Friday, September 30, 2005

Everybody's Working For The Weekend

Thank you Jeebus that this week is almost over!

It's Labour Day here on Monday, so a three day weekend is in the offing. Woot! After the work craziness of the past two weeks, and giving up my whole weekend last weekend to volunteer at the conference, I'm looking forward to this weekend so much that I can taste the anticipation.

Tonight I'm off to see the new Firefly movie "Serenity" with the lovely ex, and then the whole three day weekend is stretched out ahead of me with few plans. A bit of house cleaning, maybe a couple of movies, probably a bit of volunteer work at the Buddhist centre... nothing too taxing. Sweet.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Further to my last post regarding public displays of affection, I should add that applications for the position of Object Of My Affection are now open.

Applicants should possess the following minimum characteristics:
  1. Sense of humour.
  2. A dislike of Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider movies (this is not negotiable).
  3. Kissability. Hugability. Shagability.
  4. Pretty eyes. Wicked mouth.
  5. A good balance of Yin & Yang, although not necessarily at the same time.

Other desireable characteristcs include (but are not limited to) the ability to hold my interest in a conversation about art/books/films, wicked dancefloor moves, a collection that includes the back issues I've missed of Martha Stewart 'Living' and strong hands.


The crushtastic Michael of Pipedreams has recently been posting about a bit of French kissing and a sweet little sofa duo who've been ruffling some feathers. Seems the world is struggling to cope with Public Displays of Affection (PDA) between dudes who dig other dudes.

I live in a suburb of Sydney called Newtown, which is the second largest gay community in Sydney, and home to a couple of Sydney's most famous gay bars. (One of which provided some interior and exterior shots in the film Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.) Newtown is also home to a cool blend of university students, old people who've lived in the neighbourhood forever, doubleincomeonekid couples and inner-urban hipsters. We all manage to get along just fine.

One thing I love about Newtown is that it is such a blended neighbourhood. I love that I can see a young couple with a pram right alongside a hot gay couple holding hands, and nobody bats an eyelid. Violence in Newtown is pretty rare, and as far as I know there hasn't been a gay bashing in the area for a long time. Sydney is a pretty cool place for gay people.

Like any big city, you have to pick your time and place to be open and affectionate with someone of the same sex, but I think that on par Sydneysiders are a pretty liberal bunch. I used to meet a couple of my guy friends in the middle of the city almost every Saturday for a shopping expedition ('Suzie Shopping' it was dubbed for some long forgotten reason), and we always met with hugs and kisses all round. The only reaction I ever noticed was the occasional smile, especially from women.

I think it is important to be as open as you can be, within the boundaries of not putting yourself in direct risk. It's our right after all. I remember the first time I ever held hands with another boy in public, and how it made me feel eleven feet tall. If you are a couple of girls, or a couple of guys, on the street and you are holding hands, sharing a kiss, or having 'a moment' together, then you will always get a smile from me. I'm proud of you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Shut Uuuuuup!

Ok, hopefully you all get by now that I'm a fairly nice guy, right? Pretty easy going. Fairly slow to anger. One who (generally) tries not to be too nasty to people.

I have a dark side. I get very irritated when I am trying to concentrate and am either getting constantly interrupted, or when there is lots of unnecessary background noise. I work in an open plan office, and so try to be considerate about not making too much noise.

Long story short. Today a woman from our accounting firm is working alongside me, doing some end of financial year journals etc on our software. This lady cannot make a single key stroke or touch her mouse without discussing it with herself. She is slowly driving me insane.
"So OK, that goes there... and then I'll just put this here... and where did that go to?... oh, why is that balance different to?..."

I just tried to give her the hint by asking if she was talking to me, because we aren't talking whispered conversations here, we're talking about regular conversational volume. Her answer? "No, if I'm talking to you I'll say 'Andrew'..." Well, ok then, glad that's clear. (Bitch.)

[Updated: Ok, she has just left. She apologised for annoying me by talking to herself constantly. Yes, I'm a mean, mean, mean and terrible, horrible person... not really, but I did feel a little guilty for letting my frustration show. The fact that she got where I'm coming from straight away would seem to imply that I'm not the first person to find it annoying though. Gosh, sure is quiet in here all of a sudden. ::crickets:: ]

The 23 5 Meme

My favourite internet crush posted this post, which was based on this meme post by Aussie cutie-pie Sunshine. Still with me? (Want me to draw you a family tree, 'cause it sure gets incestuous 'round these parts?) OK, the stizz is that you go back to your 23rd post and copy in the 5th line of that post.

Michael's result was very amusing, and just a wee bit raunchy. Mine, err, not so much:
"Tonight I'm off to see "The Prisoner of Azkaban".

Doesn't that just leap off the screen, zinging with personality?! Yet you still come back here...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

File This Under Whatthefuh?

From Japan, home of much of the world's whackiness, comes a live action version of Sailor Moon.

