Thursday, August 31, 2006

Time To Lower Your Expectations

...because if you lower your expectations, you're never disappointed, right?

Posting here will be patchy or non-existant over the next couple of days. I know, I know. Just writing this makes me cringe, but it's the best I can do this week, my loves.

I'm working at a conference Friday-Sunday, which means a 7.30am start tomorrow and it'll be basically go-go-go until I collapse at the lovely Morgan's birthday drinks on Sunday night. All this week I not only started a new job, one which has meant getting up early to trek out to the asscrack of nowhere, but I've been going into the centre and pricing books and packing boxes around 9.30 or 10pm.

Right now I'm very, very stressed and very, very tired. I could use a back rub, actually any kind of rub would be good. I haven't even seen Morgan this week, even though we've chatted and emailed. It's not exactly what you would call relationship enhancing doing these conferences.

On the upside, I have Monday off.

Further upsides:
  • Quinn is in town, and even though it sucks that I'm busy most of the weekend, she's staying at my place and I'll get to hang out with her some, especially early next week
  • my good friend (and ex) Stephen is in town too and we're going out on Monday for lunch to celebrate my birthday
  • oh, did I mention it's my birthday on Monday?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oh Look! A Bandwagon!

I could not stand by and watch one, two, three (and probably more) of my peeps play this meme without me... so here goes.

Your Life Path Number is 6

Your purpose in life is to help others

You are very compassionate, and you offer comfort to those around you.
It pains you to see other people hurting, and you do all in your power to help them.
You take on responsibility, and don't mind personal sacrifice. You are the ultimate giver.

In love, you offer warmth and protection to your partner.

You often give too much of yourself, and you rarely put your own needs first.
Emotions tend to rule your decisions too much, especially when it comes to love.
And while taking care of people is great, make sure to give them room to grow on their own.

This thing works off your birthdate, so it must be based on some highly scientific numerology magic, or perhaps the casting and reading of entrails. Whatevs. According to this I'm lovely and compassionate and absolutely dynamite in the sack.

Well, that's what it should have said.

Exciting New Projects

It's probably no surprise to you, given how picture heavy it's been of late around here, that photography has really become my one major hobby these days. I've been taking lots of pics over the past few years, but that has really increased this year with getting a better camera and participating in Flickr.

So I have a couple of photography projects I'm really excited about. Remember the other day when I posted a quick poll to see which picture I should choose? Well that exhibition starts next Wednesday here in Sydney.
Date: Wednesday, 6th September
Venue: Cafe Giulia
Location: 92 Abbercrombie Street, Chippendale, Sydney.
Time: 6.30 - 8pm

If you're a Sydney local, please consider coming along to say "Hi" and check out all the pretty pictures. I know all the photographers involved, and there will be some great looking pics. It's a little scary, the concept of hanging one of your babies on the wall for all to see. By now I've fallen in love, out of love, back in love (rinse, repeat) with the picture I've chosen to submit. Aaargh. Anyhoo I'm very much looking forward to the event.

Project number two is something I just decided on last night. The Buddhist centre I attend is having an open day in early October, part of the celebration of the completion of our new centre. We had a committee meeting last night and I suggested that we have a Buddhist themed art & photography exhibition as part of the open day event. So now I've started to organise that, and send out the word to people who might be interested. The room we have set aside is lovely, part of the old Victorian part of the building. White walls, high moulded ceilings, picture rails and directional downlights - all perfect for this purpose. If anyone reading this is a Sydney local and might be interested in participating, hit me up with an email!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Catching A Breath And Catching Up

I started a new job yesterday, still with the same Christian charity I've been working at for the past few months and only a temp assignment, but a new job nonetheless. What I should have done, bright and early, was blog about what a fantastic weekend I had and tell you all that it was Morgan's birthday yesterday. My bad, as the young people say.

Instead I was deep in learning the new job, and reeling from the realisation that my future for the next few months is a loooong morning commute to way out in the 'burbs. Way. Out. There are only three of us in the office, in part of an lovely old building set in beautiful grounds, and yesterday I dropped a pin and I actually heard it. On carpet.

