Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Night Owl

Ah, I'm so tired. I used to be an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy. Despite the lack of health, wealth and wiseness this has pretty much been the pattern of my entire life. Lately though I've become a bit of a night owl, and the screwed up part of the equation is that I'm still an early riser. Even on weekends I'll usually be up by 7am.

I blame the internet. (Actually I also blame the internet for my house being a mess, and the fact that I haven't unloaded the dishwasher for a few days.) Insidious, addicitive internet! Since changing to a faster internet connection and having a laptop that I can sit on the couch with, instead of spending maybe an hour or so on the net each night, I'm plonking myself on the couch when I get home and pretty much forcing myself to stop reading blogs and watching youtube clips around midnight.

Midnight! Given that I'm up at 6.30 for work it really isn't enough sleep for me. I've wondered if it's in part because I'm getting better quality sleep these days, since I received a diagnosis about my insomnia and went on medication. Most days I'm fine when I wake up, but if I keep this up for 3 or 4 days in a row I start to feel the effect. I think I really need to have a minimum of 7 hours or more on a regular basis. (I'm curious, how much sleep does everyone else get regularly?)

Tonight the entire office is being treated to dinner to celebrate the purchase of the company by a big corporation. So I have no alternative but to disconnect myself from spending the night on the net, in fact, when I get home I might even unload the dishwasher... and have an early night.

At least, that's the plan...

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Big Gay Supermarket Can Out-Gay Yours

I popped into my local supermarket a short while ago to grab a few essentials (not chocolate). If I didn't already know that I was living in a high homo quotient neighbourhood (praise be), I think the soundtrack to my shopping would have given me a few clues. I kid you not, 100% truthiness!

While I was choosing carrots Melissa Manchester was giving me the inside scoop that I should hear how she talks about me. (Well the only thing worse is not being talked about, right?)



(Oh and if you don't think this is a 'gay' song, then you're probably just 20 years too young.)

Somewhere around frozen foods Elton was blowing, or something. (I mean, nice song and all but I'm sort of over Elton since he started upping the crazy. When he turns, he turns. He scares me.)



Do you know hard it is to pay for you groceries when Miss Cher ends up being the soundtrack to your check-out experience? Dancing and entering one's PIN are not compatible.



I was kind of sad to leave, because I'm sure Frankie Goes To Hollywood could have been next...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Beautiful Day

Right from the first moments of waking this morning, I knew it was going to be a hot and lovely day. It just had that taste in the air. The breeze coming through my bedroom window was unseasonably warm, and full of that summery, pollen-y, it's already hot at 7am sort of feeling. I spent a very lazy morning futzing about, eating hot buttered toast with a cup of tea (I'm out of coffee, but it was fine because I enjoyed the tea for a change), cruised the interweb for a while and then set out just a few streets over to visit my friend Christopher for an early lunch.

Christopher's Wisteria

Christopher is a good host, an excellent conversationalist, and a man who's not afraid to open a lightly chilled bottle of Pinot Noir at 11.30am on a hot day. We sat out in his small backyard under the shade of this beautiful Wisteria, ate risotto and then worked our way through a second bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

Christopher's Wisteria

Well, hot days are thirsty work. I shot these pics before my second (third?) glass of wine and before we scarfed down coffees and some delicious chocolates. Num. Lunch was early because I had my usual date at the pub for knitting, and although there was a mix up with the table booking this week we had a good turn out and it was a fun afternoon. By 4 I could feel myself starting to sunburn, and so it was time to head home.

Sydney weather is famously changeable at this time of year, so I could be moaning about cold and wet this time next week, but in the meantime it really feels like Spring didn't happen and we've started Summer early. No complaints from me.

(Not until next week anyway...)

RIP

Speaking of handsome mens (see below), I was saddened to hear about the passing of Paul Newman. I mean, yes he was beautiful, but he was also an amazingly talented actor who helped change the landscape of acting itself, a disciplined man with a strong work ethic, a humanitarian, a good husband and one hell of a pasta sauce/salad dressing maker.



Did I mention he was beautiful?

Fashion Eras Come And Go, But "Handsome" Is Always In Style


Harry Pantery (Occupation: Fakir). Famous for his mystical and inscrutable ways, slamming bod, and extravagant taste in lippy.


