Metanoia:Start of Life
So we went on schoolies (school leaver’s party) to my beach house at Portsea with a few mates (that’s friends of mine: mate). So there we were, with no school, no jobs, and a buttload of alcohol to wash it down with. To which me and my friend David Lake decided to polish off thirteen shots of vodka, in thirteen minutes. When we we’re already pissed. We ended up having a race, being already tipsy, we finished them in 8 min. All I know that happened after that, is that I get disgusted when I see someone doing a shot of vodka. Shame on you KP.
So anyways, I got offered a job as a audio/visual techie [technician] at Staging Connections in Melbourne when I was recovering from drinking too much vodka at schoolies. So I started a few days before schoolies was planned, so I left my house in the hands of my good mates and my brother (note: he was called a toolie, cos he finished school a few years before me, and was going to our schoolies). So I went back to Melbourne, and not long after started working full time.
I couldn’t wait to start work. I had jobs before this one, but they were usually weekend or after school based. Delivering chemist stuff to the local people that needed it, and cleaning n shit. This was my first real job.
Just for the record, I got a 67 TER (so that means I beat 67% of people), which I think is ridiculous, rating everyone like that, I almost got a perfect score in physics, but with that score I could never study physics at university. What a joke: Sorry you didn’t do too well in accounting so we won’t let you study physics. Well you have to laugh at the system.
Anyways back to me time. So I started a 6 month traineeship at staging connections. In this time, there wasn’t much I didn’t know already from my background with computers and lighting/sound from the school’s plays. Also note at this stage I started writing my own 3D engine for making computer games, as well as doing network communications and all that, all while getting an average score for Information Technology at school.
I actually wrote a chat program I called ‘cheeseman chat’ which worked within the schools intranet, so I could chat to my mates in other classes during class time. This was because the school had blocked access to the chat programs that we used at the time.
Also I started a religion at school with Patrick Smurray, because we really thought it was funny. It amused us during religious studies anyways, and it was called cheeseianity. We had worship for cheese, and if you didn’t like cheese: we would launch a ‘jihad’ on you, because at this stage with the twin towers coming down in New York, and the dawn of real terrorism. Jihads were all the rage. Also a side note on terrorism: don’t get scared, or it’s WORKED. As the Whitlams said in a song “Terror, like charity, begins at home”.
Oh god, we keep getting distracted from the point at hand. Which, I’m not even quite sure where I’m going with this. Who cares? Not I, and I hope you don’t care. Otherwise, well you probably haven’t got this far in this book: and it’s my time, so suck on it. Also from this point it’s all downhill, or uphill, just depends on which way you look at it. I prefer to think of it as education, but, not in the normal sense of the word. Education is something that you’re always doing, no matter if you like it or not. You educate yourself whenever you watch TV: as they say, ‘You learn something everyday’.
So this was about the time I started smoking. I had smoked before now, but now it made sense to me to smoke… a five minute break from work every two hours, while the nonsmokers had to work: made sense to me, I’m lazy. It turned into a kind of necessary when you would work 12 hour shifts with only half an hour break, if you were lucky. Then there was drinking, I was never one to get boozed multiple nights in the week, but I still went to the pub every night with Winston, Dima & Ion. We had real fun times, god we did some silly shit, but we were teenagers; if that gives us the right to be stupid. Yet, I think I’m allowed to be stupid all the way thru this life.
So I finished my traineeship six months after I started working for staging connections. I completed the test first to get my level 1 certification for an A/V technician to go with many hours to spare. This was all technology, and to me technology is simple. Pretty much everything to do with it seemed pretty much logical to me. Faders turn the volume up and down, visible light was made up of three primary colours red, green and blue; simple really.
So anyways after I finished the traineeship, I got a job there. This was a good result, but kind of expected after the six month traineeship; if I didn’t fuck up the test. Also the job had a whopping 20cent per hour increase. I was rich!! After all: paying any money was good money. Yet as Mikey said while in the traineeship “we could be making more money flipping burgers at McDonalds”.
But after working a few 60hour weeks, and then a 72hour week, I thought fuck that… and promptly quit my job there. This was in about November of the year after I finished high school. So I took my parents advice, and signed up for university, multimedia systems at RMIT in the city.
So that didn’t start for a few months, so I thought about it long and hard (not really), and I became an alcoholic. Getting really pissed was my thing. I had that down to an artwork. I also tried cannabis for the first time: with my good mates Dave Tommo, and the one and only Joel Rithgow; not the movie star, the other one… just my mates from school.
