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Monday, January 19th, 2004
8:56 am - Cats in hot weather
Yesterday was really hot. I mean, nasty. That heat where you just pray for a storm, for those black clouds pregnant with rain to come sweeping over the horizon, dumping masses of soothing, cleansing rain on the baking earth.

I don't deal well with the heat, but at least I don't have fur. Our cats, Sam and Sylvester, have serious locomotion problems when the thermometer tops 30 degrees, and yesterday was about 35. They spent the day asleep on the table on the verandah, and they had somehow lost all of their bones. They looked like beanbag cats, flopped over the edges of the table and unable to lift their heads, and my heart went out to the poor creatures.

They didn't like being sprayed with water, though. Ungrateful wretches.

current mood: sneaky

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8:51 am
HASH(0x85cd2f8)
You're a Euphonium. Aww. SPEAK UP!


What is your inner musical instrument?
brought to you by Quizilla

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Friday, January 16th, 2004
3:03 pm - Comments?
Conscious self
Overall self
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test


Enneagram Test Results
Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||||||||||| 72%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||||| 48%
Type 3 Image Awareness |||||||||||||||| 70%
Type 4 Sensitivity |||||||||| 38%
Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||| 43%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||||||| 51%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||||||| 52%
Type 8 Aggressiveness |||||||||||||| 54%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||||||| 67%
Your Conscious-Surface type is 1w9
Your Unconscious-Overall type is 1w9
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

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2:49 pm - Hmmm
ESTJ - "Administrator". Much in touch with the external environment. Very responsible. Pillar of strength. 8.7% of total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test

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1:36 pm
OK, I'm starting the new year now. It's too much like hard work to try and catch up with everything that's been going on over the holiday season, so I won't bother. It starts now.

Had an excellent climb last night. All my usual buddies are in Melbourne, and it was pouring with rain, so I went to the climbing centre to do some bouldering. There was another guy bouldering as well, so I introduced myself and asked if he wanted to have a climb instead. End result: a good hard climbing session (he was a bit better than I) and a new climbing friend made. I'm also happy about this because I'm normally really bad at just going up and introducing myself to people.

So, it's stopped raining, and the sun has come out. This means STEAM! Yes, 29 degrees of sauna outside, and I had to go to the post office to renew my passport. All very civilised, until they needed confirmation of my existing address. My driver's licence has my old address, and I had nothing else. So, I shuffled through the papers and found the Carbinieri report from when my original passport was stolen in Firenze, and used that! Very happy with myself for finding that.

So, if the rain holds off, I might go skating tonight. In any case, must do some singing practice as I will be seeing my teacher next week (for the first time since doing my exam in November 2002!)

That'll do for now. Piano, piano.

current mood: relieved

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Tuesday, December 30th, 2003
1:32 pm - Big year meme
1. What did you do in 2003 that you'd never done before?
LIved overseas on my own.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Didn't make any resolutions. Moving overseas was enough to occupy my year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yup. Jurgen and Sylvia had Marietta, and Nik and Kylie had Julia. I will be Godfather to the latter.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, which makes a pleasant change.

5. What countries did you visit?
Hong Kong, New Zealand, Malaysia, Italy, Germany, Austria, Holland, France, England and Singapore.

6. What would you like to have in 2004 that you lacked in 2003?
Emotional stability.

7. What date from 2003 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
8 May. Jemma and I broke up.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Continuing to live in Germany after Jemma left.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Jemma leaving.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
A couple of minor colds and a sprained ankle.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
That's a toss-up between climbing shoes and rollerblades.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Jurgen and Sylvia, who helped and supported me throughout the trials and tribulations of Germany.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Jemma.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Travel and living.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Serious climbing in the Alps.

16. What song will always remind you of 2003?
"Bring Me to Life", by Evanescence.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Sadder.

ii. Thinner or fatter?
7kg thinner

iii. richer or poorer?
Poorer, but improving fast :-)

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Learned German.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Wallowing in depression after Jemma left.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With my Dad's girlfriend's family. Grrr.

22. Did you fall in love in 2003?
Nope. Fell out of it though.

23. How many one night stands?
One.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
CNN, because I watched so much of it in Germany.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate is too strong a word. I am intensely disappointed in Jemma.

26. What was the best book you read?
"A Suitable Boy", by Vikram Seth. Still going on it, too.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Hans Hotter's recording of "Winterreise"

28. What did you want and get?
To take an awesome holiday before leaving Europe.

29. What did you want and not get?
Marriage.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34 and went out to dinner with Jurgen and Sylvia.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
not breaking up with Jemma.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?
European.

34. What kept you sane?
My friends.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Liv Tyler. Mmm.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The Iraq war.