So. The weekend was fabulous, the higlight being the 50's Fair on Sunday.

Joyous Crimson

Set in the grounds of a fabulous modernist house built in 1950, the fair was chock full of market stalls, entertainers and people in 50's gear.

Still Life With Green Lady

I challenged myself by conquering my shyness and asking people if I could take their picture. It was a fun event, and everyone who was dressed up was very amenable to having their picture taken. There are more pics over on my Flickr photo stream.

A Man And His Dog

Afterwards a bunch of the Sydney Photobloggers, plus Morgan and myself, headed to Kate and Sam's house for a barbeque.

Kate's Bickies

With yummy bickies! It was a fab way to spend the day, and I wouldn't have changed any of it for the world. Great fun.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I Heart Eccentrics

I love this sort of thing. It makes my veins thrum with excitement to see someone expressing themselves, some who not only dances to the beat of a different drummer but IS the drummer.

Gnomical 1

I passed this house while walking around Summer Hill the other day, and once I copped a look at the front of this house I just had to get pictures of it.

Gnomical 2

There are gnomes, giant candy canes, Snow White, beaded garlands - you name it. The whole box and dice. I'm guessing this house belongs to an old retired couple, a couple who love kids maybe, and for whom every day would be Christmas if they could.

Gnomical 3

This is why it always pays to carry a camera. You never know when the magic will strike.

[Click the pics for larger versions.]

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Man In The Mirror

I discovered the most amazing tiled mural in "Little Portugal" in Petersham, here in Sydney, while I was out walking the other day. It goes for hundreds of feet and is made up of glazed tiles, predominantly blue and yellow in colour.

Self Portrait

Dotted througout are mirror tiles that make the viewer, or photographer, part of the mural.

Strange Creatures

It commemorates a visit by the President of Portugal, or some such malarky. I didn't even realise that Sydney had a "Little Portugal" as such, but a short walk up the street and I was surrounded by Portugese delis, cafes and restaurants. Quite the pleasant surprise.

Petersham Mural by Luis Geraldes

I love this city!

Hedwig Revisited

I saw it again last night...


...and it was just as fucking fabulous the second time around.

Friday, August 25, 2006

5 Important Facts Of Life I Discovered By Re-watching Pedro Almodovar's Movie "Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown"

  1. Hysteria is funnier in Spanish
  2. In 1988 Antonio Banderas was very, very beautiful
  3. Spanish police will happily enter your house and question you with only a modicum of explanation and without showing any ID, and you will accept this as perfectly normal
  4. When guests arrive at your house, cold tomato soup (gazpacho) is a perfectly suitable beverage to offer them
  5. Spanish women can cry, attempt to throw themselves off a balcony, pull a gun on you, throw a telephone/answering machine/shoe through a window (or all of the above) and still appear stylish

No idea what I'm talking about? Then see the film, it's fabulous!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

5 Contradictions About Me

  • I'm a complicated person with simple needs
  • I cherish kindness and compassion and can be an acid tongued bitch if I think it'll be funny
  • I'm 100% inner urbanite who loves wide open spaces
  • I'm quite shy when I'm not being an extrovert
  • I'm a private person who likes to share things with people

Now your turn.

Breakfast on Pluto

First up, we're talking Pluto the planet - not the dog. Just so we're clear.

On Tuesday night Morgan and I went to see Neil "The Crying Game" Jordan's latest film Breakfast on Pluto. (imdb info, vaguely annoying Flash-tastic official site, Sony Pictures Classics site)

It will be hard for Jordan to escape comparisons with "The Crying Game", because both films deal with themes of intrigue, life changing secrets, marginalised people, gender and sexuality. Oh, and Stephen Rhea is in both, so there's that too. It has only just been released here in Oz, but it isn't really a new film as it was made in late 2005.

