Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Times Have Changed

I saw this faded old ad the other day...

Responsible Advertising

...and was actually quite shocked and had to do a double-take.

I mean, I initially thought it said Salem: The shortest route to emphysema.


It turns out that life has many uncertainties. Some things, like (oooooh let me see) telephone connections for example, are a lot less certain than one would think. Three weeks of staying at Morgan's house, and an unhealthy dash of poor attention to detail, resulted in the home phone being cut off. Temporarily. I paid the bill, I rang them up, I walked the fine line between being arch, snooty, obsequious and contrite, all the right things.

Except, and because this is my life we are examining here, the phone is still off. I assumed there was a problem with the reconnection issue, but it turns out there's a fault on the line. A coincidental fault. It stretches my credulity, but I'm prepared to take their word for it.


Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Art Of Stating The Obvious

Right up until that point...

Stating The Obvious

...I wasn't sure what it was.

A bit of Newtown oddness, seen out having breakfast with Morgan yesterday.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Send Me An Angel

Remember way back when, when I was extolling the virtues and confessing my dirty, dirty thoughts about certain young Mr Foster?

HOLY. CRAP. Baby gone growed up good.

Oh, and when he spreads 'em. Hold. Me. Back.

The boy and I saw the latest X-Men film last night. Lots of fun, not as emotionally involving as the other two IMHO, but you can't fault the action. I won't spoiler it, but let's just say that there is the hissy fit meltdown of all time! I wish I had those powers when I took on Fitness Last...

Sadly, nowhere near enough air time for the delicious Mr Foster. Maybe I have a thing for pretty boy angels... because there is the whole Mr John Phillip Law obsession too. Now where did I put that Barbarella DVD?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Making A Scene

I had to throw a full on consumer hissy fit yesterday. The reason? I was trying to cancel my gym membership. I haven't really used it in ages, and the payments were being deducted from my account each month without me bothering to darken their door.

I belonged to a nationally popular chain (actually an international chain) who I'll give the fictional name FITNESS LAST to. Nice gyms, cute backpack freebies, terrible corporate cancellation policy.

They did not want to give me up. The staff had been instructed to do everything they could not to give me the required form. "Oh, we'll have to get one of our customer care relationship managers (or whatever it was) to discuss it with you. Can we have your email address?" Um, no, just give me the form, acually. The girls behind the counter were nice enough, even rolling their eyes at how evasive they were instructed to be, but the entire episode came off as really bad and borderline dishonest.

This is a gym people, not a cult. It's time to let me go...

Oh and the kicker. They take 4 weeks to cancel your membership, so they can screw at least one more payment out of you. Bastards.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Douze Pointes!

Ok, it's Wednesday and here I am recapping Sunday night!? I feel a burning sense of shame, if it's any consolation... does that help? Oh, you're harsh.

Anyhoo, Eurovision is too good/bad to not give at least a passing comment to. This year I went to a party held by one of my Flickrazzi friends Kate (aka The Department). Dress was "Eurotrash", a style that some took to surprisingly well.


There was nummy nums Greek food, a big screen, scoring cards, drinks, children, pets... all the required ingredients for a hoot of an evening. And a hoot it was!

The Department of Scoring

The show was a bit so so this year I thought. The Finnish winners "Lordi" were fun, eccentric and a breath of weird air. Apart from that, um, a bit ordinary. I expected more campness but lots of the acts seemed quite tame. It all peaked for me with the Estonian drag flight attendants of a few years back. Thankfully some of the acts at least had the good grace to be bad *cough*France*cough* to spice things up, and Terry Wogan was deliciously bitchy and spot on with his scoring predictions (neighbours voting for each other).

Maybe next year there'll be drag queens. Pray there are drag queens.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Two Me.

Holy crap. I missed my own birthday!

