Okay, the Russian spy saga just got a lot more interesting.
Former Russian PM in hospital with mystery illness
Former Russian prime minister Yegor Gaidar is recovering in a Moscow hospital from a mystery illness, triggering speculation of a poisoning case that might be linked to the deaths of a Russian ex-spy and a top journalist.
Mr Gaidar's daughter Maria told NTV television he was in satisfactory condition but "there was a serious threat to his life" after he fell ill on November 24 in Ireland, where he had been attending a conference.
Mr Gaidar's illness came one day after the death in London of former Russian secret services agent Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned by a rare radioactive substance in an apparent murder that Mr Litvinenko himself blamed on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Kremlin has rejected the charges.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Okay, the Russian spy saga just got a lot more interesting.
This image was blatantly lifted from a joke email. None of these people are me. Particularly the guy in the painting. I'm definitely not him. Please don't doubt me, Thomas.
Although, the guy in the painting does have a similar figure to me.
Actually, does Jesus (in this picture) remind anyone else of some of those shirtless drug-f*cked gay-boys one often sees dancing at Connections, Pride or Mardi Gras? It's the stance.
Obviously the drug-bunnies aren't nailed to a cross. (I think that's the problem).
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Most people, including my father, have significant amounts of trouble when it comes to imagining me playing football. My ball skills aren't what you might think they would be.
However, last weekend Community Newspaper's held a friendly match between the north and south offices and I took to the field with my southern colleagues.
Not only did we win, but I looked fetching in my beautiful black and red jersey (which , with a Bernina and half an hour could have looked fantastic).
This is me tackling Michael T for mark. I did actually manage to take a mark at one point - earning me Mark of The Match. I got a little trophy and everything (it was totally Schick). The fact that I marked the ball by accident in order to stop it smacking into my pretty little face is neither here nor there.
That now-famous mark meant I got to kick the ball - which I did brilliantly (straight to the opposition, who then kicked it straight back for a goal). But being as I had to ask what they wanted me to do with the ball in the first place, I still considered this quite an achievement.
At other points I simply danced past the ball with the kind of grace Nureyev would have been proud of.
So the only answer was to get boozed with award-winning reporter-to-the-stars Bea.
Now that I am an award-winning footballer, with a lovely arse, I feel equal to other award-winners (of whom I am apparently so jealous... depending on who you ask) like Bea. ["in-joke" alert]
Monday, November 27, 2006
Does anyone else find it mildly ironic that last week two politicians who would probably rather turn back time (Disgraced former minister John D'Orazio and dumped former Liberal leader Matt Birney) successfully co-sponsored a Bill to turn the clocks FORWARD an hour?
Daylight Saving or no Daylight Saving, their desperate bid to write themselves into the history books for something other than their dishonourable/disgraceful falls from grace is reasonably sad. Sorry boys, it won't work.
Friday, November 24, 2006
I was filling my car with fuel this afternoon and I came up with a list of pet hates:
1) Petrol bowsers that take ages to kick in because the attendant is too busy scratching his cock to press the release button.
2) The bastard who snapped my fucking aerial off, leaving me with a rusty coathanger as a means of AM/FM reception.
3) The wanker who designed my car and made it impossible to replace the aerial easily, knowing full well fucktards regard snapping them off as sport.
4) The cockspank who parked in my spot, resulting in me angrily reversing up the laneway and scraping the side of my car on a pole.
5) The rust that has set in because I am too lazy/cheap to fix the damage the pole did.
6) The fact that my car is always so dirty
7) Trying to get the dollars on the bowser to an exact .00c amount. It'll never let you do it. You'll always pay .02c extra.
8) Getting to the counter and arguing the price with the attendant, then him pointing out you got the litres to .00c, not the price... and you actually bought $50 of fuel, not $40 like you thought.
9) Driving past the next petrol station and discovering it is 1c cheaper there.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
There is a man lying in a London hospital.
He is bald, terrifyingly thin, and could possibly need a bone marrow transplant.
