Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Inspect My Ass!

So why am I frustrated with the people I live with, you ask? Well, let's review this message, which I today sent out to the household Whatsapp chat group a couple of hours before we were due to have our property inspected by the fastidious landlady. Plant Lover and Other Nick had done, collectively, less than an hour's work between them, hurriedly and non-committally carried out because Social Housemate and I had repeatedly asked and reminded them to. Subsequently, today's rant:

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I would like it on the record that for this inspection, I

* bought and mixed 20l of the weedkilling mixture
* spent hours spraying the entirety of the back, side and front yard - every single line of the paving - as well as the perimeter of the astroturf
* manually pulled up weeds from the paving, perimeter and flower beds
* removed fresh weeds that emerged later, as recently as this arvo
* went about the entire house to remove stains on walls in common areas with sugar soap
* cleaned corners and light fixtures of insects and webs
* did a preliminary vacuum, oven cleaning, wipedown of cabinets, and cleaned upstairs shower and bathroom before the cleaner confirmed yesterday's final session
* co-organised the cleaner with Mlad and sorted out payment (which I expect to be reimbursed for ASAP)
* moved the fucking timber from the wall as per Tony's directive weeks ago
* reswept sections of the yard
* TODAY re-vacuumed and re-cleaned the floor which had gravy stains by the oven, and Dorito chips, outside dirt and scuff marks by the sofa and television.

I don't understand why tasks weren't distributed more equally when everyone should have received Tony and Karen's messages via text sent to [Social Housemate] and via email. Four people live in this house and yet it feels like only two of us give a shit about making sure this place is up to standard for an inspection that happens once in every 90 days.

For the next inspection I probably won't be in the country or would have just got back, and I expect to do significantly less, if anything at all. If we all want to live in a nice house but can't be stuffed maintaining it, that's just bullshit. Grow up, be responsible adults, stop being sooks and show some fucking initiative, please.

Also, while I'm having a rant, I wasn't going to say anything but [Other Nick], it wasn't smart to have a movie night the night before inspection. It could have been done tonight or any other night. You might say you didn't make a mess, but having other people over means the floor gets dirtied with shoes worn in the house and loses its shine.

The cleaners spent three hours yesterday sprucing up the place for inspection, and immediately after you wet the entire upstairs bathroom without considering the floor mats, cooked, and had people over. Of course we should be allowed to go about our lives after a cleaning but when there's an inspection coming up, it would be good to exercise a bit of conscientiousness and common sense.

And please, everyone, communicate. That's what this chat group is for - check it regularly, and for fuck's sake, respond. This isn't a system designed for you to miss messages or deliberately ignore them.

Okay, done with rant.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Shattered Dynamics and Antidepressants

Well, what do you know? I'm back! It's been a crazy ride, boys and girls. So much has happened (and yet, so little has happened at the same time). I think the biggest development over the past month or so has been the deterioration of my friendship with my housemate Other Nick. It's a long story, but let's just say it all began about a month and a bit ago with a drunken night (where he was the one mostly drunk), and it all went downhill from there.

Last weekend (not the one that just went by, but the one prior) it all blew up with two enraged outbursts from yours truly, which included the nasty act of shattering a glass and my poor mobile phone on the Friday of Sept 15. I subsequently blamed the fact that I'd begun taking the antidepressant Lexapro (as of Friday Sept 8), and while it's done wonders in getting rid of the feelings of gloom (the rambling ruminating thoughts, not so much), it's also created some pretty crappy side effects such as "fits of rage" (which, to be fair, only happened when I was provoked by the aforementioned Other Nick).

Anyway, I don't wish to rehash what happened, but let's just say I blew up on Friday; and then blew up again on Saturday; and now we've officially moved into a dynamic that proves we're housemates but definitely not mates. I think this letter that I wrote to him - mostly as an exercise to purge thoughts and feelings out of my system - explains most of it (in cryptic detail); and I think that our friendship, sadly, won't fully recover from this, but that's okay. These days it's polite "hey good morning"s and "how are you"s, followed by awkward silences and no conversation, which is pretty disappointing when you consider how well we initially connected and how enthusiastically we bonded - which was probably what led to the problems to begin with. Too much too soon, you know? Ah well. Sad shrug.