The character profiles are very illuminating. For example Tsukino Usagi, who portrays Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, lists talking as one of her hobbies. (OMFG!! Me too!!!!) Of some concern though is the fact that Chiba Mamoru, or Earth Guardian Tuxedo Mask, lists collecting random trinkets as one of his hobbies. Kleptomania is too sad, and frankly illegal, for me to endorse or condone here. Of all the cast though I feel the most affinity with Queen Beryl, or the wicked Queen of the Dark Kingdom, for I too would list "eating while walking" as a hobby.

Monday, September 26, 2005

5 Things I Used To Wear, When I Was A Young Homo Activist

  1. A pink triangle badge
  2. A t-shirt that read " so do my friends, so do my lovers, so do my idols"
  3. A badge that read "How dare you presume I'm a heterosexual"
  4. A t-shirt with a picture of two hot young sailors kissing, and the caption "Read my lips"
  5. An Act-Up SILENCE = DEATH style badge that read "HIGH = HIGH RISK"

As a person who understands the value of restraint, I usually only wore one of these at a time. Usually.

Tired But Happy

Jeezalou, it's Monday already?...

What an amazing weekend. As I have mentioned here a couple of times, the Buddhist centre I attend co-hosted a conference over the weekend on the topic of Mind & Its Potential. We had 600 attendees, many from the medical or mental health professions, and a great collection of speakers from scientific, religious and philosophical view points. We kicked ass man (in a caring, non-violent way of course). The conference ran without a hitch, or more accurately with a serious small hitches that the punters never saw, and the venue really came through for us and did a great job on catering for the delegates and making sure that everything ran smoothly for us. Out of 600 delegates we got 1 unhappy feedback form, based on something quite unreasonable, so not bad going really!

The bookshop was my domain, and it went great. We exceded expectations quite dramatically sales wise, and got lots of great feedback from the attendees. We were so busy during the break times that we couldn't actually serve people fast enough, and people were buying 5, 6, 7 books and CDs at a time. Without exception everyone was kind and patient, and in retail that's not a very common thing.

I managed to keep my shit together, even though I had the stress of a queue of customers breathing down my neck, a bunch of volunteer sales people (some of whom had never even served a customer or processed a credit card before) and anywhere up to four or five people asking me questions at the same time. There were a few points where I had an exchange that went something like this (additional thoughts that ran through my head but I didn't say are in italics):
Everyone, just slow (the fuck) down, and ask me one (goddam) question at a time (otherwise I swear, so help me, I may just cut you).

OK, that's an exaggeration, but at least when the stress got to me a bit my Buddhist practice gave me enough mental space to take a step back and watch my frustration as it arose, and not just snap like I might have in the past. So, that's a good thing.

An exhausting weekend of long busy days and early morning starts, but a very rewarding one.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Mrs Bowers For President

Deb, over at one of my favourite haunts Freakgirl, linked to the hysterical The Homosexual Agenda Revealed! by Mrs Betty Bowers, 'America's Best Christian'. Now I'm as excited as if someone just told me tomorrow is Christmas.

Mrs Bowers is cracking me up, case in point her Free Katie post. Oh, and I want one of her "Scientology: Providing gay actors with wives since 1978" t-shirts so bad.

Why Dost Thou Vex Me So?

Sorry for the paucity of posts in the past few days, I've been hella busy at work and then working until after 10pm each night at the Buddhist centre, getting ready for the conference this weekend. I'm tired.

Blogger has also been a bit craptastic this week, trashing a truly edifying post and sometimes locking me out of my comments, and the comments of other Blogger blogs.

Truly vexatious.

It's not all bad though. This morning I was buying my breakfast on the way into work (muesli with soy milk because I'm all about health) from Alex the hairy chested, dirty blonde cutie pie and the store was playing 'Kiss' by Prince at full volume. It put me in the mood from some dirty, dirty dancing and made me want to really, really kiss someone.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Un Petit X-Wing

I don't speako the Frencho, but the pics alone on this how to make a miniature X-Wing fighter from used Metro tickets site make me want to go out and wrap my tongue around a Frenchie.

[Link via the always entertaining kottke.]

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

All Hail The Independent Bookshop!

One of my little dreams for the future is to have a bookshop of my very own. I'm kind of sublimating that at the moment by running the bookshop at the Buddhist centre I go to. Oh, and I have lifted sales dramatically thank you very much.

I'm a huge fan of the small independent bookstore. One of my favourite bookstores is Better Read Than Dead in my suburb of Newtown. It's a true joy when you find a bookstore where the buyer has a taste aligned with your own, every single time I go in there I find a half dozen books I'd love to buy. The range isn't huge, but I get stunned by too much choice anyhow.

So, I was interested to read that Australians seem to be moving away from the big chains and back to the independents. Apparently Australians are also amongst the highest purchasers per capita of books and magazines in the world, and also hold one of the highest literacy rates.

Makes me proud.

