The Happiest Refugee: A Memoir by Anh Do

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​The story is told in such a simple and personal way like it was my granny or dad telling me a story. A perfect example of how comedy and tragedy go together so well. I didn’t expect his life to be so colourful and him to be so diverse and versatile. Thank you RSL Op-Shop crew for passing this on as I had been looking for it for a quite a while.

Notes
– Dad getting enemy uniform smuggled to walk in the camp and rescue his brothers.

– Mother pronouncing ‘Pork and cheese’ instead of Portuguese.

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– Dad being an animal lover with lots of animals and handy man always handy manning something.

– The family was doing so well because of his father that they had properties and farms and the kids went to one of the top private schools until one day they bought the wrong feed that killed all the animals and dad started drinking and getting violent so he left and mom didn’t let him back in. After that mom was struggling just to keep up with the schools uniform demands. A separate kit for each sport and semester.

– His entrepreneurial journey from failed paper rounds, selling fish to being a Native American selling jewellery to stand up comedy.

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– Chicken embryos are mentioned as a dish.

– The way he got funding for The Finished People feature film and then writing Footy Legends.

– His dads philosophy of – There’s now and there’s too late.

– He dedicated Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’ to his comedy mentor Dave Grant which he was going to dedicate it to his dad.

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Mega 90’s at Metro City (Dr. Alban, Technotronic, The Real McCoy & 2 Unlimited) 17 March 2017

First of all the important bit. I finally got to meet one of my first heroes, my favourite producers and musical obsession DR. ALBAN! Has to be one of my most memorable days.

Now for the full story. My bro had gone to a previous Mega 90s event with other 90s starts like Haddaway, Corona, Blackbox etc. I just thought they were tribute acts so wasn’t too interested. Then find out it’s the real artists themselves! Oh well too late for that one and anyway it wasn’t Dr. Alban.

This time round it was and even though Prasheel insisted they weren’t tribute acts it took me a while to register. At first I was just going to book normal tickets until I saw the VIP option where you get to meet the star, 2 items autographed and photo op. OH YEAH! Back in the day I even mailed his studio to tell them I’ll leave everything even to clean their toilets if I get to be around the MD (Microphone Dentist).

Tickets booked an all but Oztix were pretty disorganised. Later on sending me an email saying that they’ll start at 8pm and on the day… LAST MINUTE sending an email staying the meet and greet will be at 6:00pm so be there by 5:30pm after artist finish their sound check. Had to drop everything I was doing to catch the busses and trains. Now where I live is pretty far and closer to farmland so had to wait a while for a bus. Usually the busses are small but since it was when kids finish school it was a bendy bus and packed full of school kids bringing the noise. My nose and throat weren’t doing too well since the day before so all the kids cooties made it worse. Oh well I can’t afford to get sick until after tonight!

I was still feeling bummed and Prasheel had opted for the VIP meet and greet to but he was going to be in meetings and all. Just before I got to Metro I blocked a van that turned into the back parking. Had a feeling it was the artists and IT WAS! Feeling like a groupie. I wanted to run in the back as I saw him come out! Anyway went to the front and looks like I was second there. Derrick in a wheelchair was there first to do a meet and greet with The Real McCoy. Now thats dedication. We chit and chat. More people come. Find out there are only 4 people up to see Dr. Alban which included 2 Russian dudes who just got to Perth that day. Reeking of vodka.

Gates open. I had planned everything I was going to tell Dr. Alban and instead of just pictures I’ll set the video on so it records a video and also whoever takes pics can capture that too. The non-english speaking Russian did a great job. Dr. Alban kept asking me which of his songs are popular in Perth but I was so gone I just saying the same thing. You can see his frustrated smile in the video. I was fanboying so badly! I even had to be reminded to get my 2 autographs so got my Straight Outta Kenya shirt signed. After the video was taken I just started jumping all over the place lol. Dude is still so built for a 59 year old.

Russian guys want to drink but it’s St. Patricks day so both the Irish pubs in Northbridge had queues. Take them to NBC for their drinks while I walk down to Utopia to catch up with the boys. I was still super early so go back to chill with the Russians and talk Ace of Base, Acapella, La Bouche etc. Back to Utopia with Vikas, Hems and Dilan (who by the way gave us the first Dr. Alban album… how perfect is this!?) Eat, drink, good company and chat. I’m still drying my underwear from the excitement.

