World Idol? NOOOOOO!!!!!!!

I said I’d write last week didn’t I? And then I didn’t. Oh well, it was Christmas and that always involves a lot of running around and last minute gift buying and so on, so I’m going to plead that as an excuse. In any case it’s now well past Christmas, so I’d better write something πŸ™‚

Now I was going to continue on about my extremely busy weekend, but I don’t really have the inclination right now. I mean nothing much really happened on Saturday, I just went round to the aunts for lunch, which was long, but not particularly exciting. About the only interesting thing that happened was that they’d made a particularly tasty paella, and while I could no doubt spin the day’s events out into one of my usual epics I really can’t see the point.

Sunday has a bit more promise, Dom’s fixing of the plaster in the bathroom required virtually a full day’s worth of driving around (to get paint and lunch) and hanging around the place with him and Rebecca waiting for the plaster to dry. This provides a good chunk of material to work with – particularly the funky cafe we patronised – but I’m really not in the mood to write it at the moment. Neither am I in the mood to talk about Christmas (apart to note that Helen sent me a copy of The Postman, yey!) or review The Return of the King (so much was left out that I’m reserving judgment until I see the extended edition). So, what am I in the mood to write about?

Well, sad to say, World Idol.

As much as it pains me to admit it, I did actually watch World Idol the other week. Hey, it was Boxing Day, there was nothing else on and after The Return of the King in the morning and relatives all afternoon I needed something banal and mindless just to wind down. The fact that the add featured Kelly Clarkson in 40’s gear with her hair done in that sort of bunched up wartime style that for some reason*[Personally I blame Sophie Aldred in The Curse of Fenric] I find remarkably attractive may also have had something to do with it (as it turned out she wore an extremely boring suit with a stupid hat – blatant false advertising if you ask me). In any case it turned out to be fairly entertaining as I decided to be all arrogant and critique the contestants’ performances just as viciously as the international panel of judges. Great stuff! πŸ™‚

I can’t remember the names and nationalities of all the performers for the simple reason that most of them turned in such boringly adequate renditions of whichever run of the mill standard they chose. What I do remember though are the awfully bad and the surprisingly good ones, so I’ll talk about them.

OK we’ll start with the guy from Germany. He sung Maniac (you know …she’s a maniac, MANIAC on the floor! And she’s dancing like she’s NEVER danced before!.. yeah that one). His performance was… well crap is about the only word for it. Completely out of tune, out of time and his dancing… well let’s not even start on that. The judges gave him the complete lambasting he deserved and I both expect and hope he slunk back to Germany with his tail between his legs. I’d rather have watched that weirdo Daniel guy who looked like a girl and seemed to have been his major competition (they played a little bio about the competition in each country before the contestants sang).

A bit after him was the Pan-Arab girl. She took the unusual step of singing a traditional Arab song, which meant that neither the judges nor myself had any idea if she was performing spectacularly well, or horribly badly. You’ve got to admire her guts though, getting up there and singing something she wanted to sing, even though she knew it would totally scuttle her chances of winning. Bravo!

Not long after her was the guy from… Belgium? He might have been the guy from Belgium, I honestly can’t remember. I think he was from one of the low countries anyway (not Holland though – I can distinctly remember mocking the contestant from Holland by lisping things like “I am from de Nederlansh! I am a popstar! I am so pretty!” in a Dutch – or maybe Norwegian? – accent during his performance. But back to possibly-from-Belgium guy).

He came completely out of left field by singing Nirvana’s Lithium, and woah! He was good! Especially coming after so many completely banal sing-alongs. He honestly sounded like Kurt Cobain might had he risen from the grave in a particularly tetchy mood. I was so impressed that I decided (if I went insane and actually participated in this whole fiasco) that I’d probably vote for him.

This demi-decision was challenged though by the contestant from Canada who put in an amazing performance of He’s Not Heavy, He’s My Brother, which I’ve always considered one of the sappiest songs I’ve ever heard. He made it work though just by virtue of his voice. I mean this guy could actually sing, which is more than can be said for most of the other contestants who could merely sing-along. I was very impressed and seriously considered switching my non-existing vote over to him.

Soon after him was the contestant from Poland, a small blonde girl named Alex who mangled I Don’t Know How to Love Him by having no vocal control whatsoever. I mean she has a great voice – very powerful – but she needs to learn not to treat each note like an assault on Dunkirk. She did however manage to endear herself to the audience by telling the Polish judge that he’d need the “help of God” to get away with the vicious things he’d been saying to the other contestants πŸ™‚

Kelly Clarkson (sans cute 40’s hairstyle) then trilled her way through Natural Woman. She’d probably be quite a good singer if she actually stayed on the note for more than a pico-second at a time rather than spiraling off into the high, warbling hills of Mariah Carey territory.

