Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Big Mac

Hey, think you are the ultimate Mac tragic with your 3 iPods, 2 shuffles and your MacBook?

Think again.


I Think My Horoscope Just Told Me To Suck It Up And Stop Being Such A Baby


Oh dear, it is likely that you will feel some sort of internal struggle or inner conflict and perhaps be distrustful of others and their motives. However, these fears are going to be unfounded because the prevailing influence is creating these things. However, they are being created for a reason and that is that you need to look long and hard at your approach to things and find better ways of relating to people at an everyday level. The best way to deal with today is to be practical and concentrate on reality rather than your emotions.

Family Cruising

I caught the 2005 documentary All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise last night on SBS. Oh man. I found it incredibly moving. Did any of you guys catch it, or have seen it before?

The documentary was filmed on board the inaugural gay family cruise that Rosie O'Donnell, her partner Kelli and their friend Gregg arranged in 2004. I know that some people think having a 'gay' anything is going down the wrong track, one of isolating ourselves rather than integrating, or making too much out of our perceived difference. However, you just had to look at the kids on the cruise to see the powerfull affect that being around other gay families had. Not having to explain, defend or justify their families to strangers, and to meet kids with a shared experience. The affect on the parents was no less powerfull, meeting other couples who had made the same life choices and struggled with the same issues.

The film profiled a bunch of the families and couples on board, and many of them were amazing stories but I was especially moved by the story of US dance sport champion Charles Paragian and his partner Danny Sernekos. After years of awaiting approval they fostered two unrelated children, who they then were able to adopt. On learning that both kids had siblings they adopted them as well, ending up with a tribe of 5 kids. Watching them with their kids was magical, an extremely loving and functional family. When Paragian and Sernekos decided to get 'married' on the ship, they were amazed at how excited their kids were for them and how much it meant to them to have their parents make that formalised committment to each other.

I blubbed through the entire wedding like I was the mother of one of the grooms or something. I'm hopeless. Of course, once started I then proceeded to shed the odd manly tear through the rest of the film...

So. It was sort of empowering to see so many loving gay couples and families, and very moving to hear from the kids themselves about how much they loved their parents and their unique family. I think there is definately a positive impact in seeing a broad variety of committed gay relationships. Obviously a traditional style family model is not for everyone, but it's nice to see it represented as an alternative and to appreciate the sheer hard work and committment that most of these families have put in to achieve what they have.

Check it out if you missed it and ever get the opportunity to see it. It's worth it.

[Updated: Oh, and I should add one thing. I'm in the market for one of these loving relationship things (sans kids) so, you know, applications are open. Please be sure and address all points of the criteria. As you were.]

[There's more info in this HBO interview with Rosie and Kelli, and the synopsis of the documentary. There is also quite a detailed review on AZcentral. Rosie also has a Flickr account where she often posts her family pics.]

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New Crush

I like gay boys. I know that will come as absolutely no surprise to any of you, but even if you are just playing gay I'm half way there already. They call it bias, but I'm ok with that.

So, a new crush. Matthew Rhys. He's Welsh (plus), cute (plus), has curly hair (which is my latest fad, so that's a plus too), tall (borderline minus) and he plays Kevin the sane homo who is generally kind to his mother (PLUS) on Brothers & Sisters.

I think part of the charm is that he's handsome, but he's still kind of the cute guy you'd see getting the paper and walking his dog. You know? An 'every man' quality, not some over primped and pumped pretty boy.

I have no idea if he's a 'mo in real life, although he's certainly played gay on a few occasions. Once he played half of a gay couple with (the also hot) real life friend Ioan Gruffudd. He and Ioan shared a house together for 10 years.

Just give me a moment... let's ponder that shall we?

It's certainly working for me.

Fifty Fifty

Even though it's warm, it's been raining here for a couple of days now. I'm not complaining; my garden certainly needs it as does the rest of Sydney, and I quite like the rain when it isn't cold as well. Apparently it is the start of a change from the drought conditions we've been suffering under the El Niño effect, and the start of a La Niña cycle. However, after only a couple of days of grey skies I already crave the big blue skies of Summer all over again. Fickle.

I took these photos a couple of weeks back. I love the lovely Victorian facades around Newtown, but sometimes I look at the way the facades are treated and want to shake my head.

Fifty Fifty

You see a lot of this sort of painting, what I think of as Boundary Line Painting. I'm going to paint right up to this line where my property ends... Regardless of the features of the facade. I've seen worse examples, ones where a statue was painted one colour on the left and another on the right.

Half Half

By the way, both of these pics are slightly flawed in my opinion. Compositionally the top would be better without that tv arial poking in on the right hand side, and the bottom one looks like there was a speck of schmutz on the lens (there's a discoloured spot on the left). I still like them though.

Right now it's all about the blue skies...

