Sunday, June 28, 2009

Why I love my job

I had been feeling a bit disillusioned a few months ago about the politics of work in terms of what some of my colleagues will do to advance their careers (and what I hope I can successfully avoid). Last night, I got an unexpected affirmation that vindicated my decisions to concentrate on doing my job to the best of my abilities and leaving the smooching, nest-lining and brown-nosing to others.

The affirmation occcurred at the most unlikely of places...The Greyhound hotel. Nate and I decided to take one of my research collaborators there last night after finding out that he, too, is gay. Anyhoo...we got there early and there was (as expected) a tribute to Michael Jackson being played out on the big screens and monitors in the form of back to back video clips before the start of the drag shows. After watching 'thriller' (which, by the way, is a bad choice considering that Jackson plays a dancing corpse in the clip), I walk up to the bar and order my drinks from a cute bar tender with unusual lip piercings. He gave me my drinks and when I took out my money to pay, he signalled for me to put the cash away. He turned to me and said..."You gave the bast lectures. These are on me."

Monday, June 22, 2009

The visual diary that never was

Was inspired by Evolkween's visual diary and wanted to compile one of my own. Unfortunately, I left my camera in the office over the weekend. So here is the story of my weekend told using other people's pictures.

8am: Relaxing with chinese tea freshly made using my bodum teapot.

11am: Lunch at the Grand BBQ in the Target Centre in the city

12pm: Wandering around Gertrude and Smiths Streets with Nathan, checking out galleries, clothes shops and cafes.

2pm: Carrying this back on tram.

6pm: home-made dinner of garlic prawns and rice

10am: Brekky - cheese plate

11am: Sifting through other people's junk at the Camberwell flea markets

2pm: Scoffing down the best sticky date pudding I've ever eaten (at Globe cafe on Chapel Street)

4pm: Checking out the make-shift Florence Broadhurst shop at Docklands

6pm: Eating lamb stew with mashed potato

Friday, June 19, 2009

Overheard on the train

Took off from work early yesterday with a colleague who was also heading back into the city. We were sitting in the carriage minding our own business when we hear an altercation taking place. One of the offenders left at the next stop leaving the two other guys behind. One of them turns to the other and says, "Did you hear what he said? He said to me...with a body like yours, I'm surprised you didn't get fucked in prison". I bit my lower lip trying not to laugh.

Sho sho

The decor was amazing and rather theatrica,l with packets of noodles and baskets of tea leaves beautifully arranged around the open kitchen. Even the roast duck and char siu hanging on the racks seemed to have been arranged like an art installation, the whole effect enhanced by strategic lighting against a backdrop of red tiles that look like the scales of a dragon. Without a doubt, this has to be one of the most beautiful chinese restaurants I have ever seen.

The food, on the other hand, was reasonable but nothing to really rant and rave about. Nathan loved his Char Kway Teow with prawns and chinese sausage butit's almost double the price of what you'd expect to pay at a more modest-looking restaurant. I really wanted to order a noodle dish but was rather surprised by their modest offerings, especially considering how much the restaurant had been spruking the noodle-making powers of the head chef. Most of the noodles I saw on the menu were of the commercial - rather than the freshly hand-made - variety (e.g. rice vermicelli, rice noodles). I settled for an Assam snapper curry instead. This was served with tomato, ochra and mint. It was suppose to have tamarind in it but I couldn't really taste the pungent sourness. I must go back, however, to try their impressive selection of chinese teas.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sho Noodle Bar

Nathan and I were suppose to go out for dinner last night. Unfortunately, I forgot and had dinner prepared by the time Nathan came home so we decided to reschedule for tonight. The plan is to go to the Sho Noodle Bar which is located within the main gaming area of Crown Casino. Not really a fan of the casino but I am easily swayed by the promise of food.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I seem to be rather recalcitrant when it comes to facebook. Yes, I have signed up for facebook but my motives are not so much about social networking but, rather, to keep in touch with family. And yet, every few months, I get friend requests from people (usually friends) who are facebook junkies. It always takes me a couple of months before I get motivated enough to log on and answer their friend requests. Several friends have now started to organize social activities via facebook. I am on there so infrequently that I find myself either missing anouncements about the important get-togethers or getting in trouble for not checking or replying to my messages. It's all terribly frustrating. I find that I am being dragged into this sweeping phenomenon against my will.