Extremely Sad

The dark side of 'reality' television. This story is so sad. The 'Extreme Makeover' producers manipulated a woman's sister into making cruel statements about her sister's looks, then they decided not to procede with her sister's makeover and sent her home, where her sister was so wracked with guilt that she committed suicide. The show may not have directly caused the suicide, but by manipulating this woman into being cruel towards a sister she loved, certainly a causative element.

I'm not a big fan of this style of 'reality' tv, shows where they play on the fragile emotions of people who going through some sort of suffering already. I liked the joy of the people transformed on shows like 'The Biggest Loser', but squirmed at many aspects of the show, worried about the people who were voted out for example. I guess on this show though they at least seemed to have carefully screened the contestants for people who would cope with the rigours of the game. I remember reading somewhere that the reason the Survivor cast is so carefully screened (and seem to be so dominated by somewhat ego driven type A personalities) is the the first person voted off the original Swedish production killed herself, feeling like she had been publicly shamed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Spirits Made Her Do It

All over the blogoshpere gay men (and the two wonderful bitches at Go Fug Yourself) are asking one question:

Patricia Arquette, what the fuck?...

The hair is kind of yikes, and the dress makes her look porky. Not. Good.

Monday, September 19, 2005

All In All You're Just Another Brick In The Wall

While we were strolling through the shops on Sunday the topic of the allure of Lego came up. I only ever had a modest collection, but my inner 12 year old finds the Lego digital designer very appealing. It's a downloadable program that lets you design virtual Lego models, upload them to your own gallery and even enter them into competitions.

Have a look at the bios of the past competition winners, a heap of 10 - 12 year olds with the occasional 30 year old industrial designer thrown in.

Ahh, The Serenity!

Woot! September 29 is the official Australian release date for the Firefly movie Serenity. It has been getting a decent amount of plugging on tv, more than I thought it would as the tv show was not heavily supported in Australia, so hopefully it'll have a substantial run.

Long enough for me to see it, what, 7 or 8 times at least. Just scratch the surface and I'm total 17 year old fanboy underneath...

Another Weekend Recap

Monday morning just wouldn't be a Monday morning without a weekend recap:
  • Saturday I spent on a meditation retreat at the Buddhist centre I attend. My mind was leaping about all over the place for much of the retreat, the so-called 'monkey mind', so it was a bit more like a session of mediation between a group of chattering monkeys that meditation... but that happens every now and then. Watching your own mind chatter is in itself a meditation, so long as you just observe and guide your focus gently back to where it should be, and resist getting frustrated.
  • The rest of Saturday late afternoon and early evening I spent ticketing all the stock that has arrived for the bookshop I am running at next weekend's conference. We're up to around 600 attendees for the conference, so I have had to keep increasing my orders and trying to get enough stock for the event.
  • Sunday turned out to be a beautiful sunny day, after the cool drizzle of Saturday. If you've read this blog for a while, you might have noticed a nice chap who goes by the name 'Mesquirt' commenting on some of my posts. Martin has a blog of his own, which unfortunately is sadly a bit neglected of late as he has been on tour as part of his role as a dancer with the Queensland Ballet. Martin and his lovely girlfriend Lisa were in Sydney this weekend as part of their tour, so late morning I met up with them and my good friend Bodhi to spend the day sightseeing and shopping around Sydney. It was a lovely way to spend the day, and Martin and Lisa were just as warm and friendly in person as I had expected them to be.
  • Sunday night was the standard night of Sunday evening tv; channel surfing between Australian Idol and Broadway: The American Musical, and then afterwards I watched the new made-for-tv drama Little Oberon. [There is a review here.] I quite enjoyed it, although my interest lagged a bit through the middle, but it was a good attempt at doing something a little different from the usual Aussie dramas. The very handsome Alexander Capelli [sorry, I couldn't really find any decent links to speak of] was extremely attractive in the role of Gresham/Pan.

Now it's Monday, and while it's not a Boomtown Rats kind of Monday I'd still much rather have another day of weekend.

Friday, September 16, 2005

5 Things I Do Understand

  1. Procrastination can be very rewarding.
  2. The difference between really bad man-sweat and really, really good man-sweat.
  3. Self deprecation.
  4. Grooming. The allure of clean hair, neat fingernails and sweet breath.
  5. Pretty is nice, but make me laugh and I'm sucked in for sure.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mysterious Skin

I just realised that I still hadn't posted about seeing Greg Araki's film Mysterious Skin last Sunday, so here goes.

For some back-story, this review from the LA Times, reprinted in the Baltimore Sun, gives a pretty good run down of the film and a fairly succinct plot synopsis. Sunshine over at Like Sands Through The Hourglass... has also posted some comments about seeing the film, so get thee over there if you feel like a second opinion.

I really enjoyed this film. It may seem wrong to use the word 'enjoyed' about a film that deals with a subject as tough as pedophilia, but I got so much out of this film and found it so moving, that it was great cinema experience for me. Ok, maybe 'rewarding' is a better word for it.

