Friday, March 31, 2006

Possibly One Of The Most Disheartening Sentences In The English Language

"I'll pick you up at 5.30... am."

So, it looks like tomorrow is going to be an early start then. (He says, using the fine art of understatement.) On account of the fact that there is a function on at the venue tonight, we can only get in to set-up the bookshop tomorrow morning before the conference opens.


We Only Do Tuna 'N' Sweetcorn

I was just having a chat with one of my workmates, a woman of Irish/English heritage who I always address as "Our Cath". We were talking about our favourite English comedy shows and the conversation reminded me of two of my old favourites that I haven't seen for a long time, and really should seek out on DVD.

My family background is resolutely English 'working class', and working class from the north of England. Maybe it's no coincidence that both of these shows take that socio-economic setting and use it as the source of much rich material for satire.

Dinnerladies, an inspired two season series by one of my favourite UK comedians Victoria Wood. Populated with loony but lovable characters, with Wood's character Brenda as the the core, this comic soap-opera of the daily goings on in a factory canteen always cracked me up. Throw in cameos by the always fantastic Julie Walters as Brenda's delusional bag-lady mother, and it was a recipe for comedy gold.

Here's a clip of the scene We only do Tuna 'n' Sweetcorn.

My other great love, The Royale Family. Possibly the most minimalist comedy ever created, as 95% of the show took place on the 'living room suite' of the Royale family. It's a hard show to describe, but much of the comedy came from the careful observations of family dynamics and the unique comic timings and cadences of speech of people from the Manchester area. Amongst the family tensions were some very close relationships, and the air of good natured ribbing and banter was quite similar to my own family. The series was cleverly written by two of the cast members, primarily by Caroline Ahern who played the daughter Denise.

Bursting At The Seams

I made an informal pact with myself that I wouldn't keep blogging about being busy and tired this week, and that's not what this post is about. (So Mike, you can stop with the eye rolling.) Well, maybe it's a bit about that, peripherally. You see, I'm excited. Excitement, I'm bursting with it.

Now that the bulk of the scut work of getting ready for the conference is over, I can feel excited about it rather than paranoid that everything won't get done. I don't know if any of you have ever done any volunteer work, I've done other bits and pieces with other organisations, but I'm always so pleasantly surprised at how willing and motivated the volunteers at my Buddhist centre are. Truly a nice bunch of very kind people.

I can't talk about being excited without mentioning Morgan of course. You'll allow me these moments of exuberance, won't you? I promise to keep the gushing to a reasonable level. We've only just started dating and getting to know each other, and so it's real early days and we're not rushing it, but I like him a lot and I haven't felt this excited about meeting someone new for a long time. Happy, excited, a little bit nervous, marvelling at feeling a real connection with someone, all the wonderful feelings of meeting someone that you like a lot. Maybe "thrilled" is the word I'm looking for?

Yesterday I blogged about the glass being half-full but I suspect it's considerably more full than that.

[Updated: I should say, lest you think this is all very highbrow, that there's a goodly portion of lust involved. I mean, check him out. So cute! Oh, and he'll be blushing like nothing on this Earth right now. Heh, heh.]

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Today Is Glass Half Full Day

Bodhi accused me of having had a Prozac Smoothie for lunch.

I don't know why.

Quick Turnaround

Your day starts badly. Late bus, and then three come together all at once. The half empty ones sail by, leaving you to get on the one that's almost full. Standing for what feels like ages, while the bus driver vaccilates between gunning the accelerator and riding the brake. Two women try to get off but the ignorant city suit guy standing in the aisle on his mobile phone is slow to react, meaning that they miss their stop. Then he has the gall to complain loudly to the person on the other end of the phone "Sorry, someone was just trying to push past.", and you can't help but get annoyed on their behalf. He sits, then you take the empty seat next to him. He digs into his bag, opens a folder that ends up sitting on your lap almost as much as his. Then someone behind you reaches for the bell, misses and smacks you upside the head. A perfunctory apology is all you get, while his female friend sniggers....

And so on.

Then you sit down at your desk and you get an unexpected and pleasant email, with a lovely compliment in it and... like a bubble bursting ::pouf:: the bad mood is gone!

So, here's a suggestion. Take a minute and send someone a heartfelt compliment either in an email, SMS or tell them in person. Make someone's day. It feels really good.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

When Good Craft Goes Bad

As tigtog kindly reminded me, the creative urge can sometimes go awry.

Case in point:

Hello, Bjork? The Internet called, they found your handbag.