37. Who did you miss?
My mother

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Jurgen and Sylvia

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2003:
Don't try to plan too far ahead.

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1:31 pm - Back again (again)
Well, having crowed about finding a new job with a fast Internet connection, the first site I get sent to blocks LJ at the firewall! Doesn't that suck?

OK, quick update again:

Work is pretty sane. I'm doing an audit of procedures for a facilities management client, which basically involves talking to the guys who work there and writing down the procedures. Rather straightforward, if occasionally irritating. The manager here has a relatively large vocabulary, but is rather hazy on the meanings of many words, so the conversations can be interesting :-)

Exercise is great, despite the heat and humidity. Climbing is progressing and rollerblading is particularly good. Secondary sports of cycling and swimming are slightly more summer-friendly, and I'm starting to feel reasonably fit.

Singing has been on hold, due to the silly season and attempting to sort out the rest of my life. I have the job and I bought a car last week, so all that remains is the apartment, and I have that under control too. I'm going to be taking over an apartment in West End at the end of January, which is just perfect. Renovated Art Deco, fantastic kitchen, views of the city, etc, etc. So life is coming together slowly.

It still feels weird being back and single. I am so used to relating to my friends as one part of a couple that the change is still uncomfortable. I guess that will stabilise over time. No romance at all yet, but I'm not looking for anything at the moment. I'll let the dust settle after the move before I even consider that sort of thing.

So, life is moving pretty quickly at the moment, and I'm quite enjoying everything that's going on in it.

current mood: chipper

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003
10:22 am - I'm back!
Yes, after a brief hiatus, I'm back in cyberspace! Dad's AMD266 + 28K dialup at home was just too frustrating for words, so I avoided doing anything more than reading email for a month or so.

However, that all changed on Monday, as I've started a new job. Yay for me! It's back at Tech One, but in a slightly different department (pre-sales and general consulting, rather than technical help-desk and consulting). I also have a laptop, a mobile and a real Internet connection. Yay again, I say!

Much to write, but now I can actually do it. Brief ramblings, in no particular order:

Living with Dad is OK, but don't know how much longer I can do it.

I've applied for a car loan, but haven't heard anything yet. Faxed in my financial records today, so hopefully will hear something by the end of the week.

Back into climbing with Bruce and Rhylla, which is awesome. Much more about this later.

Getting back into some singing, which is going well and is rather interesting.

Nothing romantic on the horizon, which is probably just as well while I'm staying with Dad...

Semagic on the laptop. Love it!

current mood: busy

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10:22 am - This is just too funny
Or perhaps just too frightening, or deluded, or something. I haven't really decided yet. I'm still laughing in disbelief.

Christian Science - now there's a contradiction in terms.

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Thursday, November 6th, 2003
3:19 pm
elf
You are Form 6, Elfin: The Wyld.

"And The Elfin saw the evil and
misjudgement in the world and shot her arrow at
the sky. Bolts of lightning struck the earth
and gave the world balance and
growth."


Some examples of the Elfin Form are Demeter (Greek)
and Khepry (Egyptian).
The Elfin is associated with the concept of growth
and balance, the number 6, and the element of
water.
Her sign is the half moon.

As a member of Form 6, you are a very balanced
individual. You can easily adapt to most
situations and you may be a good social
chameleon. You aren't afraid of changes in
your life, but sometimes you evolve too
rapidly, leaving others to think that you are
leaving them behind. Elfin are the best
friends to have because they are open minded.


Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

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Wednesday, October 29th, 2003
10:50 am - A new life
Well, here I am, back in Oz and back at work. Luckily things are pretty cruisy around here - even contractors don't work hard in a university.

I've moved in with Dad, which is going pretty well. Haven't had any run-ins with his girlfriend, however I'm going to stay with her on Sat night (watching the Noosa triathlon on Sunday), so there is room for interesting issues there.

I've also applied for various other contracts (BCC, QLD Police, etc) that start in November. Hopefully one of them will drop for me, so then I can go buy a car. Woohoo! I also need to buy a computer, which will probably have to be a notebook, given my rather peripatetic existence. Pricey, but convenient.

