Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Having not posted for a while - nor actually read anyone else's blog either - I wasn't sure what would be the thing that sparked me back into blogging.
I had things to say about the film Australia, about getting tickets to the Hopman Cup, about getting crazy new experimental Japanese punk rock hair... but none of these inspired me to write.
What it took was this: The fact that this:

Is sleeping with this:

Is a crime against humanity.
Grow up Madonna. Just fucking grow up.
You can't do this shit any more. You're not even MILF material. You're a haggard post-menopausal drag queen with spit end hair and a disturbing taste for lycra which offends my human rights.
Stop it. Just bloody stop it. Alright?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

We the people...

I don't think I've ever seen a newsroom so quiet. The phone didn't ring. There wasn't a keyboard clacking anywhere. A hundred or more people downed tools to watch Barack Obama's acceptance speech on the dozens of televisions throughout the newsroom.
It was good. So good.
I wanted to cry. (I didn't, because it is unseemly in a newsroom, but I wanted to).
My friend Nick in New York, who has seen Tina Fey play Sarah Palin in those infamous sketches live live live, sent me messages saying he had been crying. And that there had been spontaneous dancing in the streets of the Big Apple.
Yesterday we got to watch a moment of history. It doesn't happen that often - when you are watching something unfold and know that it is truly a momentous occasion for the planet, the people, the country.
I had the feeling earlier in the year when Prime Minister Rudd gave an apology to the Stolen Generation - which was made all the more momentous because it had been delayed so long and was such a break with the past.
And I had it again yesterday when Obama made his acceptance speech. Such a good speech. Such a worldly man, so inclusive, so educated, so insightful, so erudite. And it was made all the more special because he happens to be African American. Perhaps not a descendant of the slaves, but certainly still a symbol of how far the nation has come.
I am so proud of the American people. So proud of Barack Obama. It was a red letter day. Now we just have to wait until January 20, when the man takes the reigns in his own right.
This next few months is, traditionally, the time when outgoing presidents feather their nests, pardon people, sign off on terrible deals and assorted dodgy things. Okay, maybe I read too much Michael Moore after Bush got elected... I was just so angry at the time. Ok?
Anyway, this is a happy time.
Fuck you California. Fuck you Arizona. Fuck you Florida.
The Presidential election also included ballot papers in these states for a referendum on the issue of gay marriage. These states have now voted to change their constitutions to define marriage as a heterosexuals-only institution.
Even in a new Obama-led America gay people are denied the basic right to equality in their personal relationships.
I'm not personally likely to get married - gay, straight or brindle - but to deny that opportunity to people who love each other is cruel and unfair. And to remove that ability in a state where it was previously allowable is so retrograde as to be both disgusting and insulting.
I repeat my previous thoughts on this matter: How can two men or two women who love each other and want to express that in the form of marriage possibly EVER cause any more damage to the institution of marriage than Britney Spears has? Or anyone who gets married in a Las Vegas "drive-thru" church? Or the fact that the US divorce rate is between 65 and 75 per cent?
Or this idiotic couple who despite not being well off and having to feed five sons, donated US$50,000 to the campaign against gay marriage in the believe it would make the world better for their children.
How a less tolerant, less equal society is better for your children is beyond me.

Monday, November 03, 2008

On politics

On Bali
There is a double standard in Australia that I do not like. I hear in the voxpops popping up on our radios and televisions, I hear it in the survivors and relatives of the dead, I even hear it from our Prime Minister. The last one concerns me most of all.
Some time this week, or next week, or almost certainly some time this month, the "Bali Bombers" will be put to death.
We do not have the death penalty in this country. We're very civilised about punishment, in actual fact. Deprivation of liberty, for life, is sufficient punishment. What life is a life lead in a cage, surrounded by hardened criminals?
I do not buy this argument that it is okay for the "Bali Bombers" to be put to death.
Yes, they have admitted their crimes. No they are not remorseful. And yes, they might not ever be remorseful if they were serve out their life in a cell.
What really disturbs me, makes me feel sick to the pit of my stomach about my own countrymen, is this notion that we should support the death penalty for these men.
"But they killed 202 people including 88 Australians, Datchy," I hear you say? And our response is to kill them? An eye for an eye? Try explaining this to your children, should you have them. Sit there and justify murder, in response to murder.
I'm not some rampant right-to-lifer. I'm pro-choice, actually. I realise the irony in saying I'd kill a fetus but not a murderer, but I don't think a civilised society endorses killing people by firing squad, hanging, or lethal injection, any more than we'd set up the guillotine on the Supreme Court steps.
I also don't buy this "but it's Indonesian law" argument. Why don't we want Indonesian law applied just as strictly on Schapelle Corby, Michelle Leslie, Renae Lawrence et al?
Then there is also the issue of these men, who are let's face it, not healthy, wanting to become martyrs and inspiring other not-quite-right-in-the-head people (dare I call them "extremists") to do the same?
Animals might kill other animals if they think those animals would harm them. We're meant to be above that.
On America
During the last US presidential election, I was in Dubbo and out of contact with the real world entirely. When I heard George W Bush had been re-elected I was unsurprised, but very disappointed. This administration has been an abomination. Unwelcome wars, bullshit economics, zero leadership. Americans were embarrassed. Some of them posted photos of themselves on the internet with signs saying "sorry".
But Barack Obama has given many Americans hope. They're hurting in a lot of ways and they will vote for Mr Obama, I believe, as they look for a way out of the mire. Voting for Obama is also to reapply for admission for the western world. The US's reputation has taken a massive battering and Obama, to steal his line, actually offers "change".
I desperately hope that tomorrow, he will be elected president of the United States. More than that, I hope he can deliver on his promises. For the good of the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, those who have had their mortgages foreclosed, the working poor, the first generations immigrants, the ill, the disabled. And frankly, for the good of the world.
As an aside, when the fuck did "spreading the wealth around" as promised by Obama equate to "raising taxes and closet socialism"? The screams of support at the McCain rallies seem to suggest a vote for Obama is a vote for Soviet-style communism.
There are people in the US earning $2.50 an hour and raising families on it.. and somehow even suggesting the minimum wage might be increased it tantamount to suggesting Stalin is about to take over. Get some fucking perspective.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

These people vote

We talk a lot in this country about whether compulsory voting is good thing. Turns out, judging by this American example, the idiots will vote anyway.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I defy anyone not to be impressed by this

Natural selection, I mean this guy should be fathering everyone's children. Seriously.

In which I blow my nose endlessly and still fail to ease the congestion

I have been ill. Bloody buggery bastardry, I have been ill.
This has its advantages, of course. I got two days off work to sit and talk to new friends on msn and Facebook for instance.
I also watched a small cache of shitty and totally gay (in both the way the young people use it and the way the homos use it) movies.
The least satisfying was a highly stylised Spanish language coming-of-age film called Glue, which wasn't so nearly as homoerotic as promised on the box but was still vaguely more interesting than trying to teach the dog braille... which was also on my list of stupid sick day ideas to amuse myself.
I watched Blood Diamond. The Leonardo DiCaprio film everyone else has already seen. I've been to the bloated underbelly of the African continent. I love it. But that bloody accent. I'm sorry but all white Africans are evil. That accent will never allow me to believe otherwise.
I watched also The Book Of Revelation. No one has ever wanted to watch it with me so I've let it slip through to the keeper. I'm a big Tom Long fan, and a fan of dance, so this combined the two a bit. It didn't enjoy it terribly. The dancing was dreadful and very badly filmed. And if you were watching for the sex you'd be disappointed, too. The story telling was quite intense though, so if I was to go all Margaret and David on this films ass I would say it was good.
A word of caution: High School Musical 2 will induce homicidal tendencies in even the most vapid movie-goer. I, who is well not vapid, want to see Zac Efron bleed. Not in a gay way. In a very very unpleasant, icky-in-your-pants kind of way.
(They are different).
The most promising of all is a film I have sitting here called The Marine. It stars someone called John Cena, who is self-evidently big everywhere but apparently also big in wrestling circles. When a DVD box proclaims wildly "starring WWE champion John Cena"... you know that's going to contain F Scott Fitzgerald's prose, Dickensian characterisations and Austenesque witticisms.
John Cena plays John Triton. Which would have made life easier for both the director and Mr Cena on set, I should imagine.
So listen to this pitch on back of the case...
"WWE CHAMPION JOHN CENA dominates the big screen as marine John Triton. Wherever there is danger, Triton is usually smack-dab in the middle of it... and he doesn't play by the rules! After he's unwittingly discharged (wtf?) from Iraq, Triton's beautiful wife Kate is kidnapped (can't wait to see how this is linked) by merciless jewel thieves (oh puh-leeze) led by a vicious killer (nice twist, good... go on, please...). Now Triton must fight to save her, utilising his most powerful weapon - himself! (I see now why they named him after a work bench)."
I am sitting here spastically excited, dripping with anticipation.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Perhaps the City of Joondalup could have looked at this?

