Ch-ch-ch-changes.

This post was inspired by palmy’s return.

I’ll give a quick summary again, as it’s been nearly 2 months (what a surprise).

Emily and I broke up in July. It was a bit messy but now it’s done. She went to Germany with her dad and I went to Berlin the week before on my own. I had a great time there, actually. I met some guys that offered me jobs and was close to accepting them until Hugo offered me a pay rise and more stuff to do here.

Sure, I’d probably make more money in Berlin doing stuff but I still love my Tallinn. I was considering even getting a proper job here for some firm like HP or Skype or something. Hostel life is still more appealing at the moment though.

Anyway, yeah. Berlin was fantastic. One of my new favourite cities. I’m definitely heading back there some time… Maybe March next year for a month or two. It’s possible to rent apartments in the city for 115 euro/month. Tempting.

We had about 14 staff in the hostel in July. More than half left. We should be getting a few more soon, hopefully. It’s been fairly hectic on the farewell party scene of late, but fun.

I went to a folk music festival in Viljandi, a town in southern Estonia. The population of the place doubles for the four days of the festival, basically. It was really good fun. I camped out in the festival grounds in a shitty little tent and it only slightly flooded, so I was satisfied. The range of music was actually quite broad, and some other guys organised after-parties in a concert hall nearby each night. I really want to go again next year.

Oh, yeah, I finally went to Tartu, as well. Twice now. The first was for another one day festival that some of us hitchhiked to, then didn’t bother going into the place. We sat outside in a playground for most of the day instead. That was probably more fun, in the end. The second time was for a university party which was fairly tame… Partly because it wasn’t very big and partly because almost everyone spoke Estonian. Which is fair enough…

Speaking of speaking Estonian, I’m learning! Finally. It took me 10 months or so but I can now count and say numbers and also the days of the week. Basics, but basics I never actually had to use before. I’m getting a few more sentences and phrases ingrained as well. It’s fun. Too bad it’s almost impossible to replicate the vowel sounds, especially with an Australian accent. Ah well.

The hostel actually has a little bar now in the basement, too. Don’t tell anyone though. It’s a secret. We’re also owners of what used to be the second hand store and baby shop underneath now, so we can knock out some walls and connect the whole hostel together. We’ll move reception and the bar into there, too. I can’t wait, because it’s going to rock.

Last night I went to some multi-band concert called Polymer. There were about 10 bands playing throughout the night but I didn’t stay for them all. The venue was basically an abandoned factory out in the suburbs which is actually meant to be condemned. There were artworks and paintings and sculptures all over the place on display and all these funky little rooms. Reminded me so much of Tacheles in Berlin. Ahh, happy times.

Alright, enough crap for now. I’ve kind of stopped uploading photos onto my website because I use Facebook more and it’s faster than this host but perhaps I’ll slap up a few selections later on.

Getting by

Waiting for people to come and pick up their bags has to be my pet peeve with this place. A close second is waiting for people to arrive.

Sure, I should just get someone to come down and hang around while I go off and do things. It’s not hard, I know. I would have if I wasn’t already still here around the time these people are meant to be back, so now I’m just going to wait.

Actually, I just want to have a fucking shower. I can’t though because I won’t hear the door bell go off and no one will be able to let them in. I should give people a different set of keys for them to get back inside and pick up their bags. Normally I just let them take their room keys and drop them off after they return, but these guys left them here. Great. They’re only 90 minutes late and there’s meant to be people coming here directly at 7pm. It’s 4:21pm now.

Today’s lowlight so far? Scrubbing a steamy, sloppy, post alcohol turd off the inside of the toilet bowl. At least I didn’t have to unblock it by hand. My other major dilemma for today is that it appears one of the pillow slips has gone missing. That’s not only odd, it’s annoying. Fuck it, I won’t have to care in a little over a week.

I’m also meant to be meeting up with Livijus today to work out what’s happening with his website. Basically he just needs to pay for a web host and domain and I can do the rest. I’m sure he’ll have other things to say, though.

At the end of the month I’m getting out of here for a while. I’m going to meet up with Emily in Finland for a bit, then we’ll go travelling together until mid June. That’s the plan, at least. We’re working things out, which is good. Em’s been staying at Heli’s parent’s place this last week but apparently she’s heading to Savonlinna again for the weekend. Happy times.

