Friday, December 31, 2004

Portrait Of The Author, As A (Not So) Young Man

Well, here I am in all my glory. Be kind.


It's not easy being orange Posted by Hello

Talkin' 'Bout A Resolution, Yeah, You Know

Partly inspired by the character Michael Tolliver's list of resolutions for the New Year 1977, in Armistead Maupin's More Tails Of The City, here ladies and gentlemen I give you my:

New Year's Resolutions for 2005
  • I will lose weight, get fit, 6 pack abs... blah, blah, blah.
  • I will not think I can do this by sitting on my ass and watching tv aerobics.
  • I will reconcile myself to the fact that Jude Law has obviously lost my number.
  • I will disprove the theory that you cannot have all three of the following: 1. Hot job, 2. Hot apartment, 3. Hot boyfriend. Or die trying.
  • I will only take up 2, maybe 3 or 4, new hobbies in 2005. Oh, and will limit my unfinished projects to... oh, say... less than a thousand.
  • I will be less shallow... but will still have, like, really cute hair.
  • I will no longer live by the motto It's not cruel if it's funny and be kinder.
  • I will tell people that I love them. (I should probably restrict this to people I know though, especially since that guy on the train reacted so badly...)
  • I will accept that some people believe there is more to life than The Amazing Race. (I know, shocking.)
  • I will stop addressing Mormon missionaries, in their cute little white shirts and ties, as "Honey".
  • I will blog more, funnier, more insightfuly and will actually chuck in a link every now and then.
  • 2004: A Year In Review

    Well 2004, your time here is almost gone and I'll be glad to see the back of you. Not that your were horrendous (like 2003 aka 'The Year Of The Head-On Car Accident'), but you were kind of meh, to be honest.

    2004, Some Highs & Lows:
  • Got serious about my Buddhist faith; started a two year Buddhist studies course, became more involved in more activities at the gompa (temple), volunteered to be the facilities manager for the gompa in 2005. (High)
  • Gathered my willpower and resolve and gave up meat and alcohol. (Mostly High, but Christmas was so hard!)
  • Watched in horror as hundreds of thousands of people died in war, and both natural and man made disasters. (Very Low)
  • Turned 40; had a great party, bathed in the love of good friends, noticed grey hairs in my beard for the first time. (High & Low)
  • Left my unrewarding job at the accounting firm. (High)
  • Started this blog and started picking up readers towards the end of the year. (High)
  • Watched some very dear friends move away. (Low)

    Anyone else care to share their highs and lows?
  • Tuesday, December 28, 2004

    Sorrow

    I am so stunned by the enormity of the Tsunamis disaster in the Indian ocean region, our not so distant neighbours, that I can hardly write about it. A death toll currently estimated at around 23,000 and growing.

    I've been watching with horror the news footage of the destruction and carnage, much of the footage caught as the waves rolled in and swept people way. So many heart renching tales.

    I think I will take the image of the row after row of wrapped children's bodies with me to the grave.

    Whatever you believe in, say a prayer or spare a thought for the suffering of the dead and the living. Give whatever you can, as I hope all our governments will.

    [31st December 2004. The death toll has climbed past 120,000. I still struggle to comprehend how awful this disaster is, how much it has touched and changed the lives of so many people, and ended the lives of so many before their time was due. I watch the horrific tv images and walk around stunned. Please let this bring us all together, so that something positive might perhaps come from this.]

    'Twas The Season To Be Jolly

    Christmas holiday season highlights, in no particular order:
  • Christmas Eve sitting on the patio of a friend's house, with good food and company, puppies to pat, great cheeses and a pleasantly cool evening.
  • Christmas day lunch of porcini mushroom and truffle risotto. Not standard Christmas fare I agree, but I was touched that my hosts went to such an effort to create a delicious vegetarian option.
  • Watching my hosts' hot, hot, HOT 26 year old son making said risotto.
  • Channeling my inner Martha by taking charge of the table decorations and creating an impromptu Christmas tree with branches from the garden.
  • Hearing the elderly mother of one of my hosts say that it was the best Christmas she had ever had.
  • Boxing Day (December 26th) breakfast with my oldest and dearest friend and his girlfriend, a week before they are due to be married and head away to Korea for a few years.
  • Boxing Day afternoon and evening at another friend's house, with laughs, presents and a 'power nap' on her Chesterfield sofa.
  • Holding the 7 week old daughter of two of my friends, and watching her gurgle, burble and grin every time I smiled at her.

    So, this year was a social whirligig that started on Christmas eve and has only just slowed. Exhausting? Check. Fun? Check. Probably ate waaay to much? Double check, but who cares?

    I hope you all had a great time.
  • Friday, December 24, 2004

    Merry, Happy, Joyful To You

    Have a wonderful day tomorrow, whatever occasion you are celebrating. Be nice to each other. Spare a thought for those in need, in pain or in peril, and for the lonely.

    Oh, and throw away your diets for at least one day and enjoy yourselves.

    I'm off to a friend's house for a Christmas Eve get together with a rag tag mob of people, new babies and a couple of naughty puppies. Good times!

    Kisses.

    Thursday, December 23, 2004

    I'll Be Homo For Christmas

    Things I have observed about myself this Christmas holiday season:
  • I love wrapping gifts.
  • I think it is perfectly reasonable that I have a theme for all my wrapping.
  • This year's theme, aside from the colour scheme of red and gold, involves small red 'mirror ball' hearts and gold bows.
  • Mikey and I bought a couple of gifts between us, and I handed over one of them to let him wrap. It made my heart race and my palms itch, because I just know it won't be perfect.
  • I am a) a Control Freak when it comes to wrapping and b) the gayest gay of all the gays that have ever walked the Earth.
  • Or maybe I'm just her.
  • Friday, December 17, 2004

    Wednesday, December 15, 2004

    The Glass Is Half Empty

    I'm not normally a whiner, but I need to offload about a couple of things:

  • Tossing and turning for a couple of hours, being woken at 1.15am by my room mate knocking over his bike in the hall, then waking at 3am with a bursting bladder is NOT anyone's idea of a good night's sleep.
  • I hate my (soon to be ex) job, enough said.
  • I just had to type out round 80 labels for Christmas cards to go out to clients. Christmas, bah humbug.
  • I don't handle rejection well, especially from people offering jobs I really want. Yes David Jones, I'm looking at you. No other store like, indeed.
  • The prospect of unemployment in a few weeks time is starting to stress me out.
  • I'm so bone weary today that I'm clenching my jaw. If I don't start sleeping properly again soon I'm going to have to go and see the doctor... or start hanging out in the sort of bars where they spike your drinks.

    Wow, when I start whining I can really get up a head of steam. Apologies, gentle reader.
  • Friday, December 10, 2004

    100 Things

    Ladies and gentlemen,
    I bring you the ubiquitous navel gazing exercise known as 100 Things:


    1. If you are given a very common name like Andrew, you will either spend most of your life with a variety of nicknames, or most of your life with some sort of qualifier attached to your name. So "No, short Andrew", "No, Mikey's ex-boyfriend Andrew" or something similar becomes very common.
    2. 'The Other Andrew' is a spin on this, and started life as a name to distinguish me from another Andrew who was also a frequent commenter on Max's site.
    3. My family and a small handful of old friends call me Andy. I don't mind it, but I'm not keen when strangers call me that. Somehow it seems too intimate.
    4. I'm very short. 5'4" (or about 165cm).
    5. I cry easily.
    6. These two things are not related.
    7. I was born in 1964, which makes me 38 for the next couple of years, at least.
    8. My family came to Australia from England when I was 1 year old, and I grew up in Adelaide but moved to Sydney in my 20's.
    9. I don't smoke. (I hear it stunts your growth.)
    10. I love to laugh, and to make other people laugh.
    11. I have a tendency to say almost anything, often quite outrageous things, if I think it will get a laugh.
    12. I am the world's lightest sleeper. Ever.
    13. On account of this, I have periodic bouts of insomnia and have slept with earplugs every night for over twenty years.
    14. My hotel room was once robbed, while I was asleep in the room. The earplugs were partly to blame, but I had drunk my own body weight in alcohol, so that might have been a factor. In hindsight, I was glad I stayed asleep.
    15. I'm an orphan.
    16. Both my parents died from cancer.
    17. In a strange twist of fate I once worked for a Familial Cancer Registry, dealing with the members of families with known genetic mutations which pre-dispose them to certain types of cancer.
    18. It ended up being a little too close to home, even though my family does not fit the profile.
    19. I have two sisters who I get along well with but I rarely see as they live half way across the country.
    20. My oldest sister suffered a debilitating stroke a few years back and her life has never been the same since.
    21. I played the French Horn in High School. I was so tiny I couldn't hold it properly.
    22. Whenever I tell my friends this they fall about laughing.
    23. I've survived two major car accidents. I'm not planning on having a third.
    24. I don't drive, and never have.
    25. Last year I broke my clavicle in a head-on car accident. It was extremely painful, especially as it went undiagnosed for a couple of weeks and I had started having physiotherapy. My shoulders are no longer symmetrical.
    26. I was a teenage Star Trek nerd. Conventions, costumes, the whole nine yards. Biggest nerd coup, a book personally autographed by Gene Roddenberry himself. In your face, bitches.
    27. I have a strong creative drive and love to make things.
    28. I trained as a milliner.
    29. I once won a hat competition with a horse race themed Melbourne Cup hat... made for a drag queen. There was Astroturf, plastic horses and a hot-glue gun involved.
    30. I adore stationery and hardware stores. So. Many. Precious. Things.
    31. Amongst other crafts, I'm an excellent embroiderer. Yes, I know how nelly that sounds.
    32. I secretly wish I was Martha Stewart, but without the prison thing.
    33. I love you, even though you never call.
    34. I can't abide the taste of liquorice or anything aniseed. Blech!
    35. Aside from that, I'm pretty much omnivorous, but that changed recently when I became a vegetarian.
    36. I hate the smell of popcorn, especially the buttered sort that people eat at the movies. I've been known to change seats if the smell is too strong.
    37. I love animals, especially dogs. I used to date a guy who bred and showed dogs competitively, and when we split I missed the dogs more than him.
    38. Everything in the dog show 'mockumentary' film "Best In Show" is pretty much true.
    39. Bar one notable example (see Dog Show Man above) I'm still friends with all my ex boyfriends. They are legion.
    40. Dog Show Man turned out to be just a tad psychotic. If I'd known that he saw a psychiatrist twice a week, I might have been more cautious.
    41. I've been single for about three years now, and I don't mind it at all.
    42. It would be nice to be in another relationship, but I figure it'll happen one day.
    43. Most people hate playing cards with me. Not because I'm good, but because every single time I'm all like "So how do we play this one again?"...
    44. I don't play cards very often.
    45. I'm a practicing Buddhist, in the Tibetan lineage called Mahayana.
    46. I'm a Godless Parent to the daughter of two of my closest friends. In addition to approaching a Christian friend to be a God Parent, they approached a Pagan friend and myself to be provide balance and alternatives.
    47. I was extremely touched.
    48. I can't sing, even though I used to be a choral singer before my voice broke.
    49. I have a large group of loving friends, both straight and gay.
    50. I'm a bit of a tv junkie, and let little come between me and an episode of The Amazing Race.
    51. I use too many commas, and ellipses...
    52. I love dark chocolate. Dark & bitter.
    53. I'm a good cook.
    54. I love coffee. Straight up and dirty, black and no sugar.
    55. I'm not so keen on tea, it gives me indigestion.
    56. I learnt to tap dance in my early 30's, but haven't really done it since.
    57. I studied classical ballet for 4 years, but gave it up when I was 12 and all the girls were towering over me.
    58. I still have passably good turn-out and extension.
    59. For my 40th birthday a friend gave me a day at flying trapeze school. Best. Gift. Ever.
    60. I love to read, but like everyone else in the blogsphere, what I really want to do is write.
    61. But of course I don't, and when I do I'm not very good at it. Of course you know that already if you read this blog.
    62. I try not to, but I tend to use emoticons.
    63. :-)
    64. From 9 to 5 I have to spend my time at work. My job is very boring, I'm an office clerk.
    65. I will respect you immensely if you get that reference.
    66. I love what you've done with your hair.
    67. I don't have a particular 'type' but I frequently find Indian and Anglo-Indian men attractive. Apparently this makes me a Curry Queen, who knew?
    68. I dislike buying new shoes, as I have flat and wide feet. Consequently it takes me forever to break in new shoes.
    69. Like jeans, they're best when they're just about to fall apart.
    70. When I find a pair of shoes that fit well, I wear them endlessly.
    71. The height thing and the feet thing indicate that I am at least one quarter hobbit.
    72. There's a bit of munchkin in there too, I suspect.
    73. I love nice soap. L'Occitane's lemon verbena almost makes me swoon.
    74. I love the word 'swoon'.
    75. I grew a goatee even before they were fashionable. I've kept it ever since, on account of I'm convinced I have a weak chin.
    76. I have hazel eyes like my mother, which look more brown or more green on different days.
    77. I wish I had inherited my father's blue eyes.
    78. I am determined to visit Barcelona and Venice some day.
    79. I love architecture, and when I was at school I toyed with the idea of becoming an architect.
    80. The maths put me off.
    81. I wish it hadn't.
    82. I sometimes doodle buildings during meetings.
    83. I would love to see a Gaudi building first hand.
    84. In my opinion two of the most underrated virtues are kindness and restraint.
    85. I'm not that great at restraint.
    86. Having said that, I did give up meat and alcohol recently and my degree of willpower has surprised even me.
    87. Most embarrassing moment would probably be when my very old fashioned father walked in on me as a teenager undertaking a little self pleasuring, shall we call it?
    88. It was a close call to figure out which of us was the more mortified.
    89. Thank goodness he never looked on top of my wardrobe. That thing was positively groaning under the weight of well thumbed porn.
    90. I told my school friends I was gay when I was 15, and they all reacted really well.
    91. At 18 I was working as a telephone counsellor, talking to guys who were coming out and were often more than twice my age. It was tough but I'm glad I did it.
    92. I really dislike fidgeting, especially seeing people bite their nails. I have no idea why, but it really bugs me. Why can't you just sit still?
    93. I'm a big fan of fresh air, when I'm home I'll always have the doors and windows open (unless it is really cold).
    94. I have a large sticker above my work station which is purple and says Drama Queen. It was given to me by a co-worker.
    95. The rest of my workstation walls are a postcard art gallery. William Morris, Buddha pictures and Japanese prints feature heavily. One of my favourites is a picture of a gun pointing to an X, with an arrow saying 'You Are Here'.
    96. My parents had really thick English accents, and I have a bit of a weird English/Aussie hybrid accent thing going.
    97. I use the word 'actually' waaaaay too much.
    98. I always read the instructions... and not afterwards but before I try and operate it/put it together.
    99. I suspect that I'm not a very good blogger. When I go back and read my posts they sometimes seem a little too low key and don't really sound that much like me I think.
    100. ...but then again, I'm my own worst critic.

    Thursday, December 09, 2004

    Manolo A Go Go

    Being cursed with flat, wide, hobbit feet I have a love/hate relationship with shoes. (I love them best when they're just about to fall apart, and hate buying and breaking in new ones.)

    If you don't share my dislike and have a taste for all that's strappy and snappy, take a look at Shoewawa.

    [Link via the fab Things Magazine.]

