Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is my blog dead?

I couldn't really think of a proper title, but I just noticed that I hadn't posted for over 3 months, and was wondering if I ever would post, and what about.

the last post was pretty depressing. and I was really exhausted and really depressed. and after this, I started taking happy pills, and a friend gave me a bicycle so I started rolling around the flat streets of Brunswick, and instantly felt a hell of a lot better.

So.... a brief recap.

I was unemployed for 3 months. By that I mean, I was actively, intensely DESPERATELY looking for work:

I diligently applied for 10 jobs a week as specified in my mutual obligation diary. No luck.

I even applied for 10 public service jobs. No success (but probably quite a bit of luck in not ending up in the public service)

I cold canvassed every lecturer in every university in any field vaguely related to anything that my crazily erudite brain could teach/research/work in.

I received a lot of rejection emails.

and I received a tiny weeny bit of transcription work, which kept me from slashing my wrists in desperation.

I rang up friends whingeing long and hard, and some wonderful friends gave me little freelance jobs to stave off the last final limit of my credit card.

I did a scary freelance job for a nasty little man, who posted something on an academic e-list and got my fingers nastily burnt and my face nastily slapped.

I finally got a woefully underpaid part-time job in the arts-sector (after being a volunteer), and was feeling so desperately grateful after 2 interviews and 2 months of grovelling to have something-anything to separate me from the rest of the Moreland Centrelink dole queue, that I was prepared to overlook that fact that the pay was less than life-modelling, and started to apply for NEIS schemes, just to buy a bit of state-supported time for me to find a real job.....

And then.... something came up.

one of the jobs I'd applied for, randomly, unthinkingly..... they invited me for an interview. So I went. And I discovered that it was a hell of a lot more interesting than I'd anticipated.

And so.... I've got a job. doing research in a university for 12 months.

and it's not in art, art history, cultural studies, design studies, gender studies, performance studies or anything else I'm officially qualified for..... but in community health/epidemiology. but it's an interdisciplinary project and they were looking for someone with strong qualitative/visual ethnography skills.

Hence I seemed to have breezed into a field that does seem to fit every single one of the random things I've been involved in for the past twenty years.

aharrr... the vast and tender freemasonry of useless erudition has finally furnished me with a little nook.

So - I'm not involved in 'ART' and have lost interest in the art world for the moment. I found the inner city melbourne art world too white, to familiar and yet too foreign, too self conscious, too cold. Maybe if it was 'my' art scene I wouldn't notice. Maybe if I didn't already have an art scene that I was desperately missing I would notice it less.

But I desperately loathed almost every single opening I have been to so far. Even on happy pills.

Meanwhile the missus and I have moved out of brunswick up to the burbs. our home and garden is like a palace. there are no restaruants, and only a mutiplex cinema inside a shopping mall, and the only shops are inside a shopping mall. It's bloody scary. very pedestrian unfriendly.

we live in a leafy, hilly, four-wheel-driven zone of bland, beige blissful consumerism. Fat white people in fat shiny cars, crawling between hillside bungalows and the shopping centre parking lots. Physical exertion is confined to the purda of Fernwood, or cloaked in the burquas of brick veneer home gyms and wii boards. I'm finding it hard to lose the 15 kilos I gained while finishing my thesis.

Each morning I take a detour along the river and cricket fields to avoid the tangled snarl of parking-lots and freeways, to meander for 20 minutes on shanks pony to the train station, where a 40 minute train ride gets me to the city. I'm spending a LOT of time on trains, eating my muesli with elbows pinned to fellow commuters, or shivering on Flinders street cursing connex.

I try to tell myself that it's like the lower blue mountains. I try to think of the bird-life and ignore the roar of lawn mowers.

fortunately I am working in Melbourne's multicultural heartland and have INCREDIBLE asian supermarkets and fresh food markets. I lug shopping bags to work and back home again, and we fill our fridge with fresh greens and frozen fish, and try to like supermarket bread.

So my life has become curiously content. I'm still to tired to write, to reflect, to read anything more challenging that Mx and the junk mail catalogues. I've unpacked my studio and arranged a mayhem nest in the basement. It's pink and sparkly and warm, but my paints are still in milk crates.

I've paid off my visa overdraft, and am paying off my mum. I bought my first pair of non-second-hand shoes in 4 years. Our loungeroom is a large book-lined bourgoise showroom of every aspiration I've ever had. this is it. I'm a grown up. this is the life I dreamed of in many many ways.

in one month I'll have a wife and troph of our betrothal.
Shortly after, I hope to have made enough corrections to be able to change my title.

things are coming together. strangely. finally. wonderfully.