Off Having Adventures

Hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? (My podcast episode posts are usually done in advance, so it’s been a while since I’ve written anything new.)

I’ve gone away for a while and I have a new job, so I’ve been a little preoccupied. I plan on recording new material next week.

I’ll admit that I go silent sometimes when I’m a bit sad or depressed, but lately, I’ve just been off on new adventures. I’ll be telling you about the cool people I’ve been hanging around, the things we do, and the places we go.

As I’ve said before, small town living really isn’t so bad. It’s been pretty cool so far.

Rediscovering idioPod

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I was looking around on my server today to see whether I could clean some things up off of it and lo and behold, I came across every podcast episode and video I made for the podcast I made between January 2007 and the end of December 2010.

In that time frame, so much happened. I had just moved back to Australia to try to fix a relationship that wasn’t really working out. I was quite unhappy in general and very depressed a lot of the time. I went to the USA to possibly move back and my dad passed away. Then, I returned to Australia still hoping that I could save my relationship. All of a sudden, I just stopped updating my podcast and called it quits.

I downloaded the short videos I made and watched them. The quality is awful. I don’t know what I used to record them, but it was probably acceptable back then. They had videos of my dachshund I owned here, my ex, my places I moved into (which were VERY unpresentable). It was sad because as I watched them, I found it very sad because my ex looked very disinterested. I think by that time, he was just not all the way there himself but noticed that I made him laugh a lot.

I have to give him credit because if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here in this country today. I still find it really hard to talk to him though. I think he cares about me even today, but that’s where it ends. That’s fine. I go through time periods where I do miss the good times with him. He wasn’t as awful as I made people believe. Things change over time and it’s why I was so scared getting married when I did. (My ex knows I got married as well.)

Confronting your own past can be so scary. I felt like I should confront some of it today. I don’t think I can listen to myself talk for 3 years worth of podcast episodes though so the videos are all I did. Luckily, they were short (and very pixelated). It reminded me of the good times I’ve had (except for my messy house… ex had a bit of a hoarding issue… it wasn’t bad, but he was very unorganised and liked to collect things he couldn’t use).

Maybe I’ll share some of these episodes later–or all of them. I still have the feed for it. And they’re still on my server (except they are not reachable by the public). Maybe people could point out the changes from then to now. I feel better now. Not the best, but I feel better. I  kinda miss the way things were, but it’s better to move on from that.

Why Editing Audio Is So Difficult

Why is editing audio, especially when it is my own voice, so hard for me? Why do I neglect editing out all the umms, uhs, and other filler?

Sad story here, folks. One that I probably wouldn’t want to talk about on a podcast, so I’ll just type it here. Most of my life, and even today, I have been made fun of because of how I sound. When I was a kid and I started kindergarten, I had to go through speech therapy so I could speak correctly. People would make fun of me because I couldn’t pronounce certain letter combinations, including my sister–but that’s what sisters do so I forgive her.

As I got older, I think that I improved, but of course, if it wasn’t making fun of the way I struggled speaking correctly, it was my voice’s tone. It wasn’t masculine enough. People would ask me about it constantly and some guy was nice to bully me about it every chance he got, though he sounded like he was born into a 10th generation inbred family. Oh, and he died a few years after school…

So past that, it affected me into adulthood. I’d chat with guys (and, yes, girls) online and then they’d want to talk to me. Sometimes, people said “Oh, you don’t sound like I thought you would” and sometimes that would be enough for them not to want to talk to (or chat with) me anymore.

So yeah, I moved here and people sometimes can’t even understand me. Sometimes I’d date people and ask them (by message) if they could understand me. It was usually “mostly”. One of the people I dated said that I sound a lot sexier and manly with a sore throat.

No one’s ever told me they like my voice, basically (except the guy who said it was sexy… when my throat was sore). My partner now makes fun of me even after I’ve told him that it really bothers me. It just makes me extra cranky and even now, it makes me a little sad too.

It all boils down to this: I don’t like my speaking voice. Listening to myself talk is really hard. Going back over the stuff I record is like torture for me. That’s why I’d rather not go back and edit things out.

I Don’t Want to Talk About It Right Now

Got your attention? Was it because you felt sorry for me? Yes?

I thought I’d break apart some of the whining about my moving over 4 hours away and again bless you with something that’s been happening on my Facebook wall. This is one of my most favourite things in the world:

If you don’t want to talk about it, doesn’t that mean that you shouldn’t post it on social media?

