Thursday, 31 January 2008

It's way too hot

Storm clouds gathering......I hope they clear the heat and humidity away.

A lazy lunch at Coogee

(Image: David Bailey)

A gorgeous day today for lunch at the Legion Club in Coogee. Superbly situated across the road from the beach the bistro is on the first floor balcony allowing splendid views of the ocean - not to mention the cute surfers returning from the beach in their damp speedos.

Ae has just joined the club and organised lunch with Ba, Sy, Hn, Bb and myself. The food fitted the setting and the helpings (unfortunately for our swelling figures) were generous. Bb ordered Blue Eye cod and Ba in a seafood mode too had a delicious looking Pasta Marinara. Sy and Hn both stuck to Caesar Salad (not my idea of fun) whilst Ae and I got stuck into T-bone steak with peppercorn sauce. I'm a sucker for that sauce.

Unsurprisingly for such a good location and such a beautiful day the balcony was packed with diners.

Driving away from lunch, Ba received a call from a Gf and arranged to meet him at 5pm. After concluding the call all that Ba could say to us when we asked whether Gf was a new beau was 'shit, shit, shit.....how do I get myself into these situations'. Sounds like an unwelcome date.

Rats

Banners on display in Sydney's CBD promoting the festival for Chinese New Year. It is the Year of the Rat. I think most gay men can tell stories of rats they have known.

A market to celebrate the New Year is being held this weekend in Belmore Park near Chinatown.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Rufus Wainwright

Mk and I went to See Rufus Wainwright tonight. Neither of us is familiar with his work but a capacity audience clearly was and responded adoringly to each number. It was a very enjoyable show. Rufus displayed considerable diversity in his choice of songs and also in his costumes. Before interval he appeared in a dazzling Liberace style suit and after interval reappeared dressed like an Austrian boy scout. For an encore, Rufus turned out a la Judy Garland in high heels, long stockings, coat and fedora. A fun night.
Rufus performed at the State theatre, a 1930s movie house that no longer shows movies apart from exceptional events such as the annual Sydney Film Festival. The theatre was not designed for stage productions and is hindered by a small stage, wings and backstage facilities. Nonetheless, the theatre is a marvel and a great location simply because of its lavishness and atmosphere. The picture above is taken inside the auditorium and the picture below is in a foyer where many television advertisements have been filmed promoting glamorous products.

David Beckham

(AP image)

David Beckham intrigues me but sometimes I have to wonder. It's ironic that he is wearing a Tee which reads 'Protect the skin you're in' when his own skin is covered in tattoos.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Edward Scissorhands

Just saw a news item on television about Matthew Bourne's ballet version of Edward Scissorhands which is coming to the Sydney Opera House in April. It included an interview with the dancer Matthew Malthouse. He is a real cutie and looked very much like Johnny Depp in his makeup.

Too much humidity

I feel really tired and it's not just because it was busy at the hospital today. I didn't sleep well last night. It was too humid and I felt sweaty in bed. I got up a number of times and tried to get myself sleepy by watching television. That usually works but not last night. I even thought about masturbating and making myself sleepy that way but I just felt too listless in the damp to try.

February is just around the corner and it is such a humid month in Sydney. I hope we have some relief tonight. I don't want to lie awake for hours again tonight.

From the wards

(Source: The New Yorker)

As I suspected, it turned out to be a pretty busy day for Admissions at the hospital. Not only was it the day after a long weekend but also the first day back after the Christmas/New Year break for many.
Lots of last minute admissions arrived straight from the admitting doctors' offices to be squeezed into the admissions program. Hopefully those admitting doctors are more on the ball than the one depicted in the New Yorker cartoon.
Lunch in the hospital's staff cafeteria was fun with Cs, Da, Jl and Il all comparing notes about movies and shows we had seen. Cs and I became more queenly and excitable the longer the conversation continued. Il shocked Cs by disapproving of two men kissing on stage at the 2003 Emmys ceremony but Cs bit his tongue and stayed mute when I think his first reaction was to bite back. Il mollified Cs somewhat by saying she didn't want to see heteros kissing on stage at these ceremonies either. I couldn't tell whether this was a genuine view or a statement intended to soothe Cs' ruffled feathers.
We also gossiped about Ca taking over as a manager from next week. Unfortunately Ca's reputation precedes her and it looks like when she takes over the volunteers will be wary. Ca faces a difficult task to win respect.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Dwarves' Trojan horse bus raids

This odd item appears in Sydney's Daily Telegraph today.

