Wednesday, January 28, 2009

... bitter and cynical?


wow! how amazing. scorching temperatures and the public transport system collapses. quelle trag├ędie!

why is this a surprise? just as i'm not surprised we have tennis players passing out or retiring hurt at the australian open, i'm not surprised we had the "transport chaos" we experienced today. i'm expecting bushfires and do you know why? because people do stupid things all the time (i know i do) and it doesn't matter how many fire warnings you put up or how many bushfires you fight, there will always be people who want to set fires. so many people operate under the assumption that whatever the statistics or conventional wisdom (neither of which are always right, either), "it won't happen to them".

the australian open operates during summer under insanely variable conditions, usually varying for the worse regarding the players' health. wimbledon always seems to be stopping and starting for rain - certainly the cricket seems to stop and start with the rain. one of the risks you run playing in the australian open is that you may collapse from heat exhaustion.

if you rely on public transport during a heatwave, expect problems. take some water bottles and a book. charge your ipod. do dinner and a movie after work. carpool. do not expect to catch your usual train/tram/bus and have everything working perfectly. think.

i saw a story on a current affair (i think it was) tonight, reporting on drivers who will not wait for rail crossing signals and instead drive around boom gates to cross ahead of trains. how insane is that? this is the world we are living in, where people have such an infinitely high sense of entitlement that even in the face of six train cars full of passengers and travelling at up to a barely brakable hundred kilometres per hour they persist in believing that whatever might happen to someone else stupid enough to try this, it won't happen to them.

perhaps it's too much to expect that people who will try to beat rail crossing signals that have already dropped boom gates might seek to elect governments that will provide infrastructure for the future of people other than themselves...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

... i'm reviewing... the situation...

i'm thinking about moving house. i looked at a bunch of for lease ads last night and actually sent out a few tentative inquiries. i don't know if i'll do anything straight away but i feel i'd like to live closer to church and closer to work. it's something i'm toying with at the moment, so if you feel so inclined, please pray that i will make a full, prayerful, considered, thoughtful approach to this... rumination.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

... happy new year

it was asked of me that i update my blog. here, then, is the news...

it's a new year. i don't know what you did on new year's eve. i was invited to a boozeup in northcote. since i'm such a boozer, i gave a reluctant "maybe", thanking that it's probably not a terrible thing to get out and meet people and maybe even enjoy myself. however, after buying a bottle of bailey's, having a shower and a shave, getting dressed and heading out with a locked door behind me, i decided that i didn't really want to go.

hard to say, really, what the kicker was. could it be my utter lack of desire to get plastered? my poor inclination in meeting new people and making friends of strangers? my general preference not to surround myself with uncreasingly drunk strangers in any given situation, especially at new year's? or my eminently reasonable desire not to navigate melbourne's otherwise stellar public transport system in the wee hours of new year's day from northcote to south caulfield? hmmm...

so for new year's i ended up at home, listening to music and reading, with a cup of coffee (and some bailey's), and sent a few text messages when the hallowed hour rolled around. happy new year to everyone.

Christmas passed quietly also. my mother visited from el norte and i enjoyed dinner with my mother and sister, and my sister's boyfriend. it's taken me a long time to meet him and i like him. that my sister is happy to hitch her wagon to his speaks a lot more to me for his character than my first impressions, which were good. he seems to me to be very down to earth, which i think is a good thing.

Christmas day i was at church. i had been invited to join my minister's family for lunch, which i gratefully accepted and thoroughly enjoyed. there had been an orphans' lunch planned for some of us neighbours here in my block of flats, which i had factored in but which everyone, it seems, did not. the invitation was providential and i am very glad of it.

my minister now has been my minister before. i think he was at the church i went to when i was at school - certainly he was there when i left - and i'm confident he was there before my conversion but to be honest, i can't recall. i remember being given a copy of leon morris's book the atonement, which i was meant to read a chapter of and then meet for breakfast with my minister and another man at church. it was a great thing to do and i'm glad the effort was made by these two men, whom i so poorly repaid with my efforts at reading the book. i learned important lessons about meeting regularly with people outside church, about deliberate fellowship (and accountability, a lesson that i never seem to stop being taught), lessons which served me in good stead for the years i was part of a prayer triplet at another church. it's something i miss.

work is good. i realised that this Christmas just passed was my 20th retail "xmas". i began working at venture ("venture - value - value with a double-v!") in october 1989, making december 2008 my 20th working in retail. frightening. also, my first rostered sunday in about eight years. i am getting to know better my workplace, my role, my co-workers, the customers and the area we service. all places (workplaces or workplace locales) have their quirks. i'm told i'm doing very well but i continue the pessimist, convinced that i'll make a mistake and the rug will be pulled out from under me and i'll be revealed for the fraud that i fear i am... so nothing really new there, i suppose.

i am looking forward to visiting el norte in february for a while, seeing some friends and taking in a trade fair while i'm there. with any luck i'll get a decent thunderstorm or two, which i sorely miss down here, south of the border. i would like to visit the united states in august to attend the portland zine symposium and i am hoping to sock away enough cash to make that happen with a minimum of fuss. we'll see.

i finally saw grindhouse at the astor on friday night - i can't believe it took me so long to see it! it was great. i'm just over halfway through the peter biskind book, easy riders, raging bulls, about hollywood in the 70s that i have borrowed from a coworker. i'm thoroughly enjoying it and every chapter brings with it flashbacks to my cinema studies at uni and the marvellous lecturers i had then.

i was invited along to a cafe after church on sunday night and had a grand old time. the cafe had to serve us on split tables because we didn't all fit in at once but that was ok. i ate a thoroughly delicious lemon tart and enjoyed very pleasant company throughout, something definitely to be repeated on both counts.

coming up next, what are the obama kids having for lunch today? (ask jon stewart on the daily show) then sports...