Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cool People

Because of this post, I'm writing this when I really should be sleeping.

I wrote this story and thought it went well. There was something about the writer that I liked. I wanted to meet him on opening night because... I dunno. I just like something about him.

Anyway, I went along and knew it wasn't going to happen. Packed theatre, my tenuous connection with him was preoccupied with everyone else. I set Ann's jacket on fire and then we went in to see the play.

At the end of the play these two old ladies came over and just started talking to Ann about her hair. One wanted to touch her dreads. Then they kept talking about chick stuff and I was starting to get a bit thing about it all. I mean, I wanted to see the play and meet the playwright, and here are these two old women, charming and lovely as they are, going on about Ann's hair.

I kind of wanted to leave because the night was not what I'd planned, but they were really quite cool people and fuck it, cool people are cool. We chatted and it was really nice.

Then one of the women asked me what I thought of the play. I said I liked it. We talked for a bit and it turned out that she had read my interview with the writer and liked it a lot. Turned out she also knew the playwright quite well; he is her nephew. The other woman his mother.

Moments later, Caleb came over to say hello to his mum and his aunt. Aunt Jill introduced me and he was civil but was obviously having a night when every bastard wanted to chat with him. Then Jill told him I was the guy who wrote the Gorillas In Our Midst piece and his face melted into happy creases and his hand shot out for a real handshake... it was just a totally good moment.

Playwright In Demand was devoured by the night, Ann and I spent some more time talking to these lovely older people, then we went home.

There will always be the boy from the fucked up family in the dreary suburbs whose eyes will flicker over at the end of a night like this who will think as he drifts into sleep, good yeah? Yeah, good. Yeah, sometimes it's pretty good.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Love The Smell Of Jackets

I say I don't like it, but I fucking do... when you finish work and have slotted in an hour to finish a story and you manage to do it and feel good about it, and there's someone saying please where is the funny column you promised but there's no time no time no time because you have to bolt to the theatre because there's something you have to review before another deadline.

And then the play is good and you have a lovely night in a most unexpected way. I loved tonight. I loved it for reasons I'll try to go into later, reasons I just didn't expect, people I didn't expect to meet. It was a very cool night.

But read this next little bit, which is my next Grumpy column for Tsunami, and... look I dunno. Sometimes shit is funny, innit.

Grumpy

Standing in front of the mirror at home, she says how cool is this jacket that I haven’t worn for ages and which is now my new favourite jacket all over again? How sexy is this jacket? How lucky are you?

I’m all, ooh babe, it’s sexy and you are too. My favourite girl is wearing her favourite jacket, which makes you look hot ‘n stuff. How lucky am I?

(Said jacket is hard to describe... its backdrop is grey with all these little white tufts that come out like candle-wicks. Very out-there, very cool).

We get to the theatre opening night because that’s the kind of cosmopolitan life we lead. I’m a smooth theatre writer dude with this awesome chick that everyone wants to know. Sometimes they want to know me too, but that hardly ever happens. Mainly it’s just her with her hair and her clothes and her sparkly eyes and I’m just usually crying in the corner in this rugged and manly way... (I made that last bit up).

Aaaanyway... we’re at a table having a cosmopolitan chat over a cosmopolitan glass of wine when this fucking hellish Godawful stench just about knocks everyone in the theatre out cold. Like, if Satan did a sloppy number twos on your BBQ while you were cooking satay skunk skewers and then all the neighbourhood cats lined up to piss out the flames, this stench would be worse.

A nearby cosmopolitan theatre-goer leans over and tells me something I really don’t want to hear: “I think your jacket’s on fire.”

Only, it’s not my jacket, is it. I mean, I moved said jacket to the side of the table to make room for my elbow, but the fire is coming from my girlfriend’s re-discovered favourite sexy jacket which I have absently shoved across into the vicinity of the very low candlelight.

How lucky am I?

And at intermission, is everyone talking about the play? No – they are jokingly asking about The Burning Jacket Incident. Hahahaa...

