Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm back

It's been almost 2 years since my last confession...

Wow, I've been busy.

I fucking despise that answer, "how are you doing?" "Busy.", but, I digress.

Seriously, life has changed, dramatically. I'm now an expat, living in the depths of Bavaria, N├╝rnberg, in fact. My wife and I moved here for professional reasons, and today I'm using that term loosely.

We are in the final stages of packing our apartment, and getting ready to move, for the 4th time in 2 years, and haven't been happier about that. It's time to close the door on this place we have called home for a little over a year. That's another post.

We've had a beautiful baby girl, Audrey, which in itself, is an entirely other series of posts!

And, I am back here for one of 2 reasons, I have plenty of time on my hands, or I am unhappy.

For those of you paying attention, you will know which one.

Nice to be back.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"If you’re going through Hell, keep going."

- Winston Churchill

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

We may not ever understand why we suffer,
or be able to control the forces that cause our suffering,
but we can have a lot to say about what the suffering does to us,
and what sort of people we become because of it.

- Harold Kushner

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Addicted

I have an addiction, apparently.

Coffee? No. Well, yes, but this is not what I am referring to, or more to the point, being accused of.

I am addicted to social media.

I know this, as I get told, often by third parties, that have been told that I am addicted, by other people, who are either my "friend" on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

Now, granted, I use both of these mediums, a lot. Well, I use FB much less, nowadays, as it is becoming increasingly clunky, slow and boring. Never the less, I have many friends in all parts of the globe, and I like to update it so they know what I am doing, and vice versa.

So, what's my problem?

If you think I have a problem, fucking well tell me. You know, we are "friends" and this wonderful privelage allows you to send me messages or make comment on the things I post. So, if it bothers you so much, tell me.

Secondly, how is it in fact, that you know that I am addicted? Do you sit in my room and peer over my shoulder to see how often I am on the net? Or, is it that you too, use these fucking tools to check what's going on, but rather than contribute to the sphere, you are simply a voyeur?

Say something, for fuck sake!

And, regarding Twitter, they say: "I don't get it?" "Why do you waste so much time on there?" "Who are you talking to?" Well, stick your own nose into the community and have a look for yourself. You know, you're not going to break it, if you do. And, you just might like it!

"Ah, but you tweet too much." Well, unfollow me then, and stop bagging me, for enjoying the myriad of amazing things, that happen on a daily basis, through this medium. Fuck off.

I use Facebook, Twitter, email, SMS, phone calls, and most recently a blog, to try and stay in touch with my friends and family. If that's not enough for you to understand what I am doing and thinking, and doesn't provide you with enough opportunities to comment, either with support or advice, then I'm sorry, I have nothing for you.

Raw nerve? Yes.

I'm tired of hearing this shit, contribute, somehow, or fuck off.

The end.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Little Wish

Walking down Little Collins Street, you are bombarded with street side cafes and coffee shops, providing you with a plethora of choice for your caffeine fix. Well, in the nature of TRM, I am imploring you to take a few extra steps off the beaten path, if you're in this neck of the woods.

Little Wish Specialty Coffee is their name, and special coffee it is. A tiny little shop, tucked out of sight, on the ground floor of Exchange Tower. With minimal space in which to operate, and a fine array of quality equipment, this is a place that indeed takes coffee seriously. They know that coffee is a personal thing, so if you want it made a certain way, just ask and they’ll oblige. For me, there was no need, my macchiato was perfect. Made short, strong and creamy, it was from their Kenyan coffee of the day.

The wonderfully friendly couple that own and run the store are passionate about what they do, this is no boring day job for them. They use delicately roasted coffee, supplied by Seven Seeds, and support their beverages with a selection of pastries and sandwiches, which are baked and prepared fresh, onsite.

There are a couple of small tables in front of the shop, shared with adjoining retailers, and a small, enclosed seated area backing onto a laneway, allowing a place for smokers to enjoy both drugs simultaneously. It’s not glamorous, but rather than the lack of intimacy being a deterrent, it is a good opportunity to get a quick takeaway, or stand at the shopfront and have a chat to the proprietors. A short amount of time watching and talking to them, will have you understanding why the product they produce is high quality.

So, next time you're looking for your caffeine fix, and a light sandwich or pastry, duck inside the Exchange Tower and head around to the left of the elevators, it's the last little shop tucked in on the right hand side. If you love your coffee, you will love Little Wish.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Friends, or what?

