Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Had another huge sleep session last night. Think I sometimes get myself into a bit of a state, overtired and aggravated. Like my brain can't stop crapping on to itself. Yesterday afternoon I was exhausted. Made a very simple meat pie as was hungry but not wanting to make anything major (just wrapped some thawed out pastry around a piece of rump steak and cooked it for a bit. Came out wonderfully, I was surprised). Went and lay down after that as I always feel tired after a big meal, and didn't get up till about 8 this morning. Didn't sleep all that time but was still drifting in and out in the morning. Think a lot of it was nervous energy, like I said my brain not settling down.

Went and got my head read yesterday for the head study I agreed to take part in. They said I could come back for the results in a month if I wanted. I told them I would be interested particularly after the brain injury I got in Jan, to see where my head is actually at right now. They're going to ring me in about a month for that. Other than that I go back in 6 months. It was sort of interesting doing it. Involved tests to memory on a computer, and also the DASS test (depression, anxiety and tension/stress test) that you fill out as a self assessment. There was also other forms to do with how I generally cope with day to day living. 

Supposed to be seeing Simon later today. Still have not the faintest idea how I'm going to feel. Can't have a big session at the pub anyway (I'm sure we'd get on marvelously if we did) as I've got to go to work tomorrow, and have to go shopping for lunch stuff. Probably best to have just a quiet low key meet up anyway after what's happened.  

Sunday, 27 November 2011

When will the pain end?

If there is a god, god has failed me.

Apparently I'm not supposed to be given more than I can endure. Well that's what they reckon. Dunno what happened with me then. I coped way more than I could possibly endure.

To the point that I nearly topped myself. If it wasn't for the help in the secular system here I wouldn't have survived.

The pain from the past still lingers. I wonder today, when will it end? Will it ever end? Is life for me now simply dealing with that pain? Or will it dissipate one day, and allow me to find some happiness?

I'm not holding my breath.  


A bright sunny day in Sydney today. The air has a freshness to it after days of heavy rain. Doing washing, is three loads in the machine, as haven't been able to put anything on the line outside to dry. I usually just hang the clothes on hangers inside near the bedroom window as I can't be bothered trying to predict the weather, but it's a bit hard doing that with bed sheets. Changed them the other day but been raining since. Sat is when I do the washing, but it was raining so heavily yesterday it was blowing in under the shelter out the back that connects to the washroom. Even the cat took one look out there and decided against it. She lies under the shelter and observes the goings on outside.

Daughter has been sick with some flu thing. The way she was carrying on about it I thought she'd need antibiotics for sure, but after she saw the doctor they didn't give her any. Apparently her throat wasn't red like mine was. So it was more for the aching muscles that she took stuff. She went to a different medical centre than I did the other day, this one in the local shopping mall. It bulk bills (is free) too, and she knows the doctors there. I didn't think there were many places left that bulk billed everyone.

Having a quiet day at home. Supposed to be getting out and about, or something like that. Just don't feel like it.  

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Memory and concentration study

When I went and saw my GP the other day (re the letter) he asked if I wanted to take part in a new study they were getting ready to do at the medical centre there. I'm always willing to give something back after all the help I've gotten, so happily agreed to do it. He gave me the info forms to look at with the consent form to sign on the back. I was texted a couple of days later by one of the people upstairs as to whether I was wanting to participate, and as I was she made an appt for me on Mon to go in. I see a doctor downstairs at the centre first who is in charge of trials, and then go upstairs after that. 

The study is to 
"Help to better understand how common some memory and concentration difficulties are in persons who are HIV positive and to develop better ways of testing for these problems in the community."
Monday will be a "baseline visit" to see where I'm at currently in the head. I guess that involves looking at my medical history as well, particularly the brain injury at the beginning of this year. This visit is about an hour. I will have another one in 6 months. Also some people chosen at random will do further testing of about 2 hours.

