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Foveaux  ·  100 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 26, 2020

My last grandparent passed away in November last year. I inherited his piano and it arrived last week (after much huffing and puffing as the moving company messed up and sent one elderly man to help shift it into my house. Which has stairs). It now sits in my lounge and is a lovely reminder of grandad. I haven't played in years and years but the muscle memory appears to be helping, I have picked up some tunes and am getting back into scales etc. I'm practicing most nights.

Under the lid for the keys, a small child had lightly carved their name into the dark wood of the piano. It reads in shaky writing, 'Alastair Waugh', grandads younger brother. My grandad had his childhood lessons from his mother on this very same piano - it's quite humbling having it in my house and at my fingertips.

Foveaux  ·  129 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Boys today. Oof. (seriously intense article)

In my sex ed classes in High School (around 2006/7) we had a wonderful teacher who didn't just focus on STDs, contraception and the like - but discussed what a healthy relationship should entail, and the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/the-wireless/374526/the-pencilsword-no-i-in-sex

They were particularly helpful lessons as rural New Zealand can be a difficult place to develop into an adult. You play rugby? You're a king. You bang the girls and crush tins and you'll be praised for it. "Pressure's on boy, have you rooted her yet?". Everything was a competition and I bought into it wholeheartedly because I wanted to continue to be a part of it all. It was all I knew, and all I cared about - like the above linked comic.

Despite the helpfulness - it took me until my early 20s before I started treating women in the right manner (as y'know, actual people) - nearly a decade of sex-having where I saw it as a conquest rather than an experience.

Now there's a whole host of young guys at our gym, 16-19 years old. Most starting a new year off, trying to get jacked for the girls. I chat to them about training and we move into life topics, eventually one will ask how I know all the "hot sluts" at the gym.

My response is now "Well I don't call them sluts, that's my first bit of advice". The girls at the gym are friendly with me because they know I'm genuine and am actively not trying to sleep with them. I've introduced them to my girlfriend at the gym, I've helped them prepare for powerlifting competitions, practice lifting techniques and so on. My interest is their enjoyment of their sport and feeling comfortable in the gym, as they deserve to feel. Ogling them and referring to them as "hot sluts" is the exact opposite of what I want for them, and should be the opposite of what these young men want as well.

I can speak to these boys from experience because I used to do the exact same thing as them. But one-by-one I'm going to get these young men to come around earlier than I did.

Anyway it all has to start somewhere. So why not me? Why not now?

Foveaux  ·  192 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 27, 2019

My grandfather (the last of the grandparents) passed away last week. Honestly, I'm really thankful we had to cancel the Japan trip as it would have been three days in when he passed and I'd have been in another country once again when someone died in my family.

Spent the last week driving up and down the island to greet family and help plan the service. Funeral was on Monday, buried him yesterday. The service was actually excellent, he was a rather revered educator and community man so the place was packed 30 minutes before people were due to arrive. Hundreds attended, it was really touching. I got to speak, first time speaking at a funeral but as a senior grandchild I opted to start the proceedings for us. Everyone spoke beautifully and the celebrant said near the end "I've never been so thoroughly outclassed in public speaking like I have today" - my siblings and I are all well-versed public speaking champs, while my cousins are English and History teachers so we have a knack.

Importantly, there were a lot of laughs. Every speech was filled with funny memories and jokes, I got to make fun of my height (I inherited a lot of positive things, but my cousins are all over 6 ft while I am at 5ft 7) standing next to my statuesque family.

After the service we escaped to my aunt and uncles place for some drinks and the day washed away comfortably - it was a stellar day as you can see.

https://imgur.com/a/ncdxqW9

Been a weird couple of weeks but fingers crossed things can slow down a bit before Christmas. We had all said we would just gather where Grandad was but now we're a bit lost for plans.

As always, hope everyone is doing okay!

goobster  ·  191 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Funeral services are a delicate thing to get right. Sounds like your Grandfather inspired the best in everyone, and they all came out to celebrate him.

I've been the emcee/host for a very large celebration of life, and it is a delicate thing to navigate.

Foveaux  ·  191 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I was certainly worried about not striking the balance right. But the audience let it be known they were there to celebrate his life and were happy to laugh and clap - it was really such a nice service.

He was quite a talented pianist, so we had a video clip of him a few years back (still in his 70s though) playing a particularly complex piece of work - by Chopin? I need to find the title. But anyway one hand played a different time signature to the other so it was wildly complicated sounding but he flowed up and down the piano without making a mistake. At one point he slows down and says to the audience "You may be tempted to tap your feet in time to the music, please don't try" and whirls off into another piece.

As they go, it was a rather great send-off.

goobster  ·  187 days ago  ·  link  ·  

He sounds like an amazing guy... what a fun thing to do in the middle of his performance!

Foveaux  ·  173 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski, what is your ideal for personal wealth?

2 Christmases ago, my family gathered in the small town of Lincoln, just out of Christchurch. My brother and his partner built a house there thanks to her savvy parents pointing them in all the right directions (now they're looking at building another and selling the original, very Kiwi-like).

