Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Thank you for being a friend

Ok, so I am SO EXCITED that the Queen Mother was a fan of the Golden Girls. I mean really, can you imagine? Do you think she chuckled at Blanche's bawdy jokes? Did she and Liz and Phil guffaw as Dorothy did her withering middle-distance glare after yet another of Sophia's zingers? I like to think that the QM took respite from Fergie'e toe-sucking or Di's histrionics or Charles banging on about horticulture by pouring herself a tall glass of G&T and settling in for a re-run of the one where Dorothy, Blanche and Rose are mistaken for prostitutes and hauled off to jail. Really, this has made my day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Reality bites

To say that watching the Real Housewives franchise is a guilty pleasure is not true. I feel no guilt about it at all. If these women want to expose their lives in this way, leaving themselves at the mercy of ruthless editors and the braying masses, so be it. And there is something weirdly compelling about the US Bravo franchise. Camille Paglia is a fan: "I love the frank display of emotion, the intricate interrelationships, and the sharp-elbows jockeying for power and visibility."  I'm with Camille. Is reality TV really all that different from your average episode of Australia Story, albeit with a hokier soundtrack and more downmarket demographic? We're all voyeurs and we all love the insight into other people's private lives, especially if they're rich and vain and fame-hungry and utterly, utterly shameless. 

But the local critics are right - Real Housewives of Melbourne is a horrible misfire. The women's behaviour is dreadful and the feminist cause dies a tiny death with every lame insult hurled. Can you really hang a whole series on a dispute over heels on a Peninsula tennis court? Please. Enough. Let's leave reality TV to the Americans and get back to doing what we do best - watching celebrities on a slip'n'slide.

See also: Real Housewives of Melbourne? Frankly, we deserve better (SMH)

The Real Housewives of Melbourne is awful, and I don't want to write about it any more (Mama Mia)

Monday, April 28, 2014


Back from holidays, avoided dengue fever and drunk Australian airline hijackers, now savouring the crisp Melbourne autumn air.

It's a sad day in my life-long quest to be "with it" when I've never seen nor heard of the Gold Logie winner. *Sobs into Lisa McCune commemorative hankie*

Alas I missed Australian TV's "night of nights" last night. I do love the Logies. I love the liquored-up guests and the bewildered overseas ring-ins; the off-key musical numbers and the seventeen-year-old soapie starlets convinced that Hollywood beckons rather than a career in real estate. I love Bert's double entendres, Kerry O'Brien's high spirits, Maria Venuti's bosoms. Don't ever change, Logies.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Melbourne vol. 2: Melbourne vs Sydney

Well of course Melbourne is on track to become Australia's biggest city. I conducted my own investigation into the Melbourne - Sydney divide many years ago when I packed my bags and moved north. Having grown up in Melbourne, I decided it was time for a change of scene. Sydney seemed so inviting - the glamorous harbour, the tranquil weather, the beautiful people with their tans and their little dogs and their weekender yachts.

Turns out Sydney is a lovely place is you're stinking rich but pretty tough if you're semi-broke, in your twenties and living in a share house. I lived in Newtown - described to me soon after I arrived as "the suburb you live in if you wish you lived in Melbourne." The tranquil weather turned out to be hot and humid and left me with a permanent sheen of sweat and a bad attitude. The public transport was great if you didn't mind endless delays and line breakdowns and getting on the train to Bondi only to end up in Bankstown. The pubs were full of pokies and the beers (sorry, midis) too pricey. I stuck it out for two years and then flocked back to the loving embrace of that grand old dame, Melbourne.

Sydney had its upsides: Glebebooks, Bill's, the Bondi to Bronte cliff side walk and Mardi Gras. I'll give it its beaches and its beauty. But give me the Merri Creek over the harbour, the roar of the MCG over the clamour of Coogee and the Palais Theatre over the Opera House. Sydney, you're beautiful but you drive me wild. Melbourne, be mine. x

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

MICF must see

So yes, we're off to the tropics and yes, it will be fabulous and will involve G&Ts and poolside massages and maybe a little sunburn and hopefully not a henna tattoo and/or an obnoxious conversion to yoga.