I like films that step outside the everyday, and Araki uses flashbacks and 'dream sequences' to really develop the narrative. I haven't read the novel by Scott Heim, but I think I'll seek it out now as I admired the handling of the story. I respect that Araki stops short of manipulating his audience by demonising his characters, even the perpetrator of the abuse. We never really discover his motivation, or if he feels remorse for his actions, and I certainly grew to loathe him as the film progressed.

He handles the scenes with his young actors very sensitively, managing to get the emotional punch of the story across without having to expose the young actors to dangerous behaviour. The actors all turn in very good performances, and I especially liked Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the older Neil.

It is a tough film and some aspects, like the manipulation of the young Neil by the perpetrator, were particularly distressing to me. For me it was saved from being a dour experience by the light and shade in the film, by the themes of friendship and survival. The two main characters are both damaged by their joint history, and yet they both found a way to survive, and hopefully transcend it.

5 Things I Don't Understand

  1. Rap music.
  2. The concept of a dress worn over pants (or even a skirt worn over pants for that matter).
  3. Why accents turn me on so much, for example Firefly's Badger (Mark Sheppard) drives me to distraction.
  4. CityRail's new timetable; fewer trains + more crowding + slower trips into the city = an 'improvement in customer service'. Huh?
  5. Why I'm still single.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hit The Ground Running

Sorry if posting here seems a bit sporadic or lacking in wit and zing! this week. My work is very demanding at the moment, and has me plodding my way through 3 years worth of records to get them fully up to scratch fo an audit.

(Oh, fie my natural 'forensic accounting' skills! Most of the time I'm really proud of my problem solving skills, but this time around why couldn't it be the thing I really suck at? Instead I'm the go-to guy for the hard tasks...)

I'm also really busy with my voluteer work at present. I've mentioned here previously that I do quite a bit of volunteer work for my Buddhist centre, and my biggest task is running the bookshop. We are involved in hosting the international Mind & Its Potential conference in a couple of weeks time, and so I've been frantically getting everything organised for the bookshop we'll be running at the conference.

Fortunately, that's all starting to fall into place. I've established relationships with a bunch of new suppliers so that we can get books by all the major conference speakers, the orders are now in, and so that part of it is starting to ease off a bit. The conference numbers have swelled dramatically to around 600 people, so it should be quite an exciting event.

So a busy, busy week. Of course, if it all gets to be too tedious I may just end up hiding out here more than usual!

Monday, September 12, 2005

F. Murray Who?

Never, never piss off Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Last week I bought the DVD of Jean-Jacques Annaud's 1986 film The Name Of The Rose, which was based on the medieval mystery novel of the same title by Umberto Eco. I read the novel and loved it when it was first released, and then subsequently saw the film back in '86 and enjoyed it also.

The thing I love about DVD's are the extras, I especially love watching the film with the commentaries turned on. It's kind of like getting the backstage gossip. In this instance the commentary is by the director, the aforementioned JJ Annaud. Well, the commentary is very interesting and informative, and he has nothing but praise for his actors... until he gets to F. Murray Abraham, where he decides to hell with 'political correctness' and is extremely frank.

As it turns out F. Murray was hot from having won his Oscar for Amadeus, and decided it was time to throw his weight around a bit and wreak some revenge on directors as a species. All the other actors played as a team, but not Abrahams. Annaud makes an interesting point about difficult actors, he explains how directors will frequently discuss certain actors and what they are like to work with and the stories of who is difficult and who isn't quickly get around. He goes on to say that those actors may keep on working (and you just have to look at Abrahams list of films to see he is still a very active actor) but the quality of the jobs they get offered suffers hugely, as only second and third tier directors can be bothered with the fuss.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

(Un)Reality TV

In one evening, tonight in fact, I:
  • Watched 5 minutes of the 2004 Paul Hogan film Strange Bedfellows, and although I had low expectations, it was 5 minutes of my life I will never get back. This film is a huge stinking pile of doo doo. Paul Hogan and his tightly drawn face can't act, the lovely Michael Caton looks like he wants to place a call to his agent, and the gay characters (both those that are supposed to be gay, and those that are supposed to be only pretending to be) are so broadly drawn, two dimensional and cliched that... oh, AAAAARGH! There, that's better.
  • Caught the first of the Australian Idol Top 12 13 shows (Yes, 13! Wildcard Show shock!). What surprised me this year is that although I have no clear favourite on musical ability yet, I am finding some of these singers hugely likeable. There is a joyousness and good humour about some of them (James, Lee, Milly, Dan, Tarni) and a heartfelt gratitude also (Anne, Daniel, Roxanne) that is totally winning me over. If this year is like previous years, likeability and 'nice' appeal will go a long way with the punters.
  • Channel surfed between Idol and the fantastic Broadway: The American Musical on the ABC. Wonderfull stuff, and the early history of the musical in America was all new to me, and very interesting. Oh look, it's out on DVD!
  • Caught the opening 10 minutes of the mockumentary Oil Storm on Channel 7. Now, this went to air in the US in June and as such made for an interesting and sobering piece of entertainment. To air it less than two weeks after a devastating real life event, one which is almost exactly described in the opening sequence, on almost exactly the same date, one which is still not yet resolved and has killed/displaced/ruined the lives of many, many people - well top marks for insensitivity Channel 7.

