Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Sophie Monk's Camel-Toe has a Stalker

So it turns out I'm not the only one who has indulged in thoughts of Sophie Monk's death. I mean, I assumed we all did, really, but I thought it was one of those occasional, idly lurid trains of musing thought - one of several billion - that most people keep in the sealed chambers of their rotting compost heap heads. (I'm right now sitting atop of my compost heap, flinging handfuls of it around. I believe the official name for this is 'blogging'.)

Sophie Monk said that she recently had a stalker
"who wanted to kill me. That was weird. He thought he could hear me screaming in the corner of his hospital room and thought I wanted to die. So I wrote to him and told him I was fine"

What the shit? I hear the tortured psychic screams of Sophie Monk too!! I see her motel face contorting - as best it can under the weight of the paralysed muscle and those aggressively large lips - with the ongoing anguish of her life of low-rent glamour and the knowledge that oblivion is coming down fast.

Anyway, in regards to her stalker, I believe the key words there are "his hospital room". Not "his gracious drawing room"; not even "his caravan annex", but "his hospital room". Yeh, well, the screams of Sophie Monk are probably the least of his concerns. If I were him I would hasten to turn that particular mental dial up to 'high'. Nurse Ratched's grinning, Vaseline weilding black boys are probably bearing down on him right now, poor soul.

I like seeing Sophie against the sleazy backdrop of Hollywood's dream machine, but do I think it's doing her any good, personally or professionally? Fuck, no. I imagine, for one, that she would have unsavoury men of unseemly persuasions asking her, in all manner of places; "do you come here often?" with a fatiguing frequency, which I firmly feel is reason enough to cash it in and come home.

Also, it seems Sophie has neglected to take my advice (pro bono, by the way) regarding cutting her considerable losses in Hollywood and taking up with an NRL baller back home. I hear Nate Myles - this generation's number one knuckle-dragger - is soon to be back on the market AND is about to relocate to the Gold Coast, which means that she could slide right back into her Marilyn Monroe impersonator role at MovieWorld while he plays for the Titans and involves himself in various misdemeanors off-field (like taking dumps in hotel corridors and enjoying illicit benders with frail and allegedly alcoholic teammates. Yeh. That kind of thing).

I don't begrudge him his behaviour, by the way. Not one iota. I think that, with the head that he has, his entire existence thus far is a remarkable story of against-the-odds success. Because, you know, it's a dwarf head. Don't say you haven't noticed it, LIARS. He has a dwarf head. It's all dented and huge with a big over-inflated forehead - and the kicker is that it sits atop a gigantic, old-growth, behemoth body. That is some 19th century carnival shit right there and ya'll know it. I think he came down from a mansion on a hill in much the same way Edward Scissorhands did - a prototype, loosed on an ignorant and unforgiving world.

So. Sophie Monk and Nate Myles. I am drawing up elaborate plans to make this happen even as I write this - in a rear chamber of my compost heap head that I reserve for my more pathological plans.. *cue descent into hallucionogenic, creepy-crawl daydreams*

Monday, 29 August 2011

The Battle of Brookvale - Let's Get It On

The key to having happy and satisfactory times is in keeping your expectations low.
This was driven home to me with a certain potency this weekend, when I approached the Manly Storm game with a modest amount of anticipation after being in a 2 week long football void, and a hearty dollop of cold, weary distaste.

Well, shit.
Was that a game or was that a GAME?!
Astonishing. I have never seen anything better (or worse, depending on how you choose to view it or whether or not you're David Gallop). It was vigorous and aggressive as all get out  -and this was before the brawl. We really didn't need the brawl to demonstrate the intensity of emotion out there but wasn't it a lovely extra? Like free prawn crackers with your Chinese takeaway, only infinitely more entertaining. A little more brutal, too. Prawn crackers are a kind of passive. Also, they're pink.