Just a few weeks ago, 43-year-old Alexander Litvinenko was insanely fit man who ran 8km a day.
What has bought about the incredibly and sudden change in his condition? Well THAT is a story straight of the Cold War.
I have always been a little Cold War obsessed. I think it's a result of two things:
a) having lived through the last years of the Cold War and being old enough to remember Gorbachev, Thatcher, Reagan and the fall of The Wall.
b) too much Ian Fleming as an adolescent (ashamed to say I own a couple of first edition James Bond novels).
So to discover a few weeks ago that Russian journalist and long-time Kremlin/Putin critic Anna Politkovskaya had been gunned-down - assassinated - and the FSB (the "New KGB") had been implicated was a delicious remnant of Cold War-style problem-solving I couldn't resist learning more about.
Politkovskaya was only days away from publishing a massive story about the killings and beatings of civilian Chechens by Russian servicemen - obviously embarrassing to the Kremlin - when she was murdered. As a journalist, her death also raised some interesting professional questions for myself (Is there anything I've written that might have pissed-off the City of Mel-VILE sufficiently that they might want to kill me? How unforgiving they can be simply for fucking-up the details of the annual Jacaranda Festival!).
In a bizarre way I was positively excited the other morning to learn Litvinenko - himself a former top KGB agent and therefore colleague of Mr Putin's - was now in hospital with suspected thallium poisoning. At the time of his suspected poisoning he had been investigating the assassination of Ms Politkovskaya.
FYI, thallium is one of those delicious Cold War drugs that doesn't taste or smell and can be easily slipped into a drink or onto food... rendering the person who consumes it reasonably dead remarkably efficiently.
In 2004, Politkovskaya herself fell seriously ill with symptoms of food poisoning on a flight to southern Russia for the Beslan school hostage crisis. The tactic which involved two gun wounds delivered to her head and body whilst alighting from her apartment elevator was far less subtle. Though personally, I wish they'd used the Bulgarian method - poisoned umbrella tips.
Anyway, do you see how delicious and intriguing this all is? I'm not wishing these people ill, can I just say. No I'm on Politkovskaya's side and I do want Litvinenko to pull through... it's just that I really can't wait for the next instalment. It's better than anything Ian Fleming could have written! (Actually, if you've ever actually READ a Bond novel you'd know that's not hard. They're shocking. The movies are a million times better).
From news.com this morning, November 24,
Poisoned ex-Russian spy dies
FORMER Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who had been fighting for his life in recent days after an apparent poisoning, has died, the hospital where he was being treated said today.
"We are sorry to announce that Alexander Litvinenko died at University College Hospital (UCH) at 9:21pm (8.21am AEDT this morning) on the 23rd of November 2006," the spokesman for the hospital said.
"He was seriously ill when he was admitted to UCH on Friday November 17, and the medical team at the hospital did everything possible to save his life."
The condition of the 43-year-old had worsened on Thursday, doctors and friends said, as mystery deepened over what caused his condition.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
David in our office is a cute confirmed straight-boy. He's lovely, and so is his girlfriend.
Only today, he receives a random text message from an unknown number: Are you there yet?
To which he replies: Am I where yet?
I would have probably asked who it was, at this point. Not David. But the random was onto it...
Random: Sorry who is this?
David: I was going to ask the same question... You messaged me first asking if i was there yet...
A conversation ensued.
Random: Hey sorry. that was an accident. meant to send it to my girlfriend.
David: :) all good have a nice day...
Random: So... like whats your name?
By this time David has the whole office totally intrigued. He doesn't know who it is and now he is engaged in a conversation with this guy. He didn't know how to respond to this message so he didn't reply straight away, then the random messaged again saying "So do you have a girlfriend?"
David: My name is david... and yes i have a girlfriend... What's your name?
Random: Chris. I like the name David. It's a strong name. but cute...
The office staff are now rolling around on the floor laughing.
David: Haha so really, who is this? Someone I know taking the piss?
