Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tales From Exotic Places

I've said it before, and know doubt I'll say it again, but I love blogs from exotic places. Travel blogs, even better.

It had been a while since I last checked out The Department, a wonderfull Sydney photo blog that I only think to check every now and then. (I've fixed that by adding her to my sidebar links.) Kate's recent posts include pictures from her travels in Cairo, and she linked to the blog of her friend and host Jenny Bowker, author of Postcards From Cairo. Jenny is a teacher, quilter and textile artist who makes stunningly beautiful modern quilts. From reading Jenny's blog I noticed that her son Sam was visiting her in Cairo, and in fact is blogging his 6 months of travels around the Eastern Mediterranean in Sam's Grand Tour. I've only just started to read Jenny and Sam's blogs, but already I'm enchanted.

Don't you just love how this Internets thing sometimes leads you in unexpected but wonderfull directions?

Burning At Both Ends

A few of my favourite guys have been blogging up a storm about literary matters of late. Max is digging visions of dystopias and Mikey is reading harrowing tales of addiction and recovery, and thinking that what Venice really needs is gay hookers and a drag queen.

This reminded me that I meant to drop a comment about a weird literary coincidence I just had. Having just finished Gregory Maguire's sequel to "Wicked" "Son Of A Witch", I picked up a book that I bought a while back but hadn't got around to reading, Jeff VanderMeer's "Veniss Underground". Now, this may not seem like much, but both book's have a character in them called 'Candle'. One of the important characters in "Son Of Witch" is a young female 'maunt' called Candle, and in Veniss Undergound one of the main characters has a short but important encounter with an incidental character, also called Candle.

I mean, it's not like its a common name, surely...

Amitabha Buddha and Bodhi

Amitabha Buddha and Bodhi
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

My friend Bodhi has a closer look at one of his favourite Buddhas, the beautiful Heian Era (11-12th century) Japanese Amitabha Buddha statue at the Art Gallery of NSW. It's made of carved nutmeg wood, with black lacquer and traces of red lacquer and gilding.

Sunday was a bit grey and rainy in Sydney, so it turned out to be the prefect day to go to the Art Gallery. Oh, except it seemed half of Sydney had the same idea. It was packed. The Pissarro exhibition was huge, and likewise packed full of people. Bodhi and I both love the Asian Galleries, so after Pissarro we went and hung out there for a while, visiting our favourites. Like the statue above.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

No Stoppin' Ross

There's No Stopping Ross
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Another little piece of Newtown eccentricity.

Use Your Head

In a similar vein to Stuff On My Cat, I bring you:

Here's a summary. This pooch is called Maddie, and I think I'm a little bit in love with her. You just know that she's got an awesomely sweet nature from looking at these photos, right? Plus, Australian Cattle Dogs are wicked smart and make great companions.

Image:415 also has a photoblog Taniworld: Image 415 that is rich with other Maddie goodness.

A Lone Herbivore Amidst The Carnage

I get a lot of flack for being camera shy, so in the spirit of exposing myself and baring my soul (or something) here's a pic taken by Coz of me being lone herbivore among the carnivores. That's me in the middle in the black shirt, the one with Grain Fed stamped on my forehead.

This pic forms part of the Coz's second installment of Turkey Day photos.

Monday, November 28, 2005

$90 Worth Of Good News

It was check-up time at the Doctor this morning. I heart my doctor very much, but he falls on the expensive side of the fence, hence the title of this post. (Oh ok, I get $59 of that back from Medicare, so it isn't all that bad. I should stop whinging, right?)

Anyhoo. I had been given three months to get my weight down by about 5Kgs, and to get my blood pressure and cholesterol levels down to regular human proportions. So, I failed on the weight score. I've been exercising a lot more, and feel great, but the bitch scales do vex me so. The very good news is that my blood pressure diastolic reading (which was 105, eek!) is down to a more reasonable 83. Still up of course, but much less scary than before. Progress is being made.

I have to have blood tests done tomorrow morning, because today I was a complete doofus and forgot to fast, which hopefully will show an improvement in my cholesterol level as well. In the New Year I might need to have a CT scan of the arteries to see if I'm heading down the same road as my father did (heart disease, angina, strokes, blah de blah) but if my blood pressure is any sort of indication then so far the news seems promising. At least, that's what I'm fixating on. :-)

More Turkey Day Goodness

Coz has posted a bunch of pics from Thanksgiving (aka Turkey Day) over at For Battle!

Yes, I cunningly managed to not be in any of these pics. :-)

(Actually I think you can just see my nose and the edge of my glasses peeping out behind Meaghan's head in the picture entitled 'The hordes descend'.)

When They Say Perry Is 'Gay Perry'...

...they mean Perry is Gay.

Yesterday Bodhi and I went to see the movie Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. I don't think I have laughed aloud so much in a film for ages.

Val Kilmer was wonderful as private detective 'Gay Perry', ascerbic and dry without being unlikeable. A scene where he tries to convince a thug who is holding him at gunpoint that said thug is a closet case that just needs to deal with his issues of attraction to men, was hysterical. I also found Robert Downey Jr's hapless character thoroughly likeable, and the interplay between him and Perry very enjoyable. The cast of main characters is fairly small, but all actors turn in excellent performances.

The film plays with the cliches of detective stories, and with the cliches of crime movies in particular, in ways that are funny and often unexpected. I love films that play around with the medium, and having Robert Downey Jr narrate the film and even comment on how the movie is going just added to the enjoyment for me. Clever writing, where the zingers come thick and fast, and good solid performances = a good movie experience.

I give this one a big thumbs up.

[There are a bunch of other opinions of the film over the Rotten Tomatoes review site.]