And The Award Goes To...

I confess to being an Oscars tragic. I look forward to it. I try and impose a media blackout so that it's 'fresh' and surprising when I watch it. I've even hosted Oscars parties in the past.

Maybe the tide is turning. Last night I didn't watch it.

It's like I feel like I'm going to have to hand back my membership card or something.

I was at night class at the Buddhist centre until 8.30 last night, and so it was a bit after 9 when I got home. I flicked it on, and now I admit I only watched snippetts of it while I threw some food together, but it seemed kinda... meh. At least the bits I saw were. So at 9.30 I flicked it over to Brothers & Sisters.

What is WRONG with me?

Those of you who watched it, what's the verdict? Good, bad or meh?

[Updated: I defy you to read Rich's recap and not pee yourself a little bit. That bitch is funny!]

Monday, February 26, 2007

I Beat My Own Drum. Some Say It's Noise, I Say It's Pretty.

Much to my surprise (and some small degree of horror) two people have told me in the past couple of weeks that my blog has become depressing. Really? Really?

Well, um, shoot. Sorry guys.

I'm not one of those bloggers who carefully structures their entries around themes, or writes scholarly essays. I have a lot of admiration for the attention to content that those sorts of bloggers have, but I'm more of a write whatever pops up in the forebrain kind of guy. What I lack in consistency I hope I make up for in spontaneity and moments of wise-ass-ness.

My natural reaction is to kind of leap to my own defence, because this blog is something that after two and a half(ish) years I still hold very dear. Sure I'm open to criticism of course, and this is probably justified. However, even the most jestery of Court Jesters needs some down time. Room to kick off the tiny bell-toed slippers and piss and moan about sore feet. If I have a cold, grief, or the blues, I'll write about that to some degree.

Oddly, if I have any criticism of this blog o' mine I would say that at times it's not personal enough. I hold back sharing some of the personal stuff because I don't think it'll entertain you guys. I guess some of that shows through, no matter how hard I try. I know you guys don't come here for hand wringing, and I don't particularly like writing about that sort of stuff, but if bits of that show through then I'd ask you to hang in there.

As a great philospher once said:
The sun'll come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun!

Sing it, girl!

Viva La Diva

Quiet please, there's a Diva on stage.

Last night I had the joy of going to The Vanguard in Newtown to see Paul Capsis perform his latest cabaret show. Paul is an amazing performer, and is best known for his unique gift for capturing the vocal stylings and mannerisms of various singers. Less of an impersonation and more 'channeling' as he puts it. His huge vocal range allows him to pay homage to greats that includes Janis Joplin, Judy Garland, Edith Piaf and more. Not only female performers, but it's the disconnect between hearing the sound of Janis Joplin or Edith Piaf spring forth from the body of a slightly build Maltese man that makes his act so startling.

Last night's show was less about his usual channeling and more about Paul up there as himself, trying out some new original material and covering a huge range from gospel to a Kate Bush cover. It was a very entertaining and moving performance, and everything about the show from the wonderfully tight band to Paul's in between song banter and humour added to the performance. Paul was called back for two encores, and the crowd went crazy when he finally announced "I feel someone coming through.... is that you... Janis?" and kicked into a rousing Janis Joplin number.

The Vanguard is a perfect intimate venue for this sort of show, and Mikey (the lovely ex), Steve, Bec and two friends of Steve's and myself had a lovely 3 course meal and a few bottles of wine. Good times y'all.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Pulp Fiction

I was a little bit early getting into into the city last night to go to the Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music. So, given that I don't get to hang out in the city that much any more (now that I work in Parramatta) and it was late night shopping and all, I thought I'd swing by Galaxy Bookshop and see what's new. I've always read quite a lot of science fiction, maybe a bit less as an adult, but still a fair amount.

I love it when you find an author and a series of books that you like, but I hate it when you catch up to the author's latest work and then have to wait for what feels like ages for the next book to be released. About 5 years ago I found a couple of novels by Kristine Katherine Rusch under the "Retrieval Artist" banner. They're a blend between detective stories and science fiction novels, with a heavy tilt towards forensics and police work. Think CSI meets science fiction. They're classier than you might think, sure they're kinda pulpy sci-fi, but Rusch creates believable scenarios and smart characters. It's the CSI type angle that gets me in and makes them something different.

Well, I caught up to Kristine and I've been drumming my fingers between books ever since. Every time I go into Galaxy I check, just to see if there's a new one.

Score. Number 5 "Paloma" was sitting there singing it's siren call. I cracked it open before bed last night and had to make myself put it down and go to sleep. Now that's the best you can ask for.

Soft & White. Clean & Bright. You Look Happy To See Me.

Last night Amy, Kris, Kate, Wing and I went to the Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music.