We had some people over for dinner last night, and conversation turned to the topic of friends. Who are they? Are they real, or are they simply relationships of circumstance? This topic came up, as I was recounting my experience from the previous day, which incidentally, is not the first time something like this has happened with this group.

I was a part of a cycling group in Adelaide, for about 7 years or so. Each week, one of the guys sends out an email, to a group of around 30 guys, that recounts the previous week's ride, and explains the route we would ride the next Saturday morning. This has been happening for over 10 years, of which, I had participated for around 7 of them, that is, until we left Adelaide and moved to Melbourne.

Now, I had spent a lot of time with these blokes, as cycling is a time hungry sport. We had shared many good days and nights out, been to each others weddings, parties, births, and drank many coffees and beers together. We all got along well, so too did the girls, but, are these people really my friends?

I replied to the group email, letting them know that I would be back in town this coming weekend, and that I hoped the weather was good, so that I could come out and ride with them again. It has been around 3 months since I left, and I indicated it would be good to see them.

Not 1 person replied. Not only that, a few members of the group, had an email conversation, replying to all, on another topic all together! Later that day, one of the guys wrote to me, personally, saying it will be good to see me, and perhaps I will move back for good, soon. Huh, that was a nice thing to say.

Once we knew this trip was booked, my wife and I had already contacted our "friends", some of them ride in this group, and told them individually that we are coming back, and we have organised to see them. I guess the fact that we have all made this effort, says something in itself.

It got me thinking, is it the group email communication that makes people uncomfortable? Do they expect more of me? Do they not really care that I am coming back? Or, is it that our friendship was a result of circumstance, and that's it?

Now, I am sure that when I see these guys, either this trip or another, things will be fine. We will have much to talk about, and history to draw from, but that doesn't make them all my friends. I'm not pouting at not receiving an email, although it may sound like it, and the fact that I told them to get fucked via Twitter that day! I just thought it interesting that all bar one, couldn't find the time to hit reply, type something, and then hit send.

It's been a really interesting process, moving cities. You find out quite quickly, who makes the effort to stay in touch, who of your group that you interact with would be there for you if you needed them, and where you fit in the realm of other people's life. It doesn't seem at all necessary to make conscious decisions about who your friends are, or are not, they are sorted by action, not by word.

It would seem from this unintended social experiment, the term "friend" has many meanings, and perhaps it is given out far too easily, in the absence of a more appropriate word.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Burning the pine.

As a kid, I used to go over to the group of pine trees at the end of our street, dig down into the dried pine needles, and set them alight. Oh how I loved the challenge of putting the flames out before they got too high. I had a bucket of sand next to me and used to throw it on the flames, then feverishly stamp them out. It was fun at the time, and I did it quite many times as I recall.

This particular day I was over the road, doing my usual demonstration of arsonist and CES volunteer, this time with the assistance of a neighbourhood friend, Tabatha Taylor. My Mum didn't like her, not really sure why, it was just the case.

Well, we had played our fire games for a while, and bored from this, we meandered off to find something else to do. Tabatha went her own way, I went back home and headed inside. Not long after I heard some commotion in the front yard, it was my Mum running out the gate, hose in hand, heading over to the pine trees. They were fully alight!

I took one look at the flaming trees, and disappeared, this was not a place to be seen.

Now, I didn't mention that these trees were situated at the end of a block of flats, and therefore, the fact they were alight, caused imminent danger for the residents. Needless to say, there was also a good deal of them out helping with hoses to try and control the flames.

It wasn't long before the fire engines arrived, and fortunately soon after, the flames were out and the flats were spared a parching. They did however, want to know any details from the neibouring houses, as to how this may have happened. I was nowhere to be found, my Mum was most suspicious. Fire, and no me. Guilty.

When they were at the front door talking with my Mum, the curiosity got the better of me, so I surfaced from my hiding spot and poked my head between Mum and the door to see what was going on. Now, at this stage, Mum didn't know what had happened, although she had a fair idea, due to my notable lack of presence. I don't remember the content of the conversation, only that Mum was very anxious to push me back inside, and out of view of the firemen.

She recalls, that she took one look down, and saw my hair, full of pine needles, and to save a possible arson charge, kicked me out the way, whilst politely smiling and denying any knowledge as to the source of the fire. The firemen left, she came hunting.

I do not recall another hand burning lesson, although, I am sure my ass was on fire, for some time after the dressing down I would have copped for that one. And poor old Tabatha, well I hung her out to dry, what else was a guilty boy to do? Sadly, we were never to socialise again, Mum's orders.

I don't hang out under pine trees these days, but I still love fire.