two thoughts
greens death
boh_thrashsody
1) it is incredibly liberating to be able to tell somebody that you love them. even if groundwork is required to be laid down - "we love each other as really close friends, right? and we both understand what that means" - being able to say to somebody, "i love you", no matter what that might mean (romance, solidarity, a recognition of shared history), feels so very good. and from those people close enough to me that broaching this topic is possible, being told that you are loved, no matter what that might mean, is powerful and helpful. this year, i will tell more people that i love them.

2) 2015 does not look like it wants to be easier on me than 2014 was. but i was inevitably changed by 2014, a shitty year on the level of 2002 or 2006 (which, see my post about "this year" from two years ago for more details on the latter). my skin is thicker, my reflexes faster, my counters rehearsed and ingrained into muscle memory. i note while writing this that without thinking i've slipped into fight analogies, from my experiments with martial arts and time in the army, but do not feel like this is necessarily a bad thing. i am a fighter, and i need to recognise this if i am to fight against the proverbial slings and arrows of the outrageous fortune with which i am faced. i am a fighter not in lieu of being a lover, to address the archetypal dichotomy, but rather because i am a lover: the things i love are so often fragile, and need to be defended. they need a fighter to defend them and i will be that fighter because they matter to me, because so many other lovers cannot or will not fight, and because i can fight. in a reply to a friend expressing empathy on my shitty year, i quoted another fighter, The Demoman from Team Fortress 2, one played for laughs whose motivations and history are kept deliberately ambiguous in order not to bring any sense of gravitas to the battles he fights but whose words i found oddly pertinent at that point on new years' day:

"SO! to all you fine dandies, so proud, so cocksure, prancing about with your heads full of eyeballs. come and get me, i say. i'll be waiting for you, with a whiff of the old brimstone. i'm a grim bloody fable, with an unhappy bloody end!"

i leave behind a shit year and enter a year which offers no promises of improving. many of the things which hit me the worst last year are already rearing their ugly heads. but this time, i will be ready; i have seen and lived through some of the worst which could be thrown at me. i have survived and rebuilt. fuckin' come at me, 2015. i can take whatever you can throw at me and come out the other side smiling.

last-minute addendum to the previous entry
greens death
boh_thrashsody
2014 found time in its last 45 minutes to throw me one last bone. (hur hur bone). i feel like letting wil wagner tell this one for me:



'cause last night
i kissed a girl that i met at a bar
which is momentous given how things are
we made out all morning and slept in the afternoon
and she said, "wil bags i think that i can deal with you"

see also: earlier entry, re: mountain goats and "this year"
greens death
boh_thrashsody
normally, i wait until my birthday to do a year-in-review sort of thing, but i'm going to have to line this one up with the calendar year in the next few days (or weeks - please harass me on facebook if it becomes weeks). because this was a 2002, or a 2006 - this was a year so full of bullshit and fuckups and crap being heaped upon me both by my own hands and by the hands of others that it will be remembered for as long as i live. and i have to chronicle it somewhere. and i'd like friends to be able to read, and offer empathy or - if i'm lucky - advice.

but yeah. 2014, don't let the door hit you on the arse on your way out. fuck you and the calendar you rode in on.

hi, i exist
greens death
boh_thrashsody
there'll hopefully be a longer update sometime soon. please remind me if i forget; most of you have a couple of other ways of contacting me.

for now, two things:

1. this month has been, quite possibly, the busiest of my life. i am never again attempting to run for any sort of public office while studying. shit fucks you up.

2. i have been sober for three days now. i didn't anticipate how crazy this would make me, or how much it would fuck up my sleep (i've had less than ten hours sleep between those days). yeah, i think i got a problem here. i've told myself i'm not allowed to have a drink until i can get a decent night's sleep without one. hopefully i can have a drink to celebrate the end of exams next week.

