Friday, February 09, 2007

A Remembrance of Times Past

Pretentious title or what. Perhaps I should number a series of them. You see blogs weren't always around, so I have some online diary writing to catch up with, like a few decades.

It is Midsumma Carnival day on Sunday. I thought I was working and I was not fussed about missing it, but I have learnt that I am not working so I guess R and I will toddle along for a bit. While I don't approve of Treasury Gardens being used for such fiestas, it is a much better location than Alexandra Gardens, so it is a case of good for the gander but not for the goose.

But the days of being in a large group at Midsumma Carnival, of us picnicking on the lawns, going on rides, sneaking booze out of the designated drinking areas, drinking too much, getting sunburnt and worrying about what we would wear has passed along with the worry of rubbing eyebrows off and the cover up melting and running in the heat. I recall one year coming home with aching filthy minds, from laughing so much.

It is history and it won't happen to us again. It was great at the time, but hard work too sometimes. I really don't miss it. I am quite happy to spend a couple of hours there with R, a look at the stalls, a quiet drink, a bite to eat, a sit in the shade, maybe catch up with a couple of people and the phrase that I find myself increasingly excited about when I am out, 'c'mon, let's go', and we go home.

Music from my yoof #67

Boys and Girls, by Blur. This is pop music at its best? Back in olden days when a gay was a gay and dyke was a dyke and a straight was a straight and never the three shall meet, corrupting music like this track gave younguns a licence to experiment. Chuck away the rules. If I like a guy and want to have sex with him fine. If I like a girl and want to have sex with her, fine too. No rules. Follow your feelings. Just love.

Its a disgrace.

(btw, I recall seeing a baretop pic of the lead singer in The Face mag. Not much of body)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

St Kilda Night Market

If you like cheap jewelry and printed peasant/hippie style dresses, then you have only one Thursday night left to acquire a stash of the same from the St Kilda Night Market. We went this week and there wasn't anything there to interest us except a few str8 bois to leer at.

I had imagined us having take away food from a stall, but then a plan B occurred to me. Dinner at KL Cafe if the stall food wasn't to our liking. Well, once that was in my head, the stall food did not seem so appealing.

In spite of Vincent knocking 10% off our bill, with wine it was a lot more that what stall food would cost. Plus we et too much and now feel overful. Ah, what the heck, the food was nice, Vincent was lovely and amusing and it was very pleasant.

Unlike last Sunday's tram experience, this evenings was very good. First class drivers.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

3rd world Oz

Here is a link to story from the Sydney Morning Herald. To give you the quick version, Vietnam, yeah that very poor little divided country we fought against, is going to build a high speed rail line from Saigon to Hanoi.

While there is plenty of Japanese money going into the project, the Vietnamese government has enough faith in the project to enure they are heavy investors. Now I wonder which European 'sacre bleu' country will supply the trains?

Work is well underway in Saigon on an very, very extensive part underground light rail system.

I have heard, but the statistics are questionable, that the busiest air travel route in the world is between Sydney and Melbourne.

But we don't even have a fast train between the two major cities in Australia.

It will take Japan a long time to realise a benefit to its foreign aid. It will take Vietnam a long time before their investment returns a profit.

But they are investing for the long term future, something Australia seems at times being incapable of doing.

Idiot motorist

The white car near the pedestrians is a jerk. These are two lanes of traffic going in the same direction and it has decided to go the wrong way. Slowly as the driver peered around looking for an appropriate traffic light and not finding one, the penny dropped and the driver reversed back and turned around.

The worst I have seen was when four cars were lined up behind each other at the same location.

The most satisfying was when a car made a left turn from that position and the police were passing and booked him/her.

I doubt anyone dileberately disobeys the one way. They are just stupid people and stupid, careless and non-concentrating people on the road are far more dangerous than those who deliberately take a chance.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Wrong way tram

Bah humbug. St Kilda Festival is on at the weekend. Need to get out of town. Ah yeah, poof picnic day at Treasury Gardens.

It is one thing when private companies and organizations get public transport maps and/or other details wrong, but it is a bit sad when Metlink itself gets it wrong. Have a look at the Getting to St Kilda Festival pdf map

First one to answer earns my esteemed respect.

Computer says no update

Internet was restored at 1pm Monday. 3pm Tuesday an sms arrives informing me that the net is once again working. Ta Telstra. I had actually noticed. Was there a point to it?

