Thursday, October 28, 2004

Technology, technology. I laughed at the delicious image of Darp with his Beyond 2000 silver cock and robot girlfriend, but here I am sitting next to Dougie in the computer lab. We are talking to each other. We could touch each other. And we are reading each other's blogs. I mean, how tragic. Dougie, let's just go and get beer.

On Alicia Keys and the comfort of soul. I've never been that into Alicia Keys. When Shane asked if I was going to her concert, I said, "Nah." I remember reading in an excellent book, Mark Anthony Neal's Songs in the Key of Black Life, that her Grammy win irritated a lot of people who felt she was literally R&B-lite - i.e. her radio-friendly music won the award over her more experimental "blacker" peers. I can't remember if Norah Jones faced any similar criticism of her phenomenal Grammy haul, but being too "boring" for the genre in which she claims to perform is an accusion Diana Krall regularly faces.

And then yesterday Lucy handed me a copy of the New Yorker with Sasha Frere-Jones' spot-on-as-always analysis of "Lose My Breath" by Destiny's Child as an expression of militarism. While trying to find an online copy of this review to link to this post, I discovered an early-September blog post on the same song, which I like even more because it likens Beyoncé to some kind of phaser set to "stun" rather than "blow away", the setting adopted for "Crazy in Love".

My god! A girl who looks JUST LIKE Kirsten Dunst just walked past!

But anyway. On the same page was a damning-with-faint-praise review of Alicia Keys' irritating duet with Usher, "My Boo". I can't remember Frere-Jones' expression, but it was something like "her piano-playing, which some people have praised". Delicious. The point of this review is that Keys tries, but always fails, to emulate her soul idols.

This got me thinking about the weird train wreck that was the "soul/R&B" episode of Australian Idol. I thought about this some more that night, when I watched Keys perform "If I Ain't Got You" on The Panel. I think that the very thing Frere-Jones identifies as the "failure" of that song, ie its almost-but-not-quite-divaness, is what actually draws me to it. I was thinking this same thing while watching Six Feet Under this week, when they had a gospel group singing "Oh Happy Day" at a funeral. I will have to go back and listen to Kanye West's "Jesus Walks" again. Now there's a clever lyricist.

It seems to me that certain gospel-influenced strands of pop music are comfortingly familiar and participatory. The chord changes that you eagerly anticipate like waves, and then ride gloriously on because you know them. The massed call-and-response in tight harmony, as on "Held Down" by De La Soul:

Well I, feel the world around me
I've found (I've found!)
that others will bring you down, just to be down (Others'll bring you down, to be down!)
You've got to make up your mind, where you wanna be (Where you wanna be!)
Where you wanna go with your life (with your life, with your life!)

I don't want to highlight the transcendent or sublime possibilities of gospel and soul here. Instead, what draws me to that Alicia Keys song is just what drew me to her first hit, "Fallin'": it sounds just like every other gospelish, soulish, R&Bish song you've ever heard. The piano at the start of "Fallin'" lays down an insistent, repetitive groove and chord pattern, and the pleasure lies in knowing and anticipating how the song will play out. You know that the lead singer will do the first chorus by herself and then the backing singers will come in on subsequent choruses. You know that she'll sing it straight at first, and then improvise on repeat choruses. This is why songs like these get in your head and are so pleasurable to sing in the shower, in the car, in the kitchen making a cup of tea...

More interestingly, they use gospel stylings in a 'cool' way, like Groove Theory's "Tell Me" or Portishead's "Glory Box". It's not euphoric or cathartic - it carries you along on the same chords the whole time. It rocks you like a baby. It's the security blanket of pop.

I want to write a freelance piece about the "compulsory diva" - the way that female pop singers are so often expected to hit those emotional high notes all the time. Trouble is, Australian publications are so conservative, they won't publish something like this unless someone mentioned in the article is touring. And then they'll buy a nearly-identical piece from The Independent It makes me so mad. I tried three publications with my idea about "dirtiness in pop music" and was told it was too "esoteric". Someone tell me how to pimp my writing overseas!

Oh, Lucy's brother Rob will be deejaying at St Jerome's tonight. I wanted his DJ name to be "DJ Lucy's Brother" which Lucy liked, obviously enough, but strangely Rob didn't think much of this idea. I also suggested "DJ Tip-Top" as this would simultaneously connote his white-bread wigga status and that he is the best, plus summon visions of MILFish shenanigans. But he is calling himself the "Sunshine Sanga" instead.