(no subject)
greens death
boh_thrashsody
ah, shit. i think i'm having another mental dip.

solidarity forever, or at least for now
greens death
boh_thrashsody
in the continuing mess that has been my life since march, i haven't had heaps to celebrate. scott's re-election in april, my preselection for hobart city council, not failing one of the assignments i thought i was sure to fail. last night, though, i had a brilliant fucking night, and today, in the bleary hungover haze of a slow rainy sunday shift, i had a moment of clarity, and realised i did have something to celebrate, and i should celebrate it more often.

the night in question, by the way, started as well-deserved knock-off drinks at hobart's diviest of dive bars, the brisbane hotel. it moved into throwing back pint after pint of some of the most absurdly smooth stout i've ever had (degraves stout represent), watching a celtic folk-punk band thrash their way through some really promising originals and the usual assortment of traditional folk songs and pogues covers, roaring myself hoarse because i will never get bored of shouting along to "south australia", slaying at pool (hat trick!), and over-excitedly giving my campaign pitch to some genuinely interested punters, because my preferred way to discuss politics is "over a pint". it finished at my mate's mount stuart sharehouse, where five or so of us serenaded each other, drank scotch, pegged water balloons at each others' arses, watched the world cup for a bit before giving up on the antenna, and in the grand tradition of house parties with this group of friends, ended up with everyone dancing along to paul simon's graceland before passing out, exhausted and deliriously happy, on my mate's futon.

incidentally, i went to a talk by something of a who's-who of hobartian female achievers (the theme of the night being "activism, advocacy and assertiveness") a week back. one of the pieces of advice given was "don't be afraid to ask your friends to help out".

and in the aforementioned haze, working with one of the fine people i spent last night with, that connected. i am, despite everything which has gone wrong this year, one lucky motherfucker, because i have some of the best friends in the goddamn world. i can ask them for help and know they're going to take me seriously, and i can have a hell of a good time enjoying their help. jeremy and arie and amelia and lawson and mark and emily and tam - i owe these people my life and sanity, and starting today, i decided to make time this week to thank them personally for what they've given me. and one of the things they've given me is a safe space, somewhere i can actually talk about how fucked up everything's been without fear of judgement and with hope of advice, instead of bottling it up and making it worse.

friends are the fucking best. go and thank a good friend, because they deserve to know how amazing they are.

(no subject)
greens death
boh_thrashsody
phone postin': I am this close to taking out a loan from my bank to fly Sam (ex-lj user over for a holiday, because at this point he's maybe the only person on the planet I implicitly trust and also am reasonably sure would put up with my bullshit. convince me not to, or at least to wait until summer/ny winter. please?

(no subject)
greens death
boh_thrashsody
man, i'm so fucking lonely.

i'm lucky i have some good friends. but i always feel like i'm inconveniencing them when i want to hang out. like i'm a company junkie, an addict, and i keep bumming their smokes and never buying my own. and if i actually talk and get a chance to unload, i feel worse, like i'm taking advantage of their friendship and using them as free therapy. which in the ciggies analogy is i guess "but you always pocket me loighter!". simon ciggy-butt brain. ciggy-butt braaaaaaain, where ya goinnnnnnnn, ciggy-butt braaaaaaaain.

funnily enough, amelia - you guys remember amelia, the girl i was in a relationship with for most of 2012/start of 2013? - has become one of my best friends lately, and it's partly because of this. we both recognise the ways in which we are fucked up and in which the other is fucked up because we know each other so well and can be honest with them, but it's been long enough that we've been able to look at the relationship and see that it wouldn't have worked long term. so we spend long nights hanging out near the heater drinking whisky and talking shit, and don't feel guilty about unloading feelings on each other. i'm happy she's still part of my life.

oh yeah, the whisky. i think i probably have a drinking problem at this point because i can't remember the last time i fell asleep sober, it was definitely more than a month ago. fuck but it's expensive. i do want to do something about it? but i just don't have the fucking mental energy at this point.

i finally managed to finish the most drawn-out and excruciating breakup of my life. glad to have that over with. hope it's properly over with. i feel bad, because towards the end, i started hating her - she resorted to ever more manipulative language, threats, and guilt trips to try to get me to stay, but i couldn't call her out on her bullshit out of fear she would go back into the self-loathing which less than twelve months ago was so strong she self-harmed to the point of hospitalisation. good lord i just can't catch a fucking break. my mental health can't catch a break.

i'm lonely.

i'm still here
greens death
boh_thrashsody
i will talk more again soon, i promise.

i'm just having the three week busy peak of the busiest period of my life so far.

my downtime is busy ffs.

i love you all and hope you're all doing okay and i'm here to talk to if you want to talk to anyone, i promise.