    Dear Willpower,

    Things just haven't been the same since you went away, so I just wanted to write and say that I miss you. I know things were kind of strained between us, especially since the second bag of potato crisps 'incident', but I'm kind of hoping we can let bygones be bygones, you know? We used to be so great together.

    I was thinking about you a lot today, as I chewed on a Mars Bar. It reminded me of all the fun things we used to do, like eating only until we were full and having a work day that didn't involve hours spent on the internet.

    Anyway, I hope you're doing well. I must go, I'm off to the shops.

    Love, Andrew

    Wednesday, December 08, 2004

    In The History Of Bad Mental Images, This One Is A Goody.

    Is it just me, or does a newspaper story including the line '...a Danish sperm bank is stocking up on large amounts of semen ready to flood the British market' seem just a tad too rich with mental imagery?

    You Complete Me

    Discussion has been happening over at Freakgirl about the cheesiest movie lines ever, and it got me thinking about all the romantic movies I've been watching lately. Let me get a little more specific, romantice movies about men who love other men. Yes, the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.

    Being the recent proud owner of a fully functioning DVD player (apparently it helps to plug the damn thing in correctly, who knew?) I've been on a bit of a DVD watching kick.

    So first I watched a couple of films which were lent to me by Mikey and which I hadn't heard of before, Big Eden and The Trip. (Verdict: both films are a little light on for realism, but make up for it in charm and endearing perfomances from appealing lead actors. Larry Sullivan, marry me. Seriously, I'm prepared to relocate.)

    Next up I received an early Christmas present of a copy of All Over The Guy. (Verdict: I like this movie even though it has some flaws. I find it fun, entertaining and definately improved by the presence of the hunky Richard Ruccolo. A personal bonus, most of the characters share my dislike for the film In & Out.)

    This is not a genre that is generally that easy to come by, and some of the films suffer a bit from a) a touch of preachiness, b) dumbing down of the subject and c) a wistful 'soft filter' optimism. All three of the above films do tip over into some of these faults a little, but are enjoyable and diverting - especially if you are in the mood for a little representation with a happy ending.

    Sometimes you just want to see nice looking guys fall in love and stay together, despite the odds.

    Don't just trust my opinion, there's a bunch of quite different reviews of Big Eden here and All Over The Guy here, and a review of The Trip here for starters.

    Tuesday, December 07, 2004

    Sea Change

    I'm leaving my job.

    Man it feels great to write that.

    When I started here over two years ago it was only supposed to be temporary, something to keep the wolf from the door. Well, here I am almost two and a half years later still here. I love some of the people I work with, dislike my boss's management style and the work bores me to tears. Time to move on.

    I'm trying to move back into a buyer role in retail, something I used to love and should never have left. So if anyone believes in luck, wishes or 'positive' energy, I'd be a willing recipient.

    Oh, and that job I just applied for with Gucci, that would really suit an Accessories Queen like me...

    Wednesday, December 01, 2004

    An Irishman About The House

    I have a new house mate. Yay, for not starving and being thrown out on the street!

    (Which would never actually happen, because I rent the house from my close friend of 27 years. Never let facts get in the way of the dramatic!)

    He's sweet, funny and Irish. Oh, but best of all, he has a great ass.

    Monday, November 22, 2004

    FMR magazine

    I can't remember when I first came across the gorgeous art and culture magazine FMR Magazine published by Italian publisher Franco Maria Ricci, but it must have been something like 1985 or 1986. I remember back then drooling over the thick paper stock, the black gloss pages and the lush photography of incredible artworks, buildings and antiques, and the accompanying articles by top notch writers. I do remember though just how expensive it was, very, very expensive for a magazine. Even a really beautiful one. In my mind it became one of the symbols which opitimised the celebration of the 'high life' so popular in the 80's.

    Fast forward roughly 15 years and I was looking through a discount bookseller's stall while on holidays in Perth, Western Australia, when I discovered stacks of old FMR Magazine issues from the late 80's. I was nearing the end of my holiday and money was scarce, but I picked through and bought 4 issues which were in good condition and had amazingly beautiful contents.

    I always assumed the magazine went under, a classic victim of the end of 80's excess but I was wrong. It is still on sale and appears to be going strong, but available only through subscription. Very expensive subscription!

    More info about the magazine can be found here (just click the *enter Franco Maria Ricci's world* link).

    Tuesday, November 09, 2004

    I Love Science

    I would love to have seen the grant proposal for this research.

    PS. The last paragraph totally freaks me out. 'Coagulates'... [shudder]

    Friday, November 05, 2004

    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    Arcosanti

    I remember years ago hearing about a project called Arcosanti, whereby an Italian architect Paulo Soleri was building a small prototype city in the Arizona desert. From the website it would seem that his work revolves around high density and multi-use facilities built along ecological principles. A percentage of the site is already built and the public spaces in particular look quite interesting. The project has been underway for around 30 years and they are still a long way off being finished by the look of it.

    Soleri seems to be very optimistic that good design can positively affect social interaction. Some of his designs are quite arrestingly poetic in scope and scale, but I'm curious as to what it would be like to actually live in such a planned city. Living in a high density community is one thing when it is a campus of like-minded architecture students motivated with a single goal. What happens though when the Jones's with their late night parties and Sunday morning screaming matches end up cheek-by-jowl next door?

    Laughter Under The Stars

    I think I increased my Weirdness Factor with my friends and co-workers by telling them that I went to a Christmas party... on the 29th of October... at a Buddhist centre.

    (It isn't quite as contradictory as it sounds. Buddhism itself doesn't deny other religions and believes that all faith systems with a core of compassion, and an ideal of freeing all beings from suffering, are valid. Many Buddhists also see Jesus as having been a Bodhisattva, a supremely compassionate being working to free all beings from suffering.)

    As to the choice of 29th October, it was because the Lama in residence and a number of students were taking off to India shortly after, for teachings with His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

    The evening was beautifull, cool and clear as we sat outside at tables in the garden under fairy lights and lanterns. I met many new people, struck up conversations with people I had only a passing acquaintence with, laughed and generally had a lovely time. I sat next to an interesting Korean man who talked about his love of the 'T. Lobsang Rampa' books as a teenager, and how even though in hindsight they are works of fantasy and fiction, they gave him enough of a taste of Tibetan Buddhism to start him off on the spiritual path that lead him to where he is now. (There is an interesting and crticial review of the influence of the Rampa books and the 'fictionalising of Tibet' here.)

    So an interesting evening, and a nice reminder that there is considerable value in developing a sense of community with other people who are pursuing a similar spiritual quest, no matter what form that takes.

    Monday, November 01, 2004

    Chicken Or The Beef?

    I find this website about Airline meals strangely compelling. My initial reactions were "what the fuh?" and astonishment at the scope of it. 10,000+ reader submitted images and reviews covering over 400 airlines.

    It turns out to be one of those wonderful success stories that crop up on the net occasionally, someone starts a niche interest website that strikes a cord with people and it takes off (sorry about the pun). Read the 'about AirlineMeals.net' for the interesting history of how the site came to be. Some airlines are now actively using the customer reviews to monitor the customer reactions to their meals and the reviewer photos to monitor quality control and to ensure the cabin crews are presenting everything properly. The Dutch graphic artist who started and runs the site has now added other airline related ephemera such as vintage meal pics and advertising, and related airline food topics such as lounge food and behind-the-scenes of catering facilities.

    As I said, strangely compelling.

    Updated: I just noticed that the Aussie paper the Sun Herald recently did an article on AirlineMeals.net which makes for interesting reading

    Friday, October 29, 2004

    Return Of The Arch Nemesis

    I have posted previously about my arch nemesis, the Evil Empire that is Sydney's City Rail rail network. This once efficient system is now a mishmash of cancelled, delayed or infuriatingly slow services, courtesy of a history of budget cuts and industrial action.

