I've been told on more than one occasion that my life is boring. That it's my own fault for not having a life. That if I want something I just have to go and get it.
Well, funny thing is - I know all of this. I know my life is boring, from the outside. I know I don't have a social calendar that is full up from here to christmas 2010. I know that if I want something I just need to stand up and grab it - in fact I've even done this.
The funny thing is - at times, I like having a quiet life. I like not having anything to do. I like getting to the weekend and thinking "So, now what shall I do?"
Cathy has mentioned these things many times over the course of our friendship and then relationship. But she wasn't the first and I doubt she'll be the last.
Funny thing with me, that I don't know if other people do, but I can see both sides of the equation. I can see the positive effects on one's life to having a busy schedule, having lots of things to do and lots of friends. But I can also see the negatives to it. On the flip side I can see the positives to leading a nice quiet life. But again, there are negatives.
I will always be the first person to stand up and say "I know my life isn't perfect". Yes, also the person who will stand up and say "Yup, I can be lazy". Hell, even at times I'll just sit there and say "Fuck it all, I'm not even standing up".
I look at my parents at the moment. They both work crazy hours during the week and then get home to 2 pre-teens (and a teenager, but we won't go there) who have a social and school life the envy of any teenie booper. I'm serious - these kids go out more than anyone else I know.
I just feel there needs to be some sort of middle ground. Some time where it's said "Stop, just give me time to catch up and smell the roses". There has to be a time where everything is rushing ahead at full steam - but then also a time when you sit down and think "Fuck, I'm actually bored ... and that's ok".
Or is that just me? ... Am I the only one who can see a period of doing nothing a good thing?
Previous posts I've written recently have lead to comments from a few people in my real life - the scheduling, the extra study, etc - that have made me think "Am I the strange one?", "Am I the one doing the wrong things?".
Problem is, I know I can push myself to the nth degree. When I do though, the universe decides to push back harder than that and I end up on my backside (well usually in bed wanting the hell that my head has become to go away). For me, that balance is more important than trying to do everything now - or to put it off until tomorrow - or even to "plan for the long term".
I have seriously made no sense in this post (as if I've made any in recent posts) but there is one thing I know - there will be comments. Probably not here, but there will be questions and comments and jabs.
Perhaps this is all about other things, but this is the stuff that's at the top of the heap right now. Give me some more time and I'll be able to dig through some more crap and find something golden. Who knows, I might even get something good to put in my blog. Failing that, naughty.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I've been told on more than one occasion that my life is boring. That it's my own fault for not having a life. That if I want something I just have to go and get it.
Posted by Mr Subtle at 17:14
Monday, July 28, 2008
The future has been on my mind a fair amount recently. More so than usual. And really it usually is a whole lot.
In that frame of mind, I've been taking a serious look at my current career and what I'd like to be doing.
Currently I'm in a job I can easily do, but one that has no chance of progression and I know one that will bore me to tears in a matter of months. Especially once everything is up and running to order.
I may have mentioned, I'm in IT. With all the bells and whistles that come with that. But I have a girlfriend, so don't go all out on the horrible comments. There ain't no propellers on my head!
Anyway, on to my thoughts (cos this is my blog and where I dump some ... thoughts). I have dabbled with engineering in the past, figuring that I'd be able to use my awesome IT skills to do that - suffice it to say, engineers are conservative bastards who don't like young whipper snappers making them look less intelligent. Worse is when I, I mean a young whipper snapper proves they don't know squat about IT stuff. So, after I dabbled with engineers, I've got myself involved with artists. It's a horrible, horrible mess. Scary only begins to describe it.
Here I am, basically as high as the ladder at this company will take me. With the Big Boss saying "I want someone who will be here for a number of years to learn all of our processes, software, blah, blah, blah" ... There hasn't been a software package yet I haven't mastered in 6 months. These are no different.
Right, so I have no career progression, minimal hope for training (in anything decent) and a job that will bore me to tears before the Big Boss will even consider reshuffling. Oh the joy!
