Sympathy for the blog

Well, holy cow.

I sporadically check my [this] site (narcissist, a lot) and typically just shrug and feel bad about not updating as frequently or as passionately as I used to… The action is fruitless yet I can’t repel the initiative until it’s done. It’s my own site – I know I never do anything with it, yet I check it as if I expect something new to have occurred. It’s like opening an empty refrigerator every hour when you’re bored and expecting a new, delicious food to appear out of nowhere, patiently waiting to be consumed: no matter how many times you try you’re met with denial, self-pity and defeat.

Yes, back in the LiveJournal days things were rosier and friendlier and more conversational and, well, raw. I’ve (semi) often reflected upon how often and candidly I would catalogue my general life experiences (to an embarassing degree, usually). (I even self-critique my use of bracketed asides. I can’t help that. I’ve always found it difficult to only write about one thing at a time when my mind naturally wanders. This is probably of zero interest to you, dear reader, but it’s important for/to me to jot this down. For some as yet unexplained reason)

Regardless, those days have, sadly, long gone for this blog. I do miss them. Somehow they felt simpler. More like an actual journal of thoughts and feelings that I unabashedly shared with the world. Or the web, at least. I guess that it’s still mostly private though if this page only gets 10 hits per month. Even if those 10 hits are probably some form of spam bot. Hi.

Strangely enough, the older I get the more difficult I find it to commit to a routine. Even for breakfast. My “internet experience” has gotten a lot smaller and I find myself only browsing the same handful of sites regularly. I have a lot of pages bookmarked for legitimate reasons but I never really find myself caring/energetic/curious enough to bother both checking and reading them. That is, I might randomly click on one once a month but then decide I can’t be arsed reading their updates. I suppose that’s why this blog has no traffic either.

Anyway. I’m a bit drunk writing this (when else do I ever update?) but even then I sound like I’m on a pointless whinging ramble.

Let’s document some facts (sorry, I know I always end up doing this and become dismissive during it). Someone may be interested in it some day. Maybe I’ll have great-grandchildren who give a shit what their previously 32 year old, dead, great-grandfather felt and thought one Wednesday night.

Marriage is good (hi Marika).
Work is work but things are spinning around to what I kind of want… so that’s good overall.
House is good.
I’m still not a handyman.
Another school reunion is occurring this year. I hope it’s good.
My bowling is very inconsistent.
My patience for games is down.
My poker is dead.
During the week I can’t wait for the weekend.
During the weekend I have no idea what to do with my free time and generally end up sad or drunk in soft-depression for wasting it.
I’m (99% of the time) sticking to my latest P90X3 routine which is keeping me somewhat fit and strong. When I run/jog however my heart feels like it’s dying. I guess I’m fit for sprinting.
Our bar is afloat.
I’m polishing off all of our remaining whisky and red wine (almost single handedly) because I want to get rid of it. In an efficient way, kind of.

Meh. Long enough.

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I’m not sure what inspired me to do this

But here I am. Typing.

It’s pissing down rain today. I could probably swim home. Home to our new flat in Artarmon. Yes, that’s right. We finally moved out. I’m living with Marika and Chandler (no relation to LeBlanc). It took 5 weekends stretched out over about 2 and 1/2 months but we finally succeeded with an application. We spent most of the past weekend moving in our furniture and permanently damaging my back in the process.

Another application that succeeded was Marika’s visa. We finally submitted it just before the ANZAC weekend. About one week after the holiday and $2700 later I noticed a rather battered and discreet envelope beside the front door. This was the letter that the immigration department had sent us to notify Marika that she’d received her residency. Now she can work unhindered and travel in and out of the country as she pleases.

Now that it’s sorted we’re planning a return trip to Eesti later this year. Details still to come.

Unfortunately only 2 of our 3 recent applications have been successful. I bombed out in the last stage of my Air Traffic Control recruitment process. I realised at the time that I’d made a few silly blunders on the day and probably did a lot better back in stage 1. I didn’t feel out of my depth but rather a little off my game. Either way, I didn’t perform well enough and received an email about 2 weeks later letting me know as such. Disappointing and frustrating, but there’s not much that can be done about that.

