I Blogged Myself

Why do you always come here? I guess we'll never know. It's like a kind of torture, To read this blog, y'know.

Welcome to the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational blog since Kermit left just a little bit of the swamp in his pants.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Gonzo's Lament

This looks familiar
Vaguely familiar
Almost unreal, yet
It's too soon to feel yet
Close to my soul, and yet
So far away
I'm going to go back there someday

Sun rises, night falls
Sometimes the sky calls
Is that a song there?
And do I belong there?
I've never been there
But I know the way
I'm going to go back there someday

Come and go with me
It's more fun to share
We'll both be completely
At home in mid air
We're flying, not walking
On featherless wings
We can hold on to love
Like invisible strings

There's not a word yet
For old friends who've just met
Part heaven, part space
Or have I found my place?
You can just visit
But I plan to stay
I'm going to go back there someday
I'm going to go back there someday

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Little Faerie Girl has reviewed the first half of a mystery mixed CD I made and sent her. Check it out now for greatness and weirdness and jolliness and BEVISness!

She's a gem! Give her love!

Items For Sale - Lot 'D'

For all my American readers who didn't understand what a 'mobile phone' is, I now also have a 'cell phone' for sale, if anyone's interested.

Additionally, I have a high quality whizz-bang 'crash'-proof word processor available.

As usual, email me any offers.

Monday, November 28, 2005


I'm feeling a bit glum today, but this is probably because of the GIGANTIC wedding event yesterday of Fabian and his diminutive wife. For whom I now have a name: Lovely Lovely.*

The wedding itself was magnificent, and they were both very teary, very beautiful, and very much in love. I videoed the whole thing (I estimate that in 7 and a half hours, there was a total of somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour where I wasn't holding a video camera to my face - which means that I have very sore arms today!), and I hope to edit it all together for them so they can have a rip-roaring wedding DVD to keep always and remember their special day.

Fabian cried - he's a big girl.

Anyway, they're off now on their honeymoon of joy**, and I daresay we won't be hearing from them for a few weeks now.

But getting back to the point, having experienced such an emotional high of a day could be contributing to the 'glum' feeling I have now. But it could also have to do with all the nasty, vindictive, workplace-bullying crap that's going on around here in the office today.

It's enough to make anyone feel like junk.

I know I still owe you Part 6 of my TV Addiction multi-post, but I'm just not feeling up to completing it today. It's mostly finished, but needs to be wound up. Or, for Clokeeeey's benefit, it parked the minibus but had to go and get change for the parking meter. It should be back any day now.

I'm going to go home to Wifey, now. She always cheers me up by being so wonderful and beautiful and gorgeous and loving and caring and sexy and very sexy and supportive and splendid and clever and wise and we're going to watch Neighbours together.

* Which is something she says a lot.

** And sex.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

It's Fabian's Wedding Day!

I wish Fabian and his diminutive fiancee the very best of days today as they walk down the aisle and become husband and wife (after which I will have to call them "Fabian and his diminutive wife" - a change I am ready to embrace).

They are both delightful people and I trust this day will be a joy for them both to remember always.

As I am their official videographer for the day*, I will do my absolute best to capture all the most joyous moments of the day on film, so they can watch it back on the DVD in a couple of months' time as they snuggle together on the couch, then again on their first year wedding anniversary as they snuggle together on the couch, then in five years when things are rocky as they sit in their separate arm chairs, then at their 50th wedding anniversary as they squat uncomfortably in their wheelchairs, then once one of them has passed away at the age of 80**, then handed down to their grandkiddies (who will never watch it), then finally sold as a drink coaster at a garage sale in the year 2097 for $5.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves: Have a great wedding day, guys. I'm sure it'll be a fantastic day for you both.

"Hope you get a leg over."


* Insofar that they're not getting a professional videographer but have asked me to play that role - for which I am chuffed - so technically I'm their official video guy.

** I'm tipping he'll go first, as she's a doctor. Although maybe that means she'll be able to look after him better than he'll be able to look after her ...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Adam & Jobe Are The Same Person!

You heard it here second. Or perhaps third. It all depends, I guess.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Items For Sale - Lot 'C'

Mobile phone - one owner, low mileage. $500 ono.

Also looking to sell an old Commodore 64. Fairly good condition, still runs.

Email me with your details.

(If anyone wants to make an offer on the haircut in the first picture, be my guest.)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Gobble-Gobble, A Gobble-Gobble-Gobble!

I can't believe this article, which Captain Dingbat just sent me.

I love that she put her victory down to "swallowing fast". What a genius. Is she sure it wasn't because she said grace before her meal? I mean - really. What else would help you win a speed-eating competition if not for the speed with which you ate?

Here's another fantastic quote from our intrepid champion, when asked to explain her winning strategy: "I just tried to eat fast."

Golly, I hope this woman is a mother (or planning to be) - the gene pool her brainiac kids would be swimming in is just teeming with clever little buggie things!

And so what was her training regime? Why, chewing gum, of course! You've got to have a strong jaw that has been specifically 'trained' into thinking like a powerful chewing machine (with super-sonic chomping strength*) to even attempt a feat like this!

Disturbing Fact From This Article # 37: There is an International Federation of Competitive Eating, which even uses capital letters to signify its own importance.

And so, in closing, allow me to remind you that this clever woman has also been faster than her opponents at eating egg, cheesecake, crab-cake, meatball and fruit-cake ... but hopefully not all at once.

What a way to spend your Thanksgiving. You Americans are wacky.

The next part of my TV multi-post will hopefully be here tomorrow. It's just out the back, trying to find a car park - I swear.

* Trademark.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My Addiction - Part 5

Credit Sequences.

Many people might watch them once, but only to read the stars' names, and many don't take notice of much more than that. But I study them. The use of imagery, the order in which the actors in the show are given, the way those names are put to faces (or not, as the case may be), the music used, the brevity of each actor's name's "screen time", the font and type size used for the names, whether the show's title appears before any names (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), after all names (Alias - early seasons) or after the "main star's" name, but before the others (Stargate: SG1), etc.

There is much to digest, and I believe it all says a lot about how the producers, creators, writers, production companies and networks feel about their own show. I tend to watch the opening credits and let it gauge the 'feel' of the show for me.

If the people behind the show don't care enough to produce a good quaity, exciting opening credit sequence, it tells me that they either have little respect for their own show, or little respect for their viewers. Either way, I take it as a bad sign.