Young, sweet and tender. I feel like seafood tonight!


I don't think we would speak the same language, but with my two hands and a bottle of baby oil I'm sure I could have made myself understood.


Woof. Nice legs, and... um, loot. Even the mask works for me, is that weird?


WWI Aussie digger. I always knew that we owed these guys a debt of gratitude, but I didn't realise that some of them were also this beautiful.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Featuring Mizz Jocelyn Brown

Ladies and ladies, I bring you Mizz Jocelyn Brown. A woman who could be the hardest working singer in show bidness. Srsly, I had to reign it in at 6 clips because honey I could crash your server with all the clippery goodness. Search her name in youtube and then settle in for a couple of hours of entertainment.

A personal fave, I bought a cd single with various remixes of this back in 2002 and flogged the poor thing to death:



"I'm A Woman", Cassius feat. Jocelyn Brown, 2002.


Mizz Brown wants a Real Man, and don't you forget it:



"Real Man", Melodie MC feat. Jocelyn Brown, 1997.


Todd Terry brings some house in da house:



"Somethin' Going On", Todd Terry Project feat. Martha Wash & Jocelyn Brown, 1997.


Sadly not a real clip per se, but a great early 90s soul/funk/house fusion track:



"She Got Soul" Jamestown feat. Jocelyn Brown, 1991.


The house hit from Incognito, with Mizz Brown's soulful sound:



"Always There" Incognito feat. Jocelyn Brown, 1991.


From the sublime to the... well, Right Said Fred:



"Don't Talk Just Kiss", Right Said Fred feat. Jocelyn Brown, 1991.

An Enduring Love Affair

I have a long and enduring love affair with my neighbourhood of Newtown. I appreciate it in Autumn, and I mostly have a fondness for it in Winter, but when Spring and Summer roll around I think I fall in love with it a little bit more every year. Once the days get longer, the parks full of people later into the early evening, and the percentage of beautiful cloudless days increases, I just enjoying being in my neighbourhood. I hope I capture a little bit of how I feel about where I live when I post pictures here.

Defying Gravity

I spotted these gold pumps mounted high up on the side wall of a house on the way home this afternoon. Tucked away in a little side street, they're a bit of silliness and surprise that made me laugh out loud.



Most of my neighbourhood is quite high density living, full of old workers' cottages and narrow terrace houses, and while we could probably be a little bit more actively friendly with each other, everyone in my end of my long narrow street gets along and generally leaves each other alone. (Bin thief or two excepted.) Some of my favourite residents are the street full of friendly pusses. It can take me double the time to walk up my street if they are all out and ready to be paid their due. From the demanding ginger tom that starts yelling for a pat when I'm still two houses away, to the inscrutable Burmese that accepts but never seeks scritches.

Luminous

Beautiful morning light and a luminous bloom growing through a fence near my house.


It's not all about the felines. A few blocks from home there is a big park where dogs are allowed to romp off the lead. In the morning and in the dusk of late afternoon you'll find groups of people from old Greek grans, to inner-urban Goths and hipsters, and of course lots of The Gays, standing around chatting while a large well natured pack of pups of all shapes and sizes chase each other and any ball that's being thrown.

Dodge

A fantastic vintage Dodge truck I passed in the street last weekend. I didn't spot the driver, but I'm picturing a white tee with some Malboros tucked in the arm. Wishful thinking maybe


I've talked about the diversity of my neighbourhood before, but I think that's one of the strengths. The uni students, old residents that have lived here forever, and the vegan right-on sisterhood (and brotherhood) stop it from getting too precious, while The Gays (of which we are many) and the young families bring special flavours and colours of our own. The cafes are good, the shopping likewise, there are chi chi and grungy pubs... in a word, variety.

Catsuit

Some rear laneway street art I chanced upon last weekend.


It's a good fit for me. I like the peaceful part of the street I live in, while less than 10 minutes away there are cafes, restaurants, funky shops and bookstores open late into the night. Pretty much what I had hoped for when I moved from sleepy old Adelaide all those years ago. It just took me a while to find but, but now I'm here I'm in no rush to ever move... ever!

I Now Pronounce You...

Fabulous.

