OK, I don't normally do surveyish things. I don't like them. They're just one step down from posting quiz results. But here's one that I think has some validity. I've been so dodgy with updates lately, especially updates about anything tangible. So this survey seems like a quick, effective, and most importantly, downright lazy way for me to bring people up to speed. And it seems the rest of you have all been doing this anyway, so I guess I'll join in on the fun.
1. First Name: André.
2. Age: 21.
3. Location: Melbourne, Victoria. I lived on the Kapiti Coast of New Zealand from January 1987 to October 1997, then the Gold Coast, Queensland until February 2006, Brisbane, Queensland until January 2007, and Melbourne since. I have absolutely no intention of going anywhere any time soon, and the only place I can ever really see myself moving to is back to New Zealand, say somewhere in the Greater Wellington or Wairarapa region. Featherston is quite attractive, or of course my beloved Kapiti Coast hometown of Raumati Beach. As of 30 June this year, I will have lived over half my life in Australia. I am not happy about this fact. Maybe I'll get completely sloshed and hope that when I wake up, I find myself on a flight back to Wellington
4. Occupation: Student. I'm in my third and final year of undergrad study for the Bachelor of Arts right now, intending to do my Honours year next year before proceeding to postgrad and hopefully a career in academia.
5. Partner: My library of books and music. It doesn't care if I spend a lot of time in other libraries. Seriously, I simply cannot be bothered with all the stupidity and bullshit of relationships. I have better things to do with my life. Maybe I'll stumble into one at some point down the track, but it sure won't be at my own instigation.
6. Kids: God help us all if I ever reproduce.
7. Brothers/Sisters: None. Well, I refer to the sons of my mother's partner as stepbrothers for conversational ease, because that's much easier than "the sons of my mother's partner", but I don't actually think of them as stepbrothers. Especially since they aren't, due to Mum and Alan not actually being married.
8. Pets: Six zebrafish. They ... swim and stuff. And since I like the little guys and don't want them to die, they give me a good excuse to not go on lengthy holidays. Though this may be a problem once I finally get together a group to go on a lengthy jaunt around New Zealand. Hoping to maybe put something together for summer later this year/early next.
9. List the 3-5 biggest things going on in your life:
- University, of course. Currently drowning under end of semester work, but in five days everything will be done and I can relax for winter holidays. I have one essay due on the 20th, another any time between the 20th and the 24th, and an exam on the 23rd. Bonnie from Interference conveniently arrives in Melbourne for a holiday on the 23rd, so an Interference gathering for dinner and drinks would be a quite welcome way to forget about this tiring semester.
- My mother's health, which was of such considerable concern a few months ago, seems fairly stable at the moment. It is not the best and it never will be, but right now she seems much better than she was and I'm accordingly a bit more relaxed about things. At the moment, it seems like there's just this slow process of consultations with specialists and occasional outpatient surgery.
- As stated in my last entry, I'm now officially legally blind. Unlike most people, I am happy about this, since my vision hasn't actually changed; it's just been acknowledged for what it is.
- My Mac won't connect with the Internet and I haven't gotten around to fixing it. Since I listen to music on it, this means I haven't been updating last.fm for months; I have been doing this dedicatedly since 2005, so it feels bloody weird not to be. I hope to fix it over the holidays. Having it out of action has rather cramped my studying style too, since I prefer to write essays on the Windows with all my research up on the Mac. I am very, very seriously considering buying a laptop as I can see it coming in increasingly useful for my academic work. It would have made things a lot quicker with regards to my Royal Historical Society work!
- After going through a process of intellectual enquiry, I suppose I should consider myself more atheist than agnostic. I'd write more about this, but I feel like it would come across as too preachy, too "hurrr God almost certainly don't exist you fools", and less "here's what I'm thinking at the moment; let's explore it a little", so I won't force it.
10. Where and for what did you go to university?: (Yes, I fixed this question. The phrasing was poor and I graduated school in 2004. I do not go to school. I go to university. Goddamn Americans.) I go to the University of Melbourne. I did my first year at the University of Queensland. Both are quality institutions, though Melbourne is superior. I actually began as an International Relations and History major, with IR my primary focus and History simply to provide context and background. As it turned out, I found myself much more attracted to History, so that is now my primary focus. New Zealand's history is my specialty. I am also completing a Political Science major, but only because I am so close to having the points for one that I might as well. Had I made my decision to focus on History prior to semester two last year rather than after it, I would've double-majored in History and ditched PolSci entirely.
11. Parents?: My mother is the most important person to me and I wish she did not live interstate. I think my father and I benefit from having the Tasman Sea between us. I think the problem is that we're simply too similar in all the wrong ways, so we inevitably clash. I regret that we are not closer and I imagine he does too, but we both have the kind of sufficiently distant personalities that we won't act. Or even say anything about it to each other.
12. Grandparents?: Grandpa, my paternal grandfather, died in February. I still have not yet accepted that he is dead. Partly because I have not been back to New Zealand, so I didn't go to the funeral, haven't been to his grave, and haven't visited my grandparents' place to find just Grandma there. I still expect him to be there telling lame jokes, pottering about in the garden with his chrysanthemums, and sharing random stories. As for my maternal grandparents, Nan is probably the person I'm closest to after my mother, and I also wish she lived in Victoria rather than Queensland. Grandad is still in New Zealand and I wish I got to see him more than I do. We've always gotten on very well, even if his own children don't quite view him with the fondness that I do.
13. Who are some of your closest friends?: Hard question to answer. This year has been a process of reconstructing my friendships. At the moment, I would say I have four circles. Firstly, the high school/Queensland circle, most of whom have unfortunately drifted away due to faults both mine and theirs, though I am still in touch with Jamie regularly and would consider him to probably be my best friend. Secondly, the Melburnian Interferencers circle, who are cool and diverse people. Thirdly, the albino/shit eyesight group, especially my fellow albino railfan, Kat. And fourthly my close online friends, such as numerous people on my friends list and people like Lauren and Holly who are a couple of my longest and closest friends. Despite this impression of lots of friends, all four circles are very small, half of them don't live in Melbourne, and since I am a very distant person, I'm not sure whether any more than 3 or 4 of these people should be considered anything approaching close by the standards of most people. Makes me feel a bit lost, as I've always been somebody to have one especially close friend in my life, be they Sean (1999-2001), Sam (2000-04), or Kate (2004-07). If Jamie lived in Melbourne instead of Toowoomba, I don't doubt he'd fulfill that role, but ah well. Probably the same applies to Sam, though his present religiosity is a little much for me sometimes.