But today I had my first insight into just how nice facebook ca actually make someone feel. Sitting in my email inbox was a message from a guy I had not seen for over twenty years! We were in the fifth grade together. He had seen me on TV a year ago and wondered if it was the same person that he had gone to school with. I've thought about the guy over the years and it was nice to see that he has been doing well (and, incidentally, has grown up to be a total hunk too). The message he sent was extremely nice, recounting the memory of someone who he remembered as being kind. What a lovely message. Totally made my day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My first meme...

...was inspired by Fletcher Beaver.

1. When was the last time you cried?
When I saw my grandmother in hospital after she had her stroke. She died two weeks later.

2. Have you ever faked sick? get out of swimming carnival when I was a kid.

3. What was the last lie you told?
I can't remember but it was probably a white lie ;-)

4. Have you ever cried during a movie?
Yes. I cried during Life is Beautiful, an italian film about the holocaust.

5. Who was the last person you couldn't take your eyes off of?
My partner of course!

6. Have you ever danced in the rain?
Nope. I've stood outside in the rain but never danced around.

7. Have you ever been drunk?
It depends who you ask. I say 'no' but my colleagues beg to differ. I'm not a drinker but made an exception during my PhD party. I drank a lot but I wasn't the one who ended up spewing up my guts in the wee hours of the morning.

8. Have you ever tried drugs?
No. Nothing elicit. Eaten plenty of endangered species but never tried drugs.

9. Do you smoke?
No. I can't stand cigarettes.

10. What’s the farthest you've ever gone on a dare?
I'm a bit of a chicken so I generally try not get myself in situations where I would have to do anything too daring.

11. What is your full name?
Sorry, it'll have to be Adaptive radiation....I'd prefer not to have my students stumble upon my blog and constrain my ability to use this forum. If you really want to know, drop me an email and I might devulge my first name.

12. What is your blood-type?

13. Have you ever been in a car accident?
Yes but nothing serious. A car crashed into the bus I was on a few weeks ago. The driver looked pretty pissed but then he saw our bus driver...a big burly Moari bloke with imposing tattoos.

14. How old were you when you had your first kiss?
Thirty! Let's put this in perspective though. I only came out when I was 28.

15. Who was your first kiss?
His name was Mick.

16. Have you ever had an online relationship?
No. Well, kind of. Nate and I actually met online but we dated and got to know one another the old fashion way. The first date lasted 3 days.

17. Have you ever had phone sex?
No. I'm more of a visual person.

18. Have you ever been rejected by a crush?
No. I generally don't reveal my feelings to the people with whom I have crushes.

19. What is your favourite sport to play?
I like walking but not sure if that counts. I played volley ball (badly) at uni.

20. Have you ever made a prank phone call?
When I was a kid (this would have been way back when I was less than six years old). I dialled some random number and told the woman who answered not to bother cooking dinner because I had dinner plans already.

21. What’s your favourite childhood memory?
Playing with lanterns during chinese new year in Hong Kong. The good part of the memory didn't last long because the lantern went up in flames and I bawled my eyes out.

22. Is there anything that you have done that you regret?
Yes. I was quite a horrible brother to my two younger sisters and teased them incessantly.

23. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid. I've always loved animals (and fish in particular) so I'm pretty much living my dream job working as a scientist.

24. What is your political persuasion?
I have left-leaning tendencies.

25. Have you ever had cybersex?
I'm picturing avatars and high tech sensory equipment so I will say 'no'.

26. Do you believe in god?
This is not an easy one for me to answer. I used to believe in God. I went to a catholic boys school and attended church every sunday. I would pray at night before I went to bed and wished for the world to be a better place. And then I grew up. I still follow some residual traditions though, like not eating meat on Good Friday. Heaven knows why ;-)

27. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Absolutely. Though it has never happened to me.

