Wednesday, October 31, 2007

War Zone

Freakgirl linked to this article about office pet peeves, and I have to say that some of the things listed can be annoying, but most of them don't bother me. Innapropiate use of email and the internet? Um, sure. (I guess that makes me part of the problem, not the solution.)

Here's a little taste of our big issue here where I work, THE KITCHEN. This is an email that was sent around by my boss yesterday:

Please be advised that I will be taking ALL of the plastic containers on top of the fridges to donate to the Salvation Army shop on Thursday afternoon.

If any are yours I suggest you take them home ASAP. Thanks.

We have a couple of real offenders who contribute to the kitchen grossness, perhaps not surprisingly they are also 30 years olds that still live at home with Mum and Dad. The plastic containers is just the latest battle being fought, the big issue normally is a sink piled with dirty dishes. Sometimes for days on end. Like, even over the weekend.

So gross that I sometimes boycott the kitchen, for health reasons.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Awesome Headline

The Sydney Morning Herald invites you to discover one of the far right leaning Australian political party Family First's members. He has had a small role, apparently.

I know I signed up for Gaydar (which is possibly the website they coyly refer to) once when I was somewhat tipsy, but at least I didn't post pictures of my cock on the internet. Restraint, and all that. But maybe if I decided to enter politics, I might have reconsidered.

Plus, the "that's not my penis" defence cracks me up. I haven't seen the pics, but I'm guessing the subtle message is this that he wants us to know it's normally bigger.


Thank heavens The Christians I work for don't serve alcohol, because frankly after the boozefest of the weekend I need some respite.
  • A 21st Birthday drinkies.
  • A Halloween Party.
  • Lazy afternoon Birthday drinks in the beer garden of a local pub.
  • Sunday evening 'just a few' drinks with James and Graeme at The Newtown Hotel (that turned into 'just plenty' of drinks, natch).

"My name is Patsy Stone, and I'm an alcoholic."

Oy. Now none of this required alcohol, it's not like it was mandatory or anything, but it just sort of worked out that way, you know? It's a mystery to me. It's like I'll just have the one beer, thanks and then the next thing you know it's Gin & Tonic Time. I did wind it back and drink responsibly (non-alcoholic beverages evry other beverage) at The Newtown with the boys, but seriously, given that I started at birthday drinkies at 1pm it smacked of tokenism.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dear Friends

You know I believe in karma, right? That big law of cause and effect, the universal pay-back machine of sorts. I think sometimes karma has a role to play in teaching you to not get so darned attached to things. Case in point, and I've mentioned this before, I once saw a book in my local secondhand bookstore on my pet topic of vintage photos of men. Specifically a book of photos from 1840 to 1918, with unusually intimate depictions of affection between the sitters.

I was having a somewhat poor week at the time, so I didn't buy it but went back on pay day a few days later to get it. Gone, both copies. I'll say one thing about all the 'mos in my neighbourhood, they're fast. So I was really pissed that I missed getting a copy. Being a secondhand bookstore, I assumed that these were probably remaindered and out of print. This bookstore often carries fantastic gems which have been overlooked by the chainstore book buying public. I've looked for it a few times when I've gone into the same store, just in case they had some more copies, but nada.

Well because I have obviously been a very good boy, or maybe because I have kind and generous friends, I now have a copy! I rang my friend Judy on Saturday morning to see what she was up to, and she had been getting her phone out to call me at the exact same moment. She was in my neighbourhood and in the same bookstore, and found a book she thought I might like. As it turns out, the book in fact. I had sold a bunch of books to the same bookstore recently, so I even had a store credit voucher I could use, making the book essentially free. Score!

So I arranged to meet Judy and her husband John down the street for a coffee, and I would swing buy and grab the book with my voucher. They psyched me out though, because Judy had already bought me the book as a gift. Sweet!

So now I have my own copy of Dear Friends: American Photographs Of Men Together, 1840-1918 by David Deitcher. It was issued in paperback in March 2005, and this copy has a remaindered mark (a black marker stripe on the book edge) which would seem to indicate that it's sadly now out of print. It has an excellent collection of photographs in it, some quite startling in their intimacy. I've only just started reading it, but I think Deitcher doesn't just assume that these are gay couples (although some may be) but looks at the changing nature of male friendship and the publicly acceptable representations of it, the use of allegory and classical imagery in early photos etc. Should make for an interesting read, aside from all the pretty pictures!

[The pics above are from the book and Deitcher's website]

Friday, October 26, 2007


Last night's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" was memorable for a number of reasons; Danny's amazing performance in the Argentinian Tango, Sabra & Pasha's fab routines, the beautiful Mia Michael's number that Neil and Lacey performed...

...and then there was Neil's little shirtless Latin Jazz number.

My first thought after he finished the routine was:

So You Twink, You Can Dance!

Dream A Little Dream

I had the most incredibly vivid and unusual dream last night. I was in a building that was really narrow, but quite tall and with a number of floors. The sort of old building you might find wedged in between other larger buildings in a big city. I was climbing the stairs and there were these half levels made up of landings and short groups of steps, and off these landings were little bedsit type rooms. It was like it was some sort of boarding house. Each room had a tiny metal single bed in it, a handbasin and a chair. Everything was faded and covered in dust, the wallpaper was faded and peeling a bit and the entire place looked like it had been boarded up since the 1940s.

While I was wandering around I was aware that there was a wrecking crew outside preparing to demolish the building. The building itself was slightly creepy, but the main thing I remember is being really annoyed at myself for not having my camera with me. I was trying to figure out if I had time to go and get it and get back before the building was torn down. To record it all before it was gone.

So, a bit weird there. Maybe the darker recesses of my psyche are like a dusty boarding house of empty rooms? (Possible.)

I think the main message is that I feel like I've lost my photography mojo of late. I'm pleased with the photos I took this past weekend, but I haven't been shooting much and not even hanging out on Flickr like I used to. I guess these things ebb and flow naturally, but I think the message I'm taking from this dream is that maybe there's an empty space where the enjoyment of taking photos used to be.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I haven't done one of these for a while, and this one has been cropping up all over the place in the past couple of days so I thought it's time I jump on the blogwagon.

