Monthly Archives: November 2008

Cyanide & Happiness

Mood: Laughing Loudly

I love Cyanide & Happiness. Here’s why!

Don’t we all wish we could do this sometimes?

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Australia, the movie

Mood: Hooray!!!

Those who know me know that I have this thing about Nicole Kidman. Although I don’t know her in real life, nor have I ever met her in person, I have this strong dislike for her. A dislike so strong that I will refuse to see a movie based purely on the fact that she is in it.

I have always thought of her acting abilities as overrated. I don’t find her portrayals endearing or relatable. She is just so damn wooden and one-dimensional. She either overacts, or stands around looking like she is completely out of her depth. And honestly, there are exactly two movies featuring "Our Nicole" that I am willing to sit through – To Die For and Moulin Rouge! – she dies in both movies.

For nearly 2 years, the Australian public have had to endure tedious teasers and "news" items about Baz Luhrmann’s ambitious period epic movie that was being shot in Bowen in far north Queensland, Kununurra in far north WA and in sound stages at Fox Studios in Sydney. Called Australia, the movie is set during the World War II bombing of Darwin in Australia. Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) is an English aristocrat who is left in control of a cattle station in Australia. She is assisted by an Australian drover (Hugh Jackman), in whom she becomes romantically interested. He helps to drive the cattle across the property when they come under the threat of nearby Darwin being bombed.

Timing is everything, and Kidman’s could not have been more perfect when she fell pregnant just before filming started. Of course, Kidman is as close to royalty as Australia is ever going to get (and she acts like a precious princess too), so like it or not, the Australia public was treated to every minute detail about Kidman’s pregnancy, which in turn created more hype for the film.

After all these months, the movie will finally open to the public next week. The world premieres have already happened in Australia and in the States, with Baz Luhrmann, Hugh Jackman and his lovely wife Deborra-Lee Furness, the Kurbans and cast members tripping down the red carpet in Sydney on Tuesday this week.

A lot of people are waiting with bated breath to see this movie, but you couldn’t pay me enough money to sit through nearly 3 hours of Her Woodenness. Sorry, Hugh Jackman – I agree with People magazine that you are the Sexiest Man Alive, but unless someone can guarantee Kidman dies at the end of this movie, I can definitely wait for someone to download it.

Today, someone finally agreed with me that Kidman is an overrated actress whose performances leave me cold. Bravo, Melanie Reid, bravo indeed.

LUHRMANN MADE BIG MISTAKE CHOOSING KIDMAN: CRITIC
Sydney Morning Herald
November 21, 2008 – 6:26AM

Baz Luhrmann’s choice of Nicole Kidman to star in his latest epic movie Australia has been savaged by a British newspaper columnist.

Melanie Reid, writing in Rupert Murdoch’s Times newspaper, describes as a "big, big mistake" Luhrmann’s decision to select Kidman for the role of Lady Sarah Ashley, who inherits a remote cattle station shortly before World War II.

Reid says Kidman is an immediate turn-off for female cinemagoers who feel she is "one of the most overrated actors" in the world and who has "been the kiss of death in practically every movie she has starred in".

The newspaper critic also slams Kidman’s acting ability based on her previous starring roles in films including Cold Mountain and Eyes Wide Shut.

"Kidman is exquisitely accomplished at being awful," Reid writes.

"She can’t act.

"Instead she drifts around films like a lost porcelain doll, looking frozen, brittle and vapid, staring at the camera with her oh-golly-look-how-I’m-looking-interesting blue eyes.

"Australia the country deserves redder blood than this."

Australia is due to open in Britain on Boxing Day.

Princess G …

Mood: Mmm…

For someone who is sliding quickly towards her use-by date, is it wrong of me to still harbour a dream of becoming a real life princess some day?

Earlier this month, His Majesty King Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck became the world’s youngest monarch and head of state. The 28 year old is Oxford-educated and holds a Masters of Philosophy in Politics. He has a younger sister, Princess Dechen Yangzom, and brother, Prince Jigme Dorji, as well as four half-sisters and three half-brothers.

And he’s single.

The 5th Dragon King of Bhutan is said to be well educated, well travelled, articulate and passionate about his country. When he visited Thailand in 2006, the local press dubbed him "Prince Charming". It’s not hard to fathom why.

Dragon Queen Gloria. Yes, it has a certain ring to it! For him, I’d even be willing to be known as "Mrs Wangchuck".

And please, no one needs to mention this to J!!!

Lightning Strikes

Mood: Wow!!!

I love storms. There is something spectacular and majestic about storms. I love he crash and the bang of the thunder, the sound of the heavy pouring rain hitting surfaces, the very distinctive scent of petrichor, and most of all, the wondrous cracks of lightning that snake across the skies and light up even the darkest nights.

