Friday, May 30, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Autumn Evening

I got caught in a storm on the way home last night. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed, the rain fell and minutes later tiny little hail stones were bouncing all over the place. I didn't get struck by lightning, my umbrella didn't blow inside out, in fact the worst thing that happened was one wet sock from a newly leaking shoe.

As my express train sped through the stations between work and home I saw people bundled up in big coats, young guys in rain spattered business suits without umbrellas, even a couple of youngsters looking cold and a bit forlorn in just t-shirts and jeans. By Newtown the storm was passing, and I swung by the shops to grab a few things for dinner, before heading home to get into track pants, my warmest socks and a night on the sofa with my knitting, a throw rug and the tv.

It's certainly Autumn.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Here's Looking Up Your Address!





[Vintage sleaze via BookScans.]

Good News

I had a follow-up appointment with my sleep specialist late yesterday, and it was so nice get the verdict: not crazy after all!

:)

I had started to doubt myself you see. Started to wonder whether my sleep problems were more psychological than physical. Oh sure, there may well be some degree of cray-zay, but nothing that is related to my insomnia anyway. I discovered I have both a mild case of sleep apnea, and a bad case of a form of Restless Leg Syndrome called PLMS (Periodic Limb Movements in Sleep). At an average of 26 'episodes' an hour I kick my legs more times than a line-up of Rockettes it would seem.



Losing some weight should be enough to improve the sleep apnea situation. I've added around 10cm (4 inches) to my waistline in the past couple of years, and losing weight would also be a big benefit to my health in general. I've been prescribed a mild dosage of a drug normally used to treat Parkinson's Disease for the PLMS, which I'll start in the next day or so (I had to order the drug, as it's not common).

It sort of suits my reductive nature to say Ah, that thing there, that's the reason!, but I also know that if I work at improving my diet and exercise as well then it'll not only improve this situation but my health in general.

Cheese & onion breakfast bagel (with cream cheese filling), I'll miss you. Thanks for the good times.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Friendships

I've been thinking about friendships since last night. I had a long and really fantastic phone call with my friend Graeme, who called me after reading my last blog entry. A good long chat about what's been going on in my life recently, about quitting my job, about the unhappiness I've been going through lately and about the immediate future. Graeme's pragmatism and openness was exactly what I needed in order to talk some feelings through, to get some ideas straight in my head and to think over the next logical steps. I also got a lovely text message of support from James, which gave me a real boost.

Graeme and I have known each other for decades, and time has reduced any bullshit threshold to very low indeed. There probably isn't anything I don't feel like I could discuss with Graeme, and I'd hope vice versa.

Over the past few months as I've been tackling my insomnia and other health issues, hating my job, shelling out big bucks for medical expenses and paying double rent since my last flatmate moved out, I've sort of drawn in on myself. Spending a lot more time at home on my own, trying to save money but also feeling disconnected from the socialising that involves lots of alcohol. Since I discovered my liver problem a big night out is a couple of light beers.

I think disconnected is a very good word for it. Some of the people I've always been closest to are in relationships these days, relationships that of course take time, energy and focus in their lives. That's not a complaint, it gives me great joy to see them enjoying their relationships, but it's a course that means we don't see as much of each other as we did. And when we do there is less 1-on-1 time perhaps.

The thing I'm really aware of though is my own lack of really maintaining some of these friendships. Reticence, self-absorbtion, laziness, I don't really know what's the cause. Probably small degrees of all of them combined. My focus has certainly been elsewhere over the past 3 months or so. I'm not beating myself up about it, but I also need to remind myself that friendships need nurturing. That they thrive on giving and receiving, where I've probably not really been keeping up my end of the bargain on that transaction with some people.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I Don't Like Mondays

Tough day today, chickens. Warning: whining ahead.

I couldn't get to sleep last night. Too much Eurovision Final excitement? Perhaps. So I ended up taking a pill and going to sleep around 1am, only to wake with the alarm at 7am and a pounding headache. A headache that started as a snare drum and has ended up as a timpany chorus. I just took some more headache tablets, and I don't think it's a migraine (never had one of those) but I do feel like maybe my head and neck are about to go their seperate ways.