Something Is Missing

One of the things I really want to do at the moment, but this time-crunch I'm going through presently is stopping me from doing, is to make something. I have an incredible urge to paint something, stitch something, try my hand at some new creative outlet. Maybe it's the fact that the days are getting shorter here, Winter is always a time when I feel more like staying in, flicking on the tv and settling in with some sort of 'project' to work on. So I'm cruising craft porn and wishing.

I don't believe in The Devil, but apparently he likes idle hands.

The ::Kachunk:: ::Kachunk:: Of The Pricing Gun

This week is kind of a blur of busy work and then evenings spent at the Buddhist centre getting ready for the conference next weekend. Fortunately I'm sleeping pretty well, but I've been waking up progressively earlier and earlier. This morning it was just after 5am. Urgh. The upside though is that I have to be at the conference venue on Saturday at 6am, so if I'm going to be getting up early all this week then Saturday shouldn't feel like too much of a hardship, right? Right?

Oh look at that, the glass is half full!

Last night the lovely Morgan volunteered to give me a hand, which was very sweet of him. We were a book counting and pricing machine people. You could hardly hear yourself think for the ::kachunk:: of the pricing gun. (Ok, slight exaggeration, but we did get a lot done.) Having pleasant company made the job that much easier, and certainly more fun. Afterwards Morgan and I went for a quick Indian meal, had a pleasant stroll through Newtown, and then I headed home for an early night. Good times.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fun Is Where You Find It

I'm deep in the dark part of the woods with work at the moment. Surrounded by towering stacks of work to be done, now! My biggest task at the moment is doing lots of payments to clients. Something that has to be done exactly right, but is kind of boring and repetitive at the same time boring and repetitive at the same time boring and repetitive at the same time...

Sorry about that.

So, quite a few of our clients are from overseas backgrounds, and in the course of doing this boring and repetitive task boring and repetitive task... sorry... some names have stood out because of their amusement value. Remember, I'm borderline hysterical with tiredness and work that's boring and repetitive boring... shit.

I give you:
  • My Ho
  • Kit Chan (say it fast)
  • Daisy Chen (again, say it fast)
  • Farah Farah (where's Charlie Charlie or Sabrina Sabrina?)
  • Chuong Hung Dong

Although, none of these quite match up to my friend Spyder, who once served a lady at her work who's surname was Tittiporn.

This One's For Bodhi

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I must say that the charms of The Re-badged 90210 O.C. are lost on me. However, the sight of any of the male leads perks Bodhi up like nothing else, so Bodes this ones for you.

I kind of like the way the red dribble from the graffiti above looks like blood. The O.C. gets edgy. I took this pic in Newtown last Thursday night, when I was on the Sydney Photobloggers midweek meet-up.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Baby Shower

The full set of photos from Louise's baby shower is here, but here are a couple of snaps from the afternoon.

Fairy Bread
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Fairy Bread! A good old fashioned Aussie institution, which covers the three basic food groups of 1. Soft white bread, 2. Butter/margarine and 3. Sprinkles! It's the taste of childhood and tooth decay. Nummy.

Baby Gamer Jump Suit
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Possibly the single most excellent baby shower gift ever, from the lovely Coz. (Click the pic for a bigger image.) Extra Nerd Points(TM) if you spotted the reference to a Dungeons & Dragons character profile!

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

"Hansel needs some sugar, Daddy. Sugar Daddy bring it home.
It's a car wash ladies & gentlemen!"


[Update: Coz bought the baby gamer jumpsuit from a website called Jinx, for those who are interested.]

The Big Bumper Fun Size Economy Pack Weekend Recap

There's a lot to cover from this weekend. No little slim-line recaplet this week, no sirreee! Get comfortable. So, we begin:
  • By the end of the work day on Friday I was feeling very tired and worn out. My work is very busy at the moment and I've been burning the candle at both ends a bit, both socialising and getting things ready for the conference next weekend. I had a short nap when I got home and then joined my friend Miss Eudoxia, and her friend Jodie Sorrell, for a 9pm showing of the movie Kinky Boots. I quite enjoyed the film, and afterwards the three of us went for coffee and had a great chat and some laughs. Even though I was dead on my feet it made for a fun night.
  • Saturday morning I swung by Fat Fighters for processing, down another 1.2Kg this week. Alriiiiiight!
  • Afterwards I went into the Buddhist centre to meet up with a volunteer who offered to help me prepare for the conference, and we spent the rest of the morning pricing incense and lots and lots of books. I had misread the invite for a Baby Shower I was invited to, thinking it was Saturday afternoon when it was actually on Sunday, so I spent a while racing around getting gifts together before I realised. This gave me a few hours free in the afternoon, so I headed back to the Buddhist centre for a while then home for a nap prior to going out Saturday night.
  • In a busy but fun weekend, Saturday night was the highlight. Drinks at The Newtown Hotel, dinner at the always delicious (but unfortunately quite noisy) Thai Pothong, and then a couple of drag shows at The Imperial, all this in the company of a wonderful man. A man who's possibly reading this and blushing right now! I think he's pretty amazing.
  • Sunday was another morning and early afternoon spent at the centre pricing books for the conference, then off to a baby shower for my friend Louise (aka "world peace & a speedboat", aka "The Mothership"). It was a lovely afternoon, with lots of catching up with friends, eating delicious high-fat high-sugar goodies and playing with sundry dogs & kiddies. Photos from the afternoon are in this Flickr set.
  • After a busy week of being out every night, Sunday night was spent finally reading my 212 emails from my home email account and posting new pics to Flickr, then turning in for an early night.

