Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Unqualified Film Review: C.R.A.Z.Y

Granted it's hard to miss when you take one part David Bowie, two parts Ho Yay and mix in a smoking hottie in the form of Michael Cote but I saw this French Canadian beauty tonight and thought it was great. (Bec, it's got a lovely David Sedaris vibe you would appreciate).

Sunday, December 24, 2006

"I could eat a knob at night"

It's this kind of quotable genius that make the Ricky Gervais/Steve Merchant/Karl Pilkington podcasts unmissable.

For the uninitiatied: these half hour(ish?) podcasts consist of the three guys banging on about Karl's diary, Monkey News or whatever. Listening to Ricky lose it is awesome.

Anyway they've become hugely popular (most downloaded podcast in the world, apparently) and three more podcasts have just been released - the last one today, yes, as we speak.

These latest podcasts are free and waiting for your call at

Seriously: get them.

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, no seriously say no more.

There are enough lies in the news these days without the crap that goes on at Christmas time.

If I see one more news story about Santa's sleigh leaving the north pole or his goddamn elves being flat chat writing Christmas wish-list replies I can no longer be held responsible for my actions.

Tomorrow's headlines won't read "Santa's reindeers in training for the big night" so much as "Bloodbath at Santa's grotto".

Oh gosh but isn't it festive? Isn't it all a bit nudge, nudge, wink, wink? No it's bloody ridiculous. It's bad enough that anyone feels the need to make up a story about a fat man coming into your house at night to inject some "magic" into the Christmas season but to perpetuate this bullshit in the media with these pathetic cutsey little stories is beyond lame.

I mean obviously today's young 'uns should be taught that half of what they see on the news is bullshit but is this really the answer?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Kate's Colloqualisms

Hotsie Notsie
Used to describe someone who appears, mirage-like, to be hot from a distance but, upon closer inspection is really not. Often applied to ugmos with good clothes and a kick-arse haircut. Can also apply if a genuine hottie admits that he votes Liberal.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Token Smokin Hottie: Clive Owen

I'm not quite sure when it was that Clive Owen graduated from That-Guy-on-Second-Sight to tappable suit wearer extraordinarie. Was it his ravishing appearance in Croupier, in which he absolutely worked a hideous dye job? Perhaps it was the red cons in Sin City? It could even have been his appearance in Gosford Park in which he was the most captivating person on screen... and this in an ensemble piece which included the likes of Maggie Smith, Michael Fricking Gambon and Richard E.Grant.. c'mon!

Certainly it wasn't the slew of recent hits and misses, the latter of which included The Pink Panther, Derailed, King Arthur, Beyond Borders, I'll Sleep when I'm Dead, Ticker, Beat the Devil and Hostage? And, people, that only takes him back to 2002 or so.

But fortunately this is no fametracker ( and it's not up to me to decide if he's suitable talented to warrant his role as the thinking (wo)man's english muffin.

I have only to decide if he is scrummy enough to justify a shamless token smokin hottie.... and for evidence I submit exhibit a (above). I was going to write something about how the man could run your mother down in the street and you'd still totally shag him on his car bonnet (before calling the ambulance) but I think this subject has been much better covered by Scrubs, even if it is about Tyra Banks...

Turk: If Tyra Banks drove her car over my mom then offered
to have sex with me, I'd have to dial 911 in the nude because my pants would
already be off.
Carla: That's sweet - while your mother lays there
Turk: [to J.D.] Tell her.
J.D.: His mom doesn't die. Tyra uses her connections in
the supermodel world to get government scientists to put Turk's mom's brain into Heidi Klum's body. She falls in love with me, we all move in together.
Turk: It'd be awkward at first but, I'd make it work...
because I love my mom.
J.D.: Mmm... and I would love her too!
Carla: New low.

To conclude: the boy is drive-over-your-Mum hot. And, yep, I'm trademarking that right now.

Future movies in the James Bond Franchise I would pay good money to see

1. Bold Member
Bond (Daniel Craig) goes up against a Middle Eastern oil tycoon (Johnny Depp), in the course of which the two men are forced to wrestle, naked, in a mud pit... using only their genitals.

2. Licence... to thrill
To break-up a billion dollar cocaine ring Bond (Daniel Craig) must work undercover... in the fashion world. Highlights include a walk-off with male model/arch nemesis Cliff Hudson (Clive Owen) to decide which man looks better in a suit. Judge's heads explode at the thought of making such a call.

