Thursday, June 24, 2004

The gay football saga, and other salacious headlines. Over the last couple of weeks I haven't really had time to blog. Did I even mention that I have recently bought the following CDs, in a pre-end-of-financial-year splurge at JB Hi-Fi, who have well and truly done it again:

Nelly - Nellyville
Kelis - Tasty
Prince - Best Of (but doesn't include "Controversy", doh!)
Cold Chisel - 2CD Best Of
Kanye West - The College Dropout
Cut Copy - Bright Like Neon Love
Beastie Boys - To the 5 Boroughs
Cypress Hill - Black Sunday
Felix Da Housecat - Devin Dazzle & the Neon Fever

But I haven't even really listened to them because I've been so busy. Mainly with my upcoming Fringe Show, The Incredible Melk's Booty Pageant. I decided to get some more freelance work after doing the preliminary budget for the Fringe show and realising how expensive it was going to be. I reasoned that by doing about six feature articles, I would be able to raise the necessary cash. I did a bit of brainstorming over a latte at St Jerome's, and came up with several ridiculous ideas, although none as ridiculous as the first article I tried to pitch anywhere, which was about cameltoes. It was called "Toe Much Information" !!

I have been writing an article for the Sydney Morning Herald about gay footballers, and it's really been busting my balls (metaphorically, that is: I'm no Secret Squirrel). A while ago I was reading Man of Lettuce. While I don't always agree with its politics, it's a thoughtful and addictive insight into Sydney life from a cabbie's perspective, and one of my favourite new blog discoveries. There was a post about how a Sydney rugby union team was competing in the world gay rugby championships. I didn't even realise there was such a competition, let alone that it was named after the guy who inspired Renee's poor-taste "let's leave this place" catchphrase, "As they say all over Pennsylvania..."

So I thought, hey, where are the gay footballers in general, with the gang rape allegations of recent months? Anyway, as it was a very 'Sydney' kind of story, I pitched it successfully to the Spectrum section in the Saturday SMH, where it should appear in two days, if you're interested in looking.

Originally they wanted 1200 words, which I supplied last Thursday. But then the editor decided to turn it into the cover story, so I had to make it 2400 words and interview one of the scariest cultural studies academics in Australia!

I felt sick all Monday after he told me this. Working as a market research telephone interviewer for almost six years has done nothing to cure my deep dislike, nay, terror, of cold-calling people. On Monday night I was berating myself for being a crap journalist, how would I ever be able to make a career out of this when I'm such a pussy, I'm a failure at everything I attempt, boo hoo, etc. Then I sat down at my (nee Guy's) computer to write some Incredible Melk lyrics. Among the pearls I came up with was, from the bridge section of Baby Got Front (which is, you guessed it, about cameltoes):

Yeah baby, when it comes to females
Cosmo ain't got nothin' to do with my selection
When that girl sashay this way
There's a little more pink in my complexion
And the gentlemen are blue in that direction

So I was at work on Tuesday, my workmates delighting in reminding me that soon I would have to call the scary academic. My hands were literally trembling as I picked up the phone. But I got some good quotes. The story had to be written by Wednesday. So I picked up some KFC after work, went straight to uni, and was there until 4am when I finished the article.

Next day, editor calls. "Yeah, it was really good," he said. I was so relieved. Then he added, "But it's a little bit AFL-centric. Can you put some more league stuff in? And maybe you can call [Scary Academic] again?"

I thought I would cry and vomit at the same time.

But anyway, it's done now. Yay. I just hope it doesn't bring more weird spazzos out of the woodwork, though perhaps that's a naive expectation, given that it's about football, rape, masculinity, homosexuality...

The Headtapes... continued. Renee said to me today, "Are you still doing the Headtapes?" I'm not as scrupulous as I once was, but I still think it's an interesting way of keeping track of my musical thoughts. But anyway.

Friday 11 June

Pray - MC Hammer
When Doves Cry - Prince

Monday 14 June

Cantina Theme from Star Wars

Tuesday 15 June

(And She Said) Take Me Now - Justin Timberlake
Theme from Monkey
Come Into My World - Kylie Minogue

Wednesday 16 June

Cupid, Draw Back Your Bow - Sam Cooke
Trick Me - Kelis
Man of Colours - Icehouse
Electric Blue - Icehouse (my favourite song of Grade 4)

Monday 21 June

Naughty Girl - Beyonce
Peter Jackson menswear jingle ("Peeeeta-Jackson")
Viva Las Vegas - Elvis