So. Last week I touched on problems at work, and some conflict I've had with a woman in my office, and things escalated to the point where she is now completely ignoring me. My stress levels have been through the roof on this issue, but I've also been really unhappy at work the past few months and struggling with issues of motivation. My insomnia and other health issues have contributed to my motivation issues as well.

Long story short, I just resigned and gave 4 weeks notice. Sounds impetuous maybe, but the situation here really is doing my head in. Not just the conflict, but my dislike for the position also. I've tried to change it, but to no avail. I have some annual leave owing, which will extend my full pay another couple of weeks, so it gives me around 6-7 weeks to find something else. Plus, I can always fall back on temping again. I am by nature a procrastinator, so I also sort of needed to draw a line under this experience, one that forces me into a deadline to deal with hunting for something else and reducing my outgoings by finding a housemate tout sweet.

The other issue sticking under my skin today is that my doctor has left the medical practice he was at. ::pffft:: Gone-ski. Changing doctors is a pain in the ass, particularly given that I feel like I'm part way along a process that hasn't reached its conclusion yet. They won't tell me where he has gone, and all my medical records stay at the practice, so really all I can do is to continue to see out this process of unlocking my insomnia and liver problems with one of the other doctors there. Grump.

I had planned an entry of chock full of morsels of madness and mayhem from Eurovision, but instead I'm serving you up a bowl full of angst, a goblet brimming full frustration and a side order this-really-shits-me-to-tears. Maybe tomorrow. Meanwhile I think I might grab myself a sad film to watch tonight, and have a good cathartic cry.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

African Spirit

Through his job in the media, my friend James often scores complimentary tickets to concerts and events happening around Sydney, and as he usually gets 2 tickets has been known to distribute the largesse between his friends, depending on their interests. He asked me the other day if I'd be interested in seeing a matinee yesterday afternoon of 'African Spirit' by the Soweto Gospel Choir. I knew a bit about the choir but not much, and it sounded like a great opportunity to see something I normally might not have shelled out the bucks to go see.



I have to say that I was really very pleasantly surprised. I like gospel music and traditional spirituals, and I love African traditional rhythms, so I guess I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was at how much I enjoyed it. The stage presence and dancing was something I hadn't considered, and the choir certainly put on a fantastic show. What I especially loved was that although the choir were basically all singing and moving in unison they had plenty of room for personal expression. James and I quickly picked out two favourites, two of the traditionally built women (as Mma Ramotswe would say) who were a joy to watch. The show flew by at two halves of around 45 minutes each, with an enthusiastic standing ovation at the end and a couple of spirited encores.

James and I shared a few laughs at just how, well white some of the audience were. When it came to clapping it was clear that to some of the audience rhythm is a foreign concept. During an encore one of the women from the choir got a nice looking young guy up out of his seat to dance, and while he didn't do too badly he had that kind of slightly uncomfortable/slightly out of rhythm dance that many straight white boys seem to have made their own.

It was a great way to spend an afternoon. The choir supports an orphanage for AIDS orphans in Africa, and at the end of the show many of the choir members were in the foyer collecting donations. So not only entertaining, but a very worthy cause also.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Request. A Desire. An Instruction.

An advertising catchphrase.

Enjoyment

CENSORED

Yesterday I wrote about looking forward to seeing a gallery show of new photographic works by Bill Henson with my friend James. Last night we rang the gallery for directions, as we were close by but couldn't find the exact location, and the woman James spoke to at the gallery informed us that they had 'taken advice' not to open the show, so the opening night was cancelled.

