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Thread: FrunkSpace

  1. #1
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    Default FrunkSpace

    Hi forum,

    It seems this particular sub-forum of TWC is rather dead. It also seems wholly appropriate, then, that I create my blog here. The name FrunkSpace is obviously an ingenious combining of "Frunk" and "MySpace", the former being my long-lived user name (across one or two other forums) and the latter being a social media site that I, unfortunately, am old enough to remember.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    FrunkSpace #1

    I've been meaning to create a blog here for quite some time. I've made several in the past which I've always failed to maintain, and there's no guarantee that this will be any different.

    I have no idea where to start, so I'll start at right now. The past couple of months of my life have been consumed by a search to find a new place to live. This search began when I was asked to leave the house I had been staying at for a year and a bit. Long story short, my landlord, an older lady and the wife of a friend I made through work, was suffering from depression and needed some space. Naturally, I was happy to oblige this, given that I'd been wanting to find a share house with people closer to my own age for quite some time; essentially, since I relocated to Victoria from Queensland nearly 3 years ago.

    So after spending a month with an aunt, who was happy to host me even though I practically invited myself to stay, I finally found a place at the start of this month. Not a bad turn around, I think, considering I juggled an almost full-time house hunt - conducted online, and which was a pain in the backside - with two jobs.

    I managed to find a share house in a suburb very near to the city, which is great, because it opens up new employment, study and social opportunities. It's also the first time in my 25 years that I haven't lived in the suburbs. I'm not exactly in the city now, but dozens of shops and a tram stop are about 25 steps from my front door. On the downside, I'm a good 45 minutes by car from my current work, but I don't mind driving as long as I wake up early enough to be on time.

    The house itself is a typical, old, Melbourne house, I'm guessing from the 60's, complete with psychedelic yellow-green bathroom tiles, among other quirky features. It's been a share house for quite some time, seemingly, judging by the piles (literally, piles) of old, discarded furniture and belongings left around the place, particularly in the back sheds. The backyard is complete with shin-high grass and weeds galore, and is seldom used by my housemates even for the perfectly good clothesline, since they prefer to dry their clothes inside.

    The housemates themselves are good. All in the 19-22 age bracket, two of whom work full time (one in hospitality, so he is rarely seen, but seems nice) while the other is, I think, a student who doesn't currently work. The two who I have mostly seen so far are easy to get along with, having driven them to the supermarket when I moved in and having a good chance to chat. I've met a few of their friends who are nice, too.

    As alluded to, they're not the greatest with keeping the place tidy. The landlord is apparently quite lax when it comes to anything bar the front lawn, which is meant to be maintained, even though it currently is not. It's a bit hard to find bench and sink space in the kitchen, and while I've tried to get the ball rolling by doing the dishes most nights, this doesn't seem to have caught on. They have said that anything I'd like them to do or clean, to just let them know, and to be fair I haven't had a chance to have that conversation with them yet. If we can just manage to get the place tidy, it will be a really nice place to live.

    The only other thing bearing on my mind is security. The house was burgled several months before I moved in and my room, being at the back of the house, is somewhat isolated. I don't currently have a lock on my door but I've been told I'm allowed to get and install one. I trust my housemates not to go in my room in any case, and a burglar is going to get in regardless of a locked door, but it would at least be something to help put my mind at ease.

    There is another remedy, though, and it exists by accident more than design. There's no way to get regular, free-to-air TV in the house, or at least not in my (very large) room, even having tried old school rabbit ears (digital ones, not analog ones). Thus, I've decided to pack my TV up and store it at work, along with all my DVDs, PlayStation, and etcetera. Essentially, there won't ever be anything of great value in my room to be stolen. My laptop will continue coming with me to work, and I'll leave it there if I've ever planned a night out, or know I won't have time to use it at home anyway.

    Not having a TV to watch is something I've quickly come to view as a positive thing, as well. I only really ever have it on in the background, unless I'm watching a DVD or something, and part of my goal in moving is to become a bit more outgoing. The city is now at my front door, so I can take the opportunity to explore it; to go do volunteer work; to go exercise more.