3. From Perth, with Love.
Bond (Daniel Craig) must head down under to get to the bottom of a terrorist plot to blow up the London Underground. He is aided by a young journalist (role yet to be cast) to whom he is strangely drawn. To outsmart the Generically-Middle-Eastern-But-Who-Knows-They-Sound-Kinda-Russian terrorists Bond must grow his locks long and allow them to be plaited by said journalist. And he needs to be greased up with baby oil for um, some unspecified reason.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas presents and the people who give them

What people buy you for Christmas can sometimes tell you more about them than it does about you.

I, for instance, frequently insist on buying people books that I love, in the belief I can convert them to my cause, instead of actually buying them something that, you know, they would like.

Not only am I an egocentric bint but, presumably, I also hope that by giving someone a copy of, say The Great Gatsby, (which I love) they’ll be lulled into the belief that I’m a literate intellectual who spends me spare time talking about... I don't know, something more intellectual than mocking Ashley Simpson's ad for Skechers (but seriously - I mean, I also love America's Next Top Model ("I have never talked to a girl this way!") but I don't go around handing out dvds of that little beauty.

I have also, in the past, crafted festive mix CDs for The-Boy-I-Liked-at-the-Time with incredible precision, convinced he would understand how I felt as soon as Track 3 kicked in.

Clearly I am also deluded.

And by this kind of logic I think my Aunt might be clinically insane.

Most families seem to have an oddball in their family. In ours we have several, including the Uncle Voted Most Likely to Molest a Niece and the Weird English Ones Who Never Ask You a Question About Yourself But Will Happily Tell You All About Their Neighbours’ Business. But at Christmas time it’s an opportunity to pull together, reflect and remember… the Aunt Who Buys Crazy-Arse Gifts.

Suspicions over my Aunt’s mental state were first aroused when my older brother was about 14 or so. He was pretty small for his age, smart, into fantasy books and, presumably, interested in girls.

So, naturally enough, for Christmas that year my Aunt bought him a wig.

A ladies wig.

An old ladies wig. It was brown, curly and scratchy. Seriously, dude, he could have bluffed his way into a nursing home with that thing perched on his noggin.

This was only the beginning. A few years later I was the recipient of a giant box of chocolates from said Aunt, while my brother got… a piece of soap.


So you might think she just doesn’t like my brother, right? You couldn’t be more wrong: these early years were only the beginning.The intervening years have been a parade of presents, from the bat-shit crazy to the hysterical-laughter-inducting variety, highlights of which included a soap on a rope and (for myself) a… body stocking. Awesome.

The weird thing is that, at 60-something, my aunt is completely switched on and fantastic. She’s smart, has a wicked sense of humour, still wears black eye-liner every day and can talk to you about anything.

So what do the presents that she gives say about her? That she has retained a sense of whimsy? That she's bi-polar? Perhaps that she actually thinks soap on a rope is a great invention?

Actually I have no idea what any of it means, really - I just wanted to mention the wig story because that shit still makes me laugh.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I didn't even mention Fantastic Four...

Okay so I can't believe it but I actually got a scented candle from my Secret Santa. Seriously - I'm looking at the rose-scented sucker right now. It would have been less sad if I hadn't thought it was a bottle of booze when I first saw the package.

But I'm over it. I've made peace it and, more generally, with the scented candles of the world. They're kinda pretty, they smells nice and, if there's a power blackout they could come in mighty handy. And, yeah, at least I wasn't the one who got the torch.

See that: I'm a happy, go-lucky person now. Well, since lunch anyway. Why is this? Is it because I've matured and grown as a person? Is it the two glasses of wine I had at lunch? Why don't you be the judge.

I think saying I've 'matured' would be a stretch but it has been a pretty eventful freaking year and a lot has changed. For instance, this time last year I was living with my parents. And this year I will be... living with my parents by Christmas.

Anyway, it's got me thinking about the past year... oh yes - that's right, dear reader. It's 'looking back at the year' time of year. Already. Gosh time flies. Don't back out now.

To make this self indulgent exercise more palatable I have, for your entertainment, listed the best and the worst highlights/lowlights of this year and paired it with a movie (some in cinemas, some on dvd) that I've seen this year of similar quality. Let's read on...

1. Walk the Line.
Landed a job I love, despite no experience or qualifications, thanks to luck and a small amount of resume beefing (only small, Mum, I promise). Some days at work put me in as good a mood as listening to Ring of Fire does.

2. Alexander.
Relationship meltdown. But you all know this. Total pants. Can't say this enough. Called it quits on the former well before the end but not on the latter.

3. Brokeback Mountain.
Realised how much I love and rely on my friends all over again. I'm being as mushy as the movie but you really do find out who your friends are when other parts of your life turn to shit. I was a whiny, down in the dumps muppet for quite some time and they hung out with me and listened to me and let me change my mind a dozen times without being judgy. This includes Ruthie too.

4. Miami Vice
Had to leave an office that I loved. Unexpectedly crappy, though at least I wasn't forced to grow a moustache and speak in an unconvincing accent.

5. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
New office is different but also very good value. And if Robert Downey Junior worked in Sales... well... phew... what was I saying?

6. Tristan and Isolde
Have to move home with parents and say goodbye to Kym and Sach. Relinquish independence. Also need to find James Franco a new agent. Possibly in my pants.

7. The Departed.
Looking at buying a house. Finally I can put blu-tack on the walls.

8. White Chicks.
Mum had major operation, forcing me to realise I can be an inadequate daughter sometimes. Almost as frightening as seeing those two brothers (and I don't mean "brothers" - I'm pretty sure they're actually related) in this movie.

9. The Forsythe Saga. (A re-watch counts - I'm having trouble thinking of movies)
Finished first ever book. Even if it is kinda pants.

10. War of the Worlds.
Okay I can't actually think of anything else particularly bad but man the end of this movie blew big and it blew hard. Giving Tom Cruise tight jeans, some hip, 'urban' (read: black) young 'friends' does not make me more appealing and/or less alienating and creepy to a young audience. No it does not. This movie raise so many questions for me, and not philosophical ones, just simple queries about the movie's logic, how some things could possibly happen etc. And, seriously, why get Morgan Freeman to narrate if you're going to give him one or two expanatory lines that explain nothing?

11. Casino Royale.
Just good stuff that happened to my friends, such as Alley Cat who left a shit job to be a doctor (the nerdy kind), another who surprised the hell out of us all by getting engaged and one who landed a sweet job, even if it necessitates moving to the dreaded S.O.T.R (South of the River).

Think I'd better stop now as I'm about one more glass away from 'god bless us, every one.'

Monday, December 11, 2006

It seemed like a good idea at the time

I gagged on my morning mocha (thanks Lindsay) this morning while reading a statement from the White House about the death of former Chilean Augusto Pinochet.A White House spokesman is reported as saying:
“Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile represented one of the most difficult
periods in that nation's history. Our thoughts today are with the victims of his
reign and their families. We commend the people of Chile for building a society
based on freedom, the rule of law and respect for human rights.”

An apology, perhaps, would have been nice, considering the 1973 US Government supported the fricking coup in the first place. Anything’s better than the commies, don’t you know?

Friday, December 8, 2006

Hey that dude would do anyone.

Now, I’m not saying that transvestites and phone sex operators have the easiest lives in the world. But, based on my experiences today, I kind of envy them because I’m beginning to suspect that perhaps they get treated all the time like I have been today.

Allow me to explain.

My much-whined-about cold is slowly improving but, contrarily, I sound increasingly worse and my throat is so hoarse that I either have to murmur in a come hither ‘is that a pen in my pocket or am I just pleased to see you’ kind of a way or try to talk normally and end up with something not unlike the bastard child of Marlon Brando and a frog.

The above is, surely, an object of derision, right? But no. People I talk to, instead of mocking me as they should, are being, well… nice.

Whether it’s because they I’m they think I’m pre-op and feel sorry for me because I can’t afford the final snip-snip or because they think I have lung cancer I can’t say. Maybe it’s just because I’m such a super nice person. Hey, shut up.

Whatever it is they wouldn’t feel so sympathetic/keen to give me their credit card details if they could witness the pile of festering tissues on my desk, or hear the sound of me hacking up parts of my lung. And not the pretty parts either.

This cold is also the one reason I’m not looking forward to seeing the new James Bond flick tonight. Not because I’ll annoy the living shite out of the people around me by punctuating the soundtrack with my own brand of wheezy charm but because I fear there’s going to be a sad bit and I’ll start sniffing and/or have to blow my nose.And everyone will assume I’m pathetic because I’m crying at a James Bond movie.

So, of course, I’ll have to do the whole theatrical sneeze or fake cough or something just to underline the fact that no, I don’t find the Blandly-Exotic-Wench’s death upsetting (hey it’s not a spoiler - I’m taking a punt) - I’m sick, don’t you know?

Poem of the... I don't know, the month I guess

Unfortunate Coincidence
(Dorothy Parker)
By the time you swear you're his,
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying,
Lady, make a note of this —One of you is lying.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

It's SUMMER damnit...

I'm not sure if it's because I'm the daughter of doctors or because I'm generally lame but I can be quite unbearable when I'm sick. For some of you reading this I don't imagine this comes as a surprise.

At the moment I'm losing the fight to some kind of cold that make me ache all over. When I'm not sneezing, coughing or forcing Lemsip down my throat I'm staring at the computer screening and hoping my head might fall off.

To summarise: I feel shit.

And, really, what better week to feel like this? I'm in my first week of a new job and trying to work hard to get some good stories out of an unfamiliar readership area, while in my spare time I'm talking to my mortgage broker (Andrea, if that's not the right title I'm sorry - I'm sick you know) and trawling through houses, wondering how much it would cost to do up the kitchen and whether I could really live in a house with peeling lino on the floor for six months.

On the plus (sort of) side, I think this has given both Andy (and probably Lindsay, my new boss who has to sit next to me and listen to me snffle and complain) an insight into what being in close proximity to me when I'm at my worst can be. Because I am a bad, bad patient.

Firstly, I don't want to talk because my throat hurts but at the same time all I want to do is complain so someone can fix it. Now.

I also have the attention span of a 2-year-old kid with ADHD and a red-cordial stain around his mouth. At work I can't concentrate on a story; at home I can't concentrate on anything. But, bloody ironically, I'm constantly searching for something to distract myself from how wretched I feel.

And just this evening I have also moved onto the third stage of my inevitable decline: the belief that I have meningococcal.

Personally I blame the media (shut. up) for their scare-mongering but, every time I get an achy cold and a thick head, I start searching myself for rashes and of course, when you go looking for that kind of thing, you can pretty much be sure you'll find something.

The first time it happened I was having a hot bath in the (misguided) belief that it might soothe my sinus'. It did not, but what this super-hot bath did do was give me a weird red splotchy heat 'rash' on my leg. I saw it, freaked out and jumped out of the bath. All I could remember from news reports was that, by the time the rash appeared, you were probably beyond help anyway. Fortunately Mum was saved from the indignity of dragging her hysterical, naked and relatively healthy daughter into the emergency ward by the fact that the 'rash' had gone by the time I found the phone.

Sadly I have learned nothing and have since forced people to examine me for rashes, examined myself and generally put the fear of God into myself by googling symptoms of meningococcal numerous times.

And it's phrases like this (lifted from some website) that only fuel my paranoia:
"Because of the wide range of possible symptoms, the infection is often hard to
identify at first, and you may not realise how sick you really are. To add to
the difficulty, not everyone gets the same set of symptoms, and they don’t come
in any particular order. In fact, some of the much talked about symptoms, such
as a stiff neck or purple rash, may not appear at all."

Seriously: "you may not realise how sick you really are" is the kind of phrase that will haunt me.

In my lamest moments I get truly weird (blame the cold and flu drugs I'm taking - I sure am) daydreams and imagine myself as the character in a period drama who coughs a little blood onto a handkerchief and everyone watching knows that means he is going to die, but he doesn't know a thing.

Yes that's me: the one with the handkerchief, damnit. Who are you calling paranoid?

(Ali, you can have my clothes and Sacha you have to raise Tikki as your own.)

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Token Smokin' Hottie: Gael Garcia Bernal

If scientists ever discover the formula for true beauty they're going to open their crucible (or whatever) at the end and Gael Garcia Bernal will be standing there all "hey, you want to grab a drink?"

Because he is just gorgeous and it's not merely because he's incredibly hot.

Yes he is, in fact, very, very hot. He is also a fine actor. But he also seems like he'd be pretty cool in real life, rather than numerous Hollywood douche bags who, although tehnically good looking are either a black hole of charisma or seem like they'd be a complete tool in real life.

This isn't even the best photo of him I could find (and be grateful I didn't use the one of him taking a dump - yes it exists and yes he still looks hot) but he looks so casual standing there he might be waiting to see a movie or get a lift home from uni and that's a huge part of the appeal.

I'll pick you up anytime Gael... seriously, call me - we'll talk about it.

Home Owner?

I was going to write a nice blog about my friends or my boyfriend. Because apparently there are a lot of people I don’t mention here. One of them is Andy and the others are my lovely, lovely friends.

To correct this imbalance I could wax lyrical about ‘the girls’ and how great they are (which, really, they are)… but I’m loathe to speak highly of people at the best of times so I’d rather take the piss out of Andy instead…

You see of Andy’s best characteristics is also his worst - he has “vision”.

Often this is great and, just as often, it is terrifying…

Case in point: We have recently been looking at buying house. Yup just us… and Andy’s brother. Cosy. Anyway, at the weekend we stumbled on to a lovely little North Perth property with gorgeous wooden floors, giant bedrooms… and a craphole kitchen/botched extension out the back.

Now it has been said once or twice, that I’m somewhat, er, cautious when it comes to large sums of money and ways to spend it. There is some truth to this but it hasn’t brought me riches or particularly amazing possessions. It has, however, got me into arguments like this one.

Me: We could fix up the kitchen.
Andy: We could re-brick this back section and extend it out there” (Points to backyard).
Me: Hmm that might be expensive though and we don’t really have the mo…
Andy: And a third bedroom would be good too.
Me: Do you-
Andy: And another bathroom too. Maybe we should have the lounge out here too…

We cut now to several hours later in which Andy has (on paper) transformed this shithole extension/backyard into a new extension including the following:
- a master bedroom
- with an ensuite bathroom
- An indoor water feature
- lounge
–new kitchen

Meanwhile my idea of what to do to the place is best summarised by a scribble on my notebook - 'new kitchen?'

Anyway, we haven't exactly agreed on what needs to be done but we have agreed to put in an offer... $35,000 under asking price. So it's almost sure to be knocked back but I'm crossing my fingers anyway...

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Secret Santa Suckhole

Has anyone ever received (or given) a good secret santa present?

I ask in all sincerity because if I get another scented candle this year, so help me, heads will roll.

I'm not a complete Scrooge, really I'm not. I understand the secret santa concept and it's a nice one. I like receiving presents as much as the next person.

But, I ask you, is being forced to buy a present for a complete stranger really what Christmas is all about?

Can we not just tear up our $10, tell our intended recipient face to face that we don't know them well enough to buy them a thoughtful, useful or welcome present and thereby cut out the middle man? Because, honestly, candles (and I'm not bashing candles - they're delightful, read on), while generally lovely... as a present... well they're kind of the equivalent of petrol station flowers on your birthday. You might as well suprise someone with a Blandy McBland from the Blandstore and top it off by giving it to the wrong person just to really underscore the point that you don't know anything about them, nor do you care to.

This year I have to give a certain someone in my office a present costing $10 or less. This secret santa deal is taking place in my new office. Where I haven't yet worked. The person in question works in a different department to me and it's reasonably likely that I'll never meet him before I have to buy the present so... what the hell do you get the 30-Something Male.

I was discussing the dilemma with Judd just today and I came up with what I thought was the rather cunning plan of buying him a cigar. Who doesn't like a cigar? Fat, brown and it always seems like a good idea at the time, right? Plus it's the sort of thing you don't buy yourself so it's a nice surprise. Leaving aside the fact that no decent cigar was probably ever made for under $10 I was pretty chuffed with my idea.

And then:

"What if he has lung cancer?" Judd asks.

Because she's an optimist, is Judd.

And yes I know that the chances that this person has lung cancer are very slim but... what if he does? I have a horrible vision of this guy demanding to know who bought him the present, tracking me down and using one of those contraptions you hold against your voicebox to demand in a creepy Stephen Hawking-esque voice "Is this some kind of a sick joke?"

So the cigar is out.

Booze, what about booze? Many a fine bottle of $10 wine I've enjoyed, right?

But... what if he's an alcoholic? What if my Christmas present is what puts him back on the wagon... or off the wagon... or whichever means he comes to work with vomit on his sleeves and a bottle in his pocket?

Please, people, can we not just declare a truce and giveth each other some cold hard cash this year? I think we all know it's what Jesus would have wanted...

Quotable Quotes

"In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day." (F. Scott Fitzgerald)