Like Kris said on her moblog post on her blog, as did just about every gay in Sydney. I ran into some old friends, and saw lots of guys that I recognised from around the traps. Also, who knew that one of the most blatant (and sweet) incidents of cruising I would encounter in recent memory would be standing in the beer queue, in a beautiful old faux-Medieval theatre, whilst waiting to sing along with a bunch of kids dressed in curtains? A cute, short guy with a close trimmed blonde beard and I exchanged three long looks and smiles, but alas despite looking for him again at intermission he was not to be found.

Damn. It.

I guess we'll never get a chance to play The Strict Nazi Telegram Boy & The Teenage Austrian Heiress after all.

I'd been to the show a few years back, and it was just as much fun. From the little showbags full of 'props', to the choreographed responses, to the warm-up and costume contest, it was pretty slick. My dears the crowd was into it. Especially the two ladies (one of which owned the Largest Head & Big Hair In Christendom) sitting front of Kris and I. They were being Maria Von Trapp. It was heaps of fun and I got to hiss at The Baroness, boo the Nazis and let out a loud roar for my favourite line (just before "Climb Ev'ry Mountain"):
"What is it Maria you c*n't face?"

Ah, good times.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What Is That Horrible Noise?

Tonight I'm off to the theatre to belt out a few numbers with Julie in my own unique 'style'. It's a particular and unusual form of singing I specialise in. You know that Kate bush song, the one about the military trying to make a weapon that uses sound to kill? Well, I haven't yet killed anyone with my vocal stylings, but I've possibly robbed a few people of the will to live.

I should come with a disclaimer.


I kind of wish I had a pair of ruby slippers, except I'd find a better wish than wanting to be back on the stinky old farm.


::click:: ::click:: ::click::
There's no place like a beach in Santa Caterina with Juan the cabana boy, and a pitcher full of mojitos...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Shelob's Lair

I walked outside into my courtyard last night to put some garbage into the rubbish bins and I walked full face into a massive spider web. Full face.


There are banana palms in my neighbour's garden and a couple of the large ones have fronds that lean out and over our adjoining fence. Last weekend I noticed that there was a spider building a web from one of the fronds down and across where I would normally walk. Thinking to myself Oh, this can't be good I cut through the bits of web holding the bottom of it in place, so that i could duck under it to water my pot plants. Since then I've looked to see if the web was there, and a couple of times it has been, but most of the time it hasn't been.

Then last night I was not quite so mindful. The worst thing, previously I had seen the spider and it was a big one.

I danced, I screeched, I basically did a Mia Michaels inspired 'contemporary' dance routine but without music, style or grace.

Showing Restraint

It's been days, days and I haven't posted any pics of a certain boy wizard's naked ass. Even though it has gone around the Internetz like wildfire.

Of course, that doesn't mean I can't link to it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Perfect Antidote

After yesterday and the ego/anger crapfest which it was, I went to teachings at the Buddhist centre and turned that frown upside down. It was the perfect antidote. I sometimes find the idea of going to teachings after a hard day at work a bit of a struggle, especially given the fact that it's two train trips and a 15 minute walk for me to get there from work. On those days it's kind of like going to the gym, once you are there it's great and you receive lots of benefit from it, but sometimes laziness creeps in.

So. I went and the teachings were great, I caught up with my friends from the centre, a new book shipment I'd been waiting for had arrived, and most importantly I had time and space to put the day into perspective, do some meditation and reassemble a better frame of mind. A friend drove me home after class, we had a lovely chat, and I was home in time to catch "Brothers & Sisters" on tv. A good night, capped off by a pretty good night's sleep. Score.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Just Breathe

I was determined to write positive entries today, after the "I'm sick, woe is me" attitude of the past 4-5 days. But, that wouldn't be a true reflection of where I'm at now. I'm angry. Today is going badly.

I've got work and non-work deadlines, and people breathing down my neck. I'm tired and have to go to night school after work. I'm still not feeling well, even though I'm much better than I was. I've had a couple of hard to interpret (and perhaps slightly judgemental sounding) emails from friends that have pushed my buttons. Aaaaaargh! I feel like I want to scream or break something right now.

I've just typed out about 4 different versions of the same sentence and deleted them all. Apologising to you for feeling this way. For writing this. That is so me. Wanting to put on the make nice face, and feeling a bit embarrassed at being thought of as anything less than capable. I know it's deadlines, pressure, a touch of jealousy and illness that are making me feel like this, but even though it'll all be blown over by tomorrow for now it is what it is.


While I was out strolling with my camera on Saturday, I discovered this group reworking one of my favourite walls in Newtown. Home to my much beloved Ganesh. It looked like he was going to survive being covered, or maybe they just hadn't gotten that far yet. I hope he made the cut. If not, well that's the impermanent nature of the art I guess. I take some solace in the fact that it looks like there was a new colourful Ganesha being added.

