Thursday, November 30, 2006

This One's For Michael Guy

My soul-sister Michael Guy has a love/hate relationship with Christmas.

Michael, I saw this sign outside Elizabeth's Bookshop in Newtown. This one's for you.

Fireside Chat, Anyone?

So, how's everyone doing?

You might think this is weird (but if you've been reading this blog for a while you've probably reset your paramaters of "weird" by now) but I think about you guys a lot. People who drop comments, whether it's frequently or only now and then. If I check my stats and see that someone from Poland or Ireland, or central Australia has been by to read this, it makes me wonder about who you are and what your life is like. I think a lot about my blogging buddies, the people I read often and think of as friends, or the people I only drop by every so often and maybe think of more as fond acquaintences.

You're a nice bunch of people. Obviously I feel I know the bloggers and commentors the best, those that share an idea or an opinion, but in the couple of years I've been writing this stream of consciousness (and occasional stream of unconsciousness) I've only ever had I think two, or maybe three, negative comments left. Those are pretty good odds in my book. You all come across as thoughtful, funny, frequently very sweet, and well, good to hang out with.

You could argue that I don't know you, I guess. Maybe so. But, have you ever had someone thoughtfully hold the door open for you, or met someone's eyes on the train and shared a moment with that stranger over something funny or strange? A little human connection. Thought to yourself "that's really sweet of them" or "they seem nice/funny/interesting", or "I'll bet they're a nice person". That's kind of how I feel about you guys.

Anyway, I'm not shilling for more comments, but I do enjoy them and just want you all to know that (comments or not) I find you guys fascinating and I really enjoy hanging out with you all. I would have packed this in long ago if it was just me talking to myself.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I totally love it when you read a book that you really enjoy (actually re-read in this case, but let's not quibble). A book that kind of leaves you wanting to know what happened to the characters after the novel ends. A book who's author can boast singing in The Eurovision Song Contest, forchristsakes, as one of his acheivements. (So, where were you Mr Gore Vidal?) Then you decide to do a little bit of research on The Interwebsuperhighway, only to discover there's like totally a sequel, and everything! OMG!

So I just emailed my favourite local bookstore to order a copy.

Pray it doesn't suck.

Boos! & Yays!

Freakgirl's post of Boos! & Yays! made me realise that a) I hadn't done one of these for a while and b) there's some Boo-worthy and Yay-worthy things to share:
  • BOO! for last night's dullish Dancing With The Stars finale. Too much negativity towards Arianne & Carmelo made it a forgone conclusion from the get-go.
  • YAY! for my newest obsession So You Think You Can Dance! [Warning: major spoiler! I didn't realise the show is already over in the U.S. and the website splashpage has "Congratulations XXXX, winner of So You Think You Can Dance!" Oh crap. BOO!]

  • YAY! for really, really good fruit salad.
  • BOO! for leaking take-away containers. Sticky fingers, much? And not in a good way.

  • YAY! for The Family Stone which I finally got around to seeing like a year after its release, and after buying the DVD on a sale table. I heart writer/director Tom Bezucha! Oh, and hello, cute!
  • BOO! for the sound cutting in and out on the extras.

  • YAY! for feeling really happy and healthy lately.
  • BOO! for friends going through tough times. I'm thinking of you, and you know who you are. *mwah*

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I'm currently a bit obsessed with the Face of Tomorrow project. Around a hundred photos of people from each city are layered transparently over each other to form a facial composite archetype for that city. The artist who started the project was interested to see what a multi-ethnic person would look like, one formed from the people he encountered in each city.

The results look slightly stylised but still quite realistic. I'm not sure how the technique works, but to me it look like each face has been slightly elongated or otherwise manipulated to match up the location of the eyes, nose and mouth.

The Sydney composites archetypes are kind of spooky, these people don't actually exist yet they really do look like any number of good looking, slightly Mediterranean faces you might see on the streets of Sydney. The archetypes formed from pictures taken at Bondi Beach and Sydney University are quite unique to each location.

My only one quibble is the youthful good looks of most of the participants. The brief says that they approach 100 indidividuals, but it seems that the locations like beaches and universities (in Sydney at least) are designed for a young and attractive demographic. Having said that, I guess the archetype works best though if you have people of various ethnicities but a similar age range. It would be nice to see the same exercise with aged people, for instance.

