Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Things I have learned from being in court all week

The Federal Court is conspiring to keep me sober - hence no decent place to get a drink within walking distance of the court at 1.30pm on a weekday unless you're brave enough to go the hotel bar route and risk looking like a hooker on the job.

Things I have learned from a week spent catching taxis to court and having awkward taxi driver conversations

Ray Charles once guest-starred in several episodes of 1990s (fucking awful) sitcom The Nanny.

(Don't ask me how it came up).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Token Smokin' Hottie: Alex Dimitriades

Oh yeah okay, let's get this out of the way first: so he was in Deuce Bigalo 2: European Gigalo - I've forgiven him for throwing away his talent on that (I assume) giant piece of shit, why can't you? Because Dimitriades is not just the best piece of Greek-Australian arse out there, as evidenced by the above photo, he is TALENTED.

If you've never seen his tour de force in the highly underrated film Head On then you might not know what I mean but there's a moment in that great saucepot of an Australian movie where he's looking across, sort of smirking really, at another character in a kitchen and in that stupid little ten second moment everything you need to know about him, his character and the entire fucking film is written on his face. Watch it: it's so brilliant you barely even notice halfway into the movie that he's said about four lines of dialogue in total.

But talented or talent-free doesn't really matter when you consider just how genuinely Good Looking he is. In theory I tend to think that I don't go in for conventional good looks in a massive way but if you look up conventional good looks in the dictionary you get a photo of Alex Dimitriades. He's a walking, talking stereotype of Talk, Dark and Handsome. He is not just TD and H he is nice looking. He is not just nice looking but cute. Not just cut but My God Yes he is sex on legs and yes, thanks for asking, I do fancy him like mad.

Yet somehow he also has a weird next door vibe that makes you feel a little bit like he's your older brother's incredibly hot friend. You know: the one who always took time to chit chat to you and gave you a hell of a lot of free pot for no reason at all, making you feel just a smidgen older and smarter than you were and (frustratingly) never took advantage of your youth and and innocent even though you were BEGGING FOR IT. Um, yes, where was I? Alex Dimitriades? Good times.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Overheard in my inbox (you know who you are)

Me: What've you been up to?
Him: Oh the usual. Drinking too much, trying to convince people to have sex with me.

Which is worse...

a) That I watched the movie version of the rather decent book Atonement last night and DIDN'T want to punch long time nemesis Keira Fuckface Knightley in her stupid face?


b) That I thought the note Fuckface's dishy love interest James McEvoy sent her ("In my dreams I kiss your cunt. Your sweet wet cunt") was not just rather amusing but actually quite hot?

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Because I am nothing if not a woman of the people, by the people and for the people I have put up a few new links on the right hand side to some quite brilliant columnists and websites I have just stumbled across, and which you have probably all known about for years. Selfish cunts. Far be it for me to get all up in your face about it but you could do worse than start with If you like it so much why don't you go live there, which features the best/worst comments from the BBC website's Have Your Say section: the sort of home for BNP voters and Sun readers you've hoped never existed. Read, it now, thank me later.

Token Smokin' Hottie: Marlon Brando

I saw both Apocalypse Now and A Streetcar Named Desire for the first time in the same month.

What a terrible tragedy for a teenager. And what cruelty for my parents or teachers, or whoever was responsible, to let me!

It nearly didn’t happen: I was only watching Apocalypse Now because a boy I fancied had told me to and, being a bit dim, I managed to get a bit lost as to what was actually going on after about twenty minutes. Martin Sheen had a breakdown making that movie? I nearly had a breakdown flipping watching it. But I stayed the course and eventually I got to see Marlon Brando as Kurtz, fucking about in the forest. He looked insane. Not Marlon-Brando-playing-Kurtz-as-insane but INSANE insane, as in an-insane-Marlon-Brando-playing-Kurtz-as-insane.

I might have called him a genius, if I hadn’t been so busy thinking about that boy, but a token smokin’ hottie? I think not.

And then I saw A Streetcar Named Desire in which, of course, Brando is the impossibly ripped and utterly smoking Stanley, all tight t-shirted and simmering rage. Domestic violence never looked so hot: I would have let him backhand me into the kitchen cupboards twice before breakfast.

Except of course this Brando wasn’t real. Or, rather, I had seen into the future and knew where beautiful fucked up ol’ Stanley was going to end up: bald, fat and mad in a jungle. Not a bad analogy for life, maybe, but not something an impressionable young teenager should have to think about.