I'm familiar with Henson's previous works, but didn't really know what to expect from this new show, and I was really surprised that the gallery had taken this step of a last minute cancellation of a well respected artist's show. Since watching the late news last night, and then seeing the morning news and the papers, the issue was that Henson had a series of nudes in the exhibition of pre-pubescent children and teenagers. (Interestingly, 90% of the coverage I have seen has focussed on the young girls in the exhibition, of the footage I've seen only a psychologist being interviewed on the Channel 7 morning news show mentioned that there were pictures of boys in the exhibition as well.)

They showed a couple of the images on the tv this morning, with blurring or opaque bars across the children's breasts, and I really had mixed emotions about them. They were certainly disturbingly frank, but they were also incredibly beautiful and vulnerable, with the children looking somewhat introspective and thoughtful and not in the least lascivious to my eye. My own concerns come from the vulnerability aspect, tasteful or not depending on your point of view.

What has been shocking to me is the media handling of it. One of the morning papers had a full page CHILD PORN 'ART' RAID headline splashed across the front page. Editorialising with two carefuly placed inverted commas and the inflammatory word "porn". A journalist being interviewed on the Today Show this morning on Channel 9 muddied the ethical waters with suggestion and innuendo, under the journalistic guise of 'these questions need to be asked', by suggesting that we don't even know if the children were left alone with the photographer etc. The children and their parents are to be interviewed by police, but there has been no allegations that Henson was ever inappropriate.

Oh, and the hypocrisy of the tv shows! While stating that because the images in the exhibition had been made available on the internet (a dubious decision in hindsight) it was exposing the children to the attention of pedophiles, they broadcast the exact same images. Yes they covered the genitalia, but the identities of the children were not obscured, and they publicised the fact that the images were available on the net.

Henson reportedly wanted to create images that spoke about vulnerability, about that difficult time between childhood and adolescence. I haven't really seen enough of the images to draw any conclusions about how successful he was with that aim. It certainly seems that his methods have been inflammatory to many people and have kicked off a feeding frenzy of accusation and moralisation. I didn't find the images that I (admittedly) only saw doctored versions of at all sexual, and it's kind of sad that there is no room left for innocent admiration of youthful beauty. Nudity = Sex. Nudity = Porn. I feel like I've suddenly been dragged down to the lowest common denominator.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Visual Clues

This:



Plus this:



Times by this:



Minus this:



(Ewww, very minus I would say)

Divided by the square root of this:



Equals?...

4 Years, And Counting

Ooops, I missed my blog anniversary by a couple of days. On May 20th this little home of mine on The Interwebs turned 4 years old! I was reminded of this when I spotted Michael's blog birthday post over at Temporary Troublespots. Michael and I started our blogs just a day apart, not quite as twins but maybe as some sort of siblings at least.

Thanks for hanging out here everyone! I always love reading your comments, and that is partly why this blog has become an essential part of my life over the past 4 years. Thanks for reading!

Exhibitionist

I scored an invite to the opening of an exhibition of new works by Aussie photographer Bill Henson tonight, courtesy of my friend James. I'm really excited because I'm quite an admirer of Henson's dark, enigmatic works.




Photo by Bill Henson



Lots has been written about Henson's work, about his beautiful adolescents in dark, dreamlike, sometimes disturbing settings. Every time I look at his works I see something different. Sometimes they seem vapid, like advertising pics that have taken a darker turn. Sometimes they seem like a commentary on the cult of youth and beauty. I guess that's part of Henson's appeal, the thought provoking nature of his works. I haven't seen anything about this new exhibition but I'm keen to see if he has taken a new direction. Whichever, I'm sure it'll be thought provoking.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Conflict

I discovered the joys of interpersonal conflict in the workplace yesterday. (By 'joys' I mean hatefulness, of course.) Ay dios mio. My already sketchy relationship with one of the women in my department descended into outright hostility. I kept it pretty cool and professional with her all day yesterday, even while I felt my blood pressure climb to stratospheric heights. Although at one point I just walked away from her. If she keeps it up I might even lodge a formal Greivance against her (note the weighty capital, it's written that way in all our employee literature).