Phew, I also saw Greg Araki's film Mysterious Skin at the movies this afternoon, but its getting late so that's going to have to wait until tomorrow.

A New Look For Spring

Spring has sprung in my neck of the woods, and frankly I'm bored with my options for Spring wardrobe. I need something new, a new style. Something that shows expresses me.

You know, when you go to the closet and look in and think "I have nothing to wear! I hate all my clothes!! Anyhoo, I'm not likely to throw it all out and start again, so maybe I'll work with accessories for a new look.

K who? I might go for something a bit more cheery. Could I fit on "Today is the first day of the rest of your life!" I wonder?

Scrolling LED Belt buckle. I could definately fit that on here.

I might get thirsty.

[All items, and so, so much more, available at Iced Out Gear. Bodhi, just in case you were wondering.]

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I Wanna Bring You Close To My, I Wanna Bring You Close To My Lips Yeah

Bright sunny morning? - check
Industrial strength cleaning products? - check
Stereo? - check

My 'La Crawford Ajax Mix' top 5 songs to scrub the bathroom to:
  1. "Professional Widow" by Tori Amos (Amand Van Helden's Star Trunk Mix)
  2. "I am Woman" by Cassius feat. Jocelyn Brown (Extended mix)
  3. "Brimful of Asha" by Cornershop (Fatboy Slim Edit)
  4. "One of My Kind" by Rogue Traders Vs INXS
  5. "4 My People" by Missy Elliott (Basement Jaxx Remix Radio Edit)

None of this is particularly new, but crank it loud enough and the dirt just disappears. (Kinda makes you gay though.)

Friday, September 09, 2005

My Backyard

This post by Michael set me to thinking that it might be a nice idea if I posted a picture or two of my lil' courtyard garden.

Fountain & ficus in my courtyard. Newtown, Sydney, 2004.

This fountain is flanked on both sides by raised garden beds, with two standardised ficus trees on each side. Since this picture was taken last year (gee look, rain, I remember rain... vaguely) the ficus have grown to almost obscure the fountain. Somewhat Tuscan in feeling, no?

[Note to self: get trimming the ficus this weekend.]

This fountain has never run, my friends who own the house got as far as putting it in but never waterproofed it or bought a pump. I have a few plants in the bottom, but it's all a bit bare at the moment. The grand plan is to eventually fill it with (removeable) pots of decorative foliage plants like cordelines, or flowering gingers.

Violets, 2004.

These violets unfortunately were the victim of the horrible drought we are in here, and the water restrictions we are living with. I thought I had lost both pots after a surprise hot spell (and some inattention) but I have managed to save one. The other lives on in pictures only. RIP lil' buddy.


This week's Photo Friday theme is Massive.

These pictures are taken at the closed brickworks at St Peters, only about 15 minutes walk from my house, which have been incorporated into Sydney Park.

Brick kiln chimney. Sydney, 2004.

There is a similar disused brickworks in my old home town of Adelaide. Unfortunately these buildings here are all closed, most likely because of vandalism and structural weaknesses, but the Adelaide brickworks houses a lively market inside the kilns.

View along the main kiln. Sydney, 2004.

This gives some idea of the huge scale of the place, and the various buildings which make up this part of the park.

Brick kilns and chimney stacks. Sydney, 2004.

Learning Experiences

I had the oddest day today, one which taught me lots about expectations, assumptions, confrontation and frustration. Here is today's weirdness:
  • You know when you walk into a room and all conversation stops, and your first thought is 'Did I miss something?' When I walked into the office this morning, everyone was standing around, pushing in chairs and then heading back towards their desks, as if there had been an impromptu meeting. I didn't think much of it until one of my workmates asked my boss how he was and his answer was "Good, considering." Err, did I miss something?
  • My second run at a birthday lunch (moved from last week) with my work mates was cancelled, without anything much being said. I only sort of found out after the fact and was quite disappointed.
  • The office had a very tense, angry mood today and seemed to be particularly airless. Oh, and really busy.
  • When I went into the office kitchen this morning there was a birthday cake box in the fridge, and earlier in the week I had seen a wrapped present on my boss's desk. I though 'I wonder if they?...' Well, they didn't. The cake was left-overs brought in by one of the language teachers in the office next door and the present was for someone else. That's fine, but I very nearly made a fool of myself by gushing that they shouldn't have.
  • As I was getting on the train to come home tonight, a guy and girl were straggling a bit getting off the train and some passengers started to get on while they were trying to get off. This has happened to me a few times and it is mildly annoying. The guy lost it. Red faced, screaming, spittle flying. Weirdest thing was, I got on after they got off but I was nearest to him when he lost his shit, so I copped it. I just love having someone scream at me that I'm a fucking DICKHEAD!!!. Sure, I can be, but not in this instance.
  • I was crossing the street near my house on a zebra crossing a short while ago and missed getting run over by a car that didn't stop. Missed me by a couple of feet, and only because I had hesitated as I wasn't convinced he was slowing. I got angry.

