Sunday, May 27, 2007

sunday for everyone

It's Sunday morning here in this part of the universe and that suits me. I love Talking Heads and this song - Once In A Lifetime - reminds me of going to Croydon Flea Market on Sundays when I was a kid. I'd occasionally buy records and tapes there and although this is one song I loved, I never bought it. I can still remember hearing it over the speakers at the record stall

Don't look now, all you Sound of Music tragics fanatics LOVERS, but I think I'm converting... Uh oh how do you solve a problem...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

hollywood on the 378

On Monday I was running late for an appointment in Bondi Junction so instead of walking through the park as I normally would I caught the 378 bus. A few stops after mine a former Hollywood child star got on. I'm sure I was the only one who realised. Now I understand this is mainly due to the fact that his starring role was in 1965 when he was 15 years old, but the film in which he shot to fame was The Sound of Music so you'd think someone would notice. Besides, he's continued to work as an actor... I have to add here that this film is not one of my personal favourites. I enjoyed it as a kid, but I can't bear it when people burst into song with Doe a bloody Deer or that stuff about a Few of Their Favourite Things (sorry, I'll hand my gay membership back now). Yes, there are a couple of songs I don't mind (the one about the goat herd for instance), but you're not likely to find me at Sing-a-Long Sound of Music and I've never understood how the soundtrack found its way onto the jukebox at the Price of Wales Hotel in St Kilda (or why anyone ever bothered wasting $2 of good drinking money on a selection).

Anyway, seeing the actor - Nicholas Hammond - got me thinking about the nature of fame and how one day you can be riding in limousines and another day you'll be riding the 378 to Bondi Junction. He was reading a script too, so perhaps he was on his way to an audition. I used to see actress Cornelia Frances on the same bus before she revived her career with The Weakest Link (and she hasn't looked back), so who knows? Maybe Nicholas will soon get his second wind too.

By the way, Nicholas is pretty handsome, but I'd've been far more excited if I'd seen his SoM co-star (and Lost in Space's Penny) Angela Cartwright on the bus.

That's Nicholas on the left. Angela Cartwright is front row second from right

Friday, May 18, 2007

bulk ace

I've been invited to write an entry for the Australian Dictionary of Biography and my plan today was to work on that. I've decided to play instead... besides I've got an appointment at 3pm so there's no point starting "work" now, is there?

The other night at dinner with friends we got talking about terms that were used when we were at school. One friend (in his late 30s) who grew up in Queensland said the word "decent" was used to describe anything good. In Victoria where I went to school anything good was "grouse", "bulk" or (if it was exceptionally good) "bulk ace". Someone who gave you the shits was a "suck" or even worse a "big suck" - a term my Mum hated us using at home. It's funny how these random words come into use. Where do they come from and how do they gain popular acceptance? They seem to disappear/change at a rapid rate too. So, I'm just wondering what words you used at school that you never hear any more. It'd be bulk ace if you could leave a comment...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

magic carpet ride

This is what I'm doing today

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

tagged by a penguin

I arrived home last night after an evening of theatre, dinner n drinks with friends to discover I'd been tagged by Sam over at Adventures of Queerpenguin. At first I really did gasp out loud, but then I warmed to the idea of being coerced into posting. So, here goes:

1. I love the number 8. I was born at home and 8 was the street number of our house. All I really know about my birth is that I was 2 weeks overdue, the umbilical cord was around my neck and the midwife was eager for a cup of tea. If I knew what time I was born I'd get my personal astrology chart done, but my parents can't remember. My Mum can only tell me that it was early in the morning. Some years ago I was pleased to learn the number 8 is also the symbol for infinity

2. As a kid I was sent along to ballroom dancing lessons. I was 10 or 11 at the time and I excelled in competition dancing; I received medals, trophies and ribbons in various categories and was also awarded something like "most promising newcomer", but I was too embarrassed to continue once I got to High School so I dropped out. Now I watch 'Dancing with the Stars' and can only wonder...

3. I watched lots n lots of television when I was a kid. I also bought TV Week magazine and kept scrapbooks. One of my favourite shows was (and still is) 'Prisoner'. When actress Fiona Spence announced she was leaving the series I wrote a letter to TV Week saying how much I would miss her as the hard-line screw Vera 'Vinegar Tits' Bennett. The letter was published (under the pen name 'Prisoner Fan'), but for some reason I never kept a copy. I've written other letters since then to various publications, but this was the first. Some years later my first ever boyfriend collected some of his old scrapbooks from his Mum's house and in one of them was a copy of my letter. Neither of us knew each other at the time the letter was written

4. During the 1980s I had an agent. In between being a Uni student or dole bludger I worked as an extra in many films, television series and mini-series. I did lots of episodes of 'Neighbours' including when it first aired on the 7 Network. When the show moved over to TEN I was seen hanging around the background in the daze of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce and Craig McLachlan et al. I still have some old video tapes around here somewhere

5. I'm a hoarder. I went to a '70s retro themed housewarming party once and wore my old platform school shoes. They barely fitted, but I squeezed into them in the name of authenticity. I drank too much and danced too much and the next day the toenails on my two big toes were black. Eventually both toenails fell off and although they grew back they've been fucked ever since - kinda like my Mum's (though hers are naturally like that)

6. I have an older brother and a younger sister. When we were growing up they both had white blond(e) hair and blue eyes whereas I've always had black hair and dark brown eyes. People would often comment about the striking difference between me and my siblings and suggest my father was really the milkman. These daze my brother is balding, my sister dyes her hair to keep it blonde and I get told I look like Antonio Banderas, Michael Hutchence or (ahem) Mr Bean

7. I've lost count of the number of jobs I've had. Unlike my brother and sister who've had the same jobs for years n years I've done lots of different things to earn a crust. One job I had a couple of years ago was a stint at Bodyline (a gay sex on premises venue here in Sinny). The pay was lousy and the hours weren't much better and sometimes I would've rather been serving a sexy customer horizontally than over the counter. I haven't told my parents about that position job (yet)

8. I thought I'd have kids. And I do, but other people made them. I have four god children living in Melbourne and a sponsor child living in Africa. I've known the mother of my two godsons (brothers aged 9 & 7) since my first year at High School and the mother of my goddaughters (twins aged 2) since my final year at High School. The boy I sponsor is about to turn 17 and has been in my life since he was 12. One of the things I love about him is that he loves dancing. He lives in Malawi and all I can say is it's a good thing Madonna never tried to get her hands on him...

Now I have to follow the rules and tag 8 other people, so... Campbell, Denys, Ian, Marc, Miss Litzi, Nico, Sheila and (The Other) Andrew consider yourselves tagged!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

coincidence file > free for all

I haven't posted a coincidence file for a while now, but I have been experiencing wonderful coincidences all over the place. I was in Bondi Junction the other week and I walked past an apartment block where a friend lives. I was looking for the post office (which had relocated since I'd last been there). It occurred to me I could buzz my friend's apartment and ask her for directions, but it'd been a while since I'd seen her and I didn't remember her number off the top of my head. That night the phone rang and it was my friend calling...

Recently I walked down a street in Surry Hills that I hadn't been down for a while. I thought about a time when I'd visited a house in this street, which someone I knew had been house sitting. It's been quite a few years since I've seen the guy who was house sitting and I got to wondering where he might be. Today he drove past me and waved. I was surprised he even recognised me because it's been so long and I look different to when he last saw me. He's still just as handsome as ever...

I was at the Sydney Opera House today and went to the bar to buy some drinks. There was a woman at the bar also buying a drink. We were the only two there. I asked her name because she looked familiar and I thought she might be a friend of a friend of mine (someone I haven't seen for almost a year). It turns out she was indeed who I thought she was and then I told her I was meeting our mutual friend tomorrow evening. She said she was supposed to be meeting him tomorrow afternoon. We'd only just started chatting when her phone rang. She said, "I bet that's him" and... it was! A lil aside to this: last night I looked up Ann B Davis (Alice from the 'Brady Bunch') on imdb (she's been on my mind the last couple of daze - who knows why?). It just occurred to me that this woman I met at the Opera House bar played Alice in a stage version of the 'Brady Bunch' maybe 10 years ago (it was called the 'Real Live Brady Bunch' or something and was hilarious).

So there we have it. I love the way the universe works like this though I haven't got much idea about the significance behind these occurrences. When they happen I usually keep a record, but lately I haven't been so diligent. Now I'm thinking it'd be great to hear some of your coincidences, so if they happen to you please share them here. Once you start noticing them they tend to escalate... (so you've got no excuses!)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

pick a card

I came across this Tarot card thingo via a new visitor to drift (Thanks Brechi; there's a link to his blog in the previous post's comments. Yep, I'm still lazy about linking). Anywaze, I've had a set of Tarot cards for many years and did a course about 10 years ago so I could learn how to read them. I haven't read for anyone else recently, but from time to time I'll read for myself (some people suggest this is not such a good idea, but that doesn't stop me). When I took this test (below) I discovered I am the Hierophant. I'm happy with the result, though I wasn't exactly sure what "hidebound" meant. According to my dictionary it means "narrow and rigid in opinion." Ha! What the hell would they know? Please feel free to take the test and share your results

You are The Hierophant
Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching.

