Thursday, August 31, 2006

Just Give Us The Information

I think I have a problem with focusing on the task at hand. I was in the process of trying to post a flier promo image on the shop's website tonight when I came across this photo.

Hands up who remembers my Owen The Penguin post. Hmm, not many of you. Anyway, there was a shot of a real fluffy penguin that was the cutest image ever, and I got my panties in a bunch because no one was leaving coments, so I threatened to Guantanamo the little fucker unless you left comments. It was all a bit weird because everyone started leaving comments saying I was a sick fuck or go on give it to the little bastard.

Fast forward many many months and I find myself in Brighton. There's a basketball throwing game on the pier where you can win a fluffy penguin bearing an uncanny resemblance to Owen. The Dreaded One and Bird said they didn't think I could win an Owen. As usual they were wrong and walked home with Owen tucked into the back of my purple poncho (shut up - it's Brighton where all the best people wear nothing but purple ponchos and fluffy penguins called Owen).

The oddest thing about this photo is that it is the result of two reasonably intelligent people spending the next two, maybe three hours Guantanamoing little Owen Hicks. Sure, it looks pretty bad for him now, but he was a stubborn little bastard and it took us hours to escalate the torture to this degree. He simply would not give us the information we wanted, which was... all he had to tell us was where the... information was. The information that we wanted. Which was very important information. But noooo. He was all, "But Missah Queeck, I don't have no infahmation. Ahm jus a liddle stuffed penguin wi' stitched up liddle penguin lips."

And Bird - playing bad interrogator - came over all, "CUNT! That's what you are, you little CUNT! Now give us the information before I kick your fuckin' face off and break that other bendy flippery thing... CUNT! By the time I've finished with you you'll have two FINGERS growing out of YOUR arse too!"

And good interrogator Quick said, "Chill, my delightful little minion. We've only just begun. How are your noose-tying skills?"

Right. I'm getting a little too into this. As we did on that day. Millions of photos. Ridiculous.

There really was a professionally-tied noose around Owen's neck by the end of the day. If only he'd given us the information. And if you click on the link at the side that says Remembering Argos, scroll down to the end (read the story if you want) you'll see a picture of me with Pigeon Christ looking over my shoulder, looking a little pissed off while his partner in torment hangs from a wall on the other side of the planet.

Sweet story huh?

Right, back to work.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Confessions Of A Sweaty Perv

I'm in my shop for three days this week. I like being here, as I've said before. I'm getting better at being pleasant and smiley and chatty. By and large the people the store attracts are pretty good people. They like the clothes and they like the music. Party people.

Yesterday, though, I felt like a sweaty perv. Actually, that's a bit harsh. Not a sweaty perv, just a bit pervy. A frustrated perv? Maybe. But there was definitely a slight degree of some sort of perviness at play.

Girl and her friend walked in. Girl was wearing low slung hipsters and had a gorgeous stomach and a near perfect arse. We get lots of good-looking people in here so it was nothing out of the ordinary. I smiled and said hello and she had a really sweet smile too. I said if she needs any help to just let me know, then I left them to it.

I looked up a couple of times and noticed the collection of items she was putting together... she apparently had a fondness for tiny little lycra things. Teeny little shorts and miniscule, sheer tops, and I found myself thinking in a pervy voice, "My god she is going to look so hot in those... can't wait till she comes out to show her friend."

Then I thought my god - does that make me a perv? Am I, in fact, a sweaty perv? I don't want to be a sweaty perv. But surely that thought was the thought of a total degenerate.

In the end, do you think Lycra Girl came out of the changeroom at all? No way. Not once. Each time she tried on another piece of tiny lycra she called her friend over to the changeroom, and the fact that I was disappointed by this just reinforced this whole pervy thing. Especially when I whimprered in a sweaty pervy voice, "But don't you want a guy's opinion?" (Okay, I didn't actually say that, but I thought it, and in my pervy state of mind it seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to think).

She bought loads of stuff and as she handed it all to me I totally didn't have the urge to bury my face in them, breathe in her warm body scent and go phwoar, so I figured I wasn't such a sweaty perv afterall.

I told The Dreaded One about it and asked if it made me a perv, and she said, "You're a guy. Of course you're a dirty filthy sweaty perv. Complete and utter degenerate. Like, duh."

Monday, August 28, 2006

On Air

Went to the Earthdance launch party on Saturday night after work. Was bloody fun. Caught up with so many doofers, danced my arse off, drank lots of beer. The highlight for me was when I picked up my beer from the ledge on the DJ booth, I caught the eye of the DJ and gave him a thumbs down, pulled a sour face, let him know that the music he was playing sucked arse. The dance floor was rammed and the music was excellent. He totally fell back laughing. Gave one of those clutch the sides, head-tipped back, hearty jobs. It was bloody satisfying. Does it get any better than making someone laugh like that? He's a friend, just not one that I know all that well. Glad he was on the right wavelength.