Tuesday 22 June

Flip Reverse - Blazin' Squad
Naughty Girl - Beyonce
Tipsy - J-Kwon

Wednesday 23 June

Flip Reverse - Blazin' Squad
Food, Glorious Food - from Oliver!
Let Me Blow Ya Mind - Eve/Gwen Stefani

Thursday, June 17, 2004

I think a lot while walking to uni. Here's a rough recreation of the thoughts that went through my head in the last 15-20 minutes:

She's a P-plater. I wonder if you're allowed to park so close to a kiddie crossing. Fucking council, fine me for parking on my own median strip. Should I tell Sandor it's all his fault? Hmm, maybe I should write to the church and get them to pay it out of 'Christian charity'. Ugh, Delta Fucking Goodrem. Is it so very wrong of me to want to graffiti on that Pepsi poster: "Come back cancer, all is forgiven"? Should I blog that? No, people would condemn me, especially Guy. He is such a sucker for trashy middle-aged-woman power pop; he even likes Celine Dion.

Maybe I should do "Hot in Herre" for karaoke. I don't know, I'm not sexy enough to pull off songs through sheer stage antics, I'll need something I can actually sing. And the rock songs are better for that. But I fucking hate the bogan posing that goes along with them, air guitar and such. I did it the last time to be ironic, but it was really about the song. "Living on a Prayer" is just a great enjoyable song to sing. Also, my musical tastes run more to rap but rap doesn't really have the spectacle I'm after. I really like anyone who can begin their rap verse: "My outfit's ridiculous." Go Ludacris. Was Lil Jon shouting along with him in the "touch your toes" bit?

Ha! Ha! Ha! A van outside the hospital with "Stacks of Snacks" written on the side. It's a chocolate bar delivery van. I wonder if they deliver to Stacks of Slacks?! It says "Have chocolates delivered to your office ring 1800 blah blah blah..." What's an office ring? Ohh, you have to ring the number. They needed a comma in there. It's like "Eats Roots and Leaves." Fuck these stupid busted shoes, I should buy some more black Mary Jane flats. No, can't afford it, I have 29 other pairs of shoes. But I wear these so often! Oh, that woman has her top tucked tightly into her high-waisted jeans. I wonder if it's a bodysuit. I bet it is. And a blazer! That looks so bad! And those clumpy high-heeled laceup shoes that Jasmine used to wear. The worst kind of late-90s ho shoes.

Shane the Preston ho is a retart. Sure is. If I had a kid, would I dress it in miniature ugg boots? I think not. But like Isabelle was saying, until the kid has the sentience to realise the humiliating nature of its clothing, you can dress it however the fuck you like. My mum used to tuck my jumpers in when I was little, I realised how daggy that was at age four when my kinder friends laughed at me.

Jesus Christ, that woman is dressed almost entirely in black leather! Black leather 3/4 length coat, black leather knee-high boots, black leather gloves, carrying a black leather valise... Only thing wrong is her long peroxide hair; I wonder if you could get black leather hair. No, but you could get black leather skin. Well, not really black, it would be chocolate brown. Mmmm, how crazy would it be to dress in leather the same colour as your skin? That's so twisted! It could be the next hip-hop look. Better add that to Mel's Fashion Predictions for 2005.

I wonder if Gemma's finished her goddamn confirmation yet. I bet she hasn't. I realise I'm not one to talk, writing my final thesis chapter on the day it was handed in and having to give this gay footballer article to the SMH today and I haven't started writing it yet, but for fuck's sake! It's funny isn't it, how in these post-Christian days we don't say "For God's sake!", we say "For fuck's sake!" I bet fucking Andrew Bolt would have something to say about that. Interesting, even so, that we don't take God in vain, we take the holy institution of fucking in vain. But back to Gemma. I just don't understand why she can't just slap together some crap and hand that in. It doesn't have to be the Nobel Prize for Literature!

And why hasn't Brett done something more about it? It's casting postgrads adrift to write whatever they want, in whatever timeframe they want, that leads to people getting hopelessly bogged down, and even quitting and going to Publishing and Communications like Penny did. Oh sure, it's easy to block out that your student misses deadline after deadline: less work for you in your crowded workday. But then there's the other extreme, where the student not only submits things to you all the time, but has the temerity to be proactive, to submit timelines and keep you posted on her every development, to ask you about concepts and pick your brains about journals and academics and departments and PhD applications. God, how annoying that must be to the academic who really resents the time that having to supervise postgrad students takes away from his valuable teaching and research!