After her they wheeled on Australia’s own Guy Sebastian. Let me be blunt here. I hate Guy Sebastian. I hate the way he sings, I hate the way he looks, I hate the way he’s got a recording contract and number one album, and I really hate the fact that you can’t turn on Channel 10 these days without seeing him dancing around on a beach with a bunch of other network nobodies. His one redeeming feature is that that ridiculous afro leaves his forehead nice and clear for a bullet (hmmm, a bit too far? Naahh!!! :). On this particular outing he massacred What a Wonderful World by twisting it into some kind of slow funk ballad and doing even more warbling and trilling than Ms Clarkson. Honestly it was an embarrassment to the entire nation. If he wins – and the judges seemed to think he would – I think I’ll shoot myself. Or at least move to Canada. Or maybe Belgium.

Anyway at long last they came to the final contestant, from Norway. There’s really only one way to sum up his performance, and that’s holy crap!! This little round faced gnome with a tooth-gap big enough to park a volvo in got up there and belted out this truly incredible version of U2’s Beautiful Day. It was like what that Alex girl might have been capable of if she actually got control of her voice. It was simply stunning. Like one of the judges commented afterwards, the guy has the voice of an angel even if he does look like a hobbit. If the general public could be relied upon to vote on the basis of singing ability rather than looks (which based on the calibre of most of the other contestants they can’t) this guy would win hands down.

So yeah, that’s my assessment. Only three decent singers out of the lot of them (or maybe four if the Pan-Arab girl is included). What’s the betting that not one of them will even come close to winning?

OK, I’ll shut up now before the Guy Sebastian mafia come and rough me up πŸ™‚

Intransigent DNA Influenced Cute Woman of the Week: Well, it’s a toss up between Kelly Clarkson in that 40’s costume or the girl from that Shooting the Past show that was on ABC last night. Emilia Fox, there we go. Toss up between them πŸ™‚

The Looong Weekend – Part 1

Well, it’s been a while hasn’t it?

I was planning to make an entry on Saturday as promised, but after working myself into the ground all week to get various major-pain-in-the-posterior sites finished before the Christmas break I felt like taking it easy. I also felt like taking it easy on Sunday, so I just played Civ III all day. But now it’s Monday, and I’m sufficiently recovered from the working year to actually write something – even if I did spend the entire morning playing Civ III. Again.

So, I was going to write about my insanely eventful weekend the other week. Or at least insanely eventful for me – let’s face it the most exciting events a standard weekend serves up for my good self are some lengthy sleep-ins and maybe watching the episodes of Scrubs I taped earlier in the week. But last weekend – oy. Talk about your semi-action packed 48 hours!

It all began on Friday with an opening down at the Moores building in Fremantle. My brother, Andrew, was taking part, and since openings at this time of year are fairly thinly attended I figured I’d better show my face to shore up the numbers. To this end I went in to work in the morning done up in my all black Overweight-Johnny Cash/Coffee-Shop-Waiter outfit planning to head down on the train when I knocked off.

Unfortunately I’d figured without my new pants (that’s ‘trousers’ for you Brits – stop sniggering! πŸ™‚

After the whole wrongly labeled black trousers incident of a few months ago I’d once again headed over to Morley and bought some more black trousers, this time making sure that they were the correct size. Naturally I didn’t try them on in the store – which in hindsight was once again a major mistake.

Now call me naive if you like, but is it unreasonable to expect that a pair of trousers of size X would fit a person who habitually wears jeans of size X? Well, apparently so because when I donned said new trousers on Friday morning they were… let us say rather snug around the waist. I thought they’d be OK, and went off to work, but a few hours later was in agony. I eventually had to throw in the towel and leave work at 3:30 because there was no way I’d be able to stand around looking at art – or even stand at all – if I spent a minute longer in the damn things.

So, I went home, had a shower and changed into my other pair of black trousers which may be a bit short in the leg but at least allow sensation below the waist. Then I immediately set off again in order to get down to Freo for 6:00.

Now, as anyone who regularly reads this poor excuse for a blog knows, the Moores Building is currently managed by Lyndah*It should be noted that she seems to be spelling it ‘Linda’ these days – which is fair enough, what with it being her name and all – I’ll stick with ‘Lyndah’ though for consistancy’s sake – which of course raises a whole load of potentially hideously embarrassing issues for me whenever I head down to the place. I was of course worried about this, but had a vague, comforting impression that she might be out of the country. As it turned out I was completely and utterly wrong.

