Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I said I love you, George

My delight at seeing the only-getting-better-with-age George Clooney in Vanity Fair's best dressed list has been marred with my disgust at seeing Ashton 'isn't-he-irrelevant-yet' Kutcher and Demi 'Snip-Tuck' Moore on the same damn list.

Has the world gone mad? It's the only explanation for putting a cradle snatching weird-kneed bint and a man-child fond of wearing stupid hats within touching distance of the don't-you-pray-you-look-this-good-at-my-age Cloonmeister.

Ditto Lenny Kravitz who, when he's not busy looking like a woman, is busy looking like a prat.

I'll give them Richard E. Grant, who I love, and even The Becks because David is pretty and Posh is sort of awesome in a frightening rock-hard-nippled way but Kravitz and Moore/Kutcher? Not on my watch Vanity Fair, not on my watch...

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Secret History of this damn book

There should be a name for the blank look on someone’s face when you are talking to them and they have no idea what you are talking about. There should also be a name for the feeling you get when you, midway through a conversation, suddenly realise they have no idea what you are talking about.I had this experience this morning when I was babbling away to Lindsay this morning about Donna Tartt’s The Secret History - a great little page turner of a book that I started on Saturday and have barely been able to put down since.

I was mid-flight, conversation-wise, and talking away about how much I was enjoying it and thanking her for the recommendation when I noticed the blank look on Lindsay’s face.
“Uh, you did lend it to me, didn’t you?” I asked. “Um no.”

Oh. So the end result is that I have this great book but no idea where it came from. Apologies for the lapse in my memory but I can’t quite remember who lent it to me in the first place. Please, please let me know who you are so I can return it and have someone to discuss it with…

In other news I'm going straight to hell.

I know this is really harsh to say but what were the parents of the dead 16-year-old from Port Kennedy thinking when they selected the photos they then gave to The Slimes for their page one article at the weekend?

(Note: I don’t want to say the chick’s name in case her parent’s google it and and have to read a random blog slagging off their dead daughter but the story is here).

When your young, bogan daughter is killed because she a)is a bogan b)is dating a bogan and c)hangs out with bogans who think racing their cars qualifies as entertainment, maybe you want to reconsider your decision to hand over a handful of photos which, to be brutally, honest, sort of make her look like a bogan slut-whore.

As Josh, who showed me the paper, said: “She looks like she still wants to have sex with you, even though she’s dead”.

Creepily The Slimes’ (online at-least) headline of What a Waste somehow adds an even more seedy edge to the whole thing, as though it’s only a waste because she’s young, blonde, kinda slutty and could have been getting her tits out at the Dolls House in another two years instead of being buried by her family.

Obviously the death of anyone in a stupid car crash is a tragedy but maybe it’s a nice idea to try to give them a little dignity in death, even if they never had any in life.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Quotable quotes: Depressing Shite

"Depression, when it’s clinical, is not a metaphor. It runs in families, and it’s known to respond to medication and to counseling. However truly you believe there’s a sickness to existence that can never be cured, if you’re depressed you will sooner or later surrender and say: I just don’t want to feel bad anymore. "
(Jonathan Franzen)

N.B: I know I've posted this somewhere before now but it wasn't on this blog so there you go.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The B-Word

I quite like boys. That's not really news - I do have a 'current hottie' bit on the sidebar and I regularly feature 'token smokin hotties'. Clearly I like boys. But I also like talking to boys and, when I'm in the mood, flirting with said boys. I don't mean I'm a big fat Slutty McSlut-slut (at least I hope not - feel free to jump in here any time, guys) but there is nothing wrong and there are many things right with some harmless bantering and so on.

Anyway, guys who know me know that I have a boyfriend so I assume that they know that, when I laugh at their jokes, throw things at their arse or muck around with them, I’m not mentally picking out a wedding dress or planning to tattoo their name on my (buttock) cheek.

But when it comes to people I don’t know well I don’t know when the time is right to deploy the B-word. As in Boyfriend.

I don’t mean to imply I’m picking up strange men in bars and just choosing to break it to them that I’m actually spoken for as they try to throw me on to the back of their bikes or anything but when I do occasionally meet new people through work or friends or what-have-you I feel that I’m being mildly deceptive in not telling them I’m having a boyfriend.

This is clearly a product of a rampant ego gone mad that assumes every guy I meet finds me irresistible and is having a crack. Clearly this is not the case but assuming the opposite (that everyone sees me as an asexual chum) has led to a couple of veeery awkward conversations in the past.

On the other hand I feel like a tool when I attempt to deploy the B-word in casual conversation… efforts that usually feel about as casual and painless as having colonic irrigation administered by a blowfish.

Bringing up the B-word when you’ve just met someone feels, to me, like the equivalent of bringing out a can of mace (or that classic scene from Beverley Hills 90210 when Donna fights off a rapist while shouting “no! no! no!”) when someone pats you on the shoulder. Maybe it’s the lack of self esteem talking but I hate the implication that I assume whoever I’m talking to thinks I’m a hot tamale. For instance I was recently a bit put out when some guy I had just met (and was making idle chit-chat with) deployed the G-word in the course of conversation about some crap or other. “Back up, Mister,” I wanted to say to him. “I’m really, really not trying to jump your bones so you don’t need to panic.”

Am I being overly sensitive? Weird? Do I have too much free time on my hands? Possibly all of the above but what do you think, young readers and how do you coupled-up ones deal with this?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'll piss anywhere I want, is what this miaow means, bitch

A few weird things happened to me in the course of a 15 minute trip today.

Firstly I saw a man waiting at the traffic lights who was sporting the most perfect handlebar moustache I have ever seen. That, combined with his air of utter nonchalance and the fact that he was wearing a t-shirt so well-worn-in that it looked super soft made me want to burst out of the car and hug him.

