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I will be dead in forty years

Of that, I have about twenty-odd left to somehow acquire enough funds to retire on comfortably.

Then another two decades of increasing mental and physical deterioration before I die, quietly, alone, probably in some grotty pensioner flat in the unfashionable area of town.

Maybe I'm too obsessed with that.

In the near year since I last posted, I started a new job. It's with which is a charitable trust giving the disabled and disadvantaged the dignity of meaningful work, as well as the male members some male contact. (After all, most caregivers are women.) In that time, we've had to move into new premises, which are bigger, and right now we are trying, in the face of the Great New Zealand Inertia, to get a number of fundraising things going, including a "maker's market" and a charity store.

I actually managed to save a grand, and pay off my Visa, which now has to be paid off again.

I purchased a DJ controller for my birthday, some lessons on how to be a scratch DJ which aren't taking, Ableton Live 9 Lite, and a cheap second-hand netbook, not to mention a fancy new smartphone which has really helped the Shed Project over December. (As opposed to those incompetents at Vodafone!)

At the same time I don't feel like it's going anywhere. I need to renegotiate my contract this week so that I get paid. It's one of those things that keeps getting put off because my boss is so damned busy. People prefer to just stare and wait for the price to go down rather than human up and contribute.

Retail. I cannot, it seems, escape retail.

Maybe I fixate on my remaining lifespan because I want it to hurry up. Hooray depression. Or being too hot in the summer humidity.

Feb. 16th, 2014

It turns out I never had a "save $500 by June" goal after all. Twit.

After some reflection, I've realised two things about my attitude to work (and other people) that I find disturbing.

Firstly, I'm still affected by the abusive, antagonistic, selfish attitude of my ex-boss. Thanks to them, I am terrified that my next job (after this upcoming one, if it ever starts!) will be a rehash of:

  1. Being expected to hard-sell big-ticket items to inmates of the Home for the Terminally Indecisive (generally either almost dead people, or young people trying to stretch their dollars as far as possible);

  2. Eternally ringing phones. I hate the ringing of phones. I also hate unattended or ignored beepers or buzzers of any sort;

  3. Trying to read the minds of people who have none (ex-boss included);

  4. Sitting at my desk, paralysed with fear, unable to do anything, knowing that whatever I do, it will be declared a waste of time when I should be doing this instead.

I think you can see why I'm actually afraid of future work.

Second, I don't interact with people in meatspace beyond the most cursory transactions. Shopping and all that, perhaps an exchange of meaningless pleasantries regarding some (possibly shared) interest – all underpinned by what feels like disinterested contempt. If I were to put it into words, it would be something like: What do you want? You're interrupting me, not that you care. Give me what I want and go away.

You've probably guessed I've had piss-poor experiences with people in the past. Chronic bullying in secondary school leads to ignorance in adulthood leads to loneliness without surcease. You get the idea. (Assuming you have a mind to get ideas with, he laughs bitterly.)

I also note that as I get stressed and frustrated that I entertain the idea that other people and their goddamn talking are crushing my thoughts with their own so that I can't think in my own head because it's full of their indigestible filthy yammering goddamn talking. But that's probably because I think verbally, and the human meat case is a sensory overload vector, all that eye contact and body language and the expectation of instant responses.

Hmm. Perhaps the dismissive, contempuous pose and fear of employment is because I want autonomy and self-directed agency in my life again. (Not to mention my lust to win Powerball. Autonomy and self-direction require large sums of money to achieve.)

Anyway... my dream Powerball life seems to be one of a prolonged, drawn-out retirement of puttering, before drawing my last death rattle, alone and forgotten, in a nursing home bed reeking of eau de Grim Reaper circa 2050. That's not good enough. But I can't think of anything I can do that other people haven't already done, and better.

Fuck it. I'd seek help but it's too expensive. Everything I need and want is too expensive.

Feb. 14th, 2014

One of my goals this year was to save up about $500 by June; however, the situation has changed, and may change again, so it isn't possible. Basically, I have That Account to pay off (by June), and it took a king hit this month from 'breaking' last weekend and a doctor's appointment on Wednesday. Given the choice between a) picking one, or b) going insane trying to achieve both, I'm choosing That Account.

