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The last time I updated, I had not yet been to NZ. I should, therefore, write something about that visit, but don’t currently have time, about to head to work. I’m working all weekend, dammit.

Speaking of work, I have picked up another part-time job, doing what I know best – cataloguing. It came out of the blue. I casually enquired of the organisation, was invited to an informal interview, and the following day was offered a contract to start work immediately. I think I am still  in shock actually. The only downside is that they are based a long way away – time-consuming to get to by public transport. It took me two hours to reach home after leaving work.

I am, therefore, buying a car. I won’t enjoy the heavy traffic, it’s true, but if I can shave an hour off the commute, it will be worth it. And then I can explore more of Victoria to my heart’s content, instead of relying on my daughter to invite me on their infrequent forays.

Gotta go!

More later.

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What do I mean getting. I’ve always been cynical (it runs in the family) and I am getting older (who isn’t?) but I do wonder if it’s getting worse.

Of four books I had out from the library recently, none of them were gripping enough that I had to get to the end. I didn’t finish two of them. One by Ben Elton (and I should’ve known because I haven’t enjoyed any of his books) “Dead Famous” I found totally boring. Another “Goodbye Vitamin”, an American book which I thought would be funny, didn’t capture my interest at all. It read like a collection of totally random diary entries. I gave up on that one. A third “Headlong” was interesting but had verbose in-depth analysis of Bruegel’s paintings that read like a thesis. And the fourth, a collection of short stories by Roddy Doyle, is enjoyable enough but only something to pick up because I had nothing else to read. Disappointing overall.

My cynicism continues with the TV series “Mars” a so-called documentary, recommended to me by a friend. I think it’s dreadful. It has two parts – the present (2016) and the future (2033-37) dramatisation about a base on Mars. Neither is well done for the following reasons:

1) 2016 Random ‘experts’ drone on about human exploration, past achievements, the difficulties, ad nauseum, but don’t actually talk about technical issues. I think it’s more of an advertisement (‘how great are we’) for Elon Musk and his SpaceX venture.

2) 2033-37 Professionals, such as captain and botanist do not behave professionally. On landing, the captain refuses a medical examination. What? The ‘botanist’ spends his time spraying water on his plants, fingering their leaves, whispering to them, and breaking down because some of them die. Not once does he use any technical equipment (computer, microscope, etc) – ie there is no research. He’s just an overemotional gardener.

3) They go from finding a cave to build their settlement, to suddenly being up and running without explaining the technical aspects – how they did it, where the materials came from, etc, etc.

4) An engineer uncouples his safety line in a dust storm and wanders off to find the machinery he’s supposed to fix (how he would without getting very fine dust in it, was not explained). Oh miracles, he finds it and all is well, and presumably finds his way back to the rover despite not being able to see anything. The power comes back on and all can continue as normal. (Never mind that the person responsible for rapid expansion argued that plants needed power when they barely had enough for essentials. Oh please.)

5) The “botanist” opens the door to the unprotected outside world because he’s hallucinating. Why would there be a door to the outside world from the plant lab? Come on!

It’s all utter bullshit. I got more information from five minutes of googling, and you’d learn more from watching the movie “Martian” than this piece of garbage melodramatic “documentary”.

I live alone, so have to rant sometimes.

Random musings

Among the biggest mysteries to me, which I truly fail to understand at all, is why I get “likes” and “follows” from obscure “businesses” or individuals on Twitter and Instagram. I don’t get it. Included in this social media bewilderment is LinkedIn. Why do total strangers from the other side of the world in a totally different industry want to connect with me? I just do not understand. Then there are the random comments on blog post entries which bear no reference to the blog entry they’re commenting on. The same comment is posted on numerous totally different blog entries.  Why??? What are they getting out of it, these people? Do they think they’ll get followed back or that someone will click on a link to their “business”? Just bizarre. I’ll never understand people.

I was disappointed in a movie I watched last night “Drive”. I had read good reviews but I came away with the same puzzlement as to why people rated it so highly. For a movie called “Drive”, there is very little driving. It started off promising but after the first ten minutes it went downhill. This statement on the SBS website “When the job goes dangerously awry, the only way he can keep Irene and her son alive is to do what he does best – drive” is total bullshit. The seemingly harmless driver goes around bashing people’s heads in, etc. Fuck-all driving. Then there were the slow-mo scenes with his love interest and lame music, which was all very sickening.  Why a typical “all-American” waitress let a silent stranger into her life when she seemingly loved her husband (in prison) is beyond me. None of the pathetic plot made sense. Why are American movies so clichéd, predictable and ultimately boring? I’ve been spoiled by European and Australian dramas which are realistic, unexpected, gripping, and totally enjoyable.