Turkey Day 2006

Here are the pics I promised from the Thanksgiving eatfest on Saturday, "Turkey Day 2006". I used to be quite hesitant about photographing people, shy about taking their pictures. This year I decided to break through that hesitancy and to focus on what makes gatherings like this so great, the extended circle of my friends and their kids.


One of the joys of always having my camera with me is that every now and then the conditions are just beautiful for photography. Saturday was one of those times. Hot and overcast, casting a softer light on everyone and without stark shadows. The bushfires around Sydney had put lots of smoke into the air, which is a terrible, terrible thing, but perfect from the aspect of creating a soft golden sunset.

Sardonic, Moi?

1.5 Carat Smile

The dynamic of photographing friends is easier too I guess. I had my camera out all day, snapping away like a mad thing, which serves to desensitize people to the presence of the camera. Being able to display the photo on the camera and show people just how good they look (glory be for digital!) helps put people at ease a bit too.

Don't Ask

Alcohol, food and a bunch of laughs also puts people at ease. There was lots of all three.

The Consolations Of Friendship

The Further Consolations Of Friendship

I've only posted my absolute favourites so far on Flickr. They might not even be the best pics I took artistically, but I love them for the moments and the personalities that they capture.


It's great to have records of these goods times. Already I look back on photos from events just 6 months ago and see the new children that have arrived, the rapid growth of others, the relationships that have come and gone, and the laughs and the good times shared.

Mmmm... Corn.

Mmmm... Tender Morsel.

The hosts of Turkey Day are heading back to the U.S. in January, so it's a bit bitter sweet to think that this may be the last Turkey Day. Certainly not the last party by any stretch of the imagination, but Turkey Day has a unique magic that will be hard to recapture.

Monday, November 27, 2006

How Much Eating, Drinking and Socialising Is "Too Much"?

Oy. It's Monday afternoon and I'm pooped. I had an absolute cracker of a weekend. Fabulous, full of socialising but perhaps a bit light on for sleep.

Friday night I went to dinner at the home of one of the guys from my Buddhist centre. What a fantastic night. We sat outside in the warmth of the summery evening, drank exotic Samoan beers, had a lovely dinner, talked, patted the neighbourhood cat who has adopted him as her own and took a walk down to the water's edge in Balmain to look back at the cityscape over the water. He has such a beautiful home in Balmain, full of persian rugs, Chinese antiques, lots of Buddha statues and memories from a lifetime of travel.

Saturday I kicked the day off with a solo breakfast at the cafe around the corner, before heading off to the Thanksgiving extravaganza hosted by my friends Coz & Rob. Rob is from the U.S. and after years of living here in Sydney, and marrying local girl Coz, they've decided to head back to the U.S. at the start of next year. So this year's Turkey Day will sadly probably be the last. Saturday was hot and hazy from the smoke of bushfires around Sydney, but the night was mild and comfortable for the 30+ of us seated at the odd assortment of tables and trestles set up in the garden. I took somewhere in the vicinity of a hundred photos, a couple of which I'll post here soon.

Yesterday I had a long delicious lunch at a friend's house, way too much wine, and lots of laughs. Oh, and then a fantastic much needed massage in the afternoon.

It seems like I've started the Holiday Weight Gain Season early this year...

Lighting The Tree

On Thursday night I met up with my favourite bunch of photogeeks from the Flickr Sydney PhotoBloggers group. We meet pretty much every Thursday but this time we planned it around the lighting of the big Christmas tree in Martin Place, here in Sydney.


It was a fun night, full of the usual laughs, food and drink that these outings entail. We started with a photoshoot around the tree, before heading off for dinner at Wagamama and then returning to see the tree fully lit.

Santa's Biggest Helper

From my point of view these days as an enthusiastic amateur photographer, a lot of the fun of these sorts of events is the crowd. Christmas brings out the kids and big kids.


It's always interesting to me to see the variety of shots that we end up with as a group. I mean, sometimes the moment someone photogenic appears, or something interesting or quirky, we have been known to descend upon it as a pack. Despite this we always get a wide variety of takes on the same thing. Points of view. Different technical choices. It's fascinating and I think also educational. It's broadening my eye, which is a good thing.

Peace On Earth

The rest of my photos from the evening are here.

I Had A Dream...

I don't usually remember my dreams in the morning, but this was so good, so enriching, that I guess that's why I woke up in the middle of it. Just so I could remember it.

I had a dream that had Martha Stewart in it. I kid you not. I was working for her as (get this) a souvenirs buyer. I guess she had opened a chain of Martha Stores?...

