Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Years and years ago I dated a really lovely man called Simon who was a research psychologist, and I remember one particular conversation we had where he explained to me all about limerence. Since then I've read that in 1977 a well meaning psychologist called Dorothy Tennov invented the term for her 1979 book "Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love". Limerence (so the story goes) is the heightened emotional state of falling in love. English has no neat little noun for falling in love, love yes, but the process no. So Dorothy created one and "limerence" was born.

I'm not a fan of the word I have to say. There's no poetry to it, or if there is it's evocative of something that starts "There was a young man from Nantucket...". It seems too small and reductive a label for something that feels so huge. So intense, beautiful, scary, affirming and incredibly human. "Limerence" isn't opera, or poetry, or art, or great literature, or even a pop song but falling in love has inspired all those things. Maybe it's hormones, and juices, and synapses, and blood, and flesh, and a genetic imperative, but at least all those things are rich and powerful.

Falling in love. Falling. Falling in love is rollercoasters, turbulence, bungee jumps into the future and the great unknown. It's a shift in terrain. The rug being pulled out from under you in the best possible way. It's laughing because you missed the last step, but didn't hurt yourself.

I've met someone beautiful, kind and sweet. Who has a wonderful generous smile and thinks I have lovely eyes. He likes dogs, kids and kindness.

And I am so friggin' limerent. Having of limerence? Whatever, I'm falling in love and it feels absolutely grand.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

5 Things About Thursday 21st July: Deluge Edition

  • It's been bucketing down with rain here for most of the past few days. Everything feels sodden and dreary, and yes that's my socks I'm talking about in particular.
  • McGuyver Moment - After some strong wind gusts on the way to work this morning a bunch of the threads holding my umbrella's cover in place parted leaving me essentially with a metal contraption and a piece of flapping fabric. 2 minutes of studious application and 1 office stapler later and it should at least hold long enough for me to get home tonight.
  • Next I might attempt cold fusion with a water bottle, 2 bulldog clips, some white-out and my mobile phone recharger.
  • So that you don't think this winter has been all dreary and without rays of sunshine, as of last night I could fit back into my old 31" Levi 501s. (With a slight bit of sucking it in, but without the need for lubrication or heavy machinery.) Hell. Yes. As of this morning I'm under 71kgs.
  • Speaking of rays of sunshine, I met the loveliest, sexiest man a week and a bit ago. (And he's probably blushing right now because he reads this blog.) It's all very new, and we haven't been able to spend a lot of time together yet because of conflicting work schedules, but we have the entire weekend coming up to spend together. And somehow I don't think we'll particularly care if the rain continues.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fashion In Motion

I love reading fashion blogs and surfing the latest looks on websites like www.style.com. While I was reading the blog Polka Dot I came across this post and this post about a parade of Yohji Yamamoto clothes held at the V&A in London as part of a series of fashion events called Fashion in Motion.

Yamamoto cast real life couples from the streets of London and visitors to the V&A, and what I love is that gay and lesbian couples were included.

Maybe fashion is trivial, and maybe you could say that this is a gimmick, but in a genre populated by impossibly tall, uniformly beautiful people, seeing a diversity of people represented on a catwalk (including gay people) is kind of a fabulous change.

It's also lovely to see relationships being celebrated. In a time when a number of places in the world are legalising gay marriage (although sadly not the country I live in), any forum for equal representation seems like further shoring up of gains being made.

It wasn't so long ago that seeing two women or two men who are a real life couple walking a catwalk holding hands, displaying their real life relationship, would have been shocking. To me it seems like the most normal thing in the world, and hopefully the more representations of equality that are portrayed in all sorts of areas of life (whether 'serious' or 'trivial') the more people might agree with me.

Check out Polka Dot's two posts I linked to above, as she has some lovely close-up shots of the actual parade that give you a good feel for it, and show some other looks from the parade. There is also a larger collection of photos on facebook here.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


One of the curious things about the period of depression and anger I've recently come out the other side of, is that the Buddhist Dharma (teachings) would have been a huge help through that process. While I still considered myself as a Buddhist through all of that dark period, in reality my practice and my reading of Buddhist teachings dropped away to almost nothing. I'm not sure why, maybe because not dealing felt like a failure and rigorous self analysis felt too painful. Totally not what the Dharma teaches, in fact gentleness and kindness towards yourself (as well as others) is a cornerstone of the teachings. But it is what it is, and now I feel it's time to move again.

So, I spent some downtime this afternoon revisiting the website for my old Dharma centre to get back in touch with what courses and meditation classes are coming up. I think I'll dip my toes back into the waters by volunteering at a Vipassana meditation retreat weekend with a teacher with whom I did an 8 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat way back in 2005. There are also some drop-in meditation sessions I might attend.