My current employment is going along reasonably well. I now have an offsider and we have a third engineer working in Queensland. There’s beginning to be enough work involved for it to grow into its own division but it’s not quite the time.

I actually spent a month as the helpdesk team leader. An interesting experience, although my role was mainly as a caretaker rather than innovator. All disasters were handled pretty well and I heard some rumours that everyone was pleased with my work. That’s good enough for me. Nothing fell apart, so I must have done ok. I’m back on the road again now though and definitely enjoy that flexibility.

Poker is still alright. I’m playing more for entertainment these days and am gradually building up my bankroll. I’m seriously considering cashing in 80% of it as there’s beginning to be a lot of talk about the Australian government clamping down on online gambling sites, a la what happened in the USA last month. The whole situation is ridiculous but I won’t go into it here. If they’re going to enforce restrictions here then I’d best get the money out quickly.

Dad broke his ankle a few weeks ago. He’s been wheelchair-bound and/or bed-ridden ever since. Hopefully he’ll be discharged (for the second time) at the end of this week. He slipped in the mud one morning and broke it in two places. He had a plate inserted and later removed after it became infected. We had ramps installed at the house and he’s relocated his surgery by amalgamating it with another practice. It’s forced my parents to consider selling up their real estate and expediting their retirement. I suppose sometimes people need a catalyst.

My new car is nice. Nice and small. With 2 seats. It’s very useful when there are 3 of us sharing a flat. That’s all I can think of for now.

Should I?

Hello.

I’m in Australia. We’re in Australia. After just 4 years and a month, I’m home again. Nothing much has changed except that my old friends live even further away from me now and we have a new mad cat.

The flights were ok but waiting in airports was horrible. Leaving Estonia was sad but getting out was easy, after all that stressing. 55 hours of transit was all it took until my parents picked us up. Anna-Liisa survived her journey by tagging along with us. Somehow she bought the exact same tickets we did but for half the price, 2 months later. I’m never booking early again.

The weather when we arrived was miserable and cold. Marika didn’t appreciate the contrast to Estonia’s currently sweltering summer. Mum and dad picked us up from the airport and then began the reaquaintance-with-everyone-and-everything process for the next week or so. We saw cousins and friends, I had my haircut by a professional, I applied for a job and got it almost by accident.

Originally I was meant to work on a helpdesk for this company, although I wasn’t really shown a lot of stuff and spent most of my time feeling awkward and confused because I had no work to do but no one seemed to mind nor make a big effort to direct me. Not long after that, though, I was assigned to do on-site warranty repairs.

So, I get a ute with a petrol charge card and e-tag, an iPhone with some business phone contract including 2 gigs of data transfer per month, a GPS to help me navigate around the city (which I just got funded on expenses) and I cruise around all day fixing computers. It sounds pretty laid back but actually it’s a little bit hectic. I’m still new to the role and learning all the intricacies of each machine (computers really are annoying to take apart, fix and rebuild, particularly laptops) and I’m all on my own now, so when the work piles up it really piles up.

I’m sure with a bit more time I’ll get it all under control and be faster at it when I’m more experienced. Even when I know what I’m doing things still often go wrong. It’s frustrating being stuck on one problem machine for 90-120 minutes at a time for something that should be fairly routine. I guess that’s just part of the job – factoring in delays due to stubborn machines and unforseen problems.

Sadly, Marika and I haven’t had either the time, weather or money to do more things before I was commited to employment. We visited the Koala Park and Newcastle/Marks Point. We’ve been around the city and Newtown a few times and although I still like it, it isn’t as good as I remember it, nor as cheap. Fucking city. I hope to visit Melbourne with her some time next month. Scott also wants to show me around down there and even try to introduce me to his boss in the hopes that it will help me out down the road. That would be good.

I think living as a poor bum in Estonia for so long has turned me into a bit of a penny-pincher. I find it more sensible to cook for myself these days but I don’t really have the desire to do it at the moment, since I’m still getting used to returning from work in the evening. Mum and Marika are usually taking care of that situation, anyway.

