January 30th, 2017
|07:29 pm - Goodbye Ted-E|
Today, we said goodbye to one of the best people I know. Shane Bezett was fun loving, warm, caring, kind and had a cheeky wit that would have you wetting yourself with laughter. And while he was so much fun to be around, he was also a true friend who’d do anything for those he loved. It’s been a privilege to have called you my friend, Shane.
At the start of the new millennium, the new possibilities offered by something called Internet Relay Chat (or IRC) had a profound effect on my life. We now take for granted the countless phone apps offering all sorts of possibilities to connect with others. But back then, even ten years after I’d come out to family, as late as my early thirties, I was still very isolated, not fitting into the stereotypical gay club scene. So discovering IRC and the prospect of making gay friends away from clubs was lifechanging. But more than that, the IRC forum that was GayBears where we met offered a meeting of the minds like nothing else available at that time, particularly for those of us of the plus size variety.
Taking a chance, I very quickly found myself on a plane to Auckland. Since I was in Melbourne at the time, this even involved calling Mum and asking her to air express my passport across from Perth! I think that freaked her out a bit, but thank you so much Mum for trusting me enough to send it without question *HUGS*
I’m so glad I took that chance though because Shane, Raymond and I had the best time on that trip to Auckland during those few days that cemented two of the most important friendships of my life. And today, Raymond and I were there to farewell this beautiful man, Shane, snatched away far too soon.
To Dot and his extended family, and to Benjamin, my deepest heartfelt sympathy. To Raymond, I know you’re hurting like hell. But I want to say thank you for this song today at the get-together after Shane’s service. I’ll never be able to listen to it again without thinking of Shane. That's a good thing, though. Another reminder of this glorious man, to add to all those wonderful memories he'd already left us with.
***NOTE: Apologies for the sound quality... I so wanted to be able to hear Ray's words, but at least his song shines through***
Current Mood: numb
November 12th, 2016
|10:17 pm - Heath Ledger Exhibition in 2017 at the Art Gallery of WA|
Apparently #HeathLedger was an avid photographer who carried a camera everywhere. This 2017 Perth exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia includes thousands of his photos, so I'll be keen to see the development of his career through his images.
I noticed him right from his screen debut, playing a teenage cyclist at the fictional Sports West Academy. A local production, "Sweat" sensitively charted his coming out stumbles across its single 1996 season.
April 16th, 2016
|09:33 pm - If I could turn back time...|
So my work situation got very complicated in late February with the announcement of 230 jobs cut, the Minister saying that "Bulky administrative structures are a parasitic drain on government resources and taxpayer money.” Understandably, I wasn't thrilled at being called a parasite in the same breath as I'm effectively being told I'm likely out of a job.
Tonight, I logged into my LinkedIn profile only to see that a contact I was considering touching base with about work prospects had messaged me directly via LinkedIn (coincidentally?) about a week after the announcement (a month ago), but I'd not logged in and therefore missed the message. He's the Managing Director and owner of a firm I'd quite like to work for.
Considering carefully, I played with the text of my reply and hit enter to get a blank line. There's a little more to the back story than that, but I won't bore you with the details since it doesn't add to the narrative, except for possibly making it a bit clearer how I managed to do something so stupid.
To my horror, my half drafted reply was sent to him when I hit enter and couldn't be recalled, with the actual text sent making it VERY clear just how calculated my reply to his casual "Hello, congratulations on your work anniversary!" was.
At this point, I want to disappear into a very large hole. Only thing that could make it better is a time machine, at this point.
Current Location: Maylands, Western Australia
Current Mood: Cringeworthy...
October 12th, 2014
|04:40 pm - Bali Wedding Overturned|
In many ways, Bali is as familiar to many of us as a northern Perth suburb.
Yet on a day when at least 17 members of a wedding party have drowned and two dozen are missing in a boating accident on the way to a wedding ceremony in Bali, I find no mention of this story on any major Australian news site including Fairfax, News Limited and the ABC.
That News Limited has two links to stories about the 12th anniversary of the Bali bombings hints at the reason. No Australians were involved, so no need to cover this story which, chances are, has impacted on some of those who've extended their gracious hospitality and tolerance to us in our frequent forays to their country.
Disgusting. And thanks to the BBC for actually covering the news!