It's important not to judge the opening episode's credit sequence too harshly, though. Particularly American shows, where the opening episode is often the pilot, which was filmed up to six months ahead of the rest of the season (the pilot is used to 'sell' the show to the network/distributor, and often they won't bother to re-film the pilot unless they re-cast a role or something). This, in turn, means that the opening credit sequence is sometimes vastly different in the first episode than it is in the remaining episodes of season one.

I also find it interesting to note which actor receives top billing (on an "ensemble" or "buddy-buddy" show even more so) and which actor receives the last credit. Generally, the last spot is reserved for the second or third most important character / actor, which I have dubbed 'book-ending' the credit sequence, although I'm sure this isn't the term used in the industry (I wouldn't know). With Buffy, Sarah Michelle gellar obviously had top billing, but for the first five seasons Anthony Stewart Head (Giles) had the final credit ("and Anthony Stewart Head as Giles") All other actors, including SMG, only had their names credited; not their characters as well. When Head left the show at the end of the fifth season, Alyson Hannigan (who played Willow on the show and is better known as 'that redhead from the American Pie movies who says "This one time, at band camp ..."') was moved from her traditional spot as third in credit order to the book-end position as last. She also had "and Alyson Hannigan as Willow" added to her credit. This helped to stengthen the ending of the credit order, as the few in-between actors weren't as major to the show as Buffy, Xander (credit order number 2) and Willow (and Giles, when he was there).

Many shows end their opening credit sequence with "and XXX as XXX" (or at least "and XXX"), so this won't be an alien description for you even if you've never seen an episode of Buffy, I'm sure. Similarly as important to the whole notion of book-ending (or perhaps moreso) is the credit order itself. Often, this is ruled by the important placed on the characters the actors play, not on the strength of the actors' abilities themselves, which I think is a shame, although I acknowledge that it probably makes much more sense this way than the hypothetical alternative to the average viewer. The middle of the credits is generally the weakest spot, depending on the number of characters beign credited.

Take Everybody Loves Raymond, for example. A deal was clearly struck with the real-life parents / agent of daughter Ally (played by Madylin Sweeten), that she would get full a cast credit from the get-go ... even when her character didn't appear in the show. Her real-life younger twin brothers Sawyer and Sullivan (who played her on-screen younger twin brothers Geoffrey and Michael) weren't so lucky - even though by the end of the show's run they were considerably older than their sister was when the show started. Regardless, Madylin received a full opening credit for each episode. This doesn't mean she was listed last, however. The credit sequence went thusly:

Ray Romano (Ray Barone)
Patricia Heaton (Debra Barone)
Brad Garrett (Robert Barone)
Madylin Sweeten (Ally Barone)
with Doris Roberts as Marie (Barone)
and Peter Boyle as Frank (Barone)

(In the last season or so, when Monica Horan (Amy MacDougall-Barone) received an opening credit as well, she was inserted between Brad Garrett and Madylin Sweeten). The twin boys received a full screen closing credit for each episode they appeared in, which read:

Sawyer Sweeten
Sullivan Sweeten"

This meant that they didn't share their credit page with any other guest star, which in itself is respectful to their continued role and was clearly part of their contractual negotiations as well.

Anyway, to return to the point, whenever an opening (or closing, for that matter) credit sequence adds words like "and", "with", "as", "featuring" (and so on), it indicates more importance to the following name/s than for some of the names that have gone before. In this way, the unstated reality of this particular show's opening credits was to place Ray, Debra and Robert as very important, and then put Marie and Frank on a distinct and honorable pedestal of important all of their own (in recognition of their respective pre-existing long-term acting careers when they got the gig on the show, I have no doubt), with Ally bringing up the rear, for all intents and purposes (and fair enough, too - she's just a kid). But I trust you will see that the beginning and the end of the credited cast members are the more important ones, so it's very interesting to see who holds those positions in any given show.

The music holds major importance too. Is it a funky, fun-sounding rocky song? Is it grunge or rap or whatever the kids are listening to nowadays? Is it soft, slow and sappy like some chick-flick drivel, seemingly designed to put you to sleep? :) Does it make you smile, does it raise your interest? Does it excite or entice you to watch? Does it, in effect, embody the spirit of the show? Some examples of TV shows' theme music that I think have worked very well include, in rough order:

The Amazing Race
Muppet Babies
Last Man Standing
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Will & Grace
Arrested Development
The Muppet Show
Kath & Kim
Growing Pains
(a show I sadly forgot from my first post on this subject)
Family Ties
Duck Tales
The Late Show
Australian Idol / American Idol
Hey Hey, It's Saturday!
The Practice
Rove Live
The Bill
The Apprentice
It's A Knockout!
Charles in Charge
Quantum Leap

If you're familiar with any of the above shows (and their theme songs), you'll hopefully see the point I'm trying make here. Some theme songs I really don't like or find totally irritating / irrelevant to the content matter are:

Nightline (evening news program on Channel 9 in Australia)
Felicity (later seasons)
Charmed (I like the original song, but I don't think what they've done to it does it or the show justice)
Star Trek: Enterprise
McLeod's Daughters
The Alice
All Saints

I'm going to stop this here and pick the same subject matter up in my next post. This is turning out to be a long monologue on credits. The next part will discuss the notion of seeing an actor's face next to or above their name in an opening credit sequence, guest cast members' names being given in super-imposed form once the actual credit sequence has finished, credits that are re-edited together every now and then (such as for each new season), closing credits, fun credits, and non-actors' names being included in the opening credit sequence (plus anything else I think of as I'm putting it together).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Items For Sale - Lot 'B'

i-Pod for sale. Email me with your best offer.

Clokeeeey has first option.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Items For Sale - Lot 'A'

I have a DVD Writer and a Palm Pilot for sale. Anyone interested, please email me.

Friday, November 18, 2005

My Addiction - Part 4

I remembered what else I had planned to say yesterday: It was on the point of the 'presenters'.

