Friday, July 29, 2005

Somber Angel

The theme at Photo Friday this week is Somber.

Headstone angel. Camperdown cemetary, NSW, 2004.

Life's Good

4.25pm and I have just returned from lunch, which was had down by the water, sitting in the unusually Spring-like Winter sun.

Hah, there are worse ways to spend a Friday.

The 5 Question Meme

This came via Larry at The Love Lemming. (If you haven't read his blog, go do so immediately. It's fantastic.)

So here's the drill. As part of this meme you get to request 5 questions from me. Just read the instructions at the bottom of post and send me a comment requesting some questions. Please be patient, it may take me a day or so to post your questions in the comments.

1) Have you made the world a better place?

Alright, starting with the big questions!

I would sincerely like to think so. I'm trying very hard to live a compassionate and ethical life, and by doing so to play my part in trying not to cause suffering for others, and to also try and reduce the causes of suffering. I don't just mean suffering at the gross level, hardship etc, but subtler forms of mental suffering as well. Anger, jealousy etc. In Buddhist terms you harm yourself when anger, hatred, jealousy, and other negative emotions, arise.

One of the things that initially drew me to Buddhism, and is at the core of Buddhist teachings, is the focus on compassion teamed with wisdom. Caring about others, and having the wisdom to do it in a skillful way. At risk of getting all theological, the type of Buddhist school I belong to is called Mahayana, and is primarily concerned with working towards liberation from suffering for all sentient beings. The first step of this is tidying up your own mind; so that your habits of judging, anger, desire etc are reduced. It's an ongoing process, but understanding how everyone responds to kindness, warmth and affection helps reinforce that we are all more alike than we are different.

2) Who is your favorite Firefly character?

There's actually a few, but I think if I had to name one it would be Wash, the pilot. I find him cute as a button, and I love his mix of vulnerability and wiseass.

I have a soft spot for Jayne too, not least of which because I think Adam Baldwin is hot, but his character also has some great quirks. Just so you don't think it's all about the guys, I also love Kaylee. For me she is the 'heart' of the show in many ways.

3) Where is your least favorite place to be kissed?

Um, I actually had to think real hard about this because there are few places that I can think of that I haven't enjoyed being kissed... I guess, maybe the back of the neck if I'm feeling ticklish. Maybe I should ask for volunteers to test the theory?

4) If you could replace a single body part with a new one of your choosing, what part would it be?

Jeez, just one? OK. This will make me seem like I have 'short man syndrome', but I'd replace my legs with a slightly longer model. I'm only 5'4" and don't mind being this height, but sometimes it's just inconvenient. Supermarket shelves for instance... oh, and that time I had a 6'5" boyfriend, all number of inconveniences there.

5) What is your favorite song?

Ack, this is hard. It changes quite often.

I think 'True Colours' by Cindi Lauper would have to be it, if I must name just one. I think it's a beautifully written song, and I love the sentiments of it. I've heard other singers cover it and it doesn't quite have the same effect, it has to be Cindi's vulnerable, slightly plaintive singing for me. (I love 'Time After Time' from the same album also.)

Does that make me sound sappy? So be it!

Now your turn!


1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying “Interview me.” (”Blow me” or “Eat me” are not acceptable substitutes.)

2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person’s will be different. I’ll post the questions in the comments section of this post.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Thank You Baby Jeebus!

...for the new crop of students attending the intensive English language school in my work building. Two special shout-outs to you for the Brazilian guy with the 5 o'clock shadow and the really, really tan Finnish guy with legs for days.

If you are talking to your Dad, please pass on the message - Nice work.

Thanks Global Warming!

We've been having a little mini-Spring in the middle of Winter here in Sydney, and well, I'm loving it. Cool to cold mornings and evenings, and mild sunny days with blue skies. I'm trying not to think too hard about what this dry weather means for my garden, or water restrictions in general. My attitude is very much 'glass half full', when the reality is that the water level in the glass (to extend the metaphor) is actually dropping alarmingly.

Winter is never that cold in Sydney by international standards, but even still it's nice to be able to go to work in a light cotton jacket and not feel cold. Last night I walked home from work, about an hour trip, and ended up stripping off my jacket as it was quite mild and I was working up a sweat. My behaviour changes quite dramatically with the weather too. Maybe I'm a candidate for SAD (Seasonally Affective Disorder)? This past week I've felt more like eating healthy foods instead of winter 'stodge', eating more fruit especially, feeling brighter, and generally being more active and wanting to exercise more.

I'm ready for Spring, bring it on!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Ask Yourself These Questions:

Do well scrubbed boys in short-sleeved white shirts make you hot?

Are you convinced that a healthy dose of sexual repression will make a budding homosexualist beyond dynamite in the sack?

Tired of asking "Please Master, may I have one more?" and feel like asking "Please Elder, may I have another?"

Seen Latter Days and developed dirty, dirty little fantasies?

Well maybe you should Date Lance.

[Link via the fully recovered Mormon Dooce.]

Sort Of A 'Pimp My Dog' Style Conversion

This absolutely cracked me up:

How to turn a Doberman into a Poodle.

Although on one level I was also thinking "Poor puppy!" Hey, doesn't he just look like he's loving it.


Since Saturday my dear sweet friend Robbie has been in town for 5 days of R 'n R, luxury hotel pampering and catching up with friends, and leaves today to go home to Melbourne. Robbie and I have been friends for something like 21 or 22 years now, and have seen each both go through major life changes, waistline changes and boyfriend changes. Yeah gods I love this man (but not in a dirty monkey love sort of way). We could not see each other for a year or so and would literally just pick up from the last sentence we spoke to each other. There are few people I can laugh with as much as I can with Robbie.

Last night we had a couple of drinks and then headed off, for one of the best Thai meals I have ever had, to Thai Pothong. Tamarind Tofu (with lashings of chilli and garnished with deep fried garlic slices) and then a vegetable Green Curry. I would marry that Green Curry if I could, it was that good.

Robbie is off travelling again (hey, thank you Trust Fund!) and over dinner we hatched some possible travel plans for late 2006. I want to go to Kopan (in Nepal) to do a 30 day course of Buddhist teachings in November 2006, and Robbie wants to see parts of Tibet and Nepal. I threw in a side trip to Sikkim in northern India, if we can swing it. Of course we all know what this means, saving. Urgh.

I'm busting out of my skin with thought of the possibilities.

Take Me Where I Cannot Stand

Woot! The Aussie 'Today Show' played a teaser trailer of Serenity, the new Firefly movie. OhmyGod, OhmyGod, OhmyGod, OhmyGod, OhmyGod, OhmyGod...

Please, could someone get me a cold compress?

The good news is that it looks like it will be getting a theatrical release here in Oz, and even better news that it sounds like the release date is roughly the same as the States. Late September (or late Birthday Month as we like to call it 'round these parts). All the original cast are on board, everyone looks mighty fine and some ass gets kicked. It looks like River and Simon feature heavy in the storyline, and Summer Glau gets to add a couple of extra dimensions to her character.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A Very Special Bond

If you have read this blog for a while now, you might remember me mentioning the two year course in Buddhist studies that I have been doing. Last week Term 3 for 2005 started up, roughly marking the half way mark of the course. I was sitting in the class last night, as we listened to teachings, asked questions and laughed along with each other, and it struck me just how close I have come to feel towards this group of people.

As the course is done in a modular format, some of the students have come and gone depending on the module, but the majority of the students in my current class have been doing the course for a while now. Some of the students I have gotten to know really well, and some I don't know so well at all, but even if we aren't 'friends' as such I feel a bond with all of them. A sense of community. We are all asking the big questions of ourselves, opening ourselves up to new ideas and ways of seeing, and frequently discussing our 'inner lives' in class.

When people ask me how I am, or how things are going, I get a sense of real interest not just a polite piece of chit-chat. Likewise I have found myself feeling a genuine concern for some of my fellow students, and feeling honest joy when they have had whatever success has come their way.

In Buddhism we talk about 'The Three Jewels' of Buddhism; The Buddha (specifically our own inner buddha nature, or potential for elightenment), The Dharma (the teachings) and The Sangha (the community of 'spriritual friends'; monks, nuns, teachers & fellow students). All are of equal importance.

I guess what I have discovered on an emotional level, is just how true this is and how much having a community of 'spiritual friends' would become important to me.

Monday, July 25, 2005

100 Healthy Dishes

This winter I've been quite lazy in the kitchen; eating way too much pasta and then a month or so ago when I got sick with bronchitis, and then work got crazy, even relying a bit on the dreaded delivery pizza. My bad.

So it's with a certain amount of delight that I found these recipes. When I get home after a hard day at work I'm really not up for making anything too overly complicated, and cooking something fabulous for one just seems... well, sad. I enjoy cooking, but during the week convenience is king.

Good news is that there seems to be a good percentage of vege-ma-tarian options in there too.

Please Make Me Turn Off The TV, Or I May Never Leave The House

Actually I left the house quite a bit over the weekend, and spent an inordinate amount of time going to bars and nightclubs, but never let the truth get in the way of a blog entry.

I watched some amazing tv over the weekend, especially last night on the ABC:
  • First up, my favourite (and yours, no?) Outback House. Last night's episode had it all; shearers!, storms!, shirtless Adam pumping the wool baling machine!, annoying sulky maids!...
  • Next up was the wonderful Sherlock Holmes and the Case Of The Silk Stocking. Great BBC drama with two fantastic leads, and I love, love, love Rupert Everett. All effete drug addicted detectives should look so good.
  • Last night's Compass was a fantastic, and thought provoking, documentary about the people who are volunteering their time and effort to try and unravel the humanitarian mess that is the Australian goverment's refugee policy.
  • In non-ABC related media news, I also stumbled across a DVD of one of my favourite films of all time, Frank Capra's 1937 film Lost Horizon. This nicely restored print has much of the footage which was cut from the film returned to it, after the original 132 minute version was deemed to be too long. The basis for this version was a surviving 132 minute sound track, which was used to guide the restoration. 7 minutes of the footage has been lost forever, but those sequences have been replaced with photo montages of the scenes that don't detract too much from the film, and the soundtrack gives a good indication of the action. Fabulous.

Go Give Him Some Loving

When I started this blog my inspiration came in part from two very nice and popular bloggers, Deb over at Freakgirl and Max at Lots of Co. Aside from their own writing, one of the other really enjoyable things about both blogs is the interaction that happens on their comments. In fact it was coming up with a 'handle' to distinguish myself from another commentor called Andrew that made me create 'The Other Andrew' as a title.

One of my fellow commentors, who quite often comments here too, is Michael E. Funny and sexy, daddy's gone and got himself a brand new blog. It's baby steps time, so why not go on over and check him out. After all, everyone needs a dose of performance anxiety at least once in their life.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


This week's Photo Friday topic is Attractive.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Marcello. Drag show dancer at The Imperial Hotel (which I wrote about here) and dead-set Hottie McHotterton. Once again I'm posting a poor quality pic, but with all that compact and muscled flesh on show, does it really matter?

Somehow he even manages to make a pink cowboy outfit look good. Marcello, The Imperial Hotel, 2003.

Deep down, I'm very shallow.

A Brimful Of Mystery Solved

Disclaimer: I fully understand that this post is quite possibly of interest to me, and only me, but what's it all about if it isn't about me? Right?

Before going out on Friday night I was playing a dance remix album, and sort of bopping around the house getting ready. You know, as you do. One song that I have always liked , and there is a remix on this CD, is 'Brimful of Asha' by Cornershop. Now I like this song, but I have never understood it. Brimful of what?... What's on the 45?... I have never been home to Mr Comprehension on this one.

Anyhoo, I was sort of half listening to the lyrics when I heard:
I'm dancin' behind movie scenes
Behind those movie screens
Asha Bhosle
She's the one that keeps the dream alive
From the morning past the evening to the end of the life

A classic 'Ah ha!' moment. Not only is the song about something dear to my heart (Bollywood movies) but the whole focus of the song is a singer I admire greatly, Asha Bhosle. She's about 72 years old now and still going strong. If you have ever seen a Bollywood film, and you saw an actress 'singing', chances are you have heard Asha Bhosle. She gives depth and breadth to the term prolific.

I read somewhere that she is the single highest selling recording artist on the planet, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is true.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Mmmmm, Turkish Delight...

I saw a 10 minute teaser on the Today Show this morning, and it has made me even more excited to see the new The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe movie. Once again the wizards of Weta Workshop in New Zealand, who did the bulk of the creatures and physical props for the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, have worked their magic. Aslan and all the other creatures of Narnia look amazing.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Cautionary Tale

Somehow I suspect that if I ever:
  • Shaved off the goatee,
  • Decided wearing dresses might be a lifestyle choice worth pursuing, and
  • Started buying wigs at KMart,

I might end up looking like this.

Sleepless In Sydney

One of the more enjoyable aspects of being me, is a somewhat... shall we call it 'complicated'?... relationship with sleep. I'm not a classic insomniac. I rarely have a problem getting to sleep, the problem I have is that I'm a very, very light sleeper and rarely get through a night without waking.

It has always been a pain in the ass, and something which has added strain to my relationships. The slightest discomfort makes me wake up, and I'm so sensitive to noise that I frequently have to sleep with earplugs. In the past I've even had to have a 'back-up' spare bedroom to go to if my partner was a snorer, or anything other than quiet and still.

Every Summer I struggle to stay asleep due to the heat, but it's Winter here at the moment and that's normally a good sleeping season for me. Apparently things have changed. I've tried making sure I'm comfortable; tried being toasty warm in bed, tried not being too warm, window open, window closed etc, but at the moment things are the worst they have been for a while.

About two years ago I was in a car accident, breaking my collarbone and cracking my sternum. After the accident I slept no more than a couple of hours a night for about three months, the discomfort was so bad. Even after my shoulder stopped being so painfull, I couldn't break myself of the poor sleeping pattern cycle I was in. It got better, but I have never really returned to getting a regular night's uninterrupted sleep.

At the moment I'm sleep-walking through my day, and really slumping energywise in the afternoons. I only have one or maybe two cups of coffee in a day, and never after about mid-morning, and don't drink soft drinks, so I doubt caffeine is an issue. I'm taking a long hard look at my diet, and seeing if there is something there which I can do to improve the situation (and I'm sure there is).

I'm convinced this is a physical thing; maybe I'm snoring and waking myself, or something of that nature. I'm pretty happy and content in my life these days, and have certainly never been one to lie in bed and worry. So next step, professional help. I don't want to take sleeping pills, and herbal teas have had limited affect, so I'm leaning towards maybe trying a naturopath and/or dietician for advice.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

R.I.P. Jimmy D

Goodbye James Doohan. Actor, Canadian, war survivor, starship engineer - dead at age 85. So long Scotty, thanks for your contribution to one of the great iconic cultural emblems of the twentieth century, and to so many years of entertainment for so many people.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Of Mysore Sandalwood And Warm Samarkand Nights... And Cute German Rowers

I've mentioned previously on this blog that I run the bookshop at the Buddhist centre I attend. Last night I had to make a mad dash from the office to get to the centre in time for a 6pm meeting I had arranged with our major incense supplier, who was in town from Melbourne. As it turned out he was running late, and after a few phone calls to and fro, he finally got to the centre at 7.30. Fortunatelty I had other stuff I could do and managed to keep my good humour about me.

When there was a knock on the door I opened it to find a very, very handsome Indian man at the door, with samples case in tow. As it turns out, there are worse ways to spend an evening than being sprawled on the floor, surrounded by incense samples, while a handsome man spins tales of Mysore sandalwood, exotic spices and rare aromatics. Even volunteer jobs have their perks.

I was still a little wired from a busy day at work and some serious 'incense supplier oggling' when I got home, so I decided to watch a film I had taped on tv the previous night. The film was Sommersturm [site is in German]. This sweet film is about a pair of young rowers who are best friends, one of whom is straight and the other who is questioning his sexuality, and the wedge that is driven between their friendship. Matters come to a head when they go on a team camp and come up against other rowing teams, one of whom is a team of gay guys. The young cast are generally quite good, although some of the supporting cast are a little patchy in terms of acting ability, but the leads all turn in solid performances. There is a quite frank, but tastefull and rather sweet seduction scene, which is handled well by the young actors. All in all, worth a look.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Contractually Obligated Outback House Post

Sunday night in my world is Outback House night, but I have to say that last night's episode was OK, but by comparison a bit on the 'meh' side for me. Sheep washing, heatwave, hot and grumpy kids, another Governess arrived, someone else 'voted themselves off the island'... it just seemed a bit flat. I guess it was partly because the main focus of the episode was showing the reality of the heat, the drudgery, the frustration and (in at least one case) the desire to quit. There just wasn't much light amongst the dark.

Thankfully hunky Adam got shirtless much of the time, so you know, it wasn't all bad. Dan got nowhere near enough 'face time' though, and so we got precious few 'bon mots' this episode. We did get to see his range though, from passifying the grumpy hordes (three hot and tired children) with a reading from Jane Austen, to leaping into action (and muddy water) to save a drowning sheep. Action Dan!

I have watched all the other 'House' series and this one has definately had the largest turnover of participants, and looks like it was probably the most physically gruelling on them. The first Cook (fired, then back, then gone again), The Overseer (fired, or at least fell on his sword), the first Governess (retired ill) and now one of the Maids (quit), all gone.

Where's Jeff Probst with the torch snuffer?

The Good, The Bad, And The Downright Insane

I spent my entire lunch break today laughing my head off at some of the bizarro titles on Odd Books. Amazing works such as:

One of the books Pyramid Power*, actually seems oddly familiar. I might have read this (or tried to) as a young teenager. I certainly remember the craze for 'pyramid power' theories in the 70's, around the same time as other paranormal/alien theorists such Erich von Daniken and Uri Geller. I even built a couple of cardboard pyramids, not surprisingly with limited success.

* Scroll down to the bottom of the Pyramid Power page for a picture of the author with his 'pyramid tent'. Is it just me or does he have a touch of the '70's Colt Studio almost-hot-if-you-can-get-past-the-flares-and-bad-hair' sort of look? I know, I'm insane.

A Pig, A Chicken & A Bag Of Rice

I caught the most fantastic documentary on Compass, on the ABC last night.

(For those unfamiliar with Compass, it's a weekly program on the ABC network in Australia that focusses on a broad range or religious/ethical issues. The format each week is that of a different one hour documentary, sometimes commissioned especially for Compass.)

Last night's documentary was called A Pig, A Chicken & A Bag of Rice and told the story of Phil Bathols and Ongmu Denzopa. He is an Australian and she is from Sikkim, a tiny state in the Himalayan region of northern India. Having met in Australia and fallen in love, the documentary followed their traditional Buddhist marriage ceremony held at the home of Ongmu's parents in the capital of Gangtok. The title of the documentary comes from some of the ritual offerings made by the groom and his family to the family of the bride.

It was such a heartwarming story, especially in the way that both families approached each other from each side of a massive cultural divide. The warmth and openness shown towards each other was really beautiful to see. Around 15 of the groom's friends and family had made the big trek from Australia to the remote region of the Himalayas for the ceremony, and although the lengthy traditional Buddhist ceremony was something none of them had encountered before, singing Karaoke and dancing the conga line obviously transcended all cultural boundaries!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Almost Impossibly Hot

I saw Fantastic Four last night, and it was enjoyable. I thought the story a bit thin in quite a few patches and some of the CGI effects early on looked surprisingly hokey, but ladies and gentlemen once Chris Evans as The Human Torch walked on screen, it became a whole different ballgame...

Photographic proof, that The Human Torch is indeed hot.

Such a flamer! (I wish)

What's not to love?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Of Domestic Bliss, And Mayhem

Saturday morning, sun shining, and I am a Domestic Demon. Tell that Martha Stewart to come see me 'cause I own housework and she owes me some royalties! Mmmmmhhhm, yes she does!

So today I'm all about:
  • Trying to reduce the normal toxic cloud of 'hospital grade' this and 'extra strength' that which normally follows me around when cleaning, by trying a couple of green options. Vinegar and hot water did a good job on the mirror and vanity (yay!) but kinda sucked a bit on the glass shower screen (boo!)
  • Loving my new Vanilla Fridge Wipe (yay!), just alcohol and vanilla (food safe but not recommended as a martini base)
  • Resolving to never, repeat never try that new thing called 'multi-tasking' ever again. "Hey, why don't I just go and check on the laundry while that kitchen sink fills up. [time passes] What's that sound?, kind of like running wa.... SHIT!" Again. (BOO!)
  • At least now the kitchen floor is clean, and those cookbooks will dry out and kind of go back to their normal shape, right?

Friday, July 15, 2005


Bodhi just rang to let me know that this show is coming to town in September.

If you have read this blog for a while you'll understand how much I love Bollywood films. How excited am I? That answer would be, very.

Happy 13th Birthday

13 years ago today my friend Bodhi did something for himself, and his loved ones, of unparalleled importance. He stopped drinking himself comatose, walked into an A.A. meeting and got sober.

I only met Bodhi earlier this year, through this blog in fact, so I never saw The Drinking and Drugging Years. The stories though are enough to make your hair curl. I have never had any sort of substance addiction (is 'reality' tv a substance?) so I don't pretend to have any sort of first-hand knowledge.

Having said that, I can see that Bodhi got through with strength of will, good support and sheer determination. So today is Bodhi's 13th birthday, 13 years since he turned his life around and I guess that counts as the most important sort of re-birth. Happy birthday my friend.

[If you want any more info on recovery, especially from a Buddhist perspective, check out Bodhi's homepage which is a great source of links, or his other site Buddhist Recovery.]

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Meet 'Shrieky'

I've been pretty quiet about my recent PC woes (Disappointed? I thought so.), but I've been blogging from work these past weeks so it really hasn't been that much of an issue. Anyhoo, to know me is to know that at the mention of 'computer hardware' my eyes glaze over. I've had a number of bordeline techie jobs in my life, but thankfully I was always 'the software guy'. Want anything more from me than pressing the ON button and I'll look at you, squint my eyes a bit, suck air over my teeth, shake my head just a little and murmer "Mmmmm, nup. Hardware."

But I digress. I bought a new modem, and I connected up all the 'leads' to the 'computer' my very own self and everything, and so now I'm once again on The Internets at home and it's even a tad faster than before.

However, if you go out and buy a D-Link V.92 Analog External Modem* well then Jebus H Cripes, prepare your eardrums. This Motherfunking icehole of a thing is LOUD. Even my modem is a screamer...

* Cutting-edge technology.

Dan, Dan, The Outback Man.

Ok, so you all know about my obsession with the tv show Outback House, right? You remember, I first wrote about it here and then I touched upon the unique nutsack skills of Dan recently.

Look I can hear your eyes rolling from over here. Stop it.