So it was interesting. One thing my Buddhist practice has given me is a certain degree of mindfulness about what I'm thinking and consequently doing. So it was a crap day in some respects, but a day full of lessons that ultimately I am grateful for.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Top 100 Songs of 1981

I'd been tagged by one of these fine folk for a meme and I didn't even realise it! (Thanks for the heads up Lou.)

I couldn't figure out where to get an Aussie version of this list from, so I've made do with the US (default) version. It's quite different than what I remember being in the charts here in Oz, as we had a lot of Aussie and UK hits in our charts in the early 80's, but we'll just have to make the best of it.

For this one, you need to go here and type the year you graduated from high school into the search box. (Yeah, it shows everyone instantly how old you are. Depends how cagey you want to be about that one...)

Click on the link "Top 100 hits of... (your graduation year)" and cut and paste the results into your blog.

Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline your favourite. Do nothing to the ones you don't remember (or don't care about).

Top 100 Songs for 1981 (ie: A long, long time ago!)
1. Bette Davis Eyes, Kim Carnes
2. Endless Love, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
3. Lady, Kenny Rogers
4. (Just Like) Starting Over, John Lennon
5. Jessie's Girl, Rick Springfield
6. Celebration, Kool and The Gang
7. Kiss On My List, Daryl Hall and John Oates
8. I Love A Rainy Night, Eddie Rabbitt
9. 9 To 5, Dolly Parton
10. Keep On Loving You, REO Speedwagon
11. Theme From "Greatest American Hero", Joey Scarbury
12. Morning Train (Nine To Five), Sheena Easton
13. Being With You, Smokey Robinson
14. Queen Of Hearts, Juice Newton
15. Rapture, Blondie
16. A Woman Needs Love, Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio
17. The Tide Is High, Blondie
18. Just The Two Of Us, Grover Washington Jr.
19. Slow Hand, Pointer Sisters
20. I Love You, Climax Blues Band
21. Woman, John Lennon
22. Sukiyaki, A Taste Of Honey
23. The Winner Takes It All, Abba
24. Medley, Stars On 45
25. Angel Of The Morning, Juice Newton
26. Love On The Rocks, Neil Diamond
27. Every Woman In The World, Air Supply
28. The One That You Love, Air Supply
29. Guilty, Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb
30. The Best Of Times, Styx
31. Elvira, Oak Ridge Boys
32. Take It On The Run, REO Speedwagon
33. No Gettin' Over Me, Ronnie Milsap
34. Living Outside Myself, Gino Vannelli
35. Woman In Love, Barbra Streisand
36. Boy From New York City, Manhattan Transfer
37. Urgent, Foreigner
38. Passion, Rod Stewart
39. Lady (You Bring Me Up), Commodores
40. Crying, Don Mclean
41. Hearts, Marty Balin
42. It's My Turn, Diana Ross
43. You Make My Dreams, Daryl Hall and John Oates
44. I Don't Need You, Kenny Rogers
45. How 'Bout Us, Champaign
46. Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Pat Benatar
47. The Breakup Song, Greg Kihn Band
48. Time, Alan Parsons Project
49. Hungry Heart, Bruce Springsteen
50. Sweetheart, Franke and The Knockouts
51. Someone's Knockin', Terri Gibbs
52. More Than I Can Say, Leo Sayer
53. Together, Tierra
54. Too Much Time On My Hands, Styx
55. What Are We Doin' In Love, Dottie West
56. Who's Crying Now, Journey
57. De Do Do Do, De Da Da, Police
58. This Little Girl, Gary U.S. Bonds
59. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around, Stevie Nicks With Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
60. Giving It Up For Your Love, Delbert McClinton
61. A Little In Love, Cliff Richard
62. America, Neil Diamond
63. Ain't Even Done With The Night, John Cougar
64. Arthur's Theme, Christopher Cross
65. Another One Bites The Dust, Queen
66. Games People Play, Alan Parsons Project
67. I Can't Stand It, Eric Clapton
68. While You See A Chance, Steve Winwood
69. Master Blaster, Stevie Wonder
70. Hello Again, Neil Diamond
71. Don't Stand So Close To Me, Police
72. Hey Nineteen, Steely Dan
73. I Ain't Gonna Stand For It, Stevie Wonder
74. All Those Years Ago, George Harrison
75. Step By Step, Eddie Rabbitt
76. The Stroke, Billy Squier
77. Feels So Right, Alabama
78. Sweet Baby, Stanley Clarke and George Duke
79. Same Old Lang Syne, Dan Fogelberg
80. Cool Love, Pablo Cruise
81. Hold On Tight, ELO
82. It's Now Or Never, John Schneider
83. Treat Me Right, Pat Benatar
84. Winning, Santana
85. What Kind Of Fool, Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb
86. Watching The Wheels, John Lennon
87. Tell It Like It Is, Heart
88. Smoky Mountain Rain, Ronnie Milsap
89. I Made It Through The Rain, Barry Manilow
90. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', Daryl Hall and John Oates
91. Suddenly, Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard
92. For Your Eyes Only, Sheena Easton
93. The Beach Boys Medley, Beach Boys
94. Whip It, Devo
95. Modern Girl, Sheena Easton
96. Really Wanna Know You, Gary Wright
97. Seven Year Ache, Rosanne Cash
98. I'm Coming Out, Diana Ross
99. Miss Sun, Boz Scaggs
100. Time Is Time, Andy Gibb