Anyhoo. I had just started work and I was telling her "You know, you really don't need this many different keychains. Like 30+ designs. Your assortment has really blown out, and we need to rationalise it." This made Martha happy. She smiled at me. It wasn't exactly as if the sun had come out, but it was a nice smile. She looked happy. Well kept, and kind of stylish. That sweater thrown casually over your shoulders just so, what is that? Cashmere?

Then we were looking at a novelty pen that was packaged with her face on it, sort of a caricature. Except it didn't look all that much like her, and we were laughing about how little it actually resembled her. She was friendly, if perhaps a little brisk. Sort of economical with her approval.

I'll bet this one isn't in any of those "Guide To Your Dreams" type books...

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Feeling ansty and confined today. What I'd really like to be doing is walking barefoot on the beach.


But I'll have to settle for kicking off my shoes under the desk. Compromises.

The Giving Of The Thanks

Saturday night I'm off to a Thanksgiving free for all thrown by some friends of mine. Rob is a gen-u-ine American and so throws some authenticity into the mix, while for the rest of us it's an excuse to party and eat lots. I like the idea though of considering what it is that you have to be thankful for. I think it's good to do this often, and maybe we should do be able to do this without having to have a holiday occasion, but it serves as a good reminder.

So with this in mind, I'm currently thankful for:
  • My friends. I've met some amazing new people in the past year, who I'm pleased to call friends. I've also treasured the friendship of my older friends, and marvelled at how most of those friendships have withstood the test of time and changing life circumstances.

  • The Internet. That wonderful series of tubes that delivers people and places right to my very computer screen. I can't overstate this. Connecting with people on the internet, here, through other people's blogs, and through Flickr, has really been a highlight of the past year.

  • Having somewhere to have a voice. Here. Sometimes it's therapy, sometimes it's an ego boost, sometimes it's a soapbox and sometimes it's a stand-up stage. It's fun and it lets me feel like I'm connecting with people. It also gives me a spot to express myself, play with language and practice writing.

  • Health and sanity. These days, through my work, I get to see people who have a shaky grasp on both and it's very sobering. When I think I'm having a bad day it always pays to consider the suffering of others. Perspective.

  • Daniel Craig's torso, and similarly, the manufacturers of square cut swimming trunks.

  • Laughter. So many people make me laugh; the friends I hang out with, you guys in the comments, other bloggers, the list is long. Thanks to each and everyone of you.

Care to share. Let's form a Gratitude Circle!

Cautionary Tale

When emailling one's ex-boyfriend, first be careful to check the email address. In order to avoid the embarrassment of accidentally sending someone, with the same name, who works in your large organisation (a Big Christian Charity say, for example) the email intended for said ex-boyfriend.

Here endeth the lesson.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Let's Hope She Never Discovers Format / Font / Comic Sans

I just got an email from a senior manager at the charity where I work. It contained the following gems that made me want to claw at my (flushed from the heat) skin in displeasure:
  1. 'cloud' background
  2. a Microsoft WordArt curly, swirly, 3D date at the top
  3. 5 different font colours

Pray she never creates a homepage.

I'm Melting. This Is Not A Metaphor, I Think I Really Am MELTING.

I'm sure I felt something slide off during my walk to work this morning, but I'm too afraid to look.

38C (100F) and humid in Sydney today. Where I work, out in the Western suburbs of Sydney it's always at least 3-4 degrees hotter. Let's consider what 40+ and humid feels like for a moment.

That's like taking a pair of still wet underpants, hot from the dryer, and walking around with them over your head.


See! Here's proof it's hot.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What's On Your 'Fridge?

Originally inspired by a couple of my Flickr buddies, I posted this pic on Flickr a few weeks back. My 'fridge in all its glory.

On The 'Fridge

First impression; I'm into Buddhism and semi naked men. Actually that isn't too far from what a second or third impression would tell you. Also in evidence are a couple of cute notes and handmade cards from Quin and her kids, advertising for the stage version of "Hedwig & The Angry Inch", a postcard of an old linocut by an Aussie artist, the contractually obligated novelty magnets, a book review and home delivery menus. Sort of "art fag with friends, who is sometimes too lazy to cook".

If you click the picture above it will take you to the Flickr page for this photo, where I've tagged each item on the 'fridges with a descriptive note.

Care to share, fellow bloggers?

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Weekend That Was

OHMYGOD you guys, old people are exhausting.