Another disappointment is Duckduckgo as an alternative search engine. I’ve tried to veer away from Google, and Duckduckgo is my default on Mozilla, but so often I’m dissatisfied with the results and head over to Chrome where Google is the default and try again. A shame.

I’m sure there was something else I was going to comment on or complain about but it’s gone – obviously not important. Such things never are.

I’m looking forward to a week in New Zealand in a couple of weeks’ time, specifically seeing K and H, and driving! (I miss driving but don’t need a car here and wouldn’t want to drive in the city.)

 

Listening to: Niyaz

What to do, what to do?

I need to make a list of shit I should do when I’ve got free time instead of idly browsing the net. To be fair I was trying to get ideas for Xmas but am no closer to knowing what to get either of the girls. They’re adults with pretty much everything they need. More personal stuff is so subjective I’d be scared of getting something they don’t like. It doesn’t need to be much for H. I shouted her a DNA test. I did the same for C for her birthday. (The results will be interesting.) I’d like to get bro to do one as well. I think it’s like an addiction really. I’ve just bought myself one at Living DNA because I wanted the mitochondrial DNA test. I’m excited about that.

And now my mind is a blank again. I’ve been thinking of scanning some more ephemera. I should get back to my old book blog and continue that. Hmm. Then there’s my grandmother’s diary that I didn’t complete. Yeah, where is it? In a box somewhere.

I’ve been reading and watching stuff. The Belgian TV series Salamander is very good as is Riviera. I started watching a documentary about the development of babies in the womb last night. Can’t recall any decent movies watched lately. Ghost Writer was a disappointment. I wish I could watch some of the British Why do you think you are? but they’re nigh impossible to view if you’re not in the UK (not every episode is on Youtube) and they no longer release them on DVD. How fucking inconsiderate.

Ho hum. Did I mention something about organising my genealogy files? Yeah, I haven’t done anything about that. Useless.

Still making my way through the collection of music bro gave me. Just started playing a mix and what comes up but a Rory Gallagher song “Do you read me?” I haven’t heard that song in DECADES! Ah, brilliant.

Yeah, rambling again. Must do something productive!

Randomness

A quick post before I head to work. I have no definite idea of what I was going to say here, so bear with me.

I was on Facebook – yes I know – why do I torture myself? I really wish there was an alternative that people would actually use. Anyway, there’s one page I follow, which I shouldn’t. I almost always feel like commenting but instead keep the comments to myself. They obviously feel it’s a great thing and I’m thinking “Really? What nonsense”. The old saying “If you can’t say anything positive say nothing at all” (which is probably why I’m quiet much of the time). The ex used this saying at his mother’s funeral recently. What a hypocrite. He’s the most negative, critical person I can think of. Didn’t listen to his mother’s advice did he?

So yes, I had to dash to NZ for her funeral. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer a month earlier and given two weeks to live. She lasted four. I was away just two nights, as I didn’t have time to get Jasmine vaccinated and into a cattery. I left enough food but still felt guilty at abandoning her, all alone in Australia. It was nice to see some of the girls’ cousins and aunts. That family has a lot of bitterness and gossip which some partake in and others don’t. Needless to say I prefer the company of the ones that don’t. I moved away from Wellington to be away from all that and am now glad I’m even further away.

You can tell I’m writing as I think. As I said – no idea of what I was going to write here.

My bro just visited. He was doing one of his epic journeys around Australia, this time driving from Perth to Sydney, with a stopover in Melbourne, staying with me. It was great to see him. Visiting him is pretty much the only thing I miss about NZ. (I did feel a pang flying over the South Island on the way to Wellington though – I do love the South Island.) So bro stayed three nights. We visited my aunt (father’s brother’s wife) whose short-term memory has gone to pot. She asked us the same questions and mentioned the same incidents. Rather sad. When making a cup of tea she couldn’t remember what she was doing. Luckily she no longer cooks for herself but does still live at the home she’s lived in since the late 50s. Apart from memory she’s still astute. Bro and I spent some time with C and W, playing the obligatory Siedler (Settlers of Catan), going out to dinner, etc. We got a couple of walks in and the weather stayed nice most of the time, with just one afternoon of an impressive thunderstorm. He left on Tuesday morning, driving to cousins in Bairnsdale, before heading up the coast towards Sydney, with a detour to Goulburn where our father, grandfather and great-grandfather lived.

Now listening to some music he left for me – Erik Satie, which I’ve always liked, despite it being quite melancholy (and evocative somehow).

Bro’s visit prompted me to go through some old family documents which I brought over and never seriously looked at. I’ve photographed and scanned some. I only just noticed that my mother’s certificate of cremation had her middle name misspelled. At ex’s mother’s funeral the “celebrant” kept mispronouncing his mother’s name. You’d think they could make the effort to get a deceased’s name right. I found a letter from my mother but could only read the first couple of lines before tears formed. I had to put it away. Another time perhaps.

Anyway, both my physical and electronic files of family history need an overhaul and some tidying up and organising. Anyone who looks at it without me around would have a hard time understanding it all probably.

Well, I think I’ve rattled on aimlessly enough. Time to get ready.

I still haven’t decided whether I’ll write up the trip from a year ago. Time flies so damned quickly.

People

I don’t get them. Even as a child I didn’t warm to most of them. They said hurtful things. I preferred the company of my dogs.

In the past two years I’ve experienced kindness and open friendliness from virtual strangers, which always surprised me.

I just had an email conversation with a friend back in NZ. “Friend” really means ex-colleague, as we didn’t socialise outside of work. I was cheery and answering her questions and it was all good until she made some spiteful comment, the sort to bring you down. It’s supposed to be said jokingly, I guess, but there’s really no need for it. Why can’t such people be encouraging instead of hurtful? I open up about my life and get shot down. Is it sour grapes? I still don’t get it.  I’m so glad I’m far away from that toxic atmosphere. I was humiliated at my farewell by a nasty speech “disguised” as humour. I wasn’t laughing. I was so hurt I cried instead of saying thanks. Someone even gave me a copy of the speech, thinking I enjoyed it. I ripped it up and threw it away in disgust. It was horrible. Why are people so nasty to each other? To so-called friends and colleagues? There’s no need for it. I guess they’re unhappy people with nothing good to say about anyone? I don’t know. I’m well away from it now, and thankful to be so. When I visit, which I will do next year, I’ll have to prepare for snide comments. Or maybe I won’t visit at all, but just invite a select few to drinks at a pub. So disappointing.

Tired

That feeling you get when you’re so tired you just can’t be bothered with anything at all.

Part of it is the start of daylight saving, which always takes me a couple of weeks to get used to. Having to get up an hour earlier is never easy.

Last night I visited Geelong and didn’t get home until after midnight, having to wait half an hour for a train from Southern Cross. At least there were trains, I guess.

For some reason I’ve been browsing Facebook more often and this is a trap and I shouldn’t do it, especially when I’m tired.  Again, I get annoyed and I try to analyse why:

For a start, Facebook insists on showing what my friends have liked. I don’t particularly care what they’ve liked. If they wanted to share it, they could share it, but I don’t want to see some lame shit which just pisses me off. I loathe animals dressed up, for example. Some peope find it funny or cute. I just find it fucking stupid and disrespectful. Animals are not toys to dress up in your stupid bows or ludicrous costumes.

There are some pages I’ve followed out of interest but occasionally they post something that is just very depressing. I guess I’m guilty of sharing something that’s equally depressing but which I thought was important. I should know that others are not in the mood or simply don’t care. I fall into the “not in the mood” category at the moment – probably because I’m tired. Other posts such as ones about yet another massacre of yanks killing yanks – I really do not give a shit about. I’m fine with americans killing themselves. Makes a change from them killing others in countries where they shouldn’t be.

I make an effort to post something and get zero likes. It shouldn’t bother me. I’m not out to please people or get “likes” but it does indicate that people have looked at it or read it. Of course, they may have and not liked it. Perhaps Facebook should just indicate if people have actually seen it, otherwise you feel like you’re in a vacuum, talking to a wall. No feedback. I spent ages compiling a video of photos, for example, and I think two people watched it. Maybe more did, but just didn’t care enough to “like”. I dunno, what the fuck…

I keep seeing the same posts, whether they were posted yesterday or several days ago. I think it’s because someone has posted a comment? I don’t need to see it again, unless I specifically wanted to follow that post and see subsequent comments. I should be able to turn this off. And then sometimes when I refresh I get a whole batch of posts I haven’t seen and can’t find the one I was just looking at.

“Suggested Post”s – really FUCKING annoying. Some can scroll past it, but often you’re sucked into reading it before you realise it is just a fucking advertisement. And you keep seeing the same ones. Yes, you can choose to not see any from that particular fucking advertiser but I get sick of having to do this every single fucking time.

Being labelled “grumpy”. It’s Facebook that pisses me off. I should just close my account. I should reassess what I would actually miss by doing so. I don’t currently have time for genealogy so I’m not reading those posts. One daughter posts nothing at all, while the other does sporadically. Other family members post nothing at all. So what am I getting out of it? It’s nice to know what some friends (very few, in fact, actually post anything) are doing occasionally… They want to know what I’m doing but I rarely see anything from them – catch 22.

Amazing how many posts I’ve written about Facebook and I’ve still not taken the step of closing the account…