Cunning gangs are robbing unsuspecting bus passengers blind by smuggling dwarves into suitcases and getting them to raid luggage holds.

The thieves then take the booty back to their hiding place and wait to be collected by mates when the bus reaches its destination.

Thousands of dollars in cash, jewellery and other valuables have been pilfered in recent months, Britain's The Sun newspaper reports.

The raids began on Sweden's Swebus, with a spokesman confirming: "We have had reports about several thefts by dwarves on the stretch between Vasteras and Stockholm. We're thinking of installing video cameras."

A Stockholm Police spokesman admitted: "We are looking at our records to identify criminals of limited stature."

Distractions

It's not often that a cute younger man appears at our bridge club so I'm rarely distracted by the sight of other players in the room. Tonight, however, a younger man was playing and whilst he wasn't super cute his polo shirt was sufficiently short to display his bare torso as he leaned backwards and forwards in his chair. He was sitting level with me at the adjoining table and I spent far too much time snatching glances. Needless to say I made some silly mistakes playing and bidding and we didn't do very well. We finished 7 out of 9 with 47.5%

The Golden Compass


Went to see The Golden Compass with Mk and Da at their invitation. It is not a film I would have gone to see through my own initiative. I am not into storylines that revolve around fables mixed with mythology and symbolism. I enjoyed the early moments of the movie but the longer it went the less focussed I became. The hierarchies of beings and the unfamiliar names confused me. I liked the look of the film and compliment it's makers for the special effects but I can't say I would rush to see any sequels. Mk has read the books and enjoyed the film immensely. There were many families in the audience who apparently were not worried by the implied violence depicted on the screen. Seemingly the children liked it as I didn't notice any signs of restlessness amongst them.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Memories of Summer

Today is a beautiful summer's day again, the middle day of the Australia Day long weekend. After doing some shopping I went for a walk down the hill to Rushcutters Bay and the park where so often as a young man I visited at night to meet with other gay men. As was the case then the summer days brought out families, couples and the unattached to sunbathe, play ball games and picnic. When I arrived today groups of people were taking the shade of trees to enjoy a lunchtime meal.
Adjoining the park is the Cruising Yacht Club, the home base for yachts that annually sail to Hobart in the Boxing Day blue water classic. As the photo taken today shows the berths were packed with yachts glistening in the midday sun.
Back in the 1970s the less enlightened days when homosexual acts were illegal the park above was a meeting place at night for gay men. It could get very busy late at night. Our meetings there were not without risk. We constantly had to be on the lookout for the police who would enter the park with darkened cars and suddenly turn their spot lights on to try to catch men engaged in 'lewd' behaviour. There were occasional gay bashings and even several murders. Looking back, I am amazed how casually I took to participating in adventures there.

Instant Messaging - a conundrum

To IM or not IM; that is the question.
Instant Messaging can be such a useful tool but why is it that it works in inverse proportion to my interests. I can bet that those who I really want to engage in IM are taciturn or don't reply at all whilst those who I am least interested in want to IM away with me endlessly?

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Into the Wild

I saw this movie at a second attempt this afternoon. My first attempt two weeks ago ended sadly just 30 minutes into the film which was halted when a patron suffered a heart attack and had to be attended by paramedics. I heard later he died the next day.

I am by nature a city boy and not really into the wilderness but this film is very moving. It is superbly photographed and there is not a weak performance amongst the actors. Knowing that the story is true made it very poignant and the family members who were consultants to the producers deserve some credit given that the parents are not portrayed in a favourable light.