No bastard has tagged me for it, but really I don't need to feel popular or like you're interesting in me or anything, so hey what do I care? (I jest, because I usually don't tag others either.)

Have you ever?

1. Taken a picture completely naked?

Ewww, no. I respect my camera too much.

2. Made out with a friend on your MySpace/Facebook page?
No, for I'm a grown up.

3. Danced in front of your mirror naked?
A funhouse mirror only.

4. Told a lie?
Yes. Or have I?

5. Had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back?
Oh hell yes, just this morning in fact. But I new it was destined for disaster when my train station arrived.

6. Been arrested?
No, although I thought I might have had some sort of record in Tasmania for a civil disobediance act during an AIDS conference years ago. Obviously not though, because I had a police check before I got my current job and passed.

7. Made out with someone of the same sex?
Duh. Lots of them, thankfully.

8. Seen someone die?
Not exactly, but I entered my Mum's room about 5 minutes afterwards.

9. Slept in until 5pm?
No, sadly I am not a person who can do the sleeping in thing. Even weekends see me awake around 7am or so.

10. Had sex at work?
Oh yes. His name was Stephen and I was 17 or 18 at the time. He was my supervisor, the dirty, dirty bitch. Cornered me in a storeroom, which was a pleasant surprise. I hear his wife is lovely.

11. Fallen asleep at work/school?
No, I'm such a light sleeper that I need perfect conditions to fall asleep.

12. Held a snake?
I had a pet one as a teenager, a 5 foot diamond python. Sweet thing.

13. Ran a red light?
I don't drive, so no. I've danced around a few strobes in time, if that counts?

14. Been suspended from school?
No, I was a complete swot. Scholastic awards. Ran a couple of clubs. Member of the concert band. Thankfully to make up for all that goodness I was also a complete skank who was helping lots of the gorgeous Greek and Italian boys discover their sexuality. Hey Spiro, Con, George, Menas, Con, Con...

15. Totaled your car in an accident?
My car, no. (see above) I have been in several life threatening accidents as a passenger though.

16. Pole danced?
I've spun around a few in my time, but they were still attached to their owners.

17. Smoked?
A tiny bit as a teen, but it's too ick for words.

18. Been fired from a job?
No. Although I stormed out after a fight with my boss in my previous job, but I had resigned the 2 weeks previously anyway. Can you fire anyone after they've resigned? I think she was going to try.

19. Sang karaoke?
Yes, once and I would still like to tender my apologies to all concerned.

20. Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t?
Almost daily.

21. Laughed until a drink came out your nose?
Oh yes. Moral of the story, don't drink and read funny blogs at the same time.

22. Caught a snowflake on your tongue?
No. I've fallen over in sleet in Berlin, but that wasn't anywhere near as romantic.

23. Kissed in the rain?

24. Sang in the shower?
Yah, almost the full soundtrack of Hedwig. (Over the course of several showers.)

25. Given your private parts a nickname?
A dickname? No.

26. Ever gone out without underwear?
Maybe once or twice, I try not to because it startles the horses.

27. Sat on a roof top?
No. A balcony with a crisp cold Sauv Blanc in hand is more my style.

28. Played chicken?
No. French horn, but no chicken. They're hard to tune.

29. Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on?

30. Broken a bone?
Oh yes, several.

31. Mooned/flashed someone?
Yes, they were so startled they had a stroke. It was nice.

32. Shaved your head?
No. The monastery is a few years away yet.

33. Slept naked?

34. Played a prank on someone?

35. Had a gym membership?
Oh sure, buying the membership is the thing I'm really good at.

36. Felt like killing someone?
Mmmm, not killing exactly. More like near fatal wounding.

37. Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry?
I've made boys cry, but I've never dated a girl. I'm sure my special magic would work on her too, poor thing.

38. Cried over someone you were in love with?
Yeah, but I cry fairly easily.

39. Had sex more than 10 times in one day?
Um no, but I've gotten to a significant single digit (so to speak).

40. Had Mexican jumping beans for pets?
Whatever, moron.

41. Been in a band?
I was the flat French Horn in my high school band. Rock on!

42. Subscribed to Maxim?
That's some sort of titty mag, right? NO.

43. Taken more than 10 shots of alcohol?
Shots no, but I've possibly had this many beers once or twice. My bad.

44. Shot a gun?
Wad, yes. Gun, no.

45. Had sex today?
The day is young.

46. Played strip poker?
No. Does Old Maid count?

47. Tripped on mushrooms?
Rugs, steps and my own feet only.

48. Donated Blood?
No. They don't like 'mo blood, apparently.

49. Video taped yourself having sex?
No. I've taken photos of others though. DIRTY.

50. Eaten alligator meat?
Crocodile yes, but alligator no.

51. Ever jump out of an airplane?
I refuse to even consider answering that unless you take a long hard look at yourself and fix your grammar.

52. Have you been to more than 10 countries?
Probably, I backpacked around Europe for a while and some of those countries are like only a couple of blocks.

53. Ever wanted to have sex with a platonic friend?
Self defeating question really. I've had friends that I wanted to be un-platonic (displatonic?) with, yes.

Knowing Too Much

As helpful as your new reading material mentions of "The Bible" and "The Utimate Guide To Fellatio" were yesterday, I decided to go with something else. (Let's face it, one I have already read and the other I could write myself.) On my way to my physio appointment with Drew, The World's Cutest Physiotherapist last night I stopped by my local bookstore for a browse.

Can I just say that the true measure of civilisation is late night bookstores, in my humble opinion.

So, I picked up a copy of the biography of Alan Turing by David Leavitt, "The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing And The Invention Of The Computer". I've only ever known bits and pieces about Alan Turing; the fact that he was a mathematics whizz, that he somehow broke the enigma machine ciphers of the Germans during the second world war, that in doing this he is credited with paving the way for modern computing, that he was gay, that he was found to have committed acts of 'gross indecency' by the moral judges of the day, was subjected to estrogen treatment to 'cure' his inversion and ultimately took his own life.

Not a cheery story by anyone's stretch of the imagination, but a fascinating one. One that highlights the hysteria of homophobia. I mean, nice way to treat a man who probably changed the course of the second world war and had a role in saving thousands of allied services lives.

