Monday, March 31, 2008

The Middle Initial Meme

I unashamedly stole this from Tom, who stole it from... shoot, it's the Internet. You get the idea.

Use the first letter of your middle name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things... nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person you took this from had the same first initial. You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Famous artist/band/musician:
Martha & The Muffins. (Well, they didn't have to be famous for long, right?)

Four-letter word:

U.S. state:
Massachew Masachuss Montana.

Boy name:

Girl name:
Moesha, Moesha, Moesha.

Madagascan Hissing Cockroach.** Ewww.

Something in the kitchen:

Reason for being late:
Mental derangement.

Body part:


Something you shout:

Something you eat:
Manhole um, mung beans.

Care to play along? Hit me up in the comments if you don't have a blog.

* Ok, that is a little bit made up.
** Yes Yani, you're right it is technically an insect, not an animal. :)


I promise this blog won't become too much of a litany of my medical issues, but along with getting more liver tests done I have to go and do an overnight sleep clinic test thingy to discover why I have such a poor relationship with sleep these days. Sleepover! The aim is to find out if I have sleep apnea or not. (Reading the list of symptoms does sound like what I am going through these days, but then internet self-diagnosing is a bit like horoscopes - you can make it fit if you try hard enough.)

Anyhoo. Sleepover! I wonder if they'll let me stay up late talking about boys, pledging to be BFFs with the night nurse, watching a DVD of "High School Musical" and braiding someone's hair?

[Updated: JESUSMARYANDJOSEPH, I just booked my appointment for an abdominal ultrasound and they said it can cost around $200. Crap! I don't know how much of that I can claim back, but if I'm going to spend that sort of money I expect a full service happy ending, know what I'm sayin'? Maybe even a cup of tea and a biscuit afterwards.]

Easter Encore

Easter came and went the weekend before last, but most of my friends were away over the extended 4 day break that we had. So in order that our clan of friends and children didn't miss out on the fun of an afternoon of Easter egg hunting, one of my friends Speedy (frequent commentors, you know her as World Peace & A Speedboat) opened her house on Saturday for an encore Easter.

We checked with the Easter Bunny and he was available. As it turned out, his book was clear.

The post hunt haul, collected and ready for equitable distribution.

It was a really fun afternoon. The kids had a blast, as you'd expect. I mean, it's not everyday that the garden suddenly blooms with most delicious chocolate eggs in seductive shiny foil wrappers. It's the toddler equivalent of The Big Rock Candy Mountain.

The hiding degree of difficulty was aimed at "Ages 2 & Up".

And you know, my friends have raised a nice bunch of kids. The idea of sharing is kind of hard for a 2 year old (and many adults), but the older kids grasped the concept and with some guidence from them, and various parents, there was no noticable squabbling. Everyone's haul was added to the collective's and then and equitable distribution was arranged. Nice.

Next year we're introducing them to the concept of the anarcho-syndicalist commune.

Isobel with haul.

Of course this controlled distribution also means that no one child ended up on the sugar rush to end all sugar rushes, so it was self preservation on behalf of the parents I'm guessing.

A stunning Dahlia, one of the garden's big show-offs.

We had a bbq, chatted, Sarah and I knitted some (actually, Mikey's boyfriend Evan even came over to the Dark Side and knitted a couple of rows of my project), those who are parents child wrangled, and a lovely time was had by all. Speedy's house has a large under cover area that is ideal for outdoor entertaining, and her garden is looking fantastic. I had to snap off a couple of pics to record its late Summer/early Autumn loveliness.

Gorgeous vivid blue.

I headed home around sunset, and had a chilled out sort of evening. I turned off all my lights and unnecessary electrical appliances for Earth Hour, and although it was much more low key than last year, it still felt good to contribute towards the event. I looked outside once Earth Hour had begun and most of my neighbours were participating too.

Pinks, one of my favourite flowers and much loved by the Elizabethans.

So, a lovely day and in fact a nice weekend in general. Saturday was also Haircut Day, which we LOVE. Sunday was a pretty low key chilled sort of day, I just did some domestic duties around the house and then went to knitting at the Courthouse Hotel in the afternoon. It was also warm and sunny all weekend, which is officially a Good Thing.

And you?

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Love My 'Hood

Fly your freak flag, bitches!

I personally have never felt the urge to "fly the flag" in a literal sense, but it does make me smile when I see people expressing themselves like this. Lots of cars in my neighbourhood have rainbow stickers on their windows or bumpers. Quite a few of the stores have rainbow stickers in the windows (although I think that really means Pink Dollar Welcome Here for many, rather than any particular sign of allegiance).

I know there is rhetoric on both sides about acts of proclamation like this, but there is a sentimental side of me that likes to see the old rainbow flag flying. When I was a teenager I would have given my right arm to have known that there were other gay people in my neighbourhood. I think there is an argument for visibility, plus flagwise I love a bit of colour and movement!

Back On Deck

I took a day off yesterday. From work, from the internet, from pretty much everything except a morning stroll (with coffee), knitting (testing a mitten pattern) and watching the DVD of Paris Is Burning ("O-P-U-L-E-N-C-E! Opulence! You own EVERYTHING! Everything is YOURS!"). There are worse ways to spend a day, let me tell you. I even ordered in dinner because, in the spirit of Paris Is Burning, we pretty girls aren't made to cook.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Marking Time

Eh, it's 3.30 in the afternoon and I'm clock watching like my life depended on it. Like at 5 o'clock we find out if the meteor really is going to hit the Earth or not. (I watch too many disaster movies.)

