A Change Is As Good As A Holiday

For those that do not know me personally, I have recently relocated from the stormy and cold city of Sydney, to the sunny, friendly and breathtakingly beautiful state of Queensland. An opportunity came up at work to relocate and after much soul searching (a whole 24 hours) I said yes and then it seemed as if I blinked and it was time to move.

I haven’t talked much about my time in Sydney, it was one of the most challenging and rewarding times of my life. I moved after completing a 12 week challenge that reinvigorated my body, I had dreams, I had ambition and a new job and everywhere I went it seemed like everyone around me was shitting all over it. I had one persistent and ever optimistic friend (thanks Sipple!) who encouraged me to keep going for my dreams and if it wasn’t for here I would not have experienced half of what I did in my time there.

Sydney was amazing for my Novastream website, movie premieres, gaming events, networking and connections and I found myself busying my life with this noise and surrounding myself with “things to do” that were distracting me from what was really going on inside. I had up and moved and left all of my friends behind, and instead of taking all I had learnt with me, I fell victim to what I am calling “Sydney Syndrome”, an infectious disease that I found in a lot of people I met with there.

They, like me, had moved to Sydney hoping to achieve their dreams, they had big plans, make it big, get rich, get connected enough that they could then get out and live where they wanted to and all would be right in the world. One of these people (whose name I have changed for the sake of this article) is Mike. Mike had moved here 12 months before I did, working at a low level paying office job in the CBD, a horrible boss, whose dreams had also been squashed by the city lights, he went in day and day out, 5 sometimes 6 days a week and had dreams of running a Google like empire. He had the degree, he had the connections, but the city had beaten him down, told him that too many other people were trying to do the same thing, so what is the point of trying to do it? You will try, fail and then have to come back to work here and will end up resenting yourself and life. No, no, it is easier and more rewarding if you just stick to what you know and leave that to Sundar Pichai’s of the world.

Another friend Bettina, had been living here for 6 years, she wanted to be a news reporter, and now worked in the low level administration for a television studio. She spent her days answering phones, through her window she could see the news desk and coerced with journalists and camera crew all day, sitting there longing for the job, but overtime she thought she tried, she was denied, feeling like she was always overlooked for someone younger, someone prettier so she descended into madness and monotony and decided to stick to what she knew.

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Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a trashing Sydney post, I learned so much from my time there about myself, about other people and about the world. All I will say is that it was definitely not the place for me. I do miss the coffee and the late night shopping combined with the consistent slew of events that the city just seems to pump out day and night throughout the year. Sydney will always have a fond place in my heart, it taught me a lot about myself and revealed some ugly truths that I had to face and deal with.

So where am I now? I am in Queensland, everyday is feeling like a holiday at the moment, I go to work during the day, then in the afternoons and evenings I get to explore some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet (I could possibly be biased here, just a little!) I feel like this place has defrosted me from the inside out. I am dating again, and successfully this time (I think…) work is great, my direction and purpose feel revitalised and the blocks that were stopping me are feeling further and further away. If I get bored or need inspiration I can drive to a beautiful beach, go for a walk in the golden sand, eat ice cream and go on a rollercoaster, and it’s still winter! I feel lucky and blessed to be here and I would not want it any other way.

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An Open Letter To Foxtel & AME

On Monday Foxtel’s Facebook page went rampant with posts about an advertisement for the Marriage Alliance “Same Sex Marriage : There’s More To It Than You Think” (see ad here) Hundreds of disgruntled customers and annoyed LGBT Australians and supported flooded the page with messages of anger and disgust over the decision to air these ads repeatedly over the weekend. The ad claims that same sex marriage will lead to changes in sex education in schools, effect children and directs viewers to a website to find more information (you really should check it out!)

Like clockworks customers and the LGBT community and its supporters hit the Foxtel Facebook page, flooding it with outrage. Cancellations and promises of moving to streaming services flowed on their page for days, as well as members of the LGBT community and their supporters tearing down the company for daring to air the ad. I was also one of these people, not a Foxtel subscriber, but a member of the LGBT community and felt outraged that an ad I hadn’t bothered to watch was aired on a service that I did not have. So after I wrote a scathing message condemning Foxtel for daring to show the ad, I actually watched it and realised that it wasn’t anywhere near as offensive as others had claimed, and that I was more offended that the Marriage Alliance seemed to blame the gay community for sinking the Titanic!