It's all free of course. I'd be interested anyway to find out sort of where my head is at the moment. I still notice at times I can't do things like I used to. Complex tasks involving my brain are just overwhelming, and I have to break things down into little bits at a time. I can't figure out money at all, I get really confused with change for example. But in the grand scheme of things I may not directly benefit from the study myself, but the information gained would have a longer term benefit to the wider HIV community. Namely, greater knowledge about how HIV affects the brain.

The study will go for 2 years, so I imagine by that time they'd be able to test quite a few people. The results will be published in scientific journals and other forums. I will be able to receive the results as well if I want.

Simon has been in touch via email. I think that's a good way to communicate at the moment as it gives plenty of time to think and reply. We're going to see each other on Tuesday as he's in Sydney at the moment helping out his friend who's broken her ankle. Just a pub thing, a couple of afternoon beers. Not sure how I'm going to feel seeing him again. I've told him in the emails that although I wasn't angry at all, I was hurt by what he said. And it's all very well to say sorry now but obviously he meant it when he said it. But again it's nobody's fault, we're just on very different pages. And we did have very good times together.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Love Story

It's the latest add from GetUp here. Only a minute and a half. Must say I shed a tear at the end. Encourage all to watch it. 

I won't spoil it by hinting at the ending.

Thursday, 24 November 2011



I don't get it. Lots and lots of this that and the other. All this that and the other. With all my life, I don't get how shit can be put me, Just don't get it. I'm just having a laugh, and trying to find a laugh in this fucked up life. People don't understand this. I don't care. 

I'd have loved to stay the pub a bit longer, but I have to work in the morning. I didn't get hugely pissed, but happily pissed according to those at the pub who where there. It means nothing.

Night. Will say something darlings when I'm a bit sober. Take care all xxx 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Some pics when out

Had three appts yesterday.

First was the Renal clinic about the kidneys. The test they did most recently showed another decrease in the creatinine levels, which are only slightly elevated now from what they would be if they were normal. A very good result, particularly as to how close I was to dying in Jan. I don't have to go back now for 6 months, and have to get some blood taken a bit before that appt so they will have the results when I see them. 

Next was the psychologist. We discussed the way I was feeling about going out and doing things, and that I didn't quite seem able to actually get out the front door. Perhaps a bit less attention to the inner dialogue that goes on in my head before going out was suggested. Even though, for example, I may be thinking a trip to the beach might be incredibly tedious and boring, it in fact may not be when I actually get there. There are issues like anxiety/fear about leaving the house, or getting out of anyplace where I'm feeling completely comfortable. That's to be expected after such traumas as have been.

Had about 2 hours before my next appt with my GP. I had to see him again about getting a new letter done for this never ending saga of this Superannuation of mine. Didn't really want to go all the way home and back again on the bus, so just sat in the pub and had a beer or two in the meantime. Took some pictures about Taylor Square and Oxford St. Nothing spectacular, and it was a bit overcast. Just sort of average daily life type pics.

Throat has cleared up a lot. Will see how it goes at work tomorrow in the air conditioning. No appts today at all. Just got to do some shopping for the work lunches and some bits and pieces.  

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I finally did it. I actually got to the point of watching the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Having trouble sleeping last night with a headache and sore throat, so plugged it into the telly in the bedroom. Daughter gave me the file some time ago and it's just been sitting there on one of my external hard drives for weeks. I got a little stereo in the bedroom too and plugged the sound into that. Daughter was out with friends so didn't need to worry about it being too load. 

I was very impressed. Am a Planet of the Apes fanatic. I have three of the original movies on DVD, including the very first one made in 1968 with Charlton Heston. Dunno how many times I've watched it;

The new remakes were pathetic I thought. There was something about those first ones, a certain feel to the movie, that leaves them towering above those modern remakes. So I was a bit skeptical about this latest release.

What impressed me so much I think was that it was able to capture that same sort of feel of the original movie way back in 1968. There were also some direct references to the original in this one. The apes being locked in cells, as the humans were, and the line "It's a madhouse! A madhouse!"

The best line of all though was a direct reference to Heston's legendary line in the original, when his throat finally heals and he speaks for the first time, "Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!" What a line!