My thanks to Kate Ferguson for this spectacular piece of newsreel.

Monday, September 15, 2008

This is actually quite good.

My friend Nick queued up for 17hrs for SNL tickets the other day. What a nut. I suppose it is an American institution. Don't people go out?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Census for September

Reading: My Russian text books. I have enough of them to paper a very large house now.
Watching: Bond, James Bond. I'm on a mission to watch all 21 films before number 22 comes out on November 27. I've actually watched 12 so far. Can I just say, For Your Eyes Only is actually a fantastic film.
Listening: I've been listening to Mika when I'm running but mixing it up in the car at the moment. Trying to break the Santogold mould I've found myself in for a couple of months. Regina Spektor was doing it for me today, yesterday it was Gotye.
Downloading: Every time I download the computer slows down for two weeks. What happened to the fucking broadband revolution K Rudd promised us when we elected him?
Website du jour: Apart from Fatchbook I'm still on SkyscraperCity a lot.
Café: Milkd, Maylands.
Pub: The Scotto I guess. Although I've sort of been hibernating from the pub for a while. A booze sabbatical.
Club: Haven't been to one in yonks. Just don't care for it. I'm so old.
Eating: Whatever Thom cooks. My God he's amazing in the kitchen.
Drinking: Coffee. I know that my doctor specifically recommends against it for someone with my condition but, eh? Whatever.
Wearing: Well right now, technically, nothing. Well not so much technically, I suppose, as actually. Last purchase was a couple of new suits for work. I have sooooo many suits now.
Last show: Went to the ballet on Friday night. WA Ballet did Nutcracker sans mice and tin soldiers, choosing instead to set it modern day Australia using the internet as the theme and a washing machine as the principle motif. It became most bizarre when a purple virus took over the computer. It did nothing to make me love Nutcracker, which I find tiresome. However the two pas de deux in the last act were spectacular and welcome.
Next show: That would be something I think is called Transition, which my beautiful Lara is DJing and my beautiful Eve is singing at. Followed by Parklife the next day. Oh, and Fair Day the day of the gig itself. OMIGOD - unconscious weekend coming up.
Can’t wait ‘til: See above. Oh, and Andrew's visit in December. And Daniel moving back to Perth for a few weeks before Christmas.
Most recent scoop: Who the fuck gets scoops any more? There's been no Government for five weeks, there's been no scoopable scoops in my area!
Most recent purchase: A new easel and some paints. It's so nice to be painting again.
Want but can’t afford: To book my trip to Moscow.
Need but can’t afford: To do two lessons a week rather than one.
Last bad act: I left someone's byline off a story we worked on together. I feel bad. But she was just being such a whingy bitch. Byline karma will come back to bite.
Bad news: Um, Mrs Barfield died last November and no one thought to tell me. Thanks everyone, LOL. Just cos I left the Hills doesn't mean I've completely lost touch with my roots and the people I grew up around.
Good news: I have an entire weekend off next weekend and I am going to Albany to see my beloved Kerry, Karen, Helen, Geoff, Rose-Maree and hopefully Megan.
Goal: Ya gavoritye pa Ruski yizik horoshiye.
Yesterday I: Went to Russian and failed yet again to get a much needed haircut.
Right now I should be:Getting some sleep. It's totally late. Thom is asleep already. Perhaps I will draw on him so he gets a surprise when he wakes up..
Later today I’m: There is an hour and twenty left of today. Aside from a quick pee, sleep is pretty much all I had in mind.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

If you're into puzzles, you'll understand.

It's like getting up every morning knowing you're facing the day with two or three crosswords, jigsaw puzzles or soduku squares to do. But you don't mind, because you really love puzzles and each one is a fresh challenge.
Sometimes the puzzles are really hard and the pieces don't fit and you have to complete them over a couple of days, or a week, or longer.
Other times the pieces slip into place or the puzzles runs at you begging you to put it together.
Then, when you're finished - and all your mates have finished their puzzles as well - you bundle them all up together and let everyone else have a look: Satisfying your both your ego and your sense of achievement.
This is the best analogy I can come up with for what it is like to be a journalist.
It popped into my head this morning when, as I bounded out of bed I thought "I wonder what puzzle awaits me today?".
Today I love my job.
But then... I haven't arrived at the office yet.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Genuinely weird thoughts.

I challenge you to come up with a genuinely weird thought. Something frighteningly bizarre. Like so odd that it worries you a bit that you thought of it. I want to compile a list.
Here is my weird idea:
I am unlikely to ever have sex with someone who hasn't already been born.
By which I don't mean I'm unlikely to ever sleep with a foetus. What I mean is, I'm 28. If I was to enter into relations with someone who is about to be born say next week, for example... well the decent thing to do is wait until they're at least 18. Which means I'll be 46. Which is too old for an 18 year old to contemplate, surely?
And yes, it's true, I had that weird thought and then thought I'd ask you all for weird thoughts to make me feel less weird about the weird thought I had.
It actually stemmed from me realising I'm really not attracted to 18 year olds. I think it had something to do with the under cooked and weirdly dressed twinky gay boy who was adjusting his clothes in the mirror of the Belmont Cinema bogs this afternoon.
Ultimately dude, you might think you look hot but you're in the Belmont Cinema bogs... seriously... put the tickets you've got on yourself down before you get hurt.
Or it might have been the blog on whether not having kids is selfish (thanks Observer) which I read this afternoon.
Something has put me in a weird place mentally, anyway. So make me feel better by proving you're weird too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fancy making yourself angry?

Then go here. Seriously, this is why the rest of the world hates America.
If the slogan on the banner doesn't tell you enough, read on. There's hardly a minority not insulted. Particularly interesting is God's Hitlist on the sidebar.

Oh ok... here's an example for those too lazy to look.

=============Wrong Choices
God’s lifestyle choices hitlist : God hates people that belong to one of the groups below because they harm America!

Animal Rights People
“Global Warming/Cooling” Believers
Linux users
“Purpose Driven” churches
Government school teachers
The anti-smoking lobby
College Professors
Hybrid Cars

Well that's just dandy

I had no idea it was being made but apparently the new version of Brideshead Revisited is already showing in cinemas overseas.
I really enjoyed the first half of this book, but I couldn't say I loved the book overall. Charles is a bore and we're forced to see the world through his eyes. Of course, film can treat it differently as the medium is more omniscient than the firsthand style of the book.
I'm not sure if anyone truly loves this story. The opening chapters appeal to the hoyay in me and Sebastian Flyte is one of the great character inventions English literature. I will never forgive Evelyn Waugh for what he did to his own creation, this delicious Wildian character.
And it is because of Sebastian's demise and how integral it is to the story that leads me to feel this film will be a deeply unsatisfying experience.
But I'm willing to give it a shot.
It can't possibly be more bland than the X Files movie.
And it does have Emma Thompson in it... which is always a good sign.
So... fingers crossed.

Wow. People really do that, huh?

This morning I walked into a door.
Who the fuck knew people really did that?

