Monday, October 31, 2005

Sunday, October 30, 2005

All Hallows

Last night was my first ever Halloween party and it was a blast! Web-Goddess and The Snook very kindly invited me to a Halloween bash at their house, along with a bunch of their friends that included other Sydney bloggers. Kris and Rodd went with a very cool Iron Chef theme for their costumes, Kris as the Hiroyuki 'The Delacroix of French Cuisine' Sakai and Rodd as Chairman Kaga (complete with yelow capsicum, for the biting of). Kris turned out to be just as nice and funny as I expected from reading her blog.

I had a really great time, ate some very cool 'creeptastic' food Kris had gone to all the trouble of making, discovered the US *cough*delicacy*cough* Marshmellow Peeps (err, a bit yuck), and enjoyed the music and conversation. Some of the other Interweb cool kids that were there included Gadgetgirl & Yank In Oz and Helen of Spycore (complete with Blythe dolls).

Good times. Thanks for invite Kris & Rodd!

Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones...

As I mentioned yesterday, I scored an invite to EstogenFest 2005 Adrienne's baby shower and everyone was asked to make and bring a quilt square in 'warm blues' as a surprise for the mum to be. I hadn't ever done any quilting before (but of course, so wanted to), and it was fun. Getting all those parallelogram points to line up exactly tapped into that deep, dark, Martha-esque part of my psyche that has VIRGO stamped all over it.

My finished patch. 29th October, 2005.

I originally just bought the two mottled blues, and it looked kind of 'meh'. Then I found the fabric with the tiny orange bones on it (Halloweenish no?) and fell in love.

The collection starts to grow. October 29th, 2005.

It was a really fun project, and as you'd expect the end results varied wildly - in a good way. I think the final quilt will be wonderful, all that fun, care and time spent by friends to make something. (Miss 'World Peace & A Speedboat' and her mum made the really cute dog and elephant patches. Which I coveted secretly.)

It was a fun afternoon, presents for the baby were exchanged, opinions on how the quilt should be arranged were offered, there were cucumber sandwiches and Pimm's Cup. Good times.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Just When You Thought I Couldn't Get Any Gayer...

...I just got back from the fabric store, where I bought quilting fabric, because I'm the only guy going to a Baby Shower tomorrow afternoon and we are all asked to take along a quilt square to be assembled into a quilt for the mother-to-be.

I mean, really.

My Town Newtown

I frequently mention my 'hood of Newtown in my posts, and the pictures I post on this blog are often of things I've seen around the streets of this little enclave. Newtown is a cool blend of the down at heel and the high heeled. The second biggest gay community in Sydney, a big universtity crowd, old folks who have lived here forever and now lots of 'two income & one child' young families. Once off the main streets, Newtown is mostly a warren of narrow streets and back lanes with either two storey terrace houses or narrow fronted single storey 'workers' cottages' (like mine).

I just joined the Newtown photo pool on Flickr, so if you're interested in a more detailed and varied look at this little place I call 'home' why not check it out.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Does This Constitute A Blog Entry?

So far I have held off posting anything today, because, well, frankly there isn't much to post about. (Does posting about not having anything to post about create some sort of existentialist conundrum? Or just make me a 16 year old LiveJournal user?)

So, here is a brief recap of today with my subjective Interest Factor scores:
  • Woke at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep. (C-)
  • Read the internets and cruised for online porn until 6.30am (A+, remember this is my point of view)
  • Walked to work, weather already hot at 7.30am (B)
  • Spent a greater % of time over at Pipedreams making thinly veiled/not veiled at all penis and bum comment referrences, than actually working (A)
  • Still haven't reconciled loan account, should have finished days ago (D-)
  • Boring lunch, 2 minor (and not blog worthy) budget DVD purchases (C+)
  • Most fave bloggers from the Northern Hemisphere now fast asleep, curse fate as blog commenting grinds to a halt (D)
  • Desultory work attempts (F)
  • Compose lame blog entry instead, consider hating myself then decide can't be bothered (C)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Metal Sculpture

Metal Sculpture
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I took this picture of an anodised metal sculpture at World Square on my way into work yesterday. The metal is a purplish colour that changes through magenta and bronze depending on the light.

[This is also an experiment in picture posting from my Flickr page, as I was curious to see how it would turn out. Verdict: I'm not wild about the size of the picture or the black border, both things I can probably change - although, so help me, if I touch it I will break it. Clicking the pic takes you to the picture's Flickr page and a larger version, which is somewhat cool.]

5 Reasons To Be Cheerful

  1. Another rockin' walk into work this morning. Sure it's hot and I was schwitzing like a pig when I got into work, but quality deodorant saves the day.
  2. A lunchtime purchase of the DVD of Broadway: The American Musical. Show tunes!
  3. New office, new flatscreen monitor, new printer & new scanner. My veins are thrumming with the technology that surrounds me.
  4. Delicious strawberries.
  5. Noticing that one of the ├╝ber-macho workmen installing the glass doors on the front of our building was slyly checking out exactly the same business suited hotties I was. Gotcha!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

If I Had To Describe My Outlook On Life...

