avatar_1: (Uplit)
9 weeks until I'm in Brisbane and 4 weeks until my birthday.

It's a bit weird knowing my birthday has come up as since the beginning of the year, I started to think of myself as "almost 26" and I shortened that in my head to "26", and it got to the point where a couple of times I actually forgot how old I really was - 25 or 26. I'm 25. I'll be 26 in 4 weeks' time.

I was going to go skiing for my birthday and take some time off work, but I think organising the whole thing will just get too tedious. This is saying something, because there's two things I love doing there - skiing and exploring new places, and I'd be doing it at the best time of year. It's a really bad sign to show just how lazy I've gotten and, worse, how much I've gotten to love being lazy. I'd like to say it's a dangerous mix, but if I'm doing what I want to do, it's difficult to dispute.

The same thing sort of applies to the Brisbane trip. I'm going for a week and a half since a week isn't enough and 2 weeks felt like just a bit too much last time, and I want some time to myself when I get back to Melbourne, ideally before and after the trip. Ideally I had in mind to plan every single day of the trip as best as I could before I left because everytime I go there I'm doing stuff a bit too aimlessly.

The next couple of months are going to be quite busy. Or quite lazy. I'm not sure yet.
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avatar_1: (Analyse)
God, I've been meaning to post for ages. Okay.

So I had two very simple choices for how I was going to spend New Years Eve this year.

I have about a rough week off work to enjoy during the holiday period. I was thinking of several rough plans, almost all of which involved me travelling to some place. Not real sure if I could afford it, but who cares, it's New Years Eve, right? For those of you who don't know, this is one of only two celebratory days during the year that I really get into - on par with birthdays.

Option 1 was to stay in Melbourne, and find something to do here. I've done that the past two years, and although 2006 was pretty goddamn relaxing and nice, with a nice sunrise to boot, 2007 was dull, rainy, and unrewarding. For 2008, I expected more of the same. Probably with ludicrously hot weather if the next few day's forecast are anything to go by.

Option 2 came about last night, when [livejournal.com profile] binganator and his loverly girlfriend Mel invited me to a shitkicker party in Adelaide. Now, not to mention that I also have rellies in Adelaide I wouldn't mind seeing as a bonus (and only a bonus), it was a pretty good option. Having said that, the problem with this - and any other travelling option - is that I get minimal time to myself to spend over the holiday break.

That doesn't make a great deal of sense, really, because even though I've already chosen option 2 and am flying to Adelaide tomorrow, I get back just after 2008 begins - leaving me with 2 more days before I go back to work for1 day, and then a 2-day weekend before work really starts up again.

In other words, I am whining about going to a kickass party and then having only 4 days off work.

Really, I think I made I right choice here. I'm just bloody tired because I made this decision pretty much today after scrambling to review what exactly I was going to do and who with and where to do it and how much it would cost and where are my fairy lights I don't know, and should I get a car or drive or fly there and how much would it cost and oh my god.

I should post again before 2007 expires.
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avatar_1: (Chaos)
Okay. Dubai is pretty cool.

The first few days I was here, I have to admit, I wasn't exceptionally impressed. I have this really bad habit of going to a new place and expecting exciting or spectacular things to jump out at me. It rarely works that way. Even Melbourne didn't do that for me. I expect it even more when I go overseas because, heck, it's overseas!

Anyway, I'd like to keep this part brief.

  • People just don't seem too bright. At first I thought this was a communication thing - I speak pretty quickly in general, but I also know how to slow right down and speak clearly. But sometimes even when you talk like you're talking to a two year old, have repeated yourself at least twice, and have rephrased what you wanted at least once, they sometimes still won't be able to tell you what you're after - even if they do (think they) understand you.
  • The buildings are pretty awesome. Like I said, they weren't that brilliant when I first saw them on Day 1, but to be honest, the more I drive past them, the more I marvel at them. You drive past one and you might be a bit ho-hum, but then you see funky building #2, funky building #3, funky building #10 and so on - that's pretty cool.
  • The drivers appear to have learnt how to drive by spending a few hours on a playstation game. Seriously, that's what one of the tourist guides said under the 'taxi' section, and it's not far off. Driving at 130km/h in a 100 zone, tailgating and regular honking of horns is just another day on the roads of Dubai. Right now as I type this from the 8th floor of my hotel, I just heard a couple of horns go off from the road for about 10 seconds.
  • If you're ever here, go on a Desert Safari tour. I am not just saying that. Go.
  • Despite the fact that this place is regularly 20-30 degree heat - about as hot as Brisbane and less humid - they actually have an indoor snow place where you can ski or snowboard. I've been twice so far, and I want to go again, but I doubt I'll be able to. More on this on a future post.
  • The arcades here are better than Australia. I'm sorry, they are. Three types of DDR (although no actual DDR; Dancing Stage Fusion, Into The Groove and that 5-step-diagonals one that I hate), the regular arcade games you'd normally see, plus a funky new gun game "Too Spicy" that I liked, a new version of House of the Dead 4 where you go inside a room, strap yourself in and get spun around between a screen in front of you and a screen behind you to see behind your character, RIDES including a climbing wall and other funky things I can't really explain that I never thought you could fit inside one of these places.
  • Things are cheaper (such as taxis and food) but some things are also more expensive (such as ipods - AU$600 for an iPod tough 16GB, vs our ~AU$540).

Also, long plane fights blow. A lot. It's a road trip in the air, but you have less space and share it with strangers. The timings of when the food comes is a lot less predictable than you'd expect, especially with the jet lag. If you have epilepsy, don't have a drink. It throws off your balance even more than it usually would, especially if they make your drink stronger than you'd usually take it.

And I get to make that flight again on the way back. Yay! Still, the jet lag won't hit me and I'll have a couple more days to myself when I get back to Melbourne. Strangely, I'm not missing Team Fortress 2!
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avatar_1: (Uplit)
Leaving work and having it still be daylight is actually a really good incentive to stop by the gym and not have to deal with the sunlight on the way home.

I think doing two weeks of 9-5's really threw my bodyclock - and my routine - completely off the rockers. I'm back to the late shifts now, and i'm feeling better than I have in a long time.
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avatar_1: (ReturningFire)
Team Fortress 2 is out, and is currently my addiction.

Some random on steam added me:

Avatar [ٿ]: g'day do I know you
Agony: you killed me in TF2, repeatedly. I just wanna know when you're on so I can exact revenge ;)
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avatar_1: (Riverlook)
The past day and a bit has been a bit of a runaround. I'm paying by the minute for this entry, so it's just a short one.

I thought that a day would probably be enough to see everything I wanted to see in Mackay, and it was and it wasn't. I spent yesterday preparing and going to one person's wedding and someone else's bucks night. I got to see a fair bit of the city and one of the last two shopping malls here.

I was going to get a photo by the river, but it feels a bit outdated these days. The one I have now (on this entry) was taken at Magnetic Island. I'll probably get another one somewhere else again.

Both the wedding and the bucks night were a blast, and I have a ton of photos I'll be posting to Facebook when I get back to Melbourne tonight.

Speaking of getting back, the ridiculously high priced tickets I bought two weeks ago appear to be business class. The joys of paying top dollar and booking late on an emptyish flight!
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avatar_1: (Riverlook)
I brought with me for my trip a small selection of my compilations: CD#3, CD#4, CD#7, Past, Present, CD#13, Love, CD#17 and CD#18. I'll come back to this.

When I first arrived in Brisbane, way back in 2000 (7 and a half years ago!), one of the first things I tried to do was organise a skirmish game for the group I was hanging out with at the time - the guys from #computers on Austnet IRC. It was a good group - about 12 people were coming. I was 17 years old by this point.

I kept a little text file on my computer to try and keep track of everyone's availability. It was only ever going to be on a weekend since some people were working weekdays, but some people every now and then had shift work on weekends too. About a month or two later, it became apparent that my organisation of the event had dragged on for so long that everyone, including myself, had actually lost interest. It was just too hard to organise one date for everyone to show up.

Today marks the second-last day, and the last night, of my trip to Brisbane. It's only the second time I've been here since I moved to Melbourne.

On the plane here, the ocean around the coast was glistening. I was really looking forward to staying here for two weeks instead of the one week I came for last time. I thought I had a better idea of what to expect.

The first few days, everything felt alien to me. Driving around, new places had sprung up, half the city is under construction, and everyone seems to know all of this except me.

It took a few more days after that before I even started up a new text file to keep track of everyone's availability, realising that I couldn't keep track of all this in my head. There was at least one day during the trip where I'd double booked, and it resulted in me being really way too late for [livejournal.com profile] turtledove's birthday outing.

A few more days, and driving around Brisbane felt like riding a bike again. The more I let my instincts take over my thought processes, the less I got lost.