    So I present with glee someone's take on the real Sydney rail network.

    And... cue lawyers!

    Button, Button, Who's Got The Button?

    I'm in love with Project Button, a collaborative art project of amazing 1 inch buttons from artists all over the world. Very timely is the latest theme, Peace.

    Oh, and the web design of the site is gorgeous too.

    Spiritual Supermarket

    Need more meaning in your life? Feeling a desire to connect with a greater truth?

    Well get yourself over to Unusual Churches and Cults, the Church of Endora or the Cult Of The Dead Milkman may just help you to unscrew the inscrutable.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2004

    My Baby Takes The Morning... Monorail!

    I love the stylings and sheer optomisitc exhuberence of many of the designs at this Transportation Futuristics exhibition site. It's a little slow to load but worth the effort.

    [Link via the wonderful Things Magazine]

    Monday, October 25, 2004

    Hello What?!

    Now I have seen everything.

    Scroll down on this page until you find the Hello Kitty product towards the bottom of the page.

    Oh. My. God.

    Friday, October 15, 2004

    The Romance of Travel

    I have always been addicted to the look of vintage travel ephemera - posters, tickets, menus, luggage labels etc. Especially those that date from the early decades of the twentieth century through to the 1950's.

    I guess the appeal is more than just a love of the pure Art Deco 'machine-age' aesthetic that many of them have. It's also the great romantic notions of travels by cruiseliner, by overland train and by the early years of airplanes, and of travel when so much was exotic and unknown.

    So it is with joy that I discovered this gallery of vintage luggage labels. Delightful.

    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    Change

    Recently I've been listening to teachings and doing meditations on impermanence, one of the more important teachings in Buddhism and an important part of the Buddhist course I have been doing.

    Quite suddenly I've been presented with an opportunity to reflect on this at close range, to feel the emotional ebb and flow of how I respond to major change and importantly to see how different it feels. It looks like three people very close to me are all about to head off on paths that will take them away.

    Today my good friend (and ex-boyfriend) Steven heads off to Brisbane to live. I'll miss him but most importantly I feel happy for him that he has decided to take his life by the horns, to leave the job he hated, and to make a positive step towards re-connecting with his family.

    In about four weeks time my friend, and room mate, Narelle heads off to Canberra to live. It's a positive move for her career, she'll earn more and save more, and she'll be moving in with her best friend. So likewise, this is a great move for her.

    Last week I heard that my close friend of 27 years has been offered a job in Korea for a minimum of two years. He's heading over with his girlfriend this weekend to see what Korea is like, to find out if his girlfriend will be able to work there, and then to ultimately make his decision. If he accepts he'll be gone by month end. My first reaction... "No, you can't!!".

    However, it didn't take too much reflection for me to see the grasping, the attachment, the ego involved in my reaction. All three are moving towards great opportunities, exciting life experiences and opportunities for great personal growth. So I'm at peace.

    Frankly, I've surprised myself. A year ago I would be on a depressive spiral, feeling overwhelmed by these friends moving away, by having to find a new room mate, by fears of loneliness. It seems that I'm changing too.

    Saturday, October 09, 2004

    Cry Boy Cry

    While I was out this morning I picked up a copy of a 'best of' Jimmy Somerville CD (from the Bronski Beat and The Communards era) and have been listening to Jimmy's sweet falsetto ever since.

    From the bitter sweet start of "Small Town Boy" I'm suddenly 19 again, lying on Gary's bed in his cold and dingy bedroom while he tells me what it's like to be young and queer in his small home town in England, and that he loves me. Gary had a 12" vinyl single which he would play over and over again and would sometimes cry along with. I'm so in love with him I feel electrified.

    Fast forward a couple of years and a few tracks on the CD and Gary has moved on to be with someone else. I'm single, fairly happy most of time, and in particular I'm dancing my heart out at a bar called the Mars Bar in my old home town of Adelaide while Jimmy is singing "Tell Me Why". Can you tell me whyyyyyyy? It's likely that I'm also trying for the thousandth unsuccessful time to get my big unrequited crush Steve to dance with me. (RIP sweetie, I miss you and I'm sorry that I missed your passing.) Some men just won't dance, no matter how sweetly you ask them.

    So it has been a bitter sweet afternoon. I've smiled a lot and cried a little. I've thought of past loves and lost friends, but I've also remembered transcendant nights on the dancefloor and big great loves. Thanks Jimmy, I owe you one.

    Wednesday, September 29, 2004

    Next Stop, Cirque du Soliel!

    I cashed in one of my birthday presents on Sunday and went to trapeze school.

    Yup, you read right. Trapeze. School.

    It was challenging, fun, incredible and ultimately exhausting. I can't wait to do it again! I did discover though that the collarbone I fractured last year is operating at somewhere less than 100%, so I'll wait a few months, do some more pushups and strenghtening exercises and then have another go.

    I had moments of trepidation as I climbed the ladder to the take-off platform, and even more as I had to lean right out and grab the bar (they have a hold of you by only the safety belt you are wearing). The exhilaration was incredible though, and I was able to ace a few tricks like doing a backflip from the bar into the net.

    An hour and a half later I was tired, and had discovered muscles that I didn't know I had, but I was exhilarated and proud of what I had acheived. I don't have a problem with heights, but swinging out on a trapeze bar about 30 feet up in the air makes you face whatever fear you have about not just heights but your ability to undertake something new and physically challenging. I'm very glad I did it.

    Thursday, September 23, 2004

    Cranky, Your Table Is Ready

    I'm feeling a mixture of tired and cranky today, with a small shot of angry and a pinch of bitter thrown in.

    I know much better than this, I really do, but you know what? Today I'm kind of enjoying it.

    Five Things That Will Never Happen

  • Someone will describe me as lanky.
  • I will watch someone bite their nails and it won't send me into paroxisms of irrational internalised rage.
  • I will pay money to voluntarily see a movie with 'Princess' in the title.
  • I will similarly start watching "McLeod's Daughters", and will care very, very deeply about it.
  • One of my Morning Commute Crushes will stare at me first, and for longer.
  • Wednesday, September 15, 2004

    I Got Your Updates Right Here.

    So, cut to a neglectful couple of weeks later and let's see what our hero has been up to:

  • I turned 40. No-one died and the world did not, in fact, end.
  • I got sick with something as lame sounding as an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection. I got me some URTI, baby. Nothing life-ending, but I felt fluey, hot and crabby for nearly a week and had a killer sore throat and swollen glands. It was Not Much Fun.
  • I have lovely friends, who love me lots and show their affection in the best way possible... with really cool birthday gifts.
  • Speaking of which, I picked out my new bicycle (a Giant OCR1 road bike) which is a gift from my ex. I just have to wait 6 weeks for them to get me one in a size extra small! However, I still maintained my dignity in the face of such heartless labelling.
  • I'm in love with all the accessories cycling entails. You can never have too many hats, bags or shoes.
  • I put in a submission to create my own job role at my work, and move out of the mind numbingly boring role I have been doing for two years now. Two years! Why didn't I realise that I have limited time to waste? (see first point, above)
  • I seem to be on a mission to ensure that I am as fat as possible before summer arrives. I just polished off a bag of crisps and a Cherry Ripe for good measure. Urgh.
  • I'm all about Australian Idol. Who is my favourite varies from week to week, one thing is for certain though, little Anthony remains cute as a button.
  • Friday, September 03, 2004

    Bye Bye 'Honest John'!

    This has been doing the rounds of our email at work...

    HOW TO START YOUR DAY WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE:

    1. Create a "new folder" on your computer.
    2. Name it "John Howard"
    3. Send it to the recycle bin. (the bin must be empty prior to this step)
    4. Empty the recycle bin.
    5. Your computer will ask you: "Do you really want to get rid of "John Howard"?*
    6. Answer calmly, "Yes," and press the mouse button.
    7. Repeat, as required.