Detail of mural outside the Humanist Society headquarters. Sydney, 25th October, 2005.

...well, this is would be a pretty good place to start.

Unexpected Results

At lunchtime today I was tooling around on my new playground Flickr. My Friend Flickr. I thought it might be fun to do some people searches and see if anybody I know (or whose blogs I read) had a Flickr page. I already knew that a couple of my favourite guys from the interweb were Flickr users, and I've already wasted valuable work time spent some 'free time' looking at their photos.

So, it has probably become apparent that I have a certain, shall we call it an 'unresolved internet crush' (for want of a better term). I don't know if you've ever tried it, but it's really hard to stalk long distance. So I tried a little people search on both his real name and his blogging name, with unexpected (and frankly quite scary) results.

Whoa. Michael, is there something you're not telling me?

Pep In My Step

Waking up a half hour earlier than usual + a comparatively good night of (drug free) sleep + bright and sunny morning, tending to hot = decision to walk to work.

I did the approximately one hour walk from my front door to work this morning and despite getting here with a bad dose of 'pink face', and some impressive sweat stains, it was very enjoyable. I sometimes walk home from work, but this morning I decided to reverse that and start the day with some exercise instead. I took a few snaps on the way, and tried a few new side streets to get away from trudging along main roads for a while. Nice.

Today is going to be quite warm so I slapped on some sunscreen before heading out. Note to self, like any Max Factor saleslady would encourage, go for full coverage. I now have a very fetching pink spot on my forehead where I missed with the suncreen. I burn like unwatched toast. Seriously, I just have to look out the window and I burn.

But I digress. Walking to work. Maybe I'll make this morning walking thing a regular routine like the other cool kids do. Is anyone else in the habit of morning walking?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Lost In Music

Last night was a big night for music down here in Oz. We had the Australian music awards The ARIAS. We had the Motown week on Australian Idol. Over on SBS we had the 50 Years of Eurovision special.

I only watched the second half of Idol, as I forgot that this week it was on earlier than usual. It was surprisingly good. This season has been a bit 'meh' for me, none of the contestants were really drawing my interest in that much. Those that were consistently giving good performances were (for the most part) doing material that wasn't that appealing to me, or had a style that I didn't dig, or were really not showing much growth. That seems to have changed though, because of the performances I saw, and from the recaps of the others, it looked like everyone upped it a few notches last night, and Daniel in particular seems to have come ahead in leaps and bounds.

The Arias were kind of excruciating, but I'd say that about most music award shows. Too much hooting and air punching for me. I was channel surfing between it, the Eurovision special and the very entertaining Casanova* mini-series on the ABC. (Stupid broken video recorder.) The Arias opened with a live performance of "Voodoo Child" by dance outfit Rogue Traders, a risky move given the disasterous live renditions by dance acts in previous years (*cough*Madison Avenue*cough*). All the awards that were based on single or album Cd sales showed just how dominant the Australian Idol marketing juggernaut is.

I only caught bits of the Eurovision special, what with the channel surfing and my poor SBS reception and all, but the bits I did see were either completely fabulous ('80s flashbacks and mangled English lyrics) or turned my brain to mush so that it started leaking out of my ears. I'm a fan of the Eurovision song contest, but this special was like someone upped the dial labelled 'cheese' and set the dial marked 'excitement' to off.

On balance, not a bad Sunday evening in though.

[*Having only seen David Tennant in photos before I was really surprised at how appealing, and well sexy, he was in this mini series. I'm a sucker for cheekiness I guess. I hope this bodes well for his role as the new Dr Who.]

A Bracing Start To The Week

This morning I woke up about 10 minutes before my alarm was due to go off, which is a pretty standard practice for me, but then I noticed a little while later that my alarm didn't ring. A glance at the clock showed - no power. I got up and tried the lights, because on a few occasions the surge protector on my home has tripped the fuse, but no go. A quick trip outside to the fusebox showed that all looked fine.

One of my favourite pastimes is doubting myself, so my next thought was whether I'd forgotton to pay the electricity bill. Nope, I would have received a reminder at least.

Just after I leapt about in the shower washing my hair in cold water and trying to do the quickest (yet most effective) wash possible, I heard the handsome bearish guy who lives behind my house and his neighbour discussing the fact that they had no power. OK then. I put a pot of water on the gas stove to heat, so I could have a shave (I normally use an electric) but 5 minutes later the power was back on. After I'd reset the thermostat on my instantaneous hot water heater, I was back in business.