I just thought I'd kick off with that little nugget of insight, and get it off my chest. We sent out like 100+ invitations to our frail aged clients for our work Christmas function at the end of last week, and this morning the phone has been running hot. RSVP central. Since 8.59am the phone hasn't stopped, and as nice as these old folks are, I just need the first hour or so of my day to be me time, you know? There's coffee to be drunk, email to be read, blogs to be surfed, shit to be pulled together.

::ring, ring::

Anyhoo, so a nice weekend. How about you? Our sudden arctic snap of late last week passed on and we went back to Summer weather. The mighty Quin [sadly, no longer updated] was in town for a visit and on Friday night she, Bodes and I went for a yummy Thai dinner, and then on to watch the drag shows at The Imperial Hotel. It was kind of a strange night, because the dance bar of the Imperial was closed for renovations and the place was deserted. Tumbleweeds type deserted. The shows were still fun, but we left to go home after the midnight one.

Saturday I caught up with Mikey (the lovely ex) for a shopping expedition. I had to buy a birthday present for one of my Flickr mates, and Mikey was starting his Christmas shopping what I consider early. I cannot think "Christmas" when it's still November, I'm just not built that way. We flamed our way around the stores, and had a lovely lunch in the food hall of David Jones at Bondi Junction.

One slightly boozy lunch later, one gift purchased (Isn't the paper super cute, btw? Just what is it with gay men and gift wrapping?), a swish through Hermes, and then we headed our separate ways. I had a lovely evening at Ana's birthday party, met some nice new people and caught up with a bunch of my Flickr mates.

Sunday morning I kicked off with breakfast with Bernard and Stewie and then hung out with Quin for a few hours, wandering the streets of Newtown in the Summer sunshine, prior to her heading out to the airport to head back home. A Sunday night of slugging out on the couch watching tv, and that's my weekend. Done and dusted. Good times y'all.

::ring, ring::

Friday, November 17, 2006


I've decided to write a sci-fi novel, but the interesting twist is that all of the characters are going to be named after Blogger comment 'word verifications'. I'm thinking of calling it "The Adventures of WYKFFLIG". I haven't worked out all the details yet, but there's like an evil overlord and stuff.

The Velvet Mafia

Last night's meet up with my fellow Sydney Photoblogger geeks was exactly what the doctor ordered, after a frantic couple of days at work. A late billing cycle, a massive mail out and sending out Christmas Party invites to 100+ septo-to-octo-genarians (and a few even older) has seen me uncharacteristically working of late. Im not a fan. Working is hard.

Velvet Mafia
Coaster, the Velvet Room.

The Bank Hotel in Newtown recently underwent a total refit, and as part of that they opened up a new floor on the top of the hotel as a cocktail lounge. The Velvet Room. Surprisingly, not a huge amount of velvet in evidence. Curtains and a couple of the sofas I think. Maybe "velvet" is more of a state of mind, you know?

Warm GlowDiagonal Bar
Warm glow (left) and backlit stone bar detail (right).

Anyhoo, the refit is very nice. I loved the backlit stone bar, as you can tell from these photos, and I fell in love with the 'oil slick' coloured tiles in the men's room.

On The Tiles
Adventures in drunken men's room photography - again.

Maybe my only complaint is that the lounge is a little light on seating. Spacious and very nicely appointed, but really best for a very small group of people sitting together. We had to go on a couple of raids to gather enough seating.

Squared DiagonalDrink 15
Bar detail (left) and drink #15... but who's counting? (right)

I had a lovely night, met a couple of really nice new photogeeks, had a few beverages, and was home in time to watch The Amazing Race. Score.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

4 Things That Popped Into My Head This Morning

Hella busy today, so sorry for the paucity of posts. Too busy even to have thought of 5 Things today, 4 is the best I could do.

So, here are 4 random thoughts I had during the course of this morning:
  1. I wish I lived in El Salvador, because I would love to have a blog called Salvador Daily.
  2. There is a special hell reserved for people who don't pick up their dog's crap. Nobody there gets to wear any deodorant and the whole place smells worse than summertime ass.
  3. At one point earlier today, while I was on the phone, there was someone jackhammering the footpath right outside my office, the front doorbell was ringing and two very loud people standing right beside my desk were having a conversation. There are special hells reserved for everyone involved.
  4. Movember seems to be well supported, half grown 'taches are everywhere. I counted a half dozen this morning on my daily commute alone, from the whispy unfortunate to the '70s bow-chikka-bow-bow pornstar hot. I kind of liked the '70s pornstar hot. Obviously.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What Do You See?