All up, a lovely weekend.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Evil Has A New Face

Warning: Dear American visitors, on account of the Commonwealth Games coverage Australia is now like two weeks behind you guys in The Amazing Race coverage. So please comment by all means, but watch those spoilers please!

This man's name is Lake. He's a dentist. He's married to Michelle. He's a contestant on The Amazing Race. He likes to holler and has poor impulse control. He makes mistakes and doesn't like to admit blame.

His wife generously describes him as a "Type A" personality.

The "A" stands for Asshole.

Scattered and Distracted

I'm all over the place at the moment.

Work is busy, my social life is busy, I'm frantically getting ready for running the bookshop at the conference in just over a week's time and I'm trying to design and source shopfittings for the bookshop at the new premises the Buddhist centre I attend is moving to. Last night I swung by the mid-week get together of the Sydney Photobloggers group, but then had to hightail it to the centre to start preparing to price all the books and other merchandise for the conference. It was brief but fun, and I got to meet up with some of my favourite Flickr-ites and meet a few of the ones I knew by name and photos only previously.

I don't really mind being this busy at the moment, although if my work was a little bit less busy that would be a huge help! Working on the conference and the new bookshop is exciting, and something I love doing. I do keep having those moments of almost panic though where I feel like I've forgotten to do something like vital, like order any books... I haven't, but it's like just before an exam where you have that moment of brain-freeze and think "Oh my God, I completely forgot to do any study!" even though you have.

Oh, and as a footnote; this just goes to show that my weight loss is still a work in progress. In my defence, might I add (can you tell I used to live with a lawyer?), that my jeans are getting noticeably baggy and I pulled in my belt another notch that very same morning! :)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I Love A Good Chart, Don't You?

I try not to be a hit whore, really I do. I check my stats every so often, primarily to see where in the world people are visiting from (Riyadh, Johannesburg and other exotic places). It's always interesting though to look at the number of visits, and the number of page views, that this blog is getting.

Visits over the past year:

March is looking like a good month, given that there is still a week to go. But heck, what about that November, huh? I'm just a shadow of the person I was in November.

Visits and page views (aptly, in pink) over the past year:

Again, how wonderful things were in November. You all just loved me sick in November, didn't you? I was so entertaining, so wonderful. Oh, and what a crushing disappointment I was to you in December and January. But, we've been through a lot together. You gave me a second chance, one that I possibly don't deserve, but you gave it to me because you're better than that, aren't you? You have it in your heart to forgive, to say "sure, I was disappointed, but let's just move on from that".

For that I love you, I really do.

Some Thursday Snippets

  • I'm not ruling out a change from Blogger in the future, because of late the problems they've been experiencing seem to be getting worse. I hadn't been able to log in all morning to write an entry, and then there were the problems Michael was having last week with his disappearing and reappearing blog. The upside? Blogger and blogspot hosting is free.
  • My sweet friend Andrew F is moving his blog to another host at present, so his site is down for the next day or so. In the meantime, check out the gorgeous re-design he's done of the website for the Buddhist centre we both attend, Vajrayana Institute.
  • On the topic of things Buddhist, I discovered a gorgeous set of photographs taken at Kopan Monastery by a Flickr-ite called thecnote. Either this November, or next November, I intend to do the month long course of teachings and meditation at Kopan Monastery. Her lovely photographs have spurred me on even harder to start saving my pennies to go.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

How Much Ego Is "Too Much"?

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

A bit of vehicular grandstanding I spotted in Darlinghurst last week.