Oh, and I came up with another band name last night: Jiggerypokery. Is there already a band called that? I was so enamoured with this name yesterday that I was already fantasising about "Jiggerypokery: The Musical!"

Mel rocks out. On Tuesday night I went to my old haunt, Kitten Club, to film a skit for the SBS comedy show In Siberia Tonight. The idea behind the skit is that Lawrence Leung has decided to form a band in 7 days, and we were the rent-a-crowd who discover that they are miming, Ashlee Simpson-style. I know Lawrence through Linda, who directed my show.

Also, the lead guitarist of the 'band' was Andy McClelland, who I know through the shanty choir; although Jeremy reckons he was in the shanty choir before me, having gone to the "pre-inaugural" rehearsal. But did Jeremy dress up like a pirate and embarrass himself in front of a live audience? No, he did not.

Anyway, I was wearing about the rockest outfit I could cobble together. Jesus it's not my scene. I had my black "Collingwood Boxing Club" t-shirt, jeans with a ludicrously irrelevant chain hanging from the belt loops, my black studded leather belt, purple Converse sneakers and of course, my black wristband for maximum fist-shakage.

If you watch the episode on Thursday 4 November on SBS at 10pm, you may be able to catch me jumping up and down behind the guy holding a sign that has the lyrics written on it. They had to have him stand right in front of me, didn't they?

The Headtapes... continued.

It's a rarity for me actually to comment on the Headtapes, but I feel I would like to this week. I had "Black Betty" in my head after we had a conversation at work about lamingtons. I told them there was this CWA lady who made killer lamingtons with jam in the middle - they were so legendary they wrote a blues song about her. It goes "Whoaah Black Betty, jam-a-lam..." Well, you know the rest.

I would also like to say that Australian commercial radio continues to astound me. Sometimes they play songs so far ahead of their actual release date, and sometimes they play them months after they've been hits in other countries. Like "Dip It Low", which is now on high rotation on Nova. You know, I always wrote off Christina Milian as a bargain-basement Mya, although I had to respect her for writing "Play", which J.Lo recorded. And then she comes out with "Dip It Low", which manages to take that Indian/Middle Eastern inflection that in my jadedness I refer to as "so 2003" or "so Timbaland", and make it simultaneously danceable and dreamy, the antithesis to last year's Diwali assault.

I think the secret to "Dip It Low"s lusciousness is the vocal harmony. Many people get trapped into thinking triads are the be-all and end-all of vocal harmonies. Nina Sky are particularly irritating with that jarring "From head to toe/I feel your flow" from "Move Ya Body". But Christina does the fourths and fifths, with particularly good effect, in "pop, pop, pop that thing". More musical musings above.

Monday 25 October

Girl I'm a Bad Boy - Fat Joe/P Diddy/Dre
The Internet Is for Porn - from Avenue Q
Keep Givin' Your Love to Me - Beyoncé
What a Fool Believes - Doobie Brothers
Fuck the Pain Away - Peaches
Landerkennung - Grieg
A World of Pure Imagination - from Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
various Oompa-Loompa songs - from Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
I've Got a Golden Ticket - from Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
I Feel the Earth Move - Carole King
Trick Me - Kelis

Tuesday 26 October

Bail Me Out - Pete Murray
The Logical Song - Supertramp
Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion
A New Day Has Come - Celine Dion
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Move Ya Body - Nina Sky
Pieces of Me - Ashlee Simpson
Head over Heels - Tears for Fears
Black Betty - various artists
Tequila - ALT & the Lost Civilization

Wednesday 27 October

Scar - Missy Higgins
Dip It Low - Christina Milian
Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel
If I Ain't Got You - Alicia Keys

Thursday 28 October

Mona - Craig McLachlan & Check 1-2
If I Ain't Got You - Alicia Keys
Lose My Breath - Destiny's Child

Monday, October 25, 2004

Turn the page if you're good-looking. How do you know when you're reading a badly written novel? For me, it's when the expression is so mangled, or the dialogue so stilted, or the mise-en-scene so embarrassing, that you're wrenched from the world the novelist is trying to create. But then the opposite is also true. My favourite thing about novels is when the writer can encapsulate, in one elegantly constructed sentence, something so absurdly hilarious, or so poignant, that you have to laugh uproariously or say out loud, "It's so true!" And you can't imagine someone putting that same idea better. I also have a weakness for particularly poetic phrases or apt metaphors, because I like to play with language; but I know other people get distracted by these and consider them affectations.