OK still with me? Well I finally replaced my home modem and got around to downloading my 331 new email message (anyone need V1ag-ra/Cial1s/A 'Genuine' Replica Rolex... 'cause call me, I know some sources), and hidden in amongst there was a notification that someone had posted a comment on my first Outback House post. Oh sorry, did I say 'someone'? [cough] What I meant to say, was it was the man himself! Gay Dan!

Dan's site is a little light on content (yet) but go check the man out, and if you're in Australia be sure to catch the show. It has everything; sheep!, pathos!, shirtless guys!, a house-boy with 'pretty eyes'!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

New Music

I enjoy music, but generally speaking I don't buy a huge amount of it and I can go days (or maybe even weeks) without turning on the CD player. When I find a track, a CD, or an artist that I fall in love with though, I fall hard.

I walked into a music store on the weekend and was cruising the CD sale tables, looking at the New Releases, checking out the DVDs they had, all the usual drill... when a new track started on the in-house music system. It was like an epiphany, I literally felt my head snap around and my first thought was "Who, and what, is that?!"

The answer: the track was 'Ruby Blue' and the artist, Roisin Murphy. Former 'voice of Moloko' and now soloist. I can't quite describe the unique soundscapes on this CD; sort of lounge-y and jazzy, with bits of World Music influences and the occasional bit of Goldfrapp-esque bleep-bloop electronica mixed in. Extremely cool and worth a listen.


Sorry about the lack of posts of late. I tend to do much of my posting at work, and just recently I have been so busy with end of financial year 'issues', and what I call 'work', that it has seriously impacted on blogging time. So unfair.

So, here's a recap of what's been happening since late last week.
  • Friday night Bodhi and I went out for a 'boys night out' in my 'hood, which started off at The Newtown Hotel and ended up at The Imperial Hotel (where the opening interior bar scenes, and some early exterior shots, in the film Priscilla: Queen of the Desert were filmed). We had a great time, cut up the dance floor some, drooled over Marcello, the particularly beautious dancing boy from the drag show, and enjoyed the new 'smoke free' zones at The Imperial. Like the Energiser Bunny, Bodhi could have gone all night, but I called it quits at 3am. Good times!
  • Saturday I hung out at the Buddhist centre I attend and spent about 6 hours processing some of the back-log of data entry that I let build up. A couple of my friends from the centre showed up and we packed books and other merchandise ready for our stall at the Tibetan Cultural Festival on Sunday. Afterwards we went and had a coffee at a nearby cafe and soaked up a bit of (short-lived as it turned out) winter sun. Afterwards I was kind of bushed and short on sleep from Friday night's dancefest, so I had a quiet night in and then turned in early.
  • Early Sunday morning I headed back to the centre to help load up the merchandise, and then take it over to the Petersham Town Hall for the Tibetan Cultural Festival to celebrate His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 70th birthday. It was a cold and drizzly morning, so it was especially hard to get out of bed. The Festival started a bit quietly, given the weather, but by lunchtime it had filled up with quite a diverse crowd of locals, Buddhist monks and members of the Tibetan community. Bodhi joined me to check out the Festival, and hang out, and of course he did some 'retail therapy'. We left the Festival at lunchtime and headed into the
    Art Gallery of New South Wales where we cruised the sculpture & Asian art sections in particular, played my favourite game of 'spotto, there's a cute one!' and sat at the cafe overlooking the water (where cakes and a spectacular cheese platter were had). Sunday night was the usual 'couch potato's night-in' and catching the latest episode of Outback House. Amusing moment; when Gay Dan, erstwhile failed shepherd and now gardener and house-boy on the homestead, commented after castrating a lamb with his teeth* "The worst thing is, I won't ever be trusted with a set of testicles in my mouth ever again." Word.

So, a fun weekend of everything from High Art to High Camp, from the Spiritual to the Profane. That's my life, right there.

* Not a practice I condone, or recommend.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I Think I Have Intimacy 'Issues'

I finally bit the bullet today and bought some new shoes*. They were particularly nice ones, in a wiiiiiide fitting, on sale. (I know, score!) All was going quite well, I had my aversion to shoe shopping pretty much under control, no red mist was descending, but then the shop assistant weirded me out a bit.

Is it just me, or is it too bizzarely intimate for a shop assistant to address you as my love?

This taps into one thing I have never been very keen on, and seem to be increasingly bothered by as I get older, fake intimacy. Or probably more accurately, a pretense of intimacy by people I don't know, and which oversteps the line between friendliness and intimacy. I'm not sure I'm explaining this correctly, but I think you can be friendly without taking on a pretense that there is any sort of closeness or relationship other than a mercantile one.

Hands up all those who think I think too much?

* My horror of buying shoes is on account of my horrendous wide, flat 'hobbit feet', which I touched upon in my 100 Things post and extolled the ugliness of here.

Keeping A Clear Path To The Bathroom

Ack, I managed to pick up some sort of stomach bug a couple of days ago and the past 48 hours have been... interesting. Let's just say that anything I ate or drank decided 'No, this is not the place for me at all' and took the evacuation order seriously.

Now I'm on the mend, but I'm still getting waves of nausea in almost exactly the same fashion as I did when I saw Dr Cruise on Oprah. Weird

Monday, July 04, 2005

Ugly Websights

I love the brutal glamour of German expressionist woodcuts, but this web page makes them look almost pretty, pretty by comparison. My first impression was that it looked like something from the early Nineties, when the Horizontal Rule (in 3D no less!) reigned supreme. The kicker, it's only 3 years old. What, no scrolling text?

Ugly limos = ugly website. Lots'a fonts! Multi-coloured text! Crappy line breaks! Poor grammar! Unusual use of ALL CAPS for emphasis! Crappy 'cute' spelling like "Please take a our nu 2006 Chrysler 300 8/pass".

LQQK and weep, people.

The Week That Was

Wow, last week was quite some week.

All I can say is, the 30 June end of financial year deadline is an absolute bitch. I was clocking up anything up to 13 hours a day at work for much of last week. Remember how on Sunday night you would frantically try and get the school assignment that was due on Monday finished? That was our entire office last week.

From Wednesday through to Saturday my sister was in Sydney for a work related trip. I hadn't seen her for about 18 months, because I didn't go over to her home town of Ballarat for Christmas last year. It was nice to hang out for the brief amount of time we could, given both of our hectic schedules. We had a lovely dinner at Chinta Ria, a funky Asian restaurant down by the water. We did get to hang out for most of Saturday though and I got to play tour guide. We did some of the required tourist things such as riding the Monorail, which was lots of fun. She seems to be in a pretty good space at the moment, enjoying her job and her kids, with the only downside being a few marital 'wobbles' she's going through.

Somehow yesterday I managed to pack in about 5 hours of working on the database at the Buddhist centre I attend, and a few hours of helping some friends try and sort out their end of year bookkeeping woes.

So Monday morning has rolled around and I haven't a) cleaned my house b) done any laundry for the week ahead or c) had any 'downtime' to recharge the batteries. Despite that I had a productive week and I really enjoyed the time I spent with my sister, and the weekend was frantically busy but still enjoyable. This week will still be busy but should be a little less frantic without the 30 June deadline, and I take up my new position (and new salary, woot!), so it should be an interesting week ahead.

Have a great Monday everyone!

[Updated: Oops, I like sooo totally forgot to mention that I saw War Of The Worlds on Saturday night with Bodhi and Ashley. Cool film, loved it, and it rocked so badly that I almost forgot to throw up in my mouth a little when everyone's favourite Operating Thetan VII, Dr Cruise, walked on screen. He even underplayed it for the most part, although I thought his 'intense' routine at the end was about as over-played as his 'Oprah' performance. Still, well done Mr Spielberg.]