The second phase of that brawl was deadset incredible. There are few things I enjoy more than a vigorous, muscular display of hegemonic masculnity. Buttered white bread is about the only thing that springs to mind to trump it. Anyway, those Sea Eagles flying 30 metres Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon-style to hurl themselves at Adam Blair was a glorious and blatantly destructive act and I just adored it. What a way to be welcomed home and enfolded once again into Australia's wantonly violent bosom.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Adam Blair and Glenn Stewart
"unleashed on each other after the Storm forward said to Stewart 'let's get it on' as they left the field"
"LET'S GET IT ON"???!! I die. I die of awesome. What marvellous use of a marvellous, no-frills phrase. And entirely by the way, don't those Stewart brothers have faces that would frighten babies?

who knew "let's get it on" could lead to the most vicious sideline brawl in league history? Blair did, bitch!

Additionally, I appreciated the confirmation that Manly truly are the embodiment of a fundamentally rotten and brutal team. I adore this, too. It's a lovely, soothing feeling; having your prejudices confirmed and justified. The refreshing rush of truth really adds to your sense of general well-being. Try it.

On the other hand, I had one of my pet irrational-hatreds shaken and challenged in the same game - i.e. Billy Slater came across as likeable. Again. Goddamn it Billy this has to stop happening. People will start to talk. But Billy ending up in an inadvertant Mills and Boon style full-body embrace with a floppy-necked and screaming in savage agony David Williams after tackling him was too too much, even for my rag and bone shop heart. He didn't so much hold him still, it was more like an intimate, post-coital snuggle while wearing a look so tender it was almost unseemly. I mean, there wasn't a trace of the shitlicking expression that he wears by default, and definitely no sign of the shitlicking grin.

Okay, so he's not a wholly repellant human being, well what of it? The truth of it is that every time I see a glimmer of humanity in Billy Slater I come out somehow diminished, slightly less sure of my identity. I was grateful when the medics arrived and allowed Billy to extract himself from Williams and the macabre embrace because had it gone on for much longer I could see myself having to stagger from the building to be sick in the bushes and I try not to do that so much nowadays. Billy Slater: positively destabilising.

I understand, by the way, that this says far more about the balance of my mind - and that it may be a tad skew-iff - than it does about Billy, who is by all accounts a stand-up bloke. Whatever. Let me have this orright?

Anyway, what is up with David Williams - why so flimsy? He's more fragile than Josh Dugan for chrissakes. Word to David - pioneers were made of strong stuff, so lose the bushman beard or toughen up. Alternatively, you could just lose the beard, although I kinda appreciate you hiding your hot under it - way to make us work for it, bitch! As for Dugan, well, he had Bambi legs. It's biological.

May or may not be the actual David Williams

Ditto for Josh Dugan

So. there was that fabulous game of flaming intensity that I watched pie-eyed, mopping my fevered brow with one hand and tipping clinkers into my mouth with the other. Then there was the Raiders playing the Panthers, to flaccid effect, and it was midway through this flabby non-event that I realised, with a barking laugh, that I was truly back and truly home. Mazel tov, bitches. LET'S GET IT ON.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Home. Sweet Nothings.

The best thing about going away is coming back.

Leaving Australia is nice, but it's returning to Australia that unleashes a hot streak of happiness in me. It crinkles the corners of my every mundane movement for days afterward, sometimes weeks. Small acts of casually liberated abandon such as stepping with certain feet onto my own bathmat or stepping out into my yard in my underwear of a night to look at the stars fill me with a sense of golden gratitude and gratefulness. Yes. Home is the place. Home is where it's at.

Also, I find there are far less legitimate opportunities to work myself into a froth of indignation and irritation when overseas. This occupies a fair to large portion of my time at home in Australia so I tend to find myself with quite a bit of vacant mental real-estate when away. This makes me slightly uneasy. I'm not entirely at home with the inside of my head resembling a place of golden splendour and serenity. I mean, you've read the rest of this blog, right? Exactly.

In fact, here is a direct, horse's mouth quote (in which I am the horse), indicating the extent to which my cranial chambers have been troubled only by the occasional rolling tumbleweed these last few weeks:
"My mind's relaxed too......it feels like a field full of wheat with the wind blowing through it.......whoooossshhhka"
I actually spoke these words after receiving a massage. This is significant in itself as I have historically had some trouble receiving massages. I don't know, I'm just not that into dropping my trousers for people when there's new age music wafting in the air - even when there's a well-established pretext and financial framework in place. Especially when there's that, actually. I'm funny like that.