    Another positive about my new arrangement is that I am not signed to a lease. While I have no idea what implications this has for things like insurance (I'm probably just screwed), I'm not locked into anything, which turned me off a few other places I saw prior to this one. I want to go travelling next year. It's something I've been talking about for years and now is definitely the time. I'm not sure where, when, or for how long, yet, but I'm not keen to spend another winter shivering in Melbourne when I could be slightly warmer in Europe, or possibly volunteering in the Pacific, or the Americas. Yep, now is definitely the time to plan that out.

    That's all for tonight. Next time, I'll hopefully write down my experiences of actually looking for a share house, which was actually really quite amazing.

    For now, feel free to leave a comment, question, or pearl of wisdom in my commentary thread.
    Last edited by Frunk; December 09, 2017 at 05:35 AM.
    FrunkSpace | Mod Announcements | Colonies & Empires

    Under the patronage of Iskar of the House of Siblesz. I am the proud patron of:

    atthias | PaulH | Athos187

  2. #2
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    FrunkSpace #2

    The last month was really busy, hence I've barely been on TWC. I spent a day off today catching up on things around here, because it was really bugging me feeling like I was "behind". This was entirely intentional; I am a born procrastinator, with TWC being my greatest outlet for that these days. If I need to get something done, I like to have done what I want to do on TWC first. Not healthy, I'm sure, but now that I'm back up to date, I can turn my focus to other things.

    Pretty much from the date of my last blog, I worked 10 days straight, then had a couple of days to organise myself for my immediately family's week-long visit from interstate. They arrived on Christmas Day and flew back early on New Year's Eve. It was a great week; definitely the best one I can remember spending with my family in a long time. I love my family. They just can be difficult sometimes, but there was none of that during their visit. No arguing, no depression. None that I saw, at least, which was nice.

    They stayed at my aunt's house, so it was fairly close. We had a great family lunch of Christmas Day with my aunts and their partners, which is something we haven't done since I was 9. I worked on Boxing Day, and thereafter for the rest of the week I was able to show them around Melbourne, and they seemed to really enjoy it. For anyone travelling to Melbourne, I highly recommend the Eureka Skydeck, as well as the War Memorial & adjoining Botanic Gardens. We went to a few shopping arcades and places to eat in the city, went to a cricket match, went and saw Star Wars, and went to Brighton Beach, the latter in particular my mum had wanted to do for years. We also went up into the hills with my aunts to a place called Sassafras, known for its cafes and little quirky shops, which is another thing I recommend.

    After they left on New Year's Eve, I was able to spend that night with my new housemates. Naturally, some drinks were drunk and it was a great, laid back evening, and it meant I could get to know my housemates better and vice versa.

    Share house life is going pretty well. After some early doubts, because the place was just such a mess, things have turned around and I can definitely say that this is in large part due to my own initiative. Rather than letting piles of dishes, or random messes, sit there, I clean them. Rather than letting the lawn stay a metre tall, I went out and bought a lawn mower and mowed it. These efforts didn't go unnoticed, and my housemates follow suit with pulling their weight.

    I'm pretty happy with my room, as well. My dad helped me install a lock, which is great for peace of mind, and I've finished unpacking all but one box. It's hard not to spend too much time in here, because it such a relaxing space and it feels all my own. I just generally feel comfortable living in the area now, as well, having gone for a few runs already and checking out the vibe of place.

    The only thing which is a bit frustrating right now is the fact that I need to work, when I had planned to have holidays to the 15th; ample time to plan my year out, especially travel. I can't complain too much, I guess, because I can always use the money, but time is something I haven't felt like I've had much of for the past couple of months, and there's so much I need to sort out, as mentioned last time!
    FrunkSpace | Mod Announcements | Colonies & Empires

    Under the patronage of Iskar of the House of Siblesz. I am the proud patron of:

    atthias | PaulH | Athos187

  3. #3
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    FrunkSpace #3

    How time flies. January feels both ages ago and not so long ago. So much has happened in that time, for good and for not so good. I guess I'll start by updating from my previous blogs.