I don't bring this up from nowhere. Last night I was considering the way I always want a novelist to tell me if a character is good-looking or not. One school of thought will have it that a really good novelist will never just tell you: he or she will demonstrate, through the way the character acts and is reacted to, whether or not the character is good-looking.

And that's certainly true: think of how many bad novels will refer to the heroine's "mane of hair" or " rosebud lips", or the hero's "ruggedly handsome face". When I was about sixteen, I found a book in the Box Hill library that was called The Romance Writer's Phrase Book. It had a bunch of those sort of things, and I decided to write a short story stringing only those phrases together. I believe one sentence went: "Hers was a wild, proud beauty, with alabaster skin and firm, high-perched breasts."

Speaking of romance, a while ago I read Possession: a Romance by A.S. Byatt, in line with my obsession with 'books that have been turned into movies'. I was frustrated by the way she repeatedly described people as having "regular features". I couldn't work out if this meant they were good-looking, and it was important for the way I interacted with the narrative that I know whether the hero, Roland, was supposed to be good-looking or not. But I enjoyed the way that the heroine, Maud, struggles with her beauty: as a feminist literary critic she tries to de-sexualise herself, to wrest her body from men's gaze; yet she perversely longs to be erotically 'possessed'. She and the pussy-whipped Roland are perfectly matched because he shows his desire for her in an unassuming, oblique way. For me, the most erotic scene in the book is one in which the two of them are on a field trip and it's raining so they can't go outside their hotel, and they lie companionably on a bed for the entire day, not saying anything, their hands occasionally touching.

Also, when I was a child I got the impression from my precocious reading that women were always to be described as "beautiful" or "pretty", while "handsome" was reserved for men. Indeed, our unofficial Secret Squirrel list at work is called Handsome Women. But recently I've found myself speaking about "pretty" men. Prettiness in men I understand to be a youthful symmetry of the features; something that I have always found attractive and been mocked for by my friends. I hesitate at branding this a "feminine" quality; but I suppose it is.

Friday, October 22, 2004

A note towards an epic music post. I am fascinated by the qualities of different vocalists, and it was only when I got to do the Mikey J paper that I really got into what Roland Barthes calls "the grain of the voice". I only really scratched the surface of that idea by using Simon Frith's expansion of Barthes in his chapter on the voice from Performing Rites.

I also remember when I was researching Mikey J that I came across an academic paper that was kind of "Rap for Dummies" - I can't remember who it was by - explaining the aesthetics of rap to an audience that necessarily wouldn't listen to it. What a quixotic project. But anyway. Whoever had written this had a big long passage on the idea of "flow", which has a complex meaning in vernacular (as opposed to academic or critical) hip-hop discourse, but I'll butcher it as "a vocalist's ability to deliver lyrics with a sense of rhythmic timing and vocal nuance".

The example used was Rakim (and a few others, too; maybe Chuck D?). But for ages, I have been wanting to write something here about why I like the sound of Jay-Z's voice so much. Then I thought I would add a second post about why I like Ludacris so much, based solely on the way he delivers one line: "Feels like a midget is hanging from my necklace". Then I would need one on Missy Elliott, and a subsequent one on Eminem, who I think has as great a handle on eye-rhymes as any other lyricist from Lorenz Hart to Rakim.

So think of this as a work in progress. Watch out for Chapter One: Life and Rhymes of S Carter.

In other music-nerd business, I got the proofs of my booty dancing paper today and I was kind of amazed that I could have been that intelligent and articulate. I am very happy with it. I don't imagine that "Yo check it" Tony Mitchell will be quite as happy.

The Headtapes ... continued.

