Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Omigod I did the coolest thing!

Okay, there are two things when you daydream about becoming a journalist that go through your mind.
The first is the day you get to yell "stop the presses". For the record, that will never happen. Not unless you work in the print room and you get your hand caught in the rollers. Even then, you'll be dead before you get the word "presses" out.
The second is something I got to do today.
I spent the day hanging around the Children's Court. (That's not the cool thing... hang on... be patient).
And when sentencing was complete... I got to phone my story in from the field.
I swear to God, it was so cool. They have people called copy-takers who actually do this for a living. They're just a voice at the end of the phone waiting for journos to call them so they can clack away on our command. Fuck that was fun.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I haven't fucked up and I couldn't be happier

Okay, so it has been a week. Long enough to gauge basically whether you think you're going to be happy somewhere.
And I think I'm going to be happy.
I'm starting to come to grips with how things work. I'm being given good stories to cover now, rather than just the guttershite that no one else will touch (I'm bound to get bullshit tomorrow, I've just jinxed myself), and people keep coming up to me and saying I'm doing well.
Now unless that is the same as in football where they offer the coach their full support and then (in time honoured tradition) the coach is sacked inside a week, I think I'm doing okay. Today big David H - who is something of a legend - told me he was impressed with the run I was getting and the actual COS (not the fill-in last week) met me enthusiastically when I waltzed in (50 minutes early, as usual).
Anyway, I wasn't expecting encouragement so I was glad of it and it made me feel good is the point I'm making... rather than in any way bragging. Just so we're clear.
Okay, so some of the stories they try to get up - do get up - are a bit on the whacked side, but the point is I'm having fun despite them.
And I'm learning a lot and my style is developing and I'm even interviewing more thoroughly and harder than I ever have before. (The first bit of advice I was given was, "You'll be used to pumping out a lot of copy. You don't have to do that here but you will have to be thorough. Ask everything. If I ask you a question about something I expect you to know the answer already". Fair warning, really).
It's good for me. It's a challenge and I'm enjoying it. (Even when the challenge for the day is combining rainfall figures in farming communities with wildflowers. Yes. I did it, too).
What's more I get the impression they need more people, so if any of y'all think you want to give it a go too, then I totally encourage you to send the Ed your CV.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fuck. You. All.

I hate you all.
I have just learned that all my friends... including my boyfriend... are in league with something called Facebook.
Apparently MySpace - which you all refused to get - is passe and Facebook is the new black.
Well fuck. You. All.
How long has this little dalliance been going on? And how is it not one of you fuckers managed to:
a) mention it
b) invite me to join
c) die. die. die?
One of you could probably have said something. Or am I being extricated from my circle of friends now? Hmm?
I know what this is. You're all just jealous because I saw Harry Potter nude.

Sunday, too far away

I had to work today. I haven't worked on a Sunday since my time with Nova (in earnest) came to an end. It was, obviously, my first Sunday at the big paper. I have to say, I loved it. There are fewer people around and a slightly informal atmosphere, you get given heaps of stories to do and there are fewer interruptions. Massive drawback is, people are much harder to get hold of and the contact book is surprisingly out-of-date. Thank God I took copies of my old CNG contact book! Who would have thought it would be so helpful?! I'm bloody reliant on it.
But my stories are getting a good run in tomorrow's paper. At least two of them are, at any rate. I believe they are the page three lead and the page three pic story. Of course, that is always subject to change.
Now... only two more days of work before I get another day off!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Two bylines, one Saturday paper

So I got two stories in today's paper. One of which I am very proud of. The other, however, looks ridiculous even to me. I'll leave you to work out which one is which.
But the one I broke my foot for... and ruined a pair of jeans for... the one the angle changed three times for... that story... the disjointed one which reads like a desperate bid to make something stand-up which doesn't actually stand-up... the one where no-one is actually saying the things my article attacks the Minister for... that article... that article... could... well... be... an... absolute... piece... of... shite.
I'm just saying.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Harry Potter and the Dreary Hallows (this is not a spoiler)

Okay, so it wasn't really dreary. I did enjoy it. I ploughed through it enthusiastically.
It was a page-turner, but not in the good way. I'd invested so much energy in the characters I just wanted to know whether they lived or died and whether everything added up in the end.
And I think everything was pretty well explained by JK and the way it was explained was also nicely clever. I make no complaints on that front.
I just thought that, for most of the book, pretty much nothing happens.
Then the last 100 or so pages I actually found quite a ripping read.
Except for the epilogue, which I thought was... well... suburban, actually.
I'd comment more but I refuse to print a spoiler.
Except for one thing... can anyone tell me, was that fucking baby in the ethereal Kings Cross Station a metaphor for something because I just totally missed it? I kept waiting for its significance to pop up and it didn't.