All this prompted me to think, was there ever to come a time when electricity wasn't available, or some other apocolyptic scenario such as a sun spot enduced global power surge thingie fried all electric appliances, my grooming would be shot to hell.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Kiss Me Hardy

October 22nd, 2005.

Last night my friends John & Judy hosted a dinner to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. It was a great evening, everyone had a lovely time and went to the effort to dress up and get into the spirit of the occasion.

(The flash on my camera is a little harsh, so none of pics turned out all that well. However, here is a little sampling to give you an idea of what the night was like even though the quality isn't great.)

The motley crew of the HMS Victory. 22nd October, 2005.

I learnt that 19th C food is for the most part very nice, and 19th C ideas of what passes for 'cocktails' are for the mostl part bad... and lethal. After dinner we played Trafalgar Trivia, which turned out to be very hard, but as extra points were given for creative and outlandish answers (my specialty) I at least won a couple of prizes. I now own one very cool pirate eyepatch.

A bunch of handsome sailors. 22nd October, 2005.

The 'Three Graces' (and One Munchkin). 22nd October, 2005.

That look on my face, yes that one in the pic above, that there is my special 'photo face'. It's the look of a man who hates having his photo taken. However, I know that I would get into all sorts of trouble if I left myself out of all the pictures, so there it is. *sigh*

As I said, it was a fun night, and I spent all afternoon helping Judy cook and prepare and then serve the dinner, so it was nice to see evryone enjoy themselves so much. Good times.

Friday, October 21, 2005

CostumeWatch 2005

Have you ever seen that movie, the one with Bette Midler I think, where the cops go to her apartment and think it has already been trashed by the thieves or murderers (or whatever), but she says "No, it's always like this"?... Well, that's kind of my situation right now. You see, I'm making a costume for the Trafalgar Dinner that I'm going to tomorrow night. A 19th C naval uniform. It's very pretty, but lots of work. 34 motherfunking brass buttons on the coat alone (and consequently the same number of a-hole buttonholes), and because I am a verchachte anal historical accurist I sewed the entire shirt by hand, and even did a minute hand rolled edge on the 'stock' of the shirt (the long bow tie thingie that men's 19th C shirts have - think Mr Darcy style), all like 13-14 feet of it...

Anyhoo, my point is you see (I do have one), I've been in The Zone. Now, when I'm in The Zone, well, bins go unemptied, the floor gets covered in snipped off threads and scraps of fabrics, and ::ouchfuckouch:: the occasional pin and needle make their way into the carpet, pizza boxes pile up (cooking just takes too much valuable time). However, I kind of like The Zone. The Zone allows for all sorts of bad behaviour. The Zone allows for unwashedness sometimes, for not answering the phone, for giving full reign to the obssessiveness that yes that button will have to come off and be done again because it's clearly 2mm out of line with its neighbours...

Is there a 12 step for this?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Apostrophe Police Files

*sigh* The new sign for what has always been known as, until now, the Bowlers' Club. York St, Sydney. October 20, 2005.

For Bodhi, with love.

There May Yet Be Tears

I might just be pre-menstrual, or maybe it's because today would have been my Dad's birthday if he was still alive, or maybe it's because Monday was the 20th anniversary of my Mum's death, or maybe it's because I still have a rotten sinus infection and now an ear infection... but I find myself walking a bit of an emotional tightrope today. One false step and it's tears. I'm pretty emotionally self-sufficient and stable, so it's unusual for me to feel raw like this, you know without watching Oprah anyway. Anyhoo, it is what it is.

The negative stuff aside, I've done my usual surfing of the internets superwebway this morning (ok, actually a little more than usual - but faced with reconciling a share loan plan, what would you rather?) and it made me reflect on how grateful I am for the connections that this media allows. I mean, on one level it's like having a huge bunch of pen pals. The fact that I might never meet any of the people that I like to read, and share comments with, doesn't make the friendships that I've formed online any less real for me. It's very, very cool.

I think I'm about to hug my monitor now...


I just had to change the format of my comments page temporarily, because I seem to be having a problem with the comments pop up screen, for some as yet unknown reason. It's not my pc or server issue, because it seems to work fine when I visit other Blogger blogs, but maybe I broke something on my template when I added the Flickr stuff on my sidebar yesterday. Stupid HTML.