Assuming that the film is an accurate telling of the hero's experiences some things surprised me. One is that he remained a meat eater for so long and another that he carried various books around with him adding weight to his pack. Finally, I wonder how the bus he lived in, in Alaska, came to be in such a remote location.

I saw the film at the Chauvel Cinema, an art house twin cinema set inside the Paddington Town Hall (pictured). This cinema is named after Charles Chauvel, a pioneering Australian filmaker.

Paddington Market


Scenes today at Paddington Market on a summery Australia Day. The arts, crafts and fashion market operates on Saturdays and is located alongside a church in Oxford Street Paddington. It attracts many locals and tourists. Some Japanese tourists approached me there and asked for directions to The Rocks Market which is a different market altogether about 10 kilometres away.

Australia Day



Today is Australia Day marking the day in 1788 when Europeans landed at Sydney Cove to commence European settlement of the continent.


Awards in the Order of Australia are announced this day and of interest to gay men this year is the awarding of an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) to Peter Travis (now aged 80) who created Speedos in 1961. He is pictured above on Bondi Beach with the Speedo bathing suit modelled by his nephew Jamie Travis.


Country singer Lee Kernaghan was named 2008 Australian of the Year and world MotoGP champion Casey Stoner was named Young Australian of the Year.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Cruising


The Pacific Dawn arriving in Sydney Harbour just after 6am today. I have spent most of my life 'cruising' for sexual partners but only once have I taken a sea cruise. That was in 1973 on P&O's Himalaya which probably long since has been broken up and sent to Davy Jones' locker. A cruise in those days was an aggressively heterosexual activity and gay men today are fortunate that specialist cruises are being marketed for the GLBT community.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Blood brother

I visited the local pathology service this morning to have my annual blood tests, part of my Doctor's routine checks of my health. I wonder if healthy heterosexual men are blood tested for as many conditions as are their gay brothers? I suspect not. I imagine my testing order screams "this is a gay man, test him for everything" judging by the multitude of codes it bears and tube samples taken.

A couple of years ago the technician who took my samples was a gay acquaintance. It was my most enjoyable blood test ever. Whilst he worked on my left arm extracting samples, my right arm was deep in his pocket testing his package. It was the only time I was sorry when the testing ended. Unfortunately he has retired and the subsequent visits handled by female technicians have been pleasant but not as thrilling.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Sailing on Sydney Harbour

Wednesday afternoon club sailing on Sydney Harbour on a gentle summer's afternoon as seen from my apartment.

Farewell Heath

Heath Ledger, star of Brokeback Mountain amongst other films and Australian actor, dead at 28.



Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Losing my cool before turning hot

My friends often comment on my relaxed and even temperament. I rarely get angry but today was an exception. We had a most demanding woman making enquiries at the hospital today, simply riding roughshod over a number of staff members in the process. I couldn't believe her rudeness and I told her so. Her relaxed reaction to my criticism indicated that this was not the first time she had received it. I was told later she is connected to a well known business family in Sydney and that she raises large amounts of money for charity. Money may purchase her influence in the community but in my opinion it doesn't buy her good character.

I remained hot under the collar for an unnecessarily long time after the encounter and eventually found a way to unwind by giving a quick suck and wank to a guy I occasionally see around the traps who I luckily ran into a short time later at my local shopping centre. Thank goodness for sex.

Monday, 21 January 2008

...and how did my partner and I fare tonight at bridge? We finished 10th out of 11 pairs with 39.80%. Basically we bid and played shithouse. I wish they'd robbed the club of our results!

Modern times

The bridge club I play at is located within a Returned Services Club; a licensed club containing bistro, poker (slot) machines, bars and other social facilities. On Monday nights whilst bridge club members are playing bridge in club rooms on Level 2, a 'Texas Hold Em' poker game is played in the main body of the club on Level 1.

