Red sky at night

November 21st, 2006

Holy smoke. Everything smells like a campfire, and every edge is softened. It’s almost like I’m seeing the world through a cold lens covered in warm, moist breath. No amount of blinking will bring anything in focus.

Smoke is good for freaky sunsets though, and volcanic red skies -



Tonight is one of those nights where I wish people would just verbalise what’s on their mind. I hate all the stupid little guessing games – just TELL me what you’re thinking, and then we’ll both know where we stand. Sometimes the tummy butterflies and mystery is all good, and other times it’s just a pain in the ass.

Sometimes it’s just easier to do it yourself

November 20th, 2006

So one of the things that has changed at work recently was the contracting of qualified IT people. We got the new server put in around 2 months ago and since then the same company have been our tech support. This is in no small way due to massive campaigning on my part to get rid of the job from my day. It’s something I only really fell into, because I’m the sort of person who, if there’s a problem that presents itself, jumps up and goes ‘Hey! Let’s see if I can fix it.’ And I go until I do. I’ve found through hard experience that if you’re generally a person like that most everyone else around you eventually stops jumping and let’s you dive in headfirst on your own. Before you know it you’re left holding the proverbial baby.


Anyway, after some frustration from the boss at being unable to delegate me anything because I was already too busy, and after some discussion, debating and eventually shouting from me, we decided to go ahead with this local computer company. To be honest they did a good job with the server install – it took less time than I expected and even with a few little hiccups it all went okay. Where we’ve run into problems is with the tech support.


I’ve told everyone in no uncertain terms that if they have a computer issue now they (after rebooting) need to call the support number at this IT company rather than coming to me. And to their credit, they’ve been pretty good with this. The boss is the worst one for not doing it, being the instant gratification junky she is and being so used to just giving things to me to take care of. We’re working on that.


So poor Debbie early last week started having problems opening Acrobat files from our record keeping software, completely out of the blue. She came in to tell me about it, and being in the stupid state of flurry I was in last week I pretty much put my hand up and said CALL SUPPORT. So she did. Then this morning I went into the front office to give something to Carole and she’s on the phone to the IT company STILL trying to sort out the problem. She hangs up, mutters some expletives, and at this point I ask her what the problem is. Turns out the IT guy had a go at fixing it, then decided it was too hard, so contacted the software company. So then the guy at the software company was now trying to figure out the problem and had been on the phone to her around 5 times that morning trying different things but with no luck. These two IT guys had been on the phone to each other maybe 10 times over the last week and they just couldn’t figure it out. At this point I say -



‘Has anyone suggested an Acrobat reinstall?’
‘No.’
‘Let me try a reinstall.’

So I do. And now it works. I mean, I get trying to fiddle with things a bit before trying the reinstall, but surely at some point you just cut your losses? It took me around 5 minutes. I wish this was the only issue we’ve had like this, and I get working in IT support (or something resembling helpdesk) must at times be one of the worst jobs in the world, but FFS PEOPLE. It’s not rocket science.

Time may change me, but I can’t trace time

November 19th, 2006

Change is a funny thing. I grew up surrounded by people who were not only repelled by it, but steadfastly pulled against it or anything resembling it. I lived in one house from when I was born, till I was 6. I lived in a second house from 6 until I left home (properly) at 20. I pretty much left home directly into my first serious (in the true meaning of serious) relationship.

It’s no wonder I reacted badly to the demise of that relationship – at the time it was the one stable, steady, unchanging thing I had in my life.

He



At the end of my relationship with Alan there were a lot of changes in quick succession. I moved around 6 times in 12 months. I pared my belongings down to 3 pieces of furniture and a car load. I decided I was going to be very good at my job and so worked very hard in that direction. At the same time, though, I was subconsciously placing myself in a rut so I was back where it was comfortable and stable.

Anyway, whole other story for a whole other night, and the reason I got onto this was because of the wedding this weekend. It’s nice, sometimes, to know some things never change. Brett in a lot of ways through uni was my mental savoir. I’ve always found it easier to be friends with guys rather than girls, and he and I pretty much hit it off from orientation. He was always so dorky and awkward, but on the other hand had a wicked sense of humor and was the life of the party, particularly when he was pissed. I have memories of he and I standing in a very long queue of very quiet people waiting for a bus, and him dropping suddenly onto the ground into a commando roll going ‘PEW PEW PEW’ with his fingers up as guns. And then there was the time I refused to come out with him and his buddies from south campus, so he bullied them all into coming around to my house dressed as gangsters and they literally kidnapped me. Physically turned up to the house at around 10PM and dragged me into the car. Only in Wagga could you get into a night club in pyjamas without ID. And then there was the time he showed up to my birthday party dressed in a 1970′s suit, having written a poem using the letters of my name, and recited it using props (like a cauliflower and cheezels for some reason) and without doctoring the colourful language in front of my grandparents. So. Many. Stories.