So it was a pretty big year for Barbra, Barbra & sundry Gibb brothers, Andy Gibb without Barbra, Neil Diamond and Air Supply... yet I survived it! The songs I've left untouched are due to apathy or not having any recollection of them.

Rather than tag others, if you want to play then do so and just let us all know in the comments so that we can read your list.

The 10 Song Meme

OK, I can't post about Katrina anymore so it's a return to the frivolous here at TOA! This meme has been doing the rounds for a little while, so in keeping with my Late Adopter nature, here's my contribution of 'old and new' current favourites.

10 songs I'm digging at the moment:
  1. "If We're In Love" by Roisin Murphy
  2. "Ruby Blue" by Roisin Murphy
  3. "Intuition" by Jewel
  4. "Destroy Rock & Roll" by Mylo
  5. "Absolutely Not" by Deborah Cox
  6. "Strict Machine" by Goldfrapp
  7. "Love My Way" by The Psychedelic Furs
  8. "Big Time Sensuality" by Bjork
  9. "This Is The Sound Of Breaking Up" by Paul Mac
  10. "Missing" (Todd Terry mix) by Everything But The Girl

Your 10?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Anne Rice Is Mad As Hell the sound of it, with good reason.

Anne Rice has written an eloquent and strongly worded opinion piece about the events in New Orleans post-Katrina. Rice has not only been a long-term resident of The Big Easy, but has also set the majority of her fiction there and has researched the history of the city in depth. It's her loving descriptions of New Orleans that in part that had added to my desire to want visit it some day.

[Link via towleroad.]

I'm OK

A website called I'm OK has been set up for people in the Katrina affected areas of the US to register that they are OK, and where friends and loved ones can log in and see who is registered in the database. Other sites such as the Red Cross are doing the same sort of thing, but it is supposedly quicker and more accurate because it uses the person's telephone number as the main search criteria, speeding up the searches. If you know someone in the region, it might be worth checking this out in addition to the Red Cross's Hurricane Katrina register.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Flying Too Close To The Sun

I am so deeply in love with this Icarus light by Tord Boontje, that I can scarcely contain myself. It makes me want to claw at myself with pleasure. I love that someone has made something so beautiful, even if I never own it I love knowing that it exists.


Speaking of beauty and grace, or more accurately the flip side of which, I have kept silence on the events in the US until now. Partly because I don't feel informed enough to add anything meaningful to the discussion.

I feel kind of flippant, shallow and callous posting entries about how much I love this lamp, when nightly I'm seeing the horrifying images coming out of New Orleans and Mississippi. I sit and watch it with a lump in my chest, a tightness, that I just can't go too near to for fear that everything will just unravel. Does that make sense? We are so far away from it down here in Oz, but I've been watching it on the news, transfixed and on the verge of tears, until I have to get up and leave the room or change channels. Nightly this tight ball of pain under my sternum seems to be growing more tightly wound, larger, more painful.

All I can do is hope for the best resolution possible, as quickly as possible, and that the US people fire that idiot who's asleep at the wheel.

Monday, September 05, 2005

My Mate Nate

If you have read this blog for a while, then you might have clued in that I am obsessed with the world's cutest interior designer (and Oprah regular) Nate Berkus. Design*sponge recently broke the news about a new range of homewares by Nate.

If I ordered some sheets, what do you think the odds are that Nate would deliver them himself?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Birthday Recap

Today is Father's Day here in Oz, so I decided that it was easier to do most of my birthday celebrating last night and avoid conflicting with the Father's Day plans of most of my pals. So last night I had dinner with a bunch of friends, including cyber pal turned real-life friend Bodhi, at my favourite Thai restaurant Thai Pothong. Good food was had, lots of laughs and conversation, and I scored some lovely gifts (although lets not tell the Naturopath, Doctor or any future Cardiologist about the big sampler of deluxe soft cheeses I received, 'mkay!). Bodhi came back to hang out after dinner and we sat up talking until until the early hours.