The only problem is that there is a clique of women here who all go down for a cigarette together about 8 times a day, and eat lunch together daily, and both my manager and this woman are part of that group. Frankly, I'm not convinced that I would get a fair hearing.

Anyhoo, ultimately I just need to get out of this place. (My daydreams yesterday included some mental arithmetic of just how long I could survive if I gave 4 week's notice and was paid out for my unnused holiday leave.)

I went to that interview with the recruiter on Monday late afternoon. Unfortunately the specific job I was applying for required a driver's licence which I don't have, a fact they neglected to put in the ad. Shame because it would have been perfect for me, even including an element of 1 on 1 software training, something I have done in the past and really enjoy doing. Cest la vie. The super-cute recruiter has kept my resume and said he will definately put me forward for the first vacancy they get in my field, and it was useful to have the interview experience and feedback on my resume.

The hunt continues. Today's work mode is Lying Low And Keeping Out Of Harm's Way.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Speaking Of Staying In

Advertising guy, why even bother leaving the house, right?



[Via Vintage Ads.]

Diary Of A Shut-In

I had my little trip to hospital and a few unforeseen bills this pay fortnight, so as I coast the home stretch to Pay Day I've been clinging to my last dollars. Not exactly diving my hand down the back of the couch for loose change, but as far as considering whether I can be bothered cashing in the coin jar. That sort of thing. Anyhoo I mention this by way of exposition, back story, to set the scene for you.

Actually, it's also to make me feel a little less like I was just a lazy arse all weekend. Clearly, not my fault you see. It was the money's fault. Bad, bad money. Yes, that is a very good point you make about all the free stuff I could have done all weekend. As it turns out, hanging around the house in track pants, watching DVDs you have already watched numerous times over is free too, so what's your point?

Anyhoo, jumping ahead. I did pretty much NOTHING all weekend. Cleaned the bathroom, knitted, spent some precious alone time with internet porn some of my favourite websites, watched DVDs. By Sunday afternoon I had exhausted all the entertainment value in those activities, so I headed out into the chilly daylight, into the outdoors, the place where there were other people for knitting at the pub.

Except after waiting around 45 minutes nobody showed, so I slunk back to the safe confines of my own 4 walls. Cruel hand of fate! So back to the couch, snuggled under a throw rug, with a couple more DVDs that I have watched a million times over. At this point I should point out that the 1994 film Priest still hold up pretty well. For all sorts of reasons, including the fact that last scene of this film is one of the most moving scenes on celluloid in my humble opinion, but in general for the fantastic performance by the very handsome Linus Roache.



Mmmmm, hot dish in a cassock. Who's your daddy, Father?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Haiku

'team meeting' pizza
a free lunch is a good lunch
but, food coma time

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Squeeeee!

I have a job interview on Monday.

I had a 'supervision' meeting here this morning, an informal appraisal type thing we have once a month, and I found myself watching my boss's mouth move while her words became a string or wah wah wah noises. The upshot being that this dull and not terribly well paid job will in all likelihood continue to be just that forever and ever, amen.

So I jumped on a job listing website and there were heaps of jobs paying $5,000 pa + more than I'm getting now. Jobs I could do. I rang one of the recruiting firms and they have three jobs I might be suitable for, and I'm going in to see them on Monday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lane Walking: Gibbens Lane

I thought it might be fun to start a little semi-regular photography project, exploring the myriad of laneways around Newtown and Camperdown with my camera.

I don't claim any real originality to this idea, other bloggers have done this sort of project before me. In fact I remember once finding an Adelaide blogger whose blog was devoted entirely to the idea of documenting the lanes and alleys of Adelaide. (I don't know if this blog is still going, I've since lost the url a long time ago. If anyone knows of it hit me up in the comments and I'll add in a linky dink.)

My house is right on the border of two inner west Sydney city suburbs, Newtown and Camperdown. Both of them have a long and colourful history, and for many decades were cramped low rent suburbs filled with worker housing, and not terribly well serviced with sanitation. Behind almost every street there are parrallel laneways, where the 'night soil' sanitation workers would collect the toilet pans from the 'out houses' at the bottom of every garden.