Random Chris: I'm sorry? I don't understand... my name's and you seem nice. what do you do?
David: I'm a journalist. You?
Random Chris: Oh that's really hot. i love journalists. I'm a pilot. do you like to fly?
David: I do in fact. We're debating here in the office whether you're a guy or a girl. Where do u work?
Random Chris: On a plane. It's great fun. plus all the air hostesses. sigh. you're all talking about me? that's hot... what do you look like david? i bet you're hot ;)
David: You could find out... Call me at my desk - 6**0 9**7
The genius of the last bit is, that's MY office number. I've volunteered to intrepidly discover what Random Chris has to offer. LOL.
Although Random Chris seems to have shut up all of a sudden...
I can't wait to hear how this ends!
Okay, this yarn has just got sooo much better. David has worked out who it is. It is a (gay) friend of his girlfriend's who he gave his number to and foolishly said "no, don't give me your number, surprise me later in the week by randomly sending me a message". To a gay-boy this is something of a red-rag to a bull.
Only now David has the power and he's decided to string him along. This is the latest message from Random Chris:
Hey sorry I didn't call. Just having lunch with my girlfriend, obviously couldn't call... say just wondering if you and your girlfriend would be open to a night with me and my girlfriend. it's her birthday coming up soon... I know it's a bit forward...
Brilliant! I'll let you know how it ends!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Admit it, you google yourself.
Unlike blogging, which is a very public and open instant ego gratification, a quick google search of one's own name is a secret delight. It has much the same effect though.
Well this afternoon instead of googling myself, I googled my alter-ego, "Bolton Gray". In doing so, I discovered something remarkable: My blog has a value.
Or it could have.
There is a website called blogshares.com which says my blog is worth somewhere between $550 and $1000 ("B$" to be specific. If anyone can explain what that is I'd be everso grateful).
Apparently my blog is listed because I've linked to Tottyworld - a nicely pervy website innocently providing links to tasteful photos of handsome gentlemen. Anyway, Tottyworld has a very high value and because I've linked to it, my little blog has a value too, based on numbers of visitors, etc.
I can't imagine this blog has any value to anyone except my ego (which now, clearly, I'm refering to as an entity in its own right).
Friday, November 17, 2006
I so desperately want to discuss this film, but I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it - which is most of my friends.
I'm going to see it again on Sunday.
Every time I thought he'd gone as far as he possibly could, he went further. I love that shit. My favourite bits were:
a) a one-liner to end all dinner parties
b) a very special hotel room wrestle.
Of course, the real stars were the unwitting Americans. Man they take themselves seriously.
So glad I saw this with Eeeeemma, Linds and Lars. A perfect crew for this insane adventure.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Life is good. Life is the best it could possibly be right now.
Truly, I feel like for the first time in a long time the planets are all in alignment, God is smiling on me, the Sun has got his hat on, etc, etc, insert appropriate cliché here.
Perhaps to understand this we need to remember I’m looking at everything through the prism of New-Thom-With-An-H being in my life.
I do not get sick of this boy. At the moment he’s house-sitting a place about 50m from Dad’s door, so I’m spending all my time around there and we’re spending every spare minute together. And I could STILL spend more time with him. The gist is, I guess, that being with him makes me happy.
But then there are the other planets in the line-up.
In a few weeks I head to Sydney for the weekend, and that is something I am exceptionally excited about. I miss Daniel desperately and I am thrilled to be able to see his performance. I desperately need some Dan-on-Dan time. It has been a long, long year without him. I also really want to hang out with Nigel and the Allcorns and all my other Sydney gang.
And now for the biggest planet of all: Europe. (Okay, taken literally, that is the most ridiculous sentence ever written).
I have taken all of March off work and Dad and I are heading to Europe. It’ll be so cool to hang out and travel together. Fortunately we both had the same wish list: London, Paris, Prague.
We’ve nutted it out a bit more and I’m very excited about the last leg of my trip, which I shall do by train: Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Venice, Florence, Rome. It’s funny that my whole life I’ve wanted nothing more than to go to London and now I’m finally doing it the bit that I’m most excited about is something I’ve barely ever contemplated.
Dad wants to really go to town on Germany because he loved Frankfurt so much. I also want to go to a couple of operas while I’m there. He’s staying on for another month after I head home, so he’ll have to do much of Germany, the French Riviera, Spain and Portugal on his own. I’m putting them down for the next trip!
The idea of the trip is to basically get a bit of traveling out of my system so I can come home and concentrate on the film. We should be filming any time after April and then there is the book to write and goodness knows what else will be required of me.
All in all, I have a very, very good feeling about 2007. This could be my biggest year yet. And I’ve never been quite so excited!
Monday, November 13, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
This is truly great weekend being peppered with old friends.
Firstly, Kerry came back from Egypt and brought unto me a Fez, which I absolutely love and could only have been made better if it came attached with a little monkey grinding an organ. Still, I have Thom for that.
Paulie from Melbourne and Robbie Goodwin (also now of Melbourne but late of Community Newspapers) are both in town, so I'm hoping to see both of them.
Had a surprise phone call from Adam "Sailorboy" Carter yesterday - the HMAS Ballarat is in port at Fremantle so hopefully I'll be catching up with him.
And speaking of Outback House people... I'm heading to Sydney December 8 to 11 (to see my beautiful Daniel dancing his heart out in at least two productions) and so I hope to see the Allcorns and Miss Schubert.
(Att: Phil. The Miss Schubert I refer to is Fiona Schubert, late of Outback House. You might rather famously be the gayest person I know, but I would never refer to you as Miss. No, you are Mr Schubert, most definitely. But if you happen to be making it down to Sydney it'd be great to see you. I think I'll need dates for the two shows I'm going to see, so that could be fun).
Anyway... there is no real point to this post except to let you know I am alive.
By the way, I went to the Bryn Terfel recital at the Concert Hall on Thursday night. I was in total absolute heaven. Total ABSOLUTE heaven. Such an amazing voice. Amazing like I have never heard. I understand why he is one of the world's greatest, most famous and widely loved voices.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Tame by last year's standard, there is still some evidence a good night was had by all at this year's Media Ball.
Tamara, Lindsay, Sez and Sarah
Sez, Stu and his usual "I'm trashed" pose, Matt, award-winning Bea and Kate
My darlings, Emma and Lindsay
Valenti and Hatchi
(with thanks to Will Russell, who not only contributed his wife to one of these photos but gave permission to post them... not that he's claiming responsibility for the photography, mind you).
Sunday, November 05, 2006
It has been an odd sort of weekend during which I once again failed in my only true obligation, visiting my Grandmother. I'm going to drive up to the farm one night this week - the guilt is killing me.
But I have had ample distraction. Firstly I should tell you I am not well. It happens to have coincided with the week I went into hospital but I have been in excrutiating pain. I first started getting incredible stomach pains when I was 13 and they have returned intermittantly ever since just to fuck me over when I least expect it. It started out as every couple of years I'd get a bout of it, but now it's quite frequent.
I had them quite badly when I was in Outback House and I've had them more and more often since. The pain is very sharp and intense and just underneath the sturnam. It's like indigestion x child-birth (I know the DOA and others are scoffing at that... but let me tell you it is painful).
In fact, it is bent-double cripplingly painful. When these pains are in full swing I cannot get comfortable at all - whether I sit, stand, curl-up or stretch-out. I find it hard to breath comfortably. It becomes hard to talk - if only because all I want to do is concentrate on lessening the pain.
I've tried various remedies and courses of tablets over time and there are certain foods I have to do without if I'm in pain because they seem to exacerbate the problem - but ultimately, so far, the doctors are a bit mystified. Hence my hospital visit on Thursday. Hopefully I'll know more soon - especially as my new tablets aren't stopping the pain.