I saw this last night on my way home without my camera, and was pleased to still see it there this morning.

What Do You See?

I guess somebody decided to beat the bill posters at their own game.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How Much?

Every Fire Station needs a mascot or two.

How Much?
Window of the Newtown Fire Station. Newtown, Sydney.

Add That To The List Marked "Life Experiences"

I was shopping for food last night, when I was punched by a crazy lady.

It was so astoundingly unexpected that I just stood there in complete shock. I was grabbing something down from the shelf in my local IGA (small supermarket) when I heard a noise behind me. At first I thought something had fallen off a shelf, so I just glaced around to see what it was. There was a woman about 4 paces away, and once I realised that's probably where the noise came from, I turned back around to finish what I was doing. It really was just a glance, not me shooting her The Look (the one that can stop small children and full steam locomotives in their tracks).

A second later she bumps into me, and then follows it with the hardest punch she can land right between my shoulder blades. She then followed that up by saying, as sarcastically as she can deliver, "Oh, sorry mate. Sorry I bumped into ya." I asked her "What the fuck was that for?", and her response was "Mind your own business. Now piss off!"

So many thoughts tap danced in steel capped boots through my head in the next second. That she's crazy. That I could probably hurt her real bad if I wanted to. That I wonder if this supermarket (normally staffed by 2 indifferent cashiers) has such thing as 'Security'? Why me? etc etc.

But then in the next second I thought about what it must be like inside her head. What must it be like to be walking such a tightrope, to have such an incredible hairtrigger temper? Was she high? Was she actually nuts, or just pissed at me for somethig maybe I didn't realise I had done? What must it be like to live a life where your own reactions are so outside the norm, as to make people look at you and label you "crazy"? Unhinged. From a Buddhist point of view, I was really interested in what story had she told herself to make her label me "enemy" in that split second? Someone punch-worthy.

Short answer, I walked away and went and bought my stuff. Yes I was furious, and a small part of me still considered the option of smacking her back from one side of the aisle to the other, but I decided to swallow my own ego reaction and not escalate the situation. I was tense, and trepidatious that she wasn't going too make some further scene for the minute or two I stayed in the store.

I thought about it a lot on the way home, still kind of reeling from being on the recieving end of someone's unexpected anger. I thought a lot about how I reacted, how I labelled her as "crazy" straight away. If I had actually shot her a judgemental look, then I would have still been shocked at her reaction but it would have felt a bit more understandable, I guess. I don't know. Ultimately we can only guess at what goes on in each other's internal landscapes, and reactions are not always what you expect.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Newtown Festival

Sunday was the Newtown Festival, a celebration of all the crazy diversity of my beloved neighbourhood. Aside from the colour of the Festival, the people, the hundreds of cute pooches underfoot, the music, the heat and the dust, one of the highlights for me was the Writers' Tent. I went to a couple of sessions there in the morning, wandered around the Festival for a while, before meeting up with a couple of people from the Newtown Flickr group.

AmberwavesAssembled Throng

Amberwaves of the Newtown Flickr group (left) and some of the assembled crowd (right)

Pretty In PinkRainbows
It was a very hot day, so sun protection was important - and colourful!

Think Pink 2Think Pink 1
Dogs, dogs and more dogs!

It was a fantastic day, even if somewhat hot and draining. Although it looks overcast in some of these pics it was stinking hot, and by early afternoon the Festival was packed and dusty. I love the Festival. Lot's of people come in from other neighbourhoods, but yet it still captures much of what I love about Newtown. Young, old, gay, straight, well dressed and 'feral' all mingling. It's quite commercial these days, but there is still enough creative local colour and community oriented stalls to off-set the commercial flavour.

When the mercury started to soar further in the early afternoon I beat a hasty retreat, and stopped by a pub on my way home to use the loo (the porta-potties at the Festival were beyond gross by afternoon), where I ran into Amanda, Coz and Anti Ob (Rob). A couple of beers in the shade of the pub beer garden was the perfect end to the afternoon.

Good times y'all.

A New Leaf

I've blogged a bit about feeling physically crappy of late, you know those 'downer' and 'boring' posts. Those ones.

Anyhoo, as part of a new resolve I'm making some diet changes and trying a few things to see if I have any other food intolerances or allergies. First cab off the rank is ditching wheat. It may not be an issue for me, but I figure if I ditch the main ingredient in two of my favourite food groups - the Pizza food group and the Pasta food group - then I'm kind of forcing myself to change bad habits, right?

