avron: (Survive)
Sure, I venture out on occasion, but that tends to be only so I can play games, attend Church, replenish supplies, and earn the means of paying for those supplies. This isolation is almost entirely of my own creation, at High School I wasn't interested in the conversations (limited though I suppose they were) that the guys had and so I kept quiet and wasn't invited to much of anything that was happening. That became even more pronounced after High School when I was at Polytech and wasn't interested in going out drinking or the other things that might have allowed bonding.
Over the past several years the time I've spent at Church and the Small Group related to it have put me back in touch with people but I still don't feel as though I connect. I do have the leader of that Small Group to thank for my only long term hobby though, he introduced me to Settlers of Catan back in late 2004 and that led to Carcassonne, which led to Ticket to Ride, and then I joined the Christchurch Euro Gamers back in 2008. I do not know (or want to) what I'd be doing with my life now if I hadn't been introduced to modern board games. My expectation is something like hours with video games where I'd spend no time with people except what I couldn't avoid when working or shopping.
Now, my relationship with my extended family has become practically non-existent, due to me avoiding what few big gatherings have occurred over the past half dozen years. I still see my parents a few times a year and would probably see my sister often if she was living a lot closer. Getting down to it though, I've never really felt any thing missing by not having that family around me, probably because I always felt like the black sheep of my family. Most of my cousins are noticeably older; my interests, such that I had interests, were divergent from what I gathered others had.

The upshot of all of this is that I'm expecting to miss the funeral of my maternal Grandfather. He has recently had to spend time in hospital, is still there in fact, but there is an unspoken implication that he may be passing soon. I don't remember seeing him since my sister got married at the start of 2004. I may have seen him at one or two Christmas gatherings since then. I've only been to one of the family gatherings since I shifted into this flat five years ago and that was the first Christmas.
avron: (Default)
Nearly four months have gone by since I last posted here. This sort of post frequency might be improved, but I have doubts. Bits from the past four months that I feel have some importance (and can remember).
  • One of my closest friends is about to leave the country to work in Australia for a while.
  • I'm currently back to gaming four nights a week. SAGA has bookings at the Uni again after months of relocations thanks to earthquake damage. And gaming has been relocated on a few Wednesday nights to yet another side of the city compared to where I had already been gaming.
  • Especially on the days I don't get to game in person I've started using BSW again after a couple of years of not even signing in. Mainly Dominion and 7 Wonders because they take about 10 minutes, but also a few games of Peurto Rico, Stone Age and other heavier games.
  • On the Friday mornings I'm not at work I've been helping with child minding at a parents group, basically trying to make sure the parents can talk without being interrupted every minute.
  • Work has fluctuated from no days at all in a week up to three days, it's been quite a while since I did four. (I am still averaging 8-10 a month though.)
  • My Church no longer feels like MY church. Over the past 2-3 years people have been migrating in and out and the group that I would initially think of when thinking of RBC is no longer there. With the pastor and his family leaving in a couple of months there's going to be almost no-one still there that was attending when I started a little over 7 years ago.
  • Three of my friends are pregnant and due near the end of the year. Another is due in a month or two. Keeping intact the run of me having at least one pregnant friend for what seems like practically the past five years.
  • My parents have shifted out of the house they'd been living in for the better part of a decade. I spent much of Easter weekend helping them move the big stuff out of the rental place, into the truck, and then into the new place.
  • I feel like I haven't read a book in a reasonable time frame since the end of February. With one exception due to a particularly easy couple of days at work. Lacking the self-control to not immediately turn on a computer when I'm ready to relax is a big part of that.
  • If my TV is on these days it's probably to watch the TED talks airing on what I believe to be an amatuer channel, failing that it's tuned to the Korean channel. Even when I can't understand what's being said I'm more interested in that, than the rubbish on most of the other channels.
  • Had the Warehouse stocked the first season of MacGyver this afternoon I'd have spent nearly $140 buying the complete run of it.

