Wednesday, January 31, 2007

January Audit

Best Interview: Julia Stone.
Worst Interview: Camera Obscura.
Reading: Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry.
Watching: Still Veronica Mars and Freaks and Geeks.
Listening to: Hmm this and that. Fleetwood Mac and The Panics a bit lately, but not particularly anything new.
Googling: Most recently it was Yom Kipur. Don’t ask.
Looking forward to: March.
Not looking forward to: February.
Wish I was: Going skydiving, buying a pair of awesome animal-free animal-print flats I saw last week, able to find a decent copy of Ethan Frome.
Wish I wasn’t: such an over-thinker.
Thinking about: What to buy a friend for her 25th birthday (suggestions on a postcard), relationships and buying a house.
February Resolutions: Drink more without getting a hangover, p’raps exercise, not to stress so much, to do something awesome.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Quotable Quotes

(From Scrubs. Dr Cox has just snubbed J.D by naming him co-chief resident, rather than chief resident, as expected):

J.D: (clearly distressed): "I just have three questions - Why do you hate me when I show you nothing but love? Who's going to tell my mother? And what am I going to do with ten thousand "John Dorian, Chief Resident" business cards??"

Monday, January 29, 2007

Token Smokin’ Hottie: Peter Sarsgaard

Now I know what you’re thinking. Or at least I assume it’s either “what?” or “who?”

Easy on the eye he may be but is Peter Sarsgaard really up there with Clive Owen or James Franco? Weeeell he is and he isn’t.

Is he as smoking hot as the Franco or Owen or, hell, any of the previous token smokin’ hotties? Surely Not. By which I mean: hell no. And yet... there’s something about him that makes me go a bit giggly.

A couple of weeks ago I nearly put him up here instead of Franco but I stopped myself. No, no, I said, he’s cute but a token hottie? Not yet, my friend, the world is not ready for your theories on Peter Sarsgaard. And yet.

To my way of thinking he is sort of like your brother’s cute friend you never really notice until you see him out at a club or something one night and you look at him and think ‘oh’ and then, well, I wouldn’t know anything about this personally, obviously, but I’d imagine that you start preening every time he comes over to hang out with you brother. Suddenly he only has to set foot in the house and you’ll be there, uber casually reading some ridiculously pretensious book in the hope that he’ll think you’re an intellectual and just make out with you already. Or something. I mean that’s what I hear.

Saarsgaard is that brother’s friend and I am like the little sister reading Proust on the couch.

But if that doesn’t win you over then consider this: who would you rather be stuck with on a 16 hour road-trip with a broken radio? Sure, having hot monkey sex with Franco/Owen (er hypothetically I’ve got a lot of rohpnol on this roadtrip you understand and it’s a beautiful thing) would kill some time but what about the remaining 15 hours and thirty minutes?

Who is going to crack political jokes you only pretend to understand? Or make you feel guilty for not owning a Prius? Who will slam down three veggie pies at the service station and still have room for the suspicious looking custard pastry in the display cabinet?

Peter Frickin Saarsgaard, that’s who.

Not only is he a cutie who comes off as smart and can look pretty hot when given the right clothes/hair/role but he has the same accessibility factor of, say, Gael Garcia Bernal. Although Gael-Garcia-Bernal-hot he is not (Gael: call me) he is sort of normal-looking enough to be the cute IT guy you’d pour a can of diet coke over your keyboard to talk to.

If Gael Garcia Bernal was your IT guy the computer would be in a constant state of breakdown because of the sheer quantity of drool dropping on to it. And when he came over to help you out, instead of lobbing a joke back at him you’d be reduced to monosyllabic responses… or possible just panting. And that’s just plain embarrassing.

And tell me, have you noticed any soreness in your udders?

Yesterday, as I watched a grown man bugger 60-odd cows with his forearm I got to thinking that some professions really have benefited from new technology more than others.

Journalists, for example, write and file their stories on their computers, doctors have x-ray and MRI machines and even teachers get laptops to put together snazzy lesson plans.

But the man who has the unfortunate job of ‘preg testing’ (exactly what it sounds like) cows? Why he’s just got the arms that god gave him.

Admittedly I have been born and bred in the city and, while I like cows I don’t know much about them. Even less do I know about pregnancy testing. But I’m not sure how many “qualifications” I need to propose that there has to be an alternative to digging your bare arm into a cow’s anal passage. Seriously, I mean let's at least talk about it.

First of all let’s talk about gloves. Actually let’s not just talk about them - let’s put them on before we get frisky with the stock, eh? I know times are tough for farmers these days but when you can’t afford a layer of latex between you and... well, you know - p’raps it’s time to change careers?

And, I mean, protection aside… well, I’m just putting this out there but haven’t we, as a society, come along a bit further than this? Is this really what evolution has geared us for: being fully equipped to really get in there right up to the shoulder? Isn’t there an alternative?

Like, say, a stethoscope to check for a pulse? I’m not saying give the cows a stick to piss on but using a stethoscope isn’t brain surgery. It isn’t even journalism. Five year old kids play with these things – you don’t need a medical degree to use one, is all I’m saying.

Now that I mention it what about a blood test? Counselling? Monitoring for morning sickness?

Alright, so I'm unlikely to change the system. But to anyone who says we live in age where technology does everything for us and makes everyone's lives better I say balls: tell that to the man with shit in his elbow crease.

And to everyone not involved in the preg-testing game: spare a thought for those who are the next time you’re bitching about the Atari-era computer you have to work on, or the fact that you need to be frisked every time you get a highlighter from the stationery cupboard. Because unless you’re physically dragging shit out of a cow’s arse with your probing fingers on your average work day… things just aren’t that bad.

Friday, January 26, 2007


I'm sweaty, a big hungover and just had a bullshit breakfast. So here's some other stuff I hate:

*Bullies: Self explanatory. Disgusting.
*Bloody scientific tests: Trying to prove that Diet Coke is bad for me. Why won't they let me live the dream?
*Insomnia: "In the real dark night of the soul it is always 3 o'clock in the morning, day after day." (Fitzgerald)
*Lies: For the big stuff I think painful truths are better in the long run.
*Poor pay packets: I like what I do but man I'd like to be rich.
*My thyroid: The cruelest of all the glands.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Deathwatch: The Catch Up

The Nine Network has announced a new daytime program for 2007: The Catch Up. I know it’s been created by Mia Freedman (of Cosmo fame, who I don’t mind) but I am officially starting the clock on this one.

I’m not sure what it is that makes me think that it’s going to be a terrific failure but I think some of the clues are in the media release…

“The Catch-Up will cover the hottest topics of the day in news,
entertainment, lifestyle, beauty, fashion and gossip – all the up-to-date
information that’s important to Australian women…From celebrity interviews to
the latest in international and local current affairs...

"The Catch-Up will offer insight and expert support on important topics
such as health, career, relationships and parenting, while also providing a good laugh and some light-hearted gossip.

"The Catch-Up will be co-hosted by a panel of four
different women who will be joined by a rotating guest

1. If you have to say it’s going to be a laugh it’s really not going to be.
2. The use of the word “fabulously” scares the shit out of me because I think I've travelled back in time to the year 1999 when Sex and the City was still a zeitgeist.

I suspect it might be car crash TV, though p'raps not bad enough to warrant actually tuning in.

Looks like somebody's got a case of the Monday's...

Bob: Looks like you've been missing a lot of work lately.
Peter: I wouldn't say I've been missing it, Bob.
(Office Space)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Now hear this...

I love this sign because, to me, it raises more questions than it answers.

Namely: why does a deaf cat necessitate a caution sign? Who is it cautioning and why?

Also… why is the cat holding one of those old fashioned hearing devices? And why does the cat look so… snooty? Not to mention fat.

Moreover who is making these signs?

The longer I stare at it the more I feel like it’s the cat who has made the sign as a little pre warning to potential conversationalists, as in ‘excuse me you’ll have to speak up, I’m a trifle deaf’. I imagine it lounges about outside, just waiting for someone to chance by and say something so it can tap the sign with its claw. And in its spare time I imagine it sometimes wears a monocle.

DISCLAIMER: Apologies in advance if I stole this image from your website - I saved it to my computer ages ago from some site or other but, of course, the name of the site has long since vanished into the ether.

Riddle me this, jackarse

I'll have to delay writing about what I wanted to write about today so instead I've got a riddle. The answer to be posted, uh, when someone gets it right...

You've died and you find yourself up in the clouds in a room with two identical doors. You know that one of the doors leads to heaven and one leads to hell but you don't know which is which. Each of the doors is guarded by a man. The men know which door they are guarding. You know that one of the men ALWAYS tells the truth and the other ALWAYS lies. You are allowed to ask one of them one question. It cannot be a question you know the answer to (ie: "is the sky blue?") - what do you ask?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hey that 'halumi' bit killed in the Emery household...

I think most people think they are pretty funny. Certainly I will re-tell my own moment of comic genius ("you had me at halumi") to anyone foolish enough to encourage me. But last night I watched a generous handful of people who thought they were funny attempt to make a room full of 300 people laugh.

It was RAW comedy and my god it was sometimes raw (yes Mr "Rape: it's so 2007" I'm talking to you, and to a lesser extent the guy who looked like a serial killer).

Luckily for me I wasn’t there to see the 18ish-year-old make me squirm in my chair by bombing so very badly or the guy who sung an ode to Shane Warne to the tune of Greenday’s Warning. (I couldn’t make this stuff up.) I was, instead, there to see the incomparable Dan ( who was heads and gay shoulders above the rest.

As well as a mild hangover and a certain whiff of smoke and beer in my hair the whole thing gave me new respect for people who put themselves out there and do that kind of truly mental stuff. It is something I could never, ever do, even if I were the (surely screwed up) offspring of Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker.

But it does make me wish that I could be a bit more of a risk-taker or the kind of person who ever actually crosses anything of her ‘to do before I die’ list instead of merely adding new entries.

Actually I’m adding that to the list: Do more stuff that makes you want to vomit.

An Open Letter to Channel 10

Hey, how're you going. Me? Yeah I'm alright, thanks for asking.

Look, I know this is awkward and I’m sorry to have to bring this up but uh, I think we kinda need to talk.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate re-runs of Futurama and The Simpsons - you know I do, that’s not what this is about. And those couple of weeks where you put Seinfeld on at 6 - those were good days.

But seriously. Dude. We have to talk about Veronica Mars.

This is a good show that you are screwing (and not in the fun way that ends with a romantic explosion).

And when you screw with Veronica Mars you screw with the disaffected youths that make up its fan base. Sure, not all of them have enough time on their hands to, you know, blog about it, but we are a sad, sad bunch so there's no telling what we might do.

I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you with that show about the woman who was trying to get married and whatever. I am. My heart broke a little for you when I heard it was being yanked after four episodes or whatever. That's the kind of thing that would anyone want to spend a few days lying on the couch in trackies and smelling faintly of stale biscuit crumbs.

But you can’t let that get your confidence down - just because something a bit new or a bit different might not rate as well as some overrated middle of the road shit like Lost or centre round the hijinks of a street full of haggard mutton dressed as lamb (And speaking circling? You might want to let Terri Hatcher know that her comeback is circling the drain right about now. Yeah, just a red hot tip) that doesn’t mean you can lock it in the closet like that ugly lamp your Mum gave you once and still asks about All. The. Time.

If you're going to start running an interesting, amusing and well-written new show in a primetime Friday night slot then freaking just commit to it. You've made a promise so it's up to you to honour it. I know it's fun to take a cute blond budding detective out for a couple of Friday nights and I know that maybe it’s a bit weird if perhaps your friends don't like her as much as you hoped they would and maybe you sometimes kinda thought she was a bit too smug for her own good or whatever but, come on, you've made the commitment so stick to it, jerk face...

Oh I'm sorry about that, I got a bit personal there didn't I? That was my bad. But, in my defence, you were the one who played half of Season One before yanking it and moving it to a timeslot known only to you and the monkey you keep in a cage who apparently makes all your programming decisions.

Yeah that’s right, I went there.

So please, ditch the monkey, give Veronica Mars a semi decent timeslot, keep buying the occasional genuinely good show and please, please, please never bring back that show about the woman who wanted to get married. Because seriously, commitment issues aside, that blew pretty hard.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Quotable Quotes: Outside the orbit of the anal ring

"Buggery is as much a necessary condition of homosexuality as the ownership of a Volvo estate car is a necessary condition of middle-class family life, linked irretrievably only in the minds of the witless and the cheap." (Stephen Fry)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This is doing the rounds so you may have seen it already but there is a NSW dude who is supposedly selling his life or identity or whatever on ebay (

Much less pervy than all those people who sold their virginity, and somewhat amusing:

(The sale) includes the following...
Will introduce to all my friends & potential lovers (around 8 which I have been flirting with)
- I have around 15 close friends and around 170 other friends
- I have 2 nemeses
Please note the following

- A friend owes me $20. Another friend owes me a six-pack of beer which you can redeem upon winning the bid.
- The winning applicant should probably shout the next $20 worth of weed.
- Will need to become vegetarian. This can however be changed in the future.
- There is some tension with a former ex from a painful breakup which must be inherited.

What else is there to do?

This is an extract from a great little book called Ruby and the Stone Age Diet in which the narrator and friend have been dumped. I found it years ago, probably before I'd ever even had a boyfriend, and I still think it's spot-on:

"Yesterday Ruby and I spent four hours wandering Brixton trying to
accidentally bump into our lovers but my plan was a failure. We met neither Cis
nor Domino, despite calling into every place where they might be.

'Sometimes it's difficult to manufacture coincidences,' says Ruby, sharing
a drink with me before closing time. 'A pity. I would have liked to fuck Domino
right this minute.'

'We could try again tomorrow.'

'It won't do any good,' says Ruby, morosely. 'Nothing does any good.

'You fall in love with someone and they leave you and you feel like dying.
You meet their friends in the street and you tell them how unhappy you are and
you hope this news will get back to your ex-lover and they'll take pity on you.
Or else you meet their friends in the street and you tell them you're having a
great time and you hope this news will get back to your ex-lover and make them

'You think about things you could have done and what you would do
differently if you had the chance, you wait for the phone or doorbell to ring,
you hang around the fringe of conversations hoping to hear some snippet of
information about how they are.

'You can write poems and send them or not send them, you can turn up drunk
at their house and plead with them to come back or turn up drunk and pretend you
don't give a damn, you can send flowers or love-notes or a few intellectual
books, you can discuss it endlessly with your friends till they're sick of the
sight of you, you can think about it all day and all night, imagining that
somehow your mental power will win them back, you can sit on your own and cry or
go out and make yourself frantically busy.

"You can think about killing yourself and warmly imagine how sorry they'll
be after you do it, you can think about going on a trip round the world and
probably when you got back you'd still hope to run into them on the street.

"You can do anything at all and none of it is any good. It is completely
pointless. Lovers never come back. You can't influence them to do it and you
would realise this if only you weren't so dementedly unhappy all the

The pub is noisy with little room to move, and we have to guard our drink
against a marauding barman who keeps trying to snatch it off the table even
though there is a good half-inch left at the bottom.

'So we won't try again tomorrow?'

'We might as well. What else is there to do?'"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Token Smokin Hottie: James Franco

Times are tough for those of us who love James Franco. Years ago he was our little secret - the hot guy from Freaks and Geeks who worked the tough/vulnerable thing almost as well as he (memorably) worked an outfit involving stonewash jeans... with a matching jacket.

Time passed and... then came Spiderman and he kinda seemed like he was everywhere: all broody and cheekbones. And although he was no longer our little secret he was still hot and now even more likely to end up as a regular fixture on our movie or TV screens. Which he... kinda did. Sorta.

Except his movie choices were lame and now... post Spiderman 2, pre Spiderman 3 and with no upcoming movies starring James Franco that I am ever likely to see... I don't want to say it but I do fear that time could be running out for little Mr Franco if he wants to keep his status as the hot little engine that could. He may have the bone structure of a pre-death James Dean (what? too soon?) but how long has he been playing 'teen to early 20s'?

It's been awhile since Freaks and Geeks is all I'm saying.

But at least, should the worst happen and he find himself hosting infomercials or working in his friends record store, bumming cigarettes off the teenagers who shop there, he'll be captured here in his prime. And when future generations step over the homeless bum in the street that bum will be able to point them to this site and be all "hey I was young and hot with an arse like two peaches in a bag once!" And he was... er, is.

What do you mean I'm saving for a house?

A certain British source assures me that awesome UK retailer Topshop is now delivering to Australia ( With the exception of some Sienna-inspired monstrosities they make some pretty good stuff so 'tis good news all around.

Lessons learned from last night's cooking experience

  • Sultanas don't add moisture to brownies unless you soak them first. They will, instead, leach the moisture out of your otherwise delicious mixture, leaving it like the dry husk of a witch's teat.

  • A light orange or lemon syrup can save the day, moisture-wise, if you mix orange (or lemon) juice with sugar and water over heat. Then just prick some holes in your brownies and pour over the top to allow them to soak the delicious syrup up.

  • If you overcook your planned delicious syrup it will turn into toffee.

  • If you pour your overcooked syrup/toffee mixture onto the brownies it will set like cement and glue them to the pan.

  • If you try to chip a brownie out of the pan and eat it you may injure yourself and others.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Never make me your maid of honour, obviously

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the amount of preparation time ahead of a big night is inversely proportional to the amount of fun you will have on that night.

There are, of course, exceptions.

One of these is a hen's night. Despite having a fair amount of planning behind them it is still possible to have a great time, whether you're speeding through the Swan Valley or boozing at The Brisbane, clad only in a bedsheet doubling as a toga.

Mulling over this, while at a hen's night this weekend, got me thinking about hen's nights in general.

I think they're all being done wrong.

Brides-to-be (BTB) shouldn't be reminded of the fun it is possible to have out on the town with a bunch of very drunk girls just before they prepare to chain themselves to someone else for the forseeable future. Not that getting married means no more nights out (so I'm told) but this kind of dangerous behaviour gives BTB a false idea of what her life would be like, if she were single and available for huge boozy nights out every weekend.

In later years, as she's preparing to pop out Sprog #1 or watching her husband eat crisps off his belly while watching the cricket, BTB will misremember the past as some kind of glorious utopia, in which every night out was like an episode of Sex in the City.

How much better off will she be, long term, if she is instead given a reminder, just before the wedding, of how shit single life can be?

She starts the night being forced to wear a pair of black pants that give her an arse like a garbage bag filled wih mashed potato. One friend cries off straight away, saying she's having dinner with her boyfriend's parents.

To get to the pub or wherever the BTB gets no special treatment and as to wait half an hour for a taxi.

When she makes it to the pub she is greeted with a table full of coupled up friends, most of whom are indulging in PDA's when they are not talking about their new relationship/wedding/moving out/house buying plans.

Apart from the 60-year-old who pinches her arse while on her way to the bar the closest she gets to action is when a hottie comes over to hit on her (coupled up) friend and she gets lumbered with his creepy wingman who has two lazy eyes in BO.

The music is lame, the drinks pricey and the friends practically edging out the door to hop into bed with their boys.

The night culminates with some projectile voming in the garden/toilet/sink and the BTB goes to bed alone.

Now, seriously: after a night like that to put the worst of (single) times fresh into her mind how can the BTB not commit herself wholeheartedly to marriage?

Friday, January 12, 2007

So who are the other 12?

Who the hell is reading my blog? No, seriously.

I know, more or less, who I’ve told about this thing, and I could take a good punt at how many of them totter their way over here every so often, and yet…today, as in just this morning, I put a lovely little counter on my blog and… somehow 13 people have been here.

Er, really?

Unless Andy or Ali (or, hell, Mum and Dad) are doing their boyfriend/best friend duties by logging multiple hits a day to boost my ego I just don’t credit it.

Sure, I’m not exactly Perez Hilton (smug, overrated hack) or the GoFugYourself girls (if anything, surely, underrated) but still… do ten people really check in to check out my views on Big Mouth Diaz?

Whatever - I’m grabbing the bit between my teeth and heading for 50.

Next step: make 49 new friends…

UPDATE: So apparently you can't see the counter on all computers. I can see it at work but not here... which is a real shame because it's a cute little kitty. Anyway, I'll get on it.

The Slimes does it again

I know that railing against the Sunday Times for shitty journalism is like turning up at The Holiday and expecting a think-piece but an article on its online site ysterday really pissed me off. Basically the article suggests that cricketer Michael Clarke's (I know: who? but read on) break-up with his girlfriend is the result of another woman, and it starts like this:

CRICKETER Michael Clarke's partner of nearly eight years has emerged as the
latest casualty in model Lara Bingle's pursuit of champion sportsmen. Erina-Lea
Connelly yesterday confirmed Test batsman Clarke - "the man I thought I was
going to marry'' - had called off their long-term relationship and asked her to
move out of his $2.8 million waterfront pile in the Sutherland Shire at the end
of last year.

Yes it's sensationalist and kinda crappy writing but it's more than that. Demonising the "other woman" as a home wrecker (see also Jolie, Angelina and Johansson, Scarlet) is more than just sexist - I think it's dangerous in what it says about men, and women and the way it sets up women against each other, rather than against the partners who are breaking up with them.

The message here seems to be that it's not Clarke's fault if he was lured away from Connelly-whats-her-name - it's obviously Lara Bingle's fault. The subtext being that Bingle is also a fame-whore and probably a bit of a slut because she's also alleged to have had an affair with some married AFL-er whose name I don't care about.

I seem to see this kind of thing all the time, post notably in the whole Pitt/Aniston/Jolie thing (and seriously, that's the last time I'll mention it because even I want to gouge my eyes out if I read one more article involving Jolie helping orphans out of wells or Pitt flying a plane or Aniston's on-off relationship with Bloaty McBloat) and it infuriates me.

There are bitches and there are bastards around but nobody can lure anyone who doesn't want to be lured and girls who like guys who are taken don’t mysteriously gain the ability to hypnotise them into running away with them. If they did then I’d be holed up in a little French villa with Johnny Depp as I type and James Franco would be our pool boy…

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Someone braver than me...

I know this is the kind of story that probably makes any journalist (hey, I use the term loosely) wet him or herself a little with excitement or professional jealousy but this one about the US construction worker who jumped onto the tracks to save someone else actually does give me chills. God I'm soft.

Man Is Rescued by Stranger on Subway Tracks


Published: January 3, 2007

It was every subway rider’s nightmare, times two.
Who has ridden along New York’s 656 miles of subway lines and not wondered: “What if I fell to the tracks as a train came in? What would I do?”

And who has not thought: “What if someone else fell? Would I jump to
the rescue?”

Wesley Autrey, a 50-year-old construction worker and Navy veteran,
faced both those questions in a flashing instant yesterday, and got his answers
almost as quickly.

Mr. Autrey was waiting for the downtown local at 137th Street and
Broadway in Manhattan around 12:45 p.m. He was taking his two daughters, Syshe,
4, and Shuqui, 6, home before work. Nearby, a man collapsed, his body convulsing. Mr. Autrey and two women rushed to help, he said. The man, Cameron Hollopeter, 20, managed to get up, but then stumbled to the platform edge and fell to the tracks, between the two rails.

The headlights of the No. 1 train appeared. “I had to make a split
decision,” Mr. Autrey said. So he made one, and leapt.

Mr. Autrey lay on Mr. Hollopeter, his heart pounding, pressing him down
in a space roughly a foot deep. The train’s brakes screeched, but it could not
stop in time.

Five cars rolled overhead before the train stopped, the cars
passing inches from his head, smudging his blue knit cap with grease. Mr. Autrey
heard onlookers’ screams. “We’re O.K. down here,” he yelled, “but I’ve got two
daughters up there. Let them know their father’s O.K.” He heard cries of wonder,
and applause.

Power was cut, and workers got them out. Mr. Hollopeter, a student at
the New York Film Academy, was taken to St.
Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center
. He had only bumps and bruises, said his
grandfather, Jeff Friedman. The police said it appeared that Mr. Hollopeter had
suffered a seizure.

Mr. Autrey refused medical help, because, he said, nothing was wrong.
He did visit Mr. Hollopeter in the hospital before heading to his night shift.

“I don’t feel like I did something spectacular; I just saw someone who
needed help,” Mr. Autrey said. “I did what I felt was right.”

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

You know what grinds my gears...

You know who really grinds my gears? Cameron Fucking Diaz. Whoever it was who said she had a face like a squashed pea was right. Ruth was also right last night when she said she looked like a duck who had been punched in the face.

Being an ugmo with an allegedly hot body is one thing but calling yourself an actress when you have the gravitas of an ice sculpture wearing a funny hat is another. And making me sit through 90 minutes of your hi-larious pratfalls is, again, another.

On the plus side, someone behind the scenes of The Holiday must have something special going on because they managed to do the impossible and find an onscreen couple with less chemistry than Rock Hudson and Doris Day (Exhibit A: Ms Diaz and Jude Law). Well played, man, well played.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Another skim latte and two more carte blanches thanks.

I think that part of the reason I heart the new US Speaker of the House of Reps Nancy Pelosi so much is not merely the fact that you just know she’s going to stick it to Bush but that fact that she uses phrases like carte blanche (

This might not sound like a lot but when you’ve got a president who says things like this…

"I've reminded the prime minister-the American people, Mr. Prime Minister, over
the past months that it was not always a given that the United States and
America would have a close relationship." (George W. Bush, Washington, D.C.,
June 29, 2006)

…and probably thinks carte blanche is the biscuit that comes with his morning coffee it’s something.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Er, so's your face...

I've clearly been living in a cultureless ditch lately because until yesterday I never knew there was an expression for all those witty comebacks you think of way too late to ever use. Apparently in French it's l'esprit d'escalier or "the wit of the staircase" and Treppenwitz in German.

There's not really an equivalent in English - and you know your language is screwed when you're been beaten by the gutteral beauty of... German.

UPDATE: I came across this little example of staircase wit and wouldn't resist. This one supposedly comes from Truman Capote's long-term partner John O'Shea but I swear I've seen another version told from Capote's point of view. Anyway:
"We were at that backyard restaurant at the other end of the island, in a
bar," Truman Capote's lover John 0'Shea once recalled.

"The place was jammed with locals... maybe what you'd call the transient
locals... like Jimmy Kirkwood and Peter Fonda and the usual clutch of game-fish
machos roughing each other up for the benefit of those English queens down from
Sugar Loaf or wherever it is they live, and things were pretty lively all

"Anyway, up to our tables comes this chick... not bad, but full of gush,
who turns around, flips up a miniskirt and asks Truman to autograph her buns.
Not batting an eyelash, he takes out a felt-tipped pen and scrawls his name
across a plump little buttock. It was funny, really sort of nice.

"Then, not two minutes later, comes this kid bartender, Joey, they call
him, who's obviously been eyeing the proceedings. The thing is, he's got his
jockey shorts in his hand and not where they should be. One quick cruise and -
everybody's listening now - I turn to Truman. 'You can't sign your name on
that,' I said, 'but maybe you could initial it.'"

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Wait, do you mean you like Mariah Carey in an ironic way?

I’m paraphrasing from High Fidelity but is it more important what you’re like or what you like?

That is, is it better to help out in soup kitchens and own Christina Aguilera’s back catalogue or to be a bit of a bastard but have a picture of Wes Anderson’s face tattooed on your arse? Okay, bad example but you know what I mean: can you judge someone by their pop culture tastes?

I ask this question because I was recently discussing just such a subject with a friend who has a new boy on the scene. By all her accounts he is sweet, nice, funny and something of a hottie. And, sure, he doesn’t own a velour tracksuit, beat her or, you know, share Pete Doherty’s idea of a good time (as far as I know) but he does own a lifetime’s supply of Friends DVDs and listen to what said friend somewhat accurately describes as “middle of the road crap”.

Naturally my friend has some concerns.

For one thing, the relationship is still in the relatively new stages. Meaning that if Friends and Feeder are getting a run now, how long until Two and a Half Men and James Blunt find their way into regular rotation?

Personally I believe in vetting the hell out of boyfriends. Favourite books, movies and TV shows are the questions I drag out long before the “is it now or has it have been…” big one.

At least that’s in theory.

In practice my boyfriend does not particularly care for ninety per cent of my music, seventy per cent of my movies, at least half of my books and, in general, does not really care for TV. I, on the other hand, read re-caps of TV shows I haven’t even seen (don’t judge me- and once had a reputation for turning up to parties and replacing the host's music choices with Kate's Krazee Hits.

By contrast to existing boy, the biggest nutbar I have ever gone out with (a boy who once said “not… physically” when I asked him if he was cold) had the best CD collection I’ve ever seen. Sure, he later proposed turning our months worth of emails into a book and publishing it but he also got me into The Smiths.

So, no, I will never stop struggling under I get my boyfriend to admit he does actually find Family Guy highly amusing and that the work of J.D Salinger has its place. But, at the same time, as I’ve grown and um, matured, I’ve come to realise that an indifference to (dare I say it) the work of Ricky Gervais is not the deal breaking equivalent of "I don’t really care for black people..." Or at least not quite.