It may be coincidence, because I've only been off wheat since Friday, or it may be that I've just been eating a much more healthy diet in generall over the past few days, but I feel great. Really great.

Saturday night dinner: Greek Haloumi fried in a light spray of olive oil, with a chopped salad of cucumber, spanish onion, cherry tomatoes, mung bean shoots and capsicum (bell pepper), dressed with extra-virgin olive oil, italian herbs and balsamic vinegar.

Sunday night I repeated the chopped salad, but with a piece of grilled fish and some dark rye bread on the side. I don't want to eat too much dairy, because I know that I'm lactose intolerant, but some cheese every now and then and yoghurt seems to be fine.

Dessert: kiwi fruit and green apple.

Breakfast for the past few mornings: Bircher muesli (untoasted organic muesli, grated apple and no-fat organic yoghurt - left to soak overnight in the 'fridge, and gets better with age!)

So it has been an interesting exercise. Too early really to tell if I've discovered the evil voodoo curse that has been making me feel bad, but I'm certainly eating better than I was a week ago! I've also discovered some gems, like Carman's muesli. OHMIGOD. I bought the Natural Blend Muesli and made the Bircher muesli recipe on the side of the pack. So good it makes me want to claw at myself in pleasure. Really.

So there you have it. I don't want to be one of those people who are ruled by allergies, I mean, I'm high maintenance enough as it is, right? But it feels good to be more pro-active about eating better and I really do feel less bloated and more energetic this morning. Time will tell.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I Ride The Short Bus Because I'm Special

I had one of the most interesting, challenging, involving and fantastic movie experiences today. I went to see Shortbus (offical movie site) by John Cameron Mitchell. I'm sure it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I think it especially speaks to those of us in the audience on the fringes of the 'mainstream'.

One quote I read about the film was from a reviewer who said they were more enchanted by the film than confronted by it. I have to agree. It's quite a roller coaster ride, and I'm glad that I'm going to see it again sometime in the following week, so I can absorb more of it.

Everyone is especially hung up about the sex in the film, so let's address that first. I was quite taken aback by the degree of explicitness. Not negatively, but it isn't something we are used to seeing in a mainstream theatre, and especially not bracketed by a real story and people who can act. Trust me, there is certainly little or no fakery here, the actors are having real sex and we get to see everything. It's interesting, the sex does give you a jolt at first but then you kind of adjust your expectations and it becomes less intrusive - or at least, that was my personal experience of it.

So although it kind of throws you off balance at times, what I felt it did was humanise the story and the actors. It's involving, and more 'real' than a soft fade to black when the pants start coming off. It's also shocking, titilating and funny at times. The film manages to be both deep and incredibly superficial, grittily real and dreamlike, all with in a few seconds of itself. Yet, for me anyway, it works.

One prime example is a character who at first seems like a vain self-absorbed pretty boy, which he is, but then in one of the most moving scenes in the film he shows his kindness and loving heart. He can be, and is, both of those things. Which is an unusually 3D message in what is normally a 2D medium.

Ultimately it's a very warm hearted film about connecting and relationships, about diversity and about the joyousness of sex. This is probably the most radical message of all, in a world that seems to be polarising into increased rights and acceptance on one side, and increased conservatism and denying of diversity on the other.

As well as the offical movie site, the Shortbus Salon cast and crew blog has some interesting snippets about the cast and crew, and the promoting of the film. Worth a look.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Channel 7 Is Messing With My Head

If you've read this blog for a while you'll know that I'm obsessed with the tv show "The Amazing Race". (I know I probably just lost half the readers of this entry with that opening line. Those of you still here, scooch your chairs in a little closer and let's make a smaller circle.)

BTW - I haven't linked to it because I'm avoiding spoilers, m'kay?! Duh.

The latest season of the show started in the US like 5 weeks ago, or something. Now, in the past Channel 7 have screened the show a few weeks behind the US. It's annoying and it means I have to try and avoid reading US blog posts that give away who gets knocked off each episode. (OK, just lost a few more. Spread out a bit kids, if you need more room.) Channel 7 have screened every season of the show, with the exception of the generally considered lame-ass "Family" edition that screened in the US ages ago.

Leap forward and see me realise that Channel 7 have scheduled "The Amazing Race" into the programs for this week. See me do the Happy Dance. See me think "well, 5 weeks behind or whatever but at least we are getting it!". See me turn on the show and then see me realise they are screening the lame-ass Family edition instead of the current season.