I'm off sick today because my old war wound is playing up. I've just finishing watching season two of Torchwood, thanks to my darling friend Andrew, who not only knows how to show a boy a good time in Brisbane but all knows how to pirate DVDs in order to make the love linger for a month or two later.

Reasonably uneventful day. I managed to file a story despite being in a considerable amount of pain and not actually being in the office. I had an exclusive yesterday - that still hasn't run and nor has the thing I filed today. Which makes me wonder, why fucking bother?

Sorry I haven't posted for a while. I haven't really felt like I had anything interesting to say. And clearly, judging by this post, I still don't. LOL.

I have worked every Sunday this month and haven't had two days off together for four weeks. I'm exhausted. So on that thunderous anti-climax, I'm going to disappear back into cyberspace for bit.........

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My first love

I met my first love on a Saturday afternoon.
I know it was a Saturday afternoon, because that was when they used to show Get Smart on Channel Seven when I was a kid.
My first love was Barbara Feldon. She must have been in her 30s when she played agent 99, which meant she was probably in her 50s and 60s by the time I was watching the re-runs in the 80s. But, oh! How I loved her.
Bob hair cut. Awesome 60s clothes. Knee-high boots. Go-go dancing... long eyelashes... and that sexy, husky voice drawling "Oh Max!".

I mean really... what more could a kid want?
Except, perhaps, to actually be her... which I realise now was probably more to the point.
(Just to share a birthday with her is a thrill... I only just discovered that as I was digging up photos for this post).

I absolutely loved this show. When I first sat down and caught an episode - or a bit of an episode - I was transfixed. I became a life long fan, much as I had with Dad's Army, The Good Life, Are You Being Served, I Love Lucy and a few other old classics they'd repeat from time to time.
So it was with great trepidation I went along to see the new Get Smart movie this afternoon, especially (as Thom says) "Anne Hathaway flatlines in beige". Also... not a huge fan of Steve Carrell. But this was actually an enjoyable film.
Unlike Indiana Jones, they didn't bring in stupid aliens or anything that totally ruined the franchise. They stayed very true to the feel of the original films. It wasn't filled with belly laughs, but all the lines you wanted to hear were in there, they didn't over play them, and they had the right levels of spoof, homage, and actual plot.
It won't win an Oscar or set the world ablaze... but I want to thank those involved for not ruining my childhood memories. Which is, let's face it, a rarity for these kinds of films.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Sweet Lord, I pray I live to see this film

Dear God,
This afternoon I watched the teaser for the new James Bond film. I post it here for your perusal.

No doubt, as a red-blooded man yourself, this trailer did exactly for you what it did for me.
Never in all my born days have I been so excited, so titilated, so heart-poundingly desperately spastically excited, to see a film.
So I ask of you just one thing: Please don't let me die before I get to see this film.
Take me in the car on the way home, drown me in the shower later that night, pick me off over dodgy mcmuffin at breakfast, but for fucksake, please do not let me die BEFORE I see this film!
Thanks for listening.
Yours, etc.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ferdinand the Bull

Something occurred to me yesterday. I'm not sure why it popped into my head - actually it could have been because I'm going through an ABBA phase and was listening to Fernando - but I suddenly remembered an old Disney cartoon which delighted me as a child. Ferdinand the Bull.

And I suddenly realised that this character was high camp.
A bull which doesn't want to bullfight but would rather sniff flowers.
There was a book as well, I recall, with a red cover which they had at the Mount Helena Primary School library. I didn't like that as much... I guess, in hindsight, because the drawing wasn't camp enough.
Ferdinand was delicious high camp. I would love to see it again, or even read the book. If anyone happens to know where to lay my hands on one, do let me know.
I realise now he's something of symbol for me. I want to get some t-shirts made up. Or a tattoo.
Okay, not a tattoo.
But I am so thrilled that Ferdinand popped into my head. And I wonder if my parents already had their suspicions about me when they let me watch this cartoon all all the time?

EDIT: Good old YouTube! Why didn't I head there earlier? For all those who fancy a magnificent trip down memory lane... here it is... Disney's 1938 cartoon of Ferdinand the Bull.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I love these guys

Busily watching so much Wimbledon that I've barely done anything else except work and Wimble for a week. Love it.
I'm starting to hone down a bit on who I like and who I don't. I'm not loyal to a country, let alone my country (Lleyton, you're a fuckwit and your every success is a dagger in my heart. The way to hog the limelight and the Channel 9 coverage fucks me off completely. You're also getting fat and your wife can't act) but I do love that lovely Casey Dellacqua.
My favourite players are:
He's Serbian, hilarious, cute and talented. Dipped out of Wimbledon surprisingly early but anyone who puts superglue on the French Open cup for a joke is okay by me.

He gave Lleyton a hard time last night and he's bloody gorgeous. Hottest Italian I can name, after Michaelangelo's David... and I don't think he counts.

He's the same age as me and going through "the thickening", but he was very cute when he was younger. Took out Novak the other night in stupendous fashion, is deliciously Russian, lives in Monaco and with US$13million in career money, he's a bit fantastically loaded as well.

His eyes might be a bit close together, and he does have a tendency to bite things, but he also has fantastic arms and has a tendency to wear really tight shorts... which is something generally missing from tennis.

There is no disputing his title as the current king of tennis. He is beautiful and his game is spectacular.

I haven't forgotten the women, I'm not being a typical homo... I'll do them later in the day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Spot of tennis?

It all started with a few free tickets to the Hopman Cup through work earlier this year and now I am in love with tennis.
I watched the Australian Open compulsively. I was enthralled by the rise of Casey Dellacqua.
I tried to catch what of the French Open I could - from a hotel room in Coffs Harbour.
Right now I am listening to Wimbledon Live online. I can't watch it because I'm on a Mac. You have to pay, but I don't mind that... but it says it won't work on a Mac. Fuck them.
I am taping the tennis every night so I can watch it later.
God I love it. I finally understand how people feel about football and cricket. Only the advantage (no pun intended) with tennis is that by and large it is an individual sport, and that more appeals to me than team sports. My favourite is Novak Djokovic because he is such a larrikin but generally I go for the Russians when I'm being serious and the Aussies when I'm being patriotic. Mostly Alicia Molik and that nice Miss Dellacqua. I don't like Little Lleyton. Also love Marat Safin.
The men's games are so fast, they're awesome.
I can't believe I missed out on nearly 28 years worth of good tennis before I became obsessed. Robbed.
Anyway, if you need me until July 6, you'll know where to find me.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Judge Judy, I will miss you

As my holidays come to an end, I can honestly say, one thing above all has proven an inspiration these last couple of weeks:

Such simple, delicious, voyeuristic television. And what a personality. So respectable. So no-nonsense. You can't imagine Judge Judy doing a fat line of coke off the Kodak Theatre's marble bathroom vanity at the Oscars then busting a move on the dance floor before hooking up with two busty blondes and their pimp for an after-after-party private soiree in her Mulholland Drive 16-seater spa.
Or can you?

Ok, I'm not sure who did the truly terrible photoshop jobs... but I found them while I was googling for the image above and thought them somewhat amusing. Not as amusing as I find the things computer geeks clearly choose to fill their days with.

Monday, June 16, 2008

New hair cut

I go to these crazy Japanese hairdressers in Northbridge because they always give me crazy punk rock hair. My usual woman, Van, is on holidays, so the owner of the salon did my hair. He informed me my natural colour was "dull" and proceeded to put in a splash of colour - I think just to satisfy himself.