    I'm still at the sharehouse, and it's really quite good. We've had a couple of changes in housemates but there's a core group of three of us who have been here since I moved in, and we get along great. We're not just housemates, but proper friends, which is awesome. We've been gradually improving the house, again largely driven by me, in an attempt to clean out clutter from what I discovered is at least 7 years of former housemates, as confirmed by paperwork I found in the back shed dating back to 2011. The house was just generally full of discarded stuff, so moving that on just makes it a bit nicer and more enjoyable. We're planning a house party or two in the coming weeks so the plan is to have common areas sorted out by then.

    As promised, pictures of my psychedelic bathroom.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    It's the type of bathroom that makes you want to take off your clothes!
    I mentioned last blog that I felt like I was working so much and had no time. Well, that's been flipped on its head. In February, I pretty much stopped receiving shifts at my job, in part because the business owner is now there pretty much full time when he wasn't able to previously, meaning there's not as much need for me. So, I've barely worked since then, which hasn't been all bad. I took the time I needed to finally plan and book an overseas trip. I'm going to Europe in July for a whole month! I'm super excited for it. I'm doing a group tour which starts in Rome, then goes south to Greece, then north along the Adriatic via Albania and Croatia, then through Vienna, Budapest and concluding in Prague. After that I have about 10 days solo travel in which I'm planning on going to Germany, Poland, Venice and wherever else I can manage before departing from Vienna.

    This has literally been six years-coming, but I guess before now I didn't have the time, money and, perhaps most importantly, life experience to be able to do it properly, so I'm sure it will have been worth the wait. I settled on south-eastern Europe because I felt like its a little less common than western Europe. When you want to go everywhere in the world, I guess you have to just start 'somewhere', right?

    Another thing I did in late January was start playing cricket again, after taking a break at the start of the summer for the first time in probably 16 years. I really needed it, clearly, because I had so much to sort out, especially with the move back then. Going back was great, though, even better than I expected. My club mates were brilliant, and made me feel right back at home, so much so that I can't wait for next summer. I'd like to take on a leadership role if I can and pass on my experience to the guys who are a little bit younger. I also feel like my body is better than it has been for quite a while. I've been planning to spend this winter getting really fit, and while that hasn't really happened yet, I still have time.

    I've been pretty distracted by not working. I burned through a bit of my savings for the first couple of months from February until I finally bit the bullet and applied for welfare, which is something I really hate doing. While this welfare comes packaged with a job search utility and enough money to pay my rent and bills, it's just pretty disheartening to be in this position at all. Ideally, I could have kept doing my old job for another couple of months; enough so that when I come back from Europe I'm not completely broke, which I'm pretty sure I will be. It's proving very difficult to find any temporary work before I go, because not many employers are interested in employees they have to train only for them to go away.

    That said, I got in contact with an old coach of mine and to my surprise he replied almost straight away with a whole bunch of opportunities at his business. They are commission-based projects which aren't exactly lucrative, but as he plans on expanding in the future, the idea is to build up his brand in the meantime with these projects. Long story short it all sounds very promising, so I'm getting to work on that now. It's only come up in the past week.

    Also in the past week I've starting using Airtasker, which is basically Uber for odd jobs, and I've already made a little bit of money that way by doing things like delivering packages, collecting junk from other people and disposing it for them and, in one instance, even doing somebody else's laundry and returning it to them, folded. Thankfully, it wasn't even very dirty; just regular weekly laundry that he couldn't be bothered doing and paid me $40 for (less Airtasker's cut of 15%). It doesn't bother me, so why not! While I don't get reimbursed for my petrol, so I'm not exactly raking in big profits, it's literally better than nothing. It's also something I can do up until I travel, and something I can immediately resume when I get back, so I don't have as much of a gap in my finances upon returning (my welfare will probably get cut off for the trip).

    In between these recent developments and 'losing' my job, I've obviously been gradually planning my trip, looking for work pretty much full-time, and also getting out a little bit more, so it's actually been pretty good all things considered. I've been volunteering at an op shop nearby, which is actually quite fun and rewarding, and very similar to my old retail job, minus the pay. I figure it's a way to get out of the house, keep up a work-style commitment so that I don't get too much of a culture shock when I start working again, and a way to meet new people, learn new things and, potentially, even network my way to a new job. I've also spent a decent bit of time in the city, going to a few nights of the Melbourne Comedy Festival with both my aunt and cousin last month and also doing some volunteer things in the city as well.