Congratulations to Mr Peenee and R Man! Today our time (yesterday theirs) they got hitched after 27 years together. Awwww. 27 years! I wish I was there to see it, because frankly that means their wedding is missing one hell of a flower girl.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

From The Archives



I never knew this picture existed until recently! That's my mum on the left, and my grandma on the right. This was apparently taken before my parents married, so mum would have only been in her very early 20s and it would have been the early 1950s. They are both tiny women, my mum only clocked in at about 5'1" and you can see my grandma is even tinier. Yes, it runs in the family. :)

In later years my grandma was rounder, and a fond memory I have of her from when I was a kid was putting my arms around her waist (they could barely meet) and feeling the ridges of the bones in the corset whe wore almost every day of her adult life. Funny the things you remember! One thing (among many things) that I remember of my mum was her laugh. Which would start as a giggle and up as a kind of hysterical whooping laugh if something really tickled her funny bone. There was quite a lot of laughter in our house, and if you can pass on a sense of humour through genetics then I think our family is proof. We all love a good laugh, and thank goodness for that!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Give Them A Frisson (They Like That)

Everything I know about haute cuisine I learned from the Hon. Simon & Minty Marchmont.



Simon & Minty answer the eternal question, what are we going to do about chips?

(Can I just say how much I always loved this show. Years ago the ABC played it as a little program filler, and I used to go out of my way to catch it. Now it's just an interweb click away. Thanks youtube!)

Local Colour

My already colourful in spirit neighbourhood is currently a little bit more physically colourful courtesy of the 2042: Art On The Street project. (2042 is not sometime 34 years hence, but our postcode.)

It's a bit risky to put public art in a neighbourhood so full of people, pubs, and those delightful taggers that insist of defacing everything. But mostly, so far so good. Some pieces have taken a bit of damage, but not too much.



One of my favourite pieces is one of the most simple, these oversized acrylic birds that have been hung in a tree outside the town hall community centre. Every weekend there is a market that started spontaneously a little while back, and as I was wandering around it last weekend I spotted these turning gently overhead.



Cute. Not a life changing work of art, something full of multi-layered meaning (I mean it's no ceramic Jr Jackson & Bubbles), but I liked it anyway and it certainly made me smile.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

10 Commas, 2 Semicolons, 1 Colon And Something About A Field Rambling Dryad

I love commas, I'm cautious but enthusiastic about semicolons, and have been known to be the architect of sentences that run on longer than last night's Emmy's. Having said that, I read (and actually reread a couple of times) this sentence on the bus this morning and felt like stopping for a cup of tea and a digestive around half way through.

I quote:
"The new manner in art, the fresh mode of looking at life, suggested so strangely by the merely visible presence of one who was unconscious of it all; the silent spirit that dwelt in dim woodland, and walked unseen in open field, suddenly showing herself, Dryad-like and not afraid, because in his soul who sought for her there had been awakened that wonderful vision to which alone are wonderful things revealed; the mere shapes and patterns of things becoming, as it were, refined, and gaining a kind of symbolic value, as though they were themselves patterns of some other and more perfect form whose shadow they made real: how strange it all was!"

Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray"


Hole-y crap! I've retyped it and am still struggling with it. Dryad what? Which field? Whose perfect form? Whatevs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm actually loving "The Picture Of Dorian Gray" so far, the occasional Everest sentence notwithstanding. Or maybe because of them, because frankly it makes my comma usage seem stingy by comparison! Plus, there is at least one thrillingly quotable line per page, but then I would expect nothing less of dear Oscar.

Change In Mood

I was primed to write a bit of a whinetastic entry today, with complaints about too much work to do, too little support, expectations that are too high. Blah de blah. The sort of day we've all had numerous times over in our lives.


I shot this pic in a laneway on the weekend, the rear exit of Lucky's pizzeria.

Scratch that. I had a pleasant walk-and-bus-ride-combo trip home with one of the girls from work, enjoyed a short stroll through Newtown and arrived home to find a book I ordered online only about a week ago waiting for me in the letterbox. Score! Bad mood gone!

BTW, it pains me to say this because I am a big believer in supporting the local independent booksellers, but I'm a new fan of the UK online bookseller The Book Depository. The books vary in discount, but many are really cheap compared to the Australian retail price, and they airmail all orders for free. I bought 3 books the other day for the same price as I would have paid for the most expensive of the 3 in a store here, and the first of them arrived today, only about a week after I ordered. Amazing service. I'll still keep buying books locally, but for harder to find books this is a pretty cool option.