Tonight, four armed men dressed in balaclavas, entered the licensed club and held 60 patrons hostage whilst they robbed it of the evening's takings. Meanwhile 44 bridge club members (me included) were upstairs playing bridge blissfully unaware of the drama unfolding downstairs. The first we knew of the robbery was when a Police Inspector entered our club room to inform us.

In a surreal situation, the Inspector then permitted us to complete our bridge game before we dispersed to our homes 30 minutes later whilst the 60 witnesses downstairs faced a long and late evening in the club being interviewed for evidence relating to the robbery.

I can't imagine what our reaction might have been had shots been fired downstairs. Would we have recognised what was happening? Would we mainly senior aged bridge players have reacted bravely or foolishly? I'm glad no shots were fired and apparently noone was injured but it is eerie to think of us playing our innocent card game whilst something sinister was being played out only a few metres away.

The 'ideal' Aussie garden

I took this photo when visiting the National Museum on Sunday. I think they said it is called the ideal Australian garden because it is mostly concrete. Obviously an Aussie joke.

Back to work

Returned to hospital work today after my Christmas/New Year break. Some of the other volunteers had returned last week but the hospital is not yet back to full steam and I think they had a quiet time.

Monday is medical records day for me and I arrived in the area to be greeted by the paid staff as though I had just returned from morning tea rather than a month's holiday. I don't think this was through any thoughtlessness. They are always busy in the registry and I think they were focussed on their looming deadlines.

Ma had a mountain of records for me to work on and there will inevitably be a backlog until beyond February when the other volunteer, Fn, returns from her overseas holiday and can do her share.

During morning tea I saw the gorgeous gay Israeli wardsman chatting with an orderly who shared the Israeli's swarthy looks and beard style but somehow did not exude the same degree of sexiness. My fellow volunteer, Cs, has the hots for the wardsman too and is always chatting him up at the reception desk.

On a more mundane level at lunch, Cs, also on his first day back, told me he is testing a vaporising machine at night to address his sleep apnoea. He has named the machine 'Brad'. I asked Cs whether he and Brad had yet had a threesome and received a typically oblique response.

Cs has remained very quiet about his sex life usually implying that it is non existent but I assume he and his long term friend, the other Cs, enjoy a shared sex life as well as friendship.

Of course, I could be wrong. The two Cs's could merely be good gay friends in the way that Ma and I are. Although Ma and I started off our relationship each with the hope that it might be sexual not just platonic we quickly realised neither of us was particularly attracted to the other sexually. We have since enjoyed a close relationship based on common interests in cinema, theatre and discussing and exchanging pics of cute guys. Our friends may imagine we are having sex but we aren't.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Back from the capital

I'm back from Canberra and glad to be home. As I predicted it rained the entire 300kms drive down and all the next day in Canberra too. This meant no long walks with Da but a weekend of museum visiting.

First stop, Saturday, was the National Archives where to my surprise and delight one of the computerised displays featured a random family history which included a document signed in 1957 by a man who was to be my boss in the early 1970s. Then to Old Parliament House and the National Portrait Gallery where there was a fascinating range of portraits of the famous and anonymous as part of a portrait competition.

After a late breakfast on the Sunday we visited the National Museum where we focussed on a gorgeous display of Papunya (indigenous) art plus an hilarious display of the 'best' cartoons from 2007 most of them highly unfavourable to our recently ousted Prime Minister. Then on to the National Library to see a display about the Camaleers from Afghanistan/Pakistan who worked the Outback from the mid 1800s onwards.

In between there was time to watch hours of tennis from the Australian Open in Melbourne including some exhausting five setters and a couple of meals out with Kh and Ae both whom looked well following viruses.

The drive home this afternoon was mostly in sunshine but a massive storm hit us on the M5 in Sydney and the last 30 minutes was driven in almost blinding rain.

Friday, 18 January 2008

For times when we think we have it tough

An interesting piece on wealth and nutrition at http://nickwallacesmith.blogspot.com/ - "Confronting Having and Not Having" It certainly makes you think.