That's a long time ago now, and these inner city suburbs of narrow terrace houses and cottages are now considered desirable places to live, rather than the borderline slums they were. But the laneways remain. Mostly now they are filled with people's garbage bins, the odd discarded sofa or ironing board, and prowling domestic cats. But sometimes these semi-private spaces are also home to odd and interesting things, funky grafitti and bits of self expression.

The other day I discovered Gibbens Lane in Camperdown. Unlike most of the lanes Gibbens Lane has a few twists and turns and instead of just the mostly non-descript rear fences of residences it also has a couple of warehouse type buildings mixed in.



Tied

Gibbens Lane

Upwards

Discards


But then I turned the corner and unexpectedly found a cool street art project by someone called "Madame Kafoops" (who I discovered has a Flickr photostream of their own.) These burlesque styled paste ups of a woman in various outfits and poses are almost life sized.



Foxtrot India Kafoops 2

Kafoops 4

Kafoops 3 Kafoops 5


Cool, huh? Over the years I've photographed other odds and ends that I have found in the laneways, but this was one of the more surprising discoveries. And it was mostly this that kicked off the idea that I should maybe explore more. To try and use this as an exercise to find the interesting in what can generally be pretty bland spaces. To try and look at these neglected and infrequently visited spaces with fresh eyes.



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

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Protective Clothing

Should Be Worn At All Times.

Wired

Well, THAT was an experience.

As I mentioned before, I was going into hospital last night for a sleep study, to try and get to the root of my chronic tiredness and insomnia. The private hospital was actually really nice, and I had a private room with its own aircon, en suite bathroom, plasma tv and even basic cable. Sweet. The bed however was pretty much a regular, narrow hospital bed and not the most comfortable.

They have 6 beds in the sleep unit ward, and apparently all 6 are in use every night of the year. They would be able to fill more beds if they had the space. In the 21st century people are forgetting how to sleep, it would seem. A very modern malaise.

I sat around and watched tv, had dinner (kinda blech) and then about 8.30 a technician comes in and starts the 20+ minute process of getting me wired up. And boy, was I wired up. Electrodes glued to my scalp through my hair (watch the expensive haircut, m'kay?). 6 or so on my face, including glued onto my jaw through my beard. 2 on my chest. 2 on my legs. An elastic strap around my chest, and another around my lower abdomen. Of course I snuck a couple of crappy camera phone pics of myself looking a science experiment, and I even SMS'd them to a couple of people.

Once an attention whore, always an attention whore.

I was able to wander around like that for a while, and then around 9.30 they came in to hook me up for realz. Once they do that, that's it, no trips out of bed for any reason for you! (ie: a bed pan if you need to 'go', which fortunately I didn't) A heart rate monitor thing clamped and taped onto my finger. Then the crowning glory, a plastic oxygen tube type thing with 2 little nozzles up my nostrils. It makes you a dead ringer for an intensive care patient.

Now I'm a person who can't sleep if conditions are not 100% perfect. Princess & The Pea just about covers it, in fact I bet I could feel that pea through even more mattresses than she did. Amateur. So you can imagine, right? Everything was mildly to highly annoying, but oddly the thing that bugged me the most was the pulse monitor on my finger. It was tight and made my finger throb uncomfortably. In addition rolling over involved a complicated process of moving wires, leads and plastic tubes, and trying not to yank anything off.

Fast forward a couple of sleepless hours and I buzzed for the sedative I was allowed to ask for if I couldn't get to sleep. 2 magic little pink pills later, I did actually fall asleep until the tech woke me at 6am. So, the thing is, it was NOTHING like a regular night's sleep for me. Whatever they gave me knocked me out cold, so I didn't wake up constantly like I normally do, and I took forever to fall asleep where normally I don't have any problem.