Anyhoo, comments appears to be working in the amended format pro tem so go at it kids. Without your comments, how am I supposed to know you care?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Images Of Buddha

I'm obsessively working my way through the 7,592 (at present) images tagged Buddha on Flickr. There's some gorgeous pictures, and I'm especially enjoying the images of monks making a sand mandala, and some pics of the giant Buddha and Monastery on Lantau Island in Hong Kong, which I visited a few years ago.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Quick Ride On The MemeWagon

I cannot resist a)tagging along with the cool kids and b)being a late adopter, so here is my stab at the 7 Things Meme:

7 things I want to do before I die
  1. Discover the secret to immortality and eternal youth
  2. Climb all the towers of Gaudi's "Sagrada Familia"
  3. Make out with Jake Gyllenhaal
  4. Be the new Prada muse
  5. Make someone really, really happy
  6. Walk the streets of Venice
  7. Solve world peace, hunger etc

7 things I can't do:
  1. Wear my old 28" waist jeans
  2. Do a smart and sassy turn, turn, kick, turn
  3. Roll my tongue
  4. Convincingly feign interest in team sports (unless they involve semi nakedness)
  5. Eat popcorn
  6. Sing in tune
  7. Remember where I put my [insert object here]

7 things that attract me to the opposite same sex:
  1. Pretty eyes, wicked mouth, dirty mind
  2. Strong hands and great arms
  3. Strength and vulnerability, Yin and Yang, Rodgers and Hart
  4. A slammin' bod, slim hips and a great butt (what, you expected depth?)
  5. Humour and kindness
  6. An appropriate use of 'product'
  7. An extensive vocabulary

7 things I say most often:
  1. I'm as full as a fat lady's sock
  2. Sh*t, f*ck - all the old school cuss words
  3. Don't you think that should have an apostrophe?
  4. Call the fashion police
  5. That's ugly as a hat full of arseholes
  6. He's cute
  7. Something inappropriate

7 celebrity crushes:
  1. Jake Gyllenhaal
  2. Chris Evans
  3. Jeremy Sheffield
  4. Brodie Holland
  5. Michael (c'mon dude, you're a celebrity!)
  6. Adam Hills
  7. Sister Wendy Beckett

Anyone care to play?

Time To Get Fat, Stat!

Last night I was watching The Biggest Loser on tv, when they dropped the bombshell of all bombshells. The show is coming to do a local version in Australia. As if that weren't exciting enough, the two trainers from the original US show will be here to scream, cajole and get all intense on the contestants' asses.

So I need to put on like hundreds of pounds fast. I need to get up close and sweaty with trainer Bob, the sexy Nashville accented, lean and lanky, tattoo'd streak of hotness that he is. I need Bob to take me in hand, show me some discipline and make me work for it. After weeks of wimpering and whining, of hollering and hooting, and enduring the embarassment of shirtless weigh-ins on a scale big enough for an elephant (and yet oddly slow to calculate my weight after swinging up and down until after the commercial break) I will then reward him with an ugly duckling to swan like transformation. Bob will love me.

I'm off to programme my speed dial for Domino's.

On The Nighstand

Just to show that I have loftier interests than internet porn or watching The Biggest Loser, here's a quick rundown of my current reading list:
  1. Re-reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire. I love this novel. I have a 'thing' for The Wizard of Oz and I love this imaginative re-telling of the events surrounding The Wizard of Oz, but told from the Wicked Witch of the West's point of view.
  2. All queued up and ready to go just this past weekend I received a copy of the sequel to Wicked, Son Of A Witch, as a belated birthday present. As soon as I finish Wicked I'll be diving right in.
  3. I've just started the biography "Tibet: My Story" by the sister of His Holiness the Dalai Lama Jetsun Pema. Amazing stuff.
  4. I saw the movie 'Serenity' again yesterday, and because I am nothing if not a fanboy, when I was in Galaxy Books and happened to spot the Serenity novelisation and just had to buy it. Looks like it'll be beach reading, but any Firefly stizz can't be half bad.

What's on your nightstand?

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Ubiquitous Monday Recap

I was really struggling with motivation and a rotten sinus infection last week, so at short notice I asked for Friday and today off as a couple of days of holiday leave. My friend Stephen is in town for a few days from Brisbane (where he moved recently) and so taking today off also gives me some time to hang out with him some more.

I was kind of flat and uninterested at work for much of last week, and when I asked for two days leave it must have sent them some sort of message because on Friday I answered the door to find a delivery guy standing there with a great big fruit basket. (Nice basket, I thought.) My employers sent it with a card saying 'Look after yourself'. Which was very sweet, but kind of weirded me out a bit because it made me wonder what sort of impression I had made on them last week. Do you know what I mean? I wasn't sick sick, just feeling physically flat and tired in the way that sinus infections can make you feel. It was a lovely gesture but just seemed a bit out of proportion. Anyway, I'm grateful... and does anyone want a mango?

I hung around the house and didn't do much on Friday, then went over to Bodhi's crib in the evening to watch some DVDs. On Saturday I did some volunteer work at my Buddhist centre, caught up with my friend Stephen in the afternoon and then went to see The Producers in the evening. Yesterday I had another fairly chilled out day, went into the Buddhist centre again to unpack more books and then worked a bit on my costume for the Trafalgar Dinner next weekend. In the afternoon I went and helped my friend Judy plan the shopping list and order of prep for all the food for the Trafalgar Dinner (all 19th c recipes), and we worked on some of the decorations. Today I'm off to catch up with Stephen again before he heads back to Brisbane tomorrow.