    I've also not been using TWCenter for about a month and a half. I'm pretty sure it was late March where I just hit the wall, so to speak. I'm sure it's mostly because of my real life circumstances. Putting hours a day into TWC just didn't seem right, or fun, or responsible while I'm not working. So, I stopped visiting completely for a little while, and currently I'm just doing a few small tasks for moderation and content, and feeling better for it.

    Like I mentioned in a post in the Symposium, it's amazing how quickly I've filled the 'void' in my time that was previously for TWC. To be honest, though, in the past week I've actually been playing some Medieval II again for the first time in a long time. It's the first time I've played SSHIP and I have to say that it's a really great mod. My current campaign as Pisa is the most I've enjoyed the game in a very long time. I was daunted at first because it's very different from Stainless Steel, but I found it pretty easy to capture nearby independent cities like Florence and Genoa and thereafter the money came pouring in. I have something like 150,000 florins without breaking a sweat, and have established a formidable little republic with maybe 8 provinces now. Compared to SS, so far I've found SSHIP challenging because cities have limited recruitment slots, and most units have high recruitment costs, high upkeep and multiple-turn recruitment times. I've only just captured/upgraded some castles, though, and notice that these have more slots, which makes sense. I like how active the independent (rebel) faction is. It laid siege to me a couple of times and then assaulted the following turn when I deliberately didn't sally forth, which meant I got to play some cracking castle defences. Battles in general have been a lot more fun than other mods I've played (but I honestly haven't played many). I'm playing with a handful of mini mods (listed below) and my own changes to faction names, which I changed back to English, and some other text. I might upload my tweaks on their forums as my own mini mod soon.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    I've been finding playing Medieval II again a really good stress relief. I feel like I've barely played it since I moved to Melbourne, which also encompasses pretty much the entire time I've been active on TWC, so I feel it puts things back in perspective, in a way. I still love the game. I feel like I got too much into other things here, and forgot that love, so in the future when I am willing and able to be more active on TWC again, it will be with a more healthy emphasis on Total War and probably on Medieval II. I've handed over control of my work-in-progress mod, Colonies & Empires, to the rest of the team, but I do hope to one day be able to return and resume work on it, and also create the mod I always wanted to out of it. My dreams and the dreams of the team may differ slightly, but that's more than okay. We can all achieve our goals, in time.

    Lastly, I haven't made any new plans for the future just yet. Like I said in the Symp, the timeline right now is travel (July) > cricket (summer) > university (next year?). I think it's the next step for me, having worked various jobs for what will soon be nearly 10 years out of high school. It's a path I needed to take, I believe, even if I'm years behind my 'peers' in that regard. Fields of study I'm going to look into include archaeology, astronomy, meteorology, and others I'm probably overlooking. Anything history or science based interests me, so, as someone who's never had much 'career ambition', I'm really starting to feel like that's what I want to do. Ah, decisions.
    FrunkSpace | Mod Announcements | Colonies & Empires

    Under the patronage of Iskar of the House of Siblesz. I am the proud patron of:

    atthias | PaulH | Athos187

  4. #4
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    FrunkSpace #4

    Someone check the record books! After nearly 10 months, FrunkSpace returns for your reading pleasure. An aeon of time, it feels like, between now and then. Let's dive right in.

    I went on that holiday last July, and it was truly life-changing. Even at the time, it felt like a long month, and I can vividly remember most details of it, which is strange to me because I generally consider myself as having a poor memory when it comes to events in my life and the timeline in which they happened. There are days where I can recall the exact route I walked around a certain city; what I did and what I saw. I don't feel the need to go deeply into details here, since I recorded almost-daily vlogs while over there. What I will say is that my trip highlights were Rome, Ljubljana, and Luxembourg.

