avatar_1: (Riverlook)
After I went through the enlightenment, the message was clear. You are never alone, even if it feels like you are, even in the worst of circumstances.

Or another way of following up on that idea in practise: if you ever feel like you're alone, remind yourself of the logic that you're not alone.

I live thinking that at the back of my mind everyday. So well did the message get through to me that I made it a core belief in myself.

Yet I go through each day thinking everyone I meet is so different. Sometimes the feeling is so overwhelming, it momentarily makes me question that single fact. But then I remember that my emotions are just getting the better of me, and dismiss the thought, correcting myself.

The similarities between myself and other people must be there. If not completely, at least in part. Talking to people on the internet or seeing what they have to say when they talk will regularly prove it (albeit not with everyone, but that's not the goal).

I'll clarify: I'm not looking for someone or some people exactly the same as me; that's probably not possible and that doesn't bother me. I'm looking for a particular quality in someone.

One of the things which disappointed me about my state of affairs in Brisbane was that I thought I'd found it. That I was lucky enough to know what it felt like not to be alone. But after a certain point, I realised I had, for the most part, been kidding myself. For years. We all were, to some extent. We sacrificed a lot of who we were to fit into some sort of societal norm. We did things out of character and made them part of ourselves - for the sake of other people around us.

We cope with it quite well usually, because we want the best for ourselves and turn that change into something that we want to do, something that we (passively) decide we like.

But on the whole, we are sometimes made to do things we don't want to do. Made to be someone we don't want to be. We temporarily become someone we are not.

We feel fear, because we don't want to disappoint our peers, or feel left out.

We feel frustration, because not being able to be who we want to be makes us feel trapped, and we often don't realise what's happened.

We get angry at each other. We don't try to understand the minority opinion if it's too far out there, for all of the above reasons.

We risk rejection, the all-too-common cause of fear that stops us doing great things with our lives.

I want to find people who understand this. Who have an active passion to participate in getting this idea out to people, and in finding radical ways to pursue change. To pursue an improvement. To break away from the norm we have so well imposed on ourselves, even if only because we didn't know any better at the time. To be able to say to yourself that maybe everything you know, that so much of the way you do things, is wrong. That so much of it is keeping you stuck in your routine, and has very little to do with unlocking your potential as a human being with a limited amount of time to spare in this world.

If we did, imagine what problems we could resolve. Less fear. Less frustration. Less discrimination. Less rejection.

Less feeling alone.
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avatar_1: (Invincible)
I didn't realise my birthday was coming up quite so soon. When it's a month or a week away, you feel like you have some time, but then you sleep for a bit and game for a day and come home from work and suddenly you're barely a day away.

I don't update much anymore, though I still should. It was meant to be about what I feel. But I can sum that up pretty easily, why take the effort of a full post. Especially now.

I feel distant, yet I feel clarity.
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avatar_1: (Personal)
There's one stage of my life that I've always remembered as feeling the worst I've ever felt. For lack of a better word, I've always referred to it as the one time in my life I felt suicidal.

For a long time while I was in school, I took a lot of shit from a lot of people for reasons I could never quite understand. First, it made me leave Mackay altogether to go to school in Brisbane for grade 8. That was the first time I was able to change my life. It wasn't perfect though, there were still a few dickheads in the bunch that would always make it their life's goal to give me shit and drag me down, and while I still held it together, they did so reasonably successfully.

A couple of years later, grade 11 started, and while the dickheads and a few of the better people left, a new dickhead arrived into our group and managed to make my life so miserable that I was at the point that it was becoming difficult to function socially at all. I even consciously experimented with this - all I had to do was say anything, and I'd be ridiculed over it. Communication became impossible unless people were in a particularly good mood.

I actually got so good at predicting when this would happen just by observing the circumstances of what else was happening, it became as natural to me as being able to determine what colour the sky was.



Then, half way through grade 12, we went on a camp to Magnetic Island for three days.

Day 1 came and went and there wasn't much to it. We played a couple of games of poker, we went to the beach. The first activity we did was something to do with your relationship with yourself. How you see yourself. It was standard enough that it didn't hang around with me. It was later that night that I thought I'd had enough of everything. I didn't want to be here, I didn't want to go home. It kept on torturing me in my head as I fell asleep.

Day 2 was something quite different.

The next activity we had to do was about your relationship with others. I still didn't care for doing anything with anyone, and I was as sceptical as anyone in school who didn't want to be there of what we would possibly get out of whatever they were trying to teach us here.

Here's what happened.

We got given a bit of paper, saying "Sometimes I don't feel so good. This is because.......................". Fill in the blank. Don't put your name on it, just put it in the box in the centre of the room. We didn't know why we were doing this, and didn't give it a lot of thought.

Mine said something like "....because everyone's against me." I was sure that this would seem pretty bad to whichever one of the teachers were going to read it, but it was anonymous and I was angry as hell with the world, so whatever. I didn't care that it would seem extreme compared to what anyone else would put down. I was hoping to get the message across that someone was feeling like absolute shit.

A few minutes later, they explained what they were going to do: they were going to read out what all of them said, to everyone. At first I panicked when I heard that, but whatever - it was anonymous. I went back to wanting this to run its course and be over.

And then what happened next was not what anyone expected.

Every single note was equally as troubling. Every single person in that room was feeling shitty, at least at some point, to the same extent as mine.

Can you imagine that, they said, that everyone you know in this room, everyone you've been going to school with for however many years, people you thought you knew reasonably well, probably felt the same way as you do.

And was it just everyone in the room? Of course not. It couldn't be. It would be everyone in other grades as well. Everyone you go past on the street. In shopping centres. In the world.

You couldn't help but think of the implications this little revelation had if you hadn't thought of it before. After all, nobody could possibly feel the deepest pain you've felt.

Right? Wrong.

A couple of people probably didn't get it, or chose to ignore it, but it was suddenly pretty clear that regardless of any groups our grade had been in at lunchtime or who we were friends with, this had changed us. In one way or another, in our heads, we felt united.

The teachers running the activity then reminded us that we were in grade 12, the school leaders. They asked us how this would affect us when we were leading other people. This was a footnote, but the message was still clear - there was a certain obliged responsibility here to use this very valuable lesson with other people.

No longer could we use the excuse that we felt alone. We were just given virtually undeniable proof that we weren't.



For the rest of the day, the rest of the activity was to set up an envelope with our name on it. Hang it up, and write affirmations - not anonymously - to people who you wanted to recognise something good about.

The entire event got people talking, a few of us, myself included, were actually complaining that we'd be able to get our notes back the same day, because we wanted to write one for just about everyone, and wouldn't get time.

The rest of that day, and from then onwards, made that camp turned out to be a pretty damn good time with everyone enjoying themselves.

I still have that affirmation envelope with every note that was in there, 10 years on. Nothing since then was ever able to change my life quite as strongly as it did that day.

Everytime I look around at other people when I go about my life, that thought is programmed in me. In terms of how we feel, there is no such thing as being alone. The pain you feel, at its worst, gets no worse than it does for anyone else - whether you know them or not.
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avatar_1: (Invincible)
It's 2009, the 10 year anniversary of a lot of things. School. My last year, grade 12. The year a lot of life-changing things happened, not excluding the deaths of Mark Camilleri and Lauren Fraser.

There was a poem I read somewhere afterwards as part of the rituals that happen after someone's passing. I thought that I originally read it as part of the story on the front page of the local newspaper, but that wasn't the case. The story was much more anecdotal and personal, talking about who they were. I only know this because I still have a copy of that page of the newspaper. Carried it with me from Mackay, to Brisbane, to Melbourne, among the rest of the stuff I saved from school.

The poem is still in there on a separate bit of water-stained paper. I didn't know the origin of the poem and I actually thought it was written by Sam Langford. It turns out that at the time, nobody knew who wrote it. Thanks to the magic of wikipedia, we now know exactly who wrote it.

The only reason this came up at all is because I was just watching an episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and the episode involves a funeral, where someone was reading out this poem. I recognised it immediately and this is the first time I've realised that it wasn't written by someone from school. After 10 years.

It's on this wikipedia page that I looked up the Uses in Popular Culture section for anything else I might have recognised, and the only one that jumped out at me was a song by Jem, called "You Will Make It".

The only reason this jumped out at me at all was because someone I work with recommended Jem to me and gave me some of her music to check out. It seems quite likely to me that I would never have heard of this artist had I not been working here, with him. There was no reason for him to really recommend music - it's not something we would normally do, and at the time, I had no idea why it even came up. I was open, I listened to it, and it wasn't bad.