Note To Self

Next time that someone comes home and wakes you 15 minutes after you have fallen asleep, because they don't realise you are in bed at the comparatively early time of 10.15pm, best not to fix them with a killing stare and call them a noisy bitch. M'kay?

Sorry about that Bodhi!

Adventures In Naturopathy

I've blogged a little bit here and there about my health in the past few months; my discovery of the fact that I had high blood pressure and the cholesterol level of a bacon sandwich, my weight loss adventures and the possibility that I might have had an incident of depression. So, I've been doing what I should since the start of the year. Taking my supplements and herbs. Losing 7Kg (about 15 pounds). Exercising more. Eating better.

It has paid off. I feel great, I look better, my mood is certainly improved, I'm sleeping better, and best of all I saw the naturopath this morning and he said "Your blood pressure is 120 over 80. Excellent!"


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cheat's Post

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

You know that I don't like to let a day go by without sharing some sort of morsel with you all, right? My little way of saying, hey guys, check this out.

Well, today I'm a little overwhelmed. Work is completely kicking my butt with its sheer volume. In amongst that I'm spending my lunchtime trying to get loose ends tied up for the bookshop I'll be running at the conference in a couple of weeks time, the one my Buddhist centre is co-hosting. Oh, and I'm out tonight and tomorrow night.


So, here's pic entry which is a bit of a cheat's post really. Something quick. I took this picture of Pinks in a flower bed in Newtown last weekend. Ask me sometime to fill you in how these things were favourites of the 16th century Elizabethans, m'kay? How they crop up in portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, and other people of the era.

...oh crap, so much for a short, quick post. Gotta dash.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Tracking Device

Tracking Device Bin
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

It also has a tractor beam and planet destroying lasers.

Some back lane silliness from my beloved neighbourhood, Newtown.

A Bijou Weekend Recapette

More yays! than boos! to report on this past weekend's report card:
  • Finalising the stocktake of the bookshop at the Buddhist centre, and finding out from the accountant that we had the best result ever. Yay!
  • Watching endless hours of Season 2 "Arrested Development" on DVD. Yay!
  • New haircut and blonde streaks. Yay!
  • Seeing these gorgeous flowers on Saturday morning and taking a picture. Yay! Then having a homeless man with a pocketknife and lots of agression come along, hack some of the plants to bits and start throwing them at me, screaming all the while. Boo!
  • Drinks, dinner and coffee with fellow blogger Morgan, who is just as smart, warm and funny as I thought he would be. Yay!
  • The ongoing saga of Michael's problems with Blogger, and consequently my favourite blog Pipedreams going awol. Boo!

See? On balance, more yays! than boos!, which really is the best I could ask for.

[Update: Pipedreams seems to be back, cross everything that it stays that way!]

Sunday, March 19, 2006

One + One

One + One
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

More of the fantastic pavement art outside the Newtown Town Hall Community Centre. I heart it.

Someone asked me recently how I find all the stuff that I photograph, which I thought was an interesting question. I'm a very visually oriented person, I could live without music I think but I would struggle to live without visual stimulus. I'm already a very observant person, but one thing that taking photos does is to make you start to look at things through fresh eyes. I love taking pics of things that are quirky, or interesting details of things. One of the joys of living somewhere as visually rich as Newtown is that it is ripe for the picking. Belonging to Flickr, and groups like the Newtown and Sydney Photobloggers groups, means that I get to see my surroundings through other people's eyes as well. It's fun to see the things that people take an interest in, and how through the medium of photography that their own personal point-of-view comes across.

Friday, March 17, 2006


I had a poor night's sleep last night, the first one in a while (thank goodness), and as a consequence I'm a bit flat and tired today. Not sparking. Chances are I'll come good and get my second wind, or at least I'm preparing to pin my hopes on that one.

It doesn't help that my work tasks today are kind of tedious but complicated. Exporting records out of a piece of accounting software, adjusting them by copying and pasting from a spreadsheet, then importing them back and checking for errors and skipped records.

::zzzzzzz:: Sorry, just had a micro-sleep.

All this and a complete lack of an sort of St Patrick's Day celebrations here! Ok sure, I'm not even remotely Irish, but I did wear a green shirt today and I think I even have khaki (greenish) undies on.

That should count for something, right?

To Be Sure, To Be Sure

Happy St Patrick's Day, whether you be genuinely Irish, or whether you are Irish for just one day a year!


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Time To Go Pro

I had un petit crise the other day when I thought that my friend Flickr had deleted the oldest of my photos and trashed a couple of my Sets. As it turns out I had just surpassed the 200 photo limit of the free account, and while the photos are still there, I just can't see them. Phew.

