Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's such a Perfect Day

I went into this weekend with a touch of trepidation.

The thing is, I've had this thing about combining my personal life with my professional. Call it a concern about mixing business with pleasure.

We can all relate to it on some level. A good friend's boyfriend, for example, remains closeted to keep up within his somewhat overly heteronormative company. Another friend is very specific about separating his work friends from his personal friends, for fear of having details of his social life jeopardise his career chances. For me, it's a little strange, in that I wouldn't have got the break in my industry without a lot of help from friends. I'm still not sure whether that was necessarily a good thing.

Then again, the last job I had, I got on my own steam. That didn't work out particularly well - even if I did get to work with some amazing people, some of whom I now consider friends.

You can imagine the concern I had when invited to a birthday party Saturday. The birthday boy is someone I have a lot of respect for on a professional level, but who is also implicated in my friendship circles. The thought of having friends and colleagues in the same room was a little disconcerting.

Add to that the gin hangover I woke up to on Saturday morning (unexpectedly large dinner party with a good friend the night before), I was nervous enough to take my housemate with me to the birthday drinks.

What a difference a day makes. The party turned out to be really enjoyable. The people there were fun, and even the strange situation of having a colleague (and current housemate of an ex of mine) take a liking to my housemate didn't ruin my happy mood.

In the middle of the party, I received an invite to join some friends at the opera house that evening to see Alan Cumming. The housemate and I jumped on it.

Quick costume change later, we headed over to the studio for our little cabaret experience. Imagine my delight when I found out it was a showcase hosted by none other than Justin Bond.

I'd had a conversation the night before with a friend, saying how I've been hanging to see Bond, but my schedule wouldn't allow it. I've been a big fan since seeing him in Shortbus (a personal favourite).

To see such an amazing show was great. To have Justin, Alan, Trevor Ashley and Mark Trevorrow was heaven. Ashley's reimagining of 'I've never been to me' was hilarious, as were Bond's and Cumming's anecdotes. Cumming brought on a couple extra guests, one of whom (David somethingorother from New York) drew tears - his performance was beautiful, especially the introduction where he talked about fulfilling one of his dreams by performing at the Opera House that night.

Having decided that I was definitely in love with Justin Bond and Alan Cumming, I was completely blown away when Justin introduced his final guest: Miaow Miaow. I've had this goal of seeing MM since I first heard about her a few years ago. I almost don't want to mention it, because I can't convey the truly anarchic joy of seeing her live.

By the time we left the Studio, I was highly energised, in a way I haven't been for a very long time (at least a year). It was time to hit the town.

We decided to go to Slide for a couple drinks. The thing is, I wasn't in a chatty mood, and the music was fun, and so I ended up dancing a lot of the time. All of a sudden, I felt a hand in my back pocket. It belonged to a cute blond, who winked and walked away.

Turns out, he'd stuck a note in there:
You are with your friends. I'm with my friends. ;)
My name's Y. Call me 04xx-xxx-xxx.
:) xx
I laughed, then kept dancing. I'm not the sort to not consider notes like that suspicious, no matter how flattering the sentiment. After all, who knows how many others got the same note that night. Still, doesn't mean I'm not going to message him tomorrow.

I've been listening to Does it Offend You, Yeah's Let's Make Out lot lately. It's my little running joke to occasionally tweet some of the lyrics.

In fact, the number of verbal games I've been playing has increased recently. My housemate and I spent the weekend running around describing things using Dee Lite lyrics. The conversation would go like this:
- Oh, it was lovely and delicious
- Bubblicious?
- No. Just lovely. And delicious.
- Pernicious?
- Not vicious. Or Malicious. Just lovely. And delicious.
- Lovelicious?
- (mock anger) Just. Lovely. Delicious.
One of my favourite vloggers commented on my OC v GG blog today. LittleBiggerChris has been someone I've followed for two or so years, having found out about his relationship with NickasArbata through a Queerty article. I have a lot of love for this warm, friendly guy and his choice to document his life so openly. Plus, it's nice to know that little NY-SYD connections seem to have permeated the whole weekend (I may mention that my dinner guest on Friday was a friend who grew up in New York City).

So, playful weekend. Lots of love and laughter, and even some flirting. It's been a while - nice to know it's still possible. xoxo.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Augmented, Not-so-Reality challenge

Right. I want to play a game.

I'm constantly playing games with friends. We'll come up with some random phrase or concept, and run with it.

The concept that's been grabbing me the last few weeks is augmented reality. Look it up, if you haven't heard of it. There was a presentation at TED this year on augmented reality using pretty much off-the-shelf gear that ended up with a standing ovation.

But what about augmented fiction? Say, getting into a story by experiencing it in some form, with web enabled devices to build up the character you're inhabiting. Somewhere between acting, producing and writing a fictional piece. Using several (traditional and newer) media. Photography, writing, film, websites, social media - you don't just consume a fictional piece as much as inhabit it.

Or even better: consume, inhabit AND create it. What if you were author, actor and reader at the same time. What if it wasn't just you that was part of the story? Even better - what if there were several players creating the story together in different parts of the (virtual and IRL) world?

Let's get this in perspective - this isn't something where you're playing/consuming/augmenting your 'own' life. You're playing and writing out a fiction, one that could be based around your life, but more than that. The story incorporates all sorts of media, and incorporates realtime and static elements.

The only question to get going is, Who Else Wants To Play?

Saturday, February 07, 2009