Oh yes, how lucky I am.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

White Moth

Okay so this is a cack: I'm sitting here a few moments ago writing to someone and this amazing white moths flaps and struggles at the window and makes its way through the blinds. It flutters up and lands on the roof and I stop what I am writing to say something like "Whoa - this really white moth just came into the room. It's beautiful like a snowflake."

It doesn't bat about the light like other moths, it just sits there on the ceiling directly above my head. Is it looking at me? Why did it want to come inside and why did it land exactly above my head? What is it thinking?

I think maybe it's a good omen. I think maybe some good stuff is going to happen. I mean, it's landed right above my head. Oh goody.

Then I read up on what white moths represent.

Oh dear.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Looong Looong Weekends Covered In Beautiful Feathers


That weekend was rather large. The Dreaded One and I had Thursday off and because we had been gearing up for the festival (see below) we felt like going out. Sitting in The Old Fitzroy enjoying a chilled glass of white on Thursday afternoon, I saw that Dave Seaman and Nick Fanciulli were playing that night. We waved goodbye to sobriety and swan dived into the abyss.

It was a one-thing-lead-to-another kind of weekend that quite frankly I am glad is over (good thing and too much and everything). At one point an MC was doing some fucked up voice stuff over the music a DJ friend was playing in a warehouse and I was trying to explain Senor Aubergine to a drunk lawyer... and I don't think that was the silliest thing that happened. ("You know - an eggplant with arms and eyes and dancing asparagus feet and I'm telling you this because I think if you listen closely the vocalist mentions him... he likes to tango... no the eggplant, not the MC... although I don't know him very well so maybe he does like the tango...")

Anyway, all systems are returning to normal and I will have words to write a little later. For now, all I can manage is hitting the scan button. Here is the interview with Caleb Lewis for Men, Love and the Monkeyboy.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Regen Vs Degen

I'm not where I was supposed to be this weekend. I was supposed to be here, only two years later. I was really looking forward to this party. I wanted to plant some trees. I wanted to be outdoors at this amazing place with so many smiling party people.

The guys who organise these events grew 5,000 small trees from seeds and spent around $20,000 setting the event up, and after giving initial approval for the event, the local council backflipped at the last minute and the event had to be canceled. International DJs and live PAs had been booked, plans had been made... 5,000 trees would have been planted, Goddamnit.

It sounds a bit conspiracy theory (but also not), but apparently there's a tactic they use in the USA where authorities give initial approval for outdoor events, allow the promoters to invest all their time and energy, then pull the plug at the last minute. Do that a couple of times and most promoters go broke. I spoke to one of the promoters of this event and he said in hindsight that's exactly what it felt like had happened. And he said it will work because he can't keep doing this. But he said he will organise an event to make sure the trees go in the ground, it will just be without the party element.

I don't know exactly what the issues were that went against this event - one that has been going now for about four years without any hitches at all. I do know that local businesses have lost income. And I do know that issues of safety and evacuation were raised but representatives of the event were not allowed to speak at the meeting to defend the safety precautions the promoters have in place.

It's hard not to believe that we are looking at a crackdown on outdoor events of this nature. If there were real and justifiable safety concerns, why were they not raised earlier. It's the initial approval/last minute disapproval that's so suspicious. Not to mention plain spiteful. There were no sponsors involved, all the funds came out of the pockets of hard-working individuals trying to do a good thing.

The international DJs will get a chance to play tonight. A club was hastily booked as a bit of a fund-raiser to cut the losses the promoters have so unfairly incurred. It will be a good party, no doubt... but we just wanted to be outside with the elements and we wanted to plant some trees. What is so wrong with that?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Señor Aubergine


Mostly when I pull 10 to 15 hour days Faux Chefing at The Big Pointy Building, it's so busy I can't remember what I tell people my real name is. Other times... rare times... it's apparently a little less busy.

Then again, there are those times after long insomniac nights and longer days when an eggplant with arms really does leap right out of its vegie box and say, "Heeeey... I am Señor Aubergine who likes very much the tango dance..."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chloe Takes On Kamikaze Man


Top and centre (click on the image to make big, obviously) is me about five years ago with one of my most treasured friends. I would love to know what I had just said to get such a reaction. And yeah, funny we are both wearing T Shirts with big faces.

