Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Gays will hit on you, Dad says.

Alrighty, here's the scene. It's Saturday and I'm freshly showered, ready to go out. At the time, all I was wearing was a pair of dodgy briefs, owing to a shortage of washed sexy underwear. Yeah, it was a bit of a Bridget Jones-unsexy underwear situation, but at the opposite end of the spectrum.

So as I ran to my bedroom from the bathroom to cover up my shame, Mum wolf-whistled. Har har. Then Dad, calling from the living room, said the strangest thing.

"You're a sexy boy", he said. I was like, erm okay. Odd. I didn't think much of it, and hurried into my room and closing the door behind me. It's always a nice thing to hear, I suppose. But from your own father? And that wasn't the end of it.

"Miiike", he called, in his trademark broken English. "I want to talk to you". So I pulled on a pair of boardies and headed out.

"You're a sexy boy," he said again. "You know, to the gays". Gosh, if only.

Mum and I looked at each other knowingly and laughed. See, Mum and I don't often talk about me and gayness, but when it does come up, she isn't usually all that happy about it. So maybe now she's okay with having gay son. At least enough to laugh about it. Le sigh.

Anyway, Dad (to whom I'm not out to) regaled us with stories from the old country, from when he was a strapping young lad. Apparently in his younger days when he was out on the town, he was often stalked by homosexuals wanting to get into his pants. Puh-lease. I've seen photos, and he wasn't all that. I don't see what the axe-wounded half of the species ever saw in him, let alone the ├╝ber-critical eye of the fag.

So he was warning me about the dangers of the gays. "They'll only want to use you", he says, "for your body and your money".

Really? All gays? Gosh, I'd like to think I'm a little deeper than that.

Listening to:
Title: What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?/It Sucks to Be Me
Artist: Original Broadway Cast
Album/station: Avenue Q (2003)
Length: 5.55

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thursday night: the President on Aunty.

So The West Wing screened for the first time on the ABC tonight and I think the show has found it's natural home. It's a shame US network NBC axed it.

This time around, I found myself getting really into it. I don't think any other political drama comes close. But you know, it could've been the absence of ads that did it for me tonight. Or maybe it's just my aversion the commercial networks and pretentious preference for good ol' Aunty. Who knows. But if there ever is a President Martin Sheen President Jed Bartlett, I might even consider moving to the US. Ah well, as if the voters of America would ever elect a guy like him anyway.

I used to date a lad who was mad for The West Wing. He was mad for anything political, really - a student politician in the making, back when I knew him. His interest in politics was just a touch more zealous than mine, but enough to put him over that tipping point from being an armchair expert (like moi) and actually doing something about it (like El Presidente, i.e. him).

We used to do this thing where we'd txt each other messages in diplomat-speak or politic-ese. "The presence of the Mikeynational Minister for Snuggles is requested in the Bed Embassy for an important summit", or something like that. Once, he briefly put hugonomic sanctions on me because because I chose a crap film when we went to the movies, but I managed to 'smuggle' a few cuddles in during that time. There was even a UN Kisses-for-Hugs program.

Yeah, it seems pretty wanky now but well, you just had to be there I guess.

Listening to:
Title: Last Christmas (live)
Artist: Busted
Length: 2.42

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Kerrazy Filos.

I hang on to my cultural heritage purely for comic value. I don't at all identify with it, and sometimes I resent it. That said though, it'd be a shame that when my parents die, the rich and often amusing culture, as far as my connection to it is concerned, would die with them.

I guess it's all a part of that ethnic humour schtick. Especially where food is concerned, things that appear normal or even valued in Filipino cuisine would sound absolutley vile to the palates of Australian-born children of Filo parents - and well, anyone else, really.

I mention Filo food because that's where I ended up after surfing the interwebs, looking for guidance on choosing or restructuring my name. I decided to look to my nomenclatural roots (more on that... eventually). See, even when I'm not doing anything academically or work related, I still procrastinate.

So I find a littany of Wikipedia articles on Filipino food. One of my favourite dishes features in amongst them: adobo. It's "pork or chicken, slow-cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, crushed garlic, bay leaf, and black peppercorns" and apparently it's "widely known that as adobo ages, its flavour becomes more potent". And I thought it's only attribute was that it was yummy.

But amongst the less palatable aspects of Filipino cuisine (cue to put down any food you may be eating) are:-
  • balut - boiled duck egg with a fetus inside that was almost carried to term. I've watched older relatives feasting upon the unborn, and it involves a lot of sucking and slurping. I don't know why they can't just peel the shell away. Maybe they derive some sort of enjoyment from hoovering the bastard out. Oh wait, I almost forgot, there's baby duck juice, ergo the sucking/slurping. Maybe it's just me, but I can't bring myself to consume anything like this. I like to make sure that anything I eat has at least seen the light of glorious day.
  • dinuguan - pork stew made with entrails in a broth of pigs blood. Again, I haven't had the pleasure of tasting this, erm, delectable dish.
  • pinapaitan - by far the most stomach churning of the lot: beef or goat heart, lung, stomachs (three of the four that exist in a cow), intestines and liver, drenched in a soup of the animal's own bile. Yep bile, which can be bought from your local Asian butcher in its own convenient packaging, a cow's gall bladder. Le gag. Every Christmas, one of my relatives has the honour of whipping up their own interpretation of this dish, but I so don't understand why. It's Christmas for fuck's sake. You're meant to use the best cuts of meat, not offal!
I looked for a wiki article on pinapaitan, but all I could find was the one in Ilokano. Rightly so, I mean, if it were in English it'd probably be banned for being both visually and culinarily offensive.

I did, however, find a pinapaitan fan's journal entry. Interesting read, but I'm not converted. "Given a choice between a girl and this pinapaitan", he says, "I'd seriously have to think about it first". Well, given the choice between offal cooked in bile and a person with an axewound for genitalia, I'd reluctantly choose the girl.

Listening to:
Title: Debaser
Artist: The Pixies
Album/station: Doolittle (1989)
Length: 2.52
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Waratahs 32
Stormers 26

Crusaders 47
Reds 21

Bah! Faceless CorporationTM had me working the phones last night so I missed the Reds/Crusaders game and I slept through the Waratahs/Stormers game in the wee hours of the morning.

I really wanted to see the Reds versus the Crusaders. Hot Drew Mitchell versus hot Dan Carter. MmMmmm. Ah well. I'll have to wait 'till FoxSports 1 replays all the matches on Tuesday.

Listening to:
Title: Buddy Holly
Artist: Weezer
Album/station: The Blue Album (1993)
Length: 2.38

Friday, February 17, 2006

Pinko ramblings.

So the state's new treasurer says that the Federal budget surplus should be spent on public services rather than personal tax cuts. It sounds like a pretty sociallist thing to say for a guy from Labor-Right, although I do remember reading in the Honi Soit that Michael Costa was once a Trotskyite, back in the day.

It's a point of view I agree with - the services versus tax cuts that is, not Trotskyism. There's just so much more that a pool of money can pay for than if everyone had a few more dollars in their pockets to spend on something stupid. Economies of scale and some such. It doesn't even have to be recurrent spending, although that would be good. What about some good old nation building, splurging on some key national projects?

Listening to:
Title: Watch The Right
Artist: Anti-Flag
Album/station: Underground Network (2001)
Length: 2.52

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hammering in the tent pegs.

I'm looking forward to uni starting up again. It'll bring some semblance of order back to my day-to-day life. It's just, you know, at the moment things are just so unpredictable. Work rosters me on seemingly random shifts, and often I'm not even sure which roof I'll be sleeping under of a night. I'm sort of floating around without the comfort of routine and, well, I'm feeling a little dislocated. Short of calling myself homeless (which would be stretching it a bit), at the moment I don't feel like I have a home. Just houses I regularly sleep in. The nomadic existence I've been living for the last few months is starting to wear thin, and I just want to stay put in one place for a while.

Ultimately, I'd like to live somewhere on my own terms, at a place I can call my own. A place I enjoy going home to every night. And a place free of the suffocating relationship I have with both my parents. Oh gosh, my parents. I get the feeling that they only have token faith in my abilities as a functioning human being and refuse to give me room to grow, as it were. Of course, I don't have the means for leaving them at the moment and I'm somewhat dependent on them too, so I guess I should stop my whinging.

Listening to:
Title: Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Artist: Judy Garland
Album/station: On Radio 1936-1944, Vol 1: All The Things You Are (1993)
Length: 2.50

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cogito ergo sum.

Alrighty. So I've downloaded, printed and filled out a Statutory Declaration to Register a Change of Name. You know, just to see what it would look like on paper. At the moment I've just inserted another middle name - one that I'm not really all that attached to right now, but one that's different.

I've been thinking of changing my name for a while, scoping out different things I'd like to call myself. So far, I've decided that I'll keep my surname and some semblance of my first, but that might be relegated to a lower ranking middle. You know, not that I'm not having some kind of emo identity crisis or anything. I think I'm just going through some kind of existentialist phase.

So I'm still looking for a suitable first name, and I've set myself a dead line of graduation, circa 2008/9 so that my testamur will have my brand spanking new name on it. Suggestions are welcome (I believe the weasel words are 'community consultation'), but the name Michael and any derivative thereof are out.

Listening to:
Title: The Old Apartment
Artist: Barenaked Ladies
Album/station: Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits (1991-2001) (2001)
Length: 3.22

So I was going to head off to the beach today, but I slept in. Instead I indulged in a guilty pleasure and watched Parliamentary Question Time on ABC TV, and listened to it a little bit on ABC News Radio (to get the tail end of the censure motion motion to suspend standing orders that was sure to be defeated due to government numbers anyway).

So the shit seems to be hitting the fan for the Government, and they're still playing dumb. But the thing that bothers me is that the body politic doesn't know nor care about the whole scandal. Like Barney Joyce said, it's not grabbing the electorate. But it should. Just because Johnny and Pete give them all an unnecessary and false sense of security/fear, tax cuts and fattens them up on middle class welfare cheques, they're prepared to turn a blind eye to flagrant corruption. That, and all the other shitty things this Government has done to turn us into its servants as opposed to we being the served.

You know, once there was a Government that improved public infrastructure, rescued the national economy and stomped on unemployment, and the plebs turned a blind eye to the unspeakable evil that the aforementioned Government was also responsible for. But I'm not about to trivialise the Holocaust by comparing it to the Oil-For-Wheat scandal which really doesn't rate in comparison, but the point remains. Also, that fills my lefty obligation to compare John Howard to a fascist dictator every now and then.

Some humour (?) was injected into the day at least: Dana Vale, member for Hughes (a.k.a. half the Sutherland Shire) said that abortion equals Islamisation of this country. "Australia is going to be a Muslim nation in 50 years' time ... when you actually look at the birthrates and you look at the fact that we are aborting ourselves almost out of existence by a 100,000 abortions every year", she says.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Did she come up with that, or was there some kind of focus group for ridiculous brainfarts? Maybe there's a whole ministry for that sort of thing. And she uses the word guesstimate. Gosh, I don't know which is more offensive.

Listening to:
Title: You Don't Care About Us
Artist: Placebo
Album/station: Once More With Feeling: Singles 1996-2004 (2004)
Length: 4.00

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Batboy is moving out! Naww.

Also, Waratahs kicked arse. Squee!

Listening to:
Title: Pleasure From The Bass
Artist: Tiga
Album/station: Ministry of Sound: The 2005 Annual (2004)
Length: 4.05

Friday, February 10, 2006

Super14, part one.
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It's always the same at my place when the rugby is on. I'll stay over at my Mum's house, where the TVs are hooked up to Foxtel, and I'll park myself in front of the telly on one couch with my uncle on the other, and anyone else that wants to join us has to bring their own chair/stool/milkcrate to sit on. Because it's my couch, dammit.

So the 2006 Super14 started today with the match between the Brumbies and the Force, and with it started the almost year-long season of exclusive sitting rights on the aforementioned sofa. Now I'm not a fan of either team; I mean, my tribal loyalties already lie with this other team. But a bunch of guys from my local rugby club are playing for the Force this year, so despite them being a west coast team, they were my pick. It's a shame they lost, twenty-five to ten.

So here's to a new year of hugging/juggling/tossing the Gilbert on the couch in front of the TV (or in the stands at TG Millner Field, Concord Oval or Uni Oval No.1). And may the Woodies, Waratahs and the Wallabies smite all their rivals this year.

Y'know, someone said to me that I'd made a transformation from camp to butch in under twenty-four hours - from singing whole Grease soundtrack one night and then watching big buff guys smacking into each other the next. Hey, I'm a lad of diverse intersts. And it's not just about the perving as was suggested (although the new skin tight jerseys don't hurt).

Listening to:
Title: Big Mouth Strikes Again
Artist: The Smiths
Album/station: The Very Best Of The Smiths (2001)
Length: 3.15
Summer heat, boy and boy meet / But, uh oh, those summer nights...

So Adsy's been and gone. Le sigh. The last couple of days have probably been the best this summer. It's all felt like a bit of a holiday without leaving home, really. Since there was no space at the Mikeymoo Inn due to a pair of overbearing and nosey parents, Steph kindly put us up for the last couple of nights. Much hilarity ensued, owing to the presence of two Adams in da house (the other one being my bestmate and Steph's significant other).

Amongst other things we did while he was here, we went to karaoke at Stonewall (both of us were impressed by a pair of cute lads of did an duet of Abba's Does Your Mother Know) and we went and saw The Aristocrats. I nearly died in the cinema that night, I absolutely cacked myself. Then there were the late night wanderings about our fair city and the trips on the Nightride bus at godforsaken hours of the morning back to Steph's.

And well, there was cuddling too. And as it turns out, I'm not a total bottom after all. Oh Adsy. So sweet and adorable, I could eat him for dessert. Shame he lives so far away. So, you know, I don't get to see him very often. Ah well. Looks like a trip to Brisbane is in the offing.

Listening to:
Title: Last Goodbye
Artist: Jeff Buckley
Album/station: Grace(1994)
Length: 4.35

Monday, February 06, 2006

Why this week rocks.

Un: Adsy is flying down from Brisneyland! Let's hope this visit leaves him with a better impression of our fair city than the last time he was here. So far, he think's we suck balls. And not in the nicer, literal way; in the bad, figurative way.

Deux: Super14!!! Waratahs versus Queensland Reds on Saturday. I wonder if the game'll be televised? I hope so. I know what I'll be watching:

Reds' utility back: Drew Mitchell

But as much as I love you, Drew Mitchell, the Waratahs have got to win this one. Sorry.

Listening to:
Title: Turn A Square
Artist: The Shins
Album/station: Chutes Too Narrow (2003)
Length: 3.12

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Musings of a Sunday night.

Another day, another peanut earned at Faceless CorporationTM's call centre. It was marginally better tonight. There weren't any surly or stupid customers like the other night, which is good. Oh god, did I mention I was on 'till midnight on Friday? Le grunt. Of course, the bowels of customer service hell are a little empty on a back shift like that one and well, there isn't much to do except put up with abuse from drunken and/or psychotic folks that like to call up people they don't know and verbally abuse them for hell knows why.

A book would've been useful. Even a trashy magazine would've sufficed. Instead I was left alone with my thoughts. Hmm, dangerous. I even began jotting down random idle thoughts. Most of it rated as fecal splatterings, but it's something I might make the subject of an entry one day. Not that they're anything all that deep, meaningful or profound - just, y'know, your regular brain farts. Things like things I'd say to customers if I didn't have to play nice, how much the shift supervisor on duty scares me, or gushing about how hot the boy sitting across from me was. Oh, Matty boy. I think the most tragic of my insect scrawlings was when he finished work for the night: "Oh no's! Matt's gone".

Unfortunately, no Matt today. But Nirvana was on shift so that was good. Gosh I love her. I've mentioned it here before, about how I love the way she answers a call: "hello, this is nirvana". Titter. She's at least forty- or fifty-something, but she always has great hair and she has the cutest spectacle frames. And not in the menopausal woman kind of way. She carries the whole thing off and doesn't look one bit like mutton dressed as lamb.

Last night, my surrogate sister Olga had her belated twenty-first birthday dinner. We used to be really close, but since high school we don't get to see as much of each other as we once did. I even see her boyfriend Dave more often than I see her. Ah well. But we got to dress up! Woo! In attendance was occasional Wentworth Cubby pool buddy, spunky Roland, in front of whom Lauren blurted out "why are all the hot ones gay?". Naww, bless.

Also at dinner was Alex. THE Alex. A couple of Saturdays ago Jenni and I were having this surreptitious txt conversation across the room at Adam's twentieth about how hot he was. Because, well, he was. I find myself talking about the oddest things with Alex these days. I mean, besides his girl problems which are kind of cute, we talk about gay bars. He delivers fruit (teehee) and veg for a living, up before dawn and trucking fresh produce around the city before we've all even thought about taking care of our morning wood, and one of his customers is a bar right on Oxford Street. Unfortunately, that's as close as we can get him to gracing us with his presence on the golden mile/kilometre/fraction thereof. It's better than nothing I suppose.

Finally, while watching Channel [V] this evening, I discovered this Jackass-esque show called The Dudesons. Mmm, nordic lads doing stupid things while being hot (well, except for the human dartboard). Le drool. I love the Broken english. It's so cute.

Listening to:
Title: Valley Of The Dolls
Artist: Mylo
Album/station: Ministry of Sound: Chillout Sessions, Vol. 5 (2004)
Length: 2.51

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

In the navy.

Alright, so I like to think of myself as a pacifist. But the thing is, I have this weird fascination with the military. And not just for the lads in uniform, mind you. In high school, way back when kids like me were sussing out their futures, joining the navy really appealed to me. I liked the pomp, ceremony and tradition. I mean, who ever watched Hornblower and didn't want to go sailing into battle? And also the idea of being at the service of the community, maybe that too (but being a public school teacher instead is kind of serving the community, erm, right?). Incidently, I even thought about joining the Army Reserve. But I'd need to be right buff for that. Or maybe I'd be all buff as a result? Gah. Chicken, egg; egg, chicken.

Anyway, when my bestmate Adam and I had heard that a new toy was in harbour, we thought we'd go and have a gander.

Fleet Base East, Sydney.

The view from Harry's along the wharf at Fleet Base East: (front to rear) HMA Ships Success (AOR 304), Warramunga (FFH 152), Stuart (FFH 153), USS Pinckney (DDG 91), HMAS Newcastle (FFG 06).

HMA Ships Armidale and Townsville

Also in Darling Harbour for the Seapower Conference: HMA Ships Armidale (ACBP 83) and Townsville (FCBP 205). Incidently, the next one in the class after Armidale, Bathurst, carries the same name as the corvette that Adam's grandfather served on in the Second World War.

HMA Ships  Armidale, Townsville and Hawkesbury

HMA Ships Armidale (ACBP 83), Townsville (FCBP 205) and Hawkesbury (M 83).

Listening to:
Title: Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World
Artist: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Album/station: Facing Future (1993)
Length: 5.08