I’ll be the first to admit that I do get scared by these natural menaces. When we lived in a house many years ago, I would lie awake all night during storms, in hope that our roof would not be blown away by the lashing wind and rain of storms. Thunder scare me more – sometimes, it sounds so close it almost feels like Sir Thunder is standing right behind me.

I have often tried to capture the bursts of lightning crackling through the skies, splitting the tranquillity for milliseconds at a time, but have never been successful. So, instead, here are some photos taken by others for your viewing pleasure.



A New Way to Pay Bills

Mood: Laughing Out Loud

Let it be known that my mistaken identity saga is still continuing.

Last week, I received a text message on my mobile phone requesting that I pay my outstanding bill for my Origin Energy account. I have never held an account with Origin Energy, so I was a little shocked to receive the text message.

Included in the text message was a phone number to call should I wish to make arrangements for payment. In a bit of a huff, I dialled the number and proceeded to chew out any and all operators I would speak with. And two poor people working for Origin Energy copped the brunt of my spray.

Very simply, I wanted to let them know that my phone number does not belong to the culprit who was not paying their bills. I have heard horror stories of how one’s credit history and rating can be very adversely affected simply by being associated with an overdue bill, and even though the phone and the number belong to the company I work for, I’m sure somehow, somewhere, my name is listed as an owner of the account. In which case, this number is linked to me and that means that the stupid person who has skipped out on their bills is ultimately affecting my credit rating.

And here’s the weird thing – both of the people from Origin Energy told me that my number was NOT listed as a contact number for ANYONE on their database. Neither of them could find the number I quoted ANYWHERE on their system. Which makes me wonder – how could they possibly be chasing me, continuously, to pay the outstanding bills???

I mean, fair enough, if it was one-off kind of thing – one person mistakenly dialling a wrong digit and thus me receiving the phone call. But repeatedly? There’s a glitch somewhere and I don’t like it!

The people on the phone were polite enough to take my details with a promise to get back to me after they had sorted out the issue at their end. I’m still waiting for that return phone call. Then again, if they are not chasing me any more, I’m ok with that too.

The next time I get a phone call or a reminder message to pay bills that do not belong to me, I think I’ll be instigating a little bit of innovation myself, David Thorne style.




My Dodgy Hip

Mood: A Little Bit Scared

A little set back was almost confirmed today. Instead of joining my girlfriends on a long awaited holiday to Thailand, I will most likely be spending the rest of my holiday fund on a little bit of hip surgery.

I’ve been suffering quite a bit of pain in my right hip for weeks. The pain started getting really bad about a fortnight ago, enough to send me to physio for some relief. Right from the start, Shreya diagnosed an injury inside the hip joint. In order to be completely sure, she made an appointment for me to see a sports medicine doctor who would be better at diagnosing the problem.

Up to now, the pain in my hip would go away after a little while, and only hurt just before the skies open and rain falls. The injury was first sustained in 2002 in a soccer match – at the time, I was told I had hurt my Iliotibial (IT) Band and after a number of physio sessions, I was sent on my way. The most recent pains were different – not only was it more acute, but now when I walked, it felt like something inside my hip was catching. Yay. I’ve looked so special walking around on crutches in the past fortnight.

In the meantime, while I waited to see the sports med guy, I returned to Shreya twice a week to treat the injury. Shreya is a top chick – I really like talking to her. But at $60 a pop after refunds from my private health insurance, our chats are becoming very costly.

I saw Dr Tom Cross this morning. He’s one of the best groin guys in the business and the son of Dr Mervyn Cross OAM, the best knee guy who looked after Mum when she had her double knee replacements. Lovely man – he was very thorough. He sent me off for X-Rays and an MRI – the X-Rays were done on the spot, but the MRI appointment won’t take place for another fortnight.

After looking at the X-Rays, Dr Cross said he was almost certain that I have suffered a labral tear. He will need the results from the MRI to confirm his findings, at which time we would also discuss treatment, one of which is surgery.

Dr Cross didn’t say I will need the surgery. But he also didn’t rule out surgery completely. In fact, when we were talking about the next steps after getting the MRI report, Dr Cross spent more time talking about surgery than the other course of action.

I dropped in on Shreya afterwards, and she nodded knowingly when I told her Dr Cross’s initial assessment.

When I got home after all the appointments this morning (and nearly $400 poorer for my troubles), I sat down and wondered who to call first with the great news – do I start with those closest to me, or should I let work know first? In the end, J got the first call and hence all the tears.

I’m quite disappointed that I’ve had to spend my holiday fund again to fix up things. In July this year, I had to spend some of that fund on fixing my leaking apartment. Now I will be spend the rest of it fixing up my hip.