death is certain/life is not
socialist eureka
boh_thrashsody
i was going to write about the election. i really was. i was going to be articulate and passionate and objective and eloquent and all that fantastic shit you guys fucking love from me.

i can't.

this afternoon i collapsed. for the last four and a half weeks i've been, while studying at a 125% loading and working part time because lol@ the idea of paying rent with centrelink student allowance, campaigning and campaigning fucking hard.

i've been campaigning with peter whish-wilson, senator for tasmania, up for re-election. he's a good fucking dude. ex-banker, got disillusioned with how fucked up the global economic system is, runs a nice little vineyard in the tamar valley with his family.

i've been campaigning because australia needs people like him. australia needs people who aren't going to shit on you and me and that single mum and that iraqi refugee and everyone else in this country and outside of it.

people have told me it's stupid of me to vote in the interest of the "greater good" instead of my own interest. fuck them.

there is a name for a cell which only serves itself instead of working as a part of the whole organism. it's called cancer. "are you a cancer or a can'tcer upon society?" sir, i am proudly a can'tcer.

today, after helping get gear together for polling booths in my postcode and taking a nice break to visit a friend who is taking care of an orphaned pademelon (which - :3) i got home. and read the coalition's "costings". and while that was happening the filter news dropped.

i snapped.

i FUCKING snapped. all of that campaigning, and talking to people, and hard work trying to convince them that there is a different way, a better way, a way which cares about poors and migrants and people of colour and women and children and the disabled and everyone who is getting fucked over by the old parties. all of it feels so FUCKING worthless.

i feel like i've been wasting my time, because apparently this country LIKES getting fucked. i feel betrayed. i feel exhausted. i feel like shit.

normally, i like helping those who have made mistakes, helping them learn, forgiving and encouraging them. it's why i like teaching. today? no longer.

if you vote liberal, you deserve everything you get.

you deserve to be handed an individual contract by your boss stripping you of penalty rates, sick leave and paid lunch breaks.

you deserve to struggle on inadequate welfare when you get laid off because for all the talk of "business confidence" no private sector business is going to succeed if nobody has any money to spend on their products, and if you work in the public sector that's even dumber.

you deserve for your casually misogynist porn to take so long to load you get blue balls because you fell for fraudband and you deserve to have your favourite casually misogynist porn site filtered by the government.

you deserve to have half an hour added to your commute because public transport will be allowed to rot but that's ok because there'll be another road!

you deserve your house's value to collapse while your mortgage remains sky-high. you deserve for that house to then be burned to the ground, or flooded, depending on what state you're in, as a result of climate change you are proudly doing nothing about.

you also deserve the punch in the face i would love to give you.

this filter announcement? this was supposed to feel good for me. i've spent the last however many years telling dickhead lolbertarians on whirlpool and reddit and the pub that the liberals only ever opposed the filter for political reasons and they'd be the first to implement one if they had the chance. "but the liberals are the party of personal freedom!" they cried. i looked down and whispered "no also you're a fuckwit".

this is the most hollow vindication imaginable. i've been hollowed out by this and i'm crying and drinking coopers red and listening to strapping young lad on repeat because there's nothing left to get hopeful for.

death is certain. life is not.

australia is fucked and i could do nothing. i could not cancel the apocalypse. i could not turn peoples' heads toward the light on the hill. i couldn't save australia from itself.

fuck everything.

(no subject)
socialist eureka
boh_thrashsody
It's not necessarily that I'm uncomfortable. In fact, I'm not.

I'm just uncomfortable with how comfortable I am. If it's this easy and happening this quickly, doesn't that mean I'm doing something wrong?

i have a different reason for drinking tonight!
socialist eureka
boh_thrashsody
Posterity will ne'er survey
A nobler scene than this.
Here the bones of Thatcher lay.
Stop traveller, and piss.


ha. ha. ha. ha.
socialist eureka
boh_thrashsody
oh yeah that's the thing i didn't mention: i'm still drinking myself to sleep, going through maybe four or five bottles of wine a week. i want to be honest with everyone but i can only be honest with myself, and that makes me angry at the part of me which communicates with everyone. it's not all the nights of wine and roses. actually it kind of is, but it's not the ebullient happy energy which that song title implies. it's just roses (loneliness + unrequited stuff) and wine (literal irl wine). i cuddle a fucking pillow at night because i'm really lonely and i don't know how to deal with that. having the better part of a year with amelia was the best thing but having enough time to get used to having someone around who loved me is the worst because i don't know what i'm doing now she's gone. i think i alienated a friend when i was drunk the other night because i felt like i needed someone and they didn't want to be that someone and i don't know how awkward our conversation got.