I don't think that there's any real point to what I'm writing here now. But I continue to feel as though I should be writing something more often. The facebook and twitter updates have undoubtedly lessened my motivation/need to write here. As will the fact that I now spend a fair amount of time out of my home, either gaming, working (some weeks), or at church things.
I probably get similar 'fulfillment' from dealing with things at LibraryThing that I used to updating this. Probably even more, as I know what I'm doing is useful, even if not very.
avron: (Survive)
I don't tend to talk much about serious things, either in person or here on this journal. Largely that's because I'm selfish and don't want to look beyond my own little world of books, board games, church things, my computer and the small amount of TV I bother to watch.

But yesterday was the funeral of someone I regret not getting to know better when I would see her nearly every day at school, or after reconnecting a little thanks to FaceBook. Without transport of my own, and sleeping through the ten minute warnings from my alarm until nearly an hour had gone by, I was not in a position to attend the funeral. Something more to add to the list of regrets, a list that is normally added to with things far less serious.
The death of someone my age, who had been making a good life for herself and her family has shaken me, but not to the extent it should have. I continue to feel indestructible, which is in itself bizarre, considering the frequency I feel ill with no physical cause. Apart from the fact there's water restrictions, and the SAGA club at Uni hasn't started back up again, my life is back to the way it was. Work when offered, games when others are keen, Church on Sunday, and time in front of one of my computers the rest of the time I'm not sleeping.
I ended up heading to my church instead to help with the Mainly Music session. Something I'd been sort of intending for a month or so anyway.

I've been very fortunate in both the big quakes we had here in Christchurch.
The first woke me up and lasted long enough that I was in the doorway of my room for at least a few seconds before it stopped. I was back in bed minutes later, and trying to get back to sleep when I got a text from a frightened friend. So I ended up spending much of that day with her, doing what little I could to help her stay calm with the aftershocks. When I got back to my flat the power was back on and I started catching up on the news, settling back to my normality almost immediately.
The more recent quake occured while I was at work and apart from grabbing the log lifter beside me I didn't really react a lot as I got shook. Once the alarm went off I left the building, by a different exit to everone else in the room, even though I thought it was the exit that would be used by at least a couple of the others due to proximity. When I was allowed back into the building I collected my stuff and then spent at least 20 minutes in a car getting driven out to the road and then across the front of where I work. That was the point I decided to walk and I'm sure I got home an hour earlier than I otherwise would have. To find damage limited to a couple of glasses and the lamp that was only ever used by the flatmates that left a year earlier. After cleaning up the glass on the floor and a short discussion with our landlord I went out to check on the friend mentioned earlier and another couple also nearby, who have a couple of small children. While there had been damage it was obvious that this part of the city got off lightly.
Since all that however, I've become aware of the vast increase in damage to the city compared to the first quake, especially the east side. And of course I've seen the death toll rising since I started seeing TV coverage. A death toll that I never expected to include someone I knew from High School.


2010-Sep-23, Thursday 09:03 pm
avron: (bike)
This week at the small group the topic up for discussion was contentment and how many people have issues because they're not content with what they have. Especially in the western world. Ironically enough I feel many of my "problems" have been due to me being too content with the way my life is. Most people want more and more stuff, partly due to advertising, and find themselves discontent with their lives even though masses of people elsewhere in the world would consider our lives to be luxurious. It seems that I've missed out on that particular motivating factor, to a large extent anyway. The only thing I've been really discontent about for the past six months is my PC and how slow it has become. But after six months I've done nothing to fix it, I continue to complain on occasion, but I haven't spent any money even though I know almost exactly what I want and have done from early on. Especially after the recent economic downturn I've been very disinclined to go looking for a better job, partly because I know I'm fortunate to have a job at all. And yet it's been more than six years now that I've been working where I am and I have said from very early on that I should be doing something else.
I suppose my contentment boils down more to the fact that I detest change. Even though I know that change can be good, some of it very good, I actively avoid seeking it out most of the time, regardless of possible motivations. I still feel surprise when I look back to me joining two new game groups, SAGA in May and the WNGs at the start of 2008. I knew nobody at either when I first went along, they were at places I was unfamiliar with and to some extent I didn't know what I'd be doing there (specifically what games would be played.) I am now glad I went along to each, the WNG sessions especially, as I've been able to play a lot of games I would never have otherwise seen and I have friends that I likely wouldn't ever have met otherwise.