Anyway, I was indicating that I felt loose of both body and mind. Or something. I guess something about it (AND I CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT) struck Susu - the lucky recipient of 17 days worth of my preposterous waffling - as absurd and she dissolved into giggles. As in, she kicked her legs in the air and squealed and everything. Hummmmph.

And that massage? It was something else. My flesh yielded to it as it would to the advances of a mouth-breathing football player. I was fluid, liquid, mercurial. You know, as opposed to feeling like a marbled slab of meat, or a greasy chunk of tuna laid out on a table, head installed in a hole, vaguely troubled by the knowledge that the masseuse's inviting smile belies her internal dread at having to lay her lovely hands on the knotted, bed-sore ridden back of another dishevelled and decadent western wayfarer? Anybody? No, massages are not for me. Of course, this attitude doesn't stop me from having them, no. It just causes me to seize up somewhat and become rigid, so the inevitable outcome is that I lie there like a partially defrosted leg of lamb for the massage's duration. I'd probably be more relaxed being chained to a rock and torn by vultures. It would be less neurosis-inducing, and I imagine I could at least keep my pants on for the most part.

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Ferris Bueller of the NRL

Somedays I tire of the white noise generator rigged up to my surround sound system. I can change the settings, from, say 'whispers of ghost children' to 'moans of slaughterhouse cows', but sometimes the psyche needs something, oh, I don't know... more

This is where Fox Sports 2 comes into its own. It does 'unobtrusive ocker droning' very well.
It was all blahhdy "the boys" this "the boys" that blahhh, UNTIL:
"Up for grabs tonight - a Cam Smith oil painting"
- cue me knocking over my chair in my haste to get to the TV to get a look. I make it just in time to see that it's a painting of Cameron Smith rather than a painting by Cameron Smith. Disappointment. Fuck life.

I totally envisaged, in the split second it took me to leap up and leg it to the lounge room, some kind of swashbuckling, Napoleonic self portrait of Smith astride a milk-white stead against a backdrop of razed villages and burning hills.

He's a history buff, you know, so you see why I would imagine such a scene. Sadly, this was not to be. But wouldn't it be a great initiative, getting players to knock out artistic renditions of themselves? For charity, yo. Terry Campese, holla! I would enter into the spirit of the auction for Campo's self portrait with extreme enthusiasm and fist fulls of dollars, believe you me. You just know he'd be all dimples and baseball cap and retro-Queanbeyan-real. T. Camps to Queanbeyan is what Jay Z is to Brooklyn, basically.

Also, and this is something I've been ruminating over for some time and have considered canvassing opinions for but haven't because does We Need To Talk About Todd LOOK  like a fucking democracy to you? - OF COURSE NOT - I kind of think that Terry Campese is the Ferris Bueller of the NRL:
"Oh well he's very popular Ed - the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, dickheads; they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude."
If that quote doesn't scream Terry Campese then I don't know what would. Other than Advanced Hair's "yeah yeah", BUT HE TURNED THAT LUCRATIVE SPOKESPERSON OFFER DOWN, REMEMBER? He lives in Queanbeyan - the town runs on ratstails and ring worm -  what the fuck does he want with Advanced Hair? Answer: Nothing. Adorable. This just further confirms his awesome appeal - he may just be the least pretentious man in league. The loveliest, too. I happen to know this personally, just quietly. Team Tez!

The other serious contender for the Ferris Bueller of the NRL title in my mind (well, where else - there's a party in there, y'know) was Benji Marshall. He's got the popularity and the charisma...but his head's too pointy. Just kidding. It's just that Campo is lovelier all round. He's got you beat, Benji; now jog on.

Next Week: I discuss who is the Cameron Fry of the NRL, to the funereal tune of
"When Cameron was in Egypt land...let my Cameron go"
I haven't given this any thought, since it just occured to me and all, but nominations need to be someone who is a) somewhat overlooked, b) somewhat infuriating c) in possession of something of a bad attitude, be it from shyness, arrogance or crippling social anxiety, and d) somewhat loveable 'despite it all'.

For mine, Darius Boyd springs immediately to mind. Too obvious? We'll see.