    Rome was where my journey began. I had two days to myself to explore the city before I joined a 17-day tour, and I still can barely get over it. I walked from my hotel near the Vatican, all over the city. A total of 40km in 2 days - the first day running on just a few hours sleep but a bucket load of adrenaline and pure awe. I didn't plan it at all. I just stepped out of my hotel and walked where I wanted. The Vatican blew my mind. I spent a few hours in St. Peter's Square alone. I walked along a filthy section of the bank of the Tiber and ended up at the Pincian Hill and the gardens above, before walking back to my hotel, almost overwhelmed. The next day, I found myself walking on the Janiculum Hill, which I doubt is something I would have done had I planned anything. I came across a deserted Catholic shrine and incredible views in an area with far fewer tourists than elsewhere. I continued on, making my way through Trastevere's alleys, passing countless temples and other amazing things on my way to my rough destination of the Colosseum.

    Surprisingly, the Colosseum itself didn't blow me away as much as everything else, and I gradually made my way back to the hotel. It wasn't until the next day that I returned and was able to purchase a ticket to enter the Colosseum and, my primary destination of desire, the Forum. In the end, I still didn't get to go into the Colosseum, as I spent over 6 hours in the forum - comfortably my favourite place in the world now. Unfazed by the multitudes of other tourists, I absolutely loved every second I spent there. My amatuer historian imagination ran wild as I walked up and down it, staring up at ancient pillars and gazing at old statues. I ventured up the Palatine Hill and hopped a fenced off section to explore an abandoned temple. A locked iron gate at the bottom of a steep stone staircase was the only thing that stopped me from exploring a pitch black underground passageway, where I likely would have got myself into a lot of trouble, but I didn't care then or now, such was my wanderlust in that wonderful place.

    Ljubljana was a place I visited some time later, and as part of our tour, we walked through that very clean, picturesque little city sampling foods. That evening we went on pub crawl, which was great fun and I was lucky enough to meet and get to know some of the locals, one of whom in particular was fantastic company and I hit it off with. Hopefully, I can meet her again one day. Our group stayed there only one night before moving on.

    I was lucky enough to be gifted the hospitality of my wonderful patron Iskar, who had so kindly offered to host me for a couple of nights in Frankfurt after my tour ended. He treated me to a guided tour of the city where we visited such awesome places as the Imperial Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew, Botanic Gardens, and Städel Museum, as well as talking Total War and TWC. Hopefully one day I'm able to return the favour if he ventures down under. This stop gave me time to plan the remainder of my trip, now solo again. On a whim, I selected Luxembourg City as my next destination, having loved the somewhat quirky name as a kid, and also being intrigued by its status as a small European country surrounded by larger ones. Beyond that, I knew very little of the place, and my word, was I blown away.

    I arrived somewhat stressed, having had a train break down with me on it, and missing a connection. After getting off my bus at the Luxembourg station, I dropped some papers, which a local helped me pick up, then my bag began to roll away, and another local retrieved it for me. I walked to my hotel, which was a quirky old place but very comfortable. The high GDP of the country was obvious to me. It's another very clean, very pretty city, with people who are seemingly friendly and relaxed. I went out for a walk, got a haircut, and eventually made my way up towards the Old Town. Crossing the Adolphe Bridge I was immediately struck by the gorge below - a feature of the city I had no idea about previously. What an awesome place to behold! I resisted the urge to explore it immediately. Instead, I went up through the car-less streets of the Old Town and grabbed myself something to eat before returning. I guessed that it was about 50 metres down at parts, and that seems to be close to correct, with greenery, walking paths, streams, skate parks, and views up to the bridges and edges of the city above. The locals seemed oblivious to just how incredible it all was. The next day, my unplanned walking route took me through Gronn, then to the Bock casemates, before I explored Grund, which was quite literally surreal - like something out of a videogame (those perfect postcard neighbourhoods in the Sims 2, perhaps). I could happily live there, out of anywhere in the world, I believe. The friendly people, the richness of the place, and it's unrivalled charm.

    So, those are my trip highlights, I suppose, and like I said, I don't want to go into too much detail right now because it will simply take too long. There's a few paragraphs there and it only scratches the surface. In short, it was the best thing I have ever done. Sorry to cut this blog off here. I'll be back soon to follow up on the rest of FrunkSpace #3, and the multitude of life that has taken place between then, and now.

    Comments are more than welcome! (Click here)
    FrunkSpace | Mod Announcements | Colonies & Empires

    Under the patronage of Iskar of the House of Siblesz. I am the proud patron of:

    atthias | PaulH | Athos187

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