Thirty seconds later, and on the same street, I saw Thom, who either didn’t recognise me or was embarrassed to admit to knowing someone who was, at the time, attempting to make a right hand turn while stuck somewhere between first gear and neutral and waving out the passenger window in a state of apparent hysteria.

Finally I met this awesome grey cat who befriended me while I was walking back to my car. It was collarless and just sort of wandering the street but plump enough that I figured it probably belonged to someone nearby so I stroked it and played with it and then attempted to get back into my car. The problem was that it seemed keen to get in with me.

No matter how many times I set it back on the pavement it jumped on to my bonnet or followed me around the car to hop in with me. It was adorable but also worrying because I was on Beaufort Street and I was shit-scared it was going to get cleaned up if I just left it there.

Eventually I hefted it over my shoulder and dumped it near a house, then got the hell out of there but it got me thinking about how different things would be if animals could speak English.
I’m not sure what this cat was trying to communicate with me, other than ‘hey I sort of like you,’ or ‘a little bit to the right’ but would I have had the heart to leave it behind if it had opened its little cat jaws and said in perfect English “excuse me but could I possibly come home with you? I’m awfully cold and lonely”?

Similarly I think a lot of you carnivores (ok, omnivores if you must) would convert to my team once you experienced the trauma of meeting a little piglet or cow who asked you, if you wouldn’t mind, not to eat it. Then again, if animals made out of the tastier meats turned out to have really annoying personalities or were closet racists or something then maybe I'd change my stance on the whole vegetarian thing.

Someone whose name I can’t be bothered looking up famously said that if lions could speak we wouldn’t understand them. Meaning not that they would be speaking Swailee but that their experiences were so different to ours that we wouldn’t have common words to communicate with. I’m not so sure about that but the possibility of what animals could tell us is pretty fascinating. Oh sure in reality it would be all “I have soiled myself - how embarrassing” but in my mind they’ve discovered the secrets of the universe and are just trying to tell us all about it.

It tastes like burning.

Nicholas Lezard may not be eating his words but, at the very least, he's got them on a low flame at the back of the stove.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ha... ha?

I’m in two minds about The Simpsons Movie, which I saw last night. Well actually that’s not quite true. I know what I think - I just feel bad saying it.

As a Generation Y-er I grew up with The Simpsons and was at about the perfect age to enjoy them at their peak during the mid-90s. Who of us born in the late 70s or early 80s could forget the musical version of Planet of the Apes (“Help me Dr Zeus!”), the ‘you don’t make friends with salad’ dance, almost anything involving Lionel Hutz (“Well, he's kind of had it in for me, since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace 'accidentally' with 'repeatedly', and replace 'dog' with 'son'.”) or the current affairs beat-up job when Homer is accused of grabbing his babysitters arse (“sweet… can”)?

When The Simpsons were good they were very, very good and when they were bad… well they were still kind of good.
The movie feels like watching three episodes back-to-back. Unfortunately it feels like watching three recent episodes back to back. Much like the last few series of the show the movie has occasional moments that reduced me to quivering laughter (most of the scenes with the pig are pretty a-dorable and there were a few other genuinely funny bits that made me laugh aloud) but the rest of it seemed to drag. The Homer-stuffs-up-but-eventually-proves-himself arc, for instance, seems like it’s been done more than once in the past 17 or 18 years. Similarly a few of the scenes feel more like giant winks to the audience than new material, which is vaguely patronising and frustrating for nerds like me who are way too familiar with the source material.

For me the main problem was that the movie has been so anticipated and has taken so long to get to this point that it also has a whiff of trying to please everybody and cover its bases. I know that, in theory, it’s a cartoon and intended for kids as well as adults, but I wish they had gone flat out for the Generation X/Y viewers who grew up with them and screwed the kids instead of trying to have it both ways. By way of comparison I thought the Family Guy movie was much funnier, perhaps partly because it was a much, much smaller offering and the series is young enough that it is still taking risks and trying new things. Maybe if The Simpsons Movie had gone down the same road and tried something a bit more ambitious or offbeat it would have been more interesting to watch.
Ah well at least we'll always have Bovine University.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore... damnit

You know that famous quote from the movie Network where Howard yells “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”? Well that’s how I feel today. I don’t know why I’m so angry but I just feel so fed up with everything. I can’t be bothered dealing with people, I don’t want to help other people solve problems that have nothing to do with me and I’m not in the mood for inane chatter from people who are, apparently randomly, being put through to my phone. Maybe it’s one part ennui, one part rampant hormones and/or the fact that it is constantly freezing in the office so that I am forced to wear a winter coat at my desk every fucking day but this sucks balls. My focus for the day is just to keep plugging on and to get some decent stories out in the process. Somebody give me a diet coke and then back the fuck up…

Ice to see you

I was going to blog about Enough Rope last night but it looks as though Johnsy has beaten me to it and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lindsay were far behind. Nevertheless, consider this my two cents.

I’m not particularly a Grinspoon fan but I was hugely impressed with Phil Jamieson’s appearance on Denton’s show last night. It was also probably one of the more effective anti-drug pieces of TV I’ve seen in awhile.

There are so many puff interviews on TV and in the paper these days that it’s refreshing and weirdly affecting to see someone talk so apparently honestly about his addiction to crystal meth, cheating on his wife and a downward spiral that ended in detox and rehab.I won’t step on Lindsay’s blogging toes by musing on the difference between Jamieson and Perth’s apparent favourite junkie son Cousins but the comparison is an obvious one.Unlike certain footballers Jamieson came off as a likeable, confused person who had been severely messed around with drugs and was (slowly) trying to get back on his feet.