All things relating to education, patience, help from superiors.The Hierophant is often considered to be a Guardian Angel.

The Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Whereas the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited to do this because he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant's only problem is that he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

gate crash trash

My late teens through to my early 20s was an intense, non-stop time of weekend partying for me and a dedicated group of friends. One well-meaning invitation to a party would result in 20 or 30 of us turning up. We revelled in it. I was reminded of some of our antics when I came across this article today. Whilst I'm aghast at the extent of the damage caused by gatecrashers at this party I'm also a little bit amused (and thankful it wasn't my house) because I know exactly what can happen when rampant youth is mixed with booze and somebody-else's-home-minus-the-parents. I'm too ashamed to go into details of my own miscreant behaviour back then, although the scale wasn't as great as in this article. And in my day (ha!) we weren't into drugs (that came later), but we were aided and abetted by decent party music including songs by Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, who were very popular at the time...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

my f*!#ing shoes

One Sunday about ten years ago I went with a friend to a New Age/Psychic Fair at the St Kilda town hall in Melbourne. There were plenty of people offering Tarot card readings, aura readings (complete with photographs) and the like, but the queues were long and the cost for most things was prohibitive. Rather than go home without experiencing anything 'otherwordly' we ended up having our palms read by a man who hadn't been reading for all that long. One of the few things I remember him telling me was that he could see I was angry. At the time I thought, yeah, I'm angry I wasted 20 bucks on someone who doesn't know what they're talking about. I never saw myself as an angry young man at all.

I think, however, that I have become angry - or certainly angrier - over time (who knows how far back it goes?). This is something that's taken me a while to see, mainly because I rarely expressed my anger in explosive bursts. I usually vent any frustration through healthy doses of swearing mixed with blaspheming (depending on whose company I'm in - I tend to be mindful around children and one or two Christians) and then it's over, dealt with. And every now n then I'll write a letter, sign a petition or attend a rally, but as I said, I never thought that I was particularly angry. In fact people comment on the calming influence I exude.

But in the past 6 months or so I've come to realise I do carry a hefty dose of anger within and part of it stems from stupid people, which when it all boils down to it actually means people who don't look at life the same way I do. Thankfully, one of the conclusions I've (finally) reached is that it's ridiculous for me to expect all those fucking idiots everyone to have the same opinions as me or to look at the world the same way I do even if I think my way of looking at life is pretty easy.

About ten years ago I also came across a book written by Tom Spanbauer called The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon. It's one of those books I need (and want) to read again. Something Tom wrote in this amazing book has stayed with me ever since. It was about what happens "when knowledge becomes understanding". You can know this and know that, but until you actually have a degree of understanding you don't get anywhere really (I don't think you need to understand completely, though that's probably worth aiming for) .

So the dickhead bigot on the street may know I'm a faggot, but without understanding me (or homosexuality) he just remains ignorant. And although I know he's a bigot, until I understand why he's like that (understand him) surely I remain just as ignorant. There's a place for love and compassion and a whole host of other worthwhile things to guide us through life, but I truly believe a lack of understanding results in anger and ultimately gets us nowhere. One song that struck me as a kid was Joe South's Walk a Mile in My Shoes, which has also been recorded by people such as Elvis Presley and more recently Cold Cut. I tried to post Joe's version of it from YouTube, but I couldn't (though I have managed to link). Instead of being angry about this I'll let you find your own way to YouTube and check out whichever version you like, if you want to. Otherwise, here are the words. I'm heading off to dance at Palms!

If I could be you
And you could be me
For just one hour
If we could find a way
To get inside
Each other's mind

If you could see you
Through my eyes
Instead of your ego
I believe you'd be
Surprised to see
That you've been blind

Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticise and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes

Now your whole world
You see around you
Is just a reflection
And the law of Karma
Says you're gonna reap
Just what you sow

So unless you've
Lived a life
Of total perfection
You'd better be careful
Of every stone
That you should throw

And if we spend the day
Throwing stones
At one another
'Cause I don't think
Or wear my hair
The same way you do

Well I may be
Common people
But I'm your brother
And when you strike out
And try and hurt me
It's hurting you
(Lord have mercy)

Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Hey before you abuse, criticise and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes

There are people
On reservations
And out in the ghettos
and brother there
But for the grace of God
Go you and I

And if I only
Had wings of an angel
Don't you know I'd fly
To the top of a mountain
And then I'd cry:

Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Hey before you abuse, criticise and accuse
Better walk a mile in my shoes
(Drop what you're doing)

Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Oh before you abuse, criticise and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes

Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Hey before you abuse, criticise and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes
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