    I guess you could easily substitute "George W Bush" for "John Howard" and it would still be strangely satisfying.

    * Australian Prime Minister, John Howard.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2004

    Monday, August 30, 2004

    Weekend In A Nutshell

    The upside:
  • My new Esprit shirt. Summery, 'Slim Fit' and not stretched too tight across the belly = next weekend Birthday Party Wear. Teamed with the Package Enhancement Jeans it should be some potent mojo.
  • Sunday afternoon birthday get together for Karrine at her house. It rained, so the courtyard was off limits but I had a good time, even without alcohol. I know, shock.
  • Tearing up during the Wildcards show of 'Australian Idol'. Although this made me hate myself, thoroughly.
  • A tamed backyard. Weeds be gone!

    The downside:
  • Still fat. Well, not FAT!, but fat. You know what I'm saying?
  • How hard can it be to buy a damn tube of John Frieda's 'Upbeat' styling cream in this godforsakentown?!
  • 'Metro Fit' shirts. Whatthefuh? Apparently it is New Urban Speak for slim fitting. (Although this has given me a new euphemism to use. "I feel fat, I used to be so 'metro' you know?" or "Get her, she's smoking Virginia Metros.")
  • Thursday, August 26, 2004

    Beam Me Up, Martha

    I just sprayed water all over my keyboard, and almost peed myself with hysterics.

    Ever thought the USS Enterprise needed something like decoupaged end tables to freshen it up? Well then you need to go here and select 'Galactic Martha'.

    Wednesday, August 25, 2004

    Daunted, Thy Name Art Andrew

    Last night I attended the information night for the second module of the two year Discovering Buddhism course I've started.

    In amongst the notes and reading material lists etc that I collected last night was a topics and requirements list for the rest of the two year course. I was reading it with interest, thinking to myself 'dum dee dum, this looks interesting, la la la' when I got to the outline of last couple of modules...

    Um, do the words three month retreat and 100,000 prostrations sound as daunting to you as they do to me? Oh cool, just checking.

    So far just doing the first module and a one day retreat has been quite transformative, so I'm hoping that by the time I get to those two last modules I'm quite a different person. Because I can tell that where I am now, three months of retreat sounds hellishly hard.

    Friday, August 20, 2004

    Vogon Spam Poetry

    Tucked into the spam poem in a delightful little email from Valerie Jarvis (offering me "NO MORE PAYING For Your Pay-Per-View" - thanks Val!) was this little gem:
    "prick hierarchal inland alderman"

    Who is this alderman who lives inland, and why is he such a heirarchal prick?

    Wednesday, August 18, 2004

    At Least It Isn't That Weird "Izzy" Thing From The Atlanta Games

    Last night we were discussing the Olympic mascots, and nobody could actually name or describe what they were this time around. Now I know why.

    Is it just me, or are they a little, you know, ugly?

    Given that the current Greek Olympian scandal, and the number of drug cheats that have already been caught, this piece of hyperbole seems particularly amusing:
    "They are two children who show us, through their love of play and their love of the game, that the important thing is taking part and not the result."

    Yeah, right.

    Friday, August 13, 2004

    Me, In A Nutshell

    It has been years since I did a Myers-Briggs personality test, so long ago in fact that I don't even remember what I tested as. Apparently, as of today I am:

    ENFP - "Journalist". Uncanny sense of the motivations of others. Life is an exciting drama. 8.1% of total population.
    Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test


    I'd say that come pretty close to the truth.

    Can I Expense That?

    The accounting firm I work for has a pornographer as a client, who publishes a couple of... well let's call them 'niche market' magazines.

    Does anyone else think that Phone Sex as an expense account is amusing? OK, just checking.

    Things To Be Thankful For

    On Friday the 13th, here's a list of things I'm thankful for today:
  • Last night's packed out (and thoroughly demented) Talent Show at the Newtown Hotel, hosted by the ever popular Miss Vanessa Wagner. Drag with humour and a conscience y'all.
  • Mikey's company. Welcome back to Sydney pet, I couldn't ask for a better ex boyfriend.
  • L'Occitane lemon verbena soap. It may not be summer yet, but it can sure as damn well smell like it.
  • Speaking of the change of seasons, there is a definite whiff of Spring in the air. Huzzah.

    ...and because every coin has a flip side, today I'm not so happy about:
  • Headaches, and I wasn't even drinking alcohol last night.
  • My previously mentioned Arch Nemesis, City Rail. To quote my friend Meaghan, they couldn't organise a fuck in a brewery, or a piss-up in a brothel.
  • I'm Changing My Name To 'Lance'

    My sweet, sweet ex boyfriend is buying me a bicycle for my upcoming 40th birthday! I'm very excited about the whole thing, I mean there will be shoes, a hat (of sorts) and some slick cycle drag to be had. I am always, and ever will be, about the accessories. We started looking at some bikes, and it looks like I'll be getting something seriously sleek and light. I'm not worthy.

    One thing I had never thought about this whole bike purchasing thing, some of the salesmen are obviously keen cyclists themselves, and we are talking high hotness quotient.

    The only problem is, I have never even tried to drive a car and haven't ridden a bike for something like 10 years or more. I'm guessing it might be a good idea to learn the road rules. I'm a little paranoid about riding on the busy streets of Sydney, but I figure I'll take it easy at first and not tackle the busy streets if I can help it.

    If you see someone on a cool looking bike nervously trying to figure out who has the right of way, be sure and say 'Hi' won't you.

    Friday, August 06, 2004

    Stylin!

    In the market for some stylish new threads?

    The only problem is, I can't decide which look is more me. Pimp or Ho? Discuss.

    Friday, July 30, 2004

    Crappy, In More Ways Than One

    Uurgh.  We just went to a farewell lunch for one of our workmates at a restaurant called Peter Pan [note: boring link] in Crows Nest, where amongst the joys of cold food, varying meal sizes and one dish which had a piece of plastic in it... I've been running to the bathroom for the past 2 hours. Thanks Peter Pan!

    Here's a heads up, avoid the Chicken Cacciatore.

    Thursday, July 15, 2004

    Hello! Testing. Is This Thing On?

    So posting has been a bit sporadic here of late. I've been struggling with a crackerjack case of sinus infection, weariness and more than a tad of malaise. I know, even I haven't wanted to hear me talk about it...

    So, here is the Cliff Notes version (minus all the hand wringing) of the past week:

  • Saturday was a blur of the domestic - early morning supermarket shopping and an intense 'workout standard' cleaning frenzy. People, I even got in and cleaned out the washing machine lint filters. Virtue was mine.
  • Saturday night I went to a lovely dinner at my friends John & Judy's house, where I met the most amazing friend of theirs called Bronwyn and her husband Peter. Bronwyn was smart, funny and warm, and I enjoyed her conversation immensely.
  • Sunday I was back at John and Judy's house to help Judy to sew. She's making a 16th Century Italian ladies outfit and we were making the ruff to go on her chemise. (It makes a lot more sense if you understand that we share the same bizarre hobby.)
  • Tuesday night I had the first full class of my new Buddhist course. Is it wrong to notice that there were three dead set hotties in the class, one of which had a thick Cockney accent? Be still my beating heart. On a serious note the class was excellent, jam packed with people, and I got a lot out of it. I have homework... I forgot what that was like.
  • I have narrowed down the plans for my 40th birthday party and made a venue booking. Next stop, invitations! There's no stopping the Birthday Juggernaut now.
  • I started the process of looking for a new job today. I spoke to my two potential referees here at work and sounded them out about whether they would be happy to be a referee on job applications. Now I have committed myself and hopefully won't succumb to inertia again.