Walk down to Metro. Meet Prasheel (we both used to chill and listen to these artists). The organiser told me he can get Prasheel to meet Dr. Alban before he performs so there was still hope. Prasheel gives me a tour or the stair maze that is Metro city. Chill and so glad Prasheel got his meet and greet. He requested Dr. Alban to play Let The Beat Go On.

Locals DJ Nick Skitz & MC James Spy get the party started. Did some awesome remixes of the 90s songs. Hard bass and live saxophone. NICE!

Dr. Alban is on first. He didn’t look too pleased with the sound and was pointing at the speaker a couple of times but otherwise best performance of the night and not only because it was Dr. Alban. Technotronic was next and as much as I want to support them for what they’re doing it felt like they were dragging that one main song for too long and then the other few bits not many people knew. The Real McCoy and MC Sar were next and MC still has that rough voice. They even got on the dance floor with the crowd. And finally 2 Unlimited with their dancers. The new lady singer reminds me of a skinny version of my crush LisaRaye McCoy. I thought the rapper Ray had gone to pursue his own rapping career but so glad to see him perform. Still so fast, live and gangsta!

All in all a great night with great company and I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve seen the inside of a club. The fact that I got to see these guys with the people I’ve shared these memories with from Dilan hooking my and my bro up with the music to seeing the artist with Prasheel who shares the same love since way back made all the magic. Oh and I got one of my longest wishes fulfilled, which incase I haven’t emphasised already…. ah you know it.

Doors: 8pm
Nick Skitz Set: 8pm
Dr Alban: 9pm
Technotronic: 9:30pm
DJ Nick Skitz Set: 10:00pm
Real McCoy: 10:30pm
2 Unlimited: 11:00pm
DJ Nick Skitz Set: following 2 Unlimited til Midnight
DJ TIMBEE – 90s Aftershow party – Midnight til late

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Summary from the Longest Study on Happiness – The Harvard Study of Adult Development

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TED Talk video at the bottom of this page

– Over 80 percent said that a major life goal for them was to get rich and another 50 percent of those same young adults said that another major life goal was to become famous.

– For 75 years the lives of 724 men were tracked, asking about their work, their home lives, their health, and of course asking all along the way without knowing how their life stories were going to turn out.

– About 60 of the original 724 men are still alive, still participating in the study, most of them in their 90s. And we are now beginning to study the more than 2,000 children of these men.

– Since 1938 the lives of two groups of men were tracked. The first group started in the study when they were sophomores at Harvard College. They all finished college during World War II, and then most went off to serve in the war. And the second group that we’ve followed was a group of boys from Boston’s poorest neighborhoods, boys who were chosen for the study specifically because they were from some of the most troubled and disadvantaged families in the Boston of the 1930s. Most lived in tenements, many without hot and cold running water.

– Every two years, patient and dedicated research staff call the men and asks them if one more set of questions about their lives can be sent to them.

– They are interviewed in their living rooms. Medical records from their doctors are acquired. Drawing blood, brain scans, talks with their children, video taping them talking with loved ones about their deepest concerns. About a decade ago, the wives were asked if they would like to be interviewed, many of the women said, “You know, it’s about time.”

– The lessons aren’t about wealth or fame or working harder and harder. The clearest message is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.