What I think about when someone posts something like this is that they just want some attention or something. Apparently, this person is still not wanting to talk about it. They did, however, post something about not knowing what they can possibly do to lose weight and they’ve been a bit big since junior high school. A few times, I told this person how I managed to keep a bit trim, and basically said small changes in diet could really add up over time and keep good habits. But this person “can’t”. For some reason, exercise is just too much to ask. You know, no time, son is in football, no one else in the house wants to drink water instead of Coke. The list goes on and on.

A few years ago, I decided that a lot of the people on social media don’t need to know everything about me. They don’t need to know what I ate for all three meals because I sit there and read people’s stuff and I’m like who the hell would care about that? Not me. If I don’t care about the little mundane things I do, why should anybody else? It kind of makes me think about the stuff I talk about on my podcast.

I end up complaining a lot about social media, Facebook in particular. I don’t link it here because I basically have it to let my family and friends back at home know what’s happening on this huge island. Election times are a bit difficult for me because it’s hard not to become this political monster. I think everybody knows that I don’t like who’s leading the USA right now. I could probably say the same thing about Australia, but at least the people in control aren’t monsters who think they can do no wrong and blame everybody else when things don’t go their way.

Anyway, I am doing fine and as you’ve seen, I will talk about it right now because I think sometimes talking helps. I hope whatever is bothering this person gets worked out one way or another because this is kind of what my blog is about–therapy. Cheap therapy. It does help sometimes.

Busy Like a Bee

bee crashIt’s been a really busy few weeks. That’s why I’ve been a little silent lately. I haven’t had much time to myself lately. The next podcast episode is coming on Friday but I don’t really like it. I’m probably going to upload it anyway.

While I’m here, I just want to say a big ‘thank you’ to those of you who are sending me feedback and encouragement. I really do.

I’ll start recording new episodes next week. I have a lot of stuff in my head.

Sorry this is so short! Will chat with you lovely people later.

V/Line, I F****** Hate You

vline-trainI told you guys before that my next few weeks were going to be really busy and, oh my god, I’m totally exhausted right now. I am seriously out of energy right now, and I’m in bed before 7:30. My last three mornings (including this one) have been early starts. I have had to leave the house before 5 am each time so I could make it to where I needed to go (aka work) and be there by 7 am. I would definitely make it there on time… so I thought.

V/Line operates the rail services to regional towns around the state of Victoria, to and from Melbourne usually. They are who I have to rely on almost every day to get where I need to go. Unfortunately, they don’t even do that right. I’ve been late twice already, even after leaving earlier the next day, on an earlier train.

So yes, three early starts, and then I get to leave at around 4 pm. As I’ve said, I’m simply exhausted. I want to get home, sit down, watch stupid videos, and just relax. I got to the station and the trains were all cancelled because of sick staff. I finally get a train, and THAT train was late. There were a ton of people there and instead of using 6 carriages like they usually do, they decide to use 3. They tried to fit all these people on it who have had their trains cancelled – so basically, the train looked like this:

train.jpg

I had to stand the whole fucking time almost. I had been on my feet all day and my feet were hurting very bad, I had people’s armpits in my face, and I was really tired (I usually can get about a 45 minute nap out of these trips). About 3 stops before the stop that I was going to get off at, they announce that since that train was late, they’re making it terminate early. Even at that station there were still people standing up.

My favourite part of this is how after all this shit happening, they want to punish their customers for THEM being late. They took off all those people and said “Well, wait for the next train.” That train was running late too. I said “fuck this” and took a bus home and it was probably the first time today I have felt peaceful. I still want to say…

I fucking hate V/Line.

They fail to realise that people depend on them, even at 4-5 am, to get to work. They forget that people don’t want to be crammed in trains like fucking sardines at the end of the day. If you know there is going to be a staff shortage, then fucking hire some bus drivers or something. Don’t cancel half of your trains.

It’s one of the reasons why I hate living far away from Melbourne like this. If V/Line isn’t stressing me out, they’re pissing me off.

My pissed off ass is off to watch some super old quality television… on YouTube.

And Dream of Sheep

I’m just about to go to sleep and I’ll probably post this some other time, because I don’t want to make two posts in one day, so this is Sunday night guys and girls, just so you know. I’m supposed to be sleeping right now, and if I actually put some effort into it, I probably could and it probably would happen quickly. Unfortunately, my partner stays up later than I do and I can never know when he’s going to come and open the door just to look at me (or see if I’m sleeping), or when he finally comes to bed, he has this need to rearrange all the pillows under my head.

I’ve never been the kind of person who can go back to sleep easily, so most of the time, I just wait for him to go to sleep. Unfortunately, I can pretty much count the hours I get to sleep on one hand right now (around 11 pm) so I will be feeling quite sleepy tomorrow. It usually happens that way.