Updated: Drat, I knew I had read a good review of this film somewhere in the blogsphere. It was yaniboy's excellent review. Sorry for the oversight yaniboy, let's just put it down to having a 'senior's moment'.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving #3

Thanksgiving #3
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Isobel gets primal.

I'm not sure what beast this bone is from, my vote goes to pterodactyl.

Thanksgiving #2

Thanksgiving #2
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

One of the precious centrepieces created for Coz & Rob by Meg. Surprisingly, not actually a ball of dryer lint.

Camp, non?

Thanksgiving #1

Thanksgiving #1
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Sean sports the perfect Thanksgiving t-shirt.

[Click the pic for a larger version]

This pic is from Thanksgiving dinner at my friends Coz & Rob's house last night. It was a nice mild night, although it rained towards the end of the evening, and around 20 or so of us sat down to enjoy a delicious Turkey Day feast. Complete with food fight, natch.

I left earlier than normal this year. After a long day of being on meditation retreat I was pretty tired. Thanks to my arch nemesis City Rail there were no trains running to Coz & Rob's neighbourhood, so when a lift home was offered I jumped at the chance. I'd plonked down $30 for a cab ride, and didn't really feel like doing the same to get home. Call me cheap. Even though I left earlier than normal, I had a great night.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Am I On File?

Am I On File?
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Who knew that there even was such a place? Well apparently there is, right here in my gayer than gay neighbourhood.

Friday, November 25, 2005


Is my middle name today.

I haven't gotten a lot of work done, I haven't even found much on The Internets that's all that exciting (stupid 'no porn at work' policy), and even my choice of lunch wasn't all that appetizing. It hasn't been a bad day. I'm not grumpy or anything, in fact I'm feeling fine. I certainly look alright, I'm working the new chisel toed shoes, got my favourite Esprit shirt (white with little blue flowers - makes me feel Laura Ingalls pretty) and some beloved jeans on. Good Hair Day too.

I just don't seem to be able to actually finish anything today.

I did spend a while discovering The Rants & Raves of Terry Johnston aka Mr Otaku, so the day hasn't been a complete waste.

Ah well, the day is drawing to a close work wise anyway... and if I slink out fast enough maybe my boss won't realise that I haven't finished the work I was supposed to. Gah, this whole 'office' thing is positively feudal.

Anyhoo, moving on. My sister is in town from interstate today, on a work related trip, so as soon as work is over I'm meeting up with her for some drinks and dinner. Should be fun. Tomorrow I'm on a meditation retreat all day, and then in the late afternoon I'm mental shifting to the other end of the spectrum and celebrating a slightly belated Down Under version of Thanksgiving with these reprobates (plus a few dozen extras). No, Australians don't have Thanksgiving, but one of the hosts is a genuine Seppo* and invites twenty or so free-loading friends each year. Friends who for once are happy to shut up about US cultural imperialism.

Sunday I'm off to the Art Gallery of NSW with my friend Bodhi to see the Pissarro Exhibition. I quite like the Impressionists, and Pissarro was an early leader of the movement. Should be good.

Have a great weekend, and Happy Thanksgiving to all my Seppo friends.

* Seppo, Aussie rhyming slang for American. "Septic tank" = yank.

Clean Up Day

I fixed a couple of broken links on my sidebar, and added a few new blogs to the Queer Crew section. Oh, and I also added a little feature at the bottom which shows what other websites visitors are checking out at the moment.

So, you know, you might want to close that porn site down before you scooch on over here. (Actually, or not, could be interesting!)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Let's Face The Music...

...and dance.

I challenge you to just watch one of these videos. I think I'm addicted. Is there a 12 step for Daily Dancer? (Baddum dum, tish! Try the veal!)

Ho Ho, Hoe

Michael Guy of Temporary Trouble Spots has posted what is perhaps the best anti-Christmas rant ever. Complete with burning bush.

Check out the rest of Michael's blog while you are there, hi-larious!

Not So Much "Photo Friday" As "Visual Cliche Thursday"

A Visual Cliche But...
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Some say it's noise, I say it's pretty.

Misty Water Coloured Meme-ery

Time to rip off someone else's meme kids! Won't that be fun?! This time I'm copying the Lemming Whom We Love with his ABC's Of Me post. [He sourced the idea from Sheri.]