I failed

Today didn't quite go according to plan. Not only did my story fall through, so did I - literally - and I think I've broken my foot.
I am in severe pain and am hobbling like a lame sparrow.
The angle of the story changed three times and has now been held for Saturday because Alannah didn't get back to me in time. As I sat there waiting for the call, watching the deadline sail past, I couldn't help but think how ironic all our plaintiff cries at Community were: "She wouldn't do this to the West". She does.
So kudos to her on the egalitarian treatment. I must admit I did enjoy it when she said "of course the real story is (insert actually a very good point here) but you won't print that". I had to stop myself from finishing her sentence with Stuart's hilarious Alannah anecdote punchline: "I look forward to reading that somewhere between the polocrosse results and the hockey".
By that time I was actually in blistering pain. You see, I jumped a fence today and landed very badly indeed. I have possibly sprained my ankle or broken something vitally important to human functioning... in my foot... and I think I'm going to die, so bad is the pain.
Amazingly, I have to face the story again tomorrow... and try and find an angle that sticks, is truthful, and is in the paper's style. I'm beginning to realise that isn't very easy to do.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Not so bad, actually

I think sending a new reporter to stand outside Centrelink to voxpop "dole bludgers" (and get their photos) is the newspaper equivalent of the old left-handed spanner thing on building sites.
The "let's chuck the new boy a completely fucking stupid mission and see what he does" approach to managing new staff.
Well, as predicted my intro was rewritten to suit the headline desired, but I think people could read from the disjointed story that it wasn't my work. The opening two pars don't really match the rest of the yarn. But it went page three again... so I'm doing okay still.
Today was much more exciting: I got to write a lead. Not page three, obviously, but page 13 will be good enough for me if the story is 40cms. It was fun. I enjoyed my mission today.
Tomorrow's task has already been entrusted to me. They're sending the new boy undercover. Sort of. And I'm thoroughly excited.
This may not be so bad after all. I can handle occasional bad day if the rest of the time is as fun as today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ooooooohh-kay then... already a sell-out

Wow. Today was not fun. Not at all. I wrote as much as I could within my own conscience and values and ethics... but I'm not sure what is going to make it to print. I have little faith that my softly-softly approach (which would spare the participants in my story some needless shame and derision) will be what goes to print.
I stalked people - not just any people, disadvantaged people - on the street today. I was as nice as possible to them, but I'm afraid I won their trust (and took their photos to print alongside the story) under false pretenses. My brief was basically to find "bludgers", find out why they were not working and then get their photo. Not the easiest thing in the world to achieve in any case. I was on the street for five hours. It was a very long day indeed. And the task was such that quitting went through my mind. I used to do the work that helped these sort of people. Now I was getting all Today Tonight 'on their ass'.
To say I was uncomfortable is an understatement. As I wrote my story, knowing it would be re-written and unrecognisable, I could have cried. Still have a lump in my throat right now, actually.
That's a lump of guilt people. Horrible guilt.
How long does it take someone to sell-out when they go to "Herdsman"?
A bit over a day.
And while I won't be quitting, I think I might try to shuffle myself somewhere with a little bit less... of the above. Like online. Or Arts. Or copy boy.

PS, Kate: If I'm smoking cigars with the officers, then the officers are taking pot-shots at the POWs for kicks.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Schweet... day one out of the way

This is going to mean a wholesale lifestyle change. Part of me doesn't like that but the rest of me knows how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity and I don't want to waste it.
It was day one at my new job today and I was over-awed by the building and the people and the facilities (I mean they have a gym, with trainers, a full-on canteen with cheap food and a dry-cleaning service).
I was in training for the morning learning a system not unlike the one we used at Community but just different enough to be a little confusing. It felt funny to write a story without any Alun Jones comments ficking up on the screen.
I wrote my first story this afternoon and had to book a pic to go with it. I must say whilst I was dutifully shown the gym and the dry cleaning service, a few important things were not actually explained:
a) the roster, and when I'm on it
b) where the toilets are
c) how to book a photographer
d) how to book a car and a phone
e) where my stories come from
f) when deadline is
g) who I tell when I've written my story
h) that other people are writing other stories on the same subject matter, and that I ONLY need to worry about my angle in the story
i) who the hell all my colleagues are
I'm sure there are more. I spent the afternoon in a bit of daze. Would you believe when a story was finally chucked at me to do (at about 3.30pm) they said "you have 15minutes to find a someone who's really pissed-off about this and we need a pic booked... I suggest you get the Yellow Pages and start phoning".
But I achieved what I was asked to achieve and, I believe, the story is going on page three. Those of you reading this Tuesday morning might like to check and see if I have a byline. Or indeed, if the story is even there.
I like the rush, but I feel a little isolated down my end with the new people. Looking forward to moving closer to the main news desks as soon as I get the chance (someone is retiring and I'm taking her desk). Looking forward to getting stuck in to whatever they ask me to do next, having learned a few things from today's blind experience and knowing how better to handle it. Looking forward to breaking some serious news, not that it is expected in my first six months, apparently. Looking forward to becoming comfortable, becoming part of the furniture.
Hoping I don't lose the rest of my life though. I think there are going to be life/work balance issues.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Omigod this is hilarious!

