26 August 2013

It might be time to move house

Not to be a downer guys, but this year just does not like me very much at all. Upon returning home from my 1 year backpacking trip in March, I had a few basic goals in mind for how I would like to spend this year:

- Work hard so I can remain a freelancer full-time
- Get more classes to teach for this semester at the University I sometimes teach at
- Travel again
- Get a girlfriend
- Move out of my parents house again
- Improve on my French and swing dance skills

Reading a previous post that I wrote back in May, it appears that all these dreams were coming along extremely well. Clients wanting my freelance services were flying in, I had classes to teach at the University (something I love doing), I was getting close with one of my old crushes... whom I was planning on confessing my feelings to, and I had just moved out of my parents house within a month of returning to Australia to a house that seemed fantastic.

Oh, and I started French lessons, so that was fun too.

All in all, things were looking up.

Fast forward a few months, and... well things are a little different. I haven't had paying work from any freelance clients for over a month now, and I missed out on any teaching opportunities at the University for this semester, so with a lack of cash flow I doubt I'll be traveling anytime soon either. The girl I had a crush on declined my advances, and now we aren't even speaking anymore. I've injured my knee quite badly, so I can no longer swing dance. And now... to top it all off, I am starting to really despise the house and the housemates that I live with, and am thinking I want to move out.

My housemates boyfriend stays at our house literally 6 days a week... sigh. Doesn't pay rent, hardly pays bills, or for any of the house needs really, nor even does some household chores... it's driving me insane. Then the other housemate is basically an ass, so that's fun. Sigh.

So, that's where I am currently at. At least the French lessons are still fun...

I really need some freelance work to pick up again. I'm not giving up hope on these dreams just yet... but I am starting to feel like just the tiny bit a failure of late. Am I planning too much, and need to go with the flow more? Perhaps. But, you know, I thought there was nothing wrong with setting yourself goals and working to achieve them, no?

It just feels that for every one step of progress I make, I'm stumbling backwards 3 steps more.

Either way, I'd really enjoy a win right about now...

20 August 2013

Do you play games?

Fellow bloggers, I suck at attracting the opposite sex. Well, in a romantic way anyway. For casual friendships and acquaintances, I'm awesome, no worries really. I can be casual and funny, but as soon as I am interested in a girl... something just breaks in my brain.

I bring this up because I often find myself analyzing or 'critiquing' my interactions with people to see if I could improve in any way. Perhaps I am too withdrawn? Likely. Maybe I'm just not good at engaging funny conversations on first meets? Well, that is definitely true, although I am great once I get to know them. Whatever it is, I haven't stumbled across the answer yet!

Sometimes I wonder if I should try the 'player' tricks. You know what I mean, those 'rules' of what 'apparently' works to get a girl interested, the cliche' ones such as "don't call for at least 3 days after you get her number", and "playfully make fun of her" and so on. And, I think I have tried those at times (although rather mildly), but they just feel so fake and forced that I know it is probably seen right through for the ruse that they are.

I really feel the most comfortable just being 100% myself, which I guess includes my cool, and not so cool qualities.

My best friend for example is able to send awesome text messages to people. Somehow he just knows the right thing to say to keep a conversation interesting and funny, where I am sure the girl on the other end is smiling as she reads it. I on the other hand, when texting, manage to make it sound like we are closing on a business deal haha.

But, I guess that's alright?

I've been single for quite some time now. I've gone over it many times in my head, analyzing my approaches and interactions, and I can't see that I am doing something 'wrong' per se. I've got plenty of female friends, some I am quite close with, so I assume that I can indeed be quite cool.

As I sit here about to email this girl (for work purposes) whom I am interested in, I can see both approaches clearly in front of me. Do I purposely try and be funny and interesting, to write it in a way to keep the conversation going? Or, do I just be completely myself, write the email as I need it to be written, and simply hope for the best?

Ed Sheeran, the singer, said this great quote I heard once. He was asked the question "What would you plan for a first date with a girl?" He laughed, and mentioned his love of the tv show the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, eating popcorn (or something), and sitting on the couch all night in a onesie. He then laughed again and said "Well, that probably won't make for a great first date for a girl, but then again, if the girl doesn't like a date like that, then she probably isn't right for me then now is she?"

I think I'll continue to just be completely myself with all my interactions, and simply hope for the best. Well, for a little while longer at least. If another year goes by... well, then it may be time to opt for some entirely new approach!

How about you guys?

16 August 2013

The story of Garden Man

I moved out of my parents house and into a share house a few months ago (something that was on my 2013 goal list), and I am pleased to say that it is going pretty great. My house mates Liz and Greg are awesome, the house is nice enough, and I am in close proximity to some of my best friends.