So I've plonked my $24.95 US down for a Pro account. I love how that sounds. "Pro" I mean, I can feel my photos are getting better as we speak. I paid for it through PayPal so it take a few days for the payment to be accepted and the account upgraded, but then I get my photos back. The ransom has been paid, is in an airline bag in a locker at a Greyhound terminal, just waiting to be collected.

At Risk Of Sounding "Bi"

My first thought was nice guns!...

...on both of them.

Jeebus H Cripes, that Michael Klim is hot.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sticky Moments

For some bizarre reason, while I was standing in the shower this morning, letting the Aveda Pure-fume Volumizing [sic] Clay Conditioner work its magic on my locks (as you do), I was thinking about Julian Clary's '80s game show "Sticky Moments".

Anyone? Dr Freud?

Oh how I loved this show. Sure it became somewhat formulaic after a while, but oh how I laughed when it was all so young, so fresh, so thoroughly and camply outrageous. How I loved the super-sized sidekick Mr Hugh Jelly, and Fanny The Wonderdog. How I laughed at Julian's outfits!

Best of all the way he good naturedly turned the contestants into 'straight men' and foils for him to say the most outrageous things. Two examples immediately jump to mind, from the game where contestants were asked to complete the sentence:
Julian: Complete this sentence, "Cupid, draw back your..."?

Contestant: Bow?

Julian: No, sadly. Foreskin.

Or, this classic:
Julian: Complete this sentence, "The similarity between a roll of lino and my friend Kevin is..."?

Contestant: Um?

Julian: Time's up I'm afraid. They can both be used to line your back passage.

They just don't make comedy like that anymore.

Mmmmmm... Fat

Most Tuesdays I head over to my friend Judy's house to teach her sewing and tailouring, and help her make a costume she's working on. As part of the regular deal she cooks dinner, we catch up and gossip, and then she drives me home. Judy's a good cook and is aware of a couple of small restrictions I have, being a vegetarian and being lactose intolerant. Plus, at the moment anyway, the whole "dieting" thing.

So last night she made the most incredibly delicious baked Macaroni & Cheese, with sides of roasted roma tomatoes and caramelised onions. Then we had raspberries with yoghurt for desert. The Mac & Cheese had white sauce, cream, great big huge chunks of scrummy cheddar cheese... mmmm, full fat dairy.

I'm dying here. Overnight I a) had the biggest 'lactose attack' (I'll spare you the gory details) and b) put back on about 4 kg I think. My goodness though, it was all worth it. It tasted incredible.

I had thirds.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I've been getting odd Blogger messages all day today, especially when I've been posting comments and/or hitting the browser 'back' button. Weird FORBIDDEN! and YOU DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THAT SERVER! type nastiness.

Oh, don't even start to take that tone with me!

If it happens to you, hit 'refresh' and it eventually goes away. Oh and you might want to stare it down and shake your fist at it too. It's more fun.


Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

So you think to yourself "I think my house would look better... pink!" and then you paint it and think to yourself "That Barbie pink sure is lovely, but looks a little... plain."

Patterned exterior on a residence in Lewisham. Done with a patterned paint roller to simulate wallpaper, I remember these from the '70s. The results were pretty crap, even then...

Monday, March 13, 2006

5 Things That Have Improved My Monday Enormously

  1. Being accompanied for part of my walk to work this morning by a chattering bunch of Cacatua galeritas, including one little guy that waddled along in the middle of the road. (I had my camera with me, but didn't get a snap anywhere near as good as this one by The Department.)
  2. A superb kiwi fruit, with just the right amount of mouth puckering tartness.
  3. Good coffee.
  4. It's not all about food and beverages. Looking around Das Internetz today, reading blogs and looking at cool photos, I realised just how many great people I've gotten to know (face-to-face and electronically) through the medium. C'mon, let's have a group hug!
  5. I don't want to jinx it, but I'm back into a good sleep cycle. ::touches wood:: Good for me, that is only waking up maybe once or twice a night. Baby steps.

Noodles & Canoodles

Time for the ubiquitous Monday morning recap of the weekend past. On account of the fact that a bunch of people have asked me how the date went on Friday night, I'll be extending coverage to include Friday night. (Rob, it's ok you can uncover your eyes, there will be no over-share.)

So, Friday night was date night and it was very nice. That's not damning with faint praise, it really was very nice. He went to a lot of effort and made a lovely vegetarian Indian meal, complete with gorgeous tiny marinated figs for desert that he served with cinnamon and honey yoghurt. We hung out, cuddled, talked about books, opera and philosophy. Cuddled some more. It was a really pleasant evening. I don't know that either of us is all that particularly keen on rushing into making it something more, but for the time being it's friendly, casual and uncomplicated, which is great.