The only option left (right now). Training. On my own time. Off my own bat. Infringing on the little time I get to spend with my girlfriend. When she's in the country.
When she's not busy.
When her schedule allows it.
Ok, perhaps me studying might not infring on that. Don't think it will even get the chance to think about infringing.
Anyway ... study. University type study. The thing I missed out on when I thought "screw this education system, I got to get me some of that money!" ... and I did. Until I turn around and think "Mmm, I want some more money". And here I am.
The training thoughts:
Project Management - add this to my IT experience and I have a winner
MBA (of sorts) - again add to my IT experience and "common" knowledge, I have a winner.
"Real" IT degree - excluding the whole "Industry Cert's" that are floating around, this is programming. I don't programme. I can't. It hurts. Not a winner.
Ok, so we have the option to add to my small amount of managerial experience (ok, 5 or so years isn't small, but it's not exactly enough either) or the option to jump back into the pool of idiots, I mean people in IT.
I think I'll go the management route. I remember putting my hand up in a course in answer to the question "Who wants to manage people?" ... the next question was "Who wants to earn lots of money?" ... shame that the IT bubble burst and the 90% of people in that course aren't working in IT anymore (the same 90% who wanted to "earn money").
So, plan is - find a good managerial course. At the same time, find some technical courses to get out of the way. Do courses and exceed expectations.
Get a job paying shit loads of money, yelling and screaming at IT idiots, I mean people. While playing nice with the people paying the money.
Ie. the jobs I've been doing the past 5 years. Only this time with pieces of paper on my wall.
I'd better get a corner office with a fucked up good view ... purely so I can take advantage of the windows/desk and my girlfriend. ;)
Oh and the salary won't go astray either.
Posted by Mr Subtle at 15:41
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I've been considering many things recently. One major one has been my career. For the past 8 years I've been in the fascinating world of IT. Generally supporting the idiots, I mean people who fool themselves into thinking they actually work for a living.
Problem is, I don't love it.
Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy what I do. But the enthusiasm I see in others and perhaps even had myself at one stage, I just don't have it any more. Perhaps it's the "grass is always greener" syndrome (I have bounced around a few jobs so far) or is it something more serious?
Is it, that I really have no idea what I enjoy doing so I really have no idea what I want to do to earn a crust? I remember the career advisors and teachers saying "Find something you enjoy, then do it to the best of your ability!" - but what if I just don't know? What if I end up slogging away at a job I'm reasonably good at, just because I'm reasonably good at it?
I guess my biggest worry right now is if I do change course, aside from choosing whatever it is, really is how much it's going to pay. I don't think I like the idea of starting off at the bottom rung again (financially speaking). As for going back to full time study - even the thought of that bores me to tears.
So, what shall I do? Find something I enjoy and do it no matter the repercussions, continue with something that really doesn't fulfil me, or attempt to work out what the hell I am good at and what I would enjoy?
Does anyone have that long to live? I may be planning to see Halley's Comet again (and the end of this century) but really, is that long enough?
Perhaps there is a job out there that will pay me 6 figures, let me surf the web, chat to my friends, eat when I want, come and go whenever I please - and really don't do much "work" at all.
Is that what I'd enjoy though? Really - I doubt it. Although damn, the 6 figures would be nice. Very nice in fact.
What to do ... what to do.
Posted by Mr Subtle at 10:05
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
(I must admit I do enjoy that song - little guilty pleasure).
As many new readers will know (and the handful of other readers) I have been dating My Classy Lady for a while now (the exact number is still up for discussion - but I think I'll err on the side where I don't get in trouble). Now this is all well and good (in fact fantastic) but I digress - there is something coming up that I must say "makes me go mmm".
At the end of this week, she goes away for 2 months. 8 weeks. Pretty much 56 days. (Ok, to go into hours would just be over the top ... 1320).
Now, I must say this will be a first for me. I've had one partner go away in the past - I think it was 10 days for a work "thing". I say "thing" because I can't remember what term she used. In any case - I'll be in a relationship with someone on the other side of the planet for almost 8 weeks.