My version of The ABCs Of Me:
  • A is for Alcohol and Abstinence. (See how much fun this is already?) I gave up drinking around this time last year, partly for medical reasons but mostly because I took a vow against intoxicants in a Buddhist ceremony.
  • B is for Beliefs. Mine are Buddhist, and I like listening to other people's beliefs... unless they involve space aliens and volcanoes, then not so much.
  • C is for Childhood. Mine was more happy than not, even though I never really built all that close a relationship with my father (he was quite distant) and in my teenage years I had some brief moments of angst about being gay.
  • D is for Dick. I'm quite a fan really, and not just of my own.
  • E is for Expressions. I have a tendency to invent or copy certain expressions, and use them tirelessly until they outstay their welcome. Current favourite "It's bollocks, innit?" [Said with thick English accent].
  • F is for Friendships. They are important to me, and I like them to last.
  • G is for The Gay Thing. It's not all that I am, but it's a huge part of my psyche and not really possible for me to hide or down play, even if I wanted to.
  • H is for Humour. Thankfully I have a sense of one. It's so versatile, it can be defence, weapon, aphrodisiac, turn off... If you are funny we are halfway to being friends already.
  • I is for Intelligence, and also for Imagination. I'm not the biggest brainiac in the world by any stretch, but I can hold my own when it comes to conceptual and creative thinking. I find intelligence and imagination very sexy.
  • J is for Jerk. I have been one of these at various times in my life, mostly on account of feeling insecure in relationships when I was younger. I think we've all been down that road at some point.
  • K is for... is for... um, Klimt? One of my favourite artists. (Ok, you think of something that starts with 'K', smartypants.)
  • L is for Lethargy. I sometimes suffer from this due to a history of problematic sleep 'issues'.
  • M is for Michael, a name which crops up in my life all the time. 5 ex-boyfriends and 6 friends called Michael, I mean, surely that's statistically higher than average?
  • N is for Nelly. When I was younger I used to be quite judgemental of effeminate guys. As I've grown older I've come to the realisation that it actually takes courage to be a sissy, and that it's just another form of self expression. Plus, I don't feel the need to prop up my self esteem or to make myself feel superior by putting others down.
  • O is for Observation. I love to sit back and observe what's going on, especially to sit in a public place and 'people watch'. On the downside there have been days in my life when I have felt so detached that it's like I'm an observer, rather than a participant. Thankfully that doesn't really happen any more.
  • P is for Perfectionist. This is a streak I have that especially comes out when I am making something. This should probably be for Patience as well. I have been known to spend huge amounts of time working on some sort of art or craft piece, the more meticulous and painstaking the better, until I think it's 'perfect'.
  • Q is for Questioning. I would say that this is a fundamental part of my personality.
  • R is for Relationships. I had a number of them, and I'd say probably 4 significant ones in my life, but it's been somewhere around 2-3 years since my last one. It would be nice if another came along, but I'm not so concerned about needing to be in a relationship anymore. If it happens, it happens, and that would be nice.
  • S is for Sex. Personally, I enjoy it very much. I'm now on the search for quality, rather than quantity.
  • T is for Tibet. Somewhere I have always felt a strong interest in, perhaps ever since seeing 'Lost Horizon' as a child. I feel very strongly about the human rights abuses and cultural dismantling of Tibet at the hands of the Chinese invaders.
  • U is for Understanding. This sounds like I am blowing my own horn here, but I like to think that I am a very understanding person. Even if I disagree with you, I have enough intelligence and empathy to understand your point of view.
  • V is for Voracious. [see also 'S'] If I'm in the mood, look out.
  • W is for Wanker. At times I have been so keen to be thought funny/attractive/whatever that I have made myself appear to be a complete one of these.
  • X is for... is for... Xtreme. I really dislike 'Xtreme' used as an adjective for anything which is so obviously not 'extreme' (regardless of the spelling). Like when 'Xtreme Animals!' turns out to be a documentary about termite mounds.
  • Y is for You. It's you that makes it all worthwhile. It always has been.
  • Z is for Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual leader of the Buddhist tradition I follow (The FPMT: The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition).

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Post Without Theme, Or Structure

In the spirit of Deconstructivist Blogging, I give you some random snippets:
  • It crossed my mind that what my house needs is a spiral staircase. I love spiral staircases, they just seem so exotic. Of course this means I'd also have to add a second floor, to my rental.
  • I flicked through a Pro Audio catalogue last night and the only items that drew my attention were an $8 cowbell and the Astro Raggi II disco light.
  • New high thread-count sheets make the world of difference.
  • We have a new research assistant in the office; he's 21, pretty and built like a rugby player. Just looking at him makes me feel dirty.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Next Time I'm Having A Bad Day At Work

I'll remind myself, things could always get worse.

Suited character, World Square, Sydney. 22nd November, 2005.

I could be spending my days standing on a street corner, dressed as a blue chicken.

Disposition: Still Sunny (Mostly)

Work is kicking my ass and being a thorough bitch today, so apologies on the paucity of posting.

We gave our auditors a mountain of work to go through about three months ago, and now that the deadline is this Friday they have obviously just started to look at it. Consequently I'm getting hourly 'query' emails, which are being followed up with hourly 'have you looked at it, we need it ASAP' emails. I'd like to send back hourly 'you know what? fuck you' emails, but as I am currently of a sunnier disposition, and filled with Buddhist compassion, loving kindness etc I have refrained.

So, think of the fine and dandy, bright and sunny, disposition as a little tarnished today. Just a little. Assholes.


Sometime this week, in the next couple of days probably, I'm going to pass the 10,000 hits mark. Holy crap!

If you happen to visit and get the exact 10,000 hits on the counter on my left hand sidebar, why not sent me an email or leave me a comment and let me know who you are, m'kay? Share.

Thanks everyone for dropping by! Sit a spell, have a canape won't you? Something to drink?

Monday, November 21, 2005


A little while back I posted about Jonathan Adler's new book "My Prescription For Anti-Depressive Living". One of my favourite design sites Apartment Therapy (see sidebar link under 'Design-O-Rama') has posted audio of an interview with Jonathan Adler.

You know what makes the Apartment Therapy article intro more funner? Replace the word button with corn. Hi-larious.


I don't know if it is coming through in my posting here, but I'm feeling really good at the moment. Healthy. Happy. Content. Optimistic.

Sure, I have the odd bad day here and there, but they're only that, odd. I was thinking about this as I walked into work today. The past month or so I've really noticed a change. I'm never a very down person, but my outlook has become so much sunnier of late. I'm sleeping better. I have more energy. I'm doing more exercise. Libido is through the roof. Enthusiasm is up.

I'm not sure what the cause is. Sure, impending Summer helps. All the vitamins and herbs I'm taking are probably helping too. I wonder some days if maybe I had a bit of a period of depression, which has now lifted. If that's what it was, it was pretty mild. Small 'd' rather than big 'D' maybe. That may not be it, but given my problems with sleep, lack of motivation and lack of energy some months back, it's a possibility.

