Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tis The Season

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, I've had a really rough past couple of weeks and although I'm not shy about talking about the good and the bad, I've been really flat and unmotivated. Thankfully, thankfully, things are on the improve. I'm still under-employed and not actually earning enough to even pay my rent at present (oops), but I'm about to head off for a few days to visit my sisters in Ballarat and I'm making a concerted effort not to think about the stressful stuff for the next few days.

Avoidance I can manage. Easily. In fact I've kind of been avoiding the whole Christmas thing this year. There are few stresses like feeling you have obligations or the desire to do things, and just not having the cash to do it. So I have basically avoided all social events over the past few weeks. If you are a 'real world' friend of mine, consider this an open apology if I didn't show up to something recently.

My sisters clubbed together and bought me a ticket to go and see them for Christmas, so I'm off tomorrow until the evening of the 28th. Now that we have agreed that I'm only buying gifts for my two nephews (even though that sucks because I love buying gifts, and even better wrapping them!) the stress has at least been eased somewhat. So tomorrow's plan is to try and get a bit of Christmas cheer happening.

I hope you all have a great Christmas/Holidays season, and I'll catch you sometime around the 28th!

It's A Sign Of The Times

Martha Stewart "Weddings" magazine covers their first gay wedding. No fanfare, just the same sort of coverage they give to any other wedding.

The two boys have put up their own wedding album here, and there are some really sweet pics. Awww. I need to find me a husband.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Is it just me, or does a waxed moustache just make any cute boy even cuter?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Boozy In The Afternoon

Up until about 2 or 3 weeks ago I was working 2 part-time jobs, for a grand total of 6 days a week. Unfortunately the better paying 4 day a week job ended when the company I was working for finished the big project they were doing with one of the major banks. I've had trouble getting another job to replace that one, so I've been trying to subsist on the 2 days a week I am getting at the yarn store. Not very successfully, it has to be said.

When the project with the bank ended, the subcontracted company I was working for said some lovely things about how well I had done and sent me an invitation to attend the staff Christmas party. So earlier today, a postcard perfect Summer day here in Sydney, I headed out to join them for their Christmas lunch.

The Sydney Opera House from this morning's ferry ride.

The invite said that lunch was at a restaurant called "Sails" at McMahon's Point, on the norther side of the harbour. As it was such a beautiful day I was glad that it seemed that the easiest way to get there was going to be by harbour ferry. So once dolled up for what I assumed would be a fairly posh, yet waterside relaxed, restaurant (in what I hoped was a casual with an edge outfit of 501 jeans, slim fit blue military style shirt and skinny leather tie) I grabbed my camera and set off. With the intention to have an enjoyable afternoon and not think about the stressful stuff.

Wave to all the people doing the Bridge Climb everyone!
[Click to enbiggen it, they are the row of tiny figures along the top of the bridge]

As someone who was primarily working on site in bank branches for the company, I had spoken to many of the staff and management but had not actually ever met them, so it was great to put faces to names and voices. The restaurant was nice, a fairly small affair right on the edge of the water and our table butted right up against the window which we were able to open to let in the breeze off the harbour. The food was pretty good, but it was the rivers of alcohol that were memorable. Lordy. I think I had the equivalent of about 3 glasses of Champagne before the food arrived, and by the time we rolled out of there at 4.30pm I had added plenty of lovely Sauvignon Blanc (and one strong coffee) to the mix.

Luna Park, the restaurant was in the little bay just behind.

I kind of hoped it would be an opportunity to network with the management of the company, and thankfully it was. I've been a bit down about the work and finances situation lately, so to have a nice swish lunch at someone else's expense was a nice respite from that stress, but best of all I got some genuine, heartfelt and effusive praise and gratitude from them for the work I put into the project.

They are keen to get me back, and have some large new projects in the works. On the way to the restaurant I had a very disappointing call from my temp agency telling me that a job I was due to start next week has fallen through, and that they were struggling to get other work in. So the praise and the talk of possible new work starting after the Christmas break gave me a boost I needed. Three separate members of the management team all told me independently that they wanted me for this new project.

So boozed and schmoozed, clutching my Christmas gift of luxury chocolates and free movie passes from the company, I caught the ferry back across the water. Feeling a bit happier and more optimistic.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Obsession Continues

I understand I'm one of a very small number of Mari Wilson obsessives (Hi Thom!) so bear with me. I had to share a couple of clips I hadn't seen before, firstly a film clip to accompany her biggest single release "Just What I Always Wanted", and secondly a live version of the same song from over 20 years later.