There's the whole "she'll have a wonderful time", "it's good to spend time apart", "distance makes the heart grow fonder", etc, etc, etc - when really, it sucks to be the person staying behind.
I know, I know - "don't feel like that", "the time will go slower", blah, blah, blah. I have yet to meet someone who actually can give me "advice" in this sort of situation after being in this situation.
"Oh, but when we were first married, blah went away for work so we could ..." - NO! Not the same. We're not married and this is a holiday (which she has been planning for months).
All in all, I am really looking forward to hearing all about her trip, seeing the emails come through that she's having a ball and all the other positive things that people who don't go on holidays say when they are trying to cover the truth that they hate having to stay here and keep the world turning.
Yes, I'm a little jealous and in desperate need for a holiday. Bite me.
Or send me on a holiday ... either way.
I watched a snippet of "How I Meet Your Mother" the other day - Barney (NPH) was saying that one of the rules of a relationship is that you can't plan for this longer in the future than you have been dating.
Longer than you have been dating ... does it count if we've known each other longer? But didn't start dating until recently? Or should I just not "plan" anything and just rock up at the airport in ripped jeans and jandals? That would go down like a ton of bricks.
Right, so to get off these negative thoughts - I have 8 weeks to get myself in better shape (apparently round isn't the fashionable shape anymore) and test my email writing ability. Thank goodness I can type better than I can scribble. She'd never be able to read my "letters".
Posted by Mr Subtle at 11:34
Monday, July 21, 2008
There's never enough alcohol in red wine to drown an answer to a question.
Ice cream will fix almost anything - as long as there is plenty of red wine beforehand.
I can hold more red wine that I thought I could. Perhaps the alcohol content has dropped?
Sculling 2 glasses of red (in succession) is NEVER a good plan. But it helps.
Posted by Mr Subtle at 09:12
Friday, July 18, 2008
I had a few comments about yesterday's blog (again, nothing on here but I digress). So I read it again. Damn I can dribble crap. Might even be something I'm good at! Lol.
Anyway, this is just a quick post to say things are changing - less dribble, more structure and perhaps even something more detailed about my recent journey into relationship-land. Who knows, maybe it will all be flowery and rainbowy ... yeah, ok who am I kidding. It'll be a rush though.
I think I'll need a scotch tonight. Something nice and relaxing anyway.
Posted by Mr Subtle at 12:28
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I have been contemplating my future recently. Not in overly specific terms, not even with "goals", but in general shades of grey. The odd "What if ... " and the even "I wonder when ... ".
For a single, white male in the western world - the future is bleak. We are the hidden "majority", we are the least influential, we are the most taxed, we are the most looked over ... and then we die young (it's getting better, but we still die younger).
There are no "family" options for a single white male (or any single male for that matter). There is nothing in the way of support. Every government system looks down on us. Yet we are still expected to work our guts out and pay our taxes like good little boys.
Now don't you dare go thinking this is a sob story, or a "woe is me". Nothing of the sort. Nor is this a "I'm so hard done by, everyone else has it easier". Not at all. Each person has their own battles to fight, their own experience with discrimination and the system working against them. All I'm saying is that the single (white) male, really has a long-term rough deal of it all.
And then we die.
At least everyone shares that little nugget.
As I have spent most of my life single (let's say 15% of my life I've not been single), many thoughts about my "future" have rolled through my head. As I'm currently not single, these thoughts and more have been rattling around. The expectations, the responsibilities, the requirements, the needs and wants of others.
There's supposed to be "rights" in there also ... isn't there? ... Yes, I know I'm a funny guy.
The idea of being able to "put things of until tomorrow" was ever a favourite of mine. Waiting until the last nanosecond to finish a school report, printing the last draft of a presentation for work, hitting that alarm just one more time. Delaying the inevitable. The passive aggressive attempt to tell the world to get off my back. It never works.
