Friday, March 30, 2007

I'm Hungover And It's All James O'Brien's Fault

It's true. Ok, maybe not the all his fault part, but the rest it certainly true. Yikes. Alcohol is bad, 'mkay?


We had a blast of a time last night. Fire codes be damned, they packed more 'mos and lezzers into The Newton Hotel than ever before. Just blinking involved several "'scuse me"s and an apology. The amateur performers all behaved themselves and kept their privates off parade, avoiding the need for the drag host Vanessa Wagner to dash across with her special sign - a heavily pixellated penis. (Trust me, as a sight gag it worked.)

Sadly the same could not be said for the mature aged lady previously mentioned who (apparently) is a career stripper and was one of the judges. Yes, she flashed the 60+ year old 'gina. Whilst touching her toes. I'm scarred.

The strip acts were fun, some excellent and some tragic, and all used the stripper pole installed on stage to great effect. One cute boy started off in Ninja drag with knives, stripped down to tiny square cut undies, flashed some butt, worked the pole like a demon (the stripper pole that is) and did some hula hoop action. He was also from James's home town, the announcement of which made James exclaim "That's my nephew!" Har! (It wasn't) Another boy came out covered in helium and glitter filled balloons, which he proceded to cut loose and pop in hysterical girly fashion.

Eh, it was a hoot. Of the younger performers the popular style was definately that of new school burlesque. Sexy tough young things with tattoos, and that was just the girls. A couple of them were amazing on the pole, shimmying right up to the ceiling, doing all sorts of 'lay back' and splits type manoeuvers. Very cool. The winner was a woman who did an inspired Flashdance routine, complete with glitter shower and pasties which she actually lit at the end. (Somewhat of a fire risk, now that I think of it.)

The night ended up as so many do, waiting for the songs you picked on the video jukebox at The Imperial Hotel. Which, as it turns out, is akin to waiting for Godot.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

How Amateur Is Amateur?

Certified good sort and fellow Sydney blogger Mr James O'Brien and I are off to have dinner and then to see the grand finals of a Unisex Amateur Strip Show tonight at the Newtown Hotel.

Yup, I said a Unisex Amateur Strip Show. Let's mull over that concept for a moment...

Apparently last week, which young master O'Brien blogged about here (scroll down towards the end), a woman in her 60s performed an act of some gynaecological accuracy shall we say. Apparently the first few rows of gay boys had looks on their faces of trapped terror. Ok, that is perhaps a slight exaggeration, at least of discomfort.

I think I'm projecting, the trapped terror would be mine.


I was a bit taken by these seed pod things (if that's what they are) that were part of this large drift of hot yellow and orange coloured lillies.


There's nothing terribly scrotal about them, but I remember thinking they kind of look like green, slightly spikey, testicles.

...and there we have an insight into the curious landscape of my psyche, gentle reader.

The Heart IS A Lonely Hunter

I'm a lean mean readin' machine right now, thanks to my extensive daily commute. Some days I like to mix it up a bit and polish off a Sudoku (aka The Devil's Squares Of Evil) or two instead, but most days I'm all about the lit-er-a-ture, don't you know? Even when it's pulp.

In the past week I've read a couple of easy peasy fun novels, "The Devil In Amber" (which I mentioned before) and then the prequel by the same author "The Vesuvius Club" (not bad, but I think "The Devil In Amber" was funner). I decided it was time to trawl back through my bookshelves and see if there was something there that either I hadn't read, or that deserved re-reading.

I read books pretty fast, up to 3 or 4 a week sometimes, and book buying gets to be an expensive habit after a while. Sometimes I buy second-hand to try and minimise the cost. I don't smoke and I don't drink much, so I guess it's my one 'vice' though right? I mean, internet porn costs nothing. So book choice this time around had frugality as an impetus.

So. I decided to read The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Years back I had a phase of putting my name and the date I bought a book inside the front cover, and I was surprised to spot it yesterday and realise that I bought this in 1991, and had never read it. I'm only 50 pages in but wow, I'm loving it so far. Written in 1940, the setting (a small town in the US south) and the period place it in quite a foreign land, but the language is so evocative and the characters so well fleshed out that it isn't a difficult read. Not one of those 'worthy' classics that people slog through to have said they've read it. (Yes, I'm looking at you "War & Peace".)

I don't know much about Carson McCullers, except that she was a woman with a man's name and all the photos of her show a slightly built young woman of bohemian aspect with a ciggie frequently jammed between her fingers. The brief bio of her's which I've read lists a young troubled marriage, a stroke in her twenties and several later in life, a suicide attempt and decades of poor health before her death at 50.

The novel was published when she was only 23, 3 years married and a year before her first stroke. Maybe the title was somewhat prophetic, for it certainly seems like the rest of her life was one of struggle and difficulty.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I think I'm becoming a victim of industrial deafness.

We have one of our workers on light duties, so she's here in our office 'helping' us at the moment. Talking loudly on her mobile. Typing up documents with a hundred spelling errors in them. Getting instructions wrong. You know, helping. On account of the quality of the helping, she's now been put onto photocopying.

Lots of photocopying. 5 reams of paper, so far.

One of the bains of my existence is the fact that I share a small office with the photocopier. Pardon me, the Document Centre(TM). The sedan sized greige hulk that faxes/scans/prints/copies but yet oddly does not do windows or administer hand jobs. What it does do though is make a racket, a really, really LOUD one. It's like it's hammering out hot metal type first before running the handpress.

Sharing an office with this thing means:
a) everyone clomps in and out of my office all day long (and I consequently have to Alt+Tab off The Internetz like a demon - reaction time is up!)
b) given that we have hardwood floors, I get to listen to the combo of the clomping and the racket of the Greige Demon running full tilt and the phone (which it is my responsibility to answer)

Or is that my ears that are ringing?...

A Sidebar, Your Honour?