Monday 18 October

These Words - Natasha Bedingfield
Save the Best for Last - Vanessa Williams
Boomin' - Selwyn
South Australia - sea shanty ("Haul away, you rolling kings!")
Baby Now That I've Found You - Foundations
Thriller - Michael Jackson

Tuesday 19 October

Lola's Theme - Shapeshifters
That Ain't Bad - Ratcat
Cocaine - JJ Cale
Just Lose It - Eminem
Lose My Breath - Destiny's Child

Wednesday 20 October

In Da Club - 50 Cent
Philadelphia Freedom - Elton John

Thursday 21 October

Love Don't Love Me - Justin Timberlake
Show Me Your Soul - Lenny Kravitz, P Diddy, Pharrell, Loon
Flipside - Freeway
Hit That Perfect Beat - Bronski Beat
My Love is Like ... Wo - Mya
Like A River - Kasey Chambers

Friday 22 October

Like A River - Kasey Chambers
Mi Julie - Shaggy/Ali G

An amusing not-quite-clubbing tale from In my own nightlife exploits, I always aim for equal parts debauchery and farce, with more or less success. I am particularly hanging out for the kind of riotous good evening that could be described, in Jeremy's memorable phrase, as a "cavalcade of insanity". I saw Dougie today in JB Hi-Fi (where, for once in my life, I couldn't see anything I wanted to buy), and he said, "Are you up to any mischief?"
I replied, "No, but I'm up for any mischief!"

I am even fonder of writing that encapsulates the stupidity of nightclubbing. So I laughed out loud when I read this on My favourite part of the story is the gruff French bouncer
who sported a black and white striped shirt straight from the Hamburglar’s
wardrobe. The only words I was able to decipher through his heavy accent were “robble, robble.”

I also loved the part where Ludacris shows up at the club: "When he moved, I moved, but that pesky velvet rope got in the way."

Just like that? Hell yeah! Hey DJ, bring that back!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Sometimes the intellectual ability of Googlers depresses me. Okay. You have to go to an 80s night but you were either born in 1990 or have studiously ignored all the 80s revival fashion, music, movies etc that have been doing the rounds. So you decide: Google will tell me what to wear!

But instead of typing in 80s fashion or clothing 1980s or some such, you type in "80s night" "what to wear". What kind of retard does this? Someone who's hoping to find a website entitled "What to wear to an 80s night"? Or maybe when you type in meaning of "feel like a river" you're hoping for some website that says:
Chambers likens herself to a river to explain how her lover makes her feel; but this analogy is never fully explained. She also refers to herself as a pop star whose love spurs her to "sing [the song] on the radio"; however the presence of other vaguely religious references, such as a sinner surrendering his/her soul, angels and "walk[ing] through the fire" may lead to the interpretation that Chambers, in the song, may feel 'baptised' or in other ways rejuvenated by her love. As a river, Chambers is also the agent of her own baptism: ironically implying that, despite her avowal that the way she feels is a direct result of her lover ("you"), Chambers' feelings arise from within herself rather than as a result of the lover's actions.

Hey, perhaps it's nothing but the ramblings of a country-n-western trollop, you idiot!

I'm in a bad mood because I am bored, and have the sort of aching legs that my mother used to refer to inaccurately as "growing pains". I had a blindness scare before that I was going to blog about. And hey! I'm doing it now. I was lying on my bed with one arm flung over my face, as I am wont to do for long stretches of time when bored, and when I got up, my long-distance vision was blurry. Of course, what did I do but hop in the car and drive!

It reminded me of Guy's 21st. The theme was "Rock Gods". I stupidly didn't realise you were supposed to pick a specific rock god, and I went as a "general ho". All night people were asking: "Are you Christina Aguilera?" "Are you Anastacia?" But I realised that I had no contact lenses, and what sort of rock god wears glasses? Well, Anastacia does, but that proves my point, really. Then I remembered I had an old pair in the bathroom cupboard, but they were from my old prescription, and I had to drive across town peering through the windscreen like an old lady. All the road signs were blurry and people's head and tail lights formed abstract patterns. I'm surprised I got there in one piece, really. And left in one piece, considering that Cam's vodka pouring got more and more generous as the night progressed. She was throwing up all the next day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The question on everyone's lips. I've just been checking what people have been searching for to find this blog. Nestled among the usual sort of fodder like Sportsgirl musings, choreography nelly flap your wings video and pink and grey nikes are the following search terms:

christopher reeve bald (Google)
"Christopher Reeve" Bald (Google)
reeve bald (Google)
why was christopher reeve bald (Google)
chris reeve bald (Google)
why christopher reeve bald (Google)
Christopher Reeve bald (Google)
"christopher reeve bald" (Google)
chris reeve bald why (Google)
shaved head bald christopher reeve picture (Google)

And the answer, dear Googlers? I don't know. Why, not even the normally hilarious Jason Mulgrew can bear to bring his wit to this topic.