Now I've come to a point in my life where things will really start to ramp up. I begin my "career years". Gone are the "career preparation years", yet to come are the "career slide to retirement" years. Here are the years that I work my hardest, attempt to live a life and maybe afford some form of family.
If there's a woman involved that is. Single male wants children - not going to happen buddy. Unless you have a bank account like George Lucas (adopted 2 children after he got divorced). Not that I'm saying I want children right now, by myself. But these options are not open to me because I am a single male.
I like to think of myself as one who stands up for the rights of humans (and in most cases animals). I like to see everyone on a level playing field, where we each get the opportunities that will help our own skill sets flourish. Black, white, male, female - heck even tattooed snake-men. But I do have to have a giggle to myself when people start jumping up and down about "equal rights" when they really mean "I want to push someone else down, so I can be better than them".
As I said, I've been thinking about my future recently - and I can't see it getting any easier. In fact, I can see it getting much, much harder. To the point of wondering "Is it really worth it?" - after seeing my boss given 2 weeks medical leave for "work and life relate stress, and high blood pressure" I really am thinking am I on the right track?
Bring back summer - winters are way too depressing and make me think way too much. Short skirts and translucent tops are much better for distracting me!
Posted by Mr Subtle at 11:33
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I witness many things in my professional life and many similar things in my personal life. One thing that happened recently could have easily seated itself in either camp.
A small group were discussing the option of expansion, or shall we say growth. This group (which could have quite easily discussed a similar thing around a board table) from different walks were busily sharpening thrusts and counter-thrusts to each comment that was made. They were oblivious to other people who floated in and out of their important conversation, but never ignored a comment.
It got to a point in the discussion, that 75% of the group had agreed that the idea was worth pursuing. The other 25% was vehemently opposed to anything even resembling discussion. From the outside, I suspected the fear of change - but upon thinking about it, I have become convinced that it's not change at all, but what the growth would mean to them. How the growth would affect their portion of the group and it's activities.
Board room, dining table, sand box - every one has seen this sort of discussion at least once in their lives. The topic starts as something rather bland, an idea to be pushed around - and instead of being a positive exercise, there is always a small (vocal) percentage that is opposed to even the slightest nod towards the idea. The rest of the group, even if it's a good idea and wish to take it forward, will generally bow to the most vocal just to keep the positive vibe of the current group happening. But I've always found, once this has happened the seeds of doubt are in place. The idea for something different is in the air - perhaps fresh or new or even exciting. It's there and people are thinking about it. The thing that the vocal portion didn't even want to happen.
I guess I could mention things like "the good old days" and how most people don't like "change" and any number of other quotes. But really we've all been there, either an outside observer, the minority clutching at straws to keep things "the same", or the majority wondering why you are bothering when it's just an idea. Wondering why the minority insists on wasting so much energy on something that really is never important in the grand scheme of things.
One example I can remember was a board room discussion I was involved with once about changing a major software package for the company. The old one was outdated, costing us more and more money each month, and everyone was sick and tired of it. There were 10 people involved in the discussions - 7 for a positive change (ie wanting to discuss the options), 3 were negative against any change "in case something was broken". Funny thing was, it was already broken yet these 3 would not allow themselves to see what was not only in front of them but what they were being told day after day - mostly from the own teams. I almost fell off my chair halfway through the discussion, when one of the 3 commented:
"I guess it's like keeping an old car, or buying a new one. Like I did last week. The new car cost me a bit more up front, but has already saved me money in the week I've had it"
This, from one of the people who wouldn't acknowledge the topic of discussion was an exact duplicate (aside from the extra zeros on the cheque). Lawyers - I'll never understand them.
Getting back to the original group - the result was a nod between the 75% group (from what I could see a "We can wait") and a not so subtle "We win" from the minority. Exactly what they won, I still don't really know. Although I'm sure in the long run they will have lost more than they could imagine if they continue that sort of thing.
I know, I've been a little "serious" lately. Blame that on actually getting sex. Well, I am anyway. Either that or the lack of alcohol. Yeah, either or.