I googled my byline this evening (I refuse to consider it googling my own name. If I call it googling my byline then it somehow seems legitimate and not at all egotistical).
And I was somewhat surprised to find an article I did when I was at the Guardian made it into an ECU student's essay.
The journalist among you will love this.

La Veillée des Abysses was billed as a “mesmerising fusion of nouveau cirque, dance and theatre” (The UWA Perth International Arts Festival, 2006a). In another example of the way that the Abyss has been framed for a public audience can be found in Dan Hatch’s locally written article advertisement for the performance. Hatch (2006, p. 26) describes La Veillée des Abysses as “the ultimate performing arts experience”.

Stop. I think we all know that came off a press release. Either that or I was using it in reference to the show combining several major arts disciplines. So I was surprised to find the analysis thus...

However, it seems that this is more likely an attempt to pitch the performance to a ticket buying public, rather than a confirmation that the performance is unsurpassed. Nevertheless, this claim contributes to an interpretation of the abyss by
drawing a line between the abyss and the idea of ultimate art and so this positioning of La Veillée des Abysses begs the question as to what the abyss has to do with the realisation of ultimate art, as to how it might be seen or not be
seen to live up to this kind of presumption.


Hatch (2006, p. 26) paraphrases Thiérrée’s assertion that “the performance was not tied by a narrative thread, but was simply an experience”. It is also worth considering, in this case, whether either a reference to the abyss or even to the presumed absence of narrative thread legitimizes his framing of La Veillée des Abysses. Is it precisely an absence of narrative thread, this lack and void, which somehow catapults it to the height of creative expression and thereby maintaining a misunderstanding that creative practice is a metonym for aimless and perceivably inconsequential self-expression? Is Hatch (2006, p. 26), by entitling his brief discussion of La Veillée des Abysses, as “Say What? – Ultimate art experience, but no narrative thread or message”, suggesting that the best art is art that the viewer doesn’t have to think about? Is ultimate art ignorant?

No. You are ignorant you fuckwit. I interviewed a guy for five minutes and whacked the stuff he said together with some garbled crap from a press release. I'm not fucking Jack Kerouac I probably wrote 40 stories that week and that was one of them. A rather inconsequential we-need-to-fill-the-arts-pages-oh-look-the-festival-is-on piece. And, by the way, not one i titled myself, but rather one, like every single other story in the paper, that was given a headline by our sub-editors. (And up to their usual level of inventiveness, I might add.

I found this matter of narrative interesting especially in light of the ideas regarding the abyss and narrative that I raised in previous discussions, specifically those relating to the use of the Abyss for the interpretation of natural environments. There, I argued that representations of the abyss offer narratives that may in turn inform the individual’s negotiation of
indeterminacy and of the unfamiliar. I wondered what might possibly be informed by a production that claims to possess no narrative thread, whether this is a strategy designed to disorient the viewer and, in turn, encourage the individual’s independent negotiation of indeterminacy. Then, La Veillée des Abysses may be approached with the suggestion that it is a lesson on the potential for life-narrative.

Can I suggest the only abyss is you, you mirthless, joyless, talentless schmuck? I can't believe you think your lecturer is buying this shit. You're quoting a community newspaper for fucksake.

In order to tackle this issue I refer to Thiérrée’s explanation: “I never go into a narrative because it reduces my range and I feel limited ... It is also my talent, I prefer to think of it as a journey. Before you tell a story you have to figure out what you want to say and I’m never sure what I want to say” (cited in Hatch, 2006, p. 26). Taking this information on board it can seem that Thiérrée’s art does not come from a place of thoughtlessness but, more accurately, from his negotiation of the sensation of indeterminacy. The role of the abyss in La Veillée des Abysses can begin to be thought of as an appropriate cultural reference point for the articulation of sensations of indeterminacy. However much Thiérrée claims that La Veillée des Abysses does not possess an identifiable narrative thread I would continue to argue that it does.

Yes, let me stop you there. You make two fundamental mistakes. Firstly, it is not my job to engage in an argument with this dude, just to interpret his Manglish and print what he said. Secondly, you so totally confuse me with someone who gives a shit.