The film stars Cillian Murphy as Patrick "Kitten" Braden, an abandoned child in a small 1960s Irish town who grows up as an outsider, not only within his foster family, but within the town itself. He escapes into dreams about glamour, his mysterious and beautiful biological mother, frocks and boys, supported by his friendships with a small band of fellow outsiders. Leaving home to search for his mother also allows Kitten to search for himself, to cobble together an identity that fits. The later setting of glam rock 1970s London also allows Kitten to experiment with androgyny and to revel in his sexuality and gender identity.

It's a long film at 2 hours plus, but an enjoyable one. There's a few kooky plot devices I was unsure about at first, and I think you have to suspend belief to a degree to believe that someone can sail through the adversities that Kitten encounters and still arrive relatively unscathed. Having said that, the film does work and is enhanced by some great perfomances, funky costume design and a killer soundtrack of 60s and 70s music. Enough to make me want to go out and find Patrick McCabe's book on which the film is based, and which according to the Sony site was #1 on Irish "Best Seller" lists when it was published.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Big Blue Sky Magnolias

I feel a little guilty, posting yet more Magnolia pictures... but c'mon, look at that sky! Vast. Clear. Cerulean even.

Big Blue Sky Magnolias

This exists in our world. Doesn't that encourage you? To think that there is so much beauty in this world, so much gorgeousness.

Of course to make the same point I could just as easily have posted a pic of the early thirty-something in the tight white t, low rider jeans and some chin scruff I saw earlier today, but that would have cheapened it, don't you think?

The Phantom Stinker

Where I'm currently working is situated in quite an old building, which is largely unrenovated. One of the downsides to this is that the entire ground floor of the building shares one bathroom, or more accurately one stall. Can you see where this is going? Yup, this morning someone did something in there which defies description. A stench so foul that it could only come from the fetid breath of The Beast Himself. Tiles lost their glaze, small children and women fainted and the horses were not just spooked but keeled over, dead.

Well, the witch hunt is on. Emails have been circulated, the tar heated and feathers collected, the open wagon prepared for its journey through the centre of the village. My current office is a very short distance from the bathroom and once I made it through Decon I realised that I had no eyebrows or nasal hair left. Not surprisingly nobody has owned up to the deed, but you can be assured they'll use the air freshner next time.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Of Morrisey, Nuns, Pricing Guns And The Risk Of Diabetic Coma

I normally like to recap the weekend's events on a Monday morning, it's sort of like my thing you know? My ouevre, if you will. My one semi-constant in an otherwise chaotic off-the-cuff life.

I'm a bit late today on account of I've been spending all morning teaching someone how to use a software package. To her credit she's picking it up pretty fast, given that it's an accounting software package and she has no background in bookkeeping or accounting. You know what? I'm actually pretty good at this. I worked as a software trainer some years back, doing one-on-one tutoring and training in bookkeeping software. I discovered that I enjoy it, even though it can be exhausting, and that I always got positive feedback from my clients. I think standing up in fron of a class would be daunting, but one-on-one I like. So, that's a long-hand way of saying I've had a busy morning sitting with her in her office showing her the ropes.

Anyhoo. I've already blogged about Friday evening, about going to see the fantastic live version of Hedwig & The Angry Inch, acting like a complete fan-boy and then having a fab Japanese dinner afterwards. I was really pleased to discover on Saturday morning that the season of Hedwig has been extended, which gives me the opportunity to go see it with Mikey (the lovely ex) and Bodhi, who both want to see it.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny, and so did I because it was... Haircut Day! I heart Haircut Day. Haircut Day is sort of like Birthdays and Christmas all rolled into one, only more frequent and with only one gift. The gift of Improved Self-Esteem. My, my, what a gift that is! I was a little trepidatious this time around because my regular hairdresser of about 5 years was unavailable. Some trivial thing about giving birth or something. Anyhoo, it all worked out fantastically well and I'm very pleased with the end result.