Although I will add a little vignette that Ben and I dreamed up between us on Monday. Ben suggested that, in line with our vision that he was the next Blofeld, Christopher Reeve should've had a white cat on his lap.
"But he couldn't stroke it!" I said.
"He could have a robotic stroking arm," said Ben.
"But what if it went haywire and started bitch-slapping him or something?" I replied. "And what could he do if the cat got pissed off and decided to attack him? Nothin'!"

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Mark Ruffalo Effect. I had to write this article for work this week about the various Nobel Prizes, and why they gave them to those people, and why those people's theories contributed so much to world knowledge. You know, I have some theories too. Of course, my theories may not change government fiscal policy, or explain why quarks behave the way they do, or how our sense of smell works, or how proteins biodegrade. Instead, I have a number of theories named after various actors.

If you went to my show or ever subscribed to The Incredible Melk's Booty Squadron you would be familiar with the Tobey Maguire Effect, aka Secret Buff, which I formulated after seeing Spider-Man. You see, you wouldn't realise Tobey was buff in that film until he took his clothes off. Or maybe, as my friends cruelly suggested at the time, I just liked Tobey because he had "girly lips" and "looked about twelve". But anyway. It got me thinking about all the hot guys you just walk past, not even realising how buff they are. After glimpsing him with no glasses or shirt on, I have formulated a theory that my housemate Shion is secretly buff.

Then there's the Mark Ruffalo Effect. Here is a picture of Mark Ruffalo that doesn't really do him justice, but as I'll point out, that's kind of the thing. I liked Mark Ruffalo in Suddenly Thirty. I also really liked him in Eternal Sunshine, with the nerdy glasses. Basically, the Mark Ruffalo Effect is that some men are just too beautiful to be in my league, but others are approachably sexy with a kind of self-deprecation. I like Mark Ruffalo because he gives the impression that I might have a chance with him, should I see him in a bar or meet him at a party or something. But he also gives off a kind of intelligent vulnerability, like he knows he should only be a supporting actor, not a romantic lead, and that any girl is only with him until she finds someone better. Other actors who have the Mark Ruffalo Effect include John Cusack, Ducky from Pretty in Pink, and that guy who plays Jack Berger in Sex and the City.

And here's the Nobel Prize-winning genius of this theory. The female equivalent of the Mark Ruffalo Effect is the Janeane Garofalo Effect. It rhymes! I have always really identified with Janeane Garofalo in all her films, particularly The Truth About Cats and Dogs, in which she's a female Cyrano de Bergerac to Uma Thurman's Christian. But she's not actually ugly; she's just pert and smart-mouthed and has a sexy voice, completely according with that rom-com genre convention of the comic sidekick to the heroine. Like her male counterpart, she always seems to have an affecting awareness of her sidekick status. Other Janeane Garofalo Effect actresses are John's brother Joan Cusack and newly minted lesbian, Cynthia Nixon.

There was a film on TV with Janeane Garofalo the other day called The Matchmaker, in which her selfish senator boss makes her go to Ireland to trace his heritage, and the local busybody matchmaker sets her up with a bartender called Sean, who has terrible 90s hair. I had the volume down so I could listen to Nina Sky, but it was such a joy to watch Janeane's face: watchful at the start because people are always taking advantage of her; then shyly happy as the wacky locals draw her out of her shell; then belligerent as, due to rom-com misunderstandings, Sean takes up with an inexplicably redheaded Saffron Burrows. Then, sad. And finally, blossoming into a disbelieving smile when Sean serenades her at the end.

Monday, October 11, 2004

I can't handle the carnage!* First Rodney Dangerfield, then Jacques Derrida, now Christopher Reeve! Jane's immediate response was "What would Jacques Derrida think? Oh, we won't have to worry any more." But I think Gemma puts it best: "RIP Derrida... so young, still so hip with the ladies..."

I also hadn't seen these pictures of Christopher Reeve bald. First we were saying he looked like a Bond villain. Then Ben and I simultaneously came up with the idea that he looked like Professor Xavier from X-Men. Then I noticed a scary resemblance between this and this.