I'm only 40 pages in, so it's probably not fair to 'review' the book yet. It's interesting to read though that despite the oppressive attitudes of the day that he was no closetted pansy, that Turing accepted his homosexuality with the same matter of fact nature that he accepted mathematical thruths. His comparative openness about it seems to have contributed in part to his downfall.

As a 'gay novelist' Leavitt has written some novels I've enjoyed very much. "The Lost Language of Cranes" for example, which he wrote as quite a young man. He was somewhat of a gay wunderkind (gaykind?, wunderqueen?) for a while there.

This is his first non-fiction work I have read, and at the moment I'm slogging through over a dozen pages of the history of the main players in higher mathematics. It serves its purpose as background, but I'm kind of hoping we can move on soon. I must admit that I find maths a little dry, and so it's almost like I have to blow the dust of the crackling and crumbling pages right at the moment. The bits about Alan himself have been interesting though, so I'm sure it'll start to kick along once I get past this. It's more about my interests probably, than Leavitt's writing. Just how do you make Russell's Theorem or Mathematica Practica sexy anyway?

[Updated: I might be in trouble. I just had an early lunch and read some more and now I'm skipping. You know, like when you read something that has great wodges of French or Latin in it and you sort of read along and go yadda yadda French yadda yadda or blah blah Latin blah blah in your head? I just checked ahead and there are pages and pages of this before I get to the bits about Turing's life. So maybe it's more about the computers than Turing himself after all. I'll persevere. The maths will not best me. Talking Barbie was right, "Math is hard!"]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blogger's Curse

Writer's block.

I've spent the morning trying to think up something fun to write. I try and keep this blog fairly light, you know, pics of cute boys, pop culture, yadda yadda. So far today I'm just not feeling it. The Muse hasn't whispered.

Oh nothing's wrong. It's just... well it's Hump Day, I slept badly last night so I'm a bit tired, I'm busy at work, it's an overcast sort of day, I have a bit of a tricky tummie today... Just a bit meh, you know.

On the topic of writing, I'm in the market for something to read so hit me up in the comments if you have any book suggestions!

[Updated: 5 hours later and so far the book chatter in the comments has been restricted to "The Bible" and "The Ultimate Guide to Fellatio". And THAT my friends, well that is just one of the reasons why I adore you all. Let's cuddle!]

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Men In Tights

I've been in the mood for a little escapist fiction of late. I'm not much of a beach goer (hello, have you seen my flourescent lily white legs?) but it is sort of a premature Summer here, and any kind of Summer means Beach Reading to me. Light. Engaging but not taxing.

My very own gay superhero Michael recently read, and subsequently kind of harshed on, "Hero" by Perry Moore. I was intrigued. I hadn't heard anything about this book, but the teen gay superhero plot piqued my interest. Much like the movie "Mystery Men", the film is set in an alternate modern day where "heroes", people with superpowers of varying degress of effectiveness and eccentricity, are the norm (even if only a small percentage of the population).

I enjoyed it. It's not great, but it filled the bill for something entertaining and diverting. It definately falls into 'young adult fiction' territory, and it is true that the author does kind of broadcast the big reveal a bit (and very early). However, I like what Moore (who has previously been best known as executive producer of "Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe" and the upcoming "Prince Caspian" movies) has tried to do with creating a teen gay superhero.

According to an interview on his website, he was reacting in part to the poor treatment of gay and lesbian characters in comics, especially the murder of gay superhero Northstar by one of Marvel's other hero characters, Wolverine. As he says:
"In the very popular superhero team The X-Men, the first and most prominent gay hero in the Marvel Comics universe, Northstar, was viciously killed by Wolverine—the star of the team, the star of the film. You see Wolverine's image on kids' lunch boxes; you see children dress up as him for Halloween. And he slaughtered the X-Men's token gay hero. I found this to be disturbing, to say the least. In all my years of reading X-Men, I have never known Wolverine to kill another hero. And yet, there he was, skewering Marvel Comic's most prominent gay hero through the heart with his adamantium claws. I thought this revealed a very ugly side of the people and publishers who make comic books, and not necessarily what the fans want."

Moore also has chronicled, and given his opinions on, the history of poor treatment of gay and lesbian characters in comics here.

So, bravo for attempting to create an alternative. The novel is a bit campy in tone, similar in a way to "Mystery Men". The villians are certainy campy. Moore gets huge snaps from me for calling one of the female villians with laser beam eyesight Transvision Vamp! I do so love a good pop culture shout-out. The main character's coming out story is handled fairly well, with some sensitivity and more seriousness. I think it works fairly well, quibbles about the author broadcasting main plot points aside.

According to Moore's website a sequel to "Hero" is already in the works, and discussions are underway about a possible movie adaptation. He's also working on a young adult novel about werewolves, and has just written and a directed a feature film "Lake City". Busy boy.

Oh, and kind of cute too!

At Ease

I'm kind of obsessed with this photo at the moment. Some things need no explanation, right?

Don't tell, show.

*Le sigh*

Monday, October 22, 2007


Oh, and yeah, this weekend was a total blowout. Drinky dinks, canapes, sweet nibbles, fried food, even pizza for dinner last night. I am consumed with shame, the shame of consuming that is.

We'll just put this behind us and move on, shall we? Let's never speak of it again, and just focus on doing better.

Of High Tea, Friends And A Bright Pink Parasol

As I mentioned on Friday, I was heading to The Victoria Room on Saturday afternoon for High Tea. Oh my dears, it was Most Excellent. Along with Mikey (the lovely ex), his boyfriend Evan, Linda, Natalie, Tony and his lovely wife Kristin we headed in to The Victoria Room around noon for the first sitting of High Tea (the rest of the afternoon was fully booked, and by the time we left it was packed).

I hadn't been there before and was a little surprised at the scale of the place. Huge. A large loft style space, divided into more intimate areas with seating arrangements, beaded curtains and open iron screens. Full of an assortment of antique couches, chairs and little side tables with lamps, it was dark and elegant in a slightly shabby chic sort of way, and surprisingly intimate.

Oh, and 'glamour' dark, which meant we all looked gorgeous (natch) but it did make getting snaps of anything that wasn't a light source a bit difficult. When I was scrolling through the pics I took, it was something like 90% lamps. I know I'm a bit of a Homewares Queen, but that's ridiculous.