– 3 big lessons about relationships. The first is that social connections are really good for us, and that loneliness kills. It turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community, are happier, they’re physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected. And the experience of loneliness turns out to be toxic. People who are more isolated than they want to be from others find that they are less happy, their health declines earlier in midlife, their brain functioning declines sooner and they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely. You can be lonely in a crowd and you can be lonely in a marriage, so the second big lesson that we learned is that it’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship, but it’s the quality of your close relationships that matters. It turns out that living in the midst of conflict is really bad for our health. High-conflict marriages, for example, without much affection, turn out to be very bad for our health, perhaps worse than getting divorced. And living in the midst of good, warm relationships is protective. Following the men all the way into their 80s to see if we could predict who was going to grow into a happy, healthy octogenarian and who wasn’t. It was how satisfied they were in their relationships that predicted how they were going to grow old. The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80. And good, close relationships seem to buffer us from some of the slings and arrows of getting old. The most happily partnered men and women reported, in their 80s, that on the days when they had more physical pain, their mood stayed just as happy. But the people who were in unhappy relationships, on the days when they reported more physical pain, it was magnified by more emotional pain. And the third big lesson that we learned about relationships and our health is that good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains. It turns out that being in a securely attached relationship to another person in your 80s is protective, that the people who are in relationships where they really feel they can count on the other person in times of need, those people’s memories stay sharper longer. And the people in relationships where they feel they really can’t count on the other one, those are the people who experience earlier memory decline. And those good relationships, they don’t have to be smooth all the time. Some of our octogenarian couples could bicker with each other day in and day out, but as long as they felt that they could really count on the other when the going got tough, those arguments didn’t take a toll on their memories.

– The people who were the happiest in retirement were the people who had actively worked to replace workmates with new playmates. Just like the millennials in that recent survey, many of the men when they were starting out as young adults really believed that fame and wealth and high achievement were what they needed to go after to have a good life. But over and over, over these 75 years, the study has shown that the people who fared the best were the people who leaned in to relationships, with family, with friends, with community.

– Solutions for you right now are endless. It might be something as simple as replacing screen time with people time or livening up a stale relationship by doing something new together, long walks or date nights, or reaching out to that family member who you haven’t spoken to in years, because those all-too-common family feuds take a terrible toll on the people who hold the grudges.

What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | Robert Waldinger

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Conversations With God – Book 3 by Neale Donald Walsch

Conversations With God – Book 3 by Neale Donald Walsch
Notes:
– This book will have Concepts dealing with other realms, other dimensions, and how the whole intricate weave fits together.
Act as if you are, and you will draw it to you. What you act as if you are, you become. In other words, “Fake it until you make it.” Therefore, whatever you choose for yourself, give to another.

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– No one is more ill-equipped to raise children than young parents. And no one knows this better than young parents. 
Most parents come to the job of parenting with very little life experience. They’re hardly finished being parented themselves. They’re still looking for answers, still searching for clues. They haven’t even discovered themselves yet, and they’re trying to guide and nurture discovery in others even more vulnerable than they. They haven’t even defined themselves, and they’re thrust into the act of defining others. They are still trying to get over how badly they have been misdefined by their parents. In most advanced races and societies, elders raise the offspring, nurture the offspring, train the offspring, and pass on to the offspring the wisdom, teachings, and traditions of their kind.

– How men created a male God and Satan because women had power back in the day.

– Death, souls, afterlife, microcosm and macro intertwined.

– 3 choices you have:
1. You may allow your uncontrolled thoughts to create The Moment.
2. You may allow your creative consciousness to create The Moment.
3. You may allow the collective consciousness to create The Moment.

– Think of the Cosmic Wheel as that CD-ROM. All the endings already exist. The universe is just waiting to see which one you choose this time. And when the game is over, whether you win, lose, or draw, the universe will say, “Want to play again?” So if you think it would be interesting for the doomsday predictions of the psychics to come true, focus all your attention on that, and you can draw that to yourself. And if you think you would like to experience a different reality, focus on that, and that is the outcome you can draw to you.

– Who You Are is love.
 What love is, is unlimited, eternal, and free.
 Therefore, that is what you are. That is the nature of Who You Are. You are unlimited, eternal, and free, by nature.
Now, any artificial social, moral, religious, philosophical, economic, or political construction which violates or subordinates your nature is an impingement upon your very Self—and you will rail against it. 
What do you suppose gave birth to your own country? Was it not “Give me liberty, or give me death”?
 Well, you’ve given up that liberty in your country, and you’ve given it up in your Jives. And all for the same thing. Security.
 You are so afraid to live—so afraid of life itself—that you’ve given up the very nature of your being in trade for security.

– The institution you call marriage is your attempt to create security, as is the institution called government. Actually, they are both forms of the same thing—artificial social constructions designed to govern each other’s behaviour. It is the ultimate announcement of fear.
 If marriage allowed you to be unlimited, eternal, and free in your love, then it would be the ultimate announcement of love. As things are now, you become married in an effort to lower your love to the level of a promise or a guarantee.
 Marriage is an effort to guarantee that “what is so” now will always be so. If you didn’t need this guarantee, you would not need marriage.

And how do you use this guarantee? First, as a means of creating security (instead of creating security from that which is inside of you), and second, if that security is not forever forthcoming, as a means of punishing each other, for the marriage promise which has been broken can now form the basis of the lawsuit which has been opened. You have thus found marriage very useful—even if it is for all the wrong reasons.
 Marriage is also your attempt to guarantee that the feelings you have for each other, you will never have for another. Or, at least, that you will never express them with another in the same way. 
Finally, marriage as you have constructed it is a way of saying: “This relationship is special. I hold this relationship above all others.” If Who You Really Are is a being who says, “This one relationship—this single one, right over here-is more special than any other,” then your construction of marriage allows you to do that perfectly.

Yet you might find it interesting to notice that almost no one who is, or has been, recognised as a spiritual master is married. It’s because masters cannot truthfully make the statement that your present construction of marriage seeks to make: that one person is more special to them than another.
 This is not a statement that a master makes, and it is not a statement that God makes.
 The fact is that your marriage vows, as you presently construct them, have you making a very un-Godly statement. It is the height of irony that you feel this is the holiest of holy promises, for it is a promise that God would never make. Yet, in order to justify your human fears, you have imagined a God who acts just like you.

Therefore, you speak of God’s “promise” to his “Chosen People,” and of covenants between God and those God loves, in a special way. 
You cannot stand the thought of a God who loves no one in a way which is more special than any other, and so you create fictions about a God who only loves certain people for certain reasons. And you call these fictions Religions. I call them blasphemies. For any thought that God loves one more than another is false-and any ritual which asks you to make the same statement is not a sacrament, but a sacrilege. Religion and marriage the way you have constructed them is what we are talking about here.

Love has no requirements. That’s what makes it love.
 If your love for another carries requirements, then it is not love at all, but some counterfeit version. 
That is what I have been trying to tell you here, It is what I have been saying, in a dozen different ways, with every question you’ve asked here.
 Within the context of marriage, for example, there is an exchange of vows that love does not require. Yet you require them, because you do not know what love is. And so you make each other promise what love would never ask. (Neale and Nancy’s declaratio to each other – http://everything2.com/title/Uncommon+wedding+vows)

– You have bastardised the Word of God in order to justify your fears and rationalise your insane treatment of each other.
 You will make God say whatever you need God to say in order to continue limiting each other, hurting each other, and killing each other in My name. You have invoked My name, and waved My flag, and carried crosses on your battlefields for centuries, all as proof that I love one people more than another, and would ask you to kill to prove it.
 Yet I tell you this: My love is unlimited and unconditional. That is the one thing you cannot hear, the one truth you cannot abide, the one statement you cannot accept, for its all-inclusiveness destroys not only the institution of marriage (as you have constructed it), but every one of your religions and governmental institutions as well. For you have created a culture based on exclusion, and supported it with a cultural myth of a God who excludes. Yet the culture of God is based on inclusion. In God’s love, everyone is included. Into God’s Kingdom everyone is invited.

– If you terminate a pregnancy, We terminate a pregnancy. Your will is My will.

– You’re approaching the same point in human history again. It’s vitally important that you understand this.
Your present technology is threatening to outstrip your ability to use it wisely. Your society is on the verge of becoming a product of your technology, rather than your technology being a product of your society.
When a society becomes a product of its own technology, it destroys itself.

– Because guilt and shame is something which is imposed on a being from outside of itself. It can then be internalized, no question about that, but it is initially imposed from the outside. Always. No divine being (and all beings are divine) ever knows itself or anything it is doing to be “shameful” or “guilty” until someone outside of itself labels it that way. In your culture, is a baby ashamed of its “bathroom habits”? Of course not. Not until you tell it to be. Does a child feel “guilty” for pleasuring itself with its genitals? Of course not. Not until you tell it to feel guilty.
The degree to which a culture is evolved is demonstrated by the degree to which it labels a being or an action “shameful” or “guilty.”

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