Posted by Mr Subtle at 16:35
Friday, July 11, 2008
Having one confirmed reader of my blog, who then comments (directly to me most times) about my blog entries, is a new experience for me. I once had another blog (I may have mentioned this already) and had sent it to a couple of people I knew (no longer). They would read and comment at times, but more out of "friendship" rather than curiosity. Although I must say, I'm not sure where this one particular reader falls as yet - is it curiosity, or just playing nice?
I've been told that my recent posts are more "thought provoking" and that I "seem to be thinking about this more". In reality I'm just posting what I'm thinking all the time - generally with a lot less structure, worse spelling and so many tangents a high school maths teacher would be impressed. But (yet again) I digress.
Making sure my posts have some form of beginning and at least a glancing wave at a purpose does take rather more effort than sitting down and hitting the assortment of keys before me as fast as I can while I imagine the legs under the skirt of the woman I walked behind in the city. Now I have to make sure she walks in front of me at times, instead of beside me, so I can glance at a nice pair of legs (or the very captivating sway of the hips). Oops, see I told you I take tangents - now I've got legs and heels and all sorts of things rolling through my head. I'll get into trouble if I continue this train of thought ... might have to take a minute anyway.
I am ever curious, you may have noticed this, most times I keep this under control (like most things in my life) but at times it escapes and gets me into all sorts of trouble. People say curiosity killed the cat - in reality it just gets me into trouble, the cat always runs away faster. The questions "Why?", "When?" and always "What ...?" are forever on the tip of my tongue - usually to my detriment. Actually I don't remember a time when the answers to those questions were positive - perhaps it's the way I ask them. Or when I ask them. Or the subject - yes, it might just be the subject.
I have been told on many occasions that the best way to form a "relationship" with another person is to be interested in them, ask questions about them and those around them - then be able to talk about those answers and still be interested. The last one is always the most difficult. What I have found - people want you to be interested, but not if it involves them telling you things. "Be interested in me, but only as far as I want you to be" - being as subtle as I am, I inevitably fail to realise this "statement" and will continue with the questioning, the interest, etc - and then wonder why it's all fallen in a heap. Or the person looking at me with the "Would you shut up, no one else is like this". No, no one is like this - in some small way each of us is different. Perhaps too much for the rest.
I have another post in mind for today (shock, horror - posting again!) but this one I have to "script" first, just to make sure I don't go off on any more tangents.
Posted by Mr Subtle at 10:29
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I get bored easily. Incredibly easily. People have said one of two things about this.
One - Find something to do. Occupy your time with a hobby.
Two - You're just lazy, go do something.
I find there is a third and generally socially unaccepted form of boredom. The boredom that strikes people who aren't of "average" intelligence. Apparently I have a high IQ. Apparently I'm just a little smart. Apparently I shouldn't say that I don't know stuff about stuff, when I really do. Apparently not many other people get bored just because everything around them has been dumbed down to placate the common denominator.
Having a girlfriend (again?) has brought forward a few things of myself. One of which has already lead to much consternation on her part. I have a "thing". It's mostly unconscious. Mostly. I've put it down to the fact that my brain is zooming around at a million miles an hour while my body is "forced" to be stationary while things happen (in the car is the worst). I don't think it's that over the top, but apparently it's a huge distraction. Especially when I'm not driving (ie sitting in the passenger seat - this could just be slight nerves).
Back to the boredom statement - at home I never "just" watch TV. Nine times out of ten, I'll have my laptop with me, my phone close by and generally a book hanging around. (For some reason that statement made me sound like a woman. So I can multi task, bite me.) I can watch TV, perform miracles on my laptop, chat or text on my phone. My housemate has said to me on any number of occasions "How the hell do you keep up?" - I always wonder, "how on earth do you not go crazy with boredom?". Not that I've ever said that. Well, not those exact words. It was even more impressive when I was watching Pan's Labyrinth (in Spanish with subtitles) , having the housemate ask me what was going on, while I was surfing the web and chatting to people. Apparently it's a skill. It's really just a way for me to stop the ever present boredom.