Saturday was also Bodhi's birthday and so Morgan, myself, Bodhi's daughter Ashley and his friend Rabbit all went out for a delicious Thai dinner to celebrate/commiserate. Highlight of the evening? A near fatal sugar rush (and risk of a diabetic coma) from being introduced by Ashley to the very wrong (but oh so right) trick of dunking Lindor Balls into Hot Chocolate. That's right, dipping Lindt chocolate into something else that is chocolate. ::passes out::

The rest of Saturday wasn't so pleasant unfortunately, my next door neighbours had a party that was possibly one of the loudest I have ever heard. My bedroom shares a common wall with their living room, so to paraphrase Puccini None Shall Sleep. On the upside, I discovered a few Morrisey songs I hadn't heard before. Given that they played the entire Morrisey songbook at least a few times over. On the downside, when you call the police to lodge a noise complaint at 1.15am and by 3.00am they still haven't arrived - then there really is little else you can do than settle in with a good book and enjoy The Smiths.

I was still up early Sunday morning, despite getting to sleep well after 3, and headed in to the Buddhist centre to do some more book pricing before our conference in a few week's time. I got a lot done, and as I had my camera with me I even had the opportunity to take some portrait shots of my friend who recently became a Buddhist nun. About 3pm I decided to call it a day, and the afternoon was still was so warm and sunny and delicious that I decided to walk the 4.5kms from Summer Hill to my house. I wandered, dawdled, made little side trips and took heaps of photos. It was glorious.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

5 Good Things About August 19th

  1. Bodhi's birthday. Happy birthday Bodes!
  2. Haircut day! Short, sharp and rock-star tousled.
  3. Sunshine, clear skies and gentle breezes.
  4. Puppy dogs everywhere.
  5. Everyone has dusted off their spring wardrobes, suddenly everyone has legs and arms again!

Snapshots of Spring

Casting Nasturtiums

What Do Skinks Chat About?

[Click the pics to see larger versions.]

"I Look Up From My Vermouth On The Rocks..."

"...a gift wrapped wig still in a box,
of towering velveteen."

iOTA as Hedwig Robinson (nee Schmidt)
Photo by "Yitzak", from iOTA's photo page.

Last night Morgan, Gadgetgirl, Kris, Kris's husband The Snook, and I went to see a live performance of Hedwig And The Angry Inch at @ Newtown. What an amazing night, and an fantastic show! Kris has posted her comments about the show, and I have to agree with her sentiments about the star iOTA. So talented! To carry an entire show for an hour and a half, rock it out, make the slow numbers tender and sad, and keep up the energy is amazing. Very, very talented. iOTA's co-star Blazey Best and the band were incredible as well. One of the most fun live performances I've been to.

I'm a massive tragic for the film, after having been introduced to it by Mikey (the lovely ex) some years back. The stage performance is something special though, the energy of the rock music really comes to the fore. You know that I couldn't help myself but sing along like the fan-boy I am, right? There's something about live theatre that I really love, and I think it's that two-way communication with the cast on stage. The audience last night was very responsive and burst into a spontaneous standing ovation at the end. A well deserved one.

Afterwards we went for Japanese food, debriefed about the show and had some nice food and laughs in excellent company. A really fun night. The best news is the the show which was supposed to finish tomorrow night has just been extended by another 7 performances, and now finishes on the 27th of August. Woot! I've already made a date with Mikey (the lovely ex) to go see it. Maybe this time I'll be lucky enough to get the "car wash"...

[Here's an informative Wikipedia entry, but Warning - it contains spoilers!]

Friday, August 18, 2006

On The Getting Of One's Groove Back

Ever get that feeling that things are on the upswing? I kind of feel like that at the moment. Maybe it's biorhythms (which I don't believe in). Maybe it's my moon ascendant Uranus (which sounds fun, but I also don't believe in). Maybe it's the change in the weather for the sunnier (now that I believe in).

Aren't We All?
Graffiti, Summer Hill. [Click to see bigger]

Whatever it is, it feels good. There's a pep in my step, some zip in my dip, some zing in my schwing you might say. The sleeper awakes!

It's kind of a horrible feeling being out of step with yourself, let alone the world. I'm not sure if I had a visit from the Black Dog (probably its lesser cousin the Dark Grey Puppy) but I have been kind of flat the past few months. Beaten down by our admittedly mildish winter. Tired. Lazy. Prone to colds and stuff. The frustrating thing about having a period of feeling like that, is that it's hard to see it for what it is at the time, to say to yourself this too shall pass.