My first experience with an illegal drug was, eye opening to say the least. Everything was so much fun. Things tasted ‘richer’. My sense of depth was thrown completely out the window, everything turned into a kind of a set from a play. Everything was 2D, like the table was a piece of cardboard cut-out to look like a table, and Dave was a cardboard cut-out, so was Joel, and pretty much everything was looking like that. A world filled with layers, I remember posting my ‘status’ on Microsoft Messenger as “can you hide within the layers of life?” the next day. It was like a hallucination, and when I started smoking weed, it made the visuals of everything so much more intense. Yet after this day, it would be about a year or two until I smoke weed again.
I realise now that I’m about to tell you a story from when I was in my second last year at high school. So it’s going to be a warped sense of time for you, but I knew I was going to do this when I cover religion later on in this book, so it was kinda planned, but I don’t want big things like religion to be broken up by my time, because that was totally confusing for me growing up and I want to make your ride thru it smooth and easy. Light reading for likeminded people, hard reading for the pope. If you get my drift.
So back in year 11 (second last year of high school) I had a physics teacher, Dr Nicolson. Dr Nic was a nice fellow, but his teacher/student skills needed a quick revisit, but all in all, a good bloke. He had worked at CERN (that’s the huge physics experiment in Europe that we had gone to a few years before this. Like I think I said before, I had studied quantum physics before I studied Newtonian physics. That means I knew it was all bullshit, it was all just probabilities. Also, it made sense, a big part of my learning is it has to make sense. English for instance, makes zero sense. ‘Forever’, and ‘for ever’ mean the same thing, but ‘for me’ is incorrect if it’s written ‘forme’. That’s my first gripe with English, it makes no sense. It’s just the writing down of noises to communicate an idea.
"You can know the name of a bird in all the languages in the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird. So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing – that’s what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."
So I wrote an essay on how a black hole couldn’t exist. This was meant to be taken with a sense of humour, because we all know a black hole resides at the centre of a galaxy… however as I said in my essay, because a black hole is millions of times bigger than our sun (matter of fact, if you flew around the sun in a 747 would take you about half your life time) but even that’s tiny in comparison to a black hole. So anyway, the thing with black holes, is the reason why they’re black. Yes, gravity. A black hole is so large, that it’s gravity is immense. So large in fact, that not even light can escape it.
So that’s a pretty big call, and they weren’t even a proven thing till, I don’t know, the 60s or something. Either way my essay explained that it couldn’t exist, because of Einstein’s theory of relativity. Remember that? It states that the closer you get to the speed of light, the slower time ticks by. So therefore, I proposed, that a black hole couldn’t exist because if it’s gravity was so intense and it indeed that it was greater than the speed of light then particles would be moving backwards thru time, therefore they would be going away from the gravity. I’m pretty sure, if you understand that, that you too, like my physics teacher would give me a D. I still believe that to some extent.
Anyways so I was in university for a week in total, and I was sitting in my beginning to computer programming (computer program making) course, and it was pretty much the first lesson. Our task was just to compile and run a ‘hello world!’ program (that’s a computer program that just prints the text ‘hello world!’ to the screen). The professor dude had already written the code, all we had to do was grab the file off the network, open it, compile it (this stage turns the code into computer generated code), and run it.
So off I went, to the network drive, grabbed the file off the said network drive. I open the said file, compiled it… and a syntax error came up. So I went to the code, found that it was missing a ‘;’ from the end of a line of code, which is pretty much always needed unless it’s a new function or something. Well I put the ‘;’ in where it was gone (being a programmer I can relate to making that error, it happens occasionally). Compiled it, and ran it. I saw ‘Hello World!’. Terrific! Well done KP, pat on the back.
Yet I knew all this stuff that the other pupils did not. So I just sat there with my mouth shut, and I didn’t know anyone else in there, and I always figured the best way to make friends is speak when you’re spoken to. So quiet I was. So after the professor was made aware of this error, he sat down on his computer and tried to get it to work. 45 minutes later, the class was over. He told us he’d get it to work for the next class, that I didn’t attend. You can’t learn anything from people like that. He was meant to be a professor for god’s sake!
So I thought this after that. How the hell are we meant to learn anything, if you have these kind of idiots posing as professors. So I attended the graphics tutorial thing for a few weeks that I enjoyed, but then thought as I was given an assignment to do, fuck that. I didn’t want to be a graphic designer anyways. So I ended up buying a copy of ‘Survivor’ one of Chuck Palahniuk’s books. The very same guy that wrote the book fight club.
Fight club was a very good book, and the movie was just as good. It expressed so much of what I thought about the working man and the corporations. However, it made me really want a corporation, they were going to win the war against the free spirits anyways, and who doesn’t want heaps of money anyway? So that was pretty much a dream of mine at that stage in my life. To do nothing and make shit loads of cash while doing it.