I'm not feeling very well today, having some of the same symptoms that sent me off to the doctor late last week (where amongst the joys of being jabbed with a needle, peeing in a cup and having a 'turn your head and cough' hernia check, I found out I appear to have an enlarged liver). I already have a doctor's appointment for Friday (blood test results), and he isn't available until then, so I'm riding it out like the big tough, butch creature that I am.

Actually I'm riding it out by surfing the net for Torchwood updates and pictures of John Barrowman kissing various actors (ie: Season 2, Episode 1 he gets a liplock with James Marsters! You know, "Spike" from Buffy!). It's my kind of fun, sweetie.

It's 3.39. w00t! That much closer to meteor time.

Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should

When good craft goes bad.

A cautionary tale.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Stonehenge By The Cahill Expressway

James clued me in on a little secret discovery on Saturday, after we had been to the Maritime Museum and the Police & Justice Museum. There is a sort of triangular park formed by the intersection of a couple of busy city streets and the Cahill Expressway, and in this park is an oddity.

(Technically, once James and I were there there was actually 3 oddities, but that's just muddying the waters. So let's keep on-topic, shall we?)

The centre of the park is a gentle mound covered in a bizarre assortment of stone architectual fragments. A piece of carved doorway here, a lintel there...

Neither James or I know anything about it, whether it was conceived as an art installation or maybe just a gesture on behalf of the city council towards rememberance of lost glories. It's a strange place, and for an architecture nerd like myself a little depressing. I looked at some of the beautifully carved fragments and could only dream what the original buildings may have looked like.

Maybe it's a sort of Fairy Ring, a gathering place for draftsmen piskies, builder brownies and stone mason sprites? Or a home for arcane and secret Masonic rituals?

Sure, probably not. The explanation is probably a lot more prosaic, I agree. Still, it makes for an interesting park and feels a little like you've stumbled across a small scale mystery. A little oasis of strange bordered by busy roads and glossy skyscrapers. I think cities really feel alive when you encounter these sorts of things, interesting public spaces, public artworks where you least expect them, or evidence of layers of history and occupation.

Hello Sailor

On Saturday James and I headed into the city to catch the exhibitions at the Maritime Museum and the Police & Justice Museum that I mentioned late last week. We had a really fab afternoon, and ended the day with a couple of drinks down by the water at Circular Quay. Nice! Here's a few pics I took at the Maritime Museum, with more pics from the afternoon to follow.

The exhibition of French toy boats from 1850 - 1950 was fantastic, much larger than I imagined. The toys ranged from tiny little tin wind up boats to big elegant wood and brass steam driven models. The exhibition was well laid out, even if a couple of the 'interactive' displays were a bit lame. I guess making museum displays able to interact with patrons is the big thing in design these days, but FYI if you push a button you expect it to do more than just change the colour of the light behind the display.

I'm really impressed with the museum in general, they have a good mix of high and low culture in the permanent displays and it's not just boats. There are displays about swimming and surf culture as well. I took a shine to this Beer Can Regatta boat (above), which celebrates one of the more odd and very Australian events on the maritime calendar!

If you're out on the water, be sun smart and wear a hat.

Sometimes the spirit of Aussie ingenuity makes you proud to be an Australian. This little item was part of the surf culture display, and if you're saying to yourself "Hang on a sec, that looks like..."'d be right!

After we wandered around the museum and had a look at the other exhibits I was interested in (the pet pictures were particularly cute!) we headed outside and had a look at the various boats moored outside the museum as a permanent exhibit. Everything from a tiny boat that brought refugees to Australia from Vietnam, to the last working steam tug boat on Sydney Harbour. Fabulous! One of the best things about all this, is that it's basically in the heart of the city. You can look past the tall ship masts of the replica of Captain Cook's "Endeavour" to the high rises of the city skyline.

It reminds me once again how much I love this city!

[Don't take my word for it, check out James's take on the afternoon.]

To Whom Am I Speaking Please?

I love 4 day extended long weekends, especially in the way that there is a matching set of short weeks either side of the weekend. Like glorious bookends. Yay!

The only downside is that our clients at work, all who are elderly and some who have issues with senility of varying degress, get 4 days to stew over whatever issue is bothering them. (Sometimes real issues, but not always). So that has been our morning so far, phone call after phone call. You always know when you're in for a good one when the caller bypasses pleasantries entirely and starts off with "Now look..."

Le sigh.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ctrl X. Ctrl C.

My favourite new song of the moment! The glossy, synthy pop track (that's a compliment btw) "Lights & Music" by Melbourne band Cut Copy.


[More linky dinks: Cut Copy's blog and Cut Copy on MySpace.]

[Updated: As it happens I was channel surfing last night and caught a bit of a live show these boys were doing. They were great! They kind of remind me of what I loved about 80s electronica.]

I'm Guessing They Don't Mean "Cheerful"?!

[Via Gay On The Range.]

A Holiday Monday 5

  • Mmmm, good coffee and poached eggs on toasted Turkish bread at a sidewalk cafe = good start to the day.
  • Walking around in the sun with the camera, and patting friendly dogs = even better.
  • Later I might vacuum and dust, or maybe I won't. Colour me unpredictable.
  • I was checking the tv guide for the week ahead, and at midnight on Wednesday there is a program called "I Survived Impaling". I wonder what it's about?
  • I have a fondness for the silly and eccentric, and I was charmed by the story in today's paper about the Play Me I'm Yours street piano project. 15 pianos left on public streets for people to play, sometimes with heart warming and joyous results.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Footnote To Yesterday

So, anyway. My very short-lived flatmate is gone and calm descends. We spent much of yesterday avoiding each other, and she left having said about 5 words to me all day. See ya! Buh bye.