Basically, I was going to say that there are some presenters who can do no (or very little, anyway) wrong. For my money, Andrew Denton is one of these, which is made all-the-more amusing by his stereotypical nerdy little school boy appearance. If you don't know him, don't be fooled by how he looks. He's actually a very sharp, witty and skilled interviewer. Dame Edna Everage is another of these people, but only if you exclude her appearance on Ally McBeal towards the end of that show's run. Tragic mistake for all. However, The Dame Edna Experience from the 80s was one of the most hilarious television shows produced by a purple-wig-adorned, ridiculous-frock-wearing man pretending to be a woman. Whatever else Dame Edna has appeared on has been a ripper. To a lesser extent, 'Rampaging' Roy Slaven and H.G. Nelson are also fine examples of this phenomenon. Perhaps looking past The Monday Dump and the less-exciting Ice Dream, etc, their other shows are great value, and it's their approach to their unique style of humour that impresses me most. I loved the Clive James year-in-review specials from the 1980s as well, in which beloved ex-patriot Australian comedian / presenter James would show snippets of news footage from the preceding year and put bogus stories around them, making them truly hysterical. They used to air here on New Year's Eve or something, as I recall, which means we were getting them at about the same time they were airing in England. He sort of went downhill in my opinion after he stopped making these specials, but at the time they were gold. Garry McDonald is also an Aussie gem. Fooling international guests into thinking his bumbling idiot of a character Norman Gunston was a real interviewer - and not knowing what to think of him and his absurd questions - made it so much fun to watch a celebrity interview! I'd have loved to see him do more on television with his Gunston persona ... but also leaving the shackles of Norman behind, as I've seen him act in life drama before as well, and he's fantastic. Going back a bit, Graham Kennedy could always make an event out of any TV show he touched, and in my humble opinion, Bert Newton does it now. Say what you like about the size of his head and his very obvious hairpiece, he has a razor-sharp wit and doesn't mind taking the mickey out of himself (an essential Australian trait). The team from Frontline, whom I've spoken of already, are another group whose Midas touch can't be beat. From their early days with The D-Generation, to The Late Show and Frontline, almost every TV show they've been involved with has sparkled. The possible exceptions to this would be their ill-fated Funky Squad (which I actually thought could have been made a bit better - and been given a better chance by viewers) and the once-trendy but now more-often-than-not-scorned The Panel (currently MIA with no official word on a return date).

I admit to having an affection of sorts with the above-mentioned presenters / comedians, but their choice in TV projects has largely shown excellent decision-making abilities, superb talent and skill, or maybe a bit of a combination of both. As always, there are exceptions to the rule - but in general terms, these examples make great TV.

Now, onto what a show has to do to get on my 'Bad' list:

First, it has to be a lame testosterone-based pseudo-scientific show with a crap sense of humour that replaces a good quality sci-fi show I was really enjoying watching when presumably low ratings get it pulled off the air. That's the number one thing it has to do, which is why I'm so amazed that I forgot to put Brainiac on my list of hated shows. But that's a bit of a personal view, and I don't expect everyone to agree with my reasoning, there! ...

As Peter was saying in the comments section yesterday: Slagging Home and Away for a crappy looking car crash is missing the point. It's a soap. The only question you should ask of it is "is it good soap?" If you want more out of a show that what that show aims to give, then you're going to be disappointed every single time.

Peter makes a great point - I absolutely agree that no one's going to come out a winner (not you or the show) if you go into the experience of watching it expecting it to be something it's not. This is the same in all facets of life, of course, but for some reason most of us forget about this when we sit down to watch TV. I'm not sure why this is; perhaps the grand choice of styles to choose from has spoilt us, and once we see something we love, we unfairly use that as a gauge by which to measure all other shows (despite them not trying to be like the first show at all - in fact, often they're running in completely different directions on purpose).

Let's pretend I buy an apple and an orange* and I choose to eat the apple first. I love the apple; it tastes fantastic; it was just what I wanted. Then I eat the orange. This orange is sweet, juicy and delicious. It doesn't taste bitter, it has no bad aftertaste - I don't even have any hassles with pips, rind or bits of orange flesh getting stuck between my teeth. But if I screw my face up and say "Eww, this doesn't taste anything like an apple!", then I am a gigantic idiot.

That said, however, we're all human. You probably all have shows that you just don't like, and I know I have them as well (the above example of Brainiac being a good example of one of mine). As stated in Part 2 of this multi-post, there are shows I just don't like at all. I've explained why Survivor is one of them, and it has the dual-reason of a personal memory being resurfaced (which is clearly restricted purely to myself), and the notion of the angry gossiping and bitchiness that goes on not being appealing to me (perhaps something I share with others, I don't know). As for Home and Away, Peter is right when he says it's a soapie, and we can't judge it as anything else. However, soapies can be done well (or reasonably well at best, anyway!), and overacting, poor scripting, obvious plot developments, and stale or stagnant characters / events / storyarcs, etc, are elements of a bad soapie. I feel that (in the past two years, anyway), Neighbours has been a surprisingly good soapie, judged purely on its own merits, for going with strong characters, interesting plot developments, and for having a distinct lack (at least compared with other soapies) of overacting actors. I can name them if you want to debate this last point, which I know many people may want to do. I'm not saying they could be using more realistic actors, but it's better in Ramsey Street than it is in Summer Bay (or certainly any American soapie you care to name). As for the storyarcs on Neighbours, I've been somewhat impressed that the typical "everyone's life on this plane is in jeopardy - and somebody will die" storyline has been handled well, with the gradual retrieval of most survivors / bodies / runaways, etc, and it was never 100% clear who would die (unlike at other times, when the outcome is already general knowledge or obvious from the credits, etc). It's still pretty unlikely that people would inter-marry and really only have friendships with other people who lived within four doors of each other, but that's part of the nit-picking I was referring to yesterday that simply doesn't wash with me.

Let's talk Dancing with the Stars. Actually, let's not. It's just a poor excuse for watching C- and D-grade celebrities potentially embarrass themselves learning ballroom dancing in front of the nation and being roasted by so-called judges afterwards - not to mention the easy money it makes by getting people to ring in their favourites. And don't get me started on Daryl Somers. He was bearable on Hey Hey, but this resurgence of his career is just a joke. (Oh, and Sonia who-now?)

Looking to the dramas I included on my list, unfortunately all three of them Australian, I find myself wondering if I'm being too critical of local products. The answer is no. I'm supporting plenty of Australian-made stuff, but only the good stuff. For all its faults and the incredibly high crime rate for such a small country town, Blue Heelers is a great Aussie drama - particularly over the past year or so. I've talked about Neighbours already. Last Man Standing was a hopeful new fave, but was slaughtered by its own network (in my opinion). I've mentioned Frontline enough times, but put that together with Kath & Kim and you've got some brilliant Aussie comedies as well. However, The Alice just didn't cut it for me (it was nothing more than a glorified cross between Always Greener and McLeod's Daughters for mine), McLeod's Daughters itself is aimed at chicks (so I can't honestly be expected to have warmed to it), and All Saints is just one of those "ho-hum, another medical drama" things (to say nothing of the new Aussie show The Surgeon, which comes hot on the heels of America's Grey's Anatomy and isn't anything like it at all!). The characters and situations and events on All Saints just don't appeal to me. I think their over-dependance on Georgie Parker earlier on in the series turned me off it, as well.