I had a great weekend. Got myself a haircut, and overcoming my trepidation of looking like 'mutton done up as lamb', decided to get a cut that was a little more stylish and edgy. End result is still short and neat, but flirts with concepts of 'mohawk' and 'mullet' ever so slightly. I went to the bars with some friends, and got a little 'action' (which was thankfully chemical free). Had some chilling out time at home. Bought crisp new high thread count sheets, that are so good they make my toes curl. I went to a wake for a very sweet old dog, that was filled with laughs, the sharing of hot chips and some tidbits of very good news (which I'd love to share, but it's not my good news to tell).


[Updated: How could I forget to mention the tv special of Kylie's "Showgirl" concert last night? Filmed live in London, it was a boppy, feel good, homo-erotic walk down memory lane of Kylie through the years. Oh, and bless her but nobody casts hotter male dancers, and makes the most of their 'assets' than our dear sweet Kylie. I know this makes me a cliche, but so be it!]

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I pass this potted Frangipani on the front porch of a terrace house in Chippendale almost every morning on my walk to work. One of my favourite flowers.

Not a bad way to start the day!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Who's The Boss?

Metal Boss
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

This metal boss is one of a series on a really high retaining wall in Newtown. I think that they probably connect to tie rods, designed to help stabilise the wall. I like the fact that thought and design that has been put into something so utilitarian. I also like the way the metal has aged and rusted over the decades.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Word Association: If You Say "Crystal", I Think "Carrington"

Warning: Adult content ahead!

So, last night I went out with a bunch of gay guys for dinner, which included my old friend Brendan, who I just reconnected with recently, and a bunch of guys I hadn't met before. (Brendan started up this thing where a bunch of his friends get together ever Thursday for a couple of drinks and a cheap and cheerfull dinner, and they have made it a sort of informal 'club'.)

On the way home afterwards I was getting seriously cruised on the street by a really nice looking dude. Tall, pectastic. A short period of 'negotiating' ensued that involved establishing that a) his place was out of the question, and b) me deciding that as nice as he looked, my place was out of the question because there was an intangible 'something' about this guy that was slightly off-putting.

Anyhoo, long story short. We decided to pop into an adult bookstore where they have a porno lounge that is clean, and is kindly supplied with cubicles for the having of the sex. (Don't judge me yet, it gets even better!) As I said, this guy had a slightly weird vibe. He started asking me a lot of questions, and seemed sort of amped up. Questions like "Where do you live?", "How old are you?", "Do you only like guys?" etc. While this was happening, and there was some shucking of clothes going on, I had noticed that he was clutching a cigarette lighter.

So, he whips out a tiny baggie of powder, scoops a bit on the end of a car key and pulls out a small glass pipe. He dumps the powder in the pipe, and starts to heat the bowl from underneath. The whole while I'm thinking "You've got to be kidding." It's 11pm on a week night and this guy is about to get high on whatever that shit is.

So I asked him, and as I suspected the answer was "Crystal Meth". I don't even drink, or do any sort of drugs, so I had no problem resisting the urge to participate. Fast forward 5 minutes and he is on some sort of buzz, a sexual high which is apparently one of the affects of Crystal. I'm thinking a)"How did you get yourself into this? and b) How do you get yourself out of it?" Closely followed by the thoughts c)"Well, how, um, metropolitan!, and then d) "I wonder if I have the courage to blog this?"

Fast forward another 5 minutes and I'm staring at him while he's riding his buzz, remarking to myself just how nice his pecs are, and how disappointing the poor flaccid willy he's shaking at me is. So, I patted him on the shoulder, reclaimed my clothes and left. I don't think he was all that surprised.

Um, Just 1 Boo! For Today Then...

Uggghnn, gack! Bleeeech!

I just had my first dose of the herbal mixture my naturopath prescibed to help my ongoing sinus/nose/throat 'issues'.

Judging by taste alone, I'd say two of the prime ingredients are arse & bitumen.

5 Yays! (And No Boos!) For A Sunny Friday Morning

  1. Bright red geraniums!
  2. A handsome man wearing just running shorts, with 2 pierced nipples and an artifical leg, mending his bicycle.
  3. Fat Dachsunds! (3 sightings.)
  4. A very brown woman in a very orange sari.
  5. Endlessly, tunelessly, singing the Moloko song Sing It Back

Thursday, November 17, 2005


I'm up to the eyeballs in work today, and I just found out that my boss and another work mate have conspired to delegate to me the writing of a reference for a staff member who has recently just left (the 20 year old, very handsome, half-Italian uni student who worked for us as a casual - I can't tell you how much he's missed). My boss says it because she's too lazy I'm a 'better writer' than she is. Fine.

Of course I've got no idea what to write, other than "Anthony is smoking hot, and should seriously consider modelling, although he is disappointingly straight". Anthony needs to come and get it later this afternoon, so it has to be done now, now.

Did I mention I also have a heap of other work to do? :-(

Dozzie Wog

When I got home last night I read my home email and found out that Lou's (aka World Peace and a Speadboat) sweet old doggie Diosma had died in her sleep, at the ripe old age of 18. Doz was already an elderly matron by the time I made friends with her, already quite deaf and blind, and with breath that can best be described as 'challenging', but any social event at Speedy's house was always further brightened by some pats with Doz (not to mention trying not to let her other dog Hebe get her tongue in your mouth...). She was a sweet old doggie indeed.

Speedy has posted some lovely pics and drawings of Doz over at the group blog For Battle!, which capture her charm well. RIP Dozzie wog!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Colour Purple

Purple Flowers
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I like purple. Purple is good. Purple flowers are pretty.