Canberra bound

Off to Canberra this afternoon to stay with Da for two nights. It's my first return to Canberra in years. Nothing special planned but knowing Da we'll probably be going for a few long walks. I hope my feet are up for it as I have had some problems lately.

The three hours drive down could be a bit murky as Sydney has a forecast for frequent showers and Canberra's forecast is for increasing showers. Looks like rain most of the way.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Doctor.....no

Went to the doctor to renew my prescriptions. Typically, I arrived early for my appointment and equally typically he kept me waiting. Fine print in the Hippocratic Oath apparently includes the clause 'I shall keep patients waiting'. My blood pressure was fine for a change and my weight was up (unfortunately not a change). Must cut out what I love - rice, pasta, chocolate, hearty servings.

After the appointment and the usual lecture to eat less I popped in next door to Betty's Soup Kitchen for an early dinner. One of the advantages of Betty's apart from it's cheap fare is the excellent view it provides of men walking up Oxford Street. Being the going home peak time I was rewarded with a seemingly endless parade of fruits in suits. My goodness an arse can look good in a well cut suit.
Lunch today with Kn. As usual, Kn was lively and full of gossip. I was surprised to see him unshaven for the first time and he explained that his rowing team is growing beards for their appearance in the Gay Games in Melbourne in February. I envy his fitness and healthy looks but, of course, he does a lot of hard work to keep that way. His latest conquests include an English lawyer and a handsome bar manager who he had his eye on for a long time. It never ceases to amaze me that his dalliances often are fleeting. With his good looks and generous spirit, I'd expect him to have no difficulty finding a life partner, yet his relationships are as transient as those of we mere 'plain Janes'.

The games teenagers play

Sydney's Daily Telegraph reports today that the 16 years old party giver who achieved 'global infamy' faces charges of producing child pornography!

"It is understood the charge relates to images of semi-naked girls captured on the teenager's mobile phone during the weekend bash. The photos were allegedly taken during a game of Twister."

He is scarcely more than a child himself. This serious charge apparently is being contemplated by the Victoria Police, the august body whose representatives pepper sprayed members of the crowd at the Australian Open on Tuesday. Curiouser and curiouser.....

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

...and whilst on gay USA Bloggers.....

...aren't they a fit lot? Almost without exception their blogs contain references to their gym visits. Some even set out details of their gym programs complete with graphs and charts. I made several unenthusiastic visits to a gym way back in about 1985 when I was living in Canberra (where there was little other entertainment available) and quickly decided that was not my idea of fun. In those days I was still young and sexually active enough for my sex life to provide aerobic and related benefits for my body. Now I'm older and my sex life is.....well let's just say, sporadic....and what was a lean and unmuscular body has become a flabby and unmuscular body.

USA Blogs and the primaries

Have been reading a few blogs by gay bloggers in the USA the past couple of days and am impressed with the thoughtfulness of their writings. Quite a few have commented in detail about the primaries and almost to a blogger the ones I read are supporting Democrat candidates. I don't know whether this is representative generally of gays in the USA or (perhaps more likely) a reflection of writing (and authors) that interests me.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Corey Delaney - Party planner

This guy could be coopted to organise the next Rave.

Fairfax News reports:

The parents of a teenager who hosted a raucous house party in Narre Warren on Saturday night have demanded their son apologise but the 16-year-old was unrepentant yesterday, saying he had done nothing wrong.
In fact, Corey went one step better yesterday. "Best party ever, that's what everyone's saying," was his verdict.
When asked by the Nine Network what advice he had for teenagers considering throwing a party while parents were away, he said: "Get me to do it for you."
Steve and Jo Delaney cut short their Gold Coast holiday after a party at their house attracted up to 500 alcohol-charged youths — who damaged police cars with bottles and had to be dispersed with the help of a police helicopter.
Steve Delaney questioned if he could trust Corey any more. "Horrified. (I) just can't believe what's happened. Our son has gone totally behind our back," he told Channel Seven. "So embarrassed for our neighbourhood. Just can't believe what they must have gone through."
He said his son pulled out of the family trip at the last minute, saying he had to work.
Ms Delaney said: "I can't believe that Corey would do this to us to start with. Honestly, he must have planned the party."
The teenager said yesterday he had ignored his parents' phone calls and would not be at home when they returned. It could get worse for Corey with Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon saying the police were considering billing him up to $20,000 for the intervention.
Neighbours called police after the number of teenagers, attracted via text messages, the internet and email, swelled to 500. Ms Nixon said if Corey did not pay, the community in effect would pay for his irresponsibility.
Up to 30 police attended the party in Galloway Drive along with dog squads, transit police, divisional vans and a critical incident response team.