Eh, it's ok. Chalk that one up to experience.

It was grey and rainy yesterday, and I was hanging around home to get the keys from her when she left, so as it turns out I had a quiet (non-spending) day yesterday. Sourdough toast, cups of tea, a couple of 1930s and 50s screwball comedies on DVD and lots of knitting didn't make for too bad a day after all.

On the subject of knitting, remember the 'berries & chocolate' scarf? It's nearing the desired length, so that should be finished this weekend. Better to be to long than too short - is my motto in life. I like generous length. (Anyone?) I've only been knitting sporadically, maybe one night a week, so it has taken quiet a while! I'll post a pic once it's off the needles.

Later this morning I'm heading out to the museums with James. It's another rainy day today, and probably just the ticket for a day of indoor sightseeing.

Before I go I just wanted to say thanks for the messages of support in the comments yesterday! Catch you later.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I title this post "Rant" as a) an accurate descriptor and b) warning to skip this and go look at something pretty if you are not keen on crankiness, an overabundance of medical detail or possible use of compound rude words of the FUCKDAMMITFUCK variety.

I had an appointment with my doctor this afternoon, so I cut out of work about an hour early to head back to my 'hood for the appointment. I had some time to kill so I wandered along the street loking in the shops, and visited the cunning new indie DVD and CD shop I found last weekend. (It's the only place I've seen that has copies of such trash/fabulous items as DVDs of Paris Is Burning, queer films by Bruce LaBruce, bizarro 70s blacksploitation films, ETC.)

Anyhoo, it being a 4 day weekend, and my pay not being paid until next week, and my wallet being somewhat light I priced a few items but did not buy them. Thinking, "oh yes, my new flatmate will give me her rent tonight so the money situation will be cool".

This is what's known as foreshadowing.

So I got in to see my doctor and I was a little fazed by the fact that he had a student in with him, sitting in on all their patient consults. They offered me the option of the student not being present if I wished, but it felt rude to say "no" and anyway I was curious to check him out. (What? I'm only human.) So I described my symptoms; tiredness, run-downness, lack of motivation, bladder discomfort, an episode of sharp pains in the lower abdomen, yadda yadda.

Am I depressed? Possibly. Does my back hurt? All the time. Etcetera.

So I peed in a cup and had some bloods taken. Blood pressure? High again. I dropped my pants (thankfully, brand new expensive underwear on - pays to keep standards up) and dutifully coughed several times for hernia checks. None. Laid down and had my abdomen probed.

Ah. Apparently if you are playing 20 Questions and ask "Is it bigger than a breadbox?" the current answer would be "Yes" if the subject was My Liver. Oh. Do I have Gilbert's Disease? (WTF?) No. Have I noticed any jaundice? No. How much do I drink? Between, say, 4 and 6 beers in an average week. (Not a problem.) He checked the liver function test I had done a month or 2 ago (to make sure the cholesterol meds I'm on weren't messing with it) and my results then were normal.

So mildly rattled and making a note to Google "Gilbert's Disease" (answer: genetic liver condition, usually paired with tendency to jaundice, does not seem particularly serious), I paid for the consult and made an appointment for next week for test results and further probing. The kicker, long consult + tests = $95. JESUSWEPTGODDAMMIT. I'll get a large % of that back from Medicare - next week sometime. And more importantly, Gosh! Thank goodness for my flatmate's rent tonight!

More foreshadowing.

Ay, this is getting too long. Cutting to the chase.

My new flatmate comes home and tells me she is moving out tomorrow. She said a bunch of things about the length of the commute to uni each day and something about having an offer accepted on a place closer that she saw but the guy wanting her to move in tomorrow, but frankly between the buzzing in my ears and the red mist descending I was too distracted to take it all in.

Now, when she moved in we discussed her giving me a minimum of 2 weeks notice when it came time for her to leave. I was somewhat preoccupied imagining squeezing her head real hard so neglected to press that point home, and she didn't mention it either. So she is basically stiffing me 2 week's rent, technically. Right? I mean she paid for the 2 weeks she has lived here, but she's not meeting that condition of 2 week's notice. Anyhoo, we have nothing in writing and I can't imagine she's in a position to pay it. SHITFUCKITTYFUCK. She scampered off to her room straight away, but I'll broach the topic with her tomorrow.

If I'm not busy squeezing her head.

So, I have funds to get through the weekend if I don't really buy anything and I restrict myself to not going out much. That my friends is a recipe for a fun 4 day weekend!

[Jebus! Did you make it to the end, or just skip ahead to the denouement? If you stayed the distance, well done you! Please exit through the Gift Shop.]

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Plumbing Issues

I have to pay a visit to the doctor this afternoon. A visit that involves peeing in a cup and talking about matters of a downstairs nature. Ugh, how embarassing.

Oh yeah, so apparently I have issues talking to a trained professional about it, but no problem telling the whole internetz...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Thought Provoking Picture of Ashton Kutcher

Click it, it gets much bigger.

[Via My New Plaid Pants.]

Exhibit A

The looming 4 day Easter break set me thinking about what I want to do over the holiday and I don't want to just fritter it away doing stuff around the house. I was thinking I might indulge in a few cultural pursuits. There are a bunch of exhibitions that might be good to check out, with the added benefit that many of them are free. (Free! Huzzah for free!)