And in this movie, the line is used again. "Take your stinking paw off me you damn dirty ape!", and Caesar speaks for the first time. The word "NO!" OMG I was getting goosebumps all over. 

Looks like I have found something I used to like doing. Watching Planet of the Apes.

Went to the medical centre just up the road yesterday. Lucked out only had to wait 20 minutes to see a doctor. Bulk billed/free. I'm back on antibiotics again. Doc said my throat was very red and I explained a bit of what had been going on, and that I'd rather fix it now than it maybe turn into something worse. Only 5 days worth, she didn't give any repeats. Probably be enough. So sick of taking the bloody things. Got diarrhea again already from them.  

Saturday, 19 November 2011

A way forward

OMG what a terrible day it was yesterday.

I spent the night tossing and turning, aching muscles all over, and coughing up slime from my throat. I was awoken by the alarm cat at 5:40am, who appeared a bit confused at my haggard state. "Oh fuck" I thought. "I've got to go to fuckin work". I thought about having the day off sick, but we're really understaffed there this week and FFS surely I can turn up for only 3 days!

Sat up in bed and pulled the curtains. Bright sunny day, light already before 6. Noticed a group of bicyclists across the road on their morning ride. Then a running lady. "Fuck! Are these people all mad? How can they possibly do that at this bloody hour?" I said to the cat. I proceeded to get ready and go to work. Spent the day in the air conditioning there coughing and sneezing and blowing my nose. Pounding headache, Back just aching all day. Ran out of Panadol so just had to deal with it, as there's no shops near the place to buy any. Lucky I did go to work though as there was a lot that had to be done that day. Got home at 4pm and collapsed into bed. Didn't get up until about 8 this morning. Slept most of the time except to have something to eat.

I may go to the doctors down the road today, the one near here and they bulk bill everyone. Only thing is those places get packed as everyone goes there, and you can wait for over an hour to be seen. They don't do appts either, you just turn up and wait your turn. Dunno if the centre that my HIV GP is at is even open on the weekend, and it's such a way to go. So sick of seeing doctors though, will see how I go today with it out of that bloody air conditioning. I'm sure it makes me worse. Sitting here quite comfortably at home without a problem. Occasional cough and blowing of the nose is all. I may take some Panadol shortly though; the magic elixir. 

Got a lovely friendly letter from the nice bank yesterday (the one that wasn't calling me from India). I have been accepted for their financial hardship assistance. Oh how quaint. 

Maybe they've finally figured out there's actually a reason why people hate the banks? I know it took the gov to regulate them with these hardship measures, but the contrast between the niceness of one bank and the harassment from the other is stark. The nice bank obviously sees this as an opportunity to improve it's image, the other bank sees it as a bloody hassle and has to be dragged kicking and screaming to follow the legislation. 

Speaking of the other bank, the $guru rang them again about the calls from India. They apologised and said they should have been stopped. He told them if I get one more call he will make a formal complaint to the financial ombudsman. They have now completely stopped. I really don't know WTF was the point of them anyway. It was simple out and out harassment. I've decided to change banks after that. Nearly 30 years with them and they treat me like that. Harassment from an Indian call centre FFS. As if I haven't got enough problems already. The only thing it's accomplished is to drag their name into the dirt. 

With the negotiating the 80% debt whip-out thing, I've had to provide a "statement of financial position", sort of like a budget, along with assets and liabilities. Guru reckons it's looking favourable, but they need that from me within 2 weeks. I emailed it to the guru today. Looking at it I can guess where the guru is coming from in getting the debt reduced. Something like if they demand the whole $31,000 then it'd drive me into bankruptcy and they'd get nothing, so how about accepting something less? The whole lot is unsecured, two credit cards and a personal loan. That's why the interest rate on the loan was nearly 16% as it was unsecured. 

So far so good I guess. Going belly up isn't turning out to be quite the Armageddon I was expecting. I mean if you have bad luck you have bad luck. It's not my fault I can't pay. I got sick, simple as that. Not trying to rip anyone off. Been honest with them all and told them my situation. Even if it has taken gov legislation to do it, there does seem to be a way forward through it all.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

80% of debt wiped?

