Saturday, February 27, 2010


Just spent a lovely afternoon in the company of a couple of good friends who I haven't seen for more than a year and who are close friends of my ex as well. It's really nice to know that these friendship re-negotiations can be natural and easy and relaxed. Unfortunately they're heading back to NZ for at least six months to have a baby and stuff - but they will be back in Sydney after that, which is great.

I think the major difference in conversation between myself and this couple and the evening spent with the ones I had dinner with last weekend was that today's couple weren't afraid to talk about the break-up or ask me anything. Which had the effect of opening me up - the other couple seemed not to want to get into any talk about the breakdown of my relationship, they were almost embarrassed about it. Like it was a social faux pas and shouldn't be mentioned. Which is unfair - they probably just didn't want to pry and felt awkward to ask anything since they'd been hanging out with my ex and her new partner.

It was good to be able to chat and talk naturally with old friends. Made me realise that it doesn't have to be awkward and uncomfortable - and that I probably need to try and work harder on those that are still weird about it. Hopefully things will improve - if not then at least I know I've tried my best.

Anyway - must go for a swim then get ready to go see Tim Minchin tonight. Looking forward to a good laugh.

Friday, February 26, 2010

measure twice, cut once

Well fucksticks.

I recently spent an obscene amount of money on a couch - the first expensive and awesome piece of furniture I've bought - and I've just discovered it won't fit in the lift up to my apartment. I have doubts that it'd go up the stairwell either (it'd probably end up like Dirk Gently's couch).

The last alternative is up over the balcony. I live on the third floor.

I'm beginning to see an expensive winching process in my future...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

midweek messiness

I went out for a few drinks with some mates last night - big drinkers the both of them so this morning was a little shabby. One of the 'fun' things after nights like that is looking in my notebook and seeing what I considered important/pithy/funny enough to be recorded. If I can decipher my handwriting, of course.

The only legible thing from last night was "jump into the pool of life that is vodka". Which explains a few things about how I feel today.

I also managed to pass out (at home, in bed - fortunately) in the middle of txting a haiku to a friend. Poetry when pissed is pretty bad - but I guess when it comes to drunk txting it's better than waking up and finding you've sent a pic of your knob to your ex.

Which didn't happen I hasten to clarify.

A fun time was had but I paid for it this morning. And I feel I'm going to pay for it at again the gym this afternoon too...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

comfort zones

At work today they tried to increase efficiency by turning off the hot water supply to the sinks in the toilets - not a big deal you would have thought but apparently the outcry was vociferous. Bugger costs, screw global warming, fuck the drought - we must be able to wash our hands in warm water. Sigh.

Throw another polar bear in the furnace and harpoon me a whale for lunch would you?

Milton Bradley is a pusher

Oh Kate Beaton, how I love thee.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

kill me

After a good night's sleep (despite the heat & humidity - take that insomnia), an enjoyable morning full of coffee (perhaps too much coffee - which made it pass quickly if rather twitchily) and a pleasant early afternoon working with a friend I have hit the wall.

Specifically a wall of FUCKING image storage disks. Dating from 1999 to the present day. About 20-30 boxes of them, upwards of 2000 disks in total. In a variety of different formats used over the years. With a bewildering number of arbitrary 'identifiers' used by the particular scanning company of the day or the idiosyncratic notation of the registrations manager at the time.

These have to be laboriously individually inserted into the computer and opened and investigated and have the batch and job numbers checked with what's written on the front of the actual disk and any discrepancies noted and explored and the results entered in a spreadsheet if it's a birth or a death batch and the date of original load into the image database and the original scan date if that's different and is dRiVinG Me FrEaKIng MAD.

I started thinking about looking for a new job the other day but faced with a week of doing this soul-crushing mindless spirit-breaking annoying brain-frying FUCKING job I'm just about willing to jack it in, run screaming from the building with my underpants on my head, and join a cult.

I've already got the haircut after all. And I think I'm already borderline insane.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I'm not sure if it's encroaching senility or just that I'm a moron but I just now spent at least a minute searching wildly for my wallet before realising I was holding it in my teeth*.

Words fail me.

* no I don't normally keep it there - I was in a hurry to miss a bus and trying to find my pass and.. there's a good reason! Honest! Shut up!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


So yesterday I saw my ex for the first time since well before xmas. It was nice to see her and the whole thing was suitably awkward and uncomfortable.

When you end a relationship with someone that you've been with for so long it's very difficult to know how to interact as a 'not-couple'. I guess it's something you figure out in time but at the moment not having any contact is the better route. We didn't break up for any terrible heart-breaking reason beyond realising that, while our relationship was comfortable and loving, it just wasn't right. And, to tell the truth, I just couldn't imagine being with her for the rest of my life any more. I certainly couldn't conceive (heh) of having children with her.

So, although there were aspects of our break-up that sucked big hairy arses and were pretty painful, the hurt and bad feeling has gone entirely. As has any sexual desire, thankfully. But when she said she'd be moving away from Sydney soon it was a bit of a wrench. I don't have any wish to spend time with her now - and probably not for a long time - but it was weird to think of being in this city when she's not.

Plus she'll be taking the cat and dog - which sucks. It was so lovely to be around them again: I really miss animal companionship. Yes, I have goldfish - but have you ever tried to hug one? Don't. Just.. don't. And they very rarely fetch.

I can't have pets at my current place and I'm loath to move again when my lease is up in three months - but I think I'm going to have to think about finding a pet friendly place at some stage in the future. Cats have been pretty much a constant in my life for as long as I can remember and now I've had a dog I'm pretty keen to do that again. Anyway. Need to sort out many other aspects of my life before that one.

This evening I had dinner with a couple who were/are good friends of mine and my ex. A couple who I haven't seen since October - before the break-up. They, on the other hand, have kept up regular contact with the ex - which was frankly a bit hurtful since I've had nothing from them for months. And they were supposedly my friends first (as adolescent as that sounds).

But beyond being a bit hurt I don't really hold anything against them - you can't make people like you and if they feel like they have to take sides then there's really no arguing against that. It was nice to see them, and their kids - their boy drew me a couple of pictures to put on my fridge which was very sweet.

It was awkward though.

Which is probably down to me: I appear to be going through a bit of an awkward phase this lifetime. I can't seem to do small-talk or chitchat much. And, much as it's most often banal and pointless, phatic communication is an essential element to conversation. People use it to set others at ease before moving to more meaningful discussion. I, on the other hand, tend to dive straight to the deep and intense a lot too quickly - or just remain silent.

I need to learn to prattle. Get my blather on.

Must pick up a copy of "Small-Talk For Dummies"...

Friday, February 19, 2010


A Friday at home alone is a good thing :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

best birthday present Ev0r!!1!

Angels & Visitations by Neil Gaiman.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


So I turn 40 today. Yay.

I've discovered, after an extensive 35 seconds on wikipedia, that my birthday is the official feast day of Saint Constabilis (patron saint of Castellabate - which looks like a lovely town). Significant only really because that's my last name (no, not Saint - that would be much cooler). But hey, anything to distract me from the terrible aging process. Oh my joints...

Saints seem to get a pretty raw deal in my opinion - they're supposed to come back from heaven and do miracles yeah? That's pretty much the main criteria. Which seems like a bit of a rip off - after having spent your whole life being holy and pious and abstentious and shit you still have to come back and help out even when you're dead. When do you get to put your feet up?

Ramble ramble.. I'm practicing for being old and senile.

Get off my lawn!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


The aircon at work has been pants lately and last week appeared to die completely. So we got this instead. It sits right next to my desk...


On Sunday I spent a lovely afternoon boozing with a bunch of Saffas and talking about their experiences growing up under Apartheid. It was an eye-opener. These are some very intelligent, passionate and socially-conscious people - quite the opposite of the stereotype that we're fed about thuggish, racist, conservative jaapies.

It was very interesting to hear how information was kept from them throughout their childhoods (they're all in their mid to late 30s), how little they knew of the realities of their own country, and how the government stamped down on the dissident whites as well as the black populous. My ex-wife grew up in the GDR (in East Berlin) under the Stazi repression but even there the control of information didn't seem as complete as in the RSA - simply because of East Germany's proximity to democratic countries. South Africa was geographically cut off which allowed for even greater filtering and repression.

I guess I'm guilty of not really thinking much about the white South Africans except as rugby-playing meatheads, racist Boers and backpackers/immigrants. Odd how the vilification of the Apartheid regime has pretty much tarred all whites with the racist brush despite the fact that most of them were as much prisoners of their own government as much as the blacks. Not that I'm equating treatment of the two groups of course.

They're not bitter people but after years of being in South Africa with all the dangers that go with that have made them understandably defensive. I'd kinda noticed the national trait to a certain edginess before but one of them pointed out why: the wariness and fear that accompanies simply walking down the street in Johburg informs the rest of your life. It's a hard habit to break.

I've realised there are big gaps in my knowledge of recent South African history and, as a Kiwi - with all the sporting connections and history New Zealand has with RSA - I really ought to know more. Especially since it's the football World Cup this year and there's bound to be a mass of misinformation and historical whitewashing going on. Must ferret out some unbiased (as much as possible) books  - anyone have any leads for me?

Monday, February 15, 2010

objective achieved

I seem to be slowing on the blogging. The catharsis I sought has been reached and my emotional turmoil is dissipating - gone with the departure of the subject. Sadness remains, of course. This wound is still raw around the edges, but beginning to scab over (sorry about that analogy - it went from poignant to gross very quickly). I feel more positive about life.

I'm not waiting for her. Not waiting around for anything (or anyone) to happen to me. My life is moving forward and there's more to be done and experienced - this year is going to be one of active change, movement and growth. I get the feeling that there are people I'm going to connect with just around the corner. It's a lovely hopeful feeling.

I'm going to go find them.

Friday, February 12, 2010


So I need your help, oh interweb denizens. I need new music - specifically upbeat and happy music.

Trawling through my iTunes this morning I realised (not for the first time) that my musical tastes are overrepresented by indie- and down-beat rock, indie folk, rock- and country-blues, trip-hop, downtempo electronica, shoegaze, etc. There's also a fair amount of punk, post-punk, alt hip hop, hardcore techno, d&b, etc, which is generally more uptempo but not necessarily upbeat, if you get what I mean. Although, as the immortal Johnny Lydon said, 'anger is an energy' I just don't have that much to be angry about at the moment (should start watching the news again I guess.. that'd do it).

Not to say I don't love all that music any more, I really do. So many of those tracks make me incredibly happy and give me chills - even after years of hearing them. But so often the feelings are coupled with melancholy. I need to listen to something that uplifts me right now, I'm too easily affected by the mood of the music I hear - and I need to keep my mood positive. By any means necessary.

I usually reach for the reggae, ska and dub if I want to be happy (I'm a Kiwi - Saint Bob has his birthday on our national day) but lately, it pains me to say, I've not been feeling the one love. Although the holy trinity of the Upsetter, Stepping Razor, and his Bobness do grace my playlist with more than one track.

I'm an eclectic consumer of music: pretty much the only genres I'm not up for are opera, commercial r&b, twangy country, and death metal. Of all those I think r&b is the most difficult to listen to (although Autotune the News is genius). And I tend to need fairly regular infusions of new sounds - usually I get these from the radio (the j's and the feds have been good to me in Sydney) but I'm keen to hear what I might be missing from elsewhere.

So if anyone has any suggestions - please, have your say.

Sorry about the link fiesta.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

all change

I'm ok. Surprisingly ok.

Last night was lovely: really, truly lovely. Even though there were plenty of tears. There was honesty and openness, we said and shared many of the things we'd been holding back for a long time. There is a connection there that is real and special and I think will last separation. I feel very optimistic about that now. For, I think, the very first time.

Not that I'm thinking that we'll ever be a couple - that's a wish I'd be foolish to entertain. Just that our friendship and the meeting of minds will rekindle if we see each other again. Which is still a big if.

For now, as far as this situation goes, I'm content. Sad - yes, bereft - yes, but also at peace with the situation.

I said what I needed to say and got a depth of response that I.. if I'm honest, didn't expect. That is something I'm very thankful for. I never doubted my own feelings but I've always been unsure of hers - my self-doubting nature leads me to doubt the sincerity of others when they tell me they care for me (i.e. why would they? I'm nothing special). Which is ironic: I've been constantly building this girl up, telling her that her lack of self-esteem is so unwarranted, making sure she knows her good qualities... and yet I seem to be unable to do the same for myself.

It's so much easier to give advice than to follow it. So much easier to see good things in other people than in myself. That's got to change. Along with a bunch of other things.

It's new beginnings time.


Well, she leaves today and last night was our final time together, possibly forever. Who knows.

It's been emotional.

More later when I've hopefully processed it a bit more.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Today.. well, today has been a day of oddness. Like everything is just slightly askew. And not in a good way.

I put it down in part to the humid and portentous weather, partly to job stress and a weird vibe in the office, partly to the fact that all the significant women in my life here have their periods, and partly to the fact that the most significant one leaves town for good in about 36 hours.

I also had a massage (with particular focus on my perennially munted left shoulder) which is always good but also leaves me with a strange drained-yet-relaxed feeling. That didn't help at karate: which was also good, but I still managed to come away with another jaw injury (totally accidental this time tho).

I just feel out of focus today. Like an old film projector.

There have still been moments of great levity and others of wonderful intimacy - today has by no means been a wasted day. Especially since I picked up a copy of Ferris Bueller's Day Off for $6 this afternoon - how sweet is that?! I'd be watching it right now if I didn't think I'd fall asleep in the middle of it.

On that note: goodnight sweet princes & princesses, may flights of angels yadda yadda - I shall attempt to be more energetic, precise and definite on the morrow. I'll also try to stop talking like a faux-Shakespearian ponce.

Monday, February 08, 2010

sunday shining

Yesterday was possibly one of the nicest days I've had in months. Many months.

A lazy start to the day at home, which is always a good thing for a Sunday. It's been pelting down here for days on end so it was very nice to be inside watching the clouds unload (whilst eating porridge - still unable to chew properly). I love rain. And, although Sydney doesn't get many rain days, when they do occur they tend to be monumental.

Fortunately most of the rest of the day was clear. Which was good since I spent it wandering about Balmain, Glebe & Newtown in the delightful company of the monikerless girl who'll be gone in a couple of days. We seem to have gotten back the depth and closeness of friendship we had last year. Finally! Yes - just in time for her to leave, but at least it's ending on a high. Sometimes that's the best you can hope for. To tell the truth it's still pretty damn good.

Maybe we'll meet again, if we do maybe there will be a friendship there still - maybe not. Maybe there will be something more. But for now it's good to know that the connection is real and mutual. And, although our time together has been cruelly short and tumultuous, there's very little I regret. Well, apart from the times I was an absolute dick of course.. (but that's a fairly common regret of mine!).

Tonight I go to dinner with her and my current ..lover? ..squeeze? (not sure of the terminology there, it's all pretty relaxed and casual - which is lovely and I wouldn't want it any other way at the moment) who is also a very good friend of hers. She (the departing one) wondered yesterday if it was going to be awkward - and perhaps I ought to be nervous.. but I somehow find the prospect of dinner with a couple of beautiful, intelligent women who actually seem to like me appealing. I'm weird that way :)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

all bark

Caught a knock to the jaw at karate today and am currently unable to chew. Am also ravenously hungry (a good thing!). These two things do not go well together. Currently preparing rice noodle soup with a bit of tuna. Hopefully will be able to eat it.

Plan B is eat custard, watch tv and possibly sulk. And plot my revenge...

In other news - it's bucketing down in Sydney and all Sydneysiders are going mad. As they always do in the rain. Very short memory for moisture in this town.

Friday, February 05, 2010


To dance back a couple of nights: the outing that I was so horribly, mortally dreading turned out to be rather lovely and a great deal of fun. I can't express how much better this makes me feel about life. To have something that you have so totally and utterly convinced yourself is going to be the most inhumane form of psychological torture known to the most evil minds in the Antipodes (and there are some devious ones here, I know this: several of them are my friends..) turn out to be pleasant, relaxing and enjoyable is.. delightful. A significant word for me.

Even better - last night I managed a decent amount of sleep, broken a little by heavy rain leading me to discover one of my neighbours has a bamboo rain chime. Seriously? What kind of person thinks "Wow, that rain sounds nice! How much better would it be if it sounded like someone with no sense of timing playing a xylophone? Especially at 3am!". Bastards.

Today has been good. Or at least it feels that way. Possibly because I've spent most of it in the pub. I neither confirm nor deny my inebriousity. But you can make an educated guess from my use of the word 'inebriousity'. If the OED calls I've copywrited (copywritten?) that one.

So I'm good. And positive. Also looking forward to the weekend: I think it's going to be a good one. I hope all of you are happy and content wherever you are. Smooch. (yes, yes, I'm drunk...)

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Sydney is in the grips of a rather damp summer - every day seems to see humidity over 80%. As one of nature's natural perspirers (I could sweat for New Zealand at the Extremely Gross Olympics..) this is less than ideal.

This morning I walked to work and arrived looking like I'd just been standing in the sprinklers. Fortunately I was in an office that has decent aircon today - unlike my usual desk which appears to be in what could charitably be called a sultry climate, but in truth is probably just dank.

I went to the gym this afternoon (where they don't have aircon - it's like exercising inside someone's lung) and after a couple of minutes of boxing my head looked like a large wet tomato. With bloodshot eyes. After training I stood under a cold shower for about 10 minutes in an attempt to equalise my body temperature - I was shivering at the end. But in the time it took to get changed I was leaking from every pore yet again. Looked in the mirror and honestly wondered if I'd showered with my clothes on.

I'm sitting here on my balcony trying to cool down enough to invite sleep. I'm dripping. I love the heat at this latitude but I'm seriously re-thinking this city. Might have to move to Alice Springs for some dry heat.

Anyway. Have just piled a whole bunch of herbal sleep remedies into me and now must retire to see what happens. If I actually get to sleep I'm expecting some weird-ass dreams...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


So in a couple of hours I have to go to a restaurant with a dozen or so work and ex-work friends to 'celebrate' my birthday. I've already got the anxiety shakes.

This has all been organised by my closest work friend - who is truly lovely but, as she's an extrovert, she has no concept of the stress it causes me. Not that she should since I've not out-right told her, just been my usual surly and uncommunicative self. Which she probably interprets as my version of ebullient.

The other reason for the dinner tonight - two weeks before the actual date - is so that 'never-to-be' can attend. Which is a lovely idea but again is not an ideal situation for my mental health. Which, again, the organiser would not know since I've not told her.

I am the architect of my own demise.

I'm trying - so hard - to keep it together and make the evening at least pleasant. It's going to be torture, I know that, I just have to grin and bear it. Fuck I wish I had some valium.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

no news day

I've been up, I've been down, I've been fair-to-middling.

And I've been writing letters. None of which will get posted. Not because what's in them is wrong or bad but more that I feel that the people they are for won't want to read them. Perhaps it's just an attack of low self-esteem but I really don't feel like what I have to say is terribly important to the people whose opinions matter to me.

Perhaps I'll feel better about it tomorrow, I don't know. I'm sure at least one letter will go this week: the most necessary one. No, not for 'never-to-be' (that's a letter I doubt will ever get sent), this is to a person in some ways much more important. And it's not going well.

Ahh bollocks. I've had enough of my angst. Raking over the coals of my soul is something I just can't be bothered with today.

So here's an amusing clip from Britain's youngest curmudgeon, Charlie Brooker:

Monday, February 01, 2010


Today was a good day. Despite nearly falling asleep at my desk at one point. Despite not really achieving much. In fact if I'm to look at it objectively there was nothing very positive about it at all. And yet I feel good about life. I guess my mind over.. well, mind.. attitude is paying off.

I really want this to last.

Sleep is one of the keys - even though I didn't get much last night I felt good in the morning. Energetic and happy. Now I'm going to try and repeat it - hopefully without waking up for 3 hours in the middle of the night. Wish me luck.