I don't remember seeing this at the time, I guess I must have though because this song did quite well in the Aussie charts and would no doubt have been played on the music video shows here. Unless there were several different versions floating around. Most of the clips of Mari that pop up on youtube are live performances at concerts or on variety tv shows.

The audio and video quality are not the best in this 2008 clip, but she's still got it. Gone are the huge band and the numerous back up singers but her voice is still pretty great I think. Sure those really high notes were always a challenge, but wow it's great to see her doing so well with it over 20 years later. She had some health problems for a number of years, and didn't really perform, so it makes me happy to see her performing again.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I always thought Eric Mabius from "Ugly Betty" was kind of cute, in a shiny pretty sort of way, but then I hadn't seen any of the more recent episodes of the show.

Whoa. Eric Mabius + beard = a new level of hottness.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Diary Of A Shut-In

I had a really lazy day yesterday. Pleasant, free of angst or any other such carry on, but inactive.

I'd like to justify the fact that I did nothing at all by saying that I was conserving my precious financial resources/the environment/shoe leather/carbon emissions or something, so it sounds noble but actually I was just LAZY. I surfed the internet, I watched some teev, I even knitted a bit. At one point I ate pizza (although, in my defence I did have a healthy salad and fruit earlier in the day).

The kicker, when I woke up this morning I realised I didn't even shower yesterday. Thus begins the slippery slope people.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Esther Williams, Eat Your Heart Out

Yesterday morning I was kind of futzing around the house, pottering, messing around on the computer and generally being a slacker, when my friend Judy rang and suggested we put the day to good use and go for a drive. So, after collecting me about eleven, we headed up to the Blue Mountains to the lovely little town of Leura, about an hour and a bit drive from Sydney. Yesterday was hot, so the secondary plan was to escape the heat (although, in hindsight I don't think it was any cooler).

I really enjoy Leura, it's kind of touristy but also a bit chi chi and quaint. The main street through town has a fabulous collection of shops, with a heavy emphasis on upscale wine and food, homewares, and the sort of fabulously engaging (but thoroughly non-essential) shops that always win me over. Moontree candle shop and gallery, Elizabeth Rosa fine stationery and Ikou natural products being three that had me before I'd even stepped over their airconditioned thresholds.

After a lovely lunch at the bakehouse cafe, I window shopped like I could do it competitively for Australia, while Judy plonked down some true cash money and was given goods in return! (I love how that works.) It was a little depressing being in Retail Heaven whilst being skint, but helping someone else spend their money is definitely the next best thing.

Safely back in Sydney, I grabbed my swimming gear and headed over to my friend Mike's house for our new weekly swimming regimen. Mike has a very nice, and generally underused, swimming pool in his apartment complex, and a couple of weeks ago started inviting a small group of us over to swim laps. I'm technically a pretty good swimmer if not a strong one, so the pool is a good size for me (about 20m long we estimated). The plan is to get together once a week for lap swimming, with a goal to increase our personal baselines by at least 2 laps each session.

Synchronised naiads! Hot jazz trumpet! Colour coded handmaidens! This bitch knows how to make an entrance...

Not exactly an intensive training regime, but every little bit helps, and it's nice to do it in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. I love the water and have since I was a little nipper, and it's so nice to slip into the pool after a hot day. My natural inclination has always been to slide straight under the water, ever since I was a kid I just about spent more time swimming along the bottom of the pool than anything. However it's nice to break out the old freestyle, side stroke and backstroke. Certainly more taxing physically!

Of course it's then off to the pub for a meal and some beers, but then every elite swimming squad needs a team building exercise now and then.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The First Lady of Cameroon

I suspect Chantal Biya, first lady of Cameroon, may be a little insane in the membrane.

"Who is the old man with the little white cap?"

"He calls that a Jesus hat? THIS is a Jesus hat!"

"Yes, yes, riveting. Where did the little Jewish man go?"

Suits You, Sir

Photo by David Siljper for the NYTimes.

Photo by David Siljper for the NYTimes.

Photo by David Siljper for the NYTimes.