Actually things went pretty well all things considered. We even exchanged a few words when Andrew dragged me over to the bar – specifically she said ‘hi’ and asked if I wanted a drink (she was serving them at the time), and I quite effectively killed any further conversation by replying that I’d just had one*Quite a talent that one, there must be a way I can exploit it somehow!. But hey, it could have been a heck of a lot worse πŸ™‚

Oh, and she looked great – naturally, although maybe the shoes were a bit much ;-D

Anyway, the exhibition was pretty good. It had a Christmas theme which resulted in some quite amusing pieces including a room full of those cheap home made paper bells (you know, you make them out of old magazines) and Andrew’s contribution – a 250 metre long paper chain draped back and forth over the roof beams of the main ground floor gallery. There was also a quite entertaining piece in one of the upstairs rooms exploring the idea of the Christmas things that get thrown away, like wrapping paper and styrofoam packaging (by ‘entertaining’ I mean that it’s got flashing lights that make the shape of a Christmas tree, you can’t tell me that’s not entertainment! ;-).

There was also a piece (under the paper chain in the main gallery) that consisted of empty wine glasses on a funky looking table. As the evening wore on people mistook this for actual empty wine glasses on a funky looking table and added their empty plastic cups to it (depending on the attitude of the artist I suppose this was either a triumph or a disaster πŸ™‚

So, I wandered around appreciating the art and doing my best to avoid running in to Lyndah (quite easy actually as she was extremely busy and stressed out over the whole event) until it was time for the official opening. This was handled by the Mayor of Fremantle, who gave a very good (and short) speech, and another man who is apparently a somebody in the local arts community. He gave a speech that might have been good – if he hadn’t read it off a sheet of paper in a monotone – and might have been short – it just seemed like an eternity of monotonous torture. In any case with the opening taken care of everyone dug into the two gigantic Subway subs provided (one vegetarian, one turkey and both pretty good for fast food) and got on with some serious drinking/art appreciation.

Not being one for drinking and having pre-appreciated the art I decided to find somewhere to rest my feet and sit down. I was originally thinking of the courtyard out the back, but the door was unfortunately closed, so I ended up sitting out on the street – heading back in occasionally for some Subway or orange juice, it now being safe to approach the bar (Lyndah having left the serving to subordinates).

Normally I would have walked back to the railway station at this point and gone home. However Andrew and Travis had talked me into going down to Thornlie with them and some of their friends to see the Christmas lights. Under the impression that Thornlie was somewhere in the vicinity of Yokine (and therefore fairly close to home) I agreed to this, which meant hanging around waiting for Emma to arrive. Unfortunately she wasn’t going to arrive until 8:30 or so, so there was about two hours worth of hanging around to be done.

In the end everyone (ie: myself, Andrew, Travis, a girl who might have been named Anna who was driving me mad by persistently looking like someone*I eventually figured out that she bore a distinct resemblance to Christa Miller, and a bunch of assorted artists and artists’ associates) ended up sitting outside on the pavement blocking pedestrian traffic – which was surprisingly entertaining really. The conversation meandered about until Emma finally arrived, bringing along (of course) her dog Mack who was in a particularly surly mood, possibly from the tinsel strung around his neck. Once she’d had a look around the exhibition we (that is myself, Andrew, Travis, the girl who might have been named Anna, Emma, another girl who’s name might have started with a J but then again might not have and Mack) piled into various cars (well 2 actually) and set off for Thornlie.

As it turned out Thornlie is nowhere near Yokine and in fact lies deep in the serial-killer territory of the southern suburbs. To avoid being ambushed and eaten we agreed to follow Emma in convoy, since she knew the way. Or at least she claimed to know the way, which is not exactly the same thing.

To get from Henry Street in Fremantle to Consulate Court in Thornlie – a distance of about 22 kilometres as the crow flies – took us the better part of an hour. Emma’s erratic sense of direction led us on a merry jaunt through the southern suburbs, including a detailed scenic tour of the undeveloped housing plots to the south east of the Canning Vale Industrial Estate. In the end Travis got so frustrated that he pulled over, dug out his street directory and plotted his own course, leaving Emma and the girl who’s name may or may not have started with J to turn around and follow us if they felt so inclined. They did, and we arrived at Consulate Court within five minutes.