I have to pull my finger out and sort out my driver’s license and apply for some jobs in the UK. Finland’s not on the cards at the moment as it’s looking too difficult and frustrating to arrange visas, look for jobs and find a reasonably priced apartment in Helsinki. Maybe next year. We’ll see.

I’m even feeling like getting my hair cut. What’s happening here? Am I winding down my hippy behaviour? Am I tiring of my bohemian, hedonistic lifestyle? Am I already at the age where I want to cash in to a proper career path and start considering bank loans and first mortgages? Crikey.

Well, maybe just for a little while. There’s still plenty of other countries I’d like to see for now and I really want to hit up Russia on my way home, whenever that may be.

Woohoo, these people have picked up their bags. Finally, a chance to shower.

Is this experience?

I’m currently meant to be working/assisting/developing three separate websites (apart from toying around with this one). All are related in some way but they’re also for completely different people.

Establishing and configuring servers, sorting out domains, setting up software, developing, managing and building websites all feels like a hobby to me. It’s when I think about it I wonder if technically this is actually some kind of contract work, albeit on a rather informal level. The only real problem or weakness I see with myself is that I’m not a very experienced web designer and by that I mean I’m not overly familiar with CSS. I’ve been teaching myself everything else along the way though so I guess that’s not beyond my reach.

So, yeah, I suppose I’m actually getting real-world IT experience and it’s happened by accident. I’m not really making any money out of it but it’s still a service that I’m providing to clients, even if they’re clients that I know personally. Based on that I figure I’m entitled to record this on my resumé, if I ever get around to updating it.

I’m not really interested in pursuing web-design as a career but it’s hopefully all a stepping stone to greater things. I’m more inspired to try and help “problem solve”, in a consultant sense, I guess you’d say. I like knowing a bit about everything so that I can help people with all sorts of problems and know what they need to do or who they need to speak to or what they need to look at. Perhaps it’s from my interest in trivia or general knowledge.

Anyway. We’ll see.

Life goes on

Then there were three. Three staff that is, although technically Valerie is back today with her friend. I still don’t know how long she’s staying. Meh. Whatever. So yeah, Hector left earlier this morning. Steffi left yesterday afternoon. Bring back Hans, I say.

I’m going to start looking for work in the UK again soon, I think. I’m not really sure how far ahead of time I need to start applying for jobs to secure one and have it lined up for when we arrive. I’d definitely like to have a guaranteed income from day 1 though even if it’s a shitty job or shitty pay, simply for peace of mind.

Makes me wonder if I need to or if it’s worth bothering with all these quickstart type things or just doing it in person when I get there or even doing it another way online. God knows. I’ll work something out.

Livijus wants me to create a website advertising his apartments for him. It should be easy enough, provided I can get some good photos of the place. Working out the best web host for what he wants and getting the domain set up will be more effort than making the page, I think.

I’m going to start being a little bit more specific with the categories that I assign to my posts from now on. I suppose a few different tags can’t hurt and it probably makes flicking through things a little bit more interesting. Maybe.

ARGH.

Happy Mardi Gras. I smell like cask wine (since it was poured all over me about 7 times).

I lost my fucking phone tonight. Somehow. I wasn’t even that gone when it happened, I just didn’t notice. Yeah, sorry if anyone tried to SMS me, I think it’s still on the grass of Hyde Park since no one has fucking answered it whenever I ring it. Sounds like Optus is getting a phone call tomorrow.

Joel’s dad tried to kill Ross and I last week with glass. This week he’s been packing up to move out. FUCK WIN.

All the jobs I’ve applied for/had phone calls about haven’t gotten back to me at all.

I’m booking my flight to France to meet up with Benecke on Monday.

I’m getting a 2 year working holiday visa for the UK which only allows 12 months of actual work for ~$200.

I bought a 60 gig iPod and conformed along with headphones worth $300 (but cheaper – thanks eBay [what’s with the second letter capitals?]).

I’ve been eating a wee bit of garlic lately. Makes my breath stink but it makes my soul happy.

I’ve also picked up a nasty habit of being a near-chain smoker when I’m drinking. I know it’s bad for me but I enjoy it, so bring on the downfall.

The other bad habit that’s come to play is that I’m eating again when I’m drunk. I blame Andrew for not having any self control. I can do it solo but not when someone else wants food. Bah.

At least I’m occasionally brushing my teeth at night again these days. How exciting.

That’s all, folks.

P.S. sorry that I only seem to update in the early morning when I’m drunk. At least it makes me more honest. I’m proud I still come across as (reasonably) coherent and with (seemingly) accurate spelling and punctuation. Good times.

