Monday, December 25, 2006

... bah, humbug

i'm not feeling terribly jolly tonight. after coming to the end of my career at my most recent old job (where i've been selling office supplies these last six years) i have been confronted with the vast amount of packing i actually have to do before i move to melbourne. on the plus side i think i have only about 6, maybe 7 cubic mettres of stuff to move. hopefully it's not too late to get that on the truck.

i'm wrapping some presents tonight. maybe write some more Christmas cards in the morning. finish watching a movie, funny ha ha, which i picked up on recommendation from a friend and which, despite being slower than a wet week, is pretty good and totally captures the indecision and false-starting that can so often dog people in (or not quite in) relationships.

i'm off to my old church tomorrow for the Christmas day service, then off on a train to meet my mum and sister for lunch. then back here again for another late night's attempt at going to sleep. then off to camp. and back here new year's day, then down to a mate's place for a trivia night and last catchup before i move to melbourne.

and in amongst that, more packing. to tell you the truth, i can't wait until it's all over and i've moved.

so merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

(i know i sound pretty humbug about all this, and in a lot of ways i am, but in a lot more ways i'm not. Christmas is great. if you want to know why, go to church this morning and find out. if nothing else, it'll put some space between all that chocolate you eat while you're opening your presents and all the food you'll be eating at lunch.)


Sunday, December 10, 2006

... some cool sites i found

i'm not generally one for posting lists of links, but for an entertaining ten minutes i just connected to some random blog sites and links from those sites... i've found a few i like or am interested in finding out what other people think of them... feel free to comment:

... joke?

i found this on another blog and though it was funny... a good joke in that you can tailor it to your audience - much like the aristocrats...

It started out innocently enough.

I began to think at parties now and then -- to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone, to relax. That's what I told myself though I knew it wasn't true.

Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time. That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?" One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job." This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss.
"Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..."
"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"
"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."
"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as university professors, and university professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won't have any money."
"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some John Raulston Saul. I roared into the parking lot with ABC on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors...

They didn't open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Categorical Imperative was looking out for me that night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for some rational empiricism, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I took out a subscription to the Telegraph, started to watch the news on Ten.

I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.Life just seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today, I joined the Liberal Party...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

... for whom the bell tolls

one of my favourite metallica songs is for whom the bell tolls - i think it's from ride the lightning - says "time marches on", set in the context of men fighting a war they don't necessarily know the reasons for, and don't even know the reasons for the tasks they are given ("for a hill men, men would kill. why? they do not know...") within the war itself. the men in the song are pushed into a situation they have no control over, they blindly move forward without knowing what they're doing or why. they're a lot like the people i see around me every day.

i'm moving house, moving interstate, moving from sunny sydney to marvellous melbourne. sydneysiders and melbournites alike express amazement and surprise at my decision, both commenting that the usual mode of flight is melbourne to sydney, not the reverse, and certainly not for my chief stated reason: i hate sydney's climate.

the lease has been signed, we have a phone number, i have three train stations, a tram line and a few bus routes all passing within a twenty-five-minutes'-walk radius of the house. i have a very cool housemate, good prospects for work, good friends helping me to move down there.

it's been a plan of mine for some time, around eighteen months to a couple of years, to pull up stumps from sydney and move south to cooler climes. i don't like the humidity in sydney but sometimes i feel like i'm the... focus of circumstances outside of my control.

i know that that is the cosmic truth. the nature of life in a fallen world, properly considered through the lens of the Bible, is that the control we think we have in our lives is at best temporary and at worst utterly illusory. to a certain extent, i'm a victim of my own flesh; to a certain extent, a victim of sydney's (australia's) obsession with "financial security"; definitely contemptuous of the ways such "security" ties people down... something of a golden cage.

who wants to be told they're a prisoner? we fly from one place to another, one experience to another, one opportunity to another... education, business, relationships, experiences... philosophies, religions... all to distract ourselves from the truth that we have no control - we are slaves. "you are a slave, neo."

so i'm flying south...

... for the winter ;)