I had intended on going to a few very specific places that I'd missed last time, or even that I'd missed before I left. Dreamworld, Mt Coot-tha, Kangaroo Point. I got to the latter two tonight, simply because time had run out. Either way, it felt like the most appropriate time, even if I was going on my own.

The division among the old groups staggers me. When I asked the reasons why, I heard all kinds of excuses. Relationships getting in the way? Old grudges? Too lazy to organise or stay in touch? Growing up?? I don't get it; how did that happen? People drift for a reason, and you can almost always put it down to a very specific reason - even if it doesn't come back to one singular event. But to say that people "move on" out of friendships just for the sake of it doesn't add up with me. Not after having been the way we were.

Change is a good thing. And there's always going to be new people coming into these groups. But there's no point changing when things are better the way they are. If there was any reason at all for how this happened, it completely flew by me.

On that drive I went for tonight, I figured out there was actually one CD compilation I'd neglected to listen to, despite the fact that I'd played some of the others several times. The one I missed was the most obvious choice for any drive I could have taken on this trip - Past.
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avatar_1: (Default)
When I first started using Facebook a few weeks ago, I gave a tiny paragraph to how cool Facebook was. When I wrote that, I clearly didn't know what I was in for.

First off, let me digress a little bit and compare it to Myspace.

It's not like Myspace. At all. Myspace is awful. Really bad. People say it's better for music. Yeah, maybe, but that's sort of like saying that you would prefer walking on a path of hot coals barefoot that is laced with mines that could go off at any step because there's a bar of chocolate at the end of that path - as opposed to walking down a carpeted scenic hallway with nicely labelled doors that will take you wherever you want to go, but the door labelled "Music" is slightly harder to get into because it looks like all the other doors.

Everyone who has tried Facebook has been converted over.

Nobody even seems to know what the big attraction is. You can add people onto a friends list, like most other things, including Livejournal. You have a minifeed, which is like an LJ friends list. You have a photo album. You can add applications in the same way you can add extensions to Firefox, which is a whole hell of a lot more appealing than you'd think.

But one of the biggest things for me that stands out is how easy it is to network with people, including people you may not have seen in years. For some reason, it seems that Facebook has become the 21st century's ICQ, except ten years on, everyone uses the internet a lot more than they used to.

By yesterday, I'd added most people I know and a few I'd fairly recently lost touch with. Just today, I've found about half my grade from my main school, and recently I've found a few more from my other schools. It's only 11am, and I'm completely blown away.
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avatar_1: (Uplit)
I've driven around a bit now.

I feel like I'm re-learning how to drive again, despite having brief spurts of driving throughout the time I haven't had full access to a car. I've been driving for about four years, and I've had about four years now of not-driving.

Funnily enough, driving in Melbourne, it's not the hook turns that are giving me hassles - they're easy. It's the 8-lane highways which have each direction separated by a tram line, and each set of 4-lanes are divided into two 2-lane sections by a traffic island that occasionally allows a car to switch from section to section. The problem is knowing whether the split in the traffic island is an entrance or an exit, and making sure that when you go through, there's enough room in front AND behind you to make sure oncoming traffic can still pass.

The price of fuel has gone up, but I haven't noticed yet.

On the weekend I discovered two new places - Altona and Williamstown. I've been to the west side of Melbourne maybe twice in the time I've been here. Both of these places actually had train stations near them, and while I'd been meaning to go to Altona to check it out, I never got around to it. Regardless, I wouldn't have been able to see Altona Beach, and I didn't know anything good was at Williamstown - I found it by accident.

Williamstown has the same kind of culture change you feel when you go to Acland St at St Kilda Beach. I didn't even get a really good look, and I think I can still say it looks bloody amazing.

Not to mention actually being able to go to those 24 hour supermarkets for last minute nibblies. That's assuming I don't get to the one near me that closes at midnight. Yes, this is why I haven't moved yet.

And no, no crashes yet. I sort of want to put up a sign somewhere saying "8 days without a crash!"

Just joshin'. Everything's okay.
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avatar_1: (Downlit)
I really hate it when a few little things - hell, even one little thing, goes wrong that potentially wrecks my night, and because it's such a little thing, there's no point telling anyone about it, and here's why.

Chances are if anything bad happened to that person you're telling, it's worse - like they've been bedridden for days, or someone's broken up with their partner, or god, pick almost anything. I'm using extreme examples, but I really don't have to.

My problem is that I want to be able to fix everything, and I want to be able to fix it now. Sorry Tony, you can't always work magic.
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avatar_1: (Magic)
After my trainer announced that he was going to be leaving the gym and the country, at the same time I'd been thinking of cancelling my gym membership or at least getting them to drop the price of my too-high contract, it's become apparent that my life is entering a new era - without me even being aware that the last one had passed.

It's been almost three years since I moved here, and it's been more than three years since I hit the big 21 that was my kickstart into Real Living. That's a misnomer of course, but it's all a matter of perspective anyway, so calling it a misnomer in the first place is irrelevant.

I've learnt how to live on my own to the point where I'm familiar with it. I know what I like doing, what I'm comfortable doing, roughly what direction I'm headed in. Where I stand with other people. God, I'm even getting the hang of cooking.

There's still plenty of room for improvement, but when it comes to changing, it comes naturally enough that it feels like it's second nature. I've always been a big believer in not seeing problems, but seeing solutions. Now it's who I am, and it's driving my future. I love it.
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avatar_1: (Invincible)
I put off going to the gym as much as I could tonight. My trainer recommended I grab some food before I go, which I usually don't do since I finish work late, but I grabbed some KFC for tonight. Then went to Baskins for a thickshake. Drank it, and went and had a few games at Barcode. THEN I went to the gym, and managed to do more than I expected to, which I was quite happy with myself for. A lot more cardio than I'm used to, and I was quite wrecked by the end.

For those of you not in the know, I work, eat, and go to the gym in the city. After work I always go home on the train which, for most of the city - and all of the city that I go through to get home - is underground. As a result, after exiting the tunnels as I leave the city, I'm usually greeted through the windows by either too much sun just before sunset, or a very comforting twilight. I'm most on a side chair, facing those windows.

Tonight, it was later than usual, and I kind of expected it to be pitch black outside, or a complete reflection on the windows. It was sort of half way - sort of reflective, but not enough to stop you seeing Melbourne city by night as I went further away.

Something a little different happened tonight though. As I was looking out the window on the other side of the carriage, my view was replaced by another train. Since it was night time, the lights were on in both trains, and you couldn't see much of anything else. My train was going slightly faster than the one next to me. It was kind of cool to see the other one slowly leaking behind, and every now and then you'd see someone looking back. This view was covering the entire length of every window from where I was sitting.

We were coming up to the station I had to change trains at, and then it dawned on me.

I got up, turned to face the door I had to exit from and looked behind me at the other train as we were approaching the station, waiting to see what the line was on the front of the train. The show had lasted long enough that the first carriage in my train was now right up to the first carriage of the other train, and slowly passing it. And then I saw the name.

It was the train I had to change to.

I didn't have long to open the door to my train, run up a very long ramp (after doing running at the gym, which I'm not used to), turning a corner and moving past people who couldn't think quick enough to get out of my way, and all the way down another very long ramp, hoping the doors wouldn't close even though by now they certainly should have. I got in, and they closed behind me. Between the time the door to my old train opened and the door to my new train opened, I had maybe three seconds of a headstart.

I caught my breath all the way to the next station.
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avatar_1: (Uplit)
A guy came up to ask us in a forest asking to show him where trees were. I was with a friend, but I thought I'd help this fellow out, and escorted him. He was not very happy as we walked for 30 seconds or so up to the nearest tree. I pointed a few other trees out, but he wasn't very happy with this (my friend later pointed out he was looking for treants).

I'd recently joined a guild I'm not terribly fond of, filled with newbies. My friend and I conned another guy into joining said guild, and left immediately after. We got him hook, link and sinker. Muchly amusing, until I later realised he had to leave his own guild in order to fall for our con. Will probably make up for it later, if he hasn't decided to uninstall the game.

Kept finding NPC's that had quests to be turned in, by accident, and in passing. Twice. I think I may just be the luckiest person in gaming, since this kind of thinig isn't limited to WoW. Read more on being lucky, less WoW related )

5am and still not tired. Trying to pull away from doing more trades.
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avatar_1: (Quenton)
Trying a new talent build that everyone is recommending to me that I don't particularly like.
Trying to kill things on my own in lower level dungeons just to be sure that I'm not dying because I don't know what I'm doing - I've still managed to die a few times.
Managing to get more sleep, but only because the server went down yesterday and the day before. Thank god for that!