Anyway, this is what it's come to, in Round 22, 2011; or, more accurately and evocatively: the most one-sided finals race in 40-odd years of football. At this time last year, TWELVE teams were in contention for the finals spots. This is why I now have all this airy, vacant space available in my mind that allows me room to consider weighty topics such as those aired above.

So the top eight is pretty well cut and dried. All very nice if you like that kind of thing. I don't.
What I do like is the fact that I fly to Bali in two days and no longer feel like I will be missing out on many 'white knuckle it and then burst into lavish tears when it's over' type games regarding the run to the finals.

Maybe I'll even bump into some Raiders, Roosters or Titans who are there taking an early Mad Monday?

(I think that's what they call taking the 'Glass Half Full' approach to a situation, right? I'm not sure. It's entirely unfamiliar to me up until now if in fact that's what it is..)

"I Like Sports, I could do something in sports.."

From the 'My Life is Alarmingly Similar to George Costanza's' file:

-I like sports, I could do something in sports
-Uh huh, uh huh... In what capacity?
-You know, like the general manager of a baseball team?
-Yeyh, well - that can be tough to get...
-Well, it doesn't even have to be the general manager - maybe I could be like an announcer, like a commentator - You know, I always make those interesting comments during the game?
-Yeh..yeh, you make good comments...
-So what about that?
-Well, y'know, they tend to give those jobs to...ex-ball players and people that are, you know, in broadcasting...
-Well that's really not fair.

Oh, George. Show me something in the son-of-a-bitch world that is.

Boys of Summer & Lists of Books

I keep lists of the books I've read. I keep the books too, but it's the lists that make me feel less internally displaced. Same thing with the notebooks, the thousands of scrawled upon fragments, everything I've ever thought worthy of writing down and keeping - I do it not to remember what or where or why, I do it to remember myself.

The lists of books are like roadmaps. I can use them to navigate and plot the points of my past.

Like the time when I was nineteen and met this guy and after a couple of days of running charmed and drunk across the sky it came to light, by way of the book I was reading, that he didn't know who Henry Miller was. I remember this in far clearer focus than what I remember the actual book in. I remember feeling genuinely flabbergasted in the 'what kind of person are you?' manner that nineteen year olds are fluent in. I remember waving the book around barking "Tropic of Capricorn? Tropic of Cancer? Ring any bells? in uncomprehending disbelief. Obnoxious, I know.

Now I am older and understand that not only do some people not read, but that some people have zero interest in books, authors, or the written word in any real form whatsoever. Just one of the several dozen fundamental truths that my young self failed to grasp. And the guy? He and I lasted a couple of weeks; a month, however long we were supposed to before our gold light began to bleed to grey.

Did the Henry Miller issue hasten the dimming of the golden light? Hard to say. The large quantities of cheap wine he drank from a squeezy sports bottle probably accelerated the fade out more than the Miller thing, but certain things; mere trifles, often, do have a habit of lodging themselves in my mind and festering freely, for good or ill. Plus, the fact that I remember and am writing about this nearlylko ten years later seems to confirm that it did.

So. There was that. Flip the coin, toss it high, and turn to the time when a French boy walking past the tent I was sprawled in - spread out like Jesus on the cross and in a hot lather of that very specific 'lying in a molten nylon womb' sweat - noticed that I  was reading American Psycho and returned a minute later with a cold rock melon, a knife and the French language version of American Psycho that he himself was reading. "Ahhh, is, 'ow you say, destiny, no...?" Whatever. If it was meant to be knicker-rippingly seductive it worked. Well played, Frederique, well played. Word to Bret Easton Ellis, too.

As it turned out, that Henry Miller book I read was to be both my first and last. I fucking hated that book. I abandoned it in a South Australian laundromat alongside a pile of That's Life magazines. Miller would have rolled and writhed in his grave at this, the rotten son of a bitch. Or would he? From what I understand, which is very little, I think Miller wrote as a reaction against all that he saw which dulled and deadened life, in the same way Bukowski did. Horror. They were both horrified. People, the masses, the nightmare of them;
"their sounds, their decayed unlaughing laughter and faces as brutal and ugly and impossible as any matter you can dream up...and the eyes, the eyes, no eyes at all"

That kind of wraps up That's Life and ties a bow on it right there, so yeah, I don't think Miller would have been too chuffed with his company there. I know he liked the seamier, seedier side of life, but this was no 1930s Parisian laundrette with steam and soiled underclothes and a buxom young laundress he could bend over a basket.