High Tea High Tea

Chiffon wrapped chandeliers (left) and vintage style elegance (right) at The Victoria Room.

The nibbly bits were lovely, a few savoury sandwiches and lots of sweet things. We had the complimentary bubbles (too sweet for my taste) and a couple of top class bottles courtesy of Mikey and Evan. There was some live jazz to add to the atmosphere, and a solo soprano who sang a selection of arias with piano accompaniment. Fabulous.

High Tea Mikey at High Tea
Potted palms (left) and Mikey (right)

Best of all was the company. We chatted, we supped our tea and champers, laughed and had a great time. Once we rolled out of there a few hours later, we decided to keep the afternoon going with drinkies in the beer garden of The Green Park Hotel nearby. The stark modernity of the beer garden was a total change from the cool dark of The Victoria Room.

Linda Drinkies At The Green Park Hotel
Linda cracks up (left) and stark geometries at The Green Park (right)

It was a really hot afternoon, but we staved off the heat with whatever shade we could find, Linda's parasol and some crisp, cold bottles of Sauvignon Blanc.

Nat At The Green Park The Lost Language Of
Nat strikes the pose (left) and cranes overhead, speaking their lost language (right)

It was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.

[Click the pics to see them full sized, and there are more pics from the day in the full set on Flickr.]

Friday, October 19, 2007

Champers, Tea & Gorgeous Nibbly Bits

This is where I post a second post about food in one day and you start to wonder if I'm not, well, obsessing.

Tomorrow I'm off to The Victoria Room for a spot of High Tea amongst the faux British Raj-style splendour. (See pic below, from their website. Nice, huh?) I figure I can scarf down a few nibbly bits and champers, and then live on celery for the rest of the weekend. It's all about balance.

The outing was organised by some female friends of Mikey (the lovely ex) and mine, and while I was checking out the website to see if it was link-worthy, I spotted the following write-up about tomorrow's High Tea event. You see, The Victoria Room do High Tea every weekend but it turns out that tomorrow's is a special event to coincide with the Sydney Morning Herald's "Good Food Month".

"The Victoria Room Brown Brothers Sparkling High Tea"

Ladies of all ages can enjoy a revived British tradition and one of the finer girly things in life - a sparkling High Tea at The Victoria Room.

Sip Brown Brothers' recently released sparkling wine, Zibbibo Rosa, whilst experiencing High Tea at its best complete with Opera Australia and jazz performers.

$45pp including sandwiches, scones, sweets, loose leaf tea, glass of Zibbibo Rosa sparkling wine and delightful goodie bag

Okay. It's a good thing that I'm a man who enjoys the finer girly things in life, right? It has that kind of 'girls only' edge, don't you think? Not that I'm bothered by that. I mean, might there be an all male revue? I don't care if there is or isn't, but if the 'goodie bag' has a quality eye cream in it (cross your fingers for me), that would be a total score.


I was just reading Christopher's blog post Feeling Flabulous. Seems Mr Chris has put on a few pounds this week, partly due to his work rolling out the goodies.

Well, I have pretty much stayed on the path of righteousness and rectitude this week, and I'm hanging off from weighing myself until the week is out, but I feel like I've dropped some. (Sorry Christopher) I've cut out pasta and 90% of the bread I would normally eat, which are two of my biggest weaknesses. Been eating a lot more fruit and having things like grilled fish and salad for dinner. (I choose not to reflect on the fried food and beer fest of Wednesday night, but one blowout per week ain't too bad.)

Like Christopher though, my work is evil. (I've blogged about this before, the sneaking suspicion that The Christians I work for are secretly trying to fatten me up for sacrifice or something.) So far this week, my manager and workmates have sought to tempt me with the following:
  • Chocolate mousse
  • A farewell buffet of Pear & Ricotta Tart and Coconut & Caramel Tart
  • A lunchtime MacDonalds run
  • A lunchtime Red Rooster run
  • 'Family' sized blocks of chocolate


Thursday, October 18, 2007


I'm still training today so haven't been around on The Internetz much, just a few minutes here and there. Precious moments of 'us' time snatched like clandestine kisses. Oh and I'm kinda tired, and while not exactly hungover (because Graeme will call me a whimp if I say I am), I am certainly in the next suburb over. Wednesday night out with the boys, and all that.

For my sins I had to spend the morning balancing the petty cash accounts. Pause and reflect on that for a moment, and then look at your own lives and feel a rush of joy about yourselves. About the lack of the need to balance petty cash accounts in your lives. With an (almost) hangover.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Run Dry

Ack. I'm training a new staff member today, and all I've done all day is talk, talk, talk. All you do to me is talk, talk, indeed. She's a quick study and very nice, which is helping a lot, but the big surprise is that I'm almost sick of the sound of my own voice. Imagine! It's a world gone mad.

By now she quite possibly feels the same.

So, I'm parched and all talked out and sucking down the water like it's about to be discontinued. I'm also aware of not overloading her with information, and frankly we're both starting to look like we're feeling the strain. I've just given her some time out, and now I'm taking one myself.

And yes, the irony that I'm relaxing by talking about myself, only this time in print, is not completely lost on me. Viva la ego!

17 October, 1985

RIP mum. It's been so many years, some days it feels like forever ago and sometimes it feels like only yesterday. I miss you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Offensive Amazon

Sorry for the lack of posting today, I've been busy as a busy thing at work and this is the first chance I've had to stop and take a moment today. Hate that. I normally love to fill my day with more taking a moment and less work.

Anyhoo. I was consulting The Google a moment ago to see if I could find out some more info about some of the gay actors mentioned in the book I have been reading "The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson". (I posted briefly about reading this book in this entry on Friday.) Specifically I was interested in Tom Hatcher, a young man who was a moderately successful client of Henry Willson, but who then broke the mold of Willson's other closetted gay clients by romancing and then living with another man, Broadway and Hollywood writer/director/producer Arthur Laurents. In fact they celebrated 50 years together, before Hatcher died at the age of 77. There isn't a lot of material on Hatcher to be found easily on Google, but in the process I did find a link to a biography by Arthur Laurents, Original Story: A Memoir of Broadway and Hollywood on Amazon.