The $guru has been doing his stuff. He has told me in emails that he's applied to the banks to have 80% of my dept completely wiped. 

I am stunned. I had no idea this was a possibility. He said it takes about 2 weeks for this "process". I'm not counting my chooks yet, but if this is going to be something that is actually going to happen, I'm even more stunned. Particularly as he works through a charity and is giving me his services for free. 

The Indian phone calls from the evil bank only stopped for one day. I've emailed $guru again in complete utter frustration at them. So very pissed off about it. They rang me today at work on the shop floor, which I've told everyone only ring me if it's important as we're not even supposed to have mobiles there (security reasons for the mailing we do). I told them for the 4th time in a row that it'd been referred to my financial adviser who was going through the financial hardship channels, and "Don't ring me again please! Thank you". This is so fucked up. It's starting to really stress me out.

I had to email my two doctors again today re the letters that had to be adjusted. Guru emailed them last month and has heard nothing. Looks like I may have to go in and see both of them again in a special visit again just for this.

I was tired as hell today. Hard to get up. Hard to go to work. Hard to be bothered with life. I think this whole money thing is having a go at my moods. It's all too hard when you're feeling down. 

Went early to bed last night, didn't sleep for ages. Just didn't want to be up. Lay there feeling bad, memories swimming around in my head. The odd stab in the heart before the next ones. Fell asleep eventually. Had the strangest dream about being chased by people and escaping to a high cliff top. I never fell, but was always in extreme danger of doing so. I never escaped before I woke.

Monday, 14 November 2011

One step at a time

Feeling so much better today. Went to bed early after a big meal, slept all up for about 12 hours. Had no indigestion, even though I went to bed on a full stomach (frozen chicken things with mashed potatoes and baby peas). Daughter had some of the meal I made too, I always seem to make too much. No nausea this morning. No aches and pains. No headache. Started wondering about marijuana and it's use amongst HIV+ people. There certainly seems to be some benefits there.

Can't believe daughter is nearly 21. Didn't know whether to get a card for her, or one for myself saying "I made it!" Certainly hasn't been easy, but I'd have to say it hasn't for either of us. I mean how many teenagers have to deal with their mother dying and their father becoming HIV+? It does show a strength of character that she's come through all of that and become a responsible adult. We've been getting on very well since she moved back in. Who'd have ever thought that two years ago when she had me in court? 

Not able to give her anything much on the day, am broke but she knows that. Got a card with hardly any writing in it so I can write my own stuff. Those silly written things in cards are so trite. Much better to say something personal and meaningful. I like this front of the card, that is exactly her.

Was thinking of the beach today, but I dunno. Maybe I've just sort of grown out of it. It all seems such a boring exercise; pack sunscreen and towel into bag, go lie on beach, swim, lie on beach more, swim more, feel bloody hot, have shower, go home. Meh. I think that's why I stopped going a while back as it was just so monotonous. And all these people trying to look cool, the perfect tan with the perfect body. There's the nudist beach down the road, but its such a long walk to get there from the bus stop, across another beach first and then down a long path through the trees. They're not really into the cool thing, they just let it all hang out.

Maybe I should try doing things that are less of a stretch. I used to like reading Sci-Fi a lot. And watching DVD's. Maybe I could rent a couple of movies up the road this afternoon. Haven't for ages. I'm starting to wonder if the telly still works as I haven't even had the thing on for days now.

Whatever I decide to do, am not going to feel guilty if I don't do very much at all. Keep reminding myself I have to do things at my own pace, and whatever speed that is, that is fast enough. People here can have this thinking that you have to get out and enjoy the sunshine and all. All out doorsy and sporty. Me I've never liked playing sport. Was terrible at it. A dip at the beach was about as out doorsy as I got. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Hair of the dog

Hello darlings!

I am in a good mood tonight. Went to the pub for a few beers this afternoon as I was soooooooo hungover. I wasn't sure if the dog had any hair left, but I made the attempt. I somehow made it to the pub by about 1pm. I felt so fuckin incredibly shit. Everything aching, head included. Nauseous, almost dry retching. I had a small bowl of blueberries for breakfast when I finally got up at about 11am. It helped, but after a while I started feeling so fuckin credibly shit again. Enough was enough, I headed to the pub for a hair of the dog.