I wonder if other universities are like this. Seriously, maybe it's not such an insane idea to be enrolled at a Sydney university but still live in Melbourne, if their academics don't give a rat's about whether you see them or hand stuff in to them. Plus, they don't even have confirmation up there: you can do whatever the fuck you want. But ironically it would work best the other way around, if you lived in Sydney and were enrolled at Melbourne University. Why does this shitty department have to be in such a great city? Ha! There was something funny on the radio last night; some lit crit was saying that Bloomsday is "like St Patrick's Day for academics." Ha! Ha!

Monday, June 14, 2004

Bert, Bert, say it ain't so! I just read the most terrible article about how Bert, no longer content to host the best morning show in Australia, has somehow lost his mind along with his hair and decided to copy Kerri-Anne Kennerley!!!!! What, so it wasn't enough just to make fun of visiting celebrities who didn't realise what sort of show it was, and to tolerate Moira's inane infomercials with a knowing wink, or to summon Belvedere to read out his latest dumb-arse limerick about the Friday morning recipe?

Okay, now I re-read that I realise that perhaps it wasn't enough, but Bert is one of the few old-school entertainers this country still has on its television screens: someone who can interview people with a disarming interest, no matter if it's some washed-up 80s cabaret singer or Tonia Todman with her latest handicrafts suggestions. I still remember the time that stupid blonde who used to host the Bugs Bunny Show or the like brought on an animatronic toy monkey that did the Macarena and showed it to a thoroughly unimpressed kd lang! That was television gold!

Recently I saw Bert being interviewed on Rove, and it only served to spotlight the enormous gulf between the vapid, slow-thinking, one-trick pony that Rove is, and the consummate showman that Bert is, and that Rove lusts to be but can never achieve as long as he lives!!

Sophie Cunningham, the author, was recently interviewed in The Reader, where I work, and one of the questions was, "You've been on Bert. Is it all downhill from here?" I couldn't agree more. You know you've made it in Melbourne if you've been on Bert, as well as if you've been on Carols by Candlelight, had Steve Bracks mispronounce your name, been slagged off by Andrew Bolt, appeared in a gossip column with one of the cast of The Secret Life of Us, and had Chopper Read paint your portrait... (Feel free to come up with more suggestions of when you know you've made it in this one-horse town!)

Friday, June 11, 2004

Musings on Prince's When Doves Cry. Several weeks ago, I took my CD player downstairs to the living room so I could listen to CDs while attempting the Herculean labour of washing the dishes. It's been there ever since, so my room has become the Old Skool Den where I listen to my old cassettes.

Anyway, I was listening to The Dance Beat '93, a misleading title as the songs it contains date from approximately 1990 to 1993. I bought it in 1993 because I'd had a brilliant idea for our school's annual lip-synching competition, which I entered every year from year 7 to year 12, with escalating degrees of ridiculousness. (My Lip Sync antics deserve a post to themselves.) My idea was to perform Bobby Brown's "Humping Around" dressed as a camel. It turned out to be a complete farce. But anyway.

So I was poncing about the room to "Pray" by MC Hammer, which as we all know samples "When Doves Cry". So in my head I segued to the latter song, and I got thinking about what a mysterious song it really is. I remember when I was a kid I was a bit freaked out by it because it's not just one of those straightforward pop songs like the "I've got a new love and I'm happy", "I want you", "I'm so sexy I know you want me", "I'm breaking up and I'm sad" genres. It seemed to speak to me of altogether murkier emotional waters. And now I have to concede that I really don't have much more of an idea.

So welcome to Semiotics For Dumb Fucks 101. I thought I'd work through the lyrics, musing as I go. Prepare for crazy stream of consciousness. As you'll recall, Prince begins the song by exhorting us to dig, if we will, a picture...

Of you and I engaged in a kiss
The sweat of your body covers me
Can you my darling
Can you picture this?

Okay, some straightforward eroticism: Prince is talking to his lover. I'm digging this picture, big time. Prince is so the king of sex.

Dream if you can a courtyard
An ocean of violets in bloom
Animals strike curious poses
They feel the heat
The heat between me and you

This is the part that really freaked me out as a kid. I was a strange kid. I was also really freaked out by "Sign Your Name" by Terence Trent D'Arby, and the video to "Losing My Religion" by REM, with the angel with broken wings. But back to Prince. I love his description of the "ocean of violets", which of course plays right into his tendency to associate water with the colour purple. And just imagine the scent of all those violets! I used to love violets when I was a kid. I wrote a freaky short story when I was about 13 about a bride who kills herself rather than marry her gold-digging groom, and then another bride who's also having second thoughts finds the other bride's veil, embroidered with tiny violets, and has visions. I think I'd read Playing Beatie Bow once too often.