What else has been happening? Mostly just resting, to be honest. The Lexapro has me feeling mostly positive (at at least, normal), but I still feel more tired these days. Might also becoming down with a little something, a flu bug which has been going around the house, if the sniffy-coughy sounds from my housemates are any indicator. On the Friday that I broke my phone, I also headed to Crown Casino for my mate T's 21st birthday. Sadly the blowup that preceded it caused it to be a little dampened, but I still had fun with T and our mutual dear friends Justin and Claire, even if it was a little daunting to be leaving the house with no phone and, therefore, effectively no way of contacting anyone or even knowing what the time was. Oy.

So why am I back on this blog? Who knows? I think I just like to have an outlet. I'm officially cutting back on my time on Facebook, so I still need a way to vent and express these thoughts and feelings. I'm also required to document more of my thoughts and actions as part of my autoethnographic research (as per the PhD), so it would be good to have this platform, I guess. I still have no idea where I'm going with this doctorate, which is a scary thing 1.5 years in; I'm struggling to keep motivated, and with the housemate situation, it's hard to keep my focus. Hence the thought about potentially moving out again. But I don't know. My dynamic with the other two guys (Social Housemate and Plant Lover Housemate) is mostly good, even when they get cranky on occasion and act like complete dicks. Straight guys. Whatchoo gonna do.

I've been going for counselling at Murdoch, which has been good. Well, I've only had one official session, but so far I like Di, my counsellor. I told her about my big scheme to move into a house full of straight guys to get over the baggage of the past (see: the American, circa 2010/2011); she said that while she understood why I thought it would be a good idea, "It's also like diving into a river and expecting not to get wet," she said of my being affected emotionally by the boys every so often. "But you know what?" she added. "Maybe it's time to think about removing yourself from the situation. It's not about running away; it's about recognising when something isn't good for you and so you distance yourself from it. It's okay to dive into the river, but it's also okay to sit on the shore and dry off once in a while."

I like her.

I've also been doing a bit of reading lately. I've started again on The Chimp Paradox and I've also recently completed a self-help/philosophy book The Courage to be Disliked, and I've just commenced on You Can Heal Your Life. It all sounds very mumbo-jumbo-ish, but hey, if it might help, why not? That's on top of reading Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello, former TVGuide editor and founder of my favourite TV website TVLine, about his relationship with his partner who was diagnosed with cancer and has subsequently, sadly, passed away (not a self-help book, but it's moving and funny and sad and sarcastic and an entertaining, if hypochondrically worrying, all at once); on top of my current academic readings on autoethnography.

So there's a lot of books in the air, and it's a good thing I recently invested in a Kindle (right) to help me keep the hard-copy pages to a minimum. I didn't think I'd like a Kindle (as opposed to a real book), but I actually don't mind it, and it's cool to pay a bit less for the same reading materials. (Academic e-books are still bitchingly expensive though, grr. Argh.)

What else? A couple of weeks ago I'd spent a lot of time working on a new song for a new musical project that had a heavy Broadway/big-band theme, but sadly they didn't like that song, which is disappointing. Thankfully, I'd begun on the Lexapro already, so I was able to keep the devastation to a minimum and didn't dissolve into a puddle of helpless pathetic-ness sobbing in the shower (see? Antidepressants for the win!). It's a little disheartening, but I guess you can't win 'em all all the time, can you? Right now I'm not feeling terribly inspired - I think it's because there's so much going on - and to be honest, I still can't see a future that's filled with creativity... it all sounds way too exhausting at this present moment. As usual, though, my mantra is: This, too, shall pass. Hopefully.

Anyway, that's about it for now. I'm going to get back to my readings, and hopefully it won't be too long before I get back to my next blog post. I guess this blog is still alive, after all! Till then.