Here's where it gets very strange though, take a look at this snippet from the Amazon page:

So I'm reading it, and then I thought WTF? No, I must be seeing things! when I spotted the 'key phrases' for this book:

Oh. My. God.

So I clicked the 'more' link underneath the keywords and discovered that the two first keyword entries in this case are SIPs - Statistically Improbable Phrases. Amazon explains them thusly:
" Statistically Improbable Phrases's Statistically Improbable Phrases, or "SIPs", are the most distinctive phrases in the text of books in the Search Inside!™ program. To identify SIPs, our computers scan the text of all books in the Search Inside! program. If they find a phrase that occurs a large number of times in a particular book relative to all Search Inside! books, that phrase is a SIP in that book.

SIPs are not necessarily improbable within a particular book, but they are improbable relative to all books in Search Inside!. For example, most SIPs for a book on taxes are tax related. But because we display SIPs in order of their improbability score, the first SIPs will be on tax topics that this book mentions more often than other tax books. For works of fiction, SIPs tend to be distinctive word combinations that often hint at important plot elements.

Click on a SIP to view a list of books in which the phrase occurs. You can also view a list of references to the phrase in each book. Learn more about the phrase by clicking on the search link.

Have some ideas for improving this feature? Please send your feedback to"

Wow, those phrases are distinctive alright.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Surry Hills Festival

Here are some photos from the Surry Hills Festival this past weekend. It was the first time I had been to the festival, and wasn't even aware it was on until earlier in the day. Verdict: it was kind of like the Newtown Festival (lots of young people, gay men & lesbians aplenty, small dogs underfoot, plenty of inner-urban tribal types, and the ubiquitous Gozleme/vege burger/Thai food stands), only a bit more feral.

Like the Newtown Festival, in a curious symbiotic relationship sort of way, the longest queues were for the beer stands and the loos.

Adventures In Pelvic Adjustment

I had my first physiotherapy appointment late on Friday afternoon, at a physiotherapy practice not far from home. Hey, sometimes the fates, Baby Jesus, the universe, whatever you want to call it, smiles upon you. Colour me shallow, but as it turns out I have the world's cutest physiotherapist.

Holy. Crap. You should see this guy. A bit taller than me, but still what could be defined as falling within 'pocket rocket' paramaters, well muscled without being bulky, handsome and with shortish blonde curly hair cut just so. And nice. And called Andrew.

Sadly I had to strip to shorts so it was strictly a one-way beautyfest. I don't know if he's a 'mo, but I assume he's probably not turned on by a bit of 43 year old paunch and some man-boobs. But who can presume, right? (That was optimism speaking.)

Anyhoo. He was very sweet and pleasant, and got right down there with his strong hands and adjusted my pelvis (which as it turns out was tilted slightly forwards and upwards on the right side, possibly from decades of sashaying and carrying my books on my hip). I have to go back for more appointments (score!) and have exercises to do. They also have proper Pilates machines and do classes of just 4 people plus the physiotherapist instructor, which I'll start once the worst of this sciatica flare up has subsided.

I figure I might just string this sciatica thing out for as long as possible.


  • I desperately needed some new clothes for work, so I went on a brief shopping spree on Sunday. Only to find out that I have gone up a size in pants. If you had been with me in the fitting room (and why weren't you?) you would have seen what amounted to a silent Primal Scream.
  • Consequently, and maybe to take revenge on the universe for being dealt such a cruel hand (or maybe just because I can't commit to staying this size) I bought the cheapest pants I could find. Hey, your loss is Target's gain. Or my gain is Target's gain, or whatever.
  • There seems to be a particular form of shuffling/dancing The Young People do at outdoor festivals. I know this because I was watching the crowd in front of the doof-doof tent at The Surry Hills Festival. It's a curious thing, and seems very popular with bright pink English tourists in particular. Partly designed to avoid spilling the plastic cup full of beer I'm guessing.
  • FYI, redheads are hot. Just so you know.
  • I did some major pruning of the ficus trees in my back yard on the weekend. The job isn't fully done, I still have to buy/borrow a ladder to get to the very top bits. (Hobbit height has its drawbacks.) It was remarkably therapeutic. Kind of like hairdressing on a grand scale, but butcher.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Who's Who

Nathaniel, the super cute force behind the fantastic Film Experience Blog, has celebrated the US "National Coming Out Day" with a post profiling the out directors, producers, writers, actors and actresses of Hollywood.

It's interesting timing, because I'm reading a rather scurrilous (and I have to say, not terribly well written) biography at the moment about the Hollywood agent and talent scout Henry Willson, "The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys & Dirty Deals of Henry Willson". (I'll blog about this book once I'm finished reading it.)

Willson had a coterie of gay actors, men who were signed up for their looks, renamed Rock/Tab/Troy/Guy and then taught how to act, walk, talk, cross their legs and even light a cigarette. All to create the beefcake idols of the 40s and 50s. Willson arranged female dates, engagements and even marriages for these guys, all designed to keep them (sometimes without success) out of the scandal rags. Just for being gay.

It's a different world, thankfully.


FYI - Never trust a word that is basically DIE with an extra letter.

After brunch with Mikey (the lovely ex) and his beau Evan on Saturday I am totally going to start a die-t. No really. Porkiness must be held at bay. Unless I have a really bad day at work of course, when medicinal pizza might be administered.

Ok, ok. NO PIZZA. Jebus.

Changing My Ways

I'm determined to change my ways. No, correction, I've started changing my ways.

I can be a bit of a horder, especially with books and magazines. I often re-read them, and I don't know maybe it's that I relish all the ideas, the inspiration that they provide, that makes me want to hang onto them. Who can say? So, first the 5 bags of books were sold/given away. Then last night, while "So You Think You Can Dance" was on (Pasha, Cameron, call me m'kay? I'm listed.) I started tackling the magazines. Stacks of home decorating magazines from several years ago all bit the dust, after I had flicked through them and had torn out anything I thought was particularly striking or memorable, and the odd recipe here and there.

One line was drawn in the sand. Martha stays.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Some Days

Maybe it's just me, but some days you wake up feeling (how do I put this delicately?) horny. And the only thing worth considering is a few rounds of hot and dirty monkey sex with Will Arnett.