Current affairs shows are a disgrace more often than not, and American talk shows are simply unhealthy for everyone. The only thing left to discuss from my 'Bad' list is Hey, Dad! - and anyone who's ever seen it will back me up on this: I don't need to justify why it's on this list.

Part 5 will come next week. Have a good weekend, people. Enjoy your televisions. They're part of the family too, you know.

"Tune in and tune out."

* This is clearly a fictitious example, as I would never buy fruit.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

My Addiction - Part 3

So, after heaps of television shows have been listed on this blog over the past few days, I've been fielding many questions about possible omissions and so on.

Maybe it would be a good time to clarify what it is about these shows that struck a positive or negative chord with me (in general terms).

To make the 'Good' list, a show must either appeal to me the same way it might to any other viewer. This is fairly obvious, and I mention it first because presumably it's something most people can relate to. However, there is often much more to it than that.

I am also drawn to anything that might be ground-breaking about the show. This could be format, writing, characters, actors, editing, camera-style, music, drama, humour, location, theme/s ... the list is basically endless. Naturally clever writing and snappy editing are not enough to carry a show on their own, but if one or more of these elements are new or impressively-handled enough to capture my interest, it's more worthy than most of the shows that see the light of day. The Amazing Race is a genuinely thrilling show for me, as I love car rallies, and this is basically a huge-scale version of a worldwide car rally. Solving clues, completing tasks, high-stress relationships being put to the test, a team eliminated at almost each leg, ... I absolutely love it and it's definitely my favourite reality TV show ever created. I'm very glad that many people agree with me, because ever since a special 'Reality TV' category was created at The Emmys three or four years ago, my understanding is that The Amazing Race has won it each time. There must be a message in that. It's not a bitchy show (although if some characters bring those elements to the show it's at their own peril), but relies on teams working together and racing against each other to win. Addictive and fun! I love it.

Survivor was ground-breaking when it came out, but for reasons mentioned previously, it reminds me too much of a terrible 10 days I once spent in the wilderness with a bunch of bullies when I was just new to my school, so I can't get into it. Also, the contestants have to conspire against each other, and I'm not really into that kind of behaviour of other people.

The Office (UK) was ground-breaking, if you forget about other mockumentary-style shows that did it first, most noticeably Frontline here in Australia, back in 1994. Brilliant writing, acting, humour, parody and realism all rolled into one. Excellent.

If a personality is already known to me (stepping away from scripted character-based shows for a moment), such as a presenter of a variety show or a comedian playing a role (like Dame Edna Everage, although I can't think of what role she plays ... I think it might be Barry Humphries), then that will intrigue me enough to want to see what's going on. If done well, I'll appreciate the show for what it is.

With scripted character-based shows, we have the usual complaints of realism, impractical occurrences, etc. I don't really hold with that sort of complaint unless the execution of the show is tedious. Take 24, for instance. The stuff that happens within a 24-hour period on that show is nuts. Completely unbelievable - especially when you take into account that the main string of terrorist plots start and end within 24 hours exactly, and that 'cliffhanger' complications happen every hour, on the hour. Even putting aside for the moment the usual complaints like when the characters get to eat, sleep, go to the toilet, etc, how quickly they're able to travel around Los Angeles, how easily they can contact each other on their "cell" phones without a single line dropping out or voicemail message (unless it intentionally adds to the stress), how simple it is to "upload that information to Jack's PDA" within seconds or decode massive amounts of cryptic information on screen, etc, the show is full of ridiculous assumptions that all have to do with the plot. I agree with all of this, but I don't take issue with any of it.

In my view, you're watching the show to be entertained, so if you're going to allow the entertainers to do their job, you've got to enter into their 'world' and accept their rules. This is called "suspension of disbelief", and it's imperative to enjoying any show. It's not serving any purpose to accept the premise of a show and then get angry with how they let it unravel. Unless we're talking about severe cases of flying in the face of its own logic, I will always sit back and let the show entertain me (whenever possible).

I look for elements of the show such as the opening credits sequence (I will discuss this in greater detail in a future Part of this multi-post), the people they get to play the roles, the music they use, the 'messages' or morals they're leaving the viewer with and what they're trying to say by that, how seriously they take themselves, etc, and I assess whether or not the people putting the show together actually believe in their own product.

Then I study the writing (arguably the most important element to any show), and decide whether or not it is snappy and original, funny (if it's meant to be), dramatic without being melodramatic (if it's supposed to be), and above all - despite it sounding like a word meant for prep kids - clever. If twists and turns are the order of the day with the show in question, do you see them coming? Are they the massively obvious twists? Are they the twists you just knew they'd go with if they didn't go with the massively obvious ones? Or are they something else entirely; something which you genuinely didn't see coming? If laughs and humour are the order of the day with the show in question, are the jokes predictable and lame? Are they designed only to appeal to the lowest common denominator? Or are they upbeat, intelligent, subtle, understated, brilliantly executed, character-driven, and memorable? Etc.

Let's look briefly at themes. Another massively important element to many TV dramas. I don't want to talk too much about this one because I'll never stop, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel are possibly the best examples of this working superbly. Any of you who haven't watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer (probably because of the mental image you get when you hear its name) are seriously missing out, here. Yes, it's a fantasy world, but it's actually a fantasy world set in our own world (unlike The Lord of the Rings, for example). If you look past the titular character's name and her titular occupation, you'll discover a brilliantly-scripted series of thematic plotlines and two- or three-season-long story arcs that are played out through exceptional characters and impressive events. But through it all - every single episode - the point was always to resemble the themes of girl power; of high school and growing up to be hell; of relationships being wonderfully joyous one day and monstrously disastrous the next; of doing the right thing even when the odds are stacked so high against you; of choice; of loneliness; of friends; of duty. These things were embodied in the very lives the characters lived, and were mirrored in some abstract way in the horrors they faced each week. It was clever and skillful; not schmultzy or lame, and anyone who never watched it should rent or buy the series on DVD and watch them from the beginning. (In order!)

What else do I look for in a show? ... Well, I enjoy a bit of science fiction (I'd never dress up as a Star Trek character, though ... however I did dress up as a Buffy character once, so I guess I can't comment on our Trekkie fans too harshly ...), and in particular anything that involves time manipulation. But those are personal preferences to do with likes and dislikes; they don't really relate to what I study a show for.

I have a feeling there's more I intended to say with this, but for now I have to sign off. So I'll leave you with that for today and if I think of anything I want to add, I'll do so with Part 4 (including what a show has to do in order to make the 'Bad' list).