The End.

5 Things That Made Me Smile On The Way To Work This Morning

  1. Passing my favourite bear.
  2. Watching a young daddy and his son pat a small, friendly dog outside a cafe. I'm not sure who was more delighted, the boy or the dog. There was much squealing and tail wagging.
  3. As I was walking through Chippendale I saw two quite handsome, very 'alternative' and slightly punky looking guys walk out of a terrace house. What I didn't expect was the heartfelt hug and long lingering kiss they shared as I walked past them on the footpath. I turned back to look, and the shorter of the two guys was resting his head on the other's shoulder. Ah, parting is indeed such sweet sorrow.
  4. Flowers everywhere.
  5. Walking behind a short, stocky guy who had amazing calves. I considered following him for a while, but then thought better of it. That's restraint people, take note, it's an infrequent visitor at Chez OA.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Little Bear Lost

Little Bear Lost
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

OK, because few things can cheer me up like bear pics (read into that what you will), here's a picture of a little guy I pass each time I walk to work. I'm guessing he was found on the street and someone put him on the fence so that his owner would find him, but he looks to have been there for a while.

Maybe he's a little sad, but I like to think that he's enjoying the view.

Strange Day

I woke up this morning with a really stiff and sore neck and upper back, and a pounding headache, which is really just a continuation of a headache I had yesterday. Then I dribbled toothpaste on my freshly ironed shirt. My train was delayed. I popped over and read Mark's rant against Buddhism, which didn't offend me or upset me, but which I did find quite shocking in how his ideas differ from my direct personal experience.

So, my point (I do have one) is that it isn't even 11am yet and I feel like I've had a bad day's worth of experience already. Urgh. Unless things take a turn for the better, I'll probably not post anything for the rest of the day. Maybe a pretty picture to balance out this post?...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Festival Flags #2

Festival Flags #2
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

The weather turned quite hot in the late afternoon, and Bodhi and I retreated to the cooler (but also packed) Newtown Hotel. I ran into a couple of guys I knew. A guy from my course at the Buddhist centre, and an old friend of mine who I've known for something like 25+ years, but who I had sort of drifted away from in the past few years.

We reconnected just like we'd seen each other yesterday, and interestingly he has recently started to read about Buddhism and was interested to the point where he recently had the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum tattooed on his arm. He's been through a rough patch in the past couple of years, which I didn't know about, and we had a good long chat and lots of laughs. I'm meeting him and a bunch of his friends for dinner on Thursday night. Even though I wasn't drinking, and the guys I was with were getting progressively sloshed, it was nice to hang out and great to see my old friend Brendan in particular. I'm looking forward to seeing him again on Thursday night, and to getting out and socialising with a group of gay guys that I haven't met before.

Festival Flags #1

Festival Flags #1
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Yesterday was the annual Newtown Festival, which this year was badged as 'Lovefest'. Don't ask me, I don't know why.

It was jam packed with people this year, and I'm not sure how much love was in the air, but it was a pretty congenial crowd. By late afternoon the dance beats were pumping, lots of people had lots to drink, there were dogs and children under foot, and the market stalls and information stands were in full swing.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Little Queen St

Little Queen St
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I would move here in a flash, if I could. It's almost like having your name up in lights.

Little Queen St, Newtown. Just another reason I love my neighbourhood.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Rising Tides

So it's late Spring here, but the weather is more like Summer already. Unseasonally warm. It's bringing everyone out in their Summer gear; shorts, tank tops and muscle tee's are everywhere.

So I've been exercising a bit more, sleeping better, having more energy. Also, things are going well, and despite minor wobbles and any impression I might have recently given, I'm in a generally very happy place at the moment.

Some of you may have guessed already where this is heading... yup, let's just say I'm as 'toey' as all get out. Hormones are raging. (To all my friends and acquaintences who now read this blog, I apologise for giving you a mental image that may not want.)

Tonight it looks like a night out with my ex is on the cards. Gay bar. Gay guys. Raging hormones. Do I need to draw anyone a map? Wish me luck.


[Updated: It was a fun night, but suffice to say not what I expected. I was with my ex and two very nice friends of his from work, one straight (but not narrow) guy and a woman who is predominantly gay, but likes to take a walk on the straight side every now and then. Oh, and she towers over me (but who doesn't?) and she's a jelly wrestler. I'm not making this up.

Anyway, by the time we met they had downed a number of alcoholic beverages at a work function, and were on a bit of a mission to down plenty more. By the time we headed to our last destination of the night The Imperial Hotel, one of our number was extremely drunk, so much so that we got thrown out of The Imperial! Oh, the shame. Too drunk at The Imperial, I didn't know there was such a thing?

Long story short, I hung around for a while after they all poured themselves into taxis, still sober of course and not ready for the night to be over at 12.30am, and yes I did partly achieve my objective but with only a demi-satifying quickie. Still, he was a nice guy, it was fun, and there are worse ways to end an evening!]

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I took this picture one recent sunny morning in my neighbourhood, and it kind of amused me at the time. That these birds would all just be sitting there in a group like that.

Then a couple of days later I walked by this way again, and they were there again. In fact I think their numbers had increased.

I'm sorta too afraid to go this way again, just in case they go all 'Tippi Hedren' on my ass.

Together Alone

When I posted yesterday about buying new shoes I mentioned that we were going to "Sounds Of The Cinema" by the Australian Chamber Orchestra last night. It was a black tie fundraiser for the ACO, primarily for their work in conducting workshops in high schools in less advantaged areas. My bosses picked up the tab for the event at just under $200 a head, including buying us a $50 raffle ticket each (Wingedman: the prizes were all Tiffany), which was very generous. Oh, and we didn't win any of the prizes, but that's OK.