Saturday morning was the kiss or cry (aka the weigh in at Weight Watchers) which, given that I lost nearly a kilo last week (making it 4.5Kg so far), was more 'kiss' than 'cry'. The rest of the day was a meditation retreat, and in the evening I just hung out at home, watched some tv and had a much needed early night.

Sunday was lots of fun. I met up with Mikey (the lovely ex) at The Beauchamp Hotel on Oxford Street for a couple of drinks and a chat before heading to the Flickxibition '06 photography exhibition that I mentioned here. It was lovely to catch up with the people I met through the Sydney Photobloggers group, and to meet new people like Morgan, whose blog Morgspace I started reading recently, and his friends. There is a Flickxibition Group now on Flickr which has a bunch of photos from the evening, including this one of us all acting like complete nerds doing the 'Flickr handsign'. As the exhibition drew to a close we headed to Wagamama for a group dinner. I had my favourite vego noodle soup and Gyoza combo, diet be damned! It was a lovely night, full of lots of laughs and good food, and the perfect end to a good weekend.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Whip It Good

I know that most of my readers possibly have too much Inner Urban Hipster in them to have an interest in *gasp* craft, but there's a lot of very cool things being made out there under the name "craft" that are nothing like your Gran used to make. I love making things, and especially as the weather starts to cool and more time gets spent on the couch, I always like to have a little "project" to work on while I watch tv.

I was reading Gadgetgirl's blog recently and followed a link to a new(ish) group craft blog called WhipUp. They showcase some of the most gorgeous modern craft out there, and have the occasional tutorial on making funky stuff. Claire of Loobylu, who I have read for years, is one of the contributors and it's nice to see that they have bloggers from all over (including a few others from Australia), so that local artists and suppliers get a mention.

There is a really satisfying feeling in making something yourself and being able to look at it and say "You know, that's pretty good!". Or especially to make something for someone else, and have them love receiving it.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Balloon Installation 3
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I spotted this installation a week or so back, on my walk into work in the mornings. By the time I spotted it the heat was already starting to decimate it, if you look closely you can see the gaps where some of the ballons have deflated or popped. There are about 9 windows in total, so it was obviously quite a time consuming job to blow all the balloons up and pin them to the sheets of polystyrene that line the back of the windows. I love the idea that someone, or a group of people, took the time to make something so bright, frivolous and ephemeral. Seeing it sure did brighten my morning.

Friday Five

  • Fears of a substantial degree of disfigurement appear to be unwarranted, the Cold Sore Of Doom & Despair is still there but is mostly invisible now. No paper bag required.
  • Date night tonight!
  • One notch tighter in the belt + jeans getting noticeably looser + ease of seeing my own toes = morale boost and desire to shop.
  • T.G.I.F. Like, seriously.
  • Relaxing weekend ahead. I'm on a meditation retreat all day tomorrow, and have most of Sunday unplanned, except for catching up with Mikey (the lovely ex) in the afternoon and heading to the photography exhibition I mentioned in my previous post.


From this Sunday onwards 5 local Flickr-ites are participating in a group photography show at Gallery FourtyFour here in Sydney. If you are in the area and interested in attending, the opening is this Sunday at 6pm.

It promises to be a good show. I know two of the photographers from the Sydney Photobloggers group on Flickr, Talsit and *hime* and I've admired their photos very much. I'm not familiar with the other photographers taking part, but I'm looking forward to seeing their work.
Sunday 12th March, 6pm
Gallery FourtyFour
44 Little Oxford St

A bunch of people from the Sydney Photobloggers group are planning on attending, and I'll be there with Mikey (the lovely ex). Why not stop on by and have a look?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Iron Lace & Magnolia

Iron Lace & Magnolia
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

To me this looks like something from a gentler age. Can you smell the bayou? Hear the cicadas? Feel the lace of your gloves as you lift your skirts?

In reality it's the magnolia growing in one of my neighbour's front garden, in sunny downtown Newtown. Not a crinoline in sight. Alas.

Cruel Twist Of Fate

I have a dilemma.

First some back-story. I've had a weird sore throat/cold-without-the-stuffy-head-part type bug late last week and much of this week. Plus I've had a very stressful week; big fight with my boss, nearly stepping over the honesty line in a desire to tell her what a crap boss she is, almost either quit or got my ass fired... Anyhoo, as a result of that, although I feel ok I've obviously been a bit stressed and run down.

