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Beyond Pandora

Beyond simple curiosity, this is Thinking Too Much. If you're interested in philosophy and/or wild theories, you've come to the right place.

Location: Australia

Paddling somewhere between a mad scientist and an organisational artist. Indecisive, inconsistent and often incoherent.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Day Zero (19th Feb)

After finishing the packing at 3am, I went to bed in my hollowed-out room, feeling mindless and blank.
I got up at around 9, after strange and wild dreams I can't recall, and said my goodbyes to my mother and younger brother as they went to Mum's workplace - the library.
Dad and I crammed all my gear into the car, piece by piece, and I soon realised that the car was very much smaller than my room. Fortunately, the sacrifices made were very few and insignificant: things like the toilet-paper-roll-crepe-paper-vase for the fake flowers I've accumulated from various musicals.
After a little procrastination, a shower, and an electrical problem, my sister awoke and we had our moment as well.
Then we were off - I have a photo of the 'welcome to town' sign as seen through the back window of the car.
Alone with my Dad, we probably spoke the most that we've done ever before. About the family and cooking and girls and how there aren't any good group social events anymore - like the dances they had in my grandma's generation.
We listened to Chicago and Carole King and Simon & Garfunkel, and I drifted off three times, and each time I awoke I only remained awake through the lure of food.
My butt was very quickly numb.
I was surprised at my lack of anxiety throughout the day. Wasn't this supposed to be one of the biggest challenges of my life? Wasn't I supposed to be overemotional? Where was the drama? Moving has, so far, been a big nothing. A lot of physical effort, sure, but mentally and emotionally, it was no big deal.
We arrived at my mother's parents' place in the evening, and due to my lack of foresight I had to crawl over the stash in the back of the car in order to grab a change of clothes from my suitcase.
We had a very nice curried-chicken-and-rice dish (the last well-cooked meal I'd have in a while, I suspected). About which time the awkward formality with my grandmother broke, and we were again chatting about all sorts of things.
Dad's mobile goes off with its horrible rendition of 'The Entertainer', which means that a family member is ringing. As he hangs up, I ask who it was. His brother, he tells me, but he sounds slightly displaced.
Marie (pronounced to rhyme with 'starry') is the wife of my Dad's second-oldest brother. They married when they were very young - 18 or so - and had their first of five children soon after. All of their kids are now older than me - their youngest is just short of my older brother at about 22. Two of their boys are recently married with children. Another lives in Ireland and runs a vegan restaurant. Their daughter works in the same company as my father and their youngest son lives at home.
Marie is an amazing person. She has a great sense of warmth and humour, and has had fully white hair for as long as I can remember. She always makes me feel welcome.
Last Christmas, she was taken to hospital because of a problem with her blood - low blood platelets. She had her spleen removed to try to fix the problem. Nothing seemed to be happening. She caught pnemonia, but recently recovered. Dad told me earlier in the car that she's doing really well and that her blood platelets were the highest they'd been since Christmas.
Tonight Marie suffered a massive brain haemmorhage. She isn't expected to last a day.
Dad slips out to make a few calls and suddenly we are all wearing masks and chatting away again. I think the first subject brought up was actually the weather.
I go upstairs for a while and when Dad comes up there's a bit of an 'Are you okay?' all round. I'm lured down by the offers of tea and coffee that were refused earlier, and we all sit around in our talking masks. Every now and then there'll be a silence, and we'll all stare at the floor, as if Marie's body has silently entered the room and is lying there. Every now and then we'll become one with the masks, and manage forget for a few moments before the next simple pause.
I don't know if I agree with this repression. I don't know if I wanted us to all go to seperate rooms and cry. I don't know if I want to see Marie before her body shuts down, for fear that the sight of her will swallow the memories I have.
I'll be here in Brisbane for her funeral...
Marie is the first person I've known personally that has died. I wish I would feel more than sad.
Where are my tears?
Tomorrow I move into my new home, and Marie may be leaving hers.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Day Zero

Here it is; the moment is almost upon me.
12:42 am, which means that today is the day that I leave my home and go to Brisbane. (Car trip. Fun.)
Tomorrow I will be moving in to my new house (the 9-bedroom one I mentioned earlier).
Tuesday is orientation at the uni (though I won't even be orientated with the house at that point)
Next week is start of term. (I'm still doing Microelectronics... for now)

I'm almost fully packed. All I have left to do is dismantle the chair I'm sitting on, and pack this computer into its newly-emptied boxes (after I remove the dog, who took great interest and decided to sleep in one of them for the night).