Moschino, F/W '09-'10

5 Good Things About Being An Un(der)employed Slacker After Dropping From 2 Part-time Jobs To 1

  • Only having to put on big boy pants and polished shoes 2 days of the week.
  • Breakfast at 10.30, am or pm
  • Bandwidth maximization! For once that 2am to 12noon "off peak" bonus my isp gives me is getting a workout. When the pennies are tight it's all about value for money, people.
  • Do you even know how much self pleasuring one can do in an 8 hour day? [High five!] Frankly. even I'm shocked.
  • Um, be right back!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Very Nice Selection!

Whenever I see these kinds of vintage pictures, my first reaction is to go along the line and... well... kind of like this:

Wait a minute! YES!!!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Big Gay Bush Dance, Devonshire Tea and Angst.

Last weekend I headed down to Canberra for the annual gay Bush Dance. The last time I went to the Bush Dance was 2 years ago, and I had an absolute blast. This year I drove down with my friends David and Robert on Saturday morning, to meet up other friends Colin, John and Derek who had arrived on Friday night.

I loved this Goulburn Evening Penny Post building.

It's around a 3 hour trip from Sydney to Canberra, and David, Robert and I decided to break the journey late morning for a stop over in historic Goulburn. First impressions of Goulburn were just how neat and clean it was (including the public lavs, which after a few hours in the car were most welcome), but also just how dry it seemed. The public gardens were still in pretty good shape, if not a bit wilted in the heat. Goulburn has actually run out of water at times and had to truck water in. Pretty amazing considering it's a fairly large regional centre.

Nom nom.

As it was late morning and travelling is hungry, thirsty work, we stopped off at a cafe for some morning tea. I'm a sucker for a scone with jam and cream, so once I spotted the 'Devonshire Tea' all else faded from view. It was a most pleasant little interlude. At one point I noticed a sign over the station where they had bottles of water for the table and glassware encouraging patrons to only take what they need, as water is a 'precious resource'. Further evidence of Goulburn's situation.

Derek and I. OMG, so handsome. (Derek's not bad either!)

Once we arrived I checked into the hotel with Derek, John and Colin, and David and Robert headed off to stay with friends. The rest of the afternoon was spent on a little shopping spree (2 pairs of new work trousers for $40!, thank you Target sale), some napping and then pre-dance nibbles and beers.

The bush dance was lots of fun, although I had a few low spots during the evening. Don't ask me why, but sometimes I think way too much. One of Derek's friends is wont to make casual cracks about short people, which normally slide right off me as my height has never been an issue that bothers me. Maybe it was that one too many that broke the camel's back, but at one point during the evening I got really annoyed.

Derek and I have been seeing each other for a little while, and although we haven't even discussed what it means and if we consider each other boyfriend material, I guess I'm at that point where the approval of his friends matters to me. Plus I just think it's really rude to make remarks like that in the presence of someone that might take offense, even though it's possible that he doesn't do it to be intentionally hurtfull. Derek and his friends do have a lot of back and forwards banter, so maybe on one level I should read it as a sign of acceptance? Anyway. like I said, way too much of the thinking.

All in all though a good weekend but I came home to find the crushing news that my temp agency isn't likely to have any work for me until the 18th of December at the earliest, and that there are currently no additional shifts available at my 2 day a week job at the yarn store. I love the yarn store job but it pays poorly, so in the lead up to Christmas I'm staring down the barrell of not being able to even make my rent for the next 2-3 weeks. Christmas travel plans have been shelved and I've spoken to my family about basically ignoring Christmas this year. I'll send gifts over for my 2 nephews, but unless something suddenly appears on the work front that will be it.

I'm so mad at myself for landing myself in this situation. I saw the possibility of it looming as my other temp assignment drew to a close, and I knew that being committed 2 days a week at the yarn store would make other temp work hard to find. Frankly I love the job at the yarn store too much to give it up, but it's killing my chances of other on-going temp assignments. The yarn store is opening a new store in my neighbourhood, so there are potential improved job prospects there, but that might just squeak in by year's end rather than in the next week or so.

So, not the cheeriest of blog posts but I feel like it's best to be honest about what's going on my life right now. I've held off writing about this because I knew it would turn into a downer, but there you have it. Uncertainty and small crises of confidence seem to be the order of the day. Cue a desire to take to bed and pull the covers over my head, but I'm determined not to give in to this natural inclination.