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avatar_1: (Uplit)
I haven't updated in a while, and it shits me. I keep saving my posts for when I have the energy to convert them into rants, and it doesn't end up happening and I have a tendency to forget what I wanted to post about in the first place.

Still, things are good. I don't know how much money I've spent, but I've gotten a few things which have made me exceedingly happy in the past few days.

  • A new phone, which I've been waiting six months for, and only decided to buy because my old provider told me I was paying them too much.
  • A couch, which I've been intending to buy for the past two odd years. It's one of those super comfy ones with neckrests. The joy!
  • A chest of drawers, which I've gotten a screw stuck in while putting it together, and is now currently sitting behind me half-finished on its side as a makeshift bench until I make another attempt to fix it.
  • Speaker stands for my surround speakers, which solves the problem of keeping a goddamn computer in the middle of the apartment holding them up.

I feel like I'm a Sim building my SimHouse.

The phone has had its share of problems. And before I get into anything, this needs to be said. I looked for LOADS of advice before buying my phone, and the general concensus was "don't worry too much, most phones are the same, just get what you like". After I bought the phone, I ran into multiple problems which all of those people seemed to know something about that I could have solved or thought about earlier to fix it, but they didn't mention any of it to me! What the! Anyway, the short of it and the most important part is that I lost a load of addresses while moving my contacts memory over, since I didn't realise sim cards only hold names and numbers.

I'm feeling good. I'm already making some big vague plans for next year, and the next month or two is going to be a big deal. People coming over from around the country, taking some time off, work being hectic as hell while I'm not taking time off, and I'm expecting some side trips to some places I haven't been before along the way.

And goddammit, I will be posting the posts I want to post soon. Trust me.
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avatar_1: (RockyRoad)
There's two terms I use to define how likely I am to have a seizure. I use them because when I'm thinking about having a seizure, I don't have time or the concentration to think about where I am on a scale of 1 to 10. That's too much to handle. The more I concentrate, the more likely I am to seize up. No, I need to be as relaxed and as focused as possible.

When I've recently taken a tablet, I'm safe.
When it's been a while since I've taken a tablet, I'm prone.

Simple, quick, easy. One word means safe, the other means danger. Both one syllable, and the latter is enough to alert me that something is not right. It's important that it's easy because I don't think about whether I'm about to have a seizure 24/7, so when I'm actually about to have one, I'm not always thinking "wait, am I in the middle of an aura?" It's much easier to think about whether it's almost time to take a tablet, whether I have to go home, whether I can stay out, whether it's semi-okay to have my over-the-limit quota of one drink.

Melbourne is apparently one of the best places for an epileptic to live. Some of the best specialists in the country are here, conveniently located near me at the Alfred Hospital. Although I'm now apparently too well to keep going there, a few things I've since learned actually make sense from the doctor I've seen there.

The first is basic - the likelihood of having a seizure isn't based solely on the tablets, although the tablets should ensure no problems (which, in the past, they have). Sleeping properly and eating well also come into play, which explains why I'm able to function so damn well sometimes without them.

The other is that when I'm breathing deeply - or hyperventilating, like during an EEG, I'm putting my body into a similar state it would be in under conditions where I'm having a seizure. It's not the same with exercising, like if I go for a run and run out of breath and pant, there's something else in the body that compensates for that - which isn't there if you're at rest and hyperventilating.

I went to the gym last week to meet up with Josh, my trainer. I'm always pushing myself harder when he's around, since there's less risk of anything going wrong. And it works for me.

Until last week. We did boxing, which I love doing - and I'd only done it once before. It's all based on endurance, which is one of my weaker areas. Regardless, I think it's great fun. Not quite DDR when it comes to exercise, but close. I do half hour sessions, and it's all done in fairly quick succession. I prefer to do more in less time than less in more time. I take lengthier breaks only when I can feel my body really needs it.

But last week, something went wrong. By the end of the session, I actually started feeling dizzy. I was walking around, still dizzy, before I had to sit down. Before I had to sit down and close my eyes before I could get my focus back. The first thing I thought of was to do a double take on whether I'd had my tablet this morning. I did, I was positive.

It wasn't until tonight that I had a really good think about it. Something Josh had said to me, not just that night, but once before. Since I go straight to the gym from work, giving me only 15 minutes, I don't have anything to eat before I go the gym. Tonight, I actually did get something to eat, only because I was hungry, not because I was trying to avoid something like that happening again. But then it dawned on me.

I take two tablets a day, one every 8-16 hours. If I have my tablet in the morning, then I'm prone by the time I get to the gym and start exhausting myself.

Supposedly, despite the fact that I felt like I might actually pass out, despite having all the symptoms of having a seizure, apparently the same thing won't happen during exercise. Stress could easily contribute, but I wasn't stressed that day either.

I need to talk about this for a lot of reasons. I haven't really properly talked about this, either because nobody's interested, people don't like asking about it or don't like talking about it. It's important because I wouldn't have worked out half of this if I hadn't started experimenting with what my body could handle, which I could say would have been around 2000, but was more likely a few years before that, while I was still in school, and probably even as early as late primary school.

It's important because people want to know what the limits are and what the triggers are. It's important because I need people not to freak out if something does go wrong. It's important because this is something I have to think about everyday, my entire life, as subtle as it might seem. It's important because sometimes I'm not the only one who forgets.

Above all, it's important that people understand.
avatar_1: (Invincible)
It's Melbourne Cup Eve tonight, and tonight, Melbourne's atmosphere is charged for partying since most places will be closed tomorrow. Moreso than your typical friday night.

I haven't been going to the gym for a while - not since Wednesday week before last, which is rare for me, and last time almost wrecked my body. So tonight I went thinking that I was going to take it easy. But no, once I'm there, I'm finding myself wanting to do more than I can handle, so I increase the weights.

And I realised I had no problem doing it.

That's interesting, because if I can go that far while I don't really intend to, why don't I go further when I'm actually trying? How far can I go, if I'm actually trying to go further?
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avatar_1: (Hope)
After two and a half weeks of using, at best, a Pentium 166 with some spare parts, I've got the computer back. The optical drives are still dead in windows, but at least the damn thing works. I swear, it's better than going from dialup to broadband.

And man, I've decided I'm out of options and out of time. This gets fixed by Sunday night, at the latest. Tonight, if I can help it.
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avatar_1: (RockyRoad)
Attempted to lug my computer to the place I bought it to try and figure out why it's trying to repeatedly commit suicide, and why it's getting better at it.

$50 and a saturday afternoon later, I'm no closer.
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avatar_1: (RockyRoad)
I'm feeling really restless tonight. I've been sick with the cold/flu, and the only real reason I can think of for how active I feel at the moment is the epilepsy tablet waiting to be taken that is sitting in front of my keyboard.

I've been sick on and off with this since before I left to Adelaide, but it was the two week holiday to Perth and Sydney that really threw me off course. The day I got back I started getting sick again, I haven't been able to get back into my gym routine - once a week, and only then because of my trainer - and my diet has completely fallen off. That might actually be a good thing, because now I can eat a whole lot of new things that I couldn't before, and I can't stay hooked on one thing like I usually do. And I don't need a damn caesar salad every few days.

What's really throwing me off, though, is that my money went right out the door on that trip. I'll eventually get enough back, and I've got my savings as a failsafe (which I'd prefer not to dig into), but I wouldn't mind jumping into the future three months ahead. The next big thing I'm saving for is either some furniture, or moving out of here. Probably the latter. I'm just paying too much rent. And man, I'd love to get rid of those boxes I still have in the corner once and for all.

My management of everything in every aspect of my life has sort of been at its top end recently. I feel like I'm making smarter and more informed choices than I used to, a little bit less chaotic than it used to be. I'm more patient about things, having learned to redirect my anger into what I think and what other people can understand. I have to give work some credit for that; I've learnt to deal with complaints like a walk in the park.

I should add that what started me down that path was only that someone encouraged me by telling me that I could do it. Three years ago. It may have taken this long, but the end result is what we all wanted to see.

And if I ever wanted to know what it was like to be grown up, I think this is it. I had a vague idea when I was 21 what all the details of my life were meant to look like if everything was going to go to plan, and while there's still a few spots I've missed when I've done the cleaning, what was written in pencil up to this point has been etched pretty accurately in pen now.

It's always just about the next plans. Check the schedule, what's ahead of me. Whether it's taking this tablet in the next few minutes, or going ahead with the next big move.
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avatar_1: (RockyRoad)
Let me start this one off by saying first off that I have actually had a pretty good week. It's been a bit slow, with this trip coming up tomorrow, finally, and with the arrival of [livejournal.com profile] turtledove and the anticipation of once again playing tour guide, but all in all things have progressed well.