Still, hopefully they managed to get something out of the results, and I was sure to make notes on the questionnaire they give you about how the night's sleep compared to your regular sleep. I'll chat about it when I see the sleep specialist again next week. Meanwhile, I've been digging glue (and some hairs) out of my beard all morning, and trying to deal with the skin on my face freaking out from the alcohol swabs and glue. The experience was uncomfortable, but not terrible. Just one I wouldn't want to have to repeat in a hurry.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Deep In The Heart Of Texas



Surprisingly, it's vegetables that they are selling. Not fruits.

[Via Vintage Ads.]

Chillaxing

I hope you all had a nice weekend, mine was really relaxing and chilled out. Nice. That pleasant and unchallenging middle place below fantastic, and well above ordinary.

Saturday morning was Haircut Day, that once every 6 weeks day that includes as many Marie Claire's as I can read in an hour (usually 2), and boosted self esteem. Yay. Although this time around my hairdresser informed me that I am starting to get more grey hairs on one side of my head than the other, making me basically my original colour on one side and a lighter (read greyer) version on the other. What she expected me to do with that information, other that stare at her in a horrified fashion, I will never know.

Afterwards I made a little shopping trip to the Broadway Shopping centre, where I swished through the more glamorous shops before donning a disguise and popping into KMart and Target (for coughpyjamas-and-a-hot-water-bottlecough). I had a nice walk home through the autumn sunshine, before grabbing my knitting and heading to cafe Barmuda to meet up with the Sydney Sity Klickers. There was quite a crowd of us this time around, and Kerry pleasantly surprised me by giving me one of the pink & blue flowering bromeliads that I photographed at the markets the previous weekend, which he had dug out of his own garden. Sweet!

Sunday morning I headed back to the markets again, this time to meet up with a whole posse of friends. After an hour or so spent wandering the markets and buying veggies, we retired to Meaghan & Jamie's house just around the corner for a long late morning tea. (OMG, I'm sorry I didn't save you a chocolate brownie, because really they were most excellent. Anyway, I know you're watching your weight.)

In the afternoon I headed to the pub to knit with my pub knitting peeps, and then home for the usual Sunday night routine, making dinner, trying to find anything else to watch on the teev that isn't Big Brother, etc. (Actually, on ABC2 there were two fantastic architectural documentaries back to back! One about Sir John Soane, and one about Eileen Gray - including her larger architectural works, such as her now sadly derelict E-1027 House. Fascinating stuff.)

So that was my weekend. How was yours?

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Discarded TO DO LIST

I love lists. LOVE. I'm that guy that makes a list of everything I need to pack for a holiday, goes over and revises, and then finally packs and carefully crosses everything off as they go in the case. Obssessive? Maybe. One thing is for sure, I never get to my destination having forgotten something, and I rarely over-pack and take too much.

I do lists for other things too, that's just one example.

I started a list this morning for things I needed to do/buy over the weekend. It started:
  • Buy pyjamas
  • Buy earplugs
  • Buy hot water bottle

...before I discarded it. I mean, what am I 80 years old?

Pyjamas I need for the hospital on Monday, likewise earplugs (hospitals are noisy yo). The hot water bottle is because I'm drafting a knitting pattern for a hot water bottle cozy and I need the dimensions. But really, that's a pretty sobering list. I used to be so young, so vibrant, so rock star, and now I'm one more list item away from elderly. ::sob::

At least Saturday is Haircut Day, so my hair can me a bit rock star. Just like the Young People have.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"My Place, Or Yours?"



"Yours, I live with my mother."


[Pic via Vintage Photo]

The Need To Read

I am without book! I hate not having a book on the go, something to read on my short commute to work in the morning and last thing at night before I go to bed. I tend to get through books pretty quickly, and have no problem re-reading books that I enjoy, so I often mix it up with a mixture of old and new.

In the past week or so I read the young adult novel Un Lun Dun by China MiƩville, and re-read The Arrival of Fergal Flynn and Roman Song, both by Brian Kennedy. But the nightstand queue is now empty!