Maybe it is just me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Big Loves

Two of my unpursued career ambitions as a teen were a) architect and b) archeologist. (I won't mention the other career ambitions, but they mostly involve variations on making pretty/shiny things or taking Broadway by storm. Consequently my parents were somewhat happier about the idea of making buildings or scrabbling in the dirt, than oh, say, being a couturier.)

Anyhoo, enough about my childhood pain! That's what therapy is for, right?

Consequently, as an adult I am obsessed with a couple of UK tv shows. Grand Designs and Time Team. The episodes we have on our tv here are years old, but does that tarnish my love for them? Hell no.

I love the way "Grand Designs" follows a building project from first breaking of the soil to the finished building. Some of the homes they have covered are amazing. And Kevin. I love Kevin. I dream of Kevin whispering sweet nothings to me like "mullions" or "flashing" in that clipped, sometimes slightly judgemental, British accent. And when he looks into camera and let's it be known in that subtle way he has that he thinks the owners are mad, the architect a bit of a no-hoper bastard and (say it isn't so) the building might never be finished, well he just makes me love him that bit more.

Being all "Mr Butch In A Hardhat" (left)

All smart in a dinner suit, but Kev what's that expression? Somewhat of a Gay Face, don't you think? (FYI, he has a wife and kids apparently.)

And "Time Team". Oh how you make me want to claw at myself in pleasure you whacky British archeologists, with your regional accents and your demi-ugly knitwear. You only have 3 days! to complete each dig, and the tension just about kills me! (Oddly, nobody seems to have ever asked or answered the question "Why only 3 days?" I mean, they're all archeologists, it's their day job, right? It's not like they have to be back at work on Monday.)

The tension is palpable. Will geo-phys gets the results in on time? Iron Age or Bronze Age? Does Mick own any other style of knitwear?


I don't know if it's the stars, fate, my on and off again insomnia, or my imagination, but this week so far has been like one long slog uphill. Work is kicking my ass at the moment, money is tight until payday tomorrow and my sciatica is still making me feel 100 years old. I kind of think this blog has reflected that mood to some degree, but then I am my own harshest critic after all.

Actually, Anonymous who left me some lovely homophobic comments on some old posts recently is probably my harshest critic, but then Anonymous never was known for their kindness.

Oh my God, do you hear that? Whinge, whinge, whinge right? Gah. Next thing you know I'll be turning into one of those teen bloggers that describes their blogs as "random thoughts and ravings". (Pet hate, the descriptor "random" about things that clearly aren't. FYI. Ditto "awesome".)

Anyhoo. There is light at the end of the tunnel, the good kind of light not the 'train approaching' kind of light. On Monday a new staff member starts, which means I can go back to doing just one job instead of two, and I can take up my promotion once that person is trained. Tomorrow is pay day (HUZZAH!). Friday I start physiotherapy to hopefully improve the sciatica situation. Tomorrow night is "So You Think You Can Dance Night".

As the young people say, "It's all good". OMG, that's so random.

[Updated: 11:55am. Actually, today has gotten a bit better already, or at least my attitude to it has. I credit you in part, I mean you're such a good listener. We're talking catharsis here. You should get paid for doing this, really. OK, you're a little taciturn right now but at least you don't interrupt. Wanna make out a little?]

The Top 25 (Maybe With A Couple Of Bottoms)

I just caught this story in the paper this morning. At a ceremony at the Art Gallery of NSW last night social networking site SameSame announced their list of Australia's 25 most influencial gays and lesbians. Results were apparently tallied from thousands of votes from both outside and within the gay community.

A pdf of all the winners is here. It's a varied list, with the famous and the not so well known. Adam Sutton, the gay cowboy biographer I met at a book signing, and the fabulous musician, "Hedwig & The Angry Inch Star" (and soon to be starring in "The Rocky Horror Show") iOta make the list. As does Justice Kirby who I met at a group dinner at an AIDS conference many years ago, local drag queen Mitzi Macintosh who I have met through a friend and one person who's sister I'm friends with. (Gee, guess I'm better connected than I gave myself credit for!)

I don't know how usefull these sorts of awards are, but I guess I would argue that visibility is a good thing, from my point of view. Some of the award recipients were being awarded for that, being open about their sexuality in their very public lives, and others for working directly with the gay community. These sorts of lists always start discussions, and to be honest I think it would be nice if we didn't have to award people purely for being visible in the public eye.

However, in the world we currently live in there is still value in being open and noticed. To let people know that we are everywhere!

(Thank goodness.)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Spring seems to have barely just begun here in Sydney, yet for some reason my mind keeps wandering to the chilly days of Autumn. Frosty mornings. Leaves underfoot...

Say, any of you boys called Russell?

In Russia, tiny fig leaf wear YOU!

Now everybody! "It's fun to stay at the..."

Lost & Found

On the short walks this morning from home to the train station, from the train station to my office, and then to the local shopping centre and back at lunchtime, I saw the following items either on the footpath or in the gutter:
  • 1 x pair men's underpants, black
  • 1 x pair ladies' panties, grey with black lace trim
  • 1 x man's sock, black and grey argyle (size extra large by the look of it)
  • 1 x pink elastic hair band
  • 1 x black woolen glove (left)

Props for colour co-ordination, right? There's a whole sombre grey/black story happening here, which while not exactly to my taste at least has the kicky note of pink to liven things up a bit.

Put logic aside for the moment, and the fact that these items were streets and even suburbs apart. What do we think is happening here? Modern day Hansel & Gretel? A couple with a poorly functioning suitcase? Or maybe they are driving around so completely overcome with sexual abandon that they have to pull over and shag like bunnies (discarding garments without gay abandon) as they go?

Fantasy aside, how do you lose a pair of underpants? Really? The glove and the hairband, sure. The sock, maybe a little harder to understand.

But underpants?

Monday, October 08, 2007

You Know There Is A Generation Gap When... have to try and explain who Joan Collins is.

I mean, for crying out loud. It's not like I work with a bunch of off-shore oilmen or something, men who you might expect not to know their Joan Collins from their Sally Kirlkand. For whom Liza requires a surname. Those sorts of men. Manly men. But this was one of the women I work with.