But pass it does. Just don't call me Stella.

You Oughtta Be In Pictures

I had the most awesomely awesome of all awesome nights last night with the Flickr Sydney Photobloggers crew. 27 of us fronted up for dinner and a Q&A session with professional photographer and editor of Capture magazine the very delightful Phillipe Ruttens.

The venue, Giotto Art Cafe in East Sydney, is also a gallery and was showing an exhibition of photos from the red centre of Australia by Ruttens and fellow photographer Felix Hug. The gallery owner Robert McGrath and Phillipe were very generous and entertaining, and Phillipe showed hundreds of his photographs projected onto a big screen, with a running commentary and questions & answers.

As an enthusiastic amateur it was wonderful to have such up close access to a professional, and for the couple of professional photographers we already have in the group I would imagine it was a nice way to socialise and compare notes with a peer. Although I don't ever plan to make photography into a business, it was interesting to hear about how he plans and executes his shots. I know I mention the Sydney Photobloggers quite a lot on this blog, but they are such a great group of people, many of whom I'm pleased to call friends. Last night was sort of like sitting at a dinner party with 26 friends. Phillipe was impressed with how friendly and fun the atmosphere was and has since joined us on Flickr.

Of course, as usual the night ended up at the pub... and as usual it was a great night.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Quick Poll

I'm exhibiting in a group photo show in about 3 week's time and I'm stuck on which pic to show. The theme of the show is RGB - Red Green Blue. I chose Green. As I have commitment issuesI'm now all indecisive about which green pic...

Which of these do you love more, or hate less?

RGB Submission 2

RGB Submission 1

Magnolia Time

This week is completely kicking my ass. I'm currently pulling full days in the office, before heading to the Buddhist centre to price carton after carton of books for our next conference. This week has been that x 3 so far. You know what, that even made me think I'm dull just reading that...

So, if you've read this blog for a while you know that I resort to putting up the pretty when I haven't much else to say. I took these pics at lunch the other day, just around the corner from the office. The fun part? I had to lean out over about a 15 foot (nearly 5 metre) drop to get these shots. I'm an artiste, we think nothing of such peril.


Magnolia Buds

Spring, well it's just around the corner!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tell-It-Like-It-Is Tuesday

A few years back, around the time I started this blog actually, I was having my soul slowly sucked out through my ears (between the hours of 9 and 5) at an Accounting Firm. Do you have any idea what it is like to be, if not the bottom rung on the ladder then maybe one or two rungs up from the bottom of the ladder, of a business where your employers are as charisma free as that tax accountant you dread seeing each year? Only I saw them daily. One of the surprising truths of this world is that boring low status jobs can actually be very stressfull. Consider that before you decide to pack in your perks for something less challenging.

Anyhoo, I digress. At said workplace I was friends with a young guy who was actually pretty cool and had a great sense of humour. My Saviour of a sorts. He pointed out one day that a certain fiestiness frequently descended upon me, as if I had been drinking from the fountain of The Truth, As I See It Anyway. Hence Tell-It-Like-It-Is Tuesday was born. Meek, mild mannered me morphed into The Office Big-Mouth. Can you even imagine?

Try it some time, it's very liberating.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

34B Burlesque

Yesterday I blogged about my fantastic visit to the Tribute To Elvis burlesque show at 34B Burlesque.

Gypsy Germaine
Gypsy Germaine. Classy, gorgeous and elegant.

Fan Dance
If I wasn't such a big homo, I think I'd have a major girl-crush on her. ...and no, it's not just Fan Envy.

Kira Hula-La
The lovely Kira Hula-La, fantastic dancer and hoop twirler.

Sexy Beast
Ah, what you've all been waiting for, right? It's sexy chunk time Ladies & Gennamun! KD Twang stepping up to the mike. Half-way through the act he stripped off the western shirt to reveal the pasties. Dude also had mad tambourine skillz, make of that what you will.

