Saturday, November 17, 2007

What?


Who would have thought that a union would be advocating a vote for a non Labor candidate. There is some political history to this, but even so, we have come a long way since unions saw The Greens as the destroy jobs party.

There is an even larger poster facing Swanston Street on the wall of the Electrical Trades Union office.

Remarkable.

Friday 05.00 to 14.00

Friday 5.00 Close bedroom window and blind. Take a leak.

6.40 Wake.

6.45 Realise it is a day off and that is why I why I regained consciousness rather than woke up.

6.50 Coffee is made, sit at pc and look at pornography, check emails, respond to blog comments, read blogs and comment and listen to radio.

7.00 Put load of washing on.

7.30 Eat porridge.

7.35 Refer back to to 6.50 plus a bit of newspaper reading.

9.30 Shower and glam up. Draw on eyebrows and smear on hide and heal. Tiny touch of Issey Miyake scent.

9.45 Refer 6.50 plus Vegemite toast and deal with washing.

10.15 Walk past local tram stop to Domain Road where I can choose a tram with air con. Catch lovely cool tram to Queensberry Street. Take photo(s).

11.00 Catch tram to QV and buy a couple of essentials at Safeway. Have coffee at The Wedge and perve on cute guy in Cactus Jam for Men. Guy responds with many glances back.

11.30 Catch tram to Flinders Street.

11.35 Catch tram to Elizabeth Street.

11.50 Vote in Federal Election at Victoria University. Person assisting was the role model for taxi driver in League of Gentlemen. Female clothes and makeup, hard looks, big hands, and an ever so deep voice. Victoria, the State of no discrimination.

11.55 Cross road to railway station. Train departing platform 13. I hate Platform 13. Long walk but no rushing needed. Deliciously cool train. Finally complete reading Green Guide from Thursday paper and normal newspaper from Wednesday. Ipod Shuffle playing Relax, Don't Do It.

12.20 Alight Balaclava Station. Take photo of old Glove Factory, our old house, Dogbox, St Kilda Library gay history display, old leaning house.

12.40 Catch Chapel Street tram. Alight High Street and take photos. Buy pork salad roll at Tran Bakery and Friday night Scotch at Dan Murphys.

1.00 Catch tram to Toorak Road. Forgot water. See nearby 711. Tram is coming, no time. Plenty of time. Traffic is heavy and tram slow to appear. Not buy water.

1.05 Chatty old woman protection system fails. Remove one ear bud out of politeness. (Darls, I was reading and with an Ipod. Why did you pick on me?) Learn of the benefit of joining Medicare Private and ghastly leg operations. Forced to observe old woman large bruised thigh. The tram crawled the one stop from Chapel Street to South Yarra Station where she alighted.

1.20 Alight from tram in Park Street. Take photos. Feel sun burning. Walk length of Park Street. Note milk bar closed and 711 opening soon. Buy water from what is probably Melbourne's most expensive green grocer. Water price is ok. Friendly chap.

1.35 Catch tram to Melbourne Grammar. Take photos. Walk to Domain Road.

1.45 Catch tram two stops to home. Notice interaction between salad roll, sunglasses and whisky bottle.

1.50 Clean sunglasses and wipe down whisky bottle and eat messy but delicious salad roll.

Childhood memory #88

I can't remember my earliest childhood memory (idiot) but Firehorse's earliest memory struck a chord with me, and as he has tagged me, here it is. It is interesting in so far as that it is similar but my memory is much more vague in detail.

Sick at home. Age three. Pyjamas and dressing gown all day. Continues for some days. Doctor diagnoses tonsillitis. Small local hospital. Tonsils removed. Chipped enamel bed. Very sore throat. Hunger and thirst. Jelly and ice cream was like the nectar of the gods.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Recommended Read

I have know quite a few gay Asian born guys. Like for multi generational Australians, their coming out stories or their not coming out stories are as different as everyone else's.

This from MCV, one of our local gay newspapers was a good read I thought. The part where his mother thought that her son had died when he told her he was gay was a good insight into how some parents must view their gay child.

Condoms and coming out PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 November 2007

p11_feature_filipino_250.jpgNavigating the complex intersection of sexuality, family and culture is no easy journey, writes Ryan Perdio.

My birthday, last year. Out with the whole family for a Sunday night dinner, my mother hands me a present and insists that I open it in front of everyone. The look of restrained excitement and anticipation on her face should have made me suspect that something was up. The parcel turns out to be a box of condoms.

Less an example of her enthusiastic and somewhat warped way of showing motherly concern for my health and wellbeing, the strange gift was, in fact, a gag. A playful gesture and a simple, albeit significant, reference to how far things between us have come.

My parents were understandably upset when they found out I was gay.

I came out at 16, the arduous conclusion of several challenging years of self-doubt and self-exploration. Along with being an extraordinarily moody teenager due to the difficulties of dealing with my sexuality, I was also quite the strong headed and stubborn youth. My parents and I regularly butted heads. They were the authorities, and thus the people whose seemingly unreasonable rules - imposed purely, of course, to make my life difficult - I disobeyed.

The old world views they were raised with back home clashed with the autonomy that I’d adopted as a consequence of growing up in Australia.

Like many Filipino families, ours is an exceptionally close one. This strong sense of togetherness is largely due to the belief and importance placed on the cultural identity of the family unit, which Filipino society is especially driven by and centred upon. It’s within this identity that we should, as individuals, find reason and purpose, at least in theory. Parents nurture their children; children tend after their parents, and so on. But it’s a double-edged ideal. While on the whole the family is a wonderfully welcoming and encompassing environment, it can also be prove to be strict and inflexible. Problems arise when something, or someone, deviates from what is regarded as the norm. As, clearly, I had done by coming out.

My parents’ way of dealing with my revelation was to ignore it, and me, completely. When not locked in her room crying her eyes out, my mother refused to acknowledge my presence; a stark contrast to the mother whom I had had regular hearts-to-hearts with. I felt alienated and helpless; not to mention guilty for causing her so much grief, and angry at the lack of sympathy that I felt I was due.

My father, on the other hand, acted like nothing had happened. He went on treating me much the same as he had before I came out, which proved to be both a relief and a nuisance. While it made me feel normal, his lack of acknowledgment also frustrated me. I wanted to speak to him and to open up on how I was feeling, but I couldn’t bridge the gap.

It seemed an eternity before I slowly felt a change in both their attitudes. A gradual shift. And now ten years have passed.

Which brings me back to my birthday dinner. I feel slightly mortified as I hold out the box of condom for everyone to see, but laugh it off along with everyone else. As we finish laughing our collective heads off over my somewhat unorthodox present, my mother points to the attached card I haven’t previously noticed. She insists I open it and read aloud the message within: ‘Happy Birthday! Don’t use these all at once!’ Time has definitely been a great healer and equaliser.

A few years back, I asked my father why he acted the way he did when I first came out.

“At first I thought that you were just going through a phase, so I didn’t make a big deal of it,” he told me. “But when I realised that you weren’t going to suddenly change back to what you were never before, well, I thought, why continue to worry?”

And my mother’s response?

“I felt like my son died. Not you specifically, but my image of my son. The one who will get married to a lovely wife and have beautiful children,” she explained. “So, when I found that that wasn’t going to happen, I grieved. For that son. And when I was done, I found that I still had the same son, but one that I really needed to get to know. And he turned out to be someone that I equally adored... Plus now, I have another daughter also!”

Ah, parents. I guess you’ve gotta love ‘em and accept ‘em as they are!

Whacking with the willow


I find cricket boring but I quite like the idea of English village cricket. A small crowd sitting in the sun on deckchairs, politely clapping when a run or two is scored, but never booing or being loud or obnoxious.

In Melbourne we have Junction Oval at St Kilda Junction, which is very nice. But no-where in Australia is there a cricket ground with such a beautiful name in such a beautiful location.

Hobart's Bellerive Oval.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Voting Day

I will vote tomorrow. You other Aussies may relax. You don't have to until next Saturday, the 24th. But I will be at work that day so I will vote tomorrow.

I will vote for the Greens. I am a member of the party, so it goes without saying. I will direct my preference to Labor. I am quite passionate about our environment and I think it needs to be a priority, perhaps above all else. All else may not happen if our world environment is not right.

I like me luxuries, such as water and the electric and consumer products. I don't believe that liking my luxuries and getting the environment right are incompatible. I can have my cake and eat it too.

Someone on a mailing list I subscribe to, did an awful lot of work and developed umpteen speadsheets on where your preferences go when you vote. It was scary reading. In summary, if you don't vote for Labor, Greens or Democrats, your vote preference will go to the Liberal party. The oxymoron of the party's name always amuses me. Liberal for big business and Liberal for the rich, Liberal for the exploiters of the poor. Liberal for exploiters of the environment. Not liberal for anyone else.

I had an idea of mentioning electorates my various local blog mates live in and pointing out who their local Green person is and who their Labor rep is, just as a gentle reminder. Nonsense of course. I respect them more than that. My blog mates are clever enough to know who they are voting for.

I would describe myself as a unionist and an environmentalist. I am not sure that I am very compatible with the our current Labor Party, but it is the best of a bad job.