In Progress 1

In Progress 2

In Progress 3

A Betta Me

Something worth shopping for, don't you think?

Shop front. King Street south, Newtown.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Room & Bored

Oy. Boring. Boring. Boring.

Aside from a little escape into civilization yesterday, I've been pretty much just hanging around the house riding out this cold. Which would make great blog fodder if this was Diary Of A Shut-in. Which I'm here to tell you it isn't, despite indicators to the contrary.

I'm a bit pissed off too, because I had big plans this weekend. Ones which included getting sunburnt along with hundreds (thousands?) of other 'mos at Mardi Gras Fair Day and meeting some new bloggerazzi at tonight's Gay Blogger Meet-Up. It was kind of My Big Gay Weekend you could say*. I'm going to have to skip tonight I think, this cold is getting better for sure but I don't really want to risk it or to pass it on.

"Hi nice to meet you. Can I get you something? A cold perhaps?"

So, appropriately (given that my skin has opportunistically decided to 'act out' right now) Ugly Betty premieres here tonight and glued to that is where I'll be. Then it'll be all about the Grand Finale of "So You Think You Can Dance", and yes I know it was over forever ago in the States (and I do know who wins) but I'll still be watching. That's a pretty camp night of tv viewing, so that's some consolation, right?

Should that fail to satisfy, I can always fall back on the DVD of Shortbus, which I bought yesterday. This is ART people, but yes I will be slo-mo-ing throught the dirty bits. Duh.

* ie: a weekend like any other

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Not Dead

I gave myself a day away from the computer, from work, from civilized society and from the finer points of personal hygiene and grooming yesterday. Man, this cold is a bad one. I either slept or slugged out on the couch watching bad tv yesterday; tissues, hot lemon & honey drinks and ibuprofen all within arms reach. I feel a little better today, not much but certainly not as feverish, and enough to shower and leave the house for a couple of hours. It was good to walk around in the sun for a while.

I'm hoping to feel a bit better tomorrow, enough to go to Mardi Gras Fair Day and then the gay bloggers meet in the evening that I mentioned last week. (If any of my Sydney 'mo blogger buddies feel like going, could you confirm in the comments? Just in case I don't feel up to it tomorrow and I need to let you know. James - I got your email.)

Back to bed for me. As you were.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Welcome To Medical Central!

Between mid morning and now I've half filled my office waste paper bin with used tissues, and developed a husky rasp that sounds like Brenda Vaccaro's waaaaay butcher brother. To some who know me this may suggest a greasy palmed orgy of self-loving but in truth (especially given that I'm at work at The Big Christian Charity) it actually means head cold. Summer head cold to be precise. Maybe this is why I felt so foul yesterday, with the sinus pain and all, but today it has come on like a steam roller. 11am this morning I felt quite normal, now I'm a mucus machine.

I hate summer colds, they feel so inappropriate you know? Who wants to rug up and act feeble with a mug of hot honey and lemon when it's swimwear weather?

Hey, aren't these medical malady posts fun? As you were... sniff.

Your Mum Has Taken Up Graffiti

Seriously, here's the evidence:

Your Mum Has Taken Up Graffiti

Valentine's Day Gives Me The...

Shits, apparently.

I celebrated yesterday morning with a cracker jack sinus headache and sinus pain when I woke up so I called the office and rang in dead, then came down with diorr diarh diaorh the runs later in the day. I know this is an overshare, but I just thought you might like to know how I celebrated this most romantic of days.

No flowers. No cards. No chocklit. No champers. Ok, there was a little bit of self loving, but mostly it was just straining and a sweaty brow.

Nice huh? Press that one in your Book Of Memories.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Looking For Change

...and not the 'hand down the back of the couch' type of looking for change.

I need to make some changes. I need to sort out my career inertia, work on my health, travel, improve my finances, dance more often, create, get a new computer, trim, sort and give away things. I know I've said this once or twice before, but it's a feeling that is growing in urgency. I need to do something different, be someone more authentically me, change my circumstances.

Not to run away from anything, because that's not me. It's more a feeling that through inaction, inattention & inertia (and maybe insomnia) I've slid, I've found myself in a place I'm not entirely comfortable in. Not exactly in the dark part of the wood, but maybe on the wrong path into the wrong wood.

Time also to take care of myself and my needs. Set some boundaries that have become eroded, be more honest and up front with people about what my needs are. Fear of upsetting people has meant that I've bitten my tongue, swallowed down the feelings of disappointment and frustration. Sometimes I've written those feelings off as my own ego taking a front seat. Some of that's true, but I think I've also been unhelpfully vague about what I need or expect.

It's time to plan. To map a few things out. Not something I'm comfortable doing sadly. I love new experience and spontaniety, but that's also the upside of being a procrastinator and a poor goal setter. I'm resolving to work on that. Make space in my life for more joy, more excitement.