Funny how a mood can change so quickly! What I need to remind myself is that all it takes is a change of perspective, maybe a bit of distraction, and perhaps a pleasant stroll. And finding a little 'gift' in the letterbox doesn't hurt either. I'm such a pushover for a new book.

Monday, September 22, 2008

20 Minutes In, And It's Excruciating

I'm watching the Emmy's. OMG, it's only just started but train wreck so far. The red carpet frock thing, so many awkward moments. Lisa Rinner (who?) talking about her boob sweat, and a frail looking Cloris Leachman talking about peeing herself during rehearsals for Dancing With The Stars. Awkward. (I hear her partner wants to do a switcheroo now, maybe for Lance Bass.)

Oprah is introducing the show and she's fuller figured again! (All the Oprah shows we get here are old.) The opening number with the 5 'reality' show hosts was rambling and not the least bit entertaining. But big loves to The Shatner and Jeremy Piven for calling them on it. OMG, Seacrest is talking and I just almost shut down completely... I think I need to see what's on the other channels...

[Updated: Ok, Steve Carrell and Ricky Gervais were funny. Thank you Baby Jebus.]

[More Updated: Yay, Betty White! However, OMG Mary Tyler Moore is a legend/genius etc but she has passed the age where she can do sleeveless. I mean no disrespect but the upper arms are kind of scary and she has other options, you know.]

To Tatt, Or Not To Tatt?

Should I get a tattoo? I kind of like the idea of putting something beautiful on my body. Something to enhance, to mark me externally with what exists internally.



Srsly, the Interweb is full of great examples to copy!

Reclaimed! (Or: In Your Face Bin Thief.)

I am victorious. I have triumphed over the powers of darkness. I have bested evil that lurks in the guise of poorly behaved neighbours!

I got my recycling bin back.

Don't scoff, I've been lost without it! Do you know the bourgeois guilt I have suffered with every can, every glass pasta sauce jar that has gone into my regular rubbish over the past three weeks? I'm sure someone is going to report me for it. The Re-Stasi or summint. Anyhoo, that karmic debt has to be paid sometime you know.

3, or maybe it's 4, weeks ago I was slack about bringing my rubbish bins in. Our rubbish is collected from a rear laneway, which all of our back gates open onto. (Think Billy Elliott, but much less drear and with fewer picturesque urchins.) The laneway gets no car traffic, pretty much no traffic of any kind, but our local council still hates it when we leave our bins out. Mind you, 99% of my neighbours leave their bins in the lane all week.

The only problem with that is that you end up with all sorts of things in your bin that you never placed there yourself. Kudos to the people that pick up their dog's turds and bag them in those little black plastic bags. Damnation and hellfire upon those that then stick them in my bin and not their own. Plus the council like to spend the money we give them by coming along and taping the bins shut, with Police Line style tape that with a tsk either says REJECTED or BRING IN YOUR BINS. Ok Judgey McJudgerton.

So if your bin goes missing because you left it out longer than the council mandated 24 hours you officially get NO SYMPATHY. Years ago my Green Waste bin was damaged, and when I rang the council a woman (who sounded remarkably like the last school librarian that found me trying to check out one book too many) barked at me to confess whether I had left it out longer than mandated. No... Miss.

Anyhoo, long story long! My recycling bin went bye byes and I suspected a neighbour nicked it. Maybe to fill a hole in their own existence, who knows? So that they didn't have to ring the council and hear The Voice Of Judgement perhaps. I've stalked the laneway after rubbish collection day ever since, looking for my bin. The one numbered 11, in nice big friendly numbers. I hadn't yet been quick enough to find it before whomever took it in themselves. Tonight I brought in my regular bin as soon as I got home, rather than later in the evening, and took a wander (stalk) up the lane.

And lo. I'll be watching you from now on, number 19.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Urban Archeology

I had an hour to kill this morning, between Haircut Day and meeting the weary traveller* for brunch. What to do on an unseasonably hot Spring day (ie: 33C, or over 90F in old money) in Newtown? Answer - wander, take photos, dash from shady patch to shady patch lest the skin that hasn't seen daylight in lo, months, burn to a crisp.

