Saturday, January 29, 2011


I've heard a few people say 2010 was a terrible year for them, personally. For me it was fine. I've had my own annus horribilae (any Latin people, please correct that abomination of a conjugation). Things for me are settled now and I have to say a la Larry David: pretty, pretty, pretty good.

I haven't been blogging so much because I've been doing my 'real writing.' But I don't want to let this spot go, I know I have put it out there that I will still be blogging in my 80s. There's always plenty of material. I have to keep it short and sharp I think. And maybe not talk about films and tv and books so much.


We are now watching True Blood, and it's so stimulating that I can't go to sleep within two and a half hours of watching an episode. But fuck me, how boring is Bill? And unattractive? Sheesh.

We finished Lost. The ending, again. Sheesh. Nowhere near as moving as the final episode of Six Feet Under. Methinks I need to revisit that. And Dexter, we are behind a season.

I'm half-way through re-reading Dirt Music by Tim Winton. I like it heaps better than Breath I've decided. I got sidetracked from it, though, by Russell Brand's My Booky Wook (which I just finished yesterday) after having read My Booky Wook 2.

I also picked up a copy of Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. What a tome and seemingly so digressive. Not sure how I will tolerate it. But at least I've got it, along with other great unread/partially read classics (The Brothers Karamazov, Anna Karenina, Ulysses and some of Old Hem old chap old man.) I think as I get older I realise my reading cannot be hard work. I want to fall into a book, not scale it like a mountain. But I DO NOT WANT to read shit. I am struggling with a Jodi Picoult book en ce moment as well, my oldest daughter has just read it and because she doesn't read much and I want to encourage her, I thought I would read it and we would discuss. Not sure if I'll finish it. Too many characters, too much cliche, too wordy. Give me MJ Hyland any day. God I can't wait for her next book.


I'll do a diaries over the weekend. Try to pick up the pace there and do them once a week.

Happy Very Hot Day tomorrow, fellow Melburnians.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Movies and books

Books and movies.

Some of you will remember that I often like to educate Princess in the ways of movies that I have loved or that I have though significant at the time even though a re-look sometimes makes me shake my head and think 'what the fuck was I thinking?'

A prime example of this is The Highlander (1984). When I first saw it, I thought it was fabulous. Now we need to consider the context - Harry Potter free and before good digital special effects, it was pre-Terminator 2 (1991) but post Terminator 1 (1984).

When I watched it again with Princess and Clokes (who had never seen it!) it was so scarring to the eyes of my daughter (by way of terrible special effects, bad fight scenes and all-round badness) that we had to turn it off half way through. I was embarrassed. How could I have gotten it so wrong?

That was earlier in the school holidays. Now, whenever I trot out another '80s movie Princess's first question is 'are the special effects.' My dignity is only assuaged by the fact she doesn't physically make the hand-quote movements.

Eighties movies that have impressed her thus far are:

St Elmo's Fire (largely because of Rob Lowe's face) and About Last Night (his torso.)

She quite liked Pretty in Pink despite the absence of any parts of Rob Lowe's anatomy, and watching it now I had a new-found appreciation for the character of the Duckman. I think back then he was too out there for me. I always liked the boring characters, the Andrew McCarthys, if you will.

We also had a Tom Cruise retrospect. Risky Business (she liked, she said he was hot. I was surprised, I never thought him attractive even back then. I'd forgotten how sexy the sex scenes are, oh well, she's fourteen now.) Top Gun, The Firm and we are trying to get Jerry Maguire. It's obviously a popular movie because it's never in the shop.

Other things we have watched:

Some 30 Rock.
Vampire Diaries - 1st season. Once the first season was nearing an end I'd become a bit meh about it but she loves it.
Notting Hill - she liked it
Sleepless in Seattle - not so keen on it, she said it was 'alright' but because we'd watched When Harry Met Sally first (which she loved for the humour) I think Sleepless was a bit soppy and sad.
My Best Friend's Wedding - she confirmed my memory that the best scenes were the Cameron Diaz karaoke as well as Rupert thingo's scenes. Julia Roberts's character was appalling and we both hated her. There's Something About Mary - she liked it. Who wouldn't?

Now to John Cusack. I have always loved Cusack and like others for me the love began with one movie - The Sure Thing. There was also Say Anything. I can't remember which one I saw first but they are both good, with TST better overall. What a wonderful movie. Wonderful.

We watched Stand By Me and she loved it. LOVED IT. Which is good because it is so awesome.

We watched Almost Famous which I enjoyed more this time than when I saw it previously.

And for some contemporary viewing, we watched Superbad and Thirteen. I was prepared for Superbad to be, well, super bad, but I loved it. What a glimpse into the male brain. But what fantastic characters they were, and the party scenes with sex and alcohol, there are some really fine messages there. It wasn't like American Pie at all (which is just fucking stupid.) Thirteen was about two 13-year-old girls. Confronting and frightening and not at all funny. Holly Hunter was good, the kids were good who played the girls, they were 13 and 14 when they filmed.

SO if it sounds like all I've been doing is lying around watching movies you'd be pretty right. I went back to work a couple of weeks ago but just 2 short days a week. We went to the pool once, we have't been away, I've been painting shelves today, not much writing going on really, I haven't got the space. Reading: at the moment I'm reading Russell Brand's Booky Wooky 2. It was on special at Borders and I just grabbed it. Unlike the rest of the world I haven't really known much about him. I knew of him but didn't realise what the fuss was about. Clokes and I saw Get Him to the Greek recently and talk about charisma. The Man Has Charisma. Is it the androgyny? The height? The chains and belts and leather? I don't know but you know what. The man can write. He is clearly quite brilliant and he could be a writer if he wanted to. I reckon.

I bought Peter Carey's My Life as a Fake and Theft: A Love Story. Also Camus's The Plague and The Fall. Also I'm mid-way through Rosalie Ham's Summer at Mount Hope (like it more than her first The Dressmaker) and have also gotten myself a copy of Winton's Dirt Music. Read it years ago but it was a borrowed copy. Time to re-read I think.

So that's about it.

Oh we are also still working through Lost. We are in the final season, about 8 eps to go? Princess has lost interest (heh) and I know it's gotten silly BUT I JUST WANT TO SEE HOW IT ENDS.

Ciao ciao.