But for me the courtyard also conjures up visions of secret gardens, with all their associated imagery of female sexuality. You know, unlocking them with your key (like Ghostbusters, with the female Gatekeeper and the male Keymaster). And the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel The Secret Garden, which for me is an allegory of adolescence and emergent female sexuality. You know, the girl heroine, Mary, is orphaned and taken to live with her uncle in England. Mary's uncle hid the key to his beloved wife's walled garden after she died giving birth to their son, Colin. Colin has grown up this weakly hypochondriac, and with the help of strapping Yorkshire lad Dickon, Mary discovers the key to the garden and begins to cultivate it. She and the two boys end up playing in this Arcadian garden, and the uncle cries when he gets back from a business trip and realises how wonderful everything is.

Ha! Do I sound like a women's studies undergrad or what?! Ai-ya, so earnest! Hey, at least I didn't make any lame analogies between flowers and vaginas! Anyway, so I pictured Prince's "courtyard" as a semi-magical place of awakening desire. But the freakiest part was always the animals striking curious poses. That just blew my mink! It also seems to be a recurring theme in literature and film, etc, the animals that can sense and empathise with human emotions: from witches' familiars to dogs that can sense fear. But even the animals are freaked out by Prince and his lover, you see: the poses they strike are curious.

So far it's still a fairly conventional love/sex song, just really evocatively described. But then he goes into the chorus:

How can you just leave me standing
Alone in a world that's so cold?
Maybe I'm just too demanding
Maybe I'm just like my father, too bold
Maybe you're just like my mother
She's never satisfied
Why do we scream at each other?
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry

So we realise that there's something wrong with this relationship, passionate though it is. It looks like Prince's lover is going to break up with him, and he's gloomily wondering whether observing his parents' own dysfunctional relationship was what doomed him to repeat this pattern himself. Now, because I hate psychoanalysis I'm not going into that Freudian nonsense, but let me say that the chorus speaks to me of a desire for peace and security, which is what Prince looked for from his parents but didn't find, and "maybe" the same thing is happening now.

verse 2 follows up on this idea:

Touch if you will my stomach
Feel how it trembles inside
You've got the butterflies all tied up
Don't make me chase you
Even doves have pride

So, Prince is totally in thrall to his lover, and willing to reveal it ("feel how it trembles inside"). But at the same time he's humiliated by this vulnerability. The dove you could read as the symbol of peace, crying because there is no peace. And it's also Prince himself, the desirer of peace ("Even doves have pride").

But ultimately, the couplet at the heart of this song ("This is what it sounds like/When doves cry") is the most mysterious idea, and no amount of bullshit semiosis is going to help me understand why I find the imagery of doves crying so poignant and troubling.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

David Beckham for beginners. Diligent readers of this blog may recall the guy who asked me out, and how I said, "In a word, no." Let's call him Mr KB. Well in the best footballing tradition, he never took "no" for an answer (go on, strike me down!!). In fact, for a month or so now, he's been sending me text messages.

The first one I thought was a mistake. It said: Hawthorn are shit and it breaks my heart and I blame you entirely. Damn you! I thought it was some distraught footy fan who'd got the number wrong, but I thought I'd have a bit of fun, so I texted back, Hawthorn have been shit since the late 80s. By the way, who is this? He replied, Someone with a broken heart. You of all people should know everything has been shit since 1992. Viva Vanilla Ice!

Anyway, after that I put Mr KB's number in my phone because I had an inkling this wasn't the last SMS I'd receive from him. I think he sends them when he's pissed, cos they always arrive late at night. The most recent one was last night. It said, I have had many beers tonight, but I shall dedicate the next one to your beauty and charisma Melissa.

I never reply. He knows I'm not interested, and I don't want to encourage him. And I'm not sure why I find Mr KB so unappealing: after all, he had "Ice Ice Baby" on cassingle, and I have Snow's "Informer" on cassingle, along with "All For Love" by Color Me Badd! I have about three main crushes at the moment, but this isn't the blog for that kind of stuff. Suffice to say that if any of them were to send me these messages, I would be all overcome. But if Mr KB keeps sending them, I'll post them here as an occasional series.

The Headtapes... continued.

