Tuesday, May 20, 2008

About meme it seems

One of my Reds set a challenge here and foolishly perhaps I fell for it. I don’t intend to finger anyone, but the invitation to give it a go is extended.

What was I doing ten years ago? …Scratching a living in the bohemian heart of Sydney while watching a marriage come to its logical end. Oddly enough I enjoyed the process, possibly by virtue of the setting and the general milieu. There were two reasonable streams of income:

#1 freelance writing, including summarizing new legislation from several State parliaments.

#2 by default the assistant manager of a café in coffee heaven. One fine Saturday morning, my first off for weeks, I received an urgent call to take over running the place. My good friend the owner had suffered a stroke. Sadly his son managed to burn the place down while I was having a much needed sleep.

2. Five things on today's To-Do List. One – Avoid getting dragged into another of my neighbour’s drama queen turns. Two - spend some time researching the latest project – a community legal service (early days yet, still gathering the basic needs evidence). Three – get the balance right on my Turkish coffee brew. I’d rather a good espresso, but thick Turkish isn’t a bad substitute. Four – do the daily online news rounds. That generally means finding different sources for stories that grab my interest. Five – stock up on my thrift shop books. Second hand is the only way I buy books, that way I can read greedily and find writers I’d never otherwise look twice at.

3. Things I'd do if I were a Billionaire. This one should probably be What do your friends say is your worst feature? – I am forever criticized for having no real passion for money, per se.

I guess the only thing I would seriously do if I were a billionaire is find someone to manage it while I got on with life. I’m not an enthusiastic consumer and I would prefer to see underlying cultures change, as opposed to pouring money at change. I guess I might write even more.

4. Three bad habits? A) I believe smoking is a bad habit, and when I stop enjoying it I will stop doing it. B) I get lost in ideas and thoughts, or totally focused on a task. C) As a result of the former I tend to get irritated by gratuitous noise – like conversation, TV – well let’s not get into lists.

5. Five places I have lived:
Sydney – well I was born there and really enjoyed my later return.

Tasmania Launceston & Stanley My ancestral and personal family home

Port Macquarie – Don’t ask me why, I really don’t like the place, but keep returning.

Miles (Queensland) Everyone should have an outback experience.

Chilliwack (Canada) The only place I’ve ever felt homesick for.

6. Five Jobs: Began in the Manchester, furnishing trade, it was a start and I was mainly cashier and bookkeeping (something that goes right against the grain.) Second was the motor trade. I was trying things, but was never really into cars. Theoretically I could strip and rebuild an engine, naming all the parts. (You can feel my thrill…)

The third effort was much more satisfactory; I landed in the timber (lumber) industry and eventually became some sort of threat to the large company employing me. Part of the problem was in seeing the tree and the wood as a continuum, but not recognising my view had nothing to do with just making money,

But it did lead me to number four – writing. I found the whole wood and forest thing so fascinating I began selling newspaper feature stories then drifted into journalism. So freelance writing featured ever since.

Now it is not something I’d do for a living, running a café/restaurant (what am I talking about?) Financially it is the hardest business I’ve come across, but the rest of it I always enjoy.

I’m supposed to pass this quest on, but I think it probably enough that I actually did it….


D.K. Raed said...

This was fun! yes, I could "feel your thrill" over stripping & rebuilding a car engine (though I think it would be a fantastic skill to have, so practical).

Not being a coffee drinker, I'm imagining Turkish is the high caffeine TNT in a little demitasse cup ... drunk while reading a used book, especially an out-of-print gem?

I can see we will have to work on your Billionaire Skills! I will manage your first billion for the std fee and see if we can't get you interested in some offplanet venture. I have Mars in mind. Kinda looks like the outback.

Thanks for playing along, Cart. You are a good sport. I learned a lot, especially not to ever let a cafe owner's son take charge while you sleep!

DivaJood said...

Everyone SHOULD have an Outback experience. I would consider Chilliwack in that category - where in the name of sanity is THAT? Besides Canada, I mean.

Cart said...

DK, the only engine oil that appeals to me is served in a demitasse. But the books are relatively contemporary. I'm too much of a nomad to be able to sustain a collection.