Apart from the tragedy of it all, now the comic world is robbed of one of its favourite joke-butts. Ben is worried that he'll no longer be able to tell his favourite joke:

Q: What's the opposite of Christopher Reeve?
A: Christopher Walken.

I said to him, "If you can find some dude called Christopher Liven then your joke will still work."

But as Ben puts it, "There's always Bill Clinton."

* Some may accuse me of callousness. But we must use humour as a crutch in these devastating times.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Clothing that must behave! Me wearing clothing is a constant battle between shame, comfort and vanity. On one hand, I must cover up my shameful body: disguise its grotesque curves and folds with artfully chosen clothes so it looks normal. But if that was my only priority, I'd wear a sack; I also want to look as attractive as I can within the limitations my body imposes.

As a result of this tension, I don't think I'm ever completely comfortable in the clothes I wear. I am always tugging down my tops and tugging up my pants and skirts to make sure no stomach is visible. I am always adjusting the way jumpers sit so they won't cling to me, or making sure my belt doesn't slip down. I hold my wrap-around skirt closed in the wind so it won't reveal my underpants. But just in case it does, I always wear underpants that are fit to be revealed. And I have such a reflex action of hitching up bra straps that I sometimes find myself hitching up a non-existent strap when I'm not even wearing a bra.

Today I am wearing a bias-cut, full-circle skirt made of a silky fabric. As I walk, static presses it against my thighs and pulls it softly but persistently between my legs. There's something vaguely indecent about this. It does it from the back too: it presses against my arse and slides between my legs. No matter how many times I pull the skirt modestly away, it creeps back again, like the hands of a persistent teenage boy. Here I'm reminded of a great passage from Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, which I bought at Christmas last year but am only just getting to read now:

"The corset seemed to possess its own sets of hands. One was softly rubbing her between the legs. Two more cupped her breasts, one, two, three hands pressing and caressing her; and in the lingerie Desdemona saw herself through new eyes, her thin waist, her plump thighs; she felt beautiful, desirable, most of all: not herself."

Sometimes I wonder whether anyone else scrutinises the way other people's clothing interacts with their bodies in as much detail as I do. I feel particularly conflicted about scrutinising the bodies of other women, or of people I know. It feels like an invasion; but then it's from precisely the invasion of other people's eyes that I try to defend my own body. Visible panty line? You won't see one on me, buddy. Muffin pants? No sir - I'll make sure the waistband is big enough, or cover it up with a strategically placed top.

I am always amazed when I see someone who just goes through their day not worrying about their stomach hanging over their jeans or their underwear digging into their arse or back, or their pants being so tight that every last dimple of cellulite is visible. Or those guys who wear their jeans so low that they're just about falling off their arse- don't they ever worry that one day their pants will just fall down? Or the most bizarre 'not worrying' phenomenon of all: the cameltoe.

How can these people just not care about their flesh being out there on display? Don't they feel ugly or self-conscious? They obviously buy into the ideologies of wanting to appear sexy, but how can they so blithely discard what seems to me to be an inextricably linked ideology: the ideology of not wanting to appear fat? It's kind of like these people just say to themselves, "I want to wear these pants, no matter what." Or "I'm a size 10. This is a size 10. It must fit me."

My show has made me both hypersensitive and desensitised to the way I look in clothes. It look a lot of courage for me show an audience unPhotoshopped pictures of myself in various unflattering outfits, on a gigantic screen. It also took a lot of courage to appear in a skimpy outfit in front of this audience. It has really tested my self-scrutiny. Throughout the show, I'm basically performing the songs on autopilot while I worry about whether my tits are going to fall out of my strapless top (despite the double-sided tape), whether the top will ride up exposing a gross expanse of stomach, whether the hotpants are also riding up. People have said to me afterwards, "Those hotpants were ... very short."

Yet at the same time, it's been sort of liberating. I'll be changing backstage as the people are setting up for the show that follows mine, and I think to myself: it doesn't really matter if they see me, because they've already seen me jiggling about on stage. The manslave came upon me yesterday putting stockings on, and was horribly embarrassed, but I was more amused at his embarrassment.

