Friday, March 30, 2007

Quotable Quotes: Notes from the Underground

"It was not only that I could not become spiteful, I did not know how to become anything; neither spiteful nor kind, neither a rascal nor an honest man, neither a hero nor an insect. Now, I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything."
(Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Night of the living pumpkin

I have something of a minor phobia about going to parties where I'm not sure I will know anyone.

This goes doubly if I'm expected to deviate from my normal wardrobe of... black stuff.

Some people might say this is ordinary behaviour (nobody likes to make small talk with strangers) while others might blame my occasionally crippling shyness or a personality defect.

Personally I blame my childhood. And one incident in particular.

When I was about 10 (or possibly 11 or 12) I was invited to a friend's Halloween party. This particular friend was older than me in more ways than one. She and her other friends, for instance, had already grasped the idea that the purpose of fancy dress parties was to make yourself look as hot as possible.

Accordingly they went down the 'sexy goth witch' route almost to a girl (or boy). I, meanwhile, was struggling along in my pre-teen way, amusingly supposing that the purpose of fancy dress parties was to wear a kick-arse costume.

And I dressed accordingly.

As a pumpkin.

There was nothing sexy about the giant orange shirt I filled with stuffing before cinching in somewhere around my waist, nor the snug footless tights on my bottom half. Even less provocative was the green ice cream container I wore on my head, with a single green felt leaf flapping sadly off one side.

I did look a fair bit like a pumpkin - that much was true. Certainly I drew my fair share of glances as I breezed into the party, momentarily confident for about as long as it took me to look around. To my credit, despite my innocence, I realised almost immediately that I had made a false step when I saw the other slutty-sexy costumes in my vicinity. Then again, more or less anything looks sexy by comparison when it is standing next to a pumpkin. It didn't help that I was still waiting for that growth spurt and was centimetres shorter than anyone else I saw that night.

Other than my friend I did not know a single one of the people crowded into her backyard and, with two feet of padding around me in every direction I wasn't feeling incredibly chatty. Nor did any of the strangers seem particularly interested in passing time with what they presumably assumed to be an orange helium balloon let loose in the house.

I spent my time trying to look as inconspicuous as a walking, talking vegetable can look.

There was only one up-side to this mortifying experience and, as silver linings go, it was pretty lame. But, because almost nobody had any idea who I was, where I had come from or what I was doing there very few people appeared to notice an orange blur flying in the direction of the door when the first game of spin the bottle was proposed. Though some long-time residents of Subiaco still swear they can remember the night when a five-foot pumpkin ran past their house, leaving only a green felt leaf and a lingering scent of vanilla bean in its wake.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Just don’t ask me about event horizons

This month I am attempting to both read and understand at least some sentences in A Brief History of Time. It’s one of those things I’ve always wanted to do and I’m sure if I looked hard enough I could find this particular ‘to do’ item sandwiched between ‘learn another language’ and ‘finish novel’ on any to-do list written by me in the past seven years.

So I am trying and I think I’m even understanding some of it (it’s about physics, right?) but more fun than reading than reading is looking at pictures. Like this one:

It’s pretty amazing to think it’s an actual photo taken by the Hubble telescope and it does sort of semi-inspire me to get back to the book and attempt to read another chapter …. Oh, who am I kidding: another page. Anyway, it makes me feel like I'm learning something, even if it's just honing my googling skills.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

He's pushing 55 if he's a day...

I’m not sure what most amuses me most about this spoof Ridge Forrester website.

Is it the biography which includes a section for “crimes committed” or the bit where he apparently “unintentionally raped” his on-again-off-again wife?

Perhaps the fact that he was supposedly in his 30s when the series started and is now merely limping through his (he wishes) early 40s...

Maybe it’s just the memory of sick days on the couch watching Bold and the Beautiful when Mum and Dad weren’t home and marvelling at my ability to keep up with what was happening despite not having watched the show since my last sick day two years earlier.

Oh wait I know what it is: the realisation that the person who created it has even more time on his or her hands than me. Hurrah.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Token Smokin’ Hottie: Pete Doherty circa 2003/04

I know. I know.

I started you off easy with Clive Owen and Wentworth Miller, throwing you hot, nuggety chunks of James Franco and all the moody, broody dark-eyed stares you could handle.

You blinked twice at Peter Saarsgaard but you could take it. After all at least he wasn’t a total junkie with an apparently constant greasy sheen on his mug, constantly snapped falling tits over arse or injecting some poor groupie, right?

And now.

Yep I do think Pete Doherty is hot. Please, allow me to explain.

Granted he is a junkie and probably has more drugs pass through him than your average meth lab.

Granted too that his approach towards hygiene appears to be… hmm, I think “English” is about as close as I’m going to get to a euphemism.

Granted further than a variety of facial sores/weeping wounds frequently appear to be on his face and granted still that the boy seems like he could be a bit of a spanner every so often.

Firstly he was a member of The Libertines, absolutely one of my favourite groups of the past five years or so. Really quality. Before he was famous for being a smackhead and dating Kate Moss he was actually famous for being super talented.

Secondly the boy is kinda… sweet. He makes me want to put him in a bath and wrap him up in a fluffy towel. The guy could walk into your house with a needle in one hand and a 14-year-old groupie in the other and you’d still introduce him to your Mum because he would sit down and have a cup of tea with her.

Okay so he’d then shoot himself up with the gram in his pocket and get a blow job on the stairs but we all have faults.

Thirdly, despite how messed up he has become since his prime he still seems like a gentle sort who’d be a happy drunk and would at least have the good grace to pass out in a pile of his own vomit instead of mugging old grannies for their spare change.

Fourthly, he once quoted Siegried Sassoon at an award ceremony. I'm a sucker for a boy who likes his poetry.

But all this is irrelevant. Because this token smokin’ hottie entry isn’t really about Pete Doherty today at all. Because, Kate Moss aside, nobody really wants to go there these days.

I am not a great fan of Pete Doherty circa 2007 but I am a fan of Pete Doherty of 2003/2004.

When he was all hot onstage ho-yay with band mate Carl Barat.

When he appeared on the cover of Esquire and GQ dressed in a Savile Row suit and looking a million bucks.

These days, most of the time, you wouldn’t get change if you used him to buy a coffee.

Nevertheless. I do still cling to some faith that this little English muffin, assuming he gets his drug habit under control, reunites with former bandmates, reforms The Libertines and moves to Perth, could get it all back together again.
And if not, at least I’ll always have the GQ cover…

What I implied to others that Andy and I would be doing on our week off and what we actually did...

What I implied:
  • eat awesome food and drink good booze.
  • see plays and art exhibitions and have intelligent discussions about them afterwards.-read intellectual books and discuss Proust.
  • rediscover Perth.

What we actually did:

  • eat awesome food and drink good booze.
  • lay on couch and rewatch BBC’s Pride and Prejudice (sorry Kym).
  • purchase RPG computer game and play until 2.30am. And repeat.
  • rediscover our mutual love for laying on couch watching movies and playing computer games.

It was awesome.

Friday, March 16, 2007

As some of you probably know next week Andy and I are having a Holiday In the City. It’s one part ‘too poor to go away’ and another part ‘who needs to go away anyway?’ but I’m rather excited about it.

Sadly I think my excitement has actually grown since poor Andy hurt his leg. Now struggling on crutches I sense that his disability (through tragic, obviously) will mean I can stop pretending that I have any desire to fill the coming week with the kinds of activities that I see rugged looking people wearing cashmere sweaters over their shoulders doing in adverts.

I will be perfectly happy not hiking through the woods, going rockclimbing ordoing any of the sickeningly energetic things I feel I ought to pretend to like. I am crushed that I can’t go horseriding, because it’s been ages, but then you can’t have everything.

In horseriding’s place I get to have long lunches, boozy dinners, lying on a rug at the park and reading pure trash, lying on the couch and watching pure trash, taking hot baths in the middle of the day while reading pure trash and listening to Andy tell me I’m turning into a prune.

In short: I intend to get away with moving as little as possible and, when I have to, to do so with a drink in my hand. It will be awesome.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I have a house!!!

Okay, perhaps I should clarify: Andy and I have a house.

By which I mean we have a house to rent.

By which, in turn, I mean, we are renting Andy brother’s (and his girlfriend’s) Northbridge apartment for 9 months while they prance around South America.

But nevertheless - this is progress.

The only question left to answer is whether I’ll miss my parents’ frequent day and night time skinny dips more than I’ll miss Dad yelling at me for leaving my shoes on the dinner table.

I’m still waiting to break the news to Tikki - even if Kate and Jerm were cool with her shedding her fur all over their carpets, which I assume they are not, I’m not sure she is up to another move. But at the same time my heart breaks a little when I think of leaving her home with Mum and Dad and the gruesome hounds of poodle doom.

Then again, though she is a fabulous cat with a lovely nature (ahem) she isn't necessarily the sharpest knife in the drawer...P’raps I’ll just erect a few pillows and a wig beneath my blankets for 9 months and hope for the best. Hey, she’s a cat: she knows what it’s like to love your sleep…

I find it immensely satisfying when I turn out to be right.

On those rare occassions when a hunch of mine pays off or I win a bet (thankYOU where would bet-settling be without you?) I do not respond with a gracious smile. In fact I am more likely to indulge in the universal 'i told you so' dance, possible accompanied by a merry jig and a shit-eating grin.

And now one of my long running hunches - that Andy is in fact a total sook - have been almost fulfilled. For dear Andy has stuffed up his knee quite badly and is now an invalid. And not the stoic kind.

But this time I'm not doing the merry jig of smugness, nor even really belting it out when I come to the difficult bit in the 'i told you so' chorus. I haven't matured or anything but it has occurred to me that Andy's tendency towards laying on the couch and being tended to while demanding colder frozen peas, stronger pain relief and less rank-tasting water makes my own ability to wallow in self pity and make increasingly pathetic demands as soon as I have the hint of a cold look slightly less-pitiable by comparison. Or so I tell myself

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Quotable Quotes: Rushmore

"Maybe I'm spending too much of my time starting up clubs and putting on plays. I should probably be trying harder to score chicks. That's all anyone really cares about."(Rushmore)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

This is more or less what my red hair looks like...

... it is also a disturbing glimpse at my future offspring after I'm forced to mate with a bug-eyed alien to re-populate the (semi) human race.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Calm down, ladies, it may be Stella McCartney but it's still Target.

Fool that I was I imagined that breezing into Target at 8am this morning would mean a leisurely morning before a late work start to peruse Stella McCartney's new "Target range". I imagined a peaceful start to the day, culminating in me smugly walking out with my new black camisole and cashmere coat before all but the most eager fashionistas were out of bed.

Sadly this was not to be.

Instead I had to witness the sad spectacle of people (okay: girls and women) running towards the racks, pushing past people and knocking them into racks as they did so. Seriously. I felt embarassed as I made my own way to the racks and started thumbing through them in search of my size. Not embarassed enough to snaffle the last size 12, obviously, but, you know, embarassed all the same.

Similarly the sight of women stripping down in public instead of lining up for a change room was all a bit too much that early in the morning. Is anyone really in that much of a hurry? Plus, as Judd pointed out, you can always return it if you got it at Target.

One of the most telling things I saw was women excitedly grabbing at clothes on racks, only to discard them when they checked the label and saw they were part of the not-so-stellar range. (Yes, that's right: Stella/stellar... you see what I did there?) There was definitely a sense that a lot of people were there to get a little piece of something they couldn't usually afford, not because they gave much of a toss about the clothes. I'm not saying I wasn't one of those people but then I didn't imagine for a moment that rack of cream coloured faux-jeans was Stelle McCartney either.

In the end I walked away with nothing. Sadly this is not because I expressed my disgust with the scene by stepping down or taking a stand but, rather, because I discovered only while in the fitting room that the sizes were way too big and some bitch pinched the last size 10 camisole from under my nose. Now her I could happily push into a rack of clothes any day of the week.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hair truths.

I can't remember (and I'm too lazy to look to up) who it was who said there are only two emotions in an airplane: boredom and terror, but I feel the same sentiment can be applied to a trip to the hairdresser.

There is nothing relaxing about this experience. There are the long stretches of time in which you do nothing but leaf through magazines, starting off with the semi-juicy ones and ending up with the crap ones nobody buys with lots of pictures of women pouting and no text. Then there are the terrifying moments where you feel you've made a huge mistake or you glance in the mirror and see a look of what you imagine is mild concern on your hairdressers face.

In fact, it occured to me as I sat in a hairdresser on Saturday for an excruciating three and a half hours that having a haircut is like competing in a bloody triathlon.

The first event is the difficult task of bridging the gap between what you want and what your hairdresser thinks you should have. This usually consists of me struggling in with a picture torn from a magazine. This, I tell my hairdresser, is what I want. Red hair like Maggie Whatshername. She produces a colour sample. It is brown. I wave the picture. She produces another sample. It is brown. I point to the picture and then to myself. She points to the colour sample and then to my hair. It's a delicate duet. Sadly this is my weakest event as I frequently cave to my hairdressers demands once she subtly and sweetly points out that ripping off a supermodels hairdo won't actually make me look like a supermodel but giving me a style or colour that suits me might stop me from holing up in a French church somewhere.

I can usually gain ground in the next event, however, which is not engaging your hairdresser. I don't imagine that anybody who knows me will be particularly surprised by the fact that I do not like to talk to my hairdresser while she is cutting my hair. I want to sit quietly, drink my glass of complimentary booze and read up on 10 Tips to Get Thighs Like Charlize Theron. My hairdresser, however, wants to chat. More specifically she wants to chat about My Life, with subjects ranging from what-I-do to what-I'm-doing-that-night. Although these conversations may ostensibly be about my life they usually include frequent references to her own, often with colourful (if seemingly unrelated) anecdotes about her love life thrown in.
I am not a horrible person and I don't begrudge my hairdresser her obvious desire to pass the time with some chit-chat but I will protect my right to sit in total silence too. A magazine or book is a must, obviously, and eye contact is strongly discouraged. Never answer a question with a question and never answer a questions using more words than she used to ask it: these are my secrets.

Despite what is something of a natural ability at this event, deflecting the well-meant chatter of someone with a pair of scissors in her hand can take it out of you. So that by the time I reach the final event - pretending to like your hair, regardless of whether you do or not - I am often struggling. The thing is that most of the time I do like my hair. I've had only a few truly shocking cuts in my lifetime. But regardless of whether I'm planning to go home and cry or go home and prance in front of the mirror my reaction feels just as phony. No matter how many times I smile and say I love it I feel like a have to do more, particularly if the hairdresser is a fawner and insists on prompting me for a further reaction. My face muscles start to hurt from holding a rictus smile on my face for half an hour but I can't stop grinning. "I love it, thanks" I say, again and again and again. Still my hairdresser will insist on gathering a consensus from the other hairdresser present. Amazingly they seem to love it just as much as she does every time.

Friday, March 9, 2007

So I'm thinking about going red.

I mean I like my brown hair, I think it suits me fine and I'll probably be happy with it for the next 30 years or whatever but it might be time for a change.
It's not going to Run-Lola-Run red but more Crazy-Kimberley-From-Melrose-Place-Who-Freaked-Me-Out-When-She-Pulled-Off-that-Wig kind of red. I think.
As always, when faced at the prospect of making what I sadly consider a dramatic change I am paralysed by doubt and have taken to questioning both friends and strangers on whether I am Doing the Right Thing but, who cares, I'm pushing ahead with this one. See you on the other side...
UPDATE: Yes as most of you know I did go ahead with it. In the end I was talked into a browney red colour that looks maroon in the dark and flame red in the sun. I think I like it. And, yes, MJ, I will try to post a pic on here, or at least email you UK fools one.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

If were in a movie...

  • I would be the main star’s best friend.
  • I would be a lot funnier.
  • I would give sage advice instead of cribbing from Cosmo and Dr Phil.
  • I would be really smart because I own a pair of black-rimmed glasses.
  • I would end up paired up with the only other glasses-wearing dork onscreen.
  • I would probably have a better wardrobe.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The perils of drunken text messaging.

I am a terrible drunken text messager.

Terrible, terrible, terrible.
Or, to put it another way, if you think sending someone a message saying "you smell like my cat's skin disease" is ever a good thing, I am a very very good drunken text messager.

I don't know what it is. Put a drink in one hand, a phone in the other and leave me alone at the bar and within two minutes I'll have either offended or propositioned the entire contents of my phone book (yeah sorry again about that, Dad). At the time, of course, it entertains me and passes the time while waiting for the next daquiri but in the cold hard light of my hangover the next day I've got to say it has usually lost a lot of the hilarity.

And it's got to stop. I can handle alienating friends, co workers and family but I'm churning through the phone bill like nobody's business. I've bonded with the guy on the Virgin help desk because I have to call up every two months to be reconnected thanks to my extreme non payment of bills.

Case in point: today I was separated from my mobile for about 10 hours after a night out on the turps. When I returned... 9 text messages, 7 missed calls and half a dozen voice messages.

And I'm really not popular, it's just when you send people messages like "you smell like poo and wee" (yep these are the jokes, people) they tend to get back to you. Even if it's just to offer to drive you to rehab.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Quotable Quotes: Fame

"If I didn't care for fun and such
I'd probably amount to much.
But I shall stay the way I am.
Because I do not give a damn."
(Dorothy Parker)