So it was a lovely night. There were silent and public auctions, it was all very glamourous, it was a warm night and the venue was right on the water with a close view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, we all looked fine and there were handsome tuxedo-ed men everywhere...

But. You could sense there was a 'but' coming couldn't you?

I felt something that I hadn't felt for a while and which Michael alluded to recently, the feeling of being alone in a crowd. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed myself. I did enjoy myself. But it was all blah-blah and wife, blah-blah and boyfriend, blah-blah and husband. My 'date' for the evening was one the uni students who does a bit of occasional work for us, she's very sweet and half my age, and although there were jokes about us being 'dates', people insisting we have our pictures taken together etc, everyone knows I'm a big 'mo and so it was all good fun.

Except, I would have liked to have had a date of my own. I would liked to have had a handsome dude in a tux sat next to me. I would have liked to have been introducing my guy to all my workmates and partners, in the same way I was being introduced to them.

I haven't dated anyone for a while. Partly through choice. Partly through having had my social network swing more towards the straight side of the fence in the past couple of years. Partly through having lost a couple of my old bar hopping mates, and therefore not really going out and having the opportunity to meet new guys. Partly through apathy. Partly through dented confidence.

If I was dating someone I would have brought them along, but I have to acknowledge that it would have been complicated. People at work know that I'm gay, but a few of them are very conservative and I'm not sure that actually seeing me with a male date would have really washed with them. None of their partners would probably know, and for me having never met them, I would be uncertain how they would act. They wouldn't really 'know me', and know that the 'gay thing' is just a part of who I am. A big part, sure. There wouldn't have been any trouble, any sort of a scene, but I would have been on alert for signs of discomfort in them, in me, in my date.

If you are straight and you are reading this you might think I'm just over-analysing, some of you gay guys and girls might think I am too. Maybe. If you have ever been the only single in a crowd of couples, or been the only childless person amongst a bunch of friends with kids, then maybe you can relate a little. It can be tough to be the only homo in a crowd though, no matter how nice everyone is. It can be tough enough being the only single in a crowd of couples, let alone being the only gay person. I'm generally a pretty happy guy, and don't really suffer from loneliness as such, but last night I came pretty close to feeling lonely.

I'm pretty proactive about changing things in my life that don't work, and I'm quite emotionally self sufficient. So, maybe a new resolution for the upcoming Summer is called for. Dating.

Eeek! :-)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Anti-Depressive Living

Mikey The Lovely Ex just sent me an email with a link to this book. (I'm not sure at this point if it was a Christmas hint, a question if I'd like it for Christmas, or just an FYI.)

When we lived together Mikey bought a couple of pieces of Adler, from memory I'm sure one of them was this piece, and I'm pretty sure he also has this bowl. I'm quite a fan of Jonathan Adler, I think his signature style is fun and I love the Mid-Century retro styling of much of his work. I also think it's great that he and his partner Michael Doonan have been together for quite a while, and that they are both so very public about their relationship. Although I guess as an interior designer/potter and window dresser/Barneys design director/interior designer, well it's sort of a given, right?

Three Dragonflies

Three Dragonflies
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Neon sign outside the Yoshi Jones boutique on King St, Newtown. I really like the Japanese Ka-Mon style of this sign.

Does This Make Me A Noodle Blogger?*

Yesterday I went out and bought 2 new pairs of shoes.

Now, this probably sounds like really scraping the bottom of a very large barrel as topics for a blog entry go, but bear with me. I can't remember if I covered all these points before, maybe I touched on them in my 100 Things list, but you must understand:
  • I am a very short man with very wide, flat, hard to fit feet. (see 'Hobbit') Unlike other bloggers, who apparently have pretty feet.
  • I dislike shopping for shoes, mostly because of the point above.
  • I buy way too few pairs of shoes (see above).
  • Consequently, when I find a pair that fits and/or are prepared to consider risking their structural integrity to stretch sufficiently, I will wear them almost every day until they fall apart.

So, prompted by the fact that I'm off to the see "Sounds Of The Cinema" by the Australian Chamber Orchestra tonight with my workmates, and my last pair of black 'dress' shoes just got retired (ie 'fell apart'), I decided to go shopping. One pair of nice chisel toed black shoes and an impulse buy of a funky pair of tan & brown trainers.

It's like I was on a mission. I did a quick recon of the shelves, selected, barked out my size, tried, purchased and was out of there in record time. Ok, 'barked' is an exaggeration, read 'asked politely' instead, but it was like "[deep breath] Ok, I'm doing this. Let's roll!"

* Noodle Bloggers is a term I read somewhere once, to describe the sort of blogs where people list the minute details of their day. Such as, "Today I had noodles for lunch".

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sad News

A few days ago I posted about the handsome new guy who showed up in our office for an interview, and was subsequently hired. Well, negotiations with his agency and issues to do with his lack of residency status broke down, and so he's gone. Gone!

Bye handsome Mark, we hardly knew you but you sure made a big impression!

We told him that if/when he manages to get his residency situation sorted, we will re-employ him. So that my friends gives me a small glimmer of hope that he'll be back. I've been joking around about how cute he is etc, but really I just feel bad for him that it was such a mess. He fit straight in here and looked like he was going to work out well and this job looked like it might help him stay in the country. Plus my employers offer very good pay and conditions (not least of which is the occasional free chocolate bar), so it was a good situation for him after only arriving in the country 5 months ago.

Oh well, hopefully we'll see him again.