In honour of this new stage of my life, I plan to start a new blog (or perhaps just alter this one). I think 'Rights To Inconsistency' is very appropriate, and the only title that has stuck with me. Unfortunately, if I do manage to write for said blog, no-one will know about it for an unknown space of time, because although there is a phone/internet line in my new room, I will have to get it re-connected myself. No idea how long that will take. If any further developments, um, develop, you'll hear about it here first.

Love and thanks and sleep to all!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Right is Left but Left isn't Right

Thinking sideways along the lines of the division I percieve within myself between creativity and logic, I realise that I can say for certain that I am analytical about my creativity, but I'm not at all certain that I bring creativity to logic. Thinking back to this article about how jobs that solely utilise left-brain skills are fading out, this might not be a wonderful pretext for my future.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Fear of success?

Here's another surprise: Checking out my high school grades, I was consistently at an A level for Maths and Science (and Music once it became an elective), while more interesting subjects like English and Study of Religion have been more often in the B's. Have I been disregarding Maths and Science simply because I found them too easy? Conversely, was I interested in English and Study of Religion simply because they were challenging?
If so, I should certainly try to begin this uni course with a more open mind. And if the subject turns out not to be as interesting as I thought, maybe I should start failing!

Now We Are Six

Trying again to sort through a stack of papers my parents keep about me, I was given pause by the report cards dating right back to Grade One. I opened and read through that very first report, and was rather stunned to realise how much of my personality was apparant when I was barely six:

'Draic is a very courteous listener.'
'His story writing is of a very high standard.'
'Draic is an EXCELLENT reader.' (Teacher's emphasis)
'Draic has a great grasp of mathematical concepts and applies them well.'
'Draic shows a caring concern towards his peers.'
'When Draic is interested he works extremely well independently.' (My emphasis)

I was surprised by:
'Draic expresses himself well and speaks clearly'
because I don't think of myself that way at all...

The areas I was not marked high on were:
- Neatness of handwriting
- Participation in Physical Education/Games/Health
The following were ticked under 'Usually' (As opposed to 'Always'):
- Follows directions
- Is Courteous and Considerate
- Keeps work very neat and tidy
- Takes care of books and materials
- Prepares for school each day

I never managed to master the art of cursive handwriting, never really found interest in P.E., and never seem to be prepared for anything. Also, I've never tried to pretend to be interested in something when I'm not. :-)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Messenger

My search for accomodation in Brisbane ended yesterday, when I accepted a room in a 4-bedroom townhouse in Robertson. It's in a great position at the foot of the hill on which the uni stands, close to shops, cheap, with all the right facilities including broadband internet. The girl sounds very friendly, and her boyfriend is studying Film/TV. She's from Zimbabwe and he's from Norway and a girl from Mackay is tipped to take the other room. I'd been celebrating all afternoon.

Today I get a call from my brother. He knows the girl, she's a complete ditz: clothes and boys only. I didn't have to take his word for it, either. A friend of his that I met recently (and found to be the most charming, open and bubbly person I know) reinforced the image: 'Yeah, M's a complete bitch'.

That's the sound of my bubble bursting.

And boy, did I hate my brother at that point. I'm at one of the most stressful points in my life, and all he can do is laugh at my situation. I didn't speak much during that phone call.

At this rate, I reckon I should just find myself an apartment and fly solo. That would feel wonderful...

...but of course there are other, more social options. I had my eye on a sharehouse maybe 10-15 mins walk from the uni. It's a 9-bedroom house, ideally with 5 guys upstairs and 4 girls downstairs, but there were only 3-4 guys at last check (no girls). The house itself seems small, but has character and a verandah, and I like the feel of it. I'll be checking to see if there are still rooms available tomorrow, and if not, I'll be looking out for that apartment.