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Need e-Business Solutions?

I'm taking a quick break from my TV Addiction multi-post to bring you an important announcement (hey, I've got to pay for all this exciting info somehow!).

If you're in need of some fresh and captivating e-Business solutions, you can't go past this brilliant new company here.

Be sure to check out every page on their website, as each one contains little snippets of wisdom, specially designed to 'sell' you on their company.

I've already signed up a few of my friends. (True; this was without their knowledge, but I know they'll thank me ...)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

My Addiction - Part 2

OK, here are some shows that I really really really don't like (either for creative reasons, or simple viewer-bias and distaste).

Home and Away
Dancing with the Stars
McLeod's Daughters
Hey Dad!
The Alice
All Saints
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
The Jerry Springer Show
The Oprah Winfrey Show
Current Affairs shows
American daytime soaps
The Bill
(although I gave this a red-hot go for a while there)

And here are a few additions to yesterday's list of favourites. (Thanks to Clokeeeey for reminding me about some of them!) They all go somewhere in the middle of the list:

Live & Sweaty
Enough Rope with Andrew Denton
The Dream with Roy & HG
Club Buggery
The Memphis Trousers Half Hour
Not The Nine O'Clock News
Kingswood Country
Good Morning Australia with Bert Newton
In Melbourne Tonight with Graham Kennedy
Coast To Coast
Blankety Blanks
Roger Ramjet
Danger Mouse

If I think of any more to add to either list as I continue with this TV Addiction theme, I'll let you know. Stay tuned for Part 3 in the coming days, where I'll go into what it is about the shows I love that make me love them. It's not all about what I enjoy watching, plotwise. Usually it's style and cinematography skill.

Monday, November 14, 2005

My Addiction - Part 1

TV: Two little initials; one long-ish word; a huge body of work (lots good; lots more terrible); an entire life's addiction.


That just about sums it up, but let's have a look through my mind, shall we? (Warning: Enter at your own risk!) This could take a while, so I advise you to bring a packed lunch.


The reason I held off on this post for so long (some of you may recall me mentioning a few weeks back that I was working on it) was that I'm a massive fan of the shows at the top of this list in particular, and my overseas readers (particularly the Americans, through no fault of their own) may not realise that we see new seasons of these shows anywhere from six to nine months after they do (the plus side is that we see the whole season straight through, without those irritating weeks of repeats, etc, that you guys get all the time, sprinkled liberally throughout each new season). However, this means that when mentioning 24, for example, someone in the comments section might say something like, "Wasn't the ending of the fourth season really amazing when blah-blah-blah happened?" - not realising that they have in fact spoilt the entire season for me, because we haven't seen the ending yet.

However, it was just last Thursday night that the magic of the 24 season four finale aired here in Australia - so I don't have to fear that anyone will (accidentally or maliciously) spoil the show for me now that I've revealed my major interest in it. But if you're reading this froma country that hasn't aired the most recent episodes of the below shows (and you don't want them spoiled for you), read the comments at your own peril. I won't spoil anything in this post, but I can't vouch for seemingly-innocent comments from myself or others that may spoil things for you. You have been warned.

And as 24 is my favourite current show (the only others I love more than 24 are shows that are no longer being made, as you will see momentarily), it was important to me that I waited until after Thursday's finale. But enough chit-chat - let's get started.


Here are my All-Time Favourite Shows, more-or-less in preference order, although about halfway down I'm really stating to split hairs:

The Muppet Show
Muppets Tonight
Muppet Babies
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Amazing Race
Quantum Leap
The Simpsons
The Late Show
The D-Generation
Fast Forward
Everybody Loves Raymond
Arrested Development
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
The Office
Kath & Kim
House M.D.
Press Gang
Parker Lewis Can't Lose
Family Ties
A Bit of Fry & Laurie
Fawlty Towers
Duck Tales
Mickey's House of Mouse
(plus all Disney-movie-themed animated TV shows such as Aladdin, Hercules, etc)
Chip 'n' Dale, Rescue Rangers
The Magical World of Disney
Battlestar Galactica
Wacky Races
Will & Grace
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Last Man Standing
Las Vegas
The 4400
Star Trek: Voyager
Stargate: SG1
Stargate: Atlantis
Desperate Housewives
That 70s Show
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Malcolm in the Middle
The Cosby Show
DeGrassi High / DeGrassi Junior High
, etc
Candid Camera / Just For Laughs / Just Kidding / Punk't, etc
The Apprentice
Australian Idol / American Idol
Big Brother
The Dead Zone
The Practice / Boston Legal
The West Wing
Rove Live
Sex and the City
Star Trek: The Original Series
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Enterprise
Married ... with Children
The Henderson Kids / The Henderson Kids II
The Girl From Tomorrow / The Girl From Tomorrow II: Tomorrow's End
All Together Now!
The Wonder Years
Gilligan's Island
I Dream of Jeannie
The Brady Bunch
Murphy Brown
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Knight Rider
Happy Days
The Panel
'Allo 'Allo
Hey Hey, It's Saturday!
It's A Knockout!
Red Dwarf
The Brittas Empire
Charles in Charge
Diff'rent Strokes
Get Smart
Drop the Dead Donkey
Big Train
The Sketch Show
Dead Ringers
Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge
Mad About You
The Two Ronnies
Alas Smith & Jones
Yes Minister / Yes Prime Minister
Mother & Son
The Norman Gunston Show
Micallef Tonight
The Micallef Program / Programme / Pogram
, etc
Full Frontal / The Big Bite
Hamish & Andy
The Vicar of Dibley
Men Behaving Badly
The Late Show with David Letterman


To whoever it was that I tipped Neighbours as being number 200 on my list of all-time favourite shows, I clearly over-estimated after all. At a quick count, it appears to be somewhere around the 120 mark. Still, I trust the point has been made.

In Parts 2 and 3 of this post (which will come over the next week or so), I will turn my attention to why I'm such a rabid fan of television, and what it is about it (and the above shows) that captures my attention so. As I've said before, it's not so much that I'm simply a lazy couch potato; I actually consider it a hobby and an art form that I study in great detail. More on that to come.

For now, feel free to pick at the above list if you wish, or suggest shows I may have missed. It's possible I missed some, although overseas readers may have to bear in mind that not all shows you see are screened here in Australia.

And I hate Survivor. Sorry, but I do.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


The rest of you can go suck eggs.*

Click on the title above to view all the Grand Final action and the Awards Ceremony afterwards.