Then tonight, for the second time since I've been to Melbourne, I locked myself out.

It's not good timing. I'm already low on cash and a lot of cash is expected to be needed for important things on the trip, like accommodation, and a flight back from Sydney that still hasn't been booked. I could really have used the extra $90 that cost me, which was part of the present my parents gave me for my birthday.

Even after a day of work today, without tea breaks, I wasn't allowed to relax when I left. As soon as I got home, I had to leave again to do the sunday washing (which, in retrospect, seemed like it would have been a smarter idea if I brought my dirty clothes and washed them in Perth). After that was done, and after the locksmith opened my door, we still had to go out for dinner. After dinner was done, we came home and we started doing the rest of what we had to do with the computer.

The constant self-rebooting still isn't fixed. We've both already screamed a bit about that. On the plus side, my hard drives are now both readable by my computer and the files I wanted off them I now have, including some plans I had for more compilations - very good news. The hard drives are still hanging out of the side of my case, but I'll figure out long term plans for that later.

One of those hard drives is now [livejournal.com profile] turtledove's, and we're still busy loading on important files to it, such as episodes of Lost and the like. I figure that will take at least another half hour, with some of it to keep going all night.

Since missing the morning flight last week, I've decided to let Turtle look after the deadlines of when to be where to get on the plane in time. It's two hours later, so I'm trusting my sleep shouldn't be too flattened out by having to wake up early. Y'know, at 7am.

We've been at each other's throats most of the time, and so far, it's only Day 2. This should be fun.
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avatar_1: (Analyse)
My computer has been rebooting itself every now and then for a few weeks now.

I even made a post in [livejournal.com profile] thequestionclub for help, I was getting so desperate. From that, I thought I had found the problem - something to do with my Logitech webcam being plugged into my Logitech keyboard, and that was all fine and well for a while, but it's still happening, although now it doesn't seem my USB ports are at fault - it's something else.

I still haven't figured it out, but I have noticed something interesting. Whenever I restart Firefox and my tabs reload the crashed session from before I rebooted, for some reason, every now and then it will also include a tab of the Livejournal Moods. This is completely bizarre, because I haven't been to that page on my own in years. Easily since before I got to Melbourne.

Apparently my computer is emotional.
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avatar_1: (Hope)
I have no idea why I booked an 8am flight for tomorrow.

I have to be in the city by 7am tomorrow. It's the first time I'm really at risk of missing a flight, since I've gotten used to not paying any attention to my alarm anymore. Why are you posting on your livejournal, I hear you ask. Shouldn't you be sleeping? Probably, but it's fairly important I say here what I have to say tonight.

In a day and a quarter, it's going to be my birthday. I'll be 24.

And for the first time in eight years, when I update my annual journal, I won't have any access to my computer, and it's unlikely I'll even get access to a computer in the type of environment I'm usually in - or possibly not at all.

It doesn't sound like much, but it's important. I only get one chance a year to make an entry. I don't go back and make edits. It needs to be exactly the way I intend it.

You would have thought if getting older had taught me anything, it's that not everything needs to be planned, things that aren't planned don't always turn out imperfect, and even imperfection is not as uncommon - or as bad - as you'd think.

I go for change when I know it's going to be good, and avoid it when I know it's going to be bad. When I'm uncertain, I'll usually go with it, just for kicks. Even still, when I gamble, I prefer taking the low risk/low return road for the better odds.

No better day to do something different, I suppose. I just prefer making the choices.
avatar_1: (Uplit)
I've been working on a new compilation trilogy since about November last year, and two of the three are almost done. The trilogy will be called Return.

The first compilation will be Retreat.
Retreat will be based around the joys of getting away. It needs to be the kind of compilation where there are no complications - only enjoyment. There's going to be a notable lack of the usual second-person stuff - what's left will be very positive.

The second will be Resistance.
Resistance is almost the complete opposite of Retreat. The oppression of routine, and the wanting for something more. More like my regular unthemed compilations, this one will be almost completely second-person.

The third will be Reunion. This one is still in too early stages to talk about in much detail.

Retreat and Resistance are about 2/3 done, Reunion is about 1/10 done. I'm also thinking about doing some remakes of some of the older CD's. Old rules will be broken. I think I've matured enough now that I don't have to keep being so strict on how to build the foundation.

If you've got any recommendations for good music, I'm all ears.
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avatar_1: (Downlit)
I missed both my train to work and my train home by seconds.

I think that pretty much sums up what my day was like.

I wasn't even running. Later, Dad finished the phone call with "Catch up later." It hit home.
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avatar_1: (Riverlook)
I keep thinking something's going to change. Today was a bit of an odd day.

After going to gym yesterday, I was sore as hell. I woke up and went to work earlier than usual, not feeling as tired as usual. Someone was away in our fairly small team that I didn't notice until later that day, and nobody told me why, which was unusual. We had a birthday and a few cakes, which we said we'd no longer do when somebody's birthday came around. The birthday boy did a speech, which, although it does happen on occasion, isn't usual when a birthday comes up.

I went into a meeting with my manager and someone from IT to put in some changes I've been dying to get put in for months, as soon as possible. It seems like things are finally getting somewhere now that I have some support, even if it does still feel like it'll go slowly - considering history. It had me excited enough to get into a bit of a fight with my supervisor, which is extremely rare. We usually agree or find some common ground even on issues we completely disagree on. In the end, he makes the call, I know he makes the call, and he knows I know - and even if we're short with each other, we're quickly back on track.

I had one customer I had to give good news to that I couldn't get in contact with, one customer I had bad news for that was a call I didn't want to make - and now have to follow up on, and one which is serious enough to look into that I can't even talk here about what it is, that's giving me grief that I don't even need to give myself but feel morally obligated to.

During my breaks, I'm reminded how sore I am as I drop out of thinking mode and move into relaxing mode. It's not uncommon for me to take regular long walks/tram rides/train rides around the city to see if I can find new places, or just to go to ones that I'm used to that I like, or even just the half-thrill of being on a goddamn train.

I get to think, and I tend to forget. One of the things that pops into my head today was how the hell I've managed to come this far without many people being around to help me out. A lot of people are just there, but I only know a few people here. The chances of getting into a relationship anytime soon are not even worth taking time to think about. But there's something there.

I don't want to fool anyone or myself into thinking that I just don't have the need. It's a sort of control, but it's the same reason that even though I can control my depression for the most part, it's good to be depressed sometimes. It might sound unrelated, but it's not really. I don't know why this popped into my head, but for a little while waiting for that lift, I let some of that depression set in. It would be nice, if.

So today, on my break, I decide I'm going to walk to the (second) nearest train station. I work right next to a train station, so it's a fair walk. Now, I remember the last time I went to this particular train station, I got disgruntled, and I think I got a bit lost from what I remember, and the train ended up being a bit late, so I got back from my break quite a bit late. Today I felt that I knew the streets a bit better, and I was making good time. I made my way to the station.

I'm a block away when I see the scaffolding around the entrance stairs. Then it hits me. The reason I was late last time was because these stairs were blocked off, and added a good 5-10 minutes to my journey, which forced me to walk the extra city block to the other side of the station, miss the train, and run back to work. My damn memory had failed me once again and I'd fallen into exactly the same problem as last time.

Being so sore, I went straight home tonight. No gym means no dinner - which is unusual these days. I get home fairly quickly and almost walk in, but turn back and check my mailbox, since I so rarely check it. There's a bunch of junk mail, a bank statement, something else I haven't opened yet and one envelope with my name and address in pencil.

This last letter held my curiosity. It looked like someone had written a personal letter. What's more, my name was there as "Tony" without my last name, meaning it was probably someone from the internet.

I got inside, and opened it. Inside was just a sheet of notepaper, torn at the top. On it, in handwriting, was a message I needed to be reminded of.

You're never alone.

I couldn't believe it. The ironic part is that I knew who sent it, too. A few weeks ago, I sent it to myself.

And I'd completely forgotten.
avatar_1: (Hope)
You will know exactly which buttons to push in order to achieve your aims. The planets indicate you will have little shame when it comes to feathering your nest and manipulating situations to your advantage.

After going through the hell that I put myself through at gym, it's occured to me that if I'm going to do what I want to do, I can't take it lying down anymore. I'm going to be stressed. I need to stress myself and I need to press on through it. Any more time lost is just delaying me, and I can't afford to keep doing that. I've been doing it for too long without realising it.

I found some very funky places in the same area I go past every damn day. I can't believe the little things that are around that surely nobody knows about. I don't know how this city manages to hide so many cool places in so many locations. And I haven't even seen much of it. Hell, I can't even find some of the places when I have rough directions, which is a bit rare for me.

I don't know, I don't get it. I don't know how I turned out to be the person I am. I don't always push myself, but I can if I really want to, and when I do, I tend to go as far as I can. It doesn't matter whether the results work out for the better or not. I just need to know I tried, and that I tried hard. Mentally, emotionally, or physically.

If my dad's tried to drill one thing into me, it's that I shouldn't do things that make my life harder when I could do the same thing, with help, much easier. He used the example of moving back in with them instead of moving out on my own, so it fell right through, but there was obviously some truth to it.

I just wish it could be easy. Of course, I'm fooling myself.

It's not impossible. I shouldn't make it so difficult.
avatar_1: (Hope)
I didn't get around to doing anything I wanted today, including going to the gym. I signed up again last night, with a quite a lot more motivation than last time (last year), and I felt like I had the mental energy needed to get going.

Of course, it didn't help that today was Anzac Day, a public holiday here, where the gym wouldn't be on my way home from work. I even had intended to make contingency plans to get some sort of exercise after I phoned them and found out they're closing at 6pm instead of 9pm today (at 5.15pm).

I've been caught up in Big Brother, and wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything this time around. I've already got a premium membership. It's not that exciting yet, but hell, $40 for the entire season won't kill me, worst case scenario. I already know everyone's names, and can probably tell you something about every one of them off the top of my head.

And here I was trying to get off anything that had me addicted so that I could do other things.

I've been meaning to post, as always, and I'll have more to come in the next few days. I don't know how going to gym is going to affect me, and while I intend to last long enough to reach my 24th birthday, I can't guarantee anything. I'm confident, though.

Winter's coming, and I can start to feel it. I should probably get the idea out of my head that I can do anything.
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avatar_1: (Aged)
Tonight I have to do something that I never thought I'd ever have to do again. Homework.

I've actually had since last Thursday, and just like my schooling days, I've left it all to the last minute. I haven't even chosen a topic yet. I remembered to bring my notes home only because my supervisor got me to remind him that we're not going to be completely available on the floor tomorrow, which jogged my mental note I'd made earlier about putting said notes in my backpack.

I came home from dinner tired, comfortable in the fact that I could come home and just go to sleep as I pleased. Then I remembered I can't do that since I've got homework to do, a lot of it, in fact. I don't know how I held off this attitude for the years I was at school for.

I tend to favour whatever my body tells me it wants to do. If I want to rest, I lie down. If I need to go to the toilet, I go as soon as I can. If I'm hurting, I stop whatever I'm doing and relax. If I have a headache, I take a nap.

This is why I hate studying, this is why I'm glad I don't have to go to school anymore, and this is why I'm never doing tertiary education ever again. Funnily enough, I don't mind doing anything that I feel like is actually going to have some sort of obvious result. This doesn't qualify.

With this, I need to trust that it's going to help me. Or, failing that, find some other motivation.
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avatar_1: (Downlit)
My horoscope for the day.

A sense of adventure sees you accepting challenges, stepping outside your comfort zone or shrugging off concerns. Whether you decide to embark on a new venture or set out on a journey of self-discovery, success is forecast.

Something strange happens when I get too stressed. Instead of getting angry and wanting to kill someone, my body will slowly start to shut itself down.

Things that can start becoming skewed range from what I can see and get a focus on, to my memory completely collapsing over something I should be intimately familiar with. This is a big problem for me, because the same thing happens just before I have a seizure.

Which effectively means I can look like I'm about to have a seizure even though I'm not, and even though I'm still taking tablets. When I'm not taking tablets, the same thing will happen if I'm under stress, except that I'm more likely to have that seizure since resisting the seizure means I need to be in control of my body.

This happened to me today at work. It wasn't epileptic, but my normal routine and my normal procedures were drastically skewed from what I'm used to, and it forced me to recheck everything I was doing, even though it felt like it was full of bad decisions.

Now, I'm pretty good - I can usually take a direction and sit back doing it even if I think it is a bad idea. But I like to go all the way with something I'm doing, not stop half way and do something else. What that means is that certain things will be ignored that really need to be followed or followed up on.

But one of the worst things you can say to me to stress me out is to tell me that I'm really less of something that I'm trying to be, or to become.

You know that when you've told someone that kind of thing, mistakes have been made.

Success is forecast, indeed.
avatar_1: (Uplit)
Recently when I've woken up, I've found myself in really weird positions on my bed.

Like, either I'll be lying back to front - toe to head, or my blanket will be completely turned over (I have a queen sized bed and my blanket has definitive face-up face-down, top-to-bottom sides), or the pillows will be a long way from where I left them when I went to bed.

I have no idea how or why this is happening, but I'd love to know.
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avatar_1: (Uplit)
Since the Commonwealth Games started, Melbourne has been pretty goddamn busy.

Before it started, everyone was so sure the public transport system would buckle, since it's already apparently walking on crutches. There was even a front-page newspaper article about a train driver who was hoping it would buckle so that it would force the government to focus on improving it.

I went into the city on the weekend to go to the markets. Now, whenever I'm out and about, if I see something going on somewhere I'll usually take a detour from whatever I'm doing to take a looksee at what all the fuss is about.

Couldn't do that this time. I saw a crowd gathering at the Performing Arts Centre. An unusually big crowd. All the way up to the next tram stop - at Flinders St Station, there were literally hundreds of people around there. As curious as I was, I wasn't in the mood to go through crowds like that to see something I might not even have liked.

So the tram continued through the city. More people piled on, and soon the tram itself was completely packed. People were lining the streets all over the place, not just back at the station. They had all these funky things set up to entertain tourists, like little bike-taxis where the driver pedalled along and had two seats in the back, or a massive chess set, or lots of other things which I couldn't get a good look at.

And then you get things like this. Welcome to Melbourne.

Who organises these things?

Edit: So apparently it was a non-event, with only one guy showing up with a pillow, and a few others with hidden pillows. Still pretty damn funny though.
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avatar_1: (Aged)
The other night I saw Peppermint Cream flavoured Club chocolate being sold at about half price. I bought five blocks of it.

Why didn't I buy more?
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avatar_1: (Invincible)
A lot has been going through my head lately, and I've been tempted to post it all. Except that I'd be posting easily ten or twenty short posts a day, so I've refrained.

Work's gone a bit crazy with the news of still more people leaving. Normally on a Monday I'll show up and be half dead until lunchtime. Today I was energetic from the get-go, and I managed to get myself together, for a change. It was nice.

I just saw Mr and Mrs Smith. Of all the songs I thought would be good to cover, I never thought anyone would cover Amy Grant.
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avatar_1: (Invincible)
We have a swear jar at work.

It was an effort set up by my manager. We're pretty casual with each other, and it was getting to the point where people would swear their heads off as soon as they got off the phone with a nasty customer. It was more of a joke than anything else, but it seemed like a good idea, since all the money was going to go to drinks at our christmas party.

It didn't work very well. People swore a lot because they were getting emotional, and when they were emotional, they aren't in the mood for playing this game, and if they want to vent, they won't be keen on being charged for it. In the end, things were getting so unstable that catching someone out to pay up the swear jar became as delicate as balancing on a tightrope on the 11th floor.

Tonight, Leah, my supervisor and myself were on tonight. My supervisor's been training some newbies that are about to join us, and has been liasing with other departments without my manager's help, which has in turn caused him a lot of stress since he can't get the seniority he needs, and he's had to take matters into his own hands.

This afternoon, he was talking to someone from the call centre trying to get things organised. He was explaining something in that tone of voice where you can tell that they're pissed off but reasonable. He involuntarily swore in one of his sentences, and added just as reasonably, "And I'll pay 50 cents for that." We cracked up laughing, because he sounded so serious, and he's always the first one to enforce the swear jar rule.

Which reminded me of something.

Back in 1995, Tim and I were in grade 8. We got this cool idea to make a video of a TV show for school. It turned out to be sort of a sketch of Totally Wild, which we called Totally Unwild, and for what we had, it turned out surprisingly well. Despite the comedic factor, it was actually sort of educational, if you could get past the fact that we couldn't present information in an interesting way without it being exceedingly dull. But nobody cared! It was funny, and if you paid attention to that, the rest didn't matter. It was really well received by the teacher and our english class.

That inspired us enough to make a sequel. A couple of weeks later, we hurriedly put together another one in the same format - this time where I wasn't interviewing myself, since having to get changed from scene to scene was an absolute bitch - and ripped out episode two of Totally Unwild. We took a few more risks this time, because, y'know, it has to be better this time.

Apart from subtlely paying out one unfortunate fellow student and several teachers (including our english teacher who we were showing this in front of), we also had one particular ad in which Tim was a salesman, and he was paying out his own gadgets. One, specifically, where he says - supposedly to himself, "What a piece of shit!"

