Sunday, October 31, 2010

Driving Home In The Sunshine

This morning we had toast. Santo had raisin bread, spread with butter, but no cinnamon sugar, sadly. I had toast with Vegemite, again dripping in butter with a good slash of the black spread. And, you know, for the first time in weeks it felt unfinished without a coffee, so it was this morning that I drank the coffee and broke my two week coffee drought.

Mark bought out his pipe and we sucked on it several times, three or four. We sat and watched Friends, as the open fire glowed. Ah a bit, shall we say, relaxed, watching Foxtell on a Sunday morning, lovely. Santo wanted to go for a walk, but it was still raining. It had rained non-stop since Saturday morning. I wasn’t moving until Friends had finished, old friends.
Mark packed pipes at my request. Santo sucked like a baby at a breast, despite his protests, his education, read down fall, is nearly complete. Friends turned out to be a marathon, ha ha. The rain fell in small plops all over the surface of the lake.

But we have to go, it is 11.30.

It was a bracing day, still warm, kind of muggy, but over cast and raining. The type of day where it is lovely and warm in the cockpit, if you have the sun roof open and the heater on your feet. We just relaxed and held hands, skin on skin. He has warm hands, smooth, I know the feel of them now.
I’ve got heavy eyes and a thick forehead, nicely droopy. relaxed. Santo says he thinks he is stoned for the first time, because his eyes are really heavy and he’s really relaxed, and he’s feeling dirty.
I look over at him and he looks so handsome, suddenly I want to slide my hand down his pants. You know, that's the thing about having a boyfriend, you can. It's what makes him your boyfriend, hey, his willngness to let you play with his willy.
He lookes so beautiful sitting there, with his black hair and his brown eyes. What are you doing, he says. But, he soon gets the idea.
Several cars when past us as we were making out, but I don’t think any of them saw. We’d slowed to one hundred, they went passed too fast.
I’m surprised we didn’t drive off the road. I’m sure, my eyes rolled back, there for a few seconds. He was good, though, hot lips, swallows too. Everything whited-out, momentarily. One eye open on the road, just. I could see the highway going zig zag in my revision mirror, when I glanced behind. I laugh, all over the road like a mad woman's shit.
He was keen to finish, after I did. He looked sexy.
I have to stop. I have to concentrate on driving before we crash.
That was so hot! His bottom jaw shuddered and he threw his head back.
The sun was shining brightly, in front and out back.
We shouldn’t have done that, said Santo sitting up, smiling broadly.
I’m surprised we made it through that, I said.
I know, he said.
He smiled and took my hand and slid back in the chair and laughed. He exhaled through his mouth and ran his other hand through his hair and smiled. He shook his head. That was nuts.
He traces his finger tips on the back of my hand, it feels nice.

I made a coffee as soon as I got home. And if someone arrived now with a pack of cigarettes, I’d have one. All the vices. That’s how weak as piss I am. I know it. I admit it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A night in the country

I was awake early, but I made myself stay in bed as long as I could, I should, I deserve it, I thought. It was Saturday, after all, and time to sleep in. Curses to 9 to 5. Curses to some out-dated work ethic.
I pissed around on my computer for the next two hours, when I promised it would only be fifteen minutes. I had some vague idea about heading out and buying my new bike. My mobile was upstairs, Jill had called twice in the two hours. She must want to talk? I wondered how badly Jill might be freaking out?
We agreed on lunch.
What time?
Let's just get there? As soon as we can?
I cleaned the blossom out of the gutters before I left, they'll over flow in heavy rain and rain was forecast. The Golden Elm, in my next door neighbours back yard, can block my gutters in one wind gust, the amount of blossom its branches are holding still. Just as well that I checked, the gutter was blocked.
I head off to have lunch, after I'm done.
It rains and rains, the roads are flooded, the street gutters full to over flowing, there is water everywhere. I thank the universe that I unblocked the box gutter, before I left. I’m glad I make myself check, at the first mention of rain coming, it has saved my atrium many a time.
(The useless roofing tradie got the box gutter wrong in the first place. It is okay if I keep it clear it works fine, but if it is at all blocked up with debris, it floods inside the house)

Jill and I eat Gorgonzola and spinach risotto. She drinks coffee, I drink hot chocolate and we eat a large piece of poppy seed cheese cake.
She seems okay, not sure what the urgency was about. She's had a terrible few weeks at work. She has hired an assistant who has been getting everything wrong.
Jill is so keen to go for a walk afterwards, you know, do a bit of exercise, that she walks out into the pouring rain.
It’s okay, it’s not so hard, she says as I watch her get pelted. She looks so funny.

When I get home, I sit on the back veranda and stare out at the rain. The deep, wet colours are mesmerizing. I think about Santo? Am I missing him, when I’m away from him, or am I enjoying the space? I wonder do I want a boyfriend? They are so time consuming, you know. Is it Santo? I only think about him. Is getting into a realtionship much easier than getting out again?
That pretty quickly lead onto, what am I going to do with my life?
How much longer will I have to look after Lottie? Will it feel different when she dies?
It was a melancholy moment, the rain can lead to that. It makes me think with it's sweet pitter pat.
Is it terrible to be thinking that my mother’s death will change my life? Then I feel immediately sad that I won’t be able to share it with her? There isn’t much of my mother left anymore? I don’t have to wait for her death to be an orphan, the state of degeneration that she is at, I’m already an orphan.

I think about heading to Bolago. Mark, and I, are still spooky you know. I decide to go and get an Egg Flip Big M to contemplate a drive to the country. Mark calls just as I step out the front door and asks, What are you doing? Why don't you come up?