I haven't really had a chance to catch breath yet. Spent the weekend at the beach with my sister and her husband, which was just excellent, then dove straight into work. I'm definitely glad to be back, and especially glad to be catching up with all my friends. I do really want to get one of these longer-term contracts, so I can relax a little financially. If that happens, I think I will settle quite rapidly back into the Brisvegas scene. Of course, it's going to be VERY different as a single, but that could be fun too. We'll just have to wait and see.

current mood: working

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Monday, October 27th, 2003
1:42 pm - Oh goody...
cflatmaj
Cb major - life is full of complecations,
commitments and organisation. You love to make
sure everything is just perfect, but sometimes
this can cause you to fall over your own feet.
A slightly unsociable key: why Cb major when
you could be the identical Bmajor? It has less
accidentals.


what key signature are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

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Thursday, October 23rd, 2003
10:17 am - Who am I again?
Currently in Singapore airport, whiling away the hours until my flight at 22:20 local time. I didn't sleep at all on the flight from London, which got in at 08:00, so I'm feeling a little woozy. Think I'm going to have to shell out the 25 euros for a day-bed and shower pretty soon, otherwise I'm just going to be a complete blithering mess.

I had a great time in England, mostly just catching up with friends. Went up to Manchester to see Victoria on the weekend, which was excellent. We went tooling around Manchester in her flatmate's Megaine with the top down, which was a very chic experience dahlings :-)

Caught up with Kate and Raymond (old friend and former singing teacher respectively) earlier in the week, which was also lovely. I'm in the middle of the hell trip now (40 hours' total travel time), and then it's back into things in Australia. I got my contract at Griffith, so I start work on Monday the 27th. It's only for a couple of weeks, but it keeps the money coming in. I really can't wait to get back into it now. It's time.

current mood: knackered

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Thursday, October 16th, 2003
1:45 pm
True Goth
True Goth... You make me proud.


Goth quiz... a good one
brought to you by Quizilla

That's pretty funny. Probably got this result because I like NIN.

current mood: amused

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Wednesday, October 15th, 2003
7:01 pm - My last evening in Germany
So, I had a day of goodbyes today. First, lunch with Andrea, which ended up being rather emotional. These things always happen when one is about to leave, don't they? We just kept finding things we have in common, things we'd like to do together, and so on. In the end, I think we both realised that we can't do anything about the current situation. I can't stay in Germany and there's no work for her in Australia, outside of OA, which is almost impossible to crack as a lyric soprano. Although, she said she'd gladly move if it was possible. Saying goodbye was difficult and sad, but we both survived.

Then I had drinks with Ute, which was a very light and pleasant contrast. We chatted about my time in Germany and life in general, and promised to visit each other if we end up on the same continent again, which is very likely.

Having a big pasta and red wine dinner with Juergen and Sylvia tonight - there's a magnum of wine to get through, and Sylvia's not drinking much these days :-) Then Catching a plane to London tomorrow afternoon.

I'm sad to be leaving, and particularly sad to be leaving my friends. I suppose I'll always wonder about Andrea, but I have made my decisions, and must abide by them. We'll just have to wait and see how it all turns out.

current mood: sad

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Tuesday, September 30th, 2003
11:41 am
The Magus
The Magus. The real world bores you as you know
that there is more that can be seen in the
metaphysical world. You dance through dreams,
Consider the cosmos and see eight sides to
every four sided object.


What is the Dominant Inner being within You?
brought to you by Quizilla

The typo on "cogito ergo sum" amused me.

I hope I'm not like John Fowles' Magus...

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9:26 am - A bit of good old Aussie testosterone
So I'm finally back at a computer after the Lions' three-peat win over Collingwood. Good on ya boys, and it's great to see Collingwood go down AGAIN. I didn't get to actually see the game, because the only football that is ever shown on TV here is nancy-boy soccer :-(

I have my private superstition about the Lions: I must be in a different country every year they play a premiership. 2 years ago I was in NZ, last year in Oz, and this year in Germany. I might have to get creative next year :-)

The Lions did this one a bit tougher than usual. A friend sent me this from a local news report on Sunday:

"Brown had played through the finals with a broken bone in his hand, McRae and Justin Leppitsch battled with torn wrist ligaments and Alastair Lynch had struggled with a thigh injury.

Chris Johnson had needed injections in both shoulders, Clark Keating's right shoulder was sore and an exhausted Voss was put on a drip after the match. But Nigel Lappin was unable to fly home to celebrate the three-peat after he was diagnosed with a punctured lung. "

To top it off, the Lions are being feted with a commemorative beer can. There can be no more fitting tribute.

current mood: proud

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Friday, September 26th, 2003
12:17 pm
Alrighty, not a bad start to the day: I went to the Kreisverwaltungsreferat to abmelden, which was surprisingly painless. I only had to wait about 20 minutes and everything was very polite and nice. Obviously they're not as fussy when you're leaving as when you arrive. Of course, having reasonable German helps, as I filled out the form while I was waiting, and that always puts the public servants in a good mood.

Then the bloody S-Bahn was broken again. I swear this is at least a weekly occurance, and I'm well over it. What a waste of time, half an hour at Ostbahnhof twiddling my thumbs, because no-one could say for sure when the next train would come. I couldn't even go and get a coffee.