On Saturday the 20th of May, the same day I was running around with a camera in my hand thinking "It's 10.15 on a Saturday morning, in the business district, how the hell am I going to get a photo to represent lust?..." my blog was quietly turning 2. It was a good weekend to turn 2 so it would seem. (MG, I knew we were sistas, but I had no idea we were that similar.)

Two. Years. Twenty two thousand page views. 746 entries. Who knows how many thousands of comments. Many thousands of laughs from the things you guys have written in the comments. New friends, internet crushes, new obsessions... it's been a rich experience. Not the least of which, in fact the most of which, is the boyfriend.

Life has been a little complicated of late. Dividing my time between two residences, Morgan's and mine, not having daytime internet access and all the distractions that come with changing jobs and starting a relationship. It's all put a bit of a dampener on my blogging just recently. I'm still loving it and not bored with it.

Two years later, that's like a miracle. :)

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Oh. My. God. Yesterday was fun!

The theme of the challenges turned out to be portraits representing The 7 Deadly Sins. 7 photos total. We had 7 locations spread around the Sydney CBD, and by the end of the day we had to submit 1 photo representing each sin, also being a photo from each location, and at least 1 photo from each team member (teams were 5 people). It was hard but an excellent way to push me out of my comfort zone.

Firstly, I'm shy about shooting people, especially strangers. Also, I tend to just shoot interesting things I see when I see them, and trying to fill an assignment feels very alien. Then imagine having a half hour to trim 5 enthusiastic photographer's pics down to just 7 photos in total, making sure we got each sin and each location. We tried to get enough coverage within the 4 hour race time to have lots to use, but as you can imagine, sometimes you had to be prepared to let a favourite be passed over if someone else has a better pic, or we already had a pic for that location.

Two of my pics made the final 7, Greed and Lust. [Click the pics below for a larger view.]



After checking with her boss, this young lady working at a jewellery stall in Paddy's Market let us all snap shots of her and her bling.



A candid pic of a woman sitting on the lawn at the Botanic Gardens with the word SEX in the background (part of an advertisement for the SEX + DEATH exhibition on at the Gardens, plant sex and death that is). I thought this was my 'get' of the day and my team liked it, but it didn't score so well unfortunately.

My much loved pic for Pride was culled due to having too many on the theme and location.



This was my first pic where I approached a bunch of strangers and asked for them to pose. A dad and his two sons were walking along by Central Station cradling these shiny mufflers like they were precious babies. They were quite happy to pose, proud of the fact that they were both getting new motorbikes.

Half way through the event we got an SMS to say that if we could make it to Martin Place in the CBD within half an hour, there was an additional challenge with extra points in the offing. We made it in time, and the challenge was to shoot a pic representing The Last Supper in a MacDonalds....


What a hoot. We only had a small bit of trouble when a guard in Central Station told us off for taking picturs (security issues apparently), and most people got into the spirit of it. Even MacDonalds didn't raise a fuss. I got to know the members of my team better, who had been chosen at random, and pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone.

Afterwards we had the presentations of the photos (each team had a laptop) on monitors for all to see and score, lots of laughs, some drinks, the handing out of excellent prizes given by sponsors, the wrap up and yet more laughs.


Oh, and we came 3rd - which was not too shabby.

My other pics from the day are here, and everyone else's (including the final submissions) are in this group.

A huge thanks to he organisers, and the corporate sponsors that came on board and donated prizes! We all had a blast.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Can I have Your Points Please?

Ok, I'm watching the Eurovision finalists - the semi-finals to pick the last 10 contestants for the big night on Sunday.

Song three has just started, and so far it hasn't disappointed. Bulgaria had a back-up singer who looked like a drag queen with a bleached blonde goatee.

Oh, sweet, sweet Eurovision. Ich liebe dich!!

[Updated: Oh. My. God. Belgium has cute dancing boys in black leather corsets! As Morgan just said, "Europe looks like a very alien place right now". Word.]

The Amazing Flickrace

I'm excited!