So, I’m off to the country, on my own. A rainy Saturday afternoon, just the right time to get out of the city, for the fresh air and open spaces of the rural confines.
I decide to give Santo the option to come. I shouldn’t assume things.
I'm going to Bolago, do you want to come? I’m assuming you have other plans with your boyfriend, as your last email said, Enjoy your weekend.
What boyfriend? What are you talking about?
Correct answer, I thought.
Why are you going, you will only smoke, you know that. And Anthony has prepared dinner for me already and he'll be pissed off...
Ah, the boyfriend, what did I say? Like I'd care if Anthony was pissed off. You don't sound like you want to come, that’s okay. I'll see you tomorrow... or something.
No wait on... but you know you'll smoke and its 17.30 what kind of time do you call this to be asking me to go away for the weekend?
Like the time I'll probably always ask you, that's how I am. Do you want to come, yes or no?
You need a better plan, I need more notice.
Plan sman, do you want to come, or not?
But dinner is being prepared and you...
Santo it shouldn't be this hard, I’m happy to go on my own. Right at that moment, I wished I hadn’t even asked him. I'll see you tomorrow or the next day.
I hadn't driven far up the Melville Road, certainly not as far as Bell Street, where if I turned left into Bell Street it was past the point of no return, I wasn't coming back, when I got a text. Okay, I'll go. Come get me.
He looked handsome in his black ribbed jumper, as he got into the car.
He said he was giving me space to write for the weekend, since we’d spent the last number of weekends together. And here I was coming and getting him?
Then he nagged until Caulder Park about better planning, that he needed more notice, when he said Shit, Shit, Shit! I have to see someone about a phone tomorrow, I can't go.
Too late. What time do you have to see him?
3pm is no trouble, I can have you back by then.
No, no, no, I have to be back at 1pm. I have to pack it up in the box and pack everything else with it and get to the city.
Yes, 1pm?
Okay 1 pm.
Then I put my hand over his mouth and said, Until you have something nice to say, you are not saying anything else.
His eyes brows changed, his eyes softened, he smiled under my hand, I could feel his lips move under the palm of my hand.
He lent over and patted me and I moved my hand and he said he was sorry. He was nice after that.
It rained all the way there. Randy Crawford sang.

I smoked pot and drank coffee. Santo was right, good for him. When I picked him up at too shorter notice, this was one of his predictions. The first joint I was offered, I took straight away, without hesitation and drew four puffs, my usual number. I looked over at Santo and he smiled his told-you-so smile, then he lent across pinched my cheek with his thumb and pointer finger, hard, with his cheeky look. I suck my finger to give him a wet willy and he recoils. I grrr, he grrrs, I hand him the joint, he puffs away on it like an expert, not a milliseconds hesitation.
We had a roast and drank wine. The lights were low, the fire burned slowly. We all smoked lots. Other friends were up too, Roz and Mike, Lissa and Adam. Santo never turned the pot down, despite all of his protests.
I don’t think Santo quite knows what stoned is? I mean, he gets stoned alright, but I don’t think he is aware of it yet. He just goes kind of bleary-eyed and floppy and sleepy, all the time claiming not to feel anything. We were the last to bed. Everything is fine with the world, as he is cuddled up in my arms.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Quiet Night In

I was up at 8am. The sun was shining, it was a beautiful day. I was going to go and buy the bike in Glenferrie Road, I don’t know why I’m hesitating? I said later, when I was having lunch with Gill and mum that I didn’t go because I was lazy and Gill commented that I had always been lazy. That hurt, I have to say. I didn’t go because it is like I’m not convinced that it I the right thing to do, that it is the right bike to buy. This could, of course, be procrastination, not sure. But, I’ve looked and compared prices and this entry level Malvern Star seems like the right bike to buy. I’m at the stage now where I’d just go and buy it. So, I don’t know what’s wrong? I don’t know why I’m hesitating. This should be the easy bit.
But instead I pissed around on my computer. I was to meet Gill at mum’s home at 12.45 and I pissed around until then, up to the death knock.

I didn’t hear from Santo after the morning flurry of emails, some kid in London’s collection of 27 Macs and the founder of gmail, one of the Silcon Valley personalities, reasoning for backing the legalisation of marijuana in California, proposition 19. I agree with everything he says. Hopefully it’ll pass Nov 2nd.
His last email said, Have a good weekend. Anthony must be home, I thought. Okay, chook. Space is good.

Of course, my car looked like a lamington when I went out to it, with the stupid old gum tree seeding and shedding.
I got to Shady Pines by midday.

Gill and I were meeting there to take mum out to lunch. I’m late. They are tying small sections of wool together, so mum can knit a scarf, when I get there.
“Get me out of here, mum says, I’m just about at the end of my tether.”
We head out to the car.”
“You are paying," she says. She's been on this non-payment thing for about four weeks. "And I need money.”
We get up to the Belmont Shops and I bumped in to Jennifer Brown from work getting out of her car and saying hello and many of my worlds collided. It's a funny feeling that...
I get $150 for Lottie and keep $50 to pay for lunch, right in front of her.