Ooh - if you live in Australia, pick up a copy of the current issue of Men's Health. Page 96, feature about tattoos by me. It's my second feature for them, both have been outside their regular story types, which is satisfying.

Right. Have to try to put my links back after this silly business with blogger going down.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Off Air

I am having major dramas with this blog. I cannot open the main page. I cannot log onto any other blog that ends in Fuckers. Other people have had the same problems. I've tried changing the template, fiddling with the feeds, whole bunch of stuff but I I can't get it working. Apparently others can see my blog, I can't. Any other website is fine, blogger homepage is fine, just not blogger's blogs.

Until I can get it sorted, there will be few posts. Might have to give this one away and start a new one somewhere more reliable, which is pooh.

Sorry. Bye for now.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

"Earthquake In Antarctic, Penguins Affected."

Saw the above headline on MSN. Clicked on it because, you know, it's penguins. The story basically said that the earthquake was so remote and so deep under the Earth's frozen surface that no humans would have felt it. An expert (in remote and deep subterranean earthquakes, I suppose) went on to explain, "It probably just frightened a few penguins."

There should be more headline humour like this in more mainstream media.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Talking Loud, Saying Nothing

Still no time to blog, been spending too much time in my (rather fetching) chef's uniform. Also been spending too much time on buses lately, and what the fuck is wrong with people and their mobile phones on public transport? Buses used to be quiet, meditative places. A little capsule you could sit in, gaze out the window and think about stuff. Or you could pull out a book and indulge in the luxury of a bit of a read. And not just newspapers but fiction. Don't know when reading fiction started being a luxury for me, but it is.

Now you get on a bus and every fucker is talking into their phone, and I've yet to sit in on a conversation that can't wait until said fucker gets the fuck off the bus. Currently I am really getting into Jeff Noon's Vurt, and there is always some oyster brain telling their phone about their job or what they plan to do for the weekend or how funny some movie is... FUCK OFF!

Tomorrow, I rebel. For tomorrow, I read Jeff Noon's Vurt... out loud.

Busy week, but wrote this, for anyone interested in a very good play showing at a cool little theatre in Sydney.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Hilt

No time to blog. Just wanna say, Paris Hilton has made an album? Fucking hell. What next? I think The Hoff and The Hilt should make babies. I think that would be very funny.

It would also be funny if everyone started calling Paris hilton 'The Hilt' in honour of The Hoff who is an equally silly sleb, but if that happens, remember that you read it here first.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cold Mashed Potato

I just ate a bowl of cold mashed potato and told myself that it really wasn't a bad as I expected it to be. Ate the whole lot, went yum.

Then I thought to myself, you lazy fucking fucker. You didn't really enjoy that as much as you're pretending to, did you. Well no, not really, I admitted to me. You were just too lazy to get up and put it in the microwave oven for a couple of minutes, weren't you. Yes, I was. Lazy, lazy bastard.

The conversation with me about the cold mashed potato made me think about my writing. I've been telling myself that I'm writing all these theatre reviews as a way of studying them before writing my own play. This may be true in part, but then I'm putting energy into trying to get better paid review and feature writing work rather than putting any effort into writing something creative myself. It's either laziness or fear of failure.

I'm out of practice. I feel like I'm not going to come up with anything worthwhile, so I'm copping out. That's what I'm doing, isn't it. Yes, it is. Well what am I going to do about it? Huh? HUH?

Cold mashed potato really isn't all that bad.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I haven't been excited about a telly show for ages, but the new Ricky Gervais series Extras sounds good. Anyone seen it? It starts in Sydney on Wednesday. Should be fun.

Also, I read a review about this show and the writer was going on about the viciously cruel humour and everything, kind of saying that it's so ground-breaking. I dunno. For the style it is, I recall Best In Show and Waiting for Guffman. That squirmy'because-it's-true style of comedy.

Still, I'm sure it's going to be funny.

Friday, August 11, 2006


I did an email interview with a prominent playwright this week. In reading up on him I came across a story about him punching someone who had said some negative things about him. The original story I read said that he hit the guy because he had written a negative review, but the playwright insisted that the reviewer had actually made some racist remarks and that was why he'd popped him. Fair enough.

Either way, I thought I'd ask what he thought about reviewers, and his answer was "I haven't read a review in years because quite simply most reviewers can't tell the difference between the written work and the performance."

Is it just me, or is that answer a bit bigger than it first seems? In reviewing, aren't we looking at everything? We're listening to the written work and we're watching the performance. It's quite possible for an excellent script to be mangled by bad actors, but you'd probably still recognise that the dialogue was good.

And then I wondered if he wasn't somehow blaming any bad reviews on the performance. Like someone giving a bad review should be able to tell, if they had half a brain, that it wasn't the script's fault. Weird, if that's what he was saying, because he works with top flight people.

I thought it was an interesting comment anyway. Wonder what most reviewers will think about it.

Went to the opening of a play last night. Pretty bleak stuff. Good overall, just bleak. Right towards the end a pretty important prop fell down. Huge curtain pulled right across the stage just completely fell down and fucked things up. Someone was doing some death stuff or something and suddenly the audience is stifling sniggers and the actors are trying not to smirk. Funny shit.

I got an email from the company director who was one of the actors on stage at the time. She said she really wanted me to write an honest review even if it is negative. Said she saw me in the audience but didn't come out after the show because she was in hiding. Said she'll still talk to me even if I write a bad review. I think she was amused by it (the curtain played a huge part in her final scene - a death scene) but also thought it was about the worst thing that could have happened.

I thought that was a really cool thing to do. Some people are just cool in small, really cool ways. She gave me the greenlight to rip the shit out of the play, so that's what I did.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pair On

Someone was telling me that they were having computer issues and called up a help desk They got someone with a thick Oirish accent. The conversation went something like this:

Not Oirish Person: "Hello. I'm having trouble with my computer and hoped you might be able to help me."

Oirish Person: "What seems to be the problem?"

Not Oirish Person: "It's just not working. I want it to be on and it's not on. I need it to be on."

Oirish Person: "Okay, first of all, have you paired up?"

Not Oirish Person: "Excuse me?"

Oirish Person: "I said have you paired up?"

Not Oirish Person: "I'm sorry - I have no idea what you mean by pairing up. I've never heard of that before. What does it mean?"

Oirish Person: (exasperated) "You know. The pair! At the pair point! Have you switched the pair on!"

Monday, August 07, 2006

Census Night - Woo Hoo!

It's census night in Australia and we have to tell the government who we are and what we do, and it's just drawn my attention yet again to the way in which I just never cooperate so that I can be neatly categorised. Left school in year 10, got a trade certificate in bricklaying, have no higher education, currently divide my time between freelance writing (I'm a sole trader), working in my clothing shop (I'm a company director... sounds nice but half the time we can't afford to pay ourselves even basic shop assistant rates), and doing food prep and service at the Sydney Opera House (I'm an employee)... like, my main job last week monetarily was the three days I cooked, I probably spent most of my time thinking about shop stuff, but my main job as far as interest and motivation goes is writing. It's completely pointless my filling the damn thing out. There should be a box to check that allows people like me to be exempt because information gathered about me is utterly useless. AND they've asked for the address of my main place of work last week. Who the hell knows the address of the Sydney Opera House?

Okay okay, the address is probably Bennelong Point, Sydney Harbour, I just felt like a bit of a rant. Don't like being asked so many questions that appear to have been designed solely to point out how not normal I am. Pricks.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Review Of A Review

There is a theatre reviewer contributing to one of the things I contribute to, and his writing is so awful it makes me angry. Really angry. Urge-to-stab-marsupials angry. I can barely make it through the opening lines. In fact his opening lines are almost as bad as the closing ones, which are about as bad as everything in between. I just want to scream at the painful awfulness of it. There is no flow. He insists on breaking up as many lines as possible with parentheses containing what are clearly intended to be witty asides but which are in fact witless distractions. And fuck me the bastard loves a semicolon... semicolons are okay, but it helps if you know how to use them - and if you're not sure how to use them it's probably a good idea to keep their use to a minimum. It's like he writes his reviews, scoops up a fistful of sticky semicolons and throws them at the review, and wherever they land, well that's good enough for him.

Same goes for humour. You don't just interrupt the flow of the point you're making because you've just seen the opportunity to make some stupid little pun or irrelevant observation. In fact that's the whole problem - he's going for some avuncular old chappie tone in an obvious attempt to be likable. Well I for one don't like you one bit. Especially when you end all of your reviews with an exclamation mark. Fuck off!

Thing is, I can't be alone in my seething contempt for this guy's reviews. Others must be thinking the same. But can I tell him? Given that I write for the same publication, is it my position to tell him that his writing prevents me from finding out what he thought about the production? Would I be out of place to tell him that reading his reviews is like trying to listen to a favourite song when the reception on the radio is out of whack and in the end you'd rather turn it off?

I know a review is just a review and not a literary masterpiece, but it's gotten to the point now where I see his name and I refuse to read on... no, that's a lie. I see his name now and I read on to see if this one is more awful than the last one. Invariably, it is.

Right. Now that that's off my chest, I got me some marsupial stabbin' to do.