Monday, October 30, 2006


I won't let the dog see me naked.
I suppose in the back of my mind I've always known this is a completely irrational fear based around my anthropamorphising of the cute little bitch, but I've never let myself dwell on it.
Only when I mentioned it in passing to New-Thom-With-An-H the other day he laughed at me hysterically.
"Why?" was his only response... delivered big-eyed with the corners of his mouth suggesting he was willing to burst into more hysterical laughter before I even finished my reply.
"I don't know, I guess it's just cos she's a little girl dog and she's innocent and sweet and I don't want her looking at me like that."
Needless to say, more laughter ensued.
I had totally never thought about this closely, but as I said, I knew it wasn't rational. If anyone can explain the psychology of this I'd greatly appreciate it. I'd also like to think I'm not alone in this.
Oh, except I KNOW I'm not alone in this. I got a phone call from New-Thom-With-An-H later that day to inform me he could no longer be naked in front of his cats.
To which I responded with hysterical laughter.
(Please note I didn't make a pussy joke: I nearly bit my tongue off to achieve that).

PS: At last, an entry that means anyone who googles "Dan Hatch naked" will have something to look at!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A week of anaesthetic

The pain must be dulled one way or another. It's that kind of week.

1. On Friday I had a very important meeting with some very important people about the documentary. A best-case scenario sees us filming in April. I needed a stiff drink after learning that. So bloody far away! By then this project will have been on my plate for two years... and it won't have even made it to air yet. It astounds me that everyone says this project is going so fast and having such a smooth run. I am soooo impatient!

2. This coming Thursday I shall be going under the surgeon's knife. Well, not quite. They're going to knock me out and shove something down my throat (hardly virgin territory there, I realise) and go in search of what it is that has given me chronic bent-double-omigod-I-can't-breathe pain for the past 13 years. Apparently I shall be well woosy afterwards, so I'm trying to work out the best way to enjoy coming down from the anaesthetic - I don't want to waste it (I'm thinking driving home from Osborne Park to Baysie could provide hours of fun).

3.Saturday night is the Media Ball: THE night of my year. I am so excited I can hardly wait. Linds, Lars, Sez, Emma Gant, Wattsy, Disco Stu, McSore-eye, McLigman, Valenti (and the Italian office, I pressume)... all my fantastic boooooozy mates all together for a ripper night of being booooozy and booooozing with other boooooze hags. Oh yeah, and there are some awards handed out too. I never win awards - I've been second-rate my whole life. But then, coming first isn't what's important, is it? Which brings me to...

4. I may have to anaesthetize someone - or at least silence them with enough chloroform to bring down King Kong.

The graffiti on the wall...

...said "you'll take this theatrical ass fucking...".
Well that had me sold already. *Bursts into a Julie Andrews-style chorus: "These are a few of my faaaaavourite things"*.
Can I just highly recommend this particular theatrical ass fucking to you? There is I think another week or two to run for Tomas Ford Versus The Audience at The Blue Room in Northbridge and it is well-worth going along and having yourself violated.
Tomas is a freaking talented young man. Anyone who can attract an audience that knows they are going to be offended and abused as well as entertained is worth his weight in gold. (I wouldn't let my own grandmother stick her thumb in my mouth, so to have a random stranger with eye make-up and a micropho... oh no, hang on, I probably have done that before: Connections is a world of opportunity).
Tomas' act isn't commercial - I don't know how you'd sell it to a mainstream audience. His music is technically fantastic and his act as a whole is brilliantly funny and entertaining. He deserves to have his art and his talent recognised more widely than it is at the moment, or than this particular version of his act will allow. That said - and this is what I'm leading to - I reckon he'll be huge and it will be interesting to see how his act evolves between now and when that happens.
Anyway, I'm going to stop banging on in case Tomas does something completely vain like google himself in order to sate his artistic appetite for adoration and acceptance.
The main thing is, get along to see this show. It'll do you good to be challenged by live theatre for a change.
And everyone can do with an ass fucking every now and again.

(Apologies to the DOA and Dad... I couldn't help it. I had to go there).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Here it is, the famous roo yarn

You've asked for it, so here it is... straight from the Melville Times (24 Oct 06... also Fremantle Gazette, Cockburn Gazette and Canning Times), to you!