So thoughts of kindness were on my mind this afternoon when I hopped on the bus to head home, only to be greeted with the loveliest, friendliest "Good afternoon." from the young bus driver. In fact, he said a warm and friendly "Good afternoon." to everyone that got on the bus. Every single person. Sydney bus drivers are not well known for their friendliness, so everyone was just as surprised as I was.

But the results were dramatic. It at least put a smile on everyone's face, and many people visibly lit up. One old chap made his way to the front of the bus as he was getting off, and thanked the driver for his friendliness and his "beautiful manners". Such small gestures of warmth and kindness, with such big results. Everyone's day got a little brighter and that was an important lesson to remember.

Diet Friendly Chilli For One*

I cooked this up this evening for dinner and it was so delicious I thought I might share it. This whole dish taps out at about 5 classic old school Weight Watchers(tm) points - 3 for the mince, 1 1/2 for the beans and around a half for the couple of short oil sprays. All the vegetables are considered 'free'.

125g of extra lean beef mince
1/2 cup of canned red kidney beans (drained)
1 can of diced Italian tomatoes (not drained)
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
1/2 an onion
1/4 green capsicum, diced
1 tsp preserved garlic (or 1 fresh clove)
1 tsp preserved chilli (or a small red chilli to taste)
canned jalepenos or mild peppers
1 generous tsp of sweet paprika (or to taste)
a large pinch of ground cumin
a shake of dried thyme
1 beef stock cube
olive oil spray

Spray a non-stick frypan with a quick spray of olive oil spray, and brown the mince. Remove the mince from the pan and set aside. Grate or dice finely the carrot, celery and onion (I use the food processor with the grater attachment). Spray the pan with another quick spray of oil and sautee the vegetables, garlic and chilli until the vegetables are soft. (Because I always cook for just myself, I find it hard to get through garlic and fresh chillis before they deteriorate, so I usually keep a jar each of chopped preserved garlic and chilli in the fridge.) Towards the end of the vegetables cooking I add the spices and allow them to cook off a bit to become aromatic.

Tip in the capsicum, tinned tomatoes with juice, beef mince and beans. Dissolve the stock cube in a 1/4 cup of hot water and add in also. Put a lid on the pan and cook on a low heat for about half an hour, until everything is tender and some of the liquid has reduced. Towards the end of the cooking add the sliced jalapenos or mild peppers to taste.

I think the mix of spices in this are important, you need the depth of heat and savoury flavours from the paprika and cumin. Just be wary with the cumin in particular as it's very strong. Better to add a bit extra later if it needs it, once you've tasted the dish in the final stages.


* One fairly big eater, like me.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

The Dating Game

I have a real live, genuine, card carrying date on Wednesday night. Drinks. Dinner. Maybe even a show (or show and tell, perhaps).

Last night I was in the mood to go out, so after the usual round of texting with friends I agreed to meet up with some of them at the bears drinks hosted by the Harbour City Bears at The Oxford. No exact plans were made, so I arrived reasonably early and was happy to chug a few drinks, see who was out and about, and watch a rather unsettling and eccentric mix of Jackass and gay muscle porn that was playing on the big screens.

Various groups of friends drifted in, and I hung out with them, moving from group to group and getting introduced to their other friends in the process. Maybe the crowd was drawing dawn the moon, but there was certainly a fun energy out and about last night. At one point I circled back to my friends John and Mark, and they were chatting to (read: flirting with) a very cute guy who was inside chatting to us, while his girlfriend was having a smoke out on the little smoking balcony. And that's where things started to get interesting.

No he wasn't exactly straight, but yes he mostly liked girls. His girlfriend was very cool with that. He liked sex with guys when he liked them as people, but no he didn't label himself as bisexual. And he was an outrageous flirt, even opening his jeans at one point to prove he wasn't wearing any underwear (long story about the buying of underwear).

Fast forward a while, and a few beverages later, and I'm standing out in the smoker's area chatting to him, his girlfriend, and some of his friends. All of whom are fun, but really quite drunk. Anyway, one of the group was a blond guy, who like me was way more sober than the rest (I later discovered he wasn't drinking at all) who as it turned out had only met them all tonight as well. Like me he had been drawn into the curious event horizon of Cute Guy and his circle. Lots of conversation later, and as Cute Guy and his girlfriend descend into a relationship crisis that proves that maybe even the most understanding of girlfriends has her limits (for both drama and alcohol I suspect), blondie and I exchanged phone numbers and headed our separate ways.

And then he sent me a text today, and we spoke on the phone, and we have a date on Wednesday night. He seemed very sweet and nice, and it will be nice to have a conversation and get to know each other without the rage and tears (yes it got to that) of the not-bisexuals swirling around us.