Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Very Wainwright Christmas

How good will this be?

The Wainwright Family and Friends evening at Carnegie Hall on December 13, 2006 has just announced some very special guests. We are thrilled to welcome Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Jimmy Fallon, Linda Thompson, and Teddy Thompson to our Wainwright Christmas celebration. It will surely be a fun and festive evening. There may also be a few surprise guests stopping by...hope to see you all there!

Tickets are available at

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ten Things I'd Rather Do Than Endure Another Australian Idol Grand Final

Nice to see Channel Ten cut down the Australian Idol Final to a measly four hours. Most years the final's gone for six to seven hours so last night's bunch of sponsor generated filler seemed to fly.

Though I did shudder every time one of the hosts threatened to have another look at the the final two contestants' (I've already forgotten their names) JOURNEYS to get where they were blah blah yawn piddle pus yawn.....

Anyway, as promised ten things I'd rather do than endure another Australian Idol Grand Final™.

Lynch the Maybelline Style Team.

Visit Quambatook, Australia's home of the mighty sport of Tractor Pulling!

Read every single word of the Cole Inquiry's 2065 page report into AWB's dodgy work in Iraq. Twice.

Scalp, mince and make burgers out of the smarmy kids in the McDonalds Make Your Own Choice advertisements.

Interview Guy Sebastian about his new album. Everyone else has. I'm sure he's got something interesting to say.

See The Black Dahlia again. Maybe not.

Queue to see last year's Idol favorite, Dan England headline at The Empress. What? His gig was last Saturday night and I missed it? I'm so bad with dates.

Watch the grand final episode of Dancing With The Stars. Again, maybe not.

Apply for the job as the driver of Luna Park's big dipper. Yes, it's the only rollercoaster in the world with a driver. He just stands there in the middle caboose holding a big brake lever. No seat-belts. Nothing. And he doesn't care. In-fact, he looks real bored with his job. It's incredible.

Collect moths.

Friday, November 24, 2006

My Penguin

No I don't have a penguin anymore. Larry went to get some cigs and never came back. Happened a couple weeks ago. I'm over him anyway. Always hogged the TV remote. Kept it on Channel Seven all day in case Trapper John MD came back. I was sure it was on Channel Ten anyway. Larry never believed a word I said.

Farken penguins.


The "my penguin" I refer to in the subject line of this posting refers to a new thing by Penguin Books where they're releasing a bunch of classics with blank front covers so you can design, draw or paint your own.

Above is my own effort at Virginia Woolf's The Waves.

What Does The Black Dahlia Smell Like?

Telemovie. That's what the Black Dahlia smells like.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Most Newspaper Websites' Blogs Suck

In his tedious blog piece on depression, When Depression is a Choice, The Age website's Sam De Brito introduces us to the "trendy depressive".

The Age's renovation expert, Alex May reckons:
"The real difference between men and women when it comes to home improvement is this: men think all big, ugly and obtrusive things should be on display - like the surfboard in the photograph above. Women think that everything else should be put in a cupboard. Or the garage. Or a self-storage cubicle 15km away."
And health blogger, Terry Robson tells both his readers about a US study which found that women "dress to impress" when ovulating.

His quip?
"Dare we say it, they dress for sex-cess."
These "bloggers" (and many many more) get paid for this.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I Hate The Eighties Too

Great comment from Idolator reader, drjimmy11.

I haven't set eyes on "regular" (non-Classic) VH1 in like 6 years, ever since "Behind the Music" became so obviously formulaic and a promotional vehicle for groups with a new album out.

this shit reminds me why:

"still Talkin' Bout Those Crazy '80s??"

how about:
"still can't shut the fuck up about the 80s"
"still manufacturing nostalagia about the 80s"
"still promoting cliches about the 80s that weren't even very funny in The Wedding Singer eight years ago"


Talking up the 1980s is and always has been, tedious. I'd rather have my arse hair plucked by an irritable gohper than attend an 80s themed birthday party.

So bogue.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Laugh At Your Local Family First Candidate

For those who came in late, Family First are a new Australian political party run by a bunch of clueless and conservative god-botherers.

While they have the cash to run a candidate in every seat, they don't quite have the talent. Their federal senator, Steve Fielding has struggled with his power in difficult decisions like the recent vote on the new cross media laws. His reasoning behind passing the legislation was widely seen as wishy washy and inept.

The guff on my local candidate, Peter Lake's mail-out and website makes Fielding look impressive. Here's some highlights.
"I am a proud family man and father of three children living in Glen Waverley."
So your children live in Glen Waverley but where do YOU live? Doesn't the husband living away from the children contradict your party's definition of family?
"I am honoured to be the FAMILY FIRST Candidate for the seat of Scoresby."
Ah, you live down the road in Scoresby! Oh, and "Candidate" isn't a proper noun. Probably a good time for me to link to the party's wishy washy education policy.