I just discovered, by way of Google, that every photo of Henry Miller, ever, contins at least two tits. BALLER. (Not his, either; this is no "Bob had bitch tits" situation. It's a straight up BALLER situation.) See also: every edition of every one of his books.

So I write this and the very same night my brother texts me to tell me, apropos of the Polack he was out with, that I should try re-reading Henry Miller. "I know you didn't rate him ten years ago but I think you would now". He followed this up a second later with "Fire up you sad cunt!" because, well, who wouldn't link Henry Miller with Mark 'Toey Human Number One' Gasnier? They share Paris and a propensity for obscenity, it's only logical!

Are there lessons in these fragments, folded like unfurled flower petals? Maybe. Probably. Possibly that books and book talk are an effective way to sweeten somebody (i.e. me) who has a near-total aversion to people. That's my story, anyway, and I'm sticking to it. There is also the suggestion here that some people (i.e. me) may require potential partners to possess a rudimentary understanding of, y'know, that literary shit? I say this even though Henry Miller turned out to be a ranting, hyper-masculine windbag. Guys? You gotta know what's up. To what degree is yours to decide.

I used to think that any man who could read without his lips moving was acceptable. Well, it wasn't, and it isn't. I'm not looking for shared literary tastes on any grand scale, just some literary taste. How doI feel about boys who only read biographies or the collected works of Jeremy Clarkson? If they are in full possession of the rest of their faculties and all of their teeth I can't see there being any problems. I read Joey Johns' book - that epic doorstop The Two of Me, and his brother Matthew's From the Sheds, and Brad Fittler's Freddy (yes, really - and I imagined Freddy narrating it to me in his punch-drunk voice and free-wheeling way -  it was a good time), and I have Mal Meninga's Big Mal waiting on the shelf (where it may well remain now he has inflamed my righteous Blue ire to such a feverish extent) and I was saucer-eye enthralled by them all. I wish more NRL identities had books detailing their turbulent, fabulous careers, truth be told. I think Jason Stevens has one? About God and stuff? Yeah, no.

From the yeah, no, to the fuck, yeh files comes this fun fact: Bret Easton Ellis, that SICK GENIUS FUCK - know what his all-time favourite music video is?  Boys of Summer - Don Henly!!!! I know, right? This struck me as being pretty great. And by 'pretty great' I obviously mean fuck-off fantastic. Is Don Henly the Eagles' drummer or am I way off base? Anyway, love the song - it's an elegy to summers gone by; love the video -  it's all wayfarer sunglasses and Deadhead stickers on cadillacs and closed-up holiday houses; and love Bret Easton Ellis some more (sick genius fuck that he is).

To the best of my memory I think American Psycho is the only book I've ever bought that has been wrapped in plastic ("SHE'S DEAD - WRAPPED IN PLASSSTIC" and visions of Laura Palmer's beautiful, blue-lipped corpse, anyone? Bueller...Bueller? Just me then?). And there was an incident at the bookshop when I was unable to produce ID to prove I was over eighteen, for the simple fact that I wasn't over eighteen. And I was using a voucher that I had been given at my tenth grade end of year awards presentation.

American Psycho has given me, among many, many other things - (a fear of naked men in white sneakers weilding power tools, a fear of men who fill in crossword boxes with words like 'bone' and 'meat', a fear of men who exfoliate excessively - I could go on but y'all see where this is going, right?) - access to the single greatest and most ludicrous excuse, for anything, ever. Dazzling in its simplicity, audacious in its absurdity, I give you Patrick Bateman's default excuse/alibi for everything. Literally, everything.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Round 21: the Rabbitohs Rob the Raiders

August and September? Not.A.Fan. Maybe if I was a Storm supporter I would feel differently - wait, no. If I was a Storm fan I would have to like at least one of either Cameron Smith or Billy Slater, right? Forget it.

They say this is when things get exciting. I beg to differ. Tell me what's exciting about your team languishing in the bin-juices at the bottom of the ladder with the Roosers and the Eels for company and thanking god for the abominable consistency of the cellar-dwelling Titans.