I'm starting to see this boredom encroach on me at work, while sitting at my desk while "busy" with "life threatening problems" of the horrible kind (my boss's boss's words) I'm surfing, chatting and generally making a fool of the idiots who apparently make the money here. I sometimes think am I doing it wrong, or is it really this easy? Perhaps I am doing it wrong?
To many people, boredom is also doing one thing (or having one thing done to them) repeatedly. I find this odd. This falls into my "routine" or "find something to do at the same time" catagory. Not usually the boredom one. But then again, I've always said people are stupid. Yes, I mean people. Individual persons can be very intelligent. Group us all together and we not only move at the slowest person's pace, but we also think at the stupidest person's speed. It's a scary thought, look out for it next time. You'll be amazed - if you catch on before the stupid spreads.
Even this post is really in response to being bored (and some prompting by someone - who wrote a curious post of their own today). Nothing specific, but boredom none the less.
I have thought that my "problem" with boredom is related to what I call my "addictive" slant of my personality. The top reason I don't smoke, hardly drink (anymore), don't do drugs, etc etc. People have told me (and yes, more specificially one person) that I need to "let go" and I don't "have to be cool, calm and controlled all the time". Sometimes my boredom feels like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the hole in the dike (that sounds terrible these days!) with my boredom I have my fingers going in and out of lots of holes, with my control I can keep the water from flowing out. Without control, I'd get even more bored and the dike would burst (ok, inuendo is going beyond a joke!).
Perhaps I just need a nice long relaxing holiday somewhere - come back to "life" refreshed, sun tinged, and sobering up. Maybe then I can find out what I want to do with my career. What makes me start to wonder why I'm so bored and no one else seems to be.
If you've read this far, you really deserve something special - I've got nothing, so just imagine yourself on your perfect holiday. I'll let you. Just don't let your boss catch you and blame me!
Posted by Mr Subtle at 12:53
Friday, July 04, 2008
I just posted a comment on my girlfriend's blog (that term still looks and sounds funny to me - so very 1980s High School). The comment ended with me asking if the blog world was something that needed to be separate, or could it be shared within a relationship.
I know a previous blog of mine (of which I have no intention of putting back up) is not the sort of subject I'd introduce into a relationship. Sometimes one needs to let go and forget some historical events.
But where does blogging sit? Once in a while I meet a person who is part of a "boys club" or a "mother's group" (where are the "girl's clubs"?). And I wonder - these are places where one member of a relationship can "escape" and be themselves, not just part of a 4-legged animal.
Is blogging the same? Or can it be part of the whole? Is it something that can be shared with your significant other, or is it a place one needs to let off steam without fear of having an eyebrow raised?
I for one am ok being read by all and sundry, although at times constructive criticism can be helpful (or bloody hindering, whichever). I have my own thoughts, but I don't want to hide anything from the person I am intimate with. Perhaps a downfall of mine (it certainly was in the past).
I know of a number of blogs that I have read (or do read) that I'm sure the author's partner knows about and others I know that their partner's don't (or ever will). I wonder where the line is drawn. Is it all about the blog, or is it a glimpse into the mechanics of the relationship?
Part of these thoughts stems from a comment made to me the other day, that 80% of the communication between myself and she-who-must-be-obeyed is via a non-verbal medium. Some form of messenger, texting, emails, etc. Which means only 20% is made "in-person". Initially there was concern that we would "burn all the topics up quickly" - but my thought jumped to "how would one express 100% of their thoughts in only 20% of the time?" which at one stage (20 years ago? Less?) everyone did.
Well, some people did - I still remember seeing other people's parents come home from work and not say a word to each other.
Are the new mediums causing more harm than good? Is the old saying "distance makes the heart grow fonder" being corroded by the communication "revolution". Is blogging just another avenue into the thoughts of our loved ones ... or is it somewhere one needs to have freedom away from the eyes of the aforementioned loved ones?
Posted by Mr Subtle at 14:17