I'm not unhappy, not frequently anyway, but I think I need to chart a fresh course. One that avoids the doldrums.

Many Views

I've always like this quirky little cottage near my house, with its multicoloured glass windows and DIY construction.

Many Vistas

A young couple live in it and sometimes when their windows are open to the street you can see that their place is full of funky retro furniture. It makes me think they are artists, or actors, or something fun.

Monday, February 12, 2007

5 Things That Make Me Want To Claw At Myself In Displeasure

Sleep deprivation, Mondayitis and a rainy day has tipped me over into glasshalfemptyland, so in that spirit I give you my list of 5 things I am so not digging right now:
  1. The fact that pizza is fattening. Someone should fix that. Hello, modern science?!
  2. Those verchacte iPod+Nike running chart thingies. I know some people I like very much are into them, and find other people's fascinating, but for me personally it's about as interesting as seeing your 10th grade straight 'A's report card. One one level, I'm very happy for you, but on the other... yawn. Oh, and nobody likes a show off.
  3. Sydney public transport. It rained today, which caused a complete meltdown of my morning commute. CityRail will be first against the wall when the revolution comes. Mark my words.
  4. Reflux. I'm now officially an old man with bad knees and antacids in my pocket. Next stop, cardigans and incontinence.
  5. I'm fat. The camera doesn't lie. Waaaaaaaah! Woe! Woe, I say! Who did this to me?! This is so totally not my fault! (See point 1)

Zombie See, Zombie Do

Were it not for the sharp press and lack of rents in my clothes you could mistake me for the undead today. The shambling, the empty eye sockets, the gutteral moans. All of it. I had a major night of tossing and turning in the early stages of last night, then was woken at 2.30am and again at 3am, to the point where I had to say "screw this" and get up out of bed.

On the upside, the tennis was on and I got to gaze lovingly at a certain compact Belgian with a great set of legs, of which I am enamoured. Dish!

I finally felt tired enough to go back to bed around 4.30am, but my night of sleep was pretty much ruined. When the alarm went off at 6.30 this morning, and the rain was belting down outside, it was only really the lure of much needed filthy lucre and the fact that I had to open up the office on my own this morning that sent me in.

Plus it takes longer to walk to the train when you're shambling with arms outstretched, moaning something about the need to eat brains.

Aveline's Memorial

On Saturday a group of about 30 of Aveline's family and friends gathered for a memorial service in the grotto at "Everglades", a park which was a special favourite of Aveline's (in fact, where she almost got married in a previous 'incarnation'!). Aveline was a very multi-facetted woman, one who had lived a number of distinct phases in her life. Her 'incarnations' as she called them. Many of her Sydney friends have known her through a number of these 'incarnations', and when she was in Sydney it was almost as if she could celebrate some of the softer sides of her personality. Her memorial reflected some of these memories.

After the speeches and music, we settled in for an informal picnic afternoon with lots of laughs and shared stories. It was a lovely afternoon, and despite the sadness (and just a few tears) it was a happy event with lots of laughs, good food and drink. Which is how we like to think Aveline would have liked it to be. A big thanks from me for all the effort that went into organising such a great afternoon.

Aveline Flowers
Our guradian devil (left) and her favourite frangipani flowers (right)

Candle Memories
Louise put together a beautiful selection of memories of Aveline

Chocolate Cake Favourite Sweeties
Some yummy chocolate cake (left) and some of Aveline's favourite sweeties (right)

Silly String! Petals & Doves
Silly string and glitter spray were the order of the day (left) and rose petals and doves in the grotto (right)

Meg Mikey
Meg played some beautiful pieces of music (left) and Mikey mc'ed and spoke eloquently about his memories of Aveline (right)

Deb Grant
Deb, a long term friend and mentor of Aveline's, spoke about her memories (left) and Grant came up from Melbourne to share some special memories with us and be a part of the celebration of her life (right)

Speeches Wee Jasper
Some of the assembled friends and family (left) and Mousicles & Mr Tops's little cutie Jasper (right)

Meg Getting Fairy'd Up
The flag said "Pace" - Peace (left) and the brief said "wear something pink" so I did (right)

I normally wear my fairy wings on the inside

Goop Aveline
Chocolate goop with the strawberry(ish) 'cream' in a can (it was kinda disgusting) that Aveline found in the supermarket once (left) and our beautiful special friend, who we'll miss so (right)

See all the photos as a set, and all my other entries tagged Aveline.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