Consulate Court is a small cul-de-sac where every Christmas for… well the last decade at least, the inhabitants have gone all out to turn their houses into hideously glaring palaces of Christmas themed kitsch. As their street gluttonously soaks up enough electricity to run a strip mall they sit and watch as wide eyed children, bewildered old age pensioners bussed in by their retirement villages and stoned teenagers fascinated by shiny things wander up and down their gardens, with expressions not unlike rabbits caught in the headlights of a fleet of prime movers. This is of course symptomatic of the general low sanity level of the southern suburbs, where the ability to play the banjo is highly looked upon and anyone speaking out against the flat-earth theory is setting themselves up for a good ol’ fashioned hangin’.

No, but seriously – the entire street (apart from a few scrooge-like abstainers) dress their houses up in the most ridiculous arrays of Christmas lights, each household vying to outdo their neighbours in quantity, quality, detail and just sheer wattage. The entire street ends up looking like an electrified version of the set for D.W.Griffith’s Intolerance, and people come from miles around to gaze in awe at the spectacle. Ordinary suburban houses are transformed into north-pole workshops, arctic wonderlands and illuminated nativity scenes – often all three at once which must make for some interesting conversations for parents of small children on the way home (“Daddy, did the three wise men really ride polar bears?” “Uh….. yes”).

We arrived just after 10:30pm, and there were still cars and tour buses pulling up. It looked like it was getting towards the end of the night’s show though, in fact one house turned out it’s lights just as we walked up to it (they were probably preparing to turn on the sprinklers if didn’t move along). It was all mightily impressive – not for nothing do Western Power award a year’s free electricity to the best display, the inhabitants of Consulate Court probably have to hock their jewelry in the new year just to meet the bills. I took some photos but none of them really capture the orgiastic splendor of it all, so I won’t worry about posting them.

So, with the lights seen we set off back to Fremantle where the girl who may have been named Anna had left her car. We attempted to follow Emma again, but she got lost in the maze of side-streets and cul-de-sacs within two minutes so Travis took over. Even with a five minute snacks/toilet stop at a service station we got back to Freo in under half an hour.

After that Andrew and Travis gave me a lift home. I got in at 11:45 and had a quick shower before falling into bed. Talk about your long days!

I was intending to write about my Saturday and Sunday next, but composing this epic has left me totally written out (and it’s almost time for M*A*S*H), so I’ll leave that for another day (most likely tomorrow). What I will do is post my hideously late Christmas list for the benefit of anyone who’s been completely bewildered as to what to buy me but hasn’t yet given in to the pressure and purchased socks. It will also serve as an early birthday list – remember, the post Christmas sales are only a few days away!


  • Mass Romantic – The New Pornographers
  • Moog Cookbook – The Moog Cookbook
  • Pixies at the BBC Live – The Pixies
  • Pixies (The Purple Tape) – The Pixies
  • Death to the Pixies (Double Album) – The Pixies
  • The Beatles 1 – The Beatles
  • E1VIS 30 #1 Hits – Elvis Presley
  • The Two Towers Soundtrack
  • Holidayland – They Might be Giants
  • They Might be Giants – They Might Be Giants
  • Miscellaneous T – They Might Be Giants
  • Then: The Early Years – They Might Be Giants
  • The Best of the Early Years – They Might Be Giants


  • Back to the Future Trilogy Boxed Set
  • Indiana Jones – The Complete Collection
  • Any of the Stargate SG1 DVDs except volumes 2, 9, 14 and 15
  • Mallrats
  • Chasing Amy
  • Men in Black


  • Anno Dracula – Kim Newman
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson
  • Mother Tongue – Bill Bryson
  • The Postman – David Brin
  • Dude, Where’s my Country? – Michael Moore


  • A new vegetable steamer

Intransigent DNA Influenced Cute Woman of the Week: I’m still doing this am I? Um… Well frankly I’ve been so busy working on websites and things that I haven’t had time to notice any cute girls either on TV or in real life over the last week. So there πŸ˜‰

We will resume normal broadcasting soon…

OK, insanely busy weekend, rent inspection tomorrow, end of year rush at work – practical upshot is even typing this is exhausting. All I want to do at the moment is watch TV and sleep. I’ll make some decent updates and email people who are waiting (Helen, this means you πŸ™‚ when it’s all over – probably Friday or Saturday.

Roll on glorious two weeks off!!




How’s that for an attention grabbing headline? I just about choked on my stir-fry when it came up in the news panel of my email program. A few seconds of consideration revealed it was sports, but still. Actually it puts a whole new spin on that spam I received last week “Important news about your colon” – maybe that was sports too.