And best of all? I am lucky fortunate enough to have a completely new adventure saga unfold, for soon after moving in is when I first got to meet who we know only as 'Tony the Garden Man'. Let me begin.

So a few days after moving in I was home alone in the morning doing some work, when I heard a small commotion happening outside. Best to investigate! I grabbed my phone and headed outside, opting to invesitgate the backyard first. I turn the corner of our large shed to find a middle aged man wheeling our garbage bin out of the shed.

"Umm... who are you?" I said.

He jumped, obviously startled, which to me indicated he was under the assumption that no one was home.

"Oh! Hi... why is the bin now kept in the shed?" the middle aged man replied, while holding the rim of my bin, standing in the door frame of my shed door.

"What? I don't know. That's where we keep it I suppose. Hang on, why does it matter? Who are you?"

"Well I need the bin." He replied, completely ignoring my 'who are you?' question. Which was fine actually, because I just thought of a much more pressing question. It had just clicked to me that we usually have a padlock on the shed door... so... how is he now walking out of our shed?

"Umm... how did you get into the shed?"

"Oh, I cut the padlock off"


"I needed the bin, why did you lock the shed if I needed the bin?"

It was at this stage that things started to piece together, for I suddenly realized that this man is slightly mentally challenged, thus probably doesn't quite know what he is doing. I was certainly not going to get angry at a mentally challenged person, as I strongly doubted he was purposely trying to be melicious or troublesome, so I decided to play along and see if I can get some answers. Or better yet, for him to go away.

"Alright, come show me why you need the bin" I suggest.

He wheels the bin along the driveway and out into the front yard... I saw immediately what he wanted the bin for.

"Why is there a large pile of tree branches in my front yard!? Actually, better yet... where did all these tree branches in my front yard come from!?" This is not what I expected to find.

"Don't worry I'll pick all these branches up and put them in the bin for you" he replies in a rather nonchalant kind of way...


I press a little further. "Ok, good... but where did they come from?"

He points over to a large tree along our fence. I can see it is now missing a considerable amount of limbs.

"Whyyyy are you cutting my tree down?"

"It's not your tree. This isn't your house."

"Well, no it isn't my house, but I am renting to be here. Besides, I still have a lot more claim to the tree then you do, you don't even live here! Why don't you do gardening at your own house?" I suggest optimistically, as if suddenly it would click to him that this was an option and he would go home immediately.

"I can't do my garden, I am only renting"

"Well you can't do stuff to my garden either"

"Oh, no, this tree needs to go. It is too close to your power lines"

I look above. The tree is a safe distance from the powerlines.

"I think the powerlines will be ok. What's your name?"


"Good. Ok, Tony, can I have your phone number please?"

"I don't have a phone"

"Not even at your house?"


... ok.

"Ok. So why are you coming to my house and cutting my trees down?"

I then got a 10 minute explanation about all the dangers within my garden. There are tree branches that are apparently too close to the powerlines, which by the way he was explaning it, are about to spontaneously combust at any moment. Also, the gutters are apparently rusting, which may trigger an earthquake if they fall of course, and let's not forget the overhanging branches along our driveway, that could be used to house nuclear weapons!

"Tony. Tony... Tony! Tony, stop. Tony, look at me. Look at me. Tony, here, look!" Eventually my reptitions snap him out of his speech. He stops and looks at me.

"Ok. Good. Now, Tony. Promise me, you are not going to come and chop the rest of this tree down"

"Oh, I can't make that promise"

I cracked up laughing at that response.

"Haha! What do you mean!? No, Tony, come on. Promise me, you are not going to cut down this tree."

He sighs. "Alright".

"Good. Now come back tomorrow and pick up the rest of these branches."

"Fine. Right. I'll see you tomorrow"

And just like that, he walks off down the street, his grey hat on tight and his little backpack on. It wasn't until later that it dawned on me that he must have had the bolt-cutters he had used to cut the padlock off the shed in his bag!

I reenact the story to my housemates when they came home, whom then inform me that he has been coming around for the last 6 months!

"Yeah he has been coming around for ages! You know that tree stump in the front yard? That used to be a giant tree that we just found in pieces one day. And our gate to get to the backyard that is now in pieces... that was him too, he did it while we were sleeping." My housemate Liz informs me.

The lovely secure gate, as curteousy of Garden Man
"No way! Why didn't you call the police or something?"

"Because he always comes either at night, or when we are not home, and we have never met him in person before" says Greg, my other housemate.

"Wow... umm... ok. Well I talked to him today, so hopefully that is the end of it."

It most certainly wasn't the end of it...