I am a really light sleeper. Anything and everything wakes me up unless I heavily drug myself with allergy medication or sleeping medication. Snoring is my crazy trigger though I know I do it. I don’t think I do it much though I think I do usually when I’m sick and/or tired.

I do love my dreams though most of the time. I dream about my family a lot and of home. I dream a lot about my dog back in Texas, who just turned 16 years old. I dream about my family members who passed away time to time. Sometimes, I just hang out with them. Sometimes, I feel quite emotional. Sometimes, I wake up feeling quite happy from dreaming about them. I feel like they’re there to remind me of the memories I have with them and how lucky I am to remember them in a positive way.

I can’t go into huge detail here since my butt really should be sleeping anyway – so here’s wishing you a great week so far (since who knows when I’m going to post this). Good night! Sleep tight! Don’t let the dybbuks bite.

When Negative Things People Say Influence Your View on People (And it Shouldn’t)

I’m going to admit a few things in this post that I am not so proud of. I’m just warning you about that right now.

For those who don’t know, I was not born and raised in Australia. I was born in one of the USA’s biggest cities and ended up being brought up in a small town that, uh, let’s say hasn’t always been the friendliest when it comes to people from different from my own ethnic group. Thankfully, my parents didn’t push any racist ideas on me. I think that they were maybe a little bit, but they didn’t say much and it was nothing compared to the town around me. It always really made me sick and after I realised there was a whole world out there to explore, I met some really cool people. I will admit that I had “reservations” about meeting some people because I was unfamiliar with their cultures and religions, but once I met them, talked to them, and everything, I started to understand that everybody shares a common bond and there are good people and bad people out there.

Something that I’m not so proud of is how I listened to my ex talk about the Aboriginal people of Australia. I allowed him to “teach” me certain negative stereotypes, and you know something? I believed him. I basically had this automatic negative thinking about people who I had never really gotten to know. I said some really nasty things to other people (not often though) which I really wished I did not say.

Surprisingly, I didn’t learn much about the Aboriginal people until I took my citizenship test. I just didn’t have much exposure to them up to that point. I learned what I had to (and a little more) and passed the test. Years later, as part of my training, I took a class about the Aboriginal people and I really found it to be quite interesting. It pushed me to want to learn more about these fascinating people. It encouraged me to go to museums and really enjoy the artwork. It gave me opportunities to talk to and learn from them. It gave me a very basic overview of how society was before this country was invaded (because I really believe this is what happened). I think about how different things would be if the people who came here were more open-minded and lived in harmony with the people who were already here. I have a better understanding now of what they’ve had to endure for over 200 years and it’s really, really sad. I cannot imagine having someone take me from my mother and father, and bring me somewhere I didn’t know, tell me that my way of life is wrong and force me to change it. That would be incredibly difficult and heart-breaking. (And you know something? It’s still happening today. I’m not lying.)

I find it really depressing and unacceptable that the life span on the Aboriginal people are around 10 years less than they are of non-Aboriginal people. They’re still underrepresented in the government and I think they need people within their culture(s) to help us all work together at least, to lessen the unfair gaps between so many things, life expectancy, income, education, etc. I really believe the oldest culture in the world needs preservation and I know we can learn a lot from them.

I am not an expert in this country’s history and as much as I would love to talk about it here, I don’t think I’m qualified. I do know that the Aboriginal people here have a really rich, interesting, and beautiful culture and I am so ashamed I have let someone influence my thinking about them in a negative way. I don’t expect for my learning process to stop now.

If you’re curious about Australian Aboriginal culture, you can go to the Creative Spirits website. The information there is quite good, but it seems to try to push an eBook on you every page you visit, twice.

There’s really so much to say but I can’t fit everything here. It’s all really interesting. I feel a little bit guilty for that reason.

You Want Me to Fund What?

This cake looks disgusting and way too moist.

I’m probably going to go to Hell for this, but I’m going to go for it anyway because I might be an asshole.

The other day, I received a link to a fundraiser. I didn’t respond to it by email, so she decided to just send it to me through a messenger.

This fundraiser was sent to me by someone who I haven’t really talked to in about 5 years and someone I haven’t seen in over 10 years. And what was it for? It was to fund her kid’s (not an infant and not a toddler) birthday party. Hey, that’s okay. What’s the reason? She had to pay bills and doesn’t have any money left over. Not a very good explanation, but that’s fine. I could chip in a bit. Then, I saw how much she needed…

$500. For a birthday party! 500 fucking dollars!