After we watched the scene, Tim suggested maybe this was a bit too much and that we should edit it out. Ridiculous, I say to him, everyone will be mature enough to see it's just part of the joke. I doubt even Miss A. will care. Seriously, it's all good. And so the scene stayed in.

So, next Monday, we're in the classroom watching episode 2, and the class' reaction to the video was noticably different. This was not very funny. Where people were laughing during the whole period during the first one, people were waiting for the good part in the second. Something was coming, but not what they expected.

And then eventually, the ad came on. And that magic line. "What a piece of shit!"

The maturity of the entire grade 8 class roared.

"Oh my god! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Are we allowed to say that now! Shit! Shit!" The teacher started moving towards the eject button as soon as the line came on.

So that was the last episode of Totally Unwild, and it was pretty clear that it wasn't going to be spoken about in class again. Everyone realised their error, since watching this video was the teacher unwittingly giving us this reward of free time and no work for no reason. It didn't help that they only got to see the first two thirds of the second episode, either. The first one was clearly better, although probably not for its lack of swearing.

Or maybe our manager was onto something we're not aware of after all.
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avatar_1: (Downlit)
Yay I got to see another side of Melbourne I hadn't seen before, tonight.

Against my will.

Edit: I got on the wrong bus, you creative whackos.
Edit 2: No, I wasn't forced onto it.
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avatar_1: (Magic)
Yesterday I posted this.

At work, as part of the supervisor training and especially since we are probably getting some newbies coming in soon, we're doing a course called Train The Trainer. There was a bit of homework before we started.

We had to come prepared with a three minute training session on any topic of our choice, and it couldn't be related to the company "in any way, shape or form". That was a loose rule obviously, but the hard rules were that it had to go for three minutes and the group had to have learnt something by the end of the session.

I'd drawn a pretty complete blank on what topic to choose. Now, I thought this course actually started tomorrow, so I posted that poll this morning hoping I would get lots of great ideas for tomorrow. It was actually today.

I was sitting at my desk when both my supervisor (who was also slightly unprepared) and I realised that it was today. I asked him what he was going to do. Having a history in theatre, he was quite comfortable improvising. Good idea, I thought. Still stumped for ideas, I looked around at what I could use that I could do a presentation on that didn't involve the company. All the while trying to forget I was sitting in the company's building. With the company's things. The company was pretty much all I was looking at.

I opened my drawer. Inside were some folders, bits of paper, a Gloria Jeans napkin, some paperclips, and some blu-tack. And then it hit me.

I would teach them how to make blu-tack men.

I actually had no idea how to make blu-tack men, but this is fucking play-doh in one small grey strip we're talking about. I worked out a method, and taught myself in about three minutes.

I ended up presenting it, and it turned out much better than I thought. With good feedback.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment. Some very creative ideas there, even the seemingly simple ones - a lot of them would have worked, and I didn't mention the rules there intentionally to see what you guys would come up with.
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avatar_1: (Uplit)
I went with [livejournal.com profile] forever_damned to a mobile phone conference thingy a few years ago for some reason, probably because they had free food. Among the other free things they had were hotel-branded pens and notepads of the hotel that the conference was being staged at. I grabbed one of each, since you never know when you'll need a pen and a pad, and, you know, I was trying to fit in with all these business people, and not look like some bodge who came in for the free food. I infiltrated the place well; nobody suspected a thing!

As the initial pleasantries quietened down and the talks actually started, I dutifully began taking notes, even though they had no real relevance to me. These were probably the best notes I have ever taken, since even with them now, I remember how this talk went even though I had no interest in it.

First, the notes I wrote down:

Kept indoors because of weather
Looking forward to talking to us
Don't sell many internet fridges $16,999 -> withdraw for --v (next point)
Need to get one of the fridges *mental note* <------------ (last point)
Bands - Live 'n' Loud

Glad we gave up time after hard day of work
10 min video on G7200 w/ dload camcoder style phone - April

Bluetooth NOT ON ROADMAP at this stage
Not 100% certain on speaker phone
Phones support english
Car kits not available at this stage

No other questions

The talk started with the guy mentioning that they decided to keep the conference indoors as the weather was unpredictable blah blah. He mentioned that he was looking forward to talking to us, and all the cute formalities you start off a conference with. For some reason the internet fridges came up, I have no idea why, but he also made a bad joke about making a mental note to get one. And then something about bands, I don't know what.

The real business stuff started when he mentioned he was glad we gave up our time after a hard day of work. Five styles of phones available, "Techie" style, "Fashion" style, etc. The "G7200" phone that could do 10 minutes of downloadable video (?) was coming out in April.

Then it was question time, where people in the audience could ask anything they wanted.
The first question was whether these phones were bluetooth enabled, to which the Lead Guy said bluetooth was not on the roadmap at this stage (he didn't emphasise it when he spoke, I just did it for effect) and then babbled something to elaborate which I didn't care for.
The second question was whether they had a speaker phone, to which the guy wasn't sure and at this point was starting to show how much he really knew and/or how good these phones were.
The third question was about what languages the phones supported, to which the guy was starting to show so little knowledge about the phones that he turned it into a joke - they support english. Everybody laughed.
The fourth question was whether car kits were available - they weren't at this stage.

Nobody else had any questions, and I dutifully noted this once the Lead Guy confirmed it. The whole question time was a bit tragic when you look at the results that were garnered from his answers - the phones support nothing at this stage, he didn't know, and the phones supported english.

The whole shindig would have been boring as hell, except for these notes, which continue to amuse me by sitting just outside my kitchen waiting for me to pass by, see it, and remind me. I'll scan a copy and attach it to this post when I get a chance.
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avatar_1: (RockyRoad)
The other night, I got two hours of sleep and managed to stay awake and alert all day until I had to come home. A few days later, I got six hours of sleep and felt like a train wreck. Last night, I got twelve hours of sleep and went to work feeling like I could use more.

Work's getting hectic - two thirds of our team has decided to resign with one more probably going, which is going to sting our already understaffed team. I'm still trying to deal with leaving at the end of the year, and forcing myself to make plans throughout this year. I feel like I'm making these plans far too quickly. I don't even know if I really want to do any of them.

Although if I wasn't doing any of them, I don't know what I'd be doing instead.

I don't remember what it's been like in previous years, but Valentine's day was a bit of a copout. It wouldn't have felt so dodgy if it wasn't for the ladies at work gushing over who got the biggest and best bouquet of flowers. Hearing that some lucky guy gets to play a high card simply because he delivered some flowers to his girlfriend makes me sick. What kind of relationship is that? It probably wasn't meant like that, but these ladies were literally counting down the hours hoping they'd get that special present. It ridicules the whole idea of having the day in the first place. I don't think I'll go to any length to disprove any jealousy or bitterness here, suffice it to say that isn't what this is about.

Any decisions I make about whatever I decide to do next feels like they're going to be getting people upset and breaking the rules, and when that happens, I'll have to push myself harder. That's what stops me, I think. I'm just tired, and I wouldn't mind at all if everything just stopped for a while. I've lost a lot of control over everything as a result, and at some point it needs to be fixed.

I don't know what else, really. I need to figure out something to do.
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avatar_1: (Downlit)
Somehow, I managed to stay alive and well at work on a mere 2 hours sleep. I don't know about all you parents out there, but when it comes to me, this means the laws of physics have all been proven wrong. I wasn't even feeling tired until I left work tonight. I was more active than I usually am.

It also meant that I managed to fall asleep half way through Lost, which was on at about 8.30pm. I don't think I even made it to 9pm. I work the late morning shifts, and don't usually get to bed until 1am at the earliest, on any normal day.

And, I don't think I've said it in my journal before, but I am in love with that show. If you haven't started watching it yet, you don't know what you're missing, seriously. I don't even like most TV, but when it comes to Lost, it's another addiction of mine. I can't believe how well done the whole thing is. If you're in Australia and watching it on TV, avoid the ads at all costs - they spoil way too much.
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avatar_1: (Downlit)
I think someone had access to my journal not so long ago. My userinfo got botched and I couldn't figure it out before, but it would definitely make sense considering some of the things that have been going on that I didn't think twice about.

Not happy.
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avatar_1: (Uplit)
We got lowered into this room from a lift in the centre of the room from the top.

Ballig is the DM. Darren, the monk (and tank), is paralysed and held by a jellyfish-like creature that can float in the air. Aust, the cleric, is not only our healer in this battle, but the flying damage dealer. Hinchen - me, the wizard, is stuck down the bottom trying to retain the lift and making sure it doesn't touch the bottom, or worse, break by hitting the bottom.