The whole time I knew him through uni he was never in a relationship. He always had plenty of women in his life (room, tent, whatever) but was never in anything more than a few weeks or months at a time. This is not through lack of trying on his part though. I have never, ever known a person with the capacity like he has to fall in love with a girl. And he would fall for seemingly anyone without warning – he didn’t have a type – each girl was remarkably different. Once he decided he was in love with someone that was IT – forsaking all others yada yada. It made things interesting at times, particularly when he fell pretty hard for Angela for a period of about 10 months when she was still with Matt. Anyway.

Every time he fell he went in full tilt. He bought them flowers and rings in the first couple of weeks, he started planning their lives together pretty much after the first date (or hook up, whatever came first). For reasons that I completely understand this scared most of them off – to have a guy that visibly besotted with you is a little off-putting.

Case in point – in the final year of uni I came up to Sydney during break for 2 weeks (I had just started seeing Alan). I get back to Wagga, having not seen him for only 2 weeks, and the first time I see him I’m on the bus and he’s on the street. As the bus is pulling in he’s looking at me grinning like an idiot and pointing at his finger. He gets on the bus and points again, without saying anything.

‘What?’
‘A ring!’
‘Oh! Right. What sort of ring?’
‘It’s an engagement ring! I’m engaged!’

Queue a big fat WTF look from me at this point. ??I mean, the girl gets the ring, right? Also -

‘To WHO?’
‘Renee!’

I had never met Renee. Neither had he until 2 weeks before. Thereafter came some crazy nights of he and his new fianc?? coming out to the pub with us and us getting to know the finer points of Renee. There were only a few so we got that out of the way pretty quickly.

Anyway, in full Brett fashion he decided that they should both go to New Zealand to meet his family. At this point he decides, being the old fashioned gentleman he is, that he would go to NZ and shear sheep for a few months to save enough money to take them both over there. He scrapes his pennies together, gets on a plane, and finds himself a job. During the time he’s away I hear hide nor hair of Renee, but to be honest I was all good with that.

Anyway, Brett gets back to find Renee isn’t answering his calls. She’s not phoning him and will have none of his nonsense. He finds out through the grapevine that she’s now with someone else and didn’t want to be with him anymore.

It was heartbreaking to watch.

There are a lot of stories like that. Like the time he actually moved in with one after a couple of weeks (again engaged) and headed back to NZ, only to return and find she’d not only kicked him out and changed the locks, but had shacked up with a guy from the RAAF. Poor bastard.

So I was more than a bit curious to meet this girl who he’s not only been together with for 2 years, but he’s actually making it to the alter with. I’ve kept in touch enough with him over the years to know he hadn’t changed a terrible amount, but then when Rebecca (his wife now) made her speech, it became clear just how much he hasn’t. Apparently they met at the Coogee Bay Hotel on her last night in town (before flying out to NZ). They met and hit it off completely, and had a really amazing night together. Brett at the time was working in a pretty decent job. So what does he do when she leaves? Chucks his job in and follows her. Just like that. Decides that she’s the one for him, and to hell with everything.

I guess it just goes to show; if you stick with one method of anything long enough eventually you’ll find success. Brett landed his woman in the end, and she seems like a great girl. They were so genuinely into one another – it restores a girl’s faith that it can happen. People can co inhabit and enjoy it. It makes me a little less scared when it comes to certain things.

Also, even with all the cheese and craptastic music, it was great night. And you know why? Because everyone there was so happy – to just be there, to start off with, but also because Brett and Rebecca were. It was a small wedding in the local town hall, but it was great. I’m really glad I went.



Congrats Bwetty – you’ve come a long way baby. Way to get the girl.

Or else

November 17th, 2006

Holy crap. I come home from work at some stupid hour of the night and BONO is on Lateline with Tony Jones. And Eddie Vedder. Playing a tambourine. !!!

Dishing out the nuggets of truth about international aid he is. Or, our lack thereof. We bandy about our level of international aid like a badge of pride, but really when it boils down it to it’s all been about the tsunami and Iraq. Which is all well and good, but not really how we’re promoting ourselves.



I love to hear him speak. Particularly about politics. He’s so passionate and humble.

Actually, I just love him generally. And I love the fact that he headlined Lateline over the meeting between Dubya and Johnny.

He said ‘There’s a wave breaking. It’s not to the left and it’s not to the right. Ride the wave or it’s going to break right over you.’ He also said ‘You can’t have the benefits of globalization without having the responsibilities.’ Tony Jones called him a prophet. He was humble about this, but I’m not sure it’s not the truth.

In sharp contrast to this, the stand out quote from George W tonight was -

‘History has a long march to it.’ What? Christ.

The last thing I want to do tomorrow is get up early to drive to Young. It’ll be okay I think, but weddings can either be very good or very bad. This one is at a dam, so there is seemingly potential for it to fall into the very good category. I (being me) left it a little late to book accommodation, so every single hotel in the town was booked out. I managed to find a room at the Criterion Hotel on the main street of the town – I’m kinda glad I’m staying in a pub. Hotels get old real fast and it will make a nice change.

Funny that I had possibly one of the worst days on record at work today and I feel more or less okay. Might have something to do with sorting out a fuckton of problems and actually getting everything I needed to get done by the end of the day (night). Well, everything that can avoid massive problems on Monday next week.