Also unlike certain footballers he didn’t come off as trying to restore his public image and his story wasn’t wrapped up with a nice happy ending: he’s probably shitting himself about what a life without drugs will be like; his wife could take months or years to forgive him and I don’t know what his relationship with his bandmates is like but I’d imagine fairly damaged.

Denton’s work really does show the holes in other interviewers and the cheap way in which most media organisations treat stories about drug addiction and ‘celebrities’.

For anyone who missed it, it should be up on the Enough Rope website soon and is well worth a viewing.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Nicholas Lezard may or may not be a cock. I don't know.

I am having an attack of the guilts. Just a smidgen. A few posts ago I made some rather disparaging remarks about a certain Guardian columnist and his views on Harry Potter. I loved writing that post - deploying the words “cock” and “dicksnap” is one of my favourite ways to pass the time. I laughed as I wrote it and I laughed as I read it again. And then someone claiming to be Nicholas Lezard posted a comment (which you can read here).

At first I dismissed it because, you know, the chances that the poster was, far from being Lezard, 15, pimply and/or had his hand down his pants was pretty high. But since then… I don’t know. Lindsay has given me the fear by suggesting it might actually be him. And, on the one hand, I don’t know why I should care because I disagreed very strongly with what he wrote and I still do but on the other hand… well nobody wants to see themselves called a cock online, do they? Plus on a Howard/Bush/bitchy sales manager at work sliding cock scale columnists for The Guardian should come pretty far down the line, right?

But I don’t know. Tell me, dear reader(s) if I should feel as squirmingly guilty as I do? Is it him? If it is should I care? And why am I now frightened to google my name?

UPDATE: My answers in order: Yes. Yes. Probably. For a very good reason. Read the comments.

Quotable Quotes: Thomas Mann

"Since that moment it is all up with me. My last remaining shreds of happiness and self-confidence have been blown to the winds, I can do no more. Yes, I am unhappy; I freely admit it, I seem a lamentable and absurd figure even to myself. And that I cannot bear. I shall make an end of it. Today, or tomorrow, or some time, I will shoot myself. My first impulse, my first instinct, was a shrewd one: I would make copy of the situation, I would contribute my pathetic sickness to the swell of literature of unhappy love. But that was all folly. One does not die of an unhappy love affair; one revels in it. [ . . . ] But what is destroying me is that hope has been destroyed with the destruction of all pleasure in myself. I cease to write, fling the pen from me -- full of disgust, full of disgust! I will make an end of it -- alas, that is an attitude too heroic for a dilettante. In the end I shall go on living, eating, sleeping; I shall gradually get used to the idea that I am dull, that I cut a wretched and ridiculous figure."

(Thomas Mann, The Dilettante)

Friday, July 20, 2007

The obligatory Emmy nomination post

I don't even know half these shows or these "actors" or "actresses" so I've just commented on the categories or people I give half a shit about.

Drama series
Who Should win: Heroes
Whose win would motivate me to kill myself: Grey's Anatomy

Comedy series
Who should win: Hmm for want of something else I'd say The Office.
Whose win would motivate me to kill myself: Two and a Half Men

Actor in a drama series
Who should win: James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) or Hugh Laurie (House)
Whose win would motivate me to kill myself: Kiefer Sutherland (24)

Actor in a comedy series
Who should win: Ricky Gervais (Extras)
Whose win would motivate me to kill myself: Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)

Actress in a comedy series
Who should win: Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds)
Whose win would motivate me to kill myself: Felicity Huffman Huffman (Desperate Housewives... this show is still classified as comedy? Come. On!)

Supporting actor in a drama series
Who should win: Masi Oka (Heroes)
Who's win would motivate me to kill myself: Anyone else

Nip, suck

After watching The Age of Love last night (shut up) with Andy it has become clear to me that not all boys cannot recognise giant, fake boobs when they see them. Allow me to present Exhibit A: Tara Reid. (In Lindsay's words: "One's going out for the shopping and the other's coming back with the change")

Fairly warned be thee say I...

...If anyone has discovered the ending to the new Harry Potter book do not tell me. I will not laugh and buy you a drink. I will cut you.

The Shopping Spiral, or The Devil Wear Silicon

The effects of stress on the human body and mind are pretty well documented. But what about the effects of specifically shopping-induced stress? Because I think there is a subject ripe for analysis right there.

I don’t know what it is about me and shopping. When I’ve got money to burn or I’m in the mood for browsing I love shopping. In that sort of mood I seem to stumble over more lovely clothes than I can stuff in my shopping bags. I look nice in anything, everything’s in my size and I go to a very happy place.

When, on the other hand, I’m looking for something very specific and I’m desperate to buy it I have absolutely no joy - everything is pants, I look hideous and I go to a very bad place I like to call The Shopping Spiral.

The first stage of the shopping spiral is optimism. The shops are new, the possibilities endless and in my mind I look fantastic in every on of the hundreds of dresses I have yet to try on. This is also known as the delusional stage.

Stage two is when reality hits. The shops are shite, all the clothes look the same and the only dresses I can find are of the pinafore/smock variety, apparently designed to make me look like I am not only carrying twins but that I may have eaten a baby or two on my way into the fitting room.

Stage three is rage. I sneer at the teenage fools who probably look good in everything, I mock the dresses waving at me from their hangers and I pour abuse on my shopping companions for being cruel enough to find something they like and look good in.

Next comes bargaining, also known as the time at which I try to rewrite my personality to become the kind of person who might wear a tulip dress. Sure, I tell myself as I wriggle into layers of hideous chiffon/spandex/polyester, it’s not my style now but maybe it could be. I mean, just because I’ve never thought of myself as a strapless, slashed-to-the-thigh sort of person doesn’t mean I couldn’t one day be that person… oh wait no it totally does.

Of course the last stage is a combination of acceptance and depression. I accept that I may never find a dress that I like. I am depressed that this is so.

On the plus side, I discovered last night that a good antidote for the depression side of things is to go home from a failed shopping expedition to watch The Poo’s reality TV show, Age of Love (which is, incidently, exactly as awesome as you hoped it might be). Yes I may be undressable but at least I possess neither a)giant fake cans, or b)the desire to win The Poo’s love. There's always a silver lining.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Do I have too much time on my hands?

I mean should my working day reeaallly include time to mock up fake ransom demands to send to work colleagues who displease me?

July Audit

Last book I bought: The Well of Loneliness. I haven’t read it yet but it’s on the (long) list.
Last movie I watched: Knocked Up. I laughed a lot.
Last good deed: Being nice to Andy last night.
Last good deed done to me: Oscar Hair!
I am saving for: Paying off the couch that will (hopefully) soon arrive. Also a dress that will somehow be everything for any occasion.
Last time I got drunk: Last Friday night. This should be repeated tomorrow night.
Last time I laughed: Probably this morning while trying to drag Andy out of bed.
Last time I was embarassed: 5 Minutes ago running into Moist Eye in the corridor while holding a My Little Pony with a sign reading ‘help me’.
Last risk: I am buying shares in a company I know almost nothing about. Eep.
Last failure: Don’t talk to me about the splits. I am useless.
Next challenge: Hmm, haven’t decided yet. I will take suggestions.
I am loving: Stormy weather, boozing, Andy, mochas.
I am hating: Cleaning, my insatiable appetite, being so uncertain about everything, feeling guilty when people buy me gifts.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I hear it makes Citizen Kane look like an episode of Sweet Valley High...

For those of you who have better things to do than read I Watch Stuff (you smug bastards) comes the synopsis for what may well be the most awesome movie of all time, Dynamite Warrior. I have been a not-so-secret fan of martial arts-esque movies ever since I saw the bit with the stool in the great early Jackie Chan movie Young Master so this presses all the right buttons for me (especially the one that reads simply ‘what the fuck?’)…
“Set in rural Thailand during the 1920s Dan Chupong (Born To Fight) plays
Jone Bang Fai a young man riddled with grief and bent on revenge after
witnessing his parents’ murder by a callous and malicious killer. The only
information Jone has as to the killer’s identity is the memory of a
tattoo-covered man who is part of an organized group of cattle rustlers. Jone makes it his mission to stop all cattle rustlers and in the process return each head of cattle back to its rightful owner. After searching the country high and low, Jone finally believes he has found the murderer in a small rural village in the North of Thailand. To Jone’s dismay he learns that the killer is in fact a
warlock of immense power, a nearly invincible mystical man who is trying to
control the whole village. His one weakness? He can be harmed only by weapons
that have been treated with the menstrual blood of a young virgin. Armed with this knowledge and a few hundred highly charged rockets (and a dash of menstrual blood), our intrepid hero goes up against one of the most dangerous men to have ever walked the Earth.”

Meanwhile, a milestone...

...2000 hits. Good work you five loyal readers, you. You make me feel so... mop.*

*shameless Scrubs reference thrown in purely for Ali's benefit - hope you appreciate it.

Nicholas Lezard is a cock.

What a big, big surprise: someone is complaining about Harry Potter and the quality, or lack thereof, of the way it is written, blah blah blah.

An even bigger surprise: the commentator in question is Nicholas Lezard who is writing for The Guardian. I loathe every word that comes out of this Harold Bloom wannabe's mouth (with the exception of what he says about buying books from independent bookstores instead of chains, which is surely par for the course).

The Harry Potter books aren’t the best written books in the world but neither are they the worst. The language isn’t particularly amazing, it’s frequently over descriptive and stuffed full of unnecessary adjectives but who cares? As far as I’m aware nobody’s claiming it’s more than a very well plotted and hugely entertaining series.

Literary snobbery is a real pet hate of mine, maybe because I’m a huge genre slut - I’ve been a big fan of fantasy and sci-fi since I was a kid but I also like books that would be, I suppose, classified as literary fiction or ‘classics’. I remember once being savaged for reading an Ursula LeGuin fantasy on holiday with a friend (Ironically LeGuin is actually a fantastic writer who has really set amazing literary standards in fantasy and science fiction writing, but anyway…). “But you’re studying English” the friend in question said. Balls. So long as a book engages me in some way - either its language grabs me or the plot does - I don’t care much about why I like it or whether it’s well written, I just keep reading.

Some books are entertaining, some are though provoking and some inspiring. Either way so long as they motivate the reader to turn the page I think they qualify as ‘good’ books.

People who complain about Harry Potter are the sort of vile people who agree with everything Harold Bloom has ever said, deride anything popular as populist and probably have to force themselves to read the books on their bedside table because they’re so fucking dull.

When Lezard says…
“I think it was Verlaine who said that he could never write a novel because he
would have to write, at some point, something like "the count walked into the
drawing-room" - not a scruple that can have bothered JK Rowling, who is happy
enough writing the most pedestrian descriptive prose.”
…I think he’s missing the point, and being kind of an arse. It’s all very well for a writer to sit at home and wank about what a fantastic book he would write if he could be pedestrian enough to write at all but writing books is bloody hard work. Writing books that engage millions of readers across the world is amazing. Not everyone has to like the same books but if Lezard had his way everybody would be sitting around with a copy of Howl.

Not only are you showing what a complete pleb you are by reading Harry Potter, he goes on to say, if you actually enjoy it it’s practically a miracle you’re reading a newspaper at all, you’re clearly such a moron.