You can't really see it in this pic... but you can see I have yet again got crazy Asian punk rock hair.
I don't know WHY that is so satisfying... but it is.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

There is nothing this man does not have

Last night I went to see Michael Buble.
Best concert ever.
He is such an incredible showman. He engaged the audience, came across as a genuine down-to-Earth Canadian with a big heart and a huge voice. He is hilariously funny. He is a dag. Your Mum's daggy bachelor younger brother. Lad about town. Heart of gold.
So many fucking cliches. So true.
He spent at least as much time flirting with the audience, cracking jokes and having a great time as he did singing.
It was a slick, enthralling, organic, dynamic concert.
And the music was just incredible.
He is doing four concerts in Perth - all sold out, I imagine - at Challenge Stadium. If he can fill the venue four times over, he could easily have done one concert at the Dome instead and saved on overheads. But no, Challenge Stadium - in Buble's hands - becomes as intimate as a small jazz club. A larger venue would not allow him to engage the audience in the way he does... and does so incredibly well.
He's your typical goofball-done-good and the delivery of his music, the way he entertains, right down to the size and kind of venue he choses to play, all go to show that he's still that ordinary goofball... done good.
I had the most thoroughly enjoyable night out. And I am now spastically in love with the Buble.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

How do you loo?

Further to Kato's post about bizarro I-don't-want-anyone-to-see-me-coming-out-of-the-stalls toileting behaviour, I thought I'd add my own recent tale of horror.
First things first. I too do not like to be seen coming out of the stalls in the work bogs. The toilets are a bizarre place and I don't want to engage anyone in conversation in there - although I have a good friend who I love dearly who delves headlong into a deep and meaningful with you the second you swing open the door. I don't want to look anyone in the eye in there. I don't want to see them in their ablutions and I certainly don't want to be able to attribute smells and sounds to individual colleagues.
I am a private pisser.
There are a lot of us, especially in the gay community, who gag at the idea of the trough and prefer the privacy of the stalls. This is a trap for young players as people wander in and out, proudly rattling out a thunderous fart at the piswah - perhaps because they don't care, perhaps because it snuck out, perhaps because they didn't notice one of the stall doors was closed... who can say? I don't need to know who is responsible for this kind of act.
I wait until everyone is gone before I leave the stall. I also don't like being seen leaving the toilet. I don't mind being seen going in... I can conduct a conversation at the door... but I don't want to be seen leaving. I don't know why. If someone has come in to the toilet while I've been in there, I'll go to great lengths to make sure they don't think it was me who was in the stall... as if they're going back through the news floor working out who isn't at their desk and might be calculating who it might have been behind the locked door.
Which all leads me to the horrifying experience I had at Perth Airport the other week as I prepared to jet off on holidays.
My flight had been delayed several times and I'd amused myself in the waiting lounge variously by reading and people watching - including checking out a reasonably cute boy. Unfortunately, he caught me looking a couple of times and I got a bit shocked and stopped looking.
I had a coffee and a bottle of water and then, as you might expect, my bladder demanded some relief. So I trotted off to the loo. To my horror the stalls were full. There are extra bathrooms at the airport so I swung back out the door, nearly collecting the cute boy coming in as I went out, and marched around the corner to the other loos.
To my continued horror, the stalls were full here too. So I thought "fuck it, let's brave it". I stood at one of the porcelain bowls on the wall and did my thing. No sooner had I built up a steady stream than someone stood at the one beside me.
I was mortified enough as it was but when I realised it was the cute boy... who had pulled his boy bits out and was intently studying mine... all my vital organs stopped functioning at once and I was consumed by a fight-or-flight-cardiac-arrest-with-triple-pike-and-nuclear-fission-blast-of-terror.
I was peeing. I couldn't run. I couldn't do anything. I was peeing and he was judging my performance. Or my equipment. I'm not sure. I didn't care. I felt like I was being raped.
He didn't pee... just put it away and walked away.
28 years of dedicated stall attendance and the one time I venture out into the big man's world and that happens! I'm still mortified just thinking about it.
I didn't go to the loo the whole flight. Apart from the fact I hate being seen lining up for the toilet and then seeing the face of the person about to inherit the post-pee space after you as you leave, I didn't want to risk his attention again.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Excuse me, WTF?

Um, I've just had a 15minute phone conversation with a woman from the company who delivers my paper every morning.
For three weeks the paper wasn't delivered. Then we discovered it was being delivered out the front. For another three weeks Dad and I have been calling asking for it to be delivered to the back... where we actually live. It's not hard.
They've been filled with apologies and said yes yes yes, no problems. They actually went out with him one Saturday morning to show him exactly where it needs to go.
Well this morning I get a phone call from the company saying they're very sorry but the delivery man will not deliver the paper to our door. He'll lob it in the alley way 50m from our house, behind two locked doors, a gate an up a sandy passage, but he won't lob it at our door.
"I'm sorry we've tried but he won't do it".
Excuse me? Are you fucking serious? He's a paper delivery person. His sole job is delivering the fucking paper? How can he not deliver it to my door? How can he tell his boss he's not going to do it? How can his boss not force him to do it? He says our house is "off the round" and we should pay more.
Um, it's fine with the boss... who the fuck do you think you are?
Apparently it makes no difference that I work for the paper he's delivering.
He's also told his boss that she can't take on any extra clients because the round is too big as it is.
And it's taken them two months to convince him not to drive into a particular block of flats every morning because he wakes up a man who is dying of cancer with his headlights.
Compassion plus.
I'm so confounded. There is nothing I can do. The company don't want to sack him because "labour is hard to come by and apart from a few situations like this, he's actually doing a good job".
Umm... he's dictating terms to his employer in a ludicrous way. I don't see why the customers or customers-to-be have to suffer because of this man's misplaced egomania.

It's a burglary!

When you get back home and your things are gone... it's a burglary!
(Apologies to the BeeGees and whoever it was covered it late last decade or early this one).
May a pox fall upon the crack den of which ever fucked-up junkie decided last night he had more right to our belongings than we do. Thank you for not hurting the dog. I hope you enjoy my iPod... it's filled with Russian lessons which might confuse you a bit as I suspect you barely speak English on a good day. That was a present from my boyfriend you cnut. I don't mind you taking the work's phone but as to why you took the dead five-year-old Motorola off the counter I hadn't got around to recycling yet I am mystified. Not sure what you think you're going to sell that for. Very well done taking the charger for my phone, that was quite clever. You fucked up though because I bought it in Singapore so when you pulled it out the wall, you managed not to take the adapter with it. That should confuse the fuck out of your tiny little Ice-fucked brain.
But what really pisses me off is you took my brand spanking new Panam bag (purchased in Brisbane with great excitement) to carry all our stuff away with you. You fucking wanker! I bloody loved that bag!

But thank you for inexplicably not taking my laptop, DVD player, DVDs, CDs, camera, etc. We note you took our spare set of keys in case you feel like coming back for the items you've left behind. I shouldn't bother... I'm spending an entire day of my holidays at home now waiting for the locksmith to come.
Very best wishes for your impending overdose,
Bolton Gray.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Census for June... it has been a while since I did one of these