After taking a closer look at Jem's wikipedia page to see what album this song was on, I found that of the two albums she has released, I have the wrong one. I took a closer look at her more popular songs and gave the one at the top of the list another listen. You see, I listened to her songs, and it wasn't bad. But it wasn't fantastic either, and I've never quite been able to memorise or pick out any of her songs from the others (except one other, which I had planned to use on Retreat as a maybe) and I even have trouble differentiating Jem from the other two artists I heard the same day.

Jem's most popular song was okay. The playlist continued on random. To understand the rest of this, you need to know that in the grand scheme of things, I have not been feeling fantastic lately. I have been looking for answers to my very not-clear questions for a long time, and they have not been coming.

The next song in the playlist was the one that reminded me of something that has been plaguing me, and at the same time holds together my life's foundations every single day.

The next song in the playlist could have responded to the last, reminding me why I need to stay strong. Reaffirming my foundation. Not just motivating me. Like telling me why I want what I want and why I do what I do.

The next song in the playlist told me how to proceed.

And the next song told me not to fucking want to give up.

If all of that is just coincidence and nothing else, I must be having a very lucky day.
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avatar_1: (Personal)
Today, the Return trilogy will be completed.

This is so tough. I don't like putting time constraints on creating these CD compilations, but the simple fact is I could probably work on it forever before I'm 100% satisfied. Even with How To Stop An Exploding Man, my most recent personal compilation, it had one major flaw which I wasn't happy about - it had another slot for a song which I couldn't fill. It was too damn good just the way it was.

Retreat is loosely based on what happened at my Year 12 camp on Magnetic Island - which the teachers actually called "Retreat". This CD is also meant to be based on positivity in general. There are very very few references to any songs that mentioned the word "you", because what happened on the camp was an experience I often refer to as the "Enlightenment" - an experience which involved some open-mindedness, some soul searching, a dash of pure shock, and something that came out of it that I can't adequately describe. The structure of this CD is actually very unique in comparison to my other CDs. It's sort of done in reverse - this is where I am, this is what happened, this is what started it all. Frankly, I'm amazed it works.

Resistance was probably the most fun to make. This could have been the sequel to Love. The theme relates very specifically to self-inflicted emotional torture. The feeling of wanting to be with someone or wanting something, but for whatever reason, willingly or unwillingly, you have chosen not to - instead for whatever reason, you have found yourself in a position to resist the feeling. I wanted this CD to be as painful as possible. No happy ending here. It sounds sadistic, and to be honest, it is. Toward the end it actually starts to soften up and I very seriously considered cutting those songs because they held a bit too much of a theme of hope. The only reason I left them in was because hope is another feeling that leaves you wanting more, but for the moment, also shows that you are still forced to deal with it.

Reunion is literally the idea of what happens in between that 10 year period where your life takes place. Before school ended, there were very few choices about how you live your life. You go to school, you do assignments, you don't have a great deal of choice about who your friends or enemies are, for better or for worse. You're stuck with your teachers for at least a year and they're stuck with you. After school, that all changes, and that's what this CD is about. This is a bit more of a reflective mix which focuses a whole lot less on order than usual, although it was made with being able to play it at the actual event. It's actually a difficult CD to describe because of that. Songs that relate to the passage of time, good times, nostalgia and evolution are all included.

I set a goal set for this trilogy to be completed by the end of this year, and it seems today is pretty much the last day I get to finish this since I'll be in Brisbane until beyond the new year. The other reason, the reason it had to be done this year, is because 2009 marks 10 years since I left school - ready for that reunion.
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avatar_1: (TwoSides)
I (reluctantly) made a new journal the other day to keep a record of things that happen day to day. I won't link it here, but it's pretty damn easy to find if you're looking. Either way, it's all private, so you're never going to see an entry in it.

One of the side effects of creating a seperate blog is that you tend to neglect the older blog, a problem I'm already having with this journal. Still, the benefits outweigh the downsides and I still feel as determined as before to make sure I keep posting in this journal.

The reason I've created this other journal is that I've seen other people's journals that describe in detail what has happened in their day and I don't care and it bores to me to tears. To be honest, I can see just as easily that what I'm writing in the other blog is actually written in the same style, and is similarly boring as hell to read. It's only any good so that I can recall what the hell happened that day.

I still have a lot of stories to tell, be it stories about the past that explain the way I am today, or ones that happen on that particular day which have struck a chord in some way. And it still feels good to get these things out.
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avatar_1: (Uplit)
Last week there was a blackout here in the evening. I was at my computer. Everything in my apartment went pitch black. It was night time outside, and the lights everywhere were out. My curtains are typically closed, but opening them wouldn't have helped.

I was almost completely unprepared for a blackout, but I did have a torch - which I had to feel around for the batteries that I usually take out to preserve their power. But a few minutes, I had some degree of light. I looked around for some candles, sure that I'd bought some at some point over the past 4 years I've been living here, but I hadn't.

There was only a few things I could do to keep myself occupied. There was sleep, but that wasn't happening, it was still too early. I took the car out to get some more candles from the shops, which a few other people around the place were doing. I had my still-new phone to play with and my iPod Touch, which had a few toys on it, although nothing really interesting. Of course, what I did have was my music.

Really, what would you do in a blackout?

Usually when I manage to drag myself off the computer to do something - which usually happens because I'm forced to, like my computer breaking down - I suddenly feel incredibly productive. Suddenly cleaning the house or the dishes or the clothes takes absolutely no effort at all. Getting to work on a project, same deal, if I don't need the computer to do it.

I've gotten a lot more interested in playing with candles - for both lighting and scent - since that night. I'd been wanting to try them forever, but for some reason just didn't get around to doing it. I'm talking years.
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avatar_1: (Magic)
This has been the most active year I've had while I've been living in Melbourne so far.

Part of that was, ironically, due to the fact that I've wanted to be somewhere else at certain times - and have been held back by the little things. You know. Work, money, time. Things that you would think should be what is affected, instead of what effects everything else.

That's not to say it hasn't been a good year, either. Being where I am physically as well as mentally and emotionally have meant that I've continued to grow in the way I'm always talking about, in that way I find so hard to explain all the time.

I feel more in control of my life. I'm more tolerant to people. I've forgiven myself, and because of that, I've found ways to forgive other people - whether for the long term issues that have subtly held me back for far too long, or for the short term issues that come about everyday. People listen to me more, and I constantly try to make sure I give them good reasons to.

I'm more content.

I don't know what'll happen next year. As usual, I don't like making plans and I don't want to make resolutions, because I'm too used to the idea of change. Especially at a moment's notice. It's just something that's becoming more second nature, and it's something I want to continue to explore.

Someone pointed out to me that my goals on 43 Things seem a bit superficial, and I think they were right. While I'm going to keep them there, the key to finding some newer, more satisfying goals will be to find out what I'm after on a deeper level. That doesn't just go with the simple things, either.

As usual, I won't go into specifics - they're not really relevant right now more than what I've put down here. What's important is that the new year's coming.

And as usual, I'm ready.
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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: (Riverlook)
This time tomorrow, I'll be over in Dubai, which I've recently found is located in Asia on the European/Asian border (or something, correct me if you've got your facts down better than I have).

This is the first overseas trip I've taken in nine years. It's hard to believe these days, but once upon a time, I was not at all interested in culture and I was not thrilled at the prospect of exploring somewhere new.

The last trip I took was my first visit to Italy. Specifically, Rome, Sicily and Switzerland. My parents planned it right in the middle of one of the more important rehearsals of Rock Eisteddfod, and I wasn't keen on missing out, least of all for a trip to somewhere I didn't particularly care to go. I don't remember what it was exactly that made me go, but the whole holiday was soured for me.

The first problem was the language. I only know a few words in Italian, along the lines of "Bellisimo" and "Mumma Mia!" Conversations with anyone but my immediate family that I was travelling with was interesting, since neither of us could understand each other. The one thing I do remember, which has stuck with me, was that my second cousin's daughter - in grade 1 at the time - was able to sing Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On, in flawless english.

Also, we think that she was cheating at the chess game we tried to play, but we couldn't really tell.

When in Rome, live like the romans, they say. Honestly, I was standing right outside the Colloseum and didn't even know. After my brother pointed it out to me, I had a better look at it, and only saw a stone building that looked like it might fall down. It even had scaffolding set up right next to it. It was hardly the majestic ampitheatre I had - briefly - expected it to be.

There were a lot of mopeds around. Road rules didn't seem to exist. For the few that did exist in Sicily, my dad attempted to teach his three sons that they should be ignored, and happily honked at someone who honked at him for driving in the middle of two lanes.