    All other time not specifically mentioned was probably spent watching tv. It's winter, and I'm hibernating.
  • Faaaaaabulous!

    As someone who has a tendancy to over use the other 'F' word, I appreciate the fact that I'm not the only one.

    Friday, July 09, 2004

    Little Kindnesses

    Over the past couple of days some strangers have shown small acts of kindness towards me that have really made my day.

    So, to the two ladies who joined forces to help me get all my letters and parcels into the letterbox last night, thanks ladies! You made me do a complete 180 degree turn on my day. Up to that point it had been stressfull, frustrating and annoying and I wasn't looking forward to the walk to the train station in the cold and drizzly weather.

    I still got wet, and felt cold, but I sure did feel warmer inside!

    Killer Roos!

    I personally don't need any additional reasons not to live in Canberra, but I'll add killer roos to the list.

    I got kicked by a great big male red kangaroo once. Man it scared the crap out of me.

    Thursday, July 08, 2004

    Mind Your Own Beeswax, George

    It's nice to know that our friends across the Tasman don't mind weighing in against the big bully. Maybe they figure they're next in the firing line.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2004

    Dharma, Dharma, Dharma, Dharma, Dharma Chameleon...

    For quite a while now I have been feeling a strong desire to re-connect with my Buddhist practice and to take my study of the teachings of the Buddha (the Dharma as it is called) to another level. A year or two ago I was attending Vajrayana Institute, a local Mahayana Tibetan Buddhist gompa, and making some halting attempts at getting a regular meditation practice happening. I'm not sure why drifted away from it, too much attachment to all the daily distractions of this life I guess.

    I discovered a couple of weeks ago as I was checking their newsletter that the first unit of a 14 unit, 2 year Discovering Buddhism course was starting in July. Oh happy day! So last night was the first night of the course, an introductory evening and it was lovely.

    I arrived to find the library and the entry to the upstairs gompa packed with people! As it turned out most of them were here for the introductory night, but some were more experienced students and practioners who were making their way through to the back garden, to light some lamps around the stupa in celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's birthday. Looking out through the library windows I could see hundreds of little oil lamps illuminating the stupa and people walking slowly around the stupa lighting lamps and queitly chanting. It was a moment of beauty to be treasured.

    It was so wonderful, and a little daunting as it had been a while, to walk into the gompa. The mood in the gompa was very hushed and a bit uncertain. I guess for 90% of the people there this was the first time that they had set foot inside a Buddhist centre, and especially the first time they had sat in a ritual space with all the statues, pictures and curious paraphenalia that Tibetan Buddhism involves.

    The information session was... well, informative. Many people hung around afterwards to pay for the course, chat and drink tea. One of the ladies who enrolled for the course was until recently a presenter on a long running children's television show here in Australia. I couldn't help but smile watching her chat with another woman, who kept insisting that her "face looked familiar, I'm sure I know you from somewhere...".

    So all in all a good evening. I left feeling glad that I had made the decision to sign up for the course, and for the decision to focus back on studying the Dharma.

    Happy birthday Your Holiness!

    Friday, June 25, 2004

    Questionable Buddhist Joke

    One day The Buddha is walking along the street when he comes across a hot dog seller on the sidewalk.

    "What'll it be, buddy?" the man asks.

    The Buddha thinks for a while, "Make me one with everything" he replies.

    Ok, a bit lame I agree. I hope it brought a smile to your face though.

    Uncanny Resemblance

    I just had the most blinding revelation.

    For months now I have been looking at one of my co-workers and trying to figure out who the heck she reminds me of. She's short, cute, pear shaped, has little legs that seem to go a million miles an hour when she's in a hurry and tiny little rounded shoulders with little short arms.

    It just occured to me who she looks like. If she ever carries a red handbag, I will fucking LOSE IT.

    Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    Surprisingly, Not So Gross

    One of my work colleagues just bought a round of weird looking iced teas with tapioca type 'pearls' in them for everyone. Mine was green apple flavoured green tea, and I have to say that although it was odd it was not anywhere near as bad as I anticipated.

    The sensation of chewy 'pearls' whizzing up the extra wide straw did however give me pause, and I got a little over zealous and re-discovered my gag reflex.

    Too much information?

    Monday, June 21, 2004

    Dooce

    I read quite a lot of blogs and online journals, and I'm always in awe of people who have a very distinctive and unique 'voice' that comes through in their writing. (Not something I feel is happening here yet, but then I still have the trainer wheels on.)

    So I discovered the mighty Dooce recently, and have been trawling my way through her archives ever since. Oh Lordy this woman can write! I completely blew my cover (ie supposedly doing some actual work) by snorting drink out through my nose when reading one of her posts. Too, too funny.

    An Embarrassment of Riches

    I had a great weekend. Nothing really dramatic happened, I didn't fall in love, drop 10 Kg or win the lottery, but I can still say I had a lovely time.

  • Friday night I went out with my old school chum Oleh and we had numerous beers, a cheap and cheerful dinner, stopped by a funky music venue... and then had yet more beers.
  • To the lovely lady who came up to me in the bottle shop while I was choosing a wine to have with dinner, and told me that I smelled nice, thanks unknown sweet lady!
  • On the way home I took a shortcut through a park near my house (yes, just a shortcut) and I saw a fox! A FOX!! In suburban Newtown!! (As you can tell I found this quite a surprising thing.)
  • Saturday I went to a BBQ despite the cold and blustery weather, at my friends Spyder & Gordon's house. About 8 of us were there by early afternoon and much food, conversation and laughs were had. I finally rolled my meat and alcohol laden self home at about 7pm. It was freezing cold and so I decided to weld myself to the couch and have a quiet night in.
  • Sunday morning I went to see a free preview of the movie "Hellboy" with my friend Stephen. I loved the movie and enjoyed the bonus of finally getting to have a better conversation with his friends Owen and Andrew. Stephen and I had some lunch in the city and then headed back to Newtown for a stroll along King Street and a look in the shops.
  • Of course that means we ended up at the pub. A couple of friends of mine drifted in and out, and I chatted to two of the guys that where nearby the night I Nearly Got Thrown Out Of The Newtown Hotel. Stephen and I ended up having a huge philosophical discussion about our friendship and some of the ways that we mis-read each other's signals sometimes (one of the reasons we are friends and ex-boyfriends, rather than still boyfriends). Even though things haven't been strained between us, it did still clear the air a little and so was a good conversation to have had.
  • One friend and one stranger complimented me on what I was wearing (vintage American 'letter man' jacket), which added to the fragrance compliment from Friday night, made it the Weekend Of Unending Ego-ness.

    So, a great time was had. Lots of friendship, laughs, some unsolicited compliments and a fair amount of alcohol. Good times!
  • Friday, June 18, 2004

    Food For Thought

    I can't even decide how strange the idea of edible books is. I mean, whatthefuh?

    [Link via my eccentric workmate Mimi.]

    Wednesday, June 16, 2004

    Sometimes It Isn't All About Greed

    It's nice to see credit being given were credit is due. Tim Berners-Lee has received an award for his contribution to creating the worldwide web. I agree with the judges that the most important decision he made was one not to commercialise or patent his contribution, leaving the field open for others to create further developments. Good on you Tim, we all have a lot to thank you for.

    Tuesday, June 15, 2004

    The Fame Whore Chronicles #1

    I always thought Steve Irwin (who thankfully is hardly ever seen or heard in this his native country) was a massive tool, but apparently this isn't the case - I just dislike his antics because I'm envious of his status as the greatest 'wildlife warrior' that's walking on the earth.

    Sure, that must be it. Dick wad.

    Go Sydney!

    Not every contest is one we should be happy about winning, I guess.

    No wonder I never have any cash...