Amazing Flickrace
Originally uploaded by figuromo.

Tomorrow morning Morgan and myself, and about 40 other local photographers, are taking part in the inaugural Amazing Flickrace. The rules are a little different; relationship meltdowns, calling non-English speakers "stupid" and ritual money counting aren't included. Sadly, neither will we get to see Phil. No turtleneck and no substantial trouser bulge. Sadly. I'm kind of hoping for a food challenge though...

Our version is basically a photographic treasure hunt. Many of the details are still secret, like the nature of the "challenges", but if you go here you can read the rules (at the start of the discussion thread). What started as a fun little event for the Sydney Photobloggers has turned into something much bigger, thanks to the hard work of the organisers. Not only have the numbers grown enormously, but a bunch of corporate sponsors have come on board to provide prizes.

It should be fun, the teams are being picked at random and we all have to work together to finish the challenges, even though only one person can take the photo required. Should be a fun way to meet new people.

Just pray I don't get an asshole.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Truth & Fiction

The Fiction:
The lie we tell the tourists...

Impossibly Cute

The Truth:
Feral killers of the bush...

The Smackdown

Both photos were taken at the Koala Park, Pennant Hills last Sunday with Morgan. Thankfully the ratio of cute fuzzy koalas was greater that that of feral killers crazed with bloodlust. Fortunate huh?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tired But Happy.

Thanks for the kind comments everyone about the change of job, and what that means in terms of a new start. Today was very, very busy but rewarding and fun. After work I met with a publisher of Buddhist texts and pictures, one of our suppliers for the Buddhist centre, who is visiting from America. So, it has been a long day and I was hungry and tired by the time I got home to Morgan's apartment, quite late.

Some cuddles and having dinner cooked for me went a long way to restoring equilibrium. (Question: Could he BE any sweeter? Answer: No, not really.)

So it's quite late and bed calls. I know, I know. Where's the quips? Maybe a 5 Things list? Shallow thoughts on deep subjects, and vice versa?

Sorry, but it's no contest. Good night, see you tomorrow.


Monday, May 15, 2006

A New World

So, day one at the new job. Um, have you ever had an experience where, say, you got so used to how something was that when you discovered there was another way it was like a light coming on in a darkened room? Maybe like black and white tv... and then along comes colour. Or something.

Ok, ok. Sure, it's only been day one but no tension, no swearing, no aggressiveness - and that's not me I'm referring to.

I'm back working in a large public hospital, like I did about 6 or so years ago. This time I'm working directly with the Executive Director of the hospital. She's lovely, the departmental staff are great, and the job seems interesting. It's only a short term contract, but one of the other staff was a contractor initially and is now a permanent staffer. I kind of like working in public health, at least it gives me a sense of doing something positive and meaningful. 'Right livelihood' as we Buddhists like to say, something that doesn't just do no harm, but that makes a positive difference. That isn't making a living based on greed, or harming others, or creating attachment, or killing anything.

Hopefully day two will rock as well...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A New Start

I start a new job tomorrow morning. It's only a short(ish) contract position, but given that a huge fight on Friday with my boss resulted in me leaving, never to return, the timing is perfect. It pays ok, but what it's worth to me in terms of my own mental health and self esteem, after the events of recent weeks, well that's priceless.

I can't imagine I'll have the opportunity to blog tomorrow, but I'll try. See you then.


Mere & Drew's Wedding

When I first discovered the Sydney Phtotobloggers group on Flickr, I attended one of the group meet-ups, and after wandering around for a while the large group of us went off to yum cha. I sat next to a lovely and very funny woman by the name of Meredith, who I easily struck up a convesation with and whithin a few minutes we were laughing and getting along like a house on fire.


On Saturday I had the joy of being a guest at Meredith's wedding, amongst a bunch of fellow Flickrazzi, when she married Andrew (aka Bloody Big Johnno). If you are going to invite a bunch of friends to your wedding, you could do a lot worse than to invite a group of enthusiatic amateur photographers. Have a look at some of the stunning results this Flickr group and you'll see what I mean.