* This statement has been 'cleared' by my legal team. Plus, I think this might be Event # 2 in the First Annual Bloggolympics, but I'm not 100% sure on that. Adam can confirm.


Friday, November 11, 2005

Remembrance Day

A minute's silence, please.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Um, I think I'll just 'hold on' and go when I get home, if it's all the same to you ...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Loved & Lost

I can't say too much about it at the moment (because it's not my business and I haven't asked permission to mention it here), but a friend of mine told me yesterday about a loss they recently suffered. It has saddened me a great deal (it's a very serious situation) and I don't want to 'cheapen' the matter (or make her regret confiding in me) by going into details or identifying her.

But it got me thinking about loss.

I've loved and lost before - but in the case of relationships, it's all been for the best (it led to my wonderful marriage to the wonderful Wifey, obviously!). When I've lost beloved pet cats over the years, I've felt varying levels of sadness (depending on how long I'd owned the cat in question). After my first car crash (the other guy's fault), I was surprised to feel a twang of loss as I watched my car of seven years being towed away for the last time (even though it was a crappy little Toyota Corolla 1986 model, as shown below, and I am anything but a car connoisseur). And don't get me started on all the books, CDs, videos and DVDs I've loaned to various friends in good faith, never to see again. (The season one boxset of 24 still hurts - if you're out there, whoever borrowed it, please return it!) If only I didn't have so many friends! I honestly can't remember who borrowed the missing items. I'm too generous for my own good. (And yes, I'm going to put a stop to my 'loans' ... and keep a written record of who borrowed what from now on.)

My First Car

So what have you loved and lost? It doesn't have to be anything as trivial as a DVD, or as serious as a partner. In fact, the more emotional you got over the most trivial item possible, the more entertaining for the rest of us. (But serious examples would shed some fascinating insight on who you are.)

Let's spread the misery around a little. It'll be easier to bear.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hey, You Can't Park There! - Case File # 4

'I dunno ... I'm pretty sure I'll fit ...'

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Touché, Fabian

My good friend Fabian and his diminutive fiancée sent out their wedding invitations last week. Some of you will recall the fiasco caused by their engagement party invitations a few months ago. (For a recap, see here.)

The engagement party itself was great fun. (For a recap, see here.) But you may recall me asking somewhere in there what would happen with their wedding invitations.

Well, Wifey answered the door the other day to our friendly postman Gerald who needed her signature to accept an envelope. You guessed it - they sent our wedding invitation by registered mail!

No one else's; just ours. Well done, Fabian.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Twenty Extra Things - I Tagged Myself!

I had too many extra Things about myself yesterday that I wanted to share with you, so I've decided to tag myself (is this another first for the blogosphere? I'd better watch myself - I'm becoming a hero!), so that I can give all you wonderful people some more goss on BEVIS, and then spread the love some more by tagging others.

I have continued the numbering system from my previous two Twenty Things posts, so that's why the Things start with number 41.

41. I enjoy a good crossword, particularly celebrity-, TV- or movie-themed crosswords.

42. One of my biggest hobbies (and no, it really is a hobby) is Television. This will be explored in a mega-post all of its own over the coming weeks. I know it sounds like a joke or that I'm being lazy or just a 'couch potato' (this is me now, and this is me in twenty years), but I don't simply mean watching television. I'm talking about actually studying it and knowing it back-to-front and reading up on shows and characters and storylines and stuff, to the point that I can predict what's going to happen next simply from my understanding of how the show, genre and production company works / thinks, and also because I like to learn as much as I can about the craft. I consider it a challenge to find a 'high quality show' (because I think quite highly of my own mind, so to impress me, it's gotta be pretty good!*), and when I find a show that's well-written and enjoyable and exciting, I grab onto it with both hands and watch it religiously so I can be part of that world. This means I have a lot of shows that I regularly watch, but it's not about 'wasting time in front of the idiot box'; this is my version of a sport or other outdoor activity.

* I say this tongue-in-cheek, don't worry.

43. I don't partake in a sport or other outdoor activities.

44. I guard my friendships closely and am a good, fiercely-loyal friend to have (if I do say so myself).

45. I can't tell you which way is north, south, east or west. But blindfold me, spin me around ten times, then ask me to point to the shops, and I will succeed every time.

46. In Year 3 (or 'Grade 3' or '3rd Grade', depending on where you come from), I held the class record for saying my six times tables the fastest without making a mistake. The record was 12 seconds, and nobody came close to topping that score all year. I won a Mars Bar.

47. I was once 'dacked' by my so-called 'friend' in Year 2 in front of my entire class. Thankfully, I was wearing kiddies' version of these, so I was protected from their laughs by the super-strength I inhabited when wearing them.

48. I prefer to stay up all night working or playing than be awake early in the morning for the same. I am much more at home late at night.

49. I only learnt to read an analogue clock two years ago, when I was 28. And sometimes I still struggle to work out what it's saying if I'm tired. Parents take note: Don't give your children a digital watch unless you already know for certain that they have mastered reading an analogue clock!! Otherwise, they will live to regret it.

50. I am extremely competitive, but only because I know I'm the best at most things. :)

51. I have elaborate plans / dreams of making exceptional videos for fun and profit (and I pretty much have the resources - and definitely have the skills to do so), but I never seem to have the time to get out there and make any of them.

52. I know how long a piece of string is: As long as its knot / it's not. Ha! Get it? That's actually the correct answer to the question "How long is a piece of string?" It's not meant to be a rhetorical question at all. I also know the 'official' answers to the following: 'Curiosity killed the cat', 'How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?' and 'Where's Wally?'.**

** "Satisfaction brought him back", "He would chuck what a woodchuck would chuck, if he would chuck wood" and "There", respectively.

53. I am actually quite 'religious', although that's not the term I'd use to describe myself. Does this change your opinion of me? If so, I rather think that says more about you than it does about me.