Probe into kangaroo’s death
By Dan Hatch
A KANGAROO is dead after being towed behind a City of Melville rangers’ vehicle for several kilometres last weekend.
An official Melville incident report said rangers were called to Farrington Road in Leeming at 3.30pm on Saturday, October 14, to deal with the Western Grey kangaroo that was trapped in the suburban area.
A ranger managed to lasso the animal around the neck and then tried to haul it behind the car back to the Melville Glades Golf Course, where it was believed to have come from.
The report stated the ranger travelled about 5kmh under police escort and stopped regularly “to check the health of the kangaroo”.
However, upon arrival at the golf course, he “discovers the kangaroo has stopped breathing” and unsuccessfully attempted “to perform CPR to revive the kangaroo”.
The Melville Times could not confirm exactly how the kangaroo died, but both the RSPCA and the Department of Environment and Conservation have begun investigations.
About 100 people, including children, are believed to have gathered to watch the ranger catch the roo.
The report indicated the ranger was forced to catch the kangaroo because the animal had become agitated by the crowd and presented a safety risk.
City rangers are not licensed to used tranquilliser guns and no DEC or RSPCA officers or veterinarians were available.
DEC wildlife officer Luke Bentley said people who harmed protected wildlife could expect a $4000 fine if found guilty under the Wildlife Conservation Act.
“Where kangaroos are about in suburban areas, people should try to avoid them,” he said.
“They go out at dusk and dawn to forage and sometimes they don’t make it back in time and become trapped by traffic flows and so on.”
“Stay clear of them and let them go when it gets dark again.”
Melville chief executive officer Eric Lumsden has moved to ensure incidents such as this did not happen again.
He said the city had contacted the RSPCA and DEC to how “policies and responses can be improved to deal with distressing situations such as (this one)”.
“The City of Melville sincerely regrets any distress to the onlookers and the kangaroo,” he said.
Mr Lumsden declined to comment further while the incident was being investigated.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Something you might like to get along to...

Got an email the other day from my brilliant friends the Tourles.
The Tourles are a part of my very special second family. They own Oxley Downs, the place where Outback House was filmed. Two years ago exactly we were all in there experiencing life as crazy pioneers.
For all of us one of the most special days in there was the Melbourne Cup, which - it has to be said - was an impromptu event organised by the cast, not the producers. But by gum it was fun!
Last year, on the first Tuesday of November, they re-ran it. This year, they will do the same.
Here's the details... in case you're travelling around near Dubbo at the time!

The “Oxley Downs Cup of 1863” will be run on Saturday, 11th November, 2006 at 5.30pm and we would like you with us for the weekend.

This is an Open Weekend and when the gates close at 5.00 o’clock we will be able to run the “Oxley Downs Cup" as a private event. The 1862 Oxley Downs Cup was great - won by Bernie riding “Malibu” beating Pete by a nose!

We can offer you accommodation at our Shearers Quarters and “The Springs”. We are looking forward to seeing you all and we can also celebrate Pete and Lui’s second wedding anniversary!!

(I'm not sure EXACTLY where "The Springs" is... but if you ask in Dubbo for the Tourles place, they'll point you on the road).

At the risk of seeming like a smug twat...

Can I just point out that the front page article I wrote for yesterday's Melville Times has, as a result, become news nationwide today.
ABC, Triple J, Ten News, Nova 937, 6PR and goodness knows who else, all ran my Kangaroo death story today.
And the bloody West journo had the cheek to ring me direct and ask for a copy of the report that had been released to me and only me by the City of Mel-VILE. I told him to ring the council himself, but I know they won't give it to him.
The council gave me the full incident report (the whole account of how the City ranger lassoed the roo around the neck, tied it to his car bumper and towed it to the local golf course and then tried to give it CPR after - to his surprise - he discovered on arrival at the golf course that it had died). There were only 100 or so witnesses to this.
As a result of my report (can you believe in the 10 days from the incident to my paper coming out NO ONE went to the media with this?) both the RSPCA and the Department of Environment are investigating.
I'm a little proud. (Okay, I'm quite proud).

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Maxine? Hello?

Oh my sweet Jesus.
It took me years to like Maxine McKew, but now I'm really sad she's leaving the ABC and possibly journalism, for good.
Good journos who are willing to take w*nkers like Howard to task are hard to come by.
My journalistic heroes include David Marr and Chris Masters, Kerry O'Brien and Tony Jones... all for different reasons.
Maxine was genuinely worthy of being included in that fold - a terrifying mealy-mouthed dragon lady... a vinegar-titted ice queen - but definitely worthy of being included in that fold.
What an enormous gap she will leave.