Corey Delaney as seen on Channel 7.

Elvis Rudd

Local radio is amusing listeners this afternoon with gossip that our new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, took advantage of the Christmas/New Year break to grow his sideburns a la Elvis Presley. Mmmmm, I don't think so and he still looks nerdy to me (below, right).

Gorgeous tennis

One reason, twice over, to start watching tennis. Scenes from the Australian Open yesterday.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Blackbird

Tonight M and I saw the last of our 2007 subscription plays, 'Blackbird' directed by Cate Blanchett. The story is about a meeting between a man and a woman 15 years after they had a sexual relationship when he had been 41 and she just 12 years of age. This, of course, presented some disturbing moments but Paula Arundell as the woman was excellent in her role. I can't say that I enjoy this kind of play but I admire the efforts of the cast and the creative team that bring it to fruition.

Flower arrangement

One of the other residents in my building makes flower arrangements for our foyer. This is her latest work incorporating a clear plastic tube. It is not one of my favourites. What do you think?

Learning to be gay

I sometimes wonder about the self image of those drivers who are confident enough to drive around in cars bearing registration plates such as 2SEXY4U. Today I saw a lurid green Kia sedan bearing the plate FA11RY. In addition the car displayed a P plate denoting first year driver. Do you think he is learning to be gay?

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Line of Beauty

Watched episode 1 of 'The Line of Beauty' tonight featuring an actor named Dan Stevens playing the lead character.



All the way through I had a nagging thought that he both looked and sounded like another famous British actor but I could not think who. After a while I decided that Stevens looks like Dougray Scott but I still haven't remembered who it is he sounds like.

Crossed glances

Some straight men are not threatened by an admiring glance from a gay man. Not so the attractive man purchasing a tuna pasta salad at my local Deli this morning. He returned my glance with a piercing Robert De Niro style look that silently screamed 'you lookin at me?' What a pity as he was so ruggedly attractive. He looked a lot like Ron Livingstone of 'Clerks' and 'Sex and the City' fame.


Saturday, 12 January 2008

Driving in cars with boys

I wish. Driving around today I enjoyed the sight of a number of attractive men in passing and nearby cars. At least, they looked sexy from the chest up; all that I could see of them from my car. Of course I will never see again, let alone meet, 99.9% of these anonymous beauties. But what if just one of them had the potential to be the love of my life? I'll never know.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Delicious

Watched a recording tonight of 'The Chatterly Affair' and enjoyed it immensely. I was particularly taken with Rafe Spall who is very cute - not to mention his impressive display of full frontal nudity.


Bills

A mailbox full of bills this afternoon confirmed the end of the Christmas/New Year period more emphatically and less poetically than 12th night.

Relief

Just received a call from A to let me know her beloved dog has been cleared of cancer fears. She had been so worried. Her joy was obvious. I am very happy for them both.

Dummy

OK, now I know how easy it was to create those links! I'm getting there.

New blogger's trials and tribulations

OK, so far so frustrating. I am trying to add some blog links I read. Although the names appear on my blog, the links don't. Reading 'Help' hasn't made it clearer......yet. Hope I don't get discouraged this early on.

First go

I am inspired by reading other guys' blogs to start one of my own. I don't know whether it will live on or gain any readership but, hey, who knows what lies ahead.