  • Yesterday was Aveline's memorial service, and a really beautiful day. We trekked to Leura in the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney, and had a picnic at a favourite spot of Aveline's. There was food, drink, lovely heartfelt speeches, tears, laughs, kids underfoot, and lots of fond rememberances. I took heaps of photos, and I'll post some in the next day or so with an entry about the day. [For the backstory, read my other entries tagged Aveline.]
  • This sweetie left a comment on a previous post to let me know that there is a gay bloggers meet next Sunday, at 6.30pm after Mardi Gras Fair Day, at the Tilbury Hotel. Morgan, Stil, 'Pong, James, Billy, M-H, Craig & Andrew, wanna come with? I'm thinking posse.
  • Did any of my fellow Sydney-ites watch the first episode of Around The World In 80 Treasures last night? Blew my tiny mind. I loved that they showed some places (like the abandoned city of Chan Chan for example) that were less well known. The series was made in 2005, so has probably already been shown overseas. Anyone else seen it? I'll be tuning in next week - it feeds the part of me that as a child wanted desperately to be an archeologist, and feeds that part of me that currently has wanderlust. *sigh*

Friday, February 09, 2007

Pretty In Pink

Ok, that last entry was a bit down beat...

Pink Geranium

So here's a pretty flower!

I shot this tiny pink geranium last weekend, using a 28-55mm lens and a 4+ magnifier. It's a little deceptive because it's hard to judge the scale, but this was only about 3-4cm across. Cute. Pink. You know, it's the sort of think I like.

[As always, clicky click the pic to make it bigger. Go on, you know you want to.]

Sad Legacy

I was reading an article in the newspaper here about two young travellers who died in a youth hostel fire in Punta Arenas, Pategonia. The two girls, one Aussie and one Canadian, were forced to spend an extra night at the hostel because their bus transport didn't arrive, and during the night a kitchen fire destroyed the hostel. The two girls were amongst 10 people who perished in the blaze.

The other day I mentioned how I thought abandoned websites have a sad feeling about them. As is the case with this story, the websites left behind by people who have passed away are even sadder. Both girls left behind travel blogs, Lauren's Around The World In Havaianas and Emily's Long Lost Longworth. The family of Lauren have bravely written a last blog entry, and both blogs have received lots of messages on their Message Boards from family, people they met during their travels and strangers who were moved by their stories. Very sad, but I guess the families and friends of both girls at least have the legacy of reading about the fun and adventures they were having, even though it was ultimately to end tragically.

I remember way back when, when 'blogs' as such didn't really exist (or not in any great number). There was a journal I used to read quite frequently. A beautifully designed one that I discovered in 1998, one with a really unique feel, design and point of view to it. It was called Dreaming Among The Jade Clouds by a woman who went by the name of Ginko. One day the blog just stopped, and I stopped reading for a while, only to then revisit it and find this very sad closing entry written by her partner, after she had taken her own life.

Ok, this entry is starting to sound morbid. My point though is, for a while at least and for as long as hosting fees are paid and web servers stay in business, these people have left behind legacies. Themselves. Their thoughts, fun times and bad times. Maybe that is solace for those loved ones they left behind. I've enjoyed going back to revisit Aveline's mySpace page, just to enjoy 'hearing' her voice again through the things she wrote.

The Bright Side

Sure, I may look like ass today but things aren't all bad. The first interviewee for the position of my repalcement was a no show, and the phone system here is down. We spell that P-E-A-C-E-&-Q-U-I-E-T and W-E-B-S-U-R-F-I-N-G where I come from, and that's a very, very Good Thing.

[Updated: Wow, only one of the three interviews we had lined up for today actually bothered to show up. Amazing. Oh and the one who did show, even though in hindsight she gets like bonus points for appearance, she wasn't really suitable.]


Yesterday's little blackout experience (of the power outage variety not the other kind of blackout) turned out to be the start of something a bit more sinister. When I got home from the theatre last night a few of the lights were on in the house and the digital clocks were all flashing, so it appeared that the power had gone off and then come back on at some stage. When I woke up in the early hours of this morning everything was off again.

And stayed off.

I wandered out into the street about 6.30am and noticed that my neighbours had lights on, and yes I checked the fuse box. So I called the power company and they are sending someone to investigate.

So, here I am in the office unshaved (electric razor) and wrinkled (no iron). Oh, and having washed my hair in the handbasin and had what amounted to a sponge bath, with water I heated on the (thankfully, gas) stove. In my world, no electricity, no hot water. It's like Medieval or something.

It's not my best day appearance wise. (I'm hoping the spritz of Bvlgari and a smile will see me through.) Actually, I probably look more like I've been on the other kind of bender induced blackout...

Then I remembered I'm doing the software testing of applicants applying for my job here this morning. My temp contract is coming to a close and I declined the permanent position because the money is laughable. If I look like a wreck, do you think that'll psyche them out or something?

This job drove me to drink! I used to be young and handsome, then the stress got to me...

::evil laugh::

Of course, I would never do that.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Oh Really?

