b3ta.com user dadadali
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Lurkish. See elsewhere for more and betterer.

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» Things to do before you die

Well, since I am dying,
This QOTW is sort of a QOML just lately. Yes, yes, we're all dying, and it's not like I'm going quickly but probably faster than you. I enjoy a bizarre autoimmune illness that has tons of inconvenient symptoms which if graphed over the last five years shows a solid downward trend and when projected futurewards gives me a few (3 or 4 maybe) years yet, except that I'm just now entering the more titillating area where sudden oddball flare-ups and infection (pneumonia etc) could do for me very suddenly. Let's just take a moment to feel for my wife in all of this. OK, that's the sad bit done. Could be worse, of course. There could be kids, and all that.

Oh a btw, it's not AIDS; the best and closest diagnostic fit to date is an extreme version of the gorgeously named Scleredema Adultorum of Buschke. It features neither sclerosis nor edema and occurs more frequently in under-25s. Go figure.

To quote Michael Fox re his Parkinson's, "it's a gift". This pissed people off when he said it so he clarified; "It's the gift....that keeps on taking." So now you're expecting all the usual pseudo-enlightenment claptrap about the 'little things', carpe diem and the poignancy of weather, I'll prick that bubble, nurse, and just say two things. Or rather shovel out two categories.

1) All the little things that you lose along the way; they're in fact worse than you thought they were going to be viewed through the usual overly-optimistic way we tend to think about our *own* mortality when confronted with an adverse (if mysterious) prognosis. I knew I'd miss eating when I got the PEG tube, but what I didn't know is that every now and then I'd be assailed by fiendishly powerful cravings for foods I have not only never eaten, but would probably not even have previously liked. Like an open rye bread sandwich with cheese (I think Jarlsberg), caviar, and boiled egg. Yes, I read that Stieg Larssen book. But I also get foody flashes from nowhere. I'd also love to be able to julienne a carrot with my big-arse chef's knife like I used to, even if it's just for a salad for my beloved, and I didn't realise I'd miss doing that when my hands got to the point where it's a hard and dangerous chore, not a joy.

2) So the second category is really just the first, but projected forward. I can no longer enjoy the dream of a four-day ride to the Top End (Aus) on a Moto Guzzi that I'll now never own because I can't ride any more, and this is a thing that's not coming back. You get the idea.

So what is it I really want to *do* before I die? Here's the thing, I already do it, and I shall do a whole bunch more.


Nothing sneaks up on you as a joy. It can happen when you realise for example that you get truly over the losses you incur, and the sense of release and relief when that truth really hits you - you've *changed* - sweeps your feet from beneath you and then just as suddenly leaves you standing in.....nothing. From there, all else seems like part of your nothing too.

Having the mind at zero, as the ho'oponopono guy put it.

This isn't some salve to the ego, or 'make the best of what you can' scenario, where *of course* I go for some sort of spiritual contentment because my future promises to rob me of all the practical or physical possibilities. Or because of the futility of trying to do what one still can while one still can. Nope, beyond all that stuff, this is sincerely a joyous place to be, in nothing, and makes *being* all the more glorious. I'd only known this a few times prior to the last few years. So yes, it's a fucking awesome blessing, and I'll eat this cake too, thanks very much.

So that's what I want, really. Not much, but the meat-ego is at work here too - I want *all* those little things to piss off into nothingness, because for real - you *do* know what you've got before it goes, with a little practice at losing things, and after a time the grief ceases being a lesson or in any way therapeutic. This, too, shall come to nothing. I hope.

Here endeth the lesson. Cheers.
(Fri 15th Oct 2010, 14:44, More)

» Tramps

Poxy hotel policy vs hobo = win.
As an infrequent poster, chances are not many if any here will remember my post or two around the time my father died some year-and-a-bit ago. Anyway, while he was hospitalised and in the process of doing so, I was called up to the city at very short notice (ie "they're transferring him to the big city hospital NOW and he might not make it to the morning"), as happens. He stabilised a bit, and we, the family, organised ourselves vigil-wise. So I head into the city to find a room for the night.

I have many years' toil in the hospitality and accommodation sectors behind me, and am thus well acquainted with what I am likely to discover. Or so I thought. Biggish city this, but at 1AM there seems to be a dearth of rooms available. Rather, as I am at this juncture not all that well cashed-up, there are no apparently budget-type rooms available. So armed with my knowledge of general hotel policy at this hour, namely, sell a room at whatever price you can get above cost, I proceed to offer $150 (AUD) on the first $300 room I encounter. Surly geek number one manages that classic trick of displaying absolutely NO change of expression and merely repeats the price of a room. I attempt to use his pity and/or compassion gland and briefly outline my situation. Still $300.

