Sunday, May 24, 2009

Stuff this white girl is liking

The lad who has written STUFF WHITE PEOPLE LIKE is in town. I just caught the end of the interview with him on Jon Faine and I can't believe this blog of his, ironically listing all the crap we whities are in to, has gotten to book stage. The hysterical thing is that Stuff White People Like and Jon Faine are BOTH, I am aware (!) stuff white people like. Ha ha!

Are you aware of this website and book? The book's subtitle is 'A Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions' meaning, of course, that people who think of themselves as unique actually share shed loads of identical tastes and wants. I'm not sure of the point of it all, wagging a finger at self indulgent wankers mostly, but I always laugh when I read it because ''self indulgent wanker' is the t-shirt I am currently having printed for myself. One glance at the list - attending writer's workshops, liking David Sedaris, going to Africa to feel really guilty - are all on my personal CV.

Anyway, on to other topics ... this week is deadline for our folio pieces for my (what white people like) RMIT writing class. I have (almost) decided to do a piece on a workplace for special needs people. If I like it I might post it here.

Over the weekend I caught up with the first three episodes of PUSHING DAISIES. While I don't think I'd become obsessed by it I do think it's worth a look, paricularly for its gloriously colourful art direction. It's all bold colours and 50s silhouette dresses. The lights are brighter, the smiles whiter and the buildings are crazier than in real life. The main character, The Pie Maker, has a pie shop called the Pie Hole. It is round and the roof is in the shape of a pie. Love it! The local morgue is red and white - very pretty - and the female lead, Chuck, played by Anna Friel, has one of the most beautiful smiling faces I have ever seen. You just instantly fall in love with her. She's like the 2008/9 answer to Simon the Likeable from Get Smart.

It also has the wonderful Kristin Chenoweth in it who is a big stage and musical star in the USA and originated the role of Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked, which earned her a Tony Award nomination.

Saying all of that I think it has now been cancelled in the USA, explaining why it has not been on free to air here but is in the video shop. Also picked up at Blockbuster on the weekend was The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. I am still in my (production designer) Ken Adams obsession mode. See this film for the design of the escape pod if nothing else. This is the Bond film that Ken got his Oscar nomination for.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Book Club update

It's not too late. Read this excerpt ... so good:

In front of me girls were entering and exiting the showers. The flashes of nakedness were like shouts going off. A year or so earlier these same girls had been porcelain figurines, gingerly dipping their toes into the disinfectant basin at the public pool. Now they were magnificent creatures. Moving through the humid air, I felt like a snorkeler. On I came, kicking my heavy, padded legs and gaping through the goalie mask at the fantastic underwater life all around me. Sea anemones sprouted from between my classmates' legs. They came in all colors, black, brown, electric yellow, vivid red. higher up, their breasts bobbed like jellyfish, softly pulsing, tipped with stinging pink. Everything was waving int he current, feeding on microscopic plankton, growing bigger by the minute. The shy, plump girls were like sea lions, lurking in the depths. -From Middlesex, page 297-

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Farrah Fawcett Effect

I am officially too lucky. There is no denying this.

Do you know what I did today? It is deadline week ... I am home all week and concentrating on the August issue of Get Creative which promises much entertainment for me as I interview quilters who are helping out survivors of the hideous Victorian bushfires and finding out tricks from crafty bloggers who make their blogs look crushingly artful.

I am tres organised this month which, lo and behold, meant I fricked around this morning and, after getting another little job off for another client, I did NOT settle down to concentrate on my writing. No, instead I watched the Farrah Fawcett documentary on the computer. I know! I am shocking!

Anyhoo I got all fired up about making the most of each day while I feel fit as a fiddle and DO NOT have anal cancer (how uncouth is that for the poor woman?) and, knocked off a quick story and then headed out in my new convertible with the roof down to lap up the wonderful winter sun we enjoyed in Melbourne today. I jogged my way around my fave track at North Road beach before heading home again to get back to the mag and knock off a phone interview with the good folk at Oxfam. In the midst of it all I got invited to see the Martin Short show next week at Crown.

So much sadness goes on around me, dear friends are laid very low with depression, there are deaths of young and old people in my close circle of friends and even my poor old muddah has to have a 'procedure' this week but I am in tripping off to writing seminars, eating great Lebanese food at Ablas (Abla Amad was born in Lebanon and arrived in Australia in 1954 at the age of nineteen. In 1979 she opened Abla's, a restaurant that has become a Melbourne institution) and planning for a birthday lunch with one of my besties (see one of her wonderful articles here) at the John Brack exhibition at the Ian Potter Gallery later in the week. I mean, seriously, how can the universe dole out such good with such bad?

Of course I have NOT done my RMIT homework which is bad of me and I have not had a good look at Project Gutenberg Australia (free ebooks or etexts that may be read on a computer using a simple text editor or viewer) but the key to happiness, so they say, is having someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to. I am blessed on all accounts and all the things on my TO DO list simply mean I have that much more to look forward to ... which includes cleaning the tiles in the shower and scrubbing the stove top. Told you I was too lucky!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I develop little obsessions about things. I’ll give you an example. Lately, while walking and listening to podcasts on my MP3 player, I’ve been listening to old style radio plays of Agatha Christie classics. They’ve really been fascinating me. It’s intriguing to see what kind of world is created through sound effects to bring a script to light. Also interesting to conjure up characters in your mind just based on voices. I am enjoying it.

BUT, I cannot leave it there. Yesterday I rented and watched both ‘Evil Under The Sun’ and ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. ‘Evil Under The Sun’ is a classic. You should see the costumes … divine … and the cast - se magnifique … Peter Ustinov, James Mason, Roddy McDowall, Maggie Smith, Diana Rigg, to name a few. The other film was less successful, downright awful really. It’s fascinating to be reminded of the role the brain can play as its own art director, set dresser and cinematographer. I think I could produce a better ‘Orient Express’ in my own head, certainly there would be less over-acting. Kids should listen to radio plays. Like books they really allow the imagination to soar.

My imagination will be soaring … fingers crossed … when I go to ACMI this week to do two days of Stephen Cleary's thriller and horror lectures. God knows what I am doing at this thing but how lucky am I to be able to go? For me this is the ultimate voyeuristic thrill ride. I am not looking to write, direct, produce or develop horror films, but many in the audience will be. How much fun to hear their ideas and get an insight into the creative lives of these people! Plus I get to hang with a writerly friend who may one day walk the red carpet, Oscar in hand. Hopefully she will remember the little people when the time comes.