Friday, October 22, 2004

Friday nights a go-go

A couple of years ago I started attending a regular social function each Friday evening during semester. It was organised by the club that pretty much all my friends at uni were involved in. And back then it was good. Each week, I'd go along and have a good time and hang around for hours. The people were good, the activites were good, the food was good, and all was right with the world.

As the years have gone by, the people whose comapny I enjoyed have gone. Some have gone away to do further studies, some have found other activities to do on a Friday night, and so I find myself a remnant of a former age. The newcomers have sort of been tacked to the group, and while the original group was there, joined in and took part and it was ok. But now the entire group is newcomers, and the scene has changed.

It's interesting to look back and see how over time the group has changed. Perhaps part of it is simply my changing perspective and increased insight into how people relate, but the group has changed from one group of friends who got on well, to several smaller groups who tolerate each other and bitch about each other. The quality of conversation has declined, the quality of the organisation of the events has declined, and so forth.

A few months ago at one of these evenings, I walked in, looked around at the people there, and thought to myself "What the fuck am I doing here?" Since then I've started doing other things with my Friday nights, which has reduced the amount of time I spend thinking about how fucked up things have become with this group. For the past few weeks I've been going to some live shows, two comedy shows and a play. These were good and I quite enjoyed myself. But unfortunately these cost money and are new shows aren't on each week for me to go to.

And so this evening, with nothing better to do I once again returned to the group meeting. It was a poetry night. The combination of a lack of enthusiasm and effort on the organisers behalf and apathy from the crowd (I confess, I am guilty of this also) led to the arrival of the pizza after an hour to be the most celebrated event of the night. This was followed by some lackluster conversation, and I left at an early 6:30. In previous years these events could last until 10 at the university, or move onto another location until much later.

I'm not quite sure what the point of this is. Perhaps that nothing lasts for ever. Everything changes. I do know that I'm not going to go to another one of these. Sitting at home playing computer games is surely better than sitting around with a bunch of people I don't like and getting bitter and depressed because of it.

I think part of the reason why I'm not enjoying them is because I am comparing them to what it was like back when I first started turning up. The people who only started turning up this year enjoy them much more than I do.

I hereby resolve to no longer attend Error Bars (the name of the event) and to find something more enjoyable and constructive to do with my Friday evenings.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

More words came out than I thought would.

At the moment life sucks. Nothing in life is particularly bad, it's just that some of the things that used to make me happy no longer do so. This could partly be because I've been doing most of them for a long time. The longest period of time I haven't been doing full time study since I started primary school was between completing honors and starting my PhD. And that was a whole 5 months.

My hobbies haven't changed much either. I don't read as much as I used to, buy I stilll read the same style of books. I spend more time messing around on my computer, but don't do as much programming. Partly due to having less time, and partly because basic isn't found that much on new computers. I've tried to learn c, but never really got into it.

So now, I'm trying to make life no longer suck. I've taken time off from university. However, I don't know what I'm going to do. The problem is a bit like finding the factors of 12707. It's easy to see that 2 and 5 aren't the solution. But removing the known wrong answers doesn't reveal the right ones. Ok, for the example it does, but no example is perfect.

This is part of the attempt. Simply putting the thoughts that go through my head down in some place means that I actually have to think them through. My thoughts tend not to complete themselves, and so leaves me standing still. I hope that by trying to complete them, some sort of resolution can be reached.

This isn't all that I'm doing. Last week I went and saw a counsellor. He seemed to make some very reasonable conclusion based on the little that I said, so perhaps he knew what he was doing. His advice was to be receptive to new things and try new things. Perhaps I'll order something new next time I go to subway.

I'm not really good at doing new things. I'm not good at meeting new people. I'm not good at communicating with the people I do know. In fact, lets just say I'm not good at the whole social interaction thing. This concerns me much more now than it used to. It is one of the things contributing to my less than positive outlook on life at the moment.

Another contributor is the self contradiction that lies within me. I take pride in being different, and yet I want the things that are normal. I see couples and feel bad, because I don't know what that's like. I want these things, but when given the opportunity, I've thrown it away. Part of the reason for this is that I was still nursing the emotional wounds from the first time I tried to start a relationship with a girl. She wasn't interested and I took it hard. This reverted me back to one of my previous mindsets, that life is meant to be miserable, and that solitude, while lonely, is not painful. Now, loneliness is becoming painful, and I don't know what to do.