Growing up, I was lucky if my parents spent $50, maximum, on my birthday when I was a kid. My mom would bake a cake and invite people over to eat it. It was always very simple and I never thought much about it. I didn’t resent my parents for that. I was happy. I didn’t expect big parties, big gifts, or anything like that. I didn’t expect to have my parties at Chuck E. Cheese’s. My family wasn’t extraordinarily poor or anything like that. They could have, but they didn’t. I think this was one of the good things they did for me. They never went crazy with gifts. They did get me some really, really awesome things though. Every year for Christmas and Easter, I’d get some awesome things! I loved it.

They never spent $500 on them (at a time). I know that was more than 20 years ago, but even comparing the currency from then and now, it still wouldn’t be 10 times as much now.

$500 USD / No longer printed.
These don’t really exist anymore…

I’m not against fundraising for things. I just don’t like them when the only explanation you get is that the person had to pay bills and has no money left. I don’t like when people are asking for money just because they can. That’s why I have not asked anybody to fund my/anybody’s trips back and forth to the USA, my wedding, my post-wedding parties, or anything. If I don’t have the money to do it, I simply don’t have it or I do what I can. If I did, I’d have a really reasonable reason, not because I have a rent payment to make.

Needless to say, I won’t be funding that person’s kid’s party. If she asked for a smaller amount or provided better information, I probably would. Maybe I just don’t understand because I don’t have kids but I still think that something small and more within your means is a bit “better”.

Hating Facebook

Hating Facebook is the cool thing to do now.

I know that I complain about Facebook a lot. I also know that I don’t link to my profile from here because I have a habit of only adding people as friends if I know them in real life (there are a few exceptions). Facebook is a “good” thing for me because I live so far away from home and it’s where my family members congregate. If something happens, good or bad, I can find out relatively quickly. If there are birthdays (and right now I am beyond remembering them anymore), I can wish them a happy birthday easily. If there’s something stupid, cryptic, and random, I can share it there.

When I first joined, I made it a personal goal of mine to post at least once a day. There was a time when people knew where I was, what I was doing, and what I thought about it. If someone wanted to level up their Stalking skill, that was the way to go. After a while, I started thinking that people didn’t need to know what I was doing all the time. That carried over into the other social media services and also into my weblog too. It’s kind of why I don’t go into detail about certain things. I was and am so over people knowing every single thing that happens, but I still require that outlet which is why I am still here (at my weblog) today.

These days, my Facebook status gets updated once or twice a month and it’s usually because I’m not feeling well. It’s basically a code to let people know not to contact me with anything. Of course, that doesn’t always work and it makes me look like I’m constantly sick. I do go there daily, several times, to administrate a group of around 160,000 people but sometimes I’m even lazy with that and I’m going to end that really soon to give myself more free time to start a new project.

I hate all of these. The last one? I don’t really give a fuck.

With all the privacy issues happening around Facebook and me not really trusting them very much anyway, I’m happy to take a step back. I just wished that I could get my family to use something a little more private. I don’t think that’s going to happen, so I will deal with it for now.

I am absolutely flabbergasted that people still post the things they post on there though which is the whole purpose of this post. There are certain people who post their laundry schedule (not exaggerating, seriously), people who post questionable, un-researched health information (drinking a pint of apple cider vinegar is super good for you! – seriously, it’s not. Don’t do it.) because they’re studying to become nursing, people who are always and forever posting about all their health issues, etc. It just gets so irritating. (Did this bit even make sense?)

Every like people leave on things builds up the information Facebook can sell to advertisers. That’s why I don’t like things people post very much and why I don’t really like businesses. I know that this information is somehow being used against me in one way or another. It makes me look like I hate everything but I don’t. It absolutely drives me crazy when people force me to click the like button on things. Or share stuff.

I have stopped posting pictures as well because I know that will probably be used against me in some form or another. Probably again, to be analysed and sold to another company so they can sell me beach holidays.

I had a discussion with my doctor about how depressed people can get by spending all their time on Facebook. I will have to agree with that, completely. Since my family is there, it’s really sad to see them getting old and having health problems. My cousins that I remember as little kids are getting married, having children, and such. It’s one of those hard things about living across the world. You see people post things about their vacations and stuff like that and it makes me want to go on vacation so bad! I just roll my eyes at the “look at my partner and how much we’re in love” posts (if they’re done over and over and over).

At the end of the day, I just don’t trust them. It’s been going downhill so fast and if I knew that I’d still exist to my family and friends in the USA after I left, I’d leave. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.