This 'feeling grateful for the Titans' thing doesn't sit well with me. I don't like being indebted to teams like the Titans, it makes me feel unclean. Poor Scott Prince, though. I mean, honestly. Shit is dire. I don't even dream about David Gallop ordering the demolition of his illegal house these days. No. That would make me really, really mean. Months ago he was wearing a look more commonly seen in forced labour camps, and now it's spread to and deadened his once-twinkly eyes. Normally I'd offer advice along the lines of 'the way out is through'. Not this time. The stench of defeat that surrounds him is far too strong, and as such I spurn him in the same way that I spurn the advances of Nickleback enthusiasts, i.e. with extreme prejudice and occasional violence.

No, August and September are not for me. I much prefer the sense of potential and promise and POSSIBILITY that pervades the NRL air throughout May and June. You know, before things go all awry? Before things go to shit? Yes, better days. Happier days.

Still. It's not like I'm mired in misery. I said weeks ago that I looked forward to the Raiders; unencumbered by pesky top eight expectations or responsibilities, getting loose and lairy and playing some exciting, flamboyant footy. A backline of Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson and Daniel-'I'm back bitches'-Vidot is an exciting prospect if youthful exuberance is your thing. I want to see them throwing it around with wild abandon and unbridled enthusiasm. Y'know, like they're onstage at Mooseheads loaded up on stilnox and whiskey sours? But no. All quiet on the baby Raider backline.

Speaking of throwing it around, how is the flaming intensity of Johnathan Thurston's sideline manner? I know, he's injured, which means that I'm supposed to be hoping he makes it back into his hot-hiding headgear and onto the field asap, right? Forget it. JT's maniacal behaviour at the Cowboys' games has been the highlight of my NRL week now for three weeks straight. Don't go hurrying back now, JT. Steady as she goes.

Now, I would find a cardboard cutout of JT endearing and alluring and endlessly charming. Note my use of 'would'. Not 'do'.. *eyes dart shiftily*.  Obviously, then, Thurston on the sidelines, dressed in tidy civilian clothes and emoting like an audience member at an Oprah taping is a sight to behold. Bitch goes bananas! The highs! The lows! JT rides them like he would a burning clutch in a stolen Datsun180b. Hard, in other words.

So, there's JT sideline and monitoring the Cowboys' every play with the ruthless intensity of a pimp. At least we have that. But, sans Paul Gallan and Micheal Ennis, well, there's a VOID now, no? Not just in the teams - it's not like I give a damn what's happening to the team dynamics of the Dogs or the Sharks, just quietly - but in the general fabric of the game.

It's not like it's a veritable snoozefest, by any means. Exciting things are afoot. I think I'm just fatigued. Burnt out. It's tough, this business of fandom. Tougher than even I knew.

I got right onboard with the Roosters and Bulldogs game last weekend, the one where both teams, but particularly the Roosters, did away with defence altogether? That was a treat. Refreshing as a mint julep served on a Southern porch. Otherwise? Aside from Luke Lewis creeping up on Alan Tongue in the 'Face Like a Smashed Crab' stakes, I'm officially on the nod.

Now. One last thing - and may I recommend reading this with gritted teeth since that's how I wrote it - I found the Bunnies' audacious comeback from 20 -0 against the Dragons to be both a personal affront to me, as a Bunny hater, and, worse, an insult to my delicate sensibilities as a Raider fan. I mean, way to overshadow our 80th minute pressure-play demolition of the Dragons last Monday! I know, I know, the Rabbits have so little, I hear you say, how can I deny them this victorious moment given their status as a team full of failed potential who have only made the finals once in the last TEN years? Well, it's because I am an irrepressible bitch, that's how. And because they stole our thunder, goddamnit. Now it looks like any old shitkicker team can come out and beat the Dragons on their day. It wasn't supposed to be like this. Raider fans were meant to marinate in the juices of that win until at least the end of the year, and Dragons fans were meant to feel the burn of unexpected defeat for many weeks to come.

The Rabbits have rendered this redundant. Thanks a bunch, Rabbitohs. RETRIBUTION AWAITS.
Right after I take this nap.