Monday, June 30, 2008

Token Smokin Hottie: Sam Riley

There a certain kind of science to choosing the Token Smokin' Hotties that go up here, you know. Despite evidence to the contrary it's not just about picking someone blessed with great genes - it's about telling a flipping story... or something.

Maybe not. Okay, if I'm being stricly honest then sometimes, yes, it is just about seeing James Franco in a wet shirt, but at other times, at least, there is something more than looks involved.

Enter exhibit... whatever-we're-up-to-now: young Sam Riley. Sure there's his big pouty lips, so plump and yielding you could use them as a waterbed; his delicious forelock of a hair-do that makes you want ruffle it until some sort of cows come home and his very aesthetically pleasing cheekbones suitable for use by primitive man as a cutting tool but there's something more there.

Take that look in his eyes - what IS that? Is it a amug what-are-you-looking-at-bint-face-I'm-running-late-to-fuck-a-supermodel gleam, or a nervous fuck-I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing-or-whether-my-new-film-is-any-good sort of a thing he's got going on?

I've got no idea but it's a nice ambiguity: a little bit Lost Boy, a little bit Delicious Fox. And that's what I like. Oh and the pouty lips.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Forensic Partying: flashback #34

11pm: Convincing a chief of staff to unbutton his shirt to get faster service at the bar.

The gym dance

The night before: I'm totally going to go. Look, I'm putting my running shoes by the beside next to those running pants that make my bottom look quite good. See, there you go, I'm setting the alarm for 6.30am. *Yawn*

6.30am: Wha- the? Fuck no, snooze!

6.45am: It is FREEZING. My feet have actually turned to blocks of ice. Surely getting up in this temperature can't be right? I'll just wait for them to thaw...
6.50am: Probably still have time? Maybe?

6.55am: Maybe not.

7am: Okay definitely not.

7.05am: I could still totally make it. If I wanted.

7.15am: Bath instead?

7.16am: Oh yeah - bath instead. Where's my book?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Let's get physical

So I had a fitness assessment at my work gym today. It’s something that’s been on my to-do list for awhile and I finally got around to it.

Bizarely, and arguably uncharacterisically, I like gyms. I enjoy the simultaneously sweaty and sterile atmosphere, the opportunity to lounge on a bike while reading a book and the high that comes from finishing a very satisfying session.

I do not, however, enjoy fitness assessments. What sort of psychopath would?

As someone who was once fit enough to be aware of just how out of shape she is now (ie: on mere nodding terms with any form of propulsion more vigorous than a casual stroll to the pub) I was DREADING it. The bit where you have to ride on the bike? The bit where they weigh you? The bit with the SKIN FOLDS?

In the end, like most things we waste time dreading, it wasn't too bad at all: the lad doing it was perfectly friendly but not cute enough to make me embarassed by my lack of finesse, I didn’t have to have skin folds after all and, not having measured or weighed myself since the last time I had one of these things, I was not displeased with the results. What I was displeased with, however, was the subtle suggestion that I must want to lose weight. Bleh. Not that the dude came right out and said it, of course, but it was the little things that annoyed me.

For a starters: booze. Yes I had to tell them how much I drunk and yes I lied. Even with a lie (“oh maybe a small glass most evenings and a bit more on the weekends”) I got a telling off. “There’s an awful lot of calories in wine,” my tormentor said with a gentle smile that suggested I might like to just stick my finger down my throat right then and save us both the trouble. “Yes but the calories taste awfully nice,” I replied, to not even an amused eyebrow. Next thing I knew he was talking about cutting a lunchtime sandwich in two to cut down those – yes again – calories. What ev. I gave him a frosty look on the back of this unsolicited and unwanted diet advice and then, when he asked me for my reasons for joining the gym and I didn't mention weight loss he said "You must be the first girl I’ve had in here who hasn’t wanted to lose weight,” prompting me to jump up and drive his pen through his right eye. In my mind.

It’s not that I wouldn’t shave five kilos off the side (or better yet relocate it to selected areas) if I could do so without trying (indded I'd say most girls I know would, though whether that’s a good thing or not is another matter) it’s that even though I am well within the normal range for my weight and height the ASSUMPTION is that because I’m a girl and because I’m attending a gym I must be looking to drop a dress size in six weeks or something equally ghastly. I like to think I have – thanks more to a sensible upbringing and no complaints from the boys more than anything I’ve particularly done – a moderately healthy body image. Most of the time at least. But the gym assessor’s suggestion that I MUST want to lose weight made me feel slightly insecure. Was that an extra ripple around my belly? I wondered, studying myself in the mirror later as I lifted weights in time to the kind of music I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. And could it be my face was just a smidgen rounder than it used to be? It’s vile stuff.