The first beer was hard to get through. It took me about half an hour, and was getting a bit warm at the end. I didn't feel much better. 

The second beer was feeling much better to drink. But I still felt sick.

The third beer I was getting a bit worried. I finished that and still felt awful. "Fuckin three beers" I thought,"and I still feel like shit'

The fourth beer started getting a bit of a blur by that point. I was starting to speed up with the beers. 

The fifth beer I finally was feeling a lot better about half way though it. Fuck, what a nightmare hangover man! Five beers to get rid of it! Ugh. I guess I'd have to dub that the five beer hangover

I got home and daughter is here with some dope. She's 21 in a few days, and went out Friday night to some city nightspot with friends (fri) to celebrate. Big night. There was an entourage of about 30 people or so turned up to be there for it. So I guess she got a lot of stuff as presents. I've had some beers today so just one puff was fine with me. But I'd have to say just from that I'm pretty fuckin smashed. She was smoking this whole long joint she'd made. Thin, to not smoke it too fast, but a rather long joint. She had the main bit when she offered me it, but I'd say she's left some of it for another day. It's just too much to have all in that joint and not to expect lying on the floor for a while trying to feel your arms.

I got 2 calls yesterday from the Indian call centre. In anybody's book that is harassment. I'm glad the guru says they will end soon. I now utterly despise this particular bank involved. Will change banks I reckon. To one more friendly. All I need them for is for my pay to go in, I can do that with any of them.

I have to go. Yesterday I forgot to eat. My dinner now is ready. 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Dealing with the Indian call centre

Was so tired at work this week. I dunno how I ever worked 5 days earlier this year as sick as I was. May have been due to the heat as we've had some very warm weather for a couple of days. And the air conditioning at work wasn't going properly and had to be fixed. It was quite hot and humid inside the factory and was sweating. Good god, sweating darlings! All too much for a delicate flower such as I. Had the air conditioner on at home for a couple of hours at night just to get the humidity out of the room. Been going to work just in t-shirt and shorts in the mornings. The other morning on the way to work the driver had a radio on the bus listening to it, and they gave the temperature at 7am as 27 degrees C (80F). 

Was talking to a mate at work about the whole bank thing. Quite amazed by all this new info I'm finding out. He said all these laws regarding financial hardship came in under the Labor gov only the last few years after they tossed out John Howard and his mob. Certainly is going to be something to remember in the future. Back before these laws the banks, despite making profits of $billions and someone like me going nearly 30 years as a perfect customer, they just fucked you over when you fell on bad times. That's what pissed me off about the Indian call centre; after all those years the bank thought it was just fine to harass me like that, inferring even that my not paying was somehow my fault. 

I spoke to the $guru later after the email exchange, and discussed the whole matter. I said I thought you wouldn't expect a bank to act illegally like that. That you'd think that the bank would know the law. He reckoned (and I guess he'd know as he deals with this all the time) that they do know the law, but that they simply try it on with you. And that usually a threat to take them to the Ombudsman gets them to play fair. Again, this is after being a customer of theirs for nearly 30 years, and they treat me like this! I'm not impressed with them at all. Particularly as the other bank I have a debt with has been a huge contrast; friendly, helpful, and no fuckin Indian call centre harassment. 

Guru says the calls will probably continue over the weekend as his Authority to act on my behalf form he faxed them will take 48 hours to get into their computers. I said I could handle that. In fact I got one yesterday and just hung up. I've realised there's quite a delay between me saying hello and them starting to speak, so I know straight away it's them. Oh..... just got another one now. Meh..... Told them it's all been referred to my financial counselor who will be acting on my behalf. That pretty well shut them up.  Lovelly. 

