Not a great deal of progress since last check-in, but I did catch up in the city with some uni friends I hadn't seen for a few years for a night of drunken retro gaming (Super Smash Brothers on Nintendo 64 for the win!), and since it was my first social outing in more than a year (yeah, I don't get out much aside from the odd lunch haha) it was good to have a nice break from anything work/study-related. I spent Saturday afternoon writing so I have already met my weekly quota, and should be able to do more before the next check-in (I know that once uni really gets into motion I will have a lot less time).

Anyway, progress:
Creative Goals 
  • Write at least 500 words per week: 700 words of actual novel-writing on Saturday, plus a few hours spent re-reading the WiP and the outline. Even if I wasn't actively adding as many words, I feel like it was helpful to get some more ideas percolating in my brain for when I have another good run at word-slinging.
  • Do one painting or drawing each week: I did a few watercolour exercises, but no full paintings.
Academic Goals
  • Begin research on PhD topic: Not as such, but I have been trying to refine what my research question is. Basically at this stage all I have is a bunch of semi-related questions, but it's more than I had last week...
  • Teaching stuff: NA.
  • Research assistant stuff: Not much to do this week.
Health Goals
  • 20 minutes slow exercise-bike riding per day: Every day except today. For some reason by the time I got home from work my knee was really sore. I did try doing some exercise but only made it to about five minutes before I had to stop.
Sorry, Judgemental Dog, I'll be good next week :)
Click here to see how other ROW80ers are going.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

ROW80 2013:3 Goals and 1st Update

Here I am returning to ROW80 after sitting out for the last Round and a half. I know, I know... I crashed and burned back in January and pretty much fell off the face of the earth in ROW80 circles. For the first half of this year, I did very little writing, aside from a few small bursts of intense productivity. Some of that was probably due to increased workload from both jobs, but some was because of the Self Doubt Monster rearing its ugly head. But now I am hoping to change that by starting to write regularly again, even if it's only a small amount. I've written 4,000 words today, probably spurred on by the fact that this is my first full day off in months, but I need to keep that momentum, or at least some of it, if I'm ever going to get this manuscript finished.

So, here are my goals for this round:
Creative Goals 
  • Write at least 500 words per week: Yes, this is a pretty small amount; some might say too small. But in light of what will be a much higher work load this year, I'm wary of setting too high a word count in case I can't reach it, which will make me feel all guilty and self-loathy which will probably affect my academic progress in a vicious circle of suckiness. 500 words is probably doable in an hour or two, which shouldn't make me feel too guilty about writing when I should be researching/studying/marking or whatever.
  • Do one painting or drawing each week: This is a tentative goal, but I'd like to at least try to re-hone my artistic skills, even if it's just with small sketches.
Academic Goals
  • Begin research on PhD topic: I officially started my PhD last Friday. I sort of have a rough idea of what I'm doing for my thesis, but need to refine it and put together background research, as well as clarifying my actual research question. Because I am doing my PhD full time I am expecting my progress in other aspects of life to be be relatively limited due to time/energy constraints.
  • Teaching stuff: We finished exam marking earlier this week and the next semester doesn't start til the end of July, so no goals here yet.
  • Research assistant stuff: Ongoing work where I'm doing some new graphics for an educational website. Still need to get the necessary software on my computer, though. (actually, need to upgrade computer because this one is on its last legs)
Health Goals
  • 20 minutes slow exercise-bike riding per day: My knee is still crap, and it looks like it always will be (at this stage the surgeon has essentially said, "Yes, your knee is buggered, but not quite buggered enough to warrant an operation at this stage"). I'm limited to non-weight-bearing types of exercise but I still need to maintain my fitness somehow. I can at least walk (mostly) normally, though I still have to wear the knee brace and use the walking stick, and slopes give me a lot of grief.
As always, Judgemental Dog will be along for the ride:

To see how other ROW80ers are going, click here.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

ROW80 2013 Round 1: 3rd Update

Mostly an uneventful week again, though on average I'm on track with everything. I got my teaching contract renewed this week, so bring on another year of terribly written assignments and hilarious excuses for late submissions... *shudders* I still have a few weeks off, though, since I don't think classed start until late February. I also finally got my MRI done on my knee, which I've been waiting for for more than a month, and I will be seeing the surgeon again on the 8th of February. I've also been mucking around with writing playlists and I find that they are really useful in getting me into the right mood to write particular scenes, even if I wasn't really in a writing mood beforehand. Putting the playlist on my iPod when I walk waddle up to the shops helps the ideas to start percolating in my head so that when I get back to my laptop I can just get into the story.

Creative Goals
  • Write at least 250 words per day: Every day except Saturday. But most days I got closer to 500 words of novel written, so I probably made up for it anyway.
  • Do at least one painting or drawing per week: Another small acrylic, same size as the last one. Photo didn't come out particularly well (the centre of the flower is more subtly shaded in real life), but here it is:
  • Maintain writing/art blog: No new posts, but update on coloured pencil light-fastness testing is complete, and a new review post for some soft pastels I got recently is underway.
Academic Goals
  • Complete transcript and report from research assistant work: Done. New goal for this week: Complete summary of results report.
  • Start preliminary reading research to try to come up with a more specific PhD topic.
Health Goals
  • 10 minutes slow exercise-bike riding per day: Every day except Saturday.
  • 30 minutes swimming per week: I actually went to the pool... Once. It was full to the brim of screaming kids, with not even half a lane free. This is what usually happens when I attempt to go swimming; no matter what time of the day I try going, I always seem to catch a school excursion or swimming carnival (and I generally can't go at night because of work). Not only is swimming a quarter of a lane before being jumped on/crashed into by an uncoordinated 8 year old unproductive, it just irritates the crap out of me, making the whole experience slightly less enjoyable than falling face first into a poison ivy shrub. Removing this goal.
  • Go through one sheet of physio knee exercises per day: Yes.
  • Only one piece of chocolate and one energy drink per week: Tripped up a bit here (slightly). While Thursdays are normally my 'sugary indulgence' day, I also had an energy drink and a chocolate on Tuesday; on top of lack of sleep due to severe pain, I was having one of those days where everyone seemed to have decided to annoy me as often as possible, so if I didn't have caffeine, people would have been hurt :)
Judgemental Dog won't let you get off lightly if you don't reach your word count:

See how other ROW80ers are going here.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

ROW80 2013 Round 1: 2nd Update

Two weeks in and so far I am more or less on track with my goals. I think I'm starting to come down with a sore throat though, which is frustrating because for the last two weeks I've been eating really healthy >:( Ah well, hopefully it will pass quickly. I've generally made my word count (not much on top of it, though) and I also managed to do a painting, albeit a small one, with Rex 'helping' (read: being a bloody nuisance) by sticking his nose in my paint palette. Still, he is my furry creative supervisor and I wouldn't have him any other way :)

Creative Goals
  • Write at least 250 words per day: Every day except Wednesday, but most of my words were for my untitled project and not my main WiP. For some reason I'm just having trouble getting my brain into Dark and Silent Waters mode lately. Tuesday night I didn't get any sleep because my knee was particularly bad (even strong painkillers didn't help much), and just as I was drifting off, I got woken up by Rex being sick, so I had to get up and look after him. On Wednesday I could barely type my own name let alone form a coherent sentence, so I let it go lol
  • Do at least one painting or drawing per week: Yep :) Just a little one, acrylic on canvas (below). I have started planning out two others though. I want to see if I can eventually become good enough to sell some miniature paintings on eBay or Etsy; postcard-sized artwork is easier for me to produce and cheaper for people to buy, so that's probably the most viable, though I'm a long way from having salable art anyway. I'm thinking of putting a magnet on the back so my nan can put it on her fridge. Hey, other kids' grandmothers hang their work on their fridge, alright? Stop judging me! :P
  • Maintain writing/art blog: No new posts, but I am in the process of updating a previous one on coloured pencil light-fastness testing.
Academic Goals
  • Complete transcript and report from research assistant work.
Health Goals
  • 10 minutes slow exercise-bike riding per day: Did some on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For some reason my knee has been extremely sore the last week. The sooner I can see the surgeon again, the better (though even when I find out what exactly needs to be done, I'll still need to save up for it...).
  • 30 minutes swimming per week: Nope. Am considering, maybe, removing this goal. I know that swimming would be good for my knee, but actually getting to the swimming pool would be an issue as driving aggravates my knee a great deal, especially since it has been getting worse lately. Will see how I go over the next few weeks.
  • Go through one sheet of physio knee exercises per day: Thursday, Friday and Saturday only. Some of the more difficult exercise sheets I am still unable to do at all as my knee just will not support my weight well enough.
  • Only one piece of chocolate and one energy drink per week: Yup. So far not feeling a big difference in general well-being, though that could be partially because of my knee and subsequent lack of sleep issues. I've also not been eating any other junk or take away food, so even if I'm not feeling the effects yet, I'm sure I'll be better off in the long run (though right now I would shank a mo-fo for their Whopper burger...).

It's never safe to slack off around Judgemental Dog.
 See how other ROW80ers are going here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

ROW80 2013 Round 1: 1st Update

This week was fairly uneventful in terms of progress; I managed to stay just ahead in some areas and fall just behind in others. I would have liked to make more progress, but it was a bit of a trying week, so I'm happy with what I did. The dog crashed into me while trying to escape from the vacuum cleaner, so that screwed my knee up a bit (more than it already was), and it seems like my car has decided that this is the year it will go to the great big garage in the sky. It likes to stall when the petrol kicks over to gas, though I have managed to device a series of tapping revs that seems to (barely) prevent it from doing so. I did get a delivery of art supplies from America on Friday, so that made the week a bit better :)

Anyway, goal progress so far:

Creative Goals
  • Write at least 250 words per day: Most days I have doubled this for Dark and Silent Waters, and have generally managed as many words on my other untitled project as well.
  • Do at least one painting or drawing per week: Nope :( All of our kitchen furniture was moved into the lounge room while we had new lino put down, and since the lounge room is the only place I have room to spread out my art supplies at the best of times, I had nowhere to paint.
  • Maintain writing/art blog: One post done, another in progress.
Academic Goals
  • NA.
Health Goals

  • 10 minutes slow exercise-bike riding per day: Monday and Tuesday only; my Dad moved the exercise bike out of the kitchen while we were getting new floors done, and when I went to the garage to use it, he'd piled heaps of other crap on top of it.
  • 30 minutes swimming per week: Nope :( That will earn me a nip from Judgemental Dog...
  • Go through one sheet of physio knee exercises per day: Every day except Friday and Saturday (knee was too sore/unstable).
  • Only one piece of chocolate and one energy drink per week: On track so far.
So, no actual drawing this week, but to make up for it, here's a photo of my furry art studio supervisor examining my new art supplies (judgementally, of course):
The house is more or less back to normal now, so this week I should actually be able to get some proper drawing done. Though Tuesday is out, since I'll be going in to uni for a meeting with one of my PhD supervisors. Need to try to ask a few questions about my scholarship etc, since the amount of time I'll need off following knee surgery could complicate things.

Judgemental Dog wants everyone to succeed this round:
See how other ROW80ers are doing here.