It was a glorious bright, sunny day and the location down by the water at Balmain was a perfect match for the weather.

Pretty Parasol & Purple, Sparkly Shoes

The lunchtime ceremony was followed by a picnic, which lasted throughout the afternoon. A long, lovely, lazy afternoon of socialising, eating and photographing well just about anything that could be photographed.

Sleepy Morgan

Around dusk we moved into the rowing club alongside the park, where the party kicked on into the evening. Like all good receptions, there were speeches, there were good natured hecklers during he speeches, there was lots of food and drink, kids underfoot and dancing. All the essential ingredients for a fun night.

Bridal Boogie

I still have more pics to post, in fact I have so many that I like that I'm having a hard time editing them down to a reasonable number. The pics I have posted so far are all in this set.

Tomorrow Meredith and Andrew are off on a grand honeymoon. A world trip, taking lots of photos of course, and even planning on catching up with with other Flickrazzi the world over. Hopefully this will mean that we can share some small part of their adventures with them, just as they let us share this special day with them.

Handsome Couple

I hope they have a wonderful trip, and I can't wait to hear all the stories! Safe journey, safe return guys.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


The old job is no more, long live the new job! One door closes and another door opens. This new job isn't permanent but it's exciting nonetheless... and best of all it's change. I start next week.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I Heart Pteropus Poliocephalus

I love bats. LOVE. THEM. Sydney is home to many thousands of Pteropus Poliocephalus or grey headed flying foxes. For quite some years there has been a substantial sized colony of them in the Botanic Gardens, although their numbers have fluctuated over the years.

Strange Fruit

This fact file on an ABC tv children's website even includes facts about how flying foxes do the nasty.

In Flight

They are such a part of Sydney life, from the dusk fly-overs of large flocks of them, to the night time chittering you often hear. Morgan and I hung around these trees in the Botanic Gardens for quite a while, trying to get good pics of them in flight. 9 times out of 10 they are too quick and silent, so you miss them, but I managed to get at least one reasonable pic. [Click them to see larger sizes.]

I'm not the only bat fancier on Das Internetz, Matt likes them too.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The "What's On Your Bookshelves?" Meme

There's been a bit of a meme going around on Flickr, amongst some of the Sydney Photobloggers flickrazzi, of taking a photo of your bookshelves and then posting it (with notes added) for all to see.

What's On Your Bookshelves? Meme

Here's a corner of my teeny, tiny living room with 3 of my bookshelves. These are just 3 of the 7 bookshelves I have in my house. I'm so literate!

To play along, click the pic above to go to the photo's page in Flickr. Then click All Sizes and choose the biggest size if you want to see the details of what's on my bookshelves. The magnification is such that some titles are hard to read, but at least it gives you the idea of what's fabulous and what's tragic on my bookshelves. If you go back to the regular photo page and mouse over the pic, you should see the notes I've added and any notes that have been added by other Flickr users.

Start judging!

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Lovely Weekend

Despite the fact that today is cool, grey and a bit blustery in Sydney, the weekend was another beautiful sunny Autumn weekend. More like Spring really, with mostly clear skies and temperatures up to 26C. Glorious.

The boy and I got off to a slow start on Saturday, having a leisurely breakfast and lolling about. Late morning we headed off to visit two friends of mine Spyder & Gordon, and spent about three hours sitting in the sunshine in their backyard, drinking tea and coffee, eating cheese and crackers, gossiping and catching up, and playing with their two whippets. Mid afternoon their young son Aemon woke up from his nap, and another friend (and my old roommate) dropped by, making it a lovely afternoon in the garden. I was on one of my first outings with the new camera so snapped a bunch of flower pics like the flowering tarragon, the hot orange/yellow gladioli and the pink rose below.