"Man, I see […] the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no great war. No great depression. Our great war is a spiritual war… our great depression is our lives."
So anyway, because my olds (parents) thought I was giving university a shot, and I didn’t want to disappoint them. Just yet anyways so I spent the remaining ten weeks of the semester sitting in a park reading ‘Survivor’ and smoking cigarettes. Anyway it was a good book, but can’t really remember any of it. All I know for certain is that a plane was crashing and some dude was recording his life story. Fortunately for me, I am not on a plane about to crash while I’m recording mine. Phew.
I also took lunch breaks with my good friend Sir Richard Molst many, many, many times. He also had university at the same university as me. The only difference was that he wanted to be there, and I didn’t. I remember selling my soul to him for a sandwich. Who knows where my soul is now, probably at the local rubbish tip or deposited in a toilet somewhere. All I’m going to say about this is that the sandwich was very tasty. I would never go back in time and try to stop myself from making the swap. One of the best decisions I have ever made… so tasteh.
Also I spent a lot of time at the arcadia (that’s the local watering hole [pub]). I think this was about the stage where I discovered rum and orange juice went really well together for breakfast. There’s a little tip for you if you hate the taste of alcohol but want to have a morning sip. Fuck, I realise now how disgusting I was then now looking back on it. Yet I know I’m disgusting in a lot of things I do, but I do them anyways. Mostly because it provides me with fun and laughter. A much lighter sense of the world is what I seek. Destroy to create, or something like that. That’s all I’m doing here.
So anyways, after spending a semester at the arcadia, I mean, university, I ended up getting a job. This was my first job working in the technology business. At first it was a customer service job though, working for a small online business selling heaps of shit on ebay.com. Well anyway they had just launched their own online store where I was taking emails and phone calls. Yet it was still it meant my foot was in the door of that industry. Technology, I had always wanted to do something in technology.
Well my main dream was to become a programmer, I figured a few years of answering their phone and I might get to work on their website. Then before I know it, I’ll have three years working in technology. As everyone knows, 3 years on the job experience is worth more than 3 years slacking off at university. Like I said, it was just really customer service when I started. After all, I was programming 3D games back in the day; just shitty ones. Like a room that you could walk round, filled with sprites [computer images] ‘n stuff. So I had the background in development, I just didn’t have the diploma.
Answering 150+ emails a day, and phone calls in-between. Of clients / wanna-be clients and also angry customers. I even came across a arcadia regular Charlie while I was working there. That was a blast. Yet that job didn’t work too well, because most of them were real idiots. Like they bought something online and were yelling about having to pay postage. It’s an online store dickhead, you can pick it up if you want. Idiots. Yet at this time I believed that some people are more intelligent than others and now I believe we’re all idiots. Yes even you hiding back there reading this, and me for that matter. I feel that’s an important thing to accept. It wasn’t too hard for me to accept because I spent a lot of my childhood being called an idiot, come to think about it, all of my life really. Probably not before the age of two, but as soon as I could speak: shut up idiot was about all I heard… and I probably got called an idiot before I was two but I just didn’t realise it.
So where was I? so I just plodded along at that job for awhile, and eventually I did move up, just a little bit, but working on their online store and newsletters and whatnot, so that was kind of programming, and we’ll it meant less customer service, which was a good thing. I also remember lifting 120 vacuum cleaners up the stairs in our warehouse. We all worked in a line, to which I said to my boss at the time, who was also in the line “I don’t remember this in my job description.”
So a few years went by with me answering questions and complaints from 150 emails a day, dealing with the stupidity of the general population. I ended up getting really fucked up (drunk) on the weekends, not that I saw those two being related. Come to think of it, I don’t think they were. I just recon it was time to see how far I could push it. A perfectly natural thing to do. I got fucked up to the point of vomiting every weekend, not the best thing to do, but give me the time again and I wouldn’t do anything different.
I also finally moved out of home, hooray for me! I moved in to my friend Trent Fischer’s new apartment. Well it was actually an old apartment that he had bought. He was the first of my friends to own his own apartment, well borrow money from the bank to buy his own apartment. Not spending a cent on rent is the best move you can ever make, because as everyone says: rent money is dead money. Literally when you rent, you are paying someone else’s home loan off. Smart man Trent.
So anyways, my girlfriend at the time, Ange Basil, wanted me to calm down and go on detox of drugs for a month. I reluctantly agreed, and off I went on my detox. It was the second weekend of my detox and I was really, really drunk. Ok, I know your probably thinking “detox? Drinking? You’ve failed man” but that’s not what I was detoxing myself from.