28. Do you believe in karma?

29. Who was your first crush?
My fourth grade teacher, Mr. Morwich (he had that spiky mullet look going on!).

30. Who do you have a crush on? No one.

31. How would you describe yourself? A good person.

32. What are you afraid of? Bad things happening to good people.

33. Are you religious? No. Didn't we have this question already?

34. What does your screen name mean? I assume this question relates to the name of my blog. Adaptive radiation has nothing to do with the aftermath of a nuclear explosion. If you want to know what it means, do a google search.

35. Which person do you trust the most? Can't split it...Nathan and my family.

36. Who was your first boyfriend/girlfriend? Knowing now what I know (and keeping in mind that I only came out when I was 28), I guess I would say that Nathan is my first boyfriend.

37. What is the best compliment you have ever received?
You are a person of high integrity.

38. What is the meanest thing anyone has said about you?
My PE teacher in high school told me that I had a big head. I believe he meant it literally. I'm not sure I agree. My head is proportionate to my height (I'm 196 cm tall).

39. What is the longest crush/relationship you have had?
That would be Nathan. Almost two and a half years now!

40. What is your greatest strength?

41. What is your greatest weakness?

42. What is your perfect pizza? Anything with artichokes, goats cheese and/or prosciutto.

43. What is your first thought when waking up in the morning? Got to get out of bed.

44. What is your last thought before you go to bed?
What will I cook for dinner tomorrow.

45. What university do you want to go to?
Hmmm....I'm pretty content with where I'm at now.

46. Do you get along with your family? Yes. We are very close. I talk to mum every night!

47. Do you play any instruments?
No. I am musically challenged.

48. What kind of music do you like?
Bad 90's dance music (I guess 'bad' is redundant when it comes to 90's dance music).

49. Do you think you’re attractive? I never used to but Nathan makes me feel attractive.

50. Would you ever get a tattoo? I like tattoos but I think I'm too fickle to be able to live with the permanence of any designs I might pick.

51. How many piercings do you have? None.

52. Who makes you laugh?
My friends.

53. Who would you want to be tied to for 24hours?

54. Have you ever seen a dead body?
Yes. When my uncle died of a heart attack, I had to take my family to the morgue to look at the body.

55. Do you have a celebrity crush?
Clive Owen.

56. What is one thing scientists should invent?
Time machine.

57. Have you ever broken a bone?

58. What happens after you die?
The world continues to spin.

59. Do you watch or read the news?
Yes. I'm a news freak.

60. What stereotype would you label yourself as being?
I don't think I mold to any stereotype. People can't usually tell I'm gay and I hate discussing science outside of work.

61. Would your friends agree with that stereotypic label? the sense that I don't fit stereotypes.

62. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I wouldn't.

63. If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
I'd probably go back to my childhood. Things were less complicated then. Nevertheless, I think I am a much better person now than I've ever been in the past so I am quite content with the present me.

64. If you could change anything about yourself, what would you change?
Nothing really. It's all a part of who I am (it's all good as far as I'm concerned).

65. Have you ever gone skinny dipping?
No. The closest I've come is standing on the jetty testing the water with my toes (it was way too cold). I have been in a hot tub with 12 naked women, an experience that was totally wasted on me.

66. Have you ever played strip poker?
No. Can't play poker.

67. Would you ever lie to someone to make them feel good about themselves?
It would depend on circumstances but, in principle, 'Yes'.

68. What do you want your friends to think about you?
To think and to know are very different things. I would hope my friends KNOW who I am.

69. What’s the biggest argument you've ever gotten into?
I don't think I've ever been in a truly serious argument.

70. Have you ever bitten someone?
Yes...a family friend when I was young. I got in trouble.

71. When’s your birthday?
27 April.

72. Have you ever stolen anything?
Yes...cuttings from the Botanic Gardens.

73. Do you make wishes on shooting stars?
No. I've never seen a shooting star.

74. What’s the most you've ever eaten in one sitting?
I once ate so much meat at an all-you-can-eat korean bbq that I actually turned vegetarian for a whole week!