I had a lazy start to the morning this morning, lying in bed drinking coffee and reading. Back in January I posted an entry about my visit to Canberra to see the excellent Vivienne Westwood Restrospective at the National Gallery, well my sweet friend Judy (who also went to the exhibition) bought me the fabulous book that accompanied the exhibition as a birthday gift. Nice way to spend a cool and rainy birthday morning, just me and Viv.

Late morning I met up with Bodhi again and we headed to Bondi Junction for A Shopping Outreach at the new Westfield Bondi Junction. I have to say that I was quite impressed, I was expecting a big shopping centre, which it certainly is, but the design of the centre and the stores, and the mix of retailers which favours the higher end, was a pleasant surprise. I did some Retail Therapy and birthday-treated myself to a very cute black straw pork pie hat, some favourite lemon verbena scented soap and a DVD of The Name Of The Rose. Bodhi and I had lots of laughs and headed home around sunset after having a Good Day.

It was an enjoyably low-key(ish) birthday with lots of friendship and laughs, just what I was hoping for.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


This week's Photo Friday theme is Order.

Darling Harbour park, Sydney. January, 2005.

I took this picture last Summer when I was down at Darling Harbour working as a volunteer at a Buddhist festival. These kids were having so much fun and had made up a game where they were racing backwards and forwards across this fountain, always in order. They were going so fast and some of the stones were quite wet, so my heart was in my mouth a few times, but nobody fell and I'm sure the risk just added to their excitement.

A Humbling Experience

Yesterday turned out to be a doubleplusungood shitstorm of a day. On top of dragging my sorry ass into work still feeling sick, part way through the day my boss uncovered a mistake of monumental proportions. A mistake which I, though not having actually caused directly, was at least complicit in allowing to happen and should have picked up and prevented in time. It was fixed by day end, but it'll cost my company enough money that it'll wipe the profit from that particular client for the rest of the year. It was a new part of my job role that I hadn't really been shown how to do properly, just drip fed information, so all agreed that it really wasn't my fault per se, but the shine of Golden Haired Boy and Number One Favoured Son has been tarnished somewhat.

I spent much of the afternoon working to minimise the damage and ended up leaving work around 6.30pm, but on the up-side my boss finally sat down with me and stepped me through all the procedures I needed to do for the client. Stepped me through very carefully that is, like I was the slow reader in the class. Oh well. In fairness my employers were quite reasoned about it and chalked it up to experience, so things could have been a lot worse than they ended up. Birthday lunch got canned, in part because one of the other staff has taken a few days off as bereavement leave because her Grandfather passed away. So we rescheduled for next week.

Like my buddy Michael on the other side of the planet, today is Haircut Day. I heart Haircut Day! Then tonight I'm off to dinner at a favourite restaurant with a small group of friends to celebrate turning 41 on Sunday. Should be low key compared to Birthday Extravaganzas of the past, but that's just what I felt like this year.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pretty Pictures

Time for a little round up of some new photoblogs I've discovered, and one old friend I've rediscovered:
  • Sidney Snoeck is a Belgian engineer living in the Philippines, who posts lots of pictures of life in Manila at his blog My SariSari Store. I find his huge collection of shots of people sleeping amusing, and oddly unsettling. [Site is very picture intensive and can be slow to load.]
  • Miles is from Toronto, Canada and his photoblog may be called Mute, but his pictures speak for themselves.
  • Robert hails from North Carolina in the US and posts great pics on his (curiously named) blog Border Trench Safaris.
  • Zishaan is one of my favourite Indian photobloggers, and his site Point & Shoot is an inspiration. I'm glad to see he's back posting after a bit of a mid-year hiatus.

Not On My Wish List

I got an early birthday present from the Universe, a virus of my very own! Ack.

I woke up yesterday with a bit of a headache, a bit of a sore throat and feeling generally a bit off colour, so I took the Great Aussie Tradition of the 'sickie' and took yesterday off. It was sort of 40% feeling crap(ish) and 60% wanting to have a Mental Health Day.

Turns out it was the precursor of feeling yet more crap. So I've taken today off and stretched out ahead of me is a day of reading people on The Internets who are more entertaining than I find myself right now, Oprah, and possibly a leave-in treatment and a home mani-ped.

I have to go to work tomorrow though, because work is throwing me a birthday lunch and aside from hello, free lunch! it would be bad manners right? I had a huge 40 Extravaganza last year, but this year we're stylin' it low key. My birthday is on Sunday and coincides with Father's Day, so lots of friends have familial commitments anyhoo. I'll probably do something on Saturday night, but as yet I still haven't made any plans. Don't be looking for me on Boys Gone Wild this year.

[This post is kind of the Tipping Point for this blog becoming "The Other Andrew: More Fun With Weight Loss and Medical Maladies!" but stay with me, like your mother hoped - it's just a phase.]