Amazing New Blog

I'm blown away my a new blog I discovered after following a link from Jevyeddy's blog. It's called Coming Out At 48 and (as the name implies) chronicles the experience of a guy called Chris and his journey of coming out of the closet at the age of 48, of leaving his wife and grown children, and of taking the huge step that changed everything in his life.

Chris's writing is highly articulate and moving. Even if the experience of coming out of the closet is something you will never have to do because you are straight, have already done, or have yet to do if you are gay, I recommend you check it out and see if you find his blog interesting, because the quality of his writing just blows me away. He's only been blogging since August and I have yet to read all his entries, but I found myself getting quite emotional and caught up in his story from just reading through his initial August entries.

Documenting Change

On my walks to and from work each day I like to vary my route, mix it up a bit to keep me from getting bored with the walk. On my walk to work yesterday I passed through a small sidestreet and passed by the building where a week ago I took a photo of this piece of grafitti. Except, now the building is three quarters demolished. The bottom of the wall with the bit of grafitti I liked is still there, but no doubt will be gone by tonight, or in the next day or so.

I've really started to love taking photos. When my ex gave me a digital camera as a Christmas present a couple of years ago, I took party photos and pictures of people and events, but it's only in the past year (or year and a half maybe) that I started to photograph things that caught my eye. Taking photos for the sake of capturing something interesting, beautiful, colourful, funny or transient.

It struck me that I'm documenting my life and times too. This blog, and these photos will record a time and place in my life. I like to take photos of my neighbourhood, the streets I walk through each day, and I love looking at the way other people cover the same territory. We are all freezing this place at this point in time, and by blogging about and photo sharing through the interweb we are creating a collective document about this time and place. Already I can look back through this blog, and my photos of a year or more ago and see the changes in me, in my surroundings and in the world.

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Picture For The Family Album

If you are offended by talk of people doing 'the having of the sex' then look away now... ::drums fingers:: go on!

I had the most bizarre and unexpected experience this weekend. I was reading the interweb when I accidentally chanced upon one of those websites that documents romantic dalliances of the naked kind between consenting (18+ only of course) gentlemen.

Sure it took me 16 click-throughs to get there, but they were all accidental.

Anyhoo, there was a section specialising in 'amateurs', which I guess means people who still have their training wheels on. So I'm accidentally clicking through, and there in full glory is a picture of one of my ex boyfriends from a bunch of years ago. Someone I dated for two years. On the interweb! Being all dirty, dirty and naughty and stuff! Before you say "it might not have been him", trust me it definately was. His face was very clear, very wet but very clear, and there is no doubt it was him.

Shocking! I wonder if I still have his number?...

If It's Monday, It's Recappin' Time

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. It's Monday morning down here in Oz, which for some of you guys makes us so tomorrow, you know?

Monday morning means weekend recap time, although in the grand scheme of things this was a pretty quiet weekend:
  • I decided that I was on such a roll with my walking 2 hours a day to and from work stizz, that I did plenty of walking this weekend to keep the momentum going. I always have my camera with me, so walking means picture taking. I uploaded a few to my Flickr page already, with more to come.
  • I went to see an advance screening of Rize, a documentary film about 'clown dancing' and 'krumping'. What an amazing film! I was really dragged into the experience of these of kids, an experience which is soooo many worlds away from my own. The dancing itself was amazing, but I was more caught up in the charisma of the kids involved and their determination to find an outlet that's more positive than the traditional gang culture, but one that still satisfied their need for community.
  • Housework, housework, housework. Boring, boring, boring.
  • I went into the Buddhist centre and did a few hours of data entry, unpacked a shipment of new books that arrived for the bookshop (just like Christmas!) and wrote a few new orders for the bookshop (just like shopping!).

So, not a huge amount of social contact this weekend, but it was very relaxing and recharged the batteries a bit.

More Bougainvillea Goodness

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

When I was out walking yesterday I saw this bright fuscia Bougainvillea growing on the front fence of this terrace house, and was struck by the contrast of it with the creamy yellow colour of the house.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Bougainvillea On Stucco

Bougainvillea On Stucco
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

A bit more Flickr-y goodness to brighten your day.

I love the hot, bright colours of bougainvillea. This pic comes from the front of a house a few streets over from mine. Bougainvillea seems to love the climate around Sydney, and they brighten up the streets of my neighbourhood fantastically, with their variety of colours.

Comedy Gold

One hand, poor doggie, but on the other hand high-larious!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Keep Me In Your Prayers


Ok ::shhh:: I have to whisper this ok, so nobody hears. A real cutie pie just showed up in our office for an appointment with my boss; natty suit, expensive (read 'homo') haircut, well scrubbed complexion that speaks of quality skincare... really quite handsome.

OK :::shhhh::: here's the thing, if you have any religion at all, or if you don't just like cross your fingers or make a wish on Paris Hilton's firstborn, or whatever, but I want you to pray that he's here for a job interview. This office needs another 'mo, especially a cute one.

:::shhh::: Ok, thanks. Bye.

[UPDATED: Oh, my people! THE POWER OF PRAYER! His name is Mark, he's English, definately a 'mo, he starts on Monday. Thank you Jeebus, Xenu, Britney, Kylie...]

Colour Me 'Emotionally Neutral'!

Today has been a bit bleh so far, busy with re-doing a bunch of work that was done over a year ago (not by me) and then lost, feeling a bit tired, a bit dull etc. I remembered that Yaniboy posted a couple of days ago about biorhythms, so I thought that for a bit of fun maybe I'd go and have a look at my biorhythm.