Foxtel were not the only one’s to cop it, the Australian Marriage Equality Twitter page was bombarded with messages of outrage, as they had previously confirmed that Foxtel were a corporate sponsor and support of AME. This response was posted by the AME in conjunction with Foxtel :

“Australian Marriage Equality values the support shown by Australia’s business community for marriage equality. Foxtel is among our corporate supporters.

A group opposing marriage equality, known as “the Marriage Alliance”, is currently airing an advertisement through various media outlets including Foxtel. It is their right to express their views.

The feedback from decision-makers in Canberra is that the “Marriage Alliance” advertisement is actually helping our campaign. The ad offers nothing new and and our research indicates that when opponents of marriage equality express their views in the way they have, support for marriage equality increases.

We urge community members who are angry about the ad to turn their anger into positive action.

If you’re outraged with the Marriage Alliance’s campaign the best way to end it is to help make marriage equality happen and recruit everyone you know to help. There are actions listed on our new website www.wecandothis.org.au

You can leave a message in support of marriage equality on our Equality Calling hotline 1300663679. Your message will go direct to your MP and Senators.”

Similarly Fairfax media have aired the ad on Channel Nine and online on their news website. In response they have said a Fairfax Media spokesman said:  “The advertising Fairfax runs is just that, advertising, and not reflective of the company’s position on anything whatsoever.”

It is hard to not get emotional about this issue, Tony Abbott himself confirmed that this is a very personal and emotional subject and it is easy to get upset when the opposite opinion is aired. It is easy to forget that we live in a democratic country that has the openness to show both sides of an argument and it is our job as human beings to respect that there are two sides. We don’t have to agree with it, we don’t have to support it, but we should as human beings and Australian’s at least allow for that other opinion to be heard. Now before you start commenting and biting my head, you should know my stance on the issue. I am a gay man and I support marriage equality 100%. I am not in a relationship so this is not something that is an immediate option for me, but I do have friends who have been in loving and fruitful relationships for many years, who would love the option to enter into a marriage in the eyes of their country.

The good news moving forward is that the five day span of Marriage Alliance ads are now over, in that time we saw a six hour parliamentary debate happen with the current government to decide what to do moving forward with this issue, yes no decision was made, but what did come out of it was more conversation and more discussion within our community. Media outlets like The Project and MammaMia have posted articles and videos in support of Marriage Equality and condemning the speech from Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who remains stagnant on the issue. American actor and comedian Jack Black even voiced his opposition to Abbott stating “I personally think the guy’s living in the stone ages, though. He’s not seeing the writing on the wall. The movement of the world is heading towards equality for all people, all sexual preferences. Come on, we’re all the same in the end. Who cares what gives you a boner. Really?”

So where to from here? I can confirm that Australian Marriage Equality have their own ad coming and it will run for a lot longer than the five days given to Marriage Alliance, just like you I jumped down Foxtel’s throat without thinking, without investigating further what would happen with Foxtel’s alliance with the AME and how this will change things in the future. If you look at Marriage Equality in other countries, it has passed when both sides have been given time to air, because in the end love wins. Showing the ad from the Marriage Alliance highlight’s the ignorance and exploitation of children, while AME show’s nothing but pure and beautiful love, love that should be celebrated, love that should be encouraged and love that should be accepted.

I guess this is a really long way of me personally apologising to Foxtel for jumping the gun and posting my ill-informed message on your Facebook wall. At the time I withdrew Novastream affiliation for Foxtel and affiliated streaming service Presto with our upcoming podcast The Streaming Show, we now would like to reinstate our full support and thank Foxtel for supporting the AME and airing pro marriage equality ads on their channels. We look forward to the day that Australia finally achieves marriage equality, until then there will be plenty of debate around the issue and remember, in the end love always wins!

Understanding Children

I know, you just read the title and thought what would a gay man know about children? I mean until the other day, I didn’t have a full understanding of the female reproductive system and the in-depth knowledge of what happens when a girl has her period (apart from the horror movie style bleeding scenes that we love to imagine!) nearly 12 months ago my best friend had a baby, and it was such a terrifying time for me, usually in the past when friends have had babies, they morph into this monster that see single people as “sad” and “lonely” and the worst “unfulfilled because you don’t have children” So naturally I expected the same thing to happen, and while they assured me nothing would change, I was convinced it was only a matter of time.

The baby arrived and (not biased at all!) is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. She is funny and smart, with personality to boot! I always used to roll my eyes at children and think meh I could never be that interested in one, oh how wrong I was!

I already felt like a member of the family, and them having this child only accelerated it further. I can’t even describe how protective and loving I am of this child, and it didn’t even come out of me!(so I can only imagine how my friend feels about her!) All I want to do is cuddle and kiss her and wrap her up in a fuzzy pink dressing gown and have her stay that way forever!