Some pissy little Euro countries are doing marvellous things with environmental energy matters. Australia is only paying lip service and yet we have strong sun, plenty of wind, plenty of hot rocks and ocean waves surrounding our country. Why are we so behind the eight ball?

Howard's Liberal government seem strong on geosesquestration. Rather hiding the problem for another day I think. Nuclear could be good? Alas too many bad examples. It has gone wrong many times. It will go wrong again. The Latrobe River has flooded and broken its banks and flooded the Yallourn open cut mine that supplies much of our power. Latrobe River flooding, what a surprise....not. It has many times. The same company could be a tenderer to supply nuclear power. The company cannot even cope with normal river activity.

I seem to be ranting and wandering all over the place. I will conclude. I don't mind you rusted on Liberal voters. You are rich and you will vote for who acts in your favour, the Liberal Party. I despise you folk who don't have any conviction about about who to vote for. Yes you lot who swing between Labor and Liberal. You are either for big business and the rich, or you are for the worker and your average citizen. There is not a middle ground. You are the ultimate shallow person who votes for their hip pocket.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Drug Scum

CALIFORNIAN police will decide on Friday whether to charge ex-Eagle Ben Cousins over his reported five-day drugs bender.

No doubt the virulent anti drug and socially conservative types think he should be charged, along with the lass who called 911.

Interrupting the broadcast here. Australian media should not print the US emergency number in our papers and it should be bleeped out in movies etc, ditto for the UK 999. Our number is 000 or at a pinch 112.

It doesn't take a smart person to see what would happen if the US lass had another guest who went on a five day drug bender as our Ben was supposed to have done. She ain't gonna call and what will happen? I don't know that the US law is on this score and it may vary state to state, but in Australia the practice is the police do not need to be involved if someone gets into trouble with drug use unless a situation gets nasty.

It should be thus. Our Ben may not be alive to amuse us with his shenanigans if it was otherwise.

Confirm if you will

Is President of the Police Association Brian Rix, named in the OPI police inquiry, married to Shirley Hardy Rix, aunt of Marieke Hardy, blogger, tv/radio presenter, newspaper writer?

If so, the Hardy family, the most famous being Frank Hardy, author of Power Without Glory, continue a fine old tradition of controversy.

Could have totally the wrong end of the tree limb of course but I think not.

Score Nix for Nix?

So disrespectful. Police Commissioner in the state of Victoria, Christine Nixon. Good lass or bad?

Should she be sacked because she is incompetent and has presided over corruption within the police force?

Or has she changed the culture within the police force and gnawed away bad areas within the force and finally has a few top chappies nailed.

I think there has been a culture change, and it has been a good thing, although perhaps not for bringing criminals to justice and I don't necessarily mean before the courts. Any cop who now wants to deal out some summary justice would need to look very carefully over his or her shoulder. Be afraid bad cop, be very afraid, or just get smarter.

Never liked that Ashby bloke who resigned in disgrace. Bad hair. Reminded me of Kennett's puppy dog Commissioner Comrie. I reckon some stuff will come out about Comrie one day.

Now Paul 'Fish' Mullet of the Police Association is rapidly being pushed into a position whereby it won't be tenable for him to continue. I don't think many would have any sympathy for his bully boy style and most would be pleased to see the dinosaur disappear.

The jury, so to speak, is still out on Nixon, but I would err on the side that she has done well. I think she could now retire with some closure, completion and satisfaction.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

HIV

This word has little relevance in my life now. I am not a promiscuous homosexual because I can't be bothered anymore. By the grace of Mohamed and a wish to live to fair age and the fact that at some times I just stopped and mentally stood back, I have avoided the disease. There were some close calls though.

I had people I knew, friends, who died. Sorry if I have written some of this before. I can't remember now.

1/ Brad Aiton was a friend. We and our brother friends knew him and his boyfriend. His boyfriend was alright, but Brad was such a sweetie. He was quite slim, nice enough looking and ever so cutesy pie. He behaved like he had discovered the world in every day life. They had a great neighbour when they lived in Marystone Street, Yarraville. Jean was a salt of the earth type and with the language to match. They would invite her in for a sherry and several hours later they would carry her home. She was an old Myer sales lass. She too has died.

We knew Brad was not too well and the brother friends invited him to their place where we all met. I was gobsmacked. He was skin stretched over bone. He had an air cushion to sit on. His personality was still the same and his talking but it was not the person we knew. We were so angry with the brother friends for not giving us an advance warning. He died and on a stinking hot day, we went to his funeral in a big Catholic church in Sommerville Road, now I think a Buddhist temple or something.

2/ I worked with David Ashcroft. He a very hot guy and very outgoing and charmed everyone around him. I have a vague memory of peeling skin off his back after he was sunburnt. It was almost an erotic experience for me. He was not behind the door when dicks were handed out and used this to its full advantage. When the Village People came to perform in Melbourne, he met up with one of them at Prince of Wales in St Kilda and scored. He left work, went to Sydney and worked for Qantas for a few years and I lost touch with him. One day when I was on a tram, someone came up and said hello to me. It was David and he was so thin and haggard, I could barely recognise him.

He had just bought a house in Pakington Street, St Kilda, a very nice place it was too. We had just moved to Balaclava and so we had a bit to do with him for a while, but he became sicker and sicker and then somewhat irrational. The second last time I saw him, he was swearing at a volunteer who had visited to help him with his clothes washing. He was screaming at the volunteer that he had hung the clothes all wrong on the clothes line.

He held what was to be his last party. At the party he invited people back the next day for drinks and nibbles and help him dig a pond in his back yard. It was a hot day and I don't believe anyone turned up. People just could not deal with him anymore. He died shortly after.

3/ Stephen Dawes. He was more of a friend of the brother friends but we had quite a bit to do with him. He worked in the fashion industry and we recently found out coincidentally that he had dealings with Dame M over a few years when she had her Cornelli Embroidery business. He had bought and sold a couple of houses in Richmond and Collingwood but he knew he would not last forever and so downsized to an apartment in East Melbourne. We saw him a couple of months before he died and this time we were mentally prepared and it was just as well. A righteous person might have said he was a shocking slut and deserved what he got. Nope, no one deserves that. Six months before he died, he was struggling financially and the brother friends bought his apartment and rented it back to him. They did very nicely out of the capital growth and only sold it last year.

It all seems dreamlike and so long ago, well it was around a decade or a bit more ago, and has no bearing on our present life. HIV is still around. People still catch it. It is a terrible problem in the third world. But for me thankfully and selfishly, it is history.

This week's flowers



Along with these stunning tulips we have a lovely big bunch of (can't think of the name, similar flower to heliconias). The brother friends are again in Thailand for three weeks, so they picked a heap from their garden. They are lasting very well. The tulips were not so long lived.

The building's newsletter....again

I would not call our building's newsletter a labour of love. I would call it damn hard work. The previous ones have been A4 sized. We have managed to produce two a year. This time, it is A3 sized, so more writing although one page is mostly photos.

We finally thought we had it perfect, well as good as we can do, and we were already to email off to be printed. R attached it to an email and I then noticed it was nearly 35mb. What??????

I immediately suspected the photos as I had not resized them before inserting them into the Word document. But even if there are eight photos at 1mb each, it still does not add up to 35mb.

I resized the pictures and R sat down to insert them into the document and delete the old photos.

Now R is very familiar with Publisher but not so with Word and nor am I when it comes to messing about with pictures. He wanted to make the newsletter with Publisher and I resisted. I wish I had kept my trap shut.

After half an hour of fiddling, he finally had it again arranged correctly. Now I often nag him about saving work. I know through bitter experience. But did he? No. Work lost. Another twenty or so minutes re-doing it.

I don't know why, but resizing the pictures brought it down to just over 3mb. It has been circulated to committee members by another member as a pdf file and it is only 165kb. I don't like pdf much, but I better grow to like it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Selling one's soul

I could sell my soul if the price was right. It would have to be a very high price, certainly more than being a member of a political party in ascendancy.

With politicians like Howard and Costello, you clearly know what you are getting. They have consistently illustrated what they are about. I don't like what they about and so I would never vote for them. But I respect them in so far as they are consistent.

But how does ex Midnight Oil pop group, member or was he leader? of the Nuclear Disarmament Party sleep at night?

Did he know how many of his principles he would have to swallow when he joined the Labor Party? Does he think he has the respect of his many old fans who preached to? I think he did up to a point, but did not realise how bad it might become.

The best that can be said is maybe he thinks change from within is the way to tackle the world's and Australia's woes. One can only hope this is the case and he is right. Otherwise, he would have to the top of my list of most disappointing people in my life.

Open letter to voters in the Sydney electorate of Bennelong

Dear voter in the Federal electorate of Bennelong,

if you are entitled, in two weeks you need to vote in Australia's Federal election. You must do your democratic duty as I must also.

While there are many minor parties to vote for, I would urge a vote for the Greens.

But if you are of the more conventional type of voter, perhaps a swinger between the two major parties, then think very carefully about voting for PM Howard.

I am sure you don't want to waste taxpayers money, but you will if you vote for Howard and he is elected along with his government, or his government is not re-elected. It is pretty well a given that if he and his government is re-elected, he will resign mid term. If he is re-elected but his government isn't, then he will resign earlier.

The best thing to happen is that Howard is not re-elected and you will save us all so much money. Really, why would you vote for such a liar and opportunist?