Monday 31 May

One Call Away - Chingy
Good Stuff - Kelis
Move Over - Spice Girls
Survivor - Destiny's Child

Tuesday 1 June

Mesopotamia - B-52's
One Minute Man - Missy Elliott
With My Swag on My Shoulder - lame Australian folksong

Wednesday 2 June

Roses - OutKast

Sunday 6 June

Need You Tonight - INXS

Monday 7 June

Monday, Monday - Mamas & Papas
I Don't Like Mondays - Boomtown Rats
We Built This City - Starship
Need You Tonight - INXS
Pop Musik - M
Creep - TLC
Theme from Mr Ed

Tuesday 8 June

Total Eclipse of the Heart - Nicki French

Wednesday 9 June

Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr
In Public - Kelis featuring Nas

The drinking, the ankle and the encounter with Texta. On Tuesday night it was Linda's birthday at (where else?) Kitten Club. Claire and Anthony were there - I haven't seen them basically since uni (though I bumped into Anthony at Q&A once), so it was great to catch up. It was also a relief to find that more and more people from my course aren't working in ad agencies. I wonder if we ever had a reunion, how many of us would actually be copywriters and art directors?

Anyway, so I had three bottles of beer and a Bloody Mary with an extra vodka shot because Sean was contrite for having mistakenly made me a Virgin Mary. And then I went tipsily on to this party for Chimere's boyfriend John, which was in Brunswick. The Young Professionals were doing a "surprise" set. I can't say if it was the drink or the fact that the street was really poorly lit or that I was looking for the house number instead of watching where I was going, but I failed to notice that the footpath kind of fell away, and I fell over and twisted my ankle.

My ankles have been dodgy ever since an incident at the Field Works Christmas party in 2001 where I jumped off a bench in a beer garden and badly sprained them both. I had to be fireman's-lifted out of the pub, driven home, carried up the stairs to my bedroom and put in bed by a chick from work whom I didn't even know that well. Then I spent the next week sitting on the couch reading, scoffing painkillers and applying ice packs and Voltaren anti-inflammatory gel. I wasn't back to normal until well into January.

Anyway, so my ankle was fucked, I'm lying in this ditch where the footpath should be, and I get an SMS. I'm expecting it to be one of my friends going, Nelson Muntz-style, "Ha ha! I saw you fall over!" but it was actually my new housemate Ben sounding like a Porking Friends classified ad, saying "Where are you? There are good times here!"

So I limped into the house, which turned out to be next door to the ditch. Then I realised I would need anaesthetic beer, so I hobbled back down the street to the Quarry bottlo. When I returned, John was already quite pissed and said enthusiastically to me, "Come and have a tequila shot!" even though I was already holding a longneck. So I followed him into the lounge room and blow me down! there was this chick Texta who has been ignoring me for months!!

I decided that dammit, she wasn't going to get away with it this time - I was going to engage her in conversation! She had a crutch and her knee in a brace and I sensed a potential opener. I began pleasantly:
"Hey! What did you do to yourself?"
Texta rolled her eyes and said bluntly, "I'm not saying. You're the 19th person tonight to ask me that."
Taken aback, I went, "Oh, well, it's just that, you know, I was wondering because, um, I fell over outside and did my ankle, so I thought, um, what happened to you?"
She thrust her crutch at me and went, "Well, you'll be needing this then."
I stammered, "Wha- I can't take your crutch off you!"
She said, "I can walk without it. Anyway, when people ask you why you've got it, then you'll know how I feel."

And with that she limped off.

Now, apparently Texta is really "shy." Riiiight. I was so embarrassed and completely taken aback by her rudeness. I was trying to be friendly, yet I came away feeling like I'd made some enormous faux pas. Anyway, I had the crutch which was an absolute boon because my ankle was killing. And it was great for resting your beer on.

Things only got worse when I was talking to some other people and I said, "Hey, what happened to Texta?" and they said, "She got hit by a car." And I was doubly embarrassed that I was depriving a crash victim of her mobility. After a while I was so mortified that I went over to where she was sitting and said, "Here's your crutch back. I think you need it more than I do." And she just looked at me witheringly like I was the biggest moron ever.

Is this some kind of initiation rite, like if you want to talk to her you have to endure her scorn and humiliate yourself a certain number of times? The next time I see her I'll probably try and talk to her again just to be pig-headed. But at the time I was saying "Fuck her, I'm going to ignore her in future!"