Un Lun Dun was quite entertaining, but didn't engage me as much as MiƩville's adult works have. I felt like he switched protagonist about a third of the way into the book, which felt a bit odd. Where he excels is in imaginative settings and characters, and this book was no exception. Un Lun Dun, or UnLondon, is an abcity. A alt-London. A topsy turvy version of London, accessible only through indirect means, through sliding through the cracks of the London above. Sister city to other abcities such as Lost Angeles, Parisn't etc. He takes delight in creating Un Lun Dun, and one of the most fun aspects of the book are the puns weaved into the settings and characters. For instance, the little leaping bin guy on the cover is one of the crack team of rubbish bin men bodyguards, the binjas.

The Arrival of Fergal Flynn and the sequel Roman Song are lovely books by Irish singer/song writer and novelist Brian Kennedy, both of which I have read a bunch of times. There is a very good review of The Arrival of Fergal Flynn on this blog. I guess you could call them gay romance novels on one level, but they are also a moving coming out story and ultimately quite joyous. I'm hanging out hope for a further sequel, but I haven't heard any news of one yet.

So, an empty nightstand is almost unheard of. Time to go and haunt my favourite bookshops tonight and see what takes my fancy. I'm going into hospital on Monday for that sleep thing that I already wrote about here, and the thought of being sans book is especially unapealling.

[Updated: I stopped off at my favourite bookstore on the way home and bought The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta. The same author who wrote "Election", which was made into a very black comedy starring Reese Whitherspoon and Matthew Broderick. I've barely started it, but so far so good!]

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Life, Death & The Whole Big Thing

Can you tell I've gotten my photo mojo back this week? Last weekend I had a camera glued to my face most of the time it seemed, and I've been weeding through the pics over the past few days, picking out the ones I like.

On Saturday I had a wander around Camperdown Cemetary, just a few blocks from my house. It's mostly 19th century graves, and I was sad to see that it seems to be in even worse repair than last time I was there. They are doing work on the place, but progress seems slower than the rate of deterioration right now.



Layers

Life & Death

Garlanded

Tumbledown

Strung


I don't find cemetaries depressing, maybe a bit melancholic when you see the young ages of many of the 19th century internees, but mostly I find them peacefull. I don't really care what happens to me after I die, burn me and shove me in a cardboard box for all I care. I do love the old fashioned carved stones, and little personal messages on the old graves though.

Interestingly, Sydney is running out of space for traditional cemetaries, so maybe the cardboard box might become a real option?

Fiesty

I had a big fight with my boss last night, about a half hour before we finished for the day. Huge. Normally I would just take it on the chin, but yesterday I was a bit tired and grumpy by day's end and it was in part just bad timing. After 15 minutes of tooing and froing it ended with me fixing him with the death stare that has been known to halt small children in their tracks, and me saying to him "Nothing you have just said has convinced me that I was wrong."

Oh-kay. You could have cut the contempt with a knife.

I was annoyed because it was another example where he assumed we did wrong, when in fact I hadn't, and rather than checking the facts and standing up for us, his staff, he sided with the person that had a half-baked problem with our service.

Anyhoo, the weird thing is is that today it's like nothing ever happened. "Morning!"

I so need a new job. Or a new manager.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

5 Things Occupying My Forebrain On Tuesday, May 6th

  • For the first time in decades I have to buy a pair of pyjamas. Where does one even buy such exotic items? (Ok, I can answer that myself probably, I'll check out Target this weekend.) I'm going into hospital on Monday for the overnight sleep study thing, and apparently nudism is frowned upon.
  • I get a little frisson of nerves everytime I think about the hospital stay. Not bad OMG a little bit of pee just came out nerves, but the feeling that comes from anticipating an unusual experience. Electrodes! It's so science fiction it makes my toes curl.
  • Speaking of the hospital stay, I confirmed with my healthcare fund that the little sleep-over experience is only going to cost me the $200 excess on my coverage. That's not too bad, I can live with that and it's a bit of a relief.
  • Because I am of foolish persuasion I didn't realise that I could listen to some podcasts on my work pc, using the media player. (Don't judge, 'kay?) So I've been listening to a couple of knitting podcasts, David Reidy's Sticks & String, and WonderMike and hizKNITS' fantastic Y Knit. Huzzah!
  • In a rare fit of thinking ahead, I actually cast on some knitting last night to make a Christmas gift for a friend. It's only May! Actually, I suspect there'll be a few knitted gifts made this year. I've also got an idea for an original pattern rolling around in my head. Gestating as we speak.

