Friday, February 27, 2009

Not Stalking, But...

It's taken a couple of weeks to get back into the theatre thing, but this week's looking pretty full. And full of not-stalking Meow Meow... even though...

Drum asked me to review something anything because the mag was short a review. They suggested a couple of things that I didn't like the look of, then I noticed that David Williamson's The Removalists is playing at Sydney Theatre. I suggested that one because it sounds like one of Williamson's better ones; it's gritty with humour and I haven't seen it. The mag said go get 'em.

Later, after she'd finished work, The Dreaded One told me that she'd heard on the radio that Melissa Madden Gray is appearing in a drama. "Think it could be a David Williamson play."

"That's funny," I replied, "I'm going to see a David Williamson play on the weekend. The Removalists."

"That's it! That's the one. She's in that."

Melissa Madden Gray is, of course, Meow Meow in another guise. I don't know how but I'd missed her name in the credits altogether. But I'm seeing the play at 2pm on Saturday.

Then today, someone in the company we work for calls the kitchen and asks if we'd like a couple of tickets to see Justin Bond (Kiki from Kiki & Herb) and Meow Meow on Saturday night. The Dreaded One took the call and naturally said yes.

So. Although I wrote a love song to - I mean for - Meow Meow, and although I've interviewed her and reviewed her each time she's been in town, and in spite of hearing from a theatre critic with a high profile that Meow Meow thinks of me as one of her stalkers, I am not stalking her.

Even though I am taking in two of her live performances in one day.

I'm really not stalking her. Really.

However if I was to stalk someone I could have much worse taste.

Also on over the next few days is Tattoo at SBW Stables on Wednesday. I have to review that and I'll post the interview I did with with the director when it comes out next week, then on Thursday I'm seeing Gary Numan, so-called Godfather of electronic music at The Enmore on Thursday night. He really was a synth pioneer and I loved his music first time around. He's taken on a grittier, more industrial sound lately but also uses lush orchestral sounds, as far as I can tell. It's going to be fun.

Also stay tuned for an interview with comic actor Jonathan Biggins about his role in the forthcoming STC production of Tom Stoppard's Travesties.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me...

When I'm 45.

Yairp. I turned 45 today. It's strange just as I guess it is for every 45 year old who loves new music, new stories, new people. You still feel like you did when you were 25. My body shape is pretty much the same when I was 25. I'm still as stupid and silly and as smart and dumb and as sad I was at 25. I don't think I'm any wiser.

I'm as much of a loner as I was at 25, just with better friends. I have some beautiful friends. Have had a few beautiful friends pass through. I will miss them, but I'm not big into going into the past.

When I was 25 I thought I was going to be a successful novelist. One short story under the belt, another shortlisted, then a couple of meetings with publishers about novel manuscripts. Still thought I was going to make it. I got a few short stories out there and that was nice.

At 45 I pretty much doubt I'll ever write another novel. I don't have the stamina. A novel is like a marathon. Takes a lot of hard work. At 45 I well know the pleasure of the get in and get out adventure of magazine writing.

At 25, I didn't know I'd ever be a magazine writer. Or one time dance music mag editor. Or Theatre reviewer. Or even a chef at The Sydney Opera House. At 25 I didn't know I'd have my own silly little humour column. I had no idea I'd have written, by 45, for a ridiculous variety of magazines.

At 25 I didn't know I'd spent my 45th birthday alone. Wandering through some farmer markets to soak up the vibe because I was asked to write some copy for a website. I didn't know that my 45th birthday would be spent finding my new mobile phone and realising I'd lost all my phone numbers in the corpse of the old mobile phone (yeah, send me your numbers, please).

Oh - not alone all day. At 25 I didn't know I'd be having dinner on my 45th with the same gorgeous 25 year old I was seeing back then, just 20 years later.

The 25 year old me would probably think I was old now. The 45 year old me doesn't feel old. And the 45 year old me, knowing how fraught with shit the 25 year old was, would probably say chill dude. You've got some shit to work through, but you'll be fine.

The 25 year old me would probably have said in response, fuck off weirdo.

45 year old me would probably slap the cheeky fucker across the ear, because that's what my now 92 year old grandfather once did to me when I was a boy and accidentally I bit into a goose egg. The raw kind in its shell. (Don't ask, really).

Maybe 45 year old me would tell 25 year old me be careful - you will have at least one close death encounter so you should be careful with swan-diving into the abyss. Try not to be so reckless.

25 year old me, I know, would shrug an be non-committal.

45 year old me might say something about the music, and both of us would probably settle down into a very cool conversation and realise we have a hell of a lot in common on the music front. 25 year old me would talk excitedly about Gary Numan. I would talk about psytrance. 25 year old me would ask what the hell is psytrance. 45 year old me would say man you have fun stuff to look forward to and by the way, I'm seeing Gary Numan at The Enmore next week... remember when you missed him last time around? Don't worry about it - you'll see him at his best one day.

25 year old might ask who the image is in this post. 45 year old me would say click on the image to enlarge, and oh fuck you have no idea of the music and the people you are going to encounter. You're not going to be great, by any means, but you will meet some pretty amazing people and hear some amazing music. Remember when you were into Laurie Anderson?

Yeah, and the others were into Cold Chisel.

Don't sound so glum. One day you will hear Laurie Anderson play sublime music in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House - your office, by the way - and you might even get to make a bit of a twat of yourself in her company.

No way. Fuck off.

Trust me. Anyway, Happy 25th.

Happy 45th, old guy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Things I Really Like

Penguins, obviously. This was Flappy. The rest of the penguins just blobbed about, but this guy flapped about and tried to get all the attention.

Strawberries that fill your mouth with STRAWBERRY!

Ripe paw paw.

People who send a message via whatever media saying "Been thinking of you."


Going commando.

Russian accents in the local supermarket.


Music... oh fuck I really like music.


My speakers. Oh fuck I really like my sound system. I need the music.

But what I really like at the moment is when some guy, not doing well in life, stands at the shopping centre exit with a hat out asking for money. And sometimes you give them your change, other times you don't. And one time when you don't - because you actually don't have coins and handing him $10 would be extravagant and asking for change seems a little silly - the fucker abuses you.

That's right. He hasn't got a clue about your story, but he wants your money and he's all smiles until you say sorry mate. And then as you walk away he shouts at the distance between you that you are a selfish cunt.

I fucking love that. Makes my day.

Kings Of Silly

I spent hours at Melbourne Aquarium pushing children out of the way for shots like this.

I like penguins.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Hotness The Hotness

Three friends I like. They're pretty hot, huh?

Reminded me of a stupid anecdote another friend who is not so hot (sorry Nick) told me.

He was snoozing back at his campsite when a mate came back and woke him up with these words: "Dude. Dude! The hotness here! The hotness."

And passed out.

For the rest of Rainbow 'The Hotness The Hotness' was on high rotation, in various forms. Like, if I was hungry? "The hungriness the hungriness."

Or when we used our pumpy shower thing in our melted esky ice, "The coldwetness the coldwetness.'

The tentness the tentness.

The messiness the messiness.

The doofness the doofness.

Really, a lot of fun. There was a lot of hotness.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Things On Acid

One of the things I've groaned about in reviews every time I've read it is that dreary little drug reference. You know the one... 'This show is so zany it's like it's been written by [insert name of writer] ON ACID!'

'It's like Mary Poppins ON ACID.'

"This movie is so violent it's like Quentin Tarantino ON ACID.'

What the fuck, I usually find myself wondering, do these halfwits actually know about acid? It's a lazy attempt at sounding hip to the thing. I think the first person to have used the phrase came up with a good, original description and all who have used it since are lazy imitators.

Then, to be fair, I have probably used the phrase 'high-octane' without having much of a clue about what high octane actually means. I guess it means something like, 'It's a liquid that makes your car work just like petrol... ON ACID!'

Still. This drug thing. Muppets. I recently received the press release for the forthcoming Russell Brand tour and it had this bit of giggly brilliance:

“He can conjure the situational absurdity of a Monty Python sketch in just a few exaggerated pantomime moves and wield the observational wit of Oscar Wilde after an amyl nitrate hit. Brand exudes a Jagger-esque rock star charisma mixed with an undercurrent of David Schwimmer’s ‘Why me?’ neurotic twitchiness” said the LA TIMES.

Excuse me, Mr LA Times - "The observational wit of Oscar Wilde after an amyl nitrate hit." What the fuck are you on about? Brand is a funny, funny man, but I'm sure even he shat his pants with laughter at the absurdity of that description. Do you, Mr LA Times, have a clue what amyl does to you? It turns you into a monkey. It turns you into a very stupid person having a fun time time on the inside of your head while reducing you to a bug eyed sloth on the outside. It doesn't make you witty, you numbskull. You might mumble something through your drool that you think is observational wit, but those around you will just be going, "Hmm, he's pretty fucked up right now."

Please, Mr LA Times, stop trying to be cool. Go back to the on acid thing because at least everyone knows what you're trying to say, in your lazy way. If you're going to try to get edgey and go beyond the on acid thing and use amyl nitrate, use amyl nitrate. Actually use it and see what it does to your observational wit. Just once, just so you have a bit of an idea of what you're talking about.

And I think that's probably a good idea because amyl is a stupid drug for stupid people. And you, Mr LA Times, are a wanker of a stupid person. So maybe, in the end, you do have the observational wit of a "journo" after an amyl nitrate hit.


Speaking of being on acid - check this out. It's a series of drawings done by a guy on acid as an experiment to chart the progressive effects of the drug. Very funny.

I also just read about an experiment in 1962 in which a scientist injected an elephant with LSD to see what would happen. Tusko the elephant reacted to the injection immediately, trumpeted a bit then fell over and died. They concluded that elephants are apparently very sensitive to the drug. Problem is, the heartless bastards injected poor Tusko with 3,000 times the dose a human takes. I'm not totally sure just how big an elephant is in relation to a human but I'm pretty sure it's not 3,000 times bigger. I'd have gone for something like 10 or 20 times bigger.

Nut jobs.

Oh yeah - the picture was taken at Rainbow Serpent. The girls were frolicking in a field, laughing their asses off like a couple of doof chicks... on acid.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Playa Dust = Doof Dust

There's a bit of a running joke between me and The Dreaded One about my ridiculous sense of coordination. I can buy something random like a pen with nothing else in mind but I like this pen, but later I find it coordinates spectacularly with every other random thing I have. Yeah, that's my super power - I coordinate to the tiniest detail. I am Captain Coordinate.

This doof chick is a kindred spirit. I was in awe. Her dreads, her top, her skirt and shoes... fuck me if she didn't coordinate with her surrounds. I'll bet her new pen has that whole Autumnal tone thing going.

She was a bit spectacular. I was too scared to say hello. (Especially after this incident). One very stylish doof chick. I like doof chicks.

I came across a thread on a site recently titled You Know You're A Burner When... and I loved it. I haven't been to Burning Man so I'm not a Burner... but I think I kind of am a Burner because I read the whole thread (it's long) and I related to so much of it. I guess that's because you could swap 'burner' for 'doofer' and there's a hyoooge overlap.

I don't think the thread will appeal to everyone, but for me... ah. Dumb grin on face the whole way through. I almost registered with the site just so I could leave a comment saying, "You know you're a burner when you haven't been to Burning Man, but you've read this thread all the way through with a smile on your face."

I need to go to Burning Man.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wristcutters, A Love Story

Hmm. Should have used a still from the film maybe.

Saw this movie last night. It was released a couple of years ago but I don't recall hearing about it at cinemas here. It only just came out on DVD here.

Weird how stuff works. I was looking through the DVD store and I think it was the image that first got my attention. Then the title. I think, given the nature of my most recent story Leaving Ruben Jane, I've got a bit of a thing about dark love stories. Maybe it's my repressed goth streak or something. Whatever it is, this one caught me eye.

Seeing Tom Waits' name in a movie, you know there's a certain standard involved. He's one of those artists you can pretty well rely on to only appear in quirky shit.

Happy to say that I really enjoyed this film. I enjoyed it more than I'd hoped I would. It got wildly (and predictably) varied reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes, but to hell with the negative reviews, no matter how well written. I loved this film.

It's set in an afterlife populated by people who have committed suicide. The colouring is unnatural, there are no flowers and no one in this place smiles. It's a strange netherworld that's just a little bit worse than life, but no one's game to top themselves again because it hurt to much the first time. Besides, if this place is worse than the last place, what's the next place going to be like.

Zia (Patrick Fugit from Almost Famous) still misses his girlfriend. He lives with a Russian punk rock star and works in a pizza joint. When he hears that his girlfriend has killed herself and arrived somewhere in this afterlife, he jumps in a car with the old rocker and they head off on a road trip, picking up a gorgeous girl determined to meet The People In Charge because she is here by accident, and Tom Waits.

There are some very funny jokes, some really touching scenes and... look, if you like quality romantic comedies with an indie feel, check it out. I'm going to check it out again. May even buy a copy.

It's based on a short story by Israeli writer Etgar Keret, who I'd never heard of but who I like the sound of. Might have to try to track down some of his stuff. Makes me want to write another deathy love story.

Oh yeah - there are a couple more shots from the Rainbow part of the trip here. Forgot to post them a few days ago.

Colour & Light

Before shot, looking up from the wet part of the river to the dry part.
After shot. Playing about with colour and light.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Gone Doofing

This was a hot party. Maybe you heard about the fires in Victoria? Same heatwave here, less fire.

Beautiful spot. Loads of good friends. The Battle Of The Lilo was hysterical. More pics later. In the shots, Ann andMick and Mick and me and Ann and then me and Vannessa and Dannielle... fun stuff.

Felt quite a bit like we drove a long way to sit in a muddy river for a lot of hours. Fun though.

The dancefloor was big and mostly empty because of the heat. The three of us dancing in that shot? Friend was playing to a completely empty dancefloor so we gave the camera to him, ran out there and danced madly for a bit, just so he was playing for someone. We could only take it for a short while before heading back to the river.

Bit bloody sobering to realise that while we were partying on, Victoria was in flames. Worst bushfires we've ever had. Weird when you go away doofing - the outside world just gets put on hold for a bit.

Friday, February 06, 2009


Think I'm just going to add random photos with each post even though they have nothing to do with the text.This was one small part of one of the camping areas at Rainbow Serpent... with some chick standing in the way.

There is not very much work around at the moment so I've done the only logical thing there is to do and started writing a stage play. I've never even seen a script before so I basically haven't got a clue what I'm doing. Not having a clue what I'm doing has never stopped me before, so I'm just going to dive in. So far it's a lot easier than writing narrative because it's just dialogue. As far as I know, the director will fill in direction, a set designer will fill in the details and props, and the actors will inject feeling into the words. So it's just the words. No describing of the weather, clothing the characters are wearing, no mention of the tones they use when talking or the thoughts that are going through their minds when they are not talking. It's so easy. Why didn't I start writing a stage play before now?

Of course I realise that it could be complete rubbish that I'm writing. But I have a plan. There are going to be three acts. I'll write the first act (I'm almost halfway through it now), then I'm going to ask someone who knows such things what they think of it. Maybe this theatre director I interviewed the other day and who I seemed to get along with okay. If they tell me it's crap I'll cut my losses and throw myself clulessly into some new venture... or I'll tell them to shove it up their arse and keep going. And if they tell me it's good, I'll keep going without telling them to shove it up their arse... after all, I'm not Christian Pottymouth Bale.

Word of the day: Twatarazzi. A guy came over when I was faux chefing the other night and asked if we could feed the paparazzi before feeding the guests. We said no, go away. The Dreaded One muttered "Twat," as he left, and I gave birth to twatarazzi.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Christian Bale Dummy Spit - Bale Out

Apparently a few months ago during the filming of Terminator 4 the director of photography walked across Christian Bale's eyeline during a scene to check some lights. He was behind the camera but it distracted Bale and he spat the dummy big time. The straight dummy spit is hilarious enough, but the RevoLucian remix is brilliant. No - it's fucking brilliant.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Game

They have the damndest cloud formations in Melbourne. And this one perfectly describes the way I'm not feeling right now after my most recent game of Make The Writer Write For Free. (Ironically, if the cloud formation had been Grumpy it would have made me very happy. Alas...)

I got the opportunity of interviewing the guy in the previous post. Why wouldn't you want to interview him? He looks like a cack. I think he'd be a lot of fun. And yeah, high profile interviews like this look good on your resume. And they're usually a crapload of fun to write.

So I approached a glossy I've written for before and they expressed interest but said they'd have to get back to me because they might be able to use an existing story from a sister mag overseas which they'd get for free.

I can understand it from their point of view but I just think it sucks that a local version won't be written - at least not for that mag by me.

Way the game works though, I bet if I said , "Look. I really want to do this story and I think it would be really good. In fact you know what? If you're getting it for free anyway and I want to do a local version so badly, why don't I waive any fee and do it for free?"

I'll bet they'd say, "Ooh. Hadn't thought about that. Hmm. It would be better to have a local one. And it would be good for you having someone like him added to your credits. Okay. All right then. Go for it."

Thing is, I can't do that. I can't write for free anymore and I still don't get why writers should be expected to write for free. If I was loaded I'd probably do it because when you're rich I imagine experience means more than making more dollars. But I'm not loaded. I'm still a struggling freelance writer who has to pay other humans to do stuff I need or want them to do for me... why is there this expectation of writers to write for the love alone? You do it in the beginning to get the runs on the board, but there comes a point when you have to stop doing it for free.

Magazine I was talking to last year, they looked through my book of features and said, "Well clearly you're above writing for a byline."

And I appreciated that. It was a bit of respect being shown. Downside is that like so many mags, they're cash strapped so no matter how much they liked my work, they haven't the budget to pay for it. The next person to see them was probably dead keen to write for the byline.

But to put 'cash strapped' into perspective... were not exactly talking about big bickies. Generally we're talking about a few cents a word. Less than a dollar a word to phone (often overseas), record, transcribe, shape a story and hopefully make it something the reader is going to get a kick out of. It's quite a bit of work with maybe a little bit of talent involved all for less than the monthly budget of office Tim Tams and teabags... if it's a biggish office with people who eat lots of Tim Tams and drinks lots of tea.

And we'd be grateful for that and have a bit of dignity about it all and maybe be able to continue doing it instead of, I dunno, faux chefing to pay for all the services we use.

And yeah I know, from a mag's point of view add up all the stories and if you can get them for nothing why not and it all adds up and cutting costs etc etc.

But from my point of view, it sucks and doesn't exactly make me feel like that really quite astonishing cloud formation in the picture.

More of The Game tomorrow as I hit up other magazines and maybe even try to convince the one I spoke to today to pay for a local story.

And maybe even go oh fuck it - I'll do it for nothing more than the experience and the byline.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Russell Brand & His Ultra Violet Carbonated Wee Wee

I was going to post some Rainbow Serpent pics but I just came across this. It amused me quite a lot. He's appearing in Sydney soon. I think I'll have to see the show.

Rainbow Serpent 2009

Back at Rainbow. These are The New People we met at Dragon Dreaming. They are fun.
This is a very funny friend with a fluffy bike. His name is Marty Bear. No, I'm not kidding. Very funny chap.
Some wonderful dancefloor freaks.
I don't know why The Dreaded One looks so concerned in this shot... she's in a hammock with a drink at a doof... life couldn't be better, really.
I don't know what I'm doing here. My Lawrence Of Rainbow impersonation?