So it has been a nice few days, a blend of restful and social. Oh, and some nice fruit.

"The Producers", The 'Best' Show On Broadway?

I went to see the Mel Brooks musical The Producers on Saturday night, with a big bunch of people that was organised through a friend of Mikey's (the lovely ex). It's playing at the Lyric Theatre at the Star City casino complex. I had never actually set foot inside the casino before, and yech it's horrible. I don't have a gambling bone in my body (must be the Scots in me) and felt no compulsion to have a try, and I found the atmosphere really strange. Aside from that the decor was hectic and ugly, with a walk through grotto here, a 70's style bar there, giant fishtanks over there, neon everywhere... it was like it had been designed by a committee (of people with ADD).

It was quite a pleasant evening, we started off at the Astral Bar on the 17th floor of the hotel. The views are absolutely spectacular, and I recommend it as absolutely the best place in Sydney to enjoy an $8 mineral water. One of the guys ordered 3 cocktails and got very little change from $100. Having said that, we did have a pleasant drink and I met some very nice new people.

Anyway, the show. It has been running in Sydney since May this year, so has had quite a long and still very successful run. It was almost an entirely full house the night we went. Surprisingly though, I thought the show was a bit crap. Some of the audience were almost rolling in the aisles with laughter, while we all looked at each as if someone had just told a joke we didn't get.

The musical numbers were fine, and a few of them like 'Little Old Ladyland' and 'Springtime For Hitler' are excellent, but most of the linking story pieces were, well, cheesy and flat. I'm a fan of Mel Brooks, so I know and love his usual 'cheese factor,' but I was surprised how lacking in cleverness I found this show. So much of it relied on lame 'tit and bum' jokes that fell flat and seemed a tad desperate for laughs in this context. Maybe it was the direction, because everything was played super broadly, but I think it was also a big mistake to have one of the characters break character and talk to the audience about current events in the middle of the show.

Anyway, it was pleasant enough, but I could think of more fun ways to blow the $100 it cost me for the ticket, and for me it fell well short of the "Best Show On Broadway" advertising tagline. General consensus after the show was that it was quite a disappointment.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Days And Years Of Being Yourself

I just had a very amusing phone call from my friend Bodhi. Bodhi likes to celebrate milestones, and today is 1,000 days since he came out of the closet. The phone call was to tell me that he had SMS'd our friend Rabbit to remind him of the milestone, and Rabbit had SMS'd back "How long before they put you back in?".

It got me to thinking about how long it is since I came out. I don't have a clear date like Bodhi does. I told my school friends first, when I was 15. About 4 years after that my sisters found out, just before I was going to tell them, because I ran into one of them in a gay bar. (She isn't gay, she was there with friends.) By that time I was shacked up with a boyfriend, who emigrated to Australia so we could be together. I don't think it was a surprise to anyone.

I can hardly remember a time when nobody knew I was gay. I can't even imagine my friends, family and workmates not knowing anymore. So I guess I came out 26 years ago, or somewhere around 9,500 days ago. 9,500 days of being myself.

Spicks & Specks

This will be a bit boring for anyone who doesn't live in Australia, so apologies in advance, but I just have to share my obsession with the Aussie ABC tv show Spicks and Specks.

I will stay home on Wednesday nights so that I don't miss it, and I haven't done that for a tv show in ages. I don't think I have caught an episode yet that has been less than hysterical. The talent co-ordinators on this show do a great job, by blending comedians and musicians they pretty much always ensure that at least 2 out of three people on each panel are funny and the depth of the music knowledge from everyone can be really surprising. What can be a nice surprise is that sometimes the musicians are as funny as the comedians.

I love the anarchic nature of the segments, and the loose and funny feeling of the show. This Wikipedia entry has a pretty good summary of the show and some of my favourite segments. Who knew that it would be so hard to tell the difference between an unflattering picture of a musican, and a flattering picture of a serial killer?

Oh, and the fact that host Adam Hills just oozes congeniality, while being so very funny, is such a plus for me. What with this and his 'regular guy' cuteness, he had me at "Hello, I'm Adam Hills".

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Feel My Pain

I'm labouring under a killer headache and really bad sinus pain today, feeling weary and flat and a just a wee bit mean as shit around the edges. I'm at work, but planning my escape (unfortunately no sheets to knot together, and a couple of skanky tea towels from the kitchen just won't reach down 11 floors).