I've been adding some new linkyness to my sidebar over the past few weeks, a fresh batch of some newly discovered and wicked smart blogs.

I urge and beseech thee gentle readers, explore.

Guilty Pleasure

I have one of those No Advertising Material stickers on my letterbox, installed there by my landlords a long time ago. It doesn't completely stop the onslaught of letterbox junk mail, but it does cut it back dramatically.

Generally, in principle, as an idea, theoretically, I'm in favour of the concept. Save the trees etc. However, sadly this includes the junk I do want, like Ikea catalogues. (I get them to mail me one, which probably just screws up the environment even further, right? I'm a bad person.)

So. My guilty pleasure is that I work in a very suburban residential street, which means that we get the same letterbox deliveries as the householders, which means that I just spent a very satisfying 5 minutes with a KMart catalogue. Don't judge me.

Anyone got a cigarette?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Anthony Callea

Everyone's favourite little big-voiced Italian imp, Australian Idol runner up, and holder of the record for the fastest selling single in Australian history is also now ::drumroll:: openly gay.

Image from The Sydney Morning Herald.

The timing was precipated by an on air slip-of-the-tongue outing by drive-time traffic announcer Vic Larusso, an event which has garnered at least one casualty so far.

Like T.R. Knight from "Grey's Anatomy", I know some of you might think it would be better for him to have done it without this event seeming to have 'forced' him into it, but to his credit he seems to be handling it with style and grace that belies his 24 years. I choose to believe him when he says he was planning on talking about it anyway, even before Larusso's remarks. 24 is still pretty young to make big steps like this, and can only be complicated by fame. The important thing I think is that he's treating it like it's no big deal, and explaining that the denials he made back in 2004 reflect where he was at on his own journey at 21/22, rather than any sense of shame.

Good on you Anthony!

Some Truisms Are Just That, True

A joy shared is a joy doubled.
A problem shared is a problem halved.

Sometimes it's good to share a problem. Despite the fact that I talk about myself almost endlessly here, I'm still surprisingly reticent to talk about some things. Things that trigger my defences. Things about myself that I label FAILURE to myself on some level.

Oh sure, I'm one of the more self-deprecating people on the planet at times. A lot of my humour is certainly directed at myself. There are few scared cows there when I think a laugh is in the offing.

I'm much more open in person than I am on this blog. I keep some things back, I guess not because I think Das Internetz is a scary or hostile place, but some things are just more intimate. Better for a conversation that toos and fros, that involves disclosing and sharing, than a more one-sided forum like a blog. Not a lot, but a few things. Having said that, comments do make this much less of a one-way conversation with the ether.

Anyhoo. I just had a good yarn with my boss (of all people) about some of the stuff going on in my life at present. Medical problems, the ocassional doses of the blues. Sure I glossed over some things, and left some things out, but it was still a pretty open and frank discussion. It might sound like a poor choice or ill advised person to disclose things to. Not really in this instance though. He's a great young guy (about 15 years my junior), a social worker by training and inclination, and a person who is both a Big C and small c Christian. Kind but not judgemental.

He shared some of his similar experiences, and in the process we both got to understand each other a bit better. Maybe I wouldn't have had the conversation with him if I wasn't a contractor, and he hadn't asked how I was doing. Who knows? It certainly wasn't planned.

I've done my own fair share of counsellor training, years back when I did volunteer telephone counselling, and I had to smile when I saw his slight internal gear shift to counselling mode. The focussed attention, the slight shift in posture, the steady gaze, all the little 'contextual attending' signals that say "I'm not judging, just listening". As I said, it made me smile.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Current Crisis Of Creative Confidence

(Some iteration of alliteration, non?)

I feel like I'm kinda stuck on the photography front at the moment. I look at the stuff I've been shooting of late and I'm all a bit underwhelmed by it. Flowers. Funny signs. The sort of stuff I've been shooting for the past few years.

Sometimes I find that being on Flickr is a bit of a double edged sword. It's encouraging and inspiring to see other people's amazing photos, but then sometimes I look at my own photostream and think Oh no, 90% 75% half of this is shit! Ok, that's on a bad day. Most of the time I'm not that harsh.

Maybe what I'm feeling is a lack of creative growth. It's easy to fall back on wandering the streets of my gaybourhood when I feel like taking some shots. What I probably need to do is take charge of the process a bit more and set myself some creative challenges. When I've stretched myself in the past, such as shooting a burlesque show or working with a nudie model, I've enjoyed the results I achieved.

Before my love affair with the camera when I painted, made jewellery, embroidered or made a costume I sat down and planned it. Did some sketching or made up a sample. Maybe what I need to do is start bringing that level of creative planning to my photography as well. Shift from relying on primarily a 'documentary' style to try something with a bit more creative control. Even if that fails to bring the results I want, at least it will be a learning exercise.

The other possibility is maybe that backing off from photography and going back to some of my old creative endeavours might give me the space for photography to become fresh again. Either approach might work. Last night I clacked off around 7 or 8 rows of knitting during "Ugly Betty", and while it's all still pretty slow and amateur, I am starting to get more neatness and more of a rhythm. And starting to enjoy it, once I started to get more confident.

[PS: I want you all to know that I have a powerful masculine energy about me... even with all the knitting, embroidery, jewellery making and sewing. Just so you know.]

Define "Frenzy"

Right now I think my kitchen is sitting back, sucking its teeth and tearfully thinking to itself What the fuh' did I do to deserve that?

I punished that sucka. When I found myself standing on a stool washing the walls I did have a moment when I thought What would Martha do?...

And can I just say, I like a clean and impressive entrance. Who doesn't? First impressions, right? Once the front patio and hall were swept, skirting boards washed, bookcases dusted, my collection of pale green '30s Depression Glass washed and sparkling, nooks de-cobwebbed, crannies dusted, I kind started to run out of steam. Or maybe it was a dust overdose.

