Monday, June 04, 2018

That time I was going to be on reality tv...

Did I tell you about this? I don't think I did. Skip over if you think you've read this before...

I was approached last December by channel nine to be on their show, 'This Time Next Year'. It was after I'd participated in the TOM makers conference at Swinburne last November. They had wanted to cover the conference but had just missed it, so they'd asked if there was anyone from the conference they might be able to put on this reality TV program, and my name had been given because I don't mind talking in front of a camera. Let's face it, I'll talk to a table leg, so a camera is hardly a challenge.

Anyway, they interviewed me a couple of times, but I was struggling to find anything I really wanted to achieve in one year's time. Keep in mind that last year was pretty amazing for me. I had published a book, published an academic paper in Australia's top writing journal, found a job, and a bunch of smaller achievements. I just couldn't think what my next goal to conquer might be.

We scoured me life for something that might be achievable in a year, but in the end we couldn't find anything that would compete with the 1000 other possible stories. It was all very hush-hush because while filming was set to start at the end of February, the story wouldn't be aired for a year, I couldn't tell anyone about it. The irony was that I never watch reality TV, it has no appeal for me as a viewer at all.

The reason this has popped back up in my conscious is that yesterday I received an email from the lead of our TOM team. He had been approached by the TOM conference leaders to see if we might want to take our project from prototype draft to completed prototype. We're having a meeting next week with the organisers, nothing is a given, but it's nice to be considered.

I'm not sure which project they mean because we actually had two - the adjustable harness, and the find a friend (not the real name just in case this because reality) app. I personally think they app would be more interesting, but maybe they mean the harness.

While participating in the conference last year, I had both the TOM people and a TV station (I can't remember which one - obviously not nine) filming me and my teams progress. So, I did make it onto TV last year. I kind of liked that!

So, there you go, my encounters with television.

Friday, June 01, 2018

I've been sick...

The reason for my absence of late is illness. I have three medical certificates to prove it. I had a bad cold for a week and a half - sore throat, loss of voice, temperatures. I felt pretty lousy, really.

Then when I finally got back to work, I broke a tooth and spent the next day at home after going to the dentist for what the dentist described as a 'very deep filling'. He was pretty pleased with himself when he was able to save the tooth rather than pull it. I'll be going back in a couple of weeks to have another couple of teeth looked at before they break as well.

We've had some interesting times of late. Luey snuck out of the house about a week ago and went about an hour away from home to smoke some weed in a park with a mate - it was his idea - and as they were headed back to the mate's house they were pulled up by the police. The first we knew about it was when the police rang our doorbell at 12am.

Yesterday, Luey went to the police station to receive a formal warning. They took his mug shot. They told him that this would go on a permanent record, but that it will be deferred (he should answer in the negative if anyone asks if he's been in trouble with the police). They did, however, tell him that if he was ever caught again he could be charged, not only for the second offense, but the first as well.

Obviously, his dad and I are not at all happy with this situation and hope he is smart enough to realise how serious it is. What is really getting to me is that in every other part of his life he is going gangbusters. He's doing really well at school, really well with his music. He helps around the house (well, more than he used to). Basically, he's a model kid, and then this.

Meanwhile, Erik rocks up on our doorstep the night before last and tells us he's in deep do-do and he needs our help. He says, he owes a lot of money and has more bills coming. We're talking over $1000 here. He was basically asking us for money. We have helped him out to some extent, but some of the costs I'm refusing to pay off - you know, like his amenities at the woman who picked him up in the middle of the night without a single word to us. There is no way I'm going to give her a cent!

He is leaving high school in the middle of the year because he knows he won't pass year 12. He had told us, quite defiantly, at the beginning of the year that he would be graduating at the end of the year - despite having a crappy academic record that was overlooked by the school because they wanted to 'give him a chance' (they thought we were being too hard on him - I can tell you right now, he would not be dropping out now if they had just let us parent him with the strong boundaries he's always needed).

It's hard not to feel that we are failures as parents. I know, on paper, we are not. Seriously though, the older boys are making stupid choices.

Erik swears up and down that he knows he's screwed up and he's making a change. He is no longer couch surfing because he wasn't willing to follow the rules at that woman's house. He has broken ties with his arsehole 'best' friend (who is definitely headed for jail). He's got a 'plan' for the next year or two.

I'm finding it hard to believe he'll follow through though. I've become quite jaded where he is concerned. But maybe I'm wrong... Let's hope so.

Teenagers and the failing parent...