Friday, 31 October 2008

payoff

work was very much feeling like too much of a trial this week, until yesterday when we got up close and personal with these fellows, and I got to cuddle the little guy - all in the name of scientific research of course



Tuesday, 21 October 2008

samaritan

as I waited at the bus stop last night there were a few people around of the kind that, although you dont like to admit it, you'd generally avoid. Not because they're necessecarily bad peple but they look like they could be bothersome. rough, a little dodgy. There was a bit of a commotion going on. One guy talking loudly into a mobile phone trying to describe where he was (aparrently not really knowing where he was), one older scruffier guy taking about pain and a young neat Indian woman looking anxiously from the guy with the phone to the bus arrival board. As it turned out the phone belonged to the woman and the guy, who apparently didnt know either her or the scruffy man, was talking to the ambulance service. The thing was it was very unclear whether the older scruffier guy was actually injured or not. he was talking intermittedly about chest pain and having been in hospital, and being blind. when the ambulance people arrived (seeming very unimpressed) he talked about being beaten up. he seemed drunk and confused but perhaps he was confused due to pain and injury. The guy who called the ambulance quickly left once he heard the ambulance coming, as if he was afraid of possible responsibility, leaving the somewhat bewildered owner of the phone not really wanting to be connected with it all but having missed her bus to inform the ambulance unavoidably involved and I guess curious.
I found myself thinkingI was glad I wasnt there earlier and wasnt a part of it all, but I guess its good to know that people are inclined to help others even if its inconvenient and there is some suspicion that there is something funny about this guy. I hope that ifI had of been there earlier I also would have been helpful and not judgemental.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

jacaranda

what a pretty place I work at!


Friday, 17 October 2008

hollow promises

I'm getting fed up with people who offer things that they seemingly have no intention of delivering. Particularly irritating of late are those glibly thrown about offers like 'I'll buy you a coffee', 'we'll go for a drink', 'you'll have to come see our new place' with no specifics about when and where and you know it will just never happen. why bother saying it? however, more troublesome lately are the amount of specific promises that people just don't deliver on. this is particularly disappointing when the promise relates to food, especially of the chocolate variety. In a class a little while ago we had to participate in a game (sigh) the winner of which would get a prize. on winning the game I was informed the prize was the purchase of a coffee in next weeks class - do you think it ever eventuated?, of course not. Attendance at a seminar was encouraged this week by the offer of coffee and cake, what greeted us on attendance?, why nothing of course. Every month we have a centre meeting before which everyone talks about the supply of chocolate bicuits and whose turn it is next time, choclate biscuits are even written into the agenda evey time, in the more than two years i have been here not once has there been a choclate bisuit in sight, not once. why oh why do people say they'll do things they know they wont? dont they know I get very irritiable without my sugar fix?

Thursday, 16 October 2008

flying

During a conversation with a new acquaintance recently I remembered that I quite regularly dream I am flying. The dreams are very vivid and it always seems so real. In fact when I was a kid I truly believed I could fly and it wasnt just a dream. In those days I never went very far and it was mostly inside the house, up and down the hallway. I guess I was afraid of what people would think if they saw me. These days my flying episodes are on a much bigger scale and almost always escaping from something or someone chasing me.
anyway, coming back to reality (of a sort), the new acquaintance felt I was very lucky to dream about flying and proceeded to wax lyrical on the benefits and methods of astral projection which he seemed quite sure I would be suited to. Unfortunately I think I must become a somewhat different person when I enter the land of nod because that was where I started to tune out - in my waking life I'm far too cynical for that kind of thing.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

inadequate

a colleague asked me to give him some feedback on a seminar he is going to give as part of a job interview. by the end of the seminar I was very impressed by his achievements (not that I wasnt before - he's rather an impressive fellow) even though he apparently hadnt mentioned a whole lot of other stuff that makes him even more impressive. but the overwhelming feeling was of my own inadequacy. I imagined what I would have to say in a similar seminar and freaked out by my comparative lack of acheivement. now, one would think the ideal reaction to this would be to knuckle down and get on with working towards more acheivements, but no, instead I seem to have procrastinated away most of the afternoon. hmmm, I'm again thinking I'm not cut out for this adademic business.

prying

I've been filling in a job application form and they want to know the salary you had for every job you've had for the last 10 years, but not just the salary but the starting salary, the final salary and the level of tax you were paying plus the value of any allowances, for every job for the last ten years. Maybe its just me, but this seems a little too much like prying to me. I would understand why they want to know current salary if they are trying to work out how much to offer you, but this is an organisation with very fixed and advertised pay scales depending on the grade of the position and generally your postion on that scale would depend mostly on experience and qualifications. even if it didnt why do they need to know what the tax rate was? why does it matter what I was earning 10 years ago? I dont even rememeber what I was earning in my last job, let alone anything before that. it all just seems a little suspicious to me, but I'm not sure how I should fill the form out. I guess I'll give them the info for this job but leave the rest blank since I think its none of their business and its too hard to actually find that info, but will this lessen my chances?

Monday, 13 October 2008

politics

its student union election time again, which annoyingly means you cant go anywhere around campus without being hassled by mini-politicians in ugly campaign t-shirts trying to get your vote. its particularly irritating 'cos I really dont care and have no intention of voting. In normal elections of course I'm more than willing to take my part in the democratic process and get kinda annoyed about people who dont appreciate their right to vote and dont bother to vote (not thats thats a real issue here with compulsory voting and all). however in this case I just cant see the point. First of all I'm not really a student of course (although part-time in a graduate course still kinda counts, no?) and secondly those student parties just dont seem to do anything. The people who got in last year's whole campaign seemed to be about getting a Subway on campus, which didnt happen (Thank God - man those places stink! Its beyond me why anyone wants to eat there). In fact as far as I can make out nothing happened at all except food got more expensive, and apparently they sent the union broke.
anyway, I'll just consider myself above it all and try to avoid most areas of campus until its all over at the end of the week.

Friday, 10 October 2008

sarcastic?

its not often that you hear sarcasm from a German, so when I do I tend not to recognise it. When its the double whammy of coming from a German who is also the IT guy its even harder to detect. poor guy, but you gotta give him points for trying.
The Austrians on the other hand seem to have a frim grip on sarcasm, or at least thats my deduction from watching many episodes of Inspector Rex. I mean its surely a piss-take, no? Not that I'm knocking it - I love Rex - so cute, so funny, good way to practice German and generally much better than most of the crap on Australian TV. However I might have to give up on it since last night not only was Rex's starring role being partially overtaken by a second dog (apparently his best friend), but there was some imposter taking over Richard's role. sure the new guy was much better looking and spent a large proportion of the time with very few clothes on, but Rex with no Richard? thats just not on!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

sleepy

every now and then I go through these periods where I feel incredibly weary all the time for a few days to about a week. falling asleep at my desk is not uncommon during these times as well as incessant yawning (usually when people are talking to me about important work things) and concentration and expressing complex things doesnt go so well (although that might be be a normal state of affairs for me). It doesnt seem to have anything to do with the amount of sleep I'm getting or alcohol intake or anything like that. So I'm thinking that either I should be on that show 'Is Your House Killing You' and that there's some hidden toxic crap in the roof of our house, or (perhaps more likely?) its diet. Occasionally I suddenly feel really sleepy shortly after eating breakfast which is another reason why I suspected a reaction to some kind of food, but it could perhaps be just a bog-standard iron deficiency.
I think a structured attempt to figure it out is in order, although all that food diary and removing this and that from my diet etc seems so tedious. maybe I'll just try iron supplements for a while.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

neighbours

on the weekend I noticed one of our neighbours loading a whole lot of their belongings into a horse float (yes, seemed strange to me too) in what appeared very much like moving out. I cant say I was sad about this because although we dont know them, neighbourhood gossip suggest they are selfish and greedy and they never ever say hello to us - in fact obviously avoid doing so.
anyway later in the day I went out and there was a whole lot of stuff on the footpath when I came back it was still there and my other neighbour was outside looking nervous. Apparently the couple who lived in the other house had broken up and after the woman'd moved her first lot of stuff , the guy had chucked all the rest of her stuff out on the street. My other neighbour was then trying to quickly get it off the street before it got stolen or damaged for the woman without the guy seeing her. ah the dramas of our neighbourhood! ha ha. but I must admit I did feel sorry for her despite not liking her previously, and so I've now decided its the guy who's the crappy one which is unfortunate 'cos he's the one who's still our neighbour. Of course the whole thing is based on gossiping old women neighbours - but what could be a more reliable source?

work

Was talking with a friend at work the other day about some of the people we work with. Those people who work a lot, are motivated to work a lot – long hours and most weekends, and seem to really like to do it. We sort of came to the conclusion that these people are really passionate about their work, love to do it. maybe that was our problem - we’re not passionate enough about our work since we don’t feel the motivation to be working weekends, so maybe we’re not in the right jobs, maybe we need to find something new we are more passionate about. But the more I think about it the more I think thats all wrong. I mean life isn’t just about work, and as much as it’s a clich├ęd catch phrase, it is about balance. I do really like my job but that doesn’t mean that work is the only thing I want in my life or always (or often) the most important thing and I don’t think its so healthy all these people who work so much. The question is how to compete with all these people who work so much, keep a balanced lifestyle and still be successful in my kind of work. I think I’ll just choose to define success in a way that fits with what I’m doing.

Monday, 6 October 2008

000

called the police for the first time in my life this morning. think I might have over reacted.
most of the time I sleep deeply but I think I was expecting to be woken up lats night what with it being sunday night (big pub night), the rugby grand final and being home alone. so when I heard the noise of someone opening our front gate around 5am I was pretty much awake, when the door knocker started going very much awake and by the time there was pounding on the door feeling kinda anxious. the rummy odour I was sure I could detect wasnt helping.
my plan of action was to listen intently, not make any noise so they wouldnt know I was there, and hope they'd go away. they didn't. but they didnt make any noise either for ages but just as I started to think I'd dreamt it, footsteps and then crashing against the house wall. Through the peep hole a swaggering male figure.
it was light out now and this was getting ridiculous so I summoned up the courage, got dressed, grabbed my phone and for some stupid reason a kitchen knife and opened the door.
he was just a kid, a seriously drunk kid, probably about 19 and dirty and smelly, with no idea what was going on. all my yelling and attempts at authority without actually opening the security door wouldnt make him go away though so after threatening a few times I called the police. of course he finally decided to leave before there was any sign of them coming. seems he thought our house was the backpackers ' what do you mean get away from your house - ozistay, backpackers - there's a whole lot of backpakers sitting outside in the back yard, if this isnt the backpackers than why was I sleeping here?' yeah, thats what I wanted to know, sigh.
had to cancel the police, seems so OTT to call the 'emergency' number because of a drunk kid but how else to get rid of him?

Saturday, 4 October 2008

bad taste

the rather uninspiring theme of the fancy dress event was 'bad taste, loud and/or daggy', but this does make it easy. Especially after I discovered to my great excitement that there is a big op shop around the corner from our house where everything is $1, ya! I love op shops. So I managed to get outfit for 3 bucks that was bad enough to win a prize. the prize was a chocolate penis, and a matching hat and apron set with 'red meat - we were meant to eat it' embroidered on it, which at the time seemed to be a totally hilarious and somewhat bad taste prize for a vegetarian.