It goes on and on, but I will spare you any more. Suffice to say, I am only concerned that this standard of work is being produced by our university students. I mean this came from a 120 page document. Sadly, not author is quoted. Otherwise I'd put their name here, so that when they google their name, they can read my diatribe about their gobshite essay.

End of an era

Today was my last deadline day at the Hills Gazette. I've just seen my last edition of a Community News publication hung and put to bed.
It's the end of a more than two-year long affair with this company and the end of a career in weekly newspapers that started at the turn of the millennium.
I'd like to be sad. I'm not, but I'd like to be. I'm a little too ready to go on this next big adventure.
Don't get me wrong, I love weekly papers. I actually also love CNG, of a fashion. I've certainly made amazing friends here who will continue to be my friends. I will miss being a part of the inner-circle, the CNG family and all the camaraderie that comes with it. And I in no way devalue for a second the brilliant work of weekly journalists everywhere in breaking news and keeping the community informed on the issues that matter most.
No, I'm just ready for a change and a challenge. I'm excited about it. I cannot wait for Monday when I can turn-up to my first big day at The West, all be-suited, and learn the ropes.
A good friend likened it to deserting the trenches to go have a cigar with the officers. I like to think of it as representing my battalion on the front line.
I'm not one of those who will go AWOL from Community and deny my service. I shall wear it like a badge of honour and fly the banner as the most recent CNG soldier to trudge that well-worn path to what the bosses call "Herdsman"... as if it was a branch of CNG.

Apparently, I've made it

I was quietly thrilled last night. As I scooted down the stairs from the Laugh Resort I was handed an envelope... with $64 in it. My share of the night's takings!
I was so excited I practically skipped up the street, dripping wee.
I've been paid once before for my comedy (not that I've seen the money yet, Jimmy James... hint hint), but last night was really special.
It was special because no one came to see it. Not my best buds, not my family and not Thom.
In turn the other comedians asked me "Where is Thom?".
"He's not here, he stayed at home," I replied.
"Ah, that's means you're a real performer now... performing is not longer a novelty for them."
LOL. I thought that was funny. And I quite enjoyed the rite of passage.
Also last night I did about 15 minutes worth of material. That's the longest set I've ever done. I was, admittedly, quite rusty and nervous doing my old RAW Comedy material, but I did manage to get through it okay.
AND there was a further cherry-popping experience... I attacked someone in the audience for talking (they then left. Whoops. Lol) and also did some improv when I forgot my next joke (I played with my nipples until I remembered my line, truth be told).
So all up, it was a big night for comedy, Dan Hatch-style.
And I'm quietly proud of myself.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How young is too young...?

How young is too young to go grey?
Not that I'm...
Okay, I admit it. I have found one. A grey hair. Admittedly it is not on my head, it is in my beardy stubble.
One. Single. Very bright. Fucking. Grey. Hair.
Not even really grey, though, so much as white.
Blisteringly white.
So my question is, at 27, am I not waaaaay too young to be finding white bits?
At least the solution is simple. I can shave (which I will now have to do every day... and put on a suit and tie. Urgh!).
But how long will it be before one appears on my head?
I actually wouldn't mind if I greyed at the temples. I really find that hot. Or if I achieve that Clooneyesque young-and-grey-with-a-full-head-of-hair thing that I find so sexy.
I'd just prefer it if it didn't hit me for at least another five to ten years.
Hair Gods, please take note.
Although I am happy to pay this price if it means I won't suffer that oh-so not sexy male pattern baldness that haunts some of my family.

It's all happening

Got a little missive this morning from a dear friend and former editor of mine who is now at The West.

It said: "I’ve just noticed there’s a new label on the pigeon hole next to mine which says Daniel Hatch…."

I like that. I feel... expected. Anticipated. Welcome.

In contrast, I was told I probably couldn't order a CNG t-shirt today because I was leaving. I mean, obviously I take the point that I AM leaving, but I'm also proud of what I've done here and still like the place and would be happy enough to advertise the company to the outside world.

