venerdì, giugno 07, 2013

For the love of money

Using this online foreign exchange service some friends here recommended (which thankfully I did just before the Aussie dollar entered a slide that I think will be longish term) is making me miss Grandad like, frankly, nothing has since his funeral. I would love to be able to show him how to use this thing. He would be so excited about it. I would love to show him a side-by-side comparison, online, of how much the exchange would cost with a bank service and how much it would cost with the trader service; talk to him about the relative speed, rates, fees, security, etc. And then we could talk about international currencies. I would fucking love that. We would totally bond over that, like we bonded over nothing while he was around.

My Grandad would make a really good ghost. He'd just be so interested in all the things that are possible now. 

He and I are most similar in money terms which was a bit of a shame. At the point where he died I was just poised on the edge of having enough money to have money values like his, so we never intersected while he was actually around. He died when I was a little more than halfway through my job with the television company and I think I had just got used to having a salary big enough to make me feel like my appetites weren't being constrained, which means I had stopped spending my lunch hours giddily shopping my ass off and had started thinking about money as something that maybe I should work on having long term by making it do things for me.

Godzilla and I just got back from a trip to New Zealand visiting Rodelinda, BTW, and in its Land-that-Time-Forgottish way that country also reminded me of Grandad. Lots of sensible old men dressed in respectable, durable woollens they'd obviously had longer than I'd been alive. For the first time in years, I actually shopped my ass off there - buying respectable, durable woollens.

Love you, Grandad. If you're haunting us I hope you're enjoying it.

giovedì, giugno 06, 2013

Vanity unchained

Remind me to stop looking at job ads. I have a really great job. I'm overpaid and underworked, and getting all sorts of experience that will look better and better the more I stick it out. And I have enough friends working at charities and NGOs that I should be a little harder-nosed about how attractive it might be to work at one of them myself.

Toward the end of the quarter (now) is when the really interesting bit of my job crops up, which is writing big fancy involved market/financial reports about a few different sectors and countries that have to be pleasurably readable to Anglophones and ESL types alike. I tend to act a little put-upon around this time of the quarter and think I should probably feel stressed out because while I'm generally fairly indispensable at work (my best professional advice to anybody - manouevre yourself into indispensability) THIS shit is my real bread and butter - the font of all the other blessings that come along with the job.

But I'm not stressed, actually. In fact this "stressful" period is what keeps my brain young and sharp as the undergrad on speed I once was. Researching, writing, and writing so people want to read it. Chasing that high grade, which given my utter lack of long-term professional and academic ambition (I did my masters because it was cheap and gave me something to do with my spare time while I was still wrapped up in screwing Bluebird in Paris) was always an end in itself while I was in school - cracking the professorial code and deciphering how I needed to present arguments to get a nice ego-stroking A+. In this case there's no A+, just people active on the markets you cover treating your reports like a Bible, which is even better for the ego, and much, much better on the pocketbook.

So. Basically my professional life at the moment is successful because it lets me manifest my monstrous vanity. And there's only one thing to go to from there, of course. Do the same thing for an organisation with some sort of useful social purpose. Then - oh, then, what a constant sop to my vanity performing well would be! It would go from monstrous to gargantuan, behemothish, titanic, et cetera.

Maybe that's not such a good thing. So remind me to stop looking at job ads. Until the mortgage is paid, at least. 

lunedì, giugno 03, 2013

Winter in the city

Today was one of those days when as soon as I walked out the door, people started giving me the shits. It happens a lot in L____. Fucking full of shitful people. Halfway downtown some lady who'd just been offended at the post office stopped me on the street and told me about it so that the next time I go in there I should cut the rude lady's brain with my tongue. And you know, in the abstract I don't have a problem with that sort of thing - the approaches from crazy people, not the brain-cutting-with-tongue. It's just something I associate with living in larger cities where there are benefits to make up for such things, like restaurants where I actually want to fucking eat and shops where I actually want to shop and some sort of fucking cultural life that extends beyond discussing housing renovations over overpriced woodfired pizza whose fucking magical hippie 1000 year old sourdough base taste like an old communion hostie.

But L____ is full of people with fucked up brains, shitty buskers, and panhandlers, as if it was some sort of fucking metropolis. I guess it's because you can't freeze to death here. In Canada you have to go somewhere big enough to have shelters, or to Vancouver. And I guess meth is permanently changing the nature of country towns all over the world. Even though Australians are so fucking half-assedly lazy they actually import their meth instead of cook it themselves. Immovably inert motherfuckers. God. No wonder these xenophobic fucks are so scared of boat people. Anybody with the fucking nous to scrape together such a big pile of money and brave so much uncertainty, danger and discomfort to come to this fucking place on a leaky Indonesian fishing boat is going to be able to put this fucking snoozefest of a culture on the barbeque and eat it for brunch.

Anyways, we're going to Canada soon, and with a little elbow grease Melbourne soon after, which is the least Australian place I've seen in Australia. I'll put up and shut up. Godzilla makes things easier. It's hard to keep a hold on a pisser when he smiles, which he does most of the time.