Reservoir Dags

This, believe it or not, is my editor and I.
At this point, we are about to launch an attack on the City of Mel-VILE.
We must have looked so intimidating walking up the steps to Council House.
Pity no one was there to see it.
Pity we didn't end up launching an attack.
At least we looked hot.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Nothing is forever

Nothing is forever and I'm having trouble being philosophical about it.
Isn't it funny that our family farm should have been sold five years ago and I didn't shed a tear. I didn't mind that the place my family had owned for 30 years was no longer going to be in my family's hands. I didn't care that the place I spent my entire childhood until I left home at 19 was owned by someone else.
But this afternoon when I got home Dad explained to me that our old family farm was being subdivided and developed into 19 blocks of various sizes - I imagine mostly 5 to 10 acre blocks.
And I was devastated.
That our beautiful - and I mean insanely and breath-takingly beautiful - valley should be peppered with 19 houses is a criminal act. It is a crying shame and I cannot bear to think of it. I've had a lump in my throat all afternoon. I can't believe it. I can't believe they would allow it. I don't understand why THE BEST FARMING LAND in Gidgegannup needs to be turned into a housing estate. It is a criminal criminal criminal waste. I am gutted.
Now I know how the English landed gentry feel when they can no longer afford to keep the roof on. I understand how real farmers feel when drought drives them to the city. I understand how refugees feel.
(Okay, so that is going a little far, but in several respects, it is the same feeling. I feel homeless. Something that was once mine is not only no longer mine, but it no longer exists. I can NEVER return. And that actually fucking hurts).
The hardest thing I've had to learn about getting older is that nothing ever stays the same. It's not something you think about when you're a kid - but the friends you used to have, the fields you used to play in, even the family members you held most dear - are not yours to have and to hold forever.
I understand why old people get sentimental. I understand why they gripe and groan and lament the loss of the old ways and values. I totally get why they become set in their ways.
I love progress, I love change, I love the dynamism of culture and society. Or so I thought. Perhaps, in truth, I'm as protectionist and conservative as everyone else.
Or perhaps I just appreciate great beauty. And a beautiful thing is about to be dissected with a scapel by people who have only ever seen it on paper. Maybe I'm just reacting to the philistines. But there's no point educating them: I'd only be standing in between them and the millions of dollars they are going to make. I can't change anything.
But that's how society is now. My only hope is that the power of the dollar, too, will not be forever. And perhaps one day things of great beauty will be regarded as important as things of great value.
Fuck the fucking capitalists. Fuck you all. Fuck you, fuck you,FUCK YOU!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Census for October

Reading: I'm reading David Marr's The High Price of Heaven - a brilliantly executed politically cutting expose of some of the great human injustices in Australia. David Marr is one of my heroes: the importance of this fact will become clear at some point during the documentary-making process.
Watching: Alas Dr Who has ended, so the only thing on my radar at all is MediaWatch. I only watch 15 minutes of tele a week!
Listening: Lamb, actually. I know most people consider that I might be off lamb, but this is Lamb with a capital L.
Downloading: Not a lot at the moment. Except I did download some Lamb.
Website du jour: I compulsively check my friends' blogs. (See at side).
Café: Big-it-up for the Aroma Cafe in Maylands where I get my coffee every morning and where Jess ALWAYS offers me a smile!
Pub: Really only the Scotsman at the moment. It's nice to go somewhere where the bar staff know your name. (And chuck you the occasional jug).
Club: I think Geisha is back on the radar... mainly to see Lara's sets.
Eating: I have nothing I'm addicted to at the moment. Food is so functional for me right now. Though I do rather neck the tablets the doctor is making me take.
Drinking: Water. Desperately drinking water like it's going out of fashion.
Wearing: My Nobody jeans ripped and I am in desperate need of a new wardrobe generally: May be about to hit Dad up for cash.
Last show: WAAPA's Opera Double Bill. Unbelievably I took me and three ladies on the night when the marvellous Daniel Sinfield (watch this space) was NOT on stage. I was devastated. It's the first thing I've missed him in all year!
Next show: Tomas Ford Versus The Audience.
Can’t wait ‘til: The Media Ball. November 4. Look out world, Linds and I are coming!
Lately I have been: Hanging out a lot with the tremendous wonderful fantastic beautiful gorgeous New Thom-With-an-H.
Most recent scoop: I'm sitting on a great one for Tuesday. It's going to cost a man his job though, which I'd feel guilty about, except he's an evil animal killer.
Most recent purchase: A beer. I can afford nothing else.
Want but can’t afford: New digital Dictaphone is still on the list. Classic 100 Opera box set is now off the list, as some just left one in my meterbox. A long story... and I'm not sure how it ends.
Need but can’t afford: A heap of new clothes, especially underwear.
Last nice act: I bought New Thom-With-an-H an unsolicited gift. (Or two, but he doesn't know about the second one).
Last bad act: I don't know that I was awfully nice to the meterbox present dropper. (Which he's been more than happy to point out. Which makes me feel less bad about it).
Bad news: It would take too long to explain.
Good news: I really have met someone nice. Well, I say nice - I mean amazing.
Goal: Complete the film, write the book, head off travelling.
How to achieve it: All starts with a couple of important meetings next week, including with big-wigs from the ABC.
Yesterday I: Worked like mad, visited Thom, waited for Dad to come home.
Right now I should be: Getting ready for dinner.
Later today I’m: Sleeping.
Tomorrow I’m: On deadline. Then I'm spending the afternoon in with Thom. Read into that what you will.
General mood: Tired. A bit boozed. Generally happy though. Perhaps slightly ecstatic, on my day.
It would be better if: Thom weren't working. (I'm quite sure that's exactly what he's thinking too).