    Weekend, Thy Name Art... "Meh"

    There are few things more frustrating than a three day weekend that turns into three days of missed connections, unreturned phone messages and friends out of town. Much of the weekend I was primed to party, but just couldn't get it off the ground. I found myself becoming very introspective, and fluctuating between feelings of loneliness and frustration at times.

    Having said that, it wasn't a total loss. I saw the film "Supersize Me", recoiled in horror and amazement, and then resolved to eat something containing cracked wheat and bran immediately afterwards. I also had a lovely lunch of Japanese food yesterday, sitting with a great friend out in the sun of the little blast of Indian Summer that we had yesterday here in Sydney. This friend and I have known each other for more than 25 years now, since we started High School together, and have a wonderful and comfortable relationship based on a mutual delight in each other's company. I treasure all my friendships, but this one is very special.

    I also spent more time than usual trawling through the books shops of Newtown, such as Cornstalk Books and my dearly loved Better Read Than Dead. I was in the mood for some new fiction, but instead was drawn to "Awakening The Buddha Within" by Lama Surya Das. I've been feeling disconnected from my Buddhist practice, in fact I haven't been meditating at all for ages. My introspective mood this weekend seemed to keep leading me back to thoughts about my meditation practice, compassion and the teachings of the Dharma.

    Maybe not filling my weekend with activity was a good thing after all.

    Friday, June 11, 2004

    Send Me An Angel, Right Now

    I missed the finale of the mini series Angels In America last night, on account of Mr Potter and his friends, but I did tape it and will hopefully watch it tonight. I had already heard good things about both the play and the mini series, and was aware that both had won quite a lot of awards. However, what I wasn't prepared for was just how emotionally affecting I would find it, and how much it would bring up sad and beautiful memories of the people I knew and who are no longer here through AIDS. I can imagine how powerful this must have been to see as a play.

    Oh, and can I just say. If I knew that the Mormon Church was so full of absolute hotties I would so consider conversion. Colour me shallow, but it is what it is folks.

    Wild About Harry

    I thoroughly enjoyed "The Prisoner of Azkaban" last night. I'm not a huge fan of the books, although I have read them all and found them quite enjoyable. It has also been a number of years since I read the third book, so my memory of much of the story was a bit sketchy.

    The film was quite different in tone from the first two, and I really liked the elements of humour that the director and script writers had worked into the story. I also loved the slight skewing towards a more 'noir' look (like the old fashioned 'fade to black' scene transitions) and the addition of some slightly more surreal design elements, such as the huge swinging pendulum of the Hogwarts school clock.

    I think the use of outdoor shots and outdoor sets for quite a few scenes also helped to ground some of the more fantastic elements. The quality of the special effects was excellent, in particular the CGI 'Buckbeak' hippogriff which was beautifully designed and animated. I was a little less impressed with Prof Lupin's 'werewolf' phase, but this was one minor quibble.

    Oh, and possibly the best closing credits animated sequence. Ever.

    All in all it made for a very enjoyable evening, despite the headcold. There was about 12 of us, and we started with dinner at the wonderfully named Golden Fang chinese restaurant. After the movie it was pouring with rain, and apparently we had missed quite an impressive electrical storm while we were in the cinema.

    Shame really, a few lighting bolts and thunderclaps might have been appropriate.

    Thursday, June 10, 2004

    This Time I'm Crying

    I had to have myself a manful little cry at my desk earlier today when I read Andrea's terrible, sad and beautiful entry about the miscarriage of the child she and her husband Matt were expecting. As always, Andrea's heart, courage and intelligence are at the forefront of her writing.

    Her journal is aptly named Superhero Journal, where she encourages us all to celebrate our own internal 'superhero'. Today she showed us all just what a superhero she is with her strength, courage and tenderness.

    Not Crying, Sniffling.

    Yesterday was a haze of sleeping, sneezing, nose blowing and praying for an early death. Thankfully my prayers weren't answered and today I feel a little bit better. I'm a convert to the new zinc/echinacea/vitamin C tablets that are promoted as reducing the duration of a cold. So far they seem to be living up to their press.

    Tonight I'm off to see "The Prisoner of Azkaban". So if any of you are going to be patrons of the Broadway Cinema Complex tonight, and you see a guy with a red nose and an economy size box of aloe vera tissues - be sure to say 'Hi' won't you.

    Tuesday, June 08, 2004

    *sniffle*

    I have a head cold.

    At the moment I'm processing information at the rate of:
    Must.
    Have.
    Glass.
    Of.
    Water...
    No.
    Coffee...
    No.
    Water...

    So don't listen to me, go and read a couple of my new discoveries like the wonderful Zeroboss and the real deal, Genuine.

    Monday, June 07, 2004

    A Brighter, Shinier Future.

    As a teenager I discovered the works of designer Syd Mead through his book 'Sentinel'. I was very taken with his clean graphic style, and his often utopian future imagery.

    While many folk won't know him, Syd's concept designs for films such as Tron and Bladerunner have had an impact on how many people visualise the future. Check out Matt's lovingly conceived tribute page to Syd.

    We'll Look Back At The End Of The Day And Say "We All Had A Lovely Time".

    Or more accurately, we'll look back at the end of the weekend and say that we all had a lovely time.

    Some weekend highlights:
  • Looking at lush apartments with Mikey. Got a spare $1.8 million anyone?
  • Lunch at the Park Hyatt on the water. The Duck and Beetroot Tart was a revelation.
  • Drunken birthday celebrations, successfully not getting thrown out of the pub (you are now on my Shit List you anonymous angry queen with 'personal space' issues) and an end of evening romp in the sheets with the birthday boy.
  • A clean bedroom. Being able to see the floor again has some good points.
  • Delicious Sunday evening dinner at Robyn's house. Watching in horror and fascination as one of my friends (who shall remain nameless) set to getting drunk, and did. Next time pick something nicer than a Verdelho and I might join in.

    Just a few low points to mention.
  • The altercation with the vicious queen at the pub was a surprise, cheers to the reasonable bar staff and bitter finger snaps to the bouncer with too much testosterone and too little common sense. Girlfriend, if you can't answer the question "Why are you so angry?" maybe you should be asking yourself that before you make life tough for others.
  • Friends who ditch other friends for their latest screw romantic liaison.
  • A chilly 5am stagger home from the birthday boy's bed to escape the snoring.
  • Missing Sunday morning Yum Cha because I slept through the meeting time. Oops.

    The 'not drinking of the alcohol' resolution went the way of so many resolutions previously have. However, the week ahead looks relatively celebration free so I feel a new strength of resolve coming on.

    All in all, good times.
  • Friday, June 04, 2004

    Is It Beer O'Clock Yet?

    So the big theory of the moment is that I'm going easy on the drinking of the alcohol. (I say theory, because like Quantum Theory for example, I'm not sure I have the ability to say for certain that there is any truth in it - but I'm prepared to believe in it anyway.)

    I'm not a big drinker in terms of frequency, but I tend to commit the possibly greater sin of binge drinking. For a small guy (5'4" in old money) I can pack 'em away once I get started. Beers for example seems only to exist in multiples of 6.

    The bad news I received recently is that the skin condition I started to develop a while back is adversely affected by alcohol. Oh, and spicy food, and coffee (well all hot drinks in general)... can you believe the look on my face when I found all this out? Those are three of my favourite things right there.

    At least exercise isn't recommended, so that's one plus. But I digress.

    Every Friday afternoon my work sets out drinks at 4.30 for everyone to unwind, and most Fridays we also go out for lunch and it's standard to have at least one alcoholic drink. This weekend I have, lets see, 4 social events to go to that include the drinking of the alcohol. One of them is cocktails that starts at 4pm, in order to maximise the 'Happy Hour' opportunities for goodness sakes...

    So far, I'm not liking the odds.

    'Cause You Know That I'm Toxic...

    Oh no, it's now official. Reading this is probably doing you harm. I hate to think how much toxic dust I have inhaled with my internet porn blog reading habit.

    I'm about to go marching into my boss's office to tell him "I would like to do my work this afternoon, but you need to be aware that it might be LETHAL."

    Hopefully I'll see you at the pub in 20 minutes...

    Gemima Has Two Mommies!

    So Playschool aired a segment about a little girl who has two mommies. My initial response was, 'oh cool, that's nice'.

    Well, it just goes to show how out of touch I must be with the way many Aussies think. Colour me a pinko, lefty homo I guess. Our politicians are certainly keen to make us all aware that we should be outraged by this. Just watch our Prime Minister get some mileage out of this one...

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

    You know, apparently.

    Wednesday, June 02, 2004

    Meat Ensemble, Anyone?

    My ex is in town all this week, and part of the week so far has been involved in catching up with him and helping him catch up with our other friends. Last night we went to dinner at the curiously named Oscillate Wildly with a bunch of our peeps. Good times.

    The food was delicious, the restaurant tiny and buzzy, the wine good, and the company excellent. I had three solid courses of rich food, including an entrĂ©e that was prosaically named ‘Meat Ensemble’. Rilette of duck, chicken liver pate and a tiny empanada of rabbit. Yum! Only drawback of the night was that the food came out at too leisurely a pace, two of our friends are pregnant and looked like they were ready to fall asleep at the table by the time dessert rolled around.

    Tuesday, June 01, 2004

    Look Familiar?

    Crap, it turns out I'm not the only one with good taste in blog templates.

    Now Listen Here, Missy...

    Well, I would have liked to have seen Missy Elliott live in concert but I guess I didn't miss much by the sound of things. That's one pissed off reviewer.

    Monday, May 31, 2004

    Martini, Anyone?

    I'm having a love affair with the Jet Set Modern ezine. Luscious photographs and interesting articles of all things 'moderne'.

    [Link via the wonderful Scrubbles]

    Friday, May 28, 2004

    Where's Barney?

    Don't let anyone tell you that New Zealanders don't know how to have a good time.

    Moving to Metropolis

    I moved to Sydney from Adelaide, South Australia at the very tail end of the 1980's. My experience of moving to Sydney, and of living in Sydney, has been a very positive one and quite different from many of the experiences mentioned in this article. I am unashamedly an urbanite though, and to me part of the joy of living in a big city is the variety of possible lifestyles.

    The experiences of living in the outer Sydney suburbs vs living in my suburb of Newtown in the 'inner west' for example are radically different. I think the trick is to find a niche that suits. This can take a short while or a long while, and might even never happen, but I think that the payoff can be wonderful.

    I live in a place that I love passionately. A place where I can walk down the street and have access to wonderful bookshops and cafes, say hello to friendly neighbours and see people of all ages and orientations mixing together. Sure, it isn't 100% perfect, I could do with a bit more living space, cleaner streets and a better deal for the homeless people who seem to be on the increase in numbers - but it's still a lively and interesting place to live.

    Thursday, May 27, 2004

    I'm Speechless (well almost).

    Just to prove that the Australian Prime Minister not only looks like Mr Magoo, but is just as short sighted.

    Poor little Johnny Howard, it must be hard living with your feet firmly planted in the 1950's whilst the rest of your country is determined to live like it's the 21st century.

    Put Down That French Fry!

    It saddens me, but doesn't really surprise me, to read articles like this one about toddler obesity. Although the article is about the UK, I'm sure that Australia isn't too far behind.

    In a timely coincidence this article about MTV's ban of advertising for "Supersize Me" in the same paper seems just that bit more ludicrous, don't you think?

    The Art of Conversation

    So last night was a blast. We went to the pub and I just about drank my own body weight in sweet, sweet beer. While most of the pub was focused on the big game, our conversation ranged from Abba rarities to essential oil blends via the ugliness of cinema carpets.

    We know how to work the art of conversation.

    So I got home too late and too drunk, so now I'm too hung-over. 5pm, please hurry up and get here.

    Wednesday, May 26, 2004

    So Over It, I Can Just About Taste It

    An email I just sent to my flatmate:
    "Hey there,

    I'm having a bad day... how about you?

    Consequently, even though I'm like on my last $20, I'm going to go drinking tonight with the boys. So I won't be home for dinner, I'll be drinking my calories instead.

    Andrew"

    Says it all, really.

    Some of my best friends are...

    It's funny how your life can take turns that you never expected. I found a few curious parallels with this article (even I don't agree with all her arguments, and I certainly think that her 'Queer Eye' influenced generalisations about gay men are quite silly).

    Years ago I was a gay man with a large coterie of gay friends and a few close straight friends. In the space of only about 5 or 6 years that situation has almost reversed itself. Partly because I met a new group of straight friends who were all close to my ex-partner, and partly because quite a few of my gay friends have moved away, drifted away or sadly passed away. I wasn't always a good friend, sometimes I let people drift out of my life by not nurturing those friendships as well as I should have.

    So here I am single at the tail end of my thirties finding myself spending as much, if not more, time talking about the impending babies of my friends as I do spending time dishing with my gay friends. It isn't bad, I love all my friends, but I have to say that it isn't giving me as many opportunities to meet guys.

    A little while ago I resolved to try and get some of that balance back by being more proactive about seeing my old gay friends. So far so good.

    Yeah, right.

    From today's horoscope:
    "You are in control. The power is always in your hands to choose what you will do. And if not what you will do, what you will think. Why then choose to think negatively or gloomily. Happiness is a mind-set. You have an open book today to make positive choices and harness the creative powers that lie within the day and within your Self. If you are in a reflective or meditative state of mind, follow that course. This is not only a romantic night but also a creative one. Perfect for romance or doing something nice to your home!"

    If today is an 'open book', I think I've turned to the chapter titled "Let's Feel Harrassed, Overworked, Under Appreciated and Completely Pissed Off!". My work consists largely of deadlines set by other people, and this week there are three of them. Major ones.

    Hey, but on the good side tonight is the night for doing something romantic or nice to my home! Maybe I should take my living room out for dinner and combine the two?...

    Friday, May 21, 2004

    Gorgeousness

    Some days Sydney is a fantastic place to be.

    Today is one of those clear, mild, late Autumn days that are so beautiful here. The sky is an enormous big blue bowl, the sun is shining and all the cuties are out giving their warm weather clothes one of their last outings. Life's good.

    Delayed, and Out Of Timetable Order...

    I have a new Arch Nemesis.

    Should it take nearly two hours to get from St Leonards to Newtown, a trip that normally takes about 45 minutes on a bad day? Two train trips, a bus, and eventually a taxi were involved in this little escapade last night, courtesy of the train line over the Bridge being closed for track work.

    Thursday, May 20, 2004

    Sugar Rush

    Thanks to this I am heading for the world's biggest sugar crash. Not only did I eat my own body weight in donuts, pancakes and fairy bread, but I went and won a huge jar of sweets by guessing the correct number in the jar.

    425, apparently.

    If you are going to get type 2 diabetes, it might as well be for a good cause!

    Weirdly, the only other competition I have ever won was by guessing the number of coffee beans in a jar. I can't begin to tell you how jazzed I was THAT day.

    The Tabula Rasa

    Clean slate. Blank page. Tabula rasa.

    Lately I've been re-reading one of my favourite books on the subject of writing, 'Writing Down the Bones' by Natalie Goldberg. Amongst many things, she writes about writing as a creative endeavour, as therapy, as meditation and importantly the practice of writing as a way of getting better at it. To be a better writer, write.

    So here I am, like thousands before and thousands after me, writing down the bones of whatever crosses my mind. Expect the unexpected, I know I do.