Sydney has an excellent National Maritime Museum and there are some really interesting exhibitions on there at the moment:

Sounds pretty diverse and interesting. Then next month I might head back to see Summers Past - Golden Days In The Sun 1950 - 1970, which should be choc full of fabulous vintage photos like the one below.

Sunbathers at Bondi, 1956.

I might also take a wander over to the Justice & Police Museum at Circular Quay for the exhibition Sydney's pubs: liquor, larrikins & the law. Then, perhaps a beer afterwards. For research purposes. In fact, while I was writing this entry I just spoke with Young Master O'Brien and he's up for all of the above as well, so knowing the two of us as I do there will definately be beers. And possibily even some larrikins.

And your plans?


I haven't done a meme in ages, and frankly nothing cures a dose of errant blog mojo/blogger's block like a good meme. I nicked this one from Tom over at Tom's Place.

The house I grew up in…
Was a First World War returned serviceman's bungalow, in a nice suburb in Adelaide.

When I was a child I wanted to be…
A dancer. An artist. A fashion designer. An interior designer. Anything homosexual it would seem. (Ok, except a hairdresser.)

The moment that changed me for ever…
The realisation that yes some other boys do indeed want you to kiss them.

My greatest inspiration…
Creative people.

My real-life villain…

If I could change one thing about myself…
I would make myself less of a procrastinator... eventually.

At night I dream of…
A good night's sleep.

What I see when I look in the mirror…
Depending on the height of the mirror, sometimes just the top of my head.

My style icon…
Um, anyone that follows their own taste and style, no matter how eccentric.

My favourite item of clothing…
Bonds square cut "Hipster Trunks" underwear. The only underwear I ever wear these days. (Multiple pairs, that is.)

I wish I’d never worn…
I regret nothing! Even the white denim jackets I so loved in the early 90s.

It’s not fashionable but I like…

You wouldn’t know it but I’m very good at…
Lying about watching tv. I'm really, really good at that.

You may not know it but I’m no good at…
Sports. (Duh, you probably figured that one out though.)

All my money goes on…
Something, and frequently I have no idea what. I think it evaporates.

If I have time to myself…
I like to make something, or commit an act of self-abuse.

I drive/ride…
Public transport.

My house/flat is…
Small, but very comfortable.

My most valuable possession is…
My intellect.

My favourite building…
Something by Gaudi, too hard to pick just one. Incredible engineering, mixed with a unique creative vision.

Movie heaven…
Silent cinema patrons, and an absence of mobile phones.

A book that changed me…
"Ocean of Wisdom" by HH the Dalai Lama.

My favourite work of art…
This changes frequently, but at the moment I'm in a Lautrec phase. His portraits and posters of La Goulue at the Moulin Rouge, for instance.

The last album I bought/downloaded…
A 2 CD set of classic tunes from the 20s, 30s and 40s.

The person who really makes me laugh…
Victoria Wood.

The shop I can’t walk past…
"Better Read Than Dead" bookshop in Newtown.

The best invention ever…

In ten years time, I hope to be…

My greatest regret…
Not buying into the property market when I could have afforded it.

My life in seven words…
Laugh. Love. Cry. Create. Share. Desire. Hope.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

To Boldly Go

Where no Trekkie has gone before.

[Via BookScans.]


We had lunch in the office today, my boss catered a lunchtime meeting with one of the funding bodies here and bought enough food for everyone in our office. Which was all well and good, until I started feeling twitchy from not having been outside at all today. It's warm and a bit tropical, with just a few fluffy white clouds in the sky. The sort of weather that siren-calls Come outside! Come outside!

So I did. Just a 15 minute circuit through the back streets of the neighbourhood, twice passing a couple of the young women from another floor 'power walking' their way in the opposite direction. While I power strolled. For once I didn't bring my camera today, so of course I saw lots of things to photograph. The picket fence where someone had meticulously numbered all the palings neatly in pencil. The HUGE spider's web stretching about 3 meters between two trees. (Gulp) The plain white delivery van that had a rear door flung open, revealing an interior that was entirely papered in various stickers of all sizes and shapes.

Interesting things. Things that hinted at more things to see. Things that started a siren-call of Don't go back to work! Don't go back to work!

File Under: Yummy

Actor Navin Chowdry. Mmmmm.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Too Funny!

It's a big ole photo-ey day today it seems!

Now I like to think I'm pretty observant, but I'm in awe of the mistakes spotted by the Photoshop Disasters blog. Strange reflections, rubber midriffs and mutant hands, to name just a few.

The Objective Eye

As I mentioned in my previous post, I spent quite a bit of yesterday wandering around with my camera shooting stuff around my neighbourhood. I was walking up my street when I looked up and noticed this grey headed flying fox overhead.

Whenever I have my camera with me, I think I tend to look at things differently. My first thought when I noticed this guy was "wow, look at the light shining through the wings", the way the light highlighted the orange fur and the composition of the power lines. The sharp angles and the clear blue sky. When I have my camera with me I'm always looking at the light, colours, textures and compositions. A different way of seeing.

Then a moment later I realise that this guy was hanging there because he had touched two ajoining lines and electrocuted himself, and those feelings changed to sadness. Compassion. Another important way of seeing.

[Click the pic to see full sized.]

Summery Sunday

The absolute best thing about Autumn 2008 in Sydney so far, is that it's Summer. Apparently. The torrential rains of this Summer have gone, and it's warm and delicious. I took myself off for a late breakfast on Sunday morning, with the paper and my camera, and sat and people watched, and turned to follow the sun like a sunflower. Glorious! Afterwards I spent the afternoon knitting in The Courthouse beer garden, and celebrating my friend Pong's receipt of Australian Citizenship.

