Monday, January 18, 2010

Flights and frights

There never seems to be any news at this time of year. I'd almost given up watching the so-called news on TV (of which very little was news at all) but on Wednesday I tuned in just in case. Oh boy. It was hell on earth. The reported death toll from the Haiti Earthquake varies widely, but it looks like being somewhere between the population of Cambridge (the one I was born in, not the one in the Waikato) and the population of Wellington. An enormous number. And most of those who survived have a very bleak future ahead of them.

The better news from my end is that I've booked a holiday. I'll be flying to the UK in early May and will spend twelve days in Thailand when I come back. I get back into Auckland towards the end of June. I was very pleased with my fare which came to $2400. I've got definite plans to go to Italy (I'm going on an intensive Italian course next week) and I'll maybe even spend some time in France if I can fit it in. I'll also want to see my grandmother, who isn't getting any younger, and my brother who I've only seen once, briefly, in the last six years.

With those six or seven weeks blacked out in my calendar, I can now set about finding some temporary or contract work. I phoned four recruitment agencies this morning. No luck yet but I'll keep trying. My best bet might still be Andy's place of work; the last time we spoke he seemed reasonably optimistic about a temporary assignment there.

We had the the first men's group of the year on Tuesday. As is often the case, Brendan dominated the first part of the session with his obsessive anger over a job he had more than ten years ago. He has a problem here and somebody really needs to talk to him (maybe me); it disrupts the meeting and doesn't do him any good either. We then watched the first two-thirds of Shirley Valentine which has so far (in my opinion) been a bloody good movie.

Talking of movies, I went with Julie on Wednesday to see an Italian film called Mid-August Lunch, a translation from its italian title Pranzo di Ferragosto. It was a bit like some of those French films I've seen, where not a lot happens but not a lot needs to. It did make me want to go to Italy, and I was able to pick out a surprising amount of Italian without looking at the subtitles.
On Saturday we had the monthly Autism NZ meeting which was fascinating as always. I had a long chat to a woman of around forty whose daughter had Asperger's and we'll be meeting up for dinner next weekend. I'm still toying with the idea of getting a diagnosis myself. When I was small my parents didn't want me officially diagnosed, even though the doctor said I was perhaps mildly autistic, mainly due to the stigma and lack of knowledge of the condition back then.

Yesterday I felt down and don't exactly know why. I put on my relaxation CD and did 750 pulls on Bazza's exercise machine, and that helped a bit. Maybe I was worried about finding work, or perhaps it was because of my poker bankroll which has been heading due south since that royal flush. I've also had two panic attacks in the past week. I still find them frightening, though now that I know what they are, they seem to subside after a couple of minutes.

Somebody commented on my last blog post. This was exciting for me because I average something like 0.0274 of a comment per post. There was one snag however - it was written in Chinese. Luckily you can go into Babel Fish and get a deadly accurate translation, even for languages that don't use the Roman alphabet. The message, in English, is "The semblance with the fact itself symbol, the common people actually easily is often not deceived by the incrustation." It's always been a major concern of mine that ordinary people aren't fooled by incrustations, so on reading that message I breathed one heck of a sigh of relief.

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