In less introspective thoughts... I've got work tomorrow, for the fourth day this week. I could have worked this morning (or afternoon) as well but when it had been more than six months since I last did more than three days in a week I wasn't wanting to go four in a row. Looking back over the past 18 months I've only had more than three days a week twice until this week. That lack of income can also reflect on my level on contentment, I expect a normal person would be very unhappy with such a limited income but it has provided me with enough to eat and pay rent with some discretionary funds left over.

On the whole I'm becoming less and less content as the months go by. Realising that there are things I want to do but can't. People I want to spend time with but can't, or that I don't feel up to contacting. The ever increasing awareness of how much of my life is wasted time with nothing to show for it.
Second guessing myself about other people continues to be an issue as well, I don't think I'm ever going to feel even remotely confident in reading what others want or think.

Something Radical?

2010-Jun-24, Thursday 09:03 pm
avron: (Default)
Last week I was told by someone about to go on a month long holiday that I should do something radical before she returns. After checking that getting married would qualify I was informed that it would rate at about 100 and she was looking for a 2 or 3. I've spent a little while thinking about that since then and have only two ideas so far, the first being an attempt to make her think I did get married (edited photos, fake marriage certificate etc.). My other idea was to dye my hair again, another unnatural colour. Of course, what I expect would qualify and do me best would be to find (or at least put actual effort into trying to find) a better job. When even having many days off (like recently) isn't allowing me to do what I want (due to scheduling) the convenience isn't as great as it once was.

The SAGA group is proving a welcome addition to my schedule, especially with them having just purchased a copy of Power Grid which I won't be surprised to end up teaching next week. I ended up teaching Endeavor (spelt wrong for the U.S. market) this week and think that I prefer to not play when teaching as I'm not as likely to miss things because I'm planning ahead. Last week I played a 5-player game of Agricola with one new player and none of the other three having played more than a handful each from what was said. Considering my much greater experience it wasn't surprising that I won, having the second place individual be the new guy was surprising however.

Oldening. Take 29

2010-Mar-18, Thursday 06:24 pm
avron: (initial)

I have now begun my 30th orbit around the G2V star seen during daylight hours and apart from feeling a little cold the day is good. After actually making it to being awake and moving about I found a package at the front door of my flat, containing 1.8kg worth of chocolate and an MP3 player (which I probably can't use until I upgrade my desktop). I've also found that more of my DVDs will play on the PS2 than I had thought so I'll be spending more time in the lounge not using my PC than expected.

There still hasn't been anyone shift in to replace the former flatmates although we did have three people have a look at the room over the past week. Hopefully we'll have someone move in soon, if only to prevent money struggles. Which would come slightly sooner for me than I'd been thinking as I've had to up my payments.

I'd like to be able to introduce the other game group (not the Wednesday night group) to a wider variety of games after getting very tired of the excessive Stone Age and Settlers of Catan plays I've been a part of. With the relative infrequency however there's a reluctance to learning new games. That has led to me being less inclined to go game there than I used to be, probably reducing my monthly game count a little. Then again, I've been playing a few games here in my flat which hadn't really happened since 2007 when I taught one of the flatmates how to play Carcassonne.

I have now read "The Time Machine" after finding it accidentally while looking through books in the library last week. After being aware it existed for most of the past 20 years I was surprised at how small it was but that could be good considering how long it took me to read it. I've also started reading the first of the Dune Prequels "House Atreides" and am enjoying it so far.

Because it came up last night after games: The sun is not at the centre of the orbit followed by the planets. It's at one of the two focal points of the elliptical orbit they follow. See here for an interactive animation.

Not getting wet

2010-Mar-09, Tuesday 08:43 pm
avron: (hanging)
Having not bothered to look back on the old entries here (the first few months of LJ that is) I'm not sure what I was actually posting nearly every day but the idea of doing so now seems foreign. I would be writing about more things now though I think, it seems fairly certain that I do more now than I used to.

The weekend just been I was one of a dozen that went to Cave Stream and as I wasn't interested in (or equipped for) going through the cave I lived vicariously and listened to them all talk about how good it was in the cave. It seems I might be convinced to go again next time certain individuals arrange another trip, and if I can get the right gear I might get wet. I still have the issue with travel before I travel although the actual trip didn't seem as bad as I was expecting it to which was good. Coincidentally, one of my colleagues was there the day after me and told me today that it was a good time. While sitting out in the sun as some of the group was going through the cave a discussion occurred that led to me unintentionally flattering someone I only recently met, I'd thought she was about 4 years younger than she is.

On three separate occasions over the past couple of weeks I've had company at my flat (unusual in itself) and have played a board game with that company. The afternoon before the first of those sessions I ended up somewhere I had never before been (even though I'd been past many, many times) climbing a tree. Gaming afternoons like that are probable and I'm looking forward to getting to play more of my games.

I have been working far more over the past few weeks than I had got used to at the end of last year. This has left me in the position of not worrying about money to the minimal extant I had been, once again I could have no work for nearly two months and still meet all my essential expenses. It also led to me overspending last week when I tried to find peppermint creme eggs at the Warehouse and spent $63 on DVDs instead. One of which was volume 2 of a Wombles TV show made in the late '90s that I know I purchased volume 1 of a little over three years ago but cannot find. I also got the first season of The Dead Zone which means I'll finally get around to watching the second season that I purchased 3.5 years ago.

After writing this entry one reason presents itself for why I no longer update anywhere near as often as I used to, I've had the program open for about two hours.

Going AWOL?

2010-Jan-25, Monday 10:38 pm
avron: (initial)

I'm currently thinking about missing all RBC things for much of next month. Church services, Mainly Music from when it starts back up, small group, and anything else that might come up. Basically I'd still work whenever I could (and wanted to) and I'd still go play games on Wednesday nights, but the rest of my "social" life would end or change.

My attitude to being at RBC hasn't really been what it ought to be for a long time now and after not going to any other services anywhere since shortly after I shifted in here three years ago (and even before that I only attended 15 months of evening services at SBC, mostly because I wanted to see a friend more often) I've become very accustomed to one particular way of things. Practically every Sunday morning is the same; I show up a little early, tidy the Children's Church room a little and then sit through the first part of the service until the children leave. Then I spend 40 minutes or so with them and the leaders before maybe heading back to the main service for the last of the singing. Even over the holiday break without a regular program for the children I've still spent all but one week helping in some way. Last year (and at some other point as well) I was thinking that I'd take a term, or at least some of a term, off of helping and stay in the main service for the entire time. I think that happened once as I would consistently end up heading out to help anyway. As such, the only way I'm likely to spend an entire service actually in the service is if I'm at a different church. Back when I was going to the evening services at Spreydon I had trouble paying attention to the entire service and expect that it would be worse now but there's going to be no better way to change that than to try.

At core it comes down to a realisation that my attitude to Church isn't what it ought to be. I've been going to church for three main reasons, 1 - to spend time with people I consider friends, 2 - to get out of my flat, and 3 - to play. While I see none of that as implicitly bad, I'm also sure that none of it is anywhere on the list of why I should be going to church. Apart from possibly the spending time with people, but when the typical church outlook is that we are to "fellowship" together and I don't really interact with anyone on a significant level I don't think what I do counts.
There's also the fact that I've been spending a lot of time with the youth and to at least some extent could be seen as a role model to them. Something that I shouldn't be to anyone considering the way I choose to live. No, that's not an indication I'm going out drinking, doing drugs or the like, just that I'm barely inclined to work a proper job or do anything with the purpose of improving my life or the lives of others. Nearly everything I do is motivated by my own selfish desires and laziness.


avron: (Default)

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