In the late afternoon we headed into the city and Morgan bought a new camera, in fact the same one I now have. Once you try an SLR, going back to the limitations of the point & shoot style camera is kind of tough. We headed back to Morgan's apartment and spent the evening relaxing, watching the limited edition DVD of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, posting pics to Flickr and doing a bit of web surfing.

Sunday we got off to an earlier start and went to the Botanic Gardens, where I took lots of photos (as did Morgan) and got to really start experimenting with the new camera. Afterwards we walked around the harbour foreshore to the Opera House, where of course lots more photos were taken (I've yet to post these, but will do soon). That building does not have a bad angle to it I swear, and it was glowing in the Autumn sunshine. We capped the afternoon with a stroll up historic Macquarie Street, late lunch and a spot of chimping at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum cafe, then home for a relaxed afternoon of posting pics to Flickr and then cooking dinner (fried halloumi with salad).

So, now it's Monday morning. I might have exploded from the happiness of it all if the weekend had gone on for another day, so it's probably for the best that I'm back at the salt mine... :)

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Morgan and I spent part of today at the Botanical gardens, trying out our new cameras and soaking up the Autumn sunshine.


The new camera is turning out to be an absolute joy. Easy to use, but with enough capability for creative control to make the results much more interesting.


I'm especially taken with the ability to do crisp close-ups, and to play with exposure and depth of field (focus depth). Loving it!

[Updated: Oh, I forgot to mention, we passed Russell Crowe having a bite to eat with the wife and bub at the outdoor cafe in the Botanical Gardens. Slouched down, with baseball cap, five day crowth and an whiff of surliness at being spotted. We both had cameras in our hands, and Morgan suggested the likely action. My suggestion, don't make eye contact and keep on moving!]

Click the pics to be taken to Flickr, and for larger versions.

The Art Of Julie Shiels

The Sunday arts show on ABC tv just profiled the Australian artist Julie Shiels. She is interested in all sorts of issues to do with perceived meanings, text, advertising messages and especially the cityscape of her neighbourhood of St Kilda, Melbourne. Julie adds text to discarded street items, or to the streetscape itself, photographs it and then blogs the results on her blog I Love St Kilda. As part of the process she tells the stories of each piece, or interactions she has with people while she's taking photographs.

Interesting stuff.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The "I Never Do That!" Thread

It all started when Morgan saw this picture:

morgspace never does this
Originally uploaded by yankinoz.

...and said "I never do that!"

Then Rob saw this picture of himself:

Show me the money
Originally uploaded by Leorex.

...and echoed Morgan by saying "I never do that!"

So then you'll understand me when I say, I never do that!

Fog & Mist

Last weekend Morgan and I were in Canberra for the wedding of two friends, and on the Sunday we spent some time hanging out at the National Gallery. I love the Sculpture Garden at the gallery, but had never been there before between 12 noon and 2 pm when the Fog Sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya was playing.

Mist Sculpture 1
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

These photos don't really do it justice, because the reality is quite magical. The fog settles amongst the trees and descends into the shallow depression around the artificial lake, changing the mood of the landscape entirely.

Mist Sculpture 4
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

The Sculpture Gallery has quite an extensive collection of works, and Morgan and I both also fell in love with the floating sphere sculpture Diamonds by NZ artist Neil Dawson:

Sphere 1
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Morgan's atmospheric photos of Diamonds are here.

Wednesday Work Day Haikus

Forty-something plus,
Bank reconciliations.
My brain turns to mush.


Nummy nums orange,
Neatly cut up in segments.
Damn strings in my teeth.

My Precioussssssssssssssss

I'm now the proud owner of this baby. Woo hoo! I bought it second hand, only 7 months old, in mint condition and with a heap of extras thrown in for free, for a great price from one of the guys I met through the Flickr Sydney Photobloggers group. He's only selling because he's upgrading to something with more bells and whistles.