Result: 'Physical' at the lowest point, at the bottom of the cycle. 'Intellectual' on the downward trend and almost at the lowest point. 'Emotional' smack bang on the 'zero line' or neutral. Now, I should add that like these folks I'm not a believer. Open minded, but not convinced that there is any science behind it.

Still, whether it's the power of suggestion or pure coincidence, the scores do kind of fit. Anyone care to try for yourself?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Perks That Perk

My boss just went out to run a few errands and came back with chocolate bars for the entire office. My poison? A giant King Size one of these. More addictive than crack, I swear. Um hello, diet?


It looks like I might have a replacement flatmate by the start of the year. My old flatmate moved out a few months back, about the time that a raise in my salary meant that keeping the house to myself in the short-term was feasible. Expensive, but feasible.

My last flatmate I found through a share registry type place, and although he was OK, he misrepresented himself a bit. My future flatmate is not only a friend, but someone who actually is easy going and who I trust. He also reads this blog, we actually met and became friends through this blog. It'll reduce my rent and bills to a level that will allow me to save enough money to go and do a month of study at a monastery in Nepal late next year, and also helps him out as he needs to leave where he is currently as the owners are selling.

Sounds like a win/win situation.

[Updated: I decided to excise the comments I made about my ex flatmate in this post, we no longer speak and it isn't really fair for me to vent about him and not allow him the courtesy of defending himself.]

Elizabeth's Bookshop Sign

Elizabeth's Bookshop Sign
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Words of wisdom outside Elizabeth's Bookshop in Newtown.

(Note the dog pee. Everyone's a critic...)

; )

Next year, if this 'Halloween thing' really takes off here in Oz, I am totally carving this.

[Link via kottke.]

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Better Living Through Technology

I got out of work a couple of hours early yesterday, after the 'horse race that stops the nation' had run it's course. So, I had some time to kill and decided on a little retail therapy.

Spare time + empty stores = someone stop me before I spend my entire paycheque!

A couple of hours later, and a couple of hundred dollars later, I headed home with (as Michael says) something that "frantically pulses in my mouth for two minutes" plus a little something to trim 'the goat' with. (An extra sweetener, after taking the 'allways negotiable pricing' sales pitch to heart, I asked about a better deal for cash at Bing Lee and they lopped a substantial $27 off the $149 asking price for the Braun Sonic Complete 'oral hygiene system'. Cool.)

Hygiene and grooming, or as I like to think of it, an investment in me.

Sydney Weblogger Meet-Up

Last night I went to my first Sydney blogger meet-up. Since I found out about the monthly get togethers a few months back I hadn't been able to make any of them because of conflicting plans. I'm not sure exactly when these meet-ups started, but from my understanding they have been going for quite a while. The venue was recently changed from an 'Irish' pub called Kelly's to the Coopers Arms Hotel on King St, Newtown, to take advantage of the Tuesday night trivia night at the Coopers Arms.

We did well in the trivia, coming second from a field of about 10 teams and winning a $30 bar tab. We only lost by a couple of points (sorry about the 'carnation' answer guys). Not surprisingly a team of bloggers does very well on pop culture and any obscure nerdy questions. So we didn't actually win but we can hold our heads high in the knowledge the team who did win only won because they had been given a bonus 5 points by the trivia master, because he liked their name the best.

The crowd starts to build. Sydney blogger meet-up. 1st November, 2005.

I had a really great night. Caught up with some friends who I've known for a long time, before any of us even had blogs, and met a bunch of really nice new people.

The entire gang. Sydney blogger meet-up. 1st November, 2005.

In attendance were:
Back row (from left to right) Morgan, Mark, Glen, Vi & Spleenie (with hat), me (with what looks like an oddly pink face), Rob (handsome face hidden somewhat) and Harry. Front row, James, Coz and Amanda.

Interesting factoids; I've known James for years through mutual friends and I've known Coz, her sister Amanda, her husband Rob, and Harry for years as well. I only found out that Amanda had a blog, and that Coz, Rob & Harry have a group blog, earlier this year. Small world, huh.

[Updated: If you are interested in coming along to future Sydney blogger meet-ups, then check out Glen, Mark & Amanda's Sydney Blog Meetup for postings about future events. It looks like future meet-ups will be on the first Tuesday of each month, but check in advance for details.]

[YET FURTHER UPDATED: Ooooh, check out Mark's post about the meet-up. Dude totally harshes me about my 'carnation' mistake! Hmmm, 'darn queers', huh? Alrighty then. Winged monkeys to the ready! Fly, my pretties!]

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Freak Like Me

Freak Like Me
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

A little inspired Newtown grafitti for you. I count myself in this number by the way, fresh air and open spaces are wonderful but give me the crush of humanity to get me veins thrumming.

Boos And Yays

Australia grinds to a halt for a horse race later today folks, and so in preparation I ground to a halt work-wise at about 9.00 am. To do anything less would be un-Australian. Mental processes are likewise sluggish, so I'll take the path of least resistance and give you a Yays! and Boos! list for today:
  • Passing a beautiful young man in a gorgeous navy suit on the street this morning (yay!) and spotting that he had tan shoes on (boo!).
  • Walking to work (yay!) and half way it started raining (boo!).
  • Running into a friend during said walk to work and discovering that while on holidays in Thailand her boyfriend (who is my old flatmate) proposed and they are now engaged (yay!).
  • Finally understanding that I am like the last single person in my social network (boo!) - ok that's an exaggeration but sometimes it feels like it.
  • Good coffee (YAY! - never a boo! let's face it).
  • Tonight is a Sydney blogger meet-up, which I can actually go to for a change (yay!). Coopers Arms Hotel at 221 King St, Newtown from about 6-6.30 onwards.

I think the Yays! have it.