I had a momentary panic when I called QANTAS to confirm all my flight bookings from the UK to Oz, because the woman couldn't find anything in the computer. So I called the travel agent, who told me there was a special bookin number because I'd changed my flight through a different travel agent from the one who originally booked my ticket. Go figure. Called QANTAS back with the new number and everything's sweet.

Then the project manager calls to ask how everything's going with the training materials, because they're needed NEXT WEEK for training. First I'd heard about it, and I haven't even received all the basic text and screenshots yet. Woohoo. I'd panic if I cared, but I'm just going to do as much as possible in my remaining time here, and if the project manager goes ballistic on Tuesday when things aren't done, I'll just walk out.

Got a prepaid handy number from O2 last night. I feel a bit of loyalty to them, having done a 3-month project for them earlier in the year, but the main reason was because it was 10 euro cheaper than all the others :-) Still need to find a replacement glass for one I broke in the apartment, amongst everything else to do this weekend. I looked in Karstadt last night, but they were all ugly and wouldn't match the existing glasses, so I'm on the hunt.

I also picked up a couple of cardboard boxes from the post office, for packing books and CDs. I've resolved that I'm going to ship just about everything, and keep one small suitcase for my week in England. Firstly, I have a 20kg baggage allowance (damn those cheap plane tickets!); and secondly, I couldn't be bothered lugging heaps of stuff around. I'd rather just pay a few euros extra and send it.

Everything's moving along...

current mood: accomplished

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11:10 am
Sweet Dreams
"Sweet Dreams" (by Eurythmics)
Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused


Which 80's Song Fits You?
brought to you by Quizilla

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Wednesday, September 24th, 2003
4:44 pm - Rant
It's been a while...

*Rant mode on*
OK, so Dubya got his $79 billion from Congress to go and invade Iraq, unilaterally, without UN approval, but with Australia and England in tow. His approval rating at the time was around 71%, and there was minimal protest in the USA to the war itself. Ancient history.

Now, after failing to kill or capture Hussein, failing to discover any WMD, failing to bring peace to Iraq AND failing to create any viable form of interim government, Dubya's gone back to congress to ask for another $87 billion, because things didn't quite go as planned. Poor boy, the Iraqis don't fight fair. They use guerilla tactics and hide amongst the population. They should just recognise that the US troops have the overwhelming advantage in terms of firepower and numbers and give themselves up, instead they keep fighting, using whatever weapons they can get. Sounds a lot like another war, doesn't it?

OK, so now Dubya wants extra cash because he didn't budget his war very well. And the American people are getting antsy about it. His approval rating is down to 50%, and there are rumblings about the cost, how that money could be better spent at home, and so on.

Hang on, you people were for the war, and now you're kicking up about the inflated cost of the rebuild? A few points:

  1. Anyone with half a brain knows that anything budgeted by a government will blow out

  2. To deny funding now would only serve to compound the suffering of the people in Iraq and leave them with no infrastructure and no government, both of which were destroyed as a consequence of the war. In this case, two wrongs don't come close to making a right.

  3. Take responsibility for your own actions, people. It's not good enough to turn around and shut to door, just because the Boys' Own fever of war has broken. See it through


Iraq is America's and, to a lesser extent, England's and Australia's responsibility. It is not acceptable to go bleating to other countries for financial assistence because it suddenly costs more. And yet, this is exactly what Dubya did at the UN conference yesterday. His address amounted to "We'll go to war when it suits us, but we expect everyone else to help us pay the price." The arrogance of the man is quite unbelievable.

In the same speech, Dubya sought to distance the US from the WMD issue, instead trying to focus on Hussein's cruelty and genocidal acts. OK, I'm not going to defend Hussein in any way, and his crimes against humanity are a separate issue. The simple fact remains that no substantive evidence of WMD has been found. Instead, the only thing that is slowly coming to light is the web of fabrications that produced the documents purporting to justify the US-led invasion in the first place, as shown, for example, by the findings of the Kelly Inquiry in London. Looks like the UN might have been right not to accept all of Colin Powell's exhortations that invading Iraq was justified.

OK Dubya, so if you had no real proof of WMD, why go to war in the first place? To remove a terrorist stronghold? Not enough justification, IMHO. Over oil? Possibly. For the altruistic liberation of the Iraqi people? Not bloody likely. Or was it something much smaller and grubbier: because you could? To prove that your dick is as big as your Dad's? To curry favour with the section of the American population that is most stagnant and directionless: the midwestern white male? I hate to think that the leader of the most powerful country on the planet could be open to such human weaknesses, but I fear it might be the case.

There is nothing more dangerous than a small man with a big stick.

*Rant mode off*

current mood: pissed off

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