In the process of trying to explain, you then have to explain what Dynasty was.

Weekend Recap, Now With Pictures!

Compared to the social whirligig and hullabalu of last weekend, this weekend was a more relaxed and sedate affair. As befits a man of my advancing years.

Saturday morning (early, early morning) saw myself, Judy and her handsome son John tackle the monthly Pyrmont Growers' Market. I don't know whether it was the unseasonably warm weather, the early sunrise or some memo was passed around, but it was packed. Maybe it was the mountains of cheap new season asparagus?

This gear makes your pee smell, just so you know. Forewarned and all that. I didn't buy any asparagus (q.v. Asparagus: smelly pee) but I did buy a gorgeous bunch of really dark purple Sweet Peas, which really looked the business in one of my pale green 'Depression Glass' vases that used to belong to my mother.

(I collect this glassware, although it has started to get really expensive now. Which is more than ironic because it was super cheap glassware in its day, and was at the height of its popularity during The Depression. I have about a dozen pieces now.)

Saturday I decided to have a quiet night in (this is becoming a pattern), but as it turns out not such an enjoyable one. I've had really disturbed sleep of late, which is usual for me at the first blast of warm weather as it always takes me a while to adjust to the warmer nights. I turned in about midnight, but was woken up around 12.30am by a) a pizza delivery guy banging on the front door, b) my flatmate tromping up the hallway and c) said flatmate standing right outside my bedroom door calling out "Sweetie, hurry up! The pizza is here!". I have a problematic relationship with sleep at the best of times, and being woken up like this is officialy Not Good. You know Mr Furious from "Mystery Men"? We share a super power. After I got out of bed, stomped through the house, yelled at my flatmate and his boyfriend, and slammed a few doors. I didn't really feel any better, but I might have made my point. Maybe. If you wake me up by accident, fine, I can live with that. Wake me up through a lack of consideration or rudeness, then look out.

Anyhoo. Yesterday I hung out with Mikey (the lovely ex), who was dog/house/tropical fish sitting for our friends Bec & Steve. Mikey's new boyfriend Evan was away in Melbourne for the weekend, for a friend's birthday, so Mikey and I just hung out, had lunch, a beer at The Green Park Hotel, a bottle of yummy Veuve Clicquot pink champagne and then an early Thai dinner.

Part of the fun of hanging out at Steve & Bec's place is Rex the Papillion. Aka the Leaf Thief:

The aftermath:

It's a massacre!

Saturday, October 06, 2007


I do so like a tasty beverage of the alcoholic variety.

At certain times in my life, in fact even for much of the life of this blog, I have been a tee-totaller. For years at a time. Even now I'll sometimes go weeks without a drink, unless a social situation involving alcohol rears its head. I normally don't ever have any alcohol at home, primarily for that reason, that I only drink socially. I'm a 'take it or leave it' kind of guy.

Having said that, I have a new blog love. Jay Hepburn is a twenty something mixologist living in London, who writes a very informative and entertaining blog about cocktails, Oh Gosh!.

I found Jay's blog through the LGBT blog listings at Globe Of Blogs, so I assume he is of the homosexualist persuasion. I mean, he set out to mix the cocktails featured in "Sex & The City" so, like, you tell me right? Anyhoo, the topic is very much cocktails (the drinkable kind) and Jay provides lots of good advice, anecdotes, reviews, recipes and some snappy writing.

Check it out and get mixing like responsible adults who drink in moderation.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Tightly Wound

I used to work in a watch and clock boutique many years ago. It was the latter half of the '80s and we sold only European watches and clocks. Primarily Swiss, naturally. Right up to beautiful gold things with diamonds and other precious gems, which were primarily bought by people living the Greed Is Good new money lifestyle of the '80s. Frequently with more money than taste. I would see these pieces of precision workmanship walk out the door, knowing that I could have just as easily hung the brandname and some diamonds around their wrist and they'd have been just as happy.

Come the crash of the early '90s I'll bet there was some fabulous secondhand bargains to be had.

Anyhoo. Lesson number 1 with beautiful manual watches and clocks, don't wind too tightly. Ease off when things start to get too firm. Stop before everything gets torn out of its delicate moorings. Before the carefully calibrated springs and sprockets get torn asunder, or stretched to where they'll never be the same.

Metaphor, anyone? Ay dios mio. It's month end here at work today, the person I'm supposedly job sharing with at the moment (who has been made redundant and leaves next week) didn't show for work at all this week and so I'm doing her work and mine. I slept badly last night because it was such a warm night.

I have a ton of work to do by the 5pm deadline, but I'm taking 15 minutes to write this, do a tiny bit or web surfing and hopefully stop a few turns short of being over wound.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pretty Pictures

It feels like it's time for a bit of eye candy.

I find this picture of an American footballer from somewhere around 1910 absolutely captivating. The picture itself is lovely, spare but with a beautiful quality from the shallow focal length. I find the guy in the picture so striking looking, so still and composed yet somehow brimming with energy. Plus, hello, handsome! Not everyone can pull off horizontal stripes.

Talk about rougish charm. This guy in the boat manages to look sexy, goofy, sweet and tough all at the same time. Anything but wimpy.

This photo makes me think of a young faun, or satyr maybe, bathing in the river. Almost as if it was a study for a character in a painting by J.W Waterhouse, or one of the other Pre-Raphaelite painters.

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday Freakgirl! The confusing international dateline thingy means that it's her birthday here today, and her birthday there yesterday. Which is still today! Go figure, right?

Thanks for all the laughs FG, may there be many more.

In Russia, Bill Posters YOU!

Check out the striking (if not sometimes brutal) graphics of Soviet posters at the blog A Soviet Poster A Day.

Alexander Zakharov posts a different one (almost) daily, covering a wide variety of topics and visual styles, with a translation and background information. Fantastic!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sometimes I Get An Irrational Lust For Things

....and right now, it's for a pair of these.

Spectator shoes.

And no, I don't know why.

Do You Think They Can?

I was all excited to read that the auditions for the Australian version of "So You Think You Can Dance" kick off this weekend in Adelaide. Then I read:

Dress to impress. There's a $500 cash prize for the weirdest, wildest, most wonderfully presented dancer at EVERY audition centre.