Bows to present, some colours and textures from the back lanes of Newtown.

Patchwork

Patchwork

Patchwork

Terrain

Terrain

I love the kind of sun bleached look in these pics. Can you feel the heat rising from the footpath? The fierce sun beating down? Next time it's cold I'm going to go and look at these pics again, and think about stalking the lanes of Newtown, working up a sweat and thinking that I should have worn sunscreen.

* Jet-lagged, and frankly given my current state of wanderlust, I'm struggling to find sympathy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bitten

OMG, I feel bitten by the bug to travel again. To up, up and away with TOA - the friendly, friendly way.



(Every Aussie roughly my age now has the old airline jingle for TAA running through their head.)

OK, so I can neither take time off work or afford to do it right now, but I guess that's why it's a bug right? Something that irritates, gives you the itch and gets under the skin. (Um, ewwww. Remind me not to use that metaphor again.) Otherwise this post would all be "I'm off to Venice, later bitches!" instead. Le sigh.

That is all.

~~~

No, wait. I can't reference the long defunct Aussie airline TAA without giving you something by way of background. Once upon a time TAA and Ansett were the only two domestic airlines in Australia, a duopoly that saw high standards and even higher fares. TAA became Australian Airlines, Ansett went bankrupt, QANTAS started flying domestic (where before they international only), new lower priced players entered the market, they went bankrupt too, Australian Airlines closed... it's a long story. Now we have choice and lower fares, but lower standards, no china crockery and most of the time almost no catering. I don't miss the prices, but I do miss the glamour.

Anyhoo, a bit of vintage TAA advertising (including the famous jingle based on the 5th Dimension song "Up, Up and Away") courtesy of youtube:


1960s TAA ad.


A rather eccentric TAA cargo services ad from 1985. Dig those true-blue dinky di accents!
Big Mac is the Big Load Boy... snerk.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Diversions (Or: Entertainment For The Budget Savvy Homosexualist!)

I was in Kinokuniya early this evening and noticed they had a big display of classic Penguins for $9.95. Bargain! Plus they're so titchy, and the covers are kind of thin, and the paper is kind of even thinner. In other words, a bit of a non-modern experience in this post-modern world. Sized and flexible enough for a blazer pocket. You know, should the punting on the river get tiresome.

I have an informal list in my head, the Books I Should Read Before I Die list, and it just so happened that a bunch of them were on the display. I was going to grab three, but then decided to just grab two.



Pretend for a minute you don't know me, what about me would you derive from this selection? Oscar & Truman. Here's a hint the third book, the one I put back, was by E.M. Forster. Anyone? (OK, another hint - I can't whistle either.)

Anyhoo, there is a theme, and that theme is entertainment on a budget!

I also bought two discounted DVDs yesterday. One most excellent, and one... well, nice try. The excellent one was Season 1 of a little show you may have heard of, a little show about Vince Noir (King of the Mods) and Howard Moon (the Jazz Maverick, Monsoon Moon and don't you forget it) and their adventures in the Zooniverse... called The Mighty Boosh. (Wikipedia entry.)





OMG, hi-larious. It was one of those shows I caught snippets of every now and then late at night, and heard good buzz about, but never saw a full episode of. Well I caught a full Season 3 episode on SBS the other night and knew the buzz was true. So I picked up Season 1 post haste, and wasn't disappointed.

The other DVD was a, well, earnest and well intentioned gay film called Defying Gravity. Now I will freely admit that when it comes to judging harshly, I usually give indie gay flicks a bit of a free pass. Traditionally they have been hard to get made, with low budgets, and often with a cast of actors that are just starting their careers. (Actually, according to imdb some of them had no film or tv career they are aware of after this flick. Including the supporting actor whose name I adore - Seabass Diamond.)

There were a couple of quite good performances in the film, but they just threw the weaker actors into sharp relief. Not in a good way. With a more polished script and a more experienced director (this was his only directorial effort, although he has had a full writing and editorial career) some of those gaps might have been smoothed over. So nice try and good intentions, but I won't be adding it to my list of faves (either part 1, or part 2).

You know, I still might go back and get that Forster. And maybe the Gabriel Garcia Marquez... was he a poof too?

Sweet Jebus, WANT.

If only I had the looks/height/money. But I'm not so hot for the manbags, kthxbai.