And a couple of nights ago I was drinking with the cast of the show that follows mine the other night, and one guy said, "Oh, I didn't recognise you..."
"With my clothes on?" I finished.
He laughed. He is cute and I have a sort of crush on him, but this isn't the blog for that.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Stupid rain. It was raining really hard but I had to leave the house. Umbrellas are totally useless in a situation of pouring rain - they are only ever any use in light rain. And I'm really irritated that I forgot my own rule of not wearing pants in the rain and wearing a skirt instead, because your legs always get wet and bare legs will dry quicker. So now my entire back half is soaking wet. At least I preserved my blowdried-straight hair.

I wasn't in a good mood before, because I got a letter from the Australian Electoral Commission explaining that I will not be able to vote on Saturday because they only received my change of enrolment details after the deadline. Stupid, stupid fax machine! This only cements my hatred of that dumb, unreliable technology. Then I called up and asked if I could still vote under my old address, and it seems that in a strange burst of efficiency, they have erased me from the electoral roll entirely because a letter they sent to the old address was returned to sender.

The woman on the phone explained that I could do a "provisional" vote which is what they tell people who think they ought to be on the electoral roll. I said tersely, "That's basically a placebo vote, isn't it?"
She said "Yes, I'm afraid it is."
I wanted to scream at her but after all, it's not her fault.

And then I made myself a cup of tea and put on Nelly singing about some chick with an apple bottom in jeans. And I was just about to cry, which made me even angrier because it's not as though my vote counts for anything anyway. That fucking arsehole John Howard is going to get back in regardless of what I vote.

And I'm worried because now it's the last week of my show, all those pressing issues that I pushed back saying "I'll deal with this after the show" are all jostling forward again. Like:

* RACV membership needing renewal
* Final notice on mobile phone bill
* Can't pay 'em as have exhausted my funds paying for the show out of my own pocket
* Need to reconnect home phone and find some way out of Optus bill/account name nightmare
* Can't make any calls from home as home phone disconnected
* Need to find two new housemates but prospective ones can't call as home phone disconnected
* Don't have computer monitor or internet access at home. Uni department sent round pointed email saying "only currently enrolled students can use computers"
* Can't get 'em as have no credit card. Credit card application refused because I don't earn enough/have bad credit rating
* Need to persuade department to let me be some kind of "honorary research associate" so I can continue to use their facilities and keep my institutional affiliation
* They would never give me such a position because my MA results were so poor, even though I have shitloads of publications
* Plus I need to use a computer to prepare my CV
* Need to do tax return
* Need to get more freelancing work
* Again, need to use a computer to do those. Whose computer?

The Headtapes... continued.

Monday 4 October

I Wanna Wake Up With You - Boris Gardiner
Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You - Glenn Medeiros
Stand Up Tall - Dizzee Rascal
Teach Me Tiger - April Stevens
That's What Friends Are For - Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Elton John
Quando, Quando, Quando - Engelbert Humperdinck
Jackie - Joanne
Thriller - Michael Jackson

Tuesday 5 October

Thriller - Michael Jackson
Pavane - Fauré
Bootylicious - Destiny's Child
Rock Your Body - Justin Timberlake
Never Be the Same Again - Melanie C
Private Eye - Nokia ringtone
Come On Over - Christina Aguilera
Left Outside Alone - Anastacia
Boom, Boom, Boom - Paul Lekakis
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy - Cannonball Adderley

Wednesday 6 October

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me - Dusty Springfield
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Move Ya Body - Nina Sky

Thursday 7 October

Move Ya Body - Nina Sky
Thriller - Michael Jackson

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Today is St Francis of Assisi's feast day. Apparently you can take your pets to church to get blessed by the priest. Last night we were discussing this because Roland was under the hammer from his other half to bring his dogs to church.
Rian said, "Does the priest anoint them with holy water?"
I said, "Do they bark in tongues?"
Rian laughed this wonderful high-pitched laugh like a woman. It was so great.

Just now I'm thinking: would the dogs drink out of the font like they would from a toilet? Would they hump the altar? Would they get into fights? It seems like a really dumb and sacrilegious combination, dogs and church. Yet really good too, in an anarchic Rodney Dangerfield/John Belushi kind of way.

Friday, October 01, 2004

A wonderful moment of silliness from last night's show. In the infamous 'last verse of the last song', I freestyled the following:
I'm so hot it almost hurts-y!

Penny laughed raucously. I love Penny. Reliving this moment for the bar staff, I added "And I'm getting thirsty!"

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