State Of The Bags Address, 24th edition (possibly tmi sex)
socialist eureka
boh_thrashsody
possibly tmi, if you don't want to hear about the birthday sex i didn't haveCollapse )

Things feel better this year than they have for the last few birthdays. I'm not sure how long the 'high' from studying teaching will last, but for the last couple of months, it's been great. I feel like I've got a purpose, in a way I've never known. It asserts itself every time I meet someone and they ask, as a standard opener, "so what do you do with yourself?" Previously, I would mumble about a shitty part-time job I was doing, or my Arts undergrad, or my freelance journalism, or my Defence Force service (oh yeah, want to know how to really, really get a racist riled up? Tell them you joined the Army because you wanted to get fit and the pay is good. They will flip their jingoistic shit.) Now, I tell them that I'm a student teacher, and by fuck it feels good. Because it's not them I'm saying it to, but myself most of all: that there is something I can identify myself as being, a career, something I can do and am doing and has promise into the future. I want, like everybody who can overcome their misanthropy enough to leave the house does, to help people, and with teaching I can use the skills I have to do that. Which means I only hope I don't turn out to suck at it.

Relationship-wise, I am still getting over Amelia leaving. The fact that there are no hard feelings, no reason to leave me specifically other than to leave Tasmania behind to travel for a year (which of course I of all people can bear no ill will toward someone for doing) makes it, I think, harder; and makes me a bit worried about what will happen when she returns. My very recent experience suggests she kind of spoiled me in what I could want from someone in a relationship (and, despite at other times my best efforts, I am incapable of seeing a one-night-stand as anything other than a very short relationship) and it will probably be some time before I come across someone that fantastic, that intelligent and caring and beautiful and all the things which make you fall in love with someone again. I haven't missed someone or wanted to get on a plane and fly to someone this much since I came home from the US, and it's driven me to tears more than a few times. But if she gets back and doesn't feel like a relationship, where the fuck is that going to leave me? I honestly have no idea. Similarly, no matter how much I miss companionship, I don't want to start a relationship with someone because in that case, what will happen when she gets back? Those are questions I can't even begin to answer, and that frustrates the shit out of me.

In terms of music, last year I had, for the first time since my teenage heavy-metal-is-my-life years, a single genre dominating my attention (not an outright majority, but certainly a serious plurality) in my hip-hop obsession. In the last few months that's abated somewhat - although half of that is probably just repeated listens to the two records which dominated my summer and continue to rotate through a few times a week, The Wrens' The Meadowlands (2003) and Swans' The Seer (2012), with Danny Brown's XXX (2011) and Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run (1977) sometimes-runner-ups. I could write an essay on each of those albums by now, and probably would have if I wasn't studying. My consumption of new and new-to-me music has slowed down a lot this year, simply because there is literally only so much music someone can conceivably listen to in a... lifetime, really. And repeated listens of favorite records or favorite songs (hello, hour-long loop of Beyonce's "Countdown" [2011], or that time I spent an hour-long car ride listening to Das Racist's "Rapping 2 U" [2010] learning all of the beautifully structured words by heart as I realised it was basically a celebration of just how fun it is to rap) takes up time enough as is, without having a chance to take a third or fourth listen to records which have been in my collection for years. I've been trying, on-and-off, to write music again. My bike has actually been a pretty big help in that respect. The locomotive energy and combination of tired yet focused state which my brain gets into when I'm cycling, particularly a familiar route to work and back is great for the creative, free-form mind. Kind of like being stoned, but I've only ever smoked socially, whereas the bicycle is a very solitary machine, and I throw my own ideas around - the character Kvothe in Patrick Rothfuss' actually-really-good fantasy novel The Wise Man's Fear calls that state of mind "the Spinning Leaf", and that works as well as any other name. I'd put beat tapes on my mp3 player and rhyme and sing over them on my ride home, when the bike track was empty, and if I didn't forget most of what I came up with afterward, it'd be fucking great.