Since I’m too lazy to go jogging, we’ve taken up skipping. Actually it feels like I’m the only one doing it any more since Marika sleeps in during the morning when I’m exercising and doesn’t seem to enjoy the outdoor temperatures for exercising. Never mind. I’d attempt to do some weight training as well but unfortunately the equipment has either been sold or banished to some mysterious place known as “the lock up”. Sit-ups and push-ups it is, then. Meh.

We’ve just finished watching the first season of Treme and while I like it, I don’t find it as… engrossing as Deadwood (which we’ve also just finished watching the whole series), The Wire or even Rome. I guess it’s due to not really having a strong underlying plot (although there are lots of common and reoccuring themes), since the show is grounded more in the mundane reality of ordinary people and their own mostly unrelated stories.

I probably look like some mad HBO fanboy but I assure you that it’s not deliberate, it’s just that they’re the ones making the good shows. I must admit that it’s kind of strange seeing the same actors popping up in different shows. It’s hard to not have them typecast in my mind as the first character that I saw them play. I have the first eason of MST3K to watch, as well. That might be a challenge. I may just hop straight to season 2.

I can’t think of anything more to write at the moment. Yes, I know, I should have updated earlier and continue to do so more regularly. I was just feeling shy, ok?

Oh, I’m reading Catch-22 still and getting simultaneously worse and unluckier at poker the more I play.

May as well…

Kopli life is alright. Not having a supermarket (although I’d hardly call Säästumarket “super”) next door means I’m dieting quite well.

Since I’m eating less I’ve had more time to watch television shows. We’ve finished watching Rome. It’s a shame the series was cut short as it had this rushed feeling to it that left out a lot of what would have probably been fun scenes/arcs.

To head in a completely different direction, we went through Black Books in its entirety. This didn’t take long as there is only 18 short episodes. It’s strange that they were produced so far apart and that there are so few of them. I was a bit concerned that the quality of the show was heading downhill when I began watching season 2 but thankfully it picked back up again in the third season before abruptly ending. Never mind.

We tried watching The Mighty Boosh but after 2 episodes our interest has completely been lost. While it has its moments, I find it somewhat painful to sit through. Perhaps it picks up later on but I’m not about to find out.

I’ve finally managed to sit down and watch seasons 4 and 5 of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! at tofu’s persistence. I never liked them at first after only seeing clips out of context on YouTube but after a while it grew on me and I decided to give it a go.

The hard part now is deciding what to watch next. I still have to try Deadwood but I fear Marika won’t be interested in it, which makes it difficult to get through the whole series alone. Not that it wouldn’t be worth it, if it’s as good as people say it is. I watched the entire series of The Wire on my own over a few weeks and didn’t regret it, so perhaps that’s what it will come down to again.

There’s also Treme, which has some of The Wire‘s cast and crew in it. I also need to see Oz, Breaking Bad, and possibly The West Wing and Entourage (I enjoyed the first 3 or 4 episodes). Looks like I’ll have to avoid employment for a while longer. I doubt that will be difficult.

As for vidya, I’ve just been going through 3 day rotations, as always. I picked up some random titles on GOG.com that killed some time, but meh. Nothing special.

I’m reading a lot more books lately. I finished the first novel in the Dune series and I wasn’t really impressed. I’m not going to go into a review of it but it seemed pretty… lame. Perhaps it was more entertaining when it came out about 50 years ago.

I’ve also completed the four Dexter books. They’re very disappointing. The TV show is a whole lot better (and I know it’s usually the opposite). The third book goes off the rails and makes no sense, all four books offer no characterisation or insight and they always end absurdly quickly, within a few pages. Not to mention that Dexter actually comes across as somewhat useless as a stalker in the stories. Meh, indeed.

I’ll briefly criticise any other books I get through in the future. I have a feeling that I completed another one or two but I can’t recall what they were. Nevermind.