Anyway I came online to post an important piece of advice – won through great personal suffering and pain. I share this with you all now, so you won’t have to learn it that hard way like I did. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT under any circumstances attempt to sing along to I Held Her in My Arms by the Violent Femmes while shaving! Trust me on this one people!

‘Nuff said πŸ™‚


So much controversy, so little time! (Well, effort really, but it adds up to the same thing.)

So, Robert Mugabe has pulled Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth. I’m tempted to say good riddance to bad rubbish, except for the fact that the place is in such an unholy mess and maybe the Commonwealth could have done something about it. Mind you they hadn’t managed to yet.

Mark Latham is the new leader of the Labour party. Well that’s a shock, I expected Beazley to get back in. I don’t know if giving the reins to Latham is a good idea or not. This the guy after all who got a bit peeved with a taxi driver a few years ago and broke his arm. But then maybe that’s what we need in a Prime Minister πŸ™‚

Seriously though, I was thinking he might be a much needed breath of fresh air, until I saw him interviewed on The 7:30 Report last week. He’d just been to see the American ambassador to apologise for some *ahem* unfortunate things he’d said during the war in Iraq, then held a press conference in the Labour caucus room – complete with American flag. His defence of this inclusion was some spiel about John Curtin’s founding of the Australian-American alliance during WWII, with repeated mention of Curtin’s portrait hanging on the wall nearby. It was frankly the least-convincing attempt at an explanation I’ve ever seen, particularly after he repeated it about five times.

But then on the other hand he’s pledged that if elected he’ll reverse the Government’s higher education reforms, apologise to the Stolen Generations and do a whole bunch of other cool stuff too (it’s naive to assume he’s actually do even half of this if he got in, but at least he says he will, which is refreshing). So, maybe things are looking up for once in Federal politics. Or at least different, which is something.

And while we’re on Federal politics, what is up with the Democrats? Are they trying to self-destruct? Because they’re doing a great job of it. Their leader (who’s name momentarily escapes me) in a surprising show of trans-party amicability went to a Liberal Christmas party last week – and stole five bottles of wine (allegedly). Then, when asked about said bottles of wine while in Parliament he (allegedly) threatened the (female) senator asking him about it and injured her arm. We can perhaps forgive him slightly for this – after all he wasn’t in full control of his faculties at the time, being drunk (allegedly). Way to go Democrats!

Right, I think that’s most of the controversy dealt with for now, so onto completely irrelevant stuff πŸ™‚

This evening (inspired by the Thanksgiving episode of Friends that was on a few months ago) I decided to see how many American states I could name off the top of my head. I got 47, which considering I’m not an American is pretty good (for the record I missed – OK, I’ll hide these against the background so as not to give anyone trying it for themselves any hints – Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri). I suppose I’d better try the American state capitals next, I somehow doubt I’ll do anywhere near as well *g*.

Oh, and I successfully walked home today as planned. Physical fitness, riches and the adoring love of women here I come! Or at least the first one ;-D

OK, I’m going to shut up now. Probably just as well πŸ™‚

An Exercise in Stupidity

And talking of adds, how disgusting is that Sultana Bran one that mutilates Marvin Gaye’s Heard it through the Grapevine? Blasphemy! That’s the only word for it! Hrumph!!

Well, I said I’d write more yesterday, but I didn’t. This was because I thought I’d be too busy today cleaning up for the rent inspection I’ve got on Tuesday – then, realised yesterday afternoon that the inspection isn’t until Tuesday of next week. So I decided to be all lazy instead and played Civ III πŸ™‚

Mind you, when I say lazy I wasn’t all that lazy – I’d done a shopping trip earlier in the day which involves a three kilometre round walk, the second half of which included carrying $120 worth of assorted groceries. The temperature was 30

It’s not the THIRD SEQUEL!!!

OK, I had a busy, tiring week so I’m in no mood to make a proper entry, but I just have to complain about that add for Scary Movie 3 that’s running at the moment.

It’s the usual mismash of tiny little clips suggesting the film is absolutely hilarious (which it almost certainly isn’t) with an extremely happy voice over man at the end telling us all to go and see it because it’s great. What’s so bleeding annoying is that as part of this tired spiel he says something along the lines of…

…come and celebrate this third sequel…

EXCUSE ME? Third sequel? Call me pedantic but wouldn’t Scary Movie 3 be the second sequel by definition?

It amazes me that such an obvious error should slip past all the people who must have looked over the script for the add. Or is everyone in advertising these days only semi-literate? (actually that wouldn’t surprise me at all).

*sigh* I’ll write more tomorrow. Probably πŸ™‚

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