But dear Telstra also sent an email asking for feedback on my recent interaction with their tech support. They really are quite a masochistic organisation aren't they. (Note, I said not a word against their very pleasant and trying to be helpful people at the end of the phone line, all four of them)


McDonalds had some new food on the horizon. HealthiER food. Not healthy food. Although the heart foundation org sprout fine words about nutritional standards etc, how they actually measure a product for a big red healthy tick, it is by a comparative method. By allocating a red tick to some McDonalds food, what they are saying is that is that it is the best of a bad job.

Although I live almost opposite a McDonalds, I may only buy some of their food perhaps twice a year. For proper food during the day when I am feeling lazy, I go to the close by cafe and get a very fine salad roll or sandwich.

But there is just the odd occasion when I want lots of fat, sugar and salt, that is a big fat and greasy burger small, dry, tasteless and bland burger and I know exactly where to go. Apart from my loon mother who likes to buy a McDonalds salad to take on a picnic, why would anyone go to McDonalds for healthy food? I don't want healthy food from McDonalds. I want bad food and I don't want it to change.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Computer says no

Well, the internet said no. Why does it always happen when I have the next day off?

I have been without the net from 11pm Sunday night until 1pm today, Monday, a total of fourteen hours. I am traumatised and I do not have a good word for Telstra. I have spent over an hour in queues for tech support and then they could not tell me anything.

I am so, so angry at their incompetence. I have written them a letter, which oddly, the failing printer managed to print. I won't republish the letter here as I don't want to offend your ears. How much account credit should that be worth? One month free?

I may just post something at Whirlpool too. Always a good place to have a whinge and bag a telco.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Australian Lesbian and Gay Archive

ALGA conduct a couple of history walks every year. For the first time, today we went on one of these walks. It was 11am and the meeting place was outside Luna Park in St Kilda and so necessitated a tram trip on Sunday morning to St Kilda. We forced our way onto the tram, but many did not and were left sprinkled along St Kilda Road.

Our group visited various locations around a 2.5 kilometre long walk, pausing every so often for a talk, and while I knew much, there was some I did not.

Something that I should have worked out but never really thought about, was the development of flats from the 1920s on. Until then the only options for gays and lesbians were living at home with parents, intolerable, living in boarding houses under the strong gaze of the owner (no hanky panky tolerated in my establishment) or the fairly unaffordable option of buying their own house.

Suddenly, they could rent their own flat and have an amount of privacy and freedom they could only have dreamt about.

Ok, ok. I'll give you another. Tai Ping restaurant at St Kilda Junction (I think the one that is now closed but survived for a long time on the income from a huge billboard) was a regular meeting place for gays and lesbians to sit around drinking coffee. At meal times they would drift upstairs to allow diners tables to eat at and thus allow the owner to make money, and then after meals, they would come back down and drink more coffee. Around the corner in Wellington Street was El Sombrero where lesbians, gays, prostitutes and crims gathered. There is even an ASIO (=FBI or MI5 or Mossad) file on El Sombrero. Lesbians sat in the front window keeping nit for anyone with a police or armed forces haircut or demeanor and with a yell from one of them, the place would clear out a back entrance in a flash.

Yeah, it was all very interesting.

I don't get out much

We did get out last night but of course it never rains but pours. We were invited by Dame M's boarder, in the guise of Jasmine, to see the new show at Pink at the Newmarket Hotel in Inkerman Street, St Kilda. Their last show was Sound of Music and the new one is Grease. We will get to see it at some point but we had already booked something else.

While we walk past this restaurant a couple of times a week and have done for many years, it was the first time we have eaten at the Good Luck Chinese restarurant. In the heart of Melbourne's trendiest, or wankiest if you like, Chapel Street is a family run Chinese restaurant. Our dyke friends we were with had been a few times. The food was excellent and at a reasonable price. The service was ok, mostly by the extended family I suspect. Down the back at a large table sat what looked to be four generations of a family dining. I watched the old lady eat, and eat, and eat. For the whole time we were there, this wizened and petite old lady ate steadily. I highly reccommend this place and we will certainly be returning.

Then on to Chapel of Chapel to see Cabaret Latte perform their show Don't stop 'till you get enough. They were excellent and accompanied by only a piano.

Warwick Sharpin at the piano, left in the pic, then Renée Cash (ex tennis star Pat Cash's sister) and Sally Vertigan and on the right the very sexy Ian Sequeira. Did he have a smooth voice or what. The picture does not do him justice.

I really hate this, but the girls insisted on dropping us home. They have done this many times. If we take public transport to an event, we are well prepared to make our own way home and don't expect a lift from anyone. But no, we hustled into the back of their rather sexy new VW Golf and delivered to our door.