“But if you have the patience to read it without noticing how plodding it is,
then you are self-evidently someone on whom the possibilities of the English
language are largely lost.”
Oh fuck you, Lezard. If you’re such a fucking dicksnap that you can read what is a very engaging book and see nothing but things to criticise then you are achingly dull, which is worse than being a pleb any day.

Things I wish I own but do not.

1. A working hard-drive recorder or VCR. I am missing out on hours of quality programming right there.

2. A little hand-held dustbuster. I was obsessed with these things when I was younger and it occurs to me that if I had one I might never need to use the dustpan and brush again.

3. A winter-appropriate dress. I have never managed to find one of these that did not make me look either approximately 40-years-old, pregnant, fashion challenged or all of the above.

4. A machine, yet to be invented, that will put me to sleep on request and wake me up at a designated time without a raging headache.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Some more forensic partying.*

Thanks to Lindsay and Ritchie for these pictures of a boozy Friday night. As ever the photos raise more questions than they answer: Why do I appear to be holding a different type of drink in each photo? How drunk did I get and why is McCrory such a boob?

*TM Dan Hatch.

“Hold me closer, Tony Danza”

I’m a terrible one for misheard lyrics but they make me laugh. My family still tease me mercilessly about my enthusiastic rendition of Under the Boardwalk or, as I liked it, “Under the Doormat”. Similarly I was a little disquieted once upon a time to hear about my beloved Belle and Sebastian’s brush with incest when they sang “My brother had confessed he was gay - he said that he loved me for awhile”. Slightly disturbing yes? Except of course no it was “My brother had confessed he was gay - it took the heat off me for awhile.”

So I was quite excited to find this archive of misheard lyrics recently. Some of them are stupid but harmless, such as the knob who misheard the line from The Smiths’ Bigmouth Strikes Again “And now I know how Joan of Arc felt” as “And now I know that I’m adopted”.

Others, such as thinking R.E.M’s Losing My Religion featured the entreaty “Let’s pee in the corner, let’s pee in the spotlight” (instead of “That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight”) are pretty amusing. I love, too, the Creedence Clearwater Revival fan who must have thought the band had run out of ideas when he misheard Bad Moon’s Rising “There’s a bad moon on the rise” as “There’s a bathroom on the right.”

And personally I think Outkast's Hey Ya would have benefited if the line "shake it like a polaroid picture" was replaced with what one enthusiastic punter swore blind was "shake it like a polarbear ninja".

More words, I say, more, more...

I think we need more words in the English language. Oh sure there are plenty already and I don’t know what loads of them mean, or even that they exist, but we still need more.

More specifically we need one for that moment when you’re having a discussion (or an argument) and you feel confident you’ve just made an argument-winning point.

You’re standing or sitting there all smug self satisfaction, thinking ‘they can’t possibly refute this one, my logic is flawless’ and then they just reach over, not saying a word, and just fuck with your hair and you think ‘well okay that was pretty good'.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

"She will leave your arse for a model called Brendan"

This isn't the official video obviously but this song is lovely. God I wish I had a french accent or looked this cute. Damn French hotties.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Is this some kul-cha I see before me?

I have never been a huge, nutty fan of Shakespeare. I’ve read the obvious ones, like Romeo and Juliet, Othello and Macbeth, but I’ve never been into it in the way that some people I know or have met (frequently people who look like they’re on their way to a Ren-fair).

So I went to see Macbeth (ok, sorry The Scottish Play) last night partly because Andy was lovely and bought me a ticket and partly because it was put on by the Bell Shakespeare Company, who have a great reputation. My theory was that if I was going to see Shakespeare I’d rather see a good version than a handful of spotty kids from WAAPA.

I was pleasantly surprised. The set design was fab and minimalist, all jagged red slashes and crap piled to the side of the stage. Similarly the use of sound effects and, in particular lighting, was really well pulled off and the casting was pretty good - Macduff, Lady Macbeth and Malcom were stand-outs, I thought. Sean O’Shea’s portrayal of Macbeth surprised me because it was much more slimy and nasty than I’d imagined when I read the play. Andy thought he was shit but I liked it - for me it turned Lady Macbeth into a lot less of an Eve character than usual, which was bloody welcome.

I don’t think it will change the way I view Shakespeare forever or anything like that but it was definitely an experience. And, because I am nothing if not superficial, the guy who played Malcom was a total hottie. Who knew a beret could look so good?

(Thanks Andy.)

Quotable Quotes: Belle and Sebastian

"We lost a singer to her clothes.
My trouble raised it's ugly head
It was revealed and I was home in bed
I was a kid again."
(Belle and Sebastian)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Supposing romance is pants.

I feel sorry for Andy sometimes. Considering how much I love reading and writing stories about miserable people in miserable relationships and that sort of thing I fear I must give the impression that he beats me or puts out cigarettes on my arms or something.

I fear also that I am in, in fact, deeply cynical about love and romance. I think a lot of what gets tossed around in popular culture is bunk. I do think people can make a relationship work long term and part of me aches for the kind of Paul Newsman-whatsherface 50-year romance but I'm also not convinced monogamy is the best thing in the world. I feel there has to be another way but I don't know what it is and most of the books, movies and TV shows in my life are apparently more interested in peddling me cliches than giving me anything to work with.

That's probably why I like this (somewhat old) blog by The Guardian's Charlie Brooker. I think the title - Supposing... It's time to smother romance in its sleep - says it all (sorry for the length):

"Hands up anyone who's had a great experience with romance. Now put
your hands back down and stop lying. Romance never works. Romance never does
what it says on the tin. Romance, ultimately, is bullshit.

If I sound jaded, it's because I am. I'm so sick and tired of love and its pitfalls I can scarcely lift my fingers to type. If love were a product, the queue at the faulty goods desk would stretch right round the universe and back. It doesn't work properly. The seams come apart and it's full of powdered glass.

Each fresh romance has two potential outcomes: 1. One of you falls heavily, and quickly, until this helpless, unattractive neediness sends the other running for the hills; or 2. by some miracle, your desperate neediness levels balance out, and you stay together for several years - until the love between you withers and dies, at which point one or both of you will stagger away, howling like a wolf with a hook in its gut, wounded beyond reason.

When you're smitten, romance is a thrilling high-wire act over a looming lake of woe. Your head's full of music; the first few steps are a joyful scamper. Then the skies darken, the breeze picks up, the tightrope shudders and you fight to retain your balance. In your heart of hearts, you know you're heading for a tumble, but you're out and exposed and there's no turning back - and who knows, maybe you'll make it? Imbecile. Of course you won't. Instead, the rope snaps and suddenly you're plunged back into the monochrome work-a-day reality of flowers in the dustbin and dogs
being sick on the pavement.

At this point, wandering in a post-romantic shock, things get even worse. Being numb and distant somehow renders you magically attractive to others. It's sod's law in action, and before you know it you're abusing the privilege. Hungering for another go on the tightrope, you hurl yourself at the nearest admirer, but since the love
canary's recently flown your cage, you're selfish, robotic, and doomed to wipe your arse all over their soul. Congratulations: you've become an emotional vandal. And
you'll do it again and again until you meet another special someone - only this time
the tightrope's higher up and more precarious, and you're so scared of falling that
your feet shake the moment you step aboard.

On and on and on it goes, and there's no end to it. This madness must be stopped. We can medicate depression into oblivion; why not romance? A preventative tablet, perhaps, or an adhesive patch that suppresses the relevant endorphins, which you can slap on your skin at the first sign of attraction, killing romance dead, stopping you in your tracks before you make a fool of yourself or a hapless Aunt Sally of another. And sizzled on the back of every packet, embossed on every patch, just to keep things melancholic and swoonsome, you'd find the last line from Graham
Greene's The End of the Affair - the battered protagonist's final plea, which
sums up the absolute aching awfulness of romance so eloquently it makes your
heart nod along with tears in its eyes: "O God, You've done enough, You've
robbed me of enough, I'm too tired and old to learn to love, leave me alone
for ever." Anyway. Next week: some jokes."

Token Smokin’ Cutie: Lilly Allen

I know some people find her annoying or whatever but I think Lilly Allen is cute as a button.

This particular photo comes courtesy of a certain website I’m embarrassed to frequent which allows viewers to make a comment about what celebrities look like. Intellectual stuff, obviously.

What makes me really angry is that some of the comments were calling ol’ Lilly chubby or overweight or fat. Obviously she’s not Hollywood skinny but she looks great and healthy but hot, I think. I also think there’s something really sick with society if girls look at these pics and think ‘I wouldn’t want to be that fat,’ which is what many of the comments amounted to.

I’d kill to have her wardrobe too.

In Other News...

I know the whole skinny models debate isn’t a black and white situation but this story from Rome does make me think there is at least the possibility for change. I know I’m dreaming but it would be really nice if we could have hot girls who don’t look like you could snap them in half on the catwalk one day.

Meanwhile, High Court judge Michael Kirby makes a good point that discrimination is still very much alive and well in that his partner won’t get jack when he dies because he is gay. Interesting but as usual the comments left on the Perth Now website are mostly pure rot, though highly entertaining.

This one comes courtesy of Stew Rat, who is still trying to save my soul, apparently.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What his parents save in cash he loses in schoolyard beatings, no doubt.

My lovely sister Ruth bless her, receives regular emails from a little group called Simplesavings.com.au.

The group, which basically consists of regular emails advising readers how they can save money around the house, is frankly quite pitiful.

But every so often it throws up a real gem, which Ruth passes on to me and which, to me, which makes the entire thing worthwhile. This one, received today, is actually on a par with a previous ‘hint of the week’ classic involving the story of the mother who, instead of buying her son the Spiderman costume he desired, wrapped him in a garbage bag and gave him a ball of wool in place of the more traditional ‘proper costume’ and ‘working web’.

Read on…

"From: SimpleSavings info@simplesavings.com.au
Subject: Simple Savings: Hint of the Week - July 6Date:
7 Jul 2007


We are saving up to $10 a time on trading card games for my eight year
old son! He is very much into trading cards like YuGiOh, Transformers and so on but these packs cost anywhere from a couple of dollars up to $10, depending on the pack sizes and so on. As you need in the vicinity of 40 cards to play these games, it soon gets pricey! So instead, we encourage him to draw and he comes up with some incredible characters and ideas which I use our digital camera to photograph, then load them onto the computer.

We then locate websites, of which there are many, to locate templates for these style of cards. We load his drawings into the templates and apply skills and actions with appropriate points onto the card and save them. When he has devised a game plan, we can print out as many cards as required, with some spares for his younger brother. If the cards get scruffy from over playing we reprint; laminating also can prolong life. This is a great exercise in planning and making them come up with new games and ideas and they end up with cool personalised trading cards. Hours of fun are spent designing our cards.

The only cost is time and a dollar or two spent printing - it works out even cheaper if done in black and white, which can be coloured in. Another activity perfect for rainy days, and as for spending quality, creative time doing activities together? It's priceless!"

Knocked Up

Babies and sentimentality are both pretty gross. And yet, for a movie with both Knocked Up is pretty fucking funny. I saw it last night and I don't think I have laughed at a movie so hard since watching the "Oh are they?" scene from Rushmore for the first time.

That could be because it's got a very amusing script and great acting or it could be because I'm a sucker for an absolute Freaks and Geeks reunion, with Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Martin Starr and James Franco. Either way it's very entertaining and shows up other comedies in the R-rated vein up as sub-par by comparison.

Plus I would reconsider my no-babies rule for Paul Rudd in a second if the opportunity came up (seriously dude- call me).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bulls 1 Humans 0

I not-so-secretly relish it when humans get nailed by animals they are trying to hurt. So the news that about 100 people were injured in yesterday's first bull run of the season on Pamplona doesn't exactly sadden me. I know it's tradition (so was slavery once upon a time, I'm just saying) and blah blah blah but the fact is that the humans taking part in the event have chosen to be there for one reason or another, while the bulls, who have no choice in the matter, are shit scared and running towards their death in the bull-fighting ring. The whole thing is just rank.
Parents never really stop looking after their kids. At least mine don't. If my mother isn’t loading me up with wholesome food or my Dad isn’t trying to lend me money then they’re offering to have my car detailed. No really.

Okay so technically this was a birthday present offer and my birthday is still a few months away but I’m pathetically excited.

The thing is that, as many of you probably know, I don’t particularly care for cars. While Al and Jade talk about this car or that car or wax or polish their own I take a nap or lapse into a day-dream about Hugh Dancy. If I’m ever witness to a crime and have to describe a getaway car I will not be a star witness so much as an embarrassing boob who can only say that it was “sort of blue and shiny”.

In the three plus years that I’ve had my beautiful 1988 Ford Laser (in a Granny-appropriate beige) I have never had it serviced or allowed a mechanic within spitting distance. Even when I was in a five car pile-up about a year ago, resulting in the back of my car getting smooshed in, I just patted the old girl on her behind bought some screws to reattach the numberplate. My door handle fell off about three months ago but instead of replacing it I have continued to unwind the window and open the door from the outside every single time I need to get out of the driver’s seat.

Yes I am lazy but part of it comes from complete indifference. In theory I love my car but this is entirely because I have anthropomorphised it to hell and not because I care for cars, per se. So my excitement at finally giving the beast some tender loving care is a bit of a surprise to me. It’s not something I could justify spending money on myself but the prospect of having oil replaced, spark plugs tightened(?) and mufflers um whatevered is a nice one.

Up until this point I’ve sort of assumed my car would die on the job, like an old workhorse dropping dead in its traces. Now, however, it’s become a matter of getting her through the next three months to give her a chance at a life-saving operation.

Hence my new policy: no driving unless strictly necessary. I am already walking to and from work and I’m sure I can eliminate unnecessary grocery trips by shopping at the uber dodgy Asian “supermarket” down the road which stocks twenty different types of noodles but no bread and prefers to peddle a suspiciously vague “soy drink” rather than anything resembling milk. Similarly I will have to cut all my long-distance friends out of my life and restrict my extra curricular activities to laying on the couch and/or walking across the road to Tarts. On the plus side I can be permanently drunk because I will never have to drive myself anywhere. On the downside Andy might kill me when he realises he has become my own personal taxi service.

The countdown has begun.

Monday, July 9, 2007

"I am a parcel of vain strivings tied
By a chance bond together,
Dangling this way and that, their links
Were made so loose and wide
For milder weather."
I was going to post about my weekend in Margaret River, spent with a decent amount of wine, food and friends.

There were a few things it crossed my mind to post about - how enough wine can make even a bus load of strangers into friends, how awesome I am (shut up) in coming up with celebrities for impromptu games Celebrity Heads or the extremely random moment on Saturday night where I thought I could hear the thoughts of the other people at the table (um… yeeeeah).

But I feel like a big bag of shite and I can barely string a coherent sentence together. It’s not booze related for once but I feel as though my head is going to fall off if my brain doesn’t explode out through my mouth first. I’ve never been a person who gets sick that much, which may be why I hate, hate, hate it so much - the loss of control, that hideous cold shaky feeling that accompanies it and the moment of realisation that, no, two panadol and a cup of hot tea just aren't going to be enough this time.

Somebody stick a fork in me: I’m done.

'Excruciating-pain-red is such an attractive colour for an older bunny...

Animal testing has always been a tricky moral area for me and something that other people seem to like arguing about with me, for some reason. Obviously it’s easy to oppose testing cosmetics etc on cute little beagles or bunnies (seriously ya’ll: unless your shampoo/mascara/lipstick says animal free it was probably squirted into the eyes of something cute and fluffy so you shouldn’t buy it) but opposing research to find cures for fatal or debilitating diseases is a lot harder. This is quite old but I missed it the first time around and it gives me hope that we might all be able to have our cake and eat it too.

Friday, July 6, 2007

I won't stalk you... unless you want me to...

If I have to read one more story about how great it is that Kate Moss has (again) purged he of the greasy hair and facial sores out of her life I will staple my hand to my forehead. I am a long-time supporter of non-junkie Pete Doherty and I live in hope he is attempting to clean up his act and take on another Kate in his life. Either way, these pictures of his stuff being moved out of her house make me a bit sorry for him.

Word of the Day: Guido

Definition: A sad pathetic excuse for a male; not necessarily of Italian descent, but most likely.
Wardrobe: tight zipper shirts, tracksuits, designer jeans, fuzzy kangol hats, tiny hoop earrings, fake gold chains, and related Euro-trash garb and tacky cheese-wear.

Natural Habitat: Known to frequent malls looking for club gear to waste their week's pay. During the day when not at their food delivery/telemarketing/construction job, can be located at their local gym tanning or lifting weights. Can be found nightly at mainstream dance clubs they read about online

Genetic Links: Directly related to modern day urban-guidos, A.K.A. "wiggers," A.K.A. "wegros;" urban-guidos are white males who once exhibited the traits referenced above, but have now instead opted to keep it unreal, with wardrobes consisting of clothes from labels like FUBU and Rocawear which they bought on sale.