Marrickville Morning

Here's a few more pics from my little outing to the markets on Sunday. Walking between my house and the markets in Marrickville I deliberately took some back streets I don't often take. The autumn sun was shining brilliantly, I had my camera in my hand, and I felt good. Interested. Observant. Alive. One of the times when having a camera and the freedom to just stroll wherever feels exciting, and makes you really look.



Dedicated, With Love
Street art detail, Marrickville.
Dedicated with love, from me to you. You know who you are.


Listen Up
Listen up. Some favourite street art, Marrickville.

Parental Guidance Recommended
Parental Guidance Recommended.
Old shopfront window, Marrickville.


Disappointment
Disappointment. No bingo today! Addison Rd, Marrickville.

Grid
Grid. Addison Rd, Marrickville

Monday, May 05, 2008

Organic Markets

I while back my friend Meaghan mentioned that there was an organic food market that had started up at the Addison Road Centre, a community co-op type place in Marrickville, about a twenty minute walk from my house. That information sort of lurked in the dark recesses of my brain until I saw an ad on tv for the website www.organicfoodmarkets.com.au. This weekend was lovely and mild, so after a bit of searching on the website I discovered a listing for the Marrickville market and decided to head on over on Sunday.



This Way



The Addison Road Centre is a funky place, a collection of buildings around a central green space and car park, that houses a number of co-op businesses and community services.



Market



It was a lovely mild day and I had a nice time wandering around the markets. Aside from a number of places selling organic fruit and veg there were stalls selling cheeses, bread, pastries, hot food, second hand books and a big selection of plants grown by the community garden.



Bromeliads

Stunning bromeliads on sale from the community co-op garden.



One of my most favourite places in the world is Reverse Garbage, which is part of the Addison Road Centre. OMG. It's like an Alladin's Cave of... well... stuff. Industrial offcuts. Factory seconds. Odds and ends. Crap. It's a great resource for schools, kids, and middle aged gay men with an overactive Graft Gene. So. Fabulous.



Reverse Garbage

Behold the wonders of Reverse Garbage!



It's even a home to things that could be best described as: Nice. Different. Unusual.



Nice. Different.  Unusual.

A little something for the "Kath & Kim" fans.



Best of all I scored a bounty of yummy organic vegetables, and some awesome natural Light Rye Sourdough (made by an equally yummy baker) from 13 year old natural sourdough starter. A world of delicious! The baby asparagus were so cute I felt like cuddling them. (But that would be weird, right?) And Rhubarb! OMG, favourite wintery comfort food.



Bounty



It was such a nice morning, wandering, spotting cute puppies and cute young dads (like, really), sipping coffee and shopping for spectacular quality veg. I'm definately going to make it a regular thing.

Mitten Mania!

Toasty hands people! I'm all about the toasty hands.

I knocked together these babies recently in a wool/silk blend tweed from Jo Sharp, "Silkroad DK Tweed" in a lovely burgundy red colour called "Emporio". They are based on the "36 Stitch Mittens" by Elizabeth Zimmermann, from the book "Knitting Without Tears". I can confirm, no tears were shed. I modified the pattern slightly to 44 stitches wide, to compensate for my gauge and spatulate hands.

Red Tweed Mittens

Red Tweed Mittens

Red Tweed Mittens

Friday, May 02, 2008

LOLDOGS!

It's kind of hard to hang out on the net without encountering the lolcats phenomena, so I guess it was only a matter of time before dog lovers got in on the act: