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


    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!


    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.