They are relentless. A while back my contract ran out with my ISP and so I could end it with that company if I wanted and go elsewhere. I didn't want to, was happy with the service. But suddenly started getting these aggressive calls from India trying to get me to sign up for another 2 year contract. I didn't want to, but they kept ringing and ringing for ages. Relentlessly hounding me. I guess they're on commission, but I doubt the companies hired by them have any idea how much having to deal with them trashes the brand of that company. 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

$guru to the rescue

I have totally got the shits with my bank, of which I've been with for ages. After 3 calls from the Indian call centre, the last being one day after another, I sent this email to my $guru:
I'm having a lot of problems with ........... Bank. They keep ringing me telling me I'm behind in payments when I've already told them what I'm doing to address the matter (Super). They are hugely annoying calls from an Indian call centre. Each one tells me there's been notes put on my file re my situation, but nobody seems bothered to read them. ........... wouldn't agree to offer any sort of hardship thing as they said it was either Super or their hardship thing, one or the other. I told them I won't be able to pay anything until I get the results of the Super application in 2-3 months, but they still wouldn't offer me financial hardship. And so I'm continually getting these bloody calls, having to explain over and over.

Particularly as I've been with the bank for nearly 30 years, I think this is really unfair. I've never missed any sort of payment with them in all those years until now. Have you got any pointers on what I can do about it? Or possibly if you rang them it might help?
I was just about at the end of my wits with this shit. I'd done all I could to keep them informed about my situation but now I was being copped with crap from an Indian call centre, starting to look like it was going to be about every day forever more. My guru sent me this reply shortly after:

I will send a fax to ..........tomorrow & follow with a phone call.

I will also advise them that we may make a formal complaint to FOS ( the Financial Ombudsman Service) for not directing you to their Hardship section, as they are required to do under the National Consumer Code.
I'll let you know .
- calls should stop pretty soon. In the meantime, just answer the calls with..."the matter has been referred to my Financial Counsellor, please do not call again otherwise a formal complaint will be lodged with the FOS.."
OMG! It seems the banks here are bound by some law that pretty much says they can't fuck me over if I'm financially fucked. They have to follow particular procedures in addressing my financial fuckness, as ordered by the gov. I learn now that that doesn't involve not offering me financial hardship; they are required by law to do that and are breaking the law if they don't. My bank has broken the law in denying me it.

I'm so glad of the guru. I'd have not the faintest idea about any of this without him. I dunno if he's straight or whatever, that's not the point. I feel like kissing him and giving a big huge next time I see him, straight or not. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

My own pace

Got to see the psychologist yesterday. Had been about a month since the last visit after me cancelling and the stuff up with the next appt. He was of course very interested in the happenings with Simon.

He agreed that there was nothing sinister meant by what he was saying, and that it was a good thing for us both to recognise that he was getting sick of it all with me. There's often some kind of unsaid rule about the healthy one in a relationship; sort of that it's selfish of the well one to address their own issues when the other is unwell. I learned in counseling years ago however (when I was the carer for my wife) that it shouldn't be the case at all like that. People who are well have just as much right as the sick person to address their own feelings and needs. And it is in fact selfish of the sick person if they put their needs above the other. 

And what a fucked up year it's been for me. Cripes, I'm not surprised he got sick of it. Think he needs time and space to do his own thing. 

There's also the thing again, that sometimes people think that I'm going to get better somehow. That's true to a certain extent regarding the kidneys and money issues, as these problems are being addressed. But though, being chronically ill with HIV involves ongoing mental health issues that will never go away. They may improve over time, and I am addressing that too by seeing the psychologist, but there's a certain psychological state involved with being not only chronically ill, but that illness being HIV. 

It can be very lonely at times. There's so very many people in the general community who just don't understand. There are issues of disclosure, rejection. Issues affecting relationships. Knowing that you'll have to be taking powerful drugs for the rest of your life. These issues will never go away, they'll always be there. 

Simon I think had some sort of idea I was going to get a lot better a lot quicker. I'm not going fast enough for him. That can't be helped though as I just have to go at my own pace. I've been to hell and back. It's going to take some time to get any sort of normalcy going again in my life.