But no... f**k you. You don't want it, that's your look out. LOL.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's my birthgay, again

I turn four today. Four birthgays.
Totally crept up on me, totally forgot about it, flicked the desk calendar over this morning and suddenly said to myself... "oh my god, it's my birthgay!".
Most of you wouldn't believe it has only been four years since I came out, but it is.
Over that time I've gone through an amazing gammut of emotions and experiences. I've encountered a lot of extremes I had not previously imagined, had my eyes opened and my prejudices challenged. These are all good things. I think I've become a much more rounded person. And, for the record, I'm very happy with where things are at.
I have a brilliant boyfriend, fantastic friends, a great career, I'm financially secure, have an interesting hobby which allows me to entertain people, I am fitter and healthier than I have ever been and I have plenty of self worth and esteem.
All very different to four years ago. (Although that's not to rubbish those friends who were my friends then and still are now, of course).
There are a couple of changes I'm going to make to my life. But I'm not putting them here just yet.
Things are good. Things are good and it's my birthgay.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Housing crisis hits Batswater

There is a bit of movement in Batswater ("You mean Bayswater, Dan?". No I don't).
Thom has, temporarily, moved in my Dad and I.
It is, as I say, not permanent. It is for a fortnight.
It may well save someone's life.
You see, it is Thom's brother. You may have already read here about some of Huw's exploits.
Well here is the crux of it. Thom's delightful mother had finally summoned-up the courage to "assist her younger son to success living outside the family home" (quotation marks for euphamism, not verbatim) following an impromptu break-and-enter party at 3am at Chateau Batswater by several of Huw's drunken mates.
The deal was the younger son was to spend his tax return on new digs. We all thought things were moving in that direction.
Until last night we wandered into Thom's house to find his brother sitting at a brand-spanking-new computer. If it is possible to smile with that "I've fked you all now" look on your face when you are stoned off your nut, then that's exactly the smarmy smug face he was wearing.
The little c*nt had spent his tax return on a new computer. Not bond. Not a letting fee. Not rent. We all expected him, I suppose, to resist the Move-On Notice, but that is a jot too clever by half.
Now what is going to happen? Someone ELSE can stump-up the funds to help him move out? All the while he gets a new computer to play with. More likely he will get to stay exactly where he is. Which is, of course, exactly what he wants.
I have gone to great lengths in the past to keep out of Thom's family politics. It's not my business. I have enough of my own. But to be honest, this is really impacting on our relationship and I am ready to come out swinging.
Why are there two sets of rules? How can one person so consistently get away with such abhorrent, anti-social, rude and disrespectful behaviour? How can someone who can be such a machine at work come home to be ridden rough-shod over by her own son?
I've never said anything like this before. But I hate Thom's brother. Actual violent hate. I would not p*ss on him if he was on fire. I would look deeply into his eyes and make sure the little fker knew exactly how much I hated him while he burned.
And while he burns, I'll simply say to him "Get used to it, you ARE going to hell".
(If that sounds familiar, it echoes his comments to Thom and I after his friends were out the front of the house at 3am threatening to beat the sh*t out of us because, amongst other things, we are gay, and he told us "Get used to it, you are gay").
He is evil, calculating, manipulative and totally gutless.
I hate watching the affect he and his behaviour have on Thom. I hate watching the affect they have on Robbie as well. I really, really hate it.
Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do. It's not my house and they aren't my choices. He's not my son or brother.
But Thom IS mine (not in an actual ownership sense, you understand. I mean I don't hold any title-deeds) and there is something I can do about THAT.
So he's moved out. To my place. Where life is safe and normal.
Or as normal as life can be for anyone in Batswater.

Here me is doing the laughy thing

Occasionally, as you know, I try to make people laugh.
Here is a picture a kind chap called Ben's mum took on Thursday night... forwarded to me by a kind chap called Dan.

If you're wondering what that thing in my ear is, it's my sexy bluetooth (I do a few gags about bluetooth). And the t-shirt says "I heart Alannah"... and is a convenient segue into my hilarious new material about WA's Planning Minister.

PS, someone could have told me my nose was so big. I know I'm (in the words of Mike Skinner [aka The Streets] "45th Generation Roman" Briton, but that nose is a little... cruelly proportioned).

Pottering around

I've not been into Pottermania at all.
I have made an effort to go to all the movies and I quite like the franchise and the fantasy, but I haven't bothered to sit down and read the books.
On the weekend we saw the latest film.
It was so functional. A bridge between two stories. It was somehow not a complete piece.
Don't get me wrong, I liked it, but it didn't seem to carry the full weight of the book. It required enormous leaps of faith which I expect were explained in JK Rowling's original text.
So, I've finally done it. I've gone out an bought a copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Thom says it is by far the most arduous of the series, but I simply MUST know the stuff that has been missed. He, who has read the books, mentioned underground newspapers and all-sorts of exciting stuff.
Typical me to get on board with something like this so exceptionally late... just as the last book is about to be released.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Overture, curtains, lights...