You know I like to call it as I see it, right? So this one my friends I call as bullshit. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

An Ode To Electrickery

Iron this morning's shirt
Blackout... blackout... ... ... blackout... crap!
I am sorely vexed

"The Internationally Ignored Song Stylist, Barely Standing Before You"

Tonight I have another date with Mrs Hedwig Robinson, formerly of Communist East Berlin, late of Junction City, USA.

You may recall I saw Hedwig & The Angry Inch on stage last August and it was so good I saw it again just a short while later. iOta is back reprising the same production I saw then, which played an extended season to packed houses. This time around it has been brought back as part of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras festival. It seems the only change in the production is the actress playing Yitzhak, as the actress from the original production last year is currently committed elsewhere.

Factoid: iOta lives in my neighbourhood, I ran into him in the supermarket the other day. He was shopping just like a regular person!

So excitement. I can't wait! I almost peed a little bit just then, I'm that excited! There'll be pre-theatre cocktails at Longrain with Mikey (the lovely ex), Bec and Steve, before the fagaliciousness of the main event.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Mr Personality

I haven't done a meme or one of these personality test thingies for ages, but encouraged by others doing it I decided to give this one a whirl.

To me the results sound fairly accurate, although that may be because I also think they're fairly flattering. It is true that I get along with most people, like my "down time" and generally approach new experience with open arms.

I think my daytime blogging shows that I'm also a bit of a goof off at times...

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have medium extroversion.
You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."


You have medium conscientiousness.
You're generally good at balancing work and play.
When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.
But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it.


You have high agreeableness.
You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.
Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.
You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.


You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I guess in hindsight I was lucky to only have weird-ass dreams, when I could have like shaved my eyebrows off or something.

Check the refrigerator, I think I've been snacking... why else would there be a pizza box in my bed?

A Saturday Afternoon In Summer

Saturday was a big photo day for me, with an afternoon neighbourhood ramble netting a fun collection of pics (like the hibiscus in the last entry).

Pattern Rectangles

I love patterns, whether it's 70's style brickwork (left) or the shapes and patterns of a discarded stencil that's used to make fake brick patterns on pavement (right).

Burst Psycho Kitty, qu'est que c'est?

A memory of parties passed (left) and Psycho Kitty, qu'est que c'est? (right)

As I headed down King St, I was passing the pub "The Bank Hotel" and chanced upon Stilgherrian and a friend of his settling in for a post-gym cocktail or two. The hotel has just gone through a 5 million dollar refit, and the best spot of all on a Summer's afternoon is at the windows that open wide onto the footpath.

Blue Dress Trio Red Shirt Trio

Layers of reflection in the pub windows.

Stil's friend Keegan had to go after a couple of drinks, but Stil and I settled in to chat and watch the passing parade. About 6 hours later, and a fistful of gin & tonics, we watched the sun set and waited for Stil's partner 'Pong to join us after work.

Sunset On King Street Stil

Reflections of sunset over King St (left) and Stil caught in the light of the sunset (right).

4 Door With Bench Seats

4 doors and bench seats. One of the fun things about Newtown, you never know when an oddity will happen by.

I have to tell you, there are worse places to be. I love my little neighbourhood and my friends.

[Click any of the pics to see a larger version on Flickr.]


While I was out doing a bit of wandering on Saturday afternoon, I spotted these pink hibiscus flowers outside of the house of one of my neighbours. What really struck me was the contrast of the reds/pinks/yellows against the teal colour of the house.


So, this is all about the colour for me. The fantastic shape of the stamen, well that's a bonus. Oh, and I make this as an offering to those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who are currently shivering your asses off. Greetings from the Sub-Tropics!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Backyard Safari

I spent a couple of hours tidying up in my courtyard on Saturday morning; trimming the ficus trees, weeding, sweeping up dropped leaves and completely filling my Green Waste bin.

Tiny Mantis

This little guy kept me company for a while, wandering around all over the stool I had been using to try and reach the tops of the ficus trees (with limited success). It was the most beautiful pale translucent green little mantis. At one point he/she was folded in half, nibbling or licking its own tail, something I had never seen one do before.

Leaf Curl Spider

I sometimes think of my courtyard as The Kingdom Of The Spiders because we have so many of the litle buggers. This guy is a Leaf Curl Spider, one of the ones who curl up leaves to make little shelters to hide in. They seem to especially like the leaves of the ficus trees, and while I was trimming the trees I had to be careful of them. Especially because the idea of having one of them on me wasn't that appealling.

I try not to kill anything while I'm gardening, but it's sort of impossible to avoid. Just sweeping up the leaves I know that I'm probably killing lots of tiny creatures. Or at least scaring them half to death. Consequently, I probably look a bit like a crazy person as I garden. Picking my way around tiny creatures, and muttering mantras for beneficial rebirths for all the creatures I'm killing.