Whoo, is it just me, or is it get in hot in here all of a sudden?

Amelia Wood
Amelia Wood. Funny and sexy, she did a fantastic acrobatic routine that involved 'log rolling' in high heels. Not for the faint hearted.

Belladonnas De Lux
Belladonnas De Lux. The army never looked so good.

This is only some of the acts from the night, there were other musical acts and some of the performers did a couple of numbers each. The lighting conditions meant that it was sometimes hard to capture the performers without too much movement blur, but I'm happy with the shots I've posted to Flickr so far. The pics above give you a pretty good idea of how much fun the show was. These guys worked hard! The show ran for 2 hours plus and was hugely enjoyable. They change the themes of the shows, and I'm looking forward to going again sometime soon.

There are more pics from the night over at Flickr, and I may yet add some more. The full set of my pics so far are here, and there is now a 34B Burlesque group for everyone else's photos from the venue.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I Wanna Be Your Teddy Bear

Ages ago I mentioned that I was going off to see a burlesque show to do a group shoot (dirty!) with the Sydney Photobloggers Flickrazzi. As it turned out events conspired against me and I didn't make it. However, last night I finally made it to 34B for the Tribute To Elvis themed show. What a fantastic night! I had an absolute blast!

The club has a MySpace page which gives you a bit of an idea what it's all about, but there is also a 34B group on Flickr now where people are posting their shots from the show, and that probably gives you a better idea of what the show's like. Funny. Sexy. Wonderfully retro in style and content. The girls were a mixture of all sorts of sizes and shapes, not all traditionally skinny, which was great to see. Curvy, healthy looking bodies.

The mix of tease (the girls got down to panties and pasties only), acrobatic type acts and live music was a winner, and as the venue is really tiny and intimate it has a great feel to it. The crowd was pretty cool too, lots of amazing looking kids in rockabilly gear, some of who were busting out great swing dancing moves.

Best of all the performers are not the slightest bit fazed by being faced by a bank of photographers. In turn we all did our best to be considerate of them and make sure we didn't use flash. Even with a 'fast' setting and the aperture cranked wide open it meant that a lot of the shots had major movement blur, but I still got plenty of good pics from the evening. (I haven't gotten them off my camera yet because of my ongoing PC problems, but I'll post some of the better ones here in the next day or so - in the meantime go and check out the Flick group for other people's photos from the club.)

Oh, and all you chunk lovers out there. Just so you don't think it was All Girlie - All The Time, one of the music acts was a sexy cowboy who a) played a mean tambourine b) seriously rocked it and c) stripped off his shirt to reveal some sexy chunk and a pair of silver pasties! He got my attention.

Friday, August 11, 2006

It's True

It's True
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

You are.

And because you are all such nice people I want to say thanks for sticking around. It's been a 'low content' week here at TOA, mostly on account of the fact that I'm still sick. My cold became a chest infection and so the past week has been me running the wheel of work/volunteer committments/home to bed like a caged mouse. A big mouse, with a chest infection. As another blogger once said "you have to live your content first", but I would add that you've got to have content worth reading.

Anyhoo, that seems to have turned the corner in the past 24 hours and I feel a bit better. I even went out last night and socialised, like a normal person! OK, normal(ish). A quiet few drinks and dinner with some of my Sydney Photoblogger peeps. Good times.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Makeshift Love

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Love. Something we all crave, yes? Makeshift or otherwise.

I snapped this pic of the top of a peeling advertising banner the other day, while out walking in Newtown. I really like the textures, the mixture of fonts and the way the two words work together. Love feels kind of makeshift a lot of the time, don't you think? Sort of cobbled together and kept going with string, tape and good intentions.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Kylie's Latest Hit

Kylie's Latest Hit

I found this piece of discarded packaging in a lane near where I live when I was out walking recently. Do you think this means that my neighbourhood is full of women so intent on self pleasuring that they can't wait to get home before ripping the package open? All I can say is that there were several things about it that creeped me out, not least of which were the mental images I got from 'suction powered' and 'waterproof'. You know, ewwww.