All that aside I’m quite excited about getting back into the gym, which is a bit sad. True, I bet I will never ever do the programme my gym buddy mapped out for me (changing machines every five minutes? I just want to read a book and work the glutes, man…) but the prospect of feeling strong again is quite an appealing one.

Though as for the shithouse gym showers and changerooms in which people stroll about naked.. well that’s another post.

Friday, June 13, 2008

This, friends, is what a tool looks like

My day job requires that I deal with people more or less constantly. If I’m not pitching stories to my boss or begging someone else to explain to me again just how CFDs work (seriously – ANYONE?) I have to talk to contacts and potential sources. If I’m honest it’s not really a part of the job I like: sometimes I, like Greta Garbo, just want to be alone. Mostly, however, I flatter myself that I have grown better at dealing with colleagues and strangers: I can make chit-chat, I can crack a joke and I can idly pass the time of day with most people if I have to.

Today, however I spent a fairly ridiculous ten minutes or so in the toilet today that really underscored what a tool I am sometimes when it comes to the lengths I will go to avoid interpersonal contact.

Our story starts when, with a full bladder and scrappy hair I decided to journey to the work toilets (don’t worry, it isn’t THAT kind of a story). Wanting to spend a bit of time in the mirror to attempt to style my dark brown mop into something resembling a hairstyle I took care of the bladder first. And just as I was about the flush and scamper out to the sinks and mirrors the door to the toilets opened and someone else came in. Now, I don’t know if other people are like this or not but I don’t particularly like running into people in the toilets. Doubly so if they’re strangers. And the only thing I hate more than that is being stuck with them at the sinks while we’re both primping in the mirror and either doing that weird thing where you try not to make eye contact or smiling fakely at each other in a We’re-All-Just-Girls-Am-I-Right-? sort of a way

So, naturally I chose the completely sane and normal option of waiting behind the toilet door for the intruder to go into one of the other stalls and give me a free run at the mirror.

And I waited.

I could hear her moving about at the sinks, shuffling about, water running etc. Should I give up and just go out? I wondered. Suck it up, stop being such a pussy and just do my bloody hair in front of her? No, no, I told myself, she’ll be off any moment now. Aaaany moment now.

Then I heard the zip of a toiletries bag: oh brilliant now the silly bint is doing her fucking make-up. Still, I pondered, it wasn’t too late to go out there was it? Or was it? I mean by this time I’d been completely silent in the toilet for about three minutes or so. Either she thought I had died or suspected I was involved in some kind of terrible very-spicy-curry-the-night-before sort of experience. Okay, now I really didn’t want to go out there.

Of course the situation only got worse. Fuck knows who takes TEN MINUTES to put on some slap in the middle of the working day but this fucking genius managed to do it. Meanwhile I huddled, embarassed and pissed off, behind the toilet door, now well beyond the stage where I felt I could reasonably saunter out of the cubicle as though I’d merely entered 30 seconds before.

She left, eventually, presumably looking like she’d applied foundation with a trowel.

So I got about 30 seconds in front of the mirror before the door opened and someone else walked in. I did the smile-in-the-mirror silent greeting and waited for her to go into one of the cubicles. Then she came to stand beside me, shook out her long (semi magnificent) hair and started to (laboriously) re-style it.

I took a long hard look at myself in the mirror and got the fuck out of there.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Those kids were fast as lightning

I’m fairly sure I’ve blogged about my love of martial arts movies before now but here I go again. I just can’t stop. I love them. I love the fight scenes, the “humour”, the terrible, terrible facial hair and everything that comes with them. And last night I saw a true classic for the first time ever: Drunken Master. I’d seen Drunken Master 2 and practically everything else Jackie Chan has ever done but My God was this an undiscovered gem. Very questionable acting, uber suspect camera work but some bloody great work. (As a side bar: director Yuen Woo-ping has since gone on to do choreography on The Matrix, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Kill Bill so... you know, the man is talented.)

Indeed I’m so enthusiastic about this new find I would go so far as to say it represents almost everything I love about the martial arts genre. Therefore, for the benefit of those who have not seen it, and who want to know what they’re missing out on, I present to you: The Drunken Master formula for what makes the perfect martial arts movie…
  1. Profanity. I don’t know if it was the (super dodgy) dubbing or not but holy shit did this mother manage to pack in the swearing. It was all “hey shitface” this and “you stupid bitch” that. At another time someone actually said “you’re the cat’s arse” and the weird thing is I think that was supposed to be a compliment.

  2. Dodgy dubbing. See above. The weird combination of American, Chinese(?) and English accents in a movie like this is what really makes it. The very regular, very weird, very poorly translated lines ( “wow my balls are really busted”) only add to the hilarity.

  3. Sensible messages about the danger of alcoholism. In Drunken Master the master can (surprise surprise) only fight when he’s wasted and even Jackie Chan does his best bits when completely belted. Plus they run around with giant jugs of wine CONSTANTLY and appear to suffer no ill-effects at any time. Now THAT’S realism.