Lovely, lovely person and a very cool friend. We tried recently to recall what had happened at the time the picture was taken. She's been nagging me for ages to get on Skype so we can chat, so I suggested that was what she was saying... "When I move to New Zealand in a few years time, you'd better get Skype or I'll keep nagging you!"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tunnels, Light, Laughter And Good Things.

The way it works is the person you're interviewing tells you when they are available. You work around that because they are the subject and you are just the messenger. With Laurie Anderson I said I was unavailable when she was available twice before getting the interview... I still don't believe I did that and that I did finally chat to her.

Anyway, latest thing is with a playwright called Caleb Lewis. He's written a play called Men, Love, And The Monkey Boy. I was to phone him at 10.30am this morning.

12 hours before the phone chat time I was ensconced in a food and wine orgy that was quite Roman. There are still bottles. Empty bottles. Lots of them. But in the back of my mind I knew I had to come up with some questions and sound reasonably intelligent and but in the end what the woo hoo... pass me some more wine you fuckers...

In the wee small hours I ooze through sleep and see this bit of journalistic excellence unfold in my dreams: "Fuck. I know we've only just started, but I've totally run out of questions. Can you just talk for a while please?"

A short time later the Dreaded One wakes me asking, "Was there something you had to get up to do before we go to work?"

"Yer," I droobled through my oozledreams, "but that's ages away... FUCK!"

Anyway, what I did was, I went in nude. I had nothing. I didn't have my usual way too many questions. I freestyled, baby. I just hit the guy's number and when we started talking, I listened. I listened and reacted and I barely looked at the three questions I'd written when drunk the night before prior to crashing out.

I think I got some good stuff and I am looking forward to writing this one up.

And for the first time in many, many months, I spent a day feeling happy. Days like today, I almost feel like I know what I am doing.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Reviews: The Wet Spots and This Is How It Goes


I am getting lazy with this blogging thing, aren't I? Why write when you can just scan and post? Here are a couple of recent reviews for Drum. I saw Keeper at Belvoir St last Sunday and have to write the review for that today. It was a tight little drama that I quite enjoyed. The two reviewed here are very different creatures but I also enjoyed them a lot.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bananas


Got in touch with Time Out mag (Sydney version) and one of the editors there seemed keen to get me on board. She's the former editor of another magazine I write for (incidentally, what the hell is going on when you can be contributing to five different magazines and still have to slog your arse off at other jobs to make ends meet? There is something very wrong) and she asked if I'd like to contribute to the comedy pages. The above Q & A was a last minute rush job that I had to do via email. Interesting thing from my point of view is how much personality was taken out of the questions. For example, the one about Sydney versus Melbourne? What I actually asked Hughesy was, "I’m a Sydney-sider born and bred and I’ve always thought Sydney crapped all over Melbourne. But then I recently actually went to Melbourne and at the risk of re-igniting the Melbourne versus Sydney debate, Melbourne actually craps all over Sydney. Like, really. All over it. In every conceivable way. Better bars, better pubs, better restaurants, better theatres, better comedians, better trams, better footpaths... it’s just a much, much, much better city. Do you agree?"

But what came out was a question that is totally bland. I dunno. For me, kind of took the fun out of it.

Anyway, that's how it goes. And it highlights the beauty of street press - they generally allow contributors much more freedom to be silly. Still, Time Out is quality and overall the tone of the mag is one I'm drawn to. If I keep writing for them I'll find my Time Out voice and all will be sweet.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I'm On The Cover Of Australian Penthouse


Okay so it's not a photo of me on the cover of Australian Penthouse (man, if I looked like that I'd never leave the house... I'd just wander about all day checking me out in the mirror and pursing my lips at me and touching me on the boobies and...), but see the bit that says Tragic Comedians? That's the piece I wrote for the mag. So. There you go. I'm on the cover of Penthouse.

And here is the piece. Probably not the funniest thing I've written, but hell, it doesn't get much sweeter than being paid to write a bit of silly. Especially when the research part involved me watching and reading these guys and laughing my arse off.