My parents, my brother, my sister and I went out to this awesome restaurant in town called The Lab, it's a craft brewery crossed with a theatre crossed with a pizzeria. Rather cool.

Anyway we all went out for dinner, my sister had a 1 year old son being baby-sat and was stressed out of her mind, but she was able to join us and try and let her hair down a bit. We had drinks, ordered food, ordered more food, more drinks, just chatted and ate and laughed for almost 2 hours. Eventually the time came to pay and my parents each went for their wallets, but my brother and I zipped off to the front of house to get the bill. Couple hundred all up, a very nice night out for 5 people in rural New Zealand.

Get back to the table and mum and dad are just sort of sitting there quietly sharing a small smile between each other. We finished up and headed home, but recently dad opened up about that night - he asked if I remembered that dinner and I said "Of course, it was really nice pizza and I tried like 5 different beers". He said it was such a nice night for him and mum because they had this solid realization that they had raised nice children into nice adults. Seeing both their sons race each other to the counter so their parents and single-mother sister didn't have to spend anything, seeing their daughter handle being self-employed and a single-mother (that horrible duo) and still come out on top. They just realized "Shit, we did it. They're great people".

They aren't traditionally wealthy by any stretch, mum works 2 jobs some part of the year, and an extra one later one, dad is the custodian at a tiny school that is one of the saddest socio-economic areas I've ever seen in New Zealand. But man are they happy. They provided everything for us and we flourished and provide for everyone else in our lives. They got to watch it all come full circle and I think they feel extremely wealthy every time they get us all together.

So for me? Something like that. I don't know if I'll have kids but I think being able to provide for others and help them become good people in turn. Turns out I can do that right now, community service, donations, being there for friends who need assistance.

Money is great, but doing something useful with what I have to spare is where the fun hides.

goobster  ·  173 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What an amazing experience for your parents... I can imagine how full their hearts were!

I did a similar thing a couple months ago. Family (4 + my wife) plus extended family (3 more) all went to a 'nice place' for dinner that my parents particularly like. We all had a lovely long meal... wine, appetizers, main courses, desert, etc., and like two hours of conversation and laughing.

I'd slipped our server my card before desert even hit the table, so when my Mom inevitably went to pay (as she and my Dad had planned/assumed they would), their card was refused because the bill was already covered. They looked down the table and saw me signing the check and handing it back to our server.

The total was something like $525, all in, with a generous tip. I paused for a moment when I got the bill, thinking "woah... I figured we were in the $380-450 range". Then I realized the difference between my guesstimate and the actual total was around 2-3 hours of work... and I had to pause a moment and think about that again... it put zero stress on my finances to throw another $150 on a restaurant tab.

I've spent the majority of my life living pretty much paycheck to paycheck. It's only the last 4 years or so where I have finally had a safety net and four-digit balance in my checking account.

It's nice to be reminded of the privilege I have had, and to share that with the ones I love.

And yeah ... my parents got misty-eyed at me picking up the bill, too. They are also proud parents.

Foveaux  ·  172 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That sounds like a fantastic night.

Topped off, we had wonderful service all throughout the night. The place started off really busy but our server was on the ball the entire time - remembered everything, even the smaller requests and weird drinks we were trying and who ordered what. You know how sometimes the staff will come along with meals and say the name so whoever ordered it can indicate it was theirs? No need for her, she just scooted by and popped them down without having to double check - spot on.

At the end, I mentioned to her at the counter that it felt odd not being able to tip (it's not done here in NZ) for such awesome service and all she said was: "Just come back and eat here again, that's our mark of great service".

So we did!

5 years ago I was diagnosed with severe anxiety - through medication (no longer required) therapy (only as needed) and a lot of support, I now make it through weeks and months without being overly anxious. Certain things crop up and I sometimes have a small relapse but usually I would be considered a normal functioning person who frets a lot more than necessary.

Last week, after moving in with my partner and doing most of the work myself as she is recovering from shingles, losing my grandfather and speaking at his funeral, cancelling a big trip we had planned for a year, losing a good friends father, going through three different faulty washing machines in the new house - just a whole assortment of shit things that on their own, I could handle but together would have me stressed to the nines.. I was ready for the wave of anxiety to hit. On top of my actual stressful job!

But it hasn't. I was walking to work via my new commute (through the local botanical gardens), the sun was shining, I was listening to some music and I felt absolutely normal. There was nothing gnawing at me, nothing worrying me, I walked past people and didn't worry if I looked strange or if my headphones were blaring music too loudly, or if my fly was undone, or any number of things I suddenly stress about - I was just enjoying a walk to my office.

It was a really normal walk from the outside but inside my mind was very, very comfortable for the first time in literal years. It was actually a strange feeling. I'm so used to just handling this intense flow of thoughts and emotions, and I'd gotten pretty good at it, that the mundane notion of having nothing in my mind was actually such a lovely feeling.

That weekend I took my nephew for a walk through the same commute - https://imgur.com/a/wBecqAf

Foveaux  ·  248 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 2, 2019

Took my partner out for a date night - started with a drink at the pub where we first met, then to a local Japanese restaurant where I had a scrumptious pork curry and she got this awesome karaage bowl. Then to another restaurant for an injection donut where they give you this big fuck off syringe with a filling of your choice and you get to pump your donut up. Was choice.

Then Saturday I'm seeing off a friend moving to Canada, and Saturday evening is a wedding, Sunday morning is a catch up with an old colleague and house mate from years gone by. Gonna be all socialised out by then.

Trying to have a nap before the rugby starts tonight. I'm watching France vs USA as a curtain raiser before NZ (hopefully) lay waste to Canada.

I really like how Hubski has personalities behind the usernames. You get used to how a certain person types responses etc, Reddit is so awash with people it's almost just noise at times. I'm glad I came across you lot.

Edit :

https://imgur.com/a/QDWythN

The donut in question

goobster  ·  248 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oof. That France v USA match.

That was a fantastic 65 minutes of rugby!!

Foveaux  ·  247 days ago  ·  link  ·  

MAN! I was so gutted for the USA - they held on so damn well, the scoreline at the end did no justice to the American effort throughout the match. Conditioning for them seems to be getting better and better to.

Also how hilariously good is Mike Te'o? The man looks like he gave up playing premier footy, has love handles and a bit of a belly but played like a man possessed. Unreal.

goobster  ·  247 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Mikey Te'o is astounding. I honestly believe that if he'd been healthy for the MLR Championship game this year, the San Diego Legion would have taken home the trophy, rather than my beloved Seawolves.

He's that rare 7s player that can move to XV as well. He's going to be a key part of the Eagles for many years, I expect.

Foveaux  ·  246 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Used to be (at the very least in NZ) that 7s systems were breeding grounds for potential XVs players. Our Sevens squad used to churn out eventual All Blacks and the process worked very well. Then 7s became much more specialized I think, and now it's a rarity like Te'o who can fill both sports. It asks a hell of a lot more of you these days! Plus the other teams are improving so quickly and finding their own athletes to build teams around.

steve  ·  248 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Took my partner out for a date night

keep that up!

Foveaux  ·  247 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Absolutely. She just started a new job where she doesn't have to work nights or weekends anymore, so I wanted to take her out and treat her for A) a job well done getting the role, and B) to welcome her into the fold of the regular working person! Where a social life can be had.

It was a really nice night. She said while having dinner "I think I just feel really happy. Today was a great day, I'm not tired or drowsy, I'm learning new things and I'm on a date with my boy". Then we demoed the food cause it was too good to try talking around.

OftenBen  ·  247 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Those moments are what I live for these days.

Cheers for the both of you.

Foveaux  ·  275 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 4, 2019

Helping my best mate propose to his girlfriend this weekend.

When he mentioned he wanted to propose at some point, earlier this year, I set to work making a scavenger hunt because his girlfriend is quirky as anything and my friend is far more pragmatic than creative. This has served us very well in our friendship so I don't begrudge him that at all.

So this Saturday we'll pretend to go to the gym for our usual training, and instead mission about town handing out clues to specified areas and explaining the situation to the staff at each place. The locations were picked A) for nostalgic purposes during their courting/budding relationship and B) to have her cross the entire city more than once to eat up time because the second I give her the first clue she will piece everything together in an instant - and I'll struggle to keep a straight face as she bursts into happy tears. So I need her to be busy for a good 90 minutes to 2 hours while my friend sets up the place he has booked for the night. Once she stops crying she will set about being incredibly determined and will want to finish in record time, so the longer she has to travel the better.

All going according to plan, she'll bounce around locations for 90 minutes then eventually the last clue will have her contact me at a certain place and I'll give her some address details + suggest she pack an overnight bag before heading there. Once she arrives, he'll drop the knee.

In other news, my partner and I are taking an extra step, not just living together with flatmates, but moving into our own wee spot of our own. A family friend owns this nice brick, three bedroom house I actually lived in when I was a student. It's been renovated nicely and they're looking for tenants once more. So we'll take over the lease, have the extra bedroom as a studio of sorts and enjoy setting up our lives entirely on our own terms.

Plus we're allowed a cat. Once we move in, first order of business is to head to the nearby SPCA and adopt a cat. Preferably one that has been there a while, we want to give a home to an animal that has been denied one for too long.

Our Japan trip is coming up! I've mastered saying "I'm sorry/excuse me" and have started sampling some vaguely Japanese food so I'm not entirely flabbergasted when we arrive. My partner speaks Japanese thankfully so I'll rely on her a lot while using my adorable foreigner charm to hopefully step on as few toes as possible.

Hope you're all well.

zebra2  ·  274 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That Japan trip will be awesome. Sumimasen is virtually the only phrase you need, so your studies are well focused.

Foveaux  ·  269 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've got the various hellos/good mornings/good evenings down along with some basic food items, and of course 'thank you'. I can introduce myself with a little bit of pondering!

Have heard from a few people that the everyday Japanese person will find a genuine attempt at the language far more welcome compared to just not bothering. So am hoping to be able to greet people comfortably at least!

Will be sure to take heaps of average phone photos.