I feel like for the first time all week I can go to bed with a clean mind.

Unsaid things begin to change

November 16th, 2006

Stand there, tell me that I’m of no use
Things unspoken break us if we share
There’s still time to wash the kitchen floor
On your knees, at the sink once more
You can remind me that I was tired
You can work late and give yourself up
Now that I’m older, wiser, and working less
I don’t regret having left the place a mess

You can remind me that I was lazy and tired
You can recall your life as
I’m not afraid of you, anymore
Anymore

All things grow, all things grow

November 16th, 2006

Dear Sufjan,


Man oh man. I mean, my GOD. Apologies in advance for the impending crazyfangirl rant but lemme tell you, I listen to a lot of music. All kinds as well – it’s a fairly eclectic play list. Still, I can safely say there is NOTHING in my CD collection that sounds like you. Also, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a singer/songwriter so effectively use an orchestra. My heart just soars whenever I put Illinois or The Avalanche into my CD player.


Come on! Feel the Illinoise has been one of my favourite albums of the last 12 months. Songs like Wasp of the Palisades has got me through many a night of wide-eyed insomnia, and I can listen to it from go to whoa without wanting to skip even one track. It’s like layers of hurt and joy and sugar and vinegar all at once – if there were ever a musical personification of bittersweet, this is it.


Just the last few days, though, I have fallen in love with The Avalanche. I haven’t really given any of my newer music a go recently, and I had in the back of my head that this was just really an album full of Chicago remixes. Could I have been more wrong? Even given the number of versions of Chicago – I’m not sure there’s a song on earth I’d rather hear remixed over and over again (besides perhaps Do You Realize?? by the Flaming Lips because, you know, about 100 different shades of awesome). And songs like Saul Bellow and No Man’s Land – just, UGH. There are just no sufficient adjectives in the world.


I think you might be some sort of crazy kook, but that isn’t dimming my love for you at all. Also, those crazy, 10 to 20 word song names? As ridiculous as that is I’ve come to find it kinda endearing. Also, you believe in and sing about God, but then so does Bono and I’ve managed to overlook it until now. So really, it’s all good.


SO GOOD.


Thanks for making music that repairs hearts and insides. For picking me up of the ground tonight and giving me the strength to finish this document for DEWR. I appreciate it more than words can say.


Looking forward to all the other states and forever yours,


Karen.

When you went to bed with your darkest mind

November 15th, 2006

Bushfires suck for residents in some areas of the Hawkesbury right now, but they make perfectly beautiful sunsets. It’s a weird and whacky weather day here. This from NEWS.com.au –





“We had rain, sleet and snow in the area of the fire for half an hour but it was too little to make a difference,” the spokesperson said. Unpredictable weather is causing problems in other parts of eastern Australia today as well. While dry windy conditions have been fanning bushfires in NSW, hail and thunderstorms have caused havoc in Queensland, and snow has been reported in Tasmania and on the outskirts of Melbourne.



The wind really is a bit crazy here right now – it’s kinda nice.


I’m not sure what it was about today that helped my state of mind. Perhaps it was the weather and the outofthisworld sunset. Perhaps it was the fact that the boss has gone away for a few days, perhaps it’s that I managed to leave work at 6:30PM, and perhaps it was an unexpected visit from someone unexpected. I am lighter than I have been in days.


I think it’s just that a person, well, this person, can’t stay shuffling and dragging forever. Sure, there’s some fucked up shizzat going on. Work is off the charts and I would happily trade my family in. But, ultimately, there’s a lot I can do nothing about. At least not right away. I need to find a game plan for my break at Christmas, but that’s something I can think about later. Not too much later mind – it’s nearly freaking December.


How fucked up is this – on one hand right now I’m (rightly or otherwise) feeling very put upon and relied on, and sometimes it’s all too much. On the other hand, however, I feel completely superfluous and on the peripheral of everything. It makes no SENSE I tell you. Still, I guess it would be silly to start making sense now :P


I’m still going with my mantra of tomorrow is a new day. For now, though, Wilco is helping. Wilco always helps.


Only the special ones

November 15th, 2006

So I was watching Spicks and Specks just now and Katie Noonan is on. I really liked the first George album, Polyserena, but I never got the second one (mainly because what I had heard of it was a little more jazz like and that’s not really how I roll). ANYWAY, on the part of the show where they get up and sing songs substituting the lyrics from books such as the Holden Torana users manual from 1974, Katie got up to sing for Myf’s team.

HOLY amazing voice. That girl just makes me treacle on the inside when she sings. I’m not sure there’s a voice like it on this earth.

Bury me with it

November 14th, 2006

14 hour days are not really conducive to writing about anything. Even 14 hour days.

I am stumbling and I am numb.

Evil home stereo, what good songs do you know?

November 13th, 2006

Dear Modest Mouse,

You know that blaring, loud, crazy noise on the splash page of your website? Not cool. I just lost years off my life.

(I still love you though, and I can’t wait till January).


Love,

Karen.

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