McPhee and Datch on the schmooze

Linds and I did the rounds of season launches and festival openings last week. And someone was kind enough to take a happy snap. I think Linds looks hot. How freakin gorgeous do you reckon our children will be?!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Life as we know it, Jim

It's coming to a dramatic end.
For the last month I have been able to live in my house like a total slut and not worry a jot about it. But now... Dad is coming home.
He returns from Singapore tomorrow night - arriving at midnight, conveniently.
I cannot wait to see him. God bless him, I have missed him (and the dog, too, who has been exiled to the DOAs for the duration).
But I have assumed this slatternly lifestyle that is somewhere between Boheme and batchelor. The Hatchelor pad has well-and-truly become my territory... and now Dad is coming home and he is going to want it back.
So I've had to do a significant number of dishes. I've dealt with a lot of laundry (Until a week ago stuff Dad'd left on the line was still on the line... but I figured three weeks was long enough to make sure those sheets were aired). I've swept. I've aired the house out (I had just got the stench to the cut-the-air-with-a-knife density I like). I've watered the garden (although the philosophy "better late than never" does not seem to apply to plants: Go figure!). Hell, at some point tomorrow I will even collect the month's worth of mail (which I had promised him faithfully I would collect twice a week).
Yes, things have to change. I have to become human again.
I've missed Dad. I've become one of those 26-year-old's who lives at home with his parents and needs them to pick-up after him. Oh God - how pathetic.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Anniversaries and exs

Linds and I were separated at birth. It's true. Ripped apart and kept apart by several oceans and continents. Oh yeah, and about two years.
Nevertheless, her every success is my success, her every failure is my failure.

But at the moment her star is in the ascendance. This is The Golden Age of McPhee. She is resplendent and glorious.

Not only does she have a career and a catbox of her own, she has also passed a significant anniversary. She has been free for a year. (Interestingly, it comes the day after the two year anniversary of my voluntary caging for tele-entertainment purposes).

Go have a look at her fabulous regalling of her story here.

Linds is now even more fabulous for fending off an attack by an old people's home. The residents were a bit upset she put the Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade on the front page of the newspaper. She was even more resplendent than ever in explaining that the event was worthy of the front page because:
a) the pic was awesome
b) the event attracts 50,000 people to Perth and Northbridge.
I believe she also used to words, "we all know what this is really about, don't we?", or similar.
For these reasons and many more, I love her most of all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What isn't there to look forward to in life?

Before you judge a blog by its headline I don't want you thinking I'm in a good mood.
Actually I've been up since four for Nova and I have to go back to bed so I can do it all again tomorrow. I've been left in charge of three newspapers for a week, which everyone knows i hate. I'm tired. I'm broke. My car has exploded and needs expensive TLC and I had an accident and have to find $350 for an excess to boot and my council rates are due. So I'm actually not in a good mood.

Except I am. I am in a good mood for several reasons.
Firstly, the impending weekend brings with it a night of Shakespeare, a night of opera, and a visit by the wonderful Miss Kerry, who is off to Egypt again.
Secondly, in the coming weeks I have the Pride Parade, Tomas Ford Versus The Audience and the Media Ball to look forward to.
Thirdly, I'm ever so slightly fucking in love. It's this New Thom-With-an-H. Can't get him out of my head. Can't stop seeing him. Can't get enough of him. May be becoming slightly obsessed. Bit odd really... didn't really plan to have a boyfriend again: Dad practically forbade it. Oops. Nevermind.
Actually Dad met him briefly before he left. Dad won't remember, he was too busy not making eye contact. :-/ So he hasn't passed the Dad test but on the bright side he's passed the Lindsay Test (as in, not only does she adore him but he can understand her when she's completely mashed, smoking a cigarette and lapsing into quaint Gaelic phrasing in a thick Inverness brogue).