Zipping ahead, and here comes the over-share. It was Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras weekend here last weekend. One of the biggest party weekends on the GLBT calendar. So I partied a bit on Sunday, ended up at the pub with old friends that know live in Perth. Also met up with someone I met a while back who is a local and ended up shagging myself stupid all evening in a threesome. (Too much sharing?)

OK, so. Said someone has invited me over for dinner tomorrow night, more of a date, but no doubt one thing will lead to another. Here's the dilemma. With the cold and the stress, I've broken out in my only second ever COLD SORE. Herpes! It's still only less than 24 hours old and I've started putting cream on it, but it's not likely to go away in time for this date is it? Do I cancel? Do I still go and say, "lovely dinner, sorry no shag, must go! Buh bye"?

Where's "Dear Abbey" when you need her?

[Updated: When in doubt, be honest. I just rang him, told him the situation and asked him if he wanted to re-schedule. He said "No, still come to dinner." Sweet!]

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Bird of Paradise
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Sorry for the paucity of posts this week. Frantically busy at work, and all sorts of dramas and hysterias being thrown here is making for a stressfull and shitty week. So, the perfect antidote for all these dramas, something pretty! When the going gets tough, the tough (or not so tough) distract themselves.

These beautiful Bird of Paradise flowers are growing in a neighbour's front yard, just up the street from my house. Now that Autumn is just around the corner, the days are already getting shorter here, I'm relishing the last of the Summer flowers.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Save Lauren!

OK, so it was the Academy Awards last night. I love the Academy Awards. The frocks, the glamazons, the handsome actors looking more handsome in a dinner suit, the fashion disasters, the great speeches, the really bad speeches. All of it.

Except... last night was kind of 'meh'. It would seem that I'm not the only one who thinks so. Some of the humour worked, some didn't. The dictator working the 40 second speech countdown got a little over zealous and cut some people off mid sentence. Really tragic fashion disasters were in short supply. The stage set was like some cake decorator's wet dream, a wet dream they had after reading a book on Art Deco.

Actually, I kind of thought we were going to be in trouble when they announced the theme was "A Return To Glamour", then featured an opening digital montage of past great actors, then the 'Art Deco on acid' set and then all the montages of past films. Each of these on its own, fine, but compiled together it seemed really backward looking. Safe. All this in a year when the top films were pushing new boundaries, with films like "TransAmerica" and "Brokeback Mountain" pushing the envelope, and films like "Crash" taking on themes of modern isolation, race, love etc. I just think it was a bit of a poor choice. Bad timing.

Worst of all, poor Lauren Bacall. I'm not sure what happened, I suspect her vanity made her try and do the whole thing without glasses. Maybe working from memory. Maybe the TelePrompter was fouling up. Whichever, I wanted to climb into the tv and give her a hand, lend her my glasses, whatever it took. It was agonising.

On balance, it was still fun. Not as good as it might have been though.

[Updated: OK, today's lack of posts is because I'm having a really shit day at work today y'all, it's the suck, but I forgot a few things. First, if I had a nominated song, which I wrote, and I had my big chance to sing it in front of millions of people, I would ask NOT to have a burning car and shambling zombie-tons behind. Seriously, did anyone even listen to the song? It was somewhat distracting. Secondly, Dolly Parton. OH MY GOD. She has lost too much weight. Couple that with being very heavily corseted and she just looked wrong to me. Too, too tiny. She's getting that gaunt monkey face too. Eat some ribs!]

Sunday, March 05, 2006

"The Aristocrats"!

I just saw an early Sunday morning screening of the documentary feature The Aristocrats. Oh. My. God. The subtitle of the film is "No Nudity. No Violence. Unspeakable Obscenity." for good reason.

The idea of the documentary is that there is a joke that has been doing the rounds for decades, a joke that is so unspeakably filthy that comedians tend to tell it to each other, and it rarely gets told to an audience. The other important aspect of the joke is that only the front set-up and the closing punchline are established, and the middle of the joke, the body of it, is usually ad-lib. Oh, and is supposed to be full of the dirtiest things you can imagine.

One of the funniest aspects of the film is seeing famous comics, like Paul Reiser, step outside their normally clean image and tell this disgusting joke. I especially loved a magician/comedian who told the joke as a card trick, using individual cards or sometimes the whole deck, to highlight parts of the joke. I have no problem with filthy jokes, but this film is not for those who are easily offended!