  4. Gratuitous upper body shots of a young Jackie Chan. Enough said. I have never been into muscles but he is one mean, lean motherflipper.

  5. Killer fight scenes. I demand quick shuffling, knockouts and at least a smidgen of humour. Plus that bit where Jackie’s shirt was half on half off was really cool. More of that please.

  6. Gore. This movie actually features a scene where one person twists off another person's nipple. It's pretty awesome.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hoooly Shit...

I was going to blog about Paul Newman but the inestimable McPhee has beaten me to it. Doesn't mean I can't steal this pic from her though. Phew. Because two viewings are never enough. Gay girls and straight boys I challenge theee to remain unmoved...


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Two roads diverged in a fatty wood

There are times in everyone's life which represent turning points: seminal moments which offer us the chance to go in one particular life direction or another. Most of the time we don't necessarily recognise them without hindsight: only looking back down the road do we see where the road forks. And yet somehow I sense that my decision as to whether or not I watch a TV program, just advertised as coming on next, called Amazing Medical Stories: Half Ton Dad, represents some sort of point of no return.

THOUGHTS: Holy fuck is that guy actually a doctor and if so WHAT THE FUCK is he doing on this show? I mean I'm watching it but I'm sitting on my carpet with a bottle of wine, not rattling around with a motherflipping MEDICAL DEGREE.

Token Smokin Hottie: Penn Badgley

I have always had a thing for boys in uniform. Um school uniforms. Yeah that’s right and I dig Bill Henson’s art too ‘n everything. Clearly I’m not actually a paedophile but there’s something about the sight of an old school tie contrasted with the crispness of a white shirt and a shaggable (in every sense of the word) haircut that does it for me on a number of levels. And it makes sense. After all the first boys I ever had a crush on were pretty much those I went to school with. Like a slavering Pavlovian dog I am driven to equate the uniform with stupid teen love.

Hence, perhaps, my growing fascination with Penn Badgley, or “Dan” for those who have seen him on the trashilicious US drama Gossip Girl (no idea if it’s out here or still coming – I’ve been at the downloads, I’m afraid). There is nothing about Dan that I WANT to like. Nothing except his nut brown eyes, his ruffable (look it up) hair and a sideways glance he may or may not have perfected in the mirror that nevertheless speaks to me as loudly as a shout: take me now, Kate, it says, under the disco ball.

Sadly the character portrayed by Penn Badgley is kind of a douche. Or rather he’s made to be SO DARN LIKEABLE that I find myself driven to scratch ‘douche’ onto the side of his beautiful face just to vent some of my great, throbbing rage (memo to TV executive types: the boy is hot. He does not need to have ‘moody loner who is improbably unpopular given his unbelievale hotness’ tattooed onto his head for me to fancy him. Some subtlety – please!).

And yet.

What can I say? The boy fills out a blazer. Oh to be 16 again.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I can neither confirm nor deny

Some time back a fellow blogette and I floated the idea of starting an anonymous blog where we could store the things we can't air on a public blog where the people who read it know who we are. The idea being that, given we have friends, colleagues and family members reading our respective blogs, there are a great many things we would rather like to be able to blog about but cannot. It was a nice idea then and it's a nice idea still - I might get around to it one day but until then anyone looking for a blog devoted to one of those things I certainly can't blog about might want to check out Girl With a One Track Mind. And then you should probably thank your sweet, if nonexistant, God I don't write about that stuff.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Random pleasures

  • Parties thrown by one of my favourite people in the world.
  • Discovering someone I've known for a bit but never spoken to about books is into both science fiction and the lovely Evelyn Waugh.
  • Not being the messily drunk person who has to leave a party early for "a lie down".
  • Waking up on a Saturday to feel pretty bloody chipper actually thankyou.
  • Loooong weekends.

Friday, June 6, 2008

"I don't care what consequence it brings, I have been a fool for lesser things..."

Like most people with no discernible musical talent but a love of music I am deeply, deeply jealous of anyone who can write a song and/or play anything more complex than the opening eight bars of Classical Gas on the instrument of their choice. I would kill to be musically talented, to be the 98th (or whatever they’re up to) member of Belle and Sebastian or even to be able to noodle about on a piano in a remotely cool fashion. Sadly, as my long-suffering guitar teacher can attest, I am bereft of both natural talent and a desire for hard work to compensate for said lack of talent.

The weird thing is that lately the object of my profound jealousy is not the adorable Stuart Murdoch, the love-him-or-hate-him Morrissey or anyone remotely cool by any standard measures of coolness as we know it. Instead it’s… Billy Joel.

Yeah I know.

