Flights in Europe & weekend indoors

Flights in Europe & weekend indoors

A quiet(er) weekend. Craig and I need to organise internal European flights pronto! I have already spent ages online but the connections and times I want are difficult, so we’ll head out to an agent tomorrow and weight up the prices. Not cheap either.

It’s cold and I woke up with a sore throat, tiredness and am generally feeling a bit low. Also cramps, cystitis and toothache from a nerve/lymph on my neck… yuck. (I know I sound like quite a case!) Probably waves of bugs, at least I haven’t got very sick yet this winter with any one bug… at least the flu vax is working for me!

Spending a whole weekend with Craig… tonight we are planning to play BlokUs, watch a movie and cook dinner together. Tomorrow going to the travel agent, maybe some Wii and reading and finalising flight tix if it all goes well. Still need to organise accommodation in Istanbul and Budapest. The whole trip is reaaaaally stretching me financially, gotta pull it back a bit somehow. Will try to work more hours next week if I can.

But soon we’ll both be back in the hot weather in the North… doing touristy stuff, hanging out, seeing new places, showing Craig what Budapest looks like etc… exciting.

(Artist is the superbly talented Kiwi photographer Gazza from DA.)

Morality & friends :)

Morality & friends :)

Thursday night was good… Chippendale pub near Simone with Simone, Craig and friends, then over to the Seymour Centre for a debate on ‘Is god necessary for morality?’ Then back to the pub for chewing the moralistic fat and ending up debating sentience, evolution/history and whether dogs can feel shame!

The debate at the Centre was part of a high-brow philosophy conference ‘Truth and Faith in Ethics’ that brought together Christian theologians with hardcore atheists, including in this very mild and understated debate that frankly got lost in subtle and complex philosophical details and provided accommodation and friendly consensus instead of a real debate.

Still, it was good… the main bit I got out of it is that Christian and humanist ethics can agree on emphasizing the non-instrumental and non-consequentialist nature of ethics and end up agreeing on the promotion of humanist values that are not amenable to a simple pragmaticist attack but need to be defended for their own sake. Would have been interesting to throw in a Peter Singer into that mix!!!

It was also fascinating and amusing to see young nuns and vicars sitting side-by-side with us intellectual university types and rabid atheists. I suspect that this precarious mix of attendance contributed to the muted tone in the debate as both parties were walking on egg shells.

You can hear the debate (warning: very high levels of abstraction and mumbling!) on Late Night Live until next Thursday or download it before that for later.

Or look at the conference here.

My brother’s 40th

My brother’s 40th

Last night we celebrated my brother’s 40th in his absence… at my parents’ place. We got two old photo tableaux together and got a scrumptious gluten-free bon vivant cake so I could eat it too 🙂

We talked about him and made photos that I’ll print and send to him in the next few days… so that he knows that we think about him, love him and want to celebrate him regardless of being in custody in Hungary and how his fate may turn out.

I continue to write a card or letter with photos every week for 18 weeks now (ever since he got authorised to receive them from me)… it’s inhumane, awful and boring in there and I want to send some sunshine, some love, colourful stories and hope.

Same-sex marriage now

Same-sex marriage now

Oooooh there’s a lot to write on gay marriage! I’m very much for it though I have spent most of my life shitting on the institution of marriage as such (excuse my verbal honesty). I want nothing less than complete equality and there’s no respectable argument whatsoever against it. I know the gay community’s divided on the issue and the reasons are quite obvious (do we really want to become mainstream? do we want to emulate ‘breeders’? do we want to be assimilated?) yet there simply has to be recognition, legal action and the cultural conditions for equality they bring.

The recent Australian story of gay marriage has been leaning towards ‘partnership recognition’ but even on this the government has been dragging its heel til it almost wore away. More than that: the federal government enacted legislation to overwrite a territory’s own legalisation of same sex marriage. Yep, Bush is only trying to emulate Howard!

It’s a dismal landscape of resistance in the face of obvious social change and goes against some wonderful early advancements on gay rights decades ago here. It’s gotta change but I can’t see how it will quickly and easily… Australia is far behind and I can’t see the (morally Christian) new Labor government changing the game. We aren’t that far behind in general attitude of the younger urban generations which are in line with progressive developments overseas, but we are badly behind in legal recognition. Even South Africa and Spain are ahead of us… we need to get moving now.

But last week there was something to celebrate… the veto against same-sex marriage has been overturned in California and ceremonies have started!! When I look at same sex couples finally being able to marry after 10-20-40-60 years together I’m filled with joy and get very misty eyed. There are couples who waited a lifetime for equality, dignity and recognition. How unbelievable and fantastic for them!

pleasure & chill

pleasure & chill

Unexpectedly a casual social outing with Craig and Simone turned into a long and wonderful Saturday and Sunday morning! It is so life affirming, loving, special and amazing to be revelling in love, pleasure, good conversations, cuddling and serious chilling! 🙂 I’m one happy monkey!

As for the week ahead… fair bit of work, setting up interviews, starting on a paper maybe, maybe a gym session, some more packing at my parents’ place, celebrating my brother’s birthday (in his absence) and a live debate at the Seymour Centre on ‘Do we need God for morality?’ with partners and friends… should be great! 🙂

Amazing ‘light play’ photographic work by arealitystudios