Mum said she wanted a pie until we got to the pie shop, when she said she wanted meat. She wants a roast. We head across the road. We get her some meat and salad. She plays with it, mangles it, chews it up and then spits it out. Then, when she is asked if she likes it, she says there are too many leaves. Then she just pushes it around on her plate, like a five year old might do.
“Now I want to go for a drive,” she declares.
“No, we’re not doing that,” said Gill. “We haven’t got time.”
“See you kids only ever think of yourselves.”
So we head off for a drive around the block. Mum doesn’t quite understand times anymore, so a quick trip around a few roads seems to fool her into thinking she has been for a drive.
“Caroline’s stealing money from my purse.” The woman who runs the home, I have to stop this in its tracks. If she goes to quickly down this path, Caroline may say she has to move to a more high security lock up. It’s possible.
“She is not,” I say.
“I tell you she is!”
“There was no money missing from your purse.”
“There is, I’ve got none left.”
“You are giving it to that bitch Pat Honan.” Mum’s friend who is stirring the pot by telling mum she should be at her home and not in a home.
“I AM NOT! Just shut up, will you, just shut up!”
I saw red and this is where is lead, I just couldn’t stop myself.
“You’re a miserable old bitch and if you don’t start treating me better I’m going to stop coming to see you.”
Gill agrees with me when mum tries to get her support.
“You’ve ruined my afternoon,” mum says, as I bid her farewell at Shady Pines.

Gill and I head to mum's house, as the tenant is moving in Cup Day. I mow the lawn as Gill bogs the kitchen bench. We are taking the cash settlement and fixing the kitchen ourselves, the insurance company won’t pay the extra to replace all of the kitchen. We wash the burnt walls down, it is hard work. I weed a lot of the front yard, in the hot afternoon sun. My t-shirt is wet by the time I finish.

Gill measure up the burn cupboards, so she and her husband can cut a piece of board and replace the burnt parts of the cupboard. She threw out the tiles which fell off the wall, so now she has to find a tile shop to replace them. I wonder if she is doing all the work and I think about the lazy comment and wonder if I should be doing more?
We finish working late in the afternoon, when the tenant calls to say his brother will take care of putting in the new oven on Monday.
Everything seems to be working out. The insurance company is giving us $7500.00, we're fixing it for a few hundred dollars.

I spend the night on my own, Shane is in Perth. I like the solitude, it is refreshing, it charges my batteries.
Jill texts late saying, Are you home and up for a talk?
I decide I don’t have to be. Blah, blah, blah, I don't have to have my ears bleed on every request. She can wait until tomorrow, I'm sure she's not swinging from a rope.
I head to bed around midnight, thinking I don’t have to get up and do anything tomorrow.

I was late for work because I missed the ......

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Internet Filtering

Add caption
Hands up those people who don't believe the Internet is being censored by the catholic religious right wing of the Labour Party?

Family values? Don't you mean making allowances for the slack and the incompetent.

"Somebody should do somfink about it?" said mum chewing gum.
Yes, you, get yourself a filter, they are freely available, and monitor your own child's progress.

That's where it really doesn't make sense, filters have been freely available for years for any parent who has concerns about what their children are looking at. But, apparently, parents don't care so much, as the take up rate has been small.

So the god botherers are stepping in...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Raising the Sales

"Yeah, Pete. I'll criticise you for being spineless and limp and you say I was a megalomaniac who wouldn't let go of power."

"Sure John, no problems. I can do that."

"Could be your next column, Pete."

"Yes John."

"Now, if I could just get some one to throw shoes at me, you know to do with mussos and the middle east, you know like George W."

"Good idea, tie in Iraq and Afghanistan..."

"It should boost my book sales no end.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Odd Couple

I think Russell Brand and Katy Perry are the odd couple. Who’d have thought they would get together? I do not think he is sexy, in fact, I find him a bit, um, ick. Twitching fingers. He looks kind of hairy and smelly. I am surprised so many women find him sexy. Grimace. And she looks like a buttoned-up kind of wide-eyed, ex-Christian, who would impose a sex ban for the week before her wedding, like it meant something. I’m not saying she is that person, but she kind of looks like it. I don't know why I say that, I have absolutely no evidence on which to base it. She has good tits, I have to say, but kind of sexless, other than that. (maybe that is because I am gay?) He's a big, hairy knob and she's just a bit pop. So yes, they are just odd together.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Back to work

Oh, back to work tomorrow. Back to the saltmines. Back to the swamp. It's been so nice, soooo nice, being the lord of my own time. The weather has been so nice, soooo nice. Sparkling. No more fruit salad and honey and an hour, or two, to read the Age. Or afternoon naps, it is so cruel. I had the nicest arvo nap today.

Ah lazy mornings.

Don't make me. You can't make me. I'll do anything. Anything!

Ha, ha, he, he.

I guess I've got to go.

How am I going to cope though? You see, I've had no caffeine or nicotine since last Saturday. It's work that drives me to both those substances. The unhealthy addiction of work, it's inherently bad for your health, it leads to substance abuse, let me tell you. Not to mention, cake addiction, donut addiction and muffin addiction.

Poor me! Poor, poor me.

I've got a big jug and it'll just be water, as it has been for the last week. I'm drinking nothing but water. It's my new health kick, fad, call it what you want. Just water is passing these lips. I want to see how long I can keep it up.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Will he say what? Of course not? Blood’s easier to get from stones

Santo isn’t speaking to me, this morning. But, it is more than that, he seems upset about something. Will he say what? Of course not? Blood’s easier to get from stones. He looks like he is going to cry when I push him for why he is seemingly upset with me, why he is silent. His big brown eyes have a pale shade of rouge surrounding them. They are almost pleading, Don't push it or I will dissolve into tears.
I ask him if I am misreading the situation, he doesn’t deny it, well, not strenuously. He just looks nervous, as though he has some big secret he has to tell me.
I don’t know what's wrong, he won’t say. Is it because I didn’t want to sleep at his place last night, telling some truths in my reasoning, bringing home to him the predicament he is in? There are lies involved here and I said I didn’t want to be a part of them.

I think this is the real reason.