Anyway, I stayed at the party til about 12:30, but I just couldn't shake off this horrible feeling of being embarrassed and not belonging there. The Young Professionals were dancing about to "Young Americans" by David Bowie and other great songs, but I had to dance on one leg because of my ankle. At one point John introduced me to some guy, Andrew? I forget. John was saying to this bemused guy, "This is Mel. She knows Shane." I was so embarrassed. I just went, "Yep. I sure do. Shane is a guy that I know." And then I humiliated myself further by confusing Dannii and Kylie Minogue. After that I just had to leave.

Yesterday I was a source of much amusement in the office as I lurched about. But the ankle got steadily better over the day, and now I can almost walk normally, it just hurts if I flex it too much or put too much weight on it.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Am I right to be suspicious of my brother? I have three younger brothers, and have experienced most of what being an elder sister has to offer: defending my belongings from graffiti artistry (just today I was unpacking some old computer disks and noticed that one had been creatively changed from "Mel's Disk" to "Mel's Dick"), having my teenage short stories plagiarised years later as their English assignments, enduring spitballs, chinese burns and other pranks. On the plus side, I terrified Matt by telling him a story about "the ghost of the goose"; and when me, my brother miT and my cousins were playing Commonwealth Games in 1986, we all got to be England, Canada, Australia, etc, but we made miT be a Fijian athlete called Lim Bongzart who never won anything.

But anyway. Today my brother Lina (real name: Lachlan) asked me if I wanted some milkshake. This seemed like such a misplaced generosity that I was immediately suspicious that he was going to spit in it or something. But it was actually very delicious, containing lots of chocolate icecream. I asked Lina if it would bring all the boys to the yard. He scowled and said, "I hate that song."

And just now he's poked his head around the door and asked if I enjoyed the milkshake. Am I right to be suspicious that he put some "secret ingredient" in it? I read somewhere once that two kids accidentally killed their mum on April Fools' Day by lacing her hot chocolate with laxatives.

Whatever shall I sing in the Extreme Karaoke finals? I was looking at the songlist today while hanging around at Caffe e Torta, when I had far better things to do... like my Michael Jackson paper that's now a week late. But anyway, I was wondering what song to sing.

To be frank, I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of a karaoke competition, although that's exactly what Australian Idol is. But proper karaoke, I believe, is where you go out to a bar, get pissed with your friends, and sing amusing songs that make your friends and assorted strangers dance and hoot, and perhaps you could win a free drink from the capricious DJ. The aim of competition karaoke seems somewhat different: this is what I see it as:

1. To showcase your vocal dexterity
2. To do a crowd-pleaser rather than some song you happen to like yourself
3. To get people dancing (no boring ballads please!)
4. To be funny and/or ironic about it
5. To put your own stamp on the song

To me, the real challenge is to combine the vocal dexterity with the irony. While I like rap songs, I can actually sing and perhaps it would be a shame to 'waste' my performance on just rapping. Also, I don't want to do some song that's associated with a particular vocal style, like "I'm Outta Love" or "Insane in the Membrane".

Here are some songs I'd like to sing but nobody would get it and/or it would get old 30 seconds into the song:

"We Want Some Pussy!" by 2 Live Crew
"Electric Youth" by Debbie Gibson
"Run To Paradise" by the Choirboys
"Hit 'Em Up Style" by Blu Cantrell
"Danger! High Voltage!" by Electric Six
"Like I Love You" by Justin Timberlake

Here are some songs that are guaranteed crowdpleasers but I've done them too many times and/or I think they're over-done at karaoke:

"Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot
"When Doves Cry" by Prince
"When Will I Be Famous?" by Bros
"Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child
any of those cliched 80s songs like "Walk Like An Egyptian," "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" or "Kids In America"
any 70s disco like "I Will Survive", "Dancing Queen" or "Play That Funky Music"

Here are some I'm considering at the moment:

"The Final Countdown" by Europe
"Need You Tonight" by INXS
"Hot In Herre" by Nelly
"Informer" by Snow
"Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice
"You're the Voice" by John Farnham
"Cherry Pie" by Warrant

And here are some that I'm quite sad they don't have on the list:

"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley
"Hit That Perfect Beat" by Bronski Beat
"Come On Over" by Christina Aguilera
"Doing the Do" by Betty Boo
"She's Got That Vibe" by R. Kelly & Public Announcement
"How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston
"Pressure Down" by John Farnham
anything else by Justin Timberlake, esp "Senorita"

At this stage, I'm thinking that "Informer" would be the ultimate karaoke song, because nobody actually knows what the words are. But it's actually a very boring song. Come on, people! Tell me what I should sing, based on the criteria I've outlined here!