Living Room, I'm coming for you next.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Random Thoughts

  • I have to go to the doctor this afternoon, and without thinking I had a tuna salad roll for lunch. Now I have cat food breath. It's not likely that he's going to want me to open wide anyway (dirty!) but I'm all paranoid about the possibility now.
  • I love the word fo'c's'le. Apostrophes make me happy. If that's wrong, I don't want to be right.
  • It's like everyone with an opposable thumb and the rudiments of motor skills has picked up the phone today. I think I just answered my gazillionth call for the day. I like to talk, but this is ridonkulous. I might start pretending I don't speak English, just for the heck of it.

Dumb & Dumber

It's the New South Wales state election tomorrow, so I'm off to vote in the morning. Blech, I'm not particularly happy with any of the choices on offer. It's like being forced to decide between a cup of hot sick, or a cup of cold sick. Neither are that palatable.

Yes, I know there are more than two choices on offer, really I do. In reality I might vote for one of the so called 'lesser' parties, but I can't help feeling that doing that is kind of like throwing away my vote. Backing a horse that's not likely to win.

Sydney has encountered some spectacular failures in the past couple of years. Unpopular and expensive public works (I'm looking at you Cross-City Tunnel) and a wheezing, ailing train system that now has the distinction of being one of the worst in the world. Go us! So, give these jerks a chance to fix it, or go for the alternative, a different bunch of jerks that make me want to claw myself in frustration every time they open their mouths?

Mmmmm. Now let me see, hot or cold?...

[Updated: Ha ha! I think someone has made up their mind already...]

Lucifer Box, His Majesty's Terribly Good (And Most Secret) Agent

I was wandering around Borders last night night, casting my eyes over the shelves with that pleading look that says Something, please something, entertain me. Hoping that suddenly the clouds would part, cherubim would sing and beat their golden wings, and there lit as if from within would be The One Book to save me from a boring hour long commute home with nothing to read. (Death first.)

Apart from being momentarily distracted by a False Vision (buzz cut, tight green t-shirt, 501s and sneakers) sadly, no grail. I did narrow it down to two choices, a biography and a piece of escapist fiction.

[Can I just say, It freaks me out that Borders has no 'Biography' section, or at least not in the Parramatta store. Biographies are mixed in with history, science etc. I would have thought it was a popular enough genre to demand a section, and frankly their system is annoying to me.]

The biography, Born On A Blue Day is the story of 'genius savant' Daniel Tammet and his experience living with Asperger's Syndrome. Tammet's story is fascinating, about how he managed to integrate himself with the world through force of will and the support of a loving family and I was further intrigued by the fact that he is gay, and has a loving partner. (Daniel Tammet also has a blog on his website). I didn't buy it, but it'll be on my short list for the near future.

The piece of escapist fiction I settled on was The Devil In Amber, a 1920's style detective novel by author and actor Mark Gatiss (the sequel to The Vesuvius Club). The Vesuvius Club was out of stock, and I normally don't read sequels before reading the first in a series, but the second book apparently stands alone as an independant story. An adveture of Lucifer Box (esq), dashing bisexual secret agent and painter of the Royal Academy.
"I cut quite a dash. I'm afraid I rather fancy myself, but then everyone else did, so why should I be left out of the fun?"

Oh my gah you guys, this book is hilarious, or at least it is to me (YMMV). I love the style of '20s English detective novels, and Gatiss amps up the derring do-ness with a dashing protagonist that isn't adverse to the idea of bedding a handsome redheaded bellhop every now and then. As if Agatha Christie had written a camp James Bond, perhaps. I'm only part way into it and loving it so far. Fun!

Oh, and maybe those cherubim were smiling on me after all. I almost didn't buy the novel because it was a bit pricey for a paperback ($29.95), but then a nice young couple standing behind me in the queue handed me a 40% Off discount voucher that was due to expire that day (only one per customer, and they had one book and two vouchers). Sweet!

While The Fates were smiling, perhaps I should have chased down that Vision Splendid in the green t-shirt?...

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I'm kinda busy, kinda weary, kinda frustrated, and kinda lacking in spark today. I've started and trashed a few blog entries this morning, all of them judged and found wanting.

Meh. Blogging about not blogging is one of those things I try not to do but sometimes it's good to just get something, anything, onto the page/screen and see what follows on. Like writing "It was a dark and stormy night." at the top of the page when you have writer's block, knowing full well that you can go back and cross that one out once you get going. It at least starts the engine turning over.

Car metaphors, from me? Lifetime non-driver and the least mechanically minded person in the universe. Who'd have thought?

I guess mechanical metaphors are pertinent at the moment. This week I'm not running at my optimum, and signs of wear and tear are showing. Gears are grinding. Pistons misfiring. It feels like a lack of maintenance and some jerryrigged repairs in the past are coming unstuck.

Maybe I just need more lubricant...

OK, I just went to a different place entirely there for a moment. Funny how we always seem to end up there isn't it?

[Updated: OK, as it turns out an hour spent doing no work, looking at handsome boys on Flickr, and wandering through my blog links, went a long way to counteracting the dose of the Blahs that this post sprang from. See how easy to fix I am? Your mileage may vary.]

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Suddenly I've Lost My Desire For That Cup Of Tea. No Really I'm Fine, Thanks.

(For some reason this makes me think of the last time I had to give a sample, only my doctor isn't that elegant - he only uses plastic jars.)

Unfortunate signage combination, Sydney Botanic Gardens.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Adventures In Accountancy

I've spent all morning schlepping from one side of the city to the other to attend a looooong meeting about centralised client billing. Oh, you may think that sounds fascinating, second only to double entry bookkeeping or account reconciliations say... but you'd be wrong.

So very wrong.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Remember how I said earlier that I was having a bit of a stressful morning? Well, maybe it's nervous hysteria or something but this made me laugh so hard I nearly peed a little.