75. If you could go back and change one day, what would it be?
I don't think I would change any day for myself.

76. Do you remember your dreams?
I used to dream a lot about being chased by things (animals, dinosaurs). More recently, I seem to have lots of flying dreams.

77. Have you ever been in love?
Yes. Right now.

78. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Definitely morning. I'm one of those people that wakes up smiling. Nate hates it.

79. Do you have any phobias?
Spiders. I can't stand them. This is a problem given that I am a biologist. I remember doing fieldwork in a forest in south-eastern Queensland. There were orb weaver webs everywhere. And everytime I'd walk into a web, I'd scream like a crazy woman and wave my arms about like a lunatic. I think virtual spiders are even worse (i.e. when you think there is still a spider somewhere on your body AFTER you've walked into a web).

80. What’s the meanest thing you've ever done to someone?
Accidentally breaking the bedroom door and blaming it on one of my sisters.

81. Have you ever been to the hospital (other than birth)?
Yes, to get an angiogram. Not pleasant. Everything checked out ok though.

82. How many screen names do you have?
Just the one.

83. Do any medical problems run in your family?
Heart disease.

84. Has anyone ever been disowned from your family?

85. Have you ever had a nightmare?
Yes. Being chased by scary things or missing my exams.

86. Do you say meaner things to your friends or your enemies?
I don't have any enemies that I'm aware of. Not even a nemesis. I try to be diplomatic to my friends but I'm not afraid of stripping back and making harsh statements if I think the person needs to hear it.

87. Would you ever participate in a threesome?
No. See...not stereotyped.

88. Would you ever pay for a prostitute?

89. Have you ever mooned or flashed someone?

90. Have you ever cheated on your bf/gf?

91. Have you ever laughed so hard you peed in your pants?
No, but a few times I've laughed so hard that I've farted (but thankfully never sharted).

92. Have you ever written a love letter?
No. Just cards.

93. Have you ever attempted suicide?

94. Do you prefer boxers or briefs?
Boxer briefs.

95. Have you ever been in a fistfight?
Nope...the best I could manage was repeated bitch slapping of a kid at school who squirted orange juice on my sock for no apparent reason.

96. Do you have any hidden talents?
I can debone a chicken wing in 16 secs with my tongue. True.

97. What is one thing you want me to know about you?
I love (to eat) chicken but never order it at restaurants.

98. What is one question you wouldn't want me to ask?
Hmmm...having got this far, it's hard to think of any.

99. What do you think of this meme?
A bit too long. My neck hurts.

Depressing Friday

I have a routine when I get to work: Switch on my laptop, feed the fish, check out my favourite bloggers, and then read the news websites. Was greeted this morning with a string of depressing 'doom and gloom' headlines on, as follows:

1. Swine flu 'unstoppable'
2. Taser death: man dies in handcuffs (breaking news)
3. Dragged from fire, but woman dies

But the most depressing one of all:

Connex may run Melbourne trams, too


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gay beats and urban planning

I was talking to a colleague yesterday who had just returned from a trip up to Queensland. The guy's brother is an urban planner and is about to embark on some research into park use. Evidently, as part of the research, he will also be investigating the use of parks as beats. It will be intersting to compare areas that are used as beats versus areas that are not, how they differ physically, and their popularity with other users within the community (families etc). I suspect there would be a strong historical element to the park use too.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The odd one out

Was heading into work later than usual this morning because I had to wait around for the electrician to fix the bathroom light switch (which was making disconcerting zapping noises). When the train got to Flinders Street I noticed a young man in the next carriage wearing a surgical face mask. I surmised that he must be wearing the mask to avoid catching swine flu. This was the first time I had seen anyone wearing a face mask outside of a hospital or a dental clinic and he looked a bit strange doing so. I guess he must have felt quite self conscious about it. A few stops later, the young man had taken off the mask.