At the moment I am focusing on the second lot of things, so I don't shoot myself because of the first lot of things. I'm sure you'll agree this is a sensible policy for a happier Britain.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Being a ZZZ-grade Perthonality...

I know I'm not as famous and powerful as Bree Maddox or one of her dildos, but there are certain honours that come with being a zed-list identity in little old Perth.
It's coming up to that time of year where people are booking even the most remotely recognisable faces for functions. In the last couple of weeks I've had some of these calls. Admittedly in each case, it is a friend who has come begging - pimping their particular organisation's esteemed event.
The darling Joc came a knocking a few weeks ago wondering whether I'd be delighted to host the City of Alannah MacTiernan Territory Carols By Candlelight. It was such a kind offer. However, if hosting an event I refer to annually as "death by public singing" wasn't enough to turn me off, then the fact my car would probably at least be on blocks if not gutted by fire by the end of the night probably was (it's a rough area). That said, I felt very guilty turning the offer down.
The next offer came from the Mt Barker Wine Producers Association, of which my uncle is some kind of committee member. They asked me to host their wine festival. Now this is the kind of invite I really don't mind. I did it earlier this year and had a blast. I was quite touched to be asked to return and do it again. (It was written up in the Albany Advertiser, which I found hilarious given that I wrote for their opposition paper for three years).
The problem I have with accepting the offer is that it is the same night as New Thom-with-an-H's planned 21st birthday celebrations (the much-vaunted two-week-long Festival of Thom). So I'm a bit stuck on this one. I have some hard choices to make. And I don't have long before I have to let them know.
While we're on the topic of ceremonies and events: The paper is FINALLY going to announce the winners of last year's editorial awards. Hurrah and hozannah! Now that half the journos have left the company I might be in with a chance of being named CNG's journalist of the year. I doubt it, but hey, miracles happen!
I might even drive through the City of Alannah MacTiernan Territory on my way to Mt Barker without being carjacked!

Interesting times

Friday was one of those days you sometimes get as a journalist.
In the morning I interviewed Denise Drysdale. She was hilarious - but not really because she was funny. I asked her to describe her new show and she said: "I don't know I've never seen it, hang on, I'll put you onto Vanessa, she was just in the audience". And I spend three minutes talking to a totally random stranger.
In the afternoon I interviewed Bryn Terfel - world-renowned as the planet's best bass-baritone. I've interviewed many great singers before (Kiri Te Kanawa - bitch. Andreas Scholl - enthusiastic scholar of the counter-tenor voice) but Bryn thoroughly impressed me. He was gentle, passionate, enthusiastic (despite me being a-not-very-important journalist) and engaging. He's very much a "father of small children" and not "internationally acclaimed opera star" when you're talking to him. The only difficulty is going to be making that warmth come across in the article.

Friday evening I hung out with Old Thom-with-an-H. It was a much needed catch-up and chat. Old Thom-with-an-H and I have been friends for a decade and it's nice to feel as close to him again now as I did for so many years (even if he still won't sleep with me). I have good fatherly advice for people on this point: True friends will always be true friends.
Saturday was time to say goodbye to a new friend, Phil, who I have absolutely loved having here in Perth. The awesome news is he has been asked to come back here for a few months by the Department... so he could be here for summer. In which case, PARTY ON!
I spent most of the rest of the weekend with New Thom-with-an-H - who is fabulous beyond words. Although he did get me too boozed at Saturday lunchtime to be able to get up to a family thing at my Aunt's house. I regret that a bit as my family were up from Albany and I don't get to see them that often these days. Not since I left the place and my old paper myself. This Saturday I'm taking New Thom-with-an-H's mum and her friends on a date to the Opera. What an odd thing to do.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Uncle Barry - looking after the nation

My father and I share many heroes. We know who they are because whenever one of us bumps into one of them, we tend to ring the other and brag like f**k.
They're mostly great Labor or union movement figureheads. People from the history books. These people do not include Charles Court (Who refuses to die - happy birthday Charlie, by the way). These people do include Barry Jones.
Last night Barry was interviewed by one of my profession's best, Maxine McKew, on the 7.30 Report.
What he had to say is extremely worth listening to (or, indeed, reading). The transcript is here.