Unfortunately the pain got to me so badly that I was in bed for most of last week. Other symptoms include an inability to eat (a total lack of appetite) and a desperate desire to sleep (probably through lack of nutrition). Actually, my eyes suddenly get heavy and I can doze off on the spot. It's a little scary. Net result: I left work at like 11.30 on Friday, was in bed by 12.30, slept til 6.30, watched tv for a few hours, went to bed at 9.30 and slept through til morning. Now THAT's a nanna-ish Friday night.
Saturday night was the Media Ball and I was still in a lot of pain, though I was better than I had been. I spent some of the afternoon with the truly brilliant DJ Lara H and that was the day's highlight. Though it was great to see everyone frocked-up for the ball. The women looked stunning: Linds with her Oscar hair, Sez in her party frock, McLigman, 'mara... all the girls! (Especially Bea, who if her being totally freakin hot was not enough to get her poached by the teeves, then surely winning the Suburban journo award is?).
I left early. I was gone by 11 or so. I did a glorious side-exit while no one was watching. I came home and sat in bed watching DVD's with New-Thom-With-An-H for a while afore nodding-off. So then, naturally, I spent most of today (Sunday) with him. We went for brekkie at lunchtime and then veged on the couch for the afternoon... watching... get this... Barbarella! What a FANTASTIC film! Who wouldn't want a shagpile-lined space-ship if they had the choice? The opening sequence is a 19-year-old Jane Fonda getting gratuitously nude. I'm freakin in love with this film. N-T-W-A-H and I were cacking ourselves. (Of course, he has seen it many times before). Later this week we shall watch the genius of Russ Meyer's Faster Pussycat Kill Kill.
And as I'm rambling and as I'm on the topic of N-T-W-A-H... I would never have imagined I could meet someone so like me, so perfect for me. He's so fucking incredible. Not only is he gorgeous but he has this AMAZING brain that I just LOVE and we are interested in all the same things and have the same obscure slant on life. We can disagree on things but we don't argue. I'm learning SO much from him. Although he's impatient and intolerant in the same ways I am, which is a concern! But he's brilliant. Brilliant. Fucking brilliant. I love this boy. This last couple of months (remembering this is despite enormous pain) have been truly incredible. I just can't get enough of him.
Right... now that I've jinxed my relationship, I'm going to bed....
Friday, November 03, 2006
Okay I'm the first to admit that I'm not a sports fan of any description, but I wanted to register my grief at the very untimely passing of a master broadcaster, Wally Foreman.
Listening to ABC Radio these past few days has been incredibly hard and as I pulled in the driveway just then I had to listen to afternoon announcer Bernadette Young choking back tears. (How's she's going to get through a three hour shift is beyond me).
Wally was a brilliant professional and to me the sound of his voice IS the sound of sport, the sound of summer, the sound of football, the sound of weekends, the sound of Grand Stand, the sound of the ABC.
It's totally impossible to imagine the airwaves without his distinctive voice.
I expect a State funeral to be announced at some point in the next couple of days.
Everyone I speak to is very sad about this. Very sad.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Very shortly I shall be out cold. This will be done clinically and medically and not in my usual "Saturday night special" kind of way.
I haven't been allowed to eat except for a "very light breakfast" which consisted of yogurt, which has long since been and gone. My stomach is busy eating itself now... which is pretty much the problem I'm going into hospital for in the first place.
The procedure is called an endoscopy (several of you know I've had one of these before, though it was performed neither clinically nor medically).
I can't tell if I'm nervous and have butterflies in my stomach or whether I'm just hungry or whether in fact it's because I didn't take my medication this morning that I feel all jippy in the tum-tum.
The plan is that I am to drive to the hospital myself and Dad will get a lift and come pick me up later this afternoon, driving home in my car. The plan is then for me to try to post a coherent blog about the experience as soon as possible - in the hope that it might not actually be coherent at all.
Anyway, wish me luck ladies and gentlemen... I'm going in!