Billy Joel makes me think of my parents, specifically my father and his extremely inappropriate desire to have Only The Good Die Young played at his funeral (for anyone unaware of what the song’s about… well it’s not for me to say but it doesn’t go hand in hand with, you know, death). And yet I sort of love Billy Joel. I love his smarm, I love his swagger, I love the way he writes gushy love songs for his latest wife only to break up with her two months later. I even love.. his music. Oh Come On you know it’s kind of good. Not startling, perhaps, not amazingly innovative but really rather GOOD: it has enthusiasm, it has passion, sporadically brilliant lyrics and it is all bloody catchy.

Even leaving aside the too-overplayed-to-be-taken-seriously-anymore Piano Man you’ve still got a rather impressive list via She’s Got a Way, the aforementioned Only the Good Die Young, Movin’ Out, Just the Way you Are and It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me. And don’t even get me started on my personal favourite The Longest Time, which is worth you tubing if only for the fact it has arguably the most (unintentionally?) funny 80s film clip ever. Seriously, kids, I’m talking rival gangs and whistling.

Billy Joel’s music is not the kind of music you have earnest discussions about at parties with cute bespectacled boys, it is not the kind of music you readily admitted to enjoying, it is not even the kind of music you play when company is present. It is, however, the kind of music (or, if you like, I) am pleasantly surprised by on the radio if I’m channel switching, secretly delight in a cheesy sing along to in virtually any situation and occassionally feel a strong desire for when a certain mood strikes.

Like oooh sayright now.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


And the cunt of the week is... Mr Peter Kavanagh. Take a bow, Pete. Actually, come a bit closer to me so I can use a staple gun on your balls.
AN anti-abortion MP has sparked outrage after emailing Victorian colleagues a graphic image of a fetus being operated on. DLP Upper House MP Peter Kavanagh
yesterday emailed all state MPs an image of a then 21-week-old fetus being operated on. The fetus appears to be holding the hand of a medico, who was performing life-saving surgery. The fetus was not being aborted but was used by Mr Kavanagh as evidence that life does not start at birth.
You can read the whole story, and have an aneurysm, here.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Road to... nowhere?

An hour or so after finishing Cormac McCarthy's The Road I'm still not sure what I thought about it, or whether it's provoked much of a reaction in me at all. Which is, I think, kind of the point. It was A Good Read: improbably pacy and engaging, not nearly as depressing as I'd feared and well written in McCarthy's perfectly serviceable style.

And yet. If I hadn't been told how brilliant it was I don't think I'd be thinking of it at all. If I didn't know it had won a Pullitzer Prize I think I would have said to myself, probably not aloud, "oh that was good" and then put it back on my bookshelf. Instead I'm forcing myself to write something about it because, so everyone tells me, It Is An Important Book.... is it though?
You can read the rest of this blog entry at The CNG Lending Library.
UPDATE: How brilliant is it, sometimes when you find someone who just agrees with you? I had emailed a literary-minded friendof mine about my views on The Road, expecting him to tell me I was an illiterate boob who didn't appreciate anything. Instead I received a reply along the lines of ‘the prose yells ‘I’m the bee’s knees!’ at you ALL THE TIME. Yes, Cormac, you’re the bee’s knees. Now go away.” True dat.

Quotable Quotes: Garbo

"There are many things in your heart you can never tell to another
person. They are you, your private joys and sorrows, and you can
never tell them. You cheapen yourself, the inside of yourself, when
you tell them." (Greta Garbo)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday morning

There are few experiences that grip me with the same degree of horror as sitting in the back of a taxi, uncertain as to whether I can avoid throwing up before disembarking.

And thank fuck for that for it is not a pleasant feeling.
For the record I did indeed avoid throwing up in the taxi much to my - and presumably my driver's - relief. However it would be wrong to say that this weekend has been completely free of vice. Indeed as I sit here, at work on a Sunday, filled with what Orson Welles said were the only two emotions possible to feel on an airplane (boredom and terror: boredom because there is little to do, terror because I am responsible for my section of the paper and I'm scared I will fuck it up) I can't help but feel that this weekend I have indulged just about all of my vices. Shall we discuss?

1. Booze. Self-explanatory. I am, clearly, no alcoholic but I do seem brilliantly capable of ignoring the voice in my head that tells me perhaps I should switch to water right about now.

2. Book buying. This is what happens when I am bored and let loose near a computer. I have just blown a tremendous amount of money on bloody amazon. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

3. Food. Again self-explanatory. When a hangover calls there is no chance I'm not going to eat a bowl of potato gems for breakfast and, indeed, lunch. So what's my excuse for the rest of the time? Hmm not sure.

4. Wouldn't you like to know.

To conclude: I have used my pathetic one-day weekend extremely productively. And were someone to suggest, perhaps, that I have damaged my liver, my bank account and, arguably, relationship with anyone I may or may not have spoken to on Friday night, I would counter that nobody ever wished for more early nights and bigger savings on her deathbed. So far as I know.