Friday, June 04, 2004

Mel tackles the big issues. Today as I walked to uni I was musing about the Men At Work song, "Down Under." In an aside, I always thought one of the choruses went "Where women blow and men chunder," which seemed to me like an accurate summary of Australian nightlife. But anyway.

I was thinking about the line:

I said to the man are you trying to tempt me
Because I come from a land of plenty

I was wondering, is the singer saying: "Is it because I come from a land of plenty that you are trying to tempt me?" Or is the line more like: "If you're trying to tempt me it won't work buddy, cos I come from a land of plenty"?

In another 'big issue' matter, I just ate an apple and I was so relieved that it was a good apple. It is such a fucking disappointment when you're looking forward to eating your apple and it tastes all floury and gross and you have to throw it away. It puts your day on an uneven keel. But this apple really hit the spot. It was cold, for a start: I really like biting into a cold apple. And it was crisp and sweet without being cloying, although I like slightly tart apples as well.

Only Granny Smith will do of the commercially available apples, although at my family's holiday hovel (now demolished, thanks to my indefatigable baby-boomer parents) we had a mini-orchard (like, six or seven apple trees and a pear tree) and the apples that came from those trees were just delicious. I think they're some old-school variety like Cox's Orange Pippins (did anyone else enjoy Danny, the Champion of the World as much as me?).

Anyway, that's me. Tackling the big issues.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Recognition in social situations. I have a reasonably good memory for faces, if not names, and I spot people I know vaguely all the time, like on the streets and at social events, and I can usually tell exactly where I know them from. The trouble is that the other person usually doesn't know me at all and I would only humiliate myself if I acknowledged them or - gasp! - tried to TALK to them! So I have to pretend I don't know them.

Like last night, I was walking across Swanston St from the Lounge to Cookie (yes, it was another drinking session with Saige!) and I saw this blonde chick who used to work at Lobotomy Caf (aka Cafe Sahara) and then subsequently worked at Field Works with me. I think her name is Catherine. She was a fine art student. But I knew that if I smiled at her in recognition, she probably wouldn't recognise me and would think I was weird. (Which I am, but anyway.)

But it pisses me off when I am reasonably sure that the other person knows who I am, but still pretends to ignore me. Like Penny's rude little friend Kane, who has been introduced to me many times and still never talks to me, except with extreme reluctance. A couple of weeks ago I cornered him behind the bar at Gin Palace, where he pretends to be humiliated at having to wear the poncy waistcoat but I think secretly loves it, and asked him straight out, "Do you know who I am?"

"You're Penny's friend," he replied. That doesn't rile me as much as it did a few years ago, but I still get pissed off at not being recognised as a person in my own right, instead as just some constant appendage to Penny. Now that I have a day job, Tash has taken over the mantle of Omnipresent Penny's Friend, except she cares much less than me about inflicting her personality on others. So in the eyes of people like Kane, she actually gets to have her own identity, while I, who actually spend far less time with Penny, still exist solely as "Penny's friend." That seems somewhat unjust to me. But anyway. Back to the Gin Palace. I enunciated carefully to Kane, "My name is Mel." I also pointed out that I work with his ex-girlfriend Lucy, just to give him another point of reference so that hopefully he will no longer snub me.

It also bothers me that over the last few months I have been seeing this chick Texta around the traps. Texta knows me in two ways. I met her at the start of this year when she came to see the film Honey with us. I even sat next to her in the cinema, and we laughed in the same places in the film. Second, she is a very good friend of John, my now-ex-housemate Chimere's boyfriend. Damn, I should have told him to "say hi from me!" when I was talking to him on Sunday. Just to freak her out.

Because she has little excuse for pretending she doesn't recognise me in social situations, yet that's precisely what she does. It's got to the point where I'll spot her, try and make eye contact with her, and she won't look at me, and I'll start to doubt myself: I'll start to wonder if it was even her, or if it was just a trick of my imagination!!!

The last time was just on Saturday night; I went to see Ladiez of the League with Felicity. (Yo check it Tony Mitchell!) They were awesome; what I liked best about them was their almost-amateur nature, like it wasn't unattainable for a normal schmo like me to be a skipping, rapping legend. There was also an amazing drag king act with these booty ho back-up dancers. They were so amazing! I loved the costumes! The booty hos were wearing gold boob tubes and those hotpants with "Can't Touch This" on the butt-cheeks, which I happen to know are from Supré. The drag kings were wearing gold lamé tracksuits. One of them had this black fur wrap around his neck, the other one had shitloads of gold chains. No detail was unthought-of.