Have been thinking back about things I used to like to do before it all turned to shit. Psychologist is suggesting I start doing some of those things again to reconnect back with life. I've been thinking about them recently but when I start to do it I sort of can't get going. I used to go to the beach a lot for example, but I haven't been for years. Lately I've sort of had this thing about not going very far from home, sort of fearing something if I do. At home everything's here, supermarket 10 minute walk away, and pub. Work not far. Feeling safe in my own space, knowing nothing will happen.

Simon on the other hand is the opposite completely. He's always thinking of travel and getting away. Doing things out of the ordinary. He's a very creative person. But I'm just not in that same head space as he is. The thought of travel is scary. 

But to reconnect with life I'd have to start dealing with that fear I suppose. Small steps at a time. At my own pace.

This beach is only one bus away. I may go down there next week, not on the weekend though as I'd get a bit stressed with too many people. Maybe Monday or Tuesday. Sounds a ridiculously small effort,  but I guess you have to start somewhere. Maroubra beach:


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Welcome to the boomtown

Property prices are so high the average person can barely afford to rent, let alone buy anything, despite our high wages here. Interest rates are at about 6% for home loans. Oh but yeah we have only 5% unemployment. Yet the employers are still coming out with "You're lucky to even have a job". Yeah, lucky us.....

I like Sydney. I like it's beaches, and the ability to live near them. To be able to earn enough money to live, and the availability of jobs. I like the labour shortage and the pressure that puts on wages for skilled workers. 

But I don't like this whole concentration on money. Many here that's all life seems to be about; getting money and having it. Getting property, getting wealth not just getting by. Spending your life making some dream of owning a home, having a late model car in the driveway, and a lovely looking lawn. Using your home as an investment instead of just a place to live.

And here's me, right in the middle of all this in Eastern Sydney. Here's me contemplating the meaning of life and death, with fuck all money and really not caring about having it. No car in the driveway, bugger all in assets. Here's me with HIV in the middle of a boomtown. 

It all seems so incredibly meaningless. Incredible BS. Incredibly fake, and nothing to do at all with what life is really about. Yet people do think that; that the acquisition of things is the ultimate goal in life. Boring people. People sucked into the system. 

Some commentators assert that Sydney's property market is about 40% over priced, particularly given the international price of property now. I keep saying to people that the property boom won't last forever, but as it's gone on since about the mid '80's people think it will. I can't believe the stupidity. But more-so that they've built their whole financial existence here around the price of their house. Borrowed money on it as equity, up to their eyeballs in debt. My pissy little $30,000 debt is nothing when you owe half a million. If property does crash here the effects will be hugely far reaching into the economy.

But hey, we're in the boomtown eh? The money is never gonna stop. But yeah whatever. Life isn't all about money.

Being poor in the boomtown is very enlightening. The contrast makes you value the things in life that really matter. And it isn't money. It's people.  


Lighten up

Not feeling so bad today. Not jumping for joy, but not down either. Just sort of flat. Made a conscious effort yesterday to try and lighten up a bit. That black mood I got into wasn't good.

Hot day here in Sydney. Sunny and humid. Is good to have a bit of warm weather. 

Just a quiet day for me today. Perhaps some shopping later. There are fresh blueberries on special I notice at the supermarket.  

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Thinking Positive

Came across this interesting story from the Australian 60 Minutes here. Only recently aired but I missed it as I barely watch any TV at all these days. But the link was sent to me in the latest email from Positive Life NSW and so I watched it online. Dunno if the video will load overseas, but there's the transcript there as well to read if it doesn't. Is about straight women getting HIV, and that they are now the group here that has the highest infection rate.

I found the whole report highly interesting. Much of what they were saying was the same sort of thing that I'm going through. One particular thing that was mentioned:
MICHAEL USHER: Medical advances mean HIV can now be managed with proper treatment, but it’s a long hard road. Sarah faces a lifetime of powerful medication.
I do find that frustrating at times, that now people just think that you take some pills then you're OK. It just doesn't work like that. There are complications from medications that, as mentioned, are powerful. There are the prejudices and stigmas to deal with that still exist today. And a plethora of mental health issues associated with having HIV. It's not easy.