Anyhoo. I guess the flipside is, at least the batteries were included for once... which is thoughtfull, don't you think?

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Bookish Meme

Morgan tapped me for a book meme, and just so you don't think it's all cute ice skaters and reality tv in my world, here goes:

1. One book you have read more than once:
There are plenty of these. I'm a hoarder when it comes to books, and one of the reasons is that I love to go back and re-read them. I'd have to say that probably 75% of all my books I have read more than once. So I'll pick a book that I've read lots of times.

It's not Literary. It's not high brow. It's almost a little embarassing to admit. It's a detective novel about a New York wiccan amateur detective called "Speak Daggers To Her" by Rosemary Edgehill. It's fun, the dialogue is full of some great one-liners and snaps along at a cracking pace, and the characters are quirky and enjoyable. Sort of Beach Reading. I've read the sequel "Book of Moons" a bunch of times also.

2. One book you would want on a desert island:
Something escapist. Something long. Something involving. Something that would stand up to lots of re-reading. I think I'd have to opt for the 3 books in 1 combined edition of "The Lord Of The Rings" by Tolkein. Predictable?

Either that or "How To Survive A Desert Island (& Ensure Rescue) For Dummies".

3. One book that made you laugh:
Hard to pick just one, but I'll go for "Good Omens: The Nice & Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Again with the witches! Cackle-out-loud funny. Early reading of all the Hitchhiker's books produced a similar effect, but "Good Omens" stands out as a very funny book.

4. One book that made you cry:
By now you all know that I'm a weeper, right? I mean, I cry during Oprah and Opera for chrissakes. So there are a number of books that have turned on the waterworks. I would have to agree with Morgan about Tim Conigrave’s autobiography "Holding the Man". So very sad! As I said, there are others. I'll update this if a better example comes to mind.

5. One book you wish you had written:
In terms of Filthy Lucre, I'd say whatever is topping the Best Seller list. A Harry Potter book or two would be nice. Ka-ching! In terms of books I like, books I admire and wish I had the skill to write, "Wicked" be Gregory Maguire. Dark, gothic, full of 'magical realism' (to use an over-used term), and a book that taps into my love for all things "The Wizard of Oz". Plus a fabulous read. Oh, and witches again. I never realised it until now, but there's a trend...

6. One book you wish had never been written:
I can't actually answer this because I believe in the freedom of speech of authors to write what they want. I can tell you one book I started, against my original intention and better judgement, for the lame reason that it was a gift and I felt like I 'should' at least try it, and then promptly threw across the room. "American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis. Some people love this book. Many words have been about the Literary Merit of it. It's shit, IMHO.

7. One book you are currently reading
"The Neutronium Alchemist" by Peter F Hamilton. A huge and far ranging SF novel, the middle book of a trilogy, and a cracking good read.

8. One book you have been meaning to read:
Just one? Um, they are legion. Any of the original Wizard of Oz universe novels by L Frank Baum jump to mind. Or maybe Tab Hunter's recent biography. That and just about any title on a list of Classics. You know, Worthy Reads. That sort of thing. Books that aren't Beach Reading, or SF, or Fantasy...

9. One Book That Changed Your Life
A little hardback book of collected sayings and thoughts by HH the Dalai Lama called "Ocean of Wisdom". (The name "Dalai Lama" can actually be translated as Ocean of Wisdom.) It was the first Dharma book I ever read and my first introduction to some of the thoughts that are core to Buddhism. I still remember sitting on a train reading it and it was like an epiphany. It was my Aha! Moment.

10. Now tag five people:
I don't like to tag people, but I would invite anyone who is interested to play. Either give me your results in the comments, or leave a comment with the tag to your entry if you have a blog.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

An Open Letter To Hamish Blake

Dear Mr Blake,
I would like to take a moment to apologise for the fact that if you Google "hamish blake is gay" right now I seem to be the #1 result.

Of course, not that there's anything wrong with that.

I'm sure that if you Google "hamish blake is funny" or "hamish blake is a talented young comedian", or even "hamish blake is hands down the funniest thing on spicks & specks by far" you'd get even more results than, um wow, the 158,000 results above.