We head off to the Classic Car Show. It is a beautiful day. I get a couple of smiles out of him as we head up Gertrude Street with a couple of funny things I say to him. I'm looking at him out of the corner of my eye, he's looking at me out the corner of his.
There is a queue halfway across the front court yard of The Exhibition Buildings when we get there, I am surprised. We stand in the queue dutifully.
Santo hardly says a word for the entire time we are at the show. He has his glum face on, it doesn't change.
"Are we finished?" are about the first words I get out of him.
We head outside onto the vast court yard between the Exhibition Buildings and the Museum. The Valley of the Midgets. The buildings are of such grand proportions, the people in between look like colonies of ants. It's dry and gray in the sun, concrete and flat surfaces as far as the eye can see. I want to shade my brow with my flattened hand.
 I've never been to the museum.
"I took my sister and it was boring," says Santo. "Do you want to go?"
"How could I refuse with that sales pitch?"
Santo thinks there is free admission, but there isn't, you need a coupon, or some such thing, cross promotional bah humbugery.We get free ice creams instead, apparently, the museum is 10 years old.

He only, really, starts talking when we start thinking about food. We eat Malaysian in Grattan Street, nothing quite like I’ve ever tasted before. Santo slowly starts to thaw out and speech resumes again.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, as he always quotes me.

He starts to smile and make jokes, it’s nice to see. Welcome back, I think.
“You made me go to that stupid car show... and I had to pay twenty dollars to get in.”
“You know, if you didn’t want to go so much, why didn’t you just say? I don’t want to make you go to something you really don’t want to go to.”
“You wanted to go, though.”
“I wouldn’t have cared, it’s just a stupid car show.”
And I wouldn’t have cared, I’ve seen all of those cars before, many times. Except maybe the Tucker, it was pretty cool, but for one car, no I didn’t have to go. And it was crowded, full of toothless morons, all shuffling along in the thrill-me-entertain-me-make-my-life-more-interesting-than-it’s-miserable-reality kind of way. I wouldn’t have cared. It was nothing special, really. I’d rather a happy Santo.
"So that's what was upsetting you?"
Those great, big eyes return, momentarily, at my question.
I guess I'm not going to find out any time soon.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Suddenly, it seems like I am sneaking around

We're lying in bed at Santos, it's Saturday morning, I'm half asleep, he is playing with his iPhone. He says that Charlie has asked if he can stay for two months, November to January. Santo and I have a mutual friend, Charlie; two randoms connect, four degrees of separation. Santo realised when he was on Facebook.
Charlie is moving back to Australia after 2 years, he wants to stay for two months to find a job and a place to live.
Not that Charlie knows that yet.

But, the third bedroom is a study?

The penny drops, the cogs start to turn, my eyes open. Or is it something I knew all along, but didn’t want to look at? Charlie's question is the focus?
Did I tell you, Santo still lives with his boyfriend, Anthony, of four years, but they are in the process of splitting up. I can understand that... jesus, I've been there. I'd never criticise anyone for how long it takes to separate, as I've taken forever myself. Look at Mark, we're still not really split up, although I don't live with him, of course. Anthony travels with his work and is away alot of the time, it would seem. In the last two weeks, Anthony has been there for one night.
I thought that Santo and Anthony slept in separate rooms, now that they were at the beginning of their break up.

But, where do Anthony and Santo sleep if Charlie is going to take the spare room?

It rained all night. We come out to the car and one of the sun roof drain holes had blocked up and the car was dripping inside with water. Grrr! There was a pool in the passenger foot well. Damn that gum tree in my back yard. It’s cold and wet, as I force wire into the left drain hole to unblock it. Rain falls gently on me and into the car, as I stand on the door frame with the sun roof open working as quickly as I can.

We head off to eat in Hawthorn. The cafe is closed when we get there, something about a festival.
So we go and eat Thai next to Coles, the pink fish and meatball soup that we had in Victoria Street when we are moving the furniture from mum’s house. Fucken yum!

Then Santo leads me up Glenferrie Road, I don’t know where he is taking me, I don’t really care, the sun is shining, I haven't window shopped in eons, it feels nice. And it's just the day for it.
I’m not surprised when he leads me into an Apple Shop. Of course, whatelse. The new MacBook Air. He thinks I should by one. Yes, my lap-top is out of the Ark, I know that. Yes, it is big and heavy and old, but, it still works just fine. I just don't see the reasoning in this day and age when the planet is faultering under too much human consumption to buy something new, just because is is shiny and pretty and fast, when what I have works just fine.
We also look at bikes in the bike shop. They are selling an entry level racer for $699, I should buy it, rather than spend the $1500 on the other bike I have picked out. It’s just for exercise, it’s not for racing or professional bike riding, or anything like that. It is just to haul my fat arse around the bike tracks so it isn't so, um, er, fat any more.

We drive to Studley Park, The Boulevard to go for a walk. It’s a glorious day, one of those perfect Spring days. We run across the ovals, one chasing the other. It feels good to run. We are heading to the convent when we think about the car. The stupid car! We can’t just wander as far as we feel like, because we have to come back for the car. We should have taken it home and then walked down here.
“See, we need bikes,” I say.
He agrees.

We head back to Santo’s place. He puts on rice for fried rice and we head to the supermarket. We watch more Harry Potter, but I've watched more than I realise. Santo cooks great fried rice. I again have trouble staying awake watching teev, it seems to have become a sedative for me. I think it is the combination of the comfy couch, the blanket engulfing us and Santo’s legs across me keeping me warm as toast.
He says bedtime around 11pm, when he catches me falling asleep for the millionth time.