I might have a second job by next week, I don't know yet. There's been a lot of faffing and delay. But if I get it... well, I won't be earning much more than what I get already, but at the same time I'll have less free time to be bored and thinking thoughts of comfort spending, which in turn means more moolah when I can.

Frankly, I wish it would just start. I've never been this close to a new job in years, and all the chain-dragging is driving me bonkers.
Well - here we go again with the Powerball ticket. $20,000,000 up for grabs, and I hope to get it all - before splitting it 50/50 with the olds.

I've blithered before about storing some in a 'tank' account that drips a grand a week into my cheque account, and I've just worked out that at $1,250 per week, $3,000,000 would see me happy for the next forty-six years - in other words, well into my lonely dotage, drooling in some retirement home. (It doesn't take into account rising prices, global cataclysms, health crises etc. of course.) Another $5,000,000 in a five-year term deposit generating $200,000 every year. Which leaves another two mil and change to buy toys, get dental and LASIK work, maybe some psychiatric counselling, and pay debts.

For me, I want money in order to be secure. Right now I'm not secure; WINZ could cut off my benefit if it decides I haven't been actively seeking work and this desk job still hasn't told me when to start. And it's a damn startup, for about six months, more if it actually flies. I hate this, knowing my life is at the mercy of other people. Powerball would relieve that feeling. I'd be able to do what I want, when I want, without the awful sensation of looking over my shoulder in the knowledge that somewhere, somehow, there's something else that I really should be doing - and if there isn't, someone will cook something up.

Anyway. Once debts are paid off, investments set running and the pressure to work for a living gone for ever, I really do think I'll move out on my own. I'm tired of the seemingly permanent presence of my parents (and I think they're a little fed up of me as well.) For some reason I'm thinking of moving into Wellington for a year or two, to see what it's like to be a man of leisure - with money this time.

There's this charming little workingman's cottage in Newtown, for instance, well within walking distance of the Mediterranean Food Warehouse (yum!) and I've walked into the central city from this area before - too often. No off-street parking makes me a little nervous, but for all I know I can work out something with perhaps the scooter or a bicycle.

Then there's this high-tech beauty. It's actually a long, narrow studio (the photos make it look like it runs from one side of the building to the other, and it's 25m x 4m wide), right in the heart of the city. And it's wired for high-speed broadband! Being a turbo nerd, it's like heaven... at least until I go insane from the pokiness.

Of course, these are short-term dreams. I can't really see myself as an octogenarian kicking back in this place; hell, I can't imagine what I'll be doing or where I'll be living in ten years' time.

Really, the problem is that I don't have what I'd describe as passion any more; Nothing makes me wake up with eager anticipation; Nothing inspires me to press on with it regardless of the obstacles, the setbacks, or the unlikelihood of any reward. Powerball would change that by making the financial imperative moot.

I want a passion I can believe in.

I want to be able to live without looking fearfully over my shoulder for That Thing I Should Be Doing Instead Of What I'm Trying to Do.

Nothing I do is important

...there's always something else that's more important. Usually someone else's thing.

Right now my mind is interested in HTML5 games. Flash seems to be on the way out, especially with Android, and HTML5 offers an environment without proprietary file formats. All I need now is to...

Oh wait. The book. I started writing but stalled in what looks like a dead end. Maybe I should...

Hang on. Let's get one or two fanfictions moved on. So perhaps...

...nah, as soon as I get moving my parents will barge in to get me doing something useful for them...

...And of course WINZ want me to keep scratching at the door of future employment in the delusional belief that someone'll let me in.

It's that time of year, obviously.

Idea for a Minecraft Recipe Repository

I have this notion for a site that acts as a search engine for recipes in Minecraft. Basically, you ask one of four questions:

  1. What can I do with ____?

  2. How do I make ____?

  3. What mod has ____ in it?

  4. What recipes are unique to ____?

There might be other questions worth asking. But when you seek, you get a nice graphical depiction of the recipe, that you can identify with in-game.

No community, since recipes aren't really up for debate, and the last thing you need is spam and proof of humanity's inherent obsolecence clogging up the database. Also it's a distraction.