54. As discussed here on BourbonBird's blog, I always have the toilet roll in the 'overhand fashion' (an excellent term I stole from BourbonBird!), and if anyone puts a new roll on that runs down the wall, I will always change it. In other people's homes I'm not as neurotic about it, but I've been known to switch the odd one or two over in my time. The reason is simple. If the roll runs down the wall, people put their grubby fingers on the wall when grabbing the paper - and over time, dirty fingermarks appear on the wall that need to be cleaned (scrubbed) off. If the roll is in the overhand fashion, no such cleaning is required. You know about grubby fingermarks that appear at child-height on doors, etc? Well, this is the same thing, but on your toilet wall. I'm yet to hear of a logical reason for it being the other way, so if you have one, I welcome it. (This problem probably isn't so bad in tiled bathrooms / toilets, but if you have painted walls or wallpaper in your bathroom / toilet, consider which way you have your roll facing and how much extra work it's causing you.) Also, it's easier to find the paper if it hangs over the top than if it's hiding underneath somewhere. :)

55. I have a recurring fear that I'm going to faint, fall, slip over or something similar [maybe I'll be pushed? :)] in the shower one day, and I'll hit the glass shower wall, it will smash, and I'll fall through the hole, spearing myself on the shards of glass still embedded in the frame and pointing upwards. I don't know if I'm describing it well here, but imagine I shatter the glass at around chest level, so a hole is created which I continue to fall through. I keep seeing myself ending up with a giant triangle of frosted glass going straight through my gut or chest cavity and out my back. It's awful, I know, but I've had this thought for years and it occurs to me at least once a month. I don't know how to stop it from bothering me. Maybe if I only take baths or refuse to wash myself ever again or shower outside under the sprinkler by dancing naked on the front lawn with all the neighbours' kiddies or something. (Hmm, no - scratch that last one.)

56. Wifey is the most wonderful and beautiful and accommodating woman in the world. This isn't really a fact about me, ... except to point out how lucky I am.

57. I once won two tickets on the radio at 3am (when I was supposed to be finishing an essay due the following morning but was barely getting started on it) to attend the world premiere of a Bruce Willis movie. I was the lucky caller. Unfortunately, the film in question was The Fifth Element, and I didn't think too much of it. It 'borrowed' too liberally from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and a bunch of other films. Plus, that Chris Tucker guy destroyed the thing. (Strangely, I didn't mind him so much in Rush Hour or Rush Hour 2, but I thought he was terrible in The Fifth Element.) I asked the girl I liked at the time to come with me, but made the mistake of playing her the tape I'd made of me winning the tickets first (I'd pressed record on my tape deck when my call connected so I could hear it back later myself). The DJ had asked me if I had a girlfriend, and stupidly, I said 'Um, kinda', with which she took major umbrage because she didn't agree that that's what we were. It was the beginning of the end for that relationship-that-never-was, and I blame Chris Tucker. I took my housemate with me instead, and although we had a good time, I wish he hadn't tried to kiss me goodnight afterwards.

58. At the time of compiling this list, Jobe and I have now drawn THREE TIMES in the First Annual Bloggolympics (TM) over on Adam's blog. Personally, I think that means that both Jobe and myself are worthy of progressing to the next round, but I guess Adam needs there to only be a certain number of 'athletes' for the next round to work, so I have to try a fourth time to beat my formidable opponent in the first event: Rock, Paper, Scissors (click here for the official site - these people take it WAY too seriously and should all go and have a good lie-down). If I (eventually!) lose this first round to Jobe, I'm going to head up his cheerleading squad instead. Clearly he and I are very strong competitors, so it's unfortunate that we were drawn to play against each other in the first round and one of us has to be left behind at this early stage. Whatever the outcome, come on over to Adam's blog and view the results of each round. Bruce McAvaney commentary optional.

59. My favourite Disney character is Goofy; my favourite Warner Brothers character is Wile E. Coyote; my favourite Wacky Races character is Dick Dastardly; my favourite Simpsons character is Ralph Wiggum ... anybody noticing a bit of a trend, here? I generally go for the underdog, or the foolish idiot, or the comic relief. No surprises there, really. I'm sure many people are the same.

60. And I'm spent!

OK, time to tag some more people ... I choose to tag Clokeeeey because he hasn't blogged much lately and I want to know more about him (and 'cos he broke my watch). I also tag MelbourneGirl and La Nadine because although (or perhaps due to the fact that) they're both currently on hiatus from the blogosphere***, I'm sure they'll have heaps to share when they return (plus, I miss them). Additionally, I tag Gun Street Girl because I'd like to hear more about what goes on inside that brain of hers. And I tag Cape Man, because I haven't heard from him for a while and I want him to ... (click here for the rest of this sentence)****. :)

*** This just in: MelbourneGirl posted on her blog yesterday - I'm not sure if she's back for good now or if that was a brief interlude in the middle of her 'hiatus'; either way, the above reasoning still stands.

**** Only with less Minnie Driver, and no kissing.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Twenty More Things - Tagged Again!

Thanks this time to Locket, I have another Twenty Things you probably didn't know about me (although if you did, you're probably already a friend of mine, so that's cheating).

I have continued the numbering system from my previous Twenty Things post, so I trust that explains why the numbering starts at 21. No, you're not having a 'trip'.

21. I have not drunk any alcohol since 6am on Sunday, 4th April, 1993 (when I sobered up from the night before and swore off alcohol). The only exception is when I literally sip champagne at a toast at weddings, etc - but then the rest of the glass is given away. Yes, there's a story behind that. No, I'm not going into it here. Maybe some other time.

22. For the purposes of stage roles I have undertaken, it has been necessary for me to learn the following dances: the waltz, the Charleston and tap dancing. I'm not saying I'm the world's best dancer at any of them, but I could certainly adequately perform each of those dances if it would save a life in a hostage-style situation. Plus, it's cool at parties to burst into them.

23. I have many aliases. My most commonly-known one (to my friends, at least ... and also kinda to the law) is Donald Ratzenburger. He started out as a talking horse (Mr Ed-style), but quickly became an often-present but never-quite-spotted human man, born on 1st April 1975. He signs birthday cards, farewell cards, engagement and wedding cards, etc, although he never puts money into the group present and he's never able to make it to the special events in question. He usually sends telegrams, though. He was created towards the end of 1993 and has been an ever-present invisible companion to me ever since. My life-long goal is to successfully make him into a 'real' person, at least as far as being able to prove that he actually exists is concerned. For that to happen he needs the following six things in his name: A birth certificate, a passport, a credit card, a driver's licence, a bank account, and an email address. Some of these are reasonably easier than others (I've already obtained two of them), and I intend to name my firstborn 'Donald Ratzenburger' so I can get the birth certificate. (I'll change the kid's name later; he or she won't mind, I'm sure!) Wifey is adament that we won't be naming our child Donald Ratzenburger, but either I'll be able to talk her 'round by then, or she'll be too 'out of it' at the time to notice what I tell the people from the Department of Births, Deaths & Marriages.

24. Bad spelling and pronunciation and grammar and punctuation drive me insane.

25. It's just possible that I'm a scary person to have driving the car if I'm stuck behind a ridiculously slow, thoughtless, careless, inconsiderate, selfish or stupid driver - or those who really aren't aware of other vehicles on the road around them.