But anyway, I was leaving and I was sure I spotted Texta in the crowd milling around. If it was her, she's put some red dye through her hair. I thought, "Nah, maybe it wasn't her," but then something about the way that chick seemed to recognise me, yet wouldn't look me in the eye, made me think, "Dammit, that was her!" I'm beginning to wonder if I'm paranoid, or delusional, or paranoid-delusional. I suppose the only cure for this situation is actually to acknowledge every vague acquaintance, every barperson and shop assistant I see on the street, recklessly disregarding the humiliation and self-abasement that will inevitably result from them not recognising me.

Another concert-themed dream. Perhaps because both the Hez and The Age said how shithouse the Missy Elliott concert was, I dreamed about it last night. I dreamed it was Missy's Perth concert. Like my previous Britney Spears dream, I was actually onstage talking to Missy. The weirdest part was that I was thinking to myself "She looks different in person than in pictures," and then I realised the reason was that her eyes were blue!! Then I looked closer and noticed she had freckles on her face and red hair!! In other words, Missy was white!!!

After this shocking, mink-blowing revelation, I went into the audience, where I realised that there were only about fifty people there! Missy was playing to an almost empty entertainment complex. I realised that there were enormous crowds of people outside the gates, but mean security guards wouldn't let them in. I said, "Hey, let those people in!" They finally came pouring in, but still, the concert was shit.

In other concert news, Kelis is coming to Melbourne! She will be playing at the Metro - I'm so excited! I can't let this one slip between my fingers, Justin Timberlake-style!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I'm in the finals of Extreme Karaoke! Way back in the Dark Days before Guy lured me into blogging, I went to the Laundry with Emah, Tash and Leanne for Extreme Karaoke. Now I don't generally like this as much as my favourite ever karaoke venue, Charlton's, because I prefer to sing trashy current pop/R&B songs or 80s classics, and the Extreme Karaoke repertoire runs more to early-90s indie guitar bands and nouveau garage rock.

But anyway. I decided to take them up on their guitar-centric nonsense and sing "Livin' On A Prayer". If I do say so, it was a masterful performance. I realised as the intro started to play that the song was out of my vocal range, so I started the first verse, "Tommy used to work on the docks..." in a low growling voice, giving way to an Axl Rose shriek by the second verse, "Tommy's got his six-string in hock...", all with liberal fist-shaking.

Later that night, I also performed a bravura version of Kris Kross' "Jump", complete with "Cos I'm the miggida-miggida-miggida-miggida-mack daddy!" bridge section.

Anyway, I had totally forgotten about all this when I received an email this morning saying I was in the semi-finals. I could win my height in Vodka Cruisers and the glory of being crowned Queen of Karaoke! There are also 4 judges: Katie Underwood, Igor from Big Brother, Kellie Sutherland from Architecture in Helsinki (also from Your Wedding Night), and
the guy who owns Vodka Cruiser.

But ultimately they judge the winner by the amount of applause he/she receives. So any of you who live in Melbourne MUST COME ALONG!!! And tell all your friends! My semi-final will be on Wednesday 7 July. The grand final is on Wednesday 21 July. As those body-builders say, in the final arena there will be no judges, only witnesses to my greatness!

Hopefully, the housing situation is all sorted now. Over the last two weeks Chimere and Hannah have moved out and we saw a parade of people. I even put up the most kick-arse notice in the window at Readings - if you walked past you would instantly know it was from me. It said in pink texta: "Two Housemates Wanted: North Melbourne" and on the left side it had a picture of Posh Spice cut out of NW magazine, and on the right a picture of Rod Stewart. The text of the ad said: "Lovely spacious terrace in the proverbial tree-lined street. Near Royal Park, Melbourne Uni and 3 trams. 2 fem, 1 male, glam creative types. $108pw. Avail now! Call Mel."

Anyway, I was quite dispirited at only receiving four calls in total from this ad. Does nobody share my sense of humour? But luckily we've got three new people in: Shion, who's from NZ, trained as a chef and is now studying sound engineering; Ben, also from NZ, a graphic and multimedia designer and animator; and Kerrie, who's into the art scene and writes articles about art.

I've spent the past two evenings moving stuff upstairs to the big front room. Made me realise how much crap I have, and now unfit I am. Shion helped with the bed, desk and chest of drawers - he's only been living here a week and has already proven himself to be a gem in terms of moving stuff and offering to make cups of tea. The house is already much cleaner - we got a plumber and Drano in the end, and Hannah and Chimere were responsible for much of the mess. Hopefully, things at home are finally going to settle down...

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter