Wednesday, June 30, 2010

crimson tide

I've recently begun dangling my toes into the dating pool. OK, well, to be honest it feels like I've done a flailing cannonball* - but that's only by my own anti-social standards. But anyway, meeting people using methods both old (i.e. dubious recommendations from friends) and new (i.e. dubious online dating services) has proven to be kinda fun.

Despite my reservations and my natural inclination to just hide away in my own world so far I've met four lovely women. All of whom are intelligent, articulate, attractive and (at least as far as I can tell) sane. And they appear to like me too - or if they don't are at least polite about it.

The disturbing aspect to this (quite apart from being entirely out of my comfort zone) is that the universe seems to be throwing redheads at me. Two of the four are bloodnuts - and I'm meeting another tonight. It's as if, having recently been with one flamehaired female, I'm now ginger-bait. Not that I'm complaining mind, they've all been delightful - and, interestingly, all happen to be writers/journalists. Not that there's probably any causative connection there - although I'm not sure if anyone has studied it..

Anyway, I've no expectations about where any of this is going. Hell, I've no idea how to progress from meeting someone to developing intimacy under these circumstances. I'm probably coming across as pretty reserved, distant and aloof (which would be accurate on the whole - except to the 60-odd people I call friends) but none of them have actively run away from me yet.

Hopefully I'll get better at it, but at the very least I've met cool people and had some fascinating conversations. No shags yet tho, dammit**.

* I've managed to keep my trunks on though. So far.
** Jokes. Mostly.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Here's a horror of a confession. One that will cause my indie cred - never exactly at a triple A rating anyway - to continue to slide towards Greek economy levels of bankruptcy.

Though it's against all better judgement and against my will I'm beginning to like Muse..

And appear to be obsessed with their song Supermassive Black Hole - despite the cheesy naffness of the lyrics, the derivative rock-by-numbers of the riffs, the whiny falsetto and the general douchery of the band. I'm mortified.

This, on top of my penchant for OK Go and the fact I have more tracks by The Killers than The Pixies on my iPod, makes me worry that my musical tastes are blanding into middle age.

How long before I begin thinking U2 are relevant? Or start listening to Nickelback?

If I do I will have to kill myself - although if it ever gets to that stage it can be safely assumed that I'm already as near to brain dead as makes no difference. Somebody just pull the plug.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

meme torture

For some stupid reason I thought I'd update my woefully dated '100 Things' list. Without really remembering how painful, mortifying and protracted that process was in the first place. Idiot.

But I'm 42 things into it already, after only a week, which is a rate far in excess of the first one's 14 month time period. Although I'm aware that I've not completed it yet so it may well go for much longer. Don't count chickens etc. Aside: that aphorism misses the fact that chickens are a bugger to count after they've hatched too. Compared to eggs - which tend not to run around a lot. Just sayin'.

It's easy to list a bunch of things about yourself really (grew from a fertilized ovum, was moved by the movie Gloomy Sunday, is not clinically mad, likes reading, has own elbows, etc) but actually saying things that are meaningful is a little more complex. There are things that have happened in my life that most people see as hugely important (graduation, marriage, court appearances, etc) but which have little or no significance to me.

On the other hand there are the banal and largely mundane experiences that I find have lingered with me for years longer than they ought to have. Things that didn't seem important at the time and probably wouldn't interest anyone else but stick in my memory. Meeting Lisa for the first time on the inter-school biology trip to Kaikoura. Sitting with Mark in the botanic gardens one fine autumn afternoon, mildly tripping on acid and just soaking in the day. Seeing Head Like A Hole play the ballroom at Orientation in 1992. The lift I got from the crazy Frenchmen when hitchhiking down the North Island one summer. Reading my first blog (Leto from Petone - sadly not blogging anymore).

And then there are the events that fit the 'important event' category and I knew it at the time. Usually involving people: Rupert, David & I doing that road trip around the South Island. Winning my first karate tournament. Meeting Sas for the first time. My thirtieth birthday party. The first time I kissed Mary. Skydiving. The first time I hand-fed a shark. The first time a shark fed on my hand...

Not sure what I'm trying to say here actually. I seem to have rambled away from my starting point quite a bit. Maybe I'm just struggling to find significance in my life that I feel comfortable sharing with others, and struggling to find significant the things that I do share...

Possibly I should stop wasting this blather on a blog post and go apply it to the 100 things.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

deaf dumb & blind dating

Well, I think it went well..

She was lovely - and did her best to try and put me at ease. Not an easy task: I managed to blither and witter pointlessly for quite a while anyway. True to form.

She's also devastatingly intelligent, formidably well read and very attractive. And wants to see me again. So she's probably not entirely right in the head (which of course makes her all the more appealing to me. I do like the cracked ones - or at least warped a little..).

On the other hand I've had a couple of friends warn me not to get involved with anyone else too quickly. To take some time off and step away from the emotional stuff for a while. And they've got a point. I need to do some positive introspection and sort out some of this mental crap.

On the other other hand (yes, buying gloves can be a pain) she's very interesting and I think getting to know someone from zero will take me a while anyway. It takes time for me to get comfortable talking with someone let alone anything more.


Friday, June 18, 2010


Oddness reigns in my life - I have a blind date tomorrow.

How the hell did that happen?

I don't think I've ever been on an actual date* ever in my life let alone a blind one.

Will report on success or (more likely) hilarious failure as news comes to hand...

* I really don't know what the definition of a 'date' is though. Possibly I've been on many but was unaware at the time. Which may explain why I'm single.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

reality check

So.. self indulgence over. I think. For now.

I mean seriously, I've got to stop letting my heart run away with me. I am not going to keep doing this to myself - and it is me doing it. Let's be honest: it's not the heart-breakers' fault, I'm the one expecting too much. I'm not going to stop putting myself out there but I'm going to try to keep a more level head in future.

Try not to crash when things go sour, as they so often do. From reading Vanessa's post on the same kinda thing a while ago I've realised I invest too much in other people's connection to me. In relationships. And it devastates me when they end. I don't have a robust enough sense of self - perpetual low self-esteem and constant self-lacerating is very unhealthy (kids - just say no).

Now there's something to work on. I'll keep you posted.

In addition - emotional pain and anguish are pretty much inevitable in life (if you have a soul) but that's all the more reason not to dwell on it when it hapens. I'm beginning to figure out ways of steering my thoughts down more positive or at least distracting paths, tho I need to really work on this since it's my biggest hurdle when it comes to sleeping. Switching my brain off is a near impossible task, but I'm learning to lead it in comfortable circles till it just curls up into a snoozing ball.

Yes, I imagine my mind is a dog. Possibly a golden retriever.

So, in essence: thanks for your patience, I think I'm ok now. Tho watch out for the inevitable (if hopefully brief) relapse.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Sorry in advance for the shite that this blog is going to contain over the next little while. I've discovered that writing my crises down actually helps - and I'm much better these days at using a computer than a paper notebook. So: welcome to my pit of despair. The exits are clearly labelled, don't be too polite to use 'em.

Expressing my feelings in a public forum still causes me extreme discomfort - I'm essentially a deeply private person. But I need to try and accept my own personality. I'm incredibly harsh on myself when looking back at the way I've lived and loved. Can never accept that I actually have a right to feel the way I do. I'm horribly embarrassed whenever I inevitably later dissect my words and actions.

I feel hollow. Coming to work today was an effort and I'm not sure that it's paid off - I've not done much more than go through my email for the last week. Don't actually feel like I'll achieve anything today. But I work for the government so probably no-one will notice.

Coming back to Sydney has been awful. For the very first time in the last year or more of life shit I wondered what I'm doing here. There's nothing I love here. Well, at least at the moment I can't see any joy in the place. I know, I know - it'll get better in time, but I seriously am thinking about getting the hell out of Dodge. I just don't know where I would go that would be better - joy is where you find it but misery you carry with you.

I just don't know how to put this baggage of unhappiness down. I fear it's become such a part of my life that I'll never get rid of it.

PS  I'm playing with the layout of this thing a bit. Bear with me, it'll probably change look a lot over the next little while. Not the content of course - that'll stay consistent..

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I love my family, but...

There's always a caveat to that sentence isn't there?

In my case it's that I love them but I wish they were more like a 'real' family. I wish they were supportive and loving and close and caring. Unfortunately they're distant and diffident and unemotional and logical. My brother less so, thankfully, else I'd probably not come back here more than once a year - if that.

My parents are incapable of showing love and support at times when I need it. Open emotions make them uncomfortable - their repressed Englishness means they just can't deal with it. I honestly can't remember the last time my mother hugged me properly or without awkwardness. My dad only hugs me when he picks me up or drops me off at the airport and it's always a big quick 'manly' hug.

Which is lovely and all, really. It's not what I need but I know they're not going to change. I wish things were different but have to be realistic that in their seventies the ability to alter their personalities so fundamentally has pretty much gone. So I try to find the family I crave elsewhere - with friends. Which blows since I'm not very good at making friends, and appear to be excellent at losing them.


I just wanted to share this gem from my mother. When I arrived here I told her that the relationship I'd been in had ended and obviously I am looking a bit sad and haggard. So she proceeds to pretty much tell me to take a teaspoon of cement and harden the fuck up - except that, in her inimitable way, she does it by quoting a 17th century poem at me. Then tells me to go talk to my big brother.

Hell, even as beaten-down as I am that made me laugh. Family: can't live with 'em; still illegal to hold pillows over their faces till they stop wriggling...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


So my recent and ongoing emotional crisis is relationship based. As usual. When is there ever anything else to bring me to froth so melodramatically online? I'm nothing if not consistent. Consistently adolescent.

Yes, another love affair has ended, and ended badly.

It's not so much the hurt and loss - that's hard, always painful, but it passes. Rejection sucks but we've all been there on both sides of the coin and you just try to suck it up and deal with it as best you can. As rationally as your irrational emotions will allow.

It's the sense of humiliation that I can't cope with. The realisation that I was disposable.

Our relationship was supposed to be secret because she couldn't be sure how her boss would react to the liaison (probably badly, to be fair - the boss is a psychopath..). Eventually I think this meant that it was much less 'real' in her mind than in mine. Which was pointedly driven home to me when, a few weeks after we split up, she starts dating someone else in the office. Pretty much openly.

Fortunately she's now left for another job so I don't have to be around them as a couple any more - although I still have to work with him (how that's going to go I have no idea). But she's friends with many of the people who work here still and a part of the drinking circle - and since I just can't be around them at the pub I'm guessing I'll be saving money on booze for a while.

I don't begrudge her a new relationship with someone she feels better suited to - it hurts like hell but there's no arguing with that really. I told her what I thought and my feelings and basically they weren't good enough - though she did me the kindness of saying she wasn't sure if she was choosing the right guy. But she chose him anyway.

(Aside: that's the second time that pretty much the exact same situation has occurred. I'm trying not to make too much of that..)

I know she never meant to hurt me - she said that and I know her well enough that it's the truth. But the sad fact is that she just didn't care enough to try not to hurt me as collateral. I wouldn't want her to have another secretive relationship like ours but the timing and the way they went about it was brutal. Now everyone knows about their relationship and is all "that's wonderful!" and "I knew it would happen" while the last six months of us being together evaporates like smoke. No-one knew - so it never happened.

The sympathetic/pitying looks from the few people who did know don't help either. Not that they have or probably will say anything to me - unfortunately, when the chips are down, people just like her more. And fair enough - so did I.

Again a relationship ends with my heart in tatters and my group of friends severely reduced. Christ, another year of this and I'll have alienated everyone I've ever met in Sydney.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Fuck what a horrible thought.

First days aren't ever good - I don't remember much about my very first but I imagine there was a fair amount of upset all round. I'm trying to focus on this day as the first and that things can only get beter from here. And that they will. Not feeling it, but trying to convince myself.

I managed to drag myself to work today - against my better judgement - my so-called 'work ethic' was niggling at me. I'd left a bunch of stuff unfinished that needed to be completed. And my time sheet had to be filled out. Reasons that, now I'm here, seem to be less than convincing.

I'm keeping it together (just). Stopped myself from bolting at about 11am. Had to vomit about half an hour ago, which didn't help but at least now the stomach knots have nothing to twist upon.

So glad this is the last day I'll have to deal with this situation at work - off to NZ tomorrow and when I get back things will have changed. Which is sad but for the better I think.

Hopefully I'll be better too.