Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Grumpy With Job Interviews


Grumpy is freelance writer Lee Bemrose (leebemrose@hotmail.com). He's not so good with job interviews.

Why do I do this? I wonder as I bumble through the panic of waking up feeling rough after a big night out, knowing that I am late and that this is typical behaviour and where are my pants and wouldn't it have been better to have laid all my clothes out the night before and in fact shouldn't I have stayed in for a quiet night instead of going out and getting wrecked? Wouldn't all of that have been the sensible thing to do? I mean, after all, this is A Very Important Job Interview.

I am not very happy with the sock situation. How is it that so many single socks have gone through the wash while their partners took the day off. Odd socks for A Very Important Job Interview is a well known bad omen. But I can I really pair one clean sock with an unclean matching one? More to the point – should I be spending so much time thinking about socks when I have to be at the place in a very short time? Stop being so superstitious and do something about the sock situation.

I move like The Flash. My mind sharpens and I prioritise. I grab stuff on the way past that I think I will need – phone, keys, wallet, stapler, it all goes into my (very fashionable) shoulder bag. I stop at the door because something doesn't feel right. I think at the speed of light. I turn around and run back to take the stapler out of my bag and stuff my resume into it. Oh I'm good.

I catch sight of myself in the hall mirror on the way past... fuckity fuck – haven't shaved. Seriously no time now so the electric shaver goes into the bag. I move fast because not only do I need this job, I want it so very badly because it's a very cool job.

I run for the bus. I'm one of those people you smirk at (from the comfort of your bus seat) who has lost all dignity, such is their desperation to make it to the bus before it pulls away. You smirk in justified superiority at me because YOU had a quiet night in and YOU laid your clothes out the night before and YOU have clean matching socks and... oh why don't you just fuck off.

Bus. Sorted. No seats. Standing room only. Still, all cool. So long as the traffic isn't broken and we don't get taken away by aliens, should be fine.

I fix myself up. I cool down by the end of the bus ride. I tell myself to stop asking me why I do this. I clear my mind. I think of the interview. This is a cool job. I must be cool. My outfit, it is very cool... so long as they don't look at my socks. My things, they are all very cool. My diary, my pen, my watch, my lovely lovely things will make an impression. Be calm. Relax, I tell myself, you have the questions you know they will want you to ask even though you know the answers... because you are a professional. A cool, professional cool person and their future employee.

I keep soothing myself like this all the way through the city streets, through the huge revolving door to this huge skyscraper. I whistle a little tune to myself as I look at the huge building directory, taking longer than I need to now because I even have a little time up my sleeve.

Elevator dings open. I step inside and press 34. I turn for one last look and – FUCK! Didn't shave. Right. Too late now. Just have to go for that so-cool-I-can-get-away-with-three-day-growth look. But can I? No, I cannot. I just don't have that kind of facial hair. I have gaps.

I also have my shaver. Because I plan ahead.

I lunge for the elevator buttons and press every one of them between current 7th floor and the 34th floor, my fingers tickling those buttons like I'm Mozart playing a very weird piano. The other occupants of the lift do not look overly impressed. I don't get the feeling that I'm very popular in that elevator, but if they knew the full story I'm sure they'd understand.

I rip into my fuzz with a satisfying buzz and we dawdle upward.

27th floor and I am totally going to make it. Feeling good? Hell Yeah.

We leave the 33rd floor and... the shaver dies with one half of my moustache to go.

Silence. Ding. 34th floor.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cool Like Amanda Palmer

Geeze, what's with the Palmer infatuation lately. First Chili, now Amanda... although to be fair the Amanda Palmer thing has been going on for a while. She's a favourite blogger. I love her honesty, her sense of fun and adventure and her heart. She's got a big one. Read this blog post about the cuddling monk and her and husband Neil Gaiman's reaction to it. Weird, funny, beautiful, just like Amanda Palmer.

Also, because I don't feel like writing much at the moment, here is a link to a recent interview with the director of a new theatre company (Mello Yellow) in Melbourne. I haven't seen the production talked about but it's by award-winning New Zealand playwright Thomas Sainsbury and it sounds pretty good. I was also drawn into this because of the very funny Steph's handling of our interaction. Vibe says yes. I'm planning to review the performance in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Cool like Chili Palmer


The Dreaded One and I have found a local club in our new city that we enjoy going to on an almost weekly basis. It's a psytrance club filled with trippy beats and fluffy people, as well as fluffy beats and trippy people. Slowly slowly, we are being recognised, friends are being made, roots, so to speak, are being put down.

Just last week at our new favourite club, I'm dancing away, sometimes with eyes closed, big dumb grin on my big dumb face. But it gets really crowded and soon there is a bit too much body contact for it to be properly enjoyable. There's been a DJ changeover and the usual rush at the beginning of the set takes place. I am patient, however, because I know that soon the crowd will thin out somewhat as the softies have had enough and head back to their nooks or the outside fire to continue chatting, leaving more room on the dancefloor for us hard types to keep stomping.

Someone keeps intruding on my personal space, though, even when numbers have thinned so that the dancefloor is only moderately rammed instead of insanely rammed. It's this bald little guy, looks a bit like Gollum. He's really short and really drunk. He wants to dance but all he can manage to do is kind of wobble about a bit, stagger and laugh at all the fun stuff going on in his head. He just keeps stumbling back so that I have to put a hand to his back to let him know that someone is standing behind him. I also step back to give him room.

But soon it gets too much. He's forcing me further and further from the sweet spot and, well, the sweet spot is Grumpy's spot. I get a little annoyed. I wonder whether I should get in his face about it. But then I think nah, he's having a good time, no need to piss on his parade.

Besides, I'm reading Elmore Leonard's Be Cool now, and Chili Palmer is about the coolest damned character ever written, and although Chili Palmer handles himself when he gets in mo'fo's faces, he saves the heavy stuff for special occasions. Sometimes, charm works just as well. Chili Palmer? He could charm the pants off anyone, and somehow I just know that in this situation, Chili Palmer would use charm over hard-guy.

The little Gollum guy laughs and flails his arms about, giggling with a mate. I put a hand on his shoulder, just firm enough to let him know I am here and I'm not backing away any further. He turns and looks up at me. I smile at him, creasing my eyes at the corners just like John Travolta as Chili Palmer would in a situation like this. I smile warmly in a way that lets him know everything is cool, but I could take your Goddamned bald head off your scrawny shoulders if I wanted to, but hey, I'm as cool as Chili Palmer, so because I'm being nice to you why don't you be nice to me and stop pushing into my personal space, okay? He looks momentarily, I don't know, worried or something, so I reassure him with a cute little two thumbs up; it's okay dude, everything is cool. The guy smiles back at me at returns my two thumbs up, looking happy again because everything is cool.

As cool as Chili Palmer? I could give my man Chili some tips.

A little later The Dreaded One tells me about a dancefloor encounter of her own.

“You wouldn't believe what happened before.”

“What's that,” I asks softly, just like John Travolta as Chili in both Get Shorty and Be Cool.

“I was dancing away before having a really good time when this guy dancing next to me leaned over and said something to me. He said that him and his mate were wondering if me and my friend would want to go back to his place and have sex with them.”

“You and your friend?” This comes out in pure me. No sign of Chili Palmer.

“Yeah – they wanted you and me to back to theirs to have sex with them. Not just me, both of us.”

“They were two dudes?”


“And they wanted us to go back -”


“To have sex with both of -”


“Oh. Gee. Wow. Who was it?” I don't know why I ask this.

“It was this guy wandering about with two drinks. We just started talking and realised that we grew up in neighbouring suburbs in Queensland. He seemed nice.”

“He just wanted to have sex with both of us... did he have hair?”

“Yes. Why? You like hairy men?”

“Stop it.”

In reality, though, what I'm thinking is, is it wrong to feel ever so faintly flattered to be included in this little wished-for foursome? It's not like there was ever any chance of it coming to fruition, but it is kind of nice to be included. Kinda nice to know you still have pulling-power, as misdirected as it is... imagine if it was a straight couple though... like that lithe woman in the tight stripy dress and her boyfriend... imagine if it had been them... maybe it would have been something to consider...

I hear The Dreaded One's sigh through the sonic blast of the music. “You're wondering what would have happened if it had been a mixed couple instead of a same sex couple, aren't you. Or better still, if it had been a couple of girls.”

Whoa – imagine that. So awesome... hey, how does she do that? How does she know what I'm thinking?

“It's written all over your face.”

“What is?”

“What you're thinking.”

This was getting too weird. Clearly, I had to stop thinking.

“You said he had two drinks?" I Sherlocked out loud.

“The other was for his mate. You might have seen him. Little bald guy?”

Fuck. Suddenly the little drunk guys doesn't look as much like Gollum as he does a little drunk sex toy on wobbly legs.

“What's wrong?” The Dreaded One asks. “You look a bit strange.”

“I'm just wondering if this would have been before or after I gave him the two thumbs up.”

“What? You gave him two thumbs up? Why?”

“I was trying to be cool, like Chili Palmer.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Finished your drink? Good. Let's get the hell out of here. I'll explain it in the cab.”

Grumpy is freelance writer Chili Palmer. He's cool like Lee Bemrose. (leebemrose@hotmail.com)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Deya Dova Interview and Remixed Album Review

Two more mag things about the amazingly talented Deya Dova. And check out Deya's website for even more music than covered here. The psytrance tweak of Spaceman is awesome.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Steampunk... The Way Things Should Be.

The Dreaded One and I saw Circus Oz, Steampowered last Friday night. Steampunk was the theme and needless to say, it was a pretty awesome show. My full review for Australian Stage is here.

But what I did want to share here was my version of karma. A little thing happened last night that wasn't karma, because I don't really believe in karma, but it was The Way Things Should be.

I collected my tickets from the box office with the usual confusion about names etc. Review tickets are often booked through someone else and there's always a couple of moments of wondering if the tickets were actually there. Name. Confusion. Rifle throught the files and names scrawled last minute on sheets of paper. Then the box office person said, "Lee, is it?" I said yes and she handed me the envelope.

It wasn't until we took our seats in the big top that I saw in better light that the name on the envelope was Bree. I told the Dreaded One. We talked about it. I could have easily just said fuck it, not my problem. But I hate that feeling of being left stranded at the box office knowing that you really should have tickets waiting for you but feeling like you're blagging unjustified freebies. So not wanting Bree to miss her tickets, I took them back out to the box office and explained what had happened. They remembered me, understood the Bree/Lee thing and looked for my tickets. I started to think I had done the wrong thing in doing the right thing because they could not find any tickets under my own name. We finally figured out that the tickets had been booked in the editor's name (she had definitely told me tickets were in my name) and all was sorted. Back inside, we moved to our proper seats (marginally better ones) and I had a coupon in the envelope for a program, which Bree hadn't had, so I had done the right thing. We were only a few seats away and saw Bree take her seat, not knowing the trouble we had spared her.

At intermission, The Dreaded One realised she had lost her bag. We looked everywhere in the area, under the seats etc before realising that she must have left the bag when we moved seats. Bree was not there but neither was the bag. However, on checking with lost & found we found that Bree had done the right thing and returned the bag with everything inside.

So. Karma? I don't think so. It's just The Way Things Should Be. Everyone does the right thing, everything will be fine.

Circus OZ - Steam Powered from Speaker TV on Vimeo.