Why? Because these days everything's lost in a fog of (semi-literate) forum threads, wikis, homebuilt websites, badly formatted text files, rambling videos etc. etc. I'm not a patient lad, and the sooner Wikia offers a sitemap tree for their sites the better.

So... I'd need to concoct the tables and their relations. I'll probably need to enumerate Minecraft versions as well... Maybe I could use imglib or something to automatically pixel-resize icons for different resolutions. Ideally this is a site I could look at on my crappy little Amicroe tablet (800x480px), which suggests maybe PHP with DHTML or AJAX.

I'll poke at it from various angles, but if it turns out to a) have merit and b) work, I'll make a bit of noise and plunk some cash down for hosting renewal and a custom domain.


Nov. 21st, 2013

I'm beginning to think I could do with checking into a motel for an overnight stay, getting some beer and chocolate biscuits, ordering in a couple of pizzas, and having myself a little pity party.

Here we go again

To my surprise, I had twelve dollars left after topping up the scooter this morning, so I got another Powerball. So I'm in with a (miniscule) chance to win ten million and change. Possibly eleven million, but I don't know.
You could read more, but it"s content free.Collapse )

Let me win damn you universe

I've no idea why, but for some reason I have been fixated on the notion that this week I would win the Powerball. I was wrong.

Nine million would have been nice, but my ticket as usual had the winning numbers scattered sparsely over the lines instead of being arranged neatly on one, the Powerball at the end like a big bold punctuation mark declaring it's over.

Let's be honest. I've pretty much given up on the job search. The reason for that is because I have a hierarchy of questions that need answers first, and that I do not know, and can find no assistance on, how to answer:

  1. What are my work skills?

  2. What kinds of jobs make use of my work skills?

  3. Of those jobs identified in #2, what of those jobs are compatible with my personality?

  4. Of those jobs identified in #3, which ones are available in my accessible geographic area?

  5. Of those jobs identified in #4, which ones do I have a nonzero chance of obtaining?

Until I can answer #5, there is no reason for me to look at job sites whatsoever. Nothing but unsuitably high or low level positions in unsuitable environments.

I'm trying to find out the word count in Spiro Zavos' How to Watch a Game of Rugby I know the book is 120 pages, but how many chapters? How many words per chapter? I don't know. I need to. It's to do with my book idea that I'm starting to take seriously. If I know how long it is, I know how much I have to write for the manuscript.

This book might be the out I need. I should work on it more.

Oct. 20th, 2013

One of the things I've realised about my fantasies about my 'perfect' life is that work is not involved. Or if it is, it takes place offstage; it's something on a par with going to the toilet. Except I go to an office and do... well, I don't know. But it involves an office, fixed hours, and a fixed hourly rate. And I don't take it home with me.

'Home' in the fantasy world is a two-bedroom apartment with nice views and a fairly modern interior. Fifties-era buildings to me have gaps in the walls filled with the dark excrescences of failure and poverty. Maybe that's a psychic reaction to being stuck in that hostel for two years, unable to land or retain a job long enough to be able to move out. One bedroom is for Morpheus, another for Apollo, and the living room for Dionysius. My fermenter bubbles and blasphemes in the kitchen. In the bank, two million dollars quietly generates 4% interest per annum, giving me about $70,000 a year to live on, or a little over $1000 a week in hand to pay for rent, food and so on.

Hell, with a setup like that I wouldn't need work.

Obviously this isn't likely to happen unless I get very lucky with the Powerball again. Or I finally work out how to land a damn job. Mind you, I'm not sure what's worse: the pressure to land a job, or the pressure to retain one.

But what concerns me is that I have such a vague notion of what ideal work would be like. My ideal lifestyle is funded so I don't have to work at all. With less than forty years to go before I pop my then-elderly clogs, all those years of effective leisure seem somewhat futile and/or sterile.

Even more disturbing: There are no other people in my ideal life - just bit part actors where the transactions are concise, finite and over with quickly before returning home alone. I actually have slightly paranoid views on other people; I don't like others talking at me and shoving their thoughts into my head. I'm guessing that my ideal fantasy life is sort of a reaction against the pressure I feel to conform to others' expectations and demands. That and I'm introverted anyway.


Boxed Dobbs
The Rev. Cardboard Box

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