But missing Marty Sheargold and Tony Martin joining Glenn Robbins and Dave O'Neil at MICF on Thursday night is making my heart ache just a little.

Monday, April 07, 2014

If we took a holiday

I'm busy packing for a two week fiesta in the tropics where I'm not planning to do much besides read, sleep, drink gin and hand baby over to her adoring grandmother. Maybe I'll play a little Uno as well. So you'll have to excuse me, my three and a half readers, wherever you are, for the paucity of updates. Between buying mozzie repellant, cancelling mail, cleaning the house and buying enough baby food to feed a small island nation, I haven't had a lot of time. So here's The Onion: "Find the Thing You're Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights and Weekends for the Rest of Your Life."

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Night sounds

I used to be hooked on talk radio as a way of getting off to sleep. Something about Tony Delroy's The Quiz would quiet the mindchatter at the end of a long day (except those nights where you'd be screaming at Terry from Wodonga "Meryl Streep. THE ANSWER'S MERYL STREEP.")

Since the IPhone entered my life I've found a new nighttime companion: the podcast. Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington were the gateway drug and now it's a habit. Here are some of those who get me through the night:

WTF with Marc Maron
The godfather of podcasting. Maron started interviewing fellow stand-up comics in his garage a few years back and quickly became huge. His interview with ex-friend/rival/nemesis Louis CK is legendary. See also Maron's cable TV comedy, Maron, based on the podcast.

Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin
Why, Alex, why? You had me with your erudite, thoughtful questions; your unabashed admiration for your subject matter; your cigar-and-whisky tones; your dash of wit served with a side of pathos. Your interviews with David Letterman, Chris Rock, Rosie O'Donnell, Thom Yorke and David Simon were compelling from beginning to end. You had your own cable talk show in development. You coulda been a contender! Then you had to go and get all sweary-homophobic-punchy-sanctimonious and ruin a good thing.

By the Way with Jeff Garlin
Larry David's sidekick brings the funny with this series of interviews recorded live at Largo in Los Angeles. Worth it just to hear Garlin flirting outrageously with Amy Poehler and Lena Dunham.

Monsters of Talk with Margaret Cho and Jim Short
Did you know Margaret Cho is a massive Crowded House fan? True fact - one I learned listening to her chat to Neil Finn.

Also worth checking out:

Hollywood Babble On with Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman

Can You Take this Photo Please? with Justin Hamilton

I Love Green Guide Letters with Steele Saunders

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Sleeping like a baby

She slept through.


I want to kiss strangers in the street, kick my heels in the air and doff my bowler hat to passers-by because SHE SLEPT THROUGH.

I want to lead a pride march of bedraggled, bleary-eyed parents who've done their time in the trenches and come out the other side. We'll wave our flags, we'll laugh and dance, we'll high-five our brothers and sisters in arms, we'll hoist on our shoulders the weak, the weary and the sleep deprived, and then we'll stumble home to lap up more of that sweet, sweet sleep.

No more falling out of bed at 10pm, 1am, 3am, 5, 6 and 7. No more blurry predawn breastfeeds. No more foggy mornings, wondering just how I'll maintain a semblance of sanity for another 12 hours.

No more accosting other parents with a deranged gleam in my eye, shaking their shoulders and demanding they tell me their babysleep secrets. No more pouring over Pantley, Weissbluth, Ferber, Tizzie and Gina. No more vulnerability to every two-bit shyster who promises to unlock the mysteries of infant slumber once I click to hand over 29.95.

I tell my Mum. I tell Facebook. I tell the guy at the grocery store. I consider sky writing.

Oceans may rise. Empires may fall. But I'm doing fine because SHE SLEPT THROUGH.