Around the corner I go, repeat the experiment, fail, repeat again, and again. I am tired, emotional, and although I could just have stumped up the cash I just simply resented the ridiculous bumf I was hearing from the mouths of these gormless jobsworths, whose managers would most likely have ripped them new arseholes for not selling rooms at a profit. To a man (and they all were) they just wanted to go back to tossing off or sleeping behind their desks.

I exit the marble and glass lobby into a deserted street, pause, and glance over to my left. Here tucked into the shrubbery is a sleeping gentleman of the road, smelling like his fermented anaesthetic of choice has had plenty of time to work its soporific magic. Here I am, imminent-father-death-stupid-hotel-dork-bone-tired perspective in hand, with the $150 in cash I simply cannot seem to give away for a room. And here is he. So I very gently reach down, tuck the neatly rolled bills safely in his jacket pocket, and stroll off healed of my woes for now, to spend a cold, but dry and safe night sleeping in my car in a park.

Who cares what he did with the money? The moment of joy is the thing.
(Sat 4th Jul 2009, 8:29, More)

» DIY disasters

Rubble - a DIY rememberance
My Dad was a bit of a quiet achiever, not really making any fuss about building a whole extension on our house, installing a swimming pool, all the things I used to take for granted that Dads just did. He died on Wednesday, of old age and complications related to emphysema.
I'm currently at home avoiding writing the eulogy I will be delivering at his funeral on Tuesday, pondering those bits of my history with him, and not finding a lot. Because, to be honest, he was an absent sort of guy - even when he was there, which was more than many dads, being a teacher. Until I looked at b3ta and the qotw. Now, I have remembered my very first DIY ever.

The extension I mentioned above happened when I was around 5 or 6 years old, dad used his long service leave to do the job. Part of the job was of course to level the area inside the footings so we wouldn't have to build a floor around a bunch of boulders which would then stick up into our new lounge room floor. So dad showed me how to break rocks. The area we lived in was a big sandstone plateau, so it's not like we're talking basalt or granite or anything. I really wanted to help - to be a part of the team. So dad gave me a boulder of my own to reduce to unboulderness, and the use of a 3- and a 5-pound hammer, because I couldn't even really lift the big sledge hammer dad was using. In my memory this rock was quite rounded, and came halfway up my thigh. E.Normous. I worked on it diligently, for days and maybe weeks as dad did his bit, and moved on to the footings and so forth around me. He never criticised, or offered help, or even asked how I was going - he just looked from time to time, and like me would have noticed the thing getting smaller and smaller. I remember the moment of completion, the previously huge monotlith had been chipped down and chipped down and eventually the last remaining lump about the size of 2 footballs just - split, and i was able to just smash it all into little pieces all in one sitting. I took in a bit of the rubble to show dad. I can see him smiling his simple, pleased smile. He just said "Good job dadadali. Next year we're going to put in a bigger pool - with a deck. You can help if you want".

DIY child rearing. That's it. In so many ways he just gave the job of growing up right back to me. I used to have resentments about his absence, his aloofness, his emotional distance...but now I see the good bits; that in so many ways I was just free to be. His job was just to provide the opportunities. Which he did. Now, I'm a DIY grown-up.

Apologies for length, and thanks for listening to my story about rubble.
(Sat 5th Apr 2008, 10:39, More)

» Desperate Times

Desperate? How to always get sex; this never fails....
Short, prematurely balding, with an irradicable (slight, but ever-present) air of geekery, and just not confident with the opposite sex. Is this you?

In any case, it nicely sums up J, a (male) friend of mine from some time ago. At least, this was J before he had, in the same week, a self-realisatory epiphany and a major discovery about the nature of probability.

The epiphany was , as all moments on the path to enlightenment tend to be, the very essence of simplicity. His shyness was mainly due to the conditioninig we receive that when we are trying to pull, we shouldn't appear to the target of such desire that this is the case. Everyone can know what the motivations are, but everyone must pretend that the man is *really interested* in blah etc, not just a primal, depply motivating fascination with reentering the womb. In other words, if he didn't feel he had to pretend he was after anything apart from sex, then he wouldn't have to feel all coy and dufusy about it - realising of course that the shyness and lack of self-confidence was doing his seductory efforts no good at all.