I'm thinking about Anthony, as I slide into bed.
"So, you and Anthony still sleep together?"
“Does Anthony know I sleep here in this bed with you?”
Suddenly, it just doesn’t seem right. Santo should come sleep at my place, if we want to sleep together. Me sleeping in his and Anthony’s bed behind Anthony’s back, seems like I’m going behind Anthony’s back all of a sudden. It just doesn’t seem right. I wouldn’t like it to be done to me.
He turns out the light, we are drifting off to sleep. It’s only 11.30pm, though, still time to do any number of things on a Saturday night.
I tell Santo that I want to go to my place, because "this" doesn’t seem right any longer. He says go to sleep and stop being a drama queen.
"It's not like he is going to come home."
"That's not the point."
"Come on, let's go."
I insist.
We head to my place and get into my bed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Guy Porn

Too cute

Car porn

Me and my cat

You know, one of the nicest things to do is to pat my cat. She comes into my study every morning around this time and sits under my chair and I lean down with one hand, as I type and give her pats for about 10 minutes. I love the feeling of my finger tips passing through her soft fur. If I stop too soon, she reaches up and gently claws at my thigh. When she's had enough, she wanders across to the middle of the room and lays out on her side and purrs with her eyes half-closed.

What is it that they say? Patting a cat, lowers your cholesterol and generally cures you from what ails you?

Some car, hey?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sunny Day

I felt better today, the antibiotics must be working.

It was a glorious day, the sun was shining brightly. I went out for breakfast and ate fruit salad with pistachio and macadamia nuts and yogurt and honey dribbled all across it in thick lines and read the newspaper. The fruit was as fresh and taste as the day. The morning sparkled in front of me, I watched the people pass by the window. I wondered where they were going; everyone with a purpose, everyone with a story. Where were they headed?

I walked into the city in a t-shirt, I even had to find my sunglasses. I started out in a jacket, but returned it to home after only walking a short distance. It felt nice. I ate Indonesian food with Santo, it was great. I haven't seen him since Sunday. He's good, you'll be glad to hear.

We went to look at the new Apple Macbook Air, in Flinders Street, of course, but they weren’t in stock as yet. Santo thinks it is high time I updated my old lap-top.

I wondered if I should be walking through the city when I was supposed to be home sick. I told Santo, as we crossed Bourke Street Mall. He asked where would my colleagues would most likely be and I said here in the mall, so we quicken our step, like robbers or thieves to slip back into the shadows of the busy footpaths on Swanston. Oh, who cares. So I was out for the first time all week. It's true. Practically.

I sat in St Paul's Cathedral for a short time and enjoyed the solitude and no, none of the roof fell in. I can still enjoy their architecture even if I think their ideas are stupid. There is a certain serenity to be found amongst all that cold, hard stone.

I walked back through Treasury Gardens and Fitzroy Gardens in the sparkling sunshine. What a glorious day.

Not working is grand. It's amazing how many people who live in my street are coming and going all day, clearly not 9 to 5 slaves. It's an unnatural state, working, I wouldn't recommend it.

What's is Real?

Zoo Weekly magazine's raunchy nun-themed shoot days after the canonisation of Mary MacKillop has been branded "disgusting" by the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney after a five-page "St Mary Mac and her holy rack" spread which featured a busty model wearing a nun's habit and halo.

And yet in The Age today, in response to "Safe Schools Coalition" gay friendly schools for often troubled gay teenagers, the christian lobby raised concerns the government was "normalising homosexuality as a lifestyle in schools."

Okay, if nobody else will say it, yes that is exactly what we are trying to do, making being gay normal. That's the agenda, no doubts.

"Our concern," continues the Christian lobby, "is that some of these programs promote homosexual behaviour rather than allowing children the time to work these things out for themselves."

What does that even mean? Don't help the gay kids who are struggling with their identity, leave them strung out and vulnerable? So hopefully, what? ...they'll be bashed or commit suicide and the problem is solved, no doubt.

So, on one hand you have the Christians outraged at a little harmless fun being poked at one of their manufactured, mythical saints, which has nothing to do with anything real, except in name only. What did Mary McKillop do, perform a miracle 60 years after her death? Oh yes guys, that seems real.
And on the other, they don't want real kids with real issues, namely gay teenagers, to be told that they are normal, therefore clearly wanting them to continue to be laughed at, made fun of, and ridiculed, which could be help by education.

They want the image of imaginary of a dead woman performing stunts from beyond the grave upheld, but real kids with real problems ignored.

Way to go Catholic Church.

Ed note - I've had a bit more of a look into the Zoo photos and they are pretty tacky, there is no doubt about it, even my mouth fell open, but I still think the principle remains the same.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I was up at 9am to call work to give them the good news. “See you next week, suckers!”
Shane’s last words before he left were, “Now  Guadalupe is coming, don’t throw anything at her.”
At 9.24, I heard the quiet click of the front door and the scuff, scuff, scuff of her feet. “Egads! So early!”
I wasn’t expecting her for another hour, but this was actually good.
I had a shower and went out for breakfast.

I went to Cocos to have breakfast and to get Santo’s jacket, he left there on Sunday. When I got there the first thing the nice lady said to me was, “Just coffee?”
“Um no, breakfast.”
“Sorry, the kitchen doesn’t open until 10.30am, it’s just coffee now.”
And I left.
Without the jacket. I was so surprised about no food, I forgot about the jacket.

Santo would say later, I’m very disappointed, as he does.

So, I went to Arcadia and ate fruit salad and fruit juice. I haven’t drunk coffee since Sunday and not that I have given it up, but I just want to see how long a break I can have from it.
No nicotine since Saturday and no caffeine since Sunday. And I’m feeling fine in those departments. It must be like a distraction thing, give the body bigger things to deal with and it doesn’t notice the small withdrawals. I mean, everybody says that you get a massive head ache from quitting coffee, but no.

I got my hair cut. My stomach was hurting as I walked down Smith Street, but I didn’t want to turn back, I didn’t want to go home, not with  Guadalupe there. I did wonder, momentarily, if I was going to make it there and back again, but I pushed on.

I wonder what the noun for fear of cleaners is?

I bought more Gatorade on the way back. I’m becoming addicted to the stuff. Well, doc said yesterday to keep drinking it.
My stomach was knotting up in pain when I got home and I had head straight to the toilet. Victoria Falls came out my arse. Three times. That is, the entire water flow of Victoria Falls. Three times.
Oh, three times, ten times, I lost count.
Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle, my stomach would sound quite audibly.
A big long fart.
Then squirt. Gush.
Do you remember that greeting card sometime back which had a photo of an elephant pissing on the cover with the caption, It never rains but it pours? That is how it felt.

OMG! It is so exhausting, I can’t begin to tell you. Euthanasia for the terminally ill, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. If this kept up for much longer, my finger would be hovering over the speed dial to Exit, no problem.

I called Luke and told him about my Niagara moment. He laughed.
I am one for healthy pooh talk. (smile) Just in case you hadn't noticed. And as it turns out, Santo isn't. Quite the baby, shuts any such talk down. Ironic, really, considering what he likes having done to him.
I went to get more Gatorade.

I’m so sick, I could hire myself out as a garden manure sprayer... and I wouldn’t need a machine.
Aby wrote
Thanks for that : )"

I went to get Santo’s jacket. And I got more Gatorade.
I wrote my journal for the afternoon.


“It’s raining,” he said.
“Yes, glorious spring rain, don’t you love it?”
He gazed out at it and shrugged. “I guess.”
“You guess?” I said.
“Not much to do when it is raining.”
“It’s beautiful to look at.”
“I guess,” he said again.

"What do you want to look at in the rain?" I said.
"I don't know," he said. Rain drops formed like crystals on his black hair.
"There must be something to look at?"
"Yes, there must."
"In the rain," he said.
"Even in the rain," I said.

"A nice piece of arse?" I said.
“I nice piece of arse?” he said.
I shrugged. “That’s what I always do when I’m bored.”
“Am I boring you?”
“No,” I said.
He looked out at the rain and then looked back to me. "Well, I can always look at a nice piece of arse," he said. He shrugged. "There will be no joggers, though."
"No," I said.
"We can't go to the beach."
"No, not in the rain."
"Not in the rain," he said.

"Is it 3.30, yet?" he said.
"Nearly, not quite."
"We could go purve on the school boys?" He smiled his naughty smile.
"The schoolboys?" I said. I tilted my head and looked at him quizzically.
He shrugged again. "It was just a thought."
"Not a good one," I said.

"Is it 5.30, yet?" he said.
"Not yet," I said.
"We could go purve on the suits in the CBD?" He smiled again.
"The suits?" I said.
He shrugged again. "It was just a thought."
"Too many jackets," I said.
He looked quizzical.
I turned around and mimed something covering my arse.
He looked down at my arse and smiled in understanding.

"Do you want to get sticks and unblock the gutters?" I said.
"The gutters?" he said.
"Yes, the gutters."
He tilted his head and thought for a moment. "We'd need umbrellas and rain coats."
"I've got umbrellas and raincoats."
"Both?" he said.
"Yes, both."
He looked out at the rain. "The gutters?"
"Like we did as kids."
"Did you?"
“Oh,” he said.
“It always takes me back to my childhood," I said.
“When was the last time you played in the gutters with sticks?”
“I don’t know,” I said.
He shrugged. "Okay."
"We can make paper boats and float them in the torrents we release."
"Paper boats?"
"Paper boats," I said.
"In the torrents?"
"In the torrents," I said. "See whose boat comes first."
"Like a race?"
"Exactly like a race."

“Will I get my shoes wet?”
“Why, are you getting cold feet?”
“Ha, ha,” he said.
“Ha, ha,” I said.

“Will I?”
“I have boots.”
“Boots?” he said.
“Gum boots,” I said.
“Are they black?”
“Are they black?”
“Yes, are they black?”
“Yes they are,” I said.
“They are?”
“What colour would you expect gum boots to be?” I said.
“I once had green ones with buckles on the side.”
“Green ones with buckles on the side?”
“Yes, green, buckles down the outside.”
“No, these are black.”
“I just wondered.”
“I’ve never seen green ones with buckles on the side.”
“No, neither have I.”
“But you just said…”
“Except for that pair.”
“Oh, except for that pair.”
“Yes,” he said.

“Why so fancy?”
“Your green gumboots with buckles?”
“My mother used to put cling wrap on our shoes as kids when it was raining,” he said. “I think it was rebellion.”
“Against the cling wrap.”
“And your mother.”

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mark's Incorrigible

I've lost weight, I can see it in my face. Well, I didn't eat for two days, I just couldn't face it, as I have had an upset stomach. The diarrhea still hasn't stopped. I've pretty much been on a liquid diet, orange juice, chicken broth, beef broth, and since I went to the doctor, I've developed a new addiction to Gatorade.

Still, I'm getting back my slim face again. I can see it when I look in the mirror.

Mark has quite an unhealthy body/fat relationship which he got from his mother. It is quite fat phobic.

When I told Mark he said, "Really? Well, you've got the week off, don't take the antibiotics. You body will naturally clear the infection, anyway, without them and you'll probably gain maximum weight loss as well. It's making a positive out of a negative."

He's given up smoking for nearly twelve months and has put on some weight himself, for the first time in his life. "In fact, I wasn't you to keep some of your pooh on a jar, so I can come down and lick it, I could really do with the loss of five pesky kilos."

Monday, October 18, 2010

I've been sick

I've had gastro for three days. Oh, it's not fun, let me tell you. I can't be far from the toilet. Sad, anxious, face.

Not fun? It's exhausting.

I haven't eaten for two days I just haven't felt like it. I feel weak, but the thought of food makes me nauseous. Shane has made me chicken broth and Santo said he'd come over with his grandmother's recipe, some porridge thing with egg and chillies.

The only thing I've wanted was orange juice, not sure why and to be left alone.

I was hoping it would clear up, but it doesn't seem to be getting any better. Everything is beginning to hurt. I'm going to the doctor today.

I felt so weak, I hadn’t eaten for two days, pretty much, so I forced myself to eat muesli, and it wasn’t nice.

I went to see Doc, who gave me the week off.

I took a pooh sample to the pathology clinic in Victoria Parade. Hmm, do you want me to tell you about squatting over an ice cream bucket?
“Done today?” the nice receptionist asked.
“Yes, fresh,” I replied.

I watched Tru Blood for the rest of the day.

I've lost weight, I can see it in my face. Well, I didn't eat for two days, I just couldn't face it and the diarrhea still hasn't stopped. I've pretty much been on a liquid diet, orange juice, chicken broth, beef broth and since I went to the doctor, I've developed a new addiction to Gatorade.
I'm getting back my slim face again.
When I told Mark, who, of course, has quite an unhealthy body/fat relationship which he got from his mother, he said,
"Really? Well, you've got the week off, don't take the antibiotics. You body will naturally clear the infection, anyway, without them and you'll probably gain maximum weight loss as well. It's making a positive out of a negative."
He doesn’t like feeling fat himself, for the first time in his life. "In fact, I want you to keep some of your pooh on a jar, so I can come down and lick it, I could really do with the loss of five pesky kilos."

I ate what was left of the chicken broth. This time the chicken pieces and all, it was nice.

I lit a fire.

Santo called and said come over he’d ordered two pizzas from Dominoes.
“Dominoes?” I questioned.
“It was a special offer.”
You’d have to bring it to me.
I turned him down.

Shane went to yoga and bought me home beef broth afterwards.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Smoking chimney

I wanted to clean out my chimney, stop it from smoking. The soot builds up in the flu and then the smoke can't clear away as quickly and it wafts into the room. Puff, puff... and the house gets smokey.
Of course, I should get a chimney sweep, or what would they be called today, a chimney maintenance professional, I know that, however...

The easiest way to do this is to stuff the fire place with newspaper and then light it. The super heat of the burning paper sets the soot in the chimney alight, the excess soot is burnt up and the problem is solved.

I discovered this many years ago quite by accident, when the chimney caught alight all on it's own. And I've done it myself once before, or at least, Mark has done it for me. He's the "Solo" man when it comes to such things.

So, I got all of my old bills, the ones I've been meaning to buy a shredder to take care of, you know, to avoid identity theft, you can't be too careful, so they say. The crims go through the tip and find them? Anyway, I stuffed them into the fireplace, in they went, one by one. The fire built up to quite a nice temperature, flames roaring. You can hear when the soot catches it makes quite a whooshing sound, like a jet aeroplane, okay, a small jet aeroplane. Once, I heard the whooshing sound I headed out side to look. The flu coming out of the top of the chimney goes bright red.

What I saw was smoke billowing out as if the house was on fire. Jesus! It was like 9/11. Fuck me! I guess, since I'd always done it at night, I hadn't realised how much smoke was produced.

"Okay, I think that is enough," I said nervously.

Santo and I were out in the back yard as we heard sirens approaching. I turned to him and said, "You don't think they are coming for us, do you?"
He shrugged, then smiled
I looked up at the chimney, the smoke had stopped, there were now just some extraneous particles of soot shooting out. When it catches it burns hot and quickly and then it is done.
The sirens got louder. The sirens got softer. Then they got louder. Then they got softer again. As if they'd seen the fire they were supposed to be attending and then lost it.
My stomach buzzed with nerves, I reckon they were coming for us.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mary MacKillop

Mother Mary MacKillop died on 8 August 1909 in the Josephite convent in North Sydney.

In 1925, the Mother Superior of the Sisters of St Joseph, the order Mary MacKillop founded, Mother Laurence, began the process to have MacKillop declared a saint and Michael Kelly, Archbishop of Sydney, established a tribunal to carry the process forward. After several years of hearings, close examination of MacKillop's writings and a 23 year delay, the initial phase of investigations was completed in 1973. After further investigations, MacKillop's 'heroic virtue' was declared in 1992. The process for determining this declaration is internal to the church, and conducted by those in senior positions.

That same year, it was considered that MacKillop's intercession to God had been responsible for the recovery of an apparently dying woman in 1961. The decree on the miracle was read in 1993 and MacKillop was beatified in January 1995 by Pope John Paul II. [Who is also in line for sainthood]

In December 2009, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints issued papal decree recognising a second miracle, the complete and permanent cure of an Australian woman of lung and secondary brain cancer.

Her forthcoming canonisation was announced in February this year, and is due to occur this month. She will be Australia's first saint.

Events to mark the Canonisation of Mary Mackillop will take place around Australia tomorrow, including a major celebration at her birthplace, 7 Brunswick Street Fitzroy. A morning Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral, will be followed by a parade from Brunswick Street to the Royal Exhibition Building, where a festival of celebrations will take place, including a live telecast from Rome of the Canonisation by the Pope at St. Peter's Basilica. [No vow of poverty there]

In the week leading up to her canonisation, the federal government announced that it is protecting the use of Mackillop's name for commercial purposes. This will be enacted through legislation, and will block companies from calling themselves names that include Mary MacKillop or Saint MacKillop. It may also block other terms such as Our Mary, depending on the circumstances. [or what the lobby groups can achieve, no doubt] Apparently, the only other individual Australian's name with similar protection is cricket legend, Sir Donald Bradman. [sport and religion, hey?]
For the occasion of the beatification, an official commemorative portrait has been commissioned. [Apparently, the official photo is photoshopped to within an inch of it's life]

There is no doubt that she was a good woman who did good work. Her story is an interesting one - ministering to the poor, often in remote locations, travelling the world, excommunication, pedophilia, to mention just a few facts.

However... what can I say? The catholic church needed a good marketing strategy to help it through the 21st Century, to help with it's much tarnished reputation and what better strategy, not unlike Hollywood honouring it's past stars, than to rummage up a few new saints.

I'd be guessing, but I would think that all the catholic outposts in the world, who don't have saints yet, will be in the process of getting them, or will soon have them.

The first miracle attributed to Mary MacKillop happened in 1961, the second some 30 years later. More than fifty years after she had died. So, she has continued to do her good work for the last hundred years since her death? She was such a good woman, even death hasn't stopped her. Amazing.
Of course, there can never be any, actual, physical proof of this.
It's the perfect marketing strategy, something other advertisers and markets of today must be green with envy over. Now, if only they could get their claims raised to the highest level without a single piece of physical evidence they be happy people, let me tell you.

The site for the new Saint Mary of the Cross Chapel is on the Australian Catholic University's vacant land opposite MacKillop's birthplace at the top end of Brunswick Street in Fitzroy.

The gateway to Fitzroy, arguably the gayest suburb in Melbourne, will now be a catholic chapel.

In the process, the catholic church managed to demolish a lovely, deco building which used to be the gateway to Fitzroy.

Funny how religion continues to impose itself on all of us whether we like it or not. I know which building I would rather.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Spring Rain

Don't you just love the rain? A day off. Coffee brewing on the stove and a sweet muffin fresh from the muffin shop. The misty, hazy hues of the garden under it's blanket of water droplets. The pitter pat of the rain on the tin roof.
Everything is wet, everything is dripping. I so love it when the day is like that. Of course, if I had the Greek Islands surrounding me, I'd feel different.
I head out to the shop with my big umbrella, the wind and the rain is sleeting down. It feels bracing. It makes me feel alive.
I buy smokes and head back.
I might just light a fire and set myself up in front of it and write all day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

“Be careful with that,” he said

I worked back late, yesterday, getting every thing finished for my deadline.
Santo headed home. Work, smurk, he said. He emailed me later in the night and said he’d prepared noodles for me. Lovely noodles. Come over.
It was 18.30 and I'd just got home. I’m tired, I thought. I can't be bothered driving over to his place.
Then he said he had Sarah Lee ice cream too.
Well, I thought. Shane was out and I was home on my own and would have to get my own food and Sarah Lee ice cream, hmmmm. So, I said yes and headed over to his place.
God I'm cheap.
He cooked lovely noodles and he put chili on the side. “Be careful with that,” he said. The noodles we great.
We watched Prince of Persia. Jake Gyllenhaal was hot. I've never thought that about him before, I've always though he was a bit wimpy, but not in this movie. And cute. Adorable.

I stayed home today, I pulled a sickie, well, I had a migraine, so not so sick. Since Beck was treated like crap and left I've had no help from anyone and, I think, it was beginning to take it's toll. The corporate world, you are on your own, bud!
Not long into the morning, I needed to take a shit. Suddenly, it felt kind of weird too. Oh, gotta go now, I thought. Yikes. Run, run, run!
You know, I never had "the burning ring of fire" until a few years ago. It was a revelation. Oh, that's what they've been talking about. Now I get it.
Oh! Burning ring of fire. Those chilli’s, my god.

I text Santo and he said not to be a baby.
Not long after, he text me with, OMG! Me too! Those chilli's were fierce, hey?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We're all in a spin

Be generous, they say. Be nice, be helpful. W Somerset Maugham wrote a book in the later part of his life where he concluded that the meaning to life was goodness. His reasoning was, to shorten a whole book down to one sentence, was that goodness can't be interpreted like, for instance, the truth can be, it is simply the one thing. Goodness is goodness.

Be generous to your fellow man, treat others as you would want to be treated yourself. It's a simple message, one we should remember when we leave the house in the morning. Keys, wallet, a sunny disposition.

I know I'm guilty, grumpy old me leaving the house. Don't speak to me until I've had my coffee, maybe two. People on mobile phones on the tram, other's with iPods sounding, chick, chick, chick, some of the reasons I try to avoid catching public transport.

But, it's also woman in click, click, click high heals walking behind me on Bourke Street. Grrr! I scowl.

I forget.
It's funny how we all forget.
I thought life was meant to be getting easier, with all of this technology? I suspect, it is getting harder.

I don't think it is getting harder because it is, actually, getting harder, I think it is getting harder because that's the excuse we all use to make allowances for everything in our lives and, somehow, along the way, we started to believe our own spin.

I helped two sets of tourists with directions recently, a bi-product of walking to work. And I, literally, helped a little old lady across the road, carried her bags. They were all so grateful, if made me smile and walk away with a spring in my step, thinking, that's the meaning of life, such simple things.