Blah blah blah and a few more annoying grammatical errors later, Lake jumps in with his first attempt at a witty politician's turn of phrase....
"I will also be campaigning hard against tolls! Families are paying a high toll in mental health, a high toll in gambling and a high toll in drug use."
That hurt my mind. Let's read some of Lake's personal profile.
Proud family man. Married to Fiona with three children - Aged 11, 10 & 7.
With 36 mentions of the word "family" on your one page flier, you really didn't need to point out you're a "proud" family man again.
"I am passionate about family values (yawn). While proud of my work, my proudest acievement is my own family, my wife Fiona and my three kids."
He repeats the sentiment a few more times and then shoves his fist down our throats and gives our tonsils a good ol' fingering...
"I really believe the heroes of Australia are its mums and dads. They have the toughest job of all: raising children. And they deserve all the help and support they can get."
Enough! Tell us what you do for a crust.
26 year career in IT and telecommunications, vast experience in project management, confident public speaker, gifted (tenor) vocalist, published amateur astronomer.
Yes, you read it right. Not only is he a "confident public speaker", Peter Lake is a gifted (tenor) vocalist. Hey Peter, you should sing tenor. Ten or twenty miles away!

Look. Politics on all levels is a serious fucking deal. Parliament isn't a place for amateurs and simpletons. Let's keep it that way.

I'll leave you with Lake's resume answer to the question, What experience do I have in politics?
Absolutely none, and I think that's an advantage. I am a service delivery manager and that's what Scoresby families need - better services.
And better candidates.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Best Headline This Week

New Men's Fashion Line to Bring the Gay Back Into Metrosexual

From Gawker.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Look, I Was A Superhero

Highlights from Noel Gallagher's brilliant interview with The Guardian's Chris Salmon.
"I came from a shithole in Manchester, right, so it was all brilliant to me. Even touring in a transit van was better than being in my flat. Then when we got a deal, we were like: 'Bring it on!' I wanted the big hairdo, big shades, big car, big house, swimming pool, jet, drug habit, a mirrored top hat and a chimp. All of it."

"Life is a great thing, why shut yourself away from it? I can't understand people like Elton John and Robbie Williams going straight from their blacked-out limos to a restaurant. I stand in the queue at Waitrose. More rock stars should do that. Forget therapy, go to the supermarket and interact. The staff in my local Waitrose are really blase about me now. They'll be like, 'Him? Oh he's in here all the fucking time. And between me and you, he doesn't eat very well.'"
Who doesn't want a mirrored top hat and a chimp?

Fah Fah Fah Fah Fashion!

Even though I picked the quinellas in the Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate and the trifecta in The Oaks, I'm quite disappointed my bet didn't come through for the winner of this year's Oaks Day Myer Fashions On The Field National Final tm.

I really thought Vicky Hislop of Wonthaggi had a good chance to snatch it with her fetching embroidered blouse in the theme of Milton's Paradise Lost (the gory bits) race frock/baby shit brown micro-mini and puce Dr Scholl stilettos combination.

Her solar powered, Mikimoto pearl, decorated fascinator was not only a hit with the ladies at the Thaggers RSL Club but with the Channel Seven technicians who needed her to "go back a little... more, more, more... there that's it," for them to deal with interference caused by the eventual winner's precariously placed hemlines.

I'm free!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Kinky Didn't Win

Nightwatchman fave, Kinky Friedman managed to get over half a million votes (12%) in his bid to become Texas' first ever Jewish governor.

Kinky told his followers he was outspent by the winner, Republican Rick Perry, 15 to one.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Scrabble's New World Record: 830!

As you would all know, the Scrabble world is in shock after Massachusetts' Michael Cresta scored a world record 830 in a tournament last week.

While I wouldn't ever doubt the game taking place, as it was an officially sanctioned tournament, how the score mounted seems quite iffy.

According to world Scrabble's #1 writer and commentator (yes, I know but really you gotta read his life changing Scrabs book, Wordfreak) Stefan Fatsis,
the game has been heralded as the anagrammatic equivalent of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962 or Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series: a remarkable, wildly aberrational event with potential staying power. Cresta's 830 shattered a 13-year-old record, 770 points, which had been threatened only infrequently.
Here's my quibbles.

Cresta started two bingos (seven letter bonus 50 pointers) behind, 169-0 and then played FLATFISH, a triple triple for 239 points!

Then he passed three out of four goes, mucking about with the Q and the X while his competitor scored two more bingos.

While this was happening, another potential triple triple was being dutifully ignored by both players. I would have closed it.

But what happens? Oh, Cresta sees the triple triple and plays QUIXOTRY for 365 points!

Fatsis makes the point.
Technically, Cresta's strategy was unsound. Fishing for a once-in-a-lifetime play might be understandable in a casual game, where winning is less urgent. But in competitive play—even in a club setting, where there's less on the line than in a rated tournament—exchanging letters three times, as Cresta did, to enhance some combination of Q, U, I, and X is unorthodox at best, suicidal at worst. (The strategically correct move was to dump the cumbersome Q and move on.) In Scrabble, the player who waits for the miracle word usually loses. The implication: Cresta wasn't terribly worried about whether he won or lost.
It could only happen in America.

Why? There were a LOT of passes in the game. Some because in America if you fail on calling a challenge you lose your turn. That doesn't happen here.

Also in America ZA is a word!

My top score for an online game is 621, top tournament score is 447 and the Australian tournament record is Bob Jackman's 689.

Want some scrabble tips? Click here to read some I put together after being pulverized in club scrabble against some of the world's best players.

Obviously Cresta didn't read my tip on getting rid of the Q!