And can I just say, it's nice to have a break from the sallow, hollow cheeked 18 year olds. These guys are yummers.

[Spring 09 by Bottega Veneta, via www.style.com]

Get Over Here And Console Me Like A Hot Bitchy Funky Sex Machine

This is getting a lot of linky love from my fellow 'mo bloggers. With good reason, although they're only pretending and fooling around for the camera, watch the two guys in the background get a little hot and heavy man-on-man action while the unsuspecting tv reporter reports on the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The best bit, the news desk reporter's um, explanation of the proceedings. Priceless.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Growing Old Gracefully

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this picture! Look at you two! OK sure, the pvc-ishness isn't really my thing but (and I don't mean this to sound patronising) it's the effort that I love. You know, getting dressed up, enjoying the doing of the dressing up, and especially that it's something they do together and enjoy.



In Raili and Jaakko's own words: "We like to choose our clothes carefully and so that every item goes together. We like sharp and well-groomed styles. We often dress up in matching styles. We mostly shop in small local boutiques."

Yay! I think I want to be them when I grow up.

[Via HEL LOOKS, fashion in Helsinki.]

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Good Times

Heaven! If this doesn't make you want to shake something then there's a deadness inside you that frankly, I just can't fix.


"Good Times", Chic. 1979.

Never underestimate the power of a killer guitar riff and handclaps. These are the good times.

Driftwood and Shingle

I'm a big fan of vibrant colour, regal purples, garden greens, hot spice route colours of turmeric and saffron, the peacock blues of Iznik tiles... you name it. Gorgeous saturated colours.

However, lately I've been increasingly drawn to quiet colours. The shades of pebble beaches, slate and flint, grey-green dry garden succulents and sun bleached shingles and driftwood.







I always think of these colours as European colours, colours that work with the cool grey light of the Northern Hemisphere. Colours that probably work their best here in Winter, rather than the hot gold light of an Aussie Summer. But I'm curious to experiment with some of these colours, maybe in the form of bleached linen and faded grey denim. Lightweight cotton or linen scarves knit in pale yarns with interesting textures. I think a mixture of textures and subtle patterns is key to working with these sorts of quiet colours.


Photo collage by the very stylish and talented Camille of Childhood Flames




Japanese silk and stainless steel knitting yarn at Habu

Now that I have the space for a spare room to sew in, a new (vintage) mannequin to fit on, and ideas rattling around in my head, I might spend some time this Spring and Summer making some things for myself to wear.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quirks

  • I have a pocket routine. Keys - left front pants pocket. Loose change - right front pants pocket. Bank notes - back right pants pocket. Loose, no wallet. ATM and other cards - in a small holder in my shirt pocket (if the shirt has a pocket, or left back pants pocket if it doesn't).
  • I'm super cautious about locking myself out of the house. I won't close the front door unless I have my house keys in my hand. Maybe that sounds kind of OCD, but then again I have never locked myself out.
  • Touch wood. (Even though I don't consider myself superstitious, that is.)
  • When I was a kid I took to crossing my fingers when I was really scared by something. Like the dark, for instance. I'm not sure why, but I think it was to do with making a wish.

What are your quirks?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Absences

Sometimes an absence can make you really look at what's left behind. The subtraction alters the context, making unseen things visible and the usual seem strange. Here are a couple of stunning photo sets that prove that.









A swimming pool without water, or a brothel without the the johns, just a couple of beautifully photographed series at Polar Inertia.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pink & Blue

Oh joyous day! OMG you guys, it's hot. Today has been the most glorious day. Bright, sunny, hot. It's only Spring so this blast of early Summer can't last too long, but I'm loving while it's here. I wandered out to cast my vote in the local election, strolled along King St, went to knitting at the cafe for a couple of hours, and on the way home shot these pics below.

Azaleas

Azaleas! It's most definitely Spring, everything seems to be bursting into flower.

BlueFOs

I love the shapes of the kooky equipment in this little children's playground near my house. In my head I've always called these things the BlueFOs, because that's how I roll my friends.

Shortly it'll be time to get gussied up and meet Pete (a friend, who I sort of dated for a short while about a year or so ago) for a drink and some dinner. Nice! Maybe we can find somewhere that has tables outside, because this weather needs to be reveled in!

Miss Vaughan

I have an abiding musical love that has lasted me for well over 20 years so far. And for it I am eternally gratefull to my old friend (and flatmate of a number of years) Lynda. She was a talented singer herself and introduced me to the the sultry sounds of Miss Sarah Vaughan. Lynda would sing with her family's jazz band and one her signature tunes was this one, Black Coffee.



Sing it Mizz Sarah, love is a hand-me-down blue. I'm hanging out on Monday my Sunday dreams to dry. Mmmmmhm, girl.

I've found a number of clips of Miss Vaughan (always Miss Vaughan, the respect is earned) on youtube, including this rare live performance of "Misty" from Berlin, 1969.



I've never smoked, but Miss Vaughan makes me want to light up a Gaulois, sip an espresso, maybe sit on that little balcony overlooking the street, wait and watch and and think about that bastard man of mine.

(You know, if I had a bastard of a one that is.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Freebies

I did go shopping with my Borders gift voucher last night, I did not end up buying anything. Ugh. Borders was packed, there were a number of books I really wanted but they didn't have, and frankly the pressure of spending the free $50 wisely got to me. You know, when you think I should make the most of this. Just me? Ok then. I almost bought the Dexter season 2 DVD box set, but well, as much as I want to see more sexy creepy Michael C Hall there are some books that I really want. Yes, they're knitting books. Problem? Michael C Hall was pretty tempting though...



I was also considering buying a health DVD. Which sounds a bit random, but the Mayo Clinic has put out this series of DVDs about various ailments and ways to treat them through diet/yoga/exercise. Back Pain, Fibromyalgia, Weight Loss etc. I was looking at the Blood Pressure one, which frankly I could feel climbing as I tried to make a decision.

On the subject of free stuff, out of the blue the really sweet natured Arabic Christian guy I buy my coffee from some mornings gave me a free coffee this morning. Apparently he was making a note of how many I bought each week, and like one of those Buy 10 Get 1 Free coffee cards that some places use, gave me my 11th one free. Oh, and how do I know he's a Christian? Because gentle friends he has the most amazing clock on the wall of the cafe. It has a clock. It has Jesus, Mary and Joseph. And it has a psychedelic spinning disk thing that throws out rays of specialness behind them. I want to photograph it so bad, but he's so friendly and sweet natured that I would hate to offend him.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

5 Things About Thursday, 11th September 2008: The Sullenness Of Youth Edition

  • As I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, it irks me when people take up seats on the bus with their bags. Today I pulled my usual I'm gonna sit there routine with a school kid taking up two seats, but the sullen little shit was not going to give up without a fight. He elbowed me in the ribs every time he turned the page of his book, and spread his legs as far open as he could without dislocating something. On one level I had to admire his tenacity.
  • I need to tidy my house. Srsly, in the cold light of morning this morning I thought to myself "too much detritus". (I have elements of neat freakery so it's not that bad, but let's not cloud the issue with facts. Plus, how much do we love the word "detritus"!?)
  • Courtesy of a birthday present, I have a $50 Borders voucher burning a hole in my pocket. Not for much longer, it's destined to get spent tonight. Am I ever happier than when I get to shop for free? I don't think so.
  • This is an event which happens to coincide with me not having anything to read at the moment. Truly the stars have aligned in my favour.
  • Techically the events of September 11 happened tomorrow here, our time, but it's still worth reflecting on all the people who lost their lives, but also continue to in a war that to my eyes anyway doesn't seem to have moved us very far forward in the 7 years since. 7 years!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Art Of The Poorly Disguised Metaphor


Honey, if it's purple you might want to get someone to take a look at it.
A professional, that is.


Observe the eyeline, it's a hint.


Sailors. Masts. Seamen. It's complex.


I could be wrong, but I don't think he's smuggling jewellery in those tights.

[All pics via Gay On The Range.]

It Pays To Ask

Last time I was talking to a real live human person at my bank, we had a short chat about the fact that I was paying a bucketload of bank fees every month. I mean, I'm putting someone's kids through private shool with my bank fees. A top tier one. To their credit my friendly bank representative volunteered the fact that there were much better account products that they had than the old fashioned account I have had forever and aye.