Recreational Activities: Guidos enjoy beating up a non-white or homosexual while assisted by a group of 5-10 guido friends backing them up; engaging in date rape and displaying their lack of rhythm by dancing poorly in the middle of a club's dance floor while non-guidos look on in disbelief.

Courtesy the Urban Dictionary.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Rant, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Be a Bitch.

Just over a year ago, as some of you know, I was having a rather horrible time of it - one of the all time low points in my life. It was shit, I was miserable and, as you do, I started making plans to change my life. So it was around about then that I vowed to be nicer to people, value my friends more, not bitch about the incompetent, annoying or different quite so much. I would say I’ve had some success on these fronts. Sort of. But it’s a moot point because it all ends here. I can’t take it anymore.

Because you are killing me.

First of all: shut up. Just shut the fuck up. You do not need to have an opinion on everything and you do not need to be involved in every conversation taking place in a ten kilometre radius of you, especially if what comes out of your mouth is raw sewerage. Some things aren’t about you. Sometimes you can just keep your gob shut and listen to other people without saying anything. Sometimes you need a smack in the mouth.

Secondly, if you’re going to involve yourself in every conversation anyone has ever had then at least have an opinion - a proper opinion - and stick by it. Having an opinion does not mean immediately changing your mind as soon as someone disagrees with you, or creeping around and agreeing with everyone, no matter how contradictory their opposing views may be.You are a creep. And it is driving me mental.

Thirdly, stop forwarding on bullshit emails and for the love of god stop signing them in that certain way you do. You know what I’m talking about. No I don’t care to reflect on the (allegedly amusing) ways in which men differ from women when it comes to (oh you’re going to love this one) cleaning the house or having sex or what-ever. Whacking an emoticon and/or a series of exclamation points at the end of an (alleged) joke does not make it amusing or new or interesting. I don’t care. Just because some poor miscreant has passed these pearls of wisdom on to you is no reason to inflict them on the rest of us.

Fourthly… your voice really annoys me. I know it’s not your fault but it does.

Fifthly… you chew too loudly.

Sixthly… your hair looks like a toilet brush.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Makes sense to me.

Religion is for dumb people who don’t sweat the details, but if you have to choose why not go for one of those Southeast Asian ones where you get to dress like a banana king and live till you’re 100 years old?

See more Vice Dos and Don'ts right here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Quotable Quotes: Jean Rhys

“I am sad, sad as a circus-lioness, sad as an eagle without wings, sad as a violin with only one string and one that is broken, sad as a woman who is growing old.” (Jean Rhys)

Define "respect".

So Bush pretty much doesn’t care how corrupt and fucked up he looks now, right?

I mean I’m just checking.

He has now stepped in to get the man convicted of obstructing an investigation into why a CIA agent had her cover blown suspiciously soon after her husband publicly criticised the Iraq war out of jail.

His explanation?... “I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr Libby is excessive."

Hmm. Bush could pretty turn up to a press conference and eat a live baby at the podium and I would neither gain nor lose any more respect for him.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Tokin Smokin' Hottie: Prince Zuko

There are many disturbing elements to my crush on the fictional cartoon character of Prince Zuko - one of the key players in a nice little series Andy and I have become hooked on: Avatar: The Last Airbender (which, incidentally, is exactly as nerdy as it sounds).

Let’s start with the fact that he’s only 16-years-old. Hmm, legal yes but still highly concerning. Technically he should still be at school and that is just wrong… I’m not helping anyone with his economics homework and I don’t care how much he broods at me.

Moving right along… he’s a cartoon character. Yes, I know. I haven’t fancied an animation since Trent in Daria (shut up - I was young. He was a hot drawing) and even then I knew it was weird. But is it really any weirder than lusting after some image you have of an actor purely through seeing his movies? Well yeah it kind of is but, eh, what can you do?

On the other hand, the fact that his character is semi evil might be seen by some as a negative thing but I’ve always been a fan of damaged goods. Sure, sure being all tortured and stuff might be a cliche but it’s a cliche for a reason - it’s sort of hot, particularly if they can rock a huge, hideous scar and a series of slightly dodgy hairstyle as well as this dude can.

In real life, of course, he would drive me mental with all his ‘it’s complicated - I can’t talk about it’ bullshit and his constant flouncing off into the night but on-screen it works and he is, without a doubt, a token smokin’ hottie.

(Meanwhile some of you, Johnsy in particular, should check out the series if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s super addictive and it gets really good).

Five moments while watching the Transformers movie where I either rolled my eyes, nudged Andy or coughed “bullshit”.

1. When the allegedly-hot-but-really-very-annoying love interest suddenly revealed she was some kind of greasy monkey engine expert. Dear writers: If you are going to create some cliched wet dream character please at least tell the make-up artists to ease up on the bronzer - by the final scene that bint looked like a glazed ham.*

2. When the hot army dude who (of course) had a wife and newborn baby at home waiting for him stops to held some poor little Arab kid. We get it already damned-pro-Iraq-war- propaganda writers.

3. Every time the “scientists” or whatever they were broke into fake technobabble. It’s time to hack the mainframe.

4. When the main kid and his love interest made out on top of a car, despite knowing it was a transformer. As Josh pointed out later it’s about the creepiest threesome ever.

5. At just about every other point during the movie.

*Glazed ham joke was shamelessly ripped from TwoP, who memorably referred to David Boreanz's (increasingly porky and fake-tanned) Angel character as a glazed ham in a trenchcoat.