I'm loving doing more photography these days, and the idea of being able to do more than just point & shoot is very exciting. (Not that I'm not a fan of the odd point & shoot. Are ya with me? Eh? Does your wife like photos? Eh?... Eh?... Know what I mean?)

Anyhoo. New camera! Sweet.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Dani tagged me for a meme, and it's been a while since I dipped my toe in the meme pool, so here goes:

First town you ever lived in: Morecambe, UK, until we emigrated when I was 1.

First album owned: Abba, "Arrival" I think.

First pub gig seen: I don't remember actually seeing a pub gig as such until after I had seen a few major concerts. My first concert was Adam & The Ants! I'm ancient!

First Celebrity Crush: Gah, I have no idea! Um, maybe the cutie pie singer from Haircut 100, or the lead singer of ABC. Actually, probably either Tony Hadley (lead singer) or Steve Norman (saxaphone) from Spandau Ballet. Again, I'm ancient! How embarrassing...

First Film you remember seeing: "My Fair Lady" I think it was. It made me gay. That must have been it!

First time you drank alcohol: My parents always gave us little sips, but probably the first time I did something more than have a sip would be raiding the liquor cabinet after school in order to get my school friend Ian drunk enough to let me touch it. (He didn't take much encouagement, or alcohol. But the alcohol gave him a valid excuse I guess,)

First paying job: Shop assistant at Myers department store, Small Electrical department (irons, toasters and such).

First Kiss: Possibly Ian (see above), no doubt promptly followed by wrestling and half hearted cries of "get off me!".

I don't like tagging, but anyone care to play? Just answer the same questions.

It's Big. It's a Merino.

I'm back, from the wilds of Canberra! We had a lovely trip, if anything it was too short.

If I told you that we went to a wedding where during the reception the groom stabbed the bride in the hand, would that make it sound like they were white trash? Like the wedding was in a trailer park? (Actually it was a lovely wedding, at a lovely home, and the bride and groom are anything but white trash, but in terms of blog material you almost couldn't make this up if you tried.)

At the end of the evening the bride and groom were opening their gifts, when there was an accident involving a kitchen knife, the recalcitrant tape on one of the gifts, some alcohol and a slip of the hand. Fortunately there was a nurse in attendance as a guest, but the evening ended with the wedding party heading off to the Emergency Room for the bride to have some stitches, as we headed back to our hotel. Apparently they returned an hour or so later and finished opening the gifts, so it wasn't too bad.

We stopped at Goulburn on the way through to Canberra to visit the great Aussie icon, The Big Merino. During the '70s and '80s Australian country towns were obsessed with building Big Things to attract passing tourists. The Big Pineapple, the Big Banana, the Big Prawn... the list is almost endless.

It's Big. It's a Merino.
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

As always, I took a lot of photos. Canberra is quite a bit cooler than Sydney at this time of year, and has a lot of European and American trees, so has a much more spectacular Autumn than we are used to. The colours were absolutely stunning, and so Morgan and I couldn't help but stop and take lots of photos. I'm still in the process of putting pics up on Flickr, but if you have a look at my photostream you'll see some of the Goulburn and Canberra pics that I have put up already.

Canberra Colours
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Autumn Golds
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Before heading home on Sunday we visited the National Gallery of Australia and spent a few hours touring a wonderful exhibition of Islamic art from South East Asia, wandering through parts of the general collection, and exploring the sculpture garden. Then we met up with a lovely friend of Morgan's, and fellow blogger, Zoe for a late lunch of yummy Turkish food.

It was a very relaxing weekend, the perfect antidote to a busy and stressful week. The wedding was beautiful, even with the reception bloodbath, and it was really nice to see friends I hadn't seen for a while and catch up with what has been happening in their lives. Morgan and I are just enjoying spending time together more and more, and so spending the weekend together was a joy.

Morgan has also posted a blog entry about the weekend.