Very silly, but it cracked me up. More lunacy at I Can Has Cheezburger.

Photos, Cupcakes & Rain Storms (Oh My)

I've been wound up tight as a spring this morning; nasty yelling old people, a phone that won't stop ringing (2 calls backed up on hold... you're kidding right?), pissy workmates, residual tiredness from a weekend 'o fun and a prematurely empty coffee pot. Pfft.

I choose therefore to go to my Happy Place. Where rainbows arc over crystal waterfalls and powder blur unicorns gambol in the mist... and hot guys in square cut speedos sun themselves by limpid pools. Or something. So, in the spirit of work avoidance (and poor segues) that means it's weekend recap time! Yay! This may ramble as the phone is still bleating, but hopefully you'll hang in there.

It was a good one. I kicked it off on Friday as I've already mentioned, with birthday drinks for a friend and then a wander mit kamera around the harbour. It was a hot and sticky night, but lots of fun.

Prior to that I'd cut out of work early to go and have my first appointment with a new doctor. I finally got a firm diagnosis on the fact that I have a couple of overlapping medical conditions, which is why I've been feeling so crap for about 2-3 months. I know that sounds a bit obtuse, but the important thing is that ultimately it was positive and affirming experience, you see.

Saturday morning was warm and overcast, and I headed into the Botanical Gardens with a friend. I had hoped to see the lotus pond in bloom, but sadly it was not to be. I still had a nice time wandering the gardens and shot some lovely pics, which I'll post soon. I was a little disappointed to have missed the lotus blooms though, but there was still lots of other stuff in flower, and the ocassional bug to snap.

Saturday afternoon was also web-goddess's birthday bbq, and I had decided to get her a special treat. So after the Botanic Gardens I schlepped over to North Sydney, getting all red faced and sweaty in the process, to grab a dozen cupcakes for the party. I arrived at web-goddess's house just in time to miss a tropical style rain storm, one which turned the bbq into an indoor event. A fun afternoon and evening of eating (all the cheese you can eat!), laughing and playing trippy wii games ensued. FYI, that bubble matching game is weird y'all.

Jebus, we're only up to Saturday night so far. This is a marathon. I think I'm getting blogging fatigue...

Sunday. A more chilled out sort of day. Breakfast down the street in Newtown, getting some prints of my photos printed up for people who requested them (commissions, w00t!), book shopping, coffee with friends in the afternoon and more photo ninja stizz. I was supposed to have dinner (and a shag) Sunday evening, but frankly I just didn't have it in me. (Shut-up.) Some home cooked pasta, a bit of tv and early to bed.

And you?


Every Sydney photographer has to take this shot at least once, it's like mandatory, or something:

The Sydney Opera House. It's so incredibly photogenic and iconic that no matter how you shoot it, it sort of ends up looking like a postcard. Even though I've lived here for many years I still get a little rush every time I see it sitting there, lit up in the dark of night like a jewel, or like some fantastic sailing vessel setting a course for open sea.

Oh, and let's not forget the other great Sydney icon, The Sydney Harbour Bridge (aka 'the coat hanger'). 75 years young yesterday. Happy 75th birthday Sydney Harbour Bridge!

I took both of these night shots down at Circular Quay, just after birthday drinks for my Flickr buddy James M on Friday night. It was a hot, still, overcast night and the ocassional rain splatters did little to relieve the oppressive humidity. I don't have a tripod for my camera but I managed to get some halfway decent shots by leaning on any flat surface I could find. (If you were down at Circular Quay in Sydney on Friday night and saw some crazy guy doubled up over a waterside bollard, well mystery solved! I am that crazy! And it's not like the fleet was even in town or anything.)

Birthday drinks high above the harbour, and a mini photo ninja wander around the waterside landmarks on the way home, two great ways to kick off the start of the weekend.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Photo Geek Project

I think I might have to have a shot at making one of these (US)$10 Macro Photo Studio setups. Looks simple, effective and involves recycling. Oh and cheap, we love the cheap!

[link via design*sponge.]


It's weekend plans time, chickens. After a dribble of Autumn weather we're having a wee Indian Summer at the moment. I think the Great Outdoors will be the recurring theme for this weekend.

The 75th birthday of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Sunday is more than likely going to mean a traffic snarl and public transport meltdown of epic proportions, so my weekend plans will be engineered around avoiding the city completely on Sunday. Saturday I think I might make a beeline for the Sydney Botanic Gardens. The lotus pond is reportedly in full bloom for the first time in a bunch of years, so it might be a perfect photo opportunity.

I was contacted a little while back by one of the owners of a business on the North Shore, whose products I had taken some popular photos of on Flickr. He and his boyfriend invited me to stop by sometime and visit their shop, so I might do that as well on Saturday and set up another perfect photo opportunity. (Sorry to be deliberately obtuse about this, but I'll blog about it if it happens and I also want to get some of their products as a surprise for someone this weekend.)

Tonight and tomorrow night I have birthday drinks for two different friends celebrating their birthdays this weekend. Sunday I might catch up with another friend for some cocktails on the terrace type action, and I have a dinner date set for Sunday night. Colour me social, y'all.

And you?

Occupational Hazard

Oh no. I just took a call from a work team mate who went to visit one of our elderly clients this morning and found him deceased. That sucks, and sadly it's an occupational hazard when you work with services for the frail aged. Thankfully it's rare, normally when our clients pass it's one of the family or a carer who finds them. She's understandably upset, nobody likes the shock of finding somebody like that.

You know in detective novels, or on tv crime shows, when people walk into a room and they're not sure if the person is alive or not? So untrue. I've seen a few dead people in my life and there is no mistaking it. The sense of absence is profound, and I think it's more than just lack of any animation. The first person I ever saw (my mother) the first thing that crossed through my mind was this is no longer a person. It was startling and unexpected, and in a way started me off on the path of asking spiritual questions.

