Sunday, September 27, 2009

Myer catalogue

Hmmm...I wonder if this guy in the Myer catalogue is the same guy who works as a back up dancer at the Greyhound on a Saturday night?

Am loving...

...the political works of artist, Adam Hill.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My next work purchase...

After a rather hectic week trying to get all my shit together for the trip to Canberra, it was nice to receive a letter in my pigeon hole telling my that my promotions application has been successful. So...starting from January next year, I'll have the word 'senior' added to my title.

Hmmm....I wonder if I should use the salary increase to buy some new leather elbow patches? Every academic should own at least one jacket with leather elbow patches right?

...or, better still, maybe I can get a new pair of nerdy scientist glasses. This pair looks pretty intellectual dont you think?

...Ohhh...what about a new lab coat? I don't actually own a lab coat. A lab coat adds instant credibility and will make me look 'learned'. Hmmm...lab coat...

Back in Canberra

Am back in Canberra for a week or so to attend a work conference and a wedding. Had to make my flight booking through the work travel provider who seem to go out of their way to make the reservation experience as expensive, time consuming and frustrating as possible. Neither my reservation number nor my name was registering at the Virgin Blue checkin kiosk. I was already frustrated by the same travel provider earlier this week trying to book flights for Berlin (they gave me a quote to Frankfurt instead). I did, eventually, manage to get myself checked in and after a harrowing descent into Canberra (I sat next to a nervous passenger), I was met by family and was wisked away for lunch.

The timing of the conference and the wedding this week was sheer coincidence ...a close friend announced his wedding plans at very short notice (hmmm...I wonder if they are 'with child'). The ceremony is to take place at their house. The dress code is 'lounge suit/garden party'. Not sure what 'garden party' means and, unfortunately for me, the suit I bought in Europe a few years ago is a bit tight after a winter spent wallowing in excessive feast (damn those carbs, hearty soups, and spicy curries). I doubt I'll be able to whip myself back into shape before the wedding, especially with plans to catch up with friends and colleagues almost every night I am here. Sigh.

Being the social butterfly that I am, I've already caught up with two other friends since my arrival early this morning. I met up with two of my best friends, Dan and Amy, for a coffee at the National Gallery. The brutalist building is undergoing major rennovations at the moment. It's all a bit of a mess. I found out that Dan and Amy are soon to leave Canberra to head over to the US where Dan will be working as a computer games animator. Don't think Amy (originally from the US) is terribly keen to head back across the Pacific but, alas, she is playing the supportive wife. I'll miss them dearly. Both were hung over from Dan's farewell drinks last night so, after only a brief catch up, I told them to go home for a siesta. After parting ways, I went around for a quick look at the national collection. I really liked this new acquisition in the Asian section...

Apart from catching up today with Dan and Amy, I think I'm going to try to keep a relatively low profile so I can chill out before the conference and spend more time with the family.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back to the Future

I just received a piece of mail with these unusual stamps stuck to the front. Australia withdrew 1 and 2 cent coins in the early 90s. These stamps were first issued in 1973!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blog reflections

I stumbled across a blog today written by someone on the otherside of the world, a faceless person who, like some many other bloggers, writes about her life and vents about the things that frustrate her. As I was reading the blog, it soon became apparent that I knew a lot more about her than what the blogger had intended the rest of the world to know. The boss she is bitching about is someone I have met. The friends I know probably know her too. Despite being in the public domain, I do not intend to tell these mutual acquaintances. Somehow I feel that it would be a betrayal of privacy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A different perspective

A friend from Sydney was in town and she introduced Nathan and me to one of her dearest friends, a remarkable 66 year old gay man who lived in Fitzroy. He invited us to his home yesterday afternoon for tea. I had such a great time that I ended up dragging Nathan over again today. R is a man who is immensely proud of his two sons. One is an architect; the other owns his own business. R shows us old photos and recounts early memories of his two boys. When he is speaking about his kids, R's eyes sparkle. Unfortunately, these memories are all that he has at the moment because R's sons are no longer speaking to their father. In fact, they haven't spoken to him for 14 years; not since R came out to his family. What a tragedy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Worst brunch ever

Caught up with a friend for brunch on Sunday. We ended up walking over to Waterfront City at the northern end of the Docklands to an italian place. Given that I had another lunch gathering at 1.30pm, I decided to be a lesser pig than usual and settled on the banana porridge (instead of my usual greasy fry up). Big mistake. I've never ordered porridge at a restaurant before but I had expected it to be rich and creamy and gooey and delicious. The porridge I ended up getting was none of these things. It was dry, and coarse and sickly sweet (much like some people I know). It looked like it would be better utilised as a facial mask than something you should attempt to swallow for nutritional gain. Next time, I'm going to stick with the greasier breakfast options.

On the wish list...

Nate and I went for lunch on Victoria Street on Saturday. We checked out an aquarium store that had a tank full of these tiny red shrimp. Now Nathan wants to get some as pets (he spent the whole weekend coming up with names for the shrimp).

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Hospital maternity ward, room 4A. Angry man says to the hysterical woman who had just given birth to his baby: "I'd better be getting my fucking share of the baby bonus". Very sad.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The smouldering trailer

I was walking back from lunch and saw a woman get out of her car at the traffic lights. At first, I thought it was an impending road rage incident about to unfurl. However, it soon became apparent that the woman was actually telling the driver of the car in front that her trailer was on fire. The good samaritan even had a bottle of water handy to douse the flames.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


There was an oceanic art auction last night in Sydney. I submitted a form for a telephone bid on several of the lots. I've never been to an art auction before so the idea of placing bids over the phone made the whole experience doubly daunting. The way it works seems straightforward enough. Someone from the auction house rings you up a few lots ahead of the items that you are interested in. The catch is that you have to communicate your bid to the sales rep whilst, at the same time, trying to battle the bad phone reception and the voice of the auctioneer in the background. The pace is also scarily fast...the auctioneer gets through approximately 80-100 lots per hour. The sound made by the fall of the hammer is pretty unequivocal though. So...for my first auction experience, I ended up with this:

...and this...