Diva, I thought I'd leave Chilliwack to Google ;) But you are half right and for a city boy I am attracted to the more remote regions.

D.K. Raed said...

Your first Billionaire purchase should involve cornering the market on Turkish coffee (umm, you WERE talking coffee, right, not some illegal Midnight Express substance?). I predict a quick doubling of your fortune. I will only deduct my fee from your first billion. The next billion is all yours! Of course, like any skanky financial advisor, I will not share in any losses, except to the extent it reduces my fees. Let's see, what is zero times zero?

Cart said...

DK, fortunately the billion is a moot point, not the sort of thing one simply stumbles upon.
Just now I'd probably be happy with a moderately well made espresso machine and a little more mental/living space.
Given economic dynamics I doubt I could do more than scratch the surface just doling out money to good causes.

enigma4ever said...

you really are a good sport and this is so amazing...I love hearing about all of it coffee to places that I will never see...lovely....( most of the places I am still looking up.. ;-)

really great to know you...and all that you have done....thank you...

Cart said...

enigma, I don't know about good sport. And don't tell DK, but she knows nothing about coffee :)
As for doing stuff, at our ages we should be able to recognise that part.
I guess we also recognise how tedious it can become relating all the adventures.

D.K. Raed said...

It's OK, you can't tell me what I already know. Can you believe I've NEVER had more than a sip of coffee? Just can't get past the smell. I know, it's me, most people love the aroma. I know it's me because garlic smells like dirty feet to me, and sour cream like laundry soap. I won't tell you what coffee smells like; I wouldn't do that to a coffee-drinker. And yet, I do like coffeehouses, the atmosphere & the people, I guess. Funny, huh?

Cart said...

bugger DK, this technology isn't very private... Anyway, now I know more about you :)
No garlic? I eat garlic like other people eat apples, and has greater health attributes.
Well, it also keeps people at a healthy distance at times.
But I'm thinking, I can prep one of these meanmemes. Not today, not omorrow, but one day - I can't do that mean laugh :(

D.K. Raed said...

is that a Snydley Whiplash laugh? Nyah-ah-ah! You know, the archvillian in the Dudley Do-Right comics? The guy who is always tying little Nell to the railroad tracks & twirling his moustache? Since you spent time in Canada, you probably came across that particular genre.

I've never heard of a mean meme, so will leave that to you. I was thinking of one myself, something about waitresses. That job has been showing up a lot in this meme. I guess to include everyone, not just the food servers, I should call it "restaurant worker". But that will have to wait. I've got houseguests for the next 3-days & probably not blogging.

Cart said...

Snydley Whiplash, that is the one. yeah, he was in those infills on Saturday afternoon at the pictures.
(Shorts at the satdy pics...)
Enjoy your invaders :)

Utah Savage said...

Ummm, espresso, every morning with hot milk and a tablespoon of sugar in a bowl sized mug. and the first cigarette, followed by the next pack and an half. And then there's the pot. Yes, smoking was one of my faults/bad habits--though it's only everyone else who sees it that way.

I was one of the early recipients of this rather easy meme. So I passed it to D.K. who probably passed it to you. Kind of like getting herpes without the sex. Hope you enjoyed it.

Cart said...

Savage, so I can blame you :) I expect the occasional self analysis is good for the soul. But milk in espresso? I remain a sump oil purist...
I'm thinking I might create my own meme, but I might con DK into seeding it. No point being villainous and not and not practicing it to the full.

D.K. Raed said...

Forgot to say how nice it was that you showed photos of some of the places you've lived.

Hah UT, herpes without the sex! Another blogger called it the Texas Chainletter Massacre.

I'm afraid you will have to seed your own meme, Cart. They are already spreading too often for my taste. OK, the alliterations to herpes are becoming too flagrant.

Cart said...

DK I thought the herpes without the sex was apt :)
I was also grateful to have the opportunity to show some of the places I've lived.
It's strange really, but for a city boy I love the country. but I also love the old and rural Chilliwack only succeeds the test on the latter.
It was surreal living in a place with no sense of history.