If my mood and headache improve I might post later today, otherwise play nicely and don't break anything.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tiny Tales

I'm in love with the work of photographer Lori Nix. She creates, and then photographs, painstaking miniature dioramas that are usually drenched with a strange sense of foreboding. Abandoned cars in the desert, lightning stiking a tent full of Christian fundamentalists, a giant wave crashes over two tiny life jackets bobbing in the ocean... They remaind me of the dollhouse dioramas of murder cases that were used as teaching tools for forensic science students.

There is something about the construction of these that appeals to the craft nerd in me. When I was a child my grandfather had a huge model railway that took up an entire shed in the back yard. My grandmother and I were in charge of doing all the scenery, as my grandfather was only really interested in the trains themselves. His model trains were all steam trains, not modern locomotives, so we created tiny villages that were stuck somewhere around the 1950's or 60's. I remember lots of fun Saturday afternoons with my grandmother creating tiny corner shops, tree lined streets and flower filled village railway stations. Good times.

Oh, and not a single abandoned car or looming tidal wave in sight.

Monday, October 10, 2005

5 Interesting Things I Did This Weekend

  1. Kissed a man in the supermarket. Twice*.
  2. Popped Bodhi's reality tv cherry by making him watch last night's Australian Idol 'Big Band' episode
  3. Got my costume for the Trafalgar Dinner about one third finished
  4. Discovered I have blog readers in South Africa, France, Germany and Mexico
  5. Went blonde (ish).

* Same man! What, you think I'm easy?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

You Tarzan, Me Dumbstruck

When I posted the other day about Collingwood Australian Rules footballer Brodie on "Dancing With The Stars", Michael quite rightly suggested that photographic proof was required. I'm all about sharing.

Brodie descends on a vine. Who knew tiger print lycra could look so good?

Does this picture really require a caption? I thought not.

Oh, you're welcome.

[Big thanks to the lovely Yaniboy for the heads up to the source of these pics.]

Friday, October 07, 2005

The 41 Year Old Adolescent

I'm just back from a trip out to the outer western suburbs of Sydney, almost to edge of the map (where the dragons are). My boss and I went out to give a presentation to a new client who owns a string of fashion stores around Australia. The presentation itself went well and we drove back in quite a relaxed mood.

On the way back to the city my boss and I were chatting about life in general, and it tipped over into a weirdly parental conversation. Keep in mind that my boss is only about 5 years my senior, but her life involves kids, her own business and probably at least one mortgage. At one point she said "Maybe it's time to grow up", not in a nasty way, but in the context of taking on responsibilities.

It sort of got me to thinking about how other people might view my lifestyle. I'm single, don't own a house or car, have only small debts, no pets or kids... I certainly do feel like I'm a grown up, but I guess in many ways I have engineered my life so I can live in permanent adolescence. That is, if you take these sorts of responsibilities as signs of adulthood.

I'm interested in simplifying my life, not getting too attached to things, and in giving myself some mental 'room to move'. I think it's interesting that once a journalist asked one of the most senior Lamas of my Buddhist order for one piece of advice that would be of use to readers. I think he was expecting something profound and mystical. The Lama's answer was "Simplify your life."

It sounds easy and simple, but when it is so easy to get caught up in doing more, having more, keeping up, filling up time with distractions... it actually takes quite a bit of effort and resolve. At least, that's my take on it.

I think the Lama was skillful in that his statement was the simplest way of saying a whole lot of things. That we should put our concentration into what is really important. To stop getting so caught up in ego, in acquiring things, in fearing that we will lose what we have, or not get what we want (or get what we don't want), or thinking that things are permanent, and that we are permanent.

Anyway, I'm not advocating throwing everything away but I do think that being too attached mentally to all this stuff just brings stress and anxiety. I think it's interesting to consider the mental freedom that comes from having simplified your life.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Eternal Question: "What To Wear?"

Put your thinking caps on. I have two costume parties to go to, only a week apart. (Ideally I would be able to wear the same costume to both, but unfortunately that isn't going to be possible.) I know what I'll be wearing to the first party, but I'm a bit short on ideas for the second one.

Sewing is no problem for me. I have done a lot of costuming over the years, including having done some freelance costuming for drag queens no less, and am a trained milliner, so I know my way around the Janome. Time is going to be a huge factor though, because the first party is on the 21st of October and the second party is for Halloween a week later.

The first party I'm going to is a Trafalgar dinner, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. Some friends of mine are mad keen naval history fans and big fans of Bernard Cornwell's "Sharpe" series, and so decided to celebrate the event with a dinner. Everyone will be in costume and the food and drink are all going to authentic early 19th C recipes.

I've already started a costume for this, and it's a huge amount of work. I'm making an early 19th C naval Lieutenant's uniform; white shirt with jabot, white waistcoat, navy coloured tailcoat with white piping and cream breeches. Well, I have started it I should say... I have half a shirt so far!