Reading: Just finished Holding The Man... about to start Dandy In The Underworld. I'm doing a gay lit thing at the moment.
Watching: Skins. See post below re this new obsession.
Listening: It has been Kylie X for a month or two but following a fantastic drive up the Pacific Highway with Daniel listening to Mika... I'm now listening to "Relax" on repeat for a few minutes.
Downloading: Not so much downloading as YouTubing - entire episodes of TV shows... and Mika, to be honest.
Website du jour: Skyscrapercity has been on my daily list for a while.
Café: Last time I wrote a census I said Milkd in Maylands was fab. Six months later my boyfriend has been working there for the last four months or so. Loyalty and honesty both compel me to admit that this is still my cafe of choice.
Pub: Not doing much pubbing in Perth lately. I thoroughly enjoyed my grotty night at The Beat in Brisbane. It's like a combination of the Court and Connies but with this bizarre Rise-style straight raver place downstairs in the same complex. It's been going for nearly three decades so I guess the mix works. LOL
Club: Well I'll have to say the Beat again. I haven't been anywhere else. Oh no wait... Daniel and I went to Arq on Sunday night. I don't remember much of that. God bless the Power of the Gods of Long Island Ice Tea.
Eating: Pasta I cooked up yesterday. So good.
Drinking: Long Island Ice Teas. Vodka Redbull. Gin and soda. Vodka Lime and Soda. I've been going nuts while I've been on holiday.
Wearing: Clothes that have been freshly laundered... unlike during the past week.
Last show: I went to the ballet just before my holiday and I have to say it was the most magnificent night out in forever. See post below.
Next show: I don't think I have any tickets to anything or know of anything good coming up, actually.
Can’t wait ‘til: Well all the things I was really looking forward to have come and gone. Although Thom and I have a thing tonight which should be awesome fun. And there is a gathering for Bea on I think Friday.
Most recent scoop: Well my most recent scoop was partially plucked out from under me. Less said the better. I hate the ABC.
Most recent purchase: Enough petrol to get me 1780km. A great jacket from Satch (on staff discount thank you very much). Heaps of presents, especially stubby holders.
Want but can’t afford: To be on holiday forever. Seriously considering paying off my flat ASAP and living in it... and just working enough to cover some travel and ongoing expenses. I'd like to be one of those work-six-months-travel-six-months kind of people. If I can pay the flat off in say five years, then I'll be ready to do it.
Need but can’t afford: Almost everything. It has been an expensive week or two.
Last nice act: I bought presents for people.
Last bad act: I pretended I didn't know my ex has a new boyfriend when I met him in Sydney. He just seemed to have gone out of his way not to mention it so I waited for him to 'unexpectedly' show up... which he did. Adam, I can still read you like a book. LOL. I'm pretty sure he doesn't read this any more... so let's just move on.
Bad news: Between the renovation and the holiday I am completely skint. Tell you what though, it's been a really fucking fun year from that perspective. Not every day you write a cheque for $8000.
Good news: I am only half way through my holidays.
Goal: Liz kept asking me, like repeatedly, what my goals are - where I see myself in five years. I can't pass the five year test. I don't know where I see myself. I've never really been without ambition before. I know I want to travel more. I know I want to pay off the flat so I'm debt free. But my goals have always been career related and at the moment I don't have any. I need to do a bit of soul searching on that. I'm genuinely happy now though... which is a start.
Yesterday I: Watched Skins all day.
Right now I should be:Getting ready to dash round to Thom's... he finishes work at 2pm and I have stuff I need to do first.
Later today I’m: Catching up with Thom and a friend or two for some good times.


A bit like Kato's admission on Penn Badgley, I have a bit of a thing for both coming-of-age story telling and boys in uniform. And to clarify... I'm not a paedo either. My own coming of age was perhaps a bit traumatic and I think a part of me is stuck inside 17-year-old me... which is probably more incest than paedophilia.
Anyway, I wanted to tell you all about Skins.
You might have seen it on SBS. I watched an episode of series one and liked it, but I never remember to tune into programs on TV and despite liking it, never saw it again. Then Andrew and I watched an episode of series two when I stopped with him in BrisVegas last weekend... and I became immediately hooked.
Monday I bought Series One. I had to really go looking for it as it had sold out at JB. Seems everyone is into it now. Series Two is now showing on SBS but I've watched as much as I can on YouTube already.
It is incredibly clever, original, funny, divergent, exciting story telling. I urge you all to watch it.
It's not a happy place. it's very angsty. It will fuck you up for a day or two.
But then... that's what the good stuff is supposed to do.

I always fall in love with gay teen characters. The ones who are proudly out and just being themselves. I wish that had been me. In the case of Skins, Maxxie holds a particular attraction because he also dances. Beautifully. I wish that were me.
Here he is.

It just makes me wonder... when did I stop grabbing life? Why didn't I do this shit when I was young enough to do this shit?
Anyway. Watch this series. It is fucking spectacular.

I'm back... from outer space...

You just walked in to find me here with that same look upon my face...

Hello darlings, I'm home. I had a truly fantastic week away with Daniel visiting the Allcorns, the Tourles and the marvellous Andrew. It was great just to get out of the city and the State for a week. To not have to read the paper. Not go to council meetings or think about stuff at home. I didn't even really see the news for most of a week. We listened to CDs instead of the radio and I completely chilled out.
We covered 1780km from Sydney to Brisbane via the back of Dubbo and saw some tremendous things, including the BIG guitar, banana and prawn. Photos are on Facebook if you want to take a look.
So now I'm back home and I have two weeks off. I've trusted myself to do one job a day and today it was take my drycleaning in, which I've already done and I'm bored so I'm also doing tomorrow's job which was finish my laundry. I'm going to be completely rebellious and dry them in front of the gas heater. I didn't know about the gas shortage/explosion thing until I got back from holidays so it doesn't seem real to me and I don't feel it counts therefore if I go on using gas as I always have.
I met plenty of new people while I was away but got no numbers so God knows who any of them were. Going out in Sydney was the same as always. Spastically drunk on Long Island Ice Teas and Vodka Redbull. Daniel and I felt we'd earned it.
We picked up our Wicked Van, which was rather tamely painted thank God... although it did have "Honk if you married the wrong sister" painted on the back. We got surprisingly few honks in the outback (perhaps people there don't admit such things?) but in Queensland it was out of control. Either that or Daniel and I are bad drivers and we've assumed perhaps wrongly they were honking at the tasteful screed.
Going back to Oxley Downs, or Naroo as it is actually called, just south of Dubbo, was a strange experience. It was wonderful to see Scott, Liz and Kennedy and I was so pleased to spend some real time with them - though sad the boys were at school and I didn't get to see them. Such a generous family and such a good time was had. Getting out to the Outback House homestead was a surreal experience though. It's the only way to describe it.
I guess it's a bit like a mummy of ancient Egypt. It looks about the same and it is surrounded by golden trinkets... but the life is missing. That's not the fault of Scott and Liz, who have done a truly wonderful job in preserving the place. There is nothing that could be done to make it seem less like a museum because that's what it is. It no longer has Brigid, Paul, Juli, Pierette, Persephone, Portia, Russell, Adam, Mal, Fiona, Dannielle, Claire... do you see my point?
It was like a scene from a movie for me. The kind of scene where you see the rusted old dinner bell swinging lifelessly in the wind, then you hear someone ring it and they flash back to some footage of the cook banging away at it and the children running to the kitchen for their lunch. Then it cuts back to the bell swinging lifelessly in the breeze.
It was a little sad. But I didn't cry. It was wonderful to be able to revisit it and I'm glad it is there. Very great love to Scott and Liz for keeping it.
Daniel and I went out in Brisbane too, this time with Andrew. Funnily enough I kind of know Andrew through Outback House too because at the height of it all I googled my name sliiiiiighly obsessively. That's how I came across Phil's blog. And that led to Andrews. Perhaps it was because he was cute, or perhaps because he was funny, I don't know, but I started reading it regularly. That was three years ago. I feel like we've been great mates all that time but I can't believe it has taken me so long to meet him. I was slightly nervous, but I needn't have been. He's a prince. A real find. Gorgeous and I adore him. Ever such a generous host, he showed us around and took us out on the town. Gay Brisbane is very much like gay Perth. Insular. Pretentious. Bitchy. I think I handled myself well in that I ignored almost everyone. Except for Andrew's way too heterosexual but hot and genuinely lovely flatmate Mitch.
Flying home I got to share a plane with the Fremantle Dockers, which was a slightly titilating. Who wouldn't be titilated? I mean they take the lead for three quarters, then roll over and come last. Divine.
Anyway... that's my shithouse summary of what was a truly marvellous week's holiday through the outback and two eastern seaboard capitals with my beautiful Daniel... who I love intensely and never get to spend any time with these days.
And now for another two weeks of reading, watching DVDs and trying to forget that I'm due back at work soon.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Daniel's traveling tonight on a plane...

