Wednesday, September 02, 2015

A Tweet In The Darkness

Me: That bird is a trouper. What a positive little guy he is.
Her: What bird?
Me: That one outside whistling and chirping so cheerily even though it's getting dark and it's raining. We could all learn a thing or two from the positive attitude that little bird is showing. It makes me really happy.
Her: I think that's just the washing machine squeaking.

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Thousand Year Laugh

I feel like I've heard that laugh
for a thousand years.
Never tired of it,
I want to hear it
For another thousand years.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Customers And Their Phones... Ergh...

So a customer walks into the cafe and smiles at me. She whispers something inaudible to me because she is talking on her phone. I Marcel Marceau back to her that I have no idea what she just whispered to me. Phone firmly pressed to ear, she whispers again and points to the display cabinet, her pointing finger way out of my eyeline. I walk around to her side of the display cabinet. "Quinoa salad," she seems to whisper while pointing frantically, precious phone pressed to her fucking ear.

Back around on the service side, I see that she has turned away to keep talking and to get a drink from the drink fridge. Does she want the quinoa salad to eat in? Take away? Small? Large? I wait for a few moments and she turns back around. I hold up a small take away container as a starting point. She nods and keeps talking into her phone. I fill the container with her salad, put it on the counter and mime ask if she needs a fork (some customers already have them back oat the office or whatever). She nods, phone still connected to head.

Back with the fork, she is whispering some secret at me again, protecting her phone from the secrets of this whisper. I'm all palms up and French mime shrug. She cups a hand over her phone and whispers a little louder, "I wanted a large salad."

Oh fuck me did you now? Really? I'm supposed to have just known that by some kind of magic, am I? Especially after I showed you the small take away container and you nodded while chatting to your phone. I say a different, more polite version of this to her as I open the small take away container and start to fill a large take away container.

By this time she has finished this precious phone chat and seems pissed off with me for fucking up her order.

"No look really," she snippety snips, having at last found an actual voice, "I don't think I will have anything now. No."

She puts her drink back in the fridge because clearly I am being a totally unreasonable cunt, and she goes about fucking the fuck off.

"Oh thank you for that," I call after her. "And by the way - I'm soooo going to tell Facebook about this. And my legions of friends are all going to show how much they dislike you by liking this post and leaving comments like "What a fucking rude bitch!" and..."I can't believe how rude some people are!" and... and "No one treats Black Rainbow like that and gets away with it!" and maybe things like "I ever bump into you, dumb phone head, I'm going to punch you right in your fucking ear."

Thank you for letting me vent.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Antigone, Malthouse Theatre 2015, Review

                                             Photo by Pia Johnson... says it all, really.

I feel even less qualified than usual to review this production, not having much of a clue about Sophocles or Greek tragedies generally. And I felt so ambivalent about this one that I'm tempted not to write anything at all. It's probably the most disappointing play I've seen at The Malthouse. I have usually left the Malthouse feeling excited, not feeling meh.

But this is where I may be at fault. Perhaps if you are intimately familiar with Sophocles' play you will see more merit in this production than I did. Perhaps you indulged in a knowing nod to what looked to me like indulgent, highbrow theatrical knowing winks. I honestly didn't know why some things were done the way they were done. So I guess if this is a review, it's one for people, like me, people who like theatre but aren't very educated.

The general theme of the story is the question of which is more important, or noble: dedication to the greater good of one's country, or personal and human honour? Love or duty? This seemingly simple question is complicated by Antigione's plight of wanting to bury her slain traitor (to the state) brother. By way of punishment, his body is being left to rot in the open, deprived of being given the dignity of a proper burial. She buries him, his body is dug up and she is punished for having the temerity of going against the wishes of The State.

In this adaptation there appears to have been a smooshing of several characters, which became as confusing as some of the theatrical devices. There appeared to be an Aunt who was delivering the decrees of the king, or something; the blinded Antigione appearing to deliver the prophecies of a blind seer... then there was quite a bit of semi-nudity (that later leaves you asking why?), some strange physical moments in silence that seemed a bit silly and a little too long but which appeared to be symbolic of struggle or something. The rising water on the stage may or may not have had something to do with reflection... cleansing... changing tides... I have no idea but maybe it's crystal clear if you're more in-tune with this kind of thing than I am. Maybe it was just doing a trick because you can do a trick. I don't know.

In bringing this ancient story into our modern theatre, much comparison can be made between the theme of the play and, say, the current migrant crisis in Europe. On the one hand, yes, they are humans deserving of all the dignity we would treat our loved ones with.

On the other, if you simply open the floodgates and let millions into your homeland with its already struggling economy and infrastructure, at some point your economy and your infrastructure and social structure will fall. No question. I think Sophocles was posing a big question: should we devote ourselves to our family and friends, or do we have a greater duty to the greater community?

Big questions, unfortunately for me, clouded in this production by the kind of pretentiousness that would put someone like me off. I was occasionally engaged but more often baffled.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Talking Whilst Banging And Frothing: The Vibe Strikes Again

Today I made someone a take-away mocha and asked them if they wanted any sugar with it. "Eight please," they replied.

"Eight?"

"Is it white sugar or brown?"

"It's raw sugar."

Thoughtful frown as she did the calculation. "Better make it eleven."

Later, another customer came in and asked for a coffee. I asked if she wanted sugar. She said "One please."

I almost never make small talk while I'm actually making the coffee. It's a noisy process that actually does require concentration. But there was something about this customer that I liked. The Vibe. During a non-concentrationy part of the process when I wasn't banging or frothing (hmm... does that sound dodgy or what?), I told her my story about the mocha with 11 sugars. She laughed. I went back to the coffee. After a few moments the customer said, "Actually... you aren't looking for staff by any chance?"

I told her that we may be soon but I'm not sure how soon. My current off-sider has said she has vague plans to move on but isn't sure when. The customer had apparently enjoyed my story (pretty shit as stories go but it probably is my best recent attempt at mid bang-and-froth small talk) and had been looking around the cafe and had decided that it was a cool little place. She's been looking for bar work but could see herself working with us.

An hour later my current off-sider informed me that she has decided to move to Sydney and that she is happy work around whatever is convenient for us.

And that's my story about the mocha with 11 sugars, reluctant small talk and The Vibe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Next Time

The background shadow of lack of self-esteem comes to the fore as I walk past a famous actress who I assume has forgotten we met, and she stops me and says hello and turns her face for an opening night cheek-kiss. Nice, but the lingering feeling is that I moved on too quickly after pleasantries, thinking she was just being polite. Next time, I hope, I'll linger a little. I think maybe she expected me to linger a little. Sometimes people think I am confident. A lot of the time, I am destructively shy.

And again as I pat a fellow and far superior theatre reviewer on the shoulder to say goodbye and we get muddled in that hand-shake-or-hug thing. And hug is the muddled outcome, with laughs. Oh you knucklehead.

And on the same theatre opening night... the audience is exiting and someone says my name. It's a former co-worker I've seen at these things many times but be damned if I have been able to remember his name, even though I remember the person so well. There's a tone in his voice when he says my name. It's the tone of invitation. It's a tone that says hey I remember you, dude, remember me?

I fess up and smack my forehead as he says his name. Of course I remember him. Of course I remember why we got along. I just forgot a minor detail, like the name because it's been so long.

Next time, I'll hang around and talk to the actress. Next time I'll just assume a hug is the thing with the reviewer.

And next time I'll say to my former co-worker Joey, "Hey man - thanks so much for remembering me and bothering to say hello. Kept seeing you at these things and wondered if you had seen me... so glad you said hello."

Hope there's a next time.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Epic Pillow Fight

Conversation today:
Me: Who do you reckon would win in a pillow fight between Steve McQueen and Elvis Presley?
Her: Steve McQueen. What about a pillow fight between Steve McQueen and Chuck Norris?
Me: Whoah.
Her: Yep. That would be one epic pillow fight.