You see, Aust was lowering all three of us on the lift which uses a rope-and-pulley system, and Aust took a swing with his mace in his spare hand at this creature and lost his balance - falling off the lift. He quickly quaffed a levitation potion that he was lucky to have found (or bought? we don't really know where it came from) earlier on, and was able to get up close and personal with this creature.

Unfortunately for both Darren and myself, we were too close for comfort. It doesn't really matter, we're falling now, and I don't try to immediately save the lift - we need to get further away from this thing. It's still too late though - just before the lift actually falls, the creature strikes at Darren, hits him, paralyses him, and grabs hold of him. I'm still feather falling down, but I need to save the lift while Darren and Aust keep it busy, or we're all likely going to die down here.

In the midst of the battle, we're weighing up options, such as:
[13:06] [Ballig] Aust: are you using one hand to hold on to Darren?
[13:06] [Ballig] actually
[13:06] [Aust] no... i'm uh... slinging with my mouth
[13:06] [Ballig] a sling is two hands
[13:06] [Ballig] haha
[13:07] [Ballig] okay, you can sling with your mouth
[13:07] [Aust] hrrrrm, just a sec, gotta check what my reflex save is
[13:07] [Ballig] I'm assuming you took into account your second -1 penalty?
[13:07] [Hinchen] a sling is a two handed weapon?
[13:07] [Ballig] Hinchen: it's a sling
[13:07] [Ballig] how do you use it with one hand?
[13:07] [Hinchen] like a lasoo
[13:07] [Aust] hahahahahahaha
[13:07] [Ballig] that makes sense
[13:07] [Ballig] I'll accept that
[13:07] [Ballig] old slings work that way
[13:07] [Aust] ok, so i use it like a lassoo with my mouth and keep both hands on darren
[13:08] [Ballig] er, no
[13:08] [Hinchen] with your mouth
[13:08] [Hinchen] wtf
[13:08] [Ballig] you use one hand
[13:08] [Ballig] you can't attack with your mouth

Can anyone picture that? Trying to use a sling with your mouth? And he was almost allowed to do it!

This particular session had some pretty hardcore quotes, and aerial combat is absolutely awesome; highly recommended to use at least once in any D&D campaign.
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avatar_1: (Hope)
I promised myself I'd update tonight, since I probably won't get another chance before the year's up.

I won't be doing a year in review this year. Same reason as always really, things have happened, few that I can talk about. I tried looking at doing that meme that [livejournal.com profile] forever_damned did - take part of an entry you made at the beginning of each month and turn it into one post, but that really doesn't help and would be a really inaccurate summary. Strangely enough, I did find out I seem to have had a lot of really weird dreams this year. More than the other years combined.

I still don't have plans for tomorrow night. My first New Years Eve in Melbourne. I can't go wrong really - I'm going to go out and improvise. I've never found a decent reason where that doesn't work for me. If anything, Magnetic Island only reinforced that, although it did leave me a few bucks down - but that's my own fault for having one too many meals delivered instead of learning to cook.

I guess that's one of the things that has kept me motivated. Amway, work. It's all about making sure the money keeps coming in so I can do whatever the hell else I want. That's how I budget, and while I'd like to live a simpler lifestyle - at least workwise - I won't be able to do it with this passive obsession I have to work for any cause that will pay me well enough. And funnily enough, after all that, it's never been about the money.

On the surface, it looks and feels like nothing is really happening. When you think about it, there's obviously a lot more going on than just what's on the surface.

I'm hitting the new year running. And ditching some of the cobwebs that have been blinding me for far too long.
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avatar_1: (TwoSides)
I had a pretty bad day today. My boss handed out 3-packs of Lindt chocolates, and I tried using them throughout the day to relieve the stress. It didn't work. Tonight I went out and bought some Ferrero's. They never fail me.

I woke up at 6am, ready for the day ahead, after going to bed at 1.30am. I tried to go to bed early last night, but I couldn't sleep and I wasn't tired.

Work was deceivingly quiet at 8am in the morning. Everyone was happy and christmasy and presents were shared and food was eaten. At about 10am it perked up and it was all uphill from there. Stress levels built up enough until people were ready to cry, as usual, and eventually it fell to me to tell people when to go home. Let's just say it was later than expected.

I'm on call. I got half way home before I'd already received an urgent request that had to be carried out, and this one turned out to be one that they were meaning to train me on, but everybody had forgotten all about. In spite of that, the laptop couldn't detect a dialtone, the on-call mobile's SIM card is locked, and the last thing I needed today was dealing with a grumpy customer while I was at home, to fix something I couldn't fix, on my phone which was running low on battery and high on the phone bill. Not to mention the call waiting on other things that came through that I think I might have missed. Hooray for escalations.

I just tried to remember what I did with the rest of the afternoon, but it's occured to me that that is exactly what I was dealing with. All afternoon.

I don't think I'm as reliable as I used to be. I remember thinking once upon a time that I wanted to make sure I was going to be a reliable person. It just hasn't turned out that way. That's the only reason I agreed to do this on-call crap in the first place, and I'm seriously considering getting them to pass it onto someone else after my fortnight is up. It rung alarm bells as soon as it was offered to me, but I like the idea that I might actually be dependable - and the more the merrier, right?

I'm not managing my time well, and doing this makes it a whole hell of a lot harder. I'm sure it's not worth the extra pay, and it's adding very little in terms of experience except in terms of reliability. It's comforting knowing I can do it, but, well, shit. I don't want to.

And this is what it always comes down to. More often than you think, you don't get to a point where you can't do something. At some point, you just give up, whether for the right or wrong reasons. To say you can't do something is completely subjective.

Then again, who decides what are the right or wrong reasons?
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avatar_1: (Riverlook)
And here I am, back in Melbourne, the coldest city in the country - still at 32 degrees at midnight tonight.

Day 2, continued:
Did I mention it was hot? I tried walking to Flinders Mall, the mall in Picnic Bay where I think we came in from the boat in 1999 - they've since moved the whole pickup/dropoff point further north, at Nelly Bay. It quickly became apparent that I wasn't getting around on foot, especially during the day, and even without my completely overpacked luggage. I already had some brochures that I picked up from the place I was staying Just In Case, and started walking to the nearest couple of places that apparently rented scooters that I'd been directed to from the lady who was running the place.

The first place directed me next door, next door directed me to some place I knew nothing about that was on another part of the island. I gave up on those directions and turned to my brochures, calling the first 1800 number from a payphone I could find. I think it was at this point I discovered most of the island, except the southern end of Picnic Bay actually had mobile phone reception - and that was only because it was coming from Townsville. I'll get back to this point later. Anyway, the 1800 number I tried led back to the second place I went to. With any luck, the lady looking after that place didn't recognise my voice, but since it was only about 10-15 minutes since I'd talked to her for her directions, I'm pretty sure she knew exactly who it was.

Against my will, I caught the bus that goes around the island, not wanting a tour in this heat at this moment without being able to control where I was going, but the simple fact was I didn't much of a choice - $2 in a bus or $20+ in a taxi. I won't bore you with the details, eventually I did find a scooter place, after they drove out to pick me up to get it.

Everything picked up from here. For the first day, I did the exploring. On the second, for the most part, I took it easy. But being the restless person I am - especially on holidays - I had to be encouraged to take it easy.

I'd been over the island 4 or 5 times on the first day, and there was one particular beach I wanted to check out. To get there, I had to park my scooter at the top of a hill - literally a mountain of a hill - and hike down. It was a beautiful view from the top as it was obviously a long way down. There was a path to get down there at the top of this hill, but this wasn't an ordinary walking path. I would have to climb down half of it, it was that steep in some parts.

So, with my backpack, compass and water bottle, I began my descent. When I got to the bottom, it occured to me that I might have trouble finding my way back, but I was too eager to check out the beach itself to worry much about it. I figured if other people had been down here, I'd be able to find my way back.

It wasn't actually as exciting as I'd expected. I climbed over rocks most of the way, and tried taking a shortcut to get back. Bad idea. In the 30+ degree heat in the middle of the day, after continually telling myself I was half way there already, it occured to me that I'd gone the wrong way. From the view I now had, there was actually a fairly clear path to get back to the top, and I was nowhere near it. I had to stop and rest quite a lot, and thank god I had my water bottle with me. I was really quite worried that I might actually get stuck down there since I didn't have mobile reception. Since I didn't want to go all the way back down and all the way back up from where I was, I tried taking shortcuts along the rocks to get to the path. This really only made things worse. I ended up having to go back the way I came anyway, only I had to jump further down into areas I was more likely to break a leg.

I eventually got all the way back to the top, groggily got on the scooter, rode back to my unit, went to air-conditioned bedroom, closed the door, and stayed there. No more bushwalks on this trip. The lesson was clear. Take it easy. Remember why you're here.