But I'm not heading for Spain. I'm heading for Sydney, Dubbo, Coffs and BrisVegas. So excited. I get to see Daniel, Enda, the Tourles, Outback House (where I haven't been for four years), the Allcorns and dear Andrew up in Brissie.
So so excited. Hopefully will post from on the road... pictures bound to be on Facebook in about 10 days time.
Big licky love
D xxx

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ratting good read

Well I know it is not literature but that was a ratting good read. I don't spend nearly enough time reading any more but interestingly, since Thom has spent the week grinding out uni assignments, I've managed to chew through a great volume of gay chick-lit. Julian Clary, you continue to be one of my idols. A wonderfully funny book with a gorgeous level of gruesome and a delightful cast of characters. Perhaps a little too neatly wrapped up, but then a part of me finds that deeply satisfying. And great lashings of camp humour and that kind of gay love neurosis we tend to suffer from. Murder Most Fab. Fab indeed. It'll take most of my mates no more than an sitting to read it, but such a delight.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Murder Most Fab

"She insisted we drink white wine, favouring the oaky, rich Chardonnay that rolls down the throat like Spanish semen but gets you drunk and tired at the same time."
From Julian Clary's first novel, Murder Most Fab.
Which, too, is fabulous. Reading it right now.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Crabbed age and youth

The tragedy about youth is, you only get one shot at it. And if you were like me and wide-eyed to the world around you but oblivious to what lay beyond its (in my case, barbed-wired) borders, then chances are you have regrets.
For me, that regret is brought home every time I go to the ballet. As it was last night during and after the truly exquisite performance of The Taming of The Shrew.
When I was a little boy mum took me to art classes in the nearby village. I was seven and I think it was on a Saturday morning at the Parkerville Hall. My friend Melissa and her little sister went to ballet class in Mundaring. My Aunts had also done ballet in Mundaring in their time and I kind of grew up hearing a lot about it. I was fascinated with it. All I really knew was, boys didn't do ballet. And I spent most of my childhood drawing little pictures and sketches and so I was content to go to my art classes.
But there was always this nagging feeling that ballet was something for me.
I think I mentioned it to my Mum when I was about 12 or so that I would like to try ballet. She informed me I had left my run too late. I should have started when I was 5. Or 8 at the latest.
She was right, for the most part. Most dancers do start that early. God how I wish I'd pushed the point though. But then I was one of those kids how never stuck at much so it was probably, reasonably legitimately, dismissed as a flight of fancy,
I'm 28. I didn't truly discover ballet until I was in my early 20s.
I made the wrong decision. I should have pressed the point. I should have danced.
It is so beautiful. So graceful, so strong, so exquisite. Darlings, I love it. And I love dancers. And, frankly, who wouldn't dance 14 hours a day for 14 years to get an arse and legs like these...

But I left my run a little too late.
So I guess there are a few lessons to take away from this. Firstly, let your children experience everything you can - you might just let them catch their passion in time to do something about. Secondly, life is full of missed opportunities, so make the most of the ones you take.
And thirdly, I would totally be one of those pushy stage mums you see in films like Centre Stage. You know the one who's daughter drops out of ballet school before the big final performance because she never really wanted to dance, it was her mum's dream all along... not hers?
Yeah. That's me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Omigod omigod omigod!

I belong to a generation for whom even the first few notes of the theme music chill and excite. They transport us back to a time when only two agents knew the truth and battled those who didn't believe, and those who chose to hide it. A generation of boys for whom Gillian Anderson is still something of an unfinished wet dream.
A generation of 20-somethings for whom THIS TRAILER is either a chance to revisit something great, or to have a our teen memories destroyed.
I Want To Believe the new X Files movie will rock.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

An encounter with the Minister who needs only one name

Alannah: Now can I talk to you about the Northbridge Link, which you seem to be obsessed with. Honestly you're like (West Chief Reporter) Mark Drummond, scoop dooby doo.
Me: Well thank you Alannah, I'll take that as a great compliment.
Alannah: Oh... um... well it wasn't meant as one.

She gets more hilarious with each encounter. The other day she asked where "that nice Giovanni" was. I said he was covering Police. She asked if that was "more ethnic stereotyping" from the editor.

Usually I'm very proper on the phone to her but today I thought, fuck it. I'm going to fight back. So when she accused me of not "writing the right kinds of stories" I said "I didn't know you went to the same school as Jim McGinty".

She laughed.

It was a good day.

DO NOT watch this at work.

I don't just mean on mute. Seriously. Watch it at home. Leave the kids outside. Prepare to piss yourself.

Use Of 'N-Word' May End Porn Star's Career
That was a fair warning. Did you listen?
Have you been sacked?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rock-it Man!

Disappointed this doesn't have the actual animation.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hold me closer, Tiny Mincer

I'm not as eloquent as Johnsy when it comes to reviewing gigs I've been to, but I'm going to try.
Oh. My. Fucking. God.
(Told you).
Last night I joined a few thousand people in the rain to watch a man sit at a piano and sing a shitload of songs from the soundtrack to my life.

I'm so glad I did. I took Michael, one of my oldest mates, and we made a night of it. I loved every minute.
He opened, after an intro piece, with The Bitch is Back, which has never really been one of my favourites. The first song to really give me that "OhmyfuckingGodI'mwatchingEltonJohn" feeling was Tiny Dancer (Hold me closer, Tony Danza). Great track. The crowd went spastic.
Then after a couple of new tracks no one got excited about, he rolled through Daniel, Honky Cat, Rocket Man, Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting, Candle In The Wind, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Bennie and the Jets, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Philadelphia Freedom, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, I'm Still Standing, I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, Sacrifice, Crocodile Rock and his second and farewell encore, Your Song.
Well Daniel has, for obvious reasons, always been a song close to my heart. When I was a kid I asked my Mum if there were any songs with my name in it... from memory after hearing The Beatles' Hey Jude. We were in the car park at Midland Gate in her old bright green Gemini. She mentioned Elton John's Daniel. About 20 minutes later it must have come on the radio and I've loved the big homo ever since. When he sang it last night I was like six years old again and back in that car park in Midland.
Rocket Man fills me with visions flitting between Apollo 13 and Stewie from Family Guy's hilarious spoken-word rendition of the song. It's probably on YouTube if you haven't seen it.
Candle In The Wind was a very special moment... cigarette lighters up and waving everywhere. A crowd of thousands singing long is a remarkable thing to hear.
And finally, Your Song, what a brilliant encore. Michael and I had been waiting for hours for that moment. It was a spectacular ending to a concert which was right up there as one of my top concerts of all time. Right up there with Tori Amos last year for sheer spectacular musical experiences. Honestly, I could have died last night and died happy.
Michael and I have for nearly a decade had an agreement that when I hit 40 we're flying to New York, hiring a car, and driving across the USA and pitching ourselves into the Grand Canyon. I turned to him after Your Song last night and said, "shall we just go now?".
Truly, truly fantastic.
Thank you Sir Elton, you did not let me down. I still feel warm inside.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I'm gay, I know, I'm really gay, but it does not alter the fact...

...that this is the best album I have heard come out from anyone anywhere in years. Kylie, you're a freakin princess. I love you.


...this is utter gutter shite.
I can't believe it. I had just finished telling Thom Madonna had NEVER let me down in a career as long as my life. I used to dance around the living room to Holiday for crying out loud (with the girls from the neighbouring town, mind you... how did they not know?) when we popped this in the player. Oh. My. God.
I cried. Not just because she's got her vagina on the cover again (you're 49 now love, even the Confessions cover was pushing it) but because the tracks are truly, incredibly, disappointingly, ordinary.
Beyond ordinary.
Utter. Gutter. Shite.
I will still, however, pay absolutely anything and trample mincey faggots underfoot to get a ticket to one of her (four only) Australian concerts later this year.