I know it’s something that needs to be done, but I can’t help but be bitter about having to sacrifice a much needed holiday, even if it is to fix up my dodgy hip and improve the quality of my life. Here’s hoping there’s enough left over to buy some new shoes, as I will not be allowed in a pair of high heels for a while and I have NO flat shoes!!!

By the end of the month, I will know one way or another how big the surgery will be, and hopefully, how soon the surgery can be done. I’ll check back in on this issue when I have more news.

Moments of Amusement

Mood: Amused

Amusing sightings / experiences in the past week.

Sunday – 27th MS Sydney to The Gong Ride

I spent Sunday supporting a group of fit and mostly crazy men who all got up at 5am to ride 90km from Sydney to Wollongong, all in the name of charity and supporting the MS Society. Yes, I know, I know – you’re not sure who was crazier – those who rode 90km, those who chose to ride back from Wollongong to Sydney (another 90km), or those who got out of a warm bed on a Sunday at 5am to drive 200km to support the bike riders!!!

What a long but enjoyable day – due mainly to great company and some funny moments.

#1 – BP Service Station, St Peters – After meeting the boys and taking group photos and back packs, etc, Rachel, Laura and I set off from Sydney Park towards Waterfall, our first pit stop. As we left the park, we thought to fill up the car and get a few things from the BP service station. The girls headed into the shop to select their goodies for the trip and were paying for their goodies as I was entering the shop to pay for my tank of petrol. Hurriedly, I made the payment and was rushing back to the car when a cyclist stopped me just outside the shop, who asked "do you have a public toilet?"

I stopped for a second and asked him to repeat the question. The look on my face made him hesitant about asking again, but he went ahead and said "a public toilet – do you have one?"

It was a bit too early in the morning for anything more witty than "not on me, I don’t".

At this point, the cyclist realised he needed to clarify. "Oh, sorry, don’t you work here?" he asked.

Yeah, nah. Sorry – not a BP employee. "Oh! Sorry! I thought you worked here judging by your shirt."

Er, should the fact that I was carrying my wallet, my car keys and a plastic bag containing 2 newspapers and a packet of ciggies have tipped him off that I was a customer and not a service station employee?

#2 – Coalcliff Pit Stop – Coalcliff was the second of the pit stops for the APP riders. At both pit stops, it was agreed that we would be holding up the APP flags to draw attention to our location – the first flag would be flying 100m before the location of my car carrying all the drinks and snacks, and the second flag would be almost right next to the car. I would hold the flag next to my car (made sense – it is my car), and the girls would be the first "warning" flag – one would hold the flag, the other would take the photos.

As the girls stood on the route to wave down our boys, quite a number of the cyclists made comments as they hurtled past the APP flag. Comments included "Who’s APP?" and "What’s APP?" – nothing out of the ordinary. There were a few "You need to add an H and a Y to that" and one "You don’t look like an ape" (to which I was tempted to yell back "Can’t spell, can’t ride"). There were loads of smiles and cheers and hellos too, which were very welcoming. The girls in the meantime collected a total of 9 wolf whistles. Bless. That was pretty funny.

Sunday Night with J

J arrived at my place around 7.30pm. We had both had a long long day – he had M for the day and ended up feeding her before making his way over. For dinner, I decided on something simple and made a yummy roast beef.

After inspecting the TV guide, J declared that there was only rubbish on the TV and asked what I would like to watch from my DVD collection. I told him I really didn’t mind as long as it was something light and fluffy. J mulled over the decision for a while and decided we should watch Sex And The City.

Yes, HE chose SATC. On his own. With no provocation. No threats from me. His very own doing.

So we watched the first 6 episodes of the series. We laughed as much as each other through each episode. At one point, I told him we didn’t have to watch any more SATC and we could watch something else, to which he replied "No, let’s watch some more – I like SATC – I’m really enjoying the shows."

Who is he??? And how did I score him as a boyfriend???

Love it. ♥ him more.

Crows Nest Fire Brigade To The Rescue

I had to duck out today to get a birthday present for Dad and pick up some lunch. On my way back into the office, I saw a fire truck parked outside my office building. The ladder was extended from the truck on to the glass awning of the building, and a fireman was on the ladder with a broom of sorts, sweeping at something.

I thought it was a bit weird, so I walked over a little more to see what he was sweeping at. About 10 paces away from the fire truck was a young man, looking like he was ready to catch something that would be swept off the awning. Figuring the fireman was sweeping something towards him, I ventured over some more to see what was being swept off the awning.

The young man then started throwing his wallet up against the glass awning to knock over whatever the fireman was sweeping towards. A few throws later, and the object was still not safely down in his hands.

A few more paces towards the young man unveiled the mystery.

The fireman was using the broom to scare a small bird down from the glass awning. The bird belonged to the young man, and it had obviously gone for a joy flight from his owner. After landing on the awning and being too scared to come down, the fire brigade was called to help rescue the animal.

Too cute!