Next up, people:

Pete and Liis had a baby boy, Jack. He’s about a month old now. We saw him a few weeks ago. Seems like a fine chap. Marika gave them a kettle. Hoorah!

We saw Hugo on his birthday. I don’t remember much of it as I got drunk alone before I turned up to the party. All class. I think we had an ok night, though. A week or so before we went to Von Krahl for a concert but didn’t last into the second act, unfortunately.

Marika got some funny job handing out flyers. In the cold. It’s good money, though. She also gets to wear a silly sailor’s outfit, so I find it entertaining.

I’m getting more exercise than ever as I tend to walk the dog, Fredi, a couple of times a day. I usually attempt to read at the same time. Now I just need a haircut.

My poker game is improving a lot, I think. I try to restrict myself to only playing 2 tables, although I occasionally sit at more if I’m trying to find a good seat. It’s helped me to concentrate more and rationalise my decisions. Playing a bit of heads-up seems to be helpful, too. I really enjoy it, actually. Anyway, I still tend to spazz out unnecessarily at times but my self control is getting better all the time so I’m feeling fairly confident. Unfortunately I ran 2.5 buy-ins below expectation today on top of about three bad decisions/plays that I not happy about (I’ve really got to trust my instincts more). Nevertheless, with all my bad luck and the odd counter-intuitive move, I’m still profiting for the month. Here’s to more of that.

So, there’s only about a month or so left until I’m meant to leave. As long as there isn’t another volcanic eruption we should be fine. The news suggests otherwise, I’m afraid. I really should find out what will happen to my plane tickets if our flight is unable to depart. I don’t really want to be stuck here longer than I need to be, both for the inconvenience and expense.

Fingers crossed.

Baby milestone

Tonight I am meant to make cheeseburgers. I bet I fuck it up. I do, however, make a very tasty fried cheese sandwich. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use a sandwich press again – the flavour and texture just isn’t the same.

I currently have a thick moustache. It makes me look a bit creepy and I keep wondering if I would look like Ned Flanders if I was to wear some round glasses.

Most of the snow has melted around here. Unfortunately we dragged Marika’s car out of a hole about a week too early, as we could have just driven it out today. Never mind, I probably needed the exercise. Unfortunately I cracked my beloved wooden plank/portable table using it for traction under one of the front wheels.

There’s only a month left before we return to Tallinn. It looks like I’ll be living in Kopli with Marika and her mum. Then it’s just 2 more months until I’m out of here! Wow. I’m a little scared. I’m dreading feeling completely lost when I’ve been back home for about a week, seen everyone I’m meant to see and unsure what else to do.

Poker entry below, skip it if you’re not interested.

Continue reading

Boooooo

Horrible poker session. Eaten alive by variance and running into the top of every villain’s range. HOURS OF WORK UNDONE.

Dat’s paykah, I guess.

I’m eating vegemite to make myself feel better.

My new haircut is fabulous. I just need to get the rest of my body waxed now.

Nothing much to say. My old laptop got fixed up. Anyone want to buy it?

So here I am

Nothing much to report. I went back to Tallinn last week to see off Tim and meet some more of his family. I did a fantastic job of getting completely blind drunk and making a dick of myself. I don’t really remember any of it except that I was probably speaking way too much and being smug and offensive in a hard-to-detect-but-with-jovial-intent way.

I’ve been pouring out hours and hours watching The Wire and haven’t regretted a minute of it. Everyone should watch it. I’d heard about it before (and only heard good things) but never made the effort to check it out until recently. It’s so hard to stop watching. My eyes are becoming more red each day.

Poker is going alright, for all those that care. I’m getting better, I think. I still tend to go spastic and ruin my winnings on occasion but, meh. I’ve moved up to 10NL, finally. I hope to be comfortably floating around 20-25NL in May. I think I should be on target, assuming I can get enough hours in.

The Winter Olympics are on but I don’t give a toss. That’s about all I have to say for that.

I’m in dire need of a haircut. This is getting ridiculous. I’d take photos but I’ve put myself through enough shame in the past week.

I… am quite bored.