October 8th, 2014
|12:50 am - Ghosts of the Past and Mental Health Week|
I graduated from high school in 1984, thirty years ago this year. A Facebook group was recently set up to act as a focal point to coordinate a thirty year reunion for the class of 1984.
The group's main activity to date has been to pull together a list of names from our year and tick off those that were contactable. I've been following this discussion for a couple of weeks and last night, for the first time, a number of former classmates were moved to a "no longer with us" list.
It shouldn't be particularly surprising that, thirty years after we left school, a couple of us have dropped off the perch, particularly in a group that numbered over 200 (from memory!).
I'm not quite sure why Alex's death has been such a shock to me, but of the half dozen or so names that were mentioned last night, his was the one that stung. He was never a great friend of mine, a bit of an outsider, like me, I guess. He came to the school from a far-flung suburb, raked in by the "Academic Talent Program", or ATP as it was known at school. Identified for his particular academic gifts, he was advanced a year, a 16 year old among 17 year old year 12 students by the end of our final year.
So, out of curiosity, I googled his name, appended with the word "obituary". One result. The Coroner's report into his death in 2004. All twenty-seven pages of it.
How, shortly after completing year 12, he'd been taken ill, preventing him from realising the promise of his academic talents in a University career. Then about 18 months later, he was finally diagnosed with Schizophrenia.
I've only ever read a Coroner's report once before, earlier this year, after the death of my Aunt. This report was a different beast entirely, however. It was like reading the story of Alex's life, of his long, slow decline, of the constant strains on his family, always concerned for his welfare. You can only imagine, in their grief, that there must have been a feeling of relief at his final release, and you can also imagine their guilt at feeling that way.
In his last days, Alex was an involuntary patient at a mental health facility. In spite of his involuntary status, patients were free to leave the facility so long as they checked back in at predetermined times, as he'd done many times before. On the day of his death, Alex left the facility and called his Mum, telling her they were trying to kill him and refusing to return. When her attempts to find him accommodation failed and since she lived several hundred kilometres away, he wandered the streets and finally threw himself off a building, falling 11 metres to the ground and sustaining the injuries that killed him later that evening, in hospital.
The Coroner postulated that he may have been induced to jump either as a result of delusional thoughts or simply as a result of the realisation that life wouldn't get any better from here and, most likely, would get worse.
Goodbye Alex, ten years late, but heartfelt nonetheless.
* * *
On another note, the college where I work is putting on a sausage sizzle this week to mark Mental Health Week and to raise awareness about mental illness. Ironic then that the coordinator of this event has abused one of my colleagues for having the gall to ask questions about the requirements for the event. Why ironic? Because the colleague he abused has a fairly severe anxiety disorder and Mr Coordinator's abuse sent him into a complete tailspin. Well done, you!
September 28th, 2014
|10:58 am - Our Art Deco Beauty!|
Well, it's definitely been a while.
Since I've last popped by, the big news story has been the new house which has, when you really come down to it, taken four years on the drawing board. We finally have all our approvals in place and the plans are now with a handful of carefully selected builders to quote.
In late August, Anthony and I broke through the communication barrier and made each other aware that we were neither of us really happy with the layout but had each been compromising more than we'd have liked to keep the other happy, with the end result that neither was. After a couple of hours redesign work in the Virgin Australia Lounge at Sydney airport, lo and behold, we both love the new layout and neither of us feels it's a compromise.
So as a way of dipping my toes back into the LJ water, here's an image of our new Art Deco beauty, for your viewing enjoyment!
September 27th, 2014
|11:11 pm - Anyone still here....|
Haven't posted in such a long time, so I was just wondering if anyone is still around?
November 15th, 2012
|03:08 pm - Logging in...|
A colleague just came back from the ladies where the toilets weren't flushing. She had particular issues with clearing the bowl of solids.
Needing to report it for maintenance, she started typing the email then burst into laughter. She typed, "Can you please log a job..." before she lost it.
Current Location: Leederville, Western Australia
September 3rd, 2012
March 16th, 2012
|10:48 am - Loyalty...|
Bought a cup of tea at the new Aroma Café on campus this morning. I pulled my ten stamp loyalty card out of my wallet. He said, "We don't accept this, sorry!" It was the card from Botanical Café at Kings Park! Doh!
Current Mood: embarrassed