I don't know what I expected to see in Sicily, but if you want a culture shock, this is the place to be. It's like going back in time. The buildings, the roads, the technology - all seems prehistoric. Seeing people speak an alien language, but understanding each other.

Forget about signs, you can't read them. Forget about TV, unless you like watching pictures.

One of my favourite parts, I have to admit, was finding out that Peter, my brother, was not born in a hospital, but in a house. I think he found out not long before we actually walked in the place. When I say "a house", it's not the typical house with a backyard you're thinking of. It's a building that's connected directly to the next building, has a thin balcony with a clothesline on it, and there's no such thing as carpets.

We were served 5 course meals, dredged on by relatives who were absolutely insistent we should eat more. I think it was appetisers, entrees, main meal, healthy dessert, junk-food dessert. My other brother, Jimmy, who can't say no, put on 15kg's in one week. Before this, he had been skinny all his life. I am not joking.

On the way home, we almost missed our flight. When we got back to Mackay, I had one hour to get ready and be at school for the next rehearsal.



My Dad has organised this holiday; he's paying for it, which is why I'm going, and he's done about as much planning as I'd expected him to. The motto he lives by is that problems cannot arise unless they have arisen, and you shouldn't worry about problems that don't exist.

This time I'm actually wanting to make this trip, I'm keen on seeing this new culture; they even speak my language to some degree. I'm not in high school and I feel far more independent than I did the first time. I've made a point to not find out too much about what Dubai is like before I actually get there.

This time, it should be fun.
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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: (Analyse)
There's something I think I didn't notice that I missed while I've been away.

When you go to see a movie at the cinema, a good movie, it can be engrossing enough to take you into that world, into those character's heads. Unless you're trying to figure out the ending from the beginning, it doesn't have to take much to get you there.

If you're watching a movie like The Matrix, it can throw you. I've said more than a few times after playing GTA for too long that I probably shouldn't be driving. The urge to drive up onto the gutter to take a shortcut, or to hit a car because - well, hey, it's no big deal, really - is fairly high.

When you come out of a movie from the cinema, into your car, with some of your best music playing, driving your thoughts further into this new state of mind that has stuck with you after walking out the door of that cinema, it can be a pretty surreal experience.

I don't have any idea why this doesn't happen to me normally, since tonight, for the first time during my trip here, I was on my own when I went to see that movie.
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avatar_1: (Magic)
After working in corporate and team-based environments for the past 5+ years, even though I've developed my communication/diplomacy skills well, I think that it has sort of split the way I communicate into two sides. One is my regular side, which I commonly use while talking to friends or on the internet. The other side is the business side, which I'll only use when talking to customers or sometimes to colleagues that I'm trying to do work with at the time.

After trying to follow in the footsteps of my brothers who worked in call centres, I noticed the way they communicated - especially over the phone - sounded much more professional, but I didn't understand why; it barely even occurred to me. The way they spoke just had a different feeling behind them, and - I guess this is the best way to explain it - it seemed like they now made more sense than they used to. They got what they wanted, and it made sense to agree with them, even though the types of things they said or plans they made didn't really change.

It's like a separate skill altogether, instead of an improvement on an existing skill. You almost can't try to tell someone that they can't communicate when they can use one form of communication well but not the other. Also, both types overlap on each other, making it even more difficult to pick out the tricky spots that need work.

I'm certainly hooked on the "business" style at work, which is not always a good thing. Anyone who knows me or pays attention well enough here knows that I'm not living for pagers or messaging services. That's all just a means to an end. It doesn't even pay exceptionally well. I continue to do what I'm doing because I treat it as a project. Something with room for a lot of improvement that can make a great business, that I want to contribute to. But work is not everything to me.

While I consider myself a dedicated worker, I only do it to improve my quality of life. I don't want to fuck around and get paid, I want to be good at what I do. I want to go out and talk to people about The Regular Bullshitâ„¢. I want to drive to those places that I keep talking about. I want to get back into finding things to do and finding ways to do them.

I'm not going to lose myself trying to help a work project that makes me lose my sense of idealism. I need to find a way to achieve both.
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avatar_1: (Aged)
On the season 1 finale of Heroes.

Major major spoilers )
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avatar_1: (Uplit)
So I was speaking to Ballig about Lost - me defending it and him thoroughly offending it (by my standards), and at one point he was talking about the story not being rich enough and how they brought in the guys in the tail end of the plane after they made it out that they were all dead.

While I wait for the download of epiosde 7 to finish, I humoured this idea for a bit.

Out of the five main tail end guys to make it out alive by the end of The Other 48 Days, there's Ana Lucia, Libby, Eko, Bernard and, for argument's sake, Cindy's still alive too.
Yeah, okay, this has spoilers if you haven't seen the second or third season eps )

There must be some sort of plan. They always figure out something brilliant !
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avatar_1: (Riverlook)
I've been wanting to post something all night, and it feels like I can't get any words out until I'm deliriously tired.

I want to have some idea of planning for what's next in my near future, but I am really not good at setting and keeping to goals that it feels like if I want to do anything, I need to just do it there and then, while I still feel like doing it. Because it will only take a few minutes for my interest to wane if it seems like there's something better to do, and relaxing is way up there on that list with the myriad of routines I already do.

I feel like I've grown apart from my friends far more than I wanted to, even though I knew it was probably going to be inevitable. Most people I know have changed so much, even though if I told them they probably wouldn't realise it. I miss the days we used to play together, or work together. I miss being able to sit down next to a river, or a beach, or at the top of a mountain with someone, and just talk.

I don't even want to rationalise it. There comes a point where there's only so much you can do, because you can't have everything.
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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: (Downlit)
A few things have happened recently that caused me to do a bit of a double take.

It's not uncommon these days that I can't even dance in my living room to the music that's playing from my computer, because sooner or later it'll stop mid-song and reboot. When that happens, there's usually an involuntarily expletive screaming out, followed by a couple minutes of forced and frustrated patience waiting for it to boot up. If I'm lucky, it won't reboot again on startup or a few minutes later.

So I'm always on guard. This is something I've picked up. I'd like to say it's from work - I multitask extremely heavily and I'm one of those people who reacts to seeing an envelope icon come up in my system tray telling me that someone needs me. I've educated myself to be reliable, and so I make myself respond straight away if I can. It's a time management thing, too.

But work might be the problem, rather than the solution. I'm not getting paid enough, I'm still living where I'm living because I'm not being paid enough, and a few months ago I found myself in far more debt than I'd like. I may as well be having kids or a mortgage with the amount of money I'm saving at the moment. For the amount of work I do, it's really not on. I don't know what'll change in the future to alleviate this problem. All I know is, the plan was that I wasn't going to be the one to change that - except for doing what I'm already doing.

Save draft. Could reboot.

I'm not going back to study. Maybe even especially now that I'm working fulltime. Besides the fact that I hate studying and think it wouldn't get me far anyway, there's the other possibility that it'll put me into a mindset which will actually detract me from the career I'm after. And if I get to that point, I don't know if I'll be able to change that, even knowing I have done it before.

Which brings up all sorts of thing into doubt. It's a bit of logic that just doesn't make sense. I've used it as a basis for a lot of the decisions I make and a lot of things I do. Those ideas were never bad ideas. Some people said they were, but some people were wrong. The best ideas are often ones that sound ridiculous - until someone's gone through with them. There's one line of thinking which makes this make sense: that I'm not an open minded person. That's the scenario where I couldn't go back to something I'd done before with the new line of thinking.

Save draft. Could reboot.

And that's interesting. Because that could easily mean that I've already done things which have led me to where I am right now, and here I am thinking maybe I took the wrong road back there without realising it. Maybe I should have stayed on that freeway after school instead of taking that exit. I might have learned a whole lot of new streets that those idiots on the freeway will never know, but at this rate I might never get to see what that freeway looks like a ways ahead. The initial idea was that I didn't care. Now I've come to a point where I'm thinking maybe I should get back on that freeway - but now that I've found my way back to the freeway again, it looks just as ordinary as it did the first time around.

The problem is all the options seem like the wrong choice.

While writing this, the computer rebooted itself twice and crashed once. The first time was right before I was about to click "Post". I almost lost the whole entry after I accidentally clicked "Delete Draft" instead of "Load Draft", conveniently located right underneath.
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avatar_1: (Analyse)
Some of you might not know, but I have filters on my journal. Two reasons, both basically intertwined; one is so that I can have people read my locked entries without having to read their journals, and two, so that I can read people and communities seperately. In my people filter, I only include journals I want to read.

Since I'm on holidays however and am not at my own computer (either at net cafe's or at friends or family's computers), I tend to take whatever options are the default and deal with it. This probably isn't healthy, since it motivates me away from doing things I would normally like doing.

So I've been reading my friends list as a whole over the past week and a half, with both people and communities, and of people's journals I don't normally read. I've added a few new ones recently, and I have absolutely no idea who you people are. Now, look, in my books, that's still cool, but now my friends list has completely random people I know nothing about, and quite a few of you.

It's nothing huge, and either way nothing will change here. It's just weird seeing pinches of people's lives who are supposedly reading me. Next week, I go back to normal.
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avatar_1: (Invincible)
Matthew Reilly is one of my favourite authors. The recurring character in most of his books is Shane Schofield, a marine in the USMC.

Matthew Reilly isn't well known for his character development, but since this character is used often, he does have a bit of history. His call-sign is "Scarecrow", which he got after an earlier mission involving being captured and tortured left him with two scarred eyes, after his religious captors decided he'd been seeing things he shouldn't have been seeing. They'd blinded him with a razor blade with two cuts across his eyes in the shape of a plus sign, but since they were shallow cuts, the military managed to get them fixed using some sort of laser surgery.

The kicker was that Schofield was a pilot - one of the best. And once you've had eye trauma of any kind, they won't let you fly in the military anymore. So he had to start again, as a ground troop. He went from the top of the ladder to the bottom in an instant. Still, he was dedicated. He was good, and he was noticed. Soon, he became an officer of his own ground unit.

Now, throughout these books, he comes under heavy fire, and funnily enough, gets around to flying in every book. There's no mention of this, no reminder that he's not allowed to fly, and there never needs to be. He's under fire. Nobody starts thinking, well, wait a second, I know you can see fine now, but... you're not allowed to fly. The bottom line is he's in extraordinary circumstances, and all the rules are out the window. He does what is necessary, and nobody needs to ask questions.

I have to admit, I've found really appreciating Perth to be a little bit difficult. From the onset, I didn't think I was going to like it more than Melbourne - that was to be expected, even though I couldn't be sure - but I was hoping at least for something to be a little bit different, and I guess in a way it is. Still, I keep comparing it to Brisbane, and finding the same thing, only less familiar.

This morning on the way to the city, I was on my own, in a bus to the city with my iPod, which I've been neglecting. I looked out the window over towards the train station where we'd momentarily stopped and realised what a view it was. Again, it seemed somewhat similar. Similar to looking over the Brisbane river while crossing the bridge on the Cleveland/Beenleigh line that I had back in early 2003. I remember loving it.

I want to love my life. Not because I'm being told, or because I should. I don't want to feel forced to, and I don't want to keep stopping myself on the account of other people thinking lesser of me because I'm doing things they don't agree with. I don't want to do things only if it comes under standard operating procedure, because I don't like thinking of my life like it's standard operating procedure. Not because of luck, or because of fate.

It is extraordinary. But because I want it to be. Because that's what I choose for it to be.
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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: (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: (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: (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: (Magic)
When I first got introduced to my modem, soonafter came my introduction to connecting modem to modem to play deathmatch games. It wasn't like it is now - it was one on one, you against someone else. I wasn't into networking and the thought of taking my computer to a LAN was ridiculous at the time. No, one of us dialled, our modems shook hands and we were into the game.

Considering every call had to be a local call, Mackay's gamers weren't too numerous, and it meant I played against less than about 15 people in my entire time of playing a game against (or with) someone else. Over about two years.

Now, I need to say here that I've never really been very good at online games. People I play against always seem to have an edge on me. I don't know how they do it, I don't know if it's my reflexes that are shot, I don't know if it's my lack of experience or my lack of motivation to try harder after I die so bloody often.

I wasn't very good when I first played, and it wasn't all that easy trying to find a way to get better when you've never really played before or never really gotten a decent amount of kills before. Two people in particular stick out - Kitt, and Shawn.

I wasn't even in the mood to really play when I first played against Kitt. He convinced me by telling me he sucked at playing Duke Nukem 3D as well. We played and eventually realised we were about as good as each other. So we kept playing each other for weeks or months on end, and we ended up being two of the best in the city. At some point, I started playing with Shawn when Kitt got busy, and eventually we lost contact.

I knew Kitt in school - he was a few years older than me and we never spoke until he logged onto the local BBS, but I knew who he was because he was a friend of my friend's older brother. After we stopped playing, a few years later I learned that Kitt had actually passed away. That really freaked me out. He was fine the last time I spoke to him and there was no warning.

When I played with Shawn, he seemed to already have the skills of the game and was worth playing after Kitt disappeared. We literally played for months to a year or two on end. Even on the same couple of maps, we'd never get sick of it.

Then the internet took over.

Besides UO, I think Counterstrike was next in line for what was the next multiplayer game. I was already at a disadvantage with UO because you wanted to be playing with a fast connection, and everyone was using something faster than the 28.8 modem I had. Incidents like being in a dungeon and running across a big room away from a dragon with your party of five meant you were the first to die.

Counterstrike was much worse. First off, everyone was ahead of me in terms of hardware - my machine couldn't even run it. That meant everyone else had more practise. Second, I wasn't used to using a mouse to aim. Vertical aim in Duke3D was always automatic - as long as you had your aim correct on the horizontal axis, so I wasn't going to be carrying over many skills from my old days.

It took a lot of hearing "you suck" just to try and get better. There was no such thing as one on one anymore to help you and a friend get better. It was now everyone for themselves.

There were supportive people though. The CS craze itself motivated me to get better. Everyone is playing this, you need to get good. Having your friends play with you was usually good, because you instinciively act as a team and you have an idea of what everyone's play styles are - whether you're strategic, or aggressive, or supportive or quiet. With everyone else, you might see them once and never again for all you know. Others, you might see so regularly you can actually make friends out of them. Others still, might hate you over a misunderstanding or five.

Eventually, I did get better.

I remember a few months ago, someone had actually asked me to join a clan. Now, this was a big thing. Previously, I couldn't get into any clan no matter what I did, and this meant I couldn't pass my little rite of passage I'd subconsciously set for myself. It didn't even work out in the end; the reason I got asked in the first place is because every now and then something clicks and I get lucky enough to wipe out an entire team or almost an entire team on my own.

It didn't really matter. The fact that someone actually acknowledged that I had done something well was pretty overwhelming.

"Thanks" usually doesn't do it. My bosses at work are always giving me ridiculously positive feedback that I feel like I should be returning, but I haven't looked hard enough at anyone to consider their positive qualities, or the few things I could say aren't related to anything we're ever talking about. Once again it's just a lack of opportunity that stops us from doing something we want to do or saying something we want to say.

But to be honest, most of the time, the only thing that's really gotten me anywhere was someone else encouraging me.

It never mattered how big the task was or how ridiculous the goal seemed. All I needed was someone telling me that I could do it, or that what I did was well done.

I got told tonight when I was done playing counterstrike, just before I logged off, that I did really well. They didn't have to say it, and most of the time it probably wouldn't be said. But they did, and frankly, it made my night.
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avatar_1: (Riverlook)
I just watched the videos of the speech I made at my 21st.

God, I was so different then. How the hell did I change so dramatically over the past two and a half years? I'm not sure if I prefer it more now or then. Maybe it shouldn't be a choice of "preference". I enjoyed it then.

I'm still doing pretty well, I suppose.
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avatar_1: (RockyRoad)
I spent most of the weekend either playing counterstrike or in bed unconscious. It felt good, but I knew I probably should have been doing something better. I know this because I did go out to do the laundry, and realised I should have stayed out. I even said to myself I'd probably go out tonight. Didn't.

[livejournal.com profile] asciian introduced me to this goal-setting site, 43 Things. I was about to blow it off completely, because I really haven't found a decent way of setting goals. I absolutely hate the ways I've been taught to make them; they might be sure-fire, but I can't think of anything that falls in the parameters of "specific, measurable, realistic, time-specific, etc." Sorry, but I like the idea of aiming for near impossible goals, otherwise I feel like I'm limiting myself.

That isn't the conceptual problem here though. I just don't know what I want.

I've got a few ideas, some that I'll probably post here soon - and then I'll translate that over to 43 Things when I can make more sense out of the whirlwind in my head.

I've noticed that I don't like extremes. I like keeping my options open; I like having a bit of everything, and I think this is one of the big reasons I don't do a lot of what I want to do. That's just one of the things I need to overcome.
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avatar_1: (Riverlook)
I preferred the days when I wrote entries and cared a whole lot less about who was reading, or what I was saying. I preferred being able to make any kind of contraversial post I wanted without getting flamed over nothing. I preferred speaking my mind rather than trying to write better, even if a positive message looked like a disaster story over the period of three months. Over the period of a year and a half, while I'm hopelessly living my future in an MMORPG, not expecting anything to come of it, but not expecting to get nowhere. I preferred being able to tell people what I thought and not getting ridiculed over it.

Something's changed somewhere along the line. I don't even know what I did.

I was probably more defensive than I needed to be. Too quiet. Too aggressive. Too submissive. Too modest. Too proud. Too shy, too intimidating or too outgoing. I'm good at finding the right match for whoever I'm adapting to. A lot of what I set out to do has a tendency to backfire. It might not seem like much, but man, it piles up. I don't know how I've managed to stay so resilient for so long. Too adaptable.

I don't want to dwell on this, but god, this is my life here. It's happened because I've tried not to dwell on it. Things just seem to have a way of bringing themselves back up. It happened, and here are the consequences.

This year, I think it's time to look at everything I haven't been looking at because I didn't think it was important. I've obviously missed something.
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avatar_1: (Uplit)
So I wrote up this poll the other day because that day, as I was going up that very lift, from sub level 2 up to ground floor, and a woman was inside the lift with me. We got to the top, and just before she got out, she pressed the button for the lift to go back down to sub level 2.

That makes very little sense to me.

If you need to catch a train and you're in a hurry, you want the lift to be up the top at the concourse so you can get down to the platforms. If you're coming off a train, there's no rush to get up top.

And you people who press all the buttons before leaving the lift are absolute bastards. If only you used your powers for good instead of evil!
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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)
I can't believe it's already December. Where has 2005 gone. Only thirty days left. I still don't know where I'm going to be on New Years Eve.

It still hasn't hit me that I'm leaving for Queensland in, what, 2 days now. I still haven't even got everything planned. Just like always, leaving everything till the last minute. I don't really like it, but I don't mind either. It feels like I have more time at first, and then later I have to rush. Hell, it's part of the fun.

I didn't expect things to happen like this. I don't know what I expected, really. I've become so good at letting things happen on their own, because things work themselves out all the goddamn time that most of the time if I just go with my instincts, I end up at the next spot I want to be. Who needs goals?

And I want to talk about what's happening in my life. So much. But the more I grow, the more I find that I can't do that anymore.
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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: (Hope)
I'm not in a good way tonight. It's not healthy, it's at a time when I really need to be better than this, and it's wrecking my motivation for anything else.

A couple of years ago, I got into a crash which almost killed a then-friend of mine as well as myself. The reason for this crash was because I'm epileptic, and I'd been drinking the night before and therefore hadn't taken a tablet that I'm meant to take twice a day, everyday. In addition to copping quite the amount of abuse from several people, saying goodbye to that friend, and losing my car, I also lost my license for a year. A year later, I went and got my license again, with a form from my doctors saying I was A-OK.

I received a letter in the mail the other day saying I now need another letter from the doctor, within 4 weeks of 2 weeks ago. It's normal to get that letter renewed every year and sent out to them, but getting the appointment they're talking about isn't as simple as going into the doctors. You ask for an appointment, and it's several months later. Not two weeks.

After I have my license suspended/cancelled, I'll be preparing to go on my holiday which involved me driving between two of my major destinations. This thought didn't actually occur to me until tonight.

On top of this, I still have my tax to pay (which I completely forgot about), which is killing my budget that I've already wrecked with my renewed addiction of restaurant hunting or getting malaysian food delivered. I also found out tonight that I'm having an inspection tomorrow. My place is about as bad, or worse, than the last picture I posted on my journal.

Man, I'm just tired of it. It's all coming down at once. I'll be damned if anyone wrecks my pilgrimage to Magnetic Island. Let alone everyone. And nobody really sees it. That's the clincher.

I'm good enough at hiding how I really feel or distracting people enough to do something that's better, enough to lie to myself and everyone else - and then make that lie, truth. I hate it, and I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I feel like I know what's wrong. I feel like I'm starting to believe that I am alone. I thought about that for a while over the past week or so. But I looked around again - and remembered.

That's what they all think, too
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avatar_1: (Hope)
While I won't say it's a bad decision, the idea that I had back in - what was it, July? - of going all over Queensland in December wasn't the most well thought out one that I've had. The holiday is going to be great, one way or another. I can't fault that part of it. I always expected it was going to cost me a lot and I have been saving for it better than I had expected I'd be able to cope considering my history of budgeting and spending. What I didn't take into account was how it was going to put my life on hold for six months.

And that is why I'm going to think very carefully before I plan to do this kind of trip again.

I've always liked the idea that if I wanted to, I could fly out of here to visit another city across Australia at a moment's notice. That kind of thing really, really appeals to me. Hell, it was one of the pros of moving to Melbourne. It's more central to most of the places I might end up going. But over the past few months, I've barely even been able to do that. Keep in mind I don't go out much as it is, so this is really saying something.

If I wasn't so heavily influenced by society, I can't say that I'd be wanting to do anything differently than what I'm doing right now. I'm incredibly comfortable. I don't know anyone who really understands what it's like to not have people around much in their lives and like it that way. But I am influenced. There's something inside me that is absolutely itching to try and do something else. So go do it, is the obvious answer. It's not that simple.

One part of me says go out and do what you want to do. The other part of me says are you joking? You're fine here. Do what you're doing now and you'll stay fine. Both very valid arguments, and for once, I can't disprove either of them.

While I'm here, doing this, nothing is certain. I can't stay as passive as I have been, and I'm tired of not knowing what to expect next.
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avatar_1: (Uplit)
So the other day something made me go to my old mobile phone and take a look at my SMS's. The 30 messages I'd kept that were memorable and worth keeping. I didn't remember any of the bad ones, and of the three, the third brought back some memories I'd much rather forget about - the reason I broke up with Kate. I know why I kept it and I always wanted to keep it, but that day I would have much preferred that I'd deleted it. It's still there.

The other 28 messages go back to a life that I really miss. It's always greener. I don't even keep in contact with half of those people anymore. But god, the memories. Going back to Brisbane in December won't really help. I know it. It wasn't the same last time I went, and this time things have changed even more. Hell, even people I knew in Mackay are even more spread out over Queensland than they were, despite the fact they tend to get together when I come visit.

It's funny how much easier it seemed to be to fall in love. We were younger, happier. Less scarred by dramas.

As we get older, it just seems harder to do. Like nothing is quite the same as it used to be. It's easy enough to be interested in someone, but to find someone that makes you interested is another story. You know what I'm talking about. Having those feelings reciprocated before we start making moves. Trying to act casual but not wanting to put up a fight to hide your feelings. There's nothing quite like getting crash tackled knowing that someone loves you.

There's no drug like that.

In the end, what happens? Do you start again? Wait for the right moment? Wait for someone you're interested in to ask you that pivotal question? Wait for a kiss? Take the initiative? You probably don't even know unless you're already in a relationship, and even then I can't imagine you know what you'd do if you weren't in that relationship. I certainly don't know, because last time it happened to me, all I wanted to do was get out of it.

There's a world waiting out there. I'm sure I'll find the right one, and I've recently gotten tired of getting lazy. Most of the ideas I've been coming up with are things I generally wouldn't do, but I'm feeling a whole lot better about actually going ahead with it. Y'know... when I find the right one.
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avatar_1: (Riverlook)
It's that time of year that becomes surreal. This year, more surreal than usual. Tomorrow I'm the big one: 2, 3.

I was even going to go to bed early so I can visit the ol' Gloria Jeans guys, which I haven't done since work moved to the city, three months ago. I'm not good like that. I'm sentimental. I feel no real urge, I just go when the opportunities let me. You could call it selfish; that's really what it is. I promised I'd visit, but history shows that I'm just not that good at keeping promises I really want to keep.

For some reason, people were making quite a bigger deal than usual out of tomorrow being my birthday than they usually do. I don't talk about it that much, nor do I talk about how much importance I hold to it. Yet everyone seemed to have something to say. It may as well have been today. But it's not. Not for another hour and a half.

Every year I usually treat myself to something I really want and can't afford. This year it was tough. Either a $700 super comfy chair - one of those ones you lie back on, or the December Queensland trip. Probably both, but I'd probably be seriously culling my finances. But what good is money when you don't spend it, right? Let's not forget I'm still trying to get a car, which I'm sure won't happen for a good 10-20 years, at least. At this rate, anyhow. Regardless, I'm buzzing about the trip. I want it worked out by this weekend.

It's come to my rather recent attention that I'm far more reliant on work than I'd like to be these days. Not just in money and time, but they're largely some of the people I know better than most at the moment, or so I like to think. I don't really know what I expected, and while this is where I wanted to be at some point, I'm feeling a bit stuck. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing. What I do know is that I'd much rather have more freedom than I have right now.

And I don't care that I already am ridiculously free. I'm selfish as hell and it's just not enough.

It didn't seem like that long ago that I turned 21, or even 18. 18 was an interesting year, and an interesting day on July 29th, 2000. There was only one time I've felt more depressed than that day that I can remember - on Magnetic Island. 18, however, was the day that I felt so incredibly cynical. I was finally officially free, and yet still felt like I was trapped. No job, addicted to UO, constant arguing with the rest of the family, and very little direction - especially just after dropping out of uni and deciding that the future I planned on was never going to eventuate.

It's funny how things turn out. But then, even if it is better, is it still what I want? I could keep doing this forever. After it's all, it's only something different. Not really better. It doesn't get better.

I'm not feeling depressed. I'm largely in control of my life. It's only the steering that I want to get under better control, because I'm not doing a great job of that. Even if it just to stop waiting for the excuse of an opportunity to meet up with some people that I promised to visit. Even if it is to travel the country, to visit my hometown and make my pilgrimage.

The only difference? Making it feel natural and making it feel artificial. Sometimes all you need is the right time.
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avatar_1: (Hope)
God, I'm turning 23 this week. And you know what, what I'm doing just isn't working for me anymore.

My weekend consisted of not leaving the house to play WoW. Not much else. Lost in my own little world with the few hundred people I saw along the way in Azeroth. It's an exciting world. Mountains, magic, forests, leatherworking, taming, and even a bit of toot-toot training and questing with other people. It's fun.

But it's all just a game. It's a fictional world. All that's really happening is that I'm sitting at my chair, my fingers a bit sore on my mouse, staring at a screen with my eyes going unnoticably bloodshot until I go to the bathroom and take a look in the mirror.

Someone pointed out to me that the Big Brother eviction was on. I jumped to the ground to turn on the TV, eager to see if and how Gretel would torture the evictees much like she did with Glen and Dean (the only other two I've seen), putting them on the spot and embarrassing the hell out of them. She's only telling the truth, and most of what they talk about is stuff you should be able to talk about after seeing some of the hardcore antics that go on in the house.

Rita's reactions were interesting. Anyone who watches knows she talks far too much. I loved the way Christie said her one liner of not being able to stand Rita in the diary room. But during her interview with Gretel, she mentioned that she's just super positive and she can't stop talking because that's who she is, despite the fact that the world hates it. Fair enough and very noble, but how can you not consider anyone else's feelings with what you do? Did she love who she was that much that she had absolutely no desire to change even though she was upsetting everyone?

And then another thought occured to me. The fact that she wouldn't change/didn't care what people thought was only triggered by her hardcore positivity. And it works the other way around. If you plan to change/care what people think, it's only because you think negatively about a part of yourself. Or in other words, you need to feel negative to consider other people's feelings. Unless of course, everything is perfect. But don't fool yourself. Life is not perfect. It's not disaster either, but we'd do well to remember not everything is always fun and flowers.

Later I went out to the laundromat. Just before I left, I did get a look at the mirror and wasn't wholly impressed with what I saw. Outside, I looked around and thought about what the hell I was doing. Another year is about to go by and I'm playing games. Yeah, it's fun, but this isn't what I really want. I want to be more active, but I don't know how to do it. I tried gym and that didn't really work for me - at least not without some sort of support for it. Either way, that wouldn't satisfy me. My life is not enough to just be going to work, coming home to play games, and going to gym or DDRing for exercise.

Outside, it occured to me I'm in fucking Melbourne. I'm largely on my own and I can do whatever the hell I want. The major thing stopping me is work.

All of my best times with friends I had at the time were there because I had a lot of time to spend with them. Not much more mattered, except for the circumstances we met under. School. UO. The internet. It doesn't matter. But work wasn't really part of it, and only then because I tend to be a very different person at work and I'm comfortable that way. Suddenly the purpose of getting a hobby is a whole lot clearer to me. I can do anything and I have very few limitations.

One of the [many] biggest limitations in the past was how much I relied on other people. I've well proven that that isn't a pre-requisite for me anymore, although I can still manage just as well as ever when I am around people. Last week, I got some of the best advice I have ever heard just when I needed to hear it. The major reason why I hold back from posting is because I still cared about the people who I was so hurt by.

I hadn't let go and I didn't even realise it. Time is just going so fast. It doesn't feel like I've been on my own for the past year and a quarter. [livejournal.com profile] brutal_honesty has taught me more than I expected about how it's not always cool to keep things to yourself. And I will be damned if I keep doing that. It might not happen straight away, but I'm sick to death of holding back to what I want to say.

I've got so much of what I want. But it's not enough. I want more. And now I think I know how I'm going to start, for a change. Tomorrow I'm going to go to work again for a new week, and damn I hope I don't forget this when I wake up tomorrow morning.
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avatar_1: (Aged)
I was playing WoW this morning, watching a high-level troll in a human city cutting up a guard to ribbons with his two flaming swords. I'm technically his enemy, but inside I was giggling with delight watching the guard and other players who came to help, die.

I fucking hate the alliance. Even as I'm playing as one of them, it's really quite obvious that they don't seem to have the same mindset of the horde - using polite words.

I was getting attacked quite overwhelmingly and someone else was standing by, watching. I yelled HELP and managed to stay alive for an extra 20 odd seconds, and he didn't move. Or rather, he turned around to make sure he saw all the entertainment of me dying. He didn't say a word. That's only one example.
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avatar_1: (Hope)
After three days of doing nothing but letting the world turn as I'm playing games, it comes the day before workday (usually sunday night, but hooray for public holidays), and I need to head south for a ten minute walk as I go to do my laundry.

From where I'm sitting, I can hear that the cars are driving on a wet road. That's really strange, since I didn't actually hear it rain the whole weekend. Doesn't matter. I fill my trolley, get the detergent, make sure I have enough money for the laundromat, grab my scooter and bring it all downstairs. I clumsily open the door trying to hold as much as I can without putting anything down as the door closes by itself, and who could be bothered finding a way to keep it open. I'm outside and ready to go.

Then I notice it's actually still raining. I don't have an umbrella on me. It's not quite pouring, not quite spitting - just a drizzle. I can't be bothered going back upstairs to get one since it's such a short walk and my hands are full, but regardless, the thought doesn't occur to me. I continue on my merry way, scooter and detergent in my left hand, the trolley wheeling behind me in my right hand, and make my way down the road, occasionally lifting the trolley over the puddles of water that gather up at the sides of the few roads I need to cross.

Meanwhile, I'm getting soaked, my left arm is getting sore as hell, and why I didn't bring the scooter back upstairs I don't know. I'm leaning forward over the detergent cup - and the scooter - to ensure that the laundry powder doesn't turn to soap even before I get there. Around this point, I notice there are probably many people in many cars thinking what on earth is that crazy man doing, but I don't care. I just think jesus, I would love a car right about now.

I should have done this earlier. At some point when it wasn't raining, maybe. So why didn't I?

World of Warcraft.

In depth about WoW )

I've been doing very little with my free time but playing WoW since I got it. At work, someone actually warned me off playing games all weekend. And she was right. I should really go sign up for gym again, ring some people and do something once and for all. It probably would have been very healthy.

The problem is, I'm really not feeling sick. I feel good. There's so many things we do that probably should be doing a whole lot less of. Staying home (instead of going out), living alone (instead of keeping the budget down), minding my own business (instead of socialising), find something new to do (instead of the same thing all the time). Hell, there's even the peer pressure around that society keeps telling us to do or not do.

Screw it, man. I love what I'm doing. I'll change when I feel like changing. But not right now.
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avatar_1: (Aged)
The icon I use the most when making comments on other posts is, by far, Aged.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't randomly pick an icon when making a post or a comment. They all have some sort of meaning that relates to said post or comment, and they're all designed to have more than one meaning. They're intentionally generically named, so that when I go to replace the icon, it will fit the category.

Unlike most of the other ones, Aged is also an icon I have not changed since I got a paid account.

Aged is used mostly to show my/someone's age, to give off the "Life's Like That" attitude, or to show my disdain for something that has been said.

This is the icon I use the most. Consider the implications.

Every heartbeat belongs to you.
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avatar_1: (Aged)
So I've spent an abnormally large amount of time playing d20 games over the past few weeks - either Dungeons & Dragons or Star Wars d20. Plenty of fun. What I'm going to go into here is not limited to these games. I wish it was.

The kind of characters people create and how they play them says something about their personality. Unless they're a really good roleplayer, most people tend to make characters that reflect their own persona. Sometimes you'll get characters who can't think of seemingly simple solutions to simple problems.

You can see where I'm going with this, can't you.

Granted, there's a few problems here. First, it's probably my problem. I'm not creating the world well enough to interpret. I'm not including enough detail. I'm not providing enough hints. Whatever. Second, the aim of the game isn't always to solve the problem. Part of the fun of roleplaying games is to roleplay. A great roleplayer never needs to go into battle or solve problems to make their character progress. They just have to have a great persona in the game. I often reward players with higher bonus experience for roleplaying than for killing monsters. After all, risking death on dice rolls all the time isn't much fun, especially when the campaign is first starting off.

I haven't had many good experiences while I'm DM'ing a campaign, and I have to admit it really puts me down. It's not unusual for several games to go by and I feel like the players are just getting bored. Waiting for something to happen, and trying to roleplay whatever they have to work with. I feel like I need to give them more information, more people to interact with, more problems to work with, more detail to process. I've asked, and they've told me they're fine, which is okay, I guess. I just feel like more could be happening in the game if only they were trying to do more.

Tonight it went a step further. Two of my players said they didn't want to play unless the games were going to be shorter - something I wasn't prepared to do, as games can be unpredictably long (sometimes up to 5-8 hours) and cutting their length can mean cutting their quality. Another player got too agitated with someone he was playing with, and not only decided to stop playing the campaign permanently, but dropped that player out of the other campaign that he DM's. For the moment, this meant leaving only one active person in the game, and I was momentarily stunned - this kind of thing hasn't happened to me before, and I wasn't sure how to handle the whole thing. To make matters worse, we were in mid-combat, raising pressure levels for everyone even higher. We didn't need an out-of-character issue that would affect everyone like this.

In the end, we were okay. I stayed objective about the whole thing and we stemmed off what we could. Happened to be one of the better games we played. I somehow keep managing to tie everything together.

Which brings me back to the original point. I don't understand how some people can look at a situation and not know what to do for an extended period of time. Initial shock, I can definitely understand. Lost in thought, sure. But after a while, you have to take steps to solve those problems. You don't just sit around waiting for something to happen. Do you?




So let's look at what happens when a relationship between two people begins to deteriorate. One has a problem with the other. It's usually hard to tell who's the good guy and who's the bad guy, because everyone thinks they're the good guy, right? Well, you get those depressive cases where they're sure they're the bad guy and go into bitter hiding, but that's just the same thing but in reverse. It still works the same way.

Let's for argument's sake, say one of these people has to resolve the situation - who should do it?

So. Good guy, bad guy. Let's say you're the good guy, and you're pissed off at the bad guy doing Something Wrong. Should the good guy go to the bad guy to talk about it first, to fix the problem once and for all - sacrificing any dignity retained when they displayed the initial outburst to them? Or should the bad guy talk to the good guy, ignoring the fact that the good guy will probably just explode in their face, making the problem worse and possibly more permanent?

And how about the other way around. Let's say you're doing what you do and the bad guy comes up to you and yells at you for doing Something Wrong. You might not have even known what you were doing was wrong, and they've yelled at you. Hell, maybe you did know it would hurt them, but you had to do what you had to do, and you thought you had conveniently handled it. Should you ask them what was wrong, find the details, apologise, fix the problem, confront them? Or was it not your fault, so you shouldn't have to do anything? After all, you were treated unfairly, right?

It's a lot to think about, and frankly, most people would just give up pretty quickly.

And ironically, end up doing nothing. Continually trying to work out what to do, and needing more information.
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avatar_1: (Hope)
Answers are everywhere. All anyone needs to do is pick one and go with it. To run away can be a very cheap option, and not a very good one when you don't really know what you're doing or why you're doing it. This is no secret to anybody.

Maybe I'm just incredibly objective and emotionless and ruthless when it comes to these problems. But I find solutions. I don't run away, or let by gones be by gones. Sometimes that's the best way to leave things, and sometimes it's not.

You can't make something happen if you do nothing.

Show me who you are.
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avatar_1: (Riverlook)
I think what it comes down to is that I don't want to justify myself by going out and doing things that I don't really want to do just to prove to myself that my life is in order, because I know that won't work. I'm game for anything, but there are some things I just don't care about that much.

I knew when I left that I had to leave. There's nothing more here, I told myself. I can't stay here; I'm beyond this, I told myself. It wasn't giving up. It was moving on. I knew it. But maybe what I thought I knew was wrong? No. I stand by the decision I made. Staying was really not likely to change anything. I don't think I even cared to change anything by that point.

I want to be able to talk about who I am without being ashamed of myself while I'm saying it. I'm sick of being too fucking proud trying to make people think I'm better than I really am. I'm not, and while I should know I can do better, I shouldn't have to get depressed about it. That doesn't help. It's just so hard to concentrate on changing how you feel when you're feeling like that.

My solution is to just get things over with quickly. Do it, get it out, done. Anytime I'm forced to hang around for anything longer than necessary, it becomes a chore. The thing is, not everything can be fixed that quickly. And frankly, I'm not patient enough to wait.

I just want this to get better.
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avatar_1: (Uplit)
What did people do before music downloads? -[livejournal.com profile] xxoe

Good question.

MP3ing became available to me around 1997ish. I only had two CD's to start off with when I first got interested in music in 1995-1996. 14 years old. Most people are already into music long before then.

Of course, with my brothers in a band, I actually was interested in music. I just didn't know it yet.

The first three albums I really liked were Susanna Hoffs - When You're a Boy, Amy Grant - Heart In Motion and Kim Wilde - The Singles Collection (and all three of those artists are on Past). Very poppy, very female. Artists like Silverchair, Matchbox 20 and Blink 182. I didn't like male artists at all. I still don't Silverchair, but I love Matchbox 20 and Blink 182's so-so. Just three examples of how that's changed.

Somewhere along the line, I got a compilation and I loosened up to male artists. Mostly 80's stuff. I didn't mind Roxette and I didn't mind Ratcat's Don't Go Now. Even today though, it still takes a damn good artist with a damn good song to get to the same level as a female artist or band. The Atari's cover of Boys of Summer, Rai Thistlewayte's cover of I Am Australian, Taxiride's Everywhere You Go. Lillix's cover of What I Like About You pisses all over the original guys who sung it. The only cover that's an exception to that rule is Frente's cover of Bizarre Love Triangle. Stabbing Westward's version is better.

Cutting to the chase, MP3's came out. On my now-pitiful 1.2GB drive, I only stuck with low quality 56kbps songs because they were fine for the size. Now I can't stand anything less than 112 minimum, and I prefer 192kbps.

Then came along internet access - a bit of a rarity in Mackay at the time. Napster. Kazaa. It's a shame it's not legal. I buy some of my music now. I like the idea of supporting, and even though I know I can still get it free, $1.89 per song won't kill me. It does feel better paying for it, but paying for digital music like that still has a long way to go unless there's better ways I'm not aware of. At the moment the songs I buy are limited to 128kbps in licensed-download-and-wait-before-you-play WMA format. I'm loyal to MP3. There's just no options.

I feel pity for anyone who doesn't dance, whether someone's watching or not.

Hooray for technology, it was never this easy in my day! -[livejournal.com profile] xxoe ...concur to that.
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avatar_1: (Quenton)
So. Looks like it's finally time to move on. I'm planning to quit staffing on TAR. It's been almost five years now.

For those of you don't know, TAR is the ultima online shard I've been playing, GM'ing and adminning on since early 2000. Many of my best friendships were forged as we worked in a team and on our through that game. Funnily enough, this is the actually the second time I've made a post about leaving the shard.

I've actually worked on TAR longer than I have either of the jobs I've had. I was with coles for four years, and I've been with Link for a year and a quarter. On UO, staffing has been just over 4.5 years for me. I started playing UO around the same time I started uni.

I have to admit I wish I left under better circumstances. I don't think a lot of my goals were achieved while I was staffing. The main one was a full time quest staff, which didn't even come close. The player economy. Someone else doing my jobs. Too many people came and went. I interviewed a lot, but it's sad to see at least 80% of them leaving. Some of them without even saying goodbye. I guess I can't blame them.

TAR sphere, the side of TAR that I work with, has been down for months. I've had to hold up almost everyone's morale, and I really did think it would come back up, but since the lead admin mentioned one statement of doubt in the forums, that was enough to do it for me. In all likelihood, it's not going to come back up.

I asked [livejournal.com profile] minkcar to play with us again sometime last year, and his answer wasn't what I expected. I couldn't think of a way to counter one of the reasons he was so bored with UO, let alone about the fifteen he gave me. Unexpected, it was, because usually when we went back to play UO, he was the first one to succumb - dating right back to the days where we were all completely addicted to the game.