The Other Andrew

PS: 158,000?!

Strange Tale

I've been home today, playing hookey from work on account of a nasty cold I've developed. I was checking Flickr this afternoon, looking to see what pics my friends and acquaintences have posted, and looking to see if there were interesting discussions going on in any of the groups I belong to. There's a spot on Flickr where it alerts you if anyone has left a comment on your pics, so that you can go in and read what people have said. Much in the same way that comments work on this blog really.

So I noticed that this very cool photographer who lives in my 'hood, and hangs around a couple of the same Flickr groups I do, had posted a comment on this pic of mine. The strangeness of this tale? In her comment she told me this:
"you are famous! i work at an opshop, and today I noticed someone donated a leather notepad so I leafed through and your blog spot address was hand written inside!! and nothing else, just that! what a coincidence hey?"

I mean. Whatthefuh? What are the odds of that happening? I thought it was pretty amazing when a few months back a stranger recognised me in a pub from this blog thing, but my url ending up being the only thing written in a book that someone who knows me looked through?

Of course, it may be a fever dream and the cold meds talking... in which case - as you were.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Why I Love 'Reality' Television

Reason 1:

Reason 2:

Sure, Torville & Dean's Dancing on Ice kind of sucks a bit. The Channel 9 hyperbole about the show meant that expectations were way higher than a show like this could deliver. I mean, the format isn't that new let's face it. Not to mention the fact that the show has shed "stars" through injury faster than a tart sheds her knickers.

There's some stuff to love though.

A cute pint-sized presenter, who is (as I noticed in a long shot) actually standing on a box:

Twinky, cute, boy-next-door (if you live on Fire Island that is) professional skaters:

And of course:

Jake Wall. Model. Boyfriend of last year's Miss Universe, Jennifer Hawkins. Excellent skater. Former DNA Magazine model. Perhaps surprisingly, for those who judge the pretty ones harshly, extremely charming and quick witted. Oh, and easy on the eye. I'm not the only one that thinks so either.

Boos! & Yays! Time

I know some folks love a good session of Boos! & Yays! Well the Muse of Boos and the Gays of Yays have both been whispering in my ear of late, so here for your minor edification I give you Boos! & Yays! for the 2nd of August, 2006.
  • The weather! We're slowly sliding towards Spring in this part of the world folks, and that gets the biggest Yay! of the day from me. Yesterday was mild and sunny, so nice in fact that I decided to walk home from work, an hour stroll in the slowly darkening dusk. (Yay!)

  • This morning I woke up with the first symptoms of a head cold. Head in vice, scratchy nose and throat... you know the drill. (*sniff* BOOOOOO! *sniff*)

  • Photography. I'm a bit stymied by not being able to download any photos from my camera onto my PC at the moment (Boo!), on account of memory space problems on my old machine, but I seem to have gotten over a small creative crisis and am loving playing with the camera again (Yay!).

  • I plan on buying an external hard drive this week, as a temporary measure to solve the memory issues of my PC and as eventual back-up storage for the gigs of skanky porn photographs I've been accumulating (Yay!)

  • Today is my sister Fiona's 44th Birthday (Yay!), although in her eyes the number is a definate Boo!

  • She always kicks off Birthday Month in my family, which means that 42 is just around the corner for me ( ::stunned silence:: )

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Catching up with my old friend Robbie over the weekend was fantastic. Robbie and I have known each other for around 20 or 21 years, half both of our lifetimes. I have two other friends that I have known for even longer, who between the three of them I have clocked up around 77 years of friendship. Robbie and I can go 6 months or a year without seeing each other and still just pick up exactly where we left off. There is so much experience and familiarity between us that we are completely at ease with each other, able to talk in a kind of shorthand made up of shared references, and be able to cuddle without any sort of sexual tension.

I was thinking about this the other day and realised it's unconditional love. Familiarity hasn't bred contempt, it's bred a mutual understanding of who we both are and a mutual appreciation of each other - warts and all. It's really beautiful and very special.