What I'm a bit stumped on is the Halloween costume. I've scored an invite to a certain well known Sydney blogger's Halloween party, my first ever Halloween Party. What does one wear to a party where a) you haven't ever actually 'met' anybody, including the hosts (so it's hard to know what to expect) and b) the 'hip and funny' standard is bound to be high.

Ideas, people!

Blogger Issues

Sorry if you have had problems connecting to this site today, I noticed a little while back that all Blogger hosted blogs seemed to be down for a while. I'm investigating moving this blog to my own domain, but in the meantime thanks for your patience. As much as I heart Blogger (it's pretty cool for a free service, let's face it) it does seem to have had more downtime than usual just of late.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Maybe There's Something To This Tarot Thing?

I am The Lovers

The Lovers often refers to a relationship that is based on deep love - the strongest force of all. The relationship may not be sexual, although it often is or could be. More generally, the Lovers can represent the attractive force that draws any two entities together in a relationship - whether people, ideas, events, movements or groups.

For a full description of your card and other goodies, please visit

Alright! I got your attractive force right here baby! Oh and you better believe it's sexual...

[Updated: Oops, I accidentally trimmed off the link to the What Tarot Are You? site by mistake.]

Telephone Conversation During Last Night's Episode Of "Dancing With The Stars: Series 3"

Collingwood Aussie Rules footballer (and hottie) Brodie Holland & his partner Alana take to the stage to dance the Salsa. Brodie descends on a rope vine, wearing nothing but a pair of skin-tight leopard print lycra pants. His torso is quite spectacular.

my phone rings

Me: "Hello?"
Mikey, the lovely ex: "Are you watching Dancing With The Stars?"
Me: "Holy CRAP!"
Mikey, the lovely ex: [laughs] "Exactly!"

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

What Is The Sound Of One Blogger Blogging?

I spent some time over this weekend futzing with my blog; deleting dud sidebar links (R.I.P. AussieBlogs), adding some new ones, adding some links to my favourite picture posts etc. Tarting and fluffing, basically.

I also happened across a pretty cool set of blogging tips and links called 31 Days To Better Blogging, on a site called ProBlogger. It was an exercise whereby for the 31 days of August 2005 they posted links to tips about blogging written by a variety of bloggers. ProBlogger is primarily aimed at helping people who are interested in blogging as an income earner, something that I'm not into myself, but the majority of the tips are good general blogging tips useful for amatuers (like me) and professionals alike.

Afterwards I did some blog surfing at Globe of Blogs and enjoyed discovering some blogs from far away places. Quite a few of the blogs seemed to have been started and then abandoned after less than 6 months of blogging, something which seemed surprisingly common.

All this got me to thinking about blogging; why people do it, why I do it, why some people seem to be so good at it (and why others, well, frankly aren't), and why some people take a stab at it and then disappear without warning.

The easy questions to answer are the ones about myself. I started blogging pretty much on a whim, and after spending a while haunting the comments of some favourite reads like Freakgirl and Lots of Co. Years before that I used to read some classic 'journal' websites, most of which are now long gone, and I became fascinated by the glimpse into these people's daily lives. Long story short, I thought Why not? Maybe it's fun?

Well, it is. I can see why some people start and then pack it in though. I nearly did about 5 months or so in, when it seemed like I was talking to myself only for a while there. I added a hit counter and discovered that surprisingly I was getting some hits after all. One or two people left me a comment, and then once this became a little bit more interactive my enthusiasm really took off. I think comments are probably one of the reasons that blogs have taken off so much in the past year. It becomes less of an excercise in onanism and more about communication. It's a double edged sword though. I've written some entries that I think are great and they garner no comments at all, and then some entries I think are pretty ordinary and the comments go up to double digits. You just can't estimate what will appeal to readers, and I'm glad I don't try. I would hate to get that self-conscious.

Once picture posting became easier my enthusiasm for this took off even further. I really enjoy picture posts on other people's blogs, it's fun to see these little slices of their world, and I love putting my own pics up.

I have gotten so much more from this blog than I ever anticipated. I've made some very cool new friends, both cyber and now 'real world' (so to speak). Through the medium of the comments I feel a connection with people from all over the world. You guys make me laugh, sometimes make me sad, and frequently make my day. I have a fun outlet for self expression, and something that sometimes brings a bit of mindfulness to my day, a bit of reflection. This has also made me take a stab at improving my photos, and given me an outlet to share the ones I like.

So thank you all, for stopping by and for dropping me a comment every now and then. Those of you who have your own blogs, what is it that keeps you coming back to the keyboard?

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Fabulous Foster Boys

Last night I watched about a half hour of a pretty lame comedy on tv, and I'm watching it thinking to myself you know, that young guy starring oposite Kirsten Dunst really is quite charming, quite cute actually. Then of course the shamestorm descended because he was like 21, and I'm like 41, and technically I could be old enough to be his father, and that officially makes me a Chicken Hawk in the eyes of all thinking individuals, and it is waaaay heading into creepy territory, and... but I digress.

