venerdì, gennaio 13, 2012

Brain hijack, bank heist

I think part of the reason Banker Jessica has been ruling supreme recently is the mortgage. As far as mortgages go, I suppose, in the great schemes of mortgages, it's not a very big one, and it's going away, slowly but surely. And now it's probably back at the forefront of my mind because it's going away a little more quickly, as Australia finally starts cutting into its interest rates. You'd think that would let it be less on my mind, but I feel obsessed with this bastard.

I've never owed money before, you see. The Bank of Mum and Dad paid for my undergrad, and gradschool was in France, hence cheap enough to pay for up front. And now suddenly, to owe a cunt of a bank six figures, for which they're charging extortionate rates by Canadian or European standards - even with the recent drops in the interest rates, they're still in credit-card-debt area by real-world standards - well fuck me, I don't like it. It's fucking wrong and I never would have consented to get into this situation if rents weren't so ridiculously inflated here. But at the point where our mortgage payments are pretty much what our rent would be for this place, I have to bow to the Big Fucking Fuckwitted Anglo obsession with home ownership.

But home ownership is a fucking scam. And it's not "ownership", it's being up to your fucking ears in debt to a loan shark entity that'll make you fucking homeless if you welsh, and then when you sell, after all the interest payments and maintenance costs and inflation you might not even be ahead. Rental properties are a good investment. Bank shares are a good investment. Buying a house is a fucking burden. It's a ticket to wage slavery. It's a ticket to valuable brain space being taken up by your fucking mortgage. God, the sooner we shake this shit off, the better. If we buy any more places to live in, I want to just buy them outright. No more signing over however many years of my life to a bank.

Anyways, that's enough of that. Kayaking time.

lunedì, gennaio 09, 2012

Agency, good and bad

This past Christmas was rather fucked up, as I've briefly alluded to, but ultimately not in a bad way. At the time it was bad. I was so homesick and uncomfortable with all the fucking carols about sleigh bells and shit when it was 40 degrees outside that I sat down in front of a box of chocolates and ate as many as I could. Which was only, interestingly, eight. A couple of years ago I could have murdered the whole box, no problem. I suspect my stomach is shrinking.

The chocolates helped, and then I basically threw myself into helping prepare for the big Christmas dinner - an absolutely inappropriate photo-replica of a northern European Christmas dinner, but oh well - and I realized, as I fussed over the angle of the napkins and the baby-ass smoothness of the tablecloth, that this might be why anal-retentive people are as they are. Distracting themselves from their misery by fussing over the sort of things that to my normal, non-miserable anal-expulsive self seem like absolute trivialities. Because it worked.

It's never an easy thing to be away from my family at Christmas, but this year was particularly difficult because summer-Christmas was no longer a novelty to me, and because the psychological distance between Australia and all my people besides the F-word overwhelms me sometimes, and because the F-word had some things out with some members of his family, members who are deeply unpleasant, and it got loud and ugly. That was obviously not a laugh riot at the time, and not conducive to me missing my own lovely family any less. But wow. It seems to have done him so much good. I guess he has a new sense of agency in his own life, by forcing a confrontation that could have never happened if he had just let things take their course. That's really interesting. And it's why, ultimately, Christmas wasn't fucked up in a bad way.

Aaaaaand my parents reacted to me feeling so homesick by telling me that they'll come meet me in Europe in June when I make a "business trip" back there after my business trip to Shanghai. Shanghai. Fuck, I don't know what the matter is with me sometimes. I'm struggling so much with Chinese but as we're planning on getting in the family way before long, I've also realized around the end of my awful, awful Chinese course is my last chance to comfortably go spend time there to consolidate the language a bit. So I've volunteered to spend a month at the Shanghai office training some new staff and being forced to speak that cunt of a language.

Sometimes my work ethic freaks me out. It's like my conscious self is lazy, laid-back Dread Pirate, who wants nothing more than a good book, a nice run, a beer on a hot day, good chats with friends, lots of fucking, and all those good things, and then my shadow is this middle-class British banker type who always wants things onwards and upwards, and grandiose exertions of her own agency no matter how fucking annoying that particular direction may be.