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Archive for the ‘Irritations’ Category

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.

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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…

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Arrggh!

My parents were friends with another couple who had children a little older than my brother and I. I met their daughter twice. She visited when I was a teenager. As adults we exchanged an annual Christmas card and letter.

Then she got hold of my phone number and started calling me regularly – from Australia. And her phone calls were never short. She used them to talk about her life and moan about her family or her health. It was a pain in the arse.

When I moved to Australia, naturally she thought she could phone more often. Thankfully for me the landline kept playing up and phone calls didn’t get through. I think she gave up after that (sigh of relief).

Then she found me on Facebook and messaged me every single time I had been online.

Now that I’m no longer so frequently on Facebook (or don’t make it obvious), she’s changed tack and discovered me on Instagram. She can’t chat to me but she posts about six photos a day which are not even hers. She finds some random sentimental shit of a picture and puts it up there – and then another and another. It’s driving me fucking insane.

I tried blocking her on Facebook for the same reason – sickening spam. But then she kept pestering me, telling me to alter my settings so she could see my posts. It may well be another reason I avoided Facebook.

I could block her on Instagram, but then she’d contact me some other way to tell me to unblock her.

She is a persistent arsehole. Several times she asked for my brother’s phone number so she could hassle him and he doesn’t even know her. I refused to put him through the same annoyances. What a pain in the arse. I have no idea what to do about her. I even tried reporting her to instagram because what she posts she does not have ownership of, but their “reporting” facility is bullshit. They keep making you fill in forms and there’s never a “submit”.

If the silly cow insists on posting more than five posts a day, I’ll block her and tell her why if she fucking hassles me about it. Fucking moron! I’ve had it with her.

Postscript:  I just counted how many posts she’s done in the last 24 hours – 10. Ten pictures of random shit – flowers and puppies and other sentimental garbage – it’s fucking spam is what it is. I have now unfollowed her.

Sorry, I had nowhere else to vent and I had to vent.

PPS: She’s since sent me several messages, noting that I was no longer a follower, wondering why that was, and asking me to follow her. Persistent, as I said. If she continues to send me annoying messages (only she would figure out that you can send messages, which I wasn’t even aware of), I will have to be brutally honest as she is immune to social cues.

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I was sitting in the sunshine, purring cat on lap and was about to finally update this blog on my tablet, but the tablet is flakey and slow. I couldn’t view the screen to write on when it was vertical, but when turned side on I had about half a centimetre left to actually see what I was writing once the keyboard came up. Totally useless.

Now I’m here (on the PC), I, of course, have forgotten what it was I was going to write, so I guess I’ll write what comes to mind here and now.

Umm…

Life is fine. I still enjoy living in Melbourne despite some loneliness at times. But then I was often lonely back in NZ as well, especially after H left. (The house was way too empty and I couldn’t live there anymore.)  Now, when I see an aeroplane in the sky I don’t yearn to be on it. I love trains so enjoy commuting. There are plenty of birds to listen to and the sun shines way more often. There’s little rain and it never lasts long. I think I’ve used an umbrella about twice and have taken it with me and never had to use it. It does get cold though, but nothing that gets close to freezing. I don’t like anything under 15 deg C so that’s what I call cold and the average here at the moment is 14. They keep saying that Melbourne weather is changeable but compared to the Manawatu, it isn’t at all. There it could be nice and sunny in the morning and then turn to crap. Here it stays pretty much the same all day – if it’s sunny, it will be for most of the day; if it’s grey, it will stay grey most of the day. The weather forecasts are pretty accurate.

Talking of never wanting to go back (in my mind anyway)…  I never completely closed my Facebook account, heading in there very occasionally to see what family members were up to, never staying long, never scrolling through. Then I got sucked into it briefly by a message from FB telling me to upload a picture so friends could recognise me. It’s one of those stupid things that FB says like telling me I should celebrate my friendship with A because we’ve been friends for six years. He’s my brother for fuck’s sake. They keep mucking about with settings but don’t make it intelligent enough to recognise that some “friends” are tagged as relatives. I don’t want to go back to it. I scrolled a bit and saw a mixture of posts from 1 hour ago to 23 hours ago to 3 days ago. WTF? I want to see the latest, dumbarse fucking Facebook. I loathe the bloody thing, but if you’re not on it, you’re not in the loop.  I think it’s rather sad that the only means of communication these days seems to be through Facebook. After I did upload a stupid picture of myself I was inundated with “likes” and comments. The vast majority of them haven’t once emailed me in all the time I’ve been here, even those that I actually did write to (I have been slack on the communication front I must admit). I could be dead for all any of them care. Two of them have visited Melbourne without getting in touch or letting me know. So much for “friends”.

Do I miss NZ? I don’t miss the Manawatu or the place I worked. I do miss my bro and driving through the countryside, visiting him or friends, or the beach, say. I struggle to think of anything else. I’ll visit sometime soon, but have no plans yet.

This arvo I’m off to the rare book fair with M (a fellow Kiwi) which I’m looking forward to. I’m glad she’s come over to live. It’ll be nice to have someone else to hang out with at times. I don’t go to shows because they’re so expensive (so I do miss things like Summer Shakespeare) but there is always the gallery and interesting exhibitions. I enjoyed the David Hockney exhibit but didn’t go to the Van Gogh one, as I’ve been to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam (and he’s not a favourite artist of mine). There’s always something on somewhere – it’s just a matter of getting there.

Well, I’ve run out of shit to say. I still haven’t written about the trip to Myanmar. Perhaps I will. I finished a genealogy challenge so might feel more enthused to update this blog. I haven’t even updated my photography one as I’ve only taken photos on my mobile recently and didn’t’ think any were particularly good. I’m pretty slack on transferring photos from mobile and camera (when I do use it) to the computer. I just did the mobile transfer of five months’ worth of pics. Still haven’t done the camera transfer. I might take my camera this arvo.

Adios, and if there are any readers left, thanks for reading.

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Buddha day, Fed square

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Korean girls in costume, Fed square

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So it’s been nearly two weeks since my last entry – 2017 is flying by so quickly already. Hot cross buns are in the supermarkets. Back to school advertisements appeared from the 1st January.  Retailers seem to contribute to the sensation that the year is flying.  Ignore them, I say.

Just as I have decided to ignore Facebook.  More often than not, I would get annoyed by Facebook – for several reasons.  Over the years I’ve searched for alternatives but found none.  Google Plus wasn’t a valid one, I thought. Folkdirect seems a good basic alternative but no-one will switch.  Everyone is too glued to Facebook because their friends, family and other connections are there.

Anyway, the reasons:

I found that I was scrolling past a lot of updates because I found them boring, stupid, badly spelled or grammatically incorrect, or were photos of strangers. Why the hell should I see photos of a friend’s friend?  Most of the posts were totally irrelevant.  If I counted just the posts from friends I wanted to see it made up less than 10% of the “feed”, and even then I didn’t see all friends’ posts because Facebook decided I didn’t need to see them;

I loathed the “suggested posts”.  I could make them disappear with an app on my computer, but sadly not on the mobile and they pissed me off more than I can say.  At one point I wanted to throw my phone with force, I found myself so irritated.

Lurkers – the vast majority of my friends never posted anything, never commented, never liked anything – I forgot they were on Facebook.  What was the point of them being on Facebook?  To spy on others’ lives while offering nothing themselves?  It’s all take and no give.  Why should I share what I’m doing when they share nothing at all about themselves?  What I should have done, in retrospect, was just unfriend them.  I get nothing out of it, so why should they?  I’ve heard one say, as an excuse, that they didn’t know what to put up.  Well, how about what you’re doing?  That trip you went on? An opinion about something? Something that you read about in your friends’ feeds every day and never comment on.  I don’t know – I just find it a bit rude – like writing to someone and never hearing back.

The absolute waste of time.  I spent way too much time checking facebook for updates or possible comments or likes on something I posted.  If I got none, I felt disappointed and even rejected.  Not great for the ego when you thought something was worthy of posting.  But perhaps they didn’t see it?  I’ve had friends comment that they didn’t.  Thanks, Facebook.  Also, there were numerous times I went online for something specific but would check Facebook first and forget completely what I was going to do.  Not good.

Facebook can actually contribute to feelings of loneliness and negativity.

My family don’t actually use it much if at all.  Cousins, brother, and daughters rarely comment or post anything on Facebook.  I was getting nothing from them – the people I most want to keep in touch with.  Viber and email are the ways I keep in touch with bro and daughters.  I barely know my cousins anyway.

So there you go.  I’ve ditched it once and for all.  Already, after about one day, I feel more at peace and less irritated.  It’s a shame no-one will switch to folkdirect.  I’ll be there on my own.  There’s always instagram and twitter, but I don’t get the same sense of connection with twitter. Everyone tweets something but few actually have a conversation.

I’m also trying to ditch gmail accounts, which is harder.  I would have to let so many different organisations know.  I hate how Facebook and Google are so insidious.  They’re everywhere.  You can hardly do anything on the internet without having to link to them, and they follow your every movement for advertisers.  Google search has become really bad, coming up with totally irrelevant results.  They’re a joke.

Where there are alternatives, I will use them.

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You can safely ignore this post if you’re not at all interested, but there are some who might be.  I was certainly googling a lot to find out what exactly to expect.

I had had a colonoscopy in NZ about 10 years ago but it was a vastly different experience.  Back then I was given a laxative the night before (and no-one had warned me about leakage overnight) and then it was a fairly straightforward procedure with me being aware (I must have had a local anaesthetic).  I’m pretty sure I took myself home and that was that.  I wasn’t told about any findings so presumably all was good.

I tried to get another colonoscopy about five or six years later due to differing bowel habits.  The doctors at the time looked at me blankly but duly sent off a request – a request which was denied despite there being a history of bowel cancer in the family.  Bizarre.

In October I went to the GP here in Australia and she sent a referral off for a colonoscopy just like that, without me even requesting one.  She warned it could be six months or more.  Less than a month later I got a letter and headed off for an appointment on my return from my trip, to be told the procedure was the following week.  I was given a script for three sachets of powder to take at different intervals the night before and the morning of the procedure.  I was told categorically that someone had to pick me up afterwards and stay with me overnight.

Two days before the procedure I was told to stop iron supplements and stop eating seeds and grains.

The day before I was to have a light breakfast and lunch of only certain foods.  I had egg and potato.  After 1pm no food.  At 6pm I was to drink the first sachet of Picoprep (made up with warm water then chilled).

The Picoprep was revolting.  The instructions said to drink slowly.  I couldn’t have sculled it anyway.  It was horrible – an artificial lemony taste but sour, so I cringed at every mouthful.  I read that the effects could start from about half an hour afterwards.  My wait was four hours.  There wasn’t an urgent need but I went to the toilet maybe three times before waiting an extra three-quarters of an hour before going to bed.  The advice was to drink lots of fluids, so I had to get up twice during the night just to empty my bladder.

I got up about 6.30am to make up the Glycoprep – a litre of the stuff, to drink over two hours from 7am – again made with warm water and chilled.  One litre is about four glasses and it certainly took a while to drink.  I thought Picoprep was revolting.  Glycoprep was more so.  I could only have a mouthful at a time.  I found that having a sip of tea between each helped a little.  The black tea tasted very sweet in comparison.

I congratulated myself on getting halfway through then prepared the next Picoprep (why so many?, I moaned to myself).  After the third glass of Glyco I was feeling nauseous and after the last (hallelujah!) I was feeling positively ill – bloated, nauseous and slightly headachey.  I drank copious amounts of water and teas but nothing could get the ghastly lemony taste out of my mouth.  And then it was time for the last Picoprep at 9am.  At least it was only one glass.  My god, I felt horrible.  It was a mistake to buy lemon-flavoured iced tea as a drink – the smell was too much like the preparations.

The effects were interesting.  From brownish splat to a waterfall.  It was a weird experience.  I heard the sound of gushing water but had no sensation of it passing from my body.  But no-one had warned me about the smell!  Holy fuck!  It wasn’t the normal pooey-smell from a normal evacuation, oh no.  It was much, much worse.

Anyway, relief that the prep was all over, I continued with drinking fluids up until 11am, finishing my last mouthful of herbal tea at 10.55.  There was a little more to empty but it all seemed to have quietened down by 11.30 when I walked to the hospital for the 12pm appointment.  I had feared having an accident on the way, but it was fine.  No such feeling (what a relief!).

Are you still with me?  Well done.  The prep over with, I waited at reception, after “checking in”, for three quarters of an hour before a nurse saw me.  Lots of questions and forms (which she had to fill in) and stickers galore.  Two wrist bands of my details then led through to change into the gown and a robe, then more waiting.  I felt dehydrated but had another hour or more (one-and-a-half-hours in total) before my name was called.  Seven others were in the waiting room with me and their names seemed to be called before mine.  I was about to ask how much longer, in desperation, feeling awful and headachey, thinking they had forgotten me, when I was finally taken to a room to lie down.  Another nurse and anaesthetist prepped me and then it was a “15 minute” wait.  Half an hour later I was finally wheeled into the procedure room.  I had waited three-and-a-quarter hours from my arrival.  Why?  Why ask people to be there for three hours, dehydrated and starving?

I woke up from a pleasant doze, thinking I was on an aeroplane.  It had all gone well, and the ‘doc’ said I was as clean on the inside as the outside.  No polyps but mention of diverticular disease and haemorrhoids.  I knew about the haemorrhoids.  I was given some sandwiches and a cup of tea and water while a drip continued to rehydrate me.  Then I got dressed and waited for C to pick me up.  To make it easier for her to get to work the next day, I stayed overnight at her place, but had neglected to bring my Myki card so had to wait for her to get back from work the next day to take me home.

What I hadn’t expected – the constant gurgling from the innards from the day before to the day after, the smell, and the waiting.  I was told to expect gas (as they insert gas to expand the ol’ tubes) and possibly abdominal pain from that pressure, but I didn’t get that.  Gurgling and a couple of urges to pass more brown splattiness the morning after.

I’m so glad to have that over with!  I’ll know what to expect in about five years’ time.  And note to self: take a book to read!

Thanks for reading.  I found one such post very helpful on my search for what to expect.  I hope you have found this so.

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I can safely say I’m sick of cold, wet weather.  Sunshine has been sporadic for the past month or so.  Apparently, so far, it’s been the coldest, wettest spring in Melbourne for several years.  Great.  I shouldn’t complain – it would be the same or worse in the Manawatu.

I am still jobless, sadly.  I have applied for a few jobs but haven’t been able to get an interview as the other candidates were of a “high calibre”.  Great.  I am disappointed in the agency I’m signed up with.  I’ve had two phone calls from them in three months.  I called back immediately after missing one of the calls but by the time I managed to contact them, the position had gone.  Thanks.  Not impressed.  The woman I had before was brilliant.  This guy doesn’t sound like he gives a shit.  I saw a job advertised this morning.  It was for a one year contract at the same place I had an interview at late last year.  I figured I should apply for it, after fiddling with my CV again, but when it came down to it, I couldn’t do it.  The interview had been one of the most humiliating experiences of my life: – a panel of about five people seated around me, unsmiling and unfriendly.  I stuttered, spilt the glass of water, and seemingly didn’t answer their odd questions to their satisfaction.  Just to get to the interview was a one hour tram ride from the CBD.  I can’t go through that experience again.  I willed myself to apply, but then just cried.  I can’t do it.

Some days I’m really depressed about the situation.  Other days I try to think positively and fill the day with interests.  I’ve done a couple of (free) courses online, the latest one being a four-week photography one through RMIT, after a six-week genealogy one through the University of Tasmania.  I am doing weekly blog entries about genealogy.  I have just written another one which has taken most of the day.  When it’s fine (which it certainly isn’t today), I go for walks and take my camera with me.  In the evenings I watch one of many excellent TV series and movies on SBS On Demand.

A trip is planned with the girls in November.  C wanted to celebrate her 30th birthday overseas, so we are going to Thailand, Myanmar, and Singapore.  If I applied for a job, or got given a temporary contract, I would have to say I can’t work for about three weeks in November/December.  Perhaps I’m better off being unemployed until then, although that’s a long time to be without a job.  The trip is something to look forward to in any case.  I feel in need of a holiday.  It gets very lonely being at home all day every day (even with the company of a cat).

I’m rather disappointed in the lack of communication from some friends.  Perhaps they are embarrassed for me being out of work, after my “great move to better things”.  I don’t want their pity.  Some positivity would be good, but I get nothing at all.  Disappointing.  When I don’t get responses to emails or messages, I feel there’s no point trying again.  Isn’t it rude not to respond?  I don’t get it.  I just don’t understand people.  I found an old email as I was emptying an account before closing it.  I guess I kept the email because it reminded me of the duplicity of some people who call themselves “friends”.  In the email she called me a bitch (among other things).  She said as a friend she could say such things.  Yeah right.  With friends like that, who needs enemies.  She’d said some nasty things about me to others as well, so it’s no loss.  Needless to say, she hasn’t been a friend since.  It just made me aware, after reading it again, that I just don’t understand why some people behave as they do.  What did I do?  I’m totally unaware of whatever they think I’ve done.  I grew up preferring animals to people.  Still do, for that matter.

I’ll continue walking my path alone.

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Kalang park, Blackburn

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