The addiction has worn off.

I don't think it's just TAR, I think it's the shard I'm trying to play on too. The last shard I played on, more than half the shard were russian and I couldn't even communicate for the most part. The roleplaying shard I'm on now, I'm trying to roleplay an outcast - but I can't stay away from the city because it's so boring. And TAR? There's nobody there.

Yeah, it would have been nice to leave seeing a hundred people still playing. It would have been nice to leave to see four staff members in the middle of a quest in game. It would have been nice to see a group of staff who would still be doing the things they do. The things I do.

At least Quenton got to imagine he was the Avatar he always wanted to be.
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avatar_1: (Analyse)
There are some things I can't work out.

I've seen people just watch me, while I'm trying to just hang out and have a good time. I don't feel self-conscious, but I do wonder why they're staring like that. If I want, I can usually watch them back and make it awkward enough for them to look away, but I don't really mind. Hell, sometimes I like it.

I just don't understand why they do it.

Do they expect something? Do they like what they see? Are they seeing how I work? Searching for something to say to me? Reading my mind?

I've caught myself doing a similar thing before, but if they look up at me, I glance away quickly by reflex - it's rare that I can hold my gaze. Nobody else seems to have that problem - they can hold it for several seconds before it starts getting awkward or before something happens.

I used to say anything I can do, anyone could do. I'm not the most skilled person around, but some people seemed to think that I could do things they couldn't. I still don't even really know what those things are, but I've come to realise that sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I cannot visualise something in my mind perfect enough to create a good drawing. Socially, I work better with people one-on-one than I do with groups; I don't mind working with groups, but I'm noticably more interesting and more fun to be around if others aren't around as well. There are exceptions to that rule, but there's exceptions to every rule.

The fact of the matter is, there are some things I understand and do well, and there are other things I will just never be able to understand, because that's not how I was built as I was growing up.

Of course, they say it's never too late to learn. Sometimes I wonder.
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avatar_1: (Hope)
If you've played Zelda on the Nintendo 64, you'll know you start the game as a child, and you get to see most of the world. Eventually you pull a sword out of a pedestal in a temple, and you turn into an adult - having been frozen in the temple for seven years. Everyone you knew as a child has grown up, and everything you remember about the places you went to has changed.

That's what Adelaide felt like.

The old house where my grandparents used to live is only half there. The driveway where I learnt to ride a bike is cut in half and replaced by their new house on a new block of land right next to it. Down the road, the convenience store I used to go to every day to buy bubble gum is not there anymore, replaced with some old shops that had closed down.

Everyone I remember as a kid had grown up. Their lives, while still following the same personalities, now have new direction. The past fifteen years have taken their toll. Some are funny, some are rebellious.

The old people are older again. Instead of looking up at them, I'm looking down at them. Their italian pride hasn't changed. If anything, it's grown. The decisions made are more insistent, more hardened, more amusing and far sillier. Some of them know it.

I want to talk about what that made me feel like, but I can't find the words. Surreal. Unreal. Unbelievable.

Probably most importantly, I found out quite a few things about myself. Things I was already sure of, but never quite had the proof. Everything I thought I lost in Brisbane, I found again in Adelaide.

It made the year end on a very exquisite note. A lot closer to where I wanted it to stand, ready for the new year.
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avatar_1: (Riverlook)
Year in review.

Three more months and I've succeeded in surviving living alone for a whole year.

I still remember that first day. Waking up, going to the airport, and ending up in a place that stuck me in a hotel with roughly a week to find a place to live in a place I knew almost nothing about. Seems like a long time ago now.

Before that, I had no plans. It was only mid last year that I reached the point I thought I'd take years to cross, and I managed it too quickly, albeit with a little bit of help. Since then I haven't stopped moving. Somehow I managed to take the time to enjoy myself through it with plenty of time to spare, to the point where I wish I did more.

There's a picture I bought hanging on my bedroom wall. It says There's more to life than increasing its speed.

And don't I know it.

I planned four trips this year. One to Melbourne. One to Sydney, then to Brisbane. One to Brisbane. One to Adelaide. The second and third eventually combined, and the fourth I'll be doing in a few days. The next few days will be a rush, and christmas week won't be spent in my current home city. It'll be spent with relatives I haven't seen in fifteen years.

I think I'm starting to actually like italians to some degree. It's got its ups and downs, but if I had to compare myself to anybody, I hardly think I'm standard. Anything else I say would sound too egotistical, and I don't think that's to be said here. Suffice to say that I like who I am. I know I say that a lot - and not all the time - but if I can get to the point of even liking italians, knowing my past great dislike of italians, who knows what's possible. I've even considered the possibility of learning italian at some point.

Fifteen years is a long time. People I knew as kids, when I was a kid, I'll be seeing again. Within seven days. Mum's side of the family. I saw my Dad's side of the family in 1998. They're in Italy. 2013. Yeah, I think I can learn italian by then.

Sometime in the past few years I talked vaguely about the fact that if I ever had to use public transport as my sole form of transportation, I could do it. I've had a good long chance to do that, which is probably why I recovered so well from losing my car. I still want to drive again, and I plan to get a car by the end of next year. Maybe sooner, but I might hold off just to give myself some financial leeway. So far it's been fun, running after trains and trams and the like. I might get a bike too.

2004 has been great. Anything's been possible. I know it and I feel it. Melbourne even had the perfect culture for that kind of enthusiasm. Someone at work actually asked me what I liked so much about Melbourne since he'd never left there before.

But there's more around me. I know there is. I really haven't explored as much as I wish I did. My foundation is set now. I live here, on my own, and while I know my way around, it's still a pretty rough plan. I know people, and I'm even moving into new areas at work that would simply not be possible to experience at most other places.

I feel more mature. Something happens when you hit 22. After hitting 18, 20 and 21, the next milestone isn't for another three years. Maybe eight, depending on how you celebrate. Either way, it's a fairly long time, but by the time you get there, you will be celebrating some of the years of your life where you had incredible opportunities. Solely based on how old you are. Yeah, I get tired. I love sleeping. But it does not take much to motivate me into realising how energetic I can be.

If nothing else, it feels good to know I've made progress.
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avatar_1: (Aged)
It can be hard to tell someone what you think of them. You know, if you like them. It's the typical introvert's biggest problem.

The first time you see someone, you generally make a judgement of them, right? Even if you went to someone's journal, straight away you make some sort of judgement based on your first glance. It might or might not be right (or there might be no right or wrong viewpoint, depending how you look at it), but that's not important.

If you say to someone you don't know that you did something just because you thought they'd like it - a complete stranger - it is hard to tell how they would react.

They might like it, thinking 'Wow, someone was thinking of me! Someone liked [this something] about me!' Or. They might think 'errr, that was weird. Why would someone do/say something like that? How do I respond to that? What a fruitcake!' It's not always a simple task of going up to someone and just telling them you like them. That can be a very creepy thing to someone you do not know, and, in any other circumstance, would pass you right by.

But the world is not full of freaky strange people. Just because you don't know them, doesn't mean they're horrible.

Take [livejournal.com profile] theferrett, for example. When I came across his journal, I noticed he wrote some of the most interesting stuff I have ever read. Granted, he wasn't saying it to me, but he was saying it to anyone who would listen. Most people do this on journals. The difference is that most people don't attract audiences of 1749 people - most of them strangers.

He has written about subjects that most people would consider absolutely henious. Not many, granted, but a story about how he has cheated on a past girlfriend, talks about breakups fairly openly - despite some shaky circumstances, usually on his part (although regrettable by the time he writes it) and is obsessed with porn throughout - they're not the kind of things you would expect a great guy to have experienced in his lifetime at all, let alone once or twice or thrice. But everyone likes him. Somewhere in his entries, he manages to convince his readers that he is one of the greatest people in the world. And I have to admit, I am not sure I am an exception.

I don't even know this guy except for what he says. Not even what he says, a lot of what he says is pretty bad stuff. It's just something about the way he says it. Even the bad stuff is still pretty damn good.

Yet if I, a complete stranger, saw you in a club the other night, and I'm now at your store about to buy something, I might say, with the best of intentions, 'hey, weren't you at [this club] the other night?' and expect a reasonable answer.

I don't know about you, but if someone I don't know saw me someplace and said that to me, I would be a little weirded out.

It probably also wouldn't help if, after I was weirded out, the other person said 'oh, I'm not stalking you.'

There's something about finding the right way to tell people how you feel when you don't know how to say it. Because if you know that you don't know how to say what you want to say, you can find yourself in some very sticky social situations.

...or if you keep quiet, no social situations at all.
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