I heart Alannah

Anyone reading this blog who knows anything about WA politics would know there is one politician above all who has a reputation for getting things done - the Train Tsarina who much like Madonna or Cher, only needs one name: Alannah.
Now because this is public and I deal with her on an almost daily basis, I obviously won't comment on anything to do with Alannah the person, the Minister, the State Builder.
But I would like to crow a little. You see, I have written more about the Perth Waterfront Project than any other reporter. It's my pet issue. I'm very close to it. I'm very deliberately and in a very calculated way, attempting to lead the charge on Waterfront reportage. I've kept the issue alive for three months. I'm slightly obsessed with it.
It is, of course, despite the Premier being the one who made the original announcement, Alannah's baby.
What has thrilled me to the back teeth has been the last two press conferences. One a couple of weeks ago and one yesterday. You see, the way it works is the Minister fronts up to the cameras and makes her statement on the latest developments, then the journos begin asking questions. Firstly, for the last decade I have always been crippled with nerves at press conferences, but not these last two. I know the issue too well. I know what to ask. I'm confident and it feels great.
Secondly, while other journos are there and while of course they ask questions (I'm not an egomaniac... well not to that degree at least), I easily ask the most questions, I like to think I ask the best questions, and... the second the Minister has finished answering a question she looks to me for the next one. Directly at me. It's great. I love it.
I guess the point of this post is that, despite what I've said below about being depressed and hating the workload and the hours and so on, I'm beginning to feel for the first time like I might actually be able to do a good job here. I'm getting across my issues and I'm getting comfortable. And I love it.
But just for the record, I don't pretend the Minister and I have any kind of special relationship. I should point out she'll still rib me or rip into me if she feels like it.
Which, as any reporter in WA will tell you, is almost even more rewarding.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Renovation part four - The Kitchen!

The kitchen before:

The kitchen after:

The kitchen before:

The kitchen after:

The kitchen before:

The kitchen after:

Just have to put the tapware back on.
And yes, I am aware the kitchen looked more modern before I renovated it. lol.

Holy Sheet

Thom mentioned yesterday the sales boy at Holy Sheet in Mount Lawley appeared really very cute and was possibly a mincer. I go in there about once a year.
Today was, following that tremendous recommendation, the day I went in there.
Well that little titilation cost me $250.
On one hand I have no idea whether the cute boy at Holy Sheet is a mincer or not.
On the other hand I have a fantastic new bedspread and sheets.
All in all I'm happy with the arrangement.
But if everyone could just refrain from mentioning they've seen cute sales boys in stores where the average price per item is $100+, that would be most helpful.
Send me pictures from your phone instead.

PS, as you can see from the image below, my obsession with all things brown continues... doing nothing to quell Thom's use of my nickname, "brown boy".
Is it because I is black?

I wish every day was Negro Day!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Did someone say... Hipp. Oh. Crit?

Everyone has a price and I learned something today:
I. Can. Be. Bought.
Unexpected pre-emptive strike by the editor this morning. Disarmed me, asked me if the rumours of my departure were true, asked me why. I explained I wanted more money and some work/life balance.
He offered me a pay rise on the spot. And answered some concerns about my workload in a nicely reassuring way.
He filled the whole bizarre experience with platitudes about my ability and potential.
It was flattering. Surprising. Welcome.
It was lovely to feel valued. A rare experience.
So I'm going to stay and see how it goes. There's only a year or so til Thom finishes uni and we can wander off into the world for a bit of an adventure. In the meantime I'll work more effectively and efficiently at the paper, covering my local government stuff. Which is an area I really like.
Sorry for dragging everyone through the wringer this last few weeks. At very least I'm happier now... and that can only be good.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Take a close look in the Mika

Excuse the bad pun, but I have a new theory.
When you die, if you were important enough, you get 30 seconds on the TV news bulletins. It will contain how old you were, the one thing people know you from, what you died from and who you are "survived by". (I have always hated that expression). It will contain whatever two of your former colleagues or close friends thought, possibly a quick quote from the PM or premier if it was a quiet news day and the journos were bored at the doorstop.
Does that really honour your life? Is it representative? I don't think it is. It's a very skewed version of the reality that was your life, usually seen through the prism the public can most identify with. All so some bored housewife with a long memory can pause before shoveling another forkful of potato nuggets into her mouth to say "oh, that's a shame".
Nup. That is not success. I reckon the definition of success is whether a montage of three to five second grabs of footage from your life would look good played under this Mika song, called Lollipop.

Surely that is something we could all aim for?

(Okay, so perhaps that particular song isn't for everyone... so I welcome other suggestions).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's time to make a change

Just relax, take it easy.
Some of you will know I occasionally suffer from incredible stomach pains. I've had them since I was 13 and the doctors have done lots of tests over the years but have never found a solution.
Sometimes coffees seems to set it off. Sometimes extreme stress.
Whatever the reason, tonight my stomach is in knots.
Tonight I think I know what the reason is though. I'm being sent a contract for a new job. I have to sign it tomorrow and send it back. I might sit down with the bosses at work and ask them what they'll offer me to stay before I go... but I really have to go.
My stomach is in pain too often these days. For all the reasons outlined in my previous post.
The job is fantastic. Awesome pay, flexible hours, city location, overtime, on call allowance, good leave and super arrangements... the usual Government stuff. And its actually a journalist's position within Government... which doesn't come up too often. And it's with a department which does stuff I really believe in. On the front foot rather than the back foot. I like that.
So the idea is I can restore some work/life balance (the cliche of the new millennium).
I'll have time for the gym and the money to pick up some PT.
I'll have time for Russian study and tutelage.
I'll have time to see all my friends and won't have to work my weekends.
Etc etc.
Just a little scared to actually leave news and the industry. I'm sure I'll cope... but it does make me nervous.
*deep sigh*

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A thankless task

Someone just sent me an email in which she said "I don't know why anyone would want to become a journalist - such a thankless task".
Nail. Head.
Journalism is a vocational thing. It's like becoming a priest. You have to love it.
Well I've stopped loving it.
I'm sick of avoiding telling people where I work because of their reactions.
I'm sick of defending my work place to opinionated know-it-alls.
I'm sick of know-it-alls ringing or emailing to complain about my stories.
I'm sick of idiots ringing me to complain about the editorials in the paper - I don't even fucking write them.
I'm sick of i'm sick of making stories out of crack pot ideas.
I'm sick of writing angles that are unfair or not quite true.
I'm sick of being made to feel inefficient, ineffectual and incompetent.
I'm sick of taking a big sigh before I answer the phone.
I'm sick of avoiding returning calls from members of the public who want to pick on something I've written.
I'm sick of being asked to cover stupid fucking non-events.
I'm sick of watching legitimate news stories go uncovered while flights of fancy are pursued at a remarkable level of resourcing.
I'm sick of getting paid peanuts for all of this.
I'm sick of not being respected.
I'm sick to fucking death of it all.
I don't love it. I hate it.
I hate waking up in the morning with a feeling of dread about what the day might hold.
I hate sighing with relief if I'm not asked to do something I'm uncomfortable with.
I hate the fact that I no longer smile and laugh. I don't see my friends any more. I'm rude. I'm aggressive. Angry. Where did I go? What happened to me?
I know this is self indulgent, but it's my fucking blog and I'll cry if I want to.
I hate my life at the moment. I hate it.
This shall pass, but right now I just wanted to explain to you all why I may not be around, may not be happy, may not be myself.
I'm trying desperately hard not to string myself up in the shed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Really not into this

There is a story in today's paper. My name is on it, but I didn't write it. I bears no resemblance to the story I wrote. Seriously. And it pisses me off.
I accept there is an editorial process but when my story is completely re-written to make it more sensational, less balanced and at the expense of accuracy, and to include information to back up the discredited and sensationalist view... then I think I'd prefer my name taken off the piece. I'm really hacked off.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Work it!

This is fabulous. It needs sound for you to get it... unless you're a perv like me in which case sound is an optional extra and the boy candy is the main attraction.

But it is still better with music. Seriously.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Renovation part three (or whatever I was up to)

The Stirling St renovation continues. You may recall the kitchen looked like this?:

Well now it looks like this:

Only less sideways. I still have problems with the photo program. I'm so computer illiterate. Nevermind.
Tiling to do still. Parquetry being done on Tuesday. Bit of touch up paint and it should be ready to roll!
Or indeed, rent.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hoots mon... me scoots, mon!