So, with a five minute telephone call I've switched to an account that aside from a $3 fee per month (eh, whatevs), means I will only have to pay a transaction fee if I withdraw money over the counter at a branch. Given that I never do that, score! I am a committed internet/eftpos/telephone banking user (it's the way of the future!) and was a paying a heap in excess ATM fees on top of a $7.50 a month account fee. Crazy!

And I added a fee free debit Mastercard (see: OMG, internet yarn shopping!). And a second fee free account just for savings (for if there is anything left over after the internet yarn shopping).

It really pays to ask.

Monday, September 08, 2008

On Shaky Psychological Ground, Or Weekend Recap!

What a weekend of contrasts last weekend was! Like night & day. Or in this case, Winter and Spring, insanity and sanity.

Friday night and all day Saturday we were plunged back into the depths of Winter, cold and with torrential rain. Saturday it rained all day without letting up at all. So consequently I did the only logical thing (read: insane thing) and decided to visit Ikea.

Because I don't drive a trip to Ikea is two train rides there, and two train rides back. Either end of the journey requires a bit of walking also. So, the customary flaw in this plan is always the carrying of the purchases. It often works in my favour though, because it stops me buying my own body weight in tealights and things with unpronouncable names.

I had planned to go to Ikea this weekend and get some storage boxes to start organising my yarn stash and all my art materials, and start making the spare bedroom into the neat office/studio space it is destined (in my head) to become. Do you see where this is going? Torrential rain, train rides, walking, carrying bulky items, insanity. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Also, in my insanity I thought that it was such a miserable day that Ikea would probably not be that busy.

Oh, the crush of humanity. I am fine with crowds, I can cruise around people with strollers without breaking my stride, within a small bubble of zen like space. However, by the time I got to the cutlery I was ready to cut someone with a budget priced and unpronouncable kitchen knife. I even passive aggressively stole one of the 'for instore use only' catalogues because, well, somehow they owed me. The torture they put me through.

You would think that lugging a huge bag of bulky storage boxes home on public transport and on foot, whilst wrangling an umbrella, would be fun but surprisingly not. Once I had recovered, I did sort of enjoy having a quiet night in putting things into storage boxes. On a Saturday night. Which frankly, seems like another kind of not quite sane to me.

Sunday dawned sunny and mild, and ended up being the first Shorts Wearing Day of the season. Yay. The sun'll come out tomorrow! Bet your dollar bottom. Once I had done a bunch of laundry, admired some stacked (and filled) storage boxes, gone to knitting at the pub in the afternoon, and cooked some dinner it was like the trauma of Saturday was a distant memory. With only the In Store Use Only catalogue to remind me otherwise.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Progress!

I've been a bit more committed of late to working on my sister's lace scarf for Christmas. I'm probably just under one fifth of the way along so far, but much of that I has just been done recently. Christmas sounds like forever away, but I just know it'll end up being here in a few blinks time. I grew up being one of those kids that started the essay the night before it was due, and I do not want to get to December 24th and realise that this old dog hasn't learned any new tricks! Or at least amended his ways.

Progress!


Reds seem really hard for my camera to capture, but I've fiddled with this a little to try and make it more true to the yarn colour. Just imagine it a bit darker and richer, deep garnet reds through to lighter red tones. Gorgeous.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Ruperts

What is it about boys called Rupert? I mean, for a bunch of guys with a kinda foofy name, what it is that makes them so damn sexy? They sure do seem to bring the handsome.

You doubt? Emipirical evidence never lies. Cases in point:

Rupert Evans of "Hellboy", "Fingersmith", the London stage etc, etc:







Rupert Penry-Jones, of "Spooks", "Charlotte Gray" and a number of things that show that frankly, dude looks good in any period:









Rupert Everett
, of "Another Country", "An Ideal Husband", a lapse in judgement co-starring Madonna, and other projects as befits one of the stately homos of England:







Rupert Graves, of "Maurice", a bunch of other Merchant-Ivories, and my most favourite period era greenskeeper/ladder climbing bit of rough ever:







Really, the evidence doesn't lie. It's statistically significant don't you think?