Kim Kardashian Kayne West

Gold Coasters set to follow Kimye’s baby name trend?

I heard the news on the radio, and I instantly hated myself for being interested in the topic. I’m talking about Kim Kardashian – or more to the point, the name she and hubby Kanye have chosen for their new baby daughter.

As soon as the announcer mentioned “Kimye baby name revealed”, I was instantly shushing my kids and turning up the volume to find out what they could have possibly come up with to top their choices for their older children, ‘North’ and ‘Saint’.

Their announcement was predictably unusual: Chicago West is the little girl’s moniker, to be shortened to Chi (pronounced Shy) for fun.

Sure, it sounds like the name of a place or a corporate entity, rather than a person. But I’ve got to admit, it could have been a lot worse.

Chicago is an important city to Kanye, as it’s his hometown, so their announcement got me thinking: I wonder if any Gold Coasters would follow Kim and Kanye’s lead, and name their kid after the suburb they were raised in?

Some of our neighbourhoods readily lend themselves to names. There’s Ash, Robin, Ben and Hope (Ashmore, Robina, Benowa and Hope Island respectively), which are all perfectly normal names.

Some Gold Coast suburbs could be a little more unusual when used as a name…

“Molendinar, get here and clean your room now!”

“Merrimac have you brushed your teeth?”

“Carrara, if I have to ask you to finish your breakfast one more time…”

In saying all of that, this week, thousands of kids across the Gold Coast are returning to school, and you can bet your last dollar that unusual names outrank your stock standard Sarah, Sally and Sam’s 2 to 1.

Dropping my little one off today, I encountered the names Kohen, Harper, Denzel, Halo, Arlo, Jax, Arden and Brace.

Maybe the most outrageous thing you could do these days is actually name your kid something simple, like Julie?

We’ll find out what the latest baby-naming trend is soon enough, when the other Kardashian sister, Khloe, welcomes and names her first bub later this year.

Baby Calabasas, perhaps?

The M1 looking north from Ormeau bridge

Queensland Drivers, it’s time we had a little talk

Hi Queensland, come in, close the door would you and have a seat.

Look I’ll get straight out with it, and this is a little hard for me to say, because for the most part you’re great neighbours, but I really do have to say this so just listen for a minute ok.

You know how we all work with someone or have family members or friends who aren’t not good at something.

It’s fine right, you can’t be good at everything – I’ve sucked at footy for at least ten years for example.

More often than not, just like I did there, this person who is bad at a particular skill or task just openly admits this ineptness and embraces any jokes built around it (how good was Kurt Gidley!).

But sometimes, and I can’t stress enough how much this part of the analogy applies to you, a person just flatly refuses to acknowledge their deficiency.

In some extreme cases, like this one we are talking about today, they actually begin to weave a false reality together where the cause of the problem is someone or something other than themselves.

No one likes that person. No one.

That person gets gossiped about behind their back and is constantly demeaned and thought less of by their peers for lacking the essential Australian quality of being able to self-identify a deficiency and then either get better at it or at the very least own it and take the piss out of yourself for it.

Queensland “that person” is you; you can’t drive properly and it is starting to really piss everyone else off when you don’t acknowledge it and/or blame other people for it.

I don’t like delivering this news any more than you like hearing it, but the proof is irrefutable.

Presumably people go on holidays to places other than South East Queensland yes?

Why then aren’t NSW freeways, or roads anywhere else for that matter, riddled with the gridlock that South East Queensland roads suffer?

It is simply because nowhere else possesses the critical mass of Queensland drivers necessary for continuous congestion to occur.

On Wednesday, a friend of mine and I were dropped off at golf in Tweed at 11am, we finished our four and a half hour round of golf, enjoyed a post golf beverage, and received an SMS from my friend’s sister who had not reached the Sunshine Coast yet!

Five hours from Banora to Noosa on a lazy Wednesday afternoon.

You can’t merge on or off of freeways, you don’t check your mirrors or ensure you are in the appropriate lane for your speed, you generally have far too little or far too much consideration of other drivers and you don’t know what an ‘overtaking’ lane is nor how it should be used.

All it takes to best your collective driving skills is an entry ramp or three and bang, gridlock.

Don’t believe me?

Take a leisurely drive down the M1 southbound from say Varsity to Tugun. Take this trip literally anytime.

These are hard things to hear I’m sure, but I tell you as a friend who is very concerned.

Sure at first it was kind of funny that none of you could drive very well, but after years of not-so-subtle hints, it is well past time for you to sort this out.

Queensland, we love you guys, but you need to acknowledge this, own this and then get much, much (much) better at it because there is a Commonwealth Games around the corner and your lack of driving prowess risks making us all look like fools on an international stage.

Gold Coast Titans logo on vehicle

The hole that could sink the Titans in 2018

Enjoy the next few weeks Gold Coast footy fans because 2018 looks like it is going to be another long season for the Titans.

2017 was a year to forget for us all and new Titans coach Garth Brennan has done his level best to help us all forget, shuffling on a plethora of players and moving quickly to put the club’s failed Hayne-Mary play behind us by wooing Michael Gordon to the club.

The decks have been cleaned, the flotsam and jetsam is in the water and a nice, safe, locally manufactured rudder has been installed at the back.

One problem though -there is a big bloody hole in the ship.

It has been there since Zeb Taia boarded the plane for England 12 months ago and amazingly no one – not even the new coach – seems to have noticed let alone looked like patching it up.

The gaping bottom four-bound hole of which I speak can be found on the left (or port-side for those enjoying my cleverly-woven analogy) side of the boat located directly inside Kane Elgey.

Yes, the hole is Joe Greenwood and the Titans are sailing full-steam into a season seemingly unfazed by what this hole did last season.

In 2017, the Titans left side defence leaked more points than any other team in the comp.

That is WITH Hayne at the back who, say what you will about his off-field distractions or penchant for bottom lip dropping, is an exceptionally strong defensive fullback particularly close to the line.

Gordon is positionally excellent but if a backrower or speedy winger wants to go past, over or through him they will.

The defensive trouble the Titans had last season started in the left backrow position, played most often by Joe Greenwood.

Greenwood was a fish out of water and his inexperience and defensive ineptness was then compounded by the man outside him Kane Elgey, who had a poor season defensively due to nursing injuries all season and a general lack of confidence.

Elgey, who has more talent and ticker than Taylor when fully fit, was torcher by former coach Neil Henry all season who refused to plug that gap with a backrow enforcer (ala Tonie Carroll) who would have provided much-needed support to Elgey and generally helped hold the line on that side.

We all know where that decision ultimately landed Henry and we saw week after week the effect it had on-field – opposition players were going through Greenwood/Egley/Copley like Moses through the Red Sea.

After a year of pain that cost the coach his job, you’d think the new coach would make an effort to plug that gap, to at least patch up that hole?

Nope.

Joe Greenwood is set to start on the left edge in 2018 and while he may have improved (the Titans are risking their season that he has), I see zero options on the Titans list to come in and help that edge if Greenwood fails or injures himself.

Mr Brennan, I know it is hard to lure players here, but it’s not THAT hard, particularly in that position.

The Titans desperately need an old head who can defend like his life depended on it, they need to call this man and get him up to Robina because currently their backrow stocks look as bare as their trophy cabinet and if left un-patched this hole in the Titans 2018 boat will surely sink them.

Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari: Sexual assault, or just a bad date?

Another woman has added her story to the “MeToo” movement, claiming that Aziz Ansari sexually assaulted her during a date in New York.

Reading the details of her experience made me feel a little bit sick. But not for the reason you might expect…

You see, while I acknowledge this was a terrible experience for her, to me it doesn’t fall under the banner of sexual assault or harassment. Not even a little bit.

It was an awkward sexual encounter, and she could have left any time she wanted to. She could have loudly vocalised her discomfort. If he wasn’t getting her non-verbal cues then it was up to her to be really vocal. Or leave.

Should he have responded to her non-verbal cues? Yes, absolutely – she wasn’t into it, and he should have clued into that.

Should she have been more vocal in her discomfort? Yes, absolutely – get as loud as you have to in order to get your message across. As Caitlin Flanagan points out at The Atlantic, “in a way… so many modern girls are weak” when it comes to advocating for ourselves.

“[We were told] over and over again that if a man tried to push you into anything you didn’t want, even just a kiss, you told him flat out you weren’t doing it. If he kept going, you got away from him,” she writes.

“Slap him if you had to; get out of the car and start wailing if you had to. They told you to do whatever it took to stop him from using your body in any way you didn’t want, and under no circumstances to go down without a fight. In so many ways, compared with today’s young women, we were weak; we were being prepared for being wives and mothers, not occupants of the C-Suite. But as far as getting away from a man who was trying to pressure us into sex we didn’t want, we were strong.”

Nowadays, at what point do we as women have to take responsibility for our own actions in an encounter? At what point does it become our own responsibility to say, “Stop this sucks, I’m leaving”, rather than placing all of the onus and responsibility on the guy?

That’s the reason why I’m feeling so queasy about this whole story: because things like this have the power to undermine all the progress we’re making against genuine sexual predators.

And when someone can anonymously accuse someone of assault and potentially destroy their career, we’re entering seriously dangerous territory.

School Lunch

Try telling that to the kids of today, they won’t believe you!

So this morning I found out that kids can’t eat all their lunch at recess time like I used to.

Worse still, they are forced (literally) to sit and eat all together for 15 minutes before anyone can go and play.

I know right. Needless to say I called in sick for work immediately so I could recover from the shock I had gone into.

It’s called ‘Eating Time’ and quite frankly it made me very angry.

Back in my day, the glorious late 80’s and early 90’s, primary school kids were quite adept at knowing how to both eat and play.

Personally, I ate all my lunch at recess every day due in most part to the finite amount of sporting gear available in our sports shed – there was no way I was letting a now hot and soggy sandwich stop me from playing cricket at lunch.

If I came home with half my lunch in my bag for a week straight my mum would simply just put half as much in the next week – use it or lose it problem solved.

It is that kind of self-reliance and common-sense problem solving that I miss most about the 90’s.

20 years ago, a parent would not dare complain about a problem that was clearly localised to their child, they would fix said problem and get on with it.

Sadly this is not the day and age I which we now live.

Much easier to complain these days.

Couple this social change with the fact that today a teacher dare not arm herself (or himself) with weapons like common sense or even sarcasm when said complaint occurs, and you have a dangerously stupid school environment.

“Really? I mean I am already teaching little Billy how to read, write, count, type, play sport, play music, learn basic HTML coding all while teaching them how to socialise with other children all day but yeh sure, I can force them and consequently every single other child in the school to sit on a bench and eat their food. Explaining when to eat and why it’s important was, I had assumed, something you could do really easily as their parent, but seeing as though you’re really busy and/or couldn’t be bothered I’ll add eating to the list shall I?”

The above sentence is but one example of why I could never be a teacher because this would come out of my mouth verbatim the second a parent started complaining that their kid wasn’t eating their lunch.

That or ‘They’ll live’.

In the absence of this common-sense push back, kids now sit down for 15 minutes a day to a designated and tightly-supervised Auschwitz-style ‘eating time’ in order to sustain themselves.

It may seem like a trivial thing but it really is not – if it was a few kids not being able to get the concept of homework, would we just scrap homework and force kids to stay back 30mins each day so everyone could do it supervised?

Dumb ideas in 1990 are still just as stupid in 2018 but sadly a dramatic decrease in perceptions of parental responsibility coupled with a similar drop in teachers’ power have conspired to see more and more of these ideas getting through to becoming policy or ways of life.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must be off for my 10 minutes of morning toilet time, the parents of my neighbour three doors down weren’t able to teach him the concept that it was up to him when he went so now council makes our whole street all go at 9am and 5pm.