Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Pride?

Pride is like an enforced holiday for homosexuals without the actual days off work. Especially for me, who missed practically everything that was on because I worked nights throughout the month-long festival. The one night I did have off I made the mistake of thinking I would see Jane Austen's Guide To P*rn*graphy... which was awful. In fact, here is the review I sent to our arts editor:
Wow. Jane Austen’s Guide to P*rn*graphy… worst thing I have ever seen. Or ever seen half of, actually. Like a Year 12 original production at a school for young militant homosexuals who still feel, in that bizarre 1990s way, like four-letter versions of the word penis will shock. Half the audience made a half-time exit. The rest, I expect, hung around in the hopes they’d get to sleep with the cast.
The other thing I went to was the parade. This is such a sad little event. I mean I don't expect it to be Mardi Gras but could someone please do something not pathetic? Sitting on a truck with a banner and waving to the crowd is insultingly ordinary. In Sydney they get together every couple of weeks to go through their choreography for months ahead of the event.
The highlight of the whole night actually took place at the after-party at the newly renovated Court Hotel (it has gone from sh*theap to bowel lined with chandeliers... and for my part I applaud Bree Maddox for the job she has done).
I was thrilled to unexpectedly find a young colleague there - mainly because we sit about five metres apart and neither of us new about the other's proclivities. He's a nice kid.
But that such a minor incident (which could have so easily not happened at all if Tom-the-online-guy and I had simply had a conversation at any point in the three months I've been working here) was the highlight of my entire Pride is quite sad.
I may skip Pride altogether next year... it's thoroughly not exciting at all.

Be honest...

Scott Rush... too hot to hang?

I know, I'm naughty, aren't I?

If I had Cyrillic on my keyboard...

...I could impress you with how much Russian I have already learned. But I don't so I can't.
I'm really digging this language though. It's like being let into a special club, learning another language. My Ruski is obviously extremely limited after just one official lesson but I've been doing a lot of study and working on building up my vocabulary. Also, just reading stuff in Russian to try and practice how they would be said is a very good exercise, which I'm really enjoying.
I'm eyeing off a Russian language version of The Chronicles of Narnia which I found on some book shop site or other. That would be so awesome... to be able to read a book in another language. It might take a while before I can do it, but it is my goal.

So far I can have the kinds of ridiculous conversations no one actually has:
A: This Lara?
B: Yes this Lara.
A: Lara student?
B: Yes, she student.
But I mean I've learnt a whole new alphabet and even an unpronouncable-in-English letter or ten so that I can have that silly disjointed conversation.
Loving myself sick in this Ruski.
PS... this is how you write Lion, Witch and Wardrobe: Лев,колдунья и платяной шкаф. Which would be pronounced "Lyev, Koldoonya i platyanoi shkaf".
(I think).

Friday, October 26, 2007

In other news

Got the front page again today. Got to cover the PM's press conference about the SAS soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.
Now THAT is serious journalism. Now I actually feel like I've made it. LOL.

Reverting to type

You know how I'm debt free, etc? Well I can't stand it. I mean I'm saving absolutely truckloads (no really, it's obscene), but I don't feel like my money is working hard enough for me. Snap decision. Again. As only I can do.
I'm buying a couple of flats in Melbourne.
I've done the figures and I can still actually get very cheap one bedroom flats over there ($120k - $150k) which are renting at prices which would more than repay the mortgage... assuming I use the wad of cash I have from the sale of the last place to pay for about half of each of the flats. Or pay for one flat, really. But I have to have a small mortgage on each in order to get all the tax benefits.
There is all this talk Melbourne is going to take off the way Perth did just before I bought here. Let's hope so. So my tactic is to buy the cheapest liveable (decent floorspace) single bedroom/studio flats I can find, which are already renting at the highest available returns. With any luck I'll be able to do it in such a way that they are basically cost neutral, provided they are always rented.
I have a meeting with my mortgage broker tomorrow.
I bought my Maylands flat three days after deciding I wanted to buy property. Why do I do these things so quickly, when I decide to do them?
I hope this works.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This is serious journalism

LOL. Not.
Got a tip off from a wonderful friend to say Ben Cousins, douchebag footballer, drug fiend, viagra advocate and role model to the nation's children, was working out at a gym just around the corner from our office here.
Well that was too good to miss because we could always do with a fresh photo of him and perhaps I could get Perth's first interview with the fuck-nuckle-nose-hose.
So we staked-out the place. The photog got the shots we needed and I chased after him to ask some questions.
He told me he had nothing to say to me and then ignored my questions.
Was he happy the charge was dropped? Would he sue the Eagles? Would he sue the AFL?
He slammed his car door before I could ask... are you actually going to rehab? Are you in fact, Amy Winehouse? No, no, no?

Thursday, October 18, 2007


...that's Russian for hello.
You're probably not going to believe this, but I'm learning Russian. As I type this I'm taking a break from trying to memorise that CRAZY Cyrillic alphabet. You know, the one with letters which look like heirogliphics and mathematical symbols?
Why? Because Russia fascinates me, especially in these days of Vladimir Vladirimov Putin.
One day it would be really cool to cover Russian politics and eastern European politics. Not tomorrow, not next year, but one day.
The teacher I have found, Anna, who is actually Russian and appears to be the only person in Perth teaching the language, says it won't be a quick learning process.
"Don't expect to be fluent within a year," she said.
Just trying to learn that crazy alphabet has taught me that already.
This is a crazy journey, but I'm glad to have started it. You've gotta do this shit in life, don't you? I mean it is not like I'll have children to educate and entertain. So I'll expand my experience of life this way. New skills are always handy.
And I've started to notice some scary early signs of... oh shit, how's this for irony... I can't remember what it's called... not dementia... the other one... old people... forgetful... shit... LOL... ummmm... the forgetful one, anyway. So this will help keep my mind exercised so I don't become one of those 30-year-olds you see taking up nursing home beds.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Census for October

Reading: Still chewing through Death of a Dissident.
Watching: Summer Heights High is the funniest fking tv show I have ever seen. It goes to levels of wrong I can only aspire to imitate.
Listening: Tori Amos. I have possibly never actually left that concert. I'm still living in it. I'm hiding in her piano and waiting for her to spit on me as she sings.
Downloading: New programs for the laptop to make it run more efficiently... and so I can actually word process... which Mac seems to come without.
Website du jour: Facebook.
Café: Been to Cinos, Rifos and Barista lately... but nowhere I really want to go and spend time.
Pub: Haven't been doing a lot of that. Although I have to go out this Friday night for Bea, Kate and Mark's leaving doo!
Club: Yeah I totally don't do that any more. Thom and I popped into Connies for NattyQ's birthday and it was both awful and pathetic. That place has really changed. It's very unwelcoming.
Eating: Pasta-y-pesto-y goodness I made this afternoon.
Drinking: Plenty of water. It's good for you, don't you know?
Wearing: A suit, tie and shirt. My usual work clobber. What is it about wearing $900 suits to work every day that feels so good? Oh yeah... they look hot. That's it.
Last show: That would be Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, with the delightful Sigrid Thornton and wonderful Brenda Blethyn.
Next show: I don't think I have anything on the books yet. Although I plan to buy tickets to see Miriam Margolyes doing Dicken's Women.
Can’t wait ‘til: I start properly planning my Holiday to Greece and Turkey with T-Dog. My GOD that promises to be FUN. Also, Mr Howard calling the election, so we can get rid of the fucker.
Most recent scoop: Got the front page with my Climate Change yarn on Thursday. I was pretty happy, I have to say. Backed it up with page three on Saturday, covering bikies... so it was quite a good week.
Most recent purchase: Generally trying to save money... and doing extremely well considering I am debt-free. I did have a little lapse today though. Shhh.
Want but can’t afford: A few things I'm putting on the Christmas list. Seriously considering a GPS... it could be exceptionally handy for work.
Need but can’t afford: I'm clothed and fed. That's enough for me.
Last nice act: Ah... well I bought some tickets to a concert for someone I love dearly but never do enough for. She was happy. Now she just has to wait til February to go to the concert. She has renamed her son in my honour as a result, which will come as a surprise to Brayden.
Last bad act: Actually I'm feeling reasonably guilt free at the moment.
Bad news: The planet is fucked. Even if we stop emitting climate changing carbon, it will take 600 years for the climate in WA's south west to return to where it should be.
Good news: I guess getting the front page is my most awesome news. I'm also back writing the definitive gay Australian novel. LOL. Potter potter... I might get there.
Goal: Buff for summer. Still working on it although lapsed this week a bit because Paris is on holiday and I don't like the replacement trainer as much.
Yesterday I: Hung out with Thom until it was time to start work at 4pm.
Right now I should be: Working, I suppose. Transcribing the two interviews I've done this afternoon on the affects of climate change on WA's bird population.
Later today I’m: finishing work... at 10pm. Then going home and working on the definitive gay Australian novel for an hour or two before catching some much loved and all-too-rare sleep.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Mr Bennett, I salute you

My favourite contemporary playwright is Alan Bennett. Has been for years. He overtook Alan Ayckbourn for me (who's Norman Conquests had enchanted me) when I saw the original TV series of Talking Heads.
So I was delighted, once again, to go see a couple of his monologues from that fantastic series being performed at His Maj yesterday. Love a matinee. I lowered the average age of the audience significantly.
Last time I saw Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack doing Bed Among The Lentils and Soldiering On, from the same series, at The Maj.
This time is was Sigrid Thornton and Brenda Blethyn doing Her Big Chance and Mrs Fozzard Finds Her Feet.
Mrs Fozzard is one of my favourites because Patricia Routledge did the original (beautifully... although she was a less convincing Lady Bracknell when I saw her do a poor imitation of Edith Evans at the Regal) and I couldn't resist seeing Blethyn in the role.
Blethyn I have adored since Chance In a Million (an old 80s comedy with Simon Callow) but I've felt prone to over-doing it a bit (did anyone see Plots With a View) but redeemed herself magnificently for me in Little Voice.
She is a theatre great and her mastery of Bennett's pathos and comedy was so incredibly evident yesterday. She absolutely without a second's doubt delivered that role perfectly. I was in raptures. So was the whole audience And I was thrilled to give her a standing ovation. She will never be able to do wrong by me again.
If you aren't familiar with Bennett's work, you should make sure you become so. He has a way of getting into a woman's mind and an ability to write them at their most vulnerable - even if the characters themselves think they are at their most strong. His subtleties with frailties are exquisite. His use of language, his meter and cadence, exceptional. Without parallel. His characterisations are absolute. I adore his work.
And what could be better than seeing it delivered by some of the best actresses performing today. If only I'd seen Dame Thora Hird playing in Waiting For The Telegram before she died.


Okay, so I promised this and although the mood to actually write about it has long since left me, briefly, here it is.
The other night Kerry and I went to the Kate Ceberano concert at Burswood. It was a lovely night, if only because I saw Kerry, and despite the smelly geriatric spacker bloke (who smelt so bad his carer felt the need to apologise).
Anyway, there I was watching Ms Ceberano and I couldn't help but be reminded of my Dear Old Aunty, Michelle (who is not old, but is certainly dear).
Here is this woman, who's only 40 (a few years on the DOA) and she's got this fantastic loud-mouthed sass. A remarkable confidence. And it's not hateful, it's hot. She's comfortable and confident. Apart from vintage and confidence, they actually also look a bit alike. Well their hair is the same now at least. And from where I was in the audience it could have my aunt dressed in the fantastic Aurelio Casterella frocks and belting out Pash and Bedroom Eyes.
And I thought two things: Wow, she reminds me of Michelle.
And, wow... if she and Michelle and the Noranda Desperate Housewives were out on a boozy night... I'm pretty certain it would end in gutters, cells, hospital wards, etc. I mean I just get the sense it would be big.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

You will live to see the planet die

Hands up everybody who's read the Climate Change in Australia report released at the Greenhouse 2007 conference.
Just me?
Well if you feel like a cry, go download it from www.climatechangeinaustralia.com.au.
Read it then kiss your arse goodbye.
Everything that follows is based on science.
Temperatures globally have already increased by 1C thanks to human activity - carbon dioxide emissions.
If we immediately reduced our emissions, globally, to 1990 levels, we could limit our temperature increase between now and 2070 to just two more degrees.
That okay, you think? Think it'll just mean using the air con a little more? Extra sunscreen applications?
Well in WA at least, 1C temperature increase has already seen species of flora start to die out. Banksias and other trees in the mid-west are turning up their toes.
There is worse to come. You see, most of our species grow in a 3C temperature band. Two-thirds of species, actually.
Two thirds of WA plants will die by 2070. Those that die with expose other species, killing many of them also. These deaths will reduce animal habits. Not only that but the soil microbiology which relies on it all will be screwed as well... which will again kill even more species.
That's IF we cut our emissions to 1990 levels, globally.
We can't even agree on non-compulsory targets. Kyoto - which Australia, Canada and the US failed to ratify - targets have almost universally not been reached. In fact, most countries have continued with marked increases in emissions.
If things continue on this trajectory, we face a 5C temperature increase by 2070.
There will be nothing left. Nothing. Droughts will be 80 per cent longer and more frequent. There will be 40 per cent less rain (in the south west).
We've done it people. It's too late. I mean it makes me really fucking sad and really fucking angry. We've killed the planet, successfully. It's like choking someone slowly - at some point it really doesn't matter if you loosen the telephone flex, your victim has suffered serious brain damage though lack of oxygen to the brain.

So can anyone tell me why, when our economy is so flushed with funds, we aren't immediately building sequestering plants at every coal-fired power plant in the country? Why we aren't immediately building wind farm everywhere? Why we aren't building solar farms? Capturing tidal power? Why our power bills aren't doubled immediately to encourage us to use less power and to pay for millions of trees to be planted to offset what we do use?
Please people, PLEASE! We have to do whatever we can to try and make this better.

No man ever loved a Dalek so much!

It's here. And I love it. Worth every cent.
Got it the same day I got my first front page of The West... with an environmental story... and the same day Kerry and I went to see Kate Ceberano (more on her and the way she reminds me of my DOA later).
It was right up there as one of the best days of my life. Although my birthday in London, seeing Lilly Allen at the Hammersmith Apollo, this year possibly still tops the list of all time great days.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Mr Howard's Australia

It is a long weekend. Guess how many days of it I worked?
And guess how much overtime/loading I got?
Not a cent.
Hello Howard's Australia.
Meanwhile I missed out on two events I would usually have gone to: Fair Day and Parklife.
Fuck you Mr Howard and your fucking WorkChoices and your fucking AWAs!
Oh yeah, and if I had declined to work, I could have been dismissed on the spot, too.
I mean I don't think they would have... but they have the power to Sometimes the looming threat is enough.
But then that's all part of it, isn't it Mr Howard? All part of keeping the economy strong.