Really though? Despite missing Amelia in a very serious way and still being broke as shit, I'm pretty happy with my life right now. Simply because for the first time in a while, I feel like I've got a future. And while it took me by surprise, I can't really overstate how important that is for me on a very profound level.

quarter-life change-up
socialist eureka
boh_thrashsody
So, here's the thing: I wrote a giant, four-page rant a few days ago covering the overwhelming ennui I've been dealing with the last few months which it seems nothing could distract me from for more than its own runtime. In it, I heavily referenced The Wrens' 2003 mopey indie masterpiece, The Meadowlands, wherein the protagonists realise that the only way to deal with the multitude of pressures (financial, emotional, physical, spiritual) is to simply surrender and accept fate - clearly, lots of gin was involved.

That text file is still sitting on my hard drive; I may revisit it and post it here - where it was originally intended to go - someday later. But I feel like I've made a big enough change, a big enough shake-up, that I can put that aside, at least for a little while.

Last week I made a last-minute enrolment at the local university, and today I began a Masters of Teaching. It's a two-year course, and at the end of it, I will be qualified to teach at high school or college (years 7-12). This has been sort of gestating for a while. Many people who I know and trust, most of whom have never met each other, telling me it is something I might be suited to. The realisation that the reason I wanted to get into journalism - where there are no jobs, even fewer paying jobs - is that I wanted to bring knowledge and ideas to people, and that by teaching I could possibly do that even more effectively. The joys of interacting and spending time with my teenaged cousins. Probably, most of all, is a realisation brought on by dating Amelia, who works as a nurse, while I work in alcohol sales. When we both come home from an exhausting shift at work, she is still happier about that than me, and I am jealous of her - not because she earns significantly more than I do (she does) or because her work is much more intellectually stimulating than mine (it must be), but because she is doing something which is actually, objectively, helping people, contributing positively to society. And I've realised that I can never be happy with my life, never break out of that ennui, unless I'm doing something like that. Right now, I sell rotgut vodka, dozens of beers and bag after bag after bag of wine to people who I know are homeless; I sell cigarettes to pregnant women; I give cash-outs to people who have already taken out two cash-outs that day to take next door to the pokies. I feel terrible after every shift because I am enabling the world and my town to become a worse place. I don't want to have to do that. I feel like teaching would put the skills I do have to their best, most useful, use, in if not unfucking the world, then at least stemming the tide of fuck.

So I'm going to give this thing a shot. Hopefully it'll stick and I can make something of it. Only one way to find out.

did not want to be your ghost
socialist eureka
boh_thrashsody
xin nian kuai le fuckers.

normally i wouldn't go in for that sort of thing but i live in a white enough town that i only even heard of the chinese zodiac when i was thirteen, and this is the first time i've been aware of it being my year.

so i need to make it my year.

i need to get a job, and i need to take that job - or the savings from it - to somewhere that matters, new york, melbourne, toronto, whatever. (the payments from my old car and the quarterly power bill hitting at once after i come off holiday aren't going to help, but what can you do).

this will be my year. come at me, lucky thirteen.

i need help
socialist eureka
boh_thrashsody
somebody stop me from spending all my money on delicious teas and sexy tea accessories, please

i always thought that drinking things would send me broke but i didn't think it would happen like this

trying to distil my musical taste
socialist eureka
boh_thrashsody
i like dynamic music with fast raps, guitar solos, dreamy melodies, long ambitious composition, internal rhyme schemes, chunky riffs, cool storytelling or neck-snapping drum lines. but usually not all at the same time.

it'd be nice if someone wrote something that did have it all at once and also didn't suck, though.

(no subject)
socialist eureka
boh_thrashsody
the only answer to a day like this is swans and gin. time to cry myself to sleep again.

im dead
socialist eureka
boh_thrashsody
eleven hour retail shift. thirteenth day of work in a row (i finally get tomorrow off, though i'm back on the 27th). also we were the only shop open in walking distance so there was nowhere to get lunch so i didn't eat between breakfast and 9:30 pm. customers were either arseholes or drunk or drunk arseholes. also when i got home my shower was broken so there's that too.

i think i have an official worst christmas ever.

?

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