I think it's ending its run here in Sydney, but if you don't mind dirty jokes then I recommend it.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


TOA has been a picture-heavy blog of few words the past couple of days. The strong silent type. I caught some sort of sore throat bug a couple of days ago, and apparently if I don't feel like chattering I don't much feel like typing either. Weird.

Actually, I just haven't had much to report in the past few days. I stayed home from work on Friday and could regale you with tales of cleaning my bedroom and endless hours on Das Internetz spent Googling "Jake + Gyllenhaal + naked", but it has limited entertainment value (even for me).

I have however been watching endless hours of tv, so it's nice to know that somethings don't change, isn't it? The Amazing Race was just that, although they cut up the long first episode into two for showing here, so my dream of The Alpha Male Dentist, Mr I-Might-Have-Contributed-To-That-Mistake (when I didn't read the whole clue) being philiminated will have to wait until next week. I suspect however That 'Mo & Curly (The Gays) are out, but we'll see. If you know the answer keep it to yourself, m'kay!

So today is the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. I'm not planning on partaking at this point, but I will be catching up with friends tomorrow afternoon, including some of my old homies who have made the trip acoss from Perth. Good times.

Nummy Nums!

Nummy Nums!
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I saw this sign in Chinatown during my walk into work the other day. I did a silent-movie comedian style double take and then just had to go and photograph it. I'm hoping that the top-class placenta (none of your inferior placenta here!) is at least something for topical application, all though, even then, EWWWWW!

It was however on sale.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Tiny Cookies

Tiny Cookies
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.


More Tiny Cookies
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.


The picture on the packet says "Serving Suggestion". I guess step 1 is "Buy teeny tiny plate". Not so much 'Tollhouse' cookies, as 'Doll House' cookies.

There actually quite yummy though.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Seperated At Birth

It's uncanny.

Pick which one is the Prime Minister of Australia.

Popular With The Gays

If you've been reading the comments to my previous post about Dancing With The Stars, you might have heard some of my fellow 'mos waxing rhapsodic over Grant Denyer.

Here's a few pics of the 'pocket rocket' weatherman in action:

Quite cute. For my money though, hotness winner is definately Toby Allen, member of boyband Human Nature.

Speaking of The Gays, Kate Langbroek's professional dancer partner Alex Bryan* was one half of the all male couple who made it to the finals of the ABC dancing show Strictly Dancing. Here's a pic of Kate & Alex:

Alex is the one in the shorter skirt.

* In the Dancing With The Stars bio he's described as "strictly heterosexual", ummm oh-kay. Given that he's only 21, maybe he hasn't told his parents yet. Queer Australia sure as hell thought that he and his dance partner in Strictly Dancing were a couple of gay boys, I mean they supposedly also competed in the Gay Gaymes and Melbourne's gay "Midsummer" festival. Plus, he's not exactly butch I'm just sayin'.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Answers of 25 words or less.

Music journalist and tv presenter Ian "Molly" Meldrum performs a rhumba-like dance on Dancing With The Stars. (That's him on the right.)

Second question. Anyone care to take a stab at the song they were 'dancing' to?

It's A Race! It's Amazing!

[Warning: Judging by a comment left by my long distance internet boyfriend, I think the link below may contain a spoiler. Forewarned and all that.]

It's The Amazing Race! This is singularly my biggest tv addiction, and it starts here 9.30 tonight. It aired yesterday in the US, so I'm in full media lockdown until tonight. Even with that link above, I didn't look at the screen too long lest it have some sort of ELIMINATED label on one of the teams.

Does this degree of excitement make me seem full of youthful enthusiasm, or just sad?...

Don't answer that.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Outside My Office

QVB & Monorail
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

This is the view if you walk outside my office and head down a couple of buildings to the corner. Neat huh?

That's the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) in the background, a huge restored Victorian edifice that takes up an entire city block and is 4 levels of shopping arcade. In front that's the Monorail track, that loops around some of the city streets and then heads down and around the entertainment district of Darling Harbour. So tomorrow isn't it?

My Co-Workers Think I'm Insane

Did you all know that my office has the water cooler in it? Fact. Possibly one of the reasons why (as I've mentioned before) I'm the go-to-guy for people to tell their problems to in the office. The other spin-off of this is that I can sit at my desk, "work" (aka cruise the 'net) AND have water cooler conversations all at the same time.

Inevitably at some point the conversation turns to talk of tv. What were my picks for last night? "The Biggest Loser" and "Dancing With The Stars". What am I beside myself with excitement about? "The Amazing Race" starts tomorrow night and the impending "Oscars".

I always thought this was a metaphor, but I could actually see their eyes glaze over.