Oh crap. It's not bad enough that we have to watch that malarky on shows like Australian Idol, home of the singing chicken suited audition, but now they are going to taint my beloved SYTYCD with the same bs. One of the things I like about the original is that despite the fact that they always show a fair percentage of delusional people who really do Think They Can Dance (but can't), the idiot Spiderman/gorilla suited auditionee factor is absent.

Don't mess with my beloved Channel Ten.

::shakes fist::

Hump-Diddly-Ump Day

I couldn't seem to stay asleep last night. We're having an unusually warm start to Spring at the moment (ie: today is going to be 34C, which is what around 90F or more?! - for those of you non-metric-y types), and I kept waking up either too hot with the quilt on or too cold with just a sheet. Time to dig out the light blanket tonight I think.

Little Nemo In Slumberland by Winsor McKay [comprehsensive bio here].
Thanks for the links

Plus I managed to scrape a chunk of skin off my right elbow (sadly, not in any entertaining way I might add, before you ask) and every time I rolled over on my side it would hurt and wake me up. Bastard elbow.

Consequently I'm dragging my ass a bit today. I did just have a very encouraging and consoling slice of homemade Bread & Butter Pudding (Nigella Lawson recipe) that my boss brought in for morning tea. (Remember how I said I thought The Christians were trying to fatten me up? Seem less like a mad conspiracy theory now, doesn't it?)

Speaking of work, the applications for my promotion close today, a formality that saw them have to do the right thing and open the applications up to other employees. As far as I know I'm still the only applicant. This should mean a nice pay increase when the position kicks in. Oh, and my flatmate went to a job interview yesterday and starts his new job today! I'm happy for him, because he's been out of work for quite a while and it'll be good for him to have some income and normalcy back in his life.

I have the office to myself today, as The Loudest Person In The Building has a day off. I wonder if I could curl up under the desk for a wee kip?...

[Updated: It has just hit 36C - 97F! Hey Spring, you're supposed to be Spring not Summer. Gah, doofus.]

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Now Stop!

I had to smile when I was scanning through this entry on Apartment Therapy and saw this picture of Aja's cute kitchen:

That EAT! graphic is super cute, but I think I would need to have other graphics on the other walls that read NOW STOP EATING!, STEP AWAY FROM THE PIZZA BOX! and ICE CREAM, AGAIN!? Oh man, I've packed on an unconscionable amout of weight this Winter just passed, and I really need to drop this now that we seem to have bypassed Spring altogether and moved straight into Summer.

Maybe I need to factor in some super-sized graphics for my home reno? GET MOVING LARDASS! maybe, for starters...

Old Friends & New

I've been thinking lately about how easy it is to become lazy in maintaining friendships. Particularly with friends that you have had for a long time, and that dependency, or constancy, can sort of fall into taking them for granted, you know? Also as many of my friends have started having their own families, or their own relationships, it's natural that their time and attention becomes focussed on those aspects of their lives.

I was feeling like I hadn't really been doing much lately to put active attention into some of these long term friendships of mine. I'd become sort of passive about catching up with people, enjoying seeing them when things were organised but not being active about it. It's easy to let time drift by without seeing each other.

So I thought it would be nice to have a large pinic on the holiday Monday yesterday, something that could accommodate friends with kids, friends without, friends with dogs, good food and drink, and a serious amount of lying around. Yesterday was a beautiful summery day in Sydney, although the only downside was the warm blustery wind that was whipping up a bit of a hay fever storm.

As it turns out it was also a great opportunity for Mikey (the lovely ex) to introduce his new boyfriend Evan to our circle of friends, and for us to meet a bunch of Evan's friends. It was a great afternoon with around 20 or so of us in total and all of my plans for eating, drinking and laying around were achieved. Yay! Yay for lying around with a full belly! In the late afternoon around 10 of us retired to the pub, both old friends and new, and then had a lovely Thai dinner under the stars while the heat of the afternoon mellowed into a mild evening.

By the time I got home around 8.30pm I was so knackered that I went to bed around 9 o'clock, having had a really great day.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Life Is A [Insert Word Here]

Cabaret. Of course, old chums.

I love theatre, I love music, and I love a good show tune. So it's no surprise that I love cabaret. A few days ago James O'Brien asked me if I wanted to come along to an evening of cabaret at The Stables Theatre, and I jumped at the chance.

I have a soft spot for The Stables Theatre. It actually is a converted horse stables. Once you climb the stairs from the small downstairs bar and ticket office, you find yourself in a space roughly the size of a large living room, with a small triangular stage and about 6 rows of tiered bench seating on two sides of the triangle. It's a small space, but there's a magic that can happen in that place. You are close enough to almost reach out and touch the performers, and because of the limitations of the space most of the productions are spare in terms of sets and trickery, so what you get is an intimate performance and not a lot of fakery. I've seen some wonderful shows there, the touching gay love story "Holding The Man" and a rollicking and very moving musical called "Only Heaven Knows" just to name two.

Anyhoo. The night was a fundraiser for another production to be staged later in the year. The Stables runs on a shoestring, good will, benefactors, fundraisers and an enthusiastic audience that appreciates this sort of up close and personal, sometimes raw and experimental, sort of theatre. It's so important I think to have a theatre that can stage new local works, which is what The Stables is able to do.

Last night's line up of 22 cabaret artistes performed around 25-26 songs. Some artists like Hayden Tee, Phil Scott and Chloe Dallimore are well known and others like the stunning 17 year old Elanoa Rokabaro are just starting to dazzle new audiences. It was wonderful (yes I can tell I'm gushing). The performers chose songs on the theme of Crime & Passion, so there were standards, original songs and even a hilarious intense version of "Guilty" by Banarama and an operatic "Janey's Got A Gun". A couple of the performances were ok, but most of them were fantastic. One of the theatre events where the dialogue between the performer and the audience creates something really special.

It was the first time I had met James's friend Colin, a retired head of drama from one of the large regional university campuses, and he was an absolute hoot. Hanging out in the laneway outside the theatre with a glass of wine at intermission (traditional at The Stables) I was introduced to a couple of actors and performers from the show. Afterwards we went for a late dinner nearby, and had some more laughs.

It was a great night, and a great reminder how much I love the theatre, darlings.