Why is life so complicated? Why is there no obvious purpose? With some sort of purpose, there would be aims and ideals, and progress could be seen and made. But there is no higher power to make a purpose, and a prupose of my own is just shallow and self serving, and doesn't seem enough. Perhaps this is why religion is so popular, it provides a purpose. But religion asks too much. It asks that you ignore the way the world is, and accept it as they put forward. TV shows do this too. It's called suspension of disbelief. But I don't make life decisions based on the fact the enterprise can travel faster than light. I need direction and there is none.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

Saturday, October 16, 2004

The Chocolate Coated Sultana of the Soul

Chocolate sultanas are really good. Chocolate just by itself tends to get overwhelming on the pallete with too much. Sultanas are nice but tend to be consumed in bulk preventing each sultana being savoured. But the sultana covered in chocolate, now that is confectionary delight. The best of both worlds.

It seems rather dissapointing that I could not think of anything better to write about than chocolate sultanas. Perhaps I should just describe the posters scattering my room. It's just as deep and meaningful.

My life has no purpose. I have a moderate hedonistic philosophy tempered with a little attempt for validation. My recipe for a good life consists of
1) Do whatever you want
2) Don't prevent others from doing point 1
3) Contribute something positive to society
From this I can derive most of the morality I think is right. Murder is out since it violates point 2. Point 1 is mostly intended to be positive things, like spending time with friends, etc. Points 1 & 2 kind of define a zero-sum game. Everyone does what they want. Point 3 changes this so that everyone adds something good to society. Some people may do community work, raise a family, contribute new knowledge, or something.

Until recently, my plan for satisfying point 3 was to de research and so contribute new knowledge to society. Nowadays, I no longer find the prospect of doing research as a career as desirable as it once was. This has been building up for a while. Up until only a year or two ago, I had no plan but to do just this. So now, I need to not just decide what it is I want to do for a career, but also decide how I will satisfy point 3 of my guide for a worthwhile life.

I'm currently giving some thought to volunteering with a charity of some sort. There's a few around that I've considered before with volunteering to help out, but just never got motivated enough to do so. Now, I think I'll do so.

And finally, there are four posters around my room. Above my desk is one with the charge from the start of The Fellowship of the Ring, there's a Kill Bill poster on one of my cupboard doors, a parody of a Pulp fiction poster with Miss Piggy instead of Uma Thurman, and a Yoda poster.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Election Blues

Having just recovered from the federal election last weekend, this week is election week for the university student union. Say hello to chalk writing on every footpath, annoying people interrupting the start of lectures, and more people bombarding you with overly bright paper when you try to go buy some lunch.

I might be a bit more understanding about all of this if some of the groups ever said anything different. Every single one of them wants a union in which the students are more involved, that does more for the students, and won't waste your student fees.

Then there are the groups who have platforms such as the leave Iraq party. Just who the fuck do they think they're kidding. As if getting elected to a university student union gives them any say in the actions of Australia's military.

Another bunch is the hard core lefties. However, I saw one of them walking around barefoot, so they can't be all that bad.

I had one guy come around this afternoon soliciting votes. He offered me a can of coke if I voted for him. There was no rum in it so I don't think it was worth it. Plus he was with conservatives. I'm pretty sure there's something against bribery in the union rules. A few years ago I went around to the various groups asking them what they were willing to give me to get my vote, and most of them weren't very receptive to this. Perhaps I should lodge some form of complaint.

I think I'm going to vote for one of the joke parties. I know most of the people on the ticket, and while they don't expect to win, if they did their response would be 'Fuck, we won. better do the job then', and they'd do the job with none of the bullshit most of the others would produce.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Looking Windward

First of all, the Tolstoy references are all second hand. I like an author who likes Tolstoy, and the names sound impressive but vague.

This is mainly for me to write things I think about. I don't seem to make my thoughts concrete very often, so I'll see what happens. If people come by and read, well fair enough. Surely there's some feature on blogger to look at a random blog.

Topics to be covered are pretty unlimited, and will mainly be things I want to vent about. Whether this is in any way relevant to anyone else, I don't know, and don't care.