So last night was the Green Faces Comedy Competition at the Hyde Park Hotel. I didn't win. But that's cool. It wasn't about that, it was about performing in front of a big crowd. And it was. I'm a bad estimator, but I suppose it was about 300 strong... including the Mayor of Melville. LOL. (Pretty certain there is a vote I didn't get).
I wasn't so sure at the time, but on relfection I think my material went down really really well. I'm happy with how it went and the reactions I got from the audience. And the Alannah MacTiernan material went down a treat, which I was thrilled with because it had been received with stony silence at The Brass Monkey the night before.
I have another gig at the Brass this coming Wednesday, but I'm sensing it may not be the place to try out new material. I might try and combine the two sets that I have and treat the audience with something decently long.
Before I sign off, THANK YOU to my wonderful friends who came along and then stayed right to the end in order to watch my set and support me. I was surprised and delighted by the number of people, and the particular people, who turned up.
It made me feel like a winner, even if I didn't get the popular vote.
Mwah x

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Country music lovers, unite!

I've found a fantastic list of BRILLIANT and REAL country music song titles on a website. I was inspired to post them by Midland casual reporter Bart McGann's "Top Five Of The Week" subject matter... country songs.
So here they are:

1. Get Your Biscuits In The Oven And Your Buns In Bed
2. Get Your Tongue Otta My Mouth 'Cause I'm Kissing You Goodbye
3. Her Teeth Was Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure
4. How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?
5. Can't Get Over You, So Why Don't You Get Under Me?
6. Don't Know Whether To Kill Myself Or Go Bowling
7. Got In At 2 With a 10, And Woke Up At 10 With a 2.
8. Hate Every Bone In Your Body Except For Mine
9. Just Bought A Car From A Guy That Stole My Girl, But The Car Don't Run, So I Figure We Got An Even Deal

10. Keep Forgettin' I Forgot About You
11. Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well
12. Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim's Gettin' Better
13. Wouldn't Take Her To A Dog Fight, Cause I'm Afraid She'd Win
14. I'll Marry You Tomorrow But Let's Honeymoon Tonite

15. I'm So miserable Without You, It's Like Having You Here
16. I've Got Tears in My Ears From Lying On My Back While I Cry Over You
17. If I Can't Be Number One In Your Life, Then Number Two On You
18. If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I'd Be Out By Now
19. Mama Get A Hammer (There's A Fly On Papa's Head)
20. My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don't Love Jesus
21. My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend, and I Sure Do Miss Him
22. Please Bypass this Heart
23. She Got The Ring and I Got The Finger
24. You're the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly

Fundamental mistake

So last night's random comedy effort: The audience laughed just enough that I didn't feel like I died, but not enough so that I feel confident about my material going into tonight's competition. Sure there were only about 50 people in the audience and tonight there will probably be about 300, but it didn't fill me with confidence.
Also learned a great lesson about not opening with new material. I didn't really know not to do that because, frankly, everything I do is new. My Alannah MacTiernan material didn't seem to even crack a smile. Not the bit I thought would, at any rate. When I desperately descended into a bit of ad-libbing about her knowing where the best booze in Perth is, that got a laugh. Who knew?
I skipped through a lot of my material, missing a few gags on the way. The way I structure a set, gags include enough information to set-up the next gag, thereby saving time. And I fluffed so much stuff that I'm not sure I gave enough information to give each joke it's full impact.
I was nervous. Too nervous. And under-rehearsed. I don't have a lot of time to rehearse before tonight's gig, but I will be getting as much practice in as I can before tonight's gig.
And I won't be opening with the Alannah material!
Hope to see you all there. I need all the support I can get.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Whoops. I accidentally have a gig tomorrow night

Er, if anyone can't make it to the three other gigs I mentioned below, I have accidentally got myself booked for tomorrow night at the Brass Monkey (The Laugh Resort).
It's actually good because it'll allow me to test my re-worked "bluetooth" set before the competition on Thursday.
It's a 10 comedians for $10 night, so it's cheap and diverse. I think it usually kicks off at 8pm.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Exit interview

I just tried to give my exit interview.
I was explaining to the woman how arbitrarily moving journalists between branches had led to quite a few very good journalists leaving the company.
I suggested perhaps the best option would be to advertise vacancies to reporters and see if anyone wanted the gig, rather than annointing a reshuffle involving six people each time.
Now how would you expect a Human Resources professional to respond? Frankly, all I expected was for her to take notes, which will be filed and ignored.
But no, she told me to "get real" and said "this is the real world" and "I've been at News Limited for 15 years and I can tell you, this is how things are".
I was aghast. Offended. Insulted. All I did was suggest a problem which needed addressing in order to stop the company bleeding good staff. I even offered a solution.
Which just confirms to me that NOTHING is ever going to change at this company because that kind of attitude exists.
I am thoroughly disappointed.

Cracking the comedy thing

I haven't made nearly enough of this. I really kinda "burst onto the comedy scene" at Raw Comedy this year and since then I've done half a dozen gigs and withered out with a fizzle.
But with three gigs coming up, and with the constant and unflagging support of the amazingly cohesive, generous and supportive Perth comedy crowd, I'm about to get back on the horse.
The first of the three gigs I have booked is this Thursday and a lot of people have said they're coming, which I'm very excited about.
I have decided which set of material I'm going to do and I've just got to rehearse it a bit and tidy up my delivery. I might even rework it a little.
Oh, and I've chosen entrance music. I've never done that before. But I have one of the happiest songs of all time to bust onto stage with. I'm quite excited.
Thursday is a competition, but really I haven't entered it to win it, I've entered it because competitions offer a rare chance to perform in front of a really large audience. (As in, 300 instead of 30). The roar of a crowd that large laughing back at you is awesome. I cannot wait!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Census for July

Reading: Seriously considering the Harry Potter option.
Watching: Torchwood, Dr Who.
Listening: Gotye. When Thom actually burns me the CD.
Downloading: Nothing, yet. But we're about to get broadband. So watch-out!
Website du jour: The West Online.
Café: Had breakfast at Mia in Inglewood yesterday. Not really anything to write home about. Company was very good though.
Pub: Scotto. Comedy is coming to the Scotto! Don't forget.
Club: Certainly not fucking hateful fucking Amplifier with all its death-eating emo-scum inhabitants of doom.
Eating: Chocolate icecream. The expensive stuff with real choc pieces and cherry sauce.
Drinking: Sustagen Sport. In skim milk, to try and curb the belly.
Wearing: New jeans. New undies. And in two weeks time... one of two exceedingly expensive new suits to work every day!
Last show: Don't remember actually.
Next show: Green Faces Comedy at the Hyde Park Hotel.
Can’t wait ‘til: My two weeks notice I have left is over and I can start my new job.
Most recent scoop: Big developer trying to turn my old home town into suburbs.
Most recent purchase: A new frock. For Lindsay. It was a birthday present.
Want but can’t afford: Can't think of anything.
Need but can’t afford: Give it a few days and I'm buying bloody EVERYTHING I want!
Last nice act: Treated a birthday girl yesterday. Offered a good friend all my money if it would enable her in her bid for freedom. LOL.
Last bad act: See entry below.
Bad news: Emos live.
Good news: There has been movement on the move-out-of-home scenario for someone.
Goal: Still to be buff for summer.
Yesterday I: Spoiled Lindsay. Then went to her party.
Right now I should be: Keeping Thom company. He's in the kitchen cooking dinner. I feel bad.
Later today I’m: Doing my favourite thing in the world. I'm crawling up under a doona to eat comfort food and watch completely craptacular movies with my beautiful beautiful wonderful boy.

Trust your gut

I did something I really didn't want to do today. Something my heart really wasn't in, but which I did because I thought it was probably the right/big thing to do.
I saw my ex-boyfriend Adam.
He's in town from Sydney for a short space of time to visit his family. The other day he very kindly returned my childhood photo album to me because he discovered it amongst some of his things. That was a kind thing for him to do and I thanked him. He asked me for coffee and although I didn't want to, I thought it impolite to refuse, given the nature of his gesture.
Mistakenly, I thought the coffee might also be a gesture of good will and putting the past behind us.
It was a fairly tense three quarters of an hour and, tired of struggling for conversation, I announced I had to leave. He bid me stay because he had some things he wanted to say to me.
And he berrated me for how I treated him in the lead-up to his leaving Perth for Sydney: Told me how much
I had hurt him.
I don't know if I looked as unphased and unsympathetic as I was. I just totally couldn't give a shit. I thought it impolitic to say so. I mean he had called me on a few occasions in hysterical desperate wails, wanting me to put him first. Something I didn't want to do. Something I had done for three years but by the time Christmas came last year it had been 12 months since I'd had to put him first. I didn't want to yield to his will and be even slightly controlled by him again. He said horrible things at the time and I'm afraid I didn't care and was nasty back.
But my behaviour hurt him. And he was now taking the opportunity to tell me so.
Well I don't really need enemies, so I apologised... albeit reluctantly and half-heartedly. But he went on and on and all I could think was, "wow, you really don't get just how much you and your shit isn't a part of my life any more... grow up, get over it, and go away".
It reminded me in no-uncertain terms why we are not together, should never have been together, and how damaging that three years with him was to me and my self-esteem.
My life is so different now. So much better.
I think I was supposed to be jealous of how his life is but I didn't even feel the slightest twinge of that. Which he probably picked-up on and which probably lead to him having a go at me about ancient history. The old ways of getting a rise out of me didn't work, so he tried harder.
Well, off you go you sad little man. Go live your live and leave me to mine. I don't need to be enemies with you, but I don't want to be friends with you either. Don't even want to be nodding acquaintances, frankly.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Giggity giggity

So I have a few gigs coming up.
If you want to come see some great comedy, then get along to:

Green Faces Competition, The Hyde Park Hotel, North Perth, Thursday July 12, 8pm.
The Laugh Resort, Brass Monkey Hotel, Northbridge, Wednesday July 18, 8pm.
Kilty Pleasures, *NEW COMEDY NIGHT*, Flying Scotsman, Sunday August 12, 7.30pm.

Hopefully by Kilty Pleasures I'll have some new material ready to go. This promises to be an awesome regular Sunday afternoon feast. And for just $5 it is incredible value. Should hopefully be a nice Scotto atmosphere. This is OUR pub people. Let's make this work! I'm so excited I could pee.

Not that I'm into that sort of thing.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Gidgegannup: Planning Wars

So my sleepy back-water hometown is about to explode.
When I was growing up there Gidgegannup was a massively expansive locality with a tiny population. Probably a few thousand people spread over a suburb with boundaries roughly as big as a cattle station.
By the time I left in 1999, a lot of our neighbours farms had been cut-up into five acre blocks and the good doctors and lawyers of this world were buying blocks out there and building weekenders.
The mood and feel of the place had already changed irreparably by the time I left.
Now, yesterday, a company called Port Bouvard Limited (Yes, you guessed it, they have a bit of a history of turning nice peaceful outlying areas into inner-looking wedding-cake-house bespeckled developments) has announced a $110million redevelopment of Gidgegannup... including residential lots.
Gidgegannup rather famously has only a few (I think there are maybe five) residential lots. It's about to have farm-loads of them.
For me, it is a little sad. Not incredibly sad, as my connection with the place is lost and I don't get pangs for it in the least. I'm also not an essentially anti-development person.
But I'm a little sad because Gidgegannup was unique. And a lot of people lived there for a long time enjoying that unique environment. But not any more. If this development goes ahead, Gidgegannup will be just like Darlington or Glen Forrest or Kalamunda.
It will be Ellenbrook at Altitude.
I'm glad I got to live there while it was something special. I'm glad I don't live there now or I'd be forced to stand in front of bulldozers and print fliers and ring newspapers.
But, from my present distance, I'm not actually convinced it will be a bad thing for the town. They'll need to expand the school. It will bring scheme water and deep sewerage to the area (Good luck, by the way, digging through the rock gentleman. It is not going to be as easy as you think. Those hills ain't made of sand). Ultimately, it will lead to the town attracting much more attention and funds from the local council than it currently does.
But that true village-style community I grew up in: that is dead. It was already dying, but this will kill it dead. I used to know everyone in that town. And everyone knew our family. Those days are gone. Hopefully the pioneering families of Gidgegannup with be remembered. That's about all I'd ask.
In the interim, all I can really do is quietly close my eyes and whisper 'Goodbye Gidgegannup'.

Monday, July 02, 2007

An A4 leaf of lined writing paper

I have taken the day off because I'm feeling ill, I have a heap of time in lieu to get rid of before I finish my notice period and I have a heap of paperwork to sort through thanks to selling the flat and it being tax time.
To achieve the last bit I have been armed with an enormous list of documents I need by my accountant. She is a wonderful woman - a family friend. I used to live with her daughters in Albany, both of whom have now made her a grandmother.
Anyway, while filter through a box of oddments and papers I came across a piece of thin A4 lined writing paper, covered in my chook-scratch scribble.
It is simply entitled "MUST" and the second I saw it, I knew what it was.
It was a list. My list. Lindsay and I both wrote a list at the beginning of last year with the details of what our future boyfriends would be like. They were to be positive lists. We weren't going to settle for the kinds of relationships we had in the past.
To be sure, I wasn't going to end up with someone ever again who would utter a sentence like "well I never actually found you physically attractive". Or anyone who was generally psychologically unstable.
So anyway, this is my list of qualities I required in a new boyfriend, and I want you to tell me if it sounds like anyone.

Be very good looking (dark hair, average height, brown eyes, slim)
Professional and ambitious, has his shit sorted, smart
Sense of humour
Confident, not arrogant or egotistical
Empathetic, not pathetic
Out to family
Great friends and supportive family
Not jealous
Has the spirit of life
Loving, affectionate and supportive,
Must like theatre/cinema/nightclubs/pubs and all that kind of stuff
Not queeny/camp/a drag queen
Not a clubber or skanky bar addict
Live nearby, north of river
Good conversationalist
Pulls his weight

I edited out one bit: I had wanted this person to be over 23 years of age. But then it wouldn't sound so exactly like Thom, now would it?
All in all, I think the list shows I knew what I wanted. Although what I did to deserve it, let alone go out and get it, is beyond me.