We were at the show and I wanted to get her something for Easter that wasn’t chocolate (I am waiting till she is a little bit older, I can have her for the morning, pump her full of chocolate and send her back to Mum & Dad with a new drum kit!) and found the most precious beautiful hand made plush bunny rabbit. The stall lady wrapped it in a brown paper bag and we took it back to her. She opened the bag herself and pulled the bunny out, and the look of pure joy on her face smashed my heart and as she cuddled it to her head and smiled I am not ashamed to say I got a little teary and the love I felt in my heart-like area was unlike anything I have ever felt before. My Mum always says that Christmas isn’t the same when your kids grow up and you can’t see their faces, and I always say “Yeah yeah whatever, we are still your children, you can still buy us stuff up!” and grin at her stupidly. Now I think I understand what she means, if I could I would buy her a present  a day just to see that look on that beautiful little face, the pure joy and love from something so simple.

The day went on and on and I had that “ah-ha!” moment, this is what children are, this is what they bring that I have never understood before. So as I was walking home, the undeniable question lingered “Do you want kids?” and to be honest, it was never something that I considered to be a possibility before, I have always been that “self-involved” person so it never occurred to me that I could love anyone more than myself. But I love knowing that question is lingering and I now have a deeper understanding of what children are and why breeders (hehe) go so crazy over them.

65 Things in 2015 *UPDATED!

So i stole this from my friend Troy Lampier. I love the idea of making a list of things to do and ticking them off as you go along! So in 2015 I will attempt to complete every task on this list, keep checking back as I will update with pics when they are complete! I hope you all had a great new year!

They are:
1. Travel overseas at least twice.
2. Live in two cities at once for at least 6 months – DONE! (Sydney & Gold Coast!)
3. Walk the entire length of beach from Nobbys to Merewether at least once.( DONE!)

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Walk done with Levi!


4. Do the Q1 tower walk on the Gold Coast
5. Give away $100 to a random person for no reason at all.
6. Go rock climbing for the first time.
7. Go skydiving at least once.
8. Sing into a microphone, in public (DONE!)
9. Go vegetarian for at least one month. (Officially backing out of! Seriously, what was I thinking?)
10. Pick up a hitchhiker
11. Get another tattoo
12. Complete twelve pull-ups in one go (DONE!)
13. Get a photo of myself at the Big Banana.

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14. Get a photo of myself at the Big Pineapple. (DONE!)

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15. Visit the War Memorial in Canberra.
16. Dance with my shirt off at a dance party.
17. Finish the horror short story
18. Learn French.
19. See a shooting star or meteor shower.
20. Try drinking juice (DONE!)
21. Be able to plank for 5 minutes
22. Bake and decorate a cake.
23. Go a whole month without eating any burgers or fries (I doubt this will EVER happen!)
24. Go on a hot air balloon ride
25. Make an item of clothing and wear it.
26. Finish my first trilogy novel
27. Finish my goddamn degree (I have started UNI again!)
28. Buy something online and have it posted to a friend for no reason.
29. Go camping (NOT glamping!)
30. Grown my beard for a month without clippering it.
31. Write a poem that is at least 3 pages long
32. Try kiwi fruit (I still can’t do it!)
33. Go swimming at a beach in winter ( I did this in QLD so it still counts!)
34. Go to a horse race (Ethical reasons are making me not want to do this!)
35. Eat at a vietnamese restaurant (Done!)
36. Eat a meal at a revolving restaurant
37. Visit Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
38. Go tenpin bowling (Done! Thanks Luke)
39. Jump on a trampoline
40. Buy flowers for someone I love
41. Go to a drive-in in every state of Australia
42. Eat a tropical fruit that I have never tried before
43. Ride a motorbike
44. Make out with someone in the back seat of my car
45. Visit Australia Zoo in QLD (I have heard it’s lame so I might alter this one)
46. Visit Taronga Zoo in Sydney
47. Ride a rollercoaster (DONE! So many times!) 

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48. Go fishing
49. Give a busker $100 (Done! And I cried and he cried)
50. Go skinny dipping on a beach
51. Make a piece of public art and leave it somewhere public
52. Grow and maintain a herb garden at home
53. Eat a Yorkshire Pudding
54. Make a loaf of bread (no cheating!)
55. coffee

Switch to Decaf Coffee…yeah this was NEVER going to happen
56. Complete an online course
57. Do a nude photo shoot
58. Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge (DONE!)
59. Get my passport
60. Do the BVH with Kale
61. Leave flowers at the grave of someone I don’t know
62. Learn to swim properly

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63. LOVE more!


64. Read an autobiography (Done!)
65. Write a song and perform it online.

Goodbye Cadbury Creme Eggs :(

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Today I said goodbye to two of my favourite’s Pizza and Cadbury Creme Eggs. I gorged myself on a double pepperoni with mushrooms (at least I had thin crust!) with lashings of garlic bread (for lunch! and this was before my massive gym workout!) the feelings of guilt were non existent as I realised this would be the last pizza I eat in a very very VERY long time.

I made it through the day and went to a friends house for dinner for a good old favourite sausages, rolls and tomato sauce! So simple, yet so amazing! For desert some chocolate sara lee ice cream with Cadbury Creme Eggs…oh the creme eggs! As I was eating it I recalled so many years of just gorging myself on these things every Easter. I would just grab 2 wherever I saw them and they would disappear in minutes (who am I kidding they barely made it back to the car!) I even believe that in some countries there is a Cadbury Creme Egg Ice Cream. Oh this holy place would be my altar of worship!

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As much as I want to just keep eating them for the rest of the week just because the challenge hasn’t officially started yet, I decided that it was the appropriate time to say goodbye to these beautiful chocolatey friends. They always made me feel comforted and safe, but my dependence on food to make me feel better about myself has to stop, and as of Monday I won’t have that crutch to lean on anymore.

So goodbye you beautiful, gooey, delicious, amazing chocolate eggs you! If you hear of Cadbury’s going broke this Easter it may give you an indicator of just how many of these things I can eat in a few month’s. Part of me is sad to say goodbye, the other 99% is happy to let them go.

God I hope it’s worth it!

Welcome!

So here it is! A few days before the start of the 12 week challenge and I find myself oddly excited. For those that do not know let me explain. The 12 week challenge is being hosted by my gym Genesis who are running a competition to transform your body in 12 weeks. Contestants hold themselves accountable by attending at least one personal training session a week, group fitness sessions, meal plans, expert advice from a nutritionist and a whole bunch of support that is incredible value for money.

This week I have been doing a kind of final farewell to my favourite foods, not that I plan to eliminate them completely from my life, but I do plan to hold them into seriously accountable moderation and release their grip on my emotional dependence. Tonight I had an entire 458ml tub of Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk (ice cream of the gods in my opinion!) before this I had a massive pile of spaghetti with a vegetable pasta sauce that I was close to inhaling. Not really anything of interest but am just getting into the habit of this food diary thing (yaay!) oh and I had a cup of coffee with 2 sugars and a handful of snake lollies…

So who the hell am I? My name is Alaisdair Dewar, I am 31 years young, living in Newcastle, NSW (Australia) and I have been overweight/fat/obese/addicted to food for 10 years now. Looking at it, it is such a scary number…10 years of no control over what I eat, 10 years of not giving a crap about what I looked like because I truly believed that it is ONLY what is on the inside that counts. Now before you discount me as a shallow so and so, I do believe that a lot of what makes us great people is what is on the inside, but there is truth in the saying that the outside reflects what is inside. I spent so many years letting my clothes, my hair style, my face, my whole outward thing just got ignored while I went on a search for balance and to find out what I was on the inside as a person.

While I can say this inward journey is still a major work in progress, I can’t deny that I have let myself go…a lot. I have a horrendous diabetes inducing, cholesterol clogging diet that it really should be studied how I am still breathing. I have a massive gut, two massive side haunches, back fat, leg fat, thigh fat, and a pigeon chest added in there just to give me something else to work out. Oh I nearly forgot the triple chin and swollen face!

Why am I telling you all of this? It is simple, this journey is about honesty, it is about change, it is not about some “Biggest Loser” instant gratifying situation, but rather a journey to change my life. I have spent the last 3 months at the gym preparing my body for this. I have had 3 personal training sessions a week, have attempted some boot camps (extremely unsuccessfully!) but all in all I have changed a little bit. I have learned to deal with the overwhelming amount of pain and burn that you feel after brutal sessions that have left me wanting to quit there and then.

I will be updating this close to daily about what is happening, showcasing photos of my progress and even a fortnightly podcast (with hopefully some special guests!) to talk about what is happening and apart from keeping me accountable for everything that is happening, maybe inspire a few people out there who are doing this as well.

So keep checking back, I will be updating more about myself and history as much as I can. To the other contestants of #YNB good luck! You have never met anyone with more motivation and determination to win this nationally as me so you better bring it! Good luck, hope you all make it through the first few weeks as well as possible.