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.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Enter A World Of Fantasy (Through A Magic Wardrobe)

My family and I all went and saw this movie the other night, and I'm still buzzing.


The books that comprise The Chronicles of Narnia were seven of my favourite books growing up, and for someone who very-much loved (and still very-much loves) books a lot, I'm not being flippant when I say that at all. In fact, I'll go so far as to state categorically that these books were my ABSOLUTE favourite books throughout my life, and only now compete for attention with the likes of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, and a select few others. But they will always hold the 'sentimental favourite' trophy, no matter what else I ever read.

Check out the magnificence of this beast:

When you've read and loved all seven books, that image (especially when really big in the large poster ads for the film) sends a shiver up your spine.

Now I know how all those Lord of the Ring dorks felt.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe took my breath away. I just hope it does well enough financially worldwide to warrant them making the other films in the series as well.

In other movie news: Wifey and I saw Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire yesterday afternoon, which was also very well done. Looking forward to what they do with the last three.

Also: Wifey and I want to see three or four other movies at the cinema during the holidays, but we'll have to see how we go. It's a bit crazy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Sad Ending To A Larger-Than-Life Life

I just heard that Australian media mogul Kerry Packer has died. He was the owner of Channel 9 (the biggest television network in this country), and although only known to the younger generation as an alcohol-swilling braggard, we often forget that he was a fantastic businessman who even risked his life personally back in the day to bring to light a particularly damning current affairs story on the misuse of power in Tibet. (Or something like that.)

He is also regarded as being single-handledly responsible for bringing those cricket games to the world where the competing countries all dress up in different pretty pastel colours ... for which I despise him, as I loathe cricket. But still, many people love the game, and they can thank Kerry Packer for there being so much of the mind-numbingly-dull sport to watch each year. Packer copped a lot of flack for it at the time, but he believed in himself - and now (unfortunately) we can't think of cricket any other way. Did I mention I despise him for this? Well, I do.

Kerry Packer and then-Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke in happier times (I bet he's not smiling now).

I've just managed to obtain the first photos from Packer's death bed. Apparently he passed away in his sleep with all his family in attendance. I'm not sure where they were, then, when these photos were taken. The sceptic in me wonders if they waited a full five minutes before rushing out to argue over the will. But here are the first two photos released of Packer's death scene:

(I'm going to hell for this aren't I.)


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Christmas To All!

Hey everyone,

I'm going to be out-of-commission for a week (or maybe longer), and although I may check my blog and leave comments on occasion, I'll have no time to leave any new posts. However, I wanted to end the year with a hearty cheer ("YAYYYYYYY!") and a special message to each and every single one of you.

Unfortunately, as I don't have all your addresses or phone numbers (or even names, most of you), I have decided to settle for providing each of you with a small message of love.* Again, since many of you pass by every so often and many of you don't even leave any comments to let me know you've been here, I have gone by my list of linked bloggers, over there on the right. I have also alphabetised the greetings, so you can skip to your own if you don't want to read them all.

* Love not included.

If you reckon you were left off this list unfairly, feel free to email me.** My email address is on the right hand side of this page as well, towards the top. Good luck to you.

** This doesn't include you, Mr Kahfarknarkle.

So anyway, in alphabetical order, here's a special Christmas message to you all, starting with "My Nasty Friends", and then moving on to "My Nice Friends":



Dear Ang, thanks for all the punctuation banter.

Dear Anna A Spades, thanks for all the under-age swearing.

Dear Auburn, thanks for being neither red or green.

Dear CBomb, thanks for the Rowlf jigsaw puzzle.

Dear Cape Man, thanks for spurring me on.

Dear Chai, thanks for generally being willing.

Dear ChickyBabe, thanks for the compliments.

Dear Clem Barstow, thanks for being funky and fresh.

Dear Clokeeeey, thanks for spurring me on.

Dear Cotton, thanks for the thumbs-up.

Dear Djali, thanks for keeping me in check.

Dear Drowning In Jello, thanks for being a friendly competitor.

Dear Dxxxx, thanks for explaining what the xxxx stood for. (It's not as rude as you might expect.)

Dear Elaine, thanks for leaving the first comment on my blog.

Dear Fluffy, thanks for the support.

Dear Gav, thanks for the insight.

Dear Gianluca Di Milano, thanks for your very unique take on Australian / Austrian matters.

Dear Gregory Surlyboy, thanks for not being too surly at all.

Dear Gun Street Girl, thanks for excellent answers to the meme I tagged you for.

Dear Her Radicalness, thanks for keeping me on my toes.

Dear Jellyfish Online, thanks for visiting Kranki on behalf of the rest of us.

Dear Jess Ausculture, thanks for promoting Australian culture to the world.

Dear Jobe, thanks for being cruel.

Dear Kranki-Pants, thanks for encouraging me when I was stupid / crazed / a blogging junkie / needy / a groupie / emotionally unsettling / desperate / hurting / cute.

Dear La Nadine, thanks for being the first person to link to my blog.

Dear LadyCracker, thanks for your wonderful opinions.

Dear Little Fairie Girl, thanks for the books and the CD review (part one, anyway!).

Dear Locket, thanks for your generous attitude.

Dear Magical_M, thanks for being so lovely (if a little too hard on yourself at times).

Dear MeghansDiscontent, thanks for the fierce competition / lovely comradery.

Dear Melbourne Girl, thanks for the friendship (and for indulging my obsession!).

Dear Ms Fits, thanks for getting me started on this whole blogging thing.

Dear Muffin, thanks for being a broken link as I wrote this.

Dear Peter, thanks for asking me to have a look at the article.

Dear Quirkie, thanks for being a graceful loser on Kranki's blog.

Dear Roguemaze, thanks for just bein' there.

Dear Rowena, thanks for the enlightening comments.

Dear Sally Smart, thanks for your insightful posts.

Dear Sarah, thanks for making me laugh.

Dear SBR, thanks for promising me a copy of The Muppet Movie soundtrack. (PS - Where is it?!)

Dear Scary As A Kitten, thanks for the sage words you post on your blog.

Dear Sheriff of Nothing, thanks for the laptop and the X-box.

Dear Sherriff, thanks for not being afraid to misspell the word 'Sheriff'.

Dear Steph, thanks for refusing to accept that I'm not Jobe (but I'm honestly not).

Dear Sublime-ation, thanks for being so ... sublime ...

Dear Suzanne, thanks for returning to me / us / me.

Dear Thomasr, thanks for not complaining that I've put the wrong link to your blog on my list. (I need you to post another comment so I can get the right link 'cos I stuffed it up and I can't find your comment again - it was ages ago.)

Dear Tuppence, thanks for keeping an eye on our little under-age swearer.

Dear Punographic Contributors, thanks for not posting anything in four months. It's meant I can get more work done. :)

Dear Adie & Noshie, so long ... and thanks for all the fish.

Dear Channy, thanks for reviewing Melbourne's best parmas / house-sitting / cat-minding.

Dear Logan, thanks for your silence.

Dear Riss, thanks for joining me in this crazy blogosphere.


Merry Christmas to you all!

Speak to you in the new year, if not before.

Stay safe.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Items For Sale - Lot 'J'

Laptop for sale.

This is actually the one previously belonging to Sheriff of Nothing, from whom it was stolen (by me) the other week. If she's the highest bidder, she may see it back.

All anyone else needs to know is that it's great for carrying around with you and maybe getting it out of its case on a long train journey, getting comfortable, and catching up on some work / sleep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Items For Sale - Lot 'I'

At Elaine's request, I am selling my old cast iron constitution.

First in, best dressed.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Items For Sale - Lot 'H'

Chick magnet for sale. Real chick magnet! No fakes! 100% guaranteed!

Email me to place a bid.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

Okay, so I watched the 2005 Neighbours finale last night. And who woulda thought; NostraBEVIS predicted the ending a couple of weeks back. But I'm not here to boast about guessing soapie plotlines.*

I wanted to discuss the show itself for 2005, as it appears to have received a rather poor review (and one I think is unfair) in The Australian.

I believe that in the past two years, Neighbours has really found its feet and grown as a show. We're now seeing storylines that - while plausibility might be questionable - drama is not. A soapie, after all, is only ever trying to be a soapie. As Peter said in a comment to one of my earlier tirades about TV a few weeks ago, you must judge a soapie based on its merits as a soapie; otherwise your criteria are out of place and your whole argument is null and void.

That being established, the exciting storylines on Neighbours over the past two years (those that have had Wifey and I tuning in - initially something we were embarrassed to admit, but then gradually we came to have a fondeness for the show ... and better yet, discover that others in our friendship circles were also watching) include Karl's heart attack (he technically died for a few minutes until an Ambulance reached him), Izzy's perpetual deception to Karl about her baby's father, Susan and Karl almost getting back together a few times (kind of), Dylan and Stingray being set up for a crime they were coerced to commit, the fire at Lassiter's which was started by Paul, the affair between Paul and Liljana that broke up the Bishop family for a while, the eventual mending of this broken family, the plane crash that took that family's lives, the documentary being filmed on life in Ramsey Street (the plot device brought about to enable many previous stars of the show to return and help celebrate the show's 20th year), the mobsters chasing after Paul (and the subsequent loss of his leg), and so on.

Those are the ones that spring to mind immediately when I think back over which storylines have held my interest the most. (I've felt that a few others have been 'crap', with the rest all sitting somewhere in the 'enjoyable' category.)

Much of the acting is surprisingly good. I think the show has an unfair stigma of being a cesspool of talentless hacks, but the audition process is actually pretty taxing. True, some of the smaller, more 'passing' roles are played by talentless hacks, but the majority of the main roles are played out with style. Often subtle, which is why I think many people miss the brilliance of it. It's not like theatre, where all action must be exaggerated to reach those in the back rows - the cameras are right up there in the actors' faces, allowing for more 'slight' acting and a better level of skill. (I think this is why one or two actors who seem to be born theatre actors grate with me at times - it's due to what I perceive as their 'pantomime performance'.)

The cliffhanger last night was indeed the attempt on Paul's life by resident 'saint' Harold Bishop. Personally, I hope (and mostly expect) Paul will recover from this attack in the new year, and then Harold's going to have to face the demons of his trip to the dark side, but the journey we as an audience have gone on, watching Harold's family be killed and his grief be held at bay as long as possible (until Harold eventually felt that Connor deciding it was time for him to 'move on' was another personal insult and loss for himself), culminated in the closing moments of the show for the year (purportedly happening on Boxing Day afternoon).

While some might view this, and (knowing Harold as the Salvation Army, harmless, flappable, tuba-playing softy that he usually is) scoff at the very idea, others of us were able to see it coming. *Ahem* Not because the writing was flawed, necessarily, but because we were able to see the steps being played out in what it would take for a caring, happy man to be led down the path to murderous intent.

Bear in mind; this is, after all, a soapie drama. And it was the last episode of the year, in what was a particularly tumultuous year on Ramsey Street.

I have a confession to make. On Thursday, while out driving on work business, I had cause to be in the Nunawading area. This is where Channel 10 has their Melbourne studios, for those who don't know. Well, I happen to know the location of the street where Neighbours is filmed (it's semi-common knowledge I think, but I'm not going to provide the actual street name here), and it's not far from the Channel 10 studios (as you'd expect). So I took a five-minute detour.

They weren't filming, and there was actually nobody about, but I felt 'better' for having had my 'fix' of just driving in, looking at each of the houses in turn, and then driving straight on out again.

Why did I feel the need to visit the street? Crazy, I guess. Plus, it's a credit to the writers of the show that the day before the final episode for the year, I was thinking about it enough to feel compelled to head there myself. Just for fun.

(I know; I'm sad.)

The point is, it was so inside my head that I wanted to have a look. And true, I thought they might have been filming at the time (it turns out they were filming in the street the day before, as a colleague of mine apparently knows the grip [lighting guy] on the show and she told him that I'd visited the street).

And the interesting thing to note (which certainly wasn't lost on me), was the equal and opposite path Paul Robinson, resident baddie, has been on in the past few weeks. I think the same event sparked it (the plane crash). While Paul (and Izzy) survived the crash and have started to become significantly better people (although still with their own brand of living to excess), Harold's life has been turned upside-down by the loss of David, Liljana and Serena. So by the end of the year, we see an almost-completely reformed Paul offering Lyn a job, helping her with her resume and finances even if she doesn't take the job offer, trying to buy Izzy a thoughtful gift (I hope he didn't drown the kitten she didn't want!), throwing a Christmas luncheon for the whole street (true, they'd massively over-catered for what they thought would just be the two of them ... and they did cut the whole street's power with their over-abundance of Christmas lights, but the Paul of old wouldn't have cared about everyone else), and trying to be a normal, happy family with Izzy and Elle. He gives a boxful of gifts to Harold 'for the needy', and we begin to see how Harold is becoming the nasty one while Paul starts to improve his character.

If Paul doesn't survive Harold's attack, it will be sweet irony for him (in true soapie style) that just when he starts to make a decent go of his life, it is ended for a prior wrongdoing (even if only he's only at secondary fault). But if (and I expect when) he recovers, I rather think we might see some of the old evil Paul back again.

In other news, I'm glad the Timmins boys were released from gaol (the plausibility of their release on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, just hours after their names were cleared via a hidden microphone [paperwork and red tape weren't a problem on a public holiday?] and without their family being informed of the news is fairly slim, but we shouldn't be raining on a Christmas Day miracle, Ramsey Street style), and Steph's nightmares about Drew finally brought her around to the realisation that they meant her cancer is back. Will she give birth next year only to die shortly afterwards? Is Max going to be widowed again? Will the identity of the real bomber / poisoned letter sender finally be revealed? (I'm guessing this story will be re-opened if-and-when Paul recovers from Harold's attack, giving us a new piece of suspenceful drama for the new year.) And will Stu's efforts to free Dylan and Stingray earn him the hero status he probably deserves (especially after having to 'help' the police convict them in the first place)?

Those are my rambling thoughts on the show. I'd welcome yours.

* That's your job - in the comments section - to point out how clever I am.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Items For Sale - Lot 'G'

X-Box for sale. Only used once.

Slightly soiled.

Email for further details, including where to locate it (and whether or not my ex has finished with it).

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

My Addiction - Part 6

Credits; Part The Second.

*Ahem*, so where was I, oh-so long ago? Oh yes ...

Like most people (I suspect), I find it more enjoyable to watch the opening credits of TV shows that actually display an image (or images) of the actor when their name appears on screen. Shows that get all 'artsy' or perhaps consider it a way to avoid kitsch by giving us a series of names and no faces to place them against annoy me for their air of superiority. They might think they're being trendy, but it is the nature of many TV viewers to want to know who is playing which role. Yes, it sometimes gets in the way of the viewer accepting that this person is playing a character and doesn't help morons tell the difference between reality and fiction, but if star draw power wasn't real, movies and TV shows wouldn't try to get big names. They know it's important and so do we, so don't frustrate us by giving us a bunch of names with no corresponding faces so we know which of the seven male names is our favourite and so on. Also, respect the actors (whose careers are based on popularity, let's face it) by allowing even the most dunder-headed viewer to learn their name.

If a show considers its credits to be important part of capturing the viewers' interest, it may chop and change the opening sequence from time to time (just to keep a little mystery in the relationship, you know). This normally happens at the start of each new season, particularly if it's a long-running show and footage used in earlier seasons contains too many older shots of the actors looking very different to how they now appear (haircuts, fashion, "laugh-lines", etc). Not to mention any footage of actors who have since left the show. It can be quite expensive to edit together a completely new opening title sequence (even though most only go for 30 seconds - or sometimes 45 or 60), but loyal fans often appreciate a fresh credit sequence at the start of each new season, showing glimpses of newer footage (and occasionally retaining 'classic moments' from earlier years).

Personally, I feel you can't really go past the Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel opening credit sequences (as an example), for all of the reasons given already. They provide fast, flashy, fun and action-filled shots, timed to precise, exciting and cool music, they show various cool or funny images of each actor while their name appears below their face, they re-cut the credit sequence for each new season (keeping it somewhat exciting and fresh), and they provide a realistic 'vibe' of what to expect from the show.

But what of non-actors appearing in the opening credit sequence? I'm of two minds about this. I certainly agree that directors, writers, producers, caterers, etc, all deserve their 'credit' moment for all their hard work, but the question is this: Should they be credited over the title sequence, or should they be credited by superimposing their names and positions over the top of the opening scenes? (If their role is such that a closing credit sequence is all they require, that's fine and doesn't enter into play here.) Let's break down the pros and cons of each of the first two options:



(i) Less text appearing over the top of the opening scenes, which means the possible excitement level during those moments isn't being restricted;
(ii) Actors get better recognition from fans, therefore raising their profile all-the-more (and in turn raising the show's profile);


(i) The average viewer isn't interested in seeing the actors' names if they can't put a face to them;
(ii) Actors' profiles aren't raised as high, making them harder to contain and harder to keep in the show;



(i) Depending on how many credits are used here, and how big they are, it generally doesn't distract the viewer from the action on-screen (but many can easily be distracted and get annoyed);
(ii) I can't think of a second point for this;


(i) The average viewer doesn't read these names and credits, preferring instead to watch the show already underway (and this can be quite a distracting - and lengthy - process);
(ii) The credit sequences may need to be longer or more rapid-fire if too many names have to be displayed;

Let's move on from the names in the opening credit sequences and look at an example of no names appearing in the opening titles at all. I am referring, of course, to your favourite show and mine, The Muppet Show. All performers, writer, directors and crew names are given in the closing credits only. Not even the special guest star for that particular episode is given an opening credit (however, Kermit announces them by name during his intro). Instead, the entire opening title sequence is used for setting the tone of the show we are about to watch (as well as becoming a highly-enjoyable romp, set to music we all know and love - okay, so it's just me), with a differing failed 'gong' attempt by Gonzo at the end.

The closing sequence is the same - the first five to ten seconds is the cast coming on stage in some way or other to accost or congratulate the guest star (depending on the 'plot', ie. running gags, of the episode), and then it's standard footage of the band playing the closing credit sequence. However, we all used to hang around and watch to the end as kids (didn't we ... or is that just me as well?) to see the individual and unique joke from Statler & Waldorf. And of course Zoot's perpetually confusing (at least to himself) final note on the sax. It was always the same, but we stuck around to watch it anyway (okay, that's just me again).

I must say (and this was touched on by someone in an earlier Part of this long-delayed multi-post), I absolutely hate it how Channel 7 and Channel 10 in Australia have started shrinking the closing credits of every show so they can promote another show or two during that 30 - 60 second spot. Channel 10 simply shrink it to a quarter of the screen, whereas over at 7, some poor duck has to re-type the entire closing credit sequence for each show, which then plays at the bottom of the screen. Has Channel 9 started doing this as well? I forget now, to be honest. Probably. This means that in addition to not hearing the music (and any amusing dialogue that sometimes plays over the credits, as per the occasional episode of The Simpsons), we're now not able to read the names or details of the supporting / guest cast, the crew, and any additional details we may have wanted
to check, such as the year of production, filming locations, special thanks to, etc.

"Why watch the closing credits, though?" I hear you ask. No, really - I heard you. Sometimes there's something amusing hidden away there to keep people watching - and when that happens, it's a great nod to those of us who pay attention. More often than not, though, I watch them to learn about actors and the show in general. The reason I have such a vast knowledge of actors and TV shows? (Which I do, if you didn't know. Trust me on this.) It's largely because I read the opening and closing credits - in full - of every TV show I watch. However, it's also because I regularly read (and I'm really going out on a limb here with this confession) TV Week. I know, how dorky. But you see, it's a good guide for TV shows (generally), and I also enjoy the crosswords. :) But more importantly, it provides a lot of insider information on actors and TV shows. I call it my weekly research. And crosswords.


I need to stop this here, although there is still much I intend to say - even just about Credits! So I will post Part 7 of the 'My Addiction' multi-post (which is also the third section of this Credits discussion) soon. Props to you all, especially MelbourneGirl.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Items For Sale - Lot 'F'

Following the exceptional success of the Space Invaders sale last week, I now have some other unused computer games available. Four different versions of Pac Man.

Lemme know if you're interested.

Look out behind you! Mrs Pac Man is about to kill you! (Lol.)

... think about it.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Rate My Life

Presumably on a score out of ten, ...

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

The link at the bottom of the table takes you to the site so you can create your own life assessment. I'm surprised I did so well overall (I was completely honest - no exaggerated or comically-wrong answers were given). I guess things are pretty much OK.

The secret to getting a 9.1 for 'Love'? Being married to the best person in the world.


You can all go about your business now. That is all.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Cotton's New Bio Pic Competition

Travis Cotton, of Cottonwood Enterprises Pty Ltd, has been running a competition this past week for us readers to come up with an alternative bio pic for him.

At the time of writing, this is his current pic:

My three entries for the competition were these:

What do you think?

Think I Better Dance Now!

Check this dude out. He's having way too much fun and has spent far too much time at the computer. But at least he's enjoying life.

Me? I got a splinter.

Be sure to watch the above video file all the way through to the end - and you need sound. People at work may look at you funny if they can hear it, but show it to them as well and everything will be fine.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Items For Sale - Lot 'E'

Next item up for bids is everyone's favourite: Space Invaders!

Just send me the money and Tito and his pals can be at your house in 25 minutes.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

2005 - A Year In Review!

I've been tagged by Steph for another meme. To be honest, I still have another one I'm yet to complete (which I honestly intend to, I swear, Her Radicalness! - and since writing that sentence, she has gone and tagged me again, so that makes two more memes I'll have to get around to soon), but this one kinda made me want to get it done ASAP (before there was no one else left to tag). Plus, Steph threatened physical violence, which Her Radicalness did not (despite being very much able to dish it out, when required).

So here it is. Don't blame me. I just pretend to work here.


1. What did you do in 2005 that you hadn't done before?

Started up a blog (to which I actually then continued to add). It's purportedly about The Muppets; perhaps you've heard of it?

2. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, my best friend's wife. I spoke of it at the time. The Captain and Tennille gave birth to a gorgeous little girl, who I got to meet properly last week and nearly drown during her bathtime. But we all laughed and laughed ... um ...

3. Did anyone close to you die?

Not this year. Not yet. Which is good.

4. Did you travel? Where did you go? Best holiday memory?

I keep thinking that I went to America for a month, but that was in 2004. This year has just flown by. So apart from a trip to Sydney mid-year (and another one planned for Christmas), because my parents live up there, no.

5. Best thing you bought?

Can't say yet because Wifey might read it. It's a Muppet gift (or two *ahem* or three *ahem* or more) for myself that Santa might leave under the Christmas tree for me if I'm really good (or in fact if I just want him to). I'll update you on it in the new year, I promise. But for now, I'll say the best 'thing' I bought (using the term liberally) was the bunch of gifts I gave Wifey for her birthday in October. They made her very happy, which in turn made me very happy.

6. Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage, various insurance policies, Muppet merchandise.

7. What do you wish you had done more of?

Creating more videos throughout the year (I made six or seven but wanted to make a lot more - including the video of our 2004 holiday to America which is still waiting to be edited together!).

8. What do you wish you had done less of?


9. What kept you sane?


10. What drove you mad?

Wifey. Haha - not really, honey. Work (the way things are run here is a disgrace).

11. What made you celebrate?

My birthday, Wifey's birthday, the birth of The Captain's baby, Fabian's wedding, etc.

12. What made you sad?

When each of the above celebrations finished.

13. How was your birthday this year?

FanTAStic! Read about it here if you must. (Then read about Wifey's here, for continuity purposes.)

14. What political issue stirred you the most this year?

The anti-student-union legislation (as it directly threatens my job), and the Industrial Relations stuff - both being pushed through by the Australian Government this month or early next year.

15. Were you in love in 2005?

Yep, for sure! From 2001 onwards.

16. What would you like to have in 2006 that you didn't have this year?

More Muppet merchandise.

17. What date from 2005 will be etched in your memory and why?

Sorry to be repetitive, but it'll be my birthday. Sorry to be repetitive, but it'll be my birthday. Sorry to be repetitive, but it'll be my birthday.

18. What song will remind you of 2005?

4ever by The Veronicas. Sorry if that's amusing to you.

19. Compared to this time last year are you happier?

Um, not sure. I'm less stressed, probably, but it's further away from the America holiday (when I was at my happiest), so I guess the travel withdrawal symptoms are worse now.

20. Biggest achievement this year?

Making it to December.

21. Biggest disappointment this year?

Realising December is followed by January.

22. What is the one thing that would have made you more satisfied?

More chocolate.

23. Best new person you met this year?

Hmm, I would have to say it was a bunch of people, not one singular person, in this 'ere blogosphere. You want names? I compiled a list of names over there on the right, under 'My Nasty Friends'. Specifically those who stood up for me and my blog in an argument, anyone who emailed me just to say hi, or send me some Muppet item they thought I might like, or congratulate me on winning the long-drawn-out first round in the first ever Bloggolympics! You people are all lovely!

24. A valuable life lesson you learnt this year?

Invest in real estate.

25. A question you made up yourself?

This one.


And now to tagging. Um, it appears that everyone else has already been tagged (apart from people who I know don't like to be tagged for memes). This may have something to do with Steph tagging everyone under the sun in her initial post (talk about making things difficult!). I guess therefore I have to tag (with apologies, in some cases!), Clokeeeey, Sheriff of Nothing, Ladycracker, Magical_M and MelbourneGirl. I won't threaten violence, but I'd love to hear about your year. Through my ear. Never fear. Cheer(s)!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Documentary - Days One, Two & Three

I started filming a documentary on the weekend (actually, I started it on Friday afternoon). It's going to be a four-part mini-series that will screen on the ABC late next year. I deliberated for months on the topic I should use for my documentary, because I am torn between equal-parts "The War on Terror" and "Japanese Whaling Ships", so I flipped a coin (heads: The War on Terror; tails: Japanese Whaling Ships) and it got stuck in a ridge between two pieces of concrete when it landed, making it come up 'edges'.

After checking with Sportsbet, I discovered that the subject matter that was listed under 'edges' was Adam.

The first day of filming was marked by several set-backs, which I hope will not continue into the schedule. First, the weather was pretty bad. Second, my research assistants had done all this work on Japanese Whaling Ships and the War on Terror, but had little-to-no information whatsoever on Adam. I had them fired for their lack of foresight, then their union came in and roasted me for unfair dismissal, so I had to allow the research assistants back. (Not that they work anymore; they're on a good wicket and they know it, so they just sit around drinking coffee all day for $26 an hour.)

When the weather cleared and I'd put the lack-of-research issue behind me, I discovered more problems. First, Adam lives in a completely different city to where we were, and second, the man himself didn't know we were filming a documentary on him. This last point in particular raised all sorts of legal issues such as permission, rights, royalties, use of likeness, affiliation, defamation, copyright, industrial relations, voluntary student unionism, immigration, transport, finance, consumer affairs, foreign trade, cut-backs, cut-downs, cut-offs, let-backs, let-downs, let-offs, and of course free donuts on Tuesdays (I fired my legal team only to have their own legal teams force me to reinstate them; now they sit around drinking coffee all day for $685 an hour). But this wasn't the worst of it. No way. Not by a long shot.

The long shot came from a building 6 blocks away, but thankfully it missed - and then the police were all over it anyway.

There was no simple answer to the fact that Adam lives in Sydney (or possibly Melbourne - he's quite vague about this), but because we had expected the subject of our documentary to be quite different, we were currently in Baghdad. With tickets to Tokyo, if the coin had landed on tails. So this was slightly inconvenient.

I began by filming 'man on the street interviews', asking people for their thoughts on Adam anyway, but encountered the following problems:

1) I don't speak Towel-Head;
2) The Towel-Heads didn't speak English;
3) The Towel-Heads didn't know who the hell Adam was anyway;
4) I got severely bashed when I was overhead calling them 'Towel-Heads';
5) While I was in hospital, our hotel was bombed. Thankfully, the only people from our team who were in it at the time were my research assistants and legal team. That's what you get for not working when you're being paid to! (Note to self: Work at work.)

Upon our arrival back to Australia on Saturday night, I immediately set about hiring new research assistants and a new legal team. However, as the next day was Sunday, I could only get the heathen ones (which worked in my favour as far as the legal team was concerned - who wants a moral legal team?).

The next day, filming was due to start at 11am, but I was still asleep (I'm a lazy bugger) so it wasn't until 4:30pm that we were actually ready to roll. Unfortunately, at around 7:15pm (after filming some fantastic shots and interviews), it was discovered that no one had purchased any film for the camera. Instead, I sent the camera crew home (I knew enough by now not to try firing them - plus, it was my responsibility to buy the film) and decided to concentrate on collating the relevant documents my new research assistants had obtained for me while I was sleeping earlier that day, with the view to recording the first of many voiceovers. As I'm generally the best at speaking out of all the people I know (and my worthless flights to Baghdad had used all our entire budget - don't tell the crew!), I decided to record the voiceovers myself, using an old 8-track I found in some old guy's garage (he was doing the lawns as I passed and saw the garage door open, so I helped myself).

The first voiceover goes like this. Tell me what you think:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. Space: The final frontier. Call me Ishmael."

To say I've borrowed liberally from other people's work would be an understatement, but given the weekend I'd had, I was clearly going to get nothing done if I relied solely upon my own abilities.

Hopefully things will improve when we try again next weekend.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Have I Lost My Sparkle?

I'm wondering if people are getting tired of me.

Are you, my people?

It's true that I've been battling to find time to complete (and post) the next couple of parts to my TV Addiction multi-post, but work has been very heavy at the moment, and my supervisor can see my screen from where she sits, so spending heaps of time on the blogosphere has been impossible. I promise I'll get to those posts when I can, and in the meantime, I'm trying to be as zany as I always was. But maybe I'm kidding myself. I want you to let me know.

I'm giving you free range to say what you like about me (anonymously if you wish).

I'm thinking along the lines of whether this blog has become stale and unfunny and lacks inspiration ... but if you want to dish out unrelated insults, feel free to do that too.


Let the public flogging begin!!