I had to take further action too. If the guilt over the amount of carbon I am responsible for each year was not enough to do it, the fact it cost me $60 to fuel up last week was. Bugger that. I'm buying a scooter.
The Carbon Neutral website tells me I will emit only about a tonne of carbon a year on it, if I do 20,000km... which I won't. Either way, I'll pay for the nine trees they will plant in my name just to clear my conscience completely.
I wrote a story last week on scooters and learned it costs about $4 or $5 a week in fuel to operate. Another account said about $150 a year. Whatev. Sounds good to me.
I figure a lot of my driving is work and back and just little trips darting around here and there. Thom will be shitting himself at this as I have been his personal taxi for the last 18 months, but I simply cannot afford $60 in petrol a week. I'm not getting rid of the car, for obvious reasons, but it doesn't need to use more than about $10 in fuel a week. The rest of the time I can scoot.
Am I nuts?

Militant Subversive Activism

I had to do something about it. I could not stand the fact that my friend Daniel (Radio Daniel, not Dancing Daniel) was so proud of his petrol guzzling car and so smug about the fact that it used so much fuel. I hated it. I had to do something about it.
So I did.
I offset his emissions for a year over at Carbon Neutral.
Then I told his girlfriend I had done it but made her promise not to raise it with him until they were full on in the middle of an argument.
Hilarity ensues, I hope.
I encourage you all to engage in subversive "fuck you" get-me-backs. It is incredibly satisfying.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Just quietly, very bloody excited

I'm treating myself a bit this year. And I'm being a better friend to some people I don't get to spend much time with.
In June I'm going on holiday for a couple of weeks. I'm flying to Sydney (being sure to see some people I've neglected while I'm briefly there) and Dancing Daniel and I are hiring a Wicked Van... and hitting the road for a week.
Like a plot for an old fashioned road movie... or possibly Priscilla, now I think about it... my bud and I are hitting the highway west and heading for Dubbo.
I haven't been there for more than three years - nearly four, by the time I get there. We're heading to Oxley Downs to stay with the Tourles and revisit the place where I ripped the testicles out of a sheep with my own teeth.
After a day or two in Dubbo we're driving back towards the coast but on a northern trajectory, stopping overnight at Coffs Harbour to break-up the journey to BRISBANE!
I haven't been there since I was a very small child and frankly do not remember a second of it, so I'm dead excited. Not least excited because I get to hang out with the transcendently fantastic Andrew in time to hit BrisVegas on a big gay weekend.
Then Daniel and I will fly home. So awesome. I cannot wait.
Now it's really just a matter of saving... which involves finishing the renovation on this flat and getting someone in there renting it so I'm not paying BOTH my mortgage and my rent. Talk about housing affordability... sheesh!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

A further note to my old chums at local papers

Dear friends, I'm not sure I explained myself well. I was having a whinge at my employers lack of interest in local government issues, the coverage of which is my domain.
On reading it back this afternoon I have a couple of concerns with the obvious interpretations.
Firstly, I wasn't remotely suggesting that I get all the news first. I'd have to be Superman (or Clark Kent, at least). There have just been a few instances where I could have beaten another news organisation but we didn't run the story when I had it for one reason or another.
The second point I was clumsily trying to get across was, there are fantastic stories out there that really really need to be out there in the public domain and as deserving of a wider audience as they may be, the only way people will hear about them is if they are printed in the local paper.
It's an important job and one that had a lot more job satisfaction than I get here, at the daily.
I'm not sure if any of you took offence or not... I couldn't quite interpret the two comments left which is why I re-read the post. Anyway, sorry for any confusion, beautiful people.

This has a whiff about it

Is it just me or is this stuff about Wayne Swan smoking marijuana and having pre-marital sex (not to mention a little-known first marriage) just a little sad?
Is this really the best the press can come up with? Is this meant to be some kind of scandal?
Trust me, I know... it is a slow news day today. I'm in the news room watching several political reporters snoring and/or talking about bouts of gastro.
But this is such desperate tripe. Really, really desperate.
He gave the information freely in an interview for a profile piece. The story in News Limited publications this morning (I think it was by Glenn Milne) made it sound like he'd spent his teenage years haunting needle exchanges and knocked up his 16-year-old dealer.
I know you want to dent the Government's ludicrously high approval rating but this isn't a whiff of a scandal... it's just plain whiffy full stop.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A note for my friends in community newspapers

My dear friends. It is a lot different, at the State's daily, to that which you probably imagine.
I know this because when I was working in country and community newspapers, I held a certain view about "the daily competition".
I always wanted to beat the West to stories. I sat nervously for days in case they ran the big scoop I was working on. I bribed and begged contacts not to go to the big end of town with the story.
There was always a great deal of satisfaction in beating the West to a story. And when they did run it, I was convinced they had read my work first. Kudos to me.
What a naive twit.
Let me tell you darlings, it is not how you think it is.
I've been made the Local Government reporter. It happened at Christmas so I've only been in the gig a couple of months. I love covering councils - I've been doing it for eight or nine years - so I was thrilled with the appointment. The charm has worn off.
Here's why.
1. I can find and write the story, but there is no guarantee it will go in the paper, no matter how good it is - there are always State, Federal, international, police and medical stories which are much more important and get better coverage.
2. I can find and get the stories FIRST, but they probably won't run for at least a week, meaning the story has been broken elsewhere by the time we go to print.
3. I can find the stories first but chances are I will pitch them and the chief of staff wont be interested in them. Further, I could read the story on the front page of the Guardian, the Herald, the Voice, the Post, the Examiner, the Advertiser... pitch a statewide angle and it still would not get passed the COS.
4. I can find the story first and pitch it, be told we're not interested and then four days later - after it has appeared in the Post of the Fremantle Gazette, or the Kalgoorlie Miner - and be asked why we didn't get the story.
It's up to you how you interpret this. With the benefit of hindsight, I can't believe I spent so much time trying to beat the big end of town when the big of town either didn't give a fuck or wasn't even watching. I guess if I knew this information while I was there, it might have encouraged me to be more bold. I think I always gave the community the best and most rounded collection of local news each week, but I could have spent less time being competitive for no reason whatever.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Action. Now.

Last night, after work, I caught up with a very dear friend. One of my oldest friends. We're busy people and don't see as much of one another as we might like so when we do see one another, it is a wonderful time. The conversation is usually very political, very rigorous and very interesting.
He is a conservative. A real one.
And I, you may have noted, am a bit of a leftie.
I would never bag this friend of mine out, but I was very upset when I left him last night.
Debate about US politics or KRudd and Carpenter... these sorts of subjects have often delivered disagreement and sometimes agreement but always respect for the others opinion. If you have to ability to articulate your reasoning, and I can see your logic, I will always respect you.
Or so I thought.
Daniel has a new car. He calls it the Land Yacht. It is an Aurion or something. If it's named after a celestial body, you know it isn't small.
I pointed out the emissions a car of that size pumps out are unacceptable and suggested he might go carbon neutral.
He shot me down. He is very cynical about how it works. He thinks carbon taxes will make things too expensive. He thinks it is ridiculous that companies are trying to sell themselves as "green".
As far as I am concerned he could not be more wrong nor more out of step with where society is heading.
I've been through many of the issues here before so I won't go through them again now. He was so strident. So unrepentant.
I looked him in the eyes... and I was trying so hard no to cry... and I put it to him like this: When we are both old men Daniel, and I pray that we get there, sitting opposite one another in Jason recliners (yours will all the bells and whistles) I'll be able to look you in the eye and say, "I was right". And I don't want to be right, because it will be too late. You're going to leave kids to inherit this planet. I am not. Think about what you're leaving behind. At least offset your car's emissions.
It was a sad note to end the night on, for me. I hope Daniel went away and thought about it.
I did.
I came home and offset another year's worth of my carbon emissions.
And, slightly drunkenly, I told Thom I wanted to do something about this. If such a well-reasoned friend of mine can be so disinterested, disbelieving, then something MUST be done. I just have to work out what that is.