THAT is what crestfallen looks like.


I followed this woman and her companion for three Newtown blocks, until I could get close enough to take a picture of her shoes. Don't ever tell my I'm not committed to my art.

Personal Style

This sums up so much about Newtown to me. The stab at a personal style that bucks the trend. The pavers that have replaced regular bitumen footpaths in an attempt at gentrification. (I kind of like the pavers, don't get me wrong.) Oh, and ciggie butt in the bottom right corner that I cropped out of the frame.

I used a technique referred to as "shooting from the hip" for this. Although in this instance I guess it's "shooting the hipster from the hip". A discreet way of shooting when you don't want the subject to realise. Instead of bringing the camera up to your eye, you hold it down near your body somewhere (actual hip optional), aim in the general direction, say a prayer to the Gods Of Autofocus and hope for the best. Any composition flaws can often be fixed by cropping, but miss the focus and you're screwed. Out of a few frames I got this one, so fortunately - not screwed.

Can I Get A Cold Compress And A Sponge Bath From T.R. Knight?

The doctor's visit didn't supply a lot of hard data on the subject of my currently feeling shite, although it seems that my situation is likely the combination of a couple of things. A bad sinus infection was confirmed (as I suspected) and a mystery 'virus' assumed. The virus seems have almost worked its way out of my system, and I'm not getting the degree of overheated and achey feelings that I was getting. The sinus infection though is a real corker, and is still making me feel like crap. I've started treatment for it so fortunately my future (and yours) should blessedly contain few "I feel like shite" entries.

A couple of kind souls suggested trying to cut out wheat from my diet, to see if that makes a difference. This sounds hard but not impossible. I'm actually thinking it would be an interesting challenge, I mean so long as I still get to eat (modified) pasta and pizza every now and then, I'm in. Plus Gluten Free is so hot right now! Oh, and as Morgan said in an email; exercise, exercise, exercise. I will admit to being a tad less enthusiastic about that one at present... I know, I KNOW. Suck it up and get moving.

I've decided to cancel my plan to go to the big cocktail party my friends in Canberra are throwing this weekend. It's disappointing, as it's a great event held every year, but I don't feel like pushing it to do the 3 hours of travel each way. Plus any crash space alternatives would add a layer of cat allergy over my current sinus issues, or entail the expense of a hotel. I just don't feel like being away from the comfort of my own bed at present, and the late night and excess of a cocktail party is probably best avoided.

See, see how much of a grown up I can be sometimes! Sometimes.

What that does do is free up my weekend. So long as I feel a bit better, I should be free to head to the Newtown Festival and catch up with the lovely folk of the Newtown Flickrazzi. One of the things I'm looking forward to at the Festival is the Writers' Tent. Specifically the session of getting published. I know, I'd have to actually write something vaguely book-like in order to get said book-like object published... but I can dream, can't I?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Testing, Testing

I woke up and felt like crap this morning, so decided to take the day off and finally do something about the way I've been feeling for the past week. Remember the post where I said I felt old? Well, on some days recently I've felt kind sick too. Achey all over, and headachey in particlular. Almost like I've had a low-grade fever or am in the process of coming down with some sort of bug, but then it never turned into anything. I personally think it's a combination of allergies and a really bad sinus infection, and the doc thinks this is the likely culprit too. I got some tests done to find out, and I'm expecting it to be sinus mostly.

On the upside it gave me an excuse to lie on the couch and watch screwball comedies from the 1930s and '40s. Gotta love that.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Husband, Father, Raging Hypocrite

This is the worst form of hypocrisy, don't you think? Sure, sexuality is complicated and not easily black or white for many people. Sure, some people find themselves trapped into a situation (like marriage for instance) because of fear, circumstance, indecision or expectation. Sure, if you are raised in a strictly religious Christian background then confusion, expectation and fear might be increased. (I say "might" because I dont want to infer that all strict Christians are intolerant of difference.)

But you know what? If you stand up and add your voice to the chorus of those seeking to deny rights to gay people, while paying a gay sex worker every month for 3 years then you are worthy of scorn and being labelled the worst kind of hypocrite. How many conscious decisions did it take to keep that secret Ted? How many times did you lie to your family, cover your tracks, make the phone calls for sex, and for drugs? You can pretend that you were "weak", but this isn't a minor slip we are talking about. This took planning and hundreds, maybe thousands, of lies.