26. It appears to me that only one out of every ten people can actually say the word 'brought' correctly. LISTEN TO ME, PEOPLE: 'brought' = past tense of bring. 'bought' = past tense of buy. So this sentence is WRONG if you're talking about what you've arrived at work holding in your silly little hand: "Look what I bought in with me today." Bzzt! I'm sorry, thanks for playing Children's Simplest Of Simple Words - you lose. You didn't buy it in with you, at all. You BROUGHT it in with you! 'Brought' with an R! They mean two very different things, you idiotic, stupid, ignorant, useless, embarrassing simpleton! *breathes* Sorry, I guess I should just refer you to point 24 above.

27. I am extremely gifted (and not in a 'special-ed' kind of way). I can do the following things freakishly well:

- Push the envelope right to breaking point (I'm a big fan of inappropriate humour to lighten the mood and break a serious patch of conversation - but it's also my defense mechanism, sheild, shock tactic and compulsion);
- Wrap presents;
- Pack suitcases, boxes, car boots (or 'trunks' for our American readers);
- Find a perfect car park right outside the front door of our destination;
- Navigate my way through never-before-seen territory to get to where I want to be (I am never 'lost' - and not in a 'typical male won't admit it' kind of way - I'm talking seriously);
- Remember whole chunks of dialogue from TV shows or movies (strangely, I have trouble recalling even the subject matter of most conversations Wifey has with me over dinner);
- Find items other people have lost by standing in a room, slowly turning on the spot, and then saying, "Look in there / under that / behind there, etc". I have a 95% success rate (yes, I've taken actual statistical data! I'll send you a copy of the report);
- Solve mysteries, particularly those on TVs and in 'big twist' movies;
- Create my own analogies, each one perfect for the situation at hand;
- Remember people's faces and names;
- Organise surprises for those I love;
- Proof-read someone else's work;
- Tell you way more than you needed or wanted to know about things like The Muppets (well durr!) and plenty of other pop culture subjects (largely TV- or film-related).

28. I know the full soundtrack to The Blues Brothers perfectly, including those fast spoken bits Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) does in two different parts of "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" and Cab Calloway's scat ad libs in "Minnie The Moocher".

29. I much prefer to do the washing up than the drying.

30. I have kissed a total of 6 girls in my life (one of which was a stage kiss only). I am neither proud nor ashamed of this number; it just is. I have kissed no boys. Neither of these figures are going to change now that Wifey (my lucky number six) has me locked away in a tower of our castle, chained to the wall and unable to move. (And because I'm happy with Wifey.)

31. My favourite number is six (although not for the above reason!).

32. My favourite colour is blue (for the above reason).

33. I make the best pancakes known to man (the secret ingredient is the key**), but I am too lazy to ever make them. The mix has to sit overnight in the fridge, so I usually can't be bothered to prepare it properly, or people demand that I prove this claim immediately, not giving me 24 hours notice. Can't be done.

** Not literally. Don't put keys in your pancake mix. They'll make the pancakes taste funny and be difficult to flip - not to mention the nasty surprise for your guests who break their teeth on the hidden keys!

34. Because of my pedant nature, I am often mistaken for being rude or disinterested, when nothing could be further from the truth.

35. I once spent a year writing a full-on screenplay as a parody of Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope), with every intention of filming it and trying to find a distributor so I could release it commercially. The next year, Spaceballs was released and stole my thunder completely. Although I found (and still find) the movie highly amusing, I was secretly gutted. I felt that Mel Brooks had stolen my idea entirely. It was my first taste of professional rejection. I was 12 years old.

36. I can quote the entire film (all dialogue, music and sound effects) at speed, to Back to the Future (my favourite movie ever), and do a reasonable attempt at the dialogue for the two sequels as well (but would need to pause the films to catch up if I was trying to quote them at speed - I admit to not being quite as proficient at the two sequels as I am at the original). This is a time-consuming and highly exhausting party trick, so naturally I don't get to display this talent very often.

37. Phrases that have become like 'catch-cries' of mine include: "Not a problem", "Nicely Nicely, Johnson", and thousands of other movie quotes that fit the occasion. I have a near-audiographic memory (which, as you can probably work out, is the same as photographic memory, only it's not what I see that I remember correctly, but what I hear). This means I recall exactly how things are said to me in real life, and on TV and in movies. People who misquote things really irritate me, because they're often so far off the mark they've changed the whole meaning of the quote. (Refer to points 27, 28, 34 and 36 above.)

38. My favourite ever play is Noises Off! and my favourite ever musical is a three-way tie between Chicago, City of Angels and The Producers. If you haven't seen any of these, go out immediately and hire the film versions of each, at least. The film version of Noises Off! is surprisingly good (for a British comedy they 'Americanised' for the movie), and stars Christopher Reeve, John Ritter, Denholm Elliott (who have all sadly passed away - it was Elliot's last gig and Reeve's third-last before his accident), Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Nicolette Sheridan, Mark Lynn-Baker, Julie Hagerty and Marilu Henner. City of Angels is the only one you won't find on film. The musical is a very clever 1940s detective story; it's not to be confused with the Nicholas Cage / Meg Ryan angel-themed love crap of the same name.

39. I don't gamble, and as such, I am here at work today because I don't care one iota about the Melbourne Cup and would rather have the time off over Christmas. (For any out-of-towners who don't know, the first Tuesday in November is a public holiday in Victoria to 'celebrate' the Melbourne Cup - but I say: "Whatever".) If you read the write-up on that link I just gave you, you'll see that Mark Twain was a fan of the Melbourne Cup. Well, I guess this is where he and I disagree, because he's a stupid stupid-head.

40. I have never smoked a cigarette, a cigar or done any drugs. Nerd, you say? Clean, I reply. The closest I have come is holding someone's lit cigarette for them, and pretending I was going to take a puff. That, and using stage cigarettes and cigars when I've been in roles where smoking was part of the character. But they weren't real cigarettes or cigars.

Now for who to tag ... I choose Adam and Sarah because they're funny, Her Radicalness and Channy because they're friends (and funny), Kranki-Pants because he needs some cheering up (and he's also funny), Fluffy because she emailed me (and she's funny too)*, and myself because I have another Twenty Things I want to tell you and I couldn't fit on the above list (and because I'm hilarious!).

* And yes, I know Fluffy just completed a 'Twenty Things' post, but it was short and pithy, and I'm lookin' for lengthy and boring. Wait, no. Something other than short, anyway. I like knowing more about her. That's why.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch the Cup on TV.