(Just a thought, maybe I'm developing a thing for guys who's eyes are set a bit close together?)

Anyhoo, said cutie is called Ben Foster, as I discovered after consulting the twin oracles of Google and IMDb. He was the suspiciously gay friend/boyfriend of Claire on Six Feet Under for a while, remember? (Thankfully he's cut his ratty collar length hair that he was sporting on Six Feet Under.) He's about 4 or 5 years older now than he was in the film and my, my hasn't he aged well. Oh, and he has an equally handsome brother.

The Foster boys, Ben (L) & Jon (R).

I should say younger brother. Bring on the shamestorm!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Kransky Sisters

Amongst the sentences I thought I would never say (or type) is "I'm in love with three sisters." I heart the comedic cabaret act the Kransky Sisters.

I think Helen Razer captured some of their appeal well, when she wrote:
The Kransky Sisters have emerged from an Oedipal nightmare to change the songs of Michael Jackson forever. Looking like pill-addled bank tellers circa 1981 and sounding like a sherry-addled Country Women's Association musical auxiliary, the Kransky Sisters cannot be adequately described in text.

If they were a smell, it would be naphthalene flakes and sausage mince. If they were a flavour, it would be lard, tea-cakes and fear.

Alleged natives of unremarkable Queensland burg, Esk, these girls offer a seamless performance and an entirely new spin on drag. Their views on femininity, pop culture and the nuances of gravy are extraordinary and bust-a-gut, shed-a-tear, sputteringly funny.

The Kranskys' world of doilies, repression and vintage Butterrick patterns gone horribly wrong must be seen to be appreciated. This twisted representation of suburban Australian femininity is up there with Dame Edna - they are that good. Don't even think about missing this show.

I would add that the Kransky's also layer in a whiff of old school Eastern European repression, as if they were first generation immigrant children of slightly mad and fearfull parents from Warsaw, or the Russian Steppes.

On last night's episode of In Siberia Tonight they did a cover version of "Intuition" by Jewel, full of tuba highlights, that gave more than a nod in the direction of a Volga folk song, that had me squealing and rolling on the ground with delight. If they bring their comic cabaret show "We Don't Have Husbands" to Sydney again (because I missed it last time) I'm so there.

It's A Miracle!

I'm taking this as a sign that the Baby Jeebus wants me to shop. Sydney, 2005.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Port Wine Magnolia

When the lovely Martin and Lisa where in town a couple of weekends ago, my friend Bodhi and I showed them around Sydney and ended up at one of my favourite places, the Chinese Gardens of Friendship.

Magnolia blossoms, Chinese Garden of Friendship. Sydney, September, 2005.

These blossoms really caught my eye, and I just had to take a picture of them. No really I had to, Bodhi insisted. I'm glad he did, the colour and the light are lovely.

Dude, Where's My Serenity?

I kicked off the long weekend with a nice start last night.

I met up with Mikey (the lovely ex) straight after work and went to see an early session of the movie 'Serenity'. I really liked it, it was very action packed and had some lighter moment like the 'Firefly' series, but I feel like I have to see it again to really sort out my feelings about it. That isn't negative, but... well I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it so I'll reserve saying anything more.

I had a half an hour to kill before the movie so I went into JB Hi Fi in Galeries Victoria and bought a couple of DVDs on sale, Lust In The Dust (Divine, Tab Hunter and Lainie Kazan) and Dude, Where's My Car? (Ashton Kutcher, Sean William Scott). Two deeply silly films, but at under $20 for the pair, not bad value. Divine is/was my favourite Gender Illusionist and there are worse things in life to look at than a shirtless Sean William Scott... And then?

After the movie Mikey and I went to Miro for tapas. Miro used to be a favourite of mine, but sadly it seems to be losing its edge. Some of the dishes were as good as always, but a few of them were barely edible. The service was enthusiastic, but not brilliant, and the dishes dribbled in over about a 45 minute time frame. So the restaurant was less than thrilling but Mikey and I had a great conversation, got into a deep conversation about our time together, where we are both at in lives now, his ciurrent guy troubles etc. It was an interesting conversation and Mikey told me some stuff I hadn't heard before about what went on during our time together, and how he feels about where I seem to be at these days (all quite flattering). It was a good conversation to have had, cleared up a few things. We left the restaurant about 11 and headed our seperate ways.

I wasn't ready to go to bed when I got home, so I sat up until about 1am watching "Dude Where's My Car" (I only slow-mo'd over the Ashton Kutcher/Sean William Scott kiss like a couple or five times). As proud owner of the title of the "Most Crap At Sleeping, Ever" I was bing! wide awake at 5.30am and so have been pottering around the Interweb since. The best thing about an unplanned long weekend, the potential for naps are endless.