Many beers were had. Life is good.

Lost & Found

Truth in advertising.


Beautiful pink hibiscus in my neighbour's front garden. Also enjoying the delayed Summer.

Pretty Litter

Pretty purple litter.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Well, Are You The One?

About a year or so old, but still worthy of adoration. Bows to present, Aussie duo The Presets with "Are You The One?":

Oh, and while we're on the subject of adoration, the song was used to great effect as the duo dance between Danny Tidwell & Neil Haskell on the US version of So You Think You Can Dance. A fabulous song, and a fabulous routine perfomed by my two future husbands:

So, while I'm on the subject of SYTYCD (stay with me) remember how I mentioned Henry suddenly went from zero to sixty with the makeover? Well watch this clip and then tell me this boy isn't sex on springs:


Friday, March 14, 2008

That's Zandra With a Zeeeeee

Le sigh.

I would so love to be able to skive off to Melbourne and see the exhibition Zandra Rhodes: A Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles at RMIT. I've always really admired her, the fact that she is an artist who follows her own creative drive. She has gone in and out of fashion, often leading and influencing, but regardless she is always true to her own style. An exuberant mix of colour and pattern, fashioned into garments that are true works of art.

Plus she always looks thoroughly fab, to boot.

Catharsis Required

Apply Within.

Ay dios mio. Today is the last day of a very long working week it seems. Somewhere along the line, and while I wasn't looking, somebody must have shoehorned a couple of extra days in there, because I swear this week has gone on forever.

On top of that the mode du jour seems to be 'crabby' in the office today. Bitchy. Short. (The other kind of short.) People telling each other to do things rather than asking. I've stayed out of most of that, but the pervailing mood starts to seep under your skin after a while.

I'm telling you it does! Alright!?

Eh, 3 hours to go. YAY. Then I'm off to have a berevage or seven with the lovely Jodie Sorrell. Double yay. It's hot again today and I've a hankering for a Gin & Tonic. Bombay Saphire. No, maybe Tanqueray. Fresh lime, not lemon.

Then kittens, it's the weekend! That from which all joy and goodness springs.

[Photo by Miles Aldridge via Foto Decadent.]

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Coming Out

Meeting up with the boys last night really got me thinking today. Both Tom and Monty have come out as adults, in the past couple of years more or less. It has had me thinking about my own journey towards coming out, and about what it would have been like to have come out when I was older rather than when I did.

It sort of freaks me out to think that I come out 28 years ago. That's a whole mature adult person's life ago. (Oy, cue midlife crisis!) I was 15, it was 1979, and I still remember sitting on the floor at a friend's house telling him. Making him aware that there was a larger part of me that he didn't know. 15 years of age! I'm surprised I did it to be honest. It speaks volumes on how supported I felt by my really great friendships.

I still remember the fear of rejection, the thinking that I knew he would take it well but that given that it's such a polarising issue, that there was still that fear that he wouldn't react as well as I hoped. As it turns out he reacted better than I thought, giving me a hug and a (non-sexual) kiss that told me it made no difference at all. In fact it bought us closer together. All my school friends took it well in fact. The distance that time has given it makes me sort of look back at us all and marvel at how mature we were. Oh, we certainly weren't perfect and I remember some friends asking some really dumb questions and some of the other kids at school giving me shit about it, calling me a fairy etc.

But that also triggers memories of finding out that one of the guys on the fringes of our group of friends, a big handsome, quiet young guy called Tim, apparently threatened to hit some kids that were talking crap about me behind my back. A similar situation happened a few years later at a party, when the boyfriends of two of my female friends, two guys I didn't even know that well, stood up for me after some other guys started talking smack about me when I left the room. Sometimes people surprise you in a good way.

I'm so grateful to have gotten much of that process out of the way when I was young. It wasn't all plain sailing by any means, and the maturity of doing it later might have helped ease some of those bumps. Maybe have helped to have not felt every little slight or setback so intensely. However, the flipside of that is that you sort of feel bulletproof when you're young.

The reality is though that you don't really get to come out just once. Ok, that's done, now let's all just move on shall we? It's a process that continues as long as people assume you are straight. I'm very at ease with being gay, and I think I give off lots of signals that I am. A method that cuts through some of the assumptions straight off the bat, and hopefully avoids the need for That Conversation. Still, it's a conversation that sometimes needs to be had.

I think I've gotten better at it. I would certainly hope so, I've had 28 years of practice!

I Suspect Someone Has Been Spiking My Food

The sly look says it all.


[More fun from the highly addictive and somewhat fattening Vintage Ads.]

Drinks With The Boys

My blogging buddy Yani is in town at the moment from Adelaide, so he arranged a small meet up last night so he could meet myself, Tom and Monty. I had met Monty once before at a Gay Blogger Meet organised by Single Guy over at the (sadly now closed) Single In The City, but I had never met Tom or Yani, even though I read their blogs. Monty and I both have been known to post our pics on our blogs, but I had no idea what Yani or Tom looked like.

Fortunately Yani spotted me as soon as I walked in, and gave me a great big hug. We chatted and drank our beers for a while, and then Monty came and found us. He and Tom had been there for a while and were sitting in out in the open air part of the bar. In fact the same outdoor area I talked about (and took photos of) here, here and (rather memorably) here. It was a beautiful warm night, and the four of us sat and shared a few drinks and talked.

What a nice bunch of guys! Yani is garralous, extroverted and funny, especially with a couple of beers in him! Tom is articulate and interesting, but quiet and appears quite shy. Oh, and tall. (Tom and I looked like opposite ends of some sort of spectrum. Before & After.) Monty and I are both talkers I suspect, and I think similarly find it fairly easy to keep a conversation going. All four us shared a fairly similar sense of humour too, and we didn't really struggle to keep the conversation going at any point.

A friend of Monty's rang with some sort of personal petite crise, so he left while Tom, Yani and myself took a short walk to get some gelati. Mmmmmmm, Lychee & Coconut teamed with Kaffir Lime. So good, I would have married it if I could. Tom left and I walked Yani back through Kings Cross to his hotel. 'The Cross' as Sydneysiders call it, was busy and a bit on the scary side (stripclub touts, hookers, drunk backpackers and more than a few drug users on the streets) so I jumped in a cab and made my way home straight after seeing Yani to his hotel.

I had a lovely night. 3 very nice interesting guys, and a really pleasant evening. I think you can get a good sense of what somebody is like by reading their blog, but it's always been really interesting to me to meet bloggers that I have read before in person. Pretty much without exception it has been a positive and interesting experience so far. I hope to catch up with Tom and Monty again some time, even after Yani has gone back to Adelaide.

Thanks for organising it Yani!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stinky Dinky

Fancy a fag, fella?

The Beauregarde sisters were many things, precocious was one of them.

They called him "Old Yella". (Because that was the colour of his teeth.)

[All pics via Shorpy.]

A Hump Day 5

  • My flatmate is settling in well, but we're still in that really polite tiptoeing around each other phase. You know? When you are sharing close quarters with someone you don't really know. She's really nice and the more we chat the more I think we're going to get along fine.
  • I'm off to the pub tonight to meet up with Adelaide blogger Yani, and some of his other Sydney based blogging buddies. I'm really looking forward to it, Yani and I have read each other's blogs for years now but never met before. Should be fun, but there's a part of me that always gets slightly nervous at meeting people I've known over the interwebs. I don't know why, maybe because I wonder if I'll live up to expectation?
  • I'm once again in training for the Insomnia Olympics, last night I made the cut for the 100m Toss & Turn. Le sigh.
  • We have a new espresso machine at work. I share this piece of information because it is life enhancing, to me anyway.
  • On my walk to work I pass a public park which has a bed of roses along the edge of the footpath, and I don't know why I noticed it today more than any other day but the smell of the roses was gorgeous.

The Ugly Side Of Beauty

[Via Pattern Recognition]

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Well, well. It didn't take me long to start to form my short list of favourite dancers on So You Think You Can Dance: Australia. Inevitably, hot on the heels of the list based on perfomance and skill, comes the Hot List. An informal ranking of the boys from hottest to nottest. I know it's shallow, it's just what I do.

Anyhoo, Henry wasn't real high on my list. I mean, he seems really sweet, he's hellaciously talented, he works well with Vanessa, etc, but the long hair and scruffy chin fluff... not working.

Sunday night, I nearly fell to my knees. Thank you Jebus!

See! Ok, I would have been happy for the chest hair to stay but I have to say this new look is like a 1000% improvement. And the African inspired Samba routine? AMAZING. Vanessa has been kind of meh for me so far, but she was frickin' incredible on Sunday night. That 'death drop' lift at the end, the one where her face ends up centimetres above the dancefloor, scary and thrilling.

I'm kind of hoping Rhys wins though, because I love his amazing dance skill (really, this boy can dance anything), his campness, his joy, his quick wit, his ease with himself, and the fantastic relationship he has with his family. To see the close bond he has with his very blokey Dad is really refreshing.

You go, girl.


I've rented out my spare room! It's been about 6-7 weeks or so since my last flatmate moved out, and it's been kind of crippling me financially to pay double rent. It has been nice in a way to have the place to myself though. You know, the freedom to do the nudie run from bedroom to bathroom if required. Uninhibited dancing around the living room to 80s pop music. Those sorts of things.

The big upside is obviously financial, but I'm looking forward to having her move in, to have the company also, and I think we're going to get along well. She's a Canadian student here until November who I met through the knitting social networking website Ravelry. Then she came over to meet properly and have a chat a few nights ago. The real deal sealer though, we were chatting about tv (given its importance in my life) and she confessed "The one show I am obsessed with though is the Australian "So You Think You Can Dance".

My reply, "Oh, you and I are going to get along just fine."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jaason Is Gaay

Sydney newspaper reports that ex-Baywatch Aussie actor Jaason Simmons has come out:

A former Baywatch man-babe has outed himself as gay and revealed he plans to wed his lover and adopt an African orphan. The Tasmanian actor Jaason Simmons was 24 when he first pulled on the red togs to play the cocky Australian lifeguard Logan Fowler on the cheesy hit series that made Pamela Anderson a household name and resuscitated the TV career of David Hasselhoff. New Idea [Australian women's magazine], out today, reports that the man who put two As in Jaason plans to wed his lover of eight months, even though gay marriage is not legal in California, where they live.

"We're doing it for our family and for my soon-to-be son," the magazine quoted him as saying. "Although you don't want to typecast yourself, you have to take responsibility and ownership and move humanity forward, out of bigotry. Our son needs to see we can stand in front of family and loved ones who are going to support our union through the good times and bad."

I didn't recognise the name initially, even with the unique spelling. Probably because I never watched a single episode of Baywatch, as the allure of the show was completely lost on me. Shocking I know, what with all the manflesh on display and all. Sometimes I even surprise myself.

Still, I do think that the more people in the public eye that come out with dignity the better. So, good luck to you Jaason, and family.

So, Could You Build Me One Then?

I can give you a full set of specs.

[Via Vintage Ads.]


Or for you non-knitters out there, interweb knitspeak for Knitting In Public.

My cold is quite a lot better, and one of the best antidotes for 3 or 4 days of feeling like a shut-in is sitting in a beer garden, on a suprisingly summery Autumn afternoon, with beers, knitting and good conversation. Try it next time, I'll show you how to cast on and get started if you need it. I always enjoy the pub knitting at The Courthouse Hotel, but yesterday was a great mix of the weather, a lovely visitor from San Diego, a good mix of people, and just sheer joy at getting out of the house and sitting in the sun. Good times.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Mother Always Said "Before Leaving The House, Take Off One Item Of Jewellery"

Not that it made any difference.

Nancy Cunard (like the ships). Fabulous.

Commodities Trading

Something occured to me this morning in the shower, as I was reaching for the shampoo.

Some backstory, and forgive me for repeating myself, but a little while back I discovered a really gentle range of skincare that my poor sensitive skin took to like a duck to moisture. Seriously. It calmed my Rosacea skin condition and was so effective that I wrote to the company recently to tell them, and then gave them permission to use my testimonial in their future advertising. They gave me a couple of freebie products in return.

So fast forward, shower time. I was looking at the shower caddy in my shower and sort of mentally counted the products lined up there. Two shower gels, shampoo, conditioner, cleanser and scrub. Then I added in the facial oil, anti-oxidant moisturiser, eye cream, night cream and hand cream in the vanity. Even taking out the couple of freebies, that's a lot of products right? So far everything has been brilliant, so I keep going to the one same chemist near my house (the one with the really nice older lady that seems so, well, motherly and whose surname is probably the one above the door) and buying more stuff to try.

So my thought this morning was about this chemist. I was wondering if they noticed that suddenly this range seems to be flying off the shelves. I pictured them doing their reordering, or tidying the shelves, and thinking "Well, look at that. This stuff sure has started selling well.".

See, I'm inflating the market! What happens when I get to the end? When my bathroom cabinet decides it can hold no more, or my wallet decides it can pay no more, or my skin decides it can take no more buffing? No more gentle moisture? What then? Overstocked shelves? A price crash? (Actually, that would have some benefits.)

I just hope they keep on bringing out new products, because I feel some responsibility here.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Adventures In Disappointment

I just had my carpets cleaned. Normally just the thought of having someone professionally clean anything of mine (ie: it ends up real clean and I don't have to do it) would give a major does of tinglesack.

But, it was not without disappointments.

First up, I booked a company I found over the internet. I went through their website and looked at the pricelist, then rang them up and booked it. Except I was therefore expecting around $75 max for the event, because I was only having a bedroom and the living room area rug done. (I have polished floorboards throughout the house, but the bedrooms are carpeted.) $30 for the bedroom, up to $45 for the rug. So when the handsome(ish) young cleaner dude got here he drops the bombshell that the minimum charge is $105. Oh-kay. No, they did not explain that to me, thank you for asking.

But here's the kicker. I hate embarassment and I possibly missed reading the fine print on the website, so while I'm going 105 DOLLARS, ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY! I totally poker faced it. OK, sure. It's the same behaviour that sees me apologising to the waiter when my food is wrong, or inedible. "Um hi, sorry, I didn't order the brains. I'm sure they're delicious, but..."

Anyhoo. So there was equipment and vaguely chemical-y smells and noise. After he did the front room, my old flatmate's bedroom, he asked me to come and have a look. Now, I should preface this with saying that my old flatmate left it in a REALLY BAD condition. Stained. Dirty. There were even drifts of leaves in there the day he moved out. Maybe my expectations were too high, and sure it is better, but it still looks like dirty carpet to me. Maybe it will look better when it dries?

So I said to the nice(ish) young man "Um hi, sorry, this area of darker carpet near the door and those stains over there, is that like as clean as it's possible to get?..." (Implying it is the carpet's fault I'm hoping, not the technician's.) Apparently he went over it 3 times as it's as good as he could get it. Ok, sure.

So then he did the area rug in the living room, and I have to say the results were better. Not as-new, but a serious improvement. Here's the kicker, when he asked me to take a look he said "Give me your opinion, because I don't want you complaining about it afterwards."

In my head I'm thinking YOU DON'T WANT ME COMPLAINING! YOU WANT COMPLAINING, SUNSHINE?! I'LL SHOW YOU COMPLAINING!!, but of course what comes out is Yeah, it's great. Much better!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Remedial Method

This cold is still kicking my butt, but today finds me suprisingly not dead, so yay. (I nearly wrote undead, which yesterday almost didn't seem too out of the question.) Here's my shortlist of 5 remedial activities to feel less almost undead:

  • Despite waking at 3.30am, getting up and watching an old episode of Parkinson at 4am, then going back to bed and sleeping through until after 8.30. Sleeping In is normally on my list of Things I Would Like To Do, But Sadly Cannot.
  • A lunch time stroll into Newtown, and having lunch at the Japanese place Eat Me Sushi. (PS. When you're done, eat me next.) Apparently the new menu is based on too much food for too little money. Miso soup, sashimi, sushi rolls and teriyaki all for $12.50. Ridonkulous.
  • Buying a book by David Sedaris. Always a wise move.
  • New paints, brushes and palette. Next up, inspiration (hopefully).
  • Coming home to find a perfectly timed care package of 2 CDs from a certain sweety pie. Just perfect. Ladies and ladies I give you 80s Swedish model/spy/new modern song stylist Miss Virna Lindt! (Think 80s pop synth, with brass and strings, filtered through 60s/70s cold war spy storylines, in English and Swedish, and you're on your way to understanding the magic.)

"Shiver" by Virna Lindt. Compact Records, 1983.

"Play/Record" by Virna Lindt. Compact Records, 1985.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I'm home in bed with a cold today, so my agenda items are toast, tea, napping and crappy daytime tv. Probably in that exact order. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

RIP Gary Gygax

Dungeons & Dragons creator Gargy Gygax dead at 69. Where's a saving throw when you really need it? As a youngling we played many D&D campaigns, we're not too embarrased to admit. Good times! And surprisingly, we weren't always a Halfling.

Carpe DM!

[Aren't those fuzzy d20s cool? Ok, maybe not cool, but fun. In a nerdalicious sort of way.]

And Almost Undetectable!

[More fun from Vintage Ads.]

5 Hump-Day Items Of Gratitude

I feel like I'm starting to get a cold, sore throat etc, but in the spirit of positivity here's 5 things about this Wednesday morning that I'm digging:
  • I've said this before, but my local cafe's Pear & Pecan loaf never fails to satisfy.
  • Sexy, compact redheads with cute butts. (Yes coffee shop guy, I'm looking at you.)
  • Sexy young dads with salt & pepper hair. (Yes the other coffee shop guy, I'm looking at you too.)
  • Booking carpet cleaners for Saturday morning. I know, but it is oddly satisfying to me.
  • Warm sunny weather! Now that Autumn is here in Sydney, the rain has temporarily abated. It's a world gone mad.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Need Your Opinion

Referring to your bedroom as The Jack Shack is:
(a) Amusing
(b) Accurate
(c) Juvenile
(d) All Of The Above
(e) Who is this Jack person?

Because in truth, I no longer trust my own insticts on these things.

Happy Birthday To You

If you've read this blog for a while, or perhaps read my old 100 Things post, then you probably know that both of my parents passed away from cancer many years ago. My mum died at the age of 55 when I was 21, and it's amazing to me to think that she would be 77 years old now. Today.

Wow. Aside from the frailty that came from the latter stages of her cancer illness, the image I have of my mother is fixed in middle age. To think of her as elderly is a mind shift I can't quite make. She was 34 when I was born, the last of the three kids. So she was in her forties for much of the childhood I remember. A short, busty, friendly, popular woman. One who negotiated the relationship with my rather taciturn father with quite a bit of patience, pursed lips sometimes and the rare cathartic plate smash. (She kept a small stack of old crockery under the kitchen sink just for that purpose.) She loved Sean Connery's 'James Bond', English comedies and action movies, and when she found something funny would laugh in a high whooping laugh that still makes me smile to think of it.

We were good mates she and I, and if we ever fought we always ended it by agreeing that we were friends again. Happy Birthday mum, I miss you.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bowling For Adrienne & Sarah

Photo heavy posting today!

I had a really nice weekend, although Saturday was partly a day of missed connections. I went to knitting at cafe Barmuda in the early afternoon, and I had intended to go and watch the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in the evening. I had bugged Mikey (the lovely ex) during the week to try and find out if friends of ours were watching the parade or having parties, but nothing seemed to be organised. Although I was presented with the last minute option of going in the parade. In hindsight I probably should have, or should have been more proactive about making plans.

I elected not to go in the parade, and so after having a quiet night at home and going to bed I got a phone call at 5 minutes to midnight with a group of drunk friends telling me I should get dressed and go out with them! I have to say, I was a bit frustrated by it. If they had rung an hour or two earlier I might have joined them, or if I had known they were planning on partying after the parade I might have made plans to meet with them afterwards. So I ended up feeling kind of put on the spot, and as if I was being lame by not getting out of bed and going out. Eh, as I said I should have been more proactive.

I had an early start planned for Sunday morning, breakfast and a fabric shopping expedition (for her) with my friend Judy. We headed into the city and managed to find what Judy was looking for, before she dropped me off in Petersham to meet up with a group of my friends at a lawn bowls club, for a combined birthday party for my friends Adrienne and Sarah.

As it turned out Sarah was home in bed with the flu, but a bunch of us hung out at the club, celebrated with Adrienne and toasted Sarah in her absence, ate, played bowls, drank, chased children around the greens and had a grand time. The morning had been grey and cool, but by early afternoon had become bright, sunny and quite hot. Perfect sitting in the shade sipping shandies weather.

Oliver Lining Up
Adrienne & Daen's son Oliver (L), and lining up for a shot (R)

Jack High Bowls
The jack, an irresistable lure for the kids (L), lawn bowls (R)

Potted Colour Scores
Pink geraniums growing by the greens (L), disused score numbers (R)

Jasper Oliver
Jasper, Jack Thief (L), Oliver being sun smart (R)

Lorikeet Zoe & Kieth
Lorrikeet in the rubber tree (L), Keith and Zoe share some quiet time (R)

I left the bowling club late afternoon to meet up with my friend John who was in town from Perth for Mardi Gras, another friend Andrew who I hadn't seen for about 15 years, and Bernard and his partner Stewie. We sat in the beer garden of the Courthouse Hotel, laughed, boy watched, caught up, ate and drank. It was lovely! By about 9 o'clock I had to go home or fall over. After about 9 hours of eating and drinking they were frankly my only two options.

On balance, a very good weekend. You?

[Click the pics to see them full sized on Flickr.]