Eh, I know this is a Debbie Downer post to start the day with, but death is a part of life.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Private Cutie Pie

If you think I started my work day this morning by trawling for more Luke MacFarlane pics... well, you'd be right. You can go ahead and paint Obsessive on my forehead right now. As an addenda to my Luke MacFarlane post the other day, I bring you pics of Luke from the 2005 series "Over There".

Hello Butchy McButcherton! Some guys just don't look good with a close cropped buzz cut, but this ain't one of them.

Sigh, I need a moment to collect myself. Chat amongst yourselves while I pull myself together (so to speak).

Ageless Goddess

Happy Birthday web-goddess! 30 years young today.

Mission Accomplished

I felt like I needed to decompress when I left work yesterday, so I joined a group of around a half dozen friends for a few beers last night. These friends meet every Wednesday at a particular suburban pub, as a sort of standing arrangement. The core group is generally the same, with occasional ring-ins like myself. The numbers ebb and flow.

It's not quite Dororthy Parker and the vicious circle, but the quips still flow thick and fast.

I set out to decompress and have a good time and I achieved that. The beer wasn't really the necessary part, the laughs and comraderie were the essential ingredients.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Stamp "Handle With Care"

Hey how you all doin'?

Me? Oh, sure, well I've had a f*cking assh#le c%nting c$cksucking sh@t muthaf&cker of a day, thanks for asking.

Being yelled at by elderly demented clients? Check. Tackling the most incredibly boring and repetitive task in my work repertoire? Check. Check. Check. A bit hurt and angry at an insensitive comment on one of my old blog posts? Check. My stupid bank hitting me with a $40 fee, for something patently Not My Fault? Check.

At least I don't have a cat, otherwise it probably would have died, you know?

Tonight there will be beers. Ship 'em in.

[And yes, don't worry, storm in a teacup. It'll all be blown over in an hour's time. Maybe. Or, maybe in 3 beers' time.]

5 Morning Commute Thoughts For The 14th of March

  1. I'm certain there will be an MP3 player lead wave of deafness (or at least tinitis) in the future. Sydney trains are loud as it is, especially if you get one of the older carriages, and to have loud music pumped directly into your ears over the top is asking for ear damage. I was sitting 5 rows away from a young woman this morning and I could clearly make out the tune she was listening to through her earbuds.

  2. I was handed a sample of a yummy new yoghurt line by an equally yummy young man as I walked through Parramatta mall this morning. Only, here's a thought. If your brand is called Nudie, don't you think you should carry that theme through your promotions? Shirtless, at least.

  3. CityRail, a train isn't really 'delayed' if it's 16 minutes late. When they are supposed to be 15 minutes apart, it's the next train.

  4. I am the Sudoku king! Bow down before me.

  5. I sat next to the most incredibly elegant Indian woman on the train this morning. Ok, she had a mildly annoying habit of sniffing but she was so groomed and, well, put together that I hoped some of the glamour might have rubbed off a bit.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Designing The Futuuuure!

I can think of at least one of my buddies who would be in the market for some of this action.


It's one of those warm but wet early Autumn days here in the outer western reaches of Sydney. My office is located is a suburban street, and just outside are some mature gum trees that play host to all sorts or native birds.

Rainbow Lorikeet. Photo taken from the
Canberra Ornithologists Group website.

When it starts to rain these little guys go beserk. Seriously. This has to be heard to be believed. Get 20 of these little blighters chattering away together and you can hardly hear yourself think. I'm not sure what it is about the rain that pushes their buttons, opportunity for a quick bath maybe, but they hang out in the tops of the trees and fluff and preen and gabble like mad. They've been at it for about 20 minutes now and already I'm like guys, enough.


New crush time folks. And is it just me, or do these crushes seem to be getting more and more frequent?...

Anyhoo. I give you new crush Luke MacFarlane (aka Thomas Luke MacFarlane). 27 year old Canadian actor who plays Scotty the sweet, slightly swishy, over compensating cater waiter and current beau of my previous crush Matthew Rhys on Brothers & Sisters.

Handsome, nest pas? I mean, hello cheekbones.

Sadly Scotty seems to have spent much of his time so far being frustrated by Matthew Rhys's character Kevin, but there's something so sweet about his character that makes me vacillate between thoughts of Awwwww! and Yummy! when he and The Cheekbones of Doom appear on screen. Besides, I'm a sucker for formal wear - even if it is a cater waiter uniform.

I thought my head was going to explode in last night's episode (pictured above) when he and Kevin a) snogged and b) slow danced. As a recurring theme there's the Awwwww! and Yummy! stizz again, only this time in reverse order.

Just to mix it up a little.

He's also rumoured to be the real life boyfriend of Grey's Anatomy little pumpkin T.R. Knight. I can't even begin to tell you how many brownie points that earns him.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Sometimes weekends seem to have a recurring theme. Almost as if the planets have aligned, the gods have cast the bones and read the entrails, and all signs point to... [insert here]. Looking back, my theme for the past weekend was friendship.

I've had a bit of a dose of the blues for the past few weeks, the sort of blues that make you feel a bit withdrawn and self absorbed. Sadly, the perfect antidote of connecting with people, laughing, sharing, seems like the hardest thing to achieve at a time like this. Yet it really is the perfect antidote.

Friday night a friend who I've known for almost 30 years, since we were at school together, rang from overseas to catch up. It's been longer than either one of us realised since we last spoke, almost a year and long enough for him to get remarried and have a son. We both talked about the changes in our lives over the past year, and what the future might hold. It's kind of magical having known each other for so long. We've seen so many life changes in each other, and have always been very open with each other. He was one of the first people I came out to and I was one of the few people he could discuss the problems he was having in his first marriage. We've been there as sounding boards for each other for almost three decades now and that sort of shared history is very special.

Saturday afternoon I caught up with one of my photography buddies, a woman who I normally only really get to hang out with in a group. This was one of the few times we've had to just hang out, the two of us, and it was great. We chatted, laughed, gossiped a bit, opened up about stuff going on in our lives, it was really lovely.

A friend I've known for more than twenty years was in town this weekend, and even though we've never had a romantic love between us, we have a deep and loving friendship that I absolutely treasure. We can go 6 months without seeing each other and it doesn't matter a bit. We almost pick up where the last sentence stopped. On Saturday evening we had some beers, a long lovely dinner, and then some more beers... and it was utterly fantastic.

Sunday was my friend Stephen's birthday, and I rang him in Queensland to wish him a happy birthday. Stephen and I are ex boyfriends from many years back, and he is one of the most caring people I know. A gentle soul who puts a lot of energy into maintaining his relationships with people. It was great to talk to him and a perfect way to round out a weekend of connecting with friends.

It was a weekend that delivered exactly what I needed. Opportunitites to feel love and connection. Space to talk about my own problems with people who 'get' me and support me. Perhaps even more importantly, being there for others and being able to provide support for them. To get a sense of perspective.

Friday, March 09, 2007


The more I hang out with the dogs of my friends, the more I feel like I need one of my own.

Beautiful Eyes
One of my friend Spyder's beautiful whippets.

Mind you, I've thought this about boyfriends in the past. We know how that one's worked out. They're all cute and stuff when you get 'em, then they start chewing on your best shoes and it's all downhill from there.

Cookin' Up A Storm

In the (almost) three years I have been writing this blog I don't think I've ever posted a recipe here. Not that it's mandatory or anything, but I cook quite a bit and I'm sort of suprised I haven't done it before. I'm like some sort of mystery to myself at times, for reals.

But, I digress. As a single working gal in a high class digital world I'm all about the easy peasy meals for one. Last night I threw together a sort of Moroccan inspired salad to have with a piece of grilled fish. It was pretty good, so I thought I'd mention it here just in case you guys thought I lived off pizza and Mint Slice biscuits.*

There's a couple of slightly exotic ingredients in here, but I got them at my local supermarket so they shouldn't be too hard to find. The balance of this is quite lemony, which goes well with the chick peas and fish.

Moroccanish Salad For One
1/2 can of chick peas
1/2 a smallish cucumber, cut into chunks
3-4 cherry tomatoes, halved
chopped Spanish (red) onion to taste (I used about a tablespoon)
1 generous teaspoon of small capers
1/2 tablespoon of chopped preserved lemon (I bought this in a jar, but you can make your own from any number of recipes)
a generous sprinkle of Sumac
a good glug of extra virgin olive oil
a generous squeeze of lemon
1/2 clove of garlic, minced finely
salt & pepper

Just throw everything together in a bowl and mix. Easy! You could probably serve this with a few other things but I used this as a side salad with a piece of grilled fish on the side. Nummy.

* Partially true.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

In Which I Point Out The Fact That I Totally Kick Ass In A Nerdolicious Accountancy Sort Of Way

I won't bore you with specifics, but a large part of my job here at the Big Christian Charity is processing thousands of client invoices and payments. It's complicated, fiddly, brain killing, involves a whole bunch of staff giving me the right billing and right payment information, and involves dealing with clients that are frail and aged and sometimes have a tenuous grip on reality. Anyhoo, I thought I was doing a pretty good job, I mean I'm a really anal Virgo type (shut up), pay lots of attention to accuracy and detail, and I've tried to streamline the systems as best I can.

Well, we just did what basically amounts to an in house audit of the accounts for a 5 month period and my total variance: $67.50. Which we found in about 10 minutes of looking. A small number of adjustments that had been dated incorrectly.

I know this is kind of a boring thing to post, but it's just nice to see the numbers prove that I'm not indeed sucking the big one. The numbers never lie.

Reach Out & Touch

It's always surprising and fun when somebody I've blogged about contacts me to say that they've read this humble little blog o' mine. It's happened a couple of times now. I always have a moment where I think Gee, I hope I didn't say anything uncharitable, but I'm not in the habit of slagging people on this blog so that's an irrational fear really. Well, except maybe Ted Haggard...

Remember my post about Rosie's family cruise? I mentioned Charles & Danny, the couple with their 5 kids? Charles has been along to check out what I wrote and also left me a sweet comment on my old picture post. In the process I discovered that Charles & Danny are involved in a non-profit foundation that helps foster kids in group homes, and encourages non-traditional families and single people to become foster parents. There is also a nice background piece about Charles & Danny. If you caught the documentary and were as moved and intrigued about their story as I was, then check it out. While you're there have a look at what the foundation has been able to acheive so far. Moving stuff.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Knit One. Knit One. Knit One.

I took a stab at crossing something off my to do list and bought a pair of knitting needles and some yarn on the way home on Monday. Because it was just to practice on I bought really cheap acrylic yarn, which in hindsight was a mistake. Its dark purple colour made it a bit hard to see what I was doing in anything other than really strong light, and it had a tendancy to kind of lose its twist a bit, creating other sorts of frustration.

I persevered though and despite that it wasn't long before I was doing something approximating knitting. It's kind of like riding a bike, you might be a bit slow and wibbly wobbly at first but the old skills don't take too long to come back, even after about 30 years. It's messy, and I unravelled it a bunch of times and started again, but refamiliarising myself with the process was fun. I think I'll plug away at it when I have any quiet nights at home and see what happens.

Regardless of whether I take it up seriously as a hobby, it's nice to have something to do on those nights in front of the tv. Am I alone in this feeling of needing to multi-task rather than just staring at the idiot box? What hobbies do you guys have?

Now With Less Polka Dots

The strange spottyness of Monday is subsiding. The consensus is some sort of allergy maybe, it's not certain but what is certain is that it isn't anything like measles or chicken pox. Wrong kind of polka dots, apparently. Pox free!

My work were concerned about potential plague risk, so I stayed at home yesterday and pretty much napped for most of the day. It sounds kind of nice, but it was sort of more of an anti-histamine enduced fugue state. Eh, I should have made good use of it and robbed a bank or something because then it clearly would have not been my fault Your Honour.

Last night I roused my marginally less spotty self and headed over to the glam apartment of Mikey (the lovely ex), for a dinner which we had pre-aranged last weekend. Mikey cooked up a storm (an Asian 'fusion' inspired warm tuna salad) and we dished our way through "Dancing With The Stars" on tv. A nice way to cap off an otherwise uneventful day.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Oh crap. I just discovered that I'm covered in bright red spots...

I've had measles... I've had chicken pox... hopefully it's like an allergic reaction, bites, hives or something else fairly innocuous! Bugger.

Off the doc I go!

Mr Everett

After blogging up a storm about the lovely Mr Everett a few days back, well bugger me but look who Morgan got to meet as part of his Mardi Gras official photographer duties.


Misfires & Misfits

I had a wonderful if not topsy turvy sort of weekend this past weekend. One characterised by plans cancelled at the last minute or gone awry, and new spontaneous plans made.

I had dinner with a friend on Friday night, and then cut that short (and sadly the shag that followed) to race into Oxford Street to try and catch the gay bloggers meet at The Columbian. If I had paused and thought about it logically I would have realised that not only would the venue be packed on the night before Mardi Gras, but that I would also be trying to find a bunch of people whose faces I didn't really know. A tiny blogger icon pic does not translate well into finding someone in a dark venue crammed with guys.

I was about an hour late getting there, by the time I had cabbed it from Newtown and queued to get in. I was looking for a Blogger sign like the guys had at the previous meet, but no such luck this time around. After an hour of wandering around looking, and hoping that if I didn't recognise them then maybe at least one of them might recognise me, I was sufficiently pissed off to head home. The night was salvaged though by running into 'Pong and having a couple of beers at The Bank Hotel.

Saturday's plans similarly went awry. It was a stinking hot day and I had been lying around all morning basking under the aircon. The plan was to catch up with Mikey (the lovely ex) in the afternoon, go around to Natalie's house to see her and Linda get ready for the Mardi Gras parade and take some pictures, then drinks and watching the parade with Mikey, and maybe dinner. Mikey was at work and got stuck there working on stuff that was needed urgently for Monday, so those plans ground to a halt at short notice.

I could have legged it in to Darlinghurst and watched the parade and tried to catch some of the photography buddies of mine. However, the siren call of the aircon was strong and the prospect of a hot full moon night of sweaty crowds vesus a night with the house to myself meant that peace and cool won the day. Mardi Gras is always fun, and I have been and watched the parade many times in the past, but the drunken crowds can be a battle.

Fortunately Morgan got a snap of Linda and Natalie as part of his offical Mardi Gras photographer duties. The girls looked fantastic.

Sunday morning the phone rang early and it was my friend Graeme inviting me to join him and a large group of friends for drinks at a rooftop bar in The Rocks, overlooking the harbour and the Sydney Opera House. It was stinking hot and very humid, but still a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Supping cold beers, meeting new people from all over (and as far away as Sweden), and catching up with friends and blogging buddies like the lovely Mr O'Brien.

The view from the rooftop bar.

This turned out to be one of the highlights of the weekend. I drank waaaay more than I should have in the heat, but had lots of laughs, met some nice people and a really great time.

I also had a couple of friends in town for Mardi Gras from Perth, so I hightailed it back to Newtown in the late afternoon to meet up with them and a couple of other friends. Much more beerage was consumed at The Bank Hotel beer garden and then The Newtown Hotel, and I crawled home in the early evening having had a fantastic day.

All that and home in time to catch "Ugly Betty" and the Kylie concert on tv. Score.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Let's Talk About Sex(uality) Baby.

I spotted this meme over on Yani's blog, and given that it's the eve of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, and lust is in the air, I figured I'd give it a go.

Some of you tender souls might want to stop reading at this point! You're likely going to learn more about me than you care to know.

Have you ever had sex with the opposite sex?
No, in fact I've never even French kissed a woman. I was dating boys in High School, as soon as puberty kicked in I was all let me at 'em.

Who is the first person you came out to?
Two people at the same time actually, my best friends Michael and Oleh. We were all 15 at the time.

Are you out to your parents?
They're both deceased. My Mum knew before she died (courtesy of some snooping in my room!) but I never got around to telling my Dad.

Do you want kids?
No, but I'm loving hanging out with the kids of my friends.

Do you have more gay friends or straight friends?
I'd say that now the scales have tipped to slightly more straight friends.

Were you out in school?
Yup, very much so. Pretty much the whole school knew. I got lots more action that way!

Is your best friend the same sex as you?

If your best friend is the same sex, have you ever kissed them?
Yes, and more. (They're an ex boyfriend.)

Have you ever done crystal meth?
Yikes no. I have done very little drug experimentation.

Have you ever been in a sling?
Yes. It was fun, plus it gets you off your feet after a busy day.

Have you ever done a 3-way?
Quite a few of them, not to mention more than three...

Have you ever dressed in drag?
Once, for a party. I was very convincing but very uncomfortable.

Would you ever date a drag queen?
No, probably not. I'm a bit of a man's man. (That's a preference, not a prejudice.)

Are you a top/bottom or truly versatile?
Versatile, but prefer top.

Have you seen an uncircumcised thingy?
Hell yes, praise be. (Thingy?...)

Have you had sex with someone of a different race?
Yes, on a number of occasions.

Have you ever barebacked?
No, never. I was a late bloomer in the backdoor department and by then I already knew the risks, and was working as a telephone counsellor telling other people of the risks.

How many Cher CDs do you own?
Yikes, none.

Name your first true love?
Gary, my first serious boyfriend who emigrated from the UK so we could be together. I was 19 and he was 21.

Do you still talk to them?
He and his husband have moved many times and we lost touch last time. I'm not sure where they are now, but I would if I could.

Does size matter?
No, not really. So long as the owner is comfortable with what they have, confidence is sexy.

Biggest turn on?
Imagination and confidence.

Biggest turn off?
Inhibition and lack of enthusiasm.

Ever been harassed because you are gay?
Yes, but not anything I couldn't handle. I've been very fortunate in that regard.

Worst gay stereotype that applies to you?
Just one? Love sewing/craft. Hate sports. Love girly pop music. Can dance well. Would never mix a brown belt with black shoes.

Ever been to a pride rally?
Yes. Candlelight vigils. Protest rallies. The whole box and dice.

Would you marry if you could?
Yes, applications are open.

Would you rather be rich and smart or young and beautiful?
Rich and smart. You can make both of those last if you try hard enough.

Do you sculpt your eyebrows?
Ugh, no. Oh, except to cut the odd wiry 'old man eyebrow' I've started getting.

Do you trim your body hair?
No, but there isn't a lot to trim really.

Ever had sex with more than one person in a day?

Ever been to an orgy?
Yup. They've very social, don't you know.

Have you dated your best friends ex?
No, but I've had the inverse happen.

Would you vote for Hilary Clinton if she ran for president?
Not applicable.

Do you want monogamy in your relationship?
Ideally, and if it would benefit the relationship.

Do you believe in true love?
I think everyone's version of love is 'true' to them.

Do you have any tattoos?
No, but I might change that this year.

Do you have any piercings?
Left ear.

Would you date a smoker?
No. I have done in the past, and no matter what it isn't a nice experience.

Do you know anyone who has died from HIV?
Sadly yes. A number of people, and somebody I loved very much.

Do you know what Stonewall was?
Yes. A bar where all manner of queers, trannies and freaks finally stood up and said "enough is enough".

Wonder Woman, Xena, or the Halliwell Sisters?
Geri Halliwell? Can I pick her?

Strangest place you have had sex?
Under a Roman built viaduct in Luxembourgh, with a boy who spoke no English.

Strangest place you've woken up?
Nowhere strange, I'm too light a sleeper. If it's anything other than a comfy bed and a dark room, I don't sleep.

Are your best years behind or in front of you?
Define your parameters. Maybe behind, but who can say?

Favorite porn movie?
Um, they all tire after a number of viewings but I like the insouciant charm of vintage porn. Plus the guys were more natural looking and the enthusiasm seemed less fake. I think the first gay porn I ever saw was "The Other Side of Aspen" and I marvelled at how masculine the guys were, so I guess I'd have to pick that if any.

Are you in love now?
Yup, with food. It shows.

Ever been in love with a straight guy/girl?
Crush yes, love no. Love needs possibility.

Did you ever have sex with them?

Have you ever been to a nude beach?
Yes, Maslins Beach in Adelaide.

Have you ever been to a bath house?

Ever had sex in public?
Um, not really in public per se, but I have had an audience. It was very... encouraging.

So, there you have it. Anyone care to play?

Late Afternoon

Long shadows and the golden light of sunset on red bouganvillea, just around the corner from my house. It's these little things that can make a whole afternoon of wandering around with the camera feel worthwhile.

Late Afternoon

Thursday, March 01, 2007

To Do List For Autumn

March 1st. I guess that makes today the first day of Autumn, right? Even though the days are still warm, the grey skies and shorter days recently have certainly made me think that Autumn was around the corner. It also struck me recently that I haven't made anything in ages. I used to always have some sort of small project on the go, something to keep my hands busy while I sat in front of the tv in the evenings. Especially in the longer cold nights of Autumn and Winter.

Time to think about a To Do List for Autumn:
  • Drew has inspired me to want to learn to knit. Actually, I knitted briefly as a kid, but that was when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and there wasn't anywhere near the funky patterns and yarns that there are now.

  • Mend, revamp or throw/give away stuff that is hanging in my wardrobe unworn since forever.

  • Get my sewing machine fixed.

  • Print up and have framed the photo enlargements I've been wanting to give as gifts for months now. (Draw the line at developing a taste for scrapbooking.)

  • Maybe make some soft toy gifts for the huge tribe of kids my friends have created.

Yeah, that'll keep me going for a while.


I've always had a soft spot for Rupert Everett. Actually, not just for Rupert but for the whole upper-class English queer oeuvre. Another Country, Brideshead Revisted, Maurice et al. Cricket whites, tea, long lingering looks, cold baths and buggery. Good times, eh?

I'm currently reading Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins, Rupert Everett's autobiography and it is making me fall in love with him all over again. He's such a blend of the physically beautiful, hysterically bitchy, politically incorrect and intelligent.

Cary Elwes (left) and Rupert Everett (right) in "Another Country"

The book is peppered with bon mots, inside goss, scandalous talk about the Stately Homos of England and lots of self deprecating wit, and had me laughing out loud more than a few times on the train this morning.

Passion in the punt, "Another Country"

I'm having a grand old time of it (old chap). Fancy a quick one behind the boatshed?

Fry Me An Egg

Someone, anyone, needs to tell me how to fix my freakin' insomnia or I swear I am about to wig out. Like walk down the street with a fried egg on my head, praising the extraterrestrials that just probed my ass whilst wearing a floral print sundress type nuts.

Ok, that's an exaggeration - I prefer poached eggs.

Just let me sleep through one night without waking up. One. Night. Too much to ask? I don't think so. Yes I've tried herbs, yes recently I've been exercising more, no I don't feel like I'm worrying about anything in particular (except global warming, my waistline, my hairline, my finances, the withdrawal of troups from Iraq, the Sudoku I'm working on, the children the poor defenceless children, whether Courtney will win the Biggest Loser...).