Naturally this depressed me, somewhat, and I found the movie tough to watch for that reason. But recently it occurred to me, rather belatedly you might think, that Marlon Brando is so unbelievably hot as Stanley precisely because of this contrast with how his life turned out. Stanley the character is constantly about two seconds away from Losing His Shit just as Brando, playing Stanley, is about twenty years away from losing his.

As a counter point, take Paul Newman. Also improbably delicious as a youth and a rarity among young hotties in that he aged both well and (apparently) happily. Even as he jowled his way into his sixties you could still, sort of, imagine going there and he was still capable of turning out a genuinely great performance in something like The Road to Perdition. And all this without (supposedly) fucking around on the side. There was a man who had his shit together.

By comparison Brando gives the impression of having lurched from one crisis to a next. Turning up to the set of Apocalypse Now massively overweight and underprepared. Turning up at all for shit like the Superman movies and the godawful Island of Doctor Moreau, in which his eyes read plainly Kill Me Now for the entirety of the film. Somewhere in there managing to both sire eleven children with about six different women and (allegedly) snog Laurence Oliver in Vivien Leigh’s pool. Niiiice.

If you were going to marry one of the two you’d have to back Newman. He’d give you a foot rub as you lay on the couch watching Lost In Austen and talk intelligently about… I don’t know, something, while he did the Times crossword. Marry Brando and you’re more likely to spend your nights cowering behind a locked door while he screams that you’ve ruined his fucking life you stupid fucking bitch.

But token smokin’ hottie status is not about getting married or picking someone to nip down to the IGA for you on a Saturday morning when you're hungover and require a diet coke immediately. It is about shameless deliciousness, guilty pleasures involving cheese-grater torsos and a few other things I’d go into in more detail about if my parents didn’t occassionally read this blog. And in that respect Brando ticks all the boxes: a tragic figure, maybe, and certainly a bit unhinged. But then, I’d argue, the best of us are. And his face could make a stone weep.

Downsides to trying to make three parties in one night:

1. You spend half the night in a car, drunkenly squinting at a road map and saying "Is this Ord Street?"

2. You either need to do a costume change en route or risk looking alternately ridiculously overdressed and underdressed.

3. You only recall the next day why it's a bad idea to go from champagne to suspicious (though delicious) rum punch to some fancy berrylicious cocktail and then back to champagne.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On a scale of 1 to 10...

... How bad is it that last night's destruction of a giant hideous foot blister is just about the most fun I've had all week?

Monday, March 9, 2009

It was the best of times, it was the... blurst of times?

A very bookish friend of mine recently made what I thought was a shocking admission: he had never ever finished a single E.M Forster novel.

I gaped. I tch tched in my throat. I delivered my overused but underrated How Can You Never Have Read Maurice When It’s the Loveliest Novel Ever Written speech. And, of course, a large part of my brain thought: Thank Fuck. Because if said literary friend hadn’t got around to touching Forster in 40-odd years perhaps I could now admit that I’d never read more than about five pages of Dickens. Or finished anything by Dostoevsky. Or even TRIED to read Henry James. Or – no, no, stop, you’re giving away too much, Kate.

So this survey out last week for World Book Day, which found that 65 per cent of respondents admitted to lying about which novels they’d read to impress others pleased me even more. In the interests of full disclosure I should say now that, while I don’t think I’ve ever outright lied about having read something I have not, I have certainly let my silence do the lying for me on more than one occasion. You know what I mean:

SOMEONE I FANCY: Blah Blah Blah… the Golden Bowl. Right?
ME: Um, yes.
SOMEONE I FANCY: It’s so different to Henry James’ early work, too. Don’t you think?
ME: Um, yes?
SOMEONE I FANCY: Blah Blah Blah.
ME: What, sorry?
SOMEONE I FANCY: I said and what did you think of the last page of Crime and Punishment?
ME: …
SOMEONE I FANCY: Why have you just taken your top off?

Most of us do this sort of thing to some degree: it’s just another version of smoothing down those rough edges for those we want to impress, regardless of whether it’s impressing them into bed or something a bit more platonic. I have, for instance, frequently answered my phone while lying on the couch, watching The Biggest Loser and eating crisps off my belly. But when the person on the other end asks what I’m up to I do some editorialising: suddenly I’m listening to Wagner and reading Tolstoy in front of that roaring fire I don’t actually own. If those video telephones I always see in sci fi movies ever make it to market I’ll be fucked.

Naturally brilliant Guardian columnist and (fingers crossed) my future husband Charlie Brooker says it all much better than me:
“Of course, whenever two people meet, literary fibs are just the tip of the iceberg. As potential partners initially circle one another, a full 98% of their conversation consists of out-and-out falsehood. The remaining 26% is wild exaggeration. It's an unnecessary game of bluff in which you both claim to be into the same bands, hold the same political viewpoints, harbour the same dark secrets and so on. Assuming it works and the pair of you get together, the rest of the relationship consists of either a) both of you slowly discovering what the other one's actually like, or b) one of you grimly maintaining the fiction that, hey, you're really into Bruce Springsteen, fell-walking or sex parties too, until the facade finally crumbles or you die of sheer despair.”

And, of course – as Brooker points out a bit later – the silver lining here is that if you’re busy wanking on about any of the books which this particular survey found to be the most lied-about reads (including 1984, Ulysses and Midnight’s Children), then chances are the person you’re banging on to about it hasn’t read them either. In fact He/She probably didn’t even notice when you referred to Mr Darcy as “Mr Firth”. You’re totally home free.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

At Planet Books with Alley Cat last night, 11.30pmish

ME (Putting my Samuel Beckett purchase on the counter with some hope I might actually get around to reading it): Just this please.
COUNTER SMARTARSE: "Just" this? It IS Beckett, you know.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What jew think?

I hate the term "politically correct". I don't mean that I hate political correctness, per se, I just hate it when people use the term as some kind of messed up shorthand to justify their abhorrent bigoted views. For instance, if I ever hear the phrase "it's political correctness gone mad" again, heads will roll. All this aside, however it did occur to me yesterday that political correctness may, in fact, have gone mad in my particular cubicle of the world.

It started with a pretty banal story I was writing about gold jewellery sales. I'd been interviewing a ton of people, my shorthand was completely shot and somewhere in there I started abbreviating the word 'jewellery' to 'jew'. Which all seemed fine...until I found myself writing the following phrases all over my notepad: "bad jew", cheap jew" and, best of all, simply "jew" with a giant downwards-heading arrow.

All of which still seems ok until you notice that the rest of my 'shorthand' looks like a bunch of merry squiggles. Viewed without the surrounding context of, you know, other words, my notebook resembles nothing so much as the work of Joseph Goebbels or that scene from The Shining. All Work and No Play May Make Kate An Antisemite.

A ridiculous thing to worry about, of course. For a start who the hell is going to be rifling through my notebooks?? And even if they did I'd like to think someone might give me the benefit of the doubt and at least try to decipher my shitty teeline...And yet I hesitated only a few moments before picking up my pen to slip in the crucial "ELLERY" wherever I could. What can I say? It's political correctness gone... well, you know.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Token Smokin' Hottie: Scott Speedman

There was a certain point in the 1990s at which millions of woman and men around the world simultaneously fell in love. Gasps were expelled, glasses were dropped, television sets were turned up a little louder. Hands, if you'll forgive me getting a bit filthy, were probably stuffed down pants.

The show was Felicity and the hot piece of buttery crumpet was Scott Speedman.

Knowing much more about Felicity than I really should, I happen to know that Speedy was not initially cast in the role of "Ben" - the saucyepot love interest/stalkee for the eponymous heroine. The role originally went to another actor (the one who ended up playing "Noel" for those tragics who have also seen the show) before the producers met Speedy. Once they did, of course, they couldn't help themselves. Who could? Because he is Scott Fucking Speedman.

Never has a man been better at mumbling through his lines, barely opening his lips to let syllables out. Never has a man so accurately conveyed simultaneously both a simmering undercurrent of rage and confusion and serene fuckability without saying a thing. Never have I wept so hard with gratitude when he lopped off a headful of bog curls (see above) to reveal a scalp as smoking hot as the rest of him. Oh shit and did I mention his character was in the swim team for a whole season, meaning he spent about 80 per cent of his onscreen time without his shirt? Because... yeah. That happened.

But more than that (wait - did I just dismiss Speedy's cheese grater torso with a simple "more than that"?) he just seems so... charming. Even when he'd let you down time and time and time again you just KNOW you'd fall for him all over again as soon as he rocked up at your house with a cheaparse bottle of red: all dimples and excuses. Nobody could sound quite so sincere when he explained very cutely that he only put his cigarettes out on your tits because he just loves you so much, baby.

But, please, excuse me, I'm afraid my Felicity series 4 DVD has just arrived and I have, um, some work to do.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

"If you can slash in my bed (I thought) don't tell me you can't suck my cock." (Martin Amis, The Rachel Papers)