The food on Magnetic Island, with the exception of one place, was pretty bad. Almost everything I had was very second-rate, very homemade food. The one exception made up for this - it's probably the best food I've ever had anywhere. 10/10 for that place. I went there late at night - I wanted to see what it'd be like riding the scooter at night. On my own and without a mobile for emergencies, pretty scary. But that's what makes it fun.

Later on I went out to the jetty at Picnic Bay, to find a swarm of kids fishing. I wondered why they'd to keep themselves entertained on this seemingly incredibly isolated place. Party on an island.

I went back to the mall, and I sat on the swings and listened to the silence, and watched the lights at the end of the starry night sky over at Townsville on the horizon. I leaned against the chains and something kept badgering me. It was peaceful, but it kept saying, urging, Leave. It was an answer. To what I had to do next. It just felt right.

Day 3:
I woke up, realising I still hadn't booked a car to get back to Mackay, and I could end up being stuck in Townsville if I don't get my act together - and my god I did not want to stay there for yet another day. On top of that, I felt like leaving the island that day. I'd had enough.

I went to the payphone and called every car rental agency I could find that would let me drive between Townsville and Mackay. None of them had any options for me. At first one seemed to have one available the next for an inordinate price, and another place had one car left they could rent to over 25's. Neither option any good (by the time I called the first one back, the car was gone). This was bad.

I had one other option - the train. I was really not happy about not being able to drive between Townsville and Mackay, or the prospect of not having a car in Mackay. There was one train going that day, and it was about $100-200 cheaper than the car. I had no choice, so I took it. I waited at Townsville station for 2 hours - I'd left Magnetic Island a bit early to ensure I could get on the train - and arrived at Mackay station at about 7pm. After living in that small city for 16 years, I still had no idea where the damn train station was. [livejournal.com profile] turtledove picked me up and took me around, but you can't see much at night.

Day 4/5 - Mackay:
Chris was nowhere to be found. Dan was working and sick. Daniel had since moved north, and other Chris was in goddamn Townsville for a few weeks (yes, while I was there, waiting at the train station for two hours). Allan didn't reply. From the last two times of being in Mackay with having a group barbecue, it clearly wasn't happening this year. And so I was only going to stay in town for two days.

First, public transport doesn't really exist in Mackay. There's now a bus, which I had to take to get from one side of Mackay to the other. Now, maybe it was the heat that was getting to me, but it stilll didn't feel anywhere near as decent as Brisbane - which I don't like either. It's comparable to Melbourne, except Melbourne's buses are closed and have aircon. The reason I go through this is to point out that I had many places in North Mackay I had wanted to visit - and couldn't, even with the bus taking me close by. It was too far to go in the heat, or in some cases, just too far.

Mackay's nightlife, on the other hand, felt very different to what I remember. Maybe it was just because of who I was hanging out with, but if the club wasn't bordering on dead, it was lively. It doesn't get better than what it was. Even in the quieter places, the girls dancing right up against each other didn't hurt either. There's more I could add, but, well, let's just say it's a bit too personal for a public post.

I booked a flight late in the afternoon of my last day in Mackay, to go the next day. This meant paying $280. It would have been $140 if I wanted to go in the afternoon of the next day again, but Brisbane was waiting for me now, and every day counted. The rest of what I wanted to do in Mackay would have to wait until next time - if there is a next time.

As usual, Brisbane is a story in itself. I may or may not go into it later. This entry will be uncut later after it disappears off your friend's lists.

How is that we heed that voice that says "I want you there"
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avatar_1: (Default)
Day 1:
It was like it wasn't meant to happen. On the first day, everything went to hell.

I hadn't booked everything yet, and that was how I wanted it to work. One of the things I did book, was the flight to Townsville. What I wasn't counting on was the flight being delayed two hours.

I was actually meant to fly out today, but I decided I wanted an extra day during the trip, and spent $30 to change my flight back to yesterday. Not the greatest idea I've had. I was meant to touch down at 6.25ish, leaving me 2 hours to get on one of the last two cruises to the island. Since that was delayed to 8.25, I was forced to get a hotel in Townsville.

But the flight being delayed for 2 hours was just what they told us. It was actually delayed about 3 hours, although I couldn't understand what they were saying when they explained why. It didn't matter. Jimmy had earlier recommended I stay in a hostel, but screw that idea Tony, let's go to a hotel that costs almost 4x as much. Truth be told, I had very little idea where to stay in Townsville. I didn't even like the place that much. Never really have.

It was quite a bit better from here on.

The hotel was nice. Very nice. Air con, the double bed, the TV, room service, and a brilliant view helped to make up for the past afternoon. Not to mention that after this, I'd be on a boat to Magnetic Island.

Somebody at work actually didn't know where it was, or even that it existed. Where the hell is Magnetic Island? I'm on the other side of the country to the place I've since come to call home. It feels good. And although the temperature in Melbourne was really starting to start a sweat, it was really nothing to what it's like here.

Despite the conditions on the plane of what happened yesterday - even to the cabin crew, I liked what the cabin manager said before we hit off, just as I was hoping the damn flight would finally touch down on what was a stressful afternoon.

Again, we apologise for the delay and thank you for your patience - and we hope you have a pleasant stay. Despite everything, that made me smile.

Day 2:
I've felt steamy exhaustingly hot weather, and this isn't actually it. But it's not far off.

Stepping out of the room, it really hit me. After a short time, I realised I'd need to get transportation. The island is a lot bigger than I remember.

To be continued, and cleaned up later when I have more freedom to net access.
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avatar_1: (Invincible)
It's been an intense week. A few things have been going through my head, and it's come to my attention that it's been a whole week since I last posted.

First, and to get it quickly out of the way, work's been busy. I've been training people - some of it quick and easy, some of it seriously testing me. My old supervisor left and my new supervisor is in, and he's relying on me to bring him up to speed. I've covered any blank spots that needs to be filled during the transition, or at least I tried to. It was a hectic week, but it was quick. The issue of leaving Melbourne has come up again.

Second, Magnetic Island. I leave in just a few weeks, and I'm working out the final plans before going there. It means a lot of things that happened in the past have to be worked out and if I'm ever going to find some better peace with myself, this is it. I'm not planning on going back to Queensland for a long time - years - and there's a possibility I might not go back at all.

And finally, my life needs some serious fixing. My place did finally get cleaned up, with a little coincidental help from a real estate agent who wanted to appraise the place - which added to the motivation factor. I've had a total ten hours sleep over the weekend, and since I went out late, I need to get up early tomorrow because my clothes are locked in the damn laundromat.

The new years post this year is going to very interesting. A lot is happening over the next 12 months.
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avatar_1: (RockyRoad)
I've been keeping three newspapers sitting on the ground near my desk, waiting for me to type up these awesome articles I found in them. They've been there for a while, at least three weeks. I did a bit of cleaning today, since I'd lost that damn vicroads form I need to hand in, and found an additional five newspapers that I'd forgotten I'd kept - that I don't even remember bringing home.

By the end of this week, and throughout this week, I resolve to get my lounge room tidied up without any crap in it like this around the place. This can't be that big a task.
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avatar_1: (Invincible)
One of the problems with Melbourne is the unpredictability of the weather. I only went down the road a few blocks to drop off a DVD, but by the time I got to the front door, I realised it was not smart for me not to bring my umbrella. The walk was only about 3-5 minutes each way, but I've done a walk that long before that's gone from pouring to cloudless. Welcome to Melbourne.

It was fine though. It was actually the first time I've been able to go outside in the closest thing I could to Queensland weather. For a change, I could go outside, at night, wearing a shirt, shorts and sandals. No jacket and no jeans. I wasn't cold.

I love the rain.
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avatar_1: (Aged)
So today was Melbourne Cup Day and I decided I'd get the day off to see what the fuss is about (we had the option to work or not). As a result, I ended up losing my phone early on in the day.

Wasn't fun. I wasn't 100% sure if I'd lost it or if I'd just left it at home. I got home early (well before the cup race) and found it wasn't where I normally keep it. Insert moment of dread. Mum rings up on my other phone, apparently someone has already picked up my mobile but didn't want to leave their number. Understandable. Still, whenever I called my phone there was no answer, and a few times I just couldn't get through because it was 'disconnected or unavailable'.

I've done this before, and again, I ended up getting it back, but the experience wasn't fun. When someone has something you own that's that personal and you want it back, you're at their mercy. It's not like they have to give it back. I've just been lucky they've been honest.

[Poll #602678]

And keep in mind - any of these things could happen. We're living in a world where people are quite happy to vote on not helping people who are about to be executed, or similar. You get the picture. When you've lost something, you don't know who's picked it up.
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avatar_1: (Default)

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