I read the quote from his letter where he says "There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I've been warring against it all of my adult life." On one hand I find that incredibly sad, that degree of self-loathing. On the other hand, he isn't just talking about the drugs and the sex workers here, they're comparatively recent guests at the party, he's talking about homosexuality as well. Dark. Repulsive. By association he tars me with that same brush.

So I say, Pastor Haggard... fuck you, you self-loathing, lying scumbag.

Magic Carpet Ride

It's that time of year again. Jacaranda time:

Magic Carpet

One of my favourite times of the year. Around my neighbourhood lots of the streets and laneways are carpeted in a brief magic carpet. A couple of rainy days and time have started to turn the blossoms to mush, but it's magical while it lasts.

Green Thumbs

Every now and then I get it into my head to try something. A little project. Lately I've developed a sudden mania for the concept of gardening, and especially for growing my own food. Maybe it's the first twinges of survivalism, brought on by military tensions and too many episodes of Jericho. Maybe it's the adimiration I have for my favourite blogging homo gardening show presenter. Who can say?

Italian Parsley

I have a paved courtyard, with some small garden beds that are fully planted out, so I've gone for things that I can grow in pots. I like pots anyway, in a decorative sense. I've used blue glazed ceramic pots of various shades and sizes, and they look nice. No muss no fuss.

The other day I planted Italian Parsley (above), Tom Thumb cherry tomatoes (below) and capsicums (bell peppers). Not exactly enough to make me self sufficient, but the start of a salad at least. Next on the agenda is a chilli plant, more herbs and some salad greens.

Cherry Tomatoes

When friends of mine moved from an apartment with a large sunny balcony to an apartment with only a tiny one, I inherited their cumquat tree (below). I haven't had a bumper crop from it yet, but I've only had it for a little while. It seems to enjoy my courtyard, which is fairly sunny, and even if there isn't much fruit I enjoy it for it's ornamental value as well. I think I have a recipe somewhere for some sort of marmalade or preserve made with cumquats, but they are too bitter to eat as they are.


I've been a bit lazy with looking after my courtyard. Weeding the beds and stuff. Something which I'm trying to get better at of late. When I moved in it was hard to use it in Summer because there was very little shade. I remember eating lunch al fresco with the home owners (friends of mine) once, before I moved in, and baking in the harsh sun. Now it's surrounded by trees and banana palms in my neighbour's garden, so it still gets a lot of sun but there are shady spots to sit.

Paved With Stars

There is a tree next door which has been chopped back and regrown like a weed over the years, and is responsible for starting to push over my fence, but it drops these tiny star shaped flowers that pave my courtyard. I kind of like it when it does, even though the tree is a pain in my ass.

I'm enjoying watching the stuff I have planted grow. The tomatoes are growing so fast that it's almost visible from one day to the next. Expect lots of excitable posts when the fruit starts to appear.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Denying Being Closeted Is The New Black

Neil Patrick Harris comes out in a fabulously self-loathing-free statement of fact. Yay! Well done Doogie.

Sculpture By The Sea

On Saturday morning I joined some of my Flickr mates for a trip to the annual Sculpture By The Sea event at Bondi Beach. The public display of 108 sculptures lines the cliff walk between Bondi Beach and Tamarama Beach, with additional scultptures in the parks along the way. We agreed on a 5am start, in order to see the dawn and get some sunrise photo opportunities.

Pre-Dawn BondiGrey Dawn

As it turns out the morning was so overcast, cool and a little rainy that there wasn't much of a dawn to speak of, but the changing light and the cool blue tones of pre-dawn made for a lovely backdrop to the sculptures. One of my favourites was the sculpture above (right) that was covered in frosted glass squares, that tinkled in the stiff dawn sea breeze.

AnemoneExotic Anemones

Many of the sculptors took advantage of the sea location, using the strong winds to power kinetic sculptures or to make sound from the breeze.

Steady GazeConcealed & Revealed

Other sculptors took the sea theme more literally and made strange and fantastic sea creatures, or strange objects that looked like sea-wrack from another world.

The WatchersStorm Tail

It was a fun morning, we were early enough that the crowds hadn't yet assembled and so were able to take shots of the sculptures uninterrupted. There was pretty much just ourselves, and some of the local residents out walking their dogs or jogging. We rounded out the morning with breakfast at a Bondi cafe, with coffee, eggs and good conversation. Having risen at 4am I was a little tired for the rest of the day, but it was a really fun way to spend the morning and I'm glad I went.