Friday, 19 October 2007

Ummm... sorry.

Jaysus - I just re-read my last post. What a load of self-indulgent shite! You may say that that's the point of a blog, but to that I say nay! If I was writing for self-indulgence I'd do it on paper. I'm trying to learn how to entertain, and that certainly wasn't how it's done.

So, anyway, sorry about that.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Slimy, yet satisfying

I'm feeling chipper today, despite having half an assignment to finish tonight and only archiving to occupy me at work. Chipper's got a big smile on his face as well. Lovely obliging fella, he is.

There's a few reasons for this. Firstly, I'm enjoying uni again! If I could give the backstory of my state of mind when by the time I finished engineering a few years ago, you'd see how big a step that is. I'm enjoying learning, it's all staying in my head again, and I'm finally making meaningful additions to the structure of knowledge I spent so long building. And I'm studying statistics! I figure that if I can feel this way with stats I can with anything.

Also, I may have had a small revelation last night. An epiphany, even. I've always wanted one of those. A big clump of stagnant thought has cleared from the drainhole of my mind, and the interweb was my plunger. Or my Drano. One or the other. Anyway, we've both been doing a lot of thinking lately, ever since our local church offered for us to get married there.

Neither I nor my Beyonce are particularly religious. We don't go to church, not even at Easter or Christmas. And after thinking and talking for a couple of weeks, I came to the decision that it's really not for me. It's a pity in a lot of ways, cos my values seem to line up fairly well with the church's, but my beliefs really don't. I'm a scientist at heart, and have been as long as I can remember. Evidence is important. At the least I want an internally rigourous system. The Bible has a lot of very worthwhile messages, but consistent it ain't. And the administration of the Church(es) is even worse.

Having said that, there are a lot of things in the Christian service that I feel are the right way to do things. There's a gravity and a solemnity about the ceremony that's often missing from civil services. The Christian ceremony is about the promise, not the celebration - that's what the reception is for. Of course, if my Beyonce decides she wants a Christian service, I have no problem doing it for her.

This acceptance that I'm not a Christian in spirit was a fairly big realisation for me - it was something I'd contemplated only a small amount previously. For the most part my metaphysical musings had leaned towards morals and values rather than deities.

So, in an effort to see what other wedding ceremonies are like, I looked up Buddhism, a point of view I'd always felt a bit of an affinity with. I read the basic premises, and said "yes". I read a bit more, and said "yes" (a bit louder this time). I read how Buddhism states that life should be lived, and said "Bloody oath!" Or words to that effect. I'm going to find out a bit more, anyway. At the very least it'll while away a few lunch breaks that I'd otherwise only spend surfing the almighty tangle of gossamer outside my laptop.

Finally, I'm feeling happy because I had the best weekend I've had in years - we had our engagement drinks at the Gunn Island Hotel in Middle Park on Sunday afternoon - lovely high ceilings, big windows, plenty of couches, a good 14 different beers on tap, sunshine, and about fifty of our friends. It was fantastic - we'd set aside my footy tipping winnings to buy the first round, and it's amazing how happy people are when you greet them with "So what can I get you to drink?" Lovely, lovely day - we all need to do that more often. This is the atmosphere we want for our reception.

Oh, and I found out that I've got family coming out from England for the wedding. And because I've been doing a lot of riding lately, my formerly twig-like legs have been developing calves, so I might wear a kilt for the wedding.

It's all happening, really. If the report I finished for work is positively received, I really don't see how things could get much better today. To infinity and beyond!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

No time to think of a title

I think it's impossible to describe the sensation of time without using the word "time" to describe it. We have only physical analogues to the sensation of duration, with the result being that if these are avoided in the hope of being precise, anything written merely sounds obvious and self referential. So I'm going to stick to analogies. And anyway, they're more fun to make up.

So, it's October. And it's been nearly a fortnight since the last post. Weeks are moving so fast at the moment, and I have only sporadic moments of realisation that time is flying past, like I'm a stone skipping across a lake. Time has been flying like an arrow, and the fruit flies have been quite happy with their bendy yellow thing. Or maybe someone tried throwing one as some sort of biological boomerang and found that you can never, in fact, get it to come back.

Why do some times feel like this? It doesn't really seem to me to be connected to particular enjoyment of life - relationship matters are going fairly well, obviously, and health and exercise efforts are proceeding apace, but work is really quite boring and unsatisfying at the moment. I'm wondering about moving on, but with my nuptials brewing (that sounds like a bodily function, doesn't it?) and a mortgage impending, it might not be quite the time. Incidentally, I looked up the etymology of "mortgage" - it comes from the Latin for "dead pledge". I have to keep paying until I'm dead?! No wonder I feel a vague sense of doom.

I think a balance is needed to ensure that a required personal velocity in time is maintained, enough to prevent an irrecoverable slowdown that results in sinking into the murky depths instead of skipping over it. However, move too fast and there isn't time to contemplate that which you're moving across and connecting with in random accidents and nudges.

I don't think I'm going to solve this one now. And ironically, or possibly appropriately, or maybe both, I can't stick around to write about it any more. But my aim is make sure I touch down (however briefly) in the wonderfully warm and scummy pond that is Blogger much more often than I have been.

One last thought - I've been doing a fair bit of riding lately, training to take part in the Half the Bay in a Day ride later this month - 100km of hills and headwind. While I'm riding I find I can relax my mind a great deal and concentrate on nothing in particular. However, I'm starting to worry about my default mental setting. I keep getting snippets of songs stuck in my head - they repeat on a seemingly endless loop until they either get replaced with another sample, or something unexpected happens that shakes me out of it. Not too much of a problem, you say? Au contraire, mes amis - the songs aren't quite random. We kept getting passed by proper cyclists in far too much lycra, and I had Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" in there. "To the left, to the left..." We started passing other pretend cyclists (like us) and I had Marcy Playground's "Coming Up From Behind". But only ever two lines, over and over. And then (worst of all), in a particularly quiet stretch, I got "On the Road Again" in my noggin. But not just any version, oh no. I got Donkey, from Shrek, doing that irritatingly jaunty "On the road again... Hm hmm hm hmm hm hmmm...", because they're the only words I know! Please - kill me now. I can't take another week of that. The risks of wearing an iPod while riding on the road are seeming more and more reasonable.