Given the massacre I'm making, it's like the least I can do!

[As usual, click the pics to go to Flickr and see larger versions of these photos.]

Dead Ends

I was watching a movie I like called All Over The Guy again recently on DVD. The film has some lovely music in it, in particular one really nice ballad called "Bring You Back". I decided to slomo the credits and see who it was by, then do a little research and see if I can track it down on disk. All I had to go on was the credit "Peter Stuart" and the fact that the song was published by "Loud Mouse Music".

A little bit of Googling later, and very few results, and I found that he is/was lead singer of a band called "Dog's Eye View". It seemes like they had some degree of success, and toured supporting acts like "Matchbox 20". I found a fan site for Peter Stuart and Dog's Eye View and a couple of old music reviews for his solo CD (that contained the song I was looking for) called "Propeller".

But that's when things seemed to start to reach dead ends. The CD review listed his personal site as, but that doesn't exist any longer. The band's webpage shows up as an expired domain name. I did discover though that the band has a mySpace page (of course!).

One thing I started to notice was how out of date everything was. The last personal message from Peter on his fansite was 2002, and the latest entries on the news page were 2004. The mySpace page was a bit more up to date, but the blog attached to it was primarily from 2005 and, was only updated once in 2006 and not since. I checked the record company listed on the fansite, a company called "Vanguard" and neither he or the band are listed as current artists with them any longer.

I did manage to track down the Australian distributor of "Propeller", Shock Records, and they have the CD listed on their site. So it seems like it might still be available, which is a good thing.

Is it just me, but does it make you a little sad when you stumble across things on the net that seem to be abandoned? It does me. Blogs that were started and not kept up, inactive fansites, forums with no posts for years...

I started to feel a little disappointed for this guy and the band. I mean, it would seem like maybe their early success didn't carry on. As of the blog entry in 2006 it seem like they were still together as a band, but so little info about them since makes me think they might have folded. Or lost their audience. Or gone on to do other things.

Who knows?

Temporary Troublespots

If, like me, you're an enthusiatic reader of Michael Guy's blog "Temporary Troublespots", then you'll be pleased to know that he's back from hiatus and has a new home on the web. I've updated my sidebar links.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


In checking your site stats and Google search results, you discover:
  1. A name search on one of your friend's names.
  2. A search for embarassing trouser bulges.

Coincidence? You tell me.

(PS. How awesome is it that I get hits from "embarassing trouser bulges"? Alright!)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Long Week

Oy, this has been a week! Yes? Is it just me or has it been about 11 days since last weekend? Truly.

Over. It.

What's plans for the weekend, chickens? Me, I think a quiet(ish) one. I need to do some cleaning of my poor decrepit house. Actually, it isn't so bad - but I bought this yesterday and now I feel like there is dirt everywhere. I've just started reading it but already I'm all like give me back my life you cleaning nazis. 15 minutes a day sounds easy, until you think that what it means you have to be home like every night, or do some cleaning every morning before work, and then my brain rebels and considers shutting down the blood supply to several vital organs. Including the ones that would hold the scrubbing brush.

But I did buy white vinegar and bicarb soda at the supermarket, which it would seem are the miracle cleaning combo according to the book, instead of my usual 'wear a welder's mask and morotcycle gloves' grade cleaning products. We'll see. Just remember, I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the dirt.

Anyhoo, but I digress. I woke up several times last night, partly as my flatmate was up and down like the Assyrian Empire (Hi Bodes!) and even the slightest noises wake me, eventually getting up and sitting on the computer for a couple of hours. Well, at the computer. Today was supposed to be the day that I actually got my crap together and got rid of the overdue work cluttering my desk. Har! What are the odds do you think?

Yup, me too.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Small Changes

I made the switch to the new version of Blogger, finally. I'd like to say it's because I'm all progressive and stuff, but really it's because Blogoogle decided to force my hand and give me no choice. Anyhoo, all's well that ends well. It was a quickish and easy transition and I've had a bit of fun modifying my template a bit. If you spot anything that's broken, let me know so that I can get the maintenance team on it stat.

Dinner For Aveline

Last night a large group of our friends gathered to celebrate the life of Aveline, our friend who passed away unexpectedly last weekend at age 39. Louise, one of Aveline's closest and oldest friends, chose Aveline's favourite Newtown restaurant "Tamana's North Indian Diner" as an appropriate spot.

Dinner For Aveline Tamana's

Dinner For Aveline Tamana's Mural

A Toast Domus Lundi

Afterwards we crossed the road and finished the evening at The Marlborough Hotel with more laughs and stories about Aveline. We're planning on having a larger gathering for Aveline's Sydney friends on the 10th of February, details yet to be finalised.

My photos of the evening (with captions) are here.