I went to work yesterday, and it was another BS day. It's not the actual work that's a problem, but being fucked around by management who couldn't organise a fuck in a brothel. Is bad enough the physical workload, but to be mentally exhausted too is fucked. 

I see the psychologist on Monday, think I really better go this time. Have been feeling badly the last few days. Last Monday I got there but there'd been a stuff up with the appts so I had to reschedule. He was very apologetic on the phone, but to be honest I felt so badly that I didn't want to talk anyway. Still want to discuss the Simon events.

It's a lovely day here in Sydney. Didn't get up until 10, but opened the window and a nice fresh sea breeze coming in. Cat sits there and sniffs the air. Got it into my head that it was a new day, and to try and lighten up a bit.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

fuck..... Unbelievable......

It's been a rough two days at work. Really fuckin rough. I'm exhausted and not feeling like being there tomorrow. 

In fact not even like being here at all. Having no fear of death is a problem I reckon. 

Why bother with this shit? Why keep going? 

But then there's the thing..... I seem to be unable to cark it...... A cat with 9 lives....... Show me the face of death and I'll fuckin survive.....  

FUCK. Why? 

Today I don't want to. Today I just miss my wife. Today all I want is to go be with her. Today I've had enough and don't want to live. Today I don't care anymore. Today I don't want tomorrow......well not tomorrow here anyway.......

Today I got a call, btw, from a call centre in India about my debt. Some dumb bitch crapping on about what I'd already crapped to her bank here in Oz. She rang at lunch when I was in the cafeteria at work. I could barely understand her. I didn't care about a word she was saying, even if I could actually understand her.

This all sucks really fuckin badly. 

*apologies*, Darlings I've just gotten home from work. I went to the Pub on the way home, and met up with three really good friends down there by chance. One a very recent one, two more long term ones, and the uncle of the more recent one before that too. 

Needless to say we all get on like a fuckin house on fire! For example: .....

New mate, younger than his uncle, is about my age (me49, him 52) and we work in very similar industries as regards out work view. Both in strong unions and stand up to the bosses, even if we're on our own in front of those wankers eh. He's a truckie around Sydney earning good tradesman's money delivering petrol to petrol station's. I am in strong manufacturing union nearly just going on strike over getting a decent pay rise recently.

But we're from different sides of the spectrum. As a truckie he listens to conservative talk show hosts and for some strange reason agrees with them. Like for example that Julie Gillard, the most far right Labor I reckon to lead the so called "Left" party ever, is in fact "almost a Communist"! 

Yet we both laugh about the bosses BS telling the unions the same thing they told each of our companies; like the broke story, or the doomed story, or the end of life in this company story if you get a wage rise. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


They are the last words of Steve Jobs, as written by his sister's Eulogy.

It's not often I read something on the internet as moving as what she's written there. She describes what it was like being with him until the end. It was such a reminder of what it's like to be one of those to do that with someone as they die. Death is so final, so heart-wrenching, and yet in some ways so beautiful. 

The beauty of our expression of love for each other in those last days and hours. As we walk together near the end, we become bonded closely in this mutual love. We're both there for each other, and we feel each others pain. We stay with them to help them in their final journey, and they are grateful for our company and compassion.

And finally, we both arrive. We're the closest we've ever been. Our love so strong as to be almost sacred. We both understand each other completely. But now we must say goodbye. 

Such as it was for me and my wife. I felt her go as she left this world. We were so close it was like I almost had a taste of wherever it was she went; somewhere very peaceful and beautiful. It was like she took part of me with her. But I couldn't follow her any further. Our journey together was over, for now at least....

Death is something much thought about by HIV+ people. Suddenly we realise our mortality and are forced to consider our own end. Something Job's sister wrote really stuck with me:

 We all — in the end — die in medias res. In the middle of a story. Of many stories.

And so it will be for me. One day I too will be taking that final journey. And as with everyone else, death will come in the middle of my story. If I'm still writing this blog, I promise to include all of you in that journey. And I'll bid you farewell at the end.