Probability you ask? Glad you did. When you calculate a probability (make a bet) you are not really betting on that horse coming first, you are actually betting AGAINST THE SUM OF ALL OTHER POSSIBLE OUTCOMES. Which is why the house always wins. Now J had this thought; what if I am the house? And what if all this time I have been thinking that I have focusing my efforts on being the winning horse? In fact, all this time I have been EXPECTING NOT TO PULL A BIRD. AND I HAVE BEEN WINNING AT THIS LITTLE GAME. When you consider the sum of all other possibilities from this, (sum = pulling, really) then gee, my luck must eventually run out.

Let's put these two things together and now let's watch J on an average night out with myself, and one or two of the boys......

There is drinking, and solicitous imbibery of goodly things. There is food, there is maybe a game of pool, or karaoke; there is in all certainly bullshit and manly bonding. Eventually, the time comes to make a choice, for the group to descend into an ever-decreasing spiral of togetherness and insobriety, or to turn its direction outwards, in search of the fairer half of the species.

We now know just to stand back and watch, because of you treat this as a race, you will now always lose to J. Who is still short, still prematurely balding,, and still unavoidably a geek, no matter how you dress him. He might toss a coin. He might spin a bottle. Somehow he finds a starting point...
"Hi, I'm J, you look nice. Would you like to leave with me now for sex at my place?" The only rule is the 45 second rule. If there is no harsh negative, or if there is no immediate conceptual agreement, it's on to the next target (defined only by whether you'd chew your arm off the next day).

He has done the math, and our observation backs this up. Peer reviews confirm it. The experiment is repeatable by anyone who has taken the key lesons to heart and lived them openly. The average number of apparently single women approached before getting the intended result, if following this method and ensuring yu start no earlier than 2 hours after the venue in question hits its peak time, is 18. That's 20 to 30 minutes including travel and wait time between contacts. And to date, as long as there are at least 50 available targets in the building, it has never, ever failed.

Desperate? Only if you see it that way.
(Sat 17th Nov 2007, 14:05, More)

» Barred

Nope, but but I've banned a few in my time.....
If memory serves me correctly, I have not been banned from anywhere to date. That I remember. I have, however had the great pleasure of banning many erstwhile patrons from various drinking establishments, in my role of bar manager/duty manager/and once just by pretending to work in this pub where some muppet was giving myself and sundry others a potentially violently hard time. In one of the former roles, though, one bright spark got some legal advice and came over all technical on me.

Let's call him Dave (because everyone else does). I tossed Dave out of my bar one Friday night basically because he was a tool that nobody liked who annoyed several of my other regular patrons regularly after a certain stage of inebriation and despite being a champion drinker was, on balance, bad for business. Besides, we were pretty sure that it was he and a few of his scaly mates that had broken into the back area in the wee small hours three weeks previously and emptied a large chest freezer of a couple of thousand dollars worth of seafood we had layed in for a huge Xmas dinner. It should be noted that this bar is in the middle of a very rural area of Australia, 25 kms from the nearest town (and other watering hole) so being banned not onle pissed dave off, it was a tad inconvenient for him, as he couldn't really show his face in said town due to similar prior acts of petty criminality (ALLEDGED criminality).

Poor Dave. But Smart Dave! Dave discovers by using the skills of his young nephew and the mighty interweb that one can only technically ban someone from a drinking establishment in Australia for 24 hours, unless you go to court to do so. Can you see what's coming?

Silly Dave. Here he comes next Friday evening, all swaggery across the carpark and up to the bar. "You're banned Dave, piss off..." "nope, because this piece of legislation (waves piece of paper, blah, blah) says you can only ban me for 24 hours". Small, thoughful silence. "Right, piss off you're banned. See you tomorrow."

To his credit he came back Saturday (banned again), Sunday(again), Monday(yep, banned), Tuesday(etc)....and then I didn't see him for days. Last I ever saw of him on the premises was as he was driving past in his busted-arse old farm ute, and seemingly as an afterthought throws out the anchors in a great cloud of dust, marches up towards the door like he's going to kill someone, and....stops. Looks at me, turns around, and leaves. I probably would have banned him again too - he wasn't wearing shoes.
(Sat 2nd Sep 2006, 9:46, More)
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