P.P.S. go nuts.

Career?

I applied for two more jobs today. I even wrote a cover letter for one. Ha! Yes, I only bother for the ones that make you. I like to pretend I can abuse the “optional” tag next to the Cover Letter text field on the online applications.

I really need to put my name down at a temp agency or something.

The final round of netball is on tonight! If we win I think we get into the semi-finals. Maybe. We’re currently placed fourth, which is weird. Yay?

Somehow I’ve tried to eat somewhat respectably this week, yet I’ve gained weight. I stole 5 schooner glasses from Kelly’s Pub up the road to celebrate. Woo!

I miss Salesi. :(

Tea.

Behold a different icon for once!

I’m drinking what I think is my first Earl Grey. With milk. No sugar. Is that protocol?

Tea isn’t my thing, really. I’ve never really been into drinking it. Sometimes I have odd cravings/curiosities about it, like today, so I drink a cup. I have to use coffee mugs as I have no teacups in my cupboards.

My highlight for today is that I don’t have to go to court tomorrow due to there being a guilty plea. The lady on the phone said I may need to still do something next Tuesday, but that’s alright. Whatever.

My highlight for yesterday is that the man from Mantech contacted me with a new job at the Australian Stock Exchange. It’s some kind of helpdesk position but it is 24/7 with weekend shifts, too. It could be real hard work but really fun, or at least interesting. “Mantech Mike”, as I like to call him, will take care of it for me, he said. Hurrah!

It’s started to disturb me that it seems 90% of the listed IT jobs are based in North Sydney. What’s the deal with that? I wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t such a bitch to get there from Newtown. If I get this ASX job it’s irrelevant, I know, seeing as it’s on Bridge street and all. Still, there’s clearly some conspiracy going on. I’ll crack it one day. When I care.

Tonight I’m meant to be going to a 20th at the Lowenbrau. I feel so old. Last weekend I went to a 21st so everything’s going backwards. Perhaps the world is letting me catch up for lost time. Or fate or destiny or some other guiding hand. Maybe it’s just because I have more younger friends these days. That could be it. Good thinking, old man Ollie.

The Electric Lady website is trickling along on the wheels of progression. I’ve been teaching myself PHP as I go. Most of what I’m doing is very basic but I suppose if you’re teaching yourself that’s how you start out. Jolly good.

I’ve just noticed I seem to have a weird habit of finishing my inane story paragraphs (ie, all of them) with some short sentence that almost looks like I’m talking to myself, or checking off each statement as I go. I don’t know if this revelation is important or not, even indicative. I don’t really enjoy reading over what I’ve written while I show this particular tendency, so I’m going to make a conscious effort to stop. Unless, of course, I realise that I have no other way to neatly finish off each paragraph.

See, that last one just feels like it’s hanging. I need my “full stop statement”.

Even that one seems cut off. Argh, this will be a challenge!

Just to show I’m not all class with my fancy pants Earl Grey, yesterday I finished off my last can of KB for lunch with some sickening Maggi noodles. I even whacked in a wee bit of sesame oil and soy sauce when I cookd them but I think the flavour sachet is what kills me every time. I’m going to throw the rest out if I can summon the courage/energy. I suppose I really should confess one more thing: I drank the KB out of a beer glass. Yes, I poured it out. That probably makes the whole event a little classier, unless it’s considered as a tacky action, seeing as it’s only KB.

I’m scared. I think my RSI-afflicted arms are going to haunt me forever. Pain is bad. :'( It hurts to use computers. How ironic. I think it’s irony. Let’s pretend.

By the way (I know none of you care, but I’ll mention it anyway), I made a last.fm account for myself. I left TISM playing overnight just to be stupid. I wanted to pump up their presence on the site. What a dedicated fan I am.

Boo.

Too hot. Tired. Have to go to IGA and shop. Got knocked back from moving to the IT division at work because I couldn’t work full time for the next two years.

That’s probably a good thing though, in the end, partially at least. Why? Because I can still keep my flexible, higher-paying job in data entry, along with having enough “free time” to do tutoring at uni as well. The downside is I miss out on an IT job for my resume. :s

They were only offering $12-13/h or ~$28-30k/year for a graduate position. Pretty shit, especially if I end up getting through honours later on (which will quite probably lead to getting offered better jobs if I do well), so yeah, maybe it’s for the best.

Ah well.

I’m having a fat day. Boo.

Noosa on Sunday. Dentist on Saturday. Both should be an experience. I must remember to floss!

ARGH.

Still no net. Hi home.

I need to find out Dad’s special rent account number so I can deposit all of my cash and be poor again. :<

Larry the exetel man says to try a few more things tonight and see what happens, if that doesn’t work he’ll lodge an ADSL fault complaint with Telstra for me, or some crap. God knows.

Stupid ISP only having office hours open during business hours. It’s not fucking good for either me or Scott as we both work outside of and through exetel’s business hours, so there’s only 1 or 2 days a week where we’re home to go through all their bullshit.

I bet the pricks bill me for the first month, too. Real fair. Especially when Larry himself (hallowed-be-thy-name) admitted he wasn’t even sure what the problem was. Hopefully I can fix it tonight, otherwise what’s another few days.

It’s just the convenience of the net that I’m missing. Having to drive home to do netbanking and check my email etc is pretty annoying. I can do most of the basic things at netcafes easily enough, but no fucking way am I doing any actual monetary transactions or banking from one of those places.

So what else have I been doing, then? Hmm.

Well, Scott and I have been checking out a few restaurants up King street, most are alright, bar Guzzle Tandoori opposite us. Totally shit. Lou’s been coming along now and then too. This week I’m gonna try and starve myself a bit because I feel like I’m overeating again and I want to lose some more weight. If that doesn’t work or I can’t handle it I’ll fire up the kick-start diet again and try that out. Yeah, just in time for Christmas. That’s ok though, I don’t really like Christmas food much.

Speaking of food, I think I’m going to Kylie Kwong’s (Kwan? Kwon?) restaurant with Lou and her parents next week… I think. It’s either tomorrow or next week. Hrm. That’s Asian-y food anyway, and if it’s Chinese I don’t particulary get off too much on that either. Still, I’m sure it’ll be fun.

Saw Garden State with Lou last week, very good and enjoyable and it didn’t feel Hollywood-bastardised, which is refreshing for an American movie. Much like all my Troma videos that I’m still ploughing through. I think I’m starting to convert Scott to both TISM and Troma. Look out. He seemed to enjoy the 10 year old TISM video I converted to DVD about some of their exploits. Jolly good.

Last weekend was the Christmas party for where I work. We went to the same place again: Harold Park Paceway (gotta love the trots). The food was alright, very RSL/bistro-y. I didn’t eat any of the seafood, of course. The beer seemed to be watered down but at least it was free. My costume (a “Christmas present”, ie a cardbox box with shoulder straps made of tinsel and wrapped in wrapping paper) fell apart when the wind blew the paper straight off it, so I ditched it. I couldn’t be fucked carrying it from Newtown to Glebe or wherever the Paceway is, I walked 35 minutes to get there.

After the party I decided to go to Newtown, instead of Oxford street where some of my other colleagues went. It turned out another girl I knew from work was hitting up a pub on King street so I met up there with her and more work people I’d never spoken to before. It went well enough. I then had to escort a girl called Alecia around the back streets of Newtown to find the Imperial where some more “upstairs” people from work were hanging around. No one stayed there long though as it was getting a bit late and no one was drinking enough to keep it going. I managed to fluke my way through the back streets and found my apartment really easily. Go me.

On Sunday, Deny came around to pick up his paintings and mum and dad came round to check up on things and help me with a few handyman style jobs. Scott and I were rather amused that orphic never bothered calling or dropping in. I’m sure she’ll have a good excuse. hehe.

As for work, well, I’m simply working too hard (as usual, of course) and I’m getting my RSI symptoms back again. I can only type for a little while before it starts to burn, but I have other odd jobs to keep me going for my 3 ten hour shifts a week. Good times, yes.

Hopefully I’ll be able to work my way in to the IT department after Christmas. Hopefully. We’ll see what happens.

Anyway I suppose I’ll get a wriggle on and get back to the flat. Oh maybe I’ll pay dad first and bust my bank account. Medicare still haven’t paid him his money for about the 6th time this year… Yes, Medicare owes my dad $30k from this year, and still haven’t paid up. They keep saying the forms he submitted must have been lost by Australia Post. Unfortunately for them he’s always delivered them by hand to Medicare’s office drop boxes